MY apologies, faithful friends and followers.
I appreciate I have an obligation of sorts now. That unspoken obligation centres on a regular Sunday morning post from yours truly. I follow the professional bloggers and admire their stalwart discipline and ability to maintain the rhythm with likes and follow boosting content every week (or day even). I promise myself that this will be me as I draw ever closer to that frightening and fateful day when I must give birth to my unborn novel and release it into the clutches of the highly critical world. Yet here I am apologising for the lack of posts over the past few weeks.
I cannot and will not write in advance. These pages have represented my life as it happens, week on week, covering whatever has been important in that particular week. They have been and are personal, emotional and from the heart (I keep promising to stop that too), they depict life as I see it on the weekend of the week just passed as I post.
Not the right way, I know. Not the best way, I know. But my way and as I have said many times “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!”
“OK, OK,” I hear you grumble. “Why no posts?”
I left Tanzania on Wednesday 3rd September with no return flight booked as I had a lot to cover. Returning to Europe has shaken my soul, turned my life upside down again, pierced and broken my heart again and finally on the eve of my return to Tanzania as I pen this – helped me put life in perspective. You did not need to be the witness to that process, it was too personal and entirely uninteresting for the stalwart follower and so, although I scribbled copiously, the Sensible Editing Mouse in my head took control and filed those scribbles for later consumption or a re-write as a character in a story.
There is but one that I will share and maybe it was the start of the big shake up for it covers the first and most important leg of my trip back “home”.
There is no possible way on this universe, never mind world, that anyone can pen the words or paint the picture to fully evoke the effect on a person that a period of living, eating and breathing alongside the under privileged yet beautiful people of Tanzania creates. I would assume it is the same for any poverty stricken area but can only make direct reference to my own experience.
My one year in Tanzania anniversary found me back in Europe primarily for a long overdue trip to see the family in Norway. With every intention of returning to TZ for a further stay it made sense to settle personal affairs and visit friends in what was my place of residence for fifteen years IE: Spain and to visit good friends and family in the country of my origins IE: England. A long trip away from what has been my normal routine and life in the place that has become my home, Moshi.
The beautiful scenery of Norway was the perfect backdrop for a short eleven day stay with my three rambunctious grandchildren, who kept me amazed and entertained at every turn. Their access to gadgetry and complete expectation of the basic things in life such as books, TV, clothes (designer preferred) and food is, of course, starkly different to the norm I see each day but it was also a delight to see how they relish the simple outdoor pleasures of nature. Yet they were interested and touched by tales of the “African children”. They have a capacity to observe and accept that few adults have, a lot of whom prefer to shy away and not know, leaving others to focus on the alternatives in life.
The kids back in Moshi will be amazed and incredulous at the alternative lifestyles of my grandchildren and will devour the pictures with avid interest but little jealousy. They have so little hope instilled in their lives that they mostly don’t know how to dream or feel jealous.
My time with my son and daughter in-law was precious and I didn’t need or want “special treatment.” I wanted to simply blend in as part of the family and live a “normal” family life for a few treasured days. I watched them go about their normal chores with the age old familiarity of a happily married couple and that insight into their lives was worth more than any day trip or outing could ever supply. Watching my family interact together made my heart sing and my conscience awaken.
Time to get real GranGill, time to grow up GranGill, time to make some serious considerations for my long term future; I will not contemplate a future that keeps me away from these five special people for such prolonged periods. I need to address my future plans to allow for more regular visits.
A month and three days away, all the important people in my life visited and what have I learned?
I love my family more than anything.
I miss an English autumn
My life in Spain was the best and is now over.
I want to earn a living (or even just a crust) from my writing and …
I have no desire as yet to “settle” anywhere soon, I like being the Dotty Old Bat with a battered suitcase.
Normal service resumed soon my friends.