Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for February, 2016

Not a regular Monday

…here I sit in Durban, waiting to attend my aunt’s funeral. And I feel like a naughty kid playing hooky! Flip, is there no end to my guilt? Work/maternal and Charlie…

Anyway. A quick update on the weekend

  • ran the half marathon, loved it, although I was tired at the end, but equalled last year’s time, yay! Good confidence builder.
  • we moved the deli. I can’t quite believe we did it all, but we did. We are in! Charlie is tweaking a few things today, then we are ready to open tomorrow! Yay!
  • we celebrated my mom’s birthday – 79 years! Yay!

Anyway, time to get ready, chat to you all from my desk again tomorrow!


The line up

…for the next few days

  • half marathon tomorrow morning – I have decided to get back up on the horse that I fell off of last week. Wish me luck. It looks like there is going to be wind again…
  • packing up and moving the deli.
  • some family time
  • a flight to Durban on Monday for my aunt’s memorial.

It’s going to be a busy couple of days!


…what really counts. Two things have happened in the last 24 hours that have made me just stop and think.

Last night my brother called me, and we had a heart-to-heart chat. Now bear in mind, my brother is 13 years older than me, and we are not tight, like I see some of my friends are with their family. It was such a nice chat. He’s a super experienced runner – 14 2Oceans, a Comrades, numerous marathons and an impressive record of bp’s (34 minutes on a 10km!). And he was genuinely worried about how I was doing, how I was feeling, trying to help me figure out where things went pear shaped. I really got the warm fuzzies after that chat, and rang off feeling the love.

This morning I heard the news that my last remaining maternal aunt had passed away – my mom’s sister-in-law, and I was able to ring my cousin, shed a tear with her, and offer her some support and love. And yes, we may not ever see enough of our family, and I am really the baby cousin – my mom was the youngest in her family, as am I, both by a long way, so mostly, my cousins children are my age, so I may not have a lot in common, but we are bound by those family ties, and I am so grateful for them.

So today I am grateful for a body that gets out of bed, and does (occasionally) run; my telephone (although I hate the device) that keeps me in touch with family and those strands of DNA which bind me to my family.

What I need

…or what I think I need…

Some wide open spaces, a walk on a windy wintery beach and some quiet far from the madding crowd.



…quiet reflection on a sunday morning…

I was busy composing this blog post yesterday morning, lying in bed, Charlie had gone to transport a sailor (it’s what he does, as a chandler) and I was in bed, rain was bucketing down, the foghorn was mourning bemoaning the mist, the house was otherwise quiet, and I was dwelling on what had happened on Saturday. Until my phone rang loudly and rudely on this contemplative sunday, the hospital required my attention…

So, my rambling mulling overs never got posted yesterday. I have had much opportunity to think about the events of Saturday this weekend, let me get it out the way, and tell you that I never finished, I did not qualify for Two Oceans, my dream is deferred.

It was a tough weekend. I had a couple of calls through friday night, the last one being at 03h45 on Saturday morning, and I, at that point, had to go in and assess a patient. I did my ward round and was back home by about 04h30, in time to prepare for my marathon. At 03h45, gentle rain had been falling, and I was quietly happy, by 04h30, a gale force wind had arrived, and it was foul. I trusted it was a momentary squall, alas, it wasn’t. I set off for the start, my heart was in my throat, and I was trying hard to slow my heart beat down, and calm my nerves. We started, and things were going ok. The first 10km went according to plan, and then slowly, gently up a long uphill, into the teeth of the wind, my game plan blew away… As I walked and ran up these long stretches, battling the gusts of wind, I started doing my sums, at 14 km (1/3 of the way in), I realised I had a 4 minute cushion. Conditions were worsening, I was having to hold my hat and my sunglasses on my face, I was moving slower and slower, as I was tiring running into that wind. And at 18 km I made the call that I really didn’t want to make. Through streaming tears I asked Charlie to come and fetch me. I decided it wasn’t worth risking an injury and finishing if I was not going to make the qualifying time. And I was so tired of being buffeted by that wind.

I have spent the rest of the weekend feeling bitterly disappointed and shedding many a tear, and not really trusting my body anymore. I do still have a chance to qualify for Comrades, but right now I’m not convinced I have the ability to do it anymore…

Maybe everybody else is right, I can’t do everything, I need to change my expectations of myself. I just don’t know if I can accept that.


…to race day. It’s been a long 2 weeks of mixed feelings, and at the end of many thoughts, I’m running tomorrow. If I don’t, I don’t qualify and there ends all my plans for the year. If I run and I fail to qualify, well, at least I gave it a shot; and if I run and qualify, well, then I get the chance to make some decisions about the rest of my year. So 42km awaits me tomorrow, 42km of SA marathon champs and olympic qualifier running – not that that is even on my agenda. A 4:55 will make me happy enough. So, wish me good legs, a steady heart and a strong brain! I’ll let you all know how it goes!


…just when one starts to think you’ve seen it all, a case will come along that completely humbles you. Yesterday I had a case that I have not seen in many many years. Definitely not since I started in private practice 11 years ago. And boy, was I humbled. But it was also reassuring to see how efficiently everything ran during the emergency. I managed to stay calm, take a tough decision quickly, call for back up, the nursing staff and my colleagues were amazing, and this morning MrsN is sitting up in ICU, almost wondering what all the fuss is about. Mission accomplished!

I did spend the rest of yesterday vibrating like a leaf in a storm, reminding myself that this career of mine is not for the faint of heart! Phew!