Hi plum,

It’s 10pm on a Wednesday night right now with just the right amount of humidity and mountain coolness in the air that it’s almost too good to go to bed. So I’m sitting here in the lounge, with candles and wine and you.

I’m listening to this song called Somebody Else by the 1975. I’ve really been enjoying this album for the late nights the past few weeks. The album name is:

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it


I’ve put a live version in here because I don’t much like the music video, but I love how ethereal and electric this performance is. I can almost imagine being there. 😍

This track is one of those songs where you feel like every time you hear the artist perform it, you get a little more out of it. Like they’re pouring themselves into it, and it’s an endless flow of raw emotion.

I think another song like that is Do I Wanna Know? by the Arctic Monkeys or About Today by The National –

Towards the end of that song, he sings:

Hey, are you awake? 

Yeah, I’m right here. 

Well, can I ask you about today? 

How close am I to losing you? 

It always makes my chest a little heavy when I hear it – 

It’s the same with this song by The 1975.

I can imagine 19-year-old me loving it too. Out in a dark city. Vodka soda lime in hand. (Fyi this drink is called the Skinny Bitch and was my drink of choice for a good few years.)

My favourite thing about going out to the city is when you’re just drunk enough that you feel like you’re disappearing into the music and getting lost amongst all the people.

If this song was an experience, that’s what it would be.

Sorry for the musical exposition!

I’ve had a really difficult week being away from you. Reading your last email broke my heart a little. I hadn’t cried since before you left. I don’t know why it affected me as much as it did. It’s been six weeks, shouldn’t it be easier?

I don’t know. It feels like it gets harder by the day. I keep thinking about other people, who do this regularly. Like Bianca has a friend whose boyfriend works on ships and he’s gone for months at a time, and it’s not temporary. It’s his career.

I suppose if you have to do it, then you just find a way to get through it like anything else.

Anyway, I’m doing my best. But I can’t explain how happy I am that there’s an end to this and I get to have you back soon.


I found a folder of stuff on my old hard drive today from uni. Mostly research papers and essays and random bits. But amongst it all was an essay I’d written at the end of second or third year. I think we were supposed to reflect on what kind of work we wanted to do and like all idealistic journalism students, I had set out to make some kind of meaningful change in the world.

So I wrote about how I wanted to specialise in environmental law and journalism. And about being a vegetarian (not sure if you know that I was vegetarian for 5 years). And about wanting to work in marine research.

I felt back then (as I do now) that there’s so much academia that never makes it past the four walls of a university. Academics and researchers and the people with all the knowledge are not the people who develop policies and laws and aren’t the people who write headlines. So I wanted to be the bridge, I think. I don’t know.

Ah, to be young and full of dreams!

That said, I realise it must seem to you like my job at the moment is awful. And I have daily moments of:

But the part that I love and that really gets me thinking and motivated is when a client comes to you with a business that’s their baby, and I get to spend time figuring out how to connect their idea and their dream with people who might buy into the dream.

Mostly it’s a slog of emails and eye rolls but I do love that part.

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing an MBA because I think I’d probably do really well as a freelance business development strategist. But we’ll see how that goes. As it stands, I do not have 100K for another degree.

If you would just let me be a stripper for like one year, it would solve all our problems!

Chat soon, my love.

Sail safe.



Hi plum,

Today was positively dreadful.

I’m having all these frustrations with work that I’m struggling to voice to the team and I’m not entirely sure how to deal with it. It’s been on my mind for a few weeks now, and today has just been the culmination of all that stress.

I think the two biggest issues that I’m trying to grapple with are: there’s an imbalance within the company between what the guys want us to offer as a service and what clients expect to receive as well as the success outcomes of that work on both sides and secondly, a bigger existential issue that I’m facing which is: do I still believe in this work that I’m doing? 

I also don’t feel a sense of progression in terms of the level of work that I do. In fact, in some ways because I’m working for a start up now, it’s like I’ve gone backwards.

Anyway, I’m going to spend a couple hours on it tomorrow and on Monday. I want to write to the guys and get it all down and organised because I don’t like how this affects my mental state.

It tends to snowball into each other  – when I feel unproductive and unfulfilled at work, I struggle to keep everything else in focus. And of course, because it’s not enough for my mind to be a state of complete and utter disarray, my body also just gives up. So I’ve been exhausted this week despite the fact that I’ve done nothing.

So as of right now (10:54pm on the last Friday of 2017), this shambles of a life that’s been happening is getting back in its lane.

I was using having you around as an escape (or an excuse?) to not address it. But I can’t possibly bury my head in the sand any longer. First on the priority list is sorting out this work stuff.

I need to also get my diet back in line after these holidays and get back into the gym. I feel disgusting, and I’ve been feeling sick for a couple days which I’m sure is all to do with the fact that I’ve been consuming nothing but carbs and sugars for a few straight weeks.

Of course, this inner angst has also seeped into my thoughts about you and I’ve been having horrid dreams this week. I’ve been having awful thoughts about you coming back not feeling the same way, or deciding to not come back at all. It all makes me feel a bit sick and I’m trying to keep it out of my thoughts because I know it all comes out of the anxiety I’m feeling about everything else being out of control.

I wish I could ring you to talk about all this, and for you to reassure me because I know I’m going to the crazy place.


Saturday evening now. The heat of the day is starting to fade a little. I’m lying in bed, I have two new poetry books, and I’m going to make some coffee.

You are on my mind, as always. I miss your lips, and your hands, and being wrapped up in your arms.

My memories of you seem to exist most starkly in hot, summer days: still, and sticky; bodies pressed together; love urgent and burning.

If I close my eyes, I can almost feel you lying beside me. I’m off to day dream a little more about you now.

Even from an ocean away, thoughts of you make my heart race.




Hey baby cakes,

How’s it going out there? I know you’re on watch as I write this. Is the sun still high in the sky? Sometimes, you pop into my head – vivid and animated – and I like to believe that it’s because you’ve thought about me and the universe is sending me a telepathic ping so that I’ll daydream about you too.

You should be getting to St. Helena any day now, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to chatting with you, even just to know you’re okay and everything is going really well.

So if I seem a little more chipper today, now you know why. Also, I’ve had a generally good Monday. Work was good, and I’m picking Mimi up from the airport later, and I played with Wilson for a bit just now. And now I’m sipping the French Vanilla coffee that we bought together and watching the sun duck behind the mountain, and in the background, Paolo Nutini is serenading me …

God, is Caustic Love one of the best albums ever made? If I had to listen to it every day for the rest of time, I would be a happy woman I think.

“And you’ll either love me or you’ll hate me, but I can see you’ve got no time for in-between.” 

I wake up some mornings with this song already playing in my head. Those usually turn out to be brilliant days. Listen while you read. 💛

Zinhle said something to me the other day that has really helped me with the whole rabbit hole of anxious dismay thing, which was that you’re probably just as scared and nervous and lost as I am. Probably also wondering how much you really know me, and whether you’ve made a good decision.

So in today’s letter I want to tell you about me; primarily things I love.

I believe that early summer mornings are the best time for finding magic, and late summer nights are the perfect time for falling in love. And that both of these things are best discovered on a joy ride along a windy Cape Town road.

When I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, I walk high up into the forest, sit and stare out at the city while Wilson digs holes and eats twigs. If it’s a nice day, I’ll lie back and watch the sun rays filter through the trees, and I imagine I could float up towards them and out into the sky.

I read The Great Gatsby every year. Usually right before my birthday. I’ve had the same copy since I was 15. It goes wherever I go, and is the singular most important piece of literature I’ve ever read.

I worry that I’ll never write anything of importance to anyone, and that all the promise and talent will be a memory of youth left behind. But I do love to write. I love the rhythmic ebb and flow; I like the structure and control; I like ability to create and conjure. I love alliteration.

I like going to the beach in the winter (warm winter days mind you). Mostly because there are no other people, and you can wade in until your thighs and enjoy how serene the ocean is. Empty beaches feel like being lost in time.

Simon the spider has been hanging out in my lounge for about a week now. I wouldn’t say I love him but he appears to be injured so I’m letting him stay. For now.

I feel the most beautiful when I try on a new dress.

I like going to late night movies; mostly because I like wandering around the empty shopping mall afterwards.

I love candle light. No matter where you are, a candle lit room will always feel safe, and secret, and like home.

For my 27th birthday, I hope to be in the city, with glitter in my hair, and cocktail in hand. I hope the night is loud and dirty and filled with mayhem.

For my 30th birthday, I hope to climb Kilimanjaro, though a more realistic dream is probably a sunrise trek up Mount Batur in Bali. Having stumbled into my twenties, I hope to transcend into my thirties.

And then, I love this first photo of us. We look like a family, even though I’d only met you twelve days before. Two days later, I would tell you that I loved you, though I’m sure in this moment I knew it.


I’ll write more in my next letter but in a moment, I’m going to close my eyes and concentrate on this memory of you. And I’m going to hope that the universe carries me to you, and somewhere in the middle of the ocean, you will feel as if I’m standing right next to you.