Let’s step out of line with Citroën

I recently acknowledged a little personal anniversary – it’s five years since I was first published as a writer. That’s big for me, and I realise that it took a strange mix of good timing, fortuitous friends and hard work to make it happen.

And when there’s hard work involved, it’s important to be inspired towards your goal. For me, that inspiration comes from the people around me. The people who are in my life are…well… this is some insight into one of them.

I love people who step out of line because they are driven towards making a real change in the world around them. I am inspired by people who take things on, unafraid, and are thrilled by the challenge. I know someone who will – happily and without fear – go to the ends of the Earth, back again, visit the sun, and then pop right back home to bake a brownie or two, just to help someone.

And that’s why I want to talk about my friend, Jos. She steps out of line, every day. Many people, when they are confronted with the largeness of the world, and the iterations of pain that are strewn across our planet, would shy away and retract their glance. They’d feel futile.

Screen shot 2014-02-21 at 12.15.34 PM
This is Jos and I. In all seriousness, I have no idea what I was talking about.

But…not Jos. Jos takes on every challenge, has no fear when she needs to do something, and will take on every day with a smile. I know her best by her laughter, and that sweet sound that echoes through the phone or from across the dinner table doesn’t remind me of all she’s done. It reminds me of all she is. She is an incredible friend, an undefeatable Aunt and she is a human, first, for everyone.

She is that human who will go to the ends of the Earth, back again, visit the sun, and then pop back home to bake a brownie or two. There is nothing that frightens her, and she runs on love. Jos starts every day of her life with a sunrise on the beach. And when she shakes off the ocean’s water, she goes off into the world and devotes her energies to helping people who need it the most.

Jos steps out of line every day of her life. And I am so privileged to know her.

How do you step out of line? Tell @CitroenSA on Twitter, or follow the conversation via the hashtags #stepoutofline and #sol.

There’s a thing about friends.

Friends are never sought out, they happen.

They don’t arrive in your life with a sign that says “Hi, I’m your friend. You and I will impart intimate details of our lives, enjoy celebrations together and share some hilarious, some heartwrenching experiences”.

Friends evolve from the occasional hat-tip, to the laughing over a mutual distaste of something (sometimes the best friends are created when you find yourselves in the mutual space of hating certain things together) or a shared love for something. Whether that be crochet, cricket or conundrums, it doesn’t matter.

//An aside – sometimes friendships end. That’s okay//

My point is…I realised in the last few days in conversations with friends, that they know me. They don’t really care about the demographic details of my life but, they do know me. We have varying terms of reference that chart our friendships and a mutual understanding of where the pinpoints meet. That makes me grateful.

I’ve been writing something recently about what life lessons I hope to impart to my child, the strongest ones, the brightest ones and the rules to live by.

It is summed up, as I’ve said before, in this…

Have good friends. 

Funny thing, life.

Three years ago today, I went out to dinner. I laughed so much, discovered a mind that shared many of my common interests (including Weird Al and required phone fiddling timeperiods during dinner) and didn’t care that pasta shouldn’t be eaten the first time you share a table together.

The next morning, I got on a plane and went to Cape Town for a week. That week changed me, reminded me and is the place I go back to in my head when I need quiet and a semblance of calm thought. It showed me friends I didn’t know I had and places in my head that were actually home beyond my own.

That dinner and that week was the nascent beginning for my new life. An absolutely unexpected surprise. A 360 kickflip that led me here. To this life. The one I live today, right now and right here.

a ridiculously appropriate post-it.

All I am is grateful.

finally, I write.

Dear Blog,

Feeling neglected much? Sorry. And that will be the last apology from me.

I’m tired. The good tired. You know the type where you’re busy doing good that you lose your head and learn a lot? Yep, that’s me right now. I have some thoughts on this…

I’ve not been very open about a few things. So, here I go.

I’ve learnt how to focus, finally. And that focus has rested on two things – doing what I love and loving who I love. I’ve learnt that I’m not invincible or infinite. I’ve learnt that it is totally okay for me to say no to the things that do not ignite my heart. I’ve learnt to say yes to the things that do. In many respects, I realised that I needed to burn out to ignite the true flame of me.

So, here I am, realising and remembering, over and over again, what I really always wanted to do and be. The greatest part of it? Is knowing that I’m not alone in it.

I’m in the process of changing career focus, lifestyle and perspectives. In many, many ways, this is the life I know my mom and dad wanted for me but they were too overwhelmed by my often blinding determined character to say it out loud. They knew they needed to let me lead myself to this path, and they trusted that I would be supported along the way. That trust, that determined character I inherited and that passion…that is why I will always be infinitely grateful that they were, and are, my parents. I know, somewhere, in my DNA, there lives within me their hope and guiding light and…even moreso…their blind determination to do the right thing for the family they created and nurtured.  You’ll spot me soon in unexpected places and it’s interesting and exhilarating how it seems to be rolling out.

Being honest about my limitations, my expectations and my flaws has been liberating. I’m not afraid to say no anymore, and I’m excited to say yes…to the right things.

So, yes, I’m busy…busy creating the life I always wanted but didn’t know I desired. Suddenly, in a variety of ways, that life has presented itself to me. So, I’m taking it, grabbing it and loving it. To the point of utter exhaustion. To the place where my focus is so sharpened I can see nothing other than the path I know I need to travel along. I need to do that now, and I’ve never been more sure of it in my life.

It’s meant I’ve lost people along the way. It’s okay – the people who are meant to be with me on this journey already are. They’re the people who see the holistic me. They’re aware that I am not just one segment but an entire whole. They accept me as such and celebrate that notion with me. It is with those people that I feel unafraid, untempered and real. Some of them live very far away from me, and some of them live in my house. Some of them even live in my road, round the corner or in my heart every day. It is those people I focus my energy on. It is those people who accept my nature, my family and my commitment to what I need to do. It is those very same people whose courage has inspired me to change. To develop and to try to do the very thing that makes my heart happy. It is their courage I lean on, and their love I listen to. They believed in the dream long before I did, and they keep on believing long after I have fallen over with exhaustion.

Through this, I’ve learnt that it is okay to put your put family first, always. In fact, it’s not just okay…it’s an essential. I am finally, finally able to, and I’m overwhelmingly excited that I can. I could not do this without my unexpected love and my ridiculously wise child. The creation and magnificent transition we’ve taken into familydom has been, and is, my ultimate touchstone. I am, every day, grateful. I am, every day, incredibly blessed.

I am, every day, me. Finally. 

When facing life.

When facing life – it’s ins and outs, it’s joys and tribulations – we look to strength.

When we feel we do not have the strength ourselves, we look to the strong ones around us.

We lean, we curve, we try our best to believe.

And, when our strong ones are the ones that need strength, we hold hope high in our hearts for them.

Today is one of those days for me. When someone strong and who I lean on, faces one of life’s scary moments.

Today, I’m thinking of her. She’s a tough cookie, and she’s courageous. Obstinate, to a point, and passionate beyond her own self. She’s a giver, always, of her very best, to everyone who needs her.

She is a proud tower of bravery. She’s a leader, and she’s my friend.

On this sunny day, when I’m working and typing and talking and doing, she’s confronting something frighteningly huge, in her own quiet, determined way.

I’m thinking of her today, and holding her tightly in my heart.




there is something to be said…

There is something to be said about…

* waking up at four a.m. to catch a flight

* waking up at that four a.m. to love, cuddles and sleepy-eyed kisses

* getting on an aeroplane with an excited child, who got a window seat and spent most of the time, staring out the window and telling me how the clouds are really just cotton candy, and that we should eat them, if only they were pink

* climbing off that tincan that sails through the sky and finally hugging someone I haven’t seen properly in years, yet lives in my heart every day.

* having my daughter climb into her arms, and not want to let go.

* sitting over breakfast with you, and saying “thank you”, whilst we both attempt to not make a scene in a restaurant about how much we miss each other.

* sitting around a table with some of my favourite people in the whole world, and just smiling at the easy beauty of it all.

* spending proper time with a man, a true man, who loves someone I hold so dear. Who loves her, wholeheartedly, and all the way through…so much so, that I truly see that she and I have the love in our lives that we always wished for, always dreamt of, and always wondered if we were worthy of. I see that love now, for her and for I, and I see it in you. I am so honoured to know you, Mr K.

* having my daughter snuggle into the arms of someone I hold so precious, and happily watch movies until she begins to doze off.

* sharing funny conversation, eating my own weight in divine cupcakes and laughing so much I cry (topics including feather dusters and innovative ways of catching spiders)

* talking until my jaw hurts, and finally falling asleep in the happy home of people I love and adore.

* waking up the next day, and going home, with a full heart…

*…and thinking…

* thinking that I’m amazed at how strong friendships can be, even when they’re so geographically distant

* thinking that I’m so rich in friends, Forbes should be starting a list for me

* thinking that, coming home, to sunshine and love…and knowing that even though my heart lives in three places across this country

*…it comes home to a triangle of comfort and enduring love, that never ceases, never wavers, always stands firm.

When they love somebody you don’t like – a lesson in hope.

Someone very close to me, fell in love with someone I deemed, from the moment I met them, as wholly unsuitable.

Over the years, I was proved right in my assertion quite a few times. And every time, whilst I watched as someone I loved had their heart broken, I secretly sang an “i told you so” in my head.

But the thing is…no matter how maligned and how awfully things spun out and around and within and throughout, their love remained.

It persevered. It evolved. It grew. It gained strength from the tribulations it had been put through over the years. It bent and molded itself around the gaps that were created. It filled up the holes that had been stomped through it.

The other day, I was privileged to sit and see this love in action. A casual lunch, punctuated with a lot of laughter and some rather fine pizza.

And it dawned on me. Yes, we are all older and wiser, and have all forgiven each other for so much. (Let’s remember, at one point, I had threatened to do my best to destroy the person my friend loved…nobody is exactly blame-free here). It dawned on me in the afternoon sunshine that this was a love that had grown.

It’s easy enough to be in love. It’s harder to be in active love. It’s even harder to keep that active love alive, especially in a world where love can be so transient.

And yet, here was the evidence. There have been some dark times through this love. There have been bright days and bad days.

But, this love has evolved.


And you know what? That gave me…

The One Where I Wrap Up

It’s my last day in the office today. Today is that day, every year where I reflect. I’m doing it simply this year…Simply, for a lot of reasons…

1. It has been a year of love.

2. It has been a year of home. Real, true home, in every sense of the word. I have not travelled much at all this year, aside from a quick trip to Cape Town, and another one next week.

3. It has been a year of growing up.

4. It has been a year of loss.

5. It has been a year of being proud of the people I love.

6. It has been a year of hard work.

7. It has been a year of coming full circle, via a 360-kickflip of life.

8. It has been a year of learning how to sleep.

9. It has been a year of ranting but, for a change, I mostly ranted to someone. I love that man of mine.

10. It has been a year of gratitude.

11. It has been a year of Androidness.

12. It has been a year of being able to trust.

Thank you for this year.

everything turns

1. I had a random dream last night and dreamt of my siblings. They awe me. They did when I was a kid, they still do now. Random factoid for the morning.

2. I have atrocious flu. It’s kicking my ass. Hard.

3. But, stuff those flu fairies, I’ve got love. Love like the world is composed of. It’s melodic and mesmerising. Cam, Shmoo, family, friends.

4. Stuff you, flu.

p.s. this morning’s post is just for Gluggie. Happy Birthday sweetheart friend of mine!


1. I have not changed themes on the old blog in ages.

2. Today was the day to do it. I hope you like it.

3. I do. Most of all though, it’s homegrown and close to my heart.

4. Why? Simple. Read this.

5. See that Author name? Recognise it? Thought you might.

6. I’m proud to be part of the team at The Forge.

7. Yes, that means that long after the world has gone to bed, I’m writing and working for The Forge but, I love it. I love it hard.

8. I work with great, inspirational people, who truly give a fuck about every nuance of the work they do. Yes, every nuance. Believe it. The people who made this gorgeous theme.

9. I’m proud to call them my friends, my colleagues.

10. And, hey, look at my blog. It’s gorgeous, right? That’s because of The Forge.