10 juillet 2015

Pamandzi

                  On my last day in Mayotte, I returned the flat keys in the morning, then went to see the man who was buying the car from me. When he had come to my flat to test-drive the car, he had brought a young mechanic with him, and hadn't actually driven the car at all. Today, he asked to drive the car round the block, and exclaimed vigourously at each noise or unusual movement in the car, such as the gear stick which was slightly loose. He then walked round the car and... [Lire la suite]
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06 juillet 2015

La Mangue Bleue

                  The Blue Mango now has t-shirts.                
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22 juin 2015

Girls, tyres and ministers, oh my!

                  Last Saturday was the tyre-race. Just to be different, I'd decided that this year, I wanted to run with a big tyre, a lorry tyre, one of those huge things that come up to about chest level. I knew the time-keeper for the tyre race, so I talked him into creating a category for me and letting a team of girls run with the big tyres, which has never been done before as only men have attempted this feat in the past. However, we did adapt it just a little:... [Lire la suite]
01 juin 2015

Nanny, you probably don't want to know what I did last weekend.

             I recently had a couple of acquaintances over. The sort of people who'll give you absolutely no news for a year or so, then suddenly pop up out of the blue saying that they've bought plane tickets to Mayotte and can I put them up. They'd timed their visit to be here at the same time as a friend of theirs, a hiking guide on tour in Mayotte at the time, so they were off with him most of the time, which was fine as far as I was concerned. They didn't have anything planned for the... [Lire la suite]
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18 mai 2015

Mamoudzou By Night

                                                     I was sent on an espionage mission the other day. A friend of mine suspected his wife of cheating on him, and had asked me to go to a Senegalese party which she was planning to attend in order to check if the new boyfriend was there. When I got there, there was a jazz quartet in full flow. I already knew two of them and... [Lire la suite]
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04 mai 2015

Carnival commemorating the Abolition of Slavery

                                                                Slavery Abolition Day was on April 27th, and brought with it a bank holiday, a closed exhibition, a time-wasting conference and a small carnival. These photos are of the participants in said carnival. There weren't very many groups,... [Lire la suite]
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27 avril 2015

Voulé à Musicale Plage

                   I was invited to a company voulé the other day, a barbecue on the beach with the company I work with giving English lessons to adults. The rainy season is reaching its end now, but there are still some strong bursts of rain occasionally, and I was caught in one of these on the way to the barbecue. Not too promising, but it brightened up as I got closer to the beach in the south of the island. It was a chance to talk to some of the guys in the training company... [Lire la suite]
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13 avril 2015

Versailles and Vienna

                You might vaguely remember these posters. The music school organized a concert at the beginning of February whose theme was "the Royal Celebrations of Versailles". It was such a success - the first classical concert of the year, so 250 people came - that the university centre in Mayotte bought the concert too. We repeated the concert in the university amphitheatre at the end of last month. I don't think I've ever made so big a mess of a concert, and I wasn't the only one.... [Lire la suite]
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23 février 2015

N'Gouja, probably for the last time.

                                   It's the holidays next week, so this weekend was really the last one before the holidays on which to go to the beach. I don't go that often - not really interested in lying around in the heat, and not bothered about salty water and small fish - but H loves the beach, and I'd promised to bring him back some sand from his favourite beach in Mayotte. So I rang up a colleague who... [Lire la suite]
09 février 2015

Still playing.

                   On January 24th, we had our Annual Fest-Noz. With capital letters. It's a huge and terrifyingly-organized evening centred around Breton music and dancing, it needs so much work put into it that there is only one per year (compared to several per week in every region of mainland France) and it attracts a disproportionate number of people of which about a fifth come from Brittany. This year, it was held in a room which is half covered by roof, half exposed to... [Lire la suite]