Parkwords 2022

Friday, 23rd

No power for half the f*cking day.

A computer battery that lasts all of 45 minutes.


Service Station Cafe Melville Heritage Day
Service Station Cafe, Melville

Headed to the Service Station where I was greeted with hugs and plied with a large cappuccino and a delish choc brownie before getting down to work. Alas, but their power then went out at 10. However, they do have wifi so I could carry on doing a bit of stuff until the battery gave up the ghost.

I then sloped off to Love Books to get Everyone is Present – as I was interviewing the author/artist the next day.

Curled up in an armchair and read half the book during loadshedding because it is RIVETING and very, very beautiful.

Had an enjoyable chat with the owner Kate Rogan, we are both feeling very empty-nestish as our babies finish matric. Couldn’t chat too much about that as wanted to blub but we did speak about what degrees the offspring would be doing and what we had done at university.

Everyone is Present on Heritage Day
  • Kate: I did a BAJol
  • Me: I did a BAHusbandry
  • *thinks*
  • Me: Actually, it was a double major in jolling and finding a husband.

Headed back home to try and get some work done before the power went out again at 4pm. Solar people came around. Hoping their quote is not too vast.

Not sure about the rest of you, but we are now just shopping daily as if we live in Paris or similar because I’m worried about food going off.

Popped down to Tyrone to get some grub. Headed to the pub whilst there and bumped into Kate Johns, one of the organisers for the Parkwords section of the Parkview Heritage Festival (and whom has awesome hair). Heard that the restaurants were not allowed to put tables in the cordoned off streets for the festival because apparently things in Melville got out of hand during similar festival.

Parkview Heritage Festival

Felt quite flattered that the City of Joburg thinks that the residents of Parkview and surrounds can party like the residents of Melville. We are not that cool. We used to be, cause we all lived in Melville when we were young, but now we are not. These days, our idea of a heavy night of drinking and drugging is three glasses of wine, an anti-inflam and bed by 9. Also, City of Joburg, do you not perhaps have bigger things to worry about than our little festival? I dunno, like the lack of electricity and the new water features popping up in the road daily in Parktown North?? #askingforafriend

Heritage Day!

Woke up at the crack of dawn, flung on a Chasing Marian T-shirt and an insanely short skirt (looked like I was about to play hockey) and rushed down to get hair done (PSA: grey hair has an unfortunate pubic hair type texture and needs to be styled if one wants to avoid looking like an old-style witch.) Luckily, the peeps at the Parkview salon were in that day and quickly blow-dried my hair for me. The scent of the syringa on my walk down to Tyrone was sublime.

Razina Craig and Terry signing their books for me on Heritage day
Razina, Craig and Terry signing their books for me

Met my authors – Terry Kurgan, Craig Higginson and Razina Theba – at Croft & Co. There was much confusion about our venue, but we eventually worked out that we were at Punjab. When we got there, we discovered that due to us being loadshat, the mics didn’t work and even better, a drumming group was just getting into their stride in the road outside. Yikes.

Asked if we could move inside the restaurant, which they kindly agreed to, and finally we could start. Found all three of my authors soooooo interesting that I would’ve liked three hours with them not one. I got through about a third of my questions.

Highlights for me:

  • Razina speaking about her experiences as a child during apartheid. I found this very moving, describing how as a child, they went to the circus and could only sit in crappy seats reserved for Indians and got to see the backs of the animals. Razina uses humour when she describes quite painful things in her memoir, her experiences with both racism and crime, for example. But there are also some purely larf out loud moments – I very much enjoyed the story of her son and his ipad.
  • Craig mentioned how intention is important in writing, if you come from a place of love, people will see that and not feel like you’re trying to get at them. He then wickedly did an about turn and told a story of someone dreadful whom he included in one of his books – thinly disguised – and then ran into. Neither of them said anything but they both knew it was based on him. Bwahahahahaha!!
Pic 1
  • It’s not often when you read a book and you think, ‘there is nothing about this book I would change.” I felt this very strongly with Everyone is Present by Terry Kurgan. From all the descriptions I had read I was expecting more photos and less text. This is, however, not the case. Although the photos are important and provide much context, the narrative, the letters, the diary extracts – basically the WORDS were utterly captivating to me. Look out for the story about the white roses and the neighbours welcoming the Nazis as they invaded Poland. As I read it, I couldn’t help feeling slightly ill because the parallels with operation Dudula were chilling.
The Whole Crew and Q
The Whole Crew – and Q!

After finishing my panel, I rushed off to Schim and Kate Sidley’s panel. They were being interviewed by Georgie Guedes about their collab on the Katie Gayle books. Sat with Amy H and our Qarnita Loxton cut-out (didn’t want Q to feel left out). Hilarious as usual and v interesting to hear about their process.

Murder in the Library

These books are lovely, cosy reads. The second one in the Julia Bird series – Murder in the Library – is out now BUT you can only get it on kindle. Apparently, if you order it online in SA, it will land up in something called The Cage of Destruction and you will never see the hard copy.  

I never did get to any of the other sessions, as after this we headed to Blind Tiger and chatted about my sober curious memoir over some bubbles. LOL.

It was a lovely morning, and I would like to commend all the organisers on a sterling job. HUGEST thank you to you all. I hope we raised lots of lovely randelas for our library. Have a great week everyone and happy reading! xxx

GSD Display Advertising V3 1024 × 200 px