|And I miss you|
Thursday, 26 July 2012
When I wear it I will be Talitha Getty on a Marrakech rooftop.
Or Kate Winslet in Hideous Kinky ( minus kids).
My obsession with kaftans has a long history.
I once made an orange kaftan from an old hessian curtain.
Wore it to a dark smoky party in the Seventies.
It was hot dusty and itchy and I had to leave early.
We buy clothes for the lifestyle we aspire to.
The woman we long to be. You know.
That's why they hang in the wardrobe, unworn.
While we pull on our jeans, scrape back our hair and get the kids to school.
Someday I will go back to Amorgos, to a tiny mountain village .To eat a raw slab of proper goaty feta. With goat hairs embedded. In a puddle of thick dark oil and sprinkled with pungent leaves. Accompanied by a metal tumbler of rough piney retsina.
You will always find feta in my fridge. Some people hate it. You know who you are and you can never be my friends.Seek the company of Olive Refusers. Supermarket feta is vacuum-packed, sterile, smooth textured. It bears little resemblance to the feta of my memories.
Sunday, 6 May 2012
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Oupa was an Afrikaner. Didn't trust the Rooinekke. My father, from Stoke-on-Trent, went to the farm many times to ask for my mother's hand.
Oupa pretended not to understand.When I was little I loved hearing my mother speak her language. My father tried to learn. The guttural sounds stuck in his throat. We laughed at him.
At University I was careful to hide my background. I was ashamed of being an Afrikaner. Rebellion resulted in my eventual exile. In exile I learnt a new way of speaking to avoid painful questions. To avoid having to defend and deny. Now, when I go home, my nephew mocks my Afrikaans. I sound too English. Why do I want to speak it anyway?
But my sister gave me a book called 'Koekemakranke' in Afrikaans. And when my grandson and I are alone I speak Afrikaans to him.
Yesterday I was stopped in my tracks by my daughter singing in her bedroom. She was singing a song by The Parlotones. Fluently. In Afrikaans.