The Springbuck and I on the (com)plains of an African queue


So I did it.
I decided to get input.
Put myself out there.
Do a course of sorts.
Conquer the fears.
Prove to myself that I can do it.

Here I am firmly lodged in a Crash Course on Creativity with Stanford University.
I am getting my input.
Sweating to give output.
I am stretched.
I am facing my fears of not good enough.
Can you really do this?

Worry and trust don’t mix.
A bit like oil and vinegar.
Mine separate then form a murky pool as they are beaten into each other in a frenzy.
Extreme knowing sits hip to hip with the melted whine of “How do I do this?”

It was my second project and we had to go on a silent 30 min walk of observation.

What did I see?
No, really SEE?
Could I move into a newness with all that I observed?
And then the task at hand was the creation of a mind map.
A thought chart.
A planning of notions.

My heart raced and I immediately pictured myself queuing at the dreaded Department of Manpower.
There would be no walk in the park for me.
I would be Springbokkie.
Springbokkie could jump in and put of the queue at will.
Springbokkie would be on the alert for all that happens around her.
She would settle in with the other animals and jump before the lioness gets her.
And so here are Springbokkies thoughts and above is her map.

I queued.


At The Department of Manpower!

The dreaded DOM queues held me for just a while.

Queues get a bad rap you see.

In their grip, people shake their heads, roll their eyes and mutter to strangers.

There is a strange camaraderie in being stuck in a queue.

A line of humanity moving towards a single purpose or goal.
(God help you if you push in)

I pat queuing on the back.

I look it in the eye and rest in it.

This time of having to stand still, inch forward – observe.

A time to rest and look.

To see.


Take in.

Filter the nothing’s from the something’s.

Smile and nod instead of moan, moan.

The very act of going against the queues usual, irritated, foot stomping grain is a creative one.

To turn it on its head.

Laugh in its queue face and lift the spirits.

To resist clucking the tongue at the fact that there is only one teller at the end of glaring hoards.

To see the possibilities.

The unspecified qualities of a proposing nature that queuing holds.

To breathe and enter into queue world.

Filled with moments of just being.

And spaces of just seeing.

You try it.

(I was Springbokkie, or a Springbuck,

Slow walk, stand, sitting,

On the (com) plains of an African queue.)

And I was right – in the end this project was NOT a walk in the park…

This is me Tania Ahlfeldt fast, run, walking in a onslaught of creativity.

The above piece was recorded live for Kingfisher FM at my beloved office away from home – Brioche café. The intense hospitality and Dans great coffee keeps me going on many a day.
My love of “bokoppe” (and I mean that in the most contemporary way) plus Ilsa Coles awesome Brioche T-shirts was inspiration for Springbokkie.


My Crash Course in Creativity


I did it.
Along with thousands of others globally I joined up to do Stanford’s Crash Course in Creativity.
My first project was a book cover with title and sub title and a basic bio.
I got Vovo Telo to make me a heart shaped loaf of bread and photographed it on site for my book cover.
The 200 word bio is below.

It was 1970.

I remember the chiffon of her skirt.

Knees gritty with a dusting of flour as I played at her feet.

The smell of hot oil, ‘koeksisters’ frying golden brown.

The feel of her skinny legs as I held on.

Her floor – the place of my imaginings.

My vast world.

Remember the open joy of thought?

Thumping my way through the garden.

It’s a jungle out there…

I the heroine, boyish in my endeavour.

A wood panelled room and books on my bed.




Me sliding in the imaginings of others.

The art room – my pencil and brushes moving.

Military Service.


Boots on my feet.

Balloons in my head.

Hear me laughing inside at the absurdness of it all?

Art school.

Striving to keep others happy.


Wanting to cram Europe into my soul and carry it with me always.


Oh, the love and with it marriage.

Enter the creation of my innovative personal space.

Both in heart and home.


I’m plunging, diving, thriving in publishing madness.

Drowning in creation.


How innovative are we?

Look at what we made…




With God love and creativity still seeping.

Leaving smudges everywhere.