Farewell, adieu

I’m off, not for good, but for a month to visit with my daughter and granddaughter in the UK. Preparing for this trip has been hectic, so much to think about and plan ahead for – my work, the dogs, the house, finances but most of it has been done.

Now the packing starts, thank goodness we are flying Emirates and have a 30 kg luggage allowance each because granddaughters gifts, birthday presents and Christmas presents are taking up a lot of space, not to mention gifts for friends we will also be spending some time with.

Oh well, that means there will be space for some shopping to come home with us too 😉

Gladys

Belated New Year Wishes

Happy New Year to all, I hope that this year everyone’s circumstances will improve in some way and make life more fun/pleasant/bearable – pick whichever one applies to you.

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Ozzy & Milo sharing a cool spot to enjoy a chew treat.

Apologies for the long absence from the blogs but this time my data signal via my smart phone’s hotspot at our holiday home was truly pathetic – No 3G, only very, very slow Edge and that kept me busy so long that it was frustrating to do anything on the computer except that which was absolutely essential.

Apart from connectivity problems we had a lovely break, three weeks of glorious weather followed by a few days of heavy rain, mini flood and then lots of mud!

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An unusual but delightful sight in our neck of the woods.

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Then came the rain and the flood, huge branches/trees and rafts of branches and reeds rushed past the house.

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Our walkway and fixed portion of the jetty is totally underwater, just the floating bit remains like an island.

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Once the water receded OH had to clean inches of mud off the jetty.

We had three groups of family and friends to stay at various times and enjoyed catching up and celebrating with them but we also enjoyed the few days between visits when it was just OH and I and the dogs.

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Back home our garden survived the month’s neglect rather well except for a pergola beam that appears to be rotten and cracked under the weight of the bougainvillea on our front patio. OH’s jobs are already being lined up.

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We had so hoped to visit our daughter and granddaughter in the UK this year but with the Rand at new lows and an election looming we have decided to delay any firm plans until later in the year.

I am dying to visit all your blogs and catch up but first I must bring the office up to date and get some year planning done.

Where did the year go?

Yesterday was OH’s birthday – he has now been retired for a year, well semi-retired as he helps our DIL in her business three days a week leaving just two days a week for his home “To-Do List”. It feels like he has never been busier!

We celebrated his birthday yesterday with lunch at the Chapman’s Peak Hotel in Hout Bay. It was lovely sitting on the terrace looking out at the bay and enjoying a great meal. Afterwards we went for a walk along the beach but by then the South Easter was coming up and walking back to the car was a bit of a “sandblast”.

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Last week Thursday we headed off to Canal Walk to try and do our Christmas shopping and after walking both levels of the centre twice we were done in more ways than one.Image

 

We enjoyed a quick pasta at Primi before heading home as there was no way I was going to cook that evening. This is probably the earliest we have ever done Christmas shopping and it’s great to know that it’s mostly done. Just a few small things to pick up and a couple of on-line purchases and we’re good to go.

ImageOH always says he’s just the Sherpa 

 

Two weeks ago we both had a check-up with a dermatologist and while OH passed with flying colours I had some areas that needed treatment. One was a large mole on my back that I suspected was dodgy because it has been itching for a while. The dermatologist said it had to be checked out immediately so she scraped it out under local anaesthetic.  I did not feel any pain for the first four days and then it started to get sore. OH took the dressing off and found that it was clearly infected so he started redressing it daily but it got worse. On Wednesday I had a routine check-up with my GP and I asked him to look at it and he agreed it was infected and recommended an anti-bacterial cream. But it got worse and I was very aware of it on last Thursday’s shopping expedition, by Friday evening I was in so much discomfort that I decided to go back to the doctor on Saturday morning. Saturday’s are a walk-in so after a wait of 90 minutes he agreed that it was much worse than on Wednesday and prescribed antibiotics and had the sister dress it with special impregnated gauze that we also got to take away with us to continue the treatment.  It’s getting better but I am still not completely pain free. OH is changing the dressing daily and wants to know where to send his bill?

Also, very uncharacteristically for me, I am suffering with frequent headaches, not sure if this is in any way related but I do feel a bit run-down. The sister checked my iron levels on Saturday morning and all was fine. The good news is that the mole was not a melanoma but I have been advised to use only Factor 50 sun protection in future.

The next four weeks are going to be hectic as we try to accomplish the impossible (as usual) before we head off to our holiday home for four weeks. Our partners have other holiday arrangements this year so we were more than happy to extend our stay, theoretically it was not even our turn at all this season. Friends and family will come and go over the four week period and Ozzy and Milo will be delighted to have a long stay at their favourite place.

I have about three different “To-Do Lists” on the go and feel the pressure mounting. Our home is not exactly a lock-up-and-go property so being away for four weeks especially over the summer needs some careful planning in respect of the pool, garden, post, security, etc.  So many homes in area have been broken into in the past six months but mostly it has been when the residents are home.

Just remembered something else to add to the To Do List …

 

Optie went AWOL

Sometimes in life, you find a special friend

No, I have not disappeared off the face of the earth, nor have I been taking a deliberate break from blogging, nor have I been lurking without posting or commenting but I have been AWOL for far too long.

Four weeks ago we went to our holiday home for a two week break. I tried to keep up with the blogs there but as I am dependent on my mobile network for the internet  I had to restrict myself to essential emails that were mostly work related while there. 

Back home two weeks later we had a hectic week catching up and preparing for old and very special friends to arrive from overseas. Earlier today after another hectic but very enjoyable and special week I said a tearful goodbye to them and their gorgeous 16 year daughter who we last saw when she was just 6 years old and we visited them.

Friendships like ours don’t come around very often in a lifetime and from the moment they arrived we talked non-stop. Over the years we have shared each other’s happy and celebratory times as well as the more difficult and painful periods that life throws at one. Maybe it’s because of what we have shared that it is so easy to pick up where we left off when we see each other again.

I arranged a larger reunion of friends who all attended the same church at a local restaurant last evening as another good friend is also in town, some had not seen each other for 16 years, some see each other fairly regularly but everyone had a great time. The poor waitresses must have been tearing their hair out because it was like a giant game of musical chairs as people moved about to catch up with each other.

OH and I are tired but so grateful that we have had to opportunity to spend quality time with very dear friends again. Today is our 38th wedding anniversary and we are going to treat ourselves with an early supper at our favourite sushi restaurant and then crash.

Here we go again, marching off to war

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I’m no expert on world affairs and certainly no expert on Syria but now that the USA and UK seem hell bent on military action against the Syrian government forces I have to ask “have they learnt nothing from Iraq and Afghanistan?”

From my perspective the Arab nations don’t welcome Western intervention in their affairs and for all they know the West could be arming Al Qaeda extremists who will turn their attention on the UK and USA next. And if Russia and China are arming the Syrian government as has been claimed what will their response to the arrival of Western forces be?

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My next question is why are other Arab nations not getting involved to broker a peace agreement in Syria? Is it because they are all just blood thirsty warmongering tribes? All the serious unrest in the world in recent years has taken place in Arab countries, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Bombing and gassing your own people is horrific but it seems that there are too many factions involved in the rebel movement to provide any reassurance that a democracy will emerge from the chaos if they succeed in toppling the Syrian government. Bombs still explode regularly in Iraq more than 10 years after the UK and USA went in and toppled Saddam.

Personally I think the West should recall all their diplomats and citizens and leave the Arabs to sort themselves out but of course that won’t happen because of their insatiable need for oil.

How do you handle Bullsh!t?

How do you handle Bullsh1t?  What do you do, if anything, when a good friend is clearly spewing what can only be described as BS?  (Even if he may have begun to believe his own BS)

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Do you:

(a)          listen politely,

(b)          change the subject,

(c)           switch off and start thinking about the book waiting for you at home or

(d)          call him out on it?

I was in just such a situation this past weekend and it made me very uncomfortable. I have known this person for a long time and I just did not know how to handle it. In the event I just went quiet and left the conversation to the others present who might well have been entertaining the same thoughts as I was.

This is not the first time this has happened, in fact it seems to be happening more frequently and OH and I have both remarked that we find it difficult to believe anything he says anymore. Rather than sever a longstanding friendship with many mutual friends we have started to politely turn down some invitations because neither of us are enjoying his company much anymore.  This is terribly sad because at one stage he and his wife were amongst of our closest friends.

There is so much that is just not adding up. What is being put out there is obviously a distortion of the truth and it puts us in a difficult position.  We hear all these grand stories about what he had done in the past and what he is planning for the future yet he has nothing to show for it in the present.

I just wish our friendship could go back to where it used to be, where we had no reason to doubt what we were told and could just enjoy one another’s company without having to filter everything through a BS detector.