Thinking & Feeling

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

Monday, 28 December 2009

Basil is retiring.

I have love love loved! My Panda, aka Basil. But he has an issue or 2 now (first in 3.5 years) and I can see it's going to get worse and will result in a fight, and frankly I am all outta fight just now. So I am going to retire him before it becomes more of a problem - for me. :twisted:
Anyhoo I was going to go straight for another Panda... because they really are awesome. But then I saw and test drove a Fiat Grande Punto (same year and similar low milage as my Panda) and it was great. Admittedly it is not as fun, funky and characterful as the Panda, but it has SPACE, something the Panda really doesn't. Now that I am a single parent with ever growing boys (and their stuff) we have actually kind of out grown the Panda. Week-ends away are challenging as we are very restricted in what we can take, and have to pack very carefully! Taking the boy's bikes anywhere is a mission, and if I already have stuff in the car, I can not do a large shopping trip etc. As a city run around the Panda is perfect, but as the old car in the family it is limiting.

So I am going for it while the opportunity is there and before Basil's problem becomes more serious.

This time next week the deal should be done... Punto's name still TBD.

The Grande Punto looks like this (except it's white)

This is the Panda (I don't have roof racks)

Grande Punto 2006 Reviews:

Good: Well-equipped, good-looking and roomy hatch that's fun to drive. Five-star crash test rating.
Bad: You have to lift luggage (or the dog) over a high load sill in the boot.

Top Gear: Fiat Grande Punto
Fiat Grande Punto

This is exactly what the world needs. A hatchback with a supercar’s nose welded to the front. Ingenius

Our verdict - The second-gen Fiat Punto dubbed itself ‘Grande’ because it’s pretty damn big for the money. It also goes well and looks great in a segment full of unimaginative Euro-box hatches. Coupled with one of its decent diesels, this is just what Fiat needs to be doing.

Comfort - The Punto rides reasonably well and manages to remain properly composed at motorway speeds. Its only real drawback is a selection of noisy engines that penetrate the cabin at high revs. 11 out of 20

Performance - There are endless engines to choose from for your Punto, none of them a clear-cut winner. With Fiat we'd always recommend going for a diesel, and the 130bhp 1.9 Multijet makes the best of rapid progress with decent economy. 9 out of 20

Cool - The Punto is strangely cool, not only because it has that nod to Maserati in its styling, but also because it's not the default small car choice that is the Mini. Small hatchbacks, just like scooters, are always cool if they're Italian. 12 out of 20.

Quality - You'd hardly dare expect it, but the Punto seems oddly sturdy. For an Italian hatch that undercuts the competition, this is nothing short of miraculous. Another string to what's become a surprisingly tempting bow. 10 out of 20

Handling - Light, city-oriented steering doesn't offer much in the way of feel when you're hurtling about out of town, but the Grande Punto's lively chassis provides plenty of mechanical grip. 11 out of 20

Practicality - The B-segment is full of cars that aren't quite as big in the back or boot as you'd really like them to be, the worst offender being the Mini. The Punto lays waste to all before it in that respect, earning its ‘Grande' moniker with ease. 11 out of 20

Running costs - For starters you can get a new Punto for as little as £7,485, so you're already in pocket. Those diesels are also properly frugal, and the mini-Maser is considerably cheaper to insure than its distant cousins. 19 out of 20

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boys BIG HEART their cousins!

My boys have begged for a Playstation, PSP, Gameboy, XBox, Wii.... ANYTHING! For years now. The poor sods make PSP's out of little boxes and pretend, and Q even got a cheap electronic thing once which had one silly simple game on it, and tried to pass it off as a 'Gameboy'

I was having none of it. I eventually got them some PC games and a games controller and told them that was good enough. They use and like it but. MOM. IT'S NOT THE SAME!

But honestly I just can not justify spending thousands of Rands on a gaming console, and also I don't want to encourage them to spend hours on end on the couch in front of the TV. I'd far rather buy a bicycle or skateboard etc. That's always been my approach. To the point that when our TV aerial blew out of place in June this year and the reception got screwed up I didn't bother to fix it. And still haven't. We literally do not use our TV anymore, not for months now.

Anyway my sister said her boys had negotiated to death for a Wii, and she finally relented but said they already had a PS2 and can't have that many gaming systems. They apparently decided to donate their PS2 and all their games to my boys for Christmas. So we came back from Pretoria with a big heavy gift bag, and I told them NOT TO LOOK inside. Amazingly they never did. Seems they are like me in that way and would rather have a genuine surprise than spoil it for themselves...

Anyway yesterday they opened their gift and they were beyond thrilled! Proclaiming it to be the best gift they have ever got.

I was a tad concerned that it might be a mission to connect up and figure out. But after I changed the plug (from 2 to 3 prong) Quinn zooted off and had it up and running in about 2 minutes, I didn't even have to get up. Yay! So he may replace me as handyman around the house soon too! I can feel my techie knowledge atrophying already!

Griffin is glad that our TV has stopped being an ornament.

Also they are now taking turns one on the PC games and one on the PS2 and my house is strangely quiet. Not a single whining 'It's MY turn now!' to be heard.

I am something to someone...

“I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.” ~ Javan

I was honestly not expecting to get anything for Christmas this year. Which I am fine with. Gifts are way down on my list of love languages. While I do like receiving gifts, I don't need them to feel loved. I'd much rather someone SHOW me that they care than just buy something. With me the thought really does count.

After the last yoga class for the year my yoga teacher (I've been going to her for classes for very nearly 12 years now!) gave me a small wrapped box, saying 'I know you've had a tough year. This is so you at least have something to open on Christmas day'. I was bowled over by her thoughtfulness and care. That she had taken the trouble to think of me. The box was really light and I joked with the boys that even if it was an empty box that wouldn't actually matter because it really was the thought that counted. Just the fact that she thought of me and showed such compassion made me feel special and cared about.

Anyway so I opened it on Christmas morning and was stunned! She often has things on display at her house that she sells on behalf of her other students or daughter; clothing, jewelry; books etc. Well, the gift was the necklace that I admired and deliberated over for about 3 weeks and finally decided I really didn't need, even though I wanted it. She obviously noticed me picking it up every time I was there while they were on display. That is about the nicest and most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me. I can't wait till I go back so I can give her the biggest hug. I love her.

Then Quinn gave me a homemade envelope full of the most amazing and thoughtful vouchers for: Tea, Coffee (about 4 of each) and then 'Spa' vouchers too for foot rubs, shoulder rubs, back rubs, and the best of all one for '10x Super Massive Cuddles and Squeezes'. *melt* That is my best gift EVER! I have always wanted Spa vouchers! ;) I am not sure when he thought of it or made it, but it was a complete surprise. He is such a sweetheart.

We hadn't seen J and his little munchkins for about 6 months. He invited us for lunch on Sunday after seeing them on the beach. He said his daughter B had a gift for me... It was a hand drawn picture in a lovely heart frame. She is such a sweet and loving little girl. I miss her. I still have the beautiful pictures she drew for me last December. Where she drew me as a princess. Aww!

Then C, has been very cash strapped recently. I told him I did not want or need anything. Well he gave me some really beautiful 'Poetry' bath products including the loveliest smelling heart shaped soap.

* I FEEL VERY LOVED RIGHT NOW* by the people that really matter.

Merry Christmas everyone. Thanks for all the love, support and friendship over the year. It means the world to me.

Thursday, 24 December 2009


So with all the talk of name changes yesterday on the way to home affairs Quinn told me that my name sounds better this way. 'Jane Margaret Fraser'. He said it doesn't sound as nice with 'Weideman'. I do agree. Anyway I told him my parents had actually given some thought as to how it sounded, but then when you get married the names don't always go together that well.

So then he asked whether he can chose a middle name for himself. I told him yes he could if he REALLY wanted to. I asked him what he wanted...?

He said, 'Robot Warrior'

'Quinn Robot Warrior Fraser'.

Hrm... although it does have a ring to it! ;)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

It's only in your head you feel left out

Never mind me. I've just been feeling a bit sad, lonely and neglected tonight.

Jimmy Eat World - The Middle

Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away.
It just takes some time,
little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine,
everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
Hey, you know they're all the same.
You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in.
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else.
It just takes some time,
little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine,
everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
It just takes some time,
little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine,
everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
Hey, don't write yourself off yet.
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don't you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.
It just takes some time,
little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine,
everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
It just takes some time,
little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine,
everything (everything) will be alright (alright).

p.s Got a cool phone call which made me smile just before I published this... so the title is apt ;)

What's done is done & shan't be undone

So this morning the boys and I trekked off to home affairs. Expecting queues, ignoramuses, slow service, red tape, bureaucracy, general annoyance and frustration, plus significant costs.

I had wanted to get there by 8am, to get there before the long queues, but I only woke up at 8:30, so that plan was out the window. Still I was determined to tackle that today so we went anyway, expecting to be there for quite some time. I woke up feeling quite down and grump so I'll admit I went in rather cynical.

However the service I received was kind, helpful, friendly, sympathetic and effective. A lovely and gentle Zulu (Kumalo is Zulu isn't it?) man helped us.

My name change was processed immediately. Since I was going back to a previously registered name this part was pretty simple. It is merely a 'revert'. It took one simple form, a few clicks on the computer and hey presto it was done. I am now officially Jane Fraser again. Cost for doing this R0.00. Score. Also because I still have my original ID books I don't have to apply for a new one, I'll simply use one of the ones I have. Yay!

I expected an issue with the boys' applications, so I typed up a long letter yesterday detailing the situation and the reason for the request. Mr Kumalo read this, understood and processed the boy's forms as needed. I then paid the prescribed fee: R70 each. This is way less than I expected.

So the forms are now in. This part however takes quite some time to process and aparently we'll need to wait about 6+ months for it to get finalised. It seems excessively long, but they'll need to issue new birth certificates etc I think. I guess there's not much we can do about this, so we'll just wait it out.

So it's done. I have my name back and the boys are on their way to being Frasers too. Feels good to be back in the Fraser Clan. :)
As the crest says: 'Je suis Prest' (I am ready!)

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

What's in a name?

A Jane by any other name...

With apologies to William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

"Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Weideman."

"What's in a name? That which we call a Jane
By any other name would be still insane."

"Without that title. Doff* thy name,
And for that name which is no part of me"
I hereby set myself free!
* Hahahaha excuse the pun right there!

When I got divorced I had no intention of changing back to my maiden name. I had been married for 10 years (mostly happily I had thought), I had children of that name. It was my name, my identity. I felt no reason to take a stand. I expected things to be reasonable, functional, amicable even. I wanted myself and the boys to have the same surname. I wanted everyone to get along. I did not want to cause hurt, resentment or issues. I thought we could all be mature about it.

But as time has gone by and the insanity and issues have escalated and become more and more intolerable I have felt less and less comfortable about being associated with that name and him. Now after recent developments and findings I am actually no longer prepared to use his name. I will no longer be associated with him at all. And so I am doing it!

So I am no longer Jane Weideman
Ja Well

I am Jane Fraser

I am Just Fine!

p.s. The boys have asked to change their names too. Several times already actually. Completely unprompted. They say they prefer my name. I'll see what I can do.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Will You Walk With Me?

BASEMENT JAXX - Feelings Gone

I Never Thought, I Never Dreamed,
That Things Would Get The Better Of Me,
But Then, A Shadow Creep Just Behind Me.

Oh I Guess, You Can’t Run Forever On Your Own,
No, No

Tell Me, Tell Me,
Will You Walk With Me,
Just For A Little While,
Until The Feelings Gone.

It Gets So Cruel, It Gets So Cruel Out There In The World Outside
When Your Standing, Just Standing On Your Own,
Oh, It Seems Like Every Little Part, Of Your Soul’s Exposed
And I Know Out There, No One's On Your Side.

Tell Me, Tell Me,
Will You Walk With Me,
Just For A Little While,
Until The Feelings Gone.

I’m Not Asking For You To Fall In Love,
For Some Great Romance,
Just Be With Me, Until The Feelings Gone.

Oh, Tell Me, Tell Me,
Will You Walk With Me,
Just For A Little While,
Until The Feelings Gone.

Tell Me, Tell Me,
Will You Walk With Me,
Won't You Hold My Hand,
Until The Feelings Gone.

So How About You, My Shadow And Me,
Just Us Three, Just Us Three,
Walking On.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

It's over...

Or at least very nearly. (I can't believe much more can happen now...)

I have finally played all my cards. No holds barred - pulling no punches. I think it was way over-due, and I have given ample time and opportunity for it to not end like this, but I could not facilitate, excuse or allow any more.

So now I am mother lion protecting her cubs. With whatever it takes.

KEEP AWAY! Or face the consequences.

p.s. I am sorry to those that I implicated in my previous post, but I think you know that I needed to. Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, 17 December 2009


I dragged the boys around Menlyn shopping centre the other day....

Q disappeared for a while when I was in YDE... and this is how I found him...

Posing in the window display:

There were people standing outside pointing and laughing.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Impress & Appall Grandpa in 2 Sentences

Quinn managed to impress & then appall Grandpa in just 2 sentences while we were up in Pretoria...

We were having dinner, and classical music was playing - as is customary in Grandpa's house. Below is an account of the short conversation which followed.

Q, "Is this Beethoven?"
Me, "Yes. Wow! Quinn I am impressed you knew that!"
Granpa gives me an approving "What a good parent you are and look how clever your boys is" look and nod.
Me, "Do you like Beethoven?"
Q, "Nah, it's junk."
Collective gasps all round.
Q goes on, "It's junk because he never sings, he just plays the piano the whole time..."
We all just about died laughing!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

When enough is ENOUGH!!!

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger ... I think am turning into the frikken Terminator here.

I have had 2 very concerning contacts in the past week. One by email and one by phone.

Last week someone from ex's new job contacted me - he found a job in Nov and I had thought he was pulling himself right. FINALLY!

Then today the woman he has been staying with for the past 6 months or so contacted me. We spoke at length.

The boys had not seen, or spoken to him, for 3 months - from 16 Aug. Both a psychologist, and my attorney recommended that I keep them from him, based on the history I gave them and what they saw of the boys. So I did not contact him in that time at all. I was hoping he'd just disappear actually.

He contacted me around 2 weeks ago asking to see the boys again, now that he has a job and seemed to be in a more stable state. The boys were keen to see him, so they went. They have seen him 3 times now, but I have noticed a behaviour change in them since the visits started. Everything had been cool up to then and we had a good family dynamic going between the 3 of us.

Anyway this woman (who sounded very nice, caring and reasonable) phoned me today, since she said she is laying a charge against him for abuse and domestic violence, and wanted to warn me about what goes on and how the boys are treated when they are with him. He is apparently using cocaine again (among other things) while the boys are there and is basically just completely inappropriate as a parent. She says she looks after them when they are there, and he does virtually nothing (at best). She said she totally understood and could see why I left him. They have continued to share a place because they both can't afford a place alone. But now she is getting out and is worried what would happen if my boys are there and she is not... which is why she wanted to contact me. (Which I really appreciate!)

I am therefore not going to be allowing them to go to him again, and certainly not unsupervised and/or without drug screening first. He has caused too much damage to my children already and I am not allowing it. IT STOPS NOW!!!

He is a drug addict and has a serious problem, but he won't let anyone help him. He is causing damage to too many people now. She said she'd also tried to help him and he just screamed at her and told her to butt out because as usual 'he is fine.' She said so many other things which completely mirror my experience. We actually almost had to laugh as we could repeat his standard lines to each other. It would be funny if it wasn't so - well - NOT funny.

Countless people have advised me not to let him see them and I was always worried that I had perhaps misrepresented him and the situation and caused bias in people's opinions, but 2 independent people have now contacted me expressing concern and warnings and I simply can't ignore that.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Quinn will repeat Grade 4 in 2010

This decision has possibly been the hardest decision of my life. I am not joking. I have debated and deliberated it to death and it has a long history.

Between the school and I we decided to apply to the Western Cape Education Department to request that he be allowed to stay back next year. This was done during the 3rd term. I backed o fthe pressure for the 4th term thinking he could just 'coast' a little, since he'll be repeating next year. He of course did pretty darn well academically! So when the WCED reviewed the case last week they were not convinced that a repeat is necessary.

The headmaster called me to tell me this. He said that the school presented their case to the department (WCED) and the department are not comfortable to make the call to hold Quinn back, based on the grounds that he is NOT failing - or even close to it. He said they are fearful of repercussions and that in time someone will come back to them and blame them (for some reason) about him being kept back.

So if he is to be kept back I would need to write a letter absconding them from any liability surrounding the decision going forward.

I told him I needed to know that the school is SURE this is the right decision, because I have flip-flopped on it so much. I really struggled to make the call.

I then spoke to the school secretary and headmaster again and discussed it and finaslly made the decision and sent of this letter with my reasoning:

To whom it may concern,

After careful consideration (and professional evaluation) I have been advised by the school and an Educational Psychologist to allow Quinn to repeat Grade 4 next year in 2010.

The main mitigating circumstances behind this are:
- The fact that Quinn is currently the youngest in his Grade - by quite a large margin - having started Grade 1 at 6 years and 2 weeks old.
- Added to this Quinn has some hearing as well as auditory processing issues which cause him some learning issues.
- He has also had a vast amount of emotional upheaval in the past year relating to his parents divorcing and the ongoing instability of his father.

He has struggled with self-esteem, self organization and motivation this year, due to being distracted and emotionally sensitive. His sight has deteriorated quite significantly this year. He is also physically smaller than his current peers.

Due to all of the above I feel it is in his best interest to repeat Grade 4 next year, in order to feel less overwhelmed and to give him a chance to relate and 'compete' with a peer group his own age and size. This should allow him more of a feeling of control and mastery.

His teacher, the psychologist and myself (his mother) have all spoken to him and he understands that this decision is not based on his academic performance, because he has done well, but rather that it is in his best interests from an emotional and self-development point of view. On paper Quinn performs very well. He is an intelligent boy who enjoys school and learning in general. But he has been under a lot of pressure and I really feel that this needs to be reduced. He understands and accepts this.

I understand that this decision is being initiated and requested by us (as the school and parent), and do not place responsibility nor accountability on the WCED for this.

Jane W (mother and legal guardian)
The headmaster just called me now. He is going to take Quinn out for a walk/chat/milkshake in the next day to discuss it all with him and make sure he is completely ok with it.

I feel at peace with the decision now, and Q seems happy with it too, he has already started cementing friendships with the current grade 3 class, so that he'll know some of them better at the start of the year. He will have the same teacher again next year. She knows and understands him and will know how to work with him, and hopefully keep him stimulated with enough challenges.

So it is final he'll repeat Grade 4 next year.
Thanks for all the advise, support and input guys. I really appreciate it.

They're baaaack!

The naughty elves of Christmas...


They have been to visit a few times before....

ere they are through the years:





Aren't they cute, and naughty-looking!?

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Randomz from Nov

The tortoise that nearly was:

When we went to Griffin's school camp out we found this cute tortoise. How? Well, we found Roxy gnawing on it! At first we thought she was chewing her cow hoof thing and then we discovered it was this poor little thing... For reasons I can't really explain I have always wanted a tortoise. I just love them. They are so cool. Anyway I was SO tempted to take this little critter home. In fact we kept her in a cooler box terrarium for 2 nights. But before we left my conscience go the better of me and we let her go.
Griffin lost his second 'big bunny tooth' (as Quinn would call it):

While we were away at the same school camp out G got kicked in the face during some rough swimming, but quickly forgot to be upset when he realised his tooth had been kicked out.
Resulting in a R20 payment from the Tooth Mom - we are not kidding anyone here anymore about where the cash comes from! ;)

Griffin turned 8:
My little man is now 8 years old. He has suddenly grown up. I (I mean HE) mostly wanted a soccer ball for his birthday, so that's what he got! He was pretty chuffed with it.
Both are growing up:

I am really loving the stages they are at now. Cute, funny, helpful, mischievous, independent, cuddly and just FUN!

Boys + practical joking = a given?

Boys seem to inherently want to one-up and prank people. Especially it seems those closest to them... like their friends and brothers.

3 recent examples:

Griffin got home from school one day, really lugging his school bag. He was visibly straining. Tiny helped him off with it and helped him to unpack it - where upon she found a 2l bottle full of water inside it!
Why you may ask? I certainly did... Well, it turns out that Quinn put it there in the morning, because he thought it would be funny for Griffin to carry it around all day long. Shame man!

Then, a couple of days later, Griffin comes home from school in his uniform. Not his aftercare clothes. Why? Well his aftercare clothes were wet. Why? Because his juice leaked all over them. Again WHY? Well Quinn thought it would be funny to sneakily put 3 pin holes in the lid of the juice bottle.

Are you spotting a trend here..?

So yesterday we get home and Quinn brought his school bag to my bedroom to check his home work etc. He opened the bag, stuck in his hand and pulled out a huge over-ripe banana!
He was horrified. He HATES bananas.
:twisted: :lol:
LOL. I have no idea who put it there. But OMW there is never a dull moment with boys is there?!?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Gems from Griffin

We just put our Christmas tree up... with the usual electrician impressions required from me to get the damned lights working. I was refitting plugs, stripping wires - you name it. Next time I am buying a tree with the lights built in I swear...
Anyway, once it was all done and the lights turned on Griffin sighed and said profoundly, 'Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without these Chinese lights.' I just about pee'd myself! I thought that was pretty profound though. The spirit of Christmas is in cheap Chinese lights! Who would have thunk it huh?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Then - noting that I have actually recently lost around 5kgs (ye-haa) - Griffin turned to me as we were leaving a clothing store after I tried something on this morning to say, 'I hope you lose a bit of weight before the wedding - because you look a little fat.' Shame, to be fair, he did say it very sweetly and in a concerned and encouraging way.

So after fetching Q and his friend P - who is a rather proper and Brittishy only-child a while later I asked them, 'Guess what Griff said to me earlier?' and told them.

Quinn gasped, and P exclaimed, 'OH MY WORD. You NEVER say that to a lady. EVER! Not even if she weights 16 000 kilograms.' He went on to say, '...unless you want to commit SUICIDE!'

LMAO. P has been well conditioned I see. Unlike my tell-it-like-it-is boys.
:twisted: :twisted:

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Shame my boy!

Q came home from school with a certificate on Monday. For athletics! It said it was for being 'placed 8th in the 100m sprint'. I was all like; 'Well done dude!'.

So he shows me the certificate and I'm looking at it, and my mind is turning over.... He then grinned widely and told me he'd made it himself! (or at least written it out on a proper printed cardboard school certificate). See below:Check out those realistic looking signatures though! Woah! I am thinking I may never have to sign a homework diary again!;)

Anyway, I asked him why he made HIMSELF 8th? He said 'Because if it said 1st or 2nd, no one would believe it.'

Shame man. He is right though - he is not blessed with athletic prowess or speed. LOL, but I think it is pretty funny that even in his fantasy world he is a realist. ;)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Stylish eye for the fashion-retarded IT 'guy' - HELP

So it's my step sister's wedding in around 2 weeks, and I have suddenly woken up to the fact that that means I had better get my ass into gear and get organised. There is a LOT to do!

I need to buy the happy couple a gift AND sort out all the Christmas gifts for the Gauteng contingent. Not to mention arrange get togethers with all and sundry up yonder.

On that note: I will be available for guest appearances (I mean meets) on Sunday 13 Dec (after lunch or evening) and/or Monday 14 Dec (anytime). I'll be staying in Pretoria Eastern Suburbs, but can get to anywhere within reason in JHB/PTA area. So please help me plan a get together! I am happy to do whatever everyone else wants - and am more than happy to do a day-time with-kids get together and/or evening drinks/jol etc. Just let me know, and let's make it happen! I have no clue where y'all from up there live and what are good venues there anymore etc. (I moved in 1996 remember!)

Anyhoo, back to the point of this post. I also need to figure out all the 'girly' stuff. Dress, shoes, bag, hair, nails. All that crap! Crap which I am so not good at. It does not come naturally and I am not that fond of it at all. I wish someone could just style me, because I do not know how to shop, coordinate, accessorise or anything. I don't even like shopping or trying stuff on. I KNOW I am a terribly defective female in this regard. *shrug*

Anyway, so I am asking the great people of the Internets to HELP me with this arduous task. So great people of the Interwebz; I need something formal to wear. It is a late afternoon/evening black-tie dress code event - a Bryanston fancy church & Pretoria Country club.

I have managed to get myself into 2x shops for long enough to find and purchase the following (on condition that I have the option to take either or both back by the end of this week-end, once my gurus have spoken) 2 dresses and pair of snake-skin strappy sandals.

So here are my options. Don't forget to HELP! I am pretty clueless when it comes to fashion & style.

Option 1:

Stretchy silky fabric 'Helen of Troy' type dress with empire waist line in white, brown, black and snake-skin type print.

(Excuse Griffin's crap photography)

Would this dress work for a formal evening wedding?
Do the shoes (also 'snake skin') match the dress?
Are either nice and/or do they suck?

Option 2:

Dusky blue knit dress from YDE with empire waist line and stain ties which can tie front or back...


Note the choices of shoes:
White or black slip on sandals from my wardrobe, or the higher new 'snake skin' numbers, (or something else completely...?)

Oh and I was thinking of wearing my hair UP, with a few strands hanging down to soften the look, would that work...? Or down and cut/blow dried etc...?

Any advice, suggestions or scathing criticism welcome! ;)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Parlotones - G's bday & Q's musical ear

So The Parlotones ended their world tour here in South Africa and their second last show was at Grand West on Fri 13 Nov. Griffin chose to go as his main birthday present/party - se-ri-ous! (He is definitely MY child ;) ) So I duly got tickets and off we went.

It was my 7th time seeing The Parlotones live. Yeah yeah, I may be a tad obsessed with them...

So the boys and I arrived at Grand West that evening at about 18:45. The show was scheduled for 20:00. There were massive long lines out the door. I have never seen Grand West so crowded!

We managed to get in and went to get big slush puppies for the boys to sip on and moved on with the crowd towards the Grand Arena, where I just had enough time to get a beer before heading in to find a good spot to stand. We managed to find a place right against the fencing separating the Golden Circle from the main pleb standing area, where we were.

The support bands were Spirits from Cananda. They were ok, but not great. Then came Crash Car Burn, who I quite enjoyed. In Quinn's words though 'Crash Car Burn kind of sucks, Spirits sucks a lot!'. So there you have it.

It was nearly 10pm by the time the support acts finished and the boys were starting to fade, despite me spiking their slush puppies with a Red Bull (in a bottle - which we bought back from Thailand last year). Yeah yeah bite me! Send the parenting police over if you like. It was a once off (OK twice off) thing, to give them 'wings' when they needed it. I was starting to wonder whether it really had been a good idea to take them to a huge music concert like that.

I mean check out the crowd, there were more than 5000 people....

This is reportedly the biggest crowd pulled by a local SA band ever. WooHoo go Parlotones!

Anyway once the Parlotones started the boys perked up and got a second-wind and raged along with me to the awesome awesome set. They played a lot of songs and carried on for about 2 hours! Pretty much all the favourites were played from the first 2 albums and a whole bunch of songs off the new album too.

We all sang along loudly. By the time we got to the very end we were yelling along to 'Here comes a man' which Quinn LOVES.

Us at the concert:
The boys thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and chatted happily afterwards about the show when we went to get a literal midnight snack at the food court and then home where they got into bed after 12:45. Sleepy but happy little boys.
Rectron's Gigabyte Parlotones Launch by Axel Bührmann.
Then when the new radio single 'Push Me To The Floor' was aired on radio for the very first time a couple of months back, within 2 lines Quinn said, 'Hey this sounds like the Parlotones!?' So I listened and sure enough at the end they announced that it was the new song. I was pretty impressed.

Then we saw the concert at Grand West which was 10 days ago now. The boys heard about 4 or 5 of the new album's songs. They had never heard these ones before. Except for 'Push Me To The Floor'.

One of the new tracks played was Stardust Galaxies, and the lead singer from Gang of Instrumentals (Tumi Masemola) joined them on stage to sing the female part.

I finally got the CD yesterday. We listened for 5-10 mins on the way home in the car yesterday and then again this morning. I put Stardust Galaxies on just as we pulled up at school this morning. I asked Quinn if he remembered it from the show? He said yes. He then said, 'The lady from Gang of Instrumentals came on and sang it with them.' Sjoe, I was impressed that he remembered. He then went on... 'But this doesn't sound like her, it sounds more like the lady from Freshly Ground.' * I listened and honestly I was not at all sure. I told him I'd check.

Well blow me down with a feather if he was not right!

Flippen hell on the CD it is in fact Zolani Mahola from Freshly Ground who recorded the song with them. I am astounded! I mean she DOES have a very distinctive voice, but in this song you can't really hear it as obviously her's (well I can't anyway). He has an incredible ear and memory for this kind of thing hey!?

(* Note we have seen all 3 bands live.)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

I hope... you're not blinded by the light from me

La Roux – In For The Kill

We can fight our desires
Oooh but when we start making fires
We get ever so hot
Oooh whether we like it or not
They say we can love who we trust
Oooh but what is love without lust?
Two hearts with accurate devotions
Oooh but what are feelings without emotions?

I'm going in for the kill
I'm doing it for a thrill
I'm hoping you'll understand
And not let go of my hand

I'm going in for the kill
I'm doing it for a thrill
I'm hoping you'll understand
And not let go of my hand

I hang my hopes out on the line
Oooh will they be ready for you in time
If you leave them out too long
Oooh they'll be withered by the sun
Full stops and exclamation marks
Oooh my words stumble before I start
How far can you send emotions?
Oooh can this bridge cross the ocean?

I'm going in for the kill
I'm doing it for a thrill
I'm hoping you'll understand
And not let go of my hand

I'm going in for the kill
I'm doing it for a thrill
I'm hoping you'll understand
And not let go of my hand

Let's go to wars to make peace
Let's be cold to create heat
I hope in darkness we can see
And you're not blinded by the light from me

Oooooh Oooooh Oooooh Oooooh Ooooooooooh

I'm going in for the kill
I'm doing it for a thrill
I'm hoping you'll understand
And not let go of my hand