A little while ago I was struck by Warhol inspiration and created this photo-art. I’d like to think that it is my somewhat insignificant way of reviving the Pop Art era 🙂
What made you smile today??
I am an avid reader and as a writer and self-confessed book-nerd there are several novels that, upon reading, not only inspired me, but also made me quite envious that I was not privileged to have authored. Here is a list of books I wish I had written:
1.) Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
2.) The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
4.) The Outsider – Albert Camus
5.) The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde
6.) The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
7.) To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
8.) As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
9.) A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
10.) A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
11.) Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
12.) The Order of Things – Michel Foucault
13.) Animal Farm – George Orwell
14.) Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl
15.) The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
16.) One Flew Over th Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
17.) Naked Lunch – William S. Burroughs
18.) On the Road – Jack Kerouac
19.) It – Steven King
20.) The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
21.) Beloved – Toni Morrison
22.) The Lord of the Flies – William Golding
24.) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
25.) The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
26.) The Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton
There are many more that I am sure I am forgetting to mention here, but these are a portion of the books that make my heart happy 🙂
What books have you read that made you smile??
I think I was born to be a writer. At the risk of sounding like one of those people who claim to have been able to dance before they could walk or sing before they could talk, I am almost certain that I was reading before I could read. The difference is I have witnessed actual evidence that my aforementioned statement is accurate.
My evidence is a video taken my late maternal grandfather during a visit by him and my grandmother when I was about five years old and my younger sister five months old. A couple of months ago the VHS cassette (these were the early 1990’s: the days before DVDs and Blue-Ray, etc) resurfaced and, still being in possession of a video machine, I decided to relive my formative years. The video was incredibly difficult to watch for several reasons; a.) I spent the majority of the time cringing upon the realisation that I was an incredibly pretentious child who was seemingly fond of adopting a Queen-of-England posh British accent (which, to deliver some context, makes little sense considering the majority of my family is South African); b.) the entire home movie is narrated by my late grandfather, who had a larger-than-life personality that we still yearn for a decade after his untimely passing; and c.) it was the 90’s and we all looked horrendous: my mom had an absolutely colossal perm, my general ‘look’ included really colourful-in-a-very-bad-clashing-way jumpers and I’m pretty sure at one point I glimpsed my dad wearing hot pants.
Nevertheless, my granddad managed to capture, on camera, me, at the age of five, reading a book to my baby sister. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t actually reading the words on the page but I definitely embroidered an elaborate story using the illustrations. Which I think is fairly impressive for a five-year-old. And I would like to believe that moment captured the beginning of my enduring creative eccentricity. I haven’t stopped creating stories since. At least now I can write them down. J
Another proud moment came during a later scene in the home video, filmed at my pre-primary school, revealing my vast artistic endeavours. Our task was to paint anything we desired on the walls outside our classrooms. I painted a mermaid seeing as I was fully into mythical sea creatures at that point in my life (I also really enjoyed the idea of talking dolphins). The teachers were so impressed with my painting I was chosen to paint another mermaid on a different building in the pre-primary. Unfortunately, my artistic talents haven’t matured since then.
It really frustrates me to hear South Africans talking about how they can’t wait to leave the country. Everyone knows at least one of these people. They complain about the poor economy, the failing government and rampant poverty challenging the country. They venerate ‘overseas’, shiny, First World countries and endorse an unrelenting “the grass is always greener” attitude. A large majority of the time these same people are back home in six months time, their tails tucked regretfully between their legs, after a miserable and homesick experience.
I am ashamed to admit that I used to be one of those people. But I am older and wiser now. I would love to travel in order encounter all the world has to offer, but my suspicions tell me that it will be difficult to live up to my high expectations after living in South Africa. And I am not discomforted to admit that I love South Africa. Sure, our country experiences difficulties. What country doesn’t? Driving through the unspoiled countryside of the Eastern Cape I cannot help but feel my heart swell with pride at being privileged enough co-exist alongside such unabashed beauty. I do not doubt the indulgent nature of this statement, yet is it not better to be taken aback by the natural beauty of the countryside rather than idolize material objects such as fancy sports cars and flat screen televisions??
Yesterday I had the immense pleasure of taking a trip to the local cinema to watch Material, a proudly South African movie featuring a totally homegrown cast. And I was not disappointed. Not only was Material one of the best South African movies I have seen in a long time, it put a smile on my face at a time when I really needed to feel the corners of my mouth twitch in delight. I was really impressed with this film and I will recommend it to everyone I know because it is definitely yet another reason to adore this country.
What do you love about the country you live in?? 🙂