I recently read this new book by Lionel Shriver who you might remember for “We need to talk about, Kevin”, one of my best reads in a long time. And it set me thinking about the “why?” of exercise. In the book the wife character is now 60 and has exercised her whole life, it’s been her thing! Solo, long before it became fashionable, she did it all and strong. Now her knees are troubling her, and she is in denial about the op she is facing. Her husband has never broken a sweat, but suddenly finds himself retrenched…and decides to run a marathon! He is full of bluster about his new hobby and she is resentful, making for acerbic marital drama. To cut a long story short, he completes the marathon, coming stone last and nearly dies…and just as his wife thinks that their lives and relationship can go back to normal, he announces that he wants to do an Iron Man! [...]
My husband and I had a simple supper of lentil soup and sourdough bread before sunset last night, because today we will #fast until after sunset. I’ve been reflecting on the consistency across religious traditions of the relationship between spirituality and fasting (or a withholding or restriction for a period.) And I’ve been wondering if the gods/spirits/ancients weren’t onto something in building these periods of abstinence into our religious laws and traditions… There is more and more evidence showing that regular periods of fasting have many health benefits. If broadly speaking religious fasting is about repenting, renewing and recommitting yourself to your spiritual path, it seems that the body and mind mimics this too. I have never fasted before for religious reasons. I thought it was completely daft as there would be nothing like depriving me of food all day to make me obsess about food all day instead of thinking about whatever I should be thinking about! But as I become #olderandbolder I see [...]
This is my favourite picture of my mother-in-law, Shirley! She came teetering out of her bedroom and headed for the pool. We all jumped up to help because, just shy of 90, she was prone to falling. “Wait Ma! We’ll help you down the steps into the pool, YOU’RE GOING TO FALL!” “Leave me”, she said. “I’m going to dive in the deep end!” And she did. No problem. If you can’t use the steps anymore, dive in the deep end. There is always a way…and I often ask myself, “What would Shirley do?” She died, aged 95, Monday a week ago, a role model of what being older & bolder is all about! In the Jewish tradition one has to be buried as soon as possible, but we had to wait for her to be returned from Israel to South Africa. So, her funeral is today, followed by a week of mourning.
This one’s for my sister who detests leopard print because, you know, there is a certain type…nasal Joburg kugel, Blue Bulls supporter’s poppie, Sea Point nail technician… You can picture her: she’s a certain age, trying for a younger age, hair tied back but with a bubble at the front, lipliner a few shades darker than her lipstick, leathery cleavage on display… AND ME! Guilty as charged. The leopard could be my cami, or my active wear, or maybe just the scrunchie, but it is there. YOU see us in our leopard print and you think we wear the cat to claim it’s feline lines. YOU think we think it make us look luxurious and expensive, a stand in for the fur of royalty. YOU think we wear it because you think we want you to think that we are animals in bed. YOU think you can hear us going grrrrr and you can see our acrylic nails drawing blood [...]
12 Oct: THAT WILL NOT BE NECCESARY David Attenborough’s voice: every word so perfectly spaced and placed and so necessary. His voice is the only thing that still anchors me here. When the credits roll, I call Johanna, and she starts it for me again. “I’m Mar-ga-ret, not Johanna. Take your pills now, Mies Sophie,” she says reprovingly. “I did!” But then I see them and the glass of water, still on the tray beside me. I thought I did. I swallow them quickly so that she can go away and leave me alone with David and the octopus. She moves as if she has no weight or form, but her eight tentacles furl and grasp with diligent purpose. I used to be like that: One tentacle agitating a pan on the gas hob, another on the cordless phone to a client, another spoon-feeding Lotty, another shoo-ing the cat, another working out to Jane Fonda, another laughing, another reading a [...]