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Walk and Write, with Luke Alfred

Walk and Write Weekend, with Luke Alfred

Friday 21st April (6pm) - Sunday 23rd April (2pm)

414 Luke Alfred was a sports journalist for 18 years, and was the sports editor and senior cricket writer at the Sunday Times in Johannesburg. He is now a freelance journalist after working as consultant at Cricket South Africa. He is the author of three previous cricket books: Lifting the Covers, Testing Times and The Art of Losing. Last year, he published "Early One Sunday Morning, I Decided to step out and find South Africa", which features the Tara Rokpa Centre.

In, Alfred described his book as a “love story about South Africa”. The colourful journalist fondly recalled walking with his dad, the author Mike Alfred, as a young boy, saying, “I have always loved walking.” Commenting on the inspiration behind his book, Alfred said he felt he needed a change from sport, and also felt that he “didn’t want to get trapped in the addictive pessimism of the times”.

Making reference to iconic authors such as Dickens and Wordsworth, Alfred joked that he “didn’t compose odes or sonnets”, but emphasised the relationship between walking and writing, outlining how the two offer one “an ideal rhythm to meander and play with things [words]”. He added that both “enhance your eye for detail” making one notice more and giving one a more authoritative voice. Alfred went on to say that he has found this particularly striking because “South African journalists are not good enough noticers”.

415 “The walks were not arbitrarily chosen,” he said, adding that he “looked for the beloved back story … scaffolding to attach the chapter to”. Detailing his experience of walking in South Africa, he noted that he felt “simultaneously exposed and invisible” and it gave him a “slight appreciation of the horrors of walking life” for the poor and marginalised in society.


TRC is delighted to host Luke for the weekend, and the programme will run as follows:

Friday 21st April: 7-9pm
Some establishing remarks: Why write? How to write? Writing without fear and from the best part of ourselves.
Saturday 22nd April: 9am-11am
How ‘Early One Sunday Morning I Decided to Step Out and Find South Africa’ came to be. Telling the story of the land. The importance of the novelists eye. How to observe. Practicalities: note-taking, interview techniques. Learning to listen.
Ramble, walk across TRC property and beyond with view to writing about it in the afternoon.
The hidden art of 500 good words – writing about the morning.
Sunday 23rd April: 9am-noon
Reading what we’ve done, reflections, comment, suggestions




Retreat Cost: Accommodation inc. all bedding, meals and snacks

Twin/double en suite (for two) R4 020
Twin/double shared bathroom (for two) R3 620
Single shared bathroom R2 160
Dormitory R1 610
Camping (own tent) R1 460