"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"

Monday, 30 April 2012

old school photographs and a new friend

A few favourite photographs from the weekend
I stole this one from Nic.  A friend of his had taken it with old expired film, hence the grainy look.  Old school and with the moustache and horn-rimmed glasses this could be his dad in the early 80's (but his dad did not wear glasses).
Lunch at Baa Baa Black Sheep in Riebeeck Kasteel with Hans on Saturday.  Hans is the proverbial Flying Dutchman (he works for KLM) so was in Cape Town for the weekend and spent Saturday and Sunday with us.  Since the Barber wedding in November when we all got to know each other, Hans has been back once again with Siobhan, his lovely wife and twice on his own.  This time we did into the country and a visit to my favourite nursery (and nurseryman).  He has the most amazing bonsai collection (and they are not usually my best).  It is like a miniature Sherwood forest.
Saturday night we had the family around for supper.  Traditional babotie and rice, table set, wine chilled.  It was supposed to be supper for 14 but poor Tom (my sister's husband) had a freak fall into a swimming pool, dislocated his ankle, broke his tibia, severed ligaments and had to get stretchered to hospital in an ambulance.  He is still in hospital awaiting surgery on Wednesday morning.  I saw him this evening and he is his usual chirpy self but he is in for a long stint on crutches, operations to remove plates and pins and re-attach ligaments.  Poor guy.
On Sunday a walk in Kalk Bay followed by breakfast at Boulangerie

The breakfast
The harbour
I'm getting into this "old school" sepia vibe
Add some red
Paint the town red!!
I fancy a house on the hill with a view of the sea

I had a lovely time with Hans.  It made me realise how few male friends I have.  OK, there are lots of men that I know and would call friends but that is usually because they are Michael's friends, my friends husbands or boyfriends, friends of friends but they are not really my own friends.  Some of my girlfriends have male friends and Kathy, for one, probably has as many male friends as female friends.  After dropping off Hans at his hotel yesterday and saying goodbye, I realised that after his couple of visits to Cape Town and after this weekend where we spent time in the car travelling and chatting, eating, drinking (and more chatting) and lots of laughing, I can call him my friend.  It was great to hear his male perspective on parenting and so many other things and to know that we have common ground.  He is no longer my friend just because he is Lucie's cousin's husband (and because Siobhan and her sister Colette became instant friends of Dalene and I).  I feel that I have got to know him as Hans and I think that I am also maybe no longer David's sister to him.  I think I can stop introducing him as such and just say "This is my friend Hans".

Friday, 27 April 2012

this simple woman's daybook


Freedom Day in South Africa

Outside my window...

Outside my lounge window are leaves

and more leaves.   Autumn is here.

I am thinking...

that I should be outside raking leaves
that I must get organised and make supper for tomorrow night's dinner later today.  On that note I must also phone my mom and rest of the family to invite them over.  Hans is here from Holland and I am busy planning what to do tomorrow for the day (and what to cook for supper)

I am thankful...

that today is a public holiday.  Freedom Day - 18 years since our first democratic election in South Africa.  I am thankful to live in this beautiful country.  For all the problems that we still have, I still would not want to live anywhere else (OK, maybe New York but then I would want to be 25 years old and living in a brownstone house in Brooklyn and working on a magazine in Manhattan).

In the kitchen...
dirty dishes, need to finish up and get there

I am wearing...
for the first time this year, my fluffy blue dressing gown.  However I have just finished my cup of tea and have had an amazing flash of heat rise through my body, so I have stripped and it is lying on the table.  As a good friend once told me "it is my inner child playing with matches"

I am creating...
is writing this daily stuff "creating"?  It is about as creative as I can be at the moment and my mind is also trying to be creative in putting together a meal for tomorrow night's dinner (with a South African theme).  Boerie Rolls and Klippies and Coke?

I am going...
to meet some special friends at Forres at lunchtime.
I am wondering...
what I should wear?  Is the weather going to stay so grey?  Will we be sitting inside or outside?  Perhaps I can wear my new jersey.  (Grey melange if you were wondering).  I love adding "melange" it makes it sound so trendy.

I am reading...
Still "The Fry Cronicles".  Nic and I watched another episode of QI which I had PVR'd last night.  He and Allan Davies are a class act.  A quote from his book, which explains the style so well.  He uses words in the most awesome way.

"in every particular I fail Strunk's Elements of Style or any other manual of 'good writing'. If a thing can be said in ten words, I may be relied upon to take a hundred to say it... I love words and whilst I am fond of the condensed and economical use of them in poetry, in song lyrics, in Twitter, in good journalism and smart advertising, I love the luxuriant profusion and mad scatter of them too"

I am hoping...
that this grey weather will clear tomorrow.  I am hoping to take Hans into the country - Riebeeck Kasteel or Franschhoek.  Any suggestions?

but it must not clear now, because I want to wear my new grey jersey to lunch today.

I am looking forward to...
lunch today and meeting the new man in Nicky's life (and wearing my new grey jersey)

I am learning...
that this Super 15 rugby game I am involved in is not for me.  How difficult can it be to predict a winning team?  You have a 50/50 chance.  Why can't I get it right?  Guessing the score is luck but choosing a winner has never been this hard.  I did not go with my heart for this first game Blues vs Reds.  I asked my rugby journalist son (who is doing quite well in the game) - he said Blues, Michael said Blues - everyone was going for the Blues.  Who is in the lead?  Reds!!

Around the house...
things are neat and tidy (except the dishes needing to be stacked into the dishwasher and all the leaves outside).  The rugby is playing from every room and would be enjoyable if the Blues were leading the Reds.

I am pondering...
What is the difference between pondering and wondering and thinking?

A favorite quote for today...
"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."

Anna Quindlen

from this wonderful blog.  Take a look when you have time.  All the things I love New York, music, quotes and some very honest and spunky writing. (I want Nic to meet her!!)

which is exactly this from Pinterest:-

One of my favorite things...

Love this song at the moment.  His voice reminds me of Sting and Gill and I have been listening to this for a couple of weeks now so thought I would share.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Lovely long weekend.  Pizza tonight, day in the country tomorrow but for now I have half an hour to get showered and ready for my lunch date at Forres (and tidy the kitchen).  Pictures to follow.

A peek into my day...
I think we have pretty much covered everything

Enjoy your Freedom Day too!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

what comes after book club?

Our book club dissolved more than 12 years ago.  Pretty hard to believe and it was a fun book club.  We did not have many members (probably 8) - but we had a male sleeping member who was quite a pleasure to have in the "club".  He paid his subscription, read the most books and sent along to the meetings a bottle of wine from his wine club. He also paid his share to the Christmas party fund (and provided a gift at Christmas) but was never brave enough to come and meet the rest of the "girls".  A win-win situation for us.  It was one of those book clubs that focused more on chatting and drinking wine than discussing books.  We did not bother with trying to out do each other with fancy cakes (because Gill would always win) and it was a chips, dips and wine affair (with coffee and a biscuit, if you were so inclined).  It often would get to 1 in the morning and we would say "oh dear book time".  We would take a whole bunch of books on appro from Exclusive Books.  The person whose turn it was could choose the first book and the rest got briefly discussed and then voted on.  Three of us worked together and the bosses were always on red alert after "book club night".

Then the mainstay of the book club was transferred to Johannesburg, followed by the treasurer and secretary (one person) who left for New Zealand.  Another moved to Noordhoek and soon it was just the sleeping male member and myself (and two others) and then the sleeping male member decided to break up with (after cheating on) my best friend (she was not a member of the book club - my best friend or the girl he cheated with).  I then did not feel the need to supply him with books and he probably thought it also best he stop providing me with wine, so that was the end of the club.  Just like that.

I am quite jealous of others with book clubs and as much as I often feel that I am missing out on the fun (I hate missing out on fun) it is not an easy thing to join an established club (for the person joining or the friend introducing).  Also, I do not read enough at the moment, unfortunately.   My mother has had the same book club for nearly 40 years.   It is quite a fancy club where you have to have excellent cooking skills as well as they provide a hot meal (my aching nerves).  It used to be supper but they have changed it to a Saturday lunch with all the trimmings.  It is quite an occasion and they dress up and everything is very posh.

Talking of wine labels.  What about starting a wine appreciation club?   The idea here would be to be able to start a bit of a collection of fine (finer than usual) wines.  It could be pretty easy.  It is my turn to host.  We have 10 or 12 members.  You come to my house for the evening. Your entrance fee is a decent bottle of wine (which we will not open).  A price would have to be set each time and this price could vary from month to month.  I will feed you cheese and biscuits and my Rockfield R26.99 wine from Pick n Pay (very good value for a very drinkable wine) or good old Chateau, if you prefer red.  We will have fun and chat and then you will leave and I will be left with 12 good bottles of wine for my collection.  We could have a name and a membership book (perhaps a card as well).   What about Vine Vixens?  It could also be a secret society with passwords and stuff.  Neat idea?  Whatuthink?

Jenny's Special Reserve

music and my boys

I feel quite important today.  I got a mention on Gareth's blog.   Even although he manages to compliment me in a backhanded way, I still take it as a compliment.  Hopefully this also means that my Damien Jurado CD is on it's way.  Take a listen to the song on his blog - I am sure you will like it (Hope and Judy in particular).

Music is very important in their lives.  Mine too, but I also need information and the fact that I can listen to Cape Talk instead of listening to music befuddles their brains.  All about balance, I say.

Nicholas, I thought, also had a great posting last month - the hand me downs (part one) - about how he was educated by Gareth in music.  You won't believe how much music these boys listen to (and how much they know about all kinds of music).  Matthew will often play me a song that he knows I will like and then download on my computer - Iron and Wine and Bon Iver, to name just two.    The CD shuttle in my car contains a whole mix of music - most of it theirs (because when they travel with me they cannot bear to listen to Cape Talk).  The compilation CD's are all from different times in our lives.  One of my favourites is from my trip to the UK in 2005.  I do not know who all the artists are but I know every song and the order in which they play. There is an earlier CD made by Gareth, when he was in London, for his brothers which we all listened to over and over again (even if we did not really know who we were listening to but, because Gareth had been to see them "live", they were cool).  They are still cool and we still listen to them (Mason Jennings, Nick Cave (and others I cannot remember at this moment)).

There are of course the Damien Rice's, Jason Mraz's, Jack Johnson's (and Michael Buble's) who they poo-poo (some louder poo-poos than others).  There are also the bands and musicians who they introduced to me (and who I still follow and love) like Dave Matthews, Ben Folds Five (is that his name?) and Ben Harper but they have moved on and I have to beg for some downloads of that music or scratch around amongst the thousands of spindles of CD's I still have at home until I find something new.

What would life be like without music?  Most of their appreciation dates back to family holidays with their Dad and Vaughan at Betty's Bay.  Vaughan was a music guru.  He had a rule in his house (and holiday house) - "If you play a track on a CD, play it to the end.  Do not fast forward after a couple of bars".   I still feel guilty and think of Vaughan every time a skip a song (and I do it quite often, not good but it means that I think of Vaughan often, and that is good).

Gareth loved the Beatles when he was 6 years old.  We had a lift club going with all three age groups and little Donne (aged 4 and the only girl) arrived one morning with a cassette tape marked "BEATLES FOR THE OKES" put together by her Dad for the "Rosslee Boys".   She was instantly a hero and forgiven forever for being the only girl ever in the lift club (I still want her to meet and marry my favourite "child" "headboy" Sean in London, someday).  We still have that cassette tape in a box (somewhere).

While Michael and I were away in Noetzie the boys (I heard) had a couple of friends over for a fish braai.  I met one of the friends (at rugby on Saturday) who was present at the party and (being a well-mannered Rondebosch boy) he thanked me for the lovely evening (like I even knew there was an "evening") he had at my house (while I was away), complimented me on the excellent cook that Matthew had become and the fish dish that Matthew prepared and said that (after the meal) he had to (was forced to) sit down and was subjected to a couple of hours of "education in music" (which had never happened to him before). It seemed to me that he had a "fun" evening and is now familiar with the music of Sigur Ros (no relation, but the boys are wishing).

And so the wheel turns....

So here, for Gareth, Nic and Matthew is my favourite song by the artist they introduced me to (and who they no longer listen to) - beautiful stuff.  I love this song as much as I loved it 13 years ago.

God I want you so badly 
I wonder this 
Could tomorrow be 
So wondrous as you there sleeping 
Let's go drive 'till morning comes 
Watch the sunrise to fill our souls up 
Drink some wine 'till we get drunk 
It's crazy I'm thinking 
Just knowing that the world is round 
Here I'm dancing on the ground 
Am I right side up or upside down 
Is this real or am I dreaming ...

This guy is awesome!!!!! (and he was born in South Africa)

Almost as beautiful (but not quite as beautiful) is Cat Stevens singing "Father and Son" - who I introduced them to (but they still listen to):-

and like we usually do, on this blog - we like to sing along, so here are the words:-

It's not time to make a change,
Just relax, take it easy.
You're still young, that's your fault,
There's so much you have to know.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy.

I was once like you are now, and I know that it's not easy,
To be calm when you've found something going on.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you've got.
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.

How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again.
It's always been the same, same old story.
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen.
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away.
I know I have to go.

It's not time to make a change,
Just sit down, take it slowly.
You're still young, that's your fault,
There's so much you have to go through.
Find a girl, settle down,
if you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy.

All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it.
If they were right, I'd agree, but it's them you know not me.
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away.
I know I have to go

We must embrace the music we love and grow with it.  Keep listening to what you like and never stray far away from it.  I love it when I read stories of little Aiden Mitchell (aged 2) living outside Boston, USA who already knows Jack Johnson's voice and is not too mad about Bon Iver and changes the channels when they are played on television.  He knows that Paolo Nutini has a song called "New Shoes" and he knows names of rap groups that we, in SA, have not even heard about.  It warms the heart and makes us realise that at the end of the day music goes a long way to link the generations together.

I have an extra ticket to Michael Buble next week, Gareth!!  Please come with your Mum!!

Monday, 23 April 2012

the mag 114

I have heard that drowning, in the sea, is one of the best ways to die
I am not sure who has confirmed this, or how they know this stuff
but this is what they say
Apparently it is in the way your body bobs up and down in the ocean and you
get so tired but you still keep floating up to the surface 
for another breath
Eventually, you become so tired that taking breaths becomes difficult and waves keep washing over you, hypnotising you
You breathe sea water into your lungs
and they fill up until there is no room for air
only sea water 
So you pass out 
and sink 
to the bottom of the ocean

I dragged my empty fish tank to the bottom of the garden
and filled it with water
I removed my clothes, stepped carefully into the tank, lay back, held my breath
and my nose and submerged my body in the icy water
This fish tank was now my coffin 
but there was not much space to bob up and down, 
in a coffin
and holding my breath was difficult in such a confined space
because as I kept rising to the surface it became impossible to keep my mouth closed, so I opened it
and gasped new, cold air into my lungs
and my head felt light
and it felt wonderful to breathe again

I remembered those games I used to play with friends, when we were young,
to see who could hold their breath underwater,
for the longest time
Your lungs got stronger and eventually you all got pretty good at
staying under water, for the longest time

This game I was playing today, alone
was not as much fun as those I played, with friends
in those carefree days of long, hot summers
with brown bodies and sun bleached hair

What was I trying to do anyway?

It is pretty cold being wet and alone at the bottom of the garden
so I make my way back to the house,
make a big mug of hot, sweet tea and take a long, hot shower
I try hard to stop myself thinking about death and dying
It is time to stop wondering what it will feel like when death happens
and remember how good it feels when the new
fresh air flows into your lungs
and you feel light headed and the colours of the trees are beautiful
and the sky is blue

How can there ever be a best way to die?

Weekly inspirational prompt from The Mag
Thanks Tess

Saturday, 21 April 2012

quick pop quiz...

Guess who?
Oh my word, I did not even know that Sir Paul had a son.  This picture popped up on one of the news feeds this morning and I thought to myself  "What is the man thinking? Dying his hair orange. He has lost the plot".  Then I read further and it is his son, James.  Miserable looking child and perhaps this is the picture that Paul takes to his plastic surgeon "I need to look this age".  I did an image search on Google and could not find a smiling one.  The closest to a smile is this one:-
Smug chap.  I dislike him already.  Perhaps Daddy was too stingy to send him to the dentist. Judgemental Jennifer (and you have not even met him).

Now wouldn't you like a son like this one:-

My favourite Beatle was George, this is his son - Dhani.  "Harrison's first name is pronounced similarly to the name Danny but with an aspirated 'd'. He is named after 6th and 7th notes of the Indian music scale, 'dha' and 'ni'. 'Dhani' is also a raga in north Indian classical music" - Thanks Wikipedia.   

"An aspirated "d"?"  "My name is Dhani with an aspirated 'd!'"

He is a pretty good and very humble musician and has sung with Jakob Dylan and currently plays with Ben Harper (one of my favourites) in Fistful of Mercy

Next, we have............................ 
Okay if the oriental look did not give it away the glasses certainly did.  Sean Lennon - not to be confused with Julian (also a musician).

No prizes for guessing this one:-
Zak Starkey - Son of Ringo.  If you saw this picture on it's own it would have been the most difficult (so I gave you a picture with drumsticks as a clue).Fortunate chap to have not inherited the skeg of a nose.  He has played for The Who and Oasis and has even "guest drummed" with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

So a pretty easy quiz for a Saturday - James McCartney, Dhani Harrison, Sean Lennon and Zak Starkey.

Apparently these four fabulous fellas are planning to get together to form "The Beatles - The Next Generation" (such an original name).  Read the story here.   None of them are spring chickens.  Dhani is the youngest at 33 and Starkey is 46.  Maybe they have left things a bit late?

On checking up on my facts I found this little quip from James on a BBC news page:-

"James McCartney, who strongly resembles his father, said he had "dreamt of being better than The Beatles".  "I'm not sure if I can do that," he told the BBC. "If anything, I would love to be equal to The Beatles -- but even that's quite tough."  The younger McCartney was playing a gig Tuesday in Liverpool, north-west England, at the famous Cavern Club where The Beatles first made their name."

".......but even that's quite tough"  "....I'm not sure if I can do that"   Understatement.  He must be on something organic.

I rest my case and think my judgement on James is correct.  In 1966 John Lennon was banned for saying that they "were more popular than Jesus".   I'm watching you James!!

Friday, 20 April 2012

this is the life

Today has been a truly lovely day.   Every Friday should be like this one.  It started with a really early start and my alarm going off at 5.30 am.  I was being collected at 6.30 by Fay to be at the 12 Apostles at 7.00 for 7.30 for breakfast with Jeffrey Archer for the launch of his new book.  It was still pitch dark when Fay arrived and I had that feeling that I used to get when I was a kid and we were going away on holiday.  We always left in the dark and my sister and I would lie on the backseat with our blankets and pretend to be asleep (only for the shortest of time) before "waking up" and asking how much longer till we get there.
12 Apostles

It did not take us long to get there and it is amazing to see just how many people are up and about and heading to work at that early hour.  The sun had just come up and the sea was like a lake.  It was going to be a perfect autumn day.  The breakfast was served - lovely muesli with honey and yogurt, fruit and then a superb breakfast buffet with the whole works.  Jeffrey Archer ("Lord not Sir" as he later corrected a fan in the queue to get his book autographed) is a brilliant speaker.  No notes (I should know I was sitting right next to him) and wonderful stories ranging from his love of cricket, his home in Spain, plenty statistics and very humorous stories of his first television appearances in the USA.  He turned 71 last Sunday and is pretty damn good for his age.  He answered questions and held a very entertaining lucky draw competition before signing his book.
Sorry, not very clear and taken with my Blackberry.  I was a bit nervous to
haul out my camera.
A very entertaining morning. Then home to change (I was a tad too warmly dressed for the very warm day), collect my car and to work (for an hour and half).  I had been invited to Lynne's birthday lunch at the Gardener's Cottage at Montebello in Newlands.  A lovely lunch with good company and wine (whoever would have thought it was a working day?)

I forget what a great spot this is for a lunch under the trees.  The food never disappoints and I had the "Sushi Stack".
Very, very yumm
Unfortunately it was then back to work (but only for 2 hours).  The bosses were out to lunch or playing golf so there was much fun and merriment in the office (especially when I brought out my doggie bag of a three quarter full bottle of Pierre Jourdaan Tranquille - served to the remaining staff (four of us) on ice and in a tea cup).

I am a bad influence in the office but it was a good way to end my very busy day.  Now the weekend has truly begun. I have a bit of this and a bit of that planned which includes watching Nic play rugby at UCT tomorrow afternoon, then off to the Taste of Cape Town to watch Anusha from our office in a cook-off competition to win a trip to the UK.  She entered this competition on the DSTV website and was one of three selected.  She is being put up in the Garden Court hotel for the weekend, is getting vouchers and goodie bags, having a lesson from a top chef to prepare her meal for the presentation in front of a live audience.  Scary stuff but I am sure that she will do really well.

I also was given some homework by Lord Jeffrey Archer.  At the start of his talk he asked how many people wanted to or had written a book.  I was debating whether to put up my hand or not and because I was sitting right underneath his nose, I certainly did not want to have any questions directed at me.  I received a friendly poke in my back from Fay and I gingerly put up my hand.  "Put your hand up high, Woman" he joked to me and waited until I had my arm waving up high.  The task that he gave us (me) was to write a short story of exactly100 words.  It has to have a beginning, a middle and an end.  This was a test that Readers Digest had given to him many years ago.  You have to sit down and write your short story in an hour.  He read his story to us and announced that the aspiring authors that had put up their hands could collect a signed copy of his story after the launch.

So I have a signed copy of the Lord's short story and in the morning I am going to sit down and write mine.  I will share them both with you tomorrow.  I'm off to watch Graham Norton and then to bed.

Great day thanks Fay and Lynne.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

an evening of comedy???

When Lesley, Dalene and Kathy were talking about Ruby Wax, I realised that although I knew what she looked like, I did not remember ever watching her television show.  They roared with laughter at memories of her visiting the Fergie (Duchess of Pork) and scratching in her cupboards and of her running on the beach with Pamela Anderson (in a red bathing costume) with pieces of tissue pasted to her groin area after giving herself a bikini wax.  I have heard her advertising the show on Cape Talk in a pretty upbeat way so I was under the impression that we were having an evening of stand up comedy.  I made sure that Lesley booked tickets near the back because I did not want to become the brunt of any of her jokes.
Well what a shock.  Today I am still a bit shattered and confused about my take on the show.  I am amazed at what a good actress Ruby Wax really is but as for the comedy side of it, I did not figure out too well.  I felt at times that even although I wanted to laugh, that it was not really right to laugh and at other times I was embarrassed that people were laughing when she looked like she was crying (and still making jokes about her sad situation).  However, she was warm and funny and the kind of person that you would love to have in your home for a meal, a drink or even a cup of tea and listen to her stories (hoping too that she could be serious (and enjoy chilled white wine)).  We also happened to have a very irritating guy a couple of rows in front of us who got himself so absorbed in the show that he kept answering her back, he roared with laughter all the time and kept repeating the jokes to his partner - this gave an echo effect which also put me off.  At interval, I realised that he was upsetting the row of crazy, vodka and red bull ladies sitting behind us just as much.  One of them (dressed in leathers) accosted him as he was heading for the bar area and he sis not come back after interval.  The crazies behind us were very pleased with themselves (and me with them).

This morning I did a bit of research on Ruby and this is an excerpt from The Guardian:-

"Four and a half years ago, Ruby Wax found herself hospitalised with what she calls "the tsunami of all depressions". After many months of treatment – sandwiched between sitting in a chair, staring catatonically into space – she recovered sufficiently to write a show, Live from the Priory, with her friend Judith Owen, which they performed in both private and NHS mental health institutions.

For a couple of years it was all quite low key, until Wax inadvertently became the mental illness celebrity, after allowing her face to be plastered all over the London Underground on Comic Relief posters, with a caption saying that she suffered from depression. "I hadn't quite anticipated the level of response," she admits. After initially feeling rather overwhelmed, she soon came to embrace it, because for every one crass comment about her "looking too well to be depressed", there were dozens more from fellow sufferers, thanking her for coming out the closet.

"There is still a huge stigma attached to mental illness in this country," she says. "Being depressed has become the modern-day witch trials. People can't see it and they don't understand it: some are worried it might be catching. For those who do come clean about their illness, the consequences can be catastrophic. While some industries are now more relaxed about it, there are still many in which your career is effectively over. You can't run a company once you've declared you've been diagnosed as clinically depressed. So the pressure to keep it to yourself, to try and tough it out, can be overwhelming. And, almost invariably, the longer you wait to get help, the worse the problem gets."

Once installed as the poster girl for depression, Wax and Owen sharpened up their act and took it around the country, culminating in an extended run in London's West End. The first half of the show was pretty much what you might have expected: a funny (mental illness is a much-underused comedy resource) and informative tour of depression, with a little Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thrown in for good measure. The second half, a question-and-answer session with the audience, was anything but."
 Ruby after the show, asking if she could please take a picture of me
Sorry for the blur - trying to take it in a sneaky way with no glasses 
and on the wrong setting (but it is her, promise)
Nice dotty handbag!!
The 3 Stooges
Harry, Mo and Curly Joe

So I have told you before that I do not have a sense of humour and not much has changed.  I did not find the funny parts funny but I thoroughly enjoyed her warmth, personality and vulnerability.  She has obviously been through a lot and I hope that she is doing it from her heart and not just to make money (she commented a few too many times about her illness costing them lots of money).   One thing we all agree on is that there is not enough understanding of depression and mental illness around and, if through doing what she is good at, she succeeds in creating awareness, then she is doing a good job.

Cape Town people, see it for yourselves and let me know what you think.  It is on until 28 April 2012 at the Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

if it's tuesday this must be belgium

Do any of you remember this movie?  I think it was the first "grown up" movie that I saw and I was all of 10 years old.  It was about a group of people during a Contiki type tour through Europe.

I often reply "then it must be Belgium" if someone asks "Is it Tuesday?" and they don't really get what I mean (but that happens a lot).  I don't remember much of the movie except the song and the title though, so seeing this clip was like seeing for the first time.  Another older movie and one I was thinking about the other day was "Spring and Port Wine".  It starred James Mason with Susan George as one of his daughters.  This was also set in the early 70's and I remember thinking that Susan George was the most beautiful woman in the world.  I wanted my hair to look just like hers, I wanted to be her.  I remember this movie well and perhaps I did see it again in later years.  It was filmed in Bolton in the UK (go Bolton Wanderers) and I remember thinking that it was really a movie about nothing - about everyday life - a family saga set in times where the father ruled the home and laid down the rules.  If I remember correctly it had a happy ending too.  I would love to see it again.

I enjoy everyday believable things.  I do wonder why things have to be so far fetched in movies and novels - why do we have to read murder mysteries and spy stories and things that, hopefully, are never going to happen to us and are so unbelievable?  I think I am a realist.  OK, best check what a realist is:-

Positive Traits: Clear-headed, Gets the big-picture, Grounded, Non-judgmental, Objective, Sees both sides of things, Sees the world as it really is, Sorts out fact from fiction
Negative Traits: Biased, Jumps to conclusions with insufficient facts, Struggles with choices, Subjective, Supposition, Won't see point of view of others

Ooooh dear, not so sure now - not that clear headed, I often do get the big picture though - so tick, pretty grounded - tick, I try to be non-judgemental but I am afraid..........(I am a bit of a "my first impressions are right" kind of person), objective and see both sides of things - tick,  sees the world as it is and sorts out facts from fiction - tick.
Oooops - the negative traits are pretty spot on except I do try very hard to see other people's point of view (but they won't change mine!!)

I am definitely not a pragmatist:-

Positive Traits: Efficient, Functional, Organized, Practical, Rule-based, Simple, Structured, Utilitarian view of life
Negative Traits: Anal-retentive, Boring, Creates red-tape, Dogmatic, Inflexible, Narrow-minded, Pedantic, Rigid

Simple (minded) I can tick though!!

But what is the opposite of a realist, an idealist?

Positive Traits: Ability to coalesce ideals, Cheerful, Optimistic, Finds new ways of doing things, Makes a positive mark in the world, Sees the bright side of life, Sees the world as how it "should" be, 
Negative Traits: False expectations, Greatly disappointed, Out of touch with real world, Naive, Pie in the sky, Unrealistic outlook

I would like to be an idealist and think that I am cheerful and optimistic and I do see the bright side of life.  I find it hard to follow a recipe and always try to find a "new way".

But Ooooops - those negative traits would be pretty awful to live with.

A realistic idealist - mmmmm...............

This is turning into a lot of nonsense (I apologise).  All I wanted to do was mention that today was Tuesday, then the Belgium thing came into it which led me to Spring and Port Wine, then how I enjoy believable stuff.

The reason I wanted to mention Tuesday is because I took some pictures in my courtyard early this morning (today is still Tuesday).  It was rather grey early this morning but the light was wonderful and the green in the courtyard looked a much deeper and less bright green.  I thought I would share the pictures with you.

Heading out with Lesley, Dalene and Kathy tonight to see Ruby Wax in Camps Bay.  The four of us have not been out together for ages and I best hurry home and try to get a bit pretty.  Starting with some sushi and champagne at Kathy in an hour.  Forget Ruby Wax writing Absolutely Fabulous, she may be lucky enough to meet the original Fab Four!!  (Joking hey?)

A modest realistic idealist!!

Sorry Mom!!

Monday, 16 April 2012

things that made me smile today

Well Monday is done and dusted.  Let the week begin.   Before I head off to tidy up the destruction I have left in the kitchen this evening, I have a couple of things that made me smile today and thought them too good not to share.

Firstly some clever cups.  It would be fun to open your cupboard every morning and choose which one you wanted to drink your tea out of each morning.  Don't you agree?

The real meanings of a couple of words:-

A spelling lesson (love the grey melange):-

Then my new favourite song.  It makes me want to go on a long road trip and sing and stamp my feet and shout out the lyrics (forgetting that I am a 53 year old who should not be behaving like that anymore)

If you are like me and like to sing along (and stamp your feet) to the lyrics, here they are.  Off you go.....  It is very catchy (try it Mom):-

So this is what you meant when you said that you were spent?
And now it's time to build from the bottom of the pit 
right to the top,
Don't hold back
Packing my bags and giving the academy a rain check

I don't ever want to let you down
I don't ever want to leave this town
'Cause after all
This city never sleeps at night...

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then, 
I'll admit, I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am?

So this is where you fell, and I am left to sell
the path that heaven runs through miles of clouded hell, 
right to the top
Don't look back
Turning to rags and giving the commodities a rain check

I don't ever want to let you down
I don't ever want to leave this town
'Cause after all
This city never sleeps at night...

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then, 
I'll admit, I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am?

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then, 
I'll admit, I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am?

This road never looked so lonely,
This house doesn't burn down slowly,
to ashes, to ashes...

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then, 
I'll admit, I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am?

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then, 
I'll admit, I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am?

"I'm just the same as I was" (although I am 53).  I like it (a lot).