Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.


…yoh, it’s Dezember peeps! And it’s busy!

Comparing last weekend to this one – when I was stuck at home, stricken with a tragic migraine, this weekend cooked!

Friday night we watched the Dryland stuff on TV – and I even spotted myself! (RM did you see your cool jump at the dam?) I made my family’s traditional Friday night supper – macaroni cheese. And I missed my mom again…

Saturday was busy – a run, a hair appointment, Thandi went to a birthday party, then her ballet prize giving and party. At home our Noxy had fetched her daughters, so there was lots of catching up to do between the girls, then a braai with my cousin and his family. Phew!

Sunday we were up at 4am to make it to a local farm for a photoshoot at 5am, breakfast, a trip to a local Christmas market, braai with friends and then I had to bake my Christmas cake. And yes, I had to make it – seldom do I get 3 hours uninterrupted at home, the fruit had been soaking in brandy since Tuesday (eek!). SO at around 9:30, I collapsed into bed… Phew!

The week ahead – school term is done on Friday – I am infinitely grateful that my daughter is still in those grades when class continue right until the last day! Gift for teacher needs to be handed over, Christmas lollies need to be sourced for the kids, and then we have our staff party on Saturday evening! So its looking a little less hectic than this last week, but only just!

Have good Mondays, my blog buddies!



…was really not a pleasant day. My achey head and burny light sensitive eyes lingered all day. A trip to the dentist to repair a crack in my tooth. A rush around the revolting shops (is it just me, or is Decemeber really the pits when it comes to shopping?) and then a mad rush to get Thandi ready, prepare a picnic , fetch my parents, get to the music concert, only to discover I had left the wine glasses…

But that was yesterday, and this is today. I have a confession. Hi, my name is Charlie’s Bird and I am addicted to caffeine.  (Hi Birdy!) A quick coffee while prepping the picnic saw my headache start to disappear. Hmmm… I will need to remedy this, but not right now.

The weekend is ahead of me, and I can’t wait! I am not on call, have a few things lined up, including supper with my cousin tomorrow, our december photo shoot and Thandi has a few parties!

If you are inclined and want to know more about what Runnermum and I got up to in Oudtshoorn, catch us on TV, Supersport8 at 7pm tonight!

Isn’t it Friday yet?

…glory be, this feels like the longest week! I am exhausted! I had a bad night last night, and didn’t sleep very well, so I am bleary eyed and headachy this morning, despite my morning run. Think that combined with a dental appointment this afternoon will definitely make this a Turdsday!

On the plus, my daughter has her end of year/Christmas music concert this evening – that should be fun! Except the recorders…

Emotional day…

…today my Dad turns 79! He is incredible! Having only retired 18 months ago, he has taught me all about hard work; but I hope tom learn some lessons from both him and my Mom in terms of how one ages.

My Mom has struggled with her health for the last 16 years. The first time she experienced a heart issue which required admission to hospital was in 2000; since then – cardioversion for atrial fibrillation (x2), triple vessel bypass and valve replacement (2007), hip fracture (x2), and now just a very frail old lady, who is deaf and stubborn. She really has been reduced to a shell of her former self, and can no longer really do any of the things that used to give her joy – sewing, embroidery, knitting, reading, cooking… It’s very sad to witness. It’s also frustrating to watch her, being frustrated with her failing body.

My Dad, hale and hearty, healthy, no chronic health problems – he had a hip replacement electively about 1 year ago; however since his retirement he has retired to his lazy boy chair (god, why are those things so damn ugly?) and watches TV and does soduko puzzles. Not much else. There is no interaction with anybody outside of the home. He sits with a simmering resentment since his retirement travel plans have been scuppered by my Mom’s health. He cannot think of anything else to do and so he sits.

What happened to them? They were both involved members of our community – my Dad was mayor of this town, my Mom was involved in various charity works – Child welfare, CANSA, jersey week – you name it, she did it. Yes, many of their friends have passed away; some have moved away; but I am stunned by quite how isolated and lonely they are. But it does seem to be very much by choice. And it’s not the choice I would make for myself in their shoes. And I guess that is what makes it so hard for me and my brothers. We don’t understand, and similarly they don’t understand my desperation for them.

I’ve tried everything – learn to play Bridge, Walk for Life, help me with the deli’s books, help Charlie with his business, take your granddaughter for a stroll… the answer is always a stubborn “I’ll think about it…” which we all know means no… Damnit, ageing isn’t for sissies, but neither is watching them age.

So today, on his 79th birthday, I am so sad… sad for what my beautiful parents have become, sad because they say no…


Migraine diaries

…so there were highlights and then there was a migraine…

  • Interview went well, I think we have a new Nox.
  • The cook off was great fun, with a nightmare protein for me – pork – which I don’t really eat much, and have never cooked. The green peppers made Cuban pork with black beans and rice – it turned out really well, and we enjoyed prepping and eating! We did a cuban dessert too – making a flan, yum!
  • The call was fine.

Then, in a haze, 1am on Sunday morning, I was roused from a superficial slumber with pain, nausea and a haze that endured for the day… A debilitating experience that reduces me to an aching brain. And today leaves me ever so slightly photophobic and auditory defensive.


…are what I am running on. Yoh! I feel like I am out of gas. And every morning, I wake up, wondering if I am going to get through this day, but (this week) I’ve pulled up my panties, thrown on my running shoes and hit that tar. I am, today, feeling shattered. It doesn’t help that my entire practice is away – 2 are at a congress, 1 is at a graduation in Edinburgh – so I am it. In other words the weekend on call is looming.

In more exciting news, this weekend is also our book club Christmas function, and we are having a bit of a cook off. I’m not sure who remembers that BBC show Ready, Steady, Cook, Ainsley hosted it – 2 teams – red tomatoes, green peppers and a bag (or in our case, box) of mysterious ingredients; and from that box, with a basic pantry, we will have to produce 2 courses. Our husbands and our cheffy friend, who is providing the boxes, will judge the best meals. It’s a bit like the master chef Mystery Box challenge. So here’s hoping we have some fun with that. I am sure with wine (not for the on call me though) and much laughter we will have a blast!

Enjoy your weekends, you beautiful people!


…Changes… are coming.

Ok, so I think I can share some news with you – as of 1 March 2017, I will have a new associate in my practice – taking us up to a total of 3 OBGYNs doing deliveries in my practice. So I go from a 1 in 2 call roster to 1 in 3, which I promise makes a HUGE difference. Also, I get to take leave with less guilt – going away and leaving 1 person to hold the fort is really tricky. And I get to train without having to carry my phone around so much! I am so so so happy!

And then the news that has made me sad – Noxy has decided that she must make this move, to take care of her own children, which we understand, but leaves us heartbroken… Saying goodbye to someone who has been as reliable as she has, as kind, honest and caring as she is, is going to be very hard. I am dreading how we will break the news to Thandi one day… I get that people come and go, but my little girl is as sensitive as her mother, and I know how tough an adjustment this is going to be.

So 2017, let’s do this!