In the kitchen, the mighty kitchen, the lino sleeps tonight…


Now that I’m entering my final months of this stint in Tanzania there are so many things that I want to do but don’t have the funds for at the moment. I’m almost half way through our Easter holiday and I was hoping to go to Gombe Stream National Park to visit the chimpanzees but the ‘death money’ hasn’t come through, so I’ll se staying in Mwanza. I would love to go white water rafting in Uganda, or to see the gorillas in Rwanda, take the train from Dar es Salaam to Zambia to see Victoria Falls, but it’s not going to happen on this trip. Even if I stayed on for a further year I don’t think I’d have enough cash and time to do all of these things so there’s no point in getting annoyed and feeling like I’ve missed out.

There is plenty that I have done in the 6 months that I’ve actually been here, however. I‘ve been to Zanzibar, to Tanga and Pangani on the Tanzanian Swahili Coast. I have driven through ancient landscapes down to Shinyanga, across to Arusha, seen Mount Kilimanjaro, up across the border into Kenya. I’ve fed giraffes, been tickled by an orphaned elephant, snorkelled in the Indian Ocean, met fishermen and Maasai, been stupidly sunburnt (even in the shade), eaten fresh octopus and fish straight from the ocean. I’ve been to one of the most important archaeological sites in Kenya and watched monkeys play for half an hour. And last weekend I went to the Serengeti.

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Coal Not Dole – It’s people that mater


I was born in 1984, just before the miner’s strike.  I was given my nan’s middle name – Margaret – by parents who were more Labour supporters than anything else.  I started school the year that the National Curriculum was introduced, something that many teachers disagreed with that was implemented by a Thatcher government.

I grew up listening to all sorts of music and folk is one genre that has stuck with me.  I love being able to listen to songs written by people to tell the tales or make comments about their everyday lives.  One song that stuck with me that I decided about 3 weeks ago that I would really like to learn properly and start singing out was ‘Cole not dole’ by Kay Sutcliffe.  It was written in response to the closures of pits in Kent and across the country.  I wanted to learn it because the voices of 30 years ago can still be heard echoing today and are being joined by more and more voices of dissent when people see that the current government is continuing the dismantling of the country that began during Thatcher’s government.  I don’t agree with the current government’s policies and wanted to add my voice to the crowd.

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