Wednesday, 15 August 2012


There has been a long gap since my last post the  reason being:

I have had enough of politics, all the talking, shouting, ranting and raving in the world cannot make a difference to what is happening in this country, so I am changing tack in midstream and leaving the politics to the politicians, let them deal with the mess they have made, while I get on with my life and my writing.

So I will be posting at least every two weeks, and sharing the ups and downs of my joy in reading and my writing journey with whoever comes along for the ride.

There are so much more interesting things to talk about besides the mess that this country is in, so let me tell you about my amazing discoveries, and I hope you will come along with me, on this writing, learning, and bookish journey.

Recently I went to the Milnerton Flea Market, which is one of my absolute favourite activities, after writing, reading, learning, cooking, listening to good  music and surfing the net for useful information.  If I have to leave my keypad and notebook for anything, hunting for bargains at the Flea Market will get me out every single time.

I love looking at what people find valuable, and although there is plenty of OPJ [other people’s junk] as Kim calls it, I sometimes manage to find treasures.  I especially love old and interesting books. One man/woman’s junk is another man/woman’s gold. And books and the knowledge they contain is my gold.

Sunday morning around ten the weather was cold, windy and rain threatened any minute. We, being the four of us, Hans who is my fiancé, my daughter Kim, with my grand daughter Riley and I had just finished breakfast. I was planning to spend the day in bed reading.

I have a  Virginia Woolf Biograpy written by her nephew, Quentin Bell which I had planned to finish reading today. Han’s was already back in bed, snug under the duvet reading a Michael Connoly thriller.  He loves reading just as much as I do, and discussing the books we read, so no problem there. We would have some long discussions on the pro’s and con’s, stye, and author and the merits of action which is  his favourite,  over psychological thrillers and biographies which is my favourite, of each book we read.

I liked to think Hans and I are like Virginia and Leonard Woolf who had a true marriage of minds. I have never met a more telepathic, understanding and sensitive man than my Hans. And he loves me for myself, everything that I am and everything that I am not, warts and all, and I love him for a thousand and one reasons, warts and all.  Most people do not get us, but we certainly get each other. We both believe so strongly in each other. He is my rock, just as I am his.

My daughter Kim suggested we go to the Flea Market, as she was in the mood for finding a bargain.   With no real excuse not to, Virginia could wait. I was up like a shot. Hans declined, I could not fight Michael Connolly, so we left him to enjoy his alone time.  He spends the whole week with people and when he comes home  he is confronted by people, so his alone time is precious, as long as he has a good book, snacks, coffee and his cigarettes, he is fine.

So off we went, Kim, Riley and I.  When last had I been to the Flea Market?  Possibly six months ago?  Although I am invariably almost broke, due to the price of food, so I have to spend wisely. I thought why not? The tip I learned from previous occasions was to only take what I was prepared to spend. So armed with my spending money, and Kim with her spending money,we set off. Even Riley, my grand daughter got into the mood and brought her fifty rands she had taken pains to save for a rainy day, which is what today was; an almost rainy day. .

I needed a good ridged steak pan. Every since an ex-neighbour of mine, Karen  showed me the absolute bargain she found;  a Bauer cast-iron steak pan, just the right size for two medium sized steaks. She had bought it at the Flea Market for only ten rand.  I was determined to find one too.  So what if the weather looked like it might rain, at least it was not raining when we left.

We bundled ourselves into our boots, jackets and scarves and thank goodness we did, as I had forgotten how cold Paarden Eiland could be, right on the sea, just a wall deviding the rocks from the Flea Market.  The ground in the parking lot was muddy, large  shiny brown puddles which we skipped over, but once inside the flea market the asphalt was fairly dry.

Perhaps today was my lucky day! On my last visit to this very same Flea Market Kim pulled me away from yet another book stand as she had found a stall that sold steak pans. I had a choice of about nine steak pans, each one covered in grease, some chipped. Nothing I wanted so far, so I looked around the stand.

I could not believe  the prices this guy was charging; especially since the seller never had the decency to clean any of them.  And he wanted R200 per pan, even though there were six different unheard of makes, none of them a Bauer.

He obviously had no idea and had the cheek to say that the pan I was looking at just needed was a good clean-up and it was an absolute bargain!  That did not even warrant a reply.  I was so disgusted, and before I could tell him so, Kim, forever the diplomat, dragged me off to look at something else before I made a scene.  

Once I see a book stall I get stuck, I just cannot walk past books without reading every title to find something interesting.  I am way past the stage of reading love stories, horror stories, historical and gothic tales, chic literature, and every other genre. I now read to find out what I don’t know, and that is plenty.

My purpose on this earth is to find out all I can about whatever I need to know. And I will know what that is when I find it. I will look through every book on the stand for that special one that can teach me what I do not know, that fires up my imagination. This is one of the best ways I know of detoxing and expanding my mind by reading something so ‘out there’ that it defies science and reason.

To anyone else a book on Space Age Crystals, the art and science of Crystal growing – on Earth and in Space by Kristal Education Inc. might be the most boring of subjects, but I love knowledge, learning about something I know absolutely nothing about, and also to dispel age old misconceptions and all this for which I paid the princely sum of two rand;  an absolute bargain in my book. Granted the book, more of a leaflet actually, is just fifty pages long but long enough as a mind opener.

On the back cover is a picture of astronaut George Nelson with a tray of protein crystals being grown on board the space shuttle during mission STS-26 which took place in the early nineties.  These protein crystals will be used in creative and innovative ways and research will be done on them to produce new drugs to combat cancer and AIDS.

American students do experiments on board the space shuttles and come up with some wonderful inventions, which have practical uses.

This same book shows a space colony of the 21st century which is a giant space shuttle called Island One. This is designed to provide living conditions which can house 10,000 inhabitants, with similar conditions  to those on Earth- amazingly there are cities,  rivers, lakes, mountains, forests and all of this without the pollution.  But sometime cynic that I am, I thought, just wait till they put real humans in these space cities and who knows what the human race will make of it.

The outer structure of Island One will be built from non terrestrial materials, materials harvested from the moon or asteroids. This colony will rotate and produce artificial gravity. Something to look forward to for the next generation:  Going on holiday to Island One to a brave new world. It makes me glad to be alive.  So no matter how bad this world is, one thing we can be sure of is that great minds are working on the next world, Island One, in the sky, a world without pollution, global warming and hopefully crimeless.

I have found countless treasures such as this, and so what if you can find the same information on the internet, yes you probably could, but just the look of the little booklet and the lay- out, almost like an e-book, but more classic, with a monochrome cover with the inside pictures in colour.  

A further bargain I found was exactly what I needed, a black faux leather covered notebook to use as a journal. This has a tab and clip on the cover for closing, and is exactly the right size to fit into my handbag. My old journals are black, large, lined and not in the least as inspiring as this little notebook. I bought three of them, as who knows when I will next get to the flea market again. The stall holder assured me she would have regular stock, so hopefully I will be able to find them again when I next need to restock my writing materials. At a further stand I found nibbed pens, but for them one needs real ink. And although the ink bottles were there, they were empty, as they were from an archaeological dig in Cape Town.

Oh, almost forgot, I found my bargain steak pan, the make Bavaria, ridged, clean, used yes, but almost new, with a double heavy bottom, a non-stick surface, easily cleanable, a wooden handle and much lighter than a Bauer, but just as good, and all of this for the princely sum of fifty rand.  I was chuffed.  Can’t wait to try it out on some rib-eye, rump and fillet steaks.

As much as I love the internet for the information it provides, I love real books too much to forego the pleasure of reading them in their original format. Who says that books are no longer necessary?  E-books and Kindle reads are great for carrying around your whole library with you, but also extremely addictive. The problem is, too much of a good thing is a bad thing, in my book.

I like the look of the crisp white or yellow pages, the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of a new or old book as one turns the page. E-books are published and written by the millions on every imaginable subject, which is good for information, but to sell them you have to up your game every book, just like real books, but real books are read by real people, e-books are read by robots of the information age chasing the “How to make money faster than you can count it” genre.

Books just ain’t what they used to be; published, marketed and big occasions when they came out. Now the poor writer must market his own book, publish it himself and resort to an e-book format to compete with the amount of writers doing the same to satisfy the money monster. Books like I know them will never be the same, therefore I prefer the old books, the real books. Hans has been raving over the merits of a Kindle which holds a whole library of books, can be taken anywhere, and is easy and more convenient for the reader than a traditional book. Ha, I will use a Kindle, if needs be, but I want to see my favourite books on my bookshelf in living live colour.

There is still a sense of hope and adventure in them, a sense of a future good or bad, still to come. The books written today, are full of violence, murder and mayhem, aliens, and the most unrealistic words inhabited by vampires, avatars and such strange creatures.  I suppose I am from a time that remembers how books were before we had the internet, twitter, facebook, stumbleupon, delicious, Reddit, LinkedIn, and the hundreds of apps that make this world such a small place. Apps are being invented faster than even the inventors can keep up with, it really is too much information.

Some of my favourite authors

Virginia Woolf       – one very brave and tortured  woman who dared to be
                             different in Victorian times.                                                                       

Simone de Beauvior – A Brilliant writer, who hobnobbed with the great
                               philosophers of her time such as Jean-Paul Sarte.

Erica Jong               - Extremely honest, and very funny.

All of the above are famous for their feminist views, each broke new ground with their writing, and I love the way they are absolutely true to themselves, no holds barred. 

Modern authors:

Jeffrey Deaver – Most amazing plots and twists to his thrillers.
 David Morrel – He gives the best writing advice I have ever read, plus his         
thrillers are very good. He is a master storyteller.  I loved his      book: Creepers which is set in NY underground subway.

Stephen King – For his great imagination, his absolute dedication to his craft and
                       his weirdness.              

Writing sites I subscribe to:

WritetoDone -  This is one of the best sites for writers                
                       Inspirational and practical advice and help
CopyBlogger – For blogging advice, tips and everything you need to blog

SheWrites      - For she writers, new and not so new, inspiring, and welcoming

Jeff Goins      - This site is great, good and useful plus honest. Jeff tells it like it

Let me know some of your favourite  books/authors in the comments and  why. 

Saturday, 9 June 2012


How Black, White or Coloured are you? This is a ridiculous and very undignified  way to label people,and these colours, which they are really, have caused so much hatred, anger, murder, war, and such a division amongst the ordinary man in the street. A whole country is at war, granted without the normal weapons of war, people are using their voices to insult each other with racial slurs. This is a sorry situation but this  is South Africa and here we do things differently. We call a spade a spade, even if it is a rake.

I dislike being labelled without been given the chance to tell you who I am and what my truth is and I refuse to be driven by fear.

It has been two week since I posted my first blog The Naked Truth about  the Brett Murray painting. This s gap has been  intentional, to see if South Africans would exercise their rights to Freedom of Expression in speech, have open dialogue and come to an understanding of the intrinsic right of each human being to dignity, equality, freedom of speech, thought and action, and understanding.   We have to meet each other on common ground as human beings and not as colours.

Food for thought, but while we stay silent, while we moan and mumble to ourselves: we who knew better times, when  people had respect for one another, less unemployment, less crime, more money , and a person could walk in the street without being accosted by a beggar on every corner, and the ones that are not begging did not look at you as a possible mugging or rape victim. .  

Well those time are gone, so is safety, security, peace, so has apartheid gone, and so should racial classifications go.  
 If this  subject  and the reaction to the Spear has got South Africans talking up and  talking to each other then it has done it's job. It was the catalyst that speared the ruling party and made them bleed. It showed them up for what they really are, and they showed themselves up for what they are trying to cover up. Even Tony Sexwale  had a lot to say about dialogue and talk amongst people. 

Are you  having an open debate with free speech about how you  feel about freedom of speech?  Do you care about what happens to this country?  Most thinking South Africans have written the country off, so what has happened?  By their silence which in itself is a permission given to the masses that it is okay, that what they are doing is they can get away with,  we don't care, let it happen, as long as it is not brought to my door.  If you are  doing your bit to open peoples eyes to the fact that each voice can make a difference  then I know I am doing something right.    We all have our right to free speech, as long as it is not for our own gain, when it is for gain it is politics, when it is for an ideal of a better tomorrow then it is good. 

Talking between  the different cultures about how to bridge the gap in our understanding of each other,   discussing how we can meet each other on a human level,  never mind  the colour of your skin, or what you do for a living, or how you came to cross each others paths, or  what you earn.  We can all learn from each other, and that is the reason freedom of speech is so good.    South Africans, talk, read and learn about the millions of others who share the planet with you.   Open minds create open debates.

I refuse to be defined by a colour White or Black, Indian or Coloured   What a lack of imagination the originator of these racial classifications had.   We  South Africans of the new South Africa have a democratic right to deny being classified as a colour.

 It is an affront to our human rights  not to be classified as a human being first, then as a South African, and then by our ethnic origins.  Stop defining yourself by your skin colour as you are no-more white, black or coloured even if you are so used to calling yourselves this.   I know some of you will be saying if I am not white who am I?  If I am not black who am I, if I am not coloured who am I?    Go beyond what  ‘race group’ you are defined as.  As this is the problem with South Africa.  Colours of all things, and it sounds petty, but these three words, white, black and coloured have caused untold atrocities in the name of freedom, repression, and countless lives have been lost fighting for what?  Their right to be thought of as a human being and not a racial classification, the right to equal  priviledges and rights for all..
We are the only country in the world who classifies our citizens by a colour. No wonder we struggle to find our unique identity and are still struggling to come to terms with ‘accepting’ people for themselves. 

If we first have to think in terms of:

 ‘ok, this is a white person and I am black, so they ‘owe’ me for all that my parents and grandparents have suffered, before my time  during the apartheid years of course,  but even though I don’t really know what happened, I don’t have to know as the ANC won’t let me forget (all second hand knowledge and hearsay if you were not there personally)  I am now out of school and cannot find a job due to the high unemployment figures, which I will also blame on apartheid for not allowing my parents to have a proper education even though they attended the best schools that they could,  with this word racial, it is so convenient to do that, I love the word as it justifies all I do, it is my right to use it wherever I can to get what I want,  so I will use the racial card to justify my speech, actions, thoughts and deeds, whether it is right or wrong, we can’t be bothered with that  as we are indoctrinated to think this way by our government and leaders who never let us forget the past,  :
·         ‘black against white, white against black, black against coloured, black against asian, whatever  is not black’ as dictated by BEE and whatever other title that blacks want to use to ‘take back what they think they are owed, without paying any respect to the originators of what has been done already.  If they have no experience of ‘owning’ anything before, how are they expected to look after what they now feel is their right to take?   No one appreciates what they have been given for nothing  without putting in the effort required to appreciate the acquisition.
·         ‘black against all refugees from foreign war-torn countries, as these foreigners work harder, are mostly inherently ‘decent’  and hardworking human beings,  except for the few who give them all a bad name.   The decent foreigners, who were teachers, lawyers and educated people in their own countries  show up our local’s laziness  and also they show up the  waiting for a ‘hand-out’ society that has been fostered by the ruling party’s promises to a gullible nation. Who allowed the foreigners to cross our borders in the first place?   Six or seven  years ago when zenophobia was at it’s worst I asked a Xhosa  called Sindile for his opinion of why zenophobia was so rampant and he told me that the foreigners used their earnings to support  local women as the Xhosa male believed the woman must work to pay the man, and the foreigners were upsetting the status quo.  So the local South Africans living in squalor and poverty  felt justified to burn and kill and destroy what the foreigners had built up, and the Somalians were better shopkeepers than the South Africans, so they had to go.  So another way that greed for money destroys.
·         As a black  I will use the ‘racial’ card to  delete the whites  history.                                               South African history only started when the ruling party came into power in 1994. Never mind that Democracy is for all the people, not just an elite few, and the Constitution gives all, yes ALL South Africans, regardless of race, colour, creed, or belief,  recourse to our rights as human beings, it is not just there for the ruling party’s use but for every South African’s use.    So why are we not using these rights?     We  the minority in this country did exist before 1994, and still continue to exist,  with a new dispensation in place to share knowledge, open our minds and our hearts, examine our thoughts, words and actions  to see  each person who crosses our path as a human being, not a colour, not a tool to be used to vent our anger about the injustices of the past which can only be dealt with by each of us believing we, yes you too, can be the change that is needed to heal this country.
·         I will use the ‘racial card’ to  change their street names to reflect our heroes of the struggle.  Let the Minister who suggested this pay for the changes out of his own pocket, and then see how he feels.  Never mind that hundreds of maps are already drawn up and that  millions of people know those street names and it does not enter our heads that it will confuse people who have travelled those roads all their lives, we will change them at great expense to the poor suffering millions who voted us into this position in the first place,(poor suckers that they are, that they believed this was being done for their benefit!) .
·         As a black South African, newly elected by the poor and naive people of South Africa, After all I am sitting pretty in my position, I am well fed, secure,  own a fancy car paid out of government funds, I hold the purse strings to my section and I am a law unto myself,  the purse strings  which I can manipulate and if caught in corruption I will still be paid to sit at home earning a full salary, not having to do a stitch of work, I own lots of ‘material things’ lots of land and I am a law unto myself, I have no respect for the law, the police, the justice system as I do not have to answer for my actions, or my crimes as if I am arrested, or brought to justice, the system is a mockery and my documents can disappear with a bribe to the right person, who by the way is a family member, or ‘a connection’  of the struggle, who will protect me no matter what.  After all everybody else does it and gets away with it, why can’t I.  And all that crap I spoke on the stand to fool the people, don’t tell me they fell for that!  All I have to say is “I know nutting, he called me the K word, so I killed him, or stole from him, or beat him up, or burned his farm, or broke into his car, or mugged him on the street, or whatever else took my fancy at that moment, as it is okay, after all we are protected because we are black and can use the ” racial card’ to get out of any sticky situation, that makes us not responsible for my actions.
·           I will appropriate their land, because it belongs to white farmers who are easy prey now as they have ‘no teeth’  (read  as:  Power) . The ruling party has okayed my taking it, without payment to the farmers (read as ‘Boer’) as Malema said I could, and I speak for him. I will take their well stocked well equipped and food producing farm and they will not be compensated for it,  not for all their hard work in building it to the condition it is in now as after-all, I did not do a thing to earn it, but I deserve it because the government  tells me I do, I have their approval, in fact you poor suckers in South Africa are paying your hard earned taxes to keep us in government and as  I am barely out of school, but I can grab whatever I can from the whites, who have no say any more in this new South Africa, as we the blacks are the majority!
·         And the minority and the majority of South Africans listen to this hate speech, and shake their heads, and moan about their lot, and be afraid, and wait for the axe to fall instead of seeing how they can do their bit to heal the wounds of both blacks and whites, come to an equitable solution. Yes we can if we speak up, speak out, let your voice be heard, as if you are silent on these matters, you are then in collusion and agreement with this very angry and confused youth leader’s statement.

 YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING FIRST AND FOREMOST, with all that that entails., you are human first, born with a name, which you should be proud of,  no matter what anyone tells you,  you own your name, no matter where or how you acquired it, you own it now, make that name count for something. 

 If you are a  Van der Merwe, then tough, change your name, now and rather take on a more equitable  new South African name, because if you are a farmer with that name, you are at risk. Any of the Van,s  need a name change and this is no joke.

From whichever ethnic background  you arrived here, this name and your place in South Africa  has defined the essence of you, with all the good and bad that that entails.  And your destiny starts and ends with you.  One does not speak for fame and fortune, but for peace and unity, and understanding and tolerance.

·         BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.    Find and Live your truth.   Each of us has been put on this earth for a purpose. Discover yours, what your message/purpose is. Celebrate you uniqueness, no matter who you are, as there is only one person in this whole world like you, and we are all joined in this journey to our end. But while on the journey, use your unique purpose to help others on theirs, to believe that your life is worth the effort put in. You do not have to be in politics to make a difference. Start from where you are.
·         Question your motives, and learn to respect yourself for making the choice that makes you feel good about doing what you feel is right.  We all have a conscience, which makes us feel good when we do good, and bad when we do wrong.  Of course, there are plenty of people without a conscience to guide them, so they are led by the nose by others with their own agenda’s. None of us like being taken for fools.  So use your choice, and your purpose to be tolerant towards others, talk up for your rights, understand  that we are all human’s sharing the same piece of Africa, and for South Africa to survive we need to heal this country: The conscience speaks when the ego departs.
·         Not by Violence:  Our country and our people need to find their truths, their own real truths, not what they are told is their truth, but what their heart and their intelligence tells them, find your peace, and share this with your world.  One pebble has a ripple effect.
·         Not  by Hate speeches which are used to incite anger, violence and keep all people from thinking for themselves. Ask yourself: What has the speaker got to gain, and what have I got to lose by listening to this speech, does it benefit my spirit? Does it benefit my health? Does it benefit my family?  Does it benefit my living conditions?  Are my circumstances going to change? And the last question you should ask is will  it benefit or hurt my future?  Freedom of choice is our god-given right.  We should act on our free choices, not those instilled by hatred.
·         And not by Zenophobia,   These terms of classifying us have caused enormous problems for South Africa.  We are all South Africans, either from European descent, Zulu descent, Xhosa descent or Asian descent, or European/Xhosa or Zulu descent.   Jan Van Riebeeck started and ended the problem by mixing it up when he landed here and found the indigenous peoples roaming the beaches.  He was of Dutch descent, and the children today think he is a coffee, which is what happens to you when you mix it up, so what goes around comes around.

·          Pondering this very thought,  I allowed my mind to chill, as I listened  to my daily dose of morning news, and happened to catch the presenter  interviewing a well-known entrepreneur who is the CEO   of Black Like Me , a very well-known South African company.

 Since the company’s inception they have done extremely well as their products are branded to appeal to the majority of South Africans who did not have a voice, and this sharp entrepreneur used that specific wrong of the word ‘Black’ to launch a very successful business.    His insight was visionary, and it has paid off for him. But did he let it go to his head? No, he remained humble, stayed true to his business core ideals, and his belief in his product. And it paid off.

 Not  a whiff of scandal has tainted his name, and his business has thrived. His credibility and genuine passion for his company should be a lesson to all of those who complain about their lot in life.  He used a wrong to make his right. Although he still uses the word Black. 

He was told as a child that all white people were evil.  Racist talk, yes,  but at the time this was the perception in the days of apartheid which thank goodness are gone, but there are some in this country who still use the injustices of the past as a weapon to whip up racial hatred.  

The younger  generation now attending schools and the youth of today  just want to get on with their lives without having this history shoved down their throats every day and instilling anger which let’s loose so much destruction.

This CEO decided when he grew up to test this whites are evil theory, and when he started his business he had to deal with white and black people who helped him on his way to where he is today.   He had the strength of mind to not believe everything he was told, to find out for himself, and find his own truth.  No  wonder this CEO achieved what he did.  He had the spirit of tolerance, and gratitude, as he had to deal with whites and blacks (oh crap, there are those words again)  from diverse backgrounds all in the course of his business, and he gave credit where credit was due.

 This is the point I am getting at.  No matter what your skin colour, you are a human being, and should not be identified as a colour.
Whether you are a politician or apolitical  we  can all learn the  lesson in humility, tolerance and acknowledgment of how others in our world came to be where they are today and how they helped us to get where we are today.  We need  to learn the lesson of appreciation. To appreciate the position we are in, and to be thankful  for what we have, or do not have, because if you only want it because your neightbour has it, or your friend has it, or someone else has managed to aquire it by hard work, you can too. We need to find the positives with open our minds  to embrace this South African way of life, with and without it’s problems which each of us can do our bit to be the change we want to see.
 We are now all South African citizens each of us originating from different ethnic roots , cultures, values and beliefs.   And for our Democracy  to work  in the new South Africa, our Rainbow Nation who has walked through the fire, yes all of us, blacks and whites,  as no one who has lived in South Africa was left unscathed by the burning of the old South African ways in the aftermath of 1994, will have to work together to make this country a great country.
The children of the new democracy, all ethnic groups, I refuse to call them colours like black, white and coloured which are ridiculous ways to identify a person as there are a million shades of white, a million shades of black, and how many colours do you have to have in you to be classified as coloured?   We need a new system for re-classifying all South Africans as South African from whichever ethnic background each one comes from. 
This is a much more humane way of treating a person, than calling them a colour!
We South Africans need to read the constitution and the freedom charter to be aware of our rights and  to speak up for what we want to happen in our country.   Never mind that you are only one person, so you ask, what will that help?   If each of us spoke up, we can move the mountain that stands in our way to better relationships with our fellow man, humane treatment of all individuals, no matter what their ethnic background is.
We all inhabit the same planet, live in the same country, tread the same roads, and have a stake in this country that we should leave it a better place for our children and grand-children.  Just because someone has had a different upbringing, or is from another ethnic group to the one you know, or is poorer than you, or is wealthier than you, or has an affliction, or is from another country,  does not mean that you are better than them, this attitude of name-calling is extremely bad, as people are people, no matter where, who, how or why.  We are all human. 

Each of us has our burdens to bear, and cannot judge another until we have walked in his shoes and carried his burdens. So open your mind, and close your mouth until you can understand where the speaker is coming from first, before you pre-judge anyone.

For those who are worse off than you, do not look down your nose at them, give them a helping hand up, because there but for the grace of God go you.  You might be the one needing a hand up one day.
 For those that are better off than you, do not resent them for their worldly goods, they are but material goods, which if they earned them by hard work and good morals respect them, and you could do the same if you worked as hard and planned ahead.   Of course if they accumulated their wealth at the expense of the downtrodden, and the poor, then they will eventually pay the price for their greed. It is not our place to judge them.

What does a man gain if he acquires the whole world, but loses his soul?  Self-hatred and evil intentions, fear of others that they may take away his 'gains' and what has he become? Nothing but an empty shell, with no inner peace, fearing all, as all hate him. He brings his worst fears on himself.   He kills his spirit and is not happy with his material gains, so he destroys other's in his quest to gain even more.This is the road to certain hell, not hell below, but hell here on earth.
. .
 We each of us have the right to freedom of speech, as long as it is not hate speech. We have the right to freedom of expression, as long as it does not harm anyone else.

 Everywhere I go I hear people complaining about these same  issues, and then I ask them, well, what are you prepared to do about it?   What can they do, they say, but leave the country, or carry on complaining.  We need to make our voices heard so what can you do to help South Africa?

We need a democracy  and a constitution which fosters free speech, open debate,  love of our country and tolerance of all living creatures  animal and human.  I know I am asking for the impossible, but I have decided to start somewhere to see this country free of it’s hatred,  fear, it’s prejudices, it’s intolerance.    It may take forever, but at least I have made a start, instead of complaining about all the cant’s, and the ranting and ravings which only foster anger, hatred, and intolerance.   I do not fear the unknown, as today I am making my future happen.

We the citizens of South Africa, should take a leaf from the Americans who shout out to the world I AM AN AMERICAN.  There is no prouder country of it’s citizens, laws, president, and it's hero's past and present, black and white.  That is what makes a country strong, not bullying, fear, subversive tactics, cat and mouse games in politics, name calling, inciting racial hatred, marches, boycotts, and silly games, plus greedy politicians who really act very unwisely when their base nature is leading them, not their higher ideals.

National Pride for all, Loyalty for a cause of Tolerance, Acceptance, Equality for ALL, not just the few .
We want to be proud of our county, but find it very hard to do so, with so much hatred and intolerance towards our fellow man. . To shout out I AM A SOUTH AFRICAN with pride and dignity.   We are  such a varied and mulit-cultural society that we are really unique in the world as a country.   Please Home Affairs:  Reclassify us all, by our nationality as South Africans with our ethnicity showing.  Each of us need to get rid of the white, black, coloured tags which  destroyed  the dignity and pride of all of the people of South Africa, during apartheid years, and is destroying the future generations of this country, our birthplace.
Home Affairs should classify us all as South Africans not by race but by our origins of ethnicity.


What country uses colours to describe and define what a person is - Colours belong  on a colour wheel or chart, and are used  for art to create beautiful pictures or not so beautiful pictures. To tell stories with pictures in colour, and to beautify  and decorate one’s  surroundings with.  Artists use colours to tell their truths, just as writers use words to tell theirs.
Colours are used to stimulate the imagination and colours create either harmony or discord.  Just as words do.
Now when people say are you white or black, or coloured that in itself is demeaning. How white are you? How black are you? How coloured are you?   And what on earth does the word coloured mean. That is the most nefarious of words – what colours go into making a coloured?  Get my meaning? 

Yes I am dissing the South African way of doing things: Calling people colours!   That itself is a comedy of errors, and whoever invented that classification is laughing his head off above or below us.   If a street is named after him, please let’s change the name to:  Idiot street.

 I am offended if anyone lables me with a colour
What picture does white bring to your mind: Hospitals, Clouds, Sterile? – How dare you call me that!    I am non of those.
What picture does black conjure up:  Night, Tar, Dark,  - I would be offended to be classified as this.

We are all human beings with all the faults and failings of a human beings,  with which we struggle to overcome every day of our lives.  I may have seemed to be more privileged because I am classified as white,  but hear my story before you judge me a racist and then see who is the racist here.  

All my life I have tried to live by the motto of live and let live, and although I was too little to understand the realities of the apartheid years, I have had many conversations with  friends who are classified as coloured or black and we do not have a problem communicating at all. We do not even discuss the past, we look to the future, learn the lessons from the past, and be thankful for today, which is called the present because it is a gift,  to have the opportunity to have  freedom of speech, association, thought and expression. 

I do not want what anyone else has unless I have earned it, and would like to be given another day to prove that I can overcome with faith,  I do not ask for the government to give me anything, I work to earn what I need as money is not my ultimate goal in life, spiritual enlightenment is, knowledge is, communication is, tolerance is.
White is white, like this page.  Are the white’s in South Africa the colour of this page, NO.  There are as many shades of white in South Africa, as there are colours on a colour chart. So who are we kidding, when we think we are whiter than our neighbour?  Or a whiter shade of pale? 

 Colour is used to create beautiful rainbows – and nowhere in the rainbow do you see black or white or coloured.   There are seven very exact and beautiful colours plus plenty more hidden that the naked eye cannot see.  Make Johnny Klegg the next president and he can rule by his music!  He crossed the great devide with music. Why can we not do the same with communication, with tolerance and understanding?

We can learn so much from the different cultures in our land, but what is the first thought that comes to mind when describing someone?  Whether they were black or white?  Or whether they were a good or bad person?  Or whether they were human or inhuman?   Or how we respected their nationality and they respected ours?   That is for you to decide, but if you speak your truth, you will define them by the spirit of their words and pupose of their actions.
I am a human being, and not a racist, neither white, black, or coloured.   My ethnic roots are French/Irish and South African as I was born here.   I like to believe I inherited my sense of ‘ social conscience’ and style, plus my  love of literature and art from my French ancestors and my sense of humour and  imagination from my Irish side, plus I might have kissed the blarney stone in a previous life, as I love to talk, about many varied subjects and interests.   

But as South Africa is the country that my  children call home, I am determined to do my bit for the future of my family and  all it’s citizens and instill a love  and pride in my fellow South Africans for this beautiful country. We have the best country in the world, beautiful weather,the best beaches, the great scenery, and the very best people who are like naughty children fighting over who right it is to 'own' this land.  

This land belongs to all South Africans, so please deal with it, work for what you want to acquire, honestly, and fairly, and do the right thing, by treating others as you would like to be treated, that way you earn their respect, not by taking and stealing and fighting and hiding and corruption.  Our sins find us out, so tell the truth and shame the devil as a lie needs a million more to cover up the first, and then the path to truth is littered with such lies that you cannot find your way out again. 

A conversation overheard:  

Little white boy:                    "You are nothing but a coloured boy" said to a classmate who was coloured..

Little coloured boy's reply: : " White boy, when you are born you are pink, when you grow up you are white, when you are cold you are blue, when you are hot you are red, when you are sick you are green, and when you die you are purple and you have the cheek to call me Coloured. At least when I am born I am brown, when I grow up I am brown, when I am cold I am brown, when I am hot I am brown, when I am sick I am brown, and when I die I stay brown, so who is the more coloured of us?"

There u have it in a nutshell, out of the mouths of babes. Wonder who that coloured boy grew up to be?  He was a very wise man for his tender years.

 I am not prejudiced against any other human being for their skin colour, just angry and sad at the stupidity of their actions and speech when what  comes out of their mouths is anger, intolerance, prejudice, and  plain idiocy.  Very few people think before they talk, and no one knows anyone until they tell us or show us  who they are by their speech or their actions.
 We cannot judge on appearance, and especially not on colour, as appearances are  deceiving.   The best looking apple in the barrel can have a rotten core, but you will only know that once you bite into it. .  At least the apple that is rotten on the outside is telling its truth,  and not pretending to be a good apple, with a rotten core, as the rot on the outside might not have reached the core yet.
What are your feelings on being classified as a colour?


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Naked Truth


22 May 2012


The  Naked truth about the Spear painting done by Brett Murray and displayed at the Goodman Gallery is causing an enormous uproar not just for the ANC  but also in the media.
The controversy and impending court case around the painting  has prompted me to put in my two cents. 

What have I got to lose? After all, this is only my very first blog, on a controversial subject such as this. 

But I have never  been one to shut up, or to follow the crowd, and when is the right time to ‘state your case’ or to tell it like it is? Now seems as good a time as any.

I have been writing for years, mainly articles on hundreds of different subjectsfor the US and UK markets.   I am now on the page as an emerging blogger and love having a platform to share my thoughts and wishes for the future of this beautiful country.   

I also want to share with you  my thoughts and impressions of this very brave artist, Brett Murray, who took a stand and expressed his views his way.   He actually gave me the courage to voice my own thoughts on this page. So thank you Brett.

The painting ‘The Spear’  shows Jacob Zuma  dressed in a suit, his fly open and his ‘unmentionables’, his enlarged penis, (giving the name: The Spear to the painting) on display for all and sundry to see,  which has led to  some very hot and angry people, who you would swear had never seen a naked body, a penis or a vagina for that matter. Perhaps they have forgotten that we are all born naked and we die naked.
Art is the conscience of the people. It is there to make a statement, to create change, to foster awareness in the viewer, to create debate.

Art changes us. As once an image is seen, we need to ask ourselves the question:  How do I really feel about this issue ?

You can deny, you can ignore, you can blind yourself to the facts, but the artist has made a statement, given you his anger, fears, thoughts and his very soul for you to interpret it any way you wish.

A writer writes, an artist paints, an actor performs, a musician makes music, a dancer dances.

We do what we do, it is in our nature. . How we see the world, is how we see it. 

All art is an expression of an inner voice which I like to call the whisperings of the soul, our inner voice leading us to our destiny.

Jeffrey Deaver, my favourite author says:   All cats see in the dark,
                                                                         Midnight is a cat,
                                                                         Therefore Midnight can see in the dark.

This is  logical,

and then he goes on to say:                          Unless Midnight is Blind.

Well, this made me think.

We are all blind to a certain degree, we only see what we want to see, what we are ‘comfortable’ with, and what affects us personally,  therefore we see our world from our own and very limited ‘perspective’.

 By limited I mean what we can relate to.

I hunted down articles to see what the fuss was about, and I was gratified to find out that this controversy will have a far-reaching effect on the future of  all South Africans in that two entrenched  parts of the Constitution will be debated, namely:

 1.   Goodman Gallery: Fighting for their right to Freedom of Expression


2.     J Zuma:                 His right to dignity and the right to privacy.
Zuma’s side wants the picture removed, to limit te damage already done. The Spear painting has gone viral by now, and around the world a couple of times.

I have an issue  with this right to uphold his dignity and the right to privacy! 

 If you are the president of a country, you have been elected by the people, therefore you have a responsibility to them. A bit of transparency, honesty, and caring if not sharing does help.  Does the oath he swore to mean nothing, or just more lip service? 

He has forfeited his rights to dignity. How can one show respect for someone who has been married six times, with 20, yes twenty children. No wonder we are overtaxed, we are feeding them all. Privacy is not an option when you are "on show" as head of a country.  People need to have a man in power who can be relied on to do the 'right thing' What he does in private is his affair, but the public cannot be fooled, and his history is out there for all to see, read and comment on.   

Jeffrey Deaver, author, says it well: 

 A man can forget what he hears, a man can forget what he sees, a man can forget what he says, but a man cannot forget what he does. 

Well, neither can we, when our rights to freedom of expression are muzzled and our politicians are corrupt.  A man is known by his deeds.

Unfortunately, Mr Zuma, we have all been exposed to your past. We may forgive  because we are human and we all make mistakes.

We don't forget and cannot condone your neglect of the poor while you enrich yourself at all of South Africa's expense
It is hard to forgive and forget how your attitude and actions have affected the mindset of the poor and unemployed South Africans who elected you into power. 

They believed in you and you have let them down. How you abuse the power you are using for your own gain, while millions are suffering.   

Zapiro, the ever controversial  and brave cartoonist for the Sunday Times puts it spot on:   He recreated the picture, placing a huge shower-head in the strategic genitalia area, with the caption: Want respect?  Earn it!  He is currentyly being sued by JZuma for a previous cartoon,  but he tells it like it is.  We the minority salute you Zapiro for your bravery and sense of humour.

The ANC are screaming:  Racial, Crude and Disrespectful. How long will they use that word, racial? 

Do they even realise that it has been 18 years we have had to put up with the hated word.

 It is smelling very much like the word 'apartheid'.  We are sick to death of being told how different we are by the ANC, as they will not allow their members to get rid of their prejudices.

If not for the ANC whites and blacks would get on just fine.   The ANC  have the country,  what more do they want? 

Let's look at this objectively:  This issue must have hit close to home for Zuma, as his outrage is pathetic.

Racial?  How is this painting racial.  In fact I think Zuma should be chuffed, it actually

                makes him look less green a bit like Shrek, and more like a leader than he
                really is, and he has lost weight in the picture too, which he should thank the 
                artist for.

Crude? Yes the painting does show him with large genitalia, which is crude, but he

                should be chuffed, his manhood is showing (at least this is transparent) and
                may be the only transparent thing about him, is that he has this appendage                   to prove that he is a male, not Shrek or some caroon character.

Disrespectful?  This is a joke, surely?  Give me one sane person who can say this with

                              a straight face. We are the laughing stock of the world as it is.

Zuma is crying and quoted as saying:   The picture sends the message that I am an abuser of power, corrupt, and suffer political  ineptness. These are his own words! Duh!
If the shoe fits wear it.

 So there is a purpose here:  The artist is expressing his anger, his
disillusionment at an unjust and very blind dictator, blind to his peoples suffering. 

 Zuma's 'feelings'  are hurt.   I am very sorry about that,  but the picture struck a nerve, and opened a wound which caused everyone who saw it to react, each according to his/her own concience. 

All artists. be they painters, writers, the media, theatre and performing arts, and the ordinary man/woman in the street, right down to the poor beggar sitting on the corner asking for a hand-out because he cannot find employment - he is  25 years old,  are  sick and tired of the word Racial. 

This word is thrown around for political sympathy.  I, we, and all of South Africa if you are not already sick of being told "we are too white or not black enough' then think and read and find out what your rights are, because you do have rights, the right to Freedom of Speech.

Please let us hold the government accountable to uphold the Constitution which is there to serve every South African, not just the ruling party and their cronies, who are diverting, and making a mockery out of all that Freedom of action, speech and thought stands for.

There is such a division  all caused by the word Racial, amongst people.  I have had enough bullshit shoved down my  throat by the majority who seem to be blinded out of a false loyalty to idols with feet of clay, shower heads, and grasping hands.  This is not what Nelson Mandela wanted, and not the Freedom he fought for.

            QUOTE OF THE DAY If  you are not afraid of the voices  inside you, 
                                                 you will not  fear the  critics outside of  you.                      
                                                                   Natalie Goldberg- Bestselling Author

 Where is your sense of humour mr president?  Just because we disagree, dissent is not disloyalty, allow us to debate the pro's and cons of this issue.  We are after all a free society.

Just before publishing this post, a 15 year old defaced the said Spear painting, accompanied by a professor, and witnessed by a journalist inside the Goodman Gallery. The gallery is taking action.

My question to you, the reader:  Should all South Africans keep their right to Freedom of Expression and Speech?

Please feel free to comment on The Naked Truth post, or email me, I would love to hear your views if you are one of the minority, majority, or anywhere in-between.