The things we don’t say

20130524-185009.jpg If you’ve known me in real life for any stretch of time you’ll know that I’m not great at tact and filtering. I’m a lot better and more patient than I used to be, but it’s hard work to keep quiet when I know that sometimes I would just be out of line just if those words come out of my mouth.

I find it especially hard to keep quiet when I see something that I know will eventually hurt someone and they are either heading for disaster, doing something that they’ll regret or someone is hurting them and it is none of my business. Very, very hard work.

For example:

In the mall I frequent there is a young lady in a wheelchair. Someone in my team asked her one day why she was in a wheelchair. Her answer? She has a fear of walking. She can walk, she just doesn’t like to.

I have been walking past this person almost daily for the last 2 years and every single time I see her rolling herself – with her feet – to the toilets I want to stop and suggest that she maybe go and see a shrink. It pisses me off to see someone this young just throw away their life. And then I talk myself off that ledge and back away from her, because it really is none of my business and I should live and let live and there’s possibly a very good reason for her being like this. But still, that’s so very wrong. I despair for her lack of independence without good reason.

There is also this person on twitter I really like. She is a beautiful, smart and strong woman, but she is so completely wrapped up in self-hate and self-loathing that it pulsates from her tweets. I desperately want to say something, but I’m scared that she’ll be upset with me. And then I consider the alternative and I’m tempted to say : Hey, stop doing that. It annoys people that you only put yourself down so much that it seems like attention seeking behavior of the worst kind. But, then I grind my teeth and keep quiet.

The friend whose husband can be a real ass sometimes? I can’t give him a klap upside the head because I know that he’ll know that she has been talking to me and it would be, well, awkward.

The neighbour who stood outside their house watching their dog attack another dog in front of our house the other day. It would not end well if I suggested that it may have been good for them to step in instead of Etienne and myself.

The two-faced energy-thief I loathe? Can’t say a word, just nod and smile.

This is possibly why I get so enraged when people don’t strap in their kids and friends from overseas talk crap about SA (that post is sitting in my drafts). There is the possibility I channel all the words I cannot say into these things.

Because I can.

But then, there are people like this guy, whom I applaud. It is SO something I would do.

Ps. Don’t google images for ‘zipped lip’. Just. Don’t.

Just some random family stuff


At Fairview last Sunday

This is just a post about random things the kids have said recently, partly because they are too good not to share, partly because that is the actual purpose of this blog and partly because it’s Friday and we could all do with a giggle.The girls are really into the concept of “heaven” at the moment.  Last week Sue and I took our girls to a market at Welbeloond (Etienne had taken Daniel to his very first rugby game at Newlands) and on the way they were chatting in the car.  The conversation was around heaven and going to heaven and Isabel asks R (Sue’s daughter) what you do in heaven when you get there and she pipes up: Nothing, you’ll be dead.

Uncomfortable little silence.

So I suggested that you would be an angel and there’s lots to do.  Thankfully no-one pursued that line of questioning at the time.

This morning I have Mignon and Isabel in the car and on the way to their school we have a lovely view over the Stellenbosch mountains.  So, they ask if we can please go to the mountains this weekend.  At first I prattled on about all the other things we have planned for the weekend and then I thought, hold on, so I asked what they wanted to do on the mountains.  Why, be close to heaven Mom, they pipe up.

And then they proceed to ask me if they are really going to heaven at the end of the year.  Er, not yet my darlings, but thanks for asking.  I had a moment of panic about what they are taught at school, but I think it’s because we talk about our beach holiday at the end of the year and Christmas so much.

Yesterday afternoon I arrive home to the sound of Lady Antebellum booming from the kitchen and as I come up the stairs Mignon comes leaping from the back door: “Mom!  Did you walk ALL the way from work?” And then we all had a little twirl in the kitchen to our favourite song whilst Etienne poured the wine.

It might be because I’m feeling a little agitated in general or because I’m simply turning into a Table Manner Nazi, but nothing irritates me more than hearing someone chew (a) and hearing someone chew with an open mouth (b).  It drives me completely insane.

After numerous requests for Daniel to please PLEASE take smaller bites and chew with his mouth closed I eventually aggressively whisper to Etienne under my breath that “Ek gaan van my kop af raak” (I’m going to lose my mind).  Daniel turns to me and asks “Mamma, hoe gaan jou kop afval?” (how is your head going to drop?)


Daniel left me this little gift on the bedside table last night. Etienne calls him the Slug Lord. They all have a ridiculous obsession with slugs.


And then, lastly, we all worry about whether our kids eat enough as it seems to be a never-ending battle to get them to eat a proper, balanced meal.

Thursday nights is Roast Chicken night in our house.  It’s the one night of the week we go big with cooked veggies and rice and potatoes.  Last night there was butternut, broccoli, the chicken, roast potatoes and salad.  Normally they each pick at a piece of chicken, have a potato (except for Mignon, she LOVES potatoes) and (under duress) the tiniest speck of broccoli imaginable (the girls, Daniel loves the stuff).  Last night they ate.  And ate.  And ate. And ate.  They polished those dishes of food like there was no tomorrow, not a lick of food left.  AND then they demanded a snack too.

Etienne and I were gobsmacked.  

Check, tonight they will pull up their noses at whatever we decide to feed them and we will live in hope of them eating a proper meal for the next 3 months.  But the memory of last night will help us live in hope.

 We are off to the Sauvignon Festival tomorrow (if the Cape Weather behaves) with a bunch of friends.  If you see us, please stop by and say hi or if it looks too crazy just tweet and wave from a distance, I won’t take offense, promise.

What are your plans for the weekend?


I was lucky enough to interview some amazing women this week that are applying for work.  Women that each overcame a serious set of personal challenges to be where they are today.

And they each want to pass on their determination to people in similar circumstances and live as beacons of hope.

I have interviewed many people over the years and I am probably a bit of a cynic, but these women really stood out for me.

This made me think of all the amazing women that I have known for many years or met either IRL (in real life) or online.  There are so many, so I will just briefly share some of their stories and link to them.  This is my small contribution to giving hope to anyone that might be reading this and going through something difficult at the moment.  These women are all very special and have each overcome their own set of circumstances.  They are fighters and survivors, because that what we need to do:  Fight and Survive.

My friend Camilla is a breast-cancer survivor.

My friend Tertia is a fellow infertility survivor, amongst other things.

My friends Candice and Caz have both lost babies (and so has Tertia)

My friend Sally has recently had her third baby and home-schools.

My friend Tracy recently started a support group for young Moms that have no support.

My online friend Hanlie is busy with an amazing self-discovery journey.

And last, but not least, my online friend Melanie is the brain behind the Twitter Blanket Drive, an amazing initiative.

At the Willowbridge Slow market today I came across this necklace and I simply HAD to have it.  This is my message of hope to you.  On the back of “hope” it says “love”, because what is the one without the other?

Hope you can read the message on the card!

If you want to contact the lovely lady that makes these beads you are welcome to email her on or contact Marieta Fichtner on +27 82 976 5885.


Voting day

Today we voted in the local elections and until now it’s never been a big thing for us, but now that we have twitter etc it’s amazing how important it’s become and I absolutely love it!
I refuse to raise apathetic children and will do my best to encourage them to vote, always.
Etienne and I voted in shifts (him in the morning and me late avie as the queues were hectic mid-morning) and we went to friends for lunch. These friends moved to Cape Town recently and are expecting their first baby. Their house is beautifully pristine and nothing has been moved to adult eye-level yet. There are no unidentified stains on their carpets and furniture, their house doesn’t smell like pee and they have lovely, non-functional, purely decorative stuff on low tables. I don’t know whether I should feel sorry for them or envy them. But they are such nice people I might just invite them over to shock them into what lies ahead
There were quite a few adults and children running around and for a brief, slightly inebriated moment I sat back and realised that these kind of gatherings makes life special.
Tonight I am feeling lucky and blessed and full of gratitude for all the amazing people in my life.
Thank you!
Ps, just to prove I did vote: