Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for women’s rights


…so yesterday morning I went to a breakfast hosted by the local Chamber of Business, and Zelda La Grange was the guest speaker. Man, is she not just stunning! An Afrikaanse boeremeisie employed by our very own Madiba; showing such vision in our young democracy. A move that changed her live 180°.

The message she had was stunning – Madiba was an extremely principled man – discipline, respect of all people and integrity were the ones she spoke about. The examples she used touched me, they were relevant and I was glad to hear stories that buoyed my belief in the old man; and some that challenged me too. One always likes to walk away from a talk like that thinking; which I was.



…flip, I really don’t enjoy post call Mondays, especially when the weekend has been busy. 3 babies, mostly at inconvenient times, and a scary emergency this morning have me a little riled. As well as holding a friend’s hand who had a brain tumour excised this morning… Thanks Monday, that is quite enough from you! And it’s just gone lunchtime, with another labouring patient and a reception filling up with patients, whose needs override my need for a workout from my physio and a sleep, override my daughter’s need to have some quality time with her mommy; and Charlie’s need for a wife who can show more care than just getting herself dressed and to work. I will celebrate the small mercy of a public holiday not on call, and embrace all it’s fun – a visit to the family, some dance rehearsals; some baking with Thandi and then we see whatever is left of the day…

And in the spirit of Women’s Day, here in SA, tomorrow, let us remember what it is all about – women who marched against pass laws, who quietly and with great dignity protested,  like those incredible women on Saturday night who braved the ANC with all their condemnatory (female) officials and #rememberedKwezi. Let’s maybe make this a different kind of Women’s day, where we reach out to our sisters who have felt the violence and wrath of men in their most sacred spaces…

(I don’t even know if Rape Crisis as an organisation still exists, or if they have a branch in my neck of the woods – I’m going to find out, and see if I can offer them my support. #1in3 has to change)

Women’s Day

So today is Women’s Day, and I thought I would look at those women who have moulded and influenced me.

Lets start with the women for whom this day is celebrated, 53 years ago, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams-de Bruyn led a march on the Union Buildings protesting the pass laws. They protested silently at first, and then sang the now famous words “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo” (you strike a woman, you strike a rock.) And what an imposing rock these women were.

I salute these women first; and those  who fought a system which denied me education, a vote and the right to be a considered a first class citizen. They fought hard, isolated themselves within their community, were persecuted and punished; and yet, they still persisted and persevered. Thanks to them I was educated, was able to vote in my country’s election, and I was allowed to believe that there were no boundaries to my dreams.  That said, while I am walking in these brave women’s footsteps, there are still women today who are not afforded these opportunities, who, calling a third class citizen would be a compliment. So its our responsibility to keep fighting for women’s empowerment.

Then there are the individual women who have directly shaped me: the afrikaans teacher from school, who was always elegant, reasonable and dignified; the art teacher who said we could write a book, and we did; the music teacher who lifted my chin when I was trying to hide from the world and what I considered my failures.  And then there is my mother.

How do I honour this amazing woman who raised me, encouraged me, held my hand when I was sad, watched every game of hockey I played, sacrificed a life with her husband so I could go to university, brought me supper every night when I was on call as an intern, helped me move into my first home, supported me through marriage preparation, and still talks to me every day? I guess, I have to just live up to this investment, and be the best Bird I can. Thanks Mom, you have inspired me, my only fear, is that I won’t be able to do all of this for my own children one day, but I know I will always hear your voice telling me to count to ten before I loose my temper, and to smile, because I’m so much prettier when I do.

OK, serious stuff aside now. After my day on friday, I needed some light entertainment, and Charlie and I went to see G-force. Its a lovely light flick with guinea pigs as secret agents, well done, good clean entertainment. And popcorn and a raspberry slush do make things look better.

Yesterday evening we had dinner at one of our favourite restuarants, they do a monthly Jazz evening, and we do enjoy that, good food, good music… I had prawns in a creamy garlic and dill sauce overbaked with cheese to start; Charlie, chicken teriyaki satays – yummy! Mains I had chicken and prawn chow mein, which I’ve had before, and remember it being nicer, still tasty though, not your usual soya sauced and greasy chinese take out delight, Charlie had a creamy Keralan lamb curry which is always a hit. We had some KWV Cafe Culture to wash it all down with, and finished our evening with the best Irish coffee in town.

Today we had Sunday lunch with G&L, what a lekker day, I love sunday lunches. Our poison for the day was a Dark&Stormy (a mix of stony gingerbeer, rum and a squeeze of lime juice) and some Warwick First Lady (delicious) and when that ran out, some Woolies Juicy Red (hmm…drinkable). On the menu, L had done the classic sunday roast lamb, potatoes, and veggies, she finished it off with a divine apple crumble (occasionally experimenting is worth it!). And then there was conversation, lots of it, laughter, plenty of that, until we ended up, reclining on the couch, tummies so full we could barely move. Thanks you guys, it was great!

Charlie has been down with the man flu, its like a standard cold for girls, but for men its near fatal, and they need lots of  TLC and sympathy. I might not have been sympathetic enough, but I provide lots of drugs, so he’ll be OK. Thank goodness I love him so much!