So much has been happening lately it’s hard to know where to start.
A couple of weeks ago our pregnant cat appeared not to be pregnant anymore. We’d assumed that she’d lost her kittens until we discovered two in one of the packing boxes stacked in the garden. I moved them all inside when I heard mama cat trying to scare away a large tom who was trying to get into their box. John grumbled the way that dads do when they’re pretending not to be big softies, but we know that he thinks that they are as cute as we do. The plan is that we’ll get them all neutered and vaccinated in December. We’ll then have to decide what to do with them. No prizes for guessing which way Anna will be voting.
Mama Kitty (aka Goldie or Roxy) with Regulus Arcturus Black (aka Reggie, Squirt, Runty, etc...) and Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen (aka Fatty pants, Khaleesi, Daeny, etc...)
Speaking of voting – WELL DONE AMERICA! It’s easy to be an American abroad when we've got a great president. When George Bush was elected for a second term I spent the entire four years being quizzed about how it possible could have happened, like it was my own damned fault.
I was very lucky to get to go to the election party at the US embassy, as a plus one to one of John’s colleagues. They’d done a ballot at the party. I don’t know what the exact numbers were, but it was something like Obama 110, Romney 8. I’m not sure how to interpret that without angering my Republican friends. Actually, I’m not sure I have any (friends that vote Republican, not friends in general). I hope someone emails me the photo of me with my arm around a cardboard cut out of the president. I wonder what they did with the one of Romney.
One interesting factoid that I learned during the election was that I have never been in a Republican stronghold state, except to pass through an airport. Maybe we should move to Tennessee next. I’m sure that, to me, it would be as foreign as Fiji.
From the embassy, we moved on to Oceania Art Gallery for the opening of an exhibit, briefly stopping at home to pick up our mobile phones (no point in taking them to the embassy as you have to check them in). Anna proudly showed us the remains of a scorpion that she’d squashed with a wooden spatula (it was Anna...in the kitchen...with the spatula). This place is seriously hardening her up. At the art gallery I bought a lovely pen and ink drawing by a local artist which I will share with you once the exhibition is over in December. Now I know why they serve wine at exhibitions – to loosen the purse strings.
I was invited to go for a walk with a friend that I made at the fundraiser at the Fijian Museum a couple of weeks ago. Noriko is a very interesting woman who has recently lived in both Afghanistan and East Timor. Her emails to her friends during her four years in Afghanistan were published as a book (see here for a blog post about it). I think that I needed to hear from someone that knows a thing or two about these things about the need for patience in moving forward with my life here. Meeting people like her is definitely one of the benefits of living someplace like this.
While I’m waiting to get a job I’ve signed up to do an intensive Fijian language course with Alliance Français. I’m looking forward to it for many reasons, but am particularly glad of the timing – it coincides with Anna travelling to the UK for five weeks over Christmas. I’m going to miss her so much - she’s such good company for her dear old parents. Maybe once I've cracked Fijian, I’ll have a go at French, which, despite numerous holidays to France over the years when we lived in the UK, remains mystery to me.
For those of you that may have missed it, last week our housekeeper, Mela, showed me how to make roti with potato curry. Next week we’re going to make Fijian donuts. I may shortly have to buy an entire new wardrobe consisting of trousers with elasticated waistbands and smocks.