Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Colour me Katie did it first. And did it very nicely at that.

But the Balloon Dog is becoming a bit of an annual tradition for us too. Last year's puppy hung around for weeks, slowly deflating in weird and irregular ways until one day Frieda came to me with a small piece of shrunken brown plastic and declared it Time to Throw Balloon Dog Away.
An important milestone for a then 3 year old I thought.

Our new friend is however in his first flush of youth. Filled with exuberance and adventurous spirit he had his first walk around the neighbourhood this afternoon, checking out the sights and sounds of Observatory.
And the smells, oh boy the smells!
Much better than bobbing around the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) stand at the Baba Indaba, that's for sure.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I was sorting through some old video footage and suddenly there he was. Crossing a beach towards me, carrying a bottle of champagne, saying something silly, lit by the most gorgeous end of perfect day light.
And it made me cry.

We haven't seen him for 3 years, but he used to be a very special friend. He's not dead, he's not even very far away, he's just gone, and there's nothing we can do about that.
It's not that I even want to see him, he's caused so much pain and been such a silly, stupid stupid person that the friendship, the fondness, the intimacy we had no longer exists.
To see him now would just be upsetting, ethereal and pointless. Like a ghost.

In so many ways it would be much easier if he was. If he'd died we could've mourned him. We could remember him, the times we had, without the hurt and the anger. If there was a grave or a memorial place we could visit it and laugh through our tears. We could share memories with the others who knew him, some of whom carry a much greater hurt, we could reclaim, untainted, that part of our lives we shared with him.

As I looked at that body that, for never having known (in the Biblical sense,) I knew so well, as I looked at those hands which played music, made beautiful things, remembered the texture of that crazy hair, heard the voice with which I'd talked and laughed so much, for the first time in 3 years I no longer felt just anger.
I just felt sad.

Ghosts walk among us. I felt the presence of one today, and after all this time I still can't help wondering if he ever feels mine.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

to be perfectly honest

Sometimes when things feel particularly bleak in this bizarrely beautiful and contradictory country of ours, one finds oneself dreaming longingly of a 'safe' existence.
You know, a life of low (if any) fences, unbarred windows, walks after dark, disease control, weapons restrictions, order, compliance, efficacy, accountability, normalcy. A life in say, England, or Norway, or Canada ...

Am I allowed to say that when the shit hits the fan as it has in London there's an element of relief in it for me?
Am I allowed to use the word relief in it's broadest sense and with no intended implication of schadenfreude or unkindness?
I hate what's happening in London, I'm battling to understand it and vacillating between horror at the unruliness of what seems, to my 3rd-world trained eye, to be a bunch of already well-dressed, well-fed kids breaking into high street stores to steal sneakers - as someone mentioned on face book nary a placard or political slogan to be seen - and sadness at a generation which seems to be so ... angry? voiceless? bored?
I'm concerned for my friends, concerned for the implications these events will have on their lives.
I'm disillusioned, worried, appalled.

But the lesson that people are people are assholes are victims are oppressors are dissatisfied are trying are failing are learning e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, is a valuable one that I need to re-learn often.

Today is Women's Day here. We celebrate women who've gone before and done the work to give us the rights we have today. We think about women's role in our society and try to honour that.

We walk on the mountain, and watch our little women survey their kingdom. We go home and eat cake.

We're not uncaring, but for today the shit splatters in another part of the world, and we're completely happy to call Africa home.
Tomorrow may be different. I very much hope it is for the UK, I'll be quite happy if it's not for me.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Just busy with stuff I can't blog about right now but I know saying that here is the blogosphere equivalent of throwing up on my shoes and claiming I can't drink 'cos I'm on antibiotics and candidly looking at maternity wear catalogues and suddenly wearing sensible bra's and all those other signifiers we're so quick to spot and get all over excited about so NO, I'M NOT PREGNANT.

Just busy, and taking a blog break.