I suppose this all starts with my Father, who always insisted that we sleep with our bedroom windows open. Even on the cold nights of Highveld winter, he would fling open our windows. So I got used to that and now find it difficult to sleep without open bedroom windows.


For the fourteen years that I’ve lived in my house there have never been curtains in my bedroom. There has been a blind. All well and good except for windy nights, when the blind crashes into the burglar bars and I wake with a start. A night without wind in Cape Town is a rare thing, so even though I am a heavy sleeper, there have been too many nights that I’m woken by the crashing blind. On some nights I have been forced to shut all the windows and I almost suffocate with the sense of my Father’s disapproval.


So, I made the momentous decision to get curtains. And I decided to get them made professionally. This will take a few weeks, but there is preparation to be done. I had to turn a cupboard through ninety degrees. Easy enough, but that revealed the unpainted side that used to be hidden by being up against the wall. (Very lazy of me, I know) So I painted the unpainted side. It was filthy behind the cupboard and a lot of clearing of spider webs was necessary. I also had to move a picture. So then I had to polyfiller up the old hole. And then I noticed lots of cracks in the wall, so I polyfillered them. Then there was so much painting over the filled cracks that the whole wall had to be painted.



Then there is all the clearing up afterwards and the washing of paint brushes and putting to rights again. All I can say is that I am very ready for the curtains and they will be hung on a wall that looks very white and welcoming.  Will keep you posted on how the curtains look – and how well I am sleeping.


The process of one thing leading to another is, I think how memories and stories attach to each other and roll along from one thing to another connecting and readying us for more experiences and changes.

3 Replies to “How one thing leads to another”

  1. Daphne,

    I love the gentle philosophical rambles you take your readers on.

    This one in particular reminds me of all kinds of stories.

    By happenstance, I have on my desk at the moment a slim book called “Frost, You Say?” which is the monologue of a farmer who is asked if he had frost at his place in the morning. The question takes 98 pages of monologue to answer, precisely because of the one-thing-leads-to-another problem.

    When my kids were young I read to them a book called “If You Give A Pig A Pancake”. This too has the one-thing-leads-to another-theme. The young girl protagonist tries to keep up with the wishes of her pet pig. The pig wants pancakes with syrup, after which it needs a bath to wash off the syrup, the rubber duck reminds it of its birth farm, which requires planning a trip back, which requires a search for clothes and a suitcase and on and on … eventually back to needing more pancakes and syrup.

    All in all the phenomenon of one-thing-leads-to another is common in everyone’s life and totally understudied. I would have given it more time, but while searching for some paper to write out my thoughts, I found a cat comb I’d been looking for, which meant I then had to find the cat, which I saw had thrown up a fur-ball I had to clean up, and… well, I’m glad you’ve at least started to explore this field.

  2. I could not resist reading this one, with the lead in of “I suppose this all starts with my Father” , who is my Uncle Michael.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *