Unknowingly Blonde Boycotter?

I’m having trouble sleeping again. As I stared at the ceiling in the deafening darkness last night, I found myself wondering about many things, but two stood out for me.

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Old Drift Lodge Sunset Game Drive

The Saturday night I dinner at the lodge, this African Proverb was on the menu:

Wisdom is like a Baobab tree; No-one can embrace it

Menu

Oddly enough, I saw it in a friend’s Instagram newsfeed today and thought The Universe is telling me to finish my post about the sunset game drive at The Old Drift Lodge, during which we saw a beautiful Baobab tree, about 800-1000 years old.

Baobab

There is an even bigger one outside the reserve with a rather stout trunk: Victoria Falls’ own Big Tree, estimated to be about 2000 years old.

Saturday had been a rather exhausting day with all the excursions I had done, so the afternoon game drive was the perfect way to wind down and process all the sensational things I’d experienced during the day.

Vusa was the guide for the excursion which I shared with Alex & Dawn, a couple honeymooning from Canada, and Tova (who was traveling with friends – they opted for the sunset cruise) from Norway.  It is clear that Vusa knows his field, and he has a practiced eye for spotting animals that are extremely well camouflaged by the vegetation and grass.

The first animal we saw was a Monitor Lizard (also known as an Iguana).  I initially thought it was a baby crocodile.  After that faux pas, I cleaned my spectacles and saw the reptile for what it was.  They are usually found close to water and at this time of the year are on the prowl for unattended crocodile eggs to eat.  This one was digging in the dirt, and Vusa explained to us that it may be looking for eggs or insects.

Monitor Lizard

Further along the drive we saw a journey of giraffes.  That is the right collective noun – Vusa told us so.  These tall animals, despite their size, are extremely graceful when they move.  The older they are, the darker their markings will be, and like no two humans will have the same fingerprints, no two giraffes will have the same markings.  We sat at a spot where they were grazing for quite a while.  As a South African, I admittedly take seeing African game for granted, because I’ve been on a few safari-like outings in my life.  However, seeing the sheer childlike-wonder and hearing the squeals of excitement and wonder of the other people of the drive with me made me smile.  Ah, the magic of Africa.

Giraffe

My favourite African animal is by far the elephant.  Maybe it’s because they operate in a Matriarchal society, or maybe it’s because the baby elephants are just so damn cute.

Mama Baby

I’ve been fortunate enough to interact with them up close, at places close to home that do such things, but I’ve never been in a Mexican (or would that be African?) standoff with one, like we were during our excursion.  One young elephant ventured away from the herd and came to stand squarely in front of our vehicle, of which the ignition was off.  It didn’t show any signs of aggression, but it was still intimidating.

Elephant

At one stage I was holding my breath, thinking if it hears me breathe, I may be a goner.  First the hippo that morning, now an elephant in the evening.

Hippo 1

Who says Africa isn’t exciting?

Another interesting sight was that of a Cape Buffalo carcass.  It has been taken down by lions about three weeks before.

Buffalo Carcass

The temperature began to drop, bringing with it welcome refreshment in the form of a pop-up-bar next to the Zambezi River.

Pop Up Bar

What a privilege to stand next on the bank, enjoying a creamy Amarula on ice, while listening to the babbling of the water and intermittent birdsong.

I didn’t take many photos during the drive, partially out of complacency coupled with slight exhaustion, but mostly because I was simply enjoying the dusky coolness of the sunset.

Dusk 1

Dusk 1

 

 

 

 

You’re Stupid, Cupid

I’m that girl. The one that wears her heart on her sleeve, the archetypal hopeless romantic. Yet Valentine’s Day is one Hallmark holiday I absolutely abhor. I associate it with rejection, and have done ever since I was at school. As I’ve got older it’s got worse. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hearts and roses kind of gal, but I’ve never been the recipient of such on this particular day – not in thirty-two years. As some people feel Bah! Humbug about Christmas, I feel Cupid should shove is heart-shaped arrows up his arse, sideways.

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Every year while at school, the prefects would come go door-to-door to every classroom handing out anonymous cards and trinkets to the chosen. Some of the girls I was in high school with would go home with bags full of goodies. But not me. Not a single one.

In late 2014 I met someone who was in the process of getting divorced. We had fun together and I found my affection for him growing.

Then in January 2015, scarcely six weeks after his divorce was final, he tossed me aside like yesterday’s news after meeting someone a decade younger than me at a party he partnered me to.  But wait! It doesn’t stop there…

A mere two weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, he asked her to marry him, and as has become the norm in this day and age, the announcement was broadcasted on Facebook. I was gutted. So was his ex-wife of almost 21 years. Both she and I have moved on, and while I can’t speak for her, the day is still one to which I attach a negative connotation, so for now, until someone changes this Misfit’s mind, I’m going to abide by these images:

images

Leave-Star-Wars-pun-give-voice-single-people-everywhere

 

Spread the Love

Well, the first day of the month of love has arrived…

In case you’re one of those people living under a rock, all you need to do is visit your local stores where you will find shelves full of overpriced merchandise, from tacky, artificial roses, teddy bears, coffee mugs with soppy messages, heart shaped chocolates. Clothing stores usually stock sexy red ‘n black lacy underwear for the gals, or boxers for the blokes – usually with some suggestive innuendo printed on them. Don’t get me wrong – I love to be loved (and I love for that love to be expressed spontaneously, any time of the year – not on a specific day that society dictates). What I hate is that everything that is special in life, from love itself, to the birth of Christ (for those who do believe in Him), to His death (which He did out of love for us) have all been turned into some money-making racket. It saddens me a great deal to see what the world has come to, and it breaks my heart that our lives are driven more by the money in our pockets than by the things that really matter and cost nothing, like love, family, friends, success, happiness, hope, joy and a number of others…

Many of my friends has labelled me a cynic when it comes to Valentine’s Day in particular “because you’re single… just wait ‘til you have someone in your life, then you will also get excited by hearts and roses…people are just so much more romantic round Valentine’s Day…” My voices in my head usually just mutter “blah, blah, blah” in response.

Yes, I am single. I don’t deny that it’s not always nice being out with a group of mates, 95% of whom are either married, engaged or seriously attached, but I am not going to settle for a second-rate man just to be able to have someone in my life, so I too can get excited by hearts and roses. The right man for me will come along sometime and he will be romantic – and not just around Valentine’s Day… because, my fellow-bloggers, that is what love is supposed to be.

I recall with some bittersweet fondness a Valentine’s Evening Liza and Elizabeth organized one year. It was the two of them, Rachel and I – we had cocktails, punch, chatted up a storm and laughed until our bellies ached. We shared love… Life has happened in the meantime and the dynamics of our friendships with each other have changed, but we still have the memories.

On the subject of Valentine’s Day memories, I can honestly say that I don’t remember a single Valentine’s Day when I was indeed attached that is worth blogging about – purely because the gift-giving or the romantic dinner was done more out of obligation and social dictation than out of love.

Now, to all of you reading this, I want you to do me a favour:

Attached guys – do something spontaneous for the special lady in your life every day this year – whether you make her a cup of tea before bed, or draw her a bath, or simply pop a gentle kiss on her forehead…actions speak a million times louder than words, or expensive flowers.

Unattached guys – walk up to a lady you know, be it a colleague, a friend or even a complete stranger and pay her a genuine compliment. Nothing lifts a girl’s mood like a simple gesture of kindness.

Attached gals – do something with your man that he loves doing (usually it’s an activity that you don’t enjoy, like fishing or camping) and be cheerful about it. If it’s something outdoorsy like the activities mentioned above, take a book or something to keep yourself occupied while he does his thing – but just be there with him. He’ll appreciate the time you’ve sacrificed.

Unattached girls – don’t become cynical about love with a really special someone. Believe it exists, with all your heart. But until it comes along – share the love you have in your heart with those around you. Some days all a person needs is a warm smile or a gentle hug to make life a little more bearable.

Spread the love people – not just now, but every day. Tomorrow could be too late.