Thursday, 14 October 2010

Brother's Mine

Growing up as the only sister to three brothers has been both a blessing and a curse. One day I felt like “the rose among the thorns” but other times I was that lonely “little petunia in an onion patch.” The first twelve years of my life were torture; my “big brothers” were mean! I have a few memories of happy fun times shared with them both, but I have loads of memories of their meanness and their relentless teasing. Funny thing is I also recall that most of these horrid tricks they played on me were when my parents were out. My older brothers were not nice baby sitters! I looked forward to the day they would both finish high school and head off into the big wide world and I would get to have the house and my parents to myself! But then my baby brother came along and spoilt all my plans!
Being the only sister to three brothers, especially with the age gaps as they are, was sometimes very lonely. My older brothers had each other for company all the time and I was often left alone with no one to talk to. I have no idea what it’s like to have a sibling close to my age with whom to share the experiences of growing up. I didn’t to talk to my older brothers because they would not have taken me seriously and Baby brother was well, a baby. Of course there was no way I was going to speak to my parents! So I spent many hours and days alone. I guess it was then that I learnt to enjoy my own company and filled the hours with writing, listen to music and reading.

My experiences growing up as the only sister to three brothers, I am sure, has scarred me for life!

I know exactly what they would say right now: Big brother would say he was teaching me life skills; of course he would use more elaborate English to get his point across. Middle brother would laugh look and Big brother and say; “Hey remember when we told Manth...” and Baby brother would look horrified and tell me he was the best thing that happened to me.

Yeah, yeah, whatever boys! But just think about it for one minute wont you, I mean I must bear deep psychological scars from being your only sister. I mean look at me I’m on the wrong side of thirty and still going on about my tortured and teased childhood! It was unforgettable!

Thank God for that! Imagine growing up not remembering much about those short free spirited childhood years! How empty my life would be now. I am able to look back at some incredible memories and having a good old fashioned belly laugh! Like the time Big brother gave me a black felt tip pen and a coin and told me to draw circles with the pen around the coin then roll the coin down my face. I had black lines all over my face! It took forever to get the ink off. I was devastated; my brothers thought it was knee slapping funny. Or discovering I’d been left alone on the roof of the “servant’s quarters” because Big brother, who had been flying his kite from there, had run out of roof and fallen off. Everyone was so concerned about him no one thought about poor little me stuck up there scared and alone. Oh the trauma! Of course there were the litres and litres of coffee I was charged with making for them. To this day if we are together one of them is bound to say: “You making coffee Manth?” I recall in the days before I started school waking Big brother up instead of my parents on Saturday mornings and playing with him while everyone slept in. I remember Middle brother always ready with a hug or smacking some poor fool who bullied me. I remember reading Little brother Bedtime stories and teaching him silly little songs in the bath. I remember receiving letters from Big brother and Middle brother on my thirteenth birthday. They were both in the army at the time so having them both remember made me really happy! Of course in reality I’m sure my mum found some way to remind them, but I don’t care if she did because the day I turned thirteen I got letters in the post from my brothers and they had both remembered my birthday! That was just plain cool and now a treasured memory!

The four of us had the same upbringing, the same parents almost all the same influences yet you will not find four more different siblings. We all have our own opinions and views and none of us are afraid to make those opinions known, yet we seem to seldom disagree. We have each made choices that took us along different “paths’ in life and have phenomenally different careers. We live in four different countries on three different continents yet you can put us in the same room and it’ll be like we just saw each other yesterday.

Would I change the circumstances of my birth if I could? What, and take away from my three brother’s mine the privilege of having me as a sister? Not on your life.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

No Regrets

I had a rather tear filled “Facebook” conversation with someone very special just recently and it got me thinking about when we first arrived at the end of the world and how we coped. I also realised that the Mauritian and I had never really talked about those “early” days and our coping mechanisms so over a good bottle of Nederberg and excellent lamb roast on what is the twelfth anniversary of our marriage I broached the subject. This is what we discovered...

Most people we knew said that I would really battle being separated from my family, that being so far away from my parents would be extremely hard for me. These same people also predicted that the Mauritian would find the move a lot easier and certainly would not miss his dad much at all. To those of you out there that are nodding your heads in agreement I have only this to say... Wrong!

Even though leaving my family was the hardest thing I have ever done I have coped very well with the home sickness and the challenge of starting over. It was the Mauritian who suffered and almost every day said something along the lines of going home, and he missed his dad agonisingly! Our phone bill was atrocious the first six month we were here and all calls were to his dad. So you see, we were all wrong!

The reason?

That’s easy, I was prepared for the emotional fall out of this decision I accepted it, embraced it and just rolled with it. I also did the one thing that has helped me through ever factor of my life, I wrote. I wrote pages and pages of nonsensical thoughts and feelings in exercise books and diary’s I always have around the house, I wrote poetry and I started my blog. Without it I do believe I would have gone a little more insane because even though I am a talker I have never been able to make sense of my feelings or make them understood when talking. But writing allows me to purged everything, in a sense, I guess you could say, it allows me to expose myself to me and helps me to make sense of what I am feeling. The Mauritian on the other hand was brought up believing emotions are not real. He was never taught how to deal or express his emotions in any way other than anger. He truly was not getting along with his father at the time and his relationship with his brother has always swung like a pendulum. The Mauritian is a social person and enjoys company, he really does believe in that cliché “The more the merrier.” He didn’t think he would miss anyone and he had no idea how much he would be missed and when he was bombarded with all these emotions he did not know what to do with them. He grew restless and agitated and his frown got deeper and deeper. Many of you will know the restlessness and the frown, double it and you’ll know what I mean. So he did the only thing he knew how to do he hit the gym, hard! Every night for two or three hours he went, coming home worn out and sore giving him something else to focus on, even if only for a few hours. He also got insomnia, something he has not suffered from since high school. He was in a hurry to make friends, he wanted to be in a good salary earning position almost immediately and the cold was almost too much for him to handle. Remember the Mauritian is a “tough guy” he won’t admit discomfort to anyone, not even me, he’d rather just tough it out! So he tried to socialise with people he was not very comfortable with, complained bitterly about his job, got bronchitis twice and had endless asthma attacks our first winter here. In short, until we got our residency all he wanted to do was go home. I think if he was here alone he would not have made it past the first six months, but as it was he had me to rely on so that’s what he did. The Mauritian has coped with his emotional upheaval by leaning on me and relying on my strength and understanding of my emotions. For the first time in 21 years he chose to not ignore his emotions but rather deal with them and he turned to me to help him do it.
I had no idea how to help him. I have grown up understanding that I had to always confront and express my emotions; all I had to learn was how to do it. How do you make someone understand that the first thing they have to do is admit to themselves how they are feeling and why they are feeling like that? How do you teach someone to express the actual feeling and not disguise it with anger or dispel it with numerous reps of bench press? How do you teach someone that it’s normal and natural to feel more than one emotion about the same thing all at the same time? How do you explain something to someone, that for you has been instinctive? It’s near impossible. So I did the only thing I could do, I listened. I listened to the same stories over and over. I frowned at repeated concerns; I did not react to any anger or get irritated with the numerous bad moods and endless repetitive complaints about everything. I just listened, and slowly as the months went by the stories, concerns and complaints began to change, the frown lines disappeared and the anger and irritation dispelled. Suddenly he’s smiling more and expressing himself more clearly and he’s so much more relaxed. All these years I’ve spent so much time talking or looking inwards thinking I could help him change, when all I had to do was shut up, listen and look at him and realise he didn’t need help because he didn’t need to change.

Wow! Serious light bulb moment here! It’s taken me 21 years in a relationship to realise the only thing my husband needs from me is myself. I realised that all these years I’ve spent writing, all those exercise books I have filled with illegible handwriting and bad spelling has really been me taking the time to just listen to myself. I have realised that I have my pens and exercise books to talk to, the Mauritian has me! That my friends and family is what a “sounding board” is, someone who just listens and does not react, someone who replaces the pen and paper and accepts any mood or any level of intelligence, and someone who absorbs feelings like paper absorbs ink.

So the wine bottle is empty, the plates are stacked next to the sink and the Mauritian and I have moved one more step closer to the perfect relationship. The decision we made to move our lives here to the end of the world was a decision we did not take lightly or make quickly. We agonised over it, discussed it again and again and even changed our minds what may have been a million times, but in the end we made the decision together. Our experiences were completely different and we coped with them individually but we have grown together emotionally and have learnt so much about ourselves and each other. We miss our family and friends every day, we live with constant pangs of home sickness and we are looking forward to flying home for a visit. But however hard it was, no matter how home sick we are and regardless of what the future holds for us we do not have a single regret.

Twelve Years On

So our twelfth anniversary has rolled around and we have planned a splendid day of celebration. As has become our custom we grab a few bottles of good red wine, the Mauritian cooks a roast and we spend the day at home with each other reminiscing and discussing.

Our weekend started off with a bang on Saturday morning, literally! I was going to bake a batch of muffins with breakfast and asked the Mauritian to turn on the oven to warm it up. Suddenly there is this rather strange bang like popping noise coming from the kitchen. On investigation we find that the glass on the inside of the over door has shattered! Guess I won’t be making those muffins now! The Mauritian, of course, has become irritated and restless and is cursing everyone and their dog for breaking the oven and interfering with his plans to make his superb lamb roast on Sunday. I really do think sometimes that if he could he would growl! So after eventually realising that what happened was really nobody’s fault he called the land owner to let her know about the oven. Apart from the fact that we think we woke her up, we live in a small town where nothing opens before half past eight and no repairman works on a weekend. Oh woe is us, no roast on our anniversary? You must be kidding; nothing was going to deter us from roasting that leg of lamb. But first to breakfast!

When the Mauritian and I finally got engaged my darling Mother-in-law was so happy she went a little dilly and bought us a lot of rather unusual engagement presents. One of these was a “Stove Top Convection Pot” and what a magic thing it is. It’s basically an oven disguised as a pot, it is designed to utilise the heat of the cooking plate on the stove top to create the convection heat of an oven. It works like a charm and does a roast marvellously, there’s just one problem, it’s rather small. We didn’t know if this cut of meat would fit so it was back on with the thinking caps.

The Mauritian’s birthday is seven days before Christmas and I am always faced with the dilemma of what to get him for both those days that has significance and neither bares any resemblance to the other. In other words I could buy him clothes for his birthday but not Christmas, it is rather a tough one most years. But one such time I came across a small kettle braai which was the perfect size to use when he got the urge in the middle of the week to have a braai for just the two of us. We soon discovered that it was a brilliant way to do a roast. It was also one of the items we decided at the last minute to pack and were really happy we did. So we had our plan “B” the problem with that however was, it’s an outdoor thing and the weather did not look promising. Perhaps we should consider a plan “C”?

Breakfast over the Mauritian headed off to the garage to resurrect the “kettle” braai and I went digging in the depth of our kitchen cupboards for the “Convection” pot. All parts collected and we set about reassembling both items. I know this may sound strange, but we were actually having a lot of fun even the Butterfly was helping and laughing with us. It also took us over an hour to complete something that should have taken a few minutes to do. But in the end it was all worth it!
As it turned out the cut of meat did fit in the pot even though it was a tight squeeze and the weather though wet and windy first thing in the morning was contusive to an outdoor roast now we had two options, who needs an oven?

We, rather wisely it turned out, decided on the pot.

So it’s twelve years on and we started our thirteenth year with a bang, literally! Our home at the end of the world is filled with the gorgeous smells of roasting lamb. There are carrots, potatoes and peas’ steaming quietly in the corner while a white sauce is bubbling on the stove. The Butterfly is glued to the television watching her new DVD, “The Gruffalo”. The table is set with our best linen and quality dinner service. The clay wine cooler holds a bottle of “Nederberg Shiraz” and the cheese cake is chilling in the fridge. Soon the Mauritian and I accompanied by our precious little Butterfly will be toasting the past twelve years and looking forward to the next twelve.

A Change of Season

After the bone chilling cold of winter and the wet colourless spring, summer has dawned blue and bright. I am beginning to understand why the summers here at the end of the world are so full of activity. People, like bears, hibernate in the winters here, some days it’s too cold to move! But come the spring and people start to emerge and venture out into the fresh air only to run back inside out of the spring rains. Last year, our first here at the end of the world, was magical! My drab lifeless garden did just about “spring” into life over night and I spent my days wondering around the garden marvelling at all the colour. This year it has been more gradual and very, very wet, no magic there at all. But now the summer has finally woken up and we have had a cloudless week to bask in the sun.
With the summer comes energy and desire to absorb the warmth of the sun. It’s also a time when every house on our street has washing lines packed with washing day after cloudless day. People are cleaning windows and gutters and lawnmowers and weed trimmers sing all day long. Children’s voices can be heard as they charge up and down the street on bikes, "trikes" and scooters. Hibernation is over and it’s energising.

Each day, after the usual morning ritual I had all the housework done in quick time, the fact that the Butterfly chooses to sleep in late does help, but the sunshine and blue skies made it all worth it. I throw open doors and windows in celebration and set my washing machine to work. Even now the washing line is sagging with curtains and linen and winter jackets that we won’t need till next winter. The Butterfly slips into a sundress that is far too small for her and is outside within minutes of finishing her breakfast and only ventures back inside for a drink or a toilet break. She has been outside with her balls and "trike", riding bouncing and kicking. She had her paints and sidewalk chalk out and has brightened up our veranda with her artwork. We have played hopscotch and soccer been on and off the swings and see-saw and avoided the slide. She got soaked helping me clean windows, wash floors and the dishes and happily past me peg after peg to hang the washing. I have made a huge bowl of jelly with five different flavours, just for fun! We have had cheese muffins for breakfast and crumpets for our picnic lunch on the front lawn. We go for long rambling walks soaking up the sunlight and over dosing on vitamin D. Back home and the Butterfly collapses on the sofa with a sucker and a cup of juice and I make juice pops or coconut clusters, then we are back outside so the Butterfly can go for a ride on her “trike” up and down the road, stopping on occasion to have a lengthy chat with one of the neighbourhood children. Then its home for a bath where she splashes about singing her own little made up song at top volume, as only the Butterfly can. Supper is light, quick and easy easy just how I like it and then we were off again. We climbed into our trusty $200 Nissan and head for the foreshore for a stroll, or a charge about if you’re a Butterfly, to take advantage of the last bits of sunshine before it starts to set. Home again and a sun kissed, worn out Butterfly climbs wearily into her bed and is asleep almost as soon as she wraps her arms around her “Fred.” Wine glass in hand the Mauritian and I stand out on our veranda and watch the sun set over the mountain bringing to a close a beautiful summer day.

Back home the seasons blend into one another, the sun always shines strong and warm, the rain is never cold and you only need one closet of clothes all year round. Back home there is colour in the garden throughout each season, a social gathering around a braai is not uncommon in mid July and I don’t recall the Mauritian ever wearing long pants unless it was a formal occasion. Back home the seasons started and ended at precisely the right time of year, it cooled down in March and warmed up in September. Back home I only ever closed my windows and doors when we went out. Yep back home the weather was reliable and predictable and yes I’ll admit it, back home has the best weather in the world! Here at the end of the world the seasons are definite but unpredictable, like I said earlier, last year the spring was sudden and colourful while this year it has been wet and gradual. But the days are longer, the sun feels warmer and the clothes are drying quicker therefore it is spring! Last year the winter was swift and wet this year is was gradual and dry, the mountain was white with snow the days were short and the nights were long and cold therefore it was winter. Last year the snow on the mountain only started to melt in mid November, this year the melt has begun a month earlier, the sky is azure there is little or no wind and there are days between short hard cloudbursts therefore it is summer.

The thought of summer is what makes living through the winter worthwhile. Looking forward to the long summer days makes the cold winter nights bearable. I never realised just how unappreciative I was of the summer or of the comfortable all year round weather back home until my very first summer day here at the end of the world.

So what am I doing inside sitting at my computer I hear you asking yourself? It’s raining that’s why!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Butterfly Grew Horns

A few blogs ago I was strutting like a proud peacock and boosting about how well behaved and disciple my little Butterfly is. I really must learn to keep my big mouth shut! She all but gave me the finger today and today has gone down as the worst day of my life. I think today she has made up for three years of good behaviour and earned her nick name “Terror-Marie.” I never want another day like today, ever!

It started this morning with a tantrum because she wanted to watch television. On Sunday mornings while her favourite parent cooks breakfast the television stays off and the music is on. To his credit and for the first time ever the Mauritian did not give into her and she earned her first smack from him when she threw her moon chair out the back door. Breakfast consisted of a refusal to eat anything except her bacon and trying to steal my bacon off my plate. So I sent her to her room, to which she screamed “I’m not going to my room!” and slammed her fist on the table. Well, not the table rather the edge of her plate which sent it on a triple back flip to the floor with a showering of breakfast on both her parents. That earned her a timeout while we cleaned up and no breakfast.

We had decided the night before to go out for a walk or a picnic but after all the performances we were running a bit late so decided we would share the housework and then decide what to do afterwards. We didn’t do anything much! What we did do between chores was argue, fight and punish a very defiant little Terror. She was playing on my laptop and couldn’t get something right so set about hitting the keyboard with her fists. Luckily the Mauritian just happened to walk into the room and was able to stop her before she started. Needless to say she has now been banned from the lap top, which caused a few extra tantrums today too. She gave her lunch to the birds, squashed bananas by stomping on them, bit me and hit me with her “Maka Paka” bath toy when I tried to bath her.

Then this evening we went to church, she didn’t want to go. She threw herself on the foyer floor and screamed that she wanted to go for a walk and she “not going to church ever!” I gripped Pierre’s hand and just kept walking, I wanted to crawl into a hole and die at that very moment. Our priest went over to the Terror and sat down on the floor and spoke to her for a long time and then quietly brought her into the church to sit with us. Five minutes into the mass she’s having a tug of war with another little girl over a book they both wanted. The Terror was winning of course, she had a huge size and weight advantage and she was screeching with rage. She refused to whisper and blatantly told me “I don’t want to!” when I told her to be quiet. I don’t think I need to tell you that when it was time for us to go home she didn’t want to leave. It took me about five minutes to get her kicking and squirming body into the car and a further ten minutes to get her into her chair and buckled in. I am literally battle scarred after that experience. She then screamed the entire journey home and promptly refused to get out the car when we got home. So we just left her there, for an hour and a half! We arrived home at just after 6.30pm she eventually came in very sheepishly at about 8pm and asked if she could go to bed.

I graciously and willingly agreed!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Reflect With me for a Moment

There was a comment made on my recent post “It’s a Question of Faith” from one of my many “cousin’s-in-law.” Her comment disagreed with my opinion that we all worship the same God. This blog is not, I repeat, not a rebuttal of her comment! I will save that for when we are sitting across from each other at the dinner table with a bottle of wine or two between us. What her comment did do was remind me of a prose piece which I would like to share with you all here. Some of you know it, most of you I have told about it, all of you will benefit from reading it!

It is called “There Are Too Many Saviours on my Cross” It was written and performed by Richard
Harris on his album, "Slides". It was written about the conflict in Northern Ireland around the time of the Bogside Massacre known also as “Bloody Sunday” at a time when it seemed to matter how one worshipped. I believe, however, that these words are as appropriate today as they were almost forty years ago.

“There are too many saviours on my cross
lending their blood to flood out my ballot-box
with needs of their own.

Who put you there?
Who told you that that was your place?

You carry me secretly naked in your hearts,
and clothe me publicly in armour, saying
"God is on our side,"
Yet I openly cry
"Who is on Mine? Who, tell Me who?
You who buried your sons and crippled your fathers
whilst you buried My Father in crippling His Son."

The antiquated Saxon sword, rusty in its scabbard of time,
now rises.
You gave it cause in My name,
bringing shame to the thorned head that once bled for
your salvation.
I hear your cries in the far-off byways, and your
mouth pointing north and south,
and my Calvary looms again, desperate in rebirth.
Your earth is partitioned but in contrition
it is the partition in your hearts that you must abolish.

You nightly watchers of Gethsemane,
who sat through my nightly trial delivering me from evil,
now, deserted, I watch you share your silver.
Your purse, rich in hate, bleeds my veins of love,
shattering my bone in the dust of the Boxside
and the Shaghill Road.

There is no issue stronger than the tissue of love,
no need as holy as the palm outstretched in the
run of generosity,
no monstrosity greater than the anger you inflict.

Who gave you the right to increase your fold while
decreasing the pastures of My flock?
Who gave you the right? Who gave it to you, who?
and in whose name do you fight?

I am not in heaven,
I am here, hear Me.
I am with you, see Me,
I am in you, feel Me,
I am of you, be Me,
I am for you, need Me.
I am all mankind, only through kindness will you reach Me.

What masked and bannered men can rock the ark
and navigate a course to their own anointed kingdom come?
Who sailed their captain to waters that they troubled
in My font, sinking in the ignorant seas of prejudice?

There is no virgin willing to conceive in the heat of
any bloody Sunday.
You children, lying in cries on Derry streets,
pushing your innocence into the full-flushed face of Christian guns,
battling the blame on each other,
Do not grow tongues in your dying dumb wounds speaking My name.
I am not your prize in your death,
you have exorcised Me in your game of politics.

Go home to your knees, and worship Me in any cloth,
for I was never tailor-made.
And who told you I was? Who gave you the right to think it?
Take your beads in your crippled hands.
Can you count My decades?
Take My love in your crippled hearts.
Can you count the loss?

I am not orange, I am not green,
I am a half-ripe fruit, needing both colors to grow into ripeness,
and shame on you to have withered my orchard!
I, in my poverty, alone and without trust,
cry shame on you and shame on you again and again
for converting Me into a bullet and shooting Me into men's hearts.

The ageless legend of My trial grows old in the youth of your pulse
staggering shamelessly from barricade to grave,
filing in the book of history My needless death one April,
Let Me in My betrayal lie low in My grave,
and you in your bitterness lie low in yours,
for our measurements grow strangely dissimilar.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, sullied be Thy Name!”

Friday, 1 October 2010

A Time to Write and a Time to Ramble

Grap a beverage this is a long one, with absolutely no point to it at all.

So I’m a stay at home mum of one with what should be a lot of time on my hands to pursue the things I enjoy doing, namely writing! Wrong! Making the time to sit quietly at my computer and write my blogs or my poetry is hard. When I do get the chance I often give up something else like quality time in the evenings with the Mauritian after the Butterfly is in bed or sleep when I wake up extra early to take advantage of the dark and quiet.

I am, after many a false start, now rather well organised and my day runs pretty much to plan and I do try to put some time aside for my writing, I seldom get to use that time for what it was meant for. My day should start around 5.30am, with a stumble out of bed and into the kitchen to prepare the Mauritian’s lunch and his breakfast. Those of you who know the Mauritian also know how much he loves his food and that to him cereal in the morning is not breakfast. Knowing that you will realise that making breakfast for the Mauritian and ensuring variety is not an easy task first thing in the morning for someone as averse to the kitchen as me. With the Mauritian sent safely on his way to earn his keep my attention is turned to the Butterfly and getting her fed and dressed with a minimum of fuss. I do try really hard to be serious and get the tasks over with before playing games but we are normally reduced to rolling about the floor giggling before breakfast is finished. But once I do get her fed and dressed she settles down to watch TV for an hour and two of her favourite programs and now it’s my turn. Now I should ideally take the opportunity to have a quiet breakfast and a hot mug of coffee before dressing and starting my day, but I don’t! While the Butterfly is occupied I take the chance to check my emails and “Facebook” page make and cancel appointments, attend to any task the Mauritian has asked me to do, pay accounts, do a budget or some research about one thing or another. Along the way I get distracted by discussions with friends and family on that marvellous invention called SKYPE or MSN and Facebook too. Sometimes my phone even rings. So very often by the time the Butterfly’s programs are finished I haven’t even started what I need to do. I must mention here that once her programs are finished Butterfly has learnt that the television goes off and now does it herself without any fuss. Unfortunately I am now required to leave what I should have finished and tend to her, so with a promise of joining her in a bit I sit her down with a puzzle or a colouring book switch off my SKYPE and MSN and log off my Facebook page and attend to the tasks at hand. After which I am starving and grab a quick piece of cold toast and finish my mug of coffee I forgot on the kitchen counter. Then it’s off to fulfil a promise made to assist with the completion of a puzzle or picture only to find the Butterfly has established herself in front of my laptop web surfing. Now’s my chance to jump in the shower and get changed, but hang on there’s a load of washing I need to hang up. Well would you look at that, there’s still stuff on the line I forgot to take in the night before. Okay well I’ll get that done now quick, then I’ll jump in the shower. But then I realise there is a collar shirt and work pants of the Mauritians I now need to iron so best I do that right now if I leave it I’ll never do it, ironing is my worst chore I really do hate it but now the Mauritian’s job has changed so I am required to iron every day. I would rather wash dirty overalls! So by the time I have that load down that load up another load in the machine and the ironing done the Butterfly is bored with the computer and now wants my attention. By now I am completely off schedule and running late so I enlist her help with the housework and we start in her room tidying up and making beds, what takes me five minutes takes us half an hour then we head to my bedroom which takes another fifteen minutes by which time I’m at my wits end and the Butterfly has lost interest and she wonders off leaving me relieved to finish up on my own. Unfortunately it is at this point in the day when I have become involved in my chores that she takes the opportunity to get up to some sort of mischief or another, like putting flour in a salad bowl and mixing in some juice and “Look Mummy I making crumpets, careful it’s very hot!” That’s when I go get the vacuum cleaner and get the vacuuming over with.

With the housework only half done it’s now time for lunch and another hour of TV programs for the Butterfly and this is now my opportunity to finish the housework and any other chores that need seeing to. Except now I’m too hungry to go further and would kill for a mug of coffee, so I take my lunch and coffee to the table and sit down to eat, drink and read a few pages of my book. I end up reading a few chapters leaving my coffee to go cold and my food half eaten. So now the rain has stopped and the winds died down and the sun is making an appearance, there is no time to lose off we go outside to take advantage of the sunlight. We play hopscotch or soccer in the back yard or head off for a bike ride or a walk dependant on how close and how dark the next set of rain clouds is. By the time we arrive back inside I am in panic mode, there’s still a load of washing in the machine I forgot to hang out yet again, the kitchen needs cleaning and there are dishes that need washing, drying and packing away and I do need to start the supper at some point and still get the Butterfly bathed and fed before her papa arrives home. So the Butterfly is sent off to watch a DVD or play games on my lap top while I run about doing what should have been done before lunch. There is a moment when the Butterfly is playing happily in the bath and the supper is bubbling on the stove when I breathe a sigh of relief and think now I can sit and relax for a few moments only to suddenly remember that I have to take something out the freezer for tomorrow night’s dinner and oh my word what am I going to put on the Mauritians sandwiches, I wonder if he’ll notice if I give him porridge for breakfast six days in a row? Then from the bathroom comes a “Mummy I need my towel on!” and all thoughts of a relaxing mug coffee are forgotten. Now the night time ritual of dressing and feeding the Butterfly begins with a chase around the house and ends with us sitting under the dining room table where the Butterfly finally agrees to eat her dinner. Half way through I remember I was supposed to do half an hour of exercise on my Orbitrek so with stern instructions to finish eating on her own I crawl out from under the table and on to the Orbitrek to fulfil a promise to myself. Unfortunately I never quite make half an hour because either the dinner timer goes off or the Mauritian arrives home or the Butterfly has taken the opportunity to sneak a few more minutes on my lap top and leave her dinner under the table.

With the Mauritian home things seem to get even busier while they should start to ease off. Now there is supper to dish up and eat, at least I get a chance to actually eat the entire meal and have an excuse to drink a glass of wine. I do try and stick to just one glass of wine with dinner, unfortunately the wine often tastes too good to avoid a second glass. With dinner over the time has come to tidy away what toys the Butterfly has managed to spread about the house and ready her for bed and it’s here where I gratefully hand her over to the Mauritian to put her to bed while I wash up the dinner dishes and ready things for the following day when it all starts again. With that done the Mauritian takes the opportunity to listen to some music while I sit done finally to write only to discover I’m either too tired to pay it any attention or my muse has taken a leave of absence. Or I have so many ideas that I never get anything finished and decide to leave it for another day.

Last night I was told by a faithful follower that my lack of posting a blog has left her tethering on the edges of insanity and lacking inspiration and would I please do something about it. So today I abandoned my plans to continue my spring cleaning, ignored the housework and allowed the Butterfly to watch any DVD she wanted as many times as she wanted and sat down to write at least one blog. I managed to fit into today the housework, the ironing and cooked supper. I even managed a round of puddle jumping in the rain with the Butterfly, but unlike the Butterfly I kept my clothes on. I topped of the afternoon with a second blog a shower and a half an hour stint on the Orbitrek. My evening ended with one broken cell phone, another that would not charge and a Butterfly falling out of bed. All in all both a productive, rambling and eventful day.
So to those of you that rely on my blogs for a bit of sanity or inspiration or just in the mood for a ramble my sincere apologies for the infrequency of posts. I do not promise that I will be more frequent but I do promise to keep posting because I will never stop rambling.

It is now just gone a quarter past midnight and this blog is finished. Goodnight all!