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Bosverlustinge en -verlangens

Julie 29, 2012

Ons het hierdie naweek op ‘n plaas met die naam Last Post (oor die ou ‘Poskantoor’ wat in ‘n wildevyboom op die plaas is en laas deur ossewas wat hier verbygekom het, gebruik is) gaan kuier. Dis tussen Polokwane en Makhado gelee en die geriewe was tente, geen elektrisiteit, paraffienlampies wat op strategiese plekke opgehang is en ‘n waterprobleem wat op Saterdagoggend ontstaan het en toe na ‘n ruk opgelos is.

Ek is ‘n stadsannie maar ek het die tyd van my lewe gehad tydens hierdie rustic ervaring. Ek het ‘n paar verassende en ‘n paar gewoon lekker indrukke en ervarings saam teruggebring. Dit kan soos volg opgesom word:

–     Kondensmelkkoffie langs die vuur is die lekkerste koffie ooit. ‘n Koffiepot word op die vuur gesit en later word ‘n kool in die koffie gedruk sodat die moer kan sak. Dan drink mens dit met kondensmelk in plaas van melk terwyl jy jou voete by die vuur warm maak.

 –   Dis om nie om te gee dat jy vir twee dae lank nie bad nie. Dis hoekom Dettol Wet Wipes ontwerp is (bless sommer die ontwerper ook).

 –   Dis absolute welgeluksalige heerlikheid van die eerste warm stort  deur die paraffiendonkie voorsien na bogenoemde twee dae se wipes. (Bless sommer die donkie-ontwerper dubbel.)

 –   Tandeborsel sonder water is fine. Sluk die tandepasta in. Eintlik is dit baie doeltreffend so.

 –   Dis om alleen ver op ‘n grondpaadjie te gaan stap en te luister na hoe stil dit is. Net nou en dan vlieg ‘n voël op. Dis ook om glad nie bang te wees nie.

 –   Dit het vir my ‘n  hartswens vir meer plaaskuiers tot gevolg gehad : sodat ek ook die name van voëls en bome kan leer ken.

 –   Dis om dapper te raak en in die nag te gaan stap en die kinders te vra om hul kopligte te af te sit omdat die maan helder genoeg skyn. Die bome is wit en doodstil in die indigo-nag en ek wou dit beleef.

 –   Dis om lekker te kry om te sien hoe twee stadskinders die twee kinders wat in die natuur grootgeword het, help om klippe om te draai om te sien wat daaronder leef.

 –   Dis om te glimlag in jou tent wanneer jy die natuurma hoor roep na haar kinders wat die vallei af is – stadskinders agterna. Sy wil hulle darem net so nou en dan hoor en weet hulle is nie besig  is met gevaarlike goed soos om met slange te speel nie.

 –   Dis om deur iets diep en onverklaarbaar binne jou verras te word: iets wat jou sonder huiwering vir die eerste keer ‘n bokdrolletjie in jou mond laat druk om te sien of jy verder as die locals kan spoeg.

 –   Dis die verfrissende en selfs bevrydende gevoel van ‘n koel bries oor jou kaal boude in die veld terwyl jy (uiteindelik) jou eerste veltie regkry.


Impressions of the Waterboy’s adventures

Julie 20, 2012

I am an ardent Waterboys fan and it is fair to warn readers that I cannot be regarded as objective in my opinion of Adventures of a Waterboy, Mike Scott’s autobiography. Therefore this is not intended to be a formal or academic review but rather my impressions of the man and the book.

A wordsmith

I raced through this memoir. It makes for thrilling reading if you’re into the Waterboys, traditional Irish and Scottish or 80’s and 90’s music – or just music in general. Scott is an accomplished musician and lyricist, as well as an entertaining writer. His writing is engaging and vivid (give or take a cliché or two) and he has a knack for characterisation that will probably make him the envy of seasoned novelists. For example, this is how he recounts meeting Irishman Steve Wickham, ‘The Fellow Who Fiddles’, after inviting him to add violin to a song on This is the Sea, the third Waterboys album: ‘When I opened the door I found a cheerful gypsy-eyed ragamuffin looking back at me. He came in, lay on the living room floor with his head propped on an elbow and proceeded to tell me his life story with endless diversions, ruminations and meanderings, all in the most charming Dublin accent. After a few hours of tales populated by charismatic characters with names like Clancy, Cooney and O’Kelly, I made Steve some ham sandwiches and tomato soup. Then we picked up a couple of guitars and bashed out the Waterboys song, Savage Earth Heart. By the way Steve played it, and though he hadn’t even picked up his fiddle yet, I knew we were going to be musical brothers.’

This piece of writing made me happy. I pictured Wickham in my mind’s eye and later, when watching a video clip of him fiddling fiercely, dancing across the stage in his baggy pants and black hair sticking out the top of his holey hat I knew I expected him to look exactly like this, courtesy of Scott’s writing.

White Heat in Ayr

Adventures of a Waterboy opens with Scott as a nine-year-old Edinburgh schoolboy, constantly hearing music in his head, ‘as always, a mighty stramash of pop melodies learned from the radio, only grander and louder and longer because in my head the music does whatever I want it to.’ (By the way, ‘stramash’ is a chiefly Scottish word for a noisy racket.)

As a teenager Scott moved to the town Ayr on the west coast of Scotland, and at age fifteen formed a garage band. This is the part of the book where I started appreciating Scott’s warm and self-deprecating humour. Once, his band, White Heat, was playing in some kind of social club in rural Scotland where the locals all seemed to have thin brick-shaped heads and a look in their eyes ‘like the flash of a razor blade.’ White Heat was playing a selection of their own punk originals as well as rebellious rock anthems, ‘… but the locals, surely wondering who the hell booked this lot, don’t get it. We even had a request of ‘play a Jim Reeves number, son.’’  Scott was ‘singing my ass off’ but ‘after every song a different brick-headed local approaches the stage, fixes us with terrible eyes and tells us to turn it down…’

After a year at Edinburgh University, during which time he attended countless punk gigs and zero classes, he dropped out and formed his first serious band, Another Pretty Face. He eventually moved to London and formed the Waterboys in 1983.

Two grand songs

Scott spends some time describing the This is the Sea album and especially how The Whole of the Moon was conceived and written. I especially appreciated how he describes each song taking on a life of its own and how he’s swept up in its flavour and personality, a feeling he describes as being enfolded in an exhilirating scent. He’d live the song’s atmosphere for days, and even when he did mundane things like shopping for milk and bread at the corner shop, the songs’ melodies and lyrics ran ceaselessly through his head with new ideas flashing into his mind at any and all times.

The first verse of Fisherman’s Blues was written on the back of his JFK-boarding pass, leaving America and returning to the UK. Half the Fisherman’s Blues album was finished in a mansion of faded grandeur in the town of Spiddal on the west coast of Ireland.  A fascinating chapter is devoted to the time recording the album here, elaborating on the traditional musicians taking part as well as the personal effect working in the charged atmosphere of Spiddal had on the band and crew. Scott saw all their essential selves being drawn out during this experience.

Difficult Mike’

There is a fair amount of hiring and firing and problems with record companies going on and Scott apparently has a reputation for being ‘difficult’. What became clear to me is that he is a perfectionist and wished to see the final product as he envisaged it; the music he heard in his head, the music instructing him. It seems reasonable to me.

Scott and Wickham

The bond between Mike Scott and Steve Wickham was a special one and Wickham’s seemingly intuitive and definitely soaring fiddle-playing complemented Scott’s distinctive and passionate vocals. But after a painful divorce which left Wickham a shadow of his former, joyful self, combined with disagreeing with Scott on the direction the Waterboys was taking, he left the band.

Scott and Wickham were reunited in 2000 but there were initial glitches. Scott remembers that while they were trying to work together a (long-overdue) heated argument ensued; ‘…words hung lividly in the air above our heads … and then evaporated. For a while the eruption had exposed the unspoken undertows of our past, it had another more profound effect. As we sat facing each other, scoured and unburdened of our baggage, a deep recognition passed between us. Steve’s jet-black eyes glittered at me and I knew who we were: two musical soulmates. And none of the other stuff, the who did what to who back when, mattered a jot. What mattered was the deep feeling of old comradeship and something that felt a lot like love.’ That comradeship continues to this day. The Waterboys continue to record music and tour, with Wickham a prominent member.

2000 and on

The book chronicles Scott’s life up until 2000. He considers distance to be important in writing a memoir because hindsight puts things in perspective. He does not think that the things which have happened to him since 2000 are in a bookable perspective yet.

Still something of an enigma

It seems to me as if Mike Scott is a genuinely humble man and I enjoyed his talking about Findhorn, the New Age community in the north of Scotland where he found a spiritual home. I must admit that I was not looking forward to this particular chapter but his humour made for pleasant reading. He also met Janette, his second wife, at Findhorn, and the tale of their courtship is rather touching.

Apparently Scott is a private man, too, which may explain why he divulges so little personal information. He does not ponder the reasons for this first divorce nor does he explore his feelings after finding his father thirty years after the latter walked out on them. What is clear from reading the book, however, is his deep love for Janette.

I don’t have a problem with the relative lack of personal (or intimate) information; after all, Adventures of a Waterboy is about Scott the musician. In fact, I prefer Mike Scott to remain something of an enigma.



Autobiography of a Waterboy has been released in hardcover format by Lilliput press and paperback publication through UK publisher Jawbone Press will follow in August.

The picture was taken for Fisherman’s Blues album, in front of the Spiddal Mansion of Music.

Dries Brunt on eBooks

Julie 15, 2012

In an interview with Dries Brunt who has reviewed books for The Citizen newspaper since 2004, he told about the exciting opportunity writers have, using the electronic medium to get their work published and marketed.  Dries decided to publish his books, thirteen in total (fourteenth in the making), using this medium.

Why eBooks?  The difference between Evolution and Revolution is just a single letter but shows an amazing development in book reading trends.  From the early days of Sony Reader, which did not quite make it in the marketplace, till the present, e-readers now outnumber print-readers, world-wide.  For Dries the acronym WWW for World-Wide-Web has another meaning.  “For me it means, Win-Win-Win.”

Win for the writer.  The market for my books has expanded from local to global, including South African ex-pats.  I have written 7 Afrikaans and 4 English books of which  two are translated in Dutch.  These are now being reformatted for electronic publishing with 7 already available to a world audience.  The translations create an opportunity to get my name established in the Dutch/Flemish book market with the added benefit of selling Afrikaans books which are gaining popularity over there.  Statistics show that e-readers read 2.7 more books than print-readers which for any writer is good news.  A complete list of available books appears in Google but can also be obtained from my publisher’s website.

Win for the publisher. A publisher dedicated to offer top quality books can enter the market with small capital investment and establish herself in a particular genre of writing.  For the publisher the extended market is equally important.  There is talk about self-publishing on Internet but for the serious writer this is never an option.  Publishing eBooks remains a specialist job requiring intimate knowledge of the electronic platform used, negotiating tax relief buying overseas services, editing and reviewing, illustration and dealings with eBook agencies who attend to plagiarism and copyright issues.

The publisher creates and updates a website to display cover page, price and descriptive text to introduce books to prospective buyers.  In addition she administers transfer of overseas funds and writer payment.  In my case my publisher  answers to all requirements and more.  This publisher has chosen Amazon Kindle as the most suitable eBook platform which answers to all professional needs that she requires to provide quality service.

Win for the reader.  This is the big win, making a treasure house of books available at the push of a button not more intricate than using a telephone.  Kindle is accessible in a range of hardware readers at prices ranging from R1000 to R1500 (shop around).  The least expensive happens to be the most suitable for book reading.  A tablet, the size of a smallish book is hand held and offers immediate access to the selected book.  Battery charged, the reader can be used anywhere and new titles can be purchased within the signal range of the cell phone network  Prices are typically one-third of printed books with hundreds of classics at rock bottom prices of $3 or less.  Giving a book present is equally friendly.  Payment via credit card is scrupulously administered at current exchange rates.  Font size can be adjusted to suit reader needs and for the blind, English text can be read out in an audio version of the book at no extra cost.  Your e-collection is stored should your reader get lost.  Information on Kindle reading is available on Google under Amazon Kindle.  The eBook revolution is a friendly one.  It also places a huge responsibility on eBook publishers to maintain high quality standards for their products.

“I love it,” says Dries.  “Care for another W?  No pulping of unsold copies.”

Nadia’s Notes:

Dries was born in the Netherlands in 1933 and emigrated to South Africa with his parents in 1949. He lives in Pretoria with his wife, Maryna.

Dries has an impressive number of interests as well as academic achievements. His debut novel, Dagboek van ‘n Eensame, was published (on paper) by Tafelberg and is a work of fiction based on an Antarctic expedition he took part in in 1963/4/5.

Dries has published a number of eBooks. His publisher is Boekemakranka;

Springsteen in Manchester, 22 Junie 2012

Julie 4, 2012

Die aand ná Sunderland trotseer ek en Alta weer die elemente en ruk ons op na Manchester se Etihad Stadium vir ons tweede, en laaste – vir nou -, Springsteen show. Hier het ons nogal sitplekke, ‘n goeie ding na die vorige dag se ontberings in die pit.  “Ontberings”, eintlik, want dit was groot pret en die lang dag het soos ‘n droom verbygevlieg.

Manchester se show was langer as Sunderland s’n; ek skat dit het so 3 uur en 15 minute geduur. Lekker lank vir ‘n man van twee-en-sestig om sy hart uit te sing, sy springe te spring en die plek te rock. Ek bly beindruk met Springsteen se fiksheidsvlakke, sy energie, sy humorsin, sy musikaliteit en die ooglopende passie vir wat hy doen en was sielkundig gereed om weer saam fees te vier. Maar daar eindig ons toe in die enigste dooie kolletjie in daardie stadion (glo ek). Ek sit langs die twee van die drie gevrekste mans in die geskiedenis van Manchester, néé van Engeland, en Alta sit langs die derde een. En niemand om ons dans nie, almal sit doodstil soos by ‘n opera. Springsteen open weer met Badlands en volg dit dadelik op met No Surrender. Nou kyk, as jy my wil motiveer moet jy hierdie song speel. Dis my temalied en ek speel dit díe oggende wanneer ek nie kans sien vir die Johannesburgverkeer en nog ‘n dag op kantoor nie. Ek en Alta het mekaar een kyk gegee, soos tieners by ‘n Bieber-konsert gejil  en opgespring om te dans.

Ek wou op ‘n stadium nog skuldig voel oor die mense agter my toe ek besluit te damn daarmee, dis ‘n rock show. Dis wat mens hier doen; jy rock. Dit het ook nie honderd jaar geduur voordat Springsteen die skare oorrompel het en almal begin saamwikkel het nie.  Selfs die dooies langs my het tydens die encore (van agt liedjies) opgesukkel. Soos pilare bly staan, maar ten minste was hulle óp en dit het gelyk asof die musiek die een direk langs my sou meesleur as die show vyf minute langer geduur het.

Die Manchester show was ook groter as Sunderland met vyftigduisend mense in die gehoor en ‘n speellys van dertig liedjies teenoor Sunderland se agt-en-twintig. En Springsteen was op sy stukke: hy het selfs ‘n fun “ontkleedans” bo-op die klavier gedoen (en tot groot vermaak van almal gesukkel om uit sy hemp te kom). Hy het darem net tot by sy t-hemp ontklee maar laat ek jou sê, met só ‘n lyf kon die hempie ook maar gewaai het. Twee-en-sestig of te not.

The Promise was my versoek die vorige aand by Sunderland; groot geskryf op die posters wat ek en Alta die voor die show in die B&B gemaak het.

Johnny works in a factory and Billy works downtown
Terry works in a rock and roll band looking for that million-dollar sound
And I got a little job down in Darlington but some nights I don’t go
Some nights I go to the drive-in or some nights I stay home
I followed that dream just like those guys do way up on the screen
And I drove a Challenger down Route 9 through the dead ends and all the bad scenes
And when the promise was broken, I cashed in a few of my own dreams

Dis nie in Sunderland gespeel nie maar toe wel in Manchester. Ek het gou uitgeglip om wyn te gaan koop toe ek die klavier intro hoor en terugstorm (darem met die plastiekglasie in die hand) om bo by die ingang na die pawiljoen te staan en luister. En skaam te kry oor die trane wat weer loop, so asof enige mens daar na die middeljarige vrou wat in haar wyn huil sou kyk en nie na Springsteen nie.

 En toe kom die oomblik van die show, miskien van al twee shows: die mondfluitjie- en klavier intro van Thunder Road en vyftigduisend mense wat dit saam met Springsteen in die groot sokkerstadion begin sing.

The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that’s me and I want you only

Hierdie was ‘n oomblik wat ek kon raakvat en in my hand toevou. Ek het om my gekyk en oorwegend ouer mense gesien, mense wat hopelik nie net kom teruggryp het na ‘n verlore jeug nie maar hier was om musiek wat die klankbane van al hul lewens vorm, te kom vier.

Hey I know it’s late, we can make it if we run
Oh oh oh oh Thunder Road, sit tight, take hold, Thunder Road

Toe almal voluit saamsing aan “Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night, You ain’t a beauty, but hey you’re alright, Oh and that’s alright with me” het ek besef dís eintlik al wat ons vir mekaar moet doen; ons moet meer deernis vir mekaar probeer hê. Meer begrip, want ons is almal in dieselfde bootjie.

In Walk Like a Man sê Robert J. Wiersema dat die gehoor by ‘n Springsteen show ná die tyd in ‘n “dizzy heap” gelaat word. Hy is heeltemal reg. Ek wás duiselig; van hoopvolheid, weemoed, hopeloosheid, welwillendheid en ‘n hemelse selfaanvaarding. Ek was verdwaas deur die beleef van soveel emosies in die bestek van drie ure. Maar my oorheersende emosie was een van ‘n diep dankbaarheid; vir ‘n bevoorregte posisie wat my in staat gestel het om na die shows te gaan kyk, vir die wêreld wat meestal ‘n groot en wonderlike plek is, vir mense vir wie ek baie lief is … en natuurlik vir The Boss se musiek.

Springsteen in die Stadium of Light – Sunderland 21 Junie 2012

Junie 30, 2012

“Staan in pit; dis nág!” sms ek vir Wynand.

“Bevange!”* My jong vriend, self ‘n bekwame musikant, se reaksie kom binne minute.

Vandat ek en Alta verlede November ons ongereserveerde staanplekkaartjies vir die Springsteen show in Sunderland se Stadium of Light gekoop het, het ek begin droom van ‘n plekkie voor,  téén die verhoog.  In die pit, of Golden Circle soos dit hier bekend staan. Maar ek het vrae gehad; hoe lank voor die tyd moes mens by die stadion opdaag? Is ek bereid om voor die stadion te slaap as dit nodig is? Wat as dit in die nag reën? Wat sal my chiropractor daarvan sê as hy hoor dat ek so ‘n wilde nag oorweeg? En, hoeveel kos ‘n goeie slaapsak in Ponde?

Iewers op pad het ek vrede gemaak met die feit dat slaap voor die stadion nie ‘n opsie is nie. Dit het steeds maar onregverdig gevoel omdat ons oor ‘n kontinent hierheen gereis het en dat daar, as ek realisties wou wees, ‘n besliste moontlikheid bestaan dat ek agter ‘n klomp lang mense sal opeindig en net na die musiek sal kan luister. Ek sou wel na die groot skerms kon kyk, maar daarvoor kon ek netsowel op ‘n gemaklike stoel gesit het

Die pit was dus voorop in my gedagtes toe ons net ná half-tien en ‘n stewige Engelse ontbyt  – wat Black Pudding ingesluit het – in die reën weg is by die B&B. Net voor half-elf het die bus voor die Stadium of Light gestop en begin die lang dag en lang wag.

Ek was nie bekend met die pitreëlings nie. Ek het ‘n YouTube-clip gesien waarin ‘n meisie op en af spring en na ‘n handgeskrewe nommer op haar arm wys, wat my laat aanvaar het dat nommers wel toegeken word en as jy ‘n nommer het, jy voorlangs sal opeindig.  Ons het in die korterige ry by die stadioningang geval en ons nommers – 467 en 468 – ná ‘n ruk se wag in die reën by twee jong organiseerders onder ‘n groot sambreel gekry.  Ons name is op ‘n clipboard neergeskryf en ons moes weer teen twaalfuur incheck. Teen hierdie tyd was my denimbaadjie al goed nat. My travel poncho, behalwe dat dit die toppunt van zef was  – dit het soos ‘n wit asbliksak met gate vir moue gelyk – was nie baie effektief nie.

Ons het rondgedwaal en na die groot trokke met nota’s soos “Tech Lights” op hul voorruite geplak agter die stadion gaan kyk. Twaalfuur is ons weer ry toe en het met die riemtelegram  by ander fans gehoor dat ons eers drie-uur moes terugkom vir ‘n incheck.  Nie een van die organiseerders in een van die rye waarin ons gestaan het, het ‘n megafoon gehad nie – iets wat ek onverklaarbaar vind.  In elk geval, hierdie was die ideale tyd om ‘n pub te gaan soek, vir ‘n uur of wat te sit en sjerrie (Alta) of  ‘n pint of twee Guinness (ek) te drink. Ons het nie te lank in die Colliery Tavern vertoef nie, want ek was nie seker of ek die pitproses vertrou nie – níe dat ek heeltemal geweet het wat aangaan nie.

Teen vier-uur was ons in ‘n tweede ry ingeorganiseer en het ons ons rooi polsbandjies gekry: Toegang tot die pit. Ek het iewers gelees dat die pit plek vir sowat driehonderd mense het en die feit dat ons met ons hoë nommers daar ingekom het is te danke aan Alta en haar lang bene en haar jare se stapoefening. Toe die hek oopgemaak word en ons ingelaat word het sy haar haar treë gerék en vir ons ‘n kleim in die derde ry van voor afgesteek.

Dis hel in die pit. Ek is iemand wat nie in die middel kan sit nie, nie eers tydens vergaderings by die werk nie. My personal bubble is te groot, om die minste daarvan te sê.  Hier sit mens nie en moet mens jou staan ken, mense druk deurentyd teen jou aan. Maar jy plant net jou voete en druk, subtiel, terug. Ons het twee ure só gewag vir die show om te begin en dit was makliker as ek wat ek gedink het dit sou wees: die ervaring was na alles  groter as my persoonlike borrel.

Dis hemel in die pit. Die fans was oor die algemeen vriendelik en nugter. Die grootste groep fans om ons was middeljarige mans maar skuins voor my was ‘n bloedjong ou wat elke woord saamgesing het, vuis in die lug. Langs my was ‘n tienermeisie met piercings en pienk hare wat benoud vir my gesê het “I’ve lost my dad!” Sý was die fikser een wat moes máák vir ‘n plek en haar pa in die proses verloor het. Dit was lekker om te sien hoe hy haar kry, haar ‘n drukkie gee en hoe hulle die show saam geniet; altwee singend.

Ek gaan nie eers probeer beskryf hoe dit gevoel het toe die E Street Band op die verhoog uitgestap kom nie, Bruce laaste. Hulle het met Badlands geopen en dis toe dit gebeur het:  my skouers wat begin ruk en snikke wat ek vinnig moes sluk, voordat dit buite beheer raak. Ek is ‘n sentimental fool  en die oomblik was vir my amper te groot; die droom, die maandelange uitsien en voorberei en oor en oor luister na Springsteen se musiek, die weer en weer kyk na live video’s was skielik op ons, dit was werklik. Híer staan die magtige E Street Band, híer sing Springsteen en híer is die passie en energie wat jou elke keer oorrompel.  Hier bý jou.

Hy was op stadiums so ná aan ons dat ek die lagplooitjies om sy oë kon sien. En hy sou my grimeringlose oë (maskara afgewas na reën en trane) ook kon raaksien  – en hopelik kon sien hoe dit geblink het!

Daar was ‘n klomp hoogtepunte (eintlik is die show een groot hoogtepunt) maar ‘n oomblik wat my gegryp en emosioneel gewurg het was die alto lamentasie waarmee Springsteen The River, sy liedjie oor tienerliefde, tienerswangerskap, tienertroues, die hopelose en uiteindelike uitsiglose werkersklasbestaan, afgesluit het. Die harteleed in daardie stukkie musiek was so diep dat dit amper onmoontlik was om daarna te luister sonder om net daar te gaan sit om nooit weer op te staan nie.

Springsteen gee mens darem altyd hoop ook, al is dit nie in die vorm van jubelsange nie (hierdie tipe opgeruimde liedjies vertrou ek in elk geval nie, ek ervaar dit meesal nie as nie solied nie). Die hoop wat hy gee gebeur binne ‘n realistiese raamwerk:  die lewe is nie ‘n piekniek nie, dis hard, dis nie regverdig nie, ons sit in die dood se skaduwee. Maar daar is oomblikke in die lewe van onbeskryflike liefde, vriendskap en grootsheid, oomblikke wat jy jouself kan oortref en verras en dus oomblikke wat wat jy nie durf mis nie. Jy moet oop wees daarvoor want dit is wat die lewe kosbaar maak.

Ek het nog altyd gesê jy sal my nie sommer in ‘n Baptistekerk vang, hande in die lug en jubelend aan’t singe nie (op skool het ons hierdie mense wat so meegevoer geraak het die “happy clappies” genoem). “Ek is nie so demonstratief nie.”  Onwaar. Ek is!  Dis net dat die musiek by die Baptiste nie goed genoeg is nie het ek in Sunderland besef, want hier het ek vir die drie ure wat die show geduur het met my vuis, of arms in die lug gestaan en saamgesing, saamgehop, saamgedans, saam stilgestaan.

Van gospel gepraat: Land of Hope and Dreams is ‘n gospelliedjie en my laaste paar Sunderlandtrane is hier gehuil:

Well, this train carries saints and sinners

This train carries losers and winners

This train carries whores and gamblers

This train carries lost souls

This train carries broken-hearted

This train, thieves and sweet souls departed

This train carries fools and kings thrown

This train, all aboard

Persoonlik ervaar ek hierdie lied nie soseer as ‘n gospelsong nie,  maar eerder toepaslik op die Springsteen aanhangergemeenskap. Dis wonderlik om deel van hierdie gemeenskap te wees en almal is welkom op hierdie trein want hier het ons almal, die saints en sinners, die losers and winners, die whores, gamblers en lost souls, een ding in gemeen: sy musiek. Hier is ons gelyk, ons deel liefde vir die musiek, respek vir die krag daarvan, bewondering vir een van die grootste storievertellers, helers en musikante van ons tyd.

And long may it last.

* Wynand het nie “Bevange!” gesê nie, hy’t “Befok!” gesê!

Van Sunderland tot Dover

Junie 26, 2012

1. “E1” klink soos “A1”  in Sunderland Geordie aksent. Nogal belangrik as dit in terme van busnommers is.

2. Dis níe Geordie nie, sê die oom op die trein naby Newcastle wat vir my die rivier “Wear” se naam moes spel, so weird was die uitspraak daarvan.

3. Die meeste Engelse is, teen alle verwagtinge in, heeltemal gaaf. ‘n Man op die bus het ons beduie waar die taxi rank in Sunderland is, en na ‘n halwe blok nadat ons afgeklim het, het ons besef hy was dalk verkeerd. Nét toe kom hy teruggehardloop vanuit ‘n ander rigting, om te sê hy’t ‘n fout gemaak; en ons na die regte taxirank beduie.

4. Die man en vrou wat in ons B&B in South Shields gebly het, het met ‘n motorfiets van Birmingham af gery. In die reën en ook Springsteen show toe. As sy vrou so in die ry agter hom aan die slaap raak voel hy hoe haar helmet teen syne klap en weet hy wat het gebeur. Dan maak hy haar wakker, neem ek aan.

5. Manchester (die deel van die middestad net by die Piccadilly Bus en Tram terminuses) herinner my aan Glasgow. Dit het die heeltyd vir my gevoel asof ‘n doedelsak gaan lostrek. Ook maar bly dit het nie, want ek sou net daar gaan sit en huil het. Teen daai tyd was ek omtrent al ‘n emosionele wrak na die twee emosionele Springsteen shows.

6. As mens iemand wil uitvreet wat jou uit die pad skouer is dit dalk veiliger om dit in Afrikaans te doen. Mens moenie bv sê “That was completely UNNECESSARY!” nie want wanneer daai vrou omkyk weet jy jou voete gaan jou dalk nie kan dra as sy besluit om te retaliate nie. Vir al wat jy weet is sy menopausal en is retaliation ‘n besliste  moontlikheid!

8. Het soos ‘n stoere Man United fan gevoel toe ons Old Trafford toe is om gou ‘n serp of ‘n ding vir ‘n fan hier te gaan koop.  Moet sê ek het verlede jaar ook soos ‘n stoere Arsenal fan gevoel by die Emirates Stadium in London. Miskien draai ek my mantel na die wind. Mantelswaaier? Manteldraaier? Weet nou nie wat die Afrikaans is nie.

7. Die Tube is hel in rush hour met ‘n backpack, twee wielietjietasse, disoriëntasie en dun nerwe.

9. Ek glo ek is darem nie die eerste mens wat in die gewyde Canterbury Cathedral rondgeloop met “Baby, we were born to run” wat oor en oor in my kop draai nie.

10. Ek glo ook nie ek is die eerste mens wat haarself bietjies-bietjies begin natmaak het in Dover van waansinnig lag tydens ‘n amateur video-opname van die White Cliffs of Dover – waarin ek een van die twee hoofrolle sing – nie.

Junie 19, 2012

Hou gerus vir Dineke dop … en volg haar ook sommer 🙂


Dear reader

This all new to me. Everything. I don’t know how to write a blog and I don’t know how to survive at 50 without a job. But I’m going to die trying! See it as an adventure …

I thought I’ll (try to) write the story of my journey. I’m sure many many people go through the same or similar predicament. So I’ll tell you what happens to me, how I feel, how I struggle and triumph, and hope it will mean something to someone, somewhere. Be patient, I’m learning new tricks. But my mother used to say: I’m slow, but worth waiting for …

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