Day 6: Tears of Joy, Gratitude and Loneliness & Dog Balls

Today I realized that I’m a little freaked out by Maltese Poodles and way too many of my friends have big dogs that sleep on their backs with their junk on display for everyone to see. I’m not sure if I should be laughing or crying that my friends photograph canine testicles and post them on social media.

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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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A Randomly Obscure Subject: #RestroomSelfies

I’m not big on #selfies.  Of any kind.  I almost always look like a jaundiced bullfrog who had an extra helping of flies from the Lily-Pond-buffet.  On the odd occasion, I’ve taken one and though Oh. My. Word. Is that me?! But for the most part it’s Holy Crap! and then some other scary thought.

Of course, I have friends that are the Queens of selfies; particularly of the restroom variety.  Two come to mind.  I won’t mention names, but the first always shares a selfie from a restroom when she travels, whether it’s to a local retreat, or to The City of Gold or even Beyond Borders.  And she always looks so good.  She’s modest, so will tell me it’s the exquisite light reflected off the bathroom mirror, but we both know it’s because she’s a gorgeous soul, both in and out.  She can wear a paper bag and still look like a million bucks – a million bucks even looks good with hand sanitizer and beige-doors-that-don’t-go-all-the-way-to-the-ceiling-nor-floor in the background.

Then there is another friend, closer-than-blood who I believe on some level is a soul-mate.  She almost always knows when to drop me a text or some random picture of me that she’s edited with I ❤ U written on it.  Shit, when I typed that, I thought that sounds stalker-like but it’s not.  She’s married to an amazing man, but she and I have shared a great deal.

We are both on a constant journey to rid ourselves of the few extra fat cells that cling to our waists, so to motivate each other, images of healthy meals fly through cyberspace faster than plates from the kitchen to the table during a Gordon Ramsay dinner service.  When there is progress with Operation-Flatten-Muffin-Top, she will send me a selfie of her, with her tummy exposed, and I think I have got to eat more protein!

When she was a few days from being a Missus, she sent a group of us a picture of her in some obscure roadside gas station toilet, on the throne, with a rather descriptive caption.  I found myself think I hope she’s squatting, and that her handbag is not touching the floor

Today has not been a good day, yet like a ray of sunshine I just got a selfie from her, characteristic white public loo tiles in the background, smiling like a Cheshire Cat, captioned “I’m peeing”.  My first thought is Really, Sweetpea? but I will admit, I laughed.  Loudly!  Her randomness brought such a smile to my face.

I guess when you’ve been friends for as long as we have, the weirdest things can bring a guffaw from within.  Who would have thought restroom selfies too could bring some joy?

Friends: They Leave Imprints on your Heart

I rant when I’m particularly irritated or feel that there is injustice happening to those I care about – many of you who have been following my blog for a long time will know this. I feel the urge to rant, because I am tired of the same shit repeatedly, but realize that it isn’t going to solve anything; it is only going to steal my joy.

On the subject of joy, I’m going to share its opposite with you for a paragraph or two and then end off on a happy note, because while it’s normal to experience negative emotions, it’s not okay to allow them to take root in our minds – after all, our thoughts become our actions, not so?

Yesterday was an extremely busy day at the office, so when I got the news that a good friend of mine, Frances, had left this world for the next, I felt a pang of shock (although she’d been ill for a long while), but I couldn’t really think about it.  We hadn’t seen each other in a very long time, but for the last nine months or so, we’d reconnected online.  I often chatted to her about alternative things, and she always gave me her honest take –  No holds barred.  Even when she was at her worst, she always gave her best.  She listened without judgement and never hesitated to tell me the truth, even when it was hard to hear.  Now she’s gone, and part of me feels lost.  It’s odd really, because we were close for a short time, then so far removed from one another for over two decades and then close again.  A kind of ‘concertina friendship’ if you will.  She leaves behind an ex-husband, who despite the divorce, I know she loved ‘til her dying breath, and two children, who I’ve not met.  I’m devastatingly sad at her departure.  I’ve lost close people – even family – before, but with her it’s different.  I can’t articulate it, because I don’t know what it is.  The world is emptier without her.  One thing that is a relief, despite the heartache, is that she is finally pain free.

I said to Charlie yesterday that I think I have only a single photo of Frances and I together, and that if I do, it is in a dusty album in storage somewhere. I hope one day I’ll find it and be able to have a proper reminisce over it. Until then though, I’ll remember her for the amazing person she was: mother, fighter, friend.

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Onto a less sad subject, Saskia, who “adopted” me as her big, but thin sister (we met in the gym…) is tying the knot in November and asked Yours Truly a while ago if I would be a bridesmaid. I was like, “is a duck’s arse damp?” followed by unexpected tears, of both joy, and surprise – because she has so many friends, and well, in comparison to them, I’m old.  She and her beau too live far away, but they are here for a few days, and she, her best friend of the past eighteen years (and Maid of Honour), another bridesmaid and I are getting together for dinner this evening to talk about the shindig.  I’m counting the hours because I just know we’re going to have a great time.

As I type this post, thinking about these two incredibly special ladies, I am reminded that making memories is important.  The digital era in which we live affords us the ability to capture those memories at the click of a smartphone button.  Sure, it’s amazing, but we need to caution against being lost in that action, as opposed to being lost in the people we’re with – so tonight, while I know the young ‘uns will be doing their millennial selfie thing, I’m not going to even take my phone with me. This evening, I’m going to imprint memories of this jubilant occasion in my mind’s eye.

Here’s to a night of uproarious fun, hysterical laughter, and most of all, the love of friends!

 

A Joyous Occasion…

…Mary and Martin’s bouncing little bundle of joy, James Henry was born last night at 20:55, weighing in at 3.4 Kg and measuring 50 cm.  They tried for over 3 years to fall pregnant and had it not been for sore boobs, Mary would never have gone to the gynae to discover that she was already 8 weeks pregnant!  Martin has been actively involved in every step of the pregnancy and is extremely proud of his wife and son.

Mom and I are going to the hospital tomorrow – if i can get a photo of the little man, I will post it.

 

Emotional Day…

*Note that this post may contain some swearing*

I have only been awake 7 hours and already I have experienced a flood of emotions:

Anger

I seldom watch the news – there is inevitably something depressing to be heard, but I do follow certain columnists on the net, like my good friend Simon Williamson who is a freelance writer currently living in Hong Kong.  This morning when I was reading his latest column on News24.com I found a number of links on the same page pertaining to child abuse and/or rape.  Wanting to include something like this in my novel, I decided (against my better judgement) to read the articles (on an empty stomach).  Pardon my language, but WHAT THE FUCK is going on in this country, particularly in Kwa Zulu Natal?

The police shoot a man in the leg (again, WTF!?) after catching him in the act of raping a 7 year old little girl.  They should have shot the fucking piece of shit dead!  What kind of life is that little girl going to have.  She is going to be traumatized for life.  Therapy can only help so much.

Another story tells of a nanny who raped the 5-year old little boy in her care!  She has finally been sentenced to life imprisonment (which our taxes are paying for!) after she was arrested for this crime a year ago.

And the last one I could handle before I totally lost it was the story of a stepfather who is now on the run (fucking coward!) after being caught red-handed by his wife raping his 10 year old stepdaughter in the bed he and her mother share.

Satisfaction

Dinner last night was fabulous!  Despite it being a week night, my guests only left at a quarter to midnight! Everyone was very impressed with the food 🙂 which I was thrilled about (although I must admit that I nearly cremated the bruschetta!  Thank goodness I had enough French loaf left to make more).  There was quite a bit of chicken and couscous left over, so I have dinner for tonight too 🙂  The Italian kisses went down well, although I somehow managed to give Elizabeth only vanilla ones.  I don’t know how that happened.  Must have been all the wine I drank 😉

Sadness

It was Greg’s memorial service today, and while I only got to meet him briefly some years back, I went to the church service – Elizabeth was quite broken, but putting up a tough exterior.     Another friend of hers and Greg’s came all the way from Phalaborwa, along with a number of his military colleagues for the burial and the service.  Even though I didn’t know him that well, I got a huge lump in my throat when his colleagues did their eulogies.  Greg was only 40 and died of a heart attack.  The minister gave a comforting message, but even so, it is evident that he will be missed by many.  I can’t begin to imagine the heartache and pain his parents are going through.  The circle of life is meant to work that children bury their parents, not so?  Steph has also been dead for 7 months already 😦  Life is truly so short 😦

Regret

Jay has asked me not to blog about him or discussions between us, which I have not, out of respect for his wishes.  But I feel like a right royal doos – he sent me an email last night and I over-reacted to something he said and immediately sent back a bitchy, uncalled-for reply.  I don’t know what the hell came over me.  My conscience was still plaguing me way after midnight that I eventually got out of bed and mailed him an apology.  Fortunately Jay has accepted my apology, but it doesn’t make me feel any less of a doos.

Joy

On a happier note, it’s one of my closest friends, Kelly’s birthday today.  We have been friends since 1993 when we in Standard 6 together.  Even though we live in different parts of the country, we are still close and talk often.

Picture courtesy of http://lizandbeccabake.blogspot.com/

Kelly Darling, here is wishing you a wonderful day and a new life year that only offers the best of the best!  Remember that life is short, so savour every moment.   Remember the good, forget the bad and keep whatever makes your heart smile.  I love you lots!

Tonight I am going to Elizabeth – she asked me to come around; in actual fact she didn’t give me much of a choice:

“Are you coming to visit tonight?  Yes you are.  Okay, see you later…”

I think it is going to be another late night – the only real cure for a sad heart is your friends, wine and hope that tomorrow will hold better things.