Archive for the ‘Surprise’ 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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Oh good…more lemons

31 July , 2020

Do you remember this? Haha, well it’s back. Fuck. Bigger and more painful than ever. In a matter of days it also went from mildly uncomfortable to where my left arm is numb and achy, and I can hardly lift a cup with that hand. I NEED to lift coffee, this won’t do.

So I ended up spending a whole day between doctors on Wednesday. I started off at my GP, thinking that a quick zap of antibiotics might do the trick like it did last time. Nope, he referred to a specialist at Flora Hospital.

The specialist (surgeon), then referred me to radiology for another sonar.

I then had to prance back to the specialist to deliver the results (which I wasn’t supposed to see, but had a look at anyway of course).

And then off to the pharmacy for the most hectic antibiotics I’ve ever had to take.

And then Monday I need to see the specialist again so that he can see if I responded to the meds, and most likely to schedule an operation for the removal of this mess.

All this happened while I was pissing my eyes out, and let me tell you wearing a mask and not being able to blow your nose is not fabulous. Also with Covid-19 still very much around, I got to do it alone because Andy wasn’t allowed to come with me into the hospital.

So the long and short of it if I understand it correctly is that on the upside, it’s not cancer. This is a very big upside, and I am grateful to say the least. The downside is that even though I never had milk to begin with, my milk duct is blocked which caused this recurring bacterial infection, and it has to be removed. Or it will be back.

When the sugeon said he had to cut I said, “Cut off or cut out? Be specific.” So cut out, yay. They’ll lift the nipple and take out what needs going, then frankenstein what’s left together again after. Doc says it’ll be a bit deformed but should even out over time.

Right…of course…”great”.

The pharmacist brought more excitement, which to be honest I wasn’t expecting. She first asked if I was very sporty. Hahahaha, err no. Apparently this stuff makes your ligaments brittle for about a month. So nothing strenuous, and no falling. Oh yes, and I have to drink 3.5 liters of water a day or it will form crystals. Not sure where, but it sounds unpleasant. I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the loo! Luckily there are no steps on the way there, since the stuff holding me together is now brittle!

Oh, and for what may or may not be my final-ish rant on this: my medical aid only kicks in on the 1st of August, and doesn’t cover anything in this hospital unless it happens in the ER. No one has actually done anything but feel me up and write scripts, and we’re already clocking over R4000 in bills.

There are workarounds for this I guess. I need to wait till Saturday and ask the medical aid to point me at a specialist that they do cover. Or I need to win the Lotto between now and next week.

New job going great, by the way. They’re especially thrilled about me kicking it off with some sick leave (that I don’t have yet). I’m also not discussing my problem boob gutter with my twenty-something manager who has only been working for two months and is dealing with his first team under him ever, so I’ve referred to it only as chest pains. He might possibly be under the impression that it’s my heart giving me issues, and I’m not going to be clarifying that at this point.

I am now at the laughing point of my hysterics. Feel free to join in if the spirit moves you.

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Grateful

25 July , 2020

If you’re connected to me on fb you already know it’s been quite a week!

My father was attacked while out on a walk, less than a block from our home.

He says that the guy walked past him, he still greeted him, but that something was just a bit off about him. Luckily my dad is super alert, because he heard someone running towards him from behind and turned around.

What the guy had in mind

He grabbed the guy by the chin and forced his head back as far as it would go. My dad says if he had a tiny bit more leverage he reckons he would have broken that neck. At the same time he walloped him on the cheek with shambok he always takes along on his walks.

Almost like this, but with weapons

In the process the asshole stabbed my dad in the arm. Better the arm than the back though, right?

What a fucking coward! Who attacks an old man like that. Okay my dad isn’t geriatric, but he is 66. And from behind?! And for what? He saw my dad’s cellphone peeping out of his pocket. You know, I don’t think there are a lot of people who could defend against an attack like that, and definitely not at 66. My dad is not to be trifled with!

The phone fell out during the struggle, as did my dad’s glasses. The coward grabbed the phone and ran away. I am sure he regretted picking my dad as a soft target.

I’m sure you can imagine the pandemonium that broke out when my dad came home bleeding a roughed up. Andy helped him find the glasses where they fell during the attack, and after he cleaned up a bit my mom took him to the ER for stitches and injections. She had to wait in the parking lot because of Covid-19 rules at hospitals.

Andy went looking for the guy, and I’m sort of glad for both of them that he didn’t find him.

Look, we didn’t really think it was safe here to begin with, but this has been a real eye opener. Even in our small bubble, it’s definitely not safe. And it won’t get safer going forward either. People are angry and hungry. It doesn’t excuse it or make it right, but it is what it is I guess.

I think this attack has been rough on us all. This was almost a very different story. It has been especially hard on my brother because he is so far away and really can’t do anything to help. We have all been worried sick about my folks and if they would be safe once we all leave…and they won’t. If there is one silver lining to this, it’s that they have both decided that they’re ready go too.

The next attack might not be outside the house. I don’t even want to think about it.

So glad you can kick ass, dad ❤
We live to fight another day!

Thank you to everyone who checked in and showed their support. You have no idea how much it means to us as a family, and specifically to my dad.

The after…my dad is seeing a trauma councilor next week, and as a precautionary step the doctor has also put him on ARVs for the next month. Who knows what else that knife was involved in.

Be safe out there guys! Be alert, pay attention. Take something with you can use for defence if you need to. Hug your people and thank God for every day they, and you, are spared.

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Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it

23 May , 2020

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And here we are, Day 58 of lockdown in South Africa. To say that we are a bit tired of it would be a vast understatement.

Here the powers that be have opted for some fabricated five level system for our eventual release back into the world. What constitutes moving from one level to another is about as unclear as the rules of conduct that go with them. We are currently on Level 4, for what it’s worth – with a strong possibility of moving to Level 3 start of June.

Many (oh so many) of the rules do not sit well with me at all. I’m not an expert in infectious diseases though, so for the most part if I can sort of see a causal connection between the rule and what it attempts to avoid I just roll with it. However, the one that really gets my moer-meter in the red is the one on banning the sale of tobacco products. Why? No other country in the entire world has done this…and although I know you can get an “expert” to confirm more or less any point you’re trying to make, there are studies  internationally being conducted on the effect of smoking on your risk of contracting Covid-19. From what I’ve read it decreases your chances significantly actually.

Anyhoo, the majority of smokers have just found work arounds during Level 4 and 5. We buy illegal smokes. They come from all over and they are strange, but they are smokes. Some come from Dubai, via Mozambique, over Tannie Patricia’s washing line and to a China close to you. The more people you know, the cheaper you can find them (every person who handles them adds a fee for their risk and what not).

We have been salivating with anticipation for Level 3 and the lifting of the cigarette sale ban, only for these yahoos to now come out with err…maybe at Level 1. Not only that but apparently they can now search your car and person for smokes and if you are found with any you must produce a slip of when and where you purchased it, or go to jail. Excuse me? Go ahead and try that. Make sure I’ve switched my car off first or wear your running shoes.

The actual rule which was published in the Government Gazette states, “The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e- cigarettes and related products is prohibited.” (S27) Not the buying, not the possessing, not the smoking…the sale of. So unless you catch me selling them, you can go and swivel quite frankly.

Even if you don’t smoke, consider this: until a few weeks ago it was also illegal to sell underwear (please do try and explain to me a valid reason for this rule if you can…I’ll wait). Imagine if they were suddenly entitled to search your car and person for panties, and if you were caught wearing any you could either supply proof of purchase prior to lockdown or go to jail…and have your panties confiscated. I think you’d be a bit upset. If you still had your knickers, they might be in a complete and utter knot.

How is this different to that. You might say, but yeah…smoking is bad for you, it’s a temporary limitation, you should use this opportunity to quit. Ha! Well, here’s a whole list of people that reckon underwear is bad for your health too.

So I guess you’re feeling superior while going commando then? Yeah…I didn’t think so.

 

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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?