Tupperware Party

But first. 

If you’ve been following, this is the final instalment of not only our tandem, collaborative blogging series, but it is also the final page in  a short story I’ve been interrogating out of my brain. You can read parts one and two, and this piece will be the story’s swansong. These two people have played out their story in my head for a while now, but I never really stopped to capture them. Then this project came along and reignited my secret desire to write a story that didn’t involve me, but rather characters formed in my dreams and head space.
I’ve loved every second of this collaborative writing process, and am so grateful to have been a part of it, joined by some of the most insightful and clever writers I’ve ever come across. I’m happy to call them my friends now, as we’ve shared stories (both fiction and non!), top banter and silly rhymes over email.

But, for now, here is my final piece: 


Dear Golden Head,

Do you remember that time we had a massive fight and you left in a huff? No, not that time, nor that time you threw me out into the street after that disagreement. Do you remember what it started out as? It was a conversation without a point.  Of course, I’d caught you on a hypersensitive day, which meant you ended up feeling insulted and less than ideal. Yet, here I was just making the point. I said:

“People say that housewives aren’t up to much. Between lunching with the ladies, cleaning the kitchen and picking up the kids on carpool day, there’s not much to it. But that’s complete trash talk. It’s like saying a CEO doesn’t do much because his office is far bigger than a cubicle, and cubicle workers are more productive. But you don’t know the ins and outs of a housewife’s life and I would deny you any commentary on it if you’re not one. Why? Because in just the same way as you would respect a CEO for doing his gold-wristwatch-pursuit job, you should be respecting housewives too”.


But you couldn’t respect it, because you said I was “worth more” or, what was it again? -Oh, that’s right! You said “I’d be wasted in this world”. I’ve been insulted a million times over (half of that million by you) but that one insulted way more than just me. Sometimes you don’t think before you speak but, heck, that’s how we ended up here in the first place.

You stormed out, like always, so desperate to run away from me.

Like I was a terrible reminder of the things you were afraid to be.

Let’s fast forward to where we are now. My bright eyes you used to compliment me on, have been replaced by this sagging face I see reflected in the mirror that they installed in my too-small bedroom.

Your attempts at athleticism have left you creaking in places where your body used to sing.

The kids have all but moved on to creating their own lives but, sometimes they come to fetch me for lunch. It’s never dinner though, because old people aren’t meant to be out at night. Like I suddenly turn invisible at 6pm and become a ghost.

Perhaps they think I “need my rest” or something, because I’m clearly staying up every night, rocking out to trance tunes in my room. Catching up reruns of “Wheel of Fortune” really isn’t as exciting as reading a bedtime story to my grandson but, this is where time has led me.

To the life of routine and having meals served to me. At least I don’t have to cook anymore.

And as for you, over there, watching me with one eye while you nap in front of the television. Are you napping? Must i get someone to check your pulse? You’ve been drooling since the news ended. Are you dead? I’ll call someone to check you.

You can’t be dead. You still haven’t finished disagreeing with me.

You’re not dead. You’re just fast asleep and probably dreaming about all the aeroplane trips you didn’t take because I made you come home all those years ago.

I did it for a good reason you know. It was time and, really, am I all that awful to be around that you tried to avoid me, even in our dotage?

It’s almost lights out time, so I’m going to grab my book and head to my little partitioned room. Oh you want to come too? For what – a Tupperware Party?

I still find it funny how you and I were so deadset against conforming to anything, yet complained bitterly about how we should just ‘learn to coast like everyone else’.

And yet, despite our best attempts, here we are.

Slodged into a routine we do not set for ourselves, because “it’s for our own good”.

At 82, I imagined I’d be well-versed in knowing what was good for me.

But still, here I am, letting you in again to fight with me one more time.


This post is part of a collaborative blogging process we like to call Tandemonium. Each week, 9 writers craft a piece in accordance with a specific title that’s secretly distributed to us. This is the final piece in this series. Without sight of each other’s work beforehand, everyone hits publish at 2pm, every Wednesday. You can catch up with the other participating writers here:

Not just a black dog.

People call it The Black Dog, but I don’t see it that way. Well, not anymore. I see it more as a day that didn’t go so well. A groundhog day I relive now and then.

I was diagnosed with severe depression in 2007, and ended up incapable of working, breathing even, at one point.

If you (were ever allowed to – you’re not, sorry) look at my files, three terms will stick out for you: 1) Post-natal depression; 2) Aggressive episodes and 3) Repressed grief.

Now, 8 years later on, I can look at those terms and not feel guilt over them. They were hallmarks of the things I was going through, and still deal with every day. But being able to name and treat them was the start of being able to deal with them.

For an inordinately long time, I actually believed I was crazy. Like, full on mental. That I had an actual disorder and that I would be institutionalised if I ever actually told someone the things that went on within me. Instead, I would deal with it by getting furiously angry, to the point where I would alienate everyone, throw away people (yes, really) and blame anything or everyone else for what was actually a chemical imbalance.

When my (beloved and adored) GP suggested to me that, perhaps, my feelings of not being able to cope were, in fact, depression, I shouted at her. I told her I was perfectly capable of dealing with my life and that I didn’t need her medication, therapy or anything. I was totally okay. How I ended up in her consulting rooms is another story altogether, that perhaps I’ll share one day.

Which is when (heaven and stars, I love this woman), she opened up her file and showed me my medical history, which highlighted how, in 2002, I had actually had a breakdown, but had dealt with it under the care of my parents’ GP. I had forgotten that I had told her that. Then she gave me a choice: Try my recommendation of therapy and anti-depressants for three months. If you hate it and think I’m silly, we’ll taper you off and stop it. But, if after three months, you feel differently, we’ll keep going.

So I did. I started seeing a therapist weekly (at first, I saw her every day for a few weeks), and started taking medication for depression. I felt dirty, ashamed and like a drama queen. I was booked off work for the first three weeks, and felt like a failure all round.

Except then, a funny thing happened. In the midsts of therapy, I began to unravel my life story – something I had never really done before, or encapsulated with intent. And it was there that I began to notice two things: (1) I had, for a lot of my life, even as a child, felt like a visitor and saddened by it and (2) I had internally accepted a feeling of incapability as my own trademark move. I actively used number (2) as an excuse, for anything and everything. In some respects of my life, I still do, but I’m working on those – I am aware of them. I also confronted a lot of guilt that I felt over things I should never have felt that about. Ever. Not even for a second. I learnt to process guilt (which is an instant response mechanism for me) and move on from it.

Fast forward eight years, where I am now. I remained in therapy for two years, and on anti-depressants for about five years. They were good for me in a way I did not expect. When I reached a point in my life where I wanted to be free of medication, and felt more capable of being able to recognise the ‘signs’ of an episode, or able to communicate my needs when a fix of ‘the sads’ hit. I learnt to write the things I needed to, and to talk even when I did not want to. I had learnt how to name my feelings, even when I did not want to. I still sometimes fail at this, but I try my best to do it. I have also, always committed to being open to returning to medication and therapy whenever I feel I may require it, and I have the full support of my doctor in doing so.

The biggest thing I learnt? Was not that I was depressed or that there was ‘something wrong’ with me. I learnt that the way to live life is not to be unaffected (which was something I wanted to be, it seemed easier) but to live affected, and to choose when to be affected by it. This is a tough one, because I don’t think you can choose circumstances, but you can learn to master your reactions. For me, the most powerful thing I learnt, for myself, was that my anger and aggression were actually just extensions of sadness. And that’s why, when I get angry, I automatically try to figure out what I feel hurt by. In 2007, I felt alone, abandoned, useless and absolutely incapable, but was far too afraid to admit it. In 2015, I feel very differently about myself, and know that if I had not been able to face up and deal with all of that stuff back then, I’d probably still be stuck feeling like I want to set the world on fire, every day.

I will always – ALWAYS – be grateful for that journey and I have zero shame attached to it. Why? Because I have survived, and I continue to survive. Nope, I thrive. And I thrive on my own terms.

The Munchbox: A review & Giveaway!

I really do enjoy the wide range of monthly subscription box programmes that have cropped up over the past couple of years. It seems like you can sort your life out in style nowadays, using just monthly subscription services and, heck,  I like that idea. Anyway, let me introduce you to a new kid on the subscription box service block, The Munchbox. I’ve also got a Munchbox to give away to one lucky reader so check out those details below!

What’s in the box?
Made with families in mind, The Munchbox sends you and your kids a box a month, which contains: 3 recipe cards, a shopping list, some fun resources and some of the utensils you need to create the recipes. If you’re looking to make funky additions to your family kitchen arsenal, this could be a sweet way to do it too.


Yes, but what’s it like?
We took to trying out The Munchbox on a Saturday afternoon, after my kid had completed her exam studying for the day. Heading into the kitchen to make a delicious mess does definitely help you to shrug off the exam anxiety! After assembling the ingredients we needed, to make the scrumptious looking Apple Squares, it was pretty easy to let my kid at it, with the easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions and cute utensils to use. For the record, I did a price comparison: adding the cost of the good quality utensils the team sent, combined with the cost of a family recipe book and a puzzle or wordsearch magazine, this works out to be a pretty darn reasonable to have some kitchen fun with the kids.

Apple Squares | The Munchbox

What we liked about it:

  • First off, my kid loves to create in the kitchen, but I’m more of a box-mix mom or, you know, the type that sends a box of biscuits on cake sale day (cringe, those things always creep up on me like a surprise clown, and clowns scare me). So, for me, I liked how this recipe didn’t require any exotic ingredients and was made up of things we’d usually find in our kitchen anyway.
  • Secondly, the easy to follow instructions meant I could stick the recipe card up on the wall and let my daughter at it, only jumping in to help when the oven needed turning on. Also, the recipe’s simplicity means that it’s pretty easy to add your own twist to it, so we popped a sprinkling of cinnamon into the mix for that extra apple-pie-type-vibe.
  • And, of course, the final product – man, these apple squares are yum! I can see these becoming a regular feature in our school and work lunch boxes. I also really like that you can buy the utensils individually via The Munchbox online shop.


Where can I find out more about The Munchbox?
You can check out The Munchbox website, follow them on Twitter or check them out on Facebook here.

What’s in it for me?
And now that you know what The Munchbox is all about, I’ve got one to give away!



Here’s how to enter:

  • Simply comment below to tell me the name of your favourite family recipe. A winner will be randomly picked from a hat (be warned, there’ll be a cute Flipagram!) and we’ll get The Munchbox team to send you a box as a prize!
  • This competition is open to residents of South Africa and entries close on 29 May 2015. A winner will be announced on 1 June 2015.


Disclaimer: I was sent a Munchbox kit by The MunchBox team to review for the purposes of this post. 



Dear Diary,

It’s been seventeen years since I last visited Mumbai and, tonight, as I feasted over my dinner, a remarkably familiar face surprised itself into my view.

“It’s beautiful out here, at this time of night”, she said, as the stars twinkled in agreement and the moon set with a smile.

I hadn’t seen her for many years, but we struck up our conversation as though she’d just been in the next room for the last decade and a bit. I wasn’t shy, but I also wasn’t hopeful. Her life had moved on, while mine had lingered over the dreams I’d kept within for far too long.

Had I known that she would not change at all, I’d have been a lot more careful about agreeing to let her join me for coffee. But there was a familiar comfort in her urgently whimsical ways, and that unforgettable lilt in her voice that turned every sentence into a novel I just had to read.


But we weren’t here, stuck in this musty room, for sentimental reasons. I had not arrived to revisit old times, and she wasn’t very much keen on digging up the skeletons she’d taken pains over burying. I know it had killed a part of her that she just learnt to let go of, over time.

While people rumbled along through the streets below us, and the world continued to turn, I couldn’t help but wish that her gaze was reserved for me, and that this moment could be captured, stop-frame animation style, to last forever.

But she didn’t care. She was happy to let this time flip past like the tick of a hand and the waves of an ocean. As we made gentle conversation over the things that didn’t matter and on current affairs that interested neither of us, I couldn’t help but laugh at her ability to smile, even when it wasn’t a very kind world we spoke of.

Before I knew it, she was gone. Lost again to the world of noise and nuance and I…I would retreat, to a world of just me. The stony silences of 2am would swarm my head like bees on honey, and berate me for being so stupid, so long ago. I would retreat back to the world behind my life lens, and I’d never see her again.


This post is part of a collaborative blogging process we like to call Tandemonium. Each week, 9 writers craft a piece in accordance with a specific title that’s secretly distributed to us. Without sight of each other’s work beforehand, everyone hits publish at 7pm, every Wednesday. You can catch up with the other participating writers here:

Tonight, you’re mine completely

Dear Genius Mind From a Life That No Longer Lingers,

I haven’t seen you since the moon left the sky and the fireworks imploded upon themselves. When the world was a far more delirious place, but the quiet has descended since. I’ve not seen you since that time we kissed goodbye under the trees, and you left with a jerk.

Since then, it’s been a silent escapade through the avenues of my mind.

As I’ve spent this time pondering how to repay you for all the times we’d fought, or every time you didn’t answer the ringing telephone – 97, last time I tallied up – I hope you know that our reunion will be very sweet.

For me.

You don’t know that I’ve been watching. I’ve seen you at play, and how you’ve surged ahead with life with all its bright beginnings. As you’ve traversed the continents and shaken every tree you’ve stood beneath.

I’ve curved myself into the bark of trees, masked my face behind the leaves and hidden from view so well, that you’ve almost forgotten the face of my existence entirely. I’ve watched with frosty breath from the shadows, as you’ve shone that light on to unsuspecting subjects.

Do you ask their permission? Or do you just take what you want and then leave?

I’m sure it’s the latter, for that has always been your way and whimsy. You’ve consistently closed your eyes to the aftermath, hit block on the messages and pretended things don’t exist. Those things are people, they’re hearts with souls and feelings…and you gather them up like they’re Pokemon. Only, instead of bursting them into the world for battle, you let them gather dust until the day you might, perchance, feel inquisitive.


Now and then, I’m sure you take the jar that’s labelled with my name off the shelf and stare at it. Does it shine a little more brightly than the others, or am I just a label forever? I asked these questions years ago, so why do I ask them still?

I remember asking those questions in the beginning, when the airs of uncertainty littered our every interaction. Sometimes I thought you could not wait to leave – was I really that awful to be around?

But, it’s okay.

It’s really alright. For tonight, under the merry twinkle of stars, and accompanied by the cheery tune of a song that I’ve been singing in my head since the day you were born, I will…

See you.


I will usher you in, excited to glance at your face. You’ll reciprocate, with a glee that’s woven together by nostalgia and remnants of emotions I am certain you’ve never let go of.

And as I close the door behind you, coo cutely over the glimmer in your eye, I know.

Tonight, you’re mine, completely.


This post is part of a collaborative blogging process we like to call Tandemonium. Each week, 9 writers craft a piece in accordance with a specific title that’s secretly distributed to us. Without sight of each other’s work beforehand, everyone hits publish at 7pm, every Wednesday. You can catch up with the other participating writers here:

Ninety Nine

She wasn’t listening when he asked her if she would like a cup of tea.
She wasn’t listening when that girl called her a nasty name at the back of the hall.
She wasn’t listening when the postman knocked, nor when the doorbell rang.
She wasn’t listening when the bells rang out, ushering in that sparkly new year that only would end up being horrible.


She wasn’t listening when her son sang about his toes in the sand.
She wasn’t listening to the radio when they played her favourite tune.
She wasn’t listening when the bird hit the window.

She wasn’t listening when the cat purred as he rubbed his nose against her unshaven leg.
She wasn’t listening when they asked her to the dance.
She wasn’t listening when they left, either.

She wasn’t listening to the grass grow, for that’s a hobby reserved only for pixies and fairies.
She wasn’t listening when the fairies tinkled their tiny little bells.

She wasn’t listening when he opened the cupboard, took out his shoes and left a shelf bare.
She wasn’t listening when the doorbell stopped ringing.
She wasn’t listening when the marching band fell out of step, and the instruments wailed out of tune.

She wasn’t listening when the hinge fell off and the door swung open, revealing all the little fixes she hadn’t bothered to attend to.

She wasn’t listening at the moment he said hello.
She wasn’t listening when he said goodbye.
She wasn’t listening all of the ninety nine times she looked like she was.

And now, she won’t listen at all.


This post is part of a collaborative blogging process we like to call Tandemonium. Each week, 9 writers craft a piece in accordance with a specific title that’s secretly distributed to us. Without sight of each other’s work beforehand, everyone hits publish at 7pm, every Wednesday. You can catch up with the other participating writers here:

The Art of Boredom

Jeremy didn’t really know how to say it, or what to do with it. But he did know how he’d like to feel while during it.

He had no clue where to begin, but there was something so enticing, so blood-rushingly thrilling about the idea of just jumping in and getting going. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he knew that this was all just a show, a veritable jazz hands at the world that’s always pulling a middle finger but, he didn’t care. Not right now, anyway. Not today.

In the bigger scheme of things, across the twinkling night, people were doing it already. Heck, thousands and thousands (“Could it be millions?”, he thought) of people were already indulging. They were doing it right now, and he wondered if they too planned and pondered their beginning. Why did he have to plan so much? What was so special about this that he felt compelled to plan and strategise, to think up his approach and ponder his first time?

There was nothing special about it, he realised. While that thought comforted him, he still couldn’t figure out his first move. If he did “a”, he might end up a loner. If he did “b” he might end up overwhelmed. if he didn’t do it at all, he might end up… well, there’s a movie about that already.

Throwing his personal caution to the wind that gusted across his desk, Jeremy drummed his fingers and stared. Tapping away at his keyboard, he clicked across to the little blue box that said:

Please enter your username. 



This post is part of a collaborative blogging process we like to call Tandemonium. Each week, 9 writers craft a piece in accordance with a specific title that’s secretly distributed to us. Without sight of each other’s work beforehand, everyone hits publish at 2pm, every Wednesday. You can catch up with the other participating writers here:

Magic Words

I can’t do it today. No, I can’t. I’m too busy and there’s ninety eight other things I have to get done.

Yes, I know you want to, and I need it too. The sun is just right and it’s a perfect day for it. I can smell the flowers already and I won’t even need a jersey. Oh gosh, I wish I could today, but my computer is calling me away.

Away to a world of pings and clicks, of things to do and people to talk with and respond to. There’s whirrs and ting-ting-tings, oh look a new email in my inbox. This person thinks they’d like to work with me – how fun! Oh no, they don’t like this thing that I don’t want to change for anyone, no matter what. Sorry… delete. Oh my, did you see this? 10 new ways to use a can opener. Gosh, I love Buzzfeed. Yes,  I know, here’s a snack, look at the butterfly. I’m going.

Did you have a nice nap? Did you dream about birds and bark? Haha. What are you eating? Hold on, the phone is ringing. Ding, ding, ding, oh hell, I forgot about the post-it note. I must eat something. How is it 2pm already? Where did this day go? I know, I know, I’m coming.

Okay, I’m here.

What are the magic words for today? Oh yes.

“Jake, would you like to go for a walk?” 



This post is written as part of a collaborative blogging process. Each week, on Wednesdays at 2pm, Dave, Mandy, Brett, Nick, Scott and I publish a post. The same title is shared between us, but we have no sight of each other’s posts until we publish. As Dave says “The point of the exercise is to give a group of writers a title, and then to sit back and watch how their creativity and word skills deliver their very personal interpretations.”

You can read the other collaborators’ blog posts here:

Revelations at Dawn

Our new house (that’s really not new anymore, we’ve been here long enough but I’m clinging to the new feeling, stick it out with me) has a beautiful view of the ocean. But this is not the first home I’ve lived in that looked out to the twinkly sea, so I’ll leave the epiphanies I’ve had over an early morning coffee in 2015 (there have been many!) to one side for now.


In fact, my home that looked out to the sea before this one, looked over a city landscape too. With the swirl of a cosmopolitan city splayed out below it, it was on that balcony that I began and experienced a bunch of important life moments. It was where I’d spend many an evening, at first cradling a bottle of wine in my early twenties, and then later, cradling a colicky baby at all hours of the day and night. I still think the scenery helped to soothe her.

But we’re talking about mornings, aren’t we? There’s one morning on that balcony that’ll stick in my mind forever. She was still tiny, so tiny, and I woke up (uncharacteristically, for the mother of a newly minted infant) to see a sprinkle of winter sunshine peeking through the curtains.

I crept out of our room, that was festooned with all the things you’re “supposed” to buy when you have a baby but, really, those items end up being so useless or fleeting in purpose, after all. I slunk away down the passage to forage up a cup of tea, being careful to not let the teaspoon tinkle too loudly as I stirred.

Sitting down on a chair that was probably ready to be retired, I looked at that cityscape and out on to the ocean. With the sun just beginning to do its daily thing, I exhaled. In the calamity of noise that you come home with from the hospital, and the seemingly infinite list of things to do that go with a new baby, I’d felt like I couldn’t quite catch my breath for a while. It was nice to just exhale for a while.

Looking down at my phone, I saw a stream of texts that had clearly gone on through the night, but that I’d slept through as they beeped. They were from my dad, as he lay in his hospital bed not even 500 metres away from me. He’d awoken, confused and surrounded by machines and sick people he didn’t think he belonged near, but was convinced he was on holiday, and would I mind bringing him a ciggie? I giggled to myself, but let my responses rest for now, as I hoped he was.

The thing about terminal cancer is, while it may rob its host of bodily functions or even dignity, it doesn’t take the mind for a while. And when it does begin to consume the brain, it doesn’t grind it into a halt right until the end. No, it explodes it, with colour, light and fantasy. A sort of party in your head that the disease gives you, as one final blast before your curtain falls.

I didn’t know then, that the funny conversations and confusing dialogue my dad and I would have over the months just before that sunrise, and the final ones, this text conversation…would be the last ones we’d ever have.

You never know the last conversation you’ll ever have with someone. Even with my mother, I refused to accept it would be the last time we spoke when we did on a peach coloured afternoon that had left me pacing and desperate.

But as the sun rose up to the sky that morning, and the new life of our family mewed itself awake into the day, the old life, the one that said he “had to make space for the new one” began to slip away.

He would die just a few days after his last text message to me.

It said: “Where am I?”

Oh my darling. I wish I knew.


I’m very pleased to be a part of this collaborative blogging process. Each week, on Wednesdays at 2pm, Dave, Mandy, Brett, Nick, Scott and I publish a post. The same title is shared between us, but we have no sight of each other’s posts until we publish. As Dave says “The point of the exercise is to give a group of writers a title, and then to sit back and watch how their creativity and word skills deliver their very personal interpretations.”

You can read the other collaborators’ blog posts here:

Cool To Be Me | Review

As a parent, the thing that keeps me up the most at night is worrying over whether or not I am adequately equipping my kid with the necessary skills and self-confidence to roll with the punches of life (I think we ALL do this).

Cool To Be Me Review 1

Two boxes from the Cool To Be Me range appeared on my desk last week and we set about working through them over the weekend. An education-focused set of boxes and resources that are categorised according to age and theme, Cool To Be Me helps kids and parents discover and reinforce social and emotional skills, with a view to creating self-confidence and bringing children closer to a better understanding not only of themselves but of other people too.

Each box includes a set of enchanting story books, an activity book, worksheets, puzzles and games. Using a comprehension exercise type approach, each storybook is read (spoiler alert – these stories are really very cute!) and then activities relating to the stories completed. We loved the crosswords, games and short quizzes that were included. Oh and the fridge magnets and stickers are fun too, serving as little reminders of what we have talked about when going through the boxes.

Cool To Be Me Review 3

But, aside from the fun activities, the Cool To Be Me resources work as a communication tool, whereby parents and children are sparked into conversations about important topics. My daughter was ill over the weekend so we spent a lot of time cuddled up in bed with these books and resources, and chatting away about the concepts we uncovered. It’s really been a great way to not only spend a little quality time, but also help her better feel confidence within herself.

So, if you’re (like me!) always looking out for cool ways to conquer your late night worries and help your child get a better grip on emotional and social intelligence, the Cool To Be Me range could be just up your street! Oh, and it’s made in SA!

This is a review post. The Cool To Be Me team sent me two sample boxes to use and explore the programme for review purposes.