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Laughter is the best medicine

Lifestyle Section - Editors Letter

 

cn_rh_carolyn-tAs we are all inevitably (and also perhaps a touch unceremoniously) hurtling along the final days of old year towards new, there has (as always) been much preoccupying headlines, dinner-table discussion, and personal musings. We have cerebral natures, and are thinking, and feeling, beings. And the measure to which we may tangibly feel what we may be thinking about, yields a very interesting dimension to our perspective.

 

cn_rh_carolyn-m

p>As we are all inevitably (and also perhaps a touch unceremoniously) hurtling along the final days of old year towards new, there has (as always) been much preoccupying headlines, dinner-table discussion, and personal musings. We have cerebral natures, and are thinking, and feeling, beings. And the measure to which we may tangibly feel what we may be thinking about, yields a very interesting dimension to our perspective.

 

Case in point, the rolling, rolling, rolling blackouts. We’ve all been flayed to the point of having raw hides.

Well, not all. The measure to which it hurts us is defined by how much the sting is registered in our pockets (ie businesses), our homes and lifestyles (the fridge slowly leaking its food-preserving cold air to the point of contamination of its innards; sitting in traffic that much longer because every robot has turned into a four-way stop; being turned away at a petrol station because of idle pumps; being unable to charge a cellphone –  those little conveniences that suddenly leave us feeling extremely inconvenienced.

But how much more difficult, and challenging and costly, to those who absolutely depend on electricity 24 hours a day. A woman called into a radio station and said she couldn’t have her husband’s oxygen tank refilled anywhere; a business owner said the broken cold chain on his factory floor meant the loss of an entire consignment; a mom lamented     her daughter’s Frozen-themed birthday ice-cream cake being reduced to a puddle.

Yes, one could buy generators, but for many this is no option. So we need to grin and bear it for now (and for the forseeable future).

There are so many things that are causing our nation chagrin, from the astonishing amount of poetic licence being shown on CVs, to the slippery slope our international credit rating is on, the lack of conviction we can have in those at their respective helms of power, the deceit and corruption that is at epidemic status.

And speaking of, Ebola seems to have retreated a little from daily consciousness, and there isn’t quite the level of fear that was being voiced recently. But don’t be lulled too quickly into a sense of complacency, it remains a very real worry, although it’s still half a continent away.

Last week I went to the opening night of Fawlty Towers, which is on at The Playhouse in Somerset West (until Saturday December 12, with two shows on the final day), and left with aching cheeks and a stitch in my side.

Watching the antics of Basil, Sybil, Manuel and the rest of the cast was just what I needed, to give my mind an opportunity to just shake itself loose from the usual preoccupations, and enter the zany world of this little microcosm of humanity.

On Saturday evening I took my folks to see it (the curtain went up just a few minutes after Eskom restored power), and they simply loved it (and of course recognised to two segments, Waldorf Salad and The Psychiatrist).

Amateur drama is a wonderfully-cohesive local dynamic. People offer their time and energy to get together, often for months at a time, to learn lines and conceptualise and prepare props and costumes, and rehearse over and over, and their families and friends get roped in as well, filling the multitude of big and little roles required before the audience takes their seats and the lights dim.

And after the performance, it was such a pleasure to witness the euphoria, as everyone gathers to do a post-op of the show, before going their separate ways, only to reassemble for the next 10 performances. It’s a huge commitment, and it’s done on a voluntary basis.

My mom said she felt it a great privilege to be able to watch theatre in her new home town, and I agree absolutely, it’s been one of the highlights of moving from a rural area into town.

And we’re completely spoilt for choice, with concerts and performances and exhibitions on everywhere this time of year. Hospice has its Carols by Candlelight on at Vergelegen next week, and there are sunset concerts at the Helderberg Nature Reserve on Sunday evenings, and shows at the Taal Monument in Paarl, or the Ou Meul Theatre, not to mention the great line-up at the outdoor amphitheatre at Paul Cluver, and multiple venues in Stellenbosch – it’s all happening around us, and I think it goes an awfully long way towards mitigating the discomforts of load shedding.

And hit Ctrl S on your keyboard regularly...

Carolyn Frost – Editor

Written by Carolyn Frost You are reading Laughter is the best medicine articles

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