Weather has changed and just like that, like the bran dust, the single, sour little cranberry and the oat debris in the bottom of the luxury box of muesli, summer is nearly over. ‘Fleur’ (c) T,Bush 10 I escape to France for a few days to see Mum and to raid her library on African flora and fauna as I have decided that the heroine in my Zambian thriller is able to survive on
the streets of Lusaka by sourcing edible fruit, mushrooms and insects. As I don’t know my fungi from my fruit fly I thought I best do some serious research. This is a photo of French Moonflower (Daktura) which also grows in Zambia and is used as a hallocenogenic poison!
Bet you didn’t know there was such a thing as a ‘snot apple’ which grows wild on the edges of fotball pitches..? (Bet you didn’t want to either..)
The trip starts at 2am on Tuesday I finally start packing a ruck sack. By 5am I’m at Stansted standing –without Grace who is on dog holiday with her mates- unable to see any information boards clearly or any staff. Everything is a blur of exhausted families and confused students flying home. I stumble into a secure area which is the only way to get any attention and am escorted firmly to the ‘disabled peoples holding pen.’ image from internet I tell the bored, young woman who is sitting behind the desk calmly ignoring the frantic signals of an expiring Indian grandma on a nearby bench, that I have tunnel vision and she starts laughing so hard she goes purple. When she catches her breath and the tears of mirth stop rolling down her face, she shares the joke. ‘You are like a horse!’ she shrieks and brays with laughter again. I look for a brick to kill her with but short of westling the zimmer frame from the dying Indian lady I am bereft of weapons and anyway am too tired to be trouble. I am led away to the plane still seething that horses don’t HAVE tunnel vision. It’s the blinkers that…etc etc… However by midday I am on a beach stuffing my face with moules frites an
d sangria with lovely mum and Silent John..who is much less silent now he has cats, Really! Two small delicate yet ferocious pretty beasties, Topaz and Arthur. Who knew?! Above: Topaz Right :Ruth under the fig tree.
9C) T. Bush 10 I solve the problem of having forgotten all my school girl French by keeping my mouth full of food and wine for the full four days and on my return am a little worried to feel the plane lurch to my side when I sit down.
Left Ruth gardening (c) T. Bush 10 But it was all well worth it! I loved seeing Mum and John and the
new place. They have already made, what was a run down old cottage and cattle shed, into such a gorgeous home. Magnifique! Right:John and Arthur in the garden. (c) T.Bush10 Now back in UK I squint for endless hours at my manuscript – 40,000 words to be in at the end of the month. I have all the words but , to misquote some famous wag, just not yet in the right order. Grace too is back after a fabulous break with her buddies and has had to be cajoled with treats and promises of riverside walks back into harness. Her expression as she drags me along says quite distinctly ‘You seem a trifle heavier then last week…?’ Blast..back to the gym again.