Three Months has Passed…

…since I last blogged. Shocking! I should be court-marshalled, or burnt at the stake, or something…

So, let’s see, where shall I start?

Ah, I know, my hospital two weeks ago. I came to work feeling very chipper because I was only due to work half day and then a mini-holiday awaited me as we were only due to restart work on this following Tuesday. Well, as I sat down in my chair, a searing pain (that I’m sure is worse than childbirth) took hold of my back, and that was me. I couldn’t move, and worse, I couldn’t feel my legs. I yelled up the passage for help, which arrived and I was loaded into the car and taken to casualty, because the stupid doctor’s receptionist couldn’t comprehend the term emergency, and failed even more to understand that I couldn’t wait until after lunch for an appointment. I was in pain and needed help. Immediately!

I ended up having to wait for the casualty doctor for about a half hour, but I got to lie flat which relieved a great deal of the pain, but I still couldn’t feel my legs. I have only ever felt so helpless once before. He poked and prodded, and I yelled like I was being murdered. Eventually I was put on a drip with serious pain meds and for a while I think I saw little birdies and stars. I was sent home with strict instructions to lie flat on my back for the entire Easter weekend. So not cool! Needless to say, I didn’t listen.

I went to physio the following day. My legs nearly gave way underneath me again, but not because I couldn’t feel them anymore – the therapist was one of the most handsome (young) men I’ve ever laid eyes on. And that is no exaggeration! He also attempted to assess my pain, but all I could do was squeal like a pig off to slaughter. He told me to come back the Saturday, but that I’d be seeing his colleague as he already had prior work commitments. So I lost the gorgeous-blue-eyed-boy’s hands on my body…alas!

Went back a few days with significantly less pain, thank goodness. Turns out the gorgeous-blue-eyed-boy’s colleague is equally handsome. Not as drop dead gorgeous, but a looker nevertheless. I’m not sure if it is a pre-requisite to have beautiful eyes to work at this specific practice, but therapist two has equally beautiful eyes, and a soft manner which made him immediately likeable. He pulled and propped and yanked and prodded and while it wasn’t exactly a heavenly massage, I walked out of there unassisted! I even drove myself home without having to drink pain meds when I got there! I was so happy, I could quite easily have kissed him, because it meant that I could go to a concert that evening.

Now, those of you who aren’t South African may not yet have heard of this amazing foursome, Romanz. Do yourselves a favour and check some of their YouTube videos. Go on…I won’t let you read further until you have!

Right, now that you’ve done that, all I am going to say about the concert is, “Wow! Amazing! Super! Bravo, bravo, bravo!” So, that’s pretty much my Easter weekend in a nutshell…

Two weeks before that I went with Carmen, Ewan, Nicolas and his wife, Eleanor to a little holiday village called Jongensfontein. While there, my car was broken into (it was parked at Nic and Eleanor’s place as I drove with them), but fortunately not much was stolen, but the schlep involved to get everything sorted out was not amusing, believe me. The police came to take fingerprints, but there wasn’t a single usable print, so I don’t hold out much hope. The most valuable thing the stupid tits stole was my reading glasses, which the insurance is not replacing and I don’t have a medical savings account, so I will struggle on without them. Besides that, a pair of my favourite sandals broke that weekend too. So, if bad things happen in threes, mine are over! *Happy dance*

On the subject of that weekend, here are some of the photos I took.

Jongensfontein at Dawn
Jongensfontein at Dawn
Jongensfontein Tidal Pool
Jongensfontein Tidal Pool

It is a small piece of heaven, that is less than an hour’s drive away from where we live. The break was just what I needed and while I thanked them, I don’t think they comprehend the extent of my gratitude. We had quite a few laughs and I got a tan that should last me through the winter – physiotherapist number two even commented on it *blush*

Oh yes! I’m moving round about the middle of July – to a place that is a mere 10 minutes away from my folks’ home. I started thinking about moving out when Dad started talking about retiring – he’s not getting any younger and the hard, active work on the rig is taking it’s toll on him. He wants to scale down a bit after retirement, and if I’m honest, I should have moved out ages ago, but living at home is convenient, and mom needs the company because she doesn’t drive. If dad still decides to work for a while after I move, I will spend some nights a week with her and some at my own place.

I looked at a few places online in our area and what fell in my budget was mostly bachelor pads, or single-bedroom places. I’ve always had champagne taste and beer money, so this was obviously not really working for me. I found one place that I would have deemed habitable, but I was put off by the bathroom being off the kitchen (I am not a germophobe per sé, but I seriously don’t want to be flushing the loo an arm’s length from where I’m going to be prepping food) and then someone else at work showed me that there is a cupboard affixed above a door-frame. How the heck is anyone supposed to reach there? Seriously, even I could have drawn up a better plan… another place I looked at online was well within my budget, and semi-furnished, but almost everything furnishing wise was zebra stripes. And the walls were a violent shade of orange. So not the restful zen-retreat I had in mind.

What I really desired in my heart was a place with two bedrooms and a full bathroom. Make no mistake, I love my shower in the morning, but there are just some days when only a bubble bath can make a bad day better. So, with that said, God knows the desires of my heart, and He blessed me beyond that. It is a blessing that came across my path, through Carmen. She and Ewan are currently living in the flat. It is underneath her parents’ house, but with a separate, private entrance. She was telling me that she and Ewan want to move out later this year and I asked her if she’d ask her parents if they’d be willing to rent the place to me. I thought even if they would be willing to, I may very possibly not be able to afford it, but turns out that it is R200 more than I had in mind BUT it includes utilities, satellite TV and will be furnished with whatever I don’t have (which is almost everything!). It has THREE bedrooms (although I will use the one as a dressing room, as they currently do), and two bathrooms (the one bedroom is en-suite), and the other has the bath!

I bought myself a little second-hand lounge suite from a friend of Aunty Carol’s and the lady threw in a round table too. Mom has given me a food steamer, a fridge and while there is a bit of a fight about it, I’m sure my orthopaedic bed will be moving with me (after all, I don’t want to have to go to hospital again, now do i?) Dad bought me a little two plate stove oven and Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry gave me a George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling machine. In the meantime, I have been buying a few things (dry groceries mostly) which I’ve been boxing and storing. One thing I can tell you is that if I have friends over for dinner, there is a good chance that they will be eating Mince/Tuna/Rice Mate because I have about 8 boxes of those meal kits already and most likely canned fruit of some sort for dessert (or jelly and custard)! I have everything to make the flat shiny and clean from Toilet Duck to Mr. Muscle. I have been trying my best to settle all my small niggling accounts (but the back episode has set me back quite a bit this past month, but I’ll survive – I have faith!).

I’ve finally reached goal weight, having lost 20 Kg (although with all the meds for my back and subsequent need to have a pity party (I’ve eaten two boxes of Lindor balls in as many days), I’m quite sure I’ve put some of it back, but I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow (with permission from physiotherapist two) and I’ll start shedding it again. Apparently I have to do more pilates-type exercises, so I’m not only going to be thin, I’m going to be bendy too!

Then, a shocking revelation came my way two weeks ago. A very close friend, Jesse James, of mine for whom I carried a candle for almost a decade (read the linked post, you’ll understand) came to visit his folks and we got together for drinks. I had the most incredible cherry vodka and mint tea cocktail – served in a teapot! He had two beers. From there we popped around to another old haunt and while we were waiting for our drinks, he asked me if I had regrets. I said I think everyone does and he told me that he…he… and then he tried to change the subject, but I pressed. He told me he regretted that we never ever ended up together. I wasn’t sure I’d heard right, so I made him repeat himself. “I regret that we never ended up together, that we never gave a relationship between us a chance.” Now, if you’ve read the linked post, you’ll know he knew how I felt about him, but I honestly had no idea he felt the same. I’d made peace with the fact that it just wasn’t meant to be, and I believe in my heart that I’ve met the man I’m going to marry anyway. Jesse James knows how I feel about this man, and he says he’s happy for me, and I believe him, because I know him better than he knows himself and I’ve never seen him so sincere. I told Elizabeth what happened and the cynic in her says it was the booze talking, but how much truth serum is hidden in two beers? Even if I didn’t feel about this other man the way I do, Jesse James himself has told me that he knows it would never work, because in our case, we really love each other, but it’s not enough. We’re from different worlds, and he can’t give me the life I deserve…part of me is glad he told me, because I’ve always wondered, but part of me wishes he’d never said anything because the dynamic of our friendship has changed a bit. I don’t know how to describe it other than “it’s complicated”.

So, that’s a glimpse of what’s happened in the last few weeks… I’ll try to blog more often, but more often than not, I look around and think “where the hell did the day go?!”

Yearning

I woke up on Sunday morning, opened the blinds and smiled with relief when I saw the blue skies because I wanted to take a solitary nature walk, to connect with a part of myself that I miss.

Image

(Photo from saidaonline)

Alas, the weather has turned foul, so my plans were shelved for the moment.

I had had some friends round the night before for a small get together.  We had a few laughs and when everyone had left and I was doing the last of the dishes, I suddenly felt like someone had ripped my heart out.  Just.  Like.  That.  I waited until everyone had let me know they’d arrived home safely and I crawled into bed.  Horrid dreams plagued me all night.  I was awake at five am again…

I had my morning shower and put on some Lady Antebellum – it’s great Sunday music.  The strangest thing happened when All We’d Ever Needed started playing – I was overwhelmed by a flood of tears and a gut-wrenching yearning…for someone.  The question is who?  Some days being alone really gets to me; it makes my heart ache so badly. My folks got home from a weekend away and we went out for lunch to a local steak house called Cattle Baron.  Elizabeth joined us, as did Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry.  Lunch was divine, as were some shooters…but even more scrumptious was our waiter, a tall, dark haired, blue eyed god called G.T.  The old folks left and Elizabeth and I stayed behind, drinking coffee – but G.T I’m sure knew we stuck around to just perv over him.

After I got home, the Sunday blues grabbed me again, so I forced myself to write something – I have had no inspiration for quite a while now and many people notice that I’m devouring books.  What they don’t know is that as long as I’m reading, I’m not writing much.  I read three novels last week…

Yearning

A simple tune drowns out the white noise

But it doesn’t stop the raging storm

Waves of emotion crash over my rocky heart

Changing its exterior with each swell

A deep, insatiable yearning sets in

Tears blur my vision

The melody continues to taunt me

Rubbing my solitude in my face

Taking pleasure in my heartache

Evil voices laugh in my head

Making me doubt my worthiness

I wonder if you see what I see

Is that why you keep your distance?

I know you’ve noticed me

Yet you keep me at arm’s length

Or do I just blend into the background?

The yearning to be part of your life

Devours my mind

Day and Night

Dawn and Dusk

Through my soft sobs

I wipe my tears

The yearning isn’t gone, but the ditty is finished

I have to carry on, face the day…and not lose hope.

Emotions Running High

The last week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride. In a matter of seven days I went from:

High on happiness after receiving the results of my novel writing course
to
Low because I heard that I won’t be able to carry on because the finance I applied for is not going to be granted.
to
Angry when a friend hurt my feelings by jumping to a wrong conclusion
to
Excited when I heard another friend is coming to visit
to
Confused at receiving mixed signals from a chap I fancy
to
Proud after doing extremely well at my second fitness test
to
Heartbroken when I heard that a friend of mine had lost his mother
to
Surprised when I heard that Julius Malema’s appeal was rejected and that he has finally been stripped of his position as leader of the ANC Youth League.

I told Carmen last week that I’m scared (so another emotion) I’m having a relapse, considering that I just tossed my anti-depressants aside without really consulting anyone. I felt I didn’t need the crutch anymore, so I just stopped drinking them. After all I have so many positive things to focus on. Some days though I wish I could have the crutch back…

Anyhow, I’ve been in the mood to write poetry again – the emotional up and downs seem to have that effect on me, but the question was what to write about. So, I got hold of Suzelle this morning and said, “Help! I want to write some poetry, but I have no idea about what. Give me a theme.” She replied that I should write about dreams…and so, as is par for the course when I want to write poetry, I trawl the internet for some visual inspiration. I came across this picture on Outinleftfield and thought that it is absolutely perfect.

Focused on a goal
Transfixed by a hope
Mesmerized by a dream

Her hazel eyes stare
Into a dark oblivion
Yearning to find treasure

You look at her
But she doesn’t notice
Her mind is whirling

She reaches her dream
Clings onto it tightly
Wanting to realize it
She plans the execution
The intricate battle plan
Her demeanour cat like

You wonder about her
But she doesn’t notice
She chases her dream

At the last hurdle
She stumbles, she falls
Her dream is lost

Hazel eyes are puffy
Staring into the light
Her dream is gone

You speak to her
But she doesn’t notice
She can’t carry on

Focused on her religion
Transfixed by her heaven
Mesmerized by her Lord

Her hazel eyes alight
With a hopeful future
Clinging to His Promise

You look at her
Her smile welcomes you
Invites you to celebrate

She finds her heaven
Enters it with excitement
She wants to stay

Her heart is light
Her spirit is peaceful
Her life is complete

You wonder about her
You question your motives
You finally ask her

But it’s too late
You wasted previous time
Her heart has flatlined…

Quick Reflections on a Year Past, Resolutions for the One Ahead

Last night I sat, chilled Chardonnay in hand, on the comfy chair in Elizabeth’s lounge chatting about 2011.  Personally it wasn’t a bad year for me, but many people close to me lost someone important to them.  Every time there was a loss, even though it didn’t directly link with me, it made me more and more aware of my own mortality.

I remember a post Aunty Carol put on Facebook – “Children, be careful of growing up too fast, because you forget that while you are, your parents are growing old.”  This really touched me because I realize every time Dad comes home from a month at sea, that he has aged.  Mom told me one night that she is ready to die and I burst into tears.  She looked at me tenderly, “We’re all going to die sometime, my girl,” she said, “it’s the one thing no-one can escape.”  Tears streaming down my face I said, “I know Mom, but I don’t want to think about it.”  

I started a new job in April and I am so happy – I have been blessed with wonderful colleagues, an understanding boss and enough stimulation for my mind.  Even more importantly, this job allows me to spend time with my family, my friends, do my writing and enjoy a good book every now and then.

I stopped drinking my anti-depressants (cold turkey) in mid-October and towards the end of November, I hit a very bad downer, but with the help of mostly my friends, I got through it. 

Also, something I never thought I would ever do was exercise every day, let alone join the gym, but I did – and that too has made me a better person.  I have made new friends there and even though I go for only an hour every day, I come home feeling energized and positive.  

All in all, as I reflect on 2011, it was an okay year for me.  I’m looking forward to 2012.

I don’t have any major resolutions for this year, but a few things I want to achieve are:

1.  Submitting a complete manuscript to my tutor for proof-reading and editing and then rewrite it well enough to submit it for publishing consideration.

2.  Practicing a random act of kindness every day – after all, there is a saying that says “be kinder than necessary to everyone you meet, for everyone is facing some kind of battle.”

3.  Walk through the night at the annual CANSA Relay for Life.

4.  Go on another cruise holiday (for my leave in December).

5.  Blog daily – even if it is a short post, or simply a wordless photograph.

6.  Be the best friend I can be to my friends.

7.  Leave behind the past and focus on the future.  

8.  Reach my goal weight of 61 Kg by the end of June.

A friend of mine sent me this message this morning – and I believe that it is perfect to end this first entry of what I KNOW is going to be a great year…

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters to what lies within us.  We all have questions about what this New Year will hold for us, but we have courage:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Photographs…

 

Stinging eyes, damp with salt

Reality dawns with a choking sob

So many memories…

In each picture she smiles

I wonder where she is

The girl I used to be…

It’s not that I don’t like

The woman I’ve become

Life is just different now…

Relationships have been altered

Some friends lost, new ones found

Solid ties for the future…

I hold onto hope

I laugh out loud

Love in my aching heart will abound!

Day Four: Seven Wants

Seven Wants…

Now this is a fun topic!

1.  Mercedes Benz

Preferably a C200 Kompressor, either white or silver, with either a grey or beige interior, an automatic transmission and a sunroof.

2.  A Holiday in Europe and Argentina…

 I’m particularly fascinated byItalyandFrance(it’s the food and the language…). 

As forArgentina, I want to go there is I can tango in the cobblestone streets with a mysterious dark South American stranger.

 3.  To Be Remembered

As someone who touched someone’s life…one of the biggest things I have learnt in recent times is to be nice to everyone I meet, because they truly may be fighting some kind of battle.  Kindness costs nothing, yet it is a great gift.

4.  To See my Friend Kerry Again

She lives in Johannesburg, and needs a break – and we need to catch up…I can see us reminiscing up a storm over a bottle of wine, or giggling about something silly over cocktails.  I must make a plan – for her to either visit me down at the coast (which I think will recharge her batteries) or for me to go up there…

5.  A Place of my Own

Not just a place where I live on my own, but a place of my own, that I own.  I don’t want a lavish place, but just something comfy where I can leave my own personal stamp.

6.  To Meet my Favourite Authors

James Patterson, Jeffrey Deaver, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Townsend and Michael Connelly…and then invite them all over to dinner at my house, which will be cooked by my chef, Luigi or Michél (whom I will have recruited during my European holiday).

7.  To have an Unlimited Supply of my Favourite Perfume

Calvin Klein’s Euphoria…I’ve tried many perfumes, but this is number one in my top three.  Number two is Chanél Chance Le Tendre and Number three is Givenchy Very Irresistible.

Day Two: Nine Loves

Nine Loves…

I uhm’ed and ah’ed about this one quite a bit, but I realized I have more than nine – deciding on the top nine was the difficult bit. 

  1. My Parents

Yes, yes, it probably sounds so clichéd, but it’s the truth.  Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  They still chide me when I do something wrong, but are supportive of me in every way.  I sometimes think about what life will be like when they’re gone, and it breaks my heart – the time we have is so precious…

  1. My friends and Some of my Family…

 …Most of them anyway, although honestly, I love some a lot more than others. 

 I can count on a single hand the really awesome friends I have (and this is in no particular order) – there is Kerry in Jo’burg – no matter how much time goes by without us seeing each other, we are always able to pick up where we left off, and she is always there when I need to talk. 

Elisabeth is another top-notch friend – sure, there are days when she makes me so angry I’d like to throttle her, but I will never find another friend like her – she is loyal, caring, always willing to listen, and always around with a helping hand to help plan or clean up after a get-together.  I love the way she always brings me back to earth – even though the ride is sometime bumpy.  She said to me one day that I am her “honourary sister” and that made me feel so special. 

Geri & Dan in Durbs – who strangely enough are friends I met online (in a trivia chat room).  We met in person in November 2002 and just gelled so well.  They have two gorgeous kids and they are always willing to open their home to me.  They were Godsends in January when we had our car accident – the towing company wouldn’t come and get us out until we paid the money upfront – (really now, talk about unreasonable), but when I phoned Dan and Geri with the details, they didn’t hesitate to immediately transfer the cash and get us sorted.

Cousin Lara – while we live in the same town, and don’t see each other as often as we should, when we do, well, there are always tears – tears from laughing so much that our tummies ache. 

That’s not all of them, but if I have to list everyone – this will end up being a thesis-long post. 

  1. Books

I cannot function without books.  Sure, the Kindle is a great invention, but to me, there is nothing like the feel of turning a page to find out whodunit.  I have been gifted some old books over the years, and there is something magical about the smell of the yellowing pages that makes me wonder what those books had seen before they landed on my shelf.  My love of reading is something I inherited from Mom (another reason I love her… Dad on the other hand doesn’t understand why I spend a fortune on books that I am only going to read once…) 

  1. Cooking

While I am by no means a foodie like some of the blogger friends I have, I do love being in the kitchen rustling up something to eat.  Mom has a number of kitchen gadgets, which makes the exercise all the more entertaining.  I am totally in love with (her) Russell (Hobbs Bread Machine).  I have mastered a Cottage Cheese and Herb Bread and on Sunday I made a Trail Mix Wholewheat Loaf (it was almost perfect, except that all the raisins were on the outside of the loaf.  Generally I am not a bad cook (well, nobody has died from anything I’ve made), but heaven knows, I am definitely not a contender for Masterchef… 

  1. Writing

I have been blessed with a vivid imagination, a knack for telling a story, and a love of words – this combination has grown into a love of writing.  I enrolled for a novel-writing course with the South African Writers’ College.  I am loving every minute of it and I am so inspired because the feedback I have been getting from my tutor has been constructive, but always positive.  One of my dreams to be on the New York Bestseller’s List – who knows, maybe this is the beginning of realizing that dream. 

  1. Children and their Innocence

Even though I don’t have any of my own, I love children.  I love their innocence – like a friend of mine’s daughter telling the minister’s wife that she has big nose.  Her mom is cringing with embarrassment, yet the little one doesn’t realize that she has just committed a social faux pas. 

  1. A Good Red Wine

Elisabeth and I hadn’t been friends long, but she took it upon herself to turn me into a red wine drinker – and I love her for it!  There have been countless evenings when I have polished off a bottle with either her or another friend – and always felt better for it.  A spicy Shiraz on a frosty evening wards off the cold – and what’s better, the empty bottle doesn’t tell secrets… 

  1. Rainy Weekends

 Because then I don’t have to find an excuse to lay in bed all day watching DVD’s or reading a book or working on my novel.

  1. Chocolate

It doesn’t matter what shape, size, form or colour – if it is chocolate, I love it.

 

Day One: 10 Secrets

I have to get back into blogging!  The intention is there, but to actually sit down and get a post done is the problem…work really keeps me busy and in the evenings I am pretty much to pooped to sit in front of the PC for another hour or so.  But, I need to, so I’m going to – even if it means that I have to blog from bed…

An update of one of the blogs I follow was in my inbox this morning and it looks like it very well may be the kick up the bum that I need to get my blog going again…

It is a daily challenge which requires me to write a piece for ten consecutive days, starting with ten secrets about myself.

It is a daily challenge which requires me to write a piece for ten consecutive days, starting with ten secrets about myself.

  1. I am secretly in love with CSI detectives – for years I was absolutely besotted with David Caruso, but I’m over him; his fixation with his sunglasses now gets on my nerves.  I find Eddie Cahill (Detective Flack in CSI: NY) absolutely gorgeous – must be those blue eyes…
  1. I want to be Dr Who’s companion.  But then David Tennant must be the Doctor.  I will always be thankful to my friends Lisa and Leon for introducing me to the Doctor.  There would be a huge gap in my heritage had they not.
  1. I have a love of peanut butter in any shape or form – even ice-cream.  Just the other day I bought myself a tub of peanut butter swirl ice-cream from Woolies and even though it is way too cold for ice-cream, I sneak a teaspoon or two into my mouth after supper.  No-one else is allowed near my ice-cream.
  1. I wish someone would find me (or I, him!) that loves me for who I am, how I am, no matter what.  I’m tired of being alone.  This feeling is exacerbated every time I hear friends of mine are getting married, or those who are, are having kiddies, or I catch the bouquet at a wedding – just last week I caught my third consecutive bouquet – not a good hat-trick to have.
  1. By the time I went to school at the age of six, I still couldn’t tie my shoelaces.  Seriously.
  1. The quickest way to get me to fall asleep in front of the TV is to put David Attenborough on – there is something about his voice that puts me to sleep.
  1. If I could, I would eat Italian food every day.  The passion and love that goes into Italian cooking makes it tastier.  I would love to tourItalyon a little Vespa scooter from North to South sampling the food – not caring about the weight I will undoubtedly put on.
  1. I am fascinated by snakes and crocodiles – particularly when they come packaged as shoes and handbags. 
  1. I love big band music.
  1. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher – when I hear on the news what happens in schools these days, I’m relieved I’m not.