2018 in retrospect

As I sit here and stare back over the year that was 2018 I can hardly believe that all of 12 months have passed. It’s been a crazy whirlwind of a year. It’s been an insane mixture of good and bad and crazy moments stitched together. But we made it! We survived! And while I know that most people had a really hard 2018, mine for the most part, has been good.

  • Firstly, and perhaps the most extraordinary part of this year, was the fact that I married the love of my life. On 30 June 2018 on a beautiful Northern Natal guest farm, we promised each other honestly, love, support and to stick by each other even when things got hard. It was the most perfect day. Literally nothing went wrong, and we were super chilled. I did pretty much everything myself with the help of my family (old and new) and even my dress appealed to the sentimental in me…it was made by my mother dearest. It really was the best day in the history of forever!
  • My brother, SIL and my two gorgeous nephews came for a visit (especially for the wedding) and I got to spend a week with them before the wedding. It was so lovely to have them!
  • We spent an amazing two weeks exploring Italy as part of our honeymoon!


  • I obtained my international certification.
  • I spent the first 5 months of the year traveling up and down between SA and Namibia and planned most of my wedding from my hotel room and the hotel’s skybar.


  • My husband (yes I still love the sound of that) spent the bulk of the year traveling to Cape Town for a few days each week…let’s just say this got exhausting eventually.
  • After the wedding we moved in together and attempted to merge two completely furnished homes. It was easier than I thought and there were literally no disagreements. We spent ages beforehand discussing which big-ticket items we were keeping and which we will be getting rid of…I honestly believe this helped.
  • Husband attacked a second degree (which he plans to finish in 3 years max despite working full-time) and passed his first year cum laude (ALL THE PRIDE).
  • My parents retired and will be moving away from my hometown early in the new year to start a whole new life as adventurous retirees. So excited for them.


  • Saying goodbye to my hometown (I will probably never go back there as there really is no reason to) was harder than I thought it would be and it made me a little sad.
  • There were some health scares in the family. I don’t want to go into this in detail, but it’s been a bit scary and plenty sobering. Every single day is a gift by grace…truly.
  • I said goodbye to friends who moved overseas. I find rather than easier this becomes harder every single time.
  • I became godmother for the second time!


All in all it’s been a crazy beautiful year with some unexpected twists and turns. I am grateful for each moment, each lesson, each adventure, each blessing, each memory and each day we receive as a gift by grace.

Bring on 2019!




Weekend roundup

I found this on Instagram over the weekend and it made me laugh. It is exactly how life should be:


So my weekend was filled with a lot of awkward, some mucking about, a lot of awesome and even a lot of chilling.

It all started off with a last minute visit to my hairdresser on friday afternoon for a trim. SO….in November (and I still blame this on the crazy emotional time I was going through) I decided to completely change my hair. Essentially I gave my hairdresser free reign to do what every she wanted within 3 simple rules:

  • Remember I work in a very corporate environment;
  • You can play with the length all you want but please make sure i can still tie it up; and
  • Just show me a picture of your plan before you actually go ahead and do it.

She was super excited and I ended up with an angular long bob and a balayage. And I love it! The reason I had to go for a trim is because my hair grows SUPER fast and it had grown too long for the style and no longer hung nicely.  She ended up taking a bit more off too…so it’s still the same style just quite a bit shorter…which is taking me some time to get used to…but I love it none the less.

The chop was followed by drinks and snacks with my colleagues at the Slug & Lettuce.  We had a ton of fun and we ended up only leaving around 19:30 only. I proceeded to go and watch a movie at a friend’s house there after.   By this time I was in agony. (Let’s just travel back to 10am when i went for 5 difference vaccines shots for an upcoming work trip into Africa…Yellow fever, typhoid, tetanus, polio, Hep A&B, etc etc, etc). I was unable to lift my arms and by then i was unable to touch my arms and they were throbbing. By the time i got home i was in tears and my attempt to rub them with arnica oil (as advised by the nurse) ended in disaster as they were too painful to touch. Thankfully painkillers helped a lot!

Saturday morning was spent at a baby shower for a very special little boy who will be making his appearance in March. But this is where the awkward comes in. It was my ex’s sister’s baby shower. I know I know…you’re all thinking i’m completely mad for going….but here’s the thing. After the breakup his sister kindly contacted me to let me know that I’ve been her friend for so long that she desperately wants me to attend despite not dating her brother anymore. HOW COULD I SAY NO TO THAT?

His family has always been amazing….and I love them all dearly. I couldn’t say no…so I went. Her entire family (including my ex) was there. This i hadn’t quite expected. The family was super excited to see me and i was showered with hugs and chats and stories….heartwarming stuff really. Until i ran into my ex and we exchanged a really super awkward greeting. It was at this point that I decided that we weren’t 5. We weren’t angry. We didn’t hate each other and therefore I refuse to let the awkwardness rule whatever form of relationship we choose to have post breakup (i.e. whether we choose to ignore each other completely or eventually become friends). So I put on my big girl panties and went to have a chat to him. It was slightly awkward at first but as we started catching up the awkwardness faded completely.

But I realised one very important thing as I stood there. I don’t regret my decision to step away one bit. In fact…it served as confirmation that I absolutely, 100% made the right choice. And even more surprising was realising that there was absolutely no tug a my heartstrings while I spoke to him. I have moved on completely and I was in a much better place. It was as if my closure process had come full circle…and it’s amazing.

The baby shower was followed by mucking about with a mate taking silly, lame and completely chop like photos (See exhibit 1 below) and a movie marathon. It was awesome.


Sunday was spent with family. I visited my aunt, uncle, cousins and godson and swapped stories (since I haven’t seen them since like October).  We’ve also come to realise that my godson LOVES the taste of my hands. He whines if i dare take my hands away and refuses to accept anybody else’s even when i’m not the one holding him. It was highly amusing really. Silly little boy…stolen my heart and now shares it with my two beautiful nephews.


Speaking of which…how adorable are these two dashing lads in the epic snow they had last weekend?  There is no way to explain the love i feel for these two little boys who live so far away. There is NOTHING  i wouldn’t do to keep them safe and happy. I can’t even begin to imagine how much more insane it is when you’re a mother!


On making choices


So the facts are fairly simple….I haven’t blogged in a VERY VERY long time. There are a number of reasons for this, but I’m fairly certain I can link the lack of writing to the difficult and straining couple of months I’ve endured. There was no motivation or energy or wanting to blog…because who wants to chat to the world when your own personal world is filled with pitfalls and slowly falling apart.  This general lack of everything even made it’s way to my twitter profile where I have, without any doubt, been more quite than ever before, not to mention the lack of socializing with my friends.

The facts are that I’ve never been good at sharing my own emotions and struggles. For the most part i prefer keeping my cards close to my chest, fighting my own battles (emotionally and otherwise), helping others with their struggles and generally dealing with my own issues in my own way, in my own time and without any help from others. It’s not always the healthiest way to live life, but it’s what I’m good at. I’m good at compartmentalizing and generally shelving issues in my mind.

So this is not a “I’m trying to cope emotionally” or a “Please give me a hug I’m suffering” or a “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing“, or a “OhMiGosh what have I done” or even a “I’m trying to figure things out” type of post.  It’s more of an “FYI this happened and I’m OK with it” kind of post. A post of hope, a post that helped me realise I’ve made the best possible decision for me and others. A post about making healthy and positive choices and embracing them.

In the last 7 months I’ve been taking incredible strain personally.  The guy person went for a very serious operation in June (out of respect for him and his wishes I’m not really willing to share a lot of detail about this here). The operation and the time spent in hospital in itself was crazy stressful on him, on me and on us. Little did we know that this was only the start of it.

I didn’t realise it at first  but his entire personality had changed subsequent to the operation. So much so that by the time i finally realised what was going on I barely recognized the man I had grown to love insanely. We were struggling….I was struggling and taking huge emotional strain. And I dealt with it in the same way I always do. I shelved the emotions and focused on work. I put in an insane amount of billable time and kicked ass professionally (at least that part of my life wasn’t falling apart).

We eventually sat down for a serious talk in November when the truth finally hit me like a TRUCK. He had changed…a lot…we weren’t really working. We were always irritated and frustrated and i had stopped being myself around him. I was tense and unhappy and his moodiness and grumpiness had started affecting me in more ways than i could possibly imagine. We decided that we needed some space while he sought medical advice.

And it was during this “space” period where it dawned on me. Suddenly I was happy, I could BREATHE again, I could live and laugh and just be my usual carefree self. It was a really HARD thing to realise. I love this man, or rather I love the man he was, not the person he became. As such I started dealing with a “break up” without even breaking up with him and when I finally made an appointment to see him at the start of January to make it official we both knew it was the best decision for both of us.

Do I blame him? Most certainly not. This was not his fault or his choice…..but it is what it is and at some point I needed to make healthy decisions for me. I was caught in an unhealthy situation and I needed to get out.

Am I OK? More than. I realised very quickly that due to the 2 months of “space” we had, I had already emotionally dealt with the break up. I made the final decision in December already after having a long discussion with my parents (who know and love the guy person) and they agreed with me. I spent my December holiday making peace with this decision and realising that life goes on.

Do i feel like I quit on him? I must admit I struggled with this the most at first.  I felt like i was choosing to take the easy way out. Like i was quitting on him, on us and on everything we had built in the last 2 years.  But the simple facts that I have come to realise and which he himself reminded me of are as follows:  (a) This is not working (b) I fought hard for him and for us for 6 months, I didn’t take the easy out (c) I can’t fix the situation because it’s not within my control (d) It takes courage to walk away from an unhealthy situation.

So….after 2 years and many many happy moments I am single again. It’s a bit surreal. And it was hard walking away from the person that, till not so long ago I was convinced was my forever person.

The thought of going out and meeting people and going on dates and having to run the gauntlet of dating is quite frankly looking exhausting. And I suspect unless I meet someone in my day to day life as it is now I’ll probably be single for a while. But here is the important thing: I AM OK WITH THAT. 

I’ve always been quite happy to be single. I don’t need someone to complete me. I don’t need someone to enjoy my life, and I certainly don’t need another person to make me happy.

So 2016 has certainly started with a BIG BANG, but I certainly hope it’ll be better and happier than 2015.

Come dine with me…..

So this past weekend we took part in a “come dine with me”-like competition with another couple.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t originally consider it to be a bit of a silly idea, but as we got closer to the time and as we worked on our menu (which had to be submitted together the Wednesday before) I got super excited about the idea:)

So the two of us brainstormed and we also got a lot of input from other people, using some ideas and discarding others and this is what our final menu looked like:


Stuffed eggs with cayenne pepper

Wrapped Asparagus


Spicy butternut and bacon soup with a dash of cream and home-made buns

Main Course

Incredible baked lamb shanks on a bed of root vegetables with a fresh garden salad


Decadent chocolate mousse with home-made vanilla ice cream and a berry coulis


Assorted coffee varieties

Assorted dessert wines

Looks super yummy right? Below is the menu submitted by the other couple:

FullSizeRenderWe were convinced that even just on menu alone we clearly already had the upper hand here. So Friday night came along and we happily went off to enjoy a night of fine dining and doing nothing. It was FABULOUS! The starter was pretty amazing,I won’t lie. They definitely scored major points on that. Camembert backed in white wine with rosemary and garlic served with cheesy breadsticks…..I would happily have eaten only that all night.

The mains included a rib eye steak braaied to absolute medium-rare perfection served with roasted potatoes, vegetable skewers and served with a berry sauce. It was good and hearty and scrumptious but, in my opinion, not a “come dine with me” style of meal.  Mains was followed by dessert which was mango slices covered in sweet cream and caramalised sugar. Pretty yummy, but once again not a fancy dessert. I’ll leave out the part where I tell you of all the yummy wines we had along with the meals….:P

And then, just like that, it was our turn. Our table was decorated to perfection with a beautiful Ruby themed bouquet of flowers and all the detailing being red and black and white….it was beautiful! We prepped everything so that when the time came we would just have to pop the various things in the oven to reheat or cook (depending on what it was) without leaving our guests unentertained for longer than just a minute or two at a time.

Upon arrival we served them some sherry to warm the cold bones followed by the Aperitif of stuffed eggs and bacon wrapped asparagus…an instant hit.  I secretly popped my rolls into the oven (home-made, as the rules specified) and as soon as the hot, fresh bread came out the oven it was time for the starter…..a spicy and bacon filled butternut soup with fresh buns. All the noms and just perfect for the cold weather. I paired the soup with a lovely Chenin Blanc from Beau Joubert which complimented the various tastes perfectly.

We proceeded to spend some time chattering away to give everyone a chance to rest in-between courses and to give us a chance to heat up all the food.  The break was just long enough to enjoy some more wine and to let the previous course settle and then we served the mains.  Guys…most of the work here was done by the guy person and he did an exquisite job. The lamb shank was falling off the bone and went so well with the creamy mash and vegetable bed it was cooked on. It was truly amazing and I paired it with a beautiful blended red and a Pinotage.

More rest time and wine drinking time was given, and then it was time for our dessert.  Home made ice cream and home-made chocolate mousse…..heavenly!  Our guests declined the Port and Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest on offer and opted to drink more wine, which was eventually followed by yummy Nespresso just before home time.

Then of course it was time for the scoring and OF COURSE WE WON! Did anyone EVER have any doubt? This means that we’ve got bragging rights for days and they also have to take us out to a restaurant for dinner:D

All in all a really fun and yummy weekend was had by all. I suspect we will be doing this again:)



No, this is not a post about Scandal or Olivia Pope or Instagram.  But this little phrase did teach me something.  The other night I was going through my Instagram feed and saw this gem posted by @Phumezamzai, lovely girl that she is.  And it hit home….I am a gladiator…more so in the last 5 weeks than before.

Now those of you who follow me on twitter would have been made aware of a recent hospital visit, an operation and a pretty long recovery process.  I was mostly quiet during the bulk of the hospital visit and even since then the details provided have been pretty sketchy.  It’s taken me a while to process it all, to get better and to be OK with putting pen to paper.  Beating the odds (for the second time in your life) does that.

It all started with an intense pain early saturday evening.  There we were peacefully watching a movie when all of a sudden I experienced a pain I was unable to pinpoint or describe.  The closest I got was “it feels like each of my organs are being individually squeezed by a vice grip“.  After much deliberation I managed to convince the guy person that the pain seemed to be easing (which it was) and I headed home, only to be flooded by wave upon wave of pain as it got later.  After vomiting for 4 hours I finally dragged myself to my car and drove to Netcare Sunninghill.  I’m not going to into a hell of a lot of detail about the casualty visit at 1am in the morning but what I will say is that I’m far from impressed.  I waited forever to be helped while I was quite clearly in agony, I was given a single disprin for the pain before the doctor indicated that I was being a wuss and there was nothing seriously wrong with me.  Blood was taken but I doubt the doctor even glanced at the prelim results that came in before they sent me home telling me that the pain was muscular in nature.  I was sent home with a script for Buscopan and a note for an ultrasound “just in case you still experience some pain on monday“.  Stupidest thing a doctor has EVER done. I should have been admitted right there and then.

I spent most of sunday curled up in a little ball in absolute agony, unable to walk or eat and throwing up like there was no tomorrow…muscular my ass! Monday morning I drove myself back to Sunninghill for the ultrasound. Crying all the way as even the slightest movement caused the worse pain EVER.  So here’s the thing…because of my car accident and the damage that caused and the constant pain I deal with, my pain threshold is pretty high. For me to be in this much pain and crying…well it says a lot.  The lady who did the ultrasound nearly had a heart attack when she finally got the scan done and I was immediately admitted and put on a morphine and anti-biotic drip.  And EVERYONE was asking how the hell I got sent home by casualty.

The short version of this is after spending Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in hospital with an acutely inflamed gallbladder, liver, colon and pretty much everything else it was finally safer to do an op to remove my gallbladder.  The specialist surgeon (most amazing man alive) had hoped that they would be able to reduce the infection and be able to perform a standard keyhole surgery.  This was however not the case…as we know by now I do nothing in half measures.  I only came out of theatre more than 3 hours later with a tanked blood pressure (which gifted me with a stay in high care) and huge cuts…a 45 min op turned into a 3 hour butchery.  That week in hospital was the worst ever.  Before the operation the pain of the infection was so intense that i was on 8 different types of pain meds all the time (which didn’t work).  I was eventually given pethadine in conjunction with these in order to at least give me some relief.  I was swollen, yellow and very very sick.  After the op I had to deal with the fact that I was not only trying to recover from a major infection but also seriously invasive surgery, shredded core muscles and pneumonia as I wasn’t breathing properly due to the pain.

As it turns out I didn’t just have an infected gallbladder, or a gall stone or something…no no….I had gangrene.  A horrible, gangrenous, angry gallbladder which had started infecting everything around it.  I got completely stuck on that the first time the specialist explained that to me…so much so that i missed the next 5 minutes of what he said. GANGRENE!!?? I had a serious WTH moment…a reality check…and once I got home I had a bit of a cry.  The truth is…in my Specialist’s words during my second follow-up visit “you were slowly dying“….scary scary stuff.  Nobody is exactly sure how this happened and how I haven’t been in agony for ages as I’ve obviously been sick for years.  My guess is that it’s like a frog in a pot.  If you slowly turn up the heat he doesn’t realise he’s cooking.  I’ve just gotten so used to pain that I never even realised just in how much pain I was until it got really really bad. It’s no secret that i’ve had food related issues for years…this is probably all related to the same issue.

But I’m getting off track.  As I lay there in hospital, both before and after the operation, I wanted to die. I didn’t WANT to deal with the pain..it was too much.  I couldn’t even cry because it was too sore. Now that I’m well on my way to recovery that sounds ludicrous.  And I can’t even begin to imagine being in enough pain to put me in such a mindset…but I was. But here’s the thing….I don’t get to run.  I’m a gladiator.  Gladiators don’t run. They fight. They slay dragons. They wipe off the blood. They stitch up their wounds, and they live to fight another day.  I don’t get to run.

And as I sit here typing this I’m filled with more gratitude than I can begin to explain.  Grateful for my family (they rushed to come and be with me while I was in hospital and my mother dearest stayed on to look after me after I got out of hospital as initially I couldn’t do ANYTHING and they were just more amazing than i can put into words), my guy person (I can’t even describe how utterly amazing he’s been), my friends (who went above and beyond to visit in hospital, take care of me afterwards and check in on me all the time) for all the love and support and for all the prayers.  But mostly I’m grateful because even in my darkest moments, and even in the emotionally draining pit I was falling down God was there with me.  He knew my pain and He also knew that I was stronger than that. It wasn’t my time to go yet and I was never alone…not once.

So here I am…I’ve started driving and can, for the most part do most things.  I’m not allowed back in gym for a while and I’m not allowed to lift heavy things and I have ZERO core strength at present.  But that will come…so will speed (everything currently happens in slow motion as fast movements are painful).  I’m celebrating the small victories such as being able to reach my toes without wanting to die, being able to get upright after lying in bed without help, SLEEPING ON MY SIDE! Every day little things that we so often take for granted.   I’m sporting 3 brand new scars, 2 of which are small and subtle but a third you’d have to be blind to miss..since i’m already riddled with them I’ve decided to embrace my brand new battle scar and to be honest I think in time it’ll fade quite nicely.  It’s over 15cm, but the surgeon went to a lot of trouble to use cosmetic stitches rather than settling for the norm and he’s done a damn good job:)

The fact is…life is good. It has to be, because I choose it that way.