It doesn’t really bear thinking about, but I know without question that my parents had sex in Spring 1979, because roughly nine months later my brother arrived squealing into the world. It is weird to think of one’s parents “at it”. Mercifully, I had a room upstairs. My brother’s room was below mine and next to theirs; he was less lucky. But he was never subjected to anything like the sight that greeted a close friend who, aged nine, walked in on his parents involved in what he described as “some form of sexual judo”.

If this has conjured an uncomfortable daydream of your own conception, there is a way it can be dealt with. Play the scene out in your head as if from an All Ages drama. See the couple kissing briefly then cut to the next morning as they smile at each other politely other with duvet pulled up to the chin.

It is not surprising that so many South African babies are born in June. People have a lot of sex in Spring and, according to a prominent US professor Norman Rosenthal, it’s scientific. As a result of the change of light, the body naturally produces less melatonin during Spring, causing a lift in mood, a reduced desire to sleep and an increase in sexual appetite.

“Poets have written for centuries about the effects of spring,” Rosenthal says. “They have known, for example, that sex drives and energy levels surge for many people in the spring. But we are only now beginning to understand why.”

So for those in the right, ahem, position, Spring has only one thing on its mind. For those of you who are not so easily pleased, we’ve compiled a bumper issue of Extra Virgin to keep you occupied. We travel to New York, introduce two New Zealanders who are taking the world of comedy by storm and interview Joburg’s weird and wonderful musical duo The Bear + Givan Lötz.

This month’s money section sweats nervously as the term “credit crunch” enters the dictionary, while the environment column celebrates the bursting forth of spring from its porch in Grahamstown. The home section gets all springy and runs after you with a bedazzle gun.

With all that excitement to come, it is almost unhealthy to add that next month’s Extra Virgin will come with instructions on how to enter our competition to win a bright red, brand-spanking new Vespa. So we won’t mention it…much.

Matthew Freemantle
The Editor


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We have been jumping over gutter-rivers in Cape Town, fighting fires in Grahamstown, freezing our knackers off in the Karoo and gulping down hairballs of dry air in Gauteng for the past few months. But that crabby old sadist Winter has had it’s fun with us and Spring has come to bail us out.

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A New New York
In the Big Apple, it is easy to bite off more than you can chew. There is simply too much to do, so enjoying oneself is less about what to put on the To Do list than what to leave out. What is more, some discernment will save you from running out of money early and resorting to an all-pretzel diet.

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Flight of the Conchords
New Zealand is more famous for sheep than comedy, so it took a while for Kiwi duo Jermain Clement and Bret McKenzie to find a home for their musical-comedy Flight of The Conchords on US television. When they did, it wasn’t long before their show had become an alternative hit.

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‘We wanted failure’
“I’m hearing this and thinking wow, but who’s going to buy this?” says either Givan Lötz or his other half, The Bear, on the final track of their self-produced debut album. The short and unfortunate answer is: Not many people.

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It’s bad enough with the world economy sliding towards a recession, but when the term “credit crunch” is included in a reputed dictionary, it becomes ever clearer that this is no passing cloud.

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Friendly Fire
There’s something a bit Earth Motherish about this time of year. Leonie Joubert can’t help herself as she watches spring prying the fingers of winter from the tumbling Eastern Cape hills.


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Spring Bling
September marks the arrival of spring, which means it’s time to look around your rooms and toss out all the dark, dated colours and drab accessories and replace them with something shiny.


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