Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sex tapes

Honestly, how stupid are these people? That’s what I found myself asking myself while watching Oprah the other night. She was interviewing the mistress of a US politician (since divorced, cheating bastard) with whom she had a baby. They also made a sex tape, which, surprise surprise, landed in the wrong hands, about which everybody was oh-so-terribly upset. Idiots.

Now I can possibly understand how she might think it was a good idea, being a small-time actress with no huge prospects and no paparazzi following her (of course only while the affair was still secret) and perhaps wished for some publicity, but what on earth was the politician thinking? I can just see the conversation:

BlondeBimbo: Oh, honey, you’re looking so hot. Why don’t we record ourselves so I can watch it again when I’m lying here alone and you’re with your wife?
CheatingBastardPolitician: That’s a great idea, sweetcheeks. We can make a copy, which I’ll hide in my Treasure Box under my bed, along with my Star Trek card collection and my ostrich egg, so that I can watch it while my wife takes the kids to school.
BB: Ooo, it’s making me hot just thinking about it.
CBP: Me too!

Mumble, mumble, sheets twisting etc etc. Ten minutes later:

BB: Oh, my handsome stud, you’re such a demon in bed. Shall I turn the camera off now?
CBP: Yeah, you might as well. Take the tape out, though, it’d be terrible if it fell into the wrong hands, especially if I want to become president.
BB: Don’t worry, I’ll be sure it doesn’t. I’ll just store it safely here, amongst the other tapes. My friends-of-friends who’re housesitting while we go away to the beach and pretend to your wife that you’re on a business meeting are sure not to look at it.
CBP: No, of course not! Maybe just name it something unassuming, like BB/CBP Sex Tape or something, my little muffin of love. Then they’ll definitely not look at it. Aren’t we just so smart?
BB: Yes.

And they’re all over the place, these ‘famous people’ sex tapes. Can somebody please put an IQ minimum on people in the public eye? How stupid can you be, knowing the world is watching you, to make a sex tape? It WILL get out you twits, so don’t come wittering and crying when it does.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Adieu, old ladies of Athlone

They were a landmark in The City Beneath the Mountain, the twin old ladies. It’s hard not to be a landmark when you’re made of concrete, stand about 40-stories high, and are placed slap-bang in the middle of the vast flat land between two big ranges of mountains. They had an unfairly bad rap of smelling, well, less-than-savoury. It wasn’t them, though, that came from the sewerage works across the highway. They weren’t smelly at all, standing tall, guiding people in the right direction. Many people in The City Beneath the Mountain may now be finding their way home/to the city/to the place with the big grey birds that fly people hither and thither, difficult.

You see, the grand old ladies, commonly referred to as the Athlone Towers, part of the power station that used to supply extra power to the city, were demolished by implosion on Sunday. In nine seconds the enormous structures crumpled to the ground, leaving just a pile of rubble and a small dust cloud that rapidly dissipated with the cloudburst of rain that occurred about 30 seconds after the implosion.

We watched it from a railway bridge nearby, only just making it in time from our church visit. I had been anticipating it for months and was terribly excited to see my first implosion, so had a few anxious moments as we tried to find the perfect spot (along with thousands of others, it was almost as big an event as the World Cup... almost) before the twelve-noon dynamite explosion.

Thankfully we found it, and just in time, because they did it four minutes early, much to the consternation of many photographers and news reporters (for the funniest example, see here.) It was so quick. They started to crumple in, as if some invisible giant had fashioned them out of grey cardboard (giant toilet rolls, perhaps?) and then stood on them. The sound of the explosion, a low grumble (giant’s hungry tummy?) followed a second or two later, and they fell.

And that was it. The excited chatter of the crowd we were with, stopped. For a couple of seconds there was silence, and then I heard a woman next to me say: “Is that it?”, as if they should now pick a couple of other buildings to do, to satisfy us. It might’ve been fun, really, like a game of dominoes. Unfortunately there are no more towers, so that was it.

It was fabulous, the implosion bit. I like implosions I’ve decided. I did feel sad, though, for those two old ladies who had watched over the highway for far longer than I’ve even been on this earth. Adieu, ladies, adieu. In honour of them, we went to lunch at a lovely place by the river, just down the road from where they had lived and had a fabulous lunch and met two funny old queens. But that’s another story.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Every so often I look around and blink. Then I think. But really think. That’s why I only do it every so often. The rest of the time I skip about, ignoring whistling. Any more than every so often and my head might explode. Reason being that, when I really think, things somehow gain a different perspective. In the blink of an eyelid, a tiny piece of glitter on the carpet morphs into a giant unicorn prancing about and the large mountain in the distance shrinks down to a pile of spilt sugar on the kitchen table.

Unfortunately, on the flipside, the smallish black hole beside it opens its gaping mouth baring sharp teeth, saliva dripping, and takes a deep breath that finds me whirling around toward it, sucked deep, like that little piece of glitter on the carpet, but into the ghastly vacuumcleanerblackhole.

I realise suddenly that I have a lot to think about. Okay, it’s not suddenly, I’ve known it all along, but I’ve been ignoring it, leaving it there on the floor, little sprinkles of glitter. It’s time to look beneath the glitter. I’m sure it’ll be good for me. Well, maybe. Or not.

I always read back these posts and think to myself, good grief, anybody reading this must think I’m the drama queen from hell. Maybe I am, but it’s my private thoughts vomited on paper and I’m trying SO hard to be honest.

I. Need. A. Holiday.

A visit to church

It rained on Saturday night. A lashing, crashing, fighting storm of wind and water, throwing themselves at my window. It was the kind of night that you are really grateful to have a house and a warm bed to snuggle in, and a couple of DVDs to watch (please note, Four months, 3 weeks, 2 days, the Romanian film, while very good, is by no means a light-hearted little Saturday night movie.) The plan was for an early night and an early rise. To go to church.

Yes, I said it… to go to church. The last time I went to church, other than for weddings/christenings/funerals was, I think, in 1993, when I trundled off with my best friend K at university to see what the beautiful Catholic church looked like. It was more an architectural visit, than a spiritual one, I’m afraid.

My religious affiliations lie, well, all over the place. I’m not a believer of organised religion, although I do believe there’s something out there, bigger than us. I don’t believe that it is a judgemental presence spouting petty laws as I think are spouted in many religions by humans claiming to know these things (and here I generalise terribly, forgive me.) I do believe that church supplies a community which many people enjoy, and need. Other’s dont, and shouldn’t be chastised for that decision.

You get the idea, I don’t want this to turn into a sermon! Snigger. Back to Sunday. I decided to go to church (and the Afrikans, I thought conservative, type too) because G had said she’d like to go to the beautiful old church in her university town with an amazing organ in it and I asked if I could join her. Mainly to listen to the organ, but also to see what attracts her (and others) to it.

So off we set on a temperamentally-weathered morning. We left early, before the world woke. It was all washed clean and shiny and gorgeous, with rain interspersed with flashes of sunlight. We stopped on the way for a Wimpy burger and coffee (my favourite breakfast… sis!) and arrived early at the church. It had rained, a lot, on our way, but as we arrived, the rain stopped, allowing a comfortable, and dry little trip from car to church.

It was beautiful, with stained glass windows through which the sun shone (until there was another, HUGE, downpour) and the organ music filled me like a cup of warm tea. They sang. A lot. And the (lady!) minister delivered a very interesting sermon. And then the rain moved away so we could get dryly back to the car, and it was calm. That’s it, I think, there’s a sense of calm in the organised structure of it.

I had more to say, but the words aren’t forming. I think I’ll just think some more. I called my mother on the way home. She is a church-goer, of the Anglican persuasion. This was the conversation:

Shiny: Hi mum, I’ve just been to church with G.
Shiny’s Mum: What? Tell her she’s achieved the impossible. Didn’t you get rained on, it’s pouring?
Shiny: Nope, the rain stopped when we got out of the car, came back while we were in church, and stopped again when we came out.
SM: You see? God was looking after you.

Well, yes, quite. I’ve always believed the Bigger Presence is a generously kind being.

More weekend stories to come. It's not every weekend you watch an implosion!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My weekend

I had a busy weekend, filled with blog fodder. I feel like I'm at primary school and am having to write one of those 'What I did on my weekend' essays. Problem is, I don’t feel like writing. Tsk. And I find that, if I don’t write almost immediately, I forget to do so, and those poor stories – of fish lunches at the harbour, oysters for breakfast, a long-last-experienced church visit and watching my first implosion – go astray and just flit about, like strings of mist, eventually melting into the African heat.

I will try later, to at least tell of the church experience, and the implosive demolition of the graceful twin old lady water-cooling towers yesterday, and how we met two queens after lunch. It was a good weekend. I will try to elaborate, I promise.

This is just me warming up, okay?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dancing in the dark

I went to the theatre last night to watch a dance/physical theatre thing. It was at the beautiful theatre with the amazing orange lights and magic trees outside. It's shoulders were stooped with sadness though, because a well-loved actress died on Wednesday, someone who frequented its passages. Or maybe that was just me.

It was a beautiful piece with some serious whatthefuck? moments, as all 'interpretive dance' should be. Set on the stage, but with us, the audience, sitting backstage, the curtains opened behind the dancers, revealing the auditorium beyond. Wonderful setting! They were all good, but two of the six dancers stood out like glowing embers in a fire - a woman with a presence that whacked you in the face and a man with the body and voice of an angel. Incredible stuff.

One most poignant (what's a theatre review without the use of the word 'poignant'?) moment during the performance made me cry, fat drops coursing down my cheeks (thank goodness it was dark!) as they made the boy with MS fly above the stage. Beautiful. And then the speaking of Xhosa blew me away. It's something I hear everday - on the streets, at work - but it always just flows over me, more street noise, I never really listen.

This was different, it was all that was in front of me and (ridiculously) for the first time in my life I really listened. It is the most beautiful, rythmical language, at once soothing and dramatic. I loved it.

We all need to listen more, don't we?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A magical place

I met a baby pig (4 days old, black) and a baby rabbit (2 days old, grey, eyes still closed) on Tuesday afternoon. They snuffled and wriggled and made us fall completely in love with them. We went to a farm, after work. And there, on the hill, live a whole menagerie, including the li’l pig (and his brothers and sisters) and the li’l rabbit (and her, presumably numerous knowing bunny’s reputations, brothers and sisters), with a cow, a sheep, multiple other pigs (pink, black, and a combination), several chickens and a whole bunch of dogs of all sizes. And some humans, many of the smaller variety (the lovely man who runs it, takes in abandoned children, see here.)

It is right there, in the middle of The City Beneath the Mountain, in Tamboerskloof, a wealthy suburb, this farm. Really. Apparently the very pretty cow (she’s one of those blessed with a beautiful toffee-coloured coat and long, luscious eyelashes) is often found wandering around, four blocks down in the busy streets of the city. I’m sure she goes down just for a browse of the shops, and maybe a chocolate croissant from Jardine. I would, if I were her.

Apparently people bring their food waste, and city children, to feed the animals (they eat the food, not the children) and interact, a li’l piece of the country, on everybody’s doorstep. There is a real risk, unfortunately, that all these creatures living harmoniously together may be kicked off. There’s a legal wrangle going on between government (backed, I would imagine, by some real estate agents rubbing their hands in glee, their eyes glinting with greed) and Andre, the lovely man.

It’d be a great pity if a place doing such amazing things were to disappear, wouldn’t it? Where would Lovely Brown Cow go for her croissants?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I’m getting that air of desperation. You know the one? The one that whistles and whips around you, like a tornado, sucking all your energy from you and ripping it to shreds in its nastly little whirlpool of exhaustion. I’m desperate for a holiday.

It’s time for me to take a break from Real Work before it either swallows me whole, I murder one of my colleagues or I throw myself out of my fifth storey window in the Ivory Tower, to a gruesome death below. It’d be a bit unfortunate to do that really as, depending on my timing (say I did it at lunchtime), I may disturb a merry little band of students enjoying the spring sunshine on the lawn in the quad outside. Seems a little unfair to disrupt them thus. Honestly, smushed-up-person doesn’t do anything to brighten one’s day.

Therefore: holiday needed. It just seems to be an administrative nightmare to organise. Which makes little to no sense. But then, not much in my life (I am finally beginning to realise, and try to make friends with), does. Let’s just say it’s not as simple as taking some days off and disappearing into the wild blue yonder, as much as I wish it were.

Wild blue yonder… bliss. The idea is to go just there. There, on the other side of the mountains where the city lights don’t dull the stars and the air is not cluttered with city breath. There, where cars are a rarity. There, where we can breathe. And write.

All that’s needed is to find the right days to take off, that coincide with everybody. Then to find a place. Then to go.

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Comments welcome

I’m assuming everybody gets ‘spam’ comments on their blogs. Mainly I get ones in some indiscernible language which I just ignore (as opposed to copy/pasting it into Google Translate in the hope it’ll recognise it and bring back some incredible pearls of wisdom.) I got one the other day, though, that I love, as nonsensical as it is:

To be a noble lenient being is to have a amiable of openness to the world, an skill to group aleatory things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in hugely extreme circumstances as which you were not to blame. That says something exceedingly impressive relating to the prerequisite of the ethical autobiography: that it is based on a trust in the fitful and on a willingness to be exposed; it's based on being more like a weed than like a sparkler, something rather tenuous, but whose acutely precise attraction is inseparable from that fragility.

That last bit, about being more like a weed than a sparkler. Who wouldn’t love that? And what on earth does aleatory mean?

(Yes, this is my third post this morning… Real Work is holding little attraction today. I need a holiday.)

A thank you note

A year ago, yesterday, you ambled across the park toward our little picnic, as the first spring sunrays warmed the grass. I didn’t know it at the time, but my earth tilted slightly as you walked up to us. It was one of those rare but wonderful occasions where you feel, instantly, that you’ve met a kindred spirit. Somebody you will know forever.

I am a lucky girl, of that I’m sure, to have met you. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but we’ve clung onto each other while we scream, both in ecstasy and agony. You have made me think, look into myself, see where I am, who I am. I hope I’ve done the same for you.

Through the past 12 months, an entire set of seasons (as you put it), you’ve made me feel happy and sad, loved and rejected, broken and whole. There have been some decidedly tricky and difficult bits, and still will be, I’m sure. Mainly, though, we have laughed together, wholeheartedly and body-shakingly, over and over. We share a sense of humour. You even get me when my 12-year old boy humour takes over.

For this all, I want to thank you. You’re wonderful. May this be just the first of countless years we get to laugh together and welcome weekends with a wiggle.

Degrees of perspective

My lovely friend, Pop, as any of you who read regularly know, was diagnosed two weeks ago with breast cancer and told, at that stage, she’d probably have to have a mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy. She was devastated, as we all were. It was like somebody had dropped me onto the ground from a huge height and winded me, when she told me.

She had lots of tests, they took out the offensive lump, and found another. More worry, more scariness. And then, more tests, and waiting, while this ‘thing’ hung around in the air, flapping its dark wings annoyingly. The tests came back, with results that made us all (wierdly, considering) whoop with joy. It’s the slow-growing kind – she will need a mastectomy, can choose if she wants both, and, possibly (she sees the oncologist today) choose whether or not to have chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

Two weeks ago, that would never have made me whoop with joy. Strange how one’s perspective changes so quickly. Obviously, now is the really difficult time – these are huge decisions she has to make, all with pro’s and con’s. It’d be so much easier if the doctors just said ‘You have to do this’, which, obviously, they can’t. Hopefully things will be a little clearer after her visit today!

In the meantime, she turned 37 yesterday and we all celebrated with a delicious meal at a little Greek place down the road – lovely food, good company and a chocolate cake with flowers on it that my mother kindly made for her. She decorated it with some beautiful camellias which came with gratis tiny snail who looked bewildered to be in a greek restaurant, poor poppet.

Let’s all hold thumbs for an easier decision road for her, shall we?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Coffee and toads

I have given up caffeine for a bit. Well, I thought I had. This morning, as I gulped down the last sip of my morning coffee, I remembered. Blast. I’d done so well over the weekend, too. I even had a Red Latte on Saturday morning (made of rooibos tea) instead of a ‘real’ latte, of which I am very fond. I felt great pride about it all. Until this morning, and my, albeit unintentional, relapse. Double blast.

I’m giving it up because I haven’t been sleeping well. Not that I’ve ever been a huge coffee drinker, but I thought maybe I’d take this little step in the hopes that it’ll draw the Sleep Fairy closer to me. Apparently she drinks only lavender tea and sneezes at the whiff of coffee.

In other news, for anybody who reads this and lives in The City Beneath the Mountain, please take care to look out for toads on the road. According to this article – Keep a look-out for toads on the road – it is toady mating season (that brings up all sorts of interesting, but mildly disturbing, images in my 11-year old boy brain) which results in these hoppy little creatures crossing our roads in search of love, and spots to make li’l toads. Sweet. I wonder what toadlets look like.

I also wonder if it’s considered work to be googling ‘baby toads’?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A puzzling T(t)urkey question

I can’t remember if I’ve put this ponderance out there before. It keeps coming up in my mind, and has been doing so for years, which is why I uttered a gleeful ‘yippee’ when my mother announced that she and my father are going to Turkey in September. The big question I have needed an answer to for such a long time, is this: Are there turkeys in Turkey?

Knowing my parent’s trip is imminent, I will ask them to go searching, while they’re there. I’m sure they’ll be perfectly happy to trail around the Turkish landscape, looking for turkeys (as opposed to exploring Turkey’s fabulous sights and sounds and rich history (I sound like a travel advert)) to answer this aeons-old question of mine. Obviously, turkey-hunting will take preference. I do not refer to the shoot-to-kill version of hunting, rather the just-find-one version. Then again, I am quite partial to roast turkey at Christmas and a turkey roast in October wouldn’t go unappreciated.

I may be asking a a tad too much, though, expecting them to hunt, kill, pluck-and-deinnard, freeze, fly back to Africa with turkey in hand luggage, cook (preferably stuffed) and serve said turkey (preferably with lots of gravy, roast potatoes, butternut, creamed cauliflower. And peas.) Just a tad.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tired eyes

Last week I went to see A Serious Man with G, the latest offering from the Coen brothers, whose movies I love. It left me silent afterwards (very unusual for me) as I contemplated its intricacies and the overall downtroddeness of it. It’s about a guy in whose life everything is going wrong. Depressing really, but done in the Coen brother’s signature style which, somehow, brings a humour to even the worst situation. I must admit that this was not their most humorous though, the ‘black comedy’ being somewhat too real (as opposed to their normal kookiness.) Thus my quietness. I felt sad.

During the movie, the main character, whose life is falling apart around him, goes to the rabbi to try and make sense of things. In this scene the rabbi points out of the window at the most ordinary, drab parking lot and says: "I mean, the parking lot here, not much to see. But if you imagine yourself a visitor, somebody who isn't familiar with these autos and such, somebody still with a capacity for wonder, someone with a fresh perspective... You're looking at the world through tired eyes... Things aren't so bad. Look at the parking lot, Larry."

It made me think, and has stuck with me (obviously, otherwise I would’t be writing about it, it would’ve flitted out of my mind like the million other swirlings that have left me before I put them to paper) and I realized why during my insomniac moments in the early hours of this morning… My eyes are feeling tired, I’m looking at the world through them, tiredly, like Larry in A Serious Man.

Time for me to look at the parking lot, right?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My mother outdoes herself

My mother has been referred to by many people the occasional person as eccentric. She becomes more so as she gets older. Yesterday (Women’s Day, a public holiday here on the tip of Africa, in remembrance of the Women’s Day March in the 1950’s to protest the Pass Laws. Very civilised to have a public holiday dedicated to women) she called me at home:

Shiny: Hello
Shiny’s Mother: Hello love. Can you do me a favour? Are you on Facebook?
Shiny: Sure. I’m not at the moment, but I will be tomorrow. What do you need?
SM: I want you to enter a competition for me. For Women’s Day. They’ve given a recipe for a cocktail and you have to give a name to it.
Shiny: Okay, what name have you given it?
SM: Vodka Vagina.
Shiny: (Spluttering) You’re not serious, surely?
SM: I think it’s a brilliant name for a cocktail! Have you seen the names they give them?
Shiny: Yes. What’s the prize?
SM: VIP tickets for the winner and three friends to Club TrendyYoungThings.
Shiny: But, mum, you’ll hate it there. It’s for Trendy Young Things. And it’s a night club. I don’t think you and three of your 60-something year old friends will really enjoy it.
SM: Oh no, when I win, I’ll give you the tickets (with a tone of pride and charity in her voice.)
Shiny: Urm, thanks, but three of my 30-something year old friends and I are not really Trendy Young Things either!
SM: Oh, well then I’ll give it to the Trendy Young Things next door.

So, being a dutiful daughter, I went into Stalkbook this morning and found (thankfully) the e-mail address needed to enter the competition (for a moment I thought I’d have to enter as me, on Facebook) and she entered.

She has just phoned me to say she received a curt e-mail back from the woman running the competition to say she found her entry offensive! My mother has written back to say she is sorry she found it offensive but she thought it very apt and, although she’s never drunk cocktails in her 60-something years on this earth, she has read some cocktail menus in her life, and thought her suggestion was rather tame!

It’s hard to bring up parents correctly, isn’t it?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Of car-buying and salesmen

I need a new car. A sad, but true fact. My sweet little aubergine has developed some, well, incontinence problems and so is starting to smell less-than-savoury, and there was that incident of refusing to go, in rush-hour traffic, in the fast lane. So, yes, the result: the search for a new (secondhand) car.

Some back history, to make my tale of woe a little more sensical. Cars do not interest me. At all. This, in fact, is an understatement. I know nothing about them, and couldn't give a hoot about how much horsepower (or whatever) they have, as long as they get me from A to B. I have been known to answer to the irritating question: "What car does he drive?" with "A blue one." Often, I have been wrong even with that, the car in question being a brilliant red one. I can, I'm proud to say, discern a car from, say... a bicycle, but that's about the sum total of my vehicular knowledge.

A couple of weeks ago, when The Pond was here, we trundled off on a blustery Saturday morning to town where the car places live. We were bombarded with all shapes and sizes, all the 'best on the market', completely trustworthy, fabulously shiny... car salesmen. Before we even got to the cars. The car salesman cliche, I am here to tell you, is no lie.

So you see my dilemma. Enter: C, thank goodness. A friend who IS interested amd is fabulously organised and gathered together information on all the possibilities (with me, I'm sure very irritatingly asking, after glazing over during the 'specs', "But what colour is it?")

This morning I am going with her, to another place where secondhand cars live, waiting for new owners. I am going to do my best not to ask what colour they are. This should be easy, as I will be able to see the colour. I will also try my hardest not to glaze over when they talk 'specs' and promise to try not to make up stories about the greasy car salesman's personal life in my head, behind my glazed-over eyes.

I wonder if I'll manage?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stupidity invokes letter writing. Two letters.

Sometimes at Real Work I come across stupid people. I’m sure they’re really nice people too, but they shouldn’t be practicing medicine. It’s as simple as that. This morning I stumbled over one of them that left me, even after thirteen years of dealing with such things, aghast at the level of stupidity. The pharmacist phoned about a script he'd received. It necessitates a letter.

Dear Healthcare Professional,

Thank you for calling for advice regarding one of your clients, the mother of a 6-month-old baby who is not sleeping (the baby, that is, to prevent any confusion) and presented you with a script for sleeping pills for her baby. You were wise to call. The mother, too, was wise to take said baby to the paediatrician to be checked out. However, everybody seems to have got a little bit confused about the patient, thus the need for my writing this letter.

You need to explain to the mother that her baby is SIX MONTHS OLD, she doesn’t have insomnia. It’s called being a baby. Some of them don’t sleep. Contrary to the paediatrician’s advice of ‘give these pills for a month to establish a sleeping pattern’ and subsequent prescription of sleeping pills.

Perhaps a gentle explanation on the sleeping habits (or lack thereof) of small babies would be more apt. Also, it may be wise to warn her that, as babies get bigger, their sleeping patterns change (even from night to night, what with teething etc) until, in fact, when they hit puberty, she’ll probably have to try her hardest to get them to stop sleeping too much. At this point I’d not advise another consultation with the same paediatrician, who would most likely prescribe a stimulant.

While it’s completely understandable that sleep deprivation could (and often does) lead to the occasional 'unnecessary' dose of that lovely pain and fever syrup that makes them sleep so nicely to keep her sanity intact, it seems just ever-so over-the-top to turn her 6-month old into an addict.

Just a thought. Well done for questioning it. I hope you can get the mother to see the light.

Shiny x

And, then, another one, to the paediatrician involved.

Dear Paediatrician,

You are an idiot and should not be practicing medicine. I think it’s time you consider another career path. Something harmless, perhaps, like threading beads for necklaces out in the country, away from people.

Shiny x

Honestly, can you believe that a child specialist diagnosed insomnia in a 6-month old? And then prescribed sleeping pills?

An update

It’s a weird wake-up call, having someone you love face the challenge of cancer. She is doing well, the op yesterday showed another lump which wasn’t seen on the scan (a scary thought in itself), so she may need a mastectomy. Big, hard stuff but she’s a brave girl. I’ll be off to see her after Real Work. I have wanted to go there the whole time, to cling to her, like a little lichen, possibly even like a barnacle covered in lichen. Luckily she has her love with her, so she hasn’t had to be alone. I’m really looking forward to seeing her later.

And, in the meantime, between the worrying, the world carries on turning, but from my perspective there’s a different glint to it. It makes me want to treat people more carefully, be a little kinder, pay a bit more attention to the important things. My thoughts are constantly swirling (nothing new there) but with an added edge. A good edge because some good must come out of this. She is brave and strong, although in a very small frame, and is more than capable of fighting this, with all of us backing her up, and there are SO many who love her.

In the meantime, let's all be a little kinder to each other, shall we?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Unbearable news

About twenty five years ago I lay along the back of the couch (I was 10, it was a favourite spot, and I was small enough, at the time, to fit) and felt the breath sucked out of me and the world tilt uncomfortably as my father explained to my sister and I that my mother would be in hospital for a bit, having an operation that, hopefully, would let her live. She had breast cancer, at 40.

On Friday, I had exactly the same feeling when one of my best friends called me to say that the lump she’d found is also cancer. She’s 37. Apparently they treat aggressively in such a young woman. She’ll have chemo and radiation and is, as we speak, having a scan to determine how much they’ll cut.

It seems inconceivable that someone so wonderful, so sweet, should have to go through this. I want to throw myself to the ground and shout and scream that it’s not fair, like a two-year old. But mainly I wish that we could share out the struggle that she is facing. She has so many people who love her, if we just each took a little bit, it’d be so much more tolerable.

Luckily she is strong, and fit, and they caught it early. We’ll wait for the scan results and then she goes in this afternoon for the operation. My mother is now in her 60’s and (touch wood) has been healthy since.

In the meantime we all pull in closer and cling to each other and surround her with love and focus all our energy on everything going well this afternoon and the next months. Please.