Cometh the Winter

The weather has turned nasty and cold, not just here in Johannesburg, where we have had thunder and rain overnight and expect a high today of 10, but across the country – rain and flooding are likely in some areas of KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and snow in parts of the Eastern Cape, including the Drakensberg. Still, we will be venturing forth shortly, little ten-day old Tom and his parents and I, to see what we can see at the annual Nirox  Winter Sculpture Fair – we might not stay long, but we’re going! Here to warm all our hearts […]

More little Toms from a week ago

These images may be of little Tom Tjasink, and his arrival in the world: I hope the images say something also about a mother – this mother, and all mothers – and the state of pure grace that is newfound motherhood…

First Weekday

So young Thomas Tjasink is exactly one week old today – I guess that makes it his first ‘weekday’? Or is that too weak (groan)? More to the point, here are two photos of the two clever parents, and one of the delicate hand-over of the pink, writhing bundle, still just a few hours old, from dad to mom.

Four Toms

Just a few hours into this world, this life, here are four images of little Tom Tjasink, in his proud father’s arms.

Rosy-Faced Lovebirds

We were standing in our garden one evening, not long after we’d moved in. There were birds in the high branches of the tree that stands outside our wall, on the street. “They look like lovebirds,” I said. “But they can’t be. You don’t get lovebirds in Johannesburg.” But they looked like lovebirds, so I got out the binoculars. Unmistakable. I got out the Roberts bird guide. Again, unmistakable. These were Rosy-Faced Lovebirds, a resident flock who live in the rafters of the townhouse one block up from us. You see them in the evenings, gathering in the same tree, or […]

Thomas Blake Tjasink

Thomas Blake Tjasink was delivered safely into the world today, into the joyous arms of Kathy and Gareth. The universe has smiled on my first-born daughter and her husband at last, after so much heartache and disappointment – and I, silly me, have tears of joy and gratitude in my eyes as I write this. My first born has her first born, and so the wheel of life turns through its cycle. Blessings on you all, my love for you is overwhelming.

Pomes, unfamous ‘cos unknown

Then there are the poems – pomes, John Lennon called them – which are unfamous by definition, since they never were published, or submitted for publication. This is a conceit, of course – these poems like their published cousins would doubtless be languishing in the same dry obscurity even if they had been published. Still, it’s a nice point to make – you know, I coulda been champion of the world! Here’s one of them. The Journey Some journeys are a metaphor, and this Just past, continues in my mind. It’s true, we’ve travelled down this way before, But love […]

Unfamous Poem

Woodsmoke. Embers. Whisky. Cigar. Good jazz playing, on a really nice system – Class A Marantz amp, Arcam CD player, B&W speakers, fat cables. Don’t get me started. But the sound is warm, detailed, alive – every lick of the snares, grunt of the sax, deep and present, three-dimensional. Not loud, just there. As here as I am. You stare into the fire – the oldest mystery – and see yourself there, in its flickering dance, dissolving. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes. What do you do, when your wife is in Chicago, far away in lunatic Trumpistan, visiting her kissing […]

The Bump

Kathy – I couldn’t resist.

Family Matters

It’s hard to imagine, but it’s only last Tuesday that Eve and Shaun and little Joshua boarded their plane en route to Toronto. I was up until the small hours of Thursday morning, waiting for confirmation that they had landed and got through immigration. Their departure was always going to be stressful, but it had turned out a near disaster, with Eve needing to get an electronic travel authorization, at the very last moment, even though she was travelling on an Irish passport, and had been led to believe that no other documentation was needed. So it’s perhaps understandable that […]