Sunday, February 23, 2014

The devil raises his head.

When you hear "Supermarket Shoot", your heart sinks. Because you know you will work through the night. We started at six one evening and finished the next morning at 10. It was all about unpacking shelves so that we could fill them with our own very special cheese... but then of course, re-packing the shelves so that the supermarket could function again in the morning. Lots of continuity pictures. This is a mere drop in a bucket:

Then the little vignettes on the side: a woman upsets a huge pyramid of oranges. We reset. Monofilament? Check. She sends them flying again. They roll under the shelves. A particular sense of unreality sets in at about four in the morning. Especially as dinner is served (or is it lunch?) and it consists of chicken and rice and vegetables and salad and pavlova for dessert.
Would you like fanta or sprite with that?

My friend Marie has written a heart-shaking post over at 66 Square Feet. Words that hammer through you.
So succinctly she writes:
"But humans have what nothing else does. Choice. That should be a longer word. Long enough to encompass the chaos, suffering, pain that result from poor choices, easy choices, thoughtless choices, deliberate choices."

Sometimes everything around me feels so tenuous. I know what it's like when things fall apart. And this old world reminds me over and over that there is no forever.

Yes. The small moments of beauty are exquisite.
A tomato is green in the morning and by midday it is blushing.
The young boy carefully removes a thorn from the soft part of my foot. He looks at me and says: Ow!

An old friend from far away writes: you are beautiful.
And, for a moment, I am.

The choices people make, seemingly without batting an eyelid. Believe me, I've made some doozies. It's not like you can repack the same oranges and do another take. All you can do is try to pack them better next time.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


January passed in a blur of commercials. There was the Japanese car... the comical bank robbery scenario, the hotdog van in the ghetto, the Russian woman pushing an empty pram, etcetera.

Then there was some kind of instant cappuccino. The packs guy frothing up cup after undrinkable cup... a beach hut, a rooftop, a beautiful architect-designed house hanging off a clifftop overlooking the city - so filthy I spent most of the morning cleaning it. Fans queueing to buy tickets to a concert, the Eurotrash beach bar, a record store... a coltish young couple on silk sheets.
And so on.
3 o'clock wake-up calls and leaving home in the ante meridian light.

Oh TVC: land of momentous minutiae.

I was feeling ever so lacklustre. As luck would have it, we managed to steal a week and hightailed it up the West Coast road.
Bless this old world, not so far away, where time is slow
and life's a snap.

I felt bad for forgetting to bring something special for the francolins, as they have a special place in my heart. (Just look at those feathers arranged like flower petals!)
 Nevertheless, they devoured everything we gave them - carrot, pepper, papaya, nectarine, lettuce, butternut peelings, avocado, tomato.
They will eat from your hand if you're patient.

A tortoise wandered into the yard one morning to drink some water. He submerged himself in the water dish until, worried for him, I set out some watermelon. He attacked it voraciously, eating skin and flesh alike. Eventually, he ambled off, smiling. The mousebirds came next, and the bulbuls. They followed their sticky feast with a bath in the dust. I understand why people become bird watchers. Small feathered comedians...

A puff adder lay peacefully beside the house the entire time. Even so, I wasn't brave enough to approach him. The photograph was taken by a very tall man.

We combed the beaches, we paddled the waters and we walked the marshes. The vegetation is a sweep of colour: pale acid green, coppery red, deep purple and everything inbetween. Tiny pinpricks of lilac flowers. We saw blue swallows playing a game: fly into the wind, hover with wings a-whir, then succumb and let the wind swoop you away. Over and over again.