Saving the world, one dog at a time

    A dog of uncertain mind and big heart.

    Cape Town – A long time ago I copied down something out of Time magazine, from an interview with the Dalai Lama.

    This is what he said: “Whenever I leave a hotel room, I always try to switch off the light. In a way, it’s silly. But if another ten persons follow my example, then 100 persons, there is an effect. From that point of view, I believe that constant effort, tireless effort, pursuing clear goals with sincere effort is the only way. It’s the only way! The bigger nations and more powerful leaders are not taking care. And God is also somewhere asleep, I think. So we poor human beings, we must make the attempt.”

    This last week I met some people who are making the attempt. Continue reading

    Dinner, with a side order of story

    Cape Town – “So,” said the rather vexed voice, “they’ve moved in, with two cats.”

    “Of course,” she continued, “my father-in-law can’t organise anything at all.”

    The cashier wanted my card, so I missed the answer.

    The same cross voice continued: “And he’s started drinking again.”

    I missed the next bit as my shopping was handed to me.

    “We must do lunch,” said another voice.

    I had to stop myself from going over and asking if I too could come to the lunch. Why, I wanted to know, were the cats such a problem? What had the father-in -law failed to organise? And who, for the love of all that is holy, had started drinking again?
    Continue reading

    Welcome to my Great Big Bad Hair Life

    Cape Town – When I was at school, there was a girl who had shiny, straight, black hair.

    I wanted her hair more than almost anything.

    Mine was (and is) an unmanageable mess – a wavy, frizzy, bumpy, boring brown mass of hair. Short or long, it has kinks and cowslicks and crinkles, and a tendency to go to dreadlocks if I neglect to brush it with great fierceness at least twice a day.

    Continue reading

    Why we love Lego, kits and all

    A Lego creation

    A Lego creation

    According to British TV presenter Ben Fogle, Lego is a Bad Thing.

    Apparently Fogle is an adventurer (though perhaps not as well known in South Africa as Bear Grylls), and he had a rush of blood to the head at the annual conference of the Boarding Schools’ Association in Manchester.

    Oddly, as he was once a brand ambassador for Lego, he is reported to have told the gathering that modern Lego is harming children’s development and stifling creativity because of the rise of prescriptive build-it-yourself kits.

    Continue reading

    SA history just an exercise in boredom?

    Cape Town – So, Freedom Day.

    On Tuesday night I reflected quietly on the freedom of not setting an alarm for the following morning, but resisted the temptation to share the thought on social media for fear of seeming to trivialise the day [April 27].

    On Wednesday we had a friend round for a braai, who said that as she was driving to our house someone on the radio was talking about how we voted all those years ago, and were part of history before it became history. I asked my 13 year old if he knew what Freedom Day commemorated and he rolled his eyes at me. Of course he knows.  Continue reading

    Forget the ‘BitchSwitch’ and get to work

    Cape Town – So, is there a “bitch switch” or not?

    Cell C CEO Jose do Santos has had a terrible week for saying – on online radio station CliffCentral- that they do. After an outcry, he apologised. Then senior women managers at Cell C issued a statement supporting him, saying that while he had chosen some inappropriate words, these were “far outweighed [by] what he has done for every employee in this company, particularly women”.

    And Adriaan Groenewald, who interviewed Dos Santos, took to Twitter to defend him. “People must listen to the interview for context,” he said.

    I don’t know what Dos Santos was thinking, because that is simply not the sort of thing the head of a large business says in public.  Continue reading

    7 ways to a less cluttered house

    Cape Town – When my niece was in Grade 2, she needed an empty shoebox for a project.



    This should have been simple – but it wasn’t.

    Neither my sister, my mother nor I had such a thing as an empty shoebox. I had to ask a colleague (who has beautiful taste in shoes) to bring one to the office so that the school could get its project.  Continue reading