We went to a fundraiser/art exhibition at our daughters' school the other night. The idea is that your kids produce a masterpiece or two, it gets framed and then us parents buy it and the proceeds go to the excellent Kigulu school in Kibera (see 'my favourite charities' for a link below).
My husband arrived early as he went to the school straight from work. Needless to say, I was late. There was a hitch. For some very cunning reason, the school had laid on a free bar (we normally have to pay.)
After a glass of wine my slightly flushed husband says, 'let's buy this picture!' I look at the price and balk. It's by one of the members of staff. However, I had to agree it was very good, so I agree. It's just that I haven't got much money with me. We write out a cheque.
I say to the High Commissioners wife, 'my husband's just bought on of the teachers paintings.'
'Oh, that's very sucky uppy!' she said, then left.
We also dutifully bought our eldest's 'hand print' picture. She's ten.
For the past two weekends I've been asking her, 'aren't you supposed to be doing a picture for the art exhibition?' and she repeatedly reassured me that she had it all in hand - literally - it turns out!
I asked her later, 'why a hand print? Could you not have done something a little more adventurous? I'd have been happy to help you with it? I think that really, you could have done better than that.'
'I thought the babies would like it.' she said. 'And anyway, it wasn't for you, it was supposed to have been bought by someone else.'
Then on the way home, at about 7.45pm, whilst in fairly heavy traffic, there's a deafening and very sudden bang in the car. My ears popped.
'Ohmygod - what was that?' I said. 'A stone?'
There was a dent in the middle of the windscreen. My husband says,
'That was no stone. That was a bullet.'
Sure enough, on the windscreen there's also a scorch mark, but by some miracle, the glass didn't break.
'It can't have been!' I said.
Where we had just passed, there was no one on the pavement, no loiterers, no sign of a soul, I didn't feel threatened at all, we were just going fairly fast in moving traffic.
We drove on. I thought about it a bit.
'I guess if the bullet had gone through the glass - it'd have hit me.' I said looking down, 'in the chest.'
My husband said,
'I was feeling guilty about spending over £1,000 on this proper Landrover windscreen when I replaced it recently. Now I'm quite glad I did.'
I kind of forgot about the incident but word got out and a few people have said,
'Oh my goodness are you okay?'
'Fine.' I said.
Meanwhile, my husband (a bit of a gun geek), unbeknownst to me, took his car to CID to be swabbed for gun residue the following day. He tells me we are still waiting on the results. It's the mean streets of Nairobi. Wonder if it will turn out that it was just a stone?