Saturday, 29 September 2012

Got the Sulks

I thought I would report progress on my jigsaw (5000 pc), started in January.  Having got to the 'blue bits' two months ago, I have ground to a bit of a halt. When I had visitors two weeks ago for a week, we were a bit short on entertainment one afternoon, so in a weak moment, I allowed them to work on my puzzle for an hour or so, pretty confident that they might be able to place a possible 3 pieces between them in this time.  To my dismay, the one lady's eyes lit up light beacons, she was galvanized into action and despite my saying that the shoals of tiny fish would be almost impossible to place in the time - she finished two fairly large areas in twenty minutes!  Luckily, it was then time to make dinner, so we all traipsed inside, and the beacons were extinguished.  What gets me really is that this lady talks so slowly, I imagined she would do everything else at the same pace. Wrong! I have now ignored my puzzle for the subsequent two weeks since their departure, glaring at it accusingly from time to time.  How could it allow someone else to so easily fit about fifty pieces when I have labored so long and hard for months?  I've learnt my lesson: no-one else is allowed to have a go.  In all probability therefore, it will take me another year to complete. That's OK.  As it is, I shall have to confess that the two 'blue' areas beneath the turtle are not my own work.   Such humiliation.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

How to write a Good CV - in today's world

While small son is resting on his laurels (ironically said), and waiting to do yet another re-write of his latest exams, my daughter sent me this e-mail which is going the rounds. I think she means to console me with the idea that small son may be on the right track - spending most of his spare time at the gym..... Meanwhile, his hard-working brother-in-law has taken pity on him and offered him a menial job in his transport company, starting Monday.  Small son is ecstatic (job fallen in his lap) but his father and I take a gloomier view.  The best outcome we can think of is that small son will have to knuckle down to a regular job at least for a while, and maybe it will sink in how hard and how many long hours one has to work in today's world in order to put bread on the table for a family or at least to pay one's own way. 

To hoom it may consern,

I want to apply for the job what I saw in the paper.

I can Type realey kwik with one fingar and do sum a-counting..

I think I am good on the phone and I no I am a people people,
People really seam to respond to me well. Certain men and all the ladies.

I no my spelling is not two good but find that I can Offen can get a job thru my personalety.

My celery is open so we can discus wat you want to pay me and wat you think that I am werth,

I can start mediately. Thank you in advanse fore youre anser.

hopifuly Yoyre bestest aplicant so far.

Cinserely ,


Pee Ess : Cause my resimay is a bit short - below is a pikture of me.

Employer's response:

Dear Bryan ,

We've got spell check.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pre-op Nerves

It is unfortunate if only sensible that surgeons must tell you of the worst-case scenarios should your procedure go wrong - so that after you've signed the consent form they are absolved from all guilt regarding any mistake (perhaps the only industry that gets away with it). Still it is enough to put one off, after seeing a large number of rather graphic computer pics of failed procedures.  Horrified, I asked my doc if the multitude of sample pics were from his own files and was somewhat mollified when he touched the wood of his desk and assured me that so far (about twenty years), he has had no such failures. Regarding my eyes then, I am left with only Sextant's warnings about droopy lids and cut nerves and a slight worry as to whether my aging doctor might have shaky hands. It is a reference rather to my vanity than to my fortitude that I have decided to go ahead. Fired with fake courage this month, I have also decided to have my hammer toe straightened. Although I was born with this and mightily embarrased by it all my life, it is only recently since our summers are getting hotter and hotter and I sweatier, that it has started to give me problems. Luckily, this condition is covered by our Medical Aid - just the anaesthetist's fees will have to be supplemented.  Explaining the procedure re breaking the toe, cutting out the affected joint, putting a pin in for a couple of weeks, the doc explained that I would need to stay in the hospital overnight so that the staff could observe the toe, and note should it change color - possibly from pink to white to black. In the worst case scenario, the toe could actually die from lack of a blood supply and need amputation. Observing my face, he hastened to assure me that this has not yet happened to any patient of his. There is always a first time. I do not rest easy at the moment: but I'm still doing it. Wish me luck. This will happen on October 31st. I've decided not to illustrate this post with ugly pics -just one that illustrates my current state of mind.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Behold, the Real Me!

Smiling - uneven look to be corrected

Not smiling - but not miserable or cr
Sextant is always so incredibly honest about himself that I am inspired to share with you the following:  I am going to have my eyes fixed ! There I've said it and as you have no doubt seen the pics first - I hope I have everyone's blessing?  I do subscribe to the ideal of "growing old gracefully", I really don't object to this but I find that as my eyelids begin to fall lower and lower over my lashes, there are several consequences of which the most powerful one to me now is that I recognise myself less and less.   Also, I notice more and more that people ask me if I am cross or upset when I am nothing of the sort. Putting on mascara is becoming more tricky. If I don't wear powder eye-shadow the folds in the lids seem to stick together. The bags under my eyes make me look constantly tired (I really don't mind the actual wrinkles).  The most relevant thing to me is that this is one area of plastic surgery in which the costs have come down enormously.  I don't even have to go to the operating theatre or pay anaesthetist's fees.  The 'procedures' get done in the surgeon's rooms, with a nurse in attendance and just a local anaesthetic near to each eye. The secret here is that you do either the lids or the bags but not both together. Then next month you go back for the other op. The total cost is less than half that of going to theatre for both at once. I can't wait. The nearest date I could get is November 16th. Amazingly, I am going to the same surgeon that my sister-in-law went to 15 years ago when he was just starting out.  Her lids are still good and her bags have not come back, so that's a good reference. Watch this space for more pics...  I keep wondering if this is a vanity thing? Well to some extent yes - although I remember my poor mom could hardly see out of her eyes as she got older, the lids hung so low. It's a shame that she was so terrified of doctors she would not have considered getting them fixed. I've also heard that your vision can be affected. I have to confess though (re pics on this post) that my contact lenses give a somewhat false pretty blue colour to my eyes which are in fact, a sort of muddy green.  On the plus side - I have not worried about the quality of the pics - I just pointed the camera at me and took them myself so they are a bit distorted.

Life in the 21st Century - Political Correctness

I was answering a questionnaire this morning, regarding a recent cruise we had been on with Royal Caribbean to Norway.  Unlike many market research requests, (like those on the phone), it actually did only take 10-15 minutes to complete. The final question was:

 "Which of the following best describes your gender?"

There followed the normal choice of M or F boxes to tick.Talk about having tactfully to compose a question.  I wonder if many people were still unable to tick one box?

Friday, 14 September 2012

Breast Implants - thorny issue or not?

Google image

A young person, known to my husband and myself has decided to have breast implants, having been reduced to the proverbial two fried eggs after devotedly breast-feeding three children for six months each. I was a little surprised as she is pretty young and I imagined this is something you might consider if you are older - and wealthier,  (this being South Africa, remember - we are a little behind the times). Not so. I am clearly old-fashioned and am informed by the 'young crowd' that 'everyone' is doing it and taking bank loans in the same way that you would pay off a smart car. Insidiously then, the fashion and the desperate desire to conform and have the best body money can buy has arrived in the Cape. I do wonder that the men think about this?  I'm sure there was a time that men used to be fascinated by all different sizes and shapes of mammary glands - now there is a perhaps dare I say it - Boring Uniformity?  Maybe only in California?  Certainly, the girls here don't seem at all interested in their partners' opinions - they are only concerned about how they look in their bikinis. Actually, I don't blame them, I am just envious really. After all, this girl just wants her original curves restored. My husband, bless him, had the last word when I told him that M was going for a Boob Job.
  "What's she having?" he asked, in tones of minimal interest, " a reduction?"

Monday, 10 September 2012

Can a leopard change its Spots?

Google image resembling my brother's study

Chatted to my brother on Skype yesterday: he related an amazing change in his 18-year-old son (the one who got dreadful marks in Matric but is immediately working as a Software Developer). It is to do with the state of his bedroom.  For my dad's funeral, I wanted to mount a display of photographs and my sister-in-law reluctantly admitted that we might find a suitable pinboard in her son's bedroom - but she was ashamed to let me inside.  Assuring her that I was unshockable we ventured in after pushing open the door with some difficulty. Sure enough the way was almost impenetrable, there being about a six inch layer of debris covering every inch of floor, but we tiptoed over it, unfortunately crunching on a couple of hidden items on the way (CDs or memory sticks?) and retrieved the said pinboard from behind the radiator, whence it had slipped from its moorings on the wall.  Pleasingly for me, it was in a clean and virgin state, never having been used - so that was good for my purpose, if testimony to the failure of intent of the original gift i.e. to encourage M to organise his life. A month later, now established as a working man and also recently put in charge of a Boy Scout group,  M has developed a conscience about setting an example for the younger boys and of his own volition, he has tidied up his room, thrown out years of rubbish and vacuumed his floor.  My brother says the carpet looks like new, as it has never seen the light of day, much less had any exposure to strong sun. Hmm.. wonder how long this will last? Perhaps my brother should address the question of his own study.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Why do They... ? and First Day of Spring

This one is the worst  - and ubiquitous !

Why do they make teapots that don't pour?  Why do all the restaurants/teashops buy them? Why do they make mascara wands this season, with such fat shapes that one can't wield them properly?  Why do all the manufacturers follow like sheep so that there is no choice?  Why do they..... (Sextant, help me out here..)
The field next to our house

Meanwhile, September 1st was the first day of spring in Cape Town. The wild flowers are out in full bloom around our house up the coast: this phenomenon is known world-wide and we are swamped with welcome tourists for the brief season - two months, although the flowers themselves are at their best for only about two weeks.  How lucky are we to be privy to this annual miracle?

Lagoon in the background, tide out.

The lagoon is in the background, but the tide was out when this pic was taken. The lagoon extends for 21 kilometres inland and in summer the water is so warm in this shallow part, one would think one is swimming in the waters of a tropical island.

It's also my granddaughter's birthday: this year she was 3 and had a Spring bonnet as her birthday cake.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey - review - LOL

One of our librarians was writing a book review for the staff Book Club of the above notorious title.   Searching for a good beginning, she began..
    "I'm not going to give you a blow by blow account of the story...."
Good, heh!!
 My own review will follow when I've speed-read them all - romantic fiction has never been my thing. I plowed through most of the first book on the plane, coming home from the UK.  I actually found parts of it quite funny - and shades of Harry Potter in the lengthy contract Ana is asked to sign.  I already found in the first book signs that she will not be a complete victim. After all, she negotiates the requirement to go to a Personal Trainer down from 4 hours a week to 3 1/2. (I think that's correct.)  I listened to an interview with E.L James, dated April of this year, before the books came out in print:  she freely admits she got the plot idea from the "Twilight" novels which she loved.  I actually think this rather nice lady, made a very clever and savvy study of what would be a best-seller in today's market, she did her Internet research and made herself a huge fortune. I take my hat off to her.  

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Hardest Thing to try to do to see yourself as others see you.  I've given up on this exercise.  It's impossible.  Just look at a photograph of yourself:  this is how others see you all the time. Look in a mirror and take stock of your facial expressions.  Do they correspond with what comes out of your mouth - or are you mystified when people misinterpret what you say?  We live inside our own heads: we talk to ourselves silently all the time - thank goodness, others are usually not privy to our most honest and private thoughts. We understand ourselves perfectly.  How often though,  have you been uncomprehending of compliments paid to yourself or conversely, been astonished by criticisms of your character that you did not recognise as part of your own self-image?   We present different sides of our characters to different people so that should those people meet up and talk about us - they might think we were a split personality.  I think my worst moment was during a classical music lesson at High School.  Our teacher, whom I deeply respected and of whom I was terrified, picked on me one day after playing for us some beautiful music on her gramophone which I had enjoyed, entranced.   "Wipe that insolent grin off your face or I will.....!"  I forget what she threatened but I was devastated at the injustice. Today, I have a friend who seems to misinterpret my every utterance, so that I find myself always measuring my words carefully and trying to think the way she does.  Can't do it. You can't win at this, but I suppose it makes sense to keep trying.