Posted in My Writings, People

One themed blog (they said)

Firstly: blog about the title

It was once suggested by blog or social media (or those “they” people) that a blog should have focus. It should have one theme. You should ask yourself what market are you trying to reach? What is your central message?

I once (maybe twice) entered SA Blog Awards. But my blog (this one that I’m typing from) didn’t have a category to fall in – when I hate to submit my blog in for the competition. This is not a lifestyle blog. This is not a music blog. This isn’t for foodies. This is not a travel blog either…

Yes, it has aspects of all of those for sure!

So, I thought about it recently, including my Instagram account – my THEME for my blog is LIFE.

It will have pieces of words I have strung together.
It will have thoughts and reviews on gigs and books and moments.
It will have adventure. It will have confusion. It will have oddity. It will have God. It will have all sorts.

Because such is LIFE.
Life is full of themes.

Secondly: a brief story about yesterday: Don and Adrian
(Not sure if I even spelled their names correctly)

Yesterday, we met a couple. We happened to sit at their table as there was no space for us at our allotted table. But I didn’t mind. I like meeting new people.
This couple, their names were Don and Adrian.
Turns out Don had arranged for a photographer, and was planning to propose to Adrian. (not sure how to spell that?)
She was not suspecting at all.

He asked us to keep their table as he took her for a walk down the beach…
She said yes.

We congratulated them.
We’re not their friends.
We probably won’t ever see them again.
They were such nice people to talk to.
I wondered if I should find them on Facebook or something. (I tried. Maybe not too intensely but came up empty handed.)
But then I thought… maybe life is about moments with strangers who become friends in that particular time…
Then you say goodbye, part ways,
And just think afterwards: heck, that was such a great time!

We should have more of those…
And in time, it will happen again,

A new incident. Different people. Engage in that moment.

Posted in Humour, My Writings, People

Where the Old Wives Tales began…

(Started on 19 September 2017)


“It happened again!  I really love him.  This Friday night ritual with my son is something I look forward to each week.  But…”

“But what?” Mary chimed in.  She wanted her to speed up the story so that she could share hers.

Alison continued, “But Marcus spends so much time outside playing with the fire after we have cooked the meat.  Sometimes he can go on for an hour longer.  And all I want to do is lock up the house, sit in bed with my book, and eventually fall asleep knowing Marcus is sleeping soundly in the next room.”

Mary and Sophie nodded.  They understood.

“I’m only 37 but I feel so old.  And he’s only 11; full of life and wonder.  But how do I stop his obsession with the fire?”

The room they sat in was dimly lit, compliant to the grey clouds outside.  It was a Saturday afternoon.  The three of them met once a month.  It started out with the same intention as all other book clubs.  They started with all of them buying the latest of Karen Kingsbury.  They had probably discussed half of the first chapter.  And since that first day these visits became a “you have a shoulder to lean on” sessions.  Much needed therapy for these ladies.  Accompanied with home baked cookies and some tea.  They had managed to stick to the cooking baking roster quite religiously.  However their books stayed tightly shut.

Mary jumped in with her dilemma.  “I have a similar situation with the kids on Sunday.  After lunch, Jim and I want to go for our afternoon nap, but Jason and Jessica always want to jump in the pool.  And once they start they can stay in there for hours.  Then next thing we know, it’s already 5pm and they day is drawing to a close.”

“Ladies, these are serious concerns.  We need to do something about them!” Sophie continued, “My son has a fascination with picking up little creatures.  Especially frogs; and I’m so terrified that he gets bitten by something more dangerous one day.”

Sophie and her hubby built the pond in their garden when they first bought their home.  They liked the therapy of watching their goldfish and koi.  It was a great idea before kids.  Now that George was at his curious age – he’d often put his hand in the pond and pick up the frogs.  Soon he may just attempt going for the goldfish too.  And then little Rebecca may follow suit.

These ladies each had dilemma.  What could they do?  They each stirred their tea in sync as the silence hovered about their racing minds.

Being a wife was difficult at times.  And being a mother was no easy feat either.  There had to be rules and ways that could make things easier…

“How do you two feel about white lies?” Mary teased.  Sophie and Alison frowned in her direction.

“What do you mean?  What are you suggesting?”  Alison asked cautiously.

“A white lie isn’t harmful at all…” Mary, “…in fact, they can even help people.  I believe.”

“How is that?”  Sophie leaned in.

“What if we told our kids an untrue story that would make them not do what we don’t like them doing?”

“Like what, though?” Sophie blurted out loud.  She was already trying to think of a “story” to tell her curious George.

“Well, what if you told George if he touched any frogs he would get warts on his hand?” Mary suggested.


Alison and Sophie smiled and nodded together.

“What a brilliant idea!” Alison exclaimed.  “Now that we have one child sorted… what about the other two?”

“We need another cup of tea.”  Sophie said.  She went to go make another round.


Three streets down from where they were, little George was oblivious as he reached his hand into the pond and grabbed the unsuspecting frog.  “Look, what I got…” and showed the frog to his sister.  She giggled with excitement.

Those petrified frogs would soon be safe.

Sophie came in with the tray of cups and another tale to tell the kids.

“Why don’t we tell Marcus, if he plays with fire for too long, he will wet his bed?”

Alison and Mary burst into laughter.  “Yes!  Yes, that’s an excellent idea.  And believable too.”

“Two kids sorted.  We need one other idea…”


“Mary, how about this; for your kids…”  Sophie was on a roll with her ideas, “Tell them, if they swim, right after eating, they will drown?  It’s bad to swim on a full stomach.”

Again, another brilliant idea!


The next weeks four weeks went by, in bliss.  The ladies came back to their usual chit chat session rejuvenated.  There was a glimmer in their eyes and a swagger in their walk.

Marcus had stopped playing with the fire.  He was mortified that he may wet his bed.

On Sundays, after lunch, Jason and Jessica would diligently go nap too.  The house was so dreamy.

And curious George lost his curiosity…  He did not want any warts on his hands.

“Wives 1 – Kids 0.” exclaimed Sophie.


“Cheers!” And the three ladies raised their wine glasses.  Their gathering had evolved.  From tea to wine and to their children convinced by a new truth

And that my friends, is how the old wives tales began…


Posted in Inspirational, My Writings

Still (a piece)

Stillness, meets me.
We have no need to exchange words.
But we get each other.

The sunlight peers over the outside wall.
It bargains with the window.
Breaking through, it’s warmth kissing my cheek.

I sit here accompanied with the aroma of coffee.
And the scriptures opened.
A ritual this has become – but in fact – so much more than that – a meeting of two hearts.

Listening to the birds outside.
They’re expectant and excited about this day.
They know not to worry.
Singing songs of providence.

Let this day be filled with wonder.
Work done well.
Words spoken tenderly.
The quietness and the busyness of our lives will collide, but will we keep our composure?

(A sneaky disclaimer. Each stanza starts with the letters that spell out the word: S-T-I-L-L.)

Posted in Faith, Inspirational, My Writings

There is just something…

…About You

Through the questions
Through the doubt
Through the politics
Through the rituals
Through the hurt

Your mystery remains
Your love never fails
Your mercy invites
Your touch changes me
Your reality opens my world

There is a tugging
There is a depth
There is a well
There is peace
There is just something…

About You

Posted in Inspirational, My Writings

Letters and Symbols

They left me in my covers
Among the dust and wood
We were what seemed
An eternity of words

But we were useless
That’s how I felt
Unread unspoken unquoted

I have a message to share
And the dust and numbers don’t care
Then I was taken…
They had an idea

On display I am pointless
I was made to be held by you
To be absorbed by your mind
Something in you could be…

I am wisdom
I am truth
I am life giving
I am more than syllables and pronunciation

I am set free
Placed from one set of hands to another
The young lady the young man
Nameless to me

I hope I will remind
Encourage inspire
Fill with understanding
May I offer an answer

Wisdom and answers can be found in the most curious places
Blow the dust off my covers
Pass me on
I’m more than a display…

Posted in My Writings

I wrote a short story: The Weight of Happiness

Disclaimer (or whatever you want to call it)

Every year I take part in  SA Writer’s College short story compo.
I like writing.
It makes me come alive.
I didn’t make this year’s shortlist. Well done to those who made that list!
Although I didn’t make it this year, I will still keep writing. Writing is a part of me.
So I thought I’d share my ENTRY with you anyway.
Feel free during a coffee break or something to read this:


A lot happened that week.  It was as if each day had more than twenty four hours in it.  It was a Tuesday in the autumn of 2014, when that very peculiar thing happened:

My brother and I were in the town square.  That’s where a lot of the students met after their college classes.  There was always a hive of activity.  The focal point was the stunning water feature.  Around it was a well-kept piece of lush looking grass.  (Much respect to the town council who did the gardening there.)

After stressful classes, a bunch of us would often meet there, either to catch up or just to chill.  There was a coffee shop owned and run by a quirky barista who always wore floral shirts.  He’d tell his customers that he was just trying to keep the memory of Madiba alive.  His cappuccinos were the best.

There were benches for shoppers to sit.  For the skaters, there were rails scattered around the courtyard of the town square.  Red Tulips and yellow Roses decorated the flowerbeds bordering the live stage area.  (Over the weekends there would be live performers; both musicians and poets.)  Groups of girls would regularly sit on the grass: chatting away, taking selfies and listening to their iPods.  Autumn leaves danced over the cobblestones in the light breeze.  Another picturesque afternoon.

It was indeed a hip place to be.

My brother and I had planned to meet 3:00pm at “Joe’s Milkshake Bar” next to the coffee shop.  We were fans of Instagram.  So we were capturing some shots of the afternoon sunlight spilling down among the students.  We got some good shots of the skaters and even some sparrows nibbling on the left behind crumbs.

On a nearby lamppost, I noticed the poster advertising the new Taking Back Sunday album: Happiness is.

It was on one of those thin Masonite boards.  The one string that had it fastened up had come undone.  My brother was kneeling below it.  He was trying to capture a ladybug on a blade of grass lounging in the sunshine.

It all happened so quickly!

I momentarily glanced at the Special’s poster on the shop window, then. THUD!

I saw that my brother was lying on the ground, the Masonite board lying next to him.  Not trying to conceal its guilt.

I dialled Emergencies.  Ten minutes later they were lifting my brother onto a stretcher.  He was lights out!  I saw the bump on his head.  It was abnormally huge.

Happiness is.  Yeah right!  I thought to myself as I tossed the poster in the nearby bin.

He came around about an hour later in the local hospital.  Stanford Heights.
He was discharged and that’s when it all began…


As we walked through the waiting area of the hospital, I noticed a very strange thing.
The little restless toddler from earlier sat still.  A smile arrived on his face.
The baby that sat in the blue pram stopped crying.
The young couple, I had saw fighting in whispered tones, held each other close.  Love accompanied their connection.
The eleven people, all waiting there seemed at peace as my brother and I walked by.

It wasn’t like that earlier, I swear.  I had cycled home from the town square.  Fetched the car and headed straight for the hospital.  I had remembered thinking how restless that waiting area had felt as I walked through to the room where my brother was recovering.

As we walked outside through the push doors, I heard the earlier commotion start up again.  It was as if peace accompanied us to the outside world.

The afternoon sun welcomed us in the carpark.  But I noticed that my brother looked quite downcast.

“Are you okay?  Are you in pain?”

“Nah, I’m not in pain.  I just feel kind of emo.” he replied.

“Well, you probably just need a good sleep.”  I winked at him and shook my head.  “Odd boy, you are.”

Wednesday.  7am.

She was at it again.  My mother moaning about so many of the usual things.
(She’s such a worry wart.)

“The petrol price is going up again.  I’m not sure if I can afford another price increase.  The supervisor has been asking me lots of questions at work.  Is she going to fire me?”

Blah, blah, blah.  I stirred my Cornflakes as if I were mixing some magical potion.

“Mom, you need to stress less.”

Then he walked in.  And she was a different person:

“What a glorious day!”  “Isn’t the sunshine just so wonderful?”

What, who is this person?  Who abducted my mother? I looked to my brother.  Did he just wince?  I’m sure I saw his face flinch as if he was in pain?

My mom kissed us both and headed off to work.

“How are you feeling, Oliver?”

“Pain wise, I’m all good.  I don’t feel any discomfort.  But man, I had some seriously messed up dreams.”

He went on to share them with me.  They were dark.  And he had dreamt a lot.  Dreams (or should I say, nightmares) for a lot of people.  His poor mind.

Prior to the accident, we had set that morning to go pay the TV licence at the Post Office for our mother.  We only had lectures on Wednesday afternoons.

Oliver said he was still keen on coming with me.  He needed to get out.  He hated having ‘cabin fever’.


I knew going to the post office was going to be a mission.  The government institutions in our country are so darn slow!

As we got to the entrance, I could see the queue was already thirty people strong.

Shucks, I thought with it being the middle of the month, this place would be quiet.

Oliver had left the actual licence paper in the car.  So I offered to wait in the queue in the meantime.

You could feel the despair in that place.  I looked around.  People wore frustration on faces unapologetically.  A middle aged lady was speaking rather loudly on her mobile phone rebuking the poor victim on the other side.  She was going on about the other person being selfish and not appreciating her.

Does this lady think we care about her woes?  So inconsiderate!

Funny, how contagious negativity is…

The queue consisted of the first lucky fifteen able to sit and wait.  While the rest of us stood wishing the line to shorten quicker.  I saw a man with a grey beard wearing a blue shirt and some flacks.  He was sitting in the fourth chair rocking his legs up and down.  Clearly, he had elsewhere to be.

I was worried he was going to wear his soles in with that amount of tapping.

Then Oliver came in.  And it happened again.  The mood of the room changed.  The lady on the phone expressed her love to the person on the other side.  She was smiling.  The tapping man stopped.  He seemed so content.  The fidgeting in the room was replaced with happiness.

Then I saw the anguish in his face.  And he was holding his stomach as if he were suffering from severe cramps.

What is happening to Ollie?


My brother retires to his room.  His shoulders slumped.

Wow, he really has been looking emo…

Friday.  9:00am.

We had another errand we had to do.  We needed to get some banking; student loan issues sorted.

And that morning turned out to be the worst morning ever.  And weirdly extraordinary at the same time!

Ollie and I sat comfortably in the maroon sofas.  We were chatting about the latest football scores and headlines.  The bank was moderately busy when they came in.  Six of them wearing balaclavas.  They each held an AK47.  (A gun you don’t want to cross paths with.)  Fear entered with them.  A moment of panic shot through the staff and clients.  The obvious ring leader shouted for us all to lie flat with our hands stretched above us.

I heard the teller behind the nearby counter weeping.

Those guys were efficient.  And all had a particular role to play.  And all seemed to be running smoothly for them.  The tellers were filling the bags with cash.  No customers were attempting to resist them.

They had plan everything well.  Except one thing.  My brother.

What is he doing?

Oliver stood up.  Then it seemed like everything was in slow motion.  He just looked at each one of them.  There was something about his gaze.  One by one they each lowered their weapon.  And ignored the bags of cash.  They then kneeled in surrender.  The security guards on duty jumped into action and cuffed the six men.

Relief and happiness and cheers filled the room as everyone stared at my brother in amazement. Then as if he couldn’t stand the weight of it all Oliver collapsed.

I got to ride with him in the back of the ambulance.  He didn’t look well.  There seemed to be a darkness that filled his face.

As he lay there in agony I thought of those past few days.  Oliver had seemed to change the mood of each place.  As if it were an ability or some superhero power.  First, the hospital.  Then at home.  Thirdly, the post office and then (just then) the attempted bank robbery.  However, all those negative feelings of the people from each situation had accumulated into one massive emotion that my brother had to bear?

Was it Spiderman that said with great power comes great responsibility?

It was hardly a time to be quoting fictional characters.  But like I had said before, “it was a strange week!”

My brother ended up in the room next door to the one he was in three days before.  My mother and I sat in silence as Oliver slept.  There is always an eerie feeling about the quietness in a hospital.

Saturday 5:07am.

I had woken up with a fright.  My mother had left.  The comfort of the couch had called me to stay the night.  The drip was still attached to him.

I wonder if he has woken up yet. 

The nurse came in and did the usual tests.  She said he hadn’t woken yet.  I was worried.  The nurse professionally hid her concern.

Sunday 5:13pm.

It had been such a long weekend.  Waiting with the words on my lap.  I had been reading a Lee Child book.  But not even Jack Reacher could distract me from the anxiety that accompanied me.

Then she walked in.  She was breathtakingly beautiful.  She wore her gorgeous smile with ease.  I also noticed how the darkness of the room seemed to lift as she strode towards my brother’s bed.

I said “Hello, and who may you be?”

All she did was raise her finger ordering me to be silent.  I complied.  Then she pulled out an iPod and docking station from her backpack.

She seemed to be looking for a particular song.

Then the scariest thing happened.
She pulled out the plug of the machine that was monitoring my brother’s heartbeat.  I freaked out and jumped up towards her.
She turned instantly and punched me in the gut.
I had dropped to the floor, winded.

Then she plugged in the power cable from the docking station into the then vacant plug socket.  She pressed PLAY:

“You live your life like you’re not in control,
Like you’re playing a role
Flicker flicker fade,
Destroy what you create and wonder why it always ends the same”

The words filled the room.  The mystery woman was nowhere to be seen.  I looked to the screen on the iPod.  The artist was Taking Back Sunday.  Then I remembered the sign that fell on Oliver.

“I had the most amazing dream!” Oliver said beside me.  He was sitting up.  His faced seemed aglow with happiness.

The following Tuesday 3:05pm

We were sipping on our Milo milkshakes.

I looked out the shop.  There she was.  That stunning mystery woman.  She winked at me.  She had just hung up a sign on the lamppost.  It was the same poster as the previous week:

Happiness is.

Posted in Inspirational, My Writings

Pieces of April

I’ve been writing these little pieces.  Thought i’d share them with you:

Piece 1

I threw away the mat
That we could place things on
Because it reminded me of the unraveling.

I’m sure we stood there sure
Well in their eyes it was for certain

But oh my dear
Dispelling our darkness
Is no easy feat

Time has gone on
With these pieces what could we do?

They can remind us of things broken
Or as we know many pieces make a whole.
A puzzling effect of where we are now.

Lost and found
Breathing in breathing out.

Piece 2

My head is spinning.
Just as fast as this planet.
I stand here still

But its an illusion
Racing thoughts every second

When did life become so big?
I’m full of doubt and debt and desires and…
Waiting to be made.

I queue here.
Every day tasks
Dreams – big and small

Someone relies on me.
I rely on me too.

I can’t freeze frame this all.
I stand
And busy.

Piece 3

Love had a meeting
it had this standing agreement
take it or leave it – it suggested
so isn’t it any wonder

he wonders what he feels
as he is naked before her
with all his clothes on

she wonders what it is
under his rugged rough arms
she finds her safe haven

he wonders why
his heart still skips a beat
when she walks in

she wonders how
she feels so brave
with his encouraging support

the best love is the comfortable kind
even when things are uncomfortable
love must be a wonder-ful thing
they wondered…

1) Which one do you like?
2) What is your interpretation of them?

Posted in My Writings

The Burned House

The Burned House

I can remember what it was like in my heyday.
I stood tall. I stood confidently.
I remember their laughter in my walls.
There were nights when the rain fell hard.
My ceiling hovered over them, keeping them safe.
As they lay snug in their beds.
But that was in my heyday…

Now I barely stand in this shame-day
I can still hear their screams scratched into my walls
As I hopelessly stood there
Four days before (Christmas)
Four of them, no more.
Shame and smoldering ashes scar my remaining walls.

Shame on you.
Your curiosity (does not kill cats.)
But it kills me
I’m no tourist attraction.
It’s been three days.
And you still drive by – like my rubble is your highlight.
What for? To add to your “table talk over Christmas”

To those who have placed flowers and prayers at my palisades.
I thank you.
For a brief moment they masquerade the mourning.

Distant family
Can’t even call…
Because the line is destroyed.
Besides, no one would pick up.
Rest in peace.

I notice them houses around me
Standing tall.
The laughter and excitement of Christmas
Echo through their walls.
If only,

Posted in Inspirational, My Writings

Short Story – It was like

I recently entered a short story compo. 250 words with the theme “Load Shedding” which was hosted by WriteSmarter

My entry didn’t win. But of course, I don’t mind. I still love writing. So now that the winner has been announced I can now published my take on this theme:


It was like…

The weather was dull.  The grey clouds invited me to stay indoors.  I grabbed my latest book and made some plunger coffee and then snuggled into the corner of the couch.  I was set.

The Daily Sun lay open on the table beside me.  It displayed this week’s crossword puzzle.  The challenge persuaded me to leave the story.

First clue across. ‘Nickname for South Africa’ starting with R.  Easy one!  Rainbow Nation.  The next clue down.  ‘A former president’s affectionate title’ starting with M.  I jogged my memory and worked it out.  Madiba.

This tug-of-war with the puzzle continued for 30 minutes.  I had two words left to completion.  I stood and stretched.  Switched the kettle on and prepared another coffee.  I stood in the middle of my kitchen peering to the world through the window.  I could hear the occasional dove cooing.  The wind was rustling through the leaves.

I thought of that old adage; “I live in a small house, but my windows look out on a large world.”  I smiled at the mere years of my life and what I had been blessed to see thus far.

But I was stalling.  The missing words lured me back.  I figured out the second to last word.  Final one.  Starting with L: ‘when one lacks power’.  12 letters.  I was out.  I couldn’t see what I needed to do…

Then, it was like a light went on in my mind.  The answer: Load Shedding.