Dear reader, this will be my last blog post for the foreseeable future. It will come back in another iteration, of that I’m sure but it’s goodbye for now. Why, you ask? Because we have sold the Go. See. Do. SA business to our Cape Town Manager, Alison Coughlan. Ali is an absolute tourism stalwart on the Cape Town scene, she is on the board of Cape Town tourism and has been instrumental in keeping the business going during the covid years, so we are pleased and proud to leave GSD in her capable hands.
I have been writing this blog for over three and a half years so I would be telling a smallanyana fib if I didn’t admit that it’s a bit of a wrench. I checked and some of the first interviews I did were with besties, Sue Nyathi, Qarnita Loxton and Amy Heydenrych at the end of 2019. I eventually got so busy that I didn’t have time to interview people and just wrote a weekly blog. But it was the blog that led to me thinking that perhaps I could publish a memoir and the result was My Year Of Not Getting Shitfaced.
I’m thrilled when people comment on something I’ve spoken about and have that ‘thank you for writing this, I thought I was the only one’ response. So, I was pretty chuffed to hear from a reader that my blogs on my sober curious journey had led to her own sober curious journey. You don’t know how what you do in life will affect people, so it was great to know that my words made a difference in her life.
I am passionate about books and film and TV, and stories in general (also Tiktok) so I hope I’ve contributed in a small way to promoting books and authors and TV shows and films. I will – after I’ve had a break – carry on doing this on my social media pages so look out for my recommendations.
Speaking of taking a break, we are coming to the end of our third series of The Estate On 3, and I’m looking forward to working on my screenplay for Things Unseen and on the thriller I’m busy editing. I will also be heading to Italy at the end of June for the first proper holiday in I don’t know how long. I’ve worked during just about all my previous holidays, this time, I will be leaving my laptop at home and enjoying time with my family. The Husband may need to pry it out of my hands but ja, the LAPTOP IS NOT GOING WITH.
Laptop, are you listening??
There is so much to celebrate on this family trip, I will be seeing the firstborn whom I haven’t seen in six months and my nephew and very clever godson (the one doing the PhD in maths in England) has just got engaged to a lovely English ghel. Plus, this holiday was supposed to be in aid of my sister turning 60 but we’ve been putting it off because of Covid so it’s thrilling that it’s finally happening.
Book recommendations: I was sent Lost Property by Megan Choritz whom I bumped into at Franschhoek. We looked at each other, trying to work out where we’d met and realized it was on Twitter. I started reading her novel and it’s a cracker. This is from the blurb: “One morning Laine wakes up to discover that the man she’s been married to for 15 years has been secretively living out a monstrous lie.” Tjooo…am loving the suspense and the delicious writing. Thank you to Helene Prinsloo and NB Publishers for sending it to me.
Also got sent What Happens On Vacation by local author, Jo Watson. This is a rollicking romcom set in Joburg which astounded me as I assumed Jo was an international author. I had the pleasure of meeting Jo at #KBF23 and am very much looking forward to tucking into this book. Thanks to the wonderful Helen Holyoake for my copy.
Yes, fam it was the Kingsmead Book Fair last Saturday and besides my own panels with lovely authors and fabulous facilitator Fiona Snyckers, I attended three AMAZING panels all on non-fiction books. These are the books now on my TBR list:
Never Waste A Good Hysterectomy by Melanie Verwoerd. I have admired Melanie’s writing from afar for years, so it was a thrill to meet her. I loved what she had to say about medical misogyny and the panel was brilliantly facilitated by Dr Alma Nalisha-Cele of Cheeky Natives fame.
A Path Unexpected by Jane Evans. Jane speaks about how she planned to start a small nursery school on the farm they lived on and instead she ended up founding a whole Early Childhood Development Non-Profit Organisation. Again, this panel was moderated so brilliantly by the Executive Head of Kingsmead College, Lisa Palmer and Jane also happens to be a Kingsmead alumnus.
I loved what both Jane and her fellow panelist, Robert Gentle had to say about not having a particular goal in life, just having a passion, and not necessarily knowing how they were going to achieve it but just going for it. Yes, yes, yes!!! Do contact their publishers if you need an inspirational speaker, they were both fabulous.
Speaking of Kingsmead alumni, the lastborn joined me at KBF and one of my favourite moments of the day was watching her swanning around, being treated like a minor celebrity. People were literally handing me off and elbowing me out of the way to get to her. How lovely to come back to your old school and be greeted like that!
Of course, Schim AKA Gail Schimmel was at the book fair, don’t forget it is the launch of her page-turning, unputdownable domestic noir, Little Secrets next week at Love Books (Tuesday 6 for 6.30. You MUST rsvp to Kate@lovebooks.co.za).
She will be in conversation with Georgina Guedes who deserves a very special mention for taking on a difficult panel (books filled with the big English) three days before KBF and facilitating it with aplomb.
There is so much I could say about how gorgeous the Kingsmead Book Fair is, but I don’t have the space. Big, BIG mwah to the executive, the teachers and the support staff at Kingsmead College as well as the sponsors for a truly great event. We are looking for another sponsor so if you have got some spare cashola and you’d like to be involved (Checkers 360 I feel this would be perfect for you), do get in touch.
That’s it from me. Thank you so much for reading and sharing this blog. Special shout-out to my sister-in-law, Sandy and my brother, Tom who have followed it so faithfully over the years. Also, to the technical team who put it together every week, thank you Kirsten and Terry Theron of TNTDigicomms. Get in touch with them if you need help with your website or blog or podcast, they are wonderful.
This is not adieu, it’s au revoir. Like Arnie, I will be back. Until then, Happy Reading! xxx