Versatile Blogger Awards

The sun is shining a bit brighter today because for the first time since I started blogging, I have received a blogging award! It looks like this:

 The blogger who bestowed this honour on me is Granny, whose blog home is here

Traditionally, when one receives an award like this, he/she graciously passes it along to someone else with no strings attached, but The Versatile Blogger Award comes with some conditions, listed below.

If you are one of the recipients, please understand there is no pressure to accept it – just know that we enjoy visiting your blog.

Conditions:

1. Thank the folks and link to them

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Pass along to 15 bloggers (and link to them)

4. Comment on their blogs to tell them of the award

I will admit that I was not at all aware that I was even in the running for such an award, and thus was not able, at the time of receiving the award, able to give a proper acceptance speech, but…now that I have had time to gather my thoughts after copious amounts of celebratory champagne cocktails, here is my acceptance speech.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Courtesy of:  

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Knowledge

The first time I came into contact with this quote was in 1993, when I was in my first term of standard six at Ladysmith High School in Natal. It was on a poster in my History class. It has been firmly entrenched in my mind ever since. Having imagination allows for an escape from the confines of what society dictates and what it expects of us.

Many of you know that for the first nine years of my life I lived in Marshalltown, Johannesburg with Mom and my biological father. The flat we stayed in was in the same building where Mom worked and thus, there were no other children for me to interact with.

Mom nurtured in me a love of reading. I would spend hours reading, living myself into the story, imagining myself as one of the characters. My imagination allowed me to escape into worlds beyond the confines and dictations of knowledge.

Everyone knows there is no such thing as The Magic Faraway Tree, but believe me – I climbed that tree many times in my youth and I can regale the tales of my adventures in vivid, rainbow colours for you. M

y primary school reports all had a common thread, “MTM exhibits signs of imagination / fantasy / escapism” and “MTM is extremely talkative during class.”

The latter is understandable considering that I didn’t have other children my own age to interact with after school, but eventually I conjured up an imaginary friend called Penelope, who spent a tremendous amount of time with me and whom I was able to confide in.

Sometimes, like now (as I type this), I can see her – her long white-blond hair braided in two pigtails, her blue eyes questioning my next step with excited trepidation and her laughter ringing through the clear blue sky.

Strangely though, when we left Johannesburg all those years ago, Penelope stayed behind. I know she had another lonely little girl to look after, but when I imagine what they are getting up to, I can only smile.

As I got older one thing that I continued to nurture was my imagination. I remember having to write an essay in Standard nine using the lines:

“Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,

Knocking on the moonlit door;

And his horse in the silence champ’d the grasses

Of the forest’s ferny floor”

From Walter de la Mare’s The Listeners

I eventually gave up writing the essay in ink and typed it – it was over seven pages long.

The comment I received from my English teacher was something in the lines of, “you have a vivid imagination MTM. Continue to feed, entertain, recognize and foster it – you will not regret it. You have a talent to paint a picture with words. Your imagination is the paintbrush.”

While my blog has become an outlet for all sorts of thoughts, emotions, ramblings and even rants, I have a burning desire to paint masterpieces of imaginary excellence with my words, but all life’s mundane happenings have seemed to stifle my imagination, leaving it almost catatonic.

Receiving this award today has reignited the fiery heat of my imagination, and for that I not only thank Granny as the awarder, but all of you who visit my blog, whether daily or on the odd occasion. I know I’m writing for a reason, but I’m imagining the thoughts running through your minds and the expressions as you read my posts – and that gives me unbridled pleasure.

So, one last time…thank you.

Right, onto the next condition: seven things about me (although I think I probably covered seven things about me in my speech above):

1. I don’t eat fruit. Ironic when you consider part of my job is tasting strawberries. I love chocolate though. I wonder if Cadbury needs a chocolate taster…

2. I can’t have a Sunday snooze if there isn’t a Sunday newspaper in the house. Seriously! No newspaper = no nap.

3. I am totally besotted with David Caruso, David Tennant and David Duchovny. I think I will most likely end up marrying a man called David. Or not…considering it rhymes with rabid. Hmmm Rabid David…sounds like the next Cujo novel.

4. I want to visit Cardiff just so I can see the places where Dr Who and Torchwood were filmed. Is there any other reason to visit Wales?

5. I adore Abba’s music. I could have been Meryl Streep’s double in Mamma Mia, except for the fact that she’s tall and blond and I’m short and mousy. I would definitely not have had a problem kissing Pierce Brosnan or Colin Firth, or the other guy whose name escapes me at this very moment.

6. I have a love affair with two gents called Jack and José. Both have the knack of getting me in the mood to party. Jack even helped me get rid of my last boyfriend, although he’ll never admit it, because we partied so hard, neither one of us can remember what happened.

7. I have seen Fatal Attraction nine times. I still can’t believe that Glenn Close didn’t win the Oscar for her performance of the bunny-boiling lunatic. It’s shocking!

Now for 15 bloggers (I know some have already received the award from other bloggers, but they deserve one from me too)… I haven’t been here at WordPress so long, so I am linking to external portals as well.

The Only Cin

Granny

Lyndatjie’s Blog – It’s Not Easy Being Green

The Barmaid Blog™: Life for a 20-something Manhattan Barmaid

Simon’s One Eye Only

Libra’s Child

Madmom

Don Juan de Kaapstad

Supagran

Lime

Ambi

Colonialist

Adeeyoyo

Zalina Alvi

Confessions of a Coffee Shop Whore

Now, I’m off to go and spread the sunshine and let the bloggers above know that there is something for them to see here.

A Tribute to a Pet Lost

Ever since I can remember, up until December 2006, we have had one. And, every single one has, as is true to its nature, owned us in a particular way.

We got her from Aunty Jean on the farm. When she came to live with us, at the tender age of six weeks, I thought she was the ugliest one of her species I had ever seen. Yet, as is often the case, she also experienced the proverbial ugly-duckling-to-a-beautiful-swan metamorphosis. She went from scraggly to stunning as she aged. She was a queen in the true sense of the word. Mom and Dad made the decision to spay her before she came into heat.

She had a disdainful demeanour, with that hint of humanity when she chose to allow us into her personal space. I’m honestly quite certain she was a British Monarch in her previous life. Either way she was Mom’s companion. And, even though Dad moaned and groaned about her, he loved her in his own special way. He would often feed her biltong when he thought no-one was looking.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t speak to either of my parents because of a man. It’s a long, sordid story. Enough said. Mom called me at work one day after eighteen months, inviting me for tea and a talk. I went to her and Dad’s house with much trepidation in my heart, not knowing what to expect. A tongue-lashing? An apology? It was a combination of both. We sat in the kitchen when she waltzed in and I said to Mom, “Where does that cat come from?”

“That’s Misty,” came the reply.

“Excuse me? That can’t possibly be Misty. Misty was scraggly with short hair.”

“It is Misty. I couldn’t believe the transformation myself. Even Aunty J said if she’d know this cat was going to turn out like this, she would never have given her away.”

I was stunned. She was the most beautiful Burmese cross Persian I had ever seen. Her colouring was dark, with a red sheen. Almost like a foggy sunset. She still had that snobbish cattidude, but it made her even more endearing. She was never a lap-cat at all. She showed no affection at all, unless she was out of sorts. She was the queen. The Lady of the Manor. We were her loyal subjects.

I moved back home in 2000. Misty remained a part of our family until December 2006. We moved to a new neighbourhood that November and she got into a scuffle with the ginger cat (now politely known as Misty Murderer, or worse, Voetsek!) next door. What hacks me off is that Misty Murderer came into our back yard, fought with her there, resulted in her death and still comes into our yard today. Had she been spayed, Misty might still be alive today. Shortly after that scuffle she became ill.

I was on holiday in East London when I got the tearful call from Mom.

“Misty had a fit my girl. She came up the stairs, walked up to Dad, rubbed up against his leg, let out a funny noise and just collapsed!”

Dad took her to the vet, where a number of diagnoses were probable until blood tests could confirm the exact illness. Tests were done and she was initially diagnosed with kidney trouble and treated for it. She got better, but relapsed shortly after.

She went back into Vet ICU and further testing revealed that she had contracted leukemia (aka Feline AIDS). It was too far advanced for the vet to do anything to save her. The vet explained to Dad that certain cats are carriers of the disease and transfer it to other cats during fights. Dad made the call to end her suffering and she was put to sleep. Mom was devastated. She cried for days. She still talks about Misty sometimes. She really misses her foggy sunset.

Every now and then I’ll be lying in bed and something will catch my eye in the mirror. It looks like Misty. And, if it is – I believe she is there to comfort Mom. I don’t think either one of them was ready to lose the other.

RIP Misty, old girl – you may be gone, but you’re not forgotten. You live on in our hearts.