Tag Archives: journal

The Sound of Islay

Introducing the Bodley Head / FT essay competition. Financial Times | 11 November 2016. 1. Just before I turned 30 I was homeless for a while. Homeless is the wrong word, an exaggeration. But I was in Edinburgh with little money … Continue reading

Posted in Autobio, Essays, Journal, Other writers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


On first impressions, snap judgements and Achille Mbembe’s sense of style. Openings column (shorter version): Financial Times, 14 August 2015. ‘America is the most grandiose experiment that the world has yet seen,’ wrote Sigmund Freud in 1909, ‘but, I am afraid, it … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Journal | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

An Unnatural History pt.1

The Hoerikwaggo Trail (and just after): a walking seminar. Postamble | A transdisciplinary journal of African Studies. Last time I did it with three old friends, and in the opposite direction. This time from Cape Point to town with a … Continue reading

Posted in Autobio, Journal | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Closed City

Financial Times | 24 January 2014. Teju Cole visits Cape Town for the Open Book Festival and I am asked to lead a ‘literary walkabout’ of the city in his company. I worry that this might be a little contrived: can … Continue reading

Posted in Journal | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


The walk up to Deer Park stream: some gentle people are stringing up a cord between two stone pines. Then they spend Sunday tight-rope walking above the lawns. The gap between the two trees chosen is long; they have winches … Continue reading

Posted in Journal | Tagged , | Leave a comment

22 July | Rearview

Sunday in Calitzdorp: a kitsch tearoom with panpiped music, ragged kids saying they will look after my car nicely. It is the 22nd of July. If I had to track backwards, to rewind the last week… The Peugeot is reversing … Continue reading

Posted in Journal, Travel | Tagged , , ,

A certain kind of South Africa evaporated…

                    …for me when I finally got my driver’s licence, fifth time lucky near a cold northern ring road. No more solidarity with the verge walkers and all those who talk about, worry about, conceive of a whole domain of … Continue reading

Posted in Journal | Tagged , , ,