MAKRO!!! OH NO!!!!

bad tv colour

Everybody knows me as a cool, calm and collected person …….. who barely says a word and NEVER complains.


What I do expect, is normal good service from retailers, and retailers who make good on their promises – written and verbal.

Anyway, about two weeks ago a storm passed over St Francis Bay, in its wake it left one house sadly burnt really badly, and many many homes without some vital items such as computers, televisions, DSTV and alarm systems.  We were one of these homes.

We decided that the TV bit of being without TV was not lekker and went out and bought a new TV even before the ink had dried on the insurance claim.

Off to Makro, you know the store, the one that bombards you with adverts for new and shiny televisions in every daily newspaper you open.

So off we go, salesmen assist, we buy, we go, plug in ……….. good end.  NO.  The TV is awful,  almost unwatchable, the colors are off, white people are orange, and black people are grey – orange definitely is not the new black, or grey …. or anything.

But we are not phased.  The keen salesmen sang us a 14 days – no stress, Makro return policy.  I look it up on the internet – AND THERE IT WAS – if within 14 days of your purchase, you are unhappy with your product, you may return it for a full refund.  Some products were excluded for hygiene reasons, ummmmm TV’s don’t count here.

Only one problem, I had chucked away the box.  I phone the toll free number and explain that I had purchased a lemon of a TV, but had chucked the box.

“Please hold why I ask my supervisior”


“Unfortunately we cannot take back the TV without the box because we need to put it back on the shelves”

“UH???  So Mam are you saying you are going to take a broken TV, as long as its in its box and put it back on the shelves”

“Yes Mam, this is the Company policy”

Boy I hope that this conversation was recorded …..

So …… I wrap up the boxless, not working properly TV, and Jamie and I hightail it to PE.

“Jamie, do you want to come with to Makro or would you like me to drop you off at your friends first?”.

“No Mom – I’ll come with you, not going to miss this one”.  He answers with a big grin.

Now I have a plan.  This is an excellent time to teach my 18 year old how mature and sane people return bad stock from a shop.

We walk into Makro and go straight to the returns counter.

“I wish to return this TV”

“Mam, please go directly to the electronics department and they will assist you”.

I go to the electronics department, and explain my problem.  I am asked what color the cable is that goes into the back of the TV.  Told them I have no idea, and we plug in the TV, there is obviously a problem.

I explain that I would like to exercise my right of a 14 day return policy.


“I will have to call the manager – I am just a salesman”, the gentleman says to me.  “Unfortunately she is busy with a client”, he says pointing to two ladies, and will be with you in a moment.  “Have you any other purchases to make while you wait”.  Jamie and I hit the sweet isle and then return.

No salesman, no manager.  I ask around and eventually the salesperson creeps out from behind a display.  “I am sorry the sales manager is busy in a meeting – but let me take your TV upstairs to her”.

He comes back.  “She says that we must send the TV back to the supplier for a warranty claim”.

“No, I say, “Here is my slip, I want to return the item on the 14 day policy.  I WOULD LIKE TO BE REFUNDED OR GET ANOTHER TELEVISION”  I sternly tell the salesperson.

Now I am beginning to get a little agitated.  We have been in Makro for an hour.

Jamie perks up as my voice gets stern ….. He knows this tone very very well.

“Here she comes” says the sales person.

“Good Morning, how are you?”  A lady comes to me.  “I am afraid we cannot take back your TV  because it has been used, what we can do is sent it back to the supplier for a warranty claim”.

“No Mam”  I say.  (I am astounded).  “When you purchase a TV from Makro, you receive it in a sealed box, that means you have to open the box, put it together and plug it in, you then have to turn it on to see if it works properly, this TV didnt”.

“Which means you used the TV”, the sales manager said.

“Mam, I would like a new Television – you have a 14 day exchange policy”.

“Can I call the Store Manager?”  She asks ….. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS.  She gets on the phone and says,  “There is a client here who bought a TV exactly 14 days ago and she is not happy”  She says into the phone.  Now I am getting angry.  She has the till slip in her hand, and the television was purchased 12 days ago (this is a big difference if you are claiming a 14 day refund policy).  “No Mam I say it is 12 days ago”,  She looks me straight in the eye and says “NO, IT IS 14 DAYS”.  Do the Math – I purchased the unit Sunday 27th September and I want to return it Thursday 8th October.  She then says “its Thursday now and that makes it 14 days”.  I am gobsmacked.  (NOTE TO SELF:  RETURN ITEMS TO MAKRO ON WEDNESDAYS WHICH WILL MAKE IT 13 DAYS).

The Store Manager sidles in.  “Can I help you?”,  I explain the situation.  “Sorry Mam it will have to be sent back to the supplier, due to the fact it has been used, and if the supplier does not want to fix the product we will suffer a loss of the value of the TV”

“Sir”, I say loudly “I am in the retail game, if a client in my business is unhappy about an obviously defective product, I gladly exchange the product, I then at another time sort out the nitty gritty with my supplier”.  I then add, but my deal is not with your supplier YET, my deal is with your company and your 14 day exchange policy.”

“Where did you see that?”, says the STORE MANAGER.


“On your website AND your salesmen gave me the 14 day return policy pitch at the end of the sale”.  By this time the dude should have adhered to the first rule of “unhappy customer” – GET THE CUSTOMER OFF THE SHOP FLOOR AND INTO A PRIVATE AREA.

But no, this Store Manager, asked for my till slip and dissappeared into the Makro bowels.

The lady sales manager comes back and tells me she is going to phone Prima the suppliers, (hadn’t they already told me that the supplier had said no to a used item being refunded?).

I am boiling.  I say to Jamie loudly “I swear I am going to go to each and every customer in this store and tell them not to shop here”.

At this precise moment a lady walks in.  “I am only a salesman” goes up to her.  “I am looking for a TV for about R10 000.00” she asks.  He launches into a sales pitch about the different TV’s, their warranties and the 14 day exchange policy.

My body and mind go into Code RED.  I march up to the lady, “They are lying to you” I say, “Dont waste your money in Makro, they do not keep their promises”.  The lovely lady, who I may add I have saved from future stress, hightails it out of the store.

Jamie swears at this point the Salesmanager picked up the phone and said.  “Alpha-bravo-delta”.  Which we can only think means, “THERE IS A CRAZY PERSON ON THE FLOOR COME AND REMOVE HER”.

Within seconds the Store Manager is there.  “Come with me” He says, “you will get a full refund”.

All Jamie can do is High Five me.

10 minutes later we walk out with a new television.  A different make to the dud we had purchased 12 days before.


Maybe its better not to try and teach your children how to act like adults when a situation clearly need the attitudes of a child.

Loosing your rag is Makro is the only way to get assistance.

“I am only a salesman”  – Makro WAKE UP, these are the most important people on your floor.  They are the link between what customers come in for and what they leave with.  The public rely on the sales team to keep them informed, updated and kept happy.  At the bare minimum spend some time on boosting their self-esteem.  “I am just a salesman” does not cut it.

I want to add DONT SHOP AT MAKRO, but here in Africa we dont have much of a choice.

If you buy a TV at Macro get them to open the box and try out the product first.

Maybe none of these morals are relevant because the whole sad story just sucked.



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One a year, and only once a year its Rosies Birthday.

We start getting hints months before the BIG day as to exactly what she would like for a gift and how the day must pan out.

For years now Rosie has wanted a beautiful tweed jacket for horseriding.  We simply didn’t have the boodle to fork out for a really nice, proper tweed jacket, so, every show she would beg, borrow or steal one, or simply wear her black normal jacket.

We always said to her, “the minute you can fit into a size 34 jacket we will consider buying you one”.  These jackets are an investment.

Rosie has been surfing the net for months looking for THAT jacket, and a couple of months before the birthday she starts laying down hints, pictures and supplier lists.  Eventually we work out that ordering the jacket over the internet is the best.  We measure her, re-measure and measure again.  We place the order, and wait for it to arrive, praying the jacket will fit.

We also lay down “Birthday Rules”.   “This will be your only present”.  We said.  “No party this year”.  We said.  “We will take you out for a small family meal to celebrate your birthday”.  We said.

“Shame, we cant do that to her ……… Rosie why dont you invite 4 friends to come out with us on your birthday”.  HE said …………. Dad knows there is nothing Rosie enjoys more than celebrating her birthday with her friends around.

Now, Rosie being Rosie, does her sums, tweaks and plans, schemes and dreams and after the big day, when she safely has her new, beautiful Shires tweed size 34 jacket AND has been out for a quiet family supper (where she has quietly declined her friends comming to dinner …. citing exams!), announces:

“since I didnt have friends come out for dinner on my birthday, I have decided that I would like to have a small party on Friday the 18th of September”.  (Which really conveniently corresponds with the end of exams).

“OH!” …. I say.

“That sounds good”  HE says.

Rosie hears. “What a good idea sweetheart, go for it, why didn’t we think of such a brilliant idea”.

So as the big party day draws near, we get a list of goodies to buy.  We are assured that all we had to do was supply the goods and Rosie and her friends would do all the preparation.  BARGAIN!

Now although Rosie and her mates were going to do the setup, on the day of the Party myself, Afro and Toss (the gardener), worked our butts off to make sure the house was perfect.  Furniture was cleaned, the garden and beach tooted and frooted, plates right, table set and by one o clock we were done.  Literally and physically.

Rosie and the team arrived and immediately started working.  After a while Rosie comes to me:

“Please can we get some balloons so we can mark where the house is?”

“No Rosie”  I reply, this isn’t a tots party.

So the girls carry on working.

“Mom, please can we get balloons?”

“No sweetie, it definitely isn’t needed”.

At about 5 the masses start to arrive.  Along with the phone calls.  “How do we get to your house?” I explain in detail to each and every one how to get to our home.

“You should have put balloons up …………..”  I get told numerous times.

Anyway ……… party up and running.  Frans and I neatly tucked up in our room as per instructions.  The deal was at 7.30 I would come down and do the final tweaks on their dinner and put the food out.

I duly come down at 7.15, warm up the burgers, and put everything in the serving hatch.  I am now pooped, more than this I REALLY want a cigarette.  Little bit of a problem, I know my lighter is behind the Hi-Fi (being used), and, I know my ciggies are in my handbag in the kitchen (we have a pretty open plan home).  I also know that Rosie will not be impressed if she sees I am having a ciggie.

So I creep downstairs ………. I leopard crawl to the Hi-Fi and quietly put my hand behind the Hi-Fi.


“Nothing ……….”

“MOM, please give us some space!!”

“okie dokie”  I whisper, quickly grab the lighter and move off.

I then rush to the kitchen and pretend I need something to drink ……… I am being watched.  I grab my bag and rush upstairs.

Right, I have all I need, and a coke to boot!!!!  Relieved I step onto my little balcony off my bedroom……….

“MOM!  What are you doing”  I hear …….. Rosie thinks I am spying on them.

Flippit!!!!!  I grab my bag, my lighter and march downstairs and out the front door,  as I walk down our street I think to myself “What on earth am I doing??”  It was the best ciggie I have ever had.

Now I have to get BACK into the house without anyone seeing me …. least of all my beady eyed daughter who,

a.  Wants me to give her space, and
b.  Doesn’t like me smoking.

So , again, I sneak sneak sneak along the dark wall, and peer inside – they are all on the beach.  YAY!!!!!  I sloooooowly open the sliding door and quietly slip in.  As I get into the room Frans looks at me “What are you doing?????”  I give up.

The party was a huge success ……….. how do we know?????  The size of our daughters smile afterwards.

The morals of this story:

If you want your friends to be where you are ……… guide them ……… show them the way – this ensures that they wont get lost along the way.

Smoking is just one big hassle.

Have your kids parties at home, lots of them.

And lastly, listen to your kids, sometimes they just may make sense.



I received an amazing message on my phone yesterday ……… it goes like this:

eBucks:  Hi Wally.  FNB rewarded you with eB220 for MAR’15 on all your qualifying purchases.

I read and re-read this message ……….. and only one thought came to mind – WHO ON EARTH IS WALLY?  and ….. WHAT ON EARTH IS WALLY DOING IN MY PHONE?

Even though this is not my real phone, because my real phone was stolen by bad people in Cape Town, and is probably doing the rounds on ebay, OLX and, and, and.  Which is exactly where I bought my new old phone and did the whole deal in Ratanga Junction parking lot …… where if you think about it, its the perfect place to do dodgy celphone deals ….. anyway.

Back to Wally, I have never been Wally, EVER, and now my trusted and long standing bank has decided to call me Wally, even though for many years they have been calling me Mrs T.J.

This whole Wally business just added to a funny feeling which has been hovering over me lately.  I AM BECOMMING INVISIBLE.  Its an odd feeling that as I age my purpose on this earth has become less and less.  But I could always rely on my bank remembering my name NOW THIS!!!

My relationship with facebook is wonderful.  Getting in touch with old friends and connecting with new friends.  Seeing friends pictures, achievements, relationship status’s and just general ramblings really completes my day.  But all of a sudden friend requests start popping up from people who I really don’t know.  So you start thinking ………..

a.   Did I meet this person sometime in the last week and don’t remember?
b.   Does someone out there just like the look of me and decided to become my friend?
c.   Did I go to school/varsity with this person and they have changed a tad?


d.   Is there a lonely person out there, and if I become their friend I might make their day?

So I push “Accept friend request” ……….. POINK …. seconds later a post that I am tagged in appears on my wall – MY WALL – selling raybans.  Flippit, I am gutted, the only reason that the person wanted to be my friend was to sell flippen sunglasses.  POINK …. I de-friend them.  So now I do a test ……… I accept a whole lot of friend requests, and low and behold a million posts appear on MY WALL, all selling raybans.

Is this stupid? no, the Rayban gurus are definitely onto something here.  Is it irritating?  Absolutely.  Is it hurtful?  Well yes, here I am trying to slot back into a meaningful slot in my universe and along comes the Rayban Train and puts me into the “We only need you if you buy something” slot.  What on earth gave them the idea that I needed a new pair of sunglasses?  I am gutted.

I really believe that parents shouldn’t live their lives through their children.  But hell, their lives are far more interesting than mine.  And how can we not be involved???? we are the driving force behind their adventures ……….. LITERALLY …. we drive them to horse riding, cycling, parties, shopping, concerts etc, etc.  Then we are expected to not get involved whist they are doing the adventure bit of adventure, then we drive them home.

Surely parents there is more to life here.

I cook, I clean, I drive, I mother, I wife.  I am on one committee that my one sole purpose is to put up street signs once a month.  For one of the kids sporting activities I have even been cut out of the commitment part ……. I pay, I drive, I have no say.

Its time to take my life back.  BIG TIME.

In a recent episode of Greys Anatomy (Yes I still watch Greys Anatomy).  One of the sexy brain surgeons has to do a really tricky brain op on one of her colleagues.  She is nervous, she is scared and the whole world is watching her to see if she can pull it off.   She is standing in the room where they clean their hands before slicing into a brain.  Her legs are slightly apart, her arms are at her waist, her fists are clenched, her elbows and slightly back.  Her shoulders are are square and her head facing firmly forward, slightly tilted towards the sun.  “What are you doing?”  asks her intern.  “This is the Superhero pose.”  She answers.

Apparently it is proven that people who take up this pose before a challenge or a task, do significantly better at what they want to accomplish.  So, I am going to start using this pose and those 5 posing minutes are going to be used to brainstorm my “take back my life plan”.

Now if you think about it, Clark Kent, when he gets the gist of a drama playing out or that Louis Lane is at the mercy of some baddy, he doesn’t go umm haaaa mmmmm, he dashes into the nearest telephone booth, strips down and soars to the drama.  He definitely doesn’t over think his future actions he just (here is that word again) SOARS with his cape flying and fixes what ever needs fixing, whether it is stopping a speeding train full of victims or just to make sure his chick is fine.

So back to Wally, people with the name Wally just don’t SOAR.  As in “Look, here comes WALLY soaring to the rescue!”.  Nope this just doesn’t work.

FNB, my name is Tanya, spelt T-A-N-Y-A, and I am going to strike my superhero pose and rescue my life before I shrink into nothingness.



jamie TT event and other stuff 187

I hate being late ……….. what I should say is HATE BEING LATE!!!!! 

If I am late for something/anthing I get into a sort of panic attack situation.  My throat closes, I start crying, my palms get all sweaty and I really just get very upset.  Its just really a hot mess if I am running late.

Anyway …….  On Saturday morning Jamie is riding in 2 man TT’s.  To the layman this is a road cycling thing where you have a two man teams, each team has their own start time and the team must go flet out for a certain distance and the fastest team wins.

We leave home well in time for Jamie to put his bike together and have at least a half and hour warm up.  Off we get to Greenbushes an area our side of Port Elizabeth.  And we simply cant find the venue.

We have a map and no phone call or studying of the map can help us find the place.  We even try following race arrow pointers and no way hoze can we find the place that should be quite easy to find because there will be hundreds of cars and even more cyclists.

I can feel my throat closing and the panic starting ……… I am in a mess ……. 20 minutes before Jamie is due to start we finally see a whole heap of cars in a totally random road.

We park at the end of the cue of cars and jump out of our car.  Jamie gets to the boot and takes his frame out the car.  He looks, double looks and his lip hits the pavement.

He says the dreaded words ………

“I’ve left my front wheel at home”.

Now if had just been Jamie at the race we would have packed our stuff and ridden out of Dodge.  But this was a team event, already Keith had been waiting patiently for Jamie to arrive ……….. and now to blast this on him just wasn’t fair.

There was just no way that we were going to let Jamie NOT ride this race.

I check down the road, there are loads of cyclists and loads of cars ……….. surely someone will have a spare front wheel for us!

I start running down the road loudly asking (read screeching) “Does anyone have a spare front wheel for us????”

Up and down I go ……. Lots of “no sorry”,  “I rode here” and “you dont have a helmet/cleat/ pump for us”.

Its beginning to look quite bleak.

I try again and run up the road, up the speedhumps, down the speedhumps and up up up the road.  People are beginning to look at me as if my own wheels have falled off.

Teams have already started racing.

About 1 km up the road, right at a speed hump a person says to me “I’ve got one”.

She hands me the wheel.

I stand on the speed hump and doing a sort of Mel Gibson Braveheart move, I hold the wheel up high and shout …. “JAMIE …………. WE HAVE A WHEEL”

Right at the end of the cars, very calmly, Jamie is getting dressed, Frans is mixing his energade …. all in the calm knowledge that Mom will sort this horrible situation out.

Frans looks up the road.

Jamie looks up the road.

Frans says nothing.

Jamie says, “I’m very happy Mom found a wheel but I wish she would stop screeching”

I cant talk anymore ………… I’m kaput!

The moral of the story ………… Well …………… when the wheels fall off shout for Mom.

The End.


Jamie Drivingn

Yesterday we bumped into two friends we havent seen for ages.  In fact they are Jamies Grade 1 and Grade 7 teachers.  Jamie was driving the car and one looked at me and said, “I found the two most stressful parts of being a parent was choosing the matric dress and teaching my children to drive”.  And this comes from a well seasoned educator.

The story goes like this ……….

The word was out, everybody was failing their learners licence …….. by one point.

Sentences like …… moneymaking scam, and waste of time was being brandished around.  Booking the licence alone meant a full day out of school …… I kid you not.  We arrived at the traffic department at 7.00 am and Jamie was given ticket number 14 – he walked out of there at 1.00 pm ……… now this was to BOOK.

Well the day to write arrived, exactly one month after his 17th birthday, and in went a group of youngsters all looking very nervous.

Jamie being Jamie, had only done enough studing that was required in Jamieland ……. or 17 year old teen land.

All the parents waited outside (wish I had gone shopping because it took ages).

Jamie walks out ……. a sad look on his face.

“I failed by one point ……….. ”

“Phone your father ……”

“Dad I failed by one point”

At this Frans launches into one of those Dad lectures.  You know the ones …… “Son I told you to learn harder” and “I told you to learn for an extra hour” and “I hope you will take the next time seriously”.

Mid Dad lecture Jamie bursts into a HUGE grin and says “Just Kidding!!!!” and hauls out a piece of paper – HIS LEARNERS LICENCE.

I got such a fright that I tossed him the keys …. learning to drive starts NOW.

Now being who we are, we really dont allow the kids to do things before they are legally allowed to do it, no driving, drinking, going to bars etc.  So Jamie has had extremely little driving experience apart from parking the car at home – mmmmm now that I think about it thats about it (that I know of).

So off we go to grab a celebration bite to eat, and then to drive home from Humansdorp.

I get into the passenger side of my car and Jamie gets behind the wheel.

After much adjusting of the seat and steering wheel and shoofling in the seat, he looks at me ………

“Put on your safety belt”.  Good start.


“How am I doing?”, he asks as he stalls at the stop street.

“Very Good”, I say with gritted teeth after managing to peel my cheek of the windscreen.

NOTE TO SELF – Maybe the first driving lesson should be done at a deserted salt pan in Nevada …..
 or something.

So we stop round the corner of the stop street and I go through a couple of basics.  Like how to go into first gear.

Off we go.  Not so rattly the second time.

I begin to notice that my right foot is starting to tramp an imaginary brake, my right hand constantly moves towards the manual gear shift.

Then he puts the left hand indicator on for the first time and the car veers straight to the left.  I clamp my left hand on the passenger window.

He speeds up to 40 kmph.  “Slow down Jamie!!!!!!”  I yell.

“But its a 120 zone” he says.  I have to add here that Jamie has probable spent more time on wheels on the Humansdorp/St Francis Bay Road …….. Bicycle wheels, there is a difference.

We agree that 60 kmph is a good starter speed.

My body is rigid and pushing hard against the seat,  my left foot has made its way to between the dashboard and the windscreen, my right food is pumping an imaginary brake, my right hand is hovering above the gear shift and my left hand is still firmly flattened against the passenger window.

I am trying to be positive but my throat has completely sanded up and my mouth is opening and closing like a fish.  My eyes are wide and nostrils flared.

“Good driving Jamie”, I rasp.

“I know”  he replies.

A friend of ours overtakes us and toots and gives the thumbs up sign.  Jamie waves and the car veers to the right.  Me, well, I dont have any body parts left to do anything.

So there we drive the 16 kilometers home and into the driveway.

As we stop, Jamie looks at me with a huge grin on his face.

“Well that was great!!!!! and you didnt shout at me at all!!!!!”

I smile.

“Well done boy”  I croak.

…………… It took me 45 minutes to get out of the seat.  Now I have 4 years to worry about the dress.



Valentines Dance 2015 141

14th of February, a date that runs shivers down the spine of many many poor people.  The day of love, the day of great expectations and more important, the day of the Nico Malan High Schools Valentines Ball.

Rosie comes bouncing home.

“Mom, I have been invited to the Valentines Ball”

“Thats great Rosie, who are you going with?”

Well it turns out its the young man she sits next to in class, and she is always telling us how he makes her laugh ….. she is going with a good oke.

“Mom ……… I need a dress”

“Cant you wear the one you wore last year?”  (it hasnt been worn since the 14th of February 2014).

A look of horror crosses her face.  “NO-MOM-I-NEED-A-NEW-DRESS!”

“Lets ask your dad”

A long 5 hours pass till Dad gets home and he is accosted when he walks into the door.

“Dad, please can I get a new dress for the Valentines Ball?” (Dads get “please”  Moms just get “Can I”).

Frans looks at me with wide eyes and pulls me into the grocery cupboard.  In a low whisper he says “cant she wear the dress she wore last year, it hasn’t been touched for a year”.

A look of horror passes my face,  “NO-DAD-SHE-NEEDS-A-NEW-DRESS”.

He steps out of the cupboard.  “Of course my sweetheart Mom will take you to get one over the weekend”.


So off we hightail to Port Elizabeth to buy a new dress.  My heart is in my tummy.  Her fingers are on her phone getting pictures of what her friends dresses are like just to make sure no two girls rock up in the same dress.

First port of call YDE, the shop of choice for young, skinny, size 0 girls looking for fab dresses.  She goes up and down the isles and selects dresses.  I go up and down the isles to select dresses.

Eventually we have a Table Mountain size pile to be tried on.  Only 4 items allowed in the changing room so I sit outside guarding the balance of possibilities.

“Rosie can I see?”

“No this one is too big, this one too small, this one I look like someone from “the sound of music” (didnt know she had seen it),  this one too blue, this one too ….. too.  After trying on approximately 2 million and 12 dresses she prances out.

“Right lets go to the next shop………….”


Edgars, Truworths, Vibes and every single square meter of shopping space of Greenacres is walked.  And remember Greenacres is the Largest Shopping Centre in Port Elizabeth.

Too shiny, too expensive (we had a budget), to big, too small, too yellow, too ….. NO!!

Eventually we find ourselves back in front of YDE.

Somehow the dress that was too ………. too …… too ….. something, has morphed into the perfect got to have dress.  Me, exhaused and about 10kg’s lighter just smiles.

The dress is perfect, she looks like a million bucks, its on sale and well within the budget, but most important the dress is totally appropriate.

Skip forward to the BIG DAY.  I have no idea how any learning was done on Valentines day.  Everyone is abuzz with the up and comming evening.  Slooooooooowly 2 pm arrives and fiiiiiiiinally the bell rings.

Now Rosie is lucky enough to have a friend whose Mom is the best hairdresser ever.  And she has closed her Salon so that she can do 7 girls hair and makeup.  Boy does she make the girls feel special, drinks, eats and all sorts of bobs and bits to put into the hair do’s.

Valentines Dance 2015 096

The afternoon goes past calmly and eventually all the girls are made up, perfumed up, hair do’ed up and they get dressed up.  They all look like a million bucks.

Frans phones.  “What time are you comming though to Humansdorp?”

A big part of the whole evening is all the parents comming to watch their kids all dressed up going into the School Hall for an evening of …………. dressed uppedness.

Valentines Dance 2015 153

It is poring with rain.

I say, “be outside the girls hostel between 6.30 and 7.00 pm”

He hears, “I will phone you when they are ready”.

Now tradition has it that all the boys congregate outside the Hostel waiting for their dates.  It is really bucketing down and there are about 100 young men all wearing ties, holding a rose or chocolates, at the hostel security gates.  All the girls are inside doing their last minute primping and taking last minute “selfies”,  the girls primp and the boys wait.  At last the girls come out and are given their flowers and off they walk the last 100 meters to the school hall for the dance.

All the parents are there.  Snapping away and smiling with pride.  NO FRANS!!!

Eventually off the kids go and I run to the car.  I pick up my phone ………… 126 missed calls … all from Frans.  Now I have to phone him to tell him that he has missed seeing his daughter all primed up and looking really really pretty,  all because of bad communication.

It wasn’t a good phone call.

After the call I look up and see, thank goodness, that although it is pouring with rain the kids are all sort of congregating OUTSIDE the hall.  I phone Frans “get here quickly they haven’t gone in yet”

I go running down to the school, and I cant see Rosie anywhere.  Now I am in a state,  add to this cream, beige, nude and white are the in colors for this years dance and all the girls are looking very similar (note to self she wears red to the next dance).

A sopping wet Frans arrives, and as she is about to step into the foyer we spot Rosie and Joshua and rush up to them.  THANK GOODNESS WE DID IT.  Joshua immediately came and shook hands with OOM Frans,  Frans got to see his daughter looking beautiful and going to the dance in safe hands, these are big deals for the Dad of the daughter in the beautiful dress.  I took a photo of Dad and Daughter, the flash didnt go off, I didnt focus properly …………  it is the best photo I have ever taken.

A very good moment for our family.

Valentines Dance 2015 205

48 AND 364 DAYS


Tomorrow I turn 49.  Yeah right!  So what!!  WHATS THE BIG DEAL????

Well I suppose it isn’t a big deal ……. But ………

In 366 days it will be my 50th birthday, and that, I suppose is a big deal.

Ahhhhhh the BIG 50, made it ½ a century, big party, big milestone.

But 49,  nobody says half of 98, nobody says you look good for your age.  It’s a sort of “middle child” type of birthday, sort of tucked in between the middle of the naughty forties and the ancient 50’ees.  Floating between fun and rebellion and the purple perm and crimpolene

But I happen to love this age.

During the last year, this middle of nothing year, I have learnt the following.

My bikini years are gone, and a wetsuit simply doesn’t look attractive on a “chunky” middle age chick.  However, all said and done necessity says that about 5 times a year I have to get on a sailing dingy and sail in regattas with my husband.   Acting like a princess on a sailing dingy approximately 3 square meters in size and of that size only one square meter is usable space is just not an option  ….. so I don my wetsuit and costume and sail ……. Hey!!!! I have already nabbed my man so he must put up with a semi-attractive 48 year old sharing his one square meter of heaven.

I don’t have to put up with crappy people.  I am simply over the people who stir trouble with the goal of sitting back and watching the explosion …. These people include the drama queens and kings who make everything personal, these include the people who cannot get over that there are other people on the planet other than themselves.

I can put my foot down and enjoy my life too ……

For the past 18 odd years I have spent my life fetching and carrying kids.  As a new years resolution I decided that once a month we as a family would do something that I like doing ……… the conversation went like this.

“Right guys, once a month …… it might be a day or it might be a weekend we are going to do something I like doing”


Jamie is the first to perk up ……. “So what do you want to do?”

“Well I thought that we can go camping and black water tubing”

Rosie looks at me in horror.  “You know I don’t like camping”


Jamie says, “Is there a cycle track near to where we are going?”


Rosie says.  “I wont have anyone to talk to”

Ummmm Rosie – US.  Also when I started going to ballet, swimming and horse riding I also had no friends ……….. I met new and amazing people.


So we are going to try and fit Mom time into the busy schedule …….. however due to Regattas, horse shows and cycle races this has been put on hold ……. Ahhhh a woman can but dream ……

I have learnt that a 48 and 365 year old woman can do anything …….. however ……… it just doesn’t look cool anymore.  Looking at people stand up paddle boarding looks easy ……. In reality it is darn difficult,  yes, I did it ….. on my hands and knees,  SUPPING tick.

I went to a birthday party recently and was having a rocking good time dancing with my friends.  One of the kids sidled up to me on the dance floor and said “Mom, your dancing doesn’t look good”.  Yes, the comment hurt like blazes, but, I was having a great time with my mates and I wasn’t going to let an under 20 ruin my night.

I have zip lined, quad-biked, played golf, had my first flat tyre,  modeled in a fashion show, cooked food to make money, sailed in regattas, plaited horse manes, worked with my husband, taught my son to drive, helped my daughter choose her first Valentines Ball dress, played my first round of golf, laid paving, landscaped a part of my garded, co-painted my home, argued and made up with friends and just in general had a great time.

I have learned to take the mickey out of myself on a regular basis.

But most of all I have learnt how to say no.  So at the ripe old age of 49 and 365 I now have the ability NOT to do things I don’t want to do.  I have learnt that your best friends are the ones that accept no for an answer.

Where do we go from here?  366 days of new adventures, experiences and dreams, all in anticipation of the BIG 50…. All dished up with friends that count.