Its taken me about 20 years to realise that I just may be a bit overweight!  I think that I have been in denial for about 20 years about just how I look.  I swear that every time I looked at the mirror I saw Demi Moore staring back at me.

So, it took the dreadful, harsh and unforgiving lighting in the Woolies changing room as well as the dreadful, harsh and unforgiving sizing of Woolies clothes, to actually make me see the light – as dreadful as it might be.

So ……… I have a plan:

a.  Firstly find a shake of some sorts to make sure I have breakfast – I personally think that not eating breakfast for 20 years has made me fat.

b.  Find a diet buddy and use bbm to motivate each other.

c.  Stick to my diet.

d.  Do some sort of formal exercise for half and hour per day.

So I find a shake, to be quite honest they all seem much of a muchness, they all offer at least 1kg weight loss per week if you replace TWO meals a day with their shake and follow a mild exercise plan as well as a kilojule controlled meal plan – MAN!!!  there is only one meal left and really should it be kilojule controlled?

So day one starts ……….. with high hopes I shake up my shake and sluk it down.

“IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY”  My brain is screaming to me.  I haven’t eaten breakfast in 20 years and now when I decide to go on a diet my brain decides its hungry at 7.00 am.

To keep myself busy I read the pamphlet a tad further than “replace two meals a day and follow a mild exercise plan as well as a kilojule controlled meal plan”  it say ……… and I quote:

“Take a CANDID photograph of yourself to check on your progress”.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME …………….. CANDID is not quite the adjective I would use to motivate myself.  Roll on the floor laughing, must I be naked in the photograph and look very sad?, in my underwear? (got to go back to Woolies – harsh lights and unforgiving sizes), fully clothed? (a tent) – sorry I dont know who the bright spark was that inserted that into the instruction.

Oh …… all the instructions that you must drink a minimum of two liters of water a day.

Finding a diet buddy was dead easy, in fact there are 3 of us.  We have formed a bbm group called – wait for it – “The Disappearing Act” – Cool name huh?  The plan is in order to motivate each other we will bbm our food diary as and when ANYTHING foodie and liquid enter our mouths.  The plan is two fold, firstly it is going to be interesting to see exactly what we are eating per day – fat doesn’t make its way onto our hips telepathically, and, secondly we can see that we are all human and make mistakes.

So here I am ….. 10 am on the first day of my diet ……. sitting on the loo …..  and I am sorry to say that I have my phone in my hand and “The Disappearing Act” lines are cooking.

Me:  1 shake, 1 coffee, 2 sugars, fat free milk


Other 1 :  Coffee, 2 sugars, fat free milk


Other 2 :  2 Iced tea, bacon and avo salad, then she kicks us in the teeth and sends us a photo and the words “OK I cheat!  half a slice of ganache and ice-cream”  KICK HER OUT THE GROUP!  or “THIS WOMAN NEEDS SERRRRRIUS HELP”

“IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY, IMHUNGRY”  I am really getting tired of my brain here, I have 3 kids and a hubby that nag me all the time I really cant deal with my brain doing it too.

I get up off the loo, wash my hands and sterilize my phone – not taking phone to loo again.

I last till lunch time and have my second shake.

Now the exercise part.  The Disappearing Act have decided that we can run to lose weight.  HUGE problem here – I DON’T RUN, anyway in the spirit of losing weight I decide to go with them.

We rock up at Other 1’s house and first we measure and weigh ourselves – between us we have to lose a massive 60 kgees, which will make us each 60 kgees.  If you think about it between us we are carrying another group member – its d disgusting!

We stretch for two seconds and off we gallop.  By step 100 (yes I counted) I am poked!  My running isn’t the sort of sexy looking stride, its a sort of jagged little bounce around where three steps take me about 20 cm.  The plan is to run 6,2 kays – at this pace I will be back next year!  Other 1 and 2 are chatting away, I can barely breathe.

“huff, huff, you guys carry on”

Off they stride, chatting away and looking very “Chariots of Fire”ish.

The plan WAS that 6.2 kays would take about 40 minutes – so I decide to run/walk/shuffle and wobble one way for twenty minutes and turn around and head back to Other 1’s house so that we can all meet at the same time.

I walk (fast) …… but each time I hear a car I break into a Chariots of Fire stride – my hair is blowing in the wind, there is a smile on my face, I wave at the car – the minute it rounds a corner I collapse – 4 cars later I am finished.

Now the first 20 minutes I swear were all uphill so I turn around and see a lovely downhill beckoning ………. piece of cake!

I start trotting down the hill, I go faster and faster, little itsy bitsy steps eating up the centimeters.  Now I’m getting tired – I CANT STOP – faster and faster I go, my 20 extra kilograms giving me momentum and push – a car comes past and I cant even lift my hand to wave, my hair is stuck to my scalp – I AM IN REAL TROUBLE HERE!!!!!  HELP!!!

Off I am zooting, I cant breathe, I cant stop, I cant take this anymore!  Eventually I come to Other 1’s house and I crash land into a tastefully piece of driftwood she has in her front garden.  After dusting pieces of wood out of my clothes, smooth my hair and get my breathing into check I saunter into her house – It has taken me 7 minutes to do the return journey.  Her hubby says “how was it?”.  “Piece of cake”  I lie …………. because I cant talk anymore I leave.  Get into my car and light a ciggie.  Half way home I meet Other 1 and Other 2 striding on the home stretch to Other 1’s house.  “How did it go?”  – “Great!”  I lie.  “Gotta go home and feed the masses ……..”  Gratefully I drive off.

Day One of Diet finished ……….. it was hell but it was fine.  Now I am on Day 4 but I have also given up running.

In the words of Holly Branson (yip …….. Richards daughter):

“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together”  I hope that The Disappearing Act are going to go far together ……… hopefully not in running shoes.



Jeffreys Bay-20130112-00313


I have just received a broadcast from Rosie.  Now I think that a broadcast is a message that you send to all your Blackberry contacts, I know they always arrive on a blue background and rule of thumb I ignore them.

They normally go on the gist of ………….

Make So-and-So your friend pin no 12345667 and she/he is a lekker person.

or ……..

Write down the colour of your pants you are wearing now plus the food you last ate and make this your new bb status or name i.e. “Blue Chips”

Normally these messages are a load of toss, but this one caught my eye

“Sorry if anyone got strange messages with hearts and kissy faces my brother hacked my phone”.  Next to the message is a yellow round face with a white Minnie Mouse type of hand over the yellow round faces eyes (in add smiley terms this means “cant watch”).

Anyway …….. what here brother has done is almost a logistical impossibility.

Lets face it, how often do you see a kid without their blackberry in their hands? I swear I have tried to get hold of their berries and I cant.  We dont even use their phones as a form of discipline anymore because the actual separation becomes so traumatic that the whole thing becomes so big that it is simply not worth it!

So ……… picture the scene.  Jamie is innocently walking wherever he is walking, and, low and behold there sits his sisters Blackberry.  Now what does a 15 year old brother do ……… does he pick it up and put it safely in his sisters hands with a “look Rosie what an amazing brother I am, I found your Blackberry”?, does he just leave it exactly where it is?  NOOOOOOOOOOO, he picks it up and sends some kind of broadcast with hearts and kissy faces.

Now who does he send it to, carefully selected contacts?  All contacts? Boys only – big possiblility, or one random poor soul who is sitting and pondering why he is getting hearts and kissy faces from Rosie.

Now maybe this poor soul secretly likes Rosie, he gets this broadcast and his day is made.  Maybe he gets the broadcast and has no idea what it is all about. Maybe Rosie secretly likes him and he doesn’t know yet.  Maybe he has sent it to a friend of Rosie’s boyfriends and all hell is going to break loose when she sees that friend (or ex-friend) again.

Someone getting hold of our Blackberry is totally outside of my realm of understanding.  We simply did not do this when I was 12.  Today the kids have a level of communication that is immediate and in the wrong hands can be cruel and destructive.

Now Jamies innocent prank is cute, but my mind goes wandering to how much damage can be done by hacking into someone elses private bbm.  I am getting this sick feeling in the base of my tummy.

A kids reputation can be crushed by a few cruel words – remember other kids in their essence only believe what is fed in front of them.  Unfortunately the more scandalous the better,  they will wreak havoc with someones life and all will be forgotten by everyone the next day – except for the person picked on.

Real or imagined a broadcast can be sent from “whoevers” phone to his/ her 300 odd contacts – the 300 odd contacts will then forward the broadcast to their 300 odd contacts and so on.  Within the blink on an eye a rumor, video or photo can make it to thousands of Blackberries and read and believed by thousands of emotionally immature 12 year olds who will believe and pass on anything fed to them.

My world is rocking here, and not in a good way.

What is left for us to do?  Not much me thinks and all I can do is hope and pray that the kids that live under our roof firstly hold onto their phones and dont mislay it and if they do send out broadcasts they will be filled with hearts and kissy faces.



mykonos swim 385

The moon is 384 000 km from earth.  To most of us travelling into space and over such distances seems unattainable and impossible ….  Or maybe not.  I HAVE DONE IT – WELL ALMOST…..

My cars odometer reading sits this morning on 256 892 – which takes me almost to the kay 2 thirds to the moon.  And I can honestly say 99.0% percent of my “two thirds to the moon” travelling is dedicated to ferrying ungrateful children to and from their exciting commitments.

So ……. Here I am with a car that in Moon miles would take me 2/3 rds to the Moon, which in literal terms would put me as close as blazes to the middle of nowhere – and you know what …….. that’s exactly where I feel that I am right now …… the middle of nowhere.

I sometimes wonder whether when Mr August Horch first sat at his drawing board to design the first Audi ever imagined that his sleek racing machine would be used for the lowly task of stuffing as many bodies and sports equipment into it as possible.

During a recent survey in the UK it was found that men at the wheel of an Audi as seen as the sexiest men in Britian.  I kid you not ………… there are actually surveys about this nonsense.  There is no mention of Moms at the wheel of the Audi.

Anyway …….. back to my moon quest.  Now the biggest thing you have got to realize is that we do not stay very far from our children’s schools.  Add to this they are fully able to go to and from school on a bus, which costs us a fraction of what it would cost us to drive them to school ……… actually Frans drives directly past their schools on his way to work …. But

  1. They like the bus, and
  2. Frans doesn’t need their crummie early morning attitudes at 7.00 am every day.

So my family is travelling either to or right past the Schools every morning …………… Kids are plopped on the bus at 6.50 am – I drive them to the bus stop (I have to add here that my parents would not have dreamed of taking me to a bus stop, I walked to the bus stop, rain and shine.  After school I walked home from the bus stop – rain or shine),  as I see the bus disappearing into the sunrise I normally get my first bbm , they normally go on the lines of ……………

“Mom, I forgot it is Netball today ………… please can you bring me my bag”

“Please bring me my Technology drawing board (this one is a favorite)”

My personal favorite is ………….

“Mom, Danielle/Jessica/Josh/Reece/Fill in name here, has left their jersey/book/swimming cap/fill in item here at home please can you bring it to school”

By the time I get home from the bus Frans is normally standing in the living room with an offending text book in his paw – “Look!  Rosie has forgotten her geography book!”  The unsaid words here ………”And what are you going to do about it?”

Jamie takes the whole thing to a new level.  He does not ……… under any circumstances take sporting equipment to school ……….. ever  never ever ……….. why?????  “It takes up too much space”  He gleely tells me “My bag is heavy enough as it is”  He has really thought deep here.  HE DOES SWIMMING !!!!! How heavy can a second skin a swimming cap and a pair of goggles be?  He then expects me to bring his extremely heavy second skin, swimming cap and goggles to the school at 1.45, directly outside the pool gate ….. with an appropriate lunch ……… so he can swan into the pool area.

I am ten minutes into my day.

So I load my car full of extra-mural sporting goods, forgotten bags, books and lunch boxes.  My driveway is really busy with other Moms (not a Dad in sight) chucking their kids forgotten sporting goods, books and lunch boxes into my poor boot.  The phone lines haven’t stopped ringing with the “can you please drop ………… at school, each phone call is accompanied with a story about how forgetful, stupid, unreliable and ungrateful their child is.

By this time I can hear you saying “She must be mad” or “More the fool her” and you know what?  YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

I then drive off to work, which as co-incidence has it is EXACTLY the same place which Frans goes to work.  Before work number 1 I drop off all the offending items at different schools.  I am not alone here the school secretaries office is full of stupid Moms like me.

At   1 I leave work, rush to the shops to buy food for THEM and look for something interesting to make for dinner.  I rush to Jamies school to literally hand him his weighty swimming stuff, I then skedaddle out of Jamies school over to Rosies school to whisk her to the pool for her session.

Then I sit ………… for one hour waiting for them to finish their training, everyone clambers into the car and we drive home, drop off my staff, take Rosie to horseriding, come home (spare 10 minutes here to do some of my real work – running my guesthouse) home again, put dinner on, shuttle Jamie to NSRI, come back home, talk to my husband whilst finishing cooking the dinner, fetch Jamie from NSRI, eat dinner and try and do this all before Greys Anatomy.

Frans recently took me on “holiday”, I found out the holiday consisted of him hopping onto a boat in Cape Town and sailing to Langebaan, me, well I was the driver – he had to be fetched on the other side!!!

A few Christmases ago Jamies gift to me was a car sticker saying “Moms Taxi”  – I KID YOU NOT!  He was so proud of that gift.

And the kids wonder why I am such a cow.

Right now, I have got is figured, I only have 120 000 kays to go to get to the Moon, this will take me out of the middle of no-where and place me in a quiet bouncy white place ……………. Ahhhhh the Dream!!!!

It is Monday ……….. 6 days to go.


My husband likes adventures, and I mean the serious types of adventures.  And, unfortunately he tries to drag me along on his hairbrained plans.  Normally his schemes involve sailing, mountain climbing, snow, big seas and lots and lots of physical exercise (read pain) – all this from someone who can barely use a cell phone.

I have sailed in regattas, climbed mountains, toured around the country, paddled down rivers and landed on St Helena Island.  I have got out of climbing Kilamanjaro and sailing round Cape Horn by the skin of my teeth – he went – I gratefully didnt.

Now he has a new plan – and this seriously involves me.

After the completion of adventure plan number 3 gazillion and 5 – building a yacht, sailing and winning the Governors Cup – it was time for the Boat Banjo (always to be known as BBB) to be sold to make way for a new dream.

I get the phone call when I least expect it

“Honey I have bought you a boat” – you know in that tone of voice that just oozes “honey arent I just the best honey in the world”

“Ummmmmmmmmmm – Thank you” – yes I do have manners and no I do not know what I am going to do with a boat.

“Her name is POPPET and she is a racing machine”

“Ummmmmmmm – I dont race boats”

“Dont worry the boat builder built this boat for his wife and it is perfect for husband and wife racing teams”

“Ummmmm will it be OK if you race and I team?”

“We are going to have SO MUCH FUN going to regattas with a great boat”

Right – things are looking up – weekends away – YIPEE – now this isn’t so bad ………….. and then he says the dreaded words……..

“Its quite cold still so you must go and get yourself a wetsuit”

ZZZZZKKKK TEDONK!!!!! – the landing bit of reality check is seriously the most painful.

You dont understand, the last time I did a wetsuit I was 20 and a tad bit hotter than I am now.  I am 3 children, 26 years and about 20 inches bigger than I was 26 years ago.  Wetsuits are simply not made for people like me they are made for the cast of Blue Crush 1 and 2 – and thats it.

There is only one thing that I fear more than appearing in public in a wetsuit – sailing on a cold choppy wet dam without a wetsuit.

So off to the shed I go to find something that fits ………

Firstly my old 26 year old faithful only goes up to my knees and not an inch higher.  Right set my sights on something bigger.

One would think that a full wetsuit would sorta pull in the wobbly bits and enhance the more attractive bits – NOT – its almost like they are designed to make the wobbly bits all bumpy and mould the good bits to look like bumpy wobbly bits.  The stratigically placed Billabong curve just rounds everything off to make you look like a big black Tellytubby.

On top of this bad state of affairs is that you cannot move, breathe – actually you cant do much more than stand there looking quite awkward. My face is blue, my arms cant move – I have no idea how I am going to sail in this thing. I can see why Shawn Thompson wore boards shorts and looked great in them.

In fact the only thing that looks good in this whole sorry mess is my pristinely painted red toenails poking out the bottom of the suit.

Anyway – what we have is a man with a scheme, a sailing dingy called Poppet, a regatta schedule and me a useless crew member in a wetsuit.

Are we going to go and have the bestest of best times?