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/ 6 November 2007

The ties that bind

In the opening paragraph of Alice Sebold’s <i>The Almost Moon</i> (Picador), the narrator Helen Knightly sets the searing tone for the rest of the novel by telling the reader: "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily. Dementia as it descends, has a way of revealing the core of the person affected by it. My mother’s core was rotten like the brackish water at the bottom of a weeks-old vase of flowers."

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/ 29 August 2006

Dedicated follower of fashion

Okay, so maybe I am being a girl about it, but they really are gorgeous little buzzers. From their flowing metal curves and sturdy demeanor to their a cute headlamp faces, Vespas have somehow elevated themselves from mere machinery into icons of style. I’ve been sold on the small Italian scooters for quite some time now,writes Lisa Johnston.

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/ 15 June 2006

Mora, mora to relaxation in Madagascar

When the gods created Madagascar, they panned the universe for things weird and wonderful, flung them to the heavens and let them fall willy-nilly to the island below. Anything that couldn’t or wouldn’t fit, it seems, was shoehorned into the capital Antananarivo — a place so obscurely cobbled together it has the appearance of a jigsaw puzzle roughly assembled from random bits.

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/ 7 April 2006

Crossing over

It’s easier to revel in the luxury when seeing the smoke from the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls, writes Lisa Johnston. The story goes that tourism in the little town of Livingstone has benefited from the politics of its cantankerous neighbour. The situation, it is said, has sent tourists from the more developed Zimbabwe across the stream.

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/ 10 June 2005

Art on fire

Jiggs Thorne, the creative brain behind the eccentric mix of chairs, goddesses and candelabra at Jozi’s Franchise gallery, spoke to Lisa Johnston about a unique collaboration that has taken two little-known wood carvers from the side of the Piggs Peak road to the big city.

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/ 20 April 2005

The wild west goes north-east

Reverend JJ Scholtz is creating an Oklahoma utopia in Mpumalanga’s agricultural heartland of Ermelo and plans to churn out gangly-legged cowboys and cowgirls armed with lassoes, chaps and the Bible. ‘If you look at what makes the United States the great nation it is today, it all goes back to the grass-roots principles of the […]

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/ 11 March 2005

Remembering REM

REM rocked Jo’burg on Thursday night and, as usual, didn’t disappoint. In terms of value for money, patrons certainly got what they paid for — the hits just went on and on and on, with the lighting system adding real gloss to the presentation. Lisa Johnston was there.

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/ 14 September 2004

Seeding self-worth

A group of teenage boys sit in a circle at a juvenile remand centre calling out words that describe their ideas about what violence is and is not. Interestingly, but not necessarily surprisingly, the words "family" and "marriage" appear in both columns. This exercise forms part of a "hip" training programme that is giving youngsters who have taken a wrong turn the opportunity to get their lives back on track.

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/ 6 August 2004

A taste for waste

"We are living in a plastic world, everything is artificial, people wear a mask. We will always have plastic but we need to realise it can be a beautiful thing," Plastics artist Mbongeni Richmond Buthelezi spoke to Lisa Johnston about the value of rubbish.

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/ 17 June 2004

Silliness and sizzle

Back in the bad days of apartheid when gambling was a no-no and boobs were terribly naughty, Sun City was something of a brash old tart, pimping herself as a den of decadence in the dusty Bantustan of Bophuthatswana. Twenty years on and the old matriarch is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. <i>Escape</i> looks at what’s hot this winter at Sun City.

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/ 12 May 2004

Things that go buzz in the night

After the sun slinks behind the horizon, bands of female anopheles mosquitoes rise from their fetid breeding grounds to wage war on the human species. An insatiable lust for blood ensures the continuation of their type, but their victims can face a consequence more ominous than a sting and an itch. We take a closer look at a multi-pronged approach that has won a small victory against malaria.