Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas ………..

Its a tricky kind of year – what to get that man in your life when it appears he has everything.

You just bought him shit for Christmas, and that was hard enough because he seems to only have one interest — and it will usually be something that either requires golf clubs, cycling shorts or a fishing rod.

As a selfless gesture and to assist you not wasting any further time out of your daily schedule to try and find something for that guy of yours, I have found the gift of gifts.

Valentines Day

 

It does come in three manly colours.

It also has the added purpose of being great if you every notice “plumber’s bum” on your guy.

I do have a question about the press studs though …. but this picture does not feature that level of detail.

 

I seriously don’t make this shit up ——->> order yours here.

Road Trip Friday ….

I have three bottles of wine, two bags of olives, two bags of chips, and some Diddle Daddle popcorn – what do you think I am packing for?

Road trip to Pringle Bay to meet up with some friends.  

I am so looking forward to this trip – it is the light at the end of the tunnel, of a week, that just should not be lived again.

 

*sprinkles fairy dust* …. to make my wish come true.

We are going to be staying at Sea Villa | Glen Craig — it is gorgeous and has just enough mountain and sea views to keep me comfortable lying on their couch and staring out the window.

I often dose off and have been known to drool a bit on their pillow, but they are so nice they don’t seem to mind.  Sometimes someone comes and puts a blanket on me.

{The website does not do them any justice, is is so much more beautiful than the site shows}

Girls with too many stories to tell.  Too much wine and a few bags of olives …. how do you think this is going to go?

Fortunately there will be no driving involved, and we can sort of stumble/trip/dawdle to our room.  The last time we did this, we ended up with three girls sleeping in one bed — it was actually quite pleasant.

I hope I have not under estimated how much wine I will need.

Have a good weekend, where ever it takes you!!

Glen-Craig-Pringle-Bay

The one about the plumber ….. I really need my plumbing attended to

waterfall_TLC

I had a burst pipe — as you do …… and there was sufficient water cascading over the street, to make me think of “Waterfalls” by TLC.

I blamed the neighbour and thought it was their problem.

Unfortunately it appears that my taps and important things connected to my water supply is on their property.  The pretty rainbow that was forming from all the water exiting my property, though pretty, was going to start to get expensive in terms of water usage.

I am normally quite a resourceful person, but when I am under a bit of strain and stress, then my reaction is not dissimilar from Chicken Little and screaming about THE SKY IS FALLING.

 

cartoon-end-of-the-world

I seriously turn into a total imbecile with few skills and no ability to problem solve.

My neighbour called me this afternoon and made it clear that  the water was from my water mains (who knew I had water mains) was rather a lot.  And I needed to action it in with a bit more vigour than I was presently attending to the matter.

I called a friend – as you do when you are sitting waiting for your son’s cricket practice to finish {at the exact same time a cricket ball hit my car.  I am not sure which I was more suprised at, the cricket ball hitting my car, or the fact that these boys could hit a ball.  Which travelled that distance.  That besides.)  Friend gives me various numbers of plumbers in the area.

Trying to contact a plumber after 17h00, and trying to keep hysteria out of your voice is quite a trick.

Anyway, called three, found one who would pop around tomorrow afternoon — like quite late.

I was not sure that I had that much water in which ever reservoir water comes from. I tried to sound desperate – easy to do with three kids in the car, all going ape shit, whilst you are trying to have a phone call.

What is it about kids and escalating noise and total madness that ensues when you make or take a phone call?

They won’t speak to you for 4 days other than the grunts and the requests to wipe their bum, take a phone call, make a phone call and suddenly all three are orators of fever pitch proportions?

This story is starting to go off on a tangent.

I arrive at home and there is this guy standing next to his bakkie, and I think “please let this be my plumber ….” or if that is not working, then “please let this guy be my stripper instagram I booked for myself.”

And it was.  The plumber, not the stripper.

You know you expect Homer Simpson to arrive – the standard jeans a bit too low on the arse, the shirt fitting a bit too snugly, and not quite covering up the beer boep, and that general sense of “disregard for good grooming and body hygiene” one has become accustomed to when you call a plumber?

This guy. Did not get that memo.  It was all a bit giggly and arms flapping, and using a squeaky voice. That was me.  He was all calm and smiles.  At some point I think I offered to buy him a drink …. I decided at some point to stop speaking and just stare at him.

I told my friend and she said “why didn’t you take a photograph” — yep, that would have been less weird.

I think at some point I was hoping he would not be able to fix the shower of water and it would wet his shirt …. and you know your mind sort of wonders off when you are standing in a cul-de-sac with three children, and your shirt on back to front (because you dressed wrong this morning, and have just realised that it was actually back to front.)

I have never been one to google my plumber and hit the images button, it seems that everyone eventually gets to this point.  I am at that point.

I have been thinking about walking around my house and randomly breaking things, so that I can call a plumber to come over and sort out my plumbing.

{apologise if this post went off a bit randomly …….. I have been self medicating, and I don’t always get it right}

Oh for fox sake …..

I have really been struggling to sit down and compose a blog post that I actually publish.

I have written dozens of “almost posts” and jotted down all sorts of shit and stuff — but I have not got to the point where I feel comfortable to post anything.

There is a lot of things running around in my head at the moment.

To be blatantly honest most of the things that are creating noise is me trying to adjust to this new life being a “divorced person” in a relationship that is over, and all the fine details hat comes along with that.

Getting divorced is pretty easy.

Being divorced is a bit of a fucking dog show, without the dogs, but with all the shit left on the field.

In the bigger picture I have been struggling with what I can talk about publicly and what I should hold close to my chest.

I am not a big fan of airing dirty laundry, and there is seldom a way to do it in a healthy manner.

At the moment I feel quite raw, exposed and vulnerable.  All the usual bravado that I try to wear as a protection is seriously dented and lacking.

I keep thinking okay I will write about “that” and then when I start to jot down some words, and those words form sentences, and now and then paragraphs, then I look at it and go “no, I can’t put that out there….”

Then I sit there quietly as the inside of me is this bubbling chaotic space, and my mind feels like it is being knocked around inside my skull.

The part I used to love about blogging – is now the thing I am struggling to remain true to.  I have always believed that you should blog what you feel, blog what you think — what you really think — blog with honesty and integrity – ignore who you think may read your posts.

I do not blog for the people who read my blog, that has always been a slippery slope to venture along.  I prefer to blog and ignore who may or may not read it.

It sounds selfish, but for me it is the backbone of what I love about blogging.  And what I love about reading some bloggers work.  Honesty, and blogging for the sake of writing what is running around inside your head.

Today was a difficult day.  I felt really gutted today. I felt a bit beaten up.

I felt a bit like life had taken me by the gonads (yes I imagine I might have them on some days) and swung me around so that my head kept hitting the wall of the very small square imaginary room I felt I was in.

It’s 12:10 am, the day is at it’s end.  Thank fuck!!!

I have spent the better part of the last 5 hours covering school books.  That wasn’t the reason for the stress, and mental confusion – it was actually the task that kept me focussed and prevented me “going off the deep end.”

I took some time out and went to sit outside – it is a lovely evening weather wise, and stared up at the stars, sipped my wine and thought duckety fuck, duckety fucking fuck!!!

Then I stood up, brushed some of the dirt off my pants, and thought “bitch, get your shit together, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, you do not need this level of kak …. and you need to go and pour yourself some more wine, because you have bought some crazy arse beautiful wine glasses …..”

And then I said “fuck yes!”

oh for fox

 

 

Actually Facebook, I do not want to do a photo montage of my great year …..

I was looking at some photographs of myself earlier today — and I realised how tired, exhausted and life weary I look.

I was smiling in some of those — but the smile was not a real smile, it was that strained kind you are forced to do, usually in group photographs and at birthday parties.

I zoomed in closer and really scrutinized the look in my eyes and it is of utter exhaustion.

It looks like someone on the edge of a nervous breakdown — or a Game of Thrones binge.  Or who is about to eat the entire pack of lemon meringue cupcakes from Woolworths.

It is not the kind of weary that can be cured by a good’ish bottle of wine and a 14 hour nap, but the sort of weariness and exhaustion that etches into your very soul.  And then oozes out of your pores.

It’s been a good year in some ways.

It has not been a good year in many others.

It has been a “fuck really ??? really” year in many more more I am afraid.

I have been really good at putting my stuff into little boxes and packing them neatly away.  I have been a high functioning {insert correct word} for much of this year – I am not sure if that was the impression I created with others, but that was definitely the vibe I thought I was creating.

Me. Sorted.  Keeping it together.  Getting shit done.

For much of this year, I have been proud of myself and my ability to just button down and get on with the stuff that needs to be got on with.  I have tried this “normal” thing and I think for the most part I managed to really give the illusion of getting it about right.

Sure there has been the odd “well that was unfortunate” and “yes, I got a lift home with Bennie the tow-truck driver because I could not find my car” — but hey who does not have those nights weeks every so often, right?

I started to feel the cracks this month — the cracks started to show and then the cracks got bigger and then I started to cry.

It really got going on Christmas Day – like the lurching jerking kind of cry.  For absolutely no reason.

I have cried myself a fucking river at this point.  I am crying now.  My guess is I will cry tomorrow.

I am actually not sure of why I am crying, nor what exactly I am crying about — but it has made reading or keeping a buoyant attitude really trying, and the red eyes are just a permanent fixture at this stage.

Sorry I have not been blogging – I have so much to say, so much in my head, but at the same time nothing.  I am also trying to pick my words wisely, and be aware of what I say or spew.

To those who have been my support this year – and really been there even in the smallest way I thank you — like really big.  Your late night SMS’s and funny images have been appreciated.

It is often not the big gestures that get you through the day, it can sometimes just be someone sniffing you and saying you smell good.

Granted when it is a strange guy at Pick ‘n Pay who does not respect the personal circle of trust, then it gets a bit awkward, but anyway.

I will blog again, don’t give up on me totally.  Watch this space.

 

dowager meme

 

 

 

 

School applications, Sherlock Holmes and the Holy Grail ….

I seem to have spent the last 13 years looking for schools.

It has become my “other job” – the one that drives me crazy, and at the same time excites me no end as I take on the digging and researching that would drive Sherlock Holmes to a happy ending.

{I do know that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, but I like to think of him as Benedict Cumberbatch and that makes him pretty real to me}

At the moment the aim is to get Connor/Child Number 1 into High School for Grade 8.  I can only apply between February and April, and then the school advises us during June – September as to whether you have been accepted. Or are going to just be home schooled.

The problem with the system is that because you find out so late in the year, if you are not accepted by a school what are you going to do?

So the system forces you to do the other thing, which is to apply to several schools “in case you do not get in” and thus in itself further adds to the fact that schools will let you know you have been accepted, give you a period of time to respond/accept/make a deposit and if that is not forthcoming then they move to the second tier of desperate parents who are sitting starting at their phone waiting for it to ring.

Schools worry me, because I have had to deal with them for so many years.  I understand how the lists work, and the waiting lists, and what it is like to wait for the acceptance letter.

The result is for Connor we need to apply to 4 – 6 high schools.

We are English-speaking, to find sufficient English schools in our area, has become akin to the search for the Holy Grail.

I applied a great deal of pressure on Connor during these last exams that the grades were the ones that schools were going to look at on his applications. I really need him to get straight A’s, or very close.

Next year I will also have to do the bit to get Isabelle/Child #3 enrolled for Grade 1.  She also starts at a new school in January 2015, in Grade R – they did not have space to take her this year.

I assume that Isabelle will go the same primary school as the other two, and she will get accepted based on a sibling criteria (her siblings both are at or went to the same school.) but that does not make me sit very easy until I have the letter in my hand.

I have seen a few status updates on Facebook where kids were accepted to such and such schools and it is always “oh, congratulations child so and so” when in actual fact it should say “Mom, seriously high 5 for the months of research, sorting out application forms, stalking people who may be well-connected to get you ahead of the queue.  Basically spending the last 1 – 3 years worrying, fretting and orchestrating this process to get your kid accepted at the school you wanted your kid accepted to, and not always the one he wants to go to….”

School application time sucks huge rocks!

141203_Grow up

I don’t like making plans …..

141126_premeditated

Is it me or do things just feel a bit f*cked up as of late … ?

Apologise if you have been “double clicking” on this site and wondering why it does not refresh with a new blog post.

Yes, about that.

I have had so much in my head, but really have sat here rather wordless and unable to get anything to fall out of my mouth or head that makes any sense, or could be construed as vaguely nonsensical, so there has just been no blogging going on.

My head, it is safe to say, is a bit of a mucked up place right now.  Four seasons in a day ….. or something of that nature.

I read this post by Laura over at Harrassed Mom earlier this week about perspective, and how we get swept up in all our kak, and often we are unable to look around and really appreciate what we have, or where we are in our lives.

{puts up hand to indicate guilt}

This post really struck a nerve with me — especially when Laura listed all the “not so great things” that she sees, and then she compares them with her home situation and goes “actually my shit ain’t so bad …..”

{I am ad libbing but you get the idea right?}

I hate this time of year – so much to do, and try to finish, and there just not seem to be enough time in the day.   And enough money in the bank or my wallet.

I am not a fan of Xmas in a good year — there is just a lot of pressure to be happy, joyful and think appreciative thoughts.  And say “ho ho ho” and then there is Boney M and “The Little Drummer Boy” playing ….. and that scary sensation that sooner or later you are going to hear Mariah Carey doing a song, about Xmas or some shit.

I will happily do Boney before I do Mariah.  And I mean that in all the ways that that sentence could be interpreted.

This year is my first Xmas AD *after divorce* and well it is a bit uncertain, and it is making me feel weird, and strange, and quite stressed.

I am sure it will be fine.

I am sure it will not be too weird, but it will be a bit weird, but this is life.  I need to get my big girl panties on, possibly by stained, but still well fitting bra, and just get my shit together.

Kennith and I need to work out where the kids will be, who will have them for Xmas eve and who will have them for Xmas day …… and then there is the fucking Xmas tree to put up.

That is traditionally Kennith’s job —- to be honest, I am not sure who got the existing tree in the divorce settlement, it might actually not be an issue, because it might be up at Kennith’s house.

See the stuff that runs in my head?  The way I solve it is just not to go and look for the tree …..I just delay going to figure out if is it there or not.  All pretty helpful and possibly not so sane.

Okay, back to Laura and her well timed and well written post.

I really would like to ignore the mounting bills, the financial uncertainty.  The odd summons for late payment and the other things that are going on that probably are really not a big deal in the greater scheme of things, but impact my life and day in a rather profound and deeply unsettling and stressful manner.

I would like to take my stuff that seems to big to me, but really is just a tiny inconsequential blip on the greater scheme of things.

Today for a few hours,  my attention was well and truly diverted as I considered a few things happening not to far from where any of us live.

This morning I woke up to three stories — they made me step back and rethink that no matter how complicated, a bit screwed up and maybe not quite the picture of normality my life is …. maybe, just maybe it is not so bad.

{look at me and my shiny optimistic fucking attitude…}

There are three families out in the world who have far more to deal with than I could ever begin to grasp, understand or appreciate.

No matter how I try to paint my day as being difficult, challenging and sometimes worthy of an afternoon lie down.  On the floor.  Behind the door.  Clutching a make-do Linus blanket.

It does not even begin to hold a candle to what other people are going through.

Lisa-Marie Watling lost her husband, Travers, this week.  Suddenly, without warning.  Her life changed for ever as the love of her life was ripped from her.  It has been all over Facebook and social media.  I think that there are hundreds if not thousands of people who collectively shed a tear, and felt such a weight of sadness. loss, shock, and a thousand other painful emotions for Lisa-Marie and her Isabella.  The world became a significantly sadder place this week.  Nothing I can say can even hint or fully comprehending what Lisa-Marie must be feeling.  How does one “get over this” without shaking your fist to the sky and screaming all sorts of obscenities?

No, I don’t know either.

Today on KFM, on the Grant a Wish segment there was a story about Caitlin, who had drowned in her family’s pool about 5 weeks ago.  A tragic accident.

We all know how difficult it is to come to terms with a sudden accident… especially when it involves a child. Madeline wrote to us about her friends Traci and Justin, and their 22 month old daughter Caitlin. Last month, Caitlin managed to venture out of the house on her own… and fell into the swimming pool at their home. Traci, her husband and her mom were inside the house at the time. When they found Caitlin, she hadn’t been breathing for 7 minutes. Caitlin’s father Justin managed to resuscitate her, and rushed to Hospital. Caitlin was put into an induced coma for a week – before doctors gradually brought her out of the coma so that they could assess the damage. The damage on Caitlin’s brain is irreparable… Earlier this month Caitlin underwent her 1st operation to insert a tube into her stomach to feed her. On top of this, she still faces months in a rehabilitation centre. Medical bills are piling up for the treatment… and on top of this Caitlin now needs a special chair so that they can move her around. She has lost all her movement… and can’t even lift head.

I listened to the story and wept as I drove.

As parents we are constantly vigilant, and always trying to ensure our children’s safety.  As a parent, can I say that I have not taken my eye off the ball, for what ever reason, for 10 minutes or more?  No.

Traci and Justin, and Caitlin’s lives have changed in an instant. In an instant.  How is that right?

How does that make sense?

Earlier today I read the newspaper and sort of skimmed over what is happening in the world.

6 year old girl was discovered being raped by a 13 year old boy. A close family friend.  It appears this has been going on for some time. George has been arrested.  6 year old girl is upset because she can’t understand why George has been taken away – she things she is his girlfriend.  Where where where on this greenish blue earth can you begin to understand what happened in that home.

How it happened, why it happened, and how this family and this 6 year old girl will ever live a “normal” life after this.  The girl is also now HIV positive ….. anyone want to explain to me how this is all part of a plan, some great mystical plan that makes sense, or is for the best or part of something we mere mortals don’t understand ……

Anyone?

I know there must be a thousand other stories that happened this week – but these are the three that reminded me that “no matter how smelly your shit is, when that shit is put in a brown bag and thrown in the air, you want to pray to catch your own shit and not anyone else’s when those bags fall down again” ……. granted not quite Chinese Proverb stuff, but still rather apt and wise.

Is it me or do things just feel a bit fucked up as of late …?

141126_deeply fucked up
On a non related note, Georgia held a sea shell up to her ear today and said “I can hear an owl….” {still not the strangest thing she has said today}

Maybe princes shouldn’t kiss dead girls in the forest ……. just saying

maleficent

 

This evening I was watching a trailer for Maleficent.  Georgia had seen it already and I needed to remind her that she mustn’t spoil the story for me, as I had not watched it as yet.

Georgia told me that her favourite princess was Rapunzel (both share hair of a ridiculous length) and that Sleeping Beauty came in a close second.

I looked at Georgia and felt the overwhelming urge to remind her that “she did not have to be saved by a Prince….”

She is clever enough, strong enough and street smart enough to save herself, and get herself out of nearly any situation by using her smarts.

A prince on a white horse was not needed.

She nodded and still stared glazed eyed at the images on the screen.

I decided to not let this moment pass.  I reminded her that wasn’t she the best at Math in her standard – wasn’t she the cleverest and most creative girl we knew?

Wasn’t she brave and determined enough to get herself out of nearly any situation, without the aid of a prince.  On a horse.  Who needed to stop by and kiss dead girls in the forest?

A guy who  would make life altering decisions based on whether a shoe fitted someone?   Because he seemed to be unable to recognise the women he spent a few hours dancing with.

I am not anti fairy tales, I love the whimsy and the total abandon.

I am however aware that every fairy tale has a princess, or fair maiden waiting for a prince to rescue them.

I think it would be great for a prince or princess to rescue any of my girls if they were in a predicament.  My sense seems to revolt at the point where as girls, they are cast as the damsel in distress, and they need to have a prince to rescue them.

I know it is a silly and probably irrelevant differentiation, but I want my girls to grow up knowing, and believing they are capable of anything.

Even rescuing a prince who happened to have his finger pricked on a sewing needle.

Alternatively questioning a prince who would ride past and kiss a girl who for all intense purposes who seemed to be dead.

A prince who can’t recall a visual nor the name of the person he had danced with the night before.

These are princes who you do not actually want to mix any DNA with.

Happily ever after is a challenge.  At best choose a prince who can do facial recognition, does not want t to kiss every dead girl he rides past, and most importantly appears to have some sort of an income where he is not dependent on his parents.

Otherwise, as you were.

 

I hereby pronounce you ….. divorced {throws confetti?}

141029_divorce

 

As you may or may not know, Kennith and I are going through a divorce process.  It has not been a horrible divorce, but it has been a divorce, and ending a relationship that has been in existence for the last 20 years.

We have three children,.  We have a shared life that overlaps in many aspects.

We have been in a relationship with each other for our entire adult lives.

Sitting and breaking that up into a spreadsheets and pieces is traumatic.

No matter how nicely you “play with others” and no matter how much you try your utmost to act like an adult, the process is really awful.

It is often not the big things that leave you bereft and licking your wounds, but the tiny almost insignificant things that you realise are actually pretty significant, that make you cry and sob.  I remember when Kennith was meant to collect the rug that is in our bedroom, I felt like if he took that rug I was going to break into a thousand pieces.

It’s a rug — it really has no sentimental value.  But when he arrived to collect it, I really felt this was the time when I was going to break.  {In the end he left it, because he could see I was upset…..}

The last ten months have had me work through every possibly emotion.  Which includes sadness, denial, pain, indecisiveness, happiness, relief, anxiety, euphoria, being numb, pain and despair, confusion, rejection, chicken licken’s fear of the sky falling, and any thing else you can add to the mix.

For the most part I have tried to appear composed and that I have my shit together.  I am not sure why it was important to look like I am keeping my shit together. I think possibly because I felt that if I started to slip, it would be all over and I would be a crumpled heap at the bottom of the white cliffs of Dover.

There have been several moments where I have felt like I had taken a walk over to the dark side.  That there was no way I could actually hold on to this little ledge of sanity that I am clinging to.

That feeling of panic and irrationality often pops up at the exact moment where I think I have got this all under control.  To remind me in no uncertain terms that I am actually a minefield of emotions right now, poor decisions and sometimes immense sadness, fear and self loathing.

I cannot imagine what my life is going to be moving forward.  I am stuck in looking back, and am struggling to lift my eyes up off the floor and really get a good look at the horizon.

I am scared.  I am afraid.  I am still a bit shell shocked to be honest.  I referred to Kennith as my husband the other day … then I just stood there and stopped speaking mid-conversation ….. because I was not sure what to say.

Kennith attended court last week – it was an uncontested divorce, so I did not have to go along.  Kennith let me know when he was at court, and then let me know when it was over.

Wednesday was a very surreal day.

I knew what was going to happen. I had participated in all the decisions and the processes, so I was well up to scratch on what was happening, the how, when and what.

When it happened, I really felt like I had been sucker punched.  Like something in me had just caved in.

Last Wednesday left me feeling sad, scared, with a sense of profound loss.  Twenty years and it was over.  Officially.

It is difficult to explain — it is difficult to articulate.  Last Wednesday was an important milestone in my journey of life.  I am not sure yet whether it was a good milestone, a bad milestone or just a milestone.

 

Quotes about life and maybe a bit about divorce, that resonated with me:

 

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quotes01

 

quotes04

 

quotes05

 

quotes06

 

quotes07

quotes09

 

And the two I liked the most

 

quotes10

 

quotes11

 

The stuff I learn from the Crime Investigation Channel ….

I like documentaries.  Unfortunately reality television has managed to find it’s way into nearly every channel, and reality television makes me want to bang my shin against the coffee table — really hard.

There is no History on the History Channel.  But if I have any interest what so ever in Pawn shops, then it appears it is the place to go.

I could also complain about most other channels in the same way.

The only channel that has not been affected, is the Crime Investigation Channel — well except for the show “The First 48 Hours” which I am not a fan of, but I digress.

Watching a documentary about Donald Piper who is eventually convicted on two counts of murder – however is suspected of at least four.   The women often work in the hotels, as housekeepers and they are killed whilst cleaning the rooms.

The MO is the same, and it is not limited to one hotel, it is happening across various hotels.  Each time he commits the crime he gets a bit more clever, and is leaving less and less information about himself.

Now the problem with hotel rooms is that there is a lot of “traffic” there – so it is not like they have to rule out the people who live there and discard those fingerprints — nope there is a few hundred fingerprints all over the room of different people, so these detectives are really have a difficult time of it.

I can’t recall if the perpetrator was killing these women, and posing their bodies, or also sexually assaulting them.

The crux of my story is that at some point the evidence team decide they will take the bed spread, wrap it neatly in plastic and take it to the evidence laboratory and then check it to see if they can find any evidence on it that will give them some sort of a DNA trace.

This is not the actual bed spread, but it is similar in that it has that wild crazy busy print.

4

The technician, who looks like he has just learnt a valuable life lesson, explains that they unwrap this bedspread, they black out all the lights and use one of those blue lights to show up semen on the bedspread.

figure

It shows semen on the bedspread.  Initially they think “win we have evidence” —- and then they realise this bedspread lights up like a Jackson Pollock painting (see image below for a visual reference)

There was semen on the bedspread.  There were 120 DIFFERENT SEMEN STAINS.

“Waiter, bring the bill please …. I need to go now.”

It seems hotels do not wash their bedspreads as often as they should – hence the need for crazy designs.  On average once a year.

Yes, I retched a bit as well.

Tip 1:  Never stay in a hotel unless they have white linen.

Further in the same show, they suspect this guy who is the Maintenance Manager for a few hotels.

They approach him and ask him if there is any reason why they would find his semen in a particular room, where one of the women were killed, and it turns out that him and his wife had stayed in that room before and had sex, and that would be the reason his semen was in the room.

{let’s exclude the questions you and I are both asking about WHAT THE FUCK  IS HOUSEKEEPING doing in these establishments??….}

Any-the-who, same Maintenance Man phones the investigator the next day and says, well you are probably going to find semen in the rooms, the bathrooms and on the light shades or nearly every room.

Investigator:  “well thank you for telling us …. but why?”

Maintenance Man: “I used to go into every room in the hotel and masturbate on everything ……”

Investigator: “someone bring me spoon to dig out my inner ear so I can act like I never heard that….”

Tip 2 :  If you ever hire a Maintenance Man for a hotel chain, you may want to have an “excessive masturbation” clause as part of your employment contract.

Tip 3:  Invest in one of those black light numbers.

120 DIFFERENT SEMEN STAINS …… and you used to get all creeped out by your mattress having bed bugs.  It’s all about perspective.

 

This post is actually not about breast cancer, it is about praying.

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Someone who is very close to me told me she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she went for her last check up. (Let’s refer to her as Pamela, to make this easy.)  She had some issues with her one breast that had continued for some time, and at the time she and the doctor felt it was related to breastfeeding.

She had stopped breastfeeding, and had gone back to the hospital, and the hospital had run tests.

She told me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer about two weeks ago.  The doctors were running a battery of other tests to see what the severity was of the problem, and she needed to return to hospital yesterday for those tests results, and go through another set which would assist them to decide on the best treatment for her.

I was devastated for her.  She is a mom, and she needs to work.  She cannot be ill, and not earn an income.  But more importantly she cannot die.  I wondered to myself why is this happening to her —– for crying out loud.

I have never tested positive for cancer, so have no idea how it must feel to have someone across the table from you confirm your worst nightmare.  I have no idea how that feels.

I had to have something cut out of an area right next to my eye – which my dermatologist was concerned might be cancer.  Tiny little spot, minor surgery to take it out and send it for a biopsy.  I still sat and thought to myself “is this how it starts, you get a small spot somewhere which turns out to be a cancer that has already spread, and there you are staring at your spot going, it’s only a spot…”

Either way my totally inconsequential spot really scared me, because the word “cancer” had been used.

It turned out to be an inconsequential spot.

Pamela had an appointment yesterday to return to the hospital for her results, and then for them to run more tests and make a decision how aggressively to proceed.

I held her in my thoughts all day.

I have always admired her for the strong, controlled woman she is -and the way she deals with the punches that life throws at her.  She does not fall down in a wet heap, but works through it, stands up, dusts herself off and comes out of the corner with her fists up.

This post is actually not about breast cancer, it is about praying.

I thought to myself yesterday, is it enough to keep Pamela in my thoughts, or is it important that I pray for her?  Or ask other people to pray for her, say via Facebook?

I am agnostic, so praying is already a bit of an issue for me.

I wondered, that if God does exists, in which ever form he/she may be  (I am just going to use he, as this is going to get cumbersome) – and knows everything and is all powerful, then surely he would know the fight that Pamela is going through already, and he would make a decision whether to assist Pamela or not to.

Would praying change the outcome for Pamela — would God be swayed by prayers?

Is he like a cricket umpire who makes a decision, and only reconsiders his decision when the players run up into his face screaming OUT or what ever they scream.  Or does he stand there unmoved, because his decision is his decisions, and he is the umpire?

It started to remind me of IDOLS or America’s Got Talent, and that a person could only move forward if enough people phoned-in in support of that person.  Is the concept of praying sort of the same?

What if no one prayed for Pamela?   Would God still assist her as much or as little as he was going to do anyway, and it was irrelevant whether 1 person prayed for her or 1000 people prayed for her?

There I sat yesterday wrestling with this beast called religion —– and prayer.

I started at one point to reason, what if I prayed for Pamela, even if I technically did not believe in a god, surely then I would still be praying and well that would be good for Pamela.

I reverted back to my proposition that if God was all seeing and all knowing, then he would recognise an insincere request from someone who is not sure whether he exists or not.  Would that count against how he had already decided how Pamela’s results were going to go?

I am not sure.  I really am not.

Pamela had a full day of testing, and the results though still breast cancer, were not as disastrous as she had initially been told.  She is booked for a biopsy on the other breast, so that they can decide on the treatment and do it all at once.

I am not sure how prayer works.

I am not sure how life and the universe works either.

I do like the power that can emanate from people who are collectively thinking the same thing, or hoping for the same thing ….. and no I am not sure how that works either.

If you want to bear Pamela in mind for the 17 November when she has her biopsy please do.

 

 

 

Going on an airplane makes me scream like a 6 year old …..

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I am really petrified of flying.

Not drink a tiny bottle of Rescue, and down a large bottle of Chenin Blanc and you will be fine “sort of scared” – I am ridiculous over anxious and constantly sure that the plane is going to fall out of the sky in flames.

None of this made any better when a friend told me that when it a passenger plane “falls out of the sky” it probably takes about 20 minutes for the plane to go from cruising altitude to the “side of the mountain” in flames.

I can’t quite imagine screaming for 20 minutes.  Without having to stop and call the air steward for a drink, because no doubt I will be parched.

If I was on Kulula, do you think they would still charge me R22.00 for a Millers if we were going to crash and burn?

I digress.

I am scared of flying.  I try to avoid flying.  Not really a big ask in my world, as jet-setter is hardly the term that would apply to my sort of life style.

That being said I flew to Johannesburg last week.  I got on a plane and I thought okay, I am going to do that thing when I curl up in the brace position and this is before I am even seated in my correct seat.  Then I am going to spend the rest of the flight screaming every time the stupid catering trolley hits that metal skirting thing in the main aisle.

Every time the metal trolley hits one of those metal strips I am convinced the plane is going to break into two.

Yes, I do realise this does not make sense.

This time I thought I would use a new tactic.

1.  Don’t think about the flight.  At all.  To the point where you actually do not even print out the ticket things to take to the airport.

2.  Do not watch any “air disaster” shows.

3.  Download a few albums onto your iphone.  Songs you know.  You know the words, and you know the order of the songs.

4,  Fit head phones in your ear.

5,  Find  a volume level where you cannot hear your heart beat, nor the possible sound of the rivets popping off the wing on take off and landing.

6.  Keep music firmly on – but pause when the air hostess does the emergency procedure, because that shit could save your life.

7. Keep ear phones in and music going – the entire flight, before, during and after.

I realise it is not a method that is going to set the “people who are shit scared of flying” community abuzz, but it worked for me.

I am normally scared totally shitless when ever I fly. I had loud music, and the fact that the music was familiar and I knew what was coming kept me at ease.

I have never been “calm” during a flight – unless I am so medicated that even swallowing my own saliva appears like a challenge out of my realm, but I flew to Johannesburg and back again, and the entire time I sat there with a reasonably content look on my face.

Without crying, not once.

Without holding on to the passenger next to me, whether I knew them or not.

Without paging the air hostess once to alert the pilot that there are several rivets on the wing that appear to be working themselves loose.

I flew.  I sort of enjoyed it.  I was not scared.

Me + Flying = winning!!

 

For f*k sake, why do PR companies get it so wrong?

{I have been wanting to post this for some time, but I keep thinking that one of the rules of media is not to alienate all the potential advertisers and PR companies.  Surely.  I have however come to the conclusion that I really am not dependent on advertisers, and PR companies .. .. or their products. So, with that in mind, here is me throwing caution to the wind ……}

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I am not exactly the darling of the media industry.

I really do not care much for free give-aways.  I don’t really want to punt your product on my blog, and I automatically delete press releases that have been spammed on to me.

I have very little interest in trying to make a living through my blog.

I like to blog.  I like to blog when I want.  About what I want.  When I want.

Nothing makes me less likely to blog than feeling forced to blog about something or someone.

I do not really want to watch my P’s and Q’s when it comes to whether I am going to have a bit of a shit fit at a later stage that may or may not involve your product or your client’s company.

I really just could not be arsed.

The last Blog Meetup I went to – there was quite a bit of talk about Bloggers and PR Companies and how we can work together.

I have had very limited experience with PR companies other than the odd SPAM.  I get really frustrated when I get press release, after press release, after fucking press release.  {though I do ask to be removed from the mailing list …. politely}

I have not posted a press release on my blog.  Ever.  I am not likely to start now.

I do try to be as courteous as I can – if you think Reluctant Mom and your client can do something together, then contact me directly with something that sort of interests me, and will appeal to my readers.

The problem is I get invited to events.  In Johannesburg.  I AM IN CAPE TOWN.

I get notified about products that have ABSOLUTELY no relevance to my life.

In get sent the same thing that almost ever blogger is sent.  So even though I MIGHT be vaguely interested in your product, when I see the same thing pop up on 5 other bloggers pages, then I am not going to be posting it on mine.

I get press releases.  I DO NOT POST PRESS RELEASES.

I get asked by PR companies about my visits/hits/pap smear results.  NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE MY NUMBERS, NOW GO AWAY!

I am sure there are lovely, bright, clever and some very talented PR people out there.

I am almost sure of it, though the evidence that I am presented with leads me to believe otherwise.

Why do PR people not work harder at forging relationships with specific bloggers, rather than spamming all of them?

Or is this a numbers game and you send 100 mail shots in the hope of getting 2 that will stick?

If so, that even makes me feel more special.  In theory I am a motorist and you are just handing out brochures at a street corner, and hoping one of us is going to read it and then go and buy your pizza {insert product} or tell a friend about it.

I can honestly say my soul dies a little every time my mail box opens and there is something from a PR company.

I want to be excited about your PR company.

I want to be wowed by the product you are trying to punt.

I want to think “wow, you are so clever you have really got my attention ……”

I love a good advertising campaign — I do.  Make me think, make me go “hey I am intrigued” and I am yours for the taking.

The problem is that your email is generic.  And so annoying that you irritate me.

I just want to delete you. With a hard delete, not the soft one where I can change my mind and go and get you out of my deleted folder later.

 

I also accept that I might be the only blogger who thinks this way, and there are PR folks who are getting it right.  Or not.

Pregnancy tests …. and other irrelevant purchases ….

Yesterday I pop along to get a jab.  The nurse looks at me and says “I can’t give you this injection if you are pregnant.”

I go: “Well I am not, so jab away.”

She says: “Yes, but how do I know that?”

I go: “I would know, I am not pregnant.”

She: “Sometimes people are pregnant and they do not know.”

I: “Yes, I am sure that happens, but this is not one of those times.  I am not pregnant. It would take a miracle.  Of the biblical variety.”

She: “Yes, but I don’t know that…”

I: “Listen, I seriously am not pregnant …. why are we even discussing this?”

She: “I need to be certain you are not pregnant….”

I: “So what is going to happen now?”

She: “Buy a pregnancy test, and bring it back to me — I will wait for you.”

I: “Really I must do a pregnancy test?”

She: “Yes, they are over there by the tampons and sanitary pads…”

I …. thinking really, this is happening.  I go over and pick up a pee on a stick test.

I am feeling embarrassed to be standing holding a pregnancy test.  Yes, I do realise how nonsensical my embarrassment is.  But that doesn’t stop me somehow feeling embarrassed.

I purchase goods to the value of about R500.00 so I can hide the pregnancy test under them as I stand in the queue to pay for the pregnancy test and the other items which are only purchased to use to hide the pregnancy test.  One of those items being sunblock.  Another was a sponge.

I go and sit on a bench and think about how this process is making me feel.

First, the nurse person is being slightly pedantic, but clearly she has had an experience she does not wish to repeat.

I start thinking of all the pregnancy tests I have taken in my life – and the varying reaction to whether the test was positive or negative, and how each test had some emotional consequences to it.

Now the part to remember firmly here is that I AM NOT PREGNANT. It is just not in the realm of possibility.

I still start imagining what if I am, and then what.  PLEASE JUST TO REITERATE THE FACT IS I AM NOT PREGNANT.

I continue to create various delusions of this “miracle pregnancy” which means by the time I actually get to the bathroom to pee on the stick, I have practically worked out children’s names, and whether I would put this baby up for adoption and the relationship I would forge with the prospective parents.  You can see how far I have already stepped out over the edge of reason and logic at this point.

The three minutes I had to wait for the stripe or no stripe, was three more minutes of me escalating this delusion into full technicolour with sound, and even a theme song.

Christ-a-moley, of course the test was negative.  I felt a bit forlorn that I would not have a child.

AGAIN AT NO POINT IN THIS WAS I EVER GOING TO BE PREGNANT.

The ability  I possess for my imagination and delusions to run away with me, makes me realise why I should never be left alone on a bench.  Or unmedicated.  Or be allowed to listen to Kenny G.

Then I hit myself with the super sized toilet roll, and sprayed perfume in my eye just as a way to slap myself back to reality.

Good grief that was a very strange 10 minutes of my life.

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Bloggers with no clothes on … does this make them easier to socialise with?

This weekend a few bloggers got together and visited Thyme Day Spa to do a treatment together – it was more of an exercise to get to know each other better, and see if we could interact outside the safety of the blogosphere.

I knew one of the bloggers well.

I knew one of the bloggers in passing.

There were two bloggers who I had never met personally, but I had seen at the last Blogger Meet-up.

To just clarify, I am painfully shy and being in close proximity to people I don’t know, with the threat of having to make small talk paralyses me.  I chose to accept the invitation as another step in the direction to force me into social situations, when in truth I would rather hide at home and stroke my social phobia with a large glass of wine, and my cat.

The day was planned, and this required us to all go into a room – a particularly small room, to take all our clothes off and put on swim suits.

I have body issues.  I was not going to shave as my wax is booked for tomorrow.  Not only was I going as Orca, but I was also going as hairy Neanderthal Orca.

I was mortified that I would have to wear a swim suit in front of people I barely knew because at the moment I do not even wear a swim suit in front of no one.  I just tried not to think about it.

There were 5 of us.  Everyone got undressed – there was no where to hide, this was a really small room.  As we undressed we were practically knocking elbows against each other.  There was no where to hide your shyness, or to try and slink behind anything.

After that we all got herded into a sauna room – again really small.  Cheek to jowel sort of stuff. And there we sat.

Five girls all sort of strangers to each other.  Sweating. Mascara creating the panda bear look.  With not too much in the way of clothing, and being given a little container with mud and scrubs.

The awkwardness lasted about 30 seconds, then everyone was talking, and rubbing mud on each other.

We had been given very clear instructions NOT TO PUT THE MUD on our faces or our nipples.  Of course then we had to inquire why this instruction was given.  Clearly someone had put mud onto their face and nipples, with less than ideal side effects.

The friendly therapist made her eyes bigger, and spoke in a very clear voice NO FACE OR NIPPLES!!  Which we all repeated back to her — several times NO FACE OR NIPPLES!!  It sort of became the mantra for the day eventually #nofacenonipples.

After the sauna, where we had to rinse off and there was a lot of polite “shall I spray you off?” going on, as you do.

We moved to the jacuzzi, we were served bubbly and we proceeded to chat like we had known each other for ages.

We had lunch and then had a bit of a lie around in the sun and chatted.

One of the bloggers/Sally Jane Cameron posted a note on Facebook and I think it encapsulated what we all felt, but might have struggled to find the exact words for:

This might be a little deep for Saturday night but it occurred to me that an activity like this helps to facilitate a deeper connection between women than a normal full clothed outing. The sense of vulnerability maybe? But sharing and being honest was cleansing for the emotions too. Laughing was good for the soul.

How do you know that it has all gone well and there is little in the way of awkwardness left?  When we stand around feeling the one bloggers breasts.  True story!!

It really was a good day.  Lovely group of women ….. hope to do something similiar again.

{I think we all had an unspoken agreement that no one was going to take photographs and post them anywhere …….}

 

 

This was the only image taken on the day.  Thanks to Charlotte for organising evening.

Girls screaming at the TV ….

What with my whole “hey lets treat girls and boys the same” mantra going on … last night we are watching a programme, which is pretty much like Tosh.O but only with slightly less bad language.

Okay, it might have been Tosh.O.

Any way, there is a lot of you tube videos about pranking and what ever else.

In this one scene a guy, who clearly has a fear of birds is faced with a bird, no dissimilar from a guinea fowl in size.

Guy freaks out, because for him birds (Ornithophobia) are like me being attacked by a daddy long legs — it is total over reaction to the situation that is actually happening, because the subject scares the crap out of you.

Georgia sitting out the couch – totally of out no where – SCREAMS at the guy on the show: “MAN UP!!!”

I look at her with a look of WTF? on my face.

She nods and says: “Boys shouldn’t be scared of birds, it’s a bird, he needs to man up!!!”

man up

 

I will add it to the list of things to talk to Georgia about.  In a one on one situation.

I am a feminist because …. * I don’t think we should be telling our girls to get labia augmentation ….

… the worst insult is to be compared to a woman

… because I believe the world should be safe for women and girls .. everywhere

… because half the girls in Yemen will become child brides

… because 75% of people in Brasil believe that a woman who dresses in revealing clothes deserves to be raped

 

There are so many girl-boy things that piss me off, that I just did not notice.

I accepted and rolled with the punches.

Then I had a girl child and it all changed.

I started realising that I was treating my child differently because she had a vagina and my son had a penis.

The realise was not instantaneous.

It crept in, and then I realised that I was fostering the same belief system.

I got offended.  Then I got angry.

If I see one more plastic iron and ironing board in the kids’ section at Toys R Us, I am seriously going to shit in the aisle.

I hate the fact that if a boy cries someone says to him “stop crying like a girl.”

I get angry that if a boy shows any emotion then he is told that “He is a poesie” – because having a poesie/female parts is weak and means you are somehow lower on the totem pole.

Last time I checked women – for the most part – either pushed every person on this earth out of their vagina, or had the child cut out of her abdomen.  That is pretty hard core stuff.

Feel free to stick as many breasts as you please on sign boards advertising anything from LUX soap to CASTROL oil, but gd help if you breastfeed, because that will cause a public outcry.  And Facebook will suspend your account.

The idea of women being equal to men, is not to drag men down, or to make men feel small or inadequate.  It is about making sure that girls know that their equality is not dependent on them having pens in pink and purple …. seriously what the fuck BIC — who the hell thought up this humdinger?

 

bic for her

 

I look at music videos and I throw up in my mouth.

I watch movies with women and girls and I get angry – I do not want my girls to think that they need to be that girl to get noticed.

I look at girls fashions where shorts are shorter than the pockets of the same shorts.

I get angry that women are getting breast surgery, hymen surgery (to put it back — I shit you not) and labia surgery.

Where, where have we lost our way and how will we ever find our way back?

Have a girl child …. it will change your life.

 

 

 

They are back singing about knots ……

I love loved and still do love “”What Does the Fox Say?” — I still listen to it, I am that person.

The guys are back and have made another almost as catchy song, Trucker’s Hitch.

 

 

 

My head is a hive ….

head is a hive

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