Tell me, do you speak'a my language



I am a native English speaker. Hand on the bible, it's the God's honest truth. 

Lately, I have begun to wonder about the truth of that, however. It struck me right across the head when it took me twelve minutes and several attempts to order pizza the other night. We got stuck on the credit card numbers, the girl on the end of the line and myself. Without the benefit of hand gestures and facial expressions, we were forced to resort to clipping out each numeral loudly and painstakingly. Now bear in mind here, that I have ordered pizza, over the phone, in Russian. My husband hauls this out at every cocktail party he can. He would be less impressed if he spoke any Russian and knew it translated into:

Pizza, Please?

Please - I want cheese, ham, mushrooms please.

Thank you

Good bye

Anyhow, my latest pizza ordering telephonically (pizza is big in my family) was done in Utah. Yes, Utah in the United States. Supposedly, we speak the same language. And before you get to defending Utah, let me jump in and say this is two way street. The lack of understanding goes both ways. I arrived at an hotel in Salt Lake City, very early on in the planning stages of the move and got:

"Mmph murmr ma'am" Only the fact that he was wearing a uniform and holding the door open provided the clues.

Communication is not aided at all, by my accent. I get that same blank look and have to repeat myself. The same look I am giving to other people. I am so not pointing fingers, just amazed that as English speakers, we are having so much trouble understanding each other. What chance does anyone trying to learn English have? 

It has taken me three weeks to work out what the lady at the check out in my local grocery store is saying. And now I can hold me head up high and, enunciating like the Queen's dialogue coach, announce:

"No, thank you. I would not like any ice or stamps today."


With Halloween just around the corner, this weeks Thursday Thread looks at Paranormal Romantic Suspense with  husband and wife writing team,  C. D Hersh. Image

The Promised One

By C.D. Hersh

Genre: Paranormal romance suspense

Heat Level: Sensual

When homicide detective Alexi Jordan is forced to use her shape shifting powers to catch a paranormal killer, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.



The woman stared at him, blood seeping from the corner of her mouth. “Return the ring, or you’ll be sorry.”

With a short laugh he stood. “Big words for someone bleeding to death.” After dropping the ring into his pocket, he gathered the scattered contents of her purse, and started to leave.

“Wait.” The words sounded thick and slurred . . . two octaves deeper . . . with a Scottish lilt.

Shaw frowned and spun back toward her. The pounding in his chest increased. On the ground, where the woman had fallen, lay a man.

He wore the same slinky blue dress she had—the seams ripped, the dress top collapsed over hard chest muscles, instead of smoothed over soft, rounded curves. The hem skimmed across a pair of hairy, thick thighs. Muscled male thighs. Spiked heels hung at an odd angle, toes jutting through the shoe straps. The same shoes she’d been wearing.

The alley tipped. Shaw leaned against the dumpster to steady himself. He shook his head to clear the vision, then slowly moved his gaze over the body.

A pair of steel-blue eyes stared out of a chiseled face edged with a trim salt-and-pepper beard. Shaw whirled around scanning the alley.

Where was the woman? And who the hell was this guy?

Terrified, Shaw fled.

The dying man called out, “You’re cursed. Forever.”



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My South Africa. I Couldn't Have said it Better

This was sent to me by email. It moved and touched me in ways that I know other South Africans will certainly get. I felt the need to share it.


From the Rector and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State



My South Africa

by Prof Jonathan Jansen.

My South Africa is the working-class man who called from the airport to return my wallet without a cent missing.

It is the white woman who put all three of her domestic worker's children through the school that her own child attended. It is the politician in one of our rural provinces, Mpumalanga, who returned his salary to the government as a statement that standing with the poor had to be more than words. It is the teacher who worked after school hours every day during the strike to ensure her children did not miss out on learning during the public sector stay-away. 

My South Africa is the first-year university student in Bloemfontein who took all the gifts she received for her birthday and donated them, with the permission of the givers, to a home for children in an Aids village. It is the people hurt by racist acts who find it in their hearts to publicly forgive the perpetrators. It is the group of farmers in Paarl who started a top school for the children of farm workers to ensure they got the best education possible while their parents toiled in the vineyards. It is the farmer's wife in Viljoenskroon who created an education and training centre for the wives of farm labourers so that they could gain the advanced skills required to operate accredited early learning centres for their own and other children.

My South Africa is that little white boy at a decent school in the Eastern Cape who decided to teach the black boys in the community to play cricket, and to fit them all out with the togs required to play the gentleman's game. It is the two black street children in Durban, caught on camera, who put their spare change into the condensed milk tin of the white beggar. It is the Johannesburg pastor who opened up his church as a place of shelter for illegal immigrants. It is the Afrikaner woman from Boksburg who nailed the white guy who shot and killed one of South Africa's greatest freedom fighters outside his

My South Africa is the man who goes to prison for 27 years and comes out embracing his captors, thereby releasing them from their coming misery. It is the activist priest who dives into a crowd of angry people to rescue a woman from a sure necklacing. It is the former police chief who falls to his knees to wash the feet of Mamelodi women whose sons disappeared on his watch; it is the women who forgive him in his act of contrition. It is the Cape Town university psychologist who interviews Prime Evil in Pretoria Central and comes away with emotional attachment, even empathy, for the human being who did such terrible things under apartheid.

My South Africa is the quiet, dignified, determined township mother from Langa, Cape Town, who straightened her back during the years of oppression and decided that her struggle was to raise decent children, insist that they learn, and ensure that they not succumb to bitterness or defeat in the face of overwhelming odds. It is the two young girls who walked 20km to school every day, even through their matric years, and passed well enough to be accepted into university studies. It is the student who takes on three jobs, during the evenings and at weekends, to find ways of paying for his university studies.

My South Africa is the teenager in a wheelchair who works in townships serving the poor. It is the pastor of a Kenilworth church, where his parishioners were slaughtered, who visits the killers and asks them for forgiveness that he was a beneficiary of apartheid. It is the politician who resigns from her politics on conscientious grounds, giving up status and salary because of objection in principle to a social policy of her political party. It is the young lawyer who decides to dedicate his life to representing those who cannot afford to pay for legal services.

My South Africa is not the angry, corrupt, violent country whose deeds fill the front pages of newspapers and the lead items on the seven o'clock news. It is the South Africa often unseen yet powered by the remarkable lives of ordinary people. It is the citizens who keep the country together through millions of acts of daily kindness.

My South Africa is the people listed in the stories above. They are real. I know them. They give me hope.