An inverted smile.


Lowveld thunderstorms are always beautiful. The vitality and drama of a quick burst of  rain is such a release after a day of hot humidity. This afternoon however, we were spoiled with a big generous rainbow too, like a perfect full stop after a stormy sentence. It spanned my whole view – connecting in colour – one koppie with another.

I think that our life sometimes echo this; we experience a day/month/season of being uncomfortable. Things seem unbearable and irritability chafes one’s ability to think clearly. It is such a valuable reminder that after the crescendo, the breaking point complete with thunder and lightning – things will inevitably, clear up. Perhaps things may even be better than before, despite the reality of few new potholes along the way.






Maia se woorde

Kimmi – Mickey Muis / Minnie Muis

Ballelon – ballon

Robbert – Modder

Eerste woorde: kla(ar), Kiki (Grietjie), 

About a building

Our house sits comfortably in the slope of the koppie, overlooking our city like our own Acropolis, perched on the edge, partially cantilevered over a deep and ravine filled with indigenous trees. 

When we first saw this corner of the Estate it was hidden under Lantana and Sekelbos. Stinkhout and Transvaalse Valsperdepis were being suffocated by a Wag-‘n-Bietjie creeper. Despite the tangle and the steepness of the stand, we felt the drama of this site. We recognised the promise. We bought it, almost impulsively. 

The process of building demolished any feeling of whim. Instead, over months, our house grew from its foundations according to plans, endless discussions and careful consideration and reconsideration. 

Now, almost a year after we first broke ground, we are not yet finished. As window frames start to bracket views and paint colours soften walls the end is in sight. May this be our treehouse of happiness remind us of the prize of perseverance and the power of gratitude. 

Steps around the bend

Change is challenging and frightening. It is exciting and difficult. Hopefully, worth it in the end. I believe that change isn’t meant for endings but for new beginnings. 

I lay awake thinking of the steps that brought me here. The story is full of surprises, twists and turns that I could not have predicted, even in a magical reality.

Standing on the threshold of another turn I can’t see the destination but know it is there and I must go/grow towards it. I may have a hand-drawn map under mountains of memories, complete with unchartered waters indicated and possible sea-monsters. 

For now, I can only see the few steps curving around gently into the future. Step one. Trust. Step two. Move. Step three. Watch my step. Step four. Document the journey.

See you on the other side. 

“Hen en Kuikens”

Small bodies nestle back into the soft  hollows against my body. Oh, it is a moment of bliss. Both of you are cuddled up under my arms, I am a hen proudly clucking her chicks into the safety of her wings.

The moment lasts only a second or two, before one of you, then both, wriggle out and giggle away from me. My heart flutters as I follow both your movements from here to there, over and under – as if you are foraging for fun down the hallway. 

The house is a mess, your breakfast from this morning is still painted on the floor. I know there is a million things to do. But when you call from the bedroom, I don’t hesitate to go join you there – hoping to peck and scratch for memories with you, which shouldn’t be left behind.

The Trumpet Test

Your pettiness radiates from your chin like a noose. Your blinkered view blinds you of opportunity and the rest of the world. Your words are loud but empty. I feel sorry for you, but I feel more sorry for me. That I had to endure you that moment on the television, that few minutes spent reading about you, this paragraph penned about you … and not on beauty and hope. You are a black hole. Minutes from the apocalypse, you look in the mirror to glimpse your greatness again. I pity you, your Emptiness.

I hope your children will break the walls you build and extend hands of hope over golden balustrades. My hope is with children who knows how you breathe fire and how to contain the cancerous flames of your ignorance. May your rise and fall be a spectacle to be remembered, a diagnostic litmus test on a sick society which will heal and aspire to more, before it is too late. 

Hello darkness my old friend

I can’t watch movies made for adults anymore. My official reason is that I don’t have time. The real reason: I can’t stomach the violence and drama – the tragedy. 

It doesn’t make a difference how many Oscars or how critically acclaimed a film is, if it is rated 16, count me out. 

Perhaps it’s because I am visually inclined, and violent words or tragic dialogues can replay in my head forever…  If it’s violent – or worse, tragic violence, I feel panic creeping into my conciousness. 

Maybe I suffer from a mild case of PTSD. Real life had dealt me enough blows. One more cinematic tragedy may tip the scales into a downward spiral I cannot indulge in. 

My kids need me to be here, comforting and smiling when they get bruised by life, legos and table top corners. I cannot slip on a movie scene, and fall into a self-made puddle of depression. 

So, I generally avoid those movies. Hazards and hurdles to happy thoughts. But, sometimes like tonight, my ears glimpse what Michael is watching. Tonight, the screams on the screen forced my eyes to listen too… I begged him to switch the channel and he did before the imminent “worse”. 

Even if I only saw minutes, I am laying wide awake in bed replaying what I heard and saw (and felt) for what feels like hours. I feel sick.

Now. I must choose to mop those thoughts with cheerful alternatives. I think of Maia and Dara on a wheelbarrrow this morning. I think off Michael’s fish curry.  It was a gorgeous day. It was a gift. It was delicious and to be sucked ​on like a mint,  a counter to a pungent taste overstaying its welcome.


As I rinse my thoughts and wipe away the remnants of a tragedy, I feel a little lighter. I am thankful for that dark moment too; it brought me to gratitude. A wheelbarrow full of thank you’s and it smells minty.