Category Archives: Sprogs

Bed-ridden reading

Confession: I hate reading aloud.

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading, but reading aloud feels like such a chore, and I taught the Spawn to read as quickly as I could so I could stop reading to them (terrible parent confession hahaha). But this week we are all sick as can be, so with my croaky voice and my many interruptions for nose-blowing, I hauled out Robin Hood and the Men of the Greenwood and began to read to my attentive little audience (one Elder Spawn, one Younger Spawn, one fluffy cat).

And you know what? It was kinda awesome. The words read differently aloud, they take on a new flow and pattern, and from now on I’m going to make a concerted effort to do more Reading for Spawn (and interested felines). They love it, and I can only see it benefiting me as a writer.

Okay back to bed with me.


Compensating for my terrible memory by actually writing things down. So here we go…

Last night was probably the most laid-back New Year’s Eve I’ve ever had. Normally the boy and I make a plan to go clubbing or to a party, but none of that sounded appealing. Instead we stayed home with the Spawn and had a mini braai, watched Strange Days (I forgot how much I enjoyed that movie) and then toasted each other at midnight. It was wonderful and perfect.

It also meant that this morning The Boy and I could go walk along the beach with the hounds, and it was glorious and warm, with cold water foaming and swirling about our ankles while the hounds chased each other through the waves and the whelks skated underfoot. On the way back I bought spanspek, mangos and strawberries from the side of the road and we ate that for lunch, washed down with last night’s champagne. And it was while I drank that bubbly that I sent off my first sub of the year, so that felt pretty good. 😀

Later that afternoon we ventured to Muizenberg beach with the kids, armed with rubber gloves to help pick up rubbish, which I think provided the beach-goers with much amusement.


(pic by Lauren De Vos)

I have a vague goal for 2014 to try one new recipe a week, so tonight I made a tomato tart with olive pastry, served with basil, crottin, and a sweet & sour pepper jelly.

This one’s a hit.


I’m a school marm

Well, I’m a home-schooler. People tend to assume that obviously this means I am a Christian fundamentalist who only allows my children out in public if they’re wearing virgin-white smocks that cover them from wrist to ankle. These people do not know me. *evilgrin*


But what I actually wanted to talk about is how being home can be really boring sometimes. There are days when school seems as much a chore for me as it is for the Spawn. Luckily these days are few and far between, and when they do happen, we can take reading-days and activity days and bake-many-many-cakes days and let’s-go-out-and-have-lunch days. Best of all, none of those days make me feel bad as a parent-teacher. My kids are still learning stuff, in sometimes not so obvious ways.


Writing’s a bit like that too. Mostly I can manage to thunk down a few words a day or edit a few pages and make some kind of progress, but those days when I stay in bed reading, or make cupcakes with my kids – they’re still writing days, you just have to change your mind-set.


What we’ve done in school this week:


Baked carrot cake. What better way to prove to spawn that carrots are not evil?





DIYed some paint out of grocery cupboard standbys and glitter.



This one’s for me. When it’s not school I get lazy with tea times, but when I get back into the swing of the things I love doing this – we have picnics at tea time.




And finally, today is such a gorgeous day. My garden is looking bedraggled because I basically live on a sand dune, so the grass needs love, but ignore that and enjoy the summery love. I think The Slave and I are going to head out for drinks after our mountain drive.

I dunno why I bother titling as they’re all called Auto Post

It’s apparently winter in Cape Town.

Yes, well. My memories of Cape Town winters are of something far wetter and colder and windier. Granted, today is 15C but I swear this is a pretty amazing winter we’re having so far.

run away, run away

Yep, it’s obviously winter.

We also went for drinks at Cape To Cuba, something I swore I would never do again after they were so damn rude to me the last time I went, but The Brass Bell was full, and I couldn’t be arsed to go looking for somewhere else. Fwiw, they were less twuntish this time around, and the Slave and I will be going back there sans sprogs for  some serious ‘tini drinking.

Here the Slave enjoys some random Cuban (apparently) beer.

Arr!  Beeer!

Cooking with Sprogs, and other interesting career choices.

Back to homeschooling today, after ten days of sprog-free shenanigans.

The Elder Sprog started learning cooking today, and for lunch we made (with Younger Sprog’s assitance and supervision) snack kebabs: basically a variety of cold meats, cheeses, raw veggies and fruit on sticks.

Seems to have gone down very well as Kitchen Experiment Number 1.

And now I need to clean up the aftermath and then we get to do some maths and reading. OH ANd LAUNDRY. Can life get any more glamorous?!

Presumably only on Thursday, when I haul out the rubbish for collection.

On the wordage front, the grand rewrite of scrapped firedancer has begun. Now with 2 POVs! And a five year jump! Added value for money!

Project of newness – 1577/90 000. I should be done with the first draft by the end of November, unless I start slacking off again.


Em and Gab will be out here somewhere, twinned up. I hate that shit that leaves me a fractured part of a trinity. We’re supposed to be the magnificent three, the steps for the holy throne of the one that was, and instead, Em and Gab have paired off to share a heart and brain and liver and whatever the fuck else they do, and I’m all part but not part.

Reading Fever

Wooh so I’ve been somewhat absent from the internet world of late….

I blame the books.

First off, I’ve just finished reading Lisa Mantchev’s delightful Eyes Like Stars – a coherent review to follow once I’ve let the story percolate in my brain a little. What I can say is that I adore the absolute whimsy of the world she’s created with her Theatre Illuminata.

Also recently arrived in the post – Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix. It looks so beautiful. Yummy!  And Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, on the recommendation of someone  (er, I forget who…) at The Enchanted Inkpot.

After a rather rocky start to this year’s homeschooling program, Elder Sprog seems to have settled into a good routine with me, and the reading is (FINALLY!) slowly starting to come along. It was very frustrating for me as someone who could read by the time I was four, to deal with a child that just didn’t seem interested in reading. Being read to – no problem; reading the book yourself – hell no! So yeah, super-frustrating.

But with perseverence, we are getting there, and I can see her becoming more confident in her abilities, which is wonderful. I’m extremely proud of how hard she’s trying.

Sometimes the dark comes early

If you have kids, I’m pretty sure you know that they have their, um, special moments.  You know, the ones where you go wait did I really sign up for this crap? And what was I thinking?

Today one of my daughter’s crèche friends is dead.

Maybe, even when your kids are driving you insane and you can’t think of one good thing about parenting, maybe that’s the time to sit down and give them a hug.

Cannibal Children. I has them.

First a bit of background info. I do not own an oven; all I have is this little toaster oven thing (this makes making pizza a pain, but I will suffer for my art). A few days back I attempted to clean said toaster oven, and somehow I destroyed it instead. Every time I switch it on it trips the whole house (wheeee! goes the house).

So now it’s sitting on a chair in the sun, presumably drying out.

Emo Sprog (Sprog the Younger) comes to me and says “coo-coo baby.”  (coo-coo = cook for those not au fait with the language of wee sprogs.) I go check. Sure enough, her baby ( a small doll with only one hand and a ball point pen Hitler moustache) is in the toaster oven.

Yeah. I worry.

Later she informs me that she’s “coo-coo puppy.”

Yes. There is now a small toy dog in the toaster oven.

I suppose it gives whole new meaning to hotdog.

Give me my goddamn Bloody Mary now

As a failed artist, I’m always jealous of what other people can do. Go have a look at Amanda Palmer’s latest blog post for some wonderful photography (among other things). My favourite is the pic of Zoe.

Further proof that I am a sprog-corrupter, and that one day I will be paying for all their therapy.

Cat is at the computer, says: “I need another cigarette, dammit!”*

In the background, wee sprog voice pipes up with “Janet!”

Fueled on by vodka and nicotine, The Whine Of Tiny Violins Dogs Me Through My Morose Existence Of Moroseness now sits at just over 50k. Sweet sweet creamy awesomesauce is mine.

And as for New Year’s Resolutions, I still haven’t made any, so I resolve to give that up as a bad job.

* Yes, I announce these things, this despite the fact that my box of fags is sitting right at my elbow.

Amanda Palmer has corrupted my children, oh yes.

Spog the Elder is singing the Dresden Dolls’ Coin Operated Boy, she turns to me. “Mom, when daddy is rich will he buy me a coin-operated boy?’

I manage to keep a straight face. “Yeah, sure. But it won’t be for a long time, they’re very expensive.”

“Oh good. I want a coin operated boy because I like people to do what I tell them.”

*is greatly afeared for any future partner of Sprog The Elder*