Saturday, 30 October 2010


This morning we went to a Halloween Party.

It was hosted by a friend from Playgroup an involved games and food contributions from various people. Given that the children were mostly 3, with one 4 year old, a couple of 5's (Kitty was the eldest) and various younger siblings, it was deliberately non-scary, with plenty of pumpkin themed games, a few monster face cakes, musical pumpkins (think Musical chairs but having to share pumpkins) and fancy dress including 2 fairies, 1 fairy witch, Tigger, a pirate skeleton, Fred Flintstone, a snail, a butterfly and a cheetah.... Nationalities included U.S., Canadian, British, Luxumbourgian, Israili, Tanzanian, German, Carribean....It was great! Thanks PJ for all your hard work and inspiration!

Tonight Mr B and I get to go to a real grown up party - a joint 40th birthday bash. We're leaving the kids at 5.30 with one set of babysitters, who are experienced parents and hopefully can get them through dinner and bedtime. They will be relieved by babysitter no. 2, a 16 year old boy, son of friends, after they are asleep. Babysitters were thin on the ground this weekend!

Monday, 25 October 2010

fun times

We've had some fun over the last few days. We opened presents from Great Granny, hand delivered by C and S

They were very well received!

We've done a lot of reading of them already, by popular request

The Mancub has spent a lot of time exploring by boat

He takes me on expeditions to "National Parks" because "dere's lot of citing things dere, like lots of cars and trains"

Mr B's car is having a major service. The initial inspection took place at our house on friday, much to the Mancub's delight

We had a lovely social weekend, spending saturday with relatively new friends at a safari lodge near them

Yesterday we invited a new family over for lunch after church. They are just here for a couple of months - lovely family with an 8 year old girl and a nearly 4 year old girl. The kids all played together straight off while we got lunch ready and then we all walked to the nearby safari lodge for another swimming session - no pics this time though.

And we now have 3 sets of family booked in for December, January and February. Hurrah! Looking forward to it immensely.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Random pics

A few more random pics from our time with C & S. Thanks for sending them!

The Mancub developed an obsession with squashing elephant poo while C and S were with us, either by driving over it, or better still,  standing on it!

visiting Cultural Heritage

Natural swing at Lake Duluti

Mr B getting a life home on a taxi pikipiki

Child-minding assistance from Mama J's youngest daughter.

Monday, 18 October 2010


Nice morning with friends today - Kitty's last day of half term holiday and H's first day of half term holiday. Different schools even further apart than our respective houses makes for difficulties meeting up during term time. A lovely morning and lunch and lots of time for the Mums to chat! And Kitty was very keen on eating salad that she had picked all of herself - yummy tomatos, carrots and various different salad leaves, all fresh from the garden.

and one from our recent safari...

"what do you do if you need to go the loo in an English Country....Garden Tanzanian National...Park"
(when you're not supposed to leave the vehicle and in any case you are busy watching a large group of large baboons)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Mystery pics and other challenges...

Having a quieter weekend, so nothing new to report. But sorting a few more pics - there may be extras in the next few days - here are some mysteries from the beach:

Another bit of this. I'm not convinced by the suggestion from two that the earlier one was a whale vertebrae - there's no hint of a circular process anywhere, and no obvious fractures or fusions that should happen. But find me a nice picture of a whole one that solves it and I'll be happy. Meanwhile this one clearly is the inverse of the other - a left where the other was right - and could easiuly fit in the gap in the earlier one. Anyother thoughts?!

(note BES prduct placement!) Next, there's that large bone featured in the last blog and cut out here from a couple of others. Possibly hippo? Note very thick at one end, thinner at the other, maybe a radius/ulna part (can't remember which one is which... - the bigger one...). I know there are some guides who read the blog, surely some of you can come up with a definitive answer to this one...
 And this isn't a mystery, but is definitely a challenge. Those lovely bandas we were staying in are constructed of bamboo, palm and sisal. The largest scout camping challenge ever?

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Back last night from a lovely trip to the beach! Thank you very much S and family for letting us stay with you at your 'beach house'. As usual, the drive (7 hours in an old landrover that has no air-con but plenty of holes for dust to swirl up through) was something of an ordeal for all concerned. But it was definitely worth it.

Here is the 'beach house' where we cooked, ate, played and the rest of the group slept

and here are our sleeping quarters a few metres away

We were about 15 metres from the beach, if that. Here is the view from the dining table.

Of course, with no walls, you do get plenty of visitors wandering in uninvited

Lots of fun was had by all...

Sandcastle number one

a mere hovel compared to sand castle number two, which, it was decreed, had to be taller than Kitty...

There were coconut shells to find

and use to create battlements around the moat, which was great fun to jump over

and there were other things to find too, Hippo? Whale??

And when the sheer joy of being at the beach got overwhelming, one could always jump and dance and twirl while shouting "Fantastic Daisy Artichoke!" at the top of your voice

On one day we all took a trip on a sailing ship (well, a leaky wooden boat with an outboard motor anyway) to Maziwe sand island where snorkelling, playing and burning in the sun were enjoyed (mostly) by all. No photos though - too busy, sandy and exhausting!

But as if all that were not enough, we just happened to be staying about 1km from a turtle nest that was being monitored and starting to hatch. The eggs are laid a good way down in the sand (these had actually been rescued from certain death on a regularly submerged sand island and lovingly transplanted to a carefully monitored plot on the beach) and the babies take a few days to crawl up to the surface after hatching. We were summonsed, along with about 30 other people staying nearby (a good many of whom we knew from Arusha!) to witness the happy event. It was wonderful!!!

Back home last night, exhausted, slightly sore (me - legs from snorkelling), rather spotty and coughing (the Mancub who seems to have a mild virus of sorts according to a texted consultation with the paediatrician), very brown (Kitty especially, but all of us) and ready for the restful break of normal life! So, today involved unpacking, washing, shopping, ludo, baking chocolate chip shortbread and general lounging around. Forgive us all those who have experienced radio silence from us recently - the last 3 weeks have been lovely but manic. Normal service will resume again soon.