Category: Johannesburg

I’m engaged

I’ve been kind of antisocial this weekend. Sitting alone on my new couch, reading, writing a little, not doing much of anything.

But- when I did venture out – I had the most beautiful and meaningful engagements.

At the supermarket, two old men stood behind me. They were talking about their homeland, Senegal.   About how much they miss their village, communal cooking fires, the brothers they have not seen for over ten years and the grandchildren they will never meet.

As they spoke I could see their families. I could feel the heat, taste the dust and hear the drumbeat.

And I could feel their overwhelming sadness of displacement, of being so far from home and of knowing that they will never go back.

I apologised for eavesdropping and chatted to them for a while. Two gentle old men with extraordinary stories.

I came home to my couch. A few tears in my eyes.

And then I heard the ‘shouting man’. The neighborhood pest. He used to wander around at the same time, every day and every night, yelling in an unintelligible language.

I’ve often wanted to kill him.

But then he disappeared.   And as noisy and mad as he was, I really missed his presence. His regular 8 pm appearance was somehow reassuring.

I worried that something horrible may have happened to him.

Yesterday he came back. 8 pm. Yelling louder than ever.

I went outside to tell him to keep it down, but also to ask where he’d been.

‘A place where they tried to clean me,’ he replied. I think he meant a shelter.

I’m glad he’s back on the streets. It’s where he’s happiest.

I’ve decided to get out more.

Not to bars or coffee shops. But out.

To walk streets that I haven’t walked on before.

To meet people that I wouldn’t normally meet.

Because the world opens up wide when you engage with new people.

And I definitely want engagement.

Violet inappropriately reviews her own play

I was told that writers never watch their own plays. They’re supposed to sit at the bar and drink during the show, but there was no way I could do that. As the lights went down I picked up my gin and snuck into the back row.

And had a really good time!

What I loved about the play, apart from the fabulous actress and ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, was the audience.

They started off a little quietly, unsure whether to laugh or not, and then once Violet had said her first ‘cunt’, they started giggling. Then laughing, then roaring and the man in front of me actually choked.

He was old, it may have been a heart attack and maybe it ended in death, but at least he went smiling.

The audience had fun. You could see women elbowing men, as if to say, ‘this could be us.’  And women elbowing each other because they identified with the stories or recognised the men that Violet talks about.

People connected.

As soon as the show ended I ran to the bathroom. A woman ran in behind me. While I was fixing my lipstick she opened her phone, downloaded a dating app and said – ‘Thanks, Violet, I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier.’

Yay for her!

And afterwards, everyone shared their stories. Not only women but men too. Violet seemed to have given a platform for older people to talk honestly about dating, love and sex.

It’s a little bit like Fifty Shades of Grey. It was a terrible book (I read all three, obviously) but it made erotica, sex and BDSM permissible. It made it, in South Africa anyway, okay to read and talk about these things, publicly.

The highlight for me was the man at the end of the show who I met at the bar.

‘Good evening’, he said, while signalling the barman. ‘What’s your name?’

‘Violet’, I replied, completely poker-faced.

‘That’s a lovely name’, he said. ‘ Barman, give me a drink. I hate the fucking theatre.’

Lynita Crofford plays Violet.

Directed by Megan Furniss.  Auto and General Theatre on the Square, Sandton.  011 – 883 8606.  On till 7 Nov.


Violet Online, the play, opens in Johannesburg tomorrow night. It’s very bloody exciting but oh my gosh, nerve wracking too!

I’m suddenly thinking that it’s time to get off the couch and have my hair cut, my legs waxed and buy something gorgeous and sexy to wear to the opening.

Except, and I think it’s nerves, I’ve found it really hard to do anything vaguely functional. My day has been filled with friends and phone calls and every time I try do something, I get distracted.

Instead of buying a dress or shoes I have:-

Had three bubble baths.

Bought lipgloss.

And two pairs of earrings.

Eaten a ton of ice cream.

And binged on salted caramel.

Had five cups of coffee.

Played with my dogs.

Napped in a sunbeam.

Planted an entire vegetable garden.

And thought of a new idea for a blog.

The one thing I did manage was a visit to my favorite store – The Bedroom – where I bought a very sexy pair of black silk stockings and suspenders. I know it’s not very smart to have the stockings without the dress.

But there is not much I can do about it now.

Instead, I’m going to go to yoga where I will relax, meditate, breathe slowly and think about tomorrow night.

And know that while I am in the audience, there will be a man there too, sitting separately from me, alone, and very sexy.

And only he and I (and maybe you) will know that I am wearing the stockings!

Violet Online stars the beautiful Lynita Crofford and is directed by talented Megan Furniss. It’s at The Auto and General Theatre on the Square, Sandton, 28 Oct – 07 Nov.  (See here for this morning’s interview)

Violet Online – the play.

Violet Online is opening.

Not her legs!

The play….

It’s going to be on at The Auto and General Theatre on The Square in Sandton, Johannesburg in just two weeks time.

Previews 27 October and opens 28 October and we are excited, nervous, trying not to take tranquilisers and definitely not panicking.

Starring the very talented and beautiful Lynita Crofford.  Directed by the fierce and fabulous Megan Furniss.

And written by me – Violet Online.

Bring your husband, your boyfriend, your lover, your lovers, all your girlfriends, your mom and your granny.

Leave the kids at home.

And if you’re not in Jozi- well – get on a flight, dammit.

Book at the theatre 011- 883 8606.

It’s a lot of sexy somewhat hilarious fun.

How to survive a heatwave.

Put ice down your cleavage

And wet your t-shirt.

Take a late night skinny dip

And an early morning one.

Listen to Joni Mitchell

Under a Jacaranda tree.

Stop the car

Find a rockpool

And dive in headfirst.

Wear a cool dress

A huge sunhat

And remove your underwear.

Make direct eye contact

With the ice-cream seller

He’ll give you one for free.

Walk straight into a bar

Order pink champagne

Drink it slowly

With extra ice

And remember:

You don’t need any excuses to go naked

This weather has you covered.