I didn’t type a post on January 1st as I have done for ages. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I wasn’t of much value yesterday having rung in the New Year with Neil, Eliza, Neil’s friend, Grant and his wife, Casey (who happens to be Eliza’s cousin) and only had 4 hours of shuteye. I’ll admit the hangover was deadly, but if I had to do it over, I would. I had a great deal of fun and honestly, I was happy to see the back of a year in which I had shed a great deal of tears because of unsolved worries and constant financial and emotional stresses. It was a harsh, unforgiving year in the sense that I not only came to realize, but accept that many people are fickle and that they will only be in your life as long as you are able to give and they are able to take. Once the proverbial well dries up, those same people who would telephone you once, sometimes twice, a week, can’t seem to operate the telephone anymore, nor can they make a special effort to pop in for coffee when they happen to be in the neighbourhood. It hurts, and it makes me bitter, but I am not going to allow the bad vibes to cloud my hopes for 2017. I also realized that there are good people out there too – people who I hardly know and who I least expected would care, who have proved to care more than some people I’ve known for a long time.
Looking back on some photos taken last year, I am grateful for the happy times that I had too.
Dad and I attended the first birthday of the parkrun. I can’t remember when it was, but I do remember the theme was funny hats. We didn’t do as many parkruns as we did in 2015, but this year that will change. Dad has been very tired with his part-time job and the ridiculous hours involved, so I didn’t want to push the envelope too much. It was good for us though, our bonding thing, so we need to get back into it. It will also take his mind off the worries he has, albeit for a little while.
Elizabeth’s sisters had babies early in the year – the first being Anna and Miles’s little princess, Karolyn and less than a month later, Ilne and Zachary welcomed their first-born, Harold to the world. They are both sweet kids, with polar-opposite personalities. Elizabeth is such a proud aunt, who shares their progress with me often. Little Harold started walking just before Christmas.
I did a first aid course in April. The course matter was intense, but the instructor made the day informative, interactive and fun. My certificate is valid until 2019, but honestly I hope that nobody at work has a serious injury because I think my nerves may get the better of me.
June I decided to do some baking. I made a peanut butter and syrup swirl roll which turned out to be such a resounding success, a friend makes it regularly for her children.
July I broke away to Shayla-Rae for a few days. It was, as it always is, spectacular to see her. She taught me how to stoke a proper wood-oven and she cooked on the stove for me every night because I was totally fascinated. Let me tell you something: a chicken roasted in a Dover oven tastes out of this world.
In August Carla, her friend, Elaine and I went to Benguela Cove where we did a wine and chocolate pairing – a first (but definitely not a last) for me. It was a special day, a memory etched in my mind.
September was a month of celebrations. Mom turned 70 and she and dad also celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. I took them for a fancy lunch and afterwards we ate cake – for days afterwards.
I also turned 18, for the 19th time and did something different – a Murder Mystery Party. It took a lot of planning and while nobody was really sure what to expect, the evening was an absolute hit!
My Herbalife business picked up systematically throughout the year, and I’m trusting that the trend will continue upwards this year. My upline had a promotion for the members in their team and I qualified for a Hawaiian themed-party in October! Pictured here are all the qualifiers.
The same month I decided to give my hair a bit of a chop and while I hate selfies, many of my friends wanted to see the new look. I like it, but sadly, finances don’t allow for a short do that requires constant upkeep. By the end of 2017 my hair may very well be long enough for me to sit on!
One of the most special events that happened in October was the birth of Neil and Eliza’s second son, Leonard. I am the first person that will tell you I am scared of babies, but he is special. I have really bonded with him and look forward to cuddles from him when I go to visit them. Their eldest son, Noel, who is three now is such a good big brother.
November Carla treated a number of us to a weekend away for her birthday. We went to a tiny little place called Nature’s Valley (about two hours from here). We had a special time, bonding as friends, over wine, laughter, food and the tranquility of the nature there. I’m sure another weekend will be on the cards this year. Topping the last one may prove a bit difficult, I think.
Elizabeth also had her birthday and my gift to her was an open-air movie at the Botanical Gardens in George.
The last month of the year brought with it summer and with that, the annual Colour Run. It is marketed as the happiest 5k on the planet and I think it lives up to that statement. I was man-down afterwards because the heat was extreme. It is fun and the positive vibe is electrifying. The only downside is the struggle to get clean afterwards. It took me three days to get all the paint out of my hair and off some parts of my body. Will I do it again? Absolutely!
Dad also bought Mom a hand-reared cockatiel, who I named Marley. It means misty meadows and she is grey, so it was a no-brainer. She has proved to be a real joy. She is only nine weeks old, and can be a bit of an attention-hog.
The saddest thing that happened in December was the devastating veld fires which raged for a few days. There was speculation that someone had tossed a cigarette butt out of the car window, but it turned out that it was arson. One of the fire-starters was caught red-handed and arrested. People could have lost their homes and so many animals would have been displaced, or worse, killed.
There were other gems throughout the year – random drives with Mom to The Point to feed the seagulls, or simple pleasures like a beautiful sunrise, entering the American Green Card Lottery (I’ll know later this year if my application was successful, but I have a really good feeling that my dream of writing a novel in The Big Apple will be realized) a homemade grilled cheese sandwich, real boerekoffie in an enamel mug and even a spontaneous cheese and wine with a friend on the back of his bakkie.