Wednesday, 30 October 2013

To Nelspruit For The Weekend - 28th - 29th of September 2013


I know! I know!! I sound like a stuck record, but seriously time does seem to fly faster and faster. It seems like it was just yesterday that I posted about going Back to Ballito and said I would post about our weekend to Nelspruit. It is exactly a month ago that we went to Nelspruit/Hazyview.
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It was totally last minute decision and plans, although truth be told Mark was planning it all along and then dropped the bomb shell on Friday morning. It was an idea - an idea that materialized into we are going at around 16h00. Sheila who never has plans had plans to go to her Aunt on the East Rand - miles away. She works on a Saturday for extra money, cleaning the offices, but was planning to go after work. I had to manipulate and half beg her to change her plans and go the following weekend. Note to self - or more like note to Mark - staff do have lives outside of ours. I gave her the following Saturday off with pay, plus her overtime for working looking after the house whilst we were away. She doesn't work when she looks after the house - unless you call feeding the animals work, she gets food for the weekend and does nothing the whole weekend, but it is over time and she has to be paid. It was also her birthday on the 2 October, so I also bought a cake and cup cakes for her to take to her Aunt's place. (I did not bake myself - too busy - too tired).

To Nelspruit

Chad was not that easy to appease. He was so angry with us and had a huge wobbly when we got home from work and an even bigger one the next morning when Mark woke him up at 4.30 on Saturday morning. He went to bed angry with us and I knew he was very tired, it was school holidays, but he had been training almost all day every day at gym - hanging out with his gym buddies, but also training hard, waking up early everyday and going to bed late, by Friday he was finished. Chad you are like me my boy - when we tired we blow up!!! Chad and Mark had a huge fight and argument when Chad was woken up, I was crying and hating Mark, but at the same time had to back him up, because when Chad gets into these moods, he becomes completely insolent, belligerent, cheeky and uncontrollable. I get that his plans get screwed up by our screwed up plans and he has to just fit in with our dumb plans. Yes Mark they were dumb plans, it was not a weekend away, it was a stupid idea to meet someone (ex-business associate in my eyes) and not a friend, who lives in Nelspruit who wanted to take over the lease of the Ballito workshop. Skype could have handled the meeting. What makes it worse is writing about it a month later - it was nothing but another fishing expedition and I don't mean the kind where you relax at a river with a fishing rod. I am sure I mentioned in this post over here that I did not have high hopes for the person or the idea. Hey I was right again. He disappeared into thin air. After we asked if he was blacklisted, because the landlord would not give him a lease if he was blacklisted - guess what he is blacklisted even though he assured us he wasn't.


I was a bit ahead of myself there. We finally climbed into the car, all somber and quiet. We traveled in silence and why would I have a photo of a random vehicle on my blog. Well that was a company vehicle driven by a driver endangering all of our lives, overtaking on a solid  white line (couldn't get a pic of that) overtaking into on coming traffic, driving recklessly. I did manage to get the Company's telephone number and reported his driving on the Monday - hopefully it was not in vain. This was just before we arrived in Nelspruit and slowly Chad started talking to us - with attitude, but at least he was talking to us. We arrived at the "friend's" workshop and then went for coffee to discuss the whole deal. After an hour or so we left and drove around deciding where we would spend the rest of the weekend. We ended up in Hazyview. Mark stopped at a shop to buy cold drinks, Chad was still very subdued and quiet. We went through the heartache speech, must never happen again talk; the excuses, the real reasons. Mark came out with these really cute coke bottles that we have never seen before - 330 ml bottles - that broke the ice some more.

500 ml bottle with 2 - 300 ml bottles next to it.

We were over our fight, but it did make me realise that Chad hates going away and he hates his plans being ruined even more, but he also bounces back very quickly. Add being tired into the mix and it becomes really ugly. His sleep whilst we were travelling helped a lot too.


 Our fascination with the cute bottles 













So with all our fights and drama behind us, we set about finding a place to stay for the night. Being school holidays, all the well known hotels we called were fully booked as well as the resorts we drove past. We found a self catering place called Eagles Nest that had chalets available and we booked in there for the night. The chalets were clean, spacious and comfortable.
Pool
Gardens





Chad Doing His Body Building Pose 



Eagles Nest Chalet
Pathway To The Pool











Although it was extremely hot and humid, we did not swim. We were all starving, having only eaten a toasted sandwich at around 7 in the morning when we stopped to fill up with fuel, so after booking in and looking around we left again to go and have a late lunch.








The views are absolutely stunning




We went to Kuka Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, which was just up the road from the resort at Perry Bridge Trading Post, a little center with restaurants, specialty stores and you would not guess a hotel. A hotel which we missed although we had parked at the center whilst we were phoning around for accommodation. To be quite honest the food at the restaurant was not as good as what it looked like on the menu boards outside the restaurant.






It was so long ago that I cannot remember who ordered/ate what, but do know that my healthy eating plan that I was boasting about in this post over here is now non existent even weeks later and by the time I finish this post I am sure it will be the end of 2014. The food was not that great, but we had a long leisurely relaxed late lunch which turned into early evening, partly because their service was quite slow and partly because we had nothing else to do. We finally left and went back to the resort and just relaxed.

Sunday Morning Freezing Cold 

Savoury Pancake
The TV in the chalet was tiny, smaller than my laptop screen and only had the free channels, which were not clear at all, so we just sat around chatting and laughing and having good quality family time. We were that bored  that Chad took my Galaxy Tab and started reading my blog. I was going to update my blog, when Chad took my galaxy tab and started reading my blog. We were laughing and joking and he was making fun of it, but all in a happy funny way, whilst we were reminiscing about the past, some of the stuff we had forgotten about - which is ultimately why I blog. It was the first and only time that Chad has read my blog and Mark was half listening to Chad reading out aloud. We eventually bathed and went to bed quite late. It had been so hot the whole day, but started raining during the night and just did not stop. Soft drenching rain all night long and it was quite cold when we woke up on Sunday morning. We packed and then left. It was raining everywhere. We drove to Sabie to have breakfast. We went to Harries Pancakes, the plan was to have pancakes, but Chad and Mark had a normal English Breakfast and I had a savoury mince pancake, which was a bit on the dry side, but very tasty. It was not the Harry's that I remembered from years ago. Their service was also extremely slow



Waiting For Our Breakfast



"Toast" Napkin


Chad Eyeing His Breakfast Gleefully


Harries


Harries Pancakes Interior
We left straight after eating and drove most of the way in awful misty and or rainy weather.

From Hot As Hell To This

Driving In Wet Misty Conditions


 The rain and mist cleared and then as we neared Johannesburg, a storm was approaching, which we missed fortunately, but how amazing was the sky



And finally a month after we went away and 3 days after I started this post I am almost about to press the publish button and I am definitely not going to proof read my post, because then it will never be published.
dianneleef's Hazyview 28th September 2013 album on Photobucket





Friday, 18 October 2013

Mark's Birthday, Tuesday 8 October 2013


Good Grief, it is already almost 2 weeks since Mark's birthday and I don't know what it is with us, but birthdays end up being days of hell and far from a celebration. Oh Boy!! this year Mark's birthday was no exception. I tried as best as I could to not book in a lot of work, so that it could be a relaxed day, but as usual that never worked. People phone Mark on his cell and he is usually busy and far from the office and he forgets to write it in the diary, so we were over booked and my good intentions were for nothing.

Mark and some of the staff worked the whole day on Saturday, from 8 until about 5.30, because they had about four or five big jobs to get out and they still did not finish, so the week started off with a backlog and pressure, which meant his birthday was going to be no different.

I baked for his birthday on Sunday. I made 2 milk tarts, mu usual chocolate cake and cupcakes. We had the milk tarts on Sunday and the cake and cup cakes were for his actual birthday. The milk tarts came out really well - the trick to a good milk tart is to stir and stir and stir. As easy as making a milk tart is, it is time consuming if you want it to come out to as near as perfect as possible. That equates to patience and I don't have patience, but I put lots of love and effort into making it and therefore I did stir and stir and stir and stir the milk mixture, but not enough, because on Sunday afternoon it had not quite set, but tasted good. On Monday after spending a night in the fridge, it was as close to perfection as I would ever get milk tart. There was no cheating, I made the pastry from scratch.

Milk Tart


We were that busy and stressed and chaotic on Mark's birthday that we did not even have 2 minutes to have the cake I made. I carted it all the way to work as well as the cup cakes and then carted them home again. I did give Phineas some of the cake to take home to his family, but was just that angry that I did not keep it at work for the next day and just took it all home.


Tea & Cup Cakes


I only left work at 6.45pm, Mark; Phineas and Gavin left even later. As I was leaving work I decided that we are not going to go home exhausted and still find something to make for dinner like every other night and phoned Mark and told him that we are going out to dinner for his birthday, even if it is just to Spur for a burger (I hate Spur, but was that desperate to make the most of a bad day) and that is where we went. Exhausted, stressed and tired, but at least we made an effort to try and celebrate his birthday, because last year we never did anything either.





















Strangely enough we did have a quick relaxing bite to eat, we even each had a whiskey and lemonade (not Chad) I think it was the first alcoholic drink I have had since giving up smoking and did not even crave a smoke whilst drinking - not that the cravings have stopped - just the whole issue of not having to go off to the smoker's section to stand smoking on my own, made the drink relaxing and enjoyable, without a cigarette.

Another year gone by. Another year of stress and over work to pay for Mark's Charity Cases. You would think that at least one day of the year Mark would be free so we can enjoy one day of the year and not have to work until 7.30 pm after leaving home at 6.30 am. You would think that for once his clients would respect that we have a life too and not expect him to wait until after 7 at night for them. I know customers are king; customers pay your wages etc etc, but seriously we have them phoning at 10 on a Sunday night on our home phone or 5 in the morning on our home phone; on public holidays; when we are away. Try that with your doctor and see if you get it right - unless of course your doctor is Beth MacNamara from Isidingo, your doctor certainly won't be available to you 24/7/365, so why should your mechanic!!!



Saturday, 5 October 2013

Five Months


This time five months ago I made myself a cappuccino, sat at the dining room table, took my last Dunhill Fine Cut Black out of the packet lit it and savored my very last cigarette. As I type this I can still taste it and crave it as if it was an hour ago.




Strictly speaking yesterday was five months. I had my last cigarette at 17h00 on the 4th of May, but
a) yesterday I was too busy at work to post about it and too tired last night and
b) it was a Saturday that I had an afternoon sleep, woke up and had my little final cigarette ritual.
So it would make sense to do my five month post today. I also had a sleep, then took Chad to the shops and then sat at the dining room table with a cup of coffee and a pie at almost 5pm. How unhealthy is that - a pie and coffee. Thanks to our weekend in Ballito, which you can read about over here my healthy eating habits, which you can read about over here - my four month no smoking post - are no more. I just cannot get back into eating healthy foods and keep eating junk. I keep saying tomorrow and as usual tomorrow never comes. My latest excuse is that it is Mark's birthday on Tuesday, so I will start on Wednesday. I am an excuse waiting to make up another excuse.

Source
So I am sure you can understand why I am so proud of myself for giving up smoking for five months now and posting about each milestone of my non smoking journey. I never stick to anything - dieting; healthy eating; exercising; working smarter. Remember my Sevens List, which you can read about over here and here and here and here and here and here and here. I don't do goals and resolutions, because they don't work - not for me that is. The only time I ever made lists of changes/goals/resolutions was in this post. I got caught up in the moment and did not stick to it.

Source

So I have managed to give up smoking and I am still so tired, I have slept through the last five months of my non smoking journey. I have no energy; my brain still feels groggy and stuffed with cotton wool. To such and extent that I type words like or instead of are, but am reading are, because the word should be are, even totally unrelated words; I could be meaning/thinking could, but I type something totally random. Read my blog and you will see what I mean - see all the typos; grammatical errors and spelling errors. I proof read and can read the same thing over and over and don't see the mistake. I actually watch myself type the wrong word, whilst reading the correct word. One day at work someone phoned for Mark and he was in the workshop so I put the person on hold and thought I would just quickly finish what I was doing and then walk through to the workshop and give him the phone. (The two phones in the workshop went on walk abouts never to be seen again so I can't transfer calls.  Two hours later my mother phoned on my cell and said there is a problem with our land line, they had been struggling to get through for hours. I have this hazy recollection of answering the phone and it was someone who really irritates me, but for the life of me I cannot remember who it is or if it did happen. It was like a very fuzzy dream. Last week I was also supposed to phone someone back and confirm a booking and I really cannot remember if I did phone them back or not. They never pitched so I am guessing I never phoned back or could be one of those people who don't have manners and don't cancel bookings. I am hoping for the latter.

I still miss smoking so much and could very easily start smoking again right now, right this minute. I am just procrastinating about it   :-D

I am happy that it does not control my life in the way that when we go away and stay in smoke free hotels/chalets I don't have to wake up in the morning and before I have wiped the sleep out of my eyes I grab clothes put them over my PJ's and creep down the stairs with bed hair, unbrushed teeth; unwashed face and step outside and smoke and smoke and fill my lungs to make up for the 8 or so smoke free hours from the night before, until I am all smoked out for the next 30 minutes. Long enough to shower; half make up done; dress and down the stairs to have another and another and another.



I am happy that I don't smell like smoke anymore. Truth be told I did not know that smoking smelt so bad eew. I figured out why this Winter I may not have felt the cold so much. I wore scarves for the first time and jackets (jackets I wore before), but always washed them after one wash. This Winter I tried the "wear it more than once" approach. To be honest I am not totally comfortable with wearing a scarf or jacket more than once without washing it, but I did because I was a non smoker - my clothes do not smell like smoke. I still don't get the whole "certain clothes can be worn more than once without being washed. I mean does the material shout "dirt stay off I am a jacket you can only get onto me on day three" Its like the three second germ rule. "germs back off for 3 seconds" when food falls on the floor. I don't get these rules, but I tried the jacket and scarf wearing without washing each time and was much warmer this Winter, because my clothes were not hanging on the line for days trying to get dry.

So I guess after five months I have found some good in giving up smoking.






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