"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 September 2013

goodbye september..

September.....a very eventful month this year and not a bad month to be saying goodbye to.  Today, being the last day of the month, Cape Town is finally warm and bright. Bring in the light, I say.
My morning walks with Fay, sometimes in the drizzle and wind, have been good for my soul, a wonderful time to breathe in the fresh (and sometimes freezing) air, clear the head and watch the blossoms appear before our eyes.
The wisteria in my front garden is creeping beautifully over the arch but, for the third year in the row, there is no sign of a blossom.  It was cut back very severely before winter and has been fertilised and sprayed.
What do you do?  I so want to have bunches of the violet blooms framing the archway in Spring but it does not happen.  How can you bring yourself to dig out a perfectly healthy and pretty plant just because it does not flower? Maybe one more chance? (Then straight to the naughty corner, next year)

What it should look like

Everything seems better when the sun is shining.  The clivia through the blinds this morning.

A bright table setting to match the Spring mood.

All was not bad in September.  We were lucky to have a visit from Victoria - Lucie's sister from Glasgow, who visited on her own for two weeks.  She has the ability to bring sunshine into people's lives.  Come back soon, Victoria.

Nic is getting much stronger.  He has a great doctor and team of physios looking after him.  The girls in his class are taking notes for him and he can now do some work from a LazyBoy chair we have stolen from my mother.  He has a long road of rehab ahead of him but he is positive guy who is now needing all of the "Positive Troll" energy he usually uses for others, for himself. Go Nic!
White rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit.  Do you say it on waking on the 1st of the month?  Do it!  I think I forgot for the last two months, so taking no chances this time.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

just stuff

Stuff from the week

That has amused....

A picture that has got me thinking about planning our trip to the UK next year.....

I found this picture here.  Not much about it or where it is but it has to be in the countryside somewhere and it reminds me of our family roadtrip, 8 years ago in Wales and England.  I want to go back (actually to be honest, I just want to pack a suitcase and head off on an aeroplane and see places I have not seen before - an adventure)

Talking of adventures, I finished this book in bed this morning.  Taking adventures a bit to the extreme for me but such a great read.

She tells and amazing story which has left me inquisitive about the author and her present life.  She is now a wife, mother and anaesthetist in Cape Town and she also writes articles for the Mail and Guardian - here is one. On further investigation (you will love this Fay) I realise that she must live in our neighbourhood.  She wrote this article about "Norman's Bookshop" (my favourite bookstore).  Read the book, if you can find a copy (apparently about to be reprinted).  Pity Norman is not around to source it for you :(.

This video is pretty powerful and shocking and makes you sad that so many people are in abusive relationships and continue to live lives like this...

And then to end off with a song

So today I wrote a song for you
Cause a day can get so long
And I know its hard to make it through
When you say there's something wrong

So I'm trying to put it right
Cause I want to love you with my heart
All this trying has made me tight
And I don't know even where to start

Maybe that's a start

Cause you know its a simple game
That you play filling up your head with rain
And you know you are hiding from your pain
In the way, in the way you say your name

And I see you
Hiding your face in your hands
Flying so you won't land
You think no one understands
No one understands

So you hunch your shoulders and you shake your head
And your throat is aching but you swear
No one hurts you, nothing could be sad
Anyway you're not here enough to care

And you're so tired you don't sleep at night
As your heart is trying to mend
You keep it quiet but you think you might
Disappear before the end

And its strange that you cannot find
Any strength to even try
To find a voice to speak your mind
When you do, all you want to do is cry

Well maybe you should cry

And I see you hiding your face in your hands
Talking bout far-away lands
You think no one understands
Listen to my hands

And all of this life
Moves around you
For all that you claim
you're standing still
You are moving too
You are moving too
You are moving too
I will move you

Time to get outside and appreciate the blue sky and sun which has not been around in Cape Town for quite a while.  Enjoy your Sunday.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

"i want my marmie"

I remember about 20 years ago being really sick with hepatitis.  John was trying his best to get hold of the doctor, organise the children and be of help to me and all I could say to him was "Please just phone my mother and tell her to get her quickly".  She was the one I wanted before the doctor or the husband.

It goes back to childhood memories of having a temperature and sitting on my mom's lap with my head against her chest.  I can clearly remember how her voice sounded through her chest and what a comfort it was to be that close to her.  Also, when we were sick it was the only time that Dalene and I were allowed into her bed.  This "sick treat" was a big spoil for us and to this day I do not know why.  My mother is impossible to sleep next to.  She hates it if you move or tremble or twitch (or scratch your nose) and so you would be sick and have to lie there like a corpse and not move.  Yet that was the place we most wanted to be.

We have had some fun in our house this week.  Dalene has been helping out with Nic, as has Mike and Gareth but there are some things that only I am trusted to do for him.  I think because I was "trained" by the physio before he left the hospital on how to move the leg, it has become my job.  It is certainly not because I am more gentle or less clumsy than the others, in fact, quite the other way around.

Dalene now sits backs and laughs everytime we hear a "Maaarm...." from the bedroom.  9 times out of 10 it is as I sit down.  Not complaining at all but it got me thinking lots about being a mother, about how lucky I have been not to have had children who have been sick and about how, as a mother, you would rather take on the pain yourself than see your children distressed or in pain.  But, most of all, I have been thinking about how much I have been missing my mother over these last three weeks.

My mom is very much around, she is active and fit and is a very fortunate pensioner who, together with her husband, goes off on trips every couple of months.  They left for Norway about 6 weeks ago and did a cruise to see the Northern Lights.  They have just finished 3 weeks of barging in France and are now visiting friends in Copenhagen.  Usually they come and go and life carries on without any problems.  This trip however it has all been happening in Cape Town and while Dalene was in hospital we were undecided about whether to tell my mother or not. When her stay in hospital was not just for a couple of tests and ended up being for nearly a week, we emailed her to let her know. By this time,  Nic had also had his injury and his surgery was scheduled for the following week.  So as much as we did not want to spoil her holiday she needed to know and was informed of all that was happening.

Thank goodness everything is turning out alright.  Dalene is looking much better, Nic is much brighter and the pain is under control and best of all my mother is coming home on Wednesday.


UK - 2005 - Family road trip

Thursday, 12 September 2013

a couple of weeks merged into one

No time to blog of late.  Trying hard to get into creative mode but things have been crazy.  A sister admitted to hospital on a Friday, a son injured in a rugby match on the Saturday, becoming a stand-in teacher to 12 two and half year olds for a week, doctors appointments for Nic for scans which showed about the worst knee ligament, tendon and nerve injury ever, an operation for him the following week (lucky little sister was feeling a bit better), a few days in hospital for him and now at home confined to bed.  In between this we have received a consignment of wine which has flown off the shelves and needs to be delivered - business really taking off and I am beginning to understand the expression "If you need something done, ask a busy person".   My life three weeks ago was so empty!!

I have not had the pleasure or opportunity to be in the company of 2 and 3 year olds for a long time. I had been given some pretty strict instructions from Dalene's hospital bed and file full of notes (even the meanings of certain words that a foreign little boy uses). 
Rule Number 1 - No favourites!!  Meet Mallie.
 Some of the cutest little people I have ever met.  Adam and Sammy
Tori and Nicholas (not forgetting Mallie in the background).  Without Tori I would not have coped.  She knew where everything was kept, how to open a "stuck" cupboard, she made me tea in little cups and fed me plastic "chopolate", fried eggs and toast.  She chats non stop.  Nicholas takes no prisoners, he is the smallest of the boys but definitely a Springbok scrumhalf in the making.
I decided to have a baking day.  Dalene look amused and wished me luck.  I now know why.  As fast as I handed out the Marie biscuits, they ate them or broke them.  The same little boy that eats the play dough at morning ring thought my icing was play dough too, grabbed a handful and shoved it in his face.  A face full of chocolate icing it did not take much to have him bouncing off the walls.

and Lucie who kept a place for me at lunchtime and who (sometimes) shared some with me.  (Rule No. 4 - "Don't eat their lunch")

It rained all week.  We could not play outside much, the classroom is pretty small (but cosy) and I was surprised at how good these little ones were.  I did not know the words and song for the Letterland alphabet (What the hell was wrong with A is for Apple, B is for Ball??) or the words and actions for the many songs that they sing.  They had a couple of fights over cars, a few wet pairs of pants - thank goodness for Rea, the nanny and assistant who also changes many dirty nappies in a morning. I don't think I could have managed that on an empty stomach.  I broke many rules, I had a few favourites, I let them take toys home (only my favourites), we jumped on the beds and moved the kitchen onto the mat to have a tea party (Tori: "Dalene says we are not allowed to move the furniture around the room").

I now know why my sister needs an afternoon rest.  

From putting socks and shoes on 2 year old Nicholas, I rushed home to help 27 year old Nic put on his socks and shoes.  That was for the first week before the operation. Since the operation he has been flat on his back with his heavily bandaged and braced leg set in a straight position.  Not an easy time for him and a busy, sleepless time for me.  I sleep with my phone on vibrate under my pillow and he sends me a message whenever he needs help.  He needs to take his medication, his leg needs to be moved and his wee-bottle needs to be emptied.

He has a thesis to submit, his final law exams around the corner and a long period of rehab looming and still manages to smile, be positive about things and thanks me every time I run through after being called...."Mommm". 

He wrote about his injury here.

New wines packed to the rafters. It is the best feeling to see the hard work paying off, sales are good and we have money in the bank (and plenty of stock).  I am dreaming of a week in Plettenberg Bay in a couple of months or I should dream even bigger...Hong Kong, New York (London or Paris).

Back in bit..........