It’s KeDezemba, dear readers, the last month of the year (although as we know, December is not just a month, it’s a season) and what a year it’s been. We’re coming up to our third year anniversary of the pandemic. In fact, we’ve most likely surpassed it as I’m sure I read somewhere that although the first cases were only reported at the end of 2019, the virus was already in circulation in October of that year. The Firstborn who is in the UK – went to Amsterdam for half-term and tested positive for Covid when he got back.
The Lastborn: imagine only getting Covid now? How embarrassing.
As if Covid were a driver’s license.
The other anniversary this past week was of the day I moved in with the Husband thirty-four years ago and became a fallen woman because we were LIVING IN SIN. I had turned 20 a bit earlier that year and had in actual fact only started dating the husband a couple of months earlier. I have realised in my old age that I am also THE MOST massive hypocrite as I would possibly have a complete shitfit if the Lastborn decided to shack up with someone after a couple of months of dating.
I feel the same about drugs, piercings, drinking, smoking and tattoos. It’s fine for me to engage in all of the above, not for my kids who must remain as pure as the driven snow with no piercings or tattoos to deface that beautiful skin that I created (would this be a good time to mention how hard pregnancy is, all the hours I spent in labour, giving birth – drug-free – into water so that they’d both be brilliant swimmers and the breastfeeding for over a year even though my nipples were falling off?? No?)
I understand that there could be the odd piercing and one or two tats, some drinking – but I’m not kidding about the smoking. Smoke and you will be disinherited.
It was the Lastborn’s final matric exam last week. English, which apparently they all wrote in record time because they were so eager to be done. Let’s hope the handwriting isn’t too appalling for the poor markers. Afterwards, they donated their shoes which is a tradition for most schools. I was totally embarrassed at the state of the Lastborn’s shoes, and confessed that I was seriously thinking of buying a new pair to donate. The Firstborn laughed when I told him because I seem to have forgotten but his shoes were in a similar state at the end of his school career. Obvs the solution is to donate a new pair AND an old pair.
I have to say a HUGE thank you to the daughter’s school, Kingsmead College, which has provided her with the most utterly fantastic education. They have the right mix of sportiness and cultural activities, I love their social activism and the honest conversations they have about difficult subjects and their academic results are impressive without putting the kids under horrible pressure. Most importantly they create a happy environment for the girls, and they know how to have FUN. AND they have a book fair. What’s not to love?
And speaking of #KBF, I did have a meeting of the Kingsmead Book Fair to cheer me up when I was feeling all weepy about the daughter finishing school. We’re meeting much earlier this time around as last year we were in lockdown so we weren’t sure if the fair would be in-person. There are so many fabulous books to consider, I shall be doing a lot of reading over my break in December.
After our #KBF23 meeting, the Awesome Foursome took part in the President’s Reading Circle which is the most marvellous initiative where they purchase a whole bunch of your books and distribute them (and yes, the president does get a copy!!!) and then they have a discussion with a couple of panellists, the authors and the facilitator. It was just the loveliest thing. These young people are so passionate and knowledgeable and were so kind about our book, honestly we were all glowing by the end of it.
Huge, HUGE thank you to the Virtual Reading Club team – especially Ntsako for setting it up, Mam’Lekoloane for the fab intros, Neli our brilliant facilitator and our panellists Amo, Vena and Khanyisa.
After complaining about the Christmas movie offerings, I watched two very sweet ones over the weekend. Christmas With You about an aging rock star (by aging I mean she’s like 35) who finds a cool co-writer and a hot romance with Freddie Prinze Junior (remember him!! Still delish) and The Noel Diary which is based on the book of the same name by Richard Paul Evans and features an adoptee looking for her birth mother and a famous author confronting the demons of his past. Both lovely and cosy and perfect for the holiday season.
I read something about David Niven on the socials and then went down a rabbit hole and ended up purchasing Niv: The Authorised Biography of David Niven by Graham Lord. Am I the only book nerd that does this? Please tell me I’m not alone. Have you read David Niven’s memoirs: The Moon’s A Balloon and Bring on the Empty Horses? I’m not sure if they’ve both stood the test of time, but I loved them both. The interesting part for me was discovering the truth behind those memoirs which is revealed in this biography. Niv might’ve been a lovely man, but I regret to say he also sounds like a total sex addict. Eish.
Some exciting news to finish off with: our book has been chosen as one of Brittle Paper’s 100 Notable African books for 2022 which is a HUGE HONOUR. Check out the list here: https://brittlepaper.com/2022/11/brittle-paper-debuts-100-notable-african-books-of-the-year-list/ we are in very august company and there are some great recommendations if you’re looking for African books to read.