Archive for the ‘Nicola’ Category

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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…

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10 Years of Magic

19 December , 2019

Happy birthday darling Nicola! It’s suck a privilege to be your mamma.

Just about daily, people tell us how beautiful you are, but the real beauty which they don’t even always get to see is your gentle heart and your keen wit. Yes, you are pretty…but more importantly you are kind. There is not one single thing I would change about you, even if I could. You are straight up amazing!

It has been a tough year for you. Truth is, you’re not like everyone else – you are better. You’re no one’s sheep, you have a inquiring mind and you most definitely have a strong will of your own! That comes with a price of not always fitting in, and although I am sure that you will grow to love that about yourself in years to come, right now it hurts like hell some days.

Just remember…your vibe attracts your tribe. I don’t think you’ve found your tribe yet when it comes to friends necessarily, but you’ll see. You’ll find them as soon as you get comfortable with yourself. I am very excited to walk with you on this, and I absolutely love that we can still always talk about everything. I can’t go through this for you, but I will always be your shoulder to cry on, and I can teach you how to throw a mean punch if one is needed. Or laugh about something together that no one else gets.

Happy birthday Noodle! Love you to the moon and back, and I am so incredibly proud of you. Always remember that! xxx

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All things Hogwarts and small update

18 November , 2019

Is it my imagination or are all parties themed Harry Potter at the moment, might be my imagination but we had two just this past weekend! I’m not complaining mind you, it turns out I can whip up a fairly decent shoestring budget Harry Potter themed gift if given a bit of notice.

Nicola has mentioned that she also wants a Harry Potter birthday, although we did have to sadly tell her no party this year, but my mom will still bake a cake, and since she has her birthday two days before my brother and four days before Andy, the three of them will do something together…and when I mean something I mean share a cake and a family braai. Nicola has asked if she can invite 4 friends to come swim and eat cake…we can swing that. Riaan said one of them should pick the flavour of the cake, one the shape and one the decoration. Nicola said she wants to pick decor, so Riaan said he’ll do flavour and he wants cheescake…which she’s not a fan of…Andy will have to pick shape. After a bit of negotiation it seems it’s going chocholate, round and Harry Potter. Nicola is a good negotiator, hahaha…

Anyhoo, before I get to the photos and my general rambling, we have had some news with regards to relocating, if not on our own, my SIL has received a job offer (actually two) from NZ and if she accepts, they will be there by end of January next year! We are extremely excited for them, although we will miss them terribly.

Hopefully once they’ve flown the coop and if our plans pan out for September, my folks can also look at going. They have been clear on it that they won’t go anywhere until we’re all gone. They might actually prefer just selling and getting a small lock up and go property instead, and do looooong visits between the two countries once we’ve all settled in and my mom’s retired. We’re going from a weekly family night family to a three continent situation in the next 9 months. Surreal. Some aspects of this makes me very excited, and some makes me cry softly in the shower.

It is what it is, I guess.

Now, onto photos:

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Cuzzie wuzzy, clowning around…THIS ONE is quite a character! Riaan had us in stitches with tales of his recent antics. I think he has a really bright future in drama, haha…

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Us, at a recent fancy pants luncheon held by clients. You can tell when a lunch becomes a luncheon that it’s going to be like that. We actually had a brilliant time! Especially if you consider this was a week after my operation and I was sore as hell and could hardly eat anything lunchoen-y.

I was fifty shades of green after this, but it was totally worth it and luckily short lived.

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I have always sucked at making pom-poms, I think because I rush it. This time round I really took my time with it and went extra fluffy.

Whenever I try my hand at pom-poms I always think of my niece Thea, who used to make the most adorable little pom-pom-chickens when we were kids. She was killed in a car accident, just after her brother was paralysed from the neck down defending her against an armed ex boyfriend. It’s a super tragic story, which is I guess why pom-poms make me a little sad…

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Behold my super fluffy owls I made. actually Nicola and Andy helped me so much, we all made it together. These went on the gift bags for the Harry Potter parties.

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And I hand-painted this mug (mostly with a toothpick) for my friend Bfly, along with a set of leg warmers because her one foot is always cold after she picked up nerve damage from an accident at work.

Happy to report she LOVED it!

And it has given me a great idea for small family gifts for Christmas, which I’ve already kicked off.

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Hydrangeas at Nicola’s school – so pretty!

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Also at Nicola’s school. I like to think of this guy as Sheldon, he is almost always sitting in the same spot when we arrive in the mornings.

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Nicola trying out some every flavour beans and accidentally encountering a vomit flavoured one, hahaha!

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Not often I get snuggles like this anymore, she’s growing up so fast!

 

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Highs and lows – looooong ramble

9 November , 2019

Yay…two weeks down out of three after the operation. This week I felt a lot better. I have the occasional stitch if I breathe in deeply or lie on my left side, but other than that I’m doing great and was just extremely cranky about the plasters that I’m meant to somehow keep on and keep dry.

Thursday was supposed to be D-day for my post op check up and plaster removal, but due to continuous admin f-ups from the doctor’s rooms I turned up for an appointment that no one bothered to let me know the doctor wouldn’t be attending. Grrr…

After some teeth showing and low level growling the reschedule was arranged for yesterday instead of next week Wednesday.

And so I am plaster free, mostly pain free…and counting down the days till I’ll no longer be coffee free (6 including today). I’ve started slooooowly reintroducing the things on the verboten list, and so far so good. I haven’t come accross anything that had me on the floor yet, so thankfully it seems I sit on the 2 side if the 2 to 3 weeks recovery advised by the dietician.

Chatted to my pal Lofty this week, we laughed so much my neighbour actually popped her hermit head out to see what all the mirth was about. Highlights package was along the lines of her initially laughing at me a few weeks ago because I had to have this done, only to find out this week she also needs it. So I told her I’d send her a link to a video of an actual operation that I found, but to just note that guy had hectic cholesterol and you could actually see it on the video because the stuff was all over his liver…as opposed to me, I have zero cholesterol and my surgeon actually complemented me on the state of my liver, haha…then she said did you know when you donate liver they just take a piece and both pieces grow back to what they’re supposed to be…I did know yes, and told her it reminded me a bit of a lizard’s tail, but I have never been scared enough to drop a piece of liver to flop around as a decoy while I make a getaway.

We were crying of laughter just visualizing that!

It was a great week for friend chats and catch ups really, I also got so see my friend from Aus, previously from Japan, previously from here, previously from Mauritius this week. She’s here for her dad’s 70th birthday and managed to come see me before going back home. It has been way too long since we had a chance to chat!

I actually had quite a few lovely conversations with friends all over this week, and my tank has been kept at an all time high in warm and fuzzies.

Nicola has not had the best few weeks sadly. After last week’s debacle with the teacher, it turns out she’s also been bullied by some kids at school and she’s pretty miserable at the moment.

One snot-nose-punk in particular who sits next to her in one of her classes, is firmly on my shit list. I am sad for this kid because I can draw my own conclusions about the atmosphere he’s growing up in from what comes out his mouth and it’s not pretty.

Apparently he’s been calling Nicola names like “roasted” and “scorched”, and telling her she shouldn’t sit to close to him because she’s a different colour. And then in general she gets mocked a lot for her love of reading, and she says everyone calls her weird and a freak…and she hates going to school.

It is heartbreaking to see your child go through this, but it’s not something I can do for her. Everybody goes through it at some point, and it doesn’t stop until you own your strange and people see that you don’t care what they think anyway. Best we could do was tell her what we used to be bullied for and how we got through it, and what a delight it is to attend school reunions and see how the bullies turn out in comparison to their previous victims.

Andy used to be called four eyes for wearing glasses, to which he replied at least he could see twice as well as they could.

I was also mocked about my tan skin (this area has a freakishly high percentage of blond blue eyed “angels”). In my school days apartheid was still very firmly in place, and in grade 2 one of these “angels” told me I didn’t belong in that school because I was coloured. Not my finest moment I guess, there are probably more diplomatic ways to ignore this or deal with it, but I punched her lights out and when she came too we both ended up in the principal’s office where neither of us wanted to confess what it was about. So I got sent home for a couple of days cooling off and reflecting, and so did she.

My mom kept me hostage and interrogated me for 4 solid hours until I came out with what had happened. She was so livid that she went straight back to school to go raise hell.

That punch more or less kept everyone off my case for the next five years and I hit high school before I had to face my next taunt from anyone on it again. Mostly people were terrified of me, so it was kind of half hearted at best…by then, it didn’t bug me in the least.

It is quite sad though that this is still a thing after so much has changed in this country. I am actually just a bit speechless about the whole thing( you wouldn’t say so judging by this long ramble). And as always, I worry for my daughter’s safety. A few days ago she came home with a bandaged arm, because someone pushed her down the stairs. Could have been accidental, she doesn’t know who did it or how it happened, she blacked out although no head wound…so maybe this is her way of not telling us?

I can’t exactly advise Nicola to kick someone’s ass…but you know…if she got there on her own, I could certainly back her up or keep her entertained during her suspension. Andy is helping her refine her kicking techniques, and I remind her how handy elbows are. We’re keeping an eye on it, and we’ll intervene if she doesn’t find her own way through this.

Then on the super fabulous news front, Nicola’s surname change came through this week! Andy has been emailing roughly 50 people at Home Affairs daily to get this moving along. They eventually gave us a personal contact to deal with and she finally managed to get it through the red tape yesterday! Even promised to sort out the new birth certificate for us in 2 weeks instead of 12 (first one took 5 years, so 12 is usually best case scenario).

As you can imagine, we were celebrating big time about this last night!

How’s your week been?

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One week later

1 November , 2019

It’s been a week since the operation. I’m obviously alive (yay!), and happy to report that I feel a million times better than last week.

The first few days were rough, I won’t lie. I was extremely sore and sorry for myself, but my outlook improved dramatically by Tuesday when I managed to sleep on my side again and could sleep for more than two hours at a time.

Family and friends and most especially Andy and Nicola, carried me through this time. I am forever grateful. (Apparently I am not the world’s worst patient, but they might just be saying that to be nice).

I am waaaay more emotional than usual, and that’s already a pretty high bar. For instance, yesterday Nicola told us that her teacher was mean to her again. I found the things she said beyond unacceptable and jumped on my battle axe to the school. I started out mighty furious on the phone to the vice principal in charge of this (I actually started off with the receptionist to let her know we’re on our way there and to find the principal now because this was urgent and we were mad as a nest of hornets), and I ended up still pretty furious but also sobbing uncontrollably in this poor women’s ear. Anyhoo, the matter has been addressed in chop-chop order, and Nicola looks like the weight of the world is off her shoulders.

I am still geared up for a proper face to face with this particular teacher. If she as much as breathes nastily in Nicola’s direction for the last 5 days of school left she’s going to wish she retired a year early.

I’m going to add that I did also chat to the vice principal about the English teacher, who has been Nicola’s light at the end of the tunnel this year. The value she has added by being a positive influence has been immense!

I don’t think teachers always realise what a massive influence they have on the young minds they’re shaping.

Anyhoo, today I am dragging my sorry self out the house for a bit. I was invited to a stakeholder luncheon for one of my previous clients and I’m going. Could be a great networking event and hopefully I can shake some work out of it.

And quickly, because I have the stamina of a day old chicken at the moment. I get tired so quickly, which I suppose is to be expected. Next week I’ll put my big girl panties on again, this week has mostly been about getting better and sleeping more than the average house cat.

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Plan B…and loads of photos

12 October , 2019

I’ve been meaning to write this post all week, but it is surprising how busy you can make yourself, even when you are currently unemployed (a.k.a self employed haha).

Anyhoo, while in limbo we’re exploring all sorts of other ways to make a living. Some with greater success than others. One such article I came accross suggested starting your own YouTube channel. I don’t personally know of anyone whose made a success of this although I do know it’s theoretically possible.

I said to Andy maybe we should start a Bargain Hunting channel. He’s REALLY good at it, and does it anyway, with or without channel. And I’m sure just about everybody could benefit from saving a buck or two, so I feel good about putting it out there too.

So yeah, baby steps, we’ve started. Obviously our channel isn’t super sophisticated (yet), but we’ve got the first few videos up. At this point anyone in SA could benefit from it, but there are some shops that are more specific to our area obviously.

We’ve got three videos up on specials so far, and we’re very excited about some of the other topics we have in mind for next week and beyond! One of the requirements of YouTube is to have at least one video which is an hour long…grrr…when everything out there tells you people lose interest after about 3 minutes. Anyhoo, we’re playing around with the idea of showcasing urban farming, you know having fruit trees or vegetable gardens to supplement or completely supply your household needs. We even know one family who farms fish in blow up pools in their back garden for this. Pretty sure we could do an hour out of this if we’re a bit creative.

So if you want to participate and you have something going in your yard or on your balcony, let me know…I’ll come visit with a camera 😉

Now for photos…

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The first time we’ve seen Andy’s dad in well over a year.

It is okay to cut out toxic people from your life. It’s also okay to re-engage them on your own terms if you want to.

So far it’s going really well actually. I’m glad Andy and his dad are in contact again, and my father-in-law has been really nice to me and Nicola too, even though he can’t remember our names and calls me sweetie.

He’s putting in a lot of effort, and it means a lot.

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We went to go check out the Green Market in Melville at 27 Boxes (last Sunday of every month) to go say hi to our cousin who sells imported Dutch seeds there and so that my dad could interrogate everyone on their lab result certificates who produce CBD oils.

I spotted this T-shirt and thought it would be brilliant for my SIL as a gift as she is now in remission from Melanoma, and Nicola just HAD to have one too! Obviously she can’t wear it to school, more for the swear word than the cannabis leaf.

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Nicola asked us to take her for hearing tests and I spotted this little guy in the parking lot. So cute, and boy does he MOVE! Smaller than Nicola’s fingernails, which is why the photo is so super blurry. I had to take quite a few to even get one this good.

Really thinking hard about getting a proper camera when cash flow allows again.

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I assume it’s a running club of sorts that are always painting messages on the road next to our bridge. I find them infinitely entertaining, just so you know.

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My dad’s plantation.

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His other plantation of tiny Avo trees. Once the rainy season kicks off he intends to release these into the green belt. In 7 years time they should provide ample Avos for any hungry pedestrians passing by.

I actually think this is such a great idea! We’ve spotted plenty of potplants which have been relocated to our green belt and now grow there wild. Sure, they’re not indigenous by any means, but neither are the Willow trees that City Parks planted there. At least the Avos will benefit someone down the line.

Imagine how cool it would be if all the City Parks had fruit trees and veggie gardens in them and people could just help themselves?

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Nibbles, the little Houdini went on a rampage in the house and disappeared. Great consternation, we couldn’t find him and were knocking on everything to try and hear his hiss.

Nicola eventually crawled around and heard him inside a cupboard! Thankfully one with drawers that we could take apart easily enough to get to him.

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These two cuzzies, so cute!

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Some of my dad’s Proteas. Everything blooming at the moment, and really stunning!

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This is not my photo, but I nicked it off my aunt’s Whatsapp profile. This is my Grandparents wedding photo.

You can see they clearly had no idea what was coming. I love seeing old photos of my grandmother, she really stayed the same pretty much throughout.

Is it odd, but I’ve really been thinking about both my grans a lot lately. I wish they were still around for a chat and a giggle, and I wonder what they would have thought about the state of the world today.

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This crate is part of an artwork that we counted recently. I just really liked the look of this particular bit of it. This crate has seen THINGS. 😉

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Asthma…and other bits and pieces

26 August , 2019

What a week! What a weekend! I’m so tired I can hardly remember my own name. Seriously, I need a mental health day. I may actually need a few of them in a row.

It is all sorts of crazy at work currently. I run around like a blue arsed fly every day trying to get to everything. Mostly I manage to do it too, but I feel about 2 crisises away from a proper burn out. In my wildest dreams I never thought working with art could be this action packed.

Working with corporate art collections requires hair on your teeth. There is always at least one more person who feels like they should have had a say in things, or been able to add another layer of paperwork. It’s the job though, and just acting like you own the place will get you quite far if not all the way.

Then this weekend…haha *supreme blush*…Nicola sort of walked in on us, uhm, “having cake” as someone on the radio called it the other day. Obviously we didn’t see her. She woke up and heard me making funny noises, breathing funny apparently, and thought I might need an asthma pump! I almost needed one when she told me about it the next day. Anyhoo, she’s convinced herself it was a bad dream, and we’re going with it.

Saturday morning she wanted to talk about it again a bit. So she said, why would anyone want to do it?! Decided I might as well answer that question then, since she asked it. So I said because it’s fun, and don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t, but the real magic happens when it’s between two people who love each other. Then we launched into a very basic discussion on STDs as well. She took it all in her stride and when I asked her if she had any questions, she wanted to know what it meant to scissor (she heard it somewhere and wasn’t sure). I feel like we might be next leveling this, but if that’s what she wants to talk about then we’ll go there. We are keeping the lines of communication open even when uncomfortable.

There are many ways to look at this whole situation, and if I could have planned this before I would have probably preferred her not walking in on us, but I do like that she feels comfortable enough to ask us questions.

We’ve obviously strongly suggested that she doesn’t discuss this at school or anywhere else, but it looks like we might have been a bit late with that suggestion as she’s already mentioned it to a few friends at school, telling them about her strange dream. This is my no comment face, haha. Oops…I can’t breathe. 😉

For the rest of the weekend that didn’t involve hectic personal questions, I had a bit of a wish list of things I wanted to do. I managed to hit most of those but yesterday I was completely man down and feeling very sorry for myself.  I had tummy cramps, or kidney cramps, or some sort of cramps and I was in PAIN. Also, I was a complete basket case, and bawling my eyes out for nothing all the time. Really not a pleasure to be around, even for myself.

I slept most of the day, don’t really feel much better today to be honest. I’m still in pain and even my ribs hurt. I feel pretty sorry for myself, so don’t worry – I have that covered. I don’t actually know what’s wrong with me, but I do not feel well.

This is going to be another buckle up week…no rest for the wicked. 😉

Now for a brief photo recap:

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My dad’s “Granidillas”, should start sprouting by this week.

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One chaos episode of the last week. A photographer needed to come take high definition photos of selected artworks. We, and by we I mean me, had to find a spot for him to put up a temporary studio, organise access, and get all the selected works pulled from their respective spots photographed and returned after.

This is not a small task in case you were wondering.

And if I had any illusions about taking up photography as a money making side gig, this has totally cured me of that notion. It took them three hours to set up the first shot, and then about 40 minutes per artwork after that. I don’t have the patience.

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My one and only smoke break of the day landed me outside where I came across this weirdness. Call of nature?

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Another fun thing to do is to churn large artworks. This particular one needed to make it’s way back down to the storeroom, only thing is that at about 4 meters in length it’s too long to fit in a lift or go round the stairwell so we pranced it around the outside of the building and even at some points through access controls through the palisades.

Nerve wracking!

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Thursday was pop up exhibition time again.

These events are always good fun, and usually our involvement is mostly to get the touch screen updated. For this round that came with its own bag of head aches, because for some reason the recent software update that was pushed through caused the PC to time out, not great for a touch screen, and it changed the default browser to something on which the offline website doesn’t work, also not great.

Many many many IT interactions and a lot of time later it was sorted.

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This cheeky bird is out to get me, haha. Whenever we work from J’s home office these birds wait for me to come outside and then they pelt me with these super sticky seed pods.

Naughty little shits…

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Woot! I finally managed to beat Andy at Monopoly! 😀

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One of my checklist things for the weekend was either to go somewhere green or to go ice skating. Sadly, we haven’t had our first rains yet, so everything is brown, but we had a great time in any event.

I definitely need more outside.

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Andy asked if I would shave his hair, but Nicola desperately wanted to give it a bash too. So we let her take first run on it and I just came round after to even it out.

How was your weekend?