Category Archives: About Me

Do you ever wonder…?

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If people who cuss when driving on the highway, all alone in the car, know how stupid they look?

Recently, when visiting South Africa I invited my kids to see the Lipizzaner horses – Yup that is what happens in old age, when your kids grow up and leave home – you invite them to the Lipizzaner show, and worse, they say, “OK mum…”

We were staying in Vereeniging which is about 100km from Johannesburg and to get to where the kids live, I skirt Soweto,  pass Baragwanath Hospital and Southgate Mall!

Hey, it makes me feel at home, among the mini buses and litter.

Now, since Jeremy Clarkson has been booted, I have to tell you about my car myself! To start with, it’s big. Four wheel drive, with a three litre, inter-cooled, turbo diesel engine, it guzzles juice. It has wheels like, nine inches wide and it can go for 1600km without the need for a stop at the filling station. It’s called a Vigo and you don’t get them in SA, so every hairy Boer who ever claps eyes on it HAS to ask if they can play with the little back door that opens the wrong way. We buy them here in Zim instead of a double cab, so that every policeman along the road doesn’t ask for a lift – rather than squash into the jump seat, they rather wait for a double cab to come along!

Toyota Hilux Vigo

(See the little door? Its that half size one, behind the passenger door – and it opens backwards!)

These Toyota Vigo’s are imported by my brother in law from Thailand…

ADVERT ALERT – if any of you rich aid organisations out there are reading this blog and looking for a brilliant vehicle, that has the right mix of luxury and off road capability, you can get one from my brother in law in Bulawayo at the “Toy Shop!” Not only does he provide excellent ‘after purchase service’ he is SO cute – so even if you are not an aid organisation and just want a hunky mechanic to discuss anything at all about your car…visit the Toy Shop.

Sorry about that – where was I? Oh yes…my brother in law…

no, my car…

NO – people swearing when they are totally and completely alone, driving along the highway.

Leaving Soweto behind me, I hit the Western Bypass on the N1 and let me tell you, on a Sunday morning before nine, it’s a magic road. Widened and completely re-surfaced  to handle the vast traffic expected for the World Cup Soccer 2010, it is four lanes of driving bliss and yes, it’s not hard for my speed to creep. I wasn’t late, I don’t have that excuse, I just can’t resist that open road, gently rolling hills and awesome curves. A concrete wall about a meter and a half high, separates the incoming and outgoing lanes, ensuring that when there is an accident, you have to wait the obligatory four hours for the traffic to clear.

I got into the outside lane, and putting foot flat, admired the Florida Hills on my left, stared down my nose at the tiny pink match-box houses and….all in a heart stopping second, my hands vibrated on the steering wheel and an indescribable noise assaulted my ears. For a gut wrenching moment, I thought I was back in the Rhodesian Bush War, the sound of incoming AK-47 bullets, and the return fire from the MAG on the gun turret of the convoy vehicle. Or perhaps my gear box had come undone from its mountings and was whizzing around and around on the prop shaft, or maybe a guy on a jackhammer in the back seat?

No. It was simply those nine inch wide tyres I was boasting about earlier. They had crossed over a rumble strip cunningly disguised/included in the white line demarcating the extreme right of the road. Its put there to give sleepy drivers – about to crash into the wall – that last minute wake up call. Well, it works. It woke me up.

And I know, that somewhere up there in the bright blue afterlife is a Dominie chuckling and chalking another one up to the South African Roads Department. Another foreigner – yelling praises to the Lord on a bright sunny Sunday morning!

OK – so I cussed. All alone in the car and without thought to how stupid I looked, I cussed out loud. And no, I’m not going to repeat my  cuss words, or I will have to move this post to my bad language page!

But I can tell you WHO I cussed:

Zuma!

After all, when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

I made it to the Lipizzaner show:

LipizzanerLipizzaner Lipizzaner Lipizzaner

 

Of course, the part I really enjoyed was meeting the horses later at the stables behind the arena….

Lipizzaner Lipizzaner

 

Please have a look at my books.

Click here, to download Silk Threads from Amazon

Silk Threads

Click here to download A Pale

A Pale

Please post comments on the books here on my blog, or at Amazon.

You can email me at:

forfrankiekay@gmail.com

I love fan mail and discussing my books via email, so please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Silk Threads is free on Smashwords… please download a copy of Silk Threads  here:

Silk Threads

Reckless Gambol, a Silk Threads vignette can be downloaded here:

RG2.

And a copy of Jack and Jill here

Jack and Jill a short story

Please leave a comment on Smashwords

 

Engage brain before mouth…

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‘Think before you speak.’ I hate that line. ‘Engage brain before mouth,’ is phrase I had continually thrown at me. As a child, I was always told to do that and couldn’t. But after our recent visit to South Africa when we stayed with my brother in law (B-I-L) in Vereeniging, I can understand why it was drummed into my head.

Vereeniging, about 80km South of Johannesburg, is about the size of Bulawayo, and suits us just fine. Also, B-I-L has a plot out of town, and that also suits me fine. I find the noise in Johannesburg tiring and unpleasant.

B-I-L house in Vereeniging

BIL plays golf at the local course every Saturday, partnered by the same guy every week. They own a share of a ‘golf estate’ in Bela Bela about 250km away and go there regularly to play.

Clubhouse at Zebula Golf Estate

Clubhouse at Zebula Golf Estate

Zebula Golf course

Zebula Golf course

A week or so after we arrived, his partner invited him to pay at Legends (golf course) which is another couple of hours the other side of Bela Bela. The plan was to spend the night at Bela Bela  and drive to Legends in the morning.

Wow, the lengths people will go to, to clout a little ball around!

BIL wasn’t over-enthralled by the whole idea. Perhaps he thought he shouldn’t desert his visitors? Or perhaps he had a bad feeling. In the end, however, he went, his golf partner traveling with him in his car…or bus rather. It’s a nice vehicle, if rather soft – B-I-L lent it to us last year to tour around South Africa.

Bus under a disused railway bridge

Bus under a disused railway bridge

Very happy to have the house to ourselves, we gaily waved him goodbye and set about doing all the things we weren’t supposed to do: ate his chocolate, and other fancy food, walked around the house naked and had wild monkey sex.

Pretty early the following morning, I was woken by a phone call, from him. Now here is a big surprise, he is such a scrooge, that he rarely uses the phone. In fact, he is such a scrooge, that he doesn’t even keep shampoo in his shower – he uses the shampoo at the golf course!

He opened with the line, “I’ve got a disaster here…A serious disaster.” Now this, is from a guy who, midwinter in Siberia, may say, “It’s a little chilly here,” or “That’s somewhat pricey…” about a 120 million rand holiday home. What could constitute a disaster? ….he’s had to spend money on breakfast, perhaps? No seriously, I imagined an accident – dead bodies strewn all over the place, or one of those mass murders you hear about so often in South Africa. My stomach dropped, I got a huge adrenaline rush. Disaster scenario’s raced through my mind. Maybe it was one of my kids – also in an accident. Or maybe family…

No, his disaster was simply that his car had broken down about 10km from Bela Bela (Warmbaths in the old days!) That’s it. No accident, no mangled bodies. His golf mates had caught a lift to Legends for their round and would see him later in Bela Bela. I flip into ‘fix it’ mode – I’m good at that. Phone around for a tow vehicle, organise the Vito to be towed to Bela Bela. Not long after, he calls to say his diesel tank (made of plastic) flexed when a rock hit it, and bashed into the fuel pump. It was totally shattered and the replacement part would take two days to get there.

Now I couldn’t possibly leave him sitting in Bela Bela all day, so I offer to drive down, keep him company until his partner arrived. Take photos of the scenery. I mean, I can easily drive through Johannesburg traffic at lunch time, hell, I even know where I’m going!

Traveling north along the N1 the Bela Bela off-ramp directly ahead, I get a whatsapp from him. This is it verbatim: “I’m drowning my sorrows at Panarotti’s opposite the Game…” I stare at the screen in horror and think, “brilliant. He is sloshed. Marvelous. That’s all I need.”

I don’t do alcohol in any form. At all. Nada. I don’t drink it, or buy it, or associate with legless people. And now I not only have to collect B-I-L from this Panarotti place, but negotiate him into my car and….oh boy. I imagined going into some dark dive, with any number of soaks propping up the bar counter, the smell of smoke and old timers and alcohol all pervading…I imagined oozing a loud, giggling B-I-L off a bar stool and guiding him outside…eeuw

My first thought was just to go up the off-ramp, turn right instead of left to Bela Bela, and just go back south! My second – I keep on driving North to Zimbabwe! That would be a solution!

I soon discover, Panarotti is a pizza place and no alcohol is served there. Not used to the heat in Bela Bela, B-I-L had to drown his sorrows with iced tea! Pity he didn’t ‘engage brain before he opened his mouth!’

So next time people, when you have a disaster such as B-I-L’s, please first think to say something like, “Everything is fine, but I have a disaster here…” And remember drowning your sorrows can have only one meaning!

What an expensive round of (non) golf!

I took some pics around Bela Bela. They weren’t great which is strange, because the area is SO African. Vast and endless and blue. On the way back to Zimbabwe we stayed over at Zebula – the photos are on my photoblog here:

This is B-I-L’s house at Zebula:

B-I-L's house at Zebula

B-I-L’s house at Zebula

Please have a look at my books.

Click here, to download Silk Threads from Amazon

Silk Threads

Click here to download A Pale

A Pale

Please post comments on the books here on my blog, or at Amazon.

You can email me at:

forfrankiekay@gmail.com

I love fan mail and discussing my books via email, so please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Silk Threads is free on Smashwords… please download a copy of Silk Threads  here:

Silk Threads

Reckless Gambol, a Silk Threads vignette can be downloaded here:

RG2.

And a copy of Jack and Jill here

Jack and Jill a short story

Please leave a comment on Smashwords

Bulawayo…

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…is in Zimbabwe, which is in the middle of Africa!

“Skies” or “City of Kings” are nick names given to our hometown! “Skies,” because of the numbers of clear blue days we get here a year and “City of Kings”….well need I say more!

A sleepy, well planned town, Bulawayo grew slower than it’s colonial planners thought possible. As a consequence, we have not seeped at the edges like many other African cities! We have no shanty towns, our parks and other designated green areas remain intact, our wide streets unclogged with traffic.

Flamboyant trees

 

Centenary Park, BulawayoCentenary Park Centenary Park Centenary park

My book, Silk Threads is based in Bulawayo and Johannesburg, and I wanted to say SO much more about my hometown. I didn’t fit it all in so I’ll have to write many more books!

I maintain a blog: https://frankiekayfotos.wordpress.com  where I post photo’s of Bulawayo and the surrounding areas. Please have a look, the countryside is unique and very beautiful.

Now…to me, and a day in my life here in Bulawayo. I live in Suburbs, in one of the very first houses built in colonial Bulawayo. The streets are laid out in even bocks, lined with Jacaranda trees. Typically built on about an acre, we even have the remnants of stables for horses – now converted to servant’s quarters, or what is locally called a ‘kya.’

This is a pic of the front of our house:

Park Road

 

We live here with several people and lots of animals. The people first: my husband (a geophysicist,) his gang of workers and Pio, who doesn’t work for us, only lives with us. His story is on my writing blog here!

 

This is Brighton, our gardener together with Dusty (his favourite of our dogs!) and the survey team marking the spot for a borehole.

Brighton and DustySurvey gangOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove is Fa – our handyman when he isn’t surveying for water.

 

We also have dogs, cats, chickens (occasionally a horse, passing through!)

2014-11-04 Dogs Pk RdI love cats…passed and present!

https://frankiekay.wordpress.com/?s=last+post this is a story about Twinks, our little orphan kitten. https://frankiekay.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/vikki/ is a story written by Vikki.

I have written about Bella, pictured below here:

Bella

 

https://frankiekay.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/rip-scar-2/

and, being Africa, a host of wild life is also to be found in our home: insects, spiders, scorpions, lizards and of course birds. Every morning, I wake to the bird songs and have recently planted a line of peach trees outside our window for the fruit eaters among them.

Birds at Pk Rd

This crested barbet comes to our window and beats his reflection up…I took this pic through the glass!

Crested Barbet

I help children who can’t read, or have trouble with Maths or are Aspergers sufferers. This is the room I use:

Park RoadMakes it all much more homely than a classroom!

Shopping Centres….both ends of town!    The lower pic is an upmarket shopping centre, this one  is a bus terminus where you can buy anything from frozen fish, to maize meal; to axes, old drums and second hand tyres!

Rnkini

Shops

 

There is too much for me to fit into one blog post – please browse around my photoblog – and most importantly, my writing blog!

I wrote Silk Threads to introduce people to Aspergers Syndrome through my character Lisa. I thought a novel would be better than a dry text book.

Click here, to download Silk Threads from Amazon

Silk Threads

Click here to download A Pale

A Pale

Please post comments on the books here on my blog, or at Amazon.

You can email me at:

forfrankiekay@gmail.com

I love fan mail and discussing my books via email, so please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Silk Threads is free on Smashwords… please download a copy of Silk Threads  here:

Silk Threads

Reckless Gambol, a Silk Threads vignette can be downloaded here:

RG2.

And a copy of Jack and Jill here

Jack and Jill a short story

Please leave a comment on Smashwords

 

Hello…I’m Aspie…

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I want to talk to you; I really do. I want to join in, play on the beach, like everyone else.

I don’t know what I look like to you. What should I look like? Is this OK? Do I look “normal?”

I'm Aspie

 

I want to enjoy myself – I just don’t really know how…

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Next time someone looks away when you are speaking to them, doesn’t make eye contact, before you think “rude,”  STOP; ask yourself why. Why does he look away?

Before you again say to a child “look at me” pointing at your eyes, STOP and ask yourself if he really can look at you. If it were easy, he would make eye contact.

People with “Higher Functioning Autism” or Aspergers  (I call them Aspies) are real people inside that mask you see. Some are brash or aggressive, others pompous; some overly polite, in an attempt to negotiate their way around a world they often don’t understand…can’t fit into.

There are as many different kinds of “Aspies” out there as there are “Higher Functioning Autistics” so I can’t list manifestations…but being married into a family of them, I know how difficult their lives can be.

Lisa, (in my novel, Silk Threads) is an Aspie. It was hard to describe her, because she doesn’t say much, hardly moves her body to express herself…I used her diaries to show that she was a very different person hidden behind her rather unattractive exterior.

I won’t say any more about Aspies, or this post will become boring – there is plenty of information on the net, or better still, read my novel, Silk Threads…its much more fun than wikipedia!

You can buy Silk Threads for kindle on Amazon.com here: (P.S. – PLEEEZ post a review!)

Amazon UK here:

Or if you are in Canada…here:

 

The unabridged version of Silk Threads is available on Smashwords for FREE…please download a copy  here:

Silk Threads

And a copy of Jack and Jill here (also free)

Jack and Jill a short story

Please leave a comment on Smashwords

Tit for Tat…

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Tit for tat…seems to be intrinsic to society. It appears to have been with us for eternity. For an Aspie, tit for tat is a mystery. An Aspie wants you to say, “now you do this for me, and I’ll do that in return…” They want to know clearly what you are talking about. No innuendo’s or double guessing for them. They feel no need to disguise what they are doing. Ever wonder why an Aspie appears rude and abrupt? Read the rest of this entry

Red Memories…

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Our long term memories are located near the emotion centre in our brains. Psychologists know that to lodge a memory well and truly… link it to an emotion. Looking through my photos for interesting ones to post on FB I came across this one…

Indaba Site

A vivid recollection flashed through my mind: the first time I ‘met’ Cecil John Rhodes.

Read the rest of this entry