Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Last week was a horrible 'flu week. I felt weak and shaky and like I couldn't concentrate for long periods of time. I spent most of the week under the duvets as standing up seemed to make the nausea worse, nevermind the dizziness. I cancelled life group (which hardly ever happens) on Wed evening in case I made anyone else sick. By Thursday, I was thankfully feeling ok again and turned my PC on to blog and check mails for the first time in ages.

It was yet another realization of how much I love the online world. I missed reading everyone's posts and leaving comments. I missed posting on this blog and those little emails from friends throughout the day.

Despite being booked off by the doctor for the whole week, I decided I was definitely well enough to be back at work on Friday. It was good to have people to talk to again and things to keep me busy and I actually enjoyed writing my press releases, which I normally hate.

Then I got a phone call from my mom. They had made plans to go away to Hazyview from Saturday to Monday to see my gran for her birthday. My brother was supposed to go with them, along with his friend, but he couldn't make it anymore (I thought it was because he had a supplementary exam, but apparently it was because he had failed the supp and had just discovered he had to start winter school on Mon). My mom asked if there was any way I could get a day's leave for Monday so that TSC and I could go with in his place.

I said I felt uncomfortable asking my boss for the day off when I'd been off sick for most of the week and that we had planned to go to the Bloggirls event and watch the rugby with friends on Sat. She said that if we couldn't go they'd have still have to pay for the hotel room (dinner, bed and breakfast) and lose a fair amount of money, so would I swallow my embarrassment and talk to my boss.

I stopped to think for a moment. See, I made a decision three years ago (at my grandfather's 80th birthday lunch) that I will take each and every opportunity I get to spend time with my grandparents while they're still here. To be able to celebrate another birthday with my gran is a big deal - after 70, I think every birthday is a milestone to be celebrated. Aside from that, it would save my parents losing money and allow us to enjoy a weekend away with them in a beautiful lakeside location...

I chatted to my boss, who was in a great mood and kindly agreed to give me the day off. I spent the remainder of the day trying to be as productive as possible to convince her of my gratitude. Then I raced home to pack a bag and load our cats in the car to drop them off with my brother for the weekend.

I let the girls know that I wouldn't be able to make Bloggirls after all, which I was pretty bleak about - I so look forward to the monthly events - and told Peter, our "rugby" friend, that we wouldn't be there for his braai either. And off we drove to Pretoria in peak-hour traffic. Yuck.

The next morning we drove through to Hazyview, stopping for brunch along the way. It's about a four-hour drive to the place we stayed at, Hulala Lakeside Lodge. This is it...

It was a lovely weekend. We had a fireplace in our room, which kept the chilly nights at bay. The food was very good and we enjoyed a cocktail or two in the Rock Inn Bar (a clever pun, seeing the place is built around these giant boulders that are now indoors). TSC and I paddled around the Da Gama Dam and we took a walk through the bush with my folks.

On Sunday morning, my gran drove through from Graskop and we gave her the presents we'd brought along (of the pamper pack I had put together, she was oddly most enamoured with the gel pads for her shoes to stop them chafing her). We had lunch on the deck and then my parents organised a little cruise around the dam on the hotel's boat. We saw a fish eagle and a few kingfishers, and when we got back to shore there were four zebra grazing on the lawn. They're very tame and I took some pics (which I have yet to download).

My gran seemed to enjoy her birthday celebrations and I loved seeing her face when my mom told her that her birthday present is a trip with my mom to the Victoria Falls (she was born in Livingstone, Zambia, where the falls are, but hasn't been back in over 60 years). She's such a gentle soul and we share a love of cats and murder mysteries. She managed to depart without getting teary, which usually happens, and headed back to Graskop with her car filled with gifts.

On Monday we drove back to freezing Joburg, stopping at the quaint Casterbridge centre in White River for my mom and I to browse the craft stores.

It was such a lovely unexpected treat, and although I felt bad that my brother didn't get to go, he seemed to make the most of not having my folks around for the weekend and spent most of it partying up a storm.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Human again

Sorry for the extended absence. It turned out that I didn't have TSC's headcold, but a lovely case of gastric flu. The range of symptoms is impressive - from nausea to fever, diarrhoea, aches and pains, blocked sinus, headaches, coughing, dizziness and general misery... Fun.

At least it's not malaria. The doc did a blood test to check. I am such a baby with needles I was more scared of the jab than the possibility of malaria. At least the nurse was quick. She didn't even give me a chance to swoon ;-) And I tried a new doctor. My other one is lovely, but I feel like she just wants to put me on antibiotics everytime there's the slightest hint of a cold.

Today I feel a bit better. I can actually walk downstairs without holding the handrail and managed to sleep through the night with no rushing to the bathroom or sweating the sheets wet. Progress!

I am thoroughly bored of daytime TV though. What crap! Is it just me, or do all soap operas share one script-writer? I don't know the names of any of the characters, but the plots are pretty much identical.

At least I can think straight enough to do some work today. Sorting through emails... exciting stuff. I am more cheered by the thought that I can do some blogreading. Yay! Off to do that now.

Friday, 19 June 2009

I know I'm being sporadic again

Sorry. Three-point update for today and I'll try to be more forthcoming when I relocate my brain:

  • TSC's first eye op went well. Was very stressful. Having stitches in your eyeball must be truly horrible. Neither of us slept last night - he was in too much pain.
  • He has given me his head cold / flu (waiting to see which it is). My sinuses feel like they're going to explode. Charming.
  • I'm in that leave-me-alone-I-want-to-curl-up-in-a-ball-and-cry place right now. Clients and work suck. After having 17 people over on Wed night for life group, house looks like a hurricane ran through it. Drain still not fixed. Need to go now. Self-pity threatening to drown me. Need to grow up.

Till next time (when I will hopefully be far less miz).

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Zanzibar memories...

Swimming with dolphins at Kizimkazi...

The fresh flowers that are floated in the hotel's fountain at reception everyday...

Early morning views from our room...

Sunset palmtrees on the beach...

Warm weather... such a nice change from feezing cold Johannesburg...

The sad bit? It's over. And we've hit the ground running again with the overflowing drain that welcomed us home, TSC getting sick, my nagging clients back on the case and the fact that TSC goes in for his first eye operation today.
But I have set a beautiful Zanzibar scene as my desktop background and everytime I see it, I smile. It was an awesome experience and I will treasure the memories forever.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Freezing, freaking out Friday...

It's freezing cold and I'm freaking out because I have a big freelance client meeting this afternoon, which I think will be WAY over my head. Thankfully there's a nice, nearly-full bottle of Rescue Remedy on my desk.

And... tomorrow morning we leave for ZANZIBAR!!! Can't believe it. Can't believe it's actually arrived. And I'm finding it strange to believe that we'll be somewhere warmer where I won't have to wear thick tights, thermal vests and leather gloves at all times (poor locals... be prepared to be blinded by my bikini-clad paleness).

I tried to type with my gloves on this morning. I have really bad circulation in my hands and feet (genetic, my mother tells me) and after typing for about two minutes, I can't feel my fingers. But typing with gloves on looks som egthing l;ijkde gthi...

So I'll just run my hands under hot water every half hour or so to restore feeling. Until tomorrow, that is. I can handle that!

Have a fabulous weekend. Like one of the infinite number of Terminator sequels, I'll be back. Next Wednesday.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


I cannot get over how cold it is today. Seeing we are not allowed heaters in the office, I have resorted to carrying my hot beanbag thingey around with me all day to restore feeling in my fingers so that I am able to type.

Our internet was up for about an hour yesterday, in which time I managed to write my list post, read one or two blogs and repsond to email. Then it went down again.

Our technician fixed it this morning. Apparently, our adaptor plug was faulty and our router wasn't making contact. Nearly three days without internet because of a stupid plug!


TSC is back and is lounging around at home on his holiday. Unfair!

It's good to have him back though, even if it makes it harder to get up in the mornings - snuggling with him is an infinitely more attractive option than freezing my bum off waiting for our internet to work at the office.

And my haircut turned out very nicely, so I am feeling slightly better about myself (I get miserable in winter because I look like the Michelin man under my gazillions of layers). My hairdresser rocks - sweet, good at what she does and reasonably priced... it's a winning combination.

Off to catch up on my mountain of emails and blog reading and re-heat my beanbag.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A post of lists

Things I did on the weekend:
  • Worked till midnight on Friday to finish my big freelance project.
  • Missed TSC.
  • Worked till 14h00 on Saturday to finish said project.
  • Had breakfast with the parentals, which was great.
  • Had coffee with a friend and discussed the possibility of hosting art classes in my garage.
  • Dyed the big white cotton rug my mom gave me. It's now dark brown and will match the lounge and hopefulyl be kitty pawprint proof. It was damn difficult to do on my own though - so heavy when it's wet! I'm amazed that I too am not dark brown to match the lounge.
  • Finished painting and decorating the coat rack we've made for our room.
  • Painted two canvases lilac to match the guest room. Added thickly painted branches and stuck on some velvety cherry blossom flowers to make a 3D work of art.
  • Missed TSC some more.
  • Bought my dad's birthday present.
  • Bought a pair of skinny jeans (finally).
  • Bought some new bras so I could chuck out the ancient falling-apart ones.
  • Blew my budget (see above).
  • Went to church.
  • Dreamt of hosting art classes in my garage.

Things I did on Monday:

  • Spent a frustrated half-day at work with no internet access.
  • Went home and worked to finish my big freelaance project.
  • Wrote a press release about programmable logic controllers. Coz I know so much about that stufff. Or not.
  • Tried not to freeze in the icy cold house.
  • Went for a piping hot supper and some good red wine with departed colleagues Icing and DK, which was awesome.
  • REALLY missed TSC.

Things on the list for today:

  • Say goodbye to latest departing colleague, JK.
  • Try not to freeze in the office (we have no heaters).
  • Have my hair cut (yay!).
  • Welcome TSC back.
  • Snuggle in a warm bed.
  • Discuss the possibility of hosting art classes in our garage.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Something you won't normally find on this blog...

...A post about sex. Well, not so much sex itself, but the fact that our church is talking about sex.

I don't believe in Bible-bashing folks over the internets (or at all, actually) and tend to only talk about my faith when asked or if I feel it's relevant, but seeing I had a couple of comments asking for more info on "designer sex", here goes...

The church I'm part of is called GodFirst and you can read all about what it's up to, where we meet etc at www.godfirst.co.za.

In response to phillygirl's question (Is your church the one with that nonsensical billboard on Rivonia road then), the answer is yes. That's our church. Here's the blurb that's on the website as an intro (written by PJ, head of the leadership team), which explains what it's all about:

Sex is a major part of life in Jozi, isn’t it? And, I am pleased to say, a major part of mine! Last year 41 000 Joburgers got along to Sexpo. Married couples need to spice up their sex life, unmarried people are mostly trying to get lucky…yep, safe to say that Joburg loves sex. God does too. He actually invented it. But I’m sure you’ve also noticed that amidst all the good stuff, sex can also bring some hectic challenges, and can make or break a life. So, I am taking eight weeks to open up some of the gems from God’s Instruction Manual. The bible’s got a lot to say about this stuff – it’s actually got a whole book devoted to sex that gets pretty steamy. Prudish fundamentalists should please take a Valium before setting out for GodFirst. We kick off on Sun 17 May talking about The Sex God, then move onto the one about porn and masturbation, then designer sex, then gay sex, then finding ‘the one’ and mending broken hearts, then great marriage, great sex, and end up with looking at being a real man and a real woman.Looking forward to seeing you there."


Erm... moving right onto the next question:

Sass asked, "What is designer sex?", along with Damaria Senne and Caz, If you really want to know, you can download the sermon from 31 May. But the short of it is that "designer sex" means sex where you get to make up all the rules and write you own moral code. Which fits in very much with the dominant world view at the moment - you decide your own truth. That's ok up to the point where you question Robert Mugabe's truth, I guess. Anyway... If you want more info, go listen to the sermon - it's way better than my explanations and mumblings.

The best bit about the series, in my opinion, is that PJ is doing live SMS Q&A sessions at the end of most services. So people get to send him their burning questions via text message, which he then answers from stage. Must be quite nerve-wracking (people aren't shy with their Q's), but it's been brilliant so far. Come and see on Sunday if you like.

K. End of the sex talk on this here blog for a bit. Back to the boring stuff. Sorry ;-) Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'll be trying to keep warm and doing a whole heap of craft projects while TSC's away.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Same old, same old

I feel like I'm stuck in Groundhog Day.

Writing press releases is for the birds, I tell ya. There's only so many ways to skin a cat / push a product / spin a story.

And it's not like it's difficult. I could do this stuff in my sleep. It's just dull.

Occasionally something super exciting comes across my desk (as occasionally as my husband picks watching a travel documentary over a Blue Bulls rugby game, that is). The rest of the time, it's the same old nonsense. The trick, PR gurus tell me, is to disguise it so that it doesn't sound like nonsense.

As a journo, I get press releases from other PR people all the time. I have a list of all the things that irritate me about these releases, and when I write my own, I try not to do these things.

Occasionally, however, I just don't care enough... when I'm writing about the 50 millionth bloody new product distributor the client has signed with, for instance.

Then you might find the occasional flowery sentence littered with adjectives (I recently received a release from a music PR person about some unheard-of singer that had no less than NINE adjectives in the first sentence).

You might find completely unnecessary information that will be of no interest to anyone other than the client (like the release I was sent that detailed every single role a particular actress had taken from age five [she's now in her late 30s] before getting to the point).

You might even, on a very, very rare occasion (if I have been overdosing on Rescue Remedy when I see things are about to reach boiling point at the office, for instance) find me doing the absolutely unthinkable and mixing up there/their or its/it's. But that's only under dire circumstances when the ability to write English has abandoned me completely.

Wait, actually, I'm pretty sure that happens quite regularly on this blog...

Thank goodness this is just a half-day job. I feel like PR eats my soul. At least it pays, I suppose ;-)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The duck of dread*

Today is one of those days where I have a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach and I don't even know why.

It could be because I have a mammoth freelance project due for Monday and I don't know how I'll ever finish it. It might be because at life group tonight we have to talk to our group (comprising mainly single guys) about Sunday's church service on "designer sex" (our church is currently doing an eight-week series on sex).

It may be because TSC is leaving me home alone to go hunting for five days on Friday and he won't be there to light the fire for us every evening (he is so much better at keeping the fire going than I am). Or maybe the dread is simply hanging around because the drama at the office has finally got to me.

Or... maybe I'm confusing dread with the ridiculously sore muscles I have from yesterday's ab class that have coupled with the shakes I have from too much caffeine to make me look like someone plugged me into a wall socket and chucked a bucket of water over me.

I just want today to be done with.

I lie. That's not all I want.

I'd also love an office chair with a heater in it, a way to get bikini-ready in a week (that actually works), time to paint and money to buy various things (a new kettle, seeing ours just died. And a server for our dining room. And an electric blanket that fits our bed seeing ours is two sizes too small. And, and, and... the list goes on).


Anyone have a cure for dread? I have a feeling someone is going to prescribe getting over myself as the best course of action. May not be a bad idea ;-)

*Because if dread was an animal, it would be a big grey duck sitting on my head. Wonder what the shrinks would say about THAT?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


Seriously... this weekend was packed! Awesome, but packed. And Monday was infinitely less awesome, but packed with total drama. Again.

Let's do the fun stuff first... TSC and I invited six people we don't know really well for supper on Friday. It turned out to be a great evening. We enjoyed winter comfort food and good red wine while we chatted about everything from church to jobs to politics...

We clicked especially well with one couple and they only ended up leaving at 2am on Saturday morning after we'd been through a lot more good red wine. So nice to be at the start of a new friendship!

Saturday was spent buying TSC a new monitor for the computer I'm getting him (so that I can claim my notebook back) and then rushing to Bloggirls at Cafe Sophia. What a cool restaurant! Amazing tapas at reasonable prices, and four or five different types of sangria by the jug.

And what cool people! Some of the usual suspects, like Phillygirl and Angel (and Arkwife and Ruby who arrived late after I'd already left). And some new faces. I finally got to meet Boldly Benny (who I have been reading for ages. She went to the last Bloggirls but I was sick and missed it). I love her writing and so enjoyed meeting her IRL - different from how I pictured her, but just as gorgeous, glamourous and absolutely lovely.

I also met two people I have just recently started reading, Cybersass and Mellisoo. Cybersass was wearing the most awesome multi-wear dress she made herself and entertained us with stories of the life of an actress (kissing a co-star you have no interest in, for example). Mellisoo was quieter but has the best kick-ass sense of humour and a keen interest in Mojitos. I am so glad I got to meet both of them.

Unfortunately I had to dash off early for the stupid rugby. TSC had originally told me it was a 7pm game, so we'd said to my folks we'd watch it at their house. I sped home from Bloggirls, picked up TSC and whizzed through to Pretoria. Thankfully, one of my best friends, Noo, called to say her hubby was away for the weekend and asked if we could meet up. Instead of watching the men chasing the funny-shaped ball, we went to Fego's for some good coffee and a catch-up.

After that, it was supper with the folks at Brooklyn Mall. Sunday we drove home, madly cleaned the house and then had TSC's best friend and his girlfriend over for a braai before church, where we served on both services and got home at about 9.

It was super fun, but I felt like I needed a weekend to recover from the weekend. No chance of that though... Monday dawned chilly and ominous (as Mondays tend to do). I knew what lay ahead and felt like there was a big, cold stone in the bottom of my stomach.

TSC dropped me off for work (he had my car as his was in for a service). Icing didn't show up for work - she had left a note explaining to Boss that she wasn't coming back (even though she officially had 9 working days left). Chips was struggling to get hold of her fiance who had been on a boys' weekend in the bush. She then got a phone call from his mom to say he was in ICU after a car accident. Thankfully he was ok - just in shock. She left immediately.

Then JK resigned. She's found a job that pays three times better. Then a big press conference that was scheduled for today for one of our clients got moved to two weeks' time and we had to frantically let the media know.

It was an eventful day that ended up with Coach coming for supper. But that's a whole other post. How was your weekend / the start of your week?