Friday, 24 June 2016

Five for Friday edition 11

  • In about an hour's time I am out of the office for a whole 9 days! It's been a while since we had a proper break and we all really need it.
  • On Monday afternoon, God willing, we will be at the seaside - toes in the sand and sun on our faces. Yes, I know it's Winter but it will be fantastic! I just know it.
  • The kids all brought lovely report cards home - I am very proud and humbled by every great mark. They have all worked hard and earn this break.
  • I had a terrible cold this week - and could not really take time off work. Neurophen Cold and Flu and a 1000mg Vitamin C did the trick and I am already feeling 99% healthy.
  • I have done my first order with Spree and am delighted with their service - I at last have boots that fit and got them on the Boots discount day - have a look guys - they have discount days for categories. (This is purely shared out of public interest - I have no affiliation with Spree)
With that - I hope you have a great weekend! And a great week.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

I am angry today

I am angry because a bunch of thugs paralyzed a big part of our city yesterday. I am angry that politics are used as a motivation for burning, looting and destruction. I am angry that Lucy slept in a car with her neighbours last night at a filling station because she was scared to go back home and that she may not be able to come to work once again today. I am angry that one of our office workers can not write his last exam of the semester today because the university he is attending is close to the affected areas and is closed for the day.That another one is not able to get to work for the second day running as the buses are being burned and the taxis avoiding the area. We are the lucky ones - our part of the city is calm and safe.

I am angry that so many lives are disrupted - apparently because of the tribal origin of the ruling party's mayoral candidate. Or as Lucy so rightly explains - just an excuse to steal and be a horrible person for the day. To sow destruction and feel you have the right to.

Monday, 20 June 2016

For a rest and a bit...

So how has everybody been? I took a nice 4 day long weekend with the kids and it was really great - well mostly. But don't you agree with me - school should have closed down on Wednesday - now we have this loos week in between and honestly no one is feeling like school. All 3 kids had quite a bit of homework today so it is not like the academics has slowed down on bit. Our weekend in a nutshell:
  • The boys both had friends over on Friday after both the friend's moms helped me out for a few hours the morning while I took A to the doctor. The boys had huge fun - all 4 or the two sets apart. The lounge was turned into a Lego den for most of the day and the next and wonderful creations were build.

  • After participating in a hockey course on Thursday A had to pay a visit to the doctor on Friday morning with a swollen and sore foot. Turns out a stress fracture has been forming over a period of time and that the hockey was just the last straw. 4 Weeks of rest, strapping and some anti inflammatories and she should be good for the go. Apparently a rather common event for growing kids especially dancers, gymnasts, long jumpers and long distance runners.
  • C yesterday had a huge fall while walking with the dogs - so he has grazed knees, an ankle and an elbow. The poor kid is walking with greater difficulty than A at the moment.
  • We saw the Angry birds movie - the kids loved it - I should have taken a podcast or something along... Honestly most kids movies give something adults can enjoy - this one - nothing! Or am I the odd on out here? Please give me some feedback.

  •  A had two parties - a Disco dance one on Wednesday night which was a huge hit with all the boys and girls. It was for a boy /girl twin pair that are leaving for the USA this week - so a farewell too. She also had a very relaxed picnic under the trees at the Botanical garden on Saturday where they all just chilled.
  • I also managed to get all the kids mostly sorted with winter clothes - yes I know, it's halfway through but I just did not get the chance up to now. I have to take them all along and can really not buy for them without them with me any more. 
  • We tried to make yesterday a great Fathersday for our Hunter - he is such  a brilliant dad and deserves every minute of the day. We took him breakfast in bed and had lunch at my moms. (Which he helped to cook but was happy to do so)

  •  And we realized once again on Saturday night that the kids will push boundaries - even at 11 and 8 and that you have to lay down the lines. Hence there are two kids in our house with no access to their tablets and no TV until we decide that they have done their dues.
It was a really good weekend - all things considered the downs were really less than the greats. Now onwards to the holidays.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Yeah - Tuesday books day

Yes, that time of the week - let's talk books! And although my last book post was one of my least commented on I shall persist with this because I do love them and I know there are a few of you who particularly drop by for the book posts.

Today I will be reviewing two South African books - one in English and one in Afrikaans (which I will do in Afrikaans). I have joined a few Facebook pages dedicated to books and on one of them there was a recent discussion on South African books. The initial poster mentioned that she is not reading any South African books at the moment as she is finding them "as depressing, violent and sad as the general state of the country". This triggered a days long discussion about South African books and authors. Most other members were quite shocked by this and posted many alternative South African reads that will not fit the depressing, sad and violent category. Neither of the books I am reviewing fit this description - although  there is possibly enough violence in "Skarlaken" it is the type that will be found in any good murder mystery and reminds one of the great Scandinavian crime writers.  So , before you read or skip over the reviews - please tell me which South African books or authors do you enjoy or do you also find South African fiction depressing, violent and sad? And what are you reading right now?

The Sculptors of Mapungubwe By Zakes Mda
 Imagine being able to look into the past and live in the thriving gold rich city of Mapungubwe. I have always been fascinated by the history of South Africa before the recorded part we know so well. By the little gold rhino and the other artifacts. By the links to the Eastern African kingdoms and talk of trade with the East.

In this book Mda draws a beautiful and detailed picture of the city state with the story of two "brothers" - rivals in every way , the two lead sculptors of Mapungubwe. It is the age old story of jealousy and betrayal, of love for a woman and power over many. He imagines the city and describes it so well that it forms a complete picture in your head - prompting me to read about it and what is knows to us today.

Well researched but also colourfully imagined this is a n intriguing and captivating read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Skarlaken deur Irma Venter
Om een of ander rede het ek tot nou toe nie 'n enkele Irma Venter book gelees nie . Hierdie een het ek in die boekklub krat opgetel, dieselfde aand begin lees en kon hom nie neersit voordat ek klaar was nie. Wat 'n heerlike ontdekking - nog 'n lekker speurstorie skrywer in Afrikaans.

Jaap Reynecke kan nie die dood van sy peetkind, Janien Steyn daar laat tot hy haar moordenaar gevang het nie. Al is dit nou 3 jaar later. Hy vra Sarah Fourie, hacker en rekenaar genie om hom te help in sy ondersoek en kort voor lank bevind sy haar kniediep in die omdersoek.

Janien is kort voor haar troue met haar universiteitsliefde gevries in die pan op hul plaas gevind - halflyf in die modder , op 'n fiets met 'n vliegbril en in haar trourok. Boonop met 'n dekoraiewe skarlaken drapeersel. Op die oog af 'n gewilde kunstenaar en besigheidsvrou ontdek Sarah veel meer oor haar.

Ek het die boek baie geniet- dit het my fasineerd gehou reg tot op die laaste bladsy. Wondelike kleurvolle effe anderse karakters gee die boek sy lewe. Ek kan nie wag om meer Sarah stories te lees nie - uiteindelik 'n sterk vroulike hoofkarakter en protoganis. 

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Loving at the moment....

Zambuk - honestly nothing compares to the way it cares for chapped winter lips. I even use it around my nails where my skin tends to get irritated in the winter months. The cherry one smells great but leaves a red residue.
My new snood crochet by one of the moms at school. I love the colours and casual appeal of it and that I can wear it with almost anything. I know it is going to be a weekend staple. I do love scarves , buffs and snoods in winter.
Sorbet Nail polish remover - the most amazing nail polish remover you have ever seen. It cleans fast and there is none of the struggling to get dark colours off. It also features a brilliant salon pump on the top that works extremely well. And if you compare by volume you pay for it costs no more than the other brands.
My earworm for the last few weeks has been "If I die young" by The Band Perry. It was one of the pieces of music used for A's Lyrical dance exam and it refuse to leave me alone. It is truly a beautiful tune with stunning words and a cute video . I never heard it when it was a hit so it was all new to me. Do you know the song? For the rest they danced to the music of Pink, One Direction and Ellie Goulding.

And I am truly loving that A is writing her last exam tomorrow morning!

So tell me what you are loving right now.
I was not asked in any way to blog about any of the products and bought mine. This is merely in the interest of "public service" and not intended as a promotion.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Gosh people!

At 4:33 yesterday morning I wake up with "bing bong" - Whatsapp notification. Followed within seconds by another one. Guess who it was? A mom on the under 9 rugby group (and a wonderful great mom - one of our "village")- adding to a conversation on something that takes place this coming Saturday. The worst is that another mom answered. By 5:10 am there were 6 messages from 6 parents! Needless to say - my phone will be on silent in the future because sleep escaped both Hunter and I for the rest of the morning.

My question is - do you not even consider that some parents are still asleep? Yes I know there are "Do not disturb" functions but we have elderly parents - that is not an option. Have we become a generation where there is no consideration and privacy for sleep and we have to be available 24 hours of the day? A roster for duty at a food stal was posted at 5:05 and revised by 5:37 - when I would generally still be in dream land. And feedback was requested. Gosh people!

Of course I am wondering if I get up too late? What are you supposed to do at 4:30 that I am not doing? Exercising comes to mind...  I usually get up at 5:45 but we do live very close to school and work.

So honestly - at what time do you wake up? And would you randomly Whatsapp to a group at 4:33am? Am I old fashioned to think it is maybe a bit inconsiderate?

Friday, 3 June 2016

Five for Friday edition 10

Gosh a week without posts - it's been a very busy one though
  • I have spent the last two days at the Sustainability week - more correctly the Green Building conference so my 3 workdays have been full and very busy. Apart from the nitty gritty of the conference there where quite a few interesting side things to see - beautiful new electric cars from BMW, solar lights and phone chargers and cool water wheelbarrows. And amazing ideas to recycle car tyres.

  • The boys ended a great rugby season yesterday with just one loss in the league. L had a great little run for the goal line yesterday but was tackled a few meters short. Although Mr C was not playing this week because:
  • Mr C has been at home since Tuesday - he has the horrid combination of Bronchitus and Croup like he last had years and years ago. I feel so sorry for him - he is literally coughing until his tummy hurts. As a result of the above last night was one that brings back 4/5 years ago's nights of little and broken sleep. I am exhausted this morning. And thankful that it's now an exception and not the norm any more.
  • Our cauliflower plants in the veggy patch has grown to almost shrub like size - with no head in sight. I am wondering what went wrong? Any ideas?

  • Our Princess had her first non ballet dance exam last Saturday - grade 4 Lyrical. It's been only 5 months since she started this discipline and when I realized that she and her friend were the youngest two girls to do this exam at their dance school I was a admittedly worried. But not only did she pass the exam  - she passed it with a distinction! We are very proud of her and the hard work she has put into it.
With that - wishing you a great weekend! And share your 5 things for Friday.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Five for Friday edition 9

So how has your week been? Mine in a nutshell:

  •  The Angry Birds bug has bitten - and Spar has another of those campaigns that can possibly drive parents nuts. I have informed the kids that there will not be 3 collectors albums - just one which they will share. The kids fully agreed - do not say we did not learn something from those darn Stikeez. We collected the first booklets of stickers in very little time (I pass a Spar between work and home so milk and bread shopping is always there) and the kids each used their pocket money savings to buy one. I have to say that the big ones are soft and cuddly.

  • A had a tummy bug on Monday and Tuesday - rather horrid timing because she missed two tests and exams start this Monday so she missed on study time but I guess it is better timing than next week - if there is anything like that even. 
  • The kids have had a rather fabulous sport week - the boys' rugby team had two huge wins (43-7 and 37-0 ) this week and A's hockey team had a 4-0 win last Friday. This afternoon they face a very tough hockey match - hoping they will do well again.
  • Autumn is incredibly beautiful - this year we seem to have ore grey skies than the usual. This picture was taken on Friday afternoon at an icy cold hockey match. 

  • I have a new favorite scarf - one of about 3 thing I like in winter(Scarves, boots and soup) - I ordered it on Facebook, paid and had it in less than 24 hours. Try Mooi Moois for fabulous service and beautiful products. I am hugely impressed.
So tell me about your 5 things for today.
Disclaimer - Mooi Moois have no idea I am giving them a shout out. I bought my product off Facebook and am just very impressed.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

So what do you do with your evenings?

Odd question? I think not. Please do not tell me you are watching series and catching up on Game of Thrones. Why do I specifically single out Game of Thrones? Well it is just the current office obsession around here. Every now and again they come and go. It used to be Gosworth park, Grey's anatomy, CSI, the Mentalist, The Blacklist, Homeland, The Dome- you name it.

The point is not really that. The point is - where do you get the time? I am honestly asking myself at the moment what on earth is happening to my evenings. Admittedly I would personally rather read a book than watch TV but that's besides the point. For the last two weeks I did not read three pages before falling asleep. I am just tired. Ideally I want to be in bed by 10 but seldom achieve that. I am also not a Winter person so getting into bed earlier is a much better option than staying up. A bit like a mini hibernation.

There has been winter cupboard organization and decluttering - which did make me extremely happy. And looking through piles of old tests and notes and finding the best ones to copy for A's exams - starting on Monday. The usual washing up, lunch boxes and cooking for tomorrow night - but Hunter is a champion in helping with this - some nights totally taking it over.

Oh I complain about nothing really because Monday night I cuddled with A, sick and not going to school on Tuesday and watched Survivor. Alas - it's my own management that need to improve - my own priorities to set.

I do of course have a nice pile of books waiting on my bedside table, a half finished painting, many colouring in books calling my name and a very behind Project Life album. It's more a question I guess of wanting to do too much than having too little time. Of managing what needs to happen first or what I want to happen first.

But tonight I am going to get into bed early and watch "The Fault in our Stars " - a book I hugely enjoyed but never seen the movie. Call it girl time with myself. Tonight the rest can wait. Even the books. I have set my priority. Maybe that is the answer! Setting the evenings' priority ahead of the time - then knowing exactly what to expect of it.

So tell me - what are your evenings like? I know for some I have a huge luxury in having nay time at all to myself in the evenings . And is there anyone else that have so many nice things you want to do - and do tell me what they are.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Another Tuesday booksday

I am leaving today's Book review over to A - who wrote this review for school and gave me permission to publish it here. So here's something for the tween girls to read:
Meet Mia Thermpolis – an ordinary girl that feels very unpopular and struggles to pass her Algebra exam. One morning she wakes up as herself and goes to bed that same night as Amelia Migonette Grimaldi Thermpolis Renaldo – Crown Princess of Genovia.

Today, I am reviewing The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. Mia lives in Manhattan, New York with her artist Mom who is dating one of her teachers, Mr. Gianini. Her Dad, after falling ill with cancer, decides it’s time for Mia to grow into the Crown Princess she is destined to be.

The storey also features Mia’s best friend, Lilly who I do not like so much as she is very arrogant about being smart and having her own TV show. My favourite character however is Grandmêre who has the task of teaching Mia to be a proper Princess of Genovia. I realise a lot of readers may not like her but I think she is funny and wise and although she and Mia often do not agree they do love each other. Mia in particular is a warm and honest character that you grow to love.

The book reminds us that even if we used to something our wholes lives, it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily the truth. Mia makes many mistakes in the book but she always learns from her choices. The story also teaches us that what may seem very ordinary may disguise something very extraordinary.

I really recommend the book for girls. It’s a great story with wonderful characters you will grow to love. Maybe we all want to be Mia and be a real life Princess or maybe we would like to have a wonderful best friend like Mia.