Sunday, 31 October 2010

So this is how you do it.

If your blog is open and not private, you know that you run the risk of people copying your pictures, etc. es, I know I should put a logo on or such,but I have not gotten round to making one and am in general a bit lazy on the editing side. Yesterday in amongst the craziness of the day I notice a new comment on my post on Houtbaai earlier this year: "It's hard to be humble when you're from Hout Bay, and I love your photos. I run South Africa Travel Online and each week highlight a travel blog to our readers. This week I've chosen yours. We've linked to this post from the bottom of our BA newsletter."

Now people, if you want to use someone's photo - this is how you do it. Tell them about it, feature them in a newsletter or such and give them credit! Thank Karen for the compliments and good blogging etiquette. This is what she wrote and the picture she used.

Sometimes people take such high quality photos that it's impossible for me not to make a mention of them. Cat caught a flight from Lanseria to Cape Town where she spent time photographing Hout Bay.
Hout Bay harbour in Cape Town

Friday, 29 October 2010

Childhood cancer

This morning I attended our local Institute for Architecture's (the PIA) annual ladies breakfast. This is a much anticipated event by all the ladies involved in architecture - not just female architects, but also wives of architects, secretaries and other support staff in architectural practices and reps in the industry. It is the one event of the year that is about anything but architecture and is always well sponsored. We also support a charity with this event. This morning it was all about childhood cancer.

The function was held at the Royal Elephant Hotel & Conference centre - a stylish venue with great food. We were each asked to bring a teddy bear along with some sweets tied around it's neck - these were donated to Duncan's trust who distributes them to hospitals with Pediatric oncology units. After coffee and a welcome, we were asked to open our one goody bag, to find a mosaic kit for a cupcake potholder. We then did the glue part of the mosaics with an explanation as to how to complete the grouting at home. I know that most of the girls loved this as the venue was filled with giggles and laughs.I loved this - I am so going to do more mosaics.
My cupcake pot stand

After this we had a brief address by Veronica de Jager of CHOC - the Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa. This was followed by an hour long talk about childhood cancer by Derick Stedall, an architect and founder of the Duncan's Trust. Dercik lost his son Duncan at age 15 to cancer. Duncan's trust support and care for children and their families who are diagnosed with cancer. They also form part of the Just Footprints Foundation which takes kids with cancer and AIDS on camps, sisters, nurses, prosthesis, wheelchairs and all provided. Derick told their story as a family and the proceeded to show us some pictures of the kids they support and their stories.There are some amazing and touching stories of survival, hope and love. There are also stories of abandonment of sick children, brave battles lost and last moment joys. There was not a dry eye in the room. I sobbed like a baby only a mother with small children can by the mere thought that something like this can happen to one of my children. He also provided us with some shocking statistics: In the developed world your child has a 1 in 9 000 chance to get cancer before the age of 14. In South Africa it is 1 in 18 000, not because children are less likely to get cancer, but because it is often not detected in rural areas at all. If you are in the private health care system, the 1 in 9 000 is more realistic. In the developed world the survival rate is 70%, here it is 50% because it is often detected too late, once again in rural areas.  We were given a bookmark with theSaint Siluan warning signs to look out for, as set out below. And as we were warned, if fever persist and your doctor keeps prescribing anti-biotics, ask for the basic cancer screening - it is a simple test.

S: Seek: Medical help early for persistent symptoms
I: Eye: White spot in the eye, new squint, blindness, bulging eyeball
L: Lump: Abdomen and pelvis, head and neck, limbs, testes, glands
U: Unexplained: Fever, loss of weight and appetite, pallor, fatigue, easy bruising or bleeding
A: Aching: Bones, joints, back and easy fractures
N: Neurological signs: Change in behaviour, balance, gait and milestones, headache, enlarging head
*Saint Siluan was a Russian monk who died on Mount Athos in 1938. He prayed ceaselessly for all humanity.

The most common childhood cancers are Leukemia and brain tumors and it is suspected that some genetic link is possible in most cancers.

Just as important, what can we do to help in the fight against childhood cancer:
  1. Volunteer at CHOC or Footprints
  2. Donate platelets - this can be done at the SA blood transfusion service.
  3. Register as a stem cell (bone marrow) donor - it is a simple blood test. More tests are only done if you are a potential match. Currently a child has a 1:100 000 chance to get a match in SA - the more of us on the register, the better the chances are of a match if your own child might need it some day.
  4. Be aware of the signs of cancer, as above, and be on the lookout for it in your own children and those around you. Early detection is critical for survival.
  5. Donate money to CHOC or Duncan's trust - all the proceeds this morning went to Duncan's trust.
Thanks to all involved for a great morning and to REVLON who donated a hamper for the raffle and a mascara and make-up bag in the goody bags, to the Clay Club for two raffle hampers and our cupcake mosaic we made and to Belmay for the perfume. I am not sure who sponsored the bath goodies (might be the PIA themselves), but ut was a great spoil. More importantly, this morning made me so aware of how vulnerable our children are and mine each got a huge extra hug and a spoil this afternoon.
Le goody bag and contents.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Such a mixed bag of emotions day.


I had to be at a meeting in Sandton at 9:30 - not my favorite thing to do, to attack the morning traffic head-on. But I did arrive after an hour and 20 minutes about 20 minutes early for my meeting. Where everybody else was late and we only started 15 minutes late. The meeting did run a full three quarters of an hour over the scheduled time. But it does promise to be a highly exciting project. So mixed feelings.

The I met Jenty for a quick lunch. It was so super great to see her and have a good chat. You see, it's the "new" me, the more attention to myself one that allowed me to stay and do this. The "old" me would have rushed to the office immediately. It then took almost a full 2 hours to drive back to Pretoria - kid you not. I was almost out of my mind with frustration. Mixed emotions.

Then we had the Boys' 3 year check-up scheduled for 4:30 and on our way there the Princess started puking. Uncontrollably. By the time we came to the doc, sweet Hunter(whom we were meeting there) had a new outfit bought for her but she looked terrible. The good news is that the boys are both doing really well now that they are off all chronic medicine, including the asthma meds for C. Milestones look fine but we will evaluate L at 4 for muscle tone etc.We will also keep track of his speech development. They are both still on their growth curves and we are not going to do hormone or growth tests for L - he is not dipping on his curve and is steadily growing. The not so great news is that she has warned us to keep a lookout for attention and disruption issues with L ( she did not say the dreaded ADD or ADHD words but...)and to ask the school to be on the lookout for it next year. So mixed emotions.

Then she took a look at a very pale and listless Princess, although not dehydrated, already depleted of all glucose and the levels dangerously low. So she gave her some anti-nausea meds, booked her bed in hospital and instructed us that if she vomits once more or does not start drinking energade or such in half an hour, to take her immediately. I was so worried. But, she pepped up about 20 minutes later and started drinking shortly after that. Gosh, I was relieved. Of course, I was exhausted after the day and just fell asleep next to her.

Indeed a day of turmoil.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The weekend that was...

was a really good one.

On Friday from 11:00, I took some much needed me-time, and believe me, it was well worth it. In fact, it has really done wonders for my soul. Although I am now clearly a bit behind on work, I believe the optimism of the day will have a positive influence on my productivity. At 11:00 I went to my hairdresser for a cut, colour, highlights and blow wave. I really felt like a million dollars and Hunter really loved the look. After that I had a great lunch of brie, fig, strawberry and rocket salad at Isabella's with a book and my trusty phone for company. I ate, read, wrote a bit. I recharged the soul and the body by having some red velvet cake and coffee just before leaving at about 3:30. It was bliss. (For a photo post of the visit , have a look at  Captured by Cat)
On Saturday morning we attended the family fun day at the Princess' school - all 3 the kids had at least 3 glides on the water slide, with the Princess going again and again and again.

Little K spent the afternoon with us and while the Boys slept, the two girls had some dress-up fun.
Yesterday our planned zoo trip was once again postponed by less than ideal weather and a spot of rain, so we took the brood to Spur after which we had a blissful almost two hour nap - and by that I mean the whole family. Amazing I tell you! After that I went to gym and the rest of the family for a walk. It turned out that we really needed that nap with the Princess getting sick in the night with a very slight fever and some puking.Till not 100% tonight - but let's hope for the best.

So how was your weekend?

Friday, 22 October 2010

I met Deon Meyer.

PhotoStory Friday
 So today is more of a story than a great photo. Last night I met Deon Meyer! I attended the book release of his newest book, "Spoor". He is South Africa's top selling crime thriller writer and has been translated into 20 languages and he has won several international awards for his books. He is a rising international star - if you want to , think of him as South-Africa's Stieg Larsson.  I see his previous book, "13 Hours" has just been released in the USA - for a my review, read here.

After a discussion about the book with his publisher, we were given the chance to ask questions and then he went on to sign our books and have a chat with his fans. What a friendly, humble and charming man. I can not wait to read my book - just have to finish my current read first.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Just breathe...

At present my desk looks like a hurricane hit it, and at home, I am battling through cupboards to be tidied and clothes to be sorted. I just can not find the time. It seems that my mind is just as untidy as the rest of my life - not for the first time I am seeing the reflection of the one on the other.

I seem to be in a bit of a flat spin. Things are at present just moving on a  way too fast pace - work is hectic and as the end of the year approach, the usual silly season is getting into swing.On Tuesday I forgot about a meeting - I have NEVER before done that. NEVER. I am lucky that I have befriended the second in command at the client who gave me a little call when I was not there on time, and I was also lucky that the meeting was just 5 minutes from my office. Yesterday I left my car door open at a shopping center where I am busy with work. With my handbag in the car. Just my luck that their diligent security guards noticed it and looked after my car. Not a single thing was missing. Not a single rand, not my sunglasses, not my ipod. Everything there and safe. Yesterday afternoon I pitched up at school to fetch the Princess - on Wednesdays my mom picks her up for ballet early and takes her home after that.

So, tomorrow I am giving myself some time of work. I mean, if you carry the stress and responsibilities, you should be able to get some reward for that. I am going in to work, and then at 11 I am going for a much needed hairdressing appointment. After that, I am going to relax somewhere for lunch with a book as company. I might after that do some shopping, or go home to tidy some of those cupboards.

I am hoping that this time of just give me a gap to just breathe.To orientate my mind a bit.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Crafty kids

My Princess is a crafty kind of girl - she always wants to make something, wants to do something. Like mother like daughter I guess. And although I love doing crafts with her in the afternoons this can be quite hectic if added to two little boys and cooking dinner. So I am thrilled if I find something that will keep her happy for a while.

We first discovered Early learning Centre when my SIL and BIL lived in Dubai. She sent the kids some of their brilliant toys for birthdays ad Christmas. Some of the favorites are the felt ballerinas that the Princess has and the felt pirates and funnny faces that the boys have.The pirate island water play centre is still a firm favorite now that summer is around again.Just check out the fun they have with it in this blogpost . A few of our Woolworths stores have an ELC in the store - the range in limited and bloody expensive, but some little gems are to be found like this one - now my favorite gift for girls. A DIY faerie kit! Made of foam shapes you assemble your own faerie.There is even a frog prince! The Princess limits herself to one at a time and has made 3 of the 5, keeping the others for another day. As the price is really reasonable, I think we can make a plan for some more faeries as a reward.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Ballerina dreams.

On Saturday my mom and I took the Princess to her first full length ballet in the big State Theater. It was a production by the Youth Ballet theater with well known stars in the lead roles. Saturday morning was a special dress -up show with a little party during the first interval. She was so absorbed in the show and told me that she wants to be a ballerina just like the lilac faerie some day. And as you all know, I tell it better in pictures:

After the show they had the chance to meet the lead dancers. Here the Princess is waiting for Mr Hannah to sign her program.
Sharing a love for theater and knowing she can actually watch a whole show makes my Monday.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday 15 October 2010

I am sure I say it every week, but I am ever so happy it is Friday! Gosh, this week has been long and tiring.
So let's start de-fragging :
  • I am taking the Princess to her very first full length ballet tomorrow morning, Sleeping Beauty, with granny and one of granny's buddies in tow. It is a special dress-up show for the girls and she is going to wear her evening dress and a little tiara. Pictures will follow.
  • After that we are rushing to attend Miss E's birthday party.
  • I have been going to the physiotherapist for the last few days for my sinus infection and sore shoulder from my fall. The sinus is definitely better (and I am getting used to acupuncture needles), the progress on the shoulder has been fantastic! I am a fan now, for sure.
  • We have the most stunning staff in our office. Today is Bosses' day in South Africa and we each got a beautiful card and a hard hat with the company logo on the front and our names on the back. Brilliant stuff.
  • Our silkworms have now started spinning and the kids are loving the process. We are once again spinning some shapes and I will show you more in a special silkworm post.
  • If you Wiki silkworms they tell you that silkworms are only bred for recreation purposes by kids in China. My gosh, I grew up with it here in South Africa - are we the only people apart from the Chinese to do it? Please tell me it's not true.
  • The Princess has a second loose tooth. I see we will have to start saving for this process.Or at least, the tooth faerie will have to.
  • A certain little boy whose name starts with an "L" has decided that at all of just 3 years old he can pour his own milk and juice. We have lost about 2 liters of milk and one of juice this week to the kitchen floor. Now the fridge has a kiddie lock on.
  • We might just have to pay on our promise for a visit to the zoo on Sunday as the trio of kids are behaving themselves rather well at present. Hold thumbs that the Komodo dragon is back. When we went last time it was a huge disappointment for the Princess when it was lent for a breeding program. It's apparently her favorite animal. Why does it surprise me? She has a serious dinosaur obsession.
  • Since I am allowing annon comments (so that some of my buddies can comment without open ID ) I am getting up to 4 spam comments a day! Just stay away from me you foreign language adult websites! Luckily the same friends leave the greatest comments - not a bad price to pay.
Well, I think that is about it for today - have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Way back - October 2007

It's really been a while since I have played along with a  Way Back Wednesday.
So I had a look on the old back-up harddrive to this week, 3 years ago when the little boys were just tiny tots.
Date: 14 October 2007
Age of the boys: 19 days
Age of the Princess: 34 months.
We had a little outing to Jingle Jangle (then called Lalapanzi).

Little man L to the left and Little man C to the right.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


in life you just have to go on, be brave and keep your head up. Chin up, lets move forward.
Sometimes you just want to be a woman, to cry and be fragile and not be strong and unemotional as your work environment dictates. You just want to be with your love, be held and loved.

Today I got angry, very angry - and then I cried. In the office.  For work stuff. And then I get, out of the blue, the sweetest email from my love. I seldom cry, but I NEVER cry in the office.Today I cried because just when I was at my lowest this bit of electronic love arrives without him knowing that I am having such a tough day.. It's just been one of those days - not one thing, just everything getting a bit too much. Overwhelmed, over stressed and over worked.

And did I mention that I am so over the seasonal sinus?

Monday, 11 October 2010

October 2010- Book 26

When will there be Good News by Kate Atkinson
The only other two books that I have read by the author are both favorites of mine. "Behind the scenes at the museum" is a wonderful drama highlighting how a family does not cope with tragedy. "One good turn" is and intriguing bit of crime fiction (and some more) set at the Edinburgh festival. This read is a bit of both.

Featuring some of the characters I have met in "One good turn" this book also features not one, but 3 great female characters - each one clever, witty and  intriguing in her own way and each with a n interesting past.

Pivoting around a train disaster, a set of events featuring a 16 year old character called Reggie  -  a lonely, poor but brilliant girl- forms the backbone of the story, told with great compassion and speckled with Atkinson's telltale dry sense of humor. To be honest, I still have some questions milling in my mind about the eventual outcome of it all.

Clever and well written with endearing characters, this is a must read if you like a good crime read. 

Cat's ranking: 9 and a half/10 

As the seasons turn

To everything
Turn, turn, turn
There is a season
Turn, turn, turn
And a time for every
purpose under Heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything
Turn, turn, turn
There is a season
Turn, turn, turn
And a time for every
purpose under Heaven
( by Pete Seeger based on Ecclesiastes 3:1)

It's been a week of the turning of the seasons for us and our friends and family. Not the big ones, birth and death. Rather the smaller nuances in life. Those little rites of passage.

Last Sunday we attended the christening of our friend's little son Schalk and his brother Louis' second birthday. A celebration of the joining of a boy into his community of believers.

On Tuesday Hunters grandfather was moved into a frail care facility at the age of 89 after stubbornly refusing to move out of his house for years. Two weeks ago he was still driving his car around in Port Elizabeth.  The streets in PE are much safer now, but our hearts are heavy as we know it is the beginning of the end.

On Saturday this reaching of the milestones in life was amplified when we celebrated three events in one day. Right after waking up on Saturday morning the Princess lost her first baby tooth. Later that morning we celebrated little Adriaan, a miracle baby in his own right's first birthday. Late afternoon I took pictures of cousin Karla for her matric dance (senior prom). I was struck by the pace at which life seem to pass us by. Just the other day she was a little girl, the age of my Princess when she was flower girl at my other cousin's wedding.  I was stuck by how beautiful and different she looked. And I was mostly stuck by the unique combination of a sophisticated young woman and a little girl not buried too deeply below the glamorous surface.

How fast do they grow up and at what pace does the seasons turn in out lives? A time and place for everything.

Want to see some more pictures of my beautiful cousin, go have a look here.
Thanks to Hunter for the idea for this post as we sat enjoying the thunderstorm on Saturday evening late and reflecting on the events of the day.

Friday, 8 October 2010

July 2009 - Book 30

I am doing this one in Afrikaans as it is not available in English.
Verblyf deur Erika Murray-Theron

Wat 'n heerlike verassing was die boek nie. Ek het die boek doodeenvoudig impulsief by die boekklub geleen, en so ou tannie tipe boek verwag. Maar hierdie boek is uitstekend geskryf met 'n boeiende storielyn. Die hele toon van die boek is effe ongemaklik, mens kan as aan't ware die ontuisheid van die karakters in die boek aanvoel, wat op die ou einde vir almal na 'n soort van "behoort" ontwikkel.

Regtig 'n goeie lees.

Cat's gee die 7 en 'n half/10.

Friday 8 October 2010

I am so glad it's Friday today - this week has been brutal work wise. So without further ado - let's get the mental de-cluttering done.
  • The silkworms are by now huge monsters eating way more than I can possibly imagine. No spinners yet.
  • It's cousin Karla's matric farewell ball tomorrow night and I have been asked to take her photos. I am super excited as she want pictures in the veld. (Matric farewell ball is like senior prom)
  • The Princess is still playing around with that tooth, waiting for it to fall out. For the record, after asking here and on several other forums the fee per tooth is between R10 and R20, except if you are in Joburg's wealthier areas wher it can be up to R100! In America it is $1.
  • We have a water leak in our garden in one of the flower beds. As I am writing this the plumber is fixing the pipe.I am very scared of our water bill coming at the end of the month.
  • I got some brioche for Jay's cafe in Hobart shopping centre in Bryanston yesterday. It is beyond tasty. Super yummy.
  • I am in a lot less pain today after my fall on Wednesday. Yesterday I thought that I would have to get to the doctor as I was in so much pain.
  • It took me just short of 2 hours to get from Joburg to Pretoria yesterday from 3 pm as I was caught in the first big thunder storm of the season.
  • And yes, it rained! It was amazing to hear the thunder, smell the rain and hear it fall. The first thunder storm (in fact a lot of them) here in Africa is truly spectacular.
  • It was great that the boys was ok with the storm - at least they remembered it, not like last year when they were terrified.
  • I am really looking forward to our December holidays - we are going away twice and see the sea in two provinces. It is going to be epic!
  • It's the first week that Little man L went without a daytime pull-up. No 1 is going fine, no 2 is still a not so wee little problem.
  • Little man C asks me every single day to go camping. Every single day. I am promising December. Every single day. 
  • I am so enjoying reading "When will there be good news" by Kate Atkinson. Review to follow soon at Cat's bookclub. If you want to read a really great book, the last one I reviewed was brilliant - my best read this year. 
  • I have wanted a Kindle ever since they came out here - now I would rather get an ipad - our IT guy has one and I am in love. What better to read your books and blog on a tablet.
 So that's my bit of fragmenting - if you are looking for my Friday Photo post or project 365, I will be publishing it soon at Captured by Cat - my new photo blog.
Come share in the blog hop:

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Time flies.

Just three months short of 6 years ago we brought home our precious little Princess. Since then she has grown and developed, sometimes a bit faster than anticipated as she became the older sister of twins at just 33 months of age.

At age 5 she can build 100 piece puzzles almost independently, she ballets and she creates beautiful pottery pieces. She can write her name and anything else you can help her to sound out. She knows all her letters and can do simple addition and subtraction sums. We are so proud of  the girl she has become.

The last month or so it seems as if things have gone into a developmental overdrive. The other day I came downstairs early in the morning to find the 3 eating breakfast of Oaties and milk, taken out of the cupboard and fridge herself and served to her brothers. While camping the long weekend she and Little Man C disappeared, just to come strolling from the ablution block minutes later as she took him to the toilet. She makes a concerted effort to entertain her brothers and help mommy when we are alone. She is a joy to have around.

And yesterday she came home to tell me that she had hit her tooth at school and now it's loose. As the school would in general inform us of a fall and I could see no bruising on her lip or mouth I asked when and how she hit her mouth. She says she can not remember that she did, but that she must have as when she ate her lunch she realized that her bottom right tooth is loose.I felt it, clearly loose but not sore at all. (this was also the very first tooth she cut) My baby is loosing her baby teeth. Sooner than later the tooth mouse (our local version of the tooth fairy) will come visiting. I am sad, nostalgic and a bit teary - she is growing up way too fast.

So a question, how much does the tooth mouse/fairy actually pay for a tooth these days?

She just informed me this morning that the tooth faerie will indeed come for her teeth as girls believe in faeries. Hence the tooth mouse collects boy teeth only. I had no idea....

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The bloody indignity of it...

slamming down to the ground, like a sack of shapeless potatoes. I just did it again today, while leaving a building site in front of 7 fellow professionals and a client, all male (just to make matters worse). They clogged around me like 7 mother hens and immediately my scrapes was attended to, cleaned and bactrobanned. As it was my second fall in 4 days, I remarked that I should get my ears checked out (having this huge sinus and allergy thing going certainly can lead to ear problems). Meanwhile, two return from the scene of the crime  humiliation, excited to tell me that it was not my fault as a brick stair I stepped on broke through right in the middle and literally pulled my foot out under me. I was relieved, relieved that it was not my usual inattention, but at the same time hugely humiliated that it was my weight that it gave under and not the fat quite sturdy contractor that I was following up said stair I am sure none of the men can possibly entertain the same thought I have - that it broke under his weight and mine was just the next random step in line. So I have one left arm, heavily scraped just above the bruise of Sunday's fall, a sore left shoulder and other aches and pains. Also a new resolve to loose more weight.  And an "Incident on site" report so that I can go to the  hospital if required.

For Sunday's fall, there will be no report as none of the witnesses are (thank goodness) able to write. As we returned from friends I stepped over our garden fence to turn open the tap to fill the kiddie pool. Just to hook the heel of my dainty sandal on the fence and slam, face first into the nice decorative flagstones leading to the taps. There I was lying, unable to get up as one white dog was standing right next to me, face into mine with a huge frown as expression. A black dog was sitting right on my bum, trying to figure out what happened while the 5 year old ran for the first aid kit. One three year old wanted nothing to do with it all and kept demanding that I turn on the water, while the other plainly ignored the situation and continued to play. A scrape on the side of my face, a small bruise on my leg and quite and ugly and painful bruise and slight sprain on my wrist was the tally for that one.

So I guess I am lucky that I am already taking anti- inflammatory pills and truly hope that these run in twos and not threes.

BTW - when last did you scrape yourself in a fall. I can really not remember that it is this sore. All of a sudden I have a lot more sympathy for my kid's little scrapes and bruises.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Captured by Cat

It seems as if my photos are fast overtaking the actual blogging happening on Juggling Act. I have been toying with the idea for a while to set up a separate blog for my photos for several reasons. Mainly as I am somehow finding myself not doing actual posts I want to write because I have some photo commitment lined up for that particular day.

So without further ado - I present : Captured by Cat - a space for my photos and photo challenges. This blog will remain my main space to talk about life and all the challenges and joys it brings.

Monday, 4 October 2010

September 2010- Book 24

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Ian McEwan has his own unique style in writing. Often with a surprise turn of events, he tells the stories of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

This book features two very ordinary young people faced with their wedding night shortly before the sexual revolution. He is extremely excited to consume theur union in a moment much anticipated. She is scared beyond words. They both have a deep caring, almost platonic love for each other. In one swift moment it all goes wrong.

When faced by Edward on Chesil beach demanding his marital rights, Florence makes a proposal that shocks Edward and finally turns the event to the unexpected twist.

This is a really good read, true to McEwan's style. If you liked "Atonement", his best know book ( also a movie), give this read a try.

Cat's opinion: 8/10

On Chesil Beach

Book review added of this good controversial by Ian McEwan at Cat's bookclub.

Houston, we have a problem.

"I love you mommy",Mr C said like he tells me a million times each day. "I love you my sweetie" I say like I do a millions times every day. " You do not love the people at work, do you" he asks? And all of a sudden I realized what was wrong. A classic example of attachment anxiety. Actually I though that we had a sleep issue. It's been weeks that little man C has not slept though. That he wakes up every night and then wants mommy to sleep next to him. In utter exhaustion I gave in and then he falls asleep within minutes. But I do too with the result that I have a new sleeping partner. And I need to sleep next to my hubby for my own emotional well being.

Amazingly I should have noticed a pattern before - often over weekends he sleeps through, as he did every night while camping and the week following. I thought we had it sorted. On Friday night the plot thickened because now he refuses to go to sleep at night , and then he wakes up during the night. I think it might be because daddy was not there or simply he needs to drop the day time sleep. Or maybe, just maybe it all boils down to wanting mommy just to him. I really do not know. .

So yesterday we attended the christening  of the 2nd child of friends. He was running around being the happiest and cutest of boys possible. Really, no hint of the issue at hand. And while being complemented on his people skills and outgoing personality, I just had to tell the sister of our friend about our current little problem. And then we got talking about parenting and sleep books, all the advice etc. Our nursing sister recommends sending mommy away for a few days, which has worked well for us every time. This mom recommended literally strapping him to you, giving him all the attention and more than he might need, until he feels re-assured and let you go by himself. An overdose.  In a perfect world it seems like the "right" thing to do.  For me simply, it's not practical. He is too heavy. Also I have a Princess who insist on her attention and hugs and sitting on mommy's lap. Little man L although being Mr Independent himself, do come for the occasional cuddle and re-assurance and gets extremely upset if it is not dished out immediately.

So really, I need some help, some opinions. Any ideas?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The elegance of the hedgehog.

A review published at Cat's Bookclub for this must read book. Thus far, my favorite read for 2010.

September 2010 - Book 25

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Renee  Michel is a concierge in a building housing some of the most expensive apartments in Paris. On the surface she is a typical ignorant concierge. Deep inside, she is an intellectual of note. Elsewhere in the building Paloma Josse, all of 12 years old, sees no future in her predetermined life. When the owner of one of the apartments dies, and the flat is sold to the charming Kakuro Ozu, both their lives take a turn in another direction.

Filled with wonderful characters each and every part of the book joins to tell the most unique and beautiful story in the most sublime way. I have to mention that the translation from the original French is also perfect. I oftenn find that books translated from another language is not as enjoyable to read as an originally English book as often the English feels forced and rigid. This translation flows and I never had the feeling that English was not the language that the book was originally written in.

Sublime, quiet and absolutely beautiful, this touching read is my favorite this year and may well earn a place in my top 30 or so books.

Cat's opinion: a perfect 10/10

Friday, 1 October 2010

Friday 1 October - what's it's October already?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily
Hosted by Chris
  Time for a slice of our lives once again. Welcome to our world.

  17 September 2010:

Golden hour evening light on the berries in the garden. Can you spot the spiders web?

  21 September 2010:
A rare flash photograph. I think it came out beautiful.

  22 September 2010:
This was a purely by chance photograph as the early morning sun hit the clivias.

  24 September 2010:
Mommy and very tiny baby rhino. It was great seeing so many of them.

269/365:   26 September 2010:

This Grey Loerie at Pilansber Centre was so cheeky.

  27 September 2010:

Water diamonds in the rock roze. I like my focus point in this one.

  29 September 2010:

At the Duplo Zoo lion cubs get transported via bulldozer.
  30 September 2010:

Our first born turned 9 on the 26th.
Update on Tuesday's post:
I was amazed at how many and diverse reactions this post generated. I am very happy to report that she does not have TB but a case of walking pneumonia, which she is being treated for and put on bed rest. My final say on this is yes, I know we are all in contact with TB every day, it is still scary if it hits close to home. I am mostly relieved for her as I really like her - she is by far the most friendly staff member - a ray of sunshine.