Hello friends. I begin by saying to all my British chums: I hope that you had a lovely and happy Pancake Day. For those of you who are not British, I greet with just as much joy and merriness, but it is likely that you will not know what Pancake Day is. Well – Pancake Day is, if I am not mistaken, the day just before lent begins, also known as Shrove Tuesday. Lent in Catholicism refers to the 40 days of fasting and temptation Jesus went through in the desert; and it has so transpired in the Catholic church that it would be good to further grasp the meaning of these 40 days, and give something up over this period. Most people decide to give up things like chocolate or television; usually a simple pleasure. Lent then, is a fast, if you will. What exactly Shrove Tuesday signifies in the whole affair, I am not sure. Perhaps it has something to do with indulgence before the 40 days of fasting. But at any rate, it’s original meaning – as most holidays and celebrations – is not much taken note of, and instead everybody makes pancakes.
And so, on this day, ever since I was a youngling I have enjoyed a pancake or two with the common toppings – golden syrup, caster sugar, chocolate spread, and other things of the like. There being very few British people on the centre, it is strange to me that no one seemed to recognise the day as such. But I would not let it slip. I would have a pancake that day. And I would be merry, even if it be on my own shouting and screaming with joy. Fortunately, there was a trip to Shoprite that morning, and I had a chance to buy a few ingredients. I had most already. All I needed to buy was some eggs, some caster sugar, some milk and a lemon. My shop was swiftly over, and I readied my ingredients in the kitchen for when the time came.
The time came. I was tired from blowing bubbles with the younger kids in the dorm, but it would not get me down. I went to the kitchen, and I took out all I knew was necessary for the composure of a pancake, placing it before me on the table. I was then ready to create. It suddenly dawned on me that I had never made a pancake before, nor did I know how. At this revelation, I panicked. Most-fortunately (for the word fortunately is not enough on it’s own), I had left up a page on my web-browser from the previous day showing the ingredients for a pancake which I had used as a shopping list; and on that page were pancake making instructions. I would have a pancake yet.
I threw together the ingredients into a bowl and watched them blend together to become a wonderful mixture. This activated the same part of my brain that finds joy in hearing a musical harmony. I smiled to myself. I then got out a pancake pan, and proceeded to pour the mixture into the pan. Unfortunately, I forgot to put the pan on the lit stove, and therefore heat it up leaving the mixture in the pan for some while, and slightly burning the bottom when I did put it on the stove. But it was well with the mixture, and my first pancake was made.
After this, I made many more pancakes, enjoying them all the more knowing they had come from my own hand. I melted some chocolate, spread it over the pancake, added some caster sugar, squeezed on some lemon juice, ate the pancake, and shouted and screamed for joy. On my own. It was something I shall never forget. I even took the liberty of producing a 2:30 minute video for you to see some of the magic yourself:
And so, I did not waver from my tradition this past Tuesday. I made pancakes – loudly and proudly. But you cannot focus on tradition and ignore core principles. Therefore, Delfryn has decided to give up a thing or two for lent as of the 13th of February.
Tom will be giving up listening to Radiohead.
Jonny will be giving up listening to Sigur Rós.
And I will be giving up listening to Muse.
A musical fast. And just in case any of us fall into temptation, you can check up on every song we listen to here:
May we last in the desert.
This is a parentheses update. Everything I tell you next will be in brackets simply for the reason that it is not significant enough to have made the title, or create a fleshy paragraph. So here we go:
(There have been lots of power cuts recently. In fact, Tom and I went the longest we have ever been without electricity [unwillingly] in our entire lives: 24 minutes. Scary thought. You know you are dependent on electricity when you wake up in the deep night whenever the power cuts off. It’s like a sixth sense [this happened three times].
Tom’s laptop charger stopped working, so he is now without his laptop for at least a month [before he can get a new one]. The challenge is proving tough for old Tommy. I don’t commend the cons and I don’t condemn the pros.
We played a game of snakes and ladders earlier. I won.
My father (Charles Leslie Kofi Hammond) will be coming to visit us in Mozambique soon! Quite exciting. I understand he will be coming mid-March. He shall be bringing a toaster with him and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Gods be praised.
The heat at this time of year is making me constantly look like I’ve just had a shower. But one sniff and you will know that, rather, I should just be getting into a shower.
It was Valentine’s day yesterday. Not much happened for us, but I believe Tom intends to give an account of the day soon.
Last but not least, I am now finishing off the Lord of the Rings books. Brilliant series. I highly recommend it. Three cheers for Samwise Gamgee)
I know this heading wasn’t in the title, but it needn’t be. This is simply for good wishes and goodbyes. But before you go, I have something to show you. If you haven’t noticed, our third counterpart – Jonathan Foulger – is now back in the motherland (the UK). This means that the blog posts coming from his end will quite possibly be a little more limited than they have been. Hopefully he will post here and there as to his experiences. But we have devised a plan to keep this blog as three-way as possible. We have created a new page called ‘Story‘. On this page is an ever expanding story written by the three of us. A play, in which each of us has adopted a character. Click here to see Act 1 Scene 1 and dive into the amazing tale we have to offer you. We hope to create a new scene every week or so on average, and above all to keep this website as: One Blog – Three gap years