Friday, July 17, 2015

Life, happiness and moving on

It has been a long time since I posted here.

Two years ago I started Mountain biking and it is not just a hobby it is a way of life for me now and my focus is on my trail review site now.

There is so much going on my life right now that I am bursting to write about it.

First off my middle daughter Raewyn is pregnant, I am going to be a grandmother!!!!



I freaked out at first.   I worried:


  • Are they going to cope financially?



  • Is her partner going support her and her child properly?



If you followed my blog before you would know where these worries stem from.  I had two really bad marriages and ended up a young single mother with barely enough money to feed my daughters.  I am very protective about my daughters I don't ever want them to have the hardship that I went through.   My life has turned around, I am happily married to my wonderful kind Michael, who has done so much for my daughters and myself.

Fortunately my sister came to visit.  My sister and I are complete opposites, she believes in spiritual stuff and we often agree to disagree because I am a skeptic and believe everything has a scientific explanation.

This time, I agreed with my sister completely,  my sister pointed out what never occurred to me.  Besides for my Mom and sister helping me the little bit that they could I had no support system when I went through all those hard years as a single Mom.  My daughter on the other hand has all of us. Her partner will probably make a brilliant Dad and provider but if he does not she will never be as alone as I was.  I suddenly realised that my fears were silly and I could start enjoying the idea that I am going to be a Granny.



My eldest daughter Carmen, is here for a months visit from China!!!




Our Carmen set off a year ago to China to teach English.  She spent a year working in Johannesburg saving up for her air ticket and paid for her TEFL course herself.  She is the bravest person I know!  Having her home for this month is wonderful.


I remember how much I worried about her when she returned from Cape Town.  Carmen had been running the night club of an upmarket restaurant and she was burned out and had no idea what she was going to do next.

In true to Carmen manner she had 2 jobs within 2 weeks.  In a few months she decided that she was going overseas to teach English and she very quickly found out what she needed and arranged it.  She did all this without any help.


My Jess is going to live at Hong Kong Airport!




Jess is going to China for a month to visit Carmen.   Jess is famous for getting lost and confused.  We all know she will get to Chengdu safely with Carmen what we don't know is what will happen on her way back from Chengdu.  I suspect she is going to miss her flight and live at Hong Kong Airport.  I just hope my Japanese daughter Sayaka, (She lives in Hong Kong) will take food to Jess at the airport.


My heart is healing


The day before Mother's day I lost my four legged Grand son, Gordo.  He was Jess' dog.  For the first 2 years of his life, while Jess was in high school, he slept with me.  Gordo was not a barker but he was loud.  He snored up a storm at night, he squealed when he was playing, he cried when he was sad, and when I returned from work he would stand at the gate and tell me long stories about his day.

My pajama trousers all have holes in them because he used to grab onto them and drag along them while I walked.  He was scared of the dark and when he woke up in the night he would start growling at the shadows.  I learned to switch the light on and reassure him that there was nothing there.

Jess moved out and Gordo went to live with her.  I missed him terribly.  I looked forward to seeing him on Mother's Day.  I had a vision of the day in my head.  I was going to arrive at Jess' house and he would walk up to me and give me one of those long speeches in doggy language.

Instead the day before we rushed him to the vet, the vet thought he was going to be alright.  We all thought he was going to be alright.  That evening he stopped breathing.



Moving on




I have been able to cope so much better with my grief because of  Mountain biking.  I recently cycled my first 50km race.  I am stronger, fitter and healthier than I have ever been.




Family





In August we will all have a weekend together before Carmen goes back to China with Jess.  We are like any family, we fight, we hug (except for Michael, he is German) we laugh, we cry.   We do crazy a bit better than any other family I know.  We are horribly sarcastic and forget when strangers visit that not every one gets sarcasm.   Most important we all love each other to the moon and back and will always be there for each other.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mole Mole Mole Mole Mole

A couple of years ago, we were having a braai with friends.

Everything was going well.

UNTIL

Michael whispered to me around a corner:

"I can't stop looking at the long hairs growing out of ...............'s Mole"


My observation skills are not the best and I had not even noticed this.

BUT

After Michael's whisper.  I could see nothing else.  I felt like Austin Powers.

I could not concentrate on the conversation.

All I could think of was:

"MOLE HAIRS, MOLE HAIRS, MOLE HAIRS.  OH MY GOD VIVIAN DON'T SAY MOLE HAIRS.  MOLE HAIRS, MOLE HAIRS MOLE HAIRS.  BLOODY HELL MICHAEL WHY DID YOU TELL ME.  MOLE HAIRS MOLE HAIRS MOLE HAIRS."

Our guests left shortly after this.  We have not seen them much since then, probably because I suddenly could not string a sentence together.  I suspect they think I was horribly drunk.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I am fat today

I have those days when I first look in the mirror and the reflection I see is the fattest woman in the world.

I mountain bike cycle now, have been for a year, I am losing weight steadily, yes I was morbidly obese, but now I am almost not obese anymore.

Last week Michael and I took part in our first race.

He took this picture of me.

I looked at the photo:

That is a very flattering photo of me.

Michael:

That is what you look like now.

Me:

If this is true, I am not so fat anymore.


This is me a year ago:

And about 2 years ago in shorts:



I know I have come a long way but that beast will always be inside me.  The one that looks in the mirror and sees a monster.  

I don't blame media, skinny photoshopped models or anything else.  This is internal this is my own inner demon.  

When I look in the mirror tomorrow hopefully I will see perspective again and be able to say:

Hey I look good today.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hunger

When I was thinking about this post out in my head I was going to say I am not comfortable with food fights but that is PC bullshit.

The truth is I am fucking completely pissed off when I see a show, music video or anything else in which there is a food fight.  Last year my youngest daughter was chosen to be in the music video of a famous SA music band called "Die Antwoord"  translated "The Answer".  They were definitely not being the answer in their music video because in the one scene in the boarding school there is a food fight.

Call me pernickety call me a anal I really don't give a fuck but I know how it feels like to go to bed hungry and I know what it feels like to worry about what your children are going to eat.  Throwing food around is not a joke, is not funny is not cool, is not fucking anything worthwhile.

For many years now I have experienced comfortable middle class living but I remember:

I remember flavouring rice with different spices to make it seem like a different meal.

I remember nursing the vegetables in my garden because if they did not grow I did not know what my children would eat.`

I remember fried rice, stir fried rice, plain rice because all we had for a few weeks was rice.

I remember boiled potatoes, roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes because all we had was a bag of potatoes for a few weeks.

I remember a kindly woman at my daughter's primary school giving my daughters a meal away from the other children so they would not be mocked.

I remember being embarrassed and grateful when my middle daughter sold silk worms to preschoolers  so we could have bread and jam at home.

I remember working 3 jobs and barely being able make rent or buy food.

So yes food fights and food eating competitions piss me off a great deal.

Charities such as Food for Life are uber cool because they empower people into making their own food.

Before you consider throwing food around or wolfing too much of it down for a stupid competition rather consider who you can give it to.








Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why American TV shows worry me

If you are watching or have watched any of the following shows you may have come across a common concerning thread:

Lost

Walking Dead

Falling Skies

Jericho

Terranova


The 100


Under the Dome

The common thread that concerns me so much is how the people get very gun ho and turn on eachother.  There is an inability to deal with conflict.  Is this how American script writers perceive their culture?  Is this perception true?

I don't think it is entirely fair.  When I see footage of the behaviour after 911, people were not turning on each other and going to arms they seemed to be going out of their way to help each other.  

In most of these shows the characters do have to defend themselves but many conflicts are started unnecessarily because every body is so swift to take revenge.


On the other hand I have also seen footage of the riots that happened when there was a blackout in New York.  Also I have seen scenes of violence in New Orleans after being devastated by hurricane Katrina.   As a South African I am astonished at the reaction to blackouts.  We have black outs all the time, we carry on - cook on gas, light candles and wait for the power to come back on.

I think it is time that Americans started communicating with script writers and start asking them to send out a more positive message.  If an apocalypse hits Americans have for years been fed the message that they do not now how to deal with any difficult situation besides for shooting the crap out of eachother.

If you know anything about the history of my country South Africa you will know that in 1994 we went from Apartheid to a democratic country PEACEFULLY!

After many years of extremely bad human rights violations, people were angry and the situation could have been terrible.  Instead our new government set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  The TRC played a vital role in taking a volatile situation and turning it to calm.

American script writers watch out you are teaching people that the only way to resolve a problem is to pick up a gun.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Guide to Cheesy Holidays

My Carmen has accepted a job in China - she leaves in August.

She told me that she would love to make a lot of money and get us all to come have a holiday with her in China.

I said, "Then I could for real take a slow boat in China"

Then I was thinking of how there could be a world tour of cheesy destinations.

1. Take a slow boat in China:




2.  Go to France to kiss:




3.  Go to France to eat fries even though these have nothing to do with France and originated in North America:



4.  See a letter in France:




5. Have a hamburger in Hamburg (again nothing to do with Hamburg - North American invention):




6. Actually go to Timbuktu:  (Check if the Ebolo outbreak is over first)




7. See a fly in Spain:



8. Eat Italian Kisses in Italy (No idea where these originate - chocs filled with ice cream.)  The Italians have a chocolate filled with hazelnut that that they call a Chocolate Kiss):

In South Africa we call these Italian Kisses
9.  Eat cheese in Switzerland - really really cheesy.




Monday, February 24, 2014

Literally?

Michael and I have been watching "Lost".  In an episode somebody used literally incorrectly.

Michael:

"People literally use literally all the time when they literally should not.  It literally should only be used literally in cases, like, 

"I literally fell off the wagon" - you know when you do fall off the wagon and not when you start drinking again."



Me:

"Like when you had sex and you say we were literally banging on the bed, oh no that is entirely wrong."

Michael:

"It would work if you did not have sex and you were sitting on the bed banging drums."

Me:

"I could see "I literally have defined calves on my legs" working, but I would have to illustrate that one."

Michael:

"I have no idea what you are talking about. I think you had to bring up calves because you are proud of your calves because of cycling."

Me:

"When I do the illustration you will understand."



Below are examples of when you can use literally (illustrated for ease of reference)
:



I literally have a bun in the oven:



I literally kicked the bucket:

I literally have a chip on my shoulder:


That literally is a piece of cake:



She was literally pulling his leg:



I literally have an axe to grind:



I literally hit the nail on the head:




I literally hit the sack:



Literally holding your horses:



I literally was dumped:



Anybody literally have any other good literally suggestions?