"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"

Friday, 29 June 2012

fireside tales continued

On Sunday night the girls were around the fire.  The guys had gone off to play darts or snooker or table tennis and we were keeping warm at the fire.  I tried to follow the tread back as to how we got to this topic and then realised that it started with the rather gross subject of upchucking (puking or chundering).  Caroline has some wonderful stories to tell and Hayley innocently asked "has anyone here ever had a stomach pump?".  Dalene gave me "the look" which led to this story.  Now, I warn you, you are going to have to use your imagination a bit.  You are also going to probably see a rather horrible side of me, but hells bells, I am a big girl now, we can't be perfect and  I like to keep this blog honest and from the heart.  So here goes.  Remember you have to use your imagination a bit....

It was a cold winters night in 1964.  

(maybe not this cold but it was Rosebank in Cape Town and I am
almost sure it was in winter)

Jennifer Joan (aka me) was about 5 (and a half, if it was winter) and Dalene Louise was a cute and chubby 3 year old.  My mother used to dump us in the bath with lots of bubbles to get us out of her hair while she tidied the kitchen (and finished her wine).  We had eaten our spaghetti bolognaise and it was now time to bath.

Jennifer and Dalene in the bath
(use your imagination, the ages and bubbles are correct
and NO, I did not decant my mother's wine into the soap bottle!!)

Jennifer and Dalene in the bath
(no, the bath is too small, Jennifer never had curls and Dalene was chubbier)

Dalene Louise in the bath
(pretty damn close, except our bathroom was '60's)
with taps like these
Dalene and Jennifer - this is probably the closest
(except Jennifer looks far too sweet and kind
and Dalene was chubbier)

So the two little sisters were playing happily in the bath.  We had a twin tub washing machine in the bathroom
Remember what they looked like?
(and how they used to dance around the room when the spindrier was on?)

With the twin tub came a hose.  The hose was always rolled up next to the bath.  Tonight the clever 5 and a half year old decided to teach her little sister how to play broken telephone and whisper messages to each other through the pipe.  

Suddenly an idea popped into Jennifer's head (she showed potential for ideas from a young age).  Why not fill the hose with soapy hot water while chubby little sister was not looking?  It worked like a charm.  Then as the chubby little sister was preparing to send her words of love to her beloved and beautiful older sister the beloved one moved the pipe from her ear to her mouth and blew as hard as her 5 and a half year old body could blow.
Dalene  (a bit like this but no hat, indoors and much chubbier)
Concentrate readers!!

What happened next was something that I can never forget.  As fast as the hot soapy bubbles were flushed down the chubby 3 year old's gullet, the semi digested spaghetti bolognaise and soapy hot water were projected across the length of the bath and all over me, the tiles, the taps and what was not over me ended up in the bath water.  It was horrible, really horrible. 

(a bit like this but chubbier and human and indoors 
and the chunder was full of bubbly spaghetti and there was lots and lots of it.  
Chubby 3 year olds eat lots of spaghetti!!)

(but should be older and the spaghetti in smaller pieces and much more sauce and bubbles
and the hands were definitely not in the mouth)

I did not know what to do.  I had to get out of the bath but I had to remove the chunder from my head.  What would the clever child decide to do?  She screamed for her mother and while screaming the smell hit her nostrils and she too proceeded to deposit her spaghetti into the bath.

Well I have never heard Caroline laugh so loud.  I know she enjoys horror movies and gross stories but I think she also realised that she was perhaps better off without that older sister she has always wanted so much.

This then led to more conversations and discussions about why there is always carrot in chunder even if you have not had carrots for weeks and then about stuff that siblings do to each other.  We heard how Lucie had (accidentally) slammed Aimee's finger in a door and nearly removed the top joint of her finger and of how Gareth and Nic used to swing Matthew in his "Jolly Jumper" and see who could get him closest to the ceiling without touching.

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring
- quite often the hard way. 
Pamela Dugdale

Were you kind and caring to your siblings?

Oh, sidetracked again -  "Yes", answered Dalene.  "I have had my stomach pumped".

Thursday, 28 June 2012

fireside tales....

Found this on Pinterest today and it made me smile.  I have been caught in a web of coincidences lately and this is another one for the pile.

On Saturday night at Rusty Gate the masses started making their way to the dormatories (yes, we slept in dorms) at around 12.30 to get ready for bed.  The fire was glowing and soon it was only Gareth and I left at the fireside.  We chatted (and chatted) and eventually it was also bedtime for the two of us.  Not because we had run out of things to chat about, or problems to solve, or because our eyelids were heavy but because the fire had gone out and we were cold (oh and our wine bottle was empty).

Only the next morning were we told that it was 4.30 when we got into bed (I made some noise looking for the light switch). Our icy bodies were not well received by our warm partners.  If I had known it was so late I would have insisted that we re-light the fire and wait for the sunrise.  We don't see enough sunrises.  Then I remembered a quote something along the lines of "being awake during a Sunday morning sunrise is a sign of a good Saturday night".

I really should start wearing a watch again.

Travel safely Gareth.  I hope you see plenty sunrises!!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

a long weekend in the mountains

I bet you were wondering what had happened to me?  Well, I hope you missed me?? What a wonderful long weekend we had at Rusty Gate. It was almost a year ago that we spent a weekend there to celebrate Dalene's 50th and we needed no excuse for another weekend in the mountains.
The 51 year old Cretin and her Spawn in beanies
(pretty Cretin, pretty Spawn)
da Brudder and da Wif at da Fire that burned continuously for 3 days
Cousins (and Ally) chilling on the swing
Kelly and Ally chilling on the swing

They had a fire at Rusty Gate about 2 months ago.  You can see the devastation but
when walking it is so amazing to see all the new greenery coming through
Rolling hills and awesome clouds

Awesome hills and rolling clouds
and an unused swimming pool
It was far too cold to swim or use the foofy slide this year
(next time)
Rob and Nanna stepping out
Me and 2 of me three
(Me (and we) missed you Matthew)
(very muchly)
No work on Friday and I arrived back home on Monday at lunchtime. It has been non-stop action since then, this is the first time I have a moment to catch up on some blogging and taken a look at my photographs.  Nic left this morning for Pretoria (via Bob's farm and Kimberley for two nights).  He has been lucky to get an internship at a big law firm in Pretoria for two weeks.  Gareth leaves tomorrow morning for 3 weeks overseas for work, so for the first time ever, I am left "home alone" with the my usual "faraway child" Matthew now being the closest one to Cape Town.

A song for them.  Maybe a bit of a sad song but I am not sad.  It is just one of the most beautiful songs I have heard in a long time.  Hope you like it.  (I know Hope will?)

When there's no one here in the tryouts 
Who will live through your first day's trial 
Of confusion when your faint and crooked smile 
Had to leave 
When you're painted like a warrior 
Though you know it's a raining war 
When the first who spoke, but wasn't really sure 
Was your heart 
Your fear of the leading light 
If they are with you and your heart won't fail 
To see through a fearless eye 
And know that danger finally goes away 
Still you're trying 
But there's no leaving now 
With your quiet devotion 
To be lost like your child again 
Claim forever is a close and honest friend 
To your ways 
Will there be time to harvest rivers 
That for so long refused to grow 
All the little things you need to build a home 
For your love 
Your fear of the leading light 
If they are with you and your heart won't fail 
To see through a fearless eye 
And know that danger finally goes away 
Still you're trying 
But there's no leaving now

Thursday, 21 June 2012

i am a "guest blogger"

Michael's niece Janet lives in the UK.  We have met, years ago, but very briefly.  We have struck up a "blogger friendship" (her blog is called "Words That Can Only Be My Own") and through blogging and emails we have got to know each other better and found lots of "common ground".  She is visiting South Africa in July/August and will be spending some time with us in Cape Town.  I can't wait.

Janet is away this week and had invited fellow blogging friends to write guest posts for her.  Today was my turn and here is my contribution, in print on another blog.  I feel quite important (a bit like I do when I go to the airport or get on an aeroplane).

The topic given was an easy one for me - "My favourite space"  

This makes it a night off for me and it's the longest night.  Yeah!!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

a person a paper a promise

I am finally reading "The Perks of being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky. No waffle and babble from me tonight.  Here is a poem for you to read - perhaps twice or six times, like I did. 

Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Chops”
because that was the name of his dog
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of X’s
and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Autumn”
because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it.

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Innocence: A Question”
because that was the question about his girl
And that’s what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle’s Creed went
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly

That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it “Absolutely Nothing”
Because that’s what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn’t think
he could reach the kitchen.

Dr. Earl Reum - A Person, A Paper, A Promise

Pretty hectic and powerful hey?  The poem is quoted in the book.  There is now a movie of the book and reckon it is time to tick this book off my list.  I think the movie is being released here in September.

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it's enough. I really do because they've made me happy. And I'm only one person.” 

“And all the books you've read have been read by other people. And all the songs you've loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that's pretty to you is pretty to other people. and that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing 'unity.” 

Great stuff about growing up and from the trailer and soundtrack the movie looks pretty good too.

Cheers for now - I'm off to bed with my book.


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

don't you just love this weather??

I am now officially a winter person. I never thought I would say it, perhaps the advancing years has got something to do with it but Cape Town is at it's best at the moment. Be it crisp and clear or grey and wet I am thoroughly enjoying winter this year. This entire weekend revolved around friends and the home (which really means talking, eating and drinking) so I was in my element. The South African version of Masterchef is definitely inspiring me. On Saturday I had my two godmothers, my mom, my father's two sisters, two of my mom's oldest friends (not in age, in years of friendship) who have know me for longer than I have known myself, my sister, her sister-in-law, the daughter-in-law of one of the "oldest friends", Lesley and Amy and Kelly for lunch. I had promised to take Amy shopping for her mom's birthday present and Saturday morning ended up being a run around shops at not my usual shopping hunting ground. Shopping at a different Pick n Pay is not fun and we were running up and down the a aisles looking for coconut milk, whole black peppercorns and Ideal Milk (which we could not find that anywhere). Pretty tiring and luckily I had an able assistant in Amy. The job was eventually done, with quite a few laughs, and I finally got into the kitchen with my bags at 11.25. Guests were arriving at 1 and I had not done a thing in preparation. Always up for a challenge I turned the kitchen into a Masterchef "pressure cooker test", tried to organise my methods of cooking and use my time properly. I managed to have everything ready and the table set by the time the first guest rang the bell at 12.45. (Confession - my big, dirty soup pot was "hidden" outside the kitchen door).

I had asked Dalene to bring two bags of wood, thinking that we would light a fire. The wood was not needed as the weather was lovely and we ended up in the garden (amongst all the plane tree leaves and winter debris (sorry Aunty Norma ;)) in the sunshine before we had lunch. It was a lovely afternoon with a group of special ladies whose ages ranged from mid 70's to 12.

Sunday was Dalene's birthday and my brother Dave and his (not so new anymore) wife, Lucie were returning from the UK. This time it was the family coming for dinner, my mom was making her famous Clam Chowder and I made a big macaroni cheese and Malva pudding. The weather was conducive to having a fire, the aeroplane was on time, the crowds arrived and once again there were 16 around our table (and one balding father with a sore leg on his back on the couch chirping and giving us a golf commentary)

Jubilee gift from Dave and Lucie
a Fortnum and Mason Jubilee tea towel
(not the tin - that was a gift from my mother on a previous
trip but it all matches so well that I felt inspired to take a few
pictures last night)
Fortnum and Mason my all time favourite department store in London
Selective colour camera setting

My new favourite colour - my new tea towel with my new
Tiffany earrings, a present to myself,
- sorry to mislead you, not from Tiffany's -
Tiffany blue earrings
(from China Town in Ottery - R21-99)

And then I am sure you are all interested in an update on my flowers which are still flourishing:-
My white tulips


Also taken this morning - the roses that Matthew gave to me over two weeks ago
(Woolies roses are the best)

Good times

Thursday, 14 June 2012

how is it supposed to be?

This is something I have had saved for a rainy day.  It made me think and it may make sense to you as well:-

What is it supposed to be?  My 20's and 30's were a bit of a blur of the euphoria of motherhood and being busy (and tired) and trying to do everything correctly and by the book, while living in the heart of suburbia and trying to fit in.  There was always "the picture in my head of how it is supposed to be" -  a lot about living in the perfect house with a picket fence, being the wife, mother and friend that I thought was what I was "supposed to be". In the process I forgot about the "me inside of me", worrying too much about what people thought and painting my own fictional picture of what a "happy family" should be.  My 40's were my time to re-discover myself, only to have my bubble shattered to find out that the families, that for over 10 years, I thought were the "happy way it was supposed to be" families lived lives that were no different to mine (often their "pictures" were far more out of focus than mine). The "picture in our (my) head of how it is supposed to be" was really not what it was supposed to be. (I might have lost you here, 'cos I have nearly lost myself).

Now that the 50's are well and truly here there is a new confidence in appreciating life, family and friends and feeling grateful and happy and loved.  To be able to sit around a table and talk honestly and openly to my friends about our expectations of what we thought our lives would be and where we are now is amazing. What was important to us at 25 and what is important now are poles apart. 

I suppose we have our own path to travel, we have to experience things first hand and one day when we are older and wiser, sit back around the table (preferably with a glass of wine), admit our mistakes, applaud our successes, be thankful for all we have and realise that "this is exactly how it is supposed to be" and be happy.  

I have no regrets because each decision that was taken along the way has put me where I am today and now at 53 years old, I can honestly say that I would not have changed a thing.

The point?  Nobody knows what it is "supposed to be".  There is no picture, paint your own but do what makes you happy.

Deary me, where are these ramblings going to be going to when I am 60?  (Deeper eccentric stuff with a sexual flavour??)

It is quite late and I may have to delete this tomorrow.

My very own vase of white tulips (photographed yesterday morning)
Opening slowly day by day
I am blessed!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

conversations with kelly......

You can't see the words properly on the shirt, but it says
"Little Miss Chatterbox"
Kelly, my 12 year old niece is a special one.  On Sunday she came to join Granny, Michael and I for lunch.  Time spent with Kelly always involves lots of talk - mostly from her side (but I also talk a lot), so we are a good pair, on a Sunday in my kitchen.  She is a bit sensitive about things at the moment so, in case she reads this blog post (she does from time to time "when they are not too long" or "when she is mentioned"), best I reassure her that being who she is, is what makes her special and although her stories can be pretty exhausting, spending time with her is a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

We had lunch and dessert and while I was fiddling around in the kitchen she entertained me.  She is at that stage when she is a mine of information about all kinds of things.  She knows all about Glee - the songs, the dance steps the characters in the show; I had to hear all about the Oakhurst production of Oliver Twist and had detailed stories about the The Hunger Games and the Twilight books and movies; she knows all the young stars and who goes out with who.  She was horrified that I did not know the guy who Mirey (or is it Miley) Cyrus is engaged to and had to show me pictures of him on the computer.  (She would have shown me his picture on her phone but her phone has been confiscated until her exams are over).  We had to run backwards and forwards to the computer every time I needed an education into who's who in Kelly's world at the moment.  I now have Zac Efron as my screensaver!!

I then had a comprehensive lesson in what The Hunger Games craze is all about.  Kelly has read 2 of the books (but will have to wait until she is 13 to see the movie).  I heard all about Panem and the12 different districts and how a teenage boy and a girl are selected and go into this game "a bit like Survivor".  I heard how Katniss's little sister got selected but she would not let her go so Katniss went in her place to compete.  Katniss then meets this "really hot guy" (I forget his name but know what he looks like because I had to see pictures of him with stubble and a shirt, without stubble and without a shirt).  What amazed me most was that Kelly seemed to grasp quite a few morals in this story, which she managed to explain to me (I hope I was concentrating properly).  She told me that The Hunger Game taught the children about how unimportant money is and how love and family are more important and that being poor is not so bad. (This is really good for a 12 year old who does not have the best concentration span (but she does love to read)).  I knew nothing about The Hunger Games except that it was "teenage science fiction" but through Kelly's storytelling, she has got me interested and I have promised to take her to see the movie in the holidays.  She could pass for 13 (don't you think?)

She reprimanded me again about not having read even one Harry Potter book or seen any of the movies (and gave me a quiz of the characters, which I failed horribly).  I had to confess to her that besides not seeing Harry Potter, I have not seen Titanic or watched Shrek in it's entirety or read The Hobbit.  She has not read The Hobbit either (but it is on her list).

So this post comes about because today I saw this song on YouTube and it comes from The Hunger Games soundtrack, and I decided to listen to it.  
I remember tears streaming down your face when I said "I'll never let you go"
When all those shadows almost killed your light
I remember you said "don't leave me here alone"
But all that's dead and gone and passed tonight

Just close your eyes, the sun is going down
You'll be alright, no one can hurt you now
Come morning light, you and I'll be safe and sound.

Don't you dare look out your window, darling everything's on fire
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Hold onto this lullaby even when the musics gone, gone

Just close your eyes, the sun is going down
You'll be alright, no one can hurt you now
Come morning light, you and I'll be safe and sound

Just close your eyes, you'll be alright
Come morning light, you and I'll be safe and sound

Isn't it a lovely song with awesome words?  It is a lullaby, which I don't think I have heard for a long. Before I finish off for this evening, another confession - I actually enjoy Taylor Swift (me being pretty much anti most female vocalists) and I love The Civil Wars - both of them together = Bonus.

I am about to get accused (once again) of being long-winded ;) so if you want to listen to a superb song by The Civil Wars, click here

Funny how when you are not looking for things, they find you and kind of tie in together - well for me it did today.  Thanks for the lesson on Sunday Kelly.

Monday, 11 June 2012

once upon a time when i was 31...

a very special friend said to me with a bewildered look in his eyes, "Jen, you are 31, have 3 children and you do not know Van Morrison's music?".  It was a cold winters day, a crowd of us had walked children and dogs in Newlands forest on a Sunday morning.  We headed back to his wonderful house in Newlands which had a big farmhouse kitchen with an open fireplace in it. We had wet children and dogs, and while he started a fire, a couple more friends arrived, Old Brown Sherry and wine was opened. It was a memorable day that Kathy, Dalene and I still chat about.  A day with great friends, happy children making boats and rafts on the stream that ran through his property, a roaring fire, one of the longest lunches ever and, whenever Vaughan was involved, music.

He loved of all kinds of music and had an incredible collection.  With the fire roaring, sherry starting to warm us from the inside, along came this song:-

It instantly became my favourite song.  Vaughan tried to educate me that wet afternoon around the fire about Van Morrison, his music and, in particular Astral Weeks (his favourite) but being me, everytime he slipped out, I replayed Moondance (not Vaughan's style to play a song to death, but if I like a song I can have it on replay for a whole afternoon).  I also remember Vaughan telling me to listen to Brand New Day but I was so into Moondance, Old Brown Sherry and dancing around his kitchen that I was not fully concentrating his lesson.

Some things stay in your subconscious (and a part of my brain must have been digesting this information).  Yesterday I was making Nicky's Ginger and Sweet Potato Soup (for the second time, in one weekend) in my kitchen, with Alan Barnard playing "golden oldies" on Cape Talk (my childrens' all time worst).  The kitchen was warm, the smells delicious and what did the DJ do?  He played Brand New Day:-

"Brand New Day"

When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Makes me feel so free makes me feel like me
And lights my life with love

And it seems like and it feels like
And it seems like yes it feels like
A brand new day, yeah
A brand new day oh

I was lost and double crossed
With my hands behind my back
I was longtime hurt and thrown in the dirt
Shoved out on the railroad track
I've been used, abused and so confused
And I had nowhere to run
But I stood and looked
And my eyes got hooked
On that beautiful morning sun


And the sun shines down all on the ground
Yeah and the grass is oh so green
And my heart is still and I've got the will
And I don't really feel so mean
Here it comes, here it comes
0 here it comes right now
And it comes right in on time
Well it eases me and it pleases me
And it satisfies my mind

I was suddenly 31 again, feeling warm in a cosy kitchen with the volume on full. Unfortunately no Old Brown (it was only 11 o'clock in the morning).   Music does that - it transports you back to where you first heard the song, who you were with and what you were doing.  Vaughan died nearly 13 years ago, it is now 22 years later, there are no little boys with Ninja Turtles and boats made of paper and sticks, no wet dogs, no Vaughan and no John but I could have been back in his kitchen on that winters day pushing the replay button everytime he turned his back to help a little boy build another boat.

Nicky's famous soup completed the circle.  

Somethings can never be taken away from you.

Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Makes me feel so free makes me feel like me
And lights my life with love

Friday, 8 June 2012

jennifer vs geraldine....

“But don’t forget who you really are. And I’m not talking about your so-called real name. All names are made up by someone else, even the one your parents gave you. You know who you really are. When you’re alone at night, looking up at the stars, or maybe lying in your bed in total darkness, you know that nameless person inside you…Your muscles will toughen. So will your heart and soul. That’s necessary for survival. But don’t lose touch with that person deep inside you, or else you won’t really have survived at all.” — Louis Sachar

Nice words for the weekend.  

Do you wish you had a different name?  Do you feel like your name really does belong to you?  I never used to feel close to my name, especially when I repeated it about 20 times in a row, it always sounded so strange (I was a strange kid).  I used to dream and play games in my head and always wanted to be called Geraldine. Weird.  My father had a younger cousin called Geraldine who lived in Kariba, Zimbabwe.  She came to Cape Town to study at UCT and lived with my grandmother (who lived over the road from us).  I was probably 10 years old at the time and Dalene and I spent a lot of time with my gran, so we saw a lot of Geraldine.  She was beautiful, had olive skin and the most beautiful smile. She played the guitar and was my hero.  I used to watch her getting dressed up to go out and she would put some of her very pale pink lipstick on my lips.  She wore a very musky perfume which she bought at the Hippie Market in town.  I loved her big earrings, bangles and hippy style dresses and shoes (like above).  I wanted to be her.  She was a free spirit with long, unruly hair (and I think she was a bit wild too as my grandmother had many sleepless nights during those years).  She graduated and moved on but always kept in touch with my grandmother.

When I travelled overseas on my own in 1980 to the UK, I looked her up and she invited me to come and stay for a couple of days (I had a parcel for her from my gran).  She had an Australian boyfriend and they managed a pub in London. A very dicey pub in an industrial area. I helped out for a couple of evenings but it was all men and rather rough so I had to head up to my room early as glasses got smashed and fights broke out.  

I was so looking forward to reuniting with her because she was always such fun and kind to me when I was young. However, after spending a couple of days with her my memories were shattered because she was pretty mean and nasty, she thought that I was keen on her boyfriend, she screamed and shouted at him and their staff and all in all it was a visit I wish I had not made.  I was homesick and being with her made me miss home even more. 

I made up a story and left 3 days earlier than planned and carried on my travels.

This was when I realised that people aren't always what you remembered them to be and that I did not want to be Geraldine anymore.  After all, Jennifer is a far nicer name than Geraldine.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

i have this terrible habit...

of never finishing things.  I buy creams, potions, lotions and shampoos and get tired of them before the tube or bottle is finished.  Michael can happily use my discarded toothpaste tube for another week.  I get put off by the mushy look of what comes out of the tube and there is nothing nicer than a new tube of Aquafresh which has all its stripes in the right place.

The other evening I was looking for some Corenza C for Nic.  I started unpacking the medicine basket and once on a roll decided to give the cabinet in the bathroom a clear out as well.  Deary me.  It is not only face creams and body lotions that I never finish, it is also drugs and vitamins and homoeopathic stuff.  So many bottles that I am not sure when or why or for what I bought them. 
HoodiA Gordonii is some magic herbal potion.  I remember buying it at Clicks sometime last year.  It contains herbs that Bushmen eat off certain bushes that takes away their appetite.  Do you get fat bushmen?  It looks like I made a start on taking these tablets but why I stopped I do not know. Perhaps I was worried about developing more fat storage space in my bottom like bushman are inclined to do or perhaps it took away my thirst as well (I would hate to loose my appetite for liquid).   I remember from my junior school history that the Bushmen had to go for days without liquid and used to suck the liquid out of succulents.  Anyway, I am on a waste not want not drive and took two this morning.  Could be a problem as I am not feel thirsty yet and it is getting close to happy hour!!

Iron, we all know that iron is good for you.  Not sure why I don't take them anymore, so took one this morning.

Melatonin - this is a pretty good natural sleeping tablet.  Good for jet lag and for getting yourself back into a good sleeping routine.  Not sure why I did not finish the bottle.  I do remember reading that red wine has lots of melatonin in it.  It comes from the skins of the grapes.  You should drink red wine when you travel overseas by air.  I think I probably thought that a glass of red wine at bedtime would be better than a tablet.  Anyway I don't really drink red wine so perhaps I will take one of these Melatonin tablets tonight.

Taurine.  This I bought quite a few years ago.  It was at the time that I thought I was having a heart attack as I had a rapid pulse beating in my neck everytime I bent down or moved too quickly.  After my annual check-up it was discovered that my oestrogen levels were low, I was given a little plaster to put onto my hip every 4 days and from then on my heart has stopped beating in my neck.  Won't do me any harm, completely natural and I will take one tonight.

Arthro Guard -  This bottle has not been opened.  I think it came free with Spirulina (what a hoax that expensive little green pill was).  Michael and I took them religiously for a couple years - you could not just take one, the bottle said 8.  It had to be the brand by some German doctor and then there was something in the news that it was a total hoax and a few spinach leaves would be more beneficial to your health.  I do have a bit of a stiff shoulder at the moment. Perhaps one of these tomorrow morning?

Chromium Picolinate - Not really sure anymore about all the wonderful benefits of this natural chemical.  Perhaps it was when I thought I was diabetic and anorexic.  It seemed like a sensible tablet to take in case the symptoms got severe.  2 at bedtime tonight, 100% natural, can't do any harm.

Omega 3, 6 and 9.  Bonus - 90 capsules in this lovely clear yellow container and all three oils in one capsule.  I am pretty good at taking these but I heard that good old Cod Liver Oil is the best by far and I started taking 2 every evening forgetting about the 3,6 AND 9 in the fancy pancy container.  Must finish them before they expire.  1 soft-gel capsule tonight. 
Essentiale - liver tonic which I always buy at Christmas time.  I am a very lucky bunny never to suffer with hangovers so never really take them unless I have been a very silly bunny and had an Irish Coffee or two late at night after drinking wine and eating pizza.

Buchulife.  This was a freebie from Dalene.  She has a kind doctor friend who supplies her with free samples.  Natural gel vegi-caps.  These sounded very good for me and they were free so I popped a few.  Deary me, a couple of hours later I nearly phoned my friendly urologist on his cellphone to ask for immediate admission to Kingsbury Hospital with a chronically severe bladder infection.  The smell nearly made me pass out.  Anyone want 58 vegi-caps with buchu oil AND salmon oil that makes your urine smell worse than eating a whole can of asparagus and drinking the juice!!
Phytocor - also from the "heart attack" era.  Never opened.  Anyone for a natural cholesterol lowering supplement?  I only have 2 hands to hold all the capsules I will be taking over the next couple of weeks.

Free Spirulina - not the original German recipe.  Came free with Arthro Guard.  Anyone still believe in Spirulina?  Will check expiry date but you are welcome to it.  Spinach is also very cheap at Fruit and Veg at the moment.

Vitamin C and Zinc - A great combination.  The other vitamin I do believe in and insist that Michael takes every day.  I do take it when I feel a cold coming and now that winter is here I will start taking 1 tablet every morning again (from tomorrow).
This was from the medical basket, which is now nearly empty except for a box of Disprin, a bottle of Panada, Imodium (definitely expired but you don't want to get caught without it), band aid strips, Zambuk and Vicks Medinite.

Tomorrow will be the homoeopathic tablets that go under your tongue, all with strange numbers and combinations and the drops that also go under the tongue or in a small glass of water.  There is even a natural hormonal progesterone cream which you are supposed to rub on your wrists.  I did not notice any benefit but it is a wonderfully nourishing cream (made with macadamia nuts and avocado oil) which I have started using as a neck cream at night.  Can't do any harm? (I hope)

By the way I never found the Corenza C.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

dysfunctional me....

sorry i have been quiet
no real reason
and sorry too for this form of writing for this post
but i quite enjoy writing like this for a change and
letting my thoughts ramble
(like they always do)
and thinking about where the best place to start a new line is, this is pretty important and needs quite a bit of thought because you don't want your words rambling on for too long so that your readers cannot take a breath
when it is soooo easy to press the enter button
every couple
of words
and you can make you point 
stand out
more clearly
sorry now i am apologising for being childish
and i am probably upsetting gareth and janet for
using lower case letters again
and no full stops 
but it is amazing how quickly you can get your thoughts
down when you don't have to bother about capitals
(well i can anyway)
i have also been a bit down on ideas of what to write about 
for the first time since starting this blog
(can it be writer's block?)
i hope it is writer's block
(oh my word, maybe it is.  maybe i am a writer?)
"stop apologizing, jennifer"
this last week has been one of those weeks which has had a bit 
of everything
good times with my boys all together
i love watching them together
three big guys on a couch, watching rugby
they are so gentle with each other
and matthew will play with gareth's hair
and nic will stroke matthew's back
and then pluck a few hairs off his neck
(which will lead to a quick thump on the upper arm)
it is very special for me to see
(the gentleness not the thump)
i also had some special times alone with matthew
before he left on monday morning
i had lots of laughs with my sister
(who could start a business making chocolate vodka)
(it makes her giggle)
and dalene's giggle makes everyone happy
i so enjoy the blessing of being an aunt to her two great girls
who are growing up so fast
i had a couple of private laughs 
(and secrets) with amy
and loved watching kelly's emotional ride and excitement at making the hockey side
(so happy and chuffed with herself for being chosen 
but, at the same time, so sad for her friends that did not make the team)
she is a special child
(a bit too sensitive)
i told her to revel at being the best of the bunch
(it did not ever happen to me)
we had a lovely dinner with my mom and the boys on saturday night
(she too had not seen them together for ages)
and hayley and kathy were there too
we had steak, eggs and chips
(gareth will say "egg")
and we watched rugby (but not very seriously)
 and drank some wine (more seriously)
(and, not forgetting the chocolate vodka)

kathy is leaving tomorrow
 for a 6 week trip to america
(lucky fish)
but she does work very hard
(she says)
and i think of our friendship and how we have only 
swapped a couple of emails this week
not many
(she is busy)
(i am supposed to be)
but i have not seen her
and now i feel like i need to see her
(because 6 weeks is a very long time)
and she is off tomorrow
but we are having lunch before she leaves tomorrow
and i have been thinking
that it is strange that
while kathy is away our friendship changes a bit
and i find i email her for stupid things,
things that i would never even tell her about 
when she is around the corner
silly stuff
and how i have the need to make contact more often
when she is away
i remember how many years ago 
(when there were no cell phones)
and our boys were very young
we used to have these mammoth telephone conversations
one time gareth got collected by a friend's mom to go to a birthday party
and when he got dropped off 2 hours later
we were still on the phone
(same call)
we don't use the telephone anymore
bbm's and emails are the order of the day
and we don't have to see or speak to each other every day either
or even every week
because i know that she is close by
but now she is off
(lucky fish)
and i will miss her
but while she is away i can shop on amazon.com
and have stuff delivered to her hotel room
or her flat in williamstown
(very fancy)
amy is looking at catalogues for dresses 
for her grade 10 dance
and i will google williamstown and tell her which coffee shop
has almond croissants
(like she will not know)
and she will definitely bring me back a brugels bagel
and some honey and walnut creamed cheese
so i am off now
to have supper with my mommy and rob
and caroline is joining us
and i can hear about her travels
(and maybe drink some wine)
so cheers for now
this has been great for me to write these thoughts down
it is helped me put my finger on what i am feeling now
and i am feeling so mellow
because through it all i realise just how lucky i am
to have my family and my friends
and all of you to share things with
the good and the bad
and thank goodness there is always so much more good 
than bad
and saying goodbye can be sad
but it won't be for long
and there will  be reunions and dinners
and lovely nonsense emails in between
the writer's block is over
(don't think i ever had it)
have a great evening