About the writer

I GREW up on a dairy farm among cows whose brown eyes were as deep as the muddy pools in which I learned to swim. With two older brothers, I discovered early how to stand my ground and fight my own battles.

For most of my youth, I considered my maternal grandmother my soul mate. She was a fiercely independent and deeply private woman who taught me to love words, books and stories. (Penguin Random House recently published a book I wrote based on my grandmother’s stories about her life with a vervet monkey called Nicko.*) Nicko (HR cover)

So (back to my childhood), when the time came, I gave up walking barefoot, my horse and rural existence for words and work that involves stringing them together to tell a story or two.

And here I am: a freelance writer and editor, mother and wife, who regularly congratulates herself on her splendid life and for choosing a career that I love – not that I think that there is anything else I could possibly have done with any degree of success (not even milk the cows).

Mary on duneI haven’t however, entirely given up my pastoral inclinations. These days, when I’m not writing, I’m probably walking in the mountains with a Scottish terrier (Mary) whose brown eyes are as deep as the muddy pools she likes to paddle in (and who features in Nicko); a gorgeously great boerbul called Lily; and her smart-sometimes-silly Labrador-allsorts friend, Molly (pictured below playing together on Sandy Bay).Lily and Molly beach Nov 2016

The picture used as the header of this site is one of the views we enjoy during our regular walks, which simply require leaving the garden and strolling up the road for a few 100 metres. How fortunate is that? (I write about the walk in detail in the Sandy Bay article, which you’ll find in the Travel Tales category of the site.)

I created the blog so that I can sort and archive some of the work I’ve done in the past (you’ll find details of where each piece was originally published at the end of the articles), and so that I have an additional outlet for some new ramblings.

As detailed under ‘categories’, my articles primarily cover topics like business, art, travel, food, wine, books, theatre and even some decor. During my 30 year career (yikes!), I have worked with a number of excellent editors, sub-editors and designers (thank you), and the articles have appeared in a range of publications including Business Day (and the newspaper’s sadly discontinued publications, The Weekender, Art, Real Business, Management Review and The Exporter), FM, Agenda, The Sunday Independent and Sunday Times.

I hope that the blog will give pleasure to readers and that you will be moved to make comment on the articles, thereby lessening some of the loneliness of a writer’s existence (sniff, sniff).

Thank you.

Penny

* You can order a hardcopy of Nicko – The Tale of a Vervet Monkey on an African Farm here http://www.penguinrandomhouse.co.za/book/nicko-tale-vervet-monkey-african-farm/9781432307592 or an ebook version here https://www.amazon.com/Nicko-Tale-Vervet-Monkey-African-ebook/dp/B072Y12HZP/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

5 Responses to About the writer

  1. Marianne Marsh says:

    i really enjoyed reading your articles! keep them coming. And yea, your walk view is stunning!

  2. Sue Dods says:

    Have so enjoyed this blog, and found the broad range of subject matter very entertaining and informative – am looking forward to more so please keep posting!

  3. Heather Lategan says:

    Loved loved loved my random selection about your Orange River experience. Decided to read more and when I looked at my watch an hour had passed. Thank goodness I sleep with my boss !

  4. Cait says:

    Just found you today. Good read!

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