Tuesday, December 30, 2014

books: 2014

Slipping in just ahead of the new year - my reading list for 2014!

I'm so pleased with myself for sticking with this since last year, and for updating and completing it in time for 2015 ... less pleased that it's been in drafts for months but hey ... it's been a busy year!

Fewer books than 2013 but none-the-less, I'm pleased with myself and spent the year in some very fine company indeed.

Ah reading, where would I be without you?

summer holidaze

I've taken so few photos, most of these are repeats from Facebook. It's a short holiday for me, just two weeks and then I jump straight into utter maniacal craziness until mid-Feb. 
It's been a busy, busy time - but full of beautiful moments.

A girl and her puppy - can you see his smile?

Sisters at play - a self-initiated game that went on until dark fell and the snails were begging for bed.

Special friends being silly.

These two mad things.

The salad selection at our Christmas party earlier this month. Not pictured, the mountain of meat coming in off the braai and the two massive pavlova's for dessert.

Christmas fairies.
Also not pictured:

- many, many swims in various bodies of water.
- me, restarting Serial (I tried just after the Oscar Pistorius trial but I think I was suffering from crime-intrigue-fatigue then) one morning while folding laundry and not stopping until it was DONE, much later that night.
- us, watching Homeland in bed every evening.
- so, so much food.
- so many good friends.
- the inside of my brain, calm and still.

'Til next year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

the best gift of all

Is undoubtedly, sharing Christmas with these two.

Those looks on their faces, as they opened their gifts at my parents' house this evening? They make me feel like that every day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

bitches without borders

A friend who lives abroad messaged me on Facebook this morning to share the link to a blog she'd discovered, a smug, twee, self-aggrandising blog of the kind we just LOVE to HATE.

Mean hey? Narrow-minded and callous and nasty of us wasn't it? Yeah.

What made it even more fun? The blog author works in my friend's building! Yup, it's internet GOLD: discovering the awful blog of an awful colleague. Doesn't get much better than that.

The blog wasn't as bad as this one, but pretty damn close. And we've spent the day in a fine old feast of reading and international bitchin' and googling and bitchin' some more.

My kids have eaten toast all day, I've got a backlog of emails I need to attend to and I just had to rewash a load of laundry because it's been sitting wet in the machine since this morning.

I imagine my friend has been similarly unproductive.

We've basically spent the day leaning over our cyber-picket fence having a good old bitch about the suspiciously-perfect-lady-down-the-street. I love the internet.

What was that about the season of goodwill? I'll get back into that tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

love and (no) light

South Africa is currently (electricity-related pun #1) having a Power Crisis. 

Newspapers, dinner parties, online everything - it's all End of Days out there. One, two, three .... Zimbabwe y'all.

And yes, I know it's serious, and yes it's not convenient to lose power in scheduled 2h chunks (excepting when it goes out at 4pm on Fridays - I can kind of live with that), and yes it speaks of Bigger Problems ... but I've just not had a lot of head space for extraneous problems of late. 

We have a gas stove, we have a solar-powered mason jar, we're okay.

And when the lights went out on Saturday evening, we had resident otters visit us on our lawn as the wild yellow moon rose behind them.
We had wild tumbling dogs, skittish and free, to entertain us and bang into our ankles.

We had an enormous girl, all recovered from her tonsillectomy and back on form, chasing miggies in the dark while her sister, sticky and exhausted from a party that afternoon, slumbered away upstairs.

We might not have had lights, but we had a lot of love. And I know which one powers my world.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

all the crazy

I'd written the final To Do list on the back of the in-flight sick bag flying home from Joburg one evening earlier in the week.
Reading through it made me feel vaguely ill.

That Friday I was on fire. Tearing around town with my hands-free plugged in - taking calls, sending docs from Google Drive, answering queries and mails, the pre-event Whatsapp group trilling like an insistent baby bird.
All hail the smart phone.

Meetings, collections, ego stroking, deliveries, putting out fires and lighting new ones.
It struck me I'd never felt so alive while at the same time wanting to die.
That's what event work does for me.

At home the madness continued. Wedding cake prep, food for the kids for the weekend, must do something about my toenails, deworm the dogs, email, email, email.

And into the next morning ...

Kids to my Mum's, frantic working until the very moment of departure - cake and accouterments in the back, me in the middle with lists, dogs scattered about, glad rags carefully packed.

We were off.

Emails and texts from the back seat, bull terrier drool on my contact list, car sickness and an over-riding impatience to just BE THERE.

Finally I sent the last text, we dropped the dogs off at the boarding kennels .... and we were free.

Free to watch our friends commit to each other. To laugh and play with some dearly beloveds. To soak in this view at sunset and moonrise while celebrating life and love.
That's some freedom right there.

Later there was The Cake - so unexpectedly yellow, but so delicious -

- and dancing and margaritas and night swimming and stumbling home to our chalets in big white fuzzy robes.
There was waking to birdsong and a hangover breakfast which couldn't be beat, and a swim in the ocean on our way home.
There was this brief respite before ....

A dawn flight to Johannesburg on Monday morning. A totally moving tribute to the work of the Treatment Action Campaign and a couple of personal tears for the memories of working with them nearly a decade ago - how far they've come, how far I've come!

Work hard.
Play hard.
Loved ones.
Back to me.

These are the recurring themes for 2014. It's been such a good year.