Twaddle & Twak

Rants, Raves and Everything Else!

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen,… AGAIN! March 30, 2010

Filed under: family,Immigration — natalian @ 6:41 am
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It is almost a year ago that I had to say goodbye to a very dear friend of mine as she and her family departed for Australia, now I have to do this again and this time I have to say goodbye to family as they leave for New Zealand.  The people are different but the reasons are still the same.

So this week will be all about our last braai together, our last drinks together and our last Easter together.  It’s not a nice thing to do and normally I handle these things like a complete coward by sticking my head in the sand and waving them goodbye as if I am going to see them next week. 

It works for me.

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Turn Out The Light. March 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — natalian @ 6:32 am
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There are 365 days in a year and some are more special than others.   We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, religious holidays and public holidays. 

Tomorrow, March 27th, is not a special day but a special hour.  Earth Hour.  Those two words have so much meaning.  For one hour, starting at 8:30, every household and business are encouraged to turn out their lights, televisions, computers etc and give Mother Earth her hour to be the most important thing on our minds, so we can focus on climate change and what humanity is doing her resources. 

I took part last year and will be doing so again this year.  I love the fact that it is proactive.  We, as individuals, for that hour can collectively stand together and say our Earth comes first.  Because without our Earth there is no ‘us’ and it is time that Governments, Countries and its people start realising this very simple fact.  Let’s stop taking, the fresh air we breathe everyday,  for granted.

 

Uncomfortable March 20, 2010

Filed under: South Africa,Uncategorized — natalian @ 4:07 pm
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As a South African there are times where one can experience incredible highs, like watching Nelson Mandela become President of South Africa, the run up to the FIFA World Cup with its  awesome stadiums and marvel at our rich culture and beautiful landscapes .  There are incredible low’s as well, these are generally related to issues of crime in our country, especially when it touches your life or the lives of your loved ones.  These are things that you tell yourself can happen anywhere and in any country.

Over the past week I have started to feel uncomfortable and that has never happened before.

A very vocal youth leader in our countries governing political party, Julius Malema, has at gatherings and social political occasions enjoyed singing “struggle songs”.  Julius has recently sang, what the ANC has tried to placate us with as another hit from way back then, a struggle song with the lyric “Kill the Boers, they are rapists.”

For those who are unfamiliar with South Africa politics, struggle songs  were sung by those oppressed by the white regime that  governed South Africa during the Apartheid years.  They were sung to empower those who were oppressed and had lyrics which spoke of the Whites and Boers of South Africa as well as referring to the war which they were fighting against Apartheid.  The term Boer, which in the Afrikaans language refers to farmers,  is also used to refer to the minority white population of South Africa with Dutch Heritage and who speak the Afrikaans language.

The minority referred to in the struggle song sung by Julius Malema are not pleased, firstly they see this as “hate speech” towards them as a cultural group in South Africa and secondly the farmers in South Africa are unhappy as the farm murders in South Africa are on the rise.

We have been told by our South African government to not take these songs literally but understand that these are the struggle songs that they sung during the Apartheid years, that even their ‘white’ freedom fighters sung along with them.

I have only one thing to say to the South African Government who have been in power since 1994.  The struggle is over.  The Freedom Fighters of the ANC are now the ministers that are sitting in parliament and who should take every South Africans concerns to heart under the banner of the Rainbow Nation that we profess to be.  Those struggle songs were rightly sung in the Apartheid years, the government of the Nationalist Party brought strife and heartache to the lives of many in South Africa, but the ‘war’ has been won, those who were in power and brought Apartheid into South Africa are dead.

In our current Democratic South Africa  do these ‘struggle songs’ still have a place, sung in our present context do they not constitute hate speech towards certain groups in our South African population?  Is racism still being allowed by our current Government?  If we continue to refer to the past how can we possibly move forward?  If we continue to lay blame at the feet of the sons of the ancestors of Apartheid how can we grow as a country? 

This week my father, who is of Anglo ancestry, was referred to as a “drunk Boer” by a Zulu man in his place of business when a disagreement arose.  It makes me question just how damaging these struggle songs are in the “New South Africa”?

Yesterday, the Afriforum Youth tried to deliver a Memorandum to the ANC Youth League at the ANC Headquarters ,Luthuli House, to bring to Malema’s attention that words had consequences.   They were not allowed access and their memorandum and list containing the names of 1 600 victims of farm killings was thrown to the floor. 

Tomorrow, South Africa is celebrating Human Rights Day, it begs the question whose Human Rights are we celebrating? If it is not every South African in the Rainbow Nation and speakers of at least one of South Africa’s eleven official languages then it is a damn shame!  Or is it sham?

 

Ten Years March 4, 2010

Filed under: family,Uncategorized — natalian @ 11:42 am
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Ten years ago….

1. I woke up very tired.

2. I was very unhappy that it was raining!

3. I had my hair done and had a friend ramp the pavement in front of the salon with my car so I didn’t get my hair wet when stepping outside.

4. I sat around in a sliver dressing gown drinking tea with my closest friends.

5. I had my make up done professionally and posed for countless photographs in a beautiful garden.

6. I made my Dad cry.

7. I held my Dad’s hand and my brother drove us to a beautiful church.

8. I walked down the aisle towards my fiance.

9. I promised to love, cherish and honour the most amazing man.

10. I walked up the aisle, the wife of this most amazing man.

Tonight I will celebrate this day a little differently than I did 10 years ago.  There will be no extended family and friends, there will be no speeches, there will be no buffet style dinner with 3 different deserts and there will be no dance floor.

Tonight, we will order our food – take away –  from our favourite restaurant, we will sit together in the comfort of our own home, we will open a bottle of 2000 Backsberg Pinotage, kept for this very occasion, and we will dance together, to the song we did 10 years ago, on our living room rug.

 

99 Days And The FIFA World Cup. March 3, 2010

Filed under: South Africa,Uncategorized — natalian @ 11:15 am
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Yesterday, Eldest went off to school with his “Vuvuzela”  and a South African Flag sticking out of his school bag because South Africa has started counting down the last 100 days till the start of the FIFA World Cup and his school was having a special assembly to celebrate.

The stadiums have been built, the merchandise is everywhere and we have been informed, that as parents, we will have an extended school holiday period so that we can all bask in the FIFA World Cup frenzy that is expected to take hold of South Africa! (Note the sarcasm in my voice – pity I’m not getting a rebate on my school fees!)

I don’t like crowds.  During the Christmas period I hit the shops and malls a half an hour before they open so that I can be the first in and out, thereby beating the masses.  So when Hubby suggested applying for Soccer World Cup tickets, I was more than a little reluctant.  He won me over eventually with the “once in a lifetime” argument and how it would be an experience I would never forget.  So I decided to live a little.   We applied for the first game to be held here in Durban, which happens to be Germany against Australia, and a few other matches.  We were successful on only one application and that was  for Germany’s first game.  So it may not be to watch Bafana Bafana, my Country’s team, but its the next best thing. 

Now I  need to brush up on the German National Anthem before June!

 

Valentines Day According To A 5 Year Old! February 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — natalian @ 7:07 pm

Valentines Day was a week ago, the roses have dried up, the chocolates have been eaten and if you want more you can still buy them at a discounted price.

In the run up to this day of hearts and schmaltz I decided to purchase some really delicious looking “mallow filled” heart chocolates just in case Eldest wanted to take his teacher a little something for Valentines Day. (Apparently some kids do this.)  So while he was eating his lunch I informed him of my purchase to take to his teacher for Valentines Day.

“Nah!  I think Valentines Day kinda stinks!” he replied pulling up his nose.

Trying to keep a straight face I replied that I thought he may like to take his teacher a chocolate.

“If you give me a chocolate, to give to my teacher, I think I will eat it!” he said thoughtfully.

Well, at least the boys honest!

On Valentines Day, as I was peeling back the bright pink foil off one of these delicious little morsels, I have to admit, I was secretly delighted!

 

Random January February 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — natalian @ 1:45 pm
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Is it just me or did January pull a fast one and disappear before I got out of the starting blocks?  The gun went off and I was obviously still tying my shoelaces!  Since the kids started school I am trying to get into new routines and timetables that seem simple but I still have to cognitively process each day.  Hopefully by the end of this month I will be back on autopilot!  So here are some random things before I start ranting about politics and other boring nonsense!

  • We have just had our house painted.  It was more stressful than I anticipated and every time they painted our window frames the fumes gave me a headache!  The workers only managed to break a toilet seat while being here for 3 weeks. 

 

  • My Eldest started BIG school.  Hubby and I felt a little twinge as our Eldest donned his school uniform and went off dragging his school bag behind him.  After two weeks he can write his name and is starting to learn the alphabet.

 

  • Disney is good for some things, since Eldest watched “Lazytown” he has a new found love for fruit referring to it as ‘sports candy’!

 

  • I moved Wee One to a new playgroup.  I want my kid to play outside, get dirty, stick macaroni on paper and eat play dough.  Last year he came home bearing photostated copies of things that my Eldest was doing at school.  Trying to teach a 2-year-old the cone, cylinder and cube shape seemed a little advanced! 

 

  • Wee One has started his first swimming lessons.  I wonder if water phobia is genetic? (Can you tell it’s not going well?)

 

  • I decided that this was going to my year where I would pick up my paintbrush, dust off my camera and give myself that important “me” time.   The “I am woman hear me roar” bravado has now been beaten into submission by the children’s extra mural activities, chaining me to the steering wheel of my car.  I will get there eventually.

 

  • Ring the bells and let the heavenly choir rejoice!   I FINALLY have a tumble dryer! He arrived with a name,  “Maxx 7”,  and apparently he is also ‘sensitive’.  I can now provide clean, DRY clothes for the entire family regardless of rain, thunderstorm or painter!

 

Now, if you will excuse me, “Maxx 7” has just beeped with my dry load of laundry that “Maxx 6”  washed for me this morning.  Pity there is no “Maxx” to do the ironing too!