Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for friendship

A weekend in the garden

…so the weekend was busy, but it came to a delightful denouement with T, M and C’s farewell party. In 3 weeks my beautiful German family are moving back home. We are in a bit of denial – after 5 years we are going to miss them terribly!  It’s also fairly unusual, I think, to make such an amazing friendship in adulthood. My nearest and dearest are people I have known since I was 5, but somehow, this little family, who I have gotten to know only over the last 9 years have become very special to me – and it’s the kind of friendship that will survive distance and years. Saying goodbye is going to be hell!

The party was amazing – hosted at a garden cafe at our local nursery, we ate great food, drank far too much wine (which is why I couldn’t run this morning…) and relaxed under a beautiful canopy of ivy and vines. The tables were decorated with crisp white clothes, protea place mats, glass vases with bunches of proteas. Rather appropriate for a farewell to SA party. Food highlights were bobotie filled mini pancakes and mini peppermint crisp tartlets. Yum!

Now this was my second trip to the same cafe over the weekend – we ran the nite series on Friday night, started there – 5,5km on a stunning single track through the forest area next door. So stunning! My time was not amazing, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Charlie sweated up a storm and seemed to enjoy it too. Next month we run the next one in the series- we’ll see how that one goes! Yay!


Friends, Romans

…Comrades! Crikey, becoming a sort-of-a-runner has turned me into a freak running spectator! I spent yesterday on the couch and attached to my cell phone – I thought I might break it (the phone, not the couch) I was refreshing the app so often! And what a day it was!

3 of my little running group were there – our heroine came 9th, people, I cannot comprehend quite how fast that is! She ran that race in 7 hours! 7!!!!! Flip! Machine! Then the 2 others ran very respectable races – 1, I know is a bit disappointed that she didn’t make her goal time, but she still ran a pb; the other is smiling for a respectable run!

Then there were all the other friends – the 3 teachers from Thandi’s school; the club members; the friend’s husbands; acquaintances and casual stalkees.

And then there was Runnermom! While I didn’t see her on TV, I watched her on the app – what a machine! She has had the year from hell personally, and has run the year of her dreams! I am in awe! In the midst of all of that horrible divorce crap, she has risen above and run with excellence! Well done, you beauty, you! What an amazing example to Zoe you are!

Of birthdays and weather

…so, happy birthday to me; and happy birthday party to my daughter! What a weekend it was! I was a bit of an obsessive weather watcher, and despite a very windswept beach, we found a few sheltered spots and had a great party!

So the weekend went as follows

  • Friday -photoshoot for a calendar that the wild women are putting together as a fundraiser – running around in forests and bushes, diving off jettys into rivers, splashing about – crazy stuff! Then it was home to finish up party stuff – cake was almost finished that evening; biscuits were completed, and other miscellaneous party stuff. Late to bed…
  • Saturday – started with my birthday, and a panicked call from a friend’s husband, she’d fainted in the shower – so a quick dash there to get her all sorted out, then home to get ready for a long day. Thandi started at ballet rehearsals, I ran some chores, then on my way back to fetch her, I tripped on the pavement ending up with skinned and bruised knees, elbow, hands and ego! Witnessed by only an apologetic car guard, I was mortified! Anyway, pulling myself together, fetched the child, and then off to her school’s Games day – what fun and chaos, noise and laughter! And wind… I had my duty at the Stake your Claim, and we had a bumper year with great prizes and a new record with the amount we raised! Then it was home to work, work, work – more baking and the finishing touches to the party stuff. I have to say – it wasn’t much of a birthday! By the end of the evening I was sore and stiff, with all my muscles cramping after my fall!
  • After a not great night in bed, listening to the howling wind, Sunday dawned, yes windy – not ideal for a party on the beach, but anyway, there was no plan B, so we had to make plan A work. We headed off to the beach house nice and early, I stopped at the local spar to buy some bread – I wanted long slices, so as I was getting ready to put the beautiful fresh bread through the slicer the ‘wrong way’ I had the bakery lady shouting that I must stop, the security would help me, to which I replied that I wanted long slices of bread, to make ‘sushi roll sandwiches’; I reckon they are still talking about the crazy lady putting the bread the wrong way through the slicer! You get surprisingly, a lot of sarmies out! With a creamy filling – egg mayo, chicken mayo and cheese spread with ham; they rolled up well and came out beautifully! Anyway, we prepped everything, packed cars and headed to the beach, where we had to make a few executive decisions on where things had to go – we found some sheltered spots, and despite the wind, the kids had a whale of a time – no tears, no drama, delicious food, fun activities, and the best treasure hunt EVER! I had a friend there taking photos, so when I get those I will post them, here are a few I took before things got underway…

The toughest part of the weekend was quite how much I missed my mom. I shed many tears this weekend. Mom, wish you were here to see this beautiful big little girl; she’s a reminder of you every day, when I look into  her eyes and see yours. Her day was awesome – you would have loved it! See you again, second star to the right, straight on until morning!


… after a rough weekend emotionally, I want to show some gratitude.

I went into the weekend in a bad space – heart sore and weary. Weary of a world gone mad. I was tearful knowing that my first Mothers Day without my Dawny was looming. The weather thad turned – it was cold and rainy – appropriate for my mood.

By Saturday afternoon I was virtually catatonic on the couch – everything felt like way too much effort. I couldn’t even join in the superficial banter on my running group’s chat. I knew a run would help, but I couldn’t motivate myself to reply and commit. BC picked up on my reluctance and mood – and arrange to fetch me, so I was in, whether I wanted to be or not – it was raining, I very reluctantly got dressed, and am so glad I got out there and ran, got a bit drizzled upon, but no real drama – ran more hills than I like to, and a while after – quite a while, the sun started to shine (albeit weakly) in my soul. So thanks BC for not accepting my reply, forcing me to get out there and damn well run! Which did make a big difference!(And thanks to the accountant for running with me, and keeping me distracted from all those damn hills!)


The sads

…yesterday turned into a sad day… I finished early at work, so had decided to go and see my friend, Nyami, who is grieving her dad – she heads back to the UK in a day or 2, after helping her mom with all the horrible admin. Her mom lives in a small village about an hour from home. As i arrived I had a panicked call from a GP in town about a suspected abuse case in a young girl, who he wanted me to see. I calmed everyone down and made plans to see them this morning (which I’ve done – all is ok, thankfully), then the afternoon sped by in a time of reminiscing and tears for both of us. It is so hard to loose a parent, despite ill health, despite expectation, despite knowing that full restoration is now theirs. That was heartsore, but so nice to share my journey with her, and her mom.

An almighty storm broke out, and I had to get home, so in driving rain, dramatic lightening and rumbling thunder, I eked my way home. As I got near home I received a message from another patient, with her news that her 2 year old son had been just diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer; bearing in mind she is 2 weeks away from delivering her second baby! I ended up, after all this sadness, on the phone to my (still very broken) dad, in floods of tears.

And then just to round it all out – a very dear couple suffered a miscarriage this morning.

Not sure how much more my heart can bear. I am reassured by the rainy stormy weather that continues though, that somewhere, out there, the universe is raging with me, against all these injustices that I cannot understand…

Settling back down

…and it is time! The last few weeks have been crazy, last week was insane at work, so I am hoping that this first full week will be civilised. I am so tired of feeling rushed and anxious about how much I have to do, and how little time I have!

Ok, so this weekend was spent in CT, I was down at a Women’s Health Symposium which was a good meeting. Although I have almost a pathological issue with spending time in lectures when CT awaits me!Anyway, the meeting was worthwhile, and I got to see my friends over some spectacular meals and even got a tiny smudge of shopping in.

The dinners out were at lovely. On Friday night we ate at Thali, an Indian tapas style restaurant. It’s in the heart of vibe Gardens, beautifully decorated and busy! They don’t take bookings, so get in early. The food was delicious – they serve tapas for 2- so you share each course with your table mate – we started with poppadoms and aloo palak, served with a spicy salsa and a curry salt. Then we moved onto a delicious yellow dhal, with a pulled brisket croquette, served with a naan bread; then a fish taco (I think fish taco may be my absolute best way to eat fish!) and seared tuna, and then a delicious tender lamb curry and braised chicken served with curried mushrooms, with basmati rice. Dessert is almost unnecessary, but really, who could miss out – as part of the tapas, you get a cardamon toffee, within a coconut truffle (I love cardamon, its subtle citrusy taste wakes up a tired palate), and then one can order all sorts of other delights – my table tried the pistachio and rosewater kulfi, and the indian bon bons, a collection of beautifully crafted indian flavoured chocolates – yum! Finishing off with some chai tea was the bomb! All in all a taste sensation. I also really liked the fact that the chef and owner was working the room – clearing plates, interacting with diners and other staff, all too often the çelebrity’ chefs don’t do that.

Saturday night saw us head off to an old faithful – we headed noord to The Foodbarn. This has to rate as one of my favourite spots – reliable food, well priced and a lovely atmosphere. (although I did have a few palpitations en route, as we drove along some of the 2 Oceans route!) I started with fish tartare (yellowtail is definitely better raw, than cooked), followed by a mushroom risotto and finished off with a dessert named Mont Blanc, which was a delight – chestnut mousse, chestnut toffee, salted caramel and teeny little meringues – too nice! We drank an unusual varietal with our meal – a Rousanne, which may just become my favourite white wine – fresh, with green apple flavours. The food barn is just lovely, and I have yet to have a bad meal there. Love it!

Sunday I headed home to my beautiful little family – Thandi and I got stuck into her lego, building an enormous castle, and then tried to sort the lego out – flip, she has a lot, and loves it (as do I!) ! I reckon her and I need to tackle all the projects she has, so we can really get it all sorted out. Anyway, it was a lovely way to while away a Sunday afternoon.

Ok, so let’s get this week going, my poor nurse is wondering why I am taking so long between patients!

A week in the Cape

…and 56km on Saturday.

Guys!!! I did it!!!I have now joined my brothers as a finisher of the Two Oceans Ultra! I am so happy! But OMV, it’s far! very bloody far. It’s so weird – I thought I would do a lot of thinking about how it was the furthest I’d ever run – but the thought never actually crossed my mind – in Paris 2 years ago, I spent a lot of time thinking about that, (I’ve never run 30km before! I’ve never run 35km before! I’ve never run 40km before!) It was far, there were hills, I got over them, somehow it wasn’t as horrible as I suspected it could be. I’ll do a bit of a blow by blow report for you (the runners among you, because I know it’s incredibly boring for the non runners, but there will be pictures!) in the coming days. But there you go, I am an ultra marathoner!

The week in CT was great – nice to see friends, taste wine, eat some exotic food. Not so nice to have a headache turn into a ingrain that had me vomiting on the wednesday and doubting I would ever get to the start line. Cape Town is really a beautiful city to holiday in. The winelands, the mountains, the scenery… But living there is, I think, a tough call. There are severe water restrictions in place – showering was reserved for sweaty days, no bathing, and buckets in showers and all those sorts of measures are in place. The traffic is insane! The number of people and the crowds are insane – I am not a crowd kind of person!

I got to meet Deblet and catch up with RM while I was there, what a treat! But we very foolishly forgot to take a photo – bad bloggers! So even though there is no evidence, we met, drank coffee and laughed a lot, with a tinge of crazy (runner’s) nerves! It is so nice getting to meet my friends out of the computer in real life – it’s like using windscreen wipers and seeing their blogs so much more clearly now! Thanks guys!

Some pictures!