Friday, June 29, 2012

Writer's block and some Very Good News

Having been relegated to staying home, firstly by an op and recovery and then by pure, common-garden anti-sociability, I found myself not having anything to write about. That's a blatant lie. I was still thinking of things to write about, I was just not writing them. I don't know why but the writing's just not coming. Writer's Block? Of course I've heard of it but surely you have to be a Real Writer to get it. Nope. Apparently not.

This city is making me claustrophobic.

So. Here I am. Trying to open the channels. To write again. But I feel like I have nothing to say. How many words can one write about that? One hundred and eight, apparently. Yes, I just hand-counted them.

On a very positive note, with regard to opening up those writing channels and curing my claustrophobia, our plans to head Karoo-wards, where my heart swells and my lungs fill with air, are very much coming to fruition. Come October, we'll be heading inland to bask under huge blue skies and sit on the stoep doing nothing (and, hopefully, writing a trashy novel) while donkeys amble by on the dust road. Bliss.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An indecent proposal

It’s never happened to me before: an indecent proposal, a real one, from a real boy. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Let me scroll back a year and a bit to a friend of mine’s birthday party…

It was fun, nothing hugely out of the ordinary – lots of nice people, mainly ones I’ve known for around about forever, and a couple of new ones. One guy in particular stood out. We met, we chatted, we chatted some more, you know the deal. If I wrote romance novels I’d say ‘there was a spark’, but I don’t. If I were of the Ramaramadingding Brigade, I’d say there was ‘a connection’, but I’m not.  I’m more of an Anne of Green Gables follower so I’ll say he was a kindred spirit (with a side serving of sexual tension, something Anne of Green Gables would never have said.) We chatted until I left, he made Facebook friends with me the next week, and that was it.

Forward about a year and I bump into him out for drinks with friends. Again, we chat and I think he’s nice and off we go into our separate directions. He’s involved elsewhere, I’m involved elsewhere, I think nothing of it, other than that the spark was definitely still crackling between us (oh, okay, I admit it, I might write romance novels at some stage.)

A couple more months go by and I surprisingly get a message from him on Facebook. Just a ‘Hi’ kind of message, which I reply to with an equally ‘Hi’ kind of answer. A week later I am nearly knocked flat by the message I get back. It is, basically, very flattering toward me and is a request to spend a night of unbridled passion – one night, no strings attached!

Knock me down with a feather.

Now, while it is extremely flattering, obviously, it does leave one in the position of having to reply. He had been very honest about the fact that he is involved with someone, this is just something he longs (lusts?) to do, just one night. He was, in fact, brutally honest about himself which, while endearing (adding to my previous feelings of endearment for him), unfortunately didn’t distract from the fact that he’s involved.

So I had to say no.

I was tempted, I have to admit, and I’d like to say that it was purely a choice of taking the moral high ground that I said no, but that’d be lying. A whole lot of factors played into it, the moral high ground being the biggest. I’ve cheated and been cheated on. And learnt my lesson.

Ridiculously, it makes me feel kind of delicious, the whole concept. I wonder if it allows one to wear a badge that says: “I’ve received an indecent proposal”? It’s just what one needs for a bit of an ego boost.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

At the seaside, Part 2

I dreamt of it last night, our beach shack, and reckon it’s a glaring sign that I need to get back over here to my blog.

There was no TV and no phone. The sum total of electrical goods in the house were an ancient fat fridge, a light in each room and a reading lamp in the sitting room. The bathroom only had a candle for years, until my father rigged up a single bulb with a cord into the house which we thought was the ultimate in luxury. The stove was gas and the water out of the taps was brack. On top of the fridge was a battery-operated radio which told us the news and played us songs.

The second drawer from the right was the Treats Drawer. Every December it contained an enormous Christmas cake (baked by my mother in September and doused with brandy regularly until it's trip to the seaside) wrapped in tin foil, which got progressively smaller as the holiday progressed. The drawer smelt deliciously dark and rich. In there, too, were the sweets and chocolate bars: two sweets or two pieces of chocolate each afternoon after lunch when my parents went to rest.

We drank water from the rain water tank which lived out the back door and to the right, a place that, when we were small and scared at night, flitting out at breakneck speed to fill the orange water jug, was full of dark shadows, possibly containing wolves. The square of light that fell on the grass from the kitchen window didn’t quite reach far enough to light the little tap. We made it through twenty years of holidays without being gulped down by wolves I’m pleased to report. The water was sweet and delicious and we ignored the mosquito larvae that floated about in it. "It's just protein," said my Mother.

If we wanted to phone someone, which of course became an absolute necessity when we hit adolescence, we had to walk over the bridge to the post office and use the ‘tickey boxes’. For our weekly dose of television (Who’s The Boss, on a Wednesday), we’d go over to the lovely old couple next door, The Cleghorns. We’d watch while the old man, Theo, ate Provitas for dinner and told us stories of 'The Olden Days' (far more interesting, even, than Who's The Boss.)

It had a specific smell, which is hard to define, but I smelt it in my dream last night and woke up feeling holiday blissful. It was a combination of grass mats, seaside mould and pure, unadulterated happiness.

It’s almost as if that house was built of love and happiness (at the risk of sounding schmaltzy). It saw me grow up and provided some of the very happiest moments in my life. When I went to university (60km down the road), my parents gave me the keys and we went down regularly for weekends (and sneaky week days, which my parents were blissfully unaware of).

It was there I had my first crush, then first fell in love and there that I lost my virginity (a fact my parents definitely would wish to be blissfully unaware of, I'm sure). I can’t think of a better place for it, all of it. That house, if it could speak, could tell many fabulous stories. There are more, but let me stop there.

I miss it.