A surprise visit

It was an unexpected Facebook message which read, “Hello! Hope all is as well as can be. I am going to be in South Africa from 4th to 8th August (work-related) and I will be in JHB on 4th and 5th August near Melrose Arch. If you can spare a coffee or quick meal, I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to see you both!”  OMG! One of my best friends from high school was coming from Portugal to SA!

From left to right: Vicky, Me, Monica (who moved to Portugal) and Karen

From left to right: Vicky, Me, Monica (who moved to Portugal) and Karen

The last time I saw Vicky was when my parents bought me a plane ticket to Portugal for my 21st birthday 18 years ago. Our only contact since then had been via Facebook. So I was incredibly nervous as my other best friend from high school and I sat on the couch waiting for her to come down and meet us in the hotel reception. What would we say? How would it all go down?

As I saw her, I could not control my tears! And in those first few minutes, all we did was stare at one another and hug and stare and giggle. It was so surreal. We had aged but still felt like teenagers looking into each other’s eyes.

Later, as we sat around baskets of dim sum, the emotions flicked between moments of uncontrollable laughter to those of intense sadness. The storytelling went from exotic travel destinations, new inventions on to tales of separation and death.

BFFs

It’s weird. It felt like yesterday that we were strolling around the school corridors but here, 18 years later, each one of us had or is living through some of the toughest times of our lives. Comforting one another seemed natural and instinctive.

BFFs 2

A lot happens in 18 years. We grew up. I never would’ve thought that I’d be sitting around a table chatting to my best friends from school about what I had planned for my 40th birthday. Crazy!

Pals, thanks for a wonderful evening of reminding me what great friendship is all about. You guys are awesome! X

Helpless. Yes, that’s my word.

Trawling through my Twitter timeline before walking into the office yesterday morning, I came across a tweet from one of my favourite tweeps, @Anatinus. The question she posed was, “If you had to choose one word to describe yourself today, what would it be?”

I sat in my car for a few minutes, trying to come up with a word, but couldn’t. Being the positive person that I am and always wanting to display a happy, shining disposition, I kept thinking up clever, cheerful words to describe myself. But yet none of them seemed to describe exactly what is going on in my head.

My head is spinning. I keep trying to come up with the right answer, the solution to a problem but keep hitting a brick wall.

I’m anxious. Worried. Concerned. Deeply saddened. Angry. But mostly helpless.

Two of my closest friends are hurting. They are in the lowest of lows. In a dip and as much as I try to reach down and pull them up, I can’t. No matter what I tell each of them or how I try to convince them of what is right, it feels as if it’s falling on deaf ears. But their situations are not unique. We’ve all been there (or are there) at some point in our lives.

Why do we torture ourselves? Why do we allow ourselves to go through pain and hurt? Why do we allow others to treat us so badly? Why do we not want the very best for ourselves? Why do we accept second best? Why is it so difficult to walk away from someone who we know deep down inside does not love us as much as we love them?  Why do we fight for relationships we know are wrong and are unhealthy and will only end in tears?

Watching from the outside, seeing the sadness in their eyes, watching their self-esteems drop, I can only hold their hands and be there for them. But it’s tough.

I’m helpless…

What word would you use to describe yourself?

Keeping up with wonderful women

I am incredibly blessed to have a group of amazing women in my life. Women who make me sit back and marvel at their lives, things that they do and how they make it look so easy, so simple and so wonderful.

I’m talking about those that are single mothers. How you find the energy to work a full, stressful day in the office and still go home to work a further 12 hour shift and raise the most beautiful, curious and active children is beyond me.

I’m also talking about the beautiful women who make time to ensure their nails are always manicured, their feet are soft and smooth and their legs are shaven. If you pop up at their homes unexpectedly, they look glamorous, even in house clothes.

The women in my life who are the most talented bakers and chefs… women who know flapjack recipes out of their heads. The ones who make a lasagne from scratch when they get home from a busy day at the office, those that bake blue smurf cupcakes for nephews and even some who know the importance of brown onion soup for roast potatoes.

Many of these amazing women are so positive, even through adversity. There are ‘angels’ doing some inspiring work with their families and friends within their church and charities. It’s a real honour to know them and that they expect nothing in return.

When I think of the women in my life, I am also referring to the gym bunnies. The runners. The ones who eat healthily and who are always looking after their bodies. They are always up for a challenge and who are fearless.

I love the women in my life who make me laugh. The catch up suppers where we can share a vegetarian platter of meze but order meatballs and calamari on the side. The women who will sit and listen to hours of me analysing my running victories and failures and never grow tired of me moaning.

I smile as I think about the ones that I’ve known for more than half my life. The ones who’ve stood by me through high school, my 20’s and now into my 30’s. But also those I’ve met only recently and who know me so well.

There are those I go to for advise, some who fill my laughter tank, others who have wonderful adventures to share. Some are good for hugs. Others who never hold back when I need a stern lecture and to set me back on course when I need it most.

But most of all, all of these amazing women in my life are precious and remind me constantly to be grateful to have them there, everyday. Thank-you!

*Dedicated to my mom, sister and all the girlfriends in my life who I love & adore!

Every runner needs to rest

When KK and I were invited by our close friends to spend a long weekend with them and some others at a holiday camp called Lindani in the Waterberg, we jumped at the opportunity. We never really take any long weekend breaks and decided it might be a good idea to take advantage of the December 16th long weekend.

With a car boot packed full of food, drinks and cozzies, off we went…

Lindani is a 3800ha game farm in the Waterberg 275kms north of Johannesburg situated on the Palala and Melk rivers. It has eight secluded houses and lodges, each with its own pool. We hired out Motseng, which is 4 lodges, sleeping 18 people.

Our days comprised of nothing else but eating, sleeping, laughing and relaxing…

LINDANI MOTSENG LODGE

 DOWN AT THE RIVER…

SUNDOWNERS…

GOOD FRIENDS…

We had all intentions of running and even took our running kit with us. But the running shoes stood at the door and the Energades on ice. We were just too relaxed to run. I guess every runner needs that once in a while…