My eyebrows – an analogy of life

I have been growing out my eyebrows so that I can then go have them shaped and up my eyebrow game. Thing is the possibility of having them messed up and done wrong has paralysed me so much that every time I look in the mirror I think to myself, ‘let me grow them out a while longer.’ The possibility of having crooked, mismatched eyebrows will upset me way more than I care to experience so I just keep postponing.

Now here’s the thing: unless I am going for a new bushman, cave-girl kind of look I must get the eyebrows trimmed and shaped and whatever not. What I am putting off is inevitable. Postponing it is just dumb, and I risk looking like a cave-girl. Mercifully thick brows are back in, or so I hear, but they must be shaped neat regardless! So again, putting it off is just dumb, bushman-y, and cave-girl-y.

What does that have to do with life, asks one.

There’s a decision you must make. A job to take, or a job to leave. A person to help, or a person to not help. A lover to take or a boot to give.  An opportunity to cash in on, or a project to let go of.

But the chance that your decision just might be the wrong one paralyses you. You stand there, in your thoughts, and examine the angles to this decision variously. Or so you think you do, because you come out with nothing still.

You want to make this big decision, you know you must. Everyone knows you must. So they are all thinking what’s this fool waiting for? But even more important, you know you’re fool for not making a decision on this matter. You’ve got to make a decision one way or the other. You know you have to. But you wait. Then you make up your mind, but then you second guess yourself so you  wait some more. Then you make up your mind, then change it again. Day turns into night, and the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months. Now not only does everyone think you’re a fool, they start to say so too. To your face. So not only do you think you’re a fool, but everyone else thinks so too, and now they are saying it, and now you just might start believing it. Then you enter a panic mode, that paralyses your brain even further. And then you can’t think straight, so you think waiting a little longer makes sense. You tell yourself you need to get your ducks in a row first. You tell yourself you need to put something’s in place first. So you wait some more. You feel you’re doing a lot of thinking but there’s no physical evidence of your lots of thinking. So now they stop saying it to your face, that you’re a fool, but you see it in their pitying eyes.

But ducks move slow. They waddle along. And muddy themselves in the puddles. And waddle some more. The ducks refuse to get in a row.

And you see it in their eyes. Those eyes are saying, “You’re a fool, truly.” And now you can’t look them straight in the eye, not for long anyway, so you hide. Those pitying eyes. Those questioning, pitying eyes.

Yes, my eyebrows indeed. Just decide. Simply to decide. How did a word so simple become a thing so hard. So the next time I look in the mirror, I am making up my mind.

[Edit:] The first commenter that responded to this post totally missed the gist of this whole thing up there, basically exclaiming about how eyebrows could be such a huge deal, and giving me some psychobabble about ‘inverting stress’. I trashed his comment. :P People without a sense of humour or imagination just irk me. If you think this post is about eyebrows (lol) go spend your day in some other corner of the internet. They might appreciate your patronising psychobabble there.

[“Gasp! No, she didn’t!” “Yes, I just did. I own this house!”]

Hello, to the rest of you, fellow humans! :)

No strings attached

Sometimes I’ll take a really long time to come to my blog, or WP in general, and when I do, I’ll usually just read some people’s posts then be gone till the next solar eclipse.

When you find that I’ve  spent a lot of time catching up on my reading of your blogs and have liked and commented on a zillion of your posts, please don’t feel obliged to come to my blog and read this or like that, chances are you may find nothing new. I just like reading your work, no strings attached. Okay? Happy New Year!

That said, thanks for stopping by. Now get back to your writing, reading or procrastination. :)

The iffy neighbours with the ancient pants


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They’ve been here only a week or so, but my new neighbours are iffy… I’m kinda concerned, I like being able to get along with my neighbours but it looks like these ones are more aloof than most. And I know aloof because I have at certain points in this young life of mine been the queen of aloof.


So today I went over to my new neighbours, introduced myself, that sort of thing, talked to them about the gatekeepers pay, ’cause you know, his salary due date is passed. We had been saying hello in passing, myself and the new neighbours, but for some reason that always happened at night. Not a convenient time to exchange pleasantries. Anyway I knock at the door, and the girl, she didn’t seem very forthcoming. I was there, smiling, being nice and she just wasn’t. I seemed to be acting my own movie. I actually had to prompt her to introduce herself. I mean, when someone says ‘Hi, I’m Cathy, your neighbour from the other house, etc…” Shouldn’t the natural response be, “I’m (insert name here).” Anyway for this one, I had to smilingly say, “and you are…?” before she could provide her name. Hmm, not super, I thought to myself.

She also seemed to make paying the gateman sound like such a task, putting up all sorts of hoops to be jumped through about timing, then ‘I’ll have to talk to him( her boyfriend I suppose, I see no ring) he makes the decisions.” Then more hoops, then I’ll have to ask to him. I mean hey, relax, be a little nice. I’m the person going to call you when your house catches fire or not call you at all then all your stuff will burn to the ground.

I don’t know, maybe it’s my demeanour. I’ve been told I tend to come off a bit ‘too superior’ and out to out class, albeit unintentionally, and I suppose it makes people defensive so they sort of snob up, to match me I guess? But I don’t even get it, I mean I’m smiling really welcomingly and all, shouldn’t that put one at ease? I’m not an intentional snob, haha. Here’s my take: I endeavour to appear amiable since it’s not always obvious (I’m smiling at myself here) but I’m not going to endeavour to appear less classy. I can’t help it. It is a disease a line of women from my grandmother through to my baby sister suffer from. My genes are my excuse.

Anyhow, there’s more about my neighbours. I’ll admit I’m one of those people that will mind other people’s business from a distance. Aren’t we all, though? Watching and wondering from a distance, even if we never say a thing? Full disclosure folks, I’m a watcher. See, I know that because of the sheers in my windows, I can see out but no one can see in. All my windows face some neighbour or other. I’m like the all-seeing one in this place.

Yesterday I was fully convinced he is cheating on her. I kind of still am. This man is like  40 years old, give or take. He’s not too sore on the eyes, but he just comes off too fatherly in a weird way. I think it’s something to do with these old-fashioned trousers he wears. I don’t know very many men these days that wear front pleated trousers. They are just so grandfatherly and this otherwise fine-looking man wears them. Maybe he is over 40, which makes it even more weird. A 40-year-old man in this country driving a Mercedes, even an old model, and still renting a little house definitely has to have something wrong with him. 40-year-old men of means (in our setting being able to afford a car and a Merc at that is quite a lot of means), in this part of the world are usually married and definitely not renting. So definitely that would be more weird. Every day I watch them, watch him and wonder at those ancient pants.

Back to yesterday. She leaves first, this time in his car. Usually they either go together or she goes first by public transport I guess, then he leaves later in the car. This time, she left first, in the car then he leaves later around 10 am. I figured maybe she drove the car to one of the nearby washing bays, went off to work, then he picked it up and went on to wherever he goes. I don’t know. Just the guess-work of an all-seeing, highly-imaginative watcher. Later in the day, with Girl No. 1 still away, around 2, 3 pm he returned, but with a different girl. She looked young, perhaps a bit younger than his girlfriend. They went in, spent a while, somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half, then they came out and drove off. It looked very suspicious.

I know the girl could have been anyone, perhaps a cousin, friend or whatever. G usually had a couple of female cousins coming over to his place, helping him with chores, one of them even spent nights on some occasions. Now someone watching could very easily have said he was cheating and up to no good. Maybe it’s the same thing in Mr Ancient Pants’ case, but I tell you, this sure smelt fishy!

I’m not hoping for visiting with each other for tea but I sure hope we’ll all be cordial and neighbourly.


Update, over a month later:

The neighbour struck up a conversation a while back, turns out he’s kinda alright. And the girl seems to have lost her airs. Still, nothing excuses the pants. ;) At least we’re now cordial and neighbourly.

Game Park 3. Or 0.5


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A blast of the cow horn rung out, filling the forest air with eeriness. She knew what it meant and her heart thumped in terror and despair. Pursue left and I’ll go right, was the signal of the horn. They were onto her, and they were close. That they were now hunting her down as they did game, complete with the cow horns that village hunters used, terrified her even more.

Quickening her pace with what little strength she had left, she continued to run with a single objective: to get as far away from her pursuers as she could. She could hear them whistle as they signalled their locations to one another. The wind and sweat from her forehead blinded her, and she stumbled upon the undergrowth as she ran. Everything was blurred, the shrubs left scratches on her arms and feet as she brushed them away and her feet were sore from running barefoot. She barely noticed the pain as she sprinted through the forest. Her mind kept returning to the events that had led her here.

Game Park 2

By now, the rain was falling in bucketfuls. Namuli paused for breath under the thick branches of some trees, but she wanted to find a more suitable spot. Running on, she soon came to a gamers lodge. Hesitant, she stopped to study it it from a distance. The porch was overgrown with ferns, and the front yard with wild flowers. Some of the window panes had fallen out and she could see puddles of rain water collecting on the verandah from a leak in the iron sheet roofing.

She drew closer, wondering if an unused cabin was a safe place to wait out the rain or not. She didn’t have much choice anyway. This would have to do. She quickened her pace and approached the front door. On tiptoe, she went up the three steps that led to the entrance, and reached out to turn the knob. Suddenly, she stopped short. There were voices coming from inside. Quickly, she backtracked her steps, crouching at a window farthest from the door.

A working Saturday in the life of Cat – a sneak preview.


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This is a view from the window of a little hotel where myself and a few other colleagues are holding a workshop, and coming up with a draft for a pharmaceutical sector strategic plan for the next 5 or so years. Yawn inducing, I know, especially since it’s Saturday.


Attention spans are waning as you can see. I really don’t blame us. Yapping for hours on end about objectives, strategies and key performance indicators can have that effect. We take a tea/coffee break when this happens. Then we just keep going for seconds until the hotel staff relieve us by clearing the snack table, which is not pictured here for obvious reasons. We don’t want to look like a bunch of people that meet up to eat tons of food while pretending to get a little work done, um, just in case this obvious reason is not so obvious to you.


All the yapping has taken its toll, member in yellow replenishes energy supplies with cake.

This work is a continuation of last weekend’s work, Friday to Sunday. Why weekends? Because it’s the time we set aside to do work that’s not really our day job. It’s work that needs doing, and we are members of the Pharmaceutical Society, so the onus falls upon us. The more interested members among us, that is. You may call it voluntary work.

A little background: pharmacy is not that well-developed in Uganda, so we set times as members of various committees on the afore-mentioned society , meet, decide what needs doing and improving, map a way forward, formulate regulations and bye-laws, compile our recommendations and send them to/meet policy makers. I like thinking of it as being a part of history-making, in some small way. A change-maker. Yeah, grandiose, that’s me.

This rooster keeps crowing. It’s nice background music to our work, I prefer it to the hum of the projector.


Nice rooster, eh? Also here, banana plant (leaf, really), paw-paw tree, mango tree, avo cado tree. Clockwise, that is.

Continue reading

I dream – it’s the only right thing to do


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This post is prompted by a comment exchange with a blogger whose writing I like, but  whose blog I rarely show up to her as I’m subscribed to her posts by email – that should redeem me, right? —>

Anyway, in answer to a question of mine, she expressed that she’s planning to publish her book as an e-book, but dreams about having it published traditionally. I headed out to find some quotes on ‘dreaming’, and truly, when do you take out the time to thank God and/or Tim Berners-Lee for the inter-webs? I came up with lots, and these left me feeling pretty inspired – and probably more accident prone. 


“I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

“All (wo)men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”
― Gloria Steinem

“Promise me you’ll never stop dreaming.”
― Melina Marchetta, Looking for Alibrandi

It’s probably pretty obvious by now that I live with my head in the clouds. I’m a dreamer. It’s the only way to be.

“And people who don’t dream, who don’t have any kind of imaginative life, they must… they must go nuts. I can’t imagine that.” 
― Stephen King

A mild case of ADD and wild life


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This poor blog had recently gone the way of the dinosaur, so to speak. I found myself dropping by less and less frequently, and when I did, my visits were limited to the reader. I’ve finally diagnosed myself with a mild case of blogging ADD. I seem to always be on the look out for new things that pique my interest and take up all my time. Yes, I just may be the queen of procrastination, and what with all this social networking, there is always something to grab and hold onto your attention if you’ve got a mobile device and an Internet connection – and are willing. I’m guilty of being too willing, that’s my crime.


Gorilla mother and child

Gorilla mother and child. Uganda is one of few places you can find these.

My latest interest is tours and travel. Continue reading


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