A few days at home
11 May 2012 § Leave a comment
11 May 2012
Today is the first of my ten days of summer at home. Fleeting days of sun in the mountains, of awaking to birdsong, of long stretches of reading with no regard to time, scattered sparingly over four months. It seems odd, yet I won’t be in that many places; I hope to avoid that horrid running-around exhaustion that trails along with hordes of activities crammed into a sliver of time. Yesterday, my mother and I fetched little sister from school, managed to fit her impossibly large mountain of bags into the car, and then arrived home to find my father and the grandparents here. The grandfather left for London today, but he shall return anon. Watching the Shirley Temple version of Heidi might alleviate any confusion about unnatural articles here.
Right now, I have four more days at home, and then I’m going to South Africa to do research for my thesis next year. This semester, whilst in a comparative history program of the civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid struggle, I began research on Lewis Nkosi, a South African journalist, novelist, playwright, and other writerly things, and this summer, I actually have the chance to interview people who knew him. One of them lives in a township. One of them is the daughter of an erstwhile MP. One of them, the journalist Allister Sparks, invited my class into his home for a chat about the present state of South Africa earlier in the semester. My principal memory from that is how I was sitting on the floor and fidgeting a lot because I felt restless and faint from the heat and also felt on the verge of tears because I thought the fidgeting would offend him. I’ll be mostly in Johannesburg from 17 May – 19 June, but right at the beginning I’m going to Durban to meet up with a professor. A most exciting prospect is that Grace is coming along for the first half of the trip!