Saturday, July 30, 2011

Driving Miss Dilly

The comment on my Ubuntu Girl blog begs explanation. Hopping into my car to go and pick up the Alien from school is not a walk in the park. I firmly believe that I take my life into my hands the same as people who bungee jump off bridges using dental floss instead of rope.

I live in Durban North. Unlike the notion that there are tea-rooms/cafés on every street corner in Durban – in Durban North they have schools. There are schools everywhere. 2 to 3 schools to every street. Seriously, if you want to go into a lucrative business, open a chassis company in Durban North. With every school comes hundreds of speed bumps the size of Table Mountain just waiting to stuff up your undercarriage.

Having said that, it blows my mind that I seem to be constantly stuck behind an old person every time I go to pick up the Alien. How is that possible? If Durban North is full of schools – where do these old people come from? What are they doing trawling the streets of Durban North? Is there a policy of old aged homes to school ratio published in some government gazette that I do not know about?

Don’t get me wrong. I love old people. I just don’t believe that they should be driving once Alzheimer’s has set in and they can no remember why they are in a car let alone the fact that they are actually the driver. Clearly senile dementia is popular amongst the Durban North senior citizens

I have a low patience threshold when driving. I have mentioned my propensity to drive like Schumacher hence being stuck behind antiques who have forgotten they are driving cars and not ox wagons, does tend to test my every red-haired nerve fibre.

Once I get to the Alien’s school (more than likely late thanks to the old folk not remembering how to get out of 1st gear) I face a different road rage challenge. Mothers of teenagers – I have news for you. Your precious, precocious brats ARE capable of walking more than 20 steps from the school gate to your car. There is absolutely no reason for you to block the entire road so that Her Highness does not have to walk too far to find you. Bus drivers – the vehicles you drive are very visible thanks to their size. You can park slightly further away from the gate. The Aliens will find you. You are hard to miss.

Yep – the afternoon school run is harrowing. The Alien always looks a tad nervous when she gets into the car as she is tentatively waiting for the cussing out of parents and the geriatric population in general.

When I manoeuvre my car into the garage after each school run I breathe a sigh of relief. I have dodged the bullet yet again. Or, maybe more correctly, fellow parents and the elderly have dodged my bullets. Until the next day....

p.s. – you may notice that my blogsite has had some surgery. A nip and a tuck here and a bit of botox there and voila! – My blog has done a Michael Jackson- like transformation. You like?

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Carte Blanche on a Sunday night has always been a must watch on my TV viewing schedule. Sometimes I am not sure why because it is generally very depressing. Not the light hearted frivolity that one needs to end a weekend.

They do feature happy or inspiring stories from time to time. One such insert was on The Ubuntu Girl – Sonja Kruse. She left her dorp of Eshowe with R100, a camera and a backpack to walk around South Africa. Bloody nuts, right? I agree.

So when I saw that she was going to be the guest speaker at The Inspiring Women Network banquet at the Riverside Hotel nearby – I immediately booked my ticket (besides - the dress code was traditional so I could finally wear my sparkly salwar again) I am not the jump out of aeroplanes or off bridges type of person. I see getting in my car to collect the Alien from school as quite adventurous considering how some people drive. I am therefore interested to hear what makes people do crazy things. Why do they do it? Isn't a balanced life staying at home with a glass of wine in one hand and the telly remote in the other? What gene am I missing that these lunatics seem to have a double dose of?

Well, besides having inherited the red hair gene in abundance, Sonja proved to be the most normal, down to earth person I have ever met. Her infectious giggle and sparkling personality is undoubtedly what earned her an invite into strangers’ homes every night of her year-long walkabout.

My key take-out after listening to the Ubuntu girl? We Saffers are still a distrusting and nervous bunch even with people like Sonja highlighting just how much good there is in this country. I am a positive and optimistic person but underlying fears and prejudices, although for the most part buried and ignored, will always rear their negative head and influence my thoughts and actions.

So, although I won’t be catching a taxi to Orania any time soon - I will make a more concerted effort to keep my mind open and my fears based on fact and not on prejudice. I still believe that collecting the Alien from school is a justified fear by the way.

Links for the UBUNTU Girl:
Facebook Page

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Lies Beneath

I saw a competition on the Umhlanga Life blog just a day or so after meeting the charming Fred Felton. Always game to enter anything – I submitted this story. The rules where that the story had to be 100 words or less. Not as easy as you think or is it just me who likes to waffle on and on?

Nevertheless, this is what I wrote...

She moved cautiously but with purpose. She knew exactly what was lying beneath but her focus was on getting love and attention and she had finally pinned down the person she adored the most. She was prepared to stand on dangerous ground.

There was a stirring and a rumbling that grew louder and fiercer as she approached. She paid it no heed. She needed to feel cherished. Fear was not going to stop her.

The infuriated puppy eventually poked her head out from under the warm duvet and glared at the cat as if to say; “Go away, she’s mine!”

Word Count: 100

This is what I have to deal with every night by the way. Roxy the Foxy sleeps under the duvet and Cuddles knowingly steps on her as she makes her way towards me for strokes and loves. That cat likes to live dangerously! One day Roxy is going to make the effort to get more than just her head out from under the duvet and then there will be hell to play!