Why I blog...

I use this blog as a kind of therapy. Sometimes I'm happy and want to share it, sometimes it's just a random thought and sometimes it's to deal with things in my past. After all a burden shared is a burden halved

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Friends

Writers Bootcamp challenge, day 26 topic: Friends...




I read a tweet once that goes like this: Of course I have friends, I have the whole box set.

This pretty much sums up my life with friends. I have not had much luck with cultivating friendships. Pretty much every weekend is spent with my partner. He is my best friend. That is not to say we don't have any at all. We have friends that we see on birthdays and at special events, but none that we hang out with on a regular basis.

my only true best friend lives in another country and I only really get to see her once a year but when we get together it's as if she never left.

I have found over the years that friendship is hard work. We had tons of friends at one stage and the invitations were flowing but we have commitments and a family and well after saying sorry we can't make it because we have the children or sorry we can't meet you at said restaurant this evening as we just don't have the funds, the invitations started to dry up.

It's okay though as our family commitments keep us quite busy and we are very happy just being in each other's company. Having friends in your life is important but so is family and sometimes as a grown up you have to make tough decisions about the priorities in your life.





Monday, July 28, 2014

Wrong time, wrong place.

WritersBootcamp challenge, day 25 topic: Write about whatever you want....




It started out as a perfectly normal day. Monday morning rituals in the Roberts household was hardly anything to write home about. Chris was in the bathroom while Sarah banged on the door yelling at him to hurry up, as she needed to shower and didn't want to be late for school. Mom was in the kitchen packing lunch boxes and dad was eating breakfast while watching the financial indicators on the morning news.

I was sick and mom said I could stay home to recover. The doctor had said I should get plenty of rest and drink lots of liquids. "It's just the flu you know" Chris had told me earlier, "You could suck it up and go to school." I ignored his retorts and reminded him that he was neither my mom nor my dad and certainly not the boss of me. I know it was a juvenile remark but he deserved it! He just brings out the worst in me sometimes. Besides he is only 16 years old which is only 2 years older than me.

After everyone had left, the house was peaceful once again and I drifted back to sleep.

I eventually got up around 12:30 as my stomach dictated that I have something to eat. As I stepped out of bed, I slipped on some marbles, fell backwards and landed on the hard tiled floor with a loud thump. My back began to ache and I realised that I could not move. What do I do now? should I try moving slowly? Should I call for help? That's ridiculous no one will hear me, everyone is out at work or at school. I could hear the sound of the neighbours domestic worker cleaning next door. Maybe if I shouted loud enough she might come and check up on me. No that's not gonna work, I would still need to get to the front door to let her in.

I lay there for what seemed like an eternity before I mustered up enough energy to get back into bed. Now I had a sore back, I was hungry and I had flu. I was feeling very sorry for myself indeed.I reached for my cell phone and called mom. She didn't answer. All this movement had made me feel a little weak. I closed my eyes and fell fast asleep. 

I woke up to find three men wearing ski masks hovering over me. I was about to scream when one of the intruders put his hand on my mouth and said "Hush little man, don't strain yourself. We not here for you". I found myself frozen with fear, I didn't move or make a sound. The second, much taller man looked over to his friend and said "He must be the cripple Peg told us about. leave him be, he can't identify us anyway". They left my room and started grabbing things from around the house and stuffing them into bags. I heard one of them say " He's not a cripple, he's a deaf mute so we won't have to worry about him". They moved around the house going from room to room looking for anything that was on their list of items to steal. I could hear them getting frustrated as the items in our house didn't match the ones on their list. And within half and hour they had managed to relieve us of anything that was of value. And then they were gone.

When mom came home that evening I was a mess. I told her everything that happened in great detail. I was still shaking and quite weak by now. Mom gently stroked my forehead and told me everything was going to be okay. Then I heard her phone the police station.

Two days later we out that our neighbour across the road has a 17 year old daughter named Peg and a wheelchair bound son who is severely handicapped. Peg had been missing for 3 months.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

What's in a handbag...

WritersBootcamp challenge Day 24 topic: What's on my desk/in my handbag/my pocket/my car....

A couple of weeks ago myself and two work colleagues went to The Toad on the road for lunch. During our time there we had a few glasses of wine. At some point my one colleague Tracey reached into her handbag to get something and pulled out a pair of tiny socks, to which she pronounced "You know you're a mom when you have toddler socks in your handbag". We all chuckled for a moment and then my other colleague Heather proceeded to empty the contents of her handbag onto the table while saying "Check what's in mine".

My reaction to all this (while giggling and sipping wine) was to feed my social media addiction by whipping out my smartphone and taking a photo of said contents. This was either to Tweet, Instagram (latergram) or blog about at a later stage, I was undecided at the time). So today's post was meant to be, as I blog the contents of my friend and colleagues handbag.



1 Wallet with the usual wallet type contents.
1 Identity book in a lovely sunflower cover.
1 Plastic medicine spoon. (she is also a mom).
1 Car key with remote.
1 Pink plastic container, minus the lid which was mysteriously missing.
1 Tube of hand cream.
1 Packet of tissues.
1 Breath freshener spray bottle.
1  Cellphone.
1 Lighter.
2 Packets of cigarettes.
Various till slips.
1 packet/box of Tic Tacs.
An old R 2 and R5 note (haven't seen those in years).
A pink highlighter (she is a teacher after all).
And a thing that I don't quite recall the name of, but it's apparently a device to measure running distance. This was particularly strange and Heather is neither a runner nor a jogger type of person and the device had no batteries in it.

My own handbag is quite standard: Wallet (usually on the empty side)..
                                                       Lip gloss.
                                                       Deodorant.
                                                       Sunglasses.
                                                       Tissues.
                                                       3 pens.
                                                       4 USB sticks.
                                                       Hand cream
                                                       Hairbands x 3
                                                       Cigarettes.
                                                       Miscellaneous papers, among them old till slips.


So, what's in yours?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Music



WritersBootcamp day 23 topic: Music...

Music the universal language....

It can feed your soul, create a mood and set a scene.

It can help you relive a memory, good or bad.

It can uplift and encourage you to dance like a fool in your own living room.

It can make you weep like a little baby when the chords have touched your heart. 

You can be moved by gentle lyrics that speak of unrequited love.

Music is everywhere and in everything.

Very often while listening to a piece of music that is soft and gentle I would imagine the scene from a movie that it would accompany. A lover saying goodbye as he goes off to war or a mother holding onto the corpse of her only child. These are the emotions that music can stir up inside us.

Music evokes emotion in us and can intensify a feeling.

I have a very eclectic taste in music, my mood often dictates what I will be listening to at any given time.

My emotional set list:

My happy song: Dancing in the moonlight by Freeloader when I hear this song, I can't help but get up and dance.

My most emotional love song: The Rose by Bette Midler This song has the most beautiful lyrics and whenever I hear it, it make me feel quite tender.

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It's the one who won't be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin'
That never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose.




My thinking music and probably the most beautiful piece of music ever written Air on a G string- Bach

My 'I'm feeling gangster' song: Akon- Locked up

And finally a very well written song with a sad story: Stan- Eminem




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Someone who’s made a big impact on me recently

WritersBootcamp challenge day 20 topic: Someone who's made a big impact on me recently...





my gran, my mom, me and my daughters with their daughters. 5 generations in all.

I had to think long and hard about this one, I can't really say that anyone has made a huge impact on my life recently, but there is one person who has made the biggest impact on my life from day one and continues to do so...my gran.

My Ma as I like to call her has been the moral compass in my life. She was my first parental figure and her influence has and continues to steer the course of my daily life.

She is a woman of high morals and virtues, she has a loving soul and is the epitome of compassion.
The way she reaches out to others in need has been something I have always admired and hope to simulate in a small way.

When making decisions regarding community and dealing with others I always stop and reflect on the way she does it and this has definitely influenced the way I do things.

She celebrated her 80th birthday in May this year, we had big party for her with all her family and friends.
As I looked around the room, her 5 children, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren and even her great great grandchildren, I realised that none of them would be here if it were not for her.

Her life has touched so many lives through the years and I only hope one day to have half the legacy she will leave behind some day.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Utter randomness

Writers Bootcamp challenge day 21 topic: Utter randomness....

As random as it gets...





I love the sound of dried leaves as they crunch under my feet.
I love the way the trees are awash with colour.
I love that it is neither sweltering hot or freezing cold.
I love the earthy smell in the air, the promise of winter rain.
I love the feel of a comfy sweater and well fitted jeans.
I love doing leaf rubbings with wax crayon in class.
I love painting images of orange, yellow, brown and red.
I love cool nights and warm days.




I love Autumn

Letter to my childhood self...

WritersBootcamp day 22 topic: A letter to my child/childhood self...

My first thought when I saw this topic was of a scene from back to the future, I can warn my self of all the bad things that happened in my life and maybe prevent it from happening. But you know the theory of the butterfly effect and all that. Well it prevents us from changing things in our past because the outcome will be different. I thought maybe I could prevent the rape of my 12 year old self, but again my experience has drawn me to other survivors who I could relate to and helped me counsel others in a similar situation with complete empathy. I thought about not getting married so young and in order to save myself from the heartache that is divorce but again I love my 3 children and without my marriage they might not be here. So in the end I decided that I can't really change anything, even if I want to because everything I am now, everything that is in my life right now is all a combination of everything I have been through the past 42 years to get here. Right now I am happy, I don't have everything I want but I have everything I need. So without changing anything here is the advice I would give 10 year old me...






Dear Karen

Life is hard and it's okay to admit that sometimes and ask for help. We are not meant to go through all the bad stuff alone, seek companionship and confide in people you can trust. Tell, tell, tell!!! I can't stress this enough, if something bad happens to you, don't keep it all to yourself. You have a family who loves you and they will understand and maybe help you if you only trust them. If an adult takes advantage of a child that adult is always in the wrong and it is always their fault not yours!! Trust me on this.

Love your mom more and give her a break. She may not be perfect but she loves you. I know you can't see it right now but she does I promise. She has some good advice for you, she has experienced this world a bit more than you and she does know what she is talking about...sometimes.  Respect others and know that your trust is precious and must be earned. 

Study more, I know you like to just cram the day before a test but imagine the regret you may have years later when you wonder if you could have been an A student if only you put in a little effort. Life is too short for regrets. You will have plenty of time to go out and have fun when you are older, it really isn't what life is all about.

Your life will have a mix of happy and sad moments but you are stronger than you think and you will endure. Just when you are about to give up, something good will come your way. So when you're feeling down remember that nothing lasts forever. On this note, love your family they may not always be around. Your life will mean something to certain people so make it count.

You will discover that money is just a means to an end and having material possessions cannot satisfy your soul. Try collecting memories instead of things, they will mean more in the long run. 

The world is a crazy place at the moment, there is much sadness all around you, you will feel deeply for people you have never even met. I know its sounds strange but it's true.

Well I guess I better get back to 2014 because there are some exciting things happening right now, but you have plenty of time to catch up.

Ps: Dance more, jump around and enjoy your youth full energy.

Love Your older self


Monday, July 21, 2014

My favourite film quote of all time

WritersBootcamp Challenge day 19 topic: My favourite film quote of all time...

The greatest thing you'll ever learn...is just to love and be loved in return.





This is taken from the movie Moulin Rouge a tragic love story that left me in tears.





It puts the lotion in the basket.

Taken from a scene from the 1991 classic Silence of the Lambs. The killer tries to dehumanise his victim by calling her it.


From my favourite television series of all time, Breaking Bad.

I am the one who knocks!








Taken from the television series True Blood. When describing her dim-witted son, Sam's mom says these words: Sometimes I think that boy's cheese done fell right off his cracker.





 I found this quote to be one of the funniest quotes I have ever heard and every time I think of it, I have a little chuckle.





Guilty pleasures...

WritersBootcamp challenge day 18 topic: Guilty pleasures...





When I think of a guilty pleasure my mind immediately races with things like having an affair or flirting with a colleague, quite reminiscent of Alexis Carrington from Dynasty but as I get older I realise that being a responsible adult means that things I took for granted years ago have become my guilty pleasure. I know, very unglamorous and quite boring actually but this is what happens when you are no longer 22 years old and the thought of clubbing till the early hours of the morning seems like a foreign concept.

Chocolate.... Something I truly enjoy and nothing can quite compare to the joy of having it all to yourself. Since my fiance and I are on a strict budget financially this is somewhat of a luxury for me so when I do get to enjoy chocolate and I don't have to share it with any of our collective 6 kids, it does make me feel a little guilty but hey YOLO.

A trip to the Toad on the road... This is our local pub, it is our place to be free, have a few beers and hang out with other grown ups. We go there as often as our finances will permit (which is maybe once a week) It started out as our Sunday evening reward, after having the children all weekend and only doing family type activities with them (which doesn't include any grown up type stuff). We would drop them at their moms house and stop by the Toad on the way home for a drink or two. Now days it is our 'go to' place when we feel we just need to get out of the house for a bit. It seems to have become the place we make most of our decisions (good and bad).

Weekend lie-ins.....I think almost everyone who works Monday to Friday can relate to this one. I start at 7am every morning as I am the one who opens up the school, I leave the house at 6:30 am so I am up early every morning. My Saturday and Sunday morning lie-ins are very special to me, I don't get out of bed before 8am. Now that out kids are all big enough to sort themselves out this is something we are able to do without any guilt, but it still feels like a treat every time.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

If I were an animal/insect, I’d be…

WritersBootcamp challenge day 17 topic: If I were an animal/insect, I'd be....





I want to say something powerful like a lion the king of the jungle or maybe a tiger, equally as majestic . I thought of something graceful like a white stallion or even a beautiful peacock with feathers full of glorious colour. (I would have to be a male) but deep down I am a person and what I most want is what everyone in this life wants... to be loved, unconditionally.To feel useful and to feel appreciated. With this in mind I decided the animal I would most like to be is a dog. With attributes similar to the ones I like to think I have and so a dog seemed the best fit.

They are loyal, to the point of their detriment sometimes. They are intelligent and can be taught. They are cute and come in all shapes and breeds. They are a source of comfort for their human counterparts. They are useful, for a blind man, his guide dog is invaluable. 

They bring a lot of joy to families and can be a little boy's best friend. They can bring warmth and comfort to a homeless person who has nothing but his faithful companion, his dog. They are cute when they are puppies and can evoke emotion in our hearts. 

Of course just like people, there are those who are outcast, forgotten and live in shelters. Then there are the strays that live on the street just waiting for a kind family to rescue them and give them a home. 

Hopefully if I was a dog, I would be a cute little Dachshund living in a happy home with a family who takes me for walks, loves me unconditionally and enjoys my company.




The world is wrong about....

Day 16 of WritersBootcamp challenge topic: The world is wrong about.....


Gina Lollobrigida then and now 



Religion, politics, social justice….the list goes on and on but for the sake of this blog post I am going to focus on one thing: looks with regards to aging.
How does one age gracefully?  Society does not allow for that, when a famous actress is looking a little older the headline will read (insert famous actress name here) is looking haggard. Perhaps she is on drugs? Maybe her marriage is in trouble.
In a climate where youth and beauty seem exclusively linked there is no place for growing old. Actors, models and singers get younger and younger each year. There is so much pressure on our youth today and yet we forget that our elders really do have a wealth of knowledge to share. Age comes with a price, sure you get maturity and experience but you also become the thing that you fear the most, Forgotten.

I worked as a front line receptionist in a retirement complex for 6 months back in 1990. The thing I most remember about my time there, was how lonely the occupants were. The highlight of their day was when the postman had been, they would emerge out of their apartments to inspect their post boxes just in case there was any correspondence from family namely their children. Visits from their children were rare and I felt quite sad for them. This was not a home, it was a retirement complex, they were free to come and go as they please. There was a frail care section for those who were ill or nearing the end of their life, hardly anyone returned from there.

I do remember one or two of the residents who were still quite full of life, one such person was  Mrs Taylor. She was 72 years old but had the spirit of a lively 50 year old. Her granddaughter was a model and came to fetch her every Sunday for an outing. During that year the Chipindales came to Cape Town and Mrs Taylor’s granddaughter took her to see them. I saw a sparkle in her the night they left for their outing and when she returned it was as if she was injected with a fresh sense of life.


The thing we forget when we focus on youth and beauty is that age is inevitable, every one of us (unless we pass away before then) will get old. All the anti-wrinkle creams in the world can’t stop it, they can slow down the process but in the end we all get old.




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Invisible

Day 15 WritersBootcamp "Free topic (write about whatever you want)"





Tammy Adams was excited, her 20 year high school reunion was in half an hour and she had the perfect dress. Yes she had been waiting for this moment ever since the invitation arrived a year ago. They say that the best revenge is success and boy was she ever the poster child for it. Her days at Camden High were anything but pleasant and she was ready to show them all just how far she had come.

Her husband Roy was unfortunately away on business, but that didn’t stop her, armed with her cell phone full of family pictures she was going to show those mean girls just what a modern woman looks like.
Her story was one of hard work that finally paid off, her business had grown in just under 10 years and she was now the proud owner of the most successful talent agency in the country. In high school she was the awkward, freckle faced teenager  no one wanted hang out with but not now, oh no, now everyone wanted to be her friend. People she hardly knew came out of the woodwork to comment on knowing her in high school after she appeared on the cover of Women in business magazine. She had it all, the big house, the fancy car a wonderful husband and two adorable children. She was pumped and ready to go.

She couldn’t find the keys to her Porsche cayenne, “Dammit I’m going to be late” she thought to herself. She decided to take Roy’s car instead. As she pulled up to the glitzy Sheraton hotel, her heart started pounding. “Breathe” she whispered to herself “You can do this”.

“Maureen, how are you” greeted Edith Venter, the organiser of the event. Tammy was about to correct her when she was ushered off into the grand ballroom. She looked around for familiar faces, but everyone seemed to look away. “Must make eye contact with someone” she told herself. “I am no longer the shy introverted wallflower everyone knew back then”. She walked around the room, it was beautiful. The tables were decorated with white linen and lavender overlays. Balloons hung overhead in perfect sequence of purple and white. She glanced over to the left corner of the hall; the band was playing what sounded like a mix of 80’s songs with a modern interpretation.

She surveyed the scene once more but still no one made eye contact. “I need a drink” she thought as she veered closer towards the bar area. She sat down and ordered a double Vodka lime and soda. Next to her she could hear two people talking about some horrible car accident that had happened this morning, she leaned in so she could hear more.  “Such a shame isn’t it, the poor family what a waste of life”. Said a skinny man with a slight Irish accent. “I knew her, you know. That Tammy girl. Her and her husband Roy just celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary and I hear she was planning on attending the reunion tonight.”
“Yeah I read the entire family was wiped out on the way to the airport, speed kills you know I wish people would realise that” interjected the bartender.


Tammy sat upright and looked over to the mirror behind the bar, there was no reflection.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Parents

WritersBootcamp challenge topic for day 14: My parents.....



Wow talk about opening a can of worms! I don't know where to start with this one. My parents...well it's quite complicated you see, do I mention the young couple who during a balmy spring evening in 1971 went to a party, got drunk and conceived me? Do I mention my grandparents who were my first reference of parents and raised me for the first 8 years of my life? Do I mention my step parents who are now married to my biological parents and who have played a role in my life? My ex husband's parents who were closer to me than any blood related family for the duration of my marriage?

So you see my dilemma? OK so first off my mom....She was a wild teenager who fell pregnant and had me but was still not quite ready for the responsibility of being a parent. My maternal grandparents or Ma and Oupa as I called them were my first reference to what a parent is. I have many fond memories of growing up with my uncles and aunts as siblings. Fighting with my younger cousins for the right to lick the bowl after Ma had baked and walks up the mountain with my Oupa. My morals and manners stem from these two  wonderful people. My Oupa got Alzheimer's towards the end and passed away in 2010. My Ma is still well with all her faculties intact and celebrated her 80th birthday in May this year.




my mom and I 


My mom was always on the look out for that ever elusive Mr right and when she finally nabbed him I moved in with her and my new step dad and for the first time in my 8 years I called me her mom. Prior to that she had not wanted me to let any possible suitors know that she had a daughter for fear of chasing them away. So I called her by her first name. We had a glorious 5 years together as a family unit, during that time my brother was born and so we were like a proper family. That was until I became a horrible spoiled rotten teenager. I gave my mom a hard time and we fought right up until I fell pregnant and got married at 16. Of course I never really appreciated my mom until I was the one fighting with my own teenage daughter and hearing my moms words coming out of my mouth. Then I realised that all those years ago when I hated her and thought she was just trying to spoil my fun, she was just being a parent. I do have some fond memories of that time in between when my mom had long hair and I used to brush her hair at night, and my step dad who cared so much for me that he wanted to adopt me legally but Karen the bratty preteen didn't want to change her surname. My mom and I have a better relationship now, we don't see all that much of each other but we chat on the phone regularly. I have huge respect for my step dad, my mom was as wild as they come and he tamed her, she is a different person today. This soft spoken English man who's skin was sensitive to our harsh African sun and was as timid as they come managed to tame the wild beast that was my mom.

Then there is my biological dad...I don't have much to say about him except that he was always there in the back of my mind. I knew who he was, his name, his family but I was never part of it and nor was he ever part of mine. We had an encounter once when I was 10 years old but it didn't go well and so it came to be that my idea of a dad was just some random guy who's name I knew. He was the one who helped my mom to have me, I knew that without him I would not exist but I didn't know him as my father.  I rekindled our relationship in 2010 by contacting him. He explained to me then that he was always unsure if he was in fact my dad after all my mom had many 'boyfriends' back then and he just wasn't sure. Did I mention my mom was wild? Anyway we did a DNA test in July 2010 and the results came back 99.9% positive. Ha science you gotta wonder about that 1% right! Apparently nothing is 100% (or so I was told) So now he is in my life again. We will never be close like a father and daughter should be, too much time has passed for that and we have all got our own lives to live. I see him occasionally and his wife is lovely.

So that is the story of my complicated parental unit which is more like a group of separate units really. (well the short version anyway)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dialogue

Day 13 of the WritersBootcamp challenge and the topic is: Dialogue....






According to the online Oxford dictionary dialogue is: A conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play or film. Or a discussion between two or more people or groups, especially one directed towards exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem. 

These are all great and I am the type of person who loves nothing more than a scintillating conversation with friends but for me the best type of dialogue is the silent one you have with your partner. You know when you can sit beside each other and just know what the other is thinking. Or when you are able to finish each other's thoughts and sentences. Those special moments together when verbal dialogue isn't necessary.

You can tell by his body language what kind of mood he is in or when you just know that tonight its on like a scone, just by his smile, a look or simple body language.

Those are special moments, with a whole lot of inner dialogue that only you two 'get' and you can have a meaningful conversation without saying anything at all.

What makes me laugh more than anything else is...

Day 12 of WritersBootamp, topic: What makes me laugh more than anything else is....





This was an easy one for me as I work with children, they are life's little jesters. I could write a book just based on the things I have heard preschool kids say. They have no off button and speak uncensored about whatever pops into their little heads. They keep me entertained day in and day out and there is never a dull moment in my classroom. So to answer this question in one word; What makes me laugh more than anything else is: children.

But this got me thinking, besides my teaching job, outside of school, where else do I find laughter?

My fiance has quite a wicked sense of humour, its one of the things that drew me to him and he makes me laugh on a regular basis. I think it is very important in a relationship, to make your partner laugh and to 'get' one another's humour.

My taste in comedy and sitcoms has changed over the years and as I grow older I realise that the new type of slapstick comedy that is quite prevalent these days is not for me. I hear many of my friends raving about, Big bang theory and modern family to name a few, but whenever I try watching these programmes I don't really have the same reaction. I may find one or two things mildly amusing but nothing that makes me belly laugh. You know, when you laugh so hard you literally have a tummy ache.

Maybe I'm just getting old but the only television sitcom that ever did that (and still does to this day) is the TV series Friends. Now there is a sitcom that I can honestly say makes me LOL (laugh out loud) literally.

Friday, July 11, 2014

1 Food and 1 drink for the rest of my life @WritersBootcmp

Day 11 WritersBootcamp challenge Topic: 1 Food and 1 drink for the rest of my life....


Hmmmm this is not a topic I have a lot of experience in as I am not the chef in our household. I hate cooking and really could not be bothered if I had a toasted cheese sandwich for supper, but here goes....

Also I couldn't pick just one!

Food:

Things I can cook really well: Nachos, macaroni and cheese, roast chicken and veggies.

Things I don't like to eat: Liver, kidneys, sushi, oysters and lasagne. (my foodie friends have just unfollowed me on twitter).

Things I do love:
Pecan nut pie....preferably warm with cream. Yummy!!!




All kinds of deserts and tarts.
Mutton curry
Stew

Drink:

When I am really thirsty: Water, always






To celebrate, have a party or just go out and have fun: Champagne and cocktails





To numb the hurt or when I have had a bad day: Wine




Thursday, July 10, 2014

The best advice I have ever received. Day 10 @Writersbootcmp

Topic for day 10: The best advice I have ever received.....WritersBootcamp challenge:





Coming from a big family where I was always the youngest (I grew up with my aunts and uncles as if they were siblings). I have been given a lot of advice over the years, however two gems that really stood out for me came from the most unlikely sources.

1. My mom once told me that whenever someone loses a loved one, everyone will surround them with condolences and support. Even old friends you have not seen for years will come out of the woodwork to support you in your time of need until the funeral. A few close family members and friends will stick around in the long run but most often after the funeral, life goes on and everyone gets back to their own lives. That is when you need to be a good friend, when everyone else has moved on, that's when they will need you.

I found this to be so true and the reason it's an unlikely source is because my mom and I have never been close. (but that's a story for another blog)

2  While contemplating leaving my husband of 22 yrs a twitter friend named Sally told me to "Just take the plunge and jump!'' she said I wouldn't regret it and you know what, I don't!!! Thank you Sally for helping me to be brave.

Another unlikely source as this was someone I hardly knew, sure we had met a few times and spoken online, but I had only known her for a short period of time. She had been through a similar experience to me and we could relate to each other. I am no longer afraid of the future and making big life changes, because every so often they are the right ones to make and everything does work out in the end.



This is me and Sally on her wedding day in 2013

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pining........day 9 @Writersbootcmp

Pining......







7 am:
Sitting at the door looking out through the peephole.
My hind legs are aching, I can't hold this position for much longer.
I Jump onto the couch to get a better view out of the window..... nope, still no one there.
How long has it been? when is he coming back?

Why does his wife not seem to care? She has been asleep for hours.
I think I'll go wake her up, after all it must be breakfast time already.


11 am:
This window is boring, let me try jumping onto the table to get a better look.
Nope, the garden is still just as empty as before.
When is he coming home? it feels like years! maybe even decades.
I am sad, I feel abandoned. My heart is aching.


13:00

Yay the front door is open,maybe he's out there, in the garden.  Run, run, run like the wind.
Dammit the front gate is closed and still he has not returned.
May as well run around the garden and get some exercise while I'm here.
Oh look a cat........


15:00
Tired now....need a nap.....


16:00

I'm up. I'm up...is he home? where is he? oh that's just the post man. How disappointing.
May as well give him a little scare...
When is is he coming home? Is he coming back? 

17:00

Ooh what's that shiny thing on the floor there? is it a ball?....
Nope it's just a spoon.
When is he coming home? Why has he left me? Did I do something wrong?
WHY WHY WHY *whimper*

17:30

He's home!!!!!!! He's Home!!!!!!!! oh thank goodness, I was so worried. I thought you were gone forever.
Don't ever leave me again.


The  mind of your dog when you go to work.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pet hate.....Day 8 @Writersbootcmp

Topic for day 8 : A love letter to my pet hate: ( an untidy house)





Dear neat and tidy house,

I love you, you make me feel secure and happy. I love how pretty everything looks when they are in their proper place. You give me a sense of control and stability when I feel like everything else in my life is spiralling out of control. You help me feel like I have control and everything is going to be okay. I feel like I cannot break up with you, for then my life would surely descend into utter chaos.

But for the sake of my family's sanity I think we should take a break. Like Rachel and Ross did on Friends.
Just while the children and grandchildren are visiting. After all what kind of life doesn't have a little chaos every now and then? I don't always have to be in control, I need to learn to be a bit more flexible and just learn to enjoy being around you, no matter what your condition. I think it will be good for you too, you will get to hear the laughter of children as they play and run around the house with not a care in the world. You will be filled with pride knowing that people are coming to us for our company and not because of the way we look.

After all, when it's just you and me and everyone else is gone, we can rekindle our moment of neatness and everything will be as it were. Come on, lets shake it up a little!!!!

Sincerely yours
Karen

PS: *throws cushions in the air, like I just don't care* ( I will put them back tomorrow.)



that's better










Sunday, July 6, 2014

Art....Topic for day 7: Inspired by art (or an artwork or an artist) @Writersbootcmp

Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh

Art, Artist, Artistic, Art form, Artwork, Arty.....what is it? Is it a painting by a famous artist? A sketch so real it looks like a photograph or a stick figure drawing of you that your son brought home from preschool? The one you proudly display on your fridge even though you only have one eye and three fingers. Is it a song that makes you want to get up and dance or a ballad that makes you cry as you feel the songwriters heartache in every lyric. Is it a movie? you know the kind they show at cinema nouveau, usually long and drawn out with lots of sex in it. Is it a sculpture so anatomically correct that it looks like they dipped a body in clay? Can you eat it? I'm sure there are world renowned chefs who will tell you that the little offering on your dinner plate is their masterpiece. A book so engrossing that it reaches the number 1 bestseller list and the author now has a movie deal?

I have no idea what art is, I certainly won't be applying for a job as an art critic in my lifetime. You see I like symmetry and things to be neat and tidy, that's just the way I am. If you tell me that abstract art is truly something to behold, I would disagree and yet there is Picasso. Boy bands formed in a music producers studio are not artists in my opinion. They have their songs written for them. A manager tells them how to act and look. A wardrobe assistant tells them how to dress and a choreographer tells them how to dance. So who, then is the true artist here? And yet millions of screaming teenage fans (and some of their moms) would disagree with me.

I surely can't tell you what art is but I can tell you what it's not. It's not something mass produced cheaply and regurgitated year after year. It is unique to the artist, a sound, look or feel that is distinctly theirs.

What is art? It is anything that has the ability to evoke emotion.

The most beautiful piece of music ever composed.....


Solitude Day 6 @Writersbootcmp

Day 6: Doors and Windows.....





Kathy needed to get away from it all, time to think and reflect. The sudden death of her twin sister at age 27 had left a scar so deep she wasn't sure it would ever heal. Suicide is such a selfish act she thought. No one benefits and those left behind are just filled with questions. 

Kevin had been her rock, he was the love of her life and he was hurting too. She knew he would always be there for her but could she trust him? Then there was the letter she found one night while packing up Maggie's belongings. "Dear Maggie, I can't do this anymore. I hate lying to Kathy she deserves so much more. Yours Kevin"

What were they lying about? Why did Maggie slam the door in Kevin's face the last night she was alive?
So many questions, so much not said.

She rented a private cottage down by the lake. Two nights of solitude will be good for her. She could clear her mind of these thoughts and decide what she was going to do next. Should she confront him with the letter? or say nothing. Thoughts all racing through her head at once.

She arrived with her overnight bag and two ready made meals. The door was a little tricky to unlock. Three locks and a security pin to enter. After she was a million miles from anywhere so security was very important. The bedroom window had the most gorgeous view of the lake and also attracted the early morning sun. All the windows had wooden shutters to block out the harsh sunlight. She decided to close the bedroom shutters as she wanted to sleep in and didn't want the morning sunlight to disturb her much needed rest. She had not slept well for weeks now and felt exhausted.

It had been a very long 4 hour drive and she was tired so she opened the bottle of wine she had stashed last minute into her overnight bag and sat down with a big sigh.

"Tomorrow" she said out loud to herself "I'll decide tomorrow". 



And then just as she was about to drift off into a deep and peaceful sleep, there was a knock at the door.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dream job Day 5 @Writersbootcmp challenge

I must admit I found this topic a bit of a challenge:  Topic for day 5: Find a job ad in the paper. Write about your life if you had that job.

I mean I already have two of the best jobs on the planet, why would I look for another one? First problem I found was that the only newspaper we had in the house was used to start a fire in the Jetmaster. So I deviated a little and searched online for a job I thought sounded interesting.
Job ad: A 5 star luxury Lodge situated on a beautiful Nature Reserve is looking for a lodge host (live in).





5:30 am Wake up, shower and get ready to face the day.

6:00 am Check bookings to see who is arriving today, check on breakfast requirements of current guests.

7:00 am Check with maintenance to make sure the hot water has been fixed in chalet 24

7:30 am Breakfast served to early guest in dining room, make sure guests who requested room service get their breakfast at 8 am.

8:00 am Have breakfast

8:30 am Cleaning staff arrive, hand out agenda, laundry detail etc.

9:00 am Welcome new arrivals and ensure they have correct rooms.

9:30 am Apologise for mix up in room 13 for incorrect breakfast order, ensure customer is satisfied with your apology.

10: am Organise day trips and outings for guests in rooms 12, 16 and 22.

11:00 am Tea break (sit and marvel at the awesome surroundings) you live and work on a nature reserve for goodness sake, soak it all in. Get interrupted by a complaint form room 14, go check it out.

12:00 am Oversee lunch detail

13:00 Have your own lunch by the river and contemplate living another life or being elsewhere.

14:00 Check out for guests in room 21, organise shuttle service.

15:00 Afternoon game drive for guests on the special stay package.

16:00 Check on domestic staff, ensure all empty rooms have been cleaned and linen has been replaced.

17:00 Domestic and gardening staff leave for the day, security check.

18:00 Ensure dinner requirements are met and welcome evening bar staff.

19:00 Retire to your room (with a much needed glass of wine) and hope no one calls with another complaint. Maybe watch a little TV

Oh how lucky I am to get to mingle with foreign guests of such a high calibre and to live in such beautiful surroundings.







Thursday, July 3, 2014

I just couldn't live without.....Day 4 @Writersbootcmp




Obviously my first thought to this question was...My family, my children and my soon to be husband, but then upon reflection I realised, I could live without them. I just don't want to. 

My next thought was an income or my home, but again, realistically I could be homeless and I would still be alive with most of my faculties intact. I probably wouldn't be very happy, but you know...alive.

Then there are the frivolous things like, my cell phone and laptop that allow me to connect to the world. You often hear people say "I could never live without my phone"

So I had to think even deeper, what is the one thing that is constant in my life, the thing that if you took it away from me, I would still be alive, but would most certainly go insane without?

MUSIC!!!

Yes, I love music, all of it (except for heavy metal, can't stand it) I have an eclectic taste when it comes to music. The type of music I listen to depends on my mood at the time. I mostly enjoy classical music, it soothes my soul. I can listen to someone playing the piano, violin or acoustic guitar for hours and never get bored.

I have the radio on constantly when I am driving, I hate to drive in silence. When I get home the radio or CD player is on in the background keeping me company and when I'm in a party mood there is nothing better than an awesome sing-a-long pop song to get me going. Dancing stupidly in my lounge when no one is watching. And then there is karaoke!!! but that goes best with alcohol.

And on weeknights after dinner Scott sometimes whips out his guitar and plays while I sit in awe of the sound. That's when I am most happy.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My greatest Fear @Writersbootcmp Day 3

My life used to be ruled by fear.....



When I was 24 I was promoted to being the boss and became principal of the nursery school I was teaching at. I was a terrible principal, partly because I was so young and had 3 kids and a hectic schedule, but my biggest fear was letting people down. My family was so proud of me for my achievements that I never let the cracks show and this led me to attempting suicide on the 24th of November 2000.

When my kids were little, their dad was quite harsh (not abusive in any way) but he would moan at them if they broke a glass or bowl by accident. So whenever someone broke something in the house we would hide it from him for fear of him finding out and crapping all over them about it.

When I finally decided to ask my ex for a divorce (after 22 yrs together) I was wrought with fear, scared that I was making a huge mistake. Afraid of the future and not knowing where it would take me. I had been married to this man since I was 16 yrs old and didn't know how to be an adult on my own. Fear of the unknown and fear of disappointing my family who were dead set against the divorce led me to procrastinate about it for another year before I finally took the plunge.

I met Scott while I was still married, but in my heart and in my mind my marriage was over long before I ever met him. I didn't start a proper relationship with him for fear of my kids thinking he was the reason I left their dad, he was not. I was afraid of what other people might think of me and I was afraid of the future. I had no idea if leaving the life I had known since I was 16 was the right thing to do or not. I was afraid of making a mistake. Again afraid of failing at life.

I did it anyway, I overcame that fear and today I
can honestly say that I have no clue what the future holds, I have no idea if I am going to be a success at anything I do, but dammit I gotta try right?

What's my biggest fear? FEAR itself.





My 5 Favourite words @Writersbootcmp #blog

Day 2 of the @Writersbootcmp challenge and the topic is: My 5 favourite words...... so here goes.



1  Serendipitous- Occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
                             Just love the meaning of this one!

2  Scrumptious - splendid, delectable, pleasing or delicious.
                           The best way to describe anything that gives you a mouthgasm.

3  Onbeskryfbaar- Afrikaans for indescribable.
                             Some times Afrikaans words just sound more meaningful than their English counterparts.                                Imagine if the love of your life said: My liefde vir jou is onbeskryfbaar!!!! oooh lala. My                                    love for you is indescribable. Also I like the fact that it's spelled exactly the way you say                                it.

4  Prestidigitation - Performance or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks.
                             I love this word mainly because it's such a difficult word to pronounce correctly and little                                children generally struggle to say it. Also you can play that game; Say prestidigitation 10 times                               in a row really fast without getting your tongue in a twist. (bet you can't).

5  Bonjour - Hello, a greeting in French.

 I have always loved the sound of the French language. I purchased a 'Learn to speak French fluently' CD and a French dictionary about 10 years ago. Can I speak French? erm....no, but it's still on my bucket list.





Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Even if you know me well, you won't know this

The past couple of months we moved house, started planning our wedding, had a few ups and downs
a photo I took last year on my blackberry
financially and through it all I have neglected my blog. I am not a prolific writer at the best of times so my blog has never been a priority. So I decided to try this challenge in order to get me in the mood to blog again.

Even if you know me well, you won't know this: * I suck my thumb. I do it when I am comfortable and relaxed. I can't fall asleep without it and I have not been able to stop. If I have a cold and my nose is blocked I am highly irritated because if I have to breathe through my mouth and that means I can't suck my thumb and if I can't suck my thumb, I can't sleep. My family tried all sorts of things to me when I was little to get me to stop, needless to say, none of them worked. 

* I like symmetry in my decor, like if we have lamps in the bedroom next to the bed, they must be identical. I do not like things to be out of place in the house and will get very annoyed when things are not put back in their proper living space. I realise I have 3 step kids, 3 grown up children and 2 grandchildren, so when they are all visiting, the house is always a mess. I love having my children over and enjoy their company, but feel very stressed after they have gone, because now I have to put everything back in its place. On the upside though, I find cleaning helps to calm me (as long as I am left alone to do so) and I feel a great sense of achievement when the house is neat.

* I have very strong feelings about toilet paper in odd numbers!!! (now I can see your raised eyebrow and hear you mumbling under your cough "batshitcrazy") I have no idea why, but I cannot buy toilet rolls in denominations that are uneven. You buy 2, 4 or 24 but never 3, 9 or any uneven number EVER!!!! My fiance thinks this is quite funny and will often throw 3 toilet rolls into the shopping trolley just to get a reaction out of me. Shame he doesn't get out much and has to get his entertainment somewhere.

* Lastly I hate not knowing something. Like if you start a sentence and then halfway through say "Ag never mind it's not important" This is a pet peeve of mine. Now not only will I forever wonder what it was you were going to say, but my mind will obsess over it and think of all the gazillion possibilities of what it could be.

I dislike Sci-fi movies and heavy metal music. I love classical music, Akon, autobiographies and thrillers.

Oh and I love trees!

And here endeth confession hour.