A LITTLE STORY ABOUT A GARDENER

In May 2008, South Africa was beset by violent xenophobic attacks on foreign, migrant workers.  62 people died and many lives were affected.  This is a diary entry from my journal during that time.   STOMP-THE-YARD Stomp, our resident Zimbabwean Man-Who-Does, got his name as a result of losing half a leg when he was…

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FEEDING THE PHILISTINES

I never had sex-before-marriage. My husbands will attest to this, although you may be hard-pressed to find them given that Number One came out of the closet (bad bump to my ego – was it the sex?) after an indecently short time and fled to Australia. Number Two (MHSRIP) succumbed to a chronic illness and…

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I SMILED WHEN I WAS COOKING

My friend was driving across the country. Not just to see me, but I couldn’t wait to see her again. In the middle of the morning, she sent a sms: Sod Wordsworth’s daffodils, you should see the fields of sunflowers in the Free State today. And I smiled and began to chop herbs, and sauté…

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CORRUPTING MY CHILD’S INTENTIONS TO BE A BUNNY-HUGGER

We’re a small household, just three of us and my daughter has suddenly decided she doesn’t eat meat anymore. As she puts it, she won’t eat “anything that once had a face”. On Monday her resistance crumbled; I’d stuffed little apples with sage leaves and packed them around a leg of pork. Slow roasted in…

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SLOW, OLD-FASHIONED FOOD

My grandfather may well, now that I look back on things, have been a bit of a tyrant, he once slapped my mother’s hand with a carving knife when she reached for a morsel of the chicken he was carving. I’ve written before of my suspicions that he was, quite possibly, gay. When I think…

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OF LEARNING TO LOVE A KITCHEN

“Tell us about these childhood chores; mucking out the pigs, herding the cattle or polishing the antique silverware. What you liked, and how you tried (and succeeded) to get out of the ones you did not like.” I’m not sure that my mother was deliberately trying to instill in me a love of cooking or…

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WHEN ARCH DIED

Although I had ample time to prepare and knew it was a matter of time, I was wretched with grief. My dearest, darling Uncle Arch (of whom I wrote in my very first blog) had popped off in his sleep; so typical of a man who lived his life with fierce dignity and never made…

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Introducing Arch

15 April 2008 When Quentin Crisp was asked by an audience member: “ Should I tell my mother that I am Gay”?. Mr Crisp replied: “ Never tell your mother anything!: I was genetically predisposed to being the Fag Hag I am. My mother, an incredibly glamorous hairdresser in the 1960’s Bloemfontein, was a Fag…

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