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Practical Advice for My Kids


  1. Never stop reading. Ever. Read carton boxes and packaging if you must, but even better; always have a book with you as you never know when you might have to queue or wait. These are rose gold opportunities to go on that journey.
  2. Before you choose your life partner, spend at least 5 days on the Orange river with him or her. With your friends, not theirs. This last point is important.
  3. Artline Fineliner pens are the best. Anyone who tells you differently should be knocked on the head.
  4. Father Christmas actually visits on Christmas eve and not on Christmas day. Also, it’s a mouse who collects the teeth, not a fairy.
  5. What you risk reveals what you value. Jeanette Winterson wrote this and it is true – good or bad.
  6. Don’t sleep train your kids, it’s a load of horse shit.
  7. Behaviour trumps values. Always. Think about it; if you value family – then don’t work all the time. If you value work – then be serious about it. Actions really do speak louder than words and kids are like wet cement. Trust me, I’ve made many mistakes that left impressions that I regret.
  8. If e-mail is still a thing when you read this, then don’t pay any attention to it until at least 4pm. People will learn to contact you when the important work is done. And if it’s a crisis they’ll find you.
  9. Heed these wise words that my Ouma said; “Remember that people died in the war”. Your problems will instantly feel smaller and lighter.
  10. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN (or your hand implant, hieroglyphic, whatever the tech thing is when you are old enough to own such devices (at age 32). Refer to #5.
  11. If you can’t really listen or pay attention, don’t pretend to. Be present or be gone.
  12. Unless it’s your best friend(s), keep your stories like your sister’s skirt – short enough to maintain interest but long enough to cover the subject. (Celeste Headlee mentions this in her TED talk).
  13. Don’t leave your trolley in a parking bay. (If parking bays and trolleys, and shopping centres for that matter, still exist).
  14. Learn to say no without making excuses. “No’ is an actual legit full sentence.
  15. Draw outside the lines. Who made the stupid rule that it looks better inside the lines? Make your own box, of a size of your choosing and then regularly play outside of it.
  16. Question stupid rules and stupid products; like why wear shoes to school if you need to take them off in class anyway? (Especially when we all know that barefoot is better). And who decided that cereal is for breakfasts only (or at all)? And what the fuck is the point of a leaf blower?
  17. Give 30 second hugs. Do not ever give half hugs as those are insults. If you are not into hugs then say so or high five to avoid it or something. But believe me, deep down, everyone appreciates a good hug because we all need oxytocin. Me turning my oncologist into a hugger is scientific proof of this.
  18. Even when you are dry-bread-and-water poor, still buy superior quality probiotics.
  19. Make panic and stress your friend, it will help you to reach out and connect to people.
  20. Seek for, recognise, and love the native genius of every friend, colleague, beggar, mentor and parent you’ll ever meet or have.
  21. Never forget that I love you three to the moon and back, around the bubble and through the bubble, forever and ever.
  22. Build extravagant forts with parts of your couches and beds. Nobody can be sad or not fully present when doing this.

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