Tag Archives: culture

Zimbabwe

It’s a shame I haven’t finished writing my post on the riots back in 1998. I had intended on completing that story and moving on to how I met Morgan Tsvangirai after an attack at his offices. Continue reading

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Contemplation

I sit here, watching the wind bluster through the silvery leaves of the birch tree in my next door neighbour’s garden and consider what imaginative, contemplative piece I can wow you with in my attempts to show my skills as a writer. From this long, evocative opening sentence, I’ve probably lost most of you and the ones remaining hopefully know that I like to wander through my words as I search for something substantial to design into a narrative.

Well, the sweet peas are swaying, calling my attention to their gorgeous colours. Purples, pinks and variegated whites mix in sweet harmony from one bush – similar to my make-up! I sit here, in my English garden, contemplating my colonial up-bringing under a different sun that shed its light hundreds of miles south many years ago. A place where tea and scones were as ever present as orange juice and marmalade at every event I attended with my mother.  She had a penchant for supporting the RSPCA and anything resembling a fair, mixing into the crowds of people gathered to spend their money on nik-naks at the White Elephant stall. I, on the other hand, stood with my father, watching the dogs and cats trapped in their protected cages waiting for some kind soul to free them. My dad’s eyes always reminded me of those trapped animals. I don’t think he ever escaped the cage of his past.

We delved into the books stacked in mis-matched piles under the canopy of the bric-a-brac stall, hoping to add to our collection of Wilbur Smith or J.T. Edson. He would point out the larger encyclopedias and we would share a smug grin (our editions at home were far more recent and well preserved) whilst pouring through the yellowed pages examining the data that felt out of date just by the paper it was printed on. My brown skin matched his perfectly, as it did my mother’s. My older brother, on the other hand, had darker skin and features, a noble nose and high cheekbones like my mother making him an alien to my looks and fairer complexion. I still remember her making fun of my nose, calling it an upside down bug on my face. Clothes pegs helped fix that.

As we grew older and hated each other less, more of our friends realised that we siblings – a mistake easily made when you look nothing like your brother. We shared a hate for our parents and their old fashioned parenting skills (something my son now shares as he enters his adult years) and their racist attitudes. Isn’t it funny how we all declare we will never turn into our parents but, over the years, carry the traits – the strain of the virus  -that infect us as we age. Hatred is an easy place to rest in your youth and old age.

I digress. My past. My heritage. It’s easy to say I am of British origin but not so easy to explain when my blood carries over four other cultures (I’m estimating. My genealogy is still to be tested). In a world where heritage is now so mixed, the water is brown and cloudy. There is a stronger hold on the originals, the unsoiled pure ones. But, is there such a thing? After dabbling in a bit of history over the past year, my eyes have been opened to the diversity of races – a delusion of purity left for the few. We are all a part of the past travellers who have crossed our land, our people and our culture. Few remain untainted to their original ancestors and their claims are like mine: we choose which culture we want to be associated with and hold onto it as a cloak of identity. My identity changes on a whim. I can be the potpourri of races. My cupboard is filled with cloaks.

I am brown skinned, brought up in a colonial world of racism and definitive feelings of identity. Yet, my world has changed as I’ve grown, allowing me to mix freely – more freely than my parents – with races from varying social strata. I miss that. Here, in England, the old colonial dimension of life is back. You call a spade a spade when seeing someone of the lower classes acting out. The rich can misbehave and neglect their families. It is called impactful parenting or a life lesson for the young. If the poor do the same, it is called neglect. I understand this world but I don’t like it.

Well, my contemplation is pretty much complete. I don’t know what you will take away from it. Probably nothing. But, if you kept reading to the end, I thank you.

 

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Monday Coffee

It’s brutally cold here in the south of England today and the heating has been off all morning to save energy. My coffee mug is the only thing steaming in this cold house and if I’m honest, that awful loss of feeling in my toes is not appealing with two pairs of socks on. So, welcome to my frozen home and please, choose your mug wisely because it might be the only hot thing to hold onto during your visit! Continue reading

Monday Coffee

I missed you!  Last week was very busy and I wasn’t able to join you for a coffee.  Instead, I posted a Monday Motivational from the wonderful Rose B. Fischer, to keep you company. Hopefully, it had the desired effect. I hope you’ve had a chance to visit Silver Threading’s Mindful Monday post to discuss ways to improve your health and well-being.

Why don’t we make our way to the coffee house tonight so that we can catch up with some friends.

It’sGoodToBeCrazy is handing out cupcakes and holding a Lifestyles link party at the moment.  It looks like quite a few interesting people have been linked.  Might be worthwhile going over for a quick coffee and meeting some new folk in the group.  Of course, there’s the advantage of those lovely cupcakes too!

Now that we have hobnobbed with the Lifestyle bloggers, let’s move onto another table. Ooo! Let’s go see Existentiallens‘s photogallery.  Nathaniel Gough has a wonderful selection of photographs capturing life in a most beautiful way. Kev from kcmusicnbooks is playing his new song, Elaine, that has been released on the 10th February this year.  That beautiful music is the perfect accompaniment to the photographs.

Right, shall we go sit with Teagan and Alex?  There is a special reason for this.  As you might know, my Hubble doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  The whole, “It’s a commercialized holiday” and “Why say it on one day of the year when we can say it any day we please?” are his usual responses to this special day.  Teagan and Alex have written posts that remind me why it’s so important to take any moment you get to celebrate your love for someone special. And I’m sure they wouldn’t mind the extra slices of cake we are taking to the table too!

Coffee or tea for you?

There are a few seats left.  Come on.  Let’s go!

 

 

The Serins Starlight Special Party – recap #BeWoW #SerinsShoutOut

A huge thanks to Serins for running a full week of fun and interaction over various media fronts. It’s been awesome and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it. So, whilst I nibble on my piece of Biltong, here’s a recap of the week from Serins. 😀

Late night coffee

It is with great pleasure that I share my coffee blog with you from a live location with an actual blogger sitting across from me! Yes, I was lucky enough to meet an author, blogger and friend for a Starbucks coffee earlier this evening after hobnobbing with wonderful intellectuals at a special workshop targeting the enhancement of Southern African countries. It was Lance Greenfield, author of Eleven Miles, who invited me to come along to this event and get a chance to promote my work to fellow Southern Africans.

The event was a success and I got to meet a variety of talented people in their own right. Lance was in his element chatting about his book and his friend Boikanyo who was one of the organisers. We were lucky enough to meet the Mayor and chat to him about literature, his term in office and the wonderful things he has achieved. His positivity and support for the evening was felt by all.

After exchanging details and promising to keep in touch with new found friends, we headed back to our lovely Bershire, but of course we had to make one special stop…at a local coffee house! It felt surreal to sit across from a fellow blogger and chat freely about things we could only get across in short bursts of conversation over the Internet. Lance chose a panini and coffee Americano whilst I stayed true to my classical hot chocolate and BLT. After filling our tummies and chatting incessantly, it was time to jump back into the car to continue the two hour journey back to my house.

Lance, ever the gentleman, saw me to my door, delivering me safely into the awaiting arms of the Hubble and munchkins. Promises we made for more coffee meet ups and hopefully a dinner too and Lance continued on his hour long journey to get home.

Thank you Lance for including me in your special day and I hope that the friends we met today stay in contact and I wish them every success in promoting the Southern African culture and heritage for the future generations. Best of luck to Lance and Boikanyo on their fantastic book and I am sure it will be a great success.

And of course to all my fellow bloggers – I missed you tonight and wished you could have been there with us for the coffee, the chats and the laughter. Today has inspired me to work hard so that one day I can throw a huge coffee meet up and invite you all from around the world to join us.

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Do NOT buy my book!

Don’t buy this book…

yet!

Write to Inspire

Eleven Miles by Lance GreenfieldIs he serious?

Is he crazy?

Why would an author tell us NOT to buy his book?”

Well, I can tell you that, yes, I am serious. And I can’t deny being a little crazy. Plenty of people who know me well would be only to happy to tell you that.

But why would I tell you NOT to buy my book?

The answer is simple. I am only telling you not to buy the Kindle edition of Eleven Miles this weekend. Wait until Monday, when it will be available on Amazon at a bargain-basement, never-to-be-repeated price.

Then it will climb a staircase for a week. Every 40 hours, the price will step up until it returns to its regular price after seven days. The countdown on each increment will appear on its Amazon page.

So don’t buy your copy this weekend. Take advantage of the lower prices from Monday.

In…

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Coffee Catch Up

It has been a rather snowy day and as the last store closes, the dusk advances silently. The coffee house is not as full as usual – it might be the time I’ve chosen to visit. My Darjeeling tea is piping hot and I dare not sip it just yet for fear of scalding my tongue.

Trent was showing me pictures of Fiyero, Josephine and Albert and we spotted Lance pull up with a bus load of Bloggers and a musician! The coffee house warmed with the new guests and the sound of hot steamy foam fizzing and coffee beans grinding melted into the cacophony of voices and laughter. Colleen had a secret smile and when I asked her what was up her sleeve, she told me about her adventures with the Swamp Fairies. I could tell the crowd around us were listening, because the noise sank to a whisper as her tale unfolded.

Diana came to join us, sharing her tale of circuses and hurdles coming up in the weeks I ahead. Tooty lightened the mood with his humorous earplugs and Rochan caught my eye. He was replacing the art on the wall with new photos he had taken. The soft lilting music of Mihrank and his band filtered through the coffee house and the noise of raised voices in conversation lowered as people found their seats to listen to the lovely music.

I sighed and watched the beauty and culture around me, happy to be amongst people that are making their mark on the current world in a positive way. Yes, this is the reason for a good coffee house!

I haven’t had a chance to tag anyone in this post, but I am hoping you will take the time to visit The blogs I follow. There are so many more that I enjoy and haven’t had a chance to mention. Sending a big wave to you all. Come join me for a coffee soon. 😊

Dane Shitagi & The Ballerina Project

Beautiful photographs taken by Dane Shitagi of ballerinas from around the world. Art captured in exquisite detail.