Monday, March 15, 2021


 How time flies. My last post was in December 2020. It is now the 15th March 2021. A full 3 months later. Strangely, Covid-19 has ensured that not much has happened over the last 3 months. Off course life happens, but it all seems to be in slow motion.

My major events are that I revamped my flat in Pinetown. A full makeover. I painted the walls, varnished the woodwork, fitted burglar bars to all the windows, replaced the kitchen tops with granite and retiled the bathroom fitting a new bath and shower unit whilst we were at it. I am now completely broke, but it was all worth it for the very nice tenant I now have. A Malawian professor and his wife, Very good payers.

My other big news is that Paul may be getting married to Ellery soon. As soon as the red tape has been completed in the UK. It is a minefield and he has been forced to employ lawyers to help him through the process. Good luck to him. And Carina, my God child is going to marry Rene' on the 22nd March 2022. She has booked a very nice venue in the winelands @ Mont Rouge, Tulbagh. Love is in the air.

And then I have decided to publish a third book. I think I will call it AFSP. (Anthology of flash fiction, short stories and poetry or Audrey, Frank, Stephanie and Paul.). This is fitting as one of my companies is called FSP Enterprises. FSP for Frank, Stephanie and Paul. Its only right that I bring Audrey into the equation here and it slots in perfectly.

I started writing after I was laid off work in 2003. I joined the Writers Circle in about 2006 but only started entering competitions in 2008. Anyway, I now have bits and pieces of writing dating from 2008 to the present. I have not been very active in the Circle for years now, Audrey didn't like the type of people that attended their meetings, but I have entered certain competitions from time to time. The closest I have ever got to winning was a third place about a year ago. I won R50. Great stuff!

Whilst at a Writers meeting I met Ros Fielding who dragged me off to LIPS (Live Poet Society) meetings, much against my will initially. I have never considered myself a poet and had, and still do have a pretty low opinion of poets in general. I hate it when they get all dramatic with angst, gnashing of teeth and rending of sack cloth. They simply over dramatis any subject to death. My poetry style is to follow the classic style of the type or genre of poetry being written to the letter, or as best I can. All very academic and formal. The first and third lines rhyme. Then the second and forth lines rhyme. Scholarly but correct. I have produced a few good pieces I think. You be the judge when the book is finally published. Don't hold your breath, it will still be a long while before I publish. I may have to write more to get the desired number of pages.

All I need to do now is find enough material of a high enough quality to warrant publication. I'm afraid I was not very good at writing in 2008.

As regards my health, which you probably don't want to hear about, But I include it so that you will not be too surprised if I pop off the twig one day.

My cellulitis is still with me after heaven knows how long. I started taking antibiotics, Purbac again on Saturday. The infection is still there, but seems to be confined to a very small circle on the top of my right foot. I know this strain is resistant to antibiotics but it is my only option. The Purbac comes from a months supply that I could not take earlier. I was sure that the antibiotics were making me sick after two months of taking them, so I stopped. Anyway, I am taking them now, first a five day course then if no improvement I have enough for another five days. We live in hope.

As for sales of my first two books. There are no sales. All my Shell contacts, all my bowls contacts, all the people in Toti, nobody is buying. I gave two books to Carina, my Godchild for her birthday. Even she did not bother to buy a copy of the books published by her Godfather. Nice hey?  I also gave a copy of each to Amanda, who has published two books on Amazon, but she is too poor to import any copies. How sad is that? A published author without a copy of her own books in hand. I referred her to Malherbe Uitgewers. They will publish for her at a reasonable price.

I gave a copy of both of my books to the library at Galleria They promised to acknowledge the generous donation, but never did. So much for getting rich from the sale of books. Forget it, I am going to starve.

Otherwise I continue to struggle to breath in the Durban heat. It is particularly bad when the temp is above 29 deg C during the day and the humidity is above 85, or over 24 degrees C at night, and the humidity is above 85 percent. Atmospheric pressure below standard, 1013 mbar also seems to to be bad. My Vannair asthma pump is critical at these times. Without the pump I would never sleep. I have always said that high temperatures are good for me, my muscles work when it is warm, but now I cannot breath. How pathetic is that?

And on that cheerful note, I leave you. Till next time then.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Still dodging the Covid bullet

 5th December 2020

We are at last getting to the end of this very bad year. May it never return.

Nothing much has changed on the home front. My cellulitis is still with me after 66 days of antibiotics. I can take them for 3 months so I will stick at it. My leg is a bit softer and the inflammation is minimal. Almost healed, but not quite. I still have 24 days of tablets. 29th Dec is D-Day.

We had a smashing party on the 14th Nov. Some 38 people present. Everyone apparently enjoyed the day and I sold 2 books. What a let down. They just will not buy.

I have recently contacted many of my old Shell colleagues, including Ian Howse my old MD  who promised to buy, as well as Reg Hoddinott, Corney de Villiers and Alan Wills. Many of my old bowling pals via WhatsApp and e-mail but no sales as yet. I gave a free copy of each to Mandy Sargent. Ruon van Zyl is still on top of the world, Sherwood bowling club is still going, mainly as a party, wedding venue, but the greens are still in use. Poor Merry Meredith, Kim's mum had got dementia and hardly remembers me. My cousin Lorraine Fourie bought a copy of each and some unknown bought a copy of The Bridge. Only 3 sales from Malherbe. Pathetic. 

I bought 30 copies of CNM and have sold or given away 23 so far. The rest won't last long. I want to stock the local libraries. I will start with Galleria on Tuesday 8th Dec. 

I saw a posting by Dynacure regarding their Dyn101 trials. They are aiming for full completion around 22nd April 2022. There are many imponderables. Will they start world wide trials earlier than this date? Will more trials even be necessary? Will they go to full sales after this date? I don't know but we at least have a target date now. 

I hope I survive that long. I struggle terribly to breath when it gets hot. That means above 24 degrees C, especially at night. I manage well at 18 deg c. At 20 I need the Astavent pump, at 24 night time temp I die. Very bad. The humidity also plays a part. It is now the rainy season and the high temps have not hit us yet. I hope to survive this summer. Summer 2021 will be a major challenge. Then who knows. Possibly a miracle cure. 


Friday, October 30, 2020


 30th OCTOBER 2020

I now think that my friends must be very poor, or they are just not interested in my story, or they cannot read. There must be a reason that I don't know off yet. I hope I find out one day. I say this because the article in the South Coast Sun was a resounding success. Everyone in Toti that I have met since it appeared on Thursday 15th October has commented on it and wished me well, but I have only sold one miserable copy. Only one to a dear, 83-year-old friend of mine, Rosemary Dickens. I find it astonishing that more copies have not been sold. What must I do to get people to part with their money, The only method that has worked so far is to confront the people face to face. Then they cannot run and generally buy. One has taken the book and promised to pay me later. I hope later arrives soon.

I have given a few copies away, One was to my domestic, Doreen Gubese. She offered to buy a copy of The Promised Bridge so I gave it to her. She didn't ask for Living with CNM but I gave her one anyway. I know I don't pay her enough to make her buy a copy. A bit risky maybe, but she has been with us for 8 years and watched me go from walking quite strongly to sitting in a chair permanently. Maybe she deserves to know why. It is also good that she at least likes reading. Nery our missionary bought one, but has not paid for it yet. 4 books were sold into the complex. I still need to ship a whole bunch of books around the country. Next week maybe.

My 70th birthday is coming up on the 14th of November. Audrey has decided that it is a milestone that must be celebrated, so she is arranging a party at The Garden of Eden, or Evil, as some would like to call it. A small, simple affair with 26 odd friends. Or so I thought. One of the invitees is Val Hazel. I forgot that her birthday is on the 13th of November. On hearing my plans she immediately proposed that we have a joint party, She wants to invite 6 or 8 of her closes friends. That's great. Now we are looking at a party of some 32 or more. You just cannot keep a good party small it seems.

My cellulitis is still with me. After 10 days of injections in the bum every day and oral antibiotics twice a day, it seems to be almost healed, but not quite. Technology has moved on though and there is now an antibiotic, antibacterial called Purbac that can be taken for three solid months. If that doesn't kill the bug then nothing will, or I will have to go to the hospital. I do not want to go to hospital. There are too many stories told of people going to the hospital, only to catch Covid-19 or worse, and then dying. That is not for me. The general perception of hospitals is that they are no longer viewed as the Safe Havens that they once were. I am getting so desperate that I am now trying Colloidal Silver, 20 ml by mouth a day and a topical rubdown of the affected area every morning. It has been 8 days now and no miracle cure has happened. Silver is a very effective antibacterial, but streptococcus is not on the list it seems. I am now on 3 months of antibiotics as well as anti-inflammatories. Please pray for me.

More next time.

Friday, October 9, 2020


 It never was and is still not my intention to get rich from selling my books. I know that what I have written will never appeal to the masses and sell thousands of copies. Having said this I do need to recoup my costs. I bought 50 copies from Malherbe the other week and it cost over R4000. Cash upfront. I desperately need all or at least the majority of that money back. There are a lot of people and institutions that need free copies. I would like to give each of the four local libraries a copy each. There are some very close friends that are old and technologically stunted, this means they will never buy a copy from a website on their own, that I will give copies to. The National Library gets a free copy for providing the ISBN number. There are numerous other worthy causes that will get free copies. These costs are lost, but I do need to sell the rest for a profit. I will sell at the same price that Malherbe charges. The saving will be in the courier fees which can be quite high.

    But I also need to sell.

And what better way is there to let the community of Amanzimtoti know that I have arrived than to invite the local newspaper around for a cup of tea, He refused the tea but Earl was a very likeable chap that seemed to take a real interest in what I had to say. He took copious notes and assures me that a full article will appear in next weeks edition of the SUN. That should spread the word far and wide. We also approached Readers Rest, the local book store in Seadoone Mall and they were very keen to take a few copies on consignment stock to put on their shelves. I will continue to search for other sales avenues.

In the meantime my health continues to let me know it means business. I got a bout of Cellulitis on Wed 30th September. Audrey was suffering from high blood pressure at the same time so I sent a picture of my pathetic foot, all red and swollen to my local GP and begged for antibiotics. She responded with a 5-day course. They almost worked, another two days and I would have been healed, so she prescribed a 10-day course of Penicillin, which has worked before. Three days in and accompanied by a very rigorous bout of de-watering, three times a day, and I seem on track to full recovery. I hope so. This bout has been quite painful where previous infections have been relatively pain-free. And so life trundles on, never dull, never boring.

Friday, September 11, 2020


 Friday 11th September 2020


I took a huge chance and to my surprise and relief, it paid off handsomely. I don’t remember where, but I saw that Dynacure were looking for people living in the USA with Autosomal dominant CNM to share their stories. This was around the end of July 2020. I don’t live anywhere near the States but I have recently published my book, Living with CNM, which tells my story from the day I was born until early 2020. I contacted them and much to my delight Lori Gorsky soon after bought 12 copies of the book. Printing, shipping and reading the book takes time of course, so I waited with bated breath to hear what they thought of my effort. Near the end of August Lori asked whether I would be available to talk to her and a few of her colleagues They had some questions for me. What did that mean? Did they not understand what I had written? Were they going to ask tricky questions about my deepest darkest, fears? Did they like my book or was it seen as rubbish by these learned people? Anyway, I agreed to a Zoom meeting the following week even though I haven’t the faintest idea what Zoom is or how it works. I know someone that has used Zoom before though so I begged them for, and got a quick crash course in how it worked. On the day I logged in just fine but as luck would have it Didier, my brother-in-law, tried to Skype me three times just five minutes into the meeting. Bing-bong, bing-bong. He would not stop until Audrey phoned him to explain that I was in a very important meeting. I was trying hard to impress these good people but I was constantly being interrupted. Shortly after that, the buffering started which caused me to miss a lot of the introductions. My poor little 10 Mbps WiFi connection was just not able to feed the seven video in/outputs all at once. Poor Lori who was controlling the show had to keep muting people and eventually cut my video feed altogether. I was a nervous wreck by this time, but we managed a reasonable conversation, without seeing me, after that. It turns out that the Dynacure people may be experts at science but they also need to know the people that they are dealing with. How do we live? What difficulties do we face, how do we overcome them, what bothers us most? What are we looking for in a cure? If a total cure is not possible then will we be willing to settle for something less? How are we coping with life now and also, how are our caregivers coping with caring for us, they asked. Audrey sat in on the meeting and everyone was very interested to hear her side of the story, which is very different from my take on events. I was sad when the meeting had to end after a very short hour, but at the same time relieved that I had survived without any major mishaps.

I must thank Dynacure for a very informative meeting where I learned a lot about their Dyn101 trials and how they are progressing. The program has sadly been much delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic but is back on track now. I met and got to know a lovely group of people that are interested to hear our story, which I will continue to tell them off as it evolves over time. They even said they liked my book. 😊

I wish them all of the best with their work and look forward to whatever assistance they can offer us in future.

Participants were;

Stephane van Rooijen, CEO Dynacure.

Belinda Cowling, Chief Scientific Advisor.

Chris Freitag, Chief Medical Officer.

Stephanie Hoffman, Market Development.

David Garrett, Chief Financial Officer.

Leen Thielemans, Chief Development Officer.

Lori Gorski, Patient Advisor and meeting coordinator.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

 MORE MALHERBE-UITGEWERS.  22nd August 2020.

And so a few more weeks have passed and the books are still not on the shelf. I don't know why but since the Coronavirus struck the country seems to have settled into slow motion mode. Nothing gets done quickly any more. I asked Renault to collect my car and fix a small oil leak that appeared after the last service and five working days later they have still not made an appearance. This after many reminder calls. 

Malherbe are working on my books though. They have started pre-launch advertising on their Facebook page. Uitgewers. They actually have four Facebook addresses. One for Afrikaans books, one for Poetry, one for English writer's and one for general news. They also have a web page It is quite enlightening to see what the other poets and authors have to say. They have a free reading section where you can "Test drive" a book that you want to purchase. Read a few pages to see whether you like the writers style. There are also lots of poems available to read. I like them so far. I hope you find their web site easy to open and peruse. Let's hope the books will be available for purchase next time I write.

I have just learned that the guys at Dynacure have purchased a whole lot of copies of Living with CNM. Dynacure are currently testing a cure for CNM and when I let them know my book was available, they purchased 12 copies for their staff. What a jackpot. 12 copies in one hit. Lovely.

Monday, August 3, 2020


3rd August 2020

A strange thing this Coronavirus. I published my book in America, but I cannot buy a copy. Amazon says that because of lockdown they cannot ship to SA. I struggled for weeks to get a copy, then realised that I would need to follow a different path. I looked around SA and eventually decided that Malherbe Uitgevers, based in Margate, KZN, although they are an Afrikaans outfit would be most suitable for my needs. I approached them and they gladly accepted the challenge of publishing my books. They have a nice little web site with many titles to choose from, their printing costs are reasonable and they can deliver countrywide in a reasonable time.
I today asked them to make a few changes to my proof copy of Living with CNM  and hope to get the next proof copy within a few days.
The Promised Bridge needed a few tweaks but should be fine now.
They also sell e-reader copies which can be sold at a reasonable price. It is the courier costs that push the price of the hard copy out of reach for most of us.
Both books should be freely available from within the next week.
happy reading.


 How time flies. My last post was in December 2020. It is now the 15th March 2021. A full 3 months later. Strangely, Covid-19 has ensured th...