Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for friendship

Common refrains

…I’m busy! Last week’s disappearance wasn’t because I had nothing to say, it was because I was busy! Yes, too busy to carve out 10 minutes to do a quick post. The responsibilities of lead Obstetrician at the hospital, senior partner at the practice, and then, wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt are feeling overwhelming right now. Oh well, how does one eat an elephant – one bite at a time. I am trying to put some more structure in my days and be disciplined. It will settle down. This week I do have some nice things lined up – tomorrow we are going to a pop up restaurant at chef lady’s, it’s always awesome! And then on Friday I am having a facial treatment of sorts – not sure it will be the nice relaxing kind, but if it makes me look good – that’s the price of beauty, I guess! So a few highlights coming up.

In other news I have booked my flights to CT for the marathon in September, I am actually looking forward to it all – it’ll be my first real road challenge since I changed my medication, so I am really keen to see how I perform this time, compared to the disaster that was Loch Ness. I am also hoping to get my qualifying for 2 oceans done during that run – and even if I don’t, it will be the fittest I have ever been coming out of a winter, so I’ll be on a good wicket for my training cycle. I also get the chance to help TAFKAD over the finish line of her first marathon – my only concern is that with her training going super duper well, she will leave me in her dust! I also get to see her new house – she moves at the end of August, and I am super excited to see her new spot. It will mark the end of an era, she currently lives behind my old house in CT, we are all moving on and upwards!


Thursday wishes

…so it’s the Thursday before the Comrades marathon – for my non SA readers, the Comrades is an insane ultra marathon – 90km between 2 cities in the province of Kwazulu Natal; Pietermatitzburg to Durban (they run it is a different direction alternate years, so one year is up, the other down – it’s a down this year)

I know a lot of runners who are travelling today (and tomorrow) to get ready and acclimatised before the race, which takes place on Sunday.

Runnermom is one of them – good luck, my friend, I know you feel very ambivalent about this year, but remember the people you may meet en route who may just change your world – go and enjoy the outing; run with your heart, so that your brain keeps quiet! I will be dot watching with great enthusiasm!

Another is an amazing friend of mine, who last year won a gold medal, coming 9th in the ladies race – I cannot wait to see what she does this year, she has worked so hard. What is really special about Steph is that she still finds time to run with me – we had a leg loosener for her this morning – just her and I, she ran mostly at my pace, (so really a stroll for her) and we had a lovely chat. the pressure on the elite runners is insane, but she is just so beautiful and humble and kind. That she even talks to a girl like me! So I am hoping to see another beautiful performance from my golden friend on Sunday.

And on Sunday, for maybe 20 minutes, I’ll have some fomo, and then I’ll go out and have a run and it will all disappear – 90km is VERY far, 56km was tough, not sure how much harder 90km must be; and I know I don’t have that in me. Well, I do, but I do not have the desire to do the amount of training an event like that requires. I am a very happy Comrades marathon supporter!

(there are so many other people I know running, whose names I haven’t mentioned – I’m not ignoring them, and I wish them all well, my dots multiply every year!)


WWOTR 2018

…has come, changed lives and gone. I’m always astounded at how those 3-4 days are indeed life changing. I’m so glad I had the chance to run again, so pleased with my performance. My body came alive again!

Day 1 saw us running from Kob Inn to The Haven. 38 or 39 or 40 or 50km depending on who you spoke to of beautiful beaches, firm sands, refreshing rivers – magic!

Day 2 saw us leave The Haven (which if you can stomach the atrocious roads is an amazing community owned resort, we love it!) for Bull’s Inn at Mpame. Some climbing began. The beaches were good. The swimming amazing!

Day 3 and we departed Bull’s Inn (if you ever get there, make sure you request the mussel soup!) and headed to our final destination – Anchorage at Mthatha River mouth. A lot more climbing, a spectacular swim at hole in the wall, some incredible views!

All in all another priceless and awesome experience. I found my mojo somewhere on that Wild Coast, and have rediscovered my love for running. I am so blessed to have a body that works, eyes to see, and a brain to store some great memories in the bank. It is sweet!

(Charlie was once again the chief bag and bolly boy; and this year Thandi came along as our mascot, so awesome to share this with them! Thank you my little family! I love you!)

You know

…you’re missing your German bestie when you host Supper Club and theme it Germany!

So Saturday night was Supper club.

We are a core group of 3 couples with similar aged children, and occasionally, at the host’s discretion, a guest couple may be invited. How our club works – the host decides on a theme, and does the main course with the other 2 couples doing the starter and main. It’s a nice way to entertain, and a once way to guarantee 3 amazing courses.

Our menu on Saturday was

  • Starter – UB couldn’t decide what to cook, so she did 2 starters, a pickled red pepper and mushroom ‘salsa’, served with a spicy sausage on a cracker; then a brie cheese ball, served with a poached pear and berry coulis, both delicious! She did say I had pushed her out of her comfort zone with the theme, but I think that’s a good thing too!
  • Mains – I did beef roulade (made from scratch with a recipe from one of the German grannies and a FaceTime tutorial too!) served with spaetzle and sauerkraut. (I had a made a lovely fresh cucumber salad, which I forgot to serve!)
  • Dessert  – GK made a yummy black forest trifle – I love cherries and chocolate!

All in all a good meal, good company, and sadly because I was on call, only a splash of wine.


…are my call night, but they are also our regular date with another family, the SuperK’s (I nearly called them the SpecialK’s, but realised that could really be misconstrued!) Last night we met at their house for a movie night – they have recently renovated their TV lounge – nice couches and recliners and an enormous TV (I didn’t even have to squint!). What a nice little hump in the week – we ate a curry that Charlie had cooked and watched an ozzie movie, called Red Dog – I really can recommend it – the kids laughed and cried (as they would in an animal movie). Thandi and Alexa (the eldest K kid) loved it, Chelsea, the littlest K was very sad, worrying about the boy and the dog (and no, I’m not going to give more away about the plot), but it was really sweet. It’s nice not to watch another animated flick for a change, not that I don’t love those too!

Back to reality

… it’s been 2 days and reality bites! Yowzer, it’s been a really busy couple of days. So here, finally is my long weekend report back.

So our trip to the Mother City started early on Thursday morning. We hit the road, got going and just outside Port Elizabeth everything ground to a halt! There was a service delivery protest going on – in the day that there was a vote of no confidence scheduled in the DA mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay – coincidence? I think not! Anyway, the N2 was closed, the alternative road was closed, by protesters burning trees, types and trash across the roads. We sat on the side of the road for 2 hours – star jumps, push ups, planks, stories… finally we got going again, but things are still very volatile – teargas and rubber bullets were flying. As a child raised in the 80’s; I was ready – Thandi was made to lie down on the back seat, blanket over her, ready to cover her face if necessary. I was ready to duck down, Charlie was ready for some evasive action. Flip. I was anxious for a bit there. Anyway, the danger evaded, we hit that road with a 3 hour delay at the end, turning our trip into an extremely long one. But we made it, checked into our lovely AirB&B in Newlands and we were ready.

Friday was all about registration, and yes, all the drama you saw on social media was true. Super congested, super slow with agonizingly slow queues. It meant that the expo suffered, because I think we were all just too grumpy to shop properly. Saying that – I did buy 2 new pairs of shoes – road and trail; so I am ready for the next 6 months of running!

Saturday was the day, I ran the half marathon this year – another super congested day. Yoh! There are a lot of runners doing it! When at 10+km you are still forced to walk as you go around corners etc because the crowd dictates it. Hmmm. I ran a very slow time (2:37) but I couldn’t have gone much faster. I was pleased to meet a friend on Southern Cross Drive, and was pleased to have company for the rest of the run. My nieces ran their first half marathon – I think the big may have bitten fir them. My brother was beaming! He was so super chuffed to be there with his daughters! That was pretty special.

Saturday night we celebrated with friends at the Pot Luck Club – divine! As always!

Sunday we spent the day at the Cape Point Vineyards for a picnic, it was really nice, albeit rather disorganized! Food was good, setting incredible and weather perfect.

Monday was a jumbly day, had breakfast at the Olympia cafe with my brother; visited the scratch patch, had lunch with friends, walked in Newlands forest with other friends, and then a quick burger dinner before an early night prior to our trip home. Busy, but good.

The trip home was a whole lot easier, but flip, it’s far; I’m glad to be home and able to shower!

Wilding up the coast

…Friday was a particularly rough day. During the course of Thursday I had started to experience some tummy cramps. I initially thought it was maybe just some IBS rebellion at the clean, gluten free eating, but through the night it escalated to the point where I was sure I needed a demon exorcised from my gut. I hardly slept, so when my phone rang at 6:20 to say a patient was ready to deliver I wondered how I would stand up, let alone drive to the hospital and conduct a delivery. Anyway, needs must, I dragged myself there and delivered baby safe and sound, and once I’d crawled into my surgery, the staff determined that I couldn’t spend the day at the office, they cancelled the day and sent me home. For which I was infinitely grateful.

After some medication – which hadn’t expired like the ones I tried on Thursday evening, a good sleep, I woke up feeling better. So, with a fully stocked medicine chest, we headed off to the Transkei. And it was divine!

We spent the weekend at Kob Inn. I’d last been there about 8 years ago, and it’s had quite a revamp. I can definitely recommend it.

Saturday saw me still a little under the weather, so I took it easy. Thandi and her friends had a glorious time – exploring the rock pools, swimming in the magnificently sites swimming pool, canoeing up the river, beading with the gogos on the grass and exploring the nearby Mama’s beach. By the end of the day they were sun kissed, with a couple of scratches, and that exhaustion that a full day at the seaside brings.

Sunday we returned home, because we’d been invited to a local garigiste’s wine making. So there we were, amongst friends, destemming grapes and watching the magic unfold. It was hard work, but I was left with beautifully soft hands. No wonder they stomp the grapes in some places – make their feet look beautiful! Another busy full day, and for Thandi, the fun of meeting a new friend and spending the afternoon swimming!

And Monday has been brutal which is why this is posting so late.