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Fairlady - - YOUR SAY -

Your ar­ti­cle on AfrikaBurn made me cry

You see, Tankwa was my sis­ter’s Nir­vana. She’d spend a week in her happy place ev­ery year, and the other 51 plan­ning cos­tumes and work­ing with the com­mit­tee to put the event to­gether. Her pet project was the lost and found booth.

Jus­tine didn’t make it to the Burn this year; she died of a mas­sive brain haem­or­rhage on 11 Fe­bru­ary.

To all the naysay­ers who crit­i­cise Burn­ers as self-in­dul­gent mid­dle-class peo­ple play­ing at be­ing poor, I beg to dif­fer. The turn-out (in full re­galia) at Jus­tine’s cel­e­bra­tion of life, and the sup­port and gen­eros­ity given to her chil­dren was phe­nom­e­nal. They also paid trib­ute to her by re­nam­ing the lost and found booth, JustIn(e).

I lie: Jus­tine did make it to the Burn this year – we sent up a box of her ashes with her friends, which went up in flames with the Tem­ple of Grat­i­tude. So there will be a lit­tle piece of her in the desert dust and Tankwa stars for­ever. Nicci Botha Ed: We’re so sorry for your loss. But we’re happy to hear that the sense of com­mu­nity that char­ac­terises AfrikaBurn is car­ried through be­yond that brief week.

Sounds of si­lence

An ex­tro­vert at heart, I’m still con­tent be­ing in my own com­pany. This is par­tic­u­larly the case af­ter a week of in­ter­act­ing with teenagers. Yes, I teach English to high school­ers! So I re­lated to Suzy Bro­ken­sha’s ed’s let­ter, ‘The joy of si­lence’ (July 2017). Some years ago, I did a se­ries of silent re­treats at a monastery out­side Gra­ham­stown.

Ini­tially, these were day-long spells of con­tem­pla­tion and si­lence, but I sum­moned up the courage to em­bark on an eight-day re­treat. Meals were taken com­mu­nally, but in si­lence, and re­treatants were en­cour­aged not to en­gage non-ver­bally ei­ther.

In that kind of si­lence, you can hear your heart­beat, and even the sound of your blood cours­ing through your veins. On my re­turn, I found the chat­ter in the hair sa­lon so loud it was al­most un­bear­able!

Tak­ing a break ev­ery day for a mo­ment of in­tro­spec­tion can have enor­mous ben­e­fits. Thank you for re­mind­ing me of this. Ricky W Ed: It’s easy to get caught up in the rush. Curl­ing up with the lat­est FAIRLADY is a great way to take a mo­ment!

What FAIRLADY means to me

This is a let­ter to thank you. My mother, due to tem­per­a­ment or cir­cum­stance (prob­a­bly both), was a ne­glect­ful par­ent. My fa­ther suc­cumbed to al­co­hol and dis­ap­peared from my life. As a teen in the 1970s and a pro­fes­sional in the late 1980s, your mag­a­zine in­structed me about makeup, fash­ion and wom­an­hood. I still have a book with recipes from FAIRLADY cut out and glued in. As a wife, your in­struc­tions taught me about cook­ing and en­ter­tain­ing.

I bought a copy (July 2017) again af­ter many years. My com­pli­ments to you for stay­ing in touch with is­sues that are rel­e­vant to women of all ages, in an em­pa­thetic, ac­ces­si­ble way. Name with­held Ed: Thank you. Glad we could help.

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