I absolutely hate waking up on a Sunday morning to find it wet and soggy. Granted it has been raining for about a week now somehow in my subconscious I expected bright skies as the day suggests. So rainy Sunday’s are a bit of a deal breaker for me. After all the weekends are for celebrating.
I’ve been feeling slightly homesick and longing for South Africa the last few days I guess it has something to do with the long weekend and a range of family activities. For some strange reason I always imagine it being rather sunny as well which adds to the longing when the skies are so grey.
I’m happy to report I’ve had a fantastic day with expatriates celebrating a birthday. Needless to say there was more than enough food, laughter and camaraderie. I loved every moment with my adopted family. What a wonderful end to an otherwise dull and miserable day!
South Africans celebrate freedom day today in remembrance of the first democratic and non-racial election in 1994 as well as the contribution of those who fought to bring political freedom to all. It does seem like a lifetime away right now but I do remember the atmosphere and excitement around the time.
We have our political freedom but are we truly free? Freedom is more than political and somewhere along the line the rights of citizens to enjoy social freedoms has been drastically diminished. While we now have freedom to live where we want, educate our kids where we want and my personal favourite is to swim in whatever beach we choose. Somehow our freedom of movement is limited.
How much longer will our beautiful country be referred to as a young democracy? As freedom day is celebrated my prayer is that those in power would find a way forward for us to be truly free in our country. From the city to the farms people should be free from fear and intimidation. South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
Like Martin Luther King I have a dream too. I dream of a South Africa where we will be truly free because if we’re not free to enjoy the vast beauty of our land then I’m sad to say we are mere prisoners. Let freedom reign!
It’s been quite a while now that I’ve been very interested in the dynamics of human trafficking. After attending an information evening and being exposed to the vastness of this evil I must admit I was very overwhelmed.
I heard a mom share from experience what had happened to her daughter but her message was simple – evil cannot be allowed to triumph!
There was so much to think about and I kept reminding myself that I don’t have to do everything I just have to something. Humans were never intended for sale but sadly the few statistics show just what a high price this trade is and not just monetary value. The effects are deep. The key word to me is freedom and it is a basic human right to have freedom to choose how you live your life.
I take my hat off to the many people and agencies who fight tirelessly to bring freedom to the oppressed. Whoever you are, wherever you are we can join in this fight for freedom for men, women and children. Will you join the fight?
I’m certain these school trips were called excursions when I was a pupil. Which I think makes it sound more educational than fun. Generally I’d say I’ve got quite a good memory perhaps rather selective at times because I can only remember one such trip and it was to the museum. Can’t even recall needing a consent form but then it wouldn’t have been my business.
Gabrielle my three-year old had a trip to an art centre today and all the logistics involved for that two-hour trip would’ve been sufficient for a trip anywhere! At least this time we did eventually reach our destination. Not so long ago the trip was cancelled because the transport didn’t have a three-point safety belt mechanism. It’s on days like that I know without a doubt I’m a world away from South Africa.
Back to the trip! It was a wonderful experience and my husband and I tagged along and got to enjoy the display of colour, lights and photography. Of course the parents and carers are not always invited to join the kids like on the trip to the China town and the German market. Trips are great and a lovely change from being confined to the daycare room. I certainly look forward to many more outings and hopefully my little princess will remember all these wonderful experiences!
Family is such a wonderful gift a gift that should be cherished and protected. I find it very difficult to process when I speak to people who say they don’t get along with and speak to their parents or siblings. I can’t imagine my life without the kind of relationship I have with my family. Being separated by distance can be rather difficult at times but just knowing that seeing all their smiling faces again is possible is reassuring enough.
Whilst watching an episode of Long Lost Family a documentary that always leaves me so sad and yet so happy at the same time. Seeing mothers being reunited with children they gave up for adoption, brothers and sisters hugging, laughing and reminiscing about the good times. I can’t help but be grateful that everybody I love and care for is accounted for.
Today a family are remembering a daughter, sister, niece and cousin Bianca Couch a young South African who went missing on the 20th December 2011. I’ve written about her disappearance before and while I don’t know her personally I know many of her relatives. They will not stop searching until they find her and bring her home where she belongs. I never want to tire of praying for her safe return and I wait for the day she will be reunited with all who miss her.
It started on Christmas day when a good friend came over and said she’d left her apron at home and wanted to know if I had one she could use. I didn’t because I didn’t have one of my own. Being one who goes the whole hog I made certain to get one for myself and my three girls.
When I finally put on my apron it brought back some wonderful childhood memories. Though for some reason I can only ever remember wearing it on a Sunday after church perhaps it was to protect our ‘good clothes’. I always seemed to be making gravy. These days I just buy it in a packet. Still traumatized from chopping onions finely and far too many lumpy and salty results.
These days though when I don my apron I feel like a super cook. I’m invincible in my apron and nothing is a bridge too far. I’m not a fan of cooking but I’m not a shabby cook by a long run. You see when I put my magic cloak on I seem to get super powers I’m immediately transformed from mediocre to iron chef in sixty seconds.
Today I’ll wear my apron and the result will require a well set table and perhaps even candles!
It wasn’t that long ago that my life was completely filled with three very young children – babies to be precise. In those long never-ending days it was hard to imagine the day would come where I’d roam the streets with just my handbag.
Being far from family and amazing friends meant that every task was undertaken with all of my offspring. With my husband working away the problem was just compounded and I waited patiently for his arrival just so that I could get my hair and eyebrows done!
Today was the first time in way too long that I had six whole hours to do what I liked. I’m quite sad to report that I spent far too much of time in the children’s library, a Disney store and a toy shop. Not forgetting the clothing stores. I started out with a spring in my step armed with my iPod and umbrella I was ready to take on the world. It didn’t take me too long to realise that while I was free from the physical presence of my girls. I took them with me on some kind of mental trip. I doubt they spent their day thinking about me.
Life goes in cycles and I’m grateful it does. I’m really looking forward to the next phase in my life. I’m also very thankful to the people who helped when things were rough. After all no man is an island!
In the run up to Easter I did quite a bit of craft with my daughters. From egg painting, bonnets, masks, cards, baskets and even colouring activities. At this point I felt that we had exhausted every option but then they spotted some candles which they couldn’t resist. So my sticker happy daughters went about decorating the candles and were very impressed with their effort.
The candles brought back memories of a hobby which dominated my life for quite a while in my mid twenties. Unfortunately once you let people into your interests they feel obligated to add to your collection which of course is not always such a bad thing. The problem is once you have more candles than you know what to do with it creates much difficulty when it comes to storing these often fragile works of art. As a collector obviously I had no plans to light them and watch such beauty turn into smouldering wax. I’ve thought about my beautiful candles after all these years and hope that I gave them a beautiful home when I could no longer care for them.
So I found myself complaining about the absolute chaos I was surrounded by in my lounge. I realise that getting fed up with the little things in life is often just a human response. I love my children and I want them to learn from playing together. So I have no idea why it annoys me so much when they leave what looks like the remains of a natural disaster.
I’m going to try a different approach from now. Quite simply all we will need is a clear exit in case of an emergency. After all I can’t possibly expect to live in a show house with three young children. Bring on the chaos because I’m sure there is more to life than sorting blocks, packing puzzle pieces and stacking countless books.
You would be mistaken for thinking it was wartime in Merseyside. All the tactical preparation, talk of victory and bringing back the glory. It is in fact a Merseyside derby on a grand scale. Sadly the team who gets defeated will have to make the long trip back from Wembley this time around. Defeat is not an option.
I love the build up to a big game in this case a battle for a place in the FA cup final. Punters giving the odds, supporters singing their teams praises and going back to the archives just to prove how amazing and capable they truly are. Pre match is such a leveller because anything is possible until the final whistle blows.
Liverpool and Everton fans around the country and abroad will no doubt be gearing up for a goal scoring frenzy. I’ll be watching what will hopefully be a display of skill and very little or no dirty tricks. I have got to remember to keep calm because it unsettles my daughters when I appear to attack the television with frenzied animation.
May the best team win. I secretly hope it’s Liverpool!
Yes you guessed…its Friday the thirteenth! Let me just point out that I am not a superstitious person I don’t believe in luck but I do believe in opportunity. After doing a bit of research I must admit that I’m quite fascinated by the history of this special day. Seems thirteen became known as unlucky because it just didn’t fit in with the completeness of twelve. Months of the year, tribes of Israel and the disciples of Jesus. Of course modern-day society has taken it a step too far as we tend to do. People not going to work and some not even venturing out of bed. Psychologists are weighing in on the trend calling it a real phobia!
Every day that I wake up and find that I’m alive and well is a very good day. Life is too short not to want to live in house number thirteen and of course the hospitals around this part of the world have taken it a step further by not having bed thirteen on the wards. In my opinion these superstitions shorten your life by worrying over things and situations that we ultimately have no control over. Everyday is a gift so go out and enjoy your present!
I absolutely love malls and can’t remember life before them. Well actually I do remember just a bit about pavement pounding and going in and out of stores and the scorching hot and rainy days made it unbearable. Malls are a modern-day necessity and so much classier.
I enjoy venturing into shops and looking at stuff I know I’ll never bother to buy.
I find it fascinating that we are all kind of equal when we enter the mall. Unlimited access to places which often require limitless resources. I don’t understand how people can question what you can do in the mall all day!
Of course the one thing I find totally unnecessary are the long hours people work in the malls and I do try to leave before they announce the stores will be closing. I must admit the few occasions I am around at closing time I feel very guilty about making the unsocial hours necessary. So to all the amazing people who work in the malls I salute you. Thank you for making one of my favourite pastimes a pleasure.
They really do seem like fun at the time. Sadly somebody has to clean that mess!
The power of the tongue is a lot like a pillow you see. Keep it in its case and you’re sure to maintain control. Now I’ve had a few moments in my life where I’ve spread my feathers and found it impossible to gather them. If you’re one of those individuals who makes the best speeches when you’re angry I’ve no doubt you know what I mean.
I’ve hated those moments trying to catch words that are as sharp as nails and knowing the damage has been done. Sorry never seems enough and it never is when you’re trying to clean up a mess which could’ve been avoided if you just had the power to hold that horrible little tongue.
The way you respond after such an incident says way too much about you as an individual. Well I’m holding my tongue and hopefully the feather flying decreases with maturity!
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barret Browning
This is such a beautiful piece of poetry. Now I’ve had this habit for as long as I can remember where I just randomly ask my husband to tell me not why but how much he loves me. The results are always amusing and I think it’s mainly because I don’t give him time to make up ideal answers. His latest response was more than apples! Apples? Really? He doesn’t even like apples.
My plan is to print a copy of this poem and hopefully he’ll recite it to me and I’ll pretend I’ve never heard it before! Sounds like a winning formula to me.
I love Easter Sunday it is such a day of celebration. Amid the bunnies and eggs the message is simple to those who believe.
Christ the Lord is Risen!
So today is Good Friday if you weren’t aware welcome to earth! I’ve spent most of my life in South Africa (this is actually the name of the country and not some random location on the African map) so my memory box is filled with these treasured moments. Once again we’ve had to make new traditions since arriving in the Uk.
People will often ask what certain events are like back home and honestly they are not much different. The major difference of course for me is the obvious absence of pickled fish which I’ve not had for three long years. I’ve never actually made it myself so if I had to describe the dish to somebody this is what I’d say. Yellow tinted fish, far too many onions, vinegar and bay leaves but I loved it!
Hot cross buns are pretty central to the day and you’ve got to have the top of the range in my opinion Woolworths (SA) and Marks and Spencer are that range. They are actually related so it makes perfect sense. By the time Good Friday arrives I’ve usually had more than my share much like mince pies at Christmas.
The third component is going to church which makes perfect sense if you observe Easter and all it represents. My highlight is the hymn singing. If you love poetry you will love hymns.
So with the lack of pickled fish my family were treated to a typical Sunday dinner and they loved it. Though I must confess my mind did wander off to my homeland to take a peek at my dear mothers lunch table laden with pickled fish and other wonderful delights.
I spent a good part of my morning working on a rather thought-provoking article. Honestly I’m not a serious person (some may disagree) so I found the article rather draining. After all blogging should be relaxing (I think!) It’s way past midday and seeing as it is actually lunch time (or dinner time here in good ol England) my girls who are on their Easter break may just get to have a piece of chocolate cake or even a chocolate egg as their meal just because I can and they will love it.
While I’m in this sharing mood perhaps I’ll let you in on some of my life secrets that make my existence great. I love coffee – good coffee though. None of this hyper diluted stuff (aka Frisco in South Africa) or caffeine free (why bother I say). I was never really a real coffee drinker until I started dating my husband (well we actually started dating as singles!) So I’ve been drinking poison (that’s what my dad calls good coffee) for a rather long time now. Seriously thinking of getting a job at Starbucks just to sniff the air.
Now there are a few random things that make my life wonderful. You know when you get a prescription from your doctor and they tell you it’s okay to ask the pharmacist for a generic or more accurately a cheaper version. That’s about as far as I’m willing to go with substitutes. If I’ve consumed versions of something I’ve definitely been a victim of scandalous trickery. As a meat eater I will not eat soya I absolutely refuse to. I’m really glad that I have that choice
I did mention it was a rambling post. Just to mention a few more of my preferences (which of course are not life threatening issues) though I’ll be hasty to say I would definitely refuse a blood transfusion. Note to self : Get a living will!
My got to haves:
1. A decent toothbrush – oral b medium
2. Full cream/fat milk – no watered down versions
3. Fully leaded fizzy drinks – no lite option
4. A physical book because cuddling with anything other than bound up paper is wrong.
5. Fresh sushi because in my opinion there is no such thing as fresh frozen sushi…argh.
Okay I’m done. I can’t wait to hear what bothers you that is not life threatening but enhancing. Have a picky afternoon because you can.
This weekend saw the celebration of the 13th annual jazz festival in Cape Town. So in celebration of the festival I spent a morning listening to a variety of jazz musicians. It seemed quite strange to me that on some level I had forgotten how much I loved jazz. My choice in music seems to have totally evolved. When I thought back to those days in my late teens and early twenties I couldn’t help but smile. There is no substitute for the sound of live jazz! I remember the days of following musicians to jazz lounges and hotel lobbies and even one or two rather dodgy venues.
So as I listened to the likes of Fourplay, Ronny Jordan, David Sanborn, Peter White and Dave Koz of course the list is endless but the memories are all very good ones. The musicians who in my opinion deserve a shout out are Jonathan Butler, Kenny G and Andrew Young mainly because I’ve seen them perform live and the experience is forever etched in my memory. So as I journey back to the days of my love of jazz I’m so glad that I took the time to remember a very beautiful but oh so different time in my life!
I’m at that stage in my dental life where I’m very close to adding my dental appointments to my list of unpleasant things to do.
After yet another visit to the dreaded dental surgery and a conversation that included words like root canal treatment, crowns, x-rays and a course of antibiotics it’s no wonder I’m seriously reconsidering our relationship. What happened to a good old scaling and polishing followed by a high-five and a six month follow-up?
Who needs teeth after all? Well not ones that now require a visit to the dentist on an almost monthly basis! I’ve got to revisit my dental routine. Clearly having every product recommended is not enough for my troublesome gnashers. So I’m gonna brace myself for the road ahead and hope for the biggest smile at the end of my journey with all my teeth intact!
I love listening to my children having their meaningful conversations (of course I do that secretly)!
If you want an honest opinion ask a child they don’t have time to think of ways not to offend you. Though I’m now at the stage where I’m giving them alternate ways to describe people.
It’s such a difficult concept to teach a child to be honest and yet at the same time teaching them how to be sensitive to people’s feelings. Sometimes to maintain that honesty means being silent which is not always easy. After all we love giving our honest opinion.
So I guess the question is…Do I look fat in these jeans?
Next time I suggest you ask a child. The response may not be what you expected but at least it will be the truth and nothing but the truth!