Archive for March, 2009

The one that gnaws at my stomach, reminding me to worry: I’ve forgotten something; hurt someone with a thoughtless word; I’ll never complete what I’ve set out to do. It walks in my shadow all day, telling me there’s no point to it all, so why bother?

Sometimes it sleeps, releasing me into a place of laughter and escape. When I leave that sanctuary I turn and trip over it, bruising again.

I’ve found some pretty yellow pills that keep this hound at bay for a few hours. But he’s watching. Patient. Welcoming that yellow as his best friend, knowing they’re insidious traitors offering temporary, false relief from his attention.

The dog watches, lying in a corner with its head on its paws as I tackle new projects and meet new people to avoid its orange stare. It knows I’ll see it again when the novelty wears off, and I’m not surrounded by noise and friends and things to do. It’ll keep me company in the quiet of the pre-dawn, breathing its foul breath until I can sleep no more.

I see now that it’s always been there. I realise my mum had chained it up in a kennel out back, keeping me safe.

Do you think the SPCA will take it away if I ask very nicely?


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Mr Muffin was due to start his 20th Argus Cycle Tour one hour before me, so to while away the time before entering my starting chute I took refuge from the hurricane in a sleazy cafeteria. The type with greasy tables, cracked tiles and the sign that says ‘Credit only given to people over the age of 70 accompanied by both parents’.

The coffee was good though. As was the people-watching. A bepimpled teenager in cycling shorts and a pink tutu ordered and ate a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich with chips. I wondered if he would vomit on Hospital Bend or if he’d be able to hold it in until Wynberg Hill.


This chap needed directions to his chute. Must be related to kachasu with that dead animal getup.

He obviously found his way as the good folk at Cape Town Daily Photo discovered (bottom left).

On my way to the start I noticed that Bartholomew Diaz was rather smugly enjoying the post-dawn plight of lycra-clad windswept humans clinging desperately to their steeds.


That white thing in the background is Table Mountain.


About 600 of us were in the PB group. We should have set off at 8:48, but because so many riders in earlier groups were blown off their bikes in the Hertzog Boulevard windtunnel, our start was delayed to 9.37. Of the 73 start groups, only 2 made it through the first 100m without anyone crashing. Charming.

I spent six hours in the saddle looking for Matt Damon and Francois Pienaar. As did loads of poppies on the side of the road, with badly made signs saying “MATT DAMON! FREE MASSAGE HERE!! NO JOKES!!!!!!!!

Finally, the finish.


 And the beer tent. We call it Compost Corner. Because you just stand in one place and drink till you get vrot. Late Final, the best party band in Cape Town, was playing. Loudly. Thousands of shattered cyclists bopped, waved their beer bottles and sang along to Creedence, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits and Katie Perry. They even sang Happy Birthday to Mr Muffin.t-shirtthleaf1 

The Good: The people in Cape Town are amazing. Despite seriously grotty weather, the roads were lined with spectators, cheering every passing cyclist. They were as sunburnt, windblown and exhausted as we were. But they were still there at three in the afternoon, drinking beer, smiling and waving tatty banners. Thank you.

The Bad: I can’t believe how many cyclists were listening to iPods and talking on cellphones while cycling in very dangerous conditions. Do they live in this world?

The Ugly: I have a cold sore on my kisser. I feel like Oprah on Botox. I make Mick Jagger look like a thin-lipped viper.

Next year? I’ll be back. Wouldn’t miss it.

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Mr Muffin has been looking for a ‘new’ car for months, but each one he sees has something wrong. Upholstery, colour, mileage, dings. All sound like girlie reasons not to close the deal.

Last week he found The One. It’s white. It’s an automatic. It puts him in the ‘old man’ league. I asked him what the clincher was.

With a big grin, he declares that it has this amazing new technology, kind of like a passenger mute function. I look to see what he’s going on about, and there it is, neatly nestled below the volume control: Airbag Off.

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nominate this blog

Thanks to Dolce for the prod – nominations are now open. There are loads of categories, and if you have no idea who is worthy of your vote, here are some of my favourites:

If I have missed any worthy blogs, please show me the error of my ways.

You have until 14 March to cast your votes.

So? What are you waiting for? Click on the green tag and follow the destructions…

P.S. Rule 1 (Nominations) says: “You will be asked to give an honest reason for your nomination.” I couldn’t see where to put my reason, and my nominations were accepted. Anyone out there brighter than me who can point me in the right direction?

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My reaction to tattoos is much like my reaction to caged tigers. An averse fascination. Or is it a fascinated aversion? Either way, I’m interested in the story behind its acquisition.

Muffin Manor is currently under invasion by Vikings. Two 19-year old nubile wenches from Sweden. Delightfully young and thin and firm and beautiful girls. I hate them both.

I had to find a flaw.

“Do you have any tattoos?”

“Yes,” replied the siren related to me.

“Can I see it? I mean, is it in a place where I can see it without embarrassing myself?”



She stands up and reveals the top of a very shapely tanned buttock.

Then I remember that her dad died four years ago. When she was fifteen.

And I weep. For this, the purest of love.

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Last July I speculated on the launch of new dog food flavours as the recession kicked in.

Husky Grill House - perfect accompaniment to a recession

Husky Grill House - perfect accompaniment to a recession

 Late last year Purina took the gap and launched Husky Grill House. They’ve excelled themselves with their choice of Flame Grilled Chicken, Rump Steak, Lamb Cutlets or Tender Chicken, all served with a delicious Vegetable Medley.

Never mind the poor and the pensioners, the menu at Muffin Manor doesn’t extend to such exotica.

I’ll let you know if Mr Muffin notices the upward mobility of the supper department after I serve one of the above with basmati rice drizzled with seared caper jus.

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