Many thanks to the delightful Grad for this award, which requires me to tell you 10 things about myself.
1. I’ve recently started another romantic relationship and while we both don’t know where this is heading, we’re enjoying the journey. As a result, I’m struggling with what’s apparently known as “muis-neste” (mouse nests) which means my brain is like swiss cheese. I thought perhaps that I had the flu, which is rampant in Cape Town at the moment. But no. It’s the mouse nests.
2. Today for example I have the day off and so I made a list of ten things to do. This has now grown to fifteen things, which includes the reminder to shave and to pay my bills. I’m currently struggling to get past item three, which is to read and comment on five blogs today. Why would I need reminding of such a pleasant task, you might wonder? Well, if I don’t actually make time for this, I will end up spending countless hours on item four, which is to organise all (or at least some of) the papers in my study.
3. At school I was labelled a bit of a ‘loskop” (a loose-head). This is not to be confused with being a loosehead prop in rugby, which would require me to have shoulders the size of small bulls, to weigh 120kgs and to have an almost boundless appetite for violence. No, no and no.
4. I am way behind when it comes to memes. I still haven’t worked out what my bookshelves are saying about me other than that I am disorganised and that I like a wide variety of books. Today I rearranged two bookshelves to put most of the unread books together. Of the twenty-five or so titles there I am leaning towards the following: Jonny Steinberg (on HIV), Somerset Maugham, Garrison Keillor, Joan Didion, Natalie Angier and maybe volume two of the Paris Review Interviews. But then I’ve just started Kate Atkinson’s When will there be good news? as well as The Kitchen Shrink by Natalie Savona. This last one promises “food and recipes for a healthy mind” and has a cover drawing of a carrot reclining on the couch. It’s already telling me that I eat too much sugar and not enough low-GI food. Litlove would approve since caffeine and sugar are definitely frowned upon except in small doses.
5. I need to prepare a talk on Positive Psychology for two weeks’ time and so I listened to Martin Seligman and some other guy with an unpronounceable name who was talking about Flow. Flow is definitely a good thing. All about losing yourself in the activity of the moment so that time seems to stand still. But where I’m struggling a bit with Positive Psychology is in deciding whether it’s a process of denial to focus too much on the positive or rather part of acquiring a healthy balance. I’ll post some more on this soon.
6. I’m really hoping that my copy of Lorna Sage’s Bad Blood arrives soon so that I can participate in the Slaves of Golconda discussion at the end of May. It is the end of May, isn’t it?
7. At the DVD store yesterday we had a choice between My Sister’s Keeper (based on the novel by Jodi Picoult), Scenes of a Sexual Nature (which sounds quite risqué but is basically about love and sex on Hampstead Heath, and stars Ewan McGregor) and then The Ugly Truth, which is a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy fame. We chose My Sister’s Keeper, which is apparently not as good as the book but is still gripping. An 11-year old girl (Abigail Breslin) decides to sue her parents for ‘medical emancipation’ so that she doesn’t have to give a kidney to save her older sister who is dying from leukaemia. L was tearless throughout the film (perhaps because she deals with cancer on a daily basis) but I was misty-eyed and then also grateful for the moments of comic relief involving the hotshot lawyer Alec Baldwin’s dog called Judge. The other judge, played by Joan Cusack, was suitably horrified at this and I was also half-expecting Joan’s brother John to appear at any moment, which would have derailed the plot completely since he is always the Leading Man.
8. L and I also watched The Last Station which details the end of Tolstoy’s life. Helen Mirren plays Countess Tolstoy and what a histrionic wife she turned out to be. This seemed more soap opera than literary biography but L and I both enjoyed it.
9. As South Africans we are daily reminded of the countdown to the Fifa™ Soccer World Cup which starts in approximately 48 days’ time. I don’t have a ticket to a single game but am still expecting to be riveted by the football and the atmosphere surrounding it. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to live through the world’s biggest sporting event.
10. You get an idea of how poor South Africa’s chances are of progressing past the first round when you hear that it’s quite possible that the host nation will not score a single goal in their opening three matches! After that, it will be about picking a team to support. Brazil, England, Spain, Ghana, Portugal, Germany and even Italy will all be popular. Basically anyone other than the French.