Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for December, 2018

Was that it?

…in the blink of an eye, Christmas has come an gone; and I did not even get to wish you all a blessed time. So I’d better make amends and wish you all a splendid 2019. Let us put the ghost of Christmas past to bed, and all his drama; and go forth. Watch this space for my exciting project in 2019!

The weekend that was

…incredible! We love the Baviaanskloof, and this weekend just reaffirmed that. Wow!

It was hot, quiet and so very peaceful. The drive through the wilderness was just beautiful. An almost alien landscape awaits one. There had been a fire about 18months ago and then flash flooding about 9 months ago, so things looked different. Vast protea fields were scorched and dry; flood plains revealed trees pushed down, leaving chaos in their wakes. Despite all of this, still so beautiful…

On Thursday we hiked into a kloof on the farm. Blessed to see leopard spoor…

So, on Saturday we explored the wilderness area of the ‘kloof. We were with Pieter the farm manager who spotted some fresh rhino dung, and we then followed the rhino’s spoor and his territorial markings for along way along the road. No sighting, but soooo exciting to know we were just behind him. Lots of antelope species, lots of insects, and some beautiful spots! We landed up having a picnic and a swim on the banks of the Kouga River. So refreshing!

Sunday was time for a tour of the farm. It was incredible too see the havoc that fire and flash flood had had on the kloof that accommodated the last few Willowmire cedar trees. Wow. Devastating to see centuries old trees felled and tossed down the kloof by a raging torrent like matchsticks. And to see the ‘torrent’ now reducing to an occasionally trickling stream – mind blowing! We walked some paths, picked some succulents to slip at home…

During the afternoon we headed up to the farm Sewefontein, as the name translates – 7 fountains – there is a natural spring tapping into a massive artesian well which endlessly produces water at a remarkable flow rare. Beautiful, pure water. In the face of the drought there, that water is gold!

A visit to the ‘hanslam’ and quick grizzly feed did her, so sweet! Her mom has rejected her, she’s only 2 weeks old, so is being raised by the farm managers.

Our weekend ended with dinner in a cave! While we have eaten there before, it was amazing to watch Thandi ‘s delight at her cave dinner!

Quiet , delicious and some kind of magic.

And just like that it was time to come home… I could have spent a week there! I love the quiet.

The absolute best part fir me though is that the ‘soet doring’ acacia was in flower. It’s yellow flowers perfume the air and they were in bloom during our honeymoon, so one whiff takes me back 10 years – magic!

10 years

… today, I married my Charlie!

Thank you for choosing me, my love.

Memorial

….

A tribute to my Dawny…

I love this piece of art, I love what it means to me. I love that it brings her memory closer to me. Thanks to @SheKnowsInk for her beautiful ink.

Sometimes

…the gods smile upon me, the weekend was good from a work point of view. No drama, just one delivery, before midnight. I needed that. I know the next 3 days are potentially going to be rough – but after a good weekend on call, I will manage. And there was rain this weekend! Beautiful soaking rain! I hope it fell on the farmers’ lands, when I drove down to the neighbouring city last week I was astounded at how dry we were, and how green they had become, despite their dams being so much emptier than ours! I love love love rain, and it seems to do something to me heart! Healing… And I got to make jam this weekend- I now have bottles of sunshine sitting on my kitchen counter – apricot, peach and pineapple – and that also makes me happy!

So, did I hear you asking what’s happening in 3 days time? Charlie and Thandi and I are off for a long weekend! We are off to the Baviaanskloof, same place we went on our honeymoon – I can’t wait! This will be our second trip back since our honeymoon – previously they did not allow children under 12; but I was thrilled to see that they now did and that we could bring our Thandigirl. I know, I know, second honeymoon and all that – it’s a bit of an issue with your daughter hanging out with you, but we have so little time together as a family, that I really wanted her to come along.

But first, I must work, and work before I escape! Have a good week, inter web buddies!

Christmas Cookies

…so in attempt to assuage some working mom guilt and to compensate for the many missed play dates because I keep her so busy, I arranged a Christmas cookie decorating party for Thandi yesterday. Extra-murals are done for the year, and so we could have a good afternoon of fun!

I spent Sunday, between electricity outages, baking up a storm. Gingerbread men, gingerbread ninjas, and some Christmas shaped sugar biscuits. I prepped various colors of icing, collected multiple sprinkles and also made some T-shirt’s for the little girls.

Once everyone has arrived, we got going. Each girl also had the chance to bake a batch of choc chip cookies (they were a simple mix – so easy to do!) and they all baked and iced to their heart’s content.

Then there was some swimming and some testing of the produce!

I was nervous, 12 girls felt overwhelming, but they were awesome. Either I have underestimated the girls, or else my daughter has really awesome friends! They sat and decorated quietly, there was peace and harmony and sharing of colors and sprinkles around the table. They were polite and kind. Such a pleasure

And I really hope I made some good memories for my girl. I had the warm fuzzies all afternoon.

Another one

…bites the dust. Damn, this has been a difficult year in terms of my running. I started the year with whooping cough! And that seriously impacted me until about May, then I had my DNF at Rhodes, and I have slowly, slowly worked at building up again. I had a comfortable CT marathon, and really believed I was ready for this weekend’s (what turned into a) debacle, at the Aspen PE city marathon.

The day dawned with gale force winds howling through those streets in PE. With the run starting at 05h00, it was a very early start. I got my oats and coffee down, and then we were off. The start was blustery and quite cold, but we set off, and I felt really comfortable. The first 10km ticked by nicely, the wind was quite off putting, but I felt strong and brave. At this point, I could feel some chaffing starting in my nethers – fortunately, at the 12km mark, the clever club hosting that watering point had some vaseline and some sun block out, so I was able to solve that before it became an issue. I was still feeling really good, and was happy with how things were going. At around 17km the wind started to get to me; I hate how hard out makes everything feel. I felt almost unsteady on my pegs and I found that my feet were moving around in my shoes a lot more than usual, and I could feel a blister starting on my left arch. It’s a place I often blister, so I wasn’t too worried either, I think I have trashed the nerves in the spot before, so, yes, it’s sore, but not the end of the world.

At 21 km I was a bit worried, I was still on target with my pacing, but I knew I was going to have a battle on my hands. I was half way and had just over 2 and a half hours to go. The roads felt very long. I did not feel very strong… At around 16km to go I met up with a girl from my home town, running her first, also trying to qualify for 2 Oceans (under 5 hours), and we worked out we could do it. She was however fading fast, and was struggling, I got her through to single digit s to go; but when someone else tagged onto us, I started moving to try to get to the end in time. And this, dear readers is where it all went to hell. The wind was now so strong, even downhills were tough. I was counting down kms and minutes, and realised at about 5 km to go I could not do it, and then my spirit gave a few death rattles (oh, wait, maybe that was just the wind, blowing my (last few remaining) marbles around.) With a very heavy heart, and holding back the odd sob, I plodded to the end, bypassed all festivities and headed off. My final time was 5:08

A quick shower and I was determined to out this day behind me quickly, I hopped in my car and drove home. 3 hours in the car was plenty of time to feel sorry for myself, shed some hot tears of frustration and ponder the why’s?

Despite that I don’t really have answers as to what went wrong. I trained hard, I stuck to my programme, I can’t put a finger on anything; and so I am left, wondering what to do next. I guess, once my feet have healed up, I will run again (really?) and see where my path takes me.

If you are squeamish, scroll away now, before the gory pictures…

(I am so A type and so goal driven, the fact that I will never win a marathon kills me, absolutely drives me mad; but I have made some kind of peace with that, but when I follow the rules and my body does not follow through, then I really don’t know)