Saturday, 8 April 2017

the sea, the body surfing and that costume

The beach.

Brings images to mind of vast areas of golden sand. The smell of coconut suntan oil, the sea and the vision of toned bodies, splayed on beach towels, soaking up the sun whilst buff speedo clad men run along the sea edge, eliciting sighs from women of all ages ….

Screeeeeech …… stop the vision.  Because the reality is indeed vast areas of golden sand, and the smell of suntan lotion, but the toned bodies? All bodies are here – toned, untoned, over toned, thin, fat, in-between and everything else, in costumes of all sizes and styles, whether appropriate for that person or not.  Speedo clad men? Yes, but perhaps for many of them a switch to baggies would be more appropriate.  Speedo and huge boep?  Not so hot.  A bit like me rocking up on the beach in a tanga.  Not so hot.  If you are without a huge boep or highly confident or have always worn a Speedo – high 5 to you.  If not – better not.  I have a wonderful friend who tells me that Speedos are meant for illicit trips to Thailand with hot “others”.  I will take your word for it TS.

So yesterday we went off to the beach in the morning.  All 4 of us to swim and then for the 2 female members of the family to stay on the beach for the next 3 to 4 hours.  The male members of the family swim for long and then hibernate from the beach.  This is our daily ritual.  We parked ourselves in a spot, umbrella up, towels down and headed towards the water.  At this stage I wanted to tighten my one-piece costume which had a strap around the neck.  As I reached to do so, whilst walking with the other 3 across the beach, I realised that my costume was on inside out.  “How Laverne, how?” asked my poor long-suffering husband.  My costume is black.  Completely.  So inside out it is still black.  Completely.  I gave a sigh of relief and then something struck me as we were halfway across the sand.  All costumes have doubles crotches …. I suppose so that the sea sand has a place to gather whilst swimming – because I see no other reason.  I glanced down and yes, the thin crotch “net” was now on the outside and left no doubt as to the fact that it was inside out.  I walked right up behind my hubby which made us look like we were doing some strange sort of left right goosestep.  “What the hell?”, he asked.  “Just walk dammit, I have crotch net”, I hissed.   We raced into the water and had a whale of a time for the next 45 mins and when I left the water I walked right up against him to the towel. 

So today I double checked the costume angle before leaving our flat.  Hubby stayed home (traumatised) and me and the kids went down to the beach (22 and 18 so I say kids sort of loosely).  Normal ritual, umbrellas up, towels down and into the water.  Now today the lifeguards were taking special care because the waves were pummelling and the drag was incredible, pulling one continuously out of the flagged area. 

It is imperative at this stage to tell you that there is permanently a huge dip as you walk into the sea on this beach.  You step into the water and walk 6 steps ankle deep.  The 7th step finds you waist high in the water, then neck high and once you manage to get through the pummelling, you reach an area where you are waist high again and can have fun in the waves.

The downside is the getting out part.  You now have the waves behind you, so when you enter the deep part and are walking through it waiting to suddenly find the ankle-deep entry to the sea, the waves are whacking you from the back due to the depth.  So, the step between waist high and ankle high needs crucial timing because if you get klapped by a wave at that exact moment …… well ….
So, the 18-year-old son gets through this with his usual nonchalant way (I suppose the fact that he is 125% fit helps) and turns to hold out his hand to me.  My daughter had managed to steady herself behind me.  It was going quite gracefully at that moment.  I was waist deep and waiting for a break between waves to step. 

Then it went pear shaped.  And very pear shaped.  Very quickly.

As I started to emerge from the sea like Ursula Andress in that Bond movie, a stealth wave came from the back and it whacked me as I took the crucial step.  I was knocked forward into a body surfing position and shot from the waist to the ankle depth area like a surfer who was now in 8 inches of water.  As Nic tried to grab my hand and help me up, that incredible current and drag kicked in and sucked me backwards … forcing me into Jess who was now standing and knocking her over and, with me, back into the sea.  I got up only to be whacked again, but as I was now closer to Nic, the strength of that wave coming through the dip made me body surf again, except that I now did so from 8 inches of water towards the beach – of no water.  This meant that I body surfed in the ankle high water but due to my momentum, never stopped when I ran out of water.  I just kept going.  In the process, I knocked over a little boy like a skittle, who was standing on the edge of the beach and ploughed up, sand everywhere until I came to a stop about a metre from the water’s edge. 

Nic was crying.  He put out his hand but since he was absolutely dying laughing, he could not help much.  I struggled up, apologised to the skittle child whose father had picked him up and turned to see Jess, choking on sea water as she shrieked with laughter.  “You washed onto the beach like a piece of debris”, cried Nic.  “Yes, like a beached whale”, I retorted.  I was laughing so much I could barely walk.  And the first row of people sitting on the beach, there was a LOT of laughing going on.
It is important to mention that I also had 14kg of rough sea sand and stones in my costume which now made it look like I had 100 boils on my skin as my costume was so lumpy.

So, I entertained the beach goers, I entertained my kids and I entertained myself.

Thank heavens I am a person of great confidence.  But I think I need a new costume.  And a more elegant exit from the water.

Laugh often
Till soon
c’est la vie xxxx

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

hot flushes, lettuce, baldness and other fun stuff

Now I have a close friend who always bemoans the creation of lettuce and has firmly told us that when he gets to heaven one day, the first thing he is going to ask God is what the whole idea with lettuce was.

I have asked that friend that should he get to heaven before me, he please asks, straight after the lettuce question, what the idea with hot flushes was.

Now I was a scholar of intermittent flushes.  My body seems undecided whether I should now be getting them or not.  They come and they go.  Sometimes they visit 58 times a day, sometimes they leave me alone for a few days, but for the last while, it seems they are wanting to be around me all the time.  How annoying.

Now the non-hot flush, too young, hormone treated, too old or simply don’t have it women will not understand this phenomenon, and the only people not getting it even more, are men.  They have no damn idea.  I asked a friend recently why the hell we got stuck with flushes, what do men have to deal with?  He said baldness.  What a choice. 

For those who don’t know.  Imagine it is 32 degrees outside.  You are coolly dressed and moderately comfortable albeit a little testy with the heat.  You have the fan blowing on you as you go about your work.  The next minute someone steps up to you, busts open your chest, places 68 pieces of burning hot coal into your body and then sears your outer skin with a blow torch while at the same time making you sit in a sauna.  That about describes it.  And then a little while later, it stops.  But beware because it shall return.

Now my boss has a good chuckle about this.  I spend all day every day at work.  I have a ceiling fan and a standing cooler.  He knows that at least 3 times a day I will suddenly ask “are you getting very hot????” – he never is.  He always laughs.  And pats his upper arm, where perhaps I should get a patch.  I burst out perspiring.  I grab the jug of ice water and drink straight from the spout, there is no time for glasses or finesse.  I crank the cooler up to speed 3 and chuck in another 2 ice squares, I fan myself with the files.  And then it stops.  And life resumes.  Usually about 20 mins later you will find me reaching for my cardigan on the back of my chair.  I bring one every day and usually forget to take it home.  So, they get stacked one on the other on the back of my chair.  Two weeks ago, I got up and my chair fell over backwards.  It was suggested I return some clothes to my home.

Now on holiday with my family, they have witnessed it first hand during the day.  We will walk in a centre or simply be in the flat and suddenly I will say “holy shit” (or something similar) and come to a dead stop.  Sweat pouring down me.  Face glowing like an Estee Lauder well-nourished skin care advert, I walk into the first and best air-conditioned store, I restrain myself from grabbing people’s drinks in nearby restaurants.  I wait.  Because this too shall pass.

So, it seems that perhaps when I get home a visit to the doctor would be the best option.  I want to ask him for a patch.  I would like it to be the size of a double bed.  Then I can lay it on the floor and fall face down on it.  Please wrap it around me, and leave me be.

I wonder how I would look bald? Perhaps it is the better option.

Stay happy
Till soon

c’est la vie xxxx

Monday, 3 April 2017

the husband. the holiday and the last minute items

I made my husband a very happy man on Friday evening.

The reason may be different to what normally makes guys happy, but in this case, it was a change to a 25 year plus altercation every time we went on holiday, or took a trip.
The argument about what he terms “last minute items”.

Now somehow, he is the self-designated boot packer (probably because he gets everything in), which also then seems to mean that he gets to decide who has taken too much, unnecessary stuff and so on and so on …….

Naturally his bags get loaded into the boot “unaudited”, we do not get to comment on what or how much he takes as we do not really get to see it.  However, every single item brought out, particularly by me, has to be commented on.

My suitcase – when zipping it up and picking it up off the bed, he usually gives a little shriek, holds his back, drops the case down on the floor and asks “What the hell have you got in here Laverne?”.  Now given that my answer has been roughly the same since about 1990, I do not know why he continues to labour the point.

I have clothes, slops and 18kg of magazines.  And 2 Novels.  And 32 bookmarks.  And my daily devotions book.  And my journal/notebook/pen thingy.  Always the same.
Everyone has vices.  Mine are coffee, magazines and books.  Always has been, always will be.  And when I am going away, I stockpile them before the time.  And read them on holiday.  And leave them behind. 

But the BIG thing is what he mumblingly calls the “last minute”.  Because yes, when he has packed the boot, it does happen that as he smugly bangs it shut, I come out with my handbag, which always goes in the car, my toiletry bag (good grief how did he think I would brush my teeth, pamper my skin and do my hair in the morning before we leave if my stuff was in the boot) and I may also have a few little teeny things I forgot whilst packing.  Like my hairdryer.  Or 5 tops I had in the tumble dryer.  Or my sneakers – two pairs.  Or a game. Or a giraffe.

And then it comes …. First, he stares.  Then his eyes roll back in his head and since we have been together for 30 years I always must make sure it is because of the last-minute items and not because he is having a seizure from age.  Then his lips get very thin.  They need to because it is hard to speak ONE.WORD.AT.A.TIME if you do not do so through clenched teeth.  Then comes the standard “oh for ………”. 

This usually leads me to either a) burst into tears because “he is so mean” or b) burst into a temper because “he is so mean”.  Either way it leads to us reversing down the driveway to go on leave, me glaring out my window, him out of his and the kids rolling their eyes.  By the time we go through the tollgate however, it is over and verby.

So, this year, given that it is almost our 25th wedding anniversary, I decided to be more thoughtful.  I only packed 17kg of magazines and 3 bookmarks.  I also put one hairdryer in the bag for all of us to use.  I put 8 of his t-shirts also into my bag.  When he picked it up and thumped it down and asked the mandatory “what the hell have you got in here Laverne”, I smiled sweetly and said “stuff”.

This year for the first time I suggested that we pack the boot finished the night before we leave.  This way he would a) know what is still coming and b) have all night to get over the trauma.

So, upon packing he asked each one of us 3 to tell him “what exactly would be coming to the boot in the morning” – I told him my Nespresso machine and one toiletry bag.

In the morning, having given him 12 hours’ notice, I arrived with those 2 items.  When I saw the semi lip tightening because of the coffee machine, I reminded him that I had not arrived with any undeclared items, and thus had turned over a new leaf.  I did however find a jersey in the tumble dryer which I put on, even though I already had one on.  Surely we cannot be penalised if we wear our “last minute stuff”.

So, at 4am the next morning, we departed right on time.  Everything had a place and hubby was smiling.  He had no choice.

Oh, and for the record ….. when I took over the driving after 4 hours, he did tell me to take my “bloody handbag out underneath his legs on the passenger side”.  I did.  I would have been so disappointed if I had not given him the chance to at least have one little moan about the luggage.

May I never see the day that I pack up the car for a holiday without him.  It would break my heart to not have the chance to chuckle over the “last minute things”.

This is what marriage is about.  I love him.  Even though he hates the 17 magazines.

Till soon
Laugh often!
c’est la vie

Okay so lets move to another province

“The company feels that there are great growth opportunities for it in the Cape” says hubby whilst we are sitting on the stoep of our chalet...