Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nominated for best author blog 2010

Today's blog, Lions, Leopards, and Potholes-- Oh My! has been posted in a separate posting which you can find in the list to the left of this extra blog. But I have a special request. I have you been nominated, or rather, this blog has been nominated for an author's blog award. But to win I need lots more nominations, so I need your help.

The blogs with the most nominations will reach the shortlists (to be announced on 5th April) and the overall winners will be selected from these by popular vote. With nominations open until the 2nd April, there's still time to give this blog the best chance of making it onto the shortlist...

And that's where you come in. If you've enjoyed this blog, then please go to this link below

http://bit.ly/90EVk1

If this does not show is a hotlink, then you may have to copy and paste it to go to it.

there you can add your nomination. That means you need to include the link to my blog and that link is here below:

http://suzannearruda.blogspot.com/

Thank you very much, and I appreciate everyone's help.

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1921 – “LIONS AND LEOPARDS AND POTHOLES - OH MY!”

Note: this blog is being typed using a voice recognition program while my right wrist rests snugly in a cast.

With all the new motorcars, taxis, motorcycles, and rickshaws, the Nairobi streets were in bad condition. It was up to the Public Works Department to put them right again.

The streets fell into three categories: metalled roads, murrum roads, sanitary lanes and roads not yet built. Metalled roads were built of crushed stone, and had a coating of bitumen or tar. Murrum roads were essentially packed earth and prone to ruts after every heavy rainy season. Sanitary lanes were the alleys behind the buildings.

Among the metalled roads to be repaired were Victoria St., Harding Street, Race Course Road, 10th Ave., and parts of Government Road. Heaven forbid that one couldn't drive to the racecourse. Roads in Parklands were made of pounded earth and in desperate need of repair. Among the roads to be made was a road from city square to River Road and a new section for Crooked Lane. With a name like that one can only guess at its problems. This sanitary lane behind The Leader office was in horrid condition and described as “an insanitary danger to the town.”

Also on the list was a request to alter the road at the Limuru Bridge to “eliminate the dangerous curve.” Limuru Bridge was a notorious deathtrap in the best of situations.

But the Public Works Department did not have the best reputation and one wonders just how many of these repairs were made.

Next week: More Nairobi news
Quotes and headline taken from The Leader of British East Africa, March 26, 1921

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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Monday, March 22, 2010

BLARGH

No blog this week ... fractured wrist is in the way.

Monday, March 15, 2010

1921 – “ART COMES TO AFRICA”

A person in Jade del Cameron’s time equated Kenya with horse racing, automobile racing, safaris, and a hot equatorial sun. One didn’t immediately think of an art colony. But by May 1921, Nairobi was thinking of art.

First, the following ad was placed in The Leader of British East Africa.

Then The East African Standard ran a story on May 14, 1921 about the colony’s “New Artist.” Mr. W. Hunter arrived and very quickly took “his place among the best portrayers of local natural beauties.” He painted the Ruiru falls, Thika falls, and the Ripon falls as well as Mount Kenya.

The article goes on to say that “The artist who can make our sunsets live on canvas has not yet come this way,” but “Mr. Hunter has made of them a very close approximation . . .” But Mr. Hunter didn’t stop at painting landscapes. He painted scenarios, included “a wounded hunter being attended by his wife over a fallen leopard” and “natives at work and play.”

In case someone else decided to take up the calling of artist, an ad for an art studio appeared in the May 16, 1921 issue of The Standard.

Next week: More Nairobi news
Quotes taken from The East African Standard, May 14, 1921 – weekly edition.
Brush ad taken from The Leader of British East Africa. May 7, 1921 and the art studio ad from The East African Standard, May 16, 1921

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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Monday, March 08, 2010

1921 – “WATER”

As we’ve seen in the last two entries, 1921 had a dry “rainy season” which resulted in zebra stampedes and difficulty putting out fires. It also had consequences for Nairobi’s drinking water.

The Nairobi water supply came from the Kikuyu Reservoir and treating the water involved pulling a raft across the water and dumping chlorine into it from a barrel. With the drought, the water levels on the reservoir dropped enough to make even that method of sanitizing the water a bit iffy.

The recommendation? Boil the water. Notices appeared in the newspapers advising that plan, not a problem for tea drinkers.

And, if boiling was not enough to do the trick, there was always another ad nearby for purchasing bottled water.


Next week: More Nairobi news
Clips taken from The Leader of British East Africa. March-May, 1921

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

1921, Africa, Nairobi, drought, water, water purification, reservoir, The Leader of British East Africa, Kenya, Jade del Cameron

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Monday, March 01, 2010

1921 – “FIRE”

May 1921 marked the end of a dry “rainy season” (see last week’s article on the zebra stampede). So much dryness also resulted in several fires in Nairobi. And each fire presented its own challenges.
A large tank of “sulphuric acid” in back of the former post office blew up during one fire sending sparks and debris flying. Luckily, no one was injured. Another fire near the stockyards and a “petrol godown” (a warehouse) had to be stopped before reaching the fuel. With no hydrants to be found, Firemaster Edwards ordered the fire to be put out with the stock tanks of cattle and sheep dip.

In yet another fire on Government Road at the E. African Cycle Mart, African Askaris were ordered to use their fezzes as buckets to pass along water found in watering tanks or in swampy ditches.

So where are the hydrants? A reporter suggested that they are hidden in tall grass, unmarked and un-inspected. Yet Firemaster Edwards was “observed giving his new uniform an airing” one day, and the “epaulettes on his shoulders resembled a fresh currency crisis as they scintillated and shone in the sunlight.” Hmmm, sounds a might sarcastic to me.

But never fear. For those not yet insured, The Red Book (the East African Handbook and Directory) has an advertisement to purchase fire insurance from The Northern Assurance Co. Ltd, on Government Road, Nairobi. They boasted assets to exceed 15,000,000 pounds.

Next week: More Nairobi news
Clips and quotes taken from The Leader of British East Africa. May 07 and 14, 1921

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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