Posts Tagged ‘memories are made of this’

My client has a lady by the name of ‘Alexa’ living in her house ūüėĄūüėĄ

Although I don’t entirely trust the girl, and I’m sure she listens in on our conversations, I’ve been asking her to play some of my favourite tunes; listened to Mozart while preparing supper last night. ūüéľūüéľūüéľ

I’ve also asked her to play some of my Mother’s favourite pieces of music/songs; Moon River, Talk to the Trees, What a Wonderful World, and of course the Elizabethan Serenade which apparently was so named in honour of the new Queen; Elizabeth II. I absolutely adore the paintings that accompany this version, the original


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We had such a laugh today with my current client. We were reminiscing about washing machines (yeah, I know)… LOL She was relating something about her life and suddenly a memory popped into my head…..so I related something about mine….like how for a few years we didn’t have a washing machine. My Mother used to put the weeks’ washing into the bathtub on a Friday morning, fill it with soap-powder and hot water and leave it to soak.

When my sister and I got home in the afternoon after school, right after lunch the first thing we had to do was ‘stamp’the washing!! Shoes and socks off, into shorts and tops and into the bath! We would then, amidst gales of laughter and a good deal of splashing about, stamp the washing. That was my Mother’s answer to a washing machine. hahaha

We would move the washing about from one end to the other, stamp, stamp, stamp, up and down, trying our best to push the other over as we passed on our way from one end to the other….then rotate the loads over and over…and stamp, stamp, stamp.

Then the water would be drained and cold water run in, again and again as we went stamp, stamp, stamp until my Mother was satisfied all the soap power and dirt had been rinsed out.

Finally after about an hour or so we were able to climb out the bath dry our feet and then the worst part started….squeezing the water out the washing! OhMyGosh. If you have ever had to wring out a sheet, you’ll know how tedious a job this is. But we had great arm muscles.

We also had the cleanest feet in the neighbourhood.

science museum london

our first washing machine – we got one almost exactly the same as this…hooray for the rollers

Then it was out and onto the wash-line. I’ll always remember the sight of our sparkling white sheets, gleaming and whipping in the wind. Luckily for us, unlike here in the UK, we could depend on the weather…..summer was a breeze…no pun! The laundry dried in no time at all and then it was time to fold and pack it all away.

stash slash project

sheets blowing in the wind

One of the things I remember too is that my Mother didn’t believe in ironing sheets! Most sensible in my opinion…especially as I don’t iron ANYTHING if I can possibly avoid it. She always said that if we ironed the sheets, we would be ironing the sunshine out!!! Perfect!

My client feels we were hard done by!

I saw the washing machine in the above image at the Science Museum in London in their The Secret Life of the Home Exhibition. A must visit…they have some of the most astounding items!¬†Visit The Secret Life of the Home to see how the design of household gadgets has changed over time.


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On the cusp of my Naturalisation as a British Citizen I have stopped to take stock of the places I have been in my life as a Carer since 2007.

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The places have been as varied as the clients. I have travelled far and wide in the UK; the places shown here do not include the many many other countries, cities, towns and places where I have been on holiday, since I arrived in 2001.

One of the benefits of my job as I‚Äôve mentioned before is that I get to travel around the country…not just in England but Scotland and occasionally Wales too. Since 2007 I‚Äôve travelled east, south, north and west of the UK with the current agency.

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Cities I have worked in

In that time I‚Äôve pretty much been to nearly every county in England (21 at last count), and 3 in Scotland and over the border, then out again, but never yet worked in Wales. I’ve yet to work in Northern Ireland although I have been on holiday. I haven’t included in my list the countries/counties/places I’ve been to on holiday that would just be too long…..but those listed below are all the places I have been since 2007. I’ve created a video out of some of the photos I’ve captured in the last 8 years+, albeit not all the places I’ve been to; I’ve worked for almost 300 clients, so that would be a tad too much!!

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London! I always jump at the chance to work in my favourite city

At my current assignment I‚Äôm working in East Sussex, not for the first time, but in a new place. I was chatting to my client just yesterday while we were sharing travel stories (she‚Äôs also quite well travelled), and just for fun I had a look at the map of Britain and listed all the counties I had either worked in, or travelled to during the course of my job‚Ķ..i.e. some¬†clients enjoys driving so we get to travel far and wide. Needless to say I do the driving ūüėČ

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seaside towns I have been to and worked in

I’ve worked on farms and been to villages so small that they don‚Äôt even have a Post Office never mind a traffic light or stop street, where the evening traffic jam is sheep going home! I‚Äôve worked in numerous towns, and quite a few cities‚Ķnamely London of course‚ĶI always jump at the chance to work in London although I‚Äôm not sure why since my breaks are so short I seldom get time to do much exploring‚Ķbut still it‚Äôs a constant thrill to me to wake up in the city that never sleeps. (most areas I’ve worked in London were with the first agency I worked for).

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farms I have worked on…as a Carer ūüėČ

So, heading round the country, these are the counties I have worked in and travelled to:
Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent and Greater London
Inverness-shire, Fife and Ross-shire and Cromartyshire

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working in Scotland

On studying the map, I have noticed that there are still quite a few counties to go, particularly in the Midlands‚ĶI’m guessing I need to ask for more assignments up that way!! Perhaps I’ll see you there ūüėČ

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seaside towns I have worked in or visited while working

One of the most advantageous aspects of this job of mine is that I go to places I would probably never have considered, simply because they‚Äôre not on the ‚ÄėVisit England‚Äô tourist trail so to speak. However, these places invariably have a fascinating history and if you visit the one thing you will find in every hamlet, village, town or city‚Ķ..the church!


deceassed the 12 of May 1570 – Grinstead

Reading the epitaphs and headstones, you gain a fascinating insight to the history of the area. I’ve even been into a church where there are marks on the entrance where knights of yore used to sharpen their swords!!! Mind-blowing. You will learn the often times extraordinary history of the area…sometimes stretching back as far as pre-Norman times.

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castles I have seen on my travels

It is my goal to buy a motor-home within the next few years…by my 65th birthday in fact, and I plan to travel the width and breadth, and length of this country…visiting outlying islands, historic cathedrals, ancient villages, quirky pubs and the furtherest points of the island; north, south, east and west.motor home
Initially I had planned on buying a campervan…those cute little symbols of the 60’s, but since I will be spending a lot of time travelling and living in the motor, I prefer something I can actually stand up in…so the search is on.
caravan Once I find what I am looking for, I shall be off. I plan to travel and work, work and travel. Mostly in the spring, summer and autumn months and in winter I shall head to Europe. What a plan!!! ¬†ūüôā Why not come along with me and see all the wonderful things I shall see.
If you have any suggestions of quirky traditions or places you think I should add to my list, then please leave a comment and I’ll add them to my itinerary.

As mentioned earlier I have been to almost 300 different places in the UK. Since that would be way too many to upload, I’ve made a short video of some of the lovely villages and places I have been.

Have a fab day.

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I guess it had to happen someday…moving away from London.

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when a man is tired of London……

Yes, we’ve moved….okay technically we moved nearly 3 months ago, but what with one thing and another I haven’t had time to sit down a write about it. So after living in the area;¬†4 years for her and 3 years for me, my daughter decided to move from Richmond to Broadstairs….


Broadstairs – a seaside town in Kent

Here’s the thing. My daughter wanted to have a change of scenery, to get away from the noise and hustle and bustle, pollution and grime of the big city…or as they called it in the ‘olden days’ ‚Äď the ‘big smoke’. We may not have much smoke by way of coal and wood fires these days, but the emmissions from cars, trucks and vans more than makes up for that!! It always gives me a start when returning from a trip overseas to fly in over London and see the levels of pollution…..urgh, we live in that! So I was totally sympathetic to her wanting to get out of it. She had been longing to move to the countryside/seaside for ever such a long time, to escape to peace and quiet, but I suspect she held off so long because of me…knowing how much I loved London and because we really were, despite the freezing cold house in winter and noisy upstairs tennants, very happy in our little house in Richmond. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end and so the decision was made.


Richmond Riverside

After many weekends away and trips to various seaside towns, some that made her go ooooo and others that generated a blergh…….a trip to Broadstairs yielded a delightful little house in a quiet street in a quaint seaside town….and her heart was stolen….she was sold …so to speak. I got a whatsapp message with images of the house and a ‘should I go for it’….yes, of course you should…..if it’s what you want then for sure go for it. And so she did, put the offer in and a few days or so later I got another whatsapp image…..’I got it!!!’ I was thrilled for her and devastated for me…although I think that’s probably quite a strong word as I had more or less by then, due to previous circumstances mentioned, decided to quit London and the business of London and move away. So this was actually ideal timing.

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Viking Bay – Broadstairs

We had a final breakfast at our favourite café in St Margarets; La Creperie Bretonne

la creperie bretonne

our favourite breakfast place in St Margarets

Boxes were obtained, sorting began and soon our possessions were being whittled down and packed into what one hoped would be a few boxes…hah!!! Never underestimate the volume of stuff one collects over the years. However, I did a massive purge and all the personal development tapes, dvd’s, videos and boxes of books that I very foolishly wasted my money on in 2007/2008 took a hike….in other words, I destroyed the lot!!! Yes, I spent hours ripping up tapes, tearing books into shreds and destroying cds and dvds. I know this seems like a wilful act of destruction, but my feelings about this invasive industry still run very high. I am still smarting at the pervasive and underhand tactics they use to get you to sign up to their very expensive courses and I’m still paying the price; emotionally, mentally and financially. They sell you on the idea that by doing their course, your life will change….well it did, but not for the better…..especially financially. (and yes, I have written the book!) LOL But I digress….

So finally after much packing and dumping and selling and heart-wrenching decisions, we were packed up and ready to go…..and at the beginning of October (yes, I know, it’s taken that long) the van (please note the word ‘van’) arrived to collect all our boxes and things to begin the long trek to Broadstairs. It’s 80 miles…..and a very long 80 miles too may I add. We’re now closer to Belgium and France than we are to London!!! Go figure!! hahaha.

viking bay broadstairs

beneath the clouds is Belgium – sunset in Viking Bay

Anyway, getting back to the ‘van’, my lovely daughter had moved any number of times in her life, but never a major move besides one some years ago that we would rather consign to the annuls of history along with the jerk who was her husband at the time, and she had acquired quite a lot of furniture and household stuff in the four years we lived at Richmond. So when she got a ‘man-with-a-van’ and his wife in to give her an estimate of volume and cost, both she and they totally underestimated the amount of stuff there was…..and lo and behold the van, when it arrived on moving day, was too small. However, I am very good at puzzles, and did make a really good effort to squeeze everything in, I heaved and moved and shoved and jiggled and juggled boxes and furniture, and managed, much to the amazement of the van man and his sidekick, to get so much stuff in to the van that they were well impressed. In fact I quite simply put them to shame. I did in the process end up with a body covered in bruises and bloodied arms and shins. I looked like I had been to war! They should have paid me for doing their job. Hah!! But unfortunately she had to quickly scout around and order another van to collate and take with her the rest of the stuff left over. We ended up with a truck that cost as much again as the first quote and was that big it could have easily managed the whole bleeding lot. But, since much was already packed in the van and they had a few days ago given her the option to cancel, we felt we had to just go with what we had…and I wasn’t of a mind to unpack the bloody van again.

So everything in and away we went, barring some of my stuff……I hung onto the house as long as I could and since we had paid rent up to a certain date, I was determined to do as much in London as I could before I had to go. Crikey, it’s a long way….not to Tipperary but to Broadstairs. We finally made it and then there was unpacking to do. Firstly, I got stuck in and offloaded the van in double quick time, they really should have paid me….and very foolishly I didn’t get them to take the boxes upstairs, but had them pile the darn things in the dining area. Urgh!!! Stupid. Then they tried to get the bed bases up the stairs…..hmmmmm, yes, well….bearing in mind it was an old house, the people were not only thinner but shorter in ‘those’ days and as it turned out the damn staircase was too narrow and turned at too sharp an angle to allow us to get the bases past the first few steps. Bleeding heck…now what? So the mattress went up and (please don’t tell the landlord) but we took the bannister off the wall the next day and tried again…still to no avail, and to this day they are still stacked in the dining area…..but the boxes…..yes the boxes. Hmmm.

Now you might ask, where was my daughter while all this was happening…..well she, poor baby, had just come out of surgery after having a heart monitor stuck into her breastbone and was incapacitated. So Mama, did her thing….I’ve also had years of practice after having moved house on an average of about once every 6 months before she was born and 14 times in the 21 years after that, I had plenty of experience.

Once the vans were unpacked we set out to explore and have a very welcome cup of tea. Broadstairs is an absolute delight.

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colourful beach huts in Broadstairs

Quirky shops, narrow roads, a rumbunctious pub, all sorts of fantastical items that have washed up onto the beach over the years, fantastic views, long stretches of secluded beaches, unobstructed views of the sunrise over the sea, a history that goes as far back as the Vikings and probably further, hence the name Viking Bay, a chapel that dates from the early 1600’s, little tea shops and home to the Charles Dickens Museum and Bleak House!!! Yes, yer man Charles Dickens used to summer in Broadstairs. Some of his books were written there and of course ‘Bleak House’….sitting for all the world bold as brass on the clifftop.

Bleak House, Broadstairs

Bleak House, Broadstairs

Marvelous. Once I had my girl settled in as much as could be, I headed back to London for my great London walkabout and my goodbye London excursions. Sadly I didn’t get to do or even see everything I wanted but I did a heck of a lot.

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my luggage – from St Margarets to Broadstairs


Once I finally cut the strings that bound me to London I hopped on a train with 2 large, very large suitcases, (one suitcase handle broke before I had gone 10 feet along the pavement to the station) and a reusable bag of groceries…..and made my sorry way to Broadstairs.

First to Clapham Junction, then to Broadstairs and a cab to the house. Not at all sure how I did that journey, but it seems I must have managed because I did eventually get to my destination. Mind you the staff on South West Trains were ever so helpful and the Train Conductor helped me on and off with all my bags, bless him.

And so to Broadstairs.

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Viking Bay – Broadstairs

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ok, so the idea for this post came about this morning whilst I was lying in bed, busting for the loo but determined not to get up even 1 minute before the alarm went off!!! daft!¬† As I lay there chastising myself for being so daft, I thought to myself…..”What I really need is a potty”! hahahahaha. and no I don’t mean potty as in daft, I mean a good old fashioned porcelain potty,

a potty - pic via antiques-now.co.uk

the kind that in the ‘olden days’ we put under our beds at night and used if we needed the loo……saved a long trip out in the dark of night to the ‘outhouse‘.

Blimey! can you even begin to imagine that in my lifetime (and despite the obvious, I am not actually that old) hahahaha,¬†we didn’t have inside toilets. Truly. I remember when I was in boarding school back in 1964, when¬†I was 9 years old, and I went home for the weekend with a chum from school to her farm.¬† Their toilet was outside; a corrugated iron shack,

outside loo - pic via fotolibra.com

¬†just like you see in the movies of that period,¬†across the outside pathway that led past the kitchen and up 4 steps. ¬†So at night if you wanted to use the loo you had to get up out of bed (horrors), light a candle, put on your boots (in case of snakes – seriously…think Africa!!), walk down a long passage through the kitchen which was filled with all manner of spooky looking objects that came alive in the dark, a fridge that always chose to shudder and groan as you came through the door,¬†open the backdoor that creaked on it’s hinges and with every ounce of your courage step out into the inky black night, with only a¬†tiny candle to light the way.

a tiny candle to light the way - pic via flickr.com

So my first night there I, to my utmost dismay, needed the loo.¬† I waited for as long as I could before actually wetting my panties, then¬†I endured all of the above and ventured outside to the loo.¬† I can tell you that never in my life (up until that stage)¬†had I been so terrified.¬† All manner of evil creatures with bad intent on their minds followed me down that passage, waiting at every corner to pounce and carry me off!!! And the worst of it was that you could’nt even run there and back, coz if you even walked too fast….the¬†candle would go out!!!!!!!¬† ¬†Anyhow, since I am still here…….

ooopsss and I have gone completely off ‘piste’ (duh! bad pun ūüôā ) so back to Grandma’s house.¬† My grandparents lived in a massive, rambling house that had little passages and rooms going off in all directions.¬† It was marvellous for small children and made an awesome place for hide-and-seek.¬† My grandmother had a tiny room on one side of the house and next to that was a huge room (well it seemed huge to a 6year old), with 3 beds where I, my sister, my brother and my 2 cousins used to sleep when we visited.¬† Oh! the tales I could tell you about those times……brilliant!¬† Anyways, since the grandparents did not have a loo in the house at that stage we used to have potties that lived under the beds.¬†¬† They had lids that fit snug into the rim and when you lifted the lid to ‘go’, you almost passed out from the sulphuric fumes!!!¬† Which in retrospect was probably a good thing since it took your mind off the spiders that used to lurk in the bowl. ūüôā hahahahahaha, just thinking about that is making me LOL!!!

Now bearing in mind, we were just littlies at that stage and getting out of bed in the dark for any reason was a nerve-wracking ordeal….you just never knew what had taken up residence beneath the bedsprings! To get out of bed to use the potty at night………mind-boggling!¬† So you hung on for as long as you could, tossing and turning from the discomfort and just when you could bear it no more, you sprang out from under the sheets, grabbed the potty, lifted the lid…..had a squizz, slammed the lid back on and scuttled back onto and into and under the covers as fast as you could….shivers running up and down your spine, hairs standing up on the back of your neck and all the nights horrors escaped by a whisker!!!¬† and in the morning, said potty had to bed emptied!!!! geez!

Thank heavens for indoor toilets.¬† Not that it’s made much difference to my urge to get out of bed any sooner than I absolutely have to!!!

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I am not sure how this came about, but in the last few days I have been thinking a lot about things I miss.¬† I think it had a lot to do with an email I got¬†with pictures of different¬†cats.¬† I adore cats and right before I left South Africa in 2001 (gosh that long ago!) I had 5 of god’s beautiful creatures living with us; me and my daughter¬†(another of god’s beautiful creatures).¬† And thinking about that got me to thinking about how much I miss the sound of a cat purring in my ear while it sleeps soundly and I am lying on the couch with the beauty lying stretched out along my body, fast asleep and purring loudly in my ear…and all the while I am dying to go pee but don’t want to disturb the cat!! ūüôā hahaha. that happened too many times to remember!

I miss our cats and how when they were kittens we used to laugh till we were hysterical at their antics. And then I got to thinking about other stuff I miss and coz my minds wanders as much as my ramblings on my blog, the range of things I miss are vast and across the years and miles.

I miss my Mother. I miss the sound of her laughter as she enjoyed something that had amused her. I miss her famous ham and pea soup and the cheese scones she used to make. I miss the smell of her and walking into the bathroom whilst she was in the bath and her hair was hanging loose¬† (she had hair down to her waist).¬† I miss how she always took so much pleasure in her grandchildren and how she used to help us (when we were little) and then the grandkids, to make christmas pudding –¬†(she always made them in September so they could mature by Xmas). I miss watching her with her grandchildren.¬† I miss watching her ‘put her face on’….as someone who never wears make-up I never really got that! But I enjoyed watching her do it. I miss how as an adult, when I came to visit,¬†she used to take me round her garden to see her plants and the¬†roses that she loved so much…..and I¬†know now¬†how much I did not appreciate that at the time. (Sorry Ma!) I miss how I could call her anytime I had a problem or felt sad and needed a shoulder to cry on…..she was always there. I miss that I am not able to ask her all the questions I have now that my daughter is an adult.

I miss the time before she met her 2nd husband, the person she was before.¬† I miss walking to the shops with my sister; me 7 and her 4 years old, to buy bread and¬†milk for my mother. I miss that we were really safe in those days and could get there and back without fear. ¬†I miss how my¬†sister and I used to buy hot white bread at the shop and the shopkeeper put it into a brown paper bag and on the way home we would eat the crusts off the end of the loaf and along the edges….never really recognising that putting the loaf back into the packet so you could not see where we had eaten it, did not mean that my Mother would not notice that we had eaten it when we got home. ūüôā¬† I miss the days before lost innocence. I miss walking in the rain with my mother and her letting us splash in all the puddles, not minding that we got soaked.

I miss the anticipation of the holidays with my father in Cape Town, holidays that never lived up to my expectations but were treasured anyway coz I loved my Dad desperately in those days.  I miss my brother who died many, many years ago. I miss his mad ideas and his crazy, zany laughter that used to burst from his mouth.   I miss the nonsense we used to get up to and the secrets we had.

I miss my grandmother and how it was before she died.  I miss the great big rambling house she had where we could hide away with a book and never be found unless we wanted to. I miss visiting her on a sunday and being allowed to open the window-seat and choose a toy or a puzzle to play with. I miss her pantry and the knowledge that there were yummy cakes in there that we used to eat the icing off of! (this drove her to distraction and to us having our bottoms heated regularly). Boy she had a heavy hand did Grandma. I miss crawling into her bed in the mornings when I was little and having tea with her.  I miss brushing her hair (also down to her waist) and how she smelt of lavender.

I miss having my own home. I miss the feeling of knowing that I was secure in this space and that I could just be if I wanted to. I miss that it was our home where we had cats and dogs and hamsters and fish.¬† I miss the days when my daughter used to climb into my bed in the morning for a cuddle. I miss how we used to lie in bed together on the nights it rained and stormed and listen to the hail crashing down on the roof¬† and the racket it made (we had a tin roof – an old mining house).¬† I miss mowing the lawn. I miss my car…which is absurd since I love walking.

I miss the days when I could fix whatever was hurting my daughter with a cuddle and ‘a kiss to make it better’.¬† I miss the days before she became sad from disappointment.¬† I miss that I was able to make things better and give her hope. I miss how I could plan her birthdays and make them fun and exciting.¬† I miss the days we used to drive from one side of the country to the other on holiday, a journey of 1,600 km’s and how we would put the radio on full-blast and sing at full volume to the songs. I miss watching her sleep as I drove and the feelings of protection I used to have. Not that I don’t have those feelings anymore, just that they are different.

I miss my sisters……they are all zany and all completely different characters and I miss their funny ways.¬† I miss my great-niece and nephews, who are growing up fast and have no idea who I am. Ok, so they know about me, but if I walked towards them in a mall they would have no idea it was me!

I miss who I was before I got sucked into the personal development world.¬† I miss how I was able to just live and be.¬† Now I question everything I think and do, second guessing everything I feel and experience.¬† I miss that I didn’t know that what you resist persists. I miss that I could just go off and be who I was.¬†¬† I miss what I had….total freedom.¬† Which is quite odd since it was working through the processes at one of the PD courses that I discovered that my highest value is freedom.¬† I miss that I didn’t know all that I know now.¬† I have no idea if that makes any sense, but it does to me.¬† I miss who I was before I got involved with MLM.¬† I miss that I didn’t feel like a failure before I started¬†and now after 8 different attempts I have to concede defeat and acknowledge that it’s not for me.¬†“If at first you don’t succeed, before you try again, stop to figure out what you did wrong” — Leo Rosten¬†¬†Shame I can’t wish away the debt that came with it!!¬† I miss how excited I was at this new discovery and how brilliant I thought the whole concept¬†was, till I learned the secret!¬† It’s a numbers game……..

I miss going to the drive-in (outdoor big-screen cinemas) and how we used to run wild about the grounds while my mother and her partner watched the movie.¬† I miss how we could watch movies like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music and it wasn’t considered corny and pathetic. I miss how we used to gather together, all the family in one place to watch Dallas. Awful programme, but we were addicted to it. hahahaha. I miss when my sisters were babies and I could play with them……big dolls they were. I miss how I used to dream about having a happy marriage and a big house.

I miss the days before I knew I would get old and appendages would begin to ache.¬† I miss the days before I knew that I was not immortal.¬† ¬†I miss going out for ice-cream with my Dad and how we always disagreed on which flavour was the best….chocolate or strawberry. I miss being able to wear a bikini ūüôā God knows no-one else would miss that now!!! hahaha.¬† I miss the days when I was a credit-controller and how much I loved my job.¬† I miss the days when I ate what I enjoyed and didn’t have the word cholesterol in my life….although my figure looks better for it ūüôā HAHA!¬† I miss the days when I could sit down and read a book right through without stopping and not fall asleep after the first 3 pages (like I do now).¬† I miss the days before I had to start wearing glasses and the panic I have when I can’t read the bloody words on anything without them.

I miss the days I used to dance with wild abandon,¬†and didn’t look like an old fart who should know better, how I could head-bang to my hearts content and not wonder if folks around me thought I was mad (I only do that when I am alone now) heehee. I miss LP’s (long-playing records) and the feel and smell¬†of them. The anticipation of choosing a record, slipping it out it’s sleeve and putting it onto the turntable and the thrill of waiting for the first strains to fill the air.¬† I miss the days when you could go shopping and fill a trolley to the brim, and it didn’t put you into debt!¬† I miss watching the delight on my daughter’s face when she used to ride on the mechanical horses at the supermarket. I miss how I used to sit at the back of the bus on the way home from school with my best friend and laugh till I wet my knickers (gross I know), but I loved how she used to wind me up and how we got¬†thrown off the bus for making a racket.

I miss how my daughter and I used to lie on the lawn in our garden and watch the planes come in to land at the airport that was not too far away,¬†and how between planes we would find shapes in the clouds. I miss how when I was¬†a¬†teenager, my mother and her partner took us girls¬†to the end of the runway at Jan Smuts airport for a picnic¬†and¬†gave us lessons on how to drive; the joy of being able to hop in the car and just drive regardless of the crashed gears and dents.¬† You can’t do that anymore coz of security issues; either park at the end of the runway¬†or drive without a license! ¬†I miss reading bedtime stories to my daughter when she was little, and the excitement on her face as we chose that nights reading. How she used be awake and I fell asleep while reading the book.¬† I miss how she thought I had all the answers. I miss our little secret signal that she invented as code for during times of uncertainty; that¬†we could use to say it was alright.

I miss being able to just have a sunday snooze if I felt like it!¬† I miss Ireland and the fun times I had with my sister and brother-in-law while they still lived there, the excitement of planning a trip across the Irish sea.¬† I miss the days when I could just miss things and remininesce without thinking about what Tony R said……you can’t go thought life looking in the rearview mirror.¬† I miss the days when I could just look back and remember stuff without thinking of that and worrying if I should or should not be looking back! and if my reasons for looking back were good or bad! I miss the days when I didn’t question my every thought and wonder if they are ‘personal development’ correct or not!

I miss the days when I used to sit and knit and watch TV without worrying about other stuff I should be doing.¬† I wonder if I can even remember how to knit ūüôā¬†¬† I miss the days when I used to sit with my mother and sister and¬†play scrabble, drinking copious cups of tea, how we used to play the glassy glassy¬†game and scare ourselves almost to death when the blasted glass used to move!!!¬† I miss the braais (barbeques) we used to have at my sister’s house.¬† Not that I eat meat, but I enjoyed the laughter and the jokes and the nonsense we got up to!¬† I miss how I used to jump into a swimming pool fully clothed and not worry about it.¬† I miss how when we were kids my sister and I used to have to ‘stamp’ the washing in the bath on a Friday afternoon.¬† We didn’t have a washing machine so my mother used to put the washing into the bath to soak during the day and after school we would have to ‘stamp’ the washing to remove the dirt. I am not really sure how effective it was but we had the cleanest feet in the neighbourhood. ūüôā

I miss how on a Saturday afternoon when I was a teenager I would head on over to my best friend’s house to listen to the ‘Top of the Pops’ and how we would lie on the grass trying to guess which song would be TOTP’s and how we would shriek with delight when our choice came first.¬†¬† I miss how when my daughter was a little girl a box of smarties really did cure all ills.¬† And how she knew what I was up to, even thought I tried to do it in secret, ¬†when I wrapped 20 little boxes of smarties into her clothes before she left to go to America the first time.

There are many things I miss, and there is a heck of a lot I don’t miss but if you have managed to read this far….I commend you and won’t go into the long list of things I don’t miss ūüôā ……so in closing……..

……..at the moment I miss the sunshine……..please come back, all is forgiven.

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……ok, well not actually at MY door but….. I still love the idea.

I remember when I was a little girl of about 7 maybe, we used to have a milk-cart drive round the neighbourhood each morning delivering milk.¬† They also used to deliver orange juice, cream, butter and eggs.¬† But my over-riding memory is of¬†a blue and white¬†milk-cart clanging away along the street, ‘Milkie’ in his white trousers, white shirt, blue & white checked apron and blue cap, ringing the bell to alert the ‘housewives’ he was in the area.

You had the option of meeting him in the street/road to place your order or just leave your empties at the door with money in and a note to say how many bottles you wanted.¬† It’s quite weird to recall that in those days you could quite safely leave money out overnight in the empty milk bottle and it would still be there the next day.¬†¬† I know it all changed at some point, but I can’t really remember when it was that we realised this was no longer an option……the money ususally got stolen.

Eventually in time the milk-carts also went by the wayside and the early morning bell-clanging was no more to be heard.

Imagine my delight when I arrived in London/UK to discover that in some areas they still deliver milk to your door.¬† Now, granted,¬†no-one leaves money in the empty bottle from what I have seen, but nevertheless there are places where the empty milk bottle is left out on the verandah at night and in the morning you open your door and voila…..there are 3 or 4 bottles of fresh milk, icy cold, water running down the sides¬†with early morning condensation.

To me there is something delightfully old-fashioned and quaint about having milk delivered to your door.

milk delivered to your door

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Today I met up with my younger brother and sister-in-law K&T, who were in transit to Hungary (where they live) from (South Africa where his and my family live) after spending a few weeks in SA on holiday.

We met up at a wee pub at London Bridge station and enjoyed a cuppa and a nibble.  I have not seen them for some years now and again I am amazed at how the time flies.  It never really seems like a long time because we communicate via facebook and email, so you are more or less aware of whats happening in their lives (family & friends), so when you meet it feels like only yesterday you last met up!

We chatted about various things; like what I am up to in London and what they are up to in Hungary and then my brother gave me a ‘Dr Who’ type¬†jolt back into the past…..and I am talking distant past here!!! (you know you are getting old when you talk about things that happened decades ago!)¬† We have a pretty muddled family with loads¬†of marriages and remarriages which brought with them half brothers and half sisters as well as step sisters and step brothers! One would like to think it was one big happy family…..

The jolt came in the form of some photos!  As he said, how on earth they came to be in his possession is a total mystery, the reasons for that being way too long to explain, suffice to say the photos were of one branch of the family whereas he is from another (it is as complicated as it sounds).

Anyhow to get to the point (sorry I do tend to waffle)……amongst the photos he showed me, were some photos of when I was a wee girl of 11 years old! My god! Did that ever bring back a flood of memories.¬† In the photos are me (11yrs), my younger sister (8yrs), my cousin (12yrs), my stepsister (10yrs)¬†from my mother’s 2nd husband and¬†my baby half-sister (approx 9/10months)¬†from that same marriage.

I was absolutely flabergasted and it was a real trip down memory lane to see us all……5 little girls looking so happy and sweet in the photo with not a clue as to the future………..and what a good thing that was too.¬† Anyhow here is the photo.

from left to right: Felicity (step-sister), at the back Yvonne (cousin) on her lap my baby sister (Jo-anne), me in pink and then Susan (my only full sister)

what I do find most amusing about this photo are the cars in the background. Did they really look like that! how bizarre. What struck me too is how very sixties my outfit is and even at the tender age of 11years old I was already crossing my legs….a most annoying habit and one that has done me no favours!¬†¬† What is also quite funny is the look on my sister Susan’s face….the wee blondie on the right…..she is in a dress!!!! Heaven forbid….she hated wearing dresses and my mother used to make her wear them…coz after all she is a girl.¬† hahahaha. Now….if you want to get her into a dress you would have to drug her! ūüôā

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