Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for just chirping



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.


…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)


I forgot to upload a pic or 2 so you could see how pretty it was this weekend.

after my HOT runsunsetmoonrise

Apple sauce

…sadly, it appears that the power circuit on my Macbook is fried after it’s desperate attempt to cool down during our little heatwave, so I now await a new one (at least I got a good deal on a Cyber Monday special, and I used my ebucks, so no real cost to me, other than the complete pain in my butt!)

The weekend was, as I mentioned HOT! We were away with my bookclub for our annual little event. It really was lovely. We headed off to a game farm that we last went to 7 years ago (Thandi was a babe in arms at that get away), it’s under new ownership, and is looking fantastic! It was just lovely! On our little game drive yesterday we saw lots – giraffe, sprinbok, bontebok, impala, wildebees. Despite the incredible drought in the area, the animals look good; there is some rain predicted for this week, I hope it gets to them. The grass around the lodge is that kind of dry that is crunchy. And while I love those washed out colours of high summer dryness, orange and bown and white; a lot of others will find them too stark and dull. The company was great and we laughed and laughed! A hallmark of our bunch.

Highlights included a game of “A Minute to win it”, which one of the teenage children arranged, it was hysterical! Suffice to say Charlie and I came 4th (out of 4 teams) and won the We Suck lollipops! I think I may try to get a round set up for the family at Christmas! I had planned a champagne and cheesecake pairing for the gang, it seemed to go down really well – Laborie brut MCC paired with a lemon cheesecake; Laborie Rose MCC with a strawberry cheesecake; and the Laborie Blanc de blanc MCC with a chocolate hazelnut cheesecake. A tough choice to choose favorites though – the Rose paired well with the berry flavors; but I loved the Blanc de Blanc bubbles the most.

I have found myself extremely emotional lately; and am crying often. Mainly out of fear. I am so scared for my dad and what may come. And I feel like I am being a really bad daughter, because I feel so helpless. And I miss my mom… So I did end up often with tears streaming down my cheeks this weekend, trying hard to bite my cheeks, in an attempt to stop. But it’s all so near the surface, it bubbles over all the time. my friends were great, they gave me space when I needed it, and held me together when I needed that, and they ran with me when I needed that. I have a lot of things to process at the moment; and I know I will get through it all, but I am still wracked with fear and anxiety. So thanks to the Famous Five – you guys rock!

Stuck record

…flip, I really don’t want to sound like a stuck record, but I am! I’m busy and the end of the year is sprinting towards me. My stress level is rising (I wasn’t sure that was possible) and I am feeling quite frazzled. I have never longed for those extra 6 hours a day I laways talk about, like I am at the moment.

The weekend was productive and I managed to transform some of my to do list into a ta da list. 2 Runs, although one left me tearful and tired. I think last weeks stress caught up with me there. Thandi got to all her commitments – tap and modern dancing mock exams; swimming gala*; birthday party. And Charlie had a better market experience with his new small business. My call was fairly busy, and a bit sleep depriving…

* So Thandigirl heads off to this gala over the weekend. (I wasn’t there) and how it works is they all swim various heats. There are no ‘finals’ as such, the organisers just collate times. Charlie tells me she wins her butterfly heat by a proverbial mile, and that they are sticking around for prize giving. She had also won her freestyle heat and come second in the breaststroke heat. When she comes home, there is a (shoot me now) participation certificate, no medals for her. So we wonder? I watch the website, no official results up yet… So yesterday at her swim squad training she gets told that the organisers (not her coaches) made a big mistake, and that she did win the butterfly, but that there will be no medal for her, because they can’t take it away from the other little girl! Seriously! Anyway, I am just glad they did tell her, because she really was disappointed, because, as she told me repeatedly, she ‘tried my best, Mom’. I hope there will be some acknowledgement for her at some stage, otherwise she must go and kill the heats next time!