The Heroine’s Journey of Liesl Olivier

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love the variety of spontaneous events that the Literary Globe offers such as a few Saturday evenings ago I was reviewing a Poetry & Cocktail bar and at the same time listening to a poetry slam. Or attending an author reading and then having the opportunity to interview the author afterwards.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Nothing is prefect but what makes me happy is the freedom on a beautiful week-day morning to cycle to the lakes for a swim with my Jack Russell sitting in the basket. Afterwards stopping off to visit a friend for tea, glass of wine and sometimes dinner. It’s simple but I love the freedom.
What is my greatest fear? I have a few fears but the first one that springs to mind is working in a dead-end job by this I mean a job that has no creative thinking or passion. And it is only a means to an end.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I like being me, so I don’t have anything to deplore but I can work on some issues such as my attention to detail and losing my temper. At times I am too relaxed and as the old expression goes
– the Devil is in the detail. I find mastering detail difficult. My temper is better because I have learnt to manage it.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I am South African, and we had a cleaning lady who worked in our house fulltime. She is a Xhosa
woman who spent about 28 years working for us and saw her daughter during the school holidays. Her daughter was raised by her aunts in the Eastern Cape a village called Umtata located about 10 hours by car from Cape Town. I admire her because she had to be street wise to survive apartheid and she retired with 2 bought houses (one rented out) and a pension. Given her circumstances this is a remarkable achievement.
What is my greatest extravagance? I hope in the future that I will not be extravagant but one of my greatest passions is the piano. I loved playing at school and at the Conservatory University of Cape Town. I used to have access to a ¾ Steinway grand piano and I would love to buy one again.
On what occasion would I lie? Lying is never a good idea as the truth always comes out even when you are dead. So, I do my very best not to lie. But if my life was at risk, if I could see that the truth would hold no value, or it would be more damaging then I would lie. But honestly, I would much rather speak the truth.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I loved the English Bookshop that was a great passion but what I found difficult were the invasive questions or comments that my customers would ask or say. It was at times challenging to not give
a curt reply. I learnt overtime how use communication to deal with difficult or strange questions.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I was very happy at the English Bookshop Amsterdam because it was where I could express my creativity and follow my passion.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I am happy with myself but if I could change one thing it is that I would love to be taller. I live in a city full of giants and being an average British height is noticeably small.
What is my greatest achievement in work? I thought that my greatest achievement was going from an empty bookstore to a thriving hub of readers and books. But I am hoping that the Literary Globe will be my greatest achievement.
Where would I most like to live? I love living in Amsterdam, but I do miss Cape Town. Unfortunately, South Africa is going through very difficult times. It makes more sense for me to be based here. But in the future, I hope to be working in both cities by this I mean in spring and summer Amsterdam. And spring and summer Cape Town – but I think that’s wishful thinking.
What is my most treasured possession? I have a shared dog and his name is Piko or Poki in Dutch. He is a little Jack Russell and a complete handful. We are the best of friends and my most treasured little lovey.
What is my most marked characteristic? Everyone points it out it’s my bloody mindedness, determination or grit.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I have two the Lauriergracht and Palmgracht both areas are remarkable in terms of architecture and beauty. The English Bookshop was located along the Lauriergracht and often I would call up my
friends or they would simply arrive, and we would put the table outside (on the pavement) and set the table for dinner (to include a white linen table cloth and silver candelabra – totally eccentric). Everyone would bring food and wine. We had many magical evenings together and the architecture never becomes boring.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? Amsterdam is not really on the culinary map but that’s starting to change. I would prefer to mention my favorite restaurants in Cape Town. Harbor House this restaurant is built on stilts that go into
the sea and offers the best food (well that’s what I think). In winter you can watch the wales in the sea play like puppies while dinning. The Brass Bell in Fish Hoek we used to sit outside and have a fish braai and the waves crashed onto the restaurant building occasionally a big wave would crash over the restaurant building leaving us startled and drenched.
What books influenced my life and how? When I was about 10 years old I was sitting at the fireplace and reading To Kill a Mockingbird it was the late 80s and South African was in the grip of huge political uncertainty and therefore stability. The book made me sit-up and I started to notice and question my environment.
Who are my favorite writers? So many – Rose Tremain, Ian McEwan, Nicole Krauss, Russell Shorto and much more.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I am not sure that I would listen to music perhaps a sound recording of the cricket from Wilderness
Beach a small town along the garden route or the crashing of waves from Llundudno beach Cape Town.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I am not really into heroes or heroines because everyone has faults. So, does it have to be a human? How about Seabreeze the famous race horse or Able Seaman Just Nuisance (the only canine enlisted in the Royal Navy Simons Town Cape Town. I have never met this animals only ever heard stories
about them.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I am not really into heroes and heroines because everyone has faults, but the people that are real life heroes would be my former boss Mike Walsh and my friend Joseph Otten.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Its a bit cheesy but I would recommend if you haven’t already seen it The Sound of Music. It’s such
a feel-good film and the music is beautiful. And my name comes from this musical the eldest daughter in the van Trapp family is Liesl.
What role plays art in my life and work? I would refer to the piano here. The piano gave me lots of discipline, dedication and the start of my bloody mindedness or grit! It’s the basis of my life.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My greatest fans would be my mother and sister, my sponsor is Joseph Otten and partner in crime would be Poki my little Jack Russell.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018/2019? I would like to work with a finance person that can help with raising money for the Literary Globe.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018/2019? I would love to meet and interview more writers and authors in the coming years.
What project, in 2018/2019, am I looking forward to work on? I would like to continue and develop the Literary Globe
Where can you see me or my work in 2018/2019? On the
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion is continuous by this I mean it leads from one thing to the next. So yes, even if you start out playing the piano move onto the English Bookshop and then to the Literary Globe. The common thread underlying everything is passion.
How can you contact me?

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