I wish I could sing

The last time I uttered this sentiment was to Clare, when we were emptying our dogs* in the forest one sunny afternoon.

“OK,” she said, “but you have to give up something that you’re good at.”


I’ve thought and thought and thought.  But I can’t think of anything that I’m really good at that I’d be prepared to sacrifice.  Except maybe cheating at cards**.

Any ideas?

And what talent would you add to your repertoire, at what cost?

*She coined the term.  I stole it.

** More like not being caught cheating at cards.


This Little Piggy

I’m a sucker for dog treats. The more disgusting I think they are, the more delectable my dogs find them. Smoked pig’s ears are a firm favourite. They are often difficult to find, especially in Muslim-owned pet shops. This week they’ve been ousted by something even more revolting: smoked pig’s trotters, also known as walkaways.

I bought one as a present for Mr Muffin’s son’s canine terrorist, in the hope that it would distract her long enough from shoes, table legs, scrubbing brushes, or anything else remotely chewable.

The good news is that it worked.

The bad news is that it was rather difficult to explain to the person who brought their porker to puppy training why the terrorist was showing a particularly healthy interest in their precious little piggy’s haunches.

I feel a bit embarrassed today.

I have no idea what I was doing twenty years ago when Madiba was released from prison.

I do remember that I on 11 February 1990, I was 24, lived in Tableview and drove a 1976 Ford Escort called Sunshine. I don’t think I even knew who Nelson Mandela was. I grew up in an apolitical, irreligious family, and kept those blinkers on until well into my thirties. All I was interested in was boys, parties, getting to work sober and submitting my Unisa assignments on time.

So I looked it up in my diary: It was a Sunday. I had a rehearsal, and my folks came round for a braai, which was apparently very relaxing. Some oke called Ian invited me to Villa Revue.

Villa Revue! Now THAT I remember! It was a scaly club in Maitland which was open on Sunday evenings – unheard of in the old South Africa. Late Final played. Jislaaik, it rocked! Late Final still plays in the Beer Tent at the finish of the Argus Cycle Tour. Which is where, for the last fourteen years, I’ve stood and drunk beer for four hours after spending six hours on a small black saddle.

Oh dear. Just more proof that the more things change the more they stay the same.

  • One hen party (Nude art class. Phowaaar!)
  • One wedding (Mr Muffin’s son. I wore a frock)
  • Two funerals (Girls, get your girls checked out, ok?)
  • Meals at Forries, Café Royale, Cape to Cuba, Bombay Bicycle Club, (Yum. All with wedding-related family)
  • Two braais (One was a gas braai, does that count?)
  • Two dinner parties. (One I can’t remember much – too many cocktails)
  • One AGM and one committee meeting (Got to do something responsible)
  • Five training rides for The Argus Cycle Tour (should have been closer to ten)
  • Four movies (Invictus, District 9, Julie & Julia, Avatar. More than we saw in the whole of 2009)
  • Five lectures at Summer School (SA Crime Fiction. Horrified to hear that prostitutes in Kenilworth are busiest at about 7.30am. Just after the nice daddies have dropped their daughters off at school)
  • 2 hours queuing in the Traffic Department – twice (the City has only just discovered that my husband died ten years ago and says he can’t licence his car if he’s dead. Must say they’ve got a point)
  • One audition (No luck)
  • One Bar duty at the theatre (Did my part in keeping turnover up)
  • One drunken cards evening, all girls. Raucous.
  • And now? My wallet is flat and my body is fat. ‘Roll on February’ takes on a whole new meaning.

    I Did It!

    In October, I committed to writing a 50,000 word novel during November. 

     Being the serial procrastinator that I am, I knew I’d have to prod myself, and I did this with several support groups – I recruited writing buddies online and in the flesh.  

    It’s been an awesome experience.  Worldwide, 170,0000 lunatics submitted 2,017,483,647 words to the NaNoWriMo website.  50,101 of them were mine. 

    It’s more like a series of words lumped together in a semi-coherent salad than a book,   but I believe it has potential and I will be spending the next few months editing, editing and editing some more.

    Opening Night

    You wish thespians good luck by telling them to break a leg. My favourite version of the origin of the saying is this one: In traditional curtains, the legs of the curtain were constructed from long wooden rods. In the case of many encores, curtains would be lifted and dropped numerous times causing them to ‘break’.

    “I wish you much shit” is the Italian version:

    In days of yore, patrons arrived at the theatre in horse-drawn carriages. A side effect of horses is, well…shit. So a large audience would result in large piles of shit outside the theatre.

    I like.

    Shoot me Now

    nano_09_blk_participant_120x240_pngI’ve done it. I’ve signed up for Nano.

    This means I MUST write a 50,000 word novel in November.  Doesn’t matter if it’s good, bad or ugly.  It must just be 50,000 words or more.

    What on earth for?

    Well, I’ve done three writing courses this year, joined three writing groups* , and joined a book club.  With all this groundwork, the only thing left to do is, well…write.

    And as the Doyenne of Procrastination, I can do nothing without a deadline, (I especially relish the sound of it whooshing past).

    So.  Anyone else keen? 


    *I’m on the verge of starting another one for scriptwriting.