Category Archives: Weekly Trail

Interview with an MDC Leader

As a freelance reporter, scooping a good story in a timely fashion was pretty difficult. After all, I had to hold down a proper job to pay my bills.  Luckily, my boss was very flexible and encouraged my ridiculous requests to have an afternoon off to catch the frequent riots occurring outside our ten story building in the middle of Harare City Centre.

Most of the time I went in blind; that is, I didn’t know what the riots were about and had to strike up conversations with people running from the military police in order to get the scoop.

In 1997, such a day occurred. University students had been staging riots across Harare city centre, striking against new taxes being introduced to pay for war benefits for war veterans who had fought in the struggle for independence over seventeen years earlier. In the midst of the ruckus, I bumped into the Bank Worker’s Union leader. He and I happened to share a space within a group of strangers watching the chaos from a street corner outside Greatermans department store. We were deciding whether to run down the road like the frightened crowds around us or wait. Most of those standing with us were shop workers trying to find a safe way home. As we paused amidst the screaming, running mob, conversation sparked.

When he heard that I was a reporter, he offered me the opportunity to interview him to get the bank workers’ perspective on the behaviour of the Zimbabwean government. A date was made for the next day before a military jeep interrupted our discourse. A tear gas cannister barely missed my head and shot past the rest of the group, ending up bouncing across the street to a shop aptly called Reflections.

Escape became our main priority and I lost sight of my news source in the choking cloud enveloping us.

To be continued…

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Eating Out As A Vegetarian | Tips & Tricks

Eating Out As A Vegetarian | Tips & Tricks

Eating Out As A Vegetarian | Tips & Tricks
— Read on new-lune.com/2018/07/03/eating-out-as-a-vegetarian-tips-tricks/

Contemplation

I sit here, watching the wind bluster through the silvery leaves of the birch tree in my next door neighbour’s garden and consider what imaginative, contemplative piece I can wow you with in my attempts to show my skills as a writer. From this long, evocative opening sentence, I’ve probably lost most of you and the ones remaining hopefully know that I like to wander through my words as I search for something substantial to design into a narrative.

Well, the sweet peas are swaying, calling my attention to their gorgeous colours. Purples, pinks and variegated whites mix in sweet harmony from one bush – similar to my make-up! I sit here, in my English garden, contemplating my colonial up-bringing under a different sun that shed its light hundreds of miles south many years ago. A place where tea and scones were as ever present as orange juice and marmalade at every event I attended with my mother.  She had a penchant for supporting the RSPCA and anything resembling a fair, mixing into the crowds of people gathered to spend their money on nik-naks at the White Elephant stall. I, on the other hand, stood with my father, watching the dogs and cats trapped in their protected cages waiting for some kind soul to free them. My dad’s eyes always reminded me of those trapped animals. I don’t think he ever escaped the cage of his past.

We delved into the books stacked in mis-matched piles under the canopy of the bric-a-brac stall, hoping to add to our collection of Wilbur Smith or J.T. Edson. He would point out the larger encyclopedias and we would share a smug grin (our editions at home were far more recent and well preserved) whilst pouring through the yellowed pages examining the data that felt out of date just by the paper it was printed on. My brown skin matched his perfectly, as it did my mother’s. My older brother, on the other hand, had darker skin and features, a noble nose and high cheekbones like my mother making him an alien to my looks and fairer complexion. I still remember her making fun of my nose, calling it an upside down bug on my face. Clothes pegs helped fix that.

As we grew older and hated each other less, more of our friends realised that we siblings – a mistake easily made when you look nothing like your brother. We shared a hate for our parents and their old fashioned parenting skills (something my son now shares as he enters his adult years) and their racist attitudes. Isn’t it funny how we all declare we will never turn into our parents but, over the years, carry the traits – the strain of the virus  -that infect us as we age. Hatred is an easy place to rest in your youth and old age.

I digress. My past. My heritage. It’s easy to say I am of British origin but not so easy to explain when my blood carries over four other cultures (I’m estimating. My genealogy is still to be tested). In a world where heritage is now so mixed, the water is brown and cloudy. There is a stronger hold on the originals, the unsoiled pure ones. But, is there such a thing? After dabbling in a bit of history over the past year, my eyes have been opened to the diversity of races – a delusion of purity left for the few. We are all a part of the past travellers who have crossed our land, our people and our culture. Few remain untainted to their original ancestors and their claims are like mine: we choose which culture we want to be associated with and hold onto it as a cloak of identity. My identity changes on a whim. I can be the potpourri of races. My cupboard is filled with cloaks.

I am brown skinned, brought up in a colonial world of racism and definitive feelings of identity. Yet, my world has changed as I’ve grown, allowing me to mix freely – more freely than my parents – with races from varying social strata. I miss that. Here, in England, the old colonial dimension of life is back. You call a spade a spade when seeing someone of the lower classes acting out. The rich can misbehave and neglect their families. It is called impactful parenting or a life lesson for the young. If the poor do the same, it is called neglect. I understand this world but I don’t like it.

Well, my contemplation is pretty much complete. I don’t know what you will take away from it. Probably nothing. But, if you kept reading to the end, I thank you.

 

Content – gluedmirror

Further to my post the other day, Gluedmirror found something in my story that triggered his own way to express it – through poetry.

I appreciate how hard this must have been and appreciate the fact that it was his muse for a moment in time.


Here it is July already Still no path to calmness, still no connection Like a dancing live wire, burning holes in the pavement I remember my mother, laid up in that institution Waiting to die She had liked to write before I met her, and I went to find that girl  And I went to…
— Read on gluedmirror.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/content/

Saturday Script

Dear Reader,

As I’ve mentioned recently, I have been suffering from writer’s block. Today has been the first time something resembling a story has broken through the wall. Let me know what you think… Continue reading

Chastity

Here’s a little something for your Saturday evening…

Continue reading

Quick Coffee Catch Up

Hello and thanks for joining me on a Tuesday instead of our usual Monday Coffee date.

It has been a very busy week and weekend so I’m playing catch up this week with all the odds and ends that were put aside. Grab a mug of your favourite beverage and join me on the sofa while I regale you with what I’ve been doing.

Last week saw my Literacy Enrichment plan working as the school enjoyed a re-run of the recent Royal wedding. At the end of a hardworking week, the children were rewarded with a Royal Reception of their own with representatives of the royal family chosen from our year 6’s. The children and staff made a huge effort to dress up and I spotted at least three fascinators with pretty feathers and flowers donned by teachers as they went around serving the children juice and water.

After filling their mouths with as many snacks they could fit in one sitting, off they went to dance – after the dance floor was opened by the royal couple and family members. I do believe the queen could boogie! Once the party was over, it was as though my fairy godmother waved her magic wand: tables and chairs were whisked away at fairytale speed making my head spin, and by the time the parents were allowed onto the playground to pick up their precious princes and princesses, no one was the wiser that children had been frolicking in their fancy footwear mere minutes before. I am now convinced that the staff and children have super hero capes hidden in their lockers for occasions like this!

Well that was one Royal Reception out of the way. On Saturday, I was lucky enough to attend another wedding with a different prince and princess. This time they appeared to have stepped straight out of a Bollywood movie!

Set on the De Vere grounds in a picturesque village in Mortimer, the couple celebrated their nuptials in style with a stunning backdrop of the Manor House. As though that wasn’t awe-inspiring enough, their Reception was held in the hotel with a huge chocolate fountain to keep adults and children entertained while we waited for photos to be taken of the beautiful bride and groom.

Aromatic food and music filled the evening air and by the time it was time to leave, most of the guests were catatonic from full bellies and sore feet, a sign of a brilliant evening had by all.

Sunday saw a more serene family get together as everyone reminisced the previous day’s events with the new relatives and more good food. A good end to a long weekend of celebrating.

With all this happening, there was no time to write and to be honest, no real inspiration to do so. I’m losing focus again and my deadline is looming. Let’s hope that it returns soon or I’ll see another year pass with my stories sitting in draft form.

What about you? Have you had an exciting or boring weekend? What did you get up to? Let me know in the comments.

Beginnings – #writephoto

Trent's World (the Blog)

dawn Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the thirteenth exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

Out of King Brinwald’s castle for a moment I thought the dragon had broken its promise.  The entire sky was glowing red as if an enormous fire was destroying everything.  I was about to say something but realized that it was just the dawn.

“Red in the morning, Snow Demons take warning,” I said.

“A new day a new beginning,” a voice said.  I spun.  It was Sirlriend.  “I think the poor people you call ‘Snow Demons’ will be happy with this new beginning we are going to offer them.”

“Where have you been?” I asked.

“Here, with you.”

“Were you invisible?”

“No, that is physically impossible.  Light still reflected off of me…

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Monday Coffee

Hello and welcome back for another coffee catch up. It’s a bit late here but the perfect time to brew a cuppa Java and whittle away at the past week.

How have you been? What has been the highlight of your past week and weekend? My highlight has been the time taken to read a book and watch my favourite Netflix shows!

This week has flown by. I had a challenge thrown at me to complete the writing task and organising an event at work which got my creative juices flowing again. Now if I could just shift my behind off Procrastination Island, I’d be fine!

Happy celebrations are filling my dance card most weekends throughout June and to be honest, it is the season to be grateful for a large family – well that’s how I feel anyway. With so many celebrations comes the agony of finding something to wear. It may seem trivial to some but my family takes events seriously and we have to tog up. It’s a great way to feel like a party princess too!

Bubbles of excitement are crawling under my skin. We have only a few weeks left before summer holidays truly begin and it will be time to start promoting my books. While I wait for it, I’m slowly traveling through my reading list and trying to devour as many as I can before my second year begins. After all, time waits for no man…or woman.

Well, my time seems to be up. My cup needs a refill and it’s time to get in a few minutes reading time before bed.

Join me again soon for another cup and catch up. It’s been great spending time with you. Have a great week.

Monday Coffee

Thanks for joining me at the virtual coffee house! It’s great to see you after such a long time. Grab your coffee and let’s get settled on the big yellow sofa in the corner near the fire. It’s chilly again tonight and the threat of rain is imminent, as always. Continue reading