a day full of universe juice


At this moment in time I have three or four half written blog posts rattling around both my brain and my Word docs. All of them thoughts that are mostly developed but in need of finishing.

After the day I had today though, I am realising that they all will have to wait.

Today I have to write a little post about today. What a day it has been.

When I got home this evening and my sister (who is living with me at present) asked me how my day was I had to say “interesting”.

Because how else would you describe a day filled with dramatic happenings both pleasant and unpleasant?

It started out like a pretty normal day. I was manically busy as usual (I have become progressively busier and busier over the last few months as people have left our office and not been replaced and I have been absorbing the extra work, while at the same time getting busier with my free-lance writing work too)

My maniacal business was sweetened in the middle of the morning by one of the directors buying me a caramel centered chocolate bar. Anyone who knows me will know that this in itself is enough to make me happy. I love chocolate and I become very emotional when I am subjected to even small random acts of kindness. Point 1 in favour of the day.

By 3PM I was driving along with tears of frustration stinging my eyes, realising that there was no way on God’s green Earth that I could get through the list of things I needed to do and make my 3:30 meeting. I made back to the office by 3:25 only to discover that the meeting had been at 2:30. point 1 against.

So I am standing in front of my boss-lady trying to explain when someone calls to me from across the office. She says “your daughter  called to say there’s a snake in your house.” Well it was actually in my bedroom… in my wardrobe. a Boomslang. the wondrous, death inducing, South African tree snake. Point 2 against. dealt with that.

A bit later I am dashing over to the stationers (don’t tell the creative director – I promised never to use that particular stationer again after the last time) and was waiting to cross the road. The traffic moved pretty slowly, but just too fast for me to be able to cross.

I notice a white car coming up in front of me with two young guys in the front. The driver leans over to say something to the passenger. As they approach he looks out of his window at me smiles, and says (In a really nice, sweet and respectful way) “You’re really beautiful!”. Point 2 for.

Most mom’s over thirty (not me – I will be 29 forever) can tell you how bloody nice it is to have a random stranger think you’re pretty. You never feel pretty. You feel tired, stressed, worn out, worried, financially broken, crinkled and flabby. Us over-thirties seldom (ha! never) walk around thinking “Damn I feel pretty today”.

So getting a random compliment in a non-lecherous and genuine way is a BIG DEAL.

(FYI guys, leering and being crude is NOT the same as giving a compliment!)

Then I had some more manic day happen. Rush, rush, rush. Stress, stress, stress.

Leave work and it’s off to the shop quickly.

Being my usual self, chatting in friendly fashion to some guy and his kid, I let him go to the counter first as he had less stuff than me.

My turn arrives, they ring up my stuff.  Then that dreaded thing happens that only happens to single mothers – my card bounces. Somehow the debit fairies spirited away the last little drop of mula that was supposed to buy dinner.

Mortified with embarrassment, I stand furiously tapping at my phone to see why I have no money, when the check-out lady taps my elbow and points. The guy with the little girl who I had let go ahead of me has appeared and paid for my groceries! Point 3 (and 4 and 5 and ) for the day being awesome.

I am beyond touched at the kindness and generosity of this man. I couldn’t believe it! Without any expectation of return, without any history or any feeling of debt, this very kind person made a huge impact on my day, my week, my outlook on life.

I said thank you and I said “you made my day – you are going into my blog!”

All three of these events, together with a few remarkable new people who have entered my life in strange ways, have restored my hope.

I have always managed to keep a grip on faith in myself, even when it gives me rope-burn, but it has been a long time since I have experienced hope for humanity.

Look out for my upcoming post on Comfort food, silliness and sisters.

thank you stocksnap for the image

True Romance


The other day I noticed my friend  and colleague walking a little bit funny.

No this is not going to that place, stop it!

I asked him (let’s call him John for the sake of his privacy) what was up and he pointed at his feet. “oh, new shoes, still wearing them in?” I asked him.

“Yes and no” was his reply.

Curious as to how the answer could be both when he was quite obviously wearing brand new sneakers and they were obviously causing him some discomfort, I asked him what he was on about.

His answer surprised me, and as the day wore on it caused my eyes to open wider and my admiration for him grow.

You see what John told me is that yes, the shoes were new, and yes, they were hurting his feet. But they weren’t his new shoes.

It turns out that John and his boyfriend (let’s call him Tom) wear the same size shoes. Tom works in the hospitality industry and spends long hours on his feet. So whenever he gets new shoes John wears them in for him for a few days before Tom wears them to work, to make sure that Tom doesn’t hurt his feet.

I was so touched by this display of love and caring. It may not sound like much at first, but think about it. when last did you walk in a pair of shoes? It hurts!

As the day wore on my respect and admiration for John’s commitment only grew. his feet hurt. He was clearly in pain as the hard new canvas rubbed blisters into his heels. But when I asked him why he doesn’t take them off for a while he just smiled.

The look in his face said it all, “I love this man, I will not let anything hurt him, not even a new pair of shoes”

I was touched to my core. As a mother and someone who has been through relationships, a marriage, a divorce and seen plenty of other people’s relationships along the way, I can quite safely say that the only other place I have ever seen that look before is in the eyes of mothers with their children (and even then only in the loving and protecting moments, not the exhausted and exasperated ones!).

It also occurred to me that there are some things that most of us heterosexual types will never understand about the closeness and love and caring in a same sex relationship.Don’t get me wrong, I’m not negating one or trumping the other, it’s just that I think so many of us “normal” people accept and are happy with the idea of same sex relationships but don’t relate. So though we may try to equate them to boy-girl relationships, and spend endless amounts of time trying to figure out the logistics of how it all works (the emotional stuff – get your damn head of the gutter already!) we may have missed the fact there are things gay people will experience in their relationships (again, will you stop with the dirty!) that we never will.

No two relationships are the same. regardless of the sex or orientation of the people in them. Every single one is different, has different dynamics, different strengths and weaknesses. The thing is if two people really, truly love each other – like for real love – it is more than something that they feel or say.

Love is all the little somethings that you do, with no thought for yourself, because someone else’s happiness, comfort and safety, brings you more joy than even your own.

True romance is not candles and roses (although I certainly don’t sneeze at those) true romance is wearing in your boyfriend’s shoes so that his feat won’t hurt, or bringing your sweet heart coffee at 5am because they need to get up early, or tip toeing so that you don’t wake them up when you have to get up early. It’s taking a risk and making a fool of yourself to declare your feelings in any number of ways (even if you don’t think you have the slightest hope) because there is a chance that it might make that person happy, or because you can’t live your whole life wondering what might have been if you had just tried.

Thank you guys for reminding me that true romance does exist.

7 reasons why functioning dysfunctionals are my favourite


(Warning: This post contains “F” bombs. Not suitable for prudes, kids or religious fascists)

Perhaps I should rather call this post “7 reasons why Misfits are my favourite people” but I decided that the term “misfit”, though the correct term for the brand of humanoid life form that I love best, is over used. “Misfit” has a certain apple-mac flavour to it which has become hipster, cool, and well, quite frankly, fits in with conventional norms, thus negating the very essence of itself. The Word “misfit” has given in to peer pressure. It conformed.

So I have chosen instead to describe them as “functioning dysfunctionals”. Don’t be confused between dysfunctional and functioning dysfunctional. Full blown dysfunctional people are not really much fun to be around. They tend to be self-centred and generally suck, whereas functioning dysfunctionals are the ones who have found a way to exist peaceably and harmlessly within a world for which they are actually too broken, wide awake and down-right fucking special.

So here goes, 7 reasons why functional misfits (ah damn) are my favourite people:

  • We’re all dysfunctional to lesser or greater extent. We may hide it well and find ways to compensate for it but we all have something, somewhere inside that’s a little fucked up (or a lot fucked up). People who are openly dysfunctional but still functioning are just the ones who have given up trying to hide it.
  • I recognise a little bit of everybody else’s crazy in me. Not that I am always proud of it, sometimes I really don’t want to admit to it all, but the truth is that in every special, fucked-up individual I come across I can usually see a little bit of myself.
  • I realise that I am not alone. Wait I may have essentially just said that 3 times now. Oh well. It makes me feel better about myself when I find that others are weirdly and bizarrely imperfect too!
  • All of my best friends are fully functioning dysfunctionals. We work, we play, we do what we have to in order to get by, but at the core of us all we are brave, fucked-up souls who have managed to find a way to function in a straight laced world in spite of our broken bits.
  • We live in a self-centred age in an ego-centric, profit driven society. If being dysfunctional means that you don’t fit in to that model then then you’re okay with me. As long as you don’t hurt any sentient being I’m good.
  • Dysfunctional people are the most creative. Have you ever met an artist (or genius) who was normal, loved by all and fitted comfortably into the pre-prescribed model of suburban life? Me neither.
  • Dysfunctional people can’t be counted on to be punctual, or even to arrive at all, but when they do you know you are loved because if they didn’t want to see you they simply wouldn’t. You may want to throttle them a whole lot, but maybe that’s just your time-and-place delusion dysfunction kicking in. Time and space are subject to relativity after all.
  • Dysfunctional people are real. The reason why the Bridget Jones series was so popular is because every woman over thirty relates to her. She is completely dysfunctional and we love her, because she’s just like us!
  • I love a bitch! I suffer from terminal “everyone-must-like-me-or-I-will-die” disorder, so I very seldom say the bitchy, witty, sarcastic things that jump into my head all the time. I curb my inner bitch because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I generally come across as a bit of a kitten poster (IN Fact my kids and siblings have agreed unanimously that if I were a cartoon character I would without a doubt be Uni-kitty from the Lego movie). So I really enjoy people who aren’t afraid to let rip and be bitchy. I find it quite refreshing. I usually enjoy the moment too much to take it personally. My own inner bitch salutes their inner bitch and she doesn’t give a fuck.

Okay so that was 9 reasons, not 7. What can I say? I’m a little dysfunctional myself.

Why Social Media Lift Clubs are my new favourite mode of Travel


You know how people are always saying that Social Media has made the world a smaller place and that we are all so much more connected now? Well I have witnessed it becoming a physical reality as well as a figure of speech.

Okay, I know how dicey it sounds, and maybe it could be a bit dodge if you’re not careful, but Social Media has revolutionised the world of travel and nothing will never be the same again.

I hate catching buses, and my poor, sweet little golf is not up to any long distance travel. As a result I have been pretty much marooned in the swampy Garden Route for a while. Until recently…

I decided that I had to go pay a long overdue visit to my best friend in Cape Town. So I made arrangements to leave the kids behind (for the first time ever – eek!) and I called her up to say I was coming. I just didn’t know how I was going to get there.

Until someone said “Have you tried the Plett / Cape Town Lift Group on Facebook?”

My first reaction was “this can’t possibly work, and it’s probably full of weirdos” But being of adventurous spirit I made a request to be added to the group and I posted that I was looking for a lift, and when. I also started checking out other people’s posts.

In a matter of days I managed to secure a lift to Cape Town, on the Thursday morning that I wanted to go, at the time that I wanted to leave, and a lift back on the Sunday morning that I wanted to return on.

What’s more is that because only members can add you to the group there don’t seem to be any completely random axe murders in the group.

I realised that I could check out the person offering the lift, as well as anyone else who commented that they wanted to drive along. I messaged them, got their numbers and gave them a call to make sure that they didn’t sound like axe-murders either.

If you are really concerned about safety I think it would be perfectly acceptable to ask to meet the person in a public place beforehand. Maybe I was just very fortunate, but I decided that my lifts sounded kosher and they were. Perfectly.

In the end I got to driving up in a car with three other girls, including the driver. We all enjoyed the driver’s audiobook of “Eat, Pray, Love” so she left it playing most of the way there.

I didn’t have to sit on a bus. I got to call a bathroom break (and a stop-and-buy-chocolate break) when I wanted one, and drove at a sensible time of day.

The total cost of that lift? R200. (A bus ticket is about R350 each way)

Then on the Sunday morning, sad, forlorn and extremely sleep deprived, I drove back with an awesome girl and an awesome young guy. It turned out the guy was a fellow Capoeirista and he even knows some of the people I used to train with whom now live in Cape Town! That was an awesome trip. The three of us really gelled. We had all brought enough snacks to share and we spent the trip eating chocolate and flings and drinking coffee out of paper cups while discussing our shared favourite series and movies.

The Total cost of the return trip? R150 (excl. coffee and chocolate)

So for the price of riding a bus one way, I got to Cape Town and back. I travelled with cool people, under favourable conditions. I made good time and arrived at my destinations at a reasonable time of day. What’s more is that both times the owner of the car dropped me off at my destination. No long waits at bus stops for anyone.

All in all it was a very pleasant traveling experience and definitely the way I intend traveling in future. Whether I get my little Golf serviced and let others join me so that I can afford the petrol or even if I drive with them, it is definitely the way to go.

I foresee a lot more time on the N2 in my future!

Thank you for the use of your image: http://loquenoquieroquelean.blogspot.co.za/

Life of a writer

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Oh the irony!

I am watching myself get softer and flabbier by the day while I write well versed articles on health, nutrition and fitness for fitness websites.


Because I haven’t got time to work out, I just work. Last week I wrote an article on “Maximizing your morning fitness routine” after which I studiously attempted to get up fifteen minutes earlier every morning for three days and apply a few of my own tried and tested work out methods. It lasted for exactly three days. Why? Because you try working out when you’ve been working till 11:30PM the night before and then read a book for an hour as your special treat to yourself. (Special treats don’t include things like actual sex, because that would require a man which would require leaving the house which would require not being broke and having a baby sitter and NOT WORKING for an evening).

So my special treat is to read, provided I have had a chance for my special outing: The library.

But it’s not all that bad. I am doing something I essentially enjoy. I mean, okay so I have neither energy nor time to write for myself or my own blog, but I do get to write a lot of content for other people. And I believe that they are followed by masses of happy readers.

So I am like the incognito mystery writer who writes articles for people who have time to read them, like you. Or perhaps you are like me and you occasionally give in to an anarchistic streak and read something for pure enjoyment when you know you should be working or sleeping or writing.

I love to write though. I can’t imagine a life without writing anymore than I can imagine a life without water or air. It’s what I do. It’s how I express myself. Writing is just who I am. You don’t choose to be a writer, it just becomes more and more obvious that if you don’t write you will shrivel up into a dried out soul prune and die.

Now if the publishers would just buy my book and maybe put down a nice little advance for the rest of the trilogy I might just get to write something entertaining. Entertaining for me at least. No-one has been more surprised than myself by the sudden twists and turns that my book has taken, believe me. It’s a very strange thing, actually, writing a novel. It almost seems as if the story is not yours, you don’t make it up. It’s already there and your job is just to tell it. Often you are completely surprised by what happens next.

The fact that one should have to make money from one’s creative work does feel a lot like prostitution, though. Handing someone my freshly finished manuscript for a book is like standing stark naked in front of them and saying “Please tell me I’m good enough for you to pimp me out”

Except in some ways its worse. Because your naked body is one thing but usually whoever is seeing it does so by choice.

Your freshly written manuscript is a direct exposé of your inner self, your personality flaws and your intelligence (or lack thereof ) and you are pushing it onto someone in a desperate hope that they might just find it good enough to look at. Writers are intellectual coat-flashers.

And all the while I am writing this aware that I am supposed to be doing an article on electric heaters and another on what your tongue says about your health, which will be published by someone in Singapore and read by someone else in Canada (while having been written by me the South African) all of whom are pretending for the sake of the article to be Americans.

Anyway, must dash, will attempt to think of something more soulful and witty to write soon. Right now am too aware that I should be writing for paying customers, not sluttishly flashing about my own ideas!

I love you and I miss you, trusty followers. Soon I shall write to you again about why Cape Town is the only (South African) city I would ever want to live in and why traveling with strangers is the only way to do it, and maybe even a little on why you should dance with cute boys in foreign cities, every so often, just to make sure that you are still, in fact, a pretty girl. Even if you are tired and stressed and are surgically attached to your laptop, or the stove, or both, simultaneously.

All I can say is without coffee I would be a lesser person. And much, much less writing would take place.

Thank you http://www.stocksnap.com for the image!