33. The Poison tree.

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You’re sitting in the dappled shade of a bushveld tree on a hot summer’s day, contemplating the view, beetles and bees buzzing lazily through the canopy above you, when all of a sudden, you hear a loud pop.

Before settling in, it pays to make sure the shade is unoccupied.

Before settling in, it pays to make sure the shade is unoccupied.

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31. Our friends and neighbours.

We can all heave a sigh of relief. I don’t know about you, but I just haven’t been sleeping well. I’ve been picking at my food. Losing interest in my appearance. Moping. But that’s all over now. Justin Bieber’s monkey has found a new home. Yup. Poor little Mally is gonna be OK. Group hug, guys.

A dirty, flea-ridden little beast. And a Capuchin Monkey.

A dirty, flea-ridden little beast. And a Capuchin Monkey.

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30. Here be giants.

I’m writing about tropical islands today. Because tropical islands are not cold. I am not writing about Johannesburg. Because Johannesburg is cold. But that’s not my only reason for writing about tropical islands. As I will never tire of reminding you, I went to the Seychelles recently. I was looking through the photos this morning, because I was cold, and came across this one.

Some of the interesting wildlife of the Seychelles. And a tortoise.

Some of the interesting wildlife of the Seychelles. And a tortoise.

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29. More gourmet cooking with 23thorns.

South Africa has no national cuisine. This sort of makes sense, because we don’t really have a national culture. We have lots of them. We all know what a bunny chow is. But if you asked us, we would tell you it was Indian food. We all know what Bobotie is. But that’s Cape Malay food. There’s Melktert. But that’s Afrikaans. We know what a smiley is. But it can’t be part of your national cuisine if no-one you know can bear to look it in the eye, let alone eat it.

Restaurants serving the traditional South African "smiley" are required to have a qualified trauma councillor on their staff.

Restaurants serving the traditional South African “smiley” are required to have a qualified trauma councillor on their staff.

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28. Powerless

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I’ve done it. I’ve missed a day. For twenty seven days in a row, I have put up a post a day (I’m trying to do a hundred in a row), and yesterday I didn’t. I’m sure most of you think this is not big deal, but it is. You see, the government made me do it. They shut me down. They broke my stride. They took away my mojo. They messed with the flow of my chi.

You don't want to mess with the flow of my chi!

You don’t want to mess with the flow of my chi!

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27. Angie’s panties and the end of my career as a political commentator

I have learnt something valuable while writing about politics this week. Don’t write about politics. South African politics is a richer source of stories than most other countries. We have great heroes and evil villains (often the same person). We have heart-warming triumphs and heart-breaking tragedies. But I’m not going to tell you any more of those stories. Not unless something really unusual pops up.

Other politicians are boring.

Other politicians are boring.

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26. The great toilet war of 2011.

Next year is going to be an election year. We’re in for some sports. Our system doesn’t work like most democracies. We have, like most countries, two main parties. Or so we like to tell ourselves. The truth is that we have one main party, and another one that makes a very loud noise.

South African party politics in a nutshell.

South African party politics in a nutshell.

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25. The gravel thief.

Enough. I’m taking a break from politics today since I have uncovered a monstrous crime taking place right beneath my nose. It’s not at all because I’ve been reading the papers every day for a week and this morning I reached critical mass, and couldn’t bear another word of the endless dreck we are subjected to. We’ll go back to politics again tomorrow. You haven’t heard about the open toilets yet.

Those of you who have been following this blog for a very long time may remember that, towards the end of last year, I fell victim to a spate of robberies in my own home. My wallet was stolen. Twice. On both occasions, I was able to apprehend the criminal and retrieve my property. I learned my lesson (mostly), and am now far more careful with my possessions (mostly). And it’s worked. My home has been largely crime free ever since. The occasional chocolate gets stolen, but I don’t like chocolate, so it’s no business of mine.

The wallet thief. Behind those cold, empty eyes lies a mind like a steel trap.

The wallet thief. Behind those cold, empty eyes lies a mind like a steel trap.

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24. The Spear.

Art isn’t really a big deal round here. Sure, the big cities have a gallery or two, and like every country we do have a community of both artists and art lovers, but the vast majority of us, even those who are better educated and better off, are about as likely to pop into a gallery over the weekend as we are to attempt the world naked backward-running record. We don’t see anything fundamentally wrong with it, it just doesn’t occur to us. Except for last year. Last year, we all became rabid art critics for a month or two.

The whole of South Africa, May, 2012

The whole of South Africa, May, 2012

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