Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rooted to one spot

A friend told me about his plans of heading into the direction of Queenstown (South Africa) in the nearby future - to attend a friend’s wedding.

Someone with travel experience of distant and solitary places, I wonder what he will make of this part of our country. My thoughts started drifting to the south-eastern parts of the North Eastern Cape and I thought of Queenstown where my mom and her twin sister went to school – known to be the Terrible Twins.

North-west of Queenstown lays a small town, called Hofmeyer. The ideal place to go if you are into arts and crafts and looking for that scene of a world lost to time. Directly north of it is the town Molteno which is a landscape of sheep or cattle, scattered trees, yellow grass fields and old and sometimes abandoned farm houses, and young Black boys making or playing with wire cars and a stray dog or two.

Molteno is known for its yearly 4x4 rally and place where Simba Chips and Ouma Beskuit originated from. I don’t mean to boast, but it was the Greyvensteyn family from my grandfather’s side that happened to show such entrepreneurship. Unfortunately for me, our side of the family lost out on any inheritance – a matter which I would like to investigate on a later stage. The Greyvensteyns moved to Gauteng and close to the Simba factory Greyvensteyn Street still exists, although we won’t know if it will still be there in a few years time.

Steynsburg – from memory I recall a cafe complete with a Coca-cola signboard where mom and dad regularly had to make a stop. To shut their nagging young brats up with a bottle each of green cream soda-, yellow banana- or pink strawberry flavored sterri-milk. This brand doesn’t exist anymore and if it does, has not contained the same taste. There used to be a vet in Steynsburg and I believe he made good money – the only vet who would open his door at all hours within what felt like a 300 kilometer or more radius.

North of this dorpie is Burgersdorp which we often call Blikkiesdorp. As kids, we used to spend all our money in this town’s shops called Stevenson and Dee-Bee which long since had been replaced by a chain store called, Score. Snip these days aren’t too bad and whenever we visit we have to nip down to this crazy little store as well as P&P boutique which stands for PEP.

Aliwal North is not far from here either, just a little bit further north on the banks of the Orange River and further than that we will not dwell today.

Ma and Pa lives in “Blikkiesdorp” but I must say they’re more often on the farm than not. Always busy with broken wind pumps, searching for missing cattle or nursing motherless lambs... At the moment it is extremely dry and as much as it can be paradise, can it turn into a sun-burned land of hardship.

The farm’s name is Ysterfontein which is not to be muddled with our West Coast Yzerfontein - situated between Molteno and Burgersdorp. It is so beautiful there that my heart aches to know that I can not be there most of my life. It is in the heart of the Stormberg mountain range (part of the southern Drakensberg mountains). And if anyone knows about Stormberg cheese, then I suppose they know about its outstanding quality and exactly where I am now.

The farm is blessed in the sense that there is no electricity, but paraffin and gas lamps. A gas- and huge old aga-stove as well as a copper old “donkey” that gets stoked with wood to make hot water. It lives in the pink bathroom where ginger beer gets aged behind a curtained rail. The bathroom is right next to the kitchen. There is an outhouse or more poplurly known "kleinhuisie" with the most splendid views of a willowtree and endless veldt – the place unfortunately now inhabited by bees which...well makes it virtually impossible to sit there in peace these days. The farm is hidden in a natural valley of mountains, dams and miles of sky. It is a place as far from noise as is the moon from the earth.

Those small or lush and sometimes dusty towns are unique and it would take writing a book or three to describe them all. They are these far and beautiful places hidden amongst koppies and valleys, crooks, crannies and nooks.

I think some roots are calling me...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Paradox Of Choices

‘Life is full of ...’

The word that jumps to my mind is one that comes to “worldly views” and “people’s ideas of life”.

Today I purposefully tied my thoughts to the meaning behind Choice.

The true meaning of why we make choices escapes me, and perhaps it does so with reason. There may be a hidden meaning behind all the reasoning and making of choices – an answer that may forever slip like sand through our fingers, evades the human mind like running water or a colorful butterfly darting from one flower to another...

We are constantly bombarded by the choice of things and I would like to call it 'Mental Word Processing'.

Tuning in to a discussion on MF some strong views came on air, and none of those made the light shine all the brighter in my little world.

Did Dolly the sheep make a difference?

My child was born gay – if any choice, would I change that?

This is A MUST have...

In order to be a good citizen...

Could one’s past play a role in criminal convictions?

Which diet to crown as the ultimate diet?

And so forth...

Evidence of choices to be made is everywhere around in our personal lives. We see it on television shows such as Oprah Winfrey, Radio shows or questionnaires to be filled out at doctors rooms or before an interview...The choice to say yes or no, be honest or stay quiet about something...

We seem to have a desire to judge most things. Could it be a disease of the mind such as a dis-ease similar to words like dis-quiet or dis-lodge? Weighing things up forever, aren't we? Take an example of choosing to get up or stay in bed all day. Is that a manner of habit made by choice or pressure from the world? Could it be our mind telling us there is no other choice?

Another question (by choice): Why do we hate our neighbor? It so often seems to be us who made up our minds with regards to having no choice in the matter. Poor or soulless victims in this case...What if we found a recipe that would work each time we tried it out – the heading would read: No Choice.

Or if we could Google the word “choice” with the result of only one answer? Would the human mind oblige? I think it would carry on searching in another channel until satisfied with an answer chosen to be content with.It brings me back to the question why the human race seem to be programmed to section life into black or white. Seldom have we opted for gray.

It does seem like an important part of our constitution or psyche (there’s choice again) to inform others exactly who we, little persons are by comparisons, interpretations, differences and decisions to be made...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Poo(d) Of The Year


I’m pretty much NOT of the baking or pudding variety, apart from the love to occasionally stir up a ROAST somewhat equal to a proverbial Great Karoo-Storm.

BUT I accidentally stumbled upon the easiest ever dessert pudding for kids and grownups, and would like to share it right here.

Which reminds me of one balmy early summer evening with a hazy sunset and strolling across a harvested rapeseed-field with my friends. We were going to visit their local Kentish pub aptly called “The Black Horse Inn” or something equally dark and sinister. After a pub meal with the contents now a vague memory, the flirty French waiter misunderstood my question about whether they had any great “puds” on the menu that could be recommended to a South African chic.

He seemed in ordinary ruffled and a little more than astonished with his mouth slightly agape for a few seconds. We all looked at him, waiting for his response when he seemed to make up his mind and asked “You want a POO???”

In the light of such confusion, I can only say “The poor chap can’t help it he is French” and have often wondered if he expected my reply to be something in the line of “guarde loo!” as a warning sign...

With compliments herewith, an EXTRAVAGENT Ice-cream PUD Recipe:

One tine condensed Milk
One tub cream or 300 ml
One Nougat (optional)
One BIG or small grated dark chocolate

Whisk cream and fold into condensed milk in a tub, add chopped nougat pieces, grate chocolate over and freeze for 4 – 6 hours.

I think anything will go with it, even cherries, nuts or a drop of good old whisky...

ENJOY and have a SUPERB WEEK!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Uncultivated Thoughts

If today did not bring any surprises in the blooming shape of rose bunches, then at least two small dramas evolved in my ever-so-increasingly-complex existence:

The first thing that happened, is this: I wasn’t named after a rose, but was referred to as: “A Rose from a Distant Land." And if this sounds odd to you, then I beg not to make it my problem as we all know how sharp a rose's thorns can get.

- You see, that part of me who had missed promotion to sainthood had sent a gift to an overseas friend. I had certain reservations about it arriving merrily and happily AND (very important) in one piece on the other side of this hemisphere, but there... Keeping it secret was a tough thing for me to do and I lived in silent agony for a few days. If some information leaked through my words, then I refuse to remember them because the recipient seemed really pleased with it.

Maybe not a bad idea if one tries occasionally to indulge friends and family with small acts of love – as we only live once.

The second big bang was this: I came to the shocking discovery that I live in an uncultured state of mind when someone asked incredulously how I could not possibly know about a literature-giant who lives literally on my doorstep. The Giant’s brother was in my class at school too.


It did send my mind flying to the time when I went out with The Git or Goat as he is known in the area where it seems all MacDougall clans originated from. I am referring to the ex-Scottish boyfriend, a perfectly lovely bloke but not the kind to talk about how to neglect his buddies or to share the same pen or den of livelihood with.

Balking once again at one of The Goat's familiar snobby remarks, I stuck my frostbitten nose into the cloudless air and talking down the length of it, said very indignantly:

“Well, where I come from we are cultivated...”

Right now, I don't see any reason to drone on about the effect those words had...

But I do see now that a minor error in the choice of words can make a huge difference. Just think how it could lead uninformed outsiders to the wrong conclusion that South Africans are all cultivated in special tubes these days. My word, it would send the scientific world into fritters whereas it leaves normal commoners like me and you maybe only in stitches...

Cultured or uncultivated; it does seem like some of us need a few lessons in certain matters and to take care how we say the very same things that are so important to ourselves...

Friday, October 17, 2008


I completed The MagicWorldTest and who doesn't like those nice and complimentary me-that-tests? Turns out, fancying roses, the smell of grass and woods makes me the “Grass Fragrance Type”.

No problem, but which TYPE of grass...??? The test doesn't say.

And so a friend told me that he passed the test in the category "Oriental-Flavour-Type".

Hmmm. One little problem...

Apart from turning him into something bright, spicy, colorful and much more interesting than my meek and mild simple grass flavor, I'll tell you why I don't think he completed the test with integrity and honesty. Because he is a German who lives in Germany and works at a German company and speaks, eat and e-rm...German things.

So, such bollocks I haven’t heard for a while. Compare it to turning a snowman into a sand pillar. How does oriental actually sit in the pants of a Germanic - any clues? I have no idea myself. It makes me think of saying something ridiculous such as calling the Arabian Desert, Hong-Kong and Greenland identical triplets. Freak accidents can happen, we know that, but most are impossible right from the start.


A German-Oriental type - for that one would have to go to the extreme corners of the earth collecting sand and pouring a shipload ton of it with Thai Cambodians over the German borders before one would blearily see anything remotely close to German-Oriental...

Taking into consideration certain character traits of this particular German-Oriental-friend, I come to the conclusion that it isn’t impossible that he may be of an unknown ominous Arab descendant line. A wild streaked Bin Laden bearded scaremonger with bright blue eyes, a frolicking type who eats tortoise shells, slither throats, ransacks, accumulates and seduces - with harems full of bad woman and good wine...

I can almost understand how Hitler got slightly derailed after a taste of the Eastern Borders...

And am almost certain my dear German-Oriental friend will forgive me this little trespassing piece of pleasure on a long warm Friday afternoon; he did say he loves it when I am so truly honest to myself and a darling sweet thing...

Intellective Thoughts

Many of us wouldn’t dare rinsing dirty washing in the eyes of a cruel and sometimes humorless world, but I feel inclined to share a little literal blip which happened to a family member.

I can’t recall being aware ever before that Alzheimer Disease has a connection with Book-Amnesia. Forgetting which book one was reading the last time one picked up a book to read...

Let me explain. Put aside for the moment any thoughts of book title(s), page number(s) and chapter(s) as in this case it doesn’t matter greatly. In fact, is doesn’t apply at all to the story.

The other human-being who occupies Acorn Cottage confessed last night that she had been set-up by two books lying right there on her bedside table. The one she had finished reading some time ago and the other bookmarked with an unlawful pigs-ear at the top of the current page. Must confess, I do that too.

This person, who I will not name to protect her from eternal shame, picked up a book and after some time of reading ‘a’ book, some very gradual confusion grew in her mind. I understand that after 10 pm disorientation happens slowly and often at this doorstep.

She puzzled over how the female character called Annie could possibly be digging at the same bloody olive-tree and washing-line argument as before with the same obnoxious Italian neighbor. Truth dawned - it can be so unkind in so many ways. I do wish though that I could have sneaked a peek at how the gentility of understanding lit her face. A picture close to angelic serenity before Babel-ic chaos striked...

Without looking she had picked up the wrong book. The folding paper book marking technique doesn’t always sustain its value either and one can easily open another book finished and with pig-ears all over the place.

So, the wrong book had sent her astray with the right one sitting untouched under her nose. Time was certainly ripe to give it a rest and switch off the lamp beside these two pig-tailed and certainly smirking books (if they could).

On this note: Maybe there was something strange in dinner that night because I recall opening my book and immediately a new under-aged guy entered the scene in the crusial act of unzipping his trousers. Mama Mia! Shocked I slammed the book shut thinking how the equally under-aged female figure did not allow any grass (let alone vipers) to grow under her little feet... Turns out I opened my book two and a half chapters on from where I had stopped previously.

...with no idea that events would take such an angular turn...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Camera Obscure - Mud doesn't work.

Brother Tobias reminded me today how my relationship with my first digital camera had gone astray, entering deep waters, suffering the dire consequences and inevitably going kapoet as it spewed out a last flash.

Driving through a deep dip on the farm on the back of a 4x4 bakkie, I lost my grip on this tiny piece of modern equipment. It hacked through the sky over a dry landscape of white Karoo vegetation and managed to entrust its fragile contents to the shallow and murky depths of the only small mud puddle in a radius of 10 miles.

Three of us stared at the same spot for seconds – aghast at what we had witnessed. Inevitable chaos followed. Natural behavior that one can expect from traumatized witnesses who had seen an accident / crime scene play itself off right before their very own eyes. So, as if on cue we shouted at the top of our long-athletic lungs at the sheep-cow counting and dung-locust-squashing driver to STOP the bakkie! Poor dad... Freaked out by the sudden howls and noise, he forcibly slammed on the breaks a tad bit too hard. Mom sat tight and deftly caught the flying coffee flask in the nick of time, as it made a bee-dive towards the middle of the front window. The three of us - we managed not to make a fashionable girly nose-dive over the bakkie's bonnet too, frantically holding onto various pieces of bakkie, equipment, a big spare-tyre and each other, then started clambering like pro's over the rails. Like a troop of baboons we hit, with thump each, the dust and dashed for drowning, bubbling and regurgitating camera.

Naturally we tried our best to revive and pull the filthy retrieved square mud-clot back to life. It was done by proper CPR such as blowing life into the insides, taking out vital parts of polluted intestines, carefully rinsing, cleaning and drying it to avoid sepsis (something close to contamination), stitching it back up, peering at it closely, doing a little brain surgery too as the memory seemed to have evaporated into the thin dry air. All our efforts, standing in a circle around it, seemed to be in vain. It seemed to have done more than fused, but seized to exist completely.

It had entered the Dark Chambers and life-after of the proverbial ‘technically departed’.

Put out by this little drama, we then placed the remains of my camera on the bakkie’s dashboard, where it lay in tragically scattered pieces drying out in the dust and white-hot sun. Occasionally the memory (card) or sliding door bumped off onto the floor during the drive through the veldt, only to be carefully picked up by Mom, and put back under the rays of the sun.

And this is where things really started getting exciting and back on track again. A small but significant miracle happened when much later that very same evening, the deceased piece of modern equipment decided to do a comeback. It tried really hard with the odd flickering here and a confused sign of returning life there...sighing, sulking, spluttering and a strange alarming noise with some stuttering. A bit dustily rusty already.

A sign of the times that we live in, surely, that nothing is remotely impossible anymore. My mud-beaten brave little camera gradually regained its strength and wit and nearly full recovery of its memory. It resumed doing what it was made to do - taking photos. It even seemed to get better by the day and finally took the most brightly lit photographs – complete with dots of scattered darting shooting mud stars that had permanently made their way into the panoramic view. Charming, really.

Bad news is that my ressused mud-bathed-camera sadly eventually departed after a short life entrusted to rusty misery; it decided upon euthanasia followed by cremation. It now rests in little pictures still floating around the globe...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Manner-Stone & Galtrigal

Galtrigal Beach is a small piece of haven hidden to most tourists by the sight of dreary dark moors, sloping hills and dangerous paths on treacherous cliffs, inquisitive black-face sheep, fence posts and sheds. From the top of a hill is a somewhat ordinary view that meets the eye - ocean, pebble beach and some partially hidden stark cliffs which one can’t reach unless the tide is out.

A lost tourist may very well just stomp back to a hired car, bending double against a blasting Western Isle Gale, cursing under his breathe and consult a torn map written in Gaelic, and blindly get the hell of there.

Galtrigal is part of a spectacular coastline on the Isle of Skye, and for those who don’t know, situated on the west coast of bonnie Scotland.

One or two things about this beach: It involves a little bit of exercise of steep and treacherous excursions up- and downhill, being greeted by ravens or lead by sheep and preferably executed with well-equipped socked-up-hole-less wellies on one's feet.

Halfway down, one suddenly becomes aware of the gurgling sound of water trickling nearby. On closer inspection one sees it running towards the sea and realizes it is a typical Scottish burn. It has the color of sepia, turning the stones underneath into an old-gold-stone-bed too - a result of plant roots and fragrant peat. This material called "peat" is still traditionally sampled for fireplaces and also used in making Talisker Whisky which can be so exceptional in many (offensive or charming) ways.

To the right, after clambering over a few molten rocks one reaches a small cave. At least 20 people will fit into it, but it suits better when there is only one or two. What a place to listen, watch and also drag on a fag - unhurriedly and contemplating to stay there forever.

To the left of the burn, which cuts right through the middle of the pebble beach, a ruin of an Old Smoke House comes into the serene picture. At this sacred spot the old Skye inhabitants used to do whatever was done with fish in a smoke house. If one enters through a narrow doorway, a red robin may very well come and sit on a broom-bush branch at arm’s length, chirping away in the most unusually undisturbed way.

Numerous fossilized stones are buried on the beach – one needs time to walk here, stop, stoop, sit down and gaze into the far distant horizon.

On a stone-cold day one may see water droplets being scooped up by the ferocious angry westerly, turning them into frosted-ice drops hovering in a semi-circle above purple-dark waves... A shivering but amazing sight and one that finally opened my eyes to the Irish legend of horses crashing purposefully to their death in the break of waves...

Turning back and practically scrambling uphill on all fours, I started looking for the famous Manner-Stone. I came face-to-face with this flat square grey coloured entity, but only after an extended and defragmented (nearly derailed) search of consulting numerous other stones with a slight resemblance to the real one.

The legend for it rings as follows: One may wish for eternal fertility when one sits on the Manner-Stone. On one condition, to bear in mind – it has to be done with a bare backside. In the bitter end however, following putting this strange ritual into practice, one may very well have to wish for full restoration of certain fragile and frozen parts of the human anatomy.

I am pretty certain that if the Manner-stone and Galtrigal could speak, it would tell many a story apart from Scottish Highlanders lifting their skirts (e-rm, kilts) and blinding the enemy...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

And this little piggie...

What a week it’s been - car trouble, men trouble and now WORK TROUBLE sure enough to drive anyone to bad men and lighting a match for that car...

I'm writing a deeply aggrieved record for anyone interested in understanding WHY I am free-falling head over heels into a deep one-way well of DEPRESSION. One which by far exceeds any speed limit or any other worldly depression that may right now be threatening civilizations good existence.

Ever worked back-to-back with a blond woman or plainly a B? Received ridiculous snobby-airy-fairy emails from this person? Mrs. B sent one that nearly had me in stitches with the contents so banally tactless that it made me think of a big black hole gushing with a lack of substance or finesse. She sent an email to her ordinary-pleb-infested-colleagues, prior to an event where our company will be exhibiting. Apart from the contents, her keyboard seems to malfunction in respect of formatting:

GENERAL GROOMING: General Grooming is of utmost importance as you are dealing with people throughout the day. I am sure you are all quite aware of the following tips listed below:
Make sure you have clean nails, and for the ladies, preferably polished (a French manicure always looks great – and you can do this at home)
Clean & tidy hair always looks good.
Make sure you do not overdo the makeup, which can give the wrong impression too.
Of course you will be smiling a lot, so please check that your teeth are spotless!
A great aftershave is a must for the guys & a great perfume for the ladies. (A touch up kit is always a good idea, once you have had your lunch)

Such garble... So I sent an email to everyone:

Just can't resist asking, but any rules with regards to WEIGHT – not too fat or too thin...? A French manicure sounds good. And I suppose The Company pay will pay too for teeth whitening?

Next thing, the MD felt the need to defend Mrs B's plea by this:

In reply to your e-mail. We only ask for a warm smile that the potential customer does want to step into our stand.This exhibition is “only” taking place for 3 days and we must get at least 100 visitors to the stand per day. This is our target and with a proactive attitude, a smile and a professional act on the booth we can achieve it. The advice/recommendation given in the e-mail from MRS B is unfortunately required, looking at some of the stand personnel one can see at an exhibition. I am however very confident that we are a team which will “shine”... and blah blah...

Hmmm. A good friend adviced that I let them know it was all meant to add a little humor to our droll existence:

Thank you for your reply. With regards to French manicures and Dentistry: It was meant as a ‘tongue-in-the-cheek’ reply. I’m not sure though that everyone understands that. The intention was to cast a little humor on the subject and not to be taken too seriously.......

I will have to fire my wicked sense of humor if it keeps dumping me in warm water.

Mrs. B discussed her unhappiness about my response with a colleague this morning. I don’t eavesdrop and directly asked why she does not discuss it with me. Clearly a big mistake – again. Madam was off on a shouting rant and nearly fell off her broomstick when I asked if she realize what a French manicure costs - home kit or not.

Such a common "ploert" I am, resorting to home kits (not).

Accused of being AGGRIEVED when in fact I was laughing in my sleeve and greatly HUMORED.

And now I am the pig in the story (office). It’s not too bad alone on this side, but perhaps someone could care to join on this cue... and save me from a droll humorless existence.

Lucky for some culprits it is almost weekend...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saucisson à l'ail or Porkie-Wings?

Balmy Sunday afternoons:
It was a warm and sunny day with a soft cool Atlantic breeze whispering against blue-cold wintery fish-white Capetonian skins. It may have been the first of many a balmy summer day; never mind that we're all cheated out of a salient and boisterous blushing Spring this year.

With a friend over and sunning ourselves in the garden, we made mince of our wine supplies. Sparing one another a beating around olive and wine groves we talked about various things. Good wine never exceeds a limit lower than 12 %. It turned into a true three woman Tête-à-tête as we gradually worked our way through the vines of ordinary life, getting ever mellower as the volumes per bottle dropped and the sun shifted lower in a cobalt blue sky. We sighed with high spirits of a summer-to-be and dreams dancing like ghosts in a heat-wave of ever so distant and unknown horizons.

The day drew to satin soft evening and a world eyed through smoke-colored lenses. out of nowhere the monster of practicality came knocking on the back wooden door and reality winked spitefully at us. Yes, the 'old hag' namely Monday Blues was slowly hobbling back on her old track. Reluctant preparations to be executed: preparing human food, cat-food, dog-food and the tomorrow's dinner. It will be something easy, I decided. There was a chicken wings bag which I have noticed earlier on, ready to pluck out of the freezer, kill with Robinsons Barbeque flavor and consume with salad and a chip. Easy. My feet dragged me to the freezer, pulled out the zipper bag, added lemon juice and garlic gloves and neatly placed it in the fridge. Went to bed. I snored because my tonsils hurt the next morning.

The Monday-Hag:
In theory, the three steaming mugs of strong aromatic coffee did not work. Dragging myself into sitting position with extra effort and bleary eyed carefully trying to get my feet neatly and flat on the floor - from the right angle. Eye-lashes merciless heavy and bashed together. A regular occurrence for those who wonder, and a disability I have learned to live with but more often feel I'm dying off. Doesn't help casting the blame on innocent participants of the previous day's frolic or the vines, for the matter. But I wonder about the night cream which may play a foul part in all of this: causing allergies like a dull sore head, irritated tonsils and optical shooting stars. Or maybe it's just straight-forward mal-consumption of too many good things, or African sunstroke.

Seeing things?
Nearly a full minute I hang onto the fridge-door for two reasons: Needing a support structure and then the other thing of staring vacantly into the fridge. My facial expression changes and I can feel how my eyes go round in their sockets, the pupils stretching and re-focussing. I peer at something for ages and know that sniffing the air wouldn’t help in this case – something is odd. I establish what it is: A bunch of long and white things that somehow have managed to climb into the zipper bag overnight. They have consumed the chicken wings and defiantly and bulging fat stare back at me now. What are they and how did they get in here – the little gremlins!

Dorka's Confusion
Nothing else seemed to have moved or changed, but for the zipper’s previous stock gone and replaced by this...whàt? It was as if my marinated chicken wings had magically turned into a mysterious Saucissson à l'ail and became Porkie-wings instead.

Discussing this strange occurrence later with the other entity who shares the same living space, I came to the shameful realization that this strange sight had been noticed but discreetly ignored in the hope that I would give a full account of how chicken wings could possibly turn out to be fat pork sausages.

Regardless of what it was – turned out a good meal apart from some still persistent seemingly aggravated tonsil troubles.

Chicken Breasts for the Madam!

During 2003 I worked for an elderly care agency based in the Kent County of the U.K. There are many stories to be told, but this is one I would like to remember:

I worked and lived with a Miss Kelly in Kensington High Street, near Kensington Palace and the beautiful lush Holland Park. At one point I decided to buy chicken breasts at the Safe Way shop just around the corner, but from the butcher's counter and not the shelves. These chicken breasts just seemed to be more healthy and succulent and I have fancied buying those for a while.

Going over to the butcher, I politely asked the fair moon-faced podgy butcher with a big slaughter's knife in one hand, for two chicken breasts.

“Only two chicken breasts Madam?”

Yes please.

At the top of his voice, he went repeating the order with a loud drawl and boisterous humored voice which made other shoppers stop and stare at us.

"Two chicken BREASTS it will be for our lovely young lady over here!”

A potty butcher? Yes. A smart-pants? Indeed. I must have emphasized the wrong syllable. Typical British the bulldog had jumped at the first opportunity to exploit. Even this knowledge did not stop me from blushing crimson red, wanting to cover myself from head to toe and any rags would do just fine.

I crawled out of the shop with the accursed chicken BREASTS...

- And made a lovely meal of it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Exit-Entry of Gate-crashing

Someone said Friday that she would not dream of gate-crashing in the event that she would jeopardize whatever I’ve been up to. It made me think that I don’t like that word of crashing the gate. People should be free to join in festivity or anything that gives reason to celebrate or just have social fun.

It is a term one could imagine going riot amongst a selected group of parties, and not at social parties. For example; The Social Democrats, Labour and Toried Conservatives. (Don't let me insult our own political parties for mentioning an umpire's un-pure existence). Think for a moment - most of the world's cunning political leaders seem to excel in the bone-dry department of Gate-crashing. They give the image of being familiar with various sleazy techniques (wolf in sheep’s rags) that involve blending in with a crowd (mop of sheep) just to gain access to events that they will first and fore-mostly benefit from.

A few traits (or trades) of these blinking gate-crashers:

Avoiding the honest truth (sucking it out of their thumb)
Gaining unlawful entrance to the tax payer’s pocket
Having access to rule and spoil good systems
Politicians saying “f * k all” to the public
Disturbing general and mental peace
Taking up too much of our time on national Telly
Causing general disruptions

These Gate-Crashers also seem to endeavor to combat the common man’s desire to live. Devoid and exploit the commoner of simple pleasures and survival kits: Food, Alcohol and Tobacco... A Political-Mafia who not unlike mean midges, turns the ordinary creature into a fearing creature. One who spends his days outside non-puffing-plush pubs in fear of life-long imprisonment, unfair license disposal or strange disease...

Well, there we are. If not, where are we then?

Mind, AS it is Monday and I do not wish to overstep or -stay any threshold, or step on certain toes, nor have the criminal desire to gate-crash any party rules... I will make a grand Exit right yours fully now...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I came to the realization that holding on in life is a far better option than letting go. Well in this case I’m talking about friendship.

Loosing a friend or friends would be like letting go of life's dreams. If I decided to give up and let go of some of my hopes it would come close to what it must feel like to loose a friend. A hand in hand walk; dreams can float on open, wide, clear oceans when one has the knowledge that it is well nourished and accompanied with the flag of loving friendship.

Never having been one for big crowds nor the type that surrounds her with nail-painting-tea-drinking girl friends, I thought of the meaning and power of friendship.

A few people have made a really big difference in my life. I consider them friends. The older ones with wisdom of years in their eyes, the younger ones full of vibrant life and spirit and ones like me falling in and far between the rest of them. Never a crowd, but a group of people that would make a fire crackle should they be put around a table laden with food and wine.

From friends I gain inner-strength and laughter. Regardless of gender, they know how to give and receive. They allow me to chat unselfconsciously or incessantly... about stuff I don't want to talk about with family or work colleagues. I can safely make confessions of how I always secretly wanted to be a novelist or violinist, still not know what I want to do when I grow up, about relationships, tell them how I gave up coloring my hair but started doing it again, or that aged 33 I still have not the foggiest idea how to bake a soufflé or stop swearing.

Friends are real people. They tell me secrets which they know will be safe with me, being a friend. They also know about insecurities and how to pop a cork graciously when good news is shared. They are unexplainable things, with a baffling capacity of love and tender understanding and something that one wants to keep close to one’s heart, like a precious stone or jewel.

A friend who sensed that I needed some reaffirmation, decided to return some “wisdom” previously sent by me:

It was written like follows:
To quote a wise and dear friend:
“You know the strange thing is, I think that disappointment (heartbreak, high expectations of ourselves and others, impossible dreams, etc) will always follow us. I will never understand why it has to be part of this life; maybe it’s part of our evolving status and a steep learning curve to learn to survive life’s many impossible situations.”

Followed by a little thoughtful shared wisdom from the friend:
Let me add one thing to it:
Disappointments are the result of exactly these high expectations of ourselves and others but as we don’t want to change that aspiration of ours lets be aware of how these experiences might twist learning curves to gradually petrify us unless they are kept in shape by an ingenuous mind...