Or lockdown level 4 as we call it here in South Africa.
Unlike the old Pop Will Eat Itself classic referenced in the title of this post I can’t even scoot off to the drive through and order Big Mac and Fries to go, although theoretically I could probably arrange it via WhatsApp or some other medium to eventually arrive in a lukewarm box of misery.
I listened to a poem this morning penned by the Welsh entertainer Max Boyce. Entitled, When Just The Tide Went Out he wrote it in tribute to the NHS and frontline workers in the UK who are so valiantly fighting to keep the corona virus at bay.
After hearing it through the first time I played it for my wife, and, only a few lines in, I couldn’t stop myself from crying.
The swell of emotion took me completely by surprise, but it was acute and visceral and has left me thinking about it for the rest of the day.
In my mind.
That’s the beauty of headlines and blog posts – you can make up any old shit and it’ll grab some attention. Sure, in the long run people might start to see through the old classics of sticking Jesus, Porn, Jesus Porn and NaNoWriMo in your tags list but it’s still fun at the time.
The truth is I was shocked to discover that I’ve written the sum total of five blog posts in 2018 – which is probably five more than the sum total of stories I’ve written this year – and I felt the need to ramble on to all 283 of you kindly souls who’ve stuck by me through these lean times.
When I say “stuck by me” I mean it in the truest “entirely forgotten I existed” sense of the phrase.
When cutting a headstone in an as yet to be determined timeframe, the family of Hans Rausch might well consider remembering him as a man of precision.
Not the sort to be late to his own funeral or indeed anyone else’s.
That’s not to say that Hans was an impatient man. On the contrary if he were a man to believe in such sanctities as sainthood, Hans Rausch could hold his own with any halo bearer in a game of wait quietly and, quite frankly, would wipe the floor with even the most patient pietist who dared challenge him to a quick round of who blinks dies.
Simply put, Hans was a stoic soul who would not stand for sloppiness, tardiness or unnecessary delay.
If I were to take a quick straw poll of average humans on an average day in Averageville (Popn: Lots) asking how they thought their lives could be improved I’m willing to bet (don’t quote me, I don’t have a lot of spare cash right now) an above average number would claim that the addition of stuff (or indeed, things) would be the way to go.
And they’d be wrong.
Poor, sweet, hypothetical fools.
Today marked the end of my fourth week in a new job. People change jobs all the time of course, but for me, smack in the middle of my forties and with no experience of life with another employer on the African continent it was quite a scary leap.
It’s the best decision I’ve made in a very long time.
Ah but you’ll miss it when they’re gone.
To some degree at least.
Wrote this quite a while ago. Like the idea but not sure I like what I’ve written.
Please have at it with sticks.
I push the button and wait for the chaos. Two shapes dart past the frosted glass of the front door. The gate buzzes, releases and swings open. I have just enough time to close it and turn around before I’m enveloped in a three way maelstrom of children and dog.
I fend off the dog with one hand, low five my son with the other and shuffle forward bearing the weight of a three year old blonde haired limpet on my right leg. She slides off me just before the steps.
“Yucch Daddy! Why are you all sweaty?” Her nose wrinkles.
“I’ve been running my love, that’s what happens.”
She gives me a serious look and then starts laughing. “StinkEEE Daddy!” She runs inside yelling and giggling.
According to my extensive internet-based research, a blog post at the tail end of one year or the beginning of the next is legally obliged to include some kind of list. Top ten achievements, number of words written, number of kilometres jogged* – that kind of thing.
So with that in mind here’s a list of blog-relevant stuff I didn’t do enough of in 2017.
End of list.
2017 was a very weird year for me and subsequently 2018 seems to have kicked off with the inevitable hangover. Somewhere during the course of the year I misplaced my ambition and I’m having a bugger of a job finding it.
Ten years ago today I woke up early to the sound of birds – typical of a Johannesburg spring morning. It hadn’t been the most restful or peaceful of slumbers. When I’d initially dropped off to sleep the night before my brother came and woke me up because there was a moth in his room. Thirteen months of living in deepest, darkest Africa had prepared me for such events and so I swiftly stepped forward and twatted it with a flip flop (the moth rather than my dear brother although I was tempted…).
After that I lay awake for quite a while contemplating the universe as one does in the small hours leading up to your wedding.
As a general rule I tend to shy away from re-posting old stories but for some odd reason this one has been nagging at me for the last couple of days so while I’m busy with some new things I hope to like here’s an old thing I actually do like. As always with these things there’s a little bit of history threading its way through a whole heap of fiction…
“We’re really so sorry Craig. She was an amazing woman.”
“The best of the best.”
“She was so sweet, so gentle. We all loved her.”
“Amy was one of a kind, she didn’t deserve for this to…”
“I broke your pie dish.”
That one simple truth banished the spell of unending platitudes. Caught me off guard. “Sorry, you broke…?”
“The pie dish.” Deb looks at me and makes a circle with her hands. “Round thing. Generally used for the carrying and serving of pies.”