Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twiddling my thumbs

I am still at Real Work. While the rest of the world is not, seemingly. Well, according to the fact that, give or take a car or two, we were the only ones driving to work this morning, and there is an eerie silence in the building. Unless everyone is playing an enormous game of Hide-and-Seek, to which I haven't been invited, there's nobody here.

Thus far, I have:
  1. Harvested my crops on Farmville and planted really quick growing crops in their place, so I can harvest again this afternoon. I know, I know, the whole Farmville thing is ridiculous and silly... blah blah. Humbug. I'm addicted. Possibly because I have the brain of an 11-year old boy.
  2. Written a couple of Christmas cards.
  3. Googled the origins of the phrase "Happy as Larry".
  4. Frittered about on Facebook, stalking people I haven't been in contact with for months/years.
  5. Googled what being a Godmother entails - I AM one - to the gorgeous cherub, Ava. After my Google search, though, am realising I am possibly not fit to be one, but I figure I'm going to be the best one anyway.
  6. Drunk two cups of coffee and two cups of hot water.
  7. Played Scrabble on Facebook.
  8. Googled recipes for melon-based starters for Christmas lunch.
  9. Got irritated with my bra strap which keeps creeping out of my t-shirts armhole and tickling my arm.
  10. Worked out, to the second, how long it is until I go on holiday tomorrow... for over THREE WEEKS!
  11. Sung my entire repertoire of Christmas songs. Twice.
Thank god for Google and Stalkbook, without whom I may have twiddled my thumbs right off my hands, and I can't imagine it's easy to be thumbless in the world we live in. I think I'll ponder that for a bit.

Is it obvious I'm (just a tad) bored?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Tragedy, Part 3

So I began the convoluted and disjointed tale of my tragedy a couple of months ago (Part 1 and Part 2 are here, and there). And then I stopped. Not because it was causing me great pain or drama, but because I ran out of steam to tell it. And I didn't get very far, and I am now making myself get back to it. Thus far, we crashed in the middle of nowhere on a hot summer's day and I had done a sterling job of breaking my neck and squelching my spinal cord. People stopped, angels flew over (or were they vultures?), the sun looked at us despairingly from her perch in the vast Karoo sky, and I landed up in ICU at a hospital in Bigger Town.

We transferred from Small Town to Bigger Town in a rickety ambulance. The Small Town hospital had an air of dusty despondency about it, unlike the big private hospital in Bigger Town (about 3 hours away) at which I found myself. Wheeling down the corridor on arrival I was surprised to notice tinsel and shiny red and gold balls attached to the ceiling of the passage... Christmas.

I was met there by my mother's university friend (and Godmother to my sister) who lived in the university town. My mother had phoned her with the news and she rushed to meet me and be with me until my mother arrived (she had to fly down). I remember feeling relieved to see her familiar face.

I'm trying really hard here to remember my thoughts and feelings but I think I've left it too long. I feel like I'm going to make them up, as if I'm thinking now, how all that whirl of chaos and drama would make me feel if it were happening to me now but I'm a different person, surely? Perhaps not.

At this juncture, though, it was just whirlwind. I was X-rayed from head to foot because I couldn't feel anything. I knew full well that I couldn't because every doctor/nurse/tea lady who came into my room seemed to have a pointy instrument with which they prodded me, starting at my feet and moving up, asking at 5-secondly intervals: "Can you feel that?" Right up until my upper chest... then I could feel it, bloody hell. And they kept telling me to move my foot/leg/hip. I couldn't.

I was put in ICU with two other people - a man who complained incessantly of being uncomfortable and a woman who, in hindsight, I think must've been psychotic. I was on morphine, it all seemed fine, if a bit noisy. I love morphine, just so you know.

My mother arrived. She flew, while my father drove below her in the direction of us, he would sleep over in a small dusty town and change direction when he heard I was to be airlifted out of there, heading toward the City Beneath the Mountain, to which I was transferred.

I don't remember much from that first night, a combination of shock and drugs, I'm sure. I just remember waking repeatedly to the discomfort of the man in the next bed, the wailing of the psychotic woman, and the beeping and disturbingly-human-like sounds of the ECG and ventilator machines. Somebody there must've been on a ventilator.

Next day I was airlifted to The City Beneath the Mountain, where my sister waited anxiously.

I need to stop there. Like I said, disjointed, I apologise.

Better disjointed and flowing, than buried deep within, right?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Silken sheets

From an e-mail I wrote this morning:

I find myself this morning feeling sensitive, but in a good way. You know that feeling when sometimes it feels like your heart is bigger, and it may also be exposed? Like emotions seem more electrical and fiercer and almost tangible? When your lungs feel tight as if they're wrapped in silken sheets of raw emotion. It's a good tightness. That's how I'm feeling today.

That feeling makes me want to write stuff down. And then I feel like I should send it to you because I want you to know where I am.

And then Real Work stepped in and whisked my mind away, and I remembered it's Christmas tree decorating tonight, and I got an invitation to a long ago dear, dear friend's wedding in London next year, completely unexpectedly. And my best Friend K and her new daughter Ava are here from Sydney, and then I got a comment on the last post that made me feel so very good (a bit like a Sub A kid who got a gold star) and I realised how lucky I am to have woken up this morning with all my emotions standing to attention!

And, while I fear my gushy writing is, well, just gushy, I felt the need to gush a bit. I apologise.

Those silken sheets of raw emotion... rubbing me up the right way... Who could ask for more?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Food, glorious food

We went to watch Julie & Julia yesterday. It was fabulous. It’s a movie worth seeing. Not on an empty stomach though. It will make you starving. Hell, it'll do that even if you have a full tummy at the beginning. You have been warned. We left the cinema hurriedly at the end, before I started gnawing on the carpeted walls…

It’s the side-by-side story of Julia Child, the cook from the '50's, and Julie Powell, a blogger in New York in 2002, who decided to work her way through Julia Child’s cookbook (the entire thing!) in a year, and blog about it. Both stories are, basically, true. It’s a fabulous food-filled film (did you see that alliteration?), but also a great inspiration for blogging. And finding a ‘project’.

I love foodie movies. And I love the cool darkness of the cinema, the smell of popcorn, the anticipation of a story. There is just something so delicious about the escapism of it all, and I always feel slightly dazed and confused when I come out, back into reality, into the bustling mall, daylight flooding the scene, people all over. People without the story that is so freshly in my head, in theirs…. I think there should be a secret tunnel out of the movies that takes you straight home, to avoid that onslaught of sensory… urm… thingies. Good heavens, I’m going off on a tangent and my English is a bit dodgy.

Basically, it was a fabulous Sunday afternoon movie filled with epicurean delights watched with somebody I want to watch many more movies with.

In other news – it is my annual Christmas tree decorating party tomorrow… I invite everybody I know, and their mini versions, and we decorate the tree and braai and people come and go, as they please (or as their mini versions dictate), and, over the course of the evening, the lights get strung up on the outside of the house, and the tree gets decorated, and it’s just sparkley and twinkley, and lovely.

Who can’t be happy with tinsel, sparkley lights and the good things that are in one’s life right now? (Yes, yes, the full story is forming, and coming…)

Friday, December 11, 2009

The bee's knees

"Shiny, you're the bee's knees."

I was informed of this at approximately 2am this morning, as we lay in the dark. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. Okay, honestly, who's not a sucker for compliments? It led, however, to an in-depth discussion on what a bee's knees really look like (remember, it was early hours, sleepy conversation). We discussed, we giggled, we concluded: very tiny, furry, yellow-and-black-striped, and smelling of honey.

I had to googleit, though, to see where on earth the phrase came from and, would you believe, nobody really knows? Some say it's a corruption of 'business', others a shortening of 'be-all and end-all' (which makes little sense to me), but mostly, it seems, it was just a phrase that originated in the 1920's, meaning 'the height of excellence'. They developed quite a few other phrases around that time, including pearls like 'the eel's ankle' and 'the elephant's instep'... heaven knows what they meant, and, obviously, they didn't stick.

I think, however, that I may throw them into conversation this weekend, just for the fun of it, the question is, though, where on earth do you fit 'the eel's ankle' into everyday conversation?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Not Shiny, no sirree

I am not Shiny today. At all. More like Whiney. I think I have suddenly developed a pre-silly season personality disorder leaving me tearful, needy and insecure. I could just put this down to PMS but, for some reason I'm still to work out, it is just not acceptable to blame my tearful whininess on said PMS.

Until after it's gone. Then it's okay to look back and say: "Silly Shiny. Being Whiney was just hormonal, not due to some deadly psychological affliction. Look it's all better now." No sirree, I can't admit that now.

Also, if my colleague at Real Work comes and stands behind me once more and breathes down my neck while chewing a carrot loudly, is it acceptable for me to rip his toe and fingernails out, one by one?

Monday, December 7, 2009

A yuletide letter to the big guy

It's getting to that time of year. You know the one - with tinsel, and twinkley lights and stuff. There's something that's been bothering me for years and, this year, I think I need to finally send this letter:

Dear Father Christmas,

I know you’re really rather busy at this time of year checking out who’s been naughty and the like, but if you could spare a moment for me, I have a gripe, and a question. They’re just little ones as gripes and questions go, so shouldn’t take up too much of your time.

Before I start whinging, though, I saw a picture of you in one of those ‘celebrity-spotter’ rags (the ones we all vehemently deny reading), eating a Christmas mince pie that looked horrible (you may even have been advertising them). My mother makes great ones, so just send me your address and I’ll get her to make you some (or you could just pick them up when you drop off my presents. I have been good this year, you know I have. Well, mostly anyway.)

My gripe: I am most upset by the fact that you have not visited me since my older sister told me that silly story of you being ‘made-up’, when I was 8-years old. My mother sent her to her room at the time and I felt very bad about telling on her, but I was eight, she was twelve, you can understand why I threw that tantrum.

It’s now been 26 years, and I can’t believe that I’ve been naughty enough every, single, year since then to be left off your ‘good’ list. Just for interest’s sake, did my tattle-tailing on my sister that year do it? So that’s my gripe, and my question is this: Could you please send me a list of what counts as ‘naughty’ in your eyes? Then I can, at least, try my best to get back on your delivery list.

Thanks so much, and let me know if you’d like some of those mince pies – they’re my gran’s recipe and everyone loves them. My sister can eat ten in a sitting.

Love to Mrs Father Christmas and the elves. Oh, and the reindeer,
Shiny x

P.S. One more thing - do you and Mrs Father Christmas still kiss under the mistletoe? I was just wondering...

Oh, I hope he answers. Surely I'm correct in losing patience after all these years?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Friday night exuberance

On Friday night the City Beneath the Mountain put on her best dress, donned her false eyelashes (and flapped them, beautifully) and placed her red, sequinned dancing shoes on her delicate feet. And then she danced, and danced to an African beat (which, I fear is beyond me to explain, it's a beat that fills you) with the superstars she'd invited at the smart place down by the foreshore, and with the rest of us in not-so-smart Long Street. And, apparently, around the world millions watched us. And, I'm sure, were impressed.

You see, it was the World Cup Soccer draw, something I was completely unaware of until this week when the hype began - jets flew over in pretty patterns, practicing, and there were whispers of 'famous' people arriving - our Charlise, with her American accent and The Beckhams, with their designer hairstyles. We don't really do paparazzi down here on the tip of Africa, although I'm noticing a disturbing tendency toward it.

That aside, the spirit in the city bowl was palpable, and nothing gets me all aflutter more than a whole, heaving bunch of people waving South African flags, sharing tables in the street, drinking ice cold beer, cheering on our team - even though we know they're not really in the running to win, they're still our boys - you know, it's the exuberance of it all.

For how can anyone stand amidst exuberance like that and not be filled with pride?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So much to tell

I have been quiet, it's true. As I alluded to in a couple of previous posts - I have been busy falling in love. When this happens, I find that time runs away, like a Jack Russel puppy after a small red plastic bone (I've had one a-visiting The Big Black Dog, thus the analogy). And my whole falling in love story is something I want to write about, and shout from the rooftops, and be all sickeningly Mills & Boon-ey about, but I've held back. I'm holding back.

It's that bloody privacy thing again. It's at times like this that I think of opening up a whole new, completely anonymous blog. While I have maintained relative anonymity on this one, there are those people who do know me, who read it intermittently (or did. Maybe they've sauntered off again)... Honestly though, it's the fear of my mother reading it. Because I have not told her about my romance, although I think she suspects it. And, well, it's complicated, but I need to tell her first, before you all.

I think.

Then I start to really want to blurt it all out because blogland is filled with people with such good advice. Oh, blegh.

In less obscure news (sorry, I know secret-keeping in blogland is just frustrating really... please, bear with me... I can feel an outpouring is imminent), I went to visit the beautiful baby nephews over the weekend. They're 4 months old and smiley and gurgley and just delicious. This is what they look like now (pics above... can't get them down here for some reason). One sleeping, one awake, both yummy.
I will be better at posting, I have stories to tell. Yes, I'm convincing myself. And I'm reminding myself that this whole blogging thing was (is) an exercise in placing my honest, straight-forward thoughts on paper (screen), no editing, no fancy-edging.
If I think I can, then I can, surely?