A Randomly Obscure Subject: #RestroomSelfies

I’m not big on #selfies.  Of any kind.  I almost always look like a jaundiced bullfrog who had an extra helping of flies from the Lily-Pond-buffet.  On the odd occasion, I’ve taken one and though Oh. My. Word. Is that me?! But for the most part it’s Holy Crap! and then some other scary thought.

Of course, I have friends that are the Queens of selfies; particularly of the restroom variety.  Two come to mind.  I won’t mention names, but the first always shares a selfie from a restroom when she travels, whether it’s to a local retreat, or to The City of Gold or even Beyond Borders.  And she always looks so good.  She’s modest, so will tell me it’s the exquisite light reflected off the bathroom mirror, but we both know it’s because she’s a gorgeous soul, both in and out.  She can wear a paper bag and still look like a million bucks – a million bucks even looks good with hand sanitizer and beige-doors-that-don’t-go-all-the-way-to-the-ceiling-nor-floor in the background.

Then there is another friend, closer-than-blood who I believe on some level is a soul-mate.  She almost always knows when to drop me a text or some random picture of me that she’s edited with I ❤ U written on it.  Shit, when I typed that, I thought that sounds stalker-like but it’s not.  She’s married to an amazing man, but she and I have shared a great deal.

We are both on a constant journey to rid ourselves of the few extra fat cells that cling to our waists, so to motivate each other, images of healthy meals fly through cyberspace faster than plates from the kitchen to the table during a Gordon Ramsay dinner service.  When there is progress with Operation-Flatten-Muffin-Top, she will send me a selfie of her, with her tummy exposed, and I think I have got to eat more protein!

When she was a few days from being a Missus, she sent a group of us a picture of her in some obscure roadside gas station toilet, on the throne, with a rather descriptive caption.  I found myself think I hope she’s squatting, and that her handbag is not touching the floor

Today has not been a good day, yet like a ray of sunshine I just got a selfie from her, characteristic white public loo tiles in the background, smiling like a Cheshire Cat, captioned “I’m peeing”.  My first thought is Really, Sweetpea? but I will admit, I laughed.  Loudly!  Her randomness brought such a smile to my face.

I guess when you’ve been friends for as long as we have, the weirdest things can bring a guffaw from within.  Who would have thought restroom selfies too could bring some joy?

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Creative Writing: It was a Dark and Stormy Night

As I cranked up my 1988 Compaq SLT/286 laptop to write a piece for this week’s writing theme, “It was a dark and stormy night…” I gave a wide, lazy yawn. “Really! A dark and stormy night? How original!”  I’m 39 years old.  I’ve seen enough B-Grade horror movies to know that the only time anything happens to some horny teenagers is during a dark and stormy night – as if their hormones are only supercharged during such climatic weather occurrences.  Watching Jason Voorhees pick off teenagers at Camp Crystal Lake for the umpteenth time wasn’t doing much for my mood either, but it was way better than having to listen to Bella cruelly drone on and on about her pending nuptials, as if James leaving me two months ago wasn’t pain enough.

Getting up to make myself a cup of soothing Earl Grey, my routine when writing, I was reminded whilst filling the kettle that I really needed to get the kitchen tap fixed; the constant drip-drip-ddrrriiippp was driving me crazy.  My life was arduous to say the least, without still having to deal with Chinese water torture on top of it. I also needed to get myself a brand new Apple Mac when I got the refund on the honeymoon flight tickets.  I didn’t care how hard James had hunted to find that vintage laptop; it had to go!  I was keeping the Louboutins though.  My ancient feline companion, Gerry (short for Geriatric) purred in agreement as if reading my thoughts.

Teenage screams bounced off the walls as Friday the 13th continued to play to nobody in particular while I washed my hands repeatedly under ice-cold water; rubbing, no, scrubbing between my fingers, under my nails, rinsing and repeating the process until the kettle finally whistled.  I’d never had any kind of obsessive compulsion before, but ever since James left me standing in a church full of witnesses, I needed to wash my hands. Damn him! And damn her!  That hourglass shaped redhead with the emerald green eyes.  Jessica I think he said her name was. Or was it Janice?  Or Juliet? No!  It was Julietta – “like the car, just spelt differently”.  I supposed it was apt considering the first place he’d decided to have sex with her was in the backseat of a car – the very Lincoln Continental that had taken me to the church that fateful afternoon.

At last the laptop had booted up, and I opened the internal word-processor to type my tale of stereotypical mayhem when I heard thunder in the distance.  Odd for this time of the year, but still a welcome sign of much needed rain.  The wind also started to howl round the corners.  Clearly the Universe was trying to get me in the mood. Clicking on the keyboard, I began my story: It was a dark and stormy night…

Another clap of thunder hit, and the antique telephone rang at the same time.  Sighing, I rose to pick it up.

“Hello,” I said, trying not to sound exasperated, given the lateness of the hour, “Kim speaking.” The connection was crackly, no doubt a result of the looming storm. “Hello, I can’t hear you, the line is bad. Hello?  Hellooo?” Click. Silence. Shrugging my shoulders and giving Gerry an ear-scratching before I returned to the couch, the phone jangled again. “Hello, Kim speaking.  I hope you can hear me now,“ I said less-than-friendly.

“You shouldn’t be watching horror movies on dark, stormy nights, MISS Winters.” The voice on the other side was raspy, breathless and mechanical, almost like someone was using a device to alter their speech, or like Jason’s underneath his hockey mask just before he slashed another oversexed adolescent.

“Who is this?” I asked, failing abysmally to hide the terror in my voice. “Answer me, damnit!” Click. Silence again.

The phone chimed a third time, and as I picked up with “Listen here, you creep…” lighting struck and the house was plunged into velvet darkness, save for the few green words on my aged laptop’s screen:  It was a dark and stormy night.

Blood pumping through my veins, heartbeat audible in my ears, I picked up the phone receiver and listened; the alien voice was gone, but I could hear the wind in the background.  The caller was obviously mobile.  Could he be close? I needed to call for help, but I didn’t want to hang up.  The landline was my only way of knowing where, to some extent, the caller was.  I reached for my handbag, worse than a witch’s wardrobe at the best of times and located my cellphone.  The battery was dead. Sugar!  Ever since James had chosen her above me, I tore myself apart wondering what I could have done differently.  Losing the sailor’s mouth seemed like a good start, although in this situation, four letter words would be more appropriate.

Glass shattered, but with the inclement weather, and disorientating darkness, I couldn’t be sure where.  My adrenalin was in overdrive, my fight response stronger than my flight one, but granted, I didn’t know who I was up against.

Thankfully the Glock I’d inherited from my dad was in its trusty hiding place.  I opened the bread box as quietly as I could, locating the cold weapon, “I’ve got a gun, and I’m not scared to use it!” I shouted, hoping that my mock-bravado would do something to give my assailant second thoughts.

“Did you honestly think I wouldn’t bring a weapon of my own?” I heard a familiar voice call out.  I spun round in the eerie blackness, stepping on Gerry’s tail.  He screeched and disappeared with a hiss.  “Miss Winters, come out, come out wherever you are…”

If I could just get to the basement cellar, I could lock the door from the inside and climb through the window and get help.  I had to, or I quite possibly would end up dead. And I didn’t want to die on the eve of a new decade.

Trying not to breathe heavily for fear of being caught, I crawled towards the cellar door.  Yanking it open, I rushed inside, but the lock jammed as I turned the key.  “Oh, Miss Winters…Kimmy…I just want to play…”

“Leave me alone,” I screamed, “I will shoot you if I must!”

My nostrils filled with the smell of mildew as I took the rickety wooden steps with trepidation.  One gave way and I tumbled to the bottom, hitting my head on the concrete floor. “So this is how I die, I thought to myself, “in a dark basement, a lonely unpublished wannabe author with unworn Louboutins.” I blacked out, swallowed by the cold darkness.

The next time I saw the light, I was being strapped to a stretcher by Basil and Adrian, two paramedics I worked with.

“Trust Kimberley Winters to make an entrance that would wreck her own surprise party and bash her head in,” laughed my best friend and colleague, Susan. “Do you have any idea how much planning went into getting everyone down here?  Good think I swapped out your gun, or you’d have shot our dear old amateur drama student (and Pastor), Harold. Well, it’s past midnight, so Happy Birthday, Hun.  We’ll have you blow out your candles at the hospital.”

And that is how my forties started, not a word of a lie – with a concussion and the fanfare of ambulance sirens and flashing red lights.

 

 

 

 

 

This Star is Being Swallowed by a Black Hole

I’ve had a foreboding for quite some time that something is amiss, but I have yet to pinpoint exactly what it is. I’m so out of sorts – a chameleon on a Smartie box doesn’t even come close to me.

I’ve had ridiculous migraines the past few weeks, and insomnia for ages again.  But for the first time in almost two years I had a panic attack on Thursday night during my mandatory sleep over at Erica and Nathan.  It was one of the worst I’ve ever had, but I didn’t want to disturb them or their two boys aged 2 and 5, so I dealt with it as best I could.  The attacks exhaust me physically and mess with my brain chemistry, which may also explain why I am feeling like the world should just end and be over with it.

As a result of the physical tiredness, I spent virtually the whole weekend sleeping as I was able to.  My body and my brain are taking strain and I’m doing the best I can, under the circumstances not to be the proverbial camel.

February is one of the worst months of the year for me.  It has been ever since I can remember.  It brings with it the Hearts & Roses Hallmark Holiday (excuse me a second while I go an vomit in the nearest trashcan, will you?) and with that reminders of how I’m always good enough to be with until someone younger, prettier and less intellectual comes along.  Every year it gets worse, and as the big four-oh looms later this year, I am feeling it extra hard this year.  This month also brings with it memories of loss that make my heart ache with melancholy.

Yesterday Malcolm would have been 48. I wanted to send Aunty Lynn and Uncle Derick a message to say I was thinking of them (I was!), but I was too afraid they’d call and want to talk about him.  June he will be gone four years; his death hit me harder than I care to admit. What I’d give to have one more conversation with him.  I miss him so much. For an entire lifetime he was my cousin, but for a few years he was my best friend.  He’d totally get what I’m going through now.  He’d probably crack some corny joke to get me to smile, but more than that, he’d open his arms and let me cry on his shoulders until my eyes were swollen enough to resemble those of a boxer on the wrong side of a tight left hook.  In this screwed up world, he was one of the few people that ‘got’ me and he loved me with no judgement.

I had been very reflective as a result of the pending date, and already feeling a downer on the prowl during the work-week, I made arrangements to take a walk with Carla yesterday.  We walked for almost an hour and I measured it with the car – 3.2 Km, because the stupid GPS froze and according to the fitness app I was using to map our walk, we did less than a mile.  Argh!  The walk didn’t have the desired effect of physically exhausting me to the point I’d have liked, so I lay on the couch reading The Book of Joy, which I borrowed from Erica.

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I’m enjoying it, although I will concede whatever I read yesterday, I’ll have to reread, because I wasn’t in the right mindset.  The book deals with the very feelings I am having now, and how to still have joy despite them.  I definitely want to get myself a copy because it will be a book I will definitely reread in the years to come.

The heavy cloud that has been following me for the last few days was also darkened by the fact that the guy who I was good enough to see through his divorce four years ago before leaving me for a blond 10 years my junior (17 years his) and getting engaged to her on Valentine’s Day (a mere two weeks after meeting her) decided it would be a good time to try and catch up by following my (very seldomly used) Instagram.  The first thought that went through my head, was Fuck you, Jack and the second one was block.  I had heard rumours from a quite trustworthy source that there is trouble in paradise and shortly after he pulls a (dick) move, thinking I won’t notice.  It angers me immensely when people insult my intelligence and my intuition.  I’m probably one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet, but I can cut you off like a dead branch and toss you into the fire without looking back.

The heaviness I feel is because of many small things all rolling towards me at the same time.  Think scourge of mosquitoes and you’ll have an idea of what I mean.  The only difference is that I could be sleeping with the G.O.D fan on and they’d still get to me.  I have to keep reminding myself that this too shall pass and that everything happens for a reason, but right now those mantras are not grounding me enough to focus.  I’m a mess -Shattered, hopeless and resentful and I hate it!  I’m a strong person, but sometimes I just need someone to take my hand and tell me Everything’s going to be alright.

So, I’m going to do what I must, to look after myself first, because I’ve been too strong for too long and it’s catching up to me.  The best thing I can do for myself is to rest, even if that means sleeping for two days straight and saying NO! when I can’t take on more straw.  I try to get away once a quarter, but I have a goal I’m saving for (the silver lining is already out in The Universe :)), so the rest will have to be at my flat, where I’ll have to fight the distractions that are all over the show.  Another thing I should do is write more, I know, but right now, that in its own is undue pressure.  I’ll get there. Eventually.

I will also remind myself of this every day until I feel better:

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I promise my next post will be more positive.  Who knows, maybe I’ll do something I haven’t done since school and review a book – The Book of Joy

Friends – The Real Family

Cousin Lola always used to tell me when I was younger, “God lets you choose your friends, because you can’t choose your family.” I’ve been thinking about this more and more lately, especially since The Toppie lost his job at the beginning of the month.  Family are nowhere to be seen – and yes, I’ll concede that some of them are estranged because of bad attitudes, stupid feuds and stubbornness.  I keep coming back to the adage “blood is thicker than water”.  I don’t see much of my family, and to me it’s not really a big deal – there is no animosity between any of us (well almost any), it’s just that we move in different circles, and we have virtually nothing in common.  These family members are those that I don’t ask for anything, nor they from me.  It works.

But then…let’s face it – we all have someone with whom our DNA is interwoven that quite frankly we’d rather not be related to.  Others unfortunately join the ranks through marriage.  The upside of this is that the feeling is usually mutual and as a result paths don’t cross that often.  These people are the ones that you might bump into at a wedding, or a funeral. In my experience it’s usually the latter.  I could chalk it up to paying respects, but sometimes attendance is merely to say I’m still around, Fam-i-ly, just in case… you know, my name might be appearing in late Uncle Joe’s will.  I always did love that landscape painting by Obscure Artist that hung in his dining room.  What my hypothetical Wannabe Art Collector doesn’t know is the good ol’ Uncle Joe ended up on the bones of his arse and worked himself into his grave to keep his wife safe and cared for as he promised her a lifetime ago in front of many of the people at this very funeral. It doesn’t say much for my Wannabe Art Collector, but it does speak to the kind of person Uncle Joe was.

Moving away from hypothetically dearly departed Uncle Joe, and back to the reality at hand…

The past three months have been hell for my parents.  The Toppie had a tough time at work (more than that I am not allowed to say at this stage), and he was let go four days into 2019, tensions were (still are!) high because of rising costs and the place they’re living is in an industrial area, so human contact is almost non-existent.  I’ve tried my best to get them to come and stay with me (as hard as the adjustment would be for all of us, and they’ve declined), and they’re both still competent, so I cannot force the issue.  I’ve tried too to get even a little help from some family members who should as far as I’m concerned have a moral duty, but with no success.  It’s disillusioning to say the least. I hate seeing the two people I care about most in this world have to suffer as they are, when there are people that knew where my parents were when a hand or Rands were needed. The only thing I have to console myself is not everyone thinks like-, nor were they raised like me.  Add to that, that God doesn’t sleep and I do feel a little better about things.

But, as I have learned in an attempt to become more enlightened, I look to what I can be grateful for in this situation – and it is for friends.  From the ones that travelled from Cape Town in September last year and brought my parents a crate of non-perishables and some meat, to the one that baked them some biscuits, so that they’d have something nice to nibble on over Christmas, to the one that drew money out of her bond to loan to me so they could pay their car (and yes it’s a loan to me, which is to be paid back), to the ones that gave The Toppie a painting job so the rent could be paid, to the ones that are sharing a post I’ve put on Facebook to try and help The Toppie find a job to keep him busy and bring some money in, to the one that lets me travel with her to work, so that I can help my folks out with some things they need, to the one that sent me money to take The Bean and The Toppie out for their anniversary.  These people have zero obligation to help at all, but they care about me, and by extension about The Toppie and The Bean.

You know who you are, and I just want you all to know that everything you all do for me (no matter how big or small), is valued and appreciated.  I’m grateful to each one of you, and I’m proud to call you all family.

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2018: It Did Have Some Highlights

2018.  By far not one of my favourites. It was stressful, challenging and exhausting and the result of that combination amounts to every new hair sprouting on my scalp being grey and many, many tears. But as I do every year, I try to reflect on what was good about the year, even if that means that I had one sunny day in a dismally cold July.

January I know I must have rung in the New Year somehow, but I honestly can’t remember where, or with whom I spent it.  I quite possibly may have been at home on my folks’ couch, blissfully when the witching hour struck, signaling the end of 2017 and the start of 2018.  One thing I do remember was going back to work, enthusiastic and hopeful about what lay ahead for me.

February was the month Elizabeth introduced me to liquorice-flavoured ice-cream.  It sounds gross, I know, but as I tell people about many things: “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”.  It’s not always available at the parlour we frequent, so when we see it, we treat ourselves.

I also went away for a weekend to Rheenendal, close to Knysna. I did a woodland hike, which is something I love.  Few things restore this Misfit’s equilibrium as the smell of pine needles and mulch on the forest floor. I also love the different types of fungi that grow on the treestumps.  I also had a daily visitor to the cosy bungalow in which I was staying at a place called Fern Gully – the Knysna Loerie.  I also stopped in at one of my favourite places in the area, Jubilee Creek.

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March was a quiet month, as April was going to be a jam-packed one.  I have gone through my photo archives and can’t find any kind of activities.  This would have been the month that candle-lit baths and early nights were the order of the day.

April was a busy month.

A group of friends and I attended the annual sundown festival at Jakkalsvlei, a local privately-owned wine cellar.  There were local artists to entertain the patrons and the pizza and wine were the perfect fare for one of the sunniest days of the year.

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The following weekend Harriet roped me and two other friends into a treasure hunt which took us to various landmarks in- and around Mossel Bay.  The trio was blissfully unaware of my competitive streak and Formula 1 driving skills.  We got second place, which was a two night stay at a local guest house.  We opted to take use the prize in September given that my birthday falls in that month.

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I also went to Johannesburg to visit an old school friend, Kayla for the final weekend of the month – it was a five day weekend, courtesy of the State due to public holidays.  We went to the country’s largest amusement park, Gold Reef City, which I’d visited over 3 decades before.  We had so much fun.

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It was also a weekend of firsts – I had a Rocomamas burger, Krispy Kreme donuts and a Starbucks coffee for the first time ever.  I rode the Gautrain and also did a bus tour of the CBD where I spent nine years of my life – so many things were familiar, but sadly, the City of Gold is very neglected.

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Still, it was a memorable weekend and I left there feeling rested and extremely grateful for the opportunity to see Kayla and meet her son, Trevor, who at eleven is already a fine young man.

May I was pretty much broke after all April’s shenanigans, so I didn’t social much.  It started to get cold so I did many early nights which contributed to much needed rest – both physical and financial.

June my God-daughter turned a year old.  Sadly I couldn’t be with her on the day given work commitments, but her mom sent me lots of pictures and I got to visit a few weeks later.

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As always, Shayla-Rae made me feel so welcome, and allowed me to just relax which is what I always so desperately need halfway through the year.

Elizabeth, Yasmin, Carla and I also did the Moonlight Maze at Redberry Farm in George.  Charlie and I did the maze in the day last year and that was a feat in its own right.  At night it is ten times worse, but we did it, with a badge to prove it!

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July I took one Sunday for myself to recharge my batteries and headed down to the local hotel not far from where I live.  I had an alfresco lunch – the most phenomenal surf & turf ever, next to the sparkling pool.  I also devoured one of my favourite authors, James Patterson’s books.

August I got back in touch with an old school friend, Chante.  We’ve stuck to our agreement to have a catch-up at least once a month, despite hectic schedules.  We’ve had some interesting conversations and many a good laugh. I’m very grateful that our paths crossed again after such a long time.

September I got to meet a friend-of-a-friend, Linda in person.  She brought me a beautiful personalized artwork during a visit to a friend of hers, Tarryn who lives here now. It has prize place on my bookshelf.

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It was also my birthday, which meant the breakaway with Harriet and our other friends, Yusi and Mark.

October my amazing friends Eleanor and Nathan hosted a belated birthday party for me.  It was a film-based theme-evening and everyone who attended went to great effort with their costumes.  Fun was had by all.

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November was also a memorable month.  Charlie was back in the country, almost heading back out again, so I twisted his arm to join me on a weekend away at local lodge in the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn.

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The town is known for its extreme temperatures, but the particular weekend we went, it was even hotter than usual given devastating veld fires that raged throughout the entire region.  As with my April weekend away, this weekend held many firsts of its own.  We both ate crocodile, and Charlie opted to eat zebra, which he still talks about.  We also attempted to fish in the dam, with zero success and we went swimming in one of the lodge’s two chilly swimming pools.

The following weekend, my former roommate, and sister-of-the-heart, Sasha got married and I was a bridesmaid (also a first!)

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I’ve seen many beautiful brides, but Sasha was by far the most breathtaking, and her groom, Shaun looked dashing.  I unfortunately had to be strapped into a corset as I’d injured my back (again!) two days before the wedding.  It didn’t stop me from dancing though.

December I had the privilege of being able to treat my parents to an outing at Outeniqua Moon Percheron Stud Farm where we learned all about the Draft Horses of Old.  What incredible creatures – true gentle giants.  The owners of the farm, Peter and Christine Watt do incredible work to create awareness about these amazing animals that are on the verge of extinction.

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I also got to take my folks out for lunch on Christmas Day.  It was good to be able to forget about all the awfulness that has surrounded them (and me by extension) lately, if only for a day.

Shayla-Rae and her hubby Shaun also treated me to a concert at the local amphitheatre.  There were over 12000 people in attendance and the atmosphere was electrifying to say the least.

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So yes, while 2018 was not the best year of the twenty-teens, it did have some good times, and those are what I’ll remember, because in the words of Victoria Holt, “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful; if it’s bad, it’s experience.”

Here’s going into 2019 with a positive attitude and hope that the negative things unfortunately having to be carried over will be sorted out, so that life will be happy this year.  Cheers!

PS. I’ll be blogging more this year, I promise!

 

We Sat Next to Each Other in Fourth Grade

You’ve got each other’s numbers, you live in the same sleepy-hollow little town, yet you never see each other… Sounds familiar to many of you, I’m sure.

Chanté and I have known each other since fourth grade I think – her memory on this is slightly better than mine.  I went to her 21st birthday party, and her wedding, but when she told her husband she was having coffee with me, he had no idea who I was.  I don’t blame him – despite being quite extroverted around people who really know me, I am a wallflower where crowds are involved.  She told him all he needs to know is that when she and her family moved here, I was the first person she sat next to at school.

Shortly after tying the knot, she and her hubby went overseas and while we were connected in Facebook-Land, we lost touch in the real world.  When they moved back a few years ago, I saw her for coffee twice, but we didn’t really reconnect.  Whether it was timing, or that we were at different phases in our lives, I’m not sure, but something was a little (for lack of a better word) “off”.

I’ll admit, she’s been way better at touching base than I have, sending me the odd motivational/inspirational message, that always seems to come through at the perfect time.  On Monday though, I felt the need to see her, if nothing more than just to say a proper thank you in person.

So, we got together at a local franchise restaurant last night, originally intent on a quick coffee.  We got talking and the conversation flowed, as if no time had passed – whatever had been “off” before was definitely “on” now!

Two lattés, and hours later, we’d covered a myriad of topics, including how women in general seldom take time for themselves because they’re tending to someone else’s needs – whether parents, husband or kids – before their own.  With that in mind, when we eventually left to go home, we undertook to do a coffee-catch-up at least once a month.

I’m glad we got together – it was good, and it was needed.

A long-standing friendship rekindled is a true gem; and by that token, if you’re reading this, Chanté – you’re a diamond, and of course…

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Emotions Running High…

Nikita and I drove to work amidst the sound of chants & sirens, the smell of smoke and what might have been shots being fired.  You see, yesterday a group of angry residents of one of the local informal settlements decided to protest about the apparent lack of service delivery in the area.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you squat, you can’t expect to have services delivered because there is no damn infrastructure in place for said services to be delivered.

Look, it’s not that I am totally unfeeling towards the people – I too have things I am not happy about, but they are small in comparison to the conditions these people must live in daily.  I live in a fairly safe area, far removed from the blue lights, rubber bullets and tear gas, but I am not unaware, nor do I not comprehend that their issues need addressing.  I do feel though that if common sense is a flower that grows in your garden (which it clearly doesn’t with everyone), you would either wait for your state-funded-residence, as so many before you have, and you’d join the ranks of the rest of society that pays (regardless of the amount) for their services.

I am angry though.  Angry that they feel it is okay to damage public property with their tyre burning escapades and torching private dwellings.

Photos from Citizen.co.za and eNCA

Yes, you read right – these criminals razed other peoples’ homes to the ground because they’re not happy about the state of affairs at their own.  I wish I could find these cruel idiots and shake some sense into them, asking them how YOU would feel if someone did this to you, or someone you cared about?!  Where is the logic?  Just this morning we heard from a colleague that had to travel through the hot-zone that a minibus carrying innocent school children had a brick tossed through its window.  Sure, there is a visible police presence, but I think the laws of this country allow the criminals to rape, pillage and plunder while the police have to stand with their hands tied, trying to appear fierce and forceful.  I would even wager that down the line the community may take matters into their own hands because they are also starting to get gatvol.

During the drive, Nikita and I were talking mainly about the fact that we have a compassionate employer, one that empathises with the situation many of the staff find themselves in because of the barbaric acts taking place close to them.  I have a few friends, also employed by local business people and am totally disgusted how they are told “You will come to work or face disciplinary action” or “Fine, stay at home, but just remember, no work, no pay”.  Have these people no compassion whatsoever? Would a better approach to the situation not be “Yes, I know the situation is volatile, but let’s assess it in a few hours, maybe you can come in then?”

Their employees, people I know are often hardworking and sometimes exploited because they are desperate for the pittances they receive as remuneration are now in need, yet understanding from their employers is not forthcoming; these poor souls are not even heard out.  I find myself wondering how such business owners sleep at night.  Is their revenue for the day more important than the life of one of their employees?  In many instances, it appears so.

Again, yes, I get that this protest action is screwing with our already junk-status-economy but being a royal doos to your employees who actually want to be at work but can’t because they fear for their lives tells me you don’t have much wealth in the brain-, or compassion bank.  You should take a leaf out of Richard Branson’s book:

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