Thinking & Feeling

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

Thursday, 25 December 2014

I didn't think they were coming this year...

But here they are.

The Christmas Elves of 2014!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

One Plus Two

I really want to spend more time with my boys and connecting with them on their level, as they want to. Which means not on MY schedule or level or frequency but on theirs!

I need to not always be tired, rushed, stressed and impatient when dealing with them. I need to notice them. And love them for just who and what they are right now.
"A baby is born with a need to be loved - and never outgrows it." - Frank A. Clark  
I read this passage on Laura's blog this week-end and it reasonated so strongly with me that it made me really cry. It's EXACTLY how I felt all my life. My mom never made me feel loved, special, or wanted at all.... I realised all I can do now is make sure NOT to make my children feel the same about me...ever. I hope it's not too late!!!!
“Because she knew that something happened to you when your mother didn’t hold you close, or tell you all the time that you were the best thing ever, or even notice when you were home: a little part of you sealed over. You didn’t need her. You didn’t need anyone. And without even knowing you were doing it, you waited. You waited for anyone who got close to you to see something they didn’t like in you, something they hadn’t initially seen, and to grow cold and disappear, too, like so much sea mist. Because there had to be something wrong, didn’t there, if even your own mother didn’t really love you?”― Jojo Moyes, One Plus One

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The day the mountain burned...

Cape Town gets very hot and dry in summer. Prety much a tinder-box actually. Yet people still flick their cigarettes around carelessly. 

Yesterday some moron did just so, without a second thought I am sure. However thanks to a critical mix of hot, dry and wind it was not just a case of careless littering, but rather gross neglegence, and arson actually.

The mountain rapidly went up in smoke, literally. I was driving home and saw a big brown billow of smoke come over the mountain behind Lion's Head. I actually almost called home to ask if they'd set A's house alight. Just a few minutes later I got a call to say the fire was indeed right there right by the house. What!?

The house is right at the top of Fresnaye and literally across the road from the mountain reserve which was on fire. The house actually has a fire hose. Which Quinn took out and 'hosed shit down' as he told me via whatsapp. Apparently the neighbours were doing the same. Thankfully the houses are not very flamable and there's not much garden or flamable stuff that side appart from the grass and bush across the road. So the fire stayed on the other side of the road.

It is a very narrow road though, 2 cars can barely pass, you have to stop manoever if anyone drives the other way while you are on it, and it is steep and has a sharp bend at the end. The fire was right at (and I think caused by the labourers at) the building site at the end of the road. So when I tired to get home there was just no way I could get there. The road was blocked by trucks, people, cars... A Lambourghini was making a swift get away when I arrived. There was no visisbility it was baking hot and so smokey too. I'd wanted to get home asap, get baby and boys and get the hell out of there, but I couldn't get anywhere near the house or within 3 roads actually.

I ended up going back down to Seapoint to watch from afar and went to a coffee shop and was chatting to Q on Whatsapp to keep up to date. He sent me photos and a running commentary. He said they could hear the fire crackling and roaring. They had closed themselves inside at that point and were ok. Although the house was full of smoke and ash.

I think every fire-truck in Cape Town was there and they had 2-3 choppers bringing water from the sea too, but they were being buffetted and thrown around in the wind, so I think it was quite dangerous...

The wind was something else. There are some stainless steel railings which were put around the pool for chil-proofing for the Thanksgiving dinner on the week-end. They are HEAVY. They were blown across the balcony, blew over and some blew into the pool!

It is so sad to see the damage on the mountian. And the poor firemen were there late late, and I saw some this morning too, so they maye have been monitoring it through the night.

It actually could have been a  lot worse. But it still makes me sad to think about the desctructiona nd decimation of such wonderful nature. I hope it rains soon so it can start to heal.

This was the smoke I saw on the way home.
The house is just down the other side of that mountian right in the smoke...
View image on Twitter

This is the view from the side of the house... hence why I was so worried...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Would you do this..?

As per my last post, every year (for the past 4 years at least) A and another American friend arranges and host a Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends and especially any American 'strays' in Cape Town on the day.

It is usually like 50-60 people. So quite a thing to plan, coordinate and stage. It's a really fun, social event, even though it's a bit mad trying to wrangle all the people and get them fed and drinks filled and all the dishes and clean-up etc.

So it's very hustle-bustle and noisy.

Last year this couple (friend of one of the other Americans) brought their DOG. It's a big pavement-special rescue dog. I was a bit WTF? They said the dog was 5-months old and had just been sterilised and they didn't want to leave it alone. Fine, whatever. After about 30 mins it was clearly not working out though. The house is on the side of a mountain with the small garden 4 stories down... so the woman took the dog home and left her hubby to stay for the rest of the event.

This year I was in charge of planning and co-ordinating, and they got invited again and would you believe they brought the dog again?! As a result the kids were all running away screaming when it arrived, we couldn't put any hors d'oeuvres on the tables, the dog was rushing around just about knocking things over and was probably freaked out to be there actually... and we have a CAT!

Is it just me, or do you also think it is highly inappropriate to bring a fully grown rambunctious dog to a big dinner party?

I mean kids were invited, but even then most parents checked that it was ok to bring them first, and we arranged a nanny to be available to ensure they were ok, since it's not a very child friendly home (yet).

We had to make a plan to get the dog down into the garden and barricade it there to keep it away so as not freak out the kids, eat the food and knock things over etc.

They said it seemed to be fine that they brought her last year so they thought they'd bring her this year! Wow. Ok.

Next year the invite will state 'NO DOGS'!

Would YOU take your dog to a stranger's home if you'd been invited to an event there???

Monday, 1 December 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

So this past Saturday was the annual Cape Town Thanksgiving Feast, the 3rd I have been involved with now. It is usually organised and co-ordinated by a group of 3 Americans. A and his friends K & C. All three had babies in August though (all conceived around Thanksgiving last year actually!) and K has now moved back to the states. So this year there was A and C. C decided coordinating Thanksgiving was more than she could manage this year. A really wanted it to go ahead though, as he feels we all have much to be thankful for this year - he is right - and he of course wanted a chance to show off his pride and joy, baby N!

So despite me having ALSO just had a baby, going back to work at a new job, fixing up and renting out my house, the boys writing exams, and having my sister convalescing with us after an op, and various other house guests etc etc, it somehow befell on me to be in charge of co-ordinating the Thanksgiving feast this year. YIKES. We did at least agree to have a more sensible and manageable group size limited to about 30-35 people rather than the usual 50-60.

To say the last month has been hectically busy would be an understatement.

But everything culminated on Saturday when I got the tenant in my house and then the big fest followed later in the afternoon.

It was a fabulously fun, festive, merry, event filled with friends and loved ones, with no less than 3 turkeys, loads of salads, breads, green bean casserole, pecan topped candied sweet potatoes, potato bake, apple pie, chocolate brownies and ice-cream etc. Even though it was a late lunch I think our last guests left at about 11pm. I would consider that a great success.

As has become traditional A gives a speech to the assembled crowd explaining the origins of Thanksgiving and then the floor is opened to allow anyone who wishes to the chance to publicly express their thanks for whatever they feel compelled to. 

This year I feel so very thankful and so I did a thorough giving of thanks as per below.

I quite quite emotional about it actually.

It was a wonderful day and such a fantastic celebration and reminder of just how much we have and how good life is.
Displaying Thanksgiving 2014.jpg
"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy."

“There is always something to be thankful for!”

I have much to be happy and thankful for especially this year!

I dubbed this year my year of 40, as I turned 40 this year, and had the most amazing 40-week pregnancy and birth journey starting exactly a year ago and resulting in the little miracle who is exactly 3-months old today.

I am thankful for having had the chance to have another pregnancy and birth, which was just how I’d dreamed it would be. The birth was phenomenal and everything I ever wished for. I couldn't have planned it any better and I wouldn't change anything about it. It was perfect and so special and meaningful to me. My birth experiences have been profound highlights in my life and they have given me that which I am most grateful for…

I am thankful for, my precious, wonderful, beautiful boys. They all bring me joy, fun, laughter, love and happiness. They are my life’s work and I hope they will grow up with fond memories of me and their childhoods.
- Quinn & Griffin I know it has been quite a tough year for you, with a lot of changes and challenges as you are both growing up, and finding yourselves and your place in the world. And also because of the journey I placed us on. Thank-you for being patient, supportive and so very helpful to me. I love you.
- Baby Nathaniel (or Thor) who is the sweetest, easiest and baby. I never thought I would get to be involved closely with him, and didn’t even think I would want to go through the new-born phase again, but what a blessing and privilege it has been. I have enjoyed everything about him.
I am thankful for, A. Who has been truly amazing and remarkable. He is so kind and generous in a multitude of ways, and has given me the opportunity to see and experience wondrous things. To travel and have adventures in amazing places and meet incredible people. It has been an amazing journey, and it has been a real privilege and treat to experience someone so mature, aware and easy to get along with. It’s thanks to him that I get to experience the life adventure I am on now. Which has been bigger and better than I imagined. A is a very relaxed and natural dad, and it has been wonderful to see him adapt to parenthood so easily and seamlessly. I knew he would be a good dad, and I knew he deserved to be a dad, but I didn’t expect that he would take to it so quite so fast and expertly. He is an inspiration in many ways.

Life is good. I am truly thankful!