Sunday, 13 January 2019

2019 - new beginnings and other excitement

2019 is a big year for me.  For the first time in probably 30 years I am not in a fixed Monday to Friday job.  This is huge.  I return from leave tomorrow and on Monday it will be a very weird feeling to not have my alarm go off and then get up and drive off to a place and slide in behind my desk.  I am sitting on the balcony right now, writing this as the waves crash onto the beach, just a short distance in front of me.  I am trying to think when last I never had a desk to arrive at.  I can’t .... it is thousands of days ago.  

It gave me an opportunity to look back at the many desks I have sat at - 6 years at a big Catholic Parish as the Parish Secretary, 3 years at Irene Homes for Mentally Disabled Adults, where I was the Corporate Fundraiser (what a completely different world ... heels every day and negotiations with donors for amounts in excess of R500 000 each time), 3 years before that working for all the Embassies in Pretoria as the liaison between their duty free fuel purchases, SARS and the service station they purchased from (I got to have a tea appointment one on one with 11 Ambassadors, which was great), a stint working for my husband in his consultancy, 12 years as a Director, along with my parents, of our two Shell Service Stations, 3 years as National Public Relations Manager of Vista University and so many little ones in between .... and before that my studies.  What a wonderfully rich life of learning to do all kinds of stuff.  But it has taught me that organizing, counselling, public speaking, writing and being in charge of a situation/job where I can use my initiative, is what I love.  I am the consummate all rounder. I love people, and I intensely love being involved in dealing with them.  I don’t do mousy and withdrawn, that I know more than ever.  I am out there and full of sparkle.  And I do not apologise for it.  

But I digress.  Monday, just so I don’t sleep in and get lazy, I have to take my folks to the airport at 7am.  Which means leaving my house at 615am (thanks mom and dad, so grateful that you chose this absurd time to fly, just to make me feel secure) whahahahahah.  They shall however reward me with an obscenely wonderful cappuccino at ORT (is there a wonderful cappuccino there?).

I do not let the grass grow under my feet.  I am already involved now in the Deanery MAP course, which is to be attended by all engaged couples of all parishes in the Deanery, busy with their marriage prep at their parish.  The course is run by Fr Peter Switala, who also never let the grass grow under his feet, to nab me to do the admin and organization for him.  I know church, and I know it and the priests in both our Deanery and Diocese, and other Diocese, very well.  And this works with all couples of all parishes, which widens my scope.  So I can really be of use here.  It is a part time thing as the course is for one day, every 3 months, in a venue at CBC Mount Edmund, but someone is definitely needed to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.  Ta da - good choice Fr P.  

This is a good start to the idea brewing in my head and I am taking this on as a service being delivered by me as a private admin/secretarial consultant.  Watch this space!

So we came on leave straight after New Year, and I kept wondering how I would feel when we went back, when the reality of been desk-less as such, sunk in.  How do I feel?  Challenged, invigorated, motivated, cautious, nervous, excited, curious and so much more.  I chose to be here, in this new space and I intend to make use of the lessons learnt to forge my way forward. 

Seize the day, cometh the hour - cometh the man (or woman), I am right where God intended me to be, and all those other quotes ..... watch out world, I am coming at you.  

Till soon, be good to yourselves
c’est la vie 

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

beaches, speedos, big talking, teddies and other fun stuff

The beach. 

The beach is a place of great entertainment.   And the beach has a people culture, just like a 5 day cricket Test, which is the subject of another blog. 

So in order to form a clear picture for you, I am blending together various people experienced over the past 4 days on the beach. 

1.  The Big Talking, Small Costume Alpha Male and Family Group - You know when they arrive on the beach.  Because he all but makes an announcement.  Setting up their area is loud.  He is instructing his wife, his kids, his mother and anyone else around them.  Loudly. He can be recognized by some of the following phrases - “Ja I told Person A that Umhlanga is the place to be, the okes here all have money, cos you gotta have money to be down here boet” and  “xxx put that towel further away from us we don’t want sand on us” and “I must just remember to call the bank and ask them to check the balance on my investment”, “xxx call your brother and tell him to get his arse down here, we came as a family and he is gonna sit here with us”.  Then he arises, in a small black Speedo.  Should he wear a Speedo .... uhm usually not ...... but he struts down to the water as if he is the poster boy for  Speedo whilst saying “everyone come and swim .... we came here as a family, don’t make me buy the whole beach for us to be together”.  He talks, non stop, on the beach.  No-gets a word in.  He is the master of their universe.  PS if you own a Speedo, as many of my friends do, this is not an indictment on you.  Simply a comment for this blog.  I know many people love Speedos, or guys in Speedos. 

2.  The I Have the Best Body on the Beach Group - this is interesting.  I have noticed this for years.  Woman over 40 with fantastic bodies, just walk to the sea and swim.  Or lie on the beach and tan.  People notice them but they just keep on carrying on.  Now and then I see a very “oh everyone look at me” type, but not often.  Woman over 40 with less fantastic bodies, either strut up to the water, or try and remain fully dressed right up to the water’s edge and then drop their towel and run into the sea in one movement.  I have got less and less perturbed over the years.  I just walk across the beach and into the sea.  Yes I wobble.  And if you commenting while I do so, you better be damn sure that you do not have a single jelly part yourself.  Young girls also do the above I mostly see.   BUT the male species of “I have the best body on the beach” ...... jirre ... the first is the all over intense tan with a small costume guy.  Six pack.  Rippled Muscles.  Tats.  Strolls to the water.  Slowly.  This is very important.  Small steps and quite a lot of flexing.  Cos that is important when you approach the water.   Then the interesting part ...... turns around at the waters edge and faces the beach.  More flexing.  Studious expression looking out into the distance.  Weather report?  Took off glasses and is confused about which side the water is?  Then the sea gets entered.  With a dive.  The water is only 3cm deep there but it’s okay.  After swimming, the exit is dramatic.  Emerge from the water like James Bond, shaking your hair, flexing, again the “look”... walk out and pause, briefly and then go up the beach.  

3.  The Came To the Beach But Never Get Off My Phone Peeps - not sure why they come to the beach.  They land on their spot ... out comes the phone .... and that is the end.  They do not look at the beautiful water, talk to the others they are with, look at anyone, swim or move.  Even if they are alone.  They just text.  And you can see when some is typing and exiting, typing and exiting.  So it must be a plethora of social media and whatever other sites.  Addicts to the bitter end.  Not just the status post “look another day on the beach” ... no, hours of uninterrupted screen time. 

4.  The New Parents Group - and Eug and I chuckled today because we have been new parents and first time parents so we recognized this group.  They arrive at the beach carrying 23 bags.  A tent gazebo kind of thing, baby bags, baby slings, baby shawls, the actual baby, change of outfits, creams, lotions, hats, baby monitors, weather monitors, beach sand heat monitors ... alles.  Today we watched a mom hold a baby the size of twice her hand, while dad ... obviously for the first time, put up the gazebo.  It took 35 mins.  And then a further 35 to pack all their stuff under there.  They take 300 photos.  They are allowed to. We reminisced about 23 years ago when we took Jess to the beach for the first time.  Went down with our 23 bags, put out the blankets, the bucket and spade, the cool bag ... alles .... and when we put her down on the towel and her feet touched the sand she said “I no like it” and that was that.  No amount of cajoling helped.  30 mins later we were back in the flat. 

5.  The Entitled Group - This person/group do not have to do things like everyone else.  On arriving at the beach, needing an umbrella and chair, you usually go to the hire section, right on the beach, pay for your stuff and they walk with you to your spot as they are brilliant at putting in the umbrella in a non blow away way.  Also, when you want an icecream, you wait until the ice cream seller passes you and then ask them to stop.  You wait until the cold drink guy passes you and then ask him to stop.  You say please and thank you, just like they do.  However this group does not wait.  Or walk.  Or ask.  I have seen it on every one of my 4 days.  They arrive on the beach.  Put down their stuff and then proceed to shout ... across quite a distance ... “hey, hey you, umbrella guy, come here” ... “hey bring us 2 umbrellas china” ..... now the guy putting them up must come over as well as the guy controlling the money and the tickets.   Not long after we had “hey ... ice-cream, ICE-CREAM, come here ... she was about half a beach away”.  “What you got, don’t open the box too close, you bringing sand on my towel.  How much are they, why they so expensive” and on and on.  To the cold drink guy.  To the guy who had the bucket and spade for his grandchild. Sigh. 

But the beach has many other beautiful people as well.  The elderly couple walking on the waters edge, holding hands.  The clearly newly married couple, who just ooze romance.  The young kids who play that age old game of running towards the water and then running away from it as it runs up the beach, the people introducing their kids to the water for the first time, the ones having costume malfunctions in the sea ... the list is endless. 

I had two special ones today ...... a man came along the beach with his little girl, maybe 3 years old.  She was carrying her teddy and he was explaining that teddy did not like the water and had to sit on the beach on the waters edge while they went into the water.  It took a lot of coaxing before she sat teddy down a little way in front of me.  The tide was also coming in and the water edging up closer and closer on the beach.  Within a few minutes the water reached teddy’s paws so I fetched teddy and let him sit under my umbrella, but where the little girl would be sure to see him.  When they came out the sea I heard her dad say ... “oh look teddy is with that lady” ... I explained to her why teddy had moved and her dad told her to give me a high 5.  She did, and whispered “thank you for saving my teddy”.  Day made. 

The other incident was while Busi was still on the beach with me.  We hear the lady next to us say “no put it away, PUT.IT.AWAY” ... we look at her to see where she is looking, and there at the waters edge is a child of about 5, facing us, with his, uhm, privates, hanging over the top of his costume while he goes “wha wha wha wha wha” whilst swinging his hips from side to side.

Life is a beach. 

Till soon, be good to yourself

c’est la vie xxx 

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...