Weekend roundup

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

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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.

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EXHIBIT 1

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.

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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!

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Brain teaser

So today I thought i’d give you guys a bit of a cranial workout….its pretty important on a Monday after you’ve been lazing about all weekend (not using your brain).

Leave your answer as a comment, I’ll post the answer here tomorrow morning:)

Let’s see who is the smartest afterall 😀

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**The answer….believe it or not…is 2

On making choices

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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:

Aperitif

Stuffed eggs with cayenne pepper

Wrapped Asparagus

Starters

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

Dessert

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

Digestifs

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:)

It’s been a while..

So as I’m sure most of you realise by now…I haven’t exactly been doing my part when it comes to this blogging thing.  Hell…I haven’t even been around on twitter or any other platform all that much lately. The thing is…life has this way of getting in the way sometimes.

I’ve also adopted a far better attitude towards all forms of social media.  The guy person isn’t into it…like AT ALL and as such he’s hardly ever on his phone.  So out of respect for him I put my phone away when he arrives or when I arrive at his home. We talk, we watch movies, we laugh and we live in a time where cellphones didn’t exist. My phone stays in my bag and is only pulled out every so often to check if I’ve missed a call or a personal message that may be important. Anything that doesn’t appear to be important or life threatening can wait..face to face time is simply more important.

Then of course….work. I think by now we’ve established I’m a complete and utter workaholic…I’m ok with that. It means I work hard when I need to and delivered an excellent result in record time. It’s my thing and I’m happy with that. The guy person also seems to get this for the most part.  I don’t understand people who don’t try to be the best at what they do….people who do a job just for the sake of having one and earning a salary…people who don’t get passionate about what they spend most of their time doing. I realise they probably don’t understand me either…but seriously…what is wrong with you?

So the new job has been great for the most part. Big corporate life and being a permanent staff member is far different from being the contractor and I’m trying to adjust to the changes with a smile….I’m successful at it too…for the most part. Certain things frustrate me and the red tape and office politics irritate me on occasion but for the most part I’m totally rocking this corporate thing. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a true legend in my field and he has been a constant source of wisdom and support and for that I can’t possibly thank him enough.

Obviously I can’t go into any work related details…the job description pretty much says “hush-hush”, but what I will tell you is that rest assured…the bad guys…we be catching them:)

In other news…life is sometimes hard, but I’ve gotten pretty good and faking a smile till I make it. I’m dealing with a lot of emotional and human related issues at present…not to mention shouldering the struggles of the people I care about (I do that). Life is by no means moonshine and roses…but it is mostly good and I’m mostly happy and I’m infinitely grateful for all the amazing people and things in my life.

So I may be a little scarce sometimes…but I’m always here. And maybe soon I’ll return to regular updates and all kinds of drivel on this here blog:)

I would make a terrible feminist

Now before everyone gets all up in my business for making that statement..please read the post.  I would make a terrible feminist, a terrible activist, a terrible lot of things actually. I recently read a post written by a friend of mine about his little girl, and that’s what got me thinking about this topic.  In this post he refers to an article written by a feminist:

“Here is an example from Devorah Blachor’s New York Times article titled “Turn Your Princess-Obsessed Toddler Into a Feminist in Eight Easy Steps“: “Propose that the hatred that Anastasia and Drizella feel toward Cinderella is not the fault of the step sisters, so much as it represents a complete indictment of Western society and its attitudes toward feminine beauty. Suggest that all three women might be victims of the same impossible societal pressures. Work in this timeless Naomi Wolf gem: “The contemporary ravages of the beauty backlash are destroying women physically and depleting us psychologically.”

So, here is my issue with what she proposes.  While it might be true that society often discriminates against less than beautiful women, do we then condone or justify the fact that the 2 ugly step sisters were mean to Cinderella simply because she was beautiful and they hated her for it? I mean surely that’s just doing the exact same thing in reverse? And how does that teach a little girl anything but totally skewed values?

Here’s the thing…when everyone is getting their knickers in a knot about the fact that only 10 of the 50 journos invited to an event were female, I sit in the corner rolling my eyes…loudly. I have many reasons for that and I’m going to try to explain at least some it to you. I don’t believe in women’s rights. THERE I said it.  The simple fact is…I don’t.  What I do however believe in is equal rights.

True, historically (and often still today) females have been severely discriminated against purely because they weren’t male. The same is true for skin colour and many other things…..And this should be fixed.  But to let the pendulum swing in the complete opposite direction and to therefore allow women certain benefits for the pure and simple reason that they are female does not solve this problem…it just creates a new one, building on the already existing problem.  All this serves to achieve is to make sure that a bunch of idiots who can’t do the job are placed in positions of power, which very quickly escalates into chaos. How ridiculous is that?

The problem won’t be fixed until a balance can be achieved…a balance where nobody is discriminated against.  I don’t want to be chosen to do something because I’m female. I want to be chosen to do something because I’m good at it and I deserve it.  I don’t want to constantly fight off people’s opinions because they believe I got something for the pure and simple reason that I’m female.  I’ve been told on many occasions that my opinions would be different if I had ever been the victim of discrimination.  NEWSFLASH: I work in completely and utterly male dominated world where the general male opinion is that I have hair, boobs and a bum and I wear high heels and therefore I HAVE to be stupid, my opinions don’t matter, my ideas are never good, I should be bringing them coffee and I can’t ever be as effective as they are. (Please realise that while I refer to the general male opinion I most certainly do not include all males)

The kicker here is that while it is frustrating and while I have to work twice as hard to prove myself, I kick ass at my job. I’m good at what I do and I constantly prove that. And while it would be nice to be treated as an equal by all my male counterparts I refuse to be treated differently or better or to be given a promotion because the percentage of females in the profession isn’t high enough. I want the promotion because I deserve it.

So here’s what I propose….equal rights.  Give promotions and jobs to the most deserving candidates based on qualification, experience and compatibility.  Give it to the hard worker who towers over all the competition because that is the person who deserves it, regardless of whether that person is male or female.  Sex, race, skin colour, etc should never even feature in this decision.  So returning to my scenario about the 10 out of 50 journos being female….send the 50 most deserving journos, or the 50 most well-known journos or the 50 journos with the biggest reach.  Or randomly select them. But for crying in a bucket please don’t ever send me to an event for the pure and simple reason that I’m female and exclude someone who deserves that spot about a million times more than me. THAT WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

The above only serves as the tip of the iceberg as to why I’d be a terrible feminist. The fact is, I also like it when a man opens doors for me, offers to carry a heavy package, offers his seat to me when there are no other seats available and allows me to walk through a door first. Why you may ask.  Well while everyone is freaking out because they feel like the guys are saying they can’t do it themselves, I’m standing over here going: “Thanks dude!” I feel respected and cherished, I immediately assume that the guy probably has impeccable manners, that he treats his mom like solid gold and that one day he will move mountains to make his wife smile. (yes yes, I realise this isn’t ALWAYS true, but you get my point) You see, my dad does all these things for my mom, and whenever I’m around he does them for me too.  And when a guy does these things he automatically scores points in my mind, because he is a gentleman. And we could really do with more gentlemen in this world, except that the few that we have are almost too scared to be nice to women because they get accosted by the feminists.

And the kicker.  If one day I should be blessed with a little girl I will tell the feminists to stuff it. If she wants to be a fairy princess and wear pink tutus and crowns she may, and if she would like to do so while yielding a sword or a light saber I will cheer her on and if she chooses books and jeans over tutus and crowns I will applaud her choices and encourage her to be the best damn princess/warrior/bookworm/superwoman she can be. And If ever I have a little boy I will teach him to be nice to little girls, to respect them, to see them as equals, to understand that nobody is better than anyone else, to open doors for all females, to offer his seat for the little old lady and to let even the most insignificant looking girl walk through the door ahead of him. I will teach him that he never has to apologize for being male. Because one day my child will be one kickass gentleman.

So hate me if you will and call me what you want. But the cycle of discrimination will never stop if we keep swinging the pendulum back and forth from one extreme to the next. At some point someone needs to reach out and bring it to a standstill right smack bang in the middle. Equal rights for ALL!

P.S.  Guys, I realise that this is my opinion and other people have different opinions…and that’s ok.  Imagine how boring life would be if we all thought about things exactly the same way.  I also realise that while I’ve expressed my thoughts here this is only the tip of the ice berg and does not include all my reasons or arguments for making certain statements.  If I were to include it all here you’d be reading one post for WEEKS.

Dear New Beginnings

So 2014 wasn’t a great year…I think we’ve all established this. It jumped between unemployment, employment, emotional turmoil, overseas trips, near death health issues and utter chaos more than I ever want to be reminded. But here we are in 2015 with a bunch of new opportunities knocking on my door and it is with great excitement that I embark on a whole new, and totally different kind of journey.

You see, on Monday I joined the ranks of a rather well known big corporate as a permanent staff member. I am very excited about the opportunities and experience that this well thought out, overly debated and sleepless night inducing decision will bring. Truthfully, it wasn’t an easy one…but it’s the best decision for me right now. So here we are…standing on the brink of something new and looking all bright eyed and bushy tailed and scared half to death.

Can I do this? Can I really really do this and make a huge success of it? OF COURSE I BLOODY CAN! Or rather that’s what I proudly exclaim to the world while my insides shake and my heart skips a beat (or two or three). So far so good….I haven’t been required to do anything except look pretty and professional, collect a laptop and sit around…this will hopefully change soon as “ledigheid is die duiwel se oorkussing” (as my gran would say). I’m not a fan of not being busy….as most of you know I’m that overly busy person who thrives under pressure and laughs in the face of unrealistic deadlines.

So here’s to new beginnings and exciting changes and a splendid 2015. If nothing else it will most certainly be better than 2014, that much I’m sure of.

Love,
Ruby