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Helen Walne: Too young for a midlife crisis, too old to care

Other old people have started permeating my dreams: Madonna (13 years older than me and able to do the splits); JK Rowling (six years older than me and worth £560 million or R6 038m); my mother’s 95-year-old friend, who can drink more red wine at lunch than a gaucho.

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Helen Walne: Maintaining the illusion of perfect progeny

For the past three days, I’ve been like a set designer, trying to create an environment that doesn’t resemble reality. I even used a glue gun. And sugar soap. And a new mop that folds in the middle and leaves two trails on the floor like a dismembered snail.

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A simple Pieman met a Skyman

Pieing has become an increasingly popular form of political protest. The message that the pieer sends to the world is that the person being pied – the pieee – has too much dough and is getting his just deserts.

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Jonathan Ancer: Mixing drinks with the prez

The invitation plopped into my inbox. The pleasure of my company was being requested at “The Presidential Cocktail”. After Jacob Zuma’s reply to responses to his State of the Nation address, he was going to hobnob with diplomats, dignitaries, bigwigs, VIPs, whips and a crossword junkie.

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Jonathan Ancer: For whom the Dairybelle tolls

If the young parmisans succeed, cheese will be banned. I broke the news to The Shrink, my crossword companion.
“Even toasted cheese sandwiches will be outlawed – so will your favourite part, the crust. There will be no exceptions for Crustians. Juju is the Anti-Crust. The thought is too much to camembert.”

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Save the South African ostrich industry: eat ostrich!

Pity the poor ostrich. Not the prettiest of old birds to begin with, let’s be honest. The only beautiful thing about you is your feathers, and they pluck them off you to sell to rich Frenchwomen, drag queens, Rio carnival dancers and Lady Gaga. To a human kid, you’re a horse with feathers. You think ‘those kids are biltong’ but mommy and daddy are watching, so you make it look less obvious that you’re trying to throw them off.

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Helen Walne has a quail of a time making a meal of foodies

See, even though I live in Cape Town, know how to say “bainmarie” and once ate a dish made entirely from weeds, I’m not a foodie. And while I’m sure it’s hindering my ability to join all manner of art collectives/literary circles/underground weaving conventions/cello movements, I am determined to remain untainted by Maldon salt, wild pigeon breast and yak butter. Because once you become a foodie, there’s no turning back.

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