WHILST WASHING I WISHED…NO, WAIT!

There are times, as a diligent and lifelong diarist, that you find yourself in periods where your landscape feels overwhelming. When your surrounding atmosphere and energy forces collide to make the most spectacularly gentle geography explode in front of your eyes and makes your fingers pause above the page or keyboard  – even while writing…

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BEHIND THE PRETTY

deargodinheavensweetviginmotherofchrist There’s another fight, this time in the pig camp; it is the end of times, the sound of the screams are the elevator music to Hades. Five dogs have broken through from their camp into the pig camp and four have set upon one of the pigs. They’re climbing onto it, biting at its…

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SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS

Today I don’t own a single one of those electric kitchen appliances, but the baskets I’ve collected all my life – themselves a kaleidoscope of teenage and adult seaside holiday recollections, flea markets around the world, the pity-purchase from the lady on the pavement in Parkview – serve as both packing crates and table-tops, and I have learned well from studying the habits of migrant-worker women in rural areas; I know the voluminous potential of the Big Pep Stores Nylon Bag that travels by taxi from city to village at the end of each year for the long-awaited home visit.

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CONSTRUCTIVE RUBBISH

Two months on the farm and a significant change is afoot; I’m moving again, in a twist that’s left me shaken but filled with renewed resolve and positive and excited. It’s been a tremendous learning curve for me on several fronts, not least of which is a certain level of pride at my resilience in…

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PRETTY RUBBISH

This is the result of an experiment I did in December 2016. The volume of two large black refuse bags can be reduced to this if you recycle, keep a small bucket at your kitchen door for compostable waste and never put any wet shit (cooked food, leaking tins etc) into your garbage. I did…

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DIVE

“dive for dreams” – E.E. Cummings dive for dreams or a slogan may topple you (trees are their roots and wind is wind)   trust your heart if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward)   honour the past but welcome the future (and dance your death away at…

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WALKIN ALL HOURS AND BOOK PIGS

15 October 2017, Old House, Grahamstown I had good intentions to pack a few boxes of my stuff to start moving to storage – to make space for the next room due for the onslaught of the Denvet Gang in the ongoing restoration project of Old House – and then the radio played Patsy Cline…

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SURFING THE WHALE

  I still get nightmares. In fact, I get them so often I should be used to them by now. I’m not. No one ever really gets used to nightmares. Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves — SURFING THE WHALE Road, Eternal road Yellow line constant bend Black; here; is it wall or Fall I’m…

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SHIT GETS REAL

I became an optimist because I knew that telling people the truth in response to ‘howzitt going, Doll? ‘ is generally going to be a bore. I mean, you can hardly just pop out with ‘oh, just keeping up appearances, but I am constantly thinking of a way to die which would least inconvenience people…

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PENHALIGON IN THE DUST

Take route/root or die was the edict to the unsuspecting women of my ancestry, the first Frontier settlers. Anyone who has paid any attention whatsoever to anything I have written or said in the past two years will know that I have been researching the domestic history of South Africa from the past 200 years,…

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DOING THE ANNIVERSARY WATOOSI

I didn’t so much cruise into Grahamstown exactly a year ago, as limp in on a wing and a prayer. After a twenty six hour road trip from Johannesburg – twelve of them unaccounted for, too traumatised and fatigued to register the familiarity of the circle at College, the sweep of Somerset Road down to…

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NO PICTURES, BUT A NEW VISTA COMING SOON

I’ve read many, many novels and seen countless films wherein the living space of a character, occurring in the dingiest neighbourhood, is portrayed very romantically. Loft conversions reached from street level via roll-up on-street steel doors, industrial spaces converted to sumptuous apartments are revealed after an arduous trek up a steep staircase, handsome men brush…

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