Hands

My mum and I were talking about hands the other day. She suffers from severe arthritis so her thumbs go every which way but straight and as a result she can’t abide her hands. There is no pain but to her they are unsightly. To me they are so much part of who she was and who she is – years of hard work in her business, taking care of her family, being a wife and mother that they are a badge of honour (after a fashion).

I looked at my hands tonight, gripping the steering wheel, making a salad, holding a cup – a few dings and scrapes here and there so with the aid of some fancy techo gadgetry… hand art

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“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
Maya Angelou

What’s in a name

said the ill fated Juliet of Shakespearean fame. I say, what’s in a bag or more specifically what’s in my bag?

 The topic of modes of conveyance rose like a bubble of laughing gas over coffee this week. My co-commentator is a mom and she carries a potato-sack of a bag filled with oddities that only moms understand. Wet wipes, hair grips, books, toys of various genres, obscure crayoned drawings and the like. It’s a very elegant bag don’t get me wrong …. just well-sized.

I own four bags (is that a lot?) – small black evening, small black day, small tan day and medium chocolate day. Oh bugger and then there’s my work bag – bought for me some twenty years ago by my mother. A knock-off Louis Vuitton which, given its inauspicious beginnings, has stood the test of time. It is big enough to take folders on a bad day but on a good day it has:-

1 x purse

1 x pencil bag with house keys (office keys live on a lanyard around my neck during the day – boring hey!)

1 x pencil bag with cosmetics (let me tell you, much cheaper than a “cosmetics” bag – you can throw it the machine to be washed)

1 x ipod (a.k.a. saviour of lives when it all gets too much).

1 x notepad and pen

2 cell phones (1 work, 1 personal)

And in the side zipper thing – pepper spray, small change and gum.

A very mundane collection of goodies all in all but I like order (is that a type A personality?), glorified chaos just doesn’t work for me.

All good things come to an end

A week of sloth (some enforced – blackberry outage, grumph) has come to a grinding halt and Pandora’s box is once again happily spouting mayhem.

My loudly proclaimed “me, me, me” diatribe didn’t quite make seven days but it was distinctly therapeutic while it lasted. On Tuesday we had our October “be a tourist in your own town” session. We live within in a reasonable distance from this gem but have never visited, always being under the false impression that it was just a hotel or you just went there for a meal. Not so, Makaranga Lodge’s greatest attraction for us is its gardens. Initially DH was having none of it that we would be allowed to visit willy nilly but I persevered and we moseyed along. Wow, wow and wow – an oasis. They are a hidden paradise of botanical splendor in our urban (albeit green belt) sprawl.

    

Himself turned another year older this past week (bless, I did suggest a walking stick – won’t tell you the response :O) and we treated ourselves to a meal of splendid indulgence at Aubergine’s in Hillcrest. My favourite place in KZN to dine and they didn’t disappoint – ambience, food and service: the bees knees. They offer a prix fix menu (such a good idea) filled with such lip-smacking goodies as a cheese soufflé, falklands calamari and the chargrilled fillet (amongst many others) – oh my goodness.

Do something for yourself

or in this case, I’m doing for me. So the prequel is, I’m on holiday (DH is self-employed so the concept of being on holiday doesn’t seem to quite compute) but instead of packing and trekking we are embarking on our first s.a.h.h. or “stay at home holiday.”

It was, as dawn broke yesterday on my first day off, that I had a thought (cue the theme to “War of the Worlds”). For seven days, every day, it’s going at some point (however briefly) to be about me. Oooh self-centered and egotistical you might think or she must be a doormat by profession – thankfully negative on both counts (in my opinion that is). Its just that don’t you find yourself always doing for others? Which is not necessarily a bad thing I know, but there are just some days ………..

Anyway enough philosophising and meaningless drivel. For me, on day 1, I went shopping (momentous I know but work with me). It was all in aid of this dratted wedding in December and in the norm clothing shopping fills me with as much glee as polishing the silverware. Yet, being out and about on a week day by myself engendered just the tiniest hint of hedonistic self indulgence and to boot I came away with two basic pieces for my Out of Africa sojourn.

An afternoon nap enveloped in gentle sunshine inspired movie night. A filmophile’s feast of Lord of the Rings (all three books) until the wee hours. DH did pop in occasionally – he has a liking for the epic fight scenes.

Super Rugby Saturday broke with a lyrical sunrise – so African in it’s intensity and colour palette. I’m having a very uncharacteristic get up at sparrows week for whatever obscure reason. While DH was chasing little white dimpled balls in his dreams I crept downstairs, vaguely reminiscent of the odious Argus Filch, to argue vociferously with the television through two scintilating games of world cup rugby and madly tweet my conclusions.

For all those naysayers who are thinking hen-pecked husband – fear not, post match trip to the local DIY shop for various steel, wood, nails and bolts bits to monkey proof our two bird feeders. We have a troop of vervets that live in the valley and take immense pleasure in crashing through the garden, like a herd of marula-soaked elephants, tipping up the feeders to gorge on their scattered contents. DH spent the afternoon reinforcing and I supplied the conveyor belt with drinks and snacks. The war continues.

In truth I fear, much like the Maginot Line, the mantra of “doing for me” will be a finite project but opportunity looms large.

“día terrible maldición “

which I’m told means – damn awful day. I had a spring basket brimming with wonderful anecdotes and delicious stories of our touristy trip to Umgeni River Bird Park on Sunday accompanied by a plethora of not bad pics 🙂

Thanks to a stressful work day infected with stupidity, poor service and general lackadaisical malady I am now so brim filled with acidic viperousity I shall spare the world in general from my ugly mouth and instead share some of the 221 images taken (currently weeded to 130 – more culling definitely required.)

 

 

Guilty Pleasures

An attention grabbing headline if ever there was but in this instance there is no leaning towards the hedonistic interpretation thereof. Instead, a mild deviation from the norm, a slight kink in the road which brought as much selfish enjoyment as any libertine derives from a session of sybaritic indulgence. My run-of-the-mill work day chimes from about 7.30am to 6pm, most of which is spent rooted in front of my computer, utilising some form of “modern” communication.

The weather gods set the tone for yesterday, blustery, grey and overcast with persistent rainy squalls. There was a clear message from the heavens that the only place to be was enveloped in the cuddliness of home. Fate was in cahoots and it was with great pleasure that I observed the back of my bureaucrat disappearing down the stair en route to some “all day gathering of like-minded idle chasers”. By 4pm (my official finishing time – hah!) the left-shouldered red devil, after an intense and philosophical battle with the white version on the right (she of virtuous intent), won the day and it was with a most ludicrous sensation of “breaking the rules” that I gathered up my worldly goods and headed out.

I crept home (can you “creep” in a red jammy of ancient lineage and double-box noisy exhaust? – I gave it my best shot) and slid indoors doing my most worthy impression of uriah heep. Choices, choices  – a veritable flower garden of options and decisions over what delightfulness with which to while away two precious hours of “me time”. Paramount was the choice of attire and without a second thought for decorum, or fashion for that matter, I was transfomed into the bit part actor “Bag Lady” – baggy tracksuit pants, voluminous sweatshirt in a bright purple hue and New Yorks socks – buttercup yellow with a taxi patterns 😉 DH’s worst nightmare 😀

There was a momentary relapse with thoughts of grout scrubbing and floor mopping but these traitorous intruders were soon overwhelmed with an army of eat, drink and be merry warriors. Accompanied by a whipped cream fleece blanket, three chapters of my Karen Rose book, a decadent hot chocolate and the most luscious avo that ever dropped into the world from some far flung tree (only slightly tweaked with a twist of sea salt) I ignored the intrusive blue message light blinking on my cell, the impatient squawking from a squadron of hungry garden birds waiting for their feeders to be replenished and the creaking, tottering pile of folded washing glaring balefully at my prone form. One hundred and twentyish golden minutes later my “heaven on earth” came to an abrupt end when the “white one” reasserted her dominance and I remembered to my horror that culinary servitude was required to manufacture a batch of cupcakes as a donation for the girl child of one of my dearest friends who is raising funds for some scholastic venture.

It was good while it lasted.

“There is no such thing as pure pleasure; some anxiety always goes with it.”  ~Ovid, Metamorphoses

You know you’re getting old when …

The first thought engendered by sunshine and blue skies is not “Playtime” but “thanks goodness – an opportunity to wash linen and towels”. Ensconced at my hair guru on Saturday (sadly not as progressive as dear Halfy– nary a drop of champagne in sight 😦 we were chatting about this and that when one of the silver surfers excitedly piped up about how she wished she was “young” again and could spend her weekends having a “knees up

at the beach”  her words not mine 😉

She was horrified when the younger crowd – all 40 something to be honest – glibly informed her that we would be slaving over a “hot” washing machine and ironing board – not a glad rag or a high heel to be seen! I was going to proudly announce that housework is a lot easier with these guys on the stereo (a mop does make a fine air guitar)

and an ice cold bottle of pink bubbles to crown the post-chore celebration party but erred on the side of caution, perhaps information overload – I mean my reputation.