Wednesday, 25 November 2015

December can't come soon enough

Okay, so my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is not working out as planned. November has always been a challenging month for me, but as it turns out, this year even more so. Over the past three-and-a-half weeks, whilst trying to bang out the requisite 50,000 words (for the first draft of my second novoir), I've had a mountain of other stuff on my plate...

Besides all the regular crap that life throws at one - a sick child, a broken car window, a dead car battery, and yet another rejection letter from another publisher; all the usual social engagements - a bachelorette, a book launch, two birthday parties, and a farewell; various parenting duties - attending Orientation Morning and going uniform shopping for Goran's start at 'big school' in the new year... I've also had to deal with the death anniversaries of two young and vibrant people who were very dear to me, the shock of the Paris attacks - fretting about what kind of angry, ugly world my little boy is going to grow up in, and the cherry on top - not being able to join my husband and my son on our annual family holiday to my parents' timeshare in the Berg - not for lack of want on my part, but because my mother is still not speaking to me, ever since I sent her a copy of my Umbilicus manuscript in March (8.5 months ago). Through many, many years of very, very expensive therapy, I have dealt with all (okay, most) of my demons; evidently she has a long way to go in dealing with hers.

Mom, if you happen to read this, please understand that the way I felt about you 25 years ago - when the book is set, is NOT how I feel about you now. I was a seriously messed-up teenager going through a major identity crisis, and battling the first frightening episodes of my as-yet-undiagnosed bipolar disorder; I am in my forties now, with my head screwed on right. You did a good job in raising me, Ma, and you are an amazing Gran to Goran - he just adores you. I wish we could get together, and talk things out, so we can all spend whatever precious time we have left on this wretched planet enjoying one another's company, rather than suffocating in this blanket of silence.


RIP Angela Jane Wheal, 9 September 1978 - 25 November 2005

Monday, 23 November 2015

Goran's tummy buddy turns 5

On Saturday afternoon, Goran's oldest mate Sebastian (his mom Natasha and I were preggers at the same time) had his fifth birthday party at Hunters Hill Fire Station. (It's just across the road from the complex where Lee and I own a townhouse, which we built off-plan, lived in for two years and, since building Haus Gruben, have been renting out to tenants for the past eight years.) The kids had an absolute blast. Highlights for them were a ride round the block in a fire engine with the siren wailing, and getting soaked through with a firefighter's hose. (Thank God we've had a lot of rain in Joburg recently, so we parents didn't have to feel too guilty about the amount of water that was used.) Definitely a special celebration little Seb is going to remember for years to come.

Above: Hunters Hill Fire Station, corner Hunters Road and Maple Drive, Northwold

Below: The playground attached to the party venue at the far corner of the property

Above: Goran getting into the swing of things

Below: Seb and a couple of his mates from the complex where he lives

Above: The birthday boy in the fire engine

Below: Seb's cousin Luke

Above: The birthday boy in a real firefighter's helmet

Below: Much excitement amongst the boys as Seb opened his birthday pressies