Monday, 30 September 2013

Back To Ballito

Who would have guessed??? I thought our trips to Ballito would be no  more. I even blogged about it over here. Our business in Ballito was sold to someone who even fooled cynical old me, or was it just wishful thinking on my part, because it was not an outright sale. Collect money, handover business, say goodbye, move on. No it was trusting a stranger enough to give them a good deal on terms - 24 month terms. No credit checks, no references nothing. You can't get credit at a clothing store for R500.00 without credit checks done and giving your whole history, references, contacts etc. In fact the letting agent would not change the lease to his name, it had to stay in Mark's name. Why?? because they did credit checks and he was not credit worthy or a good credit risk - that should already set off alarm bells, but it didn't - not to Mark anyway. That was in December, 7 December 2012 to be exact and by March 2013, the rumblings of a huge mistake already started.

You might ask and you would be correct in thinking, Why us all the time? It can't be everyone else that is wrong, that takes us for a ride, no there must be more to it and yes there is more to it. Mark always trusting the wrong people, Mark always giving someone, the wrong person a chance in life. Trusting the wrong people, in spite of what I say, despite what I think, because of what I think/say just makes him more determine to go and help the wrong person. 

So we have had this on going late rent payment, late installment for equipment paayment since March. We had to pay their rent and they paid us back, because in March he paid late and Mark received emails; phone calls, text messages by the dozen on the 2 March from both the owner of the premises and letting agent, because rent was late. Then the lies started and something went wrong with the payment - "no the only thing that went wrong was you did not pay" and the denial and lies just carried on. In June, Mark and Chad went down to see what was happening. The payments were getting paid later and later, we heard the staff were not getting paid and the rumblings of another huge mistake was getting louder and louder.  Long story short, Mark brought some of the more expensive equipment back and told JJ (person who bought business on terms)  that he can stop paying us for the equipment until he gets back on his feet and just make sure the rent is paid on the 1st and that he pays his staff. His receptionist worked for us and part of the sale agreement was that he had to keep her and the workshop assistant on for at least 3 months or give them 3 months notice. 

I just had this idea that if they were not paying us for the equipment and paying the rent late then they were not paying Savash, so I phoned her and I was right, but she made excuses for them. As I said the rumblings got louder and Mark went down there. In March, Mark had already said to JJ that if he wanted Mark would go into partnership with him to help him if he was battling financially  (good old Mark to the rescue again). No he didn't need help, he knew it all, he was doing fine, something went wrong with the payment.

Then we heard that the wife was telling people that the reason why they could not pay the staff was because the rent was too high and the monthly installment to us was too high. Now bare in mind that this was a guy who saw the sale agreement, wanted to buy the business and go into partnership with Keith long before we even knew he even  existed He resigned from his job and when we arrived in Ballito in December to discuss the deal, we found him working in our business, before even meeting us, even speaking to Mark, he resigned walked out of his job and there he was running "his new business". He did not have a cent to his name, not even R50.00 to buy a spanner!! When Mark said he is not sure if he is going to do the deal with him, after we found out Keith had been stealing from us and doing private work for customers from the business. JJ said "but I resigned from my job - what am I going to do?" The deal was then sealed. So he thought it was such a good deal that he even walked out of his job, before signing an agreement and then his wife had the dam cheek to insinuate that we did them a dirty by making them pay so much for rent. They knew the rent before even resigning from their jobs, which she did too. She walked out of her job on the Monday - who does that - brand new business and you both think you are going to draw a salary and survive. They needed no help, no advice, no nothing. When we offered advice/help - they knew it all!!! She the wife used to buy ready made coffee; juice, muffins  from the Quick shop everyday all day long and sit in front of Savash and eat, drink and smoke and not pay her and tell her they don't make enough money and can't pay her, but kept her employed to do the work, whilst she, the wife watched movies on the computer. Really disgusting people!!! Oh and she was a big bible punching Christian!!!!!

It just got worse and on Thursday 12th we heard rumours that they were moving out, our phone calls were ignored, emails ignored. Mark managed to speak to the wife on Thursday night, she denied all rumours, lied, made excuses and and and. Mark was toying with the idea of going down on the weekend. On Friday morning the 13th - Friday The 13th!!!! we heard that they were moving out of the workshop and Mark decided there and then that we were going down, before all of our stuff went missing. I arranged for Chad to leave school at 11 am, I told the office lady we had a crises in Ballito and had to go down. I think she thought it was a life and death crises, but I neither denied or elaborated on it. It was a crises, just a different one. Someone stealing our equipment. So I fetched Chad from school, paid our staff wages and went home and packed.

We ended up leaving much later, because Mark can't just up and leave, he had to get cars finished and out of our workshop. We stayed at the Regal Inn. Mark booked a room for us, whilst I went to fetch Chad from school. Mark's home away from home. There are so many places that we can stay at, closer to the beach, but Regal Inn is Mark's Go To Place in Ballito. I can see why, because Raymond the manager greets Mark like his long lost friend and remembers him all the time. We arrived there late, at around 7 or 8 pm, first went to the workshop, which was locked and looked empty. We tried again to get hold of JJ, then when we arrived at the Hotel and I checked my emails he had sent a very cocky email. We had to get a locksmith to break open the lock and change the lock, found out that he had pawned Mark's scooter, sold some of the equipment, removed some of the equipment and just ignored us for the whole weekend. Mark bought his scooter back from the pawn shop and saw that JJ had forged Mark's signature on the change of ownership form. Finally we had something on him that would not require a long drawn out civil case.

They had left the workshop filth dirty, the walls were filthy, the cups and coffee table and containers were broken, dirty messed. There was a glass in reception that had gone mouldy and pitch black. What filthy people. The dirt bin was left over flowing with all her paper coffee cups, evidence that it was not a rumour that she bought cups and cups of coffee all day long. It was just so disgusting.

There was not much more we could do over the weekend, he was hiding away so we went for lunch, the weekend put an end to my healthy eating plan that I mentioned in this post.

We had late lunch at Chad's favourite restaurant in Ballito. The restaurant I don't like, but I must say this time our waitress was eager to please and friendly so it made a difference. Their food is very good , but I don't like their management style.

I had the most amazing Vietnamese Stir Fry Chicken with Cashew Nuts, the fresh Coriander was a bit overpowering, but the meal on the whole was very good.

Vietnamese Chicken Stir Fry

Chad and I had butterflied Prawns for starters, they were not the best. Mark had calamari starter, Chad had calamari for mains and Mark had a steak for his main. We did not have dessert, we hardly ever have dessert when we go out to eat. After a starter and mains we are too full to have dessert.
The view of the sea from the restaurant is just so awesome. 

After lunch we went to the beach for awhile, then went back to the hotel and relaxed there.

We then bought take out from the Fish Shop at the shopping center opposite the hotel. Chad and I had Fish and Chips and Mark had Calamari, the only seafood he eats. Later on we went down to the beach and walked on the beach. Something that is new to Ballito is the sand art on the beach. It was dark so you couldn't see it properly. Durban beach is full of Sand Art, the most amazing Sand Art. I need to post pictures that I took in 2010 when Chad and I went down for a holiday. I only took these two photos of the sand art in Ballito, it is pretty good too.

Sand Art

Sand Art Ballito Beach
We had breakfast at the hotel on Sunday Morning and then left for home. On the way home, I had the most excruciating stomach ache and nausea. When we arrived home I was so sick. I had either a tummy bug or one of the meals I had was not too good. On Monday I felt better, just washed out, drained and sleepy from taking valoid the day before.

The workshop is now locked up and we are paying rent for nothing. Mark has found someone who might take over the lease. They went down there last weekend and we went to Nelspruit this weekend to meet with this person to discuss whether he wants to take it or not. I am having doubts about this too......

It is late now so I will post about our weekend in Nelspruit/Hazyview tomorrow night when I have time and more inclined to blog.

So 'til then good night

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Happy Heritage Day SA

Today is Heritage Day in South Africa. A Public Holiday that celebrates and recognizes the cultural wealth of our nation. In recent years it has been known as Braai Day. Braai means to cook your meat on a fire/open flame - barbecue.  I don't know who came up with the idea to change the name to National Braai Day or why, other than the fact that many South Africans braai on weekends and Public Holidays and Heritage Day is the first Summer/Spring Long Weekend or Public Holiday if it does not fall on a Monday or Friday. Here is a link to the National Braai Day Website, which will give you far more insight to the reason and meaning behind the name change. National Braai day is not reflective of all cultures in South Africa and I do believe that there are people/cultures who feel insulted by the meaning of the holiday being taken so lightly and the unofficial name change to braai day. So no matter how you celebrate the 24th of September, may it be a day filled with fun; love, happiness and most of all respect for others' culture and traditions.

What really sucks is that we had to work yesterday, so no long weekend for us and we would have all benefited from a break from work, but sadly our boss is a slave driver - a champion for braais on any day, come snow, rain or sunshine, but not on National Braai Day, it would seem.

And That In There Is A Killer Roast Mark Does In The Braai
 I really wanted to go away this weekend and even informed our Clients in our monthly newsletter that we would be closed on Monday the 23rd. I had this strong need/desire/want to go to the Kruger National Park, in memory of Clint. You can read about Chad's trip to the Kruger Park with my parents over here and here and here. I mulled it over and over in my head - we would be travelling on Clint's birthday and how would I deal with that. How would I deal with having a good time without Clint being there with us. With his birthday being on the 21 September, we almost always went away for his birthday. So we were always going Camping; Or On Steam Engine Excursions for the weekend or just to spend the day at the dam on Clint's birthday.

I was also feeling very guilty that Chad never gets to go away as often as we used to and I was wrestling with all these feelings and guilt and eventually I just knew that I could not go away and enjoy myself and what just clinched it for me is when Chad said he doesn't like going away and did not want to go anyway. In actual fact I don't think Chad ever really liked going away even when he was little. The more I think back the more I realize that I think he used to secretly wish we would forget him behind when we went away. He always used to sit quietly in the lounge watching TV, whilst we packed the car and as we were leaving we would go call him. Believe you me if we did leave him behind he would have screamed blue murder and once we got to wherever we were going he would have fun.

Now we just do nothing on the 24th, we don't go away, because it is over Clint's birthday, but I would have really liked to have had Monday off to have a long weekend, but slave driver Mark said we must work and we were busy to, so he was happy that we did open up. The weekend before we had to rush down to Ballito to sort business drama out, so Mark took that as our weekend away.

So today, other than posting stuff on my blog, I need to finish my vat recon, which should have been finished yesterday, but there was too much emotion going on inside me to work really hard last week, so I have to work today. Chad is at gym and has been there for the better half of the morning and Mark has gone to visit his grandparents. Plus the weather has warmed up again and it is a lovely warm Spring Day today

And that is what our first "Summer" long weekend is all about these days..........

School Holidays

Wow, a whole 10 days including weekends, surely it would do no harm to add 4 days to the October holidays to make it two weeks. Then it would be October holidays. I have no idea why everyone refers to these holidays as the October holidays when they are more often than not in September.

They had their annual outing to Gold Reef City Theme Park on Thursday the 19th, so that makes school closed for 11 days. These outings drive me insane and I stress myself so badly, because of the travelling to the outings. There are just so many bus accidents, fatalities and collisions on our roads, not only buses; but cars; trucks; bikes. I personally don't believe that the school uses a very good bus company either. So it is stress and worry all day. The bus was meant to arrive at the school at 16h00, so I left work at 15h00 and went to the shops then was planning on waiting at home, because school is not as far from home as from work and there is no traffic, or hardly any traffic from home, because it is going in the opposite direction of everyone coming home from work.

Turns out the bus company (what did I say about the school not using a very reliable bus company) thought the buses had to be at Gold Reef City at 16h00 and not back at the school at 16h00. I went back to work, because I had invoices to email and sent Chad a message telling him to call me/message me when they were close to the school so that I had an idea of when to leave. He never did and it turns out that the bus took 10 minutes longer to get from the South to the school in peak hour traffic, than it took me to get to the school only 10 km's away. Makes me feel so comfortable letting him go on outings - NOT!!!. He ended up waiting outside the school for 20 minutes, because I only left work when he arrived back at school. Grrrrrrrr - I get so mad. He thinks I am cray cray crazy, because I was in tears by the time I arrived at the school. It did not help that it was Clint's birthday in two days.

So now it is holidays and I can have a break from some of my worry and thought I could have a break from driving up and down and I don't have to fetch Chad from school, but there is still gym. Except Chad has decided to cycle to gym!!!! I have tried to put my foot down and say NO, but it is not working. Yes you might say I am the parent and what I say goes, which yes it is the way it should be, but like everything else, I cannot wrap Chad up in a plastic bubble and not let him live his life. For a very long time his life did end the day Clint died and now that he is getting older, he is rebelling against my worrying and over protectiveness, so I have to just let go. It is only going to gym and at least he is not out drinking and clubbing like a lot of kids his age and younger. Sadly, as we learnt from Clint's death, it is not the under age drinkers/clubbers/druggies that die, and it does not ease my stress and worry, but I have to not baby him and just trust that he is responsible and that nothing will happen to him. I personally do not see the difference between a motorbike and a bicycle on our roads - just saying.

I thought I would have a break from cooking extra meals. This is what Chad takes to school every day...........

We Have A Cooler Bag

That Cooler Bag Is Filled With Lunch Boxes

Those Lunch Boxes Are Filled With Food

Bananas and Apples

Chicken; Brown Basmati Rice; Butternut & Stir Fry Veggies

We Have Two Of Those & Not One Filled Up With Double The Amount
Because 3 Lunch Boxes Fit Perfectly, We Have Dry Wors In Tin Foil & A Protein Bar
And all this for a boy who used to have no breakfast and take nothing to school or have a toasted cheese or toasted mince sandwich for school lunch. Now he has all this for school lunch and breakfast at school. He has protein shake after school/before gym, more fruit in the afternoon and for dinner, whatever we have for dinner.

And His Whey
This has to go down into the book of history/worldrecords. Chad drinks water!!! Oh MY GOSH. My child who told everyone he was allergic to water, who puked if he even sipped on water, has now been drinking about 2L of water a day for the past 2 weeks. Thank you to, whoever convinced him that water is good for him, believe you me I have tried for years and years.

So although it is school holidays and I don't have to pack the cooler bag each morning, he still needs his 6 - 8 meals a day, so no rest from cooking.

Now I am off to pack those lunch boxes for tomorrow

Monday, 23 September 2013

Who Cries When They Watch Fast & The Furious?

I do!!
I have just watched Fast & The Furious 6 and became all emotional in the begining; in the middle and cried near the end. This is not the first Fast & The Furious movie that reduced me to an almost blubbering wreck. Chad and Mark watched it yesterday. I watched it today - on my own.  The emotion and chemistry between the characters Brian, Mia and Dom is just so real. I absolutely love Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. The way people go gaga over Brad Pitt (truth be told, I so don't get what they see in him) I go gaga over Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. I don't think I would watch the Fast & The Furious if they were not in it.
Paul Walker reminds me SO much of Clint. They don't look alike at all, but there is just something about him that reminds me of Clint. It could possibly be the fact that Clint loved fast cars, loved Fast & The Furious or because Paul Walker was his hero/idol. I have no idea why, maybe it is their eyes or smile that is similar, but saying that, there is not even a similarity in the colour of their eyes, more the fact that they both have eyes that smile way beyond the smile on their lips. The one thing that everyone remembers about Clint is his beautiful smiling eyes.
Maybe it is just because I miss Clint so much, maybe because I can't watch all the Fast & The Furious movies with him, that have been released after he died. There is just so many reminders of what we no longer have.
I will always watch these movies through his eyes and even if the characters don't bring their own emotional chemistry, I will still watch with tears pouring down my face, because of what I no longer have.
Even the weather is in agreement with my emotions today. It's dark cold and grey miserable. I took a snap shot of the Accuweather report and it is exactly like that. I am going to try and upload it over here. (Could only upload it today - Monday- at work. Blogger App for Galaxy does not work that well)

I am using my Samsung Galaxy Tab, which I have not used for absolutely ages, to post this post, because I left my laptop charger at work on Friday. I just realised that when I went to look for it in my laptop bag just now and it was nowhere to be seen. If only I had realised early, because Mark and Chad went to the workshop earlier today and yesterday.
I am really not good at touch typing, as in touching a screen and typing and my wrist gets so sore. I can't touch type either, as in the correct way to type  :-)

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Happy 24th Birthday Clinty My Angel

Another year has past,
Another birthday filled with tears and not happiness
How I get by......
Don't ask, because I don't know.There are less flowers
Not because I care less, but because they no longer bring comfort
Its a lie - they never brought comfort
It was to make the day beautiful
To let you know that no matter where you are
You will always be remembered.
I love you Clinty My Angel....
My Heart Is Broken & Will Never Heal
Life will never be the same again...


This morning when we woke up it was freezing cold, the wind howling. The universe in agreement that today was a very sad day, that we should have had sunshine and happiness, but we never did because Clinty, you were not here to celebrate your birthday. This is the 6th birthday without YOU and it does not get easier.

Chad and Mark manage to just get on with life, they remember its your birthday, but sometimes I think if I wasn't here to remind them then they would not remember, I don't know maybe I am wrong. They are able to do their own thing like it is a normal day. I can't.... I can't function... I analyse; I rationalize; I dissect; I make excuses, but I can't come up with a reason why on most days I manage to function relatively OK, yet on birthdays I shut down, I collapse; I go into a pit of dark dark depression. On Your birthday on Your death day, my body and mind just shuts down and I force myself to function. I force myself to not cry, until I just burst out in anger and emotion; in grief and sadness.... the tears come flooding in deep deep sobs from the bottom of my heart.


What I do know is that Your cat Garfield is always around when I am in your garden or when she senses that I need to be closer to you more than I usually do............ She prods and she pokes; she talks and moans and then settles down next to me, she know; she senses and most of all she misses you terribly too

Mark and Chad came home with flowers for Your garden........

I bought flowers for Your room ................

Nothing changes; Nothing is the same.............

For the past 6 years it has been flowers and flowers and flowers..............
I am starting to hate flowers .................. because they mean I don't have YOU - MY ANGEL

I love and miss you so much Clinty!!!!

All my love ....... Mommy

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