Parenting for Dummies.

About a year ago, in the middle of a short holiday at my folk’s place down in the bush, I drove over my son with a Land Rover. It was a very good day.

There was, of course, that white-knuckled, loose bowelled, heartbeat free moment that every decent parent should be familiar with when you think “Oh my God, I’ve killed my son! All the books said we weren’t supposed to do that!”, but a second later he popped up looking as white as a sheet and a little battered, and I thought, with huge relief, “Thank Heavens! I’ve only maimed him! Continue reading

Here be dragons

I have spent the last few weeks helping my wife package products for her new business. She’s not thinking small. When we fold boxes, we fold several hundred boxes. Pinch, fold, tuck. Pinch, fold, tuck. Pinch, fold, tuck. When we stick labels on room fresheners, we stick several hundred labels on room fresheners. Peel, stick, peel, stick, peel, stick. Right now we’re busy with several thousand cloth shopping bags. We’re folding them into squares and tying them up with ribbons. This is much more interesting. Fold, fold, fold, fold, tuck, wrap, tie.  Fold, fold, fold, fold, tuck, wrap, tie. Sigh. Fold, fold, fold, fold, tuck, wrap, tie.

It’s not exactly riveting, but eventually, your brain and hands click over into autopilot. I could fold boxes or tie ribbons while operating heavy machinery. It’s become like breathing. Which got me thinking about lizards. Of course. Not that the lizards round here are particularly good at folding or tying; it just reminded me that those who feel the need to talk about such things talk about the most primitive part of your brain as the lizard brain. Continue reading

The Family Business

My wife, bless her, is making great strides in the business she is starting. She’s moved on from the t-shirt idea, and grown obsessed with chemicals. We are currently bottling and labelling thousands of bottles of room freshener at the coffee table in front of the TV. There’s a barrel full of bath salts in the corner. My house smells like a brothel. There’s even an undercurrent of disinfectant from the hand sanitisers we did last week, for added authenticity.

For those of you who have not been following this blog for a while, my wife fell victim to the wave of electronic readers crippling the book industry, and was retrenched by the publisher she worked for. Instead of trying to find another job in a shrinking industry, she decided to try her hand at producing a line of book related products. Turns out that she’s actually very good at it. Since our whole family has a vested interest in her success, I decided to try and help.Turns out I’m a frikkin’ genius at it. Continue reading

Zombies! Corpses! Poetry! And plants.

When I was but a callow youth, I went on a school tour to Russia, and saw, for the first time, a people who were really into queuing. South Africans aren’t bad at queuing, but for the Russians, it was an art. A passion. A calling. Communism hadn’t fallen yet, and there were shortages of everything, so quite understandably, people were queuing for bread and milk. And cigarettes. And vodka. The necessities.

Absolut necessity.

They also queued for things that seemed less desirable through western eyes; bright red plastic shoes, polyester pants painted to look like jeans, and Elvis LP’s. I’m not knocking them for this- if that was all that was available to me, I might queue up for a little blue suede shoe action myself. Continue reading