Thinking & Feeling

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

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Passport & Surname Change Update

Just to be clear, the motive for this is purely to have freedom and autonomy to continue with our lives. It is not intended with any malice and neither to remove any paternal rights (it wouldn't anyway).

It's purely for practical purposes, as well as - and possibly most importantly(?) - because the boys WANT it.

Anyway, I ended up mailing ex-DH last night - well what I THINK is his email address. With a very bland yet amicable message asking if he'd be willing to sign the required forms for either the passport renewal and/or the surname change. I have had no response. I am not surprised though. I doubt he will respond, even if he does get the message. He has chosen to pretend we don't exist and never did...

I have followed up with both Home Affairs and the Children's Court in Wynberg today who were both very helpful and friendly. I now have a list of things to do, and documents to gather, as well as affidavits to get from his sister and mother explaining the situation and why we can't get his signature directly (because he is in effect MIA). If I get these, I can get a court date of 30 Nov to motivate for both the surname change and passport renewal via a court order. The case worker spoke to the judge who is apparently interested in the case and willing to try to help. :)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The boy's passports and legal surname

It has occurred to me that the boy's passports expire in Dec THIS year.

My passport expires in the next 18 months. When I renew I'll need to get one in my Maiden/Current name. (I am still using married name passport)

Which brings me neatly back to:
1. Trying to get their names changed (I've all but given up on this)
and then
2. Renewing their passports
Both of which require paternal consent and approval. And most recently it seems the father is actually meant to be present to apply/

Ideally I should get their new passports in the Fraser name, because if I have a different surname to them I will (apparently?) face more of a challenge when trying to travel across borders with them.

So from an objective point of view. Do you think I should try to tackle this anew with dearest bio-dad who up to now has not been willing to do anything at all about anything? (To do with either me or them??) Or get approval from his mom and an affidavit to say he is MIA and unable to provide consent himself..? Would that even be accepted??

Any other ideas? Otherwise we are stuck in SA until they are both 18/21!???

Monday, 27 August 2012

Press charges or not - that was my choice yesterday

So  this week-end was busy and full of activity - I ran 45km! So by Sunday afternoon a nap sounded like a great idea. Instead grocery shopping was on the agenda. So off we went on our way home from the Blisters for Bread Race (which had been followed by a gym session). Griff was so exhausted he opted to stay and sleep in the car - I would have joined him if I could.

So Quinn and I did the shopping in a more or less zombie state, planning to make tea, bath and chill for the evening as soon as the shopping and unpack and settle into home mission was over. We couldn't wait...

So we get to the till to pay. Quinn asked me whether I wanted to cash in my Smart Shopper points. Good idea, so I send him off to do that. He comes back with the slip. So I hand my Smart Shopper Card and Discovery Credit Card (for Vitality Health Benefit points) to the cashier. He swiped both and put them up on his screen. We then showed him the Smart Shopper credit and he told me that was just a balance check and we actually have to convert the points and would need my ID for that. So he gives me back my Smart Shopper card and off I go to the machine to get the actual Credit Slip I need. Being a bit brain dead at the time this was more difficult and challenging than it should have been. I go back the dude, and he finished ringing the stuff up. 

I then gave him my Go Banking Card to pay with because I wanted to draw some cash. I reminded him to claim my Smart Shopper voucher - he'd 'forgotten'. So he does this. Gets all confused - so I end up half climbing over the counter and sitting on his counter to see the screen and help him troubleshoot the issue. At which point I got to read the script they have there, including the 'H.O.T' reminder of 'Hello, Offer Help , Thank-You'.. He was banging the screen, but there was a clear message saying 'WAIT' with a second count-down, 15, 14, 13... I told him to stop banging and let the countdown finish. I was VERY nice and friendly and joking with him. Even though he was rather gormless. I told him to call the supervisor but he said no he knew what to do. Quinn and I were joking around and being playful. I then sent Quinn off with the trolley while I finished drawing my cash and paying and off I went. As I left I said 'Remember to be HOT!' He said, in a Steven Wright dead-pan way 'I always remember to be HOT'. So all really cool up till then.

Anyway off we go on our merry way home. Get home and start the big unpack mission, cleaned the pool, fed the pets etc etc. We were doing great but then the SMSs started. They were from my Bank saying 'Incorrect PIN used' and there were about 7 of these 10 seconds apart until it said BLOCKED. I checked my bag. My Discovery card was not there. I realised I had never gotten it back. FUCK!

Jumped in my car and headed back to P'nP. Phoned the bank on the way and cancelled the card. As luck would have it I transferred money into it just a few days ago, so it had cash in it! Nooo!

So I get to P'nP run in and go to the till. He is gone. I ask where he is and am told, 'on Tea'. Great. So I find a supervisor tell her my Credit Card has been stolen. She took me straight through to the Security office. The whole time I am thinking it must be a mistake. I mean this dude was young and sweet looking. 

Anyway security were very helpful and efficient and started going through the video footage of his till. While management went looking for him. He was MIA - was meant to be on tea for 10 mins but ducked for over 30 mins. Soon we find my transaction on camera. It clearly shows me handing over 2 cards, him swiping both and putting them in front of him. He then gives me ONE card back, the Smart Shopper one, which I then use to get the Voucher. I then give him my OTHER card to pay and draw cash, so he never gives me the Discovery Card back. Also when I sit up on counter and view the screen, I didn't see it though, so it had been moved to UNDER the screen. I still want to believe the guy is innocent though...  Management come talk to me and tell me no card has been handed in sorry.

Then we carry on watching and see that 15 mins after I was there he closes his till, to go on Tea. You see him finish his last customer, she walks away and then he slips his hand under his screen, yawns dramatically, and then stretches and puts his hand in his pocket. BINGO! No way though. I couldn't believe it. I really didn't want him to have been the one, or for it to have been deliberate! Damn.

Management have now found him and taken him into the back room. They come through with my Credit Card, telling me they found it in his pocket. He insisted he DIDN'T have it, but they searched him and hey presto he DID have it. So they tell me I must decide if I want to call the police and press charges. I opted to go see him as a first step. 

So in I go and there he is young and wide eyed, evasive and quiet. Eyes downcast.

I ask him if he stole my card. 'No'. 
I ask him if he took it on purpose, 'No'. 
I ask him if he was just taking a chance, 'No'.

So how did he get it? 'The cashier picked it up, it was on the floor'
But now HE has it? 'He was going to hand it in'
But it was in his pocket 'Yes but he was going to take it to hand it in'
Did he use it? 'No'

So now I am getting annoyed. I tell him, look I actually KNOW what's happened, I have the evidence, I have SEEN the video and have phone messages so I KNOW exactly what went down, but I want HIM to tell me what he did. He then says he just wanted to check the balance.

By this stage the managers want to kick his head in. They are livid because their staff are actually and usually very good and this makes them look bad. This guy was a temp from an agency and this was his first day there. He is 16. 

I told him his honesty and integrity is seriously questionable and if he learns nothing else he should learn that:
1) When you cause shit and make bad decisions you OWN it and face the consequences and man-up to it. You can not lie or dodge, especially after you have been caught. and 
2) Honesty and integrity are vital, you are going to have situations in life where you can take a gap and you need to decide what the right choice is and if you are going to make the wrong choice, is it really worth it!?

Is it worth a criminal record? Is it worth jeopardising and changing the entire course of your future for?

He swore he didn't get any money out of my card (so far that seems true). But he certainly tried.

I then told him that he also need to think about the further consequences, if he steals from someone how is he impacting on THEIR lives? What if that person can't eat for the rest of the month now...?

I told him I was in 2 minds about getting the police involved.

On the one hand I was annoyed with him and the inconvenience he was causing to me, the management, the security (who were due to go home already). I told him I frankly didn't want to waste more people's time on him. I also told him that at 16 I didn't want him ruining his life and having a criminal record over something so stupid.

But at the same time I thought he needed a fright, he needs a wake up call and to realise that he can't get away with stuff like that. If he walks away from this and thinks it is easy he'll just keep going and get himself deeper into shit down the line.

I told him I was disappointed and as as single mom my worst fear is that my boys (one of whom he met) will end up like him. I just hope they don't.

He told me he was sorry and he won't do it again. I told him I don't actually believe him, but good luck and get some honesty and integrity and learn to man-up. Or become a useless good-for-nothing skelm. The choice is now his.

So now my card is cancelled and I have to pay to get a new one. But at least it doesn't look like any money was stolen, and MAJOR lesson for me is to pay more attention and not get distracted when I am paying and to MAKE SURE I have all my cards back.

I am fairly sure he saw the gap with me and took it, which is sad because it indicates intent rather than pure opportunism. He was also searched again while I was there and he had a Smart Shopper card, which he insisted was his. With about R130 credit on it. I told management he could well keep it on the side and swipe it every time a customer doesn't have their own and then he can earn there points. Clever and very devious. They were NOT AMUSED. They said they'd make sure he is dismissed and will never work at P'nP again.
So all in a all a fun way to spend a Sunday evening, when all I wanted was a nap!

What would you have done? Was I too soft on him, or did I handle it right??

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Tough, Tuffer, TUFFEST!

My friend is a legend!! She ran 165kms!

Yes you read that right... my friend Beryl ran the TUFFER PUFFER - which is a 160km trail race.

The PUFFER starts at 5am on Saturday and is 80km from Cape Point to the Waterfront along the mountain trails. They have 13 hours to finish.

The TUFFER PUFFER is doing the same race TWICE back to back, so starting Friday at the Waterfront running to Cape Point and back again. That's 160 freaking kilometers. There is a 36 hour cut-off.

This year 9 entered and 7 started. 2 of those were women and 5 men.
I think it takes a special kind of crazy to even want to do this race and they usually only get 5-15 people entering. The success rate is very low.

AND SHE DID IT. There were only 2x finishers this year - the 2 women! The other one came in before her. But all 5 men bailed. So she came second, But she was not racing, she was just doing it to finish.

She did 160km in 34.5 hours with NO SLEEP at all, and just stopping for 10-15 mins at a time to eat and change clothes etc a few times along. And anyone in Cape Town will know that the weather was horrendous on Friday Night and Saturday and she was out there through it all! I woke up annoyed that the winds and storms were keeping me awake on Saturday early morning and then I remembered she was out there IN it!

I met her coming back through Constantia Nek on Saturday at 11ish and she was fit and strong and festive and really seemed like she was just out for a morning ramble! I did about 10kms with her from there to Skeleton Gorge and was freezing, wet, cold etc. 

She ended about an hour later than planned as she got a bit lost coming off Table Mountain near the end... get this, she appologised to us for taking so long and keeping us waiting! LOL.

We told her that it was really tough, and we got tired and NEARLY gave up, but managed to stick it out. LOL. What a nut SHE RAN FREAKING 160m!!! Bloody hell!

Amazing hey!?

Let's keep gong! +-130km (and 27 hours in). 11am on Saturday morning in the most awful weather. It was freezing, and REALLY windy and pouring with rain.

This is a shitty photo of both of us, but she had done 140km at this point!

Heading to the finish after 165km (she did an extra 5km when she got lost)

Done! Does that look like someone who has traversed 165km and not slept in about 40 hours!?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Migraine Trends - can you help me analyse this??

So I have been keeping a calendar of my migraines thinking it may be useful to be able to spot a trend eventually...

They started when I was 16 and then I had them very intermittently after that and only ever while I was pregnant. After that it would be very occasionally.

I have identified my triggers to be (I think in order of magnitude and severity):
- Hormones - I have a definite cycle which seems to correlate to hormone spikes.
- Stress - they always pick up in times of particularly emotional stress/turmoil
- Exertion - most these days are during or shortly after hard and sustained physical exertion - I think there is an either blood pressure and/or blood sugar factor here.
- Possible dietary factors (wine and chocolate being the most likely suspects here)

I had lots in 2008 (the year of my divorce) and then they stopped, for a year or so. These are the ones I have had since I started tracking them in 2008:

- 21 July 2008

- 4 Sept 2008

- 11 Nov 2008
- 3 Dec 2008
- 21 Dec 2008

- 11 Feb 2009

- 4 April 2009
- 4 May 2009 (at home end of 8km run - doing forward bends - blood pressure & blood sugar and head rush)

- 23 Aug 2010 (middle of a 10km run - while in the Chinese food shop - florescent lights, funny smells, MSG..?)
- 20 Sept 2010 (at home end of 8km run - doing forward bends - blood pressure & blood sugar and head rush)

- 2 May 2011 (18km into Half Marathon - Exertion and low blood sugar (no breakfast and no nutrition on run))

- 28 Apr 2012 (45km into cycle - Exertion and low blood sugar (no breakfast and no nutrition on cycle..?)) 
- 28 May 2012 (Monday morning after red wine and chocolate the night before and ran race the morning before)
- 7 July 2012 (in Canal Walk after 17km run, florescent lights, exertion and low blood sugar)
- 10 Aug 2012 (P'nP after hard work out, florescent lights, treid on a strong perfume, low BP)

So those of you that can analyse data go for it... Explain! Diagnose...?


How cute is this little doggie!?

Although she is now well over 4 years old she is still a perennial 'Puppy' who gets attention and adoration wherever we go. She is a strange and quirky lovable little thing and is really very good!

Quinn - now famous in Cholesteatoma circles

In case you are interested, Quinn and his ear saga has been featured on Tasha's Cholesteatoma info and support site... 

Born With Cholesteatoma.

He is even featured on the front page of the site's picture collage...

I'll show it to him tonight. :)

I hope that his story helps someone through their experience. I found the info and personal stories and induvidual suppport on the forum I am on invaluable and really very helpful when we were in the middle of Quinn's treatments. It really does help to know others have beent through it (and sometimes much worse) and are doing ok.

The latest update on Quinn's ears - we had an appointment with his fabulous doc last week - is that his ears are stable now. The latest TORP (Titanium Oscile Replacement Prosthesis) still seems to have limited effect but his hearing is functional for now, and we may look at getting him a hearing-aid for the right ear should it be required. 

In the mean time we are down to 3-4 monthly check-ups and the Doc said he can do whatever he wants. INCLUDING swimming, water-polo, even DIVING, and also Rugby!!! He just said that in swimming seaon we should try to dry ear out after being wet and to probably come in more frequently for a cleaning. WHOOP!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

I ALMOST broke 50 mins!

So I ran the Women's Day Challenge today.

My first race in a few months... The weather was perfect, there were not too many people, I know the route well, and I felt good. It was great run even though I didn't feel like I was going particularly fast... as I got to the end I rounded the last corner and saw the clock and it read 49:45! (I usually finish in 51-54 mins). No way!

I sprinted like an Olympic athlete, as that is the only time a sub-50 time has ever been near to my reach. I so badly wanted to make it under 50 mins. I jumped and landed on the finish line at 50:00 ON THE DOT. WooHoo!

It is a new personal best for me, for a 10km run, by a full 45 seconds.

I'm so chuffed! :)

Monday, 6 August 2012

My 2 seconds of fame!

Oooh look, I have been featured by the lovely Marina on her blog. She is a super person, beautiful, natural, very grounded, centred and self aware. I find her very inspirational, both as a woman and mother. She is fabulous!

Here is her interview of ME!

Sunday, 5 August 2012


I have done 3x #moonlightmass cycles now and I am hooked. They are SUCH FUN!

#moonlightmass is the brain child of Daniel Graham and Elad Kirshenbaum – an uber cool social cycling experience highlighting the fact that Cape Town has an embarrassingly high carbon emission rate that could be offset by using greener transportation methods. #moonlightmass is a casual evening bicycle ride starting at the Green Point Circle on the eve of the full moon, every month. The monthly full moon cycle aims to raise awareness for cycling in the city and the safety of cyclists in the urban environment.

The next #moonlightmass cycle is 8.2, and is a special BLUE MOON version. WEAR BLUE! It takes place on 31 August, at 9pm. Meet under the Green Point roundabout . Check out the #moonlightmass Facebook Page & website for more details.


These are our photos from #moonlightmass 8.1 which was on Thurs. Quinn and I were there.
 More awesome photos here:

Photos from our previous 2 #Moonlightmass cycles:
4 simple rules:
  •  Wear a helmet
  •  Use reflective gear
  • Switch on the lights
  •  Obey all traffic laws
Read more about it here:
Firstly, if you’re looking for an excuse to slip into some spandex or slip-stream a peloton of peddlers – then this isn’t the ride for you. Note that I said ride, not race, because it's definitely not a race when you cruise past a pretty girl in double denim and a basket on the front of her Maybelline, or some guys in big bushy beards smoking pipes. You drink beer before, after and during #moonlightmass, not NRG drinks from Camelbaks.
Now it’s quite something getting 700+ Capetonians to commit to anything, let alone physical activity at nine on a Monday night, but to get Helen Zille to participate, just by tweeting at her, now that’s something.
The moonlightmass is not a race. Think of it as a scenic night-meander. We weaved our way alongside the stadium grounds, past The Radisson and along onto the Sea Point Promenade. Thereafter, we made our way back along Green Point Main Road before breaking briefly at the bottom of Long Street. People who watched from cars had their jaws dropping in their laps. The vibe was indescribable.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Blah di blah

Wow, I am struggling to stay awake today. Seriously my eyes just want to close... I am also cold, and was freezing last night too. Hrm... better not be getting sick...?

Anyway been wading through the admin fun of performance appraisals. Thanks to having 30 resources working on my projects I have quite a lot of this to do. I feel like a school teacher writing reports! I have 10 perm employees to assess too, and that involves a whole bunch MORE stuff, having all the fun ad official HR processes they do.

Not to mention that last night I had to stay late for a meeting, where we were told that we are not allowed to work overtime anymore! Go figure. Obviously it is more complicated than that, but that was the gist of it... By the time I got out of here and filled up with petrol it was cold and dark. So I phoned to order pizzas from the place opposite the petrol station. But that was going to take 45 mins, so I went home and decided to walk the boys and dog there. Which we did in the cold, dark and then rain too. What fun. The pizza place was empty and the guy was humourless and pretty gormless too. Paid went home and had the crappest pizza ever. I may aswell have just been a sheet of cardboard, seriously. So that was dissappointing.

Ended up in bed and asleep just after 10. With 2x blankets and a warm towel I took off the heater AND my dressing gown... I WAS COLD!

Happy hump day, it can only get better from here!

#Moonlightmass 8.1 - Thurs 2 Aug

The weather is looking great for this tomorrow. I have done this twice before and it is really good fun.

It's a festive, slow and fun (free) mass cycle ride (between 200-1000 people) for about 10-12 km around Greenpoint, Mouliepoint and Longstreet.

"#moonlightmass is a casual night bicycle ride starting at the Green Point Circle on a full moon once a month. Started as a social experiment on twitter the ride has been gaining popularity and on our last ride we had over 200 riders raising awareness for cycling in the city and the safety of cyclists in the urban environment."

Quinn and I will be going through again.

It starts under Green Point turning circle at 9pm. Ends at Greenmarket Square – usually with a beer or 2.

Feel free to come join in! Spread the word, the more the merrier.
You just need a bike (or skateboard) and sense of fun!