"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

a story from the treasure trove, a confession and a 200 word challenge


i told you i had found "the sacred box" and now i have to re-tell this story.  this is one of the girls stories that nic and blaine were subjected to on saturday.  if i give you a paragraph of background i can then try very hard to get the tale across in 200 words.  it is going to be difficult but perhaps it is the kind of story that needs to be watered down (a lot).  why i told this story is because it is one of those weird co-incidences that only happen once in awhile.



june 2005 - nicky and i flew ryan air (20 pound tickets bristol to dublin return).  we were joining a 5 day paddywagon tour (ring of kerry, galway, blarney castle, cliffs of moher). the tour was great although the weather grey.  our last night in dublin we headed straight to temple bar to see what it was all about.  omw what a buzz.  took us a while to find the pub we thought was best and eventually settled on "the oliver st john gogarty".  great live music, full but looked like you would be able to organise a drink without too much trouble. 
lets first go back in time and start at the very beginning.  i am probably 19 years old, at college and doing promotions to earn extra money.  i do not have my own car so my mother still does lifts.   this particular promotion was at the woodstock holiday inn (pretty new and smart in those days).  the promotion was for kronebrau 1308 (anyone remember this beer?).
i only remember it because i loved the t-shirt that was given to me and i wore it for years afterwards.  the london-irish rugby team were touring south africa.  they invaded the pub and the 3 other promotional girls and i had quite a lot of giggly fun getting chatted up by these large men who spoke funny.  confession time - i ended up getting a goodbye kiss (actually quite serious kiss) in the car park and 2 tickets (with his hotel room number on the back) to the match at newlands from a player called colm.  my mother arrived to fetch me and was not impressed with the fact that i was in a carpark with a strange man and when i flashed the tickets at her i really got a mouthful.  "these irish guys are all married and are just out for what they can get.  don't you dare think you are going to the rugby at newlands -  finished and klaar - and i don't want to hear another word about it".  i probably sulked for a bit but that was that and normally would have put up more of a fight but i knew i was a bit out of my league (with mr tucker and my mother).  i always remembered his name though. colm (o double d name).

but back to the future - not too much into the future but 2005.  june 2005 temple bar, dublin

200 words challenge:-

we order 2 guinnesses.  nicky not a fan switches to whiskey.  i drink both. we spy a table. tourists leave. 3 woman in the group have not enjoyed their guinness either. we sit and recycle drinks. jenny now has 2 500ml glasses of guinness. along come madible of dentists*.  very friendly. they tell me my drink(s) are flat and buy me another**. nicky ***  is introduced to jamesons "finest whiskey in the world". chit-chat. pub closes. allowed to finish drinks on pavement. they are from galway. we swopped tales of galway (we had been there). conversation turns to rugby. the only person that i know who comes from ireland, probably still lives there and played rugby is "the car park kid called colm"****. why i mentioned his name, i do not know (i talk too much).  turns out he is seamus the dentist's golfing partner and great friend. i am shown his name and number on his cell phone. seamus then calls him, chats limerick language and passes the phone to me. besides not understanding most of what he said he did ask me why i took the tickets if i was not going to use them?*****.

(194 words)

ok i cheated

* a group of dentists (on a conference)?
** (i look longingly as the waitress removes my 1 litre freebie)
***(not a big drinker)
****(if you can call getting chatted up for about an hour knowing someone)
*****(and said her remembered my eyes) - (not a word about the kiss - how rude)

quite a coinsequence (as matthew would say) hey?
now for your lesson for today
did you know:-

Guinness stout is made from water, barley, hops, and brewer's yeast and is treated with isinglass finings made from fishes' air bladders, although Guinness has claimed that this finings material is unlikely to remain in the finished product this means it is generally deemed unsuitable for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
 
what a good idea - anyone going to ireland soon?

Monday, 30 May 2011

storm in a teacup?



i apologise if this headline has been used before but i could not resist it.  isn't this just the cutest 5 month old ever?   i read the article in sunday's newspaper after michael's mom asked me some questions.  the dear lady had read it a couple of times and it was clearly bothering her.  eventually we had to remove the paper from the coffee table as she kept picking it up and re-reading it in disbelief and horror.  "how can parents do such a thing?" she asked over and over again.

my initial feeling was not really of horror.  i remember being amused when my boys hated barbie dolls but were happy to play for hours with their gi joes or ninja turtles.  although i did not buy them guns they instinctively knew how to make a gun out of a stick or even a doughnut.  pink and blue stereotypes also do nothing for me and i know for a fact that if i had had a little girl pink would have not featured until she was old enough to choose pink.  i am just not a pink person (dalene will confirm, she received the "i love pink" gene). i would have hated to have pink walls and stuff around me.  in fact i still prefer to see newborn babies dressed in white.  the witterick's have chosen to dress storm in red which is the colour that has no gender.  hectic.  imagine if my mother had dressed me in red?  i have serious colour issues without having been dressed in red and probably should be in therapy.

i was fine with the article until i read that the older son, jazz (who has long plaits, wears pink and has an earring) chose not to go to school anymore and was now being home schooled.  how can kathy and david think that they are doing the right thing when already their children are being labelled as "different", "girl-boys", being laughed at and are not happy at school (and that at the age of 5).  to quote the dad, david witterick "Our family practices unschooling, an offshoot of home-schooling centred on the belief that learning should be driven by a child’s curiosity. There are no report cards, no textbooks and no tests. For unschoolers, learning is about exploring and asking questions, “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else”.  david also had a brother who, in his teens, started wearing ladies clothes and make-up.
kathy with kio, storm and jazz

the whole point is that the child does have a gender and that boys and girls are different.  i do not think that gender has anything to do with sexuality and personally think that kathy and david are O double D.  is there a hidden agenda?  the story was on the front pages of newspapers all over the world - the family cannot be contacted for interviews - a movie or reality show?  then you read how many people are praising their actions and it makes you think a bit more:-

“Bravo to these parents for bravely taking on the gender-biased world that labels children with stereotypes and gendered assumptions before they are even born!  All parenting is an experiment — but most people are happy to let Disney or Mattel run the lab. I hope your beautiful little family will stay strong against the conservative attack.”

after starting off as an idealistic parent myself with dreams and plans for my children i now have only one wish for them and that is that they are happy (a cliche, i know) - there are other things of course that i wish for them but being happy is top of the list.  i have friends who have children who are questioning their sexuality.  they feel the same way as i do - we will love them whatever and if they are happy within that is what matters.  a large part of being and feeling happy is the way that you are accepted by your family and friends.  we need them to know that happiness is not about being top of the class, getting that degree or fancy job; it's about connecting to yourself, connecting to others and to this world that we share.

these 3 young children are not being given the right start especially when even at their young age they are not accepted in the playground.  children can be cruel but are honest and will call things as they are.  i don't think that i could be happy without friends.  what about you?

on another note completely, i am sure that storm is boy. 

when you embarrass your children

wow quite a weekend.  had the fandamily over for supper on friday night as matthew was leaving early on saturday morning to go back to kimberley. always entertaining with everyone talking at the same time and jumping from one story to another.  matthew's training starts tomorrow for the currie cup.  it was so great to have him home for over 2 weeks.  the last time he was here for any length of time was at christmas and that was so busy.  this was 2 great weeks of full washing baskets and an empty fridge (amazing how quickly you forget how much milk a bowl of chocolate pronutro absorbs).

on saturday after watching amy playing hockey it was off to watch nic play rugby for uct against villagers.  amy and i did not stay for the 1st team game as she had studying to do (next time amy).  so does nic have studying to do.  anyway after the rugby i pick up some sushi takeaways and head to dalene to join the girls (who by the time we get there have finished 2 bottles of old brown in front of the fire).  out comes the white wine and as we get stuck into the sushi nic arrives to introduce a "new friend" to us.  lovely guy who looks a lot like bob but is blaine.  did this poor chap get initiated or what? as he walked down the passage my sister and kathy were shouting "ooooh it's bob, hello bob".  the 2 boys helped finish off the snacks as "rugby makes you very hungry".  they also proceeded to finish off the old brown to warm themselves up (4 party animals have now changed to my white wine).  nic and blaine (the bob lookalike, but not really) then became witness to some outrageous stories and girl talk.  poor blaine's eyes got bigger and bigger (remember the 4 ladies present had been together since lunch time (not me) and did not know any of the rugby scores (although the tv was on) or the who had won the tennis (although that was what they were getting together to do)).  anyway, blaine (bless him) and nic left to get back to their studies.  nic told me this morning that his words to nic were "and we thought we were being clever to sneak out and leave our fines meeting at the rugby clubhouse?".  (i was wondering why they did not know the final score of the 1st team match).  go girls!!

this story now suddenly ties in with today's discovery.  i have bought a whole lot of picture frames and have had my photographs out for weeks trying to re-organise them.  in the bottom drawer of my kist is a very sacred box.  the box that nicky deacon and i had put together and were going to make into our "2005 thelma and louise trip to the UK and ireland" scrap book.  sadly (very sadly) we never got around to doing it but i started looking through the box and found this bit of magic.  i am sure you will enjoy it too.

background.  nicky and i are in london staying with gareth in wimbledon.  after a day at the borough market and camden town we met up with gareth for drinks with cousin duncan. lovely evening with lots of laughs and charades.  ooopsy getting late.  gareth then made us run to catch the last tube home that we were practically hysterical once we got onto the tube.  he proceeded to pretend he did not know us while we posed for pictures. nicky's son andrew and nic had been in london previously with gareth. they had also posed for drunken pictures on the tube (i am talking about the pictures on the tube - not the drunken pictures on the tube).  we were trying to copy those pictures (wish i could find them as well but going to be difficult as my pictures are all on different compters and disks).

but this is the sequence:-



"gareth, do we look a bit like nic and andrew in that picture of them on the tube?"
(jenny trying to give herself a dimple (bum chin) and nicky trying to give herself a more prominent jawline)




"wait, let me fix my hair, i need some dreadlocks"



nicky and jenny singing mr jones
"gareth, do we sound like nic and andrew?"

"nic and andrew were never this badly behaved"
special times. no wonder matthew feels safer in kimberley!!

Friday, 27 May 2011

it's a week of introductions

helen gertrude kotze
 91 years old

this is michael's mother.  a lovely, gracious lady who lives in a retirement centre in diep river.  she had a fall nearly 2 years ago while in canada and it was only since her return to cape town that she has not been driving.  up until then she was pretty self-sufficient even although her short term memory was not great.  she took herself to visit her sister twice a week to read to her (aunty joyce was nearly blind and died early this year - aged 93), to church on sunday morning and then to our place for lunch.  that was about the extent of her driving and because it was all in her routine she managed ok.

well 2 years down the line the lady is physically strong and fully recovered from her fall and partial hip replacement.  however, her short term memory is rapidly declining.  the brain is such an amazing organ but you do wonder how certain information, often not useful at all, can remain in your brain forever and the important stuff that is necessary to help you function on a day-to-day basis disappears?

helen is one of the cleverest people i have ever met.  she is extremely well read, recites yeats and shakespeare, knows her bible and her basic arithmetic skills are awesome.  she, to this day adds up the numbers on the registration plates of the car in front of her.  not only adds the numbers but adds the scrabble numeric value of the letters as well - all fine for CA - 4 + 1 but when it gets to GWX i am out of it (not being a fanatic scrabble player as she was).  in fact it is a game that now irritates me immensely as not once have i ever managed to beat the grand dame.  for one her eye-sight is sharper than mine as well so i cannot even cheat and start adding before we get to the traffic lights.  it has become a habit of michael's now as well and i have told him to please stop playing when i am in the car with him.  perhaps i will start playing with him when he reaches 80 but for now,  please stop.   i much prefer "punch buggy blue" (because i am the best at it).

she has a carer every day during the week for a couple of hours.  loretta arrives in the morning, organises her breakfast, helps her bath and dress, gives her her medication and writes down details of the time that she is going down to lunch.  michael then checks on her in the evening and reminds her about her tv show 7de laan (which goes with the brandy and ginger ale and a small helping of pringles in a silver dish).  she is a creature of habit and as long as her routine is kept, she is, for the most, fine.  weekends we take over (mostly michael) and sundays she spends with us.  very predictable sundays which she enjoys, tells us the same stories over and over again, tells me how lovely my garden is over and over again, toasts me at lunch (over and over again) and tells stories about her early days in klerksdorp and about her love of trees and climbing them.  everytime she walks into our kitchen and looks at the tree in the courtyard we have the same "oh what a beautiful tree. when joyce and i were young we so loved climbing trees.  we had a tree over the road which the 4 clegg sisters would climb. we each had a branch where we would sit and read.  we had these 2 brothers who lived next door who we called "the stare, stare boys" because they could not work out how we girls could climb the tree and they could not. they would stand below and stare up at us.................."

the past few weeks have been particularly confusing for her.  we think that because winter is now here and it is getting darker earlier so she is going to bed too early and waking up too early.  whereas before loretta would usually wake her up she is now waking up much earlier...very early in fact.  we sometimes have 3 calls in the morning before we even leave home for work.  asking what day it is? time? is it sunday? 

this monday morning took the cake:-

phone rings at 5.30 in the morning
jenny answers (it is on her side of the bed)
jenny (sleepily):    hello jenny speaking
helen (urgently):   hello is that you jenny?
jenny (suddenly alert*):   yes mom, is everything alright?
helen:   oh is that you jenny?
jenny (slightly louder):  yes mom, are you ok?  
helen:   oh jenny it is you, i am very pleased now that i picked up the phone because it is you.  what do you want?
(awkward silence) 
jenny (thinkingly):   i am glad everything is ok, get back into bed mom it is cold, loretta will be there later and michael will speak to you when we get to work
helen:   ok thank you, what day is it?
jenny:   monday
helen: (obviously looking at her clock which has the day, date and time (and a light))  oh monday 23 may 5.33
jenny:  that is right (i think so).  goodbye mom
helen:  goodbye for now jenny - love to michael
michael (now kind of awake):  who were you talking to at 5.30 in the morning?  everything ok?
jenny:  your mother. she is fine.  the phone did ring, didn't it?  (now doubting myself)
michael:   i didn't hear it



*(about a month ago we had an early call from her telling us she had had a fall in the bathroom and please could be come and help her clean up all the blood.  on getting there it looked like the scene of a murder - we took her off to the ER and she was stitched up in a couple of places - so much blood because she had cut some small artery on the one spot).   she could not remember how it happened, besides the cuts on her head so had no other bumps or bruises.  when we got her back to her flat and started cleaning the bathroom she said "oh dear, what happened here.  it is an awful mess".


Thursday, 26 May 2011

cowabunga - another 200 word challenge

matthew, justin, gareth and nic


of all my photographs this is a favourite.  don’t you love it when you look at a picture and the whole story unfolds?  march 1990. i was not even there when it was taken but at home very ill with hepatitis. justin is the 4th turtle. kathy had taken the boys out for the day. my doctor was deciding whether or not to admit me to hospital. i remember being pretty much out of things, very tearful and unable to wake up.  i begged not to be admitted. the previous 2 weeks were one fuzzy blur. i was itchy, nauseous, had a constant headache and high fever. between cold baths i slept. my eyes and skin were bright yellow and the only thing that did not make me ill was pineapple juice. family and friends rallied around.

this particular saturday when i eventually opened my eyes, at the bottom of the bed were my 3 little ninjas, faces painted and each carrying a few plucked daisies. they were full of excitement about their fun day and jumped into bed with me. i can still smell that little boy smell of sweaty hair, face-paint, salty skin and pink fizzers.

(200 exactly!!)


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

it's about time i introduced you to jane


meet jane kock- born in may 1959 (a few months younger than me - what a good vintage 59).   i first met janey in 2003 when she lived on the streets and was part of the trolley-brigade that congregated on the corner of brooke street.  she had 3 friends jennifer, sandra and maria and a more humorous foursome you would struggle to meet (especially now because maria has died and sandra is missing in action (kept in a cellar on the property where she works for a wealthy old man in fernwood estate, according to janey).  these four ladies and i struck up a friendship. it started with the jenny, jennifer and jane connection.  i would keep our office paper aside for them and in return they would recycle bishopscourt cast-offs to me.  i have got some amazing bargains from them.  one being a persian carpet (pretty worn) but awesome - for R30 (i then paid R800 to have it properly cleaned).  gill would spy the heavily laden trolley coming down the road and try to barricade me in the office or take away my purse.  "jennifer (me) do you really need that?" "what are you going to do with that old tin.?"   janey was always very enterprising and would offer to tidy up our front verandah (nevermind the fact that it was her and her friends who were sleeping on our verandah and messing it up), wash cars or run an errand or two for cash.   she would then run a tab with me and i would keep her "savings" until friday when the whole lot was blown at barbellas on the main road.   she had a boyfriend kenny - pretty good looking and well spoken for a vagrant, very funny too but pretty awful to her when he had too much to drink.  we shipped him off to johannesburg a couple of years ago and have not seen him since.

michael loves to repeat the story of when, on one of our first dates, he pulled up to collect me and i had a call from janey. please could i collect her from groote schuur hospital immediately (7.30 on a friday night)? kenny was supposed to fetch her at 3 and had not arrived.  she had had an operation to her jaw which had been broken (by kenny) and her teeth removed (the few that were left).  what a performance firstly to find her, then to find some soft take-away food which she could eat and then deliver her back to her treehouse on protea road.  she lived in a tree (well next to a tree on a rooftop) on one of those open parking lots in protea road.  really clever - i was curious and went upstairs to inspect.  you climbed the tree and then a couple of steps along a branch and you were on the flat roof of the garage of another (not so well-known) firm of attorneys in claremont. what a fantastic unobstructed view of the mountain and if i did not have michael waiting for me in the car, i would stayed a while and had a night cap with her.  it was not as easy to get down the tree so probably best i did not stay for that drink.

janey's visits started becoming a daily thing and she spotted a gap in the market when our messenger left suddenly due to ill health.  there was much debate in the office as to whether she could be trusted with our post office key, banking and other messenger duties.  we would employ her for an hour or so a day.  at first we had to give her a formal letter on our letterhead advising that she was authorised to collect our post and to enter the banks doing deposits for us.  certain banks would not let her in the front door (how rude). she is very bright (advises us that she was once a bookkeeper) and now has everyone in the office on her side (most of the time).  she works full time for us and does a pretty good job. she is now not only our messenger but she does filing duties in our collection department as well.  we know her limitations, we only allow her a minimal amount of cash everyday (the more cash she has the stronger the % of alcohol in her drink), we pay her rent and travel costs and save the balance of her money for her.  friday's are usually a right off once she gets paid.  happy hour starts early on a friday at the bottom of brooke street.  she gets at least 3 paid holidays a year - her bus ticket to poffadder is paid for.  she spends a week or two there and when her money runs out we get a reverse charges call and bank account details of some distant relative in springbok.  we then have to pay her to come back!!  michael often threatens not to buy the ticket for her return but he soon weakens as he has to suffer abuse and questioning from people in the post office and the banks who ask "what have you done with janey?" (he does most of her duties when she is not here - nice boss).  she gets quite confused when he tells her that when he wins the lotto he is going to buy her a house in beaufort west.  "why would i want to live in beaufort west, it is so far away from cape town and my job?"  hello......

life with janey is never dull.  she has had many chances and has abused our hospitality - she lived on the office premises for quite a while but we had so many complaints about noise, bad language and parties from the neighbours that we had to buy her a wendy house in hangover park.  we told her no guests but it was extremely hard for her to sleep in her warm room under cover while her friends froze in front of the gate.  if she did not open the gate missiles would get thrown down the driveway to her window. so she now commutes to work and she is definitely the best dressed employee at our office.  you will not believe the extent of her wardrobe and each day she arrives in a different outfit, usually with a hat and always with earings.

i could go on and on - a more colourful character you could not meet.  she has a tragic story to tell and i am trying to encourage her to make some notes and i will help her to write her story.  she has added a lot to our office, she has a way of putting things into perspective, she will do anything for us, she knows where to get leather stitched, will buy our bread, rolls and cheese for lunch, collect our dry cleaning, order my pay-day sushi treat and collect it for me, she will dash out to buy emergency chocolate supplies and so much more.  not that we take advantage of her.  we struggle to keep her in the office and when she does goes out we try to keep her as busy as possible to curtail her very social habits.

she is a legend in claremont, she supplies her friends with food and clothing.  she washes their blankets and dries their clothes. she knows the owners of the fancy boutiques by name.

the fact that with all she has had to go through in her life, having had to leave 2 children in onseepkans (near poffadder) with her family to come looking for work in cape town, having another daughter, robyn-lee in cape town (heatherton road in newlands) and then having her taken away from her when she found herself on the streets, being abused and spending nights beaten up in the gutters of claremont and spending years on the street - all this and that she can still arrive at work on time (mostly) in the mornings, neatly dressed with sparkling earings (eyes maybe not that sparkling - that comes later), a smile on her face and be just so happy to have a meaningful job.  she now struts around claremont and pays her old friends to carry her packets back to the office. she is the one who now saves the paper for the trolley-brigade.  it all says a lot about janey and i must put her right up there on the list of special people in my life.


janey dressed up for the world cup - she supported spain throughout and tells us she has "spanish and korean blood" (maybe khoi rean).  coulters bought her the outfit - it lasted for a couple of days and was stolen by the "skollies of hangover park"


at nic's 21st where she came to "help" me.  the shebeen theme was right up her street and
she almost had more fun than the birthday boy


footnote

before publishing this i thought i had better check the facts with janey and get her approval (i have been in trouble before).  she came back to me with a list of small details which i had got wrong and i have corrected them.  she also asked me to mention that she is trying really hard to stop drinking because she needs to save money.  she has not had a drink since sunday (pretty damn good).  we asked her how much she was spending a day on alcohol "between R20 and R30 but it is not for myself, i share".   it is her birthday on sunday so she is not saying that she has stopped drinking because she probably will have to have a "small party".  she is also pleased that i have reminded her about writing her story and she is working on it.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

happy birthday bob




one of my all time favourites is 70 today.  can't say hard to believe because the poor old man has not aged well.  i prefer not to see or listen to him live anymore ever since his debacle at the oscars.  not everyone agreed with me about his performance but i would now rather listen to his old stuff.  not that i even had very many of his albums.  street legal was my first dylan record and it was played to death on my little red record player.  that is why changing the guard is one of my favourite dylan songs. not his most popular song and it can't really compare to blowing in the wind, watchtower, mr tambourine man but it is special to me. take a listen if you care to (mom don't think you should bother and dalene it might bring back memories of your tortured youth).  i was a cruel sister and i will have to tell you more about it (sooner rather than later) but i once made her listen to leonard cohen's "bird on a wire" on repeat all the way from cape town to knysna.  i think i was going through a real grunge stage and knowing how into the bee gees, donny osmond and abba she was, i thought i could change her taste in music. 


quite funny when you read through the lyrics.  this song, like the famous blue raincoat (click here) i had tried to work out it's meaning but never quite got it.  i knew that mr zimmerman was changing from judaism to christianity but these lyrics for a 16 year old were just a bit too absurd and i remember singing along (on my own) "caught between jupiter and a bottle" instead of "apollo" (even at 16 i was showing the signs).   a bit like the van morrison song "brown eyed girl" for years i thought the first line was "hey palomino" instead of "hey where did we go".  silly me. 

but like leonard cohen i have now done a bit more research (marvellous tool this internet) and have found out that bob is also not too clear on all the meaning of this song:-

Question:  Your songs often bring us back to other times, and are filled with mythic, magical images. A song like "Changing Of The Guard" seems to take place centuries ago, with lines like "They shaved her head/she was torn between Jupiter and Apollo/a messenger arrived with a black nightingale...". How do you connect with a song like that?

Dylan:[Pause] A song like that, there's no way of knowing, after the fact, unless somebody's there to take it down in chronological order, what the motivation was behind it. [Pause] But on one level, of course, it's no different from anything else of mine. It's the same amount of metric verses like a poem. To me, like a poem. The melodies in my mind are very simple, they're very simple, they're just based on music we've all heard growing up. And that and music which went beyond that, which went back further, Elizabethan ballads and whatnot... To me, it's old. [Laughs] It's old. It's not something, with my minimal amount of talent, if you could call it that, minimum amount... To me somebody coming along now would definitely read what's out there if they're seriously concerned with being an artist who's going to still be an artist when they get to be Picasso's age. You're better off learning some music theory. You're just better off, yeah, if you want to write songs. Rather than just take a hillbilly twang, you know, and try to base it all on that. Even country music is more orchestrated than it used to be. You're better off having some feel for music that you don't have to carry in your head, that you can write down. To me those are the people who... are serious about this craft. People who go about it that way. Not people who just want to pour out their insides and they got to get a big idea out and they want to tell the world about this , sure, you can do it through a song, you always could. You can use a song for anything, you know. The world don't need any more songs.

oh dear, too late to get disheartened.  i will just appreciate the true artist, poet and musician he is and wish him a very happy birthday.

for those still interested... the lyrics (poem)

 
Sixteen years,
Sixteen banners united over the field
Where the good shepherd grieves.
Desperate men, desperate women divided,
Spreading their wings 'neath the falling leaves.

Fortune calls.
I stepped forth from the shadows, to the marketplace,
Merchants and thieves, hungry for power, my last deal gone down.
She's smelling sweet like the meadows where she was born,
On midsummer's eve, near the tower.

The cold-blooded moon.
The captain waits above the celebration
Sending his thoughts to a beloved maid
Whose ebony face is beyond communication.
The captain is down but still believing that his love will be repaid.

They shaved her head.
She was torn between Jupiter and Apollo.
A messenger arrived with a black nightingale.
I seen her on the stairs and I couldn't help but follow,
Follow her down past the fountain where they lifted her veil.

I stumbled to my feet.
I rode past destruction in the ditches
With the stitches still mending 'neath a heart-shaped tattoo.
Renegade priests and treacherous young witches
Were handing out the flowers that I'd given to you.

The palace of mirrors
Where dog soldiers are reflected,
The endless road and the wailing of chimes,
The empty rooms where her memory is protected,
Where the angels' voices whisper to the souls of previous times.

She wakes him up
Forty-eight hours later, the sun is breaking
Near broken chains, mountain laurel and rolling rocks.
She's begging to know what measures he now will be taken.
He's pulling her down and she's clutching on to his long golden locks.

Gentleman, he said,
I don't need your organization, I've shined your shoes,
I've moved your mountains and marked your cards
But Eden is burning, either brace yourself for elimination
Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards.

Peace will come
With tranquility and splendor on the wheels of fire
But will bring us no reward when her false idols fall
And cruel death surrenders with its pale ghost retreating
Between the King and the Queen of Swords.


ps.

did you know that bob is also known as elston gunn, blind boy grunt, bob landy, robert milkwood thomas, tedham porterhouse, jack frost and sergei petrov?  perhaps i could try and stump john maytham this afternoon by asking him "who is tedham porterhouse?"  wish i could phone in but that man scares me (another pp).

oh and while i am on a roll and for those who are not fans, listen to adele's version of his "make you feel my love".   feel the love.

Monday, 23 May 2011

double agent kotze




my aching nerves.  i am getting old.  gone are the days when one of your children answered you back and you could tell them to stop being cheeky, give them a klap and send them to their bedroom.  i am a bit concerned about my situation.  gareth (as only gareth can) quite politely (as gareth often isn't) told me off (*a**ed me out) last night.  (that is if you can be politely, *a**ed out).  "mom, it is time you changed your facebook profile - i promise you nicky won't mind and whilst it is a nice picture of you and nicky both the girlfriends you are with in the picture are not our girlfriends anymore - and your status stating you are not "in a relationship" is a lie. you are married and you are now a kotze. change it please, it is the right thing to do."  so what did i do when i got home, went straight to the computer and changed my status and profile picture (obedient me).  not an easy job to change your facebook settings - i did need some online help from gareth and janetta.

i have legally changed my name.  the home affairs department was the easy part of the process. i got the new id within weeks and went off to the bank and filled in numerous forms at enquiries.  then they wanted FICA documentation - got the id (tick) but no utility bill in the new name so they had to be provided with an affidavit. another visit to enquiries only to the told that there was a charge of R150 for each new card (i have a couple).  i walked out in a huff after telling them that when my card expires in 2012 they can alter my details.

having a double identity has it's advantages.  the girls in the office are amused when i announce "hello this is jenny kotze calling from attorneys coulters van gend & kotze"  sudden respect and helpfulness from previously rude and unhelpful bank call centres.  however, sometimes when dealing with irate clients and i am asked "who am i speaking to?", i reply "this is jenny rosslee, pa to mike kotze" (stupid a-hole - not michael hey the irate client).  

i have also realised that the signature on the back of your bank card means nothing.  i sign kotze on the rosslee cards and sometimes have to be rosslee on formal work documents.  i am also now not allowed to witness any wills or estate documentation when michael is the executor.  all a bit confusing.

last wednesday i received a call from the DA asking whether "mrs kotze" would be voting.  i realised that home affairs were pretty much on the ball as i thought that i would need to vote as a rosslee.  on arriving at the polling station with both identity documents i asked them to check whether jennifer rosslee was registered.  she was not.  not that i would have been brave enough to try and vote a second time (besides which the counsellor for our ward was lucky to receive one vote from me, nevermind 2 - pp) (pompous p*#ck).

you can come out of your room now gareth.  mummy loves you.

Friday, 20 May 2011

to keep you in the picture

and if you think that i exaggerate, a couple of pictures:-


sorry not that clear but top shelf is black (one and a half piles) and grey, middle shelf is white - hope you are impressed there is a bit of colour there too,  bottom shelf - don't get shocked by the polka dots (that is a nighty and wont be seen during the day - lucky michael!!!).  perhaps i did exaggerate on the tidiness point it does not look as neat as i thought.

still experimenting with the new camera so the pictures are not that sharp.  below is the kitchen as it is today:-

the before picture to save you scrolling back to the "simplicity" post:-


the tin collection:-


the snobby tin collection (bet you all have bought either the biscuits, tea bags or a single carrier bag from harrods, but have you got the fortum & mason's biscuit tin?)


on the subject of things british it is my brother david's birthday today (he is half-british but more south african than me).  david is 36 today (there you go nic -  if you are still a follower - he has asked me very nicely to please stop using the em, bb and bs in my posts - apparently it is fine if the entire post is anonymous but it is a bit irritating to new readers (and to him).  he always gives constructive criticism so point taken). it was 6 years ago on this very day that my mom (the eccentric one), dalene (the bestest one) and i flew into london for david's 30th birthday.  it was a wonderful 2 weeks with the family.  nicky deacon joined me once dalene left and we had another 2 crazy weeks - time in london with dave and gareth,  a week with matthew in bristol and a very memorable paddy wagon tour to ireland.

i think you may enjoy this little clip as well.  sushi in soho, london exactly 6 years ago today - after very fancy cocktails we met up with some of david's friends for sushi.  below you will see me taking on one of his mates in a wasabi challenge.
video

i accept your respect.  note the worried little sister's voice in the background (and how many times my mother says jen, jen, jen, jenny and jennifer).  also please note how andrew ducks out of the challenge - not very noble (no invite to the wedding for him).  i have an amazing video that david made of the trip and would love to show you bits of it but i need to have a crash course in editing first.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

simplicity



image
 
i see the dictionary definition has 5 parts.  as i child i remember my grandfather (he was a very funny man) calling people "simpletons".  it always sounded a bit like a surname to me and i had a picture in my mind of this family of simpletons - do you know the simpletons?  funnily enough i have not heard that word in ages - i must try to use it again sometime.
 
when we talk about something being simple people assume that it's lacking in sophistication or good sense or intelligence.  i think that is very foolish.  i like the last definition "clarity of expression". 
 
what springs to mind when you think of simplicity?
   

dressmaking patterns?

there is this whole new way of living -  voluntary simplicity - "a lifestyle that is characterised by living with only essentials".    i tried very hard yesterday to practice some voluntary simplicity.  i had the afternoon to myself and decided to de-clutter and organise my clothing.  why do i get attached to clothes that i know i will never wear again?  why do i have 21 black t-shirts?  do i really need them?  i unfolded them all and managed to discard only 3. re-folded them again and at the end of an hour i had completed only 3 of the 6 shelves.  18 black t-shirts, 8 longsleeved black t-shirts, 5 white t-shirts, 6 white longsleeved t-shirts.  i managed to de-clutter and give away some colourful tops (4, maybe only 3 if i pull back the one i am not too sure about giving away) that i thought i may one day wear but i know i won't.  so the 3 top shelves are still too crowded but are now colour co-ordinated (if you can call black, white and grey colour co-ordinated) and very, very neat (even if i say so myself). 

would i love to live a minimilistic life?  i don't think so, i love surrounding myself with all the things i love.  i found this picture on my computer the other day of my kitchen taken 2 years ago



not much has changed except that the cement counter under the window is now filled with plants, cuttings of plants, herbs, a new coffee maker.  i'll show you a picture soon.  also quite a few more tins added to the collection which i managed to steal from franklin at work (don't tell his wife but he is addicted to auctions).

so basically i am not a simpleton, i do like the whole idea but it is not really me. 

off the subject, aren't these simple soaps divine?

We like today.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

forget the bucket list

i am bit over the expression.  it has a morbid feel to it (not that i am adverse to being morbid).  actually i have been more morbid than usual of late but nicely morbid (that is possible).  i have been thinking a lot of a close friend, vaughan who died over 10 years ago.  vaughan was a "bucket list" person - an ideas man who made lists, who would come around for dinner with his diary and fill in details of when, where and with whom we were going to do things.  and we did things.  he would hear that joe cocker was coming to cape town in 6 months time, diarise when the booking opened and be first in the queue to get tickets (before internet and on-line bookings).  we had wonderful weekends at his holiday home in betty's bay, he booked a spontaneous trip to plettenberg bay for a weekend just to check up on the house we were renting in july, he loved music - all kinds of music and had a rule that if you started playing a song you could not cut into it or change tracks because you did not like it, you had to listen to it to the end and then decide (i still feel guilty whenever i do not obey that rule - which is pretty often), if it was a warm summer evening you would take your supper to the beach or the forest or even keurboom park.  he was not afraid to get in the car and drive.  he would drive to stellenbosch in the morning to pick strawberries to have with ice-cream for lunch.  he was not afraid of anything.  he must have ticked off many things on his bucket list and he would have had an extremely long one but very tragically his list came to an end far too soon.  i should write a whole post on vaughan (maybe even a book) - he taught me so much but not enough as i am extremely bad at getting around to doing things - good intentions and ideas but not too great on the follow through (and i switch tracks when i don't feel like listening to a certain song!)

so on thinking about bucket lists and my personal list i realised that so much of it is wishy-washy stuff that everybody would like to do - visit all 5 continents (or is it 7?), go to india, learn mandarin chinese, skydive, run a marathon, parasail in acapulco.  all a lot of pie-in-the-sky things that you would maybe be able to do if lots of extra cash fell into your sweaty little palm but if it did not why even dream or bother?  having a list can motivate you and seeing it in print is important but let's try and keep it real.  after my lovely day on saturday i realised that putting the stellenbosch food market at the top of your list and then ticking it off is extremely satisfying.  so what about a list of attainable things you feel the need to do?  sadly i would still have to divide my list into sections, which unfortunately once again fall into "almost free", "some cost" and "will cost" (lists in no particular order)




      almost free:
      • watch more sunrises (so many sunsets in your life and not enough sunrises)
      • take more photographs
      • sleep under the stars
      • more swims in the ocean
      • walk in the rain and stamp in puddles
      • take time to visit albertina at her home (followed by lunch at mozoli's)
      • take more day trips into the country for lazy lunches
      • organise photographs, albums and frames
      • sit in my garden in the early morning with a cup of tea (even now that the mornings are darker and colder)
      • re-discover and organise my old music collection
      • declutter 
      • write some poetry
      • have an afternoon watching soppy and sad movies with old brown sherry, a fire and girl friends
      • laugh more
      • smile at strangers 
      • read more (or more importantly finish one book before starting another)
      • tell the people who i love that i love them whenever i can
      • give more and expect less 



      some cost:-
      • walk the catwalk from muizenberg to kalk bay for breakfast
      • the builders warehouse food market in retreat on a wednesday night
      • a day trip to riebeeck kasteel to visit their local nursery
      • treat myself to a new purse
      • visit little orchard nursery in constantia
      • visit wine farms in stellenbosch that i have not been to before
      • high tea at the mount nelson
      • take the double decker cape town tour bus around cape town and learn more about our city
      • do the bo-kaap walking tour 
      • take painting lessons 
      • learn to make pasta
      • join a bookclub 
      • try and see 2 new movies a month 
      will cost:-
      • straight back to new york to picnic on bagels in central park
      • treat michael to golf at augusta and st andrews
      • take another roadtrip (to anywhere) with the em, bb and bs 
      • take my 3 boys on a holiday to ireland, then new york and to see new england in the fall
      • take amy and kelly to london to see buckingham palace (and try and get amy an introduction to prince harry!!)
      • tour the uk, visit family and friends and see the lake district in good weather
      • tour scotland
      • visit cheryl in new zealand 
      • a girls holiday in france or italy - walking, cooking, eating, wine and fun
      enjoy the holiday tomorrow, put your X in the right box and let me know what is on your list.

        Monday, 16 May 2011

        el duderino

        i love it when things fit beautifully into place.  jigsaw puzzles frustrate me though.

        last night i watched the movie crazy heart starring jeff bridges with michael and matthew (home for 2 weeks from kimberley for break from rugby - yeah).  both of them were surprised that i watched the entire movie without being prodded or asked "are you awake?" 

        Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart

        quick synopsis:-

        "Jeff Bridges stars as the richly comic, semi-tragic romantic anti-hero Bad Blake in the debut feature film Crazy Heart from writer-director Scott Cooper.  Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who’s had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can’t help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician.  As he struggles down the road of redemption, Bad learns the hard way just how tough life can be on one man’s crazy heart."

        jeff bridges won an oscar for this performance.  always an under-rated, under-the-radar kind of actor he is absolutely amazing in this movie AND he can sing (bonus a duet with colin farrell - wow).  the soundtrack is awesome and that coming from me who is not a country music fan!! (the songs reminded me quite a bit of leonard cohen gone country).   i have watched "the fabulous baker boys" with the bridges brothers and michelle pheiffer many times, i loved "the fisher king" and "the door in the floor".  gareth is a number one fan of the man and "the big lebowski" is his most favourite movie.  parts of that movie i still don't get but i don't think many days go past when either gareth or nic do not use a "dudeism" - "nobody calls me lebowski. you got the wrong guy. i'm the Dude, man" or "let me explain something to you, i am not "mr. lebowski". you're mr lebowski. I AM THE DUDE. so that's what you call me. you know, that his dudeness, or uh, duder, or el duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing."   crazy children and all very confusing but they will be suitably impressed that i can also quote the dude.

        there’s one point in the movie when bad blake leans in to kiss maggie gylennhall - although she is drawn to him, she backs up, because of his breath (i am sure).  watching him at work in this movie you know exactly what he smells (and tastes) like.  cigarettes and cheap whiskey. no kidding i could smell his breath (and lank, greasy hair) through the screen (no wonder i did not fall asleep) and at the same time he manages to be so very sexy (i know bestest sister will not agree with me and argue this point - we don't agree on music or the hotness scale of men - how can you not like victor matfield??!).  back to bad blake. he was once a big country star. he drives an old beat up truck and plays his gigs at bowling alleys.  faded-past-their-sell-by-date ladies sway to him singing in smokey bars. it is all pretty sad. but these people remember and support their once hero - he is loved and remembered by his fans in these smokey alleys and bars but sadly he is so far gone in his alcoholism that the love of these fans does not seem to touch him. 

        i am really sorry that i did not see this movie when it was first released but to sit down last night and watch this dude act (and sing) was the cherry on the top of a great weekend.  but then i could not go to sleep.
        watch this clip first:-




        apparently the director scott cooper approached country singer toby keith about filming a live segment of his film during his break at a live concert in albuquerque.  the production crew had 10 minutes to film the two actors singing in front of 12 000 fans.  this was a surprise for the audience who went crazy when they discovered that they were party to the movie. the whole song was up on youtube within hours. (a bit of useless trivia for you).

        oops this is turning into my first movie review so back to the wakeful hours last night.  i had a kind-of theme running for this week in the back of my mind.  it was going to be about dreams and wishes and bucket lists and doing things for yourself that make you happy (i had such a great day on saturday, left for stellenbosch early with da girls - morning market, breads and cheeses and brownies and wine and that lovely biscuit pizza with rocket, italian cheese and balsamic reduction followed by watching nic play rugby for uct, bubbles and picnic on the sidelines (it was intervarsity after all and ikeys won), into town for coffee and carrot cake - i ditched da girls in stellenbosch (they had one more stop to make) and headed home to finish off the day with a dinner party at home with lovely people and lovely wine - in all a thoroughly lovely day). 

        so now maybe starting with crazy heart sets the scene for the week perfectly.  the film is raw and sincere and bad blake's character grips at your heart.  what i took away from the movie is that is is never too late to change, to become a better person and better friend. (there are some incredible moments with him forming a special relationship with maggie's 4 year old boy).  we all have some of bad blake inside ourselves (hopefully not the smell of the breath and the hair), we all have battles to fight and a story to tell (some, like me just take a little bit longer to get to the point of the story - is there ever a point?).  but thanks for the feedback i am getting from "the followers" - you are getting my point (or lack thereof) and as my late great friend vaughan would say "i am having a jolly fun time".

        Sunday, 15 May 2011

        when words and melodies collide

        if i was ever approached by a magic genie and offered a couple of wishes, one of them surely would be to be able to sing.  at the age of about 11 i remember being humiliated by nasty mrs van ordt, our choir mistress at school. she did one of those "someone is off-key" numbers and proceeded to make everyone sing a couple of lines on their own. being the tall one in the middle of the back row she eventually got to me, the evil offender, and threw me out of the class.  since that day i have never been able to sing in front of people (unless after a few tequilas on a friday night kareoke at stokers pub in newlands in the '80's).  however, i love singing on my own and personally think that my rendition of the bangles "eternal flame" is up there with the best.  i also have the ability to remember lyrics, and if i lived in the usa i would be brilliant at that tv game "lock in those lyrics". for some reason i can still remember all the words of "knock three times" by the delians, "the times they are a-changing" by bob dylan, all pete starstedt's songs....for what?  wasted knowledge taking up valuable space in my little brain that could be used for something else.

        michael loves to sing, he can sing but is useless at lyrics.  his taste in music is also a bit suspect and he was devastated the other morning when i agreed with the dj on the radio that "ebony and ivory" is one of the worst songs of all time.  the beatles were amazing, their melodies, voices and timing are legendary but the lyrics?? oh my word - just take a look at this:-

        Love, love me do
        You know I love you
        I'll always be true
        So please love me do
        Wo ho love me do

        Love, love me do
        You know I love you
        I'll always be true
        So please love me do
        Wo ho love me do

        Someone to love
        Somebody new
        Someone to love
        Someone like you

        Love,love me do
        You know I love you
        I'll always be true
        So please love me do
        Wo ho love me do

        to this:-

        In the chilly hours and minutes,
        Of uncertainty, I want to be,
        In the warm hold of your loving mind.

        To feel you all around me,
        And to take your hand, along the sand,
        Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

        When sundown pales the sky,
        I wanna hide a while, behind your smile,
        And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find.

        For me to love you now,
        Would be the sweetest thing, 'twould make me sing,
        Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.

        When rain has hung the leaves with tears,
        I want you near, to kill my fears
        To help me to leave all my blues behind.

        For standin' in your heart,
        Is where I want to be, and I long to be,
        Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.


        also simplistic but it says something. the busiest brother used to sing in the chamber choir at rondebosch, he has a great voice but is continually ripped off by my boys because he once commented "a song is not a song unless it has a chorus".

        don't get me wrong.  the beatles were the best place to begin to learn to love music.  the boys still have an old fashioned cassette tape that francois delivered to them early one morning when we did pre-school lift club "beatles for the okes". this must have been the "most played" cassette ever.  i love the fact that they love and still listen to cat stevens and bob dylan. we have seen counting crows, ub40 and u2 together.  they have introduced me to mason jennings, ryan adams and arcade fire.  they don't enjoy damien rice and adele.  i am trying very hard to appreciate sigur ross.  this is what makes us all different.

        are you a lyrics or melody person?  does it really matter?  did mrs van ordt damage me forever or was that moment of terrible embarrassment only a moment that would save me a lifetime of further embarrassment?does that make sense?

        quite a fun day


        wow, why has anyone ever told me how wonderful a general anaesthetic is?  i have not slept as well since forever and somehow even managed to sleep nearly through the night last night as well.  once up for 2 painkillers and straight back to bed.  all went well except that he had to take bone out of my palate and back gum to fill in for some bone loss.  the titanium pin is now in the mouth and I have lots of stitches and everything fine EXCEPT for the fact that the false cap (have to use it for 6 – 12 weeks until the bone regenerates) does not fit properly because of all the stitches.  not really a train smash but no big smiles for me until the stitches are out, i suppose. i also cannot understand why they have stopped making chicklet chewing gum – remember those pearly white squared gum? – every bloomin chewing gum is now a colour.  1 chicklet would have been ideal to fill the gap.

        i had the most interesting time in the ward waiting to be taken into theatre.  nothing to eat or drink since 9.30 the night before, told to get there at 7.45 and only ended up going into theatre at 11.45.  anyway i was in the ward for so long and heard everyone’s medical history.  just up my street.  
        1.            young girl next to me needs to have her wisdom teeth out – nothing unusual there except she confesses to the anaesthetist that she does use recreational drugs and has a problem with her nose (serious sniffer). he did not bat an eyelid to her confession and went straight on to the next question.  quite interesting is that she was having her wisdom teeth out and had one rotten molar which they took out as well and replaced with a wisdom tooth that was in perfect condition but too cramped - a tooth transplant - amazing.
        2.            older lady  diagonally opposite having plastic surgery to remove a cyst on her hand.  quite a luscious young plastic surgeon in to examine her and questions her as to who did her breast implants “they look great”.  she then went on to praise dr d and gave all details of this operation to this new kid on the block. then her anaesthetist arrives and she gives him her medical background.  she only takes 2 valium a day.
        3.            lady on the other side of me is having liposuction done on her double chin.  does not chat much and is not gone for very long.  comes back into the ward with bandages and ice pack covering her head and shoulders.
        4.            lady directly opposite me – around 40 – having a melanoma removed from her shoulder.  very quietly spoken so i could not hear all her details and she was very involved in the “dragon tattoo” and not very friendly.
        5.            this is the lady that was just the best.  83 years old, botanist, lives in rondebosch has a growth on her nose.  refuses to take her clothes off (an entire patchwork outfit - jacket (with hood), pants and knitted cap) until she gets extra blankets “once i start shivering i cannot stop”.  she  gives loretta, the admittance nurse and my new best friend (she grew up at 9 st denis road and needed a run down on all the neighbours) a hard time but nothing compared to the poor lady from security who locks away your valuables.  the security lady came in with a plastic courier bag (“where the hell are you posting my stuff to?”), she opens your purse and lists every single card (“you don’t need to write that one down, throw it away it is a used gift card”) and counts your money.  this all became a bit much for her and she called for her daughter. she snatched everything away from the security lady and told her daughter to look after her purse  (“don’t spend anything , i know how much is there”).
        the daughter needs mention too (wild curly hair, rucksack on her back, 54 years old).  doing her doctorate – nutty professor type, “i don’t have time to sit here all the time mummy, i have to study”.  but i am about to hear more about her because after giving loretta a couple of tips about what to feed her mother when she comes around she leaves in a huff.  mother shouts out to daughter as she leaves “ok go, i love you darling and remember not to let michael get hold of my car keys”
        loretta now has her clipboard and starts asking the questions.  it took me about 5 minutes before i realised that if I did not take notes i would never be able to remember these answers and would miss out completely on some interesting stuff.  so i am now referring to my little orange diary (quite the journo, hey?):-
        after taking her blood pressure and being told it was on the low side but not abnormally low:-
        “that is good, last week it was  55/33 and my chemist would not let me walk home”
        on telling her that she would be taking her temperature in her ear:-
        “in my ear?  that's a new one but better than having it up my bum!!”
        allergies (and sorry i could not get these all down):-
        “bread, milk, nuts, ……… just bring me black tea with lots of sugar.  i am not supposed to have lots of sugar but i need it.  i have a tin of condensed milk every day.”
        drug allergies?:-
        “oh my god asprin, don’t let it anywhere near me.  if i take it, 2 minutes later it is out of my system, rushes through my body, straight out – i have a damaged rectal nerve so do not have good control”
        “pencillin is not good for my stomach either”
        any psychiatric medication?:-
        “lucky not me, my daughter who was here, she is psychotic.  we have a whole cupboard full of medication that she is on.”
        make-up, nail polish, piercings?:- (this question she is asking a woman who has bright orange lipstick which is bleeding in her wrinkles up to her nose and onto her chin)
        “i did put on some lipstick this morning, is it still on? nail polish – my husband died 10 years ago and i have not bothered since.   piercings – only my ears, one on my nose closed up ages ago.”
        other illnesses?:-
        diverticulitis, pacemaker, low blood sugar, deformed colon, rectal nerve damage, hiatus hernia   – please keep me propped up when i come out of theatre or i will be vomiting phlegm... i often vomit up phlegm in the night..................”
        operations?:-
        “pacemaker, one of those things where they scrape out your womb and a trigger thumb operation”
         smoke?:-
        “yes only 10 a day.  was 30 a day but far too expensive now”
        i then missed the rest but when i woke up she was already getting dressed to leave, she was given a hot lunch “meat loaf, very bland and rice, not basmati but ok.  i live on rice you know, chop my home grown spinach into it, lasts me for a week”.  she had her operation done under conscious sedation “you know that stuff they use for date rape – wonderful stuff”.   when michael came to fetch me at about 3.30 she was fully dressed on her bed waiting for her daughter to come and fetch her.  i was tempted to offer her a lift home but thought it would complicate things as her daughter had left rondebosch to fetch her in claremont “over an hour ago”.  very "o double d".  wish i had taken a picture of her for you.