Addictive Art Materials

Charcoal and soft pastels are addictive. Admittedly they are not in the class-A drug category of heroin or cocaine and there doesn’t need to be a government health warning about them, but there is something about their versatility that makes them so appealing. For the artist, charcoal and soft pastels are extremely satisfying to use;…

Back to the drawing board

After recently leaving my teaching post in Dar Es Salaam to move to Nairobi for my husband’s new job, I now find myself ‘in between jobs’ and consequently at a rather interesting crossroads in my life. The million dollar question, well, million shilling question is this: Do I continue with teaching Art and English or do…

Sketches of Tanzanian Markets

My family and I are in the process of relocating from Tanzania to neighbouring Kenya; so as one East African adventure closes, another begins… Although I may have physically left Tanzania, I am still keeping my memories alive by finishing off drawings in my sketchbooks. These sketches will go towards bigger art projects, involving acrylic…

A Botanical Paradise

After nearly three years of living in Tanzania, I am still amazed at the botanical paradise which surrounds me everyday, all year round. From the hibiscus flowers and bird of paradise plants in private gardens, public municipal areas and hotels, to hedgerows at bus-stops heavy with bougainvillea and frangipani petals lying on the floor, the…

I am the resurrection and I am the life – The tale of Bertie Rooster

This is the story of the luckiest, most cock-sure cockerel that has ever lived – Bertie Wooster. We bought Bertie about a year ago. We named him Bertie, because my youngest daughter, Frida, has difficulties pronouncing the letter r and says wooster rather than rooster, hence Bertie Wooster. He soon had a lady friend which…

Checking out our local neighbourhood

When there are more power cuts than power, you don’t tend to tick very much off your to do lists. And here in Kigamboni, the “rural” neighbour to Dar Es Salaam, over the last few weeks we have had power cuts lasting days and nights and days again. Putting up blog posts is down at…

Dadas at the fish market

I’ve been painting this picture in my head for months now. The Kivukoni Fish Market in Dar Es Salaam is always busy. Both inside and outside the market walls there are scores of people; inside fishermen and traders huddle together around the many different catches of the day, outside house dadas dressed in brightly printed…

“How do you avoid the tourists in Stone Town?” said the tourist.

In the blistering heat of the sub-Saharan sun lies a labyrinth of narrow alleys lined with tall once whitewashed, now crumbling buildings. A walk through Stone Town’s higgledy piggledy streets, most of which are too narrow for cars, is like stepping back in time, providing you can ignore the high-tech gadget carrying tourists. The town,…

Matemwe Beach – Far Away in Time

At 31 degrees centigrade and with a hotch potch of people who frequent it, Matemwe Beach is a melting-pot in every sense of the word. Between sunrise and sunset the beach, situated on the northeast coastline of Zanzibar, becomes a hive of activity with scores of Zanzibari women wearing bright coloured kangas wading into shallow…

Hope over the Horizon – Sunrise on the edge of the Ngorogoro Crater

While camping on the edge of the Ngorogoro Crater in Tanzania I decided to wake up early to watch the sunrise. What I witnessed was nothing short of breathtaking. Snuggled up inside my hoodie and scarf, I sat alone, mesmerized by the changing horizon before me and watched as the African sky changed from an…