Epic Fail … Parenting # 3

At least the baby is getting a bath.  Baby is being monitored whilst in the bath – mom can watch every move in the mirror.  She can, I am trying to show that it is not as bad as it seems.

Mom is wearing a hat to keep her modesty in tact.

More importantly, how freaking big is that toilet roll?  I mean seriously what the hell do they get up to in their bathroom? I am feeling a bit toilet roll inadequate after seeing this.

And who knew you could bedazzle a white belt, and still make it look stylish …. who knew?

Kommin Krismis!

Every year we get together with our friends and have a Christmas Lunch before every zoots off to family in which ever corner of Cape Town/South Africa they go to.  Christmas days usually are family involved, so we seldom get to see our friends on the 25th.

This year we are holding Kommin Krismis at our home. It is a bit like traditional christmas, it just involves paper plates, potatoe salad and leopard print leggings, and other bad fashion decisions.

I have a particular bad pair of leopard print leggings (I purchased today specially…..) which goes with a parow-style racer back long black vest with sequence sewn in to it (also purchased specially today, I was a bit embarrassed when I had to go and pay but no one else seemed to raise an eyebrow).

For Isabelle I found a tight fitting sequence shirt, her stomach will peak out the bottom (not unlike the effect with my shirt), and I will be styling that with a pair of denim inspired jogger shorts.

Connor has a red vest and a pair of very small and tight white boxer shorts. Kennith and Connor will be wearing matching outfits.

Georgia has opted to go and sleep over at her cousin instead of exposing herself to the humilation that is Kommin Krismis.

Boney M will be rocking it from the turn table.  I am hoping we can get a bit of Die Antwoord at some point.

Our table settings involve white paper plates, white paper serviettes and a set of brown pegs – which will double as place name holders.

Kennith has bought me a 2 litre box of wine for the occassion.

Tonight is a “tjop and dop” to keep it in theme, so there will be no slaving over an eye level oven for me.  I do need to dash to make a potatoe salad.

Yes, we are truly going to be feeling our CY and Parow roots today.  So Merry Kommin Krismis everyone …. I need to find my hair spray to get my hair to work and then some blue eyeshadow to complete this outfit.  (I don’t have blue eyeshadow but I am sure I can make some with food dye and cornflour!)

I can’t promise photographs will follow, but let’s see how bad it really goes.

Fk I hate my phone …. (apologise for bitching and whining)

Choosing a new cell phone requires 15 hours of googling, and then a sort of glaze over as I totally lose interest.

The problem is that I lose interest before I start, so that seldom bodes well for the “Hunt that is New Cell Phone….”

I usually fixate on one thing – it may be the camera or the size of the buttons, it could be anything, but there are so many way to compare a “cell phone” that I pick one element – sort of randomly and then I use that as my base of comparison.  In desperation.  I know nothing about what makes a good cell phone a good cell phone.

I am brand loyal to Nokia.  I also have no idea why.  My present phone is a Nokia XpresMusic – to say it is a “piece of shit” is to disrespect pieces of shit.  But I have always had a Nokia, so I feel a sense of …… confused loyalty to this brand.

My phone drops call (probably the service provider); the phone switches off when ever it pleases (I have to remove the battery, or bash it against a wall – sometimes both); it resets itself when ever it pleases (today it switched off, I could not get it to go back on, I recharged it – it was charged – took out the battery, then I had to put in the date and the time); it takes so long to connect anything web related and to display it on the screen, that often it is easier just to drive to the adult entertainment store myself and order what I need from the guy names Jimmy.

I hate my phone.  I really hate my phone.

Truth be told, I only ordered because I could get it in pink.  I ordered it and a black one arrived, and was told then that there were no “pinks” in stock.

I was somewhat disappointed.  But I looked at the disappointed courier guy and his waybill that he just wanted someone to sign.  I thought about the hours I may have to spend comparing more phones on google, and I “groaned” and signed the stupid courier form and plugged my piece of shit in to charge.

I have hated it pretty much every moment since.  The upside of it is … no there is no upside.

My phone and my contract has expired.  I have been with the same service provider since 1999.  Every year I renew like clockwork, and then pay them a fortune in service provider fees, and choose another Nokia from the list of “great deals.”

The only interaction I ever had with them was when my phone got stolen.  And the result was actually disappointing – I recall wondering then why service providers are total trolls.  But being brand loyal, I stayed with them, and renewed my contract yet again.

The only other time they have ever taken the time to interact with me is when my name and number appear on their call data base and they call me to “renew my contract” in their stupid sunny disposition voice.  I only know it is them, because they totally destroy the pronunciation of my surname and call me Mrs **** . If anyone has known me for more than 4 seconds they would know I would never introduce myself as Ms or Mrs and would go by my first name.

So yes, Nokia combined with SuperCall/Altech Autopage has been a less than pleasing relationship for me.  I give them money, they give me a sh*tty phone (albeit it that I choose), then they choose to give me a level of service that is not great, but so I have been since 1999, and odds are I will renew with them and keep this going for a few more years, because I just could not be arsed to find anything better!

I hate call centres.  I hate cell phone service providers.  But I hate this stupid Nokia more, so I will need to endure the first two.

Today I prosti.tute myself to who ever lets me have an iphone 4 and throws in a 3G stick (or what ever it is called).  I have realised I am such a douche bag that I will probably end up staying with my service provider, and then just take what ever they throw at me.

<<iphone has appeal is that I saw the new app instagram and I thought, mmmm must get me one of those ……. and maybe I need to look at that angry birds game with a fresh perspective …. >>

Skin doctor guy …

I have fairly light skin, light hair and blue eyes, so the result is that I am a skin cancer scare waiting to happen.

I am not much in the way of a sun-tanning bunny.  It is not that I am all self-righteous about the sun, it is just that I could not be arsed to sit around in it until the end of time to catch a tan.  But I also do not lather myself with sunscreen …

I am not very good with skin-routine, so if my face gets a wash with a Lux bar of soap, it can count itself lucky, and moisturizer and other globs of lotion are a bit of a pipe dream in my neck of the woods.

I mean to pop to my dermatologist once a year for a quick once over.  I like someone else to stare at my small dark spots and make a judgement, but I just have not got there this year.

Or for the last three years.

I decided I would get my arse there before year-end, and tick it off my “not quite as exciting as a bucket list” but really needs to be attended to.

I had my dermatologist appointment today.  I do not really have moles, I have freckles though.  The one thing that had been bothering me was that I had this mark on my nose, and one on the side of my nose.  It looks like I have cut the side/end of my nose, and that I have an indent from glasses on the side of my nose. And I don’t wear glasses.

It has been there for about two to three years.  Recently I have noticed it and now that I know it is there, I have really started to get concerned that “what if it is…..”

It was the main motivation for me going today.

Found a really great dermatologist with rather swish looking offices.  Clearly a caters towards a target audience that appreciates chandeliers and baroque inspired furniture.

He diligently went over my skin with a magnifying glass. It seems my skin is not bad considering I have been sunburnt to a crisp in my youth, and do not use any sunblock or moisturiser since.  I got a bit worried when he was sitting with a magnifying glass going over my toes – I believe there is a rogue long hair on my toe that I have been meaning to attend to, but there I was with all of me exposed.

But it appears that the little “cut” on my nose is indeed cancer and it needs to be removed.   Or pre-cancer. Or cancer that is not “a total emergency” but needs to be attended to.  Shortly.

I made an appointment for the 26 January – first gap I could get.  Dermatologists have a good gig it seems.

I am very thankful today that I have medical aid, and can get my arse to the odd medical checkup.  Had I had to spend 10 hours waiting in a public hospital for a little look over, odds are I would not have gone, and even if I had, I would have not been checked over by a dermatologist, and it would have been overlooked.

I would like to thank Discovery Medical Aid for relieving us of a large sum of money every month, but at the same time, if it was not for medical aid, I might only have seen to my “little cut” when my nose turned black and fell off.

When are you going for your dermatology check up?

End of year functions make me cringe … a lot ….

Last Saturday Kennith’s company had their end of year function.  I was thrilled that this year they chose to do a family picnic.

I am not really sure how end of year functions are planner or organised, but I find them generally painful.  My experience usually encompasses an 8 to 10 seater table, people sitting around on addis chairs, and looking at each other, chatting politely and praying it will be over soon.  There may be variations on this theme, but usually that is sort of how it goes.

If you are unlucky there will be a dress up theme involved.  Cringe.

I have already rationalised that end of year functions are not designed for me. But everyone I speak to seems to agree that they are a “necessary evil” but I am still confused who enjoys them.  The evening or afternoon often involves smiling like an idiot for four hours, while you count the hours/minutes until you can leave.

My theory is that I would like to spend social time with work colleagues, but in a relaxed environment over great food and a few glasses of really good wine.  It’s great to sit in a comfortable chair, an exquisite setting and be able to hear each other talk.

Unfortunately I find most end of year functions are karaokes/bad food/loud music/bad loud music/dress up theme/a venue that allows for almost no conversation as you can barely hear yourself think.  My experience is that end of year functions are all of these factors, or a combination of these.

Generally the “rule” is you eat, then you sit for 15 minutes and say “okay, I need to go…” and then do….. This is how “end of year” parties go in my experience.  {I am not suggesting I am the spokesperson for all end of year parties, I am simply indicating this has been my experience … almost to date….}

This year Cape Union Mart opted to hire a location in Sea Point, and invited staff and their kids.

They catered with a braai/salad (Bruce’s Catering I think} sort of thing.  You bought your own drinks if you wanted alcohol.  They organised soccer, a gladiator thing, jumping castle and a slip and slide thing.  No one had to dress up, no one had to sit awkwardly at a table and pray it would end soon.

It started at 12h00 and went on until about 16h00 or 17h00. It was relaxing and cool, that I think it might be classed as one of the nicest Xmas functions I have ever been to.

I have a social phobia, so asking me to socialise with a group of people creates a high sense of anxiety, panic and sometimes poo streaks in my underwear.  But turn it into a family picnic, and then I am much more relaxed, as it does not force me to stand around like a half wit smiling and nodding like a deluded idjut – I can instead look really busy with my kids.  Win!

I got to play gladiator fight with Connor. Connor played soccer, the girls played for hours on the slip and slide or on the jumping castle.  It was relaxed, the sun was shining and I was quite happy to while away the afternoon in this manner.

It was a relaxing day.  The only error was they did not serve wine at the bar.  Rookie mistake.  But someone saw the problem and dashed out to purchase a half dozen bottles of wine, which made me all very happy.

I had a great afternoon with the kids, and I still got to speak to a lot of people while we chewed on a chicken leg, and messed potatoe salad on our respective chins.

Great idea.  Executed brilliantly.  Lovely day out.  Cape Union Mart’s clever people who plan end of year functions scores a 10 out of 10 in my book for a great “end of year function” …..

<< they were also good enough to have a roaming photographer who captured some great moments>>

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Adoption South Africa …

I was listening to CapeTalk earlier this week, and the person being interviewed {apologise, have totally forgotten her name} said that in South Africa there are more or less 2 400 adoptions per year.

I thought that was a frighteningly low figure – I just figured it would be more, but I know when I spoke to Child Welfare last year I recall them quoting something along the lines of 24 or 30 children that they placed in adoption for the year, and it just seemed like such a small amount.

The other statistics she mentioned.

{fortunately I also saw these on Adoption SA dot org so that was a huge help, as I sort of remembered the numbers, but not exactly}

I love this new site, and I am so thrilled that someone has got it together and put information in one useful place.

Estimated number of children in foster care and receiving foster care grants in January 2010 Estimated number of  orphaned children  in 2007 Estimated number of  children living in child-headed households in 2009 Estimated number of children in state-owned children’s homes as at end-October 2009
510 713 668 000 150 000 14 599

The question was why are so many people fostering but unwilling to adopt.

She answered that it was not clear, but a lot of the fostering was what they referred to as “kin fostering.”  A family fostering a child who has a biological connection to them, so seldom was there no connection between the fostered child and the family.

Another factor was a fostering social grant system – but there was no adoption grant system.  In some cases a family fostering needs the grant, which they would lose if they adopted the child, so this encouraged the “fostering” relationship to continue.

A bit grim, but when you think about how many families struggle to get by, it does seem a realistic problem.

The one person mentioned that they had been through Child Welfare and only had great things to say.  They had adopted a little girl and the process had taken about 9 months, and it was much easier than they had thought.

There was another person who mentioned they had tried to adopt for several years and it just did not happen.  I am not sure of what the details were behind this.

I do think that in South Africa it is easy to adopt – relatively easy – there are so many kids, and not so many parents who have a home to give, so the supply would outstrip the demand.  So adoption is a process – both paperwork and emotional, but I do not think that it is one that is insurmountable and as difficult as “word on the street” is.

But {and yes there is a but} if someone wants to adopt and the “defining” factors are quite tight, then of course it does make it a bit more of a “challenge” and then I would imagine that it was difficult.

Adoption {and fostering} is a personal thing, and I don’t think any of us can judge someone who chooses to not adopt for what ever reason.  I have heard so many wonderful tear-streaking-down-your-cheek stories about adoption, and until now no horror stories, but adoption {like all things children} is a huge brave step into the unknown.

It is no secret that I was {am} keen on adoption.   I have discussed adoption with my kids {not adopting them out, you understand, but adopting a child} and I we have friends who have adopted, I had spoken to them about the concept before, so they understand the dynamics and it is not a foreign concept in their worlds.

On the weekend Connor and I are watching a show and somewhere in it someone uses the phrase “my brother from another mother” so Connor goes “what does that means?” and I repeat the phrase and then explain it’s use in the way it was meant in the comedy show we were watching.

So he looks at me and goes – with the innocence of a child – “if we adopted a boy, then he would be my brother from another mother…” I think I had a little bit of snot that I sniffed back right then.

I saw this {long} but lovely story about cross-cultural adoption – it sort of gives you hope that things are actually right with the world.

Shelly Khumalo – Mampoer of the Week Award?

So Shelly pops down the local mall, and decides that she is going to nip in for a few moments and is reluctant to drag ALL her kids with her.

Who of us hasn’t?

I popped in to Woolworths today and left my three in my car.  Parking conditions and temperature was slightly different .. and no doubt there is a fair amount of tut-tutting and arrangement of facial features in a judgemental expression going on.

I am not trying to align myself with Shelly I am trying to indicate that she is not totally alone in this regard <<the one of stupid parenting decisions>>

Shelly has 4 children – and she used the” two with me, two in a boiling hot car” approach.

I can’t say I recommend this approach – unless you specifically do not want four children at the end of your shopping experience.  But there we go.  Clearly a serious facebook palm if there ever was one.

No doubt Shelly is an overtired mom making stupid decisions <<two kids under 2, clearly indicates she is sleep deprived at the very least>>.   Another factor is that Shelly drives a BMW  – I am naturally suspicious of BMW drivers, they do not seem to understand channelling lines on the N1, nor how to use their indicator lights and traffic circles confuse them totally.  Shelly also is from Vereeniging.

There are so many factors in this story.

She thought 2 young kids in a locked car in a parking lot when the temperature was close to 36 degrees, with a window slight ajar was a great idea.  It seems passer-byers, the police and the grim reaper thought otherwise.  And thank goodness for who ever had the good sense to smash in her car window — I might have taken a few whacks at her bonnet and car door for good measure, but that is me.

Shelly appeared in court earlier this week and was released on R2000.00 bail.  We all know if  she should just have been charged with being stupid, then she might have faced execution right now.

Shelly Khumalo is the poster child for everything that is wrong with being a mother and votes are in for the secret ballot that is Worst Parent of the Year 2011.

I have no idea what possesses her to leave her two kids in a car, in the heat.  Not a particularly bright idea and she really could have killed her kids.  She gets a 2 from the Chinese judge in this round, the UK judge scored her a 1.

I have no idea who she is or what the circumstances were around this rather unfortunate day.

My guess is her younger kid(s) might have been asleep.  She figured instead of dragging 4 kids screaming into a shopping centre with them going ape shit, she would do the next best thing.  Leave the two sleeping, and only drag the two older ones in as they would already be screaming <if you have ever dragged a child to a mall you will know what I am talking about> and run in and then run out.

Seems like a good plan.  In principle.  In execution, not so much.

But stupid people often become stupid parents, and stupid parents do make stupid decisions.

Sometimes really clever parents do really stupid things.  And average parents sort of swing between really clever and totally fkd up decision making.

I will be honest here – Shelly and her stupidity barely raises my eyebrow (I think I was distracted with cocaine-in-dreadlock lady as epic fail of the week).

Every day I drive my kids to school I see parents with young kids standing on the front seat, sitting unbuckled in the car, standing between the seats, sitting on their parent’s lap … or a combination of these variations.

Most of the parents who drop their kids off at both my kids’ schools do not buckle their kids up.

Shelly gets a fine, gets her named dragged through the press, and is probably a prize mampoer.  I see parents every day who risk the lives of their kids driving on busy roads, to about the same degree than Shelly did.

The same parents probably do not give their kids Niknaks and Oros, because it is “bad for them…” but reason out that flying through a windscreen at 60km an hour will be okay.

I am not suggesting that because there are so many stupid parents, we should go light on young Shelly from Vereeniging – but I do want to draw attention to how many stupid parents there are doing stupid things that risk the lives of their children, every day, and those people are not being torn apart by the feeding frenzy.

I hope her kids are okay.

I hope she takes something from this other than it being a really crappy decision.  I hope this event acts as an eye opener to parents who have probably locked their kids in hot cars, and it never dawned on them that this was a bad idea.

China does not play well with others …..

This week there has been quite a lot of debate about the execution of Janice Linden.  Janice Bronwyn Linden was caught at Baiyun International Airport in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in November 2008.

The Chinese don’t mess about when it comes to drug smuggling, something they consider to have “a very negative impact on society”. She was sentenced to death.  She was convicted of smuggling 3 kilograms of TIK (it has a better name, but that was what it was.)

Of course the debate will always rage as to whether Janice was guilty or whether she was a pawn in something bigger.

I did not know Janice’s name until earlier this week, so I do not recall the 2008 story.  But China is not for sissies, and if you are going to smuggle drugs in then you must be prepared for the serious high jump.

Hulle wat nie kak van kabouters af nie!  And they like drugs like they like jam.  And they jam fuckall it would seem.

Of all the places I think would be a bad place to smuggle drugs in to, my guess is really any way in the East is probably not a great idea.  I have not done tons of research, but my guess is cross those areas off your “places to go with a bag of TIK” … just saying.

I am not sure where I stand on the death sentence.  I do feel that there are certain crimes that are committed and certain criminals that will never be out of jail, never be able to fit back in to society.  They will be career criminals and they are just not nice people.

I do feel that people should contribute to society, if not a total contribution like running out and saving a frog or finding a way to overcome world famine, then at the very least not make society a bitch for everyone else.

If you are unable to “fit in to society” without killing, raping or maiming someone, then my short answer is yes, you no longer get the right to live in society, and if you are not living …. then … that leaves limited options.

Do I think that gives someone the right to kill you?  I am not 100% sure on that.

Do you think that the death sentence is the answer and is sufficient motivation to someone to not commit a particular crime?  I am not sure, but it does cut down on having to see the same ijut in the legal system.

Do you think rapists and murders should be sentenced to death? Yes, especially if it is a crime against a child, then no mercy, I am thinking blunt forced trauma would be a suitable end.

Do I feel bad that a woman died in China?  Yes.

Do I feel bad that the Chinese government stood up and made a decision, and were not going to allow foreigners to influence their decision-making?  No.

Do I admire China that they are able to see a crime + issue a sentence + move it through promptly and with speed?  Yes, definitely.

I do not know Janice.  I do not know if she was guilty or not.  But if she was in any way connected to smuggling drugs, then I am not totally disappointed that China has decided to meet out the death penalty for drug smuggling.

But in related news … A South African woman was arrested at Bangkok’s international airport after police said they found 1.5kg of cocaine hidden in her dreadlocks. Nbanda Nolubabalo, 23, was searched on Monday when police said they noticed a white substance in her hair shortly after she stepped off a Qatar Airways flight that originated in San Paulo and flew through Qatar to Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Bangkok Post said.

The search uncovered 1.5kg of cocaine with a street value of 4.5 million baht (about R1.2 million) hidden in her dreadlocks, authorities said.

Police said the suspect admitted smuggling the drug and said she had been hired for 60 000 baht to deliver it to a customer at a hotel in Bangkok.

Bangkok Officer: “It appears you have cocaine in your dreadlocks….”

Nobanda:  “What?  I know nothing about that.  I am using a new hair treatment with all natural ingredients …. I know nothing about 1.5kg of cocaine in my hair … I thought it was dandruff build-up….honest ….”

I have no idea how one even begins to explain your way out of that one …..

Email scams … # 67098

I have blogged about this recently – https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/why-cant-scam-artists-spell/

I am sure I did before that, I just can’t find it or be arsed to go and look for it.

I am often stupifies me about scam emails is that people fall for this.  They must, or people would not take time to generate them.  I actually know someone who bought an air ticket to go and collect winnings …. in another country ….

Anyway, I saw this comic strip and it is such a great way to describe the “emotions” of receiving a scam email … the disappointment …. the crushing realisation …and the inevitable “hand me your credit card details..”

Image source:  http://thedoghousediaries.com/341

Can’t feed them?

If I had the energy I would be more eloquent on this one … I am not feeling very articulate, so excuse me and my ramble.

I saw a bumper sticker on Saturday afternoon driving on the N1 towards Cape Town.

Initally I sat there and thought, what is that about?

But then I sat there a bit, and relooked at the sticker and thought about it a bit more.  I am funny like that … a bit.  I see something, and then my mind “glues itself” to it and struggles to get unstuck.  I am not exactly sure what it is that the bumper sticker was referring to.

I thought … could it be if you can’t feed a dog, do not let the dog have puppies, because the you can’t feed them?  That makes sense … mmmmm

Or could it be a judgement on people who have more kids than they can afford, or have a child they actually cannot afford to feed ….

I think there is something that says we are not really allowed to think that or say that.  What we need to do is spring in to action and assist, or donate, or put money in a tin.

I recall a show on CapeTalk where they referred to a charity that was assisting a settlement and the guy who was working hard to get money together for the settlement commented on the fact that there were kids there who in 35 degree heat, were without shoes and in some cases without clothing, as the parents could not afford to buy clothing … and they also could not afford to feed the children.

It was horrific, and all I could think of was a child (which is always the same age as mine) without a full tummy, no shoes to protect their feet as the sun burns them … and without hope of tomorrow being much better.

I glanced back at the bumper sticker and thought, surely you cannot <insert should not> have children if you cannot afford them.  I am not suggesting that everyone does not have the right to have a child or several.  Or that sometimes life throws you an unexpected loop, which you could not have seen coming, and may place you in a desperate situation financially ….

I am suggesting that with your right there must come responsibility.  You have the right to, but are you equipped to handle the responsibility?

I have no idea how someone plans to have children if you cannot afford to buy a jar of Nussfit Chocolate Spread.  But there does seem to be a shift to where we stop thinking this and instead start trying to find a way “to help these children…” and of course we must.

Then I cast my eye back on to the bumper sticker and …. well it sat there with me.

Twilight Fans ….

I saw this cartoon by the uber talented SeeMikeDraw and it made me snot snort …. might explain so much about why Edward does not want to “turn” Bella …

Acknowledge source: http://seemikedraw.wordpress.com/page/3/

I really love Jimmy Carr …

Jimmy Carr is in Cape Town – bless his skinny, shiny tight suit, and dapper hairstyles arse.

Kennith was generous enough to spend the children’s school fee money for a term on a set of tickets for us.  We sat in row K.  Row K is close enough to see the blush on Jimmy Carr’s cheeks and foundation on his chiselled jaw line, but not too close to be randomly picked on by him.

I love Jimmy Carr.  His straight-faced humour, that senseless joking and his very off-key way of delivering a one liner joke.  He has the ability to make me laugh and then recoil in disgust in the same joke.  He is talented like that.

His jokes do not do well repeating.  What makes them funny is the way he delivers it, and the look on his face at the end of the joke.  He sometimes has this little chuckle, which is as funny as his joke.

Loved the concert, enjoyed nearly the two hours I spent in his company.

What I enjoyed less was the 5000 people at the Grand West Arena.  4 950 of those had paid their money and were happy to sit there and be entertained by someone who was clearly a well-trained and experienced comedian.  That is sort of why we parted with our hard-earned cash and ate a bad takeaway as we rushed from work to the show.

What I got instead was 50 yobs who thought that it was “really funny” and kept throwing random comments out.  Stupid stupid hecklers whose sole function was to scream at Jimmy Carr in the hope, the desperation that they might be able to share the stage or the spot light with him for just a few seconds of their rather sad and really pathetic lives.

I love a clever witty heckler, it livens up the show – actually it is what made Julius M even funnier.  He had one guy who asked a question in an interview, and Julius treated him like a heckler.  And then had his body guards frog march him out – that is how you should treat a heckler!

But Jimmy is a polite guy at heart.

There was the girl who wore large PINK GLOVE HANDS who sat in row E or F and kept trying to catch his attention.  She also started to tell two jokes – out loud, in desperation.  I mean really What the Fuck are you thinking – and more importantly are you not getting enough love at home that you feel you must come to an arena and try to get it there.  Get counselling!!!

I felt an overwhelming urge to shove my hand – inside her stupid pink glove – down her fat throat, just so she would shut up and then I could hear Jimmy, who I had paid to hear and not her stupid voice.  She was really taking my happy buzz away.

There was guy behind me in row M or N who insisted on screaming random words out.  Fuckn hell this guy was desperate to be noticed … he kept doing it.

I think if he just stood up and in a loud voice said: “Jimmy I will bl*w you after the show, call me on 083 666 6666” that might have been more effective and then at least he would have stopped – the guy not Jimmy.  That way he could have got his 15 seconds of fame, Jimmy would have used it as a line in a joke, and the guy would have finally shut the fuck up.

So the thirty to fifty odd people kept screaming random things out – in the hope it would be interpreted as a great heckle and Jimmy Carr would take them on.  You know, cross swords in the arena of Gladiators that is the World of Comedy.

Jimmy’s show does allow for “audience participation” – but audience, you also need to realise when those times are, and when to leave Jimmy to just do his thing..

The audience kept interrupting him at the one point, and it totally lost his joke, which he was in mid-sentence with.

The hecklers did not stop – and you could imagine them knocking their friends with their elbows or winking at their mates going: “I”m funny huh, I’m funny huh…. see I can go a few rounds with Jimmy”

Two fantastic moments was when one audience member Simon had to go on stage and he had to read a joke with Jimmy.  The card Simon was given said “audience member” and then the blurb he had to read – clearly because they did not know that he would be Simon and “audience member” is sort of all encompassing.

Simon, bright boy from Table View, which he was not,  looked at the card – leaned over to Jimmy Carr – and said “audience member” I don’t know what that means or something like that — Jimmy replied with something like “that’s you Fuck Wit!” and that set the tone for young Simon.

Jimmy wanted to interview someone with an interesting job or a South African claim to fame – Jason volunteered.

Let’s just say Jason was left wanting on both those departments.  He seemed so proud of himself, and his girlfriend was totally gasping with excitement.  You know of course Jason will now tell everyone “he was on stage with Jimmy Carr…” when in reality “he made himself a toss infront of 5 000 people at Grandwest and Jimmy Carr just happened to be sitting next to him …”  But I am sure he is a good soul.

I did like the part where Jimmy asked him what his girlfriend was studying and he goes “uhh……. religion or something …..”  it turns out his girlfriend studies Anthropology….and he either had no idea what it was, or did not know the word ….. but it is sort of religion …..

Surprise warm up act – the brilliant and formidable John Vlismis – he was brilliant.

Initially I felt a bit uncomfortable for John –  I was worried he might be eclipsed in the brilliance of Jimmy. Being the opening act for someone of Jimmy’s stature is quite daunting and often supporting acts are not of the same calibre as the bigger acts that follow them, but John was so good – I could have happily spent another 30 minutes in his company.

Happy birthday Cat (who also bounded on stage) – you are too old, to be bouncing around a stage and waving like you are a five-year old!  But you were reasonably funny and held your own for the three minutes you were there.  Nicely done.

Jimmy thanks for the show.  Grand West hecklers, not so much !!

Simon good luck in getting another job selling “the internet….”


<….thanks to Simon for the note …. it was indeed Jason’s girlfriend …… and not Simon’s….>

The politics of “parties at school” ….

I am dragging this tired old subject out of the cupboard again and re-airing it, so that maybe I can get some consensus on the issue. It is a bit of an awkward one to chat about to the “mommies in the parking lot” group.

In the beginning I got really excited about my kid’s (or kids’) birthdays.  Like psycho excited.

I wanted to throw a humdinger at home or at a venue.  I invited all the kids in the class.  Spent my pension fund money and threw a party that made my head spin. It would usually end with Kennith and I having a “moer” of an argument about two minutes before the guests walk through the door.  Ah the joy.

Most of the kids in Connor’s class would come along and kids in general would have a good time.

That is a party.

Connor changed schools in Grade R mid-year.  At his previous school I never experienced a “school party” – all parties were big things done on weekends.  But in the Boerewors triangle it appeared school parties were the norm.  (maybe it was an area thing, or maybe it was a sign of the times, I am not sure)

My kids are both in schools where “parties at schools” appear to be the way things are done.  Invite gets sent.  But it is not really an invite as there is no RSVP and the party is during school times, so is it a “real” party ?

The first year of “parties at school”, I sent presents for EVERYONE.  If I knew the kid, if I did not know the kid, what ever, I sent a present along.  Made sense, cost a bomb. (2 kids x 25 kids give or take each year …..)

I then decided to throw a “party at school” Connor (or Georgia or both – I can’t remember).  I had no mentor to explain how it worked.  I did invites, and party packs, and balloons and cake …. and a snake show … as you do.  I made almost as much effort for the “class party” as I would for a home party.

Let’s say there were 25 kids in the class.  I catered for each of them individually.  I asked each parent to RSVP so that I could make individual things for each child – most parents didn’t.  I still made individual thingss for each kid.

I noticed that Connor/Georgia probably received presents from 10 kids when it was their “class party…”  Yes, it is not about the presents, but it is a bit. Or that is just me.

The accepted rule of society is “you go to a party you take a present” it is just what is done.

I realised “school parties” are actually not “proper kids parties that appear to fit the norms that kid’s parties stick to…”.  They  fall into the cold hinterland of parties which are not quite parties… people do not rsvp, you do or don’t send a present, and as the party giver appear not to expect one … or do you …. so I am totally confused with the rules.

Georgia gets really upset when she brings me an invite for a “class party” –  she whines and yowls that I must send a present, and gets really upset.

I have started saying “Georgia it is not a real party, it is a party at school …. you do not have to bring a present and if I had a party at school for you, I would not expect presents …..”

I realise I might be standing in the firing line on this issue, but I am seriously over spending a fortune on presents and making an effort for birthday presents for “class parties….” when the entire concept confuses me.

I might be the minority and other moms might think class parties rock the daisies.  I think they are a great solution when you do not want to go through the effort/chaos/expense of a party … and is it the norm not to send presents, and realistically for the child (parents of the child) to not expect presents?

I have had several years of them, and I have still not quite “got the rules” …. maybe you can explain them to me, or you can just let me know what your thoughts are, and then we can see if there is a consensus.

The colour blue makes me …. well insane actually ….

Remember when you used to want your child to speak?   You would sit there expectantly and try to encourage them to say a word or make a sound?

Well, at some point that passes.  It does not pass in a pleasant way.  It passes like the thud of a dead body falling from the third floor.

One day whilst driving home from school with your brood, you realise that you would give anything for them just to shut the hell up – so you can get a chance to think.

You  consider opening the windows to allow too much brisk wind that will whip against their faces making it impossible for them to have enough air to form words.

You consider turning the radio up really loud.

You consider opening the door and throwing yourself into on-coming traffic.

You consider when will you be able to afford an au pair to make this trip on your behalf.

The constant chatter at the loudest setting soon stops being endearing.  It pushes you to the place where you start reconsidering why you took time off work to fetch them, and maybe next time will just leave them at school with bus fare to get home.

A 12 minute car drive home leaves you frazzled and shaking and wondering when is it too early to start on the wine.

Georgia has a serious case of verbal diarrhea.  I really wish I could tell you it is quite cute to hear her high-pitched little voice rattling off from the time I put my arse into the driver’s seat to the time I speed into the school car parking lot.

Really I wish I could.

This morning Georgia was talking – non-stop – from the time we left home, 07h35, until I dropped Connor off at school 07h52, until I dropped her off at her school 08h08 and she was telling me how much she liked the colour blue.

Nothing else.  Just how much she liked the colour blue.  You really need to like blue a whole lot to talk about it at that pace, pitch and with that much fervour.

I could have named all the blues in the pantone colour guide by then – but Georgia was still going hell-bent for leather about her liking of blue.

I fell out of the car, opened her door, and she was still telling me about the colour blue.  I kissed her good-bye, told her I loved her <I had to talk loud as she was still talking about blue ….> I aimed her to the school door, gave her a slight little shove to increase momentum ..and then I got back in my car.

She was still talking about the colour blue – or talking, I no longer could hear her.  Never have I been so thankful for a car window that rolls up to protect me from the elements.

And you wonder why I drink so much … FFS ….. I really wish I could tell you that today was the only day this occurs … trust me there will be something else tonight … it might even be a bit more on the colour blue ……

Alice in Wonderland …

I finished reading the original Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

I have not researched Lewis Carroll, and do not know his lot in life, but I can only assume that Lewis was not your normal run of the mill lad in the late 19th century.

I think even by today’s standards if he came out with this little gem, people might have tapped the glass on the side of his medicated syringe, and said soothing things like “It will be alright Lewis … just have a little sleep…” and then given him a large shot of anti-psychotic straight into his neck.

The most memorable part for me – and no doubt if I read it again, I would find another nugget to take with me – Alice meeting the Duchess.

The Duchess’s baby sneezes constantly and the reaction of the Duchess.  One can only conclude he has probably suffered quite a bit at the Duchess’s hands. Taking pity on him, Alice spirits him away, only to find that he has transformed into a pig.

It is never explained why this happens, but Alice looks on the bright side, concluding that while the baby wasn’t a very attractive baby, it makes for a good-looking pig.

I enjoyed the story.  I do not think it is something I would read to a child and then try to explain it.  I may well end up trying to explain this one for longer than the actual story progresses.

Makes me feel that maybe I am a bit more sane than Lewis, which is great if you are in people-who-are-nuttier-than-you mode.

I do love the Tim Burton movie – probably one of my favourite movies.  I adored Johnny Depp as the MadHatter in it and the divine Helena Bonham was fantastic as the Queen.  But it is one of those things you watch, and just try not to wrap your mind around too tightly.  Because then your head starts to hurt.

I probably liked the representation of the Cheshire Cat the least in Tim Burton’s movie – it was probably because for me he is such a strong character in the story, but I did not like the way he was represented/rendered in the movie.

The Cheshire Cat has so many great lines throughout the book (and the movie), one of the ones I like the most are:  “Every adventure requires a first step. Trite, but true, even here.”

I saw this cartoon by the brilliant SeeMikeDraw and thought it was a suitable alternate outcome to the trials and tribulations of young Alice …

Acknowledge image source: http://seemikedraw.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/i-found-a-strange-bottle-labelled-drink-me-so-i-drank-it-when-i-awoke-id-drawn-this-cartoon/

Connor turns 10 this week …

I am a bit stuck in the past on that issue.  In my head he is still 5.  I have just got used to him being 9, barely and now I need to do another adjustment.

Connor turns 10 this weekend.  I CANNOT BELIEVE HE IS 10!

Kennith has planned a fishing party for him.  It is the first time, ever, that I have not been involved in party planning.  So I get to look forward to my son’s birthday without all the stress and the anxiety of stupid party planning!  It is unbelievably freeing.

Connor is on his way to Grade 4 in 2012.  Grade 1 – 3 being “the foundation years” so he wears a “relaxed” school uniform and shoes are optional.

Next year he is in a white shirt, and grey pants.  He will be a big boy in a big boy school uniform.  I am amazed that time really has flown by with him, and really find myself staring at him and reminiscing that he is no longer the baby I held close, and cried over, but now he is a big boy, who throws his towel on the floor, wants to talk about fish and play tv games and dive bomb his sister in the pool.

Connor is such a good kid.  Originally I struggled with him.  But then I realised it was not him that I was struggling with, it was me. I was struggling.  He was actually a divinely easy baby and toddler.

Connor is such a sweet boy with a gentle kind soul.  My biggest concern for him is that he cares too much, and might get hurt because he is such an “open” soul.

Before Kennith and I had Connor, we used to read the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip – and this particular one was one of our favourites – we sat there with tears gushing out of our eyes because this made us laugh so hard.  What does make it funnier for us, is that Connor has become Calvin in many ways, and this is pretty much how a normal photo session go with him.  I tend to get this range of “faces” under normal circumstances.

<if you have never read a Calvin and Hobbes comic book, oh my heavens, then you are in for a treat …. today is really a great day for you ….>

I took some photographs of him this weekend and I quite liked how some of them came out.  I miss Connor’s long hair.  Kennith cut his hair very short at the beginning of summer, as most of the boys at his school have “razor short hair” and they were making fun of Connor because his hair was longer ….

What is the age divider for moving from a  little boy to a young man ?  8, 12, 16, 21?

So Saturday at the veterinary surgery ……

Jackson, my cat, was looking a bit off.  I can’t say exactly how he was looking, but he appeared to be a bit lethargic, and maybe not as up-beat as he usually appears.

I noticed it on Wednesday night, but then I shrugged and figured I was probably over reacting.

On Saturday night I went out in the garden and he was lying between the lavender, and looking just too cool for his own good.

I stood there and stared and him, and then I thought, if I left him he might be not well and he might pass out in the neighbour’s garden.

It was 19h30 on a Saturday night, so I stood there and thought about it.  A sane person might have shrugged and left it, but I am not really enrolled with that particular school, so I called my local veterinary clinic.

Panorama Veterinary is a 24 hour vet, and has a veterinarian on staff all the time, so you can toddle down there with your sick and wounded animal any time.

Nice service.

Nice overtime fee.

I took Jackson down to be checked out as I knew I would push myself into paranoia if I just “left it..”

As is my luck, I handed over a few hundred rand to a very nice vet to tell me that Jackson is fine.

I must confess the fact that she pushed a thermometer into his b.um and gave him an injection in the neck <as a precaution> and he remained dozing on my arm. I thought it was a sign that something was clearly a bit off, but vet lady assured me that Jackson is in great condition.

But my actual story is the part where Connor and I were waiting on the waiting room.

Panorama Vet is surprisingly busy, so we had to wait about 45 minutes.  The practice has one of those little powerpoint things running with semi amusing distractions and basic advise for pet owners.

One of the slides was about Hills Science Diet and some BEFORE and AFTER photographs of some rather large dogs/cats and how they lost weight by their owners putting them on a (restricted) diet of Hills.

Okay, normal stuff.  But the dog and the cat in the image were huge, but the after pictures were obviously of really slim and healthy pets.

I am sitting there with Connor and Jackson is in his travel box, and I am sort of staring blankly at the screen.  Overweight dog image comes on the screen and the woman next to me asks: “Is that a real picture, is that dog really that big?”

So vet receptionist goes: “Yes it is…”

Woman next to me – who just for the record is really large goes: “Those owners should be shot for animal abuse …”

I sort of pulled my head around and looked at her and thought, seriously woman, of all the chunky people in here to be passing judgement on a chunky dog ….. and the dog’s owner … me thinks you need to maybe stand on a scale some time and take a good look at yourself.

Obviously I did not say that, as I sincerely lack the guts to often say what I think, but then the thought occurred to me.

And then I remembered my other humbug issue.

There are so many overweight kids in my kids’ school it is a bit alarming.  Usually, when I see the parents they are packing a few extra kilograms – but who among us isn’t.

I know it is really easy to say that “weight” is hereditary, but I personally believe it isn’t….  too much.  Weight is often what parents teach their children to eat as part of their daily diet, or combine a certain lifestyle that includes food/activity and so on, and maybe then a child starts to have the same “shape” as his or her parents.

Seldom do “big kids” belong to small parents, it just does not really happen, or it does, and I have not encountered it much.

My kids are ridiculously skinny.  It really is one of those cases of if they did not have an arse, their pants might not remain up stories.

As a kid I was really skinny.  As an adult I was as well.  I started packing it on in my early thirties, so I have about 10 kilograms that I need to get rid of, but that being beside the point, for today.

There are several kids at my daughter school – pre-school who are chubby.  We are not talking endearing “puppy fat” we are talking overweight for kids.

There are several kids at my son’s school primary who are larger than they should be, again not a bit of “puppy fat” but overweight kids.  Like shirt too tight, or pinafore dress that does not quite button up well.

The question that runs in my head every time I see these kids is “If they are big now, they will be big as adolescents, if they are big as adolescents they will probably have harder teenage years than teenage years already are.  If they are big teenagers, odds are they will enter their twenties big.  Yes, I get that big people can be happy people and it is not all about the number on the scale.  But overweight people are often picked on and made to feel sh*t by their less kilogram challenged peers.  These larger kids end up entering the rather challenging twenties with depression and a poor self image…”

Or I could just be jumping to conclusions, and this was just an image on the screen at the vet.  And overweight kids at school are okay, or they are not ……

My Tram Experience ….Emma West

There is a youtube video doing the rounds.  It is one of those ones that has gone viral, and has sparked several debates.

Possibly you have seen it, maybe you have not.

In short, it is a woman early thirties years old, sitting on a tram travelling to Croydon – Emma West, who is also affectionately being called the Racist Tram Lady!

Based on some of the other recent incidents which have occurred in Croydon, I am starting to have my doubts as to whether it is a great place to live.  But that is another issue that should be covered under real estate and where not to stay.

Emma West appears vaguely drunk, or maybe her IQ is in single figures.  She might be “high” on the joys of life, or off her daily medication. I have no idea.  What I do know is that she is a total tosser, of astronomical proportions.

The key issue of the video is she is having an absolutely racist attack rant on the tram.  If you are not white British, then she has an issue with you.

In all her screaming what she was trying to say was that people sharing her carriage are not British, because they are black/muslim or asian people – oh and Polish people are thrown in there too for good measure.  Not quite sure how the Poles got in there, but anyway.  She was struggling to use words that required two clap-hands-sounds, so she really could not name more people from more countries.

Which might be a lot like saying you can only be African if you are black!  It is really the same argument.

Some sound bites in the event that you can’t be arsed to watch/listen to the video on YouTube.

“What’s this country come to?  A load of Black People.  A load of Polish People …. none of you are English …. get back to your own fucking country ….. my britain is fuck all now …. Britain is fuck all ……”

“GO back to where you come from….”

“GO back to sicka-Narangua (I think that is the country she is referring to – I have not been there before, but she seems to be quite certain that is where the people in the tram are from) ……”

“I work, this is my British country, until you lot came over…”

“Are you British?  Are you British…. no you are not, fuck off, you are black, fuck off!!!”

And that is pretty much how it goes.

Initially people stand there in shocked silence.  Then someone politely attempts to initiate a debate.  But angry racist white women is not really the person who gives herself over to intellectual debate. It does degenerate (if it could any further) into a lot of screaming, more swearing and just a total sh*t fit.

The woman sitting behind Emma is clearly disturbed and you can see someone comforting her.

What is the more shocking is that Emma has decided that her toddler will not be bothered at all if she carries on like a total frkn lunatic. <Can you imagine how this poor kids is always going to be referred to as the “Racist Tram Lady’s son” …. poor mite>

She is screaming and swearing and acting like someone who has (first) cousins as parents.  Bless the little boy, he just sits there wide-eyed clutching his action figurine, and wondering if he will get beat up when he attends school next time.

It is all pretty brutal.  The added negative is that angry racist white woman has the unfortunately responsibility of passing her genetic makeup, her ignorance and her rather narrow view of the world onto the next generation.

I look at this woman, and of course I shake my head.  More because I really feel sorry that her life is this narrow and if she “hates people of different race backgrounds” then her life is only going to be harder and filled with more hate.

I grew up in Mr Botha’s apartheid system.  My family was not particularly informed.  Though we were not burning crosses on the front lawn, we never had discussions about apartheid and how it made “anyone who is not white” have a really difficult and dismal life.  We just sort of traips along in our white neighbourhoods and did not really discuss why black people did not live near us.

There were no “people of colour” in my school – both primary and high.  I had no friends who were not white.  My entire neighbourhood was white.

I only started to encounter “non white people” on a friendship level after I left school.

I am not likely to sit on public transport and scream at people because they might be a different creed, or religion to me.  I have a simple theory.  I have no issue with people who are a different culture or religion to me.  As long as their culture or religious beliefs do not encroach on me, and in the same way I try not to let “my way of living” encroach on them.

I have never understood people who go to war to kill people because they are another colour, religion or ethnic group.

I get that you might not want to go around and hug everyone and sing Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya.  I do think that when you start to decide that people of a different colour, religion or ethnic group to you are “less” than you and need to die or “just go back to their country” well that raises an entire bag of problems, more about your upbringing and your education, and gene pool to a large degree.

I do think that what is wrong with Britain today, is people like Emma West.

And maybe we can get all those people together – and put them on a tram to Croydon!

View youtube video here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i47HoiM0Au8&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Sidebar note:

Emma West, 34, of New Addington, London, appeared before magistrates today   charged with racially aggravated harassment.

She was arrested and remanded in custody on Monday night, after complaints   were made to police in relation to footage uploaded to Youtube.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “I can confirm that Emma West of New Addington was charged with Racially Aggravated Section 4a on Monday,  28 November 2011.

“She was remanded in custody overnight. This is in relation to an   incident onboard a Croydon Tramlink.”

West was arrested yesterday after the footage was posted on YouTube

There is a group that has started to write to the Home Secretary, to show Emma May a bit of tolerance and understanding ….. clearly as she is able to show others this so well ….. http://britainfirst.org/free-emma-west/

I would like to be smarter ….

I like the idea of getting smarter.  I don’t like the idea of studying.

I am not a good student.  I procrastinate, and I see numbers and my eyes blur over.  I apply way too much pressure to myself, which usually results in me doing nothing studying related, because I have worked myself up into such a frenzy.  I also feel an overriding urge to repack my cupboards or watch that box-set which has been on my shelf for 24 months.

I have attempted UNISA.  Which really means I have enrolled, paid them large sums of money, and never opened the book packs they have sent me.  I did write a few exams with UNISA, but it was more of a “fk I need to cram to know enough to pass an exam” than a learning experience.

I won a really nice course from Friends of Design at the last Cape Town Blog get together, so I was really chuffed with that.  I have scoped out what they offer, and I like it, so definitely want to do one of those.  Maybe two of the courses with them.

My company asked us if we wanted to study, what did we want to study and all of that.  We had 24 hours to come up with what we wanted to do.

I had some ideas around web courses and a journalism course/diploma/degree and so on.  It sounded great.  I got really excited.  But then I kept looking at the course schedule and wondering how the hell I was going to find time to rush from work (I would have to leave early as I work until 6pm) to get to a class, then sit there for 3 – 4 hours and go home.

Only to repeat the same thing the next day.  For four months or for a few years.

I realise I am sounding slightly defeatist before I even start, but cheese and rice.  I barely have enough time to do half the things I want to do at the moment, and I am not doing much other than work+kids+life+sleeping+wine drinking.

I have cut down my internet/social media time, so I really avoid spending hours on this at night.

I do not watch much in the way of television – so there is not a great deal of time there to cut back on.

I try to get to sleep around 22h00 – 23h00 at night.  Going to sleep after 23h00 does leave me shattered.

I am trying not to be “as distracted” as I used to be with my kids at night, and spend more time with them.  Without it looking like I really want to be off doing something else.

I don’t read as much as I used to – I have read a book and a half in the last month, which for me is a bit like not reading at all.

And with all of that, I still find that time seems to blister past me.  I am trying to mark off things in my diary as done, action little bits of things to do, and half the time do not get them done.  I am seriously unsure of where the hell time goes.  I am permanently on the backfoot and rushing from one thing to another.

Tomorrow I am off to write a National Benchmark Test which I believe will act as an indicator as to whether I can enrol to do AIM at the Graduate School of Business for 2012.

I am not feeling particularly motivated or optimistic – numbers scare me and I am pretty sure I can’t get away from questions that involve numbers.

If they ask me one “a train leaves Cape Town with 567 kilogram of coal, it travels at 43 kilometeres per hour, and only stops at Lainsburg and Bloemfontein for water, there it takes on 27 litres of water and 56 litres respectively.  Compartment three is filled with 9 men, two of which are brothers, and five of which are cousins.  Two are lactose intolerant with wheat allergies.  Compartmet seven does not use electricity.  How many apples will the train driver eat by the time he gets to Johannesburg?  Draw a graph to support your answer.”

If I get one of those questions, I am walking right out.  Me, my new pencil and new pen (I always buy a new set of pens and pencils before each test/exam).


Yours sincerely,

The Reluctant Student

10 Questions on when you decide to run away to the jungle …

I saw these questions and the idea of running away to a jungle is rather appealing.  Personaly I would not run away to a jungle out of choice, why a jungle when you can run away to plush hotel?  But anyway, these questions might be relevant in the event that I ended up in a jungle.


1. What one thing about being a parent makes you scream “Get me out of here!”

When I speak and I speak and I speak, and my children (usually my one daughter) totally ignores me.

2. What skills, if any, do you have that would be useful in the jungle?

I think fire making would be probably the most useful.  Sure you can kill a snake but unless can throw it on the fire and give it a bit of a fry up, it is still going to taste pretty grim.

3. How are you likely to annoy people if you were stuck with them for 3 weeks?

I sigh quite a lot, and often do not realise it.  I think it is really annoying. I also expect everyone to do dishes, and the way I show my disapproval is by staring at the dishes, then at them, then at the dishes <repeate> – my guess is I would do this with them whilst they are at the dinner table.

4. What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?

Without a doubt it is rabbit.  I am not saying it did not taste like chicken, and had I not been told it was rabbit, I would have been none the wiswer.  It was the worse things because I specifically indicated before hand that I DID NOT WANT TO EAT RABBIT, and then Kennith prepared it for me, and to this day brings it up as a defense that I really do like rabbit.

5. What luxury item would you take into the jungle with you?

Toilet paper …. and Earl Grey tea ….. a book …..

6. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

Skydiving.  I feel naseous now when I think of it.  Why the hell I threw myself out of a plane, several times, still is not clear to me.  It was great to be young and brave, and stupid.

7. Who would you miss most if you went into the jungle with a bunch of strangers?

Kennith, because he would probably be quite a good organiser, and he would have the strangers organised into a variety of efficient groups, and because he would make himself the boss, I might get some “sleep late” priveledges.

8. What celebrity alive or dead would you like to have with you in the jungle?

Bear Grylls, I think he would be about the most useful celebrity I can think of.

9. What would scare you about being in the jungle?

Spiders!!!!  And having to poo in an open area with the threat of people near by.  And spiders.

10. After leaving the jungle, you go to a luxury hotel. What would be the first thing you did on reaching your hotel?

I would order a large bottle of wine, some pasta, and make an appointment in the local spa for hair and body treatments (after I shower of course.)