In the UK if I found a beetle in my porridge oats I might toss them out and buy some more. Here the story has to be different.

I bought “Jumbo Oats” from the Tusker Mattress supermarket in Nairobi. They were the cheapest and then had 12% extra free! What the packet didn’t explain is that the 25% might be made up of beetles. Perhaps not a full quarter of the mass of the packet, but enough. When I pull the bag out of the box I can see them crawling between the oat flakes. This morning I put some in the pan and boiled them… and started the usual process of picking the beetles out as I stirred the porridge. Then I shook some onto a tray and left it open. The beetles came up to look at the light. I’ve left the tray in the middle of a washing up basin of water in the hope they’ll try and walk to pastures new and maybe drown, or perhaps get stuck in the surface tension of the water, on the way. Wishful thinking.

They do sell Weetabix here but I’ve always regarded it as expensive. I might be about to reevaluate this. And the worst thing is that the Jumbo Oats make, despite (or perhaps because of) the beetles, the creamiest lovely porridge I’ve had since I arrived. 😛


  1. Mark Says:

    When I returned there were, indeed, several drowned beetles in the basin. Thus encouraged I took the whole arrangement out into the sun and stood it there, covered with a piece of mosquito net that I tied to the basin with a ribbon. The sun encourages the beetles to go off in search of pastures new or perhaps to reproduce (since they will have had their fill of oats!). The drowning increased and the number of creepie crawlies on the top of the plate of oats decreased. I’m hoping to have less visitors for breakfast tomorrow. :rolleyes:

  2. Drew Says:

    Aaaaww you’ve got some pets. and your teaching them to swim.
    If the bugs are still alive, its a good sign that there are no pesticides.

    LLX – you was missed.
    On your recommendation, (from several months ago) I wore orange, and you were right, it did make me dance better 🙂

    Martin has passed on your mysterious case of aural delights to mithi, I’m baby sitting it this morning

  3. Tyg Says:



    RENA PLAYED "Heartattack and vine"!!!!



    phew ….
    God, you would have been so proud ….

    We love you muchly and are looking forward to pilfering your CD collection and playing some awsum choons to people in the near future …

    ps, we got Jess to play that 5 Jones Boys version of MR Ghost Goes to Town … goooooooooooood response 😉

    BIG HUGE HUGS !!!!!

  4. Mark Says:

    I’ve just come back from the house where I checked up on the state of my debeetleing experiment.

    Result: **Failure** 🙁

    There were about a hundred or so beetles — I should tell you that they are small beetles, tiny ones — not waving but drowning in the water. I lifted the plate of oats out and took inside to sift back into a container for tomorrows breakfast: yum! 😀

    Last time I checked on the aparatus I noticed the water was getting a bit low so I topped it up. To my supprise some of the water ran over the mosquito net, as if it was solid, into the middle of the basin like a planet rolling over the surface of a rubber billiard table to demonstrate Einstein’s perception of Newton’s "law", and dropped into the middle of the plate. :doze:

    So when I tipped the oats back into my makeshift tupperware there was a damp, and somewhat warm (the sun here is HOT!) patch of proto-flapjack (the British kind) in the middle. This little mountain of goodness was alive with movement: the **larvae**. :angry:

    I know this is all psychological, because I ate the whole gumbo for breakfast this morning, but those little maggot-like forms waiving at me (not drowning) from what might otherwise be a delicious breakfast, was too much. I threw the rest of the box into the latrine. 😥

  5. Mark Says:

    And as if it weren’t enough that my breakfast has a life (or several lives) of its own, now my friends are having a fab time at LLX. :rolleyes:

    OK babes, Im happy that its a success and I really really wish I could be with you. I’m glad you have inherited the djBJ CD collection and I hope you enjoy it, but the stuff you sent me scores highly in the "ooh I could dance to **that**" stakes.

    I’ll be thinking of you, Tyg, in pedal pushers and a see-thru top. Smooching (the British kind) with Drew in his Orange pants (Your choice, British or American kind) :blush:

  6. Tyg Says:

    Shall we send you a care package of good ‘ol British (uninfested) porridge oats?????

    As for LLX – as gorgeous as it was last night, a big reason for the great atmosphere was the kind of music that was played – old, new, funky, groovie, swingie … etc etc … You know what, in general on the London lindy scene nowadays, its all old school swing. Which, as much as I like, I get bored and uninspired by after a while. No one plays music like you used to do. And even the DJs that we have that DO play like you used to – Mel, Colin, JPY – don’t really have an outlet to play as we haven’t managed to have much in the way of Urban swingie type stuff of late. There’s something happening every weekend almost, and sundays is Brooks’, so Urban never seems to happen despite us trying to get it going … AND jess has moved to Ireland :'(

    Don’t mean to complain as the scene is still strong, but I personally really miss the fun and playfulness that you brought to the scene with your music and your dancing. Hopefully Drew and I can inject some of that vibe back and keep the best bit of London lindy alive – the sense of FUN!

    Lots of love

    ps, quote from an exchangee from Philly describing the difference between the Philadelphia scene and the London scene, "You guys are so much FUN!" :crazy:

  7. Mark Says:

    Its okay, thanks, there is good porridge in Nairobi, but I’ve just been too cheap to buy the imported stuff. I’m thinking of indulging in a packet of Weetabix – which is availabel in Tala even! — to make up for the balls up of a breakfast I had today.

    I bought some Mala: fermented sour milk, and eggs to make pancakes with. Prepared my batter in what I thought was the normal way and proceeded to the hot pan. But each pancake was like the fist pancake: stickey and burned. I got so depressed about the whole thing that I gave up and left half the batter as the pan was starting to look like a war zone. I had honey and lovely fresh pineapple to have with the cakes, and once I smothered the burned wrecks with sweet stuff it was kinda ok…

    ————-And as for LLX——————
    Its funny, that fun atmosphere you describe is precisely what I miss. Lots of grown-ups prepared to lark about and be silly. And of course the reason I started DJing Swing in the first place was because I thought someone should be playing Oh So Quiet (waltz, lindy, waltz, lindy, silly lindy, fall-over).

    Megan and Katie are being very patient with me and learning very fast when we get a few minutes free to try and dance. Oh and I have to put the pics/movies from the crazy traditional Kamba dance session up on this blog!

  8. Lydia Says:

    Honey, it’s nice to know that you are getting a high protein diet!

  9. Raj Says:

    I had porridge for the first time in ages the other day, and carefully followed the (mis)directions for microwave cooking … which seemed to result in porridge bubbling everywhere in the microwave. (I usually do it on the hob – but this time, time was of essence, so i figured I’d try the "quick" method).

    Eventually after a quick clean before the porridge dried into concrete I settled down to eat … It had gone quite think, and then I could not the beetle larvae picture out of my mind ….. :doze:

    I think it will be a little while before I have porridge again ! :O

  10. Mark Says:

    I take no responsibility for anyone else’s breakfast.
    I used to have trouble with the microwave when I cooked porridge at Denise’s place too.

  11. zorka Says:


    larvae!! make it stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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