Unfortunately I’m not nearly as far along in my manuscript for Incomer as I’d like to be.
I’m still loving my PR writing job at the ad agency. But working with words for a living – eight hours a day, Monday to Friday, in a high-pressure environment – is mentally taxing. So the last thing I want to do in my downtime is write some more!
The same goes for reading. At the end of an exhausting day / week, my eyes are sooo tired from stringing together words and sentences and paragraphs, that I would far rather #NetflixAndChill than have to use my poor, over-exerted brain to read a book.
Annoyingly though, Netflix isn’t coming out with new content fast enough to satiate my voracious appetite for marathon sessions on the couch. I’m an unashamed binge-watcher. For me, very little comes close to the pleasure I get from sinking my teeth into a gritty British crime drama or Scandi noir series. Pure, unadulterated escapism! With some awesome armchair travel thrown in for good measure.
So this lack of stuff to watch has kinda forced me into reading again. Thanks to a brand new Kindle though – a 44th birthday pressie from the hubster last month – it’s making it a bit easier to get back into the swing of things.
This is the first time I’ve ever owned an e-reader, and although I will always love traditional paper books, I really appreciate being able to change the font and increase the size of the text on this nifty little device. Plus being able to change the orientation from portrait to landscape. And being able to add notes and highlights that automatically get saved to my Goodreads page, which fellow bibliophiles can view alongside my full review. It’s bloody genius!
The personalised cover was a gift from my brother- and sister-in-law, who also engraved the stainless steel straws I asked my better half to organise as party packs for my birthday shenanigans.
I’m not sure exactly why I decided to do something big this year (the last one was a Murder Mystery party for my 40th), but I’m glad I did! We had a long and boozy Sunday lunch with about a dozen mates at a local ‘Asian BBQ and rock ‘n roll bar’, followed by some drunken sing-a-long silliness in a karaoke pod in the restaurant’s ‘No Tell Motel’ upstairs. It was an absolute riot. And the turtle-friendly ‘Sex, Drugs, & Wok ‘n Roll’ straws in their ‘PG Rated Since 1974’ bags were a hit!
So anyway, the very first ebook I bought on Amazon – on my birthday – was Lol Tolhurst’s memoir ‘Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys’.
This was a title that had been sitting on my ‘Want to Read’ shelf ever since I first heard about it almost two years ago – from a friend of mine, who’s a musician, and also a Cure fan. (Many of my most instant and enduring friendships – some of them going back almost three decades – were forged on a mutual love of the band.) ‘Cured’ was published in September 2016, less than four months after I released Umbilicus.
Then, just five days after starting Lol’s story, news broke that The Cure would be visiting South Africa – for the very first time in their 40-year career – and it honestly felt like all my Christmases had come at once!
It’ll have been almost 23 years since the partner-in-crime and I – aged all of 20 and 21 respectively – first saw the band play. It was at Earl’s Court on 1 June 1996, when we were living in London on a two-year working holiday visa. It was an event of such significance in my young life (the first time I experienced Stendhal syndrome), that I am dedicating a full scene to it in Incomer.
The protagonist in my autobiographical trilogy (Umbilicus, Incomer, Premature) is Charlotte van Katwijk. Her first name was inspired by The Cure’s 1981 song Charlotte Sometimes, which in turn took its name, and theme, from a 1969 novel by Penelope Farmer. And her surname pays homage to a very close friend of mine who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 27, just a few months after my wedding. She was engaged at the time, and her married name would’ve been van Katwijk. (She will actually be a supporting character in Premature.)
Whilst doing research for Incomer a while ago, I came across this amazing blog post by Penelope Farmer aka Granny P. She describes the night in 1996, 27 years after her book’s release, and 15 years after The Cure’s song release, when she (and her niece Charlotte) finally got a chance to meet Robert Smith backstage. And get this – it was at the exact same venue, just one night before we saw them play!
The upcoming concert in Jozi happens to fall three days after my better half and I celebrate our quarter-century anniversary (we’ve been married since June 2005, but have been an item since March 1994). I’ve booked us a hotel room for the night before, and the night of the gig. You’d better believe these two old-timers are gonna make a whole dirty rock ‘n roll weekend of it! And I have a feeling we are going to bump into a lot of old faces who will be crawling out of the woodwork for this momentous event.
2019 is going to be a pretty epic one for us, actually. A few months after The Cure / our anniversary celebrations, we’re planning on flying out to the States for a three-week holiday. We’ve decided to take the small human with us (he’ll be eight-and-a-half by then), so the trip has to coincide with his June/July school holidays (SA winter / US summer).
We’re busy saving up like mad things. I just hope that the Rand manages to recover (it’s been tanking against the Dollar since the begining of this year), otherwise we’re going to be eating in dodgy, hillbilly diners and sleeping in shady, hooker-infested motels, rather than cool, Bourdain-approved restaurants and family-friendly hotels. The former would’ve been a right adventure for just the two of us a decade or two ago. But not so much now, with an impressionable youngster in tow.
Above: Me and my beloved ball-and-chain in London, 1997
Below: With the fruit of our loins in Jozi, 2018
I know I don’t blog here nearly as often as I probably should. But hopefully the occasional plus-size post – like this one! – makes up somewhat for my extended periods of absence in between.
If you’re interested in following my everyday adventures in pictures, you’ll find me keeping a ‘public photo journal’ of sorts over on Instagram.
Thanks for visiting! Love you long time. x