Thinking & Feeling

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

Monday, 27 November 2006

Wake-up to a heart attack

Yesterday I took the kids to a party on a farm near Paarl, it was a beautiful day out and they had a fabulous time on the slip and slide on the perfect dark green lawn around the farm house, I had a lovely time socialising with the owners of the farm who are the birthday boy's grand parents. Much local wine (made by a co-op which the farm supplies) was consumed and much sunshine was soaked up.

We got home tired and happy after another perfect Sunday. The boys went straight to bed, and I melted into the couch and watched a bad movie. I went to bed with the sleepiness that only a day in the sun can bring. With only 2 sleeps until Richard gets home...

This morning just as I was about to regain reluctant consciousness to start the week, I was vaguely aware of my bedroom door opening. My subconscious assumed it was one of the kids, so I stayed my sleepy prone self, but a large dark figure loomed rapidly closer over me and I had a mini heart attack!

It was Richard. He is home, more than a day early. :)

But I am at work now. :(

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Funny but offensive

I just stumbled on THIS on YouTube.

Note that most people will find it really offensive, so please don't look if you are sensitive and/or very religious.

I laughed myself silly - once I recovered from shock.


Why is it that after washing my car it looked worse than before I started!?

I am obviously very domesticationally (yes I made that word up) challenged. Not only did the whole car come out smeared with cloth marks and water marks, no matter how hard I tried to rub them off with various substances but the windows now look grubby inside and out and worst of all I was stupidly wearing one of my very favourite shirts while trying to salvaged the windows before going out and I managed to spray the window cleaner in my face (don't ask!) and now my shirt is all bleached in splodges. So no more tight and fitted glittery 'Lizzy' shirt for me then. *sob*

My kids told me 'Tiny (our nanny) is MUCH better at cleaning than you are!'

I think I will leave the next car wash to the professionals then.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

100 - 0 in 3 weeks

So it seems three weeks is how long it takes for me to become a spinster...

I have gone from whiskey swigging, cigar smoking clubbing vixen (or as close as I'll ever get to one anyway), to knitting* at home on my own in front of the telly. YIKES!

Hopefully Richard's return from the great yonder on Tuesday will help to fix this shocking development!

*In my defense I was showing Quinn how to knit - but that doesn't account for why I carried on after he went to bed...

p.s. It should also probably be noted that the only other times I have knitted in the past 15 years have been when I was pregnant!!!

Friday, 24 November 2006

It's been a while

I haven't had the time or inclination recently to do the fun dinners for the boys which I used to do.

On Wednesday I decided not to go to gym at the last minute, and instead had a relaxed evening at home, starting with a long bath. The boys got this for dinner...

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Gym - scary, but still fun

On Monday I was feeling energetic and arrived at Claremont gym wanting to sweat it out with some hard cardio treadmill work before hitting the kata-box class. The wind was taken right out of my sails when I walked into the change room only to find a young (no more than 25) girl half-dead and being resuscitated... She was semi-conscious but her eyes were rolling back in her head, and her brown skin was white/yellow and she did not look well at all.

Part of me wanted to intervene and assist (long mostly forgotten first aid training kicking in), but there were 5-10 gym staff and personal trainers milling around her and I reckoned that between them they MUST have some basic medical training - right? So I didn't want to second guess them...

BUT they were checking her pulse and she was still breathing and alive so chances are it was one of the following:
- Low blood sugar
- Low blood pressure
- Over heating
- Not eaten anything for too long
- etc
Pretty much all of which would have been helped by simply lying her down and elevating her legs a bit. So why I ask you were they propping her upright? Shrug.

Anyway the urge to stress myself to the point of a heart attack didn't seem very appealing after seeing that so I decided to sit outside the studio and wait for kata box to start like all the other normal people :)

Someone called Angie took the class. She didn't look particularly fit, but her class was good. It was hard and fast but fun at the same time. We all left feeling tired and sweaty but pumped.

Monday, 20 November 2006

Running and Swimming

Another week-end is over all too soon.

After feeling really tired and deflated last week, and doing nothing except mooch at home and go to bed early from Monday to Wednesday I finally felt better and got myself out to Yoga on Thursday and then went to see 'Children of Men', I can't decide what I thought of the movie, but the birth scene was very realistic (for a change) which I liked - I think that's just me though ;) I didn't really think a lot of the plot made a hell of a lot of sense, but I have decided not to invest too much time thinking about it.

I finally got myself into the gym for the first time in a while on Saturday while Griffin was at a party. I did 7km on the treadmill and some circuit work, where I decided to do some crunches. Oh My god I am still in agony 2 full days later. Lindy htf did you do 150 of those buggers???? I think I did 70 or so.

Sunday morning was the Landmark's Fun Run. Which was also the anniversary of my first ever entered running event last year. I had to take the boys along with me this time, and got them all ready the night before so that the 6am Sunday wake-up call would not be too harsh. I also learned that eating HALF a watermelon on your own the day before a run is not the best idea in the world, and had some unpleasant cramps as a result... Still watermelon season is my BEST time of the year and I go through far more of the stuff than can possibly be good for you.

We managed to arrive on time on Sunday morning and I set the kids up at the park by the jumping castle and made my way to the starting point. The race is at the Western Province Cricket Club which is so close to my home that I ran there last year. So the boys know it well and are quite at home and at ease there.

I was meant to be meeting Beryl, but she was nowhere to be seen so I made my way to the front third of the pack alone and waited for the start. The first km was very easy (and I am sure it wasn't a whole km) but the second was much longer and harder and so was the 3rd, hrm. I did the race in 35-36 minutes last year, and was expecting to beat that easily this time, but after rounding the 3km half-way and water point I was not feeling to strong, and felt like I was running really slowly. I had a brief walk at about 4km, and then decided just to get it over with. I think my inconsistent exercising has left me a bit less fit than I was a few months ago, when my legs would tire before my lungs did, and that was only because my legs had been very used.

I ran up the last hills back to WPCC and got to the finish line. It took me a while to remember to check my time and my stop watch said 31.30, so I finished at 31.20 I think. Wow, better than I had expected during the race. So I am happy with that.

I decided to stick around afterwards because there is quite a nice vibe at this race and I knew Lindy was doing the half-marathon, and I thought Beryl might be there somewhere. A kiddies race was announced and although the boys only had sandals with them they both decided to compete anyway, since it was only 750m - twice around the tennis courts. So off they went. Griffin missed the start and stayed back crying, but when the group came around the first time he jumped in and followed for the second lap. They were rewarded with a GOLD medal, Bibo juice, balloon and a little ballet teddy - which they love.

We then went to cheer Lindy on as she finished what really seems to be a really gruelling half-marathon, I have a lot of awe for people who can do that. We sat around and chatted for a bit and then Lindy had to go home (next time you are coming for tea!), so we went home, showered and went off to Melkbos to meet with friends. We all swam in the sea - including me, which is pretty unheard of in the fridgid Atlantic, but it was really hot outside so I survived. Then we went to a lovely little beach front restaurant called Cafe Orca where we had a late lunch. The portions were gigantic. I had Seared Tuna and the Boys had fish and chips all of which was really delicious, and we all took half of it home with us, so got 2 meals for the price of one. I can't wait to have the rest of mine tonight. The boys polished off their fish as soon as we got home.

I had the first swim of the season in our pool, which was chilly but far warmer than the sea. To end the week-end we watched the 40 Year Old Virgin I sent the boys to bed when it got a bit too adult...

Today I feel rested but pleasantly tired and sun kissed - the way you should after a good week-end.

Friday, 17 November 2006

Celebration Day

On Tuesday Quinn has his celebration day at school. It is a mini valedictory for the Foundation Phase (FP) which comprises of Grades 1-3.

At the celebration day the parents and children from grade 1-3 gather together in the school hall to remember and celebrate the achievements of the school year.

Each child receives a certificate recognising an area of achievement for the year. These achievements range from Excellence in a particular area (generally in one of the 'three R's' - you know reading, riting and rithmetic ;)) or art, to Good Progress throughout the year in one of those areas, or for the less academically inclined Perseverance, Helpfulness, Courtesy, or Kindness etc.

The head of the Foundation Phase, who happens to also be Quinn's teacher this year, spoke to them briefly, and then they were addressed by their Head Master Mr Ryan, who I still think is phenomenal. Then there was a guest speaker who is on of the Head of Wynberg Boys High - but his 4 (!!!) sons go to Rondebosch. He was a great speaker and spoke wonderfully to the boys, starting by asking 'whose bum is sore from sitting on the hard floor so long? Stand up and stretch'. He gave them some nice advice and motivation too and I love the bit about, 'It's ok to give mom an extra hug and kiss at home when no one else is looking, and you might even get your favourite pudding if you do' :)

Then it was time for the certificates themselves. I missed the actual hand over of Quinn's certificate because I was trying to get a photo (D'oh), but he did great after a slight hesitation over which hand to shake with. Shame some of the boys were very comical with this getting totally muddled. I remember finding this slightly nerve wracking too, and having the shaking hand slightly extended and ready before hand so I could remember to shake with this hand, and then reach and take the certificate. Quinn’s certificate was for Good Progress in Reading Throughout the Year. I think that is great, especially considering he is still the youngest child in the school, and will be until the new Grade 1’s start next year. He will even be younger then some of them!

After the formalities were over a wonderful and very generous tea and snacks were served with chocolate ice-creams for all the boys. It was a lovely way to end the year (still 2 weeks to go though).

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

The Function

On Saturday evening we went down to the hotel lobby only to find a shiny black stretch limo downstairs, realising it would not fit all of us in, I knew it wasn't our ride - bummer! Sure enough one of those airport shuttle type bus thingies arrives and we all piled in.

We drove the 2-3km to Melrose Arch and arrived just as the sun was setting. It looked quite lovely. We arrived at The Venue (yes the venue of the function was a place called the Venue). We were greeted with a red carpet entrance and pyramids of cocktails to select from. The Venue has a huge Indonesian style wooden door it is very impressive.

We mingled with everyone in the foyer and then were invited through to the main club. Where we were served hors d'oeuvres. There were a few obligatory speeches, followed by the annual awards, where employee of the year walked off with an all expenses paid trip for 2 to Mauritius. Nice!

The dinner was odd but fairly nice, it was buffet style but very meat focused, with looks of little finger foods, kebabs, satay, wrapped duck etc etc. It was all very tasty but I was wondering what the vegetarians were eating? Once dinner was done we were invited upstairs for whiskey and cigar tasting. 2 minutes later BOOM. Everything went black. Apparently the whole of Melrose Arch went out. The Johannesburg people were all a flutter while the Cape Town people all carried on casually sipping their drinks like nothing had happened. We are rather used to power failures by now see. ;)

I navigated the stairs in the dark, and looked back down over the railing just in time to see the DJ crash to the ground and start proclaiming 'Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck...' over and over. I first though he had electrocuted himself, and then I thought he was having a seizure or heart attach. I made my way back downstairs and onto the stage to see what was up, but as I got there the brusquely efficient even coordinator arrived too and shooed me away. So my help was not needed. It turned out that he fell over a speaker and broke his ankle! Ouch. The stage curtains were closed for some time as they sorted him out and took him away. Oh the drama! By this time some low emergency lighting was on, and I again went upstairs, and found the elusive whiskey tasting group huddled in complete darkness in a lounge. I mean since I was un-escorted I reckoned that I might as well make the most of the entertainment...

I arrived not a moment too soon, as I missed the pleb options and started directly on the Johnny Walker GOLD label . Now I am no whiskey connoisseur, but even I could taste that this was good stuff. It must have been if I managed to drink the whole tot neat - and thus oiled by copious cocktails, redbull & vodka, and red wine over dinner, and topped of with the whiskey I had no hesitation in deciding that a genuine Havana Cuban cigar was a splendid idea! I mean you only live once right?

As a non-smoker I wasn't sure I could really pull it off. I have only tried smoking a cigar once before with a gang of male work mates, and that was a tiny cherry tobacco number. They took great glee and amusement in telling me I 'sucked wrong'. So I gave up and let them suck the thing. This time I had no one in particular watching and no self-consciousness (enough alcohol takes care of that) and so I did my thing. Who knows if I was doing it right or not, but it was nice and I really enjoyed it. I surprisingly went though at least 1/3 of it. I took a picture of myself 'sipping' it, for posterity. The sip action seemed to be the only way I could figure out how to draw on it without inhaling. I clearly need more practice...

Once I had smoked enough it was time to go back downstairs and boogie. It seemed that power had been restored and what seemed to be the house DJ was in the upstairs booth and playing some vibey music and so we all got down.

One young black guy was all over the dance floor dancing with everyone and even doing some break dance type moves (technically I think this is now called Capoeira). He came and danced with me a few times, and it was pretty fun. I eventually called it a night at around 1am when the last shuttle was leaving for our hotel, as I decided it was best to go while I could still see straight (kind of!).

It was really fun. I am glad we were invited.

Monday, 13 November 2006

Going home

Wow, it has been a while since I went up country to stay with my parents. I was there briefly last year on the way to stay with Belinda when she had her baby, but before that it was when I was pregnant with Griffin and had a 16 month old Quinn with me. So Quinn does not remember the trip and Griffin has never been (apart from in utero).

With Richard out of the country and with my company year-end function in Johannesburg and Griffin's birthday coinciding this week-end we decided to all go up to Pretoria so the boys could stay with their grandparents, I could go to my function, and Griffin could do something different and special for his birthday.

On Friday I left work at mid-day, and went to collect the kids and our bags and we headed to the airport. The journey went very smoothly until 10 minutes before Johannesburg, when we hit a large and very turbulent storm. The lightning activity was impressive and exciting, but we were very ready for the flight to be over as we made the descent and were all set to land and what felt like meters from the ground when the engines suddenly screamed into life and the plane laboured and heaved itself back into the air. My first though was wtf?, closely followed by aaaaargh. The boys were also green around the gills and I told them to breathe slowly, Griffin started loud Darth Vader breathing. We circled and stayed in the air for what seemed like forever before finally landing from the other direction. after the landing the pilot finally told us what had happened and that at the very last second it was decided it was too dangerous to land the first time and they had to abort the landing. His words were 'we are a bit late now, but at least we are all alive' YIKES!

All three of us climbed off the plane clutching our vomit bags and Griffin very nearly had to use his. I set off looking for a bathroom, and did you know there isn't one for miles. The first one is at the baggage claim which is a substantial distance away. I am sure they have to clean up the floor often! Luckily we made it and after some water and washing his face Griffin started getting some colour back, and didn't pass out or vomit as threatened. So not the best of flights then.

We got collected by my dad in his new and fancy Peugeot 604 and taken through to Pretoria, where we found that the entire family in a 2 hour travelling radius had rocked up for the occasion. There were the 5 daughters and their respective partners (all except Richard), the 7 grandchildren and the grandparents.

The boys settled in immediately and it is amazing to see how they are so at ease with their cousins despite hardly ever seeing each other, yet they always play as if they are best friends. Since we all gather so seldom there were many current and missed birthdays so gifts were passed back and forth as if it was Christmas day. Catherine arrived with 2 huge bunches of helium balloons which provided entertainment to all 7 children for the whole week-end.

There was much laughter, reminiscing and catching up. I miss that and was feeling a bit of nostalgia for Pretoria. It would actually be nice to live closer to the rest of the clan, and be able to spend more time with them.

4 of 7 cousins and moi.

We were served a wonderful meze and cold buffet dinner and Kristy had made a wonderful cake for Griffin, which I think we finally served at some time past 9pm - but the kids were still going strong. Catherine's husband has taken up running (and triathlon events) and was doing a race in Irene the next morning. I was tempted to join him, but when I found out it started at 6 I was no longer interested. I was not planning on getting up early, especially with a big part the next evening. I did promise him that I would run in the morning though - at a more respectable time. We finally called it a night some time around mid-night. I think I got to sleep at about 1am, as with the unusual heat and dogs barking etc. I just couldn't go to sleep.

Despite the kids going to bed at no earlier than 11pm, they were up and at it by 6am! They got entertained and fed by Kristy who was up with her baby and 2 year old.

At 8 as promised I was out for my run. Wow, Pretoria East is stunning. It is so lush and tropical and just nice. Everything grows so easily, and there are so many birds, and some are quite exotic. Also the plots and houses are so big and stylish and new. I love Cape Town a lot, but it is very different. I can really see myself living in Pretoria again one day. Maybe.

It was pretty hot by then, but I persevered. Pretoria East is pretty hilly, so I wasn't running very fast, but I think I did about 5km, and then circuited past the nearby VA gym, so I went in to get some water and earn some vitality points by accessing ;) It is a pretty nice and big club. I cooled down, and did a few light arm weights, and then ran back to the house and found my kids pottering around and happy, paying no attention to me at all.

By afternoon they were getting tired and a bit ratty but insisted they didn't need to sleep. Fearing that they'd turn into terrors with me gone, and be too much of a handful for the grandparents for the evening I imposed a 10 minute quiet period alone each. Both were fast asleep after 10 mins. Quinn hid away INSIDE the fold up bed to not sleep. ;)
This is not-tired Quinn, NOT sleeping (he folded himself into the fold up bed)

They were still sleeping when I left but reportedly woke up reset and cooperative and had a wonderful evening watching the Muppets and having pizza.

I meanwhile got chauffeured to Johannesburg to the hotel where I met up with the rest of the staff. I went to dress and then we headed off to the Year end function...

Quinn on Rugby

This was Quinn's explanation of the rules of Rugby this morning:

"You have to try to get the ball over the tribe line, and if you do you win a tribe."

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Last night I went to see a movie. I had to get the nanny to baby-sit so I could go to yoga, so I decided to make an evening of it and go see a movie afterwards.

I went to see Little Miss Sunshine, at Cinema Nouveau, which is where nearly all my favourite movies screen. What a gem of a movie it was! I loved it. I gasped, laughed out loud, cringed and smiled.

The official movie site and trailer etc are here.

It's hard to describe it, and actually make it sound worth watching, because the synopsis sounds as if it should be awful: a terribly dysfunctional family is forced by circumstance to travel across the country at short notice in an old beat up VW bus, to get the young daughter to the finals of the Little Miss Sunshine pageant'. Vomit - right?

Well it could have been awful, but instead it is brilliantly clever, subtle and really heart warming in the end. Much of the meaning, humour and message is unspoken, and there are some quite hilarious moments, although it is at times heart wrenchingly tragic. Go see it if you get a chance, you won't be disappointed.

"Little Miss Sunshine is an American family road comedy that shatters the mold. Brazenly satirical and yet deeply human, the film introduces audiences to one of the most endearingly fractured families in recent cinema history: the Hoovers, whose trip to a pre-pubescent beauty pageant results not only in comic mayhem but in death, transformation and a moving look at the surprising rewards of being losers in a winning-crazed culture."


Written by internet kids and my kids (mine were pretty tired and being silly as it was way after bed time).


1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. - Alan, age 10

2) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. - Kristen, age 10

Q: Which ever one is prettier and nicer.

G: If the person loves you then they will marry you.


1) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. - Camille, age 10

2) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married. - Freddie, age 6 (Very wise for his age)

Q: 15 and over.

G: 17


1) You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. - Derrick, age 8

Q: Cause they have sex, and because you can see them in a car together.

G: They are together a lot.


1) Both don't want any more kids. - Lori, age 8

I forgot to ask this one until they were in bed. So the answer was not taken at all seriously...

Q: You are both baked beans. Good night baked bean.

G: I love you baked bean....


1) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. - Lynnette, age 8 (Isn't she a treasure?)

2) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. - Martin, age 10

Q: You have dinner with another person.

G: They drive sometimes to the river and swim.


1) I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. -Craig, age 9

Q: Just go home.

G: I would tell them to get out of the car.


1) When they're rich. - Pam, age 7

2) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. - Curt, age 7

3) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. - Howard, age 8

Q: When you know that they are fine. You need to know them a lot.

G: When you know them.I kiss Maxine a lot on the cheek and on the lips.


1) Its better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
- Anita, age 9 (Bless you child)

Q: Single for me.

G: Married for me.


1) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? - Kelvin, age 8

Q: There would be thousands of people in thousands of cars. People would live alone.

G: The people wouldn't get babies. You would live like an old lady with her shoe.


(1) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck. - Ricky, age 10

Q: I don't know. Don't fight. Buy them six roses and put them next to a mirror so it looks like twelve - like Daddy did.

G: You have to love them. Do something nice.

First night race

Last Wednesday evening I ran the 14th Oxygen Old Mutual 10km Road Race. I had decided to do it a month or 2 earlier when Lindy mailed the flyer to me.

My criteria for selecting a race are simple. It needs to be 10km or less, at a convenient time (i.e. not before 7am in the morning or during work time), not too far from home, and the terrain needs to be friendly. This race qualified on all counts so I couldn't really not do it. However I had only done 3 x 10km events before and only 2 of those were runs - and both of those were festive, well supported and sponsored runs. Additionally both of those were on Sunday mornings.

After working a full day, and I do mean FULL day - I was on the go from start to finish without a moment to think (or browse the internet!). I wasn't sure I was up to doing a 10km run. Also I was still at my desk at 5pm, so I thought I wouldn't have time. I phoned Richard hoping he'd have some crisis I would be summoned home for, but alas no luck, the home front was calm and under control and he even encouraged me to just go and do it.

So I got in my car and secretly hoped the traffic would be bad and I would be too late to get there on time, but that wasn't to happen either, the traffic was better than usual and I got to Mutual Park at about 17:45, with a full 30 minutes to go before the race. I had plenty of time to change, register and get myself ready.

Being at Mutual Park was strangely nostalgic and I found myself pining (excuse the pun - Mutual Park is in Pinelands... arrgh!) after the old days of working for CSC. I was also hoping to bump into Daniel September who was one of my manager and was a very avid runner competing in everything right up to comrades level. He did his 10th comrades the year he turned 50. I used to tell him I could hardly run around the block and would *never* become a runner. It would have been fun to say, 'Look at me, I can run 10km now!', but I didn't see him, pity.

I forgot to take Basil's small key and tried putting the big electronic goodie in the pocket of my shorts, but I decided it was too bulky, so I was standing in the queue to hand it in at the locker facility, when a Pinelands runner (Lic:5557 I won't ever forget) offered to put my car key in his tog bag. I was like, 'er, no thanks'. He turned on the charm and next thing my arm reached out and gave him my keys. He asked me what my running time would be and I told him around an hour. He was like 'Oh, I'll be much faster than that'. Which got me think, how is that GOOD for me? He will have my car keys and will finish the race long before me... hrm. Anyway I decided to trust him...

With 10 minutes to spare I joined the queue for the obligatory pre-run pee stop. With the clock ticking down the precious minutes before the race Lindy suddenly ran in panting and JUST in time to change and dash to the starting line with me with a minute or so to go before the race started.

I didn't think to weave my way closer to the front and stayed near the back, so when the race started I realised I was stuck behind walkers. Grrr. I hate not being able to move when it's time to start.So I made a plan to weave my way through the throngs and managed to get a bit of a rhythm going. I lost Lindy in the first 500m - but I am not a social runner anyway, as I can't talk and run and I really need my music and quite loud to keep my legs moving.

The first couple of KM were not bad, but when we got to 3km I had hoped it would be 4 and at 5km I wanted it to be 6 and by 6 I was fed up and tired and was finding the course a bit dull and boring so I stopped and walked for a bit. At 7km was the longed for water table, one of only 2 on the whole course... and it was bone dry! I had been holding out for some water hoping it would revitalise me and finding none was really annoying. Bad planning as far as I am concerned. Anyway I wrote it down to it being a club type race and not one of the big commercial events. From there it seemed it was a direct run down the hill and back to the Mutual Park fields. Not too bad, but then horror of horrors, instead of a direct run we were tortured and taunted by a maze of undulations, taking us tantalizingly close to the finish and then veering away again, until I was tempted to just duck under the bunting and make a run for the finish at one point, but my moral fibre and unrelenting spirit would not let me. So I dutifully plodded on.

I knew I would not be breaking any land-speed records and I was happy to just be finishing. I was so glad when I rounded the last corner and finished. YAY. I checked my time and it was close to 57 minutes. Not my best, but not terrible. I got my OM water bottle at the finish. The queue for the coke table was too long, so I went up to the pub (which I know all too well, teehee!) and got my own can of coke and filled my new water bottle with ice and water, and that was fantastic.

It was then that I remembered about my car keys! I went looking for 5557 and couldn't find him. I found his club tent and camped there and I still couldn't find him. Eventually someone told me he had been there a short while before, and I realised he was probably waiting at the finish line, and sure enough there he was with my car keys ready for hand over. Thanks (name forgotten) #5557! :)

I found Lindy and we had a natter about this and that until I nearly froze to death as it suddenly got cold so I went home. I slept very well that night.

So another 10km run under my belt, and my official result is as follows:
#552 Weideman, Jane Lic:17417 Time:0:56:51
Out of a total of 884 finishers.

So it wasn't an improvement on my last time, or on par with my trend of being in the top 10-20%, but I think this was more of a serious running event with less week-end and charity shufflers... well that's what I am going to keep believing anyway ;)

I started entering the races as I joined SA Active this year specifically to get Discovery Vitality points so that we could stay on GOLD status and qualify for 30% of flights etc etc again. We need 100 000 points for the year to do this. I have now earned 21000 points. \o/

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

My fwend

I was going through an old photo the other day and found this picture of me with Dave.


(Blogger won't let me attach an image again - sigh, I'll fix it later.)

Monday, 6 November 2006


We try to support our local children's home, the Marsh Memorial Home, especially now that it is literally a stone's throw from our house. I donated a lot of stuff to them when we moved, particularly a lot of baby stuff which they could use, like prams and toys etc.

So when I saw it was their annual fund raiser on Saturday I was keen to pop in and show some support and maybe get a pancake or something. It was just Q and I, as Griffin had slept over at Maxine's house (note to self - make sure they are suitably chaperoned from now on ;) ).

So Q and I tootled over pretty early as we had a list of things to get done in the morning, and oh my goodness it obviously pays to go early, because did we ever score there. I found a complete Pictionary set with everything except the drawing paper for R25 (Dave - pictionary!!!). Then we found Bionicles at R15 each (They are close to R100 new). I was pretty sure they'd be incomplete sets, but we took them home and not only are they indeed full sets but they are really cool, and the nicest ones we have! The flaming chicken thing is funny and has an elastic so it's head can make pecking movements, and the tall one is very cool with it's spiky spine.

We also got sets of special sparkly Tazos for R0.50 each (yes, I hate them too, but they gain Q street cred at school, and he swops, sells and plays various games with them).

We also found a plastic survival knife for R2, and a brain teaser puzzle and book, and Sully figuring (from Monsters Inc) and a hand puppet all for R2-R4 each.

We had about as much as the 2 of us could carry all for around R85. Score!

New Bionicles

The talk

The following is a conversation we had in the car on the way home from gym this evening, we were discussing our trip to JHB this week-end and seeing several of the cousins.

Q:'Mommy what is Alastair to us?'
Me:'He is your cousin'
G from the back:'He is my cousin too'
Q:'Is he Jessica's cousin too?'
Me:'No not really because Jessica is Daddy's sister's child'
Me: 'Cousins are any children of YOUR mom and dad's brothers or sisters. So my brothers and sisters and daddy's brothers and sisters children are your cousins, but Daddy's brothers and sisters children are not Alastair's cousins, but his Daddy's brothers and sisters are.'
Me:'So your (you and Griffin's) children would be cousins, and you would be Griffin's children's uncle (more long convoluted explanations)'

Me: 'If you decide to have children'
Me: 'or even get married for that matter, because you don't *have* to'
Q: 'I don't think I am going to get married'.
Q: 'I don't know'
G: 'I am going to get married. I am going to marry Maxine!'
G: 'But I can't be silly. So I am not going to be silly, because she will only marry me if I am not silly'

Q: 'So do you decide to have children, the eggs things don't just start to grow?'
Me: 'No, when a girl gets to about 13, she should be much older but from when she is about 13 every month one of the eggs gets ready, and she has that bit of blood every month if the egg is not going to grow. That what the pads and tampon/sticks are for'
Q: 'So what makes it grow?'
Me: 'Well the daddy has to plant a seed in the egg'
Q: 'How?'
Me: 'Well they have to decide they want a baby and then they... well they have a thing called sex'
Q: 'Oh I know, all that *kissing* and stuff'
Me: 'Well yes, and that's normally when they are married and love each other a lot'.
Q: 'So did you and daddy have sex'
Me: 'Yes, we decided to have you and we did'
G pipes up from the back: 'I love Maxine and we are going to get married and I am going to have SEX with her'
Loud giggles all round.
Me: 'Right, so what are we having for dinner?'

Maybe I should have gone with the stork story!

Friday, 3 November 2006

Lonely, I'm Mrs Lonely.

So the month of singledom starts today.

Although at 04:30 this morning it couldn't start quickly enough, as Richard was snorting and banging around the house while I was desperately trying to get back to sleep! I will never understand why he will rather get up in the middle of the night and pack, shower, shave, dress, check e-mails etc etc. Rather than pack everything up the night before and then be able to sleep in and get up 15 miutes before it's time to go... *shrug* I am an early organiser and he is a last minute kind of guy.

Anyway so at 5:45 he was gone, and I am on my own. Thankfully our trusty nanny - who was sick 2 days this week and had me nervous, was there in plenty of time, so despite tears from both kids (I think they felt unsettled? Because both cried over nothing) we got out of the house on time and I got both boys dropped at their respective schools like clock work. It was then that the heavens opened up and caused a slow trek in to work from then on, but I still got in at more or less my usual time and our morning meeting was cancelled anyway so it was fine.

Now I just have to see if I can get back early enough in the evenings to collect the kids, and as long as the nanny arrives everyday and can walk to collect Griffin at 15:30 that should work fine.

1 day down, 26 to go...

p.s. I am not really as negative about this as it may seem, the boys and I are going to be having lots of fun too, but the daily logistics have to be figured out first and then the fun will slot in.

New Toy

/me is doing a *dance of joy*, as after many complaints, most not even from me, but from the people who have to work near me, the powers that be in the company have deemed to replace my sucky crappy laptop with a new one. Yay, and thank-you!

The real reason is that a new minion (I mean tester) has started, under my supervision, and she needed a laptop, and they didn't have another piece of crap to give here and so they had to buy a new one. I am thankful that I outrank her and so the new one is mine and the old one has been passed on to her. 'Sorrie for you!'

Not only was it old, heavy (this thing was lug-able NOT portable at 3.8kgs without the peripherals and more like 4.5kgs with power supply etc.), slow and with terrible screen resolution, but it was insanely noisy. I used to joke that it was a Boeing brand, is it sounds just like a jet engine running, and believe me that sound is not pleasant 9+ hours a day every day. The result was by lunch time every day I had a headache and felt like crap.

The new one is an HP Compaq nx6310, and I can't even hear it at all.

This is the suck0rz one ->

So the only down side is that our work area is open planned so the old crate is still in ear shot of me, but believe me 5 meters away is a huge improvement on 30cm away.

So the people that work near us will still have cause for complaint, but I am happy.

Basil Review

So I have had Basil for well over a month now, and I think I know him pretty well. I have become rather attached to him actually, and find myself taking special care parking him where he can't get hurt and checking him for dirt and scratches. I even gave him his first proper bath (with soap!) last night while it was raining. Amazingly after 6 weeks he still didn't even look dirty, so I think the paint protector coating I opted for as an extra was well worth it. It makes the paint glossier, and it seems to attract dust less, and any dust that does gather washes off easily in the rain.

By far the best thing about Basil is that he is cheap, now this is not always something you are looking for in a man, but in this case it is awesome. In 6 weeks he has cost me R360, and I have done well over 1000kms. Note that I was using at least R200 worth of petrol a week before. Basil can do 500km on a single 30 litre tank, and costs R150-R170 to refill. w00t! (Yes, the price of petrol has gone down twice recently but still this is really economical). He averages 6 l/100 over a tank, and thats with mostly to and from town rush-hour traffic stop-start driving, I think on the open road he would do even better than that. He tells me my current and trip average fuel consumption and even calculates how many kilometers I can drive before I need to fill up, based on the recent consumption. Clever hey?!

He is comfortable and the steering is nice and light but not flimsy. I drove the Elantra few meters along the drive way last night and it felt so HEAVY - and that has power steering! The smallness of Basil and the 'city' electronic boosted power steering means turning and manoeuvering are a breeze.

His air conditioner is good and works quickly and effectively. Amazingly it doesn't affect the car's power at all - even if you turn it on while driving up hill - the Elantra doesn't handle that well, and more amazingly it doesn't affect the fuel consumption reading when you turn the air con on or off either. I am not sure how it manages that, but yay!
I have now driven Basil in a good deal of rain. He handles the wet weather perfectly, and he is very clever. If I turn on the windscreen wipers and then reverse he'll automatically turn on the rear wipers while I reverse, and then turn it off when I go back into a forward gear, to make sure I can see out of the back. If I out the wipers on the fast speed, and then stop at a traffic light, they'll slow down and idle until I speed up and then they'll speed up again (Richard's beemer had this).

The headlamps are adjustable, and so is the steering wheel height.

I have been able to fit everything I have needed to - shopping, family outing gear, even 5 large (60dm) bags of compost into his boot. The only small niggle here is that the interior boot cover stays down when you open the boot, and you can flip it up if you want to. It is easy to forget to flip it down again, and then when you get in to drive your view is obscured by the flipped up cover. I manage to swivel around and just reach it though to prod it down, although one day I might get stuck like that and need a chiropractor to rescue me! ;)

The kids love that they can sit properley in their seats and see out of the windows. In other cars they always want to kneel up as they can't see anything.

The radio is not of brilliant quality and the speakers could be better, but it's not that bad, and since I don't spend all day in the car it is fine for commuter trips.

For a 1200 engine he goes surprisingly well and we have taken the whole family and paraphernalia over Ou Kaapse Weg, which is a formidable hill, and he managed fine. I wouldn't try to race him but he can hold his own in regular traffic. In fact the only time he has felt like he needed slightly more vooma was coming home from Canal Walk one day with the whole family, some shopping and a very strong and choppy head wind. He braved it nobly, but I felt that wind. I have found I drive him calmly and unhurriedly. I don't try to race everywhere anymore, I just cruise along. I think this is a good thing, and it feels like how he wants to be driven, not hard and fast. This is not a rally drivers car, it is a funky and fun city run around, and it's perfect for me.

So I am very happy with Basil and am very glad I bought him.

The beemer was sold on Thursday and is no longer with us. So now we just have Basil and Blue Thunder.

p.s. Basil is my new Fiat Panda 1.2

- and Dave he is named Basil as he is a manuel! :P

Thursday, 2 November 2006

Trick or Treat

'Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something nice to eat!'
'Trick or treat, give me lots of sweeties to eat'
'Trick or treat, give me sweets, else I'm going to die'
'Trick or treat... bananas? We want sweets not bananas!'

These are just a few of the things our 'angelic' group of trick or treaters were saying when we took them trick or treating on Tuesday night. 31 October, aka Halloween.

Halloween is not very well know in South Africa, but it's popularity is increasing. We have taken the boys out, with their friends since Quinn was about 3 years old. We don't usually get very much, but it's fun to be out and about and walking the streets and most people are friendly and are prepared to offer Something, in the spirit of the evening, even if it is just a biscuit or marshmallow. One well meaning lady brought out a bunch of bananas, but the kids were having none of that and declined trying not to show too much disgust or disdain. LOL.

We had provided plenty of sweets though so they were all well stocked by the end of the evening, and unsurprisingly none of the kids were hungry by the time the dinner braai was ready. Luckily this is only once a year. The kid's sweetie tin is now full.