Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

I am grateful for my beautiful boys, my wonderful parents and loving parents-in-law. 
I'm grateful for our family, both blood and selected and for the best friends I could wish for. 
I am grateful for the privilege of living in arguably the greatest city in the world and experience highlights that have raised my expectations and extended my bucket list. 
Mostly, I'm grateful for the opportunity to live the life of my dreams and to raise our son in a world that is ever more loving, enlightened, giving and accepting. Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


It must surprise you to know that despite my lithe athletic figure, I'm not a great dancer.  I struggled through 3 years of Physical Theatre at University, artlessly maneuvering my graceless physique across dusty sound proofed stages.  I spent my undergraduate years not morphing into a beautiful swan, but rather a cumbersome Dalmatian - covered head to toe in large dark bruises, my tail between my legs and my enthusiasm to one day hit the Broadway stage as the next Shirley MacLaine triple-threat entirely obliterated.

I immersed myself in the history of dance, learning about Twyla Tharp, Martha Graham, Pina Bausch and Alvin Ailey.  I marvelled at their creativity and their ability to reconfigure what people perceived as 'dance'.  I may not have been any kind of dancer, but I respect the athleticism and enormous creativity and determination that dance demands.

My eyes glistened with tears as I took my son to his first day of pre-school in New York City and discovered that the Alvin Ailey dance theatre is across the road. Every day we walk by and watch these beautiful creatures leap majestically in classes 5 stories high and 5 rooms wide.  A marvellous Rubik's Cube of diversity and brilliance.

I have found many things in my life that I can do well and learned along the way that being an appreciative connoisseur of fine things is more satisfying than being a bitter, defeated critic.  So many parts of my life have shown themselves to me in this city over the last 5 months here.  New York is like a giant magnifying mirror.  I'm so grateful that I like what I see.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sandy vs Horror-Crane

I'm the opposite of a hypochondriac - my initial reaction is always "It'll be fine don't worry about it". When news reports started talking about a 'hurricane' on the way, I took my usual approach to things:  I confirmed our restaurant reservation and babysitter and went out for dinner.

My husband, our friend and I were amused by the dramatic signs confirming stores would be closed until further notice. We joked about the boarded up windows as we meandered up Broadway to Cafe Luxembourg on the Upper West Side.   As we sat down and noticed that Liam Neeson was at the table opposite us (no joke) we were comforted and felt sure that this 'hurricane' business was nothing to worry about.  

A bottle or 2 of red wine later, we exited the restaurant to howling winds and our smirks were somewhat reduced.  Monday was a weird day - eerily still, the streets were empty, the stores were all shut and we sat in our apartment waiting for something to happen.  I've never been anywhere near a hurricane before.  I knew all about Katrina but surely that couldn't happen in Manhattan? I decided to spend the day in our West 56th street apartment in my jeans, hair scraped back in an unwashed pony tail and no make up on... Might I add that I have NEVER done that before. I am a make up whore and haven't left my house without mascara since I was 15.  And then there was a knock at the door and 3 burly rather gorgeous firefighters stood there in full Hollywood disaster movie garb and said they had 'bad news' for us, the 95 story crane behind our apartment had flipped over and was dangling precariously and we had to evacuate IMMEDIATELY. It seemed the wrong time to say that I needed to put some make up on.  We threw some clothes into a backpack, took a teddy bear and a fluffy blanket for my now very excited 4 year old son and we left. 

Outside, the rain bucketed down and the winds were intense.  We walked 35 blocks to our friends' apartment on 30th street where we hoped to stay over night until we could return home.  Shortly after we got there, all the power went out.  Absolute darkness, no television and no WiFi.  We had no idea what was going on around us aside from the limited internet connection which provided a twitter feed and the occasional text message.  The last glimmer of 3G coverage provided me with one last tweet which read 'All bridges and tunnels from Manhattan have been closed.  There is no way of exiting the island now."  Why hadn't we brought Liam Neeson home with us?!

At that point my imagination went wild.  What if Manhattan just sank into the sea and we all just disappeared? My husband and the friends we were staying with suggested we should all just get some sleep.  I tried, but spent most of the night awake staring at my beautiful sleeping son and wondering what the hell we were doing in this crazy storm-ravaged city.

In the morning we left their apartment and walked up Madison Avenue towards Midtown to ascertain what damage had been done.  The streets were soaked and covered with trash, mangled umbrellas littered every corner and thousands of people meandered about just staring at each other.  As we walked, we heard more and more about the damage and destruction in Lower Manhattan, Jersey and Long Island... the cars floating down streets, the facades of buildings ripped off, the deaths and the loss of homes. After months of non-stop election coverage and relentless campaigning, the stark reality of what is truly important in this country has begun to set in.  

It is several days later now and we are still homeless, we spent a few nights in the darkness of 30th street, showering in our friend's hotel room in midtown and trying to ascertain when exactly the crane will be secured so that we can go home.  We are intensely grateful for the kindness of friends - and indeed strangers - but mostly that we are indoors safely together as a family.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Back to Barbra

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Barbra and Oprah above all others.  For me Barbra and Oprah are the 2 people who have transcended superstardom and become something else.  I admire their innate strength, the tenacity it took to rise from virtual poverty to unimaginable wealth and success. I admire that there is no other previous generation of Winfrey or Streisand who provided nepotistic ease.  These 2 women have succeeded without any help, without any casting couches or plastic surgery, without conforming to what society deems 'beautiful' and without ever cowering to their critics.

For me, they stand apart and unsurpassed. I've met many celebrities in my life but I can't imagine being face to face with either one of these ladies - I don't think I could do it.  I feel like most celebrities have become quite depressingly normal - they're so normal that they've become something to be derided and ridiculed rather than something to aspire to.  I have no interest in the 'famous for being famous' generation of talentless neophytes who flash their vagina's while exiting limousines simply to be in the newspaper the following day.

The dominant theme in our society has become one of numb disenchantment and apathy - like we don't actually care about anything much.  As a result the overly lipsticked, spray-tanned, plastic-titted morons who pollute our TV screens seem enough for us.  Oh we've had such a hard day, can't be arsed to think or be challenged, don't give a shit about politics or literature so Snooki and the gang are enough.

Every time I see something like the magical and moving performance Barbra Streisand gave last night in Brooklyn, my soul is restored.  I feel buoyant.  I feel joy.  I am inspired to try harder, to do more, to aspire and reach and be better.  It makes me angry that mostly people are proffering themselves as willing sacrificial lambs at the alter of stupidity - it's like 'here take my brain please - pulverise it and make me vapid'.  Please people - find something that refuels you and makes you MORE. Stop living your life as if you're on an etch a sketch and becoming erased more and more every day.

My 4 year old loves Batman, Spiderman, the Transformers and Ben 10 because of their superpowers and because they seem impossibly brave, brilliant and fantastic.  I have my superheroes too.  He went to bed in his batman pajamas last night and I went to bed in my Barbra Streisand t-shirt.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Best

You know what is super-satisfying about being in New York? Everyone is the BEST at what they do.  I love it. I love that the coffee making peeps at Starbucks are excellent - they know their shit and they get it done quickly and with a smile. The waiters everywhere actually KNOW the menu, can recommend side dishes and are proud of the food they serve. The shop attendants bring you items to try on, suggest better sizes and help you style a complete outfit.  They don't just schlump in a corner texting and chewing gum.  There is a relentless can-do attitude and a willingness to go the extra mile. I'll tell you something, these people deserve their tips. They work for them.

I feel like at some point (we can all probably guess when), there was a city-wide attitude adjustment - a great big re-think and re-prioritizing.  There is collective 'don't sweat the small stuff' mindset here. There is no time to mess around and be shoddy.  People are efficient, friendly and highly functional.  The days of the neurotic, anxiety-ridden Seinfeld of the 90s are over.

This is a city that you graduate TO - when you're the best at what you do.  That whole cream of the crop, top of the heap thing - it's true.  New York doesn't do mediocre.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Great Intentions

Yes I intended to blog every week but I got busy.  New York is FULL ON!  I don't know how people do the whole moving to New York to write thing. I am too busy to write.

It has been an intense month. The first couple of weeks were pretty awful.  Between the intense heat and the horrible jet lag, nothing felt right. You see, there's the 'perception' of moving to New York and then there is the 'reality' of moving to New York.... and then there is the 'reality of moving to New York WITH A FOUR YEAR OLD'.

As with anything, there is a period of adjustment and a period of transition. We are still in that.  I think it actually takes 18-24 months to settle in anywhere and really immerse oneself in the full experience of living in a new city.  We won't be here that long so it is a case of cramming in all the good bits and trying to skim over the crappy bits.  We were just about coming out into the light at the end of the tunnel after 2 years in Sydney so it is quite challenging to start at Go again.

That said, I absolutely love New York City and I feel very comfortable here.  It is such a melting pot of diversity and cultures.  I don't feel in the slightest bit out of place or foreign.  The people everywhere are exceptionally friendly (except the shop assistants on the Upper East side).  I am pretty sure I will pull out Edina's 'You only work in a shop you know, you can drop the attitude' at some point.

I feel very lucky to be here in what is without question the capitol of the World. Everything happens here - good and bad. Everything you can possible imagine is available - and not only is it available it can be delivered RIGHT NOW.  The theatre, the museums, the art, the shopping - everything here is in a league of its own.  There is something very satisfying about being in the epicentre of everything. There is no FOMO (fear of missing out) in New York City.

I am getting to know the city on foot - the best way.  I walk everywhere.  How in hell Carrie and the girls ponced about in Manolos, I will never know.  I am very happy in my comfy wedges or sneakers because I don't want to limit the experience by having sore feet! I've grown a little bit more sensible in my mid 30s! Sorry to disappoint!  I also don't want to ruin the experience by gaining 20kgs and feeling horrible about myself - so the walking counteracts the EATING.

Oh the food... oh my.  Thankfully, everything has the calorie count written clearly next to it and that kills the mood pretty quickly!

So, a quick rundown of my favourite things so far:

Favourite bar: Press Lounge Rooftop Bar at Ink48
Favourite restaurant: Balthazar (Barry McCurdie you were right)
Favourite food item: French Onion Soup at Balthazar
Favourite Deli: 2nd Avenue Deli in Midtown East
Favourite Cheap Eat: Burger Joint at Parker Meridien
Favourite Department store: Bloomingdales
Favourite Shop:  J Crew and Banana Republic
Favourite Walk: Around Central Park
Favourite Extravagance: Wholefoods at Time Warner

More soon....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Week 1 is coming to an end and I am tired.  It is hard moving - even when it's a short stint. It is hard even when you move somewhere amazing.  I understand the envy and the lack of sympathy! I would be mad as hell and green with envy if it were someone else doing this and I was watching on.  I am not complaining - I WANT to be here - nonetheless this week has been hard.

The thing is, that I am a worker bee. I enjoy going to the office, I love my job and I want to be in a creative, inspiring environment.  I adore being a mother but I find being a stay at home full-time mother impossibly hard.  I am selfish, I long for quiet time to myself and I crave ME time.  I think that's because I'm an only child and also just how my experience of motherhood has evolved - I had incredible help for the first 2 years and I've worked almost full-time for the 2nd two years while MacKenzie has been at school.

A week of 2am wake-ups, with cranky discombobulated boys (the 4 year old and the 41 year old) has been challenging.  On Monday, MacKenzie starts school 3 days a week from 9am to 3pm and I will head back to the gym.  I am longing for an hour a day on the treadmill just to unwind and burn some of these bagel calories!!!

I know that week 2 will be better.  Bring it on!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So here we are ...

I am the living example that if you don't make too many giant plans or have very specific expectations, things can take you by happy, blissful surprise and be better than you ever could have anticipated.  I'm a small town girl and my plans looked something like this: go to school, go to university, move to London... see what happens.

What happened was a Scotsman in November 2000 followed by a life which has (so far) unfolded in London, Sydney, Dublin, Sydney... and now New York City (temporarily!). Oh, and a baby. We had a little boy and he's in New York too. We thought it only fair.

What also happened is that my undergraduate degree in Journalism and my Postgraduate degree in Drama actually DID provide me with the skills necessary to forge a pretty great career. Told ya so.

And now I'm 35, a celebrity agent and publicist, mother of a fantastically beautiful 4 year old, wife of a wonderful, successful and loving Scotsman, daughter of doting, supportive and adoring parents...  and I'm living and working in New York City.

You don't need to know that I've been awake since June 2008 and that I single-handedly have kept Starbucks and Nespresso in business. That's irrelevant.  You don't need to know that I've gained and lost and gained and lost the same pesky 25 lbs about 25 times since 1994.  That's irrelevant too.

What you need to know is that I'm happy... right now, right here... I'm happy.  I would say it was a dream come true, but I didn't dream this. It just kind of happened.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My 4 Year Old

My personal belief is that a child arrives with his own personality and purpose and it is the duty of the parent to ensure that he flourishes and develops along the path destined for him...

My son is full of joy, has resolute conviction in himself and his actions, sings all the time and has established his own relationships with our friends and family around the world.  My fervent hope as his mommy is that everything I do actively feeds his amazing little soul and that his journey continues fuelled with the incredible joie de vivre that he has NOW at 4.

My parenting focuses more on how he interacts with people than on what foods and drinks pass his lips or what time he goes to bed. I understand that sugar is bad, but you eat it right? Parental hypocrisy is one of my personal peeves.  I would rather my son be kind and treats people well.  That's more important to me than whether he drinks apple juice and eats cupcakes.  Yes he tests the boundaries of bed time and drives me to tears of frustration, but his reasons are beautiful - he wants to be with his mommy and daddy. He doesn't want to miss out on time with us.  How can I argue with that?

Happy 4th Birthday my precious boy.  You make me understand the world better and you fill my life  with light and laughter.  You drive me insane at least once a day and I am completely exhausted all the time, but you give every second of my life purpose.  All I want is to see this little man develop into who he is becoming.  His journey is my future.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Uncomfortable silences

I am a very open person (duh) - I talk about everything and I share everything without hesitation.  I don't see the point of secrets, I don't enjoy being told classified information and I hate the faux apprehension of others coveting a secret who then gleefully spill the details in hushed tones.  I hate it all.   I hate having to pretend I don't know things, I hate when things are mistakenly revealed in the wrong company and I hate the awkward farcical cover-up and the insincerity that it heightens.  It is so much easier to be honest - like a 4 year old - who just says it all - as s/he sees it.  At some point we all grow up and become dishonest.  I don't get it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Got Milk?

Everyone and their dog is weighing in on the Time Magazine cover and I think that's probably the point. With magazine sales plummeting and publishers opting to go digital at every turn, Time has pulled out all the stops and thrust what appears to be the last taboo at us.  This divisive, confronting and (to some) disturbing cover has certainly got us talking.

This is what I feel about the cover:

1) You realise this kid had to pose for several hours in different positions to ultimately achieve THIS money shot, right? It's unlikely that he was actually being nourished at the particular moment that the picture was taken.  I feel bad for him.  He will remember this weird day when he spent all day being photographed and being made to feel like being breastfed was news worthy. He's nearly 4. He would have gone to school the next day and talked about this. This will stick.

2) Lactivism sucks. I'm sorry but why do we have to applaud people for breastfeeding? If it is so natural then why do we have to herald it as if you're producing caviar from your elbow? I don't get it. My opinion on the subject: feed your own baby the way you want to.  Make sure your baby is fed. Full stop. That's the deal - have baby, feed it. I don't care if it's from powder in a bottle or gold dust from your nipples. Just feed your baby.

3) I understand that in the wilds of Africa etc breast milk is a safer option than the water available nearby. I get it. If I was in the wilds of Africa/India/South America I would totally breastfeed. I promise.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Week 4 - Moderation Shmoderation

You know that great line in that movie Field of Dreams 'If you build it he will come'? Well I have my own version of that 'If it's there, I will eat it'. Not quite as poetic, but true nonetheless. Moderation shmoderation. If chocolate is within walking distance of my sofa, I will eat it all. My advancing years, experience and worldy-wisdom have never helped me out in this area. My default setting for food is stupid.

Which brings me to EASTER - the festival of chocolate. I know there are religious connotations and it's not supposed to be about the food - but excuse me for being a Jewish girl with an historical, ethnic penchant for eating. For me, Easter is about chocolate and the religious experience that the sugary, calorific goodness provides.

This Easter was a little different... as was Pesach. My usual beloved dual-festival of matzo balls and chocolate wreaked fear in the depths of my soul. Not only could I not eat any of the above, but there would be 4 whole days with no gym sessions. Combine this with 24/7 mommy duty and you would be right to expect that this super-motivated, super-inspired girl was heading for imminent disaster. I am proud to say: you are wrong. Yes we did the Easter show. I had 2 strips of chicken, a black coffee and water. Yes I hosted 1st night Passover at my house, I enjoyed a fabulous 2 course dinner with several glasses of champagne... but minimal carbs and no dessert. Yes, we had an extensive Easter Egg hunt in our garden on Sunday morning. I am no means a saint. I had one Cadbury's Cream Egg and a 3 of the other tiny ones... and promptly booked a babysitter for Sunday and Monday afternoon so I could get 2 hours of cardio in. It's ok to indulge, but there have to be consequences or else the scales show you those mean horrible little numbers that you DO NOT WANT TO SEE.

So I lost weight over easter - only 0.6kgs but I think it's the only Easter I've ever lost weight. The massive bag of chocolate eggs is still in my kitchen and I haven't reached for it once. You see I want this goal weight so much that I can taste it. And it tastes better than chocolate.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tips From a Frustrated Caterpillar

We all know how hard it is to exercise and eat well. It is easy-ish for about 3 days and then the reality sets in that this is all going to take a lot longer than you anticipated. I realised this rather acutely when I read that there are 3500 calories in ONE POUND. That means if you continue to eat as you normally do and work out 7 days a week for an hour, you will only lose a pound a week. Horrifying, right? So you have to eat right every single day too and then things will start to happen. I'm learning little things as I go along and I'm willing to share every little thing I learn so that we can all try to make the transition from chubby little caterpillars to beautiful butterflies together (too much?). I'm tired of being the little caterpillar that almost did. I want the full bloody cataclysmic transformation.

So here are the things I've been doing and that I recommend:

1) Put your gym clothes out every night - from socks to undies to sports bra - all of it. Have it ready. That way you can wake up bleary eyed and just wriggle your blubbery arse into the gear and walk out the door. No excuses.

2) Go to the gym. Toned fat looks better than wobbly fat. It works better than a spray tan.

3) Keep a food diary. I've been using on my iPhone and online every day for 7 weeks. I can tell you every morsel of food I've eaten since February. Don't LIE on your food diary. WTF for? Who are you trying to fool? Oh so you've eaten 950 calories a day for 5 weeks and gained 2 kgs? Righhhht. Stop being an idiot.

4) Remember that fruit and vegetables have carbs. If you're on a low carb diet remember that an apple has about 23 grams of carbs in it. Fruit juice is horrifyingly high in carbs. Do some research. Your food diary online will tell you specific details and will really help.

5) Stop wearing stretchy clothes in a size 10 that lull you into thinking you're a size 10. Go and try on a pair of size 10 jeans. Step on the scale. Sometimes a rude awakening is necessary. Ok so size doesn't matter, numbers don't matter etc. But you say that... ummm... do you believe that?

6) Saying No is hard the first few times and then it's empowering. You can go to a kids party and say no to cake. You can go out at night and stay off the carbs and alcohol. Say no. Make the buttons close!

7) Do not reward yourself with food. You are NOT A PUPPY.

That's about all I know for sure right now. I know this now. I need to keep knowing it. I'm tired of starting over.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vision 9 Week Challenge - Week 2

If it were easy, it wouldn't be a challenge. Right? It's not called the "9 Week Holiday". I'm in week 2 and I must confess to being a bit grumpy. I am, however, feeling rather virtuous about my exercise and food discipline. I've trained 10 days out of the last 14 and I feel like there should be some kind of medal? An audience with the Queen? Or perhaps a cheque for a million dollars? That's not going to happen - but I did get something this morning which felt like a reward. I bought a dress 8 months ago that 'almost' fit (not at all) and today it does!!! All the buttons closed with ease and I felt awesome! I think this is in part due to this ridiculous circuit training class hosted by the sadistic Bladen last weekend. I've been hobbling around like a 90 year old since Saturday morning and I choose to believe that one of the buttons is as a direct result of those punishing lunges and squats!
I'm down nearly 5 kgs now since joining Vision and I have to say this is working. How is your challenge going? Are you aching from head to toe? If not, try harder. You're doing it wrong.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Vision 9 Week Challenge

I have gained and lost and gained the same 10kgs many times over. In my late teens it was easy. In my early to mid twenties it was easy. Now I'm 35, I have a 3 1/2 year old, I work, I run a house and have an active social life and IT IS NOT EASY. I struggled on my own for a few months... and failed. It was time to call in the artillery and pull out all the stops. I started with Chris Vision Personal Training Crows Nest a month ago and I have dropped 4 kgs so far. I can't quite tell that I've lost weight yet - my jeans still don't close, my SPANX are still working over time and my wardrobe is still largely made up of stretchy. forgiving (deceitful) fabrics ... but I am on my way.

As a self-confessed exhibitionist, I am putting all of this out there - my facebook friends and my twitter followers are acutely aware of every gram I lose, every meal I eat and every time I hit the gym. I feel like I am at the forefront of a revolution - a VISIONARY - if you will. Of course, I'm not really. What I'm doing is perfectly normal. The vast majority of people exercise and eat well on an ongoing basis. For me, however, this is a challenge. Not only a 9 week challenge but a challenge to stop quitting, stop having to start over again from scratch and employ these basic principles to my daily life on an ongoing basis. I'm learning lessons, I'm making changes and I feel GOOD. What's your vision for this week? Mine is to exercise 5 times, fuel my body well and drop another kilo. Join me?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Didn't We Almost Have it All?

When I think back to my tween years - when I started actively listening to music and knowing the words to songs - there are 3 performers who come to mind: Madonna, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. They provided about 90% of my soundtrack. I had posters of Michael on my wall, books about Madonna - I memorised her life story - and I knew all the words to Whitney's songs. When I got dumped by my first boyfriend, a friend wrote me a letter and enclosed the lyrics to 'Where to broken hearts go'. I even sang 'The Greatest Love of All' at an Eisteddfod once!

Michael died the day after my son's 1st birthday and I remember feeling a sense of loss - like part of my childhood had been extinguished. Today, Whitney Houston is dead and I have that same feeling of loss. Yes, she has cut a tragic figure for many years. Her career waned from the moment she met Bobby Brown and became an addict. But her songs resonate - they bring back endless memories of slumber parties and slow dances, shuffle socks and scrunchies.

My husband and I started discussing Whitney, Madonna and Michael as we drove home today from a night away. While Madonna is arguably the least talented of the trio, she is the one who remains at the top of her game. Her career has lasted the longest, transcended all musical genres and fashions and she continues to thrive. It is incredible to me that in the very same week that Whitney (probably) overdosed, Madonna has launched an extensive world tour and a new album. While Michael and Whitney were fragile and broken, endlessly searching and becoming increasingly lost, Madonna seems to be bullet-proof. She has survived failed marriages, dismal reviews, questionable career moves (and fashion choices) and has never ever backed down, seemingly never even floundered.

What is that thing that she has in abundance that the others lack? Is it because she entered the industry and treated it wholly as a business? She wanted to rule the world (she said it herself). She had no famous relatives, she didn't have a famous surname (she has no surname at all) and she isn't even especially good at singing or acting. Yet she's not only still alive, she's at the top of her game. Michael Jackson was the product of a fame hungry father. Whitney's entire family were well-known gospel singers and Dionne Warwick is her auntie. Madonna headed to New York a complete unknown and worked her arse of. She is above all things a skilled and brilliant businesswoman and she epitomises indefatigable resilience.

It will be very interesting to see what happens next. How will this fame monster affect Gaga, Beyonce and Kanye? Who will be the Madonna and who will be the Whitney/Michael? We will probably know way too soon.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I woke up to the news of Reza De Wet's passing and was instantly transported to another time in my life... so long ago it feels almost like it was another life altogether. I'm in a lecture theatre in the far away regions of the Drama department waiting, waiting, waiting (ironically) for a lecture about Beckett's Waiting for Godot... Reza De Wet is lecturing. We are excited. It's like an international celebrity is coming - a recluse, a mythical being - someone like Garbo or Howard Hughes. It will be a rare, auspicious sighting. We have all heard of Reza but, being 1st years, we hadn't quite reached Reza-worthiness yet.

It became apparent over the ensuing 4 years that we would never reach Reza-worthiness. Reza was a deity - a free-spirit- a force of nature. She was not made for material, concrete stuff, she was ethereal, brilliant, gifted and - to the conventional human eye - completely bat shit crazy. I mean that as a compliment. Reza's brand of crazy was aspirational - we ALL wanted to be that kind of crazy. The crazy that writes sequels to Chekhov and appears only after dark, who only allowed people to photograph her from one side as she thought the other side was ugly, who puttered through Grahamstown in first gear because she didn't know how to change gear, who managed to work into a lecture on Godot that there were some mad nuns somewhere who used to 'fuck pots and pans'.

In my Honours year I was terrified and ecstatic when she cast me in one of her Chekhov farces for the Graduation play. I will never forget her appearing in our dressing room and giving me one final piece of direction 'I WANT YOU TO BE MORE CATACLYSMIC'. And then she turned and left. I was 21. My friend Kevin and I collapsed in giggles and tried to figure out what the bloody hell cataclysmic meant. If I could figure out what it meant I would definitely be more of THAT for Reza.
So, today my heart is in that building on the corner of Prince Alfred and Somerset in Grahamstown where I spent 4 magnificent years. I know everyone who was there with me - before and after - is feeling exactly like this. RIP beautiful lady.