Life is full of guilty pleasures…

Ahhhhhh guilty pleasures, yes, a post I can relate to, and believe me, I have plenty.

A guilty pleasure is gooey cheesy pizza, a glass of crisp white wine and an Audrey Hepburn movie

A guilty pleasure is Milo in bed on a cold winter’s morning, instead of getting up for work.

Nutella out the jar? You bet, that is a guilty pleasure!

Making Nigella Lawson’s super chocolaty brownies just so you can lick the bowl = guilty pleasure.

Trying on that beautiful pink dress you can never hope to afford but decide to screw the budget and buy anyway, that’s a guilty pleasure.

A guilty pleasure is lying in bed on a Sunday to watch back-to-back episodes of series.

Cancelling your evening plans so you can snuggle in bed and read instead, that’s a guilty pleasure!

Running after your soon-to-be-spouse to steal one last kiss before he heads home, that is a guilty pleasure.

I can keep going for hours, what are some of your guilty pleasures?


This post forms part of #writersbootcamp, a month long challenge to bloggers across South Africa.


WANTED: Cashier…

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Cashier for Checkers Riverside Centre, Rondebosch
Must have Matric
Remuneration: R3000 monthly.


My nametag tells you in black and white that I’m Candice, but who I really am is Candice Willemse from Belhar and I’m much more than the few minutes you spend at the till with me.

Before I was a cashier at Checkers, I worked as a cleaner in the Absa Building in Cape Town. It’s a fancy place with more than 30 floors, where lawyers and accountants and big managers come and go. I would spend most of my time making sure the mirrors in the five elevators shone, so that mister lawyer could make sure his tie was as straight as his shoelaces. Few people notice cleaners, we are kind of invisible, even when you’re stuck in a lift with one for 26 floors.

A cashier is less invisible, though maybe more mute. The people who flow through my till each day think all I say is “Do you want a plastic bag?” or “Cash or card?” really I have a lot more to say than that.

I like this job; I get to spend time analysing people. You can always tell what someone is like by their groceries. This one is a baker; see all the chocolate bars, flour and eggs. The one after is a health freak, buying nuts and fresh fruit. The old people always pay in cash while the students in the queue are either on their cell phones or talking loudly to one another about what happened on campus.

I wonder what campus is like. I’m 22, the same age as many of the students who buy their groceries at this store, but I couldn’t afford to study. I got my matric; it was a proud moment for my family. My sister and her husband, who I live with in Belhar, threw a small party for me when I graduated.  But the jobs I’ve managed to get since then, like this one, aren’t exactly mentally stimulating.

Of course I don’t want to be a cashier forever, but for now, it’s all my matric will get me. I am more than just the monotone beep of the scanner and the “cash or card?” I’m doing a computer course at our community centre to upskill myself.  I work one weekend a month, but when I’m not working I like to sketch some of the faces I come across during the week. You would know this about me, and more, if you made eye contact with me and used my name, so clearly printed on my nametag. But you don’t. You unpack your trolley of cans, milk, bread and dogfood, I scan them, you pay and leave and don’t give Candice a second thought.

My name is Candice Willemse from Belhar, and I’m much more than the few minutes you spend at the till with me.


This blogpost is a work of fiction and forms part of the #Writersbootcamp currently running for the month of July. 


My five favourite words are…

What are some of your favourite words?

What are some of your favourite words?


Day two of #Writersbootcamp and the topic is my five favourite words.

For those who aren’t wordsmiths, this can often appear to be a weird topic, for many, words are just utensils, tools to communicate a message. For those of us who make our living by words, they are much more than that. For me, it’s almost difficult to decide which my five favourite words are (in English or otherwise) but here is a tentative list, based on what the words connote:

Delicious- The smell of freshly baked Tarte Tartin? That is deeelish

Hope-No matter how dark it may get, there is always…

Compassion- At the heart of it, we are all human and we all deserve compassion (except maybe Hitler, he was pretty bad)

Adventure- Because you only have one life, live it now.

Radio- Because radio is what I live to do.


So there you have it, I’ve definitely left some good words out, what are some of your favourites?


Even if you know me well, you don’t know this

My Gran used to let me type away on her old typewriter

My Gran used to let me type away on her old typewriter


This is generally a book-and-music review blog, but I can’t resist a good movement, which I think the #Writersbootcamp which begins today, is.

So, what is it that you don’t know about me, bearing in mind that I avoid bumping into myself in this blog as much as possible. So far you know that I read extensively and enjoy off-the-beaten-track music.

I think the number one thing that most people don’t know about me is that (like most writers I suppose) I’m working on a book.

I haven’t ever told anyone that (except my fiancé and he’s very forgetful so I’d bank on the fact that even he doesn’t know) but I like to live by the phrase “everyone has a story to tell” and it’s a kind of scary thing to put out on the blogosphere (and then Twitter). Drawing from my background in politics, I hope that my story will explore South African life post-1994, and it’s all based on my own experiences (again the phrase “write what you know”).

What inspired me to write the book is my Grandmothers old type writer which she used to let me play on. I still have the very first collection of stories I ever clunked out on that machine, illustrated by my sister of course, even though my Grandmother is long gone, her inspiration and belief in my abilities has always stayed with me.

So, even if you know me well, you don’t know this. (But now you do)