09 April 2014

16:05 - it's time to walk down the aisle

The joke between my hubby and I was that I would just rock up on our big day and him, the moms and my closest girlfriends would’ve planned everything. I wouldn’t need to do a thing. As it turned out, having gone through planning a wedding, I am quite a control freak, a Nazi about detail and planned everything down to the last second.

After setting the date, selecting a venue, getting quotes and choosing suppliers, I started getting the ‘what time must the food be put out’, ‘what time should we be there…’ questions. The only answer I had was that the ceremony would start at 4pm, but no, suppliers wanted to know what time they must be there – I don’t know. 

The best way for me to establish who must be at the venue and what time – and what needs to happen when, was to create an Excel spreadsheet and work it out. Work it out I did – down to the last minute cause that’s what brides do, right?

Turns out not a single one of my friends or past brides (that I/the suppliers knew of) had such a detailed programme of events. Oh, don’t get me wrong, most knew what was happening in which order, but the actual time? Not a chance! Weddings have a dynamic of their own and things happen which you have no control over. True, but it turns out that I got quite twitchy when I didn’t know what time the next step would take place – or what the next step would be. 

My programme of events soon became colour coordinated (based on who is responsible for what) and had notes column (of things the responsible person MUST NOT FORGET).

This programme of events was not only emailed to every single person involved, but printed out and put into (pretty) folders and given to people. 

Ok, perhaps the exact time stamps were a bit much, but in my defense, I thought that is what brides do. The suppliers loved knowing what time they must be where, what the order was and what they were responsible for. They loved that there was no need to run around (after people) and that things went smoothly. Give your supplier that – in which ever format you prefer.

My matron of honour and MC were put in charge to ensure that things happen smoothly, flawlessly and 'on time'. Do that. Have responsible people do the running around so you can chill. My matron of honour was amazing in lining the ladies up for their hair and make-up, and our MC was brilliant in ensuring that everything went smoothly.

But be flexible. Weddings do have a personality of their own, but things somehow work out. Plus, you've left people you trust in charge. 

In case you are wondering… Things didn’t happen exactly according to the times on the schedule. In fact we were about two hours ahead of schedule with hair and make-up, which wasn’t such a bad thing, as I got to do a mini-bridal boudoir shoot with the photographer.

We remained ahead of schedule for pretty much the whole wedding, which was great, cause instead of starting the party at 21:30, we started at 20:57. 

03 April 2014

Say ‘YES’ to the dress!

Wedding dress shopping. It is possibly one of the most magical shopping experiences of a girl’s life – that and her husband buying her a pair of shoes after 24 hours of marriage.

My mom and I went to a bridal shop, I selected five dresses I wanted to fit – one which was the biggest and puffiest dress in the shop. You must. You have to choose that one dress that will leave you giggling – and the bell-dress! Fit a bell-dress and swing your hips, all brides do it.

Picture: The bell-dress.

I remember walking past the mirror – all dressed in white – that’s when it hit me. I was going to be a bride, I was going to marry the man of my dreams. It was remarkable walking out of the dressing room – my mom’s eyes filled with tears (as she got the camera ready to snap some pictures), strangers gasped and told me how spectacular I look, and the shop assistant took my hand and put me on a pedestal (literally). There I stood, all pretty in white, all the markings of a bride-to-be, caught up in the magic.

 By the third dress, I was over it. I could suddenly understand why brides didn’t eat on their wedding day. It wasn’t because of nerves, it was because you can hardly breath – let alone eat! One slice of cucumber and the water retention would have you popping out in all directions. Caught up in the magic, I tried on one last dress…

It was the shop assistant’s pick, by the way.

It was during this moment that I realised I didn’t want an Oprah-dress. To clarify with all the dramas of an Oprah show; “You’ve worn that dress and you can wear the dress! You wear the dress – you all can wear the same dress!”

I wanted MY dress that had MY personality written all over it! I wanted something different. And something different I got. 

Bless my dress-maker, she added layers, a bow and small touches to make it ‘wedding-dressy’, but never before and never again will anyone have a dress like mine. 

I said "YES" to a dress that was me and no one else...

10 April 2013

I should’ve listened to my mom – and a little lesson I learned

I have been struggling with my lower-back since last year October, in short my muscles went into spasm and wouldn’t loosen up. I have gone through some drastic measures to get it sorted, including physio, acupuncture, biokinetics and cortisone injections. I didn’t see the spasm for what it really was – my body’s way of saying “hey, hold up, take it easy, slow down”.

I woke up one morning so tired that I would’ve sold my soul to the devil for an extra hour’s sleep. The type of tired that I felt is something that you have no clue about, unless you have been there. Felt it.

I started going through the motions of life, simply because I had to. I had to work, so work I did. I had to study, so study I did (how much I actually took in is debatable). Going out with friends required brushing my hair and getting dressed, a thought far too exhausting so cancelling was easier.

One night when I was driving home a robot turned red, like robots do. The mere thought of a minute’s delay to get home was simply too much, so I bursted into tears. It was at this point that I realised I had burned myself out and carrying on, pushing, was simply no longer an option.

I went to see my soul coach (or, what most people will call, counsellor – though her role in my life far exceeds the way you’d define “counsellor”). It amazes me what you can achieve through constellation work (healing on a soul level). It was during this session that I learned a lesson which I will hold near and dear to my heart for the rest of this life;

Honour your journey, trust the path that you are on. Respect who you are right here and now. There is absolutely no need to rush anything – where you are is perfect. What is meant to be, will be. 

Between all the medical treatments, it was the treating of the soul that did the world of good. I woke up yesterday morning, for the first time in months, feeling like I could conquer the world, instead of hiding from it.

That said, the one “medical” treatment that I did see value in was going to a biokineticist. In my last session she indicated that we’ll be doing some posture work. The one exercise involves pulling back your shoulders, the aim is to straighten your shoulders and, as a result, your back. It was at this point that I realised I wished I had listened to my mom when I was younger, she always told me “skouers terug en rug regop”, which roughly translates to “shoulders back and keep your back straight”. I had to laugh, it turns out that mom does know best. 

28 March 2013

The famous five

In school I was the unpopular kid. For most of my primary school years I tried fitting into the popular crowd, I just didn’t fit. As a result, I spent most of my time in the school library. In high school I didn’t know there was a library, until around Grade 10 (or Standard 8), so I was forced to try and fit in. I went from group to group, never quite fitting in and conforming to the group’s standards and opinions.

All that has changed.

Looking at my life now, I must confess I am truly blessed. They say that you can count your true friends on one hand, well, I need both my hands –and some toes too.

In this blog I would like to single out the “famous five” – in order birthdays, or turning 30 in 2013;

The mother hen. Your mom never lies to you and never sugarcoats anything, at least mine never has, – that is Mish. If you want the truth as it is, go to Mish. She will tell you if you have a foot to stand on, if you are being unreasonable or if you need to start building a bridge. No sugar, no sprinkles – straightforward, while passing you a glass of wine. Mish is also the first person to check up on you if you have flu or if you simply feel like life is getting a bit too much. Warm and compassionate, but know that an ace is an ace and a spade a spade.

The creative. Sheri can put paint to canvas, make words come alive or pair pieces of clothing that will make it look like you have a new outfit for every day of the year. A colourful person who doesn’t have even a speck of beige in her personality. If I could summarise Sheri it would be, “keep writing, keep dreaming and always believe. If all else fails, wine o’clock is always a phone call away.”

The princess. If ever there was someone destined to be a royalty it is Cath – Catherine to you, Cath to her friends, but never Cathy. Having Cath as a friend is a bit like having the perfect little  black dress in your wardrobe – timeless. Dress it up or down, you know it is the perfect outfit for every occasion. Cath is a timeless beauty, inside-out, there for a good giggle or a shoulder to lean on. She will hand you your next glass of wine or tissue – all depending on what you need.

The crazy ballerina. I will never forget meeting Kerri for the first time. There she stood in her perfectly ironed corporate outfit, looked at me and did this little twirly dance (on her toes), followed by a curtsy. She made me laugh – and still does every time I see her. She is a ray of sunshine. Also worth a mention, Kerri can do the Gangnam Style, glass of wine in hand, with such perfection, that will it look like Psy went for dance lessons with her – plus she makes it look super stylish!

Then there is me, the odd one. Not the odd one out, just the odd one. I have my own style and like fashion, but don’t get spending thousands on an item just because it is labelled with Ted-what’s-his-face’s name (personally I would rather spend that money in a second hand bookstore). I love metal and hard rock, but don’t conform to just wearing black. I havenever seen  the film The Notebook, but I have seen every Quentin Tarantino film ever made. I like snuggling with a book and cuppa tea, but I love getting together with my girls and giggling over a glass of wine.

That is the famous five. 

We often wonder how we became friends and how we manage to stay friends. I think the secret lies in that we respect each other’s differences, we value the friendship and contribution we make to each other’s lives, we are there for each other (for better or worse) and we make each other laugh (out loud), while passing around the next bottle of wine. 

25 January 2013

The crumpling of New Year’s resolutions

I hate New Year’s resolutions – and hardly ever make them. At some point last year I made a before 2012 end’s resolution, it was quite simple, or so I thought. My year-end resolution was to be able to run 5km. I bought myself running shoes, reflective clothing and a cap. In check was my fully loaded iPod, a Run 5km in 5 Weeks programme and plenty of weeks left to do it in. I was quite looking forward to trotting along the beachside when we went to Durban for Christmas.

What I didn’t bargain on was the illnesses of an *almost* 30-year-old creeping up on me, about 11 months in advance. I have since been told that in your near 30s your back gives in (check), in your 40s your knees and in your 50s your mind. By 60 you don’t care what else goes because it is your mind you miss the most. Back to the resolutions…

As 2013 approached I decided to do the New Year’s resolutions thing. Small, simple and achievable goals (in no particular order);
  1. Do my first 5km road run – preferably before Winter.
  2. Read more – or at least finish my sparkling new Games of Thrones box set.
  3. Spend more time with friends. Last year, due to being a part-time student, some of my favourite people were seriously neglected.
  4. Pass seven subjects.
  5.  Spend more quality time with bf.

The new year hadn’t even started when my well-intended resolutions started crumbling.

In early January – after a Voltaren injection, two Cortisone injections, chronic medication (or so I was told) and one, still need to happen, neurosurgeon appointment – I realised that my dream to run 5km has to be put on hold. In fact – all training has been put on hold, until such time that I know what is wrong with my lower back and what I can and cannot do (to prevent further injury).

Now the crumpling of resolutions 2 and 3 are as a result of resolution 4. I have registered for four subjects in this semester and, after assessing the workload, I realised that most of my spare time will be dedicated to studying.

In my own stubborn and dedicated way I do try and stick to resolution 2 and 3. I try and read for five minutes every night, normally while brushing teeth (it’s a skill I mastered as a child), and I’ve accounted for special events with friends in my study schedule – my iCal app is by far the most overused app on my devices – everything goes in there.

So far the only resolutions that seem to be doing ok are 4 and 5. To date I have managed to stick to my study schedule. I keep myself going by reminding myself that the faster I complete my subjects and get my BA, the quicker I can get back to this thing called a life. Bf and I are doing our best with this quality business – we now eat at the table and talk instead of in front of the TV. Plus, there are special times in my iCal entitled “Date Night”, in two cases “Date Day”.

I suppose the lesson is this – even the simplest of goals require work. Get off your butt and work on it. It reminds me of why I value reading and am desperate to hit the road; 
"The keys to life are running and reading. When you're running, there's a little person that talks to you and says, "Oh I'm tired. My lung's about to pop. I'm so hurt. There's no way I can possibly continue." You want to quit.

If you learn how to defeat that person when you're running, you will learn not to quit when things get hard in your life.

For reading, there have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There's no new problem you could have – with your parents, with school, with a bully. There's no new problem that someone hasn't already had, and written about it in a book," 
– Will Smith.  

09 January 2013

The mischiefs of Meeko

Having kittens seem to diminish your fear of certain creepy crawlies – certain ones and diminish, not eliminate. For example, I no longer scream at the sight of parktown prawns, I now gently – with the aid of a towel – scoot them outside, I can take a plastic bag and pick up little bits of organs and, twice now, I’ve had to pick up baby birds – their first flights didn’t go too well. As a girl, I am proud to have achieved the point where I no longer screech, jump on to counters and shout for bf to please save me.

Until last night that is.

Around 7-ish I called in the little fur-facies for supper. Tulip came bouncing in like a little squirrel cat – all purrs – Meeko on the other hand has a little game we first have to play. She runs, we chase – until she’s had her little giggles at which point she struts towards the backdoor and in she goes. It’s a fun little game, but not when you have a pile of studying lying on your desk and hopes that you could get to bed by 10pm. Bf wasn't home, so I left her.  

About five minutes later I saw my opportunity to grab her, she was on the grass and clearly preoccupied with something. As I picked her up my arm went across my chest and I felt something incredibly cold and somewhat slimy – not normal. Looking down I noticed a lizard smack on my chest – the stupid thing must’ve been in Meeko’s mouth, which she dropped and it found a landing place on me. I screamed, dropped Meeko – thankfully cats land on their feet – took about three steps back, while waving my arms franticly, and, for good measure, took of my top and threw it aside. All this took about 2.5 seconds. It took my brain about 10 seconds to realise I was standing in the backyard, shirtless.

Clearly my dislike to touch slimy, creepy things remains intact.


12 December 2012

Lelani, the Grinch

I love Christmas, normally. Nothing makes me happier than the red and green colour combo, shopping for presents (I love giving gifts), putting up the tree (normally bf has to stop me from doing so in November), hanging the stockings and, most importantly, spending the time with family and friends. I even don’t mind the endless play of Boney M, in fact I actually enjoy it as it reminds me of my childhood Christmases in Graaff-Reinet with my grandparents.

This year is different… So far the Christmas tree is still in its box (covered in 2012’s dust), my Facebook profile picture is still one from a month ago (and not the traditional one of me wearing a Christmas hat), the prospect of gift shopping is as appealing as a Justin Bieber concert, and every ‘happy Christmas’ I’ve received so far has been met with a frown, a grumble and a silent middle-finger.

Even the idea of red and green festivities with loved ones leaves me feeling like I could crawl under my bed – with a bottle of Merlot and Ken Follett novel, of course – until 2013.

Somewhere in 2012 the Grinch stole my Christmas spirit or, perhaps, it is I who have become the Grinch.

Thank you to my sport-loving, uncle-like person for inspiring the title.

About the scribbler

My Photo
I have a degree in Public Relations and worked in corporate communication for six years. Life changed, or perhaps it was a moment of insanity (when I am still up at 1am on a school night, I often think it’s the latter). I started studying again. I am studying for my degree in Psychological Counselling and now work in employee wellness. In 140 characters; “I’m an optimist, over-opinionated, gym (occasionally), love reading and music, don’t like chick-flicks, have an amazing bf and two kittens.”
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