Eclectic Collection

Complex Comedy & Wood Woman

I was tearing my hair out between 3 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. yesterday morning. The housing complex’s perimeter alarm went off eight times. When the siren stopped wailing, a high-pitched ringing followed, mimicking tinnitus.

As the sky lightened, I armed myself with terrifying hair, a panic button, my bare feet, and my closest friend, Fluffy White Gown.

Together we crept around outside. We tiptoed behind dewy cars, ready to scream and traumatize the life out of trespassers, should any be found. It would dawn on them just what they were up against.

The elderly chairman lives next-door to me. The poor man might as well have the siren attached to the top of his head – it’s affixed to an outside wall that, inside, is his bedroom.

Knowing he had probably, like me, already consumed two hot drinks and, like me, spoken to the security company, I messaged him at 5:56 a.m.

I relish sharing my investigations and wildly entertaining conclusions with those who will do something with the info, other than ignore it.

An alarming Morning to you. I’m sure you’re awake I typed with one finger. My report and opinions followed. I signed off with Anyway, I think the MSec technical team might have to check it out.

He replied at 6:12 a.m. and signed off with this assurance and suggestion: I will definitely get in touch with MSec about all the drama. Anyway, it’s been nice talking to you so early in the morning. We should do this more often between 3 and 6 a.m.

His sense of humor is platinum and has been one of the finest and funniest facets of living in this complex.

Musical Hair

After this show and tell you’ll understand why my hair is a potent defense mechanism and why I only properly comb it before wash day.

It’s hands-off and combs-away at all other times because, post-comb, I look like an extra who wandered off the set of Amadeus decades ago and couldn’t adjust to life back in the real world.

I took a photo before stepping into the shower but after I’d been on my sleuthing, puffy-eyed mission at the break of day. The baroque style is growing on me. I think I look intimidatingly self-assured. What is it about selfies that gives one such a nose for things? Do I suck at taking them, or is my schnoz growing?

Comb Day


Leave it alone hey

Control restored. No more poofy. Puffiness subsiding. Please don’t touch my hair! It must dry in solitary confinement. Only then will it be on its best behavior.

This week’s Happiness…

is threefold.

I’m overdoing it because I’ll be away from my blog for a few weeks. I will be back with more Documenting Transitions etc etc etc the moment I can.

Crispy Kale

What a joy to learn of a simple way to make kale irresistible. Turn it into a crisp. Now it’s on the request list.

Wash the kale. Put it on a tea towel and gently pat it dry. Preheat your oven to a mild 130 degrees Celsius. I lightly oiled the oven rack (last time the dehydrated leaves stuck to the grid in places). Place the leaves in a single layer on the rack.

Sprinkle with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. I want to do the next batch with lemon juice and black pepper. Place in the middle of your preheated oven. Bake until the leaves rustle like parchment when you touch them. In my oven that’s about 45 minutes to an hour (I think). Serve piled high on a pretty plate.

The leaves crumble and disintegrate in your mouth, and some stalks are chewy and taste like vegetable biltong (dried, cured meat). The ‘crisps’ disappear in a flash.

Wood Woman

If you read last week’s post you’ll know I see splendid things in the grains and knots of wood. I wanted to sketch the woman who has kept an eye on me for nearly four years.

Only a portion of her face is visible – one eye, her nose, and a sweep of hair. Wood Woman’s nose is longer than the one I captured. I thought I’d do another sketch but there isn’t time enough for that.

Wood Woman is the featured image at the top of this post.

Caught in a Trap

A newspaper poster was tied to a pillar outside the Palmer Road cafe most Muizenberg children were sent to to buy bread and a wedge of pumpkin. I read THE KING IS DEAD, ran home and asked my mom which king had died.

The King of Rock ‘n Roll, she said, Elvis.

I was nine years old when Elvis Presley died in 1977.

Do you remember receiving the news of his death?

I listened to Elvis Presley all the time. Sitting cross-legged in front of the turntable, doing backing vocals on Suspicious Minds, was simple joy. I never understood why the song faded and then returned to full volume. Adulthood brought the Aha. He has tried to leave but, inevitably, returns to what is, clearly, a bad relationship.

Elvis Presley: The Searcher is a compelling, compassionate tribute to this one-of-a-kind musician who surrendered control of his creative genius to people he trusted, only to lose it, and his life, to exploitation, manipulation, and greedy grabbers. It is, in many respects, a desperate, sad, cautionary tale.

The happiness, for me, is having a fuller picture of a larger than life personality who was caught in a trap. He couldn’t find a way to free himself.

My children, over forty years later, listen to Elvis.

Take care and lots and lots of love to you.


xxx ❤ TeaShell Michele

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