Tuesday, January 31, 2006


hayfever. asthma. excema. ME*. migranes. backache.

(OK - they MIGHT exist.)

*Here one NHS doctor questions the existence of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

Wat se julle?

Monday, January 23, 2006


Australia have got quite a few things right. And not having any 1c and 2c pieces is a STROKE OF GENIUS.

Being that I'm a tad skint this month (too many holidays) I raided the apartment for all lose change that we store in various spots about the place. I bagged it into those handy bank bags and took the change to be changed for REAL money.

I came back with 41 QUID.

Nice work.

Now ban the 1p, 2p and 5p before our pockets all develop ginormous holes, and we find ourselves tripping over them and the plastic shopping bags in the street.

Geld geld geld. Dis nie snaaks nie, in n rich man se wereld.

I think now that I am thirty I might be losing my mind.

I had a quiet weekend. Spring is almost (a girl can dream) in the air and I fancied a spring clean. I didn't get very far.
Bree Van De Kamp I am not.

But I did set the bags free. Plastic Bags. The kind they hand out in supermarkets. HUNDREDS of them. Shoved into the small space between the fridge and the work surfaces.

It was one of those jobs you just WISH you hadn't started.

And while I fished the bags out one by one, burying myself under them (WARNING: grown up women can suffocate when buried under this bag) they began to make me feel....


1. Guilty for spending so much money on groceries and clothes. (How many ££ did each bag represent?)
2. Guilty because each bag will take TWENTY YEARS to biodegrade*.
3. Guilty because the production of these ink-covered bags can't be doing the environment any good*.

*Now I'm not an environmentalist. I recycle, use energy efficient lightbulbs where I can (note to self: must try harder) and I try not to waste (too much) water. But if we'd managed to collect soooo many bags in such a short space of time, what does everyone else do with them?

I think there should be a national "re-cycle the shopping bag campaign" before we're tripping up on them in the streets. Or better still, we should get a penny back for every bag returned to the store for recycling. I gave mine to a local organic shop that is happy to reuse them for their customers - but even they were drowning in the beasts.

And don't get me started on the national obsession (is it law here?) to pick up your dogs poo and put it in a plastic bag?! In the summer I was cycling along the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal and saw a plastic bag tossed into a tree. It's contents - doggy poo. DUR. Wouldn't it have been better to leave said poo where it was? It'll disappear in a few weeks!!!

I said I was losing it.

Bluksemde Sakkies.

When faced with the "Ethnic" choice on forms with the option of White British or White Irish (I saw someone selecting both on the flight into New York recently - which is a fair point) I am often tempted to create a "White Other" option. (Why do questions like "Ethnicity" still appear on any form? Surely true diversity would remove the need for the question?)

Which begs (OK raises) the question - am I a European African, or an African European or a European who was born and raised in Africa?

Answers on the back of the "FW De Klerk for president" postcard, please.

Mooi Tannie.

Friday, January 20, 2006


"What are the five most common reasons people leave South Africa and what is the single most common thing they would want to have happen in South Africa before they went back?"

Being an ex-pat anywhere is a strange sensation. But being an ex-pat from a country where my folks were ex-pats makes me a non ex-pat... anywhere.

Doesn't it?

People assume I'm English and sometimes they think I'm Australian or a Kiwi, and I get asked about my "twang" less these days. But I was raised in a very different world.

I grew up under the African sky and the African sun, and my bare feet used to run through hot African soil. I used to climb trees that were shared by the tree snakes, the green mambas and the monkeys. The sounds and smells were different. The approach to life and to one another was different. More up front. Everyone knew the social rules. (Forget for a moment that a lot of them were dicatated.)

Here there is secrecy and mock humility and a deep ingrained social injustice and intolerance. But you look to other countrys to "save". Where are your placards and slogans for YOUR country?

Why did I start this rant?

I guess I get "homesick" sometimes.

I want my Leon Place.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


How hard can it be to:

1. Find a direct flight under £300?
2. Find an indirect flight for under £600


3. Find a cheap indirect flight that doesn't involve days in between stretches.

Hierdie bus nie vertrek nie.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Happy New Year all.

Well - the trip to the Big Apple was amazing. What a city! I'm glad to be back in the relative calm that is Bristol/Bath, though.

5 weeks to go until the next holiday.


P.S. Who switched off all the lights? This darkness is killing me. Come back Summer, all is forgiven!