Boston Terriers rock ….. and they are so damn cute!

I really adore Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs.

I have a Boston Terrier and they are as ridiculous as they look.  I am fairly sure that something in their breed makes them deny being a dog, and a small dog at that.

Dexter {Carogan I’ve Gotta Feelin} does not know he is a dog.

When he is with other dogs, he does not realise he is only yay-big *indicates hand height from the ground*  Dexter takes it upon himself to take on much larger dogs in a “hey, hey, you, come and say that over here ….GRRRRRR” kind of way.

I think most people feel passionate about their dogs, no matter what breed they are.  People who have Boston Terriers are nuts about them.  Obsessed nuts – they post photos of their dogs.  The best part is I can look at photos of Boston Terriers (and French Bulldogs) all day – I while away hours in this fashion.

The Cape Town Boston Terrier Club have a very active Facebook page. They do incredible work with regards to rehoming Boston Terriers, and trying their darndest to get dogs out of puppy mill situations.

Good folks over at the Cape Town Boston Terrier Club.

Check them out if you are thinking about getting a Boston Terrier, or would like to adopt one.

1306_BTlogo_web

IBS …. holy crap

ibs

I have suffered with IBS since about 1994.

Need to know what IBS is – check out this link and this one, and then you know.

I am sure I had episodes (what I politely call bouts of swelling, cramping, sweating, crying and looking like I am 7 months pregnant) before, but I recall them from 1994 onwards.

I am not sure I know what caused IBS.  I still am not sure exactly what my triggers are.  I am not sure how to relieve the symptoms.

It is excruciating, and I thought over time it would get better – the last two or three years have been a slow and gradual dip into the hell that is irritable bowl syndrome.

IBS is the same as a stomach ache, as a Migraine is the same as a head ache.  Nothing like it.  The only similarity is the area of pain.

I know that when I have too much: pasta, meat, tea, a bad combination of food, too much food, white bread, the wind blows slightly north-easterly, I watch too much Toddlers and Tiara’s.  The point is I have no idea and short of lying in a drunken stupour and not being aware of anything, I really have not found the trigger and the cause.

I merely deal with the symptoms.

I go into spasms and it kicks it off.  Some times it just gradually grows worse and worse until my skin is stretched so taught that I start t0 walk like I am pregnant and hold my lower back.

My stomach swells – I start to get spasms, that start in my abdomen, then spread out into my back and then I think into my brain.

On the upside, and really I mean this sincerely, some people suffer from such explosively bad diarrhea that they cannot leave the house – “fortunately” I am on the other end of the scale, and get so constipated there is actually no realistic manner anything is or can come out, without the introduction of a large garden hose and a fair amount of water pressure.

A fairly good bout of IBS makes me want to purchase a sawn off shotgun, kill everyone and then myself.

All I can think of doing is getting in to bed with a hot water bottle, taking a stupid amount of Librax and sleeping, and when I wake up taking another handful of Librax and repeating the exercise until it is no longer needed.

It is not loads of fun.  It makes a barium enema look like Disney Land!

I have had a bout which started about two weeks ago, and somehow managed to find a way to get more sore each day.

The problem with being in excruciating pain is you lose your sense of humour.  Like totally.

You start to develop a sincere disinterest in everyone’s babble-babble because all you can feel is your pain – and really the energy it takes to pay attention is almost impossible.  Yesterday my mom was trying to show me the house they had renovated — I was leaning over at 90 degrees holding my side and going “huh-huh-huh”and the pain was so bad I actually could not hear what they were saying.

Which was a pity as they had done a phenomenal job.

I have realised I would make a poor amputee or person with cancer (yes I realise that is somewhat politically incorrect) -anyone who is sick or injured and who has a jolly composure.

You know how sick people sometime have that upbeat attitude and you get all soft and squishy about them and say “why, my goodness she is an inspiration!!” yep, I would be nothing like that.  NOTHING!

I would be the opposite of what ever that is.

I would be the one no one wants to visit, and no one sends cards to.

I would be folded triple in my hospital bed swearing at the help, and be a bit sour when you popped by to brighten my day.  I might even say things like “fuck you and your carnations, you have no idea of the amount of pain I am in … ”

I might move between that and promising sexual gratifications (which I would pay for, but not supply) to anyone who was able to push up my Morphine supply and promise me relief-giving suppositories on the half hour.

The last three weeks have been slightly less than fun.

Last night I stood and cried in the shower and wondered if there was any way in hell if my stomach could actually be pushed out any further without me being given a surprise baby shower and being asked to pant and not breath.

After I wiped the snot on the towel I decided to see if I could overdose on Dulcolax.

The short answer is no.

But if you take enough you will wake up at 4am. Not gently.  But in the “sit up screaming WHAT THE FUCK” as you fly out of bed to find the nearest toilet – BECAUSE THE EARTH IS ABOUT TO SHOOT OUT YOUR RECTUM.  But not in a fun way.

Holy cheese and rice.

I think I might have broken the septic toilet.

I have decided to sit here quietly and say nothing as I watch the plumbers work – every now and then I shake my head in agreement and say “those damn kids, you never know what they shove down toilets ….. tsk tsk tsk ….”

IBS.  I have nothing good to say about that heinous bitch.

130627_quote01

Wordless Wednesday …. because it will make you smile ….

I am not usually a fan of images with cats.  I like cats, but not enough to see images of them.

This image {however} will make you smile, no matter how shit your morning has been and no matter how crap that cup of coffee is.

happy_jumping

Sorry, no idea where the image is from, so cannot credit to the source.

My greatest enemy …

loopy_shit

 

Sometimes I wear two shirts – in that too hip to be 2013 way – and both shirts are loose and floaty (read do not stick to my fat rolls) and then both shirts have the loopy things.

There are so many straps and loopy things that I start to feel like Harry Houdini and wonder when someone is going to put me into a barrel and kick me over Niagara Falls.

I am always scared to cut them off just in case I will need them later ….

Candy sent me {snort laugh} … bless Candy!

Candy sent Kennith a link to “My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter” by Tiffany Beveridge via

pinterest_logo_red

I looked at it, and I thought okay, little bit amusing but I don’t get it.

I did sort of glance at it.

Pinterest used to be an obsession now I think if I see one more person pin the shit out of their wedding or their upcoming kids party I might seriously start to question the reason to continue living.

Or, just unfollow them.

Kennith: “Did you get the link I sent you? Candy said you would find it really funny.”

Me: “Huh – huh… {with a slightly disinterested tone}”

Kennith: “Did you read the comments?”

Me: “No…”

Kennith: “That’s the really funny part – it is all about her “imaginary” daughter Quinoa….”

Me: “You had me at imaginary.  Quinoa you reeled me in.  Comments, there were comments??”

I sat and read it this evening.  Shit-balls it is funny.

Pinterest I am sorry I decided to hate you for so long. It wasn’t you, it was just the shit I was following.

Thank you Candy, you get the award for “Making Reluctant Mom Smile” – unfortunately there is no cash prize, and fk-all glory, but there we go, you win.  Yay for you.  Even better for me.

*wild hand-clapping before I lean over to get another sip of my wine*

I am so jealous I did not create an imaginary daughter first.  I am beyond myself jealous that someone took the name Quinoa which means I might have to settle for Browne Rhys (I know, now I want a 4th child so I can call him or her Browne Rhys …. I wonder if I could convince Priv it is a good idea of a baby….. thinking thinking).

Okay, so click along and check it out on Pinterest – these are a few of my favourites on Q.

01_Quinoa

02_Quinoa

03_Quinoa

04_Quinoa

05_Quinoa

06_Quinoa

07_Quinoa

{winner 1}

08_Quinoa

{winner 2}

09_Quinoa

You can happily follow this board on Pinterest, best two hours of your life!

Daddy daddy cool Exclusive Books winners …

I was meant to do this on Friday.

Then I fretted about how to pick a winner.  Fretting usually makes me stop functioning and just make copious amounts of Earl Grey tea, of which several cups go undrunk, as I am fretting and forget to drink them.

This particular fret was no exception.

I fretted about maybe using a hat and pieces of paper.  I then wondered if I should use the magic finger pointing system which I have had great success with in the part.

Thursday ended.  Friday ended.  Saturday arrived, and still I had not decided on a system.

I had Georgia’s birthday party at Art Jamming > terrific party place people.  I would say suited to kids 6 years and older, great party location, kids had a ball.

Sunday I was at a dog show in Malmesbury with Dexter – GO DEXTER THE BOSTON TERRIER.  The weekend moved on at a bit of a pace and then I realised I had still not done anything about picking two winners, but had done a fabulous job in stuffing chocolate cake into my pie hole.

I decided that there were 24 comments, and I wrote down two random numbers on my page – and then went and matched the number to the comment left and tah-dah there we have two winners.  Seemed randomly fair, and at the same time I didn’t have to spend any more time fretting.

Dads enjoy your EXCLUSIVE BOOKS hampers.

Tania and Alexandra please send through your delivery address {send it via Facebook if you can}

07_dadwinners

 

18_dadwinners

 

130606_daddycool2

My 4 Year old boy is on antidepressants and that’s okay …

I read this post today, and I was humbled and amazed at the bravery of a parent.

I am acutely aware of how difficult and fraught with misguided advice and criticism the decision is to decide to take “head medication” is.

For yourself.  As an adult.

As much as society bandies around the labels “depression” “anxiety and general anxiety disorder” over cocktails at the local.

When you go through the process and find yourself at the bottom of the dark pit, and your fingernails bleeding from trying to scramble out, and find that instead of making progress towards the light, you are sliding further back into the deep dank darkness of the pit.

For what ever reason you want to be “normal”, and also want to be able to cope with life’s little lemons in a happy bright sort of way – but then you realise at some point that maybe “normal” is an inappropriate level to aim for.  Maybe.

Surviving until 10h00.  Then 14h00.  Then until the kids go to bed, and you can climb into your bed, and just lie there and wait for Morpheus to come creeping.  You know how dark your darkest hour can be.  You know that when people tell you to “just be happy” or to “cheer up” that you would kill them with a spoon if it meant you could just be happy.

You have trying to be “happy” for years at this point, and it always seems to be like silver minnows swimming just below the surface of the water.  You catch glimpses, you keep thinking it is within your reach, but it never is something you can hold on to.

It seems okay to say you are depressed, but actually taking medication in the form of pills, every day, well that is just another issue.  Taking medication would mean admitting you really are sick.

And maybe not as “normal” as you try to look and feel.

As an adult and deciding this course of action for yourself is extremely difficult.  Even as society has developed and grown, there is still a stigma attached to being a bit of a loon and needing medication to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Of course there isn’t you scoff.

Yes, there is, I say.

Deciding that your child needs medication for depression, is something I hope I will never have to face.

I have enough baggage and guilt to deal with, without having to deal with the fact that it might be because of ME that my kids are not well adjusted and their brains are not able to adapt to the daily pressures of “normal” life.

Today I read about Shawn Roos’ piece and it made my heart jump – and my breath catch.

It’s a brave and insightful piece – read it:

Don’t let stigma and saving face stop you from saving your child.

We named Micah before we knew him, and as it turned out, around the very time he was born. My wife and I had decided to adopt and were filled with a sense of purpose. We met Micah in a chance encounter in the lobby of our church.

I remember saying to Nina as I looked at this 6 month old boy, rotund and all-cheeks “It feels weird looking at a child knowing that there’s  apossibility he may just become your child.” It’s an experience that only an adoptive parent will ever know.

Turned out I was right. Two months later, Simphiwe – now Micah – became our son.  Read the rest of this brave post here.

 

Parenting is not always about making the decision whether to go with the dinosaur or the pirate theme, sometimes it is about making those hard decision.

Our children need us to be parents, their guides, their pathfinders …. it’s difficult, and challenging, and not always a decision that we make easily, but not helping your child is not an option – how long do you wait and watch the damage continue before stepping in?

 

micah

I said “No”

isaidno_landing

 

A new website has been launched by Sandi Schultz and Akona Ndungane’s called isaidno.co.za. It allows rape survivors to share their stories and perhaps find some closure.

From their site:

 

#ISAIDNO (I Said No)

#ISAIDNO is a campaign aimed at breaking the silence of rape victims in South Africa and world wide.

This campaign began when Akona Ndungane wrote a blog called ‘I said No…’ (http://akmosaic.blogspot.com/2010/11/i-said-no.html ) and shared it with her followers/friends on twitter.

Her story touched a lot of people online and prompted a call for action and led to this collaboration with actress, activist and survivor, Sandi Schultz that will create an enabling environment for other rape victims to share their stories and experiences of rape.

#ISAIDNO has currently been adopted by many people on social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook. The idea is to grow the campaign online, but most importantly, take the campaign to as many South Africans as possible offline.

Rape is an occurrence which, according to official statistics occurred approximately 16,000 times annually during the 1980s. By 1992 the official figure for rape was 24,700.4 unofficially, based on the premise put forward by the National Institute of Crime Rehabilitation that only one in twenty rapes are reported, the figure is about 494,000 a year.

This means that on average approximately one thousand three hundred women can be expected to be raped a day in South Africa.

Even a government minister calls South Africa the rape capital of the world……..

A study by Interpol, the international police agency, has revealed that South Africa leads the world in rapes.

A woman was raped in South Africa every 17 seconds. This did not include the number of child rape victims. It was estimated that one in every two women would be raped.

Between 28 and 30 percent of adolescents reported that their first sexual encounter was forced.

Of South African men who knew somebody who had been raped, 16 percent believed that the rape survivor had enjoyed the experience and had asked for it. According to a recent study police estimated that only one in 36 rape cases was reported and of those only 15 percent culminated in a conviction.

Noise really does change the way you behave …

I have always been somewhat sensitive to sound, to light, to what I deem as “excessive” in either.  Sound is probably the most intrusive.

I also struggle with space and too many people being too close to me, or even being touched too much — I really struggled when my children were small and having them “ON ME” all the time as babies do.  That hot sticky milkiness was as lovely as it was a trigger to drive me to insanity in a green clown side-car.

It would make me feel very anxious and stressed, and I would feel the panic that starts to grip me when ever any of my senses are overloaded.

The problem with all of these “over sensory stimulation” issues is that if you do not realise what they are, and you do not understand why you react in a particularly (and in some cases) violent manner.

You start to convince yourself you are the village freak!

Because what could be wrong with your children touching you, talking to you really loud, in your face, and fighting with each other for who will clamber onto your lap?

It’s normal.  It is natural.

What is not normal, natural and rational is you edging with your back towards a couch or a wall, so that you are defending your back and only have to deal with the “attack” from the front.

This weekend we were away, and I really enjoyed it.  The only thing that makes me very stressed is that when you are travelling and away from home you generally are in situations where everyone is physically together.  Together in the car.  Together in what is usually much smaller accommodation to what you are used to.

Together in that you are walking around the Cango Wildlife Ranch and your children keep grabbing your hands, and hugging your legs, and everytime you sit down it is as if two of them turn into leeches and try to suck the life out of your head, because that is where they appear to be trying to sit.

And talking and talking.  In loud high pitched voices.

Noise and clingy-ness is a natural and normal part of having children.  I  try to adjust and breath through it.

I came across the term “misophonia” about two years ago.

I thought I had stumbled on to the holy grail when I found a support forum at http://www.misophonia.com.

I sat and read people who understood what I was going through.  Who were going through the same things – and they were talking to each other about it.  Rather than sitting in their room weeping because they could not bear to be shamed by “acting funny when there is a noise you do not like.”

I was fortunate to have a psychiatrist and a psychologist and a CBT guy I could chat to – so I was not feeling as lonely, misunderstood and desperate as many people whose only support mechanism is this forum.

The forum however made me realise that there are people like me, and people who suffer more.

I recall reading a post from a guy who had to move to a small town, as he could not deal with the surround sound you get in a city.  He also had to move to a place where he could walk to work, as he found the noise of the bus too noisy, and it would put him into a state of panic.

I saw this post on the forum recently, and I wanted to share it with you:

Once again I would like to affirm uncategorically, this is indeed a real condition, with real physiological changes in the bodily functioning, even if we cannot ‘prove’ it yet.

This is not some weird psychological condition that you created for whatever reason for yourselves.

The over riding pattern of onset, identical histories and reactions, having evaluated 100s of patients and corresponded with 1000s by phone or email or Skype…..it is all to me one long running documentary that supports the fact
the Selective Sound Sensitivity/Miso is indeed a real condition, a genuine alteration or aberration in the way the central nervous system is functioning.

Many people struggle with this, every day I am asked, isn’t this just a psychological issue, like a phobia?

No, it is not.

Every day I am asked, people think I could just stop it, but I can’t. If I try harder, can I stop?

No. No more than you can try to stop the red blood cells from flowing into your arteries and veins. No, you cannot stop it by thinking your way out of it. No, you cannot stop it by simply ‘stopping’ it.

You can control your reactions, you can keep a public face, you can manage your environment for your best outcomes and highest comfort.

I really need to be clear here, in my own words, carefully chosen as I do not want to paint of picture of hopelessness, I want to affirm the fact that 4S/mis is a true condition that has biochemical and genetic components.

How we can change that is all up for grabs right now, some approaches are proving more effective than others.

And I do not mean to imply that proper psychological counseling does not help those who suffer, it surely does!

But that in itself, does not ‘cure’ 4S/miso, it can certainly alter how we manage our responses.

I need to say this often, I get so many calls or emails from people, parents, desperate for help or information and many have been told they have an emotional/mental problem. Every day I see kids who have been diagnosed with all kinds of things who primarily show signs of 4S/miso more than any other symptom.

Please, believe me, I have proof of the pudding with 15 years of contacts and direct clinical experience, this is real, this is physical, this is going to be imaged one of these days.

Dr. Marsha Johnson, Audiologist

I had spoken to my audiologist, my ear specialist, my CBT guy and my psyciatrist and none of them had ever heard of Misophonia.

The point I am trying to make with this is not that it DOES NOT EXIST, but the fact that it does, and it is often so poorly recognised that the medical fraternity does not diagnose it and thus treat it – or supply advise and expertise on how you can deal with it.

I cannot tell you how I felt a sense of “see I was right” when I had searched and searched and spoken to people about my aversion to sound, and how it sets me off.  How it changes the way I feel.  And what a revelation it was to know that it is real, and there are thousands (maybe millions) of people who struggle with the same.

How noise or particular sounds puts me into an advanced state of panic and anxiety.

Most people associate it as a symptom of anxiety and stress disorder, but maybe it isn’t.  Maybe it is a “thing” that sets off the anxiety and stress, and not symptom of it.

Misophonia Symptoms:  People who have misophonia are most commonly annoyed, or even enraged, by such ordinary sounds as other people clipping their nails, brushing teeth, eating, breathing, sniffing, talking, sneezing, yawning, walking, chewing gum, laughing, snoring, typing on a keyboard, whistling or coughing; certain consonants; or repetitive sounds. Some are also affected by visual stimuli, such as repetitive foot or body movements, fidgeting or any movement they might observe out of the corner of their eyes. Intense anxiety and avoidant behavior may develop, which can lead to decreased socialization. Some people may feel the compulsion to mimic what they hear or see.

Misophonia it is a real condition people.

stop popping that gum.  stop slurping that soup.  for the love of god stop chewing so damn loud.  leaves room.  slams door.  lies on bed in room where it is quiet until the kids find me.

{another good resource – http://misophoniasupport.tumblr.com/}

misphonia

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 …. ready or not …

1306_facebook36

The what ifs of seat belts

This weekend we traveled up to Oudtshoorn.

The reason for going was there were two Championship D0g Shows on.   I take Dexter to Dog Shows.

I am “that” person. It is a little like Toddlers and Tiaras, just less spray tan and false teeth, but other than that, pretty similar.

To be made up as a Champion, he has to earn 6 Championship Certificates.

Each show awards two certificates per breed – one for the best female and one for the best male in a breed.  There is a lot of competition, and it is about how your dog is perceived by the judge in accordance with the breed standard, how he appears on that day, how he m0ves, and how he compares to the other Boston Terriers there.

Part of the 6 CC’s you need to earn (to be made up as a Champion according to KUSA) is that one is awarded after he is 18 months or older.  You also have to earn at least one away from home – so you need to travel out of your geographic area to earn some of your CC points.

Three kids, a dog, and enough ‘crap and stuff’ to relocate to another country, and we were off for the weekend.

We drive the equivalent of a plumber’s van – it’s white, it’s large – the kids do not have to sit close to each other.  The two girls sat in the back row, and Connor in the middle row with Dexter.

I always check the kids are wearing their seat belts.  I am anal about seat belts.  I reverse the car out of the garage into the drive way and I wear my seat belt.

As I reverse, or when I am about to drive I always say (after I have done a visual check) “Everyone got their seat belts on?”

Then I sound out their names, and they each say yes.

We had stopped along the way, and everyone had got back in, and I had not done a check.  We were driving at at a certain point Kennith had to brake to reduce speed, it was not a huge shut-down-anchors-and-tear-the-tar, but it was a bit of a slow down – and it was enough.

Isabelle flew out of her seat with brute force, and her face slammed into the floor of the car.

She screamed.  I looked back and her face came up and there was just blood and snot bubbles, and some more screaming – initially I could not work out how she had got out of her seat and ended up on the floor.

It did not help she was in a sleeping bag, so her hands could not come up to break her fall, or protect her face.

We couldn’t pull over immediately as we were driving down a pass, and there was no where to pull over safely.  We had to continue driving for a few minutes before there was a safe enough area to pull over to the side of the road, with full screaming, me panicking, and screaming JUST GET YOUR SEAT BELT BACK ON!!! like a lunatic.

She was distressed, and had a cut on her top lip and it was swelling at a bit of a rate, and there was a lot of blood.  Smallish cut, lots of blood, I guess are synonymous with cuts on your face.

We sat with her a bit until she calmed down, staunched the blood flow, buckled her up and started driving again.

I cannot keep thinking of how much worse that could have been.  We could have had an accident, we could have been going faster, something could have happened, that made her slamming her face into the floor boards look like a walk-skip-and-jump in the park.

It wasn’t bad.  I got away with forgetting to check my daughter was wearing a seat belt by a stroke of luck, and a small wake up call.

Thank fk it was not worse.

Thanks fk that my child did not go flying through the windscreen.

Thank fk that our trip to Oudtshoorn will be remembered for the great road trip that it was, Dexter winning a CC and a BOB, and not my child being killed because I forgot to check seat belts.

If you do not buckle your child up, even for short trips, I hope you read this as a wake up call.

Buckle up yourself, buckle up your children.  No excuses.  No arguments.

Buckle your shit up!

dexter_roadtripping

Research Data and Statistics on the importance of Seatbelts / Child Restraints/ Baby Seats (Sourced here)

  • A review of research on the effectiveness of seat-belts found that their use reduces the probability of being killed by 40–50% for drivers and front seat passengers and by about 25% for passengers in rear seats.
  • A study in Norway calculated that head injuries make up some 60% of all injuries to vehicle occupants. The study concluded that drivers and front seat passengers who do not use seat-belts suffer almost the same percentage of head injuries as non-users in rear seats.
  • Ejection from a vehicle is one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person in a crash, with 75% of all vehicle occupants ejected from a vehicle in a crash dying as a result.
  • Seat-belts are effective in preventing ejections: overall, 44% of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants killed are ejected, partially or totally, from the vehicle, as compared to only 5% of restrained occupants.
  • Seat-belts are approximately 50% effective in preventing fatalities in crashes in which motorists would otherwise die. It is estimated that seat-belt use prevented about 15 200 deaths in the United States in 2004. If all passenger vehicle occupants over 4 years of age in the United States had used seat-belts in 2004, nearly 21 000 lives could have been saved (that is, an additional 5800 lives).
  • A review of various United States studies has shown that child safety seats that are correctly installed and used for children aged 0–4 years can reduce the need for hospitalization by 69%. 
  • The risk of death for infants is reduced by 70%, and that for children aged 1–4 years by 47–54%. Of children aged under 5 years, 485 lives could have been saved in the United States in 2002 if all the children had been in child safety seats.
  • It has been estimated in the United Kingdom that new rules on the use of child restraints rather than adult seat-belts for children up to 135 cm in height or aged 12 years and above will save over 2000 child injuries or deaths every year .
  • It is estimated that within the European Union seat-belts currently reduce driver fatalities by 40%.
  • Wearing rates in European countries vary widely from around 70% to over 95%. If all European Union countries were to achieve a 99% wearing rate for drivers, 2400 lives would be saved each year.

– See more at: http://www.arrivealive.co.za/pages.aspx?i=2877#sthash.fY8lSzGC.dpuf

Tattoos and Goodwood Swimming Pool ….1983 flash back

I have been toying with getting a tattoo since I was about 10 or 11.

I saw a girl with an anchor tattoo on her arm at the Goodwood swimming pool.  True story.

She has denim shorts, a white t-shirt with rolled up sleeves (this was in the 80’s, so really try and think WHAM with a hangover) and she wore a blue “captain’s” hat at a rakish angle.

I was in love.

I wanted to be her.

I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.  I loved her tattoo —I wanted her tattoo.  I wanted her captain’s hat, and I  wanted the boys to also crowd around me in that lecherous sort of manner.

I don’t think I had ever seen a tattoo on a girl, barring those ball-point-ink-and-points-of-your-geometry-compass ones some of the girls at my school made on their inner arms.

I did not exactly go to the kind of school where parents were going to give you money for cool clothing or tattoos, you sort of had to use the ink at school and your imagination.

I have thought about girl-with-tattoo-from-goodwood-swimming-pool often.  I have thought about getting a tattoo for years.

Literally years, not the figurative ones that started last week Wednesday.  Actual years with months in them, and often a paper calendar where you forget to tear of the months, and find in September, that you are still staring at the PAPSMEAR date you circled on 15 March with Dr ColdHands.

Then I wonder, what if I had got an anchor on my arm at 16 or 18 because I thought it was cool.  How good would that look now?

When ever I think I like an image or an idea, I print the image out, and put it in my diary.  Loose leafed.  If in 6 months time I decide I still like it then I will look at getting it inked up.

The problem is I never like the same image in 6 months time.

The image always has some connection or emotional resonance with me.  So it is not a tribal arm band or a fairy on my arse (and yes, if you have a tramp stamp – god forbid a tribal tramp stamp then I am going to judge you), but true as nuts, I look back at the image and I think “Fark, I hate it…. what if it was a permanent fixture … yikes.”

And so the pattern repeats itself year in and year out.

I have always loved fonts and text — always.  Typography and collecting fonts is my little side hobby.

I often find a word or sentence or arbitrary thing that I think “is the one” – but time passes and I look at it, and I am again wondering how much I would then spend in laser treatment to have it removed.

I have been in lust about “white tattoos” for some time.

My brother in law is a very talented tattoo artist over at Metal Machine Tattoo and Body Piercing  – he d0es wonderful work, and his shading and detail work is {swoon} value.

I can’t count the times he has explained the tattoo process to me.  Given advise.  Given suggestions.  And I have thought about it, and have just not got to the point where I think I can commit to anything on me, done today,with today’s eyes that I would like to look at in 5 or 10 years time.

I saw this white ink tattoo recently, and it is so gorgeous — no the design has no meaning to me, and it is probably not right for me, but it is quite beautiful.

white_ink

I still do not quite understand (and this is not said in a negative or a judgmental tone, it is a real question) how someone makes a judgement and a decision on getting a tattoo and do they really still like it in 5 years.

Or do they just say they do, because they are sort of stuck with it.

I can’t think of wearing a t-shirt that I thought was cool 5 years ago now, because my definition and taste has changed so much.

How many people get tattoos, and regret having it done?

Tweeting and onesies for adults …..

In an effort to catch up to 2010, I have finally started using Twitter.

What I mean by using, is that I follow about 150 people and gobble up their tweets like they are manna from heaven.  It seems that there are some seriously funny/despicable/morally decrepit people on Twitter.

It does make me very warm and smiley, and more envious that people can be that clever with such a limited character base.

I am  nervous to tweet.

I feel like I have just arrived at a party, everyone is there, everyone is funny, intoxicated, dressed to impress, and I am standing there wearing dungarees with a bag of opened Chuckles in the pocket in front.  I am wondering how to strike up conversation, but I am wondering if I should pour a drink and go into the kitchen and wash dishes —- that is a good way to be useful, and remove myself from the social pressure, and maybe have the odd person talk to me as they come in to the kitchen to refill their drink and they will say “hey, why you are you washing dishes ….”

I tweet and then sit there and wait for someone to respond.

No one does.  I am actually not sure exactly how it works.

This further adds to the sense of “wearing a head brace” and Bata Toughees to a Marie Claire party full of swanky good looking, rich and successful people.  Feeling awkward.

This morning I opened Twitter – as I do with my morning cup of tea, and I was like WTF??

130613_Tweets

 

 

Three tweets I have no recollection of posting.  I panicked and thought “fk, fk, fk, please please please do not let me have much in the way of damage control to do………what the hell have I done and who to???  Can I blame it on the Facebook Hacker shit?  Can I?  Can I?”

I calmed down, and reread the posts and I thought they were pretty good – I did not realise I was that clever.  I am also pretty funny.  No freaking idea where that came from.

If you received an sms or an email or a facebook post from me after say 22h00 last night, please be so good as to just delete it.

The last one I recall was the Woolworths comment about the onesie — after that, nothing.

Seriously though, who in their right mind as an adult would wear a onesie?  I think they are cute, for a 3 year old, but I wouldn’t put my 11 year old in it.  Good grief …. who buys this stuff?   And why do they both look so happy — how the hell are you meant to get to your stuff when you are zipped up from your crotch to your neck?  And seriously why, why, why!!!!

413TLEspyuL

 

So I am on twitter – and I have no fckn idea what I am doing most of the time – but that is sort of a reflection of how I function — I cannot promise that there will be many tweets, as I tend to stand around a lot and shuffle my feet …….. I also get a bit nervous when I receive notifications that people are following me … I interpret it as stalking me …. and my paranoia tends to pick up a bit.

twitter

Is it wrong to make babies cry?

The story seems to be, babies are given a lollipop, which is then snatched away from them — and great photographs are taken, to convey the sense of desperation, sadness, frustration that society is enveloped in.

The photographer defends this idea, stating, “The first little boy I shot, Liam, suddenly became hysterically upset…It reminded me of helplessness and anger I feel about our current political and social situation.”

This series has sparked a controversy in the art community: is it okay to make babies cry for the sake of art?

I know it is only a lollipop, I know that parents often do much worse.

I also think that maybe we are a bit too sensitive when it comes to children.  In a bid to rise up against abuse and poor parenting, I have found that people have actually just gone shit balls over board.  Everything you do as a parent is micro-examined and you need to constantly on the looking for the “parent police” – usually disguised as know it all, hemp wearing, organic eating, people with questionable body hygiene talking to you about breastfeeding until your child is at university, co-sleeping, never letting your child cry ever, and well lots of things …… but I digress.

Suggesting that taking a lollipop away from a child is a good idea, is just enough to get you lined up next to Hitler and that guy who locked his daughter in a cellar, as Not the Greatest Parents of the Year.  Just not a good idea.

Last night I sent Isabelle to her room for 2 minutes as she had drawn with a pen on a table cloth.

I forgot about her, and only realised she was still in her room screaming her head off about 10  minutes later.  It was also her birthday, so the fact that I had made her blow snot bubbles and cry huge crocodile tears was even further down the scale of “bad parenting.”

I think the images are amazing.

I think the images can be used to make a comment about pretty much anything – in this case it is the artist’s frustration about politics and christian fundamentalists in the United States.

Is this worse than strapping bombs to your children and sending them out to blow themselves up as martyrs in the name of religion 0r for a political party?

Is this worse than children who are sold by their family as se.x slaves or servants?

Is this worse than taking children along to demonstrations that are clearly going to end in blood shed and with a few bullets being thrown around?

Is it worse than parents who drag their children through beauty pageants and apply layers of really good for you yellow spray tan?

Is this worse than children who are allowed to watch WWF and South Park?

Part of me wants to say, hey, its not nice to take lollipops away from children — it is okay to take lollipops away from fat children, or children with tooth decay, or children who have already had 5 ….. but not nice children like these appear to be.

The other part of me wants to say “Its a lollipop for goodness sake, get a grip.”

I guarantee Liam, Noah and Emily  in these photographs are going to be far more pleased with being part of a kick arse art exhibition, and having these images of themselves, than they ever are going to be upset by the lollipop thing.

Blankie seems to be fine.  And he got hung out of a window.  If that kid can bounce back from the one leg dangle out of a hotel window, then we really are under estimating how resilient our children are.

Angry Country by Jill Greenberg

angrycountry

Prayer by Jill Greenberg

austin_prayer

See more of the images by Jill Greenberg at  http://kopeikingallery.com/exhibitions/view/end-times

Just so that we keep this lollipop thing in perspective — here is a “not so bad” versus “yep that is pretty bad” sliding scale

 

130612_notsobad

daddy, daddy cool …. hummed to the boney m tune ….

130606_daddycool2
Father’s Day in South Africa 2013 is on Sunday, 16 June …..

Here’s my list of what makes a daddy-daddy-cool dad

  1. Put their interests first, always.
  2. Protect them.
  3. Teach your son how to be a polite and courteous man.
  4. Teach your daughter that she is loved, and adored and does not need to gain anyone’s approval.
  5. Show them by example.
  6. Spend your spare time with them.
  7. Give them hugs.  Tell them you love them.
  8. Do the “mom” stuff – get involved in the routine stuff.
  9. Read to them.
  10. Put the iphone down, interact with them.
  11. Stand by their mom – be a united front – don’t fight in front of them.
  12. Teach them self-esteem.
  13. Teach them about finances.
  14. Be good to yourself.

It’s not a comprehensive list, but there are my 14 – feel free to add a few, or change to suit.

Exclusive Books has teamed up with Reluctant Mom, and I have a great collection of books to give away to the special dad in your life – it can be anyone’s dad.  Maybe it’s your dad, your granddad, your children’s dad, your teacher’s dad, a dad you know who is just a cool dad – someone who can be a daddy-daddy-cool dad for 2013.

He does need to know how to read, else the books are really going to be wasted on him.  So give that some consideration as you work through the possible people you want to nominate.

What is better than giving away one collection of books from Exclusive Books?

Giving away two collections!!   Yay — I am so excited, because you know how much I love books.

Nominate the dad you think could do with a lie on the couch, a pile of books, and some decent coffee or a cold beer — sorry I can’t supply the coffee or the beer — but I can supply the books.

Leave a comment, nominate your dad-person, and tell us why he is such a cool guy, and a great dad.  

Two hampers, two chances up for grabs.  These are awesome books.  No need to even get in your car and drive to the store to collect them – we will deliver them to you {entries are limited to addresses in south africa — okay, that is pretty much all the small print}

No retweet, repost or any crazy stuff –  just leave a comment.  Here on this post.  And that as they say is all.

Entries close on Monday, the 17th June 2013 – some time after sunset.    I will announce the winners of the two hampers on Friday, 21 June 2013.

Easy?  Freaking easy and awesome — nominate your person.  Done!

Exclusive Books Logo

A case of jealousy ….. she is a slanty green eyed little bitch ….

batman-deals-with-his-jealousy-issues-43903

I have really had a case of the “why the fkc is that not me” moment/day/week/period {leave time frame that is most appropriate}

I look around and there are blogs that have an epic following.

Bloggers are going on to write car manuals, design new ways to hide from their kids, and methods to watch Game of Thrones uninterrupted, and suggestions on what to wear and eat.

Bloggers who are funny, pretty, clever, and well just so everything to the level that it makes me feel a bit shit actually.

I start to look at my lot in life and go, but why am I not famous, and adored and why do I not have trolls.

Why the hell do I not look fabulous all over instagram?

Why in gds name can I not work out how Twitter works?

Why do I hate myself when ever I see myself in the mirror?

And why did we buy a house with floor to ceiling mirrors in our bathroom?

Maybe it is the weather.  There is meant to be a connection between rainy, dark skies and the likelihood of someone making a shiv and ending it all.

I am in general not a “happy for you” sort of person, so let’s keep the base level in mind.

I don’t have enough happy for you in me.  At most times my reservoir of happy is pretty much empty or at the very least dripping out in a very unhappy stream.  Not unlike the outside tap that is never repaired, and eventually drips that slimy green/black mark against the back wall.

I tend to think in terms of “why did it not happen to me” or “what have I done wrong…” and seldom get truly happy or excited for me, or for you.

At your happiness I grumble a bit under my breath, and try my best to smile at you.  I don’t hate you for being successful, or doing well.  I hate me for not.  Subtle difference.  See it is all about me.  In my head.

I am not quite in the dead zone of depression, but my spirits are definitely flagging somewhat.  This “just keep on” bullshit is …. well a bit of bullshit.

I looked at Raising Men’s blog recently and I thought, shit, she has done well.  All the kudos to her.  I feel pretty damn jealous she appears to have such a cool life – and photographs really flipping well.  Here is a girl who could have child throw up on her shoulder, be drinking a warm Budweiser, and wearing a sack, and she would be gorgeous.  And clever.  And for fuck sake she likes bunnies.  What is not to like?   I am jealous that she is under 30, looks like a super model, and appears to weigh less than my winter knickers.  I stalk her — often. When no one is looking.

I looked at The Bloggess and thought, fkn hell she is unbelievably funny – how do you get that funny, and stay that funny?  And more importantly how the hell do you write such a funny book?  She is unbelievable, and she just has to BE.  I want to be her.  I want to be famous and fabulous and have a chicken named Beyoncé.  I want her stuff.

I looked at The Blessed Barrenness and I thought, holy shit balls she is busy making banana loaf, a great stew, she has a new baby and is so damn happy.  And she is probably one of the nicest people around.  Excuse me whilst I pour myself some more wine and wonder if when I grow up I could be as nice as her.  I covet her life.  I covet her kitchen.  I covet her food.

I looked at Margot over at Jou Ma se Blog who clearly stole the best name for a blog.  In the world.  Assuming that FuckMotherhood.c0m has come available again.  Margot is everything that is right with blogging – she is clever, and witty, and writes with such passion and never seems to sell her soul or go ape shit and have to apologise later.   She writes for publications what put ink onto paper.  Bless her.  I have been sneaking around her blog for years.  Actually I don’t hate Margot for anything, I just want to be as good as she is and I am jealous that I do not have her talent.    I loved the fact that she refers to her kids on occasion as “little fuckers” – makes me love her more.  Makes me envy her more. Some days I want to “cut and paste” her blog posts to my blog and just change the name.  Margot when I am mature, can I be like you?

I read a recent post over at Living Lionheart and I am in awe of her writing.  Her ability to turn a phrase and grab just the essence of a thought, so effortlessly.  I am jealous she is so damn good.   I want her to be my best friend.   I want her to tell me I am fabulous, as I smile, and bat my eyelashes demurely and say “Oh, I’m not, really I am not…..” as I push my cleavage further out to make the dimensions of my breasts look far more than my waist.  I don’t think that is going to work out, so in the interim I will covet the shit out of her and be envious as shit.

My latest obsession is a Slice of Humble.  No idea exactly what the blog is about – okay she is 28 years old and has five kids.  I am guessing that is sort of the theme.   I am more hooked on her Facebook status  updates than I am on her blog.  She is ridiculously funny – I want to be that funny, damn it — I would be laughing at myself every time I sat by myself.  People would fawn over me, promise me trinkets and shower me with nuggets of chocolate.  I am fairly sure I do not want 5 kids at 28.  But can she keep her kids.   I just want her funny.  I don’t think I have ever been that funny.  Ever.

Then I have this friend Natalie B.  Natalie had a baby in December 2012.  She rode her bike about 150 kilometers (out of choice) in February.  She does a race or triathlon every weekend, or thereabouts,  Ran the 2013 London  Marathon, and 2013 Comrades … and appears to be able to juggle her baby and work, and her life faultlessly.  She is such a nice person, so easy-going, and does not seem to have any hang ups.  Kennith asked me last week, isn’t Baby N like 6 months old?  I am like: ” uh-huh… something like that.”

Kennith goes “Natalie just finished Comrades …. her baby is 6 months old ” …

I think he implied that my youngest is nearly four and I am lying on the bed stuffing a Cadbury chocolate into my pie-hole and moaning about the “baby weight” that I am still struggling to shift.  I adore Natalie.  I hate Natalie.  I want Natalie’s DNA, long legs, and happy going easy style – can I swap her those for my daily overriding craving for a McMuffin with sausage and egg?

Okay, the list of things/people I lust for and covet is hardly complete, and it could go on for a very long time.

Please do not send me a note asking why I did not mention you.  I am  just stewing in my warm pool of jealousy and self loathing — it is a lonely place but warm and sort of comforting when you waddle in it, and just lie back and let the stickiness just envelop you.

Wondering why you aren’t on the list – odds are I am already on to you.  I have spent many hours trolling your blog/instagram/faceb0ok page.  I just don’t have the energy to extend this list right now.

If you have any suggestions for who else I should be jealous of, please free to flip your suggestion into the hat.

I am too busy self-flagellation, to add more right now.

Tomorrow will be better.  Or it won’t.

Today I sit here looking not dissimilar to Golum, mumbling “my precious under my breath….” as I wonder how I will steal the ring back from you.

{I am having a moment so forgive me slightly for my rambling and inability to string a decent sentence together – see need to be a bit more like Stacey and Margot.}

golum

Monday …. birthdays and wine estates …..

Isabelle turns 4 on Monday, 10 June 2013.

She is in the running to be my favourite child.

I know people say “I love all my children the same” … yeh, I think you do, but you love them differently.

I have different connections with each of my children, and I like different things about them.

I know I should be “like and sharing” more “if you love your child then like this image” but I am not sure I like them enough all the time to do that.  If I start sharing all that crap on Facebook then I can’t sit here in my cushion of sarcasm and judge other people who do.  It is a little burst of joy I have, please do not rob me of it.

I like it about as much as I like the one where people are telling me how much they love their sexy husbands on Facebook status updates — for the love of gd, get a room, get off Facebo0k, make him a pie or something.

 

share-loveshare-love2

If that shit floats your boat, please carry on as you were …. am I the only one who wants to stab people who like and relike and then share this shit?

But I digress ….. Isabelle is a challenging child.

She is four (on Monday) and her speech is probably that of a 2 and a 1/2 year old.

She can make the sounds, can sound out the alphabet, and the word if you do it with her, but she has an inability to plan a word, so in her hands you end up standing there and not having a clue what she is rattling on about.

We have done speech therapy, and I must be honest, I am not sure it is working.

I am not convinced she would have made the same level of speech progress if just left to get on with it.

I get what she is saying about 70% of the time, the other 30% I am standing there with a furrow in my forehead while she is saying the same thing.  Louder and louder.  And I still have no idea what she wants.

Eventually it results in me yelling: “use your words, I do not know what you want” and her then starting to escalate the demand and scream and cry at the same time.  Usually when I am trying to drive, and she is in the back of the car and wants me to do something.  While I am driving.  It sometimes involves me taking off her shoes.  Just to reiterate I am driving, and she is sitting in the third row of a van …..

Because she struggles to be understood she tends to throw wobblies (a nice word for going off her fkn face in the kitchen) because she wants something.

She knows what it is, and is screaming it at us, and we are standing there handing her the tomato sauce, a spoon, a small unopened bag of cookies, a tin of tuna, change for the blind, when actually she would like a glass of Pinotage.

She is the youngest in our family, and probably the child we fear the most.

Hands down she would beat Connor and Georgia in a bare hands fist fight.

I think Connor and Georgia have realised arguing with her is pointless because if she does not get what she wants, then odds are she will kick you in the groin.  On the up side she says “kick you” very clearly, so we do praise her every time with “well done Isabelle” – I sense we might be sending a mixed message.

Monday is her birthday.  Her birthday is overshadowed every year as Georgia has her birthday on the 20th, and we do a combined party – but only with Georgia’s friends.  I am not sure Isabelle has realised she has not had a birthday since she arrived, but she is not saying, so we are taking that as a non-issue.

This year I was planning to send cake to school and maybe organise a face painter or something.  But instead (because I can’t get a face painter) I have decided that I will spend the day with her.

Have a Isabelle Day.

I will send her to school in the morning with cake, so she can still celebrate a bit with her friends, and then I will collect her at 12h00 and we can head out and do a nice lunch and find a play area.

She can then walk around Toys R Us and choose a present for herself – maybe stop at a wine estate, I think she will like that.  I think once she has gone to Toys R Us, I will be such a hero, I could probably take her to a three hour reading of Moby Dick, and I will still be a hero!

The one benefit of working for myself – if we discount the risk of financial insolvency, and the constant nagging sensation that maybe you really need to spend more time on bizcommunity and get yourself a damn job – is that I can take off a few hours and spend it with Isabelle on her birthday, and do not have to fill in a pile of paperwork, nor weasel up to my boss with tears in my eyes.

Cool that!  Happy Isabelle Day on Monday (and happy David D’Aguiar Day on Monday as well!!).

Isabelle_web

37 weeks …..and the fun of government health care

Priv is 37 weeks this Friday, and I am petrified for her.

I have stood on my head and called as many people as I could, but there was very little in the way of her being able to get her into a hospital and confirm that if she arrives at 02h00 with amniotic fluid dripping out of her ya-hoo she can get immediate attention. or at least be in the right queue.

Basically the system is she goes to a clinic.  The clinic then refers her to a day hospital, the day hospital in turn then refer her to a hospital who can then deliver the baby.

It really is a long winded process, and it sort of explains clearly why babies are delivered on the road side or in taxi’s.

Please bear in mind she cannot go to the day hospital unless she is referred by the clinic.

Priv is 37 weeks, and she is still having to haul arse to the day clinic once a week.  I am sort of trying to understand that this is the system and everyone should wait their turn.

I am trying to be reassured by this.  That assuming there is nothing seriously the matter, she can stand in a queue at the clinic whilst in labour, and wait for them to refer her to the day hospital, and then stand there and wait until they refer her to the hospital … assuming she has not actually delivered the baby whilst standing in the queue.

Again I am trying very hard to be patient, and not get my white suburban madam knickers in a knot, but here is the part where I am alarmed.

Every time she goes to the clinic, they look at her foetal assessment scan which she had at 24 weeks, and make a judgment from there.  They have not felt her stomach, have no idea if the baby is standing on her head or doing cartwheels – no idea.

I took her to the foetal assessment centre as she only realised she was pregnant at +22 weeks and had no pre-natal care at that point.

The scan the clinic is looking at is 13 weeks old, and at this point her baby could have done a somersault, moved in furniture and gone out for a curry.

I am so frustrated with this process I want to scream.

I have tried to call everyone to try and ensure she gets some indication of proper care – I really do not want Priv to find out there is a problem after she has been in 48 hours of labour and has to catch a taxi to the hospital after being left sitting on a wooden bench at the clinic for the last two days.

There is no end to the amount of “being bounced” that is a continual theme of dealing with the government health system.

I made another appointment for her tomorrow at the foetal assessment centre – if they are going to work off an old scan, let them at least have something that might indicate the baby is in her stomach and which way it is facing, and that she is actually still in there.

Screaming in frustration!!

Knock knock, whose there …. the Organics winner that’s who ….

Thanks to everyone who entered, thanks to everyone who wheeled out their Knock Knock jokes – it really is one of those that no matter how stupid they are, you still manage a smile.

When I was at Technikon here was a slew of really bad jokes without a real punch line, which at the time I thought were hysterical.  Now I just think I was under medicated.

The Organics Hamper winner is

130531_Organics-winner

Andrea – please send through your physical address – courier will need to deliver – please send this via Facebook.

The Blood of Flowers ….

I have just finished The Blood of Flowers, written by Anita Amirrezvani.

The book is set in 17th-century Persia.

A 14-year-old woman’s prospects of marriage are ruined when her beloved father dies.  She is alone with her mother, no family support and no way to survive.

With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan.

They hope to throw themselves on the mercy of the father’s brother who is a successful carpet maker, who serves the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.  The uncle and aunt are a respectable, and reasonably wealthy family – who can afford to take on the support of two family members.

The uncle and aunt offer them a roof over their heads.  Instead of being regarded as family, they are treated as lowly servants.

The story is focused on the young girl, and how much she learns about life in Isfahan, how she develops as a carpet designer and weaver, and how she changes from a young innocent girl, to be a provider for her family.

Her family arrange a marriage – a sigheh (a temporary, renewable “marriage” which is essentially a form of semi-respectable prostitution) – which effects the girls outlook on the world, and also makes it almost impossible for her to enter into a legitimate marriage with a respectable man/family after that.

The book focuses quite a bit of time on how the girl improves her se.xu.al prowess to be granted a renewed sigheh — which I sort of found a bit disconcerting.  Young girls being pi.mp.ed by their family, not really a favourite theme of mine I am afraid.

It did make me fall on the floor and give thanks I was not a woman in the Arabian world, who had to deal with trying to live and survive when everything (from religion, to culture, to employment) is pitted against women (consciously or not) being able to survive without a man as provider and protector.

I am sure this was not meant to be the point of the story being taken from the book – but I could not help thinking that it really was a cruel society for women and young girls if they did not have the protection of father/man in their society.

I enjoyed the book.

I did feel there was a lot of time and attention spent on how the girl became a better bride for her sigheh – which as said is really the exchange of her being a rich man’s prostitute for a few months and money changing hands.  She does not benefit from this other than getting a bag of silver – which also does not go to her – but her family who decide how it is going to be distributed.

For all the “honour” this situation is pipped as being, it really is a way for parents/family to prostitute out their girls, so I did not really warm to this aspect of it.

A 3 out of 5 star sort of book.

The story is interesting, and on the upside does not have the “everyone is happy ever after”ending ….

“Anita Amirrezvani has written a sensuous and transporting first novel filled with the colors, tastes and fragrances of life in seventeenth-century Isfahan…Amirrezvani clearly knows and loves the ways of old Iran, and brings them to life with the cadences of a skilled story-spinner.” — Geraldine Brooks, author of March 

The Blood of Flowers

 

 

 

…………………………….

 

1306_to read