I know you think the title of this post will likely lead to a celebration of the Prince Harry’s upcoming nuptials–  sadly you will be disappointed, so if you were expecting royal commentary I won’t blame you if you leave now.


Yesterday my husband went to buy a suit. Without me.

Men, always take your significant other with you when buying something of this magnitude. Otherwise, it will have a high tendency to be something you will live to regret.

Husband set off in high spirits to visit the tailor. He chose the fabric and sent me a picture. To which I replied in abject horror: ‘I have to admit that I do not like this. At all.’

I considered the subject closed.

I arrived home to him admitting sheepishly, that he had not read my messages and it was a done deal.

I fixed him with a steely glare. There was a pregnant pause.

“I’ll just call them then?”

I continued to glare.

He made the call, to which I listened:

“Hi, I was just in about a suit. Yes, well, my wife saw the material and doesn’t like it (pause while tailor inquired as to my reaction). Um, hideous was the word she used. (Tailor laughter bursts through the phone). So, can I choose a new material? Yes? Great. What? Yes. Yes. You’re right, I’ll bring her in this time.”

Anyway, we both know the suit he really wants is David Tennant’s from Doctor Who.






Doctor Who and the Memory Stick Conundrum


Small boy aged 8 recently found himself the proud owner of a memory stick. When he discovered that despite its enormous bulk a single movie could not fit on to it, he was devastated.

“But Mom, why can daddy put three movies on his and I can’t even put one, but mine is bigger than his?”

How on earth to explain this…

TARDIS 2I fell back on the only analogy I could think of.

“Well, memory sticks are like the TARDIS,” said I.

“Oh,” he pondered this, “Bigger on the inside?”

“Yes,” I continued getting into the swing of this, “But, different memory sticks are like different TARDIS’s. Some are the size of a bathroom and some are the size of a shopping mall.”

“I see,” he nodded, and I paused waiting for some other parentally terrifying question I would not be able to answer, “Cool”.


That was that.

Now I have to get a Sonic Screwdriver USB stick for him, but I’ll settle for one of these universal remotes from the BBC Shop.

How can I embarrass my child? Let me count the ways…

Copyright Derek Hardy
Copyright Derek Hardy

Way of the Warrior: Run flat-out into a wall at laser games and knock yourself out in front of all his friends.

Today I face planted.

I’ve never really understood that term until now.

Looking in the mirror I am mildly surprised my face is not flat.

It was not my proudest moment.


It was The Birthday Party today.

The party that has been freaking me out for weeks, months even.

Doctor Who Tardis Cake and DalekI spent yesterday afternoon making The Cake.

Of all the cakes each child requires I try to make one special cake.

For J it was Doctor Who’s TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space). A big blue police box.

The reason I do not outsource the cake is pretty simple.

Someone once told me that in Japan there is a saying that equates to, “You can tell the depth of a mother’s love by the content of her child’s lunchbox”.

I may not make award-winning cakes, but they are definitely made with love.

Robyn from Kadies
Robyn from Kadies

The girls at work sent me to Kadies in Fourways for supplies. I am no super baker. I don’t craft masterpieces of cakedom like Cake Boss’s flushing toilet cake.

John and Robyn Brukman from Kadies did not make me feel like an amateur on professional heavyweight fight night.

They went out of their way to help me earn the look of wonder on J’s face when he saw The Cake.

Kadies Heidi and John
Heidi and John from Kadies

They coloured my icing for me, cut out my numbers and waited with utmost patience while the bank and I had a small altercation about my right to access my money.

Without them I would have been certifiably insane by this morning and would have spent the day in lockdown in a mental institute being feed little coloured pills.

In retrospect, perhaps that might have been less painful than what actually transpired.

I am a lazy party parent. I do not like having people invade my home and I do not like cleaning up before and after them.

As a result I seek venues.

This is what I wanted to look like.
This is what I wanted to look like.

We decamped to LaserMaxx for three adrenaline-fraught Daleks versus The Doctors games to the death. In some cases more brutal than others.

The odds were stacked against my team.

Along with the tweens were The Father, a target shooting champion, and three ex-army infantrymen.

On my team I had one of them and thank God for him.  We managed one decent win.

This is what the kids looked like
This is what the kids looked like

In Game 2, I was determined to take out the sniper that was hell-bent on killing me.

I stormed his base.

I hit the base.


Flat out.


This what I ended up feeling like
This what I ended up feeling like

And my lights went out and Tweetie Birds sang a sweet serenade only slightly marred by the warm flow of my life’s blood streaming Nigeria Falls like down the lower half of my face.

The physical pain was nothing in comparison to the body blow my pride tried and failed to bear.

I lay down in the foetal position against the wall and begged the earth to stop spinning.

Whereupon I was shot by my child.

Who was actually on my team.

The Husband came to my rescue.

“Are you alright?”


“Well, just lie there, there’s a few minutes left of the game.”


I made the Walk of Shame past the twenty-somethings with pity shining in their eyes.

This would have been a better look
This would have been a better look

I got some ice from the bar.

I went and hid in the ladies loo.

Then my phone rang.

A colleague asked me to attend a client meeting with the potential to take my career into the stars.

I explained that my nose felt broken, I had a black eye and my lips look like Angelina Jolie after a silicon injection.

His response?

“Dude! Ask them if they have a video. That’s a YouTube moment.”

I hung up.

I stalked over to the chaps behind the counter.

“Is. There. A. Video?”

“Um… Well you know we’ve had way worse,” said A.

“Yup,” said B, “We’ve had like 6 foot guys knock down entire walls and stuff.”

“Is. There. A. Video?”

“Well, everything is recorded.”

“You. Will. Not. Put. That. On. YouTube.”

“No, ma’am,” came a chorus.

Better men than I. I would have that video up there faster than I ran into that wall.

After that the cake paled in comparison. I didn’t even blink an eye as my masterpiece was decimated.

My concussion had caused a massive headache and my ego required some downtime and a call to my mother who was very supportive and tried hard not to laugh at me.

The Father was invited to join the LaserMaxx league.

I was not.


Find LaserMaxx

Stoneridge Shopping Center, Shop M4 – Undercover Parking Level, Greenstone Hill,


Find Kadies

Kingfisher Shopping Centre, Kingfisher Drive, Fourways

Shine on you crazy diamonds

shine on award

Thanks Shaun from for this lovely award and for late night insomniac chats.

The Rules

I feel ambivalent about rules. I tend to make things up as I go along. To quote one of my favourite pirates, Barbossa, they’re “more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.”

  1. If-you-have-good-thoughts-they-will-shine-out-of-your-face-like-sunbeans-and-you-will-always-look-lovely.Roald-Dahl-quotesDisplay the award logo on your blog – Thanks Shaun for sending me instructions on how to actually do this.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you that would be
  3. State 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

Doc who 1Seven things about me:

  1. I was Cleopatra in a previous life. No I wasn’t. According to some fairground psychic I was camel merchant. My mom got to be a nun in a silent order. The psychic did not find it funny when she and I started chortling.
  2. I have the unusual gift of picking up from the vibes in the atmosphere exactly the wrong and most in appropriate thing to say and running with like Oscar Pistorius.
  3. I have brought three people into this world, in my living room, in a pool. Every single time I only thought about surrogacy too late, as in once labour started. And I didn’t do it because I am a fan of Tom Cruise in Top Gun, I did it because I have a mortal fear of hospitals.
  4. TV series wise its Doctor Who and Big Bang Theory. I love the latter because I know these people, they aren’t stereotypes – I actually know people just like them – thing is I can’t figure out if that typecasts me as Penny the dumb waitress or not.
  5. I judge people poorly if they don’t know about Monty Python especially the Flying Sheep and the Dead Parrot. I assume these sad individuals have had deprived childhoods.
  6. I wish I could say I was listening to some über obscure indie band, but sadly I had my daughter (aged 7) riding shotgun in the car this afternoon playing the CD from that girl from Wizards of Waverly Place, the one who dated Justin Bieber.  Selena Gomez.
  7. I sneak downstairs when everyone is asleep and I eat chocolate Nutella spread out of the jar.

This is where I bend the rules, like that friend of Michael Jackson’s and the spoons.

shine_detI’m not going to nominate 15 people, but I am going to nominate five blogs I found today that I read with all the enthusiasm of a five-year old unwrapping something new and shiny. Some are funny, some are interesting, some are courageous and all deserve this.


To my Son on his 11th Birthday


For every birthday my mother takes her grandchild shopping.

Usually she can’t wait to tell me what they’ve chosen. This year I got a phone call.

Mother: “Um, well we had an interesting shopping trip.”

Me: “So, what did he get?”

Mother: “Um… <long pause> it might not be quite what you were expecting.”

My heart fell.

Was my son going to go swag on me?

Was I going to face the public while my son tripped over his trousers while his bottom flashed at passersby?

Oh, the horror.

Doc who 1Me: “What. Did. He. Buy?”

Mother: “A bow tie.”

Me: “Well, bow ties are cool.”

Mother: “I think he has been watching too much Doctor Who.”

To which I say there is no such thing.

He is now wearing a conglomerate of Matt Smith and David Tennant.

It looks pretty cool.

Eleven years ago my neighbours in our flat conversion in Blackheath, south of the Thames, were complaining of my using power tools at an ungodly hour of the morning.

the-fat-cowTo which my husband replied: “No she wasn’t. She was giving birth.”

Apparently I sounded like a constipated cow, which was exactly how I felt.


Now that tiny little baby boy is a tween.

In South Africa I am often complimented on my “Firstborn”.

He really has grown up into an amazing little man.

397616_10151145131256116_1141865247_nHe is funny, clever and the best brother his siblings could have wished for.

I am very proud and humbled to be his mother.

Each day he teaches me something new or asks a question that makes me think.

James Leo Alexander, you are the best James in the whole world.

Thank you for choosing me to be your Mum.

I promise I’ll do my very best not to embarrass you.


Waifs and Strays

I admit it, I am a sucker for a good sob story. However, my interest usually lasts so long.

As a teenager I’d arrive home after a night out with a group of total strangers who had bunked out of home or whatever. I’d go to bed leaving them to their own devices. My darling mother would feed them and eventually knock on my door to ask politely if I knew who the young man watching TV was. I’d reply in the negative. She’d feed them and send them home.

All of which is why my husband reacted so badly to my latest waif and stray. We’d stopped in a rest area on the way back from holiday when I heard a plaintive little cry. On closer inspection I found a tiny ginger kitten covered in grease and oil cowering under the wheel of an Isuzu about to flatten it. It did that Puss in Boots look at me. I was a goner. Soon I had it sitting on my lap, eating a burger and purring like the engine of a finely tuned Harley Davidson.

“No,” said my husband when he saw the bundle of fur. “Absolutely not. Over my cold dead body”

“But Daddy!” wept Small girl aged 6, “If we leave her, she’ll die and you’ll be a kitty murderer.”

“Yes Daddy,” said Small boy aged 7 solemnly, “God would not be pleased.”

After an intense hour of sad looks and prophecies of the kitty’s impending doom…

“If, and I mean if, that animal comes with us, you will feed the dogs every day when you get home for the rest of their lives. You will make me coffee every morning for the rest of your life.” He also added some marital provisos I agreed to.

“Oh yes, Daddy!” all three offspring burst out, the tears magically vanishing as the discussion on naming began.

“It had better be a girl,” muttered my long-suffering husband.

The cat was duly named Rose Tyler in deference of the family’s latest addiction to Doctor Who and happily curled up on my lap for the remainder of the journey home. During which, my husband tried to maintain a stony silence, broken by sideways glances at the piece of fluff and references to “ass fallen in the butter”.

Old Rose cleaned up pretty well after a bath, some tick and flea dip and associated grooming. Our current feline partners reacted with resigned indifference. Friday, the Burmese, seems to operate under the impression that if she pretend it is not there, it won’t be. Sinatra, the Siamese, is delighted to have a companion that will play with him.

I hope vaguely, that the Doctor’s street smarts may rub off on my pampered Beverly Hills cats.


Sadly, Rose turned out not to be a Rose at all. So, he is now Doctor Who or The Doctor. He sleeps in the sunshine, talks constantly and likes to drive in the car looking out the window. A far cry from life in a garage forecourt.


Husband is still trying to maintain a manly distance, but has been caught prostrate in secretive cat worship. He even woke up early and built a cat walk around the roof.


Homing a stray can be fraught with difficultly. Mine have usually been quite educated. Fatima came from the University and Montgomery from the Transport Museum. Adopting a cat from a truck spot, could be problematic personality wise.

Quite seriously though, strays can carry diseases like rabies and auto-immune infections. The Doctor has been thoroughly checked over by the vet (at the approximate cost of a pedigreed Persian) and declared disease free. Still, I have adopted cats from the SPCA and Friends of the Cat who have died soon after from infection. Quite often you can’t tell without expensive and complicated blood tests.

The Doctor is now part of the family and swaggering around like he has finally come home. He may feel differently in a few months when his virility is substantially diminished.