Baby, we’re back!

This past week was a week of firsts.

It was the first time I went to an in-person story meeting for our new season of The Estate since the pandemic began. I started working on the show as Auntie Rona arrived so there were some people I had never met in person including the CEO of Clive Morris Productions, the line producer and our script co-ordinator, Kayla Ahmed.

Tip for TV writers: ALWAYS be nice to your script coordinator – I mean obvs try not to be a doos generally – but be EXTRA nice to the SC, they will save your life as far as continuity goes.

Soooooo, we all met, there were big hugs all round and I couldn’t help reflecting on how much NICER it is to be meeting in person, and how much more creative it is. Although one gets a lot done in Zoom meetings, they don’t have the same water-cooler effect where you sit and chat to the other members of the story team outside (as you drink your 10th cup of coffee for the day and eat your 6th muffin/pastry.)

With everyonelovesTony in the story room
With #everybodylovesTony in the story room

I had a lovely chat with our one writer, Tony Bonani Miyambo #everybodylovesTony whom I discovered is in fact a theatre person with a very illustrious career that has included training with the Royal Shakespeare Company. I never would’ve known that had we not sat outside chatting.

In the meeting we got to talking about rugby and the COO of the company, Khayelihle Dom Gumede mentioned how rugby at school allowed him to channel his aggression (which I think was the original point of the Olympics, was it not??) Why am I talking about this? Mainly, because it is a nice segue-way to mention that I also got to go to my first rugby match in 2.5 years last Saturday. Yes, we were invited to go and watch the match between the Lions and Italian team, Benetton.

At the rugby
At the rugby
Vaccination certificate
Vaccination certificate

We almost didn’t get into the stadium because just before we ordered our uber, the husband checked our tickets and realised that we needed our vaccine passports. There was immediate wailing and gnashing of teeth as we assumed that it would be a long, drawn-out process that would require days to complete. Particularly, as you needed the original sms you were sent after you had your vaccine and I had since changed phones.

Dear reader, there was no need to call up thunder clouds from the horizon because it was a breeze. We downloaded our vaccine passports chop chop and set off in our uber. Our drive was smooth – apart from a little chat with a taxi who felt that he should be allowed to cruise through the red robot.

“Vuka, Baba!” exclaimed our uber driver FIRMLY, while I just cringed in my seat and smiled and waved (I don’t f*ck with taxi drivers.)

At Ellis Park, we showed our IDs, and our vaccine passports (and obvs our tickets) and we were in! We were the guests of our fabulous friends at CIRCA and got to sit in a lovely box that was sooooo perfectly positioned to watch the game, swilling wine and eating delish food whilst we watched the Lions beat Benetton 37-27.

At the rugby screenshot
The Try

Lord, but it felt so good to be back. It was definitely one for my daily gratitude list along with the fact that Chasing Marian has been chosen as one of the titles for the Homebru campaign at Exclusive Books which is always such a HUGE honour.

The Man Who Loved Crocodile Tamers
The Man Who Loved Crocodile Tamers

It is the 25th anniversary of Homebru and there is a delicious collection of local books this year including The Man Who Loved Crocodile Tamers by Finuala Dowling. It’s very meta – the writer writes about how she is writing the book about her father, and the book is based loosely on events in Finuala’s father’s life – and includes the struggles of the writer trying to write this book whilst working in a shitty job. It kept me company when loadshedding turned into oh-shit-the-Parkhurst-generator-tripped-again-and-there’s-no-ETA, and then when the lights did come back on, I couldn’t put it down. It deals with Catholicism, World War 2, PTSD, alcoholism and yes, crocodile tamers; it’s fantastically imaginative, filled with sly humour, and gorgeously written. I highly recommend it.

Film/TV recommendations:

I went on a bit of a predator/serial killer binge (quelle surprise) and watched the Netflix doccie about Jimmy Savile followed by the John Wayne Gacy one. Both left me with the urge to take a long, hot shower. But what was interesting about them is that these were prominent men in the community – Jimmy Savile was world famous. There is this notion that because someone is famous/a great business person that they can’t be a predator. Chilling.

I need to address the fact that I have only been commenting on Netflix shows when we all know I have Showmax and was forced to sign up to Apple TV by the evil offspring. I do not have a vendetta against other channels, I just have not yet learned how to stream those on to the TV in my lair (yes, I am HIGHLY professhonal). So, when I have remembered my passwords and mastered this next crucial step, I will stop only watching Netflix shows and mention something else.

I see Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls is now on Apple and I’m very much looking forward to tucking into that and I also want to check out Sally Andrews’s Tannie Maria series.

GSD Blog pic 6 May
Film Recommendations

That’s it for this week. Happy Mother’s Day – and if you’re looking for a Mother’s Day Present, signed books really do make incredible gifts. Unsigned ones are also good and local books are THE BEST. Happy Reading! xxx