The reluctant leader

In my first performance review at my first job – working as a junior sub-editor at a community newspaper – my editor-in-chief said: “You’re a dark horse, Stacey.” I went back to my desk and looked up “dark horse” in Internet Explorer. These were pre-Google days and I was having a series of email exchanges with some dude called Robin the Frog I’d met in an IRC chat room (I’ve always liked the smart boys, long before it became fashionable to slap the word “sapiosexual” on your Twitter bio.) I thought I knew what the dark horse thing meant, that […]

163H (1)

The Internet thinks I run a home for special needs kids, and it’s kind of amazing

Whenever I get an incoming call from a phone number that I don’t recognise, it’s someone phoning to ask if we have space for their kid at Living Lionheart. Did you know that I run a home for special needs children? Neither did I. But the general population of the Internet thinks so, and it’s all because of a quirk of the great big machine called Google. (And also because people can’t read properly.) It turns out that I have written so many posts over the years about our journey to find residential care for Travis the Lionheart that if […]


I have something important to share…

… and it’s difficult for me to write this. In fact, I’m typing this blog post as fast as I can to just get it out. It’s been haunting me. Like a toad lurking in a dark corner. The reason I’m finding this hard to write is because I feel guilty and shamed. Because so many of you jumped in to help out our family when we really needed it. You contributed time and money, and you bought into everything I had to say. For a while it worked out just like I thought it would, and then things went […]

autism and the xmen

Why I think autistic people are a little like the X-Men

Every week, I have someone phoning or emailing me, asking me if I run a home for children with special needs. I don’t, of course. But if I did, I would hang a sign by the front gate that reads: “Welcome to the Lionheart School for Gifted Youngsters.” If you recognise this wording of this sign, you’re probably a fan of the X-Men comics and movies. Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is where Professor Charles Xavier teaches young mutants how to handle their powers. It’s a lovely piece of fantasy, but it’s closer to being a reality than you imagine. […]

Gold Reef City 2

Waking up in a silent theme park is utterly surreal [photo story]

If you’re familiar with Gold Reef City, you already know everything there is to know about this theme park straight out of Jozi’s gold rush days. There are rides that shoot down mine shafts at 100km/h, you can dress up in clothing from 1886 and watch molten gold being poured, and the buildings are set in that quaint Victorian style you still see in old Joburg, with broekielace and everything. Last year, we were invited to spend the night in the newly refurbished Gold Reef City – but we had to use our voucher by the end of March. In […]


It feels like all the best people are leaving

There’s that one family in your circle of friends and acquaintances. She’s class mom, he’s the kind of guy pulling the 2am to 5am shift in the neighbourhood watch. When there’s fundraising to be done, their names are scribbled on the first stub in your raffle ticket book. They share photos on Facebook of their kids sorting through old toys to donate to the local place of safety. You kind of hate them a little, they’ve got their shit so very, very together. Until you’re manning the boerie roll table side by side at the school sports day, and it […]


All I’ve ever wanted to do with my life…

…is write. One of my earliest memories is of my grandfather tucking me into bed – I can still remember the moon-and-stars pattern of my duvet – and him acting out the story of The Tortoise and the Hare with two stuffed animals, the shadows dancing against my bedroom wall. My grandfather was a complicated man, which is why he was such a great storyteller. Complicated people tell the. best. fucking. stories. Stories to make your soul bollemakiesie (somersault). But that’s a post for another day. By the time I was eight or nine, I was inhaling books at an […]

Love chocolate and travel? Win with Cadbury Dairy Milk!

This competition is now closed. The winner is: Tertia Burns.   This Easter, Cadbury Dairy Milk is offering South African families a chance of winning a 7 night holiday for a family of 4 to the world’s favourite theme park in Orlando, USA. This prize consists of an all-inclusive package valued at R250 000. For a chance to jet off on this fun filled family holiday, simply purchase any slab from the Cadbury Dairy Milk range and SMS the last 4 digits of your barcode to 33711 before 30 April 2016.* Win a hamper worth R1500! Living Lionheart is also […]

Webfluential media kit

Influencers, here’s how to embed a booking form into your blog

Sponsored post Ask anyone, I am all about creating sticky magnetic quality content. Not just on this blog, but it’s also my day job over at Content Candy, where I head up content strategy and throw biscuits at my writers before running out of the room to safety while yelling what their deadlines are. What I don’t love is paperwork. And creating cost estimates, and thumb-sucking pricing, and filling out vendor forms (why are there always so many vendor forms!?) and sending out invoices, and later, chasing payment for those invoices. I’m a creative. I make stuff. I’m also registered […]


Trust me, the best online accounting service for small businesses is Sage One

Sponsored post Back when we started Content Candy I was using a spreadsheet to run my entire writing business. Just one. It didn’t even have formulas in it because I don’t know how to do them. My spreadsheet was just a list of every invoice I sent out during the financial year, what date it was sent, what date it was paid, and there was a column where I indicated whether or not my biggest client Media24 had nicked 25% off the total and submitted it as PAYE to SARS on my behalf. (Man, we freelance journos used to love it […]