Reminder: get-together in memory of John Moyle – 20 July 2019 at Olympia Bakery

Come and celebrate John’s life on Saturday 20 July, from 15h00 to 17h30, at The Olympia Bakery, St John’s Road, Kalk Bay.

If you’d like to, please make a donation to the Kalk Bay Haven Night Shelter in lieu of flowers.

RSVP by 12 July 2019 to or call Olympia on 021 788 6396.

John Maytham: Being Human – An evening of poetry to live by – 23 July 2019

We’re delighted to present Being Human – An evening of poetry to live by, with John Maytham.

Tickets are R100.

DETAILS: Kalk Bay Books, Tuesday 23 July 2019 at 18:45 for 19:15 (please note the unusual starting time)
BOOKINGS: Seats are limited so booking is absolutely essential. Please email and we will reply with payment details and confirmation.

To be human is to experience love, war, loss, joy, suffering and grief. Being human means being vulnerable, strong, funny, enraged, anxious and confused. Above all, it involves a quest for meaning.

Drawing on a range of poets from Billy Collins to Jane Kenyon, Dylan Thomas to Elizabeth Bishop, Michael Rosen to Derek Walcott, John Maytham reads poetry that reflects the many facets of our humanity, in a script compiled by Finuala Dowling.

Wine for the evening is generously supplied by Leopard’s Leap.

Curator & Crusader by Mike Bruton – 9 July 2019

D7o8FXpXsAAqFnVWe launch Curator and Crusader by Mike Bruton published by Footprint Press. Mike will be in conversation with Dr Graham Avery, retired senior palaeoanthropologist from Iziko.

DETAILS: Tuesday 9th July at 6 for 6.30pm
RSVP: Please email or call us on 021 788 2266

Continue reading “Curator & Crusader by Mike Bruton – 9 July 2019”

Excerpt from Jan Morris’s ‘In My Mind’s Eye’ (2018)

The irrepressible travel writer Jan Morris, at the age of 90, decided to keep a diary. Each entry is a gem, unique in subject matter, and her observations are whimsical as well as incisive. Over the next few weeks we’ll share some of our favourites.



morris-mindsSome novels I fear, are just too clever for me or, rather, I am not clever enough for them. Sometimes, though, it seems to me that they are just too clever for their own good. Of course, I relish the challenge of a superior artistic intellect, even if I need help to understand it.

For eighteen years I failed to get through Joyce’s Ulysses, until I was delightfully converted to its genius by Harry Blamires’s key to it all, and since then I have never looked back. I am still of the impertinent opinion, though, that such a great masterpiece would be even greater if it could be scoured of unnecessary obscurities, while its successor Finnegan’s Wake, since nobody I know has ever succeeded in reading it all the way through, seems to me a perfect waste of the master’s time.

All this is because I have now reached, with muddled feelings, page 38 of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). I am reading it, a bit late in the day, because I feel I ought to. The New York Times, I see, says it should be required reading for the whole human race. I shall soon know whether all of it is going to be required reading for me.

Later: No.

Review – Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City

lonelycitycoverAs someone who regularly enjoys solitude and “aloneness”, I leaped at the opportunity to explore the concept of loneliness, which is a state people often feel ashamed to admit to. Olivia Laing moves seamlessly between memoir, biography and cultural criticism, in a very successful attempt at investigating the cause of urban loneliness, as well as how it may be resisted and redeemed. This “strange and lovely state”, and the connection between isolation and creativity, is celebrated through the lives and works of iconic artists such as Hopper, Warhol and Darger.

The book is evocative, observant and comforting and one comes away with a deeper understanding of how beauty may be found in unexpected human experiences, and that loneliness is a rather special place.

Mary-Ann Burke