• On being barefoot

        Six of us – all only sometimes naughty children – crept out of the thatched holiday lodges in the middle of the game reserve before dawn while our respective parents were still sleeping. The planned great escape sprung into action as each one collected their fishing rods. There was muffled laughter at the… Continue Reading

  • Figuratively

    Sketches in ink – 51-52 My landlady gave us these objects of her work and creativity. They are lightly roasted dried figs and almonds. It seemed a pity to cut them up and eat them, but we did. We know what they taste like, you see. I make a mental note to factor in time;… Continue Reading

  • Breathing space

    Sketches in ink – 44-50 For me, being a freelance translator means I know what the date is, and certainly what the time is, but I often forget what day it is. It made so much more sense to me to enjoy a relaxed lunch with João on this day called Thursday than it did… Continue Reading

  • Strawberry Exchange

    Sketches in ink – 43 My grandfather, born this week in 1908, retired from his position as underground manager at one of the copper mines on the Copperbelt, Zambia at the age of 45. He spent some time thereafter as a caretaker of an apartment block, for which pleasure he and my grandmother got to… Continue Reading

  • Metatext

    Sketches in ink – 42 I learned a new word today. This is not unusual for a translator. This is not unusual for anyone who reads, for that matter. The word, as arbitrary as any other, looks harmless on the face of it: metanoia (from the Greek μετάνοια deary, in case your education in this… Continue Reading

  • This too, is sky

    Sketches in ink – 41 When first they fell on the concrete at my kitchen door the pale pink and white petals of the almond blossoms danced as I passed and fluttered about as the wind gathered up its gustiness. Is spring on its way? Now rain-sodden and forlorn, they are nothing more than a… Continue Reading

  • Live things

    Sketches in ink – 40 I got all excited today because I finished a little translation test of someone else’s short story. How utterly absorbing it was to delve into the web and the weft of the words woven by another. I read it out aloud to João after I had sent it off. She… Continue Reading