Today marks the day the pre-extention-lockdown in South Africa would have been lifted. As many people have been referring to it, parole day.Continue reading
I’ve tried my hand at many creative things. Fabric painting, cross-stitch embroidery, colouring-in, and quite recently mosaic. I didn’t attend a class, or anything like that; I just winged it. The store that sells kits close to where I stay has a limited selection, so I opted for a butterfly, not sure what I was going to do with the end-product. I found out from my friend, Alice, earlier this week that a butterfly signifies metamorphosis in some circles.
Intent on starting the project to keep myself busy while cat-sitting for my colleague, Nicola, I ended up binge watching Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, with the cats chilling on the couch next to me instead. Then a little disaster struck (well, if I’m honest, it’s been a long-time coming) and I had to flit off to hospital for two small (although very invasive) procedures, which left me with a week at home to recover. I’d started the butterfly somewhere before that, but it lay gathering dust on the shelf because I didn’t really have an offset point for it. I happened to mention it to another colleague, Carrey, (who was kind enough to take me to the hospital the morning of the procedures) and she asked to see the progress as I worked, because she loves handmade things, but is not arty. At all!
I finished it earlier this week and while I was admiring it, I received a message from her and thought I’m going to give this butterfly to her for her birthday, because every year, she transforms into a more beautiful soul. The last photo I’d sent her was of it covered in grout, so she didn’t know that I’d indeed finished it.
She almost dropped it when she opened the box this morning, tears of overwhelming gratitude and excitement running down her cheeks. I felt a bit of a tug at my heartstrings, because I felt like I’d accomplished more than just completing a project; I’d touched her heart in a special way. She is filled with ideas of where to hang it, and when it’s up, I will go for coffee and see it in all its glory.
Just goes to show – everything does happen for a reason. On some level I must have known why I’d bought this butterfly kit, in these specific colours…
The bug’s bitten me though. I ordered three more kits from a Facebook friend who has a mosaic-kit business. The will be here later today! They’re also going to be gifts. One, a pink and white cross, for my beautiful goddaughter on her Christening which is taking place on December 8th, and the others (I’m not going to say what they are, because the friends for whom I’ve earmarked them, will immediately know what they’re getting as gifts).
2016: It wasn’t All Bad
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.
Sixty Six and Still Going Strong
Today is my Mom’s birthday – she is 66. Next week I turn 33, the age she was when she had me, and my biological clock is ticking so loudly, it feels like Big Ben has taken residence in my head. BUT, I continue to hold onto the philosophy that God is still writing my love story. He knows the desires of my heart, and He does have a perfect plan for my life.
Not only is it my mom’s birthday, she and my stepdad (who is the best father anyone could hope for!) are also married for 21 years today. Strangely though, he hardly ever remembers their anniversary. Obviously Mom’s logic didn’t have the desired result.
Tonight Mom, Aunty Carol, Uncle Barry, Elizabeth, Aunty Meryl, Cousin Lorian and her hubby Roman are going out for dinner. Dad is unfortunately still on the oil rig in Ghana. We’ll clink a glass in his absence though.
Well, my Old Bean, here’s wishing you a wonderful birthday, may it be a memorable one!
Happy Birthday to a Special Blogger and Online Friend
Cindy, I hope you have a wonderful day and that the new life year will hold many blessings, surprises, happiness and love for you.
A Tribute to my Best Friend, on her Birthday
I have got to write something every day – it is the only way to keep the writing muscles fit. So today, I asked two colleagues to each give me a random word that popped into their heads. The first word was “happiness” and the other, more cryptic this time, “labels”. I haven’t got that much imaginative oomph to write about labels, so happiness it is…
I’ve knownElizabethfor over 11 years already.
You Want Me to What?
It feels like just yesterday that I was at a friend’s twenty-first when Elizabeth, dressed in a Victorian Wedding Gown (it was a fancy dress party) dragged me out of the arms of a gorgeous man to help her do up her bra, which she was sure had come undone. At the time I only knew her from seeing her at her place of work. Oh, and the bra – it wasn’t undone. Little did I know that it would be this little incident that would lead to a wonderful friendship. It was an evening of happiness and celebration, and throughout our friendship, these two key elements continue to be our foundation.
As I sit here at my desk typing this, I am smiling and laughing to myself as I remember many happy times I’ve shared with her.
Have More Wine
I fondly remember a Sunday morning when both she and I were without parents for the weekend. I don’t remember what exactly I did the Saturday evening, but do remember the phone ringing at Sparrow’s Fart the Sunday morning with Elizabeth barking out the instruction, “Get dressed and come to my house,” into my very hung-over head. Knowing that arguing would be futile, I simply complied – cursing the bastard that had been in the bottles the night before…probably good ol’ José ‘n Jack.
When I finally arrived, hair still damp en a marching band playing some really crap tune in my head, I heard the music coming from inside the house. Oh Brother, I thought, it is going to be a seriously long day. I rang the doorbell and Elizabeth opened the door. She didn’t unlock the safety gate; she handed me a glass of liqueur. I was to drink it immediately, otherwise I wasn’t going to be allowed to go inside. Oh well, I’m already hung-over, what harm can it do? The gate was opened and into the Lion’s Den I went. Or maybe Leopard’s Den would be more apt, considering that Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me, was playing so loudly, the walls were almost shaking. “Here, have some wine,” she said handing me a glass of Cab Sav, as she danced at the sink, while washing the dishes. I couldn’t help wonder, W.T.F?! because she is always the voice of reason…the composed one…the adult – after all, she is seven years older than I am. I remember Def Leppard’s Vault album playing the entire day and us drinking lots of wine. Every time we said something that effectively we shouldn’t, like my telling her about Paul (see my entry dated 2010/05/17, titled Have You Ever Been in Love) , she would simply say, “have more wine.” It has become a standing joke amongst us when life deals us crap to simply have more wine.
Pink Elephants are things that we know we shouldn’t have done, but we did anyway – and enjoyed them too!
A group of about 6 of us went out one night for drinks at a local beach-side café. One of Elizabeth’s ex-boyfriend’s mates, Stuart, was here for a couple of days so he joined us. Now, before I go any further, you need to know that Elizabeth has certain rules about romance – you don’t date your brother’s friends, your friends don’t date your brother and you don’t date your ex-boyfriends’ friends.
We had a great evening, laughing, chatting and just enjoying the sea air, the company, and the drinks. It was a happy time. Or was it happy hour? I can’t remember…
Anyway, when the time eventually came for us to leave, Stuart was adamant that he would take Elizabeth home. Not really knowing him at all, and worrying aboutElizabeth, I was a real stick in the mud stating, “she came with me, she goes home with me,” and I went and sat in the car. I waited and waited and as I looked up, there they were, snogging each other’s socks off. She got in the car, smiling like a Cheshire Cat on seriously giggle twig. Stunned, I asked, “What. The. Hell. Was that?” Her simple reply, “Pink Elephants.”
Realizing from my very puzzled expression that I had no clue what she was talking about she explained, “Pink Elephants are things that we know we shouldn’t have done, but we did anyway – and enjoyed them too!”
As I drove to drop her off at home, she became silent, suddenly wracked with guilt that she had kissed her ex-boyfriend’s friend. I couldn’t help but laugh – after all, life happens.
And quite honestly, if one wishes to get technical and split hairs, she didn’t break her last rule. She kissed him…she never dated him.
About an hour’s drive from the town we live in, there are hiking trails out by the old gold mines. Elizabeth, Liza and I set off early in the morning on an expedition that would leave us all with fond memories, smiles, and sunburn. We travelled on an old forestry road, stopping often to take photos and enjoy the wonder of God’s creation. Halfway to our destination,Elizabeth piped up that she was thirsty, so we pulled in at a local pub (shit, we sound like a bunch of alcoholics!) where a very cute barman tended to our needs. It wasn’t even close to 11 in the morning, yet I was drinking Jack neat on the rocks. I noticed a small pool at the pub too. We hit the road and had great fun at the gold mines. Liza made me a CD for my birthday with a number of photographs on it – some of this day’s photos are on it too.
On our way back home, in a car with no aircon and outside temperatures of over 30 degrees Celcius, I thought it a good idea to stop at the same pub where we’d been during the morning. What I wanted to say was, “Then I will ask the guy if I can use his pool.” What came out was, “Then I will ask the guy if I can use his piel.” For those of you who don’t understand Afrikaans, piel is one of the many terms for penis. To this day, I still haven’t lived that little faux pas down.
I’m Not Rentable!
Elizabeth, Rachel, Liza and I headed off for a girl’s weekend to the quaint little town of Montagu. It was just about a month after my ex-boyfriend broke up with me, on Facebook! I organized us accommodation at a group of cottages on the outskirts of town.
We just unpacked the car and headed off to town to go and get some supplies for the weekend. As we got out of the car a group of locals, obviously not used to seeing four, young women at the same place, at the same time, stared at us like we had landed from Mars. Rachel said, “Ons is seker die enige hubare meisies in die dorp.” Now again, “We are probably the only eligible girls in town,” is what she said. What I heard was “huurbare meisies” which means “rentable girls.” I replied, quite upset, “Your arse man, I’m not rentable!”
I thought Elizabeth was going to collapse the way she was laughing.
When we got back to the cottage, Rachel made a fire – thank goodness, because my survival skills are equal to nought and we played board games and enjoyed one another’s company. When it came time to turn in, Liza wanted to shower first and through the door we heard her cursing that there was no hot water…she never lit the pilot light on the gas geyser, silly girl! It was worth a good laugh when she exited the bathroom with her lips slightly blue and her teeth chattering.
The following morning we took a tractor drive up the mountain. Now, to appreciate this, you all need to understand that Elizabeth does not handle heights well. A bar stool is to high for her…but being the super friends we are, we let her sit on the edge of the carriage, she got a great view of the ground below. Needless to say, we weren’t very popular, but it was worth a laugh – it was a bitterly cold, damp day, but something I think all four of us will remember.
So Elizabeth, it’s been 11 years of friendship…here’s to the next 11, which start today, on your 39th birthday. You are a great, true, loyal and loving friend. A true gift from God, and while we have no blood ties, you are a Sister of my Heart. Happy, happy birthday!
Photo courtesy of http://www.great-birthday-party-ideas.com
Then and Now
Yesterday Cousin Lara’s youngest tyke, Roman turned two. As she likes to tell everyone, he is “Mommy’s lubby lub…” He is hopelessly spoiled, but such a cutie, one can’t help but want to eat him up.
This is a pic of him, the day he was born – The Thinker, in miniature…
and this is him, two years on…with the rocking horse my mom bought him for his birthday. He is terrified to sit on it, but spends countless hours shouting at it and trying to feed it his biscuits.
Her other two kiddies are off to school on Monday – Pierre to Grade two and quiet little Kayla to Grade one. They were just babies the other day…where has the time gone?
The Trip Continues…
…the trip down Memory Lane, that is.
Here is another repost from my old blog…
Those two are the last reposts with reference to Memory Lane that I will post for some time. I am working on a reminiscent post, which I hope to have up by tomorrow morning at the latest. If not, then I’ll post it at a later stage when the nostalgia strikes again.
In the meantime, work awaits…