On Tuesday, Lee and I celebrated eighteen years together. Kind of bizarre to think he was 18 when we met (I was 19), which means he has now spent exactly half his life as my better half. I never got to spoil him like I wanted to for his 36th birthday in September as I was in hospital, so I hoped that by making a BIG deal out of our anniversary, it would make up for things somewhat. I bought him a beautiful Ben Shermanesque shirt by Craig Port from YDE, and a romantic little voodoo doll which stole my heart the moment I laid eyes on it. He took me out for a stunning dinner at Kong Roast, while my in-laws babysat the sprog for a couple of hours.
For some reason, this card just cracked me up, so I had to get it :)
The past couple of weeks back in Jozi have been rather chaotic, actually. What with Goran starting creche, and then getting gastro, having to put Gretel down, and then having to book Hansel into the veterinary clinic to treat a bite (from Gretel, a few days prior) that got infected, going to see the hormone specialist, changing my HRT (details to follow in a future blog post), our PC being fried by lightning (again) and being without online access for almost a whole week, going to see my shrink, Goran starting to walk, plus a whole bunch of social engagements in between, it's no bloody wonder my head's in a bit of a tailspin. Below is a bunch of pics that help tell the story.
The legendary Marc Almond on stage at the 80s Rewind Festival I went to in Durbs. He was the man I specially wanted to see, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. What a voice! What charisma! I would've liked to have heard Sex Dwarf, but it probably wouldn't have been recognised, or too well received, by the predominantly conservative South African audience. It's one of my favourite dancefloor tracks of all time, bringing back brilliant memories from my clubbing heyday in the early-to-mid 90s.
Goran gets a mini haircut
On our way out to breakfast at Ciro's with our mates Nick and Natasha
Goran and Sebastian, now almost 13 and 16 months respectively
And while Lee took Goran to his weekly swimming lesson in the afternoon, I went to the monthly author talk at Indulgence Cafe just down the road from us, where Liezl Thom gave us a bit of insight on her writing of the book Shattered Lives: The Story of Advocate Barbie (co-authored by Laurie Pieters). A couple of years ago, an old school friend of mine, Ashleigh, put me in touch with Laurie, to see if we would like to work on this project together. After looking at it from every conceivable angle, I eventually declined the offer. Although I knew it would be a best-seller, it just wasn't what I wanted as my first published work. It's a truly harrowing tale (not far off that of Gert van Rooyen and Joey Haarhof), and I decided I didn't fancy delving too deeply into such a dark and twisted world.
That said, just listening to Liezl talk about the research and writing process, I was totally inspired to pull Scarlet's Web
off the back-burner and pick up where I left off. Although also dark
and twisted, it doesn't involve children, and is (mostly) a work of
Three generations of Gruben men on the couch
It's moments like these that make a mother's heart melt
sweet Gretel. Thank you for adopting us as your mom and dad, and
giving us four years of your life, warming our hearts and fearlessly
guarding our home. Although I know that you are now out of your pain
and suffering, I sure will miss that wide Staffie grin. Please give
November and Monty a special cuddle from me. They should keep you
good company in furkid heaven, while I promise to take good care of
Hansel here on earth. RIP, my baby.
I got back from Durban on Monday night, she was not looking well at
all. I took her to the vet on Wednesday and they booked her in for
two nights to undergo X-rays and observation. Over and above her
existing and progressively debilitating spinal problems, we suspected
a neurological one as well. All the physical and behavioural signs
pointed to it. When I went through to fetch her on Friday
afternoon (straight after picking up Goran from his first afternoon
at day care), the vet told me that Gretel had really bad arthritis
and nerve damage. Poor girl didn't even know where her back feet were
anymore. She said she could stay the same way for a while, or
deteriorate quite fast, but that there was no chance for improvement
or recovery. Lee and I had talked about it and decided that if this
was going to be the prognosis, it would be pointless to drag things
out unnecessarily. Goran and I said our goodbyes to her in a
lovely little garden behind the clinic. I drove home in a tearful
haze, with an empty collar in my bag, and a very heavy heart. But I
think the hardest part was Hansel smelling her on me, and knowing
that he would never see his little canine companion again. Needless
to say, I am lavishing him with love and extra attention. I've heard
him howling at the gate a few times, and know that it's going to take
a while for him to work through his sense of loss.