Sunday, January 28, 2018


Sunday morning. I'm sitting with my first coffee. After having completed my Pages. My notebook is on my lap and I'm in my favourite place: on my old and comfortable wicker chair that's thrust up between my sunbed and against the full-length window, my plants.

My gaze: Over Woodstock and Devil's Peak, along with The Mountain, all of the way over the City Bowl and to Lion's Head, which just makes it inside of the far right edge of my vision's frame.

Blue sky and bright-golden sunshine; I should get out today. And take the bus to Hout Bay. So as to walk, barefoot, the sandy length of one of Cape Town's less populated, and least pretentious beaches. To feel sea sand and ocean between my toes, against my skin.

Against the peace and stillness of this morning, which is the same quiet and contentment that overfills me, BBC3 is playing; it's the least intrusive of the bouquet of radio stations that I allow, quietly, into my space.

Yesterday, despite the south-easter doing its utmost to put me off leaving the flat, I made it out and in-between things ended up walking 10 km; I also made it to the 6pm mass at St. Micheal's in Rondebosch and took communion. It caught my attention that there was neither a black or brown face in the entire congregation, very few youths too.

By chance, and as I'm typing these words a bell is chiming. I believe that it belongs to Woodstock's St Agnes's Catholic Church.


Every day, for inspiration, I read a short chapter of Natalie Goldberg's 'Writing Down the Bones'; the words are what pierced my consciousness today, especially since the concept of 'freedom' emerged strongly in my morning pages:

'There is freedom in being a writer and writing. It is fulfilling your function. It means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth, and then simply doing it. It is not getting sidetracked, thinking you shouldn't write any more [about whatever your writing obsessions are].'

It feels like I've not written a single meaningful word since returning from Uganda in September. Nor, I believe, a single meaningful blog post, which are in any case rare. My toxic perfectionism gets so badly in the way. Of many things.


The bell is still tolling and it's piercing me in a wonderful way that I cherish.


Despite the sunshine's warmth and brightness, also the cobalt sky, my heart yearns today for the far north, which is where I spent three precious weeks spread around Christmas and New Year.

The moodiness, moisture, cold were in stark contrast to the drought and tinderbox dryness of home; in the last week it has finally hit home to everyone: it's almost a guarantee that Cape Town will be the first major city globally to run out of water.

Bosham, which I spent an afternoon exploring, for the first time, is a coastal village about 2 miles west of Chichester. In West Sussex. Inhabited since Roman times and, like much of the area around Chichester, it is believed to have played a significant role way back in A.D. 43 when the Romans invaded England.

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