Monthly Archives: May 2013

Behind the yellow door………


Few things make my pulse quicken from absolute utter love and delight. Until the other day, I went shopping for flooring for my kitchen, library and office. I discovered wooden vinyl flooring. The floor in the showroom was laid with sections in different colours and different types of flooring.

Well….I almost lay down on that floor and started dry humping it. It was that beautiful.

I do remember smiling a beatific smile and thinking I’d come home.

To my happy place.

Let me start at the beginning…Rome ’64….

I love decorating and the older I get the more eclectic I find my taste. I’m so tired of the French look. The tired Tuscan villa look and tired of shabby chic. Contrived jars, jugs, kitchen ware inscribed with French words that no-one actually knows the meaning of.

oh and tired of cushions and words on walls that bark out orders….like LOVE, EAT, HOME, PLAY etc etc

Those words are so tired. And I’m tired of looking at them.

I have a passion for decor mags and Weylandts fills me with utter calm and peace.

And so I’ve begun the journey of tarting up my kitchen. Not a brand new kitchen mind. I’m having my cupboards painted white, some new cupboards made and granite or Caesarstone tops made, retiling, new blinds, new extractor fan, new gas hob, new floors, painting etc etc.

and so I’ve started becoming a pinterest whore. searching for sugarman. no, just kidding, searching for a kitchen that I like.

I’ve chosen dark wooden vinyl flooring (swoon….), white solid wood cupboards, tops to be confirmed and the colour scheme of Chartreuse yellow and grey.

So exciting.

Here are some pics. (thanks to

actual kitchebn

yellow chairs

vinyl flooring


vinyl floor wood

yellow door

  • loving that yellow door
  • loving the white cupboards
  • loving the random yellow chairs

When you use the ‘r’ word and people shit themselves…..piggy backing off The Reluctant Mom


Today I made a booboo on the Reluctant mom’s Blog Post. see link . I commented. A commenter before me mentioned assuming the “R” word was for retard, remedial,respect.

Well, I quickly assumed the word “R” stood for racism. Someone named Tania took offense. I think the offense was more on my comment:

“I thought the R word was Racism, but then I remembered you lived in Cape Town and there aren’t many racists there…” than for the word “racism”.

She then proceeded to give me a right good revving on judging people and places. See here: “I have to ask you not to judge on any of the other provinces being more racist.  How would you know?  Who are you to judge?  Every province has it’s own issues and problematic groups of people.  Some are more laid back Some are more vocal Some just rather keep quiet.  I grew up in Cape Town but have been living in Gauteng for 12 years.  Racism is everywhere Countess…  it’s whether you choose to be apart of it or not…  and not to judge people and places…”

Well since I’m not one to start a fight on someone elses’ blog, I’ll answer Tania on my Blog. So Tania, here is my reply to you.

Firstly, I apologise if you feel offended. That was not my intention. You see, here in the Eastern Cape, what we say is usually what we mean. In other words : ….but then I remembered you lived in Cape Town and there aren’t many racists there…”, Perhaps I did not put it eloquently but I see Cape Town as a liberal city, everybody loves everybody and many don’t see colour. Very simple and to the point. An absolute complement to Cape Tonians. A generalised comment to be sure. But then I would have thought you’d have understood that.

To be fair, if it’s a sensitive topic for one, I can see my comment coming across as judgemental and generalised to the other cities and people of South Africa.  But at the end of the day, you have to give me the benefit of the doubt, and if you don’t, well, sorry for you. It’s not what I meant, so you have to just deal with it,’coz it’s not what I meant.

I was extremely embarrassed at my dressing down. I blushed when I read it. Not out of shame, but out embarrassment at my public chastisement.

I think bringing up racism is always going to be touchy here in South Africa. But I will not, FOR ONE MINUTE, sit down and be called someone who judges other provinces as being more racist or someone who judges people or places. You will not sit there and respond to my comment and then assume something of me.

I will not allow it.

That’s all.

Let me tell you something confidentially…..


When you live in a community like ours you must have a sense of humour. An undercover sense of humour mind! Wouldn’t do you any good to snigger openly at the comings and goings of people and situations.

Our community is pretty diverse and divided up in many categories and districts. Each farmer comes with his own Handbook passed down from generation to generation. The rules are simple and unyielding in each handbook.

Now, don’t be obtuse, I’m not talking about an ancient, weathered leather-bound book lying collecting dust in the farmers office. No, I’m talking metaphorically. Each farmer thinks he’s right. Each farmer believes in his farming method and his way of doing things. To the point of secretly scoffing another farmer behind closed doors, you know…. quietly to his wife: “So and So is going to see his gat if he carries on like that!”. Some have confided in John and I and I’ve heard others confiding in each other, you know confidentially like.

And “This one” will listen and then confide in “That one“. All confidentially. Until everyone in the district knows the confidential secret.

That’s how it works here. I use the word confidentially ad nauseam. To be ironic. To be cynical. Perhaps to even mock.

We are all guilty of it here.

I mean last week someone told me a story in confidence that I’d told her confidentially the week before.

It came full circle.

How to Nip a Nag in the Bud with a 2 litre Ice-cream container…..


Now being a farmer’s wife around these parts, one has to develop one’s baking skills. One usually never departs from ones house without some Tupperware of goodies tucked under ones arm.

It’s cupcakes for the Farmers Association, supper for 20 for R.T., scones for church, a platter for someones funeral etc etc. You get the picture?

Now imagine all these dishes, platters and Tupperware containers (even on the odd occasion 2litre and 5 litre ice-cream containers), all lying together unmarked without one’s name on it? No, it would be chaos right? So, we all mark our containers. I always mark my initials in Black laundry pen khoki on the corner. Some mark theirs in Tippex, in red nail polish and my firm, firm, firm favourite; water proof plasters with their name written on it. You know, Elastoplast! Yes, that’s right!

And I can firmly say, that it doesn’t age well. Although admittedly, our younger generation doesn’t go for that marking style so much. It’s more the older generation. Or one or two of them.

Back to those 2 and 5 litre ice-cream containers. They look so crass, but they are the business! Sometimes John has to go to a function, like a hunt etc and I know the chances of my expensive container coming back is 2% -zero%, so I pop the braai meat into a 2 litre container and Bob’s your Uncle. No mess, no fuss!

Never underestimate the power of a 2litre ice-cream container to Nip a Nag in the Bud!

A picture speaks a thousand words………..


follow this link for the article below:

A Final Embrace: The Most Haunting Photograph from Bangladesh

Taslima Akhter

April 25, 2013. Two victims amid the rubble of a garment factory building collapse in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.

“Many powerful photographs have been made in the aftermath of the devastating collapse of a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. But one photo, by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter, has emerged as the most heart wrenching, capturing an entire country’s grief in a single image.

Shahidul Alam, Bangladeshi photographer, writer and founder of Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography, said of the photo: “This image, while deeply disturbing, is also hauntingly beautiful. An embrace in death, its tenderness rises above the rubble to touch us where we are most vulnerable. By making it personal, it refuses to let go. This is a photograph that will torment us in our dreams. Quietly it tells us. Never again.”

Akhter writes for LightBox about the photograph, which appears in this week’s TIME International alongside an essay by David Von Drehle.

I have been asked many questions about the photograph of the couple embracing in the aftermath of the collapse. I have tried desperately, but have yet to find any clues about them. I don’t know who they are or what their relationship is with each other.

I spent the entire day the building collapsed on the scene, watching as injured garment workers were being rescued from the rubble. I remember the frightened eyes of relatives — I was exhausted both mentally and physically. Around 2 a.m., I found a couple embracing each other in the rubble. The lower parts of their bodies were buried under the concrete. The blood from the eyes of the man ran like a tear. When I saw the couple, I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I knew them — they felt very close to me. I looked at who they were in their last moments as they stood together and tried to save each other — to save their beloved lives.

Every time I look back to this photo, I feel uncomfortable — it haunts me. It’s as if they are saying to me, we are not a number — not only cheap labor and cheap lives. We are human beings like you. Our life is precious like yours, and our dreams are precious too.

They are witnesses in this cruel history of workers being killed. The death toll is now more than 750. What a harsh situation we are in, where human beings are treated only as numbers.

This photo is haunting me all the time. If the people responsible don’t receive the highest level of punishment, we will see this type of tragedy again. There will be no relief from these horrific feelings. I’ve felt a tremendous pressure and pain over the past two weeks surrounded by dead bodies. As a witness to this cruelty, I feel the urge to share this pain with everyone. That’s why I want this photo to be seen.”

Taslima Akhter is a Bangladeshi photographer and activist.

Read more: Akhter


My mommy cup runneth over….


Yesterday morning we were all invited to Aidan’s school for a Mothers Day assembly. Poems were read out, songs were sung and it was beautiful. We were then invited for a cup of tea in the quad and then to go the class for a treat and to view the books. When I arrived in Aidan’s class, he was so excited to see me and so proud to show me his books. We all got a little gift and a chocolate. What a treat to see his books and his classroom and to picture where he sits and writes and reads.

I’m not going to lie to you, it was worth those busy Sundays, no sleep, whining and constant worry to experience such pride as I did yesterday.

So proud of my boy.

p.s Allow me this one time of bragging. You KNOW I never indulge in it.

P.P.s Aidan has the most merit stickers in his class and has read the most books.

Just saying.

The topic of conversation…..


Everybody’s irritating me. and lots are irritating me more.

I don’t feel like socializing. Let me re-phrase, only feel like socializing with whom I want to. Now, all you townies are nodding your heads in confusion and thinking, well duhhhhh obviously, you only socialize with people you want to? No, doesn’t happen here in the platteland. You socialize with whomever you land up with at the Country Club, or fundraising steakhouse or dinner or 40th or whatever. sometimes I’m the Queen of Small talk, but other times I’m hard-pressed to even give a tight-lipped smile to people I dislike.

People I dislike:

  • arrogant eeeejits
  • know it alls
  • people who don’t have  a sense of humour
  • those filled with self-importance
  • bores
  • bores
  • bores
  • people who battle to engage in a conversation
  • those that answer in monosyllables
  • those that answer ALL YOUR questions about their life/ children/ career/hobbies/ husbands/ sex life/ gardening skills/ latest cooking technique WHATEVER and then don’t enquire about MY LIFE IN RETURN!!!!
  • those that go into detail about every little basic detail and occurence in their children’s lives
  • and especially those who speak about their children in glowing terms…..yawn yawn yawn

Generally speaking, I can cope with most people. I do like people. It’s just those few, that spoil it for everyone else.