When my boys were small they used to play hide and sneak, as they called it. My elder son would hide and my younger son would look for him. He would squeal and jump up and down with excitement when he found his big brother, and then it would be his turn to hide. He would always choose the same spot his brother had just hidden in until he learnt the value of finding his own hiding place.
So today it’s my turn to find my own hiding place. Well, I guess it’s exactly the opposite of a hiding place. My new blogging friend, the delightful and outrageously talented writer, Maura at 36×37, tagged me a few weeks ago and handed me a task, which is this: to answer some questions about myself and my blog. And then to tag some other bloggers in turn.
Here goes nothing!
1. If you could have any superpower, which one would you have and why?
I guess I can only be selfish in answering this question. I would choose the power to be in two places at once: in Cape Town and in London. Every day. To be able to skip between the two cities, without taking an 11 hour flight. My heart is in both places. London is our adventure, yet I yearn for my sons who live miles and continents away. My parents too.
2. Who is your style icon?
This question makes me want to laugh. Me? I have a style icon? If I wear clean clothes, dry my hair and brush my teeth, that’s me styled up.
I used to love Princess Diana’s style and I guess she was my style icon in the 80s and the 90s. And if I think back further, I loved the soap opera fashions of Dallas and Dynasty! I know that is sooooo uncool, but it’s the truth. I promised I wouldn’t hide.
When my younger son was small, we spent a few days off school and work together as he was unwell. For some reason, we sat and watched a few re-runs of Dallas on daytime TV. I told him how much I used to love the programme, and how I loved watching all the fashions. He swung round to me, looked me in the eye and asked, “Did those used to be fashions in the olden days?” I rest my case.
3. What is your favorite quote?
I have a few:
“Sometimes a sad man can speak the sadness right out through his mouth.” (John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.)
“Is this tomorrow?” (my younger son, at age 3.)
“Quote me to your heart’s content, Mom. I’m k*k funny.” (my elder son, at age 22.)
“We don’t need a major bloody march past.” (A client of the PR consultancy I used to work for. We did loads of work for his company and I always remember this regular instruction to us.)
“That’ll do pig.” (Babe.)
4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
“You’re cute.” A shy, drop-dead gorgeous student said this to me when I was 19 and at university. That was almost 30 years ago, and he still tells me that today.
5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?
Anything and pretty much everything by Van Morrison. He is the man.
6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
I go to bed late in the hope I can sleep well, but I don’t, so I don’t wake early. In my previous, more ordered, life I would get up at 5.45am and start my week days with a 6.30 gym class and head off to work. So I guess, in an ideal world, I’m a morning person.
7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
I grew up loving dogs and not knowing cats. My husband and boys taught me to love cats, with a passion.
Some years ago, we were on a family holiday at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. We stayed over at a hotel, and were treated to some hilarity in the dining room that night. The waiter, who ground his teeth and kicked the kitchen door open as he entered and exited, stirred some hysteria in my sons and their cousins. When he came to take orders from the set menu, he asked each person in turn, “Beeffffffff or fishhhhhhh?” By the time he got to my son, he couldn’t resist answering, “Bothhhhhh.”
So, do I prefer dogs or cats? Bothhhhhhh.
8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
I’ve been dying to tell this story! Sunshine in London has a kind of obvious ring to it, and I have mentioned before that it is both my nature and my intention to find sunshine in otherwise cloudy days. Our London adventure is exactly that, and we seek out fun and brightness in our everydays.
The deeper meaning is this: I worked for a non-government organisation in Cape Town during the 90s. This was the time that saw the end of apartheid and the birth of democracy in a nation that the world thought might implode. For me, it was the most amazing time of personal growth and learning that I have ever experienced in my life. I didn’t like how I thought or what my assumptions were and I worked hard, and with tears, to weave grace, respect and non-judgment into my life.
South Africa is a nation of 11 official languages, three of which are predominant in the Western Cape, where I lived. One of my friends and colleagues, who spoke all three languages (isiXhosa, Afrikaans and English), told me one day that she had been thinking about me, and thought it was time for me to have an isiXhosa name. She said she had chosen one that reflected who I was, and it was Nomalanga. This means “sunshine”. I carry the name, with love and pride, and humility, wherever I go.
So now it’s over to you! My mission, as I did accept it, was to answer the questions, and then tag another bunch of bloggers to do the same. So consider yourselves tagged:
- Notes from Africa
- Crone and Bear It
- Patty at Vampire Gran
- Elizabeth at Random Thoughts of an Aging BoomerGirl
- The Edmonton Tourist (when she gets back from her holiday!)
If any other reader wants to take up the challenge, please feel free to do so. And do – all – let me know when you’ve written your pieces, as I’d love to read them.
Sunshine, Nomalanga, signing off for today!