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…

Sleepless Mindfield

Now, I am meant to be sleeping, but despite taking a full sleeping tablet (I usually only do half during the week) and my other medication, I’m still awake. Charming!

My legs feel like lead. Steve pushed me to leg press another 10 Kg more than last week. That I could still handle, but hip lifts… Good Lawdy, them things are in a league of their own! My thighs are going to probably be stiffer than a corpse tomorrow.

Tarryn, my hairdresser (aka The Fairy because she was the most beautiful pregnant fairy ever) was at the salon on Tuesday when I went to Elena for my nails. She asked me quite bluntly, Where’s your ass. I told her it’s there, but because all my clothes are getting a little baggy, it doesn’t look like it. Truth be told, I don’t really have a well-rounded derriere, because my butt cheeks are on my chest. I’m very aware of (as Charlie put it) my great rack or as my Capetonian friend, Allan refers to them, The Girls.

Anyway, my bustline wasn’t originally what I planned on writing about when I started this post. Love was. Or rather the sacrifices one makes for those we love. When faced with a situation where you would have to either cause- or suffer heartbreak to save the one you love, would you really do it? And I’m talking about relationships between two adults here, not a parent for their child because that’s on an entirely different plain.

On the subject of plain, why is plain yoghurt apparently healthier than its flavoured counterparts? Is it because it’s free of colourants? Or is it just because it doesn’t taste pleasant? Like Chaimberlain’s cough medicine – tastes like battery acid, but my Grandmother swore by it. That, and cod liver oil. Blegh!

Personally, I believe almost any ailment can be fixed with warm salt water. Sore throat? Gargle. Sinus? Inhale. Constipated? Drink a glass of warm salt water and you’ll be shitting through the eye of a needle in no time. Guaranteed!

Okay, so this post went from tits to shit in just a few paragraphs, but at least my eyes are starting to feel heavy. Here’s hoping for some REM because if I don’t get any soon, I will not only have lost my mind, I may very well be Losing my Religion too.

Zzzzzzzzzz

Day One: 10 Secrets

I have to get back into blogging!  The intention is there, but to actually sit down and get a post done is the problem…work really keeps me busy and in the evenings I am pretty much to pooped to sit in front of the PC for another hour or so.  But, I need to, so I’m going to – even if it means that I have to blog from bed…

An update of one of the blogs I follow was in my inbox this morning and it looks like it very well may be the kick up the bum that I need to get my blog going again…

It is a daily challenge which requires me to write a piece for ten consecutive days, starting with ten secrets about myself.

It is a daily challenge which requires me to write a piece for ten consecutive days, starting with ten secrets about myself.

  1. I am secretly in love with CSI detectives – for years I was absolutely besotted with David Caruso, but I’m over him; his fixation with his sunglasses now gets on my nerves.  I find Eddie Cahill (Detective Flack in CSI: NY) absolutely gorgeous – must be those blue eyes…
  1. I want to be Dr Who’s companion.  But then David Tennant must be the Doctor.  I will always be thankful to my friends Lisa and Leon for introducing me to the Doctor.  There would be a huge gap in my heritage had they not.
  1. I have a love of peanut butter in any shape or form – even ice-cream.  Just the other day I bought myself a tub of peanut butter swirl ice-cream from Woolies and even though it is way too cold for ice-cream, I sneak a teaspoon or two into my mouth after supper.  No-one else is allowed near my ice-cream.
  1. I wish someone would find me (or I, him!) that loves me for who I am, how I am, no matter what.  I’m tired of being alone.  This feeling is exacerbated every time I hear friends of mine are getting married, or those who are, are having kiddies, or I catch the bouquet at a wedding – just last week I caught my third consecutive bouquet – not a good hat-trick to have.
  1. By the time I went to school at the age of six, I still couldn’t tie my shoelaces.  Seriously.
  1. The quickest way to get me to fall asleep in front of the TV is to put David Attenborough on – there is something about his voice that puts me to sleep.
  1. If I could, I would eat Italian food every day.  The passion and love that goes into Italian cooking makes it tastier.  I would love to tourItalyon a little Vespa scooter from North to South sampling the food – not caring about the weight I will undoubtedly put on.
  1. I am fascinated by snakes and crocodiles – particularly when they come packaged as shoes and handbags. 
  1. I love big band music.
  1. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher – when I hear on the news what happens in schools these days, I’m relieved I’m not.

Bits ‘n Bobs…

I am feeling like a train wreck emotionally – I wish I had a solid reason why so I could stomp out the intrusion and get back to the happy place my pills I have had me in the past four months.

Part of me knows that it is because I still haven’t had any feedback regarding the agency interview I had last week.  I did call on Tuesday to follow up, but there was nothing concrete.  My nerves are starting to fray 😦  I have applied for a number of jobs in my field, particularly in Cape Town, but most of the replies are in the line of “thank you…we’ll keep your CV on file…preference to candidates residing in the area…”  How am I ever supposed to grow in my field if I am not given the opportunity to in a bigger city?  I have even volunteered my services for free to gain some more experience in certain areas I am lacking – still no luck.  Oh well, I will just have to perservere won’t I?

Anyhow, on a happier note…

My folks twisted my arm yesterday to go with them to the casino and well, it was a profitable exercise!  The folks gave me R200 each and with that money I made R2700 – and I gave the folks a thousand rand to split between them.  It’s nice to have some cash in my wallet again. 

Cousin Lara received an email yesterday confirming that she had won a competition – her prize…a bit part in the local soapie 7de Laan!  The filming will take place early in April and screened in June.  She is so excited!  As the filming will take place during school holidays, the whole family will be going up to Gauteng.  She has the 7de Laan cookbook, so I told her to take it along and ask the cast to autograph it for her.

After waiting for a week, dinner with Carmen and Ewan dawned last night.  Pasta and wine and good company was just what I needed!  I ate so much pasta, but it was so tasty I couldn’t stop 🙂  The hamster in my head is running around with a million recipes which I would love to cook for them when I return the favour. 

Anyhow ‘ til later…

Seven Days and Counting

…and we will be in Durban, the night before our cruise.  While I’m excited about that, I am even more excited about seeing Geri and Dan, two very special friends of mine, as well as their two kids, James and Lulu.  I will be staying over with them on Sunday evening as well as the weekend after the cruise.  It is going to be great fun!  I am busy sharpening my wit to be a match for Dan who manages to cut me down to size without too much effort.

I have already started packing!  Only because Dad has rationed me to a single (super small) suitcase and I need to make sure everything can fit into it – particularly my hair dryer, straightener and my silver shoes.  I have packed a dress for every evening to wear to dinner (I have some beautiful clothes, but no real occassions to wear them to) and some nice sexy tops and jeans to go clubbing or gambling in.  I hope that the latter will be as good to me as it was on my first cruise.  Shorts and strappy tops have been allocated for the Maputo and Barra Lodge shore excursions. 

There is lots to do this week still – Mom is going to wash all the clothes that we want to take with tomorrow and on Tuesday it is off to Carmen to pick up our tickets and convert our Rands into US Dollars – once we have the tickets in hand I think Aunty Carol is going to uncork a bottle of champagne as the trip becomes a “true” reality.  She and Uncle Barry are going shopping for something to wear to the Captain’s Gala Cocktail evening too.

Thursday Mom and Aunty Carol are getting their hair done (I threw broad hints to get mine done too, but my cries fell on very deaf ears), while I will be fetching Dad at the airport and getting him and his paperwork sorted out for a Ghanaian Visa Application as this is where he will be working during his next stint.  The bad thing about this is that I won’t be able to go with Mary to her scan appointment, something which I was really looking so forward to 😦  Ah well, maybe next time.

Friday it is off to the dentist for me to get my knashers all pearly white and chip-free.  Mom and Aunty Carol are going to get their nails done and I have arranged with my Sh’zen Team Leader, Jennifer, (who is a qualified beauty therapist) to give the two old ducks a pampering pedi and a facial for me in the comfort of our home.

Anyhow, enough about that…

Last night Elizabeth and Candice (who is my “older sister”) were here to visit.  We didn’t have the energy to do much – even opening a bottle of wine was too much effort – so we sat round catching up.  By ten we were all tuckered out.  Candice is in the hospitality industry and has been working like a lunatic the past six weeks, and Elizabeth has been relieving in her boss’s position, so she too is dead on her feet.  So much so that this morning she was up just after five, sick as a dog with a migraine headache.  She went home soon after.  I tried phoning to find out she is doing, but her phone is off. 

This afternoon we are taking Candice back to Wilderness, but before that we are going to stop off at Mary and Mark for tea and cake as it is Mary’s birthday tomorrow.  Mark bought her a Chev Spark for her birthday – and when I asked him what we could get her, he said he didn’t know, but a bottle of red wine would be welcome because he would drink it on her behalf.  So, Mom and I are still presentless.  Maybe we’ll see something special on our travels that we can get for her…

My Spanish Hot Chocolate appears to be quite a hit – I gave Jay a bottle to take back to Cape Town, as well as a bottle for Carmen and Ewan (who I understand hasn’t had any as Carmen has been squirrerling it away at her office) and my personal bottle is empty, so I will have to make some more.  I also feel like baking again, which I will consider doing when I get back this afternoon, if I feel like it.

I still haven’t made any progress with Don’t Blink, but I will definitely finish it by the time we hit the road.  Before I forget, here is the bookmark that Rachel gave me the other night.  I think it is lovely, don’t you?

There isn’t much more to tell at the moment…

Have a Super Sunday folks!  ‘Til later 🙂

Looking In…

…and seeing that everyone seems well, even if they aren’t all feeling the Christmas feeling.  I haven’t got the feeling either, in fact I wish the whole so-called Festive Season was over.  Dad gave me the task of going to get a watch for Mom from him that she had seen in a catalogue.  Well, let me tell you, I am NOT going back to the mall until all the holiday makers have gone home because there is no parking anywhere, at all!  It took me 35 minutes to get off the highway offramp to the mall and a further 20 minutes to find a parking space.  By the time I reached the jewellery store, I was hot and bothered.  To add insult to injury, the store no longer had the watch in stock!  I managed to maintain my rage and phoned Dad who politely told me to “choose something else, something she’d like, but something that I would have chosen…”  Okay, so I now had the brief in hand, but not enough dosh.  Grrrr….  I eventually opted for another watch, elegantly understated.  Here’s hoping she likes it.

Given the fact that I’m not working, I opted to make gifts this year.  Elizabeth’s elder sister, Esmeralda, gave me a recipe for a Spanish Hot Chocolate Mixture from Annette Human’s recipe book Lekker vir Later, which I made and bottled.  All that I still have to do is type out the directions for use and voilà, the gifts will be ready.

For those of you who would like to make some for yourselves, it is easy to make (and quite tasty too):

100g Castor Sugar

100g Coffee Creamer Powder

50g Cocoa

30g Custard Powder

15 ml Instant Coffee Powder

15 ml Cinammon (I only put in 5 ml, otherwise the cinammon is a little over powering)

Sift all the ingredients together (I sifted it three times to make sure everything is mixed through well) and store in an airtight container.  When you want to make yourself an indulgent cuppa, just add three heaped teaspoons to a mug and mix with a little boiling water to make a paste.  Fill with boiling water or hot milk and enjoy!

Dad was due to have been back at work 12 days ago already, but he is STILL waiting for his Nigerian Visa.  If he doesn’t get it before the end of this week, he will not be home in time for the cruise, so one of two things will happen – we will have to change the departure date (which will have to be sometime in March because of his rota) or we will have to go on our own.  A spanner will be thrown into the works if I in the meantime find employment, because not many companies will employ someone who is going to be wanting a week’s leave just after starting work.  Ah well, I will just have to cross the bridge when I get to it, won’t I?

On other fronts:

I am three quarters of the way through the fourth module of my novel-writing course, and enjoying it tremendously.  I am finding the length of the text installments quite challenging, but with each word I type, I do a little happy dance.

I am trying to work on a tan, but the weather hasn’t been co-operating.  I am patiently waiting for the sun to come out, so that I can laze about on one of the loungers in the back yard and soak up some colour.

I am in the mood to bake something, the question is what?

Anyhow, that’s me for the moment…I’ll pop in again sometime and do some catching up.

Mixed Bag

I took a bit of time out with my folks and trotted off to Port Elizabeth with them for a few days.  We were fortunate enough to get a complimentary stay at the Garden Court at King’s Beach.  The weather was gorgeous, and we only had one windy day.

After a rather boring drive home, I had news in my inbox from my tutor..and it was GOOD news.  I scored a 70% average on my third assignment (70% for the first part and a whopping 90% for the second).  I was so happy – happier than I have been in quite a while.  She sent me a quiz for my major character to complete (because I need to develop her more), so in true Sunday fashion, I will do it tomorrow, just as Cindy does – as myself and as my character.  I hope it will make for some interesting reading 🙂

The farm contacted me, asking if I would be willing to train the person that is temporarily sitting in my old chair (they can’t find a replacement…), to which I agreed.  I agreed to four hours last Saturday and today – which went off without a hitch.  My feathers got ruffled when I got a call just after five PM today asking me to come in immediately, for something which literally took two minutes to sort out, but which they couldn’t understand on the phone.  I booked an hour of my time though.

My parents, along with Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry are going on a cruise next month on the luxurious MSC Sinfonia.  Mom has said if I can get half the fare together (R2925), then she will come to the party with the remainder.  After all my accounts have been paid, I have almost half of the amount, so I need to get creative and entrepreneurial to get the other half together, but I’m sure I’ll make it.  I have been on a cruise before, last March, but it turned out to be a bit of a disaster, so this time I am going to pay a little extra and have a cabin to myself and spend time having a holiday that I want.  Mom hasn’t told Dad about her plan, but he will agree…he always does when it comes to seeing me happy.  I know too that they won’t expect me to spend my entire cruise in their company – since my diagnosis, they have been more accommodating about me doing what I want, without too much hassle.  I don’t think they realize just what it means to me.

Anyhow, I am going to watch some mindless TV programme, while I devour half a Greek Chocolate Slice and half a Custard Slice – I need a bit of sugary indulgence…

Looking in the Mirror, 10 Years Ahead

I am somewhat uninspired.  It is possibly a combination of the mountain of flu meds I’m on and the dismal windy, wintry weather outside.  The fact that it is only Bruno (our accounts bloke) and I in the office today doesn’t help matters either. 

As I drove to work this morning I thought to myself, “I want to blog, but I really don’t have anything to blog about.  So I opted for the Plinky prompt of the day which is:

“10 years from now, what do you hope your life will be like?”

Well, given the fact that ten years from now, I will already be 40, I hope to be settled, in a home of my own, with a husband, a child (or two), and a cat.  Part of me feels lost because at 30, I have only had 2 really serious relationships, both of which ended in disaster.  Every time I find someone I’m interested in, I screw it all up because I come on too strong.  “Hard to get” is a concept I have yet to understand, let alone master.

Besides the proverbial family ‘n white-picket-fence-scene, I know that I don’t want to be working at the farm anymore.  Farming has to be in one’s blood and it definitely isn’t in mine.  Don’t misunderstand me, I like the people I work with, I am just not overly fond of the job.  Hell, one would have thought that by 30, I would already know what I wanted to be doing.  Wait!  I do know what I want to do – write.  But I also am enough of a realist to know that the likelihood of my work ever being published is slim to none.

My second choice is to own a glamourous gourmet sandwich shop.  This stems from my obsessive fascination with food magazines.  Ironically enough, I only cook when I’m really in the mood, and I’m only really ever in the mood when I know there will be guests.  And when I know there will be guests, I generally go the whole hog and prepare a themed (usually three-course) meal.  A while ago, with the help of another blogger, http://browniegirlblog.wordpress.com, I entertained guests with a Moroccan evening.  It was a huge success with the menu being:

Mezze Platter

Ciabatta Bread

Pecan and Raisin Bread

Three Cheese Bread Sticks

Pita Wedges

Hummus

Tzatiki

Rosa Tomatoes

Peppadews

Herbed Feta

Calamata and Queen Olives

I am a huge Hummus fan – I love it on seed loaf with cheese.  Elizabeth asked for some to take home so that she could have it on some fresh bread her Mom had baked.

Main Course

BG’s North African Baked Chicken Tagine – WOW!  Really colourful and delish!

BG’s Jeweled Couscous – I don’t think I will ever cook rice again.  Couscous is so easy.  I didn’t have spring onions that the recipe called for, but I just chopped in a bit of green pepper…

Moroccan Carrot and Orange Salad – DIVINE!  And from me that is a compliment, because I don’t eat carrot salad at the best of times.

Steamed Courgettes – I was supposed to make Courgette Fritters for a starter, but was pressed for time (actually I was enjoying the music so much,I didn’t see what the time actually was), so I just shoved them in the steamer with Salt ‘n Pepper.  Perfect!

Dessert

Lemon and Rosemary Cake, with Greek Yoghurt – Even though when I made it on Monday night already (the longer it stands, the better the texture and taste), I burnt the top of the cake to a cinder, I managed to save enough and it was lovely.  The Greek Yoghurt was such a lovely accompaniment.    

Drinks

As Morocco is a predominantly Islamic country, and they do not drink alcohol, I decided to be as authentic as possible and served only orange juice and BG’s minted citrus water, which will be something that there will be a permanent supply of in our fridge as it is super-refreshing.

 I also know that in 10 years time I will be driving a status car.  Preferably a Mercedes, but I’d settle for a Lexus too.  I was hoping to already be driving my status car, but I’ve made some bad life choices which forced me to delay this specific goal.

So, who knows, 10 years from now I may very well be a glamourous-gorgeous-gourmet-sandwich-shop-owner, as well as a married-Mercedes-driving Mom.

Sounds like a good plan, if you ask me.