Thursday, 7 June 2012


Chris de Burgh once sang: "I have never seen that dress you're wearing, nor the highlights in your hair that catch your eye, I have been blind"

Sometimes, something happens that makes you see something that you may not have noticed consciously. Seeing something for the first time always feels to me like a new discovery. Sure, you've laid eyes on the thing a hundred times, but when you truly see something, acknowledge its presence, its exuberance in the space in which it finds itself, when the light is just right, when the accompanying moments lock the memory so tacitly it is immediately recalled from the ether. Instant beauty, instant smile.

Sitting on the mountainside in a spot I had been to scores of times before, I had reason to stop and pause. The sun was setting and the light was catching her hair in such a way that made it glow like fire. A deep, smouldering fire as of embers, but raging with intense heat. It took my breath away. The orange of the setting sun, making everything look like life was Instagram'd.

The city carried on below, oblivious to the beauty of that moment. The quiet moment. The realisation of the absolute clarity that accompanies epiphany. Turning to leave, she pointed out the setting sun. Never before had I realised that at that time of year, one could see the setting sun from this spot I had visited too many times to remember, often alone, often accompanied by an entire car-load of friends, often just with one Other... I saw it for the first time. And it was as if I was watching the sun set for the first time.

We'd shared sunsets before, but this particular sunset was coupled with another spectacular birth of light. The full moon was bright and yellow and rising slow off the horizon. Sun and Moon are by no means mutually exclusive, but on this particular day, they appeared to be. One's brilliance could not, would not, be overshadowed by the other.

We're drawn to the light. We're children of the light. Watching the retiring sun, and witnessing the lazy moonrise. Its light casting shadows unusual for dusk, when everything should be wan and ashen, instead luminescent, writhing and alive. Take the time to notice these things you cast your eyes on and yet don't see.

Allow your eyes to rid themselves of the scales masking the spectacular as ordinary. It's been far too long since that sunset-moonrise, but since, there have been plenty more moments of noticing things. Paying closer attention to that moment your eyes meet across a distance, a wink and a smile that says the unspeakable, that moment you check your phone at exactly the point in time a message comes through that shakes your being, makes your tummy flip, your face flush, your knees a bit wobbly, and is accompanied by a simultaneous sigh that defies the laws of the space-time continuum.

Instant smile.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Terrific Tin Can Tuesdays

How do we make South Africa better?

We do it by helping out wherever we can. We donate money, we give blankets, we support drives once or twice a year, pat ourselves on the back, and feel chuffed. Attending a blanket drive doesn't necessarily mean you automatically deserve that feeling of self-satisfaction. By bringing that one blanket along, you certainly have made a difference.

But the difference I'm thinking of making is a huge one. I recently had the pleasure of meeting the CT Angels. You can find them on Facebook (find them here:, and hashtag them on Twitter (#CTAngels). They've done amazing things. We all know how hugely successful the Twitter Blanket Drive was. More than one and a half blankets were donated. But I still got the feeling that we could be doing more as Capetonians.

So my suggestion to Fatima Razzak was this - let's do something every three months. And the next big thing we're looking at doing, is assembling food. Canned food. Now, I know how sometimes having to go out of your way to help sometimes is the only thing hindering you from doing good. And that's ok. We're going to make it easy for you.

"How?" I hear you ask. Every Tuesday in July, we'll be collecting your cans at one of the busiest intersections in Cape Town. Right outside the CTICC, Coen Steytler, where the N1 and N2 converge to bring most of Cape Town into work. Here's all that's required of you:

Step 1: When doing your monthly/weekly shopping, slip a few extra cans into your trolley.

Step 2: Bring them along to work with you on any Tuesday in the month of July

Step 3: When you reach the traffic lights at the CTICC, hoot, and one of our volunteers will come running over to collect your cans.

Helping to make a big difference in three easy steps.

We aim to be at the intersection every Tuesday in July (there are five of them) between 7am and 9am, and then headed out of town at the same intersection at the Waterfront exit between 4pm and 6pm. And all you have to do, is bring us your cans.

We plan to do a very similar thing at major intersections in the northern suburbs. I'll post soon with a full timetable for all the intersections we're planning on hitting.

Winter fast approaches, and August is our wettest month. Let's help try to make Winter that little bit more bearable for those who are far less fortunate than you and I. When tweeting about it, kindly use the hashtag #TerricTincanTues along with #FollowSA and #CTAngels.

Let's do this, Cape Town.