Monday, 26 August 2013

Farewell to a beloved alien

When first I translocated across the galaxy, one of my gravest concerns was that not all the natives would be friendly. And though my fears were realised in some ways, I'm happy to say that most of the aliens I encountered on the New Planet, were most friendly indeed and I have come to count them now as my closest friends.

But as in all life, there comes a time when farewells must be said as life continues in its circle of birth, life and death. Recently I had to say farewell to one of the ancient aliens that I have come to love. He began as merely my provider of accommodation, gave me somewhere beautiful to live and over the past 13 years we became close. He was an alien with a mind that worked a little differently from most, and in a sense was way ahead of his time in terms of inventions and ideas, a trait that did not always go down well with those he knew. Nevertheless he and I had many an interesting discussion, both philosophical, religious and tractor related.

If ever I had a question about how a particular piece of agricultural equipment worked, he was sure to explain it to me in detail. Extensive detail. And yes, from time to time I have needed to know how a digger or tractor works and he was always willing to assist me in my quest for knowledge about all matters agricultural. I, in turn, provided him with much information about life in the Southernmost Colony and shared my views on life, death, the universe and beyond. I think it's fair to call him an eccentric, and I have a wonderful memory of going for a walk in the field one day, rounding a hedge and seeing his digger parked close to said hedge. The bucket was raised (see, I know what a digger bucket is), inside the bucket was a wheelbarrow and standing in the wheelbarrow, with shears in his hand, was my 85 year old landlord, pruning. Now, after catching my breath I politely inquired what he was thinking of - well, perhaps I yelled something like, 'What on earth are you doing up there? Get down at once or you'll fall and break a hip!', to which he replied, wobbling precariously, 'I'm perfectly safe, look, it's steady and safe.' whereupon he did a little jig in the wheelbarrow, which rocked and almost toppled over. He burst out laughing at my feeble female fancies and continued pruning. I waited nearby, then called his wife who shook her head knowing that nothing either of us could say would convince him to come down. We waited all afternoon for a crash that never came.

He was one of those men that picked up things he saw along the way, took them home and cleaned them up 'just in case' he could use them one day - anything from a rusty nail to a piece of string or perished pipe, he took it home. Long before wind turbines became popular, he decided that having one on the farm would be a good idea, only the council would not allow it, posturing that the narrow lane leading to the farm would not stand the weight of the truck that would need to carry it. A few days later he called me over to ask where he could buy a large wok. Not a little wok, a LARGE wok. I directed him to the famous Swedish labyrinth of a shop nearby and he returned clutching four enormous woks. He then spent several very happy (and loud) months hammering pieces of sheet metal into gigantic blades, which he attached to a metal base with a generator, soldered the four woks on top and proudly announced that he had built his own wind turbine. Okay, it looked sort of like a turbine, and the blades certainly spun round madly as the wind blew - the woks were apparently to give it more torque - but what it actually did I have no idea. I think he planned to use it to generate power, but then solar panels arrived on the scene and he moved on to the next invention.

I have so many memories of him striding around the farm clutching a piece of pipe or plastic or riding around on his mower and cobbling together a 'solution' to a problem. My boiler is secured by a few pieces of twine, some bits of pipe that don't quite fit together but are bound securely with duct tape,  a couple of lengths of wire and I wouldn't be surprised to discover, a piece of chewing gum or two...Nothing in my cottage is perfectly right. The roof leaks, the taps in the bathroom don't match, the carpet has a big seam where he joined two bits together because he had some left over and didn't want to waste them, one of the 'windows' is a piece of sheet plastic that gapes and allows the wind to howl in during Winter and the washing matching has to be thumped emphatically before it starts, the power sockets are in such inaccessible places I have to employ the moves of a carnival acrobat, contorting my body unnaturally to reach them (not always easy to get up afterwards) and there's a huge fake fireplace/nook/old manger as I live in a converted stable, in my lounge. I love it.

Not always an easy alien to get along with, for some reason he and I hit it off from day one. We had many chuckles together as he repeated the same jokes over and over, but he 'got' my sense of humour, which was wonderful and I'm so glad I could make him laugh. When he suffered a series of strokes I was happy to assist him and his wonderful wife (my now dearest friend) as best I could, though he always refused my offers to take him swimming. The last few years were difficult for him, his mobility limited and eventually gone entirely. Even going for a ride at high speed on his mobility scooter, cornering on one wheel while we all held our breaths, became impossible. For such an active man, with a brain bursting with schemes and ideas, it was very hard. And more so on his family as his mood became darker by the day.

Chris finally shuffled off his mortal coil two weeks ago and though it was a relief for all, him most especially I imagine, there's a funny old hole here now. I was so touched to be called to his bed a few weeks before he died, and asked if I'd read a poem at his funeral. We had another one of our long talks, tears were shed, but for me it was a special time. I got to say my goodbyes and read the poem, The Lake Isle of Innesfree, at his funeral as requested. Life carries on of course, and now the hard and difficult times of his illness can fade as we recall the good times and appreciate the funny old boy that he was. I will miss him.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Across the Galaxy

I've been living on Planet Authordom for a number of moon rotations now, and am finding it much to my satisfaction. To have found an outlet for my literary endeavours is most satisfactory and I am enjoying writing the forthcoming epistles. Planning the next one does play havoc with my sleep however.

I find myself once more treading the corridors of academia, and as an ex-pedagogue it's not nearly as frightening as it could be (or was in times gone by). Happily this time I am not tasked with keeping them under control and leave this to their pedagogues. I have encountered a host of undeveloped beings, and without exception have found them a delight. Intelligent questions have been asked and much hilarity has ensued, particularly on a visit to a local librarium. I'm looking forward to meeting more aliens like these this year and hope to instil in them a love of literature and the writing thereof. Visits to academic institutions can be arranged via the book of faces or indeed through this blog.

I have also of late found myself being recognised in local Caffeine Provision Establishments. I'm not entirely sure if this is wonderful or terrifying. Having undeveloped beings who have met me at a pedagogical institution or in a purveyor of tomes, stopping in their tracks to whisper in their mothers' or fathers' ears takes a bit of getting used to. But it is wondrous indeed to exchange a smile and a cheerful word while out and about.

My recently released missive about life in the Qarntaz octad, which follows the adventures of Qea and Adam is being well received across the universe, and I am delighted to have received spectrographs from the Planet Oz and too from the Southernmost Colony, where undeveloped beings can be seen lounging:

up trees,

on golden beaches,

on couches,

...and with idiotic expressions on their faces...

I am anticipating that others too will send me images of the epistle being perused in exotic know who you are! To my intense gratification, a purveyor of tomes in the Southernmost Colony has ordered a batch to be displayed and sold to inhabitants of my previous home planet. I await news and spectrographs from those living in the vast United Planetoids across the great waters too. But imagine my pleasure on hearing that the epistle is being purchased in the planet of the rising sun and in the hot curried air of an ex-colony.

The weather on the Home Planet continues to be chilly, with the need to wear a full length fleecy dressing gown at all times...there, got the compulsory weather comment out of the way...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Planet of Authordom

This Britbok has been involved in a whirlwind of activity, school visits, book signings and general Blue Dust:Forbidden type stuff. It's truly wonderful though exhausting and this day in history finds me sounding like a green amphibian who's been stuck in a washing machine for a number of hours...croak...

Being an ex-pedagogue has served me well, dear aliens, and has helped me face classrooms and librariums jam-packed with undeveloped beings to talk about the book and tell them about my foray into the world of published author-dom. Some, it must be said, drifted off into their own visions of outer space, but happily most remained awake and even asked questions, intelligent questions, questions I didn't know the answers to and had to think quickly lest they thought me a numpty. Failing intelligent answers I simply muttered, 'oh floccinaucinihilipilification', and that kept them quiet.

I am also discovering new and wondrous ways to spread the news of said book about cyberspace, and am finding it consumes an inordinate amount of time, keeping me away from the continuing saga of Qea and Adam in the Qarntaz Octad (and this blog). Who are Qea and Adam, I hear you ask? Well, funny you should ask and where have you been that you need to ask? Eh? Keep up!

To follow my alien related twittering, you have but to go to the blue-bird site and search for @katykrump or even, search for her on the book of faces so beloved by us all and hit the little 'like' button. You do like me, don't you? And tell the other aliens within your orbit too, please.

I have to confess to finding putting myself 'out there' just a tad scary...oh alright then, terrifying, but I'm getting better at it and am now able to accost completely strange alien beings in bookshops with a big smile and a cake pop and say in my best English, 'And art thou interested perchance in this small work of literary brilliance, dear Sir/Madam?', and thrust the bluely covered tome under their noses. I'm happy to report that in most instances the Natives are friendly and have even been known to cough up quantities of treasure to purchase said bluely covered tome. I am hoping and trusting the Great Being that a gazillion or so more aliens will too purchase it, and the sequel and the third in the series to be launched into space some time during this lunar orbit. The presence of the large inquisitor at book signings has been of immense help and helped gather the crowds and my sincerest thanks to the alien Inquisitor previously known as 'Ken', for all his help. (now if you've bought the book you'll know exactly what I'm talking about, if not, get thee to the great Amazonian bookshop and buy one!)

And now I must away for the nose needs clearing and the throat needs to imbibe a concoction of honey, cinnamon and other herbifications that I am hoping will deliver me from the 'lurgy' and give me a proper voice to use when I speak at the Yate Public Librarium next week. May the Force be with you until next time.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Celebrations and Exultations

Well, it's been far too long since updating you all about my life on the new (now known as Home) planet. And what a few months it's been. The planet has been awash with red, white and blue with joyful celebrations by multitudes of aliens. Perhaps these were beamed to you across the ether. They have technology on this planet that makes such things possible. :)

First, the lady-monarch celebrated in a typically Home Planetarian way, amidst flowing water, weeping skies, scones, cream, jubilations in ancient village halls and cheering crowds on the highways and byways. What a wonder to behold and in a far more orderly fashion than anything I witnessed on the Southernmost Colony, although that may have changed now. My memories for some peculiar reason, still seem stuck back before the dawning of the new age of Britbokdom...bokkomdom?...pombokdom? and I find it hard to imagine that the colony too has leapt forward to embrace new technologies and food stuff like tapas and sushi and falafels. I feel a voyage across outer space is becoming necessary so that I don't entirely remember everything as if it's still a Colony stuck in the time of the Great Migration. I digress...

Following regal and stately celebrations, the Home Planet burst into life once more as aliens from across the galaxies began to arrive on space craft and various other modes of translocation, all impressive physical specimens bursting with rude health, testosterone and tattoos. Oh, how we were all gripped by spectacle of industry and music and undeveloped beings leaping about on mattresses, before the super human efforts of the Olympians began. They ran faster, jumped higher, twirled and rowed and splashed furiously, leaped from tall structures somersaulting and twisting while wearing impossibly tiny loin cloths and raising the blood pressure of adolescent beings (and some middle-aged beings too), or flung themselves about in their quest for the gold at the end of the four year long rainbow. I too spent hours in front of the great communication device watching physical endeavours the likes of which I've never seen before. Along with the natives, I watched sports I'd never even known existed and wondrous it was to behold.

Dullness and sadness then descended as we suffered withdrawal after the gleam of the gold, silver and bronze, but do not fear brave aliens, shortly thereafter another bunch of superhumans arrived. As I write they are now engrossed in leaping about breaking records and generally having a jolly good time. What we shall do once it's all over I know not...there's always the months and months of lead up to another over-hyped Christmas I suppose.

Amidst all the extraordinary achievements, I too had a little victory in the shape of a parchment sealing a literary pact and a promise of wondrous things to come. I have undergone a name change too and shall henceforth be known as Katy Krump with her own website at and a Kindle edition of first document available from the great literary jungle known across the galaxies as Amazon. I hope you will cross the final frontier and BUY it and TELL the cosmos and beyond to BUY it etc. And for any book bloggers or other scribes of any nature, I am happy to promote said book, from this time forth to be known as Blue Dust:Forbidden, on any site and am available for interviews on radio and other technologies or to do guest musings/writings. If those from the Southernmost Colony know of ways in which to promote this work over there, please let the Britbok know.

And thus I bid you farewell as I return to my literary pursuits, writing the sequel! May the Force be with you all.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

When Killers Cry

So having been on this planet for some time now, I am at last making headway in understanding how all the systems work, and have finally found an outlet for my creative juices. Yes, fellow travellers, a tome set in the Southernmost Colony is now available for all to buy, read, ponder and hopefully enjoy. All comments are welcome, as long as they are helpful and constructive and do not attack me, my body, my family, my cat or anyone else that knows me, personally. It is a daunting task to release one's first baby into the galaxy, and as any proud mother, I do hope it will be found, if not beautiful, at least entertaining and a little bit informative. It is not intended to be the definitive guide to all things 'apartheid', or even to compare in any way to Tolstoy or Grisham or Agatha Christie, although I do hope that some time in the future Charlize Theron and Arnold Vosloo will star in the Spielberg film, because at least they'll get the accents right. I'd settle for Leo of course, whose accent wasn't bad at all....or Damon...I digress...

Now, it does include some events from a dark time in the Colony's history, when I was but an undeveloped being, and these events are sometimes hard to read, especially if one grew up in the Southernmost Colony and did not know that the Colony had a vast army of beings flitting around disposing of enemies of the state. And it contains some 'colourful' language, which does not in any way reflect my own language or behaviour. For this is a work of fiction and the characters are creations of my over-active mind, and do not in any way resemble me or anyone that knows me. Really, they don't and if you think you see yourself in any of the characters, believe me when I tell you's not YOU!

That said, I really hope you'll take the time to visit the vast cyber-shopping mall known as Amazon and will go to the section named after the stuff you make fires from, Kindle, and search therein for When Killers Cry, and will download it to whatever technological device you have in your possession. And if you do not own such devices and perhaps still live in the Colony, where it appears these small devices cost a veritable 'eish' amount of rands, then it can be purchased from here:
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

May the Force be with you all. Now get buying and tell all your friends to tell their friends to tell their friends...I need to make a trip to the Colony to catch up with those I left behind and have not seen for far too long!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Despite having crossed the galaxy to a new planet, there happily still remain beings from the Southernmost Colony that have remained stuck in my heart and that will stay there until I am but a speck of dust in a distant place.

As a child how could I ever have imagined that when I joined hands with another trembling six year old to lead a procession of 'Silent Night' singing school children down a long passage and into the school hall for the carol service, that I was embarking on a friendship that would survive for the rest of my life? And yet now that we are both slightly saggier and hopefully a lot wiser, we can pick up our friendship as if we are still two little blondes with scraped knees performing concerts for her long suffering mother in the back garden. And with the delights of cross galaxy travel, and was it easier to afford space craft fees and the new Interplanetary Access Visa for those from the Southernmost Colony, we would surely spend a lot more time together visiting castles and sipping tea.

And then something else from the mists of my past that warms the cockles of my heart, is when one of the little undeveloped beings that was in my care when I was a lowly pedagogue, contacts me via the Visage Book and tells me that he was not traumatised by songs about dirty socks and flatulent duchesses and that I did not leave him irreparably scarred when I dressed him up as an Indian brave or cannibal or pirate or even crawling crustacean, as I sometimes feared. And to my delight, a number of these undeveloped beings, now fully developed with spouses and undeveloped beings of their own, have contacted me, and though in my head they are still only 6 or 7 years old, it is a special treasure to know that I am remembered fondly...although there are surely some out there, you know who you are, that do not remember me fondly at all.

So many memories to comfort and entertain me on this planet I now call home....although I must confess to still having moments when I feel particularly alien, like when someone remarks on my accent, although in the dentist's chair or doctor's office it is a great conversation starter. Perhaps the accent has softened with time as have I, but the memories remain sharp and clear in my mind and I eagerly await more contact from the Southernmost Colony and life 'back in the day'.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Cycles of the Sun

Somehow the year 2011 has sped by without any reference to my life on the New Planet. I can't explain this except to admit to having fallen once more into the clutches of the assorted bugs and nasties that still take such pleasure in attacking my alien body. Oh how I long for the day when they will retreat and leave me alone.

But today I find myself reflecting on the passing of eleven cycles of the sun since arriving here, it feels like an eternity and yet like only yesterday, and somehow I am filled with a sense of melancholy once more at everything and everyone I left behind.

Of course, it's not that I regret leaving everything in the Southernmost Colony, it's simply that I miss the faces and skin of those I love. My remaining parent has shuffled off his mortal coil and waits for me in fields of Glory, the little boy I left is now grown into a strapping young man with a mind and humour all of his own, while the little girl with skinned knees is now tall and beautiful with legs to the armpits and a line of boys waiting to wine and dine her. Life in the Southernmost Colony has moved on without me and I can't help but wish that I'd been there to see it all change and that it had taken me with it. For somehow, despite the wonders of cyberspace and the constant ability to connect with my loved ones every minute of the day and night, there will always be changes I've not seen 'in progress' and that I will regret missing forever.

But the things that I remember of life there are still set in my mind and even though I know the political landscape has shifted, that day to day life is perhaps not quite as difficult and violence-filled as it was eleven years ago, I can't shake off the feeling of relief at being on a planet where I can walk down leafy lanes and drive at night without fear of attack. I'm sure there are those that still live there that will disagree with me and my thoughts of life in the Colony, but one thing I have discovered is that it is only in being away from it, far from the burglar bars and security gates and walls with machine gun mounts (!) and signs at the traffic lights (not robots because those are things that go beedy beep) warning me that I am in a hijacking hotspot, and the affirmative action that took two wonderful jobs from me, and toyi toyi-ing in the streets, and taxi drivers who use their vehicles as weapons of mass destruction, that it truly sinks in what it is to live in constant trepidation and how wonderful it is to live without it.

And yet, life here, on this planet, no longer so new after all, has been good for me, although there are days I wonder what the hell I'm doing here. I know though, that I have grown in ways I would never have done back in the Colony (and no, I don't mean the additional lumps and bumps attached to my hips and thighs and stomach),I mean the essence of myself, those hidden parts inside that have been stretched and challenged and forced to adapt to a new way of life and being. I have had to dig deep to places I never suspected I owned, to mine the recesses of my soul and summon up the strength that was hidden there and without which I fear I may have leaped off the nearest suspension bridge.

The dark days of the start are behind me now, but memories of them stay with me and resurface each year at the 15th May draws near. It seems odd to count down the years passing as I do, but somehow in doing that I ground myself once more and realise again how much strength I have gained while living here and how changed I am. It's hard to separate the golden memories of childhood from the not so rosy experiences of adulthood, and of course I will always think of the Southernmost Colony with fondness but I am finally now thinking of the New Planet as Home, and can no longer conceive of returning to the Colony to live, for how can one go back when so much within has changed? It is true that you can never go holidays count as going back? Whatever life holds for me on the Home Planet now, it would not have been possible without a good start in the Southernmost Colony, where a little piece of my heart will always remain.