Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dog solutions

Puppies chew. Everything. Baggins is no exception. He will chew air plants, sticks, pens (from the bin), used tissues (also from the bin), garden trellises, irrigation pipes, Janel's toys, shoes, washing stands, his bed, his blanket, grass runners (that he actually will pull up for the express purpose of then chewing them - anything EXCEPT his chew toys.

Puppies dig. Again, Baggins is no exception. In the worst spots I've put down plastic mesh (which stopped him in that area). For the less fixable areas I've tried smacking, hosing him with the hose-pipe, putting his poo into the hole, and putting pellets into the hole that are supposed to repel animals (particularly dogs). Thus far, nothing has worked.

And the problem is not boredom, because he does the worst of the damage when we are home! (Although we have been rather slack at getting out for long walks on a regular basis, so maybe it is...) In his defense, I genuinely think he is digging after a mole, or something. I don't think he's just digging for the hell of it. At least, every time I've caught him digging, that's what he's been after.

This week we hired a dog walker, Kristin. (I know, it seems like a luxury, but I'm prepared to try anything.) She is training to be a dog trainer, and is doing some courses on dog psychology. I'm hoping that she can help us get him over this patch and teach him some basic skills. I had planned to take him to dog training classes at one of the local schools, but our finances just don't allow it. From a physical perspective, with my hips having come apart (oh yes, I am now wearing a belt to hold my hips together because otherwise I can't walk!), I simply can't do it. Hence Kristin, the next best thing I figure.

Anyway, she made a really interesting suggestion. She recommended we bury half blown up balloons in the holes. The idea is that next time he digs in his favourite spots, the balloon will be punctured by his digging, burst, and scare the living daylights out of him. Hopefully, he will then be too scared to dig in that spot again, and over time, he should become too scared to dig.

Has anyone else heard of this remedy? Does it work? I dutifully buried a few balloons today, so if and when, I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Illnesses on our doorstep

Did you know that 42% of the pregnant women in Swaziland are HIV positive? That's what Tertia told me anyway, via Twitter. I'm not sure where she got the stat, or even whether the stat is based on ante-natal clinic attendance. Still, it's a pretty shocking stat.

According to UNAIDS/WHO, around 5.7 million South Africans were living with HIV at the end of 2007, including 280,000 children under 15 years old. This means that 1 in 5 adults is HIV positive and almost 1,000 AIDS deaths occur every day.

In 2007, 337 641 people were reported to be living with TB, and this figure was expected to rise to over 500 000 in 2008. The WHO ranks SA as the 4th worst TB country in the world, and TB is SA's number 1 killer, not AIDS.

When plagues hit the UK and Europe several centuries ago, and everyone was fleeing the cities, it was the Christians who stayed to care for the sick and dying. Today, in SA, we are surrounded by two deadly diseases, which might be considered new 'plagues'. With illnesses like these on our doorsteps, what is our response in the 21st century?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I thought I would avoid this topic completely, but find I am being drawn into making a comment on this hot topic. In SA, over the past few weeks, several cyclists have been struck and killed by motorists. In some cases, the cyclist was obeying the rules of the road and it was entirely the motorist's fault. In others, it was the other way around. Needless to say, the media has been full of comment from both sides - each accusing the other of being idiots and self-centred. One blog I follow has a particularly biased opinion on this matter, which almost made my stomach turn.

In general, I try to avoid thinking about media-sensationalised topics, because I know that logic will not prevail, so why bother trying? However, on this topic, I feel a good rant is needed.

Are motorists to blame? Yes. As my father once said to me - when you drive a car, you are handling a weapon that is more dangerous than a loaded, cocked gun. If you don't handle it properly, the gun will go off in your hands and you will kill either yourself or someone else. If a car is not driven with due care and attention, someone will be killed. Since motorists can kill cyclists easily, but the reverse is not as often true, the onus must be on the motorist to be vigilant and avoid a collision, EVEN IF the cyclist is not obeying the rules of the road. However, many motorists develop this 'king of the road' attitude the minute they get behind the wheel, and resent the presence of anyone else on the road - whether cyclist or motorist. As a result, many motorists are very poor drivers, especially in Cape Town!

Are cyclists to blame? Yes. Many cyclists are law-abiding individuals, but there are more than a few who simply don't follow the rules of the road. They ride 3 or 4 abreast. They weave in traffic. They don't signal. They don't wear appropriate gear that highlights their presence. They jump a red light to avoid having to take their feet out of their pedals grips (laziness!!).

Any rational human being could admit that BOTH sides are at fault. With that out of the way, it becomes possible to sit down and discuss real solutions to the problem. It's only when we stop pointing fingers at each other that dialogue becomes possible.

Is the media to blame in any way? Yes. Because instead of encouraging dialogue, they encourage finger pointing. Blame is much more scandalous and sells better. Dialogue is boring.

As a cyclist, I'm not perfect. Yet, I try. I take back roads when I can. I wear light and/or reflective clothing. I wear a helmet. I obey the rules of the road. As a motorist, I'm far from perfect. Yet, I try. I try to make a point of checking for cyclists (and motor cyclists) before I turn or cross lanes. I try to give them room on the road so they don't feel intimidated or frightened I'm going to run into them. I try not to use my hooter near them, particularly when they're in front of me. (Do you have any idea how terrifying it can be as a cyclist to hear someone hooting right behind you? Enough to make you fall off your bike!)

I'm not perfect, I admit that. (Just check the number of speeding fines I've had in the past 3 months!) But I try to see both sides and I try to make allowances for both sides. Is it really that hard for others to do? Surely, if we're going to try and build a better future for ourselves, for this country, we should stop and listen to each other? Isn't that the rational thing to do? Or am I just some weirdo out on a limb here?

I get so frustrated at the stupidity I see around me, the entrenched stereotypes that only serve to create misunderstanding and conflict. Sometimes I want to take some people and shake them: Wake up and smell the coffee - your reaction is only making things worse!

Farewell Marcello

I mentioned that last week our home group meeting was spent discussing Marcello - a man in our church who committed suicide. At the time, I couldn't picture him. Then I read this incredibly beautiful tribute to him, and suddenly I remembered who he was. He used to take Nellie for SuperChurch (the kids church group)!! Thinking about the man I met, I would never have guessed that a) he was depressed, or that b) he was suicidal. He struck me as someone who loved the kids deeply, someone deeply committed to Jesus, and to helping his fellow man. Although I never knew him personally, I found the tribute to him helpful - both in terms of learning more about who he was, but also in terms of how the church eldership viewed his act of suicide.


Could this be a tornado in the making? (Of course, the photo doesn't show the startling detail you could see in real life... it's always the way with photos.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I love Cape Town

Jonah - apart from being in the belly of a large fish, what else do you know about him? I thought I knew the story well, but this morning we heard a really great sermon on his story, which brought a fresh perspective to the story for me.

All these years, I've merely thought of Jonah as this rebellious guy who eventually succumbs to God's will, and Nineveh is saved as a result. However, maybe it's been a long time since I really read the story (you know how it is with stories you know well... if you re-read them, you often skip over bits because of what you're expecting to read). Yes, that is part of the story, but there's much more to the story of Jonah than just that.

Our preacher this morning was talking about Cape Town, and linking the story of Jonah & Nineveh to our story today, in Cape Town (or whichever city you live in). The reason that Jonah rebelled wasn't because he was afraid of failure, or afraid of being made to look like a fool. Rather, he was rebellious because he was afraid of success. He knew that if he went, the Ninevites would repent, and God would forgive them; that his mission would be a success. He didn't want that to happen because he didn't think the Ninevites deserved that measure of grace. He would rather have died than allow them to repent and receive God's grace. After all, these were heathens, non-Jews, with a history of violence & blood (not to mention other atrocities).

It's interesting that the history of the Bible, and of the whole creation, has been moving towards urbanisation and culminates in a city and with a city. (Let's not get into a debate now about the place of nature in a city - we are going to occupy a new EARTH, which implies places of natural beauty, not just urban environments.) Nineveh represented one of the greatest cities of the day, with a population of 120 000.

Essentially, the message that God told Jonah to take to them is the same message He has been bringing to the world since mankind first rebelled: you are more sinful than you realise, but you are more loved than you can ever imagine, so turn to God.

The challenge to us was this: will we be like Jonah, or Jesus? Are we more interested in keeping our religion 'pure', or in saving lives? Are we more interested in our own comfort zones, or in saving others? Are we willing to die to keep the status quo, or are we willing to die to save lives? Do we run from our cities, or to them?

I have to confess that my answers didn't please me. I don't really want to engage with the marginalised, the poor, the needy, the smelly, the ugly, the disabled, the homeless, the drug-addicted, the immoral, the amoral, the broken. I want to be left alone to just get on with my life in peace and quiet, in comfort and ease. I don't want to have my eyes opened. I don't want to have my heart broken again, or to feel so helpless and hopeless again. I don't want to have my hands and pockets emptied. I don't want to have my diary reorganised and my time reallocated. I've had enough tears to last me several life times, and I've lived through "enough" (isn't that such a relative term?!?!) economic hardship to write books on. I've experienced brokenness and isolation, abandonment and pain, and quite frankly, I don't see why I should put myself (or my family) through any more.

But the gospel of Jesus calls me to more. Very often others say Christians are just people who need a crutch. If only!! If I call myself a Christian, then I am called to pouring out my life, my love, my money and my time to others - and not just others like me, not just others who meet the standards I set for myself. I'm not just called to this self-sacrifice once, or for a season. This is a calling that is a way of life.

You want to know what the problem with God is? It's that he loves us too much to leave us alone. As I've prayed for God to restore my faith, to restore our relationship, to bring me back to a place where I can worship him with passion and abandon (rather than out of a sense of duty or academic recognition that he is worthy of it), to a place where the pain of losing Zoe fades as his goodness shines through that tragedy, he has taken me seriously.

In the first few months after losing Zoe, I couldn't pray. I couldn't worship. All I could do was cry. I was so angry with God that I knew I risked losing everything. I didn't want to be held by him, or have anything to do with him. It was my Christian family who kept me safe. They prayed for me when I couldn't. And their sole prayer was that God would honour his promise and bring me through this storm with my faith intact; that he would hold on to me when I could no longer hold onto him.

When I was eventually able to pray, that was my prayer too. I recognised that only God could save me, only God could bring me out the other side without losing my mind, my faith, my entire reason for being. I recognised that I had no power to hold onto God. I was stuck at the bottom of this hole and could not pull myself out. Everything I believed about God was up for debate, and unless he wanted me to drift away, he would have to do the hard work of bringing me back into the fold. In his gracious mercy, that's what he has done.

I still struggle to worship, but it's getting easier. My heart still wells with tears most Sundays, but alongside that, I can now give thanks (if not effusively, then at least honestly) for other blessings in my life. But God is not satisfied with that. He loves me too much to leave me at this point. While I will probably continue to grieve at some level for the remainder of my life on earth, God wants far more for me than I am currently experiencing. And that 'far more' includes growing me to the point where I can once again offer my life sacrificially in service of and to others.

Ugh! Right now, I could think of nothing worse. But I know that in time, God will change my heart. He will show me ways of being, ways of doing, that will make it possible for me to choose this way of the cross. He will enable me to follow in Jesus' footsteps, and to be involved in helping save the people of this city. The really interesting thing is that I actually look forward to that day. I look forward to the day when my life is wholly outward looking, rather than inward focused. Even though I know what it will mean, part of me also recognises that the best life is the life that is given away, not the life that is jealously guarded.

But I'm not there yet. One thing I have learnt though, is that God only asks me to take one step at a time. He doesn't' expect me to get everything right immediately, or get my life sorted out today. Right now, the step I'm taking is to get involved in church again, meet some new people, and start to build a new community and Christian family around myself. I can't walk this journey alone, and I will need people of faith and wisdom to walk alongside me, to share in the successes, and to gently correct me when I wander off the path. What comes after that, well, I'm sure God will show me when the time is right, and by then, I know it won't seem as big a jump as it does today.

So although my answers displeased me, I also know that I don't have to beat myself up about it. In his time and in his way, God will deal with me, and that's okay with me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

No more happy doors for us

Nope, we've decided to go with a pivot door instead. About double the price, but it offers greater security, and looks great. The only thing to decide upon now is exactly which style to go with. Really, this modern consumer world offers us too many choices. I mean, I love having choice, don't get me wrong. I love that I can express my creativity by having a door that very few others in my area have.

But just sometimes, I find it all rather exhausting. Life would certainly be simpler if there were only 10 doors and I had to choose one of them.

Of course, the trip was made much more interesting by having Nellie along, with the measuring tape. Between her constant, "and what do you think of THIS door, Mommy?" and her pulling out the tape measure to measure toilets ("3,5,2,7"), I had several chuckles to myself. Fever or no fever, she was a joy to have along with me today.

So we're one step closer to having a front door.... only several more to go.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

An 18th birthday party story

It's taken me a day or two to post this story, but I still think it's hilarious... now, that is.

I had had the day from hell at work: had too little breakfast, then missed tea because I got to be yelled at by one of our grounds staff about how Science Fair wasn't going to work, then developed the headache from hell. While I managed to get lunch, the headache persisted. After school, a gazillion things needed doing, all of which got interrupted by Science Fair kids asking questions and needing help. Rushed home a little late (second time this week. Sorry Priscilla!) only to find that Baggins had ONCE AGAIN chewed the irrigation system to bits.

And I lost it. Totally lost it. I dropped my bag, and my shoes, charged after the dog, grabbed him, dragged him back to the site of his destruction and gave him the biggest hiding of his life. It took me a while to get my blood pressure down again. That was just happening when Graeme arrived home. I can't remember why we were in the garden, but we were. Graeme thought I had a remote with me, so asked me to open the gate. I didn't, so I sent Nellie inside to push the button.

Several seconds (felt like minutes) later, the gate still wasn't open, so I wandered over to the window to see what she was up to. Lo and behold! What a sight met my eyes: Janel squatting on the bankie (Afrikaans for little table), poised above my handbag, diary and a set of marking.... weeing!!!! Full volume, full speed ahead, bladder bursting weeing.

Needless to say, my blood pressure shot SKY high instantly. I charged inside to try to rescue the kids' books and work, get Janel into the bath and stop the wooden floor underneath from getting stained. Boy was I mad!!!! Livid.

I think what happened was that she was so excited about everything she simply didn't recognise the symptoms of needing to wee, and then once she started, she simply couldn't get down and run to the toilet. It definitely wasn't deliberate, and I can laugh about it now. At the time though, I only saw red.

Of course, I will have to tell this story at her 18th. Simply have to.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You know you're a geek when...

... you want to buy a board game about computer programming!!

One of the social network sites I browse had a post today about a board game called C-Jump, which teaches kids (and adults!) the mechanisms behind computer programming. It uses the analogy of ski-ing, and as you navigate around the various ski trails, you have to complete various logical problems (which is essentially all that computer programming is).

I went to the site to check it out for myself, and now I WANT ONE!!! It looks so cool!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Return of the Hoola Hoop

At family lunch this afternoon, there were moments of hilarity and moments of sheer frustration. Frustration, because 3 of our cars had windows smashed and stuff stolen from them (including ours). Fortunately, we only lost our jump leads. The others lost radios and CDs. Hilarity because several members of the family got involved in hoola hooping. Yup, and I've got the evidence to prove it. The 80's lives again!

Once again, no idea why YouTube (and Blogger, for that matter - tried it with both) insist on turning the video round. I've edited it to be the right way round, but for whatever bizarre reason, they insist on ignoring my edits. Sorry. If you know of a way to prevent this from happening, please do let me know.

PS There is a video of Trish and Cath doing this on Facebook. Thought I wouldn't put both up here again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What's in a name?

OK, so let me ask you: what is a French door? Give me a proper definition. No wait, let me guess - you probably think that a French door is any set of double doors, with lots of little glass panes in it, leading from the interior to the exterior of a house. Right? Well, let's just say that if you think that, then you are as ignorant as I am.

A French door is any door, double or single, interior or exterior, that has multiple lites in it (and yes, they are spelt l-i-t-e). Lites are individual glass panels, which range from teeny tiny to the full length of the door. Now, and this is where it gets interesting, the TYPE of French door you have depends on the number and size of the lites.

Why am I telling you this? Because I discovered that the doors we're putting in as our new front doors (and maybe from our bedroom to the garden too) have a very special name. So picture this scene...

I'm saying goodbye to my dad, who's just been over to discuss the costing of our building works (did I mention that my dad is our builder??) as we break ground on Monday (YAY!!!). As he's leaving, he mentions that he's got some doors he took out of another flat we might be able to use. Except, he calls them... happy doors. I kid you not. I thought he was joking! I mean, who calls doors happy doors? But no, the joke was on me. Apparently, we are installing happy doors. Needless to say, I had a bit of hysterical laughter over that one.

So what exactly are happy doors, I hear you ask?THIS is a happy door. And the one below is a Kentucky door. The last image is of a Carolina door. All of these, apparently are french doors. The trad french door is given a very boring name, e.g. 10 lite, or 18 lite, depending on the number of individual square or rectangular panes.
But wait, there's more. Our happy doors also come with parliament hinges. Yup, no ordinary hinges for our happy doors. Nope, they get parliament hinges. What are parliament hinges? They're the hinges that stick out from the door, to enable you to open the doors flush to the outside wall, so they don't stand out at an angle to it.

Don't ever let me hear you refer to french doors again. No-one wants to be an idiot! And when we have our housewarming, I want to hear you refer to the parliament hinges. Yup, we're quite proud of our happy doors with parliament hinges, thank you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ask yourself: do you feel lucky, Punk?

This was sent to me as an email, and I just had to post it. I verified that this took place on 30 Dec 2006, and that these photos are the real, untouched deal. This is not just an urban legend. The email, however, did contain false info, so I've corrected that.

Look at the picture below and you can see where this driver broke through the guardrail, on the right side of the culvert, where people are standing on the road, pointing. The pick-up was traveling about 83 mph, from right to left, when it crashed through the guardrail after skidding 92 feet. It flipped end-over-end, bounced off and across the culvert outlet, and landed right-side-up, 20 feet away, on the left side of the culvert, facing the opposite direction from which the driver was traveling. The 22-year-old driver and his 18-year-old passenger were unhurt, except for minor cuts and bruises. Just outside Hurricane, Utah, on State Route 59.

Now look at the second photo...

If this guy didn't believe in Jesus before, do you suppose he believes now?

I certainly feel smaller!

If you want to see what a really large baby bump looks like, check this out! This woman had octuplets. (She already has 6 other kids, and she's a single mom.) Tell you what, makes me re-evaluate my complaints about the size of my bump!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So you feel small?

When you look out the window, the earth is so huge you can't see the end of it. Even up in a plane, you can't really see very much of the surface of the earth at once. It takes you 8 hours to fly at 300km/h from Cape Town to London - a mere 6012 miles. Yet our experience of the earth is that it's actually quite small... the Global Village. How small is it really?

One of the blogs I read regularly, Domkop, posted a link to a site with a gif about the relative sizes of things in the universe. You have to see it! I don't know where or how he found it, but it's incredible. Even for someone like me, who supposedly understands something about the relative sizes of things, I found this gif amazing. On the one hand, it's incredible how small our sun really is, in relation to other stars. It's amazing that something that feels so physically large to us (like the earth) is actually small. How small are we then?

On the other hand, what I find incredible is that God thinks we are more important than the largest star. So much so that he chose this little insignificant planet to put us on, and then chose to step onto it himself, to save us.

Really makes you think.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Farewell Angela

In December last year, I blogged briefly about a friend (one of Graeme's ex-girlfriends) who was battling ovarian cancer at the local hospital where we'll be having Baby 3. Sadly, she died this morning at about 5am.

Angela had only been married a year when her cancer was discovered. She was an incredibly brave woman, who suffered through every different variation of radiation and chemo possible - all without success. When I first heard that she had cancer, I knew immediately that she wouldn't make it. I don't know how I knew, but I knew. I desperately hoped she would. I prayed she would, but as every treatment failed, I became more sure of what I was trying to hide from. And now she's dead.

Thankfully, she died in peace, without pain, surrounded by family. I guess, under the circumstances, one can't really ask for more.

Yet I wonder - should I have said something to her 15 months ago when all this started? Should I have said anything to her at some point along the way? Would it have been better for her not to bother with treatment and rather enjoy what time she had left, rather than being constantly tired and nauseous and unable to do anything? Maybe she wouldn't have had as much time, but should I have said something anyway? Probably not, but still I wonder...

I guess if I were her, I would have opted for every treatment, no matter what someone else told me. I would have fought as hard as I could. She fought incredibly hard.

Mostly, I feel so sorry for her husband. They only had 1 year together. They never had children. Those are tragedies that only add to his grief and loneliness. I can only pray that in time he is able to find someone else to love and share his life with. Not because I want him to forget Angela, but because I want him to experience the joy of a lifetime spent with one person, and I want him to experience the joy of children.

Farewell, Angela. Rest in peace now and for eternity. The world is colder and darker for your absence from it, but we hope to meet again one day.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Some things change, some stay the same

With Graeme working at my Alma mater, I've found myself revisiting customs, events and school history. This morning, for example, he asked me who taught the girls about their skirts. I knew instantly what he was talking about. The girls are specifically instructed, by the school, about keeping the skirts of their dresses down and between their legs. They're taught to think about who might be able to see up it. e.g. when you walk or sit on stage, when you walk up/ down stairs, when the wind blows. It's one of those things that that I'd completely forgotten about until he mentioned it. Apparently, they're still doing it. Good for them, I say. I wish someone would teach the girls at my school because most of them have no idea about that kind of modesty!

But then, other things have changed. Like this pathway.
My first tutor room was just behind those doors. What is now a narrow, brick-paved path, used to be a wide, gravel path - wide enough to drive an ox-wagon on. When it rained, well, you'd traipse through a bit of a mud bath.

The garden on the right didn't exist, and the garden on the left marked the start of the matric quad. The matric quad has now moved to a quad on the other side of the school, which is smaller and isn't as pretty, but has more shade and is closer to the vending machines.

The only constant in life is that change will occur.

Photographic exhibition

We took Nellie to the Musuem today - pretty good value at only R15 per adult. Anyway, the reason we went was because it is the last weekend of the Wildlife Photograph of the Year exhibition. Although I know that I really should not have taken photos (for copyright reasons), I couldn't resist 3 of my favourites.

This is Graeme's favourite. It's an Artic sunrise, lighting a polar bear.
My second favourite is this one of leaves after rainfall. Look inside the water droplet. What do you see?And my favourite favourite is this one. The story goes that after 3 hours, the photographer gave up waiting for one of them to win. I remember, as a child, seeing a poster up in an office, with a similar sketch of a frog holding on to a bird's throat, refusing to be swallowed. The caption read something about perseverance. I think this is a much better picture of perseverance!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Baby 3 scan photos: 5 Feb 09

Here's the little one side on - you can see the spine and ribs beautifully, as well as the facial features and ears.
This one was taken a few moments later, showing the little one sucking a thumb. Aaahhh sweet!

And finally... can you guess what this one is? I'll give you a clue - the bright white circles are the feet, and you can see the leg bending away on the left. The third, smaller white patch in the middle is....???

Yup, our baby is a BOY!!!!

We are both in a bit of shock. We were utterly convinced we were having another girl, so he's taken us rather by surprise. I'm thrilled cos it means one of both, but I'm also rather nervous. Boys are reputedly much harder work as babies and small children. Plus, there's the added problem of having to buy a whole new wardrobe and toy sets. Sigh! There I was really hoping to get away with hand-me-downs. But, on the upside - this is the first boy in my blood side of the family (I'm not counting my step-siblings children here, but there are still 7 girls!!) so my family name lives on for another generation. Yay!

Now.... what on earth are we going to call him?! I've only been thinking of girl names. Back to the drawing board.

Nothing traditional. Nothing too long. Nothing that has a weird nickname. Nothing with a pagan meaning (like the god of war, or something). Something that works with our mouthful of a double barrel surname (poor mite!). Something with a spiritual meaning. Nothing starting with J. Something that works in an African culture, in English and in Afrikaans (but can be from any culture/ language). Suggestions, anyone???

Please God, may he live to meet his family, take his first breath, open his eyes, cry, smile, eat, poo... Ha ha... My mom's first response was - good for you, now what about another one after that so you can have 2 girls?? Ha ha!! I think if he lives, never mind has all his fingers, toes (which he does at the moment!), etc, then I will be quite satisfied to stop there.

Will he play rugby (should we allow him to play rugby, or just Touch???), or cricket, or soccer? Or will he want to be a ballet dancer??? AAAHHH!! Boys! What do you DO with a boy?

I'm sure we'll figure it out as we go, just as we did with Nellie. I was so convinced that he was a girl though, which meant that lots of this stuff would be old hat... now I feel like a first-time mother again.

Wow. A boy. On balance though, I really am thrilled. What a blessing. A son.

Monday, February 02, 2009


We never go out to movies. There's the hassle of finding a babysitter, or paying for one if the usual grandparent pool has been exhausted. Then you have to drive all the way there and find parking. Then you have to pay for the movie, and you always get suckered into buying popcorn and coke and sweets at exorbitant prices because you were running late and so didn't have time to pop into Spar and buy some sweets to sneak into the theatre. And then you can't pop to the loo during ad breaks or by pausing the movie (which is a crucial option for me at the moment).... So we don't go to movies all that often.

Despite all these drawbacks, I really love going to the movies. But I love watching movies at home more.

But we never hire out movies, because when do we ever have time to a) drive over to the video store or b) come to a mutually pleasing decision about which video to hire? I mean, please!

So usually we wind up watching whatever movies are on TV. And, sadly, we don't even have DSTV... (too expensive, too much hassle to set it up, and we'd probably wind up TV addicts more than we are). Nope, we're E-TV and SABC viewers.

What that means is that we've seen all the movies (at least once) that come on. But we watch them never the less. Something is better than nothing, and we're usually too tired to concentrate on reading a book, or haven't had time to go to the library before it closes to take some out.

Last night we had a very pleasant surprise though: there was a movie on that neither of us had seen. 'Mr and Mrs Smith'. It's about a couple who are both assassins, but neither knows about the other. We weren't expecting great things (after all, this is terrestrial TV!), but as it had Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, there was eye candy for both of us.

Well, slaan my dood! What a good movie! We giggled and laughed our way through the (entirely predictable) plot, and loved the action scenes. For a Monday night, it was great viewing. Who knew that terrestrial TV actually could produce the goods.


Here is Nellie with her bandage on her burn. It's a second degree burn, but only about 3 x 3 cm large. She's been really brave thus far about having her bandage changed. Tonight was not such a time however - Graeme had to hold her down so that I could change it and put more antiseptic on it (see next post for the after photo... I couldn't get a 'during' photo, for obvious reasons). Not a pleasant experience for any of us! But now she's smiling again. Chocolate does wonders!

New bandage

New bandage