Monthly Archives: September 2014

My Heritage

A great-grandmother in the Boer War concentration camps.

Cornish, Scottish, English, French and Dutch ancestry.

Awkward politeness and difficulty with hugs growing up.

Not wearing earrings.

Playing the piano.

Genteel racism.



White guilt.

Fart jokes.

Being pale and blonde.

A posh private school accent.

Excessive niceness and fear of conflict.

A horror of cigarettes and any form of smoking.

Asthma, a high IQ and bad skin.

Lots and lots of books.

Classical music.

The Anglican church.

Cassocks and surplices and Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer.

Christian National Education.

Voting PFP, then DP, then DA.

KOO tinned spaghetti. Lived on it.

Pronutro, boiled eggs and Marmite soldiers.

Nursery rhymes and Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

White swimming pool fences and the smell of chlorine.

Saying “I’m going into Soweto” or “into Alex”.

Being very conscious of prices in the supermarket, and always looking for the cheapest.

An obsession with not wasting anything, including the last of the toothpaste in the tube.


Not knowing how to blowdry my hair.

Top Gun, Airwolf and an obsession with military aircraft.

Going to university.

Turtle doves and dry winter grass.

Gun shots and hijackings.

Loving cats and horses.

The bush.




Lucid Dreams and Bad Memories

Music is a portal to memories. Tonight on the way back from the airport, I listened, again, to Lucid Dreams, track 10 on the Franz Ferdinand album Tonight. It’s a long track, over 7 minutes, which resolves into a long jangling riff described on Wikipedia as “a huge jam (revolving around an arpeggiated synth line created on a Minimoog Voyager)”.

Lucid Dreams is October 2009. It’s the silver Polo I hired after my husband and I agreed to get divorced. It’s drives to Rooihuiskraal to meet the hot retired shrink who left the NHS at the age of 34 to teach step aerobics and write a novel inspired by Ayn Rand. It’s suicide threats and threats of lawsuits from my ex. It’s the metallic taste of despair. It’s the beginning of the long dark trek through hell: first one year, followed by another, and another.

I have so much to be happy about now. So much has changed, but beneath it all lurks the sadness I can’t ever escape. I once wrote that I thought that the sadness had gone to the marrow, that I was no longer capable of feeling anything else.

Those memories are fresh still. They will never not be there. I could so easily end up there again, and I am terrified because I can’t bear the thought of going through it all again.

I just can’t.

My favourite #SoMuchAmaze photos

I’m finally getting around to uploading the photos from my birthday party and impromptu wedding reception #SoMuchAmaze and here are some of them.

Doge photobombs @shortypam and my favourite Scientologist, Puneet Dhamija, who I met years ago and persuaded me to visit L Ron Hubbard house in Johannesburg.

IMG_2498Say cheeese

IMG_2495Here’s me in a wedding photo from 2001 photobombing my mom and my friend Juan, who started off baking me a cake and ended up organising almost everything in under 10 days.

IMG_2332My mother-in-law with #BestBeloved





My favourite wedding photos

Because we eloped, our photographer cost more than the rest of the wedding put together, and it was worth it. These are some of my favourite wedding photos, posted so I can link to other blog posts.

Here we are with our witnesses Danie and Marietjie (who we found via Twitter) and our celebrant George and his girlfriend Brenda (Danie put us onto George). It rained for much of the morning – almost unheard of in Clarens in August – but as the Italians say: sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata.

Wedding group photo

I wore the opposite of white. Both the dress and the coat were bought on sale at YDE. The flowers cost R35 a bunch from Pick n Pay.Wedding the look with smile

Naturally, the first thing after I did the deed was post the news to Twitter, which has been following my story for five years.Glen-Green-Weddings190

Posing with the B&B owner’s Austin roadster.Glen-Green-Weddings234

We saw zebras on our first date on February 13, so naturally we had to pose with these cushions.


Paying George with a bottle of Bartinney Cabernet Sauvignon.Glen-Green-Weddings206

Kicking the ball for Holly the border collie. I love the fact that she ended up being part of the wedding.Glen-Green-Weddings086