Showing posts from January, 2014

Coming to terms with terminology

So last night I learnt how to hit a new cricket bat in.  You can have it done in the store where you purchase it but Nic wants his hit in right to the very edge and no store goes that close to the edge.  So year in and out he does it. 

He has a cricket ball hanging from some rope above our garage door and when he gets a new bat he stands there for hours day in and out hitting the ball so that it compacts the bat all over. 

Yesterday, given the level of sport and homework he has, I suggested we purchase the mallet from Sportsmans Warehouse which is especially designed for this purpose. 

So Nic got home and started knocking and knocking and knocking with the mallet.  And I kept shouting "come in".  Not really.  Then he did some whacking the hanging ball outside.  Then he had homework and so I took over the knocking in as he needs the bat.  A lesson followed on exactly how hard I need to hit it. Apparently hard but not "moer method".  The areas that the mallet MUST touch…

Thank you and more thank you

Gratitude journal ..... Good time to start one .... I have over the years done it ... But somehow never lasts more than a couple of months .. Which does not mean I have nothing to write down ... Just forget.

A friend who has relocated to Cape Town added beautifully to my pen collection recently when she travelled to London and then she got me a gorgeous little journal to go with it ... And I knew what it should be used for.

From past journals I know that some days I filled a page with all the great blessings from that day but on other days it was such a bad day I battled to think clearly to focus on something.

This week there have been many things that made me smile and feel blessed ..... Birthday celebrations with loved ones .... Gifts that were chosen with great thought .... Finding everything Jess needed for restaurant service at Academy ... One of the nicest Tuesdays I can remember in a while ..a best friend who reads me like a book ... Good and bad days ..... And lectures me when…

Cafe + 41 = a little slice of heaven


My son asked me yesterday when we were there, if the number pertained to something specific.   I did not know, and when I was there today, I forgot to ask.  
The 41 I am speaking of belongs very nicely behind the word Cafe, and I am referring to the very delectable Cafe 41 in Groenkloof.  Beautifully tucked into a popular little plaza opposite the LCM Hospital, its chic wrought iron furniture, longer couches, upper class "street cafe" outside seating and cooler inside seating make it a popular choice amongst diners and coffee drinkers .... any hour of the day. 
Not many places begin their menu with their coffee-offerings.  This to a coffee-holic like me, is like honey to a bee.  There is an extremely vast range and the different strengths and types are clearly laid out on the thick glossy menu you are offered.  Cafe 41 is one of the rare places in Pretoria that understands 2 things ...... when I say cappuccino with foam and it must be strong, it is, and for the 1st time in a…

Abs. Abdominal Bench. The Circuit. And Me.

"So", says Solomon with great enthusiasm ~ "sit down on this piece and put your hands on the handles with your elbows resting here at 90 degrees".  He moves the pin in the weights.  "Ok", he continues, "now I want you to bend over forward and then come back up, it works your abs".  Now at this stage the area of my body where my abs are (I am positive they are in there somewhere, they must be) have contacted the brain and requested that a Code Red be sounded.  Exercising?  I was almost as excited as my body was traumatised.   So back and forward I went while Solomon counted the repetitions.  When he saw I was waning, he was quick to tell me that the round was almost finished and that even if I go a little slower, I must finish the repetitions.   I must eat cheesecake was my immediate thought.  And so I did. Finish the repetitions, not eat the cheesecake!   After all, if I can gradually make myself drink the whey protein shake, then I can do the d…

The Scale. The Seeds. And me

So there it lay.  In black and white.  Well actually black and blue.  Blood tests are black print. Blue background.  Those numbers.  That Christmas eating come back to haunt me.  The chocolates, the sweets, the "all the things I know I should not have", all back to haunt me. Actually not just Christmas.  I have to be brutally honest, tug up my "big girl panties" and admit ...... my eating routine was all over the place. 

No breakfast, 4 cups of coffee at work in morning, then perhaps a KFC coleslaw for lunch, but often nothing but a bar of chocolate.  Then at 4pm whilst at work again, I am ready to fall over, so I have some sushi, normally washed back with an apple danish at least twice a week. Then 2 or 3 more coffees.  Then a chocolate.  Then at home supper.  More treats.  More coffee. An adrenaline pushed, head rush, operating on no steam kind of eating plan.  Not sustainable.  I wrote that I would be seeing a doctor on the 10th who was really good at this kind o…

Chefs Academy and that first day

Today was Jess' 1st day at the Prue Leith Chefs Academy.  We attending the official opening with her this morning (even brother came along). 

Yesterday saw tears about this 1st day, decisions about what to wear, covering of books, wondering about making new friends and a little apprehension .... and that was just me haha. 

On a more serious note, Jess was having some of the above.  The "be a newbie" in an environment where most of your friends go to university, see old friends and be one of thousands of students, she is one of a handpicked 40 students in a very strict environment .... no weird hair, nails short, no jewellery unless it is a wedding ring .... no makeup except a slick of colourless gloss and not at all noticeable mascara .... anything out of line of the above and you will be sent home to rectify it.  Dress and cleanliness to be exemplary at all times.   Chefs uniform to be worn at all times.  This is not a mickey mouse short cooking course .... this is the to…

Cellotaping. Clicking. Slurping. Banging and other stuff

So what little things annoy you?  I thought of this today as I wondered which ingenious staff member at a large national pharmaceutical chain decided to cellotape the eyeliner lids to the actually eyeliner pencils.  This is great so people don't use it as testers in the store, but heavens sake at least do not use 20cm of cellotape wound 100 times around the same place thereby restricting the buyer from ever using it either. After trying to remove the thick cellotape with a) my teeth b) a knife c) a scissor d) bad language, I then in a moment of panic (was trying to leave for Mass), did a very "inappropriate before going to church" thing and smashed the plastic lid with the meat mallet so I could get to the pencil.  

Then there is the tollgate thing.  The tollgate I use onto the highway is a stop and pay kind.  Not the go under whilst showing the middle finger which is more the eToll kind of thing.  Now it is mostly people entering and exiting the highway daily at that poi…

Matric results and Much joy

Life has a funny way of handing you unexpected (but earned) surprises.  Jess worked her butt off during her Matric year.  She sacrificed a lot of family time, a lot of social time, a lot of all kinds of stuff.  With motivational and religious verses pasted all over her study wall, a plethora of coloured pens and an iron will, she poured herself heart and soul into her Matric studies.  

Before the finals she could be found at her desk at 10am and you would still find her there at 2pm and again at 11pm, having taken very few breaks.  Her goal?  To ensure she got 3 distinctions and if she could make 4 ..... she said she would be overjoyed. 

And so she slogged her way through the finals, sometimes saying papers were good, other times feeling that they were challenging. All 7 subjects were finally written and she went off on a well deserved "matric vac" with her friends for 10 days.  It was the first holiday she took without us and she had a ball.  However it was comforting to know…

The fitting room mirrors. The spotlights. And me.

Cue "Jaws" music.  I am going to speak again about fitting rooms in retail stores.  Obviously they were either designed by men, or by perfectly built women.  Neither of these make up the total demographic of SA. 

When stepping into the fitting room, you are immediately assaulted by a 3D full-length mirror image of yourself.  This is heightened by the 6 x 100w globe lights shining on you .... It is so sudden and so bright one half expects a border patrol guy with sniffer dogs to come in. Now you have to begin the balancing act .... getting all your items onto the hook, putting your "number" in an obvious place, putting down your bag and shoes and trying then to not continuously hit your elbows as you turn around.  

This is the point of truth for most of us.  As I stand up from stripping down to my underwear, a large shadow looms up behind me, scaring the living daylights out of me.   I am only vaguely calmed down by the fact that I discover that this shadow is my butt…

Being Nice. Being Forgiving. Today it's Me. Tomorrow You.

Let me give you some advice.  Be silly.  No matter whether you 2, 20 or 82.  Be silly.  Life is too short to be serious all the time.  Worry less about who other people say you are or what they think about you.  

Laugh.  A lot.  With your family.  With your friends.  With your colleagues and bosses.  There is no point in spending a lot of time surrounded by these people if you cannot share joy with them. And there is joy in being with all of them.  Sometimes we forget to notice.  

Cry.  When needed.  No-one on the entire planet does not cry.  Our hearts break, we suffer losses, things go wrong, we get things wrong .... EVERYONE does.  Share it - people who care will be there before and they will be there after.  

Be gentle.  To all.  Remember that very often when people are unhappy with a behaviour of yours, you may discover that they did that very same thing in their past, sometimes recently. But they forget.  Or pretend otherwise.  Kettle, meet Pot.  So be gentle.  It is a beautiful tr…

Sparklers. Coleslaw in the boot and 48 hours without pissing someone off.

Well we are almost done with the second day of the New Year.  Just as in that silly quote, I have managed not to piss anyone off, break anything, lose my temper etc etc.  But after all we are still on Day 2.  My friend, Marie-Louise, will be checking up on my progress on a regular basis throughout 2014 - but she likes the crazy version of me.  I also have some pressure on me to behave appropriately. Sigh. 

We saw the New Year in with a semi-quiet evening which featured sparklers, Blackjack (yes the innocent home version with plastic chips and let me tell you when I am the dealer ..... pasop), Scattergories (this goes really silly when played at 3am) and then of course we had those straw like things filled with luminous liquid and when you crack that liquid you have glow in the dark straws.  Like a bunch of kids we pounced on the container and amused ourselves for almost an hour wearing these around our necks, heads, wrists while having the lights all turned off.  Nothing like a bit of …