Today we had sixteen fundis or workmen on the plot at elevenses. Florence said over a steaming sufria of hot tea, Gladys meanwhile frantically Blueband-ing bread; ‘it’s like a hotel here!’ Everybody gets bread, jam and tea at eleven – today it was a little out of control.
putting hard core in the pool
The swimming pool is going on well. We planned to keep its existence a secret from my husband’s London boss who was staying last night. Our plan was foiled when the foreman gave the go ahead for four lorry loads of hardcore, sand, gravel and metal bracing to be dumped in our drive just before he was due to arrive.
The London boss, taking a three day break from a England which as we all know is in full austerity shock, was intrigued by the building materials.
‘Planning an extension to your house?’ he asked.
‘No, just a swimming pool’ we squeaked!
He also noticed the large flatscreen tv in the corner of the living room. My husband and I shrank into the sofa and hid behind cushions. In fact the London boss was very gallant about our Posh and Becks style home improvements - especially since he was describing how he gets up at 5am every day, taking only a 20min snooze on the train home if he's lucky!
It’s still dry here in Nairobi, so everything at home (including the guinea pigs) are covered in a fine layer of red dust from the pool excavating. By shovel, it’s taken almost a week to dig the hole. What didn’t help was half way through that we panicked and asked for it to be made it two metres longer. Since the weekend my husband and I have been in ‘what tiles to choose for the pool’ angst. We spent a particularly torrid Saturday morning in the industrial area. It’s so hard to make up our minds or agree on anything – and of course, what is locally available and in stock is also limiting – not that I’m complaining mind you!
My daughter and the big tree
The reason for quite so many people being here today was also that the tree cutters turned up. We have a huge tree in our garden, an Indian Ash – that I’ve been fully expecting to fall on our house for years now. Having sought expert advice, we were told it was indeed unsafe, grows ferociously and needed taking down. The tree cutter, Nelson Mandela (that’s his name - no kidding!) had to get a city council licence to take the tree out. He’s so knowledgable about everything in our garden, I'd love him to be our 'garden consultant' as I have no idea what's what and he doesn’t seem to mind scaling a 100 foot tree, swinging from ropes and lopping it down – so he’s now my hero but I must admit, I’m currently huddled in terror in my office, as each branch comes crashing down to deafening, foundation shaking thuds.
Before the children were dispatched out to various play dates this morning, my eldest said, ‘Did you know mum, cutting down trees is not good for the environment?!’