Charlie's Bird

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

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Memory keeper

And now for some pics from out photoshoot…

The weekend what was

…what was just lovely! I got to relax, bake and cook, and run and ride and chill. I liked it! A lot! Some photo highlights..

 watching the pantomime on Saturday afternoon with JL, visiting from CT

Russian food prepared for a feast yesterday. I am still groaning!

 the inside of that cake. Yum! Napoleon cake.

a bike ride with my girl. Slaying some beasts.

Running with my buddy!

pretty flowers that has bloomed after the rains

and blue bottles after the winds…

special photo shoot before Charles goes.

She’ll kill me for this one day, but finding selfies on my phone… priceless.

Sorry

…for the silence, sorry for disappearing. I just haven’t had a lot to say, there is a lot to tell, but the stories and tribulations seemed arbitrary. And I just have felt stretched and stressed, so blogging suffered. It’s that time of the year, everyone is starting to get ragged, especially those of us not stopping working. I feel aggrieved every time I see a smug post from someone who is posting a picture of a suitcase, airport or beach.

So news – my car is sold, we no longer need 2; my nurse is emigrating, I have a new one starting 1 January, and she is just as lovely; I almost caved and bought a fake Christmas tree until I saw the price for the really nice ones, jingoes! So I’m still waiting to spot a fresh one on the side of the road.

Our plans are modest this year. I am working Christmas, we have no visitors, so the whole weekend will be a subdued affair, but that’s ok. With Charlie heading off early in the new year, we need some quiet family time. Over the New Year’s weekend, we will travel up to Blanco, a gorgeous little guest farm and we will chill and relax and bond, before we return home to help Charlie prepare. His flight is booked for the 7th of January. (gulp – it’s very soon now)

January is going to be a challenge, but I know that Thandi and I will be just fine. We will find our way. Of course we will, we have each other.

 

Crazy

…oh my word! This week has been crazy! And the load shedding (rolling electricity blackouts, affecting the whole of South Africa)has almost pushed me over the edge. Argh! Anyway, not much I can do about that, and Eskom and the government don’t really care about the heat tantrum I end up having when the zircon is down at the office, and we cook, amidst the electronics that have to still function. So, we soldier on.

Work has been rather busy _ I have had quite the baby season of late! 6 this week in fact! But all seem hale and healthy, so all happy!

Thandigirl has also been busy, swimming up a storm, she swims in the A league at school, and this week were the city wide top 10 trials, She swam in all 4 strokes and has done well, we will hear soon if she is swimming in the finals next week. She came 3rd in freestyle, 4th in backstroke, 2nd in breaststroke and first in butterfly. This is in her heats, so they will compare times with the other heats, and the top 10 in each stroke get to swim the finals. So hear’s hoping for good news!

Running wise I have had a productive week. I am still streaking and am really noticing how much fitter I am, and no I am starting to see massive gains in my pace too. There is a reasonable 10km race this weekend (we live in a very hilly city, so any route reasonable is tough to find!) and I am thinking of doing it, to see how I go. I must have a look, I think the last 10 I did I ran 1:05, so an improvement would be great!

This morning I was interviewed on our local community radio station about my experience in Moscow – I loved it! I always just wish I had more time to chat, but I think I got across that it was an amazing and fun experience, made easier by the friends I met along the way! (Wild Coast fm, but I am afraid there isn’t a podcast of the interview…)

Ok, so I must get on with some work, have great weekends, all of you, and here’s is to a more manageable week next week!

 

Balancing act

…this weekend was a bit of a balancing act. Between lots of different events, running and all, we managed to also just have some down time, which was really necessary.

Saturday started early, as we got Thandi up and ready for her first adventure race. Adventure racing is big in this neck of the woods, and every year one of the schools hosts an event. There are numerous categories, and Thandi was the girl in a team with 3 grade 3 boys. They were in the G1-3 group, and had to run 2km, mountain bike about 2-3km and then get through some challenges (minute to win it kind of stuff) and then a final run to the finish line. I was super impressed at how they all had to work together as a team, (they have to finish together) and how they encouraged and motivated each other. She had such fun, and is planning next year already. They managed to come in 17 out of 32 teams, for her first try, that was ok!

The rest of the day was spent at home, sewing, making dough and chilling. We made steamed buns for supper which I served with the left over chicken – they were a revelation! Yum!

Sunday dawned with me getting some running in before we headed off to the local paper’s annual fun run. At the same time as that run happens, another really special event takes place. An enabling run for the disabled. So people with prostheses, in wheelchairs, differently abled children all get the chance to run too – they are assisted, pushed, carried, encouraged by an able bodied person. We got to walk with a young boy, who is differently abled. What a privilege to get through the fun run, with cheering and laughter and happiness! And to count our blessings.

After a clean up, it was off to a slap up lunch at a local and rustic chippy don at the harbour. And how nice was that – fresh fish, tasty sides, good views… A great lunch to round out the weekend.

Tired

…I am tired of being a Moaning Myrtle, so until further notice, assume things with Pops are as before. He’s grumpy, resistant and angry, and irrational. But physically fine

The weekend was fine, one baby on Friday evening, one in the early hours of Sunday morning, so not too awful. We had supper with friends on Friday (delicious tuna fillets seared on the break with a divine asian salsa), and on Sunday Thandi (with some help from her sous chefs, aka Mom and Dad) made chicken curry and rotis for lunch. It was delicious! A real triumph! I am so pleased she is learning about cooking and loves being in the kitchen, long may it last! And all praise to Lou, the PA who taught her how to make it.

 (I was worried about the rotis, wasn’t sure they would work out as well as were hoped, they were perfect, better than I have done in the past!)

 

When will

…the dark days be over? Florence, with apologies to your machine, please tell me?

Seriously, I’m not sure how much longer I can end my day in tears; tears of anger, guilt, frustration and love all rolled into one ugly snivelling mess. The old man is so not himself, and is getting further and further away from the man he used to be. He is so far removed from my dad that I can hardly accept it. And it’s wearing me down; much like a boiled sweet after a few minutes in the mouth, I feel almost transparent, at the point of fracture.

At this point I am ever grateful to my Charlie for being the most incredible husband and son-in-law he could possibly be. He has patience, far more than I will ever have, is kind and caring; and the old man listens to him. Who else would go and check on him, when I am sitting the couch with tears of worry rolling down my cheeks at 8pm one evening? And reassure me with love and kindness, not resentment? I am very lucky to have this man by my side.