It’s easy to pass through life unattached to most of it. This, in part, is what made me want to offer my time out for free for the next 6 months, knowing full well that some of what I was missing out on could potentially offer itself back to me in the form of a request for help. When Cherry, the Communications Assistant here at Heart n Soul, tweeted to see if I would like to help out for the day, all I needed was a nudge toward google to realise this is exactly the kind of charity and, as it’s turned out throughout today, group of people it would be an absolute pleasure to spend some time with.
What is it about heading into pastoral England that immediately fills me with a sense that every atom is taking a collective sigh?
Spring is trying (not very hard, I’ll grant) to break through the icy clamp Winter has upon the land, with railway stations defiantly placing staunch little flower pots of optimistic foliage. Wait, could it be possible that I’m in…*sudden intake of breath* …holiday mode?!?!? Already everything’s starting to taste better!
I have my camera (in case the weather decides to play nice) and am ready to do battle with elements of the great outdoors! Been too long grumpy with this indoorsy-type shit!
Onwards and outwards, Fraser! The daffodils are beaming happily their encouragement.
(And if all else fails, you can find me, hearth-side, glass of wine in hand).
There is always tomorrow, after all…
It’s a funny thing, that time in space when you reach a momentous decision to swim against the main stream of public opinion…
And do exactly the opposite of what your friends decide is supposedly best for you.
I guess I need to write this down to justify my logic, should I be blessed with such…
DECISION: I am not going to bypass a BA in favour of an MA
1. I have a sneaky suspicion that there’s a natural progression of logic between the levels, FD-BA-MA-PhD
2. I doubt that I have the natural academic capacity to bypass any of the steps above anyway
3. I believe in honouring the institution that’s investing its hard-earned time & knowledge in growing my grey matter. I can do this by paying my dues through its system & keeping the faculty employed
4. I don’t believe in shortcuts. They never end well. You always landing up paying double the price you should have in the first place - and that’s literally AND metaphorically.
If I put my mind to it, I could probably find a reason or two more to add to this. But for now, that’s about the sum total of my argument.
Before I forget.
There *is* one last thing…
I think I’m a bit beyond peer pressure.
Last night I was travelling home in the rain, the ubiquitous red London bus reflected in the puddles of rain as the droplets of water cascaded down the misted windows. It thundered (unusual for London!), reminding me of the tempestuous storms back home on the Highveld. Yes, home will always be Africa for me, I guess, no matter where my travels take me…
As the traffic ground to a snail’s pace, an upstairs light shone forth from some stranger’s home. In the un-shuttered window stood a dressmaker’s mannequin. And mom, while you are never far from my thoughts, the image sharply reminded me of the hundreds of hours you poured into sewing costumes for my ballet performances, competitions and exams that bound our lives from as far back as I can remember. There wasn’t a time when I wasn’t being admonished to stand still while you agonised over a hemline, or the meddlesome drape of a Greek chiton. There also wasn’t a time when I set foot on stage in anything other than the perfect outfit. From the royal blue Russian dress for my first ever Concorde de Ballet competition, to the exquisite satin coffee-coloured tutu for my final competitive appearance as Princess Aurora. You created a magical skin in which I could transform into whichever character I needed to be, whether it was a star, Peter Rabbit or Frith. I had costumes created ion me that I longed to wear long after I had outgrown them (remember the ice blue skater costume with white fur trim? I used to squeeze into that dress long after the seams could take the strain!)
I know you can’t ever thank your parents enough. But this one is long overdue.
You see, every moment I was on stage, your love was with me, literally sewn into the fabric of each and every costume.
I cherish the memory of each and every costume. How lucky was I, as a child, to have such a tangible expression of a mother’s love? And how much luckier am I, as an adult, to be able to tell my mom how much I appreciate the hours she loving poured into helping me make my dreams come true…
More from this conference: Journalism Ethics in the Digital Age
More videos from this partner: The Paley Center for Media