You are browsing the archive for 2011 December.

New Traditions

December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized



This Christmas has seen me relax and embrace the new traditions being formed by my family and as I have finally managed to let go and not continuously attempt to fight against the inevitable I have moved from merely relaxing and accepting the new status quo to actually having quite a jol and enjoying the change in direction and forward motion.


The Christmases I knew saw us all (being myself, my parents, my two sisters, my brother and any friends who happened to be visiting at the time) putting up the tree together on 16 December each year, waking up really early on Christmas day with one of my siblings leaping onto me telling me Father Christmas had been and rushing through to all sit around the tree opening the myriad presents. Sitting around a noisy lunch table sampling splendid Christmas fare and fighting over who would get the wishbone and who could finish the gravy and who would be chosen to go and fetch the watermelon out of the swimming pool where it was keeping cold so my Dad could slice it up for dessert with ice-cream.


I used to worry about that fact that the Christmases I enjoyed as a child with my family would never be enjoyed by Jerry. She’s an only child and the situations I experienced could never happen to her. But I nonetheless spent a huge amount of energy trying to recreate those Christmases for her. And then suddenly this year something happened to make me sit up and look around. Sometimes something will happen that, although at the time it hurts and disappoints beyond description, it allows you to take a step back and re-evaluate where you’re at.


And that’s where I landed …… and I found myself not changing my life around but simply accepting the changes that had already occurred and embracing them as part of my Christmas. And thereby part of Jerry’s Christmas until she reaches the stage where she chooses to make her own way and set her own traditions.


So here’s how our day usually runs: the day starts with my daughter being probably the only child in the world who is NOT awake until I rub her back and quietly remind her just after 08h00 that Father Christmas has been and she leaps out of bed and we open presents in a manner completely unique to us. Then my beautiful and fabulous family, consisting of the Gorgeous S, my Jerry Teddy, my unspeakably beautiful step-daughter Ms M and our dear friend, the Talented Mr C have our Christmas lunch with The Mountain as a backdrop surrounded by the Talented Mr C’s various kitties and after that we head out to visit friends that we have a huge amount in common with and with whom we can just relax and enjoy ourselves and be ourselves.


So with a huge sigh of relief I am pleased to have arrived at the place where I no longer struggle to adjust a world that won’t be adjusted in any kind of retro fashion and I can just relax into moving forward with a somewhat smug expression on my face. ‘s a good place to be.


Happy Day! Cool

A chilled start and way too much clothing

December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Well the first day of our holiday is almost over and I can tell you what we did: absolutely nothing! We needed to. After the year winding down into a frenzy of business and busyness and excitement and disappointment and general rush it was very good to spend the day just blobbing. Besides which it rained for most of the day and so it was appropriate weather for just chilling.


Jerry and I sat and made a list of at least 18 things that we’d like to do whilst we are here i.e. visit the Science Centre, pick strawberries, hike, catch the train around the Southern suburbs etc etc. Why 18? ‘Cos we’re here for 18 days and we needed at least one thing per day to make sure that our holiday is exciting.


I discovered when unpacking our suitcases last night that I have brought wa-a-a-ay too much clothing with me. Now this is very unlike me as I pride myself in being a light packer (sometimes to the extreme). Well I’ve truly overdone things, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a rush and pack without planning. Oh well – fortunately Kulula have a new thing where you can purchase an extra item of luggage and we purchased one on the way down and we shall just have to purchase one on the way back.


Sjoe! Three days to Christmas! Scary! Looking forward to it, though. Watch this space for more holiday news. Tomorrow we need to buy the final few goodies required for Christmas and then possibly a jaunt to the beach will be nice. The ONLY problem with flying is that I don’t get to bring my fishing rod but, hey! no problem – will take my Jerry paddling in the freezing Cape sea instead.


Happy Day! Cool

Shopping Debacle

December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Last night I had to take advantage of the extra shopping hours and head out to make some necessary purchases – Father Christmas needs a little help with what he’s been asked for and Jerry wants a particular doll that the Gorgeous S and I will give her. My character is not built for shopping. And the worst was … I had to go to a mall!!! Yugh! Took me a good hour to muster about a micro-granule of enthusiasm. So off I went:


  • The parking is crowded – I park far and walk, unlike the many cars circling the entrance lazily hoping that a parking spot is going to miraculously appear.
  • The mall is crowded and people are grumpy and pushy and rude.
  • There are no pretty watches with all the numbers on the face, just practical black rubber-strapped ones.
  • The watch sales lady can’t tell me whether the rubber strap is strong enough not to break during ordinary eight-year-old-play – why is she employed there if she doesn’t know her products?
  • I find the doll – the only good thing about the whole trip.
  • I decide to buy a new school bag for Jerry (then it’s done) – bad move!
  • Very few of the school-type bags have prices on. The zip on the one I fancy breaks as I’m testing it.
  • I leave the bag aisle and look for nail polish remover.
  • There’s a woman polishing the floor in the toiletry aisle and she won’t let me and my trolley past. When I eventually make a dash past her she scowls at me – I say “thank you” and smile. She makes an annoyed tongue-clicking noise.
  • I stop to search the shelf for nail polish remover – she swipes the polisher over my foot! Ouch!
  • I wait in a long queue and pay and leave.
  • On the way out of the mall door I have a head-on collision with a skinny woman bee-bee-emming as she walks, ignoring the howling toddler on her hip.
  • That’s the final straw! I yell at her that instead of being like a sheep with her head buried in her cell phone she should take notice of her clearly unhappy child. I tell her that she’s a bad parent and should consider giving the little one to someone who would appreciate him.
  • She stares at me for about 2 seconds and then carries on bee-bee-emming. Silly cow! Yell
  • I get to my car to find that the street light that I carefully parked under has gone out and feeling somewhat insecure leap in and attempt to leave the mall parking lot – an almost 6 minute exercise. Sjoe!


So tell me, those of you who patronizingly admit to love shopping. What the %&@# do you love about it?


Sorry about the rant. Thanks for “listening”. And, on a good note, I have only one more sleepie left. Woo Hoo!


Happy Day! Cool

The Weekend that Was

December 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

Well the weekend shot past in a blur, mostly. Thursday evening my sister, Sweet H, helped to get things ready and set the table for our mini Christmas breakfast the following day. Friday morning saw us up early finishing off the last minute things. And then the family arrived en mass. Lovely! My sister, Brilliant R with her fabulously steadfast husband and her two children (with their better-halves in tow) and suddenly my house was full to overflowing.


Ten of us at the breakfast table – great fun! I got to sit next to my nephew’s new girlfriend who is very sweet and seemed to fit in very well – not being too bewildered by the usual wild carry-on of the rest of us. Champagne, good food, good company, present swapping and it was all over before we knew it.


That afternoon I took Jerry to the kiddies’ fun fair at Lifestyle and she had a ball on most of the rides. Gotta love the kid: she’s not the shy and retiring type and after she had ridden around the horse “paddock” twice on a sweet little white pony she was able to tell me what the pony’s name was, what the fella who walks next the pony’s name was, where he was spending Christmas, how many children he had and that “dit was baie cool Mamma, hy kon met my in Engels EN Afrikaans praat.”


Saturday saw me dashing around to get ready for our Christmas Cocktail evening – we’d decided to have a few friends around just to chill and do a final catch-up on life before we leave for our holiday. My cousins arrived nice and early and while the Gorgeous S and Awesome Cousin A went to fit the new gate on Sweet H’s garden, Hooligan Cousin R and I prepared the snacks ….. and oh dear! by 15h00 we had “started the party” with some wine.


Needless to say – by the end of the evening spent in FABulous company, I was very ready to fall into my bed. Let’s just say that it was a very good thing that I didn’t have to drive anywhere.


Suffice to say that the Adventure Golf game I had promised Jerry for Sunday happened a little later than planned (bless her socks for being so understanding). Although I usually let her win, this particular game saw me dragging around the course in a fashion not unlike a Neanderthal, sporting an humungous hangover, playing the most horrendous golf known to womankind and she beat me, hands down! Hee Hee – all to myself I did it.Embarassed


Back at work today, finishing off all the last minute goodies. Only two more sleepies and I shall be winging my way to God’s Own Country – can’t WAIT!!!


Happy Day!Cool

A Love Story

December 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Once upon a time there was a handsome fella. He played the bass guitar and sang in a band. One day the band split up and moved on and he was at a bit of a loose end. A friend of his “Large L” (also being at a bit of a loose end) decided to start a new band and so Large L (who also happened to be a friend of mine) telephoned me and asked me if I was interested in helping to form a new band. And so we met, and my first memories are of sitting under a massive tree in Large L’s garden chatting to this handsome fella.


We DID form a band, but for various reasons not with Large L (who’s still our friend), and played many happy gigs together all over the place. After a few months we realised that we were in love but this posed a slight problem in that this handsome fella was married to somebody. Not that she loved him, mind you, and he had spent the previous year and a bit sleeping on the couch in their lounge.


At the beginning of 2000 this handsome fella and I decided to move in together. Mrs Handsome Fella (his wife) didn’t seem to mind too much but asked that we please take some furniture, the birds, the dog and the children. We did, and all of a sudden I had a family with pets to care for. I won’t say it was easy, but we fumbled along happily and made our own way. Then halfway through 2002 I discovered that somehow, the pill I’d been taking for nearly 17 years, had failed me and there was a little being in my tummy. Sjoe! What a huge surprise that was! Here I was, 34 years old and about to become a Mom … for the first time …. (ok, the third time if you consider my splendid step-children), but WOW! And so in March the following year Jerry Stephanie was born. Her Mom was a surprised 35 and her Dad a slightly panic stricken 53.


Our Jerry was 3 when my beautiful step-son, who had been battling mental illness for about 5 years, died. The devastation and pain is indescribable and I will love him forever.


Later that year, I informed that handsome fella that I thought we should get married, which he thought was a lovely idea.  He dashed about and got divorced from Mrs Handsome Fella and, on the stroke of midnight on the New Year between 2006 and 2007, as the minister said “I now pronounce you man and wife” and the organist started playing Auld Lang Syne for the congregation to start celebrating the New Year, the Gorgeous S and I were married. Our Jerry was our flower girl and my two sisters and my unspeakably beautiful step-daughter were my bridesmaids.


On New Year this year we shall be married for 5 years and I truly consider myself to be, by far, the luckiest woman in the universe.


There’s my love story, in brief.


Happy Day! Cool

Truth or Dare ……. ‘cos these things are ALWAYS fun

December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

How old are you?

43 and 11 months

What size shoe do you wear?

Do you think your bum is big?

‘snot a dreadful bottom – I’m not ashamed of it, if that’s what you mean

Do you think you are a good driver?

Yes – and I can’t bear mediocre or bad driving.

Are you any good at Maths?

HOPELESS beyond Smile

Ever eaten a bug?

Apparently we eat ±20 bugs in our sleep each year, so yip – I’m pretty sure I have.

Do you sing in the car/shower/bath?


When last did you shave/wax/whatever your legs?


Do you consider yourself to have “Green Fingers”, in other words can you grow / keep plants.

Yes, I’m very proud of my veggie garden – and I’m getting quite good at flowers (when my bullies don’t eat them)

Cellphone – Contract or Prepaid?

Contract (personal) and Prepaid (business)

Have you finished your Christmas shopping (pressies, not food)?

Haven’t even started yet.

Team Edward or Team Jacob (from the Twilight Series)

Who the hell are Team Edward and Team Jacob?  They sound like something from one of those dreadful work teambuilding days!

Happy Day!Cool

Mixed Emotions

December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

We’re off to our office Christmas lunch today. Should be fun. Unfortunately my friend “the-scarily-equally-balanced-party-animal-and-sensible” M won’t be joining us. She’s also our freelance bookkeeper and joined us last year for our Christmas party. This year she’s in hospital and will be undergoing a brain scan later today ‘cos the neurologist fears she may have had a stroke. Oh dear, so on one hand I’m looking forward to having some yummy Thai food with my work mates but on the other hand I’m dreadfully worried about my friend M. Sjoe!


The offices that we are in used to be one large office that was subdivided into two offices for us and another company to share. The problem with this is that all the overhead lights work on one switch. On Friday someone told me that the builders currently tarting up the next door offices would be splitting the lights so that when the folk next door go home they don’t plunge us into darkness (which is a startlingly regular occurrence). Well yesterday we sat in darkness (gives one quite a headache peering at a computer screen in the dark) from 10h00 until about 15h30. They had finally finished and were very proud of their handywork. As the top-honcho-owner-manager was leaving he flicked the light switch and closed the door to the offices next door. Of course you can image what happened: our lights went off too.


So here we are, sitting in the dark again. The difference is that I’ve got Jerry with me today so I am sitting peering at a too-bright computer screen while Jerry is sitting peering at some or other movie on my laptop.


Nonetheless, at least we can leave at lunch time today (when I take Jerry to her Dad’s office for the rest of the arvie) and hopefully the Thai restaurant has lights ….?!?!?


I’ll let you all know tomorrow.


Happy Day! Cool

Wow! What a Weekend!

December 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Friday my fabulous cousins came for supper and while the Gorgeous S and Cousin A played pc-pc in the study Cousin R and myself sat and drank copious amounts of wine and yacked and yacked and yacked …… Always a gas.


Saturday was supposed to be a nice slow one. I had planned to take Jerry to buy her Good Report Reward but the previous evening we had noticed that my puppy, Wiggle, wasn’t wiggling too much and wasn’t wagging …. at all. Her little tail just hung down instead of sticking straight out behind her. By Saturday we decided that there must be a problem. Poor little pumpkin got dragged off the vet who poked a finger up her conga-pooch and announced that she has a sprained tail. She must have landed on it while jumping up and down. He (the vet) have us some anti-inflamatories for her and I’m pleased to say that by Sunday she was wagging and by today her little tail was almost sticking out straight behind her as it should.


Last year I began a tradition where Jerry can choose a little gift if she’s received a good report. Last year she chose a lovely Michael Jackson statue – she’s crazy about him and already has an MJ clock in her room and her very own MJ DVD that she watches ad nauseum whilst dancing and singing along (although one day I’m going to tape her ‘cos the lyrics she hears and sings aren’t necessarily the same as those of the dearly departed MJ!). This year she wanted an alarm clock so we popped off and she chose a lovely retro-style apple-green one. Hee Hee – she asked me not to wake her up this morning and dutifully set her clock, but when I checked on her when I woke up she was lying sideways on her bed and had kicked the thing off onto the floor. There it lay on its head with the button pushed in – it had clearly decided that this was the beginning of her holidays and therefore wasn’t going to wake her.


I had an appointment with my first paying client on Saturday afternoon and wandered off to Kempton Park with the Gorgeous S’ GPS firmly fixed to the dash board. All went well and I returned home, signed fee agreement clutched excitedly in my hand and LOTS of work ahead of me. Lekker!!!


In the meantime, while Jerry and I had been shopping earlier the fairies had popped past our house and left our Christmas decorations there. When Jerry was little they usually put the trees and decorations up for her to find when she woke up, but now that she’s a little older they leave all the decorations in our lounge with a note explaining that they’re awfully busy and would we mind helping them by putting the decorations up ourselves. Of course, we’re only too pleased to help so that’s what Jerry, the Gorgeous S and I did for the rest of the evening (and a little bit yesterday too).


Yesterday saw Cousin A visiting again (I think he likes us a lot) and he and the Gorgeous S built a lovely gate for my sister, the Sweet H’s garden. The weather was so odd that at one stage they were working in the rain and not long after the Gorgeous S came inside to fetch some hats for them to wear. I did quite a lot of work yesterday but called it quits when I realised that it was time to make supper (yes, I do cook … on weekends).


And that was the weekend. Poor, POOR Jerry is spending the day with the Gorgeous S at his office today and will come to work with me tomorrow (but just for the morning, because we have our office Christmas lunch). Wednesday she will visit my neighbour and on Thursday she will spend the day with her oldest friend (he’s 3 months younger than her and they’ve known each other all their lives).


Ah! Chastise, chastise, chastise! Another blog that’s just too bloody long. Well if you’ve read this far without falling asleep then there is nothing left but to wish you a ……….


Happy Day! Cool




December 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Wow! It’s Friday again. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, things have been hectic at work for the last few weeks. One would think that things would quieten down at this time of year but it seems that’s not to be. Here are my DUFs for the week:



What, oh what, to do with Jerry next week when the school and aftercare are both closed? The Gorgeous S is only on leave from next Friday so the poor little thing has four days of being fobbed off on neighbours and friends or coming to work with Dad and/or Mom.



Jerry’s last day of Grade 2 today. Yay! My Tiny Teddy is growing up so fast. Seeing my first client this weekend so I’ve finished designing and printing my business cards and devising my fee agreement. So excited to be able to move forwardly with this.



Seeing my first client this weekend! NO extramurals, singing or having to do all the usual stuff this weekend. Genuinely looking forward to having mini Christmas with my family next Friday (we have mini Christmas with them ‘cos we’re in Cape Town on Christmas day). Having Christmas cocktails with some friends next Saturday. And last, but not least: ONLY TWELVE DAYS BEFORE WE LEAVE FOR CAPE TOWN!!!!  Woooo Hoooo!!!!!!!!!!!! (big goofy grin!)


Happy Day! Cool

The Madd Menagerie

December 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

We have, in the Madd House, a veritable zoo. I’m pretty sure that, as pets go, there are folk with a lot more than we have, but each and every one of our furkids and featherkids are special.


Our inside folk consist of four birds and three dogs. Firstly there’s Archie – he’s a green ring neck (the second loudest bird in the jungle). Archie is the most cantankerous old fella and scowls at me when I look at him. He’ll only let the Gorgeous S or Jerry handle him and whenever the Gorgeous S is near him he strikes a weird pose and starts chirping in a cute, purring-like manner knowing that he’s going to get strokes, loves, kisses and cuddles.


Then we have Sally the Cockatiel. Sally is senile – he’s about 18 years old (ancient, as cockatiels go) and quite unabashedly off his rocker. We can’t even take him out of his cage anymore. He spends his day lying under his water bowl (which he also uses as a toilet) with his wings spread like he’s hatching eggs and only comes out in mock aggressive battle stance if anyone approaches his cage.


Our two African Greys are Misty, who belonged to my late stepson, and Doobie who is my bird. Both of the Greys will only let me handle them and they bite the Gorgeous S at any opportunity – ESPECIALLY when he’s feeding them. Smile They love their Mommy to pieces and will sit very still as long as I’m giving them love and kisses, otherwise they’re clambering all over my head, peering up my nose or cleaning my teeth for me (they’re ALWAYS looking for food in my mouth). Greys live for about 120 years so I’ve officially Willed them to my Jerry.


Bonnie is our pink bull terrier. She’s of the long-legged variety and quite tall and she’s white with pink eyes, a mottled pink nose, pink lips, a pink tummy and lots of pink skin that peers through her white fur. We are her third owners and she thinks she’s already died and gone to heaven. After having been mistreated in her previous lives, we feel that it’s only fair to spoil her. And spoil her rotten, we do! Bonnie has her own bed in our bedroom and at night has only to vigorously flap her ears for the Gorgeous S to leap out of bed to let her out to visit the fairies and/or cover her with her pink fluffy blanket ‘cos she’s cold.


Our two puppy bull terriers (ten months old) are the latest additions to our inside menagerie. Daisy belongs to Jerry and is absolutely the most incredibly stunning example of a bullie you’ve ever seen. She is the alpha dog, second in command only to the human contingent in our house, and adores Jerry to the moon and back. Jerry lies on her, takes food out of her mouth, pulls her, pushes her, does whatever she likes and Daisy just lies there with a goofy look of adoration on her face.   She is a very chilled dog, and has been known to lie and watch almost an entire movie on the telly with Jerry (yes, she does watch telly and barks at appropriate times to prove it). Wiggle is my dog and is aptly named in that she is the opposite of Daisy, doesn’t keep still, always looks for mischief and only lies down when the Gorgeous S is cooking because she knows that he “drops” things. She has even been known to eat genuinely dropped onion.


The folk outside are special too. The Gorgeous S feeds a huge variety of garden birds in the back garden (the front garden is off limits since the puppies arrived – they’re both excellent hunters). The main contingent of the outside flock consist of between 10 and 30 very fat pigeons who somehow manage to fly the ±300m from their home at Rhema church to our garden. We have a little Indian Mynah who was born with no feathers on his head – although he now sports about 2 feathers on his bald, bright yellow little pate. There’s the little dark, dark grey pigeon who considers the Gorgeous S to be his “Mom” since he’s own mother rejected him and who will stand right next to the Gorgeous S’s feet waiting for his food and even came to introduce his girlfriend to the Gorgeous S. There is a family of about five loeries who hang about and shout “FOOEY” at the top of their voices – they have been known to sit on our bedroom windowsill and knock on the window if they feel they’ve waited too long for their breakfast. The hadedahs, who have a very messy nest in one of our trees, will either come down one at a time or occasionally pop down as a family to proudly show off their latest offspring. The magnificent pied crows from the local Telkom tower wander down from time to time causing pure havoc amongst the rest of the usual flock, who explode in a panic and rush off to change their furry underwear. Other than that we have regular barbets, olive thrushes, robins, sparrows and LBJs (little brown jobs), not to mention the occasional hoepoes and cuckoos.


These are our fur and feather kids and we love each individual one for the characters they are. So who makes up your household?


Happy Day! Cool