Yes, Yes! I am here!
Only I have had no internet connection for almost a week.
However, have kept busy and have added another feather to my cap, and another job description to my ever lengthening CV. I can now add Haulage Contractor to the other professions I have exercised.
These include in vaguely chronological order: Baby Sitter, Singer; Potato harvester (with my cousin Eva. We got the sack almost straight away because we put an awful lot of potato leaves on top of the potatoes in each crate...), Waitress, Go-Go Dancer, Disc Jockey, Grapefruit/ Orange/ Strawberry/Gooseberry/ Avocado picker, Laundry worker, Movie Extra, Fashion Model, Party arranger, Florist, Fashion Designer, Theatrical Prop Maker, Interior Decorator, Photographer, Motorcycle Courier, Receptionist, Sculptor, Journalist , Academic, Painter, Potter, Installation Artist, Hotelier, Textile Designer. I am certain the list is much longer.
I think it might be worth adding it to the list of remedies on sleepless nights: rather than counting sheep or ex-lovers one could of course also count ex- professions. The rules are simple: one has to have earned money for the doing of the particular profession, even if it is only a little and only once.
But I digress, as is my want. Let me get back to the point, which the launching of my career as a haulage contractor, if that is how to describe what we are doing?...
It is like this: Some time ago I attacked the Dutch Prince Claus Foundation in connection with the vast amount of metal and plastic tree surrounds that are littering the Djenne archaeological sites because of a tree planting scheme initiated by them that went wrong. They have turned out to be thoroughly good sports and have taken this problem very seriously indeed. They have in fact employed me and Malimali to get rid of the said tree surrounds! They are to be dug up and buried in deep graves on the outside perimeter of the archaeological sites where the trees were intended to protect erosion.
I have enlisted Ace as a foreman for the 15-20 labourers and the work started last week- a two month project will clean up the country side around these sites and ensure that people and animals are not cutting themselves on rusty metal, as well as returning the scenery back to its original peaceful aspect. Hurrah for Prince Claus of the Netherlands!