Sunday, August 23, 2009

The beginning of the month if Ramadan is celebrated here with a picure from Egypt’s Red Sea Coast, where my friend Gilliane has a built a villa (which can be rented :
I copy here below what she just wrote :
Dearest Sophie,
As an avid reader of your diary ( I hate the word BLOG it sounds really ugly; like blocked bog ) I am starved of information. I know you must be VERY BUSY. Today, as the first day of Ramadan probably involves your staff praying more than usual.
My thoughts are with you.
Gilliane x
P.S. View of the Mosque from the villa's roof.

Yes, indeed, it’s been a long time since I made a ‘diary’entry. This is partly due to lack of time, but mostly to a reluctance to communicate what is difficult and painful. So let’s just get those bits out of the way first, then perhaps there will be a little space for something brighter :
I have returned from Bamako, where I have spent three days with Keita in a hotel where we used to stay during happier times. This time the family released him to me without even putting up a struggle, and that must be seen as a sort of minor victory and something positive to hold on to in my stormy present existance...He is recuperating from his infected hand, but the wound is deep and difficult, and needs to be treated at the hospital every third day. He is severely anemic, and will have to have more blood transfusions next week. But he does still walk, if he is supported. So the wheelchair is hardly used now, and that fact is held on to proudly, polished and held up as a trophy and a source of joy…
I am writing this at the Campement Hotel, Djenne, where I have installed myself for the better part of today, working courtesy of their electrical plug and extention lead which is charging all my electrical appliances. I am taking advantage of their bar facilities without too much shame, since I have just given them all my bookings for today : 12 air conditioned rooms. The hotel was fully booked, but the electricity once again blew up at 3 am two nights ago, when I was sleeping next to Keita in Bamako…It has not been possible to mend it, and our electricity problem is now seemingly a major one, which will involve sending expert electricians from Bamako to rewire the hotel.
So, what can I add to cheer up this dismal diary entry ?
Well, last night, apparently, I was seen on Malian TV wearing a big stripey MaliMali hat, MaliMali earrings and sporting a very red lipstick.(In other words undoubtedly quite unsuitably dressed in a strict Muslim setting.) Nevertheless, it appears I was speaking fairly coherently about the British Library Project at the Djenne Manuscript Library. I did not see this myself, because I was stuck on the road from Bamako with a broken down bus- nevermind, I have been told by enough people to believe that it was OK . It was Malian TV doing a news item about the launching of the Library Project last Sunday the 16th. Abdel Kader Haidara was there from Timbuktu, and he also gave an address to the assembled Djenne dignitaries. I was seen giggling and hobnobbing with the Maire and the Prefect and the son of the Imam. Shame that Tatler society pages don’t reach this far...


Blogger Gilliane said...

Bravo Sophie! YOU managed to reduce the photo.
Let's hope your TV appearance turns up on youtube.
As for serious matters my spiritual support is with you. Gilliane x

2:54 PM  
Blogger David said...

Well, I'm a little heartened by the latest after being worried by the silence.

Let's go to that Egyptian palace!

Barack and Michelle are now forming a temporary hanging in the bedroom while we await the peony curtains. And very handsome they look too.


8:42 AM  

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