Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Like a well known ancient Greek I'm staring into my own reflection in a pond. And yes, although I've grown to love, and accept myself, its been a decades-long process. And a healthy one at that.
It's dusk, and from the ridge where this wonderfully enveloping house commands a view to the north and east, I can see the cityscape, close-by. Especially the angry pimple-red head of the Ponte building.
I've spent two hours reading in a naturally lit upstairs bathroom (the one with the large, wonderfully faded Persian rug) that casts a gentle eye over the garden below.
And now for an hour-long full body massage.
It's been a truly pressured day, despite my pj bottoms and tussled hair, he same for week, month and year. Foundation work, I call it.
Looking forward, but shy. I hope she respects my silence.
It's a welcome gift from someone close to me, whom I deeply care for.
Thank you.

Persian carpet in the bathroom

Three hour's drive and I'm in another world from mine. I need this, and to be in the city of my birth. Perspective too, I need. And to strategise with me about Life Inc.
Sixteen past midnight and just into bed. After a piping hot shower and soap I don't recognize. But like. And to stand in front of a different mirror and other lights, to see me in a new light. Looking for decay, and stress and for more lines around my eyes. To pull im my stomach to see that they are only less worked muscles.
To be in the city, not the mountains or in the lowveld's bush, or among it's people, often slow-dripping with dourness.
It's a magnificent old, well built and spacious double story art deco home constructed on a ridge T-junctionimg into Johannesburg's Berea and then CBD. Magnificent view.
My first security alarms in years, in the distance.
And now my lids seek welding shut.
And my brain to percolate while I sleep on tomorrow's challenges.
It's a new chapter.
This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by Pinpoint, and is
believed to be clean.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Listen to the wind

I've been lying in the bath since three this afternoon; listening there to the wind blowing hard, and reading.
It's now six-seventeen, dark outside and the buffeting wind's suddenly died.
There's some silence; there's water trickling through the old bath's overflow; every now and then a change in the breeze allows me traffic sound from the highway 2km away.
It's filled with people cursing the weekend's end, while they rush between Mozambique, Nelspruit, Lowveld and back to Gauteng, sub-Saharan Africa's economic powerhouse.
Back there to work and treadmill lives.
Leaving behind lovers and loved family members, animals, homes, fights, assaults, quite possibly a murder. Great memories, even appalling ones. Vast amounts of noise, and alcohol. But back to my bath...
I'm in an interesting phase, what I'm reading confirms that, also that I'm heading somewhere else:
'I celebrate myself,' Bill Morgan's biography of poet Allen Ginsberg;
'Freedom (the courage to be yourself),' by Osho;
'Leadership wisdom from the Monk who sold his Ferrari,' by Robin Sharma;
'A guidebook to the Camino de Santiago,' by John Brierley;
'Thoreau and the Art of Life,' edited by Roderick MacIver; and 'Creating a garden with Keith Kirsten'.
My mind is whirring. As soon as I got remotely bored, I picked up the next.
Now to jump out and nakedly stride into the nearby kitchen to fill a glass with chilled sauvignon blanc ('Fat Bastard'), then back in to shave my legs. I maintain that it's a hangover from my cycling days.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Bang, bang...bang. I awoke with the wind roaring over the edge of the escarpment at 2h37am. The blinds were clattering and the doors banging. Stumbling around the house closing doors and windows, I wondered whether the first rainstorm of the season was coming.

Currently we’re living in a tinderbox after the harsh, dry winter. Everything, except my lemon trees, are a tawny lion colour. I’m having to use the sprinklers in the garden every second day, or lose the seeds that have been planted, as well as the new shoots.

Getting back into bed I pulled the covers over my head savouring the scent of rain on the air, and let sleep take me back home.

It’s overcast today, but still the rain has not come. But I trust.




Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reborn 'steam' of consciousness

The dwarfed apricot tree is too large to call a bonsai, nevertheless it is always the first to bear leaves. Bright green young leaves shiny with the promise of the rapidly approaching summer.
Spring doesn't last long in these parts; in the batting of an eyelid it's summer (within a week of the first snow in 11 years, I was wearing shorts).
This morning I'm sitting shirtless on a rickety old wicker couch outside the backdoor. Although we had heavy black frost this winter, the first banana tree is sending up a green tightly bound green spear into the heavens. I'm wondering how many of the banana plants have survived. They grow well here in the summer, but I'm about 10 kilometres away from where they would be ecstatic, even in winter.
From where I'm sitting I see my first bumble bee of the spring, they are anyway rare here. Bees are a good omen for me. Then it’s gone from sight.
I've been travelling, mostly under pressure with work, for the last three weeks. I need to savour my solitude or else I will not regain my centeredness. That's why I'm about to switch off my phone and write a letter to God.
A black and sturdy 4x4 soldier ant beach buggy's over my bare knee.
Birdsong; water and air scratching through the hose pipe; the gurgle and tumble of the washing machine in the laundry room; the old lady next door throwing stones into her plastic garden bucket as she colonises the veldt behind her house and mine (will she make it to the mountain before she dies?); catchy pop music from the distance, just other side of the abyss.
It's back: The bright yellow and black zebra stripes of the bumble bee ecstatically hovering against mauve French lavender; so next season. (I'm glad I won't be slavering on the edge of any catwalk... been there, done that, and died.)
But I’m reborn....