Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gratuitous use of the word dude

My four year old daughter asked me the other day if 'dude' was a swear word.
For a moment I was confused. My daughter is generally quite a sharp little girl and her grasp of language is relatively advanced. So why would she come to this conclusion I wondered?
Upon further questioning she informed me that I used the word a lot when I am angry, and she is quite right.

I am not a surfer. I never was. I do not use surfer jargon as a general rule. Using the word 'sick' as a totally awesome compliment is beyond me.
However the word dude, pronounced [dooo -ooohd], usually with varying degrees of frustration or disbelief has crept into my vocabulary. I have noticed that I use it a lot when driving. I drive a lot with small children. And so instead of loosing my temper and yelling "Use your f***ing indicator before you blatantly push in front of me in traffic you f***ing w**ker or I swear to G*d I'll come over there and f**k you up" I simply shake my head and say: "Du'de" with a disbelieving smirk on my face.

It would appear that the original message behind the word is not lost on my righteous little sick babe.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bad Dad

Far be it from me to ever criticise another parent. Usually. I am more than aware of how challenging the demands of this labour of love can be. Normally. I have an acute sensitivity to how easily we fuck mess up and how hard we all try not to. Most of the time.
I also stay out of racist rhetoric. Generally. I am very alert to the colour of my skin and the perceived slant this would give any of my arguments. Customarily. I also just couldn't be arsed bothered with people who want to wallow in this smelly pond of bile, I prefer to give my attention both intellectually and emotionally to the many, many people in South Africa who are working so very hard to heal the trauma of our collective past in a tangible way. Most of the time.
I also need to avoid newspapers for my own sanity.
But then every now and again I run up against something that I just have to respond to.
Even so, it has taken months to get around to it.

A local 'news'paper recently published an opinion column titled Still on the apartheid treadmill. Which, I admit, is a rather witty heading given the content. And this is where, for me, the problem lies.
The author tells the story of how his 12 year old son has been traumatised by the 'racist behaviour' of staff at his local gym. From what I can gather his son is under-age for use of the machines at the franchise. And he has been repeatedly asked to get off of the equipment by attendants. According to daddy the white kids, also under age, using gym equipment have not been harassed in this manner. Not once mind you, but six times, has this father placed his son in a position where this was a highly likely outcome.
And he still complains that he is struggling to "convince" his son to go to gym with him!

Is it just me or is this guy trying to foster another Angry Black Man?
C'mon man, the 12 year old has figured it out - he is NOT ALLOWED ON THE EQUIPMENT! Why keep using him to convince yourself that all white people think less of black people? (Yes, I know some do. I am probably related to a few of them) Why not stop fighting for the cause just for one Saturday morning and take him hiking up skeleton gorge. Just the two of you, mano y mano.
Please. Before it's too late and your anger either drives him away, or worse yet, infuses his soul.
Peace, brother.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Gifts from the fairies on Valentines day.

Monday, January 31, 2011

...like a bad Penny

I dropped the ball a little last week. It was my first week back at school.
For the Grrrlz and me. Yip. Again.
I have registered at the Centre for Creative Education to complete my Kindergarten teacher qualification.
As much as part of me would like to stay at home growing vegetables, baking bread and knitting by the fireside, there is a growing acceptance that I need to be able to accept financial responsibility for myself.
And this is what I do best. And love doing. And I still get to knit!
I feel truly blessed to be in this class. Most of the women doing the course are from the townships around Cape Town. Some working at Waldorf schools, but mostly employed in Educares in the townships. It is wonderful to be surrounded by these strong and love filled women who have made it their mission to bring joy into the lives of children.
Now I just need to improve my isiXhosa by 100% and all will be well.

Today I rediscovered LibraryThing. What fun to be able to see what everyone is reading! Now if I could just figure out how to add the widget to my bog the whole world could at last see what I have been reading. I know you are all waiting with your faces turning blue for this valuable piece of information.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Introducing Adam

Here in Suburbia we are in the land of the lawn. And flower beds. Growing vegetables is taking off with the eco-chic, but not in our garden yet...
Which is why I behave like a guerrilla gardener in our home. Constantly sneaking useful plants into the garden, housed in pots usually. And then protecting them for the rest of their lives.  One of my favourites is Adam, yes, an adam fig.
He was a scraggly, half dead, sorry sight when I discovered him languishing in his grow-bag. I transplanted him, fed him some compost and worm tea and he has thrived. I just wish he would repay all my love and attention with a fig!

Pen&Ink... revived

It all started quite innocently with me peeling potatoes onto newsprint from the recycling cupboard. I had been thinking about my writing for a while by then and wondering how to get over eight years of writers' block. 
My biggest problem being that I am not Margaret Atwood. 
Cannot write like Margaret Atwood. 
And am never going to be her, or write Handmaid's Tale. 
So why write?
Glancing down my eye was caught by a piece of at least 800 words about some arb man's experience with a shoddy handyman and his two garden gates. I kid you not. And they actually pay people to write this stuff?  And publish it in a newspaper?
I took this as a sign. If this boring old fart writer could earn an income - then I should at least keep writing.
I may never live up to my expectations. But I love to write. And so I will.
But not about my gates.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sleepy Sundays

I so badly need to remember to carry my camera with me at all times these days.
I think that every post deserves a picture that captures the moment (blogging 101, by Me)
How can I capture the beauty and joy of greeting the Sunday sun on Muizenberg beach without a photo of the grrrlz fascinated by sea snails in the surf, or the moon setting behind the mountains. I would be less inclined to share a photo of the dead seal half buried by kelp washed ashore.
It's difficult enough to capture the delicious aromas of sublime pastries and wonderful coffee to be had at Knead on the beach front, but without a photograph of the fabulous over-the-top Art Deco architecture that surrounds it is tricky to convey the charisma of this bustling bakery which shares a space with the Roxy surf shop - of course now the girls and I want to take surfing lessons!
It truly was a magical morning that made their original request to watch the Sunday cartoons fade to echoes of nothingness.
We closed the day with one of my rare visits to Church - now there's subject matter for a post or 65 - where for some reason they have taken to allowing unconfirmed 'minors' to take communion. This was an interesting enough experience, but I found myself choking on giggles at almost telling T1 to chew 'the body of Christ' with her mouth closed... I really must ask the minister if Methodists have something against wholegrain bread for communion.
Right, I am exhausted and babbling - but wanted to maintain momentum. And show off the fact that I have figured out how to insert hyperlinks.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bloggers Anonymous...

Hello, my name is P and I am a blogger.
This is only somewhat funny.
I have missed a whole three days away from The Machine only to come back to it to see that I have a whole day's worth of reading to do do catch up on the lives of people I have never met and had never even heard of before I started following their blogs. Isn't that sanctioned stalking?
I have also become twitchy and grumpy at not having shared my super fun two days of actually living life with all and sundry.
Well actually not. I do know it's only the two of you reading this...
I will write about my days in The Real World later.
Now I will go and collect my Real daughter from her first day at school.
This responsible act will somehow convince me that I do not have a problem.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pests into Pets


Recently the Grrrlz and I have managed to get something to grow in the actual garden, as opposed to the pots on the back porch under the washing line.
We scattered a mixed pack of herbs and the parsley and fennel seem to be putting up a good fight, with one borage plant thriving.
Most importantly Pa doesn't seem to have noticed and so the snail bait remains safely in the shed.
This week T1 spotted some caterpillars on our raggedy herbs.
The three of us trooped out to take a look.
Not so much because I care about sharing my herbs with a few worms.
Rather, because I would go to extreme lengths to keep the arsenal of poisons locked away.
And indeed there they were. Big fat juicy guys chomping away.
As is my way I took a seat on the lawn to carefully consider how best to handle the situation. One wouldn't want to kill the gorgeous creatures personally (not after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar), yet one wouldn't want pesticides to be used by other family members. However, I really did want the parsley to go to seed. Ho hum... I had just settled in for a delicious dilemma when T2 started to display signs of great excitement.
Pulling myself out of my blissful deliberations I realised that the poor ignorant caterpillars had been identified as, wait for it... pets!
Last year T2 and her playgroup teacher had made caterpillar houses and she had been devastated at not being able to find any caterpillars to bring home as pets. Nonetheless she had carefully kept the house, firm in the belief that 'if you book them they will come' or something to that effect.
And so the caterpillars were lovingly removed and rehoused in the caterpillar house.
The novelty wore off pretty much as soon as T2 realised that they really and truly were not going to do anything of interest even when she poked them...
By the next morning they were gone, possibly shrivelled up somewhere. But I like to think that they hotfooted it back to the garden to warn all their friends and relations of the horrors of domestication. Hopefully that will be the end of the infestation.


Planning ahead...

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

Yes, I am a shameless self promoter when it comes to my birthday. However I have never had the problem of people forgetting my birthday or not knowing what gifts I would like.
One of my wonderful Grrrrlz - the original Ms T often says: "Your presence is your gift."
Rubish.
The truth is I just love the thrill of unwrapping. My daughters know this. They are very wise. I often get gifts like a stone wrapped in a piece of fabric. Or, one of my all-time favourites, an earbud wrapped in toilet paper. I was in a good mood all day.
I guess for me it really is the thought that counts.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Newish Year


A new year has dawned, well it dawned a few days ago. Now it’s probably having breakfast, or rather that first delicious cup of coffee of the day…

This is the year that I shall conquer my distrust of all things electronic, starting with my digital camera…

2011 – the year before the year of the end of the world.

Well here goes, I am diving back into cyberspace. Supposedly as a means to keep friends and family far a field up to date with all things Suburban. But honestly to force myself to write regularly.

A belated Happy New Year.