Since so many of you liked the pictures I put on here of my Cape Town sojourn, here’s some more…
Fences, stairs and shadows
Man on a Manhole
The pub at The Kimberley was open...
... and I had a "Gem" of a lunchtime. All pics: Hatman Photography
When I arrived at the Kimberley, a public hostelry I far too infrequently visit, I raised my first pint to a late friend who loved the personality of the place. And drank there on numerous occasions. A sudden gust of wind blew through the pub door, knocking my hat off.
Unlike most men I’m not into cars. I mean, I get into them – but only in order to arrive somewhere, not to get off over getting my hands greasy while fiddling with all that paraphernalia I only discover under the bonnet when Sipho at the garage fills up the water.
Look, I’ll admit to getting aroused at the sight of certain vehicles, most particularly when a highly customised Landy bounces past on a dirt road but, on the whole, the guy who wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance would classify me as a “romanticist” more impressed by the aesthetics of motorised transport than the “classicist” who spends every waking hour obsessing over what actually makes them work.
My car-romanticism nearly blew a gasket when this absolute stunner turned up in the main road of Stanford this week…
The thing of beauty known as an Oldsmobile. Yes, I know. Please remain calm. I have more…
I said, remain calm! Accelerating smoothly on…
So I had a creative moment and thought I’d show you Terry Haw’s house and a bit of Stanford’s main road as well. Shall we drive on?
Pics: Hatman Photography
Hope you enjoyed the ride. I did. But I don’t have R120,000 to drive this honey away. If you have, pop in to see Erwin at the New Junk Shop in Queen Victoria Street and he’ll tell you, with his inimitable charm and charisma, who to give your dosh to. Just don’t tell him I sent you. Toot!
I don’t think I’ll introduce an “Amphibians” section to this blog but I can’t resist sharing this little charmer which popped up in my bedroom at Hatman Mansions yesterday… anybody have an idea what species he belongs to?
Sorry mate, I've got the pool covered.
Suzy the cat had her eye on him too Pics: Hatman Photography
We’ve all taken a sound whacking from our parents at supermarkets, haven’t we? I mean as children, not now.
Well, anybody who’s with me on the wrong side of 40 will know what I’m talking about. Anybody younger would have been carted off to Child Welfare before the box of Weetbix even began its downward arc in bum-seeking offensive mode.
Cape Town comedian Mark Palmer, who will be giving Stanford a bellyful of laughs this weekend, is fascinated by how parental discipline has changed over the years. And, as always, he sees the funny side.
Mark Palmer: expert on 'supermarket hidings'
“Supermarket hidings were so common [when he was little] that some of these shops even announced the ‘hiding’ over the intercoms: ‘there’s a light hiding in aisle 5, a light hiding in aisle 5′. Parents with kids would walk their kids past aisle 5 as a warning against misbehaving!”
You can expect this (the joke, not a light hiding) and a whole lot more if you behave yourselves and buy your tickets quicksticks for one of two shows Mark’s putting on at Oom Steyn’s pub in Stanford this weekend. Tip: Friday’s just about booked out so best you plan on getting in for the laughfest on Saturday.
The people to approach for your tickets are Stanford events organisers Vanessa Marawa (yes, we’re inundated with celebs here in The Special Village) and Antoinette Younghusband. Do that by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 082 555 1154. Now listen up. The June 24 and 25 shows start at 7pm and Vanessa and Antoinette are asking you to be a good girl or boy and pitch up at 6.30. Or expect to be taken around to the local Spar for a light hiding. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Inspiration. I don’t know about you but I can’t get enough of it.
And it doesn’t come much better than in the form of Liu Wei of Beijing.
As he says, “who said piano has to be played with your hands?”…
I kept getting that cold, shivery feeling which starts at the nape of my neck and my forehead and simultaneously snakes over my head and down my back. How did it feel for you?
And have you ever tried to pick up a small stone with your toes?
I love Liu Wei. As I have loved Nick Vujicic who has no arms, no legs, just a voracious appetite for living life. Just as I loved Kseniya Simonova and her extraordinary ability to create something so beautiful with sand. But Kseniya has hands.
I liked that line used by one of the “China’s Got Talent” judges after Wei’s incredible performance. “Live like wonderful.”
Let us all live like wonderful this weekend. And we might as well continue with that maxim for the rest of our lives. Because who said life can’t be lived like wonderful?
* A valiant if vain attempt at an awe-inspiring doff of the old red hat to Guy Kawasaki for giving me the heads-up on Liu Wei.
* If you scroll up to your right on this page, you’ll see a big fat badge saying something about the 2010 South African Blog Awards. I’ve entered your “diagnosed SA-positive” blog into the “Best New Blog” category. I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit mortified if you were to click on that there badge and nominate http://www.fredhatman.co.za in that category (be sure to type in your e-mail address on the blog awards site for your nomination to be registered). In fact, were I to amaze all of us by winning something, the Birkenhead is on me down the Stanford Arms! Cheers!
The South African government has moved speedily to rubbish a report by a British tabloid newspaper that ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was linked to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, leading to a humungous cloud of ash which has grounded almost all the world’s aeroplanes.
The Daily Star, which has already reported – scurrilously and erroneously it must be hastily added – that there is likely to be a “major earthquake” in South Africa during the staging of the 2010 World Cup, splashed over its front page this morning that Malema had been deployed by the South African government to provide the spark for the volcanic eruption in order to ensure that Bafana Bafana, 1,000,000/1 outsiders to even draw a match, lifts the World Cup trophy.
“ANC firebrand tries to blowtorch SA to WC2010 glory” screamed the Daily Star’s page one lead headline. The tabloid rag, widely considered to be the finest exponent of a laughable British gutter press, went on to describe to its readers how the bellicose Malema was “as nutty as squirrels poo” and more than fiery enough to have ignited the volcano in Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted to spectacular effect last week.
But this “SA-positive” blog can, due to its hotline to Mr Malema, a close connection of ours, exclusively reveal that the South African government has shot down these absurd allegations.
A load of hot air... the South African government has rubblished claims by a British tabloid that Julius Malema was behind the volcanic eruption at Eyjafjallajokull
“Julius is certainly not as nutty as squirrels poo and it is very mischievous of the Daily Star to suggest he is so,” said Ms Lolly Lavalampeka, spokesperson for the Department of Pyrotechnics, Teutonic Plate Shifts, Volcanic Eruptions, Malevolent Malematics and Other Unnatural Disasters. “He is far nuttier than that.
“OK, so it is true that we did meet with the Department of Sport to discuss devious ways in which our national soccer team could win the World Cup on home soil,” continued Ms Lavalampeka, seemingly unwittingly implicating South Africa in the volcanic eruption which has led to one helluva aviatic disruption. “And one of our brightest young sparks brainstormed that if we could get all flights to our country grounded, then none of the hotshot teams would be able to come to play here and Bafana Bafana would be awarded the World Cup by default.”
“The Department of Sport guys seemed to warm to the idea so all stakeholders looked at the possibility of getting a large and very angry volcano in the northern hemisphere to erupt and spew hot ash into the atmosphere, thereby stopping all flights to South Africa for the World Cup. We were considering using all of the explosives and armaments stashed away by the old apartheid regime inside hollow mountains and down disused mineshafts for this purpose.
“But when the words ‘large, very angry, erupt, spew and fouling the atmosphere” came into our conversation, we had a collective epiphany and decided to approach young Julius to do the job. But we were delayed because, as somebody pointed out, he was busy erupting and spewing and generally larging it up in a very angry way in Zimbabwe at the time. I must say that we had wondered why it was so quiet in South Africa,” added Ms Lavalampeka.
“Then we were unfortunately and unexpectedly forced to cancel ‘Operation Malematic Eruption’,” lamented Lavalampeka. “Why?” asked this blog.
“Well, one of the roleplayers in our task team happened to catch the seven o’clock news on SABC3 and heard President Zuma say that he won’t rest in his efforts to stamp out eruption within the ruling party. We took this to mean that he was trying to get Julius to shut up and so we decided it was in the national interest to drop the whole idea.
“But then, much to our surprise, the volcano at wherever that place is in Iceland went and blew up anyway. So there’s still a chance that the black cloud over Europe has a silver lining for Bafana Bafana. But we would like to categorically state that neither us or Mr Julius Malema had anything to do with it whatsoever,” exclaimed Ms Lavalampeka.
There. That’s all cleared up then. Unlike the volcanic ash cloud. But this very convincing denial by our government does, however, beg the very big question… where and how does the Daily Star get its bizarre stories?
It’s happened! Who knew this blog had such influence, such power? Last week I suggested that Julius Malema, president of the ANC Youth League, might be well served by appointing a public relations person to improve his image in the media. And he has! He has appointed Hugh Mangazi, former Editor of The Limpopo Larynx and massage therapist to the Springbok netball squad, to this post and, what’s more, Mr Malema has insisted that his press releases be fed to the world’s media through this humble but reputably “SA-positive” blog.
I am thus hugely honoured to publish Mr Malema’s first official press release, written by Mr Mangazi, in the wake of the media feeding frenzy directed at Mr Malema since the unfortunate fracas witnessed at Luthuli House. the headquarters of the African National Congress, in Johannesburg yesterday:
From the desk of Mr Hugh Mangazi, official public relations officer for Mr Julius Malema, president of the African National Congress Youth League. For immediate release on April 9, 2010:
“I am not amused by the way the media have responded to the fact that I had to have that BBC journalist removed from my press briefing at Luthuli House yesterday.
Like most white journalists, and especially the ones from Britain with their imperialist agenda, he clearly came to cause trouble with me. And he had the insolence and colonial arrogance to think that he could come to my place, the home of the ANC steeped in the proud tradition of the struggle, and carry out his mischief. He is just a small boy from Britain, one of those pimply whites who still keeps a train set under his bed.
But this British boy agent comes here and tells me I’m talking “rubbish”. Why should I tolerate this? Did I go to 10 Downing Street and tell Gordon Brown in his home that what he is saying is rubbish? Did I go to 10 Downing Street to ask Gordon Brown where he lives? No. I didn’t. Because I don’t care where he lives… as long as he doesn’t try to steal my people’s land in Africa and grow rhubarb on it and pay my people R20 a week to grow it. And as long as he doesn’t let that Victoria Barkham with no bum come here with her right-wing agent husband to our World Cup and colonise our TV news.
This boy from the BBC, an agent for imperialism and the whites who occupied Zimbabwe and tried to run South Africa… who had the cheek to say I live in Sandton… why did he come to my press conference to do that? Why does he want to know where I live? Does he want work as my garden boy? I’m sure he stays in a nice house in Windsor, or wherever white people like to live when they’re at home, and has a Sony Playstation 4 and his own collection of toy Ferraris… so why does he come here and insult me? No, he had to go. Why didn’t all the media follow him out? Because they need me, they feed off me, they eat up my words. I don’t need them. That BBC boy can work in my garden, if he behaves himself and plants my mielies in a straight row and listens to me in my home. Then I will even give him lunch. He can have samp and rice. And I’ll even pay him his wages on time.
I live in Sandton because I can. I’m not a garden boy. I am a leader. My people want me to live where I like. Because I am an inspiration to them and show them what they can become. The media dig around in my life because I have money to buy a big car and wear good clothes. They think I must ride a bicycle to work in those white shorts with the red piping around the legs like a garden boy. They want to know where I got the money from. They think I am corrupt. They don’t understand how a black man can have these things while they drive around their suburbs in big cars and wear a Rolex. I can do what I like in my country. This is my home, not theirs. I am not their garden boy.
Look at this skeleton that has been dug up in Maropeng. A white boy dug it up. The whites are always digging around in Africa for what they can find. These are the bones of my ancestors. African people. My people. These bones could be my relatives but white people have dug them up… do they want to take my dead family back to London? They must dig around in their own backyard and see what they can find. Maybe they’ll find their Churchill and a few dead kings and queens there. If they want to dig here, they can find their colonial emperor Cyril Rhodes and take him home. He was the worst white gold-digger of them all.
These colonialists have taken enough from Africa. They must leave us alone. A white boy found our bones because he has nothing better to do than dig around in Africa, looking for what does not belong to him. Like that BBC agent yesterday. Why wasn’t it a black boy who dug up this skeleton? Because he has to go to school so that he can get a proper job, not digging around in a white man’s backyard. I have had enough of these whites who come and dig up Africa and make trouble. And I will not apologise for sending that BBC agent home with a big fly in his ear.
No, my friends. My comrades. My fellow Louie Vittons. We must stand up and say enough is enough. As the imperialists’ own William Shakingspear said: “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock. The meat it feeds on.”
In another of my weekly interviews with interesting folk who live in my beautiful seaside hometown of Umdloti in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, I popped in to visit the lovely and effervescent Michelle Robb at her rather tasty little sex shop in Glenashley…
FH: You run an adult shop. How does a woman such as you break into what is seen as a man’s business? And how did you get to do it?
MR: Initially I was going to open a digital printing business as I have worked in the advertising field before. One of my clients was a large adult shop and whenever they needed advertising done I was called into the shop. My first visit will be forever etched in my brain! There was nowhere to look that didn’t have something scary beaming back at me. All the customers in the shop turned to stare and I have never felt so uncomfortable before. But after going in there week after week I eventually got used to it. My friends would ask me to do their naughty shopping for them while I was there and it always amazed me that the assistants didn’t know much about their products. Anyway, when I told my mother about my new printing business venture, she said that it was silly to start a business with so much competition and that I should open up my own upmarket adult shop! She was so right! There are no other shops close to me and I have been in business for two years now.The shops in town offer viewing booths (nasty places!) which is why they are operated by men.
FH:Pleasures is a welcome alternative to the more seamy and grubby “sex outlets” like the ones you’ve just mentioned. What does your shop offer that makes shopping for one’s essential sex toys a more pleasurable affair?
MR: I have a very small shop and its decorated nicely. It is very discreet and welcoming as most people are shy and I am the only person that you will have to deal with. Not much shocks me and I will do my best to answer any questions you might have. I am a woman so I know what we like! And I have a good idea of what men like too!
FH:Would men feel comfortable bringing their girlfriends or wives to your shop? And, vice-versa?
MR: My customer base is 70% men and 30% women. I do have a lot of men that are sent in by their wives/girlfriends to check out the place and then are happy to bring them in.
FH: Which items on your shelves (or under your cashier’s desk!) are the bestsellers?
MR: Ooooh, my bestsellers? Jumping Jack Vibrators. Real Feel Vibrators and Super Powerful Men’s Tablets (these last up to three days and my male friends are constantly asking me for them!)
FH:You’re another lucky fish who lives in our seaside idyll called Umdloti. What is it about ‘Hloti that you most love and how do you use it, apart from the occasional little drinkie-poo at the Bush Tavern?
MR: Yes, lots of drinkie-poos at the Bush. And I always seem to bump into you there, Mr Hatman! When I met my partner Dave, he was living in Umdloti. Slowly it grew on me and the next thing I had sold my flat and moved here. My son, Bradley, followed and we now call ‘Hloti home. We have amazing seaviews from our place and Dave has actually done the most wonderful oil paintings that have real Umdloti beach sand in them! I have only lived here for two years but it would be hard to picture myself living anywhere else. It is a very special little place with a wonderful sense of community and I have made a lot of fantastic friends here. Oh Fred, before you run away, would you like one of my Super Powerful Mens Tablets to try out?
Er ja, that’s very good of you, Michelle. Any chance you could donate me two? Double the pleasureness. Thanks!
* You can run an eye over Michelle’s wares by popping into her website.