Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wasting time in a better way.

It's Friday. Finally you have the day off.
You lounge around in your pajamas till noon. Finish that book. Dream a little, about something that seems unattainable. Swim. Walk down the road for a coffee with the man of the generous heart.

Go back there later for a drink. Try the house cocktail. Army Navy: Stoli, Orgeat, lime and slush puppy ice. The flavor of bitter almonds evokes dark thoughts of cyanide and half-requited love.
Have another.
Cook for your friends.
Accept that Yotam Ottolenghi is king. Tofu shines in a new light. (Stop wondering about the book, people! Buy it. He knows of what he preaches.)

Swim. Underwater, in the dark.
This is a highly underrated activity.
Go to bed smiling.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Park Bench

  Come Sunday morning, the matchstick man bought a newspaper, a chocolate heart (wrapped in red foil), and walked to his favorite bench in The Park of Lovers

There, amidst soothing birdsong, and romantic music drifting from the bandstand, he would read about the crazy world and its people who made headlines, all the while, neatly nibbling on his chocolate heart.
Then, one Sunday morning, approaching his bench, he saw that it was occupied by a Fat Lady – literally, a lady made of fat! She sat looking straight ahead, half melted in the autumn sun. 

The matchstick man was most upset to have his routine thwarted by this glistening figure.
He coughed, ‘Urk! – and then returned home.
The following Sunday was much of a repeat. Except, in place of the Fat Lady, sat a Barbie Doll, staring out at the duck pond. It was a most off-putting sight. And so the matchstick man returned home.

  ‘Urk! Urk!
Autumn leaves fell and matchstick man stayed away from the park. Then, came the darkness and cold of winter.

‘Surely, no one will want to sit in a cold, damp park today,’ thought the matchstick man, as he returned there one wintry morning. However, when he arrived at his old spot – there, on his bench, sat a young woman, reading. Stiffly upright, she could easily have been made of wood, herself. But she smiled and shifted away from the centre when she saw that someone else wanted to sit down.
‘If I do not accept her polite gesture,’ he thought, ‘that would be most impolite of me.’
With that, he sat down and opened his newspaper. For a while, the two were silent. Once or twice they looked up when a noisy crow flew overhead. Then, slowly . . . but powerfully, the urge to unwrap his chocolate heart overcame his shyness. The red foil crinkled, which drew a sweet smile from the young woman. 

‘If I do not share of my chocolate heart,’ he thought, ‘that would be most discourteous of me.’
So he asked her if she might like to share his precious heart. Indeed, she would . . . very much.
That winter, the matchstick man and Lily (for that was her name) met every Sunday morning to read and share an inexpensive chocolate heart, wrapped in red foil.
Then came the first day of Spring . . . and a mystery that was to remain with him forever.

 Arriving a little late, the matchstick man was surprised to find the bench empty – except for a copy of love poems lying where Lily had always sat, waiting for him.
Confused, he sat down . . . opened the book and read the note that fell out:
I love you – Lily.

By Niki Daly, posted with kind permission.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Time Flies at the Bellevue Lounge and one morning in New York City.

There's something about having a party at a house on a Saturday night, with an almost full Sugar Moon... something pretty wonderful. The Time Flies must be one of my favourite bands. They evoke that feeling you get just before lift-off. They ended their set with a rocking dirty version of "Blue Moon". A young girl said to me, breathlessly: I always thought he was cool, but John Trafford is GOD!

DJ Appletart dusted off the decks and played for the first time in two years. I'd forgotten how nice it is to fill a dance floor.  Halfway in, the tall drink of water joined on percussion and MC Mr Nimbus had the crowd shouting. Thanks to the Cutie with the eyeliner for keeping me cool and watered for two hours and to Be, for twiddling the controls.
2h30 Found me... still at the party. Knowing that I had to get up at something to do with a four again. 
Is this what people mean when they talk about a midlife crisis? If so, I like this part. 
I felt like a teenager with no curfew.
Like an egg in a whisk.

Dawn in the city. We shot an iced tea commercial in a play play New York.
The day passed by like a dream.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sourcerer Turns One.


 A big thank you to the man with the generous heart for insisting, gently, but over and over again: Lil, you should write a blog. So, one afternoon, a year ago, I sat down and started a blog about sourcing props for the film industry, mostly from the Milnerton boot sale. Over time, it has turned into something else. I couldn't explain to you exactly what, but it's still about finding stuff and it's changed my life.

It warms my heart when you write to me and phone me and come up to talk to me at the supermarket.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Eternal Lovers.

My parents, on their honeymoon in Durban, in the sixties.
My Father was a surgeon, my Mother his theatre sister. She'd pass him instruments and think to herself: "He has such beautiful hands!" Behind his back they called him Dr. Dreamboat.
They had supper by candlelight every night. They danced in the kitchen. Us kids would roll our eyes and the daschund went beserk.

My Grandmother and Grandfather on the beach in Jeffreys Bay. (In matching swim suits!)
I'm not sure how they met, but I have this dance card from 1924.

Eight dances, including first and last, to P.,
my Grandfather.
So romantic.

How did your parents meet?

Monday, February 14, 2011


As much as I sometimes wish for the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind - to wipe away a five year big dipper ride... along with the bad there were seeds of something beautiful. Sometimes that's what keeps one championing the struggle. I still believe in love. I saw it in it's purest form between my mother and my father. 
So, dear readers, happy Valentine's day and here's to brilliant sparkly love and dancing to songs on the radio with someone who loves every atom of you.

From the online LIFE picture archives.
Days of splendid indolence.
The place that we went to was a wild place, far away. On the first night there, we danced barefoot on the lawn in the balmy air and then we lay down on the soft green grass, under the milky way. He told me about the stars and how I made him feel when we were together. We kissed slowly and deeply in the glittering darkness. (Imagine desire, like steam, spiraling on the skin.) On a solitary walk early one morning, two brown buck rushed across my path. I felt my heart beating in my mouth as they galloped away through the low bushes, glistening, dust clouds slowly settling. Blue headed salamanders sunbathed on the high rocks and birds swooped in mid-flight to gulp drops of water falling over the edge of the ravine. I could see their tiny throats undulating from below. I floated on my back in the cool dark water, watching little sun flecks, small round rainbows drifting in the air above me. There was a low rushing sound in my ears and I felt utter, unalloyed calm.

Whenever I wandered away on my own, he found me and he touched me in some warm way, bringing me back to the undiluted moment. I would miss this in the solitary days that were to follow. At dawn one morning we found ourselves in the middle of a field of brushwood, near slowly running water. It was impossible to keep my eyes open - I'd open them briefly and see him flaring above me, surrounded by a disc of pulsing, blinding light, fiery particles hovering in the sky around us. There was a moonstone yellow glow on the horizon and the air was filled with the fragrance of the small leaved bushes that we were crushing with our movement, and the coppery smell of the water.

The time that we spent away had a strong dreamlike feel to it, of which there were few spells of pure lucidity. On the night before we left, I looked around the room and I felt the air shift. Seed pods rattled against the roof. We stayed awake that night, the murmuring of our voices continuing for hours. He told me the next day that it had felt like love in chapters. He said that one of the best things about going away with me had been holding my hand in the car on the way back.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In the Cape yawn the ravens and we melt in sweltering days.

We worked on a shoot in Stellenbosch last week. It was incredibly hot. "So warm, die kraaie gaap" and "snikhete". Two wonderful expressions in Afrikaans. I fed them into Google Translate and it came up with the title above. I see many hours of amusement ahead...

On the first day we watched as the mountains became darker and darker blue. Later there was a thunderstorm. Stellenbosch has changed a lot since I was a student there. They have rush hours now! But what really blew me away was how incredibly friendly
and helpful people were.
Our location was just out of town - Mulderbosch wine estate. They make one of my favourite chardonnays.

Spent a few hours doing beauty shots of lettuce. Zzzzzzz. All these lights and reflectors for one head of lettuce. I helped the food stylist reset her salad bowl for take after take. This meant picking out bits of carrots and nuts with a tweezer. (Surely there's a name for this job - like the Fluffer on a porn set?)

In the afternoon we moved on to the cellar set. Rubbed shoulders with some great legends in the world of rugby and wine. The most fun part of the day: recording wild sound upstairs - corks being popped, wine being poured, a rubber stamp being stamped.
It was a pleasant change to work with a down-to-earth Afrikaans director. He knew exactly what he wanted, no bullshit, no tantrums. Impressed.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Perhaps love IS a hat.

 My previous post resulted in numerous phone calls and a bag full of mail. Thank you!
An astute friend wrote:
Love might be a hat. If we had no control over falling in love, then many of us would live lives full of guilt and remorse and regret. I've held back from falling in love, sensing that it could be more dangerous and destructive than pleasurable. I think there is a point where, consciously or unconsciously, a decision is made to fall, or to stand on the brink, or to step back entirely. To admire the hat, to lift it up and look at it from all angles, or to put it on.
I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her. This is a person of great integrity - a rare quality these days.
I'm a careful person. I've not been in love many times,
but I fall in love like... 
falling off a cliff. 

My friend's words have made a large impression and I'm taking a step back to reflect.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love is not a hat.

If one more man says to me: 'I could so easily fall in love with you', I'm going to throw up. 
Don't you get it people? 
With love, there is no choice
You may as well try to stop the rain from falling.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

〷✠⚡◀THE▶⚡✠⚡▶WILD◀⚡❖⚡▶EYES◀❖✜ ✝ ✞

A saturday night to remember.
A fire in the garden. Lamb kebabs. Fresh mint sauce. Eggplant and pomegranates. A big dish of hummus with everyone dipping in. Night swimming. Then dancing at Assembly till two.

It bothers me that we pay only R40.00 to see music of this quality. This is entertainment! The Wild Eyes. How I love them. Nikhil's glam rock persona enthralls. Afterward, we went backstage to give Len a hug. The Shrek of a bouncer picked me up by my forearms and deposited me at a safe distance. Very rock 'n' roll.

Spoek Mathambo and Mshini Wam. A kwaito and techno mix up. Who would have thought? It's incredible to see Spoek Mathambo moving on with something so different from Sweat-X.

Sunday morning means piles of dishes but I'm smiling.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

That person you like is 72.8% water.

In a 70kg person, there is:
43kg oxygen
16kg carbon
7kg hydrogen
1.8kg nitrogen
1kg calcium
780g phosphorus
140g potassium
140g sulfur
100g sodium
95g chlorine
19g magnesium
4.2g iron
2.6g fluorine
2.3g zinc
1g silicon
0.12g lead
72mg copper
60mg aluminum
50mg cadmium
22mg barium
20mg iodine
20mg tin
20mg titanium
18mg boron
15mg nickel
15mg selenium
14mg chromium
12mg manganese
7mg arsenic
7mg lithium
6mg mercury
3mg cobalt
2mg silver
0.2mg gold

Oxygen is the most abundant element in the earth's crust and in the body. The body's 43 kilograms of oxygen is found mostly as a component of water, which makes up approximately 70% of total body weight.

(Raw data from Emsley, John, The Elements, 3rd ed., Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1998.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Owl and the Pussycat.

Last November I was asked to put together a special hamper for a photographer. Karl Lilje was that man. Since then, we've become cyber-friends and I met him in person last night at his exhibition. (This seems to be a recurring theme, set in motion on New Year's day...)
It was a novelty indeed to have someone whose work I admire a great deal tell me that he's a fan of my writing. It made me blush and gaze at my shoes. Thanks Karl.

The Owl and the Pussycat
I picked you a rose...

These were my favourite images. I love the ocean floor and I love her slick sou'wester evening dress. Karl later likened his deconstructed flower images to the way he photographs his subjects. Finding hidden layers. It's obvious that there is a great rapport between artist and model.

The night was made all the more magical by a tropical storm. I drove home through the heat and big plopping drops of rain, with bright flashes of lightning over the bay.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eyes, saws, ships and horsewhips.

Much like a hundred-year-old flirty text message, this love letter is written in a puzzling language of icons called a rebus. It was discovered in the Swansea University Archives, among the minutes of the temperance society (they who abstain from the drinking of alcohol) and dates back to 1890. Transcript follows:

My Dearest Fanny,

I am writing these few lines to tell you that I cannot live any longer without you. I worship you always. I think you are a beauty and the nicest girl I ever saw and I adore you. Oh exquisite Fanny, do not despise me for loving you so well. I shall be broken-hearted if you desert me. Can you meet me on Monday night, when I will take you to the Star Music Hall. I hate that Bill Robinson, who is hanging after you and I intend to horsewhip him when I see him. I shall be delighted to hear from you at once. Do not let my suit be fruitless. Reply by next post to

Your loving

William Weightman