Miniature architect

We had a compulsory careers evening at my school when I was in Std 9 (Grade 11) but because I was only interested in becoming a journalist, I refused to go to hear what any of the other professions were all about.

It was a very conservative school, and a very long time ago, so the choice of professions deemed suitable for a woman was not very large. It was suggested that we could become nurses (not doctors) and secretaries (not CEOs). I seem to remember that being a legal secretary was ok too. Or a veterinary assistant.

(Apropros of that, I saw a wonderful billboard in San Francisco last year: Be the CEO your parents hoped you would marry. Sadly the pic I took of it at night was a blurry mess and I didn't go back down that street before we left.)

My singlemindedness, coupled with the lack of choice and a conviction that I couldn't draw, meant that I never considered architecture as a possibility. Maybe it is because I have been a journalist and writer for so long that I am beg…

A project for 2018

Three years ago I decided to make a doll's house for Taylor. I insisted on going to buy the wood and get it cut the morning that I made the decision, and then, rather typically, it was packed away and no more was done.

This Christmas, Greg challenged me to get it finished, which transformed it into the 'Great 2018 Dollhouse Project', and in a second transformation, I decided that Taylor might be too old for it but that I probably am not.

One of the great things about creating a world in miniature, is that it makes you look at the things around you with completely different eyes. I am assessing everything that I see to determine its convertibility into furniture and fittings.

Greg helped me to cut out the windows yesterday, so now I am planning paint colours, wall and floor finishes and which rooms should be what.

I'm planning a laboratory in the attic, and thinking of a shop as part of the ground floor.

It is 1:12 scale, so the adult people will be between 12 and 15cm…

Not running

On Saturday I spent the morning at the Fair Cape Dairies farm, enjoying the quiet of the wheatfields, perched on a cement structure of uncertain purpose and taking pictures of the more than 500 people who turned out for a trail run.

Even at my fittest, running has never been my thing. At a time when I could quite happily warm up with a 2km swim, I was still trailing far behind anything that required running. So I was happy to hide behind my camera lens as a detached observer on Saturday watching the pople of all sizes, shapes and fitness levels pass me by.

Painting the walls

On January 1, 2012, I scandalised the worthy residents of Moorreesburg by lying around on my front veranda. It was, perhaps, evidence of serious over indulgence on New Year's Eve? Actually, what I was doing was painting  little people on the walls.

I was happy recently when we paid a visit to the tenants to see that they were still there.

This weekend I decided to continue the tradition on our stairs. It was an excercise in patience too, as lying around on the stairs really brings the sloppy finishes that the builders left us with into sharp focus!

9 things

Nine things about my mother ...

Yes, I know that it should be 90, in celebration of her birthday last week, but you'd get bored with reading the list, long before I got bored with making it.

1. My mom moved into the granny flat at our house earlier this year. it was a big move for her, away from all the friends she had made in the retirement resort (it was never an 'old age home'). It has been an interesting journey. We have spent more time together than we have since I was in school and it has been an adjustment that has been easier than I expected.

2. I am much more tired than my mother. Or is it laziness? Every morning I take her a cappuccino made by Greg and without fail she is up and dressed, make up on and ready to tackle the world. I am up and dressed too, but most days all I want to do is go back to bed.

3. I have never, ever seen my mom lying down for a nap during the day. Not once.

4. I am awed by the patience my mother has with the people who treat her like she i…

riding high

One of the things that Greg and I have in common is that we really wanted to live in an old farmhouse-style house in a small country town.
It was a romantic dream that led us to buying a really lovely property in Moorreesburg - 5m high ceilings, Oregan pine floors, a swimming pool and loads of space indoors and out. Our lives there were a mixture of fun and frustration. We discovered that it is not always easy to live in a country town where many of the people are still fuming about the English victory in the South African (Boer) war over a century ago. We also met some wonderful people, and made some friendships that we don't keep up nearly enough.
One of the highlights of the Moorreesburg year is the Skou and it is a highlight of our year too, even though we no longer live in our lovely Swartland home. This year, we had even more fun than usual because we decided to take Taylor with us.

A handful of keys

Sometimes memories are best captured in the mind and the heart, rather than on camera. The pic here is a prime example of that!

Last night we were fortunate to be given tickets to A Handful of Keys which is currently on at the Theatre on the Bay and wow! What an experience!

A Handful of Keys is a show that I have been wanting to see ever since it first opened in 1994. But somehow, in spite of everyone raving about it, there was always a reason not to get tickets (procrastination being the main one). It features two pianists and their baby grands, a wardrobe of amazing costumes and pure, pure talent.

The show was a co-creation by Ian von Memerty and Bryan Schimmel and, over 1450 performances later, more than 420 000 people have enjoyed the magical mix of music, memory and humour. The current show is directed by Ian von Memerty and features the fabulous Roelof Colyn (who has been part of the show since 2011) and the elastic-faced, 19-year old (19!!!) James Smith.

In a new addition, the s…