brand anne


Mother of two, living life in small-town South Africa

Why I love Joburg

It’s in the details: my bedside tableI have been in Jozi for the weekend: doing some work, catching up with my friends (and making some new ones – good to meet you, Nic).

There have been those moments when I’ve felt my heart beat a little faster, harder – and I know it’s because I’m in Joburg …

I knew I was back when:

  • I got goosebumps ordering an Iced Mocca at Seattle in Hyde Park.
  • I smiled ruefully at a beggar’s sign at the traffic lights: “Help me today. I’ll help you tomorrow.”
  • I suffered consumer frenzy. And suffered house/car/money envy.
  • I drove too fast (well, as fast as my rental would allow me). And hooted at the arseholes who cut in front of me.
  • I locked my car doors, put my bag in the boot and never opened my windows.
  • I talked about crime and the horrible things that happen to people I care about.
  • I longed to find time to make an appointment for a hair cut.
  • I did all that I had to to resist driving past my beautiful old house in Emmarentia to see how the trees have grown.
  • I caught up with some of my old friends who make me happy, make me laugh and remind me that I don’t like to be teased. Especially not about food.
  • I was always late for everything because it takes bloody forever to drive anywhere.
  • I smoked a cigarette. Or maybe two. Okay, three.
  • I ate a chocolate croissant from Fournos and remembered why they’re famous.
  • I wished my children were here so we could go to the zoo with our Mommy Mafia friends.
  • I wished Robert was with me. I hate sleeping alone.

So it’s back to Grahamstown. Back home. Back to my family. And that’s the way it should be.


Filed under: Personal

In the jungle with Caspar the Ghost

I find Sunday Times Lifestyle writer Caspar Greeff one of the most entertaining writers in South Africa. He’s funny, he’s interesting, he reminds me of my friend Don. And I really wish I could write like him. Or, maybe, I wish I was him.  Mmm… Anyway, he’s in the Amazon Jungle — with his 72-year-old father — to take part in shamanic ceremonies and drink the powerful psychotropic brew ayahuasca. “He claims he’s doing this to have a life-altering experience, to heal, reinvigorate and re-energise himself, and to learn how to become a better poker player.” Read his blog or Sunday’s jaw-dropping print piece about taking his father along for the ride

Filed under: General, Personal

Google Earth for stalkers

There’s been a lot of fuss over the fact that Google now has cameras everywhere – well, in the US, of course. (Google zooms in too close for some, says the New York Times.) In case you missed it, Google’s Street View feature for Google Maps allows users to see certain parts of several big US cities through panoramic images. Others, such as mashable, have responded differently. See their gleeful Top 15 Google Street View Sightings.

And then there’s this beauty on Slate. Apart from the fact that I think Scott has way too much time on his hands, it’s pretty funny in a creepy kind of way.

PS: I also quite liked Tony Long’s posting on this: Suddenly, the Paranoids Don’t Seem So Paranoid Anymore. Tony is the copy editor at Wired and his blog is called The Luddite. A crusty sub-editor who is a tech sceptic. No surprises there…

Filed under: General

Living the fairytale

Mandy and ShaneMy darling friend Mandy has run away to Phuket with her Prince Charming. Shane and Mandy got married on July 8 in Sydney in Australia. I can’t believe I wasn’t there. But the photographer has just posted the pix. Mandy looked gorgeous. And I am so, so pleased that things have worked out this way… Sending you much love, Mands. Wishing you a lifetime of falling in love…

Filed under: Personal

It could happen to you…

Longtime Married Couple Subjected To Excruciating Romantic Weekend Getaway

The Onion

Longtime Married Couple Subjected To Excruciating ‘Romantic Weekend Getaway’

KENOSHA, WI-Sources report that longtime married couple Duane and Edna Schumacher’s weekend stay at Chicago’s FantasyLand Suites was a grueling ordeal of unwelcome interruptions to their long-established marital routine.

“Oh, for Jiminy Cricket,” Edna, 52, said Monday after returning from the trip, a 30th anniversary gift from her daughters. “Why the girls thought either one of us would find such an experience enjoyable is beyond me.”

She added: “I was planning to weed my flower bed and maybe scrub out the back sink, which is just covered in muck, but now the whole weekend’s shot.”


Filed under: General

The world, by design

http://www.bugaboodaytrips.comI work in the African Media Matrix building, which is a pretty cool spot. One of the things I appreciate about this space – apart from the view from my office – are the maps on the walls – mainly of Africa, but also the world. Maybe I like the global view… Today, I stumbled across a really groovy site (about daytrips for parents with prams in major cities). It’s deliciously designed, and I love the Flash version of the world…

Filed under: General, Kids stuff

Getting it out there

New Media Brad and I wrote a story about the work the NML was doing for Cue. Well, really, the work Brad did on building a Drupal site for Cue Online. It’s been published on Tectonic and IOL, which is pretty cool, really. They’ve edited it, but it’s definitely lacking the firm hand of a sub-editor…

Filed under: General

Can you tell the difference?

HeadphonesI’m really interested in microstock and found this slideshow on Wired, which compares images from iStockphoto and Corbis, fascinating. Especially given the bottom line, which is that the iStock pix cost $30 and the Corbis pix $900. In so many of the images, the iStock image is stronger and fresher.

Filed under: Photography

A redhead revolution

I’m turning 40 this year. Christ. You would think, though, that I would have made peace with my red hair and pale, freckled complexion. But i still feel different. And while I know there are those who find it attractive, there are probably as many who find it repulsive. (I came across a few virulent anti-Ginger Facebook groups the other day  but Don reminded me not to take it personally… I guess it’s funny, but it’s close to the bone too.) That’s probably why I really enjoyed Come on you reds! by The Observer’s Louise Crowe.

“We’re all around you. If you look, you’ll see us: on buses, in shops, at the office, in pubs… Yet you’ll rarely see us on beaches, and you’ll be lucky to spot us in direct sunlight during the summer months. We are redheads. You might know us as ginger, or strawberry blond if you’re being kind; few of us have passed through life untouched by carrot-top jokes or escaped the muffled laughter induced by our milk-white legs in PE lessons. A large number of us have been followed round playgrounds by gangs of mouse-haired children chanting: ‘Tut-tut, ginger nut, where d’ya get your hair cut?’ All of us have automatic entry into the only minority group for which discrimination based on skin and hair colour is socially acceptable.”

Filed under: Personal

Layla turns three

The haul

We celebrated Layla’s birthday this weekend in perfectly pink style. A Barbie doll cake, pink party packs brimming with sugar and a warm, sunny morning… My children were delighted.

Filed under: Kids stuff, Personal