Dinner, with a side order of story

Cape Town – “So,” said the rather vexed voice,” they’ve moved in, with two cats.”

“Of course,” she continued,”my father-in-law can’t organise anything at all.”

The cashier wanted my card, so I missed the answer.

The same cross voice continued: “And he’s started drinking again.”

I missed the next bit as my shopping was handed to me.

“We must do lunch,” said another voice.

I had to stop myself from going over and asking if I too could come to the lunch. Why, I wanted to know, were the cats such a problem? What had the father-in -law failed to organise? And who, for the love of all that is holy, had started drinking again?

Welcome to my Great Big Bad Hair Life

Cape Town – When I was at school, there was a girl who had shiny, straight, black hair.

I wanted her hair more than almost anything.

Mine was (and is) an unmanageable mess – a wavy, frizzy, bumpy, boring brown mass of hair. Short or long, it has kinks and cowslicks and crinkles, and a tendency to go to dreadlocks if I neglect to brush it with great fierceness at least twice a day.

Why we love Lego, kits and all

A Lego creation

A Lego creation

According to British TV presenter Ben Fogle, Lego is a Bad Thing.

Apparently Fogle is an adventurer (though perhaps not as well known in South Africa as Bear Grylls), and he had a rush of blood to the head at the annual conference of the Boarding Schools’ Association in Manchester.

Oddly, as he was once a brand ambassador for Lego, he is reported to have told the gathering that modern Lego is harming children’s development and stifling creativity because of the rise of prescriptive build-it-yourself kits.

SA history just an exercise in boredom?

Cape Town – So, Freedom Day.

On Tuesday night I reflected quietly on the freedom of not setting an alarm for the following morning, but resisted the temptation to share the thought on social media for fear of seeming to trivialise the day [April 27].

On Wednesday we had a friend round for a braai, who said that as she was driving to our house someone on the radio was talking about how we voted all those years ago, and were part of history before it became history. I asked my 13 year old if he knew what Freedom Day commemorated and he rolled his eyes at me. Of course he knows. 

Forget the ‘BitchSwitch’ and get to work

Cape Town – So, is there a “bitch switch” or not?

Cell C CEO Jose do Santos has had a terrible week for saying – on online radio station CliffCentral- that they do. After an outcry, he apologised. Then senior women managers at Cell C issued a statement supporting him, saying that while he had chosen some inappropriate words, these were “far outweighed [by] what he has done for every employee in this company, particularly women”.

And Adriaan Groenewald, who interviewed Dos Santos, took to Twitter to defend him. “People must listen to the interview for context,” he said.

I don’t know what Dos Santos was thinking, because that is simply not the sort of thing the head of a large business says in public. 

7 ways to a less cluttered house

Cape Town – When my niece was in Grade 2, she needed an empty shoebox for a project.

Picture: freeimages.com

Picture: freeimages.com

This should have been simple – but it wasn’t.

Neither my sister, my mother nor I had such a thing as an empty shoebox. I had to ask a colleague (who has beautiful taste in shoes) to bring one to the office so that the school could get its project. 

Things I have learned while lying down

A way to work while supine.

A way to work while supine.

Cape Town – It was a laundry basket that did it.

As I have done for years, I pulled the wet washing out of the machine and put it in the basket. Then I lifted the basket on to the top of the washing machine, ready for hanging out the next morning.

My back went into instant spasm – and the next morning I was being driven to the doctor for the first of many appointments. I’ve been prodded and poked, bent and banged, scanned and X-rayed. The upshot is that a disc in my lower spine has “extruded” and is impinging on a nerve, meaning that my right leg is subject to a constant dull ache and sitting down is well-nigh impossible.