Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for July, 2013


… does the guilt ever go away? The guilt I carry because I am a working mom, the guilt of being a busy person who doesn’t always remember to call her friends, the guilt of a daughter who cannot share everything with her parents anymore, the guilt of a sister and aunt who seldom speaks to her siblings, the guilt of a woman who feels like an inadequate wife… does it ever ease?


…barely coping, that is, is what I am doing. Seriously, the stressors of the last few months have really gotten to me now. They have worn me down, such that I am a shell of the bird I was. I feel so broken, far worse than I have been in a long time. Throw in some petty squabbles, and I am left wanting to retreat, hide away, hibernate, move cities…

Enough about me though, lets chat about the chick!

014Thandi has had some awesome experiences of late – planes, trains and automobiles… she has flown to JHB with us, caught the Gautrain, jumped into a hire car and got to see her cousins, her aunts and uncles. We even threw in visits to internet buddies, and she enjoyed it all so much. The highlight of the trip though, was undoubtedly the visit to the JHB Zoo – and what a cool zoo it is, as far as zoos go. She saw monkeys,023

a mountain gorilla, 018

birds, 031

giraffes, 029

lions 033

and elephants. 040 Undoubtedly for us the highlight of the visit was at the lion cage, observing us ‘talking’ to the lion, she decided to climb up onto the railing, and address the lion, “Hello Mr Lion, would you like some coffee?” Needless to say, I nearly wet myself, and I even caught it on video! It probably says an awful lot about the amount of coffee Charlie and I are getting through too! 044

And then we were home, and things quietened down until Saturday afternoon when the girl and I made gingerbread men. 002 Well, they turned into gingerbread zombies, with missing limbs and heads, but they looked cute (as Thandi kept telling me – “Mom, they’re so cute!”) and tasted good! Check out my little bakergirl! 014


Touching base

…sorry to leave you all hanging there. I didn’t intend to disappear like that, but circumstances overtook me, and I hid away.

This week I faced one of the biggest challenges to my career ever – I’ve walked away from it with a strip torn off me, suitably chastised and relieved that my ordeal is over. I’m afraid it made me want to just hide away though… and I did. So forgive me, but I needed to hole up for self preservation and my sanity. Thankfully I have had some awesome supporters and cheerleaders. I am blessed with people who believe in me, even when I have lost faith in myself and my abilities. You guys rock!

I promise to resume normal programming next week. Have spectacular weekends!

Fun night

…was had! A great relief from my stressors of the last few weeks – we had an early dinner with Angel and her husband last night at an alleyway eatery last night. It was our second visit to said eatery, and they did not disappoint! Starters were a shared platter of tapas – with cheese and meats and olives and bread, all high quality and tasty. We also shared a bowl of delicious onion rings, which were a treat. Mains we were split – the boys had burgers and we had pizzas. For the 2 boys it was a Moroccan burger and a Chorizo burger, served with shaved sweet potato skins – which were divine! The both enjoyed their burgers, finding them filling and juicy, with good flavours coming through. Angel had the Chamberlain Special, which had blue cheese bacon, pecorino, rocket – very tasty, and I had a Steven Sigal pizza – spinach, caramelized onions, pecorino, mushrooms and steak – which was gorgeous – the bases were paper thin, the topping not overly generous, but just right so one got a good taste and flavour combination. All washed down with copious amounts of Beyerskloof Pinotage and our night was made. Thanks Angel and Hoops, we had a great evening, lots of laughing and light heartedness, which was required for us all!

Just to add in – I just received a notification from WordPress – I’ve been blogging for 4 years! Crikey! Thanks for listening to all my ramblings, beautiful readers!

On this day

…in history; Madiba was born, my sister-in-law was born (happy Birthday HN) and a friend’s husband was born (Congrats AS). Lots of celebrating!

I have to say I can hardly believe that the old man is still alive – whatever ails him, we can categorically say that he is a stubborn old man, who is raging at the dying of the light. I trust that those taking care of him, are treating him with respect and empathy, giving him the dignity he deserves. A Peaceful Birthday Tata… is my wish for you this year… And married 15 years to Graca – where does the time go?

On  totally different subject, my girl is quite enamoured with taking selfies – so cute!


Winter warmer

…now last night after a fairly humdrum day, I got home quite late, to get dinner prepared. It turned into the highlight of my day! I didn’t have much time, but I’d been wanting for some comfort food, something delicious and warming, and so it was an old favourite – salmon pasta.

I apologise now for a lack of pictures… Anyway, chop up a bunch of spring onions, and fry off in a large pan with a clove of crushed garlic in butter until softening. Add a punnet of baby mushrooms (whole) and cook off for a few minutes. Flambé with a tablespoon of brandy (you don’t have to do this, but gosh, it pleases my soul to see those flames!) then add about 100gm of chopped smoked salmon or trout, after a minute or 2 add a tub of crème fraiche and lower the heat to allow the crème fraiche to soften and melt. I add a dash of dry white or pink wine at this point, which you could omit. Add a healthy dash of fresh (if you can get) or dried dill and allow the sauce to infuse gently. Season as desired. Cook off some farfalle pasta (the bowtie one) and once cooked, drain, retaining about ¼ cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta and the water to the pot, add the creamy sauce and then serve in big bowls with a healthy amount of grated parmesan. Delicious! My soul was happy!

MotherCity calling

…and we are back, a quick 36 hours in the MotherCity was fun, and now we are home again.

We flew down on Friday night to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. We arrived in cold and wind on Friday, spent Saturday chilling (in more rain) and flew home in beautiful sunshine to cold and wet home… Oh well, it was good to see friends, and celebrate! We stayed with TAFKAD, aka Aunty Donty, and Thandi warmed up nicely to her, we went from Aunty Donty Get Away! to Aunty Donty Where are you? Sweet child. She really copes well with all this travelling we subject her to. We got to see DRHF again and then had a great catch up with the birthday girl! LM is a special friend, who I met when I was specialising. She is an ultrasound specialist and we got to know each other very well. We spent lots of good times together and I have always felt so welcome in her home. So for her 50th she hosted about 20 guests in her beautiful home with a lovey little man running around with platters of delicious food (gorgons of kingklip – oh my word!!!!) and trays of champagne… Ah, lovely! LM did remind me that I had been the last to leave her 40th birthday party, so she expected a repeat performance that night – I have to say, we did not disappoint! Crawling into bed at 01h30, when you know the toddler will awake shortly is slightly terrifying. Eek! Oh well! A good sleep last night sorted that out!

And now the working week begins again… Oy vey…