Monday, 30 December 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Where has this year gone? It  seems only a month ago that we were planning New Year resolutions and wondering which one we would break first!

As I write this with the remains of 2013 lying around like last night's supper, it's time to look back on the year with all it's ups and downs. So, good news or bad news first? I thought that I would get the bad news over with, like a child gulping down the spinach before getting the jelly and custard.

 And the nominees are, in no particular order:

The death of Madiba. I think that will be the one thing that we remember 2013 for here in SA. As a nation, we were brought together for a few precious days while we mourned his passing.

Which brings me to the debacle of the Memorial Service. And the image that was flashed around the world of President Obama sharing the stage with a sign language interpreter. Only afterwards when it was discovered that he was signing rubbish, the odd word like 'puppies' and 'crayfish' came into it somewhere, we learned that not only was he not qualified, but he was a schizophrenic with a few charges against him, like house breaking and murder! And of course, no body took any responsibility for it. Thank goodness the world only laughed at us. It could have been much much worse.

Monday, 23 December 2013

You Can Lead a Dog to Water...........................!

Yes, I know that it's really a horse that you can lead to water, but we don't have a horse. We do have a dog though and that is the whole point!

On Saturday we had to take Alfie to the vet. In the years since we found him, he has been to the vet for his yearly 'jauvas' (inoculations and injections) but apart from that, he has been a very healthy and hassle-free lad. We can count on one hand the number of times that we have had to take him for other things, and that is usually to have his nails clipped. And once for a 'hot spot' on his side. But on Friday evening we noticed that he had licked his one dewclaw so much that it was looking very red and inflamed, so Saturday morning we decided to take him To The Vet! (Have you noticed that visits to the vet usually coincide with weekends and Public Holidays? Or after hour emergencies?)

Alfie feeling very sorry for himself!

Luckily Alfie loves going for a ride in the car, so he was very happy to climb in, and was equally happy to go into the vet as he is always made to feel very welcome. We were fifth in line after a cat, a Labrador puppy, an elderly Jack Russell and a very bouncy staffy who eyed the fluffy toys with great interest. We kept our distance and stood some way off, as he was eyeing Alfie with the same interest!

Monday, 16 December 2013

West Coast Christmas Tree!

When you think of a Christmas tree, I am sure that this is the kind of thing that appears in your mind.

A beautifully decorated tree! (Thanks to Google)

It's certainly the type of tree that I grew up with. Dad brought a small tree home every year just before Christmas Day. We stood it in a bucket with soil to weigh it down and spent ages decorating it, hanging those delicate glass balls on the spiky needles (and hoping not to drop one), and festooning it with tinsel and the odd things that we had made at school, tiny paper chains and lopsided angels! Soon after Christmas the poor tree started dropping it's needles and mum would spend ages sweeping up the mess, until it was thrown out on 12th night! We never considered having a pretend tree and I wonder whether they were available in the early 1950's. One of the saddest sights to my seven year old mind, was the naked tree lying outside the back door waiting to be put on the next bonfire, and my dad saying to me 'Well, Christmas is as far away as it can be now!' A whole year to wait till the next one!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Dear Santa Claws!

Yes, it's That time of year again!

There are only a few days left for Christmas wish-lists to be up-dated, neatly written and posted off to the North Pole. The Malls are decorated with festive holly, fake trees, twinkling lights and surly looking Santas catching a quick smoke break round the back of the bottle store. There are frazzled parents trying to persuade their children that a G I Joe doll is as good, if not better, than an Ipod (Ipad?) or a Samsung Galaxy. (Or something in that line!) And what would Christmas be without the music of Boney M following you into every supermarket!

So, here is a lovely story that I want to share with you. It involves some very clever marketing on the part of a Pet Food manufacturer. Clever and humorous!

Remember Phez? The kitten who weighed less than a tomato when my sister brought him home? The tiny soul who lay on Boscombe's tummy for warmth and who wobbled his way round the house? Well, he is now a grown-up, handsome fellow with a spectacularly bushy tail like a fox! And every time I tried to get near enough to take a photo, he scuttled off!

A tiny Phez on long suffering Boscombe while Teazle looks on!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

R I P Madiba.

Yesterday we heard the sad news that Nelson Mandela had died at the age of 95. Although it was expected as he had been very ill for some time, the whole of South Africa was united in sadness, for he had been a wonderful leader, a true gentleman and a man of honour.

1995, a day to remember (Pic thanks to Google)

He brought the entire country together when he appeared at the Rugby World Cup in 1995 wearing a number 6 jersey. How we cheered and celebrated our victory, and we all had the feeling that our country was at last, on the right track.

Madiba loved to be with children. (Pic thanks to Google)

Madiba loved children and was happiest when he was surrounded by his grandchildren and their friends.
Listening to the radio yesterday and hearing the tributes that poured in and the stories that people shared about him, he was a man who was truly loved. He will be missed.

Neslon Mandela. (Pic thanks to Google)

The really sad thing is, that looking at our present politicians, there is not one of them that is fit to tie his shoelaces, yet alone fill his shoes.

RIP Madiba.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

I Made It!

Well, I survived two flights! And, although I didn't actually enjoy either, I have to admit that for the most part they were turbulence-free, even the descending through cloud part when I arrived in Durban, and climbing through cloud when I left on Sunday lunchtime. And, apart from the child who sat in front crying and the child who sat behind kicking my seat the whole way, they were really stress-free! I must admit that I kept an eye on the wing though, as my sister said, 'just make sure that the rivets don't pop out!'

Dopey, making sure that I packed properly for my holiday!

But, how quickly a holiday goes. It seemed to stretch in front of us forever, but the days flew by. A visit to the dentist seems to last for hours, even days, but a holiday goes before you have time to unpack! As soon as we got home, thanks to Shirley who was our very competent driver, we cracked open a bottle of bubbly (the first of many actually!). Boscombe, their very large dog who is as soft as butter, howled as soon as the bottle was brought out of the 'fridge, he knew that there would be a cork for him to retrieve from the garden.