Friday, 30 January 2009

The end of the interview

At last! I'm sure that's what you're all thinking. But here are Shania's last few questions and my answers:

4. Do you have any further news on the abused little boy who used to live in your complex?

Yes. He was eventually removed from the home for his safety. I'm not sure where he's been placed for now, but his grandparents have hired a lawyer to try to get him back to them in the Ukraine.

5. Did you resolve your feud with "L" over the story miscommunication?

Yes and no. We emailed back and forth and supposedly sorted things out, but we haven't spoken since and it's still a touchy point.

6. You've lived in a lot of places. Where is your favorite and why?

I honestly don't have a favourite. Every place was special for me at a time in my life, and there's things I love about all of them. I loved the chilled lifestyle in Durban and the fact that everything's quite close together - you don't have to drive very far for anything. And I love the subtropical climate and plants and the amazing fruit. Not the mokeys though or the tourist season in December.

I loved the beauty of Cape Town and the summers. I miss going for sundowners on a beautiful beach with my Cape Town friends and I miss knowing where everything is (Table Mountain is a great landmark that makes it easy to know where you are). I loved driving through to Stellenbosch and the wine routes and being so close to my best friend, Nicola. I don't miss the heavy winter rains and the salaries there were rubbish, so we found it incredibly difficult to make ends meet.

I loved being close to my family in Pretoria and also being near to my friends from my Gap year. I love the afternoon thunderstorms in summer and the history of the place - the monuments (old and new) and the union buildings. I love being able to find my way around; I love the Irene Country Market. I shopping is good and there's lots going on. But the people can be snobby sometimes and there's still a lot that hearkens back to the apartheid era.

And Joburg... I hated Jozi for the first while I was here, but now I've learnt to enjoy the arts and culture, the friendliness of the people, the opportunities and the diversity (of people, places and everything else). I love owning a house here and I ADORE my church. I've been a member of numerous churches before, but this is the first time I've been this passionate about it. On the downside, traffic sucks, the pace and ratrace are insane and there's less to do that doesn't involves spending money.

7. Are you unpacked from the move?

On the whole, yes. Aside from a few boxes that I'm pretending I can't see ;-)

8. Have you ever thought of opening an internet store for your jewelry? Or something like etsy? Just curious.

Yes, but never seriously. I'm a bit scared of it, for some reason. Probably because my jewellery has always been a hobby, so it needs to take the back seat to work and family. I guess I worry that I'd let people down. Or that people wouldn't like my stuff enough to pay for it!

The end.

I promise ;-)

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Restaurant review and random question

There are some weeks where I seem stuck for blog material and there are other weeks where I don't have enough days for all the posts I have in my head. This has been one of the latter. Today I decided to write about something that is old news, but I feel like getting it out of my head and onto the screen...

I went to a restaurant with my folks and TSC last weekend (Friday evening, to be exact) at the Irene Village Mall in Pretoria called Ala Turka that serves Turkish, Lebanese and Greek food. The place is beautifully decorated and even has a little shop inside that sells belly dancing clothing and so on.

We had tried to find the restaurant's details to make a booking beforehand, but seeing they had recently relocated to the centre from somewhere else, they weren't listed in the phone book. We decided to pitch up and try our luck anyway, and they told us they had a space for us upstairs. What they didn't tell us is that there is a live belly dancer on Friday and Saturday evenings and a R20 charge per person surcharge to cover this entertainment.

While the belly dancer was BRILLIANT (at one point she dances with a plate full of candles balanced on her head), I think we should have been told about the extra cost. Furthermore, every time she came out to dance, the music would be turned up to an almost unbearable level so that we couldn't hear each other across the table, even if we were shouting (it was quite embarrassing when the music went off and I was still busy shouting).

The room was also so dark that we had to take turns taking a menu to the bar area to try to read it under the light and make a decision. We eventually had our order taken. I chose the Sheikh Al Mihshi - a Lebanese dish. It's an oven-baked aubergine stuffed with lamb meat, herbs and spices, cooked in a tomato-based sauce, served with yoghurt and pilaf. TSC opted for the fillet with the house "special sauce". My mom had a meze platter and my dad ordered the lamb kofte.

Over an hour later, our food arrived. By this time, hunger pangs and loud LOUD music had made everyone rather grumpy. Thankfully, the food was amazing! My aubergine dish was like a little slice of heaven on a plate and TSC's fillet melted in my mouth. I didn't taste my folks' food, but I believe it was also very good.

So I think I'd go back to Ala Turka. But at lunchtime. When there's daylight. And no pumping music.

Now onto my random question... Any ideas what I can get my parents for their 30th wedding anniversary? I don't have that much money to spend and they have pretty much everything anyway. I've done photo collages, scrapbook albums, personalised calendars, theatre tickets and family photos before and I am stumped! The big day is 24 Feb, but they'll be away in Zanzibar for the week, so I've got a bit of time. Suggestions would be welcome.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The next interview instalment

Last week I started answering the questions that Shania sent me, and here is the next one, which takes up a whole post on its own:

3. In this post you mention that "it took a slap" for you and your husband to start getting along. Care to offer details?

Ok... TSC and I met during a gap year programme we did at a church in Pretoria. We all (80-something of us) lived in student houses (where I shared a room and a cupboard with five other girls). There were three of these houses: two that were co-ed and one that was all girls. I was in one of the co-ed ones and he was in the other. I can distinctly remember the first time I met him...

The house I was in was the only one with a swimming pool, so we invited the others over for a braai (BBQ) and to cool off in the pool. Of course, a game of water polo / piggy in the middle / stingers started up. We were all playing, and I noticed a gorgeous guy from the other house who was in the thick of things. Just then, someone knocked the ball out of the pool near where I was, so I hopped out to get it. As I came back to the pool, someone grabbed my ankle and tried to pull me back into the water to grab the ball from my clutches.

It was that gorgeous guy, now known as TSC, and he ended up pulling me off balance so I fell into the water, painfully scraping my entire leg against the sharp brick edge in the process. I had a massive scrape on my inside thigh that started bleeding. And he just grabbed the ball and off he went - no apology or anything. "What an arrogant pig!" I remember thinking, not knowing at the time that he could barely speak a word of English and was so embarrassed that he'd hurt me that he'd run away at full speed.

You can imagine my joy (not) when the outreach teams were announced and I discovered I'd be spending hours with this awful person. In fact, I didn't like anyone on my team. Funnily enough, five years down the line, one of them is my husband, another is one of my best friends and another was the best man at our wedding. Shows you that first impressions aren't always that accurate ;-)

TSC and I butted heads frequently during our outreach training. We both have strong personalities and can be EXTREMELY stubborn, and we couldn't bear each other. Eventually, sitting in a cramped minibus for six hours on the way to a town in the middle of nowhere for a one-week outreach, we got to talking. During that week, we chatted a bit more, and I decided that he wasn't so bad. I could just about bear him. Although I still found him chauvinistic and a bit abrasive.

But TSC is the world's worst passenger - if he's not driving a car, you don't want to be in it with him. He fidgets and gets irritable and just can't keep still. On our way back from the town in the middle of nowhere, TSC and I were sitting next to each other and he was quickly driving me insane. He had decided that it would alleviate his boredom if he annoyed me as much as possible, so he kept doing childish things like sticking his finger in my ear or trying to poke me in my neck (I hate, HATE, HATE people touching my neck). Eventually, he picked something up and was dangling it in front of my face, trying to bump me in the forehead and I was fending him off with both hands, when one of them decided to slap him hard across the face.

I maintain that I had no intention of slapping him at all - it just happened. My hand had obviously had enough and decided to let him know. And I felt TERRIBLE about it! I kept trying to apologise to him, but he just turned his back on me and wouldn't talk to me at all.

Three hours in total silence in a cramped minivan is not comfortable, let me tell you. Eventually, when we stopped for a pee break, I got his cell phone number from one of the people on the team. When we were on the road again (I was still sitting next to him), I sent him a text message apologising for the slap. For some reason it worked. And he seemed to respect me a little bit more. As though he'd figured out (took him long enough) that women aren't all docile and simpering.

See... all some men need is a good smack ;-) KIDDING!

Anyway, we became friends after that and often joked about the slap. At the end of the year, I realised that I needed to break up with my boyfriend of the time, although it had nothing to do with TSC who had gone back to Upington. I didn't think I'd see him again and I was really sad at losing someone who had become such a close friend.

But when he rang me up to tell me he was coming back to Pretoria, my heart leapt a mile high and I realised that I felt a lot more than friendship for him.

When he arrived, we discussed the fact that I was fresh out of a relationship and that I was leaving for Cape Town to study for three years and that it didn't make sense for us to start a relationship.

But we got together anyway. He moved down to Cape Town six months later. And just under three years after we started dating, I married the man I had once detested.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

More thoughts on Obama

What were your feelings on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as President?


Well, I stood in the middle of the room as I watched him take his oath of office. I smiled as the mistakes were made. I felt that made him just seem so human. I had tears in my eyes as I watched history being made. Not because he's a black man, but because he's a good man. I firmly believe he's the right man. It wasn't lost on anyone, the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday being the day before the inauguration. My kids even pointed this out to me. And my 9 year old daughter said it best when she said, "maybe with Barack Obama's help, we can all just get along."

What's the one thing you think he most needs to address in his term?


Well, I’d say the economy, since its clearly our biggest immediate issue, but the recession is really on such a global scale, that I’m not convinced there is much ANYONE can do, besides just wait for the natural cyclical nature of things to right itself. That said, he needs to get our men out of iraq, and back home, like yesterday. If he can do that in this term, and that turns out that that was ALL he could do, I’d still consider us ahead of the game…


The domestic economy followed closely (and tied to) the US involvement in overseas conflicts.


I feel the most important thing President Obama needs to address is the economy, since everything else depends on it. Secondly, health care and education. I could expound for pages on these and many more subjects, but in the interest of brevity I'll leave it at that.


First and foremost, the economy has to be addressed. Figuratively speaking, he is the dog that caught the tire.... lets just hope he knows what to do with it. I do not expect a fast fix. I DO expect that he can help fix what has been so wrong since the 50's . All of this mess we are in... is a result of the world living on credit. Living beyond our means for so long to keep up with the Joneses when we KNOW we can't afford it. Continuing to throw money at the problem to fix the money problem is counter-productive and oxymoronish. I hope he understands that.


That's a tough one. I think there are so many urgent situations, to pick one would be a challenge. I don't want to downplay my feelings on the war in Iraq. I believe it was a poor planned, hastily decided conflict. I believe at the root of that war is George Bush's need for power and oil. That being said, when I see a soldier in the grocery store in uniform, I thank him or her. I pray for them and their safety. So I think that's really important. But for me and my family, right now, the most important issue to me is probably healthcare. I don't have a firm grasp or understanding of other country's healthcare policies, but I see too many people not getting treatment for illnesses because they have absolutely no ability to pay. Too many children go to school sick, hoping the nurse will pass them some medication for that fever they're fighting, because she's their only hope. I look at my own son, and with our current system, if my husband were to leave his job, my son would go uninsured. When he becomes an adult and gets his own job, he may not qualify for health insurance due to his congenital heart defect. He takes daily blood pressure medicine that, without insurance, we'd continue to give him but we'd struggle to pay.

Thanks to all my American friends for taking the time to answer my questions. I've enjoyed reading your responses and I'm sure my readers have too. Right, guys? ;-)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Thoughts on Barack Obama from my American friends

The inauguration of Barack Obama as US President is a big deal not only for the USA but for the entire world. I wanted to pay tribute to that fact on my blog, but as a South African, I don't know very much about US politics. So I've asked a few American blog buddies to give me their thoughts some questions. Here they are, as they were sent to me:

The question:
What were your feelings on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as President?

I was hopeful, and proud. Very proud. For the last 8 years, ive been kind of ashamed of my country, and how it has carried itself in the world. I don’t know if that perception is going to change under an obama registration, but I can say that I am hopeful. I think the rest of the world currently views the U.S. not too kindly, and im hopeful that mr obama can fix that somewhat.

CP (of Three Giraffes):
Great hope for a much needed change but tempered by some skepticism for the blind adoration being heaped on a man who has yet to do anything to prove himself.

I actually attended the ceremonies, so my first answer is short and to the point. COLD! That's all I could feel, lung searing, nose freezing COLD. I kid. I actually felt a myriad of emotions, primarily relief with hope following close behind.

I was by parents whom on my mothers side my grandparents were VERY racist. My mom did not like being raised like that. She never let my grandparents watch us for fear we would be "brainwashed." She is not a racist. My dads parents, I don't believe were racist, my dad is not a racist. My husbands parents and grandparents WERE racists and although tolerant, he finds it hard to shake the beliefs that were instilled. We have raised our children to be color blind when it comes to race, religion etc.. it HAS to end if we are to survive. That being said, as a registered Independent, I am very much a conservative. I lean and vote Republican every election. This past election was no different. Although the world has come a LONG way, I was not sure the world was ready for a black president. I was wrong. I am glad I was wrong. I felt a sense of pride that this country has come so far. I hope, against hope that he will be a great president. I hope that he, along with the other leaders of the world can help bring us back to the peaceful, prosperous world we once were.

More to follow tomorrow.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Friday, 23 January 2009

Another interview with me (poor you)

The lovely Shania did an interview post awhile back, and has kindly sent me some really interesting questions to answer here that she's taken from my archives. So I'll start with the first few answers today, and the rest next week.

1. Have you had any further success with reducing your carbon footprint? Is it easier now that you're in your own house with a garden?

I'm happy to say that I think the answer to this question is 'yes'. I'm trying to live a greener life, which is made easier by the fact that our house is in a complex that offers a recycling service, so I have a bin for paper and cardboard, one for plastic, tin and glass and another for the non-recyclable stuff.

Now that I have a garden, I have started a compost heap and am growing my own vegetables and herbs, which means I can cut down on shopping trips and on buying produce that's had to be transported from somewhere else. I don't use chemical pesticides, which means that pests can potentially be a problem, but I pick off the snails and caterpillars by hand, spray with an organic mixture of chili and garlic, and make use of plant partnerships that work. For example, planting loads of different plants in one space actually puts the pests off because they find it harder to sniff out the ones they want to chow.

I also have a big tank that collects the rainwater from the roof, so I use that to water the veggies instead of tap water. And we have become really good at turning ligths off when we're not using them, making the best use of natural light and switching appliances off at the plug point when they're not needed instead of leaving them on stand-by.

I'm closer to work and within walking distance of the shops, so I've cut down on my driving too.

2. You mentioned you were writing your grandfather's memoir. How is that going?

Unfortunately, the answer is that it isn't going. But I've asked my grandparents to come and visit us in the first quarter of this year to see our new house, and I'm hoping to get started there. I'm quite scared by how big a project it actually is, and if anyone has advice on how to tackle it, I'd be grateful. So far I have a set of questions I'd like to ask and some draft chapter ideas, but that's it.

Right, I'll answer the next questions next week, so come back then to find out how it "took a slap" for TSC and I to find love and other random stuff.

And have a great weekend. Here's a funny for you:

Thursday, 22 January 2009

An update on the aggro

This week's frustrations just won't end!

I just want to say: I HATE the attorneys handling my property transfer and I LOATHE University of Johannesburg.

The former are driving me mental about the rates and taxes. Some of you may remember that the losers told me to trek into town for nothing twice last year (I vented about it here and here).

Well, the slimeballs-from-another-planet-masquerading-as-conveyancers contacted me again this week to tell me to do the same thing again (try to open a rates account). I said no, I've already done that and it didn't work - apparently (according to the municipality and the estate agent), the rates account will be automatically opened in my name, but may take a few months.

Then the wench I've been dealing with has the nerve to argue the point with me and say that she's never heard of that before. She's sure I need to go in, open an account and pay a deposit. She says I must phone City of Joburg and ask them again, implying that I am making this all up and just trying to stall on paying the deposit.

So instead of sending her the first email I typed out, telling her exactly where she could get off, I called City of Joburg. After 10 minutes of listening to their awful adverts and the "let's-try-kill-you-off-before-an-operator-becomes-available" music, I get through to someone who tells me exactly the same thing - there's nothing I can do except wait for the rates account to be opened in my name.

I then type another (more civil) email to afore-mentioned wench:

Dear ------,

I have called (011) 375-5555. I was told that the rates account will be opened automatically, but can take six or seven months until the previous owners’ account has been finalized. I explained that I have opened the Eskom and Johannesburg Water sewage account and asked if there is anything else that I can do. Apparently not.

I then searched the City of Joburg website and found this document, called “Buying and selling property”:

Here is an extract from the section entitled “Opening an account”:

“Rates accounts will automatically be created in your name, as the new property owner, as soon as transfer is registered at the Deeds Office.”

This is taken from a further document, “Accounts”:

“Rates accounts will automatically be created in your name, as the new property owner, as soon as transfer is registered at the Deeds Office. It may take up to 10 weeks to receive and update new owner records.”

Kind regards,

Vat so, poppie!*

This week has not been good for my blood pressure.

In other news, TSC has to write another entrance test at UJ this morning, coz they're not sure what's going on. Joy. As if the first one wasn't stressful enough!

Anyone feel like donating some Valium? Or a trip to anywhere but here?

*Loose translation from Afrikaans: "take that, Barbie!"

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Useless UJ... again!

OMW - so frustrated with UJ. For those of you who don't know UJ, I present to you a brief exerpt from their website:

Becoming UJ

The University of Johannesburg was established on 1 December 2005. It is the result of the incorporation of the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University into the Rand Afrikaans University, which took place on 1 January 2004, and the merger of the Rand Afrikaans University (into which the two Vista campuses had been incorporated) and the Technikon Witwatersrand on 1 January 2005, to create the University of Johannesburg (UJ)...

Confused yet?

Everything is complicated with these people. After FINALLY being told that he had been accepted to study there this year (he found out last week, can you believe it?!), TSC headed off to register at the varisty yesterday, documentation in hand and deposit paid.

He arrived there at 7.35am. Resgistration was set to begin at 8am. At 9.45am he sent me a text msg: "Hey my love. Have been moved to three different queues now. Oh happy day."

An hour later, he called me:

TSC: I'm not in.
Me: What?! How can you not be accepted? They told you that you were - you even have the letter from the HOD giving you his personal acceptance if you passed the entrance exam. Did you fail?
TSC: No. But now he says they're full and other people did better on the test than I did, so I'm not in.
Me: This is bull. They said you were in! Is there nothing you can do?
TSC: No. I just need to figure out how to get the deposit refunded. *sounding absolutely miserable* I've gotta go. I'll see you at home, k?
Me: Ok. I love you, my angel. Wish I could fix this for you.

I spent the next hour trawling the internet for local colleges and varsities taking late admissions. The he called me again:

TSC: I just spoke to the lady I've been dealing with in admissions about the deposit and she says she has my acceptance letter on her desk, so I am in.
Me: Huh? So are you in or not?
TSC: I really don't know - she says I must wait until tomorrow and she'll find out what's going on and give me a call.
Me: But you're supposed to be at orientation tomorrow morning if you're in!
TSC: Apparently there's about 30 of us just in this course that don't know if we're in or not.
Me: Seriously? That's crazy. Are you ok?
TSC: Ja... not much I can do except wait.
Me: This sucks. But whatever happens, it'll be ok. There are other options, you know. We'll figure something out.
TSC: Mmm.

Poor man. He's so stressed about what happens next. Understandably - it affects our future hugely.

I could kill those twits that are messing him around. But I'll just vent here instead. A felony wouldn't do much to fix things, would it?

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Somnambulist abuse and weekend news

I am so glad that it's Tuesday! Sorry for all the doom and gloom in the last two posts. Yesterday was just frantic with two clients needing urgent press releases to be sucked out of my thumb, two pre-scheduled and immovable meetings and one unexpected crisis.

I'd also like to explain Friday's grumpiness. See, the night before, I had gone to bed late, but was sleeping very soundly. TSC on the other hand, was having a horrible nightmare that someone was breaking into our house. So, in the dream, he beat the guy up. In real life, he leant over and elbowed me in the chest with such impressive force that I've been teasing him about the bruise ever since.

Imagine being woken up in the dark by a massive thwack - you'd get a fright, right? Well I did. I thought someone was breaking into our house and was attacking me. I totally panicked. Even after I'd calmed down and my heart had removed itself from my vocal passage, I still couldn't get back to sleep. Hence the sleep-deprived grumpiness of Friday's post. Apologies again.

On to nicer stuff... We had our first housewarming event on Saturday. A bring-and-braai for almost 50 people. It was awesome (if busy). On Saturday morning we bought one of those plastic swimming pools (the ones with the inflatable top rings that you just fill with water), which proved a huge success with kiddies and adults alike. And I had been making various desserts since Wednesday (including the most beautiful white chocolate tart, topped with strawberries, that I didn't even get to taste because it was snapped up so fast), so I just made a few salads and set everything out before people started streaming in at 2pm, bringing me enough potted chrysanthemums to last a lifetime.

We had a diverse group of people - neighbours, old varsity buddies, church pals, my parents and our friends from Pretoria. But everyone got on really well. Connections were made (for example, one neighbour discovered that she went to school with my gran's sisters in Bulawayo) and conversation flowed well.

When the last folks left at 20.30, we sat back and realised once again that we have really amazing people in our lives. My only regret is that I was so busy trying to get to chat with each person that I didn't have time to take photos. But seeing we still have a few more housewarming events coming up, I'm sure I'll have another chance!

Monday, 19 January 2009

No post today, my mojo's gone away...

You know when you have a Monday that is intent on proving to you that it is indeed Monday? today is one of those. Back tomorrow.

PS: Brownie points for those of you who get the song I'm referencing in my title today. It's ancient. And about dairy.

Friday, 16 January 2009

The aggro is back

My blog has been all chipper and dandy lately, so I thought it might be time to return to a little cynicism and snottiness for today. Especially seeing I am in need of a vent. As such, here's my list of things that pissed me off this week:

  1. UJ. University of Johannesburg has been my single greatest stress-causer over the past few months. And I'm not even a student there! See, TSC applied to study there, starting this year, and has has endless problems from them ever since. From telling him he was accepted then denied then accepted to moving the date of the entrance exam without telling anyone, they have excelled at sucking. He eventually found out two days ago that he is indeed accepted. Which gave him a whole week's notice before he needs to start the academic term. The award for inefficiency is undoubtably theirs. Well done, useless UJ.

  2. My to-do list. It is pages long and as soon as I do one thing, five more get added to it. Usually not-nice things either.

  3. Clients who think my world revolves around them. No explanation needed.

  4. Gauteng BMW drivers and taxis. They piss me off every week. Unfortunately I don't usually handle it as well as Louisa.

  5. Lurkers! All you folks who stop by and don't comment, I ask: why not? Am I not worth your comment-love? Please, please, please... delurk now!

  6. Blogger. Yes, even beloved blog host has annoyed me this week. It wouldn't let me access any blogs yesterday. Just RSS feeds. Which meant no commenting for me. Tlak about depriving me of joy!

Right, now that I have that out of my system, I can have a chipper and dandy Friday. Wishing you one too. I leave you with this...

What goes through your mind when someone says "let's go for drinks"?

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Bits and Pieces

For those of you Joburg girl bloggers who aren't on Phillygirl's mailing list, here's advanced notice that the Feb Bloggirls event will be at my place and will be a housewarming do for the usual suspects plus partners and kids. I'll sort out the details closer to the time. But don't forget that the Jan event is just around the corner so go sign up now!

A funny for you that rings true with me:

"Cash, cheque or charge?" I asked, after folding items the woman wished to
As she fumbled for her wallet , I noticed a remote control for a
television set in her purse.
"So, do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked.
"No," she replied, "but my husband refused to come shopping with me,
and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally."

And one or two pics:

A bowl of moth pupae for breakfast, anyone? Taken at the Africa Silks Farm in Mpumalanga. The tour was fascinating - I hadn't realised quite how labour-intensive silk farming is!

A view through the veil - taken from underneath the Bridal Falls near Sabie.

And that's all for today, folks. Have a good Thursday.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Photo post, at long last

Yes - I finally remembered to bring my camera and its cable to work. And so, voila - a few holiday snaps:

Coffee Beans growing on the Sabie Valley coffee farm:

Lisbon Falls near Graskop:

A tree that I just liked:

TSC holding our "holiday cats". They appeared on the first day and spent every day with us, sleeping on the beds at night too. I really wished I could've taken them home. I named them Liquorice and Milktart for their colouring.

The Pinnacle, near Graskop. Check out the mist!

I'll probably bore you with a few more snaps now that I've saved the pics to my PC.

Btw... For a good laugh: read this post at FutureBackwards!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Interview with me!

The oh-so-lovely Sleepyjane did an interview post on her blog, and invited anyone who wanted her to make up some interview questions for him or her to drop her a comment. Despite being so humble and modest (mwahahaha), I took her up on her offer, and here are her thoughtful questions and my (probably less thoughtful) answers:

1. If you could choose any talent to be blessed with, anything at all, what would it be and why?

First question and I'm already regretting this ;-) Ummm... I guess it would be helping people. I so often want to help out and end up just feeling awkward and useless when I try.

I'd also love to be really musically talented. Or to be incredibly good at making money. Hehehe... how shallow am I?

2. If someone said that they would pay you X amount of money but you are NEVER allowed to blog again, what amount would you accept?

Not blog?! Sheesh... hard one. Realistically, now that I've made such awesome blogging friends and have most of their email addresses, I'd accept enough money to cover four months' salary so that I could get set to start freelancing full-time. So long as I could still read and comment on everybody else's blogs!

3. If you could have been born in any other country, which one would it be and why?

Ummm... Zambia? Because it's where my mom was born, I find the people incredibly friendly and it's not too far away from good old South Africa ;-) Or France... Just to have a cool French accent, decent public transport and holidays in Spain! Not too keen on the French men though.

4. Tell me something that you are proud of, like some goal you reached?

I'm still proud every time i see my name in a publication. It never wears off. Even if nobody's ever heard of the magazine or book. Which is usually the case ;-)

5. If you could be a member of the opposite sex for a day, no strings, would you do it and why?

YES! Who wouldn't? Especially if the guy had to be me for a day and I could arrange for the swap to happen at "that time of the month" so I could miss a day of that hell. And educate the dude a little. *evil grin* But yes... I'd like to know how it feels to be a boy, to be able to pee standing and whether people treat you differently at work, in shops and so on as the other sex. The best would be if TSC and I could swap for a day. I'd love to know how it feels to be him when we're in bed ;-)

That was fun. If any of you would like me to send you five interview questions, leave me a comment and let me know.

From Scottish lodges to Australian flicks

The weekend was fabulous, which was great after a holiday that was quite so-so. Glenburn Lodge was a lovely venue for our church. Yes, there's a bit too much fake rock and Scottishness around for my liking, but the rooms were well-maintained and tastefully decorated, the food wasn't bad at all and the facilities are very good.

My previous weekends away with the churches I've been part of were usually student camps or nationwide conferences. Accomodation consisted of dormitories with shared bathrooms and we normally had to bring our own bedding and sometimes even cuttlery. Schedules were often quite tight, and although I enjoyed every experience, I sometimes wished for a bit more free time.

So it was a nice change to have our own hotel room and some privacy, as well as time to socialise and chill on the Friday evening and between planning sessions on Saturday. Our leaders are a great bunch of people and we laughed our way through a Singstar competition in the bar and many rounds of pool. I love the fact that they are all so genuine and don't pretend to be holier than thou. Even our head church leader will grab a beer and have a go at the karaoke.

We had such a good time and were a little sad to leave on Saturday evening. But the rest of the weekend was good too. We ate lots of focaccia and saw Australia yesterday with our mates R and A, which was a very long movie but really enjoyable. I loved seeing Hugh Jackman playing an Aussie (seeing he is one) and Nicole Kidman squealed less than usual and actually did a very good job. The little boy, Brandon Walters, is just beautiful with his soulful eyes as Nullah, the mixed-race aboriginal child that warms Kidman's heart.

I enjoy Baz Luhrmann's films. They have a rich, bold quality that sweeps you up into the fanciful storylines he seems to be attracted to. He weaves strong visual and emotive themes into the film's fabric that carry what could otherwise be considered a laboured plot.

I guess this is a film that you'll either love or hate. I'm in the first category. If any of you have seen it, let me know your thoughts.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Where is everyone else?

I thought we were coming back to work fairly late, but I keep getting "out of office" emails fom clients and suppliers... Seems like there's a fair number still on holiday. Lucky bums.

Today was going to be a photo post, but this evil genius once again forgot her camera at home. Honestly! My absent-mindedness is astounding.

Off to core leaders church camp at a lovely little lodge in Muldersdrift for most of the weekend. Hopefully I remember to take the camera with!

Happy Friday and see you Monday ;-)

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Of blogging affliction and warm houses

It's so awesome to be back at the blog. During the long hard hours when I was putting in my in-laws time, I wished I had access. Not specifically to moan or vent (well, ok... maybe a bit), but to have an outlet to get what I was thinking and feeling out of my head, because once I've written things down, it seems to give me renewed perspective. Then, of course, there's the fact that people leave me nice comments commiserating with my situation ;-) It's always nice to feel like someone understands.

So, yes... the blog addiction is still strong with me! Just so you know.

In less navel-gazing news, TSC and I wrote out a list of people we plan to invite to our house-warming party. The total is 150. Sheesh! I didn't know we knew 150 people, let alone wanted them in our home.

But I seriously don't think we could fit that number into our house. Not unless we stacked them sideways. Which wouldn't be much fun, you gotta admit. Unless you're the perverted type. And then I don't really want to know.

So we have now decided to have... wait for it... FOUR housewarming do's! Insanity is strong with us too, it appears.

This poses a further problem (the four events, not the insanity - that's quite enjoyable), as we have a grand total of TWO free weekend days this month, and then next month's weekends are almost booked up already with my mom's birthday, my parents' 30th wedding anniversary and the like.

But, in typical evil genius fashion... I have a plan...

It involves much abuse of the ellipsis... (in case you hadn't noticed), the collusion of various sinister (and not-so-sinister) people, and the borrowing of many chairs, a braai or two and perhaps even some pavement... All will be made clear in due course.

Or not.

And it's not that evil or exciting anyway, except in comparison to the 'to do' list on my desk today. Which I must now tackle like a Springbok would an All Black - viciously and without a thought for the pain it will cause me ;-) A rugby reference, for those of you lucky enough not to know what I'm on about.

Cheers. For now.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Back at the Blog

Wow... Reader is full to the brim of posts I've missed. Inbox is overflowing with spam. January weekends are already fully booked...

2009 is truly here.

Retreating under desk...