60. Grappling-hook baby

I am not done yet. Last week I made a coffee table by hammering two old pallets together. It went to my head. It fuelled my ambition. I’m making an outdoor dining table, by hammering six old pallets together. I’m still at the crowbar and sledgehammer stage, which is the part I enjoy, and it let me spend a little time with the kids.

Family time with 23thorns

Family time with 23thorns

Not that I gave them a sledgehammer or anything. They took it when I wasn’t looking. But it did give me an opportunity to be with them without engaging with them, apart from having to relieve them of the occasional sledgehammer. It was educational. Continue reading

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44. Cat-hat.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I got my first proper job. On the first day, I arrived early. As one does. Three hours early. I don’t like to take chances. At least not on the first day. After that it all goes to hell. Finding everything completely closed, I sat myself down on the ground and settled in for a wait.

I always like to make a good first impression.

I always like to make a good first impression.

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26. The great toilet war of 2011.

Next year is going to be an election year. We’re in for some sports. Our system doesn’t work like most democracies. We have, like most countries, two main parties. Or so we like to tell ourselves. The truth is that we have one main party, and another one that makes a very loud noise.

South African party politics in a nutshell.

South African party politics in a nutshell.

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25. The gravel thief.

Enough. I’m taking a break from politics today since I have uncovered a monstrous crime taking place right beneath my nose. It’s not at all because I’ve been reading the papers every day for a week and this morning I reached critical mass, and couldn’t bear another word of the endless dreck we are subjected to. We’ll go back to politics again tomorrow. You haven’t heard about the open toilets yet.

Those of you who have been following this blog for a very long time may remember that, towards the end of last year, I fell victim to a spate of robberies in my own home. My wallet was stolen. Twice. On both occasions, I was able to apprehend the criminal and retrieve my property. I learned my lesson (mostly), and am now far more careful with my possessions (mostly). And it’s worked. My home has been largely crime free ever since. The occasional chocolate gets stolen, but I don’t like chocolate, so it’s no business of mine.

The wallet thief. Behind those cold, empty eyes lies a mind like a steel trap.

The wallet thief. Behind those cold, empty eyes lies a mind like a steel trap.

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13. But is it art?

I went to bed last night resolving not to write anything about my children today. This is not a parenting blog, and I’ve been waffling on about them for the last two days. Enough.

My resolve, however, weakened a little when I opened one bleary eye to the cold light of dawn to be confronted by a small and inordinately cheerful person brandishing two eggs at me.

“Morning”, I said.

“Where is the Tabasco?” She replied.

What was the first thing you spoke about this morning?

What was the first thing you spoke about this morning?

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11. Teal.

I went to watch my son at a mini soccer tournament the other day. It was great fun; watching any member of my bloodline play sport is a joy, and not because we are good. But I’m not writing about that today. I’m writing about pants. While the eight-year-old boys ran around the field screaming at each other like pro-footballers and flailing awkwardly at the ball as if it were on fire, I noticed another group of boys on the side of the field. They had found themselves a grassy embankment, and were sliding down it on their knees. It looked like fun.

This is pretty much what the game looked like. If you remove any sign of the ball from the picture.

This is pretty much what the game looked like. If you remove any sign of the ball from the picture.

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10. No shirt, no service. No woman, no cry.

“No, woman, no cry” is not a happy song. It’s based on the time that Bob Marley spent in a housing project (the Government Yard) in a ghetto called Trenchtown, in Kingston, Jamaica. The singer is comforting a woman (no-one has ever worked out who). He’s using an isolated, intimate moment to highlight the deprivation and hopelessness and grind of poverty. It’s sad and it’s haunting, and coupled with the soaring melody, it should strike a chord in the hardest of hearts. Continue reading

8. I think my blog is possessed!

Something odd happened yesterday. It was a busy weekend. Some of the battered remnants of the South African book trade got together for a lunchtime party on Saturday. It was fun. The sort of fun that saw my post for the day being hammered out at 2 in the morning, with one eye closed. I made it just in time (2 o’clock for us is not quite midnight in WordPress land, wherever that may be). I’m still a bit nervous to go back and see what I wrote. WordPress has not closed my blog or banned me for life, so maybe it’s best just to leave well enough alone.

 

Wahey!

WAHEY!

 
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4. The Hiiills are alive……

There’s a hole in my soul where “The Sound of Music” is supposed to go. I’ve never seen it. It doesn’t bother me. It’s not like I’ve lost a limb or anything. I just lack something that seems to unite the whole of the rest of the world.

These children never saw "Oklahoma".

These children never saw “Oklahoma”.


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