Of Wine and Truffles

Yesterday was not a good day. I found out that a bottle of expensive wine that I bought almost a year ago disappeared out of the back of my grocery cupboard. The only thing I can think is that it was taken by the once-off cleaning lady and her companion that came to help me spruce up The Cave during level three of the lockdown. I left them alone for maybe a half hour to go and buy them some groceries as part of their agreed remuneration. It’s not so much the wine, but the memory attached to the bottle. I bought it for the girls’ night Eliza, Carmen and I had when we knew that Carmen was leaving to join Ewan in the Land of the Kiwis. We never got around to drinking it, but we made a pact to drink it together – Eliza and I at her house, with Carmen on a video call. To add insult to injury I felt a migraine setting in late afternoon and I felt all round blegh. Anyway, what’s done is done; there’s nothing I can do about it.

It’s Friday and nobody want to listen to gripes anyway, so I am going to share another kitchen adventure with you.

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Frightfully Awful Friday

I was at work today, but I may as well not have been. I woke up to news from Charlie that the ship on which he works has been exposed to COVID-19. Isolation and quarantine are imminent. I am sad, anxious, and unable to concentrate. He was so close to returning home (albeit it to self-isolation here).  

I can only hope that he isn’t infected and that once the mandatory quarantine has passed, the airlines will have resumed their international and regional flights that he can get home.

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Friday Morning Thoughts

For those of you that have just started following my blog, there are two people I often refer to as The Bean and The Toppie – these are my parents, the former being Mom and the latter being Dad.

The Bean often told me growing up that Yours Truly is as transparent as a pane of glass.  Some days she’s wrong, because my condition has taught me how to be like the penguins of Madagascar.  Most days the smile and wave approach to life works, but then there are days like yesterday where I’m visibly not my sparkling, rainbow-farting-unicorn self.

I went to my favourite restaurant in town after work to sit in what has become known as my table, which is in the cosiest of corners, intent on blogging.  I read a few more chapters of my current novel, James Patterson’s 15th Affair instead.  I had zero inspiration to write and I almost always have a real book with me.  Failing that I have a selection of Kindle books on my phone, thanks to Charlie.

Some of the waitstaff who I’ve got to know over numerous cappuccinos and amazing meals came to ask if I was okay – not the standard implied question of are you satisfied with your meal and/or our service?  One even sat next to me for what might have been thirty seconds and asked how my day was (because clearly something was amiss).  They noticed me and that made a shitty’ish day a lot better.

The point that I’m trying to get across here, is that sometimes all that’s needed to life someone’s spirits is a kind word and a smile.  What’s even better about this is that it costs nothing.

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Thanks for reading this post 😊  Have a fantastic Friday!

A-Maze-Ing Adventure

I’m still reeling from Frances’s expected-yet-still-unexpected departure to the Other Side.  And tomorrow, Malcolm will also be gone for three years.  It feels like just yesterday that he too was sick one day and then gone the next.  It’s comforting to know though that they’re both in a Better Place, free from pain and the oddities of the world.

My last conversation with Frances was a long one, where we spoke about many things.  She said she had a few regrets but was grateful for the opportunity to be able to make amends and ask for forgiveness.  I asked her if she could give any person in the world one piece of advice, what it would be; her reply take the risk if it means you’ll be happy – as long as it isn’t at the cost of someone else.  I know exactly where this pearl of wisdom stems from, and why she gave it to me.  I’m going to miss her a great deal – after such a long time without any communication to the last nine months of intense kinship, it feels like I’ve lost a sibling.  I felt the same when Malcolm died.  He was my best friend for a long, long time.  I know that time heals all wounds, but it will never erase the memories, thankfully.

As an empathetic person, I don’t do well with negative emotions – be they hurt, grief, anger, sadness, anguish, guilt or (insert your own here) – so in an attempt not to wallow in the sorrow of losing my friend, I stayed busy.  Frances would have understood; in fact, she would have expected me to.

Work kept my mind occupied during the day, and most evenings I had something to do – getting my bi-weekly manicure, dinner with friends, that kind of thing, but Friday…that was an a-maze-ing experience.  Exhausting, but fun.

Every year, one of the main tourist attractions in our area, the Redberry Farm, where co-incidentally, Malcolm worked for a while, has an event called the Moonlight Maze.  Their hedge maze is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere! Charlie and I did it during the day last year, in August and honestly, had it not been for him, I probably would not have found my way out.  So, bravely (or stupidly, seeing as the line is very fine) Elizabeth, Chantel, Yasmin and I set off on our adventure, donning sneakers, glow-in-the-dark-glasses, and of course, mandatory flashlights in hand, which  Yours Truly didn’t remember.  Fortunately, I’m a creature of the night, so just used my night-vision.

 

 

Now, the object of the maze isn’t to go in at one end and out another – it is to find seven different stations within the maze and obtain a stamp at each one.  Sounds easy enough, right? Uh, no!  We found the first three stations with relative ease.  Being in the maze even during the day is understandably disorientating.  Add to that the black of night and crowds of people – amongst them excited kids of all ages and well, you might as well have put me on another planet.  We spent almost the first hour of our time in the maze walking around in a circle around the very stations we already had the stamps from.  We knew we had to get to the other side of the large structure resembling a giant strawberry, but we kept taking a left, or it could have been a right and ending up right where we had been before.  All in all, we walked over 5 Km (a little over 3 miles) within the maze and with the help of one of the staff we crossed over to the side we needed to be to get the remaining stamps we needed.  As a token of our completion of the task, we were awarded these badges as a souvenir to take home.

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I had another souvenir when I woke up on Saturday morning – seriously stiff legs.  I think that next year we should do it again – in memory of Frances whose star I know will light the way for us.

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For those of you who don’t know what FFF stands for…

Freaking Freezing Friday

Yesterday, as I was dashing out the office door, Sharon told me that I could work from home today as the heavy wind and rain expected today would result in a non-harvest. Yay!

So, after dinner with Carmen and Ewan last night, which was a success, despite the fact that I couldn’t find ricotta cheese, nor chunky cottage cheese to substitute, I snuggled under the covers thinking, “Hmmm, at least I can sleep a little later tomorrow morning before I have to get my car to the garage for its service.”

No such luck. As true as nuts, I was wide awake at 05:30 this morning. I tried to will myself to get just a few more winks, but to no avail.

I got dressed, went downstairs in the icy, wet weather and took all the stuff out my car. I found a box with my certificates in the boot, as well as shoes (this is not unusual) and two bras. They are mine, but why they are in my car is a mystery. I know what some of you may be thinking, but no, it wasn’t wild-backseat-sex-with-a-stranger, and not because the thought hasn’t crossed my mind, it’s because I drive a Corsa Lite. There is no space for that kind of adventure.

Dropped the car off, into the courtesy car with a garage driver, when bam!, we are into the back of a bakkie. Thank goodness I had my seat belt on. While according to the traffic law, it is the rear driver’s fault, the guy in front of us had his indicator on to turn right and so we inched past wanting to turn left and he turned in front of us. There is a little ding on his bakkie, but the car we were in wasn’t as tough.

I eventually got home just before nine and started working on those job profiles I mentioned yesterday. What a mission!

Fortunately I’m able to ward off the cold by being under the covers and popping into the kitchen every now and then for something warm, like creamy hot chocolate.

The night out on the town is still planned for tomorrow night. Let’s hope this town is ready for Conflunky Me…