Sunday, February 27, 2011

baby got back

I like big bundts and a cannot lie ...

And finally I have my own.

Friday, February 25, 2011

and then just like that ...

... in the last week I :

~ went to a rock concert
~ slept for 9 unbroken hours
~ drank espresso
~ started a major DIY project
~ varnished a door while the girls occupied themselves at my feet
~ varnished my fingernails
~ went cycling with a friend one evening
~ cooked a meal which will happily feed 3 generations
(okay so it's macaroni cheese, but my Dad's had a craving and the girls love it)

None of these I would've thought possible three months ago.
And suddenly it all is. Just like that we're here, a space in which it feels there is infinite possibility.

Monday, February 21, 2011

a bit meany

I'm sorry, I can't help it, but this is why sometimes I hate reading blogs ...
I’m especially fond of mornings so I wake up very early so as not to miss anything. My
day begins with a French press of coffee with rye toast, plum jam and almond butter or perhaps a bowl of Irish oatmeal with real maple syrup. Always there is writing in my
sketchbook journal (poetry, free verse, laments) and a morning walk along the beach
with my dog after my son heads off to school.

I am passionate about collecting records and play music on a portable record player in my
studio or I listen to NPR's ‘tiny desk concert’ series for soaring inspirations. And then
I write, and write and write some more as words dance across the page. Occasionally I
pontificate in my journal, illustrating my thoughts with polaroids and often I take one of
my very many cameras out to take pictures. Lately I am most fond of my Holga camera.
I make endless pots of tea in a vintage silver teapot and of course there is chocolate for
brain food. Creating is such a beautiful act of worship in my daily life and so good for
my soul.
Seriously, who lives like this? It seems so contrived.
Must the butter be 'almond', the oatmeal 'Irish' and the maple syrup 'real'?

I guess instead of being such a turd I should be happy someone's following their bliss. And obviously avoid reading about it if it irks me. And also acknowledge this wouldn't be my cup of tea (not even brewed in a vintage silver teapot) even if I had the choice to live like this. Which I guess I do, as do most of us, really.

But what's more fun than the occasional bitch?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Last time U2 came to South Africa was my final year at Varsity.

I was already with my now husband (we're nerdy like that) and as broke students, just post the long summer holidays, we'd resigned ourselves to not being able to afford tickets and tried valiantly to stop up our ears every time someone started gushing about how excited they were ...

3 days before the band was due to play in Cape Town I got a call at my Mum's house (pre- mobile phones), there was an Aussie on the line. He was high up in the Lighting crew (ha ha I'm so funny) and knew my cousin in Melbourne. She'd given him my number and he was phoning to tell me he'd left 6 GOLDEN CIRCLE (that's good, very very good) tickets at the reception desk of the hotel he was staying in. For me.


Now-Husband, my brothers, their squeezes and I went along and had the time of our lives - all the sweeter for being so unexpected, and so thoughtfully arranged by both my cousin (thank you again girl!) and her friend, who could just as easily have decided it was too much bother to get in contact with little ole me on the southern-most tip of Africa.

I've not seen many live international acts. SA is a long way to come for most of them and I confess my taste in music is not that, um ... current.
But those that I've seen have for the most part been totally and utterly amazing (the exception was Lenny Kravitz, we worked as ushers and so got freebies for that one thank god 'cos he was dismal) and all of the experiences have had an added component of sentimental value.

Paul Simon was the first. He came as soon as the UN cultural boycott was lifted against SA in 1992. He got some flak, many people thought it too soon to start celebrating democracy, but as a starry-eyed teenager I were thrilled and having been raised on his music, emotionally overwhelmed.

Sting, Midnight Oil, Burning Spear, Snoop (yup, as in Doggy Dog [there's a whole other story to this one 'cos let me tell you no one was more surprised than I to discover that the man is sex-y!]) were all seen with some of my best girl friends in the world.
Girl friends who, while they might not necessarily let me sit on their shoulders to get a better view, can talk crap endlessly during the inevitable live concert waiting, can comment on the passing fashions at will, are always happy to queue for the loo together and never too shy to jump up and down and scream 'ohmygodIloveyouSnoopyoudirtydog' etc.

And now, tomorrow night (tomorrow night!), U2 again.

U2 again and one of my best girl friends again and big concert stadium fun again and missing bedtime/bath time again and, and, and ... the excitement, it overwhelms me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

candy love

We don't do Valentine's here.

Call us cynical. No really, do. We like it.

But we do do craft. Well, I do, and I like to try and rope Frieda in. I've realised this is often merely as a means to justify doing some silly cutsie project I've been harbouring a fascination with for years.
Frieda's not that into craft projects, she'd rather play an elaborate game involving a small Buzz Lightyear, 3 or 4 assorted fluffy animals (a woolly mammoth, a turtle, a puppy and a giant Piglet), a long red ribbon, two random plastic pieces which fell off the mop and a box of tissues.
Say no more.

But still I force her to get involved, no doubt enjoy it more than she does, hold out a secret hope she'll get more into it as she gets older, and placate myself that maybe Stella will be really crafty.

So we made these for Frieda's classmates:

She actually enjoyed it. And ate far too many sweets. And was very happy setting off for school this morning with a bag full or surprises for her friends.

But for the real spirit of Valentine's, read this post from the fabulous today is my birthday!

Now that I love.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Stella has had an unidentifiable rash over most of her body for most of this week.
Diagnosis is 'baby measles', a handy pediatric fallback for an unidentifiable infant rash.
It seems to not have affected her too badly but proven to be a handy parental fallback for explaining away behaviour which could otherwise be the alarmingly early onset of Le Tantrum.

Despite this (or because of?) I've been out 3 nights this week in a rash of social engagements not seen round these parts since ... well since last time I was getting decent sleep.
As a result I'm tired today, foggy, scratchy, possibly a little hungover. I can't remember what I was planning/hoping to achieve so instead I'm baking brownies.
Not such a bad compromise.

And it was possibly a little rash - dizzy from the excitement of missing suicide hour, slightly crazed by being out, drinking wine, while Husband fed, bathed & bedded the babies, a little annoyed by the twenty-somethings at the next table calling each other Do, Ray, Me, (did I mention drinking wine?) - to fire off a post about abbreviated names without thinking about how we most often give silly little names to those we love.

Abbreviations as terms of endearment can never be wrong. My nearest & dearest call me Mols and I love it. Parents, lovers, kindred spirits - they should all have license to use cutsie diminutives.
But never on facebook.

That just gives me a rash.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

not okay

This tendency, by the youth of today (I'm speaking to the twenty yr olds here), to abbreviate names.

I'm totally down with J-Lo, LiLo etc. I enjoy playing that game too, but there's a far more ridiculous trend I've been noticing on facebook and elsewhere.
Ryan becomes Ry.
Dylan becomes Dyl.
Tara becomes Tars.
Sara, Sars.
Brian, Bri.
Laura, Lau.

Not okay.

'Dyl & Lau's Big Day!' scream the album names.
'Love you Tars!'
'Happy birthday Bri!'

Perfectly decent short manageable names abbreviated away to mulch.

Call me Mother Grundy, or Mommy-G, or just Mo-G, but I think it's not okay.

I think it's l-a-z-y.

Monday, February 07, 2011


I found the spider.

On our bedroom ceiling at about 11 pm the other night.

There followed a funny sequence of events in which Husband tossed a shirt up at the offending beastie (we have very high ceilings), gingerly stuffed shirt into wastepaper basket and carried it out to the perimetre of the property where, quickly and with great skill, he attempted to flick the spider out into the street.
Of course, as in all good spider stories, we then had that moment where he got spooked and, convinced that the spider was on me, on me omg it's on me, he let go of the shirt. Necessitating opening the gate and carefully retrieving his (previously crisp white) shirt from the road, hoping all the time that the neighbours were indoors.
In his defense he didn't scream like a girl once.
My sister-in-law left for work one morning last week and found a R100 note lying on her front step.

When she got home that evening someone had taken a dump outside her living room window.

I met a 3 year old today who is so lacking in any kind of sweet tooth (no cake, chocolate, sweets etc) that he doesn't eat grapes 'cos they're 'too sugary'.
Last night Stella choked on the medicine I was trying to give her for her sore throat. In her Dad's arms, in the dark, she made a retching noise and he started hopping around making disgusted noises.
I was a bit annoyed - man up dude, it's just a bit of baby barf.
Turns out she'd not puked at all.
But the cat had earlier, and he'd just trodden in it.
I've got social plans for the next three evenings. Plans which involve leaving the house, probably in make-up, drinking wine and hanging out with awesome people.
A few months back in sleepless hell I'd not have believed this could be possible.

Life is funny. Funny ha ha and also funny strange.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

perpetual motion

'Mum. Mum. Mum'
Frieda's trying to get my attention, lying on the sofa in the corner of the kitchen.

Stella's in her high chair campaigning for more grapes, I've a bull terrier underfoot, a phone call to make, lunch on the go, the dishwasher half unpacked, multiple lists compiling in my head  ...

'Yes Frieda?'
'Mum. Stand still.'

'You're always moving so fast Mum. Stand still for a minute.'

It's unnerving when 3 year olds are so perceptive.

I've a friend who's a high-powered attorney. She gets home at 3.30pm everyday and dedicates herself to her young daughter 'til bedtime. No phones, no texts, no chores, no housework (note: obviously she has ample domestic help but even so ...).
She and her girl play, chat, hang out for 2 hours before supper, bath. bed.

Sometimes I wonder if in some ways her daughter, though she sees so much less of her Mum, gets more of her in that short time. Quality over quantity.

This is the dilemma of the stay-at-home Mum.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

one big one, one small one

It's the second time this week I've found myself cooking dinner like this:

Seems crazy hey?
Especially as we're virtually eating the same meals these days, the four of us.

But still, the girls like things chopped finer, flavoured slightly blander, and so weirdly it's easy to cook the same meal in two pans. Chop the same onion, a third of it smaller, the same carrot, diced a little finer.

And then of course I can do this:

Decide to whack in a load of chillies and spices without having to hold back at all. Makes for much more adult eating.

Just got to remember to keep the right spoon to the right pan!

PS I promise with my hand on my heart I didn't notice that phallic butternut on the right 'til after I'd taken these. No really.