Archive for the ‘Nicola’ Category

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Fancy meeting you here

29 March , 2021

As I’ve mentioned, our weekends are mostly full of markets these days. You get to know the other vendors and people involved pretty well over time. Imagine my surprise when someone greeted me by name, that didn’t look very familiar to me. Anyhoo, the bloody masks are to blame for that…and also that I haven’t seen him in aaaaages.

We ended up set up next to TGC’s brother at the market yesterday. (For those who weren’t reading here way back when, in short he’s Nicola’s uncle…who she has never met).

It was a bit awkward at first, but we were chatting about everything except that thing, and I guess we would have not talked about it all day but thankfully he broke the ice eventually. It turns out neither one of us is on speaking terms with TGC, and we hold pretty similar views on his behaviour.

Most importantly, there is actually no bad blood between us, and never has been. We have tentatively agreed to let Nicola and his daughter meet each other if our significant others agree. And it was actually a pretty surreal but pleasant experience clearing the air so to speak.

Andy and I agreed that we would first discuss it with Nicola and see where her head is at, and her head is in the clouds about it, which comes as no surprise. She is excited to meet her mystery cousin, aunt and uncle, on condition that she absolutely does not want to meet TGC. I am completely on board with this.

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Unexpected

13 March , 2021

So, this school year is off to a crazy start…some of it good, some not so much. N has had to cope with a couple of doozies already, and it’s like this sign was an omen or something because she really is flying!

Let me set the scene (well, to a certain extent as I have only managed to wiggle very scant details out of the N vault). There was a heated incident in her circle of friends. She wasn’t even directly involved, but came out swinging in defence of the one she saw crying about it. She either really doesn’t know what the original fight was about or she doesn’t want to say.

It went very pear shaped. A few days after this it seemed like the original owners of the issue had put it behind them and 2 of the 3 girls had put N’s participation behind them too, although they did say they can’t talk to her at school until the other one does too. I suggested that it might be a good idea to apologise to number 3 for the intense reaction so that they could move on past this.

A few days later they all got together to tell N she’s not welcome there anymore. Even the one she stood up for. Girls this age are not freaking funny guys, harsh, harsh, harsh…anyhoo, we’re trying to give her the space to work through this in her own way, but I did say that she probably didn’t need “friends” like that anyway. Sjoe, not even my friends but the one I really expected better from, and the betrayal stings even though it’s not mine. *Reminds self not to get involved unless asked*

So I was kind of expecting some grumpiness and melancholy in the home front, understandably, but it has been the exact opposite of that!

It’s like the weight of the world has lifted off her shoulders. She’s chatty and animated, she’s laughing and helping out around the house, she’s already made a bunch of new budds and started a study club with some of them. She clocked an amazing 90% on her English oral and managed to connect with her Maths teacher. She hasn’t even moaned once about losing her screen time for a month (day of the fight she lashed out “a bit” at home).

Honestly, I’m in awe of how she’s doing with this. Am I missing something? Is it really going to be that easy? I have been watching her like a hawk to see if this is a I’m-doing-great show, but no, she genuinely seem to be on top of the world. What a relief! Also makes me speculate a bit in the true nature of this previous friendship to be honest.

This age was hard enough for me as a kid, but I had more control over it when it was my own life. Watching your kid learn to deal with this sort of thing is a kak spectator sport I tell you! Thank goodness she seems to be doing a fabulous job on it.

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In the strangest year of all (so far), you turned 11

19 December , 2020

Dear Nicola,

What a freakin upside down year this has been?! It has been hard on all of us, but it has been especially hard on you.

And even though other people sometimes refer to you as my mini me, there has never been a time before where it has been more obvious that you are definitely your own little person…well, not that little anymore, but definitely your own.

I really don’t think I was the best mom for you in this bewildering past year, and not for lack of trying. My need for peace and quiet, and your need for connection and chaos were in direct opposition. We both tried our best, and that’s all there us to it now I guess.

As long as you know, no matter what, I love you unconditionally. I am proud to the point of bursting at how you take on life, even if it’s not the way I would do it. Actually, even more so then. Always keep being true to yourself, you’re amazing!

So…to my loud, kind hearted, moody, hilarious, always hungry, fiercely loyal, curious and amazing daughter…Happy Birthday! I hope that the next year will bring you adventure and delight beyond your wildest imaginings, and peace and contentment…and maybe some balance between two.

Lots of love xxx♥️
Mom-ster 😉

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Closer

29 June , 2020

We received a letter from the school yesterday, only the Gr7s had restarted classroom education so far during lockdown, and one of those children had now tested positive for Covid-19. Eep! The school was deep cleaned again in a hurry yesterday and all Gr7s have been sent home to wait and see for the next two weeks again. Some of the other grades started today.

Nicola’s grade is supposed to start next week and we’ve applied for her to continue remote learning from home for the time being due to her Alpha Thalassemia Trait which makes her more susceptible to infections.

She is of course gutted and misses her friends terribly, but we said that we will only even consider letting her rejoin classmates if the school has not one single infection from now till end of August. We had an above average suspicion that this was mission impossible really, but I must say they are handling this fairly sensibly. I also don’t think this will be the last infection, and they probably won’t come one at a time either in the near future.

Nicola might be more upset about this infection than the poor infected child him/her-self. She was sobbing her heart out yesterday after we shared the news with her, saying she will probably NEVER be allowed to leave the house again. Understandably.

I suppose there are people who are keeping a tight lip around their kids about this chaos, but we have always been honest with Nicola and she needs to be aware in order to be careful. This thing isn’t going away any time soon, and although we would love for her to be able to spend time with her friends and teachers, it is also painfully obvious that we are not actually being paranoid in not letting her go.

How are your kids dealing with the apocalypse?

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Enormous Catch Up Post

3 March , 2020

It has been some time since I’ve felt like talking, but here we are…and I have loads to catch up on.

So firstly, in case you were wondering, I am still unemployed. I’m quite busy for an unemployed person though. I’m selling Annique, now also Cannabis products, and in between I do the odd set of minutes and the company I worked for previously brings me in for a couple of days each month to help out with project work.

All things considered, I actually can’t complain. Not doing fabulous financially, but we get by and I have learnt some big lessons in letting go and letting God. I am at peace with my chaos.

Two tiny bug bears that I can tell you about on the work front is, number 1: one of the casual staff that I’ve had to work with on these projects recently really grated my goat. He seems to think that just because he admired my measuring tape, I should gift it to him. Dream on buddy, I’m as hard up as you are and I’ve had that tape for roughly 20 years. Also, he was supposed to stay with me, as he was in my audit team. He just wanders off as the spirit moves him, leaving our security escort scratching his head about which part of the team to follow. When I discussed it with him, he seemed to think that I should check in with him first before doing anything, hahahaha, uhm no. So anyway, teeth were shown and so on. We are all on the same page now.

Number 2: Despite being very hesitant to utilise UIF for the first ever time in my entire life, I found the experience not at all as unpleasant as I expected. The second time I rocked up, I didn’t even bawl my eyes out in the queue. However, after paying UIF since 1997, my benefit was depleted in exactly two months. And that’s the end of that I guess. It was good while it lasted. Not enough to survive on, but enough to fill a few holes and take some shallow breaths instead of none.

For those of you who might be staring into the UIF abyss due to impending retrenchments yourselves, let me explain how they calculate what you get. There’s two limits, one is a daily one…I think it’s either R145 or R137 or some such, say somewhere between R100 and R200 but closer to R100, which works out to about R4500-ish for a month. Then they take YOUR actual UIF contributions for the last 4 years and deduct this monthly amount from that until you get to zero. The end. Also, they give you arbitrary dates roughly 2 months apart at which you must present yourself there to prove that you have nothing better to do during the day yet, payment then comes through to your account about a week later.

Anyhoo, I am grateful for the help it did give me, and the experience was humbling and eye opening. And one which I’d very much like to not have again, all the same.

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On the home front: We have been experiencing definite signs of puberty, more especially the MOOD SWINGS. Oh my goodness, there have been loads of that.

Well, Nicola and I entered into (to me) very entertaining post it discussion on her doors. This happened after she presented us with a disciplinary letter from school for not doing her homework five times. First at school, she was checking to see if we’re furious, which is what she was expecting for some reason. We weren’t, just told her anyone can make a mistake but we have to learn from it and do better next time. Signed the letter, and wrote one back explaining that the whole family was going through quite a traumatic time. Not that we consider it an excuse, but perhaps they could just be a little forgiving while we work through it. (If I have to be honest, not having a test signed in which you did well, because you genuinely forgot does not feel as serious to me as not handing in an assignment that was due, but I’ll keep that to myself. Four of the five transgressions were for not having the exact same test signed. The other one I’ll admit I took a bit more seriously).

So anyway, the post it’s. I saw Nicola’s post it on her chore list and thought it was mighty negative:

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So I added some of my own:

She responded with:

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Which had me laughing my ass off in the passage, and left her completely puzzled as to why I wasn’t mad.

Glad to report that peace has been restored in the land, and that homework seems to be getting done at a more steady pace now.

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Our Polka…a.k.a Hobo:

She’s been limping on and off, and we just thought that she maybe needed to get a bit more active as she was always sleeping on the one leg, which then went numb. You can actually see that the muscles in the one back leg are much more under developed than the other one.

A few weeks ago we decided to take her to the vet for a look-see. Well, apparently it’s not her knee that dislocates as we sort of thought, she has a torn cruciate ligament apparently.  Let’s just say we were not blown away by the Vet’s expertise. So she started off by man handling our poor dog to the extent that she had trouble walking at all for three days after the visit, also she new nothing about anything and every question we asked her she had to go ask someone first. Not great. Then her number one option was to operate, which I gave a firm no to. I told her we had done this for a previous dog which made it a million times worse and we eventually had to have her put down. “Oh really,” she said – “where did you have it done?” Me stone cold face…”Here”.Second option was to operate 4-6 times, well not operate but put the pup under to inject irritants into her leg, which would cause inflammation and eventually scar tissue, which would then hopefully act like a brace.

If you know me even a little bit, I am sure you can imagine what my face looked like at this point. We asked if we couldn’t just medicate for pain and use an actual brace. Nope nope nope. Apparently this would just make the leg weaker and what not. We got the distinct impression we were being up-sold on procedures that would generate more income for the Vet. So we left.

We’ve had Polkie on CBD drops now for about two weeks, and in the first few days we also rubbed the cream on and bandaged her. She is doing just great, and walking and jumping like a champ again. She does still favour the leg a little bit, but for the most part we consider her cured now. I’d like to manhandle that Vet’s knee like she did to our poor dog and see how she feels then. Grrrr…

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Family front: Remember life before, when we used to do family nights on Thursdays? Well, we now do family zoom calls, and we’ve moved them to Saturdays because of the time difference between here and NZ.

It’s not the same, but it’s something…and it does us all good to see that they are settling in nicely and are happy and safe.

Market:

We had our first Green Market with our CBD products this past weekend. I would say it went really well! From the other traders there we heard that it was one of the quietest days they’ve had (probably because of the rain), but we made back our costs and then some so we’re quite pleased.

You really do get to chat to so many interesting people at a day like this, and let me tell you…Melville was at it’s very best eccentric self. There were people shopping in pajamas right alongside others dressed to the nines in trench coats and stilettos.  I am not a natural sales person, but I had a lot of fun regardless. We even had one elderly couple who came purely to tsk-tsk at everyone, so a full experience, haha.

The next big one is called the 420 D-day celebration, where the organisers estimate 14 000 people are expected with 4 000 of those people serious stoners (their words, not mine). It’s a looooong day though, we have to set up by 7:00 and be operational till 22:00, so definitely we’ll need to increase stock before we go…and pack more snacks. I bought an un-infused happy pancake in Melville and I strongly suspect it wasn’t as un-infused as it pretended to be, so own snacks is good to have if you intend driving home after the event.

Meanwhile, while we were doing this, Nicola and my mom had a full day of mall trawling planned and they were both very excited about it.

We were a bit surprised when an hour into their adventure my mom let my dad know that she wasn’t feeling well and they went home.She sent a few more messages, but they became increasingly incoherent. When we got home, we found the house locked up and alarm armed, my mom more or less passed out but shivering and crying, and Nicola looking after her.

My mom was so ill, out of nowhere, that she had been in bed all day and all night…and the next day, she was right as rain again. We can’t prove anything of course, but we strongly suspect that she had been drugged where they had breakfast, in what we can only assume was maybe an attempt to snatch Nicola. So if that is in fact what happened, we are grateful that they’re both okay and that it failed.

And you can bet your last money that Nicola will not be going anywhere unless we’re a group with lots of back up eyes until we leave. I am ice cold  and sick to my stomach thinking about what could have happened.

Dentist:

We bought a BIG box of Guavas a few weeks ago at our favourite grocery haunt, EconoFoods, and they were all heading into the over-ripe direction because we just couldn’t keep up with consumption.

So I googled some recipes and found one for a guava and cream cheese pastry that caught my eye, and I made looooooads of these goodies. They turned out delicious, thank goodness. Only thing is, I didn’t scoop out the pips first and I managed to mangle a tooth on one when I ate it.

So, off to the dentist I went yesterday…not pleasant…and he’s sort of fully booked till end of March due to everyone’s medical aid being refreshed in January. He says it wasn’t the pip, my tooth was on borrowed time anyway, and he was very surprised when I said I didn’t actually have any pain from it.

Well, no crowns without medical aid, haha. But I got it patched all the same, lots of drilling and injecting and all that unpleasantness. But I can chew again, so hurray! And next time I make these pastries I’m definitely taking the pips out. That’s my lesson for being lazy and skipping ahead I guess.

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Paperwork:

It only took about 10 000 emails, but Andy finally broke Home Affairs! Whoohoo! As we speak he is in the queue waiting for the very last certificate to be printed. Relentless, that husband of mine. I am so grateful that he picked this up, I don’t think I have it in me.

So in the next week or so he’ll make an appointment with the German Embassy to renew his passport, it should take roughly 4-6 weeks to get it, then we can apply for our EEA family permits, 1-3 weeks currently, and then we’re off to the land of brollies, trousers (Not pants!) and oddly named burrows like Scratchy Bottom! (Oh yes, keep your fingers crossed that we sell enough stuff at 420 to afford our tickets, but other than that it’s all systems go!).

So unreal that it’s all coming together (or splitting apart, depending on your view). This journey has been about a year in the making! It was about 2,5 years for my brother’s peeps. Now we just need to get our parents out as well.

I do appreciate that not everyone wants to go, or has a viable exit plan even if they do. And I don’t think that South Africa is shit all the way through, but I don’t think it’s the best place for us to raise Nicola anymore, and from where I’m sitting I can’t see it recovering in our or her lifetime. Most of the people (except for the thieving bastards and cold hard criminals) are amazing, and there are bits of this country that we are going to miss forever when we go.

But there are more important things than the weather…