This is Your Captain Speaking

Yes, that’s right.  Yours Truly has been nominated as the Office Ladies’ Soccer Captain.  So I guess that would make me Captain MTM.  In an attempt to build some team spirit between the different departments around the farm, it was decided by the Powers that Be to host a Ladies’ Lunch Time Soccer Game next Thursday.  By some autocratic decision I was made Captain of a team consisting of all the office ladies (there are squeals about broken nails and having to tie up their hair), the older generation of the harvesting ladies and some packhouse ladies.  Everyone is already laughing, so the team spirit is already on the up and up. 

Our team is playing the much-stronger Field side, so it is a given that we are going to get annihilated – without a shadow of a doubt, but what we lack in skill, we make up for in dedication and creativity.  Sandra said she thinks we should come dressed totally wacky (she is thinking shorts, long socks and a ballerina’s tutu).  I told every one on my team I want a suggestion of a name for a team name, as well as team colours.  In the democracy that is my office, I will chuck all the suggestions in a hat and get one of the gents to select the “winning combination”.

One of my team members, Evangeline sent me a mail asking, “Captain, what exactly does a midfielder do?”

My reply was quite simply, “Kick the ball and hope to hell nobody trips you.”

Last weekend’s Halloween party was a blast.  Liza and Elizabeth really went to a great deal of trouble and fun was had by all.  !

The following people attended:

Rachel and Kyle, dressed as a witch and Frankenstein

Philip (Elizabeth’s brother), dressed as Captain Hooker, the gay pirate.

Roger, dressed as a very blond John Lennon

Mary-Ann, dressed as a witch

Liza dressed as Liewe Heksie

and her other half, Keith, as the Devil

Elizabeth, dressed as Casper the Friendly Ghost.  She had a head-piece too, but the designer cut a square piece (instead of two round holes) for her eyes, so she left it at home because she thought she resembled the Klu Klux Klan.

Andrea and Mike (Elizabeth’s sister and her boyfriend), dressed as Miss Kienie (translated to be Maybe Not) and a nameless boxer (I loved the shiner!).

Imi and Zane (Elizabeth’s other sister and her boyfriend), dressed as they were, with masks to cover their faces – they hadn’t planned to come to the party, but at the last minute decided they would.

Emilynn, dressed as a (very convincing) zombie

and last, but not least, Yours Truly as a vampire

We took a drive through town on the back of Keith’s van through town.  We got some interesting reactions.  I nearly lost my teeth a couple of times.  Emilynn, seriously in the spirit of scary spookiness walked up to an unsuspecting couple necking in the car, knocked on their window and scared them – to such an extent that the gent lit up a cigarette, started the car and drove off.  It was SO funny!  Here are some group photos we took:

Andrea and Mike baked a cake, perfectly suited to the theme.  The spider was made out of a Whisper, a piece of a Bar One and a Sweetie Pie.  The spider web was liquorice.  I thought it extremely creative.

On the quandry – I’m still in two minds about what to do…it’s been a very long time, so what’s another couple of days?  I’m sure he knows how I feel – he can’t possibly not, given the interaction and hints I have been dropping through the years, but part of me can’t help wondering if I actually tell him, that it might change things. 

Mom had the idea of going out for dinner, but I’m still at work so it remains to be seen if that will indeed materialize.  Some days I really hate this place…

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

I’m sick 😦  And with sick, goes grumpy.  I feel like I have been hit by a freight train that has derailed.  But… it is worth it because I got to see the soccer in Cape Town last Thursday night.  While the bank told Dad the tickets they were sending him were for the England-Algeria match, it turned out that they were for the Netherlands-Cameroon match.  I couldn’t have bothered who was playing – just to be able to say “I was there” is all that mattered to me.

I still haven’t found a word or phrase that encompasses the atmosphere, although electrifyingly-superbly-amazingly-superflyingly-supercalifragilisticexpialidocious does do it some justice.  It was a truly memorable experience – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which I will be forever grateful to Dad for.

Allan came to pick me up at the guest house just after two and we headed off to the Cape Town International Airport where we caught a fan bus into town.  I spent half the journey wracking my brains as to when last I had actually been on a bus.  Suffice to say, I still don’t remember – that’s how long it’s been.

From there we walked to the Fan Fest at the Grand Parade, and for as far as the eye could see, there were Dutch supporters, all kitted out in orange gear.  Many of the supporters went to a great deal of trouble with costumes for the occasion as you can see from some of the photos below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there we trotted off along the Fan Mile (and for those of you who don’t know me, I abhor walking anywhere.  I have a car for a reason), which turned out to be an experience in its own right.  There was a palpable atmosphere and dotted all along the mile where performers, food stalls and throngs of people.  All along the mile the sound of an instrument which has become synonymous with soccer, the vuvuzela, could be heard. 

We arrived at the stadium with two hours to kick-off and took our seats – 10 rows from the pitch, right behind the Dutch team dug-out.  It was surreal, because the pitch was so pristine it looked as if it was painted.  Soon the stadium started filling up and it was evident that there were more Dutch supporters in the stands than Cameroon ones, although Blood Diamond actor Djimon Hounsou and his wife, Kimora Lee Simmons were supporting the latter and sitting three rows down from us.  I kept thinking to myself, “those two look so familiar” and eventually Allan enlightened me as to who the former was.

Soon kick-off happened and the game was underway.  Even though I know zero about soccer, I cheered for the Dutch team and erupted into applause when everybody else did.  At half time the score was 1-0 in favour of the Dutch, but the Cameroonians fought a good game and equalized in the second half, but the Dutch managed to squeeze in another goal and in doing so, moved onto the next round.

Leaving the stadium proved to be quite a feat – with more than 63000 other people also wanting to get out the gates, it took us almost as long to get from the stadium to the bus stop at the stadium than it had for us to walk the entire fan mile.  To give you an idea of just how many people there  were…

We caught the bus back to the airport, picked up the car and Allan dropped me off just after the clock chimed the proverbial pumpkin-hour and I crept into bed.  I woke up as sick as a dog on Saturday, even worse on Sunday (and I had to drive back home from Cape Town), even worse-than-worse on Monday (and I had to go to Hermanus for a head-office meeting and back again) and I am still sick.  Mom went to the doctor this morning and he has diagnosed her with bronchitis, which means I am very well suffering from the same ailment, and while I know I should get myself to the doctor – I’m still stuck here for 11 hours a day…

Touching Base on All Sorts

 have been neglecting my blog, I know. I have been, and to a point, still am, in quite a bad space, so I opted to rather withdraw a bit because I have some serious soul-searching to do…

The main issue is the promotion offer. I don’t doubt my own abilities, but I have spoken to a number of people about the job, including Sandra, whose shoes I will be filling. She is of the opinion that I am more than capable, but I know what kind of hours she worked last season and honestly, I don’t see myself doing 14 – 16 hours a day, six, sometimes, seven days a week. Not for any amount of money. I have no time for my family, friends, nor any hope of pursuing a relationship (and there is a possibility of one blossoming), because no man would accept those hours.

Steve, one of the new owners, told me that I shouldn’t use last season as a benchmark, given the fact that the farm was in liquidation at the time and that Cameron, the owner at the time, wasn’t willing to spend cash on additional labour. Steve says that he is planning to streamline things a bit, and that, at worst, I will be looking at 11 to 12 hours on a bad day. I will also be compensated for my Sundays and public holidays – there will be no time taken in lieu of, because effectively, there never is time available to take.

This offer has really made me question a lot of things about myself – my life, what I’ve achieved, where I am going, what I want and who I am. It has caused me a tremendous amount of heartache, sorrow, feelings of failure, and even more so, fear. Fear of the unknown.

It brought me too, to a horrific realization. I have lost my faith. I believe in God, and accepted Him into my life many years ago already, but as I grew up, my faith took a back seat. I’m ashamed to say that I have forgotten how to pray. I can pray, but without faith, I am praying to the ceiling. I feel so lost, and it has taken this promotion offer to make me realize this. I still don’t know what I am going to, but I know that God knows the desires of my heart, and that He does have a perfect plan for me. I just need to find the faith to believe what I know.

Then, on other things…

I got home sometime last week when Mom called me to the lounge and showed me something in the You magazine that turned my blood ice-cold. There, in black and white print, under the desperately seeking section, was an entry, “Seeking G…W…L…F…, please call your sister, B…at …). That person is my biological father, whom I haven’t seen in going-on 22 years, but whom I think I saw in a vision (link from my old blog) almost two years ago.

This too has opened the dark recesses of my mind where I thought I had stored him forever, making me re-question many things I had thought had made peace with.

Ok, enough depressing stuff – there is light at the end of the tunnel, and no, it isn’t an oncoming train.

On Friday Steve let us all go off at 15:00 so we could be in time to watch the inaugaral FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup match between Bafana Bafana and Mexico. We were all told to wear something yellow and green in support and so I improvised, with a little help from Rachel and digging through boxes in storage.

Don’t I look absolutely ayoba?

On the subject of soccer, the bank sent Dad the tickets – but they are for the Netherlands-Cameroon game next Thursday.  Sandra did approve my leave, with the proviso that I will be back on the Saturday to work.  It sucks that I won’t be able to spend the whole weekend in Cape Town, but at least I will be able to say, “I was there.”

Mark and I went for the coffee I mentioned in my previous post, although he had beer and I had Jack Daniels (it was a very long day) and it was a pleasant experience. I found out that he was married for just over 4 years, and has been divorced for just over two and that he has been single for just over six months. He seems like a genuinely nice guy. We cleared up the distrust regarding Rachel, myself and the text messages, but I did hit an extra nail in the coffin when I told him that Rachel and Kyle seem to be getting very close. The night ended on a good note, with him giving me a hug and a kiss goodnight. So…progress…

I have heard from him every day since then. He has been very ill with flu, but I did see him last night. Kyle, Rachel, her brother, his girlfriend and I went dancing at the local haunt where Mark DJ’s and I went to say hello – he seemed pleased to see me, giving me a hug and a kiss – and of course, my heart skipped a beat – I really do like this man, a tremendously great deal.

We had a few dances together, but I could hear he is still sick. I don’t think he should have ventured out in the first place, but he said that he had committed himself to being there to DJ, and so he was fulfilling that commitment. He was a bit stand-offish towards Rachel, which is understandable, but I did tell him that it was unnecessary.

The others left just after 23:30 and, while I had no intention of actually leaving, I went to Mark to say that the others had left, and that I was also going to be leaving. He told me that I wasn’t going anywhere – so I spent the last half hour of his gig, in the DJ box with him, catching up on the last two weeks. The man sounded dreadful. I have hopefully convinced him to go to the doctor, because it is obvious that the medicine he got over the counter isn’t really helping much.

While we sat chatting, he kept touching my arm or my knee, so I think that there is a mutual attraction on some level, which is making me all mushy inside. I invited him home for coffee, but he said he would rather come during the day so that he could meet my parents. He didn’t want them to have a bad impression of him, in the sense that he would only visit when they’re asleep. I admit that I may have had slight ulterior motives, but I respect the fact that he is willing to do things the right way. We rainchecked for this afternoon, but he pulled out – he is utterly and completely voiceless.

I really, really, really, really like him and honestly hope that things may develop between us, but only time will tell. I am not going to force my hand. I have that same butterfly feeling I did with all my other relationships, but yet, there is something different about this one. It is a good different though. I have been humming the tune of Juanita du Plessis’s Mengelmoeskardoes all day…

The Windfall Continues

The other day I blogged about an (un)expected parcel, see https://reflectionsofamisfit.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/good-better-best/ which The Original Cin (http://theoriginalcin.wordpress.com) referred to as a windfall in her comment, saying that she hoped it would continue.  Well, it looks like it has…

Last night Rachel and I had plans to pop out for drinks, but we opted to visit at my house instead because it was too cold and wet to go anywhere.  To ward off the cold, we each had a glass of Boplaas Chocolate Port, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then the bottle was finished *gasp*! 

While we were chatting, our conversation was interrupted by the phone – my parents, wanting to find out what I was up to and to find out just how much, if any, interest I have in the FIFA 2010 World Cup.  I told them that I’d like to watch the opening match (which our boss is letting us leave work early for) and any games that England, Brazil or Italy would be playing in.  I have a penchant for British men (they all seem to have such open faces), the Brazilians are just so hot-blooded and the Italians just ooze sex appeal.

Dad then pipes up, “Oh, I have two tickets for the game between Algeria and England in Cape Town on the 18th of June.  The bank phoned me today to tell me I qualified for them due to the kind of account I have with them.  If you want them, they’re yours.”  I could hardly believe my ears. 

Now would be a good time to mention that I know diddly-squat about the game itself, but what I do know is that there is definitely some eye-candy to be seen on the field.  Or is that meant to be pitch? I know too that David Beckham is injured and will not be taking part, but maybe he will still be visible on the bench.

The atmosphere is also going to be electric, and it is going to be something that not many other people I know will be able to enjoy.  I will be able to say, “I was there.”  It is going to be a phenomenal memory maker.

I am uber-excited, and have already told Sandra, my superior, that I am planning to put in for a day’s leave on the 18th.  So far she seems to be leaning towards authorizing it.  *Squee!* 

I am wondering if I should push my luck and go and play some Blackjack or Roulette tomorrow (after I’ve recovered from the effects of tonight’s dancing) to see if the windfall still continues.

Sidey’s Weekend Challenge – National Pride

A number of us now blogging at WP, used to blog on another platform. Each Friday Side View would propose a theme for people to write about if they wanted to. This week on her blog (http://viewfromtheside.wordpress.com)  she has given us a challenge to write on national pride.

It was 1995. I was in standard eight. Yes, I’m that old. I went to school long before people talked about grades. It was a chilly Saturday afternoon where we lived. Dad was away, working, in Angola. Mom and I were trying to ward off the cold by watching TV under the blankets in her room – we started watching the rugby world cup final between the South African Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks.

It was a great game. Touch and go many times, but in the end Joel Stransky kicked a drop goal which won the Springboks the match. Mom had covered her eyes, quietly praying, “please let it be over, please let it be over…” Before she could say “Amen,” I sprang out of bed yelling “Yes! We won, we won!” and found that I was actually crying. I felt proud to be a South African that day.

In 2007 I got to relive that pride as Elizabeth, Lisa and I headed off on a wine tasting weekend in Roberston, but stayed in Montague. We spent the day dying of the heat, which led us to being thirsty, which led us to tasting much more wine than we should have. Upon our return to our little bungalow, we asked one of the locals to steer us in the direction of a place where we could watch the clash between the Springboks and England. We were directed to one of the local haunts which turned out to have a fabulous atmosphere, a big screen and great food.

The three of us were kitted out proudly in our Springbok T-shirts and jeans and I even went so far as to do my eyeshadow as green and gold (now if that isn’t national pride, then I don’t know), and we cheered the Springboks on, along with an entire pub of other supporters. Elizabeth cheered so loud that at one stage she lost her voice.

We won that game too and it was Springbokkie shots all round. We piled back into the car, with the windows rolled down, playing “Shosholoza” as loud as the car’s radio would allow.

I have national pride when it comes to our sports – we try hard, and most times we conquer! I’m sure this will apply to Bafana Bafana as they play their hearts out in the upcoming FIFA 2010 Football World Cup.

Viva Rainbow Nation, Viva!