Nicolette Writes

Professional Freelance Writer and Stay-at-Home Mom

Archive for the month “August, 2010”

Growing old…

(Photo: just a memoir – this has been with my grandmother since I can remember… this little box somehow made the trip from her house in Adderley street to the old age home that she eventually moved into, and today it rests with me… wonder where it will still travel…)

One of the things that scares me most in life, is growing old. I am not talking about being 50 or 60… I am thinking of getting to 80 or 90…

Last night in church we sang Amazing Grace – I always liked this song, but after my grandmother passed away last year, I don’t like to hear or sing this song. It makes me sad, not because of the words (it brings a wonderful message), but it reminds me of my grandmother, as this was her favourite song… consequently, we sang it at her funeral last year.

I can remember her now, in the old age home, sitting in her chair or on her bed in the tiny room to which her life has been reduced, humming to this song. She would get very emotional whenever she heard or sang this song, but those moments never quite touched me as much as they do now, after her death. I can see now how she longed for a better world than the one she was in – a little world where old people died everyday, where old people got into trouble for being ‘difficult’, where their possessions were stolen, and a world in which no one ever spoke to you the way your husband or wife always did. Once you were alone, after your partner had died,no one ever came along again that would care for you, RESPECT you or be interested in you, the way your life partner was.

My grandmother probably lived 20 years after my grandfather died. I don’t think there was a day that she didn’t miss him.

Yes, I fear losing my husband at the age of 70, having to live to 90 without him, alone, alone, alone.

Lord, growing old is scary.
Perhaps if people took better care of old people, it would be much less scary to grow old…


Some old photos

Three generations:-) bottom corner right: my grandmother holding my mother. Top corner right: my mom. Left: a little Nicolette!

If you haven’t seen my praise poem yet (about who I am and where I come from) – check out the entry ‘Buttermilk Afternoon’ on 17 MAY (check archives on the left of your screen).

Do you know this poem?

by E.E. Cummings…

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh… And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new


Okay, first of all, blush blush!! blush…

But what an intriguing poem… I love the ‘i like my body when it is with your body’ and ‘which i will again and again and again kiss’.

His use of small caps is interesting and strange… why suddenly a capital ‘A’ in line 12 – the only capital letter in the poem? And why the spaces in lines 2,4,5 and 9 before ‘i’? And ‘-firm-smooth ness’?

I just thought I would be brave today and post this poem 🙂
Have a lovely weekend


Led by the nose…

I was recently asked by the Farmer’s Weekly magazine to cover a ‘Beef Farmer’s Day’ (if you know me well, you would know that this is a very unlikely place to find me…!)

So there I was, with my three-quarter, purple dress and boots, trying to ‘blend in’ with the farmers. I don’t think my blending really worked!

The last event of the day was a demonstration on how to spot a good Angus cow (is it cow? bull? I don’t know!) See the photo above – I felt SO sorry for these poor cows (?!): the nose rings seemed to REALLY hurt… they would walk with the people handling them, staying as close to them as possible, in order not to feel the pull of the ring through the skin in their noses… most farmers and ‘manly men’ (my tone here is one of irritation towards patriarchy!) will probably tell me I am just being a girl about it and that I am too emotional, but I am telling you I could see the absolute agony in those animals’ eyes. It was so upsetting seeing how they frantically tried to avoid any pull at the nose.

Why am I blogging about this today? I am not sure… I just always have all these things in my head,matters that worry me and raise questions about our life here on earth… So I guess I am asking: is this nose-ring thing acceptable? I know we need to eat and everything, but still…I don’t know…

Letter to my 16-year-old self

I just saw this on someone else’s blog, and I think it is a very cool idea!! Writing a letter to your 16-year-old self…

Dear 16-year old Nicolette

I am 27 and typing this message to you from our beautiful, cute little house in the Western Cape (yes – you are indeed going to meet the right husband, and it is not someone you have already met!)

I would like to share a few things with you, without giving away too much of your life to come…

Stop worrying about your hair – those curls you hate now, will one day sort themselves out – it is going to get better: a few years down the line the hairdressers at last learn to embrace curls! You will also get to know a wonderful little thing called GHD… but for now, stop straightening your hair!

School and what happens during this ‘teen time’ is not what life is about at all! You will get to know so many beautiful, wonderful people in your twenties. You will truly be blessed…

Please stop stressing about your studies and just do what you can while you quietly sit in God’s presence. Do not allow people to put pressure on you – do not allow it. You don’t have to please anyone but God. Don’t let teachers bully you, don’t be afraid of them – they also go to the loo, as our pastor said the other day.

What else can I tell you… your heart will break a couple of times, but the right one comes along – and your life with him will be better than anything you could imagine right now.

You will learn to LOVE cappuccinos… I know you hate coffee right now, but that’s okay – one day you will make up for all the coffees you missed out on!

On a more serious note, please relax: school is NOTHING compared to what awaits you. Don’t try to be cool or fit in. Chat with the coloured and black people who sit on one side of the school (the world will change for the better in the future). Wear what you want to, let your hair stand crazy wild (well done on getting that piercing – you will get another one when you are 20…!)

Oh yes! You will become very passionate about women’s rights. Don’t let anyone discriminate against you because you are a woman – you might not understand this now, but just remember to QUESTION QUESTION QUESTION everything this society teaches you – you don’t have to accept everything you are told and taught by people who are older than you. The meaning of a poem could be so much more than what your teacher is teaching the class: use your own mind and don’t back down!

Be kind to yourself – you are loved, and you will be loved in the future.

Okay, I have to go
Lots of love
Your older self

ps: you are going to be a writer one day:-)
Oh oh! You will see Germany and Mauritius before you turn 27!

‘The Children’s Treasure House’

I know these pics aren’t great – but just have a look: I found this old book at our church and got it for R2! (Click on the images and you will get a somewhat bigger version)


On being a writer

Today I am not going to put any extracts from my book on this blog:-) If I keep going at this rate, the whole book will be on my blog soon! Okay – not really: I’ll put some more extracts soon.

Today I feel like writing on being a writer. Being a writer is tough! Having the courage to SAY you are a writer, is probably even tougher. When I say to people that I write – I wonder whether they are thinking:’Ag, everybody writes!’ Perhaps they think you need to have at least published a book to be called a writer.

Although I have been published quite a lot (I freelance for various magazines), I wonder whether being published is a requirement for being called a writer… I don’t think so: You might not be a published writer or author, but making the decision to commit yourself to your writing full-time, makes you a writer. If you are doing it as a hobby, part-time, I am not sure whether you can call yourself a writer… (feel free to debate this – I might be completely wrong!) Being called a writer is an honourable title and worthy job description – it is not just some dreamy, meaningless, wishy-washy and vague title. It is not less valuable than being a psychologist, doctor or physiotherapist. I take my work seriously, and I pray that God use my articles to change and touch people’s lives and to point them to God. And for me, THAT is what life is all about: He is the way, the truth and the light. For me, it is easy, as I am writing mostly for Christian magazines: I often get the satisfaction of making a difference in people’s lives with my writing. Find a publication that supports a cause that you feel passionate about – it will give a sense that being a writer is also an important JOB.

So that is what I have to say today about being a writer – if you are a writer, claim that title proudly and show people it can be a career, not just a hobby.


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