"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, 25 February 2013

perfect summer days

Yesterday was Matthew's birthday.  On Friday we went to have a look at De Waal Park and thought it a great place to have a birthday picnic.  The weather was going to be awesome so we put the plans in place.  There were dogs and children on bicycles and skateboards.  There was a group of serious volley ball players and another group with a tightrope tied between two trees.  We found a shady spot and spent a wonderful afternoon under the mountain.  

bring your chairs and some pretty girls (and a phone)
your family which includes Rob and pretty girls (and a phone)
 friends (with a ball)
mammoth tennis matches

some cold beers

two mad aunts playing croquet
Kim had made stunning bunting which we hung from the trees, we had brightly coloured helium balloons, bubbles, cricket bats and croquet

Tom had his Amstel and Boston exploring in the background

Picnic spread.  Sorry I did not take any close up pictures.  Matthew had made
chicken kebabs, we had panini rolls with fancy salads and dips, ice cream in cones and delicious fruit
(and chilled champagne and sauvignon blanc)

Once the weather started getting cooler we made ourselves more comfortable.  The younger crew after all the tennis and exercise and the close proximity to the beach decided to desert us and head for the beach.  We had unfortunately forgotten our bikini's so were happy to sit a bit longer under the trees and finish off the wine.

Kim and Matt ending the day with a swim (and a beer)
Nic and Bob (with a halo)
Beta Beach Brothers
Other brother involved in a cricket match

Another perfect day in Cape Town
Could anything match this?

Unfortunately these summer days do come to an end and in less than two weeks Matthew will be moving off to the other side of the world.  He is off to California to play rugby (and learn to surf).  At least there is sun and sea but I am starting to feel so sad already.  It has been been so wonderful having him home for these last three months and I can't imagine what it is going to be like to have him so far away. 

Exciting times for him though - oh and Michael and I are also off for a short break.  Heading to Salt Rock in KZN tomorrow.  Will send you pictures.  Best I start packing and don't forget the bikini!!!

Friday, 22 February 2013

eleven to fifty-four in the blink of an eye...

Sandra Cisneros, “Eleven”

Time definitely goes so much faster as you get older 

Remember being young and 

how time dragged?
you were always waiting 
for the next school holiday, 
or a birthday
always waiting for things to happen 

Now it is more difficult
I keep trying to make time, 
and with some planning you can 
and when you do it is 
so good 
but when you can't it worries you
because it is sometimes difficult

It does not seem that long ago 
that I was eleven
and now I am like an onion,
age is just a number and 
when I get asked my age, 
I have to think about it, 
often making myself a year older
than what I am
not "ten" like I did when I was eleven

That is a  bit sad

"It takes a few days, weeks even, sometimes even months before you say "eleven" when they ask you.  And you don't feel smart eleven, not until you are almost twelve.  That is the way it is"

That is the way it was

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

stick figure families

I am a pretty even-tempered person. I have been know to get argumentative and stand up for Tiger Woods and his infidelities but have no time for Lance Armstrong and slate him at every turn.  That is the way I roll.  Not much gets me revved up (except Lance Armstrong) but these little stick figure families have a way at hitting all the wrong nerves in my body.

Maybe, if I was analysed, it may go back to the "single mom" thing and the picture of these "happy" families driving in 4X4's with a Dad who love to braai (who doesn't have a Dad who loves to braai?) (even if he doesn't live in the same home as you), a Mom who either loves to shop or go to gym (hells bells, I don't like either of them so therein could also lie my problem), a little boy playing cricket (who didn't or doesn't have a little boy who still loves to play cricket?), a little girl with pigtails skipping, 2 dogs and a cat.

OK, this Dad plays golf but what does the Mom like to do?  Wear high heels and carry a handbag (puke). I think what irritates me most is the way these stickers are making me behave.  I now drive up close behind the "stick figure family" car in front of me to make up my own story about the family.  I am a very inquisitive person (you might know that) and the one below is one of the most infuriating.

I have worked most of it.  Dad plays golf (is that a cell phone in his hand?) (on the golf course?), Mom shops (this one with flat shoes (thank goodness), big sister is in the tennis team and middle child and brother plays soccer.  Why does it drive me mad?  What is the sex of the baby in the pram? Why haven't they worked out a way to tell you that?  I end up having to overtake the car and peep into the baby seat to satisfy my curiosity. Boy or girl baby?  I know, I am a strange one.

So it is now 10.30 and I am almost ready for bed.  I had a quick peep at Facebook, saw the picture below on Hope's page (which made me giggle) but has now got me ranting and raving and typing at 100 miles an hour because these stick figures are driving me crazy.  I cannot get away from them.

In my day (am I sounding old and menopausal?) we sported a "Baby on Board" sticker (which in itself was probably also pretty ridiculous).  Making a statement to the world.  I am grown up, have had sex and now have a baby - BEWARE of me!!!

Still better than the "stick figure family".  Well I think so anyway.  You?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

be my valentine....not

I have never really bought into Valentine's Day and the quote above is exactly how I feel. Call me a grinch if you must.  Firstly I do not like red roses (any colour except red) and I hate schmaltzy cards (and queueing to get into a restaurant).  I like to be told I am loved every day and not have it reserved for the one day of the year when everyone and their dog are being told that they are loved as well.  I love hand written notes left on bits of paper and a spontaneous bunch of sweet peas when they are in season.  That to me is romance.

Perhaps it is because I have only ever had one seriously romantic boyfriend in my life.  He also happened to be the "first boyfriend" and maybe this has something to do with it.  He wrote me cards and letters, celebrated every month that we were together with flowers (and cards and letters), he had names for the two children we would have one day and houses were identified where we would one day live. All this at 16 and 18!!  He was a soppy romantic and I fell for it (and totally enjoyed it) for 16 long months of my teenage life.  It took me 15 (and a half) months to realise that this guy was a tad controlling, he studied too hard and never wanted to go to parties (or let me go to parties).  OK, (confession) there was another guy who we (Lesley and I) stalked in the school corridors at school (and on the rugby fields) who had a wonderful smile, who winked (and smiled) at me which made my heart melt and made me realise that at 16, 16 months is far too long a time to be with one person.

The question I always ask myself is what is it about your first love that makes it stick in your mind forever?  I was over "first boyfriend" before I broke up with him so why am I still interested in what he is up to, where he lives and how his sisters are?  Our paths have crossed many times since we were at high school.  We have friendly and polite conversations (about where he lives, how talented his children are and where they travelled to this year and where they are skiing next year).  He even bought Dalene, Kathy and myself a whole bottle of "very expensive" wine in a rugby club one cold wintry afternoon. (How "expensive" can the best bottle of wine at a rugby club be?).  His wife is great and would fit in very well with my circle of girlfriends - she seems like fun and likes also likes wine (although he should have bought her a bottle of her own).  If Lesley was there she would have told him so.

I found this quote the other day:-

“You’ll always care about your first love. That doesn’t make you crazy, it just makes you human. When relationships end, it’s not so cut and dry. You carry everyone you’ve ever loved into every relationship thereafter.”

Ryan O'Connell

It is funny that thinking of Valentine's Day led me to think about first love and the "first boyfriend". 

I watch Amy and Kelly now in their teenage years and  I know how cruel those cards and roses that arrive at school can be.  There is always one girl in your class who gets all the cards and flowers.  She usually has the brownest legs in the class and an awesome name like Danielle or Samantha or Jade or Beverly.

If I can thank "first boyfriend" for anything it would be for the card which was delivered to my desk, all those years ago when I was an awkward 16 year old.   Jennifer's don't usually do well in the Valentine's Day race.  I am sure it was schmaltzy and had red roses all over it but whatever it said or was, it made me feel special for that moment.

So who am I to be cynical and ungrateful?

Happy Valentine's Day!!