Archive for September, 2008

Nutters Talking

Mmmm…reminder me never again to wear my “Keep Talking.  I like watching your lips move” t-shirt…without a bra…out to McDonalds.

It really draws out the nutters.  One wanted to know if I kissed on the first date.

Ummmm no.  Just no.

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Excitement in Sleepy Surburbia

This morning, at approximately 6:30am, a sleepy, wiping the sand from her eyes, Natalie, noticed unusual activity coming from her neighbour’s property.

Four unmarked cars parked out front and two men dressed in jeans and navy blue fleeces standing chatting to each other and into cell phones on the front porch.

Peering through her blurry eyes she makes out some yellow writing on their fleeces…State Drug Enforcement Agency and ATF.

Wow!  Crikey Moses!  It’s just like Law and Order and CSI and, well, Hollywood – sans the flashing lights,  blaring horns and yellow crime scene tape!  I have the DEA and ATF outside my neighbor’s house!  Technically, they are outside my house too, because one of the cars is parked on our part of the street.

Oh my!  My curiosity is just overwhelming!  Nearly 2 hours later and they are still here.

On his way to work this morning, Brian stops his car next to one of the cars and asks them if they can say what’s going on.  One of the officers says they are carrying out a search warrant.

Well, duh!  After me spying on them for just 5 minutes I could have told you that 🙂 .  Yes, (hanging head in shame), I was spying.

I wonder what my neighbour’s been up to?

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I wanted to share my joy and pride in my little brother’s latest accomplishment – The Oak at Hockley Heath.  It’s a old English pub in Middle England, turned modern gastropub, where he is one of the owners and operations manager.

How beautiful it is, Ant!  And knowing you and Hash, the food is simply scrumptious!  How wonderful that I am able to sample a taste of the magic over the miles, thanks to modern, magical technology.

Congratulations!  My, we have come a long way since sunny SA! 🙂

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OK and Back on Track

Hello again.

Well…after my last post, I feel I need to check in with you all and say I am ok.  I’ve realized that I tend to blog most when I am down.  Journaling is a well known therapy tool which is very effective, and I guess I’ve taken that to heart.  My blog is my therapy journal.  Oh dear.  Makes for very depressive reading, doesn’t it.

C’est la vie.

So, I am ok.  I met with a friend on Friday evening fully intending to dump all my stuff on her (she’d make a great therapist 🙂 ).  Except she’s going through identity theft right now (ick!) and was all over the place.  So I turned to my familiar old role of comforter and counselor and tried to help her, mainly just listening.  The old role felt good, and safe, and familiar, like slipping into comfy old slippers.  It felt good to forget about my woes and concentrate on someone’s woes for a bit.  It helped me put into perspective my own woes.

So Saturday morning I walked through the Weightwatcher doors and weighed in.  I think weighing in is the toughest part of the whole weight management thing.  I deliberately didn’t unpack my scales the last time I moved as I tend to be a bit OCD with them.  I’ve been known to weigh myself with clothes on, take them off and weight again; weigh before using the toilet and again afterward; weigh before a meal and again afterward.  Did you know that a full set of clothes can weigh as much as 2lbs!  And that a liter of water consumed, a full pound!  Seriously, the scale can become a complete obsession for me.  So I made the healthy decision to just not have them.  Hence the Weightwatcher’s weigh in being such a terrifying time.  Anyway, the upshot is that I gained 2.6lbs over the last 3 weeks or so.  So now my total weight loss is only 13lbs.  You know what the funny thing was?  I was hardly disappointed in the weight gain.  I was more relieved that I finally knew what the damage was and that I was in a place that could help.  What a liberating feeling.  Staying for the meeting was a good thing too, because they spoke about the bad times and how so many of spiral.  And I realized that at least this was only a 3 week spiral and not a 5 year spiral, which is what happened before.

So here I am, back on Weightwatchers.  An interesting thing was on Saturday I felt like I’d gone way over my points, but when I captured them, I was actually well within the limits.  So Weightwatchers is proving it’s worth, if only for showing me when I do well.  Because it’s just so easy for me to focus on the bad all the time and not the good.

My last words on this subject for the day is that Weightwatchers has a “Lose for Good” campaign going, and for 6 weeks, for every pound you lose, they will donate a pound of food to two hunger agencies.  So for every pound I lose and for every treat I say no too, I am feeding a poor, starving person.  Isn’t that awesome?  I find it so sad that I am so far gone that I need this type of thing to motivate me, but I really do, so I’ll grasp onto whatever I can.  So if you’re thinking of joining Weightwatchers, now would be a an especially good time to do so.

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Rant warning! Feel free to skip ahead….


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Today my heart is sore.

Last night South African crime claimed it’s first victim from my family.

Many of my close friends and family members have been victimized by criminals in South Africa over the last few years:

  • My mom was car-jacked and held at gun point. Luckily she escaped with her life, purse-less and car-less, but unharmed. At her pleading, the villains were kind enough to at least leave her very expensive medications.
  • My dad was car-jacked and held at gun point and lost his personal belongings and his car. He was also lucky enough to escape unharmed and alive.
  • My brother-in-law was car-jacked and held at gun point with an AK47. He also escaped with his life, banged up some, but alive.
  • A good friend was held at gun point in his factory and robbed.
  • Another friend and her family (incl. 2 small children) were attacked in their home, bound and robbed. They too escaped with their lives, but not before some serious threats were made towards their lives and insinuations of rape made towards my friend and her little girl.

(These are just some of the violent and ugly crimes I can think of right now).

But last night was the first time someone close to me actually lost their life to South African crime…my uncle. I don’t know the full details yet, but he was murdered in his home in the early hours of the morning.

I feel sick. And so very grateful that I no longer live in South Africa and that most of my friends and immediate family live in more peaceful countries. It is hard being so far from home. But oh-my-gosh, the pain of separation is far better than the constant living in fear and wondering when it’s going to happen to me or my husband or my kids.

May you rest in peace Uncle Allan.

It has been a strange time…with death surrounding me this whole month.

18th August – My birthday. A few days before, I was clearing out some paperwork and found a old birthday card. It was the very last birthday card my mother ever sent me before she died in December 2006. I hardly ever keep cards, so it’s a miracle I still had it. It felt like a gift from her, sent down from heaven just for my birthday this year.

20th August – My uncle Brian and uncle Ian’s birthday.  Except Brian is no longer with us as he choose to barricade himself in his apartment, set it on fire and then jump out of the window when someone tried to bash his door down to save him.  He never knew my mom had died as he had disappeared from the family and no one knew where he was. He died as a pauper without his next of kin being notified. My uncle Ian went on a countrywide search looking for him and found out his fate about 2 months after he died.

26th August – My friend Nicole’s grandmother passed away. Nicole was very close to her grandmother and is feeling the loss acutely. My heart goes out to her.

27th August – The 1st anniversary of my cousin Clint’s untimely death. He was 39 and left behind his wife and small son. The doctors still don’t understand what went wrong exactly, so there is a lot of unresolved pain around his death. Clint and I had lost touch over the years, but we spent many childhood vacations together. We had just become reacquainted via Facebook in June 2007 and then he died in August 2007. I cannot bring myself to delete him from my Facebook friend list. So there he still stays, like he is still alive and never left. Strangely, I dreamt of him during this past week. He appeared to me as a spirit protector. How wonderfully comforting that was.

29th August – The anniversary of my grandfather’s death. He was a lovely, gentle, peaceful man. This day is also my brother’s birthday. He turned 30 this year.

30th August – The day of Nicole’s grandmother’s funeral. This day is also Kat’s, another good friend, wedding.

3rd Sept – Today my uncle Allan is murdered in his home. Out of 4 siblings, only one remains. My mother passed away in December 2006, prematurely, through smoking complications. My uncle Brian committed suicide December 2007.  And now my uncle Allan – gone. My heart goes out to my uncle Ian. Loosing all his siblings in an 18 month period. Today is also the day of my father’s birthday.

What a month of bitter sweetness….of endings and beginnings…of joy and sadness. The wheel of life really does continue turning.

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