Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Once upon a book

When last did you visit a book exchange?  When I was in high school and studying afterwards, this was quite the rage.  We did not go to high priced bookstores that exist today, nor were there really any.  CNA was the stationer and not really a book store, having the selection it has now.  You bought new books through Leisure Books or found them at smaller stores. However libraries were what people did.  We took out a pile of books and returned or renewed them two weeks later.  Every suburb had a library.  With a vast range of books.  However as I grew older, renewing on time became a problem for me.  I think that every library that still exists has a photo of me on their system "do not give her books" - simply because I lost two and refused to pay the R375 per book they wanted for a book that was for sale elsewhere for R100.  The rest was for capturing the book on the system, tagging it and what not else.  I would have helped them with that for free.  And two books in 21 years was hardly a bad average.  Books were probably also not the premium they cost now.  I can remember book exchanges - they were always small. And crammed.  And they smelt of books.  Well read, often handled, books.  That semi-musty, semi-dusty smell.  They always seemed to have very small aisles and very helpful assistants and worked everywhere on the "bring books in and swop for other books and pay a small amount"  The more you brought and the less you took - you could almost walk out without parting with money.  

I read hundreds of books that way.  For a while in a previous job I had an Apple IPad and read a couple of books on here.  It is not for me.  Convenient but just not the same.  I like the real life look and feel and smell of books, both new and previously loved ones.  I love a new book of which you gently open the spine (my dad worked in a busy book store for many years as a teenager and learnt the art of "opening" new books) - I have spent the last 20 years opening every book in this house from novels to school books and varsity books this way.  

The upper end bookstores today sell mainstream novels of popular authors for R260 to R380.  It is crazy and perhaps better prices would encourage more people to read.  So you need to shop wisely .... Exclusive Books has an annual book sale - visit it more than once over the 2 week period.  They keep topping up and prices keep getting better.  I picked up 2 great new titles for R40 each.  Then there are branches of Bargain Books, unfortunately too few of them.  They have a good mix of new titles at good prices.  The Centurion store is by far the best. 

Then there are book "exchanges" who today work more on a sales method where a popular title will cost you about R60.  Or a book club which is more about wine than books but at least you get to pay for one book and read five or six.  

There is also OLX, Bid or Buy and other such sites.  Keep your eyes on these for good deals.  

Look around - there is much to be read.  Just sniff out the bargains. 



Till soon 
c'est la vie xxx

Simply Being

So life has been craziness itself.  Work has been its usual merry go round of busy busy and no two days the same.  Being a wife is always fun - especially when you are married to someone as witty as my husband .... being a mom is always interesting - particularly when you are mom to a 17 year old who plays tons of sport and is always busy ... and also has the wit of his father .... just much drier ... and then my not so baby girl ... ok at 21 not baby girl at all, who keeps us up to date every day with her cheflife in CT.  Life is busy. 

So now when our son went off to stay with my sister for almost 5 days when the school hols started, then returned for one day to check on my hubby and I and of course get laundry done and then went off to the coast with a schoolfriend and his family for Easter, time was suddenly available.  In abundance.  Laundry was minimal, dishes were minimal, driving was minimal.  It co-incided with the plethera of Easter public holidays, so besides going off to church every day of that weekend, we had nothing to do the rest of the time.  My body said WTH? 

So armed with ShowMax, Netflix and a very thick paperback, I became one with the couch. A lot.  It usually started with me reading and then quickly morphed into dozing.  I cannot remember when last I slept as much as I have over the past 6 days.  Mid-morning and mid-afternoon ... early evening ... you name it ...... 3 or 4 hours at a time.  Without watching the clock constantly.  On day 5 I started getting concerned about this laziness and when I told a friend that I appeared to be sleeping my life away, he simply commented "Good" each time. 

Hubby and I went to the movies, we did our favourite thing (browsing for ever in Exclusive Books), had coffee and decided to make salad for dinner - simple and quick.  

I took 2 days leave from work and find myself now sitting in a coffee shop blogging. My job means that I am called on my cellphone - all day every day.  So posting a voicemail that I am not available was quite a moment for me. 

Sometimes we need to do this - switch off.  Our minds.  Our TV.  Our worries.  Our tiredness. 

Sometimes we simply need to be. 

till soon 
c'est la vie xxx 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

the fantastic fabulousness of being fifty

Some people arrive at the number five zero and go into some sort of panic spiral about being more than halfway through their lives, having to only look back now and no more forward. They panic about every little line, every kg, every everything.  Some tell me they are now on the back 9 of their lives ....... jeez, where was I when all this paranoia set in? 

January 27th heralded my 50th birthday ...... I don't like it ...... I love it!!!! 

Fifty years old and: 


  • I really could not care if people like my haircut, haircolour, style of dressing, bling jewellery and love of all things bright
  • I will be as boisterous as ever, if not more so, because I see no sense in going through life muttering and apologising
  • I will not make excuses for who I am and what I do and do not like
  • I will continue to drink as much cappuccino as I can, watch as much ShowMax as possible, follow Borgias to the very last episode, watch Isidingo as I have for the last decade, eat chocolate and mangos. 
  • I will get too little sleep, laugh too loudly, love too much and probably get hurt in the process.  Yet I will not stop. 
  • I will believe in myself, dream much and live life with as much glitter as possible
  • I will not tolerate anyone who does not trust me or stand up for me when needed.  If you do not know me by now .... well then you never will 
  • I will blog, note, write and follow that path.  If you are lucky enough to receive a letter from me .... treasure it .... because if you shrug it off in silence it will never be your blessing to receive another one
  • I will love my kids and hubby until the end of the world.  I will hold dear and close to me the friends and family who would fight for me till the end of the world.  Because I will for them. 
  • I will wear lots of lipgloss, a big smile, a crazy laugh and a handbag with more stuff than most people use in a lifetime. 
I will be bright.  And colourful.  I will be 50.  I will be me. 



till soon 
c'est la vie xxx

Monday, 7 March 2016

trust .... anger ...... and yes that damn pausing

This thing of Pausing can be a bloody irritating habit sometimes.  But halfway through Lent and I am still at it.  It was suggested to me by a friend that sometimes I pause too long, but as long as I am working at it and since I have made great strides, I am very proud of myself.

This pause theory often makes for a situation where my poor hubby .... he of great wisdom and much patience ... has to listen to me verbalising the thing that I am pausing about.  He is awesome at listening or at times when needed being either the voice of reason or an ardent supporter of my issue.

Tonight the poor man simply asked .... "hey what's up" as he saw me frown as I wrote an email.    BOOM .... out came the pause issue ..... in a sixty sentence eruption from me .... tumbling out as he watched my frustration.  Tonight he chose to listen to me ... and offered only two words of wisdom.

I drove to Adoration and entered the chapel greeting the Lord with great love for our coffee hour together in the late night hours.  And then I sat and told him the story.  
And I know that my heart can be still.  My head can be still.  In HIM I place my trust.  As he does in me.  He knows me.  And he is proud of me.

I have paused.  The anger that has raged inside me is still there . .but it is calming.  HE knows me.

Till soon
c'est la vie xxx

Kitchen Conversations and the joy they bring

For many years I had a very special daily routine in my life.  The Housekeeper of my boss, who additionally is also regularly in my office b...