Madame Zingara’s …. the wonder, the sheer wonder will make the child in you laugh ….

It’s one of those things I have always been meaning to go to, and for a variety of reasons just never got to.

On Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to be invited to Madame Zingara’s.  {this post is very delayed so my Tuesday is a good month ago ….. but anyway}

Last week I phoned my friend Thelma who is a MZ veteran and asked her: “what do I need to know — I don’t want to arrive and then go *facepalm* I wish I had known XYZ…”

Thelma said it was incredible and I was going to have the best time.  I should wear black, not worry too much about dressing up and visit the “shop” at Madame Zingara’s and I could buy what ever I wanted to jazz up my outfit.

She also advised there was face painting and again gasped that I was going to have such a good time.

I followed her advise to the letter.

My partner Wayne arranged that we had a chaffeur to drive us home at the end of the evening, so that little matter of drinking (and driving) was not going to be an issue.

The only “minor hitch” was when I received a message from him at 16h30 saying we should leave at 17h30.   Of the day of Madame Zingara’s.

I am not a lass that needs extensive time to get ready – I can be showered, throw some makeup on, clothing and what ever and be out the door in say 20 minutes.

At 16h30 I was not even fetching kids yet – the short of it was that at 17h17 I was still in the car trying to get home.  At this point I was doing that slow quick degeneration into that screaming, ranting, freaking out person who needs to get home and at the same time travel back in time if there was going to be any chance of me making it on time.

I was late – we left at 18h00 – I only got home after 17h30 – so bathed, dressed, makeup sort of loosely thrown in the general direction of my face and then rushed out the door.  I think when I arrived I looked a little frazzled and demented …. and my pupils had contracted into small points of black ……

Madame Zingara have set up tent on the Grand Parade in Cape Town {tent not seen in this picture}.

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We arrived, got parking really close to the door, which was a godsend as I had managed to wear the prettiest but most uncomfortable pair of shoes in my wardrobe.  You know the pair where your left foot is so comfortable it keeps telling you it is in heaven, whilst your right foot is trying to understand why you have folded it into the Lotus foot position used extensive in China for several centuries.

I kind of limped to the door and then fell in — there is always a step that I don’t see.

From the moment we arrived, I knew this was going to be jaw dropping.  And it was.

The person who greeted me at the door like we were old friends was the smallest “little person” I have ever seen.  He was smiling and jolly, in an extravagant suit with the biggest afro I have ever seen on anyone, bar none.   That gave me a fairly good suggestion that this was not going to be a normal evening.

It is like the circus.  But for adults.

I stumbled around with my lower jaw sort of hanging about, whilst my eyes were flying around the interior.  I cannot actually describe it sufficiently well to do it justice.  I took some photographs, but I look at them now and keep going “no, but it’s not like this it is just so much more….”

It is as if everyone — all the staff — are part of this stage performance and remain in character throughout the event.  Even though they are not on stage, they help to create this sense of fantasy and splendor.

There were various bar areas, the furniture and the drapery were all heavy textured and mainly velvet to the touch.  The tent is like a huge magic area where you are dropped into this fantasy world where everyone is a cast member in one way or another.

No detail was left unattended – every area is a feast for the eyes and if you are in anyway into fantasy, and being carried away to another world, then this is the place for you.  Things are hidden away so you keep discovering them.

My friend had been correct about the MZ shop – and what I thought was without a doubt the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen were the hats.  Not the standard top hat and others that you could buy, but the ones that were supplied by The Little Hattery in Cape Town.

I saw a hat that had the DieselPunk theme to it and you know when you see something, and it doesn’t matter if they are going to charge you three mortgage installments, you just must have it.

These hats were that.

The store had masks, and feather boas and for some unknown reason a plastic pig that made a real sounding pig snort when you compressed it.

I am very disappointed I did not buy that pig.  It’s the kind of thing you would keep on your desk, your friends would covet it, and every time you pressed him and he made that pig snort you would smile.

Other than that minor disappointment – the evening was beyond splendid.

Our table was right in front – we could not have had better seats if we actually sat on stage.  We were served by a waiter dressed as a penguin.

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I am not sure of the last time when I have been so entirely happy.

Bob our Penguin waiter (seen above) served us, and he was without a doubt exceptional.  He was familiar and professional, and again just added to everything that was going on.  They had a good wine list and there was some great wine on offer.

Bob told us the tent seats 650 people.  That is huge – the kitchen managed to supply food out at a good pace.  You cannot believe when you are looking at it that this is a tent …. defies the imagination.

We had three choices for starters, and 5 choices for main.  I had a salad that made my toes (only in my left foot) curl and a lamb shank that was melt in the mouth.

I forgot to eat my dessert —- I didn’t even touch it, there was just so much going on at that point that I could not take the time to look down long enough to spoon dessert in {I realise how unlikely that sounds …… its dessert ……. make time …….}

The show was without knowing the right words to use the most incredible thing I have ever seen.  The acts were clever and funny and again, you were filled with this sense of childlike wonder.

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{this photograph was taken from our table —- it’s a bit shaky partly because this guy was heading straight for our table —— and I was trying to hold the camera and save the wine}

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There were people lavishly attired that would move around the room – for no other reason than to create points of interest.  At no point were you ever left to just sit there and go “okay so when it something starting”  there was always something going on.  Granted I was not always sure exactly what was happening …. but there was always something to draw your eye to.

At one point a line of 8 – 10 people dressed as what I thought might be intricate desk lamps came along and walked through the room whilst we were eating.

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I have no idea what they were doing — they were just being desk lamps and then they exited the room and we never saw them again.

A huge rabbit — like the card rabbits from Alice in Wonderland came walking through.  You know as you do.  He was perfectly the way you would imagine a giant rabbit that had just stepped out of Alice in Wonderland to appear.  He was THAT rabbit.

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I do realise that at the point in the evening when you are seeing 1.8 metre rabbits walking around is normally when you need to ring for your taxi, but it was that sort of evening.

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A large rabbit was just a a rabbit — he walked around a bit, then disappeared.

The show was on the stage, but all the staff seemed to be playing a part in keeping this wild and fantastic world alive for us their guests.

I went to the bathroom at one point — it was freezing outside — there was a guy painted gold, pretty much naked other than his roman skirt, boots and helmet just standing there.  It was really cold — this guy had a nipple stand you could scratch paint off a car with.  He was just standing there on a pedestal, as people were sneaking out for a cigarette or going to the bathroom.

Even your trip to the bathroom kept you in the same frame of mind so that when you got back to the table, you were still all wide eyed and blinking a great deal saying things like “did you just see that….”

The entire evening was easily one of the best evenings I have ever attended.  There was nothing I would change, or make better.

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{That is our wine and wine holder in the foreground of the picture —– that is how close we were to the stage}

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Oooohhh I forgot, as we entered there were these glamourous waitresses with “free drinks” – I tend to like to choose my drinks so tend to avoid these suprise mixes, but they looked so interesting and were like mini slush puppies.

Then I had one – six later I was telling everyone that these were the best things I have ever had.  Strangers were being told that this was the best drink I had ever had.

I asked the bartender and he said it was vodka, triple sec, lime, grape juice and I think there was something else, which I can’t recall.  They had then put them in ice like you would a slush puppy.

And gave you a little black straw.  Excuse me whilst I lose my last shred of self control.

Like everything else, no detail was left unattended to.

The night was glorious.  Something that will remain with me for years to come.

I do miss the pig I left behind though.  I think he misses me too.

Well done Madame Zingara – the cast, the staff and especially Penguin Bob our waiter was brilliant.

We loved the evening, loved every part of the show — both the one on the stage, and the one that was happening in every inch of the tent.

Also a real round of applause to the face painters — they paint your face in 5 minutes (less probably) — you sit there and think “what finished already” and then he holds up a mirror and you are ….. how the hell did that get there so quickly.  Just more gorgeousness.  They were incredible!

Madame Zingara — sell a kidney, go, go, go —–get tickets —— it is like every strange and wonderful thing you have ever thought of being in one giant lavish gorgeous tent.

And there are penguins as waiters.

{this is not a sponsored post – we bought tickets and paid for everything on the evening — if you discount the free slush puppy vodka numbers, those we did not pay for ….. and I lost count of how many I actually had which may explain why I can’t recall all the ingredients ….. if you happen to know what they are, please let me know, I need to add them to my daily diet immediately}

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I went to a strip club …… and I haven’t ridden a donkey before either #justsaying

I have never been to a strip club.  I have also never had an STD nor have I ridden a donkey.

I figured as we were going into things I had not done, we would cover a few.  Jump in at any point and let me know stuff you have not done.

I sometimes get an idea into my head that usually starts with me saying things like “come on, lets go to XYZ, it’ll be fun …. you will see ……….”

It is seldom is fun, even I realise that 15 minutes in, but I hang in there when quitters quit.  Me being a winner and all.

Saturday night, I decided I needed to go to a strip club. Not a strip club where boys strip.  But a girl one.  I was quite sober when I came up with this idea.

Listen if that is what you do for fun, a hobby or for a living, then all the power to you.

I am happy you have found something that makes you happy and you get paid to do it.  Personally I cannot watch a man strip. There is something fundamentally wrong with a guy trying to make sexy eye contact and take his black socks off at the same time.

It might just be me, but when I watch a guy stripping —- and it is not like this happens a lot —– I start to feel embarrassed for him.

I realise that this reeks of sexism and double standards, but boys need to be either dressed or undressed and avoid the gyrating to music with a heavy bass in between, and pants that rip off on the sides with the aid of velcro.  If you cannot rip your pants off on your own, then don’t fucking rip them off. climb out of them one leg at a time like the rest of us.

Again if that is your thing —– good for you.  It’s not my thing.

But I have moved away from my story.  Tangents and stuff.

I wanted to go a strip club – the standard kind where woman strip.  I also did not feel like driving into Cape Town to Mavericks, and felt I wanted to start off slowly/more sleazy and aim to something in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

Yes, I do realise the level of errors in that set of decision making.

Possibly my codeine ingestion was too high that day.  Possibly I needed a bigger glass of wine and a lie down, but I managed to convince someone ELSE that this was a good idea and off we went.

In his defence he kept telling me repeatedly, and louder that this was NOT a good idea.

Even on the drive up there, there was nothing but bad energy about this place.  Without naming names, it had the word Goose as part of it’s signage.  And a large goose on it’s sign.

The warning signs were white and about two meters high with a FUCKING GOOSE in it.  I think the goose might have had a bow tie on …. but some of the details got a bit hazy due to the sheer amount of information coming in at this point.

You know when things go bad, and someone says, did you see any signs before?  The answer here is “yes officer…”

I figured, well we have sunk this low, let’s just go in.  In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

And in we went.

Saturday night – if there were 12 clients there were a lot.  I didn’t do a formal head count.

I think there were 5 girls whose job it was to dance, take their clothing off and make us feel welcome.

I knew when I looked at the wine list that we should leave — or at least disinfect our hands,.  I wanted to make this evening work.   I wanted to experience the entire strip club thing.

How bad could this be??  Right?

I ordered wine —- I knew it was going to be bad, the wine list was really terrible.  I drink almost anything, so for me to hesitate over a wine list because I was trying to pick the best of the worst must give you an idea how “skeptical” this experience was going to be.

I asked if I could take a photograph of the wine list (as evidence in case I went to ER and had to have my stomach pumped). The waitress looked at me as if I had just asked her if I could sell her child on Gumtree.  She genuinely looked scared.  And told me NO in that hushed whisper only used my kidnapped children and that little boy in Sixth Sense when he says “I see dead people………”

I was asking for a photograph of the wine list, not a vaginal swab.  But.  Okay, so no photographs ….. packs phone/camera into bag.

The first performer appears on stage.  Now when I think of a strip show this is sort of what I had in mind ……

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It appears not only was I aiming a little high —– I really had no idea, but Hollywood has been lying to us —- yes, you heard it here, first.  I had moved into the world of delusional at a pace that made my head spin.

What I saw was a woman who might have been a foreign national who looked like she was dancing to get her passport returned.  And she still had three months ahead of her.

There was no clever outfit — there was just hooker heels, a really bad dress (China Town bad dress) and very small panties …. I could see them through the dress.

This is not because I have great vision, the dress was a lot less than more.  And again, you would be hard pressed (no pun intended) to think of this as sexy.

You know when someone is going through the routine and it is about as sexy as “Everyone Loves Raymond” …… imagine “Everyone Loves Raymond” as a strip show (with the mom), then you would pretty much have it.

It was sadly disappointing.  I think for the both of us (her and I).

One bottle of wine in.  I thought I would solve the problem and suggest let’s have another (bottle of wine) to just see if this is going to get better.  It didn’t.  The wine nor the show.

There were two table dances going on not too far from us.  The girls wore tiny tiny strings of panties.  I know it is a strip club I understand where this is going.

The problem is that when it went there. I had to look away.  Not because I was offended by their sexuality or the fact that this was starting to look at feel like a gynecological exam, but with no hands, it was just awful.  I have had pap smears that sort of looked more pleasurable.

I felt sorry for the women dancing …. this was Saturday night, busiest night of the week ….. and they were sitting at the table next to us chatting to each other, because there were just no clients.

If I was on stage stripping, I would be a little offended that someone left the rugby game on repeat on the big screen television.  Let’s weigh up girl on stage stripping, or watching rugby game on repeat and mute.

At a certain point I started to watch the rugby game.

It was hellishly bad.  {not the rugby game, that wasn’t too bad}

My hopes and dreams of entering this over sexualised world where there is good music, clever dance routine and enough sexual tension to make your eyes bleed, was a bit of a let down.

I believe Mavericks is meant to be far better.  Next stop on my “things to do on evenings when you do not have the kids” but I might need some time so my corneas can heal.

The things I do for you my readers in the name of investigative journalism.  Good grief!!

I can’t poop if someone is near me and they know/think I might be pooping ….

I am physically unable to poop if someone is nearby.

That someone could be anyone.

I used to be at boarding school – I did not go to the toilet from Monday through to Friday – because you have these large rooms of toilets and showers, and there is just no way you are in there alone.

I used to try to wake up at 3am, but true as nuts I would be terrified someone would walk in, so totally unable to go.

By Friday I was bleeding from my eyeballs!

I still cannot go to the bathroom, if there is someone in my home, or if I am in someone’s home, or in a public bathroom.

I will literally be crying, knowing that if I took too deep a breath I would shit in my pants — but still I would hold out, I just cannot go.

This picture is exactly what happens when I go to a public bathroom, and that is just to wee.

 

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A few months ago, I was at a very dodgy bar.  It really was past the point of where dodgy was dodgy – what ever is the word to be used for “most dodgy”.  Any the who, at a certain point I had an overriding urge to urinate.

The type where if you do not go NOW you will actually just pee in your pants.

I was standing outside the one stall bathroom for women – past hopping from foot to foot – to the point where I was pleading to be permitted to use the bathroom.  I think I might have already been making nail scratches in the door and begging in a very high pitched voice.

Eventually the cubicle door opens and said girl looks at me and says “you really sound desperate” to which I reply “yes, I am going to pee in my pants ….. right now …… please I really need to use the bathroom”

She opens the door wider, and I notice she is not making any movements to leave the cubicle, whilst I use the facilities.

Normally this would be awkward beyond awkard, and I would stand there and mumble.

But this night was not one of those, this was, if I do not pee now, I am going to be pee’ing in my pants.  And no matter how dodgy this bar was or is, a girl peeing in her pants is not going to be overlooked, as just another low point of the evening.

I decide to just shelve my issue with pee’ing/shitting in front of someone.

I have no idea why she was still in the cubicle, with me.  On the upside the cubicle was considerably big, so it was not like we were pressed against each other.  We could have served snacks and invited a few other people to join in.  I was part the point of delving into the mystery of what exactly was going on here.

I had about a liter of urine that needed to be removed from my body immediately – else my jeans were going to become a large in efficient sponge.

Dropped pants, sat on the commode, and felt that relief you do when urine is not being poured into your pants.

I could barely speak for the joy and relief.  Bliss is a word I would throw around here.

At some point, once the initial pressure had subsided it gave me time to take in my surroundings, and notice that this girl was still in the cubicle with me.

When you need to pee, you really start to bring your standards down quite a few notches.

I looked around at her, she was behind me, I smiled, and said “thanks so much” — and she said “not a problem” and then continued to snort cocaine off the cistern.

I knew that this was not normal.  I felt she could look at my lilly white arse whilst she was snorting off the cistern.  I am not sure which part of this I found more disturbing.  I was sort of thankful I had decent underwear on.  I think it is a girl thing.

I also knew I had flashed my ass, and all the other bits to a stranger I had never met, and who appeared to be making very different life choices from me.  At the time.

I however still had about 340 ml of urine to get out – so I wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry.

And so this strange “friendship” was formed.  I finished what I needed to do, wiped, flushed, washed my hands, thanked her again for her generosity of letting me into the cubicle, and wished her a good night further.

Okay so that ranked as one of my stranger experiences of that particular week.

Road Trip Friday ….

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I am really petrified of flying.

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

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

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

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

I digress.

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

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

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

Yes, I do realise this does not make sense.

This time I thought I would use a new tactic.

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

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

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

4,  Fit head phones in your ear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without crying, not once.

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

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

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

Me + Flying = winning!!

 

Plowing a field with a VW Caddy …. true story

 

 

This is possibly how you can plow a field….

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This is not the right implements to use to plow a field ….

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Last night I was driving in the Somerset West area.

In my usual way I had ignored my GPS thinking I knew better.

I didn’t – I ended up travelling a route I had not traveled before.  But it was fine, I wasn’t in a rush.  I stopped at a petrol station-come large shopping complex and bought jelly beans and some cooldrink — as you do.

It was around 20h30 or so.

Got back in my car and continued driving.  I knew sort of where I was. I wasn’t lost, so I wasn’t scared, but I was driving a route that I had not driven at night.

No worries.  I had jelly beans.  What could go wrong?

I took a slip way, that I assume like most slip ways, was a straight road that got me off a road and put me onto a national road.

I took the slip way, accelerated, glanced down at the holder in my door to grab my cooldrink, and when I looked up.

I realised I had been wrong about several things.

Jelly beans are not great driving snacks, they make you thirsty.  Glancing off the road for even a split second is less than ideal.

The road it seemed took a 90 degree bend to the left.

This I did not foresee.  It was dark, no street lights, and I thought it was a straight road.  There were no signs saying “hey lookie here this road just fucks off in the total other direction” ….. and no lights to make you realise where the road ended and the field of bad dreams began.

The part where I realised I had made an error was when I looked up and there was just no road.

I was on that gravel/loose tar pieces that usually sits at the end of non-existent roads.

I abandoned the cooldrink.  I slammed on brakes and my VW Caddy with all it’s weight and speed just continued forward.

It was that moment where my life flashed before your eyes.  And everything I have ever stored in any compartment in the vehicle was suddenly jettisoned and appears to fly through the air.

I remembered that for some reason there was a plastic brick under my seat and I wondered if I was going to get that in the head.

I knew there was a large tool kit in the overhead space, and if that hit me in the head, well that would pretty much be the end of where my head would continue to work in it’s present state.

It felt like I had an exhaustible long time to think about all the things in my car, as they sort of flew around the inner cabin.

Then the gravel/loose tar area ended and I found a grass embankment — I continued to brake, because well I had fuck all idea what else to do.

I just wanted to keep the car going straight —– I knew that if I lost control this mother of a car would roll, and well that would be bad for me and the plastic brick under my seat.

And the jelly beans.

I left the gravel area and then moved into a grass field.

No matter what they say about VW Caddies, they are NOT good for plowing fields.

It felt like I plowed that field for a kilometer, and then the grassy knowle kind of came up to meet me.  My car ended up ramping – a little bit {of course in my mind’s eye it was flying through the air for kilometers} – and sort of ending up firmly wedged in a ditch sort of number.

I will be honest.  I traveled through time and space. It lasted a split second.

The car eventually came to a shuddering stop.

Well abrupt halt.  As you do when the nose of your vehicle finds itself firmly embedded in a grass embankment.

I took stock.

What I mean is I said FUCK FUCK FUCK —– FUCK FUCK FUCK —— then took a breath and said FUCK FUCK FUCK — HOLY MOTHER FUCK. JESUS.  I may have named a few other deities, just to ensure I was working my way through every possibly religion.

Eventually I settled on FUCK ME, FUCK ME, FUCK ME ….. which is not always the right thing to say.  When in a dark field.  By yourself.  In the middle of fuck knows where.

Once I realised I was still breathing, and had all my extremities sort of working.  I tried to start the car.  Fuck yes it started.  I then tried to move forward. Er, no, sorry you have used up all your points for this evening.

I stumbled out of the car — I actually stumbled. It was a muddy field. Dark. Like nothing.  No where.

I thought okay, find phone, stumble to road, phone for help — figure out where the hell you are.

In so doing a passing car nearly ran me over.  She also missed the turn.  She then got out of her car came over to me, and asked if I needed a hug.  Of course I do, strange person.  No I really did — we stood there and hugged each other like we had both just discovered the secret to how they get the chocolaty bits into Haagen Das ice-cream.

After we hugged.  I stumbled back to my car.  I am not sure why, I thought if I just went over there and stared at it, it would miraculously get out of the fucking ditch and I could carry on with my evening.

I seriously fucked up a really good pair of high heel shoes.

At this point two tow trucks arrived, an ambulance — I then told them about the jelly beans and the juice.

The ambulance personnel suggested I take a little walk with them — I reassured them I was fine. I was not hurt.  I was just totally fucking floored.  And maybe starting to toddle into the area of hysteria.

My friend arrived to help me.  My car was so firmly entrenched in that field, that nothing was going to get it out.  I was so relieved to have somewhere there to help me, because I needed all my energy to have a total breakdown.

Martin, the tow truck driver then set up a little pulley system and pulled my rather large car out of it’s position.  He was so brilliant.  I might have also told him the jelly bean story.

I think I was a little hysterical.  And obsessed about jelly beans.

Lady in the car said she would stand with me until my car was out.

Car eventually came out.  Body work was well a bit like you would expect it to be after plowing a field.

I got into the car to drive it to my friend’s house – which was pretty close to the now plowed field –  because there was no way I was going to get very far in it’s present state, or back home.

I have been driving for about 20 years. I have never been in an accident.   Not even a fender bender.  I was absolutely freaking my bean out there on the side of the road.

Last night shook me to my core. I feel petrified of how that could have gone. I feel relieved and thankful that it had gone so well. I feel an overriding urge to go to the bathroom and throw up.

I feel like I should say LUCKY ME.  Because fucking hell, LUCKY ME —- it could have been so much worse.  LUCKY LUCKY ME!

 

{if any part of this post sounds half baked, it is because I did not sleep on Monday night, I am over tired, over wired, I have just taken a handful of make me feel a bit less stressed, anxious and just over the top —- and my sleeping tablets are also kicking in —– so apologise if any of the above sounds like …… well like I have a concussion or an internal bleed …… or just need to sleep}

Jersey Boys at the Artscape …

{I am doing a bit of a Draft Tray clean out – I realised I have over 150 drafts — posts I have started and never finished, and now have been stuck in limbo …… so I am digging out a few}

‘We were invited to join friends and go and see Jersey Boys last night.  (clearly not last night,  now, but it was some time ago)

At a certain point I lay on my bed, and it was warm, soft and that is where I wanted to remain for the foreseeable future.  I was wondering if I could convince Kennith to cancel – he had been sick, and I figured a cough and splutter into the phone would get us off the going out, and then I could get a head start on sleep.

We didn’t cancel.  We put on our clean underpants, and clothing and out we went.

We sat about as far back as you can sit – barring only the one row behind us.  I wasn’t feeling particularly optmistic about the entire evening, longing still for my bed.

Then the show started.

What an incredible show.  I loved every moment of it.  Who knew that the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli are responsible for so many iconic songs?  Not me.

I thought I did not know any of their music, and it turns out I knew most of the songs and could happily sing along to them.  Off key of course.

Jersey+Boys

It is a great show – and probably one of the best stage performances I have ever been to.  Definitely worth the effort of brushing your teeth, finding something clean to wear and going out into public for.

Here are a list of their songs, I guarantee you will know almost all of them …. great show!!

# Artist Song Title Year Chart Entries
1 The Four Seasons December 1963 (Oh What a Night) 1976 UK 1 – Jan 1976 (10 weeks), US Billboard 1 – Dec 1975 (27 weeks), Record World 1 – 1976, Canada RPM 1 for 1 week – Apr 1976, Springbok 1 – Apr 1976 (17 weeks), US BB 2 of 1976, RIANZ 2 – Mar 1976 (27 weeks), POP 2 of 1976, Holland 3 – Mar 1976 (18 weeks), Belgium 3 – Apr 1976 (10 weeks), Canada 4 – Feb 1976 (19 weeks), South Africa 4 of 1976, US Gold (certified by RIAA in Mar 1976), UK Gold (certified by BPI in Mar 1976), France 6 – Jun 1976 (1 week), Norway 6 – Apr 1976 (8 weeks), WABC NY 10 of 1976, Sweden (alt) 11 – Apr 1976 (13 weeks), Brazil 11 of 1976, Australia 15 of 1993, Germany 19 – Apr 1976 (2 months), DDD 19 of 1975, US CashBox 21 of 1976, US Radio 21 of 1976 (peak 1 12 weeks), D.Marsh 38 of 1976, RYM 54 of 1975, OzNet 89, Party 143 of 2007
2 The Four Seasons Big Girls Don’t Cry 1962 US Billboard 1 – Oct 1962 (16 weeks), Canada 1 – Oct 1962 (14 weeks), NZ Lever 1 – Jan 1963 (6 weeks), Australia 1 for 1 week – Jan 1963, KQV 3 of 1962, US BB 5 of 1962, US Radio 5 of 1962 (peak 1 12 weeks), POP 10 of 1962, D.Marsh 11 of 1962, UK 13 – Jan 1963 (10 weeks), WABC NY 13 of 1962, US CashBox 15 of 1963, DDD 19 of 1962, Australia 20 of 1962, South Africa 20 of 1962, RYM 26 of 1962, Brazil 79 of 1963, Acclaimed 965 (1962), one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 500
3 The Four Seasons Sherry 1962 US Billboard 1 – Aug 1962 (14 weeks), Canada 1 – Aug 1962 (12 weeks), NZ Lever 1 – Sep 1962 (7 weeks), WABC NY 5 of 1962, DDD 5 of 1962, UK 8 – Oct 1962 (16 weeks), KQV 10 of 1962, US Radio 12 of 1962 (peak 1 10 weeks), US BB 15 of 1962, Flanders 15 – Oct 1962 (3 months), RYM 18 of 1962, US CashBox 20 of 1962, POP 28 of 1962, Brazil 75 of 1962, Acclaimed 1817 (1962), NY Daily Love list 17
4 The Four Seasons Rag Doll 1964 US Billboard 1 – Jun 1964 (12 weeks), Record World 1 – 1964, Keener 1 – Jun 1964 (7 weeks), Canada 1 – Jun 1964 (12 weeks), Canada RPM 1 for 4 weeks – Jul 1964, NZ Lever 1 – Jul 1964 (6 weeks), UK 2 – Aug 1964 (13 weeks), US Gold (certified by RIAA in Aug 1964), WABC NY 7 of 1964, US Radio 16 of 1964 (peak 1 10 weeks), Germany 16 – Jan 1965 (2 months), DDD 25 of 1964, KQV 28 of 1964, US BB 29 of 1964, US CashBox 29 of 1964, POP 29 of 1964, RYM 77 of 1964, Acclaimed 2088 (1964)
5 The Four Seasons Walk Like a Man 1963 US Billboard 1 – Jan 1963 (13 weeks), Canada 1 – Jan 1963 (12 weeks), NZ Lever 1 – Mar 1963 (6 weeks), Australia 1 for 1 week – Apr 1963, US BB 10 of 1963, POP 10 of 1963, UK 12 – Mar 1963 (12 weeks), US Radio 12 of 1963 (peak 1 9 weeks), WABC NY 15 of 1963, US CashBox 18 of 1963, RYM 19 of 1963, D.Marsh 39 of 1963, DDD 43 of 1963, Acclaimed 1454 (1963), one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 500
6 The Four Seasons Candy Girl 1963 KQV 2 of 1963, Canada 2 – Jul 1963 (12 weeks), US Billboard 3 – Jul 1963 (13 weeks), NZ Lever 3 – Aug 1963 (3 weeks), WABC NY 18 of 1963, US Radio 35 of 1963 (peak 3 8 weeks), US CashBox 50 of 1963, RYM 157 of 1963
7 The Four Seasons Let’s Hang On 1965 Record World 1 – 1965, US Billboard 3 – Oct 1965 (16 weeks), UK 4 – Nov 1965 (16 weeks), WABC NY 7 of 1965, US Radio 10 of 1965 (peak 3 11 weeks), US BB 21 of 1965, POP 21 of 1965, KQV 28 of 1965, US CashBox 41 of 1966, DDD 59 of 1965, RYM 126 of 1965
8 The Four Seasons Who Loves You 1975 US Billboard 3 – Aug 1975 (20 weeks), Record World 5 – 1975, Canada 5 – Oct 1975 (10 weeks), UK 6 – Sep 1975 (9 weeks), Springbok 13 – Feb 1976 (5 weeks), RIANZ 22 – Nov 1975 (12 weeks), US Radio 26 of 1975 (peak 3 9 weeks), WABC NY 35 of 1975, RYM 66 of 1975, DDD 99 of 1975
9 The Four Seasons Dawn (Go Away) 1964 US Billboard 3 – Feb 1964 (13 weeks), Canada 3 – Feb 1964 (13 weeks), NZ Lever 3 – Mar 1964 (4 weeks), US BB 14 of 1964, POP 14 of 1964, WABC NY 15 of 1964, US Radio 24 of 1964 (peak 3 8 weeks), US CashBox 28 of 1964, Record World 32 – 1964, DDD 51 of 1964
10 The Four Seasons Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye) 1965 Canada RPM 1 for 1 week – Feb 1965, Record World 6 – 1965, Keener 10 – Jan 1965 (2 weeks), US Billboard 12 – Jan 1965 (9 weeks), Canada 37 – Jan 1965 (4 weeks), WABC NY 49 of 1965, US Radio 129 of 1965 (peak 12 3 weeks)
11 The Four Seasons Save it For Me 1964 Canada RPM 1 for 1 week – Sep 1964, Keener 7 – Aug 1964 (4 weeks), Record World 8 – 1964, US Billboard 10 – Aug 1964 (8 weeks), Canada 28 – Aug 1964 (6 weeks), DDD 60 of 1964, WABC NY 83 of 1964, US Radio 123 of 1964 (peak 10 4 weeks)
12 The Four Seasons C’Mon Marianne 1967 Canada 7 – Jun 1967 (8 weeks), US Billboard 9 – Jun 1967 (10 weeks), Record World 9 – 1967, Keener 14 – Jun 1967 (5 weeks), NZ Listner 20 – Aug 1967 (1 week), Holland 27 – Jul 1967 (5 weeks), WABC NY 73 of 1967, US CashBox 86 of 1967, US Radio 94 of 1967 (peak 9 5 weeks)
13 The Four Seasons Working My Way Back to You 1966 US Billboard 9 – Jan 1966 (9 weeks), Record World 9 – 1966, Keener 18 – Jan 1966 (5 weeks), US BB 30 of 1966, POP 30 of 1966, Canada 34 – Feb 1966 (6 weeks), UK 50 – Apr 1966 (3 weeks), DDD 78 of 1966, US Radio 111 of 1966 (peak 9 4 weeks)
14 The Four Seasons Tell it to the Rain 1967 Canada 1 – Dec 1966 (11 weeks), US Billboard 10 – Dec 1966 (10 weeks), Record World 10 – 1967, Keener 13 – Nov 1966 (6 weeks), UK 37 – Jan 1967 (5 weeks), WABC NY 90 of 1967, US Radio 119 of 1967 (peak 10 3 weeks)
15 The Four Seasons Ronnie 1964 US Billboard 6 – Apr 1964 (10 weeks), Record World 6 – 1964, NZ Lever 6 – May 1964 (2 weeks), Keener 7 – Apr 1964 (3 weeks), Canada 18 – Apr 1964 (5 weeks), WABC NY 37 of 1964, US Radio 73 of 1964 (peak 6 6 weeks)
16 The Four Seasons Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me) 1966 Record World 9 – 1966, NZ Listner 9 – Aug 1966 (3 weeks), US Billboard 13 – May 1966 (8 weeks), Keener 14 – May 1966 (3 weeks), Canada 14 – May 1966 (7 weeks), UK 20 – Jun 1966 (9 weeks), DDD 74 of 1966, US Radio 133 of 1966 (peak 13 5 weeks)
17 The Four Seasons I’ve Got You Under My Skin 1966 Record World 6 – 1966, Keener 7 – Sep 1966 (4 weeks), US Billboard 9 – Sep 1966 (10 weeks), Canada 10 – Sep 1966 (9 weeks), UK 12 – Oct 1966 (11 weeks), WABC NY 59 of 1966, US Radio 107 of 1966 (peak 9 5 weeks)
18 The Four Seasons Stay 1964 Keener 4 – Feb 1964 (4 weeks), Canada 12 – Mar 1964 (8 weeks), US Billboard 16 – Feb 1964 (11 weeks), Record World 22 – 1964, WABC NY 86 of 1964, US Radio 143 of 1964 (peak 16 4 weeks)
19 The Four Seasons Silver Star 1976 UK 3 – Apr 1976 (9 weeks), Holland 14 – Jun 1976 (6 weeks), Belgium 14 – Jul 1976 (3 weeks), US Billboard 38 – May 1976 (8 weeks)
20 The Four Seasons Connie-O 1962 Australia 1 for 1 week – Jan 1963, RYM 26 of 1962
21 The Four Seasons Beggin’ 1967 Record World 15 – 1967, US Billboard 16 – Mar 1967 (9 weeks), Keener 16 – Mar 1967 (4 weeks), UK 32 – Jul 2007 (8 weeks), Canada 42 – Feb 1967 (3 weeks), US Radio 161 of 1967 (peak 16 2 weeks)
22 The Four Seasons Big Man in Town 1964 Keener 7 – Oct 1964 (4 weeks), Record World 14 – 1964, US Billboard 20 – Nov 1964 (7 weeks), Canada 31 – Nov 1964 (5 weeks), US Radio 178 of 1964 (peak 20 2 weeks)
23 The Four Seasons Marlena 1963 Canada 2 – Jul 1963 (10 weeks), US Billboard 36 – Jul 1963 (8 weeks), RYM 157 of 1963
24 The Four Seasons Down the Hall 1977 Holland 16 – Jun 1977 (5 weeks), Belgium 28 – Jul 1977 (1 week), UK 34 – Aug 1977 (5 weeks), US Billboard 65 – Jul 1977 (6 weeks)
25 The Four Seasons Dawn 1964 Keener 1 – Jan 1964 (5 weeks), KQV 21 of 1964
26 The Four Seasons Ain’t That a Shame 1963 Canada 20 – Apr 1963 (5 weeks), US Billboard 22 – Apr 1963 (9 weeks), UK 38 – Jun 1963 (3 weeks)
27 The Four Seasons Watch the flowers grow 1967 Canada 12 – Oct 1967 (7 weeks), Record World 22 – 1967, Keener 28 – Oct 1967 (1 week), US Billboard 30 – Oct 1967 (7 weeks)
28 The Four Seasons Will You Still Love me Tomorrow? 1968 Record World 13 – 1968, US Billboard 24 – Feb 1968 (8 weeks), Canada 28 – Feb 1968 (5 weeks), WABC NY 94 of 1968
29 The Four Seasons Spend The Night In Love 1980 Springbok 4 – Mar 1981 (14 weeks), US Billboard 91 – Dec 1980 (4 weeks)
30 The Four Seasons Alone 1964 Canada 23 – Jun 1964 (7 weeks), US Billboard 28 – Jun 1964 (9 weeks), Record World 29 – 1964
31 The Four Seasons Santa Claus is Coming to Town 1962 US Billboard 23 – Dec 1962 (3 weeks), RYM 152 of 1962
32 The Four Seasons December 1963 (Oh What a Night) (1988) 1988 Belgium 9 – Jul 1988 (7 weeks), UK 49 – Oct 1988 (5 weeks)
33 The Four Seasons Girl Come Running 1965 Keener 19 – Jun 1965 (3 weeks), Record World 23 – 1965, US Billboard 30 – Jun 1965 (7 weeks)
34 The Four Seasons Soon (I’ll be Home Again) 1963 Canada 20 – Apr 1963 (5 weeks), US Billboard 77 – May 1963 (7 weeks)
35 The Four Seasons New Mexican Rose 1963 US Billboard 36 – Oct 1963 (7 weeks), Canada 38 – Oct 1963 (4 weeks)
36 The Four Seasons Little Boy (In Grown Up Clothes) 1965 Canada 47 – Jan 1966 (3 weeks), US Billboard 60 – Dec 1965 (6 weeks)
37 The Four Seasons Big Girls Don’t Cry (1988) 1988 UK 91 – Oct 1988 (1 week)
38 The Four Seasons Peanuts 1963 Canada 3 – Mar 1963 (10 weeks)
39 The Four Seasons Soon 1963 KQV 6 of 1963
40 The Four Seasons And That Reminds Me (My Heart Reminds Me) 1969 Record World 27 – 1969, US Billboard 45 – Sep 1969 (7 weeks)
41 The Four Seasons I’ve Cried Before 1962 RYM 18 of 1962
42 The Four Seasons Electric Stories 1968 Record World 38 – 1969, US Billboard 61 – Dec 1968 (6 weeks)
43 The Four Seasons Lucky Ladybug 1963 RYM 19 of 1963
44 The Four Seasons Christmas Tears 1962 RYM 152 of 1962
45 The Four Seasons That’s The Only Way 1963 US Billboard 88 – Oct 1963 (3 weeks)
46 The Four Seasons The Night 1975 UK 7 – Apr 1975 (9 weeks)
47 The Four Seasons Slip Away 1975 RYM 54 of 1975
48 The Four Seasons Rhapsody 1977 UK 37 – Jun 1977 (3 weeks)
49 The Four Seasons We Can Work it Out 1976 UK 34 – Nov 1976 (4 weeks)
50 The Four Seasons Sincerely 1964 US Billboard 75 – Aug 1964 (4 weeks)
51 The Four Seasons Silence is Golden 1964 RYM 77 of 1964
52 The Four Seasons Toy Soldiers 1965 US Billboard 64 – Apr 1965 (5 weeks)
53 The Four Seasons On Broadway Tonight 1965 RYM 126 of 1965
54 The Four Seasons Idaho 1969 US Billboard 95 – Apr 1969 (2 weeks)
55 The Four Seasons Something’s On Her Mind 1969 US Billboard 98 – Mar 1969 (1 week)

Customer service epic fail ….. stoopid cow!

After a particularly disastrous time playing Standard Bank on-line banking.

I called the help line, which it appeared was having an opposite day.

The only option left to me was to go in to Standard Bank.

Explain that I have been using internet banking for about 10 years.  Have used the same account number, user name and password all this time, and now it did not work.  Could they fix what clearly I did not break.

I got particularly alarmed when red uppercase letters appeared on my screen telling me to go to my nearest branch.

Going in to a branch of my bank, often feels more painful than when I visit Vera who gives me my monthly brazilian wax.  With Vera at least I get a cup of tea, a chat and the benefit of feeling baby smooth.

With my bank, the sensation to my the hair being ripped from my outer labia is probably a good indicator of how it goes.  I get irritated, it is never ending, and I pray it will be over soon.

Partly because there are signs and posters everywhere of happy people who are getting serviced by their bank. I have never been serviced.  By my bank.  Like that.  And have never been that happy.  At my bank.

I am thinking it is either a different bank. Or I am at the wrong branch.

I stand in the queue at the Help/Information desk, and I explain my problem.

I am already feeling irritated, and the queue wait is doing nothing to soothe my mood.  Banks, how about serving coffee, tea, little sticky donuts?  Anything.  Instead we stand there and wait — and the anger in the group is palpable.

The bank assistant decides that this will be made all better by changing my account number.

Please bear in mind I have used this number since before I had children.

I am quite fond of the account number and I able to remember it more easily than I am able to remember my children’s names.   I never call my bank account by another bank account’s name. For instance.

I have long since learnt not to argue logic with people at the bank.  Or at home affairs or at any place that serves you pizza in a bucket.  It really is a futile exercise in things that are futile.  I tend to stand there, smile, nod and just say “okay” in that way that everyone does when you feel their soul dying.

I duly stand and the lady – let’s call her Ursula, her name escapes me right now –  is typing in reams of information.

I think “shit balls this is taking long” but then Ursula smiles and says that she has to move all my beneficiaries over, and that is just under 100 records.

Same bank, same account, same internet banking I have been using for a decade.  I really do not argue.

I stand some more.  Again, why question why she is changing account details that have always worked.  What ever makes her happy.  What ever makes me get out of here.

If she wants to call me Doreen, I will actually agree at this juncture.  Just what ever I can do to get the fuck out of here.  I really think Dante was describing a bank in his little short story way back then.

I can see Ursula is nearly at the end of what ever it is that she is doing, because now she is printing something which no doubt I have to sign three times with a black pen.

Ursula looks at me and smiles.

I smile back.

What else am I meant to do?  She has direct immediate access to my financial records!

She goes: “Do you know what you are expecting?”

I look at her.

The little hamster in my head tries to make a connection to what is coming out of her mouth, her relationship to me, and what she is doing.

Then I remember that I actually do not have a head coming out of my vaginal passage AT THE FUCKING BANK!!

She is not exactly a candidate for a gastric bypass operation, but she could be on a short list – should I ask her when her gastric bypass surgery is booked for?  Or maybe that they have done a super job on fixing her hair lip, I can barely see a scar!!

No, because that would an inappropriate comment to anyone I did not know. ESPECIALLY FROM A CUSTOMER SERVICES PERSON AT A FUCKING BANK!

I am being asked if I am pregnant by the biggest girl at the help desk counter.  Irony much?

In retrospect I could think of a dozen things that I should have said.

Instead I opted for the rather pedestrian: “Fuck you, I am not pregnant.  Thank you fucking much for suggesting so, as now it is clear I cannot pop next door to eat a Sausage Egg McMuffin – which I have been craving for the last 45 minutes as I stood in this STUPID FUCKING QUEUE.  Not only have you fucking made me feel body conscious and I will never wear this shirt and fucking scarf combination again, but you have now totally fucked my decision to pop next door for breakfast!  How stupid are you to make this fatal customer error 101?  Has the last +25 years on this planet taught you nothing??  Can you get Steve (or what ever his name is) on from FNB – I need to talk to him about moving my account!”

Well that is what I said in the car.  To my self.  After I left the bank.

130415_fuck-you

Because Karma is my friend.  I get home and my internet banking is still not working.  Phone the call centre, and guess what?  Had to go back to the bank.  Well done Standard Bank.  No one said.  Ever!

Oppan Gangnam Style!

Keep-Calm-and-Gangnam-Style

Last week a group of us girls went out for a “ladies night!”

Nothing too raucous, just a night out with the girls.  Seems tame enough, right?

We decided to plan ahead and arranged a taxi service, so that none of us had to sit there like Johnny-no-mates and drink one glass of wine, while the rest of the group lost control of their bladder.

That my friend is an example of an adult decision.  That my friend is the last adult decision I made that evening.

We contacted Dude Bru and had them drop us off and then scheduled a collection for later in the evening.

At the outset you are sitting there and telling yourself  “really, we do not need a taxi service…. what a waste of money” but then once you are wearing Mickey Mouse ears, drinking something red out of a fish bowl and doing synchronised moves to Gangnam Style you realise that the taxi service was actually a really good idea.

You would congratulate yourself if you could stop your crazy arsed dance moves.

You must know if I am dancing, that it is about 60 minutes after when I should have gone home already.  I don’t dance – I have no brain-ear-feet co-ordination.  I pray there was no internal CCTV there that evening.

Dudebru – maybe not the most elegant of vehicles, and the sign on the roof sort of gave you a feeling that you may need to drink more than you planned to get back in the vehicle, but there you go.

At least you will get home safely and there was no risk of us spending the entire Easter Weekend at the Elsies River jail.

{If you are in Cape Town, need a night out, need a reliable lift home, contact Dudebru – you do not have to join, you can use them as and when needed, and they are flipping reasonable.}

We headed out to Stardust in Rondebosch, and it was so much fun.  Had never been there before – but there is such a great vibe, that you cannot help but have a great time.

I am always a bit reluctant at the outset of these evening, and try to look for a reason why not to go. My social phobia/fear of these situations does get me quite worked up by the time I get there.

But, it was a really a fun evening (of course I am so nervous I drink far more than I set out to, because I am so nervous about drinking far more than I plan to … and so the worm turns in the tequila).

I played a bit with my food.

I drank way more than I planned.  One minute I am coherent and able to say semi-intellectual things, then the next thing it is all over and I am being bundled home.

Good evening out.  Bad two days that followed.

I have realised I am way too old for this nonsense, and take two days following to recover – and no one looks good being a cucumber walrus!

reluctantmom

Home of Hope {Spring Lunch 2012}

On Saturday, Julie, Joyce and I attended Home of Hopes’ Spring Lunch held at On the Rocks, in Blougberg.

It is a funddraising lunch, and as usual I did not expect too much.  I tend to aim my expectations for most things fairly low, this way I can brace myself for disappointment.  Such is my coping mechaisms.

Lunch with Home of Hope was anything but.

An extraordinary day, the lunch was delicious, there were goodie bags filled with lovely things.

The ladies who organised the lunch packed the afternoon with great food, cold wine, wonderful raffles, and outstanding items to bid for.  It was well organised, loads of fun, and the three of us enjoyed it tremendously.

Sadly I did not get the auction lot that I had hoped for, and managed to win absolutely nothing in the raffle.

But that did not spoil my enjoyment of the afternoon.  Well done Home of Hope – what a wonderful charity,what a wonderful group of women you managed to get together for an afternoon.

I loved this idea.  Each raffle you took came with it’s own chocolate/nougat or macaroon thing – motivation enough to buy 10.

If you want to find out a bit more abut the charity and all the incredible good work they do, please visit http://www.homeofhope.co.za/

{Some general photographs from the day}

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Thanks Franschhoek – I am quite in love with you!

Franschhoek was frikn ama.zing!  Running away to Franschoek without the kids = off the scale fabulous!

Words cannot describe, but as I was too busy eating/drinking/basking in the joy and took only a few pictures, so all I got is words.  Bear with me as I bumble through.

The weather was sunny and one of the first days in Cape Town where you could walk around without being blown away or experience a Noah-style downpour.  We had two gloriously warm and sunny days.  We arrived in Franschoek parked in Huguenot’s road and just walked to everything.

How do you know you are having an epic day?  When you have eggs benedict for breakfast and follow it up with an ice cream cone!

We only went to things in Franschhoek we could walk to.

Walked up Huguenot Road all the way up to the Memorial. I was more interested in walking around the graveyard which had some grave stones dating back 150 years or more.  I am not going to get all gothic on your arse, but I do love a wander around a graveyard and reading the stones and imaging what might have happened.

We stayed at the Franschhoek Protea Hotel – which was beyond cool.  It is right on Huguenot Road and we parked there and walked around for the day.

Clearly they saw me coming.  We arrived to a room with Chuckles available, and Chenin Blanc on ice.

I am almost sure I hopped up and down and clapped my hands like a demented circus seal.  The deal was sealed when there was a gift pack on the bed with his and her t-shirts that they had made up for us “Been there, Done that FRANSCHHOEK” t-shirts.  I laughed like a drain.

How funny is that — how much of a sense of humour do the people at Franschhoek Protea Hotel have?

Kennith and I headed to lunch at French Connection.  It was nice, but not blow you away brilliant.  Food was good, but not wildly memorable.

Dinner was at The Common Room at Le Quartier Français – which was enough to bring you to tears.  Happy tears.  Excellent timing on my part as the night we were there the Le Quartier Français chef was featured on Master Chef as the Guest Chef – they asked if they could put the television on for the show.

The meal was unbelievable.  Easily one of the best meals I have ever experienced.  It was one of those where you order several small dishes and then pick on them.

We order a bottle of wine.  I seldom have the opportunity to use the word SUBLIME, but the bottle of Miss Mollie Hoity Toitie.  Oh my heavens, like liquid honey — it’s on my Xmas list to myself!  Haven’t seen it before, will now be stalking the vineyard.

We got back to the hotel to find the bed turned down and a fuzzy hot water bottle neatly tucked into the bed.  How brilliant is that?

Franschhoek was phenomenally brilliant.  Everything was perfect in every possible way.  The only person who was a bit sucky, was at a book store down the one side road.  Anyone who knows me knows I love book shops – I am happy to spend my grocery allowance on books, really I am fine with it.  Wine+books+chocolate what could be more perfect?  Great little book store.  I wandered around, we were the only clients.

I see a box that says “audio books” – so I look at the box and there are only 2 audio boxes inside it, so I am thinking maybe there are more somewhere else in the store.  I look at the lady running the book shop and in my “I’m a really excited customer voice” go “Are there more audio books anywhere?”

Book store manager/owner goes: “What does it look like…..” and she gives me this withering look, basically summing my IQ into single figures.

I mumbled an apology for being alive.  I aimed to browse a bit closer to the door so I could leave.  Book store owner/manager/person might consider relooking at the manual of “being vaguely nice to customers …” so as not to burst the bubble that all things in Franschhoek are perfect.

We browsed through shops and bought odds and sods, and ate chocolate and that repaired my perception that Franschhoek is really the most perfect place on earth.  I really enjoyed the town – I loved the fact that you could stroll – and there was enough to see without having to get into your car and drive anywhere.

Thanks Franschhoek, I am definitely a new fan.  You and me must get together again really soon!

Running away to Franschhoek …

Kennith woke up this morning, attempted to have a conversation with me.

I bleated about the need to “leave me alone and let me sleep…”

He took kids to school, I continued to lie in my warm bed curled up like a ferrit hoping that I will never have to stick my head out into the freezing cold morning air.

I only jumped out of bed when I heard the car arrive back in the garage.  Of course I looked like I had been out of bed for ages.  Meanwhile not.

We packed – I must confess I put in enough clothes for a week, whilst we are only away for one night.  But I tend to get a bit manic if I am sleepy and have no idea what to expect.

Then we set off to Franschhoek.  I did start the drive with: “Seriously where is Franschhoek, how long will we be driving?”

Have I mentioned I have never been to Franschhoek.

The lovely generous team at Protea Hotels Franschhoek suggested we stay with them them, so that is exactly what we are going to do. Kennith’s mom will collect kids and bring them home, and hopefully take them to school tomorrow.  But really I have left that to her.  If kids do not go to school, you know I am sort of okay with that.

Me – I plan to lay around eat Chuckles, drink Chenin Blanc and wonder why we cannot move to Franschhoek!

Happy 18th first date anniversary us!

 

 

The one where Kennith climbs a Mountain!

Kennith is a bit of a lie on the couch, scratch his crotch, and reach for the remote kind of guy – but who amongst us isn’t, right?

But you give him a challenge.  You throw 2 or 3 other people in to the challenge and that gets Kennith moving like a mad man.  That boy does “competition” like no one’s business.

He goes from couch potato to super hero in a moment! Underpants on the outside and everything.

Kennith is always trying to draw me into challenges. “come on let’s see who can…..” but I prefer to operate on my own steam. I do not get all worked up with power high fives, and chest beating when I am hunting in a packc – me I am a loner.  Like to do my sh&t, like to do it alone.

I am not really motivated by group rah-rah-rahs.  But that is where Kennith and I differ on a fundamental way.

I am not sure where the idea of climbing Mt Elbrus came from.  I am fairly sure the blame sits with John Black, who is also known for climbing anything that sits still long enough.  He has also been known to blow aerosole cans apart in fires, but that is the fun that John Black brings.

Kennith did Kilimanjaro back in 2005, and he really enjoyed it – I think the week after the mountain in Zanzibar probably made it all the better, no doubt.  The added “benefit” of a newborn baby at home, was probably more motivation to exit at the nearest border control and head for sunny places where they say things like “Relax ….. and chill……….”

Kennith really got behind the idea of doing Mt Elbrus.   I think he really got behind it from end of last year, like really got behind it!

He hiked, biked and worked out like a man possessed.

Granted he did leave me with three kids whilst he went off to be “challenged” each weekend on a bike ride or a hike, but I am trying not to hold that against him (with the help of weekly psychologist meetings and medication) but you must admire his ability to put his head down and just get on with it.

Kennith started this epic adventure weighing close to 130 kilograms.

He started cycling and took part in The Argus and a few other get-on-your-bike-spike adventures.  This year was his second Argus.  Whilst last year he looked like death warmed up when it was over, this year, he just looked a spot of tired.

Kennith found a trainer and the two of them would get together at the local gym at about 5am to throw kettles around and basically to see if Kennith could rupture his sphincter.  Exercise is not the most stimulating thing in the world, listening to someone else’s rendition of their exercise at about 6:30 am is a bit less than awe inspiring, but anyway, must give the boy his dues.

Kennith cut down on ice cream, cakes, beer and all things good.  His idea of a good meal would include chicken without skin and a salad.  His drink of choice has been water.  Every meal this year has been “what’s for dinner, but it can’t have carbs…” which nullifies my idea of dinner being 4 slices of white bread with 2 inches of Nutella spread on it!

Kennith has been working like a demon and just before he left he weighed in at 98 kilograms!  A very impressive achievement by anyone’s standard.

He flew out on Friday, 22 June and is back on the 16 July.  On Friday (just past) they were making a go for the summit, so I have not heard from him since then.  I heard from him today and he confirmed that they made the summit, which is such an achievement.

Some bits of random information about Elbrus, in the event you are too lazy to google it:

  • Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Russia, is also the highest mountain in the Caucasus Range in southern Russia near the border with Georgia. Mount Elbrus with 15,554 feet (4,741 meters) of prominence is the tenth most prominent mountain in the world.
  • Elbrus has two summits with the West Summit at 18,510 feet (5,642 meters) slightly higher than the East Summit at 18,442 feet (5,621 meters).
  • Mount Elbrus is perpetually snow-covered with an icecap and 22 glaciers. Three major rivers—Baksan, Malka, and Kuban—arise from the glaciers.
  • Climbers regularly die on Mount Elbrus, as many as 30 a year. In 2004 alone, 48 climbers and skiers died on the mountain. Elbrus is considered one of the world’s most deadly peaks with a high ratio of climber deaths to climbers.

So at the moment Kennith is on his way down Mt Elbrus.  Here are some pictures in the event that you are curious in a voyeuristic sort of way.

Kennith at the airport – all decked out in Cape Union Mart gear.

Kennith and Natalie Black – Natalie by the by is pregnant and has skewed the bar for all pregnant people, now and forever. If you think after this you can lie on the couch and moan about being pregnant, your husband/boyfriend is going to google Natalie’s picture and come and show you how you should look and that you should have an ice pick, as you shovel yet another cupcake in your pie hole.

Who knew a mountain covered in ice could be this much funny?  Nope not me.

And this is a very exhausted looking Kennith.

Could you imagine having that much ice around you, and being that exhausted and having to get your arse down a mountain?  Nope, me neither, but kudos to Kennith.  I would have curled up in a ball, eaten all my snacks and quietly gone to sleep, forever!

What Dexter said when I told him Kennith climbed a mountain …. you get the sense that Dexter is voicing my thoughts “Why the hell would you climb a mountain, just so you can come down it again?  Bitch please!!”

Do fat kids make fat adults?

I saw a photograph recently on Facebook of a girl I knew from school.  I was a bit taken aback by how big she was.  I really should not have been so surprised as she was really big at school.

Let’s not use euphemisms, she was fat, and she is now a fat adult.  Fat is not a nice word.  I think “overweight” is the more politically correct term.

When I was at school I was supersized skinny.  If it was not for my hips, my head would have fallen through my arse.   I ate a fair amount, but I was really skinny – knobbly knees skinny in fact.

I inherited the height and build from my paternal side of the family, my maternal side are more squat in build.  Both my brothers and I are quite tall – not giraffe tall – but tall enough.

That being said, we did not exactly have access to huge amounts of food on demand when we were kids.  We entertained ourselves was by running around all day – so I guess it was a combination of factors.  The food coming in, the type and the amount versus the energy we were expending.

I hated being skinny and I got mercilessly taunted at school.    Kids are mean.  You put them in a peer group and they become a mob.  They look for the one they can pick on – for anything.  Body size – either side of “normal” is usually targetted.

When I was at school there was normally 1 kid in the class who was fat – maybe one in the grade.

You can always remember that kid.  It would often be the kid who was really funny, or the kid who really was a bully.  This kid would be the “butt” of nearly ever joke.

I cannot believe that these taunts do not affect a child’s sense of who they are and how the world sees them.  It must be devastating to be “the fat kid.”

When I drop my kids (especially Connor) at school I have noticed that the kids on average are big.  Not big-boned, but fat.  There are still a few skinny kids, and some “average” weighted kids, but there are a lot of kids who are just fat.

At a glance {and this is not a scientific study} I estimate it is about 20 % of the grade of the kids at my son/daughter’s school who are really big/fat/over weight kids.

The buttons on their shirts take a little strain, and the girls pinafore’s belt just just closes.  The have two little chins, and their legs are solid – one straight line, no real definition in terms of knees and ankles.  Usually their parents are big/fat/over weight ….. usually, but not always.

I am convinced that the size of a child has nothing to do with how many McDonald’s there are in your neighbourhood, or what thier highest score is on your Playstation, it comes down to what that child eats.  And if we are going to point fingers, what his parents are feeding him.

I often look at these kids and I think “what future is ahead of you?  Life is rough for everyone,  but for a fat kid, it must be excruciating!”

If you are fat when you are 6 or 10 years old, what will your weight and your health be at 20 or 25?  What is the stress on your joints and your body, and imagine all the running around and playing you are missing because you cannot keep up.

My guess is that unless your parents climb in now, with reckless abandon, that child is going to be a fat child, and then a fat teen and then a fat adult.

If one more person tells me their child is big-boned, I am going to smack them up the side of the head.

I think it is easy to blame society, the prevalence of fast foods, the more sedentary lifestyle we lead, global warming, or what ever.  But, as parents we really need to stop being “child blind” and see our kids for the weight they are – and our contribution to the problem.

As parents it is so easy to shrug your shoulder and sigh “what can I do, he really likes his food” but maybe that is not enough.

Possibly I am the only person who find “fat kids” really offensive – and a sign of questionable parenting – and feels sorry for how difficult their teenage years are going to be.

Being at school is brutal, and why as a parent would you knowingly add another factor which makes it difficult for a child to fit in.  It is a bit like painting a target on your child’s back and sending them out into the woods, with hunters about.

Mr and Mrs Nixon ….

The weekend at my mom’s home was bliss.  Some days I am in awe of my brilliant decisions, and my brilliant decision of taking Priviledge was no exception.

Wow – it really worked out well for me.  Especially when Priviledge took it upon herself to sort the kids out in the morning.  I was so happy I nearly cried, no I think I did actually have a wet cheek.  Priviledge is so lovely, and I am besotted with her.

She keeps calling me “mem.” I wanted to correct her, but then I felt embarrassed to.  Now she is just calling me “mem” and I have decided to leave it – I am immensely fond of her.

The weekend was wonderful.

The highlight was attending Sue and Ian’s wedding at Mogg’s Kitchen.

It was such an awesome wedding, enjoyed it thoroughly.   Maybe a bit too much.

But that is what happens when one is so full of social anxiety, stress of not taking a good photographs, skipping breakfast and lunch, being packed into a room with too many people you do not know, and being seated at the Tecquila Table.

I am the worst Tecquila drinker in the universe.  Unfortunately peer pressure made me buckle.  One tecquila …. floor, I do not need to do the two or three tecquila part, before it is all fall down.

It was a recipe for disaster, and the proof they say is in the pudding.

Short story – I left my camera bag (sans camera) at the venue and the plan was to grab it in the morning.  Safe venue.  Good plan.  Bad plan was that it contained my car keys and my cell phone.

I woke up at Dave and Alice’s cottage and tried to make a full assessment of my situation, including how I got into Alice’s pyjamas, where I was, who I was and how I got there.

I had a sore toe {which appears to be standard fare when ever I attend a wedding} and a gash on my foot …. sigh …..I recall that happening, but somehow it is always more sore in the morning.

I really need to invest in shoes I will wear the entire time during a wedding, as I tend to kick them off when they start pinching my toes, obviously the lack of shoes does lead to other issues.

Once that all became clear it turned into Plan “hunt for the camera bag.”  I decided not to hunt for my dignity, as somethings are lost for ever.

My (insert Kennith’s) car was stranded and I could not phone my mom to tell her where I was, as I did not have my phone.  Unless I push a pre-programmed number there was no way if hell froze over that I was going to remember it.

We hunted from cottage to cottage for about three hours looking for said bag, going back to the venue, and me realising that I was about to enter the zone of “full scale nervous break down.”

People kept asking me if I had a Plan B if I did not find my keys and phone ….. er no, not really, run away to the circus maybe!

We found the bag – I whooped for joy.  The last people to leave the party took the bag with them, for safe keeping.  Nice people.

To Voelklip, and did not tell me, or anyone else.  Small hiccup in the nice people plan.

But that being said, bag found, keys found, phone found, and I finally got to my mom where I could have a shower, brush my teeth, and have a little sit down.

Sue and Ian had such a stunning wedding.  It was so much fun, because, in part, they are such a lovely-sweet-divine couple, and no one seemed overly stressed about whether the wind blew, or the kids jumped on the chairs, or where anyone was standing.

The wedding was really just a big get together with lovely friends, lovely wine, lovely venue, and well just a really fun day and evening.

I forgot my honey jar gift “thank you for coming to our wedding” in Alice’s car … and I was really looking forward to that on hot buttered white toast.

<from the bits I remember, I am wondering if it is time to commit myself to an AA meeting, but maybe not quite yet.>

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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

Talking to your kids about HIV/AIDS ….

This morning taking the kids to school, I told Connor that today was the 1 December which made it World AIDS Day.

Connor asked what AIDS was and I tried to explain it as a virus that one has, and when you look at someone you do not know they have the virus, so anyone can have it.

It is a bit like a dog.  A dog with a wagging tail can be a vicious or a friendly dog, you just don’t know, so the best thing to do is to treat all dogs as if they have the propensity to be vicious.  So treat every dog with the respect and care you would in case it might be a vicious dog.

We use this analogy for a lot of things in my house.  Sort of works (and teaches the lesson of being aware around dogs.)

Connor asked how you got AIDS.

I then had to embark on a discussion that involved blood, sex, and pregnant women.  (my kids are 9 and 6….)

I also had to sort of go off on a tangent to explain that if a man and a woman are married or in a relationship and the man is having sex with other women, and his wife does not know, she might get the HIV virus from him and then she is pregnant + HIV positive, which means she could pass it on to her child.

Often this comes as a bit of a shock when a pregnant woman is diagnosed.

A very sobering conversation.

I tried to bring it back to explain that if there was someone at school who was HIV positive there was really very little chance (miniscule) of him contracting it from them.  Unless they were sharing needles/having sex or both had open wounds, that were bleeding and the wounds came in to contact with each other (and even that is highly improbable.)

Connor asked if he could have the virus.

I suggested it was highly unlikely as I did not have the virus when I was pregnant with him, and that he has hardly engaged in high risk behaviour.  I reiterated he would need to be having sex with someone, or sharing blood, or needles or the like.

But that being said, I did realise that I have not educated my children about HIV/AIDS.  I sort of dropped the ball on that one.  Do I go out and do an HIV test with them, as part of an education process?

At what point do you make it “a standard yearly event to have a HIV/AIDS” test as part of normal behaviour?  Tricky one.

But I do need to bring this subject into conversation at home.  I want them to know the facts and be clear on it, rather than listen to the jibber jabber on the play ground.

 

Which reminds me, I need to go and give blood again.

Reluctant Mom Lost in London …. one of many times it would seem …..

Let’s bear in mind I get lost at Century City.  Regularly.

I also lose my car in mall parking lots.  Most times I park.

I often walk around and just push my “beep-beep” thingy on my car keys so I hear my car going “I-am-here-I-am-here” and then I walk towards it.  Not unlike a chick to it’s mommy chicken.

So I am pretty sucky at sense of direction.  I do not even attempt to show strength in this area.  I have a GPS in my car and a map book.  I use both. Often.

I am travelling to London by myself.  Alone.  No map book.  No GPS.

Fortunately I did not have to fly the plane or have any influence of the direction of the flight.  Which was really useful to everyone on board.

I slept – granted it was with three Russians behind me who smelt like they had eaten garlic and onions for about 5 months prior to the flight, and had it oozing out of every pore.

The problem with “economy” is that you are practically in the lap of the person behind you.

You recline your seat, and if the person behind you is still upright, they get their meal in their lap, and you staring up at their nostrils.  It is all a bit awkward and invades every rule of “people’s space.”

If you recline your seat, the person behind you has to as well.  And the person behind them.  And so on.  Not unlike the domino effect.

I got to Heathrow.  Followed the signs.  Found myself deposited at Paddington Station with a really heavy bag, a daypack on my back, and a really heavy handbag and a jacket.

I was sweaty, and somewhat tired.

From there I stumbled into the subway system.  Fortunately it is really a case of following a colour to where every you want to go.

Seemed easy enough.  Problem was there was construction on two of the lines, which made it next to impossible to get to my destination.

I also managed to get lost at one of the subway stations and for love or money could not find platform 2.  It was elusive, and I kept ending up at platform 3 and 4, no matter how much I tried to find fkn platform 2.

Interesting fact – some subway stations do not have escalators, and you are dragging your gear up and down stairs, while other sweaty and very impatient people are rushing past you.

No one appears to give a sh*t, and everyone walks really fast, and looks down.  No eye contact.  No smiling. No nodding.  No acknowledging anything.

I eventually got to my hotel, which included an express train, underground tube, bus and lots of walking.

I did not arrive at my hotel, as much as I fell through the automatic door.

I was too early to check in to my room.  Fk I was exhausted.

I fell into a heap in the bar area as the restaurant area required me to go either down a flight of stairs or an elevator, and seriously I was not moving.

I ordered a bottle of wine (it was a small one) and a chocolate muffin.  Probably not ideal fare for 09h30.

I told the waitron that I was from another time zone so that it made it easier on her to serve me wine while others were having tea and coffee  C

Cape Town is actually an hour ahead, so that made it almost lunchtime.  But it felt like about 4pm with the morning I had experienced.

I finished my wine and my muffin – both very good.

I decided I would do a quick wash and clean in the bathroom.  I am so glad I packed a packet of Cherub wetwipes. I took the equivalent of a bath and got a clean shirt on and brushed my teeth, and attempted to give some semblance of order to my hair.

Left my heavy bags in the “baggage room” and went to explore London.

Weather was lovely.  I had a skip in my step, and it was one of the first days I have had in what felt like a long time, where I could just wander around and it did not matter where I was or when I was.

Of course I got horribly lost. But I saw some lovely bits and pieces.  I eventually stumbled back to my hotel around 18h00 and my feet felt like I had run the Comrades.

I have seldom been so happy to see a shower as I was then …… or my bed ……..

I’m off to London Baby! No really I am.

Odds are when you read this I will be doing one of the following, or several, or none:

  1. Dead in an airplane disaster.
  2. Lying at the bottom of the Thames, a victim of random violence and thuggery.
  3. Wandering around the London subway system and minding the gap.
  4. In a high state of anxiety as I meet “new” people from my company and my client portfolio.
  5. Exhausting my credit card at a Hatchards in London.
  6. Sitting in my hotel room Tower Hill, congratulating myself on having control of the remote and doing star angel shapes on the hotel bed.
  7. Crying on the phone to Kennith, because I miss my bed/Isabelle/lavendar/bottle of Chenin Blanc and I am unable to find a substitute in London for any of them.
  8. Trying to mentally work out the exchange rate between rands and pounds and whether I could buy that piece of “totally awesome” at suckuk.
  9. Wandering around Walmart for several hours and wondering how I could possibly need so much crap, but convince myself it is a necessity.
  10. It’s a work trip, so I will attempt to be professional, and smile, wave and nod at all the right intervals.
  11. All else fails I will be dropping my daily allowance at a neighbourhood wine bar.

Work trip was sprung on to me with very short notice.

Then I had to get a visa.

Do you know a UK Visa (for 2 years, multi-entry) cost just short on R4 000.00 – yikes.  They must really not want us in their country.

I am travelling sans kids, sans Kennith and am totally reliant on my wits and common sense.

Hhhhmmmmmmm …..I get lost at Century City, so this might not bode well.

So the other day at the police station …..

I will confess I seldom have reason to go into police stations.  This might be a fortunate set of affairs, or it might be robbing me of some rich culture in my life.

Sunday morning I needed to go down and report my “stolen car keys.”  It appeared that if someone walked up to my car and went bleep-bleep-bleep and drove off with my car, insurance would not be so keen on having any further discussion with me unless they knew beforehand that I was no longer in possession of said car keys.

Kennith’s mom played taxi and first we went and checked my car was still where we left it.

It was – happy moment.

We then spent two hours combing the area I had been “just in case” I might have lost it.  No luck with “hide and seek” so off we went to the police station to open a docket and get a case number.

My first impression was that internal decor really could use some sprucing up.

I also like the guy in the corner who was checking his gun.

Then my eye rested on the officer taking statements in a full bullet-proof protection vest.   That made my mildly nervous that this might not be the safest place in town.

I finally got my turn and explained my situation.  Officer George was very helpful, a bit perplexed, and went to ask advise from a detective.

She then returned with a rather large wad of paper that we proceeded to fill in and sign.

Whilst this was going on – there were various characters entering and leaving the police station.

The charge office door was directly behind me – which always makes me nervous as I cannot see people entering.  They tended to fall in to the police station, rather than open the door and enter through it.

At one point this guy comes in and he is in a lather.  Basically his story is that he has been threatened, and some guys who live near his house have threatened him with death and a good bludgeoning.  He is afraid and needs help.

The police officers ask him to take a seat and calm down and they will be with him shortly.

Let’s call him Jan for ease of future reference.

He sits down, and then keeps standing up every 3 – 5 minutes having a total rant.

A lot of it is in Afrikaans and he is using a lot of slang, so I am getting that he is agitated and he has a gripe.  Jan keeps clutching his side, and I am convinced at this point he has an Uzzi in there and is going to mow us all down, or he has been stabbed and no one is attending to him.

I am feeling quite concerned for Jan. I am feeling quite concerned for my safety, and envious of the police man with the bullet-proof vest now.

The police officers keep telling him – in a real calm voice and calling him Sir/Meneer to “please sit down, calm downa  bit, and we will be with you shortly – just sit down, rest and catch your breath”

They continue with my statement – and I keep glancing at Jan, thinking that I feel sorry for him, as he is clearly in distress, but the officers seem to be acting like it is all business-as-usual.

Close to the end of my little “docket opening” the charge office bursts open, and there is this bedraggled women carrying about 12 really heavy shoprite bags.  Accompanied by another man with about 3 shoprite bags.

She starts screaming – and not using good Afrikaans – at Jan – but going off like, well what ever it is that goes off in the middle of Kuilsriver if you are missing most of your top teeth, and mix your languages with ease.

Police officers do look up now.  One saunters out the back and ask who are you “screaming lady in the very bright pink hoody?”

Let’s call her Mary.

Mary it seems is Jan’s wife.  Jan is very hungover and well a bit “gerook” as she explains.  The reason he is at the police station is because he is too lazy to walk back to their house and hopes to organise a “lift” with the policeman, by making up this story of being “stalked to be murdered.”

The man standing next to Mary is Jan’s brother and he confirms that yes Mary is Jan’s lawfully wedded wife (he actually used that exact phrase) and Jan is gerook, and he has left them to carry all the shopping by themselves as he is lazy.

Jan’s brother used several other colourful references which were lost on me.

Jan had another little episode, but another severe look from Mary, had him decide to get his arse off the white plastic chair and rethink this particular plan.

Jan left with his wife and his brother – I noticed still not carrying any of the shopping bags.

My guess is Mary is going to smack him over the head as soon as they are out of the charge office with the day old French Loaf she had in her packet.

My statement was done.  I was told they would sms me the case number and I could go.

No matter how bad my day was, my guess is Jan was going to be having a far worse one.