2019, Goodbye!

As the sun begins to set on 2019

I reflect on where I am,

what was,

what might have been…

I remember the rivers I cried:

How, in March, I wished I had died.

So much has changed this year

Yet much is the same

Family, friends, job, dreams

Yet the solid ones remain my team.

I remember the laughter and smiles:

Gatsby, weekends away, foresty miles.

Photo by Johannie van der Hoven (c)

Often it was tough, but mostly good;

I loved and lost and stumbled and fell

But like a Phoenix, I rose

and finally understood

I remember feeling undefeatedly victorious:

The freedom of turning forty, so joyous!

Photo by Liezel Volschenk Photography (c)
Photo by Liezel Volschenk Photography (c)
Photo by Liezel Volschenk Photography (c)

Excitement grew, as did my dreams:

Of travel and writing

Of leaving what’s safe, to open my mind

To see new places, to spread my wings.

I remember the sad goodbye of dear, dear friends,

But our bond is stronger than time’s end.

I remember standing in speechless awe

Of the Mighty Zambezi and Victoria Falls

As 2020 looms, undoubtedly with challenges of it’s own

I take solace knowing I won’t have to face them alone.

Cheers!

**Unless otherwise specified, all photos are my own and my not be used without my prior written permission.**

Toothy Tears

A while ago I wrote about knowing your emotional triggers. But, what happens when something you used to love, turns out to be a trigger? This is what happened to me earlier this week, which took me by quite a surprise. The Bean and I were watching an Elvis Presley tribute show and every song stirred sadness within me, even Burning Love which used to be one of my ultimate feel good songs. Bring on the love songs and well, I was close to bawling like a child whose favourite tricycle had been chopped up for firewood.

elvis-presley-gty-jef-170816_16x9_992

It didn’t stop there. Night before last I was under the covers watching Covert Affairs for the millionth time and Annie and Auggie finally kissed, the tears were running rivers down my cheeks.

Annie-Auggie-Kiss-3-annie-and-auggie-32827165-200-200

Knowing that tears are cathartic, I decided to up the ante so I watched the episodes of Bones where Mr. Nigel-Murray and Sweets die, followed by the last episode of Elementary. The latter series holds special meaning for me. The tears though felt less sentimental, but more heartfelt.

tumblr_p4530ndnB41rw21rio1_500

bones-sweets-death-2

I found myself thinking What the hell is wrong with you, Woman? And then it hit me. I’ve had toothache since the day before Elvis’s crooning.

Now, I am not a lover of the dentist. At. All. So for me to go, out of my own, on a Friday during my holiday and sitting five hours at the local Walk-In dentist and not being helped and then having to leave because of another appointment, and then finding another dentist on a Saturday, must tell you the amount of pain I was in. Turns out that it’s not my tooth at all, well technically not. More than a decade ago, my wisdom teeth were extracted, in the dentist’s chair (I think childbirth must be as painful) and one’s root broke off, staying behind in my jaw. I’ve not had trouble with it. Until now.

The dentist (who has the most beautiful blue eyes) took an x-ray and it turns out that the jaw bone on the one side has healed perfectly, but not on the other (where the problem is). He explained to me in terms I could understand what the issue is and sent me off with a prescription for antibiotics, so large they resemble suppositories.

20191228_174545

He gave me strict instructions that if I was not feeling relief by today, I was to come back, so he could cut into my gum, check inside and sew me up again. I thought, hell no, there is no way I am having someone choppity-chop my gums and then sew me up again. What is the stitches hurt more than the cut? What if lips swelled, making me look like a badly botoxed celebrity? Would I have to get anesthetic? Because that in its own right poses its own challenges – I come out extremely unpleasant. So, instead I smiled (well kind of), telling him I would return if I was still swollen or if brushing my teeth felt torturous. Thank the Pope I woke up this morning feeling a lot better, and looking less like a mumpy chipmunk.

700-00439193

I even have colour in my cheeks again 🙂

I have a notion that the antibiotics may be playing havoc with my stay-sane meds and that may be why I’m feeling all teary-eyed like an overly-hormonal-pregnant-rabid-dog. I only have three more days left to drink them, so after that I’ll test my Suspicious Mind by getting caught in a trap with all the characters that have made me cry this week. I like to think that what I’ve experienced is a false trigger (if such a thing exists). After all, who doesn’t love The King of Rock ‘n Roll? Or Holmes and Watson being two people that love each other?

Or Piper Perabo kissing a shirtless Christopher Gorham?

christopher-gorham-shirtless-covert-affairs

‘Til next year!

Wishing all my readers, and followers a great end to 2019, the best start to 2020. Here’s believing it will be one to remember – for all the right reasons.

Cheers!

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.

20180224_09335220180224_111336

20180224_12201520180224_12115120180224_132720

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.

FB_IMG_1546363431017FB_IMG_1546363440237

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.

FB_IMG_1546363350392FB_IMG_1546363384510

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.

20180429_09424520180429_09424320180429_095021

20180429_11204420180429_14182020180429_11524720180429_103132

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.

20180427_13595620180430_07332720180430_07321420180501_09141020180430_07010720180430_08380820180430_09552420180430_110453

20180430_09595720180430_10592220180430_07433620180430_09552720180430_095708

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.

IMG-20180603-WA0008IMG-20180529-WA0025

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!

FB_IMG_1546363409924

FB_IMG_1546363400608.jpg

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.

FB_IMG_1546363274854.jpg

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.

IMG-20181028-WA0038IMG-20181028-WA0057IMG-20181028-WA0062IMG-20181028-WA0027IMG-20181028-WA0033IMG-20181028-WA0037IMG-20181027-WA0029

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.

20181104_140728

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!)

20181110_151443

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.

FB_IMG_1546363198966FB_IMG_1546363192660

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.

20181228_18160320181228_18141220181228_211312

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!