Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for February, 2017



Hey, hey! I did it! Slowly, but surely, I ran that damn marathon that foiled me last year. I made it to the start, and I crossed the finish line – in enough time to qualify for the 2 Oceans ultra. (although I remain unconvinced about my desire to run another 14km after the marathon mark!) And while it wasn’t the fastest of times, and I am E seeded, I still get to run the same course my super speedy friends and fellow athletes will run, and I will hopefully cross that same finish line.

The run itself was interesting. The first 21km were comfortable, and I felt good. I was surprising myself. At that halfway mark I had a little mental moment, had a walk and a race food bar, pulled myself together and got going again. I went nicely until about 32km, when I was struggling with how far it still was to go; and at this time I was starting to watch the clock. The course has a mean sting in the tail over the last 7km with 3 horrible horrible hills – 1 very steep, 1 long and gradual (which is usually fine, but not so fine on tired legs) and then the finish up a short sharp little hill to the club. I knew I had to give myself an hour for those last 7km, and fortunately I hit that target, so I knew I was in the money. All I will say is that those felt like the longest 7km I have ever run! The cherries on the top of the run for me, as I approached the long gradual climb, TAFKAD who had finished the half was there to give me a cheer and a pep talk,’Go babe! And chase the sub 5 bus, he’s just over there!’; and then on that final approach to the club, 3 of my running buddies walked down, found me and jogged up that hill with me – carrying me over the line into my family’s arms. It took me a while to feel proud, rather than exhausted, but I am so happy that I had the mental (and physical) strength to get to that start line, and cross that finish line, within my goal time.

80 Candles

…sparkling on that birthday cake in heaven, Mom… Miss you every day and so wish we having that tea party with all your friends today. Instead I will try to comfort myself with Thandi’s thoughts, of the most beautiful cake that you get to have – the most delicious, most pretty which you’ll be sharing with your family – what a party it’s going to be! Tell that sister of yours not to misbehave too much, see!

Dad’s coming for supper tonight, and we’re having a delicious roast for dinner. We will celebrate anyway – I think I’ll shed a tear – too many already today. img_3271

Oh mom…

(PS I managed to qualify – 2 Oceans, here I come! More on that to follow tomorrow)


…away from tears, and hopefully to some fulfilment. Tomorrow I embark on a marathon, which I am so nervous about. I am obviously stressed from loosing my mom, and I have been carrying this chronic damn injury; but I have managed a decent amount of training, probably not quite enough, but I will tackle it nonetheless, and really hope that I will run sub 5 hours to qualify for the Two Oceans ultra…

So think of me as I trot from a small farming village back to home tomorrow, heaven knows I will need as much positivity as possible.


…good, bad, long… And nights that seem even longer.

It’s been tough, those dawning realisations that I will never chat to her again, never stroke her soft cheek, never hold that frail body in a love again. I remain ever grateful for the moments I did have – for that moment when I climbed into her hospital bed and rubbed her sore back, for holding her icy cold hand until I could warm it up again, for being able to tell her I loved her and that everything would be ok, for having her for the extra years we were never sure we would have.

I sit here with tears welling up, and I can just hear her saying, ‘No, come on my girly, stop crying, it’s better now, all better.’ Today doesn’t feel much better.

Oh, mom…



I am still very raw, and find myself overwhelmed by emotion often. I know these moments will pass, and I will get stronger; for now I am not fighting them. My brothers have all returned to their respective homes, and my Dad and I are now watching the dust settle around us, the motes are still shiny in the sunbeams, catching and dancing on their way down…

I am very concerned about my father – his memory is not great and he seems frozen; unable to process what has happened. I am trying my best to guide him through all the processes, but I don’t know what to do either. I am relying on friends and favours to get us through all this administration, which really is almost enough to destroy your ideas of grief.

Oh, Mom…

Fly, be free

At 02h00 my mom threw off the shackles of this earthly body that had failed her, and now she flies, she is free. I am overwhelmed with grief, but so glad to have had her for as long as I did. My beautiful blue eyed little mom. 

I have been grieving for a long time. The last 10 years were borrowed time for her, and graciously received. 10 years ago she had heart surgery that we were not sure she would survive, but she did, and filled those years up. She saw me get married and my Thandi girl arrive. There were many difficult days, when pain and broken hips got in the way; but there were so many  good days too – sitting at my kitchen counter, helping me ice Thandi’s birthday cakes, guiding me through the process; holding my hand through those first 6 months of Thandi’s life, looking for advice for me on breastfeeding and why babies cry. Ah my Mom. Who am I going to be able to chat to over the phone, endlessly, to Dad’s horror? Who will help me this year with that cake? Who will I share that mother-daughter-granddaughter bond with? 

Thank you for being My Mom. I know you were proud of all of 3 of us, the boys and I; I only hope that I continue to make you proud and that I can be a mom just like you. Enjoy that glorious reunion amongst the angels. 

I love you. May flights of angels sing you to your rest. See you in my dreams, just past the Southern Cross, somewhere along Orion’s Belt. 

My Mom

is dying… I’m heartbroken. I know, she’s been sick for a very longtime, and I miss her so much. I know a happier and easier resting place awaits her, but I can’t bear this…


Love you forever, thanks for being just magnificent, my little mommy…

Flying High

…after a glorious few days! I do love this beautiful country of mine. The views were breathtaking (as were the enormous hills one has to climb to see said views!) The rivers were cold, and sometimes a little scary (swimming across the Mbashe, with a rotting whale carcass at the mouth – shark alert anyone?) I loved that I got to see parts of the Wild Coast that I last saw as a baby, and cannot remember. The other wild women were incredible too, loved being with them. And by being, I do just mean, being. No stress, no judgement, lots of laughs, and a buddy to lean on when the going got tough (thanks Ings!) Here’s just a small taste with some photos…

img_8291the hairy hills girls, tackling the monsters of the Wild Coast. img_8305 img_2395 I was the plank specialist!img_8383 ryc7nchMe and my running buddy img_8407 The queens of Dwesa! img_8607 Love this cow!img_8622 img_8691Hole in the Wall… img_2539 Jump for JOY!

img_2568 The end! img_8822 img_9065Hills, hills and more hills!

I’m back!

I’m back, it was awesome! But my return has been a bit crazy! I will bombard you all with photos from my incredible run soonest, just be patient!