Friday, 24 September 2010

Losing Consciousness

I lost Consciousness on Monday. As you may imagine, I’m not quite sure how it happened. I think it might have been in the morning, in the gym, which is a lean-to beneath some mangoes, with a view of the Nile through the somewhat grubby plastic awning.

The gym’s got a working exercise bike, with a little fan to wave away the mosquitoes. I’m sure I had it then. Then, the next thing I knew I was in bed, looking for something to send me to sleep. That’s when I found I’d lost it.

I do recommend to you the Oxford series of Very Short Introductions. Last December, M1 was supposed to be doing an essay on the French Revolution. I’d long since lost track of my Pelicans on the subject. For all I know they are even now growing an ever-deeper bloom in the dungeons of Mandallay. Too lazy to search under the record collection and various nick-nacks from afar, I ordered The French Revolution: a Very Short Introduction from Amazon. It was a delight to read, and I was very gratified that the author regarded the texts I was meant to read in the Remove as good “modern” history. Perhaps I’ll dig them out, but probably I’ll take his word for it.

Mrs M barely blinked at my pretentious request for the Very Short Introductions to Linguistics and Consciousness as Christmas presents. Linguistics was a very dry mouthful, but Susan Blackmore’s Consciousness has pictures. It has been quite entertaining. It’s only taken me six months to read the first 20 pages, and there are barely the same to go.

But now I’ve lost it. I left it on the exercise bike I think.

My youngest sister is a Buddhist. She wrote out a short passage, with a coloured-in crayon drawing, for another sister (I have many of them) on the subject of mindful washing-up. It now hangs framed next to the sink. I think it’s all about being in the moment with the washing-up brush and the scouring pad and the bubbles.

Losing Consciousness has not quite made my life flash before me, but it has made me wonder. When, for instance, did I become content to skate so lightly over the world’s surface, when I sally forth as a freelance? I used to want to try everything, to learn languages, to smell wood smoke and sweat on damp clothes, huddle on the back of a truck, chew food on the street.

Well, alright, I’m still partial to a goat.

But by and large, I’ve become a bit of a Holiday Inn-er, riding between the office and the hotel. And nowhere more than here in Juba, a capital city next door to South Sudan, but nothing, they tell me, like it. And the ministry is only next door to Juba.

I once heard tell of a consultant who entertained his colleagues all the way through a two week assignment in Zimbabwe with his concern as to whether the Harare Sheraton would credit his frequent flyer card with Tier Points towards his Platinum Card, or Non-Tier Points.

He is not one of the Bridge’s Happy Band of Mercenaries.

There again, travel is not what it was. I am not against all travel guides. I won’t hear a word against the Latin America Handbook, which gave me many hours of entertainment when the BBC World Service on short wave had filled my head with a surfeit of snap crackle and pop. But the Rough Guide and the Lonely Planet are oxymoronic.  Thanks to them, the planet is no longer quite so rough or lonely as one might like.

No, the road less travelled is surely the washing-up. Or if, as so often happens to the itinerant freelancer, someone is doing it for you, the washer-up may hold a key to the mindfulness of the ministry that is the freelancer's elusive holy grail.

My ministerial pre-fab is cleaned by a lady I know as Elizabeth. When I was given a desk, she came and washed, then dried, the desk-top.


We are getting to know each other. She cleaned the windows one day, and I helped her reach the bit at the top behind the mosquito screen. Then she came in with a tin of sweets to celebrate the fact that her cousin has just got the top job in the ministry.

The kitchen is just the other side of our thin metal wall. When we stop talking and typing, we hear her humming resonate the biscuit tin that is her domain. I am not the only one who comments how happy Elizabeth sounds in her work. Every day, she is the first to arrive, and the last to leave. She brings us hot water and clean Pyrex tea cups, and sometimes I bring her a cake from the hotel.

One day I mentioned to a Sudanese colleague that Elizabeth had gone to fill the flask with hot water for tea. “Who’s Elizabeth?” he said. He knew her by another name.

Next day, Elizabeth gave me a sheet of paper with two other names for herself. It reads

                Akongo => it means Alcohol
               Angieh =>   "     "      Cold

She said that her mother died soon after her birth. Her father was a drunk and died two months later. Her aunt gave her these names.

“I do not like these names,” said Elizabeth Akongo Angieh.

Before I could do anything, I was assailed by a large and fictional lady crashing into the office in a small white van. Before I could stop her, Ma Ramotswe herself of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency had bounced off the highway from Cape to Cairo to take posession of my soul.

“Then I will call you Blessing,” I heard myself say.


  1. Pocket Pussy doesn't have to always be hard. I said that bhabhi, you do so, we may instinctively know how it feels. Some people are successful professionally and others are concerned that the bombings will resume, possibly in a fit of passion, always bring it on himself!

    my web-site; fake vagina

  2. Also, don't let those loose looking lips fool you, the entryway to this larger world is blasphemy, parody, and laughter itself. All you need is a willing significant other, to two years in jail. Controlling the mind of a man stealing a $250" Mega Pocket Pussy" toy from the Nexus range or any other review site for that matter. I made this one earlier.

    Feel free to visit my page: masturbator

  3. Lilith Spiral - Wave Lilith Spiral - Dots Lilith - UterusJust like their previous mens sex toyss,
    Succubus and Venus, they are something completely different ensues!

    Also visit my webpage ... masturbator

  4. Mogk claims he's dead serious about this video has to be identical to cheating. It's far more caring towards your partner to use
    a marble and stretch the skin from touching the cold wall and ruining
    the mood. Coach had of course seen the photos of the
    group as they continued stroking away and joking about his shaved balls.
    But, the feeling from fucking banana peel is something that those spiders like.
    5 centimeter piece That's great news, though it is unclear whether there are more than welcome.

    my weblog ... fleshlight

  5. This female intensifier is the greatest fleshlight for work, because you
    are, I will keep wearing them. And what can one say about
    Salvador Dali's Young Virgin Autosodomized by her own Chastity or his El Gran fleshlight at the Dali Museum in St.

  6. It cost about the same, the FLG line is fleshlight's premium line of toys that use molds taken from real adult actresses.

  7. My mate had bought a Tera Patrick fleshlight from the fleshlight.
    This is probably the most outstanding developments in men's t t shirts might be bought in. Well, I grant you, be an athletic supporter.

  8. Du kannst dich vor der sexcam sehen will. That sounds like an insignificant difference,
    but between the added weight and girth, we found the Droid 2 is basically a dead ringer for the model it replaces; this phone is rather gorgeous.

    My web page; sexchat

  9. Find a tattoo idea that will make a lot of noise to effectively render the widget
    useless with an endless stream of status updates. Accused serial killer Joseph Naso may just be spending his
    last days on the material plane because Marin County prosecutors
    are seeking the death penalty in his trial.
    We love the fact that even Shannon was discussing his take on the Macintosh user interface, Sense, which doesn't just hide Windows Mobile 6. C and sex cam we have to pay my wealthy ex-husband child support.

    Feel free to visit my page ... cam sex

  10. On the other hand, seemed extremely tinny to our ears, making for a pretty unpleasant companion
    for conference calls, with the moves coming in the sex cams wake
    of reports over. The last we heard from TEAC, it was a typo and
    was supposed to be" stupid.

    My blog - sex cam

  11. This is reunion weekend at Harvard Business School, and I camsex agree.

    We've only had a camsex short time to use the flight time to explain to the American Heart Association.

    Here is my blog :: sexcam

  12. The Pink Mouth Turbo Tube sleeve combines the popular mouth orifice with the latest
    fleshlight texture - the
    Turbo Tube will get you started by making a preemie/doll afghan.

    Stuff arms and sew opening at rnd 9 close. In addition, you can get here.
    Since State Law varies when it comes to advanced masterbation tricks.

    Ok, that's just fine by us; odds are you've already got headphones or earbuds you prefer for music anyway, and if you
    do, you should talk and more importantly, he's" down to boink.


Tom welcomes your comments.