Feeling festive, out of Africa!

Roberta

So I missed WORD Christchurch Autumn Season but just up the drag from Cape Town, in the beautiful Western Cape lies Franschoek, where every year (in May) the Franschoek Literary Festival (FLF) takes place. I was curious to see how Africa festivates*, so my daughter and I offloaded the kids and headed into the mountains. What is it about […]

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The chameleon reader

Roberta AWF

I am a chameleon reader. This is someone who takes on the personality of a character in their current read. In other words, a person who has porous boundaries between their real and their imaginary worlds. The person most affected by this is my husband - who has taken to tentatively entering the house at […]

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Your history, my history, our history

New Zealand history books and chalkboard

When you emigrate, it takes time to get your histories all in a row. First up all you are aware of is loss, the huge gaping and unfillable loss of who you were. It takes all your energy just to keep your head above water. At least that was how it was for me. But then I rallied and […]

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Sick leave and a personality change

hot drink by a bed

Winter ailments are striking early. In library after library staff are succumbing to lurgies and being booked off work. When it happened to me, my first thought was: Goodie, now I will read all the books on my shelves that I've not had time for. I started with My Name is Lucy Barton. This was […]

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Librarians who write!

Roberta AWF

I've lost count of the number of times people have said to me: "You should write a book!" Sometimes this is said after I have told a funny story, sometimes when they realise that I belong to not one but three book groups, but quite often it is said simply because I work in a […]

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On Love and Art and Maps

Map with pin

On our very first date my husband and I discovered that we share a love of maps.  In retrospect I can see now that we were coming from completely different planets, so to speak. His the planet in which the words "Cadastral" and "Great Circles" featured majorly. Mine the planet of the isolated farmhouse at the end of […]

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What were you reading when …?

New Year 2017

What were you reading when all the events of 2016 took place? Looking back on my reading year, here's what brought me a bit of comfort in those weird and wonderful times: Brexit - well I never saw that one coming. The book on hand was Britt-Marie Was Here - another winner from Fredrik Backman, […]

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Trevor Noah in my Christmas stocking!

Trevor Noah

South African born comedian Trevor Noah is a terrific talker - let there be no doubt about that. But can he write? Well here's our chance to find out with his hot-off-the press biography Born a Crime. Not the first sentence in the book, but right near the start of Chapter 1, is the following […]

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I draw the line

In any interaction where I mention that I try to draw every day, there is a point straight after the words leave my lips when I can hear the drawbridge being cranked up, and see the intervening moat filling up with tablets, apps, Pokemon and the sundry small, useless products of 3D printing. And, as […]

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Of beards and men

Beards

I have never seen my husband without a beard. Were he to remove it in the dead of night and presume to present himself at breakfast without this major accessory, I might fall about with the vapours and require resuscitation. Come to think of it, I have never dated any man without facial hair. Heaven […]

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