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?!”

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Irksome Shoppers

Does this look like TEN items or LESS to any of you?

Many of you who follow my blog know that I live in a “holiday town” which is invaded by people from up North every December and January. It is like these Northerners forget the road rules, their manners and obviously their ability to read at home when they come on holiday.

This is an example of two people who unpacked an entire trolley worth of groceries at the till which is clearly marked for “10 items or less” – when the cashier mentioned this to them, they pretended not to hear (or maybe they left their ears up North too!). Really now, express tills are there for a reason. This really irks me. Argh!

Doing the Happy Dance

Cousin Lara’s rather nutty friend, Jolene’s husband works away and she mentioned one day that he’d called and when they had finished chatting she did a happy dance. “Oh yay, oh wow!  Oh yay, oh wow!”  Suddenly we are all doing it…

Dad is coming home on Thursday morning at 08:40 which means I have to get up earlier than my body has become accustomed to of late, but I suppose it will be good practice considering that we will be hitting the road at 05:00 on Saturday morning.

We got our cruise tickets and forex today.  My cabin number is 9196 and my parents, Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry are in 8288.  I have US $ 171 spending money for my cruise 🙂  Not bad for someone who is gainfully unemployed.  I can hardly wait for Monday so I can soak up the sunshine and drink cocktails on a floating five star hotel.  I have finally finished Don’t Blink, but I will have another James Patterson book to keep me occupied on holiday – this time one of his Women’s Murder Club ones, probably 9th Judgement which Elizabeth gave me for my birthday last September.

And, one more “happy-dance-worthy” bit of news:

I am going to colour my hair tomorrow afternoon – nothing radical, just a shade or two darker than my natural colour, after I have taken Dad’s car to the car wash for a nice spit ‘n polish.

 

 

 

 

Two, almost Three Days into 2011

A Belated Happy New Year to all!  I wish each one of you everything you wish yourself 🙂

My New Year’s celebration was a quiet, but most memorable one…

My friend, Jay, whom I haven’t seen in over three years was down this neck of the woods from Cape Town and came through for coffee a few days before New Year’s Eve.  I couldn’t believe how well is looking – life in Cape Town is obviously treating him extremely well.  I had heard from Cousin Lara that Jay and his girlfriend of just over five years had decided to call it quits.  I thought it sad, but after a chat about the break-up, I realized that he feels things are better this way.  Anyhow, he trotted off, leaving an open invitation to spend New Year’s Eve with him – a bottle of wine and snacks on the beach.  After some consideration, I decided to take him up on his offer.

The evening was magical.  He came to pick me up at home just after 19:00 and we went down to one of the beaches close to my house.  Blanket on the sand, an array of snacks (you have got to try Paprika flavoured Tuc crackers!) and a bottle of Robertson Cab Sav, we sat chatting and catching up on what has been happening in one another’s lives for the past three years.  The conversation went from jobs to relationships to family members to interests to travels – well all sorts actually.  We didn’t even realize that midnight had dawned (can midnight dawn?) until the fireworks started lighting up the moonless sky.  Jay gave me a friendly kiss and did something I really didn’t expect – he took my hand and he didn’t let go.  I didn’t know what to think, but I went with the flow and enjoyed the moment.  The temperature started to drop a bit, but not wanting to go home quite just yet, I pushed his arm aside and made myself comfy on his chest.  It felt comfortable – so comfortable.  After about a half hour of this snugness, we packed up and came home – where we woke mom up and off we trotted to the casino – the New Year did not generously give us any financial windfalls, but there are still 363 days left, so I’m not going to start moaning quite just yet.

We only went to sleep at 06:00 yesterday morning.  Yes readers, I pulled an all nighter!  For the third time in my life…

I had been asleep for only two hours when the phone rang – it was Dad calling from Nigeria to wish us all the best of the best.  Not being able to get back to sleep, I lay in bed watching TV until after midday and eventually got up.  Jay had stayed over on Mom’s invitation and by the time I go up, he was already up.  He gave me a crucher of a hug and we all got showered having decided to go out.  Jay and I dropped Mom off at Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry and he and I went to Anne and her family in town.  Again, Jay took my hand and sat stroking my hair.  Anne of course immediately sees me in a flowing white dress walking down a church aisle, to quote her “the man is totally smitten with you woman, I see the way he looks at you…”

After sosaties with them, we went down to the beach where we met up with Mom, Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry for ice cream.  After that we set off to quickly pick Elizabeth up for a night of 30 Seconds, wine and catching up.  On the way there I mentioned Anne’s observation to Jay who didn’t quite admit being “smitten” – in fact he was somewhat nonchalant about it.  Oh crap, my climbing hopes had just been dashed…

Not wanting an uncomfortable atmosphere, I told him straight out that I was actually quite disappointed that Anne had been wrong.  He didn’t take offense, in fact he put his arms around my shoulders and gave me a huge hug.

We arrived home just after 19:00, Elizabeth in tow and opened a bottle of Graham Beck Pinotage (wow!).  I put together a plate of snacks for us to nibble on and we got half way through a round of 30 Seconds when we all decided that it was sapping too much of the reserves of our sleep-deprived brains.  It didn’t stop us chatting until after midnight…and me getting my hair played with again.

All of us were up early this morning. Jay gave me a kiss good morning…  Mom, Elizabeth and I went out for lunch (Jay already had plans with other friends).  As we got in the car saying our goodbyes, my heart actually sank into my shoes.  I have been quiet all day, wondering…am I possibly falling for someone I’ve known for almost twenty years already? (To give you all an idea, I heard from Jessie James this morning too and for the first time in years my heart didn’t flutter – at all).  If I’m honest, I wouldn’t mind if I am falling, but I would need to know for sure if Jay indeed sees some kind of more-than-friends  connection happening…I would rather risk asking him and ending up with egg on my face, than hope in silence and end up broken hearted.

So,  as 2011 stands open before all of us, I leave you all with a handbook for the year ahead, make that a Handbook for LIFE :

Health:

1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5. Make time to pray.

6. Play more games

7. Read more books than you did the year before .

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day

9. Sleep for 7 hours.

10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:

11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.

14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.

16. Dream more while you are awake.

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.

20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

23. Smile and laugh more.

24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

Society:

25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others.

27. Forgive everyone for everything.

28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.

29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30. What other people think of you is none of your business.

31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:

32. Do the right thing!

33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

34. GOD heals everything.

35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..

36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

37. The best is yet to come.

38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.

39. Your Inner most self is meant to always be happy. So, be happy.

And Last:

40. Learn from Yesterday, live for Today and Pray for Tomorrow.

and truly lastly, a quick thought…a bit late I know, but a very special one:

“As we get ready to open the book on 2011 it is worth remembering that all the pages are blank and we are going to put every word on them ourselves.

The book is called OPPORTUNITY and its first page is NEW YEARS DAY.”