Don’t mind me, I am just being morbid

There I warned you…maybe it is because I have been listening to the news more often now that I have finally given up the fight with Metro Rail and joined the rest of the work force that get to work on time by their own means, but there has been a lot of death going around in the past week alone.

The rhinos (may the person responsible for that get an itch in a hard to reach place and may his fingers be transformed into fish hooks), the fourteen school kids that died when their bus plummeted off a bridge (there is no other word than heart-breaking to describe that) or it may have been something to do with a conversation we had at book club on Tuesday night.

The story is not mine to tell, but the gist was what kids remember and believe about parents that passed while they were very young.

Usually I am outspoken about a lot of things, but this is one subject where I normally prefer to take the back seat and stay quiet.  What is there to say? It hurts, it sucks that there is nothing we can do to make it better (even more so because we cannot prevent it) and unfortunately it is something that all of us have to go through at some point in time.

I come from a staunch Afrikaans “Boere” family and I have always thought that our downfall as a culture (at the lack of a better word) is that we don’t talk.   Sure we speak, we can be very helpful and courteous, make plenty of small talk, but we don’t talk about the things that really matter, the stuff that we need to share with others to help them along their way, it is just not done.  When we fall we are supposed to shake of the dust and move on, talking about it just reminds everyone.  I have always believed that we face certain hardships in our lives so that we may learn something from it either for ourselves or for a friend, family member, sometimes even a stranger.  That being said, sharing is much easier said than done.

I have written and re-written this post, trying to makes sense of it, trying to make it sound less callous (which is difficult seeing as the person this is about acted callous and senselessly).

When I was 7 years old my biological father committed suicide.  He did it in such a grotesque manner that an open casket was not an option.

For a very long time after his death, I was convinced that the grown-ups had made a mistake, why would my father shoot himself, with a shotgun no less?

I had so many questions. How was he able to do it?  Surely that cannot be possible?  I had all these theories worked out in my head.  Of course I now know that none of them were real or could ever be, the cold hard truth of the matter was that he was a coward and took the easy way out.  There is simply no other way to view suicide.

I am not being glib or uncaring.  I understand the ins and outs of depression.  I too have had glimpse down that particular rabbit hole.  I know the feeling of utter helplessness that envelopes you, you truly feel that there is no way out and even if you see the way out, you are just not able to summon the energy to get there.

I often wonder whether he considered us at all during those final moments.  Did he realise that more than 25 years after the fact we would still be seeking answers, trying to make sense of it? Did he know that it would cause his kids to believe that they were not good enough, that perhaps if they had been better he would not have left them? Why weren’t we enough? That it would cause us to seek out relationships where we would perpetually feel unwanted?

I am not trying to blame all of my issues on my biological father, sure he was instrumental in my being here, but he was no father- for that, I was fortunate enough to have another very special man come into our lives.

Everyone handles death and tragedies in a different manner and I am not trying to suggest that it makes it easier when a person dies of old age or after a prolonged sick-bed, but it makes more sense to those left behind.  The hurt is still the same, but at least it is not encased in a cocoon of questions.

The point I am trying to make is that it is such a difficult situation…impossible in the best of circumstances, and it becomes even more so because of the secrecy surrounding it.  It is a giant scarlet “S” to be worn by those left behind and something that is not easily outlived, no matter how old you get.


Undone by the…uhm..paws of a porcupine

I am laughing so hard right now I am blowing snot bubbles.

I am not having a particularly eventful day so thought to read the Cape Times to see what is happening in the world.  On page 3 I found this bizarre story:

Man Caught living 3 lives

Three South African families found out that had more in common than their nationality, when it was revealed that loving father, Patrick Hendricks, was in fact husband to all 3 wives and father to the 6 children.

On Saturday 12th, Mersades Hendricks’ world was turned upside down when she discovered that her husband of 12 years had been living two other lives. The discovery came when she received an unexpected call from a local hospital, informing her that Mr Hendricks had been involved in a bizarre incident with a porcupine.

Upon hearing the news, Mrs Hendricks rushed to the hospital with her two children, Henlo and Kenlee, to find her husband in a coma and surrounded by a group of strangers.  After several introductions were made, they were shocked to the core when it was revealed that all three wives shared the same husband…

Apart from having a lot of explaining to do when he wakes up about his extra-marital shenanigans, I would like to know-more than anything, what exactly he did with a porcupine that landed him in a coma?


Nepotism and wine

I am not above nepotism, so if you are, I would suggest you stop reading.  Right Now.

I truly love the Bonnievale/Robertson/Ashton area.  I would move there in a heartbeat. Commuting to work may be a bit of a hassle, but move I will, just as soon as I can finally, successfully, apparate and dissapparate.

Just look at this website: http://www.farmerredbeard.co.za and see all that this wonderful Valley of Wine and Roses has to offer.  Just that name says it all.  Who wouldn’t want to visit a place with wine and roses?

So if you feel the need to break away for the weekend, or play truance for the week, this is definitely the place to go.


Dont mind me, I am just having a sh*t fit

What is it with men and fire?

Perhaps it is because it subconsciously takes them back to their sub-human days,wait-who  am I kidding, I know of a number of candidates that never quite left those days.

I can just imagine them (being the sub-humans) standing around the fire, ‘talking’

Grunt, Grunt-My fire is bigger than yours

Grunt Growl Grr-prove it

Anyway I digress.

So what is it with men and fires and more specifically wanting to throw meat on it?

I wonder if our predescessors also had to avert their eyes to the heaven as their mates (don’t think they can be classified as  a husband if he club you over the head and drag you to his cave) threw half a brontosaurus on the fire, while the wind and sleet made in near impossible to stick even their noses out of the cave for fear of inducing frostbite.

I pondered this last night as I was nursing my frost bitten toes and nose, after being subjected to a sub-zero temperature braai in the rain.  What a treat.


The dinosaur wars

I hate Barney, I am convinced that there is a paedophile under there.  I have no evidence to prove the contrary so I stand by my beliefs.

My worst fear came true when a number of months ago we were at a braai at a friend’s house and my son walked out of their’s room with a beaming smile and the purple devil dinosaur under his arm.  It took some cajoling to get it out of his sticky little mits and I confess to hiding it back in the child’s room on the top bunk, where only an adult can reach.  I know, I know, I am evil and will pay for that. Some day.  But this is today.

There is a moratorium on Barney in our house, scratch that, there is a moratorium on Barney, Ben 10, Spiderman, Superman and before my son was born, Pooh too.  Simply because he (Pooh, that is) is a dictator brat , and he took Eeyore’s starring role.

You don’t agree? Consider this:  he eats honey all day long and orders everyone around.  Doesn’t that sounds like a number of political leaders to you?

Unfortunately the Terrorist’s grandfather bought him a Pooh Bear and as my father is not one to buy these things on his own very often, that rule had to be bent.  I have made peace with Pooh, we are great chums now, he allows me to sleep several uninterrupted hours per night and for that I am eternally grateful, so dictator or not, we are now in a symbiotic relationship.

These rules are not in place just out of pure spite, because I get a kick out of it, they are there for some very good reasons. One being the most important of all of them…


The same reason I generally buy the toys that have an ‘OFF’ switch, or replace the new batteries with slightly worn ones, so that the grating song that I will inevitably hear at 6 am on a Saturday is not quite as loud as it would have been had it been bolstered by fresh batteries.

When all is said and done, what good am I going to be as a mother when I am in the nut house clutching my shins and rocking to the tune of “I love you”?

Besides, if he doesn’t have it he can’t miss it-right?

That was my plan, untill the husband so kindly pointed out that if I place him in school there will be Barney and I will have no control over it. None.

Time to research homeschooling.



My husband hates doing tax returns, he puts them off for years. Me well I am so scared of SARS that I declare every single cent, I keep spreadsheets, lists and slips throughout the year (and I am not even an accountant).  I even have a spreadsheet just for medical expenses not covered by the medical aid, in bookyear format to make sure I dont claim the same thing twice.  Him. Not so much.

Someone sent me a demotivational poster that is so meant for him…


Anyone have a spare bed, something tells me I am sleeping outside tonight…


Of flies and good samaritans…

Many years ago, back when I was still young and beautiful, we (the ex-douche bag and I) went to Sodwana for our Diving Exams.

I was without wheels so we took the douchebag’s Opel Corsa.  That car was cursed.  I swear it hated me. Come to think of it the driver also hated me and visa versa so the feelings were all mutual.  Any the way, so we had a lovely diving holiday week.  That is what the brochure said, in actual fact, that diving camp was a dump.  It was hot and muggy.  I realised (halfway through our test exercise in the pool)that I had a pathological fear of bubbles (a post for another day) and they could not in good conscious let me into the ocean.

Long story short ,I ended up sitting on the beach for long hours getting sunburnt (there was no such thing as sun loungers and sun shades in sight) on a beach that is not at all suited to swimming,  with just mangy surfers climbing in and out of ratty wetsuits without their underwear for company, and the largest collection of flies I had ever had the misfortune of seeing in one place.

I am not being my usual over-dramatic self here.  It was so bad that we could not even eat at the same time.  One person had to take a bite while the other fanned their food to keep the big black monsters from devouring all that was in sight. Those flies will give Hitchcock’s birds a run for their money. Truly a memorable holiday.  But I digress.

We were on our way back from hellSodwana, when in the middle of nowhere the car started heating up and spewing great balls of white steam into the air (it looked at one point like we were driving a steam locomotive) and we ended up having to stop every 2 metres to refill the water and wait for what seemed like an eternity for the carspawn of satan to cool down, which was about as likely as ice skating in hell because it was easily 45° C in the shade (I use this word in the loosest term possible,  because there wasn’t any).

So there we were, stranded in the land of nothing, sweating like pigs being grilled alive, not a spot of shade and also not in the best of spirits after spending a week fending of assaults from all sorts of flying, crawling, creeping insects (and stinky locals).

<Years later it dawned on me that all of this would have been made much more pleasant had I just given myself over to drink and kept up a healthy level of drunkeness throughout. Flies? What flies? I will show you flies… any way, back to the story…again (I promise)>

We stopped right across this deserted looking farm, on our twelfth hundred stop for the day to let the car ‘cool’ and lo and behold.  LIFE! Just as we pulled to the side of the road a woman was leaving their gate.  She must have seen on my face that I was about ready to commit suicide <read murder> or pretty much just anything that could get me out of the crapness that was that day. Thankfully she stopped, and for the first time that day we received some good news, her husband was a mechanic and was on his way back home, but if we accompany her to town, by the time we got back, her husband will be home and can help us on our merry little way.

<she needed to pick up some groceries-now that was the most surreal experience I have ever had, grocery shopping with a complete stranger.  It is excruciating enough having to do it with someone you know…that alone should speak to our frame of mind>

Years later, I can’t even remember where the car broke down, or even what this good Samaritan’s name was, but I recall the deep gratitude I felt. I will never be able to repay her (mainly because I have no idea how to find her) but hope that I can pay it forward some way for someone else in need one day.