Friday, November 23, 2012

self promotion are us

Thought I'd mention that the giveaway I'm doing over on the other blog is open to readers all over the world, like, all over.
So if you've a little girl (or little boy so inclined) in your life, head over there to check out how to nab this bit of cuteness.

And don't say I never gave you nothing for free.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

fuck cancer

I've often seen this phrase used. Funny how it really rings true when you know someone who's just been diagnosed.
She's a friend, not one of my inner circle, but we met at University and I'm very fond of her.

She has two small children, a husband, a career, a newly-acquired dog, a wicked sense of humour, a beautiful life and now, very very serious breast cancer.

The last few days I've been feeling so, so sad for her, but today I got angry.

Fuck you cancer. Seriously, fuck you.

As if life isn't hard enough with the daily grind, the fears and concerns. The striving to keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy and steadily moving forward. As if our heads and hearts aren't full enough of doubts and fears and worries about car accidents and genetically modified shit and small bruised ego's and large unfulfilled dreams. As if it's not enough that those we love will grow old and die, that we can't pause the march of time, that our children will face hurt and disappointment and there's nothing we can do to prevent that.

Isn't it enough that we must arm ourselves with compassion and courage and strength just to get through the normal days, without some insidious invisible invasive cells creeping up, silently spreading until they're detected and the knowledge of them throws everything, every single little thing, into disarray?

I just don't understand.

Monday, November 05, 2012

stuck in the middle with you

I used to joke that while some people lived 'all over the world', we'd lived 'all over Obs', and that in many ways it was the same thing. I'm starting to realise that was truer than I'd thought.

After 20 years of living in small rural towns, a couple bunking with my parents while I was studying and then 15 living in Observatory (I've just checked the maths, I think that's about right), it seems I'm now experiencing urban, middle-class, predominantly white, mostly Christian, South African suburbia for the first time.
And it's ... not that interesting.

In fact, it's a little drab.

I realise now how unique life really is in Observatory. A diverse suburb never torn apart by the Group Areas Act, always integrated, always diverse.
It was easy while living under the rainbow of South African nationhood to assume that it arched over us all, encompassing our differences while in a weird way keeping us all on the same page. Living in Obs was our commonality, and that gave us the freedom to express our individuality.

I have no doubt that the longer we live out here in the 'burbs the more people we'll meet with shared interests beyond just our age, our breeder status, our common wish to bring our kids up safe and healthy. But I think they're fewer and further between.
In Obs I never felt I had to look this hard.

In Obs I never felt I was living a stereotype. In middle-class 'burbia the part-time working, 30-something, home-owning, Golf-driving, flip-flop wearing, under-her-breath swearing mother-of-two is the Queen of Stereotype and I seem to fit the part perfectly.

Where we live is still utterly amazing, but as we venture out finding schools and attending swimming lessons I'm encountering the curse of the middle classes ... the banal names, the fake Christians, the bad genes jeans, the lack of critical thought, the material 'must-haves' and the emotional taboo's. And it's ... a little drab.

I'll tell you what's not drab though. Getting on a boat in your pyjamas before breakfast to visit a flock of flamingos. To watch them take flight above you and wheel over your heard in a flurry of pink and black against a grey blue early morning sky. To look over and see their long legs reflected in the eyes of your daughter as she gasps in delight.

That's what I'll remember as I grit my teeth and ponder my identity next to a warm chlorine-and-pee soaked pool on Thursday. And as I try not to overhear the banal conversations about Jayden's Christmas wish list and how expensive horse-riding is these days and who's under-15 rugby team is the best and who's fucking who on the PTA (okay, I made that up - I'd love to be privy to that one), I'll try and remember too that we'd all rather be frolicking with flamingos than doing the school run right?
We all know there's more to life than the new store in the mall right?

Please tell me I'm right?