First of all thank you God for the gift of rain, even the thunderstorms. Amen.
It was a magical time. The journey down in the Toyota tour van was uneventful. We were three couples; two middle-aged canoodling Kenyans who didn’t look married to me and a grayscale Japanese man with his chatty Australian wife sat at the back. The gay brigade was behind our skilful driver, who dutifully pointed out the unmissable vistas that are the Rift Valley. George was listening to an FM station on his phone-radio while I half-heartedly attempted to balance the Sudoku from a magazine the driver lent me.
The lodge in the dark sprinkled with flickering lanterns was even more alluring than I remembered from last Christmas when we had our company lunch there with work colleagues. Just as promised by the travel agent there were no hitches. The youthful staff cheerfully checked us in as a double before nonchalantly calling the porter, please show the guests to their room. So we followed the porter with the kissable athlete’s bum to our love cottage, a crescent-shaped building including a luxurious ensuite bathroom wrapped in Galana-stone tiles and a lavish four-poster mahogany bed. The porter seemed unnerved by our pairing so I eased his discomfort by the experienced covert handshake of a 500-shilling note.
That first night we had dinner in the grill restaurant, George chose a cut of Molo lamb and I had a most succulent marbled rib-eye steak, both served with roast potatoes and assorted vegetables and washed down with a forgettable red from a Naivasha vineyard. After dinner we had more exciting drinks with other guests at the bar by the fireplace. The guests were all really nice especially as by this time I was acting quite outrageously queenie and tipsy it didn’t escape anyone’s notice that we were a couple. I kept saying to George loudly, ‘honey please get me another one’, whenever the waiter came round. Yes, there are some safe places for gays in Kenya.
During the day I just pottered around the gardens or the pool, while George went on a tour to a flower farm. I chose not to go because I have problems with the effects from these dubious enterprises that courageously defend their 30% share of the EU market. He came back to the cottage bearing a surprisingly unproblematic bunch of exquisite blood-red roses, so we spent an energetic hour in bed before lunch. Later I went horse-riding through forests of lime-coloured acacias and the guide even pointed out a black and white colobus but I couldn’t look because I was not feeling confident riding the mare (pun unintended!). Of course I broke my blog-fast during our holiday because I was missing you guys and spent some time on the laptop laughing like a banshee when I read Pater Nostra’s confessions.
Then it was pizza for dinner another night and more drinks and being in love. I looked around the shop selling souvenirs and chose an orange ‘Kenya Dig It’ polo-shirt for Imelda, a Masai beaded armlet in patriot Kenyan-flag colours for her son Paul and a delicate batiked-necklace made from animal bones for her mum. Afterwards everything and everyone else was forgotten for us as we soaked together in the deep seasalt-filled bath.
One afternoon George treated me lying nude to a stimulating massage on the balcony daybed overlooking the private gardens. The room-service waiter bearing iced-Baileys surprised us when we didn’t hear him knocking. He didn’t even bat an eyelid; I suppose the confessions of a room-service waiter is an x-rated read. Nonetheless, I scandalously over-tipped him by a day’s wage. Keep ‘em sweet, that’s my de rigueur mantra. Upon our departure this morning the staff and their excellent manager graciously told us karibu tena Bwana George na Tamaku.
Oh, and something else. Last night lying in bed beneath the 400 thread count Egyptian cottons and limbs entwined like a python round his willing prey, George said the three magic words. I knew it all along but it was wonderful to hear him say them. I said them back to him too.