Category Archives: Notes

My miniature Toby jugs

Hi! It’s me! I know I’ve been gone a long time, but I had some trouble with my internet connection and aging technology.

I went on holiday in May (mostly to go see my grandfather who turned 95 years old this year!) and during my stay I thought about buying something that I could keep as a memento.

Only problem was, Uitenhage (that’s where most of my family is based) doesn’t really have a huge tourism market or curio shops. The closest they have is an antique shop.

So when I entered the antique shop, I was surprised to find these Toby jugs in one corner.

Actually, I shouldn’t be surprised, there were a lot of Britians who once occupied South Africa and never really left… Uitenhage used to have a flourishing train station and work shop – I know, because my grandfather worked his whole life for Spoornet. He actually retired as a superintendent at the Uitenhage train station. His job was to make sure that his people built the train carriages according to the specifications.

(Sadly, the train station and workshop have fallen in disrepair. But I heard someone decided to save the original buildings and are now restoring them.)

Anyway, back to the antique shop. I found these miniature Toby jugs there. I always liked the history behind them. Toby jugs are, of course, associated with Britian where most were manufactured. Three of the four I got has the mark of Staffordshire potters on their bases.

I’m not sure when these were made and how old they actually are. The salesman told me back in the day one could fetch R195. But I only paid R10 each. But I don’t really care how much they are worth. I’m more interested in their history and what they represent.

What do you think? Aren’t they adorable?


Hole in a bucket

Today’s post is going to be about those weird songs we sometime sing to pass the time. Now, have you ever noticed how much the songs don’t make sense?

For example, the “99 bottles of beer” on the wall song. When you really think about it, the song is not just annoying, it makes no sense. Where and why would anyone put 99 bottles of beer on the wall? I wonder how many people can say they have sung this song in its entirety?

I remember my mom and grandmother often singing “The hole in the bucket” song. Don’t know it? It goes like this:

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.
With what should I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza,
With what should I fix it, dear Liza, with what?
With straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, with straw.
But the straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long.
So cut it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
So cut it dear Henry, dear Henry, cut it!
With what should I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza,
With what should I cut it, dear Liza, with what?
With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With an axe, dear Henry, an axe.
But the axe is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The axe is too dull, dear Liza, too dull.
So, sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
So sharpen it dear Henry, dear Henry, sharpen it!
With what should I sharpen it, dear Liza, dear Liza,
With what should I sharpen, dear Liza, with what?
Use the stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Use the stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, the stone.
But the stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry.
So wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
So wet it dear Henry, dear Henry, wet it.
With what should I wet it, dear Liza, dear Liza,
With what should I wet it, dear Liza, with what?
With water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With water, dear Henry, dear Henry, water.
With what should I carry it, dear Liza, dear Liza,
With what should I carry it dear Liza, with what?
Use the bucket dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Use the bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, the bucket!
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if I were this “dear Liza” I would have lost it for the “dear Henry” ages ago. They probably lived in the countryside for Henry not to go out and buy a new bucket. One of my friends swear by masking tape, but I suppose it was written in the days before masking tape was even invented.
I remember learning a song in the second grade, but all I remember is this:
We’re going on a bearhunt. x2
We’re going to catch a big one. x2
I’m not scared. x2
I know of one sung in Afrikaans. “Daar’s ‘n gat in die grond, en die groen gras groei daarom”.  It’s also sung in reverse and with each round, a new element is added.
Gat in die grond, en die groen gras groei daarom
En in die gat is ‘n boom
En op die boom is daar ‘n tak
En in die tak is daar ‘n mik
En in die mik is daar ‘n nes
En in die nes is daar ‘n voël
En op die voël is daar ‘n vlerk. 
En in die vlerk is daar ‘n veer. 
En op die veer is daar ‘n luis…
How many more songs like these do you know?

Igpay Atinlay

Ancay ouyay eadray isthay? Ancay ouyay understandway isthay?

Iway asway oingday away osswordcray ethay otherway ayday andway ethay answersway asway inway Igpay Atinlay.

Atwhay isway Igpay Atinlay?

Itway isway isthay awesomeway anguagelay amegay erewhay ouyay ewriteray ethay ordsway inway odecay. Ethay inishedfay oductpray eadsray ikelay onsensenay.

Erehay areway omesay examplesway:

ananabay isway banana
ice tray isway trice
earth day isway dearth
underway isway wunder
outstay isway stout


If you want to know what I wrote above use 


I’m so frustrated with myself. I can’t seem to finish anything I start.

The whole point of last year’s NaNoWriMo was to try to finish a story that’s been unfinished for a decade. And could I do it? No.

I can’t make up my mind about anything and the ending seems to be the hardest part.

Also, it seems the only time I still write something on my blog is about a book that I’ve read.

But there is so much more I want to do! And then I don’t do it. Arrrrgggghhh!

What’s wrong with me?

Nosferatu: Symphony of Horror


I’ve recently had the weirdly, wonderful experience of seeing the silent horror film Nosferatu in a live theatre. Three musos provided the atmosphere with background music. The best part was when the guy played on the theremin!

For those of you who don’t know what that is: a theremin is an electronic music instrument by Russian inventor Leon Theremin . It looks a little bit like an aerial. When it is played you do not touch the aerial but wave your hands around it; you’re essentially playing different notes on sound waves.

I have to say: compared to modern horror films Nosferatu is so much better and ahead of its time. I enjoyed the cinematography and the fact that it’s in black and white works in it’s favour. Even though it might seem quite silly to the modern viewer, some scenes still has that creepy element. Behold the eyes and nails. My favourite scenes is when Count Orlok comes up the stairs and reaches out.

I loved the nature scenes: with the flesh-eating flytraps, spider and rats. The film also used stop motion photography. 

The plot of the story is based on Dracula. There was quite a scandal when it first came out. Bram Stoker’s wife sued the studio for plagiarism and have all the copies destroyed. Luckily, some copies survived.

In Nosferatu the vampire is called Count Orlok. ‘Nosferatu’ is the name given to a vampire in the movie.

There are some humerous moments in the film. *Spoilers: When Hutter wakes up he finds two bitemarks on his neck. Later, in a letter to his wife, he refers to the bitemarks as a cause of mosquitoes. Hutter’s employer is secretly in cahoots with Count Orlok and is called Knock. As in Knock, knock who’s there? Also, they used a hyena to portray the werewolf!




King Henry VIII and Cinderella

I’ve recently finished reading “The Boleyn Inheritance” by Philippa Gregory.

boleyn inheritance

The story is told through the eyes of three women: two of King Henry VIII’s wives namely Anne of Cleves (fourth wife) and Katherine Howard (first Anne of Cleves’ maid in waiting and later the king’s mistress – fifth wive); and kinswoman Jane Boleyn, who betrayed her husband and his sister (Anne Boleyn – wife number three) and played a part in every wife of King Henry’s undoing except for the last one.

Reading this book made me think of the story of Cinderella. But this is no Cinderella fairy tale. King Henry VIII was a horrible human being. He was old, sickly (he had an open leg wound that stank up the whole palace), he was obese. His Achilles’ heel was beautiful women, but he was very paranoid and insecure believing there was a constant plot to kill him.

He had his first marriage annulled and was excommunicated by the Pope. This caused the church and state to separate.

Why any woman would agree to marry him is beyond me. Although, apparently Anne of Cleves’s childhood home and life was so horrendous she would have done anything to get away from her brother and mother.


There are a few things that bother me about the story of Cinderella. After she runs away when the clock strikes midnight and the prince is only left with her shoe – why doesn’t he just find out what shoe size it is? Judging from many adaptations of the story, Cinderella has freakishly small feet (like me) and by knowing that, he could have saved himself so much trouble.

Also, how do you not recognize the woman you have danced with and fallen in love with? If it were a masked ball or if the people were wearing wigs, I could understand why he didn’t immediately recognize her, but seriously? How thick is he?

And I do not for one second believe that when Cinderella marries the prince she is free. She remains a servant by becoming the prince’s wife – who says he won’t treat her as such?

My “Roar” model

Some people like to talk about who their role models are, but I think everyone needs a “Roar” model!

Mine is Piotr Lisek. He is a Polish pole vaulter and he has a ritual: every time before he jumps he gives a mighty roar and charges.


I think that’s what life should be like: whenever we face a challenge instead of cowering in the corner or running away, we should give a mighty roar.

Almost like the character Teddy in the 1944 film “Arsenic and Old Lace”:

Arsenic And Old Lace GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Toorbos – Dalene Matthee


Ek het nie gedink dis moontlik nie, maar ek het ‘n nuwe gunsteling boek van Dalene Matthee en dit is Toorbos!

“Liefde is ’n lang leer met baie sporte. Moeilik om te klim, want ons trap dikwels mis…”

My gunsteling dele uit die boek is waar Karoliena haarself soos ‘n boom vermom, want sy wil weet hoe voel dit om ‘n boom te wees; en later waar sy Abel Slinger se olifantvoete/skoene leen, want sy wil weet hoe voel dit om in die voete van ‘n olifant te loop. En ek sou wat wou gee om ook die boomspook te sien!

Karoliena Kapp is ’n alleenkind. Haar pa is vroeg-vroeg deur ’n weerligstraal doodgeslaan en sy het die bos aanvaar as haar oermoeder. Sy is mooi en word gou raakgesien deur Johannes, ’n boswerkerskind wat hom uit die wurggreep van armoede losgewikkel het. Nog voordat sy twintig is, word sy met hom afgetrou en moet sy haar plek as dorpsvrou volstaan.

Maar Karoliena gebruik die eerste kans om weg te loop. Die dag na die troue weet sy: Sy het verkeerd gekies. Sy het van die bos af weggevlug en haar vryheid verruil vir ‘n kou. Nou is sy bang, en sy vat die pad terug.

Terwyl die pietjiekanarie sonder ophou roep: Wie’s-jy, wie’s-jy.

Eerste uitgawe: 2003

Sterstatus: 5/5

My Nonsense Alphabet

A – Absurdity, applesauce
B – Bilge, baloney, BS
C – Claptrap, codswollop
D – Drivel, Dada, dribble
E – Empty talk, eyewash
F – Fudge, Flim flam, farce
G – Gab, gibberish, Greek, gobbledygook
H – Hogwash, hokum, horsefeathers
I – Idiocy, idle talk, insane
J – Jabber, jargon
K – Kookiness, knick-knack
L – Ludicrous, loony
M – Marlarkey, mumbo jumbo, mummery
N – Nonsense, nuts
O – Out of one’s mind
P – Poppycock, potty
Q – Quackery, QI
R – Ridiculous, rubbish, razzmatazz, random,
S – Silly, slipslop
T – Tommyrot, twaddle
U – Unmeaningness, unreason
V – Verbiage
W – Waffle, wacko
X –
Y – Yakking, Ya-ta-ta, yap
Z – Zany

I need help with the letters Q and X. Anyone?

My Alphabet of Exclamations

I was really bored at work once. Then I got the wonderful idea of creating my very own Alphabet of Exclamations. This is a great activity to do while waiting for the time to pass.

A- Alla mapstieks! Aloha! Alas! Awesomeness! Argh! Amen! Aikona!
B – Bazinga! Bloody hell! Bravo! Bingo! Bilge! Bleh! Boo-yah!
C – Crikey! Cool!
D – D’oh! Ditsem! Dagnabbit!
E – Eina! Eureka! Egad! Encore! Eek! Easy peasy!
F – Foei tog! Fie! FUNtastic! Fiddlesticks!
G – Gee whiz! Gesondheid! Geronimo! Great Scott! Gorrelpyp Griet!
H – Hell! Hmmm… Hot diggity! Hey! Holy smokes! Huh? Hiert!
I – Indeed!
J – Jinkies!
K – Kapish?
L – Lo! Land ho! La-de-dah!
M – Mmm… Mwah!
N – Narf! Neener-neener!
O – Oi! Okay! Ow! Oops! Olé! Ooh-la-la!
P – Phew! Pfft! Pshaw! Psst!
Q – Quite!
R – Roger that! Rats!
S – So what? Shut up! Shhh! Sies!
T – Timber! Tally-ho! Totally!
U – Uh-huh! Uh-oh! Ugh!
V – Voila! Viva!
W – Whatever! Woe is me! Well! Wow!
X –
Y – Yowser! You know? Yabba-dabba-doo!
Z – Zoiks!

I can’t find one which starts with the letter X. Do you know any?