Friday, February 09, 2007

hello there

Hi, I just dropped in to the office to check e-mails, I don't have my computer with me, so can't post all the stuff i have been gathering to share with you.

So i thought I'd just say a quick hello, and tell you that it has been so hot, dry and windy around here that the fire department have had 80 blazes to fight in the last couple of days! Last night the smell of smoke was so overpowering that we had to close the lounge window, and we are in the centre of town! I tmust have been terrible in the suburbs.

It reminded me of an incident that happened when I was little.

Our family lived in a thatched cottage, miles out of Harare in Zimbabwe (it was then Salisbury, in Rhodesia.) Ours was the last house on the dirt road, on the edge of a bird sanctuary, so we had great panoramic views of Savanna Woodlands sweeping down the valley in front of us. The fence along the side of the property was also thatch.

Zimbabwe falls into the area which has distinct dry and rainy seasons, so in winter the valley was full of tall (oner head-height) tinder dry grass, and fires were always an issue. One year they were particularly bad, one day the fire was sweeping up the valley and the thatch fence had caught alight. The wind was fanning the flames and sparks were flying everywhere.

While mom hosed down the roof, she yelled for the gardener to pull out the fence, to prevent the flames getting too close to the house. Bless his soul, dear old Chiwashe was a strong and willing helper, but a bit rusty in the English department. When mom wondered why he had not done as she asked, she looked around, and there he was trying to manually up-root the clump of ferns growing under the garden tap!
In the end mom managed to mime what was needed, and the house was saved, but it was an extremely close call!

At the time, my sister and I were little, and I think mom was amazing, because she was directing operations, hosing down the roof, and at the same time trying to appear calm so we would not get scared. It was only years later, when we were all laughing about the ferns/fence story that mom let us know just how serious it had been.

OK that's it for now, will try and get online later with more pix, if not, will catch up next week.


Libbys Blog said...

My husband, although born in the Uk was raised in 'Rhodesia' his father was a Health Inspector so they moved home practically every year!! His siter was born in Bulawayo, I know they lived in Plumtree, can't remember the other places though. Your story made me laugh because hubby has loads like that too!

Sheila said...

Mums are magic aren't they.
My mum told me on my first airplane flight that the turbulance was nothing to worry about.. that she had been through far worse. When we landed she told her sister it was terrifying, and the worst trip she'd ever had. When I asked her why she didn't tell me on the plane, she laughed, and said why do you think..!
I hope the fires there are soon contained and everyone is safe..

Janet said...

Fire is so frightening. I hope they're under control by now and everyone is safe.
I could just picture your mom on the roof hosing everything down and giving directions, etc.

RUTH said...

Well done your Mum...what an incredible story