In Memoriam

(I wrote this on Thursday 13th November, scribbled on the programme for my mother-in-law’s cousin Jenny’s memorial service, while we waited for the official proceedings to begin) Each funeral, memorial or cremation now evokes for me vivid memories of previous such occasions, as well as recollections of those now dead whose formal commemorative events I … More In Memoriam

Her Voice

Wanting to bring Ouma’s voice to her memorial – to bring her memory alive, somehow, and feel the comfort of her presence – I read out extracts from her letters over the many years during which we corresponded. 27/04/1999 Harfield Village Dearest Laurel, As the winter approaches, I’m becoming a ‘kitchen dweller’ – the sun … More Her Voice

Amsterdam Impressions

Written on Saturday 15th October 2011: When I was last on an aeroplane, watching England recede into abstract swirls of greenery, I was clutching my mother’s ashes tightly, on my way to Cape Town for her memorials. This morning, as Amsterdam grew into sparkling reality below me, with the early morning sun glistening off seemingly … More Amsterdam Impressions

Facing the Shadows

My mother’s favourite author was Ursula K. Le Guin. After many years of dreaming of it, she finally wrote a letter to ‘her Ursula’, expressing how important her writing had been to her, and she received a brief but delightful, and heartfelt, reply. I stumbled across it when I was back in South Africa for my mother’s … More Facing the Shadows