EMAILS, FACEBOOK, OH AND WALLY


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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?

or

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.

TANYA IS GOING TO SOAR.

ITS ABOUT THE WHEEL


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.

DRIVING LESSONS


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.

AND-THEN-WE-START-JOLTING-DOWN-THE-ROAD-ONE-METER-AT-A-TIME.

“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.

 

HOW TO BECOME HAPPY


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Yesterday I was sitting in my office.  The wind is howling, its cold ……. and to be quite honest I was feeling just a tad down about life.  My get up and go had got up and left.  I didnt want to feel this way – but I did.

So I googled, “how do I become happy” ……… in 0.34 seconds I had 438 000 000 hits.  Starting with the 7 steps to happiness up good old Wikihow’s 12 steps (with pictures nogal!) to happiness (love wikihow ………. it will teach you how to build a sandcastle and teach you how to be happy).

So this is what it said ……..

“Happiness – its what we all strive to find and keep.  Nobody is jolly all the time, but some are definitely more fullfilled than others.  Happiness has little to do with materialistic needs, goods, wants or high achievements, it boils down to your outlook on life, the quality of your relationships and basic amenities (ESKOM!!!!!).”  It then tells you to check step 1 and beyond for tips and tricks……

STEP ONE

BE OPTIMISTIC

Optimism seems to be ruled by your baseline of happiness, and each of us have our own baseline, and no matter what happens good or bad, these feelings of happiness or failure, will always revert back to our happiness baseline ………. which reminds me of a story ……

Every Friday I give the kids R20.00 each to buy lunch at school.  Now as we all know, in this day and age, 20 bucks doesnt get you very far.  Now because Rosie is in hostel (we will get to this story another time),  Jamie has the mammoth task of taking and delivering this 0.00000001 gram twenty buck note to his sister every Friday.

She is optimistic that on Friday ‘s  she will bring her tuck money to school.  He finds joy in telling us that she only talks to him at school when she wants money from him.

On the Friday in question Jamie doesnt eat breakfast, and by the time first break comes he is HUNGRY, and not normal hungry but cold 17 year old boy hungry, he is OPTIMISTIC that 40 bucks can buy him more than 20 bucks can and therefore will make him happy.

As he gets to the school tuckshop, he sees Rosie on a return trip with her arms FULL of tuck goodies, there are chips, sweets and fizzy cooldrinks.

She asks him “have you got money for me?”

He makes a snap decision, (a bad one), “No”, he answers, “Mom didnt give me this morning”.  Now Jamies optimism levels are running high, he knows, that Rosie will not tell on him because she doesnt tell on.  He also reasons that her arms are full of food that her baseline needs have been met and he has a bigger need for the money than she does.

The day carries on as normal.

At the dinner table I ask “Rosie did you get your lunch money?”

Dead silence.

I try a different tack.

“Jamie did you give Rosie her tuck money?”

Dead silence.

Now in our house dead silence is rare, and it normally means NO I DID NOT DO WHAT I WAS MEANT TO DO.

Jamie says “she already had money cause I saw her walking with a lot of food”;

Rosie says “while I was waiting for you I went and bought food for my  friends with their money”;

Jamie says ……….

Rosie says ………..

Jamie says …………

Rosie says ………

No winners here, except maybe Jamie because his first break happiness levels had been elevated, but now his happiness levels were well below his baseline because he had been caught.

Rosies baseline happiness levels were very low at first break, but now they were hitting the stratosphere because her brother because of his own actions was deep in the doo doo.

Anyway I digress …….. tiny tricks to being optimistic

*  Add up the little joyful things that happen during the day.  They are there just look for them.

*  Feel deeply grateful for the things you have.

*  Veiw the glass as half-full, rather than half-empty.

*  Put yourself in situation where favulous, fortunate things are likely to happen to you.  Its easier to remain optimistic if you set yourself up for success.  Cheating on your sister, or stealing a bicycle – whilst temporarily thrilling – will rarely end up well for any party involved.

*  Think of those less fortunate than yourself.

BUT MOST OF ALL

Learn to enjoy life.

So there we have it – step one of being happy.

So what makes me happy?  Feeding carrots to a horse, my husband just phoning to say he loves me, when the kids are not constantly bickering, having uncomplicated friends ……… little things …… the list is endless.

Whilst I was at it I googled “what do I do if I am bored”

Dear wikihow responed immediately:

“Pick your favorite TV, film, or book character, and imagine what they would do if they were with you right at that moment”  – now I can honestly say this is the most random piece of advice I have ever been given.

So I pick Jeremy Clarkson.

So what would Jeremy Clarkson do if he was bored?

He would pick up the phone and call Richard and James, and off they would flit to an amazingly funny and ridiculous adventure.  So maybe it wasnt such random advice, and believe me hanging out for a day with Jeremy, James and Richard sure would make me happy!!!!

 

THE DANCE


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Sometimes life throws you a curved ball.  Nothing drastic, just a little thing or two that will take you out of your comfort zone for a bit.  Now as this curved ball comes flying at you you can either:

a.  Duck
b.  Run around like a headless chicken without a plan and try and catch the ball.

or

c.  Do like kids do …….. close your eyes and spread your arms and hope like crazy that the ball will land in your arms, also hoping like crazy that the person who has thrown the ball hasn’t thrown it too hard.

Once a year Jenny Davis Dance studio has a concert.  Over the years this extravaganza has grown from her students doing dances to the whole community becoming involved.

Anyone with a deep need to be on stage to act, sing or dance,  (Jenny actually got the “tough dudes” in town to don tu-tu’s and do a ballet ……. well almost) was welcomed with open arms and all had their moment of fame.

This year the Church Choir sang, the youth boys acted and the various groups of people were slotted into the programme.

JOSEPH AND HIS TECHNICOLORED DREAMCOAT was becoming an ambitious reality.

Now this is where the curved ball comes in.  Quite happy with my busy lot in life ……. and for reasons I cannot remember me and the Bokkies are coerced to do a dance.  I seem to remember words like:

“Everyone has dropped out of the dance and wont we slot in”

“Jenny Davis REALLY needs you”

“Its a community thing and we have to be involved”

“President Zuma NEEDS you ……………………… ”

And so forth.

For most of us our kids were already involved ….. Rosie heavily entrenched in the dancing and Jamie back-stage.  None of our hubbies were in the performance.

Practice started months before the event and right from the outset it became very clear that about half of us simply could not dance.  We …….. me being one of them …….. had no rhythm,  we knew nothing about beats or bars or … or ….,  we couldn’t do the dance without going “one, two, three …….. ”  most of the dance was in eight counts, but if we didn’t concentrate it was a mess-up ……. you could constantly see us mouthing “one, two, threee ……..”  whilst our eyes were on Shona or Lindsay (who can actually dance) – hence we were always a milli-second behind them ……. and it was a co-ordinated dance.

We were the Egyptian Dancers …….. AKA The Egyption MOmmy’s.

Add to this mix was the costume – we all had to look exactly the same.  But … we are not built exactly the same – we had the tall blond goddess right through to, um, well, ummmm me.  Pictures of Cleopatra outfits and wigs flew over the bbm channels, and eventually, an outfit was agreed upon.

We practiced and to be quite honest we were looking really good ……….. until the final rehearsal – this is NOT the dress rehearsal, this is the rehearsal BEFORE the dress rehearsal (please note that the word HEARSE plays an important part in the word reHEARSEl ……… I now know why because it IS like driving yourself to your own funeral.

The whole cast is there and we are ready, as our music starts we realise that the rendition of our song was not the same one we had practiced with – in short we were awful.  Then Jenny says “just do it without the music”  easier said than done Jen!

Next night – the night before the show – is full dress rehearsal.  We go on and we were rocking and, so sad, our music stopped half way through our dance ……. we fell apart.

Anyway …… we were promised that tomorrow … the day of the show all would be perfect.

SHOW DAY!!!! In true Bokkie form we all had commitments for the Saturday morning and the there was to be two shows, a 3 o’clock matinee and a 7 pm evening performance.

At 1 we all finally got our act together and met at Lindsays for make up and together time.  Alas for us this also meant that our troop or herd of kids were also hanging out with us for make up and together time …… Flip the Ancient Egyptians used a lot of makeup.

We schmoozed over to the resort at 2 and the place was bopping.  Not only was there an Over-sold out Matinee (this means 250 people were there to watch) but there was some rugby match on so the rest of the community were at the CSF Resort to watch the game in the pub.  Hundreds of people were there.

The show started …….. and it Rocked, Rosie and her group were simply awesome, Jamie and Trudi were hustling up a storm moving sets and doing last minute changes back stage.  And then it was our turn ……… we aced it ……. the crowd went wild ……… they loved us.

One performance to go and then our careers as dancers would be over.  We had this in the bag!

Again the evening was packed.  We got onto the stage VERY confident that we would rock it a second time.  The opening notes to “Walk like an Egyptian” started.

Two of us missed the opening cue ……. no-one noticed it was a co-ordinated miss.

I couldnt remember the dance at all ….. but kept my eye firmly on Shona to keep up.

And then it happened ……….. half way through the song/dance ……. we hear DOEF CRASH SMASH – and the Resort is plunged into the deepest darkness.

“What happened”  We hear as we are all frozen in some Egyptian pose.

“Someone has fallen off the stage”  We hear

That got us all moving ……. one of the Bokkies was hurt.

We rushed over to where the DOEF CRASH SMASH happened and there lay a Bokkie in full Egyptian attire crumpled on the floor.  The remains of the piping hot stage light shattered around her.  She was making the most peculiar noises.

“Are you hurt?”  I ask …… DUM QUESTION

Funny noise comes up at me

“…….. can you move?”

The light come on ……

We see one of our precious Bokkies lying in the shattered glass.

She is crying ……… crying with hysterical laughter.

She gets back on stage and we all sort of finish the dance and the hobble back stage.  We are all now hysterical, black Egyptian make-up is streaming down our faces, we are relieved …. our Bokkie is fine.

Back stage pandemonium has broken out …….. the whole cast thinks that someone has been seriously injured.  The Doctor (who very handily was back stage … he was part of the cast) couldn’t get near his potential patient, we are all rolling on the floor with laughter.  The poor man didn’t know who was injured because we were all dressed identically and we were all carrying on like seriously injured imbeciles.

Jenny rushes backstage – she also couldn’t work out who fell.

Once she worked out that we were all just idiots, but not injured idiots she said these words:

“Would you mind going on and finishing the Dance if you are all OK”

“Oh Ja!  sure not a problem …..”  We all had officially lost our minds.

We did it …… Sort of …… The crowd went wild.

Anyway, back to the curved ball.  This dance was such an amazing experience.  I have now decided to embrace curved balls in the future.  It took me out of my comfort zone.  It didn’t cost me a fortune – actually pittance.  I met amazing new people.  I had experiences that I never would have had.

It has also added another fun memory, to the already bursting memory bag with me and my friends.

In the end that is what it is all about ….. memories, OH!!!! and lots of laughs.  OH!!!! and lots of photos ………… did I tell you about the Youtube video? ………..

TRADE IN THE HUSBAND?


I was lying in my bed when I heard the sound.  THUD – nothing more just THUD, not a loud THUD mind you – just a little plasticky THUD. 

I look at Frans “Thats my camera”

“Impossible” he replies.

I quickly go downstairs and there in all its glory is my camera lying on the slate floor, and one of the children (who will not be named) standing next to it.  In a nutshell – “they who will not be named” picked up my camera bag, I had left the zip undone and all the contents had gone-a-falling.

The camera is looking surprisingly unscathed.

I pick it up …… l look at it ……. I turn it on – OUCH!!!!! Immediately the WHIRRRRRRR of camera death starts …….. this is not good.

Now I am sad about my beloved camera, I feel sorry for “they who shall not be named” for this huge mistake, I am angst about the lecture I am going to get from Frans – all wives you know the one “well why didn’t you zip up the bag” or “you know you shouldn’t leave the camera there” and I am devastated about all the lost future memories.  All in all this is a crappy situation.

So this all happens on a Sunday morning and I silently stew the whole day.  On Monday I phone our insurance people, and low and behold we are covered, no hassle, no bother, small excess.  So off  to PE I a-trundle to go and find a new best friend.

Since I got my camera and now things have drastically changed.  The choice of what cameras can do is mind blowing and very very confusing.  All I want to do is capture memories.  Now cameras come with movie, panoramic, night scene, portrait, backlight portrait, backlight, spotlight, hand held twilight, Macro, low bright, landscape, tripod night, night portrait and baby – BABY?????  And this is just one of the mode dials. 

The booklet of instructions is bigger than the camera.

There is even a setting that automatically detects when everyone in the picture is smiling and snaps away. HUH!!!! I want to meet the person who worked this one out.  Why didn’t Sony just give the camera legs and arms (its already got an intelligent brain) and call it a person?

Anyway – off I walk with this newer, cleverer camera.  But, ya know what?  I liked the old camera.  I liked the way it felt in my hands, I liked the way it took photos, I liked the way I knew exactly what to do with it all the time.

Now imagine if you could just get a “ new”  every time there is a THUNK in your life.

Say Frans and I have an argument – THUNK!!!! – yes everything looks fine on the outside but inside something is broken.  So off you go and get a new Frans.  So the new model might be shiner and newer, it might come with a six-pack and a lovely feature that agrees with everything I say.  But to be quite honest if I got a new and up-graded Frans I wouldn’t know what to do with it.  Unless,  on the maybe/possibility  it had an incredible likeness to George Clooney.

But there is one very big problem,  I have no idea how to operate the new Frans.  And you know what?  I am so used to the old Frans that it is too much of a schlep to learn all the new functions of the new Frans.  I don’t need a huge instruction book with the old Frans.  I know which buttons to press and which ones to leave alone.   I know what time of day to operate the old Frans and which weather conditions aren’t great for performance. 

However, all said and done, I didn’t even scratch the surface with all the functions with the old camera because I simply didn’t need all it had to offer.  So living with the same person every day is a lovely journey of discovery and learning from each other every day.  Its about adapting as your needs change.

And ……….. you may ask ……. what if Frans wants an upgrade?

 Well every year he gets a BIGGER and BETTER version of me!