Saturday, 29 June 2013

The greatest love story never told


The greatest love story never told
29 June 2013

I don’t want to say a speech, so I thought that instead, I would tell you a story.  A tale about the greatest love story, never told.

Their eyes met across a cricket field of all places.  Not your conventional meeting ground, admittedly, but somehow that is all that it took.  And from that one glance, a spark was ignited.  A spark which conflagrated, into a raging inferno.

Sixty years later - a lifetime and a legacy - they’re celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary with all of us here today.

Five children, children-in-law, a few ex-children-in-law, twelve grandchildren, some grandchildren-in-law, bonus grandchildren, great-grandchildren, even bonus great-grandchildren too.  What a remarkable achievement.  A living legacy, which continues to show growth.

An incredible and abundant wealth of people, who have sprouted forth from their union.

They met while they were still both at varsity.  And though both of them, came from farms, they could not have had more different upbringings.  Still, that ever present spark, forged them together, as if they were inexplicably drawn towards each other.  It was fated that they belonged to on another.

They have had wonderful times together.  They have both seen the other completing their education.  Seeking career paths and settling down to family life. 

They have always had the amazing ability to turn a mere brick and mortar house, into a home.  Lovingly decorated, renovated, and furnished with love.  They have passed this ability on to all of their offspring and have gifted us too with a deep appreciation of the aesthetic and all things beautiful.  A love for fine music, beautiful art, reading, d├ęcor, magnificent furniture, architecture, etc.

They have been an example to all of us, of a physical embodiment of love.  Their commitment to each other and their children and the entire family so awe inspiring.  They know all of us so exceptionally well.  They take the time to learn about our interests and that which intrigues us.  They engage us in interesting conversations, about fascinating topics, broadening our horizons continually.  My mom loves to say, that she feels fed after a visit to them.  And all of us understand so clearly exactly what she means by that.  Because it is so true.

They have shown us what honour and dignity looks like.  They have taught us all to stick it out through the tough times, because they’ve had plenty of those too.

They are phenomenally positive people, with a wonderful outlook on life.  They have changed with the times, and kept abreast of new things around them. 

They are project driven, and are always busy with a few things at the same time.  Things that in turn inspire them too.

Through their example they have shown us the incredible power of forgiveness.  Of overwhelming encouragement and belief in all of us, with our every single adventure and endeavour too.  They have also shown us tolerance and acceptance.  Of making allowances for those different to us.

They both have a remarkable sense of humour, which I do believe has given them much fortitude in life.

They have shown us the bond of family.  Not only those family members closest to us, but the far-off ones too.  And when I say far-off, I don’t mean in terms of distance, but also the bond between cousins, second cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts and great uncles too.  Everyone connected through blood is equally important.  But not only them, everyone married to a family member is embraced and accepted as well.

They have long-standing friendships, cultivated over many years.  They are in their eighties, yet look at the people who are surrounding them today.  Not just family members, but friends too.  Friends of all ages.  Not many people at their age or even younger, are so revered and loved by so many. 

They have shown us the importance of keeping busy.  Of indulging in hobbies.  Of never ceasing to try and expand their horizons and their knowledge of the world.  They are both incredibly interested in history, yet manage to keep up with current events at all times.

I love popping in to Cloetenberg in the mornings, after I’ve dropped my kids off at school.  From the outside I always see their bedside lamps burning.  And when I step out of my car, open the front gate and walk up to the front door, I am always overcome with an overwhelming gush of love, and anticipation of seeing them.  Of being embraced by this beautiful home, as I step over the threshold.  Of the familiar sights, sounds and smells.  Usually, when I ring the front doorbell (it is able to wake the dead), I can hear the dogs scuffling inside, and Oupa schloefing to the front door in his slippers and gown.  He simply always opens the door with a smile on his lips and a joke on hand.  Urging his beloved dogs to attack me (I do believe that this is said most lovingly).  And when I step inside, after greeting me, Oupa normally says in a conspiratorial fashion, “die Miesies is nog in die bed”.  And as I walk into their bedroom, he’ll say, “Ma, kyk wie’t kom kuier”.  To which Ouma replies, “Aaahhh, Helene!  How lovely to see you”.

And before my eyes, I see the physical proof of exactly who they are.  Bed strewn with the day’s newspapers, dogs sleeping at their feet, tea mugs on their bedside tables, hearing aids, spectacles, an open peanut butter jar, with a spoon stuck inside on Oupa’s side of the bed, an empty peanut butter jar, jam packed with pencils, on Ouma's side of the bed for her beloved Soduko’s.  Books either side, photos of their family.  Beautiful artworks and antique furniture even in their room.

We are all so abundantly blessed to have you in our lives.  For the love you have shown us and continue to show us.  You are interesting, fascinating, intelligent people.  Who stimulate all of those around you, and inspire us to greatness.

Thank you for the example you have set for us, of endurance and perseverance and the healing power of love.

I would like to end off, by quoting one of Ouma’s favourite sayings,

“Birthdays are celebrated by the grace of God.  But as for anniversaries?  By God you have to work hard for those and earn them”.

And I think the magic trick, is that you both chose well.  You’ve both made the hard work worthwhile for the other.

Celebrating 60 years of marriage is a remarkable achievement and we are all so grateful to celebrate this wonderful occasion with you.

We love you both.

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Cutting the cake on the farm at Welvanpas


The whole wedding party



A celebratory toast - don't they just look absolutely gorgeous!


All dolled up for Xmas in July at Muisnes


With all of their children at Kleinbaai


Die Kleinbaai stoep-sitters


A get-together at Cloetenberg, to wish the Auld's farewell

Kleinbaai get-together - just with all of the offspring from my Mom - their eldest daughter


Oupa and Ouma sit op die stoep - at Kleinbaai


Oupa and Ouma at Xmas in July at Muisnes


Lombard family at the Auld wedding


Oupa and Ouma at Muisnes


Ouma with all her gals


All five Lombard children

Friday, 28 June 2013

I really wish I could write gooder



I really wish I could write gooder
28 June 2013

I wonder sometimes if my writing is okay?  And if there was a writing scale, in which category would I fall?

Would people tick box a) Goodish but a bit boring

Or would they tick box b) It is okay, but it could be gooder

Then there’s box c) It aren’t the worst, but nor is it the betterest out there

Maybe box d) It’s not my bag and the writing is not very good

Perhaps box e) I kinda like it

Or finally box f) I dig it a lot

A whole bunch of “f’s” would be awesome.  Still that’s not why I’m doing this whole blogging thing.  Hey don’t get me wrong, affirmation that I’m on the right track is awesome.  Comments of encouragement and appreciation make my day.  They really do.  Every single “like” lifts my spirits.  Forwarding and sharing a post, even more incredible.  Perhaps the greatest gift, is the fact that when people like or comment, it means that I’ve been heard.  The interaction I get is super rewarding.

Does that make me needy?  Or does that make me honest?

It's not that I think I'm good - it's that I really just wish that I was.



My blog is my therapy.  And I must be super-messed up, because I’m in therapy every single day.  Some therapist out there, is missing out big time.  I could be putting his or her kid through varsity one day.  Or perhaps paying for that vacation overseas.  And let’s not forget paving the driveway.

My blog is my rock painting in a cave.  It’s living proof that I’ve roamed this fair earth.  Because the evidence will remain in my posts.  In the stories I wrote.

My blog is my “I was here”.

My blog is my “I cared”.

My blog is my “I tried hard to make a difference”.

My blog is my “somebody heard my voice”.

To me my blog is also my “look how far I’ve come and how I’ve grown”.

My blog is a record of my children’s childhood.  It preserves little snippets in time, frozen in words.  Small vignettes of daily life.  Of how they’re growing up and me with them too.  The words they say, the things they do.  Because time has a nasty habit of making things fuzzy.  Of blurring the lines and erasing some memories.  And my stories are capturing perfect accounts of everyday life.  Not the highs.  Not the lows.  Just average days.  Because though photographs and videos are great, they still don’t manage to perfectly encapsulate the feelings and the essence.  And perhaps a written account is better equipped to do all of that.  To paint a picture with words.  One that is vivid enough to evoke memories in years to come.  Making one able to see, smell, taste and touch.  And transport you right back to that day.

I am not just a blogger.  I am a writer.  But my blog is the only platform that is willing to publish me. 

But, hopefully not forever.  And if this is as good as it gets, and I remain a blogger forever, then I am super blessed.  It has been rewarding beyond measure.  Fulfilling and creative.  It has stretched my boundaries and made me think.  It has taught me stronger discipline in seeing something through, having made a commitment to myself.  It has broadened my horizons.  Made me more aware of others out there.  People that are far less fortunate than me.  It has grown an already well-established sense of humour even more.  As well as my perception skills.  Making me see opportunities in everything around me.  Picking up on nuances I might previously have not been aware of.  It has made me value that I have to be true to me and be honest in all.  It is a release valve of all I had possibly merely been storing deep inside of me before.  Giving outing to my thoughts and my feelings.  Providing me with a place to truly be me. 

Most important of all, it has given me joy!  And a more developed appreciation of how exceptionally blessed I am to be surrounded by so many awesome and amazing people.  The wealth and depth I have of family.  My incredible friends.  My most magnificent children.  And my wonderful Grantie.

Thank you!

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Why are sayings so weird?


Why are sayings so weird?
27 June 2013

The origin of some sayings are really rather odd.  And I must confess to feeling rather perplexed at times.

We are so used to saying these phrases and they have become so automatic to us and entrenched in our everyday language, that it is hard to join the dots as to their true origin.

But perhaps even more perplexing than the well-known and commonly used ones, are the ones that are indigenous to different families.  Right, you know exactly what I mean.  Unleashing these sayings on anyone outside the family circle only succeeds in causing confusion and expressions of what-did-I-just-miss?

So for now, let's forget about those.  They're hard enough to define.  But what about the more commonly used ones?  The ones all of us use all the time?  Have you ever noticed how bizarre some of them sound?  Imagine being unfamiliar with English, and trying to learn the language.  Idiosyncrasies like these must be rather difficult to fathom.

I mean, just imagine if we took these saying at face value.  What a scary world we would live in.  Full of uncertainties and confusion.  Weird and wonderful things happening all around us.
 
People would be as sick as dogs - which immediately makes me think of mange for some or other reason.  A most dreadful illness for any human being to have.  I mean, geez - imagine trying to scratch behind your ear with your left leg???
 
Raining cats and dogs would surely be a scary sight to witness too.  How come domestic animals seem to always get the shortest end of the stick?

Speaking of which - how can one end be short.  And another be long?  A stick is a stick, is a stick.  One length.  Huh?

Then there's breaking the ice and we all know how spectacularly unsuccessful an event that was for the Titanic.

And as for waking up on the wrong side of the bed, perhaps more appropriate would be the wrong bed altogether?  As in having a few toots too many and showing bad discretion and a lapse in judgement with regards to a choosing a partner for the night perhaps?

Sleeping like a baby is another one that baffles me.  Anyone with any experience of babies will appreciate what a huge big misnomer this is.  Babies are not known for their sleeping "prowess" or patterns.  Rather their lack their of.  In fact, they are champions in the field of broken sleep.  And are so chuffed with this distinction, that they proudly show their skills off to their parents - a few times a night.

With regards to spilling the beans, can we perhaps get a bit of clarification.  Are we talking coffee beans, green beans, kidney beans, haricot beans?  Or the old humble and faithful baked beans in tomato sauce?

And I hate pointing out the obvious, but in the world I live in, inanimate objects don't speak.  Nor do they sing, dance or talk.  So exactly how is it possible for the pot to call the kettle black?  And does this strike anybody else as being ever so slightly racist?

Throwing in the towel is another odd saying.  In my humble experience, people through balls.  Occasionally frisbees.  Aussies throw boomerangs.  And on rather rare occasions, wives have been known to through objects at their husbands.  But towels?  Super ineffective, I should think.

I would also think that it is super obvious that tomorrow is another day.  What with each day having a different date, I would think that it would be a logical conclusion, that tomorrow would be another day.

And I don't mean to be picky, but pods generally are blessed with more than just two peas.  So what's with the whole two peas in a pod thing too?

Blood being thicker than water - is this a weird biological chemical viscosity thing?  And who ever thought of such a phrase.  A doctor perhaps or a medical practitioner, given to weird phrases and a penchant for stating the obvious?

Calling a spade a spade makes kind of sense.  Especially as a spade is technically called a spade.  What else would one call it after all?  A hairbrush, without the bristles?  A really long, thick, flat shaped toothpick?  Come on people - let's keep it real!

As for a chip on the shoulder - are they talking French Fries, crisps, slap chips or wood chips, as in garden mulch.  And surely there are better places to keep your slightly greasy food?  Perhaps a packet, or a bag - just a suggestion.  Use it - don't use it.

Putting the cart before the horse - now that makes no sense whatsoever.  Because if you put the cart befo..... Aaahhh!  I get it!  Good one!

Climbing on the bandwagon.  Now is that the equivalent of a tour bus when a band goes on a roadtrip?  And would a Kombi classify as a wagon?  Or even a mini-van of sorts?

Now I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed (he-he-he) when it comes to genetics, but surely it is biologically impossible for a leopard to change it's spots.  And why would it even want to?  Surely acceptance of your ethnicity and cultural, species background is far more important than changing?
 
So can you understand how potentially difficult it is to comprehend the English language?
 
I don't care what anyone says, it's quite simply not as easy as falling off a log...
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Teen pregnancy



Teen Pregnancy
26 June 2013


Teen pregnancy.  For me it is a very sad occurrence.  One that happens quite often actually.

I am overcome with empathy for families who have to deal with this.  The ripple effect is just so very, very huge.  In fact, I suspect that some of those ripples may last a lifetime.  I can but only imagine the shock and heartache that must surely accompany the realisation that a teen is pregnant.  Not only for her, but for her parents too.  In fact her whole support system.  And that of the father and his family too.

I am the result of a teenage pregnancy.  And given the fact that I am forty years old, I reckon those ripples back then were probably more like big waves.  A tsunami of sorts.

My folks were very brave, held their heads high and simply got on with life.  I suspect they were the cause of much fodder for the ever busy rumour mill.  They chose to get married, even though my grandparents had offered to raise me.  My dad was successful in obtaining a weekend pass from the army for the wedding.  Which I reckon was probably just as well, as he was stationed far away and most of his weekend pass was spent travelling to and from the army base he was stationed at.  Sadly for my mom, she received a lovely letter from the teacher's college where she was doing her training, asking her to leave.  Admirable is the fact that she did just that.  Went off, had her baby and started studying again at college when I was just ten days old.  As mentioned in a previous blog, I apparently started sleeping through the night at ten days old too.  A suspicious coincidence if you ask me…..

I somehow think that teen pregnancy is on the rise.  And contrary to popular belief, it is not just happening in certain communities.  Teen pregnancy is not discerning.  It can happen to anyone.  And I think that any parent who thinks that their child is immune or protected is sadly mistaken.  And this goes for boys and girls.  Because though girls are the ones falling pregnant, they most certainly aren’t getting that way on their own.
Another home truth is the fact that teen pregnancy is not the only phenomenon on the rise.  The abortion rate is escalating wildly too.  And I wonder how safe an alternative this is?  One sees advertisements for same-day service with regards to abortions stuck on every imaginable surface.  Lamp poles, refuse bins, Stop street signs, etc.  Surely reputable doctors would have no need to advertise in this manner?  Or perhaps reputable doctors don't perform abortions.  And therein lies the difference.


When Luke was in Gr 7 in Primary School, the kids did a course, called Choices, sponsored by the school.  It taught them the basics of sex education, the risk of diseases (especially with our HIV and Aids statistics being so shocking), as well as a few home truths about the escalating rise in teen pregnancy.  Personally, I had thought that it was quite young for them to be exposed to a third party, other than their parents and immediate teachers to give them education on such a sensitive matter.  Until we were informed by our class teacher, that this is exactly the right age.  And that somehow receiving education in this manner from professionals, knowledgeable on the topic, amidst their peers was super effective.  Furthermore, the largest percentages of teens giving birth, happened in June/July of their Grade 8 year (the old Standard 6).  Which meant that these kids were having unprotected sex during their September holidays in Grade 7, when they were just twelve and thirteen years old.  It scared the bejeebers out of me.  Holy-friggin-moly!!!
 
I think that another factor involved is the promiscuity of kids these days.  They seem to try so hard to appear to be bigger and older than what they really are.  They are acting, speaking and dressing way beyond their years.  Why?  And more importantly why do parents allow this?  I would not want my thirteen year old going to a party wearing a dress short enough to look like a belt, a face plastered with too much make-up and perilously perched on heels nearly impossible to walk in.  And the boys are most certainly not innocent either.
 
The most effective form of birth control is abstinence.  But teenagers will always push those boundaries.  And so perhaps proper sex education and advocating safe sex is the best option.  Also instilling in them a sense of the huge lifelong responsibility attached to raising a child.  Their lives will be irrevocably changed.  Even more so than they can ever imagine.

A very good friend of mine has a teenage daughter.  And one of the daughter’s friends had a baby – a few years ago already.  Apparently she is taking a fair amount of responsibility, though her mother is practically helping her to raise her little baby daughter.  It makes sense, as she is still in school and has to finish her most basic education at least.  The father and his family are also contributing to the costs of raising this baby and are fairly involved too.  Still my friend says that her daughter and friends, look at this baby as a cute accessory.  They dress her up really nicely and pose for photos with her, like she’s a real live doll.  Little hats, and cutie outfits, etc.  But then they go home.  And while they can all go out to parties and hang out with their friends, the mother of this child cannot.  Even though she is technically still a child herself.

I also think that a huge problem is that teenagers often see sex as a valuable commodity.  One that can be traded for popularity, amongst others.  Fidelity and faithfulness is not a given.  And quite often kids that are indulging are not even in a relationship.  They hook up at parties, with other teenagers they barely even know.

Perhaps playing with lit dynamite sticks would be safer?  I think that maybe the best thing we can do, is to be watchful over our children.  To guide them on the right path.  To engage them in communication and make them aware of the consequences of their actions.

Because no matter how you look at, kids shouldn’t be raising kids.  They should still just be kids.

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Oh so true




There are various ad campaigns out there, doing their bit to help prevent teen pregnancy

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Our darling Madiba



Our darling Madiba
24 June 2013


Our darling Madiba is not well at all.  And I fear that to say he is ailing is putting it rather mildly.  Though in actual fact, I believe we are rather kept in the dark as to the true condition of his health.  Still concerns and media reports have been stepped up from “stable” to “critical”.  This does not bode well at all.  In addition, he is surrounded by his family and loved ones and I’m assuming that this is heralding the end of an era.  They have come to pay their last respects and to say their goodbye’s.


I know that at 94, we should grant him a reprieve.  He deserves for us to let him go.  He has served us well.  Has united us all.  Has championed our cause with the rest of the world.  He made us one nation.  He has earned the right to lay down his mantle and just to let go.


Still, we cling.  How can we not?  We love him.


It is rather ironic that his health has taken such a bad turn, on the anniversary of one of his greatest gifts to us.  Eighteen years ago today.  And what was that gift?  It might seem rather trivial, but somehow the donning of a Springbok rugby jersey, was one of his greatest gifts of all.  But why?  Surely it was just a jersey?  Yet somehow, it was more than that.  Bigger than just a jersey.  The Springbok rugby jersey, was a symbol of the sport of the oppressor.  The former government that had called him a terrorist and sentenced him to twenty seven long years in jail.  Well, no actually that’s not right.  They sentenced him to life.  It was simply the foresight of some members of a waning National Party, that had the vision to see that he could unite our troubled nation, and therefore allowed him to be released after a “mere” twenty seven years behind bars.  Furthermore, they knew that the tide could not be stemmed.  It was either release him willingly and freely or face a revolution. 


When Nelson Mandela was released from prison, on the 11th of February 1990, I was an impressionable seventeen year old.  I had no concept of what this would mean for our country.  But what I did know, was that there was a lot of fear.  Insecurity.  Fears of instability and unrest.  An uprising of the black majority.  A white minority uncertain as to how their world would change. 


The writing was on the wall.  Times they were a changing.  The black tide could no longer be stemmed and it was inevitable that this former “terrorist” would one day become our president and leader.  What manner of retribution would rain upon our white heads?  Though it was certainly true that neither me, nor my family, friends, etc. were responsible for his incarceration, and that we were all pretty liberal, we were still “blessed” with white skins.  And might be judged by that failing in a country now heading towards complete and utter black domain and domination.

Would this much feared Nelson Mandela, we knew so little about, leave prison with hatred in his heart?  Would he encourage his people to plunder and pillage?  Would we be safe?  Would he attempt to get us back for his pain and suffering?  Would our lives be disrupted by unrest?  How badly would our status quo be altered?  How much would our lives be changed?  Because one thing I knew with certainty, was that things could not remain the same.  The winds of change were in the air.  The question was, by how much it would change?  And how soon?

I remember watching his release on TV.  Understanding that it was a historic moment, but feeling as though we were on a knife’s edge as a nation, and that the scales could be tipped either way.  He looked so normal to me.  So average and like so many other people.  Ordinary, and not fear-inspiring at all.  Still in those first few seconds on the screen, he seemed powerful to me too.  A man with a purpose.  He was surrounded by so many people.  Peaceful people.  And the image of him and Winnie walking hand in hand, with each holding their free hand aloft, clenched in a fist, will stay with me forever.

Amazingly, he started preaching for peace right from the start.  Even more impressive - he practiced peace too.  He showed with his actions and words that he was a loving man.  A humble man, who wanted to unite all South Africans, irrespective of race, colour and religion.  He was well spoken.  Educated and eloquent.  Charismatic, with a gift for people and communicating with them. 

And on that day, the 24th of June 1994, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela showed us more eloquently than ever, that he was prepared to put the past behind him and focus on the future.  On building a new South Africa instead.  And in many ways, the Rugby World Cup was not won by the fifteen men on the field (although they most certainly did their part).  Those fifteen men were destined for greatness, because their president spoke to them before the time, and inspired them to give their all, to an adoring home crowd.  He allowed them so see his vision for a united South Africa.  A South Africa that would truly start to become healed by sporting greatness.  Because in its truest form, sport is colour blind.  It has no regards for race or religion.  It is a unifying force and never was this more evident than on that day.
An initially very weary and nervous South Africa, had by the 24th of June 1994 done a complete turn-around.  And as Nelson Mandela stepped on to the field, donned from head to toe (he was even wearing a Springbok cap – bless his soul) in Springbok gear, the capacity crowd of 62 000 people, chanted “Nelson!  Nelson!  Nelson”.  On that day, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, became our beloved Madiba and the rainbow nation was truly born.

I include some of his awesome quotes.  These help to give you an essence of the wonderful man.

“We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without and fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world."

"Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another…"

"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
What a great man.  We love you Tata Madiba.  We salute you and thank you for all you have done for us.  Your selflessness and your lessons in humility and forgiveness, will linger in our memories.  We hate to see you go and mourn your loss already.

But you have deserved the right to rest now.  Your message has been passed on to us.  Your legacy will live on.  We will continue to strive to make you proud and to honour your memory and all that you stood for.  Our gift to you, will be to continue with your teachings.  To honour your vision.
And I do believe that your passing will be a reminder to us of how far we have come.  Your people, black and white, will weep for you.  How united we are now.  For irrespective of race, religion or culture – we love you.  One and all.  And we will all mourn your loss. 
Rest well Tata.  Rest well. 
xxx
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Madiba in a contemplative mood - revisiting his prison cell on Robben Island


Surrounded by some of his grandchildren


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela


Congratulating the captain of the Springbok rugby team, Francois Pienaar, on winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup and handing over the trophy


Madiba in THAT outfit - so sweet!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Misheard Song Lyrics

 
 
 
 

Misheard Song Lyrics
23 June 2013

I am absolutely famous for singing along loudly to songs.  Quite often, I indulge in the car, and give my kids my own personal renditions of truly awesome songs (I do a fabulous Bohemian  Rhapsody, complete with all of the voices).  Which strangely enough they don’t seem to enjoy all that much (bunch of weirdo’s – they just don’t appreciate true talent!).  I get such enjoyment from it.  And never let it be said, that my lack of conviction about what the actual words in a song are, puts me off singing at full volume.  Why would I let it bother me at all?  As long as it sounds vaguely the same, I’m happy.  My family however does sadly not agree.  As mentioned before – bunch of weirdo’s!

For many songs, the lyrics seem so garbled, that it is quite possible to mistake the actual lyrics in the song, and use similar sounding substitutes instead.  To be none the wiser, until years and years later, when you accidently read the inside cover of a CD and see the real words.  Sometimes rather surprising.  It can even change your whole opinion about a song completely.

I remember my Dad always commenting that irrespective of where they played a gig, at some or other point some drunk guy would stumble up to the stage with a request for them to please play, “Hasie”.  Now South Africa being in possession of a large number of Afrikaans speaking people, I do believe that the first time they got this request it baffled them quite a bit.  A song about a rabbit?  Seriously?  “No, sorry mate, never heard that one.  How does it go?”.  To which they inevitably got an off key rendition of “I see a bad moon a rising…”.  Right!  It actually makes perfect sense.  Kinda.  In a weird and twisted way.

I suppose the same logic applied to ABBA, when they had to learn their own song lyrics, what with them being Swedish and all.  And not being proficient in English when they first hit the scenes.  Phonetically learning the words was actually rather ingenious.

My foray into misheard song lyrics actually happened quite by accident, when I say that someone posted this little nugget onto Facebook.  Do yourself a favour and have a look.  It is sure to entertain you.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnlveKfDuyk&feature=player_detailpage.  The problem is that once I had a look at this clip, I found myself off on a little bit of a youtube-style-fest.  A tangent if you please.  I gorged myself on a whole bunch of clips.  All related to misheard song lyrics of course.  There is just SUCH awesome material out there.  And some gave me a really good laugh., http://www.youtube.com/watch?,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3JEfnXGKwd4,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nVvRwrgsGU&feature=player_detailpage.  Enjoy!  It is worth the indulgence.  You won’t be sorry.

Amongst others, there was the Rihanna song, “Don’t Stop The Music”.  There is a catchy little phrase in the song, which goes like this, “Ma ma say, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa".  It is rather infectious little ditty and chances are, once you’ve heard the song, you’ll find yourself singing along to it, every single time thereafter.  But on my foray into misheard song lyrics, I learnt that it has become a bit of an anthem to those obsessed with Bill Gates and his wonderful Microsoft.  As many people out there sing along too, but with them the words are:  "I'm insane, I'm the sound of Microsoft."  And I must confess, I am clearly a Microsoft convert too, and will sing these same lyrics from now on too.  How can I not?

But perhaps, nothing will ever compete with the confusion of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in terms of mistaken lyrics.  My hat!  The sky is the limit.  Pretty much anything you can imagine, has been substituted for the actual real lyrics.  Well, perhaps they’re not the limit.  Nirvana is also vying for top spot.

So perhaps give this a thought, the next time you sing along loudly.  Are those really the right words?  And does it really matter?

Take it from me – poutaytou, poytahtou…

As long as you’re having fun and enjoying yourself, that’s all that’s important.  Who really cares?  I bet Bill Gates doesn’t.

 






 
 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Man-Drawer - all men have them


The Man-Drawer - all men have them
22 June 2013

My husband has a Man-Drawer.  In fact, dotted around our home, at a few choice, select places, he has a few.  Please note that a Man-Drawer, is not to be confused with a Man-Cave.  They are not the same thing at all.  Though technically both belong to men.

Perhaps it is time to de-mystify the mysteries of the Man-Drawer myth...
So exactly what is a Man-Drawer?  Well it is sort of the stationary version of a women's handbag.  Without the benefit of being encased in awesome leather or material of course.  And then there's the fact that it's not mobile at all.  Such a wasted opportunity.

And whereas women are occasionally accused of having the entire kitchen sink in their handbags, men's Man-Drawers might sometimes really contain bits of a sink.  Including some contents of one too.  Like a mug without its ear.  The chain, formerly attached to the plug from the sink.  And stuff of that ilk.

So what else does a Man-Drawer house, and why do they contain these mysterious items?  Well, the contents will vary from home to home, man to man, and Man-Drawer to Man-Drawer.  But here are some of the seemingly random things you might find in one (actually my husband’s to be more exact):  allen keys for items he no longer has, superglue, shoe laces, mismatched screws, bolts and nuts, perhaps a universal spanner type thingie, or maybe those teeny-tiny little screwdrivers you use to fix your spectacles, spare keys for cars we no longer have, keys for locks no longer needed, batteries (some charged, some not, some way past their prime), pieces of string, electrical plugs and double-adaptors, darts, pocket knives, fishing gut (not that my man fishes at all), bulbs, all manner of tape and glue, glue sticks, lanyards, fish food (not that we even have fish at present), pumpkin seeds (this one is a bit of a mystery – we don’t really do the whole gardening thing), hosepipe connectors, etc.  The loot list seems endless!  Where does it all come from?

Perhaps the best way to describe it, is to say that it is the equivalent of a whole garage, condensed into a drawer.  Pretty impressive actually, all things considered.  Space limitations are a given.  Though, my man also has Man-Boxes.  Not to be confused with Man-Boxers.  They are not the same thing at all.  Though technically both belong to men too.  Man-Boxers contain Man-Vegetables (sorry, it’s true, i.e. two potatoes and carrot).  However Man-Boxes, are also a form of Man-Drawers.  My man has Man-Boxes for all manner of cables and wires.  From cell phone charges for cell phones we no longer have, to computer cables for computers we no longer have.  Other Man-Boxes contain CD’s and DVD’s which double as instruction manuals or installation discs for computer programmes we no longer have.  DVD players we no longer have.  Computer mice (mice is the plural of mouse, right?) we no longer use. Cd players we no …..  Then there’s a small mountain of defunct cell phones, with their accessories.  Battery chargers, and random loose batteries.  Old camera’s and their chargers.  Computer speakers, headphones, broken torches, DVD drivers, etc.  Truly amazing!!!

But just maybe, I shouldn’t be too hard on him.  Because truth be told I have a few Woman-Drawers too.  Let’s call them Chick-Chambers.  And perhaps in the same way that my husband’s Man-Drawers confuse me, my Chick-Chamber would confuse him too.  It also contains apparent random things, like:  butterflies to earrings I no longer have, old sentimental cards, pens, shells that I picked up from that beach off Sentosa Island in Singapore, old dummies belonging to my kids (shame, so sweet that they were so little once!), the odd photograph, nail polish, a macaroni angel Amber made for me at Playschool, a whole collection of broken jewellery items (all neatly put together in a little baggie – bangles, necklaces, etc. – a mountainous pile of beads!), a broken off label from the hairdye box I used the last time I dyed my hair about nine years ago (just in case I want to use the same colour again – L’Oreal 26 Maple Burgundy Red – I rocked that colour), little notebooks, lip-ice, a felt heart Amber made for me, a gold egg-shaped maraca (???), hair clips, hair ponies, nail files (hey, I might actually manage to grow my nails one day!), sentimental letters, perfectly round little Kleinbaai stones, on which the kids have hand drawn ladybirds, bookmarks (many, many, many bookmarks), extra buttons received on clothes, coins from all over the world, a few Chinese notes, two whistles (???), bath salts (given to me by Cole – he hand mixed it at Cubs one year), bits of ribbon, broken mobile bits, clothes labels, trinkets from Xmas crackers, tweezers, etc.  Actually, stuff that all makes perfect sense for me to keep there. 

I do however feel honour bound to admit, that in addition to my Chick-Chambers, I also have a few areas of attempted Diva-Domain.  I have the odd Broad-Box dotted around.  And Honey-Hampers too.  I have many, many receptacles and containers filled with woman’s loot.  Buttons, and materials and bits of pretty ribbon.  Beads, and string, and jewellery making essentials.  Knitting stuff, needles, wool, cotton, etc.  Special pencils, and stationary and girly-twirly things.  Stuff I deem essential.

In which case it is rather cheeky of me to poke fun at my husband’s Man-Drawers I suppose.  Especially as I dip into his Man-Drawers so often, to get stuff I also seem to need…..

And as for those Man-Boxers….  I occasionally dip into those too.

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Randoms pics of random Man-Drawers 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The link between soccer/football and acting


The link between soccer/football and acting
20 June 2013

It is peculiar how on occasion, two seemingly opposite disciplines, actually end up complimenting each other.  They sort of run parallel to one another.  And though their skill set might appear conflicting or not related at all, they have a symbiotic relationship towards each other.  In this same manner, musical ability and mathematics are linked.  It is a well-documented fact.  Apparently Mozart himself, was a mathematical genius.

I have often noticed how soccer and footballing skills, are linked to acting.  No seriously!  It’s true.

Few people are better equipped to give Oscar-winning-worthy performances of fake injuries than soccer players.  In fact, they’ve turned it into an art form of sorts.  And it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to hear that in preparation for movies like, “Saving Private Ryan”, “James Bond”, the “Die-Hard” franchise, the “Lethal Weapon” series, etc., actors like Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Daniel Craig, etc. became understudies of soccer players and job shadowed them for a period of time.  All done with the hope of learning from the true masters, the not-so-subtle skills involved in faking non-existent injuries.

Perhaps they accompanied them to regular practices for a while?  Maybe even joined them on the pitch and gave it a go themselves.  It would make for an ideal opportunity for the soccer players, to point out exactly how to better dramatize and exaggerate the appearance of unbearable pain.  Possibly, they also undergo a few voice coaching sessions, in order to help them to learn how to effectively project their voices and use their vocal chords to their full ability and capacity.  In that way, they are ensured of giving accurate renditions of howls of pain and screeches of torture.  Huge emphasis is placed on marrying the exact pain-filled facial expression with the dramatic clutching of shins.  These must all be synchronised to perfection, lest the game be given away.  And a part of the trick, is being able to maintain the illusion of being gripped by agonising paroxysms of apparent torment.  All this done, whilst surreptitiously peeking to see if your performance is garnering the necessary attention.  Most notably that of the referee.  Writhing around is super effective, and might elevate matters to a yellow card and a free corner.  However if you’re able to squeeze out a bit of vomit for extra effect, alongside with claims of concussion and broken bones, it shows true commitment to your trade.  And for your effort you might be rewarded with a penalty shoot, and a red card at the very least.

Can you just imagine what a brilliant soccer player Jason Statham must be?  Why he is able to vividly mimic near-death and sometimes even death itself.  Super believable, I tell you.  Clearly soccer’s loss, was the acting fraternity’s gain.  As well as the gain of his adoring public.

In the same vein does that mean that great soccer stars (I mean actors) have decided to make football their calling, at a loss to the acting world?  Not that he’s given to many displays of fake injuries, but perhaps the deciding factor that pushed David Beckham into soccer and not acting, was the high pitched tone of his voice.  It does have a rather piercing, shrill quality to it.  Which might have led to him being typecast in certain roles only.  Not giving way to the full spectrum of his abilities.  And so perhaps in his case, acting’s loss, was a huge gain to football.  One we’re ever so grateful for.

Perhaps many of the football greats, see soccer only as a short term career.  And have their eye on the long game.  Taking up acting after they’ve reached their shelf life as a footballer.  And so, perhaps, they merely indulge in faking-non-existent-injuries, to keep their acting skills from rusting.  Furthermore, it also allows for the opportunity for movie producers, directors, casting agents and the like, to witness their dual talents, while indulging in watching a soccer game.  Rather impressive multi-tasking if you think about it.

Which makes me think – wonder when Becks will make his movie debut?  Nah, all things considered he doesn’t really indulge in the faking-non-existent-injuries thing at all.  So perhaps, we should merely sit on the side lines and wait for Neymar’s soccer career to wind down. 

He might end up being the next James Bond…..

And to illustrate my theory, I present you with two youtube clips, which will substantiate my claims.  In fact I beg you to disagree.  See for yourself.



 

 
Ever so dramatic! There must have been acting talent scouts in the crowd.....


Yes, please do answer this question.
 

 


Yay! Success! It paid off - yellow card. Yeah-baby. Suck on that!

 
Every so often even Becks has indulged

 
Dude, if you can withstand the pain of multiple tattoos, then I'm sure you'll survive a little shin bump. Seriously!  Let's keep it real.


Ain't that the truth!

 
Now this is pretty impressive, I'm sure you'll agree. Giving true meaning to the term - "team effort". I would hope that they at least got a penalty shoot in honour of their dedication.

.
Faker!