Tuesday, 31 January 2017

101 Things in 1001 Days

 The decision to do 101 things in 1001 days was not taken lightly. I had been thinking about it day and night from when Sammy put the challenge out there when she posted her 101 Things in 1001 days list. Chad is so sick of hearing it because I said he must join me so we can put something positive out into the Universe so we can get something positive back. Mark is a lost cause so I didn't even suggest it to him. Chad said I will never come up with 101 things but I proved him wrong. I should annoy him some more and get JD to do it with me.

Some of the things are silly, some are already in progress (Universe PLEASE be kind) and some are almost impossible to achieve but I am putting them out there to make them become achievable. I am going out on a limb and following the belief that what you put out into the universe you get back. It did take me forever to come up with the list and I spent forever on Pinterest finding links to ideas and then narrowed it down to what was appropriate to me and my life. The first 60 (not in order of first 60) ideas were easy and I thought this was a piece of cake, then I stumbled for ideas.

Here is my list and in no proper order - wish me luck as I brave the fear of putting stuff out there - I guess I can already tick number 2 off (perhaps) [nope still holding back with some details].

101 Things To Do In 1001 Days

1.                 Update LinkedIn Profile
2.                 Get over fear of Universe giving the opposite if I plan or put my goals out there
3.                 Find 5 positive affirmations to live by and say them every day
4.                 Un-clutter House
5.                 Plan A Holiday
6.                 Walk on the Treadmill for 30 minutes every day for 30 days
7.                 Become more active
8.                 Send at least one letter/card by snail mail
9.                 Capture our memories by blogging 3 times a week
10.              Publish unfinished blog posts
11.              Finish my photography course
12.              Do another writing course
13.              Juice/Blend for 30 days
14.              Give up sugar for a month
15.              Give Up Gluten for a month
16.              Buy a bicycle
17.              Cycle for fun
18.              Lose 10 kilos and keep them off
19.              Volunteer at a charity
20.              Read at least one book a month
21.              Book Airplane Tickets
22.              Go overseas
23.              Learn about a new culture
24.              Enter a walkathon
25.              Try 10 new recipes

26.              Do a 30 Day Gratitude Photography Challenge
27.              Do a 52-week Gratitude Journal
28.              Make Homemade Ciabatta
29.              Learn to make pies from scratch
30.              Try 5 new or different things
31.              Eat 5 different/new dishes
32.              Visit 10 new places
33.              See a live show
34.              Get filing up to date and keep it up to date
35.              Learn how to decorate cakes and cupcakes
36.              Make mini donuts
37.              Make a gingerbread house
38.              Buy a new laptop
39.              Do my recipe file
40.              Start a gratitude journal
41.              Give up coffee for a month
42.              Try a minimum of 5 new Tea flavours
43.              Wake up and watch the sunrise
44.              Take a sunrise photo
45.              Do a full 365 Photo a day challenge
46.              Do photo a day every day for a month without posting late
47.              Rent a campervan and travel to new places
48.              Sort out my Birth Certificate and Other Documents
49.              Go for an early morning walk on the beach
50.              Try five new restaurants

51.              Go to a comedy show again
52.              Start a holiday savings fund
53.              Go on a cruise
54.              Go tech free for a weekend
55.              Use my sewing machine
56.              Go on a train trip
57.              Sell our house
58.              Find a house to buy/rent
59.              Move house
60.              Move towns
61.              Find a new job/business
62.              Swim at least once a week in Summer weather permitting
63.              Spend more time outdoors and less time indoors
64.              Go to bed before 9pm for 2 weeks
65.              Wake up at 5 am for 2 weeks
66.              Eat Take Out twice a month only
67.              Eat 5 Fruit & Veg For 5 Days Every Week
68.              Spend time taking photos to learn more about photography
69.              Start a new Thanksgiving Tradition
70.              Make a Thanksgiving Dinner
71.              Start gardening and not just supervising
72.              Do a house cleaning planner – and stick to it
73.              Do a baking course
74.              Update my CV
75.              Sort out and shred old documents older than 10 years – yes I am a hoarder

76.              Don’t sweat the small stuff, relax
77.              Get in front of the camera more often – don’t fear being in photos
78.              Sort out all my old photos
79.              Sort out my photos on my laptop
80.              Sort out all my folders and documents on my laptop
81.              Pay off debt
82.              Save Money
83.              Do an accounting course
84.              Go to the Theatre
85.              Re-watch Season One Of Shades of Blue – to watch missed episodes
86.              Watch Season two of Shades of Blue – Don’t miss any episodes
87.              Travel more
88.              Become more organized
89.              Procrastinate less
90.              Work on my spirituality
91.              Improve Photoshop knowledge
92.              Buy a new camera
93.              Switch off electronic devices at 6pm one night every week for 6 weeks
94.              Do something out of my comfort zone
95.              Become more health conscious
96.              Bake/Cook for a charity or underprivileged person/child
97.              Go on a hike
98.              Go on a Camping  trip (glamping not roughing it up)
99.              Go to a farmers market 
100.          Every night mentally list 3 things from my day to be grateful for
101.          Pay R10.00 to a Charity for every Item not ticked off the list

Wish me luck and or join in if you up to the challenge...

P.S. I forgot to add in this post, my 1001 days start on my birthday, 27 January 2017 and end 25 October 2019, because I had added it to my previous post

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All content, words, and images, on this page is, (C) Chad Life Us and may not be copied, shared or reproduced in any form by any person or entity.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Another Year Older But Still Not Any Wiser

And I am another year older... On Friday I celebrated another birthday and I have been reflecting on the past year. Thinking about what I learned and discovered and what stayed the same.

As life tick-tocks along, we get older and some get wiser and some don't - like me. Instead of getting wiser we just get to the stage where we no longer give a schnitzel about most stuff. However, I wish I could say that I no longer sweat the small stuff, but I do. I sweat the small stuff big time.

This past year has been tough and so far 2017 has not been kind to me. You know when life gives you lemons you make lemonade and if you can't make lemonade you learn how to make lemonade. Well, what happens if you are given a basket of rotten lemons - no amount of squeezing, boiling and bottling will turn those rotten lemons into lemonade. You throw them out and hope the next bunch won't be as rotten and that is what I am hoping for.

I have decided to hell with it, I am starting the year over with the Chinese Calendar and my year starts now. It makes sense because Chinese New Year was on the 28 January and my birthday was on the 27th January. I am kicking the rest of January to the kerb, in fact, I am kicking it way past the kerb and I am taking what the year of the Rooster has to offer with open arms.  Gong Xi Fa Cai 2017.

Last night, as the sun was setting, the sky was a beautiful red. It was glowing and the photo above without any filters cannot do it justice. It was beyond beautiful and I have to believe that it was a sign of good things to come. I do know that theoretically, it was a sign of rain to come and rain it did, but I am taking my moment of good fortune in the glowing sunset. All the rain we are having has to wash away the rotten lemons anyway.

I have decided to take an inspirational leaf from Sammy's book or I should say blog and do a list of 101 things I would like to do in 1001 days. If the universe plays along I will post my list tomorrow. I have written out my list and my 1001 days started on the 27 January 2017 (my birthday and a New Year) until the 25 October 2019. If my calculations are correct.

Wow, that seems like a long way to go but look how fast the past two years went. I told Chad to join me so that we can put something positive out into the universe and he said I will never come up with 101 things, but I did. I did borrow some of Sammy's Ideas and I know she won't mind because she is one of the most inspiring people I know and genuinely thrives on sharing ideas, recipes, and inspiration. Thank you, Sammy,  for motivating me once again.

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Thursday, 19 January 2017

My Picnic Basket Is Empty and My Tongue Is Bitten Right Through

I am running on empty and passing begin never refueled me. My picnic basket is completely empty and my tongue wouldn't even work as a sieve. I have bitten so hard on it that the holes have become one big gaping wound. A wound festering with obscenities and anger and negativity and so much more.

Maybe I am impatient, maybe I have high expectations or maybe I am just totally whacked to believe that I should have my Unabridged Birth Certificate within 2 months. Whatever it is that I may be, I certainly am not realistic. I went off to Home Affairs with high hopes on the 22 November 2016 and it took walking into the door to deflate my high hopes right down to size and start facing reality. The process had begun and I was told it would take three months.

On the 5 December at around 3 pm, I received a text to say my birth certificate was ready for collection. Wow, that is amazing - don't believe the negativity dripping off everyone around you, I chastised myself. We left home bright and early the next morning and we left our proverbial picnic basket at home because this was going to be a breeze. We knew the drill - it was only a collection.

Despite leaving bright and early we were shocked at the long queues but we settled in and joined the queue like good sheep citizens should do. After some time, there was a rumble in the distance coming from the main gate, I looked at the time on my phone and it was 8 am. The security guard had sent his clipboard around but the friendly helpful man from the time before was nowhere to be seen. The rumbling became louder and louder and the clock ticked past 8 am. I told Chad that I was going to the front of the queue to find out what was going on. I heard stories of people queuing from 5 am, the system was down the day before and at 3 pm the staff picked up their bags and went home, helping no one and not saying a word. Toilets were blocked and overflowing, people were angry and bitter but came back fighting the following day to join the queues and the system was down again.

Eventually, they let the first three people come in as guinea pigs, then they said collections can go in and it was a mad stampede and that early morning polite queue disappeared as soon as they gave the command to move forward. If it was a race to win millions you would not have seen a bigger stampede. Black Friday sales had nothing on this stampede. The rush and stampede came to an abrupt stop as the uninterested staff looked blankly at everyone and then said the systems were down and could only do Identity book collections. I forgot to bite my tongue and had an altercation with the queries man. A very bitter frustrated man in a wheelchair who is part of the furniture and then he referred me to another man who thought he was important and had also been employed there since way back when. Two of the dead wood they couldn't get rid of back in the day. He told me the systems were down blah blah bah. Then I thought to hell with your attitude and asked if they would tell us when the systems came up or would we just wander around like confused sheep. So he explained the rules and regulations to me that if the systems are down no one is allowed inside the building. So I politely told him that we were told to come in and he said the security made a mistake and I told him I won't be leaving. I spoke sarcasm, a language he wasn't bright enough to understand. He had also denied that the systems were down the day before when I asked why send an sms out to people to collect when they knew their systems were down. I could write a book about our conversation but it would be very boring, unbelievable, but boring. The system was up in minutes, No official announcement just the rumbling of the public.

We joined a queue and eventually received my certificate. You play musical chairs get to the front, tell them what you are collecting, they look at their computers, tell you to take a seat and eventually AFTER the certificate is printed you then get called to another queue sign and leave. Only to discover everything is wrong on said official document. Same old same old nothing changes,

We get to the car and I get told by the unofficial car guard that he washed my car. At first, I didn't understand what he was saying and thought he was asking if all was OK with the car, but no he washed it and wanted money. I told him he had no right to wash my car as I don't have money and laid it on thick that it is not my car, I don't have a job and I did not ask for a carwash. I gave him R10.00 for watching my car and off I went. No way was I paying someone R50.00 or more to wash the outside of my car when the inside looked like a hoe's handbag. We went to Durban that weekend and it was really a mess and if I wanted it clean I would have taken it to the carwash we use at work and had a good clean for R50.00. To just assume that I wanted my car washed by him or worse during water restrictions!!! Nevermind where he gets the water from. Presumptions are the arse of all assumptions.

We then discovered that the birth certificate was wrong and had to go back early the next morning. Well, I knew it was wrong and thought, we pay first world taxes so perhaps we have a first world system and I can phone and sort it out. Sorry, that doesn't work.

Off we went the next morning, no shirking the system and as we pulled up to park, a different car guard comes waving and running up to the car. We get out the car and he goes on and on about how he and his brother washed my car and I must pay him. It was the most frightening experience standing in an early morning queue with some lunatic shouting threats across the informal parking area. After me telling him (and lying for our safety) that we were not there the previous day. I had to tell Chad to just shut up and ignore him and everyone around us started to look around to see who these threats were meant for. We eventually went in, joined the queue, whilst worrying that something would happen to us and or the car. Finally, our turn to be helped, met with a blank stare and I don't give a shit about you or my job, I was rudely asked if I had proof that they made a mistake, which I didn't have. I wasn't up to staying there a minute longer or arguing and left. Fortunately, the aggressor was not around when we left and we jumped in the car and left as quickly as we could. I won't ever go back to Roodepoort Home Affairs. I don't care who is in power in local Government, it makes NO DIFFERENCE to my life or the average persons. I have just joined the negativity and despondency that this country is shrouded in. I don't have any fight left I don't have any argument left about seeing the bigger picture, blah blah crap.

I was going to just be done with it, but Chad kept on at me encouraging me to get up and start over and try and sort it out. My parents then faxed me all their Id's, Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificate and off we went to Randburg Home Affairs - again early in the morning. What is so wonderful at these departments is the camaraderie among the public. We all help each other to the correct queues and get directed if you in the wrong queue because no one who works there bothers. No matter who you are, everyone just chats to each other offering help, advice or just general chit chat.

The gate eventually opened, we followed to where Joe Soap and his folk told us to go and joined a queue. There was an official there helping people in the queue, directing everyone to the right place. Chad and I both commented on how much pride he took in his job. He asked us to stand aside (outside) eventually took us in, made a photocopy of my birth certificate and explained that they can't change the Id number and date of birth that says 21 Years because back then there were no 13 digit Id numbers. Funny thing is that I did not need proof that my mother's maiden name was wrong like I was told at Roodepoort!!!

The helpful official then took the copy of my Unabridged Birth Certificate and called to another lady and said it was a correction and put it on her desk. A month has gone by but with all the holidays we thought we would just go follow up on Tuesday because it is probably still on said desk.

We went there after nine on Tuesday morning because you queue anyway and JD was there last week at around lunch time and the place was empty - as in deserted. We were not so lucky and instead we were met with confusion and muddled queues. As always Joe Soap and public assist us and we join the queue hanging out the door of the tiny room. The queue doesn't move and after about an hour the rumbling starts and everyone came to the conclusion that NO ONE was helping our queue. There is only one person working and a young guy decides to question the only person working who then takes offense that he is asked why the person at our counter disappeared an hour ago. He does, however, message his colleague and his colleague comes out. There is a war of words and five people are assisted within 10 minutes.

My UBC remains unaltered on the system and the official asks if I mind if he does it again. I said in my sweetest friendliest voice, the same voice I greeted him with and explained my situation to him, although I did sprinkle it with a good dash of honey and syrup and said please if you don't mind, can you do it again. We filled in the corrections on a copy I had made and brought with and wished him a lovely day and off we went and my copy went into a box on a desk. As I was leaving he wrote down a Pretoria telephone number for me to call weekly to follow up but did say it will take 3 to 4 weeks and I should come back in a month to check it has been corrected. I didn't have to bite down on my tongue at all or speak sarcasm because he was friendly, helpful, pleasant and polite even though the system is flawed.

You would think in a country with such a shortage of staff in places like Home Affairs and in a country with such a high unemployment rate more people could be employed to lighten the burden of the staff currently employed and no doubt abused by the public because of a flawed system. I also cannot understand why there is not a separate room or building for all the mothers with newborn babies who bring their babies with for whatever reason. No place to change a baby, feed a baby and let's not go down the germ road whilst they sit there for hours on end.

Despite the fact that my child's death was a direct result of the system and attitude of this country, I still argued the merits of this country and the system. Yes, it was after a few years of complete numbness and being dead inside, but as the numbness lifted a bit, I still gave the benefit of the doubt.

Now my basket is depleted...

This memory is planted firmly here, in case I ever need a reminder of my journey through life and what a battle it was to get a simple document...

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All content, words, and images, on this page is, (C) Chad Life Us and may not be copied, shared or reproduced in any form by any person or entity.

Monday, 9 January 2017

2017 Friend Or Foe

The other day I read that 2017 is going to be a good year because 2016 was a nine year which meant that it was an "end" year. I read it on either Twitter or Pinterest - the two places where I glean the vast majority of my extreme knowledge. I tried to find the link and or tweet so that I could link to it in this post, just to prove that I am not making this sh!t up, but I couldn't find the link. So was I making it up??

I found something similar over here on the Astrology Club's Website. That is not to say everything you read online is the truth and I guess you have to believe in numerology and astrology. Here is an excerpt of what they predicted for 2016:

"2016 is a 9 Universal Year, if you take the year and reduce it down to a single digit as such: 2+0+1+6=9. NINE is a finishing number, and represents the end of a cycle. It also is the number of the humanitarian. That means 2016 is a year of completion, rest and forgiveness." Read the rest over here.

It is a lot more positive than the bit I read the other day, but I guess in hindsight if it is a bad year we can look back and just take the negatives and make the New Year look positive and exciting.

This is an excerpt of 2017 "

A numerological perspective on the world in 2017

ONE is a number of beginning. 2017 bids us all to start something brand new, something that expresses our uniqueness, that uses our leadership abilities, that opens us to new perspectives. 2017 as a One year is a time to think and act independently. It’s also a year to put our leadership abilities and unique talents to use in the greater world, to practice cooperating without losing individuality"

You can read the rest over here. But as with everything there is always something to quantify and balance predictions and you would have to work out your personal Numerology predictions and mine goes something to the effect that I have to get my lazy A$$ into gear so that I can have the awesomely predicted 2017.

No matter what is predicted for 2017, I know it is going to be an extremely difficult year for me. I cannot believe that 10 years ago my life changed so drastically. My life turned upside down in a way that I would never have thought possible at the time.

This time ten years ago Clinty was facing the final year of his school year with exuberance. It was an end of a chapter and we had no idea at the time what an end it would be. Everyone says that time flies and they can't believe that a year has passed etc, but no time passes as quickly as the anniversary of your child's death. I am still in 2007 and it is honestly and truly almost impossible for my brain to register 10 years.

This year is going to be EXTREMELY difficult for me. Every single time I see the date, it flashes and screams 2007 and not 2017. The enormity of this will be lost on someone who has not experienced the death of a child. 2007 was the year of hell, indescribable hell. It was also the year that I believed that I would not be saying one day that my child died 10 years ago. Yet here I am ten years later and suddenly I am starting to become unstuck and the reality of it being 10 years is screaming louder and louder and I am starting to drown and suffocate and reality is becoming very difficult.

I am tired and I am drained and I have been floundering since Clinty's birthday and I feel more now, than ever before, that I am alone in my grief. Everyone has moved on and I am the only one that will forever be broken.  My story will always make me cry and I will never heal.

2017 will be the make or break year and I cannot for the life of me see how I am going to make another year no matter what Astrology and or Numerology has in store for me. Strangely, this is not what I planned on writing about in this post. I was going to go through what I learned this year, what I achieved and what I didn't, but this is my life and this what is on my mind all the time. No matter how I hide it from the world, how I pretend that life is Ok, it is not. I go through the motions, I look for distractions but it is becoming harder and harder all the time and no one cares or gives a damn.

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Happenings On The Home Front 4 December 2016

Crazy Crazy it is the 6th of December - how did that even happen?? I have a reminder on my phone that my prescription for my thyroid medication needs to be refilled AGAIN. I swear I was at the pharmacy only last week - yet my Medisafe App screams at me daily - you have 5 4 3 2 1 pills left. Oh yes, I have become one of those annoying "Have an App for everything" people, especially if it is to remind me to do mundane chores and tasks and very important ones - like track my chronic meds.

I also have a Christmas Countdown Counter on my blog and that could be a bad thing watching time literally tick away in a blink of an eye, but it could also be a reminder to slow down and savour the present. If you also feel the need to have a countdown to Christmas on your blog you can get it over here. I know it is a blogger widget, but there is HTML code for non blogger blogs. Don't forget to change the date before adding the html code to your blog and also change the countdown complete message if you don't like the message they have. You can do that easily by copying the code and editing it in Notebook and then copying it to your blog. This is in no way a sponsored post or affiliation in any way or form, just sharing the blogging love and a record for myself for next year.

I now know that I need to visit the pharmacy tomorrow but let me get back to the post on hand. I am a few days late in posting my weekly happenings, because last night (Monday night) I just did not feel like blogging and on Sunday we came back from Durban and then vegetated on the couch watching the Sunday night movie, Vacation and who feels like thrashing away at a keyboard on a Sunday night after travelling six hundred odd kilometers.

Mark had this brainwave a few weeks ago that we needed a break - a rest to be exact so we should go to Durban. In our ongoing quest for Peace and Serenity and continual failure thereof - a trip to Durban would do us good.  It is relaxed and festive and we enjoyed it when we went there two years ago - twice in less than a month. The first time more than the second time. He also had this brainwave to go in our Barbie on Safari car. Not the brightest of ideas because firstly a weekend away is more tiring than relaxing when you are tired and exhausted and secondly Barbie on Safari is a cute Sandton parking lot 4x4 not a travelling vehicle. Driving 600 odd kilometers in a Suzuki Jimney with 4 people, a trailer and 2 bicycles not so cool but hey we got there and back with lots of stops as it chugged down fuel with an Atos or two flying past us ๐Ÿ˜Œ.

We stayed at the Garden Court Marine Parade again - I wasn't joking when I said that we are scared of change. We rather stick with the dirty devil we know than try something new. Not that the hotel is dirty in fact it has been revamped and the rooms are quite modern. The dinner was way over priced and really disgusting - a total waste of money, but the breakfasts were fantastic. We only had dinner at the hotel on the night we arrived. A ridiculous waste of money for a choice of dry beef or extra dry bland chicken, tasteless stew or boerewors (sausage) with burned pumpkin, Cajun spicy potato, rice and pap (maize meal). If there was anything else I wouldn't know because nothing looked appealing. The dessert consisted of Malva pudding ( stale & dry) with custard and another very rich quite nice creamy dessert and I think jelly. Don't shoot me for being wrong, as I said, unappealing so not sure. That was just under R1000.00 for 4 of us and one drink each of which two were creme sodas and two were J&B and lemonades. The breakfasts didn't disappoint and made up for grotty dinner and we made up for the over priced dinner by over indulging in the all you can eat breakfast.

I never took many photos and all the photos with a little heart on the right hand corner JD sent to me. We left at around 11 on Thursday so that we could have two "whole" days to rest ๐Ÿ˜and two days travelling. On Friday we hired bicycles for JD and I, because Mark and Chad had their bicycles and we rode along the promenade for almost two hours. It was such fun - I have to admit. I have not ridden a bicycle in more than 30 years and it was a bit touch and go in the beginning - wobble wobble unbalanced and then it was easy going - not so easy on the legs going up hill ๐Ÿ˜ฎ.

The saying... "It's like riding a bicycle - you never forget"  is so true. Two seconds to get your balance and the last almost 40 years were wiped away. I can't remember how old I was when I last rode a bicycle but it was not far from 40 years. I don't think I would have survived if I still smoked. We did get terribly sunburned even with sunblock. I have discovered that my Nivea face cream has a stronger SPF than Nivea sunblock and at the same time that I don't put face cream all the way to my hairline - more than likely because the towel that my wet hair is wrapped in covers that part of my forehead. I burned along my hairline so badly, but my face did not burn. My arms are still sore and my top forehead.

Durban was so busy. We were thinking that Ballito would be crazy busy because of all the Matric Ragers and Durban would be quiet because schools had not closed. Not a chance - Durban was packed and the hotel was packed. Chad and JD went up to the pool in the hotel and it was so packed they couldn't swim. After 4 it was quiet so they swam then. I think this whole December school term timetable is just for parents who can't take time off work and have no one to look after their children and the rest just take advantage of the out of season rates and go off on holiday straight after exams. Friday was also the first hot day in weeks apparently so everyone was at the beach enjoying the warm weather. We had early dinner at Piatto Ushaka on Friday night, which was so much better than the dinner at the hotel and almost half the price. The walk back to the hotel was packed with people and school children leaving to go home after their outing at the beach.

It doesn't look busy in the photos because that was Friday morning - in the afternoon and on Saturday it was jam packed. On Saturday it was so windy, we wanted to go on a boat cruise but it was too windy so instead we went to visit my parents in Ballito. Ballito wasn't that busy just a few stragglers around. The rest of the Matrics were probably sleeping off the effects of the night before and preparing for the big final rage party that night. When we got back to the hotel Chad and JD went to swim but the pool closed at 6pm. Rather stupid when people are on holiday and it is an enclosed indoor pool. I am sure it closed at 10pm when we were there previously (in Winter).

We went on the beach for 2 minutes on Saturday. Chad and Mark hate the beach - especially Chad - JD and I love it. What is the point of going to the ocean if you don't like the beach. Don't ask me. The day that it was hot we spent riding bicycles instead of going on the beach and then on the windy day we went for a walk on the beach. We were blown around by gusts of wind and any hope of putting our toes in the sea was stopped by the threat of blue bottles wrapping their tentacles around our windswept legs. The beach was full of blue bottles.

When we go away we always stop at the usual filling stations with a Steers or Wimpy - we never steer off the beaten track. There was a time when Mark went off at Escourt (I think) and went the back roads but we never stopped, just drove on windy narrow pot hole'd roads. When we go down to the coast our first stop is almost always at the Bergville/Bergview One Stop in Harrismith and we almost always have Nandos and sometimes Wimpy depending on the Nandos queue. We really do fear change, I am not gonna lie.

This time because we were driving in our Barbie on Safari vehicle that chugs down juice like there is no tomorrow, we had some extra stops to make. We stopped at a Puma Filling Station in Vrede. We stopped there years ago when we took the dogs with us on one of the busiest days of the year (Easter Friday). I can't say what Fuel station was there at the time, we just stopped to give the dogs a break and we were so stressed (the dogs and I) by the crowds I never noticed anyone or anything.

This time it was quiet and they now have a Puma filling station (quite new in SA) there is also an OK Express and a Spur To Go (also sit down). It is all clean and new and quiet. We had lunch at Spur and then went across to look at the buildings on the other side of the parking area. There is a Micro Brewery and a restaurant and as we walked through the doors, we stepped into a beautiful relaxed area. They have chalets, a shop, the brewery and a restaurant. They have wildlife - lion, cheetah, rhino. The place is called Thanda Tau. It is so quiet and relaxed with a lovely outdoor area. Except Chad sat in one of the chairs - a swing chair and it toppled over and he fell and almost fell down the side of the seating area. His leg is all bruised and fortunately he didn't hurt his back. No one who worked there even batted an eye or noticed. Other than that it was a relaxing stop compared to our normal rush rush lets grab and go.

I know it is not the 6th and today is Wednesday and not Tuesday. Last night I had to abandon my post because it was getting late and I needed to get a good night's sleep because I needed all my wits about me today - namely patience. I had to fight the morning traffic {again} and do the long haul to The Department of Home Affairs again. I went there yesterday as well but that is a story for another day. All I can say is that my tongue is bitten right through and it can't bleed anymore patience or politeness. I also know from said trip that schools closed officially today and the malls are going to turn into crazy zombie zones!!! I am over this December already ๐Ÿ˜’

There I go wishing my life away... I hope your December is calm and stress free and your week is going better than mine. The jury is still out on whether the weekend away refreshed my weary mind and body or not

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