Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hello, hello, hello, is there anybody (still) out there?

Are you still there, Legion of Fans?

Have you disowned me because of the shabby way in which I’ve neglected you? I wouldn’t blame any of the five of you if you have. If you’re reading this then you have my eternal gratitude and humble apologies.

I am coming to you live (possibly, if this manages to send, and if I haven’t been eaten by goats by the morning), from the goat’s bum of Africa… Maun, Botswana.

Can there be a more disheartening, disgusting, dry, dingy, dirty, dusty gateway to one of the world’s most famed wildlife paradises? I doubt it.

“Goat’s bum of the world” (armpit doesn’t do it justice, because it’s too dry and much smellier here) is a term I’ve just coined after looking at one. A goat’s bum, that is. There is a family (herd?) of goats in the campsite in which I am now sitting, ankle deep in grubby, smelly sand, leaves and goat droppings.

I’ve seen goats aplenty on the roads of Africa, LOF – even managed to hit one once in Tonka – but never in my campsite. This bleating beast just tried to eat the power cord of my laptop.

Despite my forceful ‘shoo, shoo’ noises this particular goat keeps munching away on garbage in front of me, presenting its shabby rear end. It’s not pretty, LOF, not pretty at all.

The reason I haven’t been blogging for you, LOF, is simple. Money, of course.

I’m being paid to help a very interesting South African chap write his life story. I shall reveal more in due course, but for now I am head down and (human) bum up, typing away furiously.

I have, however, been emailing the odd blog post to Getaway Magazine in South Africa and you can view my intermittent jottings there if you hop across to

It’s not that I value Getaway more than y’all, Legion of Fans, it’s just that I live in hope that because of my dedicated journaling for them that one day the editor will call and say something like: “Mr Blog, you’ve done such a good job blogging for us that we think you should take our sample latest-model Land Rover Defender on a test spin up to the Masai Mara for a couple of months”. Hmmm.

Speaking of Goats’ bums, I recently spent time in Cde Robert Mugabe’s own little African utopia – the Republic of Zimbabwe. You can read about that on the Getaway site, as well. Suffice to say that when locals informed me there was no beer in the shops I beat it out of there across the border quite quickly. At least Maun has beer (there, I said something good about it).

What else to report… ummmm….

Mrs Blog and I had an interesting drunken interlude with a pack of hyenas in Kruger a couple of weeks ago… and you can read about that at as well. Getting the message?

Well, the sun is setting blood red through the pall of garbage-fire smoke, diesel fumes and dried goat’s dung dust that is Maun, LOF… and Mrs Blog has just opened the esky/cold box/chilly bin (depending on where you hail from).

Wherever you are and whatever you call it, there is only one solution for bad towns and bad camp grounds. Strong drink.


SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION UPDATE: For all of you too lazy to actually read one of my books, good news is at hand. My very good friends at Macmillan have just emailed me to tell me that SILENT PREDATOR is going to be released as an audio book.

I wonder who will read it and, more importantly, will they manage to read the rude bits out loud without laughing? Interesting. Any listeners of audio books out there (Michelle, this is a test to see if you are reading the blog)? If so, I would like comments about how the naughty bits are dealt with. IE: Does the reader put on a “what are you wearing” voice especially for certain scenes, or is it done in a rigid monotone?


Muriel said...

How about a rigid 'what are you wearing?' voice? That should cover all bases.

I spent a night in prison in Maun once (for a minor, non-violent infraction blown wildly out of proportion by the malicious, self-seeking local populace - have you made their delightful acquaintance yet?). If the town is a goat's bum, the jail is a goat's large intestine.

I was also served half a dead cockroach (arguably worse than a whole one - where'd the other half go??) in my breakfast there, and when I complained, was threatened with certain dismemberment by the management should I dare to breathe a word of it. Maybe he thought there wouldn't be enough to go around?

Yup, pretty nasty place, Maun.

Heidihi said...

Hurrah - you're still there, we thought may be the Lions outside your tent had made it inside!

Maun sounds lovely, rather you than me. Very interested to hear your thoughts on Botswana and Namibia when you get there.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see some pushing paid off. I think the LOF has surely incresed to at least twelve now? Enjoy the Delta

Crookedpaw said...

A rigid monotone?


ali g said...

Please make Muriel a character in one of your upcoming books!
Wow..thrown in jail and cockroaches for breakfast... what a girl and she sleeps with 4 cats on her bed too. Now that's class! >^..^<

redcap said...

Sorry man. Maun is not the "goat's bum of Africa". That's Nata. I've had goats wandering around me at inappropriate moments, snuffling my boots, doing the old sniff and nip, but I'm still astounded by the toilet stop we made at a servo/motel there. There was a melted puddle of goat in the front of the conveniences, quite near the appocalyptic pool deck. Apparently using the pool was only 10 pula per person, but free for guests. The pool was empty but for some evil green sludge and a few oil cans at the bottom. Bloke reckons the place was suffering from a dose of bad juju. Me, I'm still astounded by the length of time that decomp can cling to nostril hairs.