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Unfortunately cycling the MyCiti bus route is not always safe.

Unfortunately cycling the MyCiti bus route is not always safe.

 

Hi, good evening.

Are you security staff for the train station?

May I just quickly ask:

I came this way, it’s such a cool shortcut from Woodstock to the CBD.

You know it’s so nice cycling along the MyCiTi bus route, as I have my own separate cycling lane. It’s lovely and quiet with no cars around. You can even hear the birds singing. And the flowers, when they’re in full bloom, amazing colours! And the path is so smooth and well maintained. It’s just wonderful, it makes cycling worthwhile.

So now that it’s getting dark, is it still safe to cycle back that way?

 

Let me put it this way:

If you go in there now, you won’t come back out the other end.

 

Oh.

 

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Committing to a #ABlogPostADay helped me establishing a daily writing routine.

Committing to a #ABlogPostADay helped me establishing a daily writing routine.

 

Like with any craft, it’s not about the quantity but the regularity in which you do it:

For example when learning a music instrument, practicing frequently is better than practicing long.

 

If you want to be a writer, make writing your daily habit.

#ABlogPostADay can help with that, as it adds accountability to the task: There is a very clear goal, and the public is your witness.

This might hinder a creative free flow, but it teaches discipline in return.

Unfortunately waiting for inspiration will keep you doing just that: waiting.

There’s only one way to become a good writer, and that is: to write.

To write to publish is like a job and presents the chance to get to know a new side of you: the professional writer.

 

And to make it proper professional, here some rules:

–  There is no word goal, but a time goal: Keep your focus by limiting or at least watching the time you take to write.

–  The angle must be clear: Even if your piece of the day fits into a bigger story, it needs to be possible to be read as a meaningful standalone.

–  While it is best to write daily, you can adapt the type of days to your personal situation: For example, it can be daunting having to write from zero to every day, so break it up a little: Write every workday or allow yourself a midweekday breather, or if you’re in a demanding job then swap it around: Write every weekendday.

–  You’re allowed to cheat: If you miss one day, don’t beat yourself up about it, just make up for it on a non-posting day.

–  The purpose is to establish a writing routine that works for you, it’s about the consistency to get writing.

 

If you struggle on your own, find a writing buddy or organise a Write-Up which always yields results.

Join WriteClub for more writing support. 🙂

 

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How dreadful to know no other way than the final way out

How fearful to self harm to the degree of life threatening

How frightful to leap over the edge all alone

How unrestful to take that one step too far

How unpainful to go beyond life preserving means

How loathful to extinguish all love

How mournful to leave everything dear behind

How remorseful to sacrifice all there is, life itself

How sorrowful to find no solace but in abandonment

How fateful to go through with it

 

How awful when life becomes unbearable

How tearful when the last cry has dropped

How unhopeful, when hope dies at last

 

How tragic to miss the opportunity to be found and come back

How very sad to have yet another soul lost

 

And yet, how very selfish.

 

How I found my earring.

How I found my earring.

 

When we got burgled in South Africa, they took everything my grandmother had left me. Whatever scrap gold value they got for it, is just an insult to the meaning it had to me.

 

I was lucky to have one memory remain with me: The little pearl earring I was wearing.

A piece of jewellery my grandma wore and I wear now out of respect for her. Because to me she is a hero, having survived the second world war.

 

But a couple of weeks ago, I lost this tiny stud earring. I noticed it right away, because I always subconsciously feel for it. So I knew it must’ve happened at home.

 

The next day I was crawling around on the floors, looking for it. I wanted to at least make sure we don’t vacuum it up or sweep it away.

 

I suspected that I had lost it playing with our dogs. Lola has a thing of nibbling your ear.

Or maybe I had dislodged it when I pulled my cycling shoulder bag off.

Perhaps it fell in my scarf and I shook it out somewhere.

 

While my search for it gradually stopped, the image of the earring remained glued to my eyes, and 3 weeks later, I found it!

 

In our garden, out of all places. Our backyard is scattered with sand, dust, pebbles, dog toys, weeds, and it currently serves as a storage facility for building material as there’s still construction work going on inside.

 

I was cleaning up one of the holes our puppy Gigi had dug in order to fill it up with sand.

 

As I lifted the green garden net, the earring fell forward together with bits of sticks, pine cones and sea shells, the stuff our dogs play with.

 

I can’t believe I found it!

 

Of course the little Nupsi that holds it in place at the back is missing, which means I can’t wear it.

 

Maybe better, so I can’t lose it again. But where to put it for safekeeping?

 

Isn’t wearing it the best way to remember my Omi.

 

 

Step 1: Insert rat into flowerpot

Rattie Harley fits so snug into the flowerpot.

Rattie Harley fits so snug into the flowerpot.

 

Step 2: Adjust flowerpot to rat’s liking

 

Step 3: Let rat settle

 

Voila! Rat has grown a little – maybe 😉

Rattie Harley looks so cute! Ready to be showered in kisses!

Rattie Harley looks so cute! Ready to be showered in kisses!

 

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The Making of a Criminal: Part 2 was performed at the Artscape as part of the See Me: I Am Human Indaba.

The Making of a Criminal: Part 2 was performed at the Artscape as part of the See Me: I Am Human Indaba.

 

While the radio was talking about the Jazz Masters Tribute at the Artscape Theatre Centre, just around the corner at the Arena a very different kind of event took place.

 

The real deal

But that was not apparent to me at first, because I was late: I had booked the ticket over 3 months ago and the time had changed. This meant I entered the performance with very little context: My knowledge about it had fainted to ‘something to do with prisoners’, and because I had missed the introduction, that was all I was left with.

So I just opened up all my senses to make sense of what was unfolding on stage.

Two things sprung out at me after only a short while:
–  The performance was highly emotionally charged.
–  The acting was somewhat unprofessional but in a very human way.

It dawned on me that this might be the real deal: That these were real offenders, sharing their own personal story through a platform provided to them as part of their rehabilitation: the theatre.

And indeed: During interval lovely Janine next to me explained these were all real prisoners currently in jail and pointed out the guards on duty, who I had not seen in the darkness and now noticed were many.

Watching the next performance I realised that the provided context made little difference: I was just as much taken on a rollercoaster of emotions from laughing and crying, to cheering and applauding profound truths.

The audience was moved and responsive, from secretly wiping tears away to snapping fingers in agreement.

The message was clearly stated in the last poem: Nothing That is Human is Alien.

And that is really what we learned that night: A glimpse into the human side of offenders, past stereotypes and prejudices. Raw and real. Touching to the core.

These are real people who deserve real chances.

 

How can we help?

This was the question circling our minds, as this had been the last performance of this year’s group and it meant for everyone: ‘back to normal’, but what is ‘normal’ in these circumstances.

A discussion opened up in the theatre and continued in even more depth in the women’s bathroom resulting in these suggestions:

–  Don’t judge.
–  Share the message.
–  Provide space for theatre and rehearsal.
–  Support outreach programmes for offenders.
–  Bring more outreach programmes to prisons.

 

Driving home they announced on the radio that after the interval they’d get back to the Jazz Masters concert at the Artscape. I had just left and already this was how everything went back to ‘normal’ for me.

But of course there is more we can do:

 

Get involved

For another amazing example on how acting helps rehabilitate offenders listen to this podcast about the Prison Performing Arts initiative.

This just shows that theatre works as a crime prevention intervention. And why not? Why do we pay actors millions of bucks for faking it when we could use a fraction of the money to upskill people who can tell the real story?

So support future productions of The Making of a Criminal:

Follow the Help I Am Free cultural outreach project: https://www.facebook.com/HelpIAmFree.

Like the NGO Nicro (the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Offenders): https://www.facebook.com/NICROSouthAfrica.

Donate to their crowdfunding campaign: http://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/the-making-of-a-criminal-part-2.

 

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Painting the Ranzani Design Salt & Pepper Grinders is very meditative work. The focus lies on getting the colour contrasts neat.

A calm and collected environment is established by bringing order and discipline to the paint job.

Unless you’ve got pet rats! Their curiosity knows no boundaries.

Even the paint – non-toxic of course – gets examined with some funny results:

Blue rattie paw prints everywhere! 😮

 

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