By Janine Milliken

I am a walking disaster right now. I have managed to break my hand by bumping it on my dressing table, then whilst looking for cigarette stubs I walked into the septic tank and now have a huge cut on my foot which will not stop bleeding.

My dad has decided that his daughter needs more than a nurse to look after her so we have a vacancy for a ‘Superman’ to watch over me. Reminds me of that Sting song, ‘Every move you make, every breath you take, I’ll be watching you’. That is basically who is needed to look after me as I am an accident waiting to happen. My Doctor is back from 10 days leave and I have managed to break my hand, need stitches on my ankle and am bruised from head to toe from who knows what I have walked into. The good news is I do not drink alcohol as I am allergic, so no one can say I am drunk or high. Thankfully I do not look for my answers to life at the bottom of the bottle instead I seem to be like a bull in a china shop. In my defense, I cannot be left unsupervised and I will always use my brain injury as my excuse for being so clumsy, absent-minded and generally spaced out.

I have enrolled for a fashion designing course which I am so excited about but forgot I live in Zimbabwe and therefore to find material will be like finding a needle in a haystack. Imagine me sending in my assignment saying that I could not complete it as I could not find material, thread, scissors and had no power for my machine. That excuse is as bad as saying ‘the dog ate my homework’, which actually did happen to me once – and no, no-one believed me. Although the modern day excuse is ‘the laptop crashed and I lost everything’.

I have now bribed my nephew to go to the shops for me to buy my cigarettes and his ‘bribe’ is to buy himself a coke. I know, I know but in Zimbabwe that is quite a treat, should you find one. So I may never see my nephew again in his quest to buy a coke for himself.

My beautiful female cousin came to visit me and she had a migraine, so I kindly gave her some of my pills. When she got home she was mumbling about a chameleon that had no legs as they had been squashed and could someone help the chameleon find its legs. That will be the last time I share my pills. Although her daughter and her fiancee thought it was hilarious and had to quickly put my cousin in bed before she passed out on the floor looking for a ‘legless’ chameleon. The good side of that is that I was not with her otherwise I too would have been looking for a legless chameleon and we both would have been put into bed.

As a joke my nephew and I put a dead lobster in my mom’s bed as a lovely surprise for her for when she went to bed. Now my mom is a lovely Christian, however the first words out of her mouth was a bit of sailor’s language and then we were reprimanded. I think my dogs had nibbled on the lobster as well, so the poor lobster did have no legs and maybe that is what my cousin was referring to? We still not sure, I will let you know when she remembers what she was going on about.

My Doctor is back from his holiday and when he sees me tomorrow he is going to think I have been climbing trees and gates again – which apparently he did not know I did as I appear to be so ‘ladylike’. I have had to, on occasion, climb my electric gate, once impaling my leg on a spike and ending up with a tetanus shot with the Doctor shaking his head in disbelief. The Doctor had to keep asking me how I injured myself as he would not believe me. I still have the scar should anyone wish to see the proof.

Thankfully my family is used to my clumsiness and so just shake their heads when I come in bleeding from yet another accident that could have been avoided had I had my eyes open. Which now makes me think I may need to go to the Optician as maybe I have gone blind without knowing it.

My mom is cleaning her house and has vacuumed her carpet at least three times this morning as every time it is clean another dog walks in with mud and grass and proceeds to drop every bit of grass onto the clean carpets.

I am so cold in the mornings I have given up getting up in the morning and decided to hibernate for the winter. I figured out I do not have wings so cannot fly away for the winter like a duck, so the next best thing is pretending to be a bear. Although it is not so hard to pretend as I am not a morning person and everyone gets grunted at should they approach me before 9am. After 9am I remember my manners and then try and be polite but even then my patience is really pushed to the limit and I talk through gritted teeth whilst thinking of a way to run away for a while, without my cellphone. However, knowing my parents they will send the helicopters out and I will be captured within 5 minutes of disappearing. My mom’s FBI skills are absolutely brilliant for a housewife and so I would not actually mess with her – ever.

I have also inherited these FBI skills with my nephews which is how I got to the Tin Roof in my pyjamas looking for my nephew to bring him home safely. My nephew’s friend was so impressed with my skills that he has asked to be put on my radar and should he go missing I am the one to go looking for him as he knows I will find him. Although my nephew is not so impressed and just rolls his eyes at me.

Yesterday we had a family lunch and I was told to find my filter that goes between my brain and mouth as it was not working yesterday. They have threatened to leave me at home should I not find this filter as they will not be seen with me in public – also the fact I am in my pyjamas with my hair sticking up and slurred speech, which does not help my case. Just in case you wondering my speech gets slurred when my brain gets tired.

I am working at a vet on Saturday and I have to say the day was a blur. The lady who works there during the week is asking me all sorts of questions about Saturday and I have no recollection. I cannot even make up an excuse as my memory has gone blank. I just remember about 10 puppies needing injections and filling out forms all morning. I have no idea who the puppies belonged to, so I am trying my best to recall Saturday, but no it just comes up blank.

We have stopped leaving my dad at home alone as this is when he does his thinking. When we walk through the door he bombards us with money, banks, forex, fuel, power. So we have banned him from thinking as he just confuses us more and we have to sit for an hour listening to his ‘zimbo plans’. Although I read an article yesterday where it said that if you stuck in the bush surrounded by fire, the best person to have beside you is a Zimbo. I thought that is so true, because I would back burn, create a fire break and I would manage to come out alive……………. Try give a Zimbo any other problem and we will not just escape but we will be laughing about it. Which reminds me of a friend of mine, who’s plane was hijacked. The men on the plane had a meeting and were deciding what strategy to use. The Zimbo said to everyone ‘I am going to sleep wake me up when we land.’ We are pretty tough people with a brain that works at the speed of light and we take things as they come.

I remember being stopped, whilst driving and a huge rifle was put to my head. Very casually I told them that I do not care if they shoot me, but do not shoot me in the head - rather the heart and what the hell are they looking for? The robbers decided they had not scared me so let me carry on my merry way home.

I know all foreigners looking at Zimbabwe think that Zimbos are a bit stupid for staying in our country, but this country is beautiful and lives in my heart. The grass is not always greener and why can I not stay in the country of my birth? This is my land and my heart belongs here.

‘This land, my land is my Zimbabwe……’ – Henry Ohlonga.


Hazard to myself

Beautifully Broken
by Janine Milliken
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