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Say cheeeese!

13 December , 2017

So you know those questionnaires where they ask, what’s the one thing you wouldn’t want to be stranded on an island without?

My thing is my camera. 

I know there are a legion on more sensible things that should realistically be on that list before camera, like a lighter or a knife for instance…but my thing is and has always been, camera.

I take A LOT of photos. In fact if you want a good gage of my happiness levels all you have to do is take note of my monthly count of photos when I do my backups. The more I take, the happier I am.

What I don’t seem to have an addiction to is printing my photos. It’s actually a finance thing I guess. If I have to choose between printing photos and paying school fees, school fees are going to win every time.

And so, it came to a point where I haven’t printed photos since about 2007, and Nicola has been asking about me printing her a photo album for ages! And then as luck would have it, enter extra money stage left.

So for her birthday this year I thought a photo book might be a nice idea, only to realise that I have so many favourite photos of her that I can’t fit them all in one book! So a photo book per year then? And a firm intention to keep this up annually from now on?

Seemed like a great plan!

For my next trick I had to actually design these books and get them printed, but not for love or money could I get Qphoto’s software installed or working on my laptop…so I found an alternative out of desperation. And boy, am I glad I did!

24HourPhotobooks was such a pleasure to deal with! You can literally create an awesome photobook in about 10 minutes, provided you’ve gone through the process of picking your favourite photos already. And you get your book 24 hours after ordering and paying. Okay, I got mine 2 days later because it was a bulk order, but I still think that’s amazingly fast.
The books came out beautifully! I can’t wait for Nicola to see them. They’re all wrapped up already so I can’t show you, but I have a sneak peek of the covers that I can.

Just LOOK at this little face! I love this kid so much I could burst! 

It has really been quite an emotional experience going through 8 years of memories and THOUSANDS of photos putting these together. (2017 is just waiting for December photos and then it’ll be ordered too).

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Not a bed time story

12 December , 2017

So…I just finished reading this book:

And let me tell you, it is a tale of serious woes. 

Many moons ago I made a decision not to read newspapers or watch news anymore, because I just got myself worked up into a state about things that were out of my control. Instead I wanted to focus my mental energy on positive things and good stories. You know, like the saying goes…no news is good news.

Of course you can’t miss it completely since it’s just about everywhere, but I figured I’d take my news filtered through the eyes of people I know instead of the people who sell more papers if they can induce a panic. If something noteworthy happened I’d see it on fb, blogposts, twitter or lamp poles along the roads that I travel. 

Anyhoo, it looks like I haven’t missed much. Things have indeed gone as pear shaped as told by poles and people…the biggest thing I got from the book was firstly the grand scale of fuck ups, and secondly that it has not gone this way due to incompetence but rather by systematic malicious intent by a handful of people. I did not enjoy this book, but not because it was badly written. It was a story that turned my stomach. 

Karma, when you catch up with this lot…it’s going to be epic!

I do hope that a hero with above average integrity is waiting in the wings to inspire hearts and minds and kick off a journey of recovery for our tattered democracy, but he/she really needs to work on their timing.

Also, who knew there was still such a big demand for spies in an era where just about everything is out there in the open already? 

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Righteous rage

24 November , 2017

Worked myself up into a near froth!

So there’s been an unpleasant first for me…

It’s enrollment week at Nicola’s school this week (and although unpleasant between the 20 odd page contract and obtaining ID photos and certified copies of everything, that’s obviously not a first for me).

Nope, the thing that was new was that I almost had to cross swords with the admin lady to get Nicola’s form accepted because it only has one parent signature on it. 

I am team Nicola. Me, myself and I. 

I knew it was coming eventually. I kind of thought this would be a discussion had with Home Affairs at some point if I applied for a passport for her or something. I did not anticipate having it at school.

Super handy that her birth certficate only has me listed on it. 

Apparently the reason for the two parent sign off is for debt collection if you don’t pay your school fees. Also irrelevant since I’ve paid up in advance (thank you SARS refund).

I think it’s fair to say I don’t enjoy any interaction where I’m expected to produce anything certified. It kind of sets the tone for things to come.

I suppose it’s sort of remarkable that in almost 8 years, this is the first time it’s come up for debate?

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And we’re all wearing black again?

26 October , 2017

So if you haven’t spent all of yesterday and today under a rock, you would know by now that there has been a call to “action” for everyone to wear black on Monday as a sign of protest againt all the recent farm murders.

I have in the past thrown my wardrobe in with similar worthy causes, see below:

So I don’t mind wearing black for this at all. In fact I am already wearing black now, and I’ll keep wearing it till Monday and beyond if it helps.

Will it help? No, it won’t. Will it make it worse? Also not. So I’ll go along with it.

Why does it feel like I’m attending the funeral of my country one wear-black-protest at a time?

I had a very disturbing dream earlier this week about a home invasion by the way. This is not new for me. I don’t remember dreams often but when I do they are usually about me protecting my loved ones from skollies (well either that, or flying with super powers – love those dreams!).

In this dream I was alone however. Four guys somehow broke into the house while I was working and had my earphones on. I didn’t specifically see what happened to three of them in my dream…but I do remember that I ended them with a bread knife and followed the fourth guy outside. He shot me, the asshole! And then I pressed the SOS emergency thing on my phone. Haha, probably should have done that sooner? Right? Anyway in my dream, #notavampire and my dad rocked up at the same time to my SOS. However since they’ve never met it was kind of crucial that I explain what the actual threat was. Skollie number 4 had scampered over the wall with only minor bread knife flesh wounds and I was busy painting the driveway red and starting to see spots.

At this point I passed out from blood loss in the dream and woke up from heart pulputations in the real world. Read into that what you want to. 😉

Anyway, never mind my fucked up dream where taking a bread knife to a gun fight actually seemed like a great move. It’s not. Seriously, if that’s all you have – try your best, but don’t make it your go to move. 

What I guess the point is that as dreams go, it’s not that far fetched. We have had armed robberies and home invasions up and down this street in almost every house but this one. My brother has been in multiple armed robberies (remember this?).

So I’ll wear the black on Monday. One day it may very well be for my own funeral or yours… I don’t see this getting better. And I don’t see a way out for me and my family (even if we wanted to go, which we don’t). 

We may get taken out…but we won’t go quietly. And until that day we’ll wear black when called to as the armchair activists we are.

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That time that Maryna was born…

5 October , 2017

What an adventure! I haven’t laughed this hard for so long in ages. If I had to sum up this camp in one word, that word would be JOY! 

My new mission is to take some of this joy with me into my normal day to day life. There is no reason why everything has to be so serious all the time.

I can probably give you a blow by blow of why this camp was so amazing, but I think the photos will do it better than I could… (and since WordPress decided to pop them in from most recent to oldest, we’re going to time travel while doing it – grab your foil hats and board the Delores).

Nicola’s face says it all…last day blues.

I was assigned to plant knowledge with these two lovely ladies. We had such a great group of kids, and a barrel of laughs. Hardly felt like work at all!

So the story of “Maryna” really starts with Janita (lady in yellow above). Yolandi and I were assigned guard duty for Saturday night 2-4am. You don’t actually guard againts danger as such, it’s more like being on the lookout for crying or coughing kids and sleepwalkers. 

We arrived at our post at 2am sharp and started off our shift with some much needed coffee. Janita then took turns confusing Yolandi and myself for someone named Maryna, and saying we could go sleep as there already 4 other people on duty.

I said we would both happily be Maryna if she let us go back to bed! And so we became the Maryna…to the utter confusion not only of the real Maryna, but also the other 450 campers. 😆

We weren’t the only ones who picked up new names either. Janita’s husband (man in yellow above) is John and he has a hefty French surname. Camp admin decided to redub him Johan Pieterse! 😆

Beautiful open skies morning after a spectacularly stormy night!

They look like little well dressed refugees. We had to plan B it for dinner locations when the storm broke loose.

Some of the groups that were a bit more outside than inside, sported wardrobe that I will forever in my mind’s eye see as post apocolypse chic! 😆

It is actually very cold and wet in this photo and rather unpleasant to wander around in looking for a dry spot to have a quick smoke break in.

Just LOOK at those clouds! Thunder and lightning, my favourite kind of storms, are a little bit less fun in a tent…especially if the wind ripped your tent to confetti (which luckily was not the case for me as Chris secured it well enough to keep it from becoming a kite!).

My tent, frowning at the wind…

Our course had a daily slot at the pool. There was extreme splashing! Which led to the Maryna taking an unexpected fully clothed swim for a splash off with the youngsters…to their delight and the subtle and not so subtle disapproval of some more serious adults in the general vacinity of the pool.
We regret nothing!

Photo booth fun with some dear friends!

My shoes were wet from the storm and the extreme bathroom clean up we had to do.

My friend from last year was in one of the outside groups so we unfortunately had only a little bit of time for a quick catch up.

Someone decided Monday needed blue coffee for the blue-ness of the Monday. It came out more like green hulk smash coffee though…

Love this sky in these wide open spaces.

Pearls of rain on the fence after the first storm.

So each course group gets allocated a bathroom cleaning slot as well. As our luck seems to be, we got one after a short power outage. When the power goes out so does the pump driven water supply…and whoever was unlucky enough to be in the shower at that moment forgot the tap open!
Motivation for the little ones comes in the form of beans. It all forms part of a very elaborate scoring system and the camp cup. 
This bathroom clean up was an 18 bean affair!

My tent when it’s not frowning at a storm. And me, sorting out my bed. Somewhere I actually have a foot pump, but since all my stuff is still in boxes I had to lung it.

Seriously, this has been one of the best camps I have ever been on. It was good for my soul!

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The rules…

15 September , 2017

So…online dating…hahaha. Very interesting!

I thought it might be a good time to discuss dating in general with Nicola and see what she thinks about it. And more specifically what does she think about me dating.

So I asked her if she was okay with the idea of me dating, and occasionally staying with my folks while I go meet someone, as I might need to see a few guys before I found one I liked. Saturday morning to start with as I’ve been invited for breakfast.

She’s cool with it but she has two conditions:

  1. I have to take a selfie with him…because she says that if we look at the photo and he’s not in it we’ll know he’s a vampire!
  2. If he asks me to marry him, I have to say no.

Mwahaha…good to know that she thinks I am so irrisistable that any guy will ask me to be his wife the first time he lays eyes on me!

I said don’t worry. We don’t even know each other. He’s not going to ask. 

She said, even if he tells you EVERYTHING about himself on Saturday, you must still say no. I don’t want to move, it’s my friend’s birthday party in the afternoon. Hahaha! Things are fast paced in the world of Nicola.

Okay. I think I can agree to that.

I promised not to agree to marry anyone she hasn’t met and liked. And I won’t introduce her to any vampires.

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Now I think that I’ve really seen it all

13 September , 2017

Universe: Challenge accepted! Hold my beer.

Okay, I stand corrected…


I am so dumstruck, I don’t even know how to begin explaining this one. 

Let’s just say if there was a list and one of the options you could tick was, “Had someone fake their own death, rather dramatically, to avoid having a tough discussion with you”, I would now be able to get a point for that.

I think. 

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m not. Like 97% sure. If your going to dish up a fantastic story it’s key to keep details to a minimum or you’re just making it too easy to spot. You are going to paint yourself into a corner sooner or later, trust me. Less is more.

Anyhoo…Do you think it’s better and more appropriate to send flowers, or to hand deliver to the “deceased”? 😉