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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THREE RANDOM REFLECTIONS ON TIME AND GRATITUDE

Three random reflections on the concepts of time and gratitude … But first, because those in the know advise that nobody reads a blog without photographs, here is a picture of my cat:   Reflections on the lost years I am a recovering alcoholic. It did not happen overnight, but the progression from ‘normal’ consumption…

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OF SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS; AN UPDATE

I thought I’d better post something before WordPress deletes my blog due to inactivity, and to let my friends know that I am alive and well. Sometimes we only see how life balances out when we look back on it. It’s been six months since I lost my brother and – within a fortnight of…

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GOODBYE SHAWN; MY BROTHER, MY FRIEND

Grief is a pervasive thing. It is a relentless companion, sometimes falling into shallow slumber, only to wake when least expected – at mundane times, like when one is making a cup of tea or eating a sandwich. It comes awake ruthlessly, hacking with icy fingers at the chambers of the heart and bringing one…

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THE QUINCE QUESTION AND COOKING LIKE CORDOBA

I was quite surprised – reading some comments on my last post – to learn that the quince is not widely known. I’ve always loved this fruit, with its quality of romantic history. When I was a child the trees were everywhere and the fruit abundant. Nowadays, it seems the tree has become unfashionable and…

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AN ANNIVERSARY AND A REAWAKENING

“I was dreaming of food. Crisp baguettes, the flesh of the bread a virginal white, still steaming from the oven, and ripe cheese, its borders creeping towards the edge of the plate. Grapes and plums, stacked high in bowls, dusky and fragrant, their scent filling the air.” The Girl You Left Behind – Jojo Moyes….

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LE DIVORCE AND A LOOK BACK AT 2010

I’m aware that a new blog post is long overdue, but I’ve had the most dreadful blogger’s block and a lingering bout of self-pity masquerading as depression. To get me back in the saddle, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to revisit a post I did back in early 2010, and see how…

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