• Featured,  Personal

    In retrospect, freedom

    In this time of a novel coronavirus wreaking global havoc and the equally novel responses to this crisis, I have one of the least novel thoughts in the history of thoughts to share with you today. A cliché even. But as Terry Pratchett once said: “The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.” They’re basic and rudimentary, but essential instruments in the construction of our reality. Especially in such strange and uncertain times. So, the thought I want to share with you today is this:

  • Featured,  Personal

    Resting in the question mark

    For the past few weeks, I’ve been plagued by a recurring nightmare. While each dream plays out slightly differently, they all follow roughly the same pattern: I suddenly remember/discover that, in order to pass a course/graduate, I need to hand in complex assignment/sit for a lengthy exam/attend an important class. The deadline/test day is upon me, but I’m both empty-handed and empty-headed. In a last-ditch effort to cram all the information I possibly can into my brain before it’s too late, I set out for the library to find the prescribed book/document containing all the answers.

  • Featured,  Personal,  Photography

    Love in the time of lockdown

    If all had gone as planned, we would have been on day five of a blissful honeymoon somewhere along the Garden Route (I think…). Instead, here we are on day 14 of a 21-day national lockdown, hunkered down in our homes, movement restricted to only the most necessary excursions. The government’s noble effort to help flatten the curve of Covid-19 infections in South Africa.

  • Featured,  Personal

    A few thoughts on happiness

    I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately and how each of us seems to have a blueprint for how it should manifest in our lives. We collect moments and images and places and carefully constructed ideas of perfect people to create a bright and colourful collage against which we constantly compare our own lived experiences. Of course, it rarely measures up. Yet, still, we wonder why. My thoughts on this topic were sparked when a much younger friend – who at a glance seems to be living his best life, travelling, exploring, meeting new people, the whole shebang – expressed concern that he was not doing enough to fill…

  • Featured,  Personal

    The Curiosity Curse

    I’ve always envied people who have a clear-cut purpose in life. Those blessed souls who know their calling and always have; who wistfully recall the moment of childhood enlightenment – how, at three-years-old, they swooshed a flimsy paintbrush around the watercolour pallet and instantly *knew* they’d be an artist. Those who set about pursuing their life’s purpose by achieving one quantifiable goal after another, well dang, I envy them even more. I, on the other hand, have always been somewhat erratic in my pursuits.

  • Culture,  Travel

    What is ‘home’ really?

    A couple of weeks ago I posted a quote from Pico Iyer’s “Why We Travel” essay – probably one of the most intelligent pieces of travel writing ever. And today, in one of those divine little coincidences (because I would probably not have bothered watching it if I hadn’t read that essay) I came across this amazingly profound TED talk by the very same man. Somehow Iyer managed to cover and connect a whole range of topics I’ve been mulling over in my mind for a long time now with such ease, humour and simplicity. Ah, you know, topics like travel and home, being in-between and feeling ‘out,’ yet fitting…

  • Personal

    Help me remember

    Last night I was trying to remember something. I was scrabbling around in, what sometimes feels like, my 1920s hatbox filled with fogged-over pictures from the past few years, trying to capture whatever it was I was looking for. But to no avail. Then I decided to contextualise things for myself, knowing that this normally gets those rusty wheels churning again… and do you know how I did this? I thought of two things: where I was living (because, as you know by now I am a bit of a gypsy) and what I was reading at the time of the event I was trying to remember. For some reason,…