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


My tired is tired

28 November , 2019


I haven’t slept more than an uninterrupted hour or two in the last four days. I can’t begin to explain to you how exhausted I am right now, haha. Normal programming will resume…sometime…probably not tomorrow. Tomorrow I’m going to sleep like a dead person.

I bit off a bit more than I could chew to begin with, and it needed me to sit my dinges down and listen to 6,5 hours of recordings quite attentively on a very tight timeline. To add next level difficulties to the task at hand, I slipped a disk and couldn’t sit for a couple of days, and apparently I may also be going deaf. There are parts of my notes that only read, “WTF are they saying?!” all I hear is chair screeching across the floor and coughing. Of course the one person who mumbles the most will always sit the furthest away from the recorded before dominating the conversation in undecipherable mmmummmmblinnnng! Grrr…

Never mind me, I’m just grumpy cause I’m tired. And my ears hurt.

Oooh! OOh! I do have some good news. Well, I guess it depends on your point of view, but from my seat it looks as rosy as a flamingo’s butt! I’ve started selling Annique products as an independent consultant.

In general I might be the least likely person anyone would or should ask about make up and skin care, but I do actually love their products and I’ve been using Resque mist since 2006! I am learning about the other stuff, picked up quite a bit already and I’ve already hit my 40 day target on day 3. So blessed with all the support from family and friends!

So, you know, if you want to find out more or get your hands on some amazing goodies, let me know – I’ll hook you up! Don’t ask me about the make up just yet, I haven’t read those training docs yet.

Ps! Look at this cookie Andy made me while I was grumping on the couch with head phones on…

Best husband ever! He really gets me. ❤


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:


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…


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.


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…


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.


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.


Hydrangeas at Nicola’s school – so pretty!


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.


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


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



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?


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.


Longest day ever!

27 October , 2019

So after the very long run up to the operation, and getting myself properly psyched up, the actual D-day turned into a marathon ordeal on its own too.

I checked in at 11:00 figuring that there would be a hell of a lot of paperwork and the theatre list started at 13:00. There was. It did. At 12:00 they told me I was number 2 on the list so I figured my planning was just about spot on. It wasn’t.

I was probably number 2 from the end. And then many many emergency surgeries skipped the queue altogether, so they only came for me at 22:15. By this time it was about 18 hours since I last ate or drank anything. I was sore, tired, hungry, thirsty and cranky. And I had a head ache from hell that I couldn’t take anything for. Probably from dehydration and stress.

The doctor did come out at about 20:00 to apologise to me and explain the hold up. Emergencies can’t be helped so I was okay with it but I quized him on his long day and asked if he still felt up to it to removing an organ after all that, which he found quite amusing and he assured me he was.

The operation itself was supposed to be about an hour, but they did a gastroscopy at the same time and it turned into a little but more than 2 hours. I got wheeled back into the ward at about 00:30. I heard that the doctor ended up operating until 3:30. What a looooong day!

The anaesthetist was bloody brilliant! This was the first time EVER that I didn’t wake up trying to kill someone after an operation. I’m not sure if it was because of the meds or the very calm way he got me to sleep, maybe a combo. Anyway it was a massive relief since I was so sore I could hardly breathe, and attacking someone in that state would probably not be great to begin with.

Also the first time I woke up with oxygent thingies in my nose, which I hated and wanted off but wasn’t allowed to for a good 4 hours.

Poor Andy, he was really such a massive support through all of this. He never left my side, and after being discharged the heaviest thing he’s let me pick up is a fork. What an amazing experience to go through something like this with him. I am extremely grateful for all the support.

My family has also been a real Godsend. They picked Nicola up from school and she ended up sleeping over. They also brought food for Andy to the hospital, and came for visits. I felt all the love from everyone. Thank you also to every friend who checked in on me while this was going on.

Shame, Nicola was distraught when she came at 19:00. It would have been better if it was over and done with already so that she could see I’m fine, but things don’t always work out the wat you plan them I guess.

I have a lot of images that they took during the 2 procedures, which I won’t put up here for the sake of the squimish, but apparently my liver is in real good nic but my stomach not so much. Looks like my gallbladder thing has been causing lots of little ulcers and inflamation, pain I wasn’t even aware of over the rock pain which was much harder to miss or ignore. I am really looking forward to life after gallbladder which can only be infinitely better, other than having to give up coffee for a month. He took two biopsies of this mess and I’ll get the results when I go for the follow up visit I guess.

I didn’t even get to see my rocks! Between the theatre and the ward the container went missing, never to be seen again. Doc said it was some big ones and lots of gravel. Altogether a very unhappy gallbladder.

My room, which I shared with three other ladies. Right opposite me was ‘n little granny who looked like an elf. She was so darn cute and had such a sunny disposition. She came in for a shoulder replacement at age 80!

Her only frustration was that she only speaks Dutch, and hardly any of the nursing staff even speak Afrikaans. I translated a bit while I was there.

Her other problem was that she was determined to feed herself but she’s right handed and that’s the shoulder they did too. Eventually she relented and let them at least cut her food, but she still fed herself.

I hope she gets better real soon.

The lady to my left got discharged same day as me, but she’d apparently been there much longer. Grumpiest patient I’ve ever seen. She spoke to no one and looked beyond miserable. The only time I heard her say anything was when she phoned her husband to kak him out and make very specific demands about what he should bring her when comes round snack wise.

And the last lady in the far corner looked like she was doing the rounds of all the area hospitals. She started in Poortview but got transferred to Wilgeheuwel, they briefly moved her to Flora to see a specialist there and then back to Wilgeheuwel. She had a string of people coming to try and convince her she needed a major abdominal surgery, she had already had 5 and really wasn’t keen.

Very friendly and offered to take over translating for the Elf once I left. She asked me if I was there to have my second one, hahaha guess I was a bit bloated? I said nope, not pregnant, just fat…and laughed it off.

Still early in the day when I got issued issued with the itchiest gauze undies along with the theatre pajamas.

Andy and myself.

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

My ouchies.

First fooooood! Got this at 8:30 the next day. I was so hungry but I couldn’t get more than halfway. Everything hurts. And since I’m on a pretty restrictive diet for the next month while my liver adjusts to doing the heavy lifting I’m supposed to eat small anyway.

So now I’m back home recovering, which is great. I’m super sore and I hope it settles in the next couple of days. I can’t seem to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time currently, but I’m sure that’ll pass too. Might be cause I have to sleep on my back to avoid the ouchies, and I never sleep on my back.

Onwards and upwards! Now the healing starts…

I am very glad that this is now behind me. Thanks for putting up with my rambles and going through the countdown with me.


10 Days – Day 10

24 October , 2019

Tomorrow is D-day.

We had dinner with my family and everyone wished Andy good luck for when I wake up. My dad will fetch Nicola from school and bring her through later when I’m properly awake and not aggressive anymore.

I’m a bit nervous…but also ready to be not nauseous and sore anymore.

Chatted to quite a few friends today. I must say it’s been great of everyone to check in on me and having catch ups on the phone. And Andy and Nicola have been saints putting up with my long lip and general glums these last 10 days.

Hopefully I will be back on my feet in another day or two. Can’t wait!