Sunday, 30 December 2012

Monday, 17 December 2012

OMGITM Supermix 38

It is 4AM and I am sleeping on the back seat of a moving car, heading home. It has been a great night, very unexpectedly so. A friend won four tickets to EDMfest, but initially I didn't even know what EDM stood for. As I know now, it's Electronic Dance Music. Thank you Wikipedia.

People have been re-pinning the quote "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"(Neale Donald Walsch) all over the Net, and EDMfest definitely falls into that stepping out of my comfort zone. I mean, it was House/Trance music (I might be wrong, it might be some subcategory of these). I was expecting that repetitive bullshit that SABC1 and 5 FM keep playing as party music on weekends, the kind that loops the same beats without any variation for 10 minutes, the kind that I cannot listen to. But this was pretty damn cool.

The entire fest took place at Nasrec, next to Soccer City, in one of those halls that look like an airplane hangar. It wasn't excessively full, so everyone had enough space to move and see the four hott (yes, hoTT) dancers shaking it in smaller and smaller outfits on stage. There were lots of beefcakes walking around shirtless, and as the night progressed, even the not-so-buff gentlemen were uncovering themselves. I didn't really get the shirtless thing, because a) it wasn't so cold and b) anyone with a needle could deflate those muscles in a second, but it was fun to observe. The ladies were also not wearing much: it felt like being at a beach party with people wearing too much glow-in-the-dark facepaint and building intimate relationships with glowsticks.

I am unsure of how we managed to stay til dawn because none of us was extremely into this kind of dance music, but it was a surprisingly good night.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen

While waiting to leave the city for our annual pilgrimage to the coast, I am leaving everything theoretical in the recycling bin and doing stuff with my hands. Last week a friend and I were invited to a Christmas party at the house of Voer. Riette from Confessions of a Pretoria Chique (click here for her post on a Voer Christmas celebration) brought along templates for making paper ornaments, and whilst some spent the afternoon gluing and painting, others were baking cookies. Nom nom nom. Granted, I am not very precise and gluing tiny tiny Christmas ornaments together makes me say "ag fok" more than once, but the end result is quite cool. Riette gave me some sheets to try at home, and this is what came out.

The templates are all via Mini Eco, which you can find here:

Christmas ornaments
Paper gems
Platonic solids
and for the most adventurous of crafters, the 3D paper diamonds.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Leisure Suite

Wrapping madness. 

I am going a bit crazy with my gift wrapping this year, but it is too much fun. Also, I recently went through all the stuff I own, and before throwing things away I am using them to decorate the gifts. As mentioned in a previous post, many of the readings that we had to read for class are being recycled as wrapping paper. How very eco, haha.

Staying with the whole recycle, save-the-planet, local-is-lekker aspect of this post, I found a few different local designers that offer semi-affordable gifts.

Wren design recycles flour bags, cement bags, corn starch bags, desiccated coconut bags, coffee sacks and antique linen grain sacks. Yes, if you were sensing a theme, basically they take bags and make them into more hipster-approved bags.

Then there are these cool notebooks by inspired by our country. In keeping with good hipster behaviour, I suggest writing your thoughts down in one of these whilst sipping something ending in -chino at Seattle Coffee Company and while your MacBook Air makes use of the free WiFi to download TED talks (coincidentally, brandchannel has an interesting article on SA brands mimicking overseas brands):

batch sells these cool bookends by Fanie van Zyl, as well as other designery-looking lights.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

We'll be fine

This song plays at the end of an episode of Elementary. If you like The National, get No's free EP. (Yes. Free.)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Dedication in Christian Bök's Eunoia
The new ennui makes me organise four years of past papers, collected images and photocopies I'll never use again. I thought I could just recycle it all, because I had backed-up the pdfs to my hard drive, but since it failed on a whim I have to actually look at everything again. Now my brilliant plan is to somehow use it all as wrapping paper. Here are the earrings I bought you, and some Foucault on the side. Win-win.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


You called it enjoying the ease of summer. At the moment, it feels neither easy, nor summery. More like I am simmering in my own sweat when I am not allowed to sweat. You see, there are two very expensive stickers on my back, containing fourteen chemicals often used in cosmetics. This patch test stays on for three days, during which they cannot become wet. So all showering, swimming, and sweating of any sort, is out. It is advised to bath. I like my water streaming down, not sitting in a cold pool of it. But it is only three days. Hopefully after that the mystery allergy that sneaks up on me on occasion can be identified and avoided. 

In general, spring and autumn speak more to my sensibilities than the overwhelming heat of summer and the lack of heat during winter. The inbetweens are more my thing. Summer is fantastic. The time of Christmas vacations, road trips to the coast, fresh fruit, seeing family and friends, drinking too much, going out too much, tanning and relaxing in as little clothes as possible whilst holding some kind of pink cocktail.

However, it also encompasses the dreaded search for a bathing suit. This year I have started early so that I can fail more often. I really don't understand how it can be this difficult. I mean, the entire Gauteng goes to occupy the coast during December, so I assume there are boatloads of swimming costumes needed. However, all the stores have either stamp-sized nipple covers for tweens, or they have black dress-suits aimed at anyone that is older than 40. So you can either go almost naked, or looking like an elephant in a tutu. 

Not to out myself as a pervert, but I have observed that lots of South African women are large-chested (well, many are just large in general, seeing as that we are the world's #3 most obese nation). I assume that most ladies don't want their assets drooping, seeking shelter under their armpits or jumping out of their bikini tops like whales attempting to break some breaching record. I further assume that supported chesticles are more flattering than un-supported ones. So why the hell can the stupid stores not make any swimsuits that don't look like they were made either for grandmothers or people who have not yet hit puberty? 

If you are a smaller chested lady, well, I am jealous. All those brightly patterned triangles must be fun to wear. Even just the plain black bikinis look great when everything is not falling by the wayside. So this year, I will either be tanning in the nude, or wear my bra to the beach. 

* Sidenote: I did find a black creation which does not make me look like a corseted hippopotamus in heat. High 5. 

Monday, 3 December 2012

I will wait

Actually, no, I won't. Mumford & Sons got it wrong. Sure, waiting for love has this chivalric, romantic connotation. Waiting for love because it was meant to be, because this is the stuff soul mates are made of, because if you don't live for the love of another, what is the point of it all. No. I apologize, songwriters, but waiting is never this honourable, nor this great, nor this worth it.  

It feels as though I spend my life waiting for others.

My sister has a very strong penchant for not being able to be on time. It is as though being late has no consequence. Normally it doesn't, except for me waiting. Which doesn't matter because my time is not worth the same, is it. 

The Silverton Post Office is another place of waiting. Their service is so atrocious that I would like to burn the place down and dance around in the ashes, giggling like maniac before the people in the white coats come to take me to some mental institution. The post office has had the same electronic announcing board, but since 1998 it is still in installation mode: FADE / SPLIT/ WIPE/ FLY LEFT/FLY RIGHT. In the meantime the post office has had some new programme installed on their antiquated computers, which I know because of the encouraging white sign, printed in Comic Sans, that tells the customers "Service will be slow" because of the new system. Again, they have had this system for 4 months now, and they are just as slow as in the past 14 years. To collect a package takes an hour. It is as though the employees do not understand that working at snail's pace when there is a queue of more than 40 people is not an option. 

In Germany, the space to pack your stuff at the grocery store is tiny. You have to move to pack all your things into the three bags your brought along, because the condescending sales attendant won't help. Not for shit. Here it is the size of a small inflatable swimming pool. Also, there is mostly someone who will do the packing for you, and if it takes a while, well, all the better. 

I wait for things to download. I wait for Japan to tell me they want me. I wait for 2013. I wait for my HD to be replaced. I wait for the video on YouTube to load. I wait to pee. I wait for the exciting part of my book to start. I wait for you to leave. I wait for you to come back. I wait for Cape Town. I wait for you to reply. I wait for the students to finish writing. I wait for the elevator. I wait for the next song. I wait for the cake to rise. I wait for the doctor to put patches on my back. I wait for those patches to show what I am allergic to. I wait for the alarm to ring. I wait to fall asleep. I wait for when you have time. I wait for you.

                     I wait in limbo, because I don't know if Heaven or Hell would be preferable. 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The king of limbs

* From birth to death we turn on the autopilot of our lives, and it takes a superhuman courage to deviate from this course.

Today is a friend of mine's birthday, and since he is leaving for #Paris on Monday, here is some advice in French. Happy Birthday Allen :)

Friday, 30 November 2012


Wednesday was the final battle. The same lady comes every year from Bloemfontein to see if our French is up to par and give the final stamp of approval. Since my first year I have had some aversion towards her, but luckily I've learnt to smile and nod and wait for her to finish asking a question that is hidden somewhere in her ten minute elaboration on my dissertation. It all went fine. Now I am donedonedonedonedonedone. It is exhilarating and anxiety-inducing at the same time, this not knowing what and where and when and how.

Until the future and I see eye-to-eye, here are my summer reads, courtesy of one last meander through the university's library:

1. Aravind Adiga: The White Tiger (2008) 

2. Carson McCullers : The heart is a lonely hunter (1940)

3. J.P. Singh: Globalized Arts (2011)

4. Frank Rose: The Art of Immersion (2011)
      or a review on The Guardian

5. Ilija Trojanow: Der Weltensammler (2006)

6. Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting (1993)

7. Anna Gavalda: Ich wünsche mir, daß irgendwo jemand auf mich wartet  (1999: Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque part)

8. Anton Harber: Diepsloot (2011)

9. John Kinsella: Peripheral Light (2004)

10. Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis ( 2003)

Thursday, 22 November 2012

You know I can't be nobody

Done with one. Now for some air guitaring. Then one last exam, one last hand-in, two last fights with the dragon and more air guitaring.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Don't fail me now

He holds 4 years of my life. What I wrote. What I saw. What I shot. And now he is refusing to give my memories back to me. He always seemed so reliable, earning my affection more than the others, keeping everything I could need in one place. Not anymore. He is stabbing me in the back, teasing me by lighting up but then failing to deliver.

We read that there was no way to get past his barriers, that opening him up was useless. We read that putting him in the freezer might work. It didn't.

Now I have to go fight with New World to get a new HD, but nothing that was on him.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

I need a map of your head

I would like to walk past all of you and listen in, because often what you say is not what you mean.

During invigilation I have nothing to do but stare at students' shoes and guess if they are on the right path with their essays. The idea is to check that they don't cheat, but here's hoping the pacing around is enough to deter any would-be cheater because I don't really wear my eagle-eyes when walking around the exam venue. Three hours is a long time to do nothing, really. The highlight is to strike out the time marked on the blackboard every 15 minutes, or if someone has to pee. Yesterday I even got to tell a girl not to scratch her back so audibly because it was distracting the students around her. Definitely the best moment. Mostly I just put my ipod on shuffle since I don't know all the music on there. Today was an Incubus/Tool/Tallest Man on Earth/Tracey Chapman- day with some Damien Rice and Seeed in between. Thank you shuffle.

So for three hours I observe. What pen you are writing with. How you did your hair. How you hold your exam booklet. If you've taken off your shoes. How you stare blankly into space. How you want to leave but are trapped in the middle of an aisle. How you shake your hand because it has become stiff from writing. After a year of being observed, of being judged on what I wear, how I speak and my skills in creating power points, I get three hours to study and make assumptions about who you are.

I would like to listen in and not just assume. I would like to hear the argument forming. I would like to hear inside, because you don't sound the same on paper.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

'til morning comes, let's tessellate

I was one of the boys. We had "Who could talk to the most people"-competitions and "jis that one is hot"-sightings. I saw myself as part of the crew, not an object for conquest. Later I wanted to leave, let them have their fun, sans moi. One offered to walk me to my car, but since it was literally parked in front of Arcade I saw no need. He came with nonetheless. While I unlocked and in my mind planned to give an awkward hug goodbye, Monsieur asks: "So, wil jy vry?" ("Do you want to make out?"). I politely declined, mumbling something about "not tonight, thank you", and leaving without awkward hugging. This asking for a gevryery was bad enough.


We went to school together. I was a year ahead, but not a year older. A mutual liking for Alexisonfire and Acid Alex was all we had in common. Now, I see you occasionally on campus, all black skinnies and black T-shirts and black chucks and a moustache too neatly trimmed. Hello, how you doing, well, ah, ok, I've got class, ok bye. 

Then at the place after a few drinks, my friends abandoned me and I had to listen to you talk about your perfect ex-girlfriend who dumped your ass a year ago. My advice to "man the fuck up" was met with: "You are such a bitch. But it works. Why did we never hook up?". Goeie genade. Because short men who only wear black don't do it for me. And because I am far from perfect. 


We were sitting outside. I knew you from class, but not really. You asked, and I did not object. Maybe it is not the question, but the person asking. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

On the radio

When I hear songs on the radio but not the name, I try to remember the lyrics, and Google them later. These two are this week's finds:

Monday, 12 November 2012

Pistol Dreams

I spend most of my nights in old sweatpants and a T-shirt, eating instant noodles while watching an excessive amount of series on my laptop. Not the past weeks though. I actually combed my hair and put on some heels. What for? Art. One has to dress up for art. Apart from Exposure and Exhibit A, there were the PPC Young Concrete Sculpture Awards, which sees concrete giant PPC (of the elephant ad) in partnership with the Association of Arts Pretoria and encourages artists to use concrete in unexpected ways.
What follow are a few images from the exhibit:

Liberty Battson, Concrete on Canvas, 2012


Vincent Elmer Siebert Kruger's Marikana hat a little sign that encouraged playing. Best. I mean, who doesn't like playing with something at an art exhibit, where normally you are too afraid to move in case you touch/damage a work and, well, have to buy something you cannot afford.

Colleen Winter, Pussy power, 2012

Evert Harmen van Engelenhoven, A little world with big possibilities, 2012

Close up of Zyma Amien's The day they came for our house, 2012.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

There is winter in every spring

I was sweating like a pig. It was really hot in the Rautenbach Hall. Maybe menopause was hitting me about 30 years too early, but I spent most of the final year Fine Arts students' exhibition, entitled Exhibit Athinking about if it would be terribly rude to lift my arms and walk around like a zombie to cool down. Or if drinking another white wine/fruit juice mixture would help. Or if there was some fan I could go make friends with. It was all to no avail. Maybe sweating this profusely could count as a workout.

I don't really know what artists do, except that they spend time in their studios drinking coffee, watching Adventure Time (or some equally banal series), moaning about having too much work to do, being rewarded for constantly fucking up whilst doing nothing, and going to a lot of gigs where there is mediocre art and free wine to make it all seem less mediocre.

Exhibit A somehow does not fall into the "hey art you bore me" category (I went again when it was raining and empty-ish to verify that the initial assessment was not due to heat stroke or something). There are a lot of different media on display, ranging from sculpture to photography to installations to drawings and paintings. However, many of the students did incorporate something digital, be it a projection, or a video, or thinking that showing the audience your Photoshop skills qualifies as a great work of art.

My cousin and I walked around, trying to decide what would we buy if we had money. If I was a somewhat trendy guest house owner, where the beds are covered with crisp white linen and the walls painted in something off-white/sand-ish, I'd buy some of Libby Bell's works to add a hint of colour and local flavour (because I am a trendy guest house owner, none of that typical 'this is Africa' art and beadwork would suffice).

Libby Bell,  This is my home, not yours -series, 2012

Libby Bell, Close-up of Acacia gates, 2012
Now, if I'd own a hair salon that charges exorbitant amounts for a terrible hair cut, I'd purchase one of Zaheera Ismail's hair-prints and hang them up so that clients could a) see what an awesome hair stylist I was, b) how when I do hair the face becomes irrelevant (except for the ear, of course), and c) how it becomes art (or something equally pretentious).

Zaheera Ismail, Red Space, 2012

My cousin liked Xandri Pretorius' prints of semi-fragmented people. It does fit in some clinically white bachelor pad, situated in some blocky appartment building in Joburg and bought as a 'thoughtful' birthday gift by a hipster friend that wants to be more than just friends.

Xandri Pretorious, Fragmented: Kayla (Or it could be Nushka, I cannot recall), 2012
To me it seems like all the 4th years wanted to prove that they could not in fact do anything that is similar to classical art and actually requires some effort and talent, preferring instead to take photos with their Canon DSLRs on 'Auto'-setting and watching YouTube videos in order to learn how to merge layers in Photoshop.

Cue Danai Chinyenze's "Photography/Digital Art". Although decent to look at, I assume he did nothing of substance throughout his studies at University and in order to produce an extensive body of work in the very short timespan before the final exhibit he resorted to taking meth and jumping around in front of (yet again) the camera. Those YouTube-advice videos prove fruitful as in every image we see multiple Danais merging on 2D. This is done mostly in black-and-white, because every one knows that photography in monochrome is always more art than mere mechanical (or is it digital now?) production.

Danai Chinyenze, 2012

Heidi Fourie produced buy-able paintings if one is old and/or likes life to be still. I mean, she can paint, that is indisputable, but I wonder if her skills would not have been better used on something besides collections of tea bags and dying Frangipani flowers.

Heidi Fourie, 2012.
Justin Bergh did a number of chalk, charcoal and ink drawings of baboons, which I have no opinion on. I guess they would sell well because they are already framed and people could buy it and hang it up in their spare bedroom immediately.

Justin Bergh, Untiltled 6, 2012, and Allen Laing's pedestal and sculptures reflected in it.

In a corner of the hall Allen Laing has recreated his studio, because his sculptures are only noticeable if they are a chaotic clutter that threatens to fall from a slanted shelving unit. Art is not made only to be purchased, but I assume artists have to survive somehow if their parents are not rich people from Mpumalanga, or wealthy enough to fly their non-Capitalism-endorsing children to Dubai for a quick getaway. Laing might win prizes, but no one buys the stuff he makes. If I were not broke without the prospect of ever earning real money, I'd buy the pedestal he made to put his freakish little sculptures on instead of the art. I like the pedestal and am fascinated by the King of Limbs, but the rest I'd give to disadvantaged children to play with until the sculptures break and can be returned to the ground as dust. Hopefully Paris will incite some fresh inspiration where it is not Allentimeallthetime.

Allen Laing's  mock studio
There are two things I did like. One is a print by Zaheera Ismail entitled Screened Palm because it does not fit in with her hair-salon prints and looks ghostly. I watched Casper as a child, so ghosts are great. Or it could look kind of Cleopatra-ish because of the milkyness. It doesn't really matter what it looks like, though.

Zaheera Ismail, Screened Palm, 2012
The other is Annika Prinsloo's (Cut)opia. We were wondering if she had laser-cut all the little figures and details, but the absence of burn marks and being told that she hand-cut everything proved us wrong. The main reason I like it is because it looks like it took an enormous amount of time to make and a dedication to getting the works just right.

 Annika Prinsloo, (Cut)opia, 2012
Earlier I stated that Exhibit A did not bore me. Instead, I found it disappointing. Not all art appeals to everyone else, but the ability to appreciate what one does not like still has to be a possibility. And this is where most of the artists (some I have not mentioned because I just cannot remember their work and was thus not interested in photographing it) are a let down. It feels as though there is no real passion for their craft, as though they only produced enough objects and images because their degrees depended on it, not because they actually liked what they were doing.

Overall, Exhibit A was a lesson in personal disillusionment with what artists do. We grow up thinking that the stereotypical artist produces work because to live there is no other option but to follow this intense affection. Even though earnings are dismal, the artist must sway from the corporate path that others have taken, because his/her work is like a love affair, an ardent affection that has to be maintained, ha, til death do them part.

Instead, it seems like young artists merely make "art" because they want their parents to buy them an iMac and finance four years of mediocrity. Nothing I saw was inspired (except for Prinsloo, maybe). Art has to stir something, has to evoke an emotional response, but this was just bland, like getting a plain slice of white bread when you were expecting a Dagwood.

* I tried not to get the artworks' names wrong, but there might be errors.
** This is a subjective opinion, others might feel that this exhibit was great.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


This guy Michael and I share mutual friends and therefore our paths cross on occasion. Also, he is in his final year of Graphic Design, and I am in my final year of Visual Studies, and we both fall under the Visual Arts, so we've had a few overlapping classes. Last week the designers had their final year exhibition, and I was extremely surprised at what they could actually do. In class they formed this arrogant entity that swerved in five minutes late and looked down at everyone that did not do information design. After the exhibit (and obsessive verbal diarrhoea  about how awesome Michael is) a friend asked that if the designers could do all of these things, what had I spent my last four years on? My answer was: "Looking". I can look at things really well.

Visual Studies is not a glamorous field of study. You won't find a job as a visual studier, whatever that may be. You most likely won't earn a lot of money, ever. In fact, I have been told to not get married to anyone who did a BA, but should rather cast my love-net towards engineers and others who will actually earn some moolah so that I can continue looking at things. You need to be flexible, and to be willing to adapt to where you find employment. The law, engineering, finance, all of that is like this : [ ]. It fits nicely, there are rules and equations and things that bring order to the world. Looking is like this : __|~~~~|#|~~|~___``````+/~|~+°°|
It is a combination of signs and it is up to you to choose what it could mean, to interpret what line and shape and colour form.

On Thursday I handed in my dissertation. It is done. Now just write the French dissertation and wait for the December holidays to begin and mangos to be back in season. C'mon mangos. Come back to me.

Here are some images from the Exposure exhibit by the Information Design 4th years of the University of Pretoria.

Tanya van Tilburg

Friday, 9 November 2012

Dark Storm

N4 just before entering Hatfield
It had been excruciatingly hot all day. The kind of heat that makes one listless, unable to move, unable to concentrate, unable to do anything besides taking a long nap. 

A friend proposed an art exhibition to go to that night, and on my way there the sunset was marvellous. This image does not nearly describe the colour of peaches and raspberries and cherries and blueberries all merging into a glorious end to the day. 

It is strange to think how we are never afraid at sunset, but as soon as the last rays are gone and darkness descends, real and imaginary monsters find their ways to scare us. A sound, which during daytime would not even have been noticed, can make the heart quiver in the night. Maybe it is the threat of the hidden, of that which we cannot see, of the surprise that might be lurking, of an unexpected pounce on our sense of security. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

All my days

Where to camp?
A while ago I read Where The Music Never Stops: A Sobering Account Of Festival Culture by Joey Power on Thought Catalog, and damnit, I should have heeded his words, but still I went. Where? To Mieliepop festival in Lothair, near the Swaziland border. A friend asked me along because he had a free ticket. After the interesting experience that was Rocking the Daisies, I said yes, although somehow I knew I maybe shouldn't have. Ah. The morning of departure I told my mother that I hate camping, I hate not being able to sleep on that useless excuse for an inflatable camping mattress, I hate the sleeping bag, I hate having to schlep everything around, I hate pitching the tent, I hate always being either too cold or too hot, I hate the portable toilets and 5 minute cold showers. Basically, I hate everything about festivals. Except for the music. The music is what makes me forget all the hates and say 'yes' again, every time.

The whole thing didn't start out well. We left an hour and a half later than we should have, I didn't know the people we were driving with, and all in all I was just being insecure about the next three days. Like Joey Power, I kind of felt as though "I'd probably rather get blowfish poisoning than ever go to one of these things again". Which is not the ideal attitude.

So after a few hours of rock/metal blasting at us, we arrive and pitch the tents, but the wind is howling and it looks like paragliders readying for take-off. I get irritated at the other girl who embraces the stereotype of female helplessness. She didn't want to touch the tent cover because it was filthy, she couldn't stomach the sight of raw meat but was fine with it cooked, and she brought a suitcase. Maybe I need more girly friends to appreciate playing the damsel.

The Uriah Heep singer's boots. Hello!
But the bands that played more than made up for my negativity. I thought Uriah Heep was this group of old men who occasionally escape from the home in order to shuffle around on stage whilst  dancing to some pre-recorded track from the 70s. I was wrong. Terribly wrong. Uriah Heep was without a doubt the most fun band there, because of how much their music rocked and because they looked so kind (And those boots!). I just wanted to sit down for a cup of tea with them afterwards and ask them which one would like to be my substitute grandfather.

Their guitarist, Mick Box, made these fluttering movements with his right hand in between using his guitar like I imagine it sounds when I air-guitar. And now for his website's name: heepstermusic. Ba ha ha ha. Heepster. He has this little blog going, and he wrote about coming to SA and bla bla, but the best part was: "Walking around the site it felt like a sort of ‘Hippy,’ festival, just like the old days. There were however some really good bands, and a couple of those that I really enjoyed listening to in my room were, 'The Tidal Waves,' and 'Dan Patlansky'".

Dan Patlansky moves too much for my camera not to make him look blurrily evil.
Patlansky was supposed to play before Uriah Heep, but somehow the schedule was a few hours late, so he played a short set after them. Most people had left, so it was great standing in the front row and not being pushed constantly by other people. Also, one of the guys in our camp site somehow managed to get one of those white patio chairs and passed out, right there. So he missed the entire performance although he had the best, and only, seat.

Other bands that I had never heard of but that were worth a listen were Naming James, Chiba Fly, The Aidan Martin Band and the Smoking Mojos. Jeremy Loops, whose performance at Daisies was not that great, was outstanding here. Maybe it helps to play in the dark, because by then people have gotten up from lounging on the grass all day and a nice little bunched up crowd develops in front of the stage, instead of being dispersed into diasporic groups.

I could edit that for you, Mieliepop.
Overall, the venue itself is really beautiful and because there were only about 1500 people (compared to I think 18 000 at Koppi), the atmosphere was very relaxed. One never had to queue for showers or toilets (although I managed to always have to shower in ice cold water). It was a good festival. Suggestions for next time? To be there earlier or to get someone to save you a spot next to the river, then you don't have to sleep at an incline. And for the organisers to put up the line-up somewhere, or to have flyers with the line-up on, or to make it available online before the festival in a nice little jpeg or pdf. They only had this hand-drawn board next to the stage which was pretty useless.

If you feel like an Afrikaans review of the festival where everything is described as 'befok', look to Wat kyk jy's article.

Tidal Waves (?)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Everything but the sky (Reprise)

Jacob Israel and A Skyline on Fire and the screen, by Thorsten Grahl
I'm not a fan of silent film, and I am not hipster enough to lie about it. However, when Open Window decided to show Murnau's Sunrise with a modern-day soundtrack by Jacob Israel and A Skyline on Fire, well, then my inner cool kid yearns to add some points onto my hipster chart. I might not have Instagram, shop at the Neighbourgood's Market or ride around on a bicycle from the 1970s, but I can borrow a camping chair to watch a silent film made not-so-silent. 

Man, it was cool. Unexpectedly cool. Sometimes I felt as though the music didn't exactly match the action in the film, but perhaps that was the idea. The electro and often unintelligible, Bon Iver-like singing by A Skyline on Fire worked well with the film because it made one pay attention to what was happening on screen in order to see if Israel's music matched. If it had been just a silent film screening, chances are I would've snuggled deeper under my blanket and fallen asleep. But here the waiting for what sound would come next, and how would it match up with Murnau's film, made everything very exciting. Here is the statement by the artists:

In 2011, the iMPAC film festival approached us to write and perform a modernised score for the 1927 silent film, "Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans". The exciting possibilities of such an exercise, and the wine we were enjoying at the time, got the better of us, and we agreed to it. What followed was a month worth of planning, worrying, and file sharing. Everything culminated in a week of frantic writing and recording (sometimes concurrently), and a single rehearsal 2 hours before the film screened at the festival (this was also the first time that we watched the entire film while performing, instead of single snippets).

Songs For Sunrise is the edited version of the score, tidied into stand-alone songs. We tried to cast a wide net with the sounds in this album, trying to capture as much of the gamut of human emotion that film so effortlessly ran through. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed making them. 

- A Skyline On Fire & Jacob Israel

The Songs for Sunrise soundtrack is available as a free download here, and A Skyline on Fire has made their first album available for mahala as well if you click this

Hipsters in attendance

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


I have had someone walking away from me only once, and he has never noticed the loss created by that distance. Leaving does not always entail the option of coming back. Maybe it is the irony of fortune that my father chose to leave and never return, and my mother has to leave in order to return. Perhaps it is also a subconscious reassurance to the child in me that, without fail, she comes back to me, as I shall, without fail, return to her when I leave.

This poem by Cecil Day-Lewis, written for his eldest son, captures that letting go.

Walking Away

for Sean

It is eighteen years ago, almost to the day –
A sunny day with leaves just turning,
The touch-lines new-ruled – since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away

Behind a scatter of boys. I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path where the path should be.

That hesitant figure, eddying away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem,
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature’s give-and-take – the small, the scorching
Ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay.

I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still. Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show –
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.

Thursday, 25 October 2012


via Lucky Pony
I'm not really sure what I got myself into, again, and it probably won't be as I expect it now, but this time I've got the Captain (Morgan) all to myself. The rice crackers are also just mine. Wonderful.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Keep it hid

I went to get police clearance yesterday. The gentleman in front of me was from Ghana and needed to renew his visa to be able to hand his PhD in January. He wore glasses and an ironed shirt and beige formal-looking pants. We waited in line to have our fingerprints taken by quite a tall police officer. They do strap a lot of things onto that belt of theirs, hey. The gun looked like a plastic one to me, but what do I know.

When the police officer had finished with the short girl he was helping by promising her he'd visit her in Lesotho, the Ghanaian gentleman has his turn. For the next ten minutes I could not stop giggling to myself, because the officer kept wanting to make conversation, to find bonding moments, and the Ghanaian man just politely nodded or shook his head, without really answering.

The first topic was the fact that there were no "traditional" women left in South Africa, that all the young ladies were "spoiled by the Constitution" and all "this 50/50 things". Gender equality is what was causing all these divorces, because the young ladies did not know their roles as "helper" to the husband and they were not willing to "clean my boots", as the policeman stated. Reading this in a CNN-serious voice would be wrong, because I do think the officer was joking, at least in part.

He then moved on to his desire to take a bus to Ghana, which takes about a week, because Ghana is "far", in order to find himself not one, but multiple wives there. The PhD student was a bit taken a back, simply stating that they were mostly a Christian nation that did not believe in polygamy. He explained that only the Muslim people in Ghana did on occasion have more than one wife. The police officer's first reaction was to say he'd convert to Islam. But then he changed his mind and said the Ghanaian people should accept their African traditions and religions and thus say yay to polygamy. All the student could do was smile and nod.

Finally it was my turn to get fingerprinted. One has to say that one has never been convicted of a crime, haha, but I said never being convicted does not mean that one has never committed a crime, simply that one has not been caught. So then the police officer was very funny and said that now, with my fingerprints, all the unsolved crimes could suddenly be closed and I would be sent to jail. As if I'd leave fingerprints.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Was ich lieb/das is n dicker Beat und n Bass/

This video, entitled Berlin speaks for itself by Emus Primus, is via Street Art Berlin, and the music consists of the words in the graffiti that was posted around the city.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Did I let you know

This is just to say

I have eaten 
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

William Carlos Williams

Summer holidays/ December holidays are all about doing nothing, tanning, reading and having no plans. But to me, they are also the time of fruit. Supersweet nectarines. Peaches. Plums. Grapes. Thick slices of watermelon with the juice running down your face. Ah, and the winner: Mangoes. Saving the pit for last and then, again, diving in with the juice all over your cheeks. Maybe I am just an excessively messy eater of fruit, but I like how tangible the flesh is, how fresh the taste, how much summer remains in a mouthful.

In France my summer highlight was to buy a bag of cherries, sit on the edge of the Île de la Cité, facing westwards, and having a far-spitting competition with myself into the Seine. We may be blessed with an abundance of tropical fruit, like mangos and pawpaws, but they have the berries. And purple figs. Hmmmmm. Purple figs. My kryptonite.

Friday, 19 October 2012

I'm coming up only to hold you under

They were mock-fighting. Pushing each other's buttons, because after a lifetime together one knows the other and what will drive them close to an edge of sorts. Both got cramps in their right legs. It was fun to observe a father-daughter relationship when mine ended about 12 years ago. I mean, we live, but they are lives apart that connect through the occasional forced phone call where nothing is said because I don't know (or want to know) his life, and he has no real interest in even remembering the names of people we have been friends with since school. Condescension towards what we do and where we live does not help. 

My cousin has a mulberry tree in the back corner of the garden. There used to be one at the far corner of our school as well, and in the afternoons, before sport started, we would go and stain our white polo shirts with handfuls of berries. My cousin wanted to get some before returning to Cape Town, and I wanted to get some to make jam because the  last time I tried it wasn't that successful. It was dark already and we had only one flashlight and a very dim (almost non-existently dim) head-light. Is that what one calls it? I don't mean a car headlight, I mean those tiny torches you strap to your forehead and that make you look ridiculous. And others get irritated when you then proceed to shine directly in their eyes continuously. I assume my uncle thought we shouldn't be hunting for mulberries at that time of the night (haha, it was close to 19.00), but he came to help us. Sans torch I sort of felt my way around for the ripe ones, but my uncle kept dumping handfuls into our zip-lock bags, so we had quite the stash.

In primary school we used to get silkworms and feed them the mulberry tree's leaves. The end result of a worm was a little round silken bookmark. Don't really know where the bookmarks have disappeared to, but watching the worms' whole transition into moth was cool. These days I'm not that fascinated as easily any more. Well, no, that Consol Solar Light is supercool, in the whole "suck it silk worms, this is technology" manner.

Haha, and later, when the mulberries are done marinating in sugar and cooked, they'll probably be put in Consol jars for preservation. Ag I don't even know what I'm rambling about. It's one of those days of procrastination where I'm waiting for my conscience to kick in and tell me to start.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

everlasting light

I heard someone honking repeatedly but did not think it was meant for me. I mean, there is not a cow-bell dangling on The Gate for nothing. I decided I had to investigate. Maybe the robbers were back. Stupid robbers who make themselves known. Luckily it was some nice delivery man, who gave me my lamps! Whoooooohooooo! I told him it was like Christmas, and when he drive away he shouted "Merry Christmas!". Even better!

By lamps, I mean Consol Solar Lamps. They had some sms-competition and I entered and won two little lights. Consol is the company that makes glass, as in the jars my grandmother kept her peaches and jams in. Now they have integrated a solar panel in the lid, and LEDs at the bottom (as in inside the lid and jar then) and after a charge, the lights will last up to 6 hours. I'm excited because I didn't have to pay for them, because they work so nicely, and because I can imagine that for a lot of households that still use fire and paraffin lamps (see the farm), these lamps might just be an eco-friendly and easy solution.

And they are so pretty. I want more.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Après moi

via On the shoulders of giants on Pinterest

My meaningful distraction was putting all the books I have read under my bed and all the ones I have used for intellectual-fake-credit on my bookshelf to be read. If I am to be jobless and poor after graduation, at least I can pretend to be a writer who needs to work on what she has read.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Op die voetpad, o bokkie,

In die Kaap het ons die een aand voor die fees in Darling maar vir Langstraat aangedurf om met my niggie 'n burger te eet en bietjie die naglewe te geniet voor 'n mens sonder storte vir twee dae moet oorleef (wat toe nie waar was nie siende dat Daisies haardroers en straighteners voorsien). Ons het in 'n stegie langs die hoofpad parkeer omdat dit heel veilig gelyk het en daar 'n karwag uit die Kongo was.

Toe ons na die aand se avonture weer by die kar kom, betrap ons 'n baie maer jong man wat soos 'n sletterige dame aangetrek was (maar hy het die bene vir so kort rokkie gehad as ons nou moet eerlik wees) en wat besig was om hastig sy klere in een van daai gate in die straat met die metal deksels te versteek, julle weet, daai wat na die rioolpype lei of so iets. Hy't vir ons verduidelik "dis my cupboard dié, anders jaag die polisie my", en met sy vingers 'n kruis oor die deksel gemaak nadat hy alles daar ingeprop het om dit te beskerm.

Toe ons uitry het hy vir "'n paar bronsies" gevra en ons gehelp om nie in die ander karre vas te ry nie, donder maar die mense in die Kaap ken van parallel parkeer en in klein gate indruk. Is ek nie bly vir parkeerings wat groot genoeg is vir ossewa's (of die gunsteling kar van die ryk voorstedelik familie, 'n doublekajuit/ Land Rover/BMW X5) soos die in Menlyn.

Dalk is dit taaldiskriminasie of iets anders wat negatief klink, maar dis lekker om te luister as kleurling mense uit die Kaap praat, omdat hulle goed anders sê as ons in die Transvaal. Of eer, omdat hulle nie elke tweede woord met 'n engelse woord vervang soos ons nie. In Beaufort Wes het ons die enigste kroeg wat oop was ingedurf, dit was nie juis opwindend nie, maar na 'n rukkie het 'n ouer dame, wat nogals 'n dop te veel ingehad het, by ons kom staan en gesels. Wel, eer met die twee jong mans wat met my was, ek was nie van belang vir haar nie. Na die tyd het ek gevra of hulle kon verstaan wat sy gesê het, maar nie een van ons het heeltemal gevang wat sy vir ons wou sê nie, behalwe dat "daai moffie" vir een van my twee vriende besig was om ogies te maak. Maar dit was nog steeds lekker om te hoor dat ons dieselfde taal praat en tog verskillende dialekte (?) as moedertaal sien.

Een van die petroljoggies het ook gesê een of ander iets "is bes", ek kan nou nie onthou wat nie. Dit was net koel (haha, ek voel soos iemand wat in die Huisgenoot skryf) om iets te hoor wat jy ook sou kon sê want dis deel van dieselfe taal maar dis nie uitdrukkings wat natuurlik in jou woordeskat bestaan nie.

My vriendin K het ook nou die dag so iets ouliks gesê, ek dink dit was iets soos 'n mens se seile na elke wind span? Hier is nogals 'n interessante lys met spreekwoorde in Afrikaans.

Friday, 12 October 2012

We will become silhouettes

Dit reen te heerlik hier vandag. Voorheen toe ek gery het en die druppels hoor val het, julle weet, daai sagte storting van water, toe moes ek dink aan my 6-jarige self en die geluk wat daai geluid saam met hom bring.

Toe ons klein was in Genève het my ma ons altyd saamgevat na die karwas toe, by die een spesefieke garage. Ons het in die kar bly sit terwyl die water van self oor die kar gespuit het en die enorme rollers hom skoon gepiets het. Daarna het 'n geheimsinnige wind die Merc drooggeblaas. Daai geluid van in die kar sit en die water hoor, van nie nat word nie as die buitewêreld net deur n wasem van druppels te sien is, is nog steeds vir my wonderlik. En na die tyd het ons altyd 'n Kinder-Überraschungsei gekry en kon die speelding in die middel uitpak en die sjokolade verslind op pad huis toe. Dis nie daai simpel eiers van vandag nie, waar mens twee balletjies in 'n sous aan die een kant het en die speelgoed aan die ander kant. Ne ne. Hierdie was nog in tye van ordentlike sjokolade eiers. Mens wens seker te baie dat goed nie verander nie, en tog verander dinge nie vinnig genoeg nie party keer.

Noudiedag was ek op my eie by die karwas, vir meer as twee ure. My ma hou van 'n skoon kar, so dit moes gedoen word voor sy weer terug by die huis was. Maar hierdie was nie soos Genève nie, hier was geen masjiene wat die kar binne 10 minute skoon gemaak het, alles word hier met mensehand gedoen. Ek was binne in die kar toe die water ons tref, ek toe moes ek weer dink aan vroeer, aan die gemak van die reuke binne in die kar en die reendruppels buite, en aan Kinder sjokolade eiers.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Sweet Disposition

I don't know what happened, but I felt like abusing the kitchen today.

First up, The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You'll Ever Have, and, ja, that stuff is so good that I just want to tap myself a bathtub full of it and live in chocolate heaven for-----ever.

Image via A Cup of Jo

Below is what mine looked like before freezing. Joh joh joh. It is rather rich, but worth making. And you don't need an ice-cream maker.

After that came beskuit, which is Afrikaans for rusks, the dough looks a bit dodge. I sort of combined whatever I felt like putting in them, so they contain All Bran flakes, coconut, sunflower seeds, oats and packets with the words 'wheat' on them. Normally my mom or sister bake the beskuit, or my grandmother brings us some, but for a first try they turned out well. I don't have a recipe, but this one looks pretty similar.

Then there was a special at the grocery store, R 20 for three packs of asparagus, so I made leek, asparagus and bacon quiche. I think after the road trip and eating only burgers + chips, today was the day I needed to eat food that didn't taste like it could be a year old. Again, no recipe, I pre-browned the leeks and bacon, used some instant shortcrust pastry, put the raw asparagus on top, then poured over a mix of 1/2 cup cream + 3/4 cup milk+ 4 eggs, and then grated some pecorino over it. Nom nom nom. 

And in between I baked these World Peace Cookies, because yesterday we went to this baking store and I got three different kinds of choc chips (white normal caramel) and instead of baking choc chip cookies, these had to be tried out. They are ok, but I don't think they are as fantastic as smittenkitchen writes they are. They're tasty, but not revolutionarily so. 

Pre-baked, the dinkbeest version

Baked, the smittenkitchen version

Also between it all, I made more cordial because we don't eat the oranges from the tree in the garden and I didn't want to waste them. Booooom! Being a housewife is exhausting.