Life, Love, and Passports

Archive for June, 2012

Torch party

Well the Olympic torch relay finally arrives in Birmingham today. No doubt people will be out in their numbers to celebrate a very special occasion. We’ll watch the procession from probably one of the best spots in the city – the rooftop of our local church.
Prior to the torch passing there’ll be a BBQ (can I just say that the world could learn a thing or two about the traditional south African braai!).
The choir will provide the entertainment while we wait for Sir Cliff Richard to make his way past our viewing point. I’m secretly hoping for a last-minute replacement by Peter André.

There’s now less than a month to go to the Olympics and Birmingham are the official host city for the Jamaican and American athletes.
Bring on the games!


Here comes trouble

Funny how our parents always warned us about choosing friends wisely particularly during adolescence. My mother always said choose friends who have a vision for their future and are not just caught up in the moment. I must admit it was a tough to imagine that anything else mattered than being popular. So some thirty years later I can see what she meant. Popularity can only get you so far but planning for your future is always going to benefit you.

Sadly for some people the need to be popular and centre of attention never grows old. There is nothing worse than an adolescent attention seeking adult. You just want to shout ‘Can you grow up already!’ Of late I’ve been seeing the need to limit my interaction with these kind of individuals because no matter what you say it always ends up being about them. I refuse to be absorbed into somebody else’s little world. My life is way too busy raising my daughters to be caught up with people who have no desire to evolve.

The time has come for me to walk away from troublemakers, bullies and self seeking individuals. It seems choosing friends is a lifelong challenge. Thankfully for the most part I’ve made relatively good decisions. Friendship doesn’t have a recipe for instant success but I’m certain it shouldn’t take a lifetime to develop lasting and rewarding ones. I’m so grateful for all the amazing people in my life!


Dating deal breakers

Whilst doing my usual sweep of twitter I found the following topic trending: #ICantDateYou. It’s always interesting to hear and read peoples expectations of potential life partners. There was an extensive list but here are a few random reasons!

1. If you have no sense of humour

2. If you don’t smell good

3. If you’re a pot head

4. If I can’t be myself around you

5. If you believe in horoscopes

6. If you don’t respect your mom

7. If everytime you get mad you want to break up with me

8.If you try to change me

9. If you care about appearances too much

10. If you have no goals in life, no education, no job, no car, no desire to progress and better yourself

I think it is good to have expectations but it would do us all a world of good if we looked at ourselves and took stock of the things we can change about ourselves not to please somebody else or pretend to be something we’re not! Some facets of a persons life just require a special someone to come alongside and add magic to hidden potential!


Flower power

Whenever I see fresh flowers I always think of my mother who absolutely loves a floral arrangement. I was never really one to make sure that I had a fresh vase of flowers but since arriving in the Uk I am hardly ever without them.
Every home should have at least one vase of fresh flowers and yes they do eventually die but the joy they bring outweighs their lack of longevity.

Flowers are given and recieved for many occasions and rightfully so. I do enjoy choosing and arranging flowers of my choice but nothing beats the moment you answer the door and the delivery guy has a floral treat just for you. It’s weird because I always feel compelled to thank him as if it was his idea. Diamonds may be a girls best friend but flowers are a language of their own.

Say how you feel with flowers because there is no way to describe the comfort and joy a flower can bring!

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We’re all in this together

A problem shared is a problem halved! I’m definitely not the type of person who goes around sharing my deepest fears and feelings with anybody who looks remotely interested. Today I was privileged to share a piece of my life with somebody who has become a good friend to me. We shared, we laughed and now we move on!

Friends are a rare gift…treasure them!


**27 dresses**

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. I just can’t believe how quickly the years have gone by. Though I must admit in the tough times it seemed like a life sentence in solitary confinement.
After all marriage is a bit like a prison sentence. Love being the crime. Sometimes it’s premeditated and other times it’s just a crime of opportunity.

Being selfless is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt from being married. You cannot be selfish and claim to love somebody it just doesn’t add up. The art of negotiation quickly became my life line and these days getting along does seem to be getting easier!

Marriage is a beautiful gift and needs to be cherished and nurtured!


Reach for the stars

Always interesting to hear children’s dreams for the future. Even better when parents can recognise talent and do everything they can to help them pursue the dream. Better still is when the difference between a dream and a reality is clearly defined. Dreaming of being a formula one racing car driver and suffering from motion sickness as well as being afraid of speed may not be a good choice for that child!

My daughter recently told me she wanted to be a window cleaner or a veterinary surgeon. I had to explain to her that while having clean windows is great I imagine after a while it gets really predictable. It’s still early days but I really would like all three of my girls to dream big and to keep the dream alive until the time approaches that they have to make those very important choices in life.

So for now I will encourage them to reach for the brightest stars!


If I could save time in a bottle

It’s not often that I long to be with my South African family as I have the last day or two. I do think of them daily and hope they think of me. I’m so glad that I have the added advantage of technology because I’m not sure I could handle watching the post box for news from ‘home’.

Time is one of the biggest mysteries for me. When you’re in pain or waiting for a grand occasion the time seems to move at a snail’s pace. A year ago we were blessed to have all the family visit and I swear those two weeks felt like two days. I look forward to being reunited with them and I’ve promised myself that I’ll sleep if it’s absolutely necessary because every minute counts when you’re with the ones you love.

If you’re fortunate enough to live close to family why don’t you pop in and enjoy each others company. I know that’s what I’d be doing if I was close enough. Everything happens for a reason and right now I’m just trying to see the bigger picture!


You are not forgotten

This post is in honour of a young South african Bianca Couch who has been missing since 20 December 2011.
Wherever you are whatever circumstances you find yourself in just know that you have people praying for and missing you terribly. Six months are a lifetime to a family who just keeps looking out the window waiting to hear your footsteps and your voice.

Today I was feeling really sorry for myself and absolutely hating that I’m so far from my parents then I immediately thought of you and while I was grateful to have the choice of picking up the phone and just saying hello. Somebody has taken that right away from you and I look forward to the day when I hear that you are home where you belong!

There are staggering statistics for missing people around the world. You’re not just a number in a database you are somebody’s daughter, sister and friend. Don’t give up Bianca you will never be forgotten!


Opportunity or overload?

Today my girls had their first lesson in African drumming and I must admit their enthusiasm or rather a lack of it was slightly disappointing. Gemma did ask if she could change her mind and my response was a bit threatening I might say. I gave her a mini talk about taking every opportunity she can and how she should be grateful for the opportunity to try new things. I felt pretty rotten as the day went by and have decided to give her the choice of dropping out. After all fun shouldn’t be stressful!

As parents we have officially entered the phase in our girls lives where we get to decide certain things for them. The difficulty now is deciding what is necessary for their personal growth and just how far to push them. The violin has become a bit of a sore point at the moment. It started off with lots of enthusiasm and no skill. Then some skill and a lack of practice. We thought we’d reached the plain sailing part with daily practices and the mastering of pieces. Sadly the last two weeks have been filled with tears, tantrums and threats. My husband and I have decided that there will be no bail out on this one. This is the activity that will eventually teach my dear little six-year-old the importance of perseverance and never giving up even when things get tough.

I’ve been looking at all the activities available for our girls I’ve had to be sober about getting them involved in every activity available. After all I can’t expect them to do the activities they are interested in and the ones I wish I’d had the opportunity to participate in.
Here’s to their future let’s see how it all plays out!