Saturday, November 30, 2013


It's been a chilly and moody day, in Newlands at least; that doesn't mean it wasn't a perfect beach day on the Atlantic seaboard.

I'm in bed reading. An empty wine glass - except for red dregs on its inside - on my bedside table; a blue-patterned dinner plate that until recently contained scrumptious muscles on provita biscuits is at its side.

I've chosen a quite day and night; it's peace and silence is what I've sought after a week that brimmed over.

Now as I listen to the robust wind in the trees as I reach over to turn out the light, as I turn in.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


It's the reek of chopped onions. The sound of early evening traffic, the last of peak hour on Main road, Rosebank, seeping in through the open, barred, windows.
They're closing down the flat for a quarter of a year; their last exams were written today. They leave for Kzn at 2am.  The flat is to be mothballed. They're back in February, for the new academic year. 
Overheard from the kitchenette:
'Do you want some wine gorgeus?'
'I'm good.'
'Cold drink?
He pours a blue and silver foil-fresh packet of salt and vinegar Simba crisps, made in Africa, into a large white tupperware bowl, made in China. Nice, my addiction sorted!
I pour - glunk glunk - a cheap but practical thick-glass wineglass full of burgundy (I instinctively knew it was colour as I drunkenly peered at it).
I bought the bottle, after a little thought I admit, at a threadbare Checkers on the way here; the pedometer app on my phone informs me that I took 8792 steps between home and here. By needing my space I burnt 302 calories.
I love walking. Especially when I'm ratty, like today, and pissed off. Piss off Lee, you're getting on my tits.
Odd Bins number 921.
Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2012.
'Wild berries and liquorice, with hints of pepper on a lingering finish.'
From the Swartland.
Now I'm well drunk. But I'm ecstatic that it's summer and that the country will be shutting down for the summer holidays in two to three weeks.
I will work home later, after supper.
Have a safe journey guys.
The moon is waning.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Helter / skelter

I can't see the mountain and it can't see me: Friday night reflections in the cottage panes / rain against the roof and windows / looking across at the neighbour's home and the street lamp / while the ghosts of the past peer over my shoulder: happiness is red wine, musty books & attic blues (I'm on top the world).
I'm in bed now, listening to the rain pelt nonstop against the roof, and windows, and dripping rapid fire from the eves. I'm comfortably, peacefully cocooned in the overwhelming isolation of the rain-noise. I long to pull the duvet over my face, head. Then to sleep forever.
Good night.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

'Charles time'

The early morning is mine, I'm nurturing me:

My red and glass Bodum plunger is percolating with a quality 100% Arabica bean breakfast blend; the aroma fills the spacious and sunlit attic.

The body-length couch I have to myself and a teenage sphinx cat that's vibrating with life-contentment; we're sharing body warmth.

Despite the sunshine here on the lower slopes, the mountain is dark in cloud shadow and foreboding, more than hinting at the four day's rain that's forecast - hooray!

The house creaks and clicks from the sporadic gusts of wind that sweep the old suburb; it also whistles through the crack-wide open wooden frame windows; these are decorated chess board like with leaden cottage panes.

Other than wind sound a lawn mower hums bumble bee-like in the garden behind, a vacuum cleaner screaches across the downstairs wooden floors, I feel my heart beat against my left chest.

Altthough Natalie Goldberg's 'Writing Down the Bones' and a 1965 Claremont library print of Johannes Meintjies' 'Olive Schreiner Potrait of a South African Woman' entice me from the coffee table, it's my black-cover / red-bound 288-page morning pages counter book that will have my attention. And heart.

Peace and contentment reign.

[I took the photo in Newlands village on perfect day Saturday afternoon while walking home; all-in-all I walked over 10 km in sheer bliss at the day and joie de vivre.]

Monday, November 04, 2013

Cottage pane and birdsong

Working in peace, and quiet, at my desk beneath Devil's Peak; it's dusk on an early summer's evening. Faraway I faintly hear traffic on the M3, a yodelling police siren, also a girl child shrilly hopscotching and singing in the street below.
Despite the peace, it often concerns me that I'm cocooned from the city, from the real world, is this unreal and overly protective suburb that is also so beautiful, and alluring.
It's like wearing thick lenses over my eyes and cotton wool in my ears.
However, I remind myself that I'm recalibrating.
Be gentler on yourself Charles.