The good thing about computer glitches is that I get a chance to read more books rather than browse soundbites. China Mieville, Kurban Said’s Ali and Nino, Antje Krog’s A Change of Tongue, And I can spend time out in the garden cutting back ivy and revelling in the smell of jasmine. Stood outside in the road talking to a neighbour last night and the air was heady with wild jasmine, spicy helichrysum (what we call the curry bush) and woodsmoke from cooking fires in the informal settlement. The full moon in Pisces was very bright, but we didn’t linger outdoors because some neighbours in the next street were held up a few nights back by men with knives. This is a dangerous part of the world and I’m reasonably vigilant, but like most of us here, I worry about something when it happens, not before.
There are massive strikes by hospital workers, so most of our state hospitals are closed except for life-and-death emergencies. An elderly woman in the village has a suspected fractured hip, but will not be admitted to hospital for x-rays and sonar until Friday. This would have been unthinkable a few years ago.
A pink-faced Baptist minister new to the village came to visit. It still annoys me that people don’t understand that I work from home to earn a living. People find me at home and assume I am glad of company. The Baptist minister called Pete or something like Pete, is very enthusiastic about bringing God to the people. Unfortunately he does not like dogs and especially not my small muddy dogs who dashed indoors to jump into his lap and lick his plump pink cheeks. Apologetically I sent the dogs back outdoors, gave him a cup of strong Kenyan coffee and a rusk, was then obliged to listen to his masterplan for saving the world. When he finally left, he had put his muddy shoes outdoors and a glossy brown earwig had crawled into one of his shoes. I saved the innocent earwig before he could squash it and tucked it under a cistus bush. The minister blessed me, but in a bad-tempered way. He may not like living in a village this rural.
The happiness of restored sanity.