Sunday, 26 April 2020

The Time of the Purple Rabbits

Yes, it’s been a long minute since I blogged, I reached a point where I honestly felt that I had nothing to say, maybe  it had to do with reading way too many posts on social media, trying to absorb all the anger, confusion, prejudice, and unchecked trolling that abounds. I stayed quiet on my stoep and continued to listen to Crime documentaries while I crocheted away, yet another wildly coloured blanket being foisted upon my poor children or anyone I deemed ‘blanket worthy’

I have crocheted dolls with different skin tones and hairstyles and I am proud to say that I hook a mean dreadlock,,,ja! Come for me! Cultural appropriation? Whatever sweetie.

Much of my time on my stoep has been dominated by me ruminating on the fact that I have reached a stage in my life where I am viewed as ‘elderly’, on my way to enjoying my ‘Golden Years’
Much talk of pension plans and way too many messages about Hospital Plans and Frail Care and the inevitable offers of Insurance to be left for the offspring in the event of my untimely demise. Scary stuff.
 But here I am, still teaching, and this time in a school with CHALLENGES to say the least. Where children instinctively wince when you approach them, anticipating a smack on the side of the head, where people attack each other over a pencil and way too many only have one meal a day, eaten at school.
The smell of unrinals mix with the meal of the day in dusty and mostly filthy passages. Children are crammed into classrooms with dilapidated desks and few textbooks, discipline is meted out swiftly and harshly in most cases and it leaves one with PTSD at the end of most days.
In an effort to cheer up the surroundings I embarked on making uplifting and bright posters with the Educator’s name, all beautifully laminated, which I then gave out to teachers. Whether they really wanted it was not my concern, and most of them looked quite happy. Of course I punished a few by NOT making them sad my revenge, did they notice? I simply can’t make a ‘ happy poster’ for a person who tells me that my problem with discipline is because I treat the kids like humans,,,,let that sink in...

My good friend at school received a laminated masterpiece of  Spongebob and a Purple Rabbit, and it became our Go To Response to the surreal nightmare of many of our days at this Institution time of madness we have the Purple Rabbit darling, what else can we say?

And so...we came to COVID 19 and lockdown and the world was literally forced to take a pause.
We were sent home, and told to stay there. Washing hands became the new trend and the Corona Greeting was invented. And....the internet erupted as thousands of people embarked on this journey together. A dizzying array of videos have been posted daily, and still continuing, of how and what and where people are coping with all of this.
Online Teaching has taken its place amongst those that have access to it, while thousands more continue life in various abodes all over South Africa. Irate parents bemoaning the fact that they have to teach their children at home and why should the teachers be paid? I just want to mention that  educators did not intentionally cause the Pandemic, we are powerless against this scourge, much as the LGBTQ community is blameless for any Natural disaster that might befall the world.

Much speculation and doomsday utterances are entertained, and apparently TicToc is now our salvation, where anyone can be as silly or irreverent as possible and get high on their ‘Likes’ and become instantly famous.
During this time amazingly wonderful people have moved out of their comfort zones and have been making masks and collecting food parcels for people who live in abject poverty, while celebrities bemoan their forced incarceration in their mansions. Ricky Gervais is on it!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

What would Shaka say?

Hi there

Yes, I haven't written for quite some time. Let's just say I was rather overwhelmed. Paralyzing Overwhelmness ( it's now a word)

  I became  acutely aware the of the fact that I and my ilk are regarded by a gtreat many people as Melanin Deprived-colonial-slave masters-hoes-of Jan van Riebeeck and so forth. This in itself is not surprising or shocking really, not if you've been around during Apartheid and you've witnessed this monster at work.

Apartheid's tendrils are far reaching..

It struck me that, apart from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, very little is actually known of the effects of that System on the children of the white masters. We were born into it, we were taught to fear, fear, fear . Ghoulish stories of Vortrekker babies being bashed against ox wagon wheels by blood thirsty and cruel tribesmen.  Women being raped under said ox wagon, cattle stolen, massacres and slaughter as is the way of the  behemoths laying in wait, panga or knobkierie in hand, ready to savagely kill every white person..

I remember a recurring nightmare of thousands of Zulu  Impis slowly filing the horizon over the dunes of the Namib  desert where I was born and raised. The fearsome warriors would slowly descend on us, surrounding our little town. Their eyes glinting with hate...quiet, hard eyes with contempt shimmering through. and then the killing would begin...somehow the soundtrack was quite joyful, with drums and harmonic ululating.....and I admit that I manipulated the nightmare into a sexual fantasy...all good....Viva African jazz Viva

The 'One settler One bullet' thing is real

For years the word 'impi', filled me with a paralysing fear, until I saw the illustration of Shaka Zulu in my standard 4 History book...and this was a turning point in my life. I fell totally and hopelessly in love with this big, black man and spent hours fantasising about us. Yes, of course it was US...I was married to him in a traditional ceremony high up in the mountains of Zululand...his very presence would of course keep the blood thirsty Impis at bay, and I would go quite misty eyed at the thought of brewing his beer, just the way he liked it. In my mind,  a black men sat in front of his hut, ordered people about, gave wise council when needed, and a flick of his eyes would signal his every desire, which I was happy to fulfill. The only problem was that I wasn't really into sharing him with other Nubian maidens, but I figured I could settle for Favourite Wife. I just couldn't accept being a side chick.

So there we were, isolated from the reality of people in this country. I remember sneaking around the Maid's quarters to listen to her music. We were not allowed to listen to the 'bantu station',unless it was someone like Miriam Makeba or Sachmo, and of course Harry Ballefonte. Bill Crosby had iconic status, but when Neil Diamond was seen on a pic embracing a black woman in Africa, people freaked out. Steve Hofmeyer has been selling Neil Diamond covers ever since.

When I finally escaped the School System and landed at UCT, life took on many different hues and meanings. We were thrust into a reality that was shocking, and we were confronted with people that we didn't even know existed in this country. Being an Afrikaner was tantamount to the worst thing you could ever be. I remember being constantly corrected  on my English. Being shouted at for being the Opressor, and looking at angry, white English kids who obviously forgot that their noble ancestors created concentration camps for Afrikaners and Black women and children. The Anglo-Boer war raged on....

I also realized that the Queen's English was not my English. Queen Modjadji was my Queen and will always be.
I embrace being a White African. I love Africa, and I didn't fall of the boat yesterday either. I love my country, and no matter what anyone says...I have met to many beautiful people in this country, I've taught to many wonderful children to ever arrive at a point of hating any race, no matter how many attrocities are committed daily because I live my own truth.I know that people are capable of great love.

I will always be envious of people that wear dreadlocks  and I'm sorry that having a love of African prints are seen as Cultural appropriation.

I often wonder what my darling Shaka would say.. He lived and ruled in a world of his own..a flicker of those eyes and you could be hurled off  The Rock. He apparently hated rapists and thieves.  

James Baldwin said:" I imagine that one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly, is because they sense, once hate is gone they will be forced to deal with pain"

We have not dealt with our collective pain yet...and I still love Shaka Zulu


Monday, 13 October 2014

Hurry up Inner Peace, I haven't got all day*

' Inner Peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.'
 (Eckart Tolle)

Really?   Is that it?  Is that is all that it takes to attain a state of utter peace and calm, dignified in the face of any storm, protected against any Weltschmerz that might  attach itself to the anxious heart? You simply choose not be be upset and voila!

 Alas..... this statement is as loaded as a script direction for a Stage sentence.....loads of work,endless repetition until some sort of expertise is achieved...or ,as in my case, NOT.

  Oh how I yearn for a time when I will be of serene countenance, simply drenched in an endless supply of Inner Peace.  To be in a place of quiet introspection, to be able to withstand any onslaught in  dignified silence and objectivity,  assimilating the Lesson that  must be learnt, ( or repeated ad nauseam) , until said tutorial has been  processed by the focused mind and heart.

After part- taking in many a meal at the Big Karma Cafe, one wants to be respectful and must heed .

Through a process of liking a couple of pages on Face book, I now have a supply of uplifting and encouraging messages that I share with great abandon...'.We teach best what we need to learn the most'.. indeed.

I am sitting on my new stoep, after recently moved into a new cave with my partner. There is peace around me and within me, the birds are frantically chirping and pecking at the breakfast buffet we offer to them every day, various pieces of art are dangling from the trees and the pallet coach that I treated with wood stain is comfortable and  a  purple cushion adds to the mojo.

The reason for all this tranquility is that I am hidden away from any visual pollution that may want to assail my senses.

Please tell me how anyone is able to attain and maintain 'Inner Peace', if the first thing you see on a billboard in the morning is something like: 'Woman's genitals cut off by Lover', or, 'Nine year old rape and burn victim dies, Father is devastated' , , or any of the political posturing that reached frantic levels in a pre-election South Africa, let alone the Nigerian school girls that were abducted or the Oscar Pistorius trial that screamed at you from every street corner..

I have not and will not respond to any of the vitriolic posts about Oscar's legal dilemma, but I have been quite shocked at the ghoulish intensity of some suggestions  of revenge, and the horrendous punishments that people want to dish out  to him...The LGBT debacle in Uganda and Nigeria...Christians dancing gleefully  in the street while a man is burnt alive for suspicion of being homosexual..

Does having Inner Peace mean that you are are somehow insulated against events? Is insulated the way to go?  How does one find and keep the balance between being a caring individual ( who is involved in life), and a fulfilled human being, continuously fueled with an ample supply of Inner Peace?

 I have recently failed spectacularly at this. It took one railroad thin, tall, angry woman,( who dared scream at me), for me to lose my hard won peace completely, and within two seconds I was shouting back like a fish-wife on crack. My exit line at the end of this nebulous argument was vile, I am ashamed to say...

'The danger of arguing with an idiot, is that in no time at all, you start sounding like one.'( I can't remember who said this, but it sounds a bit like  Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde.)

How does one become the calm in the storm, a quiet and wise Goddess that supports, and actively assists others,( while not being torn apart by the horror of what passes as Civilization),  if one can't even ignore some garden variety pettiness and rise above? At my age it is undignified and  immature, to say the least.

Namibia ( my birth place) allowing a wild herd of elephants to be hunted for meat.... one of only two such herds in the world....

Still reeling from that shock and writhing in embarrassment, I had to read about the poor owls that are being decapitated, eyes poked out, children cutting off the legs of the unfortunate bird with scissors...people are scared of owls........never mind the fact that rats will gnaw at your baby while you sleep....So, this great natural incentive to rid the rat infested suburbs have now given birth to yet more senseless cruelty.....

I have slowly become accustomed to the traffic in the City and I actually had quite a pleasant drive to work a couple of months ago.....until I saw the headlines screaming at me:

 ' 4 year old boy dragged behind car'

I was utterly devastated, as were the parents of the poor child and a great deal of outraged citizens as well.  I still have not come to terms with it completely, and as a parent I doubt that one can ever   recover from such an atrocious event.

How does one not have this kind of happening affect your psyche?

So, it is back to the stoep I go, crochet needle and wool in hand, crazily busy creating something, anything that will help to chase the horror away.

I change the colour of the blanket I crochet when some dark thoughts want to invade my peace and I say thank you, thank you, thank you for every good and positive spirit in this world.

Thank you to the man who drags a huge bundle of recyclables behind him to go and sell for food, thank you to every Security Guard,who spends hours alone protecting properties and people, whilst watching the protected elite pass him/her every day without so much as a glance of recognition,  no greeting, no connection.

I greet strangers and compliment random people on their appearance, and I love the glow that comes to their weary faces!
I don't care if they think I am mad, every single person that I have lovingly accosted responded with a smile, sometimes it even goes into a chat, and its cool to listen to their stories.

We live on top of a rather hellish hill, suffice to say that offering a bone weary domestic worker or burdened Gogo a lift is most gratifying.

When things become really bad, and the words 'torture' and 'rape' shriek at you from all sides, my only advice is to put on some Percy Sledge at full volume and clean the hell (literally!) out of everything in sight.

You will eventually be to tired to obsess and it's a fine thing to see your cupboards organized and for a moment there you can almost believe that you are sort of in control of something for a change.

In the words of wonderful Kate Bush: 'This woman's work is never finished'

Desperately hanging on the whatever Inner Peace is to be had..spread the love*

Stocking up on cleaning materials and appropriate music**


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Stoep Miesies

Yes its been a while.

I left teaching after almost twenty years, ten of which I spent at the same school where I worked my butt off, only to realize that I was stagnating, and the strain of pretending to be marginally interested in yet another meeting where I simply zoned out and the talking heads would disappear, while I dawdled around in my cluttered mind ,( trying to find some escape) was beginning to take its toll. After all, as an actress I only perform if you pay me.  It was easier than I thought.... I resigned and moved...and here it started... The year of the Big Test.

I applied for as many jobs as I could, found some, and then it would all disappear again.

And then the Land Expo happened and things were looking up, finally!

I played the Miesies on the stoep of her house in Triomf, a white suburb that was created on the ruins of Sophia town.
This Miesies spent her days crocheting on her stoep  and interacting with large groups of people that came to see and experience this amazing exhibition of our troubled past. My biggest regret is that I couldn't play the Shebeen Queen, jiving away with the talented dancers. ( The white thing becomes tedious at times*)

Many wonderful moments, many excruciatingly sad moments.... The old lady who looked at me in horror, with tears streaming down her face...she lived in Sophia Town and was evicted from the house that her husband built. She was confused and believed that she was back there and that  I took her house.

The Old Age Homes that visited... many old people that immediately went into subservient mode when they saw me sitting there. To them it was what they were brought up to believe and they would never make the shift in their psyches, it was to late.

The young people that glared and hated, the guy that spat on me...

The blankets I created while sitting there caused a stir and people wanted to buy it. Some people asked if they could crochet a bit as they were missing their grandmothers who used to do this. A few men wanted to show me how they could crochet as well.

One Gogo walked past and said: ' Ooo the Miesies must crochet for the stressa!'

The Miesies engaged with many people who wanted to play the 'Miesies and the Maid/Gardener Game' They were remembering the  bad old days....give job Miesies, food Miesies, old clothes Miesies, a place to stay Miesies.... My pass is in order Miesies.

The audience carried Pass Books as of old. This Draconian Law was a shock to the many young people that visited the Expo. Some of the older audience members either laughed and played along or reacted strongly against it. Nightmares re-visited.

I admit that I also flirted with some really hot job seekers and promised a piece job or posed with various  customers who wanted to defy the Immorality Act.

The 'Whites Only' bench from the Archives created a huge amount of discourse...

Girls with booties and weaves draping themselves over the Bedford with the dispossessed looking on. 

I was attacked by journalists and interrogated about my heartlessness in the face of the evictions of the time. As I pointed out to a rather virulent journo from America, I was simply an actress sitting there and represented a white lady in her new house in Triomf, and how very blessed he must feel that he came from a country like America, where discrimination and slavery didn't exist...(sorry Mr Martin Luther King) AGH!!

The exhibition was enormous and powerful, and yet some of it left me angry and saddened.
During the Apartheid Years, many people of all colours and cultures, were united against this evil enemy, yet the whites were not represented in the Exhibition. 

My friend, whose daughter used to hide under the bed when there was a knock at the door because her Dad was black and Mommy was white?

Smuggling in my friend for a visit, him pretending to make a delivery, complete with a box in his hand, before the neighbours called the police. As it is my Father was informed of his wayward daughter and warned that he might lose his job if I continue to see this undesirable person. It was very difficult to reconcile a life at a multi-cultural  University with the stark reality of the Apartheid Laws out there.

One lady was utterly distraught about the fact that there were no record of any white people during the Struggle.. She had a white lover during those times, and they were caught under the Immorality Act. He was arrested and she never saw him again. She never married and she was still crying about him. What happened to him? He was the love of her life and he was presumably tortured and killed. She has lived with this for 40 years.
 The fact that I met and spoke with Don Materra was one of the highlights of my life. He is just simply awesome and inspiring.

Watching the video footage of people being displaced , packed up like their furniture in the Bedfords. Lines of Bedfords transporting their grim cargo in the dismal, sad rain of Cape Town.  District Six residents clinging to family and friends with Police guarding  and escorting them to God knows where.

Children taking sweets from a young white guy sitting on top of a Kasper. The confusion on his face and the trust in theirs.... White boys had to go to the army. It was the Law. If they defied it they went to jail. Remember the End Conscription Campaign?

 An old man and his wife holding on to each other, preparing to leave. He's holding her handbag and she is clutching an umbrella that she is to numb to open, the utter devastation on her lined face still haunts me.

Women digging pit latrines in KZN with dust swirling around them on a God forsaken piece of barren land.
 A little boy holding his puppy and staring at the camera.

People setting fire to their homes before they leave.

A thin woman rummaging through the rubble that was her home before the bulldozers destroyed her life, while some official moegoe smirks and points at her.

A beautiful man with long fingers smoking his pipe, clutching his panga..

People running  around throwing stones at the Army, destroying schools, protesting against 'Bantu Education'

On the set of  my stoep , I was flanked by a huge picture of a woman in 1978, watering her garden in Triomf.  Everybody thought it was me on the picture. She was also blond.... 'Do all white people look the same?' Apparently we do, as one woman pointed out to me. 'You all look and are the same'

I had many hours to observe and ponder and I still wonder about the lady in the picture. Is she still alive? Does she know that her smiling face was being used as an example? Was she aware of Sophiatown and the anguish Triomf caused to many? Did she care?

A father and his children passed by and he pointed at me and said: 'See that woman?  That is what they are like, look at her nice house.' The kids stared at me and he shook his head and made them stand next to me with their arms around me...... May I point out that the nice house consisted of a minuscule patch of grass, an old tricycle, a hose pipe, two lawn chairs and an umbrella. Hardly the lap of luxury and yet...

The most virulent attacks came from white English people that honestly believe that only Afrikaans people were racist.  I didn't feel like rehashing the Anglo Boer War, but let it be noted that thousands of black mothers and children died in the Concentration camps.....while the war raged on, people fighting over what was not theirs to begin with.

The sound of the Expo was at times explosive, traditional music, poets, bus loads of people arriving generating immense energy, and I sat in the middle of it all, listening and watching the Shabeen dancers jiving away. It was wonderful to see the older people's faces light up at the sound of Mathlatini and the Mohatella Queens and the African Jazz Pioneers.  One old lady visited with me on my stoep the entire day and insisted that we go dancing at the Shabeen. Yes, the Miesies can gooi!

Stoep Miesies is evolving into a One Woman Show as the Expo was cancelled due to budget constraints.

We are not done yet.

Spread the Love*

Enjoy the Pics&*

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Just take a seat ( I think NOT)

                                          Just take a seat....

........innocent words, one can almost imagine it to be welcoming,......but alas, NO.

I had to go to the Domestic Violence Court. First time in my life. I have been very blessed, I have never been beaten or assaulted by a demented spouse or lover, unlike thousands others.  It took me almost ten years to take a stand in this particular case.  The words: 'cease and dessist' have been bandied about.

The rest of the sordid details will remain buried in a lonely, sad little closet..


..and here's the


You have to go to a Building, to an Office, and Fill out Forms, and Sacrifice Precious Emotional
 Energy in the process. Thus, you need to pace yourself....focussed and professional. You must cling  to
every shred of dignity you can muster, as this encounter is not for the faint- hearted.


 When I  managed to locate the hallowed office, I was  directed to a rickety lift,sagging with sad looking women clutching  files. It was most interesting that the biggest and angriest woman in the group clutched a Winnie the Poo folder. Yet here she was, scowling fiercely and shouting in Xhosa into her cell phone. The word 'Stressa' was screamed repeatedly down her victim's ear .
 We entered the Office and was met by an excited guard with a clicking baton  in his hand. He was clearly in love with his noisy appendage, and he reveled in the power of sliding it across the various bodies in front of him. One young woman told him to stop waving his little wand and that she was really uncomfortable about being prodded by it. He found that hilarious. The young woman shook her weave and dared him to touch her.....things were getting slightly out of hand and his female assistant came to the rescue, by grabbing our bags and rummaging in it as if it was her own bag, which caused the weaved beauty to click her tongue loudly while she wiggled off in her tight jeans. The wand-waving guard's eyes literally misted over as he watched her retreat, and I felt a frisson of sympathy for the poor thing. Conversation was limited as a couple of women sat around, clutching their handbags and picking at their nails or working their cell phones.
One rail thin and deceptively timid woman started telling me some of her story, clutching an ominously thick folder.
 The sadness in her eyes was eclipsed only by disillusionment and exhaustion  and her long, tapered fingers never stopped tapping against the faded leather folder in her hands.
 She carried the folder like a shield.

The main reason that we had time to chat about her x-husband terrorizing everybody he comes into contact with, was the fact that the statuesque clerk was sitting on a chair, removing her slippers and squeezing her feet into a pair of extremely high-heeled, beige shoes. This took about a half an hour, ( a full thirty minutes after they opened, I might add).

 She then trawled around the dreariest office on this earth, looking for a place to store her slippers. Black and pink slippers.... She found her little spot in a filing drawer,there was also a feather duster in the drawer. The window was streaked in thick, very old, grey pigeon poop, providing a dramatic back drop for the collapsed air conditioner hanging half off its hinges, with strangely enough another feather duster stuck behind it.
A torn piece of paper bore the legend: LUNCH FROM 1 - 2

This earth shattering announcement was stuck next to a peeling poster, illustrating the different kind of abuses one can be subjected to and how to recognize the signs.......... I tried very hard not to see the beige atrocities as a sign of impending doom.( Beige is not a colour anyway, its a state of mind. A really dreary and bleak state of mind, in this case.)

The rest of this hovel had the same poop- streaked and broken equipment backdrop for an old wooden counter, where you stand and fill out various forms.

I completed mine as best I could and presented it to the stony faced clerk. She glanced at it, paged through it roughly and said: 'You didn't do it right'
'Oh, I said, and smiled as best I could,' Shall I re-do it?'
She shook her head and literally rolled her eyes.......
I bravely forged on, having come thus far, trying to ignore the exasperation in her eyes.
Me:' Should I re-do it? Should I be more specific?'(Didn't quite know how much more specific I could be  as I had evidence and everything....)
Clerk: 'I know the Magistrate, and you don't want to listen to me.' palms were beginning to sweat and I wasn't sure if this place was regressing me to hot menopausal flushes or if I was attacked by a swarm of airborne germs from the filthiest carpet I have ever seen.

'Wearing really ugly shoes that are to small for you will do this to you', I wanted to caution her, but I restrained myself.

She pointed at the name of my tormentor and asked : 'Who is this? It's not a man?'
'No,' I said, and I think I made a pathetic attempt at giggling, which was wildly inappropriate at that moment.
She gave me a suspicious look and made a funny sound in her throat, which made me feel slightly better over my sad attempt.
She shoved the offending document at me and said: 'Do what you want'
I looked at her rather pointedly.....'Don't tempt me dear......' ( Once again I was composed...)

I returned to the horrible counter, trying to ignore the fact that my hand was sticking to the toxic surface and scratched off some incoherent account of my dilemma.
I once again approached the Oracle and she shrugged and took the pieces of paper.

This depressing bomb shelter made the Traffic Department look like a Carnival.

There was nothing in it, or about it, that in any way conveys empathy, or God forbid, sensitivity.

If I was a freshly traumatized woman who had suffered greatly, and I had to walk in there, I would have been crushed to a pulp.

It felt like a set out of a Quentin Tarantino Movie where the victim sits bound to a chair whilst staring into a bright light while his toenails are being pulled out and rats are gnawing at his remaining limbs.....
Not a glass of water,not a box of tissues, and it hasn't been cleaned since it was built obviously.

In a country where abuse is a National Sport, (with a whole month devoted to Abuse against Women and Children), I find this utterly unacceptable and quite frankly, I don't understand it. The place itself is abusive!! It is an insult to the clients walking in there. What about all the hours devoted to Therapy and Counselling that so many people participate in to improve this situation? What does it help and what does this all mean?
And WHY?????

It is demeaning to say the least, and I will write a vitriolic missive to the people concerned.

Oh, and by the way, I was granted an Interdict........
Put that in you horrible beige shoes and smoke it YO!

Spread the Love**

Thursday, 18 April 2013

manic mall moments-Psycho Killer - Talking Heads

(To Donovan)****

I am a goddess in my fifties, I have learnt some of life’s hard lessons,

 ‘I've stood in a riot, facing  angry, drunk people spewing their hate over me
 I have given birth, I spent 19 half hours in labour with my first child and it was hell.

  I have survived menopause and all its ugly manifestations,

 I have travelled fearlessly on my own and cleaned more vomit and dirty nappies that I care to remember.

 I am a strong woman who will stop at an accident and help, no matter how much the blood and the carnage….I flinch not!

 but yet……I  can’t walk into a Mall without breaking into a cold sweat.  It envelopes me like a wet blanket, making it difficult to breathe. A numbling sense of dread and foreboding come over me and I immediately lose 10% of my sight.....things go blurry...

First there is the whole looking for parking gedoente……the sound making weird echoes in the Undercover Parking  lot… scenes from cop movies flashing past….the girl always gets killed in the parking lot where  a psychopath waits  behind a concrete pillar, clutching  the weapons he brought to inflict effective damage...

Or, just as you turn the key, the car explodes because you are somehow a threat to an insane Drug and Prostitution Cartel.
 The same insane Cartel who stole your identity off the net and have ordered drugs and executions, for which you will be held accountable, but unlike the movies where the gorgeous girl immediately illicits sympathy from a highly effective Police force,  I am somewhat  of a challenge and not glamorous enough apparently, to warrant the attention of Denzel Washington.

  Nooooo, the likes of me must be satisfied with an unfocussed car guard, jabbering away and totally missing the point.

I  always fear that  I will lose my car, and this has indeed happened before…..but we were warned not to use the remote, as this apparently tell the thugs that are hiding in the shadows, where exactly your car is.

They will then rob you (after stabbing you repeatedly with a screwdriver). I don’t like being screwed
without my permission.

My entrance into the gaping mouth of the Mall Monster is not smooth, as I can’t walk on those slippery floors……I am thus forced  to walk very slowly through this hell.

The sound and sight of children whining, screaming, music from shops competing, people josting around each other pushing trolleys.......... so that you are now aurally as well as visually assaulted…
…..smells of concoctions and brews that are being prepared, clash with each other…
The glazed look that some people get as they wonder around, clutching ice creams and eating biltong, as they stare longingly through the shop windows at stuff  they can’t afford and that they most likely don’t  need.
The overpriced coffee…….the endless sales and promotions….

The humiliation of being told by an inhumanely thin and petite girl that the shop doesn’t have such big
sizes…..(Are you really proud of being a size nought?) I don’t say it, she is actually quite pretty...

Some over-eager foetus accosted me the other day, telling me exactly how badly I looked, and how much sun damage my skin has suffered, and that I should stand still (in the middle of the Mall), so that he can analyse me. I think the poor thing is still trying to expell  the image of me glaring at him, from his hopefully troubled sleep.

  How dare you!!

I tried to storm  off in a huff, but I had to execute a walk-skate move to propel myself forward, as the floor was not designed for humans, it was originally a skating rink for penguins apparantly.

At some stage of the game I habitually lose all sense of direction and purpose. Shop assistants  follow me with my goods as I promptly forget everything I bought on the counter.

I usually manage to find an exit, and wrap myself around the nearest pole to smoke like a dragon. This cause some shoppers to look at me with disgust and pity. ‘Old, mad woman sucking on sigarette eeeuw’

Looking for a bathroom inevitably mean escalators and I will land up between a funky person and a woman with a pram, said pram stuck with wailing toddler inside. Who can blame?

Nooooo!! Do NOT spray your skanky perfume on me!

No I will not worship at the altar of Consumerism and Madness that is the Mall. This is the freedom of age.
If I don’t like it I won’t do it. There must be some perks to getting older, honestly.

Finding my car again is a feat in itself, and the guard gives me a long-suffering look.  His eyes are saying:  'Another spoilt, pampered woman who has a meltdown over the colour of her nailpolish'
I dont have the mental energy to do anything but smile....I'm out of here!!!

All is not lost and I discovered a Shopping Centre, it is flat and friendly, there are actually two floors but I ignore the bottom floor….

Shopping with my daughter means that we have to go to the Make- up shop,as a matter of principle.

  And there I found her……the Manageress of the shop……..A veritable vision of pink,  engulfed in a cloud of some intense floral scent ……. Her elaborate, frosted curls were tortured into submission with a variety of pins and clips, all very pink and decidedly girlie. I must add that she was in her mid-seventies.

This candyfloss- goddess with the stiff quaff, was bedecked in pink, in your face pink…

Her eyes looked as if she allowed her talented little grand daughter  to colour it in, lines of colour, and Petal Pink lipstick adorned the smiling mouth.

Her array of pink bangles jangled away as she beamed at my choice of eye shadow…….
The softer pink twinset and pink cotton pants flowed down to the kitten heels, that had her pink tootsies peeping out.
I revelled in her gutspa and zany pezazz

She was at one with herself and enjoyed herself thoroughly.

To add to the pleasure of this encounter, we discovered a Coffee Shop with an outside stoep.

 I immediately made a beeline for it, and as I was sipping the filter brew, I heard the distinct lilt of a West African accent. My heart melted and I must confess that I flirted with the most charming and focussed car guard ever!

These two incidents pleased me thoroughly, so I shall return to my peaceful centre....and isn't that a good place to be?

Spread the love and be blessed and fabulous**