, , , , , , , , , ,


Fleeting pictures in my mind… colours, smells… heat, sun… somewhere in that half-world between sleep and waking I clearly see images that are now long gone and are only held in my memory. When I’m gone they will disappear for ever, unable to be downloaded and displayed for others to see. I can never truly explain what I see to other people. Maybe if I could paint well enough I could try to put down something of what I remember on paper. That would be interesting.

…black African night, thunderstorm, sheet lightening across the sky lights up a long slowly moving train in the distance, black smoke billowing from the engines, a red glow in the night…

…gazing in wonder at the weaver birds nests, birds fly under and into the nests, how does a bird weave such an object…

…blue and black flowing robes, some ride camels, Tuaregs are here, good night-watchmen, broad grin in the morning as he shows blood on the sword from the thief who came in the night…

…the snake charmer is here, coaxing a cobra from a hole under the house, like the other children I look on with intense curiosity and fear, stay back!!!…

…snakes, vultures, hyenas, camels, cats, cattle, camels, scorpions, spiders, flies…

…lorry crashed at the side of the road, overloaded, too many people clinging to the side and the top, dying child, vivid image of bright yellow yolks amongst broken eggs lying on the dry sandy ground…

…after the groundnuts in the field have been harvested, digging up the remaining nuts, eating each one we find…

…chicken with its head cut off running around in circles, cook chasing, not funny just strange and unexpected, store the image away…

…road block, men with guns wave us down, “drive on” hisses my mother, my father  through gritted teeth says “no” and then smiles broadly as we slow down, the children are told sharply not to move or say anything, “going to market”, they peer into the car then wave us through, we buy the airline tickets to leave…

Such a long time ago. This other world is still with me, it made part of me, it is who I am.


Harvesting groundnuts


Kano market at dusk




Groundnut sack pyramids


Emir of Wudil’s garage


Snake charmer’s son


Emir of Kano’s hyenas




House building school




Kano from the mosk




Kano dye pits


Wudil bridge


Camel market

Image1ff Image1er Image1ee 120c 128c 152c Image1cc

Some really interesting info about African dye and Kano dye pits –