The Life Righting Collective runs courses to encourage self-exploration through life writing, raises funds for course fees and brings people together to share their stories and grow community.

On my way to McGregor


My sleep was disturbed from the day Dawn told me that we are going to McGregor. I kept on waking up at night. Sometimes the dreams were sweet, and when that happened I would dream I'm flying over McGregor, clothed in a pink cloud reciting poetry to the birds in the sky. Sometimes the dreams turned into nightmares. I dreamed that an ostrich with feet like an elephant chased me, holding a spear covered in blood. I was terrified. I ran, screams escaping my dry throat, not an ordinary scream. Whenever I opened my mouth rhymes like ‘bleeding, blood, bubbling’ came racing out of my mouth and people were watching. I thought: “They're going to rush to my rescue!” but instead they applauded my poetry. I woke up sweating.

It’s Friday: the day, our day. We are going to McGregor! I woke up at three in the morning to visit the toilet. I couldn't sleep again, so I took my pen and paper to write what to recite. Finally the time arrived. My bags were packed and checked. I packed an outfit for every season, although I'm just going for a weekend.

I kept on checking my phone. Where is Giles? He’s supposed to be here already. I keep on opening the crèche door to look outside, whenever I hear the engine of a car. The children scream: “Goodbye, teacher Beauty!” Their voices so sweet, make me relaxed for a while. Disappointed, I enter the crèche again. The children run to welcome me back with screams and hugs. I couldn't hear my phone ringing, my lift was outside. My heart felt like escaping my ribcage to do the qwarra-qwarra dance. I'm on my way to McGregor!

We hugged, we kissed, we drove off! The many turns you have to take from my place to get onto the Stellenbosch arterial didn't irritate me as usual. I could only hear the song ‘I’m going to McGregor’ playing inside my head. I closed my eyes. I'm on my way to McGregor.

Giles stopped on our way to get some good wine and speciality bread but unfortunately the bread was only available if you ordered it in advance. Giles was a bit disappointed which I couldn't understand - any bread tastes good to me. But the wine I must say told another story. Attentive tasting wine sweet and sour. Pink like the cheek of a crispy apple. Laughter creating a lightness deep inside of me. My heart felt like bouncing up and down. My stomach knotted. I was so excited, or was it fear trying to pull my leg, sticking out its tongue at me? I posed for a photo. Leaning against a wall made from empty green wine bottles, reminding me of the crispy taste of wine made of green grapes on my tongue while I'm having fun.

We're on our way to McGregor. I hopped into the car making myself comfortable on the front seat. The sound of the car engine starting sounded like reggae music. I nearly shout ahoy! A loud sound escaped my throat or was it me just opening my mouth widely, imagining it? I think I'm already scared to say good bye.

We arrived at McGregor. I saw the word ‘McGregor’ written in uppercase white letters on a board. McGregor is such a small town with such character, the houses so cute. I felt as if I was in a movie. I opened my mouth widely. Seriously? A retirement village for donkeys at McGregor? So sweet, so considerate. I saw many faces, they're all so beautiful. A bed of sweet aromatic orange flowers which look like an orange blanket covering the dry soil. Lucy and I stopped to capture it on camera before we went to collect our tickets. It reminds me of flames created by a fire that burns deep inside of me.

My desire to write, to recite, I'm so excited. Tonight we will recite. We drive to the guest house. As we get closer, I see springboks grazing, one step from the house. I took out my phone to take a photo but my models were shy; they disappeared amongst the bushes. The house and environment reminds me of the movie ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ the roof made of  grass, the house built of solid stone and two snakes lying motionless on the roof. I was scared to enter the house. Just in case there's more snakes inside. The key of the house was hidden underneath the door mat. I try to open the door and the alarm goes off. Wee wee wee! My house mates screamed. We all laughed.

I'm sharing a room with famous poets at Fossil Hills guesthouse. What an awesome place!

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The Life Righting Collective runs courses to encourage self-exploration through life writing, raises funds for course fees and brings people together to share their stories and grow community.
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