Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for family


… on my goals.

Now after yesterday’s rather bleak post, I realised I need to short my focus from my own belly button (enough naval gazing, thank you) to my horizon. Because it is gig and wide and I can choose any number of directions. So, let me recap on my goals for now.

  • Workwise I have to focus on my bank balance – as much as I do what I love, I also have to pay the bills, and last year with the deli drama, I lost most of my savings. I want to get back to the place where I had a healthy amount of savings that I felt like I did not need to be overly concerned if disaster struck and I say needed cash in heartbeat. Currently I am not in that position, but this year I will consolidate and work hard to get back there. I am committed to this as a priority.
  • Running – so my goal of being super fit for this adventure on the wild coast is up the creek, but I will enjoy it, and then get some serious training in – on my horizon are the following events – the 2 Oceans half marathon, the Wild Women on the run event and the Cape Town Marathon. I have some goals, but my priority is to enjoy these events. I want to run with a smile and not a grimace!
  • Bodywise – I always joke that my new years resolution in the Year of the Body 73; and every year not much seems to change. About 4 years ago I lost 16kg, I’ve gained about half of that back – I need to get back down again. I have developed a number of chronic health conditions (thanks for those genes, family!) and I know that my weight is not assisting me. ( I will concede my self discipline here is low, but I am getting ready for the changes).
  • Mentally I am tired of being tired; I am over the day to day exhaustions and I will focus on those little things that give me joy. My painting class being my current thing. I am loving the time I spend exploring my creative side… I am also trying hard to limit myself in terms of how many things I commit to – if they do not advance me personally or professionally, I am going to try to say no! (not easy for me, at all!) I also am prioritising family time – my girl is very aware that I am busy and therefore tired when I get home. I know her awesome dad does so much for her, I want to remember good times with me, and not just boring tired mommy. My Charlie also needs my attention – ahem…

So focussing on goals will hopefully allow for some successful planning. Onwards and upwards… (I will report bak here periodically, it may be weekly, maybe monthly. My running log is in my pages, as is my weight loss (ok, I’m a bit shy to update there currently…) follow me there to hold me accountable.

Making it

…showee! It’s been a busy week.

The first day of ‘big’ school went well, Thandi seems to be settling down really well. We had our Grade One parents meeting last night – I know my child is going to be rather bored, so I am going to have to work hard to keep her humble and stimulated. Homework has been a piece of cake thus far, long may it last. We are busy working on her extramural timetable – it’s going to be a busy year for the young lady. We are still awaiting the swimming assessment at school to see if she will be in the school squad or not, and then we can finalise the programme. Ballet, tap dancing, modern dancing, piano, swimming and ball skills (the sports development programme at the school); and we are considering french lessons. sounds atrocious, doesn’t it? But she loves it all, and is coping with it all; the moment she doesn’t, the plan will change.

Work has been hectic – the medical aids are full and people have funds, so everyone is coming out of the woodwork – routine checks and then problems that patients have lived with until their funds kicked in again. I do feel like the rooms are bursting at the seams. It’s not a bad thing, I am still in financial recovery mode after my deli devoured my all my savings, so busy is good. (I have to keep chanting that mantra in my head – it gets tough to stay positive and motivated though. I am trying so hard to engage each patient I see and make sure they leave happy and satisfied with the solutions I seek out for them.)

At home we have had a hiccup, our housekeeper did not return after New Year – she left before Christmas, returned for 1 day between the holiday weekends and then not again. We did have a squizz in her room after our dogs went crazy at the door, to find a pigsty! Cupboards and drawers overflowing, food on plates in the fridge growing mould, roaches everywhere! Grim – and now a clear understanding why my hose was always untidy! Anyway, she heard we had looked, took offence, sent us some angry sms’s and has failed to appear for a disciplinary hearing… So currently Charlie and I are becoming domestic gods – washing, vacuuming, ironing, cleaning. I realise now how lazy we had become, and keeping things under control is not too hard. However, with the start of school meetings and functions, we are realising we need that person to live in with us again…

So, here’s to the weekend after a week of crazy busyness. Enjoy yours too!


…so this season has probable been one of the quieter ones in terms of visitors

My brothers popped in briefly pre Christmas, no sisters-in-law, and just 2 nieces. It was amazing to see them again, I can’t believe at how much closer I feel to them since Dawny died. I’m not sure if that is because I have taken her role on a bit or if its because we really have just bonded better. It is really nice to know that we all love each other and lots of the rubbish that went on in the past is consigned to exactly that, the past.

Charles’s brother and all his clan including his in-laws are here currently. They aren’t staying with us, but we have seen some of them over the last few days. Charles and T spending more time with them than I have, because of my calls and all those work demands on me.

The Cape Town crew of friends haven’t made it down this year, I’m very sad to be missing my friends. Our international friends will hopefully be here next year, and that will be awesome!

So for the first time in ages, we have had a very quiet house over this season. Tonight we are hosting Charlie’s family, so there will be some chaos, but I think I can manage with one night.


…okay, so I seriously slacked off in December, I was broken – there’s (once again) lots going on in the background that is going to take me a while to deal with. I was more stressed than I have been in be-ages; and I could not deal with the pressure of getting up early and running. Facing the crisis I was, I could not have one more demand placed on me, even if it was something that had previously been my salvation. So I allowed myself to heal, to sleep, to rest, to be restored, and in so doing I hope I have restored my love of running, because in all honesty I have not loved anything about ti the last few months, I have resented the sleep it took from me, I resented the havoc it has played on my skin and hair, I hated that my family seemed to not get it, and that it seemed to be taking from our family life.

But this year holds new promise. The few runs I have done in the last 2 weeks have reminded me that I love the feeling of blood pumping into my legs, I love the renewed energy endorphins give. And I have roped Charlie into running with me, so we have had family excursions, Thandi on her bike and Charlie and I running in companionship. (We’ve even taken our hooligan dogs along, which was fabulous for them, not so much for our backs and arms) We are tackling a big challenge together in February, Charlie and I. We are running the RBAfrica Wild Coast Challenge; 110km from Mazeppa Bay to Nahoon in 3 days. I want to show him how special this trail running thing is, and even more so trail running on the Wild Coast. So watch this space for our training updates.

Looking at my stats, last year I totalled 1280km, and this year I ran 1362km, so 82km more, basically 2 marathons more. I was certainly much more consistent (except for December) and I incorporated more hill work and speed sessions into my log. This year I intend to be more consistent with my running, and I am going to aim to get 5 runs in a week, to increase my stamina and endurance. I also want to review some medication I am on that I feel may be impacting on muscular function and therefore my performance. I want our family runs to also be consistent, and would love to commit to one run together every week, but I appreciate that once school gets going, things may change.



… my year of tremendous highs and horrendous lows. Above all, a year that taught me endurance.

My lows – in a word I could describe this as my year of loss. In January our divine nanny, Thandi’s second mother Noxy left us for a new opportunity, the chance to live full time with both her children, a chance that we couldn’t begrudge her. In February my dear mom died. I miss her everyday with an aching heart. In July our German friends left and what a blow that was to everyone, loosing such dear friends to another continent. Thankfully social media has made the world very small. At the end of August we closed the doors on our little dream project, my little deli, Salut. Hard to close up, but a completely cold financial decision and it has now revealed the true extent of its destruction of almost all my savings.

The highs – 2 marathons, one ultra marathon and a stage trail have been some good runnings highs for me. I’m very proud of what I have achieved running given the rest of my life. Winning the Regional BWA businesswomen achiever award in August was a lovely indictment of my work achievements. Someone has noticed, someone thought I was the most successful professional woman in my city. Good one!Our holiday to Scotland was just fabulous – sights, sounds, food, family, divine.

And through it all, the highs and lows I’ve been blessed with incredible friends and the most special family. Without Thandi and Charlie, this girl wouldn’t have survived this tumultuous year. Thank you both for standing by my side through the proverbial thick and thin; and thanks for agreeing to join me on the adventures that 2018 will no doubt bring.

To my friends in the computer, thanks for being there with a comment or a like; thanks for blogging and letting me have a glimpse of your lives; stay awesome, keep blogging.

Merry Christmas

… to you and your families. I hope you are making some incredible memories.

I’m trying hard to emulate my Dawny this season, when everything had to be just so – from her special biscuits, to Christmas Cake, to a roast dinner. It’s been a tough season, but today I woke up with a song in my heart.

Miss you Mom, lend a hand with Dad if you can.

Happy Birthday Pops!

My dad turns 80 today! Fighting fit, but sad and forgetful. What an achievement!

I am so honored to have him as part of our lives!

Born in the rural Eastern Cape, around the time of the Second World War, he grew up without his own dad around, he was fighting in North Africa, and when this stranger came home, he wasn’t so sure of him. He was educated to matric which was also quite something in those days, but there was no money for anything more, and he was sent to JHB with £10 and an address of an uncle to stay with until he’d found work and his feet. He started work on the mines, worked his way up, got educated, met my mom, and made a life for all of us.

He’s taught me several things – moderation is important, be sensible, work hard and apply yourself to everything you take on. He also instilled in me the value of an education. Lately he’s demonstrated the devotion of lifelong marriage, through thick and thin; and the value of friendships – maintain them, be a friend to others, be an active member of a community.