Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 31 March 2006

Term 1 in the bucket

Quinn has just finished his first term of big school, and I think he has done very well.
On Wednesday he bought home the old classic first reading book 'Kathy & Mark'. it was by far the longest book he has brought home, but not a very difficult read at all. He easilly read the whole thing cover-to-cover several times. Pretty fluently too. He now recognises a lot of words by sight, and will sound out any new and unfamiliar ones only.

<- Quinn reading 'Kathy & Mark'.

On the writing front we have been doing some extra practice. He is not always completely enthusiastic, but normally it is relatively easy to get him to oblige. My latest strategy is to let him listen to music on my MP3 player while he works. I think it actually helps him to concentrate better too, because it drowns out other ambient noise and distractions.

Unfortunately much of the practising has been on loose pages, many of which I have thrown out. Here is an example from last week after we saw his teacher:
You can see the large, carelessly formed letters, which are not nicely spaced or on a consistent line...

This was done this week (note the not very subtle and shameless brain-washing!).
Already his letter formation, spacing and word grouping is improving. I mark his work afterwards and give him lots of feedback about the shape, size and spacing of the letters. If either of the 3 are good it gets acknowledged. I am hoping some additional practise in the holiday will help him to catch-up fully.

Quinn came home with his first term report today.

Nearly all his marks are 3/4, which denotes 'Able to fulfull the requirements of the Learning Outcome'. With the exception of 'Task Completion' for which he got 2/4, ' Able to fulfull the requirements of the Learning Outcome at a basic level with support'. Which is what we spoke to the teacher about, so we knew that.

The teacher's comments were:
'Quinn has settled well at school and enjoys participating in learning situations. He has the ability to produce good work and as he matures, I am confident this will be achieved. Quinn is a lively little boy who enjoys the company of his peers. His progress this term is pleasing'

I am happy with that :)

He has also attended a Language and Listening Group this term, to help with Auditory Processing etc. He got a glowing report, and has been told he no longer needs to attend these sessions. Her remarks were:
'Quinn functioned well within the group environment. He was always enthusiastic in the sessions and it has been a pleasure working with him this term. Well done Quinn!'

I'll echo that. Well done Quinn. I am very proud of you!

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Knitting for psychos

These pictures were sent to me a while ago, they appealed to my warped sense of humour... good gifts for young children you don't like ;)

Bad Things Happen to Bad Children
I told you you need the training wheels!

Stacey's mom warned her not to run with scissors!
The above are all knitted - amazing!

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

100 things you probably never needed to know about me...

These are more or less in chronological order.
Warning it may be more than you wanted to know...
  1. I was born on 30 April 1974, at the Mowbray Maternity Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.
  2. I am the 3rd of 4 children. I have an older brother and sister and a younger sister.
  3. I was named after a character in my brother's Grade 1 reader! (You know Kathy & Mark, John & Jane... sad I know...)
  4. We moved to Johannesburg , when my father was transferred there, just before I turned 4. I remember driving up through the Karoo in a beat up old sky-blue Peugeot station wagon, which we called 'Poor Joe'. It had a rusted hole in the passenger-side floor, and you could see the road whizzing by if you lifted the rubber mat!
  5. I got a large (size 4) Red and Yellow tricycle for my 4th birthday. I loved it, and it endured much use, abuse and modifications. Including the classic 'cardboard in the spokes' trick to result in a nice loud clicking as the wheel turns... I used that tricycle for years, and turned it into an extreme sport of sorts by careening down steep roads while standing on the foot plate and clutching the handles, long after I had outgrown it.
  6. I took a long time to grow up, I liked playing fantastical games. We also had a lot of freedom and I was able to wander around the neighbourhood and explore building sites and open fields at will. We had such fun doing that kind of thing. We were pretty naughty too.
  7. I went to Northcliff Primary School and was a squarely average student. My dad made 'average' sound like an achievement, and for years I thought I was striving to be average! Tut-tut.
  8. My mother lead me to believe that pink and red match, a few years later I learned they don't. Although these days they do... who knows!? I had quite a few misconceptions gained from her. I am not sure if she even realised this, but if I asked her a question about something she would distractedly say 'Yes', and hey- presto for years I would think it was so. I now believe she a) wasn't even listening to me and b) didn't know the answers in most cases either.
  9. I was a bit of a tom-boy when I was young and thought it was cool to walk around in shorts with no top on. If boys could do it so could I! My older sister dared me to walk to the local cafe (corner shop) in shorts with no top, and another time in a body suit (top with poppers to close it at the crotch) and no pants. I did both. Not that safe these days! At the time the shop keepers just found us weird/annoying/amusing. Who knows?
  10. Although I liked my First Love doll, and dressed and cared for her, I always wanted boys toys, as I found them more interesting and interactive. I wanted scaletrix, train sets, meccano, and other remote controlled gadgets etc. The closest I got was lego. I used to make elaborate multi-story houses filled with furniture, complete with full pitched-roof as welll as detailed cars etc out of my lego.
  11. We lived in a large block of flats before we left Cape Town and when we arrived in Johannesburg. Flats are weird. I hate being so close to neighbours. We would harrass the residents by playing 'tok-tokkie'. A dangerous game where you knock on doors and then run away. A child was shot and killed in SA for doing this around that time, and so we were banned from doing that. We also used to have feuds with the Afrikaands children. Us being the 'Rooi Nekke' (Red Necks) and them being the 'Rock Spiders' *LOL* South Africans will understand this...
  12. I have lived in 17 different places in my life, but only 3 towns.
  13. When I was 5 or 6 a friend of my father's promised he would take me camping one day. He had come over for dinner and he started telling me that we'd go camping. I was thrilled! I asked when we were going, and he decided it would be the next day. He jokingly said he'd collect me in the morning. The next morning at the crack of dawn I woke up, packed a bag and went outside to the corner of the street. I waited and waited but he never came. I eventually went back and woke my parents up, and they had to explain to me that he was only joking. I didn't understand why he had said he was coming when he wasn't. I was quite devastated.(I now never promise anything to children if I don't mean it.)
  14. I started school when I was 5 years old. I was one of the youngest in the class and one of the shortest.
  15. I basically knew Grade 1 when I arrived as I had learned everything from my older sister. I couldn't understand how some children couldn't read or didn't understand how to do sums... I just seemed to inherently know how to do it all.
  16. I got into trouble on the very first day of Grade 1, before school had even started yet. I had to sit in my sisters Std 3 (Grade 5) class for 30 mins waiting for the Grade 1 first day to begin. I was shouted at by the teacher for talking and disturbing the class. I was sent to sit outside. I now think that was extremely mean of the teacher!
  17. I had to walk home from school with my sister for the whole of Grade 1 – something like 2.5km. Shame. (I walked 2.5km each way to and from school again from Std 3 to Std 5, rain or shine.) Luckilly I still like walking.
  18. When my little sister was 3, I found her drowning in the deep-end of the pool. I went to call my mom, who was taking a nap. My mom can't swim anyway, so she asked me to fish my sister out, which I did. She was fine. I was 7. (I think my sister has water origins or something, as I can remember 3 separate times where she had to be rescued from water.)
  19. I was not very sporty at school. I tried netball for a term and had a netball thrown full-force into my nose. *ouch* I then tried tennis for a term. It didn't seem much fun, I stuck to ballet, drama and chess after that.
  20. I got a trophy in a Chess competition in Std 5 (Grade 7). It wasn't a huge achievement as the top 5 players weren't allowed to compete, so the competition was not strong.
  21. When I was in Std 1 (Grade 3) I had a ballet concert rehearsal after which my parents forgot to fetch me. I was with my older sister. When it got dark we decided we'd have to walk home. It was about 10+km, it was getting dark and we were quite scared. Eventually a young couple in a micro-bus stopped as we were crossing a busy bridge and gave us a lift, we thought we were going to be kidnapped or killed - but we survived.
  22. I did ballet for 2 years and then gave up. I did 2 concerts and one exam. I don't think I was the most graceful of ballerinas! ;)
  23. I have a brother, he is 7 years older than me. He has birth-related brain damage. He is obsessed with the 50-s and 60s and could tell you anything about the music and musicians of that time. I know quite a lot of it myself because of that.
  24. My brother had a nervous breakdown when he was 17 (I was 10). He became very violent. It was scary. He spent years in and out of psychiatric hospitals after that. He now lives permanently in an institution. Thinking about him makes me feel sad. After my children, I have left everything in my will to my brother.
  25. I was brought up to be allowed to think and question. We used to have quite intellectual debates with my father around the dinner table. I loved that. I was allowed to ask him anything.
  26. I was allowed to watch the original 'Exorsist' movie when I was 7. *Quelle horreure*
  27. In Standard 5 (Grade 7) I was selected to represent my house in a General Knowledge Quiz, after sucking less than the rest of the class in the qualifying test. I only got 6/20 so that others must have REALLY sucked.
  28. Much of my knowledge comes from Chappies papers. 'Did you know...' Remember those?
  29. I got a prize for getting the 3rd number of questions right on the night of the actual quiz. It was fun, we had a buzzer to push and everything.
  30. I got Trivial Pursuit as a Christmas gift that year. I used to read the questions and answers for fun.
  31. I went out to dinner and watched the Tom Cruise movie 'Top Gun' the night before I took my official IQ tests in Std 5. We went to bed really late.
  32. It didn't seem to do much damage because I was selected into an extra-curricular program at the 'Centre for Highly Gifted Children' after that. For years I thought they had made a mistake – because I was 'average'. I didn't tell anyone outside of my family.
  33. They never told me my IQ, and for years I wondered about it.
  34. A few years ago I started doing on-line IQ tests. I eventually did the official Mensa workout and was deemed in the top 5th percentile. I was invited to sit the official qualifying exam – if you pass you are in the top 2%ile. I chickened out of the formal written exam. My thinking was that I would rather go through life thinking I might possibly be a MENSA candidate, than knowing I am not! Hahaha.
  35. My parents took my older sister and I to Europe when I was 13. We went to France, Switzerland, Germany, Belguim, Luxembough, and England and Scotland. I loved it! All of it.
  36. When I was 14 my parents got divorced. It was a VERY difficult time for my little sister and I, and I think we still carry some of the emotional scars that were formed. We have moved on though and mostly just get on with our lives regardless. I think as I get older I understand the situation from all angles too. It wasn't easy on anybody.
  37. My father got married again 6 months later.
  38. My sister and I moved to Pretoria to live with my father shortly after they returned from their honeymoon. Literally over-night. They had got back from their Honeymoon, and he came over to take us out to dinner. On returning home my mom and dad got into an argument (we had told him we were miserable and not being looked after) and she told him to take us and that she didn't want us. We literally packed a small bag and left that same night at abut 11pm.
  39. I initially loved my step-mother, but our relationship soured until we hardly got along at all. She was clearly not happy that we had moved in, and showed this even on that night we arrived.
  40. I still feel bad about this at times, because I had very good intentions with her, and she misunderstood me. I was left feeling like it was all my fault. I still sometimes find it hard to feel real fondness for her now years later, after how she treated my sister and I.
  41. I worked at as a cashier at a local supermarket each and every week-end in Std 9 and 10, to have money to buy clothes, school text books and to go out etc. I met my first boyfriend there he worked in the deli! I took the guy that worked in the bakery to my Matric dance. Between the 2 of them I could get a roll and slice of ham for lunch (NO innuendo there hey!?). LOL.
  42. I settled into Pretoria Girls' High and did quite well. I matriculated in 1991 with 3 distinctions (Science, Biology & Geography). No longer average YAY! :)
  43. I lost my virginity when I was 17 – in my final year of school. He was 14 years older than me, and worked for my father. Are you shocked??
  44. We stayed together for nearly 3 years. I thought I'd marry him - but I am very glad I didn't. He was very good to me though, and made me feel loved, which is something I really needed at the time.
  45. We moved in together after my step-mother threw me out of her house (because of our relationship) half-way through my first year out of school. I had been caught coming home one morning after sneaking out for the night... I am a rebel in disguise after all ;)
  46. I went to Study Electronic Engineering at University of Pretoria. I am not even sure why I chose that!? But I did ok at it.
  47. My father paid my first year's fees, and after that I was on my own. My ex paid for the second year. We split up in my 3rd year of varisty, after he had his second (that I know of) affair.
  48. When I found out about the first affair I was devastated. In an attention-seeking move I took 5-6 tranquillizers and got his gun (I don't think I would have used it). I passed out with the gun. He found me, woke me up and yelled at me. I learned a lesson that day. I will never try to kill myself over anybody else. Ever. No one is worth it or should have that much power over you.
  49. My foot went completely numb from the tranquillizers and took 2-3 days to come right. I was very glad it did!
  50. After that, the next time he went away for work (where the affairs always took place) I decided I needed to lose weight, to be more attractive. In just over 6 months I lost 12kgs. I thought I looked great, but people would ask me if I was sick. At the time I weighed just over 40kgs. I had an eating disorder. :/
  51. During the next year my ex left me. I had to find a place to live, and a way to support myself and pay my varsity fees. I somehow did all of this.
  52. I started waitressing and worked in various steakhouses, burger joints and restaurants. Including one establishment of dubious repute called JD Blondes. It was surprisingly fun and the tips were great! I had to wear a blonde wig, cowboy hat & boots, black cat-suit and a cow-hide waistcoat! OMG! It was fun though, and I worked there through the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It was quite a wild time!
  53. But working till 2 or 3 in the morning and then getting to boring lectures by 7:15am was NOT easy, and my studies suffered.
  54. A took up fencing when I was encouraged by a good friend of mine. I did Foil.
  55. Fencing was really fun and social. It was the first time I had done anything really sporty and enjoyed it. I attended the Northern Transvaal, University and Free State Open competitions that year and then entered Nationals. Although I was a complete novice I came 17th (out of 27) in Nationals. Something I am proud of.
  56. I scored 5 hits in a row off Rentia, who had represented SA at the Barcelona Olympics the year before. I was very proud - she was pissed off, and went on to slaughter me 15/5. I hurt for days afterwards. ;)
  57. My good friend became my boyfriend briefly in this time. We had fun together. We are very insync mentally and just 'get' each other. (We are actually still good friends now).
  58. After 3 months he suddenly withdrew and started ignoring me. He stopped fencing too. I was hurt and didn't understand.
  59. A month or so later I found out that not only were he and the fencing coach gay but they had also had a long standing relationship, which he had broken off to be with me. They had got back together.
  60. I stopped fencing shortly afterwards.
  61. I got 28% for a Calculus 3 semester test around this time.
  62. I was forced to redo the subject the next semester. I only attended the first lecture and the Prof withheld my final results. I thought I was being failed again. I went to her office and she gave me my test and said I had got the highest mark in the class (94%) and she didn't know who I was, so she had wanted to see me!
  63. It was a very sad, lonely and depressed time of my life. I had gained quite a lot of weight and had trouble controlling it. I had an eating disorder. I think I got close to 70kgs at one point *shudder*.
  64. I think people should be in a chemically-induced-coma during their early twenties, to have better odds of surviving them! My early twenties were not the happiest time of my life.
  65. I drove over my own hand – this is a long story, I may tell you some time. It is funny now.
  66. I was the first person I knew with an e-mail address (1994), and no-one to write to except my Engineering class mates, but that seemed pointless.
  67. In 1995 I saw some guys playing MUD, I asked them what they were doing, and they told me 'Never mind, you won't understand'
  68. Half an hour later I was playing MUD and was hooked.
  69. I would arrive at the computer labs early and leave late each day so I could get my Internet fix.
  70. After about a month I was directed to IRC, because I was just using MUD as a chat program. I met a guy who I thought was wonderful. He had such an alluring presence on MUD. I ended up meeting him in real life a few years later and it was such a disappointment. He was nothing like his Internet persona. Lesson learnt.
  71. I met some cool people on IRC, many of whom I am still in contact with today.
  72. I married one of them ;) I met Richard on-line, and moved down to Cape Town 3 months later.
  73. We share the same birth date 10-years apart.
  74. During the first year in Cape Town I began working full time, and my life settled down. I started finding myself.
  75. My weight stabilized and has been pretty consistent (apart from during pregnancies) ever since. I no longer have an eating disorder (although I guess it never really goes away completely).
  76. In October 1997 I became pregnant (I hate to say 'fell' pregnant it sounds awful). I was thrilled, even though it wasn't planned. I started doing yoga and am still going strong.
  77. We got married in the January of 1998. Everything was prefect, for a while..
  78. On 23 March 1998 while on the train coming back from the U2 Pop Mart concert and family visit in Johannesburg I went into pre-term labour. Our baby girl Angelique was born in Kimberly (after I was ambulanced off the train from De Aar) at 25 weeks. She weighed just 865g. She was beautiful and alive, but nothing was done to save her and she died in my arms. It was one of the most life-defining events of my life.
  79. We planted a memorial tree on Lion's Head. Both my boy's placentas have been planted under the tree to nourish it. We try to visit it at least once a year.
  80. A month after Angelique was born Richard moved out. I felt like I had failed at everything.
  81. 4 months later he moved back, and we have been together ever since. It has not been easy, but we have kept going. (edit 2008: things have changed now, and some of the beliefs I had about what went on at this time have been proved to be wrong)
  82. On January 3rd 2000 (our second wedding anniversary) I gave birth to Quinn. All 4.47kgs of him. 100% naturally and under-water. It was incredible.
  83. On 12 November 2001 our Second son Griffin was born at 4,46kgs, also 100% naturally, not in water as planned because there was no time in the end. I consider the births my greatest achievements to date.
  84. I would love to be a mid-wife. I love my mid-wife and was very inspired by her. (I was also honoured to be able to support my sister while she was in labour last year and I loved the experience).
  85. I have had 2 one-nights stands and didn't enjoy either of them. I prefer to have an emotional connection.
  86. I have flirted but not kissed or fooled around with anyone else since meeting Richard. That's over 10 years now! Wow. Clearly out of circulation... (edit 2008: That stayed true until just before my marriage ended and we split up. It was already over and my rings were off before I did anything with anyone else though.)
  87. Being a parent is TOUGH, but I love it. My life is far better and fuller now that I have children than it was before. I think they give you purpose and a reason to get up in the morning.
  88. I think I am reasonably good at being a parent, apart from having a short temper when I am tired.
  89. I get on really well with my Dad. I love going to dinner with him and chatting about any and everything. He is very well read and intelligent and we can have very lively debates. I like that I can now stand my ground against him and argue an alternate point of view.
  90. I have tried several illegal substances, and I enjoyed them - but not enough to make them a habit though. I don't think I have an addictive personality, and I have too strong a mental grip on things to want to fully let go.
  91. I went to my dream destination – Thailand, to celebrate my turning 30 (and Richard turning 40) it was everything I imagined and more. I loved it!
  92. I got a tattoo in Thailand. It is of 2 geckos in a yin-yang shape on my RHS shoulder. I love it.
  93. I am proudly South African. I believe this a great country, and it's up to us to look after it. The more I travel the more I believe this to be true. No one else has what we have here.
  94. I work for Mark Shuttleworth. He has been listed as 18th on the list of Great South Africans.
  95. I have invested in a movie.
  96. I have been in a hot-air balloon.
  97. I was selected to be a contestant on Fear Factor. I had to decline due to a planned work trip which clashed. Having watched the series, I am glad I did not do it.
  98. I like to take the good from a bad situation, and use it to learn and grow. Bitterness will kill you.
  99. My favourite quote is 'This above all else to thyne own self be true'. It is a good one to live by.
  100. I believe life gets better over 30, when you really know yourself and are comfortable in yourself.

Monday, 27 March 2006

Sunday snack

I don't have much to say today... the week-end was nice, but fairly uneventful.

On Friday we popped into a local girls school Oakhurst's fun evening. It was very blah. Not half as good as the Rondebosch event, and I was not very impressed with the school grounds. They were also over charging for everything which wasn't cool. I understand that the whole point is fund raising but they shouldn't be ripping ppl off. We were home by 8pm.

On Saturday I took a run/walk to Cavendish and bought Quinn a hockey stick and ball, as he'll be playing Hockey as one of his winter sports. I also found some good deals at a clothing factory shop I got t-shirts for the kids for R10 and a jersey for me for R30, I did some other browsing and shopping for bits and pieces. I then walked back to the cricket club (about 8km in total) where I met Richard and the boys and we relaxed and played for a bit, before getting burgers and going home for an early dinner. I enjoyed watching 'Shirley Valentine' again.

On Sunday I went to gym and enjoyed some coffee quietly on my own (bliss), and then went shopping for groceries. In the afternoon we went back to the cricket club to meet some friends for a picnic. They all had bikes and we also played cricket for a while. We had been planning to go to the beach, but it was too windy and cold.

Quinn did a lot of writing practice over the course of the week-end and I think I have managed to succesful explain the the more seriously he practices now the less extra practice he will have to do. I also managed to create ways for him to get extra practice without him realising, by giving him some sums to work out etc, which he really enjoys, and then got him to concentrate on writing the answers nicely. Afterwards he also read a whole small board book to me.

A pretty uneventful week-end's a fun snack I made for the boys last night.

Friday, 24 March 2006

Kirby really SUCKS

I got a call from a Kirby rep the other night. The scripted lines I was being read, sounded suspiciously like those time-share cons... Where they tell you you have won a fantastic prize guaranteed, can you come in to collect it, at 4, 6 or 8pm tomorrow?

If you are stupid enough to go. Yes I did go ONCE. You have to sit through a torturous sales pitch and are pretty much brain washed into signing up for a life-long time-share deal, to get a flat screen TV or some other crap. They are pretty convincing too.

If you don't sign up there and then you get a voucher for one free coke in Mauritius - Gee thanks!

Luckily Richard and I attended together and although they tried hard, we refused to be put on the spot and insisted on being allowed to go away and think about it. Once we were out of their brain-control-zone and could think clearly again it was obvious it was a big sham, and a huge waste of money.

So I was skeptical listening to the woman saying I could get one carpeted room in my house cleaned for FREE, no strings attached at all. I questioned her for a few minutes saying I was not interested in being conned etc. She was adamant that there was no con or underhandedness, they were simply market researching their new machine and wanted to test public opinion.

I asked how much the machine would sell for, and she said they hadn't even decided on a price or anything yet, they first wanted to see how the machine would be received etc. I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, and arranged for them to come around yesterday evening.

The demo was meant to take about 45 mins.

The demo lady arrived with a Kirby Ultimate G Diamond Edition and started on the cream coloured lounge carpet. I stepped in after about 15 minutes, and she was hauling an impressive amount of dust, cat hair and general crap out of the carpet. I whispered to Richard that a Kirby like that would cost about R10 000. He reckoned it would be more like R5000. I shrugged and went off to gym. On my return the carpet was sparkley clean after a thorough vacuum and dry-foam cleaning - which apparently took 2.5 hours with all her demonstrating in between. This machine has a million attachments including a belt-sander which she reckons doubles as a massager. Alrighty!

Richard said the machine looked great and the demo was interesting and she was nice, BUT she dropped her lip when he declined to buy the thing there and then, for.... wait for it....

R16 995.00!!!! **

There is no way in hell I am spending that kind of money on this:
even if it can do back flips, or whatever...

(** Note that the linked site is listing that model for $699USD, which calculates to no more than R4500, so it seems a royal rip off as well.)

So nice job on the carpet Kirby rep, thanks! Come back in a year or so, when we need it done again. ;P

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Appointment with Quinn's teacher

We had to go see Quinn's teacher yesterday, after she requested a meeting last week.

I was a bit nervous that she was going to say that he is not coping and not ready for school and needs to go back to Grade R - as I have heard that can and does happen - even though he has seemed to do so well so far.

She was very friendly and open and we discussed the situation frankly, which I really appreciate.

She started by acknowledging that he really is very young (the youngest in the school ATM) and then went on to say that there is no question that he is very bright and very mentally alert. So she said from an academic point of view he is certainly ready to be in the class, but he has a problem with keeping up with the volume of work and finishing a whole sequence of activities which are set, without getting distracted and/or despondent. She said this is a maturity issue, and something which will come with time.

She asked us whether he is reluctant to come to school and seemed pleased when we told her that he loved going to school and dresses happily each day.

I questioned her about whether this means he needs to go back to Grade R and she said absolutely not. I also asked if he was likely to have this problem for the full 12 years of his school career and be battling to catch-up and keep up right through, and she sounded sure that that would not be the case. She thinks is it is just an initial problem which he has, and once he overcomes the 'barrier' he will flourish. That was good to hear. Although she did say it could take a year or so to happen.

She said another problem is that he is seated next to a very fast working boy, who completes his tasks fast and then jibes Quinn about being slow. Apparently this boy is leaving the school at the end of the term, so that may be a good thing.

One of her concerns at the moment is that Quinn started the year at full speed and trying hard, and now seems to be giving up almost before starting a task. She thinks he is feeling a bit of pressure about the work-load, which he is not used to.

We spent some time discussing possible solutions, and she has said she will back off a bit in class and not expect as much from him. she was frank about the fact that the whole year's goals are to be able to read, do arithmetic and write simple stories, so each and every worksheet is not crucial to that goal. she has said that instead of loading him with 4 worksheets she will give him 2, so that he has an achievable goal and is likely to complete those. That will allow him to get the satisfaction and praise for completing them, and hopefully motivate him to keep doing that. She will then send another worksheet home, for extra practice. Once he is completing stuff well, she will try to push him to do it faster and then add to the load slowly. I hope this works.

We mentioned him reading keenly and voluntarily at home, and she said he is a very good reader, and in the top group of reader so far. She said he is a very natural reader. She said that partly how she knows that he is bright and very read to learn. I think she agreed with us that although he was a little early for Grade 1, another full year in Grade R would have driven him crazy.

We also discussed his head-strongness and the fact that he uses his own logic, and she agreed that at times he'll argue about the right way to do something, rather than just following her instructions. We are both going to work with him on 'conform first, and then get creative and try something new'.

All in all the meeting went well, and to be honest we did expect that this would happen. Hopefully we can help him to get up to speed, and he'll continue to enjoy school and to do well.

10 Years

Today (23 March 2006) marks the 10 year anniversary of Richard and I meeting on-line. It was a weird and surreal experience...

Richard was 'The Virtual Prisoner' at the time, based in a display room at the Telkom Exloratorium in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront. I was a student at Pretoria University, supposedly doing research for an electronics design project that day.

It is quite hard to find proper references to the woZa project now, as the site and domain were not maintained, but this sums it up:
Man 'Imprisons' Himself Online
South African computer consultant Richard Weideman has made himself the first prisoner in a cyberspace jail. He sentenced himself to 88 days in a glass cubicle in Cape Town with only a computer linked to the Internet's World Wide Web. "My only contact with society is an Internet connection and a glass observation door," Weideman wrote in his homepage (reached at Web address http:/ Writing from Johannesburg, Marius Bosch of the Reuter News Service says Weideman, locked up in his "prison," Weideman has no access to radio, newspapers, telephones or television and can communicate only through electronic mail. Since the Jan. 31 start of the project, named "Woza" for World Online South Africa, Weideman has received more than 2,400 electronic mail messages. School children and businesspeople are among those who have communicated with him.

In a recent electronic mail interview with a newspaper, Weideman commented, "The profound bit is dealing with the rest of the world through a binary umbilical cord. ..... I've exchanged e-mail views and anecdotes with people from Alaska to Australia and 18 other countries in between. The exciting aspect is realizing just how similar we all are in this growing global village. How much I share in common with ordinary people in Ohio, or Honolulu."

Saying many people see the Internet only as an "information distribution mechanism," ignoring the Net's communication potential, he noted, "This results in a false belief that information flows in one direction only." He said better use of the global communication facilities available on the Internet could aid the development of many rural communities, particularly poor black communities in South Africa.

"I aim to shatter that misconception by illustrating how we can use these tools to collect vital demographic information at a grass-roots community level," he said. Weideman plans to stay in the glass cubicle, an exhibit at a telecommunications show at the Cape Town waterfront, until next Saturday, South Africa's Freedom Day, marking the second anniversary of the country's historic all-race elections.

The living and working space Weideman calls home measures 26 feet by 16 feet and includes an exercise bicycle, bed, couch and chemical toilet (hidden behind a curtain). Meals and laundry are delivered without communications and contact to the cubicle's back door to which he has the only key. But he noted that even if he wanted to break free from his imprisonment in cyberspace, he could not. "For those (with) visions of me roaming free at night," he wrote, "there are infrared alarm sensors outside both of my doors."

We communicated via IRC for some 5 weeks, before meeting in real life on 30 April 1996, which is the day of our combined birthday. It has been an interesting 10 years.

Happy 10 Years!

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Ubuntu is Soup-er

Not to be outdone after the declaration of the 'cake war' on Ubuntu Planet, and having being challenged to make Ubuntu Soup today by jdub on the Fridge, and not being one to back down from a challenge, I present to you...


p.s. Richard nearly died after eating all that chilli sauce (and the dark one is habanero!)

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Rustic living and broken nails...

We have returned from our camping trip and I have the sunburn and broken nails to show for it.

Richard says my sun-kissed face makes me look like a 'farmer's daughter'. I am going to assume that's a compliment..

After enduring our January camping trip with no table at all, we decided that it really is a requirement back-to-nature or not. So we set off on Saturday morning with our plastic garden table wrapped in a blanket and tied to the back of the car. To my sceptical surprise we arrived there with both the car and table intact.

On the way we played 20-Questions, although in our case we carry on until we get the answer, so 100-Questions may be a more apt name. Both boys understand how to play this game, but playing against Griffin is tricky because his objects are often pretty fantastical. Case-in-point we gave up trying to think of something he would know that was 'smaller than an ant'. The answer was .... 'a very small teddy bear... giggle giggle'. I mean really!

We got the camp set up and set about the important task of lying around reading, relaxing and snacking. Something we ended up doing a lot of (of course today I am wishing I hadn't done quite so much snacking, as I try to convince myself to go for a run... argh!).
The kids had a fantastic time again, evidenced by the fact that we hardly saw them at all. They met up with the same boy who was there in January, who was also back for the long week-end. They had a nack of popping by for a snack or drink or to tell us something exciting every few hours, at just about the time I would start to get slightly concerned about their whereabouts and wellbeing. Convenient.

We took a Richard Scarry book 'On the Farm' along for Quinn which he read very well, so we got a bit of homework in too. The book was very apt as the camp site is pretty much a farm, with the owner even calling himself Farmer Chris. There are chickens, FAR too many roosters, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowls and peacocks wondering the grounds. Then there are tortoises, pigs, horses, cows and an ostrich in enclosures.

We also practised syllables - I say a word (stressing the syllables slightly) and he tells me how many syllables there are, and some recall of sentences - where I have to say a 7-10 word sentence and he needs to repeat it. He did well in all exercises. Aside: Quinn's teacher has made an appointment to see us tomorrow. Apparently she is concerned about him not always finishing is work. I hope the news is not too bad. I am trying not too think about it too much until we are there. More on that tomorrow....

There were 2 young couples camping across the field from us, and they had some cricket gear with them, as did we. Richard nudged me on saying it was my chance to finally live out my cricket playing fantasy. *hehehe*

It turned out that they live in Obs (quite close to where we live) so we are not the only people who go camping 30 mins away from home ;)

We did all start playing cricket soon after that and it was great fun. Who knew playing cricket could be so enjoyable? While the guys we were playing against were clearly more practised than us, I think we did a good job of playing along and didn't embarass ourselves at all. The other 2 girls joined in after a while, so I wasn't the only girl playing either - I was the only one to carry on for the full 3-day game though - and broke 3 finger nails in the process. Whatever!

It turns out all that lunging, running and stooping is quite the bum work-out too, because I have had a pair of stiff gluteus maximuses ever since Saturday evening! Hopefully it has done something about firming that area up!

We ended up playing for a good chunk of every day for the full 3 days. In between Richard and I made up a game. Volley-tenni-cricket. Which is soon to be an Olympic sport I am sure.

It involves one person using the tennis racquet, and the other a cricket bat and then attempting to play volleyball with a tennis ball using the bat/racquet to hit the ball. It sounds ridiculous, but we actually got quite good at it, and managed to get some good ralleys going. Additionally, we provided amusement for anyone passing by.

On Saturday night it rained, so we huddled in the tent and I taught the boys to play snap (the card game). This went on for a while until I got tired and decided it was bed time, so I got mean and evil and played on full alert so I could beat them quickly (what a cruel parent). *efg*
On Sunday night we made a fire and toasted marshmallows - a yummy new flavour I found 'Coconut Cream and Banana', and then made fireworks fairies with burning sticks. Dangerous and fun!

The air matress which is getting close to being more patch than matress gave us (well Richard) lots of fun again. Luckilly he has a scary lung capacity and blows them up in minutes. How the hell he does it, I don't know. I tried in January and nearly had seizure. Still the trusty matress managed to stay mostly inflated for the greater part of the night and would only deflate significantly by morning, signalling that it was time to get up, I guess.

Camping is fun, we'll do more of it.

Friday, 17 March 2006

Camping it up.

We are going camping this week-end. I am really looking forward to it. :)

I have always enjoyed camping - I am not one of those girls that needs hair-dryers and mirrors and luxury (not that I don't gladly accept pampering and luxury when it does come along! But I don't NEED it), I am quite happy to rough it up and sleep on the floor. I do prefer flush toilets and hot water when possible, but I have succesfully camped without both before and that was fun too.

Luckilly Richard is a bit more fussy about his sleeping conditions (ala the princess and the pea) so we normally end up with nice firm air mattress, fluffy pillows and duvet etc. I am not complaining, and I do admit it does make it much more comfortable than rolling around on sticks and stones all night with a rolled up t-shirt for a pillow! :)

We went camping early in January, and are going to the same place again (Chapman's Peak Caravan Park) this week-end, because we had such a lovely time last time. With the Argus Cycle Tour crowds gone, and the Easter crowds not yet arrived, it should be nice and quiet there too. Perfect.

We camp very simply, partly by choice, and partly bacuse we have very little camping gear so don't have much option anyway. I like that we don't have much and therefore just relax and *be*. It means we are not worrying about anything and can just leave the kids to get on with it. There's no moaning about messing food or spilling juice, or toys being left scattered around and broken or untidy, or laundry or wet towels on the floor (you get the idea) and everyone just does what they want to.

The kids tend to pretty much dissappear and have a ball being adventurous and making friends, leaving us to read and relax or take a stroll etc. Bliss!

We eat simply and snack rather than producing big extravagant meals too.

There's a lovely farm village (Noordhoek Farm Village) a short walk a way which is fab for Breakfast or Tea too, and it is close to some nice beaches if the weather is good and the fancy takes us.

We are only leaving on Saturday morning though, because tonight we are meeting up with a group of friends for Strawberry Daquiris, Chicken Wings and a few games of 30-seconds. It should be fun.

But please can I be in the men's team this time?! Because the women always dither too much and don't take it seriously enough, and my competitive nature get's irked!

Update: The Daquiris were sweet and strong and 30-Seconds was great. We did end up playing ladies v.s. Men and we beat them 2-games to 1 :) The ladies tried much harder than last time, and I managed to successfully describe all 5 words several times. Yay!

I'm sorry

Dear blog,

If I did something to break or upset you, I am sorry.

Please come back...

Update: My blog died on Friday , and it was not because of something I did. It seems my blog was one of the lucky ones to end up on a 'bad filer'. Luckilly the content was saved, and the problem fixed, allowing calm to again prevail and the earth can now continue on it's course.

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

and now for something completely different...

In completely unrelated news, it seems my left big toe nail is going to fall off!

I noticed it was a bit odd a while ago, and then noticed a ridge, and thought it was just a ding, or from an over zealous (infrequent) pedicure attempt by me. But now I see that it's not even attached to my toe along its entire RHS and about half-way across and half-way down. *Yikes*

I Googled it briefly last night, and found that toe nail trauma is a common side effect of running (I have just passed the 550km mark now, since mid-September 2005!). Some of the tales of woe I found are pretty gorey and revolting! I guess I should be glad that I have had no associated pain or bleeding - but still.

I am hoping it will grow out a lot more before it comes away completely. Allowing time for the new one to grow in better. I am avoiding fiddling with it, and have painted my toenails several times in an attempt to 'glue it down'.

I flinch whenever I imagine it catching on something and tearing off!

There is nothing more satisfying than being sexually fit.

Or so the description of the video says...

Our local South African version of ( you know... click click - ding dong!) has been clearing out it's warehouses by marking down various items in turn.

I bought a stock of nicely priced kiddies books a week ago. These will serve as new reading books for Quinn, whose reading skills are developing daily, and some with good as gifts for various young friends and family etc. I like to keep a gift box filled with interesting bits and peices I find on good deals along the way, it makes those frequent day-before-the-party invitations less stressful.

This week I got an e-mail saying they are clearing out their video stocks. I went to take a look at lunch time. There were some nice kiddies titles (Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Kipper etc) and a few more adult centric ones. All for only R24.95 - that just over 2GBP and 4USD! Cheap in any currency.

So I decided to order a few to stock up that gift box, and then decided to throw in a few titles for myself.

I chose:
* Yogalates - Yoga and Pilates - yeah I get that, they are pretty similar, and my yoga teacher often incorporates pilates postures and movements into our yoga classes.

* Yogaboxing - WTF is that? I have NO IDEA what that is going to be, but I like yoga and I like kata box (aka Tae Bo) so what the hell let's give it a try!

* Better Sex Through Yoga 3 - *Snigger* Well, because as it says 'There is nothing more satisfying than being sexually fit.' Oh, ok then. Right, so why vol 3. Advanced? Not vol 1. Beginner, or Vol 2. Intermediate? Because I reckon with 8 years of yoga under my belt, and several more in the other department I could be considered to be advanced - and not just in age! This should be fun!

I'll let you know if they are any good ;)

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

We need a cow

We need a cow in this household! because I can't keep up with the demand for milk...

No, no it's not what you might be thinking - if you have a dirty mind! *My* supply was plenty, while it lasted. But I retired from that exercise several years ago thank-you.

Although we never really drink milk by the glass or really cook with it, we seem to consume and inordinate amount of milk in tea, coffee and cereal.

Case in point, I bought 10 liters of milk on Friday morning, by this morning (Tuesday) it was all but gone! Today I bought another 14 liters.

I am hoping it will last till the end of the week. Like I said we need our own cow here!

Monday, 13 March 2006

Robbie Williams

So it seems like we are going to see Robbie Williams in April! It will be a birthday treat for Richard and I.

We had decided not to go for a number of reasons but mostly because there was mayhem surrounding the purchase of the tickets, and they were sold out within hours of being released. I was not going to lower myself to sleeping on pavements for days on end to secure a crappy seat at a concert. I thought the whole thing was a bit over-hyped and over-rated. Also people have bought up tickets and are now selling them for up to R5000 each!

I do however really like Robbie Williams. He has grown on me as an entertainer over the past few years. His songs have become better and I can't deny that he is quite a showman. In fact he become a performing phenomenon and really commands his crowds at his shows.

Having watched one of his concerts on TV, it looks like it is absolutely amazing to be there, and he is totally and charasmatically in charge or everything, and makes it look effortless. So I had been feeling a little dissappointed that we wouldn't be going... when one of Richard's friends told him he had 2 extra tickets, and would sell them for R360 each, which is only a small mark-up on what he paid for them. Richard swiftly accepted them.
I used to find Robbie to be an arrogant spoiled brat, which I did not find appealing at all. I still find him to be a spoiled brat, but somehow he is very alluring too. I think something about the juxstapostion between his checky cock-suredness and slight child-like insecurity is very appealing. Wahtever it is, he knows what he is doing, and how to work his fans.

We will let him entertain us and will be tripping!

another one of those Questionaires...

I stopped filling these thing out years ago, but this one was sent by a friend I haven't been in contact with for ages so I replied...

Since I have nothing else to say at the moment, here goes:
1. What is your occupation?
Project Manager on Ubuntu and Edubuntu projects.

2. Like banana sandwiches?
No, but I like peanut butter and banana on toast.

3. What are you listening to right now?
Nothing - I seldom work to music, it can be distracting. I like silence. The rest of my life is noisy.

4. What was the last thing you ate?
Winter melon with honey sweetened plain yogurt.

5. Do you wish on stars?
No. I do have a sense of universal will, but mostly I think we influence our own lives through our own conscious choices.

6. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
One of those multi-coloured ones ;)

7. How is the weather right now?
Clear skies and sunny, slightly cool, with a fresh breeze. A good day.

8. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
Richard. Yesterday. Most of my work does not involve the phone these days YAY. I hate speaking on the phone.

9. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
Yes, Lischka is sweet and fun and funky.

10. How old are you today?

11. Favourite sport to watch?
My kids practising, and any SA national team competition.

12. Have you ever dyed your hair?

13. Do you wear contacts or glasses?
Neither. I still have my own eyes.

14. Pets?
We have 2 cats and 2 rats.

15. Favourite month?
December, because there is so much FUN stuff going on. We seem to do so much in December and it creates lots of memories.

16. Favourite food?
Sushi, Thai, Italian.

17. What was the last movie you watched?
Tsotsi. Excellent movie - a bit hard to watch.

18. Favourite day of the year?
The day of the MCQP :)

19. What do you do to prevent anger?
I do yoga, kata boxing and running to blow of steam and relax.

20. What was your favourite toy as a child?
My 1st Love Doll and my lego.

21. Fall or spring?

22. Hugs or kisses?

23. Cherry or Blueberry?

24. Do you want your friends to email you?

25. When was the last time you cried?
Last night while watching Million Dollar Baby again. Other than that it's been a while.

26. What is on the floor of your closet?
Shoe boxes and lately lingerie boxes.

27. Who is the friend you have had the longest?
Jenny - since Std 6 (Grade 8)

28.What did you do last night?
Watched Million Dollar Baby on TV.

29. What are you afraid of?
Not being good enough.

30. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheese
Grilled chicken burger!

31. Favourite car?
I love the Renault Clio - or is it Theiry Henry?

32. Favourite dog breed?
I am not a fan of dogs, but Jack Russell's can be very cute and characterful. if I were to get a dog it would most likely be a Jack Russell.

33. Number of keys on your key ring?
1! Just my car key. I keep my other keys on a separate ring, which hardly gets used anymore.

34. How many years at your current job?
Nearly 1 year.

35. Favourite day of the week?

36. How many cities have you lived in?
3 - Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Quinn can play chess

For Quinn's first term of school he has chosen the following extramurals: Mini-Tennis, Chess and Park-Cricket.

He wanted to do Judo, and pottery as well, but those had substantial additional costs - which I was not too keen on after already coughing up for a brand new school uniform (blazer, shoes, jersey, 2x ties, 3x shirts, 3x shorts, 3x pairs of socks, school hat, school bag, homework and lunch bag!), sports wear (3 x white shorts, 2x black shorts, 3x white shirts, 3x sports socks, pair of takkies, school swimsuit, house coloured athletics shirt and school tracksuit) and after care clothes (3x navy blue shorts, 3x navy blue shirts), paying school and aftercare fees, and the stationery and other requisite paraphernalia! Whew there is a lot of stuff to get for school and it costs a lot of money! To be honest I don't know how single income families cope - but I digress. Also I thought he should not be too overloaded in the first term. There needs to be enough time for general horsing around too!

He is enjoying both the tennis and cricket, but on the days he doesn't do sport I have found he is more interested in watching the older children do their home work, colouring-in, trading Yu-Gi-Oh cards (UGH!) or playing with lego or other constructions sets, or creative or quiet games rather than just pushing and shoving on the play ground like many of the other kids. Ocassionally he will join one of the more organised football or cricket games on the play ground - especially with the older children.

He definitely seems to prefer more measured and controlled activity than just being part of general mayhem (except at home, where he seems to think it's fine!) ;)

He has been keen on the idea of chess, ever since seeing Wizard's Chess on Harry Potter. We tried to enrol him in the beginners chess course, but it was full and he didn't get in. I decided to send him off to the regular session anyway, since he wanted to do chess. I didn't think it would work out though and I was going to try for the beginners course again next term.

Well, he has been for 4 lessons now, and 2 nights ago I decided to set our chess board up and see what he can do... I took it very slow and made obvious errors and played into him. At times I made a silly move, putting my pawn for instance in danger, but not paying atention, and he saw that I had also risked my queen (which I hadn't even noticed) and took her. OUCH. He ended up taking every single one of my pieces (save the king), so I declared him the winner.

Last night I set up the board again. I decided to take it a little more seriously, so was still discussing pros and cons of moves with him and helping him a little, but the blighter got everyone of my pieces again! leaving only my King wondering around the board all by his loney self. ;( Dang.

So now all bets are off. I have got to beat this child... or give back my primary school chess trophy! :)

Update: Yeah I beat him! But he didn't make it easy and very nearly foiled my evil plan. He now knows my 4 knight opening, and how to check mate with Rooks and a Queen. Hopefully he'll slaughter his buddies at chess today! ;)

Brotherly Love

Here's my last progression series...

The Brothers (2002 - 2006)

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Boys 1-4 years old

I was inspired by the first series of pics, so I hacked together a photo collage of each of the boys from 1 to 4 years old. It's nice to see the pics next to each other and see how they each grow and change, as well as how they are different and similar at the same age.

I hope they like them.

Quinn 1-4 years old (2001-2003).

Griffin 1-4 years old (2003- 2005)

The boy's first year

I was feeling a bit down and introspective earlier, so I decided to take a break and look at some old photos. I ended up making a progression photo showing how each of my boys grew in their first year.

Here they are:
Quinn (Jan - Dec 2000)

Griffin (Nov 2001 - Nov 2002)

Monday, 6 March 2006

It's getting hot in here,

so take off all your clothes...
I am getting so hot I'm gonna take my clothes off!
(As the song goes - and it's very apt today)

Cape Town is cooking today - the forecast as 41 degrees, my weather widget was on 37 degrees at 12pm, and take a look at my thermometer - which is in the shade and in a breeze on the windows sill. It feels like we are inside an oven!
I just went for a quick swim to cool down, and am now working in bikini - so there!

This is quite a contrast to last week, when I wore a long sleeve vest, long sleeve shirt and jersey on Wednesday evening, and boots and a coat on Friday. Weird.

Update: It get's worse! this is what my thermometer looks like at 4pm... *melt*


We went to see 'Tsotsi' on Friday, and heard this morning that it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film last night.

Yay! Well done.
It's about time a South African film won, and as the director Gavin Hood said, 'Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika'

I was dissappointed that 'Yesterday' didn't win last year, because that was also very deserving of an award.

The Tsotsi wikipedia entry summarises the film as 'Falling into the genre of drama, the film centers on the life of a young Johannesburg township gang leader named Tsotsi - a colloquial term roughly meaning "thug" in South African township slang in which the movie is filmed. An AIDS orphan, he grows up on the streets amid poverty, violence and crime.

Tsotsi is set on the road to redemption when he hijacks a car one night, only to later find a baby on the backseat. He makes the decision to care for the baby himself, and slowly his gangster exterior fades as he learns about empathy and compassion.'

The film's official site summarises it as 'Set amidst the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto - where survival is the primary objective - TSOTSI traces six days in the life of a ruthless young gang leader who ends up caring for a baby accidentally kidnapped during a car-jacking.

TSOTSI is a gritty and moving portrait of an angry young man living in a state of extreme urban deprivation. His world pumps with the raw energy of "Kwaito music" - the modern beat of the ghetto that reflects his troubled state of mind.

The film is a psychological thriller in which the protagonist is compelled to confront his own brutal nature and face the consequences of his actions. It puts a human face on both the victims and the perpetrators of violent crime and is ultimately a story of hope and a triumph of love over rage.'

The film itself is pretty hectic to watch, and there are scenes with the baby, and one with a dog which make you wince. This film is unsettling and rattles your comfort - not a film to relax to at all.

It is however very moving and very well done. The leading role of township thug Tsotsi is brilliantly played by Presley Chweneyagae, who captures the contrast of tough uncaring thug and hurt and loney child excellently. I also thought that Miriam, played by Terry Pheto was beautiful and really soulful.

My one concern was it's portrayal of South Africa, and that forgeiners would get the impression that that is all of SA. It's not. It's a facet, but it is reality for many many people here, and so I do think that should be shown.

I also liked that way that the film avoided unneccesary racial tention, by making all the characters black. Clever.

I recommend you see it.

Thursday, 2 March 2006

Test your intelligence

Something which really revels my inner-geek, is my love for brain-teasers, lateral thinking and IQ tests.

I have been known to spend hours of my free time doing IQ tests and other puzzles, because once I get started I don't want to stop. I really enjoy the challenge.

I have stopped short of doing the mensa exam (even though I was invited to sit it after completing the on-line work out) for the silly reason that I would rather go through life thinking I *could* be a mensa memeber - rather than knowing I am NOT. Lame I know.

I was sent the link to these 2 tests today.
I have previously seen a similar one to the first, but the second is all new.

Here they are:

Intelligence Test Part 1

Intelligence Test Part 2

I got:
33/33 for test number 1,
applaud and
- 21/24 for test 2 so far, but I will be pondering it some more until I crack it!

Update: I now have 22/24 - after 24-hours. I got 16/24 immediately, and others came to me during the day. I am still stuck on the last 2... *think* *think*

Another Update: Ok I now have 24/24 - but was given the last 2 answers... PAH. It's not half as satisfying as figuring it out for yourself... still at least now I will stop being tormented by this test, and can again rest with a calm mind...

Test yourself and see how you do.