I BOUGHT THIS BUST IN SHROPSHIRE IN THE UK. I love it because it’s so completely ‘other’. The garnet necklace with it came from my mom, Hilary. She collected antique jewellery for years, but after a burglary she didn’t want to keep things any more. Receiving jewellery from your mother is a rite of passage for any woman.
I’M OBSESSED WITH SUCCULENTS – maybe because they need very little care and I’m not one for commitment. I’m selectively unmarried and I don’t want children – I don’t even have pets because I’d feel a lot of pressure to give them a nice life, so I have these brass desk pets instead. My sister Stephanie buys them for me.
FOR YEARS MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION WAS TO WRITE A BOOK. My first book, A Million Miles From Normal, came out in 2010 and my latest, Dutch Courgae, came out in South Africa in May. It will be my eighth book. I feel like I’ve found my voice, which is very exciting. I collected these stones when writing my last book in Ireland.
I HAVE TO RUN. I’m very distracted by the internet and the phone, and I find the best way to have a long train of thought, or solve a plot hole, is to get out there. There’s something very focusing about it.
TEA AND A RUSK WHEN I’M WRITING IS A TRUE TREAT. My sister, Briony, owns Newport Market & Deli in Mouille Point in Cape Town and I nagged her to make a Banting range, so now she makes these rusks. I’m a bit of a magpie and I like to scratch around junk shops, and this teapot caught my eye.
MY LAPTOP AND NOTEBOOK are my daily life tools. I’ve written my last two books on this laptop and I generally don’t go far without it. I have a very bad memory, so if I get an idea at four in the morning, I get up and write it down in the notebook, otherwise it’s gone.
MY FATHER, DENNIS, GAVE ME this vintage pop-up book when I was about seven. I was the youngest of six and a bit of a laatlammetjie, and I remember lying with it open on the floor for what felt like hours, creating stories. I think it was the first time I consciously made stories.