Fifteen and ten and counting

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.

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Harry’s Table

“I told him it wasn’t on the menu but he said I should speak to you.”

“It’s fine, don’t worry. He’s been coming here for as long as I can remember.”

Harry Shaw didn’t hear the conversation from the kitchen but he was confident of the outcome. His starter portion of veal tonnato on a Thursday evening was the ballast that held the unravelling of his life firm and steady. He was as much a part of the A Tavola furniture as the black and white shots of spaghetti-eating celebrities that filled most of the walls. For Harry, Thursday nights offered up the perfect mix of ambience and peace. Enough noise for him to bask in the warm, familial murmur of a well run machine but not the overt harshness of a full house weekend.

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A Four Year Old Apology

Baby girl.

I find myself caught somewhere between the badlands of apology and the sunrise of recognition.

I am too quick to anger. Too swift to judge. Too ready to yell.

Since the moment you kicked and screamed your way into this world I have asked you to be quiet.

You have ignored me.

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New Story: A Single Grain Of Salt

It’s always nice to have an excuse to scribble some words on a blog post – and today’s excuse is to tell you that I’ve got a brand new piece up on Literally Stories.

A Single Grain Of Salt is a story that has been trying to get written for a couple of years without a whole lot of success. For me, this often happens when a tale has a link to reality, and particularly when it relates to an event that still haunts me despite the fact that tragedy was avoided.

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Some Things Never Change

“I don’t understand what you see in her.”

“It’s not what I see it’s what I hear. The wit and wisdom born of a medicated tongue. The dark and delicate tones that pierce my goosebumps like the jagged razor of bow on string. The laughter, sometimes natural, sometimes unnatural that dances across my heart. The music of her soul.”

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Still Here

On those darkened mornings where lifting your head is more than you can bear.

On those days where the sun rises and cinders your brave defiance in its gaze.

On those evenings where civil tongue and level tone desert you to your shame.

In those wakeful hours where your flesh aches for the zero point four five kilograms that life exacts with metric precision.

Remember.

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A Sock For All Seasons

I absolutely bloody love socks.

There I’ve said it.

You hear stories of the rich and famous with their demands for Veuve Clicquot served from an ivory tusk by a highly trained badger or caviar that can only be served on a shark-fin soup wafer on an autumnal Tuesday in Latvia, but that stuff isn’t for me.

No indeedy.

If money was no object I reckon my single, perfect luxury would be a brand spanking new pair of socks every single day of my life.

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