Friday, March 31, 2006

What price beauty? or WHY???

Picture this: a warm WINDY spring day, pretty slim girl walking down the road - hunched up and wishing she had rocks in her pocket because the wind is threatening to carry her away. The problem is exacerbated by those new stilettos she is wearing because she is actually wobbling and praying most desperately that she will not fall or be swept away by the wind.
Talk about torture!!! The Chinese foot binding ritual was condemned as a crime against women; yet modern day woman willingly submits to this new form of torture daily. We all know that high heels can be hazardous to your health; orthopaedists have warned women for years that high heels can contribute to the development of a variety of illnesses from corns and calluses to hammertoes, arthritis, chronic knee pain, sprained ankles and back problems. Uncomfortable shoes often lead to calluses, heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails and even stress fractures

I watch in amazement and amusement as women totter on their ridiculous high heels knowing (from experience of course) that by the end of the day, they will have headaches, backaches and feet ache. They will want a bowl of hot water to soothe their feet and one or three glasses of martini to calm their nerves. And for what? To look beautiful? Attractive? To complement their looks?

What prize beauty if after 30 or so years of wearing high heels, you have chronic back pain, calluses, heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails and you can never wear low heels because your feet and legs conform to the shape of high heels. I personally know 2 women who can no longer wear flat shoes!!
Is this beauty or torture?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Spring is certainly in the air. I for one am glad not to wear my third layer of armour to protect myself from winter’s harsh embrace.

I am waiting for Mshairi's poem on the joys of spring hopefully she has recovered from her bout of homesickness!!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

World Day for Water

The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) contained in Chapter 18 (Fresh Water Resources) of Agenda 21. States were invited to devote the Day, as appropriate in the national context, to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness through the publication and diffusion of documentaries and the organization of conferences, round tables, seminars and expositions related to the conservation and development of water resources and the implementation of the recommendations of Agenda 21.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


When these letters are put together they are transformed into wonderful and exciting things – BOOKS. A story, a yarn, an adventure, my passport to a different world of make believe. Just think: a bunch of words strung together to create a new world where you meet the Hobbits, dwarfs, elves, the crime fighter, the beautiful spy, the brave soldier, the car that flies, the nanny who makes you go through a stone pavement, the star-crossed lovers. What a world!!!

Reading is a family thing. We all read. One of my fondest childhood memories is of me sitting up high on a tree reading at the back garden of our home way in the country. I carry a book with me always. Even when I am watching the TV, I will sneak a read during commercial breaks. Sometimes the book is more exciting than the TV show. When I am knitting, I will prop the book up and read when the stitches are not complicated.

Books are my sanctuary, my stress busters and my entry into the world of make-believe, where the good guys win, evil defeated and the rights of the downtrodden people restored. If I have to choose between a champagne meal and a good book, the book wins all the time!!!

So long as the story line is good, the book absorbing and there is a minimum of swear words, I will read it. For example, I read Dick Francis who writes about horses, jockeys and things connected with horse riding. Places and people who I have absolutely no connection with, but the heroes are likeable, the storyline clear and the good guys win every day.

The only books I will not read are horror stories and books that encourage evil.

Give me a good book any day, or like DANIEL J. BOORSTEIN says: A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you. Or as KATHARINE MANSFIELD puts it: The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books or Austin Phelps who says: Wear the old coat and buy the new book.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

In commemoration of the International Women's Day I want to praise my special heroine; the working mother. She who holds a job and raises a family. She is usually the first one up; she feeds, dresses and makes sure the family is ready for school and work. She remembers everyone’s timetable- who is doing what after school, who needs extra money, who forgot to do their homework and if hubby has remembered to take the all important document to work (that he is well dressed because he reflect on her). After a 8 or 9 hour day, my heroine comes home, makes dinner, cleans up, supervises her children’s homework and does the laundry, makes the phone calls or visits to family and friends.

The women who live and work in the country deserve more than an honourable mention. These women have no running water, electricity, or reliable public transport, there are very few doctors and hospitals close to their homes, and they earn very little money. Not only will my heroine do the same as her her town sister every morning, she also has the added task of taking care of the domestic animals (milking the cow, feeding the chickens and so forth). She will then take up her hoe and walk miles to her small farm carrying her youngest on her back, and spend a good 8-9 hours cultivating the land. She will then gather firewood, sometimes water and then walk back home to prepare supper and make sure the animals are ready for the night.

My heroine, makes the house a home for her children and husband, will be there for her children's friends, husband's co-workers and her own work mates. She makes time for the family, friends and charitable causes. She remembers birthdays, anniversaries, mother-in-law’s favourite food, pet hates and even husband's second cousin once removed birthday. She is of course a wonderful lover, best friend, and confidante, nurse, doctor, teacher and family accountant.

A memory that stays with me is one I once saw in my infrequent journeys upcountry. A woman was walking home in the evening, on her back was a basket filled with food; a load of firewood, and her youngest child. Next to her was another child, and as she was walking, she was shelling peas – for supper of course.


Now if I was WANGARI I would have that song "Am every woman" playing while you were reading this post!!!.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I am the least poetic of my family - I know that. My art lies in other directions. I have learnt to appreciate verse because of Mshairi, and others. So please do not be too harsh. It is probably my one and only poem. (Mshairi - put away your red pen!!!)

I am waiting, waiting for an answer
When first it started I cried,
I wept, I begged and I pleaded
And I waited
I bribed, I sacrificed and had massive temper tantrums
And waited
No answer

He said – wait for me
I will not delay
I will answer

I am still waiting
“Out of the depths I cry to You Oh Lord,
Lord hear my prayer…”

I have prayed and have fasted
I asked
“When was silence ever an answer?”
But His response
“Wait for me, the answer is soon”

I am still waiting
Waiting for His soon
And still hoping
And waiting
“Tears on my pillow…!”
When will you answer?

You will answer
You have promised
I hold on to this promise and I
And praying
And believing
And trusting
“In You Oh Lord I put my trust…”

He will answer. He always does
“Those who put their trust in the Lord are like Mt. Zion that cannot be shaken…”

I should have posted this on 24th January, but for some reason I was unable to.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Press Freedom: Letter to Kibaki

On March 2, 2006 government forces raided the headquarters and printing plant of the Standard Group. In addition to destroying equipment and newspapers, they shut down the KTN news station.

This latest attack follows the jailing of three journalists from Standard Newspaper, attacks on Citizen Weekly, and ongoing harassment of journalists by government-sponsored forces.

I urge you to condemn these attacks and to support freedom of the press and call for the immediate release of the journalists.

Cut and pasted from Keguro