Sense of humour failure (SHF)

Sense of fun“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A friend of mine officiated a wedding in the United States recently. This is how she described her day:

“Everyone was in great spirits,” she said. “There were about 18-20 of us. But I was the only person wearing a mask and there was no social distancing.”

“It felt like unprotected sex all day long. Aaaahhhh!!!!”

Continue reading Sense of humour failure (SHF)

Locking down the little details

“I think of every little trifle between me and Dora, and feel the truth, that trifles make the sum of life.”

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Cauliflower seedling in soilHave I mentioned that bedtime is my favourite time of the day? It runs in the family. We are an early-to-bed-family … not necessarily early to rise. My Mama gets so excited for bed that she squeals when she burrows under the covers. I’ve inherited that habit too.

One of my bed time wind-down habits is reading.

My current tome is Old St. Paul’s: A tale of the Plague and the Fire by William Harrison Ainsworth (1841). The details of 1665 London, during plague times bears much resemblance to COVID-times, I’m afraid, though also with an awful lot of Continue reading Locking down the little details

Something lacking

“Across the veld were those hills of the Klein Karoo, rolling up and dipping down like waves. On and on, like a still and stony sea. I picked up my melktert and bit off a mouthful. It was good, the vanilla, milk and cinnamon working together to make that perfect comforting taste.”

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew

tea and ruskRecipes. Hmmm.

I don’t fit into normal size clothes, I’m told by my Hubby that I ‘always’ make changes to an item I order on a menu. And though I can cook well (I’d say) and can improvise a pretty tasty meal out of random leftovers in the fridge, I’ve never been able to strictly follow a recipe, without some degree of substitution.

I’ve leave the baking to real experts – my sister-in-law, my mother, CharliesBirdla boulangerie, Phyls Kitchen rusks.

This is why I do not bake.

That is, until today… Continue reading Something lacking

Married bliss

The Princess Bride film cover“I am your Prince and you will marry me,” Humperdinck said.
Buttercup whispered, “I am your servant and I refuse.”
“I am you Prince and you cannot refuse.”
“I am your loyal servant and I just did.”
“Refusal means death.”
“Kill me then.”

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Ingredients: 2 or people, 1 x home, 2 x personalities, 2 x jobs, multiple roles

Optional, add to taste: animals, children, car, nanny, cleaner, housework, garden, dreams, personal tastes and interests, humour, neighbours, income, parents-in-law, siblings, illness, personal space and long-suffering.

Method: fold ingredients together carefully, heat gently, do not over-cook.

Warning: some ingredients expire within 28 days.

Continue reading Married bliss

“Polly!”

“She took a sip, and she felt calmed by it, as she always did. There was something in reddish tea that said to you look, don’t worry.”

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith

McVitie's digestivesWhen someone in a film says, “Fancy a cuppa?” or “I’ll pour us a glass, shall I?” do you also feel like popping the kettle on or opening a bottle of wine?

I’m an absolute sucker for a suggestion. And it works in all sorts of ways. Continue reading “Polly!”

It’s not all bad!

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” 

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

candles on a date“How was your holiday in SA?” I asked, excited to hear how much our friend had enjoyed his visit to my homeland in December.

“South Africa is really in a bit of a mess,” he replied. Note, that in British English, a ‘bit of a mess’ is basically a large scale disaster.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Nothing works. The Eskom situation is depressing. Most people I spoke to just want to get out of there.”

He seemed to be satisfied that he’d given me the final word. Continue reading It’s not all bad!

It’s time to fight!

“When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all I can permit myself to contemplate.”  

Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

Rocky and Adrian

“ADRIAAAAN!”

“ROCKYYYYY!”

Cue the Rocky music. Kit up. Punch the sky.

It’s time to fight! Continue reading It’s time to fight!

Already not yet

“No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart.”

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

I stood on a rock shelf at Black Rocks staring out at the breakers, Hubby beside me.  We could taste the salt on our faces. Every 6-wave set rolled eagerly towards us. The sound was terrific. But as each wave came within a few metres of the rock we were standing on, it met a retreating wave and lost some of its power.  Defeated, it poured out onto the rock at our feet, not quite reaching our toes. So much energy to start with. Such anticipation. So much promise.

That’s what life feels like at the moment.

Already. Not yet. Continue reading Already not yet

What didn’t happen

“If Red breaks that leg again,” Howard said soberly, “it will cripple him for life.” Alexander told him that maybe it was better to break a man’s leg than his heart.”

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

Winner #Fitbit Step Challenge.

I increase my pace. In my head the blood in my veins pumps audibly. My chest burns. I love the sense of freedom that running (or rather a good run) can offer. I watch The Adjustment Bureau on the small screen. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt dash across a busy New York street. On the treadmill to my right, a man in his 60’s slaps his stomach intermittently as he runs. Is he trying to spur himself on? Is he literally smacking away the tummy fat? Does he like the sound of it? I try not to pay too much attention to him. He’s also pushing his body.

I think how grateful I am for a healthy, relatively fit body.

I think of Hubby and the fateful fishing weekend.

“I’m not interested in what happened,” said my Husband “It’s what didn’t happen that’s infinitely more important.”

But you do want to know, right? Continue reading What didn’t happen

5 Weeks ‘Into Africa’

“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across the these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up, near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold.”

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen)

Karen Blixen Out of Africa“We paid £3 for a haircut in South Africa,” we told our flamboyant, full-of-opinions, Irish hairdresser in London some years ago.

[This, when he quoted Hubby £45 for a men’s short back and sides.]

“WELL! … I don’t exactly live in a frickin mud hut, do I?” he pointed out.

[He had a point.]

“So, are we cutting today or not?” he asked us, waving the scissors around. Continue reading 5 Weeks ‘Into Africa’