As I write this, we have had no electricity at home for *26 hours and counting. We have had three power cuts in the last eight days that have amounted to almost two full days with no electricity and one day last week with no water. Joburg, I love you but FFS you need to get your shit together.
A guy from Nigeria tweeted me to say that at least City Power keeps us updated. But some of us are clearly more important than others. I was thoroughly touched on my studio when City Power issued a beautiful note to Melrose promising them a generator and even Roodepoort got a TRULY SORRY. We got a sullen “apologies for the inconvenience” which I know was tweeted through clenched teeth.
I was filled with the joys of spring when I got back from the coast, but the power cuts have dampened my joy somewhat.
We are lucky to have a generator (shout out to the Roodt family for bequeathing it to us when they moved Overseas) but as there are six of us in the house fighting over the various plugpoints, it does become a bit of a bunfight. I am typing this on a couch in the husband’s office because it has the most light in the house and I managed to find a spare plug point because naturally my laptop battery has chosen this point in time to fuck out. Petrol costs for the gennie are sitting at over a thousand bucks for this latest power cut (so far.) So, getting a gennie is all very well but you have to be able to afford to fill it.
The answer, dear readers, is that we are all eventually going to have to go off-grid.
As soon as we’ve saved up enough SA ronts, we will have to get solar panels and water tanks and a proper grey water system (not just the hosepipe from the drainpipe to the flowerbeds) and not have to rely on City Power or Joburg Water. If it was possible to choose other service providers without spending a gazillion trillion rand, we would. Totally. Until then I will have to send them the white light when I meditate unlike the daughter who, when I say things like “send them the white light”, says: “the only white light I’ll send them is the flash from my gun.” Ah…Joburg kids. Gotta love ‘em.
Why ARE we so damn aggressive here? When we first got down to the coast, and the husband was driving, I had to spend a lot of time patting his knee and saying soothingly “We’re not in Joburg, now, love. Calm down.” Pissed off and ready to fight seems to be our natural state of being here (bit like some of the people on Twitter who seem to only be on social media to fight.) Case in point, we went back to gym over the weekend and there was an old dude having a tantrum because he wanted a piece of paper and he wanted it now.
“It’s only a piece of paper! I only need a goddamn piece of scrap paper!” he kept exclaiming whilst rolling his eyes so far back in his head, I was slightly worried they might stay like that permanently.
He did, however shut up when the husband growled, “Leave her alone. She is just trying to do her job”.
As the husband has a mean tattoo and is rather tall, the man promptly shut his mouth. The whole impetus for going back to gym was seeing THAT picture of Lenny Kravitz. Such a delicious picture but all I could think about was that he’s 56. That’s four years older than me. I NEED TO UP MY GAME.
It was awesome to be back at gym, everything is well sanitised, social distancing is in place, but I still kept my mask on the whole time and only took it off to drink water. I do however think I might have overdone things a bit because I now feel like I have a lamey in my one butt cheek.
I was hoping to get to Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank over the weekend as I am gasping to watch a movie, but alas I had eleventy-twelve billion trillion scripts to write. I did however manage a quick visit to our local, The Blind Tiger café in Tyrone Avenue. It was lovely to see the old crew back there and to sample their mini bottles of prosecco. One of our favourite waitrons told us that she had been brewing traditional beer to make ends meet while the pub was closed.
We never went as far as brewing anything but my BIL who resides in New Zealand was so very worried about the booze ban in SA that he had a bottle of this rather fabulous gin called D’Urban Scarlet Gin sent to us from KZN. This is not the only reason he sent us the gin, it’s also part of a fundraiser for the children of the SIL’S cousin who died unexpectedly. So, if you want to buy a delicious gin and support this family, the fundraiser is running until the end of November. Order it online here and use the code MC93 at the checkout. It is DELICIOUS, I highly recommend it.
In bookish news, I’m getting back into reading the genre formerly known as chicklit.
I haven’t read it for a while and I’m loving reading it again. But the thing I find about reading this genre now is that I have no patience for sex scenes. I read Beach Read by Emily Henry and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was much more interested in the story about the protag’s relationship with her dad and her mom’s battle with cancer which was SO DAMN MOVING than with the actual love story.
I also adored the fact that the protag and the love interest are both writers and found all the little in-jokes extremely entertaining.
The day after I arrived back home, I was thrilled to get a copy of Sue Nyathi’s A Family Affair (Thank you, Pan Macmillan SA!) Absolutely gorgeous cover and it’s so THICK. Sue will be in convo with Pippa Smith tomorrow (Saturday, 10th October), 10.30 am at 73 Tyrwhitt Avenue, Birdhaven in Joburg. There will be tea and scones and books will be on sale so if you want a signed copy, do come along (don’t forget to RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org).
It will be the first book event I’m attending IRL since lockdown began.
I CAN’T WAIT!!
TV recommendation: I watched American Murder: The Family Next Door, a true-crime doccie. Very well done and showing on Netflix. The murders themselves are just so horrible, I have no words, but I found the fact that the family spent so much time recording their lives (in video) on social media pretty alarming too. Not in a judgie way, more in a “Lord, we really do all spend an obscene amount of time documenting our lives.” The husband spotted Elizabeth is Missing on Box Office. LOVED the book and this adaptation stars the fabulous Glenda Jackson, so am looking forward to watching that. We also watched the first ep of Emily in Paris. Have seen a lot of people dissing it on Twitter but we found it hilarious. And her shoes!! I want.
And finally…as we were taking a walk through our hood (me acting like a coke addict sniffing the syringa – how GORGEOUS is it??) a woman stopped us and said “excuse me?”
I immediately felt guilty and wondered if she was going to give me a bollocking for wearing my mask incorrectly, and then realised that her mask was also at half-mast so it couldn’t be that.
Instead she said, “You’re Pamela Power.” I agreed that I was. She had stopped me to tell me that both she and her mother had thoroughly enjoyed reading my first book, Ms Conception.
The husband’s comment: God, it’s really not safe to walk with you, is it?
She told me her name, I wish I could remember it, but it flew straight out of my tiny, menopausal brain. So, thank you, lovely unknown woman for reading my book and for your very kind comments, you made my day. If you have loved a book by an author, do tell them. Writers spend so much time getting criticised – especially TV writers – everyone hates us for giving their fave characters brain tumours/ugly boyfriends/generally shit storylines, so it’s soooooo nice to get some positive feedback. Until next week, happy reading! xxx
*Our power cut was eventually around 30 hours, some people in the area have had no electricity for three days.