I adore Mrs 23thorns. She is the light of my life and I will always remain true to her. But I have a confession to make. Every now and then, a small part of me falls in love with someone else. Someone special. Irresistible. Someone like this;
Last Sunday, I nearly ran over a man from the bible. He wasn’t watching where he was going, and stepped into the road just as I rounded a corner. Luckily, he was quite easy to spot in his long, blue, flowing robes, so I managed to avoid him. It was a close run thing, but as they say; no harm, no foul. He seemed to think it was my fault, and waved his shepherds staff at me angrily. And that was it. Apart from the little spike of adrenaline, there was nothing unusual about the scene, so I forgot all about it. Until today.
I am not, by world standards, a particularly large man. I weigh between 80 and 90kg, depending on how much I have needed to run away from Mrs 23thorns in any given month. There are times, however, when I feel like a huge, misshapen freak. Antique shops terrify me.
They all seem to have been laid out by the same entry-level sociopath, who gets his kicks out of watching physically awkward strangers sweep tiny glass statues of swans off tables, or knock over hat-stands that form the supportive bases of complicated structures made out of imitation Ming vases and peeling mirrors in elaborate gilded frames. Continue reading
Mrs 23thorns is on the move. She’s headed off for twelve days in Australia and New Zealand, abandoning me to the tender mercies of my son’s school’s pants schedule.
I’m back. I interrupted my 100 posts in 100 days in order to go and sit in an unpowered bungalow out in the wilds of Africa for a week with two small children. As one does. I’ve actually been back for a day, but I didn’t post yesterday because it was Christmas. Again. I’ll explain tomorrow.
We were out in an unfenced wildlife area in the Lowveld next to the Kruger National Park. It really is a wild place. There are lions and hyenas and elephants and (last week at least) my children walking around. And giraffes. Continue reading
When we woke up yesterday, we had no plans at all. Just another school holiday day with the kids, trying to prevent sibling interaction from escalating to gunplay, and wondering how a nine-year-old who looks like he’s suffering from malnutrition can eat eight kilograms of food a day. Between meals.
By the end of the day, we had stripped all the paint off the inside of our bedroom, made a huge hole in the wall, and plastered it over. That’s how we tend to do things. Just wake up of a morning and decide to go ahead and build a carport or remodel the kitchen. We even had the children like that. Which was a hell of a thing to do on a whim. Continue reading
I haven’t posted anything for a while. I’m not sorry. You see, I have been much too busy. I went for a swim. Here.
My mother took the whole family (Nine adults and nine children) for a holiday in the Seychelles. It was very hard work indeed. Every morning, I would have to wake up and choose a special holiday outfit. I simplified this difficult process by wearing the same swimming costume for over a week.
We live in an ugly age. Almost everything is cheap and plastic and disposable. And we are cheap and plastic too. Don’t be fooled by the glossy pages of the fashion magazines. If you want to experience the true aesthetic of our time, take a stroll through a shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon. It’s not pretty.
I don’t know why. Back in the day, they used to do this properly. They had style. Ladies and gentlemen dressed for dinner. If a gentleman popped out for a stroll on a Saturday afternoon, he wore a high collared suit and a top hat. Continue reading
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
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.
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