A birthday timeline

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This is the timeline I drew up for my guests at my fortieth birthday party last night.

August 31, 1974: born just before midnight

1978: attend nursery school up the road, draw a recognizable pig and gets teachers excited, cut head open by falling over backwards

1979: attend Bryanston United Nursery School, start piano lessons with my aunt Jane.

1980: fall off a horse.

1981: start Grade 1 at Bryanston Primary.

1982: spend time at the Sandton Clinic with severe asthma, cut head open on a blackboard.

1983: Mrs Hooton becomes the first teacher I love, who awakens my desire to tell stories. Become obsessed with horse racing.

1984: I become friends with Claire Houghton

1985: the great Andrea Huggett battles for academic supremacy begin when I am in Mrs Oettle’s class

1987: Std 5 tour to the Natal Battlefields, intense loneliness

1988: start high school at Redhill, become friends with Penny Dickson, Claire Ashford and Nathalie Williams. Penny tells Colin Barnes he looks like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Appear in a cameo role in my first school play.

1991: start dating Noel Davies, get a perm and wear an expensive dress to the Matric dance. Write about the Matric dance for Style Magazine later that year. Fail Grade 8 piano for the first time.

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1992: lose a lot of weight, gain a lot of weight, travel to London for Youth Science Fair, fail Grade 8 piano again, have temporary nervous breakdown.

1993: start my degree at Wits Drama School, meet Malcolm Lennox, join what would become Salsa. Wear a lot of black and start taking antidepressants.

1994: the fat year

1995: I start Agitate with Rowan Brewer

1996: massive row with supervisors, fall off another horse.

1997: Masters by coursework. Date Hani Niayesh in moment of madness.

1998: Dated David Ho Wing who would pretend he didn’t know me if people saw us together in public. Started PhD.

1999: dated Kendall Whalley who taught me how to read tarot cards in return for helping to pay off his BMW. Met Andre in October while attempting to stalk the psychic.

2000: moved in with Andre, started working in PR and then advertising, published first book.

2001: got married on March 17.

2002: started painting with lipstick.

2005: finally awarded PhD after 7 years of dedicated procrastination.

2008: mother in law Kaye died very suddenly, emigrated to Australia to work at M&C Saatchi Sydney, started blogging for Thought Leader, lived alone, made redundant.

2009: cried a lot, returned to South Africa, got divorced. Fun times.

2010: Got told to resign or take a pay cut. Spent a lot of time the toilets at work crying. Took lots of anti-anxiety meds. Had dinner at Kanthan’s with my then boyfriend. Had a fling with a man 15 years my junior. (My mother didn’t approve.)

2011: drove a Freelander for free for a year, had a fling with a client, ended up sobbing to Coldplay at the robots at Republic Road and William Nicol. (I consider this my low point.) To took delivery of the free Range Rover Evoque I drove for a year as a social media brand ambassador, decided that cars were more reliable than men.

2012: quit job to freelance, first solo art exhibition.

2013: started SOAP with Carolyn White and Brian Ferns, had fling with Ben10. Spoke at TEDxJohannesburg, twerked with sad drunk middle aged IT salesmen. Spent birthday alone, decided to have a proper bash when I turned 40.

2014: started dating Kanthan, got engaged, exhibited in Shanghai and Johannesburg, shut down SOAP to form Labstore with Y&R, got married, won a big pitch, went to London, discovered what it’s like to have everything turn out ok. #SoMuchAmaze

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