My previous pets control post has reached many people according to FB, but the stats on WordPress paint a different picture. I’m not complaining, merely stating a fact. Everyone that took part in the challenge – thank you! Your pets not only touched my heart, but those of many of my readers. Charles from work read the post, and sent this pic of his wannabee-lockdown-escapee, Tash, to me. I told him I’d include her in my next post, so here she is, in all her attempted-breakout glory.Continue reading
So, after a break-up or trauma of some sort, most women tend to make a change. It’s usually a new hairstyle or colour, or a new look. I’ve done both – the hair y’all have seen and depending on my mood (and the weather), I now don summer scarves with a tailored jacket or rock skinny jeans with heels, as you’ll see later. I also bought myself a pair of ridiculously awesome Italian boots (a pair of genuine Italian shoes has been on my dream board for a decade or so already!) which arrived today.
I feel good about the person I’m becoming through therapy and recovery and I’m happy with the persona I’m putting forward to the world. As I said to Charlie earlier this week, apparently life begins at 40; I’m just getting a few months’ head start. What most women don’t do after a disruption in their life, is buy a car, especially not on a whim. Or maybe they do?
On Monday last week, I sent a well-known car-dealer, Seesig Motors, in our dorp a message that I was in the market for a small car with aircon and power steering and readily available parts, and the budget I had in mind, but that we’d obviously need to check if any bank would be open to financing it. I wouldn’t be offering my current vehicle, a 2011 Ford Figo 1.4 Ambiente (aka Casper) for a trade-in either, because if I did qualify for the funding, I had a plan up my sleeve. Much to my surprise, I qualified for a car above the budget and the payment is still affordable enough for me to be able to keep both cars!
Gielie Slabbert, the owner (and a friend) shared the good news, telling me that if I was keen, he could offer me a 2011 Renault Sandero 1.4. I said I’d be happy to pop into the showroom for a test drive, and he said it wouldn’t be necessary because he would bring the car to me at work (which is a good twenty minutes’ drive one way) so I could take it through its paces. I was sold by the time I drove back in through the gates.
That same afternoon, I popped into the showroom (after regular business hours) where I was assisted by Elsabé van de Coolwyk. In a matter of fifteen minutes, we’d gone through the purchase agreement and signed all the paperwork. I got word from her the next day that the car would be ready for delivery on Friday.
I opted to collect on Saturday, because I decided to give The Toppie and The Bean the use of Casper (which I will continue to pay the repayments and insurance on). Casper is on loan to them and in the event of anything happening to either The Toppie or The Bean, Casper will be returned to me as per a written agreement between The Toppie and I, because I’ve seen too many people I know get screwed over by family, friends or even local employers.
The hardest part of the whole deal was for me to keep the new car (which will be known as Deadpool from hereon out) a secret. I eventually couldn’t bear the it anymore and I told Charlie, Chanté, Elizabeth and Eleanor, promising them all an excruciatingly painful death if they breathed a word to anyone.
Saturday morning, I was up early; like a kid on Christmas morning. Elizabeth’s brother, Patrick, gave me a lift to the showroom where I was greeted with a smile by Fanie, who explained where everything was on the car, which is a good thing, because otherwise, if I’d ever had a flat, I wouldn’t have known that the spare tyre is underneath the car.
I then went to have my nails done at a new salon that opened close to home called Front de Mer Beauté. I’m happy with the result, and I think the therapist, Angie, did well considering the size of shoes she had to fill. I miss Elena though, but we’re getting together in the last week of May just as we promised we would do once a month.
Finally, it was time to execute the surprise of the year. I got into Deadpool and took the drive out to my folks. I gave them each a package – The Bean hers first (seat covers) and then I gave The Toppie his (much smaller one), the key to Casper. For a moment, they were both somewhat confused, but once the penny dropped, there were tears of gratitude, surprise, shock, relief (because honestly, the car The Toppie has now is not the most reliable in the world).
The Toppie and The Bean left The Cave in Casper, and when The Toppie is ready, he can decide what to do with his car.
Gielie, Elsabé, Fanie and the team at Seesig Motors: Thank you seems so inadequate for the appreciation I have for everything you did in helping me to be able to help my parents too. I will refer everyone I know looking for a vehicle to you, because it’s clear that those entering the showroom may arrive as customers, but they leave as friends. Wishing you growth and success all the way!
Cousin Lola always used to tell me when I was younger, “God lets you choose your friends, because you can’t choose your family.” I’ve been thinking about this more and more lately, especially since The Toppie lost his job at the beginning of the month. Family are nowhere to be seen – and yes, I’ll concede that some of them are estranged because of bad attitudes, stupid feuds and stubbornness. I keep coming back to the adage “blood is thicker than water”. I don’t see much of my family, and to me it’s not really a big deal – there is no animosity between any of us (well almost any), it’s just that we move in different circles, and we have virtually nothing in common. These family members are those that I don’t ask for anything, nor they from me. It works.
But then…let’s face it – we all have someone with whom our DNA is interwoven that quite frankly we’d rather not be related to. Others unfortunately join the ranks through marriage. The upside of this is that the feeling is usually mutual and as a result paths don’t cross that often. These people are the ones that you might bump into at a wedding, or a funeral. In my experience it’s usually the latter. I could chalk it up to paying respects, but sometimes attendance is merely to say I’m still around, Fam-i-ly, just in case… you know, my name might be appearing in late Uncle Joe’s will. I always did love that landscape painting by Obscure Artist that hung in his dining room. What my hypothetical Wannabe Art Collector doesn’t know is the good ol’ Uncle Joe ended up on the bones of his arse and worked himself into his grave to keep his wife safe and cared for as he promised her a lifetime ago in front of many of the people at this very funeral. It doesn’t say much for my Wannabe Art Collector, but it does speak to the kind of person Uncle Joe was.
Moving away from hypothetically dearly departed Uncle Joe, and back to the reality at hand…
The past three months have been hell for my parents. The Toppie had a tough time at work (more than that I am not allowed to say at this stage), and he was let go four days into 2019, tensions were (still are!) high because of rising costs and the place they’re living is in an industrial area, so human contact is almost non-existent. I’ve tried my best to get them to come and stay with me (as hard as the adjustment would be for all of us, and they’ve declined), and they’re both still competent, so I cannot force the issue. I’ve tried too to get even a little help from some family members who should as far as I’m concerned have a moral duty, but with no success. It’s disillusioning to say the least. I hate seeing the two people I care about most in this world have to suffer as they are, when there are people that knew where my parents were when a hand or Rands were needed. The only thing I have to console myself is not everyone thinks like-, nor were they raised like me. Add to that, that God doesn’t sleep and I do feel a little better about things.
But, as I have learned in an attempt to become more enlightened, I look to what I can be grateful for in this situation – and it is for friends. From the ones that travelled from Cape Town in September last year and brought my parents a crate of non-perishables and some meat, to the one that baked them some biscuits, so that they’d have something nice to nibble on over Christmas, to the one that drew money out of her bond to loan to me so they could pay their car (and yes it’s a loan to me, which is to be paid back), to the ones that gave The Toppie a painting job so the rent could be paid, to the ones that are sharing a post I’ve put on Facebook to try and help The Toppie find a job to keep him busy and bring some money in, to the one that lets me travel with her to work, so that I can help my folks out with some things they need, to the one that sent me money to take The Bean and The Toppie out for their anniversary. These people have zero obligation to help at all, but they care about me, and by extension about The Toppie and The Bean.
You know who you are, and I just want you all to know that everything you all do for me (no matter how big or small), is valued and appreciated. I’m grateful to each one of you, and I’m proud to call you all family.
I want to be obedient and receive the promise of the two verses that head this post. Sometimes though, I look at some people and think Thank God I am not them. And then I pray, God, please don’t ever let me turn out to be like them. I don’t want to hurt the people closest to me.
There are a few situations that I know of, and while I’m not sure where to start, I feel very strongly to voice my (what many will feel is a personal attack on them (but hey, if the shoe fits…)) opinion.
I don’t like to ram my beliefs down anyone’s throat, but one thing I do believe s to “Honour your Father and your Mother”. The Greek word for honour means “to revere, prize, and value.” I believe that this honour means all the time, until they are no longer destined for this earth – not only when you as a child live with your parents, under their instruction and teachings, or when as an adult, you deem them to be deserving of it. We forget that as we are growing up, our parents are growing older and that they may actually need us to be around for them – to revere their wisdom, prize their presence and value (what little) time we still have with them. I’m the first to admit that I do fail at this, and when I do, I repent and try again, because I want to live a long life.
I was chatting to a friend’s mom, Patty, the other day. Her dad. Arthur, is in a local old-age village, because he wants to be around people his own age and he enjoys all the activities that take place at the facility. Every Wednesday, Patty and her husband pay Arthur a visit and on the weekends, Arthur spends time with them, at their home. It is an arrangement that suits everyone.
Patty did tell me that there are many of the elderly people at the facility whose children don’t even bother to phone their parents. One lady in particular’s children were here on holiday for almost a month, living it up in a hip beach house – not once did they fetch their mother to have her spend a day with them. It got me wondering just how many children conveniently forget or simply toss aside their parents, for reasons unbeknownst to me – is it because their parents are no longer employed with an income to bankroll their children out of a bind, or because their parents have become frail and may need some extra care, or as I’ve heard one person say something in the lines of “Mom, you of all people should understand that I don’t have time – my kids keep me so busy”.
Screw that! Your parents made time for you and were there for you whenever you needed them. They deserve, at the very least, a visit if you’re passing through their town or a phone call on a day that is not their birthday or Christmas and not for you to hit them up for money, nor to tell them about all the luxuries you’ve purchased, when you know they’re struggling to keep their heads above water.
Remember that you can get a new car, a new house, a new job, even a new spouse, have more kids, and possibly inherit some if you remarry, but you can never, ever, replace your parents when they are no longer here.
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.
- 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…
- 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.
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…)
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…
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.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
It doesn’t matter what shape, size, form or colour – if it is chocolate, I love it.