Choose your story

Choose your story

I used to work with someone in the TV industry who insisted that his was the only way to tell the stories we were working on. He was a very talented individual, so it pains me to say this, dear Reader but he was talking out of his bottom. There are many ways to tell a story. The same is true of our lives. I could tell a story of a country that made a huge blunder by announcing this new variant which sadly I keep calling OMNIBUS or I could tell a story of a country that felt it was their ethical duty to report the new variant even though it would cost them dearly. I choose the second story and likewise I choose a story of hope this Christmas and it was in this spirit that I decided to try and save my oak tree.

The old oak tree story
The old oak tree

I have mentioned before the story of my oak tree on this blog but because I have Covidy-menopausal brain, I feel completely entitled to repeat myself (and to call the children by the cats’ names just as my parents did before me.) What happened is this: an old man pitched up at our house when it was inhabited by the previous owners and said that the oak tree had been planted to celebrate his birth 80 years previously.

Our oak tree turns 100 in 2024 but sadly, it is riddled with PSHB – the dastardly shot-hole borer. I had decided to release the whole issue to the universe and hope that my tree would fight the little bastards off and survive. But as it started losing more and more branches, I thought sod the releasing it to the universe story, did a little bit of research and came across some positive stories of companies that had been applying certain fungicides and pesticides and having results against the bastard beetle.

Even my oak tree has been jabbed
Even my oak tree has been jabbed!

A lovely man called Johan from MHS Agricare came around to my house last week and had a look at my trees. He gave me a quote for the oak and for the viburnum and also identified a rather magnificent tree in my back garden as being a wild oak. We had a wonderful chat about forest bathing, and I did confess that I have taken to hugging my oak tree and (in the manner of a certain politician) telling the shothole borers to fuck off back from whence they came. Johan came and sprayed my tree this week and will be doing it again in a couple of weeks’ time.

Dear Reader, if this treatment doesn’t work, I will be sad but not angry, because I know that I did my best to save my beloved oak. MHS Agricare are busy trying to save trees at Jeppe High School for Girls and in Melrose Arch and THEY KNOW THEIR SHIT, so do drop them a line if you have a tree you would like to try and save. I was sad to hear that our beloved jacaranda trees are now being infected. PSHB is much like Covid and just keeps getting cleverer.

Family Christmas Lunch 2020
Family Christmas Lunch 2020

Because of the new clever Rona variant, my daughter’s school were not able to do Interhouse Arts which was rather devastating after the daughter had spent the weekend writing the script and sourcing the music. We also had to contact the family and cancel the Christmas lunch we had planned for December 11th.

“But I’ve already bought my dress for it,” wailed my sister.

Not seeing family IS one of the hardest things about this shitshow. We were supposed to celebrate my sister’s 60th birthday in Tuscany in 2020, we have put the trip off until 2023. Because of this my sister has decided that she will only turn 60 then and our one brother who used to be younger than her will at that point be older. My son then announced in that case he would be staying 21 until we go to Tuscany which means that my kids may well land up being twins. Like I said, choose your story and stick to it.

My overwhelming feeling on hearing about OMNIBUS (after I did the fuckitty, fuckitty, fuck dance of rage) was that we need to pull together. So, we are definitely aiming to be tourists in our own city this holiday season. Things we have planned include:

Melrose Arch 2018
Melrose Arch
  • Checking out the Christmas lights at Melrose Arch
  • Watching New Material movie at the cinema
  • Taking a Red Bus Tour
  • Attending Carols in the Park in George Hay Park on December 10th 
  • Hitting the panto
  • Hiking Melville Koppies
  • Having drinks at the new Radisson Red in Rosebank
  • Buying gifts from local shops including The Makery, Convoy and What’s That Fragrance
  • And, as always buying books from local authors because #signedbooksmakethebestgifts

I’ve also got a list of books by South African authors that I would like to read including:

In Black and White

In Black and White by Anant Singh. I work on one of Anant’s shows so I can’t wait to read this (thank you to lovely Pan Macmillan SA for my copy.)

Boiling a Frog Slowly

Boiling a Frog Slowly by Cathy Park Kelly – a courageous memoir dealing with the abuse she suffered in a previous relationship. I have been reading snippets on FB and it is beautifully written.

The Promise by Damon Galgut. I’ve always loved Damon’s writing and for someone so brilliant, he is incredibly modest. He writes very accessible literary fiction and obvs he won the Booker for this, I look forward to tucking in.

The Pool Guy

The Pool Guy by Melissa Volker. Missy writes wonderful romantic fiction and this sounds like the most perfect holiday read, also makes a great gift.

I am not a huge fan of Black Friday but the one thing I did take advantage of was the two for one sale at Lindt. I got lured in there last Saturday (not much luring was required) and purchased the Calendars for my kids.

  • Shop Assistant: Ahhhhhh…how old are they?
  • Me: 17 and 21
Advent calendar Christmas story

I am signing out now until 2022, so I would like to take this moment to thank all of you who have read and shared this blog. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and my love to you all. Keep safe and happy reading xxx