Lifestyle

Thoughts on the smell of burnt clutch

It’s traumatic. It really is. After a year and 10 months of driving the sponsored luxury British SUV and its successor, I’ve had to temporarily return to slumming it in a sensible Korean hatchback. A taxi drove into my parked car while I was in Chinatown on August 7. I’d driven to lunch in a…

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The country on the other side of the tracks

“…Perhaps there is an escape I have not considered, a voyage I have not heard about.” Yvette Christiansë (Castaway, Duke University Press, 1999) The other day I found myself in a discussion with a fellow musician about the merits of Martin Meredith’s well-known book The State of Africa. When I first read that voluminous tome,…

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These chickens…

By Rudene Gerber “Two chickens were found abandoned on the beach and were brought back to the kennels. The problem is that the staff members are upset about them being here.” I couldn’t help a little eye roll and a sigh when I heard these words. Managing an animal welfare organisation in a semi-rural area…

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The indomitable sex issue

I think we’ve all more or less figured out sex by now. If publications like Amper Twaalf, It’s Perfectly Normal and general sex education didn’t raise suspicion – late night e.tv movies and plain instinct would have led you to the inevitable conclusion that there is something going on down there. Why then do lifestyle…

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Once in a blue moon

Today, August 31, is a blue moon. It’s not literally blue, of course, just a reference to a rare month with two full moons. It’s also my birthday, so the single most depressing day of the year, even more depressing than the day after Christmas, or the SARS efiling deadline. In approaching this post, I…

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Twitter won’t give you Aids but…

Twitter is not the healthiest of habits. It sucks hours. It sucks days. It requires dedication. It requires long stretches of inactivity. It makes you lie to yourself. It makes you tell yourself that you are learning something by continuously refreshing your feed to read the latest article or tweet from such and such opinion…

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Why bare feet on Lego isn’t the worst pain of all

There are many types of pain. The distinctly unamusing throb of the funny bone. The lugubrious ache of the bruised shin and the coloratura shriek evoked by the stubbed toe on the coffee table, not forgetting the exquisite agony of the encounter between car door and finger nail, or tender sole and Lego (if Shaka…

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Poverty, empty hands, little smiles

Wooosshh! I upended the large bin and hundreds of colourful Lego-like blocks and bally-shaped thingies scattered across the floor in front of the delighted Chinese four-year-olds that I am currently teaching. The floor was now a rainbow that had come crashing and splintering down from the heavens. “Pick up the green,” I roared, “the green,…

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Five things I’ve learned about time since quitting my job

At the beginning of this year, I quit my job to go out on my own. I wanted to kick off an art career, write my novels, and do the kind of work I really wanted to. People say I was brave, but I wasn’t really. I’d set things up so my overheads were minimal,…

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Tightie whitie vaginas

Last December, during the Cop 17 United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Durban, I found myself alongside a Nigerian, Senegalese and Kenyan woman in the International Convention Centre’s prayer room. They were speaking in hushed tones when I entered but I soon gathered that the topic of discussion was how best to tighten their muscles…

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