Lamu photo-shoot


© Mirella Ricciardi – frangipani flowers at the magical Moon Houses in Lamu

We’ve just spent four days in Lamu with a team from Harper’s Bazaar who are writing an article on my husband, Frank Pope, to publicise his book Dragon Sea (Penguin).  The hardback, first published in the USA, will be launched at the 2007 Hay Book Festival, UK.  The book will shortly be available in paperback.

It was a pleasure to work with my photographer aunt, Mirella Ricciardi, on the photo shoot.  She has an exhibition of platinum black and white prints of her 1960’s Vanishing Africa series at the Michael Hoppen gallery, Jubilee Way, King’s Road, London, and I highly recommend it.

Home at last!


©  Frank Pope – a friendly but highly endangered Rothschild giraffe at home

The Rothschild giraffes came to visit yesterday, bowing their slender necks down to my hand in hope of a bran pellet.  At night I hear them feeding all around the bedroom, flicking tree branches back on to the roof with a great clatter. It keeps me awake but I like having them around, and I lie in bed watching the shadows of their long elegant forms glide across the wall.

Frank and I talk often of building a new house.  Between the termites tunneling a secret metropolis, and the ever expanding subterranean palaces of the warthogs, our little shack is now cocked sideways and subsiding slowly into the earth.  We call it the biodegradable house.  But it’s such a cosy love nest we seem incapable of moving on.  So long as there’s a roof over our heads!  And also, what would the warthogs do without it?

Wedding Day!

Hip hip Hooray! Caloo-Caley! The most perfect ever wedding day.


©  Bernard Spoerry

The blessing from the Samburu elders, led by Mzee Lekalaile:

May you be hidden from your enemies like stars in the daylight – N’gai!

May we find time to sit and chat like owls in the wet season – N’gai!

May you be blessed with fat cattle, children and rain – N’gai!

And find many blessings on the path ahead – N’gai!

May N’gai take care of you and hide you in his armpit – N’gai!

And also in his stomach – N’gai!

May you slip thro’ the claws of danger and find shelter in the hole of a bead – N’gai!

Walk when the sun rises – N’gai!

Live as long and wisely as a bull elephant – N’gai!

Be brave, courageous and famous for your deeds – N’gai!

As outstanding as Ngai’s mountains, Oldonyo Nyiro, Sapache, Mt Kenya – N’gai!

May your life resemble the doum palm leaf, blessed with diversity – N’gai!

May you be the last in to shut the gate with heavy gardinia wood – N’gai!

May N’gai bless you and give you success in life – Atejo N’gai aya!  Ashe Oleng!