Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Girl with a face like an over-ripe tomato

After spending the last three weekends consuming and devouring Stieg Larsson's Millenium series, I think the title of this post could easily be the title of his fourth book which is on his laptop, the only thing inherited by his partner of 30 years.  How sad is that?  Stieg Larsson ruined my social life three weekends in a row.  He ruined my sleep as I read until 2am to finish the last book in the series.  My updating of my blog was confined to book reviews of his books I read.  I was invited to a birthday party that had a pig cooking on a spit, and I kept saying, "One more page, one more page," and when next I looked at the time it was 2am!  Yeah, you may say it, I am pathetic and obsessive, whatever!  Okay I admit it, wherever you are, Stieg Larsson I am your number one fan.  But, back to The Girl with a face like an over-ripe tomato.  That happens to be me.  Yesterday I travelled to Arusha to chaperone our school's athletics team at a meet.  Thinking I'd be sitting under the trees watching kids and chatting to parents, I neglected to take along sun cream.  Unfortunately, they were short staffed and a little chaotic, and myself and one of the parents got roped into timekeeping in the full sun with NO sunscreen.  The stopwatches were dinky brightly coloured toys made in China and probably bought from Toys R Us.  Needless to say, they didn't work properly, but that's a whole other story.  After 4 hours in direct African sun, remembering we are sort of on the equator here, my face had turned an enviable shade of bright red.  You could have chopped off my head and used it as a stop sign.  Someone said, "Oh I was going around passing out sunblock but thought you didn't need it because you were African."  Listen lady, Africans also burn, especially white Africans.  So I went home with my face stinging and my nose feeling like the skin was going to split any minute.
This morning I woke up and my face was swollen and puffy.  I have been sunburnt many times before, but I've never woken up with a swollen puffy face.  Under my eyes were saggy bags that looked as if I could keep my loose change in them.  I was aesthetically, a disaster.  On top of that, I could hardly see out of my eyes.  The worst part, is that I have finished the free samples of moisturising lotion I collected from hotels we stayed at on our recent Mountain to Mountain Safari.  I have a nasty feeling I am going to peel and when my new skin comes out I'm going to look like a wrinkled old prune.  The worst is, is that the redness of my face really brings out the greyness of my hair.
I've finished the first draft of The Great Mountain to Mountain Safari, and am now working on writing the random factoids that'll appear throughout the book and getting the formatting right.  The maps are still giving me grey hairs.  I wish |I knew a cartographer who could just draw them for me.  It's all about time, and that is something which I don't have enough of.  Somebody dropped off 10 kg of pork, thinking I'd turn it into sausages.  I have no time to make sausages, I really want to get this book finished, so have decided to smoke it.  I can only hope it turns out okay.  Talking about baking and cooking, because of the vast amounts of spinach in my garden, I've spent each weekend, after I'd finished with Stieg Larsson, trying out new recipes with spinach.  I made canelloni, spinach quiche and last weekend, spinach and cheese pastries.  Today I'm going to make spinach and feta samoosas and spinach and cheese muffins.  Just call me the 'domesticated expat writer teacher.'  I just need a little apron now to really look the part.  Mind you, this red face will detract from my culinary skills.
Hopefully, this last week of school before the holiday won't be as hectic as the two preceding ones.  And, I have no more Stieg larsson to distract me from my writing tasks and social life.
Have a great week!

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