brand anne


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

How a newspaper ruined my Sunday

I have always loved Sundays. And I have always loved the Sunday Times. Along with half-a-million other South Africans, I religiously buy the best-selling weekly newspaper in the country. I don’t go to church, but pray at the altar of the Sunday Times.

And I have to worship strategically: first, I fight off my husband for the front section. People like my mother complain that there’s nothing to read. She says it’s all sex and gossip. (What’s wrong with that, I wonder?) But we all know there’s much more than that. I love it: it’s a newspaper by people who know what they’re doing. The impeccable subbing pleases me.

Then, ignoring bloody Bullard who only puts me in a bad mood, I breeze through the business section, scanning the media and marketing stories. And, then, the Lifestyle section. I adore it. It makes me believe in newspaper journalism. Last week’s piece on being afraid by Justice Malala stayed with me all week. Caspar Greeff and I are Facebook friends – not because of his Jungle Blog, but because of the piece they printed in the newspaper.

But now they’ve gone and moved the weekly New York Times supplement to the Times, the daily newspaper that’s for subscribers in cities only. I live in Grahamstown, for God’s sake. It’s not a “major metropolitan area”. It’s not even near a major metropolitan area. There’s a lot that I’ve given up – and gained – by choosing to live here. But now it’s really hurting…


Filed under: Newspapers

Peace, my brother

Pumpkin Feast wave

Carolina goes to a little Montessori school in Grahamstown. She’s so wonderfully, completely happy there. It makes me sad to think that she’s going to have to leave the Montessori environment in the next year or so. I’m always so moved by Maria Montessori’s approach and her beliefs, including that “establishing peace is the work of education”. (So inspired, in fact, that I imagine switching jobs – until I remember it involves children!) We had a parents’ meeting at the school earlier this week, and Antoinette, the directress, handed out a copy of Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Blunders of the World. Gandhi gave this list to his grandson, Arun, on their final day together, shortly before his assassination.

The seven blunders are:

  • Wealth without work.
  • Pleasure without conscience.
  • Knowledge without character.
  • Commerce without morality.
  • Science without humanity.
  • Worship without sacrifice.
  • Politics without principle.

Arun later added an eighth one: Rights without responsibilities.

Apparently, Gandhi called these acts passive violence. Prevent these, he believed, and you could prevent yourself or your society from reaching a point of violence.

Filed under: Kids stuff, Personal