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mair
October 11th, 2010
11:01 pm
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my soul is the soul of a whale
We were talking about this daemon animal thing. Whales, said jhadur509. They travel. They sing. "And they're very peaceful and sociable, in an independent kind of way. Singing to each other across oceans and all". I like it, I said. I'll be a whale.

I'm going to Africa. Africa! On Sunday.

I might not be reading Livejournal much for the next four months. Then I'm going to Australia and then New Zealand and then Canada and then America. Then I think maybe Kent. I've not been to Kent yet, except to catch the Dover ferry lots, and it's Quaker gathering there next August.

It was like this. I was at EMEYF in April. In Ireland. With too much bread and not enough vegetables and Liz's awesome home baked cookies, oh yes. We were talking in my small group about what we might do with our lives. Several of us seemed to be at that point where we had the whole world in front of us and didn't know quite what to do with it for the best. Ben suggested a friend had once told him; "just get a ticket to Nairobi, and when you get there, look around and see what work you can do... ". Sleepy after a surreal week on the Isle of May, curled in a chair in Cath's house in Langley Park a couple of weeks later, I sent my parents' friend Jan a facebook message "still not sure what to do with my life. Shall I come and help you in Zim for a bit?". She said yes, and here I am six months later hunting down such necessities as brazil nuts and 13A fuses that are apparently hard to find in Zimbabwe.

Between then and now I've been to Ireland, and back to Scilly, and lived on Cheltenham racecourse for three weeks. I've zoomed up and down the country, been to AVP workshops, bicycle workshops, folk music workshops, leadership courses. I've been on holiday (a nice thing to fit into a gap year), on cruises and to weddings, parties, ceilidhs. I've spent time with family; found old friends and made new friends. I've loved and left behind so many people and places.

I'll be in Zimbabwe for four months. That's the longest (by over three months) I've stayed anywhere since I finished my PhD. I can't imagine it. It'll be hot.

If I get the chance, perhaps I'll sing to you across an ocean.

Ask me anything. I'll answer if I can.

Current Mood: chipperomg you guys

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:emperor
Date:October 11th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
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Cor. Have a great trip!
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From:fluffle
Date:October 11th, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC)
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Africa!

I will miss you.

Bring me back a birthday present!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 12th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)

Damnit

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No chance at a goodbye party? Bit short notice.. /me hugs

nemo
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From:mair_aw
Date:October 12th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)

Re: Damnit

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hm, I'm kind of busy this week... maybe we can plan for a I-got-back party next year?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 12th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)

Re: Damnit

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/me saves 'Party Mair' event at Feb 17, 2010.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 12th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)

Re: Damnit

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Oh wait - how long are you away? Is that 4 months in Africa and /then/ all those other places?
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From:mair_aw
Date:October 12th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)

Re: Damnit

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um yeah. that's right. I plan to come back end of July 2011.
From:ex_robhu
Date:October 12th, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
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Wow. Good luck :-)

Ask me anything. I'll answer if I can.
Where do babies come from?

What passwords do you use?
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From:mair_aw
Date:October 12th, 2010 09:11 am (UTC)
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funnily enough I still use the first ever password I was assigned by Cambridge university's computer system. Can't think what I use it for now but I'm sure I use it for something. Root passwords on systems, which one never needs now because there is always sudo.

Another day in my first year at uni after too many orange reefs, one of my friends shouted out his email password. For some reason I made a point of remembering it (I think something about making a point of remembering things to prove I'm not that drunk) and to this day I still occasionally use that one.

Mostly though I use variations on the same thing, based on a memnonic (hm I don't know how to spell that) that our sixth form teacher Mr Bamford jammed into our head with some ridiculous rhyming.

Babies are a gift of God and are made of stars.
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From:olithered
Date:October 12th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
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Exciting!
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From:lionsphil
Date:October 14th, 2010 12:20 am (UTC)
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You're crazy.

Maybe a good kind of crazy, I'm not sure.
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From:captain_aj
Date:October 15th, 2010 10:11 am (UTC)
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Sounds awesome. Have fun!
Ask me anything. I'll answer if I can.

Where in the world are you going to wanderswim to once you're done with this trip?

Why is the sky blue?
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From:mair_aw
Date:October 15th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
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I don't know! There are so many possibilities. I'm thinking of getting a job and a house and a dog ...

The sky here today is grey. Which is clouds.
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From:captain_aj
Date:October 17th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)
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I humbly recommend a house with a white picket fence. Also, dogs are ok, but owls are better.

Hope the next several months go awesomely :-)

From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 18th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
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Mair this is truley great!

seems like a lot more than a year ago you were sitting at my kitchen table and i finally began to understand a little of you! sounds like your living the dream...enjoy it...are you managing to pack your brompton too?? or is your baby going to stay behind and be replaced with some hansome rusty wheels!

Take care, have fun and one day i look forward to hearing you tales

lots of love from the bonnie lands x x x
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