Rain, Soup and Handcuffs

Just before the annual arrival of the Northerners to our little town last December, the municipality imposed water restrictions due to continuously lowering dam levels.  For me, it isn’t such a serious thing, because I’m at work during the day and the most water I use is to shower daily Continue reading

Weekend Wins; Healing’s (Slowly) Happening

I very seldom check emails on a weekend, so when I got into work today, I quickly scanned through my inbox, noticing that someone had commented on my previous post.  I haven’t had this person comment before, but I was deeply touched by his/her kind words, because it confirmed that my putting my feelings out there did help – maybe not someone else, I don’t know, but it helped me, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Blog Comment

It also inspired me to write about where I am vs where I was last week.

It’s been a week since I spoke up about my relapse.  In that time, as short as a week is, there has been improvement.  The only thing not going as well as I’d hoped is sleep restoration; whether the meds are not working as they should, or I’m going to bed too early I’m not sure, but most nights, before 21:00 I’m exhausted and so I sleep.  0300 I’m awake again and I try to force myself back to sleep, telling myself stop thinking about whatever you are.  It’s three in the morning!  Even if you could do something about it, now is not the time!  Sometimes it’s easy. Most times it’s not.

Yesterday was the first time since my relapse that I didn’t cry.  In my book, that’s a win.  I’m not discounting the cathartic properties of tears – I’m just tired of bawling my eyes out at a song on the radio, a mere sentence in a book or during my morning shower because the prospect of another day is simply too daunting.

This past weekend I ventured out of The Cave (which is what I affectionately call my flat, because it doesn’t get much light and when going into the back rooms, the lights must be switched on) and attempted to be part of social activities with group dynamics.

I was off on Friday, so made plans with Harriet for lunch.  In my half-awake state, I got the time wrong and ended up at the mall an hour early.  I walked through every single shop in the mall before I met up with her.  I was a bit nervous because of all the people milling about, but I didn’t do my nut, like I did in the pharmacy the day I was discharged from the hospital.  I had a healthy meal – admittedly I couldn’t finish it.  The meds suppress my appetite, so I took what I didn’t eat home and ate it later.

Chicken Salad

Warren and his wife, Lara, are visiting from their new home which is 1100 Km (683 miles) away.  As they’re only visiting a few days, and have many friends here, the plan was to meet at a local restaurant on Friday night and catch up.  There were quite a few people at the table when I arrived, but being the amazing people they are, they did the rounds to chat with everyone.  I had told Warren I wouldn’t stay long and sent him my previous post to outline why.  He understood.  I lasted a little more than ninety minutes before the noise and people got too much for me to handle and my hands started to shake.  I felt overwhelmed and anxious and made a beeline for the exit.  I’m not sorry I went; it was great to see them both, the view of the Bay at night was breathtaking and I pushed my limits a little.

MSB by night

Saturday morning, I popped in at Carmen for a quick cup of tea.  It wasn’t a long visit because she and Ewan had plans, as did I with Harriet.  When Harriet arrived at The Cave, we took a walk to the local church fête, but by the time we got there (both of us were slow out of the blocks that morning) all that was left to buy was second-hand books.  Not a problem for either of us, because we are total book sluts.  And at R2 (US $0.15) a book, we went a little overboard.  Afterwards we stopped at the vetkoek (a South African food made from deep-fried dough and filled with anything from curried mince to cheese to jam to marmite to chicken-mayo and anything in between!) and went down to the beach where we sat on a bench watching the people taking in the summer sunshine.


The rest of the day I spent in The Cave, on the couch with The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg, which I’d started the afternoon before.  I read until my eyes felt like the entire beach had been blown into them.  The book is so funny in parts that I laughed out loud – for the first time in a long while.


Yesterday I took my folks out for lunch to a place that’s been around for yonks, but that we’ve never been to.  Rustic, but with fabulous fare.  I got a little sunburnt too, because we sat outside, but the warmth on my skin did me well.  A little calcipherol never hurt anyone, now did it?  It also did them good to get out of their flat a bit, because they’re quite isolated where they live.  An old friend, Stan, also happened to be in town for the night on business, so I popped by one of the beach bars and we had a quick drink – well he did, I had club soda.  We haven’t seen each other in going-on four years, but both of us were knackered, so the visit was quick.  I finished the book last night, intent on finding another one in the series.  Laughter is good, cheap medicine.

Tonight I’m going to the gym, but not to train.  I am not in that frame of mind yet.  I’m just having a fat percentage test done because I’m a little concerned that I’m melting away.  I haven’t needed to wear a belt in ages to keep my jeans up, and now it’s on the furthest hole from the buckle…BUT I’d rather have that, than pick up a huge amount of weight like I did the last time.  My appetite will eventually come back.  I just have to keep eating, albeit like a bird.

I’m not sure when I’ll post again because I am trying to focus on me and my recovery.  All I can say at this stage is thank-you to each one of you that reads my ramblings.

Until next time…

Wine Tasting in Herold…

It is scary just how quickly time flies, especially at this time of the year.  I have realized, with some dread, that it is a little over six weeks to Christmas!  And, with that said, a little over five weeks until we close for the summer holidays.  Eek!  There is so much still to do.  But, being a little more in control of my internal panic button, I am still taking time out to relax and recharge my batteries, like I did during two weekends in October, with friends, both old and new…

The first was with Elizabeth, Steve (who was no longer in a relationship with Michelle – not sure who broke it off, or why…) and another friend of ours Gerald.  We went wine tasting at Herold Wines, which is about 45 minutes from the town where we live.

We set off on the Saturday afternoon, the pouring rain not dampening our spirits.  We drove in Gerald’s 4 x 4 as we were travelling over the historic Montagu Pass, which is not a tarred road.  It wasn’t really necessary as many day to day cars travel the road, but it was definitely more comfortable.  The 45 minute journey took substantially longer than expected, but only because Elizabeth and I kept screaming “stop”, jumping out and snapping pictures.



We eventually arrived…



The range of wines is limited to six, so the tasting went quickly…


and then we headed off to our digs for the evening, a self-catering cottage on the farm called Flufftail.


It was quaint, clean and comfortable.  The water was hot, there was a fireplace and best of all…no cell phone reception, so we could really enjoy each other’s company.

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We stayed up quite late, but as is par for the course, Elizabeth was up first, then Gerald and then Steve, and as much as I tried to pretend not to hear the noise, I was up just after five too.

Steve went for a run, and Elizabeth and I decided to take a walk before breakfast.  There is something magical about farm life…

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Returning from our walk, we quickly prepared breakfast, while Gerald and Steve had a serious man-to-man talk at the fence … I love this photo because it looks like they are peeing at the fence, but they aren’t.


It seems that everywhere we go, someone always ends up with wet feet or shoes…


But, as with all good things…the visit soon came to an end and we had to head home…taking a few more pics along the way…

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Our journey ended with a quick lunch of leftovers at the beach.

I am so blessed to be able to make memories with the most amazing friends.  Life is good!

I will put up the post about my latest camping trip (the second October outing) either tomorrow or Thursday, so…pop by for another visit!

Work Week One is Almost Done!

There isn’t really much to tell.  I’m fresh out of funny anecdotes.  It sucks, I know. I’m sorry.  After reminiscing about freezing a dead canary and Flaming-Phoenix-Cortina-Man, almost everything I think about blogging about simply pales in comparison.  Well, I suppose I can’t always have a better act to follow the one I’ve previously sent on stage, now can I?  So sorry, readers, you’ll have to settle for a mundane post today.  I’m sure something exciting will happen over the weekend, which will make for decent writing fodder on Monday.

I woke up this morning feeling more-than-just-a-tad-stiff this morning.  Steve was so kind to me on Wednesday at my first session of the year – nothing too strenuous, but yesterday he seriously worked me (I did three step-sets and I think I had multiple hearts beating in my chest).  I was beyond exhausted!

I have made it through my first week back at work, although granted, twice this week I have lost a day, on Wednesday I thought it was Thursday, and today I’m thinking it’s Thursday again, so I’m not really sure what’s going on, but regardless of that, I’m going to sleep late tomorrow.  Yay!  It won’t be too late though because the sun tends to bake me out of my bed, but that’s okay; as long as it’s something other than the alarm clock waking me up, I’ll happily rise and shine (just not at the same time)!  Shit!  No!  I can’t sleep late – Elizabeth is coming to stay with us tonight, and has to be at work at 07:30 – so I guess I’ll be trotting off to gym after I’ve dropped her.  Ah well, she needs to just chill, so that’s what we’ll do.  Dad’s made spaghetti bolognaise (like only he can!  And that two weeks before my fitness evaluation!), for supper and there will be wine I suppose, so gym is not a bad idea tomorrow.  All’s well that ends well.


Did Someone Say Trailer Trash?

Carmen’s thirtieth birthday looms this coming Wednesday, but as I mentioned in my previous post, she had a party in celebration of the event this past weekend.

Everybody made a concerted effort to dress according to the theme.  Oddly enough all the gals had some kind of ski-pants / tights on with high heel shoes.

I took a few pics (sorry some of them are dark, but they were all taken with my phone).

Elizabeth donned a blonde wig for the occassion…

and I pulled my skirt over my boobs

and Carmen donned a black wig, a pillow-stuffed belly and a shirt that read “I’m just a love machine”…

There was a bit of banter going on on Elizabeth’s Facebook page on Friday while she was looking for ideas.  A mate said she should just wear a Stormers jersey (she is a staunch Stormers supporter), and she said she might just go dressed as a Blue Bull supporter, but Richard beat her to it.  Don’t you just love the pink socks?

The guys all pretty much opted for make-my-muscles-look-bigger-shirts.  Here are some of the guys.  Ewan (Carmen’s hubby) is in the middle.

Great fun was had by all!

Friday Fun

For some reason I have been in the mood for baking.  The other day it was biscuits and this morning it is a cake.  It is the first time I have used a bundt cake ring, as well as an icing bag, but I don’t think I did too badly for a first attempt 🙂

Dad and I are watching the cricket – I think it is going to be an interesting game, and of course, I am rooting for the Proteas.

Carmen is celebrating her crown birthday on the 30th and in celebration of the milestone, she is hosting a trailer trash party tomorrow afternoon.  She has invited both Elizabeth and I.  I have a pretty good idea of what I am going to wear.  I will take a few pics to post.  I am looking forward to seeing how inventive the guests are with the dress code.  I love a theme party!

Then, Side View’s weekend theme “Star”, here is my contribution – a little ditty:

You’re My Stars

Consult the Stars

Oh Psychic One

Tell me of Wars

Not yet Begun

Consult the Stars

Navigator of the Seas

So that I may set sail

In the gentle breeze

Consult the Stars

My friends

So you can see them shine

Like they belong to God,

I’m honoured to say “you’re mine”.

Right, now I’m off to go and slice that cake of mine and have a cuppa tea…

‘Til later 🙂

Sunday Ramblings

The wheel is finally turning and it looks like things are looking up.

I got a call from the recruitment agency regarding the position I applied for with them a while back.  I have a formal interview with the employer on Wednesday at 10:00.  I am so glad because I really was beginning to lose hope.  I also applied for another position at a well-know insurance brokerage which was advertised in our local rag on Friday and was called for a direct interview on Friday at 11:00.  I am hoping for the one that I am interviewing for on Wednesday because it has to do with imports and exports, which is what I spent seven years studying through correspondence for, but I am keen to hear what the insurance company is willing to offer so that I may have some salary negotiation leverage.

Elizabeth, Liza, Rachel, Kyle, myself and two other friends went out dancing on Saturday night.  Elizabeth’s brother, Patrick was supposed to join us, but he never pitched up, leaving all of us without a dance partner.  Fortunately some lonely chap took pity on us and we at least had a few turns on the dance floor.  My feet were a tad sore this morning, but well worth it.  I haven’t been out of the house at all this entire week, because job hunting and applying for anything I might qualify for has been top priority.  It was good to get out, but I didn’t tell my parents about our plans, because they may feel the little bit of cash I do have may have been better spent elsewhere.

Today was a quiet day at home.  Elizabeth joined us for lunch, but the poor woman is all bunged up with the onset of a cold that she ended up napping on the couch.  While she was napping on the couch I did something constructive and baked some biscuits, but before you all burst into deafening applause, the biscuit mix is ready made, i.e. out of a B-O-X.

I don’t mind baking a cake from scratch, but past experience has taught me that biscuits are not something I am ready to attempt quite just yet.  Anyhow, my “unreal” biscuit didn’t come out too badly, so this is a step in the right direction.

The first batch was Ina Paarman’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, and boy – they a choc-a-block with those chocolate chips.

The second batch were Madagascan Vanilla Biscuits from Woolies.  They are lovely with a cuppa tea or a glass of milk because they are not sweet biscuits.

My hand was a bit heavy on the icing sugar, but they still taste good.

Dad called Mom and I onto the balcony about an hour ago to look at the sunset.  My camera didn’t do the beauty of the blazing ball of fire in the sky justice, but at least I got a pic.

My folks are going to watch the eight o’ clock movie on M-Net tonight, so I will be curled up in my bed with another James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club novel, 8th Confession.  I don’t know why, but I seem to be reading the series backwards…

…but then again, as my blog tagline says, “I’m the Piece of the Puzzle that doesn’t quite fit…”

What a Wine-y Weekend…

I have drunk more wine this weekend that I have in the last three months, but it is definitely not a bad thing.

Friday night I got to Elizabeth just after six and we went into town to get pizza for dinner.  I wasn’t hungry because I had eaten leftovers from Thursday night.  She was (is) still very fragile after Greg’s memorial service, so I suggested a bottle of wine on the beach.  She agreed to the wine, but not on the beach, so we drank it at home.  Being unemployed I can’t afford the really good stuff, but this bottle wasn’t too bad.

For some strange reason, Elizabeth gave us plastic wine glasses – although it proved to be a blessing in disguise later on when she dropped her cellphone on her water glass, breaking it (the glass, not the phone).  I proposed a toast to Greg early in the evening and Elizabeth chinked her glass against mine, quite hard (again, plastic glasses were a blessing in disguise).

I even shared the wine with Elizabeth’s dad too, nice person that I am 😉 and he was so chuffed that he opened another bottle of red wine (Woolies Longmarket Pinotage) and when that was finished, he opened another (Rooiberg Cabernet Sauvignon).  Needless to say, as long as there was wine, I was having some.  Even Elizabeth, who is not a big drinker matched me glass for glass, become somewhat pensive and philosophical as her intake increased.

After ten she decided that it would be better if we sat on the verandah because it was an incredibly muggy evening.  She talked more about Greg, getting the sadness about her system, and about life in general.  In her philosophical state of mind, she decided to propose a toast, which I actually wrote down because it rings true:

“To histories – the people who have been part of our lives, who have made their marks in our lives, and for just being in our lives.  Without them, we would not be who we are today.”

Having had way too much wine, I ended up staying over there.  We only went to bed at something to midnight (two nights in a row…could this be a pattern forming?!)

Saturday morning broke with Elizabeth’s alarm going off – poor woman had to get up for work!  She didn’t have an inkling of a hangover.  I grumbled at her for putting the light on, but I just turned over and went back to sleep.  I got up at 08:30, with a tiny headache, but after a bath it was gone.

Off to the mall I went to buy a gift for Mary’s baby shower – I shopped up a storm!  Baby clothes and goodies are just so cute.



Suddenly I was reminded by a grumbling tummy that breakfast might be a good idea, so I stopped at Wimpy where I ordered a full mixed grill, an extra hashbrown and a mega coffee.  Just what the doctor ordered.

After fetching Elizabeth at work we went through to Redberry Farm (a farm where you can pick your own strawberries – not the farm that I used to work at) for Mary’s baby shower.  I had a good chuckle at this sign close to the parking area.

It was sweltering in George!  She was surprised, so the mission was accomplished 🙂 and we all had a lovely time.  Her gran bakes the most amazing coffee cake.  From there I came home to get more clothes (as Elizabeth’s sister and soon-to-be-brother-in-law) invited us for a braai at their new home.

Again, it was wine time – this time it was a bottle of Mountain Shadows Pinotage that Jay bought for us to actually drink on New Year’s Eve.  It went down well.

Tonight Mom and Dad will be back from their week-long outing to Port Elizabeth and we are going to the Ocean Basket for dinner.  There will definitely be more wine drinking 🙂

Definitely a wine-y weekend 😀