Twaddle & Twak

Rants, Raves and Everything Else!

“Sleigh Bells – are you listening?” October 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — natalian @ 2:04 pm
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It has happened.  It has arrived and it will stay till the New Year.  Christmas has officially started!  I know, it’s insane after all it’s two months away but our stores here in our local mall have decided to launch “Project X-Mas”!  That’s right folks, here to tempt you with shiny baubles, sparkly tinsel and the croonings of Bing and Sinatra Christmas tunes.

I can’t remember it starting this early last year and I can only think that stores around the country decided to get into the Christmas spirit and tempt the consumer to part with their Rands as it slowly turns to “Nik Naks” on the global markets. 

There was nothing else to do but to toss the packet of Cinnamon Stars into my trolley and start soaking up the ‘Christmas Cheer’!  Tea anyone?


A Mystery Solved! October 14, 2008

Filed under: Durban,family — natalian @ 5:56 am
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It was a complete mystery.  Hubby was hobbling upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown. Cursing his old sports injury for resurfacing and unable to find the anti-inflammatory gel that he had been applying to his knee for the past few days.  He looked at me to pull it out of my magic top hat – obviously I, being mother and wife, am all knowing!  Eventually even I conceded defeat, blamed Eldest and found a substitute cream for him to apply.

Yesterday I had an intruder!  Not the human kind so there was no need to phone the Police, but a furry visitor with a very curious little face!  Sitting with my morning mug of coffee going through my emails and catching up on the current global economic crises, I saw movement in my peripheral vision.  Looking up I found I was being watched by a furry little character of the monkey kind!  Now for people living outside of Kwa Zulu-Natal this is unusual and exciting!  For people who have these frequent visitors in their homes, this is annoying!  You leave your bedroom window open for a second and they are in like a flash, some are neat little cat burglars, others trash your home and use your floor as their porto-loo!

I chased my little intruder from my home and believed that they must have gained entry through Eldest’s bedroom windows!  I cleaned upstairs, stripped bedding and believed that all monkey essence had been removed!

This morning Hubby informed me that he had found the elusive anti-inflammatory gel!  While opening our little bathroom window he saw the box in the garden and the tube in the gutter!  My furry intruder had entered into my bathroom and nicked the tube off my vanity! He was of the neat cat burglar variety as I never suspected a thing!  Mystery solved – it was all down to a little monkey business!

So you will need to excuse me, I am off to the shops to buy new toothbrushes!  Just incase! (“shudder”)


Telling it like it is… October 13, 2008

Filed under: Parenting,South Africa — natalian @ 6:17 pm
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Last week saw Eldest having to return to school for his last term of the year and he was having a little whine, while getting dressed, how he would rather stay at home.  So in an attempt to ‘psyche’ him up for his school term ahead I told him that this term was really exciting and that he would be learning about his town.  The school has organised various little outings to the Post Office, the Library, the Fire Station and for my big finale I exclaimed, ” A Policeman is going to come and visit you at your school!”

To which he exclaimed, “A Policeman! A Policeman! I haven’t seen a real Policeman before!”

I looked up at Hubby sitting in the kitchen spluttering into his cereal trying to hold in the laughter.

A few days later, while strapping him into his car seat, he exclaimed, “Mommy, a Policeman and a Policewoman came to visit our school today!”

I asked him if they came in their ‘Police Van’.

“Yes.” He replied disappointingly, ” But their siren was broken!”

In South Africa we have Policemen, but they are kept very busy and are rarely seen ‘walking the beat’.  One may see a Traffic Officer, but they are generally hiding in the bushes trying to catch speeding motorists.  The truth in Eldest’s innocent comment spoke volumes in the general feeling amongst us – we just don’t have enough of a Police presence or Police vehicles and evidently not enough with ‘working’ sirens!

As the saying goes, “Truth from the mouths of babes.”


Full Circle October 6, 2008

Filed under: family — natalian @ 1:41 pm

Weddings and funerals are two occasions that can bring extended families together and this weekend my family congregated together to celebrate the wedding of my youngest cousin.  Due to my little people, Hubby and I were unable to attend this festive occasion in Cape Town. (A sore point, otherwise I would normally grab any opportunity to visit the Mother City.)

My father, knowing my interest in the family history, was sitting around the kitchen table at my aunts with my Great Aunts and was asking them for information on the family.  He phoned me with some fascinating facts about my Great Great Grandfather who came to South Africa from England to fight in the Boer War.  He never returned to England as he fell in-love with an Afrikaans woman and decided to stay under the African sun and marry her.  They couldn’t understand each others mother tongue but apparently my Great Great Grandmother said that they understood the language of love.  Clearly, as they had 5 children together!  He returned to the battlefields when the First World War broke out and went missing in action at Delville Wood.  After doing some research into the battle of Delville Wood I was horrified at the accounts from survivors and I wished I could have turned back time to tell him not to go!  He is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial and maybe one day I can return to Somme in France and visit his memorial grave. 

Eventually at midnight last night I decided it was time to go to bed as I spent the night researching this man that came to South Africa to fight for Queen and Country against the ‘Boers’ and stayed to marry a Afrikaans girl.  I had time to reflect on how ironic the family connections have mapped out!

My Grandfather on my mothers side of the family was a Prisoner of War during World War 2, captured by German forces in Egypt, and taken to Italy.  He never saw my Grandmother for five years of which one year he was on the run in the forests of Italy as he had escaped his camp.  My Irish Great Grandfather tried to counsel my Grandmother that maybe it was time to list him as missing in action but she refused to believe that he was dead.  That exact same day she returned to her room which she was renting, and saw a telegram on her bed.  She said that although it was winter in Cape Town she perspired right through her jersey from fear.  She opened the telegram and instead of bad news it was from the Red Cross informing her that her husband had been found by the American Forces and would be returning home. 

Until I met the family of my Hubby, my view of Germans were what I was taught in textbooks. What an honour it was to speak to his Grandmother who could recount her version of the the Second World War to me.  They lived in East Prussia, and she stayed for as long as she could until the Russians started to invade.  She closed the door of her home, leaving everything behind and with meagre belongings set out to escape to Germany as it was the only choice due to the link between Germany and the then Prussia. Three Months she walked with her two children, a 4 year old daughter, a 18 month old son and her aging mother.  It was hard times, sleeping in refugee camps along the way, picking the odd onion and potato up off the railways to eat and she escaped being raped twice by Russian soldiers.  Hubby’s Aunt recalls walking as if in her sleep as she was so weak she wanted to lie down and die, both her and my Father-in-Law had bellies swollen due to malnutrition.  A German soldier saw her walking and threw her his ration pack, she said after eating a bit of it she felt revived and swore it saved her.  Here was a family who due to the war, saw the Russians as the enemy and the Germans as their saviours!  They were given shelter by a farmer, which was a barn in which they had to live with another family, but it was a roof over their heads.  My Hubby’s Grandmother worked the fields and his Great Grandmother knitted for the farmers wife.  They believed that they needed to show the farmer that they were not there to squat on his land but to be of assistance as these people were told that they had to take these refugee families from Prussia. 

My Grandmother on fathers side is the daughter of a Russian Jew who escaped the Iron Curtain although I don’t know much about my Great Grandfather I still find it fascinating that he ended up here in South Africa.

So there you have it folks, I have a Great Grandfather and Grandfather who fought the Germans in both World Wars, my Great Grandfather on my fathers side was a Russian Jew and I went and married into a Prussian/German family who fled their homes during the Russian Invasion of World War 2.

I remember back when this first struck me.  We were having a braai at my parents house and my Grandfather, who was a POW in the Second World War, sat next to my Hubby’s Grandfather, who was forced to work for the Nazi’s, (fixing tanks), and watched how the two of them sat side by side talking, drinking their beers.  Strange to think that during the war these two would never have spoken to one another but there they were, united as a family under the African sun.  Everything comes around full circle.


Starting Blocks October 3, 2008

Filed under: family,Motherhood,Parenting — natalian @ 8:04 am
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My little blessing arrived on October 3, 2007.  Wee One’s baby year has flown by and I have tried desperately to internalise every baby smile, giggle and yawn.  I always knew that there would be another little soul after Eldest but I didn’t realise that the time would go by so fast! Every time I have to pack away another set of baby clothes, that no longer fit, my heart aches!

Today, Wee One turns 1 Years Old.  He is slowly finding his feet and starting on his journey of life. 

Happy Birthday Wee One!     

Tread carefully.


Another Year. Another Number. October 1, 2008

Filed under: Meme — natalian @ 6:26 pm

In light of my recent birthday I am going to try my hand at the AGING MEME which I read on Charlotte’s Web and was created by ZoesMom.

The Aging Meme
all you have to do is fill in the blanks…

At a certain age women should start celebrating who they are and not their age .

At a certain age men should realise that at some point the body will start acting it’s age.

When I was a kid I thought I would be a librarian.  I have an intense love for reading and as a child I thought that would be an awesome vocation to sit, read and hand out books! 

Now that I am older I wish I had travelled more before having kids.

You know you are too old to shop at certain “young branded’ clothing stores when the tops you try on are cut to accommodate perky breasts and waists still devoid of love handles!

You know you are too young to shop at certain clothing stores when the clothes you try on make you look like a tent with a head.

(As you can see, girlfriend over here is having a serious problem finding clothes that fit and that she actually likes!) 

When I was in high school I listened to the music of the Hothouse Flowers, Depeche Mode, U2, the Police, Violent Femmes, the Doors, Siouxie and the Banshees, Madness, Enya, Deep Forest, Dead Kennedys, The Clash, PIL, Sex Pistols, REM, Counting Crows and the list could go on and on.

Nowadays I find I like the music of everything I mentioned above and now and again something hits the charts that I enjoy for a brief moment until the radio stations kill it for me.

On my last birthday I was very pregnant.

On my next birthday I want to have a HUGE Bash – to make up for the last two years!

The best birthday present I ever got was my first bit of jewellery from my then Boyfriend and now Hubby .

The first time I felt grown up was when I moved into my own dwelling.

The last time I felt like a kid was when I ‘free painted’.

When I read “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse it changed my life.

Last year was bitter sweet.

Next year I hope for love and laughter which are the principles that I base my reasons for living fabulously!

Life is fleeting when you look at it in terms of numbers so I have decided that each year is not a birthday but a celebration of life!