carine hartman 2021

By Carine Hartman

Chief sub-editor


Let the wind rustle my willow

Forgive me for being a drama queen, but my usual “manifesting and the universe gives” is just not working.


The winds of change are blowing… If that’s not a Bob Dylan song, it should be. But no: he has the answers, my friend, blowing in the wind.

Only, my life has no answers. And no winds are hitting me; only a Tongaat tornado sowing destruction in my life.

Forgive me for being a drama queen, but my usual “manifesting and the universe gives” is just not working.

Let’s start with my little red Hyundai that, in Ben Trovato’s words, stands “like a redneck’s car on bricks” for nearly a year and counting.

The problem is small: a new wheel hub for about a thousand because a new bearing put in by a back-street mechanic damaged it.

Now count up the labour, two new bearings, a persistent petrol smell that costs me R6 a kilometre and a licence – mine and the car’s – that must be brought up to date and the wind blows about R7 000 out of my pocket.

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The winds of lost support

So I apply, despite being an old fogey, to buy a little Suziki blik. I even dress for the universe, scarf and all: I’m driving my new car. Alas.

The bank blew that universe away. That universe has, up to now, been my lift who became a loved friend – but she’s decided the wind blows her into travelling the world with her hubby…

So I’ll grit my teeth and loins and will get mobile again and life’s a breeze. If only.

Maybe it really is time to retire – “As if you can afford it,” the Universe snorts – but then what about my canteen lady?

She keeps me going, feeding my family every single working day and is my spaza shop for bread and milk – and the occasional coffee, sugar and flu meds?

Am I just going to blow her away too? So I’m howling against the wind: don’t go changing to try and please me.

Because you’re not pleasing me, Universe. I need to know that you will always be the same old someone that I knew, aka Billy Joel in an era when the wind in the willows was a comforting rustling.

Now I, like the country, must stand tall against a tornado of change – and it’s a tornado, whether we want to believe what’s coming or not: third son is moving; oldest has plans; daughter is living her life.

And I feel quite alone. I don’t know if I can weather the storms… But, like the country, we will survive. Always.

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