Sunday, October 18, 2015

paddling out

Last weekend Frieda broke out her paddle-ski for the first time this season. A gift from a dear friend, her board took him to the SA championships many years ago, now it has retired to the lake, to be paddled around by small children hoping to spy coot chicks and other interesting water creatures.

I carried it down to the water for her and she hopped aboard - no life-jacket required this year - and confidently stroked out into the late afternoon sun.

After a while Stella asked if she could have a go - a first time request.

Firmly strapped into her life jacket (although she is becoming a very capable swimmer), she got her balance and managed to wield the heavy and ungainly paddle with no small measure of skill.
She very quickly set out into the middle of the lake - all on her own.

We started untying the pedalo. Calmly cooing encouragement to her as we hurriedly readied ourselves to launch and follow.

On Friday I had my 3rd upcoming event confirmed. That's 3 contracts I've currently got going.
There are another 2 waiting in the wings to be imminently secured.

Our completely amazing and reliable nanny/au pair quit at the beginning of the month. (She was offered a chance to manage a small office - orders, book-keeping etc - a position she's totally ready and capable for - I'm so happy for her. Sob.)

I'm taking all the work.

I'm blithely and confidently paddling out into the middle of the lake - trusting my skill, hoping my balance will hold, hoping the paddle doesn't become too heavy for my arms.

By the time we caught up with Stella she looked very small indeed, drifting far off shore - she was sitting still, one hand trailing in the water, seemingly enjoying the sunset and the water lapping gently around her.
It was only as we drew alongside and she turned to us that we saw the big heavy tears rolling down her cheeks, and realised her stillness concealed pure trembling fear.
Out of her depth and terrified.

Let's hope no one finds me in a similar state in a couple of weeks time.

Friday, October 09, 2015

new work

On our school run we pass a fence, at the sea, on which we often see a series of seagulls, one on each pole, biding their time and watching the world go by.

'How lovely,' I think every time I pass. 'If I was an artist I'd paint that.'

Last Thursday I thought 'Fuck it, I am an artist.' And came home and started this.

The most frustrating part about collage, and probably the best part for me in terms of personal growth - both in the medium and in life - is that one has to do the background first.
I suck at patience, prep work and foundation laying.

But with this medium I have no choice, and am forced to think, to plan, to wait, to grow.

I did all that this time, and I love how it turned out.

Monday, October 05, 2015


I only realised when I picked up my phone to check Instagram before getting out of bed that it was the 4th.

Charl had gotten up earlier with the girls (Sundays are my days to sleep in). I crawled into the shower where a small person found me and announced: 'Daddy's making scones!'

'Anniversary scones?' I inquired of him when I came downstairs.

He blanked, and then quickly recovered, 'Yes of course love, happy anniversary!'

So we had scones for breakfast, and mocked ourselves about how most people arrange weekends away and dinners out and fancy gifts for their wedding anniversaries.
We forget, and then recover and just have a normal day.
And then remembered that a normal day is the best kind of day to celebrate.

After scones there was some lawn-watering which turned into some child-spraying and screeching. Then there was some moaning and temper-flaring and wrangling into shoes and warm tops and collars and leads.
There was an epic forest walk with mud and misty mountain rain and coughing fits and dog shenanigans and poo on shoes and mushroom-spotting and pine-cone collecting.
There was some special treaty ice-cream after.
Back home there was a family Monopoly challenge which the girls eventually tired of and drifted off leaving he and I to fleece each other with much capitalistic glee.
Then there was TV time (for them), and meal prep time (for us).
There was gin & tonic and braai politics. There was an epic potato salad and another G&T and a salsa to which we may have added too many chilies to make it kid friendly. It was delicious.
There was sunset from the lawn with flying birds and cavorting dogs and wood smoke.
There was some hilarity over dinner which may have led to some vaguely inappropriate You Tube clips involving monkeys and smelly fingers.
There was hair-washing by Dad and hair-drying by Mum.
There was a small person who made a nest in our bed while her sister was being blow-dried and fell asleep there.
Later there was constructive input on my latest collage project and some deep and meaningful stuff about career paths.
There was some couch-potato-ing and some Monday prepping.

Last thing before I headed upstairs I freshened up the flowers I bought myself on his behalf last week. And while I did so I realised that it had been a perfect day.
A 'if-this-was-our-last-day-on-earth-it-couldn't-have-been-more-perfect' day.

A 'this-is-the-kind-of-day-I-dreamed-about-at-the-altar' kind of day.

It's been 12 years of days like this.