Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dear Carbs

Dear Carbs,

I miss you. I miss you with all my taste buds! I miss you in every form you present yourself! Hot toast, hot chips, mash potatoes, wine, know who you are...well, I miss you!

It has been a few weeks now and I can't say that the results thus far warrant the sacrifices made! The promises the books make are just not true! "Give up your carbs and lose 15 lbs in two weeks...." this is just not possible.These false promises are just no good and I am suffering!!

Every time I pass the bakery or the deli the delicious smells rise up and titillate my taste buds, my mouth waters, my tummy grumbles.

It is hot cross bun time and I am not sure I am going to be able to avoid having a little nibble here and there.

Most of all I miss my evening glass of delicious pink wine! How can one be expected to give up the elixir of life!!

"You are what you eat" is the common belief....I am going to be bouncing around like a bunny soon with all the greens I am eating. Can man live on lettuce alone? Am I imagining it or have I a green tint to my complexion?

Dear Carbs, I repeat, I miss you. I just hope that with all this suffering and sacrifice, the readings on the scale will soon be favorable and I will be able to wear my size L clothes again. I hope some of my aches and pains will disappear and all will be good.

Right now, all I see is a long boring road ahead filled with temptation which will need much determination and staying power!

Wish me luck,



Thursday, February 20, 2014



Ex stretched out a welcoming hand. No bunch of flowers or shop bought cake(the shops

My Neighbors and Friends

by Ellen Bailey

My neighbors and my friends are very dear to me
They are always there whenever there is a need

We talk to each other and we borrow and lend
Such treasures they are, my neighbors and friends

I sing when they sing and I laugh when they laugh
We do things for each other on the other's behalf

They share with me their many worries and fears
I share with them my compassion and my tears

How lonely and cheerless a place my soul would be
Without such neighbors and good friends as these

I cherish them all and take each one into my heart
Feeling the love and kindness each in turn imparts

What has happened to friendly, welcoming neighbours? I am sure that
there are kind folk around but not here in JHB. Sarah moved into a complex where the homes are attached so neighbours are really close by. On either side of her there are two young families each with four year old daughters. Oscar, being the same age could have such dun with these instant buddies but that is to going to happen. At no stage have the neighbours or anyone in the complex extended a welcome of any kind. No bunch of flowers, pot plant or shop bought cake. The shops are just over the road. Is it a case of "let's keep our heads down and mind our own business'? Sarah and Adrien did extensive alterations to the home before moving in and that could have been reason enough to pop by to see what the place looks like but no chance! 

Chris and Diana had two years in the states and one of the best things of living in San Francisco were the lovely neighbours. They were 'not in your face' kind of people but fun and supportive. If they heard the kids in the garden they would arrive with their drinks and snacks and ask if they could join in! When moving back to Australia they took this fine example of good neighbours back with them and have had two Open houses where they invited their neighbours to a BBQ? As a result they have made some lovely, fun and supportive friends!


I realise that city life is a busy life. Usually both Mom and Dad work and children are in aftercare. This leaves little time for themselves, their families etc. let alone neighbours. What a difference it would have made if just one person from the complex had popped by and stretched out a welcoming hand! Let's remember that a stranger is a friend who we just don't know .....yet!!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Egoli, the city of gold.

It is wonderful to be back in S.A. and Johannesburg. We are staying with Sarah and Adrien in their new home. I have been able to attack the little garden which is such a pleasure. The shopping centre is right across the road which is such fun, fun, fun.

The first week here was such a whirlwind getting ready for Sarah's birthday party. Unfortunately her assistant "Brilliant" never returned after going home to Zimbabwe to sort her passport out. Communication from there is limited however Sarah did get a message saying she will come back when her papers are sorted. In the meantime Mother is here and I am enjoying fiddling and sorting things out!

As a treat, the two of went across the road and had our toe nails painted. This is so special. This is what are daughters are all about!

On Friday, Sarah invited her cuzzies and best friends around. It was such fun to see everybody, and braaing in their garden was such a pleasure! I also did a lovely long walk yesterday so between digging and working in the garden and taking long walks I confess that my bones are rather stiff and sore.

We are so proud of our lovely daughter who really is a such a ray of sunshine plus a great wife, Mother, daughter, sister, friend and business woman! We love you to bits! Sarah is an entrepreneur of note and we just love hearing about all her business dealings! Oh to be young and brave!




Monday, February 10, 2014

Back to the green green grass of home.

That was a very long night. Two flights, one to Doha with a quick change and the second flight back to Johannesburg. We left the condo in K.L at five p.m. and got to our destination ...21 hours later. We use this way of getting home as it is the cheaper way and also the Middle Eastern airlines cannot be faulted for service. The airplanes are great, seating comfortable, and the flight attendants exceptional. What a pleasure.

The best part of the journeys is watching the movies. I may nod off for an hour or two at the most but for the rest, I watch as many movies as possible. I might as well make the most of the looooooong journey.

While waiting to get our flights I love to "people watch" Airports are such melting pots of society. I enjoy seeing the way people dress, the way they chat to each other, the things they do to kill time. The entry of electric devices has changed the way people spend their time waiting. Yesterday, I was particularly annoyed and my husband had to almost tie me down to my chair. Young parents each had their I phones and were busy doing whatever you do on them. Their little girl of between two and three years old was crying and crying and thiin crying changed and increased in decibels. What did the parents do ....absolutely nothing! There were many of us who felt the same discomfort as we caught each other's eye. All that little girl wanted was some attention. It was way beyond her bed time and she needed to be cuddled and calmed down but these selfish parents chose to do nothing. By the time the passengers with children were called to board I was beside myself. The Mother put her phone in her bag, picked up the child and headed to the departure gate. There wasn't another cry or scream just gentle little sobs as the little girl calmed down. Now if this is what is happening in public place what goes on at home. Except maybe, just maybe the couple employ a nanny to take care of their responsibility.

I was reading a suggested list of things to do to to make long journeys easier. One of the suggestions is to remember that the person sitting next to you could be "the stranger who is a friend,you just don't know." The article encourages passengers to chat to the person sitting next to you. I confess that I usually do say a few polite words but I really don't want to be chatting for six hours...remember, I want to watch movies! Last night I was sitting to a young Man from Chennai in India. He had just had his holiday in Malaysia and was returning to work in Doha. He was a most pleasant young man. I became all nervous when he asked me if I was a Christian....I am rather cautious about my answers to these questions. This fellow is a Muslim and is VERY well read on comparitive religions. He asked me whether I am a Jesus Christian or a Mary Christian! I think he has done a little reading on Catholicism. He then started talking about parallels and suggested I should learn more about Moses. By now I was really beginning to sink....oh dear, where are we going with all of this. FORTUNATELY the young Chinese fellow on the other side of my new zealous friend, the stranger, started asking for help in getting his movie device going and I took the gap and got mine going. A lovely young man but we do have to choose our moments a little better. My hubby sitting on the other side of me just gave me an awry smile.

The two journeys went well but it was a great relief and pleasure to arrive back 'ome where the grass is always greener!


Monday, February 3, 2014

The Guiding Hand.

Today is our penultimate day in Kuala Lumpur. It is a another public holiday due to the Chinese New Year celebrations. This means no one has to rush off to work and we can have family fun!

Snacks, water, hats, more water, bicycle, balls... All packed and we are ready to head off to the park. It is my first visit to this particular park and it turns out to be a "Work in Progress" with lots of renovations taking place. In between the building rubble, the park is beautiful with lots of water features, great exercise equipment, jogging and cycle pathways. The streams are loaded with fish which the kiddies love to try and catch. The bigger areas of water have hundreds of terrapins slipping in and out and having a wonderful time.

The atmosphere is lovely with K.L. enjoying cooler weather and even a breezes blowing through the beautiful trees. The birds are singing and filling the air with melodious sounds which is such a pleasure especially for us who live in "condo land". Joggers are working up a sweat, Mums and Dads are out pushing the pram and I even saw old folk being pushed along in their wheel chairs.

Joshua has reached the age when he needs to discard his "fairy" wheels and ride independently. Do you recall your first bike? Although it is all of sixty+ years ago if I close my eyes and cast my mind back I can feel my father's steadying hand on my back encouraging me and telling me that I can do it! That is what parents do....forever. We put out that steadying hand and say "you can do it"! Joshua is making great progress and needs a few more mornings like this, encouraging and urging him on. Then one day he will be off and the feeling of achievement will be so sweet! He won't look back and he will enjoy hours and hours of fun cycling with his Mum and his Dad. The only thing that will change will be the size of his bicycle. Maybe one day he will say "look folks,no hands,"


I hope Joshua treasures this experience and the memory of his Mom and Dad holding and guiding and helping him to balance and gain confidence as he learns yet another skill.


Charles Schultz Bicycle Quote.

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.

~ Charles M. Schulz


Sunday, February 2, 2014

The year of the Horse!

It is wonderful being in Malaysia for the Chinese New Year Celebrations which is also known as the Spring Festival. The shops are adorned in red and gold and everything that shines! At night, the sky is lit up with amazing fireworks. I realise that many people are inconvenienced by the noise and the big bangs that happen when crackers and fireworks are used but maybe we all need to be a little more tolerant of each others cultures and beliefs at these special times of the year. What I object to is when someone chooses to let crackers for no real rhyme or reason late at night in built up areas. I think of the Moms who may have just got the little ones off to sleep and then these loud bangs take place and they have to start all over again! Of course animals are a huge consideration too. Many Chinese folk keep dogs and treat them like royalty and I am sure they would take this into consideration during the festive season and protect their animals somehow. I know friends who give their pets tranquilizers and hide them in cupboards during these noisy times.

I confess that I love watching firework displays and this week in K.L. From our apartment on the 22nd floor we have watched the most amazing displays taking place. I also think of the MONEY that is being burnt, but then it's not mine!

Do we know why Chinese people let off fireworks? If we did, perhaps we would be a little more tolerant. According to ancient Chinese belief a beast called "year" arrived after the family dinner on the last night of the old year. Fire and noise were needed to chase it off. Nowadays families must stay awake until midnight when crackers are let off as this beast is afraid of loud noise and the colour red represents fire. Houses are adorned with red lanterns and red decorations.

Mandarins or naartjies as we call them, are presented as gifts because the word for mandarin is every similar to that of good luck or fortune. These beliefs have continued through the ages and are celebrated where there is a settlement of Chinese folk.It is all about Good luck. Fortunately for us K.L. Is mostly emptied out as people go to their family homes. The traffic is easy and there are no queues in the Malls.

The year of the Snake has had to give way to the Year of the Horse which is the seventh sign of the Lunar Cycle.

I am the Kaleidoscope of the mind.

I impart light, colour and perpetual motion.

I think, I see, I am moved by electric fluidity.

Constant only in my inconstancy,

I am unshackled by mundane holds,

Unchecked by sturdy, binding goals.

I run unimpeded through virgin paths.

My spirit unconquered-

My soul forever free.


Theodora Lau. The handbook of Chinese Horoscopes.

To my Chinese friends I wish them Gang Xi Fa Cai!!



Saturday, February 1, 2014


NaBloPoMo Or National Blog Posting Month.


I guess a little pressure is a good thing. I have taken on a challenge, NaBloPoMo, to blog every day for the month of February and I am not sure I can do it. TWENTY EIGHT DAYS ON THE RUN!

The older I get the less I like being under any pressure but sometimes it can be a very good thing! I am going to give this a bash. The only time I may battle to get something published on my blog will be when I am traveling and have no access to the Internet but that does not mean I am not writing. I am always creating and writing in my head and only sometimes on paper/ I pad! I also have this thing about preferring to write in the morning when I am all fresh and inspired. I am going to keep a notebook handy and will endeavour to jot down ideas and stories. I am also concerned as to whether anyone is interested in reading my ramblings. To those of you who are my regular readers, thank you, I hope you don't find this tedious but bare with me, things can only get better.

I like posting pictures with my writing and now I am not sure if this will happen with my daily musings. It is a bit like a New Years Resolution but instead of it happening on the first of January it is happening on the first of February.

On Facebook, my daughter posed the question "How do you rate the month of January on a scale of 1 to 10. On reflection I will have to give it a resounding 10 for the following reasons:

We/ I started the year off in Australia with the Australian family with whom we had loads of fun. This includes our son and daughter in law and their three children plus a visit to my brother, SIL and their families.

Next on the Agenda was Malaysia where we spent much time with our Malaysian family, having loads of fun.

I have got back to my exercise routine with swimming lengths and I am beginning to feel fit.

Getting my mind around losing weight and eating healthily.

Connecting with lots of good friends.

Having the confidence to take on this challenge and to spend the month of love writing regularly and publishing it on my Blog.

So here goes folks, this is my recap of January and I am wondering what February has in store for us.

If I enjoy writing every day then the pressure is a good thing, if not, then it proves I am no good working under PRESSURE.

Taken at the National gardens in Kuala Lumpur.