Wednesday, December 30, 2009


~ mornings at the beach:  we've discovered Lego is a sea-dog and will swim out far beyond her comfort zone to follow her beloveds. Us.

~ planning, preparing and eating simple and delicious meals in our new kitchen: most menus including something braai-ed on our new patio

~ playing with Christmas presents: hers

... and mine

~ lots of small, mostly fun, house-related projects: little pockets of productivity

~ afternoon tickle fests on our bed: her delight in having both parents to play with, simultaneously and endlessly

~ avoiding the world: sneaking out for small supply runs only when necessary. Nesting in summer.

~ listening to her singing along to the bizarre play-list in her head: I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Lady in Red, Hey Jude ... what have we done?

~ enjoying sleeping in: the aftermath of the German Measles has her sleeping 'til 8.30/9 most mornings, so naturally so are we ...

~ making No Plans: the best kind of plan in the world

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

christmas is a constant

And thank god, or the Christmas elves, or ole FC himself, for that.

Christmas in our family is of a nature where regardless of how many of us (me!) had a mega slump week, or happened to get German Measles out of the blue (child!), or how many builders (6!) snuck out the back door just as Christmas itself came in the front, or how many poor Husbands (1!) worked himself to the ground trying to appease impossible clients in Pakistan, Christmas still happened, and it was lovely.

From seriously wishing on the 23rd that Christmas as a concept would just f*k off I managed to regain enough cheer to put up a smallish tree, make a batch of mince pies, simmer 2 gammons in a vat of Coca-Cola (love you Nigella) 'til they reached juicy perfection and pack presents, aforementioned food, spotty child and all manner of other gash into my car and limp to my Mum's. There to be greeted with a cool and serene spare room for a most necessary nap, a Christmas eve dinner which couldn't be beat, a family which laughs and loves through any adversity and the realisation that Christmas is a constant, because my family is.

And that I can always, always depend on them to make everything ok.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

so obviously ...

... the child has German Measles.


We wish you a Merry Christmas yada yada yada whatEVER....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

le grinch

~ christmas spirit is when you hide in the house until the rubbish collection guys have passed so as to avoid their verging on extortionate demands for a donation to their 'Christmas box'.

~ christmas spirit is when you feel like a magnanimous benefactor when you're able to vacate your parking space for another frazzled shopper. You reverse out gracefully and wave them in as if you're bestowing great honour.

~ christmas spirit is when some fuck tries to squeeze past you and your packed shopping trolley, elbowing you in your clearly very pregnant stomach, just to get out of the lift first.

~ christmas spirit is when a dude demonstrating a remote control car is so eager to make a sale that he drives it into a little old lady's shins, and doesn't really apologise.

~ christmas spirit is when a lady security guard rushes over to your car to help the very pregnant woman load up her heavy bags of shopping.
Merci nice Ghanian lady, you restored my faith a little.

Monday, December 21, 2009

street art

A new tattoo 'parlour' (why? why are tat shops referred to as parlours?) has opened in my 'burb. And it's causing a stir.

Located at the main intersection - renowned for moving in cred i bly slow ly - Tattoo has big open shop front windows, good lighting and all the action takes place right there, street side, so you never know what you're going to see while waiting for the light to change.

I'm told by those in the know that there is a back room should you not feeling like going under the gun in full public view, but from what I've witnessed in the last few weeks, there are many punters out there unabashed to be inked in public.
I did notice however, that soon after it opened the shop owners had someone put spikes up along the low external window sills, seems it became a gathering spot of sorts for the local indigent population keen on a bit of street theatre, I'm guessing there's a difference between being admired by passing motorists and leered at for the duration of your tattoo by a one-eyed guy smoking newspaper roll-ups and providing a running commentary in unspeakable language?

Anyhoo, it's a welcome change for us passing motorists after just having the one-eyed guy to look at for all these years.
I've seen some very special sights. No genital piercings as yet (though a friend saw a guy getting his nipple spiked - that's a traffic safety risk right there), but I've seen some nice work being done on some nice bodies. I've appreciated some rippling torso, a shapely calf or two, some very nice bicep. The tattoo artists themselves aren't too hard on the eye either ...
I've seen some serious slapper cleavage too though, a bit more cellulite than I'd like to while out buying the paper, not to mention some hairy shoulders. Eeeuuuwww.
Husband's still livid about the evening (tat shop's open from 1-10 pm) I saw a pretty young thing drop her shorts to expose a tiny g-string and a great ass. Now there's a fender-bender danger.

But my favourite sight was this evening's. A lithe young thing stretched out on the full length bench. Clad in jeans and a bikini top she was getting the colour-work done on a full back piece. She had two artists working on her, the shop's resident pit-bull (of course) sitting solemnly by their feet.
And just outside, hands clasped disapprovingly behind their backs, heads shaking and tongues no doubt cluck clucking, 3 elderly aunties, aghast at the antics of the kids of today, but unable to draw themselves away.
'What would her mother say if she could see her now tsk tsk tsk .... '

Thursday, December 17, 2009

pale & wan

Not normally words I'd associate with myself, but two words which have rung very true the last few days. I had a 24h stomach bug on Monday (oh the irony of a vomit-free 1st trimester and then that), all time record low blood pressure on Tuesday and just haven't seemed to right myself since then.
The Docs aren't concerned, low blood pressure doesn't pose nearly the same kind of risks to pregnancy as high, they're all just telling me to lie down, feet up, take it easy and ride it out.


Nevermind that it's Christmas in one week and I've not:
  • posted a bunch of handmade Christmas cards (which'll never make it to Europe in time now)
  • completed my Christmas shopping
  • made any headway on decorations and I think Frieda will divorce us if we don't have a tree this year
  • done any seasonal appropriate grocery shopping or
  • baked or made one yummy Christmas themed edible yet.
Nevermind that this was supposed to be the last week of work and I've hardly managed to do a thing.
Nevermind that our builders packed up and left for holidays on Tuesday with the job not 100% completed but leaving us with a gorgeous new kitchen, bathroom, patio dying to be scrubbed and moved into and played in and I'm unable to do any of that.
Nevermind that I'm in possession of a 2.5 yr old. Say. No. More.
Nevermind that 'tis the season to be merry and all that and I've had to turn down innumerable social invitations to have fun and see old friends and go to the beach and generally be frikkin merry 'n all.

No, nevermind all that, for this isn't just about me see. This is one of those moments where one becomes acutely aware of being the conduit, the vehicle, the womb.
There's a little girlie inside of me, thumping away like she has all the energy in the world I might add, and she's calling the shots. And I must take heed and lie down.

If only it was as easy as it evidently is for that ginger kitty. Clearly her Christmas shopping's all done.

PS Yes I know that window's in a terrible state of disrepair, that's clearly not the recently renovated side of the house!
PPS Can you see the wee madam in question clad in turquoise stripes reflected in the window? I only noticed her after I posted the pic.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

beautiful inside my head forever

When I was in London recently with my dearest friend, we visited the Pop Life exhibition at the Tate Modern. Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, a couple of others and Damien Hirst.
Now feel free to call me a cultural philistine, but I just don't get Mr Hirst. Dead cow, sculpted bust from his own blood - yada yada yada whatever ('tho he did once do something quite pretty with butterfly wings if I recall?).

We were cruising round his part of the exhibition, side-stepping the dead stuffed horse in the middle of the room and being generally rather dismissive of his work in general, when we came upon something a little different ... and my friend fell in love.
(this was the only picture I could find of it online - you get the general idea.)

The rest of the trip was spent walking round London jokingly saying 'I'm looking for a sort of gold cabinet, with lots of little shelves, filled with diamonds - would you perhaps have anything like that?'
But alas we didn't find one.

It's my friend's birthday this month, and when I was racking my brains as to what give the friend who's always so incredibly generous, who gave me a ticket to London for god's sake, I could only think of one thing.
The original work is called Memories of Moments with You. Very apt in this case.

(Keep an eye on etsy for an upcoming range of miniture Damien Hirst rip-offs. My next challenge is to formaldehyde a goldfish ... Take that Mr Hirst.)

Oh and, number 42.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

there's a first time for everything*

(*like my first post for December ... )

But no, this is about Frieda's firsts - there's been enough of them recently to warrant mention.

1. her first somersault - executed with masterful control and no risk of neck breakage.

2. her first advent calendar (not, despite best intentions, made by me, but sent from England, arriving in a big envelope addressed to Miss Frieda - far more exotic and exciting I think) - now every morning we open just one 'Christmas window', again displaying masterful (self) control.

3. her first library card - a momentous event in anybody's life, and one of those experiences which makes me love being a parent - introducing my kiddie to something which has given me such love and joy, and proudly watching her already ferocious appetite for books.

4. her first monster milkshake from Royale in Long Street. It was Milo & Banana and it was so large she had to stand on her chair to drink it from a straw.

5. her first day at school. Well, not really, but we went to a parent/teacher meeting at the little school she'll be starting at next year, to meet her teacher and some of the other kids who'll be in her class. She loved it.

All major milestones, all proud parenting moments, all tugs on my heart as she grows up.