How to describe that word?

It’s an overwhelming feeling of antipathy. Have much to do, don’t feel like doing it. Have people to talk to, can’t be bothered. Shows to watch, meh.

I think many people suffer from meh-ness at least once a month. Some more, some less, but there will always be days like this.
For me, it’s not a common thing – life usually has at least something that’s worth doing, but when meh strikes, boy oh boy!

It’s the end of a very long year. I just had a major b day that was not celebrated in the least. All these things lead to meh. Why, you may ask? Well, when meh strikes, you wonder why you do all the things that you do. Run around like a headless chicken, wiping snotty noses or smelling poo nappies or having to deal with obnoxious little brats or painting yet another Christmas tree or rolling a bunch of little balls for somebody that will, in all likelihood, not appreciate a minute of the work you’ve out in.

Going to work, albeit only half-day, seems such a schlepp because, since it’s the end of the year, not much is happening. The holiday feeling is heavy in the air, people are wearing sundresses and shorts and picking up the kids earlier than usual, but I have to stick around until the last minute – because there’s always a few that pushes it to the last minute.

Painting the current Christmas tree, when not a single other person on the property has even bothered with a Christmas feeling, seems redundant. Making gits, after you’ve been told that, thanks, but I have enough little things on my dressing table, sort of takes a lot out for me – I like making things, but have ever made it for people that can’t seem to grasp the time and effort that goes into a home made gift, well, meh.

Tomorrow, things will look different. It usually does, But while meh lasts, not much gets done.

And I have to drag myself forward to the point where I can see the sun shine and think of it as a bright new day, instead of just another day to get through.

Hoping our day will turn out for the absolute best…



While I understand the feeling of giving somebody a major slap in the face for being irritating or an idiot, I don’t understand the need to hack somebody up with a machete or something.

I also can’t understand the need for one person to rape another. Watch enough Criminal Minds or Law & Order : Special Victims Unit and you see that it happens and that there are a reason for it, but understand? Probably not.

And then you have the protesters. Against whatever is happening at that point in time.

In the good old RS of A, we currently have a rape case in court. A 20 yo male raped a 7 yo girl. He’s being sent for psychiatric evaluation – something must not quite equate in his head to have done something like that – a topic for another blog; normal vs not normal.

We also have a high level of violence against women and children for whatever reason. And now we have a protest against gender violence. A student – who else? – is going to “go naked” at the court proceedings because it’s never the victims fault, regardless. While I totally agree with that statement, I can’t really see how being naked is going to change anything. She certainly feels strongly about her chosen situation, and by all means – if you feel it will change something, do it.

So, I’m sitting here, thinking. Rape has never been about sex. It has ever been about power. Power over a weaker person, power over your perceived enemy. Power over your own weak mind.

And as such, walking around naked will not bring anything to the table. It does not, in fact, face the real issue. The real issue of one person subduing another person with their fists or penis or mouth. That is the culture that you must break. The feelings of inadequacy in the tormentor that leads them to lash out at their token tormentee. The non-firing synapses in the brain of a person that feels it’s OK to rape a 7 yo, or to shoot a bunch of innocents, or burn an old person to death with a iron. The idea that a woman or a child is a possession, something to own instead of nurture and love and lift up and teach.

Therefor, I will not be joining the young lady in her naked protest – some bodies are meant to be hidden from the eyes of the world. But I will speak out when I see the situation happening, I will face the man or woman doing the hitting, and I will try to talk the other party into looking after themselves and their children.

From experience, it’s better to have a difficult abuse free life than an easy abused life – after all, you are all that you have. Men come and go, women come and go, children leave, parents die – in the end, you will only have yourself so you owe it to yourself to have a good life.


The only certain thing…
Other than Death and Taxes of course.
As lives go, I’ve not lead the most evenly spaced. It’s not been all bad, but there have been some bad times – it often feels like there have been more bad times than good.
But, all thing change. Nothing lasts forever – not the bad, and not the good either.
Last year was one of the bad times. From March, no income – not even unemployment from the Government. I suppose they though that, since I’m a whitie – that much reviled species in the Suck Heap – I don’t deserve their largess. Thank Heavens for family. If not for them, I would now have been in a squatter camp of my own somewhere with all the other members of my reviled species.
Then, one night, as I was sitting in my lounge, doors open wide to listen to the night sounds, a wind came up. It billowed the curtains and blew straight into my heart – a wind of change. I wrote about it at the time. I felt the cleansing it brought. The promise of a change, a new beginning. At the time, I felt refreshed, heartened. Of course, such feelings do not last. I mean, how much stock can you really put into a wind blowing? Regardless of what you felt when it happened. So I left it and carried on with life as best I knew how.
And then I got a call. Do you think you can look after kids? Help them with their homework in the afternoons?
Well, uhm, yeah… I probably could. I did not say what I really thought – that’s the last thing I want to do! Look after a bunch of bloody rugrats while they moan and groan and cat all spoilt…
Suffice to say, I had nothing else in the cards. Only possibles of maybe selling a house, or maybe selling long term insurance, maybe finding a job in a market that’s not on my side on either age or colour – so I took the offering as a sign of the wind and the Universe and my G-d actually delivering on a promise made. I grabbed it with both hands and now I have to eat my words.
I am at the coast. Living in a cute, albeit noisy, flat, a few plants, a few birds that I feed every day, enough to eat, place to sleep and benefactors that make me feel guilty for all they do for me. They pay me a decent salary. They gave me a car to drive with, a cleaning service once a week, and they pay for my electricity and the flat I stay in.
And the kids, you may ask? Those terrible rugratty ankle biters? Lovely boys. Well mannered for the most part, mostly prepared to listen to me, and do what I teach them. They enjoy my company as I enjoy theirs. I feel as if I’m actually doing something constructive – I play a part in these kids’ lives. I can try and make a difference to the outcome of their years. I don’t just help a company make more and more and more money to the detriment of my soul.
I help kids – and I think that’s kinda real. Sure I get paid to do it – that was, after all the reason I took the job – but it seems more than just a job. Not something I’ve ever felt in any of the many jobs I’ve had throughout my life.
I miss my house and my people and my animals – especially my animals. But this opportunity? This is something that I thank G-d for every day of my life.
I see the ocean every day – sometimes I even walk next to it. I have a bit of extra cash to do little things with – buy a cinnabon or a hobby thing, I have every morning free to do with what I like and I get to make a change in a few people’s lives.
I can’t say this will last forever. Maybe it’s just a temporary thing and I have to go back to my dreary existence.
But for now, I am blessed and content for the most part.
There are people out there that do make a change in other’s lives…


It’s been a bad one…

This year. It reached depths of despair l never thought l’d have to live through ever again. 

Jobless, yet again, but trying, trying so hard to change the outcome. Doing anything and everything l can to make myself believe l’m not as useless and worthless as the job market seems to think of me. 

It’s summer in South Africa. Dry, hot, baking summer. Glorious and draining at the same time. This evening, after a day spent sweating in my garage, getting my Christmas tree ready for display, l almost went straight for a bath after supper. 

But while having my post-prandial smoke and coffee, l decided to go outside and just experience the night. 

Just sit and feel the night settle about me. Hearing the birds snuffle in the trees, listening to the dogs breathing around me, the soft sussiration of a car passing in the road behind me. Al quiet sounds of night arriving. 

Then the wind started to blow. 

And it felt like a promise kissing my skin. A promise that, even with all the bad, there are many good things too. 

I just need to be open to receive the beauty of G-d’s creation.


Has struck again. 

And, once again, it took the better of us. 

One of my blog buddies, Sam Fenn, died yesterday. 

Of all the people l know, Sam was always ready with a laugh or a home made cupcake, ready conversation, a shoulder to cry on. 

But she never seemed to get the best of any deal. 

She’s had a raw life. 

Sam, my friend, l wish l was a better friend to you than l was. 

I don’t know what really happens when you die. But if, as l believe, there is a heaven, l hope you are there now. Safe for once. Happy. Cared for. Looked after. 

Go gently into the night, Sam. Your last journey has begun. You will forever be in my thoughts.


Today has been a day of memories. 

Forgotten things remembered, bittersweet memories, tastes, smells, pictures, long since looked at, dusted off. 

A day of remembering a time in my life that taught me how to love deeply, regret utterly, enjoy completely was brought on by a memory share on silly FB. Just a picture of me in lraq in front of a military humvee. I was a few weeks away from my 40th b day. 

In a strange place, meeting strange people, experiencing strange things. It was before l met my dude. Before life changed completely. Before l got sad and reflective and old 😒

And tonight, l’m sitting at a random coffee shop in the suckheap’s main town, listening to a young man and his brother making half decent music, drinking a chai latte. 

Something that me and my dude used to imbibe more often than not. 

Memory lane. Not a trip to take lightly. But a trip worth taking nevertheless. It’s in our memories that our forgotten loves live. Where we can dust off and look at everything that’s happened to bring us where we are. 

In our memories that we can feel special. Loved. Accepted. Not old and decrepid and worthless. 

I don’t often do the memory thing. They often hurt more than they should. But tonight seems to be the perfect time to reflect on times gone by. 

I still miss my dude. Some days more than others, but he’s always in the back of my mind in some or other guise. A memory. A remembrance. A lesson. And a hole in my heart that will likely never again be filled…

The Portal

It’s midday. Sun shining brightly outside. Blustery wind blowing hither and tither – hopefully bringing welcome rain. A respite from the dryness enveloping everything.

In my study, surrounded by my papery companions, my music, my bags and bags of yarn, filled with completed or half-completed projects, I sit in front of my desk, thinking. I’ve been ready to pack it all in for a while now. Just get up one morning, get dressed and drive off into the mist. To be lost in time, forgotten by everybody that knows me. As gone as gone can be. Or, better yet, to not wake up at all. Just be lost in death.

I look down. Maybe praying to a God that I think has forgotten me. Maybe just to check if my hands are as clenched as I feel they are. Likely just because my head feels too heavy for my neck. I see a shimmering in the foot well of the desk. Just a glimmer, kind of like the sun baking on black top. Through the shimmer I can faintly see something. Nothing very clear, just an idea of something behind the glimmering.

What is this? Probably an electric short, getting ready to blow my house and its contents sky-high, giving me the oblivion I’ve been craving.

I slowly stretch out my hand, not certain what it is. Don’t feel like getting shocked – pain is never a pleasant thing! I encounter slight resistance…

And my hand passes right through. It does not appear at the back as I would have thought, no. It goes in. Into the shimmering glimmer. I don’t feel anything . Bring my hand back in. It looks just the same. Feels just the same.

I move my chair back, get down on my knees – with great discomfort because my back has been letting me know that I’m getting older. Reminding me that there are not all that many years still left. Making me aware of the mistakes made in my youth, mistakes I’m paying for now. Once on my knees, I put my hand through the glimmer again. Push it in a bit further, to my shoulder. My face getting closer and closer until my nose touches the glimmer and my face sink through it.

I see… Well, I see someplace else. Nowhere I’ve ever been. Nothing like I’ve ever seen. And certainly not something that has any place being in the foot well of my desk, in my study, surrounded by the bonds of suburban living.

Here’s my chance. My way out of my current, binding, claustrophobic existence. The escape I’ve been praying for, longing for, hoping for.

I crawl through the glimmer, my whole body sliding through to the other side.

I stand up and breathe deeply of air untainted by exhaust fumes and people. All around me, just waving grass, like a golden carpet. In the distance a copse of trees – I make for them  – might as well explore my surroundings while I’m there. I look backward and see the glimmer in the air and through it, dimly, I can make out my study – chair askew, bookshelves behind – just as I left it.

The glimmer follows me, always at my back so i can go back should I want to.

I don’t though. Before me lies a dream come to life. A place of rest. A place where money or lack thereof makes no difference. Where shelter from the elements are more important than what said shelter looks like. Where you eat what you pick off the trees. No larder or shopping trips. No people to revile you or make you feel less than you are.

A portal to an alternate reality. A place I can go and hide when reality starts to bite harder than usual.

I might never leave…


Explain this logic.

I live in South Africa. A country at the southern tip of the African continent. A country that, at the moment, is being ravaged by evil from all sides. Sure, it’s only the world’s most corrupt politician, the world’s most expensive president and little things like that that’s creating an atmosphere of fear and distrust.

The logic I want explained, however, does not have too much to do with idiot politicians and their corrupt ways, but of the actual people I share this country with.

I’ve been sitting with the warehouse guys during lunch times these days. The only white person. The only female. I figured, the only way for me to know about how these people think and maybe try to make sense of it will be to share their down time with them. It’s been going well. We talk and laugh and teach one another all manner of things.

Alas. The chasm between Western and African society just keeps on gaping, even larger, ever deeper, becoming, for me at least, unfathomable!

Typhoid. It’s hit our shores. In a minor incidence, but it is here. Thought it’s not being transmitted by rats, mostly by bad sanitation and infected food, the conversation naturally turned toward rats and the illnesses they have caused – that we know of. I read an article that the black plague in Europe was a direct result of cats being killed for fear of them being witches familiars. If I’m incorrect in this instance, please correct me, but it makes perfect sense for people to do such a thing.

In the black community, however, it’s not black cats that gets the bad rep, although I suppose there is bound to be some or other witch doctor that brews potions with the feet or genitals of black cats, the bad rep in this instance is owls.

A while ago, in an effort to curb the rat population in one of South Africa’s biggest townships, Alexandra, the government built owl boxes and populated them with owls. Which was promptly killed by the community since owls are bad omens. This morning one of those community members said, in so many words, he would rather live with the rats than have an owl hooting outside his window.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the logic I want explained. That you would take the earth’s biggest, most prolific scavenger, the animal most likely to cause death and disease, a creature that decimates everything in it’s path, alive or dead and live with it. Because you’re scared of the sound an owl makes. Because you believe that it’s bad to see or hear an owl.

I know of the superstitions. That owls are harbingers of death. The night before my father died, my mom apparently heard an owl hooting outside. We do, strangely enough, live in the 21st century! Should things such as that not be less prevalent instead of more? Should people not know the difference between a vital part of the eco system and death?

The mind boggles. How do you get people to stop believing these kinds of things? I know there’s something like that in the Hindu religion too – I just don’t know any Hindi’s that’s been killing owls…

How do you, in actual fact, save a nation from their own antiquated and ingrained superstitions?


Long days and pleasant nights…


How does one help?

I think everybody, at one stage or other of their lives, have suffered from depression. For most of us it’s fleeting, a result of external circumstances we can’t control or simply not enough faith. I, myself, knows what it feels like to not want to face the day, to think that every breath I take is just a waste of time and effort because I’m just not worth that.

Things have changed in my life. I’m not perfect, not by any means, but I’m much better than I was. Now I see difficulties and I overcome them. With Help, and with help, but I make do with what I have, and for the most part, I get to the other side. I do sometimes get depressed, but usually it’s hormonal and does not last long. I am blessed in that regard.

One of my buddies though, apparently he’s not so blessed. He’s depressed. It’s a new thing, not the way he’s always been, or maybe he has always been depressed and just lied to himself and those around him. These days, however, he seems to have decided to completely wallow in his state of mind.

Am I wrong in saying that, depressed or not, there are things you just have to do? Get up, go to work, pay bills, cook food, breathe. Then there are other things that you just don’t bother with if you don’t have to. And then there are things that you just do even though they seem insurmountable at the time. I spoke to T yesterday. Same story, it’s not going well with him and this and that and the other. Tells me his bike is broken and he can’t get it to a garage to fix it because they’re closed over weekends. I made the suggestion of him putting the bike on his van and driving it to work and then taking it to the garage. His excuse? He does not have a ramp and he can’t put the bike on the van by himself. He’s a man so, presumably, stronger than me. He’s got his mom living with him – think that’s the reason for 80% of his depression – she’s kind of a downing soul – but she can help him. Barring that, they live in a complex that contains, I’m certain, at least one man other than T! A piece of plank will work well for a ramp. Instead of seeing the solutions though, T prefers to just moan about it.

Is it wrong of me to want him to at least try and not wallow in self pity? It’s difficult. Very much so! But you don’t really have to wallow the whole day do you? I know a few depressed people and they all, bar none, really try and be upbeat about what’s going on in their lives. I doubt that it helps them, but I think it makes the rest of the populace feel less helpless. Because really. I can’t help you. I can give you advice, probably good advice. I can’t make you take it. I can’t make you see that there are things out there that are not problems, that are not reasons to be depressed. But, if you insist on only seeing the reasons to be depressed, I will probably lose my temper and that never helps anybody.

My mom tells me to be patient. My aunt tells me to go out of my way to help him. My son tells me to be there for the buddy – I’ve done all this. I’ve offered my shoulder, my ear, my couch, my company – all to no avail. I’m just human after all. And personally, I can’t listen to the same shit every time. Different shit, sure. Interesting shit, certainly. The same, dismal, self-pitying shit? Not so much. Even when I do it myself, I try to stop it before it happens. Its not good for you to hammer on all the bad things in life. To see all obstacles as insurmountable and the worst in T’s situation – he has no real externals that he needs to worry about. His household expenses are minimal. He has enough liquid cash in the bank to buy my house outright. His current house is paid up. His cars are all paid up, as is the bike. Why not phone a garage to come and pick up the bike from his house? The old nag is there the whole day – not like she has a life outside the house! He’s single, has no obligation towards children or a wife, only his nag of a mother and his user of a brother.

And therein, I think, lies the problem of T’s depression. Everything he does is for other people. And those other people accept it as their right. I’m not to be removed from that scenario although I try and make it as fun for him as if is for me, but no. His mother and brother are more than enough to make anybody depressed – they’re carriers of the condition, you see. They don’t suffer from it, they propagate it. I’m being very nasty now, but T makes me angry. He’s got the ability to just go. He can pack his bags and be in a different place within weeks. He’s got money in the bank and not a huge amount of responsibility. But he chooses to wallow in everything he finds so difficult.

I am probably wrong about this. It’s due to complete ignorance of the condition. If any of you out there have any advice, I will gladly accept it. T is a good man, a good friend. And I don’t want to hear one day that he offed himself – that’s what it’s heading towards. I will not carry the guilt for that incident by myself, but I will feel bad about it. So. Help me help him.


Pet peeve…

…well, there’s a few but only one that sticks in my craw quite the way this particular one does.

Before I get into that though, some news. I officially joined Toastmasters International. I have been inducted, made the promises and filled out a wish list of when to do what. And, since Murphy is alive and well, I was called upon to do a table topic on Wednesday. That’s when you get called out to the front of the room and wax lyrical about some or other random object or topic. I did not do too badly for my first random speaking, and next year january, I will have to give my ice breaker speech. Where I have to introduce myself to the club members in a non-boring fashion. Yeah. Like that’s going to go well!!

Anyhow, back to my pet peeve.

Was talking to some blokes at work yesterday during lunch time. Black guys, one is from Cameroon. He’s married, with a smallish child – no idea how old the kid is, but I know it’s not in school yet. And he’s got this huge tablet like cell phone – that’s apparently the kid’s phone since the father does not have a cell phone. When I asked him why the kid has such an expensive phone he reckoned, kids were expensive. and they don’t want their kids to suffer like they did.

Yes well, button pressed. I’ve been looked at askance on many occasion because I can’t see the reason for children of primary school age to have any kind of electronic device. No phones, or tablets or gaming stations. They don’t need it, they don’t learn anything from it, and they become little zombies on it.

Kids don’t suffer if they can’t wear Adidas clothing, or own the latest cell phone. They suffer when their parents use those things in lieu of actually spending time with the kids. Talking to them, teaching them things. Kids only suffer if they don’t have food to eat, a bed to sleep in and a roof under which to do all those things. They think they suffer if they can’t have the latest technology or the best toys, but they don’t. Kids aren’t expensive. Parents are. Parents bend over backwards to give the little tykes any- and everything their little hearts desire, instead of teaching them responsibility and manners and  how to have an actual conversation or how to be a gentleman and a lady.

Alas. How can the parents teach their kids anything if they, themselves, only see the monetary value in everything, When they buy the stuff the kids scream for, instead of telling them no every once in a while. How many parents do you see on a regular basis that pays no attention to the world around them because they are completely wrapped up in their phones? How many young people are there out there that has no social skills whatsoever but they can cook up a computer virus like nobody’s business?

I am getting old. If my health holds, I should not be too dependent on the current crop of kids to look after me in my dotage. But I shudder to think what kind of adults they are going to be. When they can hide behind a broken home when they make life difficult for the people around them. When they plead poverty when caught stealing. When they blame ADHD or ADD or Autism for not being able to handle the consequences of their actions. When all they want to do is get a university degree to have a cushy job somewhere instead of being prepared to work for a living and earning their place in society not with a few letters behind their name, but with actual work and sweat and effort.

Now. Let it be noted that I am completely generalising now. I know kids that did well at varsity and have earned their degree and have worked hard for what they have. I also know kids that are just coasting along on what mom and dad can scrounge up for them. I know kids that have decent manners and I know kids that will burn a plant just to see what would happen. No. It’s not youthful exuberance. It’s willful malice. An absolute lack of respect for things that can’t protect themselves. It’s one thing to make a chlorine bomb to see what it does. It is a completely different thing when you set fire to a living plant that has done absolutely nothing to you. I know kids that will greet you and I know kids that will ignore you. It’s the latter party that I’m basing my opinions on. And they are just that. My Personal Opinion.

The fact that I have to repeatedly state that this is just my opinion and not based on fact should show how very shallow the world has become. When you can’t voice an opinion without kind of distancing yourself from it at the same time, to avoid offending people. And that brings me back to my point. If you give your child every earthly desire he may come up with, without tempering said desires with responsibility and common sense, you are enforcing their sense of entitlement and they will not really be able to function in a world where your feelings of entitlement don’t actually bring you all that much.

Unfortunately, what the entitled beings then do is to pillage and burn everything until they get their way.

Apparently it’s been said by previous generations – the same things I’m saying now. Am I wrong though?

Hope you shave a splendiferous weekend and a spectacular week ahead!!

Stupid song, but fitting I suppose.