I went to the Design Indaba a couple of weeks ago, and was really inspired by the sheer beauty of a simple idea or thought. And to add to the compounding inspiration that was happening in my head, I was even more inspired by the idea of never forgetting where you come from. Because we’re going places, here’s me taking stock of where I come from:
1. I’ve been checking the weather every morning since 1990.
2. The sound of the veldjie’s burned grass underneath my shoes when I walked to school in winter. Mixed with the pleasant aroma of the cold, I usually cursed myself because I didn’t dress warm enough. I still do that today. Which is quite ironic, because I check the weather every morning.
3. Mieliepap on Saturday mornings with butter, milk and sugar. And the agonising disappointment when my mom made oats instead of mieliepap.
4. The nonsense some of my teachers taught me.
5. The day I realised I was growing up because I couldn’t remember where my Barbie was.
6. The (unanswered) love letter I wrote to Jon Bon Jovi.
7. Knowing from an early age that I hate the texture of polar fleece.
8. Realising the world is bigger than my room after I saw a photo of two punks on Trafalgar Square.
9. Getting to Trafalgar Square a couple of years later and not seeing any punks. Just tourists.
10. Peanutbutter toasties. Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
11. The semi-naked Red Hot Chilli Peppers poster in my high school self bedroom.
12. My collection of audio and VHS tapes filled with music music music.
13. Gaining 10kg after a year in the Netherlands. Losing 10kg after 6months as a student.
14. Our flat in Arcadia. The purple tut tut of the Jacaranda trees, and our wild nights in Zeppelins.
15. Feeling a jolt after meeting the Bearded Wonder for the first time.
16. Regretting the Molotov cocktail of energy sweets and drinks the night before my final WW2 History exam.
17. Saying goodbye to a gentle soul.
18. Saying hello to a brand new baby boy.
19. Saying I do to the Bearded Wonder.
20. Jet setting for work. Sitting at home unemployed.
21. My little cottage in Melville with the antsy ant problem.
22. Our roomy flat in Greenside with the boo-ha drunkards in the street below.
23. The oom with his wiry dog I see everyday. Walking hands in pocket through the streets that he now calls his family.
24. The day the oom started walking without his dog.
25. Noticing that the car guard below our flat eats an apple every night at 19.00. Also knowing where he keeps his apple.
26. Ayn Rand and A.A. Milne. Terry Pratchett and Chuck Palahniuk.
27. Touching La Sagrada Familia. Eating jungle curry. Drinking becherovka.
28. Realising after 20years of singing along to La Bamba that Ritchie Valens sings ‘soy capitan soy capitan’ and not ‘Südafrika Südafrika’. And being totally okay with it. I prefer to stick with my version.
29. Did I mention peanutbutter?
30. Südafrika Südafrika.