brett

Greetings Bloglings [Wait, we’re calling you that now, right?] and welcome to a very different post from normal, but i was tagged in a 21 question challenge by a new friend, Rashieda, whose challenge you can visit over here, and loving the opportunity to reveal deep and dark secrets about myself [as if!] i thought i would give it a go…

1. What is your current fashion obsession?

i don’t feel like i get very fashion obsessed, but my cool blue jersey from Majash’s wedding [see above] is what i have been wearing pretty much ALL THE TIME since the big day. i wasn’t after all allowed to keep the kilt.

2. What are you wearing today?

Today i m blogging at home alone and so i intentionally chose my Batman shirt because, Man Cave and all. i am currently wearing a raincoat cos it is mad, crazy, rain winding outside and i have to go and rescue our rubbish bin before someone adopts it for good [again! have lost two already] and so i’m ready for action. Grey pants, no shoes slash slipslops at the ready but generally happier in barefeet. And not the Majash wedding jersey [hypocrite!] cos i can’t remember where i put it [unless tbV snuck it out for the wash!]

3. Hair?

Yes. There is hair. It is a little crazy at the moment and up-sticky in general and only really has two good dry looks but one of them kinda makes me look like a German dictator so typically wet slightly and hand brushed forwards which makes me look a lot like my Erik [with a K] alter ego so don’t confuse me with him. Which reminds me i MUST find a video-taking program i can use so i can record Erik [with a K’s] outstanding poem! i should get it cut again soon probably.

4. Do you nap a lot?

Oh wow, so you missed the sound of me L’ing. That’s like LOL’ing except it wasn’t Out Loud, so just the L then. But no, i guess you could say i don’t nap a lot. Or sleep a lot. Or sleep much at all. i say this half-jokingly but i kinda believe it a little bit deep inside, but i believe that i have a God-given gift of no-sleep and many people who know me will testify to that cos i really don’t seem to need as much sleep as the next person. “But it will catch up to you.” Maybe it will, but 20 years later i am still waiting. The other theory is that in matric [grade 12] my parents did make me go to bed at 8 o’ clock and so perhaps it is all just stored up no-sleep since those days. But i am confident that i could pull a two week stretch of two hours a night and still be on full power for whatever needed to be done during the day. However, since getting married 6 years ago i did make a decision to go to bed when tbV [the beautiful Val] goes to bed, for the most part anyways, and since then i have started waking up at 5am on average, so a few more hours than before. Although Winter has been severely testing that strategy.

5. Why is today special?

Every day is a new opportunity and as horribly greeting card as that sounds, i really believe it. No matter how much i screwed up yesterday, today is a day to get it right. Or more right. So much opportunity to encourage someone or try something new or share a joke or get creative or start building something or influence 1000 people or hear a new catchy song or make my wife smile or eat fudge. Today is special because it’s all we’ve got. Tomorrow just becomes a different today. Now THAT you can put on a greeting card.

6. What would you like to learn to do?

i would like to learn to speak Xhosa fluently. And i have just recently started on a plan to do just that. It feels criminal to me that i expect everyone else to learn my language while i am not prepared to learn theirs. This scares me so much cos i feel like it is so important and yet at 41 i am an old dog attempting to set out and learn a new trick. Flippin scary. But oh so necessary. Is anyone going to join me?

7. What’s for dinner today?

i will be starting the Shepherd’s Pie preparation and then tbV may finish it. She has a work call and i am going out to watch Antman with my buddy Reegs but in between those i believe Shepherd’s pie will happen, and it will be good.

8. What are you listening to right now?

Derek Webb’s album, ‘I was wrong, I’m sorry and I love you’ – have not listened to music for a while on my computer and started again yesterday. Have a lot of FREE stuff from Noisetrade which is a great place to discover new music. And Derek and i vibed a bit on the Twitterer a couple of years ago when we were in the States so i kinda feel like i kinda know him. But i dig his music and it’s been great firing it up again.

9. What is your favorite weather?

i LOVE when it rains and is stormy and cold, as long as i am inside. i am not a big fan of being cold or out in the rain and then it makes me sad to think that so many people are [which causes me to love it a little less] but if it was just about me then raging storms outside [especially Johannesburg Thunder and Lightning storms] with me inside close to tbV watching a movie and sipping a glass of wine.

10. What’s the last thing you bought?

Hm, probably not the last thing i bought but i brought back a Vinyl Bobblehead Hulk and a Vinyl Jack Sparrow from Americaland for my Man Cave office and they make me happy.

11. What are your essentials when traveling?

i have a newish tiny purple [favourite colour] notepad which has become my travelling companion even when i’m just heading out somewhere for a short while. i have been attempting to write Micropoetry and so having the book ready to jot down thoughts, words and ideas is helpful. If i’m going to do a talk then the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob, typically accompanies me and we have a few of my recently published book, ‘i, church’ sitting in the car just in case. Oh and Tic Tacs [green and white] cos, you know.

12. What’s your style?

in a word, different. But not Different-for-The-Sake-Of-Being-Different although a lot of people would put it down to that. But it’s not. It’s very intentionally Brett-different. Within Brett-different i would imagine there are a lot of ideas and styles that have been grabbed and adapted and altered from other people and then encapsulated in my own fairly unique style. A combination of things that i enjoy but don’t necessarily feel [[to others] like they belong together but by putting them together sometimes you create that new dynamic. i love that. i would love to be able to answer ‘Edgy’ to this but i don’t think i’m there, but hopefully not ‘The Crowd’ either… somewhere betwixt those…

13. What is your most challenging goal right now?

Probably the Xhosa. i have located a course and just need to figure out with tbV what that looks like but i am super amped to get going and if i can get to a place where i can communicate semi-well [“fluently” earlier was definitely an over-reach] then that will make me happy. And trying to get everything together to renew my British passport [i’m bi-passportal] which i feel like i am finally on track to do.

Oh and actually getting decent manageable sufficient internet happening in this house that doesn’t cripple us, but that seems kinda like an impossibility at the moment. Urgh.

14. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?

Right here, right now. We are where we both want to be and we absolutely love our house. It would be great if we owned it rather than rented or had the assurance that we could stay here for the next three to five years, but in the absence of that, we are simply happy in this space and hoping to use it the best we can to serve the greater good.

15. Favorite vacation spot?

i struggle with this because my values and daily wrestles with questions of poverty and race and equality in this country mean that the idea of saving up a pile of money and going somewhere feels out of sync with a lot of that. Having had our recent Americaland trip paid for [in terms of my ticket] to go and speak at a camp made that an easier vacation. But if all things in the world were equal and it was simply a case of ‘Go anywhere for free’ then i would love to be at one of those islands where the huts are a little way out into the ocean or lake and the water is completely clear blue. i have no idea where those are. Bahamas?

Having said all that, my younger sister and family and a whole bunch of my best mates [including Dreadlock Mike] live in KZN so any chance i get to go there is snatched up, so that is probably my favourite realistic vacation spot.

16. Name the things you cannot live without?

A personal relationship with a Loving God who gives me purpose, vision and urgency in life. i really think that without Jesus in my life i’d be a selfish hedonistic git [i imagine a bunch of people already think i am so work to be done] and i love the life-to-the-fullness that i am inspired to which is connected to Him. That’s probably it, because everything else if you had to live without it, you would totally adjust and just make it happen, i guess. But there are certainly things you would choose not to live without.

My love and partner in crime [not real crime, metaphorical crime] Valerie aka tbV. Life is so complicated sometimes with us together but at the same time the pull towards living lives of significance i feel is so much equally fuelled by her, which is so great. Being connected to someone who refuses to settle for okay and watch injustice carry on unchallenged is life-giving and soul-massaging. Not to mention her laugh which is the most expensive one in town. She claims not to laugh at all my jokes just because she knows i can do better,and so when i get a laugh out of tbV it is well earned. That empowers me!

If  i started mention names of friends this would get silly cos there are so many important people in and around my life, some who are related and many who are not. But the community of people i get to do life with [both near and far] are one of the biggest boosts to me.

That’s about it although i do really dig my Marvin the Martian mug [which sadly just got a small chip in it] and my dirty yellow-and-white stuffed dolphin and my ‘I am Groot’ t-shirt which Dave HorseDawg gave me.

And the world would be a much sadder place without melted chocolate and mashed potato…

17. How was your childhood?

There were a ‘undred and fifty of us livin’ in a septic tank! Okay not quite but my childhood memories are well sparked off by the Monty Python Four Yorkshiremen skit…

i think it was pretty great. i remember a lot of fun mixed with some disappointment and challenges and life lessons but for the most part i think it was pretty decent. Kissing catchers and painting a church in Soweto during the height of apartheid and doing street ministry as a lightie on the streets of Hillbrow and Rhodes park excursions with plastic bags to catch tadpoles and climbing on walls and trees and roofs in the amazing church grounds we lived next to and accidentally shooting a friend with a bow and arrow in his leg? You can’t make that stuff up.

18. What would you like to have in your hands right now?

Some type of food. It’s way past lunchtime and i can’t remember having breakfast. Apparently a teaspoon of peanut butter doesn’t count. So i should get on to that.

19. What are you most excited for?

Ooh, so many things. Training on Wednesday for the writing job i am about to start, getting everything sorted and moving my blog over to an official website, the possibility of Race Conversation Workshops with my friend Megan once her life slows down, the hope of a bunch of Deep Dive Conversation Dinners happening in the next six or so weeks, Wed night speak about my book and church panel, watching Antman with my buddy Reegs tonight [love me some Paul Rudd] and a few other speaking opportunities coming my way soon, and of course learning Xhosa!

20. If you could go anywhere in the next hour, where would you go?

i would stay here. Too cold, windery and rainy outside.

21. Which countries have you visited?

Wow, i have been privileged. Malawi. Botswana. Namibia.The United Kingdom and the United States of Americaland. Canada. Malaysia. Holland. [drove through France and Belgium on a bus to get there]. United Arab Emirates [kinda, plane layover]. tbV and i would LOVE the chance to go visit South America…

Malaysia Towers

Malaysia Towers

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i tag:

Original Dante, because although he is a busy man, he tagged me in the ‘Write Without Using the Letter E’ challenge and so it’s his turn, but also because he has become a recent friend and mentor in the art of Micropoetry and i think he has an absolute gift you should go and see at https://originaldante.wordpress.com/2015/07/19/the-weathers-intervention

My friend Candice Fourie because it has been way too long since she blogged and she writes in a way that invites the reader in to vulnerable spaces with power and honesty. Even if this is just for more people to discover this post where she bares her soul, it will be worth the journey: https://momentswithamom.wordpress.com

Also Miss Cass Lee who i am going to be working alongside soon, and her stunning looking blog with this heart-breaking and inspiring poem heading it up today. http://misscasslee.com/i-see-you-girl

i seem to have picked completely ridiculously busy people who most likely won’t have the time to respond to the challenge, but who i completely believe are worth checking out and following as they produce some amazing work and life…

Thank you for stopping by… If you had a 22nd question to ask me, what would it be?

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