Doilies, Vases and Greek Life Lessons

It all began with a doily, and a vase. My yaya, a woman who has caustic wit and very thin eyebrows, had come over from Cyprus to stay with us. Two days into her visit, the world’s ugliest vase (origins unknown) and a crocheted doily suddenly appeared and made themselves comfortable upon a stylish Art…

27 Boxes: That Which is Not Twee

Melville and I, we go way back. My mom, the SAFTA-award winning art director, had a restaurant named Hard Times in 4th avenue for twelve years. I spent many a happy childhood and teen year rambling about Melville, walking its streets and visiting its shops. I was always on foot and alone, because Melville was that…

Take The Clock Out Of Your Dojo

The answer, so often, is ‘how long is a piece of string?’ or ‘your mileage may vary’, because there is no one answer. If there was, it would be a sport.

Five Reasons Why Kids Need Karate

As a partner piece to my perennial classic Eight Reasons Why Women Should Do a Martial Art, read on to see all the benefits a martial art can bring your kids.

Obituary: Kazuo Chiba, 1940 – 2015

Even though I no longer formally practice Aikido, it is a martial art that still matters to me, and one I often think of. I still miss it, and not just because of the hakama. Recently, T.K. Chiba shihan passed away. He was one of the few living disciples of Aikido’s founder Morihei Ueshiba and his son…

The Laugh of the Paper Ninja

Language is meant to elevate, and though it is often used as the tool of denigration, it still remains my most powerful form of self-expression. Because it is true that when I dance, I look like a manatee on amphetamines. When I run, I look like a knock-kneed penguin. I am, physically, a deeply unfortunate person.

50kms to the Truth: My First Ultra Marathon

That is where the last of my charming veneer wore down. No longer was I the erudite blogger, the mildly amusing copywriter. Nay, at 47kms, I was having a Kardashian-ugly cry, wishing that I hadn’t entered such a stupid race.

A Bunch of White Guys, or The Hugo Awards

It isn’t a surprise to anyone that I am not the biggest fan of that literary ghetto of a genre, science fiction/fantasy. Despite publisher attempts to rescue books from that dreaded pit by re-labeling them speculative fiction, it remains a genre that has become a shorthand for basement-dwelling, mouth-breathing virgins. Not that all readers of…

Women Warrior Series: The Dahomey Amazons

Not long ago in West Africa, there was a warrior clan so fierce, so hardened and so unbelievably tough that it took the might of an industrialised nation just to slow them down.

What the Dreaded DNF Can Teach Us

It was the sickening realization that even though I trained, and followed the programs, I would not finish the race. Because no matter what they say, sometimes your best just isn’t fucking good enough.

Goodbye, Sir Terry, and Thank You

I am grateful that there are so many Discworld novels to read, and that we have them at all. That any book’s birth is a combination of luck, talent and timing, and to have so many is wealth indeed. It’s hard not to mourn the books that will now go unwritten, but at least we can turn to dozens and dozens of novels and be glad that those books live now.