cheap strawberry ice cream on a park bench

group of people enjoying music concert
Photo by Leah Kelley on

We used to buy those 1 litre tubs

Of cheap strawberry ice cream

And sit on that bench under the tree,

A plastic spoon each, taking turns

To scoop at the tub as it melts

Under hot Durban sun, sweltering

To everyone who went out last night,

But we laugh, despite our discomfort,

For this is love, in a tub of pink cream,

Laughing at kids falling off bikes

And dreaming of days when our turn will come;

Marriage and kids, and a lifetime together.

I got married when I was nineteen and I met the man who was my husband while I was backpacking around South Africa. The marriage didn’t last, but the memories did, and every time it is hot I am taken back to that time in my life.

I was eating ice cream straight from the tub after work today, in a desperate attempt to cool myself down, and it reminded me of Colin and the fun memories we had together when we were over there and living a very simple life.

I was reminded of the times that we used to go out all night and then after a really short sleep, we would head to the local Spar and buy a big tub of ice cream, that we would share in one sitting. We would sit under a tree and watch the world go by and it just felt so perfect.

I only wrote this because I love those memories that bubble up, uninvited, but still having the power to make you smile. It was nice to go back to that park for a few minutes and remember those sunkissed days.

Much Love

Rachel xx

point road, durban

city skyline under cloudy sky
Photo by Magda Ehlers on

The bright lit roads fade to darkness

As we turn onto the Point, the place

Where all the dirty people come,

All the people needing to escape

Into the magic doors, the club

That opens up a world of technicolour sound.

The ground vibrates and stars shine down

As we sip at Irish coffees on the roof,

Talking shit to strangers as they drift

From roof bar to the dancefloor and

Then to a nook where people smoke,

Slowing down their racing hearts.

I often think of smoky nights spent in those rooms,

Of being young and caring less

In 330’s on Point Road.

330’s was a famous club in Durban for many, many years. It has closed down now but I was lucky enough to visit a few times while I lived there.

I don’t know why I thought of that place tonight; it’s certainly not somewhere I would feel comfortable now. And yet, I feel a flutter of excitement every time I think of that place.

I spent hours dancing and chatting to strangers and smoking on the rooftop bar, and it represented everything that is great about being young. It felt dirty and raw and I felt like we were rebels just being there in that jazzed up warehouse.

Those were special days and I miss that abandon that I used to adopt. Just being on Point Road would feel too dangerous for me now. Oh how we change when we grow up.

Much Love

Rachel xx

but it’s not fair

brown rocky mountain beside body of water
Photo by Taryn Elliott on

Those burning justices that do not come to be

Enrage the hearts of nations and of individuals

Fighting for the right to speak and to be heard.

But heavy boots will stomp and squash their words

Like the marching of an army over neutral land

And the planting of a flag within the rugged ground.

You have been silenced, as for fairness, I don’t care,

You’ll stay where you are neatly put,

And you can sulk with all your might,

But let me warn you, it will never be quite worth the fight.

I hear so much about fairness at the moment and I realise that there are so many of us that are fighting real injustices, but I do also notice that there are many times when that perceived injustice is just that: merely a perception.

The amount of times that I have kicked up a fuss in my own mind because somebody has treated me rudely is numerous. But when I think back, how many of those times am I really justified in my quiet seething.

For example, when somebody serving me in a restaurant is rude to me and I think the service is terrible and I want to go and write all over Trip Advisor how bad my experience was. But what made him rude? Has another customer been horrible to him? Has his boss chewed him out for something he didn’t do? Did he just read a text from his girlfriend confirming that she had been cheating on him all along? So much of this has nothing to do with me.

I had a situation this afternoon where we were getting the kids to name countries in Africa and if they couldn’t come up with one they were out of the game. Somebody said South Africa and then a couple of people along I reached a girl who proudly said North Africa. Of course, I said no to that one and she kicked off! She started shouting that I had allowed South Africa so it was totally unfair that I hadn’t allowed her answer. I literally thought that she was going to burst into tears she was so angry.

She perceived that she was in the right and I was serving her a massive injustice. It just made me think that before we kick off we should perhaps pause and think. This example made me chuckle but remember that families are torn apart because of ridiculous things like that, just silly misunderstandings that I hope you don’t have to endure.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a summer in africa

There’s something about the African sun

That beats from a sky much bluer than ours,

Heat scorched grass and roaring lions,

The cocktails will flow at the Tiki bar

As the boys all dance and drink and smoke

And that sun sinks down as the fireflies light

You caught my eye over a tin of beer,

Little did I know that we’d never be split

As the animal snarls close in on the camp

And a heat rises up between two drunken bodies,

Tanned from the day and tired from the night.

And that was how Africa changed one girl’s world

From a stiff British lip to a woman who roars.

My dad went and cleared out the last of the house yesterday and he brought some bags of my stuff over today. Most of it was a load of old rubbish that is going straight in the bin or to the charity shop, but every so often I stumbled across something that just lightened my mood.

Surprisingly the most powerful things I found were the photos. There were so many from when I was a teenager and I used to take a disposable camera everywhere with me. And that includes the summer that I went to South Africa, all on my own.

I ended up meeting my future husband and Noah’s dad and I found a photograph of us in the piles of junk. It reminded me of times that I had pushed to the back of my mind for so long. At the time they were really painful memories, but stumbling across them now has just made me smile.

It’s reminded me that distance between now and then really does ease pain. The more time that passes, the easier it is to remember those times. In fact, now I am actively enjoying looking through those memories. I can only really feel the good feels; the funny stories; the love.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

watching the boys surf while i sit on the beach

man holding white surfboard
Photo by Oliver Sjöström on

We’d been out drinking, the night before,

In bijou clubs where princes sometimes danced.

Suffering hard with cocktail flu, we trailed

Down to where the sand met sea.

I clutched my heels in sweating hands

And spread myself out on the sandy shore

While boys piled into water, tropical and warm.

I wondered if the sharks were there,

If they’d smell the boys and see their boards

Like seals from down below, a tasty meal.

I looked away, towards the sun, my stomach churning,

Just hoping that they’ll come out safe

And we can trail back to the bar

For baskets of the greasy fries, and pints

To soothes away the achy joints and woolly head.