Tag Archives: Funny

Blissful Escape

Most Interesting Bookstores of the World:  http://www.miragebookmark.ch/most-interesting-bookstores.htm

I love books.  I am still teased today because at family do’s I always had my nose in a book.  It was, and is, a blissful escape.  I escaped so much that I have more memories of fictional characters than of my own childhood.

My mother always warned me that reading in bad light would affect my eyes.  She was right.

I will only touch on some authors and books here because I am not writing a book and it is inevitable that I will leave some out that are just as important.

The last book I read was ‘George Sand A Woman’s Life Writ Large’ by Belinda Jack.  All I will say about George Sand is:  “Wow”.

Right now I am reading ‘The Life of Benvenuto Cellini, written by Himself’.  Only on page 5 but looks like it is going to be fun.

I am also reading ‘If You Want to Write’ by Brenda Ueland on my Kindle.  She draws from William Blake who is, oh, so heavenly.

One of my favourite authors is Charles Dickens.  Nobody else has developed characters as full and rich as he has.

I love Mark Twain.  I have all of his books and letters on my Kindle.

One of the most profound books I have ever read was ‘The Autobiography of Madame Guyon’ by herself, i.e. Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon.  One does not have to agree with her understanding of spirituality to know that she was preciously rare.

Stephen King is an awesome author.  I have only read about three of his more twisted tales but do check out ‘On Writing’.  It reads like a memoir.  I am awaiting my order of Secret Windows Essays and Fiction on the Craft of Writing. 

‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift.  Swift was a master satirist.  The story of Gulliver is about people.  And how ridiculous we really are.

‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck.  Let me quote the Amazon description:  “The story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity”.

‘Out of Africa’ by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen).  The opening sentence “I have a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong hills ……” is the beginning of a journey that cannot but stir you deeply.

‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ by Irving Stone.  Michelangelo brought to life.

Wally Lamb writes beautifully.  ‘The Hour I first Believed’ and ‘I know this Much is True’.

One of my favourite local books is The Deneys Reitz Trilogy – ‘Adrift on the Open Veld.  The Anglo-Boer War and its Aftermath 1899 – 1943’.  History is fascinating to me, particularly the Anglo-Boer War.  A better account has yet to be written.  This historical piece reads like a novel.  You feel as though you are in the saddle with the young Deneys.

Dalene Matthee introduced me to the wonders of Knysna, the Tsitsikama Forrest and surround.  Her stories are based on fact and wonderfully funny, complex and spell-binding.  ‘Moerbeibos’ being a favourite.

At a quick glance, the books here mentioned (and ommitted) have a couple of things in common:

  • They are well written, but some were crafted
  • Most of them are amusing, and those that aren’t, still produce deep emotions
  • Many of them were biographical in nature, or based on fact
  • But they are ALL, inspirational

Wish there was more time … … …

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On men, and feminism

Men are funny.  I love the way men just naturally assume that they know better, that they are superior drivers and that in fact, they are more qualified at most things than women.  My men specifically have an inborn confidence, and a belief that they can do anything and succeed.

From a very young age my sons believed that I was a bad driver, and they still do.  So does my husband and my Dad.  And, to be honest, it is true to some extent.  But that is another story.

Another amazing talent they have is the capacity to think themselves thinner than what they really are.  Women imagine themselves bigger, whereas most men think they look pretty good, even if they carry a “little” spare weight.

I have never been a feminist and never will be.  I believe men to be better chefs, mechanics, drivers and everything else.  But PLEASE!  I know there are exceptions to every rule and that there are women who outshine their male counterparts in all areas known to mankind.  I am just a bit biased.

I like a touch of male chauvinism, it suits a man.  Not the rude, overbearing, condescending kind, rather, just that little touch of superiority that makes a man, a man.  The type that affords a real woman a giggle.  Without it, women would snatch up the world’ pants supply and what would become of our society when all men turn into wimps, ruled over by slipper-wielding fiends?

While I understand why men would help with house duties when both partners work full day, I cannot begin to comprehend why men would do it when their wives stay at home.  And believe me; this phenomenon is on the increase.  I don’t only put this down to lazy women, but also to husbands not prepared to take charge.  Even more criminal are men who are forced into nightly baby duties when mommy stays home all day.  In Afrikaans it is called “slapgatgeid”, literally slackness in the posterior region.  But once again, this is just my opinion.

A home where the wife wants to be the boss is a house divided against itself, and a home at war.  Man was born and bred for the position and will fight anyone trying to usurp his authority without even realising why he is doing it.

I am of course referring to normal men, not bullies who beat their wives or lord over their children.

As with everything else in life, there has to be someone with the final say, the leader.  Every organisation on this earth needs one chief and a couple of Indians.  And in the home, the man has to be allowed final authority, even when he makes mistakes.  He too has to learn how to steer his family through life successfully but he will never learn without erring first.  We all stumble when young but as we mature, we gain understanding and knowledge.  Real love conquers all, and forgives all.

The most successful families I know, ones where the children are obedient and respectful and the wives lovely and confident in themselves, are households where the Dad has a firm grip on things.  These are families where everyone understands that Dad’s word is the final say on any matter.

Both genders have their place, neither to ever be above or below the other.  Instead, they stand side-by-side, shoulder to shoulder, with the women’s just slightly behind the man’s.  He is, and should be allowed to be, the head of the home.