As you know, Blog Book Tours are a fairly
popular new phenomenon and one that I hope to tap into when my book is
I am often asked to participate in these
tours and I am not always able to, for various reasons, but this one I couldn’t
say no to.
The introductory email was so quirky and
off the wall I thought “this woman is either on drugs or naturally hilarious”. The second one is true.
Unfortunately, because the postage system
here is slower than a bloody snail with a sore foot, I didn’t receive my copy of
the book in time, which is such a great pity because the cover looks really
fun. However I was emailed an electronic
version of the book and I started working my way through that.
Due to my recent stint with publishing my
book, I am now very interested in people who write, how they write and the
result of their craft. I approach
everything with a studied curiosity, hoping to learn from them.
Ayun Halliday, the author of the book is everything
I am not, well, besides the two things that do bind us, she is a mother and she
writes. She is a hippie-type stay at
home mom who is one of those arty-farty creative types who I always find so
fascinating, because they are so very different to me.
And so I approached the book with much
interest, from an academic point of view, and also from the point of view of
being able to get an insight into the lives of others. I am always fascinated to read about other
cultures, and this stay at home, arty farty mom who lived in a Big City in the
big country of America was about as different as one could get to the culture I
Ayun is funny, very very funny. She is totally honest and says it like it is.
The book, Mama Lama Ding Dong has been published
under the name The Big Rumpus in America and is described as:
A breezy memoir of
motherhood that for all its hip attitude also affectingly recalls traditional
fears, joys, and a sense of the miraculous...Motherhood recalled with engaging
brio and considerable wisdom.
It is a funny, fun book that takes an
honest look at the realities of motherhood, the good, the bad and the very
funny. It makes you think “oh thank god,
I am not the only one who thinks that”. Actually,
she reminds me a lot of myself, well, besides the arty-farty, stay at home,
living in a Big City thing. But she is
someone I could quite easily have a drink with. Ok, that doesn’t really count because I would
drink with just about anyone who would want to have a drink with me.
It really is a very entertaining read and very
1. who is the book aimed at? who is your
I like to think that the book will appeal to anyone who’s had a child,
anyone who’s been a child, anyone who has three thumbs, anyone who
still believes in Santa Claus, anyone who’s been circumcised (or not),
anyone who’s published a zine or eaten a bagel that dropped on the
In the States, the book is shelved in parenting, much to the chagrin of
a childless, male former classmate, who said he armed himself with a
book on do-it-yourself home plumbing before braving that unfamiliar,
and to him, distasteful section, afraid that he might run into someone
he knows. I’m always gratified when someone who doesn’t have kids
cracks it open, reading it as something akin to a travelogue. I have
never been,and probably never will be a Buddhist nun, an Alaskan
fisherwoman or a teacher in a failing inner-city school, but am fully
capable of being captivated by first person accounts of their
2. what is your central message of the book?
I suppose it’s that you’ve got to maintain a sense of humor about the
ridiculousness of your predicament , especially during those intensely
frustrating, exhilarating, isolating first couple of years following
the baby’s birth.
3. why did you write the book, what are you hoping to achieve with it?
I wrote the book because (to make a long story short) my zine helped
put me in a position where a book contract more or less fell from the
sky and clobbered me on the head. I couldn’t believe my luck. I dream
big, but I’m really disorganized and lacking in the sort of ambition
that seems essential for those hoping to make a go of it in the arts.
So, to be visited by the opportunity to seize a brass ring when I had
two little children at home and could barely manage to make toast
without massive planning was the equivalent of winning the lottery,
minus the financial make-over. So, there’s your “why”.
As to what I hoped to achieve, besides becoming an overnight literary
sensation who flies for free to all sorts of top-drawer literary events
in Hawaii and Jamaica, where the headliners stay in jasmine-scented hot
tub suites in beyond-five-star hotels, I wanted to amuse my fellow
mothers, particularly the ones who felt frazzled, sad, and shoved to
the sidelines. I wanted to express the bottomless love I experience for
my children, as well as the frustration, and I wanted to do it in such
a way that wouldn’t make readers mutter, “Oh please, she thinks she’s
so great and her children are so much better than mine! Well, fuck
In South Africa we
always support any team that Australia is playing against, not because we hate
the Aussies, but because they are so damn good and are always beating us. ‘Any team but Australia’ is often heard. We love to hate people like Shane Warne,
Brett Lee and George Gregan. And
so it pains me greatly to have to do this, but OMG! This was too funny to pass up.
Poor Tana, I don’t think
he will ever live this down.
Apologies to the
non-Tri Nations countries who have no idea what I am on about.
Thank you to all
of you who expressed an interest in helping out. The always wonderful, ever generous eggdonor
and Boulder helped set up a blog for my sister. There isn’t much new there but as soon as my sister gets online she will
update with new news and pictures. Unfortunately my sister doesn’t yet have access to the internet. However, she does have an email address set
up that her husband checks for her. It
is firstname.lastname@example.org I am hoping this
will be an incentive for him to get his ass in gear and sort her out with some
net access. HURRY UP GARY, THIS IS THE
21ST CENTURY!!! Sorry. But she has been waiting for a while already. EDITED TO ADD: She got Net access today!!! At last, so you are welcome to email her
directly. Hallelujah, praise the lord
and all that.
My sister said to
thank all of you for your kind words of support and generosity. A few of you have been asking me what the
moms and babies need. My sister says the
things she needs the most include the following:
For the babies she
needs vests (do you call them vests? The
things the babies wear under their clothes to keep them warm?), and babygro’s –
those all in one, footed sleeper things. Just simple things to keep them warm.
Then, she needs
sanitary towels for the moms. At the
moment she is buying a pack of ten and dividing them up between two moms but
she says she would really like to give the moms a bit of dignity by having
their own pack of sanitary towels/pads.
She has a few old
ladies in old age homes knitting baby blankets for her (the old ladies love it and it makes them feel as if they are contributing, which of course they are) and so she also needs to
buy wool – that is an extra expense. Oh and apparently fleece for blankets
Then, she would
like to stock up the preemie room with milk, coffee, tea and sugar, and somehow
manage to provide the moms with at least one other meal a day.
Then, big ticket
items for the preemie room, the moms area and the nurses station (aka the
toilet) include a microwave, a CD player / radio and a iron and ironing board.
There were quite a
few of you who wanted to help and for that I thank you. There are a few ways you can help.
1. The one way is to send any used baby items you might have, especially
the simple, warm, basic things. You can
send them via my sister’s husband’s USA office to:
c/o Philip Antoniadis – VeriSign Inc
- M/S MV6-1-2
I think he will probably wait until there are a few
things and then ship them over in bigger batches.
2. If you don’t have things to send, but still
want to help in some way, you can donate a dollar or two via the Paypal account
Boulder so kindly set up (I’ll put a button up on my blog and on my sister’s
blog). The money will be used to buy the
basics mentioned above
3. Or if you would like to send some goods
directly, you can go online to one of our biggest grocery stores, Pick n Pay,
or and shop and send the goods over to
my sister. A very very kind blog reader
H did this, and apparently it is quite a rigmarole. But if that is what you want to do, then give
me a shout and I will help you.
4. If you have any thing you would like to send
the moms, or the stillborn moms, then please send them to the address above. Sure-fire hits would be things like lotion,
talc, shampoo, toothpaste etc.
Some of you asked
what the moms and the babies needed, and to be honest, these moms have
nothing. Literally nothing. So the very basics are what they need. Anything would help. Oh and someone asked
about cloth diapers – there is no way these moms could afford disposable
diapers, so they only use cloth diapers.
I am going to try
and find some time to show my sister how to add blog posts and update with
pictures etc, and then hopefully she will do her own thing from then. Please be patient though, she is still
learning how to go online and do stuff.
Although I am not
churchy or a happy clapper, I am sure that my sister would say that she would
put in a good word for you and if you do have a direct line to the man above,
perhaps you could mention her efforts and ask that good stuff happens to her
efforts. You know, lordy stuff like
From me: Thanks guys, you aren’t a bad lot. For a bunch of a’holes that is ;-)
I was listening to
the radio this morning as they were discussing the selection of the 15 players
who would be representing our country in the rugby match on Saturday. The presenter was going on and on about
whether the coach should have selected Peter instead of Paul. People (men) were phoning in and getting very
heated about whether Peter was in fact the right choice and wouldn’t Mark have
I sat there and
thought ‘are they mad!’
South Africa is a
pretty sport obsessed country. Mostly
divided among racial lines, but there is an increasing amount of cross
over. White people (men) mostly support
rugby and black people (men) mostly support soccer. Although, as I said, fortunately those racial
lines are being blurred to an extent and there are certainly people who support
both sports and many more.
I myself am a huge
cricket fan. And I feel desperately
sorry for you philistines who are not part of a cricket playing country. I love cricket and have been known (pre-kids)
to spend the entire day in front of the TV watching day 2 of a five day
However, as much
as I love the sport, I don’t think I would be phoning in to a radio station
espousing all sorts of theories on why my
selection was the right selection and how the coach / selectors were a bunch of
idiots because blah blah blah. And I
love how the men use the word ‘we’. ‘We
must run with the ball more’, ‘We must tackle more’. Hahaha! “We”. As if they are part of the
sports results will beat out other really significant or tragic news to make
the front cover of the newspaper and I always think WTF!
said all of this, I must say I am quite into the FIFA soccer world cup at the
moment. My money is on Brazil.
Is your country
also so sports obsessed? What sport are
you passionate about, if any? I must be honest
and say I don’t follow any ‘American’ sport – baseball, basketball etc. Don’t ‘get’ it. And as for American football…. Grown men wearing
shoulder pads and make up….
(How cool are
we! See, mommy bloggers can even talk
about sport etc. How v new millennium)