Haunted House

Dear Bloggies, I miss you!  Most days I’m too busy trying to figure things out to go online; when I do, I’m too depressed to know what to say.

This post about the Haunted House has been struggling to take shape and it is still taking shape.  I’ll write a story about it at some point.  But right now it is eerily real.  The Haunted House wants to suck us in every time we go there to pack some more things.  It wants us to “stay awhile”.  It tries to lure us into leaving the trellydoor unlocked.  “Look, the garden is so pretty!”  It tries to keep us until dark…  but we’re wary, and salted now, we see through its illusions…

It is not Iain who is haunting the house.  He’s not that kind of ghost, and in any case, it was haunted long before.  The creepy dark corridor, the weird new wing that was built on for the sole purpose of impressing passers-by (why??), and that was so dark and cold at night…  the way M-i-l never dared to move into the main bedroom because she felt “evil presences” there…  M-i-l formulated her will to the best interest of – are you sitting down? – her House!  Any more doubts that the blooming place is haunted?

So, please be patient, and think of the Swan (Saent-Saens), which glides gracefully across the surface with no apparent effort, while underneath the feet are paddling like mad…






Minutes back, gunshots in the street.  A low register, sounded like at least a rifle.  I heard 7 of them but my children say there were four.  On calling the guard house, apparently this outside the wall.  It sounded as though it were right under our window!

Sorry, guys.  The mainstream media don’t bring a fraction of what’s actually going on here!  Also they dilute the issue.  “2 ‘lost’ in house burglary” – excuse me but that was no burglary, an armed team came in and terrorized another family of 5 on the 16th of March in Garsfontein, stabbed them all, two died, two went to hospital in critical condition and one was only cut “lightly”.  What the heck are the media doing using euphemisms such as “lost” rather than “murdered”, and “burglary” rather than “assassination” and “murder”?  Call the thing by it’s fricken name!!

Ok, all you people who want to prohibit guns.  Do you honestly think the criminals will give a rip about a law making their stolen guns illegal?  One little admin detail?  “Hold still while we slit your throats!”

Another little thing, how dare they give a criminal a nickname like “the Fence-Ninja”?  He jumps over fences and walls terrorizing, robbing at gunpoint, killing and injuring people, and they give him a cool name?  Isn’t a ninja some sort of hero?  Whose side are they on?

We’ll hopefully be able to find out online tomorrow what the heck went down there.  All I know is that my promise to Iain still has not been fulfilled and every day counts.


Of course I must…

I’m putting ads online for the violin studio, feeling utterly lost that I can’t include guitar and theory in them anymore.  (I do teach theory but not separately – maybe I ought to start).  I feel like I should be apologizing to Iain for leaving out his number and contact details.  I can hear his commentary – “of course you must advertise!  I’d do it for you if I could!”  But it doesn’t make it better.

Peeps, for those of you who haven’t yet lost someone that close (those who have, already know) – picking up the pieces is hard.  Running into tons of brick walls financially and practically, can’t do this before doing that but can’t do that because it’s frozen in the estate and we have to wait…  how do people even get through this?  The things I can do to improve the situation – advertising for more students – feel like a betrayal of everything we’ve always done together.  But, at least they are things I can do.






Culture of victim-blaming

“You should not have screamed.”

Right.  Because, when they shot him, they did so in cold blood, already mostly having left the premises, while the alarm was going.  Why could they not simply have left?  No:  They didn’t get their “loot”, and one spotted that he was unarmed, so he was shot.  Probably point-blank.  That was nothing but pure malice.  It had nothing to do with me having screamed and everything with their own decision.

If I had not screamed, they would have shot my daughter, point-blank.  She doesn’t doubt this for a second. The one who pointed a gun into her face, had cold, “dead” eyes that clearly indicated not a shred of humanity or mercy, and the strong likelihood of tripping on Nyaope – street drug made with a mix of poisons here.

In fact, had I not screamed, they’d probably had their violent little “party” with all of us – and in none of those imaginary scenarios can I see Iain surviving, as he would have attacked them the second he was aware of them.  And they would have shot him anyway.  And people would say to me – “you should have screamed”.  If I’d been around to tell the tale.  Which is unlikely, with these monsters.

Listen, victim-blamers:  My scream did not pull the trigger.

Saying I should not have screamed is like saying (as happens so often in court), the girl who was raped should have been wearing more “demure” clothing.  Excuse me?  Was it her clothing that raped her?  How are we living in a culture where even friends and relatives take the guilt of the criminal and place it on the shoulders of the victim for some or other little detail that might or might not have influenced the criminal’s decision?

Today we are holding Iain’s wake.  For his friends and most of his family (the more removed family) this is good closure and will be a final farewell.  After that they accept that he is gone.  For us, it is something we do to honour him and remember him; but nothing can ever bring closure and let us “move on”.  Our lives have altered irreversibly.  Even if the criminals were caught, drawn and quartered, this would only bring the satisfaction that they will never do it to another family.  Sadly that’s not the kind of country we live in.




Next item – self-defence


I made him a promise.

That promise included not only raising our children well but also keeping them safe.  And teaching them how to keep themselves safe.  Until they are old enough to be independent.

So.  That means self-defence classes.  Got the contact, haven’t yet started but it is high up on the list.  Learned a few moves in the interim.  It’s about practice, we have to train our bodies to move correctly, instinctively.  I know all about teaching your muscles to memorize moves – that’s what I do every day with my students!  So, kids, work lying ahead.

Today Iain’s absence is like a physical pain in my heart-stomach area.  (We used to make fun of this – every “heartache” was re-diagnosed as a stomachache.)

The website is down, by the way, but please do not worry.  It’s something I need to sort out with the web host, which will be sorted once there is time.  I’ve been thinking of redoing the entire site elsewhere anyway, because the old system is cumbersome and not very functional (has limitations that were never addressed).  Iain had all sorts of fresh ideas for P’kaboo and of course I’ll do my best to implement them.  Once there is a bit of time and space again and I’m out of this state of suspended animation.  In the interim, all our books that are on Amazon and Smashwords are still 100% on those sites, so if you’re looking for a specific title, try Amazon first.  (Smashwords second, it’s only my own books up there as yet.)

Iain also was working on a third album.  This may take some time and some sleuthing on my part but I’ll try to get it out there too, inasfar as he has recorded.

Three days before he was murdered like that, I started getting the feeling as though there were a veil across the sun – as though I didn’t have enough days left to waste time away from my family!  It was an eerie feeling but I shrugged it off as one does with something one doesn’t quite understand.  Also, in December, at some point I was dropping off a young musician at his home after dark, and when I returned home, suddenly Death was on the back seat.  Now, Death has accompanied me before on the roads at night and I’ve never been scared of him, but this time I was absolutely terrified, so spooked that I turned into a well-lit petrol station to get out and search my car, to make sure it was only Death and not some crawling assassin hiding in there!

Strange signs.

The onslaught continues.

So we’re currently not in the house…

… we’ve had alarms tripping on Sunday, Tuesday (3 times) and now this morning at 4:50 am. Clearly the thugs are still at it, intent on plundering the home of their murder victim. What the heck are they hoping to find – gold???

But first on my list of suspects is actually the inept alarm company that failed to protect us in the first place.

Let’s look at this.

  1. Bullet proof vests that look just like theirs (only without the logo)?
  2. The company logs down every time the alarm trips and they physically find nobody (which is, every time), as a “false alarm” and wants to charge extra??
  3. A minimum of 15 minutes wait, every time they are called out?  (I waited up to 23 minutes in the past, too).  What a cushy margin for criminals, if they know this (and of course they do!).
  4. Tuesday they didn’t bother calling me.  When I called and challenged them, 1) they could deduce from my number which address was in question (so it’s not as though I’m not linked!).  2) They told me the contract was in my sister’s name and it was “expired”.   3) They told me that they’d first called my sister’s number, then changed their story and said they called the land line (not the first number they were supposed to call), after that, Iain’s phone.  I asked them if they had it logged that he was deceased (btw, shot dead on their watch), and they had no idea.  Clueless.  “Eet eez not in the log.”  Eventually they claimed that they’d called me on my number at “15:56 in the afternoon”.  I checked my phone log just to be sure.  There was absolutely no call – from anyone!  They were simply lying.
  5. Tuesday also, they claimed the alarm had gone off at “15:56 in the afternoon” – when they failed to call me – but that there was no alarm for around 6pm or 9:30 pm, which were the two alarms my neighbours heard and alerted me to.
  6. Why did they move / remove (I haven’t found them yet) the panic buttons in the house when they changed the alarm setup?  Is that even legal?

And now they call me awake to tell me there was a “burglary” at my house, and a “panic button was pressed”?  I sent in the company I’m hiring to replace them, and everything is quiet.

Who thinks along with me that I have a case?



(The poster in the background dates this pic to around 2011 or 2012, to one of our P’kaboo promos, that one at the Scout Hall.  The rope was the original rope he bought for the launch of the first Solar Wind, and it must have come apart – so he spliced it.)

“A Tensional Guitarist”

“So what are you calling your method?”

“Hmm…. wait, I’ve got it:  A Tensional Guitarist.”

Me (baffled) :”Why?”

He (laughs).  “Because it’s about tensions.  And attention.  Guitarists must pay attention to get a tension right.” (smirks) “Can’t half call it ‘Attention-deficient Guitarists’, can I?”  (laughs at own joke).

Me:  “But what is a ‘tension’?”

He (laughs at me) “What is attention?  Hmm, that will be difficult to explain…”

Me: “No, man!  You know what I mean!”

He (laughs some more because he just loves teasing me, even when his funniness is a bit lame and he knows it) “It comes from Jazz.  When you have a perfect chord, and you change one note to create tension…”

Me: “So, a dissonance?”

He:  “Guess that’s what you classical people call it.”


And then there was that book launch in Durbs…