I was feeling rather sorry for myself a few weeks ago. The flat was much colder than I expected and my brand new mattress hard as nails. The move and particularly painting the place out cost me much more than I'd thought it would. But then I was invited to Stellenbosch by my friend and ex-colleague Simon (Bekker) and Sandra to a duck supper. The last time we had duck together was in Beijing while attending a conference, the highlight of my academic career (walking the wall at the university's expense!). While in Stellenbosch I made an arrangement to meet with the Head of the Sociology Dept. I left the meeting very encouraged and excited about me contributing to the dept as a way of earning extra bucks to keep food on my table while I write my novels.
Talking of writing, I was disappointed by the Cape Town Book Fair. Entrance was R60 and for that you get to walk around and look at different stalls around which there was very little activity. The most vibrant one was the Bargain Book stand where people were buying books they could do in any mall any time. The big publishing houses did not exhibit this year (Random House and Penguin, for example) and that accounted for the lack of talks on fiction (my interest) and big names like Alexander McCall Smith who was there a few years ago. I did attend a free talk though on how to use social media to promote your book and SEO (search engine optimization). The latter is something I can do through my webpage but just haven't got around to. Oh, and I sold my first book on Kalahari!
I also attended Simon's book launch (Capital Cities of Africa) and recognised some familiar academic colleagues. They do seem to look alike. I didn't stay long though as I have to guard against falling back into left brain thinking. My priority is my novel and I'm now on the 4th draft and re-writing (almost from scratch). It's going well and I'm once again at the point where my characters (Megan and Jean Claude) are about to have a dip in a lake in a French forest! Do you want to know what happens next? Hope so.
I've now divested myself of Telkom (almost) completely. During the second of my last one hour stints in their office at Bayside Mall, I was told it would take 3 not 2 weeks to transfer my ADSL by a woman who spent time walking around looking for a stapler! When she couldn't find it in her colleague's draw she went to the next one and after some serious scratching found one there. I hope you aren't the next customer of his! I'm beginning to think the Neo-liberals are right about our labour laws making people too secure in their jobs. After that I went to the bank . . . Don't get me started on that except to say I'm seriously considering switching to CAPITEC. Who needs all those cards and accounts that do more or less the same thing when you can have one?
I purchased a Cell C internet bundle (stick/connection plus 3 GB) for R599.00 valid for a year and I can top up when my 3 GB's are used up. After two months I still have 2 Gb left, so I'm very happy with my choice. I still have my Telkom email address which I'll keep for a year (R17 per month) but am now using my gmail address more: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All for now.