I Really am a Misfit…

…I realized this in quite a humourous way last night.  It’s amazing how when you hear someone retelling a story you’ve told, just realize just how nutty you sound.

Last night at Ewan’s “The-thesis-study-is-finally-handed-in” surprise sausage barbeque, Carmen’s friend, Marion (whom I have also befriended) was telling a few of the group that she thought I was a bit strange when we first met.  A group of us went out for coffee one evening after work, and there was Marion, unfamiliar to me, but a friend of Carmen’s, so someone awesome, simply by association.  I knew all the other people that were there, and they knew me, so I didn’t think twice about telling them about the tragic passing of Mom’s much loved canary.

Now, most of my friends will tell you that I love animals, but that I seriously suck at taking care of them.  Not because I don’t want to, simply because I’m so scatterbrained, I sometimes simply forget.  I am not a good pet-sitter either, pets tend to die on my watch, as was the case with said canary.

Mom and Dad went away for a few days, about a week, the destination is irrelevant.  The fact is they weren’t home, the canary was, and it was left in my capable over-30 hands…or so they thought.

I remember sitting at work updating orders when the proverbial bucket of ice-cold water was poured down my back!  Shit, I’d forgotten to feed the canary, for about three days running. Oh well, if it’d survived this long (never assume anything!), what was another hour or two, right?  When I eventually did get home, after first stopping at the mall for something, and then at a friend for a quick coffee (which lasted about two hours), I trotted off to the back porch to check on the canary and well…it was dead (as most of you probably expected by now).  I was quite distraught – not because it was dead, but that Mom wasn’t around to bid it farewell and bury it, so I did what I thought (Marion obviously didn’t) was the next best thing, and I wrapped it in clingwrap, and popped it in the freezer, right next to the frozen chicken pieces.  Birds of a feather…

The day before my folks were due home, I broke the news as gently as I could that the canary had chittered it’s swansong and was now in the Big Aviary in the Sky.  Mom was understandably upset.  What upset her even more was that I’d frozen the carcass.  “Now mom, it wasn’t a carcass, it still had all its feathers and everything…” I told her that I wasn’t going to bury the poor little creature until she got home.

The day of the burial arrived – Mom made me dig a tiny little grave at the rose-bush and I placed the little popsicle in the ground, clingwrap and all.  Mom thumped me upside the head and told me to use my brain – plastic is not biodegradable!  So I picked it up, grabbed the ends of the plastic and shook until the canary popped out with a soft thud into the ground.

Our rose-bush is still growing like a weed…and the flowers are canary yellow too.  Coincidence?  Nah!

So, as I sit here, rereading this post before I publish, I realize just how loony I must have sounded regaling this true tale to someone who’d just met me.  I guess I really am a misfit…but I love myself just the way I am.

Emotional Day…

*Note that this post may contain some swearing*

I have only been awake 7 hours and already I have experienced a flood of emotions:

Anger

I seldom watch the news – there is inevitably something depressing to be heard, but I do follow certain columnists on the net, like my good friend Simon Williamson who is a freelance writer currently living in Hong Kong.  This morning when I was reading his latest column on News24.com I found a number of links on the same page pertaining to child abuse and/or rape.  Wanting to include something like this in my novel, I decided (against my better judgement) to read the articles (on an empty stomach).  Pardon my language, but WHAT THE FUCK is going on in this country, particularly in Kwa Zulu Natal?

The police shoot a man in the leg (again, WTF!?) after catching him in the act of raping a 7 year old little girl.  They should have shot the fucking piece of shit dead!  What kind of life is that little girl going to have.  She is going to be traumatized for life.  Therapy can only help so much.

Another story tells of a nanny who raped the 5-year old little boy in her care!  She has finally been sentenced to life imprisonment (which our taxes are paying for!) after she was arrested for this crime a year ago.

And the last one I could handle before I totally lost it was the story of a stepfather who is now on the run (fucking coward!) after being caught red-handed by his wife raping his 10 year old stepdaughter in the bed he and her mother share.

Satisfaction

Dinner last night was fabulous!  Despite it being a week night, my guests only left at a quarter to midnight! Everyone was very impressed with the food 🙂 which I was thrilled about (although I must admit that I nearly cremated the bruschetta!  Thank goodness I had enough French loaf left to make more).  There was quite a bit of chicken and couscous left over, so I have dinner for tonight too 🙂  The Italian kisses went down well, although I somehow managed to give Elizabeth only vanilla ones.  I don’t know how that happened.  Must have been all the wine I drank 😉

Sadness

It was Greg’s memorial service today, and while I only got to meet him briefly some years back, I went to the church service – Elizabeth was quite broken, but putting up a tough exterior.     Another friend of hers and Greg’s came all the way from Phalaborwa, along with a number of his military colleagues for the burial and the service.  Even though I didn’t know him that well, I got a huge lump in my throat when his colleagues did their eulogies.  Greg was only 40 and died of a heart attack.  The minister gave a comforting message, but even so, it is evident that he will be missed by many.  I can’t begin to imagine the heartache and pain his parents are going through.  The circle of life is meant to work that children bury their parents, not so?  Steph has also been dead for 7 months already 😦  Life is truly so short 😦

Regret

Jay has asked me not to blog about him or discussions between us, which I have not, out of respect for his wishes.  But I feel like a right royal doos – he sent me an email last night and I over-reacted to something he said and immediately sent back a bitchy, uncalled-for reply.  I don’t know what the hell came over me.  My conscience was still plaguing me way after midnight that I eventually got out of bed and mailed him an apology.  Fortunately Jay has accepted my apology, but it doesn’t make me feel any less of a doos.

Joy

On a happier note, it’s one of my closest friends, Kelly’s birthday today.  We have been friends since 1993 when we in Standard 6 together.  Even though we live in different parts of the country, we are still close and talk often.

Picture courtesy of http://lizandbeccabake.blogspot.com/

Kelly Darling, here is wishing you a wonderful day and a new life year that only offers the best of the best!  Remember that life is short, so savour every moment.   Remember the good, forget the bad and keep whatever makes your heart smile.  I love you lots!

Tonight I am going to Elizabeth – she asked me to come around; in actual fact she didn’t give me much of a choice:

“Are you coming to visit tonight?  Yes you are.  Okay, see you later…”

I think it is going to be another late night – the only real cure for a sad heart is your friends, wine and hope that tomorrow will hold better things.

 


 

ANOTHER Sad Day…

Mom’s phone rang just after 8 last night.  It was Kayla, one of my most dear friends in the whole world, whom I don’t get to see enough because she lives in Johannesburg and I live down here.  She was the bearer of bad news.  Our mutual friend, Rentia’s mother passed away last night.  Like Steph, she too died after a long illness, but unlike Steph who died on her own birthday, Rentia’s mom died on her youngest daughter,  Sarah’s birthday.  How tragic…

I will admit that I haven’t had much contact with Rentia in quite some time – as life happens, so people sometimes drift apart.  I sent her a message last night and again this morning.  My heart is with Rentia, her father, her siblings and her children.  Again, I am reminded of my own mortality…

Goodbye Steph…

…I received word from Elizabeth that our close friend, Lisa’s mum, Stephanie, passed away at 04:20 this morning after battling various illnesses.  Even more tragic is that today would have been her sixtieth birthday, if Rachel is correct.

I remember chatting to Elizabeth’s mum about Steph, not having met her yet.  Elizabeth’s mum summed her up as flamboyant.  When I eventually did have the honour of meeting Steph, she was flamboyant…and caring…and funny…and loving…and gracious…and inspiring…and the list goes on.

People often say when one no longer walks a road with someone to “remember the good times” – and I do.  I have searched the deepest recesses of my mind for a tainted memory of some sort and nothing comes up.  I distinctly remember the last time we had a get-together at Lisa’s flat (behind her parents’ house).  The lights of the main house were off, so I just popped into the flat – moments later Lisa’s phone rang.  Steph was on the line wanting to know why I had not popped in to say hello.

I went in to say hello and we ended up chatting for almost an hour!  She was always positive about everything, despite her troubling health.  I remember telling her how much the farm takes out of me and that I know it is not something I see myself doing long-term and she would encourage me to do what would make me happy; to never stop dreaming.

She also had a strange, yet fond fascination with my hair.  Whenever she saw me she would compliment me on it, or run her fingers through it.  She was also always interested in potential romances; she would tease Rachel often about all her “boyfriends”.

My heart is aching terribly today – not only for Steph’s departure; for Lisa and her father and Steph’s mum left behind, but because it brought me to a terrible realization that Steph was younger than both my parents.  It made me realize just how fortunate I am to still have them with me.  Seems as I get older, Death makes me a little more aware of my mortality.

Steph – You were loved by many, and you will be sorely missed.  Rest now, in the arms of the angels.

Fly on the Wall

I’m pretty much out of inspiration at the moment – I blame this bitterly cold weather for my current bout of brain-freeze.  I’m not used to single digit temperatures – they belong in Russia, where our double digit hot temperatures currently are. 

So, I popped over to Plinky for some inspiration and the thought for the day there is:

You are a fly on the wall at your own funeral.  What are other people saying about you?

I am not going to write a long, drawn-out post…just short’ish thoughts – all good though because I don’t believe in speaking ill of the dead.

The Minister:  She wasn’t a really big church attendee, but she came from a family whose history is firmly entrenched in this town.  She will be missed by many I’m sure.

Elizabeth:  You know, she was a great friend.  I loved her like a sister, but that bitch never did make me that killer chocolate mousse of hers.  I waited over a decade!  Did any of you ever have the honour of tasting it?

I am definitely going to miss our “have more wine” and “pink elephants” conversations.  She came to visit me one Sunday morning and when I opened the door at ten in the morning, I shoved a glass of Cab Sav in her hand and we eventually finished two bottles.  The revelations that came out that morning were interesting to say the least.

You know how we actually became friends? I grabbed her out of a guys arms at a party and dragged her to the bathroom to help me with my bra that was undone.  The look on her face was priceless.

 Rachel:  She was the closest thing I would ever have to a sister and I told her that.  I will miss her coming over on a Saturday night to affirmative shop in my cupboard for something to wear to the dance where Mark was playing, or how she would come over just so I could apply her eye-liner.  It took months, but I finally convinced her to wear red lipstick, and it took even longer before the idea finally grew on her.

I am also going to miss taking the mickey out of her about how often the guys she fancied ended up batting for the boys.  Once thing she definitely didn’t have was a “gay-dar”.

I never admitted it to her while she was alive, but the night she dived into the pool and cracked her head open, amongst other things, I got a terrible fright.  I thanked God often for protecting her, that she didn’t break her neck that night; that the only reminder she had of that night was that scar under her nose. 

We laughed about it afterwards, but it could have been so much worse…

Cousin Lara:  The things I put her through!  She was like my kid sister.  I have many fond memories of her.

I taught her to ride a bike.  And once she’d mastered it, I told her we could go swimming at the Point and gave her a bike to ride that Alec had built up out of pieces of other bikes.  The thing was buggered.  There was masking tape on the handle bars instead of rubber grips, no actual pedals, just metal bars and it had no brakes.  We were hurtling down the road when she yelled that she couldn’t stop and I told her to ride into the pavement, which she duly did, going arse over kettle, over a wall, landing in someone’s garden. 

I will never forget the look on her face after I sent her on a blind date, or the night we nearly burnt the house down, or the night her parents and mine went away for the weekend and I lifted her on a bike to the local wholesaler where we bought two tubes of those orange “cheese curl” chips and when I mounted the pavement, the chips landed in the main drag and she literally stopped the traffic to rescue the chips.  Those were good times!

Rudolph:  She was one of the first friends I made when I moved here.  She would often come round to my flat at night and we would sit round the kitchen table drinking rum and coke (even though I knew she hated rum) or OB’s on a cold night.  She laughed ‘til she cried the night I told her about how I tried to dry my wet veldskoene in the oven.  When I moved back home to the Eastern Cape, we had limited contact, but when she did manage to visit, we could easily stay up the whole night, laughing and joking.  Great sense of humour she had.

I loved dancing with her – and inevitably we would always end up dancing in the kitchen.  “No house is a home until the kitchen has been danced in.” was something she always used to say, and you know what, there is some truth in that philosophy of hers.

I’m not the only one who is going to miss her, my parents will too.  She was like a daughter to them.  I know Mom would have been over the moon if we had married, but unfortunately she wasn’t my type.

Jessie James:  I know that for a long time she hoped that something would develop between us; that she was in love with me…I loved her too, but she was too good for me.  I would have not been able to give her the life she deserved.  She accepted it eventually, but she never stopped caring.  She was special.

Obviously I don’t think these will be the only people at my funeral, but I have to get back to work before Steve walks in and sees that I’m blogging.  This is a topic I will do another post on at a later stage.  In the meantime, feel free to post a comment as to what you might say about me if you were at my funeral.