Vuvuzelas and Birdsong

This evening my hands smelled as if I’d been up in the mountains all day – a smell of leaves, dirt and forest – yet I’d spent the day in our garden.  I climbed up our tallest rock and sat reading for a while, looking out over the cascade of orange creeper and across  Mbabane. The shadows grew longer. Benoit and Leo traipsed across the garden and began building a hut in the corner against the pine tree. I scrambled down to help and before long, Benoit and I had forgotten the kids and discovered our own inner children as we weaved together sticks and pine needles.  We felt very far from Paris and from the lives we used to have and very lucky to be here. It is midwinter yet we barbecued yesterday, spending the entire day outside sipping cold beers and chatting in the sun. We had decided to celebrate Emil’s birthday by inviting a couple of the people we’ve met here around. I surprised the hell out of myself by baking a cake. Emil got us dancing by the end of the day. He is mesmerised by music and starts swaying on his little legs, barely able to walk but determined to dance. He favours a Sowetan style of dance – swinging his ass, keeping his hips low. We were also treated to an appearance by the kittens that live in the bushes in our garden. We have been trying to ignore their existence for a while though we knew they were there. Their mother is a very young cat who has been trying her best to get adopted. The kittens are terribly cute – a tabby and a black and white one. Only 2  survived though perhaps she had a small litter). It is difficult to be  when you see them playing out in the sunshine on the rocks. I have started feeding the mother much to Benoit’s consternation. She has been named: `Caticou` by Leo.

The sound of birdsong is, of course, broken at regular intervals by the Vuvuzelas. The Swazis are all South Africans this month. We went to House on Fire for the first match  . The kids loved the atmosphere – the noise and the silly hats though didn’t quite get the concept behind it all. Leo summed up the world cup thus:`They kick the ball, they play the moomoozelas and they fall down`

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