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 www.funtranslations.com/pig-latin 


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?

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

jane eyre

I far more prefer a Mr Rochester than a Prince Charming. Mind you, if he had done the same to me as he did with Jane I would have kicked his ass!

I remember the first time I read this book, I fell completely and utterly in love with Mr Rochester and I was equally as heartbroken as Jane when the truth was revealed.

A second reading was no different, though I did pity him.

Dust jacket summary: 
Brontë’s infamous gothic novel tells the story of orphan Jane, a child of unfortunate circumstances. Raised and treated badly by her aunt and cousins and eventually sent away to a cruel boarding school, it is not until Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield that she finds happiness. Meek, measured, but determined, Jane soon falls in love with her brooding and stormy master, Mr Rochester, but is not long before strange and unnerving events occur in the house and Jane is forced to leave Thornfield to pursue her future.

My favourite quotes: 

The absurd conversation Mr Rochester has with Adele about him taking Jane to go live on the moon. (p.269-270).

“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you – especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, – you’d forget me.”
Mr Rochester


“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”
Jane Eyre


‘I could bend her with my finger and thumb: and what good would it do if I bent, if I uptore, if I crushed her? … Whatever I do with its cage, I cannot get at it – the savage, beautiful creature! if i tear, if i rend the slight prison, my outrage will only let the captive loose.
Mr Rochester


‘It is time some one undertook to rehumanise you,’ said I, parting his thick and long uncut locks; ‘for I see you are being metamorphosed into a lion, or something of that sort… your hair reminds me of eagles’ feathers; whether your nails are grown like birds’ claws or not, i have not yet noticed.’
Jane Eyre


‘His appearance, – I forget what description you gave of his appearance; – a sort of raw curate, half strangled with his white neckcloth, and stilted up on his thick-soled high-lows, eh?’
‘St John dresses well. he is a handsome man: tall, fair, with blue eyes, and a Grecian profile.’
(aside) ‘Damn him!’ – (to me) ‘Did you like him Jane?’
Mr Rochester and Jane

First published: 1847

Rating: 5/5



The Family Fang – Kevin Wilson

*Spoiler: This is not a vampire story. 

We have all had those moments. When we thought we couldn’t possibly be created by these people (mom and dad), there must be a mistake, families are the worst.

Well, you haven’t seen (or read) nothing yet. If you think your family is bad… Annie and Buster will tell you, their family takes the cake. How would you like to be known as Child A and Child B by your parents?

Dust jacket: The family Fang create art: performance art, provocations, interventions – call it what you like. And many people certainly don’t call it ‘Art’.

But as Annie and Buster grow up, like all children, they find their parents’ behaviour an embarrassment. They refuse to take up their roles in these outrageous acts. They escape: Annie becomes an actor, a star in the world of indie filmmaking, and Buster pursues gonzo journalism, constantly on the trail of a good story. But when both their lives start to fall apart, there is nowhere left to go but home.

Meanwhile Caleb and Camille have been planning their most ambitious project yet and the children have no choice: like it or not, they will participate in one final performance. The family Fang’s magnum opus will determine what is ultimately more important: their family or their art.

First published: 2011
Rating: 3/5
Reason: I’ve read this book a few years ago and decided to read it again, because for the life of me I couldn’t remember how it ended. Now, if you can’t remember how a book ended there must be something wrong with it?

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

Female Protagonists

I’ve recently read two books back to back with not just one, but several really strong female protagonists. It also shares the same themes.

secret life of bees

Female Protagonists: Lily, Rosaleen, August, June and May.

Backcover: Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was just four years old. Now, at fourteen, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother’s love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh and unyielding father, she has only one friend, Rosaleen, a black servant.
When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice, the pair follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother.

Thoughts: I absolutely adored this book. I love the idea of incorporating the metaphor of bees social life in the story. I also learnt a lot about bees. For example, I didn’t know most bees in the hive are female – I always assumed just the queen is female.

I also wrote a post a while back about bees committing suicide and apparently if they can’t find a new queen after the old one dies, they commit suicide.

First published: 2003
Rating: 5/5

the help

Female Protagonists: Miss Skeeter, Aibileen, Minny, Miss Hilly, Miss Elizabeth, Mae Mobley, Miss Celia, Constantine, the other maids, Mrs Stein.

Back cover: Enter a vanished world. Jackson, Mississipi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver…
There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from college, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.
Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they’d be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell…

Thoughts: It’s strange how many America and South Africa has in common. Sadly, in South Africa there are still a lot of black women working as domestic help and raising white children. The help have their own separate toilet and cutlery. They don’t sit at the same table as their employers.
I remember the woman who semi-raised me: Mina. I remember how she made us home-made “slap tjips” with lots of vinegar. She worked for my parents even before I was born. She was very hardworking and loyal. When we’d go away on holiday she would do house-sitting and feed our pets. I never asked her about her family.
Kathryn Stockett also writes about her own family maid, who raised her.

First published: 2009
Rating: 5/5