I am currently hanging out in the Free State. Farm country; and the only thing people here talk about is the price of lamb, how much rain there has been, when the next rain will come and whether or not they should spray Round Up on those invader trees down by the river. It’s fantastic fun.

The best place to spend summer?

The Free State is also the place where a lot of meat comes from. The perfect place for a carnivorous young woman to spend her vacation? Not really and here is why:

Just because steak can be grown in the Free State does not mean you will find good steak in the Free State. The meat is here is cheaper than in the city, because of transport costs and, a little secret, all the good steak goes to Johannesburg. And once it’s there, it’s tricky to get hold of, but always worth the effort. For obvious reasons, you can’t grow good steak in Johannesburg. It’s not a great place to raise a good piece of meat – too much noise and pollution and no room for the steak to mature. This makes places outside of Johannesburg necessary and very important for the enjoyment of steak.

Meat looking happy as it gets ready to move to the city

It’s too bad really. The Free State has the potential to produce good steak, but it fails miserably. There isn’t that much to do, so from a very young age everyone eats a whole lot of meat, but it’s not good meat. It’s really boring, talentless meat. But because the locals don’t know any better, they spend their lives indulging in low grade beef and often relish in its toughness. So everyone goes about their daily lives without knowing what a great steak tastes like. And this makes me very sad for the average Free State dweller.

Rare Steak
It looks so good I just want to hang it on my wall.

I’ve been here for just over a week now and I find myself missing steak. I dream about steak at night sometimes, I think about it during the day… All of this even though I can have as much meat as I want. It’s easy to find and requires little effort to prepare. But it’s just not the same. Once you have had good steak, you just want more of it.


I’m the Cold Cat-Lady

We all know global warming is a serious problem, and that the ice-caps are melting and soon penguins will be preferred pets because they will move into our flooded homes and no one will really have a choice, but I have to ask: where is the heat?

Unless, it’s just called global warming because global cooling sounds more frightening and could result in mass panic and people would hunt neighbourhood pets to make gloves and hats. The term climate change is much more accurate, people should start using it more, we’ll all be less confused.

I have lived in Johannesburg for eight years now, and I have never, ever been so cold. In my first winter here I only moved into winter attire at the end of May and had a great time staying out until 3am because it was so mild. 2010 has other plans.

The TV says that a cold front had moved in over the interior of South Africa and that it would be followed by another one. This was a lie. What really happened is that the two cold fronts were courting, fell in love and are now having their honeymoon over Gauteng. I hope they don’t have children, because we are talking about seriously icy genes here.

But this led me to discover something that may have saved my life, cats are great for keeping you warm. I’m looking after The Delia’s kitty while she is away in a much more temperate part of the world.

The three most obvious things about Rosa are:

  1. She’s very wary of strangers. She wanted nothing to do with me until the cold moved in, but then one night I felt her jump onto the bed and stare at me.
  2. Cat’s have a super-power where, even if you are asleep, their stare will wake you up. And if you pretend to be asleep, they will walk over your face, just to make sure that you don’t get any rest. Rosa is very good at this.
  3. She likes all things warm. Sun, heaters and human bodies.
Cats like cuddles too

So I lifted the covers and a very grateful cat cuddled up to me and instantly started purring. Soon she was warm and even better, giving off heat.


I don’t mind that Rosa likes to poke me with her claws. I don’t mind that Rosa will walk over my face when she wants to snuggle (she’s not the most subtle cat around). And when I get back from work, much like a dog, she’s waiting at the gate. Unlike a dog, this is because she feels she needs to lead me to the kitchen where her food is (she doesn’t think I’m very bright). I actually really like her, and not just because she lets me warm my hands in her fur. Cats are just cool, they can’t help it.

Rosa just can't help being awesome

This winter has turned me into a cat-lady. It’s all downhill from here. 45 years from now, I’ll live in a cluttered cottage with my 63 cats, smelling like moth balls and tuna. But this is something I can handle, because the next ice-age will probably happen around then, and I’ll have a blanket of cats to protect me from the cold. Who’ll be laughing then?

I’m the Cold Cat-Lady