Past Musings

I’ve Been Horrofried



The first truly horrifying movie that shook me to my very Afrikaans core was IT (no it wasn’t a documentary on the rise of the internet, it was in fact a very unsettling movie about a murderous clown). It was rated 2-11, back then you could watch anything before the age of two; the effects of which have been directly proportionate to the rise of therapists.  I rented the ‘video’ (for those of you born after the 1980’s, a ‘video’ is like a big tape, which is like a big roll of film, which is like a toilet roll made out of soft plastic which people watch – got it? Good) and ever since my fear has manifested itself in the shower – I still can’t look at drains without imagining a clown slowly manoeuvring IT’s way through the pipes to tear me apart limb by limb. But IT’s old, like jokes about ‘will they see the iceberg this time in Titanic 3D?’  

It’s been years since I’ve had that adrenalin-pumping, scream-out-loud-in-terror, sleep-with-a-spotlight-on fear. Until recently. Now I would like to just add, I understand that there are other movies out there that are probably way more disturbing than anything I have ever seen. Those underground horrors, that have been badly filmed but that creep into your psyche and cause you and your friends to all put on a pair of Nike sneakers and commit group suicide. I’m not interested in those, I wear Converse. 

In saying this, the other day I came across one of these suicide-inducing horrors posing as a mainstream fright series – American Horror Story. Granted, it is a series, which makes it all the more frightening, as you never know if it’s gonna end. I have watched one episode and it has made me worse for wear. It stars Dylan Mcdermott (who constantly looks like he wants to have sex with someone), Jessica Lange (who constantly looks like she used to have sex with someone) and a chick that looks like an older Grace from Will and Grace (the one that constantly looked like she wanted to have sex with a gay someone).


The plot, as far as I could gather from the first episode, is centred around Dylan and Grace and their daughter (who resembles the anaemic chick from ‘The Girl With The Pearl Earring’ painting) moving into a haunted house and of course every Hollywood horror cliché takes place right there. Goblins, demons, shape shifters, creepy little people that move fast with the pitter-patter of their feet, ugly people – it’s all there!

  Girl with pearl earringGirl with pearl earring lookalike





I watched the episode about two weeks ago and since then I have not successfully slept through one single night. Sometimes I am so thirsty at night, but the fear of sticking my hand out to the bedside table and grabbing my glass of water only to be met with a wrinkly small hand with long nails touching my arm is too much to handle. I’m too scared to go to the bathroom lest a small child crouched in the corner should grab my ankle and gnaw at it with her sharpened yellow baby-teeth. I can’t open my eyes at night in case they fall upon a tall skinny man standing in the corner with a whitened face, no shirt on and a big smile.  

To put it mildely, I need a nap more than Courtney Love after a binge.

 Courtney Love

There are still 8 more episodes of the series that shall not be named on my computer. Will I watch them all? Of course. Will I forever damage myself? Of course. Will I buy a pair of Nike sneakers, some poison and call up my friends for a party? Let’s hope not.  

 Scary Nike

*Please do not try putting on Nike sneakers at home.

Home Is Where The Milk Tart Is



There is something very liberating about being back home in Bloemfontein visiting my parental units, which sounds like an oxymoron (and no, I’m not referring to Steve Hofmyer- he’s a different kind of oxymoron). The fact is, when you’re a twenty…something, visiting your parents can be a daunting task. All those questions about where your life is going, when your children are coming and how long you’ll be staying can be exhausting. But the planets were aligned when I was blessed with my parents, who are possibly the most relaxed people since Jimmy Hendrix (minus the musical talent or marijuana dependency).

Being back in my old house makes me feel special, like Kim Kardashian’s hair or Angelina Jolie’s right leg. I have no obligations to ever get out of my pyjamas and I get treated like Charlize Theron who’s just come back to Benoni. Also, being the only-child might have left me with some serious social issues and even more serious therapy bills, but once back in our natural surroundings only-children thrive, blossom, even sparkle all at once (to some this is known as being a ‘spoilt brat’ and to those ‘some’ I say ‘WHATEVER!’). Only-children live for attention, like Kanye West whenever Taylor Swift accepts an award.

I would now like to quote one of my favourite poets who once said:The center of attention back for the winter. I’m interesting, the best thing since wrestling. Infesting in your kids ears and nesting. Testing “Attention Please.”’ That poet was Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known by his chocolate-candy name, Eminem, and he was referring to visiting my parents in Bloemfontein.

On the flipside (and by ‘flipside’ I don’t mean the theatre at the Baxter where Doodsnikke starring Anna-Mart van der Merwe and Gys de Villiers, directed by Janice Honeyman is currently showing until the 5th of May) one can get a little too use to this lifestyle. This morning, I found myself phoning my mother in the next room to tell her I am awake and if she would please bring me a cup of tea. She promptly put the phone down in my ear. I then heard her shout my dad’s name and 4 minutes later my now disgruntled father brought my cup of tea, mumbling something about my manners and how he loves me at any rate. Talk about my happy place – I felt like Charlie Sheen at a Playboy Mansion Party.

But I digress. Later today I went for a walk in the hub of Bloemfontein, where the hustle and bustle really does hustle and bustle – Mimosa Mall. Okay, so it’s not exactly a ‘hub’ so much as a nucleus, but you get the point. I walk into a shop, the name of which I shall not mention for legal reasons, but let’s just say the name is made out of a fabric, let’s call it ‘WOOL’ for now and it’s not worth nothing, in fact it has many ‘WORTHS’. Once there, I struggle to get the attention of any of the staff, so I do what any self-respecting only-child would do – I phone up the branch, tell them where I am standing in the shop and ask them to please send over an assistant.

Like my mom did previously that day, the kind lady on the phone hung up. I waited 4 minutes in the acrylic handbag aisle, but there was no disgruntled assistant coming over to tell me how much they loved me. After 10 minutes, I threw a tantrum in manner of Britney Spears armed with an umbrella (quietly in my head – the umbrella’s were way on the other side of the store) and shuffled off home, where a milk tart, fresh pot of tea and my parent’s undivided attention awaited me. I was once again in my happy place – like Lindsay Lohan around a pole.

Reunion (Rent and Onions)


This weekend was my 10 year high school reunion in the small city of Bloemfontein. In case you didn’t get the memo, Bloemfontein is now a city, because it has a Waterfront (which is built around a rather dastardly smelling lake), at least 5 internet café’s which I know of and an iStore (granted they sell eye-patches there, but an i-store nonetheless). 

The thing with reunions is, everybody hates them, or at least everybody says they hate them. In truth, I was rather looking forward to mine, despite making a whole hoopla (which is the jumbling of the letters of hoola-hoop minus the hoo, which is overused already as the sound an owl makes: ‘hoo-hoo’) on Twitter and Facebook. I enjoyed school, which is very a un-PC thing to say. Well at least I enjoyed my friends at school. My school on the other hand, in terms of an institution…let’s just say it’s not at the forefront of liberalism and free-thinking. There were no Joan of Arcs roaming the hallways, although there was a Johanna Alberts, but we don’t keep in touch anymore.

So before I delve into what went down, let me first give you the abridged version:

This is what I think I looked like before my reunion:

Natalie Imbruglia

This is the actual me at my reunion:

Me at my reunion
 This is the actual me after my reunion:

Me after my reunion 

Great now that I put all the cards on the table, here’s what happened.

Let me start by saying, any flight that leaves at 5am is sure to be disastrous. So with my Bloem-bag packed (toothbrush, underwear and a scratched Steve Hofmeyr CD which I use as a light reflector when I need to send an SOS) I headed to Cape Town International Airport (after circling the airport twice because we kept missing the ‘drop and go’ lane I was dropped and I went). Not even inside the winged terminal and I saw the familiar faces from my school days. There were around 15 women on the plane en route to my school’s reunion- all different ages, all Afrikaans, all terrified and I successfully dodged them all. Granted my disguise (a fake moustache and a top hat) helped. Things were off to a good start.

It was my school’s birthday, hence all the reunions falling on this specific weekend. The festivities would start that morning at the ‘Vrouemonument’ (woman’s monument) which is a very phallic statue surrounded by statues of very sad women standing around it. All in all it makes me giggle. It’s also where I was forced to spend one whole morning for 12 years ‘celebrating’ my school’s birthday. To be honest, I still have no idea what it commemorates or why I was forced to sing songs looking up at the very very erect statue. So I decided to skip this bit and rather catch up on my beauty sleep (which despite popular thought- I really do need).

That evening, my posse (my two friends from school and I) headed to the Waterfront, to an insanely overpriced restaurant for our official class reunion. We were greeted at the door with a Cosmopolitan (the drink not the magazine, although there was a copy of Agriculture Weekly in the corner) and our ex head girl. She stuffed a pair of children’s sunglasses in our hands, which either meant she wanted us all to be festive or she had an aversion to our small brown eyes. Sunglasses on and we entered the deck, I tripped, started sweating and that’s about the last thing I remember of the evening. There were shooters, I won some prize and there was dancing- at least this is what I was told at the de-briefing lunch the next day by my posse.   

The next evening was a braai at my old school’s tennis club, where I spent many years in a very unattractive tennis outfit in the hopes of becoming the next Anna Kournikova (but I don’t have long blonde hair, so that didn’t work out). A treat for all those married couples as everyone brought their significant others with. For my posse and I, this meant Jack Daniels (he’s been with us through thick and thin). A much tamer get-together compared to the previous night, but general merriment and large T-Bone steaks was had by all (there are no vegetarians from Bloemfontein). 

The thing which surprised me the most out of the whole weekend, was the strange sense of camaraderie (which is the combination of the letters from compass, raiders of the lost ark, e-mail and Freddie) shared by all of us. I was honestly expecting a re-enactment of that scene in Carrie where her classmates pour pig’s blood all over her at her prom. Despite me suggesting this to my friends, none of them were keen to do it, as we didn’t know how to drain a pig. So in closing (I’ve always wanted to say that), call me a radical, a rebel, a revolutionary if you will, but ‘I love reunions’ (which is the combination of the letters of rent and onions).

Back in the day