Thank You

Continue reading “Thank You”


Alicia Billington’s Best Cat

black cat with blue eyes

A number of mysterious and potentially dangerous sightings and incidents were reported in England and Ireland some years ago. In ‘Alicia Billington’s Best Cat’ by Andrew Pender-Smith, the author has created a work of horror and suspense which provides a possible answer as to how these strange events occurred. To say more would  spoil the reader’s quest to solve a puzzle that, some say, has never been satisfactorily explained. After reading this short work of fiction, available on Amazon Kindle, you might be tempted to read more widely on what brought armed police out into some of the remotest areas of the English and Irish countryside as well as a few front gardens and backyards.

rain forest at night

tropical rain forest

So, who exactly was Alicia Billington? What did she do for a living and how did she become so closely attached to her cats?

Hear Me by Julia North

Introducing an exciting new novel by writer, Julia North. I have known this writer for many years as we did our initial training as teachers of Speech and Drama together. Julia North is now a deputy head teacher in Britain and is the author of two novels. ‘Hear Me’ is her second. To learn more about it, click on the link. I am sure you will find it well worth the the read.

It is published by Hookline Books in the UK.

Hear Me

Her earlier novel is a work for young adults and it is called ‘Lieutenant Hotshot: The Story of an Invisible Child’. It is published by Lodestone books and is also available on Amazon. Both books are set in South Africa, a country Julia North knows well and evokes with ease in her writing.


Please feel free to reblog or link this post.

Happy reading of the books of a dedicated and excellent author. May she write many more. Andrew Pender-Smith



De Green Monkee Speaks

Funny Vervet Monkeys_5

De Green Monkee Speaks

Pssssst! So babee,

you wanna know about

de green monkee?

You see me here.

You see me dere

when I swing frum

tree to tree

wid great agility.

When I’m eating de fruits,

or swimming in de jungle pools,

I’m tinking, tinking, tinking

because I got de hobbies

like dancing, writing, singing.

One big day I might be

de world’s most famous

dancing, writing, singing monkee,

but for now I chill, my brudder,

an enjoy de monkee beer

an eat de forest fruits, mon,

because life is cool, mon,

an slowly, slowly

I’m swinging, lazy, lazy

in dis forest tree.

© Andrew Pender-Smith and Sebastian de Vervet

Teachers and students are free to use this poem on the condition that the author is acknowledged.

De Green Monkee Speaks Again

I been tinking, tinking about

dis career business.

I don won anyone tinking I’m

just no swing-about.

Even when I’m drinking de best in

monkee beer,

my mind, my bro, is agile.

It’s workin’ absolutely clear.

If dis dancing, writing, singing business

is not de ting for me,

I’ll study a course in

monkee philosophy,

because my mind can jump from here

an’ my mind can jump from dere.

I dink I’ll run for president

or maybe monkee king.

Now it’s time for more beer, mon,

while I do my clever, clever tinking.

© Andrew Pender-Smith and Sebastian de Vervet

Teachers and students are free to use this poem on the condition that the author is acknowledged.

The Green Monkey is the brains, when he’s not drinking too much monkey beer and swinging from fruit tree to fruit tree, behind ‘Green Monkey Publications’. He’s the one who keeps a sharp lookout on its two authors, Andrew Pender-Smith and Craig Carden, to make sure they aren’t in the least bit slack and keep on writing.  His full name is Sebastian de Vervet but he is simply called ‘Sabs’ by friends and family. The top shows Sebastian as a baby with his parents.


This photo is of Sebastian’s uncle, Uncle Herbert de Vervet.

A ‘High Five’ for Drama


A ‘High Five’ for Drama

A ‘High Five’ for drama for every child in every school. I have taught, written about, and adjudicated drama in schools for long enough to know that there really is no greater teaching tool for helping children become well-rounded, confident adults.  See earlier posts for more of what I have said on the subject and to obtain poems that can be effectively used in the drama classroom. The photos in this post are here to illustrate the poem ‘The Jungle’ by Andrew Pender-Smith.


The Jungle

The jungle’s alive with

jungly sounds:

Screeching parrots

and grunting tigers.

The beating of jungle drums.

The roar of a far-off waterfall.

The loud trumpeting of

an old, grey elephant

and the galloping hooves of a buck

as a growling lion chases him.

Run, buck – runnn!

                     ©    Andrew Pender-Smith

Teachers and students are free to use this poem. I hope they enjoy using it.

Once again I include one of my maxims: ‘A poem a day helps build vocabulary the easy way’.


The Best Taxi in Town

‘The Best Taxi In Town’ brings you some South African humour. First written, published and performed nine year ago, this is one taxi that is still going strong. As to what the chicken’s got to do with it and who owns it, read the poem to find out.


The Best Taxi in Town, Bru.

I’ve got twenty.

There’s room for three more.

Don’t worry about

breaking the law.

The steering wheel’s

held together with string.

The pedals aren’t too

good for pumping.

The hub caps were stolen.

The back wheel fell out.

Yes, madam, we can take

7 more children.

Squeeze them in between the

chicken and the goat.

Don’t worry, the seat’s quite safe.

I used one role of sticky tape this morning.

Come on, baba.

You sit there.

Because there’s no window

you’ll get fresh air.

Don’ worry, sissie.

I’ll go peep-peep

good and fast.

I know the way.

No, not twenty minutes.

I’ll do it in ten.

Yes, yes my music’s the

best in any taxi.

Ask the police who

always try to stop me.

Don’t worry, lady.

There’s room in the boot.

When we get to your place

I’ll stop and I’ll hoot.

I’ve got the best taxi in town, bra.

I’m telling you for sure.

No, madam, I don’t

drive like a tsotsi.

I’ve got my licence

and I know about the law.

If you look, he’s coming now

so I’m going sharp-sharp.

I don’t want to go phakathi

or pay a great, big fine.

I lost the key

So I use the wire.

Here I go too sharp.

What! Your police car broke down?

OK sergeant, get inside.

I’ll take you to the station.

For you it’s free.

Trust me

ek sê, my bra.

Move up, gogo.

Shesha, manje!

Sit here, sergeant

and hold the gogo’s chicken.

The front tyre’s a bit flat,

but don’t mind that,

because I’m telling you sergeant, my bra,

I’ve got the best taxi in KZN.

Yes. Parp! Parp! We can take some more.

It’s five rand and please squeeze in,

but mind the gogo’s chicken!

©   Andrew Pender – Smith


baba – grandfather

tsotsi – thief

ek sê – I say

sissie – sister

phakathi – inside (As in inside prison.)

shesha manje – quick now

gogo – granny

KZN – KawaZulu-Natal

In Happy Celebration



Both of these works are now available on Amazon as e-books. To find out more, click on the link below.

Also just released is the poem ‘Aftermath’ by Andrew Pender-Smith. It is among a number of others to be included in the 2017-2019 syllabus of the Speech and Drama Association of South Africa.


The wind and waves boomed up the lagoon

crashing surf and sand over invisible rocks.

The fish were gone –

flailing fathoms deep

while gutted shells cracked and splintered.

The trees bent violently before being


over the roiling waters

as fishing boats spun and whacked

into brittle shards.

The once brightly painted hulls

were now no more as remnant after

remnant was snatched into the

savage tumult of boom and horrible roar.

Jagged out to sea or shore-bound as lightning

zapped and zithered from rock to black water

and scarred rock again.

When dawn coloured in, the place was almost silent

except for the little sighs of the wavelets,

barely significant in happy low tide.

And also, darting and blithely unconcerned,

lots of tiny fishes

liquid and  playfully light

swarming the carcass of a lost-eyed turtle.

Above them was the booted crunch of the

lone photographer

delighted with this series of newsy images.

They’d tell a story in

neatly framed pictures

of what he’d simply title


Andrew Pender-Smith

Note that copyright is held by the author. The poem may be used with acknowledgement.