Well, the final proofs have been done, the pictures (for the picture section) have been submitted, and the book is in the design stage. The expected date of the launch is late March. In the meantime, the publisher and marketing people have suggested that I go back onto social media. So, one month after de-activating my Twitter account, and a few years after I left Facebook, I am back on both platforms. Twitter is bad, but Facebook has to be the most aweful and invasive social media platform. Nonetheless, for the sake of marketing the book, I will stay on both platforms for about two or three months after the book has been launched. The book is a hybrid memoir of commentary and analysis.
Looking ahead at the coming months, the next six months will be intense – which is good. I will continue to write my columns for Business Day, Daily Maverick and the VryeWeekblad. In February I will teach six or seven classes at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town. I may also do occasional talk radio hosting with CapeTalk. March, April and May will probably be dedicated to the book launch and whatever may come from that, but I will not let it interfere with my weekly columns. I have always enjoyed my work.
In the meantime I will continue planning my big escape for the second half of the year. It’s not that dramatic, actually, as I will continue to write my columns, but I have a second major writing project that I want to start, but Covid and visa requirements seem, at the moment, to make it impossible to firm up any plans. In the meantime I will work on some of the early research and writing for that second project.
For now, I think I should just enjoy the sunny and hot weather, and try to make it to the beach – which is about 600 metres from my house. It’s a bit ridiculous that I have been to the beach here about four or five times in three years. Part of it has to do with Covid – the virus is frightening – and part of it has to do with the fact that I really could not be arsed to sit and do nothing on a beach.
The good news is that the porch has been completed, and it makes a massive difference in my residential life. For once I found a contractor who gave a quote, built the thing professionally and stuck to the quote.
When next I get paid, probably at the end of February, I need to have the windows sealed and the water damage repaired. The company that built the containers did a really bad job with the windows. As such there is a lot of water damage and dampness. I have been in touch with them, but they simply ignored me. Between the gas geyser (which was a complete wreck from the day I moved in, to the fireplace which simply stopped working because the installation was so poor, to the water damage.
Container houses are eco-friendly, in the sense that they are left abandoned every year, and by using them as a dwelling it is essentially repurposing the steel. A strong caveat is that you have to get a container home manufacturer that is reputable and that you can trust. The company I used has simply brushed off or ignored my attempts to have them repair their mistakes. They also did not provide me with a completion document(s).
In the meantime I am doing things bit-by-bit, and will start planting and growing my own food in the coming months, that is IF, my big escape (it’s really just a travel plan to do some research and writing) remains impossible. At this stage it seems out of reach.