Wednesday, April 23, 2014

an abominable procrastination cake

Remember back when Red Velvet Cake was a wild novelty? Something to fuss over and perfect. The first recipe I ever used required some fancy chem-class-type fizzing of baking soda and red food colouring at just the right moment to acquire the correct texture, never mind colour, for an authentic Red Velvet experience.

These days we have this...

An abomination right? An overly-sweet abomination at that. AND the rose petals are not included! Pah.

But ... I happened to have this in the cupboard, and some leftover butter-cream icing in the freezer ... and it was Nonki's 40th birthday ... and I just couldn't get in to working today.

Naturally I blame this.

I mean ... really how ridiculously cute?

So! I baked.

And surprised Nonki with it when she brought the girls home from swimming. We all had tea and cake and sent the rest home with her for her kids.

Yes, I employ someone to look after my children while I bake her cake. Today I may have been the world's best boss.
But I sure wasn't the world's best employee!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Look what the Easter Bunny brought us ...

Orca. 5 weeks old.
'Cos every little girl deserves a puppy right?
With sharp, sharp little puppy teef.
And if you're going to get another one they may as well match!

Monday, April 21, 2014

party like it's 1998

It's shaping up to be a nostalgic year.

There was the cripple phase back in January when I went through old diaries and memories (husband and I had dinner one night back then talking about 'potatoes and porn', namely how we'd prepared the potatoes we were eating and my long-buried recollection of finding a friend's parents' porn collection - unrelated but indicative of how immersed I was in dredging up old memories).

Then there was revisiting my friend Adam, the old schmuck boyfriend, a 40th birthday lunch with a friend I spent many, many a happy afternoon with when we were littlies - and have hardly seen since (she lives abroad).

I made her this card, which kind of summed us up - perpetually dressed up, rock scrambling and beach exploring in the playgrounds of our youth.

Blasts from the past have abounded, and I've really been enjoying it.

We think we remember so much, but in truth there are really a handful of well-worn memories that we remember over and over again. There is so much more lying dormant, there but unacknowledged, and sometimes it takes a person, a smell, a picture, a conversation or an event to nudge those moments out of hiding, and then it all comes flooding back.

Last Thursday I went to a party. A revival of the super-duper 'Pickle' parties of my Varsity days. '96 to '98 Pickle parties were our jol, our crowd, our beat, our playground. The friends who DJ-ed back then were back in town and arranged a reunion.
It was magic.

Packed with faces I knew, but hadn't seen for years. Thumping with music my body instantly knew how to move to - and did!
Everyone was happy to be there, everyone grateful to recapture a feeling - an intersection of emotional and physical memory. Everyone was smiling, Everyone got it.
I didn't have a single 'what are you doing now' conversation. I don't know about anyone's kids or lack there of, I don't know where they're living now or what their home-owners status is.
We just hugged, smiled, danced.
We just existed in a space where none of that was relevant.
Just like 1998.

A perfect resurrection for Easter weekend.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the more things change, the more they ... you know

My ex-boyfriend contacted me through Facebook.

Those of you paying attention will know how extremely ex he must be (approx. 25 years).

He wrote to 'ask forgiveness' for his 'ass-hole-ness'. He was an asshole, but we were young and I probably was too so I brushed it off.
'Nothing to forgive.'

He persisted.
'I need you to accept my apology.'
'I need to know you've forgiven me.'
'I want to make atonement.'
There was more.


And then:
'I was a self-centred asshole back then, only thinking of myself.'

Yeah, glad to see you've done some work on that ...

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Could we have had a nicer weekend?

I don't think so.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


a home-baked cinnabun & love cappuccino from my husband
a decorated present depicting the birthday boy as a dinosaur-slaying prince, the illustrator as a caged fair maiden and her little sister as a fearless dino-taunter
a gorgeous dinosaur cake
and very clever dino-terrariums 
All this in the barmiest balmiest weather for April. We were swimming at 6 pm.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

sloppy jo

Yesterday I unexpectedly had to drive the girls to school (husband usually does it).

I put on some new, I think stylish, track pants, a long-sleeve tee. I washed and moisturised my face. I thought I combed my hair, and jumped into the car.

On the way there we realised Frieda hadn't completed her reading assignment for the day - she was beside herself and not satisfied with my writing a note to her teacher, wanted me to come and explain the situation in person.
Okay fine.

I unloaded Stella at Frieda's school and we went in search of Mrs van der Merwe, to discover all the teachers were in assembly.
So I hung out at the back for a while, chatting to other mums and catching up a bit, until bored of waiting I went to the achingly sweet school secretary, explained the situation, left the partially completed reading book and note with her.
In her office I bumped into some other parents, had a couple of other quick chats ...

Then on to Stella's school where, as soon as I walked in, her teacher and another mum said: 'Oh, still in your pyjamas are you?'
What? Do I look like I'm in my pyjamas??

'Kind of,' says the teacher, 'or maybe it's just the wild hair.'


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

you know I'm ready for a new job ...

... when I've cut 'n stuck me a brand new workbook.

There is no theme, just some random therapeutic cutting and sticking, but maybe the side-eyes are a warning to anyone planning on dicking me around on this one.
I ain't kidding. 

Ha ha ha ha thunk.

Monday, April 07, 2014

ye olde getaway

Our little trip away was not without mishap (there were some hard falls, some shitty experiences - literally), but the only real casualty was my camera - whaaaaa!

So out came the phone camera, plus filters.
It's not iPhone, it's not Instagram, but it's a pretty fair portrayal of the lovely place we stayed at, with lovely, lovely friends.

Monday, March 31, 2014

learning to fly

As I suspected, life since I got mobile again has been somewhat hectic ... after such a slow start to the year (a mid-life pause I'm appreciating more and more as it recedes, the benefits of that time and space becoming more evident as I reflect on it) 2014 seems destined to be crazy busy - all in a good, fun, productive way.

After my Saturday at the music festival (which followed a busy, busy week [which included a wild night out]), my Mum sent me a text saying 'Work hard, play hard' and yeah, that's definitely shaping up to be the theme for the year.

I've had moments in the last few years of child-rearing and house-keeping and part-time working when I've marveled that anyone manages to do all this while working full-time.
Where's the balance in that I've wondered, while often feeling so unbalanced myself.

But I've realised of late, that to achieve a semblance of balance one needs weights on either side of the scale. And the more equal the weight the more naturally one will find the equilibrium.

In the next few months I'll be employed by 4 different clients, I worked out that across these contracts I'll be needing to do 34 hours work a week.
I currently have 17 hours of childcare (school).
So as of next week I've employed an au pair (sounds posh hey?) for 3 afternoons a week. She'll fetch the girls from school, feed them, drive them to swimming, take them to the beach on nice days, read to them, play, hang out.
All this just until mid-June when the two big contracts end. We'll see what happens next.

I'm excited. I'm inspired and I'm hopeful. These are good feelings.

I think maybe that down-time in January and Feb was what I needed to re-calibrate myself. Reset to zero and then find the balance.
I feel like that is what I'm doing, for the first time in years.

But first: a week's holiday.

Tomorrow the girls and I set off for a few days out of Cape Town with friends. A road trip and a change of scenery.
A little bonding time before we find a new rhythm next term, another little re-calibration before we spread our wings.