Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Page 2 of 259

The Whiteness of Being

I don’t even know how to write this. I am going to piss off many who will say, “So what?” I am going to be the critical voice, the moaner, the killjoy, the maker of the mountain that shouldn’t even be a molehill. And still.

This afternoon two friends and I went to the Christ Church in Constantia for one of their monthly music concerts. They’re even called The Christ Church Concerts. I have never been before, but I am on the mailing list, and this one I really wanted to go to. Franz Liszt performed by Christopher Duigan. I have loved Liszt since I was a child, influenced by my father, who would play the rhapsodies loudly on our record player and I would dance.

Before I say anything else, I must say how lovely and beautiful and familiar and fun and delicious the music and the pianist were. Christopher Duigan is cute and charming and humble, and then he plays his heart out and his fingers fly. I loved it. And, that should be the point. Of course it should.

But something started niggling and I couldn’t let it go. My maths is shit, but I estimated that there were at least 350 of us there, in the lovely church. Tickets were an affordable R100. But there was not one, single person of colour amongst us. Not one.

What planet was I on? How was this possible? How could it be that I was in a crowd that size and there were only white people in the room? How was it possible that for all these people this was absolutely, totally normal? Whites only.

This is possible in Cape Town. No, this is accepted as normal in Cape Town. And it shook me to the core.

When we got up to leave we were some of the last; a recently divorced and well oiled lady was telling us more of her story. Then I noticed a team of coloured and black men enter the church. They had come to stack and move the chairs.

Megan to Cape Town. We have a problem.

Dog Love

An open letter in the form of a poem to two dogs who can’t read

Hot breath tells me you’re lying next to me

When I wake up and it’s cold and dark

Gentle snores comfort me

When thoughts of the world keep me awake

No greater joy than you, Linus, throwing your black head back

And bouncing away over the grass, still looking at me,

“Look Megan, look at my happiness now.”

No greater pride, Frieda, than you catching popcorn every time,

Chasing squirrels, and being all independent in public

But defining love in private as you slide up for a snuggle.

I love telling everyone who comments on your beauty

And softness and prettiness and kindness

How we found you at the SPCA and saved you, you being rescues.

But I always know it was you who did the saving

Of me.

Story

I am thinking about stories, telling them, remembering them, listening to them, sharing them and even being in them. They are my work, blood, passion and entertainment.

And, I want to write about them. I am writing lots of stories at the moment, but none are in first person, even though everything I write is informed by me. But I also just want to write about my stuff. So this is a true story about last night.

I pitched up at my friend Leonard just before 6pm. He lives close to town, and we were waltzing off to What if the World gallery in Buiten Street to an exhibition opening. We decided to walk; something I don’t do often, especially in the evening.

We did a brisk trot down Long Street; avoiding looking like tourists and the accompanying people who have a long story of their own about why you need to help them.

The gallery lights spilled down the ramp way/steps of what used to be where people drove their cars for fixing. It’s a gorgeous clean space, with levels and grey floors, and special gallery lights. Pink bubbles were served in short stylish cylinders. Brilliant and provocative art (from white men) bounced off the walls and filled the spaces and were viewed by a slick, chic and exceptionally gorgeous segment of Cape Town’s white art viewers. I had a moment of feeling I was in Norway.

Then we scurried further down Long Street to Church Street for another exhibition opening; a friend of a friend’s friend. Another space, this time darkly lit with the focus on the finest lined drawings by Marsi van der Heuwel. I liked the tiny lines.

We crossed the pedestrian road to AVA. At last. Actual black people; both artists and attendees. I fell in love with Nkosinathi Quwe‘s work; huge brilliant paintings depicting rituals. This is what he says about himself and his work. “Nkosinati Quwe is a painter who considers himself a visual messenger carrying the ancient story of the people – telling stories that have been told before, but from his perspective…”

Upstairs I got sucked in to watching a video installation. I think the artist was Mexican. A man collected bricks from rubble, built a kind of wall, made wooden squares, set them on fire, then smashed the wall. I became entranced with the sounds. For the first time I understood the weird and pervasive contemporary phenomenon of the people who make those brushing, licking, scratching videos – ASMR – autonomous sensory meridian response.

Then, from the balcony I played a delicious mime game with a toddler on the ground floor. We pretended to throw and catch things to and from each other. We laughed.

Leonard and I spilled back onto the street and walked with purpose, ignoring the woman who needed me to get her milk and bread for her toddler please mam, not for me mam, but for my child. The irony was not lost. We entered the safe and most absolutely Cape Town Royale Eatery; for me a vegan burger, and for Leonard a bunless meat but no carbs option. The irony was further not lost.

It was a huge and delicious meal. I was so glad to have been there after such a long time. Afterwards I said to Leonard that we would have to run up the road I was so stuffed full. We started a brisk walking jog. A big black man shouted out “Easy!” I told Leonard, “I think he thinks we are afraid of him.” On the next corner another young black man approached us. “Hey, why did you guys run? Are you scared? Are you Jewish? I can see you are Jewish!”

It was Tebogo, a young Sotho man from the North West. We chatted on the corner, getting to know each other. We explained our full tummies, and he explained his love of Jewish people. Leonard and I also had to explain that we weren’t a couple. It was a complicated, confusing, fabulous and fresh chat; on the corner of Kloof and Rheede.

I jumped into my car. Talk radio was all about fynbos. I switched off so I could listen to the world while I drove. I was remembering what Leonard had reminded me of; the Chinese scientists who had come to Sutherland, known for its pristine skies and also for its quiet, so they could listen to the sound of the world turning.

Those top 10 movies in Detail

I loved the Facebum 10 day movie challenge where you post a still a day from your 10 best movies and let your friends guess what they are. It was a delight to reconnect with and recommend the movies I love, so here is a bit more about my favourites.

  1. Brazil – I don’t know how many times I have watched this film. It is Terry Gilliam‘s masterpiece (he wrote it, with Tom Stoppard, and directed it) and it made Jonathan Pryce one of my favourite actors. There are so many scenes, lines, moments and visuals that I love. Too many to write about. But it is also Robert De Niro‘s greatest cameo. 

2. Spirited Away – when I think about this film I go to a place in my childhood    that remains unexplained yet deeply felt. Everything about this film is moving.

3. Whale Rider – This movie. Family drama. Cultural heritage. Feminism. Animals.

4. Funny Bones – the saddest deconstruction of what comedy is. This movie is the most triggering, heartfelt, brilliant, savage movie. And Leslie Caron. Wow.

5. Black Cat,White Cat – I didn’t know that movies could be anything until this one. The most creative, funny, dark, theatrical, visual and made film.

6. Volver – I love all of Pedro Almodóvar‘s films, but this one is my best. I also love Penélope Cruz the best.

7. As It Is In Heaven – This is a feel good movie that is beautiful and sentimental and so completely lovely, because it is character driven, and set in Sweden, and it has a choir. 

8. Big Fish – This is Tim Burton at his best, with a heavenly cast that includes Jessica Lange. And the theme song is by Eddie Vedder. I adore this movie.

9. Delicatessen – Another one of those movies that totally altered everything; performance, story, design. Saw this at least 5 times.

10. The Intouchables – Another French movie of utter fantasticalness. A deep connection tear-jerker. 

 

Then, a list of should be in the top ten only I thought about them too late, or forgot about them and then remembered. Everything is Illuminated. Pan’s Labyrinth. Beetlejuice. Finding Neverland. The Life of Brian. Silverado.

 

Quinoa made Edible

I want to experiment with this idea of blogging some of my own very useful vegan hacks and I thought that the best place to start is with the mostly utterly tasteless but so nutritious  quinoa.

Most recipes call for the simple boiling of this magical legume and the only thing it can compete with in terms of tastelessness is tofu.

So, here is my quinoa hack.

I fry up onion in some olive oil (not a lot), add the quinoa, salt, pepper and sometimes even other dried herbs, and enough water to cover and then an added 10mm over the top, and add a Knorr veg stock pot. I bring it to the boil, then turn it down and let all the water absorb.

So, chop half an onion.

Fry it up in a little olive oil.

Add a cup of quinoa. (I like white, but red or black quinoa is good too)

Stir up the quinoa to coat it.

Add water to cover and a little extra (10mm).

These are the stock pots.

Bring to boil, then simmer slowly until water is absorbed and evaporated.

I don’t have more pics because I used it immediately after cooking. I made Yotam Ottolenghi’s quinoa and sweet potato salad, which is so delicious.

Please leave me feedback about this post.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Veganised

I really only have one cake recipe that I love and that I have made over the years. It uses fresh lemon and is the perfect combo of tart and sweet. Big Friendly nags for it and it is the one thing I miss as a vegan. The non vegan recipe relies heavily on butter and eggs, so I always imagined it would be a challenge to veganise, but it is very easy, and doesn’t need anything fancier than egg replacer.

Here is the vegan recipe, which is pretty easy to follow. The only thing that is vital is that you allow it the full baking time. Don’t test it with a prick because it will look done and might not be cooked all the way through.

Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

1 cup coconut oil

2 cups white sugar

2 cups flour

egg replacer to replace 4 whole eggs

vanilla extract or even just essence

100 ml lemon juice

2 tsp baking powder

salt

icing sugar and more lemon juice

What to do

Pre heat your over to 180. Grease and line a round or loaf baking tin. In your mixer, beat up the coconut oil and sugar until the granules have disappeared. Then add the vanilla essence and the egg replacer mixture. In another bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder and slowly add to the wet mix along with the lemon juice. It ends up being quite a stiff mix. Scoop it into the tin and bake for 50 minutes. Don’t be tempted to take it out of the oven when it looks magnificent. Let it bake. When you do take it out, let it cool as you mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to a runny consistency. I like mine very tart. Then literally drizzle it over the cake and allow it to fall over the edges. Yum.

 

Page 2 of 259

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén