Tuesday, June 16, 2009

5 Questions from VEG (and one of my favourite memories)

This is doing the rounds and I wanted to play so VEG gave me 5 questions. Here be the answers.

1. What is a meme?
(Apparently this is a 'cheat question', I told VEG I was about to tag her in one and just realised that could sound a little intimidating if you didn't know what I was talking about, and actually it's a really good question.)

A meme is actually pronounced to rhyme with 'theme', but I totally thought it was pronounced 'me me' the first time I saw it written, which would make perfect sense considering what it is. It's a Richard Dawkins concept dumbed down a little to suit the blogosphere, originally a 'unit of cultural transmission', in bloggie speak it's a list of questions we answer and ask each other. A way of getting to know each other via the internets. Which is, come to think of it,exactly what this is, really.

2. If you could only read books by one author for the rest of your life, who would it be?
David Mitchell.
Tough one to answer though ... but of all my favourite authors, and there are many, his books are the most diverse, so I think they'd keep me interested for the longest.

3. What profession would you NOT want to attempt?
Teacher. Specifically High School. I definitely don't have the patience for that. And the pay is crap. And you often have to do sport duty. Shudder.

4. What is your least favourite chore?
Cleaning bathrooms. Hate it.  Hate.

5. What is your favourite place that you have visited?
A bay we found while travelling through Transkei (the Wild Coast of SA) in 2006. It was getting late, we'd lost our way and were just looking for a place to camp for the night. We found heaven.
I've dug out something I wrote then about the experience:
'A grassy hill, covered in giant gnarled milkwood trees, overlooking a pristine beach and bay of astounding beauty.
We had to stay.

Pitched camp and went down to the rocks at sunset, the boys dived for crayfish (lobster) as the nearly full moon rose over the achingly clear water.
A moment's excitement when we thought a shark was diving in the bay but it turned out to be an ecstatic whale, slapping it's tail on the water over and over, seemingly just from the joy of being alive in such a beautiful place - we felt the same.
Later that night three of us went down the steep path through the striped moonshadows of the trees to the beach. Not one footprint marred the sand, spring low-tide sucking the small rhythmic waves far down the beach, stars circling above.
We started walking round the bay, spreading out from each other. I felt electric, zinging with life and happiness.
Then we noticed a solitary figure walking towards us, and I could feel the vibe shift. A tangible wariness, our 'normal' apprehension and nervousness of a stranger in the dark rushed in.
But as we approached the person, I noticed from his body language that he was wary fo us too. And realised that of course, we were 3, he was 1, if anyone had reason to be nervous it was surely him. And instantly I felt awful for having made someone fear us.
Our friend called out a greeting, and to our amazement the lone strandloper turned out to be a girl, no older than twenty, out crayfishing in the low tide, wandering from point to point with her limpet loop.
She had a beautiful smile, her teeth lighting up in the moonlight, all four of us laughing uproariously from relief, and joy in the freedom that nothing was bad on the beach that night. That all of us were there for the beauty and bounty of this exquisite piece of Africa.
We parted ways with more emotion than our different languages could express, and later her laughter rippled across the bay as we streaked into the ocean, our white bums gleaming, for a midnight swim in paradise.'

Thanks VEG, for causing me to revisit this memory. It's one of my favourite favourites.


clairedulalune said...

Oh what a wonderful memory, im sure cleaning the bathroom was the last thing on your mind!

Seaside Girl said...

thank goodness I now know what a meme is. And I loved the piece of writing that you dug out.

julochka said...

i love that memory...that was one of those moments of perfect clarity..that electric feeling, that's the one. mmm. love it.

and i'm grateful for the meme explanation as well. i have pronounced it rhyming with theme, but also thought it was me me, pick me. :-)

Sirli said...

Could I have my 5 too, please? :) I'm probably gonna answer them in Estonian, though, but I may as well do it in English. If I ever thought that anyone would be interested.

Unknown said...

What a great memory! I really identify with not wanting to be a teacher, having to deal with teenagers would be terrifying!

spudballoo said...

Oh your memory description is wonderful, made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Gorgeous photos too, how special.

meme foxed me too, as you know ;-) but now I know! Ah, that's my education for the day done...

Sobrina Tung said...

Here I was saying it meme to rhyme with them! Thank you for cluing me in. Also your feed the goldfish app is wildy addicting and I love it.

Heather said...

that was just....gorgeous. thank you for sharing.