Sunday, 15 May 2011


It's a shame the Sky-map thingy didn't work on our Virgin flight as we flew over some amazing things, all mysterious and perhaps never to be known now.

Sleep was difficult on the plane. I thought £159 each for an upgrade (to Upper Class!) was too much before we boarded but later thought it might have been worth it. However I had a window seat and saw coasts and distant swathes of lights (was it Italy or the coast of Israel, or the Nile?) Then two brilliant planets greeted my first African dawn... We flew over an oh-my-goodness extinct volcano with a baby crater on its northern flank. Later told this is Lungunot... with its own micro climate and unique animaux living inside the crater. It looked smallish from where we were but who knows?

Clouds banked up in very un-English style, with ominous flashes inside them. Landing fab. But here on the ground it's been varying between hot and mild. The driving between the airport and this house was pretty much a free-for-all, like dodgems, but for real. Horrendously staggeringly dangerous, even in a 4x4, and driven by our friend who's used to it. Aagggh.

We passed many drifts of Kenyan people, solo or in groups, walking somewhere (a long way), going through piles of rubbish, carrying stuff on their heads, waiting in groups for Sunday School or church, making a dash across this terrible road.

We saw secretary birds, too, huge, which I've never seen before, only read about.

The villa here is like an hotel, with a beauitful garden, pool, security gates, cameras, armed guards, grills on the windows, sensors and emergency buttons in case of attack, and razor wire in the hedges. Inside it's very plush - tiles, arches, drapes, suites of rooms, palms inside and out, very stylish. We have unpacked, had coffee or tea, gone into the jacuzzi, swum, not had a sauna, jacuzzi'd again, and now waiting for lunch.

I have to remember this is Sunday. We left home yesterday at 4pm, and all was uneventful apart from a vile child on the tube, fat and pernicious, swinging on a pole with one hand and grasping her sweets in the other, poking fun at a man who was asleep, hoping to wake him up by droning loudly at him. We also spoke to a very black French guy from Cameroun who was going to Paris to see his wife and child (a baby of 5 months had recently died). He told us some of his life story - no family, hard work, study at the U of Greenwich, finding his lady, their struggle, her work as a nurse, her need to get French citizenship, and more. His round flat face looked sad when he said how tough his life had been but it lit up when he said 'But I am a Christian so everything is in God's hands', and we parted amicably.

I am sure you know this.... The London tube is awful. Dirty, small, overcrowded, old, bad, overworked. We need a completely new Circle line, and more, either deeper underground with escalators to get people to the platforms, or up on stilts like the road from the NY airport into Manhattan. Our metro is a total disgrace. How it will be during the Olympics I dread to think. We should be ashamed of what we have, what we put up with.

I am so tired... this is just a quick report to get us started. We are going to the railway museum after lunch, as it is the railway which explains the whole existence of Nairobi.

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