Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Hey everyone!

PROGRESS REPORT: Still sitting on 26 out of 40...same as yesterday!

But then, you should never trust statistics!
Although not yet written (in a complete sense), I have been working on the structure of yet my next chapter/story today. It's an amusing one and I so wish that I could share it with you all, but quite frankly, I don't trust cyber-space! Plagarism is rife and I would hate to lose my work. Anyway, I'm pleased with the story...it fits perfectly!

What a busy day I've had! I also took pains to replenish my depleted grocery cupboard so that I won't neglect my darling family during this evolving hermit era. I also completed a number of other domestic errands. One of these errands involved a visit to the Vet. Dear Maxdog is ailing!

Although this incredible Golden Retriever is getting on in years now (10yrs in March) he is my 'heart dog'! We have travelled through some stormy times together so whenever he gets ill, my heart rate steps up a notch and I wonder if this is the last leg of his short life.

I realise its most likely an over-reaction but that is the nature of our relationship. He keeps really close to my side when he's ill and uses those golden eyes to implore me to understand his problems.

Added to my worries is the fact that despite all the tests conducted on him (which appear normal) I have no idea what's wrong with him. The Vet is concerned too. He's disinterested in his food and is lying down constantly in a position that is not his most comfortable. It's been going on for 10 days now and that suggests it's more serious. Hopefully these trial meds will ease his discomfort.

Anyway, this blog is about my book, not Max, so let's get on with it...

Why this picture today?

Each plant, each tree, each brick, the water tank as well as the contents inside that little rondavel are relevant to my writings today. Even the thin pipe in the foreground suggests something to me. I am however curious to know if the word, "RONDAVEL" is familiar to my overseas readers. It is a common word here in South Africa and refers to the little round building which you see in the picture.

At the entrance to this "RONDAVEL" is a "STOEP". Again the word, "STOEP" is common to our country and refers to the covered varandah outside a building. In some cultures here in SA sundowners are taken on the STOEP. That time presents the opportunity to catch up on the events of the day and to socialise with family and friends.

Are you familiar with these words? If I were to use them, within the context of a book set in Africa, what sort of response do they evoke in you? Your opinion is important to me...

...please leave a comment!

'till next time,



Cocorue said...

Hi there,
Just came over from Max's blog and I am concerned about him being so lethargic .....will check on him regularly.

I'm not not familiar with "Stoep & Rondavel" - now that you've explained, it will be easy to relate whenever you use these terms.

Chat soon and do look out for mr postman within the next 3 weeks


houndstooth said...

I saw Max's blog this morning and I hope he's okay! It's hard to focus on other things when you're worried about your loved ones, be they furry or human.

I know what a rondavel is, but that's probably because I was one of those freakish children who acquired a huge vocabulary early in life and read anything I could get my eyes on. I don't think many people in the States would know what either of those two words means, but you could solve that problem by briefly explaining them at the beginning of the story, or providing enough details of them that the reader gained a picture and filled in the meaning. I think the closest word here that I can think of to stoep is veranda or maybe just porch, although that doesn't sound as pretty and interesting!

Anonymous said...

Hi Caryl,

I agree with Houndstooth. Just explain the SA words as you have done here.

I myself would rather learn new words and their meanings instead of having everything Americanized. Please keep your story completely in SA.

Hugs, Blu

ps, we have been to see Max and you know that he is in our thoughts.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage said...

We are sending our best vibes for Max and his mom -

Oh yes - don't americanise for our sake!

Keep it genuine!

Deborah said...

Hi, It's always good to learn new things and words! I wouldn't change them for us! I would use your words! I think we would be able to figure it out eventually :)

Scout and Freyja said...

It always amazes me how similar words and the meanings of those words can be miles apart and in different languages. Your 'stoep' sounds very similar to our 'stoop'. A place on the front porch or front of the home where you would sit at the end of the day, often with iced tea or lemonade, and would visit with neighbors as they passed by walking to the store or just out for a summer evening's stroll.