Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Super Crazy Mother Nature

Update: So, Big Friendly read my post, and went and found the leaf. Clearly I hadn’t looked hard enough. Look! Look.

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I was bestowed with a whole lot of plants when my dear friend moved up to Jozi last month. I love plants, but had been going through a lean patch in terms of indoor ones, so I celebrated the bestowal and have been enjoying the green company. My friend had been putting the plants in the bath overnight fortnightly, to soak up grey laundry water, so when I rinsed the dogs I put the plants in that water in the bath.

All was well and I took them back to their positions the next morning. Then yesterday I saw this.

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Something had come in the night, chowed their way through most of the plant, leaving tell tale poo on the chewed leaves. I could not find the bastard. Big Friendly was called to look and there was a cocoon under one of the leaves, see-through enough for me to spy a fat, acid green worm. I was incensed. Who the hell did it think it was and where had it come from?

I saw the plant this morning and it looked a bit worse so I went to inspect. Gone. The cocoon and worm are gone. And I do not know where. Nothing. No leaf that looks like it had cocoon on it, no evidence of a mortal battle. Nothing. And this all happened on the kitchen counter in my house.

So what I want to know is, where is it? Did something else eat it? Did it perform its transformation overnight and become a moth or butterfly that I haven’t met yet? Who buried the leaf it was cocooned on? Is it still in my house?

Opening A Can of Beans – Considering Veganism

img_5647-2I have wanted to become a vegan for many years but haven’t been able to bring myself to the point of actually doing it. It has mostly been about laziness; I kept on imagining that it would take considerable effort, and time and work. I have been a pescetarian/vegetarian for most of my adult life, and then, when I went on the Dukan diet I had to eat protein, so I ate fish, eggs and cheese a lot. In the back (and slowly moving to the middle) of my mind was the knowledge that vegan was really what I wanted to be.

I decided that becoming a vegan was going to be a new year’s resolution, and so I have been gradually preparing for it. I have been buying some stuff to have in the cupboard, I have made the switch to milk alternative in my coffee (delicious) and I have been reading ingredients labels with dedication (and fury; who knew that had egg in it?). I have also been listening, deeply, to Big friendly’s concerns. Becoming a vegan when you are married to a food fussy omnivore is problematic and challenging.

I have a few concerns about my lazy nature, my propensity for weight gain, and my tendency to overindulge. I could become a bread ball in a matter of weeks. But I am going to try and be as conscious and committed as I can. It most definitely looks like Cape Town is perfect vegan country, with restaurants, shops and even delis dedicated to providing for the fast growing vegan community, so there won’t be any stress there.

Where there is stress is on Twitter. Wow. In preparation for my transition I have read a lot on the internet; checked out recipes, blogs, science, pseudoscience, and deeply personal tips from vegans worldwide. I also decided to follow some vegan related people/things on Twitter. Bad idea. I got a DM from someone demanding I stop the killing NOW! I replied that that was why I was starting my journey, and promptly unfollowed them. Somebody else screamed at somebody else that dairy-free was NOT vegan and they need a disclaimer in their one line bio. And then there were the links that led to nothing but clickbait and ads. So, being a #twittervegan is not going to work for me.

I am going to have to tread carefully. A friend told me about how his sister who is a vegan gets abused and challenged by flesh eaters every day. Why? Shouldn’t it be the other way around actually? But, that is not who or what I want to become. I have already done that with smoking. Over half a lifetime of smoking and then 14 years of having quit made me into one of those rabid anti-smokers for a while, and it was hard work. Nah, I am too, too lazy for that.

But. I am going to need help. And suggestions. And great ideas. And encouragement. So if you have any or all of those, I am open, like a vegan recipe book.

 

 

Single Minded Hilariousness

1441_dsc_0721-2Last night I laughed. I laughed loud, and long, and kept on going. I barked, and guffawed and chuckled and giggled and squealed. And this was all in the same hour, at the Alexander Bar, at Jon Keevy’s new creation, Single Minded; the sort of sequel to his Dirty Words. I liked Dirty Words, but I love Single Minded. It is right up my, oh god, alley.

Single Minded is very, very clever sketch comedy, written by Jon Keevy, and directed by him, and performed by the adorable Kiroshan Naidoo and delicious Kathleen Stephens.

I usually hate sketch comedy actually. I usually hate it because it feels slapped together; underwritten, under rehearsed and kind of ‘let’s see if we can get away with it’ in style and tone. Single Minded is not that. It is very well written (especially if you delight in puns and wordplay), beautifully rehearsed, and it has costume changes AND choreography. It also has a great soundtrack and (as Jon himself pointed out) many, many sound and light cues. This is a slick show, levitating it above the genre, and making it very damn funny.

Kiroshan and Kathleen are entirely at home with the style, which is bold and cheeky, and they indulge in the material, and scene changes. I loved them. I loved Johan (but will not give more info as a spoiler), and I loved drunk bride-to-be, and I loved self-help guru and assistant the most. Actually, Johan the most, no, no, drunk bride-to-be.

Last night was particularly special because somebody in the audience got used; a really old guy, and he had absolutely no idea. I thought I was going to get a hernia.

I cannot imagine why you would not go and see this show, on at 7pm for the next two weeks. And my fave Dani and the Lion is at 9pm, so make a meal of it. Best ever.

The Bird Lady

cape20white-eye20pewaAs the year closes in I want to write a little post, a story, that is also a slice of positivity and synchronicity amongst the gloom and news of another celebrity death.

This my story of the bird lady.

About three weeks ago I was still in bed, on my laptop, when Big Friendly came charging into the bedroom. “Jonesie has bird!” Jonesie, our in-and-out cat, who moved in from someone else’s house, is good at catching things and leaving their carcasses on the doorstep as gifts. Actually, considering how well fed he is (read fat) I am sure he steals the bodies from the less well nourished and more desperate street cats in our ‘hood. It is a pretty grim job for Big Friendly to clean up. We have thrown away at least four doormats. This time we both assumed Big Friendly would have to separate Jonesie from the body and throw it away, but then I heard, “It’s still alive!” Big Friendly closed me in the bedroom with all the dogs (2) and cats (3).

He managed to get the little thing into the courtyard and closed the door to stop any further animal investigation or murder. Now what? He kept going out to check and the little pigeon was alert and alive and he couldn’t see where, or if, it was hurt. I am not a bird person. Touching birds makes me feel really funny and uncomfortable, and injured birds really freak me out. I wouldn’t even go and look.

Now we were going to have to ask our neighbour to come and be brave enough to euthanise it, except he wasn’t around. We needed to go the vet anyway to get cat food (oh the irony) and at the vet we asked if we couldn’t bring the bird to be humanely (oh the irony) put down. And the receptionist said, “Here is the phone number of the bird lady. See if she can’t help.”

Brenton called the bird lady and went to drop off the bird to see if it was saveable. He took it, wrapped in a kikoi in the cat box (just to extend the irony a little further). He left it in a special bird-leaving-basket at the bird lady’s gate because she wasn’t home at the time, and followed up with her later. She said a bit of medicine and rest was all it needed. It would survive. The bird lady was a miraculous discovery.

A week or so later I started telling my close friend the story. He was shocked. Just a week before he had taken a baby Cape White Eye baby bird to the bird lady. He had pried the jaws of his cat open to release the teeny thing, and fed it (the wrong stuff that the internet had suggested) every hour, before finding out about the bird lady and taking it to her for saving. When he told the story to another mutual friend she too told her bird lady story; similar in cat assassin and rescue result.

Finally I discovered that another friend had contacted the bird lady for advice about finding a missing parakeet. Her advice was taken and Harvey was found, by my friend, with the help of the bird lady.

I am so grateful and moved that there is a bird lady. Just knowing she is out there, on a mission to help and save birds, makes my world a tiny bit better.

All things Jew-ish

15675704_10158134753840657_7834449182008505947_oWhen I was cast as the Jewish mother in The Finkelsteins are Coming to Dinner, I did a little swallow. Me. Jewish. Mother. Since I had spent so much of my time being unJewish it was a good excuse to take a deeper, more personal look at this whole Jewish thing again. And since the other cast members were not Jewish I ended up divulging more about being Jewish, and Judaism, then I even knew I remembered. Some of it was lovely, some of it made me feel uneasy and some of it was quite funny. It was particularly close to the bone when my own mother died while we were rehearsing and I ended up participating in the rituals I had been speaking about.

One would have thought that that was it really, but I was also working on another project, with a delicious, now Joburg based actress, Chantal Stanfield. Chantal approached me to direct her upcoming one woman show, From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach, the journey into marriage of a brownish coloured girl from Cape Town to a Jew-ish boy from Joburg.

We had an amazing incubation session here, in Cape Town, where the ideas, stories and themes emerged, and Chantal has written a warm, funny, fabulous and absurd look at our cultural differences and similarities.

And, just like that, it is almost time to do the show. We will be opening in Jozi on 28 February at my favourite Auto & General Theatre on the Square, and bookings will soon be open. This is me, announcing the show, but I will let you know more about it as our journey grows and continues. Otherwise, leave comments, questions and recipe suggestions below.

Confessions of a serial binger

It’s been a year since we decided, cricket and rugby notwithstanding, we were tired of spending huge chunks of money on DSTV every month and then sitting in front of the TV watching reruns of horrible British car shows, or Myth Busters from 10 years ago. We gave up the perverted addiction to Carte Blanche while we waited for the ‘premier’ Sunday night movie, only to discover it was an animation/sex comedy/something starring some Hollywood model/stunt man/comedian turned film star. And we haven’t looked back. In fact, I have watched more things on our giant monitor than ever before, and this time it has been completely my choice.

Netflix and Showmax have played their part, as well as watching whole series of other stuff. And there have been some pretty good ones. The range is exciting too, with tons of British stuff and even the occasional European thing to add to the general US TV production conveyor belt.

This weekend we binge watched two seasons of the most fabulous, Canadian, Schitt’s Creek. I had heard about it from a friend, forgotten about it, and then remembered the recommendation as we started watching. Schitt’s Creek is the brainchild of Eugene Levy and his real life son Dan Levy, who both star in it as father and son (and Eugene’s daughter is in it too) alongside Catherine O’ Hara (who I have totally adored since Beetlejuice, and then everything else she and Eugene have done – all the mockumentaries I believe in my soul I should have starred in), and the fabulous Annie Murphy, amongst others.

From the first set-up moment I started laughing at this deeply character driven comedy and I didn’t stop until the end. The episodes are really short (21 minutes) and the characters and their situations grow on you in the strangest and most delightful way. I can’t wait for more. The set-up is simple; a filthy rich, spoilt and entirely dysfunctional family lose everything and go and live (for reasons well explained) in Schitt’s Creek, a one street, hillbilly arse-end of the world town. Usually these kinds of spoilt, self obsessed indulgent and unaware characters piss me off in the first episode (with Shameless I didn’t make it through the first one), but here their charm is endearing and soon you are on their side.

There were a couple of moments that I laughed so hard I struggled to catch my breath. This is one of them. I am still laughing.

 

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