Category: south africa

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.

Guns n’ cupcakes

So there I was all cosy in my coffee shop writing about sex, dipping in and out of facebook, flirting a little with the guy sitting opposite me when suddenly – a bit of a commotion.

I was distracted.  What kind of idiots make a noise in a coffee shop?

Armed ones, apparently.

Two men, caps pulled low, dark glasses, and guns in their hands. Smoothly, seamlessly, holding up the patrons and helping themselves to their laptops and cellphones.

What do you do when you’re in the middle of an armed robbery? Yell? Scream? Risk being shot?

Take another sip of coffee in case it’s your last?

It was so quick. They were gone within seconds, cool as cucumbers, leaving in the escape car that was outside waiting for them.

Only afterwards did panic break out. We were tearful and shaky, everyone was in shock.

I just sat there, clutching my laptop to my chest. How lucky I had been that they never made it to my table.

But what does lucky mean? In South Africa, we have this really weird thing of saying ‘ 0h my god I was robbed, thank goodness no-one was hurt.’

And then we just carry on.

But it’s crazy. It’s insane. It’s a mad way to live.

And it happens all too often.

We gulped down our cold coffees but left our eggs, sad and rubbery, lying on the tables. Slowly, we scattered, unsure how to feel and what to do.

I got home. I finished writing my story. I called a friend to tell him what had happened.

He recommended a scotch or six, a red velvet cupcake and a pedicure. Plus a blog piece about the incident.

So that is what I did. I ate two cupcakes, had a manicure as well as a pedicure and now I am writing.

Also wondering what happened to the guy I was flirting with.  And feeling better already.

I shall have to go back to the coffee shop to find out.

To march or not to march

Tomorrow is the day that South Africans will be marching. In Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban, we’re going to come out in our thousands, hopefully even millions, to march against corruption.

I love political marches and the camaraderie that comes with them.  The singing, the toyi-toying and the feeling of being united.  It’s an old hippie activist thing.

So I’m painting my banner and digging out my shorts, walking shoes and megaphone.

The problem is, we’re in the middle of a heatwave. It’s hot. Really hot.

BB suggested I skip the march and hang out with him by the pool. And the thought of diving in headfirst, swimming, sipping cocktails and having pool sex is really tempting.

Argh. How to make a decision?

If I march, I will get sunburned, hot, tired and irritable but I will feel really good.

If I swim, I will still get sunburned and hot but I will at least have sex.

I’m remembering the last time I had pool sex.

Which actually, was completely overrated. I hate holding my breath underwater, I lose sensation, I know one of us is going to drown – probably me – and god, it all just feels rubbery.

There is nothing good about pool sex.

But there is something really good about marches.

And I don’t think BB needs me nearly as much as my country.

So that’s it. I may march in a bikini and use the water to pour over my head.  But I’m going to join the millions of South Africans and march for a better future.

And feel really good that way.

Viva South Africa, Viva.

Mood swings

I mostly love the moon. I love sitting outside staring and soaking in its beauty. I love the softness of the new moon, I love the perfect crescents and I love the moonlight that shines through my bedroom window.

I have this fantasy where I’m walking with a gorgeous man in Paris, under the light of a full moon. I’m wearing a little black dress, he has his hand on the small of my back, and it’s a perfectly sexy and delicious evening.

Except it’s never going to happen.

Because the full moon makes me moody.

Each month, as it nears full moon, I go a little mad. Mood swings, my ex-husband would call it. Craziness, my children do call it. A mystery is what I call it.

I cry more and I feel unbalanced. The moon affects me. I don’t know why, but it does.

So last night while my hippie friends were all having spiritual epiphanies about the blood moon, I sat quietly, seeing the beauty but feeling unsettled.

And as I drove home, with a few tears falling out of nowhere, I stopped at a traffic light. There was a homeless kid on the corner, barefoot, wrapped in blankets, begging.

I had nothing to give him, but I looked him straight in the eye and gave him a smile. I made direct eye contact. Not something one does with street kids too often.

He looked directly back at me. And he smiled too. His eyes lit up and he gave me a smile so huge, so warm, so enormous, that it was like the fullest moon of all.

And there was this connection.

This amazing connection, under the moonlight.

We both felt it.  It was one of those moments.  It stayed with me when I drove away.  I know it stayed with him too.

Not such a bad full moon after all.

The Imagined Land.

Last night, I went to the theatre. As I was settling down in my seat and switching my phone to silent, I noticed the couple a few rows ahead of me.

I couldn’t help notice them. He was pale and pasty. She was a redhead.

And his tongue was halfway down her throat. They were in a tight clinch, his hands were under her shirt and she was groaning like she was going to orgasm right there in row 3D.

The lights were still on. This was the Sandton theatre. A public space. A very public space.

I’m all for hand holding in public, a bit of footsie-footsie under the table, and even long delicious kisses against a dimly lit streetlamp.

In Paris. Not in a Johannesburg theatre. Especially when I’m inside that theatre.

I’d been looking forward to seeing ‘The Imagined Land’ for a long time so I really wanted to tell this couple to get a room. I was about to do just that when the lights went off and everything went quiet.

The set was beautiful; books suspended mid-air, each individually lit, like birds taking flight but words taking flight.

The play centres around an elderly white writer, her younger black biographer, his relationship with her daughter, race, stereotype, class and guilt.

It’s a very relevant play in relation to where South Africa is today.

It’s clever. It’s sassy. And it’s all about words. Finding words, making meaning of words and knowing which words to believe.

Kinda odd then, that I couldn’t find the simple words to tell this couple to fuck off.

The play was so good that I did eventually forget about them. And when the cast were taking their bow to a standing ovation and the audience were wiping their tears I noticed that they were no longer there.

Had they gone home to have sex? Had the sex been good? Why was he so pasty? How easy is it to orgasm in a chair? Was her hair naturally red?

I would never know.

A bit like the play. One never knows exactly what happens. But Imagined Lands can help us find our way.


The play stars Nat Ramabulana, Janna Ramos-Violante and Fiona Ramsay.

It’s written by Craig Higginson and directed by Malcolm Purkey.

It’s at The Auto and General Theatre on the Square, Sandton, until 12 September.

It is seriously brilliant.

The problem with load shedding

Last night I had my phone stolen. I’d had a great evening watching the rugby, waving my flag and feeling fabulously patriotic.

Going home on public transport made me feel passionately South African, and it was only when I sat down on the bus that I realised I’d been pick-pocketed.

My proudly South African moment ended there.

And the night ended with a phone call to my Cellular Service (You are number 3005 in the queue, your call is important to us), another phone call to my Insurance Company (you are oddly enough also number 3005 in the queue, please don’t hang up), and today rushing around to buy a new phone and get a new Sim card.

Of course there’s been load shedding all around the country so my Cellular Service which is always offline, has been even more offline than ever.

So, dodging potholes, I drove to my cellular provider in The Rosebank Mall.

The system was down so they directed me to their store next door to Clicks who were also offline and sent me to Killarney but they were in the midst of a rolling black out and so I came home to do a bit of work and have a drink.

And then the power went out at home so I decided to brave it and went to Campus Square where my provider was under renovation so I had a bacon sandwich at Woolies where the kind man told me there was a new store a bit further out.

I went there and midway through the sim swap the power also crashed BOOM BANG KAPOW and not being able to breathe, I gave up.

So I didn’t get a new phone. And my power at home had still not been restored.

Which meant I had loads of time to sit around and not text anyone, not call my children, not cyber sex, and in fact, do nothing at all but reminisce. And write a story. By hand.

About all my other phones that have been stolen, lost or sadly forgotten.

The Nokia that went through the washing machine. That was a huge trauma. It may have been traumatic for the phone too, but I didn’t have much fun watching it go round and round with soapy bubbles and stained underwear.

The Samsung that I threw into the river when I meant to throw a stick for the dog. The one that the dog refused to fetch, because he cleverly knows the difference between a stick and a phone.

Phones that have been dropped in the loo, splashed free spiritedly into swimming pools, been abandoned in bars, or just mysteriously, disappeared out of bags, or even with bags.

While sitting in the dark, writing this story by candlelight, I had a moment. I stopped thinking about phones. I started thinking it was all quite nice actually. It felt kinda warm, cosy and old-fashioned.

Maybe, I didn’t need to get a new phone. Maybe I could live without electricity. Maybe these were all signs about a life change.

Time to sell my house, relocate and find a small town. One that has no electricity, no phones and no potholes. One where I’ll have solar power and grow my own veggies. Maybe I’ll even meet a man there, live side by side with gas lamps and home grown tomatoes…

Oh hang on. IT’S BACK ON. I HAVE LIGHT. Be right back, rushing off to Rosebank. Thanks Eskom, I love you.