It’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to

Tonight I toyed with the idea of starting a new anonymous blog.
One were I could write the things that were in my head, without the limitations of knowing the readers. I am sure I am not the first blogger to have this desire. I could start something new, quite easily, and write endlessly into the great abyss, but two things stopped me.

1) Time. I know it is quick to set up a free WordPress blog, but then I would spend the rest of the night looking for a theme that I liked, hating all the free ones and trying to customise one. It has to look pretty after all…

2) I like comments, I am a bit of a comment whore to be honest. It is not a numbers game, it is more just knowing people popped in and read what I wrote. A little ‘I was here’ note more than suffices, comments do not need to be profound, just present. I like the connection, the idea that my words have been seen, understood and shared by others. I would love to think that maybe one day they might even have an impact on people but I am not vain enough to think that what I write now is in any way profound enough for that.

So back to the problem at hand, I have always said I write because I have to, the words simply bubble up inside until they have to have a place to come out. Tonight is no exception, they need out. What I feel however makes no sense to me, so how do I suppose that with 10 fingers, 26 letters and a tired mind I have a hope of anything other than inarticulate unintelligible rambling? I am not sure but here goes

I feel all tearful and jiggery inside. I have heaps to do, too much as always, but I can’t concentrate on any of it. I want to have a good old cry but I feel mad at myself at the same time for feeling this way. Why on earth would I feel tearful when in fact I can not remember a time in my life when I have been happier? I am loved and supported and cared for by so many people and yet inside tonight I feel anxious and a little overwhelmed.

I feel like a juggler, I have all these balls in the air, all of them important and all of them counting on my to keep it all together and afloat, and I am terrified I am about to drop one. What I have to cope with here is only fractionally more than I had in Pretoria but I guess added to that the newness and uncertainty of my surroundings and the lack of familiar means that today it feels a little much. I have no pressure from anyone to be or do more than I can manage, the pressure to be all to everyone is self imposed.

I know it was a big move to Cape Town and just the emotional drain of packing and unpacking and helping the kids adjust, takes it’s toll. No matter how much I want to be here, and I do, I do not regret this move, not even for a minute, I guess I have to take into account that the changes will have an effect on my emotions. The problem is that I don’t want them to, I want to be fine and cope fine and make the transition without any hiccups and me smiling and happy and awesome – not feeling like I am slowly crumbing from the inside.

Phone pics

I was downloading the pics from my phone and thought I would share a few.

Becoming pink – I know I shared these on twitter as they happened but thought to put them here too

Roots growing out – time for a top up
pink hair

bleach on
pink hair

2-tone
pink hair

Dye on, time for coffee and to read my book for an hour
pink hair

All done
pink hair

Yesterday the kids were getting a bit of cabin fever so I took them down to a lake and park nearby, they had a really good time

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Before we left Pta I found these name boards for the kids to make along with the stuff I was packing, I thought that the letters had more of a chance not getting lost if they were actually attached to the boards so we painted and had fun.

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Beautiful Blogger Award

I got this award from Sharon thank you for being such an awesome friend, I love that you speak your mind and that you are so open about being who you are – a real inspiration.

beautiful blogger award

For the award I have to tell you 7 things about myself that you do not know and then pass it on to 7 other bloggers that I think are beautiful. This is quiet hard as after the 101 post I am struggling to find 7 new things about myself you might not know, I keep thinking oooh I will tell you about xyz and then I look and it is on the list already.

1) My sister is going to have a baby soon, I am so very happy for her. Things are different between us and it hurts me, but no matter what she is my sister.
2) Most days I am not sure I know how to cope with Rachel, I love her so much but she is a spirited child and in just surviving day by day I worry that I will crush her spirit. Feeling like a failure is a constant thing, just wish I knew how to do it better.
3) I got out the bread maker and made bread again today, it was lovely. Now I just need to remember to put the bread on at night before we go to bed. We have an old set of scales with weights that the kids help to measure the ingredients with.
4) People laugh at me when I speak Afrikaans which is why I don’t. not sure I am going to be able to get away with it now, but even trying makes me feel silly
5) It is Yme’s 30th birthday next month and I have no idea what to get him.
6) My mom got a TomTom GPS when she upgraded her phone recently and she gave it to me, the only problem is now along with GP licence plates in CT I have a TomTom that says Blue bulls all over the back.
7) There are 2 things I want to do that I said never again.

Now I am supposed to give this to 7 other bloggers. A lot of you have already had it so forgive me if I give it to you and you have already done it.

Ruby – a really beautiful person inside and out and I am really very glad I was lucky enough to meet her in person a few times
Cat: I can’t imagine juggling twins and still keeping it all together so well
Scott: I am not sure we are supposed to give this to boy but for his beautiful words and beautiful friendship and way with language that I could only but dream to have one day.
Andre: who changed the way I viewed the world, every moment becomes a photo now, not that I will ever be any good at it. He however takes beautiful photos, you can see them here www.andreinafrica.com
Norah: one of my new Cape Town friends who has welcomed me with open arms and made me feel welcome and that I have a place to pop in any time I need a friend to chat to – thank you means the world to me.
Andre: a new blogger that even with all the rugby talk has some lovely words to say and is always friendly and concerned about me and the pinklets.
Yme: last of my 7 but not least. The man who changed my world and made it beautiful.

I know I have nominated a lot of boys but most of the girls have been done. I don’t actually expect any of the boys to do put the badge up and do the challenge i just want to share the love.

Pretoria

It might seem odd that I am blogging about Pretoria when I just got to Cape Town but I had meant to do it before I left, and then things just got to hectic. We are here, and we are settling in well, but I will tell you all about that in another post. This one is all the things I love about Pretoria, I have counted this city as my home since I was 5 and I know unless you have lived there it is easy to bypass its appeal but for those that have called it home the jacaranda city has a way of creeping into your heart.

jacarandas

– The obvious one is the jacarandas, there is nothing like the visual overture of purple blossoms that announce that spring is here. I have lived in the Europe and the UK where cherry blossoms signal spring with their tiny pink flowers but there is something about that familiar purple that I miss when I am not at home.

– The familiar: I have lived in Pretoria for so long that I know where everything is, I know the back roads I know which shop sells what and exactly where to go for everything. If you know me you know how easily get lost, so just the thought of venturing out when i do not know an area can make me feel quite anxious. I know that over time I will learn, but i am going to miss just knowing where stuff is. Thanks for Cat for the jacaranda picture. ( a quick aside, as i was googling for jacaranda pics i found this one on Cat’s blog and it was so weird as we both lived in Pta we comment on each others blogs but we have never actually met, then I saw another picture on a blog that turned out to be someone I grew up with who now lives in America and I did not even know she blogged – Gypsy Mom (Lisa-Jo)

– My family: without my parents there is just no way that I would have survived this last year, their unwavering support and help got me through some very dark days. They opened their home to being invaded by sticky hands and plenty of toys at a time when they were used to tidy and quiet. They helped me with the kids and went above and beyond to care for us, look after us financially and lavish us with love at a time hen we were all feeling very fragile and a bit emotionally battered. They provided a safe place for the kids to recover from their parents separating. We will miss them so much, but as my mom works in CT often i hope e will still see them a lot and perhaps us being here will be the pull they need to return to the Cape to retire in a few years as they have talked about for a few years. I know they do not fully understand my decision to move down to CT now, they know I have been talking about it since I got back to SA but this happened rather fast, yet they have offered their support both emotional and practical and been nothing but amazing at a time that i know their hearts are sore having lost having the kids around all the time.

My friend Sharon took these pics of the kids and their grandparents on your last weekend there and it was enough to bring tears to my eyes when I saw them. Thank you Sharon. the kids were being difficult and were tired so Sharon is a amazing to have gotten these two that really pull on my heart strings.
Caleb and Bumpa

Rachel and Granny

– My little house, the kids and I stayed next to my parents in a little ( well not really so little) house on the same property. I miss my house, I really loved it, especially the balcony. I even blogged about my balcony here and here and while i never did get to fix it up. Yme and i do have this little braai area in our new house which is becoming like my balcony to me. We spend time in the morning and evening there, our time to connect as the day starts and as it ends again. My wonderful friend Barbara, (who deserves a whole post all of her own and one is in the pipelines) got her husband to make me wood cut outs of those angels I mentioned in the balcony blog so maybe it is time to finish them and put them up in our new space. Most of all about my house i miss the cupboard space. We have so much stuff. I don’t think Yme believes that i threw more than half away. Time to thin out more I think.

– my friends, Sharon, Laura, Heather and Esther I miss you guys, please come visit.

– Tuks FM the only good radio station in South Africa in my humble opinion, I can listen to it all day and most of the time like all the music which is really not the case with most of the other stations. I am a rock chick at heart and while i know I can stream it at home, what am i supposed to listen to in the car???

– There is just something about Pta that you would not understand unless you have lived there. It is not a tourist attraction and I supposes not terribly pretty expect when the jacarandas bloom, but it is calmer than Jhb and has an appeal for those of us who have called it home.

I am sure there are things that I have forgotten and will add with time, but as much as I miss it, I am very ready for this new adventure in my life. I am ready to share it with someone who understands me, challenges me, loves me and wants to be part of my and the kids little family.

what have you done

pink 99
Thank you Thank you to Tanya at Snapping Turtle Design for the pink 99, my google skills failed me and she offer to help. How cool is that! Twitter is awesome.

I got this from Angel’s blog, thought mine needed a little light-hearted fun and even though a lot of this is quite American it was still fun.
The idea is to look at this list of 99 things you could have done, and bold the ones that you actually have done!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to DisneyWorld
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bunjee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own veggies
19. Seen the Mona Lisa at the Louvre – stood outside, the queue was too long.
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillowfight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not sick

24. Made a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Ran a marathon
27. Went skinny dipping

28. Rode in a gondola in Venice
29. Witnessed total eclipse
30. Seen a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace/ home of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish country
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person

41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Taken a ride in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower
50. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

51. Kissed in the rain
52. Played in the mud
53. Gone to a drive-in theater

54. Been in a movie – does being on TV count?
55. Visited the Great Wall of China
56. Started a business
57. Taken a martial arts class

58. Visited Russia
59. Worked at a soup kitchen
60. Sold Girl Scout cookies
61. Gone whale watching
62. Gotten flowers for no reason
63. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
64. Gone sky diving
65. Visited Nazi concentration camp
66. Bounced a check
67. Flown in a helicopter
68. Saved a childhood toy

69. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
70. Eaten caviar
71. Pieced a quilt
72. Stood in Times Square
73. Toured the Everglades
74. Been fired from a job
75. Seen the changing of the guards in London
76. Broken a bone
77. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

78. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
79. Published a book
80. Visited the Vatican
81. Bought a brand new car

82. Visited Jerusalem
83. Had your picture in the paper
84. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
85. Visited the White House
86. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
87. Had chickenpox
88. Saved someone’s life

89. Sat on a jury
90. Met someone famous
91. Joined a book club
92. Got a tattoo
93. Had a baby

94. Seen the Alamo in person
95. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
96. Been involved in a law suit
97. Owned a cell phone
98. Been stung by a bee

99. Swam in the Black Sea

I think I count 56 so a little over half, some I wish to avoid though 😉

I benefited from Apartheid – did you?

I am a white South Africa. I was born and grew up in Bophuthatswana.
I have fairly liberal parents, and even if we did not agree with the ruling government, the fact is that I benefited. When we moved to Pretoria, I went to good school and got a good education – a solid foundation in life. I was lucky enough to go to University and, where I am today, is partly due to that start in life. Sure I worked hard, overcame dyslexia and disproved the teacher who said I would never amount to much, but had my skin colour been different, a lot of these priviledges would not have been mine.

There are a few responses one can have as a white South African. You can deny that you had any part in it, you can say you did your bit. I was still at school, but did any of us do enough? You can be guilty, but let’s be honest, guilt helps no-one and is immobilizing. You wallow in it and yet nothing changes. People are scared and worried about the future, those with kids worry about their future too, but I believe that our response has to be: To take ownership of how we benefited, regardless of fault, and give back.

So, while I might not be responsible, I fully believe that I am now duty bound to give back and to make SA better for those who did not have the chances I had. Being privileged is not bound by colour, so if you have more than other South Africans what are you doing to help?

It can feel a bit overwhelming but if we all reach out and help in our own small corner of the country we CAN make a difference, help one person, one family, one school, one community. Give time, give money, give skills. And not just in passing. Get involved. Get to know people and let them touch your life as you touch theirs.

I leave you with the starfish story – throw one back and make a difference!

Based on the story by Loren Eisley…

I awoke early, as I often did, just before sunrise to walk by the ocean’s edge and greet the new day. As I moved through the misty dawn, I focused on a faint, far away motion. I saw a youth, bending and reaching and flailing arms, dancing on the beach, no doubt in celebration of the perfect day soon to begin.

As I approached, I sadly realized that the youth was not dancing to the bay, but rather bending to sift through the debris left by the night’s tide, stopping now and then to pick up a starfish and then standing, to heave it back into the sea. I asked the youth the purpose of the effort. “The tide has washed the starfish onto the beach and they cannot return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun rises, they will die, unless I throw them back to the sea.”

As the youth explained, I surveyed the vast expanse of beach, strectching in both directions beyond my sight. Starfish littered the shore in numbers beyond calculation. The hopelessness of the youth’s plan became clear to me and I countered, “But there are more starfish on this beach than you can ever save before the sun is up. Surely you cannot expect to make a difference.”

The youth paused briefly to consider my words, bent to pick up a starfish and threw it as far as possible. Turning to me he simply said, “I made a difference to that one.”

SIX WORDS FOR OUR SOUTH AFRICA.

“I don’t do politics. Instead, I naively believe a government should run the country, make sure we have schools, roads, health care etc and are safe. Sadly, I think most are pretty crap at doing just those basics. George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, always springs to mind, where greed and power turn even the best into just another set of pigs. But enough about that.

What does worries me is the how much we ordinary South Africans buy into their crap. I have been wanting to write this post for ages. I was thinking about Eugene Terreblanche last week actually, as a comparison to Julius Malema, another raving lunatic in my eyes. I was going to say that at some point they all fall off their horses, but that seems a little insensitive now. My point is that we will always have loud mouth outspoken extremists – we’ll have to deal with that. We do not muzzle them by getting outraged and fighting them. You can’t fight hate with hate. They have no power if we, the people, stand together and say

“No. We don’t believe you! We will fight and we will work to make this country better!”

They can turn us, one against each other, ONLY if we let them. We have the power to decide what we buy into.

As I said at the start, I am not all that interested in politics. I AM about people, the real people who get up each day and who work in this country. We went to bed last night and we woke up today, no different, despite the events and the clamour. Yes, leaders and media and propaganda now try to build bigger divides between us.

That needn’t be. There is a vibe about this place that you do not find in other countries. A feeling of potential and hope. If only we could look each other in the eyes and work together.

I believe that we fight this hate by knowing each other. It is hard to hate people you have connected with. But it is easy to hate and fear the nebulous “them”. We don’t fight crime with higher walls, more razor wire and armed guards. But these barriers will give way only after the ones in our hearts have been removed – we do that by listening and learning about each other. Yes I know I am an idealist and I know it sounds too naive and silly, but I have seen the power of stories.

We own South Africa. We are the people and we choose if we listen to this or if we choose to stand together – I think we need a new song, a new slogan, a rallying cry.

I’ve always wanted to collect stories (that’s another post), but for now I would like to try the 6 word idea like I did here . Please send me, your 6 words, why South Africa is worth fighting for, or the good, or why you love it. Be creative. Maybe we can even get some proudly South African companies to kick in some prizes, who knows?. I will leave the comments open to enter for a week and then we’ll have a week of voting.

I’ll start the prize basket, with 2 bottles of organic South African wine from Lazanou farm, and I hope others will add stuff.
But most of all, I’d hope that you would add your words, your strength, your love of our country.
It’s ours. Let’s take it back from these fools.”

Black and white – it is easier when you are 5

I am dating someone else, there I said it. Phew. If I have learned anything it is that life does not come in nicely tidy boxes, it happens in total chaos and sometimes the timing could not look worse. I have not known how to write this blog, how not to be the badie, but maybe I am. But I can not longer not blog about it, this is my space, I have always said I write because I have to, and now is no exception.

I overheard Rachel asking my dad if the world was made of opposites. Then they discussed big and small, fast and slow etc. Listening to their happy chatter my brain went off on a totally different track. It is so easy to be black and white about things when you are 5, there are still absolutes. In a kids world things are usually one thing or another. As I get older though there seems to be a lot less black and white and a hell of a lot more grey.

Is the opposite of good, bad? Is it always that clear cut? I am sure you have all heard a story of the girl/guy who broke up with your friend ( or maybe even you) and then a few weeks later they were dating someone else and our usual response is to be mad and wonder: How could they be so insensitive? Did the other person not mean anything to them? We sympathise with our friend and say bitch/bastard and lots of head shaking goes on.

But because life is so seldom black and white, what happens when it is you? When you are the bad one. So I blogged about the relationship with Aequitas ending and as much as he was a fantastic person and he gave me so much, I healed and grew and relaxed with him, there was nothing I could do to stop it not being right. I tried to ignore the niggly feelings but I could not. It was never my intention to hurt him – I was told intentions are meaningless and maybe that is true. But relationships come with risk and I truly did not picture the end like it was at all.

But, and there is always a but in a grey world, an unexpected turn. There is a friend who has stood by me through a lot of stuff, someone who effortlessly gives me energy and knows what to say, when. I liked him the first time I met him ages ago but never thought the feelings were returned. We had been twitter friends before that and started chatting after I needed computer help as always. We get on like a house on fire. Well the timing was bad to discover feelings for each other straight after I had just ended a relationship. We decided not to pursue it. But sometimes no matter how hard you try things just grow and I think because we have been such close friends for so long, the rest just happened so easily.

So there you have it, I am that girl. The one who is dating so soon, the one who must have a heart of stone and not care for the person I ended it with – well actually no, nothing could be further from the truth. Just sometimes life happens, feels grow even when they should not. Hate me, bad mouth me, think I am crazy and irrational and mad for following my heart so soon. But as much as I knew things were not right before, I know that they are this time. I have never ever felt this way about anyone before.

I am moving to Cape Town

I have been going on and on about wanting to move to Cape Town and coming up with all sorts of reasons why I could not. Well I am taking a jump a leap of faith. Well it is not really a leap of faith as I am really not believing in a higher power or purpose to make it happen. I am trusting that with hard work and being closer to the rest of the ART team good things will be in the future.

It is hard to believe that it is happening after wanting to do this for so long, I guess my timing is a bit rubbish. I hated the UK weather and I decide to move to CT right as winter is about to start. Well if I can survive 2 years in the UK where it rains 365 days a year then I am sure I can handle a few months in CT? Besides it will not get as cold the UK.

So the great job now is packing and moving, not one that I like very much but needs must.
I a going to self pack and then just get a truck to come and transport the stuff – anyone got any contacts of an inexpensive company?

Oh yes moving date is around 19/20 April – around the corner!!!!!