Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for April, 2013

Settling and Gathering

… as the dust settles on a very busy work weekend, I am now trying to gather my strength for this coming week. Charlie’s Dad’s funeral is tomorrow afternoon… I am dreading it, and also anticipating the closure of this period of very physical and public mourning, so that we can move onto the more private emotional grieving.

Think of Charlie tomorrow, and his family…


…to Charlie’s Dad.

Untitled-Scanned-42So last night, in a flurry of bleeding aneurysms and heartache, we said goodbye to Charlie’s Dad. We knew it was imminent, but somehow… it’s the grief that is shocking. Grief so sudden, death so very final. No last chances – they’ve been had. And a family left, looking around, shell-shocked to see that the world still turns despite them and their sadness.

Mr B, you raised a helluva son, a man I am proud to call my husband. Thank you for that legacy. May flights of angels sing you to your rest…

Morning giggles

…so this morning on the GC breakfast show, this woman called in telling Gareth he was so naïve to listen to the news, she read on the internet that this whole Boston thing is a massive conspiracy theory, and its a protest against tax on ammunition… she went off a little, going on and on about but she saw it on the internet… Loved his response, did you hear that they found the big foot, aliens really did land at Roswell… And she hung the phone up telling him he was wrong! And she called him naïve! Thanks for the morning giggle, lady!

But she does raise a point. How much do we believe? The newspapers – well they sometimes have their own agenda – as demonstrated by the ‘award winning’ article on infant mortality which failed to grasp basic statistics. The internet – we all know about the kooks out there, who have their own platform now.TV and radio – well, they aren’t much better than the print media. Eye witness accounts – again, we all know about broken telephones and how each person interprets things. So, I guess the lesson is, take what you read/see/hear with a pinch of salt. Use some discretion and make judgement calls. How good those calls you make are is dependant on your education, life experience and wisdom. Don’t be a blind believer, but watch out for the charlatans. And maintain a healthy sense of humour!

What an…

…awesome weekend! After a bit of a delayed start to the weekend, we headed off to U’fumene Game Ranch, near Alicedale and had an entirely divine weekend. We met Adip there, and had such a special time with her. She is going through an incredibly difficult time, so it was so good to get her away from all of that for a moment.

Our hosts were just lovely, took great care of us, with loads of personal attention; we could not have been better treated.To put it in context, we initially took what we thought was a shortcut which turned out not to be so, getting us on the incorrect road, they kept in phone contact with us until they knew we were on the correct road, then arranged to meet us at the turn off to their farm, to guide us in the dark along the dirt roads, back to the lodge. So kind and thoughtful of them. It’s a very small intimate lodge, and it means that the hosts really do work hard at making you feel at home, sharing all meals with you, regaling you with the stories of their travels and lives, and they took such good care of Thandipants, finding things for her to do, letting her see the lambs and chickens and all the other animals. The wet weather of the weekend meant that our game viewing was entirely curtailed. The roads were too wet, and the animals hiding away. So we spent time in the lounge playing with Thandi, drinking coffee and enjoying the good company and fire.

Or food was excellent, we left full and satisfied. Our rooms were lovely, with enormous beds, crisp white linen, beautiful bathrooms. Oh and the artwork… Incredible stuff – all over the walls of the lounge and rooms were these paintings, a lifetime collecting them, and the Frederick’s have now a truly impressive gallery on their walls – a lot of religious painting, and also some incredible artifacts collected from all over the world.

All in all a great experience. Great attention to detail, wonderful hosts, awesome food – a recipe for a great weekend!


Friday musings

…I got chatting on twitter last night to someone I have never met before, know only via the computer. And it got me thinking about how interactions have changed. How we meet people, communicate and socialize.

As a teenager, I loved the telephone. I could spend hours twirling that twisty cord around my fingers, nattering to friends who I had just left at school half an hour previously. What we had to talk about, I don’t recall, but talk we did, I suppose about all those clichéd teenage girl topics – boys, friends and enemies, clothes, our parents… We’d mooch around at each others houses, talking some more.. It was all quite personal.

I remember the first time I had an email account. I was at varsity, and didn’t really get the fuss. Only my tech geek boyfriend of the time and a few other med school peeps could email me, and I didn’t see the point, really. I still loved the telephone, and cursed the 10 minute cut off they had installed on the ‘tickey’ boxes on campus.

Then email became a whole lot more mainstream. And I learnt to embrace it. I graduated from letter and card writing, to emails. I still loved the phone though…

And then in the blink of an eye social media erupted. I was slow to the uptake – rather weary of friending, following, poking and tweeting – but now I have embraced it. And how! I’ve been blogging for 5 years almost (Gosh, you guys are long suffering) and have really fallen for twitter, sorry FB, I’m moving along with the times here. Isn’t it just amazing how fast things have changed? Now I have a hate-hate relationship with the phone – it symbolises work and an interruption of my personal space. My heart sinks every time the phone rings, when previously it used to sing with joy. Don’t get me wrong, I still like a good natter on the phone with my mates, it is just a mental exercise to take the call. SMS, What’s App and iMessenger have taken over so much of the phone chats though, I seldom get to have one. And now I meet new and interesting people on twitter, ‘introduced’ to them through the 1 or 2 people I do know and yes, they’re superficial and surface ‘relationships’, but I it feels a bit like the tearoom at res or at the various hospitals I’ve worked at, where we’d get together for half an hour/an hour, natter and catch up on the days events, before carrying on with our day. Someone posed the question the other day about twitter as to how you view the platform – work, coffee date, mother’s committee? And my answer was it was a bit like book club – a place to chat if I want to, watch and learn when I don’t want to. I’m stunned with how far we have come in 20 years… Personal interactions vs random stranger meetings on Twitter.

WInter rising

…so, moving on from the brief and indistinct autumn we had, it seems that the next big cold front of the winter has arrived. It is freezing today! And by freezing I mean 18 degrees Celsius. Yes, I know… Pathetic really.

SO, with the arrival of the cooler weather, it is time to start thinking of all those winter traditions we have – soup and good bread (thank Heavens for La Crumb and Son), slow roasts, stews, wine, port… hmmm…all foodie things. This year we’ll be using our new fire place too – a eco friendly bio fuel burner. Yay! And this year there will be a fair amount of training, if I am to run the Knysna half marathon again! Eeek!

I think I might swing a more foodie slant to the blog for the next few months, sharing my favourite winter warmers with you guys. How does that sound?

Making friends…

Some pictures of Thandi over the weekend, with her cousin, J.

068 070 076 077 084 085