Tag Archives: books

The day I met Pamela Jooste….

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I’m busy reading 7 Days by Deon Meyer. Now, I have to say I’m a big fan of this chap. I’ve even stalked him on google. He lives in Melkbosstrand. Was born in Paarl, grew up in Klerksdorp and is an internationally renown author.

His books are THAT good. Really clever and a little dark too. Makes one think that there’s a whole world out there in South Africa, other than the queue in Woolies, the inside of the hairdressers, driving through your suburb to park in your double garage. It frightens me a little. That whole industrial espionage, crooks, gangs, diamond smuggling and murdering world, that I know fak all about.

If you’ve read any of his books, you’ll know he’s a really clever fellow. Well, he must be. I mean… to come up with all of that.

There are so many GREAT South African novels out there.

Two books I’ve read in the last year or so were:

  • Little Ice cream Boy
  • Choke Chain

Both by different authors but EXCELLENT.

and of course my personal favourite Pamela Jooste. I’ve met her, did you know that? I’ve never told you the story. Well here goes:

Back in 2000 I went travelling around Europe. In the South of France, all my friends chose to go to Cannes for the day and I said I preferred to go to Nice. You see my gran had travelled there, back in the seventies, I’d seen her photo’s and I wanted to compare notes. Also there was a Matisse Museum overlooking the city and I really wanted to see his work.

Well, at the Matisse Museum, I wondered around and then decided to sit in the outdoor coffee shop/cafe area overlooking the city. It was hot and it had plenty of shade. I wanted to reflect on Matisse’s work that I’d seen and having studied all these artists at school, it never failed to impress when I saw the original artworks.  I remember seeing the Raft of Medusa in the Lourve and feeling so humble and filled with awe at the size and splendour of it. Also got to see van Gogh in Amsterdam and an exhibit of Picasso’s in Barcelona among many many others. I know I’m name dropping here, but I need to paint a picture of me sitting in that cafe, inspired, humbled and alone with my thoughts.

I ordered my ice cream and sat at a table looking at the few people around me. The woman from the next table started speaking to me. She asked me if I was from South Africa? Yes, I replied and we chatted and chatted. We got on so well and I when we introduced ourselves she told me she was a South African writer and had won an award for Dance with a poor Man’s daughter. Pamela was by no means bragging but I’d asked what she’d written. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know the book at that stage. Well we chatted and really bonded for what seemed an age and she had to go and meet her husband and I had to go and meet my friends. She asked me for my address and she said she’d like to send me a copy of her book. Pamela told me to always keep my youthful outlook on life, we hugged and she left.

and do you know, that when I got home to South Africa? The signed book, bookmark and note were waiting for me. It had been there waiting for me for 3 months. Well if you haven’t read Dance with a Poor Mans Daughter, you need too. It’s excellent and it made me cry.

An Instant in the Wind by Andre Brink, My Traitors Heart by Rian Malan, all books that had profound effects on me. Each comes with a different story of how I got them. An ex boyfriend and I swapped books that had inspired us. He gave me An instant in the wind, I gave him: I heard the Owl Call My Name by Margeret Craven.(not South African but still great)

My mom  gave me Under The Pear Saffron Tree when I was going through a particularly bad stage. It inspired me so much I phoned the author up and told her how much I enjoyed it. She lives in St Francis Bay.

South African books are my secret passion. Books that shift my view on life. Life as we know it and life as others know it.

I think the movie Yesterday (South African movie about a woman living in a rural area with AIDS) should be compulsory for everyone to watch.

I can go on and on and add more South African books to the list.

Oh yes, The Diary of Iris Vaughn and Shades by Margerite Poland. Must must must must must read!!!!!!!!!!!!

well happy reading.

oh yes, forgot to mention that I met Justin Bonello (famed cook/chef) this holiday at our secluded holiday spot. We had a chat and he’s the most awesome down to earth chap. Just thought I’d name drop one last time.

 

 

Books and stimulation…

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Read the latest Marian Keyes. It’s better than her previous two. Made me laugh out loud. Have to love the dry sarcastic Irish humour.

But….now I sit without a book to read. Well not quite without…..I have plenty..but not in the mood. All I know is that any sex scene will make me start dry heaving and perhaps bring up a little in my mouth. 50 shades of Grey has sorted me out for any curiosity I may have had with Mommy Porn. It’s not for me and it’s as dull as shite. So sick of cliterature.

I plan to read The Prophet for a little Intellectual stimulation and pragmatism. And maybe I’ll throw in a Jane Austin. It feels like 50 shades has taken my brain and wrung out any sense of intellect I may have had left. My brain is yearning for some facts, thoughts and beautifully written words. It’s like a sponge waiting for someone to pour a glass of water over it.

Think of me over the next two weeks. It’s going to be busy and I need to keep my cool and keep a clear head.

 

 

The one about the Online Shopping Whore….

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Don’t you just love online shopping. I’m a bit of an online shopping whore.

From Kalahari to Yuppie Chef, well it blows me hair back, it does.

All those books and CDS’s to trawl through on Kalahari. I find Musica so intimidating. All that loud music, CD boxes lined up and thrusting themselves at me. My brain scrambles and I don’t know where to start. The sales people so hip and over-energised and mouthing the words to songs I’ve never heard before. Makes me feel so old and not with it. and….I am with it!

Online shopping is relaxed, I can take my time and really buy what I like. Plus the excitement of receiving a parcel in the mail is borderline orgasmic.

Ripping that hard plastic ribbon that holds the brown box together to reveal the contents. (A car key works well, by the way, at tearing the hard plastic ribbon.) I can never wait until I get home, I’m ashamed to admit. I usually saunter casually to the car, sit down, look over my left shoulder, look over my right shoulder, to make sure no-ones watching the rip-shit-and-tear and go for my badge.

However, this is a small town, so I’m sure someone, somewhere is sitting with binoculars, behind their net curtains and scouting for a bit of action.

and then there’s the drive home…..all excited to page through the book, listen to the CD, use my gadget or whatever else I’ve just taken delivery of.

www.yuppiechef.co.za

http://www.kalahari.com/

so anyway, here I sit waiting for John to come home from a meeting in town, with my parcel from Kalahari. The latest Spud, Cathy Kelly and a Bryce Courtney. Can’t wait….oooooh, I think I hear his bakkie now…

Where have I been?

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Let me answer a few questions:

Where have I been? I’ve been lurking around. I’ve been exceptionally busy.

Busy with what? projects, plays, parties, people. people make me tired

and now? Things are much quieter. I only have manageable tasks ahead. Fun!!!

Everyone reaches phases of their life. Mine is calmness at the moment. Uninspired calmness.

The Maryna which I had removed has taken away my melancholy, thrush, water retention and left me with laughter and an increased sex drive. Yay for John. Seriously, I can’t believe how much happier I feel. My weight is still the same though! fk! fk! fk! I don’t feel tearful or bitchy or impatient.

On another note I’m reading a simply dreadful book at the moment called Fifty Shades of Grey. Yuk. It is a Mills and Boon on steroids. I have had absolutely no benefits in reading this book. It’s soft porn. Very Kak actually. Dullsville. I read for intellectual stimulation, so this book is SO not doing it for me. I just think that I could be reading some other book and using that energy to learn something. Instead I’m stuck with a book that’s, quiet frankly, 3rd rate,  and predictable. You see, I never discard a book without having completed it. It’s a weakness. Finish what I start and all that……

The Year of the Gherkin………….

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So I’ve just finished reading the Year of the Gherkin by James Dobson.

What can I say about this book? It’s very honest. And probably based on a real character. Who is incidentally a real knobhead. and shallow to boot.

It’s a Bridget Jones’ Diary, South African version. But the main character is a prat who lives in Cape Town. Shallow and up to his eyeballs in debt. It’s written very simply but I think it’s clever in that it portrays a lot of the real South Africa. Hectic too think there are people like that, but there you go….I think a lot of South Africans are filled with a sense of entitlement. Although, I’m generalizing across the board. Have a read. You’ll laugh, I promise.

See picture below: