Twaddle & Twak

Rants, Raves and Everything Else!

Premature Celebration! January 2, 2010

Filed under: family,Holiday — natalian @ 9:25 am

It all starts with 3 couples who have been friends for many years.   The men started high school together and luckily when they found the ‘girls of their dreams’ they got along too!  We watched each couple start their romances, get engaged, partied at the engagement parties, stood and watched each one get married, partied harder at the reception and for a few years got together on a regular basis.

Then one by one we decided to fall pregnant, we drank tea at the baby showers, brought flowers to celebrate the arrival of the pink feet and watched each other fall into the motions of parenthood and sleep deprivation.  Slowly, as we added to our families, and strangely we all have two boys a piece, we try to see each other at birthday parties, which is just bedlam and plain impossible to have a conversation!

So it was arranged that after Christmas and  just before New Year we would get together for our last ‘adult’ dinner of the year.  Babysitters were arranged, the kids were bathed and fed on time so that nothing  could make us miss a second of our big night out!

It was good, really good! We ate amazing food, drank a little too much, laughed until we cried and were the last to leave the restaurant!

Needless to say, December 31st was looking like the 1st of January, but we couldn’t pull the duvet over our heads, Hubby had an early morning tee-off time with my Dad who celebrates his birthday on the last day of the year. (And woe betide anyone who gives him his birthday gift in left over Christmas wrapping paper!)  So the men went off to chase a little white ball around a golf course and I chased two little boys around my Mom’s garden and house.  By the afternoon ‘shattered’ could not describe how dearly Hubby and I were paying for our sins from the night before.  After Dad’s birthday lunch, (which ended in the evening), we threw the kids in the car, raced home, dunked them in a bath, slapped on their pj’s and drop kicked each one into bed. 

Hubby and I knew our fate, that this year would be different, we had prematurely celebrated and the party spirit was gone.  We were tucked up in bed at 8:30 and I turned the lights out at 9:30 when I found my book on my face. 

At midnight, the sky was alight with fireworks, their whizzes, pops and bangs echoing through the night air.  Hubby and I turned to face each other, wished each other a Happy New Year and turned back over to catch up on the sleep lost due to the premature New Years Eve of 2009!


Ode to the Christmas Aftermath! December 27, 2009

Filed under: family,Holiday,Uncategorized — natalian @ 7:09 pm

 ‘ Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clarke Moore is one of favourite Christmas poems even though it has been overdone through the years.

Looking at the Christmas aftermath in my house which is  strewn wrapping paper, packaging, bottles stacked for recycling and a very neglected ironing pile, I was inspired in the spirit of this very special poem to write one pertaining to my household today.

 Twas two days AFTER Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse…

Although Luka the goldfish, was thankfully still,

Swimming around in his salad bowl.


 As it was raining outside, two boys were inside,

Leaving their skateboards at the front door.


 Hubby was lost behind a book, only surfacing now and then,

To the give the fridge a look.


 The woman of the house,

Who was Cook, Cleaner, Mother and Spouse,

Looked at the mess and thought to herself,

If only Santa had left her a *house elf!

(*I think J K Rowling must have thought about mothers everywhere when including these magical housekeeping folk in her Harry Potter books!)


Vanishing Lebkuchen! December 14, 2009

Filed under: family,Holiday,Uncategorized — natalian @ 7:22 am

Our beloved Aunt in Germany has stopped coming to South Africa for Christmas.  She prefers to soak up the Christmas cheer with her friends at the many Christmas Markets and then escape the wet weather of January through to April by soaking up the much-needed sun here in South Africa.  I can’t blame her!  However, we have experienced a huge loss due to this decision. Lebkuchen, Stollen and Cinnamon Stars! 

Nothing made it feel more like Christmas than getting together on a Sunday for “Advent Coffee” and gorging on  pieces of Stollen, (German Christmas Cake), Lebkuchen, (a type of spiced cake, sometimes coated in chocolate) and Zimt Sterne, (Cinnamon Stars).  Thankfully, due to a more global economy, some stores here in South Africa started stocking various of these items imported from Germany.  Hooray, we could eat Lebkuchen for another year!  Last year my hopes were dashed when I found that many stores decided that South Africans would stick to the humble Christmas mince-pie and didn’t bring in any of my favourite German delicacies.  Luckily for me, Hubby did a visit to Germany, and at my request, came back with the much awaited mother load of Lebkuchen and Zimt Sterne!  So we celebrated another year the ‘normal’ way.

This year I went on another scavenger hunt on the quest to find Lebkuchen, which I found, although the price could suck the Christmas cheer out of anybody!  So I bought my stash and packed it away in the grocery cupboard awaiting our first Advent with my Father-In-Law.  Coffee was made and my stash of Lebkuchen and Stollen were enjoyed.  I didn’t put it all out, there are four Sundays till Christmas and I was determined to have a bit every Sunday!

The box was considerably lighter this  Sunday…  I was  horrified!  What happened to my stash!

Devastated, I informed Hubby that we were a few Lebkuchen short of  an “Advent Coffee” when he, looking most forlorn, exclaimed “Oh no! I was enjoying my lebkuchen in the mornings, don’t we have any more?”

So while we were all tucked up in bed with “visions sugar plums dancing in our heads” Hubby was starting his day with a morning mug of java and a Lebkuchen or two! 

My New Years Resolution…. learn to bake!


Hop Hop Hop!!! April 4, 2009

Filed under: family,Holiday,Motherhood,Parenting — natalian @ 6:29 pm
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Our schools have closed for the Easter Holidays but not before they filled our children’s little minds with hopping Easter Bunnies and chocolate eggs!  We have been sent home Easter masks, baskets and other arts and crafts just to ensure that the Easter spirit does not wane in our household!

Every night, for the past two weeks as I kissed my Eldest goodnight, he would try to engage me in another one of his sneaky schemes to ‘trick’ the Easter Bunny!  Every now and then he has a surge of excitement that tonight is the magical night when the Easter Bunny will make his appearance and we have to dash his hopes by informing him that the Easter Bunny is still very busy making chocolate eggs for the boys and girls of the world.

It was with this realisation that I, mother of the household aka Father Christmas and my current future role of Easter Bunny had to dash off to the shops to stock up on our Easter eggs, rather today than next Saturday!  So, as I type, my little secret stash of chocolate eggs is safely hidden away, the pressure is off!  Or is it?

My sons have inherited a most hideous gene called an ‘early riser’ from my husbands double helix!  Thankfully,  Hubby pays for his sins and gets up with the team at the unearthly hour of 5:30am allowing moi an extra hour of ‘zuzz’ time before the smell of java pulls me from my slumber.  However, this year I have to break the pattern and awaken with the sparrows as I ‘hop’ around the garden, in a half asleep state,  finding good hiding places for the precious choccie eggs!  I have heard that some Easter Bunnies hide their eggs before they go to sleep at night but unfortunately for me this is not an option due to a troop of monkeys that use our garden as part of their morning stroll!  Can you imagine the drama?  Monkeys whooping with joy as they swoop down from the trees, collecting the chocolate eggs, ripping them open and gorging themselves leaving my boys to wake up to a multicoloured lawn of just shiny papers?  An Easter nightmare!

So next Sunday morning, while you are all tucked up in bed, think of those who will be up at the crack of dawn keeping dream of the Easter Bunny and his chocolate eggs alive!


A Life Lesson….not learned December 9, 2008

Filed under: family,Holiday — natalian @ 6:44 am
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The expectant arrival of St Nikolaus on the 6th of December was met with great excitement in our household.  I think this was the first year my Eldest understood the whole concept except when I told him that if he was naughty he would not be receiving sweets in his shoe but sticks.

“Sticks!  I can play with them Mommy!”

Okay, that was not the response I was looking for.

On the night of the 5th of December our Eldest chose his very cool “Spiderman” trainer to impress dear old St Nick and placed it outside the front door, toddling off to sleep with dreams of “E” numbers dancing through his head.

To his delight St Nick had produced a shoe filled with chocolates and the much awaited “candy cane” !

Later in the day, I found his wellington boot at the front door and upon questioning my Eldest why his wellie was not in his cupboard he told me that he had put it there just in case St Nick came past again.

So next year I will have to up my candy stocks as I don’t think he will try and impress St Nick again with his taste in shoes but rather the size, which puts pay to the saying “Quality is better than quantity.”


Moments. September 17, 2008

Filed under: Holiday,South Africa — natalian @ 3:30 pm

When in the Drakensberg you have to: –

  • Enjoy the silence.
  • Breathe the mountain air.
  • Embrace the wind.
  • Inhale the scent of dry grass and thatch.
  • Listen to birdsong and crickets at dusk.
  • Watch the mountains change colour.

Tonight, I will sit in front of the fireplace, with my glass of red wine and enjoy the time I have left till I return to “urban-land”.


Reboot, Reload and Recharged! September 8, 2008

Filed under: Holiday — natalian @ 6:52 am
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I don’t know of one Durbanite that doesn’t make a trip to ‘Majestic Drakensberg’ at least once a year, and I am starting my countdown!

The Drakensberg is a mountain range and is known by the name uKhahlamba (the Barrier of Spears).  However locals refer to it as “The Berg”. 

It’s a place we ‘urbanites’ run to so we can recharge our batteries, soak up the silence and sit by roaring fireplaces with glasses of red wine.  We go for hikes, inhale the clean air and if you are really brave you can attempt a ride on a “Berg” pony and not be able to walk for three days afterwards.

The trip up to the Drakensberg is now also made special with the introduction of the Midlands Meander.  A fabulous concept whereby you are able to drive along and stop at various homes and small businesses to sample their organic produce, cheeses and jams or purchase an artists work or crafts.

Basically, it’s a place where this magnificent mountain envelopes you in it’s peace and sends you back to the city renewed and revived!

Deep Breath… 1, 2, 3 …… sigh!