"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Friday, 31 August 2012

my "six songs of me"

I was thinking last night that it has been a long time since I have put up any songs on the blog.  My niece Janet got me thinking the other day.  She posted on her blog, Words Can Only Be Your Own about a competition that The Guardian were running, The Six Songs of Me.  Quite a lot of fun.  Try it, you can listen to the songs too - Internet is soooo clever!!!

My answers:-

01 What was the first song you ever bought?

Tony Orlando and Dawn - Knock 3 Times

Dalene and I had got a red portable record player (to share, for goodness sake) one Christmas, probably 1972/73. With it came a PopShop compilation vinyl LP and on it was Tony Orlando and Dawn - Knock 3 Times.  Definitely our favourite track on the record.  We used to use the broom to knock 3 times on the ceiling (if you want him) and then Dalene used to run to the bathroom to do the "twice on the pipes" part.  You see already at that young age I was the one the "available one" and Dalene hit the pipes twice to say "The answer is "NO" (the fussy, hard to get one!!)

02 What song always gets you dancing?

Queen - DON'T STOP ME NOW.  Not the greatest Queen fan but this song has got me into lots of trouble at the end of an evening.  "Don't Stop me Now - I'm having such a good time, I"m having a ball!!"

I'm burning through the skies Yeah! 
Two hundred degrees 
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit 
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light 
I wanna make a supersonic (wo)man out of you 

03 What song takes you back to your childhood?

Stranger's in the Night - Frank Sinatra

This song always reminds me of my dad - He loved the "doo bee doo bee doo" part and would dance and sing it to Dalene and I.

My dad loved music and always had the latest and best sound system - "Pioneer", "Bang and Olafson" come to mind - he was forever updating for the best sound.  So when I think of my childhood song it is probably when we used to spend holidays at his beachfront flat in Port Elizabeth looking through his records Trini Lopez, Tony Bennett, Shirley Bassey, Barbara Streisand and of course, Shakatak records - wherever he came from with Shakatak, I will never know (but he thought it was pretty "Hip")

04 What is your perfect love song?

Dire Straits, Romeo and Juliet has to be the one because I saw them play it live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Juliet when we made love you used to cry 
You said I love you like the stars above and I'll love you till I die 
There's a place for us you know the movie song 
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet? 

A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade 
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made 
Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade 
Says something like you and me babe how about it? 

You and me babe, how about it?

05 What song would you want at your funeral?

The Police - Every Breath you Take - "Every breath you take, every move you make, I'll be watching you"
Joking.  This is not an easy one.  I would like it to be light hearted and upbeat affair and I do love Sting, so maybe not a joke.  Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton, Candle in the Wind - Elton John,  Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers, Time to Say Goodbye, You Raise me Up - Gosh I could really be mean and get you all sobbing good and proper.

06 Time for the encore. One last song that makes you, you

No question - Dave Matthews Band- Crush

My Crazy Song
"Is this real....or am I dreaming"

It's crazy, I'm thinking just as long as you're around. 
I'm here I'll be dancing on the ground. 
Am I right side up or upside down? 
To each other, well be facing. 
My love, my love, well beat back the pain we've found. 
You know, I mean to tell you all the things I've been thinking, deep inside my 
With each moment the more I love you

Actually this could be 2, 4, 5 and 6

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

have they changed much?

I love this picture
It is my new screensaver
(except I wish Matthew was looking at the camera)
The expressions on each of their faces is so typical
of their characters even from when they were babies

I found the pictures below in a scrapbook the other day
They are not great quality as I took pictures of the pictures in the scrapbook with my Blackberry
(I was quite good mother (for the first year), capturing them month by month)

Gareth John Ogilvie
The Joker, questioning, gruff voice, big smile, eyebrows raised in a "Are you serious?" kind of look
Gareth - 11 September 1983 (9 months old)

Nicholas James
The Charmer, opened faced, dimpled, always cheerful and smiling
Nic - 8 July 1986 (9 months old)

Matthew Ryan
The Chosen One (aka Baby Jesus) - gentle, observant, wide-eyed, enquiring, trying hard to be heard
Matthew - 24 November 1987 (9 months old)

I love switching on my computer at office in the mornings to be greeted by Gareth's raised eyebrow, Nic's friendly face and Matthew, trying so hard to be heard!!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

a few things that hit the spot today

A strange kind of day.  I am off now to have sushi and wine with friends and need to get moving....fast.
So quickly - not a "few" - only 2 things that made me think today.

From Timothy Leary:-

“Admit it. You aren’t like them. 
You’re not even close as they go about their automatic existences. 
For every time you say club passwords like ‘Have a nice day’ 
and ‘Weather’s awful today, eh?’ 
you yearn inside to say forbidden things like 
‘Tell me something that makes you cry’ or 
‘What do you think deja vu is for?’ 
Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. 
But what if that girl in the elevator 
(and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) 
are thinking the same thing? 
Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? 
Everybody carries a piece of the puzzle. 
Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. 
Trust your instincts. 
Do the unexpected. 
Find the others.”

I have told you this before, but I do repeat myself and this is one of the things that I think about so often.  My  Gran, on one of my last visits to her in the hospice, looked at me deeply and said (something along these lines) "Jenny, I know I am old and now dying but it is the strangest thing, I still feel the same as I did when I was young. It is like nothing has changed, I am still the same but I am not..."

I was in my twenties and did not really understand exactly what she meant.  Now however, not that I am about to die or anything like that, but I can sometimes look at a picture and know that I now am gradually starting to understand what my Grandmother meant.

It is all about still being the same person but your age sometimes does not permit you to behave, dress or say the things the way that you used to be able to.  I found this picture today and it gave me a bit of a yearning feeling - not that I was ever this beautiful or trendy but she reminded me of me. She reminded me of me this Saturday watching Nic play rugby at a freezing cold stadium in Stellenbosch - except it was exactly the opposite - it was raining and cold, the dress was woolly and waterproof and the drink was Old Brown.  The subject was 53 and frumpish and she wished that she did not feel that she was doing something wrong when she took out her plastic Coke bottle filled with Old Brown.  She sat with the students and pretended she was one too and it did not feel like that long ago that she was 20 and could do exactly what she felt like doing.

Monday, 27 August 2012

a movie to look out for...

The amazing Meryl Streep is 63.  The Deer Hunter was the first movie of hers that I saw and now when you look through the long list of her wonderful movies there are only a couple that I have not seen, A Cry in the Dark, Death Becomes Her, First do no Harm, Dancing at Lughnasa, Angels in America, Doubt and Iron Lady.  I really could not say which my favourite Meryl movie is, there are so many from Kramer vs Kramer, Sophie's Choice, Silkwood, Out of Africa, Adaptation and I loved her with Robert de Niro in Falling in Love.  Too difficult to choose.

Here are some early pictures of Meryl from Pinterest

I had forgotten that she was in a relationship with John Cazale from The Godfather and he died, I think while they were filming of the Deer Hunter

She met and married Don Gummer in 1978 and has had one of the most successful Hollywood marriages ever.

He looks like a nice man

Meryl at the 2012 Academy Awards: "First I'm going to thank Don, because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech, they play him out with the music and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives, you've given me."

The Gummer family

Meryl about the secret to a long-lived marriage: "Goodwill and willingness to bend—and to shut up every once in a while. There's no road map on how to raise a family: it's always an enormous negotiation. But I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can't imagine eschewing one for the other."

Don is a successful sculptor and two of their three daughters are actresses. Their son, is a musician

But the reason for the posting is the trailer of her new movie Hope Springs.  OMW - I cannot wait.  I think we need to make a block booking for a girls night out. 

Take a peek!! 

How cute was she?

Friday, 24 August 2012

pain is temporary. quitting lasts for ever

Lance Armstrong.  Lets hope he is right about quitting lasting forever.  I lost all respect for him after he was interviewed on Oprah about his battle with cancer and he went on about how wonderful his wife was and how she had stood by him through thick and thin, he could not have done it without her, he detailed what they went through to have their twin daughters (from his frozen sperm) and how close they were and how wonderful it was to be Lance Armstrong. The little twin girls were hardly walking when he decided to run off with Cheryl Crow.  He has since had 2 more wives and at last count 5 children.

Hopefully he will be stripped of his 7 yellow jerseys but the whole Tour de France is now a farce.  Will they hand the his "doped" jerseys to the guys who came second?  Unlikely, because they have also been accused of doping.  Why don't they just have 2 races - 1 for those cyclist who do not use drugs, who train hard and respect their bodies and the rules and the other race to see who can dope themselves up the most, make themselves the strongest and so that we can see which sponsor makes the best drugs?

Why am I emotional about this?  One reason only, I hate being taken.  We all stuff up along the way but we don't pretend to be a hero, like he has done.  We all love the human side of the story and I am still convinced that Tiger Woods, for all the wrongs he has done, will come out of all of this a better character than Lance Armstrong.

I will never forgive Hansie Cronje for what he did to my children's perception of what a "sportsman" should be.  Gareth, in particular was shattered with Hansie's revelations and the fact that he "was caught" by his hero.  Was the cricket he was watching on television "real"?  Was the excitement and tension that a 13 year old cricket fan was feeling while he watched a World Cup match and believed was all "real" and "true"?  Was it all staged.  Was it ever "real"?  Can I ever trust again?  It is all so wrong.

Back to Lance.  Should he hand back the jerseys? This to me is the elementary part.  To me it is about the bigger picture.  What about the money that people spent on his books and the people who bought his books as inspiration and motivation for their children?  Lance Armstrong the brave, Armstrong the survivor, Lance the role model.  Nevermind the money he now has in the bank because of the races he won which enabled him to write books and give talks around the world to promote the "Lance Armstrong, Live Strong brand".

This will be the most popular debate around dinner tables all over the world.  I love to argue with the best and my family roll their eyes when I get on a roll about something I feel strongly about.  Lance Armstrong / Hansie Cronje, same mould.  Guilty or not, the not knowing is almost worst - My Hero - Sportsman or Fraudster? Mess with the grown ups but don't disillusion your young fans who believe in you.

AND, more importantly, don't make me buy a badly written book for a Christmas present for my son's stocking because I saw you race, was amazed at your comeback after cancer and thought that you were a good role model for my boys. 

I was taken AND I don't like that feeling.

Live Strong ....  Carry On....

Hopefully all the remaining sperm has defrosted!!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

awkward moments and things to make you smile

I love the word "awkward".  It is now a much used word whereas (in the old days) I remember awkward to mean clumsy and it was not used for much else.  

Here are some awkward moments to make you smile and some smiles to make you feel awkward!!

Cannot be real...
Taking togetherness too far?  What is it?  Is it a bird, a map?  Maybe the family crest.

Happy Families
There is a whole website of "Awkward Family Photos"
Save the Date
Would love to see what they look like now
This should not be allowed.  I would  have called Childline.
Spot the rebel in his black jeans
Can anyone come up with an explanation
Perhaps a bust of the dude in demin from his modelling days and when he had hair?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

last 24 hours with pictures....

I had only been in court once before and that was to get divorced, a pretty clinical and overwhelming experience in the High Court of Cape Town with Judge Denis Davis presiding.  The second time was yesterday to watch Nic in action in "moot court".  I am not doubting your intelligence but I had to look it up, so here it is:-

From Wikipedia

"A moot court is an extracurricular activity at many law schools in which participants take part in simulated court proceedings, which usually involves drafting briefs (or memorials) and participating in oral argument. The term derives from Anglo-Saxon times, when a moot (gmot or emot) was a gathering of prominent men in a locality to discuss matters of local importance. The modern activity differs from a mock trial, as moot court usually refers to a simulated appellate court or arbitral case, while a mock trial usually refers to a simulated jury trial or bench trial. Moot court does not involve actual testimony by witnesses or the presentation of evidence, but is focused solely on the application of the law to a common set of evidentiary assumptions to which the competitors must be introduced. In most countries, the phrase "a moot court" may be shortened to simply "a moot" and the activity may be called "mooting". Moot court, together with law review, form the two key extracurricular activities in many law schools. Students typically spend a semester researching and writing the memorials, and another semester practising their oral arguments." 

 The Kramer law faculty on middle campus - an awesome building

Counsel for the Plaintiff in the "court" about to "moot"
Wise words from Oliver

Having been involved in legal work for longer than I care to admit, I must say it was a bit too intellectual for my old brain.  The case revolved around a lease agreement which contained a pre-emptive right (and lots of talk about the interpretation of Clause 24).  Amazing to see these young students getting cross questioned, examined and basically grilled by the 3 "judges" (2 lecturers and an advocate).  

Counsel for the Plaintiff, fared very well and I was proud (if a tad confused). 

The University of Cape Town must be one of the most beautiful campuses around.  Walking back to my car (in the cold and rain) with students jumping puddles in a hurry to get to their next lecture (or lunch), I felt very thankful that my children have been able to learn from and experience this wonderful campus.

This morning I was late for work.  Just one of those mornings where you can't get going.  When I finally got going and reversed out of the garage I had to stop the car in the middle of the road, leave it idling while I got out with my camera to take this picture. 

It was better in "real life" because everything was so crisp and fresh after the overnight rain.  Don't you love the raindrops hanging there and holding onto the thatching reeds with all their might?

Monday, 20 August 2012

tips for single girls

1938 - these were the rules:-
"keep your allure"
I love his "leering" look
The look of "disgust", you would think she had just blown her nose 
on his hankerchief
"...be alert"
"careless women" - What is a careless women?
(I have heard of a careless spelling mistake)
 "for when a man dances he wants to dance"
(Inability to multi-task is obviously not a recent defective gene)
"it annoys him very much..."
Do not annoy
"embarrasses or humiliates him"
He looks humiliated
Has she taken his hankerchief again?
Heaven forbid
"...but most get silly"
"....deserve, desire your entire attention"
(I love the set of his jaw)

How funny.  She is getting crossed out of his "little black book" and "the headwaiter" cannot control his glee.

My one grandmother could have written these rules and the other would have broken every one.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

soul mate or mates?

Do they exist?  They definitely exist and they don't only have to be the people closest to you.  I am lucky to have a mother, a husband, a sister, a brother, two best friends, children, two nieces and family who I consider to be the people closest to me who understand me best and who I don't have to explain things to (most of the time).  They are my loved ones and all occupy big places in my heart and my soul.  

I have many wonderful friends in my life, they have come into my life at different times and many of them, I consider to be soul mates too.  It is all about the connection and does not matter how little or how much time you spend with them, the connection is there.  Do you believe that there is only one soul  mate for you in this world and for your lifetime?   I don't really think there can be.  I have heard of people who have just one soul mate and that one person touches every part of their soul - they provide friendship and love, happiness, sadness, they satisfy sexual side (or know you desires), you share all thoughts and don't have secrets, they understand your insecurities and your strengths, know about your past and your hopes for the future.  I hope I am not making light of this important title and it must be incredible to have found this one person that satisfies all parts of your soul.

I have this quote on a worn out piece of paper in my jewelry box:-

Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. 
Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, 
oblique side of yourself 
If you do, it will take you where you need to go, 
but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey 

John O'Donohue 
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

To illustrate my point I would like to share with you a few of my friends who I regard as soul mates and who "teach me a kindness in the rhythm of my journey":-

I have a friend who I met at antenatal classes.  The friendship requires little effort on either part.  When we are together we can laugh or be serious and sometimes in a crowd we don't get to chat at all, a wink or a knowing smile is all we need.  She is generous with her love and has the ability to make you feel special.

I have a friend, who my great friend Nicky once wisely told me "Jen, listen to ***, she is older than us but she is so wise, she has already been where we are heading and we will learn so much from her".  Well I am still here (learning), whilst Nix is not (just so unfair), and whenever I meet up with our friend, I am reminded of Nicky's words and grateful that I remember them because, she was right, I learn from her all the time.

I have a friend, another friend who I don't see often enough but who I connected with on the side of the cricket field.  She is a similar kind of mother to me, her children are similar ages, she is a great listener whilst I am a babbler and her very clever, analytical mind, her warmth and understanding is always able to put everything in context for me. 

I have a friend (I can call her that now) who is an aunt, not a blood aunt but she is an aunt.  I don't see her as often as I'd like to, but when I do it is fun.  She has known me since I was born, she loved my father and is friends with my mother. When we see each other it is never heavy or deep, she makes me laugh and tells wonderful stories.  She is one of the funniest people I know and she is good for my happy soul.

I have a friend who left the country.  When she first left we were in daily contact.  From afar she helped me through my divorce with her sensible, no nonsense attitude, wacky sense of humour and x-rated emails.  I think I helped her settle into her new country and admired the courage it had taken them to move their young family far away from their roots and support system.  The communication is no longer that frenetic but I know she is a phone call or an email away.  She is visiting Cape Town in December and I cannot wait for the face to face contact and chats that go on long into the night.

I have a friend - who is really part of our family, but not my family.  Another older friend, a nurse and a wonderful mother.  I arrived at her house with a two week old baby in tears one afternoon.  She made me a cup of tea and sat me down in her chaotic dining room filled with her children, her toddlers and a couple of extras.  She brought me hot face cloths for my swollen breasts and taught me how to breastfeed.  One of the best lessons I ever learnt.  From that day she has been my role model, her home is what I would love mine to be with the door always open and filled with children and grandchildren. I still run to her whenever I am in trouble or doubt (or have a rash on my leg).

I have another friend (oh my word I am blessed to have so many friends). We have not been friends for that long although we have known of each other for years.  She is the kind of friend that you pop in to visit after work, have a glass of wine (or two), lots of laughs and plenty of high speed chatter. When I get home (after a couple of glasses on an empty stomach) I say to Mike "I love her, she just gets me!!" and he gives me a strange look because he does not really use that kind of language but I can't think of any other way to say it.

That is really what a soul mate is - "someone who gets you". 

There are more, but at the risk of sounding frivolous and getting soppy, I will stop. 

I have always understood the heart to be the size of a fist but the soul is so very much bigger.  

I once had a friend who was such a good person and everything a friend should be.  We connected as young wives and mothers with similar dreams for our lives and our children.  My life took a different path and she was there to support me. We traveled and danced and laughed and cried together.  Her life ended too suddenly and too soon.  Now writing about souls and journeys and the love you have for your friends, I realise that her soul lives on in everyone whose life she touched, just as when she left she took a bit of our souls with her.  She was generous in all ways and especially with her love (and soul).

Maybe I am just feeling extra sentimental this morning but as you get older things do start fitting into place and making more sense.  These soul mates and connections are all about our journey of life and leaving something behind, so that when we are no longer here bits of our soul continues to live in everyone we ever loved and were connected with.

Hectic (lucky it is invisible)

Enough Jennifer - something lighter to end with:-

“Have you got any soul?" a woman asks the next afternoon. That depends, I feel like saying; some days yes, some days no. A few days ago I was right out; now I've got loads, too much, more than I can handle. I wish I could spread it a bit more evenly, I want to tell her, get a better balance, but I can't seem to get it sorted. I can see she wouldn't be interested in my internal stock control problems though, so I simply point to where I keep the soul I have, right by the exit, just next to the blues.”  - Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

Thursday, 16 August 2012

hendrik van niekerk and "mr pfaff"

Everyone has a story.  Here are two short stories.  Hendrik van Niekerk, a vagrant in the Claremont area and Mr Pfaff (my name for him) a homeless man in the Lynfrae area.

My first story goes back more than 15 years ago when John, the boys and I lived in Parry Road in Claremont.  One afternoon the boys and I got home from afternoon sporting activities to find John and Hendrik clearing out our outside "maids quarters".  It transpired that John had got into a chat with Hendrik and had taken pity on him (he was not feeling well).  Hendrik needed shelter and "rehab" and this he was to find in our home.  I was sceptical and vocal about it but Hendrik was quietly spoken and very humble and John assured me that he would be helping around the garden while he recovered and he would be no trouble.

John was very much into alternative medicine at this stage.  After his hepatitis he read and researched all he could find out about the liver and how it functions and restores itself.  He did liver flushes, ate only apples for days and then swallowed cod liver oil.  He had powders, colloidal silver, green barley drinks and his "bestseller" Kombucha!!

Kombucha.  Not as well packaged and sophisticated as this but new to South Africa and a brown liquid that we had gallons of in our kitchen.  It was hellishly expensive but John was on a mission promoting this new "miracle drink".  Friends had to try it.  He added milk thistle, mint and other concoctions to it.  I personally found it best with a tot of gin!!  Hendrik (and Hendrik's liver) were going to benefit from it and John fed him rolled oats, grated apple and honey for breakfast with 2 tablespoons of colloidal silver and a green froggy pond drink.  He was under instructions to drink a 2 litres of Kombucha during the day.  For the rest of the day he was expected to tidy up the garden and rest.

It could not have been more than a week or so that Hendrik lived with us.  He started disappearing during the day (and did absolutely no work in the garden) and was usually at the Drop Inn on Lansdowne Road with his mates.  He arrived home for supper and was up bright and early with the broom in his hand (a show for John) every morning.

Things came to a head when John was out until late one evening.  I had closed our front gate and locked the side gate because Hendrik had not come "home" either.  It must have been after midnight when I heard a commotion at our front gate. I looked out of the upstairs window and it was a funny sight to see John pulling Hendrik up and telling him to leave and not come back.  What happened is that Hendrik must have got "home" before John.  He could not manage the gate so decided that the driveway was a good place to "rest" and pass out for the night.  John, arriving home late, swung the Kombi into the driveway.   Now being John and being pretty scared of the dark he nearly died of fright when he tripped and fell over Hendrik's comatose body in the driveway.  He then noticed just how close the wheels of the car were to Hendrik's body.  He could have maimed or killed the man he was trying so hard to rehabilitate.

Hendrik is always around Claremont.  He is a friend of Janey (read all about her here) who works at our office as a messenger.  We make him coffee (and sometimes a sandwich) and keep his blankets during the day.  He was knocked over a couple of years ago and broke his leg. He spent a few weeks in traction in Groote Schuur Hospital.  His picture appeared in the Tatler ("Do you know him" column) and Janey went off to identify him and help him get discharged.  He is pathetically thin at the moment.  I mostly refuse to hand out money to him but tell him to be at the office at 4.30 in the evening and I will take him to the shelter and pay for it.  He never arrives and tells me he sleeps at the Church.

Today I asked to take his photograph and took some details from him. I am going to try to get him an identity document.

Name:  Hendrik Andreas

Date of Birth:  3 January 1956
Place of Birth:  Colesburg

Lived in Adelaide Street, Colesburg and came to Cape Town "lank lank gelede".

The "van Niekerk" is the surname my sons gave him.  We have always called him Hendrik van Niekerk and I had no reason to believe that it was not his name.  I asked him where "van Niekerk" came from, thinking that the boys must have got it from somewhere.  He looked at me blankly and said "My name is Hendrik Andreas".  Everyone in our office calls him Hendrik van Niekerk.  He is Hendrik van Niekerk to us.

He is not a chatty fellow.  He has never been married but did have a woman in his life, once.  She had children, he never had children.  He never sees her anymore and she may have moved to Worcester.

I asked him if he ever remembered staying in our back room in Parry Road years ago.  He looked at me blankly and shook his head.  I tried to remind him of where Parry Road was and that our house was tucked away in a corner.  I told him that my husband's name was John and that we had 3 boys.  I could have gone on and badgered him a bit more but he had finished his coffee and was getting restless.

Only after he left did I think that I should have asked him if he remembered a kind man who gave him a bed for a week or so, fed him strange foods and a thick green liquid, made him drink gallons of an awful looking but surprisingly tasty brown liquid, who gave him new clothes and shoes and then woke him up late one night from a deep sleep on a driveway and sent him on his way.  That should have jolted his memory.

Maybe I'll ask him tomorrow?

Then there is "Mr Pfaff" another man who lives in our area.  Sorry I don't have a photograph but if you live in the area you will know exactly who I am writing about.

I remember him from way back when I was still at high school in the '70's.  A white homeless man with strangely combed hair. He has been around forever and I used to think he was related to our vice-headmaster Mr Powis because of his hairstyle.  During the '80's my father-in-law used to feed him every morning and he once told Bob that he was from the Pfaff (sewing machine) family and was disinherited. There were so many stories and rumours about him - a drug pusher, a psychopath.  He never looks drunk, never asks for anything but is always on the move.  He carries a plastic grocery bag with his belongings.  For a while I know he lived in a crumbling house in Nansen Road.

I remember him running.  He used to have an athletic and strong body with beautifully shaped legs. I seem to  remember a story about him running the 2 Oceans Marathon (maybe another rumour).  He now walks so slowly and limps so badly that it looks like his whole body is about to collapse.  He must be in terrible pain but he keeps walking, walking slowly with his plastic bag and his few belongings.  He does have shoes and a big warm (and dirty) winter coat.  He never stops and does not make eye contact. I want to ask him if needs any painkillers for his hip.  His hair is now grey and balding and no longer combed in that strange way.

If we are finding this winter cold, what about the very thin and frail looking Hendrik van Niekerk and "Mr Pfaff" and his aching joints?  Where do they sleep?  How do they keep warm?

I wish I was brave enough to stop "Mr Pfaff" and ask him for his story and take a picture or two.  I would love to listen to his stories and observations of "Life in Lynfrae".

Everyone has a story.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

favourite homes from the movies

I have a "board" on my "Pinterest" page with all my favourite places and spaces.  Mostly they are homes to look at and dream about.

"It's Complicated" is having a re-run on DSTV at the moment.  I saw it for the first time with "the girls" and we nearly killed ourselves laughing (maybe the champagne and sushi lunch had something to do with it).  The second time it was hired on DVD and watched with Michael and Matthew and was not quite as funny as I remembered (maybe the men in the room had something to do with it?).   I hate it when you tell people how funny a movie is and then you sit down to watch it with them, not even you, find it that funny anymore.  On Saturday morning I caught a bit of it on one of the channels and once I start watching and even if three quarters of the way through, it is difficult for me to stop.  So I ending up watching about 40 minutes of it again.  This time, I was all on my own and must confess to a couple of good laughs on my own (Alex Baldwin is pretty funny) and the "Skype" and "Boom" scenes, are very funny.

However Meryl Streep's house was the most worth ogling and best of all, I loved her kitchen (the bakery was not too bad either)
Too lovely 
(never mind that French "Croque Monsieur" she rustled up for supper)

Then Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton in "Something's Gotta Give".  An OK movie which I ended up watching a couple of times and mainly because I had fallen in love with Diane Keaton's house on the Hamptons.  
Night time Pyjama Party?

Stormy afternoon - my aching nerves
and the front side
and I could go on and on but take a look here

Then the house that Ryan Gosling built in "The Notebook"
"The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet (oooh and Jude Law) was another sweet movie that was enjoyed more for the homes and the English countryside than the content of the movie.
Kate Winslet's cottage in "The Holiday"
and the cosy living room
(I could move right in)
and the very impractical bathroom  
Could have trouble getting out (never mind getting in) and missing the narrow ledge of step
(and putting your head back to rinse your hair)
Was there a shower?
Did you see Diane Lane in "Under the Tuscan Sun"?  
Right up my street (but where is the wine?  AND her friends?)
her amazing "garden"

What is your dream house from the movies?