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Trouble getting in, my usual difficulty with Delphi.
This has been a mixed bag of a week -- 13 years sober on 17 March, a nice solid 'bakers dozen' as someone commented.
Then Cyclone Idai hit the Mozambique coast and has caused enormous destruction in the Chimanimani area of Zimbabwe as well as the port city of Beira. Given that the damage caused by Cyclone Eline in 2000 still hasn't been fully repaired, I don't know how long it will take to get these areas up and running again. Death tolls rising and the danger of cholera or typhoid.
Down here we have severe power cuts because the lines from Cahora Bassa power scheme are damaged after the cyclone struck, so black-outs of electricity for up to seven or eight hours each day. Some of us have been collecting medical supplies to send to Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but I'm hoping more relief aid comes in sooner rather than later.
Tough times --
Congratulations on 13 years, that's really wonderful.
I've been reading about Cyclone Idai in the news, it sounds awful. Unfortunately, we hardly ever have any news about Africa unless it's bad news. We been having major flooding here in the midwest - the worst flooding since some time in the 30's. Where I live, we seem pretty lucky. About all we get is a bit more rain than usual, which can be a problem for a gardens - but we shouldn't complain.
Hoping for the best for you.
Had to get my desktop pc fixed and upgraded, battle to get back into Delphi -- it doesn't like Chrome and I no longer have Mozilla Firefox.
Yes, I saw those Mid-West flood reports. Out here of course there is no established rescue back-up in place (and these cyclones are not frequent), no insurance to pay for rebuilding, no infrastructure in rural areas, and deforestation has contributed to the severity of the flooding.
Hoping your spring is lovely. Out here it is now cooler and the tree foliage changing colour. Very pleasant.
Good to see you back, unfortunately, you didn't miss much - we are getting a few visitors but no new posts.
It's not clear that the situation is the midwest is a whole lot better than in Africa - though people have more money. Evidently the levees in the midwest are not maintained in any kind of coordinated manner - some are local, some are state and some are federal and many haven't been maintained in years. Coupled with floods from previous years and falling grain prices because of the trade war with China, it looks like many farms may go under. It's just a hard time to be in rural America.
On a completely different note, I wonder if you have read Salman Rushdie's review in the NYT of Namwali Serpil's book The Old Drift? He mentions a number of women African authors and I wonder what you think of them?
Also, I just read Great Expectations again - I don't think I've read it since college. And I came across this amazing passage
"Miss Skiffs brewed such a jorum of tea, that the pig in the back premises became strongly excited, and repeatedly expressed his desire to participate in the entertainment."
I just can't imagine coming up with something like this.
Yes, Dickens has so many superb sentences and micro vignettes in all his novels. Bleak House, turgid as they come, has some brilliant passages describing the house as if it was a living breathing character. I have read Great Expectations a few times along with the various reincarnations of Magwitch in Australian literature as the philanthropic convict. Unforgettable characters, not least because they are so much larger than life,looming archetypes for a child at bedtime.
I know all the writers Rushdie mentioned and many, many more. Old Drift is the first novel of its kind to come out of Zambia (once part of the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland), a retelling and deconstructing of colonial myths, but I'm also looking forward to Petina Gappah's Out of Darness, Shining Light which tells the story of David Livingstone's missionary journeys through the eyes of his black companions and guides. I'm sure you've read Chimamanda Agozi Ndichie from Nigeria, perhaps the most gifted and accessible of these writers. And I love Marlene van Niekerk's Agaat (published in the UK as Among the Women) set in my corner of southern Africa and an experimental literary tour de force.
I'll take a look at some of these, I haven't actually read too many African authors.
I have been reading a number of Vietnamese authors, memoirs and fiction to see the "other" side of that story.
I also recently read Flower Drum Song by by CY Lee - not a great novel but an interesting picture of San Francisco Chinatown in the 50s with all Chinese characters.
Yes, there are some great Vietnamese and Asian writers emerging with a very different perspective on the conflicts of the 1960s. I like the poetry of Ocean Vuong.
You didn't tell me Peter Acroyd's biography of Dickens was a thousand pages long! I wish I could have gotten it on my Kindle.
Oh sorry, Brian, mea culpa! I'd forgotten.
Um, do tell me how you find it once the crick of neck strain and elbow ache wears off.