Welcome home!

So, here I am back in Blantyre, Malawi. Elson and I have greatly benefited from being apart for 6 weeks – we have never truly appreciated each other as we do now. It is so wonderful to know in your heart that you are loved, and loved wholly. And to know that I truly love my husband. It is a real gift.
I came home to a green Malawi. The rains have been good here in Blantyre and the crops and the vegetation (what is left of it) is greening up. It gives the place a good vibe and makes you feel like there is life all around – as opposed to the end of the dry season when everything has been cut down and used for firewood or building, and the landscape is brown and barren. It’s quite depressing.
The weather isn’t as hot as I remember in Monkey Bay – thank God, I say. In Blantyre we are up on a plateau so the conditions aren’t as humid or oppressive. There was a gorgeous wind blowing yesterday, so walking through Limbe wasn’t as hardcore as it was in Oct/Nov.
The flat I live in is pretty basic. The walls around the bathroom are rotting with mould and look disgusting. There is some white foamy shit growing around the skirting boards. That wasn’t there when I left in November…. The ceiling in the bathroom is hanging lower than before. I guess the main problem is that there is no way for the steam and water to escape from the bathroom, and there are no windows in the apartment that open outside – only into the corridor of the building complex. That sucks as I have no direct sunlight into the rooms. At times I feel like I’m imprisoned in a cell block. If you open the windows you invite all the noise in the block and if you keep them closed, you are walled in. You just cant win.
I have always been sensitive to noise. I guess being a musician, you come to appreciate sound in a refined manner. As a kid, I would have no choice but to listen to mum’s selection of music, which thankfully was exquisite. I got my deep love and appreciation for sacred choral music from mum, and Edward Woodward as well as Roger Whittiker. Opera came from my dad. La Traviata was my all-time favourite, and I would spend many a solitary Saturday afternoon dying of consumption in the lounge room, singing Violetta by heart and dreaming that my Alfredo would one day steal my heart and soul. The other great influence on my musical tastes was my elder sister. She was into Pink Floyd and Alice Cooper, so I was often lulled to sleep by School’s Out, Echoes and Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I remember losing it one time after hearing Dogs at the age of seven – all I could think of was those poor dogs barking as they drowned. It still haunts me. I think that is why I have such a broken heart for dogs in general. Its deeper and more emotional than I can relate in words. My heart still lurches when I listen to that track.
I was also subject to some Beatles – I used to put on our one record and play the drumkit to it. I Wanna Hold Your Hand and the most beautiful song of all, If I Fell. Oh the chord changes and the harmonies!! I was into the aural beauty of music from a very young age. My teenage years occurred during the electronically experimental and melodious 80’s. I was never really into bands comprised of guitar, bass and drums. I preferred electronica and orchestras that explored emotional depth through soundscapes. I still find it really hard to listen to any music that doesn’t come attached with an emotional memory. It is just noise to me. I guess for me, music is a multi-sensory experience, not just something to get my toe tapping. Having said that, I really love some Rammstein and Dio now and then – once or twice every six months or so……
So, when I woke up on my first morning back in Blantyre, to the “nails-down-a-blackboard” rendition of some screeching Asian voice accompanied by tenor saxophone in what I can only describe as a “suicide-inducing” song, ON REPEAT, I sat myself down, made a cup of tea and welcomed myself back to Malawi. I tried to drown out the horror with track one of War of the Worlds, but it didn’t gel with the screeching from next door. On about the tenth repeat of “the call to razors”, I politely asked my neighbour to turn the volume down and play another song. A potential session of anxiety-induced rocking back and forth had been averted.
For now.

2 Replies to “Welcome home!”

  1. Welcome home! So pleased that you have your lovely Elson to return home to. The transition must have difficulties but I guess he makes it easier.
    All the very best with your ‘musical’ neighbors. Perhaps you can introduce them to your style of music. Share the love….. perhaps.
    Love from Tony and myself, Jane

    1. Thanks Jane! Im lucky to live in a relatively quiet apartment block…..I have been sharing the soundtrack from Star Wars lately…..Much love xx

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