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“I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry treeS” – Pablo Neruda

COME w w w

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www.lorainesteyn.co.za


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alice ED

SUBSCRIBE Should you prefer to receive Alice by mail, you’ll not only save yourself some hassles, but you will also be saving a massive 25% off the cover price. Go to www.alicemagazine.co.za to subscribe. l l l

THE PINK GIRLFEST Ladies, Judith is busy again... I’ve heard next year March? Get involved in any way you can with the Pink GirlFest. Contact Judith Nel at pinkgirlfest@yahoo.co.uk. l l l

THE LESBIAN SOCIAL CLUB LSC was established for lesbian couples and singles who are 30+ offering them an evening of networking and cocktails. Contact Angela at lesbiansocialclub@gmail.com l l l

GAY AND LESBIAN WEDDING SHOW The first annual comprehensive gay and lesbian wedding show is scheduled to take place on the weekend of the 29-30th October 2011 at the beautiful Grand Daddy Hotel, Long Street in the beautiful Cape Town. – www.granddaddy.co.za Contact Denver at breda2007@gmail.com for details.

M

y ma sê altyd wanneer sy die eerste reuk van Jasmyn in die lente ruik dan kom daar ‘n wildheid in haar gees. Nou dit is met dié ‘wildheid’ wat ons hierdie uitgawe van Alice aangepak het, en ek

kan sommer die energie so deur die blaaie sien vibreer. Ek ruik nou ook die Jasmyn. I don’t know if we have been properly introduced? My name is Willem, and I am in fact an almost 30-year old boy. I was not sure how people would react when a man turns out to be the editor of a magazine for gay girls... but then I decided to get over it since I’m turning 30 next year, and according to my sister, once you hit 30 you stop caring so much about what people think, and I also realised that every single writer and advertiser are quite cool with the fact that I’m not a girl. I call myself the ‘editor’ of this publication, but truth be told, I don’t ‘edit’ that much! This magazine is really a product of fantastic contributors in the community and I am just a part of the team that puts Alice together. A whole bunch of girls out there are really to thank for the phenomenal content and success of this magazine. Sometimes my friends ask me; “How is it that you are the editor of a lesbian mag, is there something we should know?” That’s when I play the gay-mom card... It works with various questions that I do not always have the answer to... “Why are you gay? – Mom’s a lesbian.” “Why do you own a drill? – Mom’s a lesbian.” “Why did your father drink...?” So, why do I head a lesbian magazine? – Mom’s a lesbian. On a radio interview the other day I was asked how it happened that we started Alice and I replied that my mother got hold of one of my Gay Pages, and after reading through it she said to me:

Idea of a good time Watching a football game Karaoke at the local pub Visit to the theatre or opera Spa Day!! Drinks and then clubbing Romantic dinner for two Time-out in nature

1% 4% 6% 8% 16% 19% 44%

Children No, and not planning in the next year Planning to have kids in the next year I already have children

63% 10% 27%

THE SURVEY

ABOUT THE GIRLS

“Nice read, why is there only men in here?” After explaining to her that it’s a magazine aimed at gay men, she said to us (my sister and I being both in the creative industry) “I want a lesbian magazine.” Well, then that was it. When your lesbian mother tells you she wants a magazine, you go out and publish one. My mom owns a 4X4 bakkie and she also knows how to use a grinder, drill and an overlocker. She can mix cement, do upholstery, fix electrical items, bake and crochet. She has a deep love for Shirley Bassey, Elvis Prestly and her Sansui. She writes the most beautiful poems and there’s not a problem I have ever brought to her door that she did not have the answer to. You don’t say ‘no’ to a woman like this. So Ma, hier’s Alice nommer 3, ek hoop Ma hou van haar. Alice 03 is full! Thank you, and enjoy! Have a lovely summer! Willem Jacobs ‘Editor’

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The First Date an Authorised Financial Services Provider FAIS Licence no. 30414

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KIES JOU TONG

“Liefde só Dierbaar” Kies jou tong Deur Delene van Dyk

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KIES JOU TONG

Ek ken ‘n kat. Of ek dink ek ken haar. Sy sal van my verskil. Sy het my gekies. In die middel van ‘n opgebreekte verhouding. Met ‘in die middel’ verwys ek na die eerste drie jaar van ‘n 6 jaar en 6 maande lange verhouding. Die ses maande tel nie. Dit was die tyd toe sy ‘n paar boyfriends gehad het en ek net gewag het. Dit is in dié wagtyd wat Nushu my lewe kom voller maak het. Die betekenis van haar naam het vandag meer betekenis vir my. Min het ek toé geweet dat ek vandag ‘n aktivis vir verdruktes sou wees. Nu Shu is ‘n taal wat Chinese vroue in die Hunan provinsie in die geheim gebruik het om met mekaar te kommunikeer. Vroue was toe nie toegelaat om te leer en te kommunikeer nie. Daar word beweer dat die taal in die derde eeu A.D. ontstaan het. Nu Shu het geskrewe kontak tussen, ‘boesemvriendinne’, gefasiliteer. So het vriendinne trou gesweer aan mekaar, om vir ewig lojaal te bly. Dit het ook gehelp om hul hartseer en verlange ná hul troudag en geforseerde wegtrek, in die geheim te deel. Daar was die bekende gesegde: “Langs ‘n put sal jy nie dors word nie, en langs ‘n boesemvriendin sal jy nie wanhopig raak nie.” Nu Shu is ook gebruik om dagboek te hou oor die private gevoelens teenoor die nuwe eggenoot. Dié was salig onbewus van die vorm van taal en kommunikasie. Die taal is eers in 1960 ontdek. Tien jaar later is my halfbloed blougrys Nushu steeds spesiaal. En dit is nie net ek wat so sê nie! Madame Nushu eis spesiale behandeling. Sy kry net die beste kos. Dié soort wat mens nie kry in enige supermark nie, nee, dié wat jy ten duurste koop by spesialis winkels wat weet hoe spesiaal Nushus vir mense is. Die spesiale kos help haar ook om die ongenooide fur balls te verteer. Ek is half jaloers. Ek wens daar was vir my spesiale kos om die menslewe se fur balls te help verteer. Nou kou ek maar Rennies. Haar belangrikheid in ons lewe word bevestig wanneer ons so nou en dan weggaan vir ‘n paar dae. Dan word daar van die dienste van ‘n sorgvuldig gekeurde Nushu-oppasser gebruik gemaak. Na twee dae op haar eie, loop sy weg en gaan soek mense. Verder, het Nushu haar eie designer bed. Dit staan egter leeg. Sy lê waar sy wil. Dit is orals waar die son skyn of waar dit sag en warm is, veral op die skoot van ‘n allergiese mens. Nushu is ‘n healer, altyd gereed om my of my geliefde (of kuiergaste) se fisiese pyn te troetel met haar sagte blougrys lyf. Altyd saggies, altyd naby. Ek kan nie my lewe voorstel sonder my (s)kattekind nie. Ek ken ook ‘n hond. Maar hy sal vir jou sê, as hy kon, dat hy nie ‘n hond is nie, maar eerder ‘n wese van adelstand. Ek het hom ontmoet nog voor ek hom gesien het. So het ek, ‘n paar maande na die einde van my 6 jaar en 6 maande verhouding, vir heldersiende Peter gaan sien. Hy kon nie bevestig of daar ‘n volgende liefie, die keer buite ‘n donker kas, staan en wag nie. Ek was effe teleurgesteld. Hy het wel iets ‘gehoor’, nogal by ‘n hond uit my verlede; dat daar ‘n nuwe hondjie op my liefde wag! Nooit! Ek het hom w w w

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>> probeer oortuig (wie het ek nou probeer bluf?), dat ek glad nie in honde belangstel nie. Hulle is heeltemal te needy en onderdanig. Hul asems ruik bedompig. Peter het net, wetend, gelag, “Dit kan dalk ‘n rondloper brakkie wees, op wie jy jou hart gaan verloor!” Nee sê ek weer, dié vat ek eerder SPCA toe. So stap Sy Edele Asterix, ‘n wit Maltees, my lewe ongeërg, saam met sy ma, binne. Moenie dat die naam jou verwar nie. Sy Edele kry elke aand opgekookte Woollies hoender, geen sout en vel. Hy word ook gevat vir ‘n stappie, om en by 21h30. Hy dring aan op dié stappie, bliksemstrale, Augustus winde of menslike weiering ten spyt. Gedurende werksure verwyl Sy Edele sy tyd by Ouma en Oupa Centurion. “Kom sit bietjie hier by Mamma”, sê my geliefde wanneer sy afgeskeep voel, veral nadat hy saam met Ouma en Oupa gaan vakansie hou het in die kothuis op Memel. Dan tel sy hom op soos ‘n baba en lê hy sonder protes, met sy kop skuins oor haar skouer, en nat neus in haar nek, sy stewige spierwit boude in haar skoot, gekoester. En ja, net soos die heldersiende dit voorspel het, besit ‘n wit needy brak met hondehalitose nou ‘n stukkie van my hart. Wat is dit dan, die ding met lesbians en diere? Madame Nushu en Sy Edele Asterix is nie die enigste bedorwenes in die lewens van gay girls nie? Ek vra myself soms of dit die behoefte is om te versorg? Of die behoefte om te behoort aan? As dit dan nie iemand is nie, wel iets met ‘n asem (al is dit ‘n stink ene)? Of is dit dalk die feit dat daar vir jare verkeerdelike geglo is dat selfdegeslag verhoudings ‘n negatiewe invloed op die lewe van ‘n kind kan hê? I

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Ja selfs nog ‘n jaar terug het ‘n paar gay girls aan my erken dat hulle nie hul liefde in die openbaar aan mekaar kan wys nie, veral nie voor klein kinders nie. Deur hierdie kwalitatiewe studie het ek bepaal dat daar nog verskeie gay girls is wat aan geinternaliseerde homofobie ly. Dít is wanneer die skaamte, haat en minagting wat aan homoseksuele mense en verhoudings gekoppel word, deur ‘n grotendeels homofobiese heteroseksistiese samelewing, eie gemaak word. Dit is ‘n meestal ‘n onbewuste sielkundige proses, maar kan geidentifiseer word in die persoon se gedrag. Ek sien dit gereeld. Soos om na sekere gay girls te verwys as té butch. Of om te weier om hande vas te hou in die openbaar, want ‘die kinders is nog nie reg daarvoor nie’. Of om saam met oningeligte kollegas grappies te maak. Oor lesbians. En dit terwyl hulle nie hulle eie selfde-geslag aantrekking of verhouding wil erken nie. Of deur neutral na ‘n geliefde te verwys, sonder dat haar gender duidelik is. Dus dan eerder diere hê? Selfde-geslag paartjies kan reeds sedert 2002 ‘n kind gesamentlik aanneem. Baie het ook kinders uit vorige verhoudings. Daar waar voorheen ‘n penis en vagina, sperms en eierselle by betrokke was. Ek onthou goed hoe ek my dinges in ‘n krul geruk het ‘n paar jaar gelede. ‘n Tweede jaar vroulike Maatskaplike Werk student het my met haar totale onkunde gekonfronteer. Met ‘n groot arrogante


KIES JOU TONG

“... seer mense maak mense seer...” vraagteken op haar gesig, vra sy, “Hoe kan ‘n lesbian ‘n ma wees?” Dit was nie net onkunde rondom die fisiologiese tekortkoming van die penis nie, maar ‘n totale ongeloof dat ‘n gay vrou enigsins die vermoë het om ‘n kind groot te maak. Sy het nie geluister na my antwoord nie, en verder geboelie, “Hoekom sal ‘n lesbian dan wil kinders hê?” Toe was ek nog nie so gewoond aan die seermaak vrae wat uit onkunde gebore is nie. Toe was die gedagte aan my eie moederskap ten tye van my vorige 6 jaar en 6 maande verhouding, en die verlies aan ‘n blondekop-blouoog wat ek nie self gebaar het nie, maar wat myne was, nog nie so vêr weggebêre nie. Na ‘n minuut van suurseer stilte, antwoord my kollega, wat my verwyt kon aanvoel, haar eerder. En ek dink, “Ek wás ‘n goeie ma en jy is net ‘n klein stupid idioot!” Vandag weet ek beter en probeer ek verstaan hoekom mense seermaak vrae vra. Ook weet ek - seer mense maak mense seer. En as oningeligtes sulke vrae vra, gaan dit nie oor my nie, maar omdat die regte inligting nog nie bereik is nie en indien wel, nog nie sin maak nie. Die verlies van ‘n dierekind kan dieselfde impak hê as die verlies aan ‘n geliefde. Wanneer ons vakansietye met die familie in die Kaap deel, gryp almal saam na die ‘klein-koerantjie’ van die Burger. Dit is om die ‘hatch, match en dispatch’, soos my swaer dit noem, eerste te lees. Ons Gautengers ken nie hierdie intieme vorm van deel van liefde, geluk en hartseer nie. Dit is soos ‘n outydse vorm van Facebook of Twitter. Maar daar is iets spesiaal daaraan. Dit raak my. En meer as een keer het die ‘dispatch’ boodskappe my van ‘n knop in die keel tot nat wange gedryf. En meer as een keer, ‘n boodskap soos: “Vir Cleo (met foto), vir 15 jaar is jy vir ons geleen… ons gaan jou baie verlang… met liefde van jou mammas, Sandra en René.” Ek onderskat geen verlies nie. Om ‘n ma te wees is ‘n groot voorreg en ‘n groot verantwoordelikheid. Dit maak nie saak of die kind terug praat, blaf, miaauw of blaas nie. Om lief te hê, te versorg en liefgehê te word, deur mens óf dier, sonder kondisie, is basiese behoeftes. Elkeen in ons samelewing verdien die bevrediging daarvan. En dít is die belangrikste. Ek het nie antwoorde vir al die ‘hoekoms’ van die liefde vir mens en dier nie. Al wat ek weet is dat ek in my volgende lewe ‘n gay girl se Yorkie, Maltees, Worsie of kattekind wil wees… Tot volgende keer, kyk mooi na jou geliefdes, dier en mens, en die belangrikste, jouself. Kontak dié professional Dyke gerus by delene@2ndsight.co.za of volg haar blog delenewordlig.wordpress.com om deel te wees van haar journey om ligter te word. w w w

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the proof is is in the pudding

Sexy top 10

top 10 aphrodisiacs By Zunia Boucher-Myers

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food together can bring. With romance in mind, take it a step

Our winter clothes are nearly packed away and with spring’s realisation comes the desire to feel the sun on our skin and a discerning of a subtle shift beneath the surface. Yes it’s time to do what the birds and the bees are doing; it’s time to fall in love…

It is easier than you think....

pring has sprung and with it (hopefully) an awakening of the senses.

If you are blessed to be in a relationship, keeping the flames of desire a kindle takes dedication. On the other hand if you are hunting and out to impress, then read on as I have what might just be the magical ingredients to ‘light your love/lust interest’s fire’. It has been said, that you should approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

further and use aphrodisiacs throughout the meal?

Most people do not realise that some of the most commonly used ingredients found in kitchens have the ability to get their Mojo on the move. What you eat directly influences your body and has an effect on your body’s functioning. Therefore the old adage of ‘you are what you eat’ holds true. Your libido, hormones, energy, brain chemistry and stress levels are directly impacted by what you eat. Some foods are psychologically suggestive; think banana or oyster, some increase blood flow to the genitals (cucumbers, believe it or not)

With that in mind, why not spend some time together, getting dirty in the kitchen? ‘Honouring’ that deep connection that preparing I

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and others have psychoactive properties, the most popular being champagne, of course.


Here are my top 10 aphrodisiacs that you and you honey can indulge in this awakening season: 1. Asparagus – asparagus is a great source of potassium, fibre, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamine and folic acid. The latter is said to boost histamine production necessary for the ability to reach orgasm. 2. Bananas – By its very shape, its connection with sexuality is quite obvious, but you’ll also find that bananas are loaded with potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. 3. Chocolate – the ultimate aphrodisiac, contains a multitude of compounds including PEA (phenylethylamine), the ‘love chemical,’ which releases dopamine in the pleasure centres of the brain and which peaks during orgasm. Euphoria, attraction and excitement are just some of the attributes of PEA. Cacao also contains serotonin in the form of tryptophan, both of which also occur naturally in our bodies. These are released in our brains when we are happy, in love or passionate. They are also responsible for feelings of relaxation and well-being. If that wasn’t enough, researchers have also found that chocolate contain substances that have similar effects on the brain to marijuana. The substance responsible is a neurotransmitter called anandamide. The amount of anandamide in chocolate is negligible and cannot get you ‘high’ like marijuana, but it could be enough to add to the seriously good feelings that serotonin creates, plus the added bonus of chocolate is that it is legal! 4. Oysters – The most highly regarded aphrodisiac of all! With their evocative shape and taste, the revered oyster has high doses of Zinc which increases libido and sperm production. Best served with no 5. 5. Champagne – the ultimate bedding combo. Champagne and oysters have been used by Don Juan’s and Debbi Juan’s for centuries. If the price tag of real champagne is a dampener, get your groove on by using sparkling wine or M.C.C. (Method Cap Classique.) Brut’s aroma matches that of female pheromones and is a very potent sexual booster. 6. Chili peppers – eating these little fire crackers increases your heart rate, circulation and generates physiological reactions that are similar to when having sex. 7. Papaya – or as we call it Pawpaw, is estrogenic, this means it has compounds that act as the female hormone estrogen. It has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of female related issues, such as in milk production and promoting menstruation, it also aids childbirth and increases female libido. For our purposes, best we concentrate on the latter. 8. Basil (sweet basil) – Basil is said to promote a general sense of well-being, and it has been used for centuries to stimulated the sex drive and increase fertility. In days of old, women rubbed dried, powdered basil on their breasts to drive their lovers crazy with desire. Basil is one of the many reported aphrodisiacs that may have the property of promoting circulation. w w w

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9. Cardamom – One of the most aromatic of spices. And certainly one of the most underutilised. Certain cultures deem it a powerful aphrodisiac as it is high in cineole, which can increase blood flow in areas where it is applied. (Cautionary note: do not rub it on your honey’s Lady Garden.) 10. Tomatoes – endearingly called ‘love apples’ in the past when these modern day staples were considered exotic and revered. Looking at these ingredients should definitely give you a good idea of where to start. Why not begin your journey of delight, with a simple starter to get the juices flowing? Try steamed asparagus, with lemon and garlic aioli. Do not be alarmed at the mention of garlic; it too is an aphrodisiac and used in moderation can add the most pleasing touch to any dish. For mains a beautiful piece of fresh fish like salmon can be dressed with a basil, tomato and chilli salsa. Or keep it simple and just enjoy fresh oysters served with lemon, Tabasco and freshly ground pepper? Should you wish to impress or play with your meat, make a chilli and chocolate sauce to accompany a simple cut of good fillet. Dessert should be the simplest of all, a selection of the best chocolate you can afford, containing the highest amount of cocoa solids. Unfortunately South African chocolate is not very high in cocoa solids. Most contain a multitude of alien ingredients you wouldn’t want your darling to enjoy on any day. So make a stop at one of the delectable Lindt Chocolate Emporiums or purchase a good quality chocolate from any self-respecting delicatessen or food store. Your drink of choice, throughout the meal can and should be, ice cold champagne. It is the only wine that can be served from entrée to dessert. Keep it cold and keep it coming. This is of course the goal of all that delicious time spent in the kitchen. With all that heat generated in the kitchen, the increased pheromones wafting around and your sensual ingredients kicking in, your evening will most certainly culminate in satisfaction. Yes, indeed, approach loving and cooking with reckless abandon. Believe me; the proof will be in the pudding... Enjoy!

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Community

what has your flag done for you? By Eugene Brockman

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ow where have I seen that flag before?” You might be thinking from seeing the picture to the right. At it’s launch? In December 2010 at MCQP? It could also have been hanging above you, when you went clubbing at Crew Bar and other gay venues of De Waterkant. Then again, you even might have gotten your own flag at Cape Town Pride. Noticed it on the big screen during Kylie Minogue’s closing concert, perhaps? Where else? For the more vocal and political, you might have seen it at protests at Parliament in Cape Town against corrective rape. If you are a jetsetter you might have seen it at Amsterdam and London Pride and of course as the 6mx 10m train of Ms. Lola Fine’s dress for Durban Pride. You might also have spied the design on Expresso Breakfast TV, Motswako, Carte Blanche, CNN, almost every radio station, newspaper and other media stream. Regardless of where you’ve seen it in the nine months since, the launch of the Gay Flag of South Africa (GFSA) has gone from a ‘cool idea’, to a symbol of protest and now (dare I say) an emblem of unity for the LGBTIAQ community of South Africa. The whole intention of launching the flag was to create a closer-knit identity and to spark some ‘ubunthu’ for all of us: gay boys, lesbians, transsexuals and everyone in between. The website and facebook fanpage of the GFSA is chronicling gay life in an intimate manner, showing the people behind the bars, the parties and gay events, highlighting the issues and joys that comprise gay life in South Africa. Why would or could the Gay Flag of South Africa represent you as a lesbian South African? Ultimately, it can only be you who decides if the GFSA relates to you or not. The GFSA has in its short time funded, volunteered for and supported Luleki Sizwe throughout the entire process of talks with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the issue of corrective rape and LGBTI rights in general. The GFSA, as volunteers for Lulekis Sizwe also aided in talks on the set up of the current interim task team, suggesting to first elect interim members, and calling a national caucus to discuss issues and elect permanent task team members.

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In the photo: Carla Petersen Photographer: Linda Loesser


Community The GFSA is humbled that it could have been a part of the establishment of this task team. Though, the true extend and value of the task team is still uncertain, the potential worth of it is unfathomable. It is exciting to envision billboards and TV adds stating that it’s “OK to be gay!”, programs on tolerance with traditional and spiritual leaders, harsher punishments for homophobic rape and assault but most importantly that our civil servants, nurses, judges and police will themselves be sensitized to the issues that our community face.

get your flags for jhb pride! facebook: Gay Flag of South Africa Twitter: @gayflag4SA Website: www.gayflagofsouthafrica.co.za e-mail: info@p2-ink.com

GFSA spokesperson Ndumie Funda (for who being lesbian comes with daily intimidation and threats of violence in Gugulethu) said it best: “By hanging the Gay SA flag in our streets and houses we can intimidate perpetrators of corrective rape, plus it reminds the government that we are not going anywhere. We are also citizens of this country and we therefore demand justice and equality for all.”

In the photo: Siphiwe Ntombela Images produced by: Focalpoint Photography Photographer: Zeldie van Rensburg Cell Number: 082 336 3643

Furthermore, the flag’s design is available to individuals, community organisations and non-profits. DJ’s have used it as artwork for their mixes; Drag Queens have made dresses from it, though our beautiful French friend, Aude is still the most striking in her original cocktail number. We encourage people to share projects and ideas with us all the time. The GFSA has recently gained momentum. Budget Rental Car has sponsored a national ‘gay tour’ for a shuttle bus wrapped in the GFSA-design, partaking in the processions of “Born This Way” Nelson Mandela Bay and “Born This Gay” Jo’burg Pride parades. There is also the exciting prospect of Kylie Minogue actually wearing a cocktail dress made to her petit measurements from one flag. Soon, you will be able to buy gay merchandise, initially at Indaba Curios at the V&A, Kirstenbosch Gardens and Sandton Square, before expanding all their national stores. This would also mean bigger contributions to Luleki Sizwe and possibly other lesbian and gay organisations. However, the most exciting prospect of all is to see how you, as an individual will make the GFSA your own. We encourage you to join the GFSA on our facebook fanpage, where you can post your ideas and photos, or tweet about it, we’ll retweet you.

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Community about a girl

gay flag SA I

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Community

In the photo: Aude Barbera Photographer: Hannes van der Merwe

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7

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

lifeGUIDE

Disciplines

for high performance

By Sasha

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hen you are able to capitalise on your own thoughts, the world will truly become your oyster. Imagine how amazing life will be when you can think and dream about how you want your future to be ... and then make it happen!

Exercise and Proper Nutrition Your health is more important than anything else. By disciplining yourself to exercise regularly and to eat carefully, you will promote the highest possible levels of health and fitness throughout your life.

7 Disciplines for high

Learning and Growth Your mind is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.

performance You can learn these disciplines through practice and repetition until they become automatic. Goal Setting Every morning, take three to five minutes to write out your top goals in the present tense. Get a spiral notebook for this purpose. By writing out your ten goals at the beginning of each day, you will program them deep into your subconscious mind. This daily goal writing will activate your mental powers. It will stimulate your mind and make you more alert. Throughout the day, you will see opportunities and possibilities to move more rapidly toward your goals.

Planning and organising Take a few minutes, preferably the night before, to plan out every activity of the coming day. Always work from a list. Always think on paper. This is one of the most powerful and important disciplines of all for high performance. Priority Setting The essence of all time management, personal management, and life management is contained in your ability to set the proper priorities on the use of your time. This is essential for high performance. “The best way to change your life and achieve success...in minutes” Become a no-limit person! YOU can change your life by changing the way you think about yourself and your potential. YOU will open new doors to unlimited possibilities and put yourself on the road to a better, more fulfilling professional and personal life.

C o n c e n t r a t i o n o n y o u r H i g h e s tVa l u e A c t i v i t i e s Your ability to work single-mindedly on your most important task will contribute as much to your success as any other discipline you can develop. I

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T i m e f o r I m p o r ta n t P e o p l e i n your Life Relationships are everything. Be sure that in climbing the ladder of success, you do not find it leaning against the wrong building. Build time for your relationships into every day, no matter how busy you get. Action Exercise These seven disciplines will ensure that you perform at the highest level and get the greatest satisfaction and results from everything you do. Study these seven disciplines and then make a plan for how you can incorporate each of them into your daily life. “Bring Wealth, Happiness, Prosperity, Joy and Love into your Life Over and Over Again!” Learn how to bring wealth, happiness, prosperity, joy and love into your life over and over again. Start letting the Law of Attraction work for you! When I finally understood the Law of Attraction things started to fall into place. I started to meet the right people at the right time ... My goals became easier and easier to achieve ... And my entire outlook on life changed. I realised that once I mastered the Law of Attraction, I could learn how to: • Determine exactly what I wanted to attract • Flood my mind with positive thoughts • Achieve abundance in every area of my life • Get rid of fears and doubts that would stop the law from working • Become calm, confident and optimistic Celebrate every day - like it’s your birthday!


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Opinionated

in search of the elusive femme By Leandi Erasmus

A

fter six years of passion, blood and guts my girlfriend moved out a few months ago. In a desperate attempt to fill the gaping hole only a woman can leave, I recently started looking out for someone new. As I don’t reside in Gauteng or Cape Town I started off my journey limited to the lovely local lesbians. The biggest obstacle turned out to be that I prefer feminine women. I only needed to visit the one and only gay bar in town in order for me to realise, this is not going to be a short journey. Through my Tequila infused soda glass I got introduced to the women entering the bar. Is it the tequila or just me struggling to differentiate between the faces? Then I realise, it’s the identical hairstyles, with the identical highlights, and the same casual to non-existent clothing style, no cleavage, no luscious lipstick or long hair. They all looked the same to me! Suddenly I felt very much out of place. To make things worse I realised I`m in trouble because I can`t seem to remember whose name belongs to which face. I felt disenfranchised, got up and left, feeling isolated and deserted. Even willing to return to the nightmare of my previous relationship just to belong. I`m not straight and I don’t fit in the local lesbian scene, I`m single, but not into men or lesbians. Where do I turn? A faint flicker of hope struck when my thoughts dwindled to my funky new Samsung Galaxy Tablet. To the internet of course! Having never done this before I hesitantly started subscribing to dating websites. After exhausting many a data bundle all the feminine women turned out to be from Europe or the USA. Perhaps feminine women just don`t need to subscribe to these shady websites. Are there such a high demand for femmes that they`re just all occupied. But I`m fem, I`m not occupied, and I certainly don’t feel like there`s any kind of demand for my attention. So where are the elusive femmes hiding? Back at point one, perhaps at the local gay bar. So I started entertaining the thought of a femme in dykes’ clothes… This made me worry about the psychological state of the Lesbian Nation in the not-so-urban areas. Why are all our fabulous, voluptuous strong women resorting to dressing like men, shaving off their hair and hiding their breasts? We all love boobs, heavens! Show a little cleavage, and get attracted to yourself! It may be a mere confidence issue, or perhaps gay women are confining themselves to the same little boxes society has traditionally put us in. Women who would have preferred to be men. For ages lesbians and feminists have fought for the right of I

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Opinionated

lesbians to be accepted as women that loves women, women that loves to be women. Aren`t we pushing ourselves back into these boxes of; ‘lesbian looks’, ‘lesbian chat’, ‘lesbian hair’, ‘lesbian piercings’, ‘lesbian clothes’ and even ‘lesbian tattoos’ always evading the feminine in all of the above! Why on earth would we want to limit ourselves to such an extent? Let me make this loud and clear, I am a woman, a beautiful, voluptuous, feminine diva, with lovely soft breasts and cherry red lipstick! I won`t be limited in the expression of my beauty by the sex of my partner, or societies ideas about lesbians. The epitome of female sensuality is two naked women in embrace. We are a proud sacred sexuality, we have what straight women wish they had with their husbands, and we have what men dream of in their bedrooms. Why aren’t we loud and proud women in the same way that we are loud and proud lesbians? It seems to me that we have stopped loving our own bodies. Lesbians need to revisit the mirror, they need to touch themselves and appreciate being beautifully and sensually female. Coming I

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out of the closet does not mean you need to leave your make-up and perfume in there darlings! I suspect it’s time to start giving some lessons to the local lesbian ladies in integrating being abundantly female with being a woman who loves women. It is so much better worshiping your lovers` body if you are able to love yourself. After all, female loving lesbians should actually be society’s experts on female beauty and the triumph of the lovely sensual cleavage and the ecstasy of a soft body one can lose oneself in.


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PETPALS

Animal Behaviour: “DOGS ARE MY PASSION” By Bernice Jaffe

Ask Bernice!

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have loved animals for as long as I can remember and have always wanted to save every animal that needed saving. I used to walk the dogs in the rescue organisations that were locked in cages for most of the day and try to make them more adoptable. I used to help catch feral cats and have them sterilised, if there was any chance that I could domesticate them, I would, and try to find a good home for them, the rest we would put back where we found them ... I would take on foster dogs and cats and as soon as they were physically and emotionally strong, I would start looking for the perfect homes for them. This is one of the reasons I have six dogs and six cats, because some I could not let go. What does an animal behaviourist do? It all starts with understanding the dog psyche and their pack instinct, so that we can competently treat dogs that have behaviour problems. As with everything in life, a calm approach with positive reinforcement works best. In case you’re wondering why your pet would need me, I’ll sum it up by saying that my role is to provide support to owners and their dogs, so that they can fully enjoy each other’s company. I get called in to people’s homes to sort out problems like aggression towards other dogs, aggression towards people, barking, chewing, digging, separation anxiety etc. Most of the time it is the owners who are not doing the right thing. You do not get such a thing as a bad dog, just an owner who does not know the correct way. More often than not, I am called in for issues that the owner has already tried to resolve on their own. Owners commonly hope that their dog will grow out of a bad habit, but truth be told, unless deliberately coached and coaxed, dogs become more entrenched in their habits as time goes by (just like us two legged mammals). Owners often reinforce their dog’s problematic behaviour without even knowing it and then the dog gets blamed for getting it wrong. For a relatively small expense and a dedicated amount of commitment, beneficial changes can easily be made. It’s really not true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Dogs learn quickly; it’s the owners that are sometimes a little slow. The exciting thing about what I do is the diversity of issues that I’m called to consult on. Diverse issues call for diverse solutions and for this reason I’m never militant in my approach.

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My website is www.bernicejaffe.co.za, you can email me on bark@bernicejaffe. co.za or call me on 0798837566. I look forward to helping your pooches. Meeting you and your dog will give me a chance to consider first and foremost, the needs of the owner. I key into you and your disposition to find a sustainable solution that will work well for you and your four-legged best friend. To an equal degree, I consider the needs of the dog. No two breeds are alike and no two dogs within a breed can be considered the same. There’s no ‘paint by numbers’ solution and I always, always take into account each individual dog’s temperament so that I suggest something that we’re all comfortable with. Another factor I will consider is the environment. This pertains not only to your home but also to the general space that you share with your dog. This isn’t just about where your dog sleeps and the four walls that you share, it’s about the garden, the perimeter and it’s about the immediate surroundings. It also includes the space that your dog thinks he or she ‘owns’. In my experience, dogs that are integrated into the home are more secure, calm and ‘playable’ than dogs that are made to ‘live outside’. If I have to choose a key message to owners, it would be this. At the end of the day, it will be you that is left with the dog once I leave. I can only give you guidelines that will empower you to bring about changes – the onus will be on you to consistently implement them. Of course, I’m happy to provide ongoing support, but ultimately it is up to you to create the environment you desire. Your confidence is vital to a long-term solution. A confident owner equals a calm dog; a calm dog equals a happy home. I get a great personal reward from my work and can talk to dogs for hours, so please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. It’s my passion and gives me endless joy to see families engaging with their dogs in a loving and successful way.


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PETPALS

Our magnificent animal allies H

aving animal friends are certainly one of the most precious experiences we can have in a human lifetime. They are devout and loyal companions that bring joy and friendship into to life. But there is another integral role they play that is without a doubt the most benevolent; they come to reflect human conscious on its journey to awakening and will always give you an honest reflection, no matter how much you desire to hide. Every animal you come into contact with has something to tell you. Mostly we have forgotten how to listen. Life in the city is a busy rollercoaster that most of us tend to get lost in. As the days of work and ensuing entertainment, along with the deep condition of human society and the various roles we are asked to play in order to fit into the cache of compartmentalized defined identities, rushes forward day after day, we tend to miss the silent moments that allow us honest reflection and expression of our emotions. Once upon a time when things were quieter, we knew how to listen, we were taught how to adapt the sensitive nature of our inner being to detect and interpret vibration. We could receive a message from the wind, a thought from a stream, we knew when danger was lurking and how to protect ourselves and we knew when it was time to be still and when it was time to take action. A lot has changed as the ages have evolved with a surge in technological advancement and social orders. In those times long ago we were in close contact with the natural order of the planet but we have moved on. We no longer need to hunt for food or find water resources to drink from. We are not in contact with the animals we eat and we don’t even have to think about it if we choose not to. But our pets have moved from the wild with us into the age of reason. They have sacrificed their right to reproduction and nurturing of their young, they have adapted from hunting in long grass to eating from plastic bowls in our kitchens,

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Inter-species relationships By Sashama Tarae

and they have left the call of nature to cohabit with us in apartment blocks and duplexes. Many have adapted in size and configuration to share this new experience with us. This is commitment, loyalty and dedication to the unfolding of an integrated wakeful state of the human conscious. There are many very well loved and looked after pets, there are many who live in inhabitable conditions and are subject to various forms of abuse and neglect. There are some who wander aimlessly in the streets and others who have found community in uninhabited portions of land. They are to be found in every part of the cities, suburbs, urban and suburban environments alike, many find humans to care for and many are still searching. Did I just say many are searching for humans? Yes I did. This is the perspective I would like to offer for consideration. It is my understanding that the animals are here as guides to humans, they offer us support, unconditional love and reflection. Even those that are in difficult situations are busy with a reflective purpose for human evolution. What they seek in return is that we heal and come to integration. When we are able to see the profound nature of this exchange it puts life in perspective. Through acknowledgement and reverence we give the energy due to them for their own healing and integration. Gratitude is the highest vibration we can send them. All animals alike serve to this purpose, not excluding any species present at any time on our planet earth. If we are but willing stop, look and listen we will receive the greatest insight into our own experience individually and collectively. We all have the ability to hear what it is they are communicating but we will understand this communication only in the quiet spaces between the peripheral noise of our busy modern lives. We will be able to hear once we are able to see past our own projections, which are mainly


conditions created through experiences and how we have been taught to interpret them. We will be able to hear if we have the courage to stop and listen before we make an assumption based on our own inner desires and needs. Practicing this requires that we examine our feelings every time we encounter an animal. How do you feel when your animal gets ill or wounded? The first thing we must always do is get the animal to the closest vet but deeper than that we must examine what it is that the animal is communicating. What is it in your life that needs attention? What feelings are you not dealing with? What suppressed emotions or issues are being left unchecked? What is happening in your experience that reflects the behaviour? If you address this, the animal will be released from the role it is playing in guiding you towards your own healing. Once you have completed this process, it is gratitude that you come to for the commitment this animal has shown in its suffering, so that you may evolve. Gratitude brings healing to the animal. Gratitude is a powerfully charged, integrated emotion. It has the capacity to lift vibration and enhance energy fields. It has the power to elevate your consciousness to an expanded state.

Sashama is a visionary with exceptional clairvoyant skills working as a healer, seer and co-ordinator of information for the purpose of integration and expansion of the human conscious. For more information on upcoming workshops, events or to book a private consultation she can be can contacted on 072 9710422 email. sashamatarae@gmail.com

The journey to consciousness is unending in its revelations, the unweaving of a complex matrix of limited belief systems and conditions of modern day thinking we have accepted to be our reality. When decide to consciously address these conditions and free ourselves to become the creative expression of our true identities, our animal friends become the most valuable reflection we have against which to measure our awareness. They are the closest and most intimate relationships we have afforded ourselves in these times of accelerated advancement as a species. We owe it to them to receive the gift they bring us with much humility, reverence and gratitude. w w w

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wonderland

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THELOWE-DOWN

By Willem Jacobs and Zian Blignaut

THE LOWeDOWN melanie lowe

Melanie is an idol for all of us and needs no introduction. Our Alice Pretoria team hooked-up with her to exchange thoughts and ideas regarding a new album, love, work, personal life and all that jazz... You have come a long way with coming out and even getting married. Has it been hard and what advice can you give to our readers that still have to come out? Coming out is seldom easy! I think everyone has a different story but there are definitely more negative than positive stories sadly, and mine was no different. It took my parents 15 years to accept me and that only really happened once I starting loving and accepting myself and letting go of the guilt and shame I’d been carrying around for so many years. It was a long, hard road for all of us but I think my parents knew that we had reached a crossroads. Something in me had changed. I made a decision to put me first. It’s a hard thing to do, and a lot of people will never do it but I highly recommend giving it a try! Once I was okay within myself, coming out to the world was surprisingly easy. I had nothing left to fear because no-one could hurt me anymore. Everyone has their own sense of timing and timing is everything. If you don’t feel strong enough in yourself, you’ll crumble and, seeing you doubt yourself, will give others more reason to think they’re right and you’re wrong. Do it in your own time but, please do yourself a favour and DO it. I

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THELOWE-DOWN

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THELOWE-DOWN

And kids? Kids are definitely on the cards! I’ve always wanted to have children. I just never found the right partner until now. It’s something we both want and are working towards, without a doubt. And what do you think you would have been doing if you were not a musician? It’s hard to imagine doing anything else! I love to write so perhaps I’d be an author... I’m not the kind of person who can sit behind a desk in a structured work environment. Some people thrive in that kind of setting, I crave the space to be creative, and without that my soul shrivels up and goes to sleep!

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THELOWE-DOWN

“I also love that it’s not in a plastic jewel case because paper is far more environmentally friendly and I’m all about that.”

What do you think to be some of the most overrated things at the moment? Heterosexuality, ‘normal’ and, at the risk of getting shot down: religion! If we came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find? It would depend on whether I was there or on tour! If I am home, we have a well stocked fridge filled with fruit, veggies, plain yoghurt, eggs and lots of bottles of water. If my wife is home alone, the fridge will have one or two very over-ripe apples and possibly a half-filled bottle of water! The kitchen is NOT where her strengths lie. So, your new album, I Choose Me, is being released very soon, what is the main inspiration behind such a strong album title? I’ve never been a confrontational person. I hate to rock the boat. But you can’t keep living your life that way or you’ll never grow and I think challenges are good for a person. So I took myself out of my comfort zone and I embraced that side of me that isn’t sweet and soft and compliant and I took all of that into account when I was doing the album cover and also choosing the album name. I found the ‘edginess’ in me and I also embraced the woman I am. I am soft and nice at times, but there are times when I’m not and that rebellious side of me is coming out more and more as I get older and wiser. I chose a sexy suit to wear on the cover because a lot of people expect a lesbian to dress like a man, but none of them expect a suit like THAT and none of them expect lesbians to LOOK like a woman. It was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying, “Here’s your stereotype... NOT!” I wanted everyone to understand that I may be different to their idea of the norm, but I’m still a woman and I embrace that in every sense of the word. So, with all that in mind, to come back to your question: the name of the album drives all of this home. I struggled long and hard with the name before I settled on I Choose Me. I have a policy. Don’t name an album with a track name. To me it seems a bit lazy and it usually doesn’t capture the essence of the album. However, no matter which way I looked at it, nothing captured my state of mind, and my album, better than the words “I Choose Me”, and so the album chose its own name.

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And the music video? My hope for I Choose Me is that it becomes an anthem for many others out there who, like me, struggle to find acceptance and who are at odds with themselves. This song is to let them know that they are good enough and that no-one has the right to tell them otherwise. We all have secrets we are hiding and people are so selective about what they consider to be right and wrong. It’s the reason we shot the music video the way we did. Both the video, and the song, warn people not to judge a book by its cover. If you take someone at face value and base your decision purely on what you THINK you are seeing, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The song encourages people to rather form their own thoughts and opinions, and to embrace their differences, rather than fight them. We’re not sheep. We’ve been given free thought for a reason. I think sometimes people get a bit lazy and it’s easier to let someone else do the thinking for them. I also think part of their thinking is based on fear of the unknown. The song, and the video, encourages people to think outside of the box; to think about what they might be missing out on simply because they have judged someone based in preconceptions and it challenges them to look inside themselves and make a decision to start being true to who they are, to stop apologising for it and to start making a noise about it. It will rock some boats, it already has! But sometimes you have to do that, to get a point across. What other songs on the album are close to you and what’s the story behind them? They all are close to me but the most special of all is ‘Song for Kelly’. I wrote it for a very good friend of mine who was killed in a horrific accident two and a half years ago. It was one of the hardest vocals I’ve ever had to record because I kept getting a lump in my throat but it didn’t bother me too much because that’s exactly how I felt and we used the whole vocal take, hiccups and all. When I first gave John a list of 30 tracks to choose from for the album, that song was a non-negotiable. It was going on the album regardless. It’s Kelly’s song and, in my own way, I’m immortalising her I guess, because I believe music has that power and so we’ll always have this connection.

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THE LOWE-DOWN

Five readers stand the chance to win a signed copy of Melanie’s new album. Send the words “ALICE LOWE” to 45509

SMS&WIN!!

ITERMS s s u eAND 0 3CONDITIONS: – 2 0 1 1 R1.50 ∫ per sms. Multiple entries allowed. Competition closes 30 November 2011. Winners will be notified by phone, and made public on www.alicemagazine.co.za and on our Facebook Page. No under 18’s,

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proof of age may be asked before prizes are rewarded. South African entries only. Prizes will awarded by random draw from a computer application. Not exchangeable for cash. More terms on www.alicemagazine.co.za.


THELOWE-DOWN

So, we heard you are busy finalising a deal with a UK company, tell us more about that… Well, I can’t tell you too much yet! If it all comes together, it means my music will be getting distributed over there. It’s still being finalised but as soon as it is, you’ll know! That’s great news! Is there any other international exposure in the pipeline? Definitely. The UK is just the start and, when this all comes together, it will be great exposure which should hopefully start spilling over into other countries...

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The artwork of the album is quite impressive; tell us more about the process of putting it all together and who did you collaborate with? Thanks! I was at a complete loss about what to do for the cover; I just knew I wanted to make a statement. I covered a lot of this in a previous question already so I won’t repeat myself. But I approached photographer, Joanne Olivier from Tickybox Media, because I knew she was capable of edgy, gritty photography. Then I chatted to my good friends, Robyn and Rakesh, at Logico Creative. They have designed all of my album covers to date and they always step up to the plate. I told them what I had in mind and they totally GOT it. I love what they came up with. I also love that it’s not in a plastic jewel case because paper is far more environmentally friendly and I’m all about that.

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Fashion THELOWE-DOWN

choose

yourself! Who would you love to share a stage with one day? Without a doubt, Tori Amos. I think she is the most amazing artist. I love her music, I love her attitude, I just love her! I was fortunate enough to share a stage, and sing a duet, with Sarah Bettens of K’s Choice fame, when I supported her on her SA tour a couple of years back and it was just a dream come true. I never thought it would happen so, who knows, Tori could still give me a call... ;) So, what is it that is spinning in your record player? It should come as no surprise that it’s Tori Amos. I have all her albums and she has her own playlist on my iPod consisting of all her songs so I play that pretty much all the time if I’m not listening to 702!

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THELOWE-DOWN

Jo’burg, Cape Town or Durban?

bolero Errol Arendz dress designed by Cindy Bam, price on request boots R2 590, Errol Arendz

Depends on the situation! I’m fortunate that I get to travel a lot so where I base myself is not really an issue. Part of me will always love Durban. That’s where I grew up. But I’m not sure I could live there anymore. The Cape is wonderful for a holiday and maybe one day we’ll

retire there. But for now, my life is in Jo’burg. I used to hate it. Then I met my wife, I made some wonderful friends, we made a beautiful home here and suddenly it felt like home to me. At the end of the day, I love South Africa. Where I base myself is irrelevant, as long as I’m in the country I love.

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Can you remember what the first album was you ever bought? Wow, that is a tough one! I think it might have been ‘Hothouse Flowers’, Songs from the Rain. I must’ve been about 18 at the time! Our dog got hold of it and managed to chew it but it still plays and it’s still in my collection. Tell us something no one knows about Melanie? Well, there is nothing that NOBODY knows, but something that few people know is that I am terrified of the phone! My wife is always picking me out because I will mail people a million times a day but don’t ask me to phone them. I will find every excuse in the book not to phone them. I am not a talker, I’m a writer. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! What’s your worst quality? I’m a perfectionist and therefore very critical of myself, and others at times, but particularly myself. It’s a Virgo trait and it doesn’t do me any favours! Have you ever received hate mail? Often! Depending on my mood I’ll either ignore it or respond by posting a blog naming and shaming the offender ;) The problem with being out and proud about your life, is that you do open yourself up to hate and you can either take it personally and let it get you down, or you can just take it in your stride and hopefully learn something from it. Name five things that are still on your bucket list… I don’t have one! I have a theory that, if you make a list, it makes everything seem more unreachable. Living your life in the moment, makes you more inclined to do the unexpected. How often have you heard someone say that the best time they ever had was because they did something spontaneously? I know that, when I’m on my death bed, I don’t want to have a list to remind me of what I never managed to achieve. I just want to remember the wonderful things I DID achieve.

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THELOWE-DOWN What does Melanie do on a Sunday at about 4 o’clock? Sunday is definitely our day of rest if we can help it! The rest of our days are usually full of all sorts of crazy things. By Sunday afternoon, we are winding down. If we’re out somewhere we’ll end the day with a sundowner before heading home and getting on the couch and watching a movie. If we are lucky enough to have a whole day off, the most we’ll do is go to gym. The rest of the day will be spent just pottering around the house, spending time with each other, taking it very easy. What is your opinion about the gay girl community in South Africa?

“...I haven’t really been on the club scene for many years. I think gay girls have gotten a lot braver and more outspoken and it’s really nice to see so many of them standing up for themselves...”

On the whole, gay girls don’t go out and party as much as the boys do. We prefer to have braais at home, with friends. I don’t speak for all of them obviously, just for my immediate circle of friends. Once every couple of months, it’s nice to go out and let your hair down and dance, but we tend to not need it as often as the boys. Especially those girls in a long term relationship. When you’re single it’s a bit different but that’s usually because you’re looking for someone, although I’d be wary about meeting someone at a club. As soon as you find that special someone, you commence with hibernation again. Things may have changed a bit but I’m not so aware of it because I haven’t really been on the club scene for many years. I think gay girls have gotten a lot braver and more outspoken and it’s really nice to see so many of them standing up for themselves and for others in their community.

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Photographer: Jacques Coetzer Hair: Bella Baccani - Hair Mosaic Accessories: Rosanna Moskovitch - Afrokwazi Clothing: Terrence Bray (Designer) INTERVIEW: WILLEM JACOBS & ZIAN BLIGNAUT CREATIVE DIRECTION: JOY KLOPPERS & LEANDRé Brettschneider

CREDITS

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THE LOWE-DOWN

To MELANIE: THank you melanie! It was fantastic meeting you! Good luck with your career and promoting your new album! We already have it on repeat in the alice office!


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MODEL: Clarissa meyer Jacket with lace: R2340 Accessories: model’s own


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SKILesotho TRIP! reFLECT

By Marinda de Lange

Disclaimer: This account of travelling to Lesotho with the Green Girls Scrapbook Club reflects the personal observations of the diarist and might or might not coincide with the observations of others who had the same adventure, nor is it an attempt to do so.

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ook, I can fly!” shouted my adorable fairy godchild to Judith, who rushed by on some adult errand, heedless of the child’s play. Her words seemed prophetic, because a number of people did indeed do fair imitations of flying during the delightful Pink GirlFest ski trip to Lesotho. We were about to depart, and my little fairy had managed to change her position from a goodbye hug to perching on my knees, lifting her legs in the air and flapping her arms. I’m starting to think she has “the sight” – because I also saw lots of flapping arms on the ski slope. Not to be outdone, I’m sure I flapped with the best. Looking back, I realise with great relief: “Sheesh, I’m so glad that there weren’t any chicken farmers looking for breeding stock on the ski slopes! Anyone selecting for well-adapted flappers would have had a field day.” We had not been on the road for long when the compadres started lubricating their throats in earnest. They had clearly done their research well and must have read that monks at the hospice at the Great St. Bernard Pass in the Swiss Alps used brandy to restore life to half-frozen travellers who got lost in the snow. As we all probably know, the monks sent dogs to go and find, dig up and revive lost travellers with little barrels of brandy fastened to their collars. Not that any of us had gotten lost in the snow (yet) – but I suppose it can’t harm to be prepared. To their credit, some of my fellow travellers took their brandy in diluted form – mixed with Coke. I am just surprised that none of us had thought to bring a St. Bernard. Of course there were other varieties of insurance against getting lost in the snow, but I’m not here to write an advertisement for the liquid refreshment industry. I’m reporting on the trip with my usual scientific objectivity, never straying from the truth, the absolute

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truth, and nothing but the truth. If you feel that I stray, just send a well-equipped St. Bernard after me.

Next, we proceeded to the serious business of selecting a social committee. Hey, that was easy. Kerry McFunMeister jumped up and said: “We need a social committee. A soc com!” She might have said “suck ‘em” or “sock ‘em” too. I don’t know, since I was not really paying all that much attention at the time, and I forgot to take notes. Some other wit might have muttered something along those lines, or I might have been thinking a bit loudly. [Note to Ed. Not thinking “out loud.” I try to avoid that.] Since I didn’t get the impression that she was trying to incite us to riot, I think it is safe to assume that she didn’t say: “Sock ‘em.” I couldn’t spot anything to riot about, either. Not that I’d want to. Building is a far more attractive and constructive activity than breaking down – and things tend to get broken during riots. Right – with the philosophical question of “To riot, or not to riot” safely resolved, I broke out of my reverie to notice that the McFunMeister and her French-looking friend whose name reminds me of the town of Chantilly had gotten themselves elected by spontaneous acclaim. To celebrate, the SocCom broke into song: “Take me down to Paradise City where the girls are green and the grass is pretty…” Uhm. They tried again: “Take me down to Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty…” We were treated to several renditions of this, with some variations on the theme, but I think I heard the version with “where the girls are green” most. In fact, I now think of that as the definitive version. This laid the foundation for the birth of the “Green Girls Scrapbook Club” – but that happened later, and I try to keep things chronological, if not logical. (What made any of us think that human behaviour is logical? It isn’t. Sometimes delightfully so, sometimes not.) Time to take stock: Passengers in a jovial mood: check. SocCom selected: check. Theme song: check. Entertainment? Oh yes,


the McFunMeister seems to have spent time with a circus troop and took to the rafters. I can hear the sticklers for detail piping up: Ok, busses don’t have rafters – they have luggage racks. McFunMeister swung from the luggage racks while Chantilly played DJ, occasionally spelled by Nicola. There was mixing in the aisles and smooching on the back seat, as is customary with long bus trips. Girls really should come equipped with bigger bladders. Many, many pit stops later, we pulled up at the Lesotho border post. Never in my life have I seen such a dedicated SocCom team member. The McFunMeister strolled up to the border guard window on the South African side, chatted merrily about all the contraband she intended to smuggle into Lesotho, and, just to make sure that no one felt left out, marched to another guard and shook his hand. Then she looked at his hand, considered it carefully, apparently decided that the hand had not had enough attention, and kissed it too, just for good measure. Ok, perhaps she did not quite chat about the contraband she intended smuggling out of the country, but I saw Judith sweating bullets, so deduced that something potentially inflammatory must have been said. I think a few of us weren’t sure whether we should laugh our heads off or heave a sigh of relief when we made it safely through both the SA and Lesotho borders. Angela was the first one to spot snow, thus earning herself an ice cream. Suddenly we were all putting on jerseys and jackets as the temperature dropped considerably. We fearlessly sat out hair-raising hairpin bends in the road, with some noses stuck to windows. No, not because our noses had frozen to the windows, but because the landscape is riveting. The people of Lesotho are very friendly and you can wave at people to your heart’s content. In fact, I recommend that as a fun activity while in Lesotho. Waving at the kids is especially rewarding, as they run happily towards the bus, waving all the way. w w w

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We debouched at Oxbow Lodge with the usual rush for the loo, then got the room allocation sorted. I saw Judith in some tough negotiations to get extra rooms so that all would be satisfied, and I’m happy to say she pulled it off. I did receive one friendly offer of “I’ll show you a good time if you join us in the room” - and I’m sure it came out slightly different from the way it was intended. The intent, being, of course, to make room allocation easier for Judith, not to ravish my delectable body. But, my first dedication is to my craft, and I need solitude to write, so I put a brave face on it and wended my way to my quiet room. The sacrifices I make! Fortunately there was tasty, warm, somewhat sweet and wellspiced Glühwein to warm my stomach. It may even have reached some of the far-flung corners of my heart, causing me to temporarily abandon the tendency to act like a hermit and join the other wonderful people at the pool table. To my delight, I met some women who also have a passion for permaculture, animals and farming and we happily swapped notes on the excellent qualities of the Nguni and Boran breeds. A good number of us retired relatively early, to rest up for an action-packed day on Saturday. I was not disappointed. As our bus came close enough to offer us a good view of the ski slope, I heard a collective intake of breath. That slope was long. Very long. While I won’t go as far as saying that it seemed to stretch forever, it came close. “Ah well,” I reassured myself, “I’ll just stay on the beginner’s slope, if need be.” Again, the Green Girls Scrapbook Club had come well prepared, and most were kitted out in waterproof pants and jackets. Angela was resplendent in a Mohawk-style beanie, which gave her the aspect of a fierce warrior without a motorcycle. As for the rest of the kit - you just about needed the help of a SWAT team to get into those ski boots. (Or perhaps, more aptly, the Green Berets.) Tight is not the word. I sweated my way into one pair and then out of it again, as it was too tight. Got one size bigger and then I

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reFLECT had to teach myself the “ski-boot Martian walk” – a weird sort of heel-first, clump-clump walk where you cannot use your ankles while walking, as they are held rigidly by the boots. We all agreed that it is not the most fetching way of walking we’ve seen. Not the most comfortable, either. “If I break anything, at least it won’t be my ankles,” I thought to myself in an effort to see the upside of the situation.

thighs as you barrel down that slope, almost flat on your back with your arms stretched behind you for balance and your feet in the air. If you accidentally drop your feet, you get several eyefuls of snow. I got about a truckload of it. My tip to aspiring bumboarders: wear eye protection. The bum-boards came in red and black. If the manufacturers really thought about it, they would have made them in blue and black.

Our ski lesson started off with a demonstration of how to get onto the skis. A couple of us fell over for entertainment, while the rest

So, we were ostensibly in a race to the bottom. The prize for the one who got there first would be a shot of something that

of us casually amused ourselves with a little snowball fight. The second step was to learn the “snow plough” manoeuvre. I believe that this is not an apt term to use during a ski lesson – people took it literally and used their noses to plough the snow. To get my mind set properly, I renamed it “The Ducky.” You turn your heels out, toes in, to almost wedge your skis together at the front. This is supposed to bring you to a standstill. It might work on an almost flat surface, but I found that standstill extremely elusive on the steep slope. The “fall down flat” method worked much better to achieve zero acceleration. One can’t call it a standstill if you’re not standing, I suppose.

wards off the effects of getting lost in the snow. Thus it was a highly motivated bunch of bum-boarders that barrelled down the slope at breakneck speed. Out of the corner of my eye that was not completely bunged up with snow-spray, I noticed Judith overtaking me on the far right. I thought that was in extremely poor taste. She had organised the tour, after all, and should have the courtesy to let someone else from the group win the warming refreshment. She might have managed to telepathically tune in on my thoughts, for the next moment I saw her spin wildly out of control. It looked like she was trying to make horizontal cartwheels in the snow, or otherwise she had suddenly remembered that she still wanted to make a snow angel and set about it with far too much gusto. I think an aerial view of the patterns in the snow would have revealed something that resembles a snow tornado far more than an angel. I laughed so hard I fell off my own bumboard. Perhaps she had simply spotted someone else in distress and wanted to lend a helping hand, or foot – who knows? But that was the end of my race.

Eventually we graduated to the intermediate slope. We were starting to get the hang of it. Then a few brave souls upgraded to the “beeeeg” slope. We saw them off at the ski lift, then waited for what felt like centuries for them to come down. I eventually gave up and continued to play on the intermediate slope. The SocCom had elected to try their luck with snow boards instead of ski’s. Apparently the snow boards are more difficult to master. I’d lost track of their activities but reliable sources informed me that they had also braved the big slope. The playing in the snow part of the day ended with a most delightful activity: bum-boarding. Snow tractors took us halfway up the big slope. We stuck bum-boards exactly where the name suggests it gets stuck. No, not in – under. The bum-board looks pretty much like a dustpan, just flatter. It still has the handle, but shaped into a hand grip that you pull up and clutch between your

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Afriski had arranged a party for the evening. Since I felt the need for deep contemplation in a hot bath, I elected to rely on the usual trustworthy witnesses for reports. Apparently the McFunMeister had struck upon the idea to have her photo taken with all the attractive girls that she spotted at the party, using the excuse that she collected the photos for her scrapbook. Nic and Su, a delightful couple who are still honeymooning after 5 years together, must have been rather discreet in their affection for each other this evening, because a girl started practising her


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reFLECT charms on Nic, evidently not noticing that Nic only has eyes for Su. Little Ms Charmer enquired of Nic where the group came from. Nic responded: We’re a bunch of mates that came by bus for the weekend.” Racking her brains to keep Nic chatting, Ms Charmer wished to know what glue united the group, so Su decided to have a bit of fun and said: “We are a scrapbooking group; you see Kerry taking pictures for her scrapbook,” upon such foundations the “Green Girl Scrapbook Club” was founded. (Oops, I almost wrote “foundered.”) Sunday dawned bright and cold. I had just stepped out of my room to discover that it had started to “kapok.” (I have not found an English equivalent for this word and would be happy to hear suggestions.) Fascinated, I stood watching soft little bundles of ice plopping down on my jacket. For the first time in my life. Equally fascinated, I also stood watching as Judith suddenly burst from her room, wrapped in only a towel. “Turn away!” she shouted. I really couldn’t see any reason why I should. I was admiring the unique spectacle of the kapok, and was not about to start admiring it the other way around. So I stood my ground. She took off running like a swarm of bees was behind her. I suppose she had her moment of being naked in the kapok somewhere behind a building, free of kapok-admirers who insisted on enjoying their moment with nature undisturbed. Since I was rooted to the spot, I can unfortunately not report on the unveiling, or untowelling, if you prefer, of Judith. We returned to Afriski for one last fling on the snow. Only the X-treme team elected to face those boots again: myself, Nic and Su, with McFunMeister and Chantilly in the more comfortable snowboarding boots. I asked Nic to babysit me on the big slope, which she did. In fact, she did it with so much consideration that she fell down several times, just to be able to demonstrate to me how one gets back up on one’s ski’s after a spill on the big slope. I appreciated the lessons, since I needed it the first time I went down “Big Slope.” The second time, I stopped halfway down the slope to wait for my buddy to catch up. We needed to get back to the bus pronto, as the group had decided to depart a bit earlier. Nic said we needed to be at the bottom in five minutes. The previous round trip took half an hour. “Let’s hit that slope, and get down fast!” she urged me. I gave it my best shot, secretly hoping it didn’t occur to the slope to hit back. However, when your legs get so tired going down the slope, you suddenly discover that courtesy is far more important than speed, and you simply wait for your buddy. Also, Nic insisted on doing graceful loops from side to side, while I followed the simple expedient of heading straight down, which caused me to cover ground faster. As I turned around to check where she was, I saw her doing the most spectacular head over heels tumble I’d seen the entire weekend. I really wished I had a I

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video camera installed on top of my helmet, so that I could capture the moment. Ski flying in one direction, Nic the other. And I’m quite convinced she never stopped smiling. She jumped up with an even bigger smile and said: “Now that was spectacular, wasn’t it?” I expressed my total and heartfelt agreement, coming close to dabbing away a tear because she would go to such extreme lengths to set me at ease on the slope, give me a great show and attempt to get back to the group as fast as possible. What a multitasker! I took my hat off. Figuratively speaking, of course. It was too cold to really take it off. On that high flying note, our adventure ended. We took off back to Gauteng, bones and bodies still whole, and hearts full of the glow of new friendships and shared adventure.


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LivingLIFE

is adoption

By Terry Lailvaux

I

get asked this question a lot by all sorts of people. Interestingly, one of the main ‘barriers’ to adopting a child is the doubt that we are good enough candidates to raise an adopted child. It has always been remarkable to me to note that whilst any person, good or bad, rich or poor, sick or healthy can have a baby, people have to be vetted before being allowed to adopt. Don’t get me wrong here – this is a good thing. We cannot be dishing out children to weirdoes and psychos but what if you are not a weirdo or a psycho? What if you are just slightly ‘different’? And by different, I mean that you do not fit into the category of mom, dad, son, daughter, dog, cat and white picket fence. Maybe you are single or older or gay? What then? Do you still get the chance to become a parent? Of course you do. In terms of the law, there is no discrimination made when looking at potential adoptive parents. The only limitation is convicted sex offenders. Apart from that, everyone no matter what their status or belief may apply to adopt. (Remember I said ‘in terms of the law’ – you will read in the two stories below that individual parties still discriminate shamelessly!) So if there are 1.8 million adoptable children in South Africa and lots of people wanting to be parents, why are there so many people blocking up the waiting rooms in fertility clinics? I think there are a number of reasons. The main one is that the vast majority of women grow up assuming that one day they will fall pregnant and give birth. When you have spent a lifetime harbouring an assumption, it is very difficult to alter that mindset. When you find out you are infertile or when you enter into a same-sex relationship, it takes a while to realise that you may have to start a family in a less conventional way. One option for gay ladies is a sperm donor and off you go. For some, this is ideal. For others, perhaps not. Perhaps there are fertility issues or perhaps, as a couple, you do not want to have only one of you biologically related to your child. In many cases, people choose adoption as there is no biology at all and it seems ‘fairer’. Whatever your reason or your choice, adoption is definitely an option. For me, it was infertility. We tried for 5 years at the fertility clinic but after a lot of time, money and emotional strain, we opted to adopt. The process was fairly easy. It involves some interviews, lots of paper work, a police clearance certificate, a psychometric test and a home visit and Voila! You are on the waiting list.

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an option? How much will it cost? Here’s the thing. The costs can range from R 6 000 to R 40 000 depending on the agency you use. Obviously, the more you pay, the faster and easier the process is. The cheaper rates are with the government organisations while the more expensive rates are with the private agencies. How long will you wait? Again, that depends on your requirements. The more boxes you tick, the longer you wait. If you have no gender or colour preference, you could have a baby within 4 – 6 months of your application being approved. I asked some same-sex, multi-racial families to tell me about the hurdles and barriers they experienced as a result of their choices. Here are parts of their stories. Family 1: Shaun (42) and Dean (39) Amey (both white) and their daughter Owam (Xhosa, 5 years) This has been no walk in the park! We are foster parents in the final and frustrating stages of adoption! Shaun says: “While visiting Groote Schuur, I met and fell in love with doe- eyed, 5kg bald Owam in the paediatric ward. After 3 days I introduced her to Dean. The nurses and sisters were in shock and awe at me visiting and falling in love with a child I’d never seen before – especially in an institution that does not offer strangers visitation on semi-orphaned children! I contacted Owam’s government-appointed social worker who helped to get Owam placed with us as emergency foster parents. Within 4 weeks, Owam came home with us. We went from being 2 semi-selfish, self - absorbed young disco dwellers to responsible parents in just 5 weeks!

cared for it. We wondered if perhaps (as it was church-based) they did not even consider same-sex cross cultural adoption as a possibility. She basically told us to give up and that she would not help us. Finally, after a long wait, we were able to get Owam’s file moved to a private social worker who was in fact the very same one recommended by an adoptive parent 3 years earlier! Finally, after all the paperwork and a search for Owam’s biological family, the adoption board agreed we were suitable and we have had our file on the desk of the Wynburg magistrate since January 2011!

Our biggest hurdle in making this arrangement permanent was from the developmental social service agency that had jurisdiction over Owam.

The only questions we get about our multi-cultural same-sex family, is from the ladies at the checkout counters in the grocery store or from black families shopping and of course the hawkers at the traffic lights.

The lady there was totally unwilling to speak to us or meet with us. We did not know if this was because we are white and same-sex and trying to give a black child a permanent and loving home or whether it was because after 25 years in her job, she no longer

Out in public we receive seemingly sincere smiles and nods of understanding and acceptance for our odd and almost original looking unit. We don’t need acceptance or approval from anyone. We are a Family regardless!

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The waiting now no longer concerns us as know that in the 3 of our hearts, beats a song of love, acceptance and unity.” Family 2: Dr Susan Levine and partner. White females aged 47 & 46. Their children are a black girl aged 7 and a mixed race boy aged 1. In the first case there were no real hurdles experienced because we are a same-sex couple but in the second case, the biological mother was concerned that her son would not have a male role model. She was not homophobic in any way, but felt that a baby ought to have male and female parents. When she learnt that we have an active father figure in our life, she agreed to the adoption. With regards to the problems with being a multi-racial family, it has been harder than being part of a same-sex couple. It has been a challenge to find integrated schools, which promote diversity and acceptance. People in general have little to no understanding of how children feel when they ask me the following questions in front of them: “Did you ever want to have your own children?” “Is she a foster child?” “Was it difficult to adopt her?” “Black children are so beautiful; you did a great thing to save her.” I no longer take my daughter to shops where I am likely to stand in long lines. My daughter being black marks us out and people feel they have the right to make comments. The questions mentioned above are tame. In America while strolling our daughter across the street, a woman shouted “You all stealing all our black folk” and “Most people adopt Chinese babies.” This has been difficult for my daughter. Family 3: White Male (48), Coloured Male (42) White boy (5) from IVF, Coloured girl (3) adoption. We adopted our children through a social worker based in Johannesburg. (The IVF paperwork was the same as an adoption) When our 2nd IVF attempt failed for the 4th time my partner and I agreed to look at the adoption possibilities. We were looking for a new born girl and preferably coloured. Being a same-sex couple brought many hurdles but we still believe that the social worker was on our side and that helped. One agency told us point blank that we would be at the bottom of the list because we were a same-sex couple. Tygerberg Hospital told us that they were a Catholic institution and therefore did not assist same-sex couples. These were the bluntest ones but most of the adoption agencies took our details down and that was where the road ended. We never heard from them again. As a multi-racial family, we have had no bad experiences except recently at airports! As a family we travel on a regular basis I

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“Tygerberg Hospital told us that they were a Catholic institution and therefore did not assist same-sex couples.” overseas (I am originally from Europe). On our last trip in June we encountered, for the first time, a number of queries. In every country we passed through; South Africa, Belgium, Italy and the UK, we were questioned. The most difficult place was South Africa on departure. Even though (as a precautionary measure) I had a copy of the birth certificates with me, the customs officer still referred us to a senior customs officer as he wanted to see the adoption papers! Family 4: Douglas and Marlow Newman-Valentine. 28 and 43 year old Coloured males. We have requested a newborn female baby preferably from coloured or mixed decent. As a same-gendered couple, adoption seemed the most natural way for us to grow our family. We explored other options, yet adoption came out as the best option every time. We started our process in September 2010 and our screening process was complete in March 2011. We are awaiting placement. Our first contact for adoption was with a place in Bellville. The moment they found out that we are a same-gendered couple, the discrimination started. All the doors closed and we were forced to seek assistance with another agent. Once we found the right agency, things became positive. Terri is a qualified counsellor and the author of The Greatest Gift - A story for children about adoption. For more information on adoption or counselling, or to order a book, contact Terri Lailvaux at terri@adoptmom.co.za or visit www.adoptmom.co.za


ABOUT A GIRL

NdumiEFunda through the storm By Eugene Brockman

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hen you’re in a room with Ndumie Funda, you are captivated. Her eyes are expressive and commanding, almost invasive. She is a proud, full figured African woman and that is how Ndumie presents herself to the world. She fills your senses by just being herself, no persona or masks, no holding back, no obscuring or pretence. When she speaks she holds your attention, she says it as she sees it and sticks to the truth. I have become fortunate enough to call Ndumie a friend. I have also seen Ndumie’s courage, conviction and compassion whilst we were assisting Nxolo Nkosana after a brutal stabbing, in Parliament, when Ndumie spearheaded talks with the Department of Justice due to her million-signature petition on Avaaz.com and Change.org. Her work has resulted in a government supported national task team on homophobic violence and hate crimes - a world first and might be a legacy that we can’t comprehend the scope of yet. Ndumie’s demeanour can be jarring (even to me); she can be painfully direct and blunt, which admittedly inspires envy of her faith and self-assurance. Though I am certain it is those qualities that have made her a trailblazer, have had her succeed in getting the government’s ear, after her counterparts have failed for over a decade to evoke definitive action and response on corrective rape from the Department of Justice. Ndumie is now on a national task team to fight homophobia with direct access to government resources. However, the part of Ndumie that few are privy to is her humour and compassion. It is also this side of Ndumie that Alice Magazine approached me to explore in an interview, on how Ndumie sees and approaches herself, life, love, heartbreak and adversity. Ndumie, how would you describe yourself as a person? (She laughed, and softly answered with a smile in her voice) Everything about me is big, my smile, my talk, but also my empathy. I am also strong in my beliefs and activism. However, I would like to point out that I am not a sexually orientated activist. w w w

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I have been in activism all my life. As I am from a staunch Adventist family, helping those less fortunate than me has been in my blood. So before Luleki Sizwe and these issues of corrective rape, I have been an activist for my community. And how would you describe yourself as a woman? As a woman I am proud. I am a feminist. And, I like to see women standing up there, with their rights in place, fighting (a system of) patriarchy, but not with anger towards men. Men and gay men can be feminists too. I am for a constructive diplomacy, not a monopoly. What have been your biggest challenges in recent times? Ooh, let me take a deep breath! (Ndumie sighed.) My experience of community and civil society work unfortunately, has not been one of collaboration. I have been assisting many social, political and LGBTI organisations as an activist volunteer for over 12 years, where I have directly helped these organisations achieve success. My biggest obstacle has been a betrayal of trust when I’ve helped someone, given my time and love to a person who at the end of the day gave me nothing in return. I even had to go into hiding after being stalked by this rape victim’s aggressor, only to later have this woman turn against me and my organisation because of politicking with other NPO’s and NGO’s. So when we talk of this hate crimes task team we should, in a positive way, work for those who need help, not for ourselves. And in that spirit I must thank the following people; Jules Hussey, Emma Rowland, Billi Du Preez and Melanie Nathan who without these we wouldn’t have a petition against corrective rape or a task team. What has been your source of strength? You have nothing but prayer and surrounding yourself with positive people. People like, Melanie Nathan, and you guys from the Gay Flag of SA, who put petrol in my car, and help Luleki Sizwe do its work, when I live by grace. I

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ABOUT A GIRL

In the photos (from left to right): At Bubbles Bar Corrective Rape Show Photographer: Henry Bantjez

I also gain strength from those who gun for me, because it is them who give me conviction. How do you deal with your own emotions whilst helping women who are so brutally attacked and violated? It rips my heart apart. It makes me think of my partner and what we had to go through as a result of her rape and at times it kills me. However, I do not want to see others suffer the way she did. It’s painful, but it does not weaken my feelings that this should change. I can’t just grieve for her all the time. There has to be a way forward, a way to change this situation. This is why denial of corrective rape angers me, because I have lost my fiancée to this violence as a result of her infection and death of HIV/AIDS. How does this violence and hatred impact your life, on a daily basis? Frankly, it is always there. It has made me to be strong and (made me) stand firm for my rights. I will fight till the last drops of my blood leave my body to impact change regarding this issue (of corrective rape). What makes you happy? What gives you joy? (Laughs) The love of my life, the pillar of my strength - Thandwa. She too hurts when she sees these cases of violence and it is a comfort to share it with her. Whenever we help people I become joyous. It may tear at my heart, but to see how others respond to my help is what makes me happy. Tell us a secret or a side that not everyone knows about you? I’ve got a small heart even though people may never think so, because I am very direct in the way I speak and work. I

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Anything else? I believe I am a humble person and that I am spiritually grounded, which is why I can do this work. What bothers or irritates you about life in South Africa? Where are we still lacking as a nation? I find that there is a culture of people who do not use their potential. They make excuses for not being their best in life, such as being from the township or being lesbian. Sexuality does not determine your abilities. Sexuality should not be a reason not to succeed in life. They should just be themselves, demand to be treated equally and focus on their abilities and improving their skills. The women that I work with have so much potential. They were attacked, but they become a victim and use the rape as an excuse. There is help for them and they can do so much more. You have also been appointed to the National Task Team on hate crimes. What is expected of you? You know me. I’ll never change. I am still Ndumie. The people on this task team are just like the rest of us. They are nothing different or special. The task team is not a platform for being a celebrity - it makes you a servant of the community. Luleki Sizwe might have brought about the task team and talks with the government, but still we do our work where we are needed. What do you want to achieve with the task team? Changing of negative perceptions is most important. We should get straight to the townships, work together to improve the lives of those who are fighting every day against hate.


ABOUT A GIRL

“Let’s all unite, unite our forces and fight not only corrective rape, but also all homophobia”

What are your thoughts and feelings on this task team? My feeling is that we’ll only make it if we work together on a positive way forward. We should put ourselves, but also our organisations aside so that we can work for those who have been invisible and need help. Our actions should be targeted rather than discussing the concept of corrective rape and homophobia. You also recently got engaged. Have you learnt any lessons on love? I’ve noticed that if your relationship is going well, you’ll allocate time to each other. If there are problems, you’ll keep yourself busy elsewhere. So it is important to keep a balance when you are in love. Now, I am focusing on that balance between my activism and my personal life. What is your message to the lesbian community of South Africa? Let’s all unite, unite our forces and fight not only corrective rape, but also all homophobia. w w w

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Do you cook? What is your favourite food? I love cooking. (She laughs) The kitchen and I are good friends. As long as food is tasty and have colour and fills the whole plate I am happy. Except pork, don’t ask me to cook that. Why not pork? (She clicks) Nah-huh. Not that. What is your favourite song at the moment? My music is like me, very soft. R&B ballads. Old school. Some jazz, some gospel also to uplift my spirits. Is there one song, in particular, that means a lot to you? One that stands out to me is “Through the Storm” by Aretha Franklin. The words of that song always keep me: “Through the storm, through the tears, you and I, I know we can survive.” What do you do to relax? Spending quality time with the woman I love. That is the best relaxation. I

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in the stars

Sapphic sister

STARS

By Beverli Rhodes

What a great set of planets for these next months! How to catch and keep her is the general feeling behind the months leading up to Christmas. Bring on the summer of love! October specifically will see drastic, fantastic ‘feel good’ times to help get all-things-summer on the go! Turn up the heat and join in. These next months, especially November, allow yourself to become a little emotionally impulsive and enjoy being in love. If you’re not in love don’t allow yourself to get depressed, get out there, get yourself out on the scene and attract love to yourself! Go girl ... sweet moves! V IRGO You’re happy when things are going quietly – in fact you can expect a levelling energy for the most part through October. Planetary movements can be a little strained, (not too bad) be careful of a storm brewing with a co-worker. Be warned, don’t shout out, don’t try big it up, just be calm and stay level headed. You might be feeling the weight of responsibilities and feel ‘alone in charge’. You will be attempting to bring more structure and order to your home life, as you may be feeling a little stifled in your current surroundings. LI B RA In essence, like the effect the tides have on growing plants, these past months you feel that you have had to fend for yourself! Bless you. That’s not really the case. I know you feel alone but there are those that love you and will help if they know that you need it. As one of the more misunderstood of all the signs, try to manage your expectations of others. If you expect too much (by your standards) then you will be disappointed. Allow a deep soul to connect with you to help make it easier to become more open. So, don’t just ‘make do’ with those you have around, wait until you’re bowled over by someone truly amazing, as the wonderful woman may be right under your nose. SCORPIO As the scorpion can be jealous, envious, especially when in a relationship, be careful this year about 5 days before your birthday, you could find that you may be suffering from a complex confidence issue. A part of yourself that you hate to acknowledge - admit it to yourself, work on your inner self, something that you will be able to achieve quite easily in October – just for you on your birthday. You will be amazed at the results, watch the tide turn as you become quite stunning both inside and outside. SAGITTARIUS The truth about women who aren’t ‘emotionally available’ will become very clear to you during October, you may realise you could be dating one, or even your best mate could be dating one! What FEELS like ‘home’ (maybe an ex-girlfriend or even a previous job) calls to you, for better or worse, especially for the next two months, make your decisions VERY carefully. You have a lot of very specific likes and dislikes, what ‘feels’ right and sits well is where you will gravitate. CAPRICORN There is a long list of such combinations for compatibility check, try not to settle for less than best as you often do. Not living up to your own expectations will lead to you constantly reasoning with your partner as you won’t see things the same way. Such a giving and caring sign, try not to give in and make allowance all the time, stand your ground on occasion too. You deserve to be happy and enjoy what makes you happy. A Q UARIUS The unconscious urges with Aquarians are much more powerful than the conscious choices made throughout October. In the deeper mind sometimes you will want to control others, as you feel you have little or no control at times, doing what everyone else wants and giving in. It’s time to put your foot down and stop playing the ‘Nice Girl’ game – take your power back and do what is right for you (which is also why ‘nice guys’ don’t get laid as much as the ‘bad boys’). Do you get the idea now? I

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in the stars

PISCES Fishy needs to offer your partner some reassurance especially during the summer months. For the single amongst you, never, ever base your new relationship on sex, money or a good sense of humour. It would be building a house on quicksand! The general craving is for a more traditional, even oldfashioned, sort of romance, but there are challenges to be faced in this pursuit. ARIES October is a time to stop asking friends and family for advice on your relationships (or lack of relationship). Promising her that you will change your dreaming unrealistic ways are not going to happen! Aries have always had the knack of thinking up the impossible; some of the top inventors are Aries. Hoping or wishing the relationship will survive, try to work on the relationship. October can be a strong period for finances - both material and emotional support are more readily available to you. TAURUS There are incredible changes coming your way, changes that I’m sure you’ve been sensing too. Larger, cosmic events that are occurring in your life, October is an especially strong period for attracting or enhancing a committed relationship. It’s also good for travel and educational opportunities. You might find that your attractions are changing, as you may be favouring more confident and adventurous ladies during summer. Single bulls may be finding more opportunities to find love. GEMINI A happy relationship is a very real thing, and you deserve a happy, healthy relationship. The mask signifies that you have not yet revealed your true self – that is, you are still hiding behind a mask. Gemini has always had two sides, but there is another ‘face to the world’ you have assumed, and choose to show, maybe as it’s safest, or maybe even to please someone else. Try to be yourself, as a test just for October, and then the truth will out. By the full moon all will become clear and you can breathe a sigh of relief. Be strong, have courage! CANCER Single Cancerians are less likely to enter a new partnership. If they do, they do so cautiously, or only if the relationship appears solid and mature. For those involved, the home life will need a lot of work! October can see a pay increase or change in job that brings about a better salary or if you’re in your own business, a more profitable month. Shifts in power are likely. You seriously need to let go of some of the unhealthy habits (smoking and drinking too much) and attitudes of the past. Home life continues to need a lot of work in October and most of the summer but will pay off. LEO Happiness in troubled times is on the top of the agenda for the lion over October. You have to be a bit careful; often you will have ideological differences with friends and family leading to conflict. The lion is well known for not tolerating any form of lies, deceit of any sort, most will find you a sheer mystery, especially your inner moral compass! Others will try to manipulate you, so choose your partner and the way in which you relate very carefully. Love relationships seem to be positive this year, with a greater need for enjoying adventurous activities together. w w w

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Kerry knowles Café dreamer By Marinda de Lange

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can imagine her sitting in a French street café, drawing slowly on a cigarette, dreaming of her own café. One with a difference: it would be oh so very gay – and not in the French way. This is not quite how Kerry Knowles started on her way to becoming the doyenne of gay women’s entertainment in Johannesburg. Although the smoking may go a little way towards explaining that lovely low, somewhat gravelly voice. It sounds almost like a forest stream that has gathered speed downhill and is now giving the rocks a bit of a hard time – but in a velvety way. She believes in dreaming. “Your thoughts create your reality,” she tells me. She also dreams big. I decided I wanted to interview her when I heard that she runs RSVP Solutions by day, Café Culture by night and 1st Friday on – yes, you guessed it – the first Friday of every month. I wished to ask her one question: “When do you sleep?” and get a proper answer. I took the trouble to arrange an interview and listen to her gravelly voice for two hours just to get that answer. Such hardship! Her response? “I usually go to sleep around 12 or 1 am until about six or seven o’clock in the morning, perhaps 8 or 9 o’clock after a big night.” (A while after the interview, when I asked her to review this article for factual accuracy, she quipped: “Ask my girlfirend and get a proper answer.” Hmmpff! – I wish I’d seen her playful side earlier. That would have spiced up the interview! At least now we know she’s got an impish streak.) So, let’s just assume they’re not wearing each other out, night after night, and take her answer at face value. Phew! What a relief. At least she is looking after herself and won’t keel over and die any time soon, leaving a Kerry-shaped hole in the entertainment scene. Happily, she looks after herself quite well. In fact, she is bucking to become a paragon of clean, healthy living. She has stopped smoking and is weaning herself off drinking. (Ooh, I shouldn’t have used the word “weaning.” Being a farm girl, my mind immediately strays to adorable little calves and how cute they look when they’re suckling with their little butts in the air and… “Stop it!” – I tell myself and get a firm rein on my thoughts.) Next month, she plans to get that gym membership active again and find some time to get to the hairdresser for highlights. “I believe I

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in all things natural, especially blondes,” she quips. “I’d like to see gay women getting into a healthier way of life.” I nod sagely and glance in the general direction of my mint and ginger tea. With real mint leaves and ginger – an absolute treat – and very healthy too, of course. We compare notes on exercise programmes and agree that Bill Phillip’s “Body for Life” is the best one we know. So, go for it, girls – I want to see, trim, fit, yummy bodies all over the dance floor in four months from now. Just to make Kerry happy, ok? “How did 1st Friday start?” I enquire. “It started at a friend’s restaurant called Cafe Ave in Greenside with about a hundred friends,” she responds. (At this stage, Kerry starts sounding very much like my fairy godchild, who, whenever she meets someone new, goes: “Ah, friend!” with a big smile. My fairy godchild, suffice to say, has a trusting, warm, outgoing personality.) Kerry continues: “The date of the party was set for the 7th of July 2006. When asked what I wanted to call it, the girl I was seeing at the time said that it falls on the 1st Friday of the month, so why not call it “1st Friday?” She elaborates: “I moved it to Ginger Moon in Midrand and realised that a lot of Pretoria girls came to the party. Then I was struggling to find a different venue and thought about cancelling the event. However, I decided to have floodlit Qolf (which is like Golf) at The Castle in Kyalami. My friend Mandy then told me about an upmarket venue called Sequoias in Lonehill. From there, the party grew very quickly. Now I have more than six thousand names on the 1st Friday database.” “I only send out one event notification a month – via email, sms or FaceBook,” says Kerry.“I don’t believe in spamming people – it cheapens the brand.” Oh, I like that. I find it rather irritating if I get twenty reminders of an event. It is true: one does pay attention to a reminder if you get only one. I enjoy the creativity associated with 1st Friday: every party is themed. It is an open invitation to get creative and dress accordingly. Unfortunately only about two in a hundred people take the opportunity to become playful and dress up. Hmm, I’d love to see what the girls wear to an “Alice” themed evening! While 1st Friday grew from strength to strength and had its fifth birthday celebration in July, Kerry realised that it drew a younger


crowd. She also wanted to create a socialising space for the thirty plus age group. Thus, Café Culture was born as a gay-friendly, funky bistro, cocktail lounge and event venue. Situated in the Pineslopes Centre just off Witkoppen road in Fourways, Johannesburg, it is a spacious place filled with comfortable couches. This creates an ambience where, once you get into an engrossing conversation, you can easily order many more Cosmopolitans than you’d originally planned! I’ve found Kerry to be a gracious hostess who has a friendly greeting for visitors. It creates a welcoming atmosphere. One of my more playful friends had an absolute ball swinging in the bubble chairs suspended from the ceiling – and we didn’t even get thrown out! Kerry is very easy to interview. And as I Iistened, I became aware that she has really focused her life on creating a sense of community for gay women. But there comes a time in every interview when one has to pop the big question. “When did you know you were gay?” I asked. “If I look back, I had a girlfriend when I was seven,” she promptly responds. “But you don’t realise that you are gay until you are older, so probably when I was sixteen. This was after having had a few boyfriends, because you have to have a boyfriend to fit in at high school.” (Not any more, I hope.) “I couldn’t quite understand what my straight girlfriends were on about, though. I had a stunning boyfriend that really was my friend and I would do anything not to be intimate with him. I fell in love with a girl I played softball with and then realised that I was thinking about her while I was with him. She broke my heart and I knew then that I could be straight - but would always find women more intriguing. I remember walking into my first gay club called Riviera in Durban - and I felt I was home.” “Did you play with cars or dolls when you were little?” “Cars,” she says, and we both laugh. I’d love to do a survey on gay women and find out how many of us played with cars when we were little. She did have a doll on the side, though, but the relationship couldn’t have been close, since she couldn’t remember her doll’s name. In high school she also played tennis, hockey and softball – and held provincial colours in all three sports. “I think it will become a big trend to go out and play sport,” says Kerry. “We used to have Togs – but, where are the social spaces today for gay women to play sport?” she muses. “I don’t know,” I respond: “I’d love to play soccer, but google could not find me a women’s soccer club in Jo’burg.” Now we embark on a serious “Where are the women?” quest. “I’m always looking for DJs and bar staff,” says Kerry “and where are the retired women? How do they meet someone or how do we even know if they need our help?” This moved me. I could now see that her social consciousness is indeed finely honed. w w w

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“Oh, I’ve always wanted to have my own club! I think every gay girl dreams of having her own club.” Kerry has a plan to address that gap. She explains: “I have been wanting to change my 1st Friday website for years to create a portal that allows women to network in a safe online environment. Business networking, lift clubs and single or mingle nights. Facebook pipped me to the post, but I will still create a platform for 1st Friday members on a similar basis.” “Who would you like to meet?” I query. “Ellen and Oprah,” Kerry responds. “Ellen, because she is fun and represents our community, to a large extent. I’d love to go to the US and invite her to come to South Africa. Oprah has a quintessential humanity about her and I love her business sense. I’d like to go to the gay clubs in the US because they really know how to put on events like Dinah Shore and the Olivia Cruises – I’d love to see that. Maybe my 40th birthday next year will finally be the time for the States,” she enthuses. “How did your dream of having a club start?” I enquire. “Oh, I’ve always wanted to have my own club! I think every gay girl dreams of having her own club”. “Actually, no, I don’t think so,” I remark drily. “I’ve always only wanted to have horses.” “My definition of success is to have time to spend with my family, my partner and my friends,” she volunteers. “What inspires you?” I prompt. “People inspire me,” she responds. “I love exchanging ideas. My mother inspires me. I’m lucky to have such a loving and supportive mother. She even works at the door on 1st Fridays! Where you come from does have an influence. She showed me that hard work and determination get results. And I just love seeing people having fun, dancing and enjoying themselves.” “What’s next?” I wonder. “New age living,” Kerry affirms. “Once you have an idea of what you want to do, things just fall into place and you meet the right people.” “Yep, that’s synchronicity’” I add helpfully. “I’ve met someone,” she says with a very definite twinkle in her eye, “who is into lifestyle developments.” Initially I thought about an old age home for gay women, but ‘New age living’ is a place where you can move in now – you don’t have to wait until you’re old. All amenities will be on site and you can have a true sense of community - for many years to come. “Hmm,” I’m thinking that Kerry now has a dream of “New age living” with that “someone” she has met. I definitely look forward to seeing how “New age living” pans out. Time will tell the truth of Kerry’s saying: “Your thoughts create your reality.” Meanwhile, back at the ranch, while we wait for time to do its thing, I’ll be watching the cows calve (yes, literally) and rooting for Kerry and company to make a huge success of their dreams. I

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Shimmy Isaacs SHIMMIES INTO MY HEART By Lylo Lessie Lylo Lessie has been single, since, well forever. She has been prowling the pink strip for years but she still hasn’t got lucky. So, she’s finally decided to broaden her horizons. After watching Andrew Lloyd Weber’s production of Cats and seeing all those women in spandex, she is now convinced that the theatre is the place to pick up the lady of her dreams – which is Natalie Portman, but she’s willing to budge slightly. But Lylo Lessie can be a little, shall we say, predatory. Once she’s got her eye on you, you better adjust your privacy settings because she’s not giving up!

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ady Gaga once said: “I’m bluffin’ with my muffin. I’m not lying. I’m just stunnin’ with my love-glue-gunning.” This metaphor really rings true for me, both because of my love of muffins and my affection for ‘do it yourself’ home improvements. Nothing quite gets my juices flowing like putting on my flannel shirt and heading over to Builders Warehouse - talk about a lesbian paradise! But then again, Gaga also once said: “Rah, rah, ah, ah, ah. Roma, roma, ma.” This confused me slightly. Who cares though? The woman wears dresses made out of meat, which means she fulfils two of my fantasies – a hot lipstick lesbian and a braai! Nonetheless it was in Builders Warehouse where I first heard the name ‘Shimmy Isaacs’. A trendy lesbian couple with their two Sausage Dogs (what phallic animals!) were perusing the nail gun section and were singing her praises from a show they watched the previous night. I had to find out more! ‘Who was this Shimmy Isaacs?’ I thought to myself. Then I suddenly remembered I needed to buy some shimmies to polish my new Jeep Wrangler – lesbo magnet! For months I researched Shimmy, followed all her shows, followed her, but could never quite manage to talk to her. It might have had something to do with the time she caught me smelling her hair in a bank queue, but we won’t get into that now. So thanks to Alice Magazine I managed to convince the feisty stand-up comedian to sit down for an interview with me, could she

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be the one? I did a compatibility test on the internet which calculates how compatible you and your crush are by just entering your names - Shimmy Isaacs Loves Lylo Lessie 78%. So, what better place to ignite our flame, than her playground - the Baxter Theatre. They have a new restaurant, so I thought we could sample some of their muffins.

You’re one-woman play ‘Allie Pad Funny Worcester’ has been a total hit, what’s next for you?

Would you like a classic Lay?

Haha, you said ‘bra’.

What?

Anyway, I’ve also recently returned from New York where I developed my new play ‘Allie Pad Fun New York’ which goes into production next year. I’ll also be touring Holland in October 2012. So I’m blessed.

The chips, Lays chips! No thank you. I order two fruit muffins and a tart, but the sexy waitress that usually works there isn’t in today, so we will just have the muffins. You’re one of South Africa’s top comedians; do you also like to be on top? I’m one of the top? (Laughs) I’ve been blessed with a gift that is bigger than me, I’m just the messenger. I thank God for blessing me with the patience to eat crackers for ten years, strength, courage and loyalty towards this craft that I’m able to practice as part of my life. What are some of the themes in your comedy? Things you always find yourself joking about? Most of the themes I focus on are being a proudly coloured South African woman and celebrating our different cultures. Should you and I celebrate our different cultures now? Not now. I believe that true humour and funny lies in our own experiences as South Africans and my family is a large resource of inspiration of what is funny and I choose to celebrate that in a comedic style rather than poking fun at them. Lady Gaga also sings about poking; would you like to poke me? We’re not on Facebook Lylo! I like it when you say my name! Are there some things you would never joke about? Mmm...I try not to limit myself artistically, but there should always be a sense of integrity and pride in your work. It depends. I guess it’s all in the execution and delivery and that will ultimately decide the ‘appropriateness’ of a joke. I

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I have created a new one-woman show called: ‘Howzit My Bra’ for which I was awarded the ABSA KANNA award this year at the Oudtshoorn KKNK for best new writer and comic performer.

What was it like going to the Big Apple? I like apples, they remind me of Eve and temptation and (Shimmy interrupts me) The second time around was a lot more fun, probably because I had enough money to travel to three different states around the US. New York is expensive; forget about Eat Pray Love, for me it felt more like Eat Pray and Survive. Sorry to interrupt, you have a piece of muffin on your cheek, let me just… I brush my hand over her soft cheek, she coyly pulls away… there was nothing on her cheek to begin with… As I was saying, I focused on the cultural differences while I was writing my new play and I wanted to explore and investigate why so many South Africans choose to immigrate overseas. It is always a wonderful experience to discover and observe life in other countries, but there’s nothing quite like home. You also perform with Marianne Thamm, Anne Hirsch and Anthea Thompson in the critically acclaimed comedy ‘Cracks and the City’, what was it like working as part of a foursome? I’ve never done that, but I would be super keen, just so you know. I love it. It is one of my favourite shows and I always look forward to working on it. Stand-up can become very lonely and working with other artists grounds me and takes me back to the basics of just performing and learning to collaborate with others and it gives insight into their perspectives on life and culture. No matter how great one can be or feel, it’s important to know that you need each other. I need you. A lot of comedians move to Jo’burg, because there is apparently more work there; would you ever make this move? It’s not in the cards for me right now. Cape Town is where I feel balanced. However I do love making money in Jo-burg.


“Most of the themes I focus on are being a proudly coloured South African woman and celebrating our different cultures.”

You studied acting but you are now a stand-up comedian, what’s the transition been like and do you still act? There’s been no transition for me personally, I still write and perform. Stand-up comedy is a theatrical style and medium that also requires the basics of writing and performance as well as an understanding of the medium (stage) and utilising it creatively. Acting is my passion and I will always act, but I’m also so curious of what happens behind the scenes. I’m curious in what happens behind your scenes. Next question please. What else are you currently busy with, apart from being sexy? My company’s focus is writing and producing and I’m currently directing new artists that will be showcasing in October 2011. If you can stomach all the hard work it’s actually fun! I’ve booked us a table at one of my favourite restaurants this evening. Can I pick you up at about 7pm? And don’t worry, I know where you live. Shimmy excused herself from the table, because she had to answer a call. I didn’t hear her phone ring and she never came back. I’ll need to keep a lookout for my little shimmy-shake! xoxo.

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LIZELLE VERTEL

LIZELLE

VERTEL

Verhoudings Deur Lizelle Jacobs

Daar’s ‘n saying wat lui: “The youth is wasted on the young.” En ek is de donner in omdat ek dit so laat in my lewe besef het. As ek dink hoeveel tyd, hoeveel kosbare jare ek gemors het op dinge wat nie gewerk het nie, wil ek op ‘n ashoop gaan sit, my hare uit my kop trek, as op my hoof gooi en my sny met bottelstukke! Ek het na baie jare se pyn en lyding en derms en hare ‘n paar dinge geleer: • Jy kan niemand verander nie! Voordat jy jouself in ‘n verhouding of huwelik begeef, moet jy jou aanstaande partner of huweliksmaat se goeie en slegte punte baie deeglik ken. Jy moet besluit of jy bereid is om saam met haar slegte punte te leef. Sy hét dit nou. Sy ís nou so en jy gaan haar nie verander nie! Nie vir die beste wil in die wêreld nie. • Wanneer jy ‘n persoon probeer verander, maak jy van haar ‘n monster waarvan jy later self nie meer hou nie. Want die wapens wat gebruik word om iemand te verander is kritiek, afkraking en gebrek aan enige erkenning. • In ‘n verhouding of huwelik is niemand iets aan iemand verskuldig nie. As jy vir jou partner ‘n bord kos kook, haar bloes se knoop aanwerk, of die stofsuier se kragprop regmaak of wat ook al, behoort jou partner nie te voel dat dit so behoort te wees nie. ‘n Dankie en ‘n bietjie erkenning kan jou dag maak. • Meeste waardeer nie eers hulle partners se blote teenwoordigheid in hulle lewens nie. Dit word as vanselfsprekend aanvaar. Om ‘n meubelstuk in ‘n huis te word, dreineer daardie persoon tot totale minderwaardigheid. • Omdat die meeste van ons dink ons sal ons partners kan verander, geniet ons mekaar nie. Ons ryg mekaar se siele uit. Irritasie en ongeduld word later onverdraagsaamheid en die onverdraagsaamheid word wrewel en later haat wat die liefde heeltemal vermoor. ‘n Vriendin van my, Martie, het eendag gesê dat haar partner, Lalie, so konsentreer op haar wat Martie is, se foute, dat sy wat Lalie is, skoon vergeet om die lewe te geniet. • Jy trap ‘n padda tot hy bars. En ‘n verhouding is daarmee heen. • Daar is twee teleurstellings in die lewe: Die eerste teleurstelling is om nie te kry wat jy wil hê nie. Die tweede teleurstelling is om te kry wat jy wil hê. I

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Ons almal soek die perfekte partner en dit laat my dink aan ‘n storie wat ek baie lank gelede gehoor het. Dis van hierdie ou wat eendag sy vriend, Johan, raakloop. Hy is vreeslik bly om sy ou vriend na twee jaar vir die eerste keer weer te sien en hy vra vir die Johan of hy toe al getroud is, want Johan was al ‘n sterk oujongkêrel met baie fussy geite oor die perfekte vrou waarna hy soek. Johan vertel vir sy vriend: “Jong, dit was nou ‘n ander storie. Ek het so ‘n halwe wêreldreis onderneem op soek na die perfekte vrou. In Amerika het ek die wonderlikste girl ontmoet. Man, stunning! Beeldskoon met die sexieste lyf. Diep, sin vir humor en alles.” Die vriend vra vir hom: “Is julle toe getroud?” Johan sê: “Nee man, sy was nie die committed tipe nie. Ook nie altyd lekker gekommunikeer nie. Toe gaan ek Engeland toe en daar ontmoet ek ‘n droom van ‘n vrou. Pragtig en sexy verby en getrou! Diep mens met ‘n wonderskoon stem.” Sy vriend vra: “Jislaaik is jy toe getroud?” Johan sê: “Nee, die girl het geen sin vir humor gehad nie. Te ernstig, jy weet. Maar toe gaan ek Frankryk toe en daar ontmoet ek toe die perfekste vrou in die lewe. Ongelooflik mooi met ‘n lyf wat skrik vir niks en diep en ‘n sin vir humor en ons kon lekker gesels en alles dit. Man, uit die boeke uit.” Sy vriend vra hom: “Toe is julle seker getroud?” Johan antwoord: “Nee, daar was ‘n klein probleempie. Sy het die perfekte man gesoek.” Ja, ons almal soek die perfekte partner. Wat ons egter nie besef nie, is dat daar nie ‘n perfekte partner bestaan nie, want daar bestaan nie ‘n perfekte mens nie. Daar is ‘n duisend moets en moenies in ‘n verhouding. Ek kan dit vandag, op ‘n rype ouderdom, short en sweet saamvat: Wees nice met my en ek word nice. Behandel my mooi en ek word mooi. Behandel my goed en ek word goed.


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71


realLife

life reconstruction

surviving breast cancer By Louise Turner

I

was diagnosed with estrogen positive breast cancer in 2004 at the age of 34. Seven years ago I was classified as a young woman with breast cancer. All the women around me undergoing chemotherapy were close to fifty and older. I found this very hard to deal with as I did not know anyone of my age in a similar predicament The issues were so different for me compared to these women. Fertility, menopause, losing a breast at my age and the list goes on. I received tremendous support from my then partner and family. My colleagues at work were also great. But no one had a clue what I was going through. I felt that I had to be strong for all of them and some days I found it extremely difficult to be positive and have a brave face. Fortunately I am the kind of person who believes that you never get dealt a hand in life if you are not strong enough to cope with it and survive. My positive attitude contributed a lot to me surviving chemotherapy, which I can tell you is no walk in the park. I drew my inspiration from a friend and colleague, Kelly. She has bladder cancer and was on chemo for nearly two years. That and a positive attitude helped me through my dark lonely days. After chemo I had a mastectomy of the right breast. Then started the hormone therapy. Wow, what a bumpy ride. This was particularly challenging due to all the side effects. I found that the only way to identify the hormone therapy that best suited me was to try several different kinds that were appropriate until my body settled down and the side effects became marginally manageable. My partner at the time, however did not cope very well with my mood swings, erratic behaviour and general anger towards being in full-blown menopause at the age of 35. Our relationship ended and I had to work through many of my demons. The loss of my breast, my sexuality, being thirty-something with hormone levels of a 70-something body - without estrogen. Life never went back to what it was like the day before I got diagnosed. Today I have had my breast reconstructed and the other one lifted so that they are nearly the same in size and shape. I am quite confident to wear tight tops as you would never say that I had breast cancer and lost one of my breasts… however having the middleage spread reconstructed is a lot more difficult…..

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“I don’t sweat the small stuff, I

Had I not had breast cancer I would still be going through life not really knowing the bigger plan.

choose not to get angry about irrelevant

I am eternally grateful for the life and world that has opened up to me through my journey with breast cancer. I know that this is only the beginning for greater things to come in my life.

things and deal differently with the

And most important is that I am a SURVIVOR, or rather a ‘soldier’, as the war is never really won completely.

world around me.” In July 2006 I saw an email about a breast cancer support group called Bosom Buddies. I contacted them and discovered a whole new world. Bosom Buddies was a group of survivors, young and old. All of these buddies had been through breast cancer and all of them had an awesome spirit about them. I became actively involved immediately. I realised that I was not alone and that there was always hope. I had made lifetime buddies and there is always a buddie to talk to, cry, laugh and rejoice with.

LOVE YOUR BREASTS

Because of my experience with breast cancer my outlook on life

GO CHECK IT OUT!

is very different now. I don’t sweat the small stuff, I choose not to get angry about irrelevant things and deal differently with the world around me. I have made peace with the things I cannot change and surround myself with people who I want to have in my life and not because I have to have them – quality not quantity. I feel as though my life journey was meant to have breast cancer in it, so that I could find my rightful place in this world. I have left the corporate world and now dedicate my life to helping and empowering all women by educating them about breast health. w w w

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73


By Marina Green

LOVE LUBE&

I

t’s been six years since I formulated and started to manufacture Whet (as in to Whet your appetite) lubricant and 4 years since I wrote an article for mamba.girl.com titled; ‘Getting Whet: why use lube’. When I was asked to write this article for Alice Magazine I really wanted to say something new and fresh, so I sat down and thought about what has changed in these last four years. Surely there has been a radical shift in attitude. Surely there are lesbians, and other women loving women, running down the road advocating the liberal use of lubricant - but the truth is that while there is more openness about lubricants, partially due to the growing number of lubricants on the market, many women still simply don’t get why they should ‘lube up’. This classic story of a lesbian customer in my store still vividly illustrates a pervasive attitude. We were chatting about a variety of topics. She was in her early 30’s, clearly well-read and had travelled extensively. At some point I casually mentioned using lubricant and she replied, somewhat outraged, that she “had not had to resort to that yet”, adding that her girlfriend would view it as a betrayal and a certain indicator that something was ‘wrong’. Her response shocked me, but made me realise how far we still have to go in changing the perception of lubricants. Now, in 2011, not much has really changed and I still frequently hear women of all sexual orientations saying that they simply don’t need lube, because they are already so wet. Let’s look at some of the myths about lube and why we should all be using it. My essential answer is that lube is a lot of fun. In fact, I would go as far as saying that if I were stranded on a desert island and could choose only one sexual accessory, it would be lube. Our body’s own love lotion is controlled by hormones and circumstances, so we all experience times of dehydration (alcohol, breastfeeding and hormonal cycles are contributing factors). Even when we are turned on, our bodies don’t always comply by producing sufficient amounts of natural lubrication. Some body parts, such as our anus, are not self-lubricating so they need a bit of extra help. As our arousal increases we may even dry up, so you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you that if you are really turned on you don’t need a lubricant.

Lubricants: The good, the bad and the ugly In its broadest definition, a lubricant is a substance designed to reduce the friction between two moving surfaces. It provides a protective film which separates the two touching surfaces, thereby lessening the friction between them. This is as true for the lubricant in your motor vehicle as the lubricant we use to oil our own love engines. For us, reduced fiction translates into a few crucial factors, the most crucial being enhanced sensation, easier insertion of fingers and toys and a reduced risk of irritation and tearing. Never ever use products designed for ‘other purposes’ as a lubricant. I have heard of hair-conditioner, body lotion, Petroleum Jelly and baby oil I

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sexuality being used. The words Petroleum Jelly should say it all. These products contain mineral oils made from, you guessed it, petroleum. The brown icky stuff you fill your car up with. It has no place being used in your body, particularly not being inserted into sensitive areas like the vagina; readily absorb substances into the blood stream. Another reason not to use any product containing mineral oils is because they do not wash out of your body. Generally one requires a solvent to remove mineral oil .The reason it is an effective barrier on baby’s bottoms is because urine and other waterbased liquids don’t remove it. It will leave a residue of it inside your body, which is potentially a recipe for thrush and other regrettable infections and irritations. Using natural oils, like coconut or olive oil, as lubrication is preferable to the mineral based alternatives, and olive oil is one of the earliest recorded lubricants. However, because they are also not water soluble, there is still some risk involved as they leave a coating that can lead to bacterial and other infections. Oil based products can also break down dental dams, condoms and toys made out of latex. Silicone-based lubricants offer the advantage of not drying out and being waterproof, making them useful for making love in water. On the negative side, silicone lubricants are not compatible with silicone toys, causing a chemical reaction that may result in a slow disintegration of your favourite vibrator. In general, I recommend sticking (though not literally) to a water-based lubricant. Water-based lubricants are the closest to your natural body fluids. They can be used with latex condoms and silicone toys, are nonstaining and are commonly recommended by doctors and sex therapists. With sexual health in mind, I formulated Whet Personal Lubricants so that they do not disrupt the natural balance of the vaginal mucosa, potentially causing thrush. Whet doesn’t tingle or burn, washes out easily so that bacteria cannot flourish after sex, and is specifically designed to remain moist for longer, retain its viscosity, and does not become sticky.

Hot under the bed sheets Recently several companies have launched lubricants that warm and tingle. Personally I do not recommend these. For some people the warm tingle turns into a nasty 2,500 - 8,000 level burn on the Scoville scale, comparable to that of a Jalapeno chili pepper. I have had heard several anecdotes involving racing for the shower in paroxysms of pain, rather than pleasure. These may be hilarious in hindsight, but not during the throes of passion. If you are looking for a product to increase sensation and arousal, I recommend choosing one that is dedicated to the task at hand. Keep your lubricant for the purpose that it was intended- lubrication- and use your stimulating gel when you feel like you want a bit more oomph. Products like Go-Girl and Intimate Organics clitoral stimulating gel offer a safe enhancement of pleasure and the best part is that you can control the precise amount of tingle versus actual lubrication that you need, adjusting it to your personal preference.

For more information on Whet Lubricant contact Marina Green at whet@whet.co.za or visit Whet Sensuality Emporium at 31A Long Street or www.whet.co.za


Sexy Games Vibrators Dildos Harnesses Lingerie Fantasy Play Bondage Lubricant Erotica

Shop online at www.whet.co.za

31A Long Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa whet@whet.co.za • T+27 21 424 9240 Store hours: Monday - Friday 10am-4pm • Saturdays by prior arrrangement w w w

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75


my life

Reallife

with an alcoholic By Tanya Olckers

I

t was a surreal moment when I got the phone call from the police. My neighbour had seen Emma, my partner at the time, sitting outside our house, bleeding from the arms. I had to come right away – they believed that she was trying to kill herself. The panic I felt was familiar, only more intense this time. The strange thing about it was that I had expected that one day a call like this might come. I raced home to discover that Emma was not, in fact, trying to commit suicide. She was drunk, and in her inebriated state, she cut the skin on her arms with a razor blade in an act of self-mutilation. With the police officers and paramedics in the living room and the curious looks from our neighbours, I could no longer ignore the problem that I had been telling myself didn’t really exist. I was about to begin the process of confronting my own denial. Instead of admitting I was living with someone with a drinking problem, I chose to think that there was something wrong with me. I believed I was being a prude. Just because I didn’t drink much, didn’t mean I had any right to tell anyone how much they should drink. Besides, her drinking had affected our relationship before. Like the time she drank too much and thought she was being attacked and punched the air at phantom thugs. Or the time she crept around the house in the dark because she was convinced her sister was hiding behind our couch. Or the embarrassing display at dinners with friends or evenings out. We would argue about the amount she drank. She held down a job – was being promoted, in fact. She didn’t drink every day. She wasn’t homeless or wandering the streets begging for money to buy a drink. She was fine. It was hard to argue with that logic. The perception of an alcoholic is that they constantly drink, that their lives are in pieces and not only are they unable to string two words together, they are completely incapable of being gainfully employed. Emma wasn’t one with a problem – I was, since I kept making such a fuss about it. Eventually I just stopped talking to her about how much she was drinking just to avoid confrontations. I

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There were times when she would end our relationship when she was in a drunken state, and be filled with promises and apologies the next day when she was sober. It was easy to make myself believe everything was fine after I stopped going to dinners and evenings out. When I was under the illusion that I was able to ‘control’ her drinking. It was like living in several levels of hell simultaneously. I was constantly anxious, particularly after the incident with the police. I kept checking throughout the house for any place she may have hidden any kind of alcohol. After she’d been drinking heavily, and started acting strangely, I would begin questioning my sanity and would often spend hours on my own in tears, telling myself that it would all be ok, that she would eventually change. I felt out of control, and the only way to get that back would be to try to control her. On the rare occasions when we attended dinners and parties, I would suggest we take my car and that I drive. She would never allow anyone else to drive her car. I had learned, one harrowing night, never to trust her to get behind the wheel after we had been out. I began to forgo the odd glass of wine in favour of soft drinks or fizzy water. I spent these evenings out in a state of hyper vigilance, not allowing myself to relax and enjoy the evening. I would count the glasses of beer she drank. I would watch for the signs so that I could whisk her away before she reached the state in which she would embarrass us both. I became adept at making a diplomatic exit at the appropriate time. I later became aware that I had become her enabler, her codependant. She continued to drink because I made it easier for her to do so. I protected her from making a fool of herself – and me. I would try to control the amount of alcohol she bought, taking it on myself to limit what she drank, since she seemed so unconcerned about it. Back then I didn’t understand that an alcoholic didn’t necessarily mean that the person was incapable of looking after themselves. After the day the paramedics and police came to our house, I thought that this would be the beginning of the change. I believed


that this would wake her up to what she was doing to herself, our relationship and to me. I hoped that this would be the end of the drinking. And it was for about three weeks. After she started drinking again, I realised that none of the control I tried to impose, not any outside influence was going to force her to stop drinking. I was powerless to change her or her drinking. After a terrible argument one afternoon, I sat in the lounge on my own and seriously considered suicide. This thought frightened me enough to visit my GP, who listened patiently before prescribing me a course of anti-depressants and advising me to see a counsellor. It served as a wake-up call for me. I hadn’t paid attention to how much of myself I had given up in order to take care of Emma, nor had I considered the cost on my own health and well-being. I’d completely lost myself to her and her alcoholism. Slowly I began to realise that trying to change Emma was a hopeless cause. I could, however, change myself. I joined a Buddhist group and started strengthening my own life. I learned how to respect myself and stand in the centre of my life. And when she decided to end our relationship one night after a few drinks, I decided that I had enough too. In the sober light of day, when she admitted she hadn’t meant it as she was drunk, I told her that I was no longer prepared to put up with the drinking and cutting, and perhaps it would be best that we both move on. Making that adjustment after four years of living together wasn’t easy. What would have been easy was for me to allow bitterness, resentment and blame to take me over. I decided I’d experienced enough of that during the relationship. It was by no means a fast process. I still get uncomfortable in social situations where people are drinking alcohol. What I didn’t know back then was that there were organisations that I could have turned to, Al-Anon being one of them. w w w

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I chose to view the time that Emma and I were together as a learning experience, determined to grow within myself and rebuild my selfesteem. The most valuable lesson I took from my experience with her is that there is no way an alcoholic will change – they need to make that decision for themselves. The only change I could make in the situation, was changing my own life, accepting responsibility for my place in what was happening around me and moving on. The journey is ongoing, and I continue it even today.

How do you know if someone’s drinking is affecting your life? The questions below are used by Al-Anon: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Do you worry about how much someone else drinks? Do you feel if the drinker loved you, he or she would stop drinking to please you? Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking? Are plans frequently upset or cancelled or meals delayed because of the drinker? Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking? Do you secretly try to smell the drinker’s breath? Do you blame the drinker’s behaviour on his or her companions? Do you search for hidden alcohol? Do you make threats, such as “If you don’t stop drinking, I’ll leave you?” Do you often ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking? Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout? Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety? Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker’s behaviour? Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved? Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking? Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse? Do you sometimes feel like a failure when you think of the lengths that you have gone to, to control the drinker? Do you even threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker? Do you feel angry, confused or depressed most of the time? Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems? You can get in touch with Al-Anon on: 0861 25 26 66 or Email: help@alanon.org.za

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t e r LIFE.SUCCESS.GROWTH c e S e h T SOULFOOD

C

reation and transformation are powerful and inherent female characteristics. ‘Nurturing’ is not limited to children and family

but is wide-reaching and often intangible. A woman’s worth is

often oppressed, and yet, her fundamental traits are revered and often sustain communities. But how do these potent characteristics come to the fore? Are women confident enough to use them and effect great change in their lives and in others? There are many factors holding us back. But you can indeed change your life meaningfully and effectively from the inside out. South Africa is soon to be introduced to someone who is this catalyst. Wishful thinking? Pep-rally syndrome? This is so much more. Bob Proctor, a key teacher in the blockbuster-hit The Secret and the author of You Were Born Rich (which sold over 100-million copies) is in this country at the end of October to

"A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform"

assist you in unlocking your fullest personal potential. Watch how your intrinsic capacity is ignited by the laws of attraction and the enormous capacity of your mind. The Canadian guru on mind potential was recently interviewed by talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, who then urged her viewers to define what they wanted, and then, to let the Law of Attraction take charge.

Proctor is brought to South Africa by Makes You Think, a South African company aiming to help ignite new ways of thinking to ‘make you think’ by organising and executing groundbreaking events. Makes You Think’s vision and purpose is to challenge the conventional way of thinking among all South Africans.

What do you wish for? What do you dream of? Proctor’s wide-ranging work (over 40 years) with individuals, organisations and businesses has assisted these entities develop

You can purchase your tickets from the website link: www.makesyouthink.co.za

strategies to affect growth, improvement and great success. His repertoire is expansive, with his company, LifeSuccess Productions, operating five core lines of business: Seminars, Personal Coaching, Consumer Products, Corporate Training and Consulting. Proctor has been enthusiastically received by all walks of life on every continent, doing a tremendous job of waking us up to the fact that, regardless of personal, social or economic position, there’s a potential within, much greater than anything. I

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For now, visit www.makesyouthink.co.za and be introduced to Bob Proctor. You can watch video clips and even download Bob’s sage six minutes to success (6m2s) advice. ‘Like’ Makes You Think on Facebook Engage with us on Twitter @MYT_SA Watch our dynamic and inspiring videos from Bob Proctor himself on our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/mytadmin


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79


GETFIT

miss. fitness

[the road to fitness continues] By Jacqueline Liebenberg

Should you find anything unclear or you need additional advice please feel free to contact me personally. I do give personal consultations. You can email me at jaqui.d@vodamail.co.za, call me on 082 2219 292 or find me on Facebook: Jacqueline Liebenberg (Jaqui Dee).

]

H

i girls. It has been about four weeks since we’ve had our first talk and I trust you found it helpful. I only scratched the surface but my approach to getting into shape is to take things one step at a time.

thighs, DON’T PANIC! This is merely because, as a result of the training, your muscle fibres are starting to fill up (swell up) before your body has started to break down the fat layer. Just stick to your diet and soon the centimetres will start dropping off.

Let’s recap what you should have been doing up to now. 1. A circuit type workout three times per week. 2. If you have 5kg and more fat to lose … twenty minutes of cardio after your circuit. 3. Eat five small meals per day following the ‘What not to do’ and ‘What to do’ list in our first talk – Cleaning up your diet, if you missed the previous edition you can go to www. alicemagazine.co.za and visit the ‘issue 2’ link for the online version of Alice Magazine. 4. Only had two cheat meals per week. 5. Drinking two litres of water per day. Once you feel that you have spent adequate time doing circuit training you can move on to the next phase. Four to six weeks should be enough. You should also in theory have been seeing some results, for example, your muscles should feel a little firmer and you should have been able to increase the weight on the weight stacks of the equipment in the circuit, in other words your strength should have increased a bit. Depending on how your body reacts you might even find that your clothes fit slightly looser but most people do not experience a drop in centimetres at such an early stage of the process. The results should really be very slight. You cannot expect any huge changes at this stage. Some women experience that their clothes fit slightly tighter than before, especially around their I

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PHASE TWO Your Diet (clean up even more) During phase two your main goal is to tone and increase your muscle mass. We have to make sure that you eat enough protein in order to do so, and a limited but adequate amount of carbohydrates so that you can go into a fat burning zone. We are going to clean up your diet even further eliminating all unnecessary calorie loaded stuff. Eating clean will automatically decrease your calories without restricting the amount of food you eat. A clean diet combined with your training will also put your body into fat burning mode even before we start the phase focusing on decreasing your fat percentage. Unfortunately ‘eating clean’ means eating very boring tasteless food with the sole purpose of nourishing your body. All the good tasty stuff we eat for enjoyment has to wait until it is time for your cheat meals. Twice a week you can look forward to having that large super cheesy pizza or huge juicy hamburger and fries or whatever it is that you love best and makes you feel happy. The rest of the time the results you will get from eating the boring food will make you happy. Sometimes we eat food not knowing that it is not really ideal for the purpose of getting into shape, like cottage cheese, avocado, regular peanut butter etc. These foods are good for you but can add unnecessary calories to you daily calorie intake.


M e a l o n e ( b r e a k fa s t ) The first meal always stays the same (unless you have a breakfast as one of your cheat meals). It is very important to start your day with a high protein meal with some carbohydrates. This jump starts your metabolism. (Never skip meal one!) • • •

Three Egg whites and one Yolk scrambled with either two slices of low GI bread or 40g of raw oats (cooked to eat separately or added raw to scrambled egg) Sprinkled with cinnamon

Meal two, three and four It can consist of any 1 of the following: • • • • • • • • • • • •

150 – 200g Protein (gives more of less 40g of protein) (Weighed raw, then fried in a pan with non-stick spray) Extra lean beef mince (topside if possible) Ostrich mince Chicken fillet (whole or diced) Lean steak Fish Tuna (canned in water) Carbohydrates (50g) 50g Brown rice (raw) then cooked 130g Sweet Potato (cooked) 130g Pasta (cooked) 2 slices Low GI bread

Meal five Any one on the protein list together with any of the ‘free foods’ listed below. No Carbohydrates should be eaten with your last meal of the day – meal five. Free Foods You can have as much as you want of the following food: Tomato, cucumber, lettuce, mushrooms, any green vegetable. Other Fruit: Limited to only two per day Yellow and white vegetables are limited to only one portion per day. Coffee and tea to taken with fat free milk and sweetener – no sugar. w w w

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GETFIT Since the diet is relatively low in fat you can eat one serving peanut butter or a hand full of raw peanuts per day. The peanut butter should be ‘all natural’ – no added sugar, salt or stabilizing oil. Black Cat with the yellow lid is the best available in stores. WORKOUT / TRAINING

D AY ONE Legs (Quads and Hamstrings) and Abs Quads Exercise 1: Smith Machine Squats Exercise 2: Leg Extensions

(focusing on building lean muscle) As I have explained before, getting into shape is a process of building up and breaking down. Building up your lean muscle mass and then breaking down your unwanted fat stores. Phase two focuses on building your lean muscle mass, unlike circuit training which stimulates the entire body only mildly, this phase targets each individual muscle group more thoroughly and intensely in order to build lean muscle mass more effectively. Your body can be divided into six main areas for training purposes. Starting from the top down they are 1. Shoulders (delts), 2. Chest (pecs), 3. Back (lats), 4. Biceps (front upper arm), 5. Triceps (rear upper arm) and 6. Legs (quads – upper front leg and hamstrings – upper rear leg) Calves and abdominals are two extra areas that also have to be worked in. For the next phase I am going to group them together in groups of two. This is called a four day split, which means that you will be working each group once a week and going to gym four days a week. You will be doing two - three exercises per muscle group. Each exercise will consist of four sets, one warm up set of fifteen – twenty reps and then another three working sets of twelve repetitions. W h at w e i g h t t o u s e :

Hamstrings Exercise 1: Lying or Seated Leg Curls Exercise 2: Reverse Lunges Abs Cable Crunches or Machine Crunches D AY TWO Chest and Triceps (rear arm) Chest Exercise 1: Seated Machine Press Exercise 2: Machine (Pec Deck) or Cable flyes Tr i c e p s Exercise 1: Cable Pushdowns Exercise 2: Overhead cable extensions D AY THREE Back (Lats) and Biceps (upper front arm) Lats Exercise 1: Lat Pull downs Exercise 2: Seated cable rows Exercise 3: Trunk extensions (lower back) Biceps Exercise 1: Seated Dumbbell Curls Exercise 2: Rope Hammer Curls

For your warm up set choose a fairly light weight in order to do fifteen to twenty reps. For your working sets choose a weight that you can do about twelve reps with. You will do three sets with the same weight. You don’t have to increase the weight but you are only allowed 30 seconds of rest between sets. This kind of training is called ‘short stack’ training. It overloads your muscle without straining it, showing the best results in toning muscle and stimulating the fat burning process.

D AY FOUR Shoulders (Delts) and Calves

Every workout is started with ten minutes on the stationary bike at a medium pass to warm up the entire body.

You can add an extra abdominal workout to day two if you wish to do so.

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Delts Exercise 1: Seated Machine Press Exercise 2: Lateral Dumbbell Raises Calves Standing Calve Raises


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ASKLAUREN

ON THE COUCH WITH

Lauren By Lauren Fitchett Marie from Constantia Asks:

Q

Dear Lauren, I have been single most of my life, I came out of the closet at the age of 21 (I am 34 now). I have always been happy and content being on my own. I did have a few relationships here and there, but none of the girls I dated was close to the right partner for me. Last year January I met a women at a friend’s braai, let’s just call her V. She wiped me off my feet. She is kind, loving, caring, basically everything I want in a wife. We’ve been dating now for a year and six months and I have never been happier... Now the only problem I have is this; being single for so many years, I have my two dogs and my loyal cat. They’ve been my kids and companions for a very long time and I love them with all my heart. They have been my pets for several years and have been with me during countless lonely nights and happy mornings. V does not like animals. Don’t get me wrong, she does not hate pets in any way, she just prefer them not being in the house, getting on the furniture or being around us. I however, have been living with them as my children. I know this might sound stupid. What do I do?

A

Dear Marie, I don’t think that this sounds stupid at all – it is difficult when people come into relationships from places where they are settled in their own independent lives. I think it is important for you and V to have an honest conversation about this – there are things that you expect her to change as well I am sure? You need to tell her how you feel, that your pets are important to you and that they play an important role in your life. People make allowances for the ones that they love and for a relationship to work, you will both have to do this. Think about what you are willing to change so that V can see that you are also willing to make allowances – maybe you are willing to get a dog bed in the bedroom instead of letting them sleep on the bed? Or limit the dogs to certain rooms at certain times? The important thing is to communicate and be honest about it.

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Want to get on the couch with Lauren? Send your questions to letters@alicemagazine and she’ll gladly offer you some advice.


ASKLAUREN

Anonymous from Welkom:

Michelle from Pretoria

Q

Q

Hi Lauren, I am a 23-year old woman who grew up in a small and quite conservative community and has lived there almost all my life. I have recently decided to come out to my parents and they didn’t take it well at all. They are quite religious and told me that I am going against God et cetera. I don’t really know how to deal with all of this as I just want to be happy and want them to accept me as I am, although I don’t know how to change their minds about how they feel. I have recently also met someone and would love to introduce her to my family – but I don’t see that happening with the way things are going. What am I to do?

I am currently living with my girlfriend and things are not going well, at least for me it isn’t… I really need to break up with her, as I can’t take it anymore. She is jealous and wants to call all the shots in the relationship. I can’t even go out for a few drinks with friends, male or female; as she thinks I will either cheat on her or get involved in a party lifestyle that won’t be good for me. I feel she is holding me back and I really don’t know what to do as I am afraid she might freak out on me if I tell her I want to move out, which I can’t do in anyway as I have problems financially as I have recently lost my job and she provides some kind of financial security. Please help.

A

Dear Michelle, To me, it sounds fairly clear what you need and want to do. It is scary leaving a relationship but continuing to be in one that is stifling and unhealthy is no good in the long run. I am assuming that you and your partner have discussed how you are feeling and have tried to come up with a solution that works for both of you? If not and you are unsure about leaving, this should be your first port of call.

Sadly, you cannot change your parents’ minds; people are entitled to feel what they want to. What you can keep in mind though is that there are limits on how they express their unhappiness – it should not be hurtful or disrespectful. Time is always helpful in difficult situations – it doesn’t sound as though your parents want to lose you and in time, they may come around to some aspects of your lifestyle. Give them this time and call on your friends and your girlfriend for support. At this point, introducing your new girlfriend to your family may cause further tension which is not helpful. It is important to stay true to yourself but at the same time, do it in a way that is respectful of others. There will be fights and some tears but this will pass.

If you have made up your mind and are holding on only for financial security, you need to make a move. Get your C.V. out there to get back into the job market, speak to friends and family about helping you through this time and start rebuilding your life – for you.

Dear Anonymous, Coming out is the hardest thing to do – we want people to be supportive, accept our choices and love us just the same. In reality, this is a difficult process for both parties – the person coming out and the people that you are coming out to. It takes time for people to realise that you are not only gay – you are still their daughter who happens to be lesbian.

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Fiction/Facts

SOMETHING about petunias By Caron Laubscher

T

his was going to be wonderful. I had made up my mind. I would like to think that I have matured in this thing called Love.

anyway – except maybe that one time when it was right. It was my fault actually – I mean with a first name like ‘Frik’ I should have known she’d be too butch for me.

Val was incredible. So, yes, we did have many things in common. There was the Ford thing but let’s not go totally overboard. I asked

I phoned Val to see if I could get a date with her. I was really put

my friend to phone her friend and find out what Val’s surname

off at first when she answered the phone and wouldn’t let me get

was. I had this Love-name-calculator thing that apparently told

a word in edgeways until there was this ‘beep’ and then she just

you if you were compatible – I thought I may just as well be sure.

totally ignored me. Maybe she thought I was someone else. I was in no mood to be made a fool of so I put the phone down. This

De Kock. Okay, so according to this thing we had a 50/60

was not a good second impression.

chance of having a successful relationship. I thought my calculator’s batteries were flat as those odds looked decidedly

I kept my cool and phoned her a bit later. She was awfully

dodgy to me for some reason. I didn’t believe in that silly thing

sweet so I let bygones be bygones and didn’t mention anything

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Fiction/Facts

toenails. Oh my, I hope she doesn’t snore. What if she does? Will this mean we would have to have separate bedrooms? I hope she doesn’t watch TV late. I wondered if her kitchen was clean. I mean if she snored this could really be a problem. You know they say that there are patches for that. These plaster things you stick to the nostrils that keep them open. I never knew your nostrils closed when you snored. I made a note to Google that as I didn’t want that to be the reason our relationship ended. I wondered if these plaster things were expensive? Perhaps there was a gadget from Verimark? I think there are these things that shock you when you snore and then you stop. Or maybe those are the ones for animals.

Well none that somehow shed some light on someone who abused you from the afterlife. I was sinking fast.

I wondered if she liked beige…

Even though I still had no clue what she spoke about I felt a connection with her in her sharing with me. We were two women linked in a common bond.

I found her staring at me as if my face was a screen that suddenly went onto screensaver. I apologised and muttered something about a headache and that she must please continue with her story. She ended her story by saying that trust is a thing you earn. Everyone wants to be loved. Someone abusing you is such an invasion not to mention the turmoil if there is suspicion that the person is your real father, who you had thought was dead. She stared at me as if expecting some enlightenment from the huge blank page that was my brain. I didn’t know what to say. Just staring at her failed to give me any clues either. It was then when I knew I was in deep trouble. All I can remember is that she’s from Vanwyksdorp, that they just had their Donkey Derby the previous weekend and that her favourite aunt (on her mother’s side) has a passion for petunias. Somewhere there was a gap in my memory. I tried to look interested. What the hell was she talking about? Now there is not much of a story to construct around a bed of petunias.

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Suddenly her cell phone rang and I was relieved beyond measure. I took the time to excuse myself and went to the ladies room to breathe a sigh of relief and gain my composure. When I returned she had ended her call. I sat down and thanked her for sharing with me and told her that I thought she was a very brave woman. She had endured so much. I too, had experienced abuse. I poured my heart out to her so that she didn’t need to feel alone. How I took that long road to recovery. It was hard to feel vulnerable. It was the least I could do.

I really felt close to her. I had this strange feeling somehow that she wasn’t feeling the same. She started to fidget and do this strange thing with her nose. We finished coffee and she said she needed to leave. Her friend had called and they had a date to watch the latest instalment of The Bold and the Restless. It was apparently a cliffhanger episode where it was going to be confirmed whether the abuser was indeed the main character’s father or not... Come to think of it I haven’t heard from Val since. Probably just as well. I heard those patch things don’t stick to your nostrils very well and are apparently quite expensive… Matured in this thing called Love? This is going to be wonderful...


supportgroups

Kindness, respect, honestly, no judgement, compassion and most of all understanding. Those are just a few things that I believe a support group should be all about. Life is beautiful and people are beautiful complicated as we are. We all need someone to listen to our stories. Our concerns, who we are, where we come from and what we are all about. Being really ‘listened to and understood’ has been seen to be one of the most intriguing and difficult art forms ever known to human kind. The only way I can explain that I will listen to you is better described in the following poem: It is not always easy to speak to someone we know about

LISTEN “When I ask you to listen and you start giving me advice You have not done what I have asked When I ask you to listen and you begin to tell me why I should feel that way You are trampling on my feelings When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem You have failed me, strange as that may seem. Listen. All I asked was that you listen, Not to talk or do – just hear me. Advice is cheap: 20 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper. And I can do that for myself, I’m not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, But not helpless. When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, You contribute to my fear and weakness. But – When you accept as a simple fact that I do need to feel what I feel, No matter how irrational Then I can quit trying to convince you And can get about the business of understanding what’s behind the irrational feeling. And when that’s clear, The answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them. Perhaps that is why prayer works, sometimes, For some people Because God is mute, And doesn’t give advice or try to fix things. “They” just listen and let you work it out for yourself. So please, listen and just hear me. If you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn; And I’ll listen to you Written by: Anonymous

the things that are personal because you never seem to know what reactions you will receive or what you have said will be spread all over town. I want to create a place for the LGBTI community to speak and have no fear to express whatever is on their mind. A space where like-minded people lean on one another. My passion to work with people within the LGBTI community has driven me to educate myself within the field of counselling with one of the main focus areas to master the skills of effective listening. The LGBTI Support Group started by myself is new in the Helderberg region, a beautiful area nestled at the foot-end of the mountain and exquisite views of the ocean. My wife and I started The Baby-ventures Rainbow Family website in September 2006 and since then been active in the support of the community. Services included parenting groups, same-sex conceiving talks and online information. (www.baby-ventures.za.net) For more information on the LGBTI support group please contact us on: sonnekusgroup@gmail.com

VISITING VIOLET

A SOCIAL SUPPORT GROUP FOR GAY WOMEN - It’s all about gay women, friends and some fun

Despite the wonderful advent of technology and the resulting creation of many online gay dating sites, where meeting new friends and potential companions is just a click away, there is still a need for gay women to be able to socialise and meet new people, face to face in a safe environment. A new social support group for gay women will shortly be launched in Johannesburg, offering a safe place to meet over a glass of wine. ‘Visiting Violet’ – named after Violet Trefusis – will provide a social evening for gay women to chat and meet other gay women on a quarterly basis. There is no joining fee for ‘Visiting Violet’, just a cover charge to cover the costs of soft drinks, wine and snacks. The group does not intend to compete with the young and vibrant club scene, nor does it see the group as becoming a congregation of potential dates, but looks to offer a venue where guest speakers can be invited to chat about issues of relevance to women , and where those no longer fascinated by the techno hip-hop of today, can relax and socialise safely and happily with other gay women in the group. It’s all about gay women, friends and some fun. w w w

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about a girl

Girl/Girl scene Which actor/actress would you like to get on the show the most and why?

Sharon Stone has been an inspiration to me for a long time. When I was younger, I read that she had started college when she was fifteen. I decided I had to do the same thing, and I did. One of my favourite films is Casino. I watch it frequently, and every time I do, her performance mesmerizes me. And Charlize Theron. What does the future of the Girl/Girl look like? You have your own web-series called Girl/Girl Scene, how did it start and what’s the main inspiration behind it?

I wanted to see a show that depicted what life was like for me and my friends. Nothing like that was out there – so I made it. Now we have Girl/Girl Scene, a show about sexy, hipster lesbians living it up in Middle America. How would you compare Girl/Girl Scene to other lesbian shows like the L Word?

I love The L Word. It was a groundbreaking series and inspirational to me as a writer. Girl/Girl Scene is different from other series in that it doesn’t try to sugar-coat any aspect of lesbian life. The characters are not good people – they’re real people. They make bad decisions and do terrible things. And they’re not always sorry. GGS is blatantly unapologetic of the stories it tells. In your opinion, how does the support/involvement compare between the Gay Male, and the Gay Female communities.

Gay men seem to enjoy and revel in their gayness more than gay women. One of the purposes of GGS is to show gay girls who are enthusiastic about their lives, particularly their lives as lesbians. We all need to lighten up, get out there, and start having fun! I

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Right now we are solely focused on finishing Season One. I try not to think about it too much yet, but there are definitely more seasons coming. This is one hell of a rollercoaster ride, and we’re just getting started. Do you have any other future projects in the pipeline?

I have some screenplays in the works, but it’s hard to get excited about them when I have such a great thing going on already. I’m working to promote GGS so that it can have the largest audience possible. What television series do you enjoy watching most and why?

Seinfeld, especially the later seasons. I think there are a lot of similarities with Seinfeld and GGS (e.g., no hugging, no learning). I’m also obsessed with Wheel of Fortune. I don’t think you have it in SA. It’s a game show about spelling. Yes, spelling. I can’t get enough of it. Tell us more about the music used in the Girl/Girl…

We’ve been fortunate to have some very talented artists to allow us to use their work. The music has itself almost become a


Gay men seem to enjoy and revel in their gayness more than gay women. One of the purposes of GGS is to show gay girls who are enthusiastic about their lives, particularly their lives as lesbians. We all need to lighten up, get out there, and start having fun!

WORDS Zian Blignaut & Willem Jacobs Organised by Mona Elyafi, ILDK Media

character on the show. Eric Butts, the director, is brilliant when it comes to using music to facilitate story.

If you want to know specifically what’s going on in my love life, you can Google me and find out pretty quick.

From what we’ve heard you are quite spiritual, tell us more

Have you been exposed to other gay scenes besides America

about that…

an how would you compare it?

I identify as a Zen Buddhist. I don’t think that necessarily makes me spiritual. The essence of Zen is absence of form, so if you call it spiritual, you’re adding content to something that is nonexistent, thereby turning ‘nothing’ into ‘something’.

I haven’t! Except for Toronto, of course. The show has so many wonderful fans in so many places all over the world – I’d really like to get out there and meet everyone.

I meditate. That’s good. Everybody should do it. For whatever reason, the human mind loves it. I’d also describe myself as an atheist. But keep in mind this is coming from someone who has been dead, and had the experience of the afterlife. There is no single answer, there is no one truth. Or there is. Everything is true and nothing is true.

Do you think it’s important for the LGBT community to have a “scene” and why?

Yes! When I was a teenager I read Urvashi Vaid’s Equality Now, which fortunately caught me at an early age and shaped my beliefs of what it meant to be gay: we are not straight, we are not mainstream, and we should never pretend to be. As I mentioned earlier, we need to revel in our gayness. What makes us different is what makes us beautiful.

And your love life?

Things are good. I’m in a place I’ve never been before. I’m not seeking; I’m just being. I’m content.

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(NOT SO) recent movies By Zian Blignaut

film Reviews

Itty bitty titty committee

Dragon tattoo trilogy

Directed by: Jamie Babbit Written by: Tina Mabry, Abigail Shafran Starring: Melonie Diaz, Nicole Vicius

Directed by: Niels Arden Oplev (1) and Daniel Alfredson (2 & 3) Story by: Stieg Larsson Starring: Noomi Pierce, Michael Nyqvist

Third full-length feature film by Babbit tells the story of 18-year old Anna (Diaz), receptionist at a plastic surgeon’s office meets Sadie and gets invited to join a radical feminist group called the C(i)A (Clits in Action) and begins to take part in the illegal yet empowering activism the group instigates. Subsequently she falls for the leader of the group and it starts getting complicated…

Based on the books by Stieg Larsson, the Swedish trilogy chronicles the hardships of sexually scarred and diverse, secretive and misunderstood, Goth girl, Lisbeth Salander, a hacker residing in Stockholm. Woven into the tale are themes of chauvinism, rape, murder, corruption, secret societies, mystery and the solving thereof, a collection of plot twists and a lot more which manages to keep you compelled from the first film until the last.

Put some social commentary, drama, romance and comedy in a blender and this is the result. A film that makes you think about the validity of the issues brought up and how it affects society. It tries to break away from the stereotypes usually associated with lesbians and feminism and is successful in that for the most part. Instead it focuses more on the message of trying to incorporate change (by means of reclaiming public space in artistic ways). The film is shot in Super 8 and Super 16 format resulting in a grainy look and feel and contributes to the idea of something revolutionary. So, yes, like the tagline states: “every generation needs a revolution and what better revolution than a feminist one?” The film also features rocking music by Le Tigre and Bikini Kill among others. Being entertaining and food for thought, this film might not be a must-see, but it will definitely ensure a good night in. I

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The plot shifts from the most compelling chapter, being the first shifting from an investigation storyline to one where it focuses more on personal details of Salander’s life. Lisbeth teams up with Mikael Blomkvist, investigative reporter at Millennium magazine to solve crimes related to the aforementioned themes and results in a rollercoaster of intriguing events that unfolds. With each instalment approximately two and a half hours long each, you don’t want to stop watching until you know what happens in the end. A thrilling watch with American Anglicized version to be released late this year with the director being the one who was in charge of great films like Fight Club and more recently The Social Network. So, before America takes it over, get your hands on the originals!


LISTEN TO THIS By Zian Blignaut

GIRL Music POWER Reviews THE SOUNDS SOMETHING TO DIE FOR

Swedish band, The Sounds, with bisexual lead woman, Maja Ivarsson, breaks away from their usual alternative/indie rock sound and trades it in for a self-produced album, which is a bit more electronicbased. With some almost-house and synth-pop tracks where the majority of the tracks just want to make you jump around and dance with Maja’s raspy vocals that compliment the electronic production and contagious lyrics. With two of the best tracks, the title track and ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’, having been featured in the latest instalment of the Scream franchise, the band is making it more onto the mainstream, which may be a good or a bad thing. Some critics stated a part of The Sounds died when they made this shift, but I say, to each his/her own. If you consider electro and/or alternative dance as something to die for, this will be right up your alley. Go check out the first single’s video; ‘Better Off Dead’.

natalia KILLS Perfectionist With lots of transformations British singer/songwriter, Natalia Keery-Fisher, finally fixated on the stage persona of Natalia Kills. Even though she has garnered lots of criticism for being a Lady Gaga rip-off, but what do you expect from the same recipe of the same producers and record company? She describes her music as dark-sounding pop music and for the most part, that’s exactly what it is. The album definitely shows she has a lot of potential. It is filled with dance pop and a few tracks that get close to being ballads. Each track showcases a different highlight from the artist ranging from catchy lyrics, infectious beats to great vocals. Additionally her music videos are quite remarkable and she has a short film series called Love Kills, xx. Check it out on youtube.

vanessa CARLTON Rabbit on the run The Grammy-nominated songstress that came out as bisexual in 2010 returns with her fourth album and it reaches a new level of maturity. With a more melancholic feel than her previous work and lyrics that one can identify with even if it’s her own journey, it illustrates with her songwriting skills than has progressed so immensely. The album has been recorded direct to tape and features a children’s choir, tambourines and pure vocal delight since one cannot really criticize her breathy vocals anymore. This is probably the best album since her debut album, Be Not Nobody, or maybe even the best in whole. Her artistry is showcased on this album quite beautifully. So, run with the rabbits and enjoy the wonderland this record is and reminiscence why you fell in love with Vanessa in the beginning. w w w

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LISTEN TO THIS By Zian Blignaut

Melanie Lowe I CHOOSE ME South African Idols runner-up and SAMA winner returns with a brand new album and an impressive one too. The album explores the themes of freedom, personal growth, loss, self-love, just love and can consequently be considered as quite anthem-like. With a set of personal songs like, Song for Kelly, and the great statement made in the title track, it comes with great lyrics mostly written by Melanie herself. Which results in a beautiful and artistic reflection of the singer with strong vocals accompanying the accomplishment. It has quite an upbeat acoustic rock sound with some pop influences along with a nice range of fierce semi-ballads. With a disc from a South African lesbian role model of this caliber, I can only see great things for Melanie ahead, like maybe breaking into the international mainstream real soon hopefully. We wish her all the best.

spotlight

LISE CHRIS

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Who? The Lise Chris Band Lise Chris (Vocals) Brad Nofal (Lead Guitar) Doné McLuckie (Bass) Josh Miller (Drums) From? Pretoria Genre? Indie- folk Sounds like? Bob Dylan, Amy MacDonald and Mumford & Sons With touching, honest lyrics, notable melodies, a unique stamp of pseudo-bluegrass rhythms, soulful harmonica inserts and an overall lively, energetic live performance, they’re swiftly earning a firm reputation throughout both age and culture divide. More about Lise: Making music for the past six years, Pretorian singer-songwriter Lise Chris, recorded her first demo fresh out of high school and has won pub and club competitions and performed weekly at various venues in Pretoria and Centurion. She then formed a band, Little Lise Lost, and recorded an EP at Volmer Studios which fared well. The band opened acts like Just Jinger, Valiant Swart and Jan Blohm. In 2009 she worked in studio alongside J.F. Kirsten and Andries Botha on Taming The Tiger, with Gravities Grace as the backing studio band Currently working on their next full-length album and music videos planned to be released late 2011. After appearing at Oppikoppi 2011, they are also aiming to perform at other upcoming festivals all over the country. So keep your eyes open for them!

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Just a thought

Lesbian (R)Evolution By Samantha Martin

I

remember the first time I ever saw a lesbian. The year was 1997 and Ellen DeGeneres was sitting opposite Oprah on the TV, admitting to the world that yes indeed she was ‘gay’. She couldn’t even say the word lesbian. Neither could I. The word itself made me cringe- it conjured up images of that creepy depressed clown in KD Lang’s ‘Constant craving’ music video. KD Lang scared me. I didn’t want to be that kind of lesbian. After the Oprah interview ended, I scurried like a squirrel to the VHS recorder to retrieve my chunky cassette and hid it shamefully at the back of my closet. It was in the closet. I was in the closet. Nobody ever knew about my secret treasure- I made sure of that. Every now and then when I was alone I would watch the interview over and over again. The thrill seeing someone who was ‘just like me’ was beyond compare. It felt like I was doing something illegal- for which there would be an awful punishment should I get caught. It was a terrifying adrenalin rush. After coming out, Ellen’s career took a drastic turn for the worse. Actually it crashed and burned. It took another 10 years before she could pick up the pieces and slowly begin to salvage her career. Like a modern-day lesbian Jesus, she had martyred herself for our cause, and then rose triumphantly from the ashes to become the closest thing lesbians have to a Saint. Saint Ellen of Hollywood. Amen. The lesbian revolution began 14 years ago when Ellen first came out of the closet. Her

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relatively recent meteoric rise within popular culture is nothing short of a modern day lesbian miracle. She has managed to capture the hearts of millions with her easy charm and winning sense of humour. Even homophobic Middle America loves her. Notice that now I can say the word lesbian? Thanks Ellen! It’s much easier to associate myself with a label when it’s not drenched in shame and self-loathing. The more famous Ellen became, the more lesbian visibility increased within mainstream society. Next came the TV show The L word (even they couldn’t say the word). The show cheekily suggested that lesbians aren’t all beaten with the ugly stick at birth, and that we really can be interesting people- a revolutionary concept at the time. People bought it. Lesbians everywhere rejoiced. Thanks Hollywood! The lesbian Revolution had begun. With the evolution of Ellen’s appearance over the last decade, lesbians worldwide have seemed to undergo a transformative collective makeover. Never before have the women of our clan looked so attractive. And why is that? Because we have embraced our femininity. That’s right. We wear make-up. We wear well-fitted clothes. And most importantly: we no longer look like men. We are evolving. Then Saint Ellen married Portia de Rossi and proved that it really is true- we really can have it all: a successful career, a sexy wife, and the love of millions of

heterosexual people all over the world. No more shame. No more fear. Viva le’ Revolution! As a child, the only lesbians I ever saw were the manly khaki-wearing type that walked with a heavy gait and made me want to renounce my sexuality indefinitely. I even briefly considered becoming a nun (but then again, don’t we all?). Back then I couldn’t Google search the word ‘lesbian’ and read lame lesbian erotica about full moons and ‘bucking’ pelvises. All I had was my beloved VHS tape and a lonely closet. Never before have lesbians enjoyed such unprecedented integration within mainstream society. These days you can spot us anywhere in our skinny jeans and converse sneakers, most probably eating organic hummus in our backyard vegetable gardens. We’re everywhere, we’re distinctly visible, and we owe it all to Ellen. And I know that somewhere high above- in her multimillion-dollar mansion in the Hollywood Hills-Saint Ellen watches over us all. Can I get a ‘Hallelujah’? I

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FYI BACKDOOR

SPRING

By Marga Mallo

T

he editor asked me to write something about spring, I didn’t know what and asked my mother if she had any ideas? I was utterly astounded when she came up with:

Memories

I uttered the FATAL ‘I do’ in spring –‘uttered’, because I realised at that moment that I had taken the reckless, irresponsible excitement of spring too far. Alas, I would pay for that spring! I took the long walk to freedom 23 years later – in spring, of course.

“Dis heerlike lente, die winter’s verby. Dis tyd dat die Gays mekaar weer warm vry!”

I lit my first cigarette in the spring of 1966 and the last one in the spring of 2010. I’m still not so sure that the spring of 2010

My MOTHER – what the devil…? That got me thinking and remembering… Springtime – a time of the year which always makes me feel extremely excited in a sort of reckless, irresponsible way. Thinking back on the years gone by, I now realise that most of the major things I did in my life, I did during springtime. The prelims in matric were written in spring – that is when I decided I wasn’t going to study for them, because I’m sick and tired of being the miss goodie-goodie of the school. So I escaped through my bedroom window every night and had a ‘jol’ at the local disco! And when the results were out, I didn’t regret the distinctions I didn’t get. I regretted that those spring nights were never to be again. Irresponsible? Naah. No-one has ever asked me how many A’s I got in matric! And, it wouldn’t have made any difference to the measly pension I am going to receive after 40 years of dedication to education. That spring thus still makes for one of my best memories!

was a good one - I now weigh…, well, um, I’m a wee bit fat… um… overweight – AND I’M STILL FULL OF ACHES AND PAINS BECAUSE I’M BLOODY 63 YEARS OLD AND I’M BUYING A PACKET FIRST THING TOMORROW MORNING!!! Had my first sex in spring. I remember that well, because later that night the shower was full of crushed Jacaranda blossoms – those years we didn’t have cars to ‘make out’ in. Started with my Master’s Degree in the spring of my 48th year and was awarded it, Cum Laude, in the spring of my 49th year. Gees, the things one won’t do to get over an unfaithful lover! Then, last year in spring, I took my life’s savings, that was supposed to see me through my retired years, and I made a lifelong dream come true: I bought, CASH, myself a RED Peugeot 207CC Cabriolet (or, as we called it in the 60’s, a convertible). Oh boy, since then, there has been no end to spring. I acquired the appropriate red hat and scarf, and I have not once put the roof up, come hail, rain, mud, shit or blood! Winter does not exist. I drive

At varsity, all exams were written in springtime. Needless to say, I usually arrived home with a tan to die for, a desperate craving for wine or alcohol of some sort and being on the verge of a nervous breakdown in fear of the results. The fear in itself was great, because, it made me feel one with all of my friends and we got sloshed together to calm our nerves and, when the results were out, to drown our sorrows. Great stuff!

through the streets of our conservative ‘plattelandse’ little town,

I ended up in hospital for the first time of my life after joining in the drinking and other fun activities during my first Spring Day at varsity. Well, I got used to the hospital thing in the four years that followed.

So, this spring, go make some memories – no matter how old you

with Elvis singing his heart out at full volume. I just love the looks of the people: the Blacks think it is great and cheer me on with “Leka car! Go!Go!Go! Jy’s leka jonk Magog!” etc. The young people look at me like in “Gross!?” and some whites smile in empathy (with the crazy old woman) whilst others are so obviously thinking: “Hmm. New money.” Just love being in the springtime of my life at 63!

are or what the consequences might be. Just go for it! Viva spring, viva!

I once, unwisely so, got engaged in spring, only to, wisely so, end the engagement in the following spring! Memorable spring, that one. I

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Luvya

Aunty.


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ALICE 03 - The Gay Girl's Glossy