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it started simply enough…

11 Sep

It started simply. All I wanted to do was to learn a few words, but before I knew it, I was in too deep.

I never, never, never (ever) thought I would (ever) have even the slightest inclination to learn another language. I think I was scared off by Xhosa at varsity.

I thought language simply wasn’t my thing. And I was happy to leave learning another language to all the other nutters out there. Very happy with my English, thank you very much.

And then I discovered French…

and now… oh.my.word…

I am in deep. I want to learn more and more. I have even started to walk around the shops muttering to myself in French. 

I am a nutter.

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Smell the Rain & Feel the Wind

9 May

#74 of 1001 Walk in the Rain

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”


~Ashley Smith

Puddles & Mud

6 May

Following on from my earlier post about the rain…

(forgive the archive of photos, but me and my photoshop – we had a passionate moment!!)

After the downpour, Adam and I donned our winter woolies and went in search of puddles (a Caroline inspired one-handed photo, hence the off-centre):

The monkey in full winter regalia – you would think it was 15 below!

We found a few puddles outside, splashy enough, but not what I was after… I wanted MUD!

Off we went to the vlei to look for MUD… and boy did we have fun!! Dirty, dirty mud + permission to play in it = heaven for little boys:

A Running jump

And yes, the pants were soaked up to the thighs and there was more water in the wellies than out!

And I got in on the action too. I was barefoot the whole time…

Gooey, squelching, oozing mud. Between my toes.

I was dreading having to do it. It was one of the things on my list that I really thought I could do without. But now I would tell everyone – take off your shoes and walk through mud puddles. Do it now, do it tomorrow. There is something primal and elemental about walking in the mud barefoot.

# 8 of 101 Walk barefoot in the mud

Getting Stuff Done

20 Apr

By  now most of you have heard that I have this little annoying list that I have promised to get through by the end of the year. Every now and then I re-read the list and seriously question my sanity. But it’s there and I’ll muddle my way through it.

I have been a little preoccupied lately and haven’t really had a chance to report back on how things are going with The List. I have been just a tiny bit obsessed with a girl who has a dragon tattoo. She also plays with fire and even goes on to kick a hornets nest. Distracted to say the least! But in between my eye-strain, I have managed to squeeze in a few to-do items. I realise that I need to kick into high gear if I am going to come close to finishing “The List” (insert suitable shark music).

#43 of 101 – Create Order in My Closet: I unpacked my entire closet, gave away half the contents and put it all back in neat piles. I discovered that I have 8 handbags that I no longer use. I also have 18 scarves I still use and can’t possibly part with. They take up about half my cupboard space! Who knew I had a thing for scarves…?!

#28 of 101 – Another Picnic: Adam and I took advantage of one of the last days of summer. We packed some sandwiches, some grapes and some chocolate and went off to have lunch outside. Such a simple way to make a little boy happy!

#34 of 101 – Donate Blood: I finally plucked up the courage to go back to donate blood. I went regularly before I fell pregnant, but could never muster the enthusiasm to go back afterwards. Even though I know it is for a good cause, and even though I have done it 15 times before, I still hate the whole process.  I hate the prick into the finger to test your iron, never mind the actual needle going in. I hate the blood going through the tubes, the little bag that fills up with your blood. I hate the feel of the needle pulling out. But I know that someone is going to benefit from my blood, so I look the other way and send lots of loving vibes into the blood and hope that it will help someone, somewhere.

#15 of 101 – Save Electricity – Turn my Geyser Down: Okay, so I fully intended to turn down the geyser myself, but I mentioned it to Dave, and he offered to do it for me. He roped in Adam to second him and they went about sorting out the geyser together. And every day since then, Adam has asked to go back into the roof – I am running out of ways to explain that it is not a good idea (he is not convinced, and thinks I am a serious stick in the mud). The geyser went down 10 degrees, and I can’t tell the difference. I could probably turn it down more – maybe next time I will go up myself!! (note the dirty, dusty face on the apprentice).

#61 of 101 – Oh, ye of little faith…

18 Apr

Whenever I mentioned to someone what I was going to do this morning, I didn’t get many encouraging responses. The most common response was a gentle we’ll-see-eyebrow-raise with an occasional more daring she’ll-never-do-it-roll-of-the-eyes. I don’t think anyone (who knows me) believed that I would get up this morning at 6:00am (bleh!) and pull on my running/walking shoes.

But that’s exactly what I did! It was cold, dark and way too early (practically the middle of the night, people). But I put on my walking gear and made my way to the Belville Velodrome for this:

It’s the “Most beautiful Road Race” because only women are allowed to enter. (Men are tolerated and can take part if they dress in drag, any other man is disqualified). Let me stress, I did NOT want to do it. My cosy warm bed was where I wanted to be. But I made a committment on that bloody list of mine and I promised I would be there. So I was there. And it was wonderful.

The day was crisp and clear and cool (unlike me at the end!). There wasn’t a breath of air and we got to see the sunrise on the way to the venue. The dawn drive through the vineyards to get there was worth the cold, cruel 6:00am wake-up!

The race itself was a lot of fun and there were over 16,000 entrants which included plenty of men in drag who kept us entertained along the route. Considering that I started complaining about a sore toe on the way to the starting line and had my exit strategy all mapped out in my head, I surprised myself by finishing the 5km in exceedingly high spirits.

And, best of all, I got one of these:

(excuse the grainy photo, my flash was warping in the mirror, so this was the best I could do without flash)

#84 of 101

12 Apr

How can you tell the difference between a true Capetonian and a visitor?

Upon hearing an explosive boom echoing through the city, most Capetonians will be nonchalantly checking their watches while everyone else will be anxiously scanning the skies with wild eyes. 

It can be quite amusing to see a visiting guest give a little jump when it happens. But then, us mother-city-people take our amusement wherever we can find it… it’s all part of our charm! 

What am I talking about? Why, the Noon Day Gun, of course. I think it is probably one of Cape Town’s oldest traditions. Every day (except Sundays and Public Holidays) since 1806, a gentleman from the South African Navy makes his way to the two canons on Signal Hill. He shoves a bag of gunpowder down one of the canons and prods it into place with a (I’m sure it has a proper name) stick-thingy. Then he places a (I’m sure it has a proper name) bullet-thingy into the trigger, chats to the visitors for a while and then counts down to midday and an almighty BOOM. Amazingly, there has only been one day in over 200 years that both the main gun and the backup gun have failed to fire. 

It’s quite high tech these days – no lighting of the fuse and frantic running away before it blows. The whole thing is set up to a trigger system that receives an electronic signal from The South African Astronomical Observatory’s Atomic Clock. Seriously. Remote trigger. From an Atomic Clock, no less…!!

I can highly recommend a visit to the Lion Battery on Signal Hill. The view is spectacular, the boom is majestic and, if nothing else, you can set your watch with atomic precision.

The Spectacular View

The Spaceship Has Landed (The 2010 World Cup Stadium)

Firing Number 64,116 (that’s a lot of Booms)

The Bag Of Gunpowder

Shoving it in with the stick-thingy

The bullet-thingy that ignites the gunpowder

Stand back… (way back)… 3…2…1… BOOM!!

Riding Shotgun

84. Watch the noon-day gun

 

Two Birds, One Stone

11 Apr

# 52 of 1001: Touch a Cheetah

# 28 of 101: Have a Picnic (1 down, 9 to go)

We (along with Aunty Jo) took Adam for his second visit to his beloved cheetahs this Saturday. Apparently developing a love of cheetahs is hereditary. Cheetahs have always, always, always been my favourite animal. Always. So, with my genes, the kid didn’t stand a chance – he was completely predisposed to be as besotted as I am. Last year, we took him to see the cheetahs and, to my (then) amazement, it was love at first sight for him. We bought him a soft toy that day and “cheetah” (who-is-a-girl) now goes pretty much everywhere with Adam. And I mean everywhere.

Because the universe works in such beautiful ways, I happen to have a wonderful friend who volunteers at the Cheetah Outreach at Spier. Which means she can get us in for free! And who can resist a (free) visit to the cheetahs. Not me!!

First we went in to see the Cubs. They’re not so little anymore and, because they tend to be exuberant teenagers rather than cute little cubs, there is an age restriction of 10 years. So Daddy entertained Adam while the girls visited the cubs. I’m not sure why my hand is hovering like that… it looks like I’m giving the cat Reiki…

Felix actually opened his eyes at one point (like domestic cats, they sleep about 16 hours a day…). Luckily I was standing in the right place to take a photo. Who’s a beautiful boy?

Then, we all went in as a group to say hi to Enigma. Adam couldn’t stop stroking him. And since then, any opportunity he gets, he’ll lay out his cheetah and show you the right way to stroke the cheetah. (Sit with one knee up, stroke the back only, one direction, firmly, nice and slowly and with much reverence…)

 

Then, being at Spier and it being such a beautiful day, we took the opportunity to have a picnic on the grounds.

Ahhh… the good life. (that’s our paper bag from the picnic, we did pick it up!!).

There is so much fun for little boys at Spier… climbing the big rocks, bridges, sand to play in, water to throw things into… just so much dirt to play in…!

…trees to climb… yes, he got up all by himself…

…now you see him… now you don’t… (my shattered nerves) … can you spot him?

Dad is more nervous about this have-tree-must-climb habit than I am.

Who’s your Daddy…

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