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Archive for June 2008

Au contraire

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Re: yesterday’s mushy post: On the other hand, it is possible that what the neighbours hear is merely M & I canning ourselves laughing at the tv, which we do most nights, to be frank. Not so romantic, that. I think I prefer the version on Planet Soppy. I am such a Schmaltz-ball, lol.

I know this sounds ridiculous, but watching a bit of tv at night definitely counts as some quality time for us. I call it interactive tv-watching, if there can be such a thing. We watch for each other’s reactions the whole time, sharing a chuckle at a funny part, rolling our eyes at the obvious plots of our local drama that we follow etc. Cheesy grins abound at sweet romantic bits, which remind us (unashamedly) of ourselves. We think we have a great relationship and aren’t afraid to say it.

Talking about ‘our local drama’, I am, of course, referring to 7de Laan. At 6:30pm the whole block of flats resounds with the sound of the opening theme tune. Love it or hate it, 7de Laan is part and parcel of SA culture. We watch it mainly to complain about it, ha ha. The obvious plots, the overacting, the absurd characterisation – but the reason it works, is that that is possibly SA culture in a nutshell. We can be an obvious, overdramatic and absurd bunch. Gotta love us, though.

Anyway, M gets home just as 7de Laan starts, and the food is dished up and we eat supper in front of the telly. Every now and then, I make a token protest about how I would rather eat at the dining room table and ‘talk’, but there are two reasons that we don’t do this. Firstly, the dining-room table is usually piled so high with junk that it would be impossible to find a niche for two dinner plates.

The seond reason is my own fault. Back when we were first married, I was somewhat of a 7de Laan junkie. It was the number one way I used to cope with my MS diagnosis. When I was first laid off work, I was so bored at home that I used to look forward to it all day. Michael, on the other hand, wasn’t so keen on it. So I devised a cunning plan. I started the tradition of dishing up our grub exactly as the theme song played. Positive assosiation and all that. It worked like a bomb, ala Pavlovian dog psychology. Unfortunately, it backfired on me, and now supper just isn’t complete without our daily dose of 7de Laan.

Man, but it’s cold around these parts today. I heard the disturbing rumour that there is a cold front on its way. Disturbing, because I thought we were already in the midst of one. Even more disturbing is the talk of load-shedding returning in all its glory. Cold is one thing, but cold and no electricty is not a nice thought. Not even so much as a cup of Horlicks to warm one (me!) up.


Written by Maggie

June 7, 2008 at 10:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Back to normal

with one comment

I’m feeling back to my old self again, thank goodness. I’ve been too hard on myself this past while, really beating myself up about things that aren’t actually in my control.  Sometimes, I guess you just have to pat yourself on the back every now and then and say, “I’m good enough”.

Something that certainly cheered up my day, was a comment from my neighbour this afternoon. This was a fairly unlikely source, actually, because we hardly ever talk to any of our neighbours. We greet them when we see each other outside our garages, but that’s about it.

Anyway, so this afternoon I went outside for some fresh air in our little garden (because some asshat had spent the whole morning spraying paint outside the building and our whole flat stank of it). I saw our neighbour in the garden, working on a painting. I greeted her and Gismo (have I ever blogged about Gismo? He is the Peckinese dog that lives next door and he’s just gorgeous). We ended up chatting and she said that she’s noticed my husband comes home a lot during the day, and that anybody can see he really loves me.

I thought that was nice of her to say. But what she said next was one of the best compliments I have received in a long while.

She said that M & I are quiet neighbours and they don’t hear us much. But when it’s quiet at night, she can hear us laughing together and she doesn’t know what we are laughing about but she feels like laughing too. And she says she can’t hear what we’re saying but she hears us talking so nicely to each other, and that it’s lovely to hear people who love each other like that.

She also said that I have the most lovely, infectious laugh and that when she hears my laugh she just wants to join in.

I have been mulling this over since then and it really does make me feel good, that Michael and I have such a happy home that a stranger next door picked up on it and felt like commenting on it.

I stood in the sun, talking to her, for absolute ages. And here’s the really good part – I didn’t exacerbate from the heat. I seem to have built up much more of a tolerance to heat than, say, a year ago. I would never have been able to stand in the sun and yak like that last year, that’s for sure. I actually enjoyed myself immensely. She’s quite a character, very interesting.  And Gismo was jumping up against the low wall for me to pet him like I’m his bestest friend in the world.

Funny how some days can just surprise you, hey?

Oh yes, and I swam 1 kilometer this morning. My dad asked me if I think I can swim 500m continuously. I reckon I can, so we decided that I may well do a 500m swim at next year’s Lake Heritage with him. (Well, he’ll be doing the 1k race, but there is a 500m event too, so who knows. Anything is possible. In fact, if I can keep up my current ‘no relapses’ regime, I may even join him for the Midmar Mile March 2009.)

Written by Maggie

June 6, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Global musings…

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I was born under a stay-at-home star. I don’t have so much of the wanderlust in me.

Good thing, too, because boy, have I been staying at home a lot for the past couple of years.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d like to travel the world sometime. There are some things that I really hope to see before I die, like the Northern Lights, Stonehenge, the Blue Danube…

I kind of always thought that I would travel in my 30’s. My 20’s were supposed to be for accumulating the necessary funds for said travelling. That didn’t go quite according to plan. How was I to forsee the major setback in my health in my early twenties, shooting my fledging grip on the corporate ladder in its foot? (I was rudely healthy up until the age of 21, so it came as somewhat of a surprise).

So new plan, I guess. Money making in my 30’s and my 40’s will just have to be soon enough for the travel bug to bite. Unless I win the lotto on Saturday night. Of course, it would help if I bought a ticket, which I never, ever do. I don’t really believe in the lotto.

I’m fortunate in that I have been able to travel this  beautiful country that I live in extensively. My parents always took us on great holidays and then there were school-trips I went on and trips that Michael and I have taken together – so it’s all good. South Africa is pretty much a premier tourist destination as far as scenery and diversity go. Aren’t I lucky?

And to round off this entry, here is something that made me laugh a lot today, because I think we’ve all known a guy like this…

A grumpy, overbearing office manager once had to spend a couple
of days in the hospital. He was a royal pain to the nurses,
bossing them around just like he did his employees. None of the
hospital staff wanted to have anything to do with him. The head
nurse was the only one who would stand up to him.

She walked into his room and announced, “I have to take your

After complaining for a few minutes he finally settled down,
crossed his arms and opened his mouth.

“No, I’m sorry,” the nurse said, “For this reading, I can’t use
an oral thermometer.”

This started another round of complaining, but eventually he
rolled over and bared his behind. After inserting the
thermometer, she said, “Now, I have to go get something. You stay
just like that until I get back!”

She left the door to his room open on her way out, and the man
cursed under his breath as he heard people walking past his door
snickering. After quite some time had passed, a doctor walked
into the room.

“What’s going on here?” asked the doctor.

Angrily, the man answered, “What’s the matter, Doc? haven’t you
ever seen someone having their temperature taken before?”

After a pause, the doctor replied, “Yes… but never with a

Written by Maggie

June 5, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

with 2 comments

Today I am feeling marginally better. I have a fair idea what’s wrong and an even fairer idea how to fix it.

Sorry for being so vague. I hate it when people are all cryptic. Give me details or shut up about it already. And now I’m guilty of doing it, so let me leave it at that, work on fixing what’s wrong and report back on it when it’s all sorted. And not mention it again till then 😉

I’m feeling better enough to have had a little chuckle at the following, anyway…

One day, Farmer Bob is in town picking up supplies for his farm.
He stops by the hardware store and picks up a bucket and an
anvil, then stops by the livestock dealer to buy a couple of
chickens and a goose.

Farmer Bob, realizing he must find a way to carry all of his
purchases home, asks the livestock clerk for advice.

The livestock clerk says, “Why don’t you put the anvil in the
bucket, carry the bucket in one hand, put a chicken under each
arm and carry the goose in your other hand?”

“Hey, thanks!” says Farmer Bob, and off he goes.

While walking he meets a young woman. She tells him she is lost,
and asks, “Can you tell me how to get to 1515 Mockingbird Lane?”

Farmer Bob says, “Well, as a matter of fact, I’m going to visit
my brother at 1616 Mockingbird Lane. Let’s take a short cut and
go down this alley. We’ll save half the time to get there.”

The girl says, “How do I know that when we get into the alley you
won’t hold me up against the wall, pull up my skirt and ravish

Farmer Bob says, “I’m carrying a bucket, an anvil, two chickens
and a goose. How in the world could I possibly hold you up
against the wall and do that?”

The girl replies, “Set the goose down, put the bucket over the
goose, put the anvil on top of the bucket, and I’ll hold the

Written by Maggie

June 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

with 3 comments

Sjoe, but I really disappeared off the blogging radar there for a while, didn’t I? My bad.

Frankly, I have not been having the most fabulous time lately. I’ve been in a bit of a depressed fug which I cannot explain properly. Sort of a low-grade depression. But I really don’t want to get into that right now, and I seem to have surfaced again. Sometimes it’s best not to delve too deeply into a troubled psyche. Especially if the cloud is in the process of lifting.

The Sunday before last, my cousin passed away. He was only 21 years old. We had the funeral on Friday and it was unbearably sad. His parents are broken and I found it hard even making eye-contact with such raw and anguished grief.

My cousin had muscular dytrophy, and even though he battled physically because of it, he was positive and full of plans for the future – a light in many people’s lives. His passing was sudden and unexpected and he will be very sorely missed.

It has been a painful reminder of mortality. I feel a sense of urgency to somehow make a difference in this world. What and how remain a mystery, however.

On to the positive. We received the lovely news today that M’s brother and his wife are expecting their third child. I am very happy for them. They are such good parents and have two lovely boys and the new little one can only be a blessing in the family.

There seems to be a baby boom on the go again, because one of my very dear friends that I was at school with is also pregnant with her first. She and her hubby are living in Mozambique so I don’t see her too often.

No wonder I’m feeling half morbid. It is midnight and my back is sore. Think I’ll call it a day, and with any luck I can wake up on the right side of the bed tomorrow morning and be a tad more cheerful.


Written by Maggie

June 3, 2008 at 12:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized