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Saying goodbye to Stanley


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Stanley was my dog, I got him in 2000 he was 18 months old then, so in dog years he will be 91 in March. He is a Labrador, the kids have loved him and grow up with him, he has always been around and especially for Rachel he has been her first pet. He is so gentle and has always put up with the riding him and playing with him and has never ever in all his life even snarled or growled at them, even when they might well have deserved it.

On Christmas day after Yme, me and the kids left to go visit friends Stan had a seizure and when we got back on 27th he was not doing so well. He was a bit disorientated and seemed to be breathing quite heavily, his back legs were also very weak. But in the days before we left back to Cape Town he did rally a bit and today my mom sent us am MMS and said he had a bath and was doing much better.

Saying gooddbye was hard as we knew we would probably not see him again.
Rachel took the goodbye very very hard.

home?

We were in Pretoria for Christmas with my parents. I lived in that house with them when I returned to South Africa and it is a place the kids and I feel very comfortable. I grew up in Pretoria and spent most of my life there, it still to a certain extent feels like home. Christmas with my parents was very familiar and full of our family traditions. I even got to see my sister briefly. Friends and kids visited and played in the garden and pool just like we did before. It was very relaxing

Landing back in Cape Town on old years eve was actually quite strange, as much as I love Cape Town and our house and the life we have here, I am still most familiar with Pretoria. It has taken a while to settle back in and I think the kids have felt this too. But going to the beach today to walk the dog and play was lovely. I really really love where we live and have so many plans for our house.

I am sure in time Cape Town will feel more and more like home. but Pretoria always has a special place in my heart.

Excuse me… your green is the wrong way around

When I was growing up there was a friend of mine from Cape Town who’s parents moved to Pretoria. Suddenly this blonde surfer boy found himself with no sea and a whole new life. He used to talk about Cape Town all the time and how great it was and how much he missed it. Nothing in Pretoria was good enough. Look I know that after living in Cape Town, Pretoria must seem like it has nothing to offer, but it was my home. I have a genuine soft spot for that city. It is quieter than Jhb, it is prettier and friendlier. The pace is not as hectic, but besides all that it holds all my childhood memories and so that makes it special to me. I used to feel quite angry with my friend for dissing Pretoria and moaning all the time about how much better Cape Town was. I thought it was insensitive to keep on and on about it to the people for whom this town was home. Made you feel second rate some how.

I hope in this post I do not do that same thing, I love Cape Town. I love our Huise by die See. I love that there is so much beauty all around me. If I leave our house and head to town then we see the mountain. If we go to Durbanville to go through the winelands, if we go to Melkbos we have the beach. All around us is beautiful, but ( there is always a pesky but) they have their green the wrong way around.

Summer in Pta is the rainy season, we have awesome afternoon thundershowers which cool the hot day down and make everything green and beautiful. Summers out in the garden are lush and green and it is beautiful to sit outside. Flowers bloom and grass grows and it is gorgeous. Winter is dry, but we are all in doors. We don’t mind if it is a bit brown, there are cold days with clear skies. The garden is less green and things rest during winter. Sometimes the grass goes brown and dry but when you are not spending as much time outside this is okay.

Cape Town I am afraid has this all backwards, no one needs a green winter! It is wasted as we are all hiding inside from the rain. Summer is dry and the garden, unless you have a borehole is brownish, the grass is hard and brittle and hurts the feet. I really love this place but you got the green all wrong. Summer should be the growing time with the rain to make plants and stuff grow, after all the plants rest in winter. Gardening here is a nightmare.

Lonely

Now that is not a word that I thought I would be saying once I was in a relationship and happy, but there it is. I am really lonely. In a very different way than before, I am not alone in a relationship sense. I have Yme and we talk and we do stuff and it is good, that part of me that wanted to sharing something with someone is fulfilled but I left a lot of other support behind.

This is going to sound like such a moaning feeling sorry for myself post and it is not intended as such, it is just feelings that I have inside and for me the best thing to do with my feelings is to write them down. I hope by getting them out I will feel a little less like I am going to burst into tears. Yes I know most of it can just be take with a pinch of pregnant hormone salt, but it does not make it feel any less acute.

I am a social person. I do not need large groups or to be the center of a crowd, in fact I can be quite shy until I know people better, but what I do need is a group of close friends around me who I see quite often and develop a close bond with. I like the village idea of raising kids, I think having people come and go regularly in a child’s life is good,

In Pretoria we stayed in a house next door to my parents we saw them everyday, when my mom was not working away from home she would take the kids for a few hours to play with them, read to them and just generally be a cool granny. My dad would help bath them in the evenings and read to them and cuddle them. My domestic was there 3 times a week, giving me chance to get my hair done or go to the post office without the kids in tow all the time, and most importantly a chance to get some work done. I could afford her because my parents did not charge me rent ( yes I was very very luck I know, I would never have made that year without my parents unwaivering support)

Then my awesome friend and business partner Barbara and I saw each other at least twice a week where we would discuss business, life, relationships, kids and just general girl gossip. We are very different but it is sometime really nice to get a different point of view and out kids have been friends since birth. They play so well together they disappear off 2 by 2 the big ones together and the younger ones together and they play so nicely. We used to swap kids a couple of times a week so we each got a chance to get stuff done. We watched chick flicks together, like Sunshine Cleaners and Twighlight that no one else would want to watch. Our kids slept over at each other often and were very comfortable being at each others houses.

Laura would pop in a couple of times a week after work, we did things together on the weekend, even if it was just a picnic in the park so the kids could play and we could get out a bit. Wine afternoons and braai’s in Ansie’s garden with her boys was always fun. Barbara and Laura and their gangs would also be there.

Sharon and her son would drop in and even after they moved to Badplaas we still saw them at least once a month. Coffee and chat with Sharon and catching up on all the comings and goings in peoples lives was fun. It is these sort of social interactions that feed my soul. I love seeing my friends and relaxing and chatting and being there. These woman were there for me through some incredibly tough times and I miss them.

I know it would not be the same if we were there. Yes my family and their support would still be there, but Barbara has moved and Sharon has moved but boy I miss these people.

People have been very kind in CT but the same kind of close support and seeing each other all the time is not here in Cape Town for us yet. I know it will take time for us to meet people and to find friends that we can see often. I guess having my good friend Ghilraen here this week has reminded me how lonely my weeks usually are. It is just me and the kids most days. Ghilraen is in PE but was my sanity in the UK we lived close by and saw each other most days, we also stood with each other through some tough times together. I have cried, laughed, smiled, been heart broken, been happy and seen life and death with these women and I miss them.

I hope in time we find such people here in CT because I don’t do well alone. I am a talker I need to talk and moan and laugh and share, always make the burden of being a parent easier. Being alone all day with 2 small people all day and one beings to loose perspective a bit.

Moan over, shopping to do…

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.