I wish…


‘Goodbye…’ – W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm – Maree Clarkson


I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.

What do I miss about my life before the internet…?

It seems that nostalgia is big these days. Everybody is always referring to “the old days” and the other day I was asked whether I don’t miss life before the internet and all the gadgets we are surrounded with these days.

Seriously? Do you want me to tell you that I miss standing in the queue at the bank to deposit money to pay my accounts? Do you want me to tell you that I miss writing out cheques to pay creditors, putting them in envelopes and then having to go to the post office to post them? And then having to follow up where the cheque is when a creditor says they haven’t received it?

Do you want me to tell you I miss taking photographs and then having to go to a photographic shop to have them printed out, with many botched photos in the batch for which I have to pay, and then having to post them off to family and friends to share? Do you also want me to tell you I enjoyed paging  through telephone books to find a store’s number, spend hours on the phone with various stores to find out what products they have, how much it is and then spend hours comparing prices?

I also can’t tell you that, before the internet, I enjoyed having to deal with scores of estate agents when I wanted to sell a property, signing endless mandates from which nothing ever materialised. I also can’t tell you I enjoyed huge phone bills endlessly querying wrong accounts and talking to rude people and, to boot, getting nowhere!

No, I can’t tell you that there is ANYTHING that I miss about my life before the internet!

Feathers appear when angels are near




A Dandelion flower and a feather in my garden, Tarlton (Gauteng, South Africa)
The internet is full of “when you find a feather, what does it mean?” I read up on some of these and the overall conclusion is that, when you find a feather, it is a sign that you are going to get a message soon. Or that some thing or another is going to happen to you. And if the feather is white, it is a message from an angel. A black one means that the guardian of your soul is near.

Now I (maybe) understand that city folk might look upon finding a feather as some sort of a sign, but for us country folk, feathers are a big part of everyday life, especially if you happen to have (13) chickens, and lots of garden birds, like I do. My yard is covered in feathers, especially during moulting season. White ones, orange ones, grey ones, black ones, yellow ones and mottled ones – virtually every colour of the rainbow, even blue and purple.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally enchanted by every feather I see, some more beautiful than others, but I regard them as part of one of nature’s wonders, like falling leaves and baby chicks and tiny flowers.

One woman wrote that she found a feather “around odd places where birds don’t fly around” and was wondering what the message could be. Has she ever considered that the wind might be playing a part in this? Or is my garden just filled with messages from angels?