Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So long, farewell, aufwiedersehen, adieu....

I can't believe how incredible Gumtree is. It really does work to list your stuff there. How do I know this? Because something I thought would take MONTHS to sell, sold in less than 24 hrs!

The dealer from whom we bought my new car was unwilling to take my old car as a trade-in because it's an import. We decided to try to sell it privately, on Gumtree, and if that failed, to then go to the online sites, and if that failed, to then sell it for scrap.

So last night, I listed the car. This morning, I had a spate of calls from interested parties. They were vying with each other to be the first to bring me cold hard cash. The end result? My old car, imported from the UK, was sold within 24hrs of listing on Gumtree!

Part of me was very sad to see someone else drive away in my Michelle. She played a big part in our lives for so many years - she was from the pre-children era, and part of the process of us settling into life in the UK. And now she's gone. I hope her new owner doesn't drive around the same places I do - I'm not sure that I can bear seeing someone else in her all the time...

But the rest of me was ecstatic! I simply can't believe that we were able to sell her in such a short period of time, or that we managed to get our asking price for her. I'm thrilled that I consequently have the space to park my new baby in our driveway, without having to park a car outside on the street all night.

But it does feel weird. Looking out the kitchen window at the new car parked outside, I keep catching myself wondering who's visiting us and where my car is, and then in the same instant, remembering... and feeling both elated and mournful. Very weird emotional day all round.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A dream is realised

Over the past year have become intimately acquainted with all of the big online car sites. I could just about use them blindfolded. I could spot a new listing a mile away, and tell you the pricing history of any long term listings. Why? Because I was searching for a new car. Not just any car, mind you - I needed a 7 seater that could take my kids, my dogs, all the bikes, all our holiday luggage as well as all our camping gear without bulging at the seams, falling over or apart, or simply giving up the ghost.

Once I found the make and model that I liked AND we could afford (there is a difference between the two!) I then started searching in earnest. I wouldn't exactly call this the car of my dreams, because that doesn't involve needing to transport children, bikes or luggage, but it comes as close as is practically possible. (My dream car would do 0-100 in less than a second and have a maximum speed of at least 250km/h, would be red, and have all kinds of really cool on-board technology.)

Nearly a year after beginning the process, I found THE car. Right year, right engine size, right colour, right city, and (most importantly) right price. I was ecstatic! I immediately sent an email to the dealer. Being late on a Saturday, I figured I wouldn't hear anything until Monday, but by Monday morning I was so wound up I figured I wouldn't wait to hear, and so we took a drive out to the dealer to go and test drive the car.

We arrived, only to discover that someone else had beaten us to it! The car I had been hunting for so long had been stolen, from right under my nose. We left, but only after the sales rep had promised she would call me within 24hrs to let me know whether the other person's finance offer had been accepted.

Less than 24hrs later, I couldn't bear the wait any longer, so I called. Had the car, in fact, been sold? And then came the words I had dreamed I would hear - 'No, the finance had not been approved'. Less than an hour later we were back at the dealer, test drive completed, with paperwork filled out and signed. That car would be mine, by hook or by persistence (not by crook... I'm not that kind of person after all... but it doesn't rhyme as nicely, I know.)

After a quick stop at the shops, I was home and the money was EFT'd into the dealer's account. I BOUGHT MY CAR! I still can't believe that this beautiful, wonderful car will soon be delivered to me... It's taken a year, but in just a few days, I will finally see my dream realised: a car that meets our needs as a family, with all the add-on's that I was looking for.

How will I sleep tonight???? The excitement is just overwhelming.

Monday, June 27, 2011

You and Rape

This booklet has been put out by, which gives the legal definition of rape, as well as explaining how to deal with a rape in South Africa. Everyone, men and women alike, should read it. It's in a PDF format, but uses a flash reader.

Bloody boy

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Scary moment

We decided to make the most of the sunshine today and took the kids to the Common. We were playing on and around the fallen trees, when an old school friend & his wife showed up. We were standing chatting when Nathan suddenly started screaming. I turned around to see him fallen over, and blood pouring off his face - far more blood than I've seen in a while. In that instant, my heart stopped. There's nothing like seeing your child injured like that.

But then, reason reasserted itself. If he's screaming, he's going to be fine. It's the silent ones that are seriously injured. Also, the face/head area always bleeds far more than the injury seems to warrant, so however much blood there appeared to be, the injury probably wouldn't be that serious.

Running over, I realised that he'd tripped and fallen, but because he was holding a stick in his hand, he had gouged himself with the stick. Thank God, it didn't go into his eye! (Could you imagine if that happened?) At first, I couldn't see what the damage was, because there was so much blood and I didn't have anything to staunch the flow with. Fortunately though, the friend's wife is a doctor. She took a quick look, and assured us that it wasn't too serious.

We headed back to the car and cleaned him up a bit, to discover that he has a rather large chunk missing from his lip. I'm sure will leave a permanent scar. Poor baby - he's going to struggle to eat and drink for a while, but he'll live.

The mother breathes a sigh of relief. The child takes a massive dose of painkillers with his bottle. Here's hoping we BOTH sleep better tonight.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Occasionally, just occasionally, something nice happens without requiring that you actually DO anything to earn it... which is nice! I've won a blog award!!! Yes - ME!! Woo hoo!
This award was given to me by Caz. She's a friend I've met through Born Sleeping, but I got to know her better through Twitter. (See - Twitter DOES have uses other than telling people what you ate for breakfast!)

There are some rules that go with it:
1) I have to choose five other people who deserve it and pass the awards along
2) Regale you all with seven random facts about me
3) Let the people that you give the awards to know
4) Thank the person who gave you the award

Ok, so here goes... 1) Five others, eh?

Our Sonshine - this blog is the story of a school friend whose first baby was born with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome. The story of her struggles to process the lows and the joys of the highs helps to keep me centered as a person.

When the flames go up - this blog is jointly written by divorcees LOD and Moxie, a`bout their experiences of co-parenting following their divorce. It takes a special sort of person to be as open as they are, through the pain of their divorce, and reading their blog reminds me that when life is tough, really tough, I still have a choice about how I choose to live.

Slight cheat on this one... it's not strictly a blog, but I love Sarah Britten's columns for Thought Leader. While I don't always agree with her point of view, I find her writing insightful and thought-provoking, plus she's slightly sarcastic, which I always enjoy.

Bee is another school friend. She's working in Bosnia as a YWAM missionary. While I lived overseas for nearly 8 years, I missed home ALL the time and could never imagine making a foreing country my permanent home. Bee has done that, happily, willingly, because it's what God has called her to. I love her courage to live by her convictions, and the example that she is to me.

Bron is a varsity friend, and another one who has moved her life overseas. What I love about her blog is her honesty - WYSIWYG. When things are good, she blogs the celebrations. When things are rubbish, she blogs the struggle with honesty. What an inspiration to me!

OK - moving on to #2 - 7 random facts about me:
1) I like salted peanuts on vanilla ice-cream.
2) I am happier in jeans than any other type of trousers/ pants - I would rather wear jeans than anything else. (In fact, I hate ordinary trousers. I only wear them because I'm not allowed to wear denim or tracksuits to work, and skirts with stockings are just too darn cold in winter.)
3) I have a blood disorder - APS - that means I feel the cold MUCH more than others, and struggle to exercise, because my blood doesn't pump fast enough (it's "sticky").
4) I saw 25 lengths in the pool this past weekend - I swam lengths for the first time in YEARS.
5) I walked the dogs in the rain today - and hated it.
6) I love medical dramas - ER, House, Grey's...
7) I went to watch a dance performance at the Baxter this past week - also for the first time in YEARS.

And moving on to #3... that's done.

So on to #4. Caz - thank you. I really do appreciate the acknowledgement. There aren't many people who read my blog regularly (not like Tertia's blog... LOL!) so I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read my ramblings. You're a special person, but you know that already. Big hugs!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who do you depend on?

About 2 weeks ago G went for major surgery on his stomach - hiatus hernia. That meant that I was single parenting for a while, first while he was in hospital, and later while he was recuperating at his folks' place. In the midst of all that, Nate got violently ill (vom-di in the wee, small hours, and then right through the day...), Priscilla (our nanny) fell & hurt herself so badly she was booked off for a week, I was finalising Nathan's party and present, and trying to organise a present for my dad's birthday too (which is next week).

I know that single parents cope simply because they have to, and they don't have a choice. Those single parents who have more than one small child though - goodness gracious, I hope they have help! I coped: I didn't kill the kids, I kept them in clean clothes, I kept them fed and bathed, and I managed to keep the dogs fed too. However, the kids & dogs didn't cope so well. The change in routine upset them terribly. As a result, there was acting out at all levels and at all times.

The experience taught me that, God forbid anything should happen to G, I could cope on my own, but only if I still had a good support structure. What it also reminded me is just how much I depend on G - which is as it should be. We're a team, designed to work together, which we do. But it was nice to be reminded about just how much our lives are interwoven and how much I rely on him.

It also reminded/ taught me just how important it is for kids to have two parents. They need both of us, for different reasons.

Of course, now that G is back, the kids are acting up again, but this time because they both want his undivided attention. LOL! You can't win, can you?

I'm so glad that G is in my life. I'm so grateful to have such an amazing man to rely on. I love him for the incredible person he is, but I love him just as much for the fact that he's such a fabulous husband and father. I'm a really blessed lady!

Birthday boy

The birthday boy's comment on his cake & being sung to? WOW!

What a weekend he has had! Presents galore, and TWO parties! (Yup, he also went to the party of his almost-twin who was born 2 weeks after him.) Needless to say, he's been wired all weekend, and on a serious sugar high, but it's been so good to see him happy after the misery we've had the past week or so. (Ugh, let's not go there...)
In addition to some of the wonderful presents he received, he also got a new tooth! What a lucky boy. Good thing the tooth fairy doesn't have to pay for new teeth, just old ones!