91. 13 weeks.


Well, here we are. The second to last weekly update. If you are new here, I am doing 100 posts in 100 days. Or roughly 100 days. I was also trying to get 60 000 views in those hundred days, but that’s not going to happen, so I’m going to take a page from the book of the politicians. I’m going to radically shift the goalposts, and then claim overwhelming success. I’m now going for 30000 views in 100 posts. Continue reading


90. Safety vest.

We have a neighbour across the road who is almost painfully shy and reserved. We run into him often, and always greet him with a wave or a flash of the eyebrows, but in all the years we’ve lived here, we have never said more than two words to each other.

I don’t have a problem with this. I’ve never taken to the sort of enforced bonhomie we all feel compelled to express with people who are often in our orbit but not actually our friends. Quiet neighbours suit me, and besides, if he turns out to be a serial killer, I can deliver the required lines to the visiting press with real conviction; “He was such a quiet man. Never caused any problems.”

It's always the last one you would suspect.

It’s always the last one you would suspect.

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89. The Lightning Bird

The Lowveld is not exactly a wet place. It is, in fact, rather dry. It is criss-crossed by a network of dry, sandy riverbeds that flow maybe four or five times a year, after heavy rain, to be swallowed up by the sand again after a few days in the driving heat of the sun.

Come on in, the water's lovely!

Come on in, the water’s lovely!

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88. Impi

Weddings are a source of great joy to the self-conscious teenagers of the world, because, in most families, weddings are the only place where they can show off their father’s matchless skills on the dance floor.

You can always spot teenagers whose fathers have decided to break out their moves. They’re generally over in the corner, cowering behind pot plants, chests bursting with pride, as their male progenitors demonstrate that Elvis was a mere babe in the woods when it came to hip swivelling prowess.

He ain't, as you can see, nothing but a hound dog.

He ain’t, as you can see, nothing but a hound dog.

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86. The Tanganyikan Shell-Brooding Cichlid. And Anthony Weiner.

This fine little fellow is a Tanganyikan Shell-Brooding Cichlid.

His name is longer than he is.

His name is longer than he is.

If he has a certain haunted look about the eyes, there’s a good reason for this. Sex. Sex is very complicated for the poor little Shell-Brooding Cichlid. Because they are just like us. At a glance, he finds himself a nice little Shell-Brooding Cichlid female and settles down to a happily married Cichlid life. He and his mate find a cosy little shell, he drives off any competitors, and then sets about raising a family. He wishes. It’s not all plain sailing for the Shell-Brooding Cichlid. He has some concerns. Pirates. And sneakers. A pirate Shell-Brooding Cichlid is a bigger male. Once our poor little male has done all the hard work, setting up his happy home and driving off potential rivals, the pirate simply moves in and takes over. Poor little territorial male. Continue reading

85. 12 weeks.


Here we go again. For the regulars, there are only two of these left, so hang in there. If you happen to be new here, I’m writing 100 posts in 100 days, and giving a weekly update on them. This is the twelfth. I’m also trying to get 60 000 views in 100 days, and failing miserably. Yesterday, I passed the 30 000 mark. It’s still possible, I suppose, but I’d have to give the pope a wedgie or something; there’s nothing wrong with a bit of publicity. Continue reading

84. Neighbours.

I grew up in what was a small village outside Pretoria, one of our bigger cities. It was, and is still, a lovely little place, but it has been swallowed up by the city and is now just a suburb.

It was a friendly little neighbourhood. One of my closest friends spent most of his time with his grandparents, who lived across the road from us. On either side of our property there were neighbours with whom we were close. The adults used to get together for dinners and braais (barbecues) fairly often, and us kids spent our lives playing on the hand-made stone walls that separated our properties.

Kids playing on a stone wall. I love the internet!

Kids playing on a stone wall. I love the internet!

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83. Dem bones.

When I was younger, about ten years old, I had a friend whose grandparents lived across the road from us. Every now and then during winter, they would go out hunting. I never went with them, but when they were done, they would come back with the spoils. They would arrive back with a huge Kudu carcass or two.

For some reason they look better this way.

For some reason they look better this way.

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82. Some words.

White, English speaking South Africans are not master storytellers. I know that one should avoid generalisations, and that there are, of course, exceptions, but generally speaking, if you recorded one of us telling you about the time we caught fire while judging a wet t-shirt contest and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital in Barack Obamas helicopter while he smoked marijuana in the front seat, and played it back to someone who spoke no English, they would think we were telling a story about how we chose tiles for our bathroom.

Out-Door Continue reading