Dear Followers

I have been selected to freelance for an online travel site. One of the conditions is that I have to maintain a blog, and thus had to give Reflections of a Misfit a bit of a facelift. I have purchased a domain name and exported all the entries here to the new site.  Please go there and subscribe to the blog. The domain is http://myworldthroughmyeyes.com 

Thank you for your loyal following!

Not Quite “Mull of Kintyre”, but Close Enough

Many of you may know, that despite my age, I am a huge fan of the Fab Four.  While not The Beatles, the band that followed, Wings (of which my favourite Beatle, Paul McCartney, was a member) didn’t make bad music – in my opinion – either.

Yesterday afternoon, after a bit of time-out from the stress of the past week, I had to stop to capture these shots of the mist rolling in over the sea.

Mist 1Mist 2Mist 3

My mind immediately drifted to Mull of Kintyre, a song written by Sir Paul and his fellow band mate, Denny Laine.

I found myself particularly reflective after breathing in the fresh, foggy air.  I was once again reminded that everything happens for a reason; in everything there is a lesson to be learned.

Mull of Kintyre, oh mist rolling in from the sea…

…Far have I travelled and much have I seen

Dark distant mountains with valleys of green…

The lyrics resonated with me.  Let me know if they do with you too.

Not sure if it is my Scottish heritage, but I absolutely love this rendition.  The bagpipes, while almost melancholy, lift my spirits.

Mull of Kintyre – Youtube Video

 

 

 

 

Just When I Lose Faith, God Reminds Me that He has Heard my Prayers…

After my pity-party-rant on Tuesday, I was once again reminded that there are people who really do care.  One online friend, Madelyn, sent me a long message of suggestions to make my situation a little more bearable and reminded me of the power of prayer.  Aunty Carol got me some info about what to do regarding a representation application to get the fine reduced, Elizabeth gave me special chocs to cheer me up – a mint Sweetie Pie, a regular Lindor ball and an almond one too.  Connor and Collette listened to me rehash my frustrations and, despite the early hour, gave me a glass (and then another) of good red wine to calm my nerves.

Wednesday Theresa came to visit.  Tonic for the soul, that was.  She spent the night because her car was being serviced at a local workshop the next day.  As we’ve done before, she dropped off her car, I picked her up, and she brought me to work in my car, used it for the day and then collected me from my office, in her car, having had it washed before coming to pick me up.  We got my car, said our goodbyes and she drove off.  Knowing she said she would put some fuel in for using my car, I didn’t for one minute think she meant that she would FILL it.  I was so overwhelmed that I burst into tears, partially out of relief, but also out of gratitude, because she herself is in a wobbly position.  The last time my car was full was over 8000 Km ago!  I know this because I only every trip the meter back to zero is when I used to fill the car.  I think the car was so surprised to be full, it nearly popped its wheels!

I phoned her to say thank you and she said that she did it because she loves me, her honourary little sister.  That just made me weepier.  I tagged her on Facebook last night, with an image containing the text, “Your biggest test comes when you’re able to bless someone else while you are going through your own storm” and I told her that she had passed with flying colours.

This morning I received this from a friend I haven’t heard from in probably at least two years.

Blessings

Unless she happened upon my blog entry, she would be totally oblivious to what is happening in the life of Yours Truly.

As I said I would, I went to the traffic department this morning and spoke to the gentleman who deals with the summonses and he said that because the license had been renewed since I received the fine, half the charge falls away by default and he will see what he can do about obtaining a reduction on the other half.  The wait is approximately two weeks.  So I will wait, in faith, as I should have all along.

The anger and despair I was feeling on Tuesday has been replaced by new hope and renewed faith in God’s timing and the people whom I so often take for granted.

 

My Name’s not my Name, and my Address is Wrong too…

So, I got a R1000 ($72) (summons, which I had to sign for) fine today, because my car’s license had expired – at the end of last month already, and while South African law allows for a 21-day-grace-period after expiry to settle the amount, it means diddly-squat if you thought the license was only due at the end of this month.

The one thing that I don’t understand though, is why the hell the authorities decided to do away with the notifications of pending expiry in the first place.  I have heard of two people this morning who suffered similar fates – My uncle’s car’s license had expired, as had his wife’s which cost them R3710 (± $265) at the end of the day.  My other friend Collette, was informed by someone at her child’s school that her license had expired, five months before.  Where she was lucky is that she was pulled off by the cops twice in that time, and not once did they tell her that the license renewal was overdue.

Why couldn’t that have been me this morning?  I was all spritely and happy to be coming to work this morning.  Really, I was full of positive energy, which was sapped in a nanosecond by Officer What’s-his-name.  I know he was only doing his (often thankless) job, but I am so far up Shit Creek, having lost the paddle months ago.  I said to Aunty Carol this morning that I am so tired of trying to make ends meet and just when, by some miracle, I seem to be doing so, some idiot moves the ends.

Great, now I am saddled with not only the license renewal fee, but penalties and a fine – (I’m looking at about R1700 now ($120)), which I want to mention has some incorrect information on it – my name is wrong and the address noted is non-existent, but according to my attorney-friend, Lisa, spelling errors don’t void a summons.

In my not-at-all-educated-with-regards-to-the-law understanding, this effectively boils down to the fact that the whole thing can be filled out with flawed info, you have to pay up.  I’m wondering what the literacy rate is for traffic officers these days, because when my dad was in the force, they were super-strict about capturing data correctly.  How else are they going to deliver a warrant of arrest (if it had to come to that) if the address listed on the summons doesn’t even exist?  It’s just a question – feel free to crucify me, if you feel you must!

Sure, I can write a representation letter, pleading my case, and I will very likely receive a concession on the amount owing for the fine, but it doesn’t help when Yours Truly is living literally from pay cheque to pay cheque, turning every cent over – sometimes without much success because two to three weeks after the cheque has cleared, there are sometimes Zero Rands in my account.  Had it not been for my colleague, Nicolette, with whom I get a lift to work most days, I probably would be without a job because there isn’t money to fuel the (now unlicensed) car.  Last week I had to rely on someone else’s charity to go to the doctor and get medication, because I didn’t have disposable cash of my own to do so, and surprise, surprise, the medical insurance, like the rest of my life, has gone for a ball of shit.

The license is going to be paid on Thursday, and I will go to the traffic department in person on Friday to hand in my (what I’m sure the people that deal with the fines, must think is ‘yet another sob-‘) story.  Who knows?  Maybe by some mystical magic, things will get sorted out.  Either way, I’ll keep you posted – either about the successful outcome, or I will be regaling you all with tales of mouldy bread, toilet water, cold showers and candles, because I seriously have no idea where I am supposed to find this extra money, without cutting on the essentials.

Time will tell…

Aimee’s Devastating Single O…

I was chatting with a friend of mine from school, Aimee, who some people tend to regard as a bit loose.  We were having a long overdue chinwag about what’s been happening of late and if there are any prospective suitors on white horses looking to rescue her, because the calibre of blokes that have crossed her path are more like the village idiots on their turtle-steeds.  Like me, her biological clock is ticking louder than a pack of C4 attached to Big Ben, but unlike me, it has her going out of her mind.  Sure, I want to be a mom to a beautiful child, but I also want to be able to give it the best I can, and right now, I can’t even keep my pot plants alive.  There is of course, most importantly, the mandatory requirement of sex (it doesn’t even have to be mind-blowing, although granted, that would be a bonus) being a requirement to stop the deafening tick-tock of the ovaries.

Aims has a perfectly good friend with benefits in the wings and a guy who she quite fancies, but who is a decade younger than her.  As much as she protests I don’t want to be a cougar, I honestly think she would love to bed him at least once.  Technically, she is still too young to be a boy-eating cat woman, but I think the idea makes her feel sexy and desired.

Unfortunately, even though she has with one willing willy (and one quite possibly at the ready if she would just make a move on Junior) the willy she really wants spilling its kazillion little swimmers into her is that of another woman’s husband.  Problem, that.

She is quite taken with him.  They met through work and, as is her MO, she texted him asking him for coffee.  His reply was polite, but a rejection nevertheless.  He had had a naked ring finger when she visited his office, so she made the reasonable assumption that he wasn’t married.  Turns out, he and his wife were having their rings redesigned for their tenth anniversary.  Depending on what side of the fence you’re sitting on, this might be romantic or bummer!  Being the kind of friend I am, open-minded and knowing she needs me, I’m on the bummer side, cheering her up with my flamingo-pom-pom dance.  The soppy side of me is thinking ah man, I want someone romantic like that.

She showed me a picture of him – he’s attractive, in a ruggedly-gentleman kind of a way.  Tall and slightly muscular, with a fair complexion.  She tells me that he has a sensual voice to go with the handsome face.

I get though why she feels the way she does; from what she’s told me, he’s a good guy, for the most part.  A little sarcastic at times (but she gets off on the banter), and a touch OCD (everything on his desk is arranged in a straight line, from smallest to largest, left to right) but his head is screwed on properly.  She’s the sort though who will tell you without batting an eyelid of shame, that that’s all good and well, but it’s his other head she’d like to be screwing.

The thing is, besides the fact that he has a wife (and a couple of kids), he is cemented in the moral high ground.  Admirable in current times when divorce seems to be the order of the day.  He has told her countless times that there is no way on this earth that he would consider leaving his wife for her, nor is he prepared to have a physical affair.   Is that a crack in the cement I see?

While she says she’s okay with what they have now, I know that she’s not:  She told me that she was getting her freak on with a guy she had hooked up with after meeting him at a local haunt.  According to the rather colourful commentary, he was quite adept at what he was doing and under normal circumstances she would have been clawing the sheets while screaming his name, but this time round, she finished up rather quickly, with only a single O-face, which is not at all Aimee (from what I’ve heard from not only her – because self-praise is no recommendation – but some of our friends and acquaintances who have had the pleasure of ploughing her rose garden of trust).  Where most women have spigots, Aims has been blessed with the ability to climax like a sprinkler system oiled with Red Bull.  The devastating lack of multiple orgasms happened because she was so focused on not calling Mr. Freak by Mr-Married-Willy’s name that she totally missed the moment.  Mr. Freak noticed it too, so the chances of a replay are rather slim. Ouch…

Anyhow, I spoke to her last night wanting to know how she’s feeling and she told me that she spoke Mr. Married Willy, who feels her pain, but he has reiterated that he is not interested in more than the emotional tryst between them.  She is forging ahead, from a mindset of idyllic fantasy and enjoyment of music, to a minefield of mad sadness because she sent him the lyrics to Katy Perry’s Thinking of You (because he will understand her point of view when he listens to it).  I don’t know about him, but that song is stuck in my head now.  Argh!

I’m not sure how long she is going to carry on with this lunacy, but as her friend I will stick by her, regardless of her decision, because it is not my place to judge.  But I know that heartbreak on some level is inevitable, so I have already begun stockpiling tissues, wine and sad country music.  You know, because she’ll understand the lyrics.

music

An Elephant I am Not…

So, we close shop tomorrow for a short break, returning to the working world on Monday, the eighteenth.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to the break, if for nothing else, than to just sleep a bit later in the mornings.

Shayla-Rae and I are hitting the road on Saturday morning, back to her home, which is literally in the woods.  Her hubby is leaving in the wee hours of Sunday morning to go hunting with a friend of theirs, so it’s just us girls, and the four-legged babies for a few days.  I’ll be coming back home on Wednesday and then spending the rest of my break with my parents.

Mom bought me a DIY mosaic kit, but for the life of me, I have no idea where I put it.  I want to take it along to keep myself busy during the few hours that Shayla-Rae has to do some work.  Just because I’m on holiday, it doesn’t mean that she is too.

On the subject of not remembering where stuff has been left… I read an article a while ago about a woman who was treated at the local emergency room for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).  Apparently she forgot to remove her tampon for nine (yes people, nine!) days.

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How scary is that?  She could have died!  I’ve heard of preggy-brain, but I’m beginning to wonder if period-brain is something too, because the mosaic went “missing” during Aunt Flo’s visit.  The fact that I am forgetful of late confirms though that my DNA is indeed homosapien and not paciderm.  Anyhow, I will search for the kit tonight, as I begin to get my suitcase packed for the next few days.

Other news in this MTM’s life is that it is cold.  Seriously so.  I am not a big fan of the winter in general, but this past fortnight has been particularly blustery.  And, I’m about to learn even more about what real cold is because Shayla-Rae mentioned that the mountains behind their house are covered in “white icing”.  I am going through my mental closet inventory…no, MTM, you do not own thermal underwear.  Pack your beanies!  And a bottle (or three!) of sherry…

A Birthday Tribute to a Special Friend

Edit:  The birthday boy’s mom just posted on Facebook that he isn’t entering his thirties; he’s already 33…BUT regardless of that, the sentiment in this post stays the same.

If you’re really lucky in life, you’ll make some incredibly special friends – people that will live in your heart and travel your journey with you, despite you not being able to see them often because they live far away – sometimes in a different province, sometimes in a another country.  I have quite a few of these family-of-the-heart and I am grateful for each and every one of them.  No amount of distance or time changes the kinship we have with one another.

One such friend is Simon.  And today he enters (apparently he did, three years ago already!) the dirty thirties!

So, before I tell you more about just how much I love him, I’m going to wish him the heartiest of hearty happy birthdays!

Simon

I’d love to take credit for the giant cupcake, but unfortunately I don’t have a decent oven.  I borrowed this one from here.

Five years ago Simon wrote a note and shared it on Facebook and one of the things he said was that by clever manipulation, Yours Truly would write a novel about him.  Five years later, two manuscripts lay half-written, but the dream remains alive.

As with many of my friends, Simon started out as a blogger friend – a bloke with an incredible sense of humour and a totally different outlook on life than I have.  Younger, more liberal, well-written and equally well-read, I looked forward to reading his blog every day.  Many a day, it was tonic for the soul.  I loved his no-holds-barred approach to telling a story.

I’m not sure when exactly we met in real life, but the blogger and the real chap were one and the same.  No pretenses, no issues, just a genuine guy with an amazing personality and of course, a love of red wine.  He also is a keen cricket-watcher, something which I am too, although I don’t do it much anymore because I don’t have satellite TV.  Oh, and he is a Sharks supporter, as are many of my other awesome friends (despite me being a staunch Stomer).

Some years after, during a visit to Cape Town, I got in touch with him again and got to meet his boyfriend (now husband) Mike and Mike’s mom, Ginny.  I immediately took a liking to Mike when he said, while we were driving in pouring rain and there were construction workers on the road, “Shame, they must be cold.  We should get them sandwiches.”  I also got to meet Simon’s beautiful sister Kimberley that night too.  Brother and sister are two peas in a pod.

I stayed in touch with Simon (and Mike) by e-mail, but both are terrible correspondents, despite being writers of some sort!  Simon won’t hold my saying so against me, because it is the truth.  I’ve followed their journey from Hong Kong to Chicago to Atlanta to Athens (not the one in Greece).  I’ve watched on Facebook how their family of four-legged children has multiplied.

One thing that particularly touched me about Simon is his generosity.  I remember in a mail a long while ago, that I was lamenting wanting to do the advanced novel-writing course, but that I just couldn’t afford it.  In one of the few times he did reply to a mail, he and Mike offered to pay a portion of the tuition with “you can pay us back when you’ve got the money”.  I couldn’t bring myself to do it because my conscience would plague me.  Money-lending and friendships are an explosive, often fatal, combination.

The last time I got to see them was at their wedding, where I met a few more fellow bloggers.  The event was a classy, fun, affair with lots of wine, dance and great food – things both Simon and Mike appreciate.

Simon, my darling friend, I love you so much – you are an incredible person, with a heart of gold.  We may not see each other often, but I treasure your friendship and the things you have taught me (without even being aware of them).  Here’s wishing you an incredible birthday!  As the Afrikaners say, “Lank sal hy lewe, lank sal hy lewe, lank sal hy lewe in sy gloria”.

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