Sarah Britten

What makes you smile about Joburg?

“What makes you smile about your city?” That’s this month’s theme in the global social media campaign I’m involved with and it’s a challenging one. I’m sure that the bloggers in London or Paris have loads of material to work with, but for Joburgers it’s a question so loaded as to be provocative. As one…

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Is your car a handbag on wheels?

Are you one of those people with a messy car? I will confess that I must count myself a member of that renegade tribe, but in my defence I am trying very hard to reform myself. I have resolved that my vehicle will be a model of minimalist motoring, devoid of all extraneous bits and…

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Must we create another monster?

So, the years of stirring are finally paying off. After spending aeons pissing off the members of the Mail & Guardian Forum, Sentletse Diakanyo has spread his wings and succeeded in knotting the knickers of half the known world. How else to explain how one blog entry can elicit responses, not only from other Thought…

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Where have you walked in those shoes?

This afternoon it occurred to me that I was wearing the same pair of shoes I had on when I got retrenched in Sydney a little more than two years ago. A pair of black Nine West pumps, I got them on sale from the store on Military Road in Mosman, which is the least…

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The terrible thrill of snakes

“Ooh look, snake!” said my aunt. Philimon stopped the game viewing vehicle and reversed. We aimed the spotlight and stared. There it was, orange with black stripes, undulating across the sand like an exotic bracelet unhooked and stretched out. It was very pretty, as snakes go. When it sensed the light, it coiled up, positioning…

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Our ever-inventive criminals

There’s a new modus operandi in Hoedspruit this holiday season. Criminals are waiting for people to go out on game drives, then raiding their lodges. People generally don’t lock their doors, and even if they do it’s easy pickings, especially if you know they’re likely to be gone for two hours minimum to look up…

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Respect the mud

I don’t have enough respect for mud. This thought occurred to me late on Christmas Day as I felt the Freelander slipping down the slope, its backside fishtailing out until all four wheels came to a rest of a bank of sodden grass. “Oh”, I said. “I wasn’t expecting that.” Behind us, tyre tracks were…

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Ways of coping in South Africa

There are certain books I don’t read on principle. Either it’s because what I think is between their covers is so much bullshit — The Secret and anything by Dan Brown fit in here — or because I imagine that the experience of reading it will, for whatever reason, be just too painful. Anything by…

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‘The only difference between you and a Hillbrow hooker’

“So how was your weekend?” I ask the copywriter at the next desk. You know, being chatty and everything. “Oh,” she says — she has this deep, smoky voice — “I was burgled on Friday”. We commiserate over the frustration of losing laptops and the sentimental work we hadn’t backed up. Same thing happened to…

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The challenges of kugeling up

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