Showing posts from September, 2012

longing for another world

I remember when I was about 10 years old, my brother gave me four books... one was The Hobbit and the others were the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I can still remember him saying that he was envious of me because I would be reading them for the first time. Having read them all more than a few times, I can understand his feelings exactly, and I have enjoyed introducing others to the wonderful world of JRR Tolkien's imagination.

There is something so special about the creation of another world by a mind of great intellect. I have just finished reading The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, and although it was not a work of anything like the same scale and depth, it filled me with the same kind of nostalgic longing for another world which is as real as this one, but frustratingly just outside my grasp.

(There is a lovely, illustrated biography of Tolkien on this blog .)

Club membership optional

So, last night I attended a book club meeting for the first time in my life.

It is hard to believe that I've reached this (hopefully not too) ripe old age, without having belonged to a book club.I love books, I love reading and usually I don't mind people too much. I'm middle aged and middle class so surely I tick all the right book club boxes?

I'm reading William Gibson's book of essays "Distrust that Particular Flavour" (Recommended by Julie at Moments of Perfect Clarity. She has some great excerpts from the book on her blog).

When I got home I was feeling a bit bewildered. It was a nice night. Two people I really like were there, and the other women were interesting and engaging. The food was delicious. the books were great. But something was niggling, and it took Gibson to give me the answer when he wrote:

"In writing speeches, curiously, one sometimes finds out what one thinks, at that moment, about something."

For me, in having a new exper…

Like faded flowers, thrown away: Steve Biko and the Boer women

The women are wonderful. They cry very little and never complain. The very magnitude of their sufferings, their indignities, loss and anxiety seems to lift them beyond tears… only when it cuts afresh at them through their children do their feelings flash out. Some people in town still assert that the Camp is a haven of bliss. I was at the camp to-day, and just in one little corner this is the sort of thing I found – The nurse, underfed and overworked, just sinking on to her bed, hardly able to hold herself up, after coping with some thirty typhoid and other patients, with only the untrained help of two Boer girls–cooking as well as nursing to do herself. Next tent, a six months’ baby gasping its life out on is mother’s knee. Two or three others drooping sick in that tent. Next, a girl of twenty-one lay dying on a stretcher. The father, a big, gentle Boer kneeling beside her; while, next tent, his wife was watching a child of six, also dying, and one of about five drooping. Already thi…

since I was last here (part 2)

The biggest thing that has happened since I was last here is that we have moved away from the countryside. No more Moorreesburg, with all its joys and frustrations.
No more 45 degree celsius summer days.
No more green wheatfields. No more dry, brown, dusty wheatfields.
No more checking up on the farm animals as we drive home.
No more wide open spaces.

We have traded that all in for Table View suburbia and an office for the company at the end of the garden. We are just a few kilometres from the sea, but don't get there often enough.
So far all the things I thought I would do when I was spending less time on the road haven't happened yet, but we are here and I am happy and that matters.

it has been a while...

Since I was last here, I have been here:

I don't want to say that I am back... but I might be.
Watch this space... I will be watching too