Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Lombard Wedding Flash Mob

 


The Lombard Wedding Flash Mob
31 December 2013

So when an awesome cousin decides to marry an absolutely amazing woman, there’s only one logical thing to do.  If you’re a Lombard.  Come from a large and eccentric, musically gifted family.  Have the wedding at a family home.  Have a flair for the dramatic.  And a romantic heart at your core.

You have a flash mob.  Lombard style.

I had this crazy idea of doing a flash mob, for my cousin Gareth and Nicole’s wedding.  Yes, I’m an absolutely romantic at heart.  And weddings are simply my best.

I gave it a wee bit of thought and decided to ask my aunt, Bettie (she’s my mom’s fabulous sister, and the groom, Gareth’s mom – confused yet?), for her opinion.

Luckily she’s a Lombard too.  And thus also has both a flair for the dramatic and a romantic heart as well.  She immediately said, “Hell, yes!”.

And thus my plan was hatched. 

It was made simple by a few things.  Number one – for a successful flash mob, you need numbers.  And if numbers are the game, then the Lombards are sooo the right family.  Secondly, seeing as dancing was not the forte of the majority of people (myself included), a musical flash mob would be the order of the day.  And if musicality is the game, then the Lombards are sooo the right family.  Thirdly, you’d need people who are game and eager to do something fun.  Yet again, the Lombards are sooo the right family.

But here’s the thing – Gareth and Nicole, actually live in Joburg.  This is where they grew up.  Where they went to school.  Where they study and work.  Where their nuclear families (my uncle, aunt, etc.) lives.  As well as Nicole’s family.  However, the majority of the Lombard family lives in the Cape.  A Joburg wedding, made sense.  But a Cape Town wedding made sense too.  And thus, on the 13th of December, to great pomp and ceremony, Gareth and Nicole were married in Joburg – in a fancy, special, awesome wedding celebration.  Attended by those in Joburg, as well as a few Cape clan members.

There was always going to be a double celebration though.  And the Cape wedding was scheduled for the 21st of December.  A Bedouin tent was hired, the food was catered, tables and chairs were hired, bunting was strung, and the bride and groom, including their little Cape family flower girls, would be decked in full wedding regalia.  As they would already be technically married, there was no need for a full ceremony.  Yet a few words would have to be said.  The bride would walk down the make-shift aisle in the garden of my grandparents’ home, with her attendants on tow.  On the arm of my grandfather.  Speeches would be made.  Toasts would be said.  Champagne would be drunk.

This provided a perfect opportunity for a flash mob.  The idea was further shared with a select few chicks in the family.  All were on board.  My aunt asked me what song I had in mind.  And truly, there was only one option.  The Beatles music, had always had special significance for Gareth and Nicole.  In fact, the song, “Something” was the song played as Nicole walked down the aisle – at both weddings.  And thus, “All you need is love”, by The Beatles, was the perfect choice.  It is also one of the most used songs at wedding flash mobs.  In addition, chances were, every single person, including my grandparents, would know the song.

I started a WhatsApp group called, “NOT Gareth and Nicole”.  The first rule of “NOT Gareth and Nicole”, was to not tell Gareth and Nicole.  The second rule of “NOT Gareth and Nicole” was to not tell Gareth and Nicole.  Every single family member was invited.  And all were thrilled.  The best singer of the lot, my cousin Roxy Lombard, was unanimously chosen as the chosen one, for singing the main lyrics.  My cousin, Jacques Lombard, would play the acoustic guitar.  And the rest of us?  Well, we’d do the chorus line, and finger click for percussion.  As one can imagine, the WhatsApp conversations, flew back and forth.  With many debates – do we use the PA system or not, do we use the backing track, do we use more than one guitar, etc. etc. etc.  In the end, we decided with simplest is best.

For those family members at Kleinbaai (the family holiday house), we did a quick dry run, three days before the wedding.  Just to try it out.  This done without Roxy and Jacques.  It sounded magnificent.  Acoustic and slightly acapella was clearly the way to go.  The night before the wedding, I quickly printed out word sheets for everyone and we set up a rehearsal time for 3pm, on the day of the wedding.  A mere hour and a half before the start of the wedding. 

As the wedding was being hosted at my grandparents’ home and most of us would be there from early morning already, to help get everything ready, the biggest challenge, was attempting to surreptitiously sneak off about twenty of us for a quick rehearsal.  This done, without arousing the suspicions of the bride and groom.  Obviously, not everyone could rehearse, as it would appear really odd if simply all of us waltzed off at the same time.  We met at my aunt Trish and Roxy’s house and did a few run-through’s in the garden.  It sounded amazing!  I did a video clip of our rehearsal.  The link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvU0pSLvTrQ.

Eventually, it was wedding-o’clock!  And it truly was magnificent.  I can promise that there will be a proper wedding blog, in the not too distant future.  Including loads of stunning pics.  However, this is just a quickie about the flash mob, itself.

When it comes to any large Lombard gathering, I am one of the chosen ones – elected to say a speech.  This holds true for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  And thus Gareth and Nicole’s wedding was no different.  The bonus being that on this occasion, it provided us with a starting point and entry into the flash mob singing.  With regards to the speech thing, I must warn all – I’m not particularly good at it.  Public speaking is not my thing.  The writing the words for the speech thing is easy, yet it is the saying bit that I’m really awful at.  And therefore, I read what I have written.  It helps me a lot.  And also provides me with a place to look (on my piece of paper), and avoid the people staring at me.  My advice to you therefore, is to skip the speech bit of the flash mob – and just get to the rest of it.  If I was any better at the whole Youtube uploading thing from my video camera, I would edit the speech out.  Furthermore, the quality on my camera was awesome, yet during the upload, it has deteriorated quite a bit.  I suggest, you jiggle and adjust the quality setting to the highest maximum.  The quality is not the best, but you will get the vibe and the sentiment.  Simply love the fact, that most were singing along, finger clicking and swaying too.  And as a measure of exactly how spot on we were?  We brought the lovely bride, Nicole, to tears.  A feat not accomplished at the Joburg shindig.

And so, without much further ado, I present to you – The Lombard Wedding Flash Mob.  Enjoy!


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Me doing my speech - about to launch into the Flash Mob
 
 
Rehearsals in the garden at Trish and Roxy's place

 
Such fun!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Winter - that awkward period of time, before summer starts again

 
 

Winter - that awkward period of time, before summer starts again
30 December 2013

Personally, I don’t really get the whole point of winter.  And would like to hereby start a petition, to have it scrapped.

Surely if there’s enough of us objecting, we can get this done?  Maybe someone knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone.  Who’s on the committee. 

It’s cold.  It’s wet.  It’s miserable.  You can’t do outdoor stuff.  You have to wear layers, and layers of clothes.  You can’t do barefoot.  You can’t do loads of salads.  You can’t do some of the best fruit – like grapes, strawberries, mango’s, yellow cling peaches, plumbs, nectarines, watermelons, etc.  You can’t do swimming.  You can’t do braais.  You can’t wear slops and strappy tops.  Even your washing can’t get dry.

I mean, what is the point?

I’m a summer baby.  And have always been.

I don’t whinge through winter.  I don’t mumble and grumble and complain a lot.  I don’t whine.  I don’t get depressed.

I just get on with it.  And usually the first bit of winter is okay. 

But after about a day, I’m over it.

Summer is the bomb. 

Begrudgingly, I do get winter on some levels.  Sort of.  In a way.  Kinda.

The winter rains, help to provide those awesome summer fruits.  They make me embrace being barefoot once more.  And glory in easily getting my washing dry.  Rejoice in braais, lazing about on the hammock, flopping in the pool, dressing down, scoffing fabulous salads and fruits. 

In short, winter makes me doubly grateful when summer does eventually raise her warm head.  Even spring, puts a noticeable spring in my step.

I love you summer with all of my heart.  And therefore if winter is a necessary evil, in preparation for your glory, perhaps we can come to a compromise?

I’m willing to be reasonable.  One week a year of winter is surely perfectly fine.  I’m sure it will suffice.

A bit too long, admittedly.  But I’d hate to be greedy.

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Thursday, 26 December 2013

The hardest part about Christmas is...

 


 
The hardest part about Christmas is...
26 December 2013

Aaahhh!  Christmas!  A joyous time of the year.  In fact, my very favourite time of the year.

A time for family.  A time for gammon – always a winner.  A time for giving gifts to those that you love.  A time for Xmas carols.  A time for celebrating over a giant Christmas meal with your nearest and dearest.  A time for picnics.  A team for year-end parties.  A time for hot weather and cold meals.  A time for Christmas crackers.  A time for decking the hall and Christmas-i-fying your home.  A time for cello tape and wrapping paper and wrapping of gifts.  A time for everything red and green.  A time for splurging – on gifts and food.  A time to reflect and give thanks for all that you’ve got.  A time for connecting with people.  A time to indulge in yourself (Merry Xmas from me to me) and in others (Merry Xmas from me to you).  A time to believe in Father Christmas.  A time to watch festive, holiday, Christmas movies.  A time to set your table most beautifully for the coming festive feast.

A time to rejoice in the wonder of Christmas – the time, the people, and all that it means for you. 

However…..

There are a few downers to Christmas too. 

In my family we speak of “Krismis Voete”.  And mainly the womenfolk, suffer from these.  Translated into English, it means “Christmas Feet”.  And what it refers to, are the sore, achy, swollen feet that are usually part and parcel of Christmas.  These are due to standing for long periods of time in front of the stove and in the kitchen, preparing the great Christmas feast.  Running around the shops, getting last minute gifts and groceries.  As well as the seeming never ending list of things that simply must get done, so that everything is just right.  Lengthy periods of time, standing, walking and just being busy, lead to very sore feet.  However, in my family, us womenfolk have found, that “Krismis Voete” are not only indigenous to Christmas time alone.  Any large family celebration, induces the same symptoms.  Especially if organisation and cooking on a grand scale is required.  And hence, “Krismis Voete” have also been known to make an appearance at family weddings, big birthday celebrations, etc.

Another downer of Christmas is shopping.  Holy Toledo!  There is just so much of it to be done!  Apart from the gifting (even little token gifts, have to be bought after all and don’t miraculously appeared wrapped and ready), there’s the increased grocery shopping too.  Somehow one tends to eat differently at Christmas time.  Conventional cereal and rusks breakfasts, simply won’t do.  Added to that list, is things like getting Christmas crackers, wrapping paper and that blasted cello tape that so often seems to run out, way before the wrapping is wrapped up – so to speak.  Braving the shops at Christmas time, is truly for the brave only.  Parking is a mission, Malls are crammed and queues are long.

The great gift debate.  Exactly what should be bought and for whom?  Speaking of which, how expensive everything suddenly is!

Every single Christmas, I miss my Dad.  In fact, I long for him.  But then again, I long for him, most of the time.  A physical ache because he no longer is there.  He was a huge, big, much larger than life presence.  And hence, almost fifteen years after his death, his absence is still felt.  And as a great big extended family, we still speak of him often.  Wishing he was still here.  Though it would be a bit awkward, what with my mom now being remarried and all.  But perhaps my Dad and my stepdad could come to an arrangement of sorts?  After all, they were best friends.  Alas, I digress.

But perhaps, the very hardest part about Christmas is…

Faking Father Christmas’ handwriting.  It is rather challenging.  Mostly, because Father Christmas’ penmanship lends itself to the cursive writing style.  Not my first choice, admittedly.  But it’s what I’ve been left with.  Cause the Easter Bunny writes print in capitals, the Tooth Mouse writes really small, and the Tooth Fairy, writes print in a glittery purple pen. 

Do you feel my pain?  My cursive writing skills left me in about Grade 6, when I was eleven.  Never to be found again.

And thus, in an attempt to elude my kids’ perceptive skills, and put them off the track in terms of the style of writing and handwriting, I tend to focus on the content of these letters. 

And this Christmas was no different.  As per usual, the kids put out little Christmassy trays with eats and treats, for Father Christmas and his reindeers.  And on this occasion, the treats were little cutie delicious biscuits, a glass of milk, carrots for the reindeers, as well as a glass of Amarula Cream for Saint Nick.  A wee bit of alcoholic fortification, sounded about right.

But on this occasion, the Amarula Cream was on the same tray as the reindeers’ carrots, which rather predictably led to that naughty Rudolph indulging in some Amarula instead.  Naturally, he got quite pickled and was presumably giggling and stumbling about in the garden.  And what with the statistics on drinking and sleighing, Father Christmas had no choice but to take a load off, put his feet up and wait for Rudolph to sober up a bit.  Rather inconvenient, as he was on a tight delivery schedule.

And luckily for me, I seem to have pulled it off once more, to great excitement.

Which leads me to this…  THE REAL HARDEST PART ABOUT CHRISTMAS IS…

Facing the fact, that this is my last Father Christmas letter I will ever write.  At nine years old, it is a miracle that Cole still believed.  By next Christmas, when he’s ten, the magic will be gone.  Even writing this now, is making my eyes well up and my throat feel thick.

My kids are getting way to big.  And without believing in Father Christmas, a little spark will be gone.

Which is why I’ll start ploughing into them now - It is alright to not believe in Father Christmas anymore.  As long as you still believe in Christmas presents.

I will always fill their stockings for them, regardless.  Cause Christmas stockings are the best!  Irrespective of who fills them.

Father Christmas or Mommy Christmas.

But just perhaps my sweet kids will indulge me, and allow me the privilege of writing a letter next year once more.  Most especially as I seem to get the most amount of enjoyment out of doing it.

We can call it their gift to me.  The kindness of pretence.

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The letter from Father Christmas to Luke, Amber and Cole

 
Luke - delighted with his gifts. Already stuck in his David Beckham biography.

 
Amber's best gift? A wig for R35 from China Town. Go figure.


Although Luke and Amber quite obviously no longer believe, they dutifully listened while Cole read the letter to all of them

 
Cole engrossed in the letter


Our beautiful table - simple yet effective

 
Love the colours!


Love, love, love!

 
My beautiful Berry - all ready for lunch

 
The one and only Cole, about to tuck into his food

Saturday, 21 December 2013

I promise I haven't forsaken you

 


I promise I haven't forsaken you
20 December 2013

Jeez, Louise!  But it’s been busy.

Now, I promise you I haven’t forsaken you.  Nor have I been ignoring you either. 

I’ve been otherwise occupied. 

Christmas time – it’s intense.  Fun, but intense.

We all know this to be true. 

But the wonderful side bonus, of the festive season, is the usual influx of family members from far and wide.  The opportunity this allows for renewed bonding.  Lengthy catch-up sessions, as well as the absolute joy of seeing one another again.

And I have just taken the gap and escaped to the family holiday house for two nights.  Just me, my two youngest sprogs and my husband’s niece.  Eldest sprog was away on a camping trip with some mates.  And husband, was doing stuff.  Yip, stuff.

However, when I say just me and the two youngest sprogs, I am of course lying.  Cause some nights we were nineteen people.  I know – slow, quiet holiday.  By regular standards. 

Normally we would be even more people, but we’ve got a family wedding happening, in a day’s time.  And hence some of the clan, are focused on that.  Others are still working and not yet on leave.  Another hapless few, have been sick – vicious bug.  And the odd person is overseas.

But for those of us fortunate enough, the brief get-away was glorious.

I hope to get back to regular posts soon.  But tomorrow night, after the wedding, I have sixteen people sleeping over.  In my small home.  And I simply can’t wait.  The anticipated joy, of waking up, with my brother, sister, their kids, spouses, as well as my mom, stepdad and stepsister, is beyond belief.

We are having a pre-Christmas Christmas celebration and feast.  Rather clever me-thinks.  As we’re unable to get everyone together again before Christmas.  And hence, this will be our main celebration.

And part of the reason it will be so special, is the fact that it will be the first Christmas in five years, that we all get to celebrate together.  The three Loubser siblings.  Yeehaaa!!!

And thus, I promise you – I have not forsaken you.  I’ve just been busy.

And true though it is that the busy-ness will continue for another few days, it will all quieten down again.

The guests will leave.  Christmas will be over.  The decorations will still linger.  The husband will go back to work.  And life will take its regular pattern again.

But for now, I’m relishing.  In the mania.  The shopping.  The celebrations.  The togetherness.  The decorations.  The festive cooking and meals.  The gift wrapping.  The carols and Christmas songs.  The lengthy discussions, about who's sitting where, exactly what we should serve, and whether we should do hot or cold food this year.

The awesomeness of Christmas.  It makes my heart glow.

Long may it last.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A book about how to get girls

 


A book about how to get girls
17 December 2013

All children are special.  In some or other unique way.  They bring joy and love.  They enrich our lives and teach us about unconditional love.  The love we are capable of giving.  As well as the love we are capable of receiving.

Yet, for all of their wonderful qualities, rearing children, is rather hard work.

I have witnessed in my own life, as a mother, as a child, as a sibling, as a grandchild, and as a cousin, that some children are harder to raise than others.  They are more challenging.  They don’t submit as easily.  They question the world and the adults who live in that world.

Some children go with the flow.  They bow down to authority.  They accept the boundaries set out for them.  They follow.  But some children, don’t do this at all.

And I have been blessed with one such child.  Yet apart from the fact that he is challenging, he is an absolute delight.  My bonus baby.

I know I’ve said this many times before, but he is different.  I love him equally to my other children.  Obviously.  They are just as special.  Just as unique.  Just as all round wonderful.

Yet with them, I am easier able to understand their behaviour.  To guess what they are doing.  How they will react in a certain situation.

But Cole?  Well, he’s the wild card.  The unexpected, is to be expected around him. 

It keeps me on my toes.  And much as he frustrates me at times, he is utterly charming too.

I never quite know what he’s going to come up with next.

And today again, this point was proven to me.

We asked the kids to give us some ideas for Christmas presents.  Yes, yes – almost Christmas time and I haven’t bought a sausage.  Nor a gammon, crackers, wrapping paper, etc.

Anyway, with Luke and Amber, their gift wish lists were predictable.  Luke wants a game he’s been salivating about.  Some “cool” soccer shirts.  Two soccer biographies.  Some more branded clothing, etc.  He’s so funny.  If only money grew on trees.  Amber also wants clothes.  Make-up, jewellery, a new PC game, a bigger bedroom, a bedroom revamp, a pink laptop, etc.  She’s so funny.  If only money grew on trees.

And Cole?  Well, Cole only had two things on his list.  An MP3 CD Player thingie-majig and, to quote him, “A book on how to get girls”. 

What can I say?  The beautiful and elusive, Emily, is proving a challenge to court.  And I’m thinking Cole would like to step things up a notch.  Apparently, nine year old little Emily (the cutest litte girl), is the local girlie heartthrob.  Cole claims that eleven boys like her.  Which naturally means that dear sweet Emily, has the pick of the litter.  Quite predictably, given the fact that confidence is not a problem for Cole, he firmly believes that he is the chosen one.  Still he would like to cement Emily’s affections for him.

He is already eagerly looking forward to her birthday party, in more than a month’s time.  And has informed me that the usual party gift of money in an envelope (what else does one give a kid these days?), will not do.  He personally, wants to go and choose a whole bunch of big chocolate slabs for her, as he wants her to feel treated.  And if I’m unwilling to help, he is quite prepared to part with some of his birthday dosh, and splurge on her himself.

So, here’s the thing – the MP3 CD Player thingie-majig, is quite easy to find and buy.  However, “The book on how to get girls” is proving a bit problematic.  The shop assistant at Wordsworth books, blatantly laughed in my face.

Which has led me to believe, best I pen one for him myself.

A book on how to get girls:
Tell them they are thin.
Buy them lots of flowers.
Cuddle and hold hands.
Tell them that their bum looks small in whatever they’re wearing.
Write them little letters.
Show them your six pack.
Listen to them.
Tell them that they are thin…..

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Monday, 16 December 2013

I think my teenager is a vampire

 


I think my teenager is a vampire
16 December 2013

I’m getting increasingly worried.  I think my teenager is a vampire.

No, wait.  Hear me out.  I’m sure you’ll agree.

Now I do understand, that thanks to the increasing popularity and trendiness-value that movies like the Twilight saga have given to the whole vampire genre, it is possibly very in.  As in hip.  Maybe even a popular and enviable situation to be in.  In fact, I’m sure my teen could rock the whole broody-Edward-from-Twilight-thing.  I even have my suspicions as to who his beautiful-Bella would be.  But still, I’m not overly impressed.  I mean seriously!  Would you be?

Furthermore, I fear for the safety of my husband and my other two kids.  Not to mention myself.

So, what do I base my vampire suspicions on?

Well, for one, there’s the ludicrous hours he keeps.  As if he fears daylight itself.  He roams at night.  Almost as if coming alive only then.  Left to his own devices, he would while away the light of day, in blessed slumber.  Sleeping, and sleeping, and sleeping some more. 

And then, like a phoenix from the fire, he rises late.  Though to be truthful, he’s not all the spritely once he rises either.  As if he’s still tired.  Bone weary and worn out.  Almost as if sleeping has sapped his energy dry. 

The full metamorphosis, to near-human, from the vampire-state, takes quite a while.  Though perhaps it is less metamorphosis and transformation.  Calling it transmutation somehow seems more apt?  I find that feeding the beast does help.

Point number two, in support of my vampire theory – mirrors.  He’s not overly fond of them.  Unless he’s on spot patrol.  Then he does tend to peer rather intently.  I’ve “spotted” this to be so.  Though I will have to pay more attention in future, and check if there’s an actual reflection.  The lack thereof would be a true tell-tale sign.

Point number three – garlic.  Now I know that traditionally, vampires are not known for their fondness of garlic.  In fact, their repulsion to it is rather well documented.  My teen vampire, has skipped this aversion.  Though I do believe that this is where the transmutation bit comes into play.  Sort of an evolution of the vampire species if you like.  But here’s the problem with this behaviour modification of his.  I was all a go to make the rest of the family garlic necklaces, to keep us all safe.  To ward off “His Vampire-ness”, when I realised the flaw in my plan.  Instead of repulsion, the opposite might be true. 

Point number four – of all of my kids, my teen is the fairest of all.  And we all know that vampires are particularly light of skin.  Yet another nail in his coffin.  Proverbially speaking of course.

Point number five – his obsession with the game Assassin’s Creed.  Now the link between Assassin’s Creed and vampires might be pretty slim.  But still I feel there is a link.  Mainly there is the symbolism of the main character wearing a long cape, complete with sombre, covered hoodie.  Rather austere.

Point number six – avoidance of sunlight.  Now this is how clever he is.  Sunlight is avoided, due to his skin medication.  Ba-humbug.  Likely story me-thinks.  Pull the other one.

Point number seven – vampire re-requisite number one:  Fangs.  Now Luke had a rather impressive pair.  Though thanks to the marvels of modern orthodontistry, and the very expensive Dr Slabber, the fangs now seem to be under control.

Point number eight – insatiable appetite and intense cravings for certain types of food.  So, the insatiable appetite thing is rather intense.  The term bottomless pit certainly comes to mind.  And as for the cravings?  Jelly sweets in any shape or form.  And chocolates too.  My teen once went off on a two week sports tour.  I do believe he ate a two week supply of sugary snacks and treats, the very first day.  And then proceeded to spend his pocket money for the trip, on supplementing his sugary snacks and sweets supply.

And thus, I am sure you will agree.  There certainly is room for concern. 

My teenager is definitely a vampire.  Which is actually such a pity. 

Cause I’ve been preparing for the zombie apocalypse…

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Friday, 13 December 2013

I've MISSED you!!!

 


I've MISSED you!!!
13 December 2013

Well, hello there stranger!  I’ve MISSED you!  It’s been quite a while.

For the first time, since embarking on my blogging journey, I was compelled to take an enforced breather.  And fun though the breather was, it was terribly lo-o-o-o-ong!

Oh, the holiday bit with the family was absolutely divine.  And in a way, I enjoyed having just them all to myself.  With very little in terms of outside distractions.

The problem was the fact that I was without my much loved PC at home.  My window into the outside world.  And the internet connection on my phone, was dodgy at best.  Downright non-existent at worst.  I’m surmising that spending a few nights, in the heart of a forest on the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay, would have that effect.

But then again, every so often, it is positively delightful to slip off the radar for a wee little while.

I am seldom very still and always tend to have a few things on the go.  Always rushing to some or other deadline.  Always on the trot.

And thus, having some family down time was complete and utter bliss.

But for now?  Well, baby I’m back!

If nothing else, my brief hiatus, has given me some time, to concoct a few stories and turn them over in my head.  To brew them and stew them and cook them up good.  To add a little bit of this, and a small dash of that.  To mull over them and ponder about them and jot them down.  Though admittedly not on paper.  Sometimes it’s just a few catch phrases, saved on my phone.  Other times, slightly longer “scribblings”.

Having time and space, made me realise exactly how much I enjoy blogging.  How enriching and fulfilling it is in my life.  How it gives colour and depth and meaning to lots.  How life giving, enlightening and captivating it has become to me.

At the same time, it’s brain exercises.  Keeping me thinking.  All of the time.

And so, I’d like to say, that yes I have missed you.

But perhaps the old adage is true after all.

Clearly absence does make the heart grow fonder.

It’s good to be back.

xxx

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Sunday, 8 December 2013

Watch out Plett - here we come!


Watch out Plett - here we come!
8 December 2013

Great excitement is reigning in the Cloete home at the moment.  We are off on our first ever proper family holiday.  Yeehaaa!!!

It is true that we go away every so often.  But this sadly happens rather seldom.  My work dictates that we are homebound over weekends.  And mostly during holidays in the week too.

The odd get-away is fabulous though.  And we usually go to visit my mom in Tulbagh – with or without Grantie.  Sometimes I manage to catch a mid-week break in the school holidays, but then he has to work.  Our other get-away place is the family holiday house, in Kleinbaai.  My favourite place in the whole wide world.  However, we do also go away with friends for a weekend once in a blue moon.  But this involves a heck of a lot of planning, as I need a stand-in for myself with the Jumping Castles, in my absence.

Both of our usual get-away places, are usually inundated with my most fabulous family.  It is a joy to spend time together.  And thus, a complete away-from-the-norm holiday, without the family troop and regular venues, is particularly novel for us.  And a concept I’m not very familiar with at all.

In a few short hours, we will hit the road and head for Plettenberg Bay.  One of South Africa’s many holiday capitals.  All of the clothes are packed, waiting in the boot.  Dry food goods packed too.  At the crack of dawn, we’ll simply plop the perishables in the cooler bags and take off into the sunrise.

We’ve loaded up on edible treats.  For the road and the rest of the holidays.  Everyone’s sunglasses are already in the car.  And tomorrow morning’s clothes, laid out in advance too.

Four nights away, is not long at all.  But we’re going to make the most of it.  Plett is about a five to six hour journey from home.  And we are seeing the journey there as a part of our excursion.  We’ve got games packed in, everyone’s earphones for music and I’m already anticipating car games galore.  In addition, the first of many “are we nearly there?” questions, should start about seven minutes after our departure.  And I’m foreseeing that the never ending round of similar questions, will be relentless.  But it is part of it all.  And I suspect I would be sadly disappointed if the kids didn’t drive me batty on the car journey.

Plett seems to be a marvellous place, with many attractions and fun outing venues to partake in.  Personally we are looking forward to the Plett Puzzle Park, which includes a humongous big life size maze, as well as a forest walk, complete with puzzles and brain teasers along the way.  What fun!  Something that is just so perfectly up my alley.

For the rest, there is a water park, beautiful beaches, lakes, etc.  And so I’m hardly anticipating much boredom at all.  Our self-catering accommodation at Treehouse Forest Lodge, looks lovely.  And we are eagerly anticipating lounging along the pool and having lengthy soaks in the spa bath in our chalet.  A quick trip to the library ensured ample reading material for all five of us.  And just to hedge all bets, for those not too fond of reading, there is a good supply of balls and bats, also packed in.

Blogging whilst away might be a challenge.  As I will have no internet access, barring my phone.  Or computer for that matter either.  And so, for the next few days, this might sadly be it.  Sorry peeps!  I will miss it sorely.  But who knows?  Perhaps I shall find a way to blog from my phone. 

Or maybe, I’ll just sit back for a few days and soak up the weather, atmosphere, marvellous sights, put my feet up, relax and enjoy my own little family.  In fact that sounds great!

Watch out Plett – here we come!!!  Are you ready?

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