My bundu bashers

My husband and 16 year old daughter love to mountain bike. A lot. It strikes me as strange, because from what I have seen mountain biking involves an enormous amount of discomfort.

Nearly two years ago my husband fell off his bike, quite spectacularly I gather, and broke both his tibia and fibula, developed a deep vein thrombosis and found himself in ICU with a pulmonary embolism and various pins and other assorted metal bits protuding from his body, all in quick succession. Now that would have put me off the sport - but it didn't deter him from hopping back on that bike in the least. In fact, a few weeks into his recovery, I got home from work to find him riding around the garden on his bike, plaster cast and all.

Having watched the entire above-mentioned episode, one would have thought that my daughter would never, ever want to get on a bike again - but no, she is more enthusiastic than ever.

Earlier this year my hubby and his cycling buddy did the Sani2C, a 3 day mountain-biking event of epic proportions. From what I can gather it involves enormous quantities of mud, mountains, smelly men and tiny tents. It seems that things get so dire that the participants need to coat their nether regions with the cream normally applied to the udders of cattle...... need I say more! This does not sound like a particulary pleasant way to spend 3 days from where I am sitting.

A couple of weeks ago he did a weekend ride called the Source II Wild Coast 2006 - he emerged from this with a smile on his face and the worst case of nappy rash I have ever seen on a grown man - okay the only case of nappy rash I have seen on a grown man, but I digress. Undeterred, he applied some baby bum cream and a week later did the Hill2Hill.

Now don't get me wrong, I am enormously proud of their achievements in this sport, but I just don't get why they do it. Why do something that is seriously uncomfortable, exhausting, sweat-making and dirty? When I asked my daughter this very question she gave me a look of complete incomprehension and said "duh..... because its fun!"

Well yes..., but give me a cosy couch, a slab of dark chocolate and a good book anyday!

Busy, busy, busy

This week has been seriously busy - I am talking non-stop action from 5:30 am on Monday morning.... Tomorrow morning we have to be up bright and early to take Little Daughter to a gala in Durban. So, this afternoon has been a lovely oasis of peace in a frantic week. We have had our first summery day in a long wet patch, which has made it especially pleasant.

Two people close to us had heart attacks in the last week (yes, I do ask myself whether associating with our family should perhaps carry a health warning ;-) Fortunately they are both going to be fine, but it has certainly given our family pause for thought. There is nothing like a health scare to remind one how precious each and every day is. I only wish we could carry that appreciation of the value of each day with us always, without the nasty reminders.

Pearls of wisdom

I have recently read a gem of a book called “Frangipani” by Celestine Hitiura Vaite. It’s the simple, yet profound, story of an incredible Tahitian mother and how she copes with everyday issues, from a husband who isn’t too keen to part with his pay check, to nosy relatives and letting go of her children as they get older. In it, the mother has a “coming of age” talk with her daughter, in which she gives her basic rules to live by, pearls of wisdom passed on from mother to daughter - simple things, for example – Don’t visit people at eating times unless you’ve been invited, and (my personal favourite) Never visit a woman who has just given birth looking your best.

It got me thinking – what “pearls of wisdom” would I pass on to my daughters? So I came up with the following list:

Be kind to small children and animals.

Keep your house at least reasonably clean – you never know when visitors might arrive

Be responsible, but don’t forget to have fun.

Find a good hairdresser who cuts your hair well – a good haircut can really boost the spirits.

Keep your hands and feet clean and pretty – you can tell a lot about a person from the condition of their hands and feet.

Accept that men think differently from woman and this sometimes makes them do seriously silly things. It’s how they are made and they can’t help it.

Don’t marry someone who is overly serious and fussy – you need a partner you can laugh and have fun with.

Don’t marry someone who is only interested in having fun and who has no time for housework and maintenance – you need a partner who is going to help around the house and who you can lean on in tough times.

Don’t make fun of old people – that’s going to be you one day; treat them the way you want to be treated when you are old and grey.

Keep your washing and ironing up to date – there is nothing worse than a pile of ironing glaring at you from the basket.

Never go to bed with a dirty kitchen.

Don’t tell a new friend your deepest secrets.

Before you speak, think. Is what you want to say kind, necessary and true?

Accept that in marriage and motherhood there are going to be huge disappointments, get over it. Rather dwell on the moments of bliss.

White shoes generally make a woman look like Minnie Mouse.

Wearing winter shoes and a jersey with a summer dress is never a good look.

Get enough sleep.

It is usually worthwhile making an effort to get on with your in-laws.

If you really believe in something don’t let anyone try to persuade you otherwise.

Respect other people’s opinions and beliefs.

Don’t do something tonight that you will regret tomorrow.

There are some basic rules that are non-negotiable:
Never eat with your mouth open
No one night stands
Always wear a seatbelt
Don’t go to bed with your make-up on
Don’t do drugs – ever
Never, ever drink and drive

15 Things To Do before I am 50

  • Go to Europe again
  • Learn to meditate
  • Finish paying for our house
  • Learn to speak better Zulu
  • Write a book
  • Stop eating meat
  • Have a long holiday in Cape Town
  • Acquire a little “lap dog” all of my own
  • Lose 6 kgs and keep it off
  • Finish decorating our house to my complete satisafaction
  • Save enough money to comfortable retire
  • Get physically fit and stay fit
  • I hope to have a couple of grandchildren while I am young enough to enjoy them
  • Finish my daughters’ baby albums!!
  • Worry less and smile more