Day 21: It Would Have Been Parole Day

Today marks the day the pre-extention-lockdown in South Africa would have been lifted. As many people have been referring to it, parole day.

Continue reading

Day 20: Celebrations, Nostalgia and Britcom

Today is day 20 of the lockdown. Like the featured image of this post, it feels as though time moves at a snail’s pace of late. I have slowed down. As I sit typing this post, I can hear the waves crashing in the distance, and the occasional cheep of a wagtail. The local hotel’s resident ducks are also meandering around the neighbourhood by the sounds of things. All these sounds have just been drowned out by an aircraft that is audibly flying very low.

Continue reading

Reflective Misfit Ramblings

I’ve been a bit “unbalanced” today, not sure why, but I think it may have something to do with a hypnopompic episode I experienced last night. I went to bed early and at some stage during the night found myself in the lounge obsessed with wanting to know what the time was. I kept saying to myself It’s dark, it’s still time to sleeeeeeppp, but my brain was having none of it until I found the time. Seventeen minutes to midnight… Hallelujah, I could go back to the snugness of my bed and get at least another six hours in. I did, but I tossed and turned the whole night. When my third alarm of the morning rang, I set another. Fortunately work wasn’t demanding today, so my lack of brain-power stealthily remained under the radar.

Now, I’m sitting at my favourite writing spot, double-shot cappuccino for company, loungy-kinda music in the background being drowned out by a table of patrons clearly celebrating something and a crackling fire for warmth. I’ve blogged about fire before because flames are mesmerizing. The way they dance across the wood, creating glowing embers is almost hypnotic.

Today I finalized arrangements for a part of my upcoming-40th birthday celebrations: A vintage-style ladies’ high-tea for some of my closest girlfriends and of course, The Bean. The blokes will be included at a separate celebration (which I’ve planned as a picnic in the park, but that idea may change given the limited numbers of positive RSVP’s received). Every year I try and do something “different” from a hobo-themed party to an as Nathan jokingly refers to it “a boring meet and greet”. Last year I had a movie-themed trivia-chill night which was a great success. For those of you wondering what I looked like, here is a photo of me as The Joker. Charlie did my make-up.

IMG-20181028-WA0054

I was telling Charlie afterwards that I almost always feel “deflated” after my birthday because the actual event, while always fabulous and fun, seems to be anticlimactic, because I have so much fun planning. Today when I confirmed the number of attendees and menu options with the owner of the venue, I told her “I’m starting to get excited now.” Her reply was “You should be excited. The Germans don’t say ‘Die vorfreude ist die schonste freude’ for nothing.” Given that my German is about as good as every other European language I know, I called in my trusty friend, Google. Turns out that what the Germans say is true: The anticipation is the most beautiful joy. I love the excitement that comes with a celebration of some sort.

On the subject of celebration and mounting anticipation, I have had a dream ever since I can remember and that is to visit Victoria Falls. Shalya-Rae says it must be because of a history lesson we had in fifth grade about Livingstone and Stanley. I don’t remember it (does the memory start going at 40?!), but whether it is the reason or not for my obsession with The Smoke that Thunders, I can’t say. All I know is that I am going! In November… and I’m over the moon about it!

I had actually saved for another holiday, but things didn’t go according to plan. Initially I was disappointed, but then the opportunity to visit one of my bucket-list destinations came along. I’m not big on signs from The Universe, but this was a cosmic confirmation to realize my dream. I didn’t really waste time in making a decision. I armchair travelled with Eliza and Nathan one evening, saw the lodge and booked my spot the next day. Everything lined up perfectly. I’ve gone all out – an all inclusive package, accommodation at a five star tented lodge on the banks of the Zambezi. To say I can’t wait is an understatement.

I have told everyone that if they want to get me a birthday gift, I’d like money for my holiday, because I’d love to do the Flight of the Angels and if possible, visit the Devil’s Pool. Harriet gave me my first US Dollar and subsequently The Bean found three more which she gave to me. I’m crossing my fingers and my not-yet-sagging-boobs that it will improve.

Anyway, my dinner’s just arrived, so I’ll catch y’all on the flipside.

‘Til next time…

Seven Years & Still Going Strong…

Seven is considered in many cultures to be a lucky number; in some even spiritual. I think that in this instance, it’s both.

Today, seven years ago, my life changed. I landed a job at a company that has afforded me the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally and allowed me to utilize my talents, all in a safe, happy working environment. In the time I’ve been here, I’ve picked up scraps with some colleagues, but that is an occupational hazard everywhere. The difference is that the people I work with are not just like family, they are.

images

I was saying to Nikita, whom I sometimes carpool with, that I still remember my first day. I parked my car in the visitor’s bay and my boss came to me and pointed to a bay demarcated for my car.  I didn’t do much that day, because my boss had just returned from a two-week-long overseas visit. I was shown to my office and then taken through the factory to meet everyone.  The rest of the day I settled in.

In the time I’ve been here I’ve got to put my writing- and proofreading skills to good use.  I also received incredible support when I decided to complete the final subject for my tertiary qualification.  I’ve been mentored by incredible leaders, admonished when necessary by one father-figure in particular, teased like a little sister by some colleagues and carried by others when things have not been all sunshine-and-rosy.  See, family.

How many of you reading this can honestly say that going to work isn’t something you abhor, but look forward to? How many of you can say that spending time with your colleagues is not something you do simply because of the pay cheque at the end of the month?

I can, because seven years ago, when I walked through the door, I wasn’t half the person I am today, and for that I’m grateful.

Here’s to the next leg of the journey – and of course, cake to celebrate!

Two, almost Three Days into 2011

A Belated Happy New Year to all!  I wish each one of you everything you wish yourself 🙂

My New Year’s celebration was a quiet, but most memorable one…

My friend, Jay, whom I haven’t seen in over three years was down this neck of the woods from Cape Town and came through for coffee a few days before New Year’s Eve.  I couldn’t believe how well is looking – life in Cape Town is obviously treating him extremely well.  I had heard from Cousin Lara that Jay and his girlfriend of just over five years had decided to call it quits.  I thought it sad, but after a chat about the break-up, I realized that he feels things are better this way.  Anyhow, he trotted off, leaving an open invitation to spend New Year’s Eve with him – a bottle of wine and snacks on the beach.  After some consideration, I decided to take him up on his offer.

The evening was magical.  He came to pick me up at home just after 19:00 and we went down to one of the beaches close to my house.  Blanket on the sand, an array of snacks (you have got to try Paprika flavoured Tuc crackers!) and a bottle of Robertson Cab Sav, we sat chatting and catching up on what has been happening in one another’s lives for the past three years.  The conversation went from jobs to relationships to family members to interests to travels – well all sorts actually.  We didn’t even realize that midnight had dawned (can midnight dawn?) until the fireworks started lighting up the moonless sky.  Jay gave me a friendly kiss and did something I really didn’t expect – he took my hand and he didn’t let go.  I didn’t know what to think, but I went with the flow and enjoyed the moment.  The temperature started to drop a bit, but not wanting to go home quite just yet, I pushed his arm aside and made myself comfy on his chest.  It felt comfortable – so comfortable.  After about a half hour of this snugness, we packed up and came home – where we woke mom up and off we trotted to the casino – the New Year did not generously give us any financial windfalls, but there are still 363 days left, so I’m not going to start moaning quite just yet.

We only went to sleep at 06:00 yesterday morning.  Yes readers, I pulled an all nighter!  For the third time in my life…

I had been asleep for only two hours when the phone rang – it was Dad calling from Nigeria to wish us all the best of the best.  Not being able to get back to sleep, I lay in bed watching TV until after midday and eventually got up.  Jay had stayed over on Mom’s invitation and by the time I go up, he was already up.  He gave me a crucher of a hug and we all got showered having decided to go out.  Jay and I dropped Mom off at Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry and he and I went to Anne and her family in town.  Again, Jay took my hand and sat stroking my hair.  Anne of course immediately sees me in a flowing white dress walking down a church aisle, to quote her “the man is totally smitten with you woman, I see the way he looks at you…”

After sosaties with them, we went down to the beach where we met up with Mom, Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry for ice cream.  After that we set off to quickly pick Elizabeth up for a night of 30 Seconds, wine and catching up.  On the way there I mentioned Anne’s observation to Jay who didn’t quite admit being “smitten” – in fact he was somewhat nonchalant about it.  Oh crap, my climbing hopes had just been dashed…

Not wanting an uncomfortable atmosphere, I told him straight out that I was actually quite disappointed that Anne had been wrong.  He didn’t take offense, in fact he put his arms around my shoulders and gave me a huge hug.

We arrived home just after 19:00, Elizabeth in tow and opened a bottle of Graham Beck Pinotage (wow!).  I put together a plate of snacks for us to nibble on and we got half way through a round of 30 Seconds when we all decided that it was sapping too much of the reserves of our sleep-deprived brains.  It didn’t stop us chatting until after midnight…and me getting my hair played with again.

All of us were up early this morning. Jay gave me a kiss good morning…  Mom, Elizabeth and I went out for lunch (Jay already had plans with other friends).  As we got in the car saying our goodbyes, my heart actually sank into my shoes.  I have been quiet all day, wondering…am I possibly falling for someone I’ve known for almost twenty years already? (To give you all an idea, I heard from Jessie James this morning too and for the first time in years my heart didn’t flutter – at all).  If I’m honest, I wouldn’t mind if I am falling, but I would need to know for sure if Jay indeed sees some kind of more-than-friends  connection happening…I would rather risk asking him and ending up with egg on my face, than hope in silence and end up broken hearted.

So,  as 2011 stands open before all of us, I leave you all with a handbook for the year ahead, make that a Handbook for LIFE :

Health:

1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5. Make time to pray.

6. Play more games

7. Read more books than you did the year before .

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day

9. Sleep for 7 hours.

10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:

11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.

14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.

16. Dream more while you are awake.

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.

20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

23. Smile and laugh more.

24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

Society:

25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others.

27. Forgive everyone for everything.

28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.

29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30. What other people think of you is none of your business.

31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:

32. Do the right thing!

33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

34. GOD heals everything.

35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..

36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

37. The best is yet to come.

38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.

39. Your Inner most self is meant to always be happy. So, be happy.

And Last:

40. Learn from Yesterday, live for Today and Pray for Tomorrow.

and truly lastly, a quick thought…a bit late I know, but a very special one:

“As we get ready to open the book on 2011 it is worth remembering that all the pages are blank and we are going to put every word on them ourselves.

The book is called OPPORTUNITY and its first page is NEW YEARS DAY.”