i was born in a small town, nestling at the feet of the mighty drakensberg mountains. i grew up (well mostly) in a university town in the natal midlands.
the years of my time as wife and mother ... durban ... on the indian ocean,hot, humid, palm trees, mosquitos and hot, spicy durban curry
pietermaritzburg ... sleepy hollow, a great place to live, a wonderful place to bring up your children. avocado trees, guava trees and orange trees.
johannesburg ... dry heat, harsh on your skin. big, big, blue, blue skies and electric storms so beautiful they would make your throat tight with emotion. for the mann ... career peak, success, making it in the big naartjie. for my children, the teenage years, for myself ... breast cancer, chemo, cricket and growing up.
there is more, maybe another day?
today ... a village in south ayrshire, scotland!
i stop and look back .
i wonder ...
how the dickens did i end up here?
thursday ... time to learn scottish dancing ... seven thirty in the village hall. michelle (the daughter in law) and myself have decided to attempt to conquer the intricacies of scottish dance. inspired by the ceilidh back in july, we too wish to dance the sets of reel and jig!
we wander up to the hall. the main hall is full of men! men playing carpet bowls! we obviously have the wrong time/ evening ... or something. damn! who knew there was so much going on in the village of an evening. michelle finds a side door ... voila!
there are eight of us plus a rather fearsome teacher. what can i say ... i have an authority figure complex! i spend the next hour learning to pas de basque, travelling steps, skip change, slip step and 'cast off' ... or was it 'cast out', dang, and i thought that was summat to do with knitting? scottish dancing is complicated and exhausting. the somewhat fearsome teacher spends a good deal of her time addressing me, as in ... "wrong hand, wrong foot, wrong shoulder, wrong way, faster... you are supposed to keep up with the music!"
eight thirty, coffee ...thank barnabas that is over! i relax with a strong black coffee, i allow myself a chocolate biscuit. i am bushed and glad to be going home. uhuh! that was a halfway break :-( we will dance for another hour!
will i be back next week? well ... can't use age as an excuse, the fearsome teacher is for sure older than me and most of the girls were no longer in the first fine flush of youth. can't use pain as an excuse, these girls take a pain pill for the arthritis before they start to dance. what can i say ... the scots are a hardy race!
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
"There are too many people, and too few human beings." Robert Zend
"Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then eat just one of those pieces."