Thursday, December 11, 2008
So, you will have guessed that I finally have my new computer. I've had it a while now but thanks to the ministrations of Telkom, getting my ADSL up and running was the stuff that movies are made of. The kind where the main character goes totally doolalley and shoots up the entire telephone company headquarters because he's lost all touch with reality after dealing with them...?? Before it got better ..it got a lot worse. Like I ended up without even a telephone. Don't ask me how that works but that's what happened. And that wasn't actually the worst. Argh I'm rambling. I'm going to drink my decaf and call my dogs and we're off to sleep.
See you all soon...except for my detractors who can all piss off right now because I am in no mood to deal with that lot!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Here goes: (oh, word of warning here - non-saffricans may need to google some of the references and most saffricans may be mildly bored by my choices?)
- SA has a rhythm, a tempo, a beat. I know y'all don't know what I mean, neither would I have understood this reference till I went to Japan. Then I kept feeling that something was missing in that admittedly wonderful, strange, polite country. But eventually, the sense of quiet rhythmless order made itself clear to me and I knew I was missing the pulse that is South Africa. It's not something you hear with your ears, it's a beat you feel in your heart.
- Braai's - not that I'm all that fond of overcooked, slightly charred meat, but nothing smells quite like a braai. (bbq to the rest of your philisti...foreigners). Beer tastes best with the smell of braai in your nostrils, hair and clothes. Friends are funnier, children are acceptable and dogs can eat all the leftovers. Then you throw the plates in the bin (paper of course), stash those strange plastic/straw paper plate holders and bin the empties and look forward to the next one.
- Biltong - I am not going to explain this to the foreigners - how do you explain that dried raw meat flavoured with coriander and dangerously capable of giving you toxoplasmosis - tastes divine and soothes the soul.
- Game reserves. You can watch all the Animal Planet and NatGeoWild you like, it doesn't come near to going on a night game drive. The excitement of seeing a herd of elephants pass within spitting distance of you and being filled with amazement at how silently they move is unbeatable. Never mind how remarkable it is to see a mother lion eating a deer whilst her cubs play around her....Omigosh toooo wonderful.
- Spur, Nandos, Steers, Windhoek Beer, Ocean Basket, beaches, mountains, bush, fynbos, the V & A Waterfront, wire sculptures and plastic bag guinea fowls, ah hell who can choose.
- A bonus extra one: the love & affection that saffricans show each other daily. With all our differences and the cruelty of the past regime, we can laugh together and share triumphs and tragedies alike without having to explain anything and we have the best slang ever to do it in.
I'm tagging Don't believe a word I write, Angel, Sweets, Becauseican, Trash'd. Hope you all enjoy this slight departure from my usual grouchy self.
Give (at least) 5 reasons why you love SA
Tag at least 5 peeps
Let me know when you've done it!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I'm wearing black pants and a black and melange twofer with a pretend white shirt under it. And black socks from Woolies and black ballet pumps. And a black stretch velvet jacket. A red glass bead necklace with silver stripes in the beads and a pewter, silver and lampwork bead bracelet. The jewellery is made by me and is very beyoootiful!
I'm working my little tochas off at my new job and my brain is so deeply occupied with the complicated stuff that makes up my job and answering the questions of my assistant and dealing with the phone and the clients and ....etc that I haven't had time to really focus on the blog. Also what with not wanting to offend any sensitive readers I've been a little hesitant to be my usual acerbic self.
Oh yes, I'm also really happy at work so my mood is too good to think of anything to grouch about.
Ah well, maybe just a few things:
Taxis! Yep you have heard all you want to hear about taxis, but I have to have a teensy little moan here about the spawn of Satan. See, I park in a parking structure in one of the main streets in the city (paid for by the employers lucky me hey?) and every morning I have to screech to a halt as the bloody taxis stop dead without warning in the lane I need to be in to get to my parking garage. Then as I collect all my clothing that fell off with the sudden stop, the bastards stop in the entrance to the garage and offload twenty-seven passengers, while I sit behind them, indicator flicking away like an '80's disco and wait till they unblock the way and I can get up the ramp. Natch behind me is a collection of red-faced motorists who are all hooting at me like it's my fault! Sheesh!
Then there's the smokers! The entire city of Cape Town stinks like an ashtray! When I walk to my office I'm the only person in the road without a cigarette in my hand - at 7.15 a.m. ugh the smell is enough to make me puke. Every doorway has 5 smokers huddled there like a bunch of junkies and the smoke hangs over them like something in a forties film noir. Also there's always at least 4 or 5 good folk who walk with their cigarettes poking out at their sides and when I get home I find all these holes burned into my clothes from the flying cinders.
The upside is - it takes me about 10 minutes to get to work and I can buy excellent coffee on the way down the road to work - although our tea lady would be most upset - she hovers over me with an anxious look anytime she sees my coffee cup is empty and is only happy when she can fill it again - so I oblige - my liver is on it's last legs.
Also there is a Woolies in spitting distance from the office and I don't have to find parking to go shopping anywhere any more. And a Pick 'n Pay in the parking garage building - oh bliss.
And I'm still using the same tank of petrol I put in my car on the 18th of August !!!!!!!!! There is still a half a tank left. And the employers pay for my petrol so I'm going to have to jol further from home these days.
I am reeelly looking forward to the 19th of September because La Lue, Beach Girl, Boat Boy, Frequent Shopper, Billy the Kid and I are going to Diaz Tavern for supper and to listen to Ernesto! Oh wonderful, Portuguese food, and a Paraguayan singing in Italian, La Lue chattering in Greek and Beach Girl talking Afrikaans and Billy the Kid talking to every woman in the whole place, red wine, dancing and general debauchery - I can't wait. Btw La Lue says Ernesto is absolutely gorgeous looking and predicts I'm going to fall in love with him....good I could use a new interest in life. Joburg hunk has gone back to the ex-girlfriend so he's off the stalker list.
Betenoir took portrait pics of me a couple of weeks ago. I had to feed her and Panic Embryo roast chicken, roast potatoes and veggies (they brought the pud) as a bribe. She tells me I look like Stevie Nicks (before the drugs says Bete) with my new curly hair style, but I wouldn't know. She HASN'T LET ME SEE THEM YET!!!! Keep an eye on her Flickr site (convenient link here on my blog) and soon you will all have an idea what the Charmy looks like - hmmm... stalkers to follow shortly I guess?
Well, it's ten minutes to home time so I'm going to pack up and leave shortly. But before I go I want to state here and now that if I have offended anyone with this post. Tough luck.
Monday, August 11, 2008
So it turns out that amongst my lurkers I have one (actually many) who never comments, has no compliments to pass on by email and has never acknowledged that they read my blog. Well, that is the nature of lurkers and what on earth would we do for readers if we excluded lurkers. However, this lurker was kind enough to contact the relative in Dubai who's wife I was ranting about and I believe the expression that may apply here includes the words shit and fan. I was asked by the relative to delete the blog and whilst it goes against much of what I'm trying to achieve here, I have done that for him. If it bothered him that this post existed then it's the least I can do. At least I heard from a relative who never contacts me and that was nice in itself. I do want to point out here that I am deleting the post because I played the player and not the ball. I apologize for the hurt that was caused by the person being harranged about having to read the rant on the advice of a well-meaning "friend", I'm sure that I would hate to read something like that about myself. I disliked the behaviour not the person and should have remembered to make them unidentifiable.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Ok so in the interests of brevity and because I can't think of much to say today, here's what I got: Oops - if I forget to list your present please do drop me an email and I'll add it by postscript,
- A beeeyoootiful print of one of Betenoir's photographs - it's a seagull about to take off - or maybe it's landing? - I love, love, love it. I am planning to own lots of her work - now I just need the Pavilion print, the "Waiting" print.....(are you taking notes Bete dear?) it is printed on canvas and was one of those pics that was shown at a recent exhibition of her work - at a real art gallery!!! Proud Mommy Moment here people.
- Scrumptious toffees covered in dark chocolate - from Betenoir - eaten I'm afraid
- An excellent CD - a fab mix of new stuff (I have never heard that is) from the Bete
- Body Shop Brazil Nut Cream Body Wash - from Panic Embryo - Betenoirs gorgeous hunk of a sweetie pie man - Erm... Panic sweetie dahling if you are reading this - you too have some excellent photographic work I would like to own. Apart from the stuff I already mentioned on Sunday, could you also think about the one with the slightly ragged washing hanging on the line - B&W one???? hmmmmm?????
- Lindt Dark Chocolate, also from Panic Embryo - haven't eaten it yet - showing much control here people (also the nausea from what I have already eaten is slowing me down a bit)
- A book from Principessa - Very funny indeed.
- A rather posh white fake croc wallet with a buckle on it from Moony Moonbeam - I will use it to impress when I have real money - mostly I use my debit card which is very raggedy and sad-looking and a very impressive Gold Card which smokes it's so overworked.
- A very huge Designer Make Up Purse - you could be forgiven if you thought it was a handbag - from my Aunt - who thinks that I should keep all my make up in one place (I have three make up bags full)
- Money - from my mom of course - she knows what I really need hey?
- Chocolate - Lindt Poire Intense - from my mom - eaten already - urgh - that is a greenish tinge you see around my gills
- A bunch of Freesias with the longest stems I've ever seen - Mom too.
- A Woollies gift card thingy - from Dubai cousin & her mom Graneevonnie - I am still in the planning stages of how it will be spent - maybe it will join forces with my mom's money and buy me lotsa stuff
- A hot pink enormous bag for the beach from La Lue - very sexy and totally perfect for other stuff too.
- The biggest candle I've ever seen - Ylang Ylang scented - from my boet, Billie the Kid.
- A bottle of red wine (I wonder how he knew?) from Billie the Kid
- More books - from my Aunt (the make up purse one) including but not limited to Spud - The Madness Continues - by John van der Ruit - Yaaaaay!!!!!!!
I think that is about the lot? Sadly, I continue to long for my Roman Holiday and the Japanese shopping trip isn't happening. All my other longings are unrequited, and I am still burning my fingers on my non-GHD hot iron.
Sorry if you thought that I was going to tell you the names of my laundry maid, butler, chauffeur, ladies in waiting and chef - until further notice their work will all be attended to by a certain Charmskool. Er sorry - the butlering is done by Hobie who has been answering my front door for the past 8 years odd - the visitors rather like the part where he sniffs their butts and leaves his hair on their clothes. Lola Claudine is currently on trial as a lady in waiting, I'm quite pleased considering she's had no training and not that many scruffy Maltese dogs with dreadlocks ever make it in this field.
Gustopher the Senegal parrot will, as usual, take the part of the grumpy man in my life - unless Joburg hunk wants to visit Cape Town and not wait for my irregular visits?
Oh and here's a p.s. to my wish list & a recommendation to anyone who loves great nail colours - for next birthday - but the list will do for Christmas - you have 4 months to start saving towards the Roman Holiday - OPI nail polish in Russian Navy and Caviar & Vodka - hot, hot colours. I'm wearing the Caviar and Vodka now and had Russian Navy on last week. Thanks Petra Nail Lady. And as for Euphoria by Calvin Klein - still top of the smells I like on my body list.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
You have obviously worked out from this self-absorbed waffle that I am a Leo and whether you subscribe to the theory that sun signs have certain characteristics or not is up to you, but if I don't attribute my need for attention and adoration by my friends, family and subjects to my sun sign then I would simply be a rather self-centred, luxury-loving, attention-seeking sybarite and I'm not that at all. I'm simply a princess living in a world where princesses are not always recognised for the value they bring to their world. I'm the sweet, adorable kitten version of the Leo and not the roaring, man-eating lion-type - well, unless you really stand very hard on my tail - then just stay out of reach of my claws for a day or two and buy me some catnip to distract me.
However, in my usual fashion, I digress!
I am now going to list, in a simple and easy to store/copy into your notebooks for ease of reference fashion,my wish list for birthday presents - a trick I learned from my sweet Betenoir. However, my list will only include items I am pretty sure I will not be getting from anyone. (I will however follow that with the really short list of the presents I am likely to receive). My mom told me that a good girl never ever asks for presents, and I must NEVER ask for presents from anyone, and that's why all the bad girls get the huge diamonds, the fur coats (not that I'd wear one I'm an animal lover), the Mercedes sports cars, ......while us good girls - well, we get vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, tumble driers, washing machines, cosy pyjamas, books, cd's etc. Incidentally, that rather prosaic list of gifts that good girls get.... you guessed it .......those are all gifts I have received from my two husbands. Actually, except for the coffee maker, they are all gifts I received from husband no. 2 (a Leo himself - so he should know better).
Here's the list - in no particular order of preference:
- A two week stay in Tokyo, preferably in the Harajuku district, so I can go shopping at all the designer stores, jewellery stores, shoe stores, toy stores, stores, stores, stores. This gift should, of course, come complete with a platinum credit card and unlimited credit or there is no point in the gift in the first place.
- The largest bottle ever made of Calvin Klein Euphoria perfume (I'll settle for eau de toilette if I get the matching body lotion. Actually, I don't know whether I should think of this gift as unachievable, the universe may hear me and just give up on me for thinking too small.
- A trip to Italy for a month, for two, so Bonni can come with me, and of course the platinum card would join us for the entire month. The gift should include Business Class travelling costs, hotels, car hire etc
- A simply wonderful, perfect, all bells and whistles camera and as many lessons that it takes from the best photography teacher till I can take acceptable pictures with it.
- A lifetime supply of Jimmy Choos
- A leather doctors couch for my lounge (Hobie leaves hair on fabric)
- Cobblestone paving for my garden and beautiful olde fashioned wrought iron furniture to be tucked in the little garden rooms and nooks and crannies because:
- The services of the best landscape designer to make the garden of my dreams, complete with the plants, pots, water features etc that will be needed
- A butler
- A full-time chef
- A laundry maid
- A lady-in-waiting - NOPE - make that at least three ladies-in-waiting - what kind of princess only has one lady-in-waiting.
- A gorgeous handsome man who thinks that I am the most beautiful, shapely, funny, clever, kind, passionate and all round wonderful woman he has ever met, who dotes on me and is at the same time protective, funny, strong, clever and so wealthy that it makes your eyes water just to think about that big a number.
- As much plastic surgery as I deem it necessary I need to whatever body part that needs it and the most perfect results ever seen.
- Lipstick that stays on all day that isn't that dry gross strange stuff that they make at the moment, and also while it's staying on all day it makes my lips as full as Angelina's.
- A laptop that is so good that I can even play computer games on it. One that is the fastest, strongest, cleverest, most up-to-date with all the bells and whistles that any laptop can have, and strangely, it's as light as a feather (yeah really).
- A chauffeur.
- Good health (well I thought I'd throw one in that I would have to get from my Creator)
- A platinum card with a limitless amount of credit that magically pays itself in full at the end of every month.
- A beach chair that doesn't make my back sore
- Ditto for a bed - Ooooo yes a new bed
Now here's what I will get for my birthday:
shower gel, bath gel, body lotion, maybe a cd, chocolates (like I should be eating chocolates!), more bath gel, maybe a strange plastic dish (from my aunt), some cash (my mom knows what makes me tick), more body lotion.
How do I know this? Because it's what I've been getting for years for my birthday. I am divorced from husband number 2 or this year I would be getting a new kettle - mine's sprung a leak - or if he was feeling especially flush, a food processor.
Toodle pip all and have a lovely weekend!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
10 Things I would rather be doing right now
1. Drinking coffee with Bonni my fave rave cousin in Jozie - at any place she chooses and doing nothing but watching the world go by.
2. Sitting at a pavement cafe anywhere in Rome doing the same with the same person.
3. Lying on the beach (Queens Beach) in summer
4. Reading Spud the Madness Continues by John Van Der Ruit and eating pretzels.
5. Drinking red wine and lazing around at Brazza with my friend La Lue for the entire afternoon and evening - eating whatever she picks - she's got impeccable food smarts.
6. Trying on shoes - anywhere, any place, any time.
7. Testing perfume and buying every single one I like (ok this assumes that I have suddenly become immensely wealthy by some quirk of fate).
8. Sitting around drinking anything and chatting to Kyknoord - no time constraints for this one - he is just so much fun and the cleverest person on the planet!
9. Trawling around the shops in Harajuku or anywhere else in Tokyo or Osaka or even Sapporo with Betenoir my perfectly wonderful daughter.
10. Snoozing in the perfect sunbeam I know is falling exactly right on my comfy sofa in my lounge right this minute.
Ok so that's one list done.
7 Quirky things I haven't yet told you about myself
Hmmm this one is less easy - I am not all that quirky mwhahahahaha
1. I am obsessive about "stuff" and need everything to be exactly where I put it and all lined up, but I have the untidiest desk and I have a cupboard in my flat which I regularly throw into total disorder to find stuff and then slam the door on all that mess as if it wasn't there at all.
2. I often don't answer the telephone because I hate it so much.
3. I buy groceries that I don't use because I panic if my food cupboard is empty - then I sit and admire the full shelves and feel calm for a bit.
4. I adore being a mum but would hate to have more than one child.
5. I lived in a house that had a ghost and he used to keep me company when my ex left me alone with the baby and went to the pub. The ghost and I watched tv together. The ghost still lives there - my brother lives in the same house and I occasionally catch a glimpse of him (the ghost silly, not my brother).
6. I have conversations with all sorts of people I have never met in real life - in my head - not out loud I'm not crazy you know.
7. I love making my friend Principessa laugh. She has a tendency to be very serious and grown-up at times and I love seeing her collapse in a heap of giggles when I demonstrate some of my less dignified behaviours for her.
and here's a bonus:
8. I hardly ever swear in public but often swear at the newsreaders on tv and talk radio and such when they misuse, mispronounce or just mangle the english language.
and my favourite one is the extra performance bonus you have all earned for being such good readers:
9. My nickname in my last year in high school was given to me by our English teacher (she worked part-time at our school and lectured at UCT the rest of the time) - I was called the "Premier Grammarian". I am inordinately proud of that one. Ok I'll admit my one and only fault (mwahaha) I am incredibly pedantic at times.
Here's another list - bear with me it's really short
Stuff on the back seat of my car
One copy of an out of date Big Issue.
That's all - I told you I was obsessively neat - the map book is in the pocket at the back of the passenger seat and all the other stuff is neatly packed in the glove box/cubbyhole. I hide all my cd's - thanks Bete baby for all the lovely compilations - I love Indie music - in the special drawers under the seats.
Tuttie bye all you little diddy people that's all for today.
Monday, July 21, 2008
So, all I have done in the last two weeks is watch daytime tv - well actually daytime tv is so putrid most of the time and DSTV floods you with repeat after repeat so I actually just slept on the couch in front of the tv. And I read Spud by John van der Ruit - stunning!!! By the way I realised that boys (and by extension men) are bizarre.
And ate sweets and biscuits till the maternal one visited and confiscated them - the cheek of it - she took away my sweeties and gave me a lecture about sugar and flour and caffeine (I drank about 6 gallons of tea). She may have been right - my pants feel a trifle tight around the middle this morning.
Oh yes and I watched daily episodes of a fabulous programme on Animal Planet called Monkey Business. I guess that this was probably a repeat of the series (knowing DSTV) but for me it was a first and really worth it.
Wow am I boring or what?
I was going to tell you stuff about myself that you don't know but I guess that can wait for another day. Well.....maybe a teaser or two to tantalise you....?
I am commitment-phobic and the thought of being in a relationship with anyone fills me with fear and trembling - maybe it's those two failed marriages?
I have skin that is as white as snow and soft as velvet and look like a blonde snow white in winter and then when I get two minutes of sun in summer I go brown as a berry within days. It really pisses of most of the people I know.
I am a shoe addict. I absolutely love shoes and have dozens of pairs each in their own see-through plastic box with little sachets of that stuff that shlurps up damp that they put in pill bottles. I have so many pairs of shoes that I am thinking of having a special shoe cupboard built as they take up the bottom half of my built-in cupboard and have an entire wall alongside the cupboard for the overflow. I actually don't know how many pairs I have, and have many that I have only worn once or twice.
I make jewellery by the ton - especially large noisy bracelets and chunky necklaces and can't sneak up on anyone because of the jingling. I make loads of jewellery to sell, but then can't part with it so have to make double so I can have my own copy of the piece I'm selling. I make jewellery for colleagues and friends - especially for weddings etc and get performance anxiety before I make every piece.
I was abused as a child (physically not sexually so don't start fretting about my sex life) by my nanny and had a fear of oats porridge for most of my life - maybe one day I'll explain that one.
I have a brother I adore and a sister who I don't adore. She bit me when I was a newborn baby and she's been doing similar one way or another ever since.
I am the world's biggest chatterbox and generally there is lots of laughter around my conversations although I have been accused of being very wise - my daughter sends friends with problems to talk to me - I have that child so well brain-washed she thinks her mom is smart. Cool hey? But talk the hind leg of a donkey I will - except when I'm around a certain Italian man I have known since I was in high school - around him I am reduced to a burbling, mumbling idiot who keeps saying stuff like "so how are you?" "you are looking well" over and over again. Sad, sad fool ...... well in my defence the man is HOT and Italian and kind of connected if you know what I mean.
That's enough for now. More when I have the time and the inspiration - I hope you are all still going to read my rubbish and that the absence hasn't been just what you were waiting for.
Oh yes, I imagine I am a fantastic singer and belt out jazz and ballads at the top of my lungs when the feeling takes me - not always when I'm alone in the bathroom either. It scares the doodie out of the folks in the cars next to me at the traffic lights I reckon.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
News 24 has been a source of giggles in no small measure.
The headline that caught my attention was the highjacked vehicle found in a living room. Yep you read that right someone parked a stolen vehicle in their living room. Or their lounge if you are not so very posh. Holy macaroni! I thought I had heard just about everything but that's a good 'un. Ok it's not as good as all that, the living room had a wall on hinges (omigoshalooly did I just say that without falling on the floor laughing?) and the whole wall opened up and behind the real-looking windows and curtains etc - was parked - one Toyota Runx.
I am impressed at the ingenuity.
I almost feel that if some dude goes to the trouble of building a whole fake room in a house with walls that open out on hinges then he should maybe get to keep the car. Of course I hope that the car gives him endless mechanical problems and keeps leaking oil on his living room carpet, but he can keep it! Just think, if he stole my Hyundai Atos he would only need to build such a teensy guest toilet to hide it in.
Motorcycles could be hidden in built-in cupboards.
Then, if that wasn't funny enough the next headline said that Jacob Zuma says he is not guilty. He goes on to state that he is not even HALF-guilty. Yup, I guess a man who can protect himself from HIV Aids by having a shower - bloody hell I can't even get rid of a cold with a shower - can be guilty by fraction. Or not guilty by a fraction as the case may be.
I got to wondering how he came up with the half-guilty option. Did he, by omission, admit to being perhaps one third guilty? Or maybe just a quarter? One fifth? I am now alleging stuff and I do apologize to JZ if he indeed is only one tenth guilty. It does make it easier to accept that he may be fractionally guilty, than not guilty at all doesn't it?
I'm starting to think that JZ as president may be just what we need in this country. After all, crime won't go down that much in the near future unless we change much more than just our president, neither will unemployment, the petrol price, the cost of electricity, pollution, DSTV, a whole host of stuff - but at least he'll have us all falling about with laughter on a daily basis. That and a good walk daily should help the constant depression.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
But there are days when it really is just too hard to think of something scintillating to say so you are stuck with my day thus far.
I fell asleep on the couch last night and forgot to go to bed. Well, I didn't forget, so much as neglect, to go to bed. It's all the fault of Eskom - they keep insisting we turn off all uneccessary lights and I did just that which left me in the dark on the couch and snoozing turned into the next morning. I have to say, in my defence, Wednesday night tv, including DSTV is Dire! I would rather have tea with my MD than stay awake through that.
Then I woke up more confused than normal (my Maltese was sleeping on my head) and found that I had overslept for an hour and a half. Nonetheless, I fed my dogs, gave my parrot his share of parroty treats and made my oats with seeds and raisins as if I had all day. And I made myself a nice cheese sandwich with fresh bread. I just don't do hurried. I was late for work and had to sneak in on the slipstream of the tea lady's trolley. It was undignified and uncomfortable and I bumped into my manager who gave me the speculative look of a boss who's planning your next performance appraisal. Aw shit - yet another 3.5 and no increase ahead.
When I got to my desk, someone had raided my coffee pot and there was only one cup of coffee left for me. My coffee pot people! Raided and left almost empty. This day has been going downhill steadily since last night!
To add to all this sad horribleness is the fact that my office is situated next to the stoep/balcony/veranda where the smokers go to smoke. This "office" is a well-lit all glass, fishbowl and has the most powerful air conditioning unit in the building with only one temperature - winter or summer - freezing. The fresh air intake for this aircon - you guessed it - is just above the smokers balcony. So by lunchtime my eyes are watering, my nose is running and I have a sore throat and smoking headache and eyes like a serious ganja queen. Today, it's raining and cold and wet on the smokers' balcony. This is no form of deterrent for smokers; so, in and out they go like a tinkers whatsit (there goes another as I write this) and every time they open the door all the papers on my desk lift and flap and land on the floor. I have on a suede jacket, a woolly scarf, a sweater, a cardigan, thick socks and a rain hat! Plus this mornings original sweater and skirt and boots underneath all that. I meant to wear something else, but the something else seems to have shrunk! I plan on taking some of this clothing off when I go to my car - I'll be a bit warm in the outdoors.
At lunch, my hurriedly made sandwich fell apart and the cheese landed on the floor.
I forgot to say: on the way to the office from my car this morning my expensive umbrella blew inside out and my hair got soaked - now it has the frizzies and for some reason my knee hurts. I probably injured my knee creeping through the reception behind the tea trolley.
I could manage this all with my usual Charmy calm - but my faithful Principessa is going out to dinner and won't be meeting me after work for our usual post work drinkies so I'll have to deal with my depression sober.
So I'm off home shortly (I plan on sneaking out behind one of the fat girls - some of them are double-wides) and I'm going to take drugs! and drink a lot! so there.......
Friday, June 13, 2008
She was born in Johannesburg at the turn of the last century (I'm guessing because she habitually lied about - or just wouldn't tell - about her age).
The daughter of an immigrant who came from a place in Germany called Memel (which no longer exists or has been sold to defray expenses). Her immigrant father started out life as a smous complete with a tray on straps and ended up a friend of Paul Kruger and owned a town which was named after his wife and which later ended up with a name that although it sounded triumphant was in fact quite shameful. Enough clues there? More information can be found at the Apartheid Museum I'm told. This is not a work of fiction but I don't have to spell it all out to you do I?
After the Anglo Boer War (the second one of course) my great-grandfather left South Africa - apparently he couldn't / wouldn't live here under the Brits - and went to Germany. It is rumoured that he was the person who transported the famed Kruger Millions out of the country and family history has it that the British soldiers arrived at their house shortly after he had left (wife and children were still here and were to follow him later on) and dug up the floors etc searching for said Millions. Natch they weren't found and I sure don't have them!
So my Ouma lived in Germany and England as a girl, wore ermine-trimmed cloaks and bonnets trimmed with guipure lace, had a governess and had her picture taken by the German Royal Court Photographer. The family later returned to South Africa and my grandmother went to a convent school where she learned useful stuff like embroidery, singing, painting etc.
Whatever her education and her early life she ended up the funniest woman I have ever known from a family of very funny women. She had cousins who could start you laughing at breakfast and keep you in hysterics till bedtime.
My Oumie was definitely NOT a linguist but this never stood in her way. She always spoke to her domestic in Afrikaans - she couldn't actually speak Afrikaans, but she just made it up as she went along and the domestics never ever laughed either. They probably thought she was talking Russian. She knew a smattering of Yiddish - most of which she twisted and abused and used the rudest of the rude words at the most inopportune moments. She made up words that we all thought were real and gave us what she insisted were the "dictionary" definitions if she was challenged. To this day my family ALL use sayings and words that my Ouma simply introduced as unassailably part of the english/afrikaans/yiddish/german/french language. Incidentally she learnt French at the convent school and my Oupa* always said that the nuns should have refunded the money they never earned.
She had a nickname which had been shortened to Goon or Goonnie which came from the Zulu word for mouse - she was deathly afraid of mice - and had been given to her by the workers on their farm (more in a later post).
She was a lady to her kidskin gloved fingertips but could be utterly vulgar with the sweetest most innocent smile on her face.
She refused to eat, wear, drink or contemplate anything which was not imported. She simply got urticaria and bumps from anything that didn't come from France, Germany, Switzerland, England etc.
She was my shopping mentor and could spend the day (with me in tow) finding the perfect pair of gloves, or having her french-made corset and bras fitted by a special bra-fitter. Her corsetry was like a suit of armour and it was all linked together by a series of teeny hooks and covered with silk french knickers and cami's. Pinching my Ouma's butt was pretty much impossible. Bumping into her could give you bruises and she had the best posture - who can slouch with that much whalebone! She told me that ladies never counted their change - a rule I followed faithfully for years - till I realised she made it up because she never had any idea what amount she should be getting - those nuns had a lot to answer for.
Apart from mice, she was absolutely fearless - she once was accosted by a snake - in her living room (or was it the drawing room - no I jest - it was the lounge). She beat the poor reptile to an early death. With a FLYSWATTER.
Once, during one of those holidays where the entire family was staying over at my grandparents' house, my aunt was passing by their bedroom door where my Oupie was giving my Oumie a rather passionate goodnight kiss - auntie heard my Ouma's clear and beautiful voice saying "Alec stoppit! The children will think their mother is a prostitute!"
She took up smoking in her 70's because she felt she needed a hobby and thought it would look stylish if she smoked - whilst turning out dainty little pastel drawings!
Oh I am so lucky to have known this fabulous lady! And she had 3 daughters who are all eccentric delightful dames in their own right.
*My Oupa was a remarkable linguist and learned languages with frightening ease. He was a phenomenal man and I will tell you about him one day too.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
A million men - in South Africa you are going to find a million men to march for anything other than increased wages, housing or lost public holidays? Not likely eh?
A well-intentioned Desmond Dube, spurred on by the murder of Lucky Dube, no relative, and the rape and shooting of his (Desmond's) neighbours 9 year-old daughter, and various other everyday crime occurrences (everyday for us South Africans that is) decided that he had to do something about it. He thought he would fashion a march of a million men just like in the USA to make a statement about how we have had enough of the crime in this country.
Wow, and they all gathered in Pretoria today (some thousands) and handed over their memorandum or whatever to the government.
Weeelll, according to News24 the turnout was disappointing, and, naturally Thabo Mbeki did not appear. Now, I hate to sound like a Negative Nellie, but Folks, what in Hasoos' name did you expect?
Most South Africans understand that you can march till your shoes have no soles but the chances of crime being dealt a blow by our government as a result of your protests - not happening people!
In order to fight crime we would have to change our National psyche I think. More of us would have to have respect for each other. We would have to be law-abiding in every aspect of our lives. D'ya geddit? We would not speed along the freeway only slowing down at the cameras. We would never buy goods from the pavement hawker that are half the price of the supermarket's stock (eww how old is most of that shit anyway?). Our neighbours wouldn't buy electronic equipment that fell off the back of a truck (it's probably their colleagues' that was stolen last week). No, we would not pad our insurance claims and get the panel beater to factor in our excess. We would exercise self-discipline and we would allow our schools to discipline our children (no they don't have to beat the little buggers, just discipline them and expel them if they won't shape up). We would discipline our children at home too and we would stop buying them everything they believe they need to keep up with their peers. We would pick up our rubbish and fight back every chance we have.
Our politicians would be honest, unbribable and accountable. Our policemen would be numerous, tough, fair, and trustworthy. We would appear in court as witnesses and lay charges when asked to by the Police and not decide that it's not worth spending the day in court.
And we would definitely have a Million People's March. Please, Desmond, next time remember, we are an equal opportunity nation of victims.
So, I've had my rant, but having said all that I've said, I still believe that with a Government as indifferent to the daily abuses of the average South African as ours is - we have a long way to go sisters.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
BUT, consider just how depressed all those pensioners and other victims of his activities are feeling.
He has helped himself to huge amounts (oops Allegedly) of pension funds of Widows and Orphans. Now come on Artie old feller - widder wimen and orphings! You left them destitute without a single twinge of conscience old man.
Did your greed know no bounds? And off to Australia raced your wife and kids so that she couldn't be arrested. Apparently a warrant for her arrest was issued - now I do understand that Australia is where all convicts used to be sent, but should she not have waited till she was indeed convicted.
All those houses and all that excess. Did you need to steal and misspend it all?
Apparently you did.
So, Arthur J Brown, go ahead and be depressed - frankly you deserve to be really down in the dumps old chum.
I hope that you don't get to serve one of those "soft" sentences that they reserve for white collar felons. House arrest and a bit of community service and a large fine won't do it. Nope, I think the worst that Pohlsmoor has to offer should fit you like a glove.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Extreme horror, extreme magic and extreme laziness.
I'll deal with the horror and get it out of the way for you. I, will never quite get over the horror, in fact I believe I may have post traumatic stress disorder.
See, I went onto an Internet dating site - YES Kyknoord I know we agreed that this is the best way to meet psychopaths and stalkers but I have this sad streak of hopefulness that makes me forget and try again. So I did. OK? And I had a bunch of immediate hits. Now this should have warned me that there were some desperate dudes out there just a-waitin' for a purty gal to come along but did I take heed? Naaah of course not. And when the dude with the funniest mails to me didn't have a photo attached to his profile - was I suspicious - well a little but I thought maybe he was weeding out the shallow ones. So we built up a nice rapport we did. And then on Friday morning he said "would you like me to send you a photo of myself?". I thought: "Goodee he's not afraid of letting me see what he looks like" and said "Yes puleeez". Arghhh help me Haysoos! He had the most nauseating looks I've seen in many a decade. Complete with COMB OVER!!!!!!! I'm really not a shallow girl and all the folks who know me know I don't set much store by handsome, but too scary to look at is another thing completely. Going to dinner with him would be out of the question. It would be the equivalent to taking a picnic basket to a multi car pile-up with many fatalities and eating ones' sandwiches whilst watching the paramedics save their lives and such. Oh lordy when will I learn.
The up-side (as such) is that he lives in Joburg - the down side is he is nice and I have to think of a kind way to let him down. Serves me right. My friend Principessa says it serves him right because he saw my picture first and should have known that I would reject him. She is a funny woman.
The sublimely magical part of the weekend - a visit to Artscape to see the Merry Widow - a wonderful production by the Cape Town Ballet Company with a stupendous Latvian Male dancer in the principal male role and a fabulous local lass as the prima ballerina. Names of course all forgotten. I won't go on and on about it but the dancing was magical and the live orchestra stupendous and the choreography brilliant!
Coffee and hot fries with mayo followed at a Sea Point Coffee bar - not the thing of dreams but good for a bedtime dose of indigestion.
I spent the day on Saturday with my wonderful BFF La Lue who is an inspirationally "glass always almost full" kind of girl. We ate super lunch together (thanks to Woolworths) including the good red wine, and did a little shopping and more food and drinks and such and lots of giggles and .....well just great.
Lazy - ah yes - I spent the entire day on Sunday, lying around in my jammies watching tv and drinking coffee. I ended the day with a superb venison stew - made it myself from scratch I did - soaked the venison in red wine till it fell off the bones.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I saw that the bus was marked Police and then saw that there were policemen inside the bus shepherding the littlies off the bus and into school and then the pain of it all really hit me!
These were small children who had spent the night in terror and had no idea why; who may no longer have a place to call home; who will see fear in their parents eyes and know they are not safe anywhere. I can't even imagine how it must feel for a 7-year-old child to be sitting in school after a night like that and what is in their minds as the teacher carries on with the day.
I admit I cried.
I will also admit that for the first time since the fall of Apartheid I once again felt ashamed to be South African.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Thankfully, there are a few really good medical practitioners in Cape Town who don't have this defeatist attitude and after two long years I was well enough to work again and although I admit that my AA+ personality-type is now more like a C- and I tire easily I can work a 10 to 12 hour day with the best of them.
Now I know that "frankly my dear we don't give a damn" is what you are all thinking and I'm with you on that, but here's what is pissing me off:
The damn disease has recurred (apparently it'll do that if you get too smug about the whole thing) and although I've got it under control (with the wonderful, albeit expensive help of Dr G who is a GP and homeopath) I do some days tend to look and feel a little on deadish side.
OK bear with me now I am getting to the point - slowly - remember I have CFIDS - what really has ticked me off this morning - and in fact ticks me off most days - is how the general public views this horrible, life-ruining, fun-sapping, drink-restricting, food-limiting scourge!
"oh you have yuppie flu" they explain to me, with what appears to be scorn, and then kind of brush me off with a look that says if only you'd be less of a clothes-horse and have ugly hair and wear cheap perfume and stop buying all those shoes, you would recover your health (which is only mildly compromised anyway fool - it's just the flu!). Well, here are a few facts:
NO I am not a yuppie, never have been, don't even like BMW's! I buy my jeans at Woolworths and shop at factory shops.
And for the last time you @#%*$ it is NOT the flu. I have Cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr Syndrome, Toxoplasmosis and a few other nasty little devils. My liver just ain't what it used to be (and as a wine lover I can promise you this in itself is Hell).
Today I read a post on a very funny blog - the writer said her housemate suggested that because she is always sleepy she probably has CFS - her response was along the lines of "I ain't that cool or that deluded dude".
Well, just for the record - most of us CFIDS sufferers are always exhausted but sleep not only doesn't help, we are almost all insomniacs. To whit, last night I fell asleep on the couch for an hour (we don't concentrate too well so TV will do that to us) woke up and couldn't sleep again till 4.00 am when I managed 2 hours - then I had to get up for work. That just isn't cool and it doesn't help that I am running a low-grade fever, have a headache, upset stomach, sore throat and feel like what I scrape into the poop scoop every other day when I clean up behind my garden after my dogs (ok my mom comes to visit most days and does it before I get home from work - what can I say some mothers are truly angels!) but here I am, behind my desk, lipstick in place, hair all a-gleam (love my new haircut hairdresser angel) and dressed in my best non-designer Woolworths/monsieur price/factory shop best and looking forward to the wine auction I'm attending tonight.
So, next time some poor soul tells you they have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or worse, Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (that means every bug you bring to work - we catch it - you carry on unscathed) don't brush them off with an attitude that says "your lifestyle, your problem" go fetch them some herbal tea and show a little sympathy - they will love you forever and help out next time you are not coping with YOUR workload.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
My BFF told me the other day that she had read an article that said that guys don't realise when a woman is openly flirting with them and giving them the come-on, that they are supposed to respond in kind, apparently this goes straight over their poor little heads, however, when a woman is friendly and open and natural with a man, this they take to be heavy-duty flirting and think that the poor girl is just dying for their bods. Now how in the world am I supposed to cope with that piece of information.
Then there are the people that say things like: "you should really start dating again/ Why don't you find someone and settle down/Don't you want to be married again?". Now how in hell am I supposed to find this "someone". I'm too old for clubs, too young for bowls and trawling the pubs for alcoholics isn't really all it's cracked up to be. Then, of course, there is the question of my invisibility; Harry Potter isn't the only kid on the block with an invisibility cloak. The difference is that I don't need to put mine on. Apparently it's a permanent fixture on a woman of a certain age. Or is my mirror lying to me and I'm so ugly that they just aren't going to ask me out ever!. Of course, I could find myself a feller on the Internet, except I have met one or two of them - I had to change my name, move to a different town and learn to deal with stalkers - those chaps are, in the main, pretty odd. Or I could date those 26 year-olds who leer at me longingly, who think I will pick up the tab for dinner before I take them home to my bed and ravish the living daylights out of them, all the while giving them tips on technique and such.
Changing the subject, why on earth do people crawl up the centre lane of Eastern Boulevard in the morning at 50km/hr and then when you change to the left hand lane to get past them (the right hand lane being the domain of the crazed Cape Town minibus taxi drivers and not safe for anyone except those chaps with stainless steel balls in their Mercedes Benzes and BMW's) they speed up to 120km/hr and try to cut in front of you in the left hand lane?
Here's a thought, how come smokers get paid the same salary as I do, but they spend 10 to 20 minutes every hour on the balcony smoking whilst I work? How do they get their work done? Why can't I stand on the balcony and gaze into the middle distance for 10 minutes every hour without being challenged by some busybody manager?
Why do I compulsively answer all emails practically as they enter my inbox, whilst the recipients of my emails ignore me for days?
Meh? Should I care about any of this? Should you care?
One last question, why do I always fall asleep during the tv programmes I want to watch but stay awake during those long and boring shows on how the British Army counted grains of sand in the desert during WW2?
To add to the empty head, someone somewhere in the office is having a birthday and there is this loud bunch of ladies (the men have hidden away - they don't do singing) singing happy birthday to you and all sorts of free-form additional verses about God blessing the birthday girl/boy with all sorts of good stuff. I could give a crap! Bah humbug - the quack who treats my chronic fatigue syndrome (I'm pretty sure it's body weariness from too many years of hardcore smoking and parties and having an A-type personality - or else it's terminal boredom) won't allow me to eat cake so I could care less that there's a birthday going on here.
Ah hell, turns out it's one of our little learners (we have a training scheme here for post-matrics) and he's turning 21 and I wished him happy birthday and gave him one of my best twinkling smiles - you know the kind - with little stars that gleam in my green eyes and all my straight white teeth gleaming and blinking in the sunlight - totally false - but he'd never know that. Apparently I twinkle when I smile - it's a defense mechanism - if the recipients knew what a cynical grudge I really am they'd have the sense to run and keep going till they couldn't see me for dust.
So this unimaginative, dull, unhelpful load of bollocks is my first attempt at a blog. There was I hoping to rise to the occasion with social comment and wit that would fill you with hope for the future and wisdom for the day. Instead all I can think about is: will the hummus (made it myself), carrots, apple and 3 dry rye Finn Crisps (mmm I wonder if they will pay me for the free advertising) is going to cheer me up enough to get me through the afternoon. Did I mention my job is incredibly trying and I'm becoming world class at work evasion techniques?