Thursday, December 28, 2006

Its a jungle out there

Today I am feeling very adventurous...for me, this could include dancing home instead of walking, talking more than normal to myself, or having a very indepth conversation with a spider I pass on the sidewalk. Or it could be stopping a complete stranger in the middle of the street, tugging excitedly on their sleeve to make them notice me, then grinning like a mad person whilst telling them in squeaking tones that I will be travelling to England very soon! In fact, it could very well be all of the above, especially today :)

Recently someone I was talking to and discussing my upcoming trip with, looked at me in all earnest concern and said "Sweetheart, you need to watch out, its a jungle out there!! Don't let London change you or make you someone you're not. Always be yourself!" No fear, chum, I ain't about to let anything change me into someone or something I am not. Uh uh, not this farm girl, as far as I'm concerned, I am going to change London! ~evil chuckle~

What are the British going to do with this madcap who talks to herself, holds intelligent conversations with the birds and insects and passing butterflies, not to mention twirling around and dancing for no reason whatsoever. Oh yes, and did I forget to mention my absolutely random thought processes and how I can for no apparent reason start laughing, much to the confusion of passersby? If this little city can't cope with me, how on earth is London going to cope?

I am also determined to make the Royal Guard at least crack a twitch of a smile. Even if I have to stand there for hours relating life stories, reading crazy poetry, or peering deeply under his hat into his eyes. Sometime or other he will crack!!

It might be a jungle out there....but I am fully prepared to meet any dangers it contains in its depth. In fact, I am really looking forward to it!! Look out London and England and all you British....Leeky is on her way!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Momentary Madness...

Well, thankfully my little lapse into self-pity has washed over and I am now back to my normal self. I have made a new resolution, and it is this: I will endeavour not to wallow in a pool of self-pity ever again for it is the most taxing way to spend one's day!

Truly, I am exhausted just from the few hours I have spent pitying myself and wishing things were different. Not different, exactly, but perhaps that time would just fly by. Right now it feels pretty much as though I am standing on a cliff and can either jump off or I can wait patiently for the jet to pick me up and then take me safely to my destination. I've decided to wait for the jet, however quickly I might want to leave and get to my destination. I prefer to "arrive alive" instead of "dead on time".

What a random day this has been so far. I don't believe I have made much sense and I doubt I will make any later on either but at least the lonely feeling has left and in its place I am left with a sort of tranquility that is just hard to explain. I prefer it to the loneliness, though.

Note to self: don't go on self-pity trip, it clocks up the miles and makes you old before your time!

lonely

As I sit here in front of my computer, the tears running down my face, I wonder why it is that there has to be something called loneliness in this world. Why is it that at the most unexpected times one has such a deep sense of loneliness that you can't keep from crying out in almost physical agony?

I can't keep the tears from flowing and yet I am not sad, just unutterably lonely, as though I were all alone and there were nobody around. Yet the world is filled with people, and still this feeling persists. Why won't it just go away???

I suppose listening to sad music isn't helping much but I can't bear the thought of pop or jazzy music right now. All I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry.
What a day!

I'm not the happy chappy I normally am, its so strange. I hardly ever get down but today I just can't get on my normal high...
....
...and the tears keep running. The word is like a refrain in my head, reverberating in my thoughts and through my being like echoes in a cave : lonely, lonely LONELY....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Three Pigs

I hardly ever go out at night, being a stay-at-home person out of necessity, not want, since I don't have any transport other than my two very trusty legs. Unfortunately, its not safe walking around outside at night on your own when you're a single girl and so I have to be satisfied with the very occasional outing once a month or even less.

Last night, however, I threw caution to the wind and trotted off in a red and black outfit and nearly caused a crash at an intersection I was crossing when a driver was too busy looking at me and not paying enough attention to his runaway car, which was heading straight for a lamp post and the pavement. I trotted on, chuckling all the while, and wondering why it was that being dressed in a long, flowing black skirt with a red sequined top caused so much of a stir. Certainly isn't my looks, I can assure you! Perhaps it is the fact that nobody around here actually dresses like that anymore. I mean, most young girls go out dressed in what they consider groovy outfits of too-tight denims and slinky tops, whereas I wouldn't be seen dead in something like that and prefer to wear a long skirt (hiding the legs and thighs nicely, hahaha!) and a pretty shirt or jacket.
Something so out of the ordinary, it seems, that it caused a great deal of strange looks to come my way. I didn't care, though, I was FINALLY going out somewhere!!

I got to the Theatre, bought my ticket and settled down with a Spin to await the time when I could go and find my seat and watch the show. I was all in a jig about it because I do love watching plays and pantomines and things of that sort, its much more amusing to me than going to the movies or renting a dvd.

At last the music started up and the play began. I held my breath waiting for what was to come next. And onto the stage walked a very large Mrs. Rabbit! I had to stifle a giggle at the sight of those funny ears...nearly collapsed when she pulled out a HUGE rolled up cigar and insisted she have a smoke break, while telling the audience all the while that she wasn't going to light it, of course, it was just the idea of having a smoke break which calmed her rattled nerves. She then regaled us with a story of how the Messrs. Pig kept her so occupied and how she never got any peace with them about. And then she told us about how there was this new architecht who was designing a new house for the three Pigs because the one they stayed in at present wasn't large enough to keep them all. And she mentioned how nice and kind and very charming the architecht laddie was and how he could put his pencil under her drawing board any day. This got uproarious laughter from the audience and this was the cue for her to titter and then tell us about her lovely children but how there were too many of them and so on.
Then off she went and we got an introduction to our Three Pigs. And my, but they were absolutely HILARIOUS! First, there was Plantagenet Pig. He is quite a stuffy sort, always dressed immaculately and speaking very proper! Then there is Percy. He's always wearing white, is very concerned about hygiene and pretty much lives on cosmetics and washes his clothes three times a day. And lastly there is Patrick. He is just too funny for words, total beach bum, walks around in board shorts and loose shirt all day and lives off junk food and surfing. Very laid back and not worried about a thing, calls his home his "possie". To be honest, I developed an instant liking for old Percy...by the way, did I mention he screams like a girl? Ah...missed that one. He does, though, and it is enough to just make you die laughing!!

Then we were introduced to the architecht and the two fairies that go everywhere on the set, and then also to Mr. Wolf and Mr. Weasel. Mr. Weasel is always drooling and Mr. Wolf is always hungry. These two make such a strange pair and yet it would be impossible to have the one without the other. They try to entice Mrs. Rabbit's little ones with carrots and hot dogs but then Weasel ruins it all by dribbling and pulling out a cleaver from behind his back! Then he tries to mend things by saying the bunnies can get two hotdogs for the price of one but its too late, they've run off. Mr. Wolf then starts ranting and raving and crying and whining and eventually turns on Weasel and yells "It's all your fault! You couldn't sell beer to an Ozzie in the outback!" and off they go, amidst shouts and hoots of laughter from the audience. By this stage I was swiping at the tears streaming down my cheeks for I just couldn't stop laughing. And it had only just begun!!!

I shall skip over the next few scenes, you all probably know the story of the three pigs and how they each go off to build their own house. Well, Percy built a house from perspex, Patrick a house of bamboo and Plantagenet a house of bricks (obviously). then they each installed a telkom telephone (remember the telkom telephone, oh best beloved) and we're onto the next scene.

Wolf and Weasel are crying from hunger. They decide to trap Percy. They knock on his door and call softly (trying the subtle approach) and then more loudly until Percy comes and asks them what they want. Clever (or not) Weasel says they would just like to ask for a cup of sugar. Percy looks surprised and says but he doesn't have more than a little sugar cos he prefers sweeteners. So Weasel says, well then, half a cup will do just fine. So off Percy goes to get a half a cup of sugar and comes back. When he opens the door and steps out Wolf and Weasel jump him...or try to. Percy falls to the ground and Weasel and Wolf end up bumping heads. Then Percy is off back into the house and shuts the door in the enraged faces of his persuers. He then (while Wolf and Weasel build a fire) picks up his telkom telephone and calls the help line. After battling with the operator (a feeling we all know SO WELL) he finally gets put through to his brother Patrick. After explaining he is told to hurry and get out of there as quickly as he can and to run as fast as he can to brother Patrick. Which he does in due course. But first, let me add here that at this point in the play, Wolf tries to huff and puff and blow the house down. Only in the beginning he doesn't get it right because he doesn't have enough air, so he hauls out this little inhaler/asthma pump and takes deep breaths from it and then tries again. When the house falls over, they charge poor old Percy who lets out a high pitched scream and sprays Wolf in the eye with pepper spray and then runs away into the audience, screaming like a girl all the way. Oh my....hang on while I finish laughing...this is just hilarious, the memories! I wish I could videotape it and put it up as a video clip on my blog because its something you just have to see to appreciate!

Right....where was I? Oh yes, whilst Percy is running away from Wolf and Weasel, the audience is going mad with laughter and shouting boo to Wolf and Weasel as they pass by. Finally, after spraying Wolf one last time with the pepper spray, Percy is safe inside the house with Patrick. Next follows a hilarious dialogue between Wolf and Weasel about who should huff and puff next. Meanwhile, Patrick is trying to get hold of Plantagenet but the telkom helpline accidently (oh really?) puts him through to Watsons' Butchery where they advertise pork chops for half price and ham slices on special.
With a horrified shriek Patrick gets the operator back on the line. She apologises profusely and tries to put him through again, this time with more success.
Partick hurriedly explains their nasty situation and Plantagenet urges them to hurry over, just as Wolf and Weasel get ready to blow the house down.
Percy and Patrick each arm themselves with a pie (for the old pie-in-the-face trick) and as the house topples over, they dash out and in passing ram their pies into the faces of their attackers. The audience is by this time hysterical with laughter and amidst shrieks from Patrick and screams from Percy, a chase ensues. Eventually they get away after running through the audience and with all the audience screaming and booing and shouting and making such a racous that the cast couldn't even be heard! What a laugh!

Oh my, have I really written this much already? I think I better stop here...but wait, I need to end with the grand finale...

Mr Wolf tries to break into Plantagenet's house and in the process he loses his tail, and then before he can escape the police pitch up and he and Weasel are led away in handcuffs to await trial.
And in the end, the three Pigs once again employ the help of the architect and this time they build a house with three parts. And this satisfies them all and they then have a housewarming party. To which a certain Miss Piggy is invited, along with Kermit the Frog!

The end.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pirate playing the Blues

Playing the blues on your guitar
You stole this heart of mine
Captured and took it far away
You left me here to stay


Left me to remember you
And all you mean to me
And yet you left me not alone

For you forgot your heart, you see

I'll keep it safe, I'll guard it well
To return to you someday
The day that we decide to join
Our hearts and lives as one

Pirate of my heart beware
You need to have a care
A Hero you might well be
But you're so much more to me

Monday, December 18, 2006

Traveller to be

Well....well....right now forming thoughts are really hard! I have just heard that I will be able to start making definate plans for travelling to England and I am just so happy and excited. I know that I still have to get there before I can really get excited but I just can't help myself. I have been looking forward to doing a bit of travelling on my own and just getting out and being rather more independant than I am now. And its finally starting to happen! What a great opportunity to really become more grown up and more my own person, to start a new life in a new country, to start a new job, stay in a new place, meet new people and make new friends. I just cannot wait to start packing my bags.

I am rather sad at having to leave my present job as it is truly the best job I have ever had but I cannot possibly miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity and when I spoke to my boss this morning he totally agreed with me. He said that he will be dreadfully sad to see me go and I am the best worker he has ever had but that he understands where I am coming from and that I must just take this chance and he will not stop me. I was very relieved because I have been quite concerned that he would refuse to let me go and really make a fuss about it, but he was very nice about it and I am now relieved, destressed and getting slowly more and more excited as the days progress.

This afternoon I go and see the travel agent and discuss things with her and get exact prices and find out how much money precisely I will need in my account, then its on home for a drink as I think by the time I get off here I will need it!

~sigh~ someone pinch me, do! I can't believe this is finally happening.....after all these years of wondering if it ever will, of thinking it just wasn't meant to be. The best of it all is that I can plan it by myself and that I will be able to start training someone to work here in my place and then still be able to have a bit of a holiday as well before I go over and start work.

So there is a lot to organise but its fun and it will keep my days filled since its the quiet season here at work and I hardly ever have anything to do. It will be a welcome relief to doing nothing but read!!

So wish me luck! I am a traveller to be and I am going to take England by storm, indeed I am!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Peace of mind

I was thinking this morning about what peace of mind actually entails. How does one get it and keep it? I am still wondering about it so I shall use my blog as a sounding board and see if I can work it out.

Perhaps it is knowing that you have no problems, being able to go through each day with no worries, not having to stress about paying bills and things like that. Or perhaps it is knowing you are loved and that no matter what happens you will always have someone to stand by you through all of it and love you despite all the ups and downs. And then I got this idea....what if peace of mind came because of the love and devotion you show towards someone else?

What if the only way to gain real lasting peace of mind was to give of yourself completely and utterly to someone? Not just physically speaking now but like mind, body and soul? What if you could gain complete peace of mind by being so tuned in to the needs and wants of someone else that you forget to worry about your own problems...and in the end your problems turn out to be not problems at all but because you worried about small things and stressed about them, they became problems in your own mind.

If you were to concentrate on making someone else happy, wouldn't that ensure that you were happy as well? making someone else happy is in the end so much more rewarding than trying to get your own happiness...after all, it is more blessed to give than to receive. I believe this with all my heart and have seen how lives have been changed and turned around once people took the focus off themselves and put their focus on someone else.

Well, I have certainly nattered on long enough about my theories. Perhaps one day I will find out exactly what true peace of mind is all about. Until then I shall keep my theory that complete peace of mind is to have strong faith in God and to love someone with all my heart, mind, body and soul.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Lied van Vrede

Die koel wind bring verligting
Na 'n warm somersdag
Ek sit en luister na 'n lied
Die deuntjie in my hart

'n Lied van stille vrede
Vol liefde en geluk
'n Lied wat jy begin het
Die dag toe ons ontmoet

Jy is die sleutel vir my slot
Jy't my liefde oopgesluit
My hart gestop met vonkel oë
Jou lag wat my laat hik

Ek hoor die lied al slaap ek vas
Ek sal dit nooit vergeet
Want sonder dit en sonder jou
Kan ek net nie leef

Die liedjie sal net aanhou speel
Tot na die dood ons skei
'n Lied wat jy begin het
Wat net jy kan begelei

Friday, December 01, 2006

Footsteps in My Life

Have you ever wondered why certain people are or were a part of your life? I was thinking about it the other day and it struck me how all the people who have walked in and out of my life have left their footsteps. Some clearer than others.
My parents have left deep footsteps since they raised me, guided me, taught me and loved me all these years. My sisters have also left unique footprints in my life. Besides family, now, there are others who have walked in and out of my life and have left their mark as well.

My question is just this: is there a reason why all these people are/were a part of my life?

The way I see it is that God makes people a part of your life at that specific time to either help to teach you a lesson, or to give you the helping hand you need, or just so that you can learn to give and share of yourself. And sometimes He just blesses you with that someone special to make you complete.

In my life I have met and been friends with a lot of people. Some of them were only friends with me for a little while and then broke the connection, but in that time I learnt something. Either how to be more diplomatic, how to have patience, how to accept things I cannot change, how to appreciate that which I have...all this and more.
Then there are those people who have been a part of my life for years, whom I have come to know and admire and love. These people are my friends, and without them I wouldn't be here today. When I was at my most depressed in life, God sent someone to cheer me up, to teach me what life was all about. Once I learnt the lesson, and learnt how to be less selfish, this friend moved on. Yet through the years he has still kept in touch. However, now it is time to move on, he has other priorities in his life and besides which, I no longer need him like I did years ago. Things have changed. At the time, however, he saved my life.

And so it goes with each person who has walked into my life. There is a reason for it, a lesson I can learn. I learnt how to share, how to think of others instead of always focusing on myself. And most of all I learnt how to love. Its incredible how much you can learn from getting to know other people, but its also amazing that somewhere out there, someone else is grateful for having met and gotten to know YOU!

Once I thought really hard about this, I figured I needed to make sure that the person other people will meet, is someone that they will be thankful for knowing. I don't want to be someone that is thought back on as just being there to help a person grow in character (hence me being a trial instead of a blessing) and so I started working on myself and changing myself. I used to think that changing myself was impossible, but there are so many little things that I can change, or adjust. One thing I have learnt is that there is always room for improvement!

So, my goal is thus to become someone who can make a positive impact in someone else's life...its certainly worth every bit of work I put into changing and shaping myself. To see someone else happy and content is all reward I could ever ask and its totally priceless!!

My challenge to you is to do the same...become someone else's blessing!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lessons from a book

A little while back my mother gave me a book to read. I thanked her but put it aside because I was so "busy" with my own life and the problems it involved that I didn't have time to read. At least, that was my excuse. I wonder how many mistakes I could have avoided if I had just read the book instead of putting it aside and forgetting about it?
Well, mistakes were made and I paid a heavy price for them, but I am learning now.

The book in question is called "Fascinating Womanhood" and it is written by Helen Andelin. It is so imformative, has wonderful teachings and it has worked in many lives so it is not just hear-say! I am reading it now for the first time and it has so many wonderful lessons. I can hardly put it down once I start reading and I even take it to work with me to read whenever it gets too quiet.

Helen Andelin starts out by describing the ideal woman for a man. There are so many different qualities but when they are all combined they form the ideal woman for a man.
This wonderful woman consists of two sides: the Angelic and the Human. I have made a list of the qualities of each of them below.

The Angelic Qualities:
Understands men
Has inner happiness
Has a worthy character
Is a domestic goddess
The Angelic qualities awaken a feeling near worship. They bring a man peace and happiness.

The Human Qualities:
Is feminine
Radiates happiness
Has a radiant health
Is childlike
The Human qualities fascinate, amuse, enchant and arouse a tender desire to protect and shelter.


I found this really interesting as it explains what men see in certain women. I never did understand that, somehow, but then when I read this it helped me to understand as well as to see where I could change myself in becoming more like the ideal woman. Some might think that there is nothing to change but that isn't so. There is always room for improvement.

For instance, you might think you have all those qualities, but you can always refine them, grow in them. Health won't stay unless you maintain it, nor will any of the other qualities, come to think of it. It takes hard work, and continuous hard work at that.

The book then goes on to give advice on how to make a man happy and to keep him happy. One of the main points was to accept him and not try to change him. This is, I find, a valuable point because how many of us women want to change and shape a man to what we want him to be instead of loving him for who and what he is? Its the biggest cause for broken marriages, bad relationships and split families. I was shocked while I was reading that chapter because even though we don't realise it, we try to change our men. And that is just not right, no matter how you look at it. I have determined that I will try my very best never to try and change my husband. He is a free moral agent and I need to accept him for who he is. In return, he will change all by himself but it won't cause problems. Instead it will promote unity and peace in the home.

One other lesson I learnt is that I need to tell him constantly how much I admire him, not only his strength and looks, but his character, what he does for me and our family and the work he does. Its so easy to just take these all for granted but we as women really need to tell our men how much they mean to us. They need it!! Just as much as we need love, they need admiration. Something to think on, don't you agree?


Monday, November 27, 2006

Music to my Soul

All of life is like one big song
Written as the days fly along
Every person you will meet
Adds their own special beat

My song is like a symphony
High notes and lows alike
Ever since I realised
The meaning in my life

You share all my thoughts
Not to mention all my dreams
Our melodies are similar
We're meant to be, it seems

And so I want to thank you
For all that you mean to me
For writing all the love notes
In this, my life's best symphony

You are the music to my soul

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nearer To You

A song I hear at night in bed
Your voice resounding in my head
Melody soft, haunting and true
Drawing me nearer, nearer to you

Across the seas my thoughts fly low
Wanting to reach you, to let you know
That even when I'm fast asleep
The sound of your voice in my dreams I keep

During the day, between all my work and the phone
I think of you and know I am not alone
Sighing as I think of your catching smile
Yet I know we'll be together in a little while

God knows our thoughts, dreams and hopes
He knows what we can take, how we cope
If we keep His Law and do our part
Soon He will grant the desires of our heart

So though we be far at this moment in time
Do not despair but continue to climb
To the top of life's mountain, my dear
And soon, very soon, I will meet you there

Friday, November 17, 2006

A bit of Silliness...

This is just a bit of silliness, really. I was thinking of writing another song or poem but I can't seem to find any inspiration for that right now and so while I was sitting thinking of that I remembered one little funny conversation which I thought would be amusing to write down here.

CONVERSATION BETWEEN LEEKY AND MRS. B

MRS. B : I never realised this room was so stuffy...since getting this cold I can't smell too well but I can just feel the stuffiness in here. And it smells a bit strange...Of course YOUR odour doesn't help too much either, you know. Quite a powerful smell you have going there!

LEEKY: Well, eish, THANKS Mrs. B, I am sure I am obliged to know that.

MRS. B: (starts laughing)

LEEKY: I mean, if it was really that bad you could just have said so nicely...been a bit more subtle about it, you know? Seriously, though, couldn't you have been just a little more diplomatic than that? Honestly!! (pained expression)

MRS. B: (the tears are rolling from the laughter now!) my dear...oh...(more laughter)

LEEKY: You're laughing??? *outraged look* You can't even apologise? Well...*huff* I say, my feelings are injured!

MRS. B: (wipes her eyes dry) My darling! I wasn't talking to you...I was talking about my
dog! Really, I would never say anything like that about you!!


LEEKY: Oh yes, I know that. I was just kidding around (a small chuckle escaped and I
couldn't help laughing)

MRS. B: You're so funny! Silly girl...but don't worry, I still love you.

LEEKY: I know you do, Mrs. B, I know you do. *little smile*



Monday, November 13, 2006

The Butterfly

A dainty little butterfly
Flew across my path one day
I stopped and watched its journey
Through the flowers in the path

Her little wings were dotted
With pink and yellow spots
Tiny black and white body
With azure blue wings

She flitted from bud to flower
Stopping every now and then
To sip the pollen nectar
From the sweetened buds

She looked so happy carefree
Not a worry in the world
I wished for one short second
To be just like that butterfly

Floating through each day
Without a care in the world
Sipping life's sweet nectar
With time just passing by

The second passed by quickly
As I saw your face before me
I smiled and heard this song
A refrain echoing in my head

Don't worry my sweet
I'm there with you
In thoughts and heart
Don't fly away on me

Don't worry my honey
I'll always be there
You're the flower in my life
Will always be my only

When a second little butterfly
Passed me by that day
I just smiled and watched it
Going on its merry way

My life is full and happy
And each day holds surprises
You bring the smile to each day
Just with your presence in this world

I laugh and sing this refrain
As I watch the little butterfly
Flit from bud to blossom
And go along her way

Don't worry my sweet
I'm there with you
In thoughts and heart
Don't fly away on me

Don't worry my honey
I'll always be there
You're the flower in my life
And will always be my only

Note to all Readers...

Dear Readers,

This is just a note to tell you that all songs, poems and suchlike on this blog have been copyrighted and are not for copying or recording or for self use. They are merely on this blog for the enjoyment of my friends and family and any others who stumble on this page.

Thank you all for your comments and encouragement!

Stay happy!

Angelupé Leeky

Friday, November 10, 2006

Syllogisms...my own

Life is understanding
I am part of life
I am understanding

To exist is to change
I exist
Therefore I change

Life belongs to the living
I am living
Therefore I have life

Spread a little Happiness

I hear the birds singing in the trees
As I walk by I smile to myself
And wonder how my life would be
In a different place, in a different time

There’s happiness in my heart
And I want to spread it all around me
Such joy needs to be shared
With everyone, everywhere

So let’s spread a little happiness
Spread a little happiness today
Smile at people as you pass them by
And soon they will be smiling too

With the birds singing and the bees buzzing
How can anyone possibly be sad?
Life is a blessing that we’re given every day
It’s a reason to sing, to rejoice, today

So let’s spread a little happiness
Spread a little happiness today
Smile at people as you pass them by
And soon they will be smiling too

Spread a little happiness
Let happiness be spread

My Heart

Don’t leave me to face this world on my own
I can’t do it without you here by my side
You give me strength
You give me hope
You give the love I need to carry on
You are my inspiration, you are my life

Please don’t leave me now, don’t go
My world is such an empty place without you
Without you here
Without you near
There is no life in my heart, no love
You are the entire world to me, my heart

I can’t see a future without you here
I’ve waited so long to be with you
And now here I am all alone, once more

Don’t leave me to face this world on my own
I can’t do it without you here by my side
You give me strength
You give me hope
You give the love I need to carry on
You are my inspiration, you are my life


You are the entire world to me, my heart

Miscellaneous

I am sitting here at my computer listening to some music and letting my thoughts wonder over my life and how much has changed since I was a little girl.

I remember when this little town was just that...a little town. Now it is a big city, almost overpopulated! There are too many cars, too many people, and too many bars. When out-of-towners ask me what there is to do in this town, I can just look at them and shrug, because there really isn't anything to do. Unless you're a bar-fly, in which there are numerous bars to visit. For somebody who likes outdoor sports, climbing, horse-riding, bowling, skating or abseiling, there just isn't anything to do. There was supposed to be an ice-skating rink going up but then it just never materialised, and instead of the rink we got another night club.

I remember walking to school in the mornings and then walking home in the afternoons. I used to help out at the library, packing the shelves and so on. It was lots of fun and I got to read a lot as well. Then we moved up to the farm and if I thought there was nothing to do in town...there was even less to do on the farm, although we were kept busy enough with schoolwork and exploring, in the first few years.

Then my sister and I got a job on a dairy farm. Boy was that fun!! We had some really great years working there. Our boss was just totally awesome and we enjoyed spending our mornings and afternoons there. We used to get up at 4am, cycle to the dairy, do the milking and chores and then cycle home again at around 9am. Then we used to do our schoolwork and other household chores before hopping on the bikes and toodling off back to the dairy for afternoon milking. The people we worked with were also really humorous and we got a lot of laughs out of work.

It was on this dairy farm that I had the run in with the pig. And ever since then I have been very anti-pig!! See, there was this positively HUGE sow and she had a whole dozen or more little squealing piglets. So I got the job of feeding them every day. One day the sow decided I had taken too long to bring the food, I got too close to the little piglets and she gave one outraged snort before charging me.

I got such a fright I dropped the buckets with the whey and turned tail and ran as fast as I could. It obviously wasn't fast enough because I heard her grunting right behind me! I made it around the tree and then she caught up with me and bit me on the leg. Luckily for me I was wearing not only water boots, but also my trusty pair of bell-bottom jeans. These were very thick, very loose, and very protective against annoyed pigs. So I only ended up with a scratch on my leg instead of a mangled leg. My jeans and boot, however, were ruined!

After that I got someone else to give the pigs food. I sure wasn't going to risk going around there again and I am sure the pigs weren't going to miss me anyways.
So I took over the feeding of the calves instead. They were a lively bunch and I gave all of them names. They were so cute whilst they were still small but as soon as they got bigger they got meaner and more out of hand. I had a lot of trouble keeping them in the pens they were supposed to be in.

That year a lot of the calves got sick. The weather was very bad and the grass almost permanently wet so there was a lot of pneumonia going around. My favourite little calf died as did two of my other calves. One or two of the cows also died. It was very sad, especially since one of the cows who died was my boss's favourite cow. She was amazing and gave us such a lot of milk. She also regularly covered my sister in cow muck whilst milking. Seems to me the milking machines gave her diarrhea and so she had a very nervous stomach. It was hilariously funny to watch my sister's face, though, whenever this happened.

I think what I liked most about those younger years is that life was so carefree. We didn't have to worry about rent, buying groceries or making the budget balance. We didn't have to worry about transport or what people thought of us. In fact, we didn't really care what people thought about us. We lived life to the fullest and enjoyed every minute of it.

Today things have changed. Almost everyone is worried what people are going to say about them, about fashion and what's in and what's out. They're stressed about fitting in, being part of the group, going with the flow. Money has become such a big issue that many lives are lost because of it. There are more murders, suicides and deaths than in previous years.

And yet...we're supposed to have progressed, if people are to be believed. Somehow, I think we're just going backwards. Slowly moving towards total destruction. One day, this world will wake up to that fact but then it will be almost too late.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Friend

I dedicate this poem to you, my friend
Before your life began, it reached its end
I didn't know you all that well, yet still
Thinking of you, tears down my cheeks did spill

Bravely you fought this long battle hard
Gave not up even when dealt this harsh card
Your faith remained right until the very end
I've learnt such lessons from you, my friend

To fight even when life gets you low
To carry on, to win the race we know
Such rewards are they that wait on all
Who open their eyes, who hear the Call

Thank you, friend, for your great example
And although your life was but a small sample
Of that which it could well have been
Your battles and victories went not unseen

So I dedicate this poem to you, my friend
Before your life began it reached its end
You'll be remembered and loved forevermore
We'll see you again...that's for sure!

Limerick attempt....

There was a young horse called Totem
Who wouldn't behave till you smote him
He rode in the wild
Behaved like a child
That crazy young horse called Totem

Monday, November 06, 2006

To Farm or Not to Farm Part 2

My mom named the chicken Big Hen because she was so big and to this day we still remember her as Big Hen. The name just stuck.
she gave us eggs quite regularly as long as she was in the mood to lay and we kept her fed fat. Eventually she became very tame.
what did we get out of this? I got the job of feeding and watering her and my sister got a few cracked ribs from her fall. The few eggs weren't quite compensation for the trouble she had but we decided to wipe the slate clean when Big Hen gave us Cheep.

Cheep was the only chick that hatched out of a batch of ten eggs. At first the gg didn't want to break open properly and so we had to help the little chick out of her prison. After which Big Hen decided that it wasn't her baby and why should she look after it? So we had to raise Cheep ourselves. No easy task!

During the day she would snuggle up with whoever got to her first in the mornings. Sometimes she would snuggle deep down inside my rollneck sweater, next to my neck. At nights she would sleep on a hot water bottle inside a box. We had to change the bottle at least once throughout the night. Through the next few months Cheep became a favourite with everyone, including all our other pets and any visitors who popped by. She had a way of behaving more like a cat or a dog than a chicken and most of the time we could forget that she was a chicken.

One day she laid her first egg. What a surprise it was for poor Cheep!
AAAAH! Where did that come from??
Its an egg, silly, you laid it!
Are you sure?
Yes, I'm sure.
Oh, well I guess that's okay then.

After that she just called us to tell us she had laid an egg and it was waiting to be picked up and then she was off on her foraging again.
Two months later she died mysteriously and we really missed her a lot. She was also the last chick that we ever raised....in fact, she was the last chick point.

The reason for this was that we had to get rid of our rooster. His name was Speckles and he turned out to be a complete beast! He took to attacking our animals and even our dogs were cowed by him. He pecked two holes in my lamb's muzzle and it took weeks for that to heal. She lost quite a lot of blood and I was wondering if I was going to have to write an obituary for her soon.
We held a meeting and decided that he just had to go, so my dad pulled out the axe and we gave him the chop. He was certainly a tough old bird...it took Mother over four hours to cook him!!

So we were back to just having old Big Hen around and she got used to being quite spoilt.
And then she did something totally unforgivable. She became so tame that she took to roosting on the kitchen windowsill. You might think that there is nothing wrong with that but you didn't have to clean the wall and veranda every two or three days, nor did you you have to live with the smell of fresh chicken manure. I took to quoting Gerald Durrel's brother Larry every time I had to clean up the mess.
"Look at this! Now we're expected to wade knee deep in guano!!"
I am convinced that, had that been the only unforgivable act she committed, we would have forgiven her soon enough. Instead, she had to take it one step further and every morning after my dad left for work, she would wander into the kitchen and potter around looking for spiders and moths.
It took a while for us to realize what was going on but one morning the truth was knocked into my sister. I don't think she had much luck in those days and I used to feel quite sorry for her.

One morning she dashed into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee before she had to milk (she was running late) and the next thing she was sliding across the tiled floor waving her arms and wobbling all over trying to keep her balance. I'm afraid it didn't help much and two seconds later she landed with a big thud on the floor...and into some more evidence.

From that moment on, Big Hen was banished to the chicken run. The whole family was warned that if they felt sorry for her and let her out, they would have to clean up the mess by themselves!
We had no more trouble from her after that. And she must have felt really bad about the episode because she gave us one egg every day, sometimes we even got two, till the day she died.

To Farm or Not to Farm Part 1

It all started with two dogs, one chicken and one goat. At that stage we had just moved up to the farm and we were loving every minute of it! Everyone just wanted to explore every inch of the farm, the house and every other place in sight. The house was perfect for us, the rooms large and spacious and oh joyous! there were actually two bathrooms. This might not seem like an awesome discovery to you, but to us it was wonderful. Trust me, when there are four women in the house, one bathroom just ain't enough. Especially if three of those women happen to be teenagers, each going through a different phase.

Our dogs were very surprised at all the space. Jock was a Staffy and Lady was a rottweiler cross something or other. The day we moved up to the farm was a real scorcher, so both dogs found a spot in the garden and collapsed. Typically, Lady picked a piece of ground under the massive lemon tree, promptly dug a hole large enough to hold not only herself but three other dogs as well, and then stretched out and slept.
Jock, on the other hand, had discovered the big tank outside the kitchen. He sat under the tap and then when we didn't get the point he scowled, pouted and eventually started howling. We got the point...and turned on the tap. Ice cold water gushed out and poured down his chubby face. He grinned!
Humans, he decided, weren't too stupid after all. It just takes a bit of persuasion and hinting, that's all.

It took ages to move all the boxes and furniture where we wanted them but eventually we had everything unpacked and were nicely settled in.
That is when all the trouble started. After getting settled in, I mean. It always happens with this family. We get settled into a place and then the trouble starts. I suppose this time I can't really call it trouble, at least, not in the strict sense of the word.
It wasn't long before everyone, including all the animals in the vicinity, figured out that we were a bunch of suckers. Obviously, we were the only ones who didn't figure it out until it was too late.

Our neighbor had a lot of chickens that he kept in a big run. Every morning they were let out to scratch and roam around in the fields. One morning, after a night of rain and hail, one of the chickens became adventurous and got into our garden where it calmly proceeded to scratch up the newly planted-only-last-week pansies. This was undoubtedly a disaster of the most grave nature. It had my sister in a terrible rage.
A chicken was in HER flowers!!
I sent up a silent prayer for the chicken, who was still blissfully unaware of the stir it was causing, knowing that there was a chance it just wouldn't survive the next few minutes. I had, however, forgotten all about Mother.
My sister dashed outside and left all the doors open behind her. I heard her yelling insults and abuse at the chicken whilst that adventurous fowl tore around the front lawn looking very much as if it wished it could fly. For one tiny second I saw roast chicken with fresh peas and potatoes and then I ran off to help my sister catch the sinning chicken.

We should have been more careful, we should have known that in a few seconds all would turn to chaos. We, however, were only aware of the chicken and weren't capable of reasoning with Murphy about his very tiresome law.

With a yell that could be heard all the way to the next farm, my sister took a flying leap at the passing chicken. Naturally she missed, lost her balance, slipped on the very wet grass and landed with a terrible thud and a howl of pain and frustration on the grass. For a minute I thought the breath must have been knocked out of her but before I could even get near her she was up with a leap and after that doomed chicken. (I hope you haven't forgotten about Mother...)

Remember the open doors? Well, in all the excitement, we had forgotten them. With a small cackle of triumph that fiendish fowl neatly sidestepped a tackle, ducked under my legs and disappeared into the house. We saw it waddle quickly down the passage and skid around the corner and into my sister's bedroom. Oh boy! That chicken is so roasted now!!

All the doors were carefully shut and then we tried once more to catch that terrible fowl. My sister, still quite upset with said fowl, was prepared to forgive and forget now that she had calmed down slightly, only she forgot all her good intentions when she saw (or rather, smelt) what said bird had done under her bed! For days that room smelt so bad she had to sleep on the couch in the living room.
That's it, I thought, that chicken doesn't have a hope in the world now. Not a prayer, nada.
I had, however, forgotten Mother.

"But sweetheart, just think! Fresh eggs for breakfast (quite clever, Mother, knowing full well my sister's favourite was scrambled eggs), and if we get a rooster we can hatch out some eggs and raise the chicks and then we will have more chickens...yes of course we'll keep them in a run..."

Needless to say, it didn't turn out that way at all.

...to be continued

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pride Comes Before a Fall

Yes, indeed it does! Read on and you'll see what I mean!

I was about fifteen or sixteen, dreadfully vain and with an ego that reached new heights with every compliment I received. I spent long minutes in front of the mirror, brushing my hair, putting on face creams, preening. Pretty pathetic, now that I am older and all things considered. At the time, however, I didn't see anything wrong in it.

I went down to the beach one day and the weather was so wonderful I decided to go for a swim. I grabbed a towel, kicked off my shoes and walked down to where the sand started. When I got there I saw our local rugby (football) team busy practising on the sand. I immediately stood up straighter, sucked in my stomach, flicked my hair over my shoulder and started the short walk onto the sand and to the rocks where I could leave my things whilst swimming. I threw my towel onto the sand, pulled off my shirt and tossed it along with my sarong, next to my towel. And then I darted towards the water, hair flying!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1....OOEMPFF!!! I hit the sand and lay there for a few seconds, completely stunned. This just couldn't be happening to me...only it was, it had and I was now aware that the whole rugby team had stopped playing and were watching me with scarcely controlled mirth. I felt the blush move up along my neck, reach my ears and carry on up. I was burning with embarrassment but the longer I lay there, the worse it was going to get. So up I jumped with a big smile pasted on my face and took off again towards the water.

3, 2, 1....AAARGH!!! KADOEF! Oh woes! I lay there, my mouth filled with sand, my nose all squished up. Could this get any worse? I shouldn't have asked...I heard muffled laughter coming from behind me. Oh the shame, the embarrassment! I closed my eyes and wished the earth could just swallow me up and that this could all just be a bad dream from which I would wake. I tentatively opened one eye but I was still lying in the sand.

Oh well, it could not get any worse so I jumped up again and made a last passionately hopeful attempt at reaching the water before embarrassing myself further...but it just wasn't to be. I hadn't taken more than ten steps before I fell for the third time. I was shattered! I could hear the guys guffawing on the beach and their laughter just made me blush all the more.

I crawled the last few paces to get completely into the water and there I stayed, my back towards the beach. I didn't want to see them, didn't want them to see how red my face was, how embarrassed I was.
And then, treacherous humor! I felt my mouth start to twitch and I could feel the laughter bubbling up inside me. The ridiculousness of the situation struck me in waves and I burst out laughing.

I was still giggling to myself an hour later when (after making sure the guys had all left) I walked out of the surf and went back to my chalet.

That day served to teach me a very valuable lesson: Pride does indeed come before a fall!!

Haiku Attempt...

Old water badger
Who loves to eat small fish
Very dear to me


Water badger big
In winter does he eat
More and more and more


Tiny mouseling babe
Cosy warm with water badger
In their little home


Sprintime comes again
With it water badger dear
Eating ripened fruit

Friday, October 27, 2006

Earliest Memory

Someone very dear to me asked me the other day what my earliest memory was. So I decided to write my earliest memory down here, in case I forgot later on.

When I was about four or five years old (I think the age changes but I do remember that my little sister was just starting to walk, perhaps I could have been younger, she was about fifteen months old, give or take a month or two) and my older sister and I had begged my dad to make us a tree house in our back yard. There was this huge tree and so my dad hammered in some planks to make a platform and put up a rope ladder so that my sister and I could climb up it and sit on the platform. It was pretty high up and it was great to lie up there on hot afternoons and tan or watch the clouds.

One day we had quite a few guests over and my mom was indoors busy seeing to everyone and being hostess. My sister and I decided to escape all the hum drum and so we sped along to our tree house, climbed up the ladder and lay on the platform watching all the people below coming and going.

We noticed my younger sister making her way out the house on her little wobbly legs, exploring her new found freedom. We watched in amusement as she removed her diaper, flung it over the goat's horns (we had a pet goat at the time called Lottie) and then toddled over to the roap ladder. Now our eyes had become just a little bit bigger as we watched her start to make her way up the ladder. She climbed up pretty quickly but just as she was nearing the top, one of the gentlemen standing on the other side of the garden happened to turn around and noticed the goat standing there by the tree with an outraged expression on her face, and a diaper hanging limply over her eyes! He gave a start...looked up and yelled for my mother to come and see quickly and oh! someone help the poor child before she falls!!

My little sister was quite unperturbed and finished climbing to the top of the ladder, wriggled over the top and then turned and lay on her stomach and the three of us then watched with amusement the following proceedings.
All the guests had come running out of the house and were now standing in our back yard, looking up at the tree.
My mother came out through the door and saw the goat standing there, still looking very hard done by and she smiled! She looked up at the tree and saw three little faces peering down at her and then she began to laugh. I mean....it was actually dreadfully funny if you think about it!

We had to help my sister down from the tree because it was a lot harder going down than it was going up. It was great fun, though, and we were all quite psyched about it and couldn't wait to tell our dad. After that, however, we had to tie up the rope ladder so that my little sister couldn't access it by herself. It was quite dangerous and we didn't want anything to happen to her.

Later on in life my sister and I climbed lots of trees and had great adventures! But I will always remember her first trek into a tree!

A Hand to Hold...

This memory dates quite a ways back to when I was about...lets see....hmmm....about ten or eleven years old, if I am not mistaken. My family and I had driven through to Cape Town for the yearly Cape Argus Cycle Tour. My dad was taking part and so was my mom and they had to go to the WaterFront to register for the race.

All fine and well, we tagged along to check out the sights. Not that there were too many to see. Mostly there were just large groups of people wherever you looked, and often there were crowds just at the places where we wanted to wander over to. So we strolled around pretending to know people and trying to see if there was anything interesting at all to see.

I saw a big group of people gathered around what looked like a giant teddy bear and without looking around I grabbed my dad's hand firmly in mine and dragged him with me to see what it was. I wasn't quite prepared to go alone, a little intimidated by all the people and especially afraid that I might lose myself in amongst all of the crowds so that my parents would not be able to find me again. All the horror stories of children being kidnapped came back to me and I shivered and squeezed my dad's hand a little harder, still tugging him along.

"Come on Daddy, let's go and have a look see over there! It looks like a big teddy...oooohhh...I would love to have a big teddy like that one day, that would be so cool! Come on daddy!" I gave an extra hard tug. What on earth was wrong with my daddy all of a sudden? He didn't seem keen at all to come with me and he normally was very enthusiastic.

Hang on a second...I stopped short in my tracks. No...it couldn't be! I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and turned around. I opened my eyes slowly and looked up...straight into the eyes of a stranger. Oh dear! What on earth had gone wrong? My dad was right behind me when I had grabbed his hand, I knew he was. Oh this was just terrible!
I went bright red (and I still blush to this day when I think about this!) and hastily dropped his hand. Poor guy, no wonder he had been so reluctant to follow me...

A laugh bubbled up from inside me and spilled forth and before long I was sitting on the ground laughing so hard the tears were flowing down my cheeks. Everyone was staring at me and that just made me laugh harder. I saw my parents amongst the crowd and all I could do was wave at them and laugh. I think I was a little hysterical as well from shock but it truly was hilarious to see the unfortunate man's hand that I had grabbed and assumed was my father's.

My parents came over and rescued me from the curious stares of the strangers and I apologised to the stranger for dragging him all over the place. He laughed and said it was okay, he didn't mind. My parents, when they heard what had happened, also burst out laughing. Apparently my dad had seen me grab this stranger by the hand and before he could say or do anything I was steamrollering the stranger off all over the place. Apparently it was quite a sight ~chuckle~ I can just imagine. I am not a slow walker and have also been referred to as a porsche ~grin~

So...if the stranger ever gets to read this : I am so sorry I made you follow me all over!
Message to all future strangers...beware of Angelupé Leeky!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Breath of Life

There is something infinately fulfilling about standing outside and breathing deeply of the fresh air. I realised with a shock about two weeks ago, that being alive should never be taken for granted. You might not think you take life for granted but do you thank God every day for your life? If you don't, and if you don't wake up every morning grateful to be alive, then you do take your life for granted. I did, for years and years, but about two weeks ago I had a close call with Death and now my life means a lot to me and every morning I thank God for giving me another day to help others, to live and to improve my life.

Friday, 6th October. I had an appointment with Death but thanks to divine intervention and, I believe, stubborness...Death cancelled. There is no description for what it felt like, knowing I was going to die. No, my life didn't flash before my eyes, but there was a deep and intense sorrow that I hadn't done more with my life. That I hadn't shown those I love how much they meant to me. That I hadn't spent more time with my older sister, getting to know her, learning to really love her. Sorrow that I hadn't been a better example to the people around me. Regret that I hadn't yet met the man of my dreams. All these thoughts and feelings flashed through me when I couldn't breathe, when I felt my body slowly stop working.

~shudder~ There is no feeling to compare with that, I believe, feeling yourself drift away into a sleep from which you will not wake. Then comes the panic, the regret and sorrow, and after that the determination to live! I believe that it was my stubborness and determination as well as divine intervention (mostly divine intervention) which saved me.

I have, however, made it a point ever since that day to thank my Maker every day for the life He gave back to me and for the second chance I have received. Its made me realise how precious and short life can be and why it is essential to make the most of every single minute of every day!

Every morning I stand outside and take a deep breath of air and it truly is fulfilling to know I am able to breathe in that air. A sense of wonderment engulfs me and I turn to look up at the sky, clear blue without a single cloud, and the truth flows over me.
I have just taken a breath of LIFE!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Random Thought and Poem

RANDOM THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!

"IF DREAMS WERE WISHES AND WISHES CAME TRUE
I WOULDN'T BE HERE, I'D BE WITH YOU
DISTANCE IS ONE THING THAT KEEPS US APART
BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS REMAIN CLOSE TO MY HEART"

Please don't forget me
I will always be true
To the beat of my heart
Which calls only for you

You're the bounce in my step
And the song in my heart
The sparkle in my eyes
Even though we're apart

They say that love
Can change your life
Change sorrow to happiness
Get rid of all strife

The day that I met you
A great change took place
Now all that I want
Is to put a smile on your face

So please don't forget me
I will always be true
To the beat of my heart
Which calls only for you!
Written by Angelupé

Tree Hugging - Essential!

I made a discovery a little while back which was quite interesting. I've been told before that to survive each day you need at least 4 hugs, and to be healthy and happy you need at least 8 hugs. Well, lately I haven't been getting too many of those, I figure that's why I got sick. So how to find a solution to the problem?? Other than stopping complete strangers and asking them to hug me...would cause quite a stir if I did that, I think.

I spent a little while thinking about it and turning over different ideas and then quite by chance I stumbled (literally) onto the solution. It is actually pretty simple, really, can't see why I didn't think of it beforehand. Perhaps I would not have gotten sick then!

I walk to work almost every morning and then back again and one morning on my way to work I was looking at the beautiful sunrise (yes...some of us just don't have a life...) and I wasn't aware of very much else around me. Hence the fact that I walked into a tree and got such a fright that I threw my arms around the trunk to stop myself from falling. Well, it wasn't the best hug I have ever had but it made me laugh and brightened up my day no end!!

So ever since that day I have been hugging trees. Mostly on accident (note to self : learn to watch where you're going) and much to the amusement of the people around me. However, as long as others are laughing, its okay with me. I have a strange sense of humor anyways and often laugh at myself. Or to myself, to the confusion of my friends and family.

I need to remember not to chuckle to myself on my walk to work...or talk to myself either...else I might find myself being bundled gently into a white van by men in orange coats with little name tags on them. That would be the most tragic ending, I think!

Come on, try this : Its hug a tree day today and they say that love makes plants grow, so why can't it make trees grow? And they do a lot for you, you know. If there were no trees we wouldn't breathe so easily, nor would we have paper. What would we do in a world without trees?

Unthinkable!!! Don't let your trees die, hug them today!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This is a poem that someone sent to me, but it was so beautiful that I wanted to share it with everyone!

The Gift Of Knowing You

There are gifts of many treasures
For both the young and old,
From the tiniest little trinkets
To great boxes filled with gold.

But, put them all together
And they could not stand in lieu,
Of the greatest gift of all
The gift of knowing you.

When your times are filled with troubles
Sadness, grief, or even doubt,
When all those things you planned on
Just aren't turning out.

Just turn and look behind you
From the place at which you stand,
And look for me through the shadows
And reach out for my hand.

I will lift from you your burden
And cry for you your tears,
Bear the pain of all your sorrows
Though it may be for a thousand years.

For in the end I would be happy
To have helped you start anew,
It's a small price to pay
For the gift of knowing you.

Thanks for letting me know you!

A lesson learned!

It was quite an ordinary day really, nothing great about it except that the sun was shining brightly and the birds were singing arias in the trees around the house. My sister and I decided that it would be great to go and climb the huge trees lining our driveway so we put on jean cut-offs and a short sleeve shirt and ran barefeet down the driveway, stopping at the biggest tree we could find. This was one we hadn't yet attempted to climb owing to its hugeness. To be honest, I was a little afraid of this tree. It was so big and the trunk was ginormous, too big to even get a hold on.

We stood staring up at the tree, looking for a way up. Finally we decided the best way up was that one of us would vault the one onto the lowest branch and then that one would pull the other up. I vaulted my sister up, just like they do in the cowboy movies! And when she had a firm hold, she lowered her hand and helped to pull me up.

Once up on the first branch it wasn't nearly as difficult as it looked from the bottom. We shimmied our way up the next part of the trunk, sliding down a couple of times before getting it right. Then tragedy struck...we argued about who went next! It seems so silly now, thinking back on it, but we were very young and at that moment it truly did matter who got to go first.
I am ashamed to admit that I did push her and so she fell. Luckily for both of us it wasn't a far way to fall and she was able to grab branches on the way down to break her fall so she didn't really get hurt, merely twisted her ankle a bit, but oh man! was she mad at me!!

After that episode my mother made us stay out the trees as punishment, and boy was that punishment!! Climbing those trees was like a hobby to us and it was just the end of world that we had to stay out of them.

About an hour later the plumbers came around to fix the hot water heater in our ceiling and we begged my mom to let us go up and have a look. She made us promise to stay out the way and to be careful and so we pulled on water boots and scuttled away outside, up the ladder and into the ceiling. It was dreadfully hot and humid inside and really stuffy. I didn't like it much but didn't want to be the first to leave, so I stayed and we explored a little and then helped hand the plumbers the tools they wanted. In a few minutes we were having fun and then I didn't want to leave anymore.

A few minutes later we were walking along the beams to see where each of the rooms were and then my one water boot fell off. I didn't have a pair of my own so I was wearing my mom's and they were rather too big for me. Thinking back now I am just surprised that they hadn't fallen off sooner!
I leaned over the beam and pulled the boot back on but just as I was going to put my foot down, I lost my balance. I knew I was going to fall and I had nothing to hold onto. I tried to scream but my voice just wouldn't do anything other than let out a little squeak.
One of the plumbers turned around just as I disappeared through the ceiling and then all hell broke loose. I heard people yelling as I hit the floor, pain searing through my foot and ankle. The breath was knocked completely out of my lungs and for what seemed like hours I lay there opening and closing my mouth, nothing happening.

I saw my mother come running into the room, her face ashen white. When I looked up I could see my sister peering at me through the very big hole in the ceiling. I wanted to grin at her but I couldn't do anything other than make these awful gasping noises, trying to get some breath into my lungs before I passed out! My ankle was really starting to hurt me by now and I lay there wondering if it were broken? I had always envied those kids at school who came home from the holidays with broken limbs. I never had anything to show for my holiday.

Lucky for me I had fallen into the sitting room which had wooden floors. This absorbed my weight and made sure I didn't break my back or get serious concussion. If I had fallen on the other side of the beam I would have landed in the dining room and that was a cement floor. I would have been much more seriously injured.
However, I did tear all the ligaments in my right foot and ankle, which took about four months to heal enough for me to walk normally without crutch or walking stick. I also tore a few of the ligaments in my left foot but that wasn't too bad and healed very quickly.

I figured that this all happened because I pushed my sister whilst we were in the tree and she fell out. Perhaps someone gave me a little push up there in the ceiling? I believe someone did but I sure know it wasn't a human being!! I needed to learn a little lesson and falling through that ceiling and landing so hard sure did knock some sense into my selfish and stubborn head!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Quasimodo and I

Its strange how one can remember so many little things that happened in one's life when younger. I was just sitting here now, remembering a little bird that made such a big difference in my life! He taught me so many lessons, but most of all he brought me joy and I loved him so much.

I found him one day on our porch, lying in a big bag filled with wood shavings. He had fallen from his nest and he looked so forlorn and lonely that I just had to take him in and care for him. I found a box, put an old knitted jersey into it and also my favourite stuffed animal. He was so small, had no feathers at all and couldn't have been much older than about two weeks. He looked so ugly and yet was so adorable that I couldn't give him any name other than Quasimodo.

From that first day on Quasimodo went everywhere with me. I took him with me to town and went to the library with him. On these excursions into town I would take a very small little box with me, with a sock folded into the shape of a nest, so that he could stay warm. And I would take his food with me in a syringe and feed him every two hours. It caused quite a stir in the library the first week but after a few days all the librarians would come up to me and ask me how it was going with Quasi.

Quasi, naturally, enjoyed all the attention immensely and would even put on a bit of a show for the children who would come and peek into the box at him. When it was very cold I would put on a rollneck sweater and let him curl up against my neck to keep warm. He would be very reluctant to climb out into the cold box after that and I used to have quite a few wriggling sessions trying to get him out! Needless to say, that also caused a stir ~chuckle~
I mean, just imagine it. You see this girl walking around in the library and next minute she's wriggling and talking to herself about not tickling and being good! Yep, it sure did make heads turn :)

As Quasimodo got older, his first little feathers started appearing. I was thrilled when his baby fluff was replaced by the beautiful feathers of a growing swallow. Swallows have always been my favourite birds and being able to raise one from a baby was a privelage and a blessing for me. I watched in amazement how he lost his gangly look and started putting on a bit of weight. His feathers turned glossy blue black and the markings around his eyes became more prominant. He truly was becoming beautiful!

He was also becoming progressively more cheeky as the weeks passed by. In the evenings I had a huge problem making him stay in his box instead of jumping out and onto my bed. I would put a lid over the box but he would become so frantic that I was afraid he would harm himself.
So I would turn over onto my stomach, drape my arm over the side of the box and let him curl up inside my hand and go to sleep. It was the only way he would sleep.

I, on the other hand, didn't get much sleep at all because it was very uncomfortable to lie that way and I constantly had a stiff neck and sore shoulders. No matter how little sleep I got, though, I couldn't bear the idea of him being unhappy or hurting himself, so I would fall asleep each night with Quasi curled up in the palm of my hand.

One evening, after an exciting day in town, I couldn't get him to calm down and settle in for the night. He wouldn't even curl up in my hand, but kept on trying to fly out the box. That day he had just discovered that if he flapped his wings real hard, he could get a few feet off the ground and move forwards. Now he tried that tactic out with me and I just couldn't get him to stay in the box. My mom came into the room and told me that I had better let him up on the bed so that we could all get some sleep. She said that my "mother's instinct" would stop me from rolling over in the night and squishing him. I was still hesitant because I really wasn't sure if I could keep from rolling around. I always did! Eventually I couldn't ignore little Quasi's cries any longer and so I picked him up and let him snuggle up against my neck, where he was happiest.

After ten minutes of chirping softly into my ear, he finally closed his eyes and drifted off into birdie sleep. I lay awake as long as I could, petrified that if I fell asleep I would move around and squish him. Later on I drifted off, unable to keep my eyes open any longer.

Around about 3am the next morning I awoke with a start. I couldn't feel Quasi by my neck anymore and when I switched on the light I became really worried. I gently pushed my duvet aside and sat up...and then I saw him.
I couldn't stop the tears from flowing as I looked at him, so peaceful now. He must have crawled down under the covers sometime during the night and although I hadn't turned over, he had got caught up in the duvet and must have suffocated. I was totally devastated, crying while holding him close to me, rocking him and speaking softly to him, even though he couldn't hear my voice anymore. I sat there for more than two hours, crying and rocking his silent form.

Around 5am I went outside to bury him. I didn't have anymore tears to cry, my heart was dreadfully heavy! He had trusted me and I had let him down. Yet I knew that I couldn't have not let him sleep by me that night.

It is years later now, but I still remember it as if it were yesterday. Quasi had a way to make you feel special and needed. True, he was only a bird, but he knew whenever I was sad, or ecstatically happy, he knew when to climb onto my shoulder and chirp in my ear, he knew when to turn somersaults to make me laugh.
He truly was a miracle and a great blessing in my life and I will never forget him!

Fact or Fiction...

I was once asked if I believe in fairytale endings...you know, like happily ever after? Well, its rather hard to say. Mostly I never cared for fairytales that ended in happily ever after, especially when looking at relationships in this world. So many divorces, so many broken families, kids on drugs, alcoholics, smokers...what sort of happily ever after is that?? I never believed in love at first sight or falling in love. A true sceptic, that's me!

So, the question is, does love at first sight exist? What is love? How do you know you love someone? I've asked myself these questions so many times over the last few years and although I had my own theories and ideas, I can't say I truly knew the answers to any of these questions.
Love has always been a pretty controversial issue, all people have their own ideas. Let me tell you what I think love means, and what it means to me.

Love : out-going concern, giving, sharing, caring. Giving of yourself and not expecting anything in return.

That is how I see the meaning of love.
I figured that you couldn't possibly love someone if you didn't know them, which was why this whole theory of love at first sight didn't sit too well with me. I believe that somewhere out in this world, there is a right person for everyone, someone to share the rest of your life with. I also believe that if you wait patiently, you will finally meet up and be able to plan a life together. This way there won't be any broken relationships, couples moving in and out with each other, broken hearts and unwanted children.

I used to dream of a time when I would finally meet up with the man of my dreams. Be able to see him and get to know him. For years I have dreamt of this man. What he would be like, I would even hear his voice in my dreams. Yet through the years, I never met him. Later on I got impatient, wanted to go out and LOOK for him ~chuckle~ Women are like that, they want to have a man nearby to love them and take care of them, a man that is gentle and kind yet strong and firm. I wanted that security and love so much, I wanted to have my own family, my own children.
Hearing about babies thrown away on the news, watching children in orphanages, seeing children that don't receive any love from their parents...this all made me furious! Especially with the parents that just couldn't be bothered with their children. They dump their babies off at daycare from 7am till 5pm and then have a nanny or au pair to take care of them when they are at home.

I used to be an au pair and it broke my heart when the children became so attached to me that the little ones even started calling me "mommy". I used to cry myself to sleep, wishing I could change this world right now, wishing I could adopt all those homeless children and be a mother to them all.

I digress...although its all part of the same subject. Love, marriage, family. Marriage is supposed to be a sacred covenant between two people, not to be taken lightly. Yet most of the world treats it as a joke. Why marriage when you can just live together? This is the way most people see it. Its tragic!
Its been said that a stable community is built on stable families...could this be why our country is falling apart? Something to think about!

Back to the original question, though...are happily ever afters fact or fiction? Personally, I think they are fact. You can have a happily ever after ending, just like in the fairy tales.
The real question is : Are you capable of working hard to create that happily ever after? They don't just happen, you need to work to make them happen.

So...I believe in happily ever after...do you?

P.S. Just in case you're wondering...I finally did meet the man of my dreams and he is everything I dreamt him to be and more!