The haves and the have-nots

I haven’t so much to report in the form of challenge achievements. Despite the fact that we’re enjoying the summer holidays and I should technically have time on my hands.

It actually appears that time is like sand and flows freely through the cracks it finds in between my fingers.

I still have not managed to:

  • Write up the story instalments from Lori and my spa trip in June
  • Go back to the gym
  • Go swimming even though we’ve had temperatures for many consecutive days of over 30°C
  • Try any new restaurants
  • Work on my book
  • Visit any castles/palaces/museums on my list
  • Find an affordable wine I really like

You may now wish to shake me/slap me/tut at me but I’ll be honest with you and explain that I have been sleeping/attending appointments/dreaming of boring a hole in my own head to alleviate an evil and unrelenting migraine. Finally, I’m free of it. It turns out that at one of those appointments, I was given a medicine which has excruciating headaches as a side-effect. I am thinking of throwing the medicine packet back at the chemist – I had to pay 36 Euro’s for the damn thing – and demanding a refund. Or, I could just stamp on the pills to avoid passing them on to some other poor unsuspecting bugger.

Although not on my list, I have managed to book a little holiday in the south of France for us. 😀 .

And I’ve been to the dentist who joked merrily about “checking my wisdom.” I don’t think it was funnier in German. Though I did give him a nervous, obliging laugh. Turns out my wisdom is still intact. (I laughed quite deliriously at that point).

I also now have three children having their teeth pulled into order by shiny braces, rather than just one.

Which led me to learning how to make mango lassi, that counts as a new recipe, right?

In celebration of a mouthful of metal, we went for brunch. Not my wisest move. I know, despite my apparent wisdom. Picture: dribbling, dissection of food, ouches, non-understandable conversation…

I could have picked a new restaurant to help with my challenges, but I failed miserably by instead opting for a revisit. Sometimes though, it’s good to return to where you know the food is much and reasonable. The toilets are handy and clean. The service is quick.

Akasha loves the breakfast there. Hot chocolate. Bread, butter and nutella. And a biscuit for a little extra sugar.

Sat opposite me, ear-to-ear in nutella, with a little extra dab on her nose, for that face paint effect, previously red dress smeared brown. She noticed two tiny-little tomato seeds fall from my loaded bread, onto my white top. She rolled her eyes and gushed, “Mama, what are you like?”

I’ve watched another film. Johnny English attempted to distract me from my migraine. I do like Rowan Atkinson and can’t believe we’ve had this DVD in the house for years and I’d never managed to see it. All the way through I expected to recognize a scene and admit I had viewed it previously. But no, I got right to the very end without any such realization.

I decided after the last update to take on the challenge of finding 101 101ers to join our group. It’s a big challenge so I am/have enlisted the help of all challengers!!

And you know what? It’s going really well!!

Please welcome:

Silly wrong but vivid right

Thoughts from me

Vicrace Design

And also a very special mention to who actually joined us a while ago. (Sorry again that I’m late).

Now I’m off to watch my sons circus performance, supposedly he’s brilliant at standing on a ball and simultaneously juggling.

Keys – check. Three sisters – check. Hankies (potential proud moment) – check.

I am not in denial. I repeat, I am not in denial

I am not suffering from toothache.

I am not suffering from toothache.

I am not suffering from toothache.

I must have just slept oddly on my jaw.

It is not a rumbling wisdom tooth.

I repeat. It is not a rumbling wisdom tooth.

But there may be, just may be, a very small, slight swelling around my gum area.

I’ll just buy some infection fixing mouthwash, at the chemist.

I do not need a dentist.

No. I do not need a dentist.

I really, do not need a dentist.

I absolutely do not need a dentist.

My dentist is probably on holiday.

I will not go to another dentist.

My dentist has calming music.

And a waterfall.

She is nice.

Well, considering she’s a dentist.

I should visit her sometime.

I haven’t seen her since before Christmas.

I have had quite a lot on. Lately. Really.

I’ll call her soon.

I promise.

Once this whole crazy gum thing settles down.

The tale of two husbands

I’ve had two husbands. Well, I’m still on my second one. And hoping to stick with him. I quite like this one. Not that I didn’t like the other one. Well, at least at some point.

OK. This is not how I envisaged this blog going when I thought it up.


I should have started like this:

According to our (very lovely) Kindergarten teacher, there are two types of men in the world. N.B. I have a ‘special’ relationship (yes, one of those) with Akasha’s Kindergarten teacher.

Which began like this:

We just clicked.

We can talk about everything and anything under the sun. Love. War. Men, obviously. Stray cats. Allergies. Our hilarious pasts. Food. We even talk about children sometimes.

So this morning on entering the Kindergarten, I could not be content with just saying, “Hello” and depositing my child. No. I felt compelled to tell her about all of the events that took place the night before. Which, although also included baking lots of cakes with Akasha – causing a general sticky feeling to the whole house – mainly focussed on the terrible toothache of my poor husband, Reini. – Please note the toothache has NOTHING to do with our cakes.

No. The pain was due to an evil wisdom tooth.

Now on informing the Kindergarten teacher, lets just call her Alex (because that’s her name), I also felt the need to express my fear that my husband would try the ‘going back to work’ routine after the dastardly tooth would be pulled.

And that is when she made the broad sweeping statement intelligent observation about the two types of men.

I understand exactly what she means because I have been married to both types. H-hmm I am still married to one of them.

My first husband, let me see… Liked to express clearly all of his ailments. No matter what those ailments were. OK, sometimes I had a hard time believing he had such incredibly, intolerable ailments.

Like the time he had the flu. Right after I had a small cold. He lolled on the sofa and begged for medicine. And on my suggestion of him pulling himself together and going to work, he looked at me, incredulously, and informed me that, “I just didn’t understand his suffering.”

I understood perfectly well that he was getting on my nerves in my way and that he had, in all truthfulness, the exact same cold that I had had a few days previous.

This opinion didn’t go down well, but is not the only reason we divorced. He declared that I had not really been ill.

I threw the final punch. Explaining that he may not have observed me being poorly, due to the fact that I had just, “Got on with life and not complained every 10 seconds.”

A friend arrived later and saw my ex-beloved rolled out on the sofa. Being a thoughtful person she expressed her concern and asked of his ailment. I informed her, that, my husband was fine, he just had man-i-tus. Being an understanding and similar suffering wife, she laughed extremely loudly and informed all of her friends.

And thus, ladies and gents a new condition was born.

So having followed the law of opposites (I once asked another friend what she saw in a boyfriend she’d picked up after her split with her husband, she detailed: he’s tall – hubby short, he’s chatty – hubby quiet, he’s bald – hubby had hair and so on…) my husband number two is brave. Strong. Uncomplaining. And heads off to work, despite whatever discomfort he happens to be facing at any given time.

It’s not that he loves his job. It’s that he’s loyal and takes all of his responsibilities seriously.

But as un-complainy as he is, he is prone to making his own hardships therefore worse.

And the only cure for that is an oppressive wife.

So, when Alex offered the suggestion that I should clunk him over the head with a hammer and drag him home after the pulling of the nasty, evil, viscous tooth, I wholeheartedly agreed.

Ageing without dignity

In ageing I am not triumphant. Soon I will have ‘accomplished’ my coup of 38 years on the planet. Although, being honest, it doesn’t feel to me, to be much of an accomplishment.

I have, throughout the years, of course, achieved much. I can walk and talk. I have friends. I’ve passed exams. I have four children and a husband. I own a mortgage (jointly, admittedly). I have learned to drive. I’ve held various jobs. I have travelled.

But nowadays, I have the feeling, I have not only reached my peak, but I have surpassed it.

It’s a combination of little things. But they add up. For example, I wake up in the mornings and the first question of the day should be, “Where hurts today, darling?” The answer would vary. A multiple choice approach could even be applied:

Question: Which body part is noticeably painful this morning, is it…

a. your head?

b. your knee?

c. your back?

d. your foot?

e. your stomach?

f. your ear?

g. a combination of a and b?

h. a combination of c, d, and e?

i. None of the above?

j. All of the above?

k. Something not mentioned above?

l. All of the above mentioned and a new source?

m. Should I just put you out of your misery and shoot you?

The truth of the matter is that I will soon be 38, which in my mind, at least, is not so old, but as my forties approach, I just notice I am speedily degrading…

For instance:

Last year both my eyes and ears deteriorated. Meaning not only without my lenses can I not see you properly, but I also have no clue what you’re saying to me.

For instance:

My ankle clicks. My knee clicks. And most of me cracks or creaks. A walk downstairs and I sound like I’ve started my very own band. I am for the first time in my life, musical.

For instance:

A necessary requirement is always to be close to a loo. No matter where I go, I need to find out where the nearest toilet is located.

For instance:

I used to have a liking for hair dye. Now I have a requirement for the stuff.

For instance:

I have started drinking peppermint tea.

For instance:

Memory = zilch. I have no knowledge of my children’s names. Or even my husbands name. I have to write lists. Then, I forget that I wrote a list, or, I loose it. Sometimes, I cannot even read my writing on the list. Or I have no idea why I wrote the damn list in the first place: What is this list for? Am I going on holiday? Or shopping? List, you make no sense to me at all!

For instance:

I prefer to ‘do it’ in the comfort of my own bed. With no pressure applied to afore mentioned knee, stomach, ear or foot areas. Limiting the possibilities… Though, truthfully, mostly I fall asleep on the sofa, and awake, dribble dried onto my face and next to an uncomplaining, uncomplicated, though somewhat soggy husband.

It would be true to say that in general, I look forward to my future. To my opportunities ahead. To my children finding their way. To my growing family. To more time for myself and for my husband and I, on our own. To holidays and shopping trips and parties and all the celebrations that the future holds.

But there are some things that fill me with dread:

The trips to the dentist. The loss of my teeth. The pulling of my wisdom teeth.

Losing people I love. Death.

Looking in the mirror and seeing an old woman staring back at me.


I guess this is true for every one of us. Accepting the ageing process is no easy task. Sometimes, I so want to hit the brakes. Life is both wonderful and exciting, yet it is also tragic and unbearable.

I have decided my best way forward comprises the following rules:

Take one day at a time and see what each day brings.

Write the lists anyway.

Take all of the drugs offered by the doctor.

Drink alcohol whenever necessary.

Take lots of photos.

Enjoy the moment.

Dye my hair, again and again and again. And buy a wig if it does actually all fall out.

Not completely rule out botox.

Eat what I like. Especially chocolate.

Brush my teeth and pretend to the dentist that the gums just don’t bleed anymore.

Avoid the dentist.

Forget the word ‘dentist’.

Enjoy my new found musical abilities by adding the odd song.


Cry and shout whenever I want to.

Appreciate my family and friends.

Avoid mirrors.

Avoid scales.

Not completely rule out replacement body parts.

And finally, party wildly for as long as I can!

Waiting time

I’m in the hospital waiting room writing this blog, which is where I seem to spend half of my life these days. In fact, I would argue that I spend more of my life in the company of doctors than I do with my own husband. No, actually, that’s not true. Because, in all honesty, most of my time is spent in waiting rooms. With complete strangers.

So here we are once again sitting and waiting. Waiting and sitting. It has been known for this situation to occur six times in one week. As a constant, I find myself waiting minimally once a week, either at the hospital or at the doctors.

It’s not that we’re a really sick family or something. We’ve had our problems, don’t get me wrong. And I certainly wouldn’t describe us as the fittest family in the world. Additionally, there are a lot of us. But at times I have to say, I feel ridiculous. And sometimes I’m just plain annoyed. But my general feeling is one of despair. I mean, it’s not how you want your life to be, is it? Just sitting there. Waiting. In a room full of strangers. No one communicating with one another. The odd courteous “Good morning” is of course uttered and the odd pleasant “Goodbye”. But essentially we all sit there in silence, thinking our own thoughts. Which in my case is generally, “Get me the bloody hell out of here!”.

Today, in an attempt to spend quality time with my family, I’ve brought my husband along. Well, actually, he also has an appointment. At the dentist. Every time I think of the dentist, (after my initial panic attack and then realisation I’m not the one with the appointment), I calmly remember Lori, and her brief encounter with a desire to be a dentist. It had always been a burning question in me (every time I had to go to the dentist, actually). What kind of person decides to be a dentist? For sure some kind of sadist! At this point, I should actually say that our dentist is really nice, especially when I don’t have to see her. Then my own little daughter comes to me and tells me of her new career choice. Wide eyed: I could finally ask the desired question. Why? She answered without a moment’s hesitation: “Well, I wouldn’t have to study as much as another type of doctor and I could pull peoples teeth out!” I’m a little intimidated by my daughter.

My husband, whose consultation was an hour after Aden’s, has subsequently been through his whole appointment. Including a forty minute round trip, as well as being drilled, and is now back with us for our ‘date’. We are of course still waiting. We have, seen two doctors actually, and are now waiting to see the professor. Should we be nervous? Flattered? Intrigued? I’m none of these. We met him last week and I thought he was an idiot.

At this point I should probably divulge that Aden had an infection, with a very high temperature, some weeks ago. Following that, he apparently started to bleed underneath the skin. One evening he came into the lounge and after no actual injury, had several strange bruises and swellings around his feet and lower legs. The follow-up then being a strange ‘rash’. However, due to the fact that these swellings and bleeds took a new form on a daily basis, he ended up in hospital for a week. They were testing him for a million different causes including TB and heart malfunctions. Since his stay in hospital, he’s attended outpatients at least once a week. He had visited the GP at times as frequently as every second day. Then, we met ‘the professor’ who exclaimed, “Eczema”…The junior doctor looked baffled. She was left, though, with no choice, due to his high standing, but to write-up eczema as a diagnosis. She informed me repeatedly, that on my return to the children’s ward, I should tell the pediatrician to call her. I did so. Our pediatrician phoned and expressed her annoyance at the diagnosis. I too was annoyed, as even I, with my minimal medical knowledge knew that that’s not eczema.

This time, however it’s different. The idiot is overruled.

We’ve been moved now. To a ‘waiting corridor’. Strange new experience for me. All the doctors squeeze between us and the stairs directly in front of us. At one point a doctor stops to talk to another patient causing a traffic jam. Continuing her conversation, a second doctor almost becomes a contortionist, forcing herself through, the tiny gap. I am curious. Why are we sitting here?

We’re taken by a nurse into a small cubicle. Aden has to put disposable slippers on. We wait for a little while and then the nurse returns and tells us we are not to talk. She says everyone can hear us. I have no idea why that’s a problem and feel a little agitated. We wait as quietly as possible.

We’re taken into a room. There’s a seat at the front and rows curved around in a semi-circle. Like an amphitheater. Aden is to take centre stage. Our doctor comes forward and I’m given a seat in the first row. There must be at least fifteen white-coated doctors in the room. I’m baffled. Our doctor describes Aden’s previous symptoms and diagnosis’ (omitting the eczema). We’re asked questions. All the doctors circle Aden, pressing a piece of glass randomly against his skin. He looks quite nervous. We’re removed as they discuss his case.

We have a short wait in the main waiting area. Then things start to happen. Apparently, the most inquisitive doctor was the ‘big cheese’. Her influence initiates photos to be taken, more blood tests and the junior doctor finally gaining permission to have a sample operated out of his foot. The request which had been denied last week due to the ill-conceived eczema diagnosis.

Busy, but pleased, the junior doctor contacts the children’s ward. Authority now given to her requests of steroids and further antibiotics. We’re shipped over to the ward on the other side of town.

We wait in a new waiting room. In the meantime my husband has relinquished his date and headed off to the other children, picking up and dropping off. He returns now and we see our pediatrician, who has news for us. Her professor has decided against the expertise of the panel, and, without seeing Aden has alloted a prescription of exactly nothing. No medicine. No more appointments. Just like that.

Gobsmacked. We leave the ward. Six hours after our initial entrance at the dermatology department. Above average time for us. But not a record.

I inform Reini: I am not taking the children to any hospitals anymore. Furthermore, I am going to learn to be a doctor online. He responds evenly, that that won’t be the case in the next few days, when something happens to one of the kids. That I’ll cart them off to the hospital. Quick as a flash. I reluctantly agree…

After all, as I recently informed my mother, (who constantly tells me that you worry about your kids even when they’re adults): A child is for life and not just for Christmas…