Meh, Meh, Meh!

One thing I have struggled with during the lockdown is reading. I’m not sure why, because reading has always been a great form of escape for me. It’s as if my brain refuses to leave the place it’s at now to go to places of fantasy, murder, and intrigue. It’s frustrating to say the least.

Maybe it’s because I’m feeling like John Coffey in The Green Mile, which coincidentally is one of my favourite books.

There is a lot of awful stuff going on. Not just in South Africa, but globally. It makes me sad, even though I know there is nothing I can do about it. As far as possible I try to live in my little bubble, oblivious to what’s going on around me, but the muck still filters through.

I’m not sleeping again which isn’t helping matters either. I am waking up at all hours, thinking about all kinds of things.  Most nights it’s my aunt and how her diagnosis has affected The Bean. The two of them of more than sisters, they’re soulmates, family politics aside.

Other times I lie awake wondering if there is oil to be struck in my driveway. I said to Elizabeth earlier this week, “five years ago we earned less than we do now, but it was as if life was better.” We used to go out once a month for dinner and a glass of wine. Since the middle of last year, it just wasn’t possible anymore because of rising costs and our money devaluing almost weekly.

The lack of sleep means that my fuse is short. I am irritable and constantly craving carbs. I baked two loaves of bread on Sunday while at my folks. The one decided to explore outside the baking tin, so I got creative. The Bean and The Toppie kept the larger loaf and I took the smaller one home. Before I could really enjoy it, the ants made a meal of it, so I had to toss it in the garbage. Argh!

In other (less depressing) news, my windowsill garden is thriving. Eliza and Nathan offered that I can transplant the little veggie plants into their big garden at home, seeing that I don’t have the space. I will take the plants when I go and visit next week. I’m not good company at the moment.

What I need is sunshine and water. I’m progressing with the latter. I shall take a walk during the weekend. It should do me good.

Until next time, stay safe and let those close to you know you love them.

Brilliant Puzzle

I’ve read a few of JT Lawrence’s masterpieces:  Two of her Sticky Fingers short story anthologies, her debut novel, The Memory of Water, some of her urban fantasy works, The Highfire Crown, The Sigma Surrogate, Why You were Taken, Grey Magic and her pregnancy-journey-memoir, The Underachieving Ovary.  I’ve loved every one of them, for different reasons.

When I was younger, I would buy an array of magazines every month.  That was before I moved into my The Cave and realized that adulting costs money and that magazines, while made of paper, are not the kind of paper that pays bills or buy a loaf of bread.

I did buy Woman and Home this month.  Not because I am interested in bathing suits that would fit my pear-shaped, cross-between-an-hourglass-and-an-apple-shape, or the insert on Andrea McLean but because it contained a handbag-sized novel written by JTL.

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I read it from cover to cover in just over four hours, so it would make for a great poolside-, or airplane read.  An added bonus for me is that it is set in Johannesburg where I spent a portion of my life, making the story all the more real for me.

I do favour novels that read quickly like those of Jeffrey Deaver or James Patterson.  JTL’s Jigsaw captured me immediately because of this.  The short chapters build suspense in a staccato fashion and crescendo into a climax that has you wanting more.  It’s not easy to avoid spoiler alerts, so all I’m going to say is if you have a penchant for serial killers such as Deaver’s Bone Collector, or Patterson’s Mastermind, then Jigsaw will not disappoint.

Rating 5 out of 5

 

News, News, News!

I know I’ve been extremely quiet…my life is hectic because of the farm.  Season has started and despite the promise of hours being better, they are in fact worse.  Just when I thought it wasn’t possible, I found out it is.  I was at the office for over 13 hours today.  I am utterly and completely exhausted!  A reader of my blog posted a comment on my previous entry saying that I must come back soon, so… here I am.  For how long is anyone’s guess.  I do have news though.

I am finally pursuing my dream of writing a novel.  I had a lovely windfall at the casino and used the money to enroll on a novel-writing course, presented by the South African Writer’s College.  I received my first module yesterday and despite the exhaustion, I got started straight away.  I am inclined to procrastinate, but this is something I will finish.  Writing is something I’m passionate about and I think I’m relatively good at it, so who knows…maybe I will land on the New York bestsellers list in the future.

Much has happened over the past month, but I haven’t had much enjoyment out of it because of work.  I was approached by an ex-client and am aware of another, who is looking for someone with my imports and exports experience, so I have made the proactive move to put my feelers out.  I have nothing to lose.  After all, if I have no bait in the water, I can’t expect to catch fish, now can I?

Anne phoned me last night bursting at the seams with excitement – she submitted a piece of writing for the Groot Karoo Boekefees (I think that’s what she said – I was almost asleep when she phoned) to tell me that it won a prize and that it is going to be published in a book of shorts stories, alongside well known Afrikaans authors like Lochner de Kock).  She asked me to go with her to the prize-giving in October and I hope to be able to make it – depending of course of work (or a new one).  This morning she left a voicemail on my phone – her father passed away after a long battle with emphysema in the early hours of this morning.  I never met him, but my heart absolutely broke for her.  We had plans to meet up last weekend, but she mentioned her dad not being well and I told her to rather make the trip to him, which she did – and she is glad she did.  I will make a plan to pop in over the weekend, even if it is only to give her a hug.  Some conversations don’t have to be spoken to be understood.

I have a birthday coming up on Wednesday and usually I get very excited about it, but strangely enough, this year I couldn’t be too bothered.  A braai is planned for Saturday (my new boss gave me the day off), but a number of invited guests can’t make it…I clean forgot it is a long weekend.  Ah well, at least I will have some time to rest and relax.

Anyhow, I’m off to bed – another early day awaits me tomorrow…*sigh*