Thursday, May 28, 2009

Birthday wishes and a big vent!

Happy Birthday Eunicie!



You're looking at one of my very favourite people in the world. Eunice means so much to me, she has touched my life in such a profound and unexpected way and I love her very, very dearly. Our relationship defies description, but there is no doubt that we love each other and look out for each other and probably get along a whole lot better than most mothers and daughters. She's taught me more about unconditional love than anyone else I know.

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Which is why I just have to post this next little vent. I really didn't want to spoil my birthday tribute to Eunice with this, but I just have to get it off my chest. My blood is literally boiling.

As I was leaving work today I popped in to say goodbye to Eunice and we had a little chat. In the course of our conversation she told me about an incident that happened at church on Sunday.

Eunice attends a Sunday afternoon service for Zulu speakers at a local church. An elderly Zulu pastor conducts these services on a voluntary basis. During the service on Sunday the white pastor walked into the church and looked up at the air conditioner, walked into another room, came back, interrupted the service, called the Zulu pastor to the side and asked him why the airconditioner was on, the Zulu pastor explained that it was on when he got there, probably put on by one of the ladies in the congregation who readies the church for the services, the white pastor got a bit upset, saying it should not be on, walked across the room, picked up the air con remote, switched it off and walked out shaking his head and muttering under his breath. Eunice said the congregation were really upset, well obviously!

To my way of thinking this is just SO disgusting and disgraceful on SO many levels!! For anyone to behave like this is really, really bad, but for a pastor......!!

I generally like to live with rose-coloured spectacles firmly on my nose, I like to believe that on the whole most South Africans are actually getting along just fine. Yes we have the odd racist idiot out there, both black and white; but the majority of us are doing okay. We're living side by side and it's going just fine. Of late those spectacles have been knocked a bit askew and this incident has pretty much wiped them right off my face.

Eunice is not a racist person at all. (In a previous election we had a farcical situation where I was trying to convince Eunice to vote with me for a predominantly "black" political party and Eunice was trying to convince me to vote with her for a party which is generally perceived as being "white") So how does this make her feel? If I was her I would become totally militant on the spot!

What the hell (exercising admirable self restraint here) is the matter with these people?? Who the ...hell does this a-hole think he is? What right has he to come and insult (by his actions) a dignified old pastor who was probably sitting there preaching "Do unto others...." and "Love your neighbour.....".

This is a prime example of why I am going off organised religion FAST. I know he was acting in his private capacity, but there are just too many "men of the cloth" out there who get up on a Sunday and preach all the right words and in their private lives they live out something completely different. Idiots!

What hope is there for this country if this kind of thing goes on? Grant and I walk in the mornings and we greet each and every person that walks past us. I was just thinking the other morning that it's a bit hurtful the number of black people that refuse to greet us back. Quite honestly I thought we were over that kind of stuff in this country. If someone greets you, you greet back surely? Well after hearing about Eunice's experience I fully understand why half the people in this neighbourhood look at me like I am some kind of racist bigot. If the local preacher is a practising racist.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wow!

It doesn't happen very often, but every now and again I have a "Wow!" moment and I just had one that I want to share with you.

I don't like to brag about my girls. I think they are blooming marvellous, I think I have the most amazing daughters on this earth, but I am very aware that every mom feels that way about her offspring. But I do admit that I have been blessed with two very special young ladies to share my life. They inspire and amaze me every single day.

Today Rox inspired me in a very special way with one of her blog posts and gave me a wonderful "Wow!" moment - pop along to her blog and have a look.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Along came Chloe

Rox had her hair coloured today. She's trying to grow it and it's at that awful inbetween stage - it's driving her nuts! It was definitely time for a bit of colour to pep it up and make her feel better about herself. So she spent this afternoon at the hairdressing salon, having her hair done and her ego boosted. Once it was all done and she was feeling nice and pretty again, she wanted me to take a couple of photos, so that she could update her profile pic on facebook.

Sounds simple enough no? But then along came Chloe!












Chloe is definitely a bit of an attention seeker... Remember this one!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bring in the Men in White Coats!

I could not sleep last night and as you know, I am a creature who needs her sleep or else I become seriously nasty! There I was, tossing and turning until the wee hours, getting more and more panic stricken as the numbers flashed by on my bedside clock.


I am embarrassed to admit it, but part of the reason for this bout of insomnia is our overseas trip which happens in less than 40 days. You see I am hard at work developing a fear of flying. It's crazy, it's ridiculous, I do NOT have a fear of flying. I have done quite a lot of flying in my life time - being the child of divorced parents does that to you. I have flown to the UK as recently as 2001 - exactly 9 days after the Twin Tower debacle in fact! I was very brave that time. If you don't believe me just ask Rox, she was the one holding me down when the Osama Bin Laden look-alike sat down directly across the aisle from me.


Back to the point: I have never had a problem with flying. In fact I get a kick out of the adrenalin rush at take off. Well I used to. The thing is I seem to have developed a strong aversion to adrenalin rushes in my middle age. And now I am developing a fear of the Fear of Flying. My mind is filled with "what ifs". What if I am overcome with terror as I get on the plane and have a panic attack and make a complete ar$e out of myself (like I did at the gynae that time)? What if I suddenly develop a bizarre and irrational urge to flee the aircraft? It's ridiculous! Why am I doing this to myself? In some misguided way my mind seems intent on creating a problem where there isn't one.... And it seems to want to do it the minute I lay down and shut my eyes at night.


So this is what I was up to when I should have been sleeping last night. And then I hit on a brilliant idea. I would meditate. Meditation would serve a two-fold purpose: (1) It would put me to sleep and (2) If I practice meditation enough, I would be able to use it when I get on the plane to keep me from ripping my clothes from my frenzied body and screaming my head off during take off. Brilliant! Inspired idea.


Now bear in mind that I have had no real practical lessons in how to meditate, but I have read about it quite extensively in womens magazines and such.


So lets do this thing! I decided to employ the technique of (a) focusing on slow and steady breaths and (b) clenching and then relaxing my muscles, starting at my feet and working my way up. (Hopefully I would be asleep before I had to clench my brain, as I have yet to figure out how to do that...)


So there I lay and this is how it went:
Get comfortable lying on my back...there..that feels good... ooops I have a wedgie, that won't do, okay, with a ping of elastic wedgie is gone...alright, settle now.... breathe: in...... out..... this feels good, quite relaxed now....pyjama pants feel a bit twisted, but I'm sure that will be fine..... okay, clench toes -and- relax....I'm definitely getting the hang of this.... breathe....clench calves.....Okay, a dog has just jumped on the bed, but that's fine, I will ignore her and she will lie down...where was I? oh yes, clench calves....relax...clench thighs...how do you clench your thighs without clenching your butt muscles? try again...no, my butt muscles will insist on clenching...maybe I should do some pelvic floor exercises while I'm at it...I wonder how necessary it is for a woman who never gave birth naturally to do pelvic floor exercises? I think I must Google that tomorrow to find out....where was I? Oh yes, I am just going to move directly on to clenching my tummy muscles, I seem to have taken care of the whole pelvic region....
Boy I'm getting good at this...any minute now I'll be ready to go to an ashram! I wonder if I want to go to an ashram in India?....now that my brother-in-law is living in India it would be a good time to go to an ashram, we could kill two birds with one stone - visit Geoff and head off to an ashram for a spiritual experience.... Would I like it at an ashram I wonder? Would they make me do yoga there too - I suppose so...remember that time I tried yoga and put my neck out.... I suppose there would be some very learned and mystic yogi at an ashram... Remember that funny but disgusting song I heard the other day - "Yogi, yogi bear, he's a yogi bear" ...Siss, it was very rude...but quite funny....Now I have that silly song going round and round in my mind...What did that book say? Allow the thought to drift through your mind, but don't let it settle...that's what I'll do, the silly song will drift through my mind, but it won't settle....."Suzie she likes whips and chains - kinky, kinky"...silly, silly song... gross really "Sis Gill, en die op 'n Sondag" (And before you ask, yes, I do find it disturbing that I talk to myself. In Afrikaans. In the third person.)- I must say, I liked Allie's post about Sexpo... clever idea her church had....Imagine our church putting up a stand at Sexpo!! Snorts, Hee, hee, never going to happen (We're Anglican, average age of congregation 75) Good grief...wasn't I supposed to be meditating???

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Doggedly devoted

99% of the time I prefer dogs to humans. Given the choice of a human or canine companion I’d pick the canine every time. Does that make me a little eccentric? Quite probably. Does that worry me? Not at all. I like it that way.

Dogs are just so straight forward. There’s no pretence, none of this nonsense of having to listen to what the person is saying, but at the same time read their body language to know what’s actually going on. There’s no reading between the lines. With dogs you know what’s going on, it’s obvious.

Dogs are completely upfront. If they dislike you, you know all about it; on the other hand if they love you to bits they’re completely upfront about that too. I like that about dogs.

Take Rud for example: Rud belongs to my Dad and Impi. Although he lives with them, over at my Dad’s house, and on paper is their dog, Rud has chosen me to be his “person”. Rud adores me and he makes this utterly obvious. There is no doubt in my mind that this dog would risk life and limb for me. How many people can I say that about?

Is he not the most gorgeous creature?
At the moment I am nursing Rud through a nervous breakdown. Rud (his full name is Rutherford, poor fellow - that probably accounts for a number of his issues) came to live with my Dad when he was a "teenager" and it appears that he suffered some abuse at his previous residence. He is a verrrry nervous boy and although he is large and has a well-developed bark his appearance belies his gentle, fragile nature.

For the last couple of weeks my Dad has had painters at his house and this has caused Rud to suffer a nervous breakdown. For about 10 days Rud had to spend my working hours (in case you’re new here, I work in the granny flat on my Dad’s property) under my desk. Bearing in mind that Rud is a Great Dane-cross-Rhodesian Ridgeback, you’ll understand why those 10 days were excruciatingly uncomfortable for me and rather disconcerting for my clients. Fortunately my clients only pop around once in a blue moon, so Rud and I only had a couple of visitors to contend with…and the computer repair man who had a hard time dealing with my badly behaved computer and scary looking dog all at once – but that’s another story! (I am of course way more concerned with Rud’s well-being than my clients’ momentary discomfort – but we’ll keep that between us okay? Wouldn’t want The Boss to fire me now would we!)


Like me, he's camera-shy!
Thankfully the painters have finally left and with a whole bunch of Tender Loving Care, Rud has reached the point where he feels comfortable venturing out from under the desk and now spends his mornings lying on my office floor in a patch of sun. He still feels the need to follow me to the loo and sometimes tries to climb through my car window when I leave, but we are making progress. The family thinks I am mad the way I nurture this dog, but really I don’t care. Rud loves me, he thinks I’m the greatest. The fact that I am a cranky, over-weight middle aged woman matters not one jot to him, in his eyes I am perfect. That kind of devotion totally deserves my respect!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A shark...ing experience

Paula is in love, deeply in love, as only a 13 year old could be. The object of her affection is none other than local Shark and Springbok rugby hero, J P Pietersen. This is no flash in the pan either, she has completely adored JP from afar for a couple of years now.

After much begging and pleading I finally gave in and bought some tickets to the rugby. Who am I to stand in the way of true love ;-)

So off we headed to Durban on Saturday, trying desperately to ignore the ominous build-up of clouds in the distance. After a really nice little interlude at Bangkok Wok in Florida Road we made our way to the stadium. We took a little wander before finding our seats and were accosted by a reporter fellow, who wanted a photo of Paula and I resplendent in our Sharks shirts. Now anyone who knows me even slightly will know that I *hate* (make that HATE) having my photo taken, absolutely hate it, to be avoided at all costs! But I knew that if I refused Paula would be gutted, so I gritted my teeth and dutifully grimaced smiled for the camera.

After that harrowing experience we began making our way to our seats. When Grant pointed his finger in the general direction of our row my initial thought was: you have got to be kidding, but no, he wasn't. They were waaaaay up there. I could have had a full-on conversation with God himself -they were that close to Heaven! So I dragged my sorry yet colossal ass up innumerable stairs, clutching the hand-rail all the while (fear of heights - check!) and vowing that I would never put myself through this trauma again, ever. Eventually, just when I thought I might expire from over-exertion and lack of oxygen in the elevated atmosphere up there, we were seated. It took me a while to prise my eyelids open and unclench my teeth and then, having found my binoculars, I could just about make out the players warming up a couple of kilometres below us. It was quite fun trying to make out who was who.

And then the game began and the heavens opened, literally. The rain came pelting down and for just a moment I was quite glad that our seats were in the upper stratosphere - we were under cover, while the masses down below us, in seats where you could actually see the game were getting thoroughly drenched.

So there we sat, watching the Sharks completely lose the plot in a game that they should by all accounts have won. To add to the joy, we had a rabid referee-hater in the seat next to us, who spent the entire game hurling abuse at the rather dishy ref (I know he is dishy from watching him on TV btw, on Saturday all I could see was a smudge of green where I knew him to be) and we had a birthday party of heaven help us 10 year old boys directly behind us. I discovered that 10 year old boys are, without a doubt, the most revolting species on the planet (I know I'm generalising and I unreservedly apologise to any readers who have 10 year old boys who are not know-it-all, mouthy little wretches)

Leaving the stadium was a total and utter nightmare. Knee-deep mud, crowds of wet supporters, toilets that left a lot to be desired, torrential rain, unbelievable traffic jams ...... So a great time was not had by all. It was not fun. The atmosphere was not amazing. I did not enjoy myself. But do you know what? I would do it again in a heart beat. And do you want to know why? Because of this:

Paula at the rugbyEdited to add: I have NO idea why Blogger is making some of the writing bigger than the rest. Weird!! And no doubt now that I have added this, all the writing will be the same size and I will look like an idiot.....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom interview

I first saw this on Angel's blog and it being Mother's Day today, I thought it would be a good day to post my daughters' responses to the questionnaire.

So here is Roxy's take on it:
1. What is something mom always says to you? “Roxy, have you studied?”

2. What makes mom happy? Eating chocolate and reading a book on her bed.

3. What makes mom sad? When we disobey her or go behind her back.

4. How does your mom make you laugh? By being her normal self – she has a good sense of humour.

5. What did your mom like to do as a child? Play with her imaginary friend and her donkey teddy called Neddy.

6. How old is your mom? 41 years old

7. How tall is your mom? 1.57cm

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV? Greys anatomy

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Got no idea coz I’m not there – but prob read or faf on the computer

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? The guiness world record for reading. Or maybe even her blog.

11. What is your mom really good at? Blogging, reading, eating chocolate, making us feel bad, and not being sympathetic!!! Good grief Rox, I sound like an ogre!!

12. What is your mom not very good at? She is not good at sympathy when we are ill.

13. What does your mom do for her job? She is a bookkeeper.

14. What is your mom's favorite food? PASTA and chocolate

15. What makes you proud of your mom? The fact that she is my mom – there is nothing she needs to do to make me proud of her!

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? PO the red teletubbie. Bwahahaha!!

17. What do you and your mom do together? Shop, talk, go for coffee or lunch and pretty much everything else (we enjoy doing things together)

18. How are you and your mom the same? We both are stubborn and we both have the same shaped bodies.

19. How are you and your mom different? I am out going and my mom is a person who is shy.

20. How do you know your mom loves you? The amount of time she spends with me and how she goes out of her way to make me happy.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? The berg.

And here is Paula's version:

1. What is something mom always says to you? "Maybe" .... a.k.a NO!

2. What makes mom happy? Reading and eating chocolate

3. What makes mom sad? Abused animals

4. How does your mom make you laugh? When she does imitations of people, sings and when we both think we are so hilarious eg.When she did the imitation of Pepsi's asthma attack

5. What did your mom like to do as a child? Read

6. How old is your mom? 41

7. How tall is your mom? 1.58

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV? Greys Anatomy, Private Practice and Survivor

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Housework and stuff on the computer

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Running through the shopping centre naked Edited by The Mom to explain!! I always threaten that if some particular thing happens I will run naked through the shopping centre - as yet I haven't actually had to do it! Thankfully.

11. What is your mom really good at? Planning and sorting out problems

12. What is your mom not very good at? Being kind when you're sick in the middle of the night, don’t try and deny it mom!! Won't try to deny it Paulz, I suck at being woken up at night!

13. What does your mom do for her job? Book keeping

14. What is your mom's favorite food? Prawns at the Ocean Basket

15. What makes you proud of your mom? She's clever and she has a good sense of humor

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? The grinch!!! Haha maybe the new dexter= Dextalina

17. What do you and your mom do together? Read and laugh at our own jokes (You forgot singing Paulz, c'mon our karaoke in front of You tube is legendary!!)

18. How are you and your mom the same? Our sense of humor, we like doing the same sorta stuff, we have a good eye for cute guys, we think that we are always right, we stress A LOT, we can’t do with out sleep, mood swings and we are both sensitive.

19. How are you and your mom different? We don’t look alike and have a few different opinions on some stuff

20. How do you know your mom loves you? She tells me, cuddles me and puts up with my mood swings

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? The berg, sun city and out for dinner




Wednesday, May 06, 2009

He's a Harley kinda guy

Last week was Africa Bike Week in Margate. And boy-oh-boy did the big bikes come to town! On Saturday the Harley Davidson riders gathered on the roof of our local shopping mall with their bikes on display, before heading off on a ride to Port Shepstone. Of course we HAD to head down there to have a look! Some of those bikes were just magnificent...
Grant has this "Wild Hog" type fantasy going on. He can SO see himself on a Harley, weird helmet and all! I don't have any problem with this dream of his, quite frankly I think he'd look darn cute on a Harley, what I have a HUGE problem with is the part of the fantasy where he has me on the back of the Harley.... If you saw me you would just know that I am not that type of girl, not.at.all! I don't do noise, I don't do speed, I don't do socialising..... get the picture? You would think that having lived with me for 20 years Grant would know this stuff wouldn't you? Some guys just take a looooong time to catch on...
I was getting just a little bit panic-striken as we were walking around the bikes and Grant was saying "Come on babe, can't you just see us on one of these?" Uh no! You maybe, me NO WAY!! And then I found the solution to my dilemma -
The day he goes out to buy his Harley, I am heading off to Build-A-Bear to buy him his biker chick!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Pepsi loves the IPL

I'm not the only one enjoying the IPL - would you look at my cutie keeping her eye on the ball!!

pepsipepsi watches IPL

Friday, May 01, 2009

IPL cricket is fun!

We went to an IPL cricket match in Durban on Saturday.


Rox and Grant are huge cricket fans, Paula and I... not so much. I can usually tell the difference between a "4" and a "6", I know who's a bowler, who's a batsman and who the fielders are, I know that sometimes the umpire stands on one leg and I know that when the duck walks across the TV screen it is not a good thing for the batsman - but that's about the sum total of my cricketing knowledge. Paula knows even less.

Grant suggested we go and watch an IPL game as we'd never been to the cricket before and, being 20/20 format, he reckoned the cricket virgins among us would survive it. So I got on the internet and booked us some tickets. We saw the Mumbai Indian/Deccan Chargers game. Paula was under-awed to say the least at the prospect of wasting a Saturday watching a bunch of men throwing a ball about, but I convinced her that she had to come anyway.

We got there early, as the gates were opening, and thanks to my dodgy bladder and the fact that the loo was right there purely by chance, the girls and Grant were gathered at the stairs as the team buses arrived. So we got to see both teams file past on their way to their dressing rooms (change rooms? locker rooms?) Jonty stopped and gave Paula his autograph - he was SO sweet to the kids (and adults!) asking for autographs, a real gentleman. She would have got Shaun Pollock's too (he was equally nice and patient), only we couldn't find a pen at that very moment....aaaargh!
Rox was beyond ecstatic that Herschelle Gibbs actually SPOKE to her (the fact that he was telling her that he does not do autographs before a match and that she should come back afterwards was completely beside the point!) - she absolutely adores him - why I don't know! (That girl has disturbingly weird taste in men!!)
That's Herschelle's bald head going up the stairs

We then got to see Danny K live - okay, he was a million miles away and was a little Lilliputian (sp?) figure on the stage from where we were sitting, but still, we could hear him and see him on the big screens. Love Danny K! Verrry sexy!

And then the game happened. I have to admit that a LOT of the time I was not looking at the game, but was watching for the fireworks, ogling the famous cricketers in the box directly behind us (I even recognised one or two of them), staring at the dancing girls (they were surprisingly old), anticipating the next mexican wave (such fun!), looking at the spectators (Durban definitely has the best looking people in the entire world, thanks to our large Indian population)..... and sometimes I even watched the cricket! It was so much FUN! A delightful way to spend a sunny Saturday. I LIKE the IPL!! A LOT!

Oh and Paula, who got in the car to go to the cricket with a rather sour face, LOVED every moment, she was up and out of her seat, waving her "4" and "6" poster at all the right moments, clapping, yelling and banging those noisy yellow things together with the best of them.....

Camino Portuguese (Coastal Route)

We are planning another Camino walking holiday!  I couldn't be more excited.  The plan is that next year, in June, Grant, Paula and I wi...