Friday, 23 December 2011

Glazed look in the Eyes

Here comes Some-one I don't know

Here are examples of the perfect 'glazed look'
That was SO..... Good !
or 'how comforting a thumb can be in the presence of strangers'.   My granddaughter of 9 months absolutely won't touch a dummy.  Is there really any cause to be worried about deforming her teeth?  She has 8.  Maybe if she gives up the thumb-sucking young enough, all will be well. ??
Oh, oh,  someone else I don't know

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Christening !

"Ah, finally in something more comfortable"
Nothing much new to blog about - we all know about hectic preparations for Christmas. Our baby was christened last Sunday though - an eye-opener for me, as the ministers these days seem to store up all the littlies and do them on the same day.  There were 11 babies baptised in the understandably crowded church.  Afterwards, a roast lunch at my daughter's house, where my husband snapped this adorable pic (above). She is quintessentially herself in this one - much though she loves sucking her thumb (under). They are just born with their characters, aren't they.
"I don't like this starchy dress"

Monday, 19 December 2011

Mirror, mirror, on the Wall....

This mirror very nearly remained off the wall, as we had to agree on its new position.  We are redesigning our 'central area' downstairs in our retirement house.  Until now, it has served as a general dormitory for small son and his friends from about the age of 16, when we had to ferry them to and fro to their small-town night club, taking turns to set the alarm to 2.00 a.m. (going to bed fully clothed - the things we do for our kids!). Now that they are all aged circa 22, they do their own driving and have their own vehicles of variously aged vintages in most cases.  Small son drives my old, sturdy Honda Ballade whose birthday is 1996 and still going strong. I digress.  The mirror, which used to take pride of place in the centre of one wall, has lately become obscured by the increased number of bunk beds. It has to move to a position near to our front door. The point of this post is to demonstrate that although we nearly came to blows about the minute positioning of the mirror at the bottom of the staircase - mostly because it weighs about 40 lbs and required considerable effort for my husband to lift it up only to hear that it needed to go 2 cms more to the right/left/up/down - we were both thinking about the possibility of make-up sex (no, I'm kidding  - that was just in our imaginations), I was thinking that if our children were present they would think we were fighting. Not true.  However, my husband did turn stubborn and refused to give in to my preference.  At this point - he had a light bulb moment!  "How about if we turn it round?"  Problem solved.  We turned the oblong mirror around longways and it was a perfect fit.  Grinning companionably at each other, we went off to pour ourselves a whiskey. NB. He also made the banister, tiled the stairs and made the wooden steps. This is why we could afford to build a second home.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Waiting for Babe to Wake up,,,,,

My daughter asked me to fetch her baby this morning and take her to my house as the maid wants to leave early. Daughter had to go out somewhere. So here I am in this big modern house, waiting for babe to wake up - she's having a really long sleep this morning as she's had a cold, but now that her nose is clear she seems to be catching up on lost sleep.  I glance around but there is not a single book or magazine in this house - apart from in my grandson's bedroom (thanks to his two grannies!) to help me pass the time.  There is the TV but the maid is still here listening to her Xhoza radio programme (very loudly) so I can't do that. Their new leather L-shaped couch is so uncomfortable I can't sit on that for a nap either. There are no 'comfy' chairs..... I remembered that their old (comfy) couch has been relegated to the landing upstairs, so I've had a nap on that after attempting an to complete an old Sudoku which I found in my handbag. Now I've found my daughter's computer so I'm posting a blog. After this, I'm going to wake the baby.... the African language on the radio is driving me nuts.  How can there be a house with no books?  And her mother an English teacher!!


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Love Is....

Couldn't resist this one. Hubbie just returned from his 12-hour working day. I let him therefore have the pick of the early evening TV shows but sometimes this is the result. I should add that later that evening he sanded and painted small son's bedroom and also moved the built-in cupboards to the other side of the room, while I finished a cryptic crossword.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

How Weird am I ?

Sextant - not so lucky today . I downloaded four pics and got the code mixed up - deleted half my text!  Stuck with one pic today.  Thanks to the person who put this on the Net .

As Christmas approaches and I am getting older, I have found it necessary to be surrounded by memories.  My Christmas tree is loaded with decorations, each loaded with memory, quite different from my daughter's rather minimal 'themed' one:  I actually asked her if she had only half-finished it. It looks like one in a shopping mall. Christmas cards, I lament to say, are in short supply.  Gone are the days of snail-mail thirty years ago, when the postman made three deliveries a day, and cards flooded through our front door and thumped onto the mat. Only the old people do cards now:  last year I think I got a total of six and only sent as many. That's largely because a lot of people on my old list have died and also because postal rates overseas have rocketed, for obvious reasons.  I don't like text messages on Christmas day, nor do I appreciate digital cards arriving in my e-mail - to print out at my own cost. However, incorrigible hoarder that I am, there are about fifty of the nicest cards that I've kept over the last twenty years that I put up again each December. They are mostly from dearly-beloved relatives who have passed on and I always re-read every message before putting up a display. In this way I feel surrounded by love and am comforted by memories. It's specially meaningful this year as I have one acquaintance facing terminal cancer and a dear friend battling with ill-health.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Moslem Wedding

(Thank you Sextant ! See the second pic is in the text !!  So simple when you know how!)

I was privileged to attend a Moslem wedding on Sunday as the bride's father is one of my husband's staff. What an amazing experience.  Firstly, the 500 guests - with spare tables in the back in case more pitched up.  The dad told us he sent out 200 formal invitations but family are simply told the date and expected to come.  The venue was stunning and the food excellent: apparently, many family members contribute quite large cash gifts to help with the wedding and the young couple are also helped with a house or flat. There were loads of gifts on display. I had worried about what to wear so settled for trousers, a long top and scarf. Other women, especially some of the younger ones, hadn't worried to dress conservatively, but they were few amongst the traditional scarves and saris, some of which were quite magnificent.  It was an absolute delight to have no alcohol - copious jugs of juice and water were constantly brought to our table, which was just as well as it was a hot day, and it took two hours for all the guests to arrive before the proceedings started. There were a lot of bridesmaids and groomsmen and the whole entourage sat on the platform, although without any parents. There were no speeches just what I presume was a blessing - sung in Arabic (ten minutes long) and then the MC called up a dignitary he called the "Chef" to the microphone and he intoned something for a similar length of time.
Then it was the 3-course meal, which had been preceded by fresh fruits at the table, then photographs on the stage and then the best part - three Hajis (older women who have done the Haj) - came to take the bride away to her new home where traditionally they would instruct her what to expect and how to behave on her wedding night. First, they placed a dark fur cape around her shoulders and then, the Hajis all dressed in immaculate white saris (the bride in a traditional European gown) they walked slowly through the centre of the guests, who kissed the bride who was accompanied by a beautiful song sung by all the women guests, haunting, soft and almost sad.  That was the end and people started to leave. The bridegroom would be waiting for her at the new house - and we were home by 8.00 p.m.  Such an eye-opener, a glimpse into another culture and traditions.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Small Son - Job Search

We have come to the end of small son's third year of study:  "International Import/Export"  Diploma. Sounds good, but small son seems blissfully unaware of the small field of jobs available for the 600,000 currently unemployed graduates in SA.  Partly the fault of students studying the wrong things: of course, we need scientists, engineers etc. but few wish to pursue those courses - they are just too darned hard and not glamorous. Small son also has always been more interested in his surfboard than his books. He also seem convinced that there is a way to earn easy money, or at least believes that he can find a job related to his field of study. NB. This is his first foray into the world of proper employment, his CV thus far consisting of a few modelling jobs in London and two years of delivering pizzas at night, plus a brief stint as a barman. He went for an interview last Friday, but although it went well, he is not impressed with the conditions of employment: a four-year contract, R10,000 per month in the first year, working in the store stacking shelves for five months, six days a week, working on all Public Holidays...  So he is not thrilled. He will refuse this offer and believes he will find something better. We'll see. I ought to reserve judgment: I think he forgets he has the wrong skin color to get any kind of job in SA. I might be wrong. He has one month before all parental support ceases - except that my husband won't let me eject him from our home. Then there's the other matter of him reversing into our electric gate last month, being too impatient to wait for it to open properly - the second time he's done this.  The first quote is R20,000 - much to small son's amazement.  We are still waiting for him to get another quote: luckily, I remembered not to transfer his monthly allowance (one month to go!) as this is the only way to galvanize him into action. More anon....