Leading up to September, many thousands (possibly millions) of learners in the UK and around the world will be making decisions around which field of study to pursue in college or university. For learners going through the clearing process in the UK around August, the pressure increases slightly as quick decisions are required around career and institution.

I suppose it’s easy in the heat of decision making to think along the lines of “Well, it’s just a course, it’s not my life.” But is it? The degree or programme you choose ultimately decides your initial employment opportunities. Then once in…


I ride the train down into the city every day

And as it gets further in it gets more and more packed

At its fullest I sometimes try to guess the number of people on the train

Possibly close to a thousand

And then my mind drifts and I think

I imagine

What if this train magically passed through some portal and entered another world

Like ours

Except the thousand people on the train

Would be the only people there

Free to set up a new civilisation

In a new world

What would happen?

Knowing all we know now

This…


Out of nowhere

The other night

A random memory hit me

Of when I was five or six

We only have a few memories of those times

When we were small

Don’t we?

A few isolated oases

In the deserts of the past

In this one I was in Port Alfred

A small boy

At my aunt’s house on holiday

A small seaside town

And there I was

Sitting on the steps of the veranda

At about 9pm at night

The adults all inside, I was all alone

Looking out across at the lights of the houses and street poles


Some afternoons after work I’d walk

down to the promenade walkway

and walk 2 miles up the shore and back again

Strangely I preferred the windy afternoons

they somehow blew the monotony of the working day away

and made me feel alive again

There was an old man who always sat on the same bench

as I walked past

Some days I’d catch him getting there

some days I’d catch him leaving

Most times I’d just see him sitting there

on his own

looking out over the sea

I felt I knew what he was thinking

Sometimes he’d be staring…


The cappuccino was chunky

God, I wasn’t coming to this coffeeshop again

Two sips and I left it for good

The trains had an issue and I was killing time

People kept looking down the street at something that had happened

After a while a woman was was pushed in by good samaritan

She’d taken a fall, quite a bad one

They’d found her a makeshift wheelchair somehow

He ordered her a tea and had to leave, she said her mother was coming

She was at the table next to me

Sitting alone

In tears

I offered her paracetamol for…


My meeting in Bloemfontein ended at 4pm

Later than I wanted it to

It was a 4 hour drive home

Northwards to Johannesburg

The November air was muggy and oppressing

I was worn down

As an introvert it’s tough showing your game face all day

As the afternoon progressed

So did a thunderstorm

I watched it build on the horizon

Above the highway in front of me

I was listening to an audiobook of The Brothers Karamazov

Engrossed in it

And as Ivan made his three visits to Smerdyakov

I watched the lightning start to fork down onto the flat…


I can’t claim to have a large amount of friends. Almost intentionally I’ve always kept my friend base low — quality over quantity. That’s the introvert in me. Nevertheless, down the years I’ve found myself visiting countless homes. Homes of friends, homes of my wife’s friends, homes of friends of friends and of course in-laws and family.

Whenever I visited their houses, there was always something that stuck in my head, even though I might not have paid immediate attention to it. I knew it was there. And it was this — the fact that hardly any of them seemed…


You receive a knock at the door in the middle of the afternoon. Wondering whether there’s an Amazon delivery you forgot about, you make your way to the door. A man in a pristine black suit and black rimmed spectacles stands there. Something about his appearance strikes you as somewhat other-worldly. A little too clean cut. Almost wax-like.

He hands you an envelope. He then proceeds to explain in a robotic sounding voice that inside the envelope is a piece of paper. The piece of paper gives a succinct and clear explanation of what happens to us when we die…


In these Covid times, the term “new normal” has been used extensively. I personally hate the term. I want to smash the term “new normal” against the wall until it never gets used again. Like many others, I feel that if this is the new normal, I don’t want much part of it. I was highly skeptical of the world being shut down like it was, and as this lockdown has progressed I’ve become more and more vocal and angry about the massive economic disaster it’s creating.

But I’m not going to argue that point. The internet, and Twitter in…


During this lockdown I’ve tried to take my four year old daughter to the local cricket ground every day. Once there we both enjoy it. A bit of fresh air and sunshine are very effective treatments for the sense of frustration and brain fog that continual working from home brings.

It’s beautiful there, surrounded by trees leading into the forest. I’ve watched them turn from bare to full green blossom in the last month. It’s in these moments that I’m grateful that my daughter and I have each other. …

Jared Louw

Simplicity Seeker. Aspiring Minimalist. Occasional Storyteller. Casual Observer.

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