Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Peace and Quiet

 I need peace and quiet to write - that’s what I tell the family.

This month there will be no fun-and-games-and-gadding-about. And if the electricity and plumbing and everything else conks out then things will have to be fixed after I’ve finished writing.

That’s what I say.

I sit down to write Confessions of a Virgin Loser in a cunningly cold week in July. I am snug in my quiet office with a peaceful view of my new stoep to which my builders must still add the finishing touches (screeding the floor, painting the walls and ceiling and so on).

I call Trevor and Phineus my builders, but everyone knows they are really Friend-Lisa’s builders. When Friend-Lisa needs something done, Trevor and Phineus are off to her place before you can say hey, you haven’t finished building my stoep.

The stoep project started in February.

Now it’s July and Friend-Lisa releases Trevor and Phineus to come and clutter up the front of my office in the week that I’m seeking peace and quiet to write. Thanks Friend-Lisa.

And Teen1 embarks on a nervous breakdown over matric prelims; Teen2 adopts a pavement special from the SPCA with serious toilet issues - and Penguin wants me to finish up with my latest book Melly, Mrs Ho and Me.

I want to scream bugger off the lot of you, I need peace and quiet to write Confessions of a Virgin Loser for Mr Steve Vosloo of the Shuttleworth Foundation. I need to write a story to promote reading and writing among young adults who like reading stuff on cellphones.

Instead I say: “Want a cup of tea?” to Trevor and Phineus. And they say - every time -  “Only if you’re making.” And I say of course I’m making. And I make cup after cup of tea while Trevor and Phineus screed and paint; and Zwiggy from the SPCA expresses her toilet issues on my office floor and walks all over the fresh screed.

Twenty cups of tea, twenty chapters each of 200 words later, I have product for Mr Steve Vosloo of the Shuttleworth Foundation. And the stoep is finished - except for a few finishing touches.

Today I have peace and quiet to write. Zwiggy is toilet trained and asleep on the couch, the Teens are at school. TeenDad is earning the bacon. Peace and Quiet.

I call Trevor and Phineus and say they must come now to re-screed the stoep floor. I need to write. And I’m making tea.

My (and Friend-Lisa's ) builders Trevor and Phineus - back to chip away
 and rescreed the floor so that I can write and make tea


Hey Zwiggy - you sure have grown into a nice dog


  1. Isn't she lovely? And she has strong teeth which can chew a hole through a good shoe or two.

  2. Enjoy the peace and quiet!
    Love Zwiggy.

  3. I am loving Zwiggy, I am.

  4. Awwwwww Zwiggy, you're so cute. I wish you were my dog. Except for the chewing through a shoe bit. that would not be cool.

    Edyth. I love this piece. It makes me want to write. And make tea, of course.