I have a distinct case of the mehs. I couldn’t be bothered to work on my WIP (work in progress ie. the novel I am currently writing), I just DON’T CARE. This is possibly due to the fact that we are in a pandemic and nothing creative seems terribly important in the face of people dying like flies and the ones that are left losing their businesses/jobs/houses.
I do not have a lot to complain about on that score. The husband and I have had the dreaded auntie Rona and although we were both bloody sick, we pulled through. TV is flourishing and I am turning away work at this point. The new show I’m working on called THE ESTATE on the channel formerly known as SABC 3 and now called S3 is receiving good reviews, and the show looks pretty damn awesome and has some pretty damn awesome performances.
I am excessively proud of the work we have done.
The daughter recently did some job-shadowing on the set. I had a secret agreement with the Creative Director to try and put her off acting as a career. “We will steer her towards a BCom,” said the CD confidently. The actors did their bit and told her she was insane to think about going into acting. Although they did keep on telling her how gorgeous she is and how her face is perfect for film (THANKS A BUNCH, GUYS!!) We made her work 16 hour days on set, we did our best, people, but it did not put her off. I also realized how tragically like my parents I sounded, trying to put the Daughter off the idea of studying drama at university (it’s a lovely hobby/I guess you can always teach sed my dear ma 35 years ago).
The thing is that I have made this my career for thirty odd years and I haven’t done too badly, so why should I assume The Daughter won’t be able to make a success of it? She is taller than me, prettier than me, more organised than me; she’s funny, is not only a great actor and singer but is sporty, plays five different musical instruments, is an accomplished artist AND understands how Tiktok works.
Aside: as I dropped the Daughter off at the production house to be transported to set at some ungodly hour, I bumped into fabulous actor and old friend, Clementine Mosimane. Clem acted in the very first play I ever directed called KWANOTHANDO at what was then the Civic Theatre. She was amazing and we got BRILLIANT reviews for it. “I directed Clementine in a play in 1996” I declared to the young actors waiting for their transport. “Oh,” sed the one gorgeous creature with a toss of her braids, “I wasn’t even born then.” Firmly put in my place, I slunk off, after asking Clem to look after my baby.
The baby was beautifully looked after and told me that she thinks she wants the CEO’s job. I have not mentioned this to him yet, but I suspect that he would be glad to hand over the reins at this point, he works sooooooo hard. People only see the glamorous part of TV/film and don’t understand the level of work that is involved. We work HARD. Obvs we love it or else we wouldn’t do it, but I kinda wanted The Daughter to have no illusions about what is required.
I am waffling a bit here because I don’t want to talk about what’s really on my mind which is the passing of Jacana publisher, Nadia Goetham last Sunday. I logged on to Twitter to congratulate all those longlisted for the Sunday Times Book Awards on Sunday night and felt like I’d just been slapped in the face when I saw a Tweet mentioning that Nadia had died. Nadia? Really? She had been tweeting just the day before, she had been fine. How could this be?
That’s the thing about death though, isn’t it? One day they are there, and the next they are gone. And you keep wondering where they are now. You keep reaching for the phone to call them, tweet them, maybe ask them a question and then it hits you all over again: they are gone, they are not coming back, you will never be able to just pick up the phone to them again.
I feel like this blog has become a series of eulogies for those who have left us, but what else can one expect when you are living through a pandemic? There is a point to all of this however and I promise that I’m getting to it. The point is that our creative work matters, I had a pep talk from author, Amy Heydenrych just last week about how I need to get my arse into gear and finish editing my latest novel and I know that Nadia would not disagree and would be the first one to tell me to get off my aforementioned arse and keep writing.
And that’s my message to not only her writers but all my writer friends. It is your words that have got me through this pandemic. I know you don’t feel like it, but please keep writing. We need you. And yes, I will stop being a farty, old Karen and allow my daughter to study whatever the hell she damn well pleases.
Movie recommendations: Nomadland. Sooooo we went to watch this last Sunday before the Oscars (which the daughter got up to watch). The kids were underwhelmed and moaned about the music score (they are both v musical. Shem) and the false promises that the storyline delivered.
The Husband and I meanwhile found the movie poignant and rather amazing. We reminisced about how the nomadic life reminded us of the gap year we took after university which turned into two gap years and how addictive the nomadic lifestyle is. The kids looked at us uncomprehendingly and carried on moaning about the music score. Art is subjective.
…which brings me to Synchronic. Great idea, but looks cheap and doesn’t quite get there. Plus the cut to the crying baby is one of the worst things I have EVER seen.
I have not yet watched My Octopus Teacher on Netflix, but HUGEST congrats to them for their BAFTA and Oscar wins. You made us very proud.
TV recommendation: The Estate (obvs). On S3 everyday at 7pm.
Book recommendation: The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse. Fantastic holiday read – although perhaps not if you’re going ski-ing as it’s set in a converted TB Sanitorium in the Alps and it’s pretty creepy. A real page-turner, I gobbled it up. Thank you to Helco Promotions and Exclusive Books for my copy of the book.
If you’re looking for more recommendations, do check out the longlist for the Sunday Times/CNA Literary Awards Sunday Times/CNA Literary Awards 2021 longlists (timeslive.co.za). There are so many truly wonderful books, congratulations to all those who made the list!
Finally, in Nadia’s words “Tell them you love them. Tell them. Today.” I hope when this shitshow is over, we are able to go to literary festivals and at one of those festivals we have one big-ass memorial service where we commemorate all those that we have lost. Rest in power, my darling Nadia. I hope you are up there with Dr Sindi and Phumlani and Nas sipping ichampopo and discussing your favourite books. My deepest condolences to her family, friends, work colleagues and her writers. She was a bright, shining star and she will be missed. Love to you all xxx