Monday, March 31, 2008

Joaquim learns to fly

It turns out he didn’t need the super-power after all.

“Look mum! Look at me fly!”

And with that he leaped from the edge of the pool and executed an impressive belly flop, as close to a dive as you can get without actually letting your head go in first. No armbands. Out of his depth. No problem.

Joaquim discovered on Saturday that he can swim. He did five lengths of the pool, and it’s a pretty big pool, maybe 8 metres. Not only can he swim, but he can dive down to pick things up off the bottom. His style is not yet great, but he’s certainly got the idea. I am SO proud.

Sebastian, meanwhile, thinks he can swim. In other words he’ll climb or jump into the pool or simply walk off the steps into deep water without a care in the world. Fine when he’s wearing armbands. Not so when he takes them off. I had to pluck him out several times on Saturday (oh yes, I stay close) but he continued, undeterred, coming up wide-eyed with surprise at his unexpected lack of buoyancy.

At least now I only have to watch one of them like a hawk.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Disco diva

Last night I dreamed that I was going to perform a dance in public to "I will survive". In my dream I was supremely confident that my routine was going to be fantastic, although, of course, I had never actually practised it. Sadly, I woke up before I got to dance.

Any idea of what that was all about?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Is it a bird, is it a plane?

“Mum, can you buy me some super-power so I can fly?”
“Where do you think I might be able to buy some super-power so you can fly?”

Pieces of eight

On Friday we went to a pirate party. It was not, as you might expect, a children’s party, but rather a party to celebrate the official opening of ‘Il Pirata’, our friends Suzi and Carlo’s new Italian restaurant on the beach, and by far the best place in Pemba for pizza (ultra-thin and crispy) and kite surfing. (Never heard of it? Take one huge kite, one harness, one small board, and you’re away, very quickly in even a moderate wind.)

Joaquim is quite into pirates at the moment. He was very excited at the prospect: “Are we going to have treasure? And swords?” Yes indeed. Thursday afternoon we made treasure and swords and a treasure chest out of cardboard and silver foil. Friday afternoon we got dressed: stripy T-shirts, cut-off trousers, head-scarves, and, best of all, big curly painted-on moustaches. We very much looked the part, although Sebastian was not sure about the moustache and tried to rub it off.

When we got to the party which was already in full swing, however, Joaquim had second thoughts. He didn’t want to join the crowd, which was in grand pirate regalia, especially Gustav, who is a tall, densely-bearded South African and was sporting a fantastic costume complete with feathered hat, jacket, and boots. With some difficulty I persuaded Joaquim to come in, then found some other small pirates for him to play with, after which he spent a blissful night chasing girl pirates, burying and unearthing his treasure chest, waving his sword and making scary pirate faces. Sebastian slept for a bit, but then woke up and joined in with gusto, both boys only finally falling asleep at about midnight.

Meanwhile, I was drinking vodkas that were being poured by a Ukrainian friend, who obviously knew what he was doing. Great tunes were playing courtesy of another friend and his decks, and before you could say yo-ho-ho and a bottle of Smirnoff, there was no holding me back on the dance floor. Many people here in Pemba have known me for four years or less. For most of the past four years I have been pregnant or breastfeeding, and therefore abstemious. It has come as a surprise to these people that I am not as quiet as they thought, an opinion that was relayed to me several times on Friday night. Perhaps it had something to do with playing outrageous air guitar to ACDC, or perhaps it was my interpretation of “Lady Marmalade”. Could possibly have been both.

We eventually rolled home at 1am, and, bless their cotton socks, the boys slept in until 7.30. Joaquim’s waking words were “Where’s my treasure?” When I asked him if he’d enjoyed the pirate party, he replied: “I was a bit scared. I was a bit scared of that big man with the hat and the feather.” Pirates. They’re a bit scary, you know.

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