Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Freedom Day - Tuesday- 27 April 2010

Yesterday was Freedom day, the day that all South Africans were allowed to vote and the ANC came into power. Very few, if any whites actually celebrate Freedom Day, but most black people go all out to celebrate on Freedom Day.

We don't celebrate, its just a public holiday for us.  Not because of anything against Freedom Day, I never celebrated Republic Day either. I guess Freedom day is a holiday to be free to do whatever we choose to do and I chose to have a real lazy day. Stayed in my PJ's the whole day and watched movies. It was a cold wet dark and grey miserable day and there was no point in doing anything on a holiday in the middle of a work week, other than relaxing.

I did get to thinking about Freedom day and what it means to me and if it has any meaning to me and basically it means more to me than what Republic Day meant.  It means I am free to choose who I get to have as friends and associates and who I want to associate with and I no longer have a government who dictates who may or may not come into my home or who I may enjoy time with. So yes it does have some meaning to me.

Yesterday we watched "Falling In Love With The Girl Next Door" a real cheesy movie, but I loved it.  I guess I love cheesy movies, I have come a long way from enjoying Thrillers and heavy movies. both Mark and I fell in love with Santa Catalina Island and wished we could move there. The movie was really not his type of movie, but I think he watched it just because life on the Island looked so great.

So if I could leave South Africa and move anywhere in the world it would be to Catalina Island - a girl can dream cant she?

I would love to hear from anyone who lives there or who has lived there, it would be very interesting to know if it is like that in real life or just made to look good in the movie.


Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Bounty Hunter

Cold Wet And Bleak Weekend

What a cold and wet weekend we have had.  We never got to go to the Cheese Farm on Saturday. We woke up at 6am to pouring rain, which put an end to our plans for the weekend and promptly went back to sleep.  Chad's friend spent the night so that we could leave early in the morning and we were meant to pick up Baby Jayden at 7, so after letting his mom know that we were not coming, we all carried on sleeping.

Later that morning Mark and the boys went to the Extreme Motor Show at the Coca Cola Dome in Northgate, I stayed at home and at 12 met them at Northgate to go and see a movie.

Mark and I went to see The Bounty Hunter and the boys went to see Clash Of The Titans.  They wanted to see Kick Ass, but it had a 16 age restriction so they were a bit disappointed, but said they enjoyed the movie.  I think they would probably have enjoyed The Bounty Hunter, because it was not the Rom-Com they thought it was. I kinda enjoyed it, but expected more.

After movies, they went back to the motor show and I went home. Then Chad slept at his friend's house.  Mark dropped them off, bought pizza and we ate watched a bit of TV and went to bed.
Sunday morning was just as miserable. We went grocery shopping and Chad was dropped off at home at about 3.30.  I had an afternoon sleep and last night we all watched Marley and Me on Mnet.  I had seen it previously.  Chad and I went to see it last year with another one of his friends, but they were talking so much during the movie and making me angry that I did not enjoy it then as I was rather stressed out with other stuff as well as the two boys not listening to me, but I really enjoyed it last night. It was actually a very sad movie.

Well it is still cold wet and miserable today.  So much for my lovely sunny winters - it is dark dull and drab - Yuck!!! myspace graphic comments

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Baby J and the Taxi

For those who know me and have seen me with Baby J and have wondered who he is, but don't ask. Why people don't just come out and ask who he is, instead of trying to pretend not to notice him, whilst wondering and whispering behind my back.

Baby J's mother worked for me in our shop as a cashier, they live in the rooms at the back of the shop, so very sad. It all started out with me feeling sorry for him, as the room is rather dark and there was nowhere that he could crawl around and do all the things babies are suposed to do to grow up healthy and strong.

Everytime he came to the shop with his mom on her days off, I would give him a sweetie or juice. I also felt bad because the staff saw how spoilt Chad was although for the year that we had the shop we worked 7 days a week and very long hours, we were very hands on - too hands on.  We would still find the time to take him to movies and ice skating and he always got sweets and cold drinks if he wanted.

This started just before he turned one years old, so he is not a baby as such, but because he is so tiny, I call him a baby. He also only started to walk when he was 18 months old and is nearly two and still wobbles and is not very stable on his feet.  He can't talk either, well we think he can't talk, but he probably speaks all 11 official languages and more, because he understands English as well as quite a few other languages. Everyone speaks to him in their own languages.  He is a very popular little boy with all the staff in the building and the customers.

It went from a juice and a sucker to him spending time with us and has become so attached to us, especially me that whenever he sees me, he screams and cries to come to me. And screams and cries when I have to leave.

Their room is right by our work shop and now that he is getting older it is very difficult to keep him inside so the other day his mom let him play outside because it was Saturday and no one was around and the gate was locked.  She suddenly noticed that he was very quiet and looked for him in the yard and could not find him.

She went running around frantically looking for him and then saw him with one of the petrol attendants who found him standing on the pavement with an umbrella in his hand and his finger in the air waiting for a taxi.

For those of you who are not from South Africa. Putting your finger up in the air is the signal to catch a taxi. Not the thumb out for hiking a lift, but your pointer finger, one finger means to a certain destination and two fingers another one.  How they know, only they would know. Baby Jay loves going in taxis, probably anything to get out of that room and going in a taxi means going out the room.  As cute as it was it was really bad of his mom not to watch him.  He must have crawled under the gate and the cars although it is a residential area the residents think it is Kyalami Race Track.

We were meant to go to a Cheese Farm near Hartebeespoort dam tomorrow, so that Chad and Mark could go cycling there and Baby J and I would just sit around so he can play outside and have some fun and fresh air but we had a terrible rain storm at around 4pm, wind rain hail, so not the type of weather for April and this rain looks like it is set to stay for the weekend. After warming up so much today the rain just pelted down with no warning what so ever.

Till Later

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Rovos Rail Train Crash Update

After bragging about our lovely sunny winters yesterday, the weather suddenly changed without any warning, it clouded over and got quite black, dull and with clouds heavy with unfallen rain.  A bit like a woman with PMS, eyes full of tears, but instead of letting them flow freely, just holding back and turning ugly and nasty.

The train crash could not have happened at a worst time.  It should not have happened at all, but rescue workers were working in freezing cold and wet weather, because the rains finally fell last night.  The news reports say it will take 3 days to clear the crash site and they were battling to free the trapped victims, 3 people have died, including an unborn baby.  This is so tragic and sad.  The reports about the unborn baby have been a bit unclear, some say the mom was only 3 months pregnant, some say she just gave birth and some say she was about to give birth.  Either way it is all so tragic.  The owner of Rovos Rail, thanked the emergency services for their prompt and speedy response and the way they have handled everything.

He could not say what caused the train to start moving and they will only know once the investigation is complete and hopes it was not due to negligence.  I hope so to.

Apparently most of the Guests were American, with a couple of German, French and South African guests.

What is happening?  What with the hyped up political crap in our country; volcanic asshes causing air traffic to come to a halt and now the Rovos Rail crash?  Not looking good for tourists coming to South Africa for the world cup.  Such a shame. One can only but wonder "What Next...........?"

We have always wanted to go o the Rovos Rail Train and hopefully one day we well go on it.  I have always thought of travelling by train, as one of the safest and relaxing ways to travel.  We have been on the Premier Classe Train, twice. Both times were really awesome and affordable enough for the average family.  The service and food is out of this world.  Both times that we travelled on it, the train was full of foreign tourists and they all raved about how fantastic it was.  The food is definately 5 star and the staff go out of their way to ensure that your stay on the train is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Picture of Chad at the dinner table on the Premier Classe Train on the 1 Jan 2009.  Will post more info and pics under past events as soon as I have a chance.  Unfortunately most of our pictures of the train were not downloaded off our camera (tsk tsk ) and are now gone with the robbers who broke into our house and stole not only our material things but our memories that cannot be shown to others.

Rovos Rail train derails

"Pretoria - At least three people were critically injured when a Rovos Rail Pride of Africa train derailed at the Bosman Street railway station in Pretoria on Wednesday, paramedics said.
"The whole train derailed," said Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha.
"Some of the coaches are lying on top of each other. They had to cut holes in the roofs to get the passengers out."
Botha said 32 passengers sustained injuries ranging from minor to serious. There were 55 people on board at the time of the derailment.
Botha said emergency services from Pretoria, private ambulance services and paramedics were at the scene. People were still being rescued from the wreckage.
The injured already removed from the wreckage had been taken to a local hospital.
Botha said it was not clear why the train derailed"

Article Copied from News 24
News24 Rovos Rail Train derails

Photo from News24

News24 Gallery Train Accident

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Am I Proudly South African?

.............. I don't know! Am I? What does being proudly South African really mean? Everyone is always pushing the whole proudly South African thing, but when it boils down to the very nitty gritty, are we truly proudly South African.

Don't get me wrong, I love my country and other than wanting to get out of the rat race and move to the serene far South Coast, I do not have the urge to leave here, nor the desire. However, saying that, there is a lot that I am not proud of as a South African.

I desperately wanted to leave the country after my son was killed. I hated this country, the justice system and everything else that you could think of. There is just no justice in this country and road fatalities are not taken seriously. Our road fatalities are one of the highest in the world and the carnage on the roads everyday is unbelievable. You have more chance of being killed on the roads than you do because of Aids and crime, yet people see road deaths as "accidents" yet very few are the result of an accident. Accident means something unintentional and unavoidable. Strangers from other countries contacted me after reading my son’s story to pay their condolences and to share their stories with me and it was the same, where they expected justice to prevail when their loved ones were killed due to a blatant road transgression, they never got it, due to some or other technicality the accused got away with murder, just like the accused in my son’s case and in all the others in South Africa.

How ironic, sad and unfortunate is it that we can all do something to stop the road carnage, yet all the nay-Sayers, the anti- government, the ones who blame the government for the high crime rate, the ones that complain about the crime rate, the corruption and everything else are actually the ones that can do something about all the deaths and trauma caused by the carnage on our roads, but carry on driving like the criminals that they actually are. They blame the Metro Police; the roads; the mini-bus taxis, but then break every rule of the road. Oh yes the mini-bus taxis are bad, but if you drive with an open mind, you will notice that there are far more non taxis that speed, jump traffic lights and stop streets; drive in the emergency lane, drive on the wrong side of the road, because why should we wait in the traffic when we can just drive on the opposite of the road and expect oncoming cars to stop and get out of our way, just because we can. The best excuse is if the taxis can do it so can we. What kind of mentality is that? The kind that is lower than a mini-bus taxi drivers’ every will be. Sometimes I feel sorry for these drivers in their mini-bus taxis. People refuse to let them in, they get sworn at by every second motorist, they have to get a load of passengers to their destination on time, yet no one will give them a gap in the traffic, but moms and dads and grannies and grandpas and sons and daughters and brothers and sisters can all jump the traffic lights, push and shove their way through the traffic cut people off and just do as the please, because they believe they are above the law and are selective about what a crime is and what is not. Perhaps we should all just go around shop lifting, after all the crime rate is so high and hardened criminals get away with murder and robbery, so let’s us all join them. Yep, that is the mentality of our road users.

Perhaps I love my country, but not the people in it. I buy South African products not because I refuse to buy non South African products, but because imported goods are so expensive. So maybe I am not proudly South African at all, but I love my country and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. We have so much to be proud of in our country, but we all seem to forget it. Especially in times like now, when the media sensationalise the news and most of the troubles are all hyped up. As we all know sensationalism sells, so everyone gets into a panic, because of what is reported on the news.

Yes, we have to be extra security conscious and double and triple lock our doors and live behind electric fences and high walls and security bars, but we do not stay locked up like prisoners like most people think. We have the greatest weather, comfortable summers and mild winters. We sit outside at night and enjoy the warm evenings and admire the clear starlit skies. Winter days are not that cold and can be spent outside in the warmth of the sun. The nights and early mornings are cold, but Johannesburg winters are not dark and drab. Maybe icy cold in the morning, but with bright blue skies. Dull and grey skies are the exception and not the rule. Not forgetting the awesome sunsets.

We have such beautiful landscapes and places of interest. I love Cape Town; it is definitely the tourist destination of South Africa. I would not like to live there, because of the weather. Winters are dark and drab in the mornings and the sun comes up too late for my liking. They have four seasons in one day, although I must say Johannesburg is becoming like that too – climate change is definitely happening. For a holiday, Cape Town is the best, the whole tourist atmosphere, the sites and places to see, Table Mountain, the beaches, the winding roads and I always say why would anyone want to go anywhere else in the world when we have Cape Town, our own piece of heaven and paradise. The sea is freezing cold, but much calmer than the KZN Sea. Just so tranquil and calm and awesome sitting on the beach looking out at the horizon across the ocean and admiring the beauty of our land and oceans, with table mountain behind you with the mist hanging over the edge, just like a snow white table cloth over it, such a perfect description they give Table Mountain when the mists are thick and heavy.

So I might not be proudly South African, but am proud to say that I am South African and proud to live in such an awesome country with such beauty likes the Eastern Transvaal’s (Mpumalanga) landscapes, the Hibiscus coast and Cape Town’s majestic Table Mountain.

I am adding pictures of Cape Town to my post to take a damper off the beginning of my post, which started out in a rather negative tone.

Till Next Time

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Sunday Movies & Lunch

Chad and I went to see The Blind Side yesterday.  We ended up getting there late, because we had to go to Westgate Shopping Centre.  I always end up going to see a movie when it is already almost off circuit and the only cinema in our area showing it was Westgate.

We left home a bit late and because I don't know the centre that well, we battled to find Ster Kinekor.  Their sign posting is terrible at Westgate.  The outdoor signs said it was at Entrance Four, but the billboard is outside entrance one.  The security gaurd said it was at entrance one. Luckily, we parked at entrance one and decided to walk to look for it.  We were cutting it very fine and the centre is just so huge, I am sure it is a few kilometers from one point to the other.  Chad was convinced we should have gone to entrance four, after all that is what it said on the sign posts.

As we walked through Entrance One, we had a look at the map and it clearly indicated the cinema's were to the right of where we were, so we traipsed long, me battling to catch up to Chad who did not want to be late. Not a cinema in sight, we went down the esculators then up again. Chad then asked a waiter from Pannarottis and it was in the opposite direction. We had to go left and not right at the centre map.

We missed the first five minutes, but was not too serious.  I was a bit worried that Chad would get bored, the movie being a drama and all, and it was quite long. He enjoyed the movie and never got bored once.

I also enjoyed it, I got quite emotional, especially when they had the car accident, was just too close to home. My reaction when it happened was quite bad and Chad found it strange that I gasped so loudly and covered my eyes.  Just brought back too many memories.

After movies, We met Mark at home and then went to Mike's Kitchen at Northgate for a late lunch (Chad's choice)

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was had by all of us.

I watched " He Is Not That In To You" with Jennifer Anniston on Mnet last night.  I have always wanted to see it and it has such a great cast, but I honestly did not enjoy it. To me it had no storyline and had too many characters, so I stayed up late for nothing.

Chad had a braai at school today, part of the syllabus, to cook meat and then keep it warm without electricity.  He forgot about it and he had to take boerewors and brickets and firelighters and all we had was firelighters, so we had to leave early this morning to stop off at Spar to get the stuff.

He said it was fun and the best boerewors he has ever tasted :).

Till Next Time

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Have A Lovely Day

Chad and I are going to movies today, to see Blind Side, whilst Mark goes to Warm Baths to tow a car.                                              


Last Night - Bitter Sweet Memories

After the whole ripped jeans saga and the day spent finally sorting out and cleaning my office from floor to ceiling, although the filing is still piled high.  Never got round to doing that as I only finished at about 17h30, plus I have a few very large forests worth of invoices and papers to sort through, but at least now it is organised chaos, which is what I like and not a wholly jumbled up mess.
So I get a phone call from Mark asking what we were having for supper and which was very obvious I said I have no idea, thoughts of cooking supper were very far away.  My back was aching and all I wanted to do was lie on the massage chair, get all the aches and pains out of my body have a bath and go to bed.

Fat chance of that. Ok don't worry, Mark says - we will have a braai, I am at Pick 'n Pay, do we need anything else.  I was not worried - never am on a Friday, because we always have take out and if I do cook it is a shock.  Other than cold drinks we don't need anything else I say.

He gets home, I am lying on the massage chair and he starts rushing around getting the fire started.  Ok I think to myself, it is not that late just gone six, he must be hungry and I carry on having my massage.

I said Dean and them must come around if they want. AAhhh NO I groan, who is "and them" and why did you invite them, I am tired and dirty and don't feel like it.  Well you can go to bed if you want he says, you don't have to stay up.  Who is them? I ask again. Oh him and Steve, the guy that works for him were at the pub next door, I wasn't with them, is quickly added, and I said if they wanted to come over, we can have a braai. So hat was that.  They arrived whilst I was watching Isidingo and carried on watching, then received an IM from my friend who is busy doing our website for us, so I carried on chatting to her on Yahoo.

So as not to appear rude, instead of the truth of being dirty, tired and sweaty, I went outside to sit with them.  They were already well onto being quite intoxicated.  The conversation lead to Clint. To be honest we all had him in our minds, as these get togethers were a weekly occurrence before he died.  With Dean being at our house and him and Mark drinking.

Dean was saying that for him the saying, only The Good Died Young rang so true when it came to Clinton, because there was nothing more that he could be come.  He was already teaching them, the adults things that they had not learnt, he had already become what they had not become.  That he was just so special and that even when he was alive, Dean admired who he was and what he could do.  He was so organised and just got on with things.  It was so sad and although it is all true, it does not take away the cruelty and unfairness of what life dished out to us.

Chad and John, decided to be waiters for the night and found all the alcohol we had in the house and started pouring shooters.  Wow, I must sound like a terrible mom, but it was all in fun and nothing sordid in it.  The alcohol was probably four or five years old, because whenever we had people over in the past, Mark would buy different types of alcohol which would end up lying around as no one ever drank it.  It was also Chad remembering Clint, because Clint always used to pour their drinks for them, Chad just did it his way.

Dean was his usual chatty funny self and the more he drinks the funnier he gets and the more we laugh and BeChad was just laughing his head off. When they left Mark said, this reminded him so much of when Clint was alive and we would sit around laughing and he would find Dean so funny.

It was really just so Bitter Sweet all these memories.

I jsut hope that seeing that Dean and his girlfriend have split up that this does not become a weekly occurence like it was in the past, because I cant do it anymore and the drinking and driving gets to me far far more, now than before.

Except in those days we would get up early to spend the day at the dam and life was uncomplicated with only happy memories and no pain and grief.
We got to bed so late and then they were up at 6.30 to go cycling. Oh why do they have to find a hobby that entails waking up at the crack of dawn.

I tried to go back to bed but could not so just lay there until eleven, then got up showered and tidied the house and packed the dishwasher.

With our little waiters, they house looked like a tornado had hit and it really looked like we had a full on party, with not a single clean glass to be found in the house.

They have just gotten back from cycling at 3.30. Their ride started out badly as John's bicycle broke so they had to go all the way back to work to get another one after spending over an hour trying to fix it.

Now I think I am going to go do what I do best and go and sleep.

Ahhh......... Boys Will Be Boys

How did I guess.......... Chad came home from school in one piece, surprisingly no mud on his clothes, still looking nearly as smart as when he left for school. But............... the inevitable had to happen.  His friend John, came over, because they were going cycling at Teak Place early this morning, so he slept over and brought his bicycle with him.

The two of them were riding in the garden when Chad came to me with a worried look on his face and said mom I need to talk to you about something.

Whats wrong my babes?  I replied.

My jeans got caught in my bicycle's chain and tore and I am really sorry.

I should have accepted the fact that he was truly sorry and remorseful, because after all they were his jeans and his favourite ones, but I was really angry and shouted at him in front of John.

The thing is, it was not an accident per say, plus he is almost 13 and needs to start looking after his stuff.  If it was the first time it happened I would have been more sympathetic, but it is the third or fourth pair of jeans/shorts that have been ripped by his bicycle chain and as murphey's law would have it, it is always, not only his new clothes, but the expensive ones, everytime.

The jeans were just on R400.00 and they are not even a month old, which for a pair of boys jeans, the price is grossly expensive, but he got them because he liked them.  You can't even mend them, because it is not a tear but ripped in two places.

The decision to let him look like a little street child becomes easier all the time.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Friday ..................Yeah!!!!!!!

It's so good to wake up on Friday morning, knowing that there will be two days of rest and sleeping late.
Fridays are so appreciated now.  After a year of owning the shop and working 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Fridays were terrible, knowing that we had to wake up early on a Saturday and Sunday to go to work and work 15 hours. Oh how awful, really don't know how I managed it for so long. Now there is meaning to Fridays and Its The Weekend again, before when people said Thank God Its Friday all I could say was Grrrrrrrr - whats so good about Friday.
Today was Civvies Day at school and Chad dressed all smartly again.  He is going through a smart stage and spent forever deciding whether he should wear a tie or not.  Fortunately, I managed to get up early and get ready early, because for most of the morning I was putting his tie on and taking it off, whilst he stood in front of the mirror deciding.  In the end he went tieless - I gave up trying to convince him to go smart casual - he much prefered the top button fastened and sleeves buttoned at the wrist then leaving his shirt open with sleaves casually rolled up.

He looked so sweet and hopefully his clothes don't get messed up at school when he forgets the smart boy and becomes my little Chad again. I tried to take a photo of him, but he was not interested at all. Some days he loves his photo taken - others he becomes camera shy.

Another one who is camera shy is little Miss Piggy.  She is just so cute and adorable and whenever she is doing something cute or just sitting with her little tongue sticking out ( the tip of her tongue is always out her mouth) I try and take a picture and the second I do she moves so I only get pictures of her when she is sleeping, which she does a lot of for a little pup.

She has decided that she is now a guard dog, only problem is that it takes her an hour or so to start barking at whoever is at the house. The other day, someone came to fix our DSTV and after running around the house right by them for close on an hour, she suddenly started barking and barking at them.  This morning she played in the garden for an hour where the gardener was working and again suddenly started barking at him and growling, which of course set the others off, but she is so cute, she barks, but runs away almost in reverse, barking her little head off.  Now she is cuddled up in her favourite doggy brother's bed outside my office, where our domestic worker puts their beds on the days that she is here.
Ahh........ and the little tongue is out again. I just cant get a picture of it.

Well now I am going to once and for all sort out my office and hopefully get it done today.
It is an absolute mess after becoming nothing more than a store room over the past year when I worked at the shop and stopped working at home. My filing is all over the place and I just cannot motivate myself to do the filing, because the office is such a depressing mess.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Missing You ................

My Angel, mommy is missing you so much.  The pain is unbearable and if I could have any wish in the world it would be to have you back. There is no question about that.
If I could give up everything just to get you back, because everything has no meaning or worth without you in my life.
It has been three years and the pain is still as raw as the day you died.  In fact worse now, because it is real and there is no turning back the clock and changing anything.

I always believed that I could get you back, that other mother's whose children had died, had not tried hard enough to get their child to come back to life.

I believed I could - how was it possible that I could not.

The raw pain, hurt and grief numbed my brain - how was it possible that I would never see you again.
I still cannot believe it or accept it - my precious darling angel - the hurt will never go away.

and miss you so so dam much

life is so unfair and so cruel.

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