Life, Love, and Passports

Archive for March, 2013

Family matters

For the most part I just get on with my life here in England where I’m blessed to have found some wonderful friends. Though it’s at times like this long Easter weekend that I miss my South African family the most. I miss hanging around at my parents home doing absolutely nothing in particular.

Family are an amazing gift and I’m thankful for the one I have. Having people to turn to in times of triumph and trouble is an amazing reassurance. Keeping up to date with everything that goes on in my absence makes me grateful for modern technology because relying on a telegram would make living abroad unbearable.

Sometimes in life there are some difficult choices to make and we’ve made one that has us miles away from our loved ones. Our decision has much to do with our future and that of our daughters. I don’t plan to be here forever and I realise now that the longer I stay the harder it will be to leave. Who would’ve thought that the circle of life would be so difficult?

The love of a family is a blessing. I’m blessed to belong to a family who cares about our well-being.


Pain, pain go away!

Oh my hat! Never mind the tooth fairy I’ve got some kind of tooth dragon hanging around and causing me the most intense pain. It’s funny when you’re experiencing any kind of pain it always seems to be the worst kind of pain. It’s been exactly seven days since my torment began and my dentist who’s ever so popular cannot see me for another ten days. Really? Step in my most dramatic telephone reaction ‘Are you serious? I’ll be dead by then!’

I’m thinking I can’t take this pain for much longer so step in the local pharmacist. Who would’ve thought that getting codeine would turn out to be a twenty questions marathon. After giving satisfactory answers I stepped away from that counter a step closer to having this pain under control. My plan is simple a trustworthy combination of ibuprofen, codeine and paracetamol…bang!

Amongst all of this dental drama I step up to a cashier and I’m informed I have a two drug limit. I think the look of shock on my suffering face let her know in no uncertain terms that I was walking away with all of my drugs by hook or by crook and I did. I couldn’t leave the store quick enough to start my regime and get back to some kind of normality. For the next ten days I’ll be figuring out just how to control the pain until I sit in that dreaded chair and possibly face the possibility of roof canal treatment.

Come on toothache give me a break already. Dentures seem like a pretty good idea right now!


Poetry corner

This seems like a fitting poem for Easter seeing as it’s daffodil season! It also happens to be one of my favourite poems! Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
William Wordsworth


Dear Snow

I’m sure this letter comes as no surprise but I felt the need to let you know just how I feel about you overstaying your stay and forcing Spring to feel like it has no place here in freezing Britain. While you’re very beautiful, fun to play with and of course make the most magical pictures. I’m afraid you’ve run your course and I’ve no desire to entertain you any longer.

I’m sorry if you feel hurt or confused by my change of heart you see the thing is just like Christmas you belong in December. Easter is a few days away now so I’m sure you can see the severity of the situation because egg hunting in the snow is odd and unnatural.
I know you’re probably thinking that everybody is being mean and inhospitable to you, no doubt it’s not your fault because of global warming and all the other excuses the climatologists are making on your behalf. Without sounding icy and cold hearted I do think it’s time to pack up your snowflakes and go elsewhere.

Snow you know when they say too much of a good thing is no good and there’s a time and place for everything. You’re so guilty of both. While I want to jump to your defence when people are criticising you to no end I just can’t help but agree with them. My intention is not to hurt your fluffy feelings but rather let you know as somebody who’s enjoyed your company that this can’t go on any longer. I look forward to seeing you around Christmas but for now I’m afraid it’s over!


Born to be different

I’ve been watching an extraordinary documentary following six families, some from the birth of their children born with various disabilities. It spans a ten year period and for me it showcases the tenacity and strength of not just the parents but siblings as well.
As parents all of our dreams are the same for our children irrespective of their abilities or disabilities. We want to see them grow and mature into responsible individuals who follow their dreams and make a difference in this world. It becomes a heart wrenching experience when it becomes clear that the child may not even make it out of their childhood. I’ve gone through a broad spectrum of emotions watching the account of these families and their daily struggles.

I recently came across an amazing blog called ‘Raising 5 kids with disabilities and remaining sane’. What makes this woman raising these kids more amazing to me is that she has adopted children with disabilities and appears to take it all in her stride. Usually after watching a documentary or reading an account concerning raising kids with extra special needs I would find myself feeling sorry for the parents concerned. However, the message seems to be the same from all of them. Once they get over the shock of the diagnosis whether it be autism, spina bifida, dwarfism or Down syndrome they just raise their child as any other parent would, in an environment filled with love and understanding. We all experience difficulties in raising our children and that’s the way life goes.

As we go through this life my hope is that we’d show understanding to both friends and strangers because we have no idea what challenges people are facing!


It’s a dogs life

I’m no animal lover by my own admission. I’ve not grown up surrounded by family pets but have always loved feel good stories with animals and the occasional visit to the zoo. I’m not an animal activist but agree that animals should be taken care of and treated well. My seven year old daughter Charis is a keen animal lover and has a special fondness for dogs in particular. She hopes to become a veterinary surgeon some day and has already done some ‘work experience’. If it was up to her we’d be the owners of a dog hotel. I fear the day will eventually arrive when we’ll run out of excuses for not having a dog.

I may have mentioned in a previous blog about my mini habit of looking into strangers shopping trolleys because I’m always interested in what people eat and what they feed their animals. I must admit I’m always surprised when I see people buying value range food for themselves and premium products for their cat or dog. I often hear people refer to their dogs in particular as part of their families and how they treat them as such. Honestly I just don’t get it and I’m putting it down to my lack of experience with pets.

I recently spoke to a individual who’d fallen on tough times and was finding it hard to feed himself never mind his dog. I asked if he’d perhaps consider finding another home for his pet and he looked shocked that I’d even suggest such a thing. After a bit of a discussion I came to realise that he needed his dog as much as it needed him perhaps even more. I’ve now realised that I don’t give these canine friends enough credit for the part they play in individuals and families lives. So, considering the amazing feats they are capable of I think they do deserve to be treated ever so often!


Magic numbers

I had the weirdest experience which showed me just how I roll from day to day. My husband had a problem with his bank card and needed to sort out a bill in cash…by the way I always find those little shops a little bit suspicious when they request cash only. It means one of two things they’re either dodgy or just don’t trust their customers.
He then suggested that he use my card and being the kind person that I am I obliged. What followed next was a fit of me actually laughing out loud. He gets to the cash machine and calls me for my very secret pin and for the life of me I could not remember it that’s how secret it is and after two failed attempts I issued him with a caution to come home with my card. He walks into the house in absolute disbelief and all I can suggest is that I physically go to the machine because the numbers will become really obvious and in my mind all I see are these number combinations that will make themselves known. That is exactly what happened. How absurd!

I have a long history with numbers and though I’ve seen some improvement I still have a space in my head that refuses to learn my mobile number my rationale is that I never need to call myself and I quickly realise how idiotic it is when I misplace my phone and have to call from my landline and of course it will be on silent. Note to self: Learn your mobile number!


My sugar rush

I am not a self confessed gamer I’m more of a dabbler. Occasionally I find games that are fun, laid back and usually colourful. So while my kids are totally taken up with Temple Run I have not managed to get the knack of the game mainly because I can’t take the fast pace and I’m afraid of heights so running from beasts on a rocky bridge is just not for me.

Candy crush to the rescue! I downloaded the game and it’s draining the life out of me. Generally I’m not an addictive gamer but this game has a bit too much of my attention. When I sit back and think about the absurdity and this is usually while I’m waiting for another life because I refuse to buy more lives. Though I must admit every time I’m locked out of the game my resistance wears down. Somebody stop me please I’m being held hostage by an online game.

My life was so much easier while Ninja Fruit was an occasional companion. I’m optimistic that the novelty will wear off like all the other games before and I can go back to being a non gaming mom. I’m worried now that this could escalate and I end up finding myself waiting for the next big thing. Of course it would have to have beautiful colours of the rainbow with occasional bursts of colourful flavour like a sugar candy rush!


So you’ve done nothing today?

This was the response from my five year old after I replied that I hadn’t gone anywhere today after the school run. Not even to the shops mom? Surely she should realise that home is where all of my work resides. On second thought there are many people who I meet and when I explain that I’m a stay at home mother often ask what I do all day. Perhaps visions of me lying on the couch in my pyjamas watching telly and munching on some unhealthy snacks.
Depending on the mood I’m in I may give them the pampered wife response. I guess the question I’d like to ask in return is ‘what would you do on a day at home?’ well that’s exactly what I do. Vacuuming or hoovering as its affectionately called in this part of the world. Dishes, laundry and of course picking up endless toys.

I’ve been a stay at home mom for over five years and I’ve mastered the art of owning my time. I really have enjoyed the challenge of raising my babies and the experience has taught me to dig deep when days got tough. I can’t help but feel that this phase of my life is coming to an end and I’m preparing myself mentally. My girls have been an amazing source of strength and even companionship during those early days when we arrived in the UK. We’ve come a long way since then and I’m excited for the future.


Mothering Sunday

As this day draws to an end I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be raising three wonderful children. Though I sometimes complain about my lack of personal space I would never trade motherhood it teaches me so many new things daily. I love that my girls keep me sharp with their enquiring minds. My only request today was for the girls to give my lap a rest. It may not sound like much but honestly the minute I sit down my children think I’m a mobile bench. I’m pleased to say they really did try!

Many mothers would’ve experienced a range of emotions on this day set aside for honouring them in the United Kingdom. Love, joy, sadness, despair, guilt and loneliness are just a few. It breaks my heart to think that there are mothers out there who have offspring who don’t care about their welfare and of course mothers who fail to nurture their children. This world can be so cruel.

Tomorrow the daily mother grind will kick in if or when things get to breaking point I’ll try to remember how special I felt when I received those handmade cards declaring how beautiful, thoughtful and loving I am. I have a little cheat up my sleeve because when the second Sunday in May rolls around I’ll join my South African friends in celebrating Mother’s Day again. It’s a win win situation.