Black Hole Seizes Stars

via Blogger


Gripping Memories

Memory Storage in pictures
I have my photos on iPhotos, on Flickr, on Google photos. Flickr (used to?) give you one TB free storage, for iPhoto you need to pay for iCloud space, Google’s storage is limitless for reduced resolution. I like Google’s option because you can search your photos by keyword, and it makes nice collections of events. It’s also great for sharing albums. Every photo has its own (shortened) https link, but I think they decay? Flickr’s https-links are/were great. Frustratingly, I now have to delete duplicates endlessly, having triggered the automated upload on more than one front…this I need to sort out. Now I see iMazing, which is something like Time Machine for your iPhone and iPad…At some point all this memory curating may drive me crazy. Speaking of natural memory ability, today is my totem animal’s day. Me, my imagination and reality: a three-body problem. (I have finished The Heartland Trilogy– great fun, and have just started reading The Three Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu) So far it’s fascinating. I must try to go through The Feynman Lectures on Physics (link not verified, free to read online)
Muscle Memory in Cats
Try Muscle Memory, Gatti!


via Blogger

Slim Volumes

Slim VolumesOne of of the bundles of poetry I found in the old storage container was Komas uit ‘n Bamboesstok (Comas from a Bamboo Stalk), by D J Opperman. He wrote these poems after having been in a coma for seven months, and it is dedicated to his wife “Donata“, and three daughters “Fantina, Bellela and Moreta“, himself (Marco Polo) miraculously returned from kidney failure. I wanted to see if it was possible to somewhat authentically translate some of his poems into English. I am sure it has been done by someone more accomplished than me, but have not checked. The fun lies in doing it myself. I will do my next post on the two poems I chose from the bundle…

In my browsings to discover more about Opperman, I came across a little verse about a de Villiers (Viljee) family member! I have translated it as such:

On a Sunday afternoon the widow Viljee strolls slow

clad like a black scarecrow

next to the sea, with two collie hounds in tow


And then I came across these delightful verses in a posting about D J Opperman:

Met apologia (With apology)

Op ’n Sondagmiddag loop die weduwee Viljee
in swart geklee
met twee kolliehonde langs die see.

C. M. van den Heever: O skemervloeiing van die najaarsee! Jou Sondagende branders plooi en val en langs twee meeue dwaal ek geweduwee maar ewig ruis om my die Al.

I. D. du Plessis:
My twee windhonde draf
soos fezze langs die see;
ek vra Ali en Allah af
waar is meneer Viljee?

W. E. G. Louw:
Droef kyk my oë
deur die trane heen,
soos amandelbloeisels
deur die eerste reën;
ek rou oor die duine,
my bleek hande waai,
en ’n hond byt sy stert, soos hy draai, soos hy draai …

N. P. van Wyk Louw I:
O God! làngs U skríklike water
stap die weduwee Viljee
met dié weet: die waan en die waansin word later
twee honde wat dráf waar sy trèe.

N. P. van Wyk Louw II:
Op ’n Sabbatmiddag
(die dag is goed)
lê la veuve de Villiers
die heilige snol
bo die boulevard
(a) aars-e-lende om te kies
effens be-swaard
tussen twee kol-lies(te)

Uys Krige:
O wee,
o wee,
in swart geklee
op’n Sondagmiddag
loop die we-
met twee,
net twee
kolliehonde langs die see,
die see,
die see …

Elisabeth Eybers:
Portret van ’n weduwee Sy staar na die blou are op haar hand terwyl sy in die Sondagmiddag wat neerskyn op die rustelose strand, geduldig sit of loop en peins: Nou dat die vreemde bloeisel van herinnering – skaars liefde, skaars geluk – nog vir haar bly sal sy uit hierdie aardse wisseling en haar verlies tog weer die sterkte kry. So het sy klaarheid in haar gees gevind en so geweet die middag langs die see sy sal aan die twee kinders wat haar bind haar hele lewe wy as weduwee; en word sy later weer deur een gevra wat sal sy vir hom antwoord: Nee of Ja?

Ernst van Heerden:
In lanferwimpels tree, haar wandelstok ’n swaard, die weduwee Viljee in grandiose vaart verby die sinderende kaai. Waarheen die bruingepeesde spiere, die slink en wulpse draai van haar kaniene diere?

S. J. Pretorius:
O Here! ek word so opgewonne as ek die arme honne so kaalpoot sien draf, maar wat kan ek, we- duwee Viljee, doen met my pullover en staf?

(H/T to the  Stellenbosch Writers’ Website)

I studied many of these poets long ago at school. Translating their nuances and styles would be a  feat, but reading their interpreted styles for the same little verse I had translated made me laugh.

Another meander in this tale. I also came across a map of the old Huguenot wine farms in Fransche Hoek (French Corner), from whence most of my de Villiers family sprang. They were prolific! Of course, wine is in our blood…

The old Family Farms

Wine Farms

It ain’t Over

Brynhildr Brown, dachshund of my childish  heart

Brynhildr, Dachshund, little clover-faced darling…she became very stout in her last years, yet she never sang. She came into our household already named. We called her Brünsy. How she would bark at the ring of the brass ship bell mounted at the front door.

Brünhilda for Homework
Brünhilda for Homework

To Make A Canoe


To Make a Canoe

To make a canoe you need a corrugated iron sheet. You can nick one from a building site.

You probably shouldn’t.

Also an Outspan orange crate.

Blue fencing wire off the farmer’s fence. Some nails.

You lie the sheet over a ditch and jump on it until it has the right shape. You flatten the ends of the plate with a rock. Nail the nose seam of the boat shut onto a piece of wood.

That’s good.

Tar pitch: that we scrape off the roads on hot days, when it’s soft. It smells sharp. This you need to seal the holes. You can melt it more in a tin on a fire.

If you’re lucky, the canoe will float. With two of us in it, it might sink.

It is heavy.

You have to spread gravel in front of it to slide it on down to the river bank. Or, wait for it to rain, so it can slide on the red mud and into the bulrushes. We never waited, but sometimes it rained just in time. Woosh.

I once crossed the entire breadth of the Silverton River in full flood in a canoe we built.

The best thing is when you paddle yourself into the umbrella of the weeping willow, lie on your back in your own-made canoe, and stare up through the canopy, where the finch nests swing.