1. Left Dakar at 00.50am, into Lisbon on time but an eight hour delay at Lisbon – but you know me! That gave me hours of uninterrupted reading time! Nearly finished ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – an unforgettable and beautifully written story.
'Half of a Yellow Sun' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2. Lucy went through immigration ahead of us and by the time we were through, she had all the cases loaded onto a trolley. Brilliant.
3. We were so late back that the Grandbabies were both in bed but Mr Rice made us his signature Spaghetti Carbonara for supper, delicious!
Yes, I know that’s four things. It’s so hard to keep to three from our trip to Senegal!
1 The garden, full of bamboo, bougainvillea and many other flowers, attracts lots of birds. The Weaver Birds love the bamboo which they tear off in strips for their nests, the Sunbirds come for the nectar and to spread their wings in sunny spots and the Bulbuls do their courting here! All the time there are Black Kites wheeling about overhead. Lucy, before we came, also saw Egrets and a flock of Pelicans!
Weaver Bird with Bamboo strip
Weaver Bird with Sunbird on left
Sunbird sunning her wings
2 Ndeye Marie was delighted with her chunky coloured crayons and paper and immediately started practising her letters.
I also read Eric Carle’s ‘The Very lonely Firefly’, translating it into French as I went along, to Ndeye Marie, our newest Grandchild – what joy!
Reading to Ndeye Marie
3 Mr S and I went down to Ami’s family home to see the hired chairs being hauled up onto the roof for the Wedding tomorrow. Some family were having tea outside and invited us to join them in true Senegalese fashion. The mint tea in tiny glasses was very hot, very sweet and beautifully minty.
1 This morning I woke up feeling well! It has been a horrid few days feeling the effects of all the vaccines we’ve had for our trip to Senegal, so M.Eish – no energy, cotton-wool brain, muscle pains and general malaise -so quite scary. I’ve had my share of that so it was wonderful to wake up feeling good!
2 I’ve baked some Jewel Cookies. I found the recipe on a delightful blog by Go Bake Yourself which sent me back to http://www.ilovemilkandcookies.blogspot.co.uk/ for the original recipe called Lemon and Polenta Cookies. They’ve gone down very well with Mr S and Lucy.
3 I’ve planted some Lily-of-the-valley for my beautiful friend Kath who died last year. It is a tradition in France to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley (“muguet” in French) to loved ones on the 1st of May which is a Public Holiday in France, officially known as La Fête du Travail (National Labour Day) but also called La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day).
Kath and Charlie loved France, had a home in Meyssac in the South and not a year went by when she either gave me a card depicting the flowers or a homegrown bunch, on one occasion bringing them all the way on the train from Yorkshire when we met up in London for a few precious hours. Now Kath has her own special place in my garden as well as, always, in my heart.
1 Today I came across a scrap of paper on which I had written down something I heard on the radio and loved. Checking it out, I find it is from an ancient Iraqi poem, “Gilgamesh”:
” Let your every day be full of joy, love the child that holds your hand, let your wife delight in your embrace, for these alone are the concerns of humanity.”
I found this fuller explanation online: ‘Reflecting on the death of his friend, Gilgamesh decides to search for the key to eternal life, an ultimately futile quest. “Gilgamesh, what you seek you will never find. For when the Gods created Man they let death be his lot, eternal life they withheld. Let your every day be full of joy, love the child that holds your hand, let your wife delight in your embrace, for these alone are the concerns of humanity.”‘
2 Also came across this very old and much loved photo of my twins (sorting again!)
Lucy and Daniel
3 This lovely sleek cat joins us in the garden quite often and reminds me of my growing up days when we always had much-loved cats.
1 Fabulous singing session this morning learning ‘Valerie’ by Amy Winehouse. As the harmonies built up and then the melody came over the top – it was brilliant! And I hadn’t liked it much on first listen. I love the way Claire can do that for us!
2 Came home to find this message from Lucy on Facebook: “Now that was the hardest thing that I have ever done and possibly the hardest thing that I will ever do, I got very sick and nearly didn’t make it, but did and now I’m flying back down the mountains… lots of love to all… Still taking sponsorship…http://fundraise.unicef.org.uk/MyPage/LucyEverestBaseCamp”
We are so proud of her and delighted, that despite being so sick, she made it!
Everest Base Camp
3 There are daffodils in the garden, some open, others just bending their heads ready to burst. There’s a field near Ponsanooth on my way to Penryn that has daffodils all over it and it’s such a delight to round the corner and see them. It’s not commercial growing – they’re just there!
1 Met a lovely man this morning whose daughter saw my ad for the brass sheets on Network Cornwall. He’s taken lots of the brass and is going to make me a weather vane. Even better, he mends instruments for Camborne Brass band so the material will be used in the way it used to be. That will please Charlie.
2 Sallie Grayson of People and Places, through whom we did our Voluntouring in Mapoch, South Africa, sent me this article about the over 50s volunteering and they used my photo!
1 Been listening to my lovely Dad’s beautiful voice today! When, in 2004, he was given a terminal diagnosis, we spent time together recording some of the life stories he used to tell us. I haven’t listened to them before and I have now asked for help on Network Cornwall to get them transcribed. As usual, NC has come up trumps. Thank you.
2 In our garden today – miniature daffodils, tiny iris, delicate snowdrops and beautiful blue rosemary already in flower.
3 Lucy’s itinerary tells us that today she will have trekked from Namche Bazaar to Khumjung and they are now at 12,434ft .