Things I never thought I’d say

Things I never thought I'd say... (1)

Parenting is a minefield.

When they’re babies you find yourself speaking earnestly to other young mothers about the quality and quantity of poop.

As they get older you have to say things like, “Are you wearing panties? Let me see. No, you are not wearing panties. Where are your panties? In the fridge. Of course, I should have guessed.”

Or interrupting phone calls from your boss with desperate cries of, “No! Don’t put a goldfish up your little brother’s nose!”

Today, I reached a new level. Son aged 13 is studying (unheard of behavior for him) human reproduction. I was flabbergasted to arrive home to neatly drawn and labelled bits of human anatomy.

So, when The Husband arrived home I burst out with, “Darling, come and see, our son’s drawn the most marvellous penis.”

Not something I’d never imagined coming out of my mouth.


OMG Did I Just Say That?


Sometimes words pop out my mouth and bypass any filtration system entirely.

Then they hang there in the air like a physical thing while their full meaning sinks in.

And there is nothing you or I can do to unsay them.

What I meant to say was, “You’re walking very upright like you have a ruler down your back.”

Not what I said at all.

So, I had to go into the ladies, close the door and muffle my laughter.

You should have seen the look on his face.


AtoZ: Y is for Yesterday


Yesterday was a public holiday, Freedom Day.

It marks the first free and fair elections in a democratic South Africa.

I could’ve gone to a political rally.

I could’ve gone shopping.

I didn’t.

I lay in the sun surrounded by the sounds of happy children and the sighs of sleeping dogs.

It was a good day to be free.



AtoZ: R is for Ready or Not

The long weekend. A time of family, friends and lots and lots of chocolate. At least that’s what I had imagined.

It’s not what happened.

It was one of those times where one small inconsequential decision sets of an avalanche of epic proportions.

I have a high-pressure water sprayer.

It holds me thrall.

When wielding it like a light saber I feel omnipotent.

Also my mother was coming to lunch so I thought I should clean the porch.

Standing back to admire my handiwork, The Husband wandered over and nodded in approval.

“You know that’s all we have to do to paint the wall.”

“Paint the wall?”

“Yes, I hate that colour. Why don’t we go and buy some paint and see.”

And that is how I spent my weekend starting the DIY project of the century.

Apparently, according to the man in the paint shop, you have to paint corner to corner or you can see the streaks when the paint dries. So, the porch stretched to the whole side of the house.

Actually, I have to say that the team at Mica Hardware in Morning Glen far outstrip Builders Warehouse for service, expertise and advice.

The French doors then looked really shabby, so I had to strip and varnish those.

Now the rafters of the porch need a fresh coat of paint too and there are still the other three sides of the house to do.

My body aches in a myriad painful ways after a weekend workout in the Mr. Miyake School of Exercise. Wax on wax off and so on. My roller arm aches like a bench-pressed whatever Arnold used to bench-press.

The wall looks great.

The water sprayer has been surpassed by the paint stripping heat gun.

I have paint in my eyebrows.

And my weekends are booked for the foreseeable future.


AtoZ: Q is for Quadrophonic

“Hi, Vix. How’d your kids like to be a music video?”

“What for?”

“We’re making the Jo’burg verison of Pharrell’s Happy music video.”

And that’s how it started.

So, on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon I assembled the troops and went deep into suburbia.

It was a nice street with Jacaranda trees forming a beautiful arc across the road.

A quiet street with wide pavements and the scent of pomegranates in the air.

A nondescript street with a nondescript gray building at one end.

Not a pretty building. The kind of building you try your best not to have in the shot.

We set up, and by that I mean, I sat on the grassy verge and had a conversation with my son about the merits of Iron Man and Captain America and which of them I’d choose over their father.

The focus of the shot in question was a skateboarding Golden Cocker Spaniel.

Like all shoots it took a while to discuss how this was going to go.

When suddenly a large black security van pulled up. They sat and watched for a few minutes and then descended from the behemoth cradling large semi automatic weapons.

I sent my kids back to the car.

Another black van joined the first.

A flashy BMW came for the party.

Another flashy BMW came to the party.

Soon the crew was surrounded by some rather scary heavyset individuals bristling with firepower and barely restrained testosterone.

Turns out that boring old gray building is a sight of national military importance.

I don’t what threat they though a skateboarding spaniel was, but I wasn’t going to argue.

Soon after that the kids and I jumped into a pile of leaves and threw them at each other for a bit and went home feeling rather uncomfortable with leaves in places leaves should not be.

I didn’t think much about it until yesterday when I got the link on my Facebook.

It was a privilege to have been a part of making this extraordinary homage to my city.

Thank you for letting us be part of it.



AtoZ: P is for Persiflage


Did you there is actually a word for dirty old men?

There is. It’s pornogenerian.

Isn’t that a fabulous word? He’s such a pornogenerian.

And a pornocracy is a government by harlots.

I live in a different of ocracy altogether.

I live in a paedocracy – government by children, both in my home and the mental age of my actual government.

My daughter has palentine (that’s royal authority) over my home.

It can be a real pain in the podex. That’s rear end for you plebeians who don’t know your Ps.

It’s Good Friday and I’ve observed a rather odd occurrence in my community of friends and Facebook acquaintances. Pickled fish.

Currently, all over the place people who I swear have never eaten pickled fish in their lives suddenly making it from scratch.

Is this a South African thing? Like the Scots and haggis?

Even more stomach churning, is that apparently you eat with hot cross buns.

Hot cross buns and pickled fish. Yum.

Apparently it is a Cape Malay tradition something to do with three-hour church services and not cooking over the Easter weekend. Three hours of church and I just might eat my pew book.

I’m not pantophobic. I’m not scared of everything. Just pickled fish. To feed me pickled fish would be a parapraxis of the first degree. I would be appalled.

However, I cannot judge, that would be very parvanimous of me. There are people for whom Brussels sprouts are the height of culinary paradise. All power to them. Actually, I don’t hate all Brussels sprouts. Just those grown in South Africa that are tough and taste like petrol.

Enough of this persiflage.

Here is a recipe for Malay Pickled Fish if you feel like it.





AtoZ: N is for Not Now, Dear


Zone Out - Balloons by Scarlia on DeviantArt
Zone Out – Balloons by Scarlia on DeviantArt










I zone. I do. I think it’s a defense mechanism.

I do have a highly developed very short-term memory that dissipates come of the social embarrassment of having to admit that I just drifted away there.

I can remember verbatim about the last 6 or 7 words said.

This means that when The Husband says, “You weren’t listening. What did I just say?”

I can parrot back the last sentence. Perfectly, but with no idea of context or the response required.

The Husband calls it my veils of Salome. He says you can see the veils of perception close one by one across my eyes.

My children know this too, which is why they resort to shouting my given name at about 300 decibels right next to my eardrum.

Some of my colleagues have very expensive headphones and listen away to pounding muzak to drown out everyone else. They get away with not knowing what is going on.

I don’t. I am thinking of buying some headphones just to pretend.

The truth is that the sky could fall on my head and I probably wouldn’t notice.

I am in the zone.

It’s my happy place, my zen state.

Interrupt it at your not insignificant expense.

AtoZ: L is for La La Land


I think I have taken up permanent residence in La La Land.

We’ve just had the rounds of parent-teacher interviews again.

The enormity of my hatred for these meetings cannot be adequately expressed in words.

This year my husband is going alone.

This is better for everyone for so many reasons.

If I go, I either have a panic attack due to school flashbacks or have to be physically restrained from strangling some condescending bitch.

I know that I am a far from perfect parent, but you know what? I don’t do a half bad job.

I’m not an alcoholic.

I don’t physically abuse my children.

They have a roof over their heads, food in their tummies and clothes on their backs.

That’s a lot more than most kids.

I have come to realise, if not accept, that no parent in the eyes of a teacher will ever be acceptable.

Either they have too many siblings or not enough.

You are too strict or not strict enough.

You give them too much space or not enough.

And that’s without interrogating their birth position within the family, which opens up a whole new can of worms.

When I meet my child’s teacher, I’m not asking for a critique of my parenting.

I am requesting feedback from a service provider on my child’s education and what they are doing to fix any problem areas.

That is what I pay them for.

I resent being told that they are doing me a favour by educating my child.

They are not.

I buy a brand new Mercedes C Class in cash every year with what I pay for one child, let alone three of them.

When I call a plumber to my home, I do not expect to be told to do the plumbing myself.

When I choose a school, I do not expect to have handle the lion’s share of teaching myself.

One teacher had the affront to tell us that we needed to buy a bigger house where each child can have their own room.

Fabulous. Is the school going to buy one for me?

Because currently the amount we pay in school fees precludes us from buying a new house in Millionaire’s Row.

If they had their own rooms I am prepared to bet a month’s of school fees that we would be told we were spoiling them, leaving them to their own devices and God knows what else.

I have the greatest respect for people who choose teaching as a career.

I reserve the most enormous contempt for those who choose teaching as a vehicle for their own power trip.

Overheard in the tub


Lying in the bath indulging in quiet navel contemplation, I overheard a conversation between father and son.

Father, “Your Granny sure can talk.”

Son: ‘Yeah? You should hear it when she and Mommy get together.”

Son has reached the point of pre-puberty conversation where words are replaced by grunts, looks and subtle shifts in body posture.

The nuances of mother – daughter conversation baffle him.

Anyway, some psychic once said my mother was a nun in a silent order in her last life, so she has a lot to make for.

And apparently men talk more than women. HAH.