Day 21: It Would Have Been Parole Day

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.

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Happy Birthday to MMMMEEEEEE!

Yay!  Cake for days…

This is what Tina said when I sent her a picture of the FOURTH cake I’d had in as many days in celebration of my fortieth birthday this past weekend.  It was the absolute best commemoration of my earth-joining ever.  To say I’m all caked-out is an understatement, but knowing me, and my insatiable sweet-tooth, the feeling will pass soon.

On Sunday (my actual birthday) night, as I lay on the couch with a sore tummy (not from cake, but lots of laughter), I felt immense gratitude for my blessings – my parents, my friends and their love for me.  I know I’m special to them, but somehow I was reminded of it, and extremely overwhelmed.

It all started on Friday evening.  Eliza, Nathan and Carmen, along with their little ones hosted a surprise party for me.  There was sushi, the most amazing quiches, milk tart (a South African confection) and a coconut cake.  There was also bubbly…


We spent the evening on the couch under blankets watching Rocketman.  I have newfound love for Elton John’s music.  When I suffered my major depressive episode earlier this year, I would often play I’m Still Standing, singing along at the top of my lungs.  Then I’d burst into tears afterwards.

The next morning I woke up at 06:15.  For those of you a little slow on the uptake, it was Saturday.  Who in their right mind wakes up so early?  I’ll tell you:  People that are (almost) forty.  I made the best of it with a cappuccino as I watched the sunrise.  This photo doesn’t do it justice.


The afternoon The Bean, some of my closest girl friends and Cousin Lara got together for a vintage high tea at Déjà vu Vintage House.  The Bean and I even “bopped” on the stage and the pillbox hat I was wearing came right off.


We regaled stories and shared memories and Cousin Lara had us in stitches with some of her tales.  Our host, Joan, baked a royal lemon and elderflower cake for the occasion and her husband, De Waal took many photographs for us.


The day was perfect.  It ended with The Bean, The Toppie, Elizabeth and I staying over in Eliza and Nathan’s Airbnb, Eagle’s Rest.

Sunday morning, I woke up feeling different.  I can’t pinpoint what exactly is different, but something is.   It makes me excited and hopeful for the future.  That morning, I did something that I’ve always loved:  I crept into bed with my folks and had coffee with them.  I realize more and more that these moments often taken for granted are going to be no more some time in the future, so I cherish them even more now.  We had a lazy morning before heading off to The Cork & Plunger for lunch.  As always, the food and service was en-point.  This was also where we enjoyed cake number three, a Vegas-themed one, baked by one of my colleagues, Marjorie.  The wording underneath the cards reads A Royal Start to a New Decade.  After way too much food, everyone went their separate ways.


Yesterday I got to work and there was another cake, again baked by Marjorie.


I got a lovely card from my colleagues.  Many of the messages inside touched me deeply, but one in particular brought tears to my eyes.  It read “May you receive the abundant kindness you always give to everyone around you”.  Even just thinking about it makes me emotional.  I’ve always said that I want to be remembered for something.  To be remembered for kindness is better than my name on a plaque.  I’m blessed to know that I do reach people and that it is my heart that they see.

I’ve made a promise to myself – to be as kind to myself as I am to others. Cheers to forty!

Seven Years & Still Going Strong…

Seven is considered in many cultures to be a lucky number; in some even spiritual. I think that in this instance, it’s both.

Today, seven years ago, my life changed. I landed a job at a company that has afforded me the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally and allowed me to utilize my talents, all in a safe, happy working environment. In the time I’ve been here, I’ve picked up scraps with some colleagues, but that is an occupational hazard everywhere. The difference is that the people I work with are not just like family, they are.


I was saying to Nikita, whom I sometimes carpool with, that I still remember my first day. I parked my car in the visitor’s bay and my boss came to me and pointed to a bay demarcated for my car.  I didn’t do much that day, because my boss had just returned from a two-week-long overseas visit. I was shown to my office and then taken through the factory to meet everyone.  The rest of the day I settled in.

In the time I’ve been here I’ve got to put my writing- and proofreading skills to good use.  I also received incredible support when I decided to complete the final subject for my tertiary qualification.  I’ve been mentored by incredible leaders, admonished when necessary by one father-figure in particular, teased like a little sister by some colleagues and carried by others when things have not been all sunshine-and-rosy.  See, family.

How many of you reading this can honestly say that going to work isn’t something you abhor, but look forward to? How many of you can say that spending time with your colleagues is not something you do simply because of the pay cheque at the end of the month?

I can, because seven years ago, when I walked through the door, I wasn’t half the person I am today, and for that I’m grateful.

Here’s to the next leg of the journey – and of course, cake to celebrate!

Birthdays and Other Things

I know, I know, I should be blogging more often to flex my writing muscles, but time is still a luxury I don’t really have much of.  My first Writer’s College assignment was sent off weekend before last and received a mark of 90%.  I was thrilled!

Wednesday I was awoken with coffee by Mom and Dad and given a beautiful gold necklace with a silver and gold cross pendant.  It broke 😦  Dad took it back and after much argument with the store manager, was given a voucher for the value.  I subsequently went with Elizabeth to the mall on Saturday and got a replacement.  I will take a picture and post it sometime in the future.

I arrived at work and found this on my desk from the lady that works in our accounts office.  (Sorry the quality of the photo is so bad).  For those of you who can’t see what it is, it is a mini Wedgewood nougat, with some hand picked flowers from her garden.

Later in the day we had cake and cappucino at work and I got this beautiful bunch of flowers from everyone at work

 as well as a R200 from Wordsworth books, which I promptly used to buy two more Terry Pratchett novels to add to my collection. 

What was even better was that I got to go home just after four!

When I arrived home, Mom and Dad spoilt me a little more with two more gifts – a lovely hoodie jersey and a new hairdryer (my other one melted…)


We went for dinner at the Dros – Elizabeth joined us, as well as Mom’s sister and her hubby.  I drank a lot of champagne, and obviously had a little bit of a tender head the next day, but it was a great evening. 

Elizabeth and I have been friends for over 10 years already and she knows me so well.  There are days when she irritates me beyond belief, but there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do to make my life (or anyone else’s for that matter) better if it is within her power to do so.

She spoilt me too – with a fabulous gift pack consisting of James Patterson’s latest Women’s Murder Club novel, 9th Judgement, Sh’zen Skin Perfection Capsules, a Lindt slab, a Woolies chocolate milkshake (they are heavenly) and a handmade nougat.

but that was not all…

 I had many phone calls on the day too, as well as a Facebook wall graffiti’ed with messages.

All in all, it was a great day – not the most memorable birthday I’ve had, but it ranks in the top five.

On other things:

Work is still busy, but the cooler weather of late has casued the fruit volume to drop, so we are finishing at a reasonable time some days, but once the sun starts beating down again, long days lay ahead.

My car is making a funny noise – I think it is the CV joint that is packing up.  Probably from driving the poor thing on a bumpy dirt road every single day.  I will have it checked out at some stage, along with the manifold that has a hole in it. 

Am in a somewhat naughty mood, so, before I divulge too much, I am going to sign off – maybe I’ll be inspired to write something saucy.