I do like to be beside the sea-side…

I’ve just got back from a few days away in a friend’s house in a seaside town. No phone. No internet (slight case of delerium tremens). No Wonder Dog. No feral birds to keep away from the beseiged cockatiel. My friend and her husband have a lovely house in the little town, from which they base all their nautical forays. They have a boat (he drives it so it stayed in the shed), so they do a lot of fishing out in the ocean. She says they usually eat fresh fish, crabs and squid when they stay there. She also likes to beach-comb for shells, dead sponges and such, which she puts in her garden or on canvas as art. Although there’s no sea view, they only have to ‘pop’ around the corner to see it. What a shame I don’t ‘just pop...

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Writing in Botswana

My guest today is Lauri Kubuitsile, a full-time writer living in Botswana. She writes for children and adults and has had numerous books published as well as many short stories  included in a variety of anthologies. She was the 2007 winner of the BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Contest. In 2009 and 2010 she won the Pan-African Children’s Writing Competition, The Golden Baobab. In 2011 she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize. Best of all, she’s my friend. Please make her welcome. Imagine if you will, a country with no trade publishers. A country the size of France with only three or four (if you stretch the definition) proper bookstores in the entire country, all located in the capital. A country with a population of 1.8 million where buying books is...

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Sh! Artist at work

An interesting gentleman joined Jeff and I for dinner last night. (My definition: Dinner is when you sit at a table and you have more than one course. Tea is the usual main evening meal when you eat it sitting in front of the television in your comfy chair.) As we wanted the chap to think we have as much couth as he does, we had dinner. Over the course of the meal the conversation ranged over a number of topics: literature, philosophy, getting older, childhood memories, dogs, the problem with noise and the lack of silence in today’s world, the stress of modern living and where you can get good coffee. The Old Boy first met this gentleman in his second office: the cafe across the street from his first office. Actually, if we go by the amount of time spent in...

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Smile a while and give your face a rest

Had some little happy moments this past week. They were simple things, insignificant instances which brought a smile to my face. They weren’t headline grabbing, fame-generating, hold-the-news type things. They meant very little in the great scheme of life, the universe and everything but somehow, for me, they added a little je ne sais quoi to my week. On Tuesday I drove to the local hospital for my monthly blood test. I always get a park in the bay closest to the door I have to go in. Each time I’ve gone, there has always been a spot left just for me. Not this time. I circled, circled, went to the next parking area, circled, circled… Eventually I had to park in the street, quite a way down from the hospital (sorry, ‘health...

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Let’s get together, yeah, yeah, yeah

I’m in a rush this morning. I have a group of writers (I think the collective noun is a “worship of writers”. How cool is that?) … Where was I? Oh yeah, some of my writer buddies are meeting in my house in about half an hour’s time. Now, I love chatting with fellow writers, drinking coffee, eating the goodies the better cooks among us bring along, laughing, sparking ideas etc. However, this is the first time we’ve met in my place and I have to say, I’ll never take someone else’s hospitality for granted again! You have to move furniture around to fit people in. You have to clean stuff. (arrrgghh!) Then there’s things to remember: teaspoons, plates, cups, clean bench tops, toilet paper…MILK! I’m much...

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