Friday, 28 November 2008

Two more sleeps!

And then I'm in our new house.

I've got butterflies just thinking about it. The next time I blog, it will be as the proud homeowner of my beautiful (but probably still bare) house!

Here's a Friday funny or two for you:

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Things I've learnt about clients

  • They will always turn what should be a simple process into the most convoluted and confusing plan possible.
  • They will not communicate properly with you and then will assume that you can read their minds.
  • They will take forever and ever to answer a question or resolve an issue (or just never respond) and then blame you when a deadline is missed.
  • In fact, they'll blame you for anything and everything that goes wrong, whether it's something work-related or if it's their car that has started sprouting weeds out of the exhaust pipe.
  • They will believe that you have no life aside from serving their every need and will insist on calling you outside of working hours and sometimes on weekends.
  • They will also believe that it is absolutely necessary for you to trek halfway across the world to meet them for 15 minutes to discuss something that could quite easily have been sorted out on the phone.

And then there's the rare one or two clients who will actually stick to boundaries, pay you on time, thank you for your hard work and even treat you like a person. Thank goodness for those clients. Without them I think I'd have jumped off a bridge many moons ago.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

How is it...

...That two people who don't have a proper skincare routine between them can have so many toiletries?!

And this is just the stuff we're keeping. I chucked a whole bag of rubbish. But we're keeping about six tubes of sunblock, various body lotions, a lifetime's supply of anti-mosquito products and a gazillion hotel mini-products for travelling. Then there's the large stash of medication, the first aid kit and many euphemistically-termed "feminine hygiene products" that were also lurking in the bathroom cupboard (not pictured here). We had meds that expired years ago and some that weren't labelled...

Also not pictured are the items that still remain in the bathroom and on my bedside table - perfumes, toothbrushes, body washes, shampoo and conditioner, tissues...

With all of you as my witnesses, I pledge that in the new house my bathroom cupboard will be infinitely more organised. And if you come to visit (I am planning a housewarming for early next year), you must march upstairs to check, k? I'm counting on you, soldier.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

And the winners are...

Sass is the winner of the purple bracelet with matching earrings, and Gill is the winner of the blue chain necklace. Well done, ladies, and thanks for entering.

Please email me at with your postal address so that I can get your prize to you.

I have no real news otherwise. I'm in that end of year slump. So I leave you with this:

Monday, 24 November 2008

Has anyone seen the new Bond flick? We saw it on Fri. Very cool, IMO. I reckon Daniel Craig is far better suited to the role than Pierce Brosnan.

The weekend was a good one. Poor TSC had to write varsity entrance exams the whole of Sat, so I got to do some serious packing and sorting. We then watched the rugby, took out a lame DVD and on Sunday, after church, had a yummy lunch at Papachino's with my folks. We spent the evening chilling with a truly awesome family. we know each family member from a different place and time in our lives and it's the first time we've seen all of them together. Good wine, great company and balmy weather made for the best of times.

But now for a much-needed rant... TSC has a Namibian driver's licence. The other day he realises that it's about to expire in a month's time. So he phones the traffic department, speaks to a million-odd people about how to go about converting it to a South african licence and is eventually told that he needs to go to such and such department, which is on the arse end of Joburg and only open on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

Off he goes, ID book and a letter of validation from the Namibian Embassy in hand. These were the only documents he was told to bring. Upon arrival, he is informed that he also needs a copy of our lease. So, being the lovely wife that I am, I dash home, fetch the bloody lease and fax a copy to the department.

Fine, he is told. Come back in a week with R160.00 cash and we'll let you know what needs to happen. So this morning he treks out to the ugly governemnt building once more. As he steps through the door, the woman he spoke with last week says, "oh. It's you. You've been declined."

Why? No reason. Except, apparently, that he should have thought about doing this ages ago. The spiteful cow.

So now he needs to go to the licencing department in Namibia, which is only open on Wednesday, before his licence expires on 15 December, to renew said stupid licence there. With our move happening this weekend and two weeks full of meetings and end of year functions we are committed to after that, you can imagine just how impressed I am at the thought of being left home alone.

The joys of living in Africa.

Friday, 21 November 2008

9 sleeps till D-day!

Yup, only nine more nights in our flat and then it's off to the new house!

TSC and I got seriously stuck into the packing last night and our flat now looks like we are moving, with boxes strewn across the floor and cupboards standing open and empty. Gone are the photos from the walls. They are wrapped in newspaper and packed along with the good wine glasses, my numerous (but somehow still all the wrong shape and size to be useful) vases and most of the contents of the booze cabinet.

The cats are loving the myriad new hiding places we've created for them, and we're getting some serious exercise trying to make it through the living room obstacle-course in one piece. The only room that remains largely untouched is our bathroom, mainly because I'm putting off having to sort out all the crap in the cupboard, which includes oodles of expired meds, half-used cans of deodorant (ones that TSC has bought and then decided he hates the smell of), hotel toiletries that we compulsively hoard for no good reason and a few cat-shredded rolls of loo paper. Fun.

It's funny... I have moved many, many times (I think at last count it was 22 or 23), and every time I forget how much of a pain the last time was. At least this time we're moving into our own house. I have warned TSC that, God-willing, we will be staying put for at least five years as I have no intention of going through this again anytime soon.

Anyway... here's a Friday funny for you. Have a great weekend.

A lesson on how consultants can make a difference in an organisation

Last week, we took some friends to a new restaurant, 'Steve's Place,' and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket.
It seemed a little strange.
When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket.
Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.
When the waiter came back to serve our soup I inquired,
'Why the spoon?''
'Well, 'he explained, 'the restaurant's owner hired Tata Consulting to revamp all of our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil.
It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour.
If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.'

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his spare.
'I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.'

I was impressed.
I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly.
Looking around, I saw that all of the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies.
So, before he walked off, I asked the waiter, 'Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?'
'Oh, certainly!' Then he lowered his voice.
'Not everyone is so observant.
That consulting firm I mentioned also learned that we can save time in the restroom.
By tying this string to the tip of our you-know-what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.
I asked quietly, 'After you get it out, how do you put it back?'
'Well,' he whispered, 'I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon.

PS: For those who picked up that the Christmas open house where I'm selling my jewellery is on the same day as Bloggirls, please note that they are at different times. So, unlike the case of my birthday picnic, the events will not clash.

I am learning ;-)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Better pic of the blue necklace prize

Well... maybe it's not that much better. The bronze looks gold. But you get the idea. If you don't know what I'm on about, click here, find out and enter.

What else? I'm selling my jewellery at a Christmas open house on 6 December. There will also be make-up, home-made yumminess and other people's stuff on sale, so if you're in Gauteng and you're keen to pop in, mail me and I'll send you the details -

Yes, today is a day for shamelessly plugging my wares. But it's my only shot at earning some Christmas money, so you'll have to excuse me.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

I have officially started stressing about the move

Less than two weeks to go and I've got stacks of packing left to do. Plus I need to organise the deposits for the water and electricity, change our mailing address and generally get my bum into gear. Eek!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


I finally found my camera cable! It was in my fruit bowl. Can you tell I'm in the process of packing to move?

Anyhoo... I decided that seeing I've taken pics of the jewellery I make and sell, I might as well post an image or two and... do a GIVEAWAY!

There are two prizes available:
This one:

And this one (excuse the bad pic):
To win the first (the purple pearly bracelet and a pair of matching earrings), leave a comment on this blog entry. Next Tuesday (25 November) I will put all commenters' names in a hat and draw a winner.

To enter the competition for the second prize (the bronze and blue chain necklace), post a link on your blog to this post to direct your readers to the competition. Tell them to post a comment mentioning that they were referred by you. The person with the most referrals wins.

Postage will be paid by me, so you will need to be prepared to send me your postal address if you do win.
The competition ends at noon on Tuesday 25 November. So if you're a lady who likes shiny objects, or a man who is looking for a shiny object for the lady in his life... please enter ASAP ;-)

Monday, 17 November 2008

Wah! It's the end of the year!

Duh... (I know that's what you're thinking).

But seriously - my boss just put a 2009 diary on my desk and it's hit home. I know I keep saying that I want this year to end and that I need a holiday. That's all true. But at the same time, it's another year of my life gone. And I don't want to be wishing my years away.

What if I got hit by a bus tomorrow and I'd spent today wishing my last day on earth over? Hmmm... makes me think... Now to translate that into some action...

Well, at least if I do get hit by a bus tomorrow I'll have left a semi-phiosophical blog post as my last ;-)

Off to tell TSC how much I love him, put in some hard work and then tonight it's my church's Christmas carols concert. Yay!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Sometimes my life is like a movie...

...Sometimes it's in the "wow - this is such a glamourous moment that it can't be ordinary life" way (very rare those times) and other times it's in the "does this crap really happen in real life" way. This morning was the latter.

Let me back up a little... This week has not been a good one for sleep. Between my cat going missing and TSC having a nasty cough, I really haven't had much shut-eye. So last night I took one of my herbal sleeping pills. Now don't let the word herbal fool you - these babies could knock out an elephant. I crawled into bed at around 11pm and slept blissfully until 02:08, when TSC shook me awake.

"I can't breathe," he wheezed. "I'm going to the hospital. You stay here and sleep."
"Are you mad?" I answered drowsily. "I'm coming with you!"

So we pulled on some clothes and headed to the nearest hospital, which is only five minutes' drive from us. After waiting around for awhile and filling in the necessary paperwork, the nurse took us through to a cubicle. TSC lay on the bed and she did all the usual stuff - took his temperature and his blood pressure, asked him whether he suffers from asthma (he did as a kid), how long he'd been coughing and so on. The doctor came in and listened to his breathing with a stethoscope (sp?) and said he needed to be nebulized and be given a steroid. All was fine until this point, and I was leaning sleepily against the wall, watching proceedings and trying to stay awake.

But as the nurse got out the huge needle (I have a severe phobia of these things), missed TSC's vein the first time and stabbed him a second time, I turned away. I can't watch the needle going into the skin, it freaks me out. The smell of the vapour from the nebulizer was making me feel a little ill, so I stepped out of the cubicle into the corridor to wait for TSC. And all of a sudden I felt really strange - like a bunch of bees inside of me rushed up from my feet to my head all buzzing at once.

And the next thing I remember is waking up on the floor. Everything was blurry and I was surrounded by six or seven hospital staff.

"Are you ok?" TSC's doctor asked.
I blinked a few times, trying to figure out where the hell I was and why I was lying on the floor.
"Just lie still," said someone. "You've had a little fainting episode."
"Oh, ok," I said stupidly. I wanted to vomit.
"You really don't like needles, do you?" said another.
"No, not really." They all laughed gently.

I was picked up by two of them and put on a bed in another cubicle with a blanket over me. The doctor told me to rest and not to get up. But I was suddenly so hot, so I threw the blanket off. The world was spinning. Shutting my eyes seemed to make it a bit better.

After a few minutes the doctor came back in.
"Do you always react to needles like that?" she asked me curiously.
"No, never before," I said. "I haven't slept this week so I took a tranquiliser. I think that, plus the smell of the nebulizer is what hit me."
She didn't seem to question my answer.

Once I felt a bit better, she let me get up. TSC was frantic - he hadn't seen what had happened and had just heard that I'd passed out.

"Are you ok?" I asked him woozily.
"I'm fine. Are YOU ok?" he said.
I didn't feel great, but I nodded. I'd hit my head quite hard and my left elbow even harder. They were both starting to hurt and the nausea and dizziness wouldn't go away.

After what felt like forever, TSC was given some meds. He paid and we left. We got home just after 3.30am and after a quick session of hugging the toilet bowl, I got into bed and slept again.

This morning I feel like the bees are still there, crawling aorund in my head. I feel queasy and dizzy and I still don't have a clue what's wrong. I called my mother (who's a GP) to check out TSC's meds with her (they'd given him an atibiotic and I'm not too keen on taking those unless absolutely necessary) and told her the story. She couldn't believe that the doctor hadn't checked me out properly and taken my blood pressure and blood sugar.

I just feel like such a chump - here I am being all brave and selfless and taking my man to the emergency room, and I'm the one who ends up being carried around by hospital staff! So lame.

Anyway, I can't wait to get today over with and get back into a bed. This has taken forever to type, so I'm going to end it now. Have a great weekend, all.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

This morning's traffic was an interesting experience. It usually is in the rain, but today all the traffic lights in the major road I take to work were off. Nothing strange about that - they've been off for three weeks now. But this morning there were no OUTsurance pointsmen, so traffic was crawling.

I don't think I realised until today how awesome those pointsmen are. OUTsurance is an insurance company in South Africa, and instead of spending money on another big ad campaign, they trained a whole bunch of people to be pointsmen. Now you see them around Jo'burg at all the out-of-order traffic lights, in their luminous OUTsurance shirts, making our lives a bit easier by directing the flow of traffic. That, my friends, is true brand value-add. Everyone loves them and it's really boosted OUTsurance's image with the SA public.
In other news traffic related, there was a MASSIVE road block on my way home yesterday. There were about 10 cop cars pulling people over on both sides of the road, so the traffic was backed up for miles. All those cops made me think of this one time (not at band camp) in Cape Town...
It was my 20th birthday and I was in 1st year at varsity. I had a big birthday bash at Cool Runnings in Observatory that went on quite late. Eventually, everyone went home, but TSC and I weren't tired. He'd arrived in the Cape only a few days before and I wanted to spend a little time with just him. We were in the very early days of our relationship back then. So off we headed to Rhodes Memorial (pic below), which is one of Cape Town's lesser known tourist attractions, in TSC's bakkie (the South African word for a pick-up truck or light delivery vehicle).

We dragged one of his beanbags out of the back and sat on the memorial steps under the stars and chatted for ages. Then it got really cold, so we went and sat in the back of the bakkie (which had a canopy top). It must've been around 3.30am and I couldn't keep my eyes open. I fell asleep on the one beanbag and TSC on the other. Completely innocent - nothing dodgey going on.

We awoke to the sound of tyres on gravel, voices and a torch being shone through the window. It was the police! "Open up! Step out of the vehicle!"

So we did. Me with my bed-head hair and mascara smudges under my eyes. You can imagine what they were thinking - "Kids today!" They obviously thought we'd come to this lonely spot to do the deed. I was mortified. We got a serious dressing down that went something along the lines of:

"Don't you know this is a hijacking hotspot?"

"No, officer."

"This place is closed after 6pm. You shouldn't be in here."

"Sorry, sir. The gate was open. We didn't know."

"Blah blah blah... get the hell out of here."

"Yes, sir." *blush furiously*

Off we went with our tails between our legs - too embarrassed to even look back. We stopped at a filling station to get something to eat and then TSC took me back to the varsity residence to drop me off. But, as we rounded the corner, we saw there was a roadblock. We got pulled over, so we stopped and wound down the window, only to discover... the cops from Roads Memorial! They each gave us a knowing smile, and one asked if we hadn't had enough trouble for one evening. TSC gave a weak laugh, showed them his driver's licence and got me home as quickly as possible before we could meet up with our new friends again.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

I honestly have nothing interesting to write about today, so I'm glad that I've been tagged by Angel to do the unconscious muttering meme, in which I need to respond with the first thing that comes to mind. I love word associations, so...

I say … and you think … ?

In love : TSC (shew! Almost typed his real name in there!)

Be my guest : Disney's Beauty and the Beast (now I've got that song stuck in my skull. Be our guest, be our guest, be our guesssssssssssst!)

Number one : Engen. It's a South African chain of fuel stations and their pay-off line is "With us you are number one". Sad that the first thing I thought of was a petrol station.

Swallowed whole : Jonah, as in the dude that the whale ate.

50 percent : chance of rain. That's how the skies look today.

Made in : China. Like my sunglasses ;-)

Supplement : vitamins that I never ever take.

Right for : us - our new house. Yay!

Endless : drama. Becuase life's like that, y'know ;-)

Ceramic : owls. My grandmother collects them. Just why I have no idea.

I'm not tagging anyone. If you want to do it, please go ahead and then let me know. Standard meme "rules" (hah!) apply.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Daydreaming of my duvet

I didn't get a wink of sleep last night. My dear demented cat, Marble, went missing. He's a house cat and only gets to go out when we're home, so we usually know where he is. He's back now (he arrived at 5am this morning in the pouring rain), but between my lack-of-sleep headache, the miz weather and the flickering flourescent lightbulb, I am twitching like I've been plugged into an electric socket.

My monitor seems to be reaching out to me through the glass and then swirling itself around while flashing a bright white light. Soon it will start singing... "Lucy in the sky with diamonds..."

Hmmm... I guess this is kind of what tripping on LSD feels like. Anyone with experience wish to comment?

Monday, 10 November 2008

Weekend stuff

Don't go watch Body of Lies. Unless you like Middle Eastern political drama / thrillers that think they're smarter than they actually are. But that's just my opinion. I dislike unnecessary scenes of overly graphic violence. And I think this movie was really overrated. DiCaprio is good. Crowe is ok. The real star is Mark Strong, as far as I'm concerned. But enough about that...

On Saturday TSC and I went for a long walk at Northern Farm, which is a huge horse and cattle farm about 20 minutes drive from our place. Aside from the fact that there's a steep entrance fee (for a once-off entry. Multi-passes are cheaper), it's a fantastic place where people go to mountain bike, horse ride and bird watch. It feels like it's a million miles away from the city and it was so good to be outside.

The leaves were a million different shades of green and the Christmas beetles were buzzing a harmony that made it feel like the air particles around us were vibrating with the sound. There was that good, rich earthy smell that you get after the rain (it's been a cool, wet weekend) and a gurgling clear stream. We tramped about for an hour and only saw a lone cyclist ride past us - no-one else. It was soul-refreshing.

Just thinking about it makes the flashing, about-to-die, going-to-give-me-epileptic-fits flourescent lightbulb above my desk even more infuriating.

Have a fantabulous, flickering-flourescent-lighbulb-free week.

PS: I registered to vote. How about the rest of you South Africans?

Friday, 7 November 2008

Is it just me...

...Or is the blogoverse very quiet lately?
Thanks for all the supportive comments on yesterday's post, btw. I love all you blogland friends so much! You rock, guys.
It has indeed been an eventful decade (there's lots I didn't put down there), but on the whole the latter part has been good. There have been rough times, but nowhere near half as rough as many people have experienced.

Yes, I had an eating disorder. So what? It's taught me a lot, as has battling with chemical depression and all that jazz. I am now in a place where I can understand those things and other related illnesses in others much better and be more empathetic. And I can appreciate food and my happy moments like I never could before.

I've been fortunate enough not to have abusive people in my life, to have a wonderful husband, family and friends, and to have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. I am now generally healthy and much more secure in my identity, and I sincerely believe that nothing is wasted in the economy of God - everything happens for a reason.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... there's nothing that special about my story and I'm not looking for sympathy. There are people in this world who are far more deserving - those who have been through tragedies that most of us could never begin to imagine.

If what has happened in my life can somehow speak to you, awesome. I've learnt that the more open about my issues I am, the less power they have over me, and I'm happy to talk about my dark times and answer any questions if it will bring light to someone else. In fact, sometimes you may just have to tell me to shut up. Yesterday's post was very selfish - it's part of my "talk it out" therapy. But it's my blog, k? Kidding.

Please understand that I'm not making light of eating disorders or mental illness. They are conditions that are misunderstood and too many sufferers have to deal with the stigma attached to them. And they are more common than you may think. Of the 80-something girls in my grade at high school, I know of 11 of us who were battling an eating disorder. Those are just the ones I know of (most of whom saw the same pathetic specialist shrink that I did).

If people take one thing away from my experiences I want it to be that it is possible to recover. It's amazing just how resilient people are, and I've watched friends from abusive homes flourish, those with serious mental disorders find happiness and balance and even seen how something as devastating as the loss of a sibling has brought perspective and renewed generosity along with the pain.

Shew... that was a much deeper post than I expected it to be. Those damn alter egos... I guess I'll have to end with something silly - the regular Friday funny. So here it is. Yay for C&H!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

A timeline of Tamara

Po tagged me to do a timeline of my past 10 years, so here goes. It's likely to be an overshare, and probably boring to many of you (my life is really not very thrilling), so I apologise in advance...

1998: I was in grade 8 at a snobby all girls' private school in Durban, getting used to high school and discovering that boys weren't as gross as I'd previously thought.

1999: Grade nine and the first year I went on a Scripture Union Independent Schools (SUIS) camp in the holidays and decided I wanted to be a christian. I met people there that were to be my best friends for the next five years and some of whom I still keep in touch with today.

2000: I went on exchange to a school in Melbourne, Australia. I questioned my new-found faith, got drunk for the first time (on warm cheap white wine out of a box), went to my first formal dance, had my first kiss (in the middle of the dance floor in front of all the teachers. Cringe), had my handbag stolen with my passport, travellers cheques and house keys in it, watched a Grand Prix live and gave my first "we can still be friends" speech. When I got back home, I became bulimic for the first time to lose the weight I'd gained. I fell in love with a boy that I thought I loved unwaveringly for the next three years. Let's call him B-Ball, seeing he's a six foot three basketball player. You must see the absurdity in this, as I'm barely over 1.5m tall.

2001: My parents moved to Pretoria and I went into the boarding house at my school. I loved it and made friends that were like family. I joined a new church and got baptised, but in the shadows my eating disorder spiralled out of control and I was not eating a single meal that I didn't throw up. My school work suffered and I had almost constant blinding headaches and often experienced heart palpitations. I once passed out and hit my head on the bathroom sink, giving myself two black eyes that my friends teased my boyfriend about at our play rehearsals.

When I visited a doctor for a head cold and strep throat, she diagnosed me with chemical depression. I told my folks and they flew me home for the weekend where I admitted my bulimia in tears on the way back to the airport at the end of the weekend. My mother shocked my father and I by telling us she'd suffered from the disease during her varsity years, had tried to commit suicide twice and been admitted to a psychiatric ward for a short time. She had only stopped throwing up when she found out she was pregnant with me. It was one of the hardest conversations of my life - she'd kept that secret for 23 years. We both started seeing therapists and me a dietician too.

2002: I wrote exams, stopped throwing up, refused to see my crappy therapist ever again, struggled to adjust to anti-depressants, lost a very close friend who decided I no longer fit her image, briefly dated a guy seven years older than me, turned 18 and eventually matriculated from high school. The day after the last exam I pierced my nose and dyed my hair with fire-engine red streaks. B-Ball had become my best guy friend and I took him to my matric dance. I went to his the next evening. It was insane - before party, matric dance, after party, breakfast at the beach, sleep for four hours, drive to his home town, start the whole process again. I eventually figured out that I loved him more as a friend than I could ever as a boyfriend and that loving him had become a convenient habit, seeing he was useless with girls and I knew nothing would ever happen between us. So I started dating someone else, Bear (so-called coz he gave me the most gorgeous cuddly bear that I refused to part with for ages afterwards).

2003: I moved to Pretoria and did a gap year at a church along with 80-odd people from diverse backgrounds. I made friends from all over South Africa, as well as the US, New Zealand, Russia and my best friend in the world, Nic from Botswana. Bear and I struggled to keep our long distance relationship going, but he was my lifeline to the real world. Then the church split the 80 of us into groups to head off on a three-week outreach into different parts of Africa. TSC was in my group, as was Noo (who is now one of my close friends and was a bridesmaid at our wedding) and Bees (now TSC's best friend and our best man). I couldn't stand any of them. After three weeks in Zambia, we came back friends and TSC and I grew closer and closer. Eventually, he confessed his feelings for me. I explained that I was in a relationship with Bear and was not available. At the end of the year, he left to go back to the Northern Cape. By that time he was my dearest friend and my heart broke to see him go. I turned my focus to trying to sort stuff out with Bear as we went on holiday with my family.

2004: On New Year's Eve, as I nursed a sick and miserable Bear, TSC called me to say he was coming back to Pretoria and ask if I'd be there. My heart leapt and I knew that this was more than friendship. After our holiday I had realised that things between me and Bear would never work out, and I ended things with him. When TSC arrived in Pretoria, I spent a long, long time explaining that I didn't think it was wise for me to get into a relationship, that I was going to Cape Town and that we should not be more than friends. We got together anyway. And I headed off to varsity, which I loved. I enjoyed studying what I liked and made awesome new friends. I joined a fantastic church and lived in res with my gap year friend, Nic. She supported me and I supported her and we did well. In August, my birthday month, TSC moved to Cape Town. I was terrified he'd stifle me and I'd get bored of him. He didn't and I'm still not bored of him.

2005: Another bad New Year's Eve, I went back to bulimia for the first time in two years. This time, I knew what to do and asked for help. I started the whole process of therapy, happy drugs and dieticians again. This time with TSC by my side. As I withdrew from everyone, even Nic, he put up with my blackest moments and protected me when he could. We had the biggest fights of our relationship, but he hung on. Eventually, I began to heal as my first decent therapist and dietician team taught me healthy ways of coping and my amazing friends kept refusing to drop me. I celebrated my 21st birthday with all my friends and family. It was a milestone.

I decided what I wanted to do and chose to pursue my writing. When TSC went to work one day and discovered the project manager (who chased him away with a gun) had spent the entire budget on gambling and booze, I was actually in a position to support him and return his kindness to me through his roughest months of self-doubt and financial stress.

2006: In a much better space, I threw myself into my varisty work and tutored school kids on the side. I ran a church cell group, began to socialise again and decided that TSC was the man I wanted to marry. We got engaged. We had a hectic car accident where we were hit by a speeding fire engine and the car flipped, but we both came out just fine. I wrote my exams and panned the wedding in between and at the end of the year graduated. On 16 December, we got married in the garden on a beautiful wine farm. It was perfect. Our honeymoon to Mpumalanga was a fairytale too.

2007: Our first New Year as a married couple was spent with friends and was such fun. Then we moved into my tiny bachelor flat (47 square metres) and lived together for the first time. His parents came to Cape Town over that period and we fought like cat and dog as family politics came into play and we struggled to share our space and time. I started a copywriting job at an ad agency and learnt to juggle the cooking and cleaning with a full day's work. Eventually, we moved into a bigger flat. it turned out to be a disaster and would flood frequently. But we got our two little kitties and my heart melted for them.

TSC got offered a job in JHB. We decided to move. I worried that we'd be too close to my family and that we were doing the wrong thing. I hated the first three months - we knew nobody, the lifestyle was so different and I missed the natural beauty of the Cape.

But I got amazing work experience doing what I'd always wanted to do - writing - and my relationship with my family improved immeasurably. We joined a church that I fell totally and completely in love with - a church that is relevant and real and exciting to be part of - and we made the effort to meet people. It paid off. I started this blog and met the most incredible people throught the interwebs. I can't imagine not blogging anymore.

2008: I was offered a job at the company where I now work, which gives me the opportunity to freelance. It's tough, but (as Nic's mom would say) it builds character and takes me a step closer to my dreams. TSC decided to study and we bought a house. We began leading our own life group for church (a home cell) and were asked to be part of the leadership team for the new service our church will be staring in Monte Casino next year. We realised how awesome life is at our joint birhtday picnic when we looked around us and saw that we have a life in Jo'burg.

And that, in a nutshell, is me over the last decade. Right, I'd love you all to do this tag, because I think it's therapeutic and I want to read your answers. But seeing I know that's not going to happen, please just let me know if you do decide to to this one. I am a voyeur and want to know all about you!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Feel my pain...

Congrats to Obama. I'm looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

I had my first-ever migraine yesterday. It was crap. I always thought people were exaggerating. Like, how bad can a headache be? Bad, I tell you. Reeeeeeaalllllly bad. I felt like a bee got inside my head and stung me all over my brain, which then swelled to the size of a lifeboat. I couldn't even see straight. Poor TSC was distraught - he hates it when he can't fix my problems ;-)

Thankfully it seems to have subsided and I just have a dull throbbing left over. Looking at the PC screen probably isn't helping.

At least the migraine wasn't the result of something stupid I did. Usually when I'm in pain it's because I've either tripped over something, stuck my hand on something really hot (like the iron when I was a kid. I wanted to see if it was hot. It was) or fallen down a hole / stairs / hill etc...

Sometimes it's just my pride that gets hurt, like the time I was at a larny dance / ball thing with an ex-boyfriend who was trying to convince me that we should still be together, wearing a beautiful long white lacey skirt with a train. You know what happened, right? Someone pulled his chair out onto my train as I was walking onto the dance floor and I fell flat on my ass with my feet in the air. Very dignified. You can bet I was blushing to my elbows. Well, at least the ex gave up the chase!

Then there was the time... I was at boarding school, in my cubicle. We each had a cubicle with a bed, cupboard and desk in it. The entrance was just covered with a flimsy curtain. So when you walked down the passage between the two rows of cubicles, you could often catch a glimpse of someone through the chink in the curtain. On this occasion, I had just taken a shower and was standing wrapped in my luminous green towel, looking for my hairbrush (which is always, ALWAYS escaping me, even today). I had my radio on and a catchy tune came on just as I found the brush and picked it up. So I did what any girl would do and started singing into my "microphone", shaking my ass and throwing some serious dance moves as I lip-synched along.

Little did I realise that there was an audience of about five girls watching me through the gap in my stupid curtain. If my towel had fallen off at that moment, I'm sure I would have been blushing way past my elbows!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Of deckchairs and space invaders

Yesterday we watched Danny Deckchair. Apparently it's on Dstv at the moment too. We rented from the local DVD store and I'm so glad we did. I LOVE Australian humour (The Dish and Strictly Ballroom are two great examples), but often other people don't seem to enjoy it as much as I do. Like TSC for example. But then he likes Steven Seagal films. 'Nuff said.

Anyway... this movie was great. One of those feel-good, go-hug-the-world-now kind of flicks. And Rhys Ifans (Spike, the mad Welshman from Notting Hill) was just brilliant as Danny, the man who ties a whole whack of hydrogen balloons to his deckchair and takes off for a bit (literally). It put us both in a great mood. Watch it, people. It's awesome. But I take no responsibility if you don't enjoy it. It just means you have no taste ;-) KIDDING!

Argh... Today I'm wearing magnetic earrings. Well, I was until two minutes ago. Have you ever tried them? The little buggers hurt like hell! The pretty part (mine is a picture of a black strawberry on a sliver disc) goes in front of your ear and has a little magnet stuck to the back of it. The other little magnet part goes behind your ear, where it proceeds to press itself into your earlobe with great force, giving you sore red ears that detract from the pretty earrings and making you look like you just got caught by your old headmistress doing something very naughty. Yup... I look like I'm blushing to my ears. Althoug when I'm REALLY embarrassed, I blush right down to my elbows.

Needless to say, I will not be wearing these again anytime soon.

A classic C&H to brighten your Tuesday:

Monday, 3 November 2008

A happy ending to the weekend

It wasn't a great weekend, mainly because (here comes an overshare) as well as the PMS that plagued me, I have another medical condition that seems to act in tandem with said evil PMS. I won't go into details, but basically, for five days of every month, it feels like my body is trying to murder me from the inside in three different ways at once. Not fun. Unless you're a masochist. Clearly I'm not.

On Saturday, TSC and I had planned to go to Dragon City, the sprawling Chinese market in the centre of town, to check out the cheap wares and let me stock up on some beads to make jewellery as Christmas gifts. The place is three storeys high and is crammed full of tiny, overcrowded, hot stalls manned by cross non-English speaking salespeople. It's kind of like this so-called mall is themed "hell" (just without the fire and brimstone. What is brimstone anyway?! I've always wondered). Sidetracking...

There is NO ventilation at Dragon City, so as you climb the stairs to the next floor, you get into the stale, hot, smelly air that's hanging around near the top of the building like a foul cloud of swamp gas. Lovely, hey? We also happened to be there over pay weekend and at lunch time so it was really, REALLY busy and most of the shop owners were cooking lunch on little gas stoves, adding to the heat and smell.

Needless to say, it made me feel a gazillion times worse than I had been feeling, so I spent the rest of the day lying on the couch and being thoroughly miserable (I am very talented at this, you can ask TSC. I've made it into an art form). So in the end I missed Angel and Glug's party, which SUX :-( It looks like it was such fun. And I had the coolest costume planned. Grrr...

Sunday I did some web copy writing work and interviewed someone for a story I'm writing, and then... it was time for the event of the year, the only sport worth watching, the race of the season, the last track on the calendar... The Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix! *drums, trumpets etc*

And it did not disappoint. Now I know that most of you think that F1 is just a bunch of noisy cars going around the track, but it's not. Hear me out...

Aside from being the pinnacle of motoring technology and the most expensive sport in the world, F1 is a test of both man and machine, working together to achieve not only speed but reliability and accuracy. It's a strategy game where everything from the amount of fuel in the car to the type of tyres and the length of a pitstop can make or break a race. And, in the case of yesterday's event, a championship.

Picture the scene as you would a movie: the crowds are cheering for the man in red - it's his home race and they love him. In the shadows stands his arch rival in white and orange. He's tired - it's been a long year of politics and unfair penalities, and although he's seven points in the lead and only needs to finish fifth to win the driver's championship, he remembers the previous year, where he also looked set to win but made a wrong choice and watched his dream disintegrate in front of his eyes. He knows he needs to play it safe now, but that goes against his racer's instinct.

As the teams line up to start the race, the rain comes down in buckets. The race start is postponed to give the crews a chance to put the wet tyres onto the cars so that they don't spin out of control. Eventually the race begins. The red driver speeds ahead and doesn't make a single mistake. He looks like he is controlling the race. He's perfect.

Behind him, in fifth place, his rival is exercising his self-control and driving conservatively, much as he hates it. He just needs to hang onto this place... He just needs to hang onto this place...

Pitstops come and go, pulses quicken and then slow again. As the race draws to its end, the momentum is building. Who will win the championship? Will anyone get in the way?

A few laps before the end of the race, with only minutes to go, the rain sets in again. What to do?! Should the drivers hang on and try to finish on their dry tyres and risk skidding off the wet track and crashing? Or should they pit and change to wet tyres and risk losing valuable time and places?!

Cut to the pit lane. The crews are coming out! There's a buzz of activity and the adrenaline is pumping. The leaders are coming in! 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1... And they're out again! Who's in front? Have the places changed? What's going on? Wait... one of the top runners is still on dry tyres... and he's going faster than the man in orange and white!

Will he hang onto fifth place? No! NO! He has been overtaken by a navy car! Where did he come from? The championship must be lost. But there's two laps to go... Will something change? One lap to go... The last lap has started... all is surely lost for the man in orange and white, now in sixth place?

The last corner comes up. The man in red is celebrating already as he crosses the finish line. But wait, the dry tyre car is slowing down... the man in navy overtakes him. The man in orange and white too! He's won the championship! He's won! He punches the air in excitement and relief!

The man in red begins to cry. He did everything perfectly. He won the race! How could he have lost the championship? He climbs onto the podium, wiping tears from his cheeks. His home crowd roars - he's still their hero. They love him all the more... Next year. Next year he'll do it, he tells himself.

Honestly. That's how it happened. Like a flipping Hollywood film. It could not have been more dramatic. And now it's over until March next year. Phew... I don't think my heart could have handled any more!

Have a fab week, darlinks!