Monday, 31 March 2014

My financial problems make me rich



My financial problems make me rich
31 March 2014

Life is rather ironic.  And sometimes terrible literal.

My biggest problems are financial.  And ironically that makes me rather rich.

My family have their health.  And by a stroke of luck, I have mine too. 

My marriage is a happy one.  To my best friend.

My family is phenomenal and filled with many incredible, quirky, unique, different people.  A large support base of people who have my back.  Who encourage me and love me unconditionally.

My life is filled with many, many friends.  Special people that fill my soul, lift my spirits, and bring laughter to my life.

I am surrounded by beauty.  Live in the most magnificent country in the word.  Nature’s bounty surrounds me.  Brilliance everywhere.

I am fulfilled emotionally.  My creative spirit is tweaked daily. 

The glass is half full.

Financial worries, are a concern for most people.  Too much month left at the end of too little money.  In this I know, I am not unique.

And I am so exceptionally grateful, that these are the main concerns in my life. 

Because, even though it is pretty much a necessity, it is still attainable.  One can work harder.  Do more.  Work clever.  Or you make do.

Money is just stuff.  Yes it buys food.  Ensures accommodation.  Provides transport.  Makes life a hell of a lot easier.

But it cannot buy good health.  Or love.

And I firmly believe that an excess of money, brings problems all on its own. 

And thus, I rejoice in the fact that I am rich beyond my wildest dreams.  In a commodity far more precious than gold, rand, dollars or pounds.

Though I must confess, it would be nice if it helped to pay the bills.  But perhaps that would be greedy.

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

This is why I don't do drugs

This is why I don't do drugs
30 March 2014

There are surely many schools of thought out there regarding drugs.  Many trains of thought. 

Those for and those against.  Those violently opposed, and those pro.

For soft drugs and hard drugs.  For the easily accessible, and the more difficult to acquire.  For the expensive and designer, to the garden variety home grown weed.

I am well educated enough and well informed enough to identify the pro’s and the con’s.  To make up my own mind.  To choose to abstain or enjoy.

I certainly see the benefits of medical marijuana for those in need.  That it isn’t necessarily a gateway drug to more addictive narcotics.  That it depends on the individual in question.  In many ways I think it is less destructive and harmful than alcohol.  Alcohol destroys lives, makes people irrational, aggressive, slows motor functioning, makes them argumentative and is a downward spiral for many, many people.

Yet in the same token, many people are mere social drinkers.  Reserving an occasional drink for when the need takes them.  That they can drink, and do so fairly regularly, without getting falling down drunk and abusing alcohol.  That they can have a healthy relationship with alcohol.  Not taking things to the next level.

Personally, I don’t do drugs.  None of them.  And this is why:
  • I’m a mom, and so it is very important to me, to set a good example to my kids.  It’s difficult to preach something to my kids, if I’m not practicing it myself.
  • I think it can potentially be very destructive.
  • I wouldn’t want to waste money on drugs, when I have other more pressing money matters on hand – like educating, feeding and clothing three kids.
  • I wouldn’t want to feel out of control.
  • I wouldn’t want to live a double life.
  • I would hate to drive around looking for a dealer in dodgy neighbourhoods.
  • I don’t really want my natural mood altered in any way.  I like being me, and wouldn’t want to be different.
  • I think the options are very limited – either hectic stimulants, depressants, or hallucinatory.  None of them really appealing to me at all.
  • I have an addictive personality.  If I do something, I do it in extremes.  I give it my all.  Look at my blog.  My writing.  My newfound obsession with walking.  Most things in my life.  If something takes my fancy and tickles me, I give it my all.  This very same personality trait, makes me avoid other dangerous addictive habits – like games on Facebook, PlayStation, etc.  I know this about myself.
  • I want to be a person my kids can be proud of.  That they can look up to, and admire.
  • Quite honestly, I don’t know where I’d find the time to indulge in drugs.  To be unproductive because I’m high.  To need recovery and down time afterwards.
  • My looks are precarious at best – I wouldn’t be able to afford getting all sloth-looking, and not caring about my personal appearance and hygiene.
  • Just think about it – what would I weigh if I gave in to the weed munchies!
Now don’t get me wrong.  Barring my kids and my family, I don’t mind if anyone else indulges.  Knock yourself out.  I hope it’s good.  And you get what you need.  I’m certainly not judging you. 

But for me?  No thanks.  It’s just not my bag.

I decline.  I’m high enough on life as it is.

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Hell yes!

Friday, 28 March 2014

I'm having a "g" in Lasagna day

I'm having a "g" in Lasagna day
28 March 2014

Yip, I’m having a “g” in Lasagna day.  You know, a lasagna day. 

What do you mean, you don’t know?  It should be perfectly obvious.  And don’t go pretending to me, that you don’t have them too.  Cause, that would be a lie.  We all have Lasagna days.  And I’ve picked today.

A day, in which you feel as useless as the “g” in Lasagna.  I mean, why even put it there?  Would anyone really notice if it was gone?

Would it help if I put it differently perhaps?  Explained it some more?  As useless as the “s” in island, the “t” in ballet, the poor “n” in damn, the “w” in answer, the “b” in subtle.  And don’t even get me started on the “g” in phlegm – both an ugly word and condition too.

I think I’m in the mental “the holidays are here and therefore I can just catch a breather” space.  Needing a shut down. 

Or should I perhaps put it differently still – for those technologically savvy individuals out there.

I need a system reboot.  An upgrade of sorts.

I’m hoping a little less rushing around will soon do the trick.

Me-thinks most people feel like this.  And rather often too.
I've already had a rather productive day.  A 9,5km walk in the morning, taking kids to school and fetching them, dropping one kid at gym and fetching him too, two trips to the shops, admin, etc.

And so what’s in order for the rest of the day is this – today’s lunch option is easy – pretty much help yourself.  Supper grocery shopping is done.  And it’s a fairly low maintenance meal too – Nachos.  Yummy!  It’s just a question of layering and grilling.  Really not much too it.

We’ve already pre-picked a family movie for tonight.  Even just finding a movie that everyone wants to watch, is rather challenging.  Different ages, different stages.

The snack treats are ready.  At some or other stage the popcorn will be popped.

All I’m saying, is I hope I last until after the opening credits. 

To be fair, I wouldn’t bet on it.  In fact, I’m going out on a limb (useless “b”), I’m resigned (useless “g”) that I’ll fade.  I already know (useless “k”).

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

I'd be a real grown-up if...

I'd be a real grown-up if...
27 March 2014

Just yesterday, I realised yet again, that even though I’m 41, I’m not a proper grown-up.  Not even close.

Oh, I can tick certain boxes.  I have a bank account (mind you – savings only), I’m old enough to open another bank account if I so wish, completed schooling and higher education, I’m married, got kids, I’m a pet owner, got a job, a cell phone, can watch age restricted movies, can sign school reply slips, meet with teachers, listen to the news on the radio, and occasionally watch it on the TV, figure out all on my own without asking another adult how to install something on the computer, do big people stuff like stand in queues and pay bills (yay me…), write letters, end letters with “Kind Regards”, start letters with “To whom it may concern”, buy clothes from the adult section (though technically not always the shoes), wear make-up, say stuff like “when I was your age”, remember a time when there was only white toothpaste, pay for something by swiping my debit card (still feel like the big cheese every time I do it), be the responsible person when packing for a holiday away, make lists, vote, go for coffee, drink if I want to, swear, drive a car, stay up late, etc. etc. etc.

And all in all, I’m not too bad at the grown-up stuff.  When you list it and look at it like that, I’m not doing too shabby.

But it has been highlighted and illuminated to me, that I’m still not quite there.  Not yet an honest-to-goodness bona fide grown-up. 

So exactly how did I come to this realisation?  What made me have this enlightened moment?

Well, it’s fairly simple.  I invited my girlfriends over for supper.  And what with the weather being grotty, fairly cold, and a little bit mizzy, I decided on soup.  We all luuurve soup.  And it’s perfect for a very casual, sit around the table, chatting, laughing and sampling all the varieties on offer, kind of affair.  A very sociable meal, if you like.

I didn’t even mind the fact that I only have one very nice big pot.  And that I had to make three different soups in the same pot.  Washing after each completed soup, before I could start with the next one.  It was a bit annoying, but it was okay.

The problem came in though, when I realised, that I ONLY HAVE ONE VERY NICE BIG POT.  Because what this meant, was that I clearly had a problem, when it came to keeping the soups warm and serving them.


My mom has a soup terrine.  And she’s a grown-up.  My gran has a soup terrine.  And she’s a grown-up.  Most of my friends have soup terrines.  And they’re grown-ups.

Which has led me to this exact moment.  This exact question.  Perhaps I’m not a grown-up yet???

I mean what other stuff can I not do?  Or don’t I have?

I can’t make things grow.  No matter how healthy and lively they might seem when I get them.  Chances are, I WILL kill that poor innocent plant.  I don’t pour over the newspaper, reading it cover to cover.  If my husband didn’t happen to put the news on when watching TV, I wouldn’t watch it either.  I still don’t like Brussel Sprouts.  I don’t have a credit card.  Never owned a cheque book.  Never had an overdraft.  Actually I don’t have any accounts.  I don’t have a personal broker.  Nor policies.  I don’t have a proper cake stand.  I once had a gravy boat for a really short while, but it broke.  I don’t quite understand the difference between kilojoules and calories (think one is energy and the other is food intake?).  Don’t know what the word “annuity” means.  Find golf really boring to watch (shoot me now!).  Still don’t quite have the hang of how our government works (but then again, I’m not entirely convinced they do either).  Always have to think before I say “mange tout” peas – as I know I say it wrong. Time zones confuse me.  I find political debates soul destroyingly dreary.  Actuality programs are dull.   I like art, but I don’t understand it – can’t really tell if something is good or bad.  Still always return my library books late – even if I’ve finished reading them (horrible habit – I usually phone to renew them, but still).  Can’t make tea in a pot.  Can’t park properly.  Never been to a chiropractor (they’re the neck clicking ones, right?).  At best, a hazy grasp of economics.  Can’t understand why they can’t just say gold blocks or bars instead of gold bullion – why the fancy-schmancy?  Complicated cutlery options leave me baffled (I think you go from the outside in).  Not entirely sure what antioxidants are and why they’re so important.  Can’t pronounce “archipelago” – one of my very favourite words, but I never say it right – problem being there are too many options and possible varieties.  Thought I’d miraculously know Geography, location and capital cities when I became a grown-up – well, I’m definitely not there yet.  Would easily be able to convert pounds to rands, inches to metres, feet to centimetres, miles to kilometres, Fahrenheit to Celsius.  Finally be able to judge how much pasta to cook.  I don’t have reading glasses.  Nor do I wear sensible shoes.  Know how to whip up a batch of cookies, straight from my head – no need to consult a recipe book first.  Appreciate the finer things in life – like salmon and caviar.  Develop a love for more mature music. 

Actually this list is hell of a long.  And I haven’t even mentioned it all.  More and more things keep popping up in my head.

Clearly LOTS of stuff still leave me wanting in the adult department.  Find me short of the mark.

Which fills me with great relief.  Phew! 

Plenty time to get there still.  In fact, no rush at all.

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I like sleeping. It's like death without the commitment.

I like sleeping.  It's like death without the commitment.
26 March 2014

I saw this quote on Facebook just the other day.  And it rang so true.

Which is kind of ironic.  Especially for me.

Cause I enjoy sleep as much as the average person.  I really do.  I understand the purpose and need for a daily recharge.  The mind numbingly nothingness of sleep.  The brain switch off it enforces.  The opportunity it creates for daily rebirth.

But here’s the thing – man it’s boring.  Such a huge waste of time.  Which is what really bums me out.  The very nothingness it enforces, is the bit that annoys me.

I could be doing so much more - interesting and fun stuff, if I had an extra eight hours per day.  Just think about it. 

Which is why I’ve reached a compromise with sleep.  We’ve got an agreement of sorts.

I’ll give in, and give it 5 – 6 hours per day.  If I can pocket the extra 2 – 3 hours a day that I gain by not sleeping, for myself.  If I can put that stolen time to better use. 

All in all, it seems pretty fair.

And so in my stolen time, thanx to my deal with Wee Willy Winkie, I do fun stuff.  But only if real life doesn’t encroach on that time.  If it really is bonus time.

Therefore I blog.  And I walk.  Indulge a bit in things that feed me.  That nurture my soul.

But every so often, I really wish I hadn’t made this deal.  That I could renege on the agreement.  Take it back if you wish.

Why just the other day, I had the most fabulous dream.  This hunky, gorgeous, Italian looking dude (think Andy Garcia), obviously crazy about me, was chasing me around in the pool.  This ginormous shallow pool.  More like the Trevi fountain really (you know how wacky dreams can be – nothing making sense).  There was this marvellous sense of anticipation, as he was running around after me.  Smiling his gorgeous, dimpled smile.  Telling me how beautiful I am.  How irresistible he finds me. 

And just as I was about to let him catch me, I was woken up.

By a middle aged man, with a middle aged spread.  A bald man, with very clear intentions as to indulging in a bit of couch rugby and tonsil hockey.  No Trevi fountain in sight.

I suppose we can’t have it all.   

The huge irony of course, being the fact that I’m particularly partial to the middle aged man, with the middle aged spread.  Bald head and all.  I was even game for the sports he intended in indulging in.

Actually, truth be told, I prefer him to old Andy.  And I really like Andy.  A lot.

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

I haven't got the right script


I haven't got the right script
25 March 2014

I often feel as though I haven’t got the right script.  The one I’m supposed to be reading from and memorising.  That I’m not quite on the same page, as the kids in my family. 

Now if only they’d share this performance winning screenplay with me, I’m sure I’d get it right.  Do better.  Not spend so much time annoying them.  (Though annoying them has it’s fringe benefits.  From a purely entertainment point of view you see.  They’re terribly soft targets, and sometimes it’s just too easy.)

They talk to me and tell me stuff.  And quite often the response I give them, is not the one they require.  Nor want. 

In fact, it leaves them wanting.  And by default me too.

To illustrate, upon fetching Luke from school the other day, the first thing he said when he got in the car, was that he had made it to the hockey team he'd been aiming for.  This is a huge achievement.  Something he had strived towards and was aiming for.  Especially as he had initially made it to a much lower team first.  His trials had been shocking and he was feeling terribly flat about not making the team.  And so, when he shared his news, I immediately gave a loud “whoop!!!”, and clapped my hands.  Shrieking.  Now I’m pretty sure no one heard us.  We weren’t parked real close to other people.  No one close to our car.  Everyone else, absorbed into what they’re doing.  Not even glancing at us. 


Apparently, my response was totally lame.  Sooo uncool.  Perhaps a manly chest bump, would have been more apt.  Or a demurely murmured, “jolly good show old fellow”.  Who can tell.  I certainly can’t.  Chances are he would prefer it if I gave him money, as a token of my pride.  Grrr!

But here’s the thing – I knew how important this was too him.  How much value he placed on this, and in that moment, I was just so excited for him.  I let it go, and showed true emotion.  As my kids would say, “Epic Fail”.

One can be mistaken for thinking that I would take this bit of insight I got.  That I would store this knowledge, and bring it forth once more if the occasion called for it.  That I would file away this little titbit of info in the file in my head called, “Expected responses for teenage declarations of success”.

But one would indeed be mistaken for thinking I would remember.  Cause just two days later, Luke got in the car and told me about that fabulous mark he got for a very, very trick Science test he had been super worried about.

And so, when he shared his news, I immediately gave a loud “whoop!!!”, and clapped my hands.  Shrieking.  Now I’m pretty sure no one heard us.  We weren’t parked real close to other people.  No one close to our car.  Everyone else, absorbed into what they’re doing.  Not even glancing at us.  Should have just cut to the chase and hauled out my wallet – to show my pride.  Grrr!  As if.  I don’t do payment for good marks.  No financial carrot is dangled.  Cause I’m boring and old fashioned.  The reward is the mark.  I know.  I really am lame.

I clearly didn’t get the script.

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Monday, 24 March 2014

I was addicted to the hokey pokey, but I turned myself around



I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around
24 March 2014

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!  And another bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

This I find really funny.  As in extremely funny. 

I know without a shadow of a doubt, that if I had to show this to my husband and my kids, they’d just look at each other, look over to me, shake their heads and say, “it’s not really that funny, you know”. 

But I don’t know.  I think it’s funny and it’s silly.

However, this pic has made me think – how many dance crazes have we lived through?

Isn’t it funny how a simple and sometimes exceptionally annoying song, accompanied by a few practiced group dance moves, just seems to take off and fly.  Capturing the imagination and hearts of millions of people.  Converting them to mere slavery and zombified determination and single minded focus – when they hear that song, their bodies take over and the routine moves sprout forth.

To be fair, some of these songs, have been exceptionally catchy.  Quirky and addictive.  A joy to listen too.  And added to the combo of the easy-to-remember moves, it’s hard not to love them.

Once upon a time, a long, long, long time ago, I do believe I liked the Macarena.  True story.  But please don’t tell anyone.  I’ll lose any music street cred I ever had.  But by about the 10th time I heard it, the novelty had warned off.  By the 100th time, I was practically suicidal each time I heard it – my ears just about bleeding.  Still, I sort of remember the moves.  Especially if a whole bunch of people are doing it, and I can simply stand at the back and follow them.  Yet, for me, the Macarena is the equivalent of a musical horror.

Only to be surpassed by the horrors of Billy Ray Cirus’ Achy Breaky Heart.  I’d run him over with my car, if I ever saw him on the street.  And in his case, the terror was not just the god-awful song.  Nor was it the surplus of plaid in the video.  The pointy cowboy shoes.  The 10 gallon Stetsons.  Truth be told, the real clincher for me was his mullet.  On this occasion, not only did his song make my ears bleed, but the vision of his mullet made my eyes bleed too.  And I’ve realised in hindsight, that running Billy over with my car, would be too easy.  Too swift an end to his misery and mine.  A far more satisfactory solution, would be to tape headphones to his ears, and put the Macarena on repeat.  He-he-he-he-he!!!

I sort of missed the whole Thriller bit.  Happened a bit before my time.  Still looking back, it was pretty ground breaking.  Really cool stuff.

The chicken song, commonly favoured at weddings, is pretty grim too.  All that flapping about.  Most unflattering.

The locomotive song, in which everyone hangs on to the hips of the person in front of them, is also challenging.  Another wedding favourite.  At some or other point, someone gets over enthusiastic.  And a few of the carriages of the train becomes unhitched.  Happens every time.  With any real luck someone falls.  Happens way too often too.

And how can we ever forget the ever popular YMCA.  Years and years after it first did the rounds, it still has incredible pulling power.  Ensuring that just a few opening bars of the song has everyone on the dance floor.  Arms held aloft, spelling out the letters.

PSY’s Gangnam style is probably the most recent addition to the song/dance phenomenon.  Everyone was doing it.  Everywhere.  It was such a catchy little move.  So easily identifiable.  It was actually pure genius.  And I do hope that PSY made pots of money from it.

One of the favourites for me will always be, “The Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  A true classic.  Mesmerising. 

These are but a few of the dance crazes we’ve seen.  I look forward to what’s on offer next. 

Given time, I probably won’t have long to wait.  With any luck, I might even like them in the beginning.  And learn the moves for myself.

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Keep Calm and do the Macarena. Or not. Preferably not.

The B52's doing their Love Shack

The Hokey Pokey - you put your left hand in, you take your left hand out, you put your right hand in and you turn yourself around...

Doing the addictive and hip defying Twist

PSY's Gangnam Style was the latest dance craze

Aahhh yes - doing the Locomotive - a firm favourite at weddings for many years

That bloody Macarena

The Chicken Dance - the other nauseating wedding dance


Unfortunately this video has been imprinted on my memory. FOREVER!!!

Very funny!

True story!

One of my absolute favourites!

Michael Jackson's Thriller was also revolutionary

It's astounding. Time is fleeting. Madness takes it's toll. So listen closely. Not for very much longer.

Eish! The Achy Breaky Heart. Billy Ray Cirus should be round up and shot. Actually a far better punishment for his crimes against our eardrums, would be to tape some headphones on to his ears, and put the Macarena on repeat. Yes! Way better!

Scary thought!

Thrilling the streets
Those Village People - interesting looking bunch


Sunday, 23 March 2014

I'd be an awesome vegetarian, if I didn't like meat so much

I'd be an awesome vegetarian, if I didn't like meat so much
23 March 2014

Jeez, I don’t know how vegetarians do it.  I really don’t. 

Now I love the humble potato as much as the average person.  Probably more.  I’d take potatoes intravenously if I could.  I like them baked, fried, chipped, crisped, mashed, just about every which way, excepting raw.  They’re delicious!  And if being a vegetarian meant living off potatoes alone, I might be able to crack it.  For about half a day.  Maybe three quarters of a day, at a push.

But the problem is this – being a veggie, means embracing all vegetables.  Well, maybe not.  I’d guestimate it means embracing most vegetables.  Even the nasty ones, like Brussel sprouts.  And that’s the deal breaker for me.  The point of no return.

There is just no way that Brussel sprouts can compete with a lamb chop.  Ain’t possible.

And snacking on some carrot sticks, as opposed to some deliciously salty biltong?  Can’t even begin to compare.

No matter how delicious a veggie bake is, there’s no bacon in it.  It’s not the same as a pork rasher either.

I do have the odd meat-light day.  But this is not the norm.  It’s the break from the routine.  The exception to the norm.

And I’m not alone in this either.  My family subscribe to meat too.  A main meal of the day, sans meat, is judged to be a bit light.  “Where’s the real food?” A tad fake, if you like.  No real substance to it. 

If there’s no animal in it, it’s not a main meal.  Harsh though that sounds.

Personally I love veggies.  Mostly raw.  And I’d kill for fruit.  But meat is meat, and a woman must eat.

Though speaking of killing, I can’t bear to give any thought to exactly how the meat gets to my plate.  No thought given to it being a teeny tiny little lamb first.  All soft and fluffy.  Nor can I think of the whole killing-an-animal bit either.  In my world, meat arrives neatly sealed in little foam containers, sealed with plastic, in the meat section at the shops.  No connection to live animals at all.

Perhaps if my brain was big enough to make that link, I’d morph and change into a vegetarian too. 

In the interim?

Well, I salute vegetarians for their diligence and their commitment.  In addition I thank them – more meat for me.

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Another vegetarian hunting photo

Inside of a vegetarian hunting lodge


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Growing up, I didn't have Google - I had Chappies wrappers instead

Growing up, I didn't have Google - I had Chappies wrappers instead
22 March 2014

Back in my youth, we didn’t have Google.  The concept of home PC’s had not even been imagined.  The marvels of the internet, not even invented or conjured up.

So, apart from eavesdropping on the conversation of adults, paying attention in school, listening to the news, or heaven forbid reading the boring newspaper, and scouring encyclopaedias and biographies, exactly how did the average kid increase their general knowledge?  Learn more about the world? 

Well, it was easy you see.  We ate Chappies bubble gum and we read the wrappers.

And actually this was rather clever.  It was one of those win-win situations.  Not only did you get the awesome instant rush and unique taste of Chappies, but you also got to learn some extremely random, useless, yet interesting titbit of information at the same time.

Chappies were stupidly cheap.  R1 could buy you loads and loads – keeping you chewing and blowing for ages.  Now they cost about 30c each.  Still a bargain. 

First phase of increasing you general knowledge, was having parents that bought into the whole letting-kids-chew-bubble-gum-thing.  A hard sell for many.  Alternatively, if your parents were hard core hectic about bubble gum, you had to get inventive about eating it only when you were with friends, who had liberal bubble-gum-endorsing parents.  Last option, was offering to go to the cafĂ© around the corner for your folks, to get milk, bread, etc.  And taking a long lengthy walk home, blowing and chewing all the way.  Spitting out before you got to the front door.

Chappies blow awesome bubbles.  But here’s the thing – as for the flavour, it’s great, but it sure doesn’t last long.  I can’t remember if it lasted longer in my youth, or if I just chew harder now.  The original colour fading faster.  But I have to replace very often.  Hah!  Which of course means one thing and one thing only – extra wrappers!!!

As grannies go, my mom’s a real team player with the kids.  Buying them Chappies by the bag.  In all various flavours and colours.  And yes, I was pretty hard core about letting my little kids eat bubble gum, but at my mom’s house they got away with it.  It was part of the whole cool-granny deal.  The added bonus being, that I ate as much of it as the kids did.  They would have gross competitions seeing who can put the most of them in their mouth at one time and blow the biggest bubble.  Very much the same way my brother, sister and I, and our friends did when we were kids.  It’s like a constant.  A repeating pattern across generations.  And the odd resulting chewing gum stuck all over the nose, mouth and chin, from a popped bubble, sort of collateral damage.  Par for the course.  A risk that you took.

I absolutely loved those, “Did you know” inserts printed on the reverse of the colourful yellow wrappers.  They were always interesting and entertaining.  Giving me snippets of information, I would never need to recall.  Nor remember.  Yet, they somehow still made for fascinating reading.  Part of the pleasure of any bubble gum experience, being reading your “Did you know” out aloud to any willing audience.  Attempting to have just the right air of all knowing wisdom.  As if you knew the fact already.

They were always numbered.  Quoting random facts, like the first person to climb K2, the sleeping habits of sharks, the tallest building in the world, the inventor of the Morse Code, the year Beethoven wrote his famous 5th symphony.  And the numbers on the “Did you know” always ran in sequence.  I remember ambitiously cello taping metres of them together as a child.  And pegging my metres of wrappers onto clothes hangers and hanging them up in the cupboard.  Marvelling over my own little encyclopaedia I was putting together.

So no, growing up, I didn’t have Google.  I had Chappies wrappers instead.  Way less spam.  Added bonus of bubble gum added.

What’s not to love?

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The "Did you know" prints on the reverse of Chappies were awesome!

For years and years, the only Chappies available were in the yellow wrappers. The actual bubble gum being either yellow or pink. But eventually Chappies started expanding. Now you get grape, watermelon, mint, strawberry, candyfloss, etc. The originals are still my favourite.

Extreme wealth as a child, was having a Chappies roll - delicious! A much savoured treat.

Silly random facts, that in the end became so familiar

Still enjoy them to this day - my kids too