Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Thought for the Day

A hopeless dream

You sometimes find in one of these cutesy souvenir/craft shops a written legend which affirms your belief that you are not alone, neither are you crazy.
To date (37 Years) I have not ever managed to get either of my sons or my husband to replace a used toilet roll, even though they know (or they should by now) that new ones are to be had in the cupboard adjacent to the toilet. All you gals out there will know what I mean when I describe the frustration of having perched and produced and having reached out for the toilet roll - nothing!  I have never learned to look first.  
I found this placard in a neighborhood shop:

"Replacing the empty toilet roll will not cause brain damage."

I can now relax.  Others are clearly in the same boat. We are off on a trek around the relatives tomorrow.  We shall be away for three weeks.  Big son is making his way home tomorrow....Check you when we get back.....

Friday, 24 April 2015

Big Son goes to America

Google image but same size/shape as Big Son

"Oh no, M has sent us a photo on your phone of himself in hospital complete with tubes, drip and heart monitor!"  I shouldn't have done that - hubby nearly drove off the road. We were returning home from taking our visitors back to get their plane in Cape Town. Big son went off to Chicago ten days ago on a training mission (IT stuff) - he was doing the training and all we had heard so far was that the food was awesome, service in restaurants amazing and he was off to organise a Victoria's Secret panty order for his sister. And now this i-phone pic with the cryptic message "I have a story to tell you." I wish children wouldn't do this. The last time it happened viz  "You will laugh when I tell you this",  it was our 18-year-old daughter who had been lost in London in the middle of the night sans cell phone and sans any money. (Ref.previous post somewhere). Anyway, then he phoned. Apparently, he had felt short of breath and not very well one day and described his symptoms to a local pharmacist, thinking he would be provided with a suitable over-the-counter remedy.  He does have some interesting skin and food allergies but has never had an asthma pump. On hearing his unusual accent and then discovering that M was from "Africa", there was quite a panic and to his surprise Big Son was rushed off to hospita to an isolation ward for a battery of tests: ebola was one of them. (Note: South Africa is many thousands of miles from the Ebola countries.)  Still, it was a relief that all the tests came back negative: the diagnosis  - some or other mild virus. Next day, big son felt much better and went fishing. The guy he was with caught a sturgeon in Lake Michigan and our anxiety levels re the welfare of our children have returned to normal. Big son gets home this week when he will get a severe bollocking from his mother.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Having Visitors

I guess you don't need to be old - Daily Mail, UK

I like having visitors, make no mistake, it's just that the ground rules of politeness and etiquette have to be carefully followed so that no-one misinterprets anything.  Let me explain: it's quite easy with family - my children simply take over my house with my grandchildren and everyone does their own thing. I clear up after they have left. The main benefit is that everyone understands that we have a nap in the afternoons and we go to bed at 9.00pm.  My close relatives also get this - in fact, they taught us to have afternoon naps, they are a bit older than us and when they visit - naps are a given all round. Also, my brother-in-law feels no embarrassment at 9.00 pm or even 8.30 in announcing that he is going to bed. This is great as it means we can also go to bed at our normal time. We currently have dear friends visiting for a week and we have known them for nearly 40 years. Precious they are indeed.  However, when we were young we lived in the same city and visits were limited to an evening or an afternoon. Now we discover that they are late night birds who don't even have afternoon naps. (How do they manage?) This means that we spend evenings desperately trying to disguise our yawns and drooping eyelids and afternoons seeking frantic activity in order to keep ourselves awake. These lovely people say they have come to visit us and would be very hurt if we suggested they take their hired car and go off on their own for a bit. Luckily, they did ask if they could visit because they had to fly down for a wedding and so they have been wonderful with chipping in for food/outings etc. and we have had the week-end on our own while they went to the wedding. This is really a quiet backwater where we live now so we did all the 'main attractions' in one day last week. The last couple of days we shall spend in Cape Town at our little flat (currently unoccupied) so we can visit the children, sightsee, no problem.  I just wish that all the attractions which advertise 'pensioner discounts' would not limit them to impossible times and only one day a week - Friday. To go up the cable car on Table Mountain is R225 return for adults (book online) and R95 for pensioners on Fridays - at the ticket office only.  We'll be in Cape Town on Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh well.... I think we will manage a pensioner discount for lunch at the Spur.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Petulant Post

I shouldn't even write this post but it's so nice to get a gripe or two down on paper - even if no-one reads it.  It's called I recall "letting off steam".  Sometimes there are times when nothing seems to go right.  We've had endless problems getting our swimming pool put in.  First there was the encounter with huge granite boulders after they had dug down a metre. After two ear-splitting days of two jack-hammers ( a baby followed by an expensive big guy), we gave in and agreed to re-order a shallower pool than the one we wanted. Actually, this should not have been surprising as we live on the side of a hill. Then something leaked/sucked air as huge bubbles constantly burst into the pool: no-one heeded my husband's hunch that the leaks were in the joins in the pipes and they should check before cementing in the paving. No, they said, it was just the solar heating tubes on the roof.  After three weeks of trying out this theory to no avail - the paving was finally broken up to reveal - leaking joints.  Also, the motor overheated at some point and my husband has demanded a new one. Then, after me defeating our garden tortoise for some weeks by placing chicken wire over my seedlings  a caterpillar got in and ate the lot. I was almost speechless with rage particularly as the offender seems to be invisible and I cannot vent my spleen by stepping on him.  You already know about the plumbing disaster in the laundry room.  So no-one swam over Easter. What else? Oh yes, I have had such a bout of feeling sorry for myself that I have done nothing constructive this week and even sulked because I have finished my knitting and my puzzle and have no new project at the moment. I am even more fed up because hubby is working like a demon building a retaining wall at the back of the house and my only useful role seems to be providing endless mugs of coffee and tea.  We had a very bad moment when he didn't even notice the one cup and knocked it flying.  I think I must get my life back and stop moaning.  Today was better - I packed my car to the rafters yesterdays with 'stuff' for the local boot sale.  I made almost no money, but I did meet a number of nice people and have created more space in our house.  I feel much better now. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Post Tonsilectomy

Some of the photos were so awful - I just had to use a diagram

After four bouts of tonsilitis and anti-biotics within two months, followed by two years of similar, my exhausted son and his wife consented to have Dylan's tonsils and (huge) adenoids out at the tender age of 2 1/2.  Everyone assured them it would be the answer to their sleepless nights: Dylan has not slept through since birth.  Two weeks after the op - not much change - parents despairing still, Dylan waking up even more than usual.  After four weeks: a miraculous reversal: Dylan sleeping right through the night, every night, until 6.00 a.m. The parents are changed people - bags under their eyes have disappeared, constant complaints about sleepless nights are a thing of the past. The only one who is not ecstatic is - Dylan.  Big son says he storms angrily into their bedroom every morning demanding to know why he is waking up in his own bed instead of theirs and what on earth has happened to his middle-of-the-night bottle?