Jy blaai in die argief vir 2010 Julie.

Two years later

Julie 10, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

Tomorrow at 13h40 it would be two years since my life changed forever. The only physical sign of the car accident is a shoulder that packs up every now and again, and one small scar on my kneecap. But the hole it left in my life when my mom died is something I had to learn to live with ever since.

But, looking back, I am glad that God spared her the pain of watching my dad die a painful death from cancer. I know now that He knows best, because Mom wouldn’t have asked for help to deal with dad’s illness. She would have died a little bit with him every day.

So yes, dear Ouma Suzie, we miss you daily. We talk of you often. We laugh about things you said and did even more often. We use what you taught us every minute of our lives.

I am glad that you and Dad are together again after sharing your lives for 54 years on earth. Rest in peace!

Here they are together about 3 months before her death. My dad died with her, although his body was left behind. So, this is how I see them now in my mind’s eye. Together again, at last.

The legacy of WC 2010

Julie 7, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

This is a very interesting article written, apparently written by the mayor of London. Got it from a friend. What do you think, Blogland?


I wish you could have come with me yesterday as I ran through the delightful district of Westcliff, one of the richest square miles in Africa. The sun was taking the chill See Moreoff the winter morning. The sky was blue. The urban forest of Johannesburg was a winter symphony of brown and green and gold.

Among the trees, on either side of the well-kept street, I passed the kinds of homes you normally associate with Beverly Hills. Here was the honey-stoned palazzo of a diamond executive. There was the schloss of the most successful boob-job exponent in the neighbourhood.

Each villa was the size of a country club, and through every set of gates you could see the carob-shaded tennis court or the ultramarine ping of the sunlight on the pool. Every property overtly proclaimed the determination of the haves to resist the depredations of the have-nots. Great brown Rhodesian ridgebacks snuffled behind the electric fences. Chubb security vans cruised quietly up and down. Fixed to the wall beside virtually every nine-foot impregnable gate was a sign announcing that any intruder would be met with an “Armed Response”.

I wish you could have been there, to soak up the splendour of the lives of the affluent Johannesburg professionals. Then I wish you could have come with me to another neighbourhood, a township called Cape Flats, nor far from Cape Town. Then you would have understood the vast economic disparity of South Africa – the wealth gap that helps to prompt the security fences of Westcliff.

Here there was no tarmac on the streets. No one had cleared up the piles of rubbish. No one had painted the battered grey breeze blocks of the flats or mended the panes in the washing-hung windows. Of the hordes of unwashed kids who came out to compete for our presents – badges and trinkets – hardly any seemed fluent in English.

A nice one-eyed woman called Mary took us in to see her flat, and though she was immensely proud of her two chipped-eared china dogs, and though her lino floor shone with mopping, she had almost none of the amenities that are taken for granted by the poorest families in modern Britain.

She had no hot water. She had no cooker except for a couple of electric rings. She had no system of heating or air conditioning, and though Mary and her family were avidly following the World Cup, they were listening to the commentary on a crackling old radio. They had no television, and nor did any of the neighbours.

Above all, she had no job, and neither did her husband. It was years since he had last worked as an upholsterer for motor cars, and the same applied to all the hundreds of other men and women who swarmed out of their flats to welcome the delegation from London.

They had no job, and no hope of a job – and yet these people, Mary and her neighbours, were lucky by the standards of many in South Africa. Mary lives in breeze-block luxury compared with the inhabitants of the “informal settlements” – shantytowns to you and me – of which there are 230 in the vicinity of Cape Town alone, providing homes to about 500,000 people in a population of 3.5 million.

It is when you have such inequality, and such grinding poverty, you cannot be surprised that some pessimists have asked whether it was sensible for South Africa to take on the difficulty and expense of hosting the World Cup. That is why I have spent the past few days posing the legacy question to just about everyone I have met.

What happens on July 12, after the captain of the winning team has waved the Jules Rimet trophy in his sweaty palm? What will people say when the last fan has traipsed home and the last journalist has composed his last philippic against his defeated national team and when the last vuvuzela has parped its last melancholy parp? What will this World Cup leave for South Africa?

I have asked barmen and journalists and politicians such as the remarkable Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape province. I have ended up feeling like those Monty Python characters who were so foolish as to question the benefits of the Roman Empire. The World Cup not only gave jobs and skills and hope to thousands of local people.

The tournament gave an absolute deadline to South Africa for the introduction and improvement of all kinds of infrastructure – not just sports grounds, but roads and bridges and airports and bus lanes that would otherwise not have been built and which will benefit the country for decades to come. Above all, the World Cup has given this country something intangible but priceless: a deep sense of pride that it has taken on something difficult and done it well.

When they look at themselves in the approving mirror of world opinion, South Africans of every race agree that the first African World Cup is a joyous success, and that success breeds confidence. The rand is rising. South Africans who left for Australia or Canada are starting to return to a country whose banking system largely escaped the recent crisis.

The sheer number of visitors – about half a million – will help to open the eyes of the world to South Africa and its potential for trade and investment; and get this – crime, the crime that has been supposed to be one of the drawbacks of living here, is down 90 per cent in central Cape Town, and there has not been a single serious incident of crime or violence in any of the fan parks.

Of course there will be disappointments, and no one could pretend that the World Cup will solve the economic or political problems of the country. But it offers a sense of unity and confidence to a place with a tragic past. It should help to build the taxpayer base that is so essential to narrowing the wealth gap.

It gives potential wealth creators at least some of the infrastructure they need. Fifa took an inspired decision to give the World Cup to South Africa, and South Africa has responded brilliantly.

What Mascara said…

Julie 7, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

I’m sitting behind my pc, working, minding my own bees-knees, while my 8-year old and his 6-year old pal are playing nearby. They pitched a tent in my lounge, and is now sitting in the tent watching The Lion King on DVD.

Then the 6-year old, who has the cutest lilt, says to Luc: “What did Mascala say?”

“Mascara who?” asks Luc, dumbfounded. (He is totally used to Jaco’s l’s where r’s should be.)

“Mascala, the lion, man,” Jaco promptly answers.

Wie het vir Inge Lotz gefaal?

Julie 6, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

Dis die vraag wat ek wil beantwoord in my artikel in die nuutste Rooi Rose wat van gister af op rak is.

Anthony Altbeker se boek (Fruit of a Poisoned Tree, Jonathan Ball Publishers) oor die Lotz-moordsaak en die gefabriseerde getuienis teen Fred van der Vyver was absolute fassinerende leesstof.

Dit maak mens bietjie bang om te dink so iets kan in ons regstelsel gebeur. Veral in ‘n land wat hom roem op ‘n grondwet soos ons s’n.

PS: As die Rooi Rose vir jou groter lyk, dit is. Ons is die eerste Afrikaanse vrouetydskrif in die groter glansformaat.

My desk

Julie 6, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

I just cleared up my desk, and found the following: one dinosaur (extinct), two artefacts dating back to the Ice Age. Some dodo eggs. But NOT the notebook I was looking for!

Why, do you ask, do I not keep it neat and tidy? It’s like asking Morne Steyn not to kick a rugbyball! My desk is ORGANISED chaos. The explanation is simple. My one boss explained it one day. You get filers and pilers. And then you get the third kind. The scatterers. That’s me.

PS: I have ALL the other notebooks neatly stacked together, but this one (that I need NOW!) has disappeared between nose and ears. Gone! Awol. And the editor is breathing down my neck. The first time this has happened. (The book disappearing, not the editor breathing down my neck.)

The worst opening lines…

Julie 6, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

Got this from a friend yesterday. Thought you would like to know how NOT to start your novel… The 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (for bad opening lines in fiction) has been judged: Winner, Romance: “Trent, I love you,” Fiona murmured, and her nostrils flared at the faint trace of her lover’s masculine scent, sending her heart racing and her mind dreaming of the life they would live together, alternating sumptuous world cruises with long, romantic interludes in the mansion on his private island, alone together except for the maids, the cook, the butler, and Dirk and Rafael, the hard-bodied pool boys. Runner-Up, Historical Fiction: The band of pre-humans departed the cave in search of solace from the omnipresent dangers found there, knowing that it meant survival of their kind, though they probably didn’t understand it intellectually since their brains were so small and undeveloped, but fundamentally they understood that they didn’t like big animals that ate them. Dishonourable Mention: “Elaine was a big woman, and in her tiny Smart car, stakeouts were always hard for her, especially in the August sun where the humidity made her massive thighs, under her lightweight cotton dress, stick together like two walruses in heat.”

Finish and klaar

Julie 5, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

Zapiro on Jackie Selebi’s trial. Agliotti “finished” his “friend”, and “klaar”…

The legacy of FIFA World Cup 2010

Julie 3, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

Who would have thought that I – yep, moi! – would become an avid follower of football/fussball/sokker/soccer! And that I would even care enough about the game to be caught in a restaurant, shouting my voice to smithereens for another African country?

Poor BaGhana BaGhana! They were really the best team on the field last night, and definitely deserved the win more than Urugay did. And everybody watching the game with us in Piatto in Eastgate last night agreed! Man, the gees was awesome! Waiters, diners and even passersby were united in their enthusiasm for the last African team in the tournament.

Mefinks the WC did this country a lot of good that can’t be measured in rands or infrastructure!

My kids are playing Grey’s Anatomy…

Julie 1, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

Although I raise my kids without TV, I have one weakness myself: Grey’s Anatomy. So, a friend records it for us on Monday nights, and sometime during the next week I go and watch it with her. And of course the kids tag along. Last week’s episode featured Demi Lovato, the star of Disney’s Camp Rock, so I called them to come and see what she looks like. (They have a  Camp Rock DVD and are huge fans.)

Last night I walk into Zoe’s room. There, on a makeshift operating table (two diningroom chairs shift together) lies the patient (Luc). Zoe is hard at work, performing an intricate heart operation. Bam! The patient stops breathing and the monitor gives out a flat beep… The monitor is a play TV from when they were very small, and the patient himself does the beeping. The surgeon herself is of course way too busy to beep. She mumbles things to herself, and then yells “Stand back!” and “defibs” the poor patient with two play telephones until he shoots up from his chair, furiously beeping again.

All the while the surgeon is shouting commands, giving a bit of anaesthetic here (“Count backwards from 10”) and shouting things like “Let’s get him to the OR!”.

I wonder: did the open heart surgery that I just witnessed take place in the ER?