Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for August, 2018

Proud moments

… so my little super star and her team came 2nd in our city’s Fun with Words competition. I was so chuffed for her and her team mates. They practiced hard , applied themselves and shone!

And, yes, English and word puzzles are so hectic, your ribbons untie and your badges go skew!

It’s just wonderful seeing her come into her own. She really is a shining star!

Holiday dreaming

…after a patient saw me yesterday and told me I’m looking 10 years older than the last time she saw me 6 weeks ago, I thought about things.

Yes, I am doing some hectic skin treatments at the moment which are making my skin a bit unhappy. And it may be time for some more botox. I was post weekend on call, so I was justifiably tired; and I am running up a storm currently. I have also lost a little bit of weight, so maybe the wrinkles are showing a bit more than normal.

But in truth, I know I need a break.

I haven’t had any significant time off work since we went to Scotland last year. Health wise I have had a rough year. The stress of becoming senior partner and all its accompanying responsibilities, as I mentioned yesterday, are weighing me down.

So, it’s time to dream and plan… any suggestions?

Working weekend

…and we sang Happy Birthday to 3 babies! I have to concede that I am tired!

I’ve had some tough times this last week – I have unhappy staff, and since I am now senior partner, this is weighing heavily on me. We, the doctors have made a decision overriding something they had always done, and now I have staff who feel like we have gone behind their backs, changed things that didn’t need changing; and upset their comfort zones. I am exhausted by it, stressed out, because I hate the unhappiness; but also resolute in knowing I have made a good decision. The defiant look in their eyes – I feel a bit like that hated teacher at school, who everyone was united in their dislike of – and there is a definite culture of blame. I am trying to put out fires, trying to restore happiness; and it feels like they do not want any restoration. The responsibility is a burden. Even though I have my new PA, who I adore, I am still stressed by all the things that need doing.

And all I really want is a break…

Proud mom

… of an amazing Thandigirl! So in the last little while my little lady has certainly shone; and I am a super proud mom! Firstly, she has been chosen as one of only 2 grade 1’s in the school’s team for the SACEE (South African Council for English Education) Fun with words team. It’s kind of like an English olympiad for junior primary kids. She is loving the challenge (as is her mom!) of solving word puzzles, seeing patterns in letters and words – it has been so much fun practicing for this event! It all happens next Wednesday, so I’ll give you an update on how it goes.

Then, she has had a piece of art chosen for the (MyCity)fest art exhibition! And she won a gold for it too! I could only find 4 items from children in her grade at school, so was super chuffed for her!

My clever, beautiful, caring big girl!

It rains

…so beautifully. I love the rain. Often it matches my mood, today it does again. It’s a slow steady rain today, that seems to be soaking in and nourishing the earth. I love it.

I know I have never lived in a place that has serious grey skies and rain (or snow), so maybe that’s why it’s novel. Maybe it’s the touch of the blues which makes me love the grey so much, but I really do love it. There’s no denying a gorgeous sunshiny day is pretty special, but those days are few and far between, and this kind of weather really speaks to me. (although it does say, “Stay in bed, don’t go out and run!” to which I listened at 4h40 this morning) I love how the world gets quiet when it rains… it seems to absorb all the chaos and hot headedness that the sun can induce. It is so calming in our ever busy environments…

Let it rain down…

Days of wonder

…ah, guys, the weekend was so good and restorative. I am so glad we got away, chilled and revitalised ourselves; and celebrated Charlie’s birthday! After I’d spent an inordinately long time at the hairdresser in the morning, getting some, as my friends have described it, unicorn hair, with pink green and blue highlights, I packed up all our requirements, fetched Thandi from her late afternoon music lesson and we hit the road to our beach house. Because none has been there for a while, and it was after sunset, with a huge cold front blowing in, the house felt icy, but we soon warmed it up and settled in.

We then headed off to an organised nite series run (just 5km) over a trail at a little nature reserve nearby. Thandi was super excited – her first night run, and we even encountered a very tame giraffe on route, who gave Charlie a slurpy kiss on his bald spot! We all enjoyed it and I was super chuffed at how Thandi coped with the distance and conditions – much better than our last park run some months ago.

Saturday dawned clear and cool, and Thandi and I hustled to sing Charlie Happy Birthday, spoil him with some love and gifts. We cooked up an enormous breakfast, which, after a quick clean up and shower, we walked off on the beach. It was so quiet – just divine to have a whole beach to yourself! The rest of saturday passed in quiet contentment, as we pottered around the house, sorting out a few snags, baked a cake (tres leche cake – YUM!), and prepared for a little braai in the evening. So nice to fall into bed after a lovely day!

Sunday I was lucky enough that my club had arranged it’s long run for out near the beach house, so I was able to do a nice long run (25km) and I felt really good about it. Today I am not stiff and sore, and am positive that my training is on track for the Cape Town Marathon.

After getting back to the beach house we had an early lunch, because one of Charlie’s gifts had been tickets to see Jeremy Loops in the afternoon. Except we arrived at the advertised time of 2, to discover he was only going to play at 6! Hmmmm…. so we went back to the beach house, all 3 of us had an afternoon nap, and then we headed back at 5, more appropriately dressed (the weather had turned during the afternoon), met friends there and settled in for a good evening. The young lad eventually sang at around 7, for an hour, which we all enjoyed. I think Charlie and I may have created a rock concert junkie – Thandi made it to the front row, sang along and jumped and danced and clapped – she loved it! She collapsed in a heap during the drive home, and we got her into bed at around 9pm! (Don’t tell her teachers!!!)

And now it’s Monday, a new week begins – go out and smash it, friends!


…this morning I was listening to a Ted talk, from the Sincerely, X series – about a doctor who feels she made a mistake when she was burnt out – not something huge like a drug error or operating on the wrong limb etc; but something small. And she has beaten herself up about it over many years. I know I feel the same often. One never judges oneself on the things that go well, the life that is saved; because that is what I, as a doctor is supposed to do; but we judge ourselves on the things that go wrong.

The interviewer, (this is a different kind of TED talk) commented that she is astounded to what standard this doctor holds herself; far higher than most other professional people she has met; and it made me wonder why? Because I am the same – my husband always moans that my standards are way to high; that the worst critic is myself, and that I really do expect way too much from myself. And I wonder – is it something in our training? Is it the nature of our work – if we do make mistakes we may cause suffering? Or is it the nature of the person who becomes a doctor?

Some thought provocation….