On running, shopping and school holidays.

I miss you, blog. Feel like we haven’t spoken in a while. Like, spoken properly. So, here’s what’s been in my head for a while.

The chaos of the juggle has descended and school holidays have begun, which means that I’m typing this whilst holding a conversation with my kid, attempting to get through emails and try figure out if I’ve had breakfast yet. Wait, no, I haven’t. I haven’t even had coffee yet and it’s 10h30.

Instead of dousing myself in caffeine this morning, I went for a 2.4 kilometre run-walk-run-slog-jog-run-walk. This whole running malarkey looks like it might stick. I’ve been doing it, 3 times a week, for a month now. This is the first time in my life I’ve been able to commit to something that’s even vaguely recognised as exercise. Some days, I hate it. Most days, I love it. I hated Friday’s run. I loved this morning’s (and this morning’s run was longer). I’m really grateful for the support I’ve received. You guys are such a network of awesome, that I swear – when I feel like I am sucking at this – your voices are keeping me going. Thank you.

And then there’s work. Well, work. I love my work. I am so grateful I can do stuff I love. My to do list is longer than I could imagine but, it tells me that I’m not doing so badly in my little world. To me, busy is good. And if I’m not busy, something is very wrong.

One thing I am doing right now is attempting to permanently move all of our shopping online. I’ve been doing it on and off for a while, but the more time I spend in malls, I realise I’m not cut out for having to deal with 20 000 other people who don’t know how to drive a trolley or like to haggle over the last cabbage in the vegetable aisle. Stuff it. I’m done.

And, luckily for us, the fact that almost all our favourite retailers now let us shop online is magnificent! Of course, Mr Price is a regular stop! With Autumn setting in for a bit, and Winter thinking about dropping in within the next couple of months, I took  a little whip through to see what Mr P has available online.


I’m usually on there, hunting for bargains for the other members of this little family I have but, their sweat shirts caught my eye (just for me, mos!) After a little late night scroll through their range, I’ve settled on adding these two to my cupboard:


Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 10.57.21 AM Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 10.57.37 AM


So I’m hitting “check out” and these babies will be coming home to me pretty soon. Actually, have you shopped with Mr P online? I ordered from them last week on Thursday evening and my purchases arrived on Saturday morning. Have you ever? To me, that’s faster than having to stress out over navigating through crowds of sweaty people and then find out a shop doesn’t have my size in something.

Online shopping is my way forward for everything now, especially considering that I barely have time for coffee, never mind malls!

five things.

Hi, Blog.

Yeah, I know, I’m terrible right now. I’m really sorry.

I feel like I’m neglecting a friend and, I have to say, I know it too. You know that adage of how the shoemaker’s children ar never shod? I know you know it…but, really, I have no excuse other than that.

So, here I am.

With five things.

1. When I’m attempting to concentrate, and you can visibly see I am, it’s really a bad time to ask me a dumb question.

2. It’s almost holiday time. So, this might just make you giggle. He’s so on point, it’s scary.

3. I did this, and it was very cool. Very, very honoured to have been a part of it!

4. I love weblogforlove. Each post intrigues me. Today they asked me and 4 brilliant peeps some questions.

5. Oh, and a little note. If you’re going to troll me, then troll me. Don’t try and hurt me by trolling, because I’ll actually just respond, out loud, and – as I said at #DbnDDay – probably in person one day. Worse off, I usually just make trolls the butt of my jokes. Do you really want to be remembered as a butt? No, I didn’t think so.

I miss you, blog. Like I miss a part of myself.

*trundles off to next item on the to do list*

Tips for surviving the school holidays

Yes, I know, late to the party because the school holidays are over like dungarees are in fashion. But, here’s five things I learnt this school holidays (which meant I did not end up like her, below):


(not me. haha)


1. Plan playdates. Don’t make one for every day, but try for every second day. Oh, and rotate the hell out of each other’s houses. That way, you’ll only end up having to clean up a mess/overcome lunch chaos probably once or twice. Oh, and when your kids go to other people’s houses, make sure they take something with them. You wouldn’t visit a friend empty-handed, and neither should your kid.

2. Plan downtime. Yes, this means television, your kid sleeping in, colouring in, playing on the computer, reading up a storm.  This is what the holidays are for. Try and alternate a “busy day” and a “downtime day”. But, please – schedule the heck out of the holidays – this gets boredom kicked firmly in the whatsits.

3. Also, I am NOT a craft-mom. I cannot glue-stick-sew-create my way out of a discarded eggbox, but I do have a healthy stack of stuff that can be repurposed. Save it up and use it over the holidays. And yes, eggboxes can make nice flowers. Just be prepared to have them decorate your home for a while.

4. If you’re begged into going shopping, go to the bookstore. Those will be worthwhile purchases, and – almost every bookstore is clearing stock out before the year-end rush, so books are cheaper right now!

5. The scariest part of holidays, for me, is extending bedtime. Because there is no school the next day, I get the “but mom, it’s holidays” talk. So I do extend bedtime. By two hours, maximum. No more. By then, we’re all played out, snoozing and I need to start work. Oh but that beautiful silence lets me concentrate and create!



A word on The Forge

So, where have I been all this time? Ensconced at The Forge, that’s where.

Some people don’t know this, and I think they should – The Forge is the only place in the world where they really SHOULD want to work.

The energy abounds, and the team environment that exists is not superficial, it’s personal. It’s deep and real and there is never a moment where you are left to just ‘get on with it’. There’s banter, there’s laughter, there’s picking on each other (Hey, Brendon, nice guns :P) and there is real care.

The truth is, I’ve had two personal things happen whilst I’ve been here – both of them disconcertingly scary – first, my mom is in hospital, recovering from a serious operation. You missed that one, didn’t you? Yeah. She is. And she’s recovering. But, on Monday morning whilst she was in theatre, I was beyond concerned. And the moment I had word that my mum was out of theatre and in recovery, everyone breathed a sigh of relief with me, not just for me.

Then, on the same day, I learnt that I had lost a family member in waiting. I’m not going into details on this one but, it broke my heart to know that Cam will never know this person. And she was so excited to meet them. Rest in peace little one. And, in my other life, away from here, I would have felt so alone at that time. But, I didn’t. Not even a little bit. Everyone was sad with me, not just for me.

Are you seeing the difference here? I am.

And then there is the work that I do at The Forge. The glorious play that I can have with words and researching. I learn so much, every day, and totally get to bug the crap out of Chris. Hehe.

I’ve never worked with such a team. A natural team. It’s not forced, there are no silly team shirts and there is no demanded-upon team building with arsey pyramids and cheerleading. It’s an energy that exists just because it does. I don’t know how Sue did it, but she does.

It’s focused, it’s caring, it’s committed and it’s real. And that pervades into every single piece of work that emanates from The Forge. The fact is, if you want to be a client that is cared for, cared about and work with a team that is inherently interested in what you do and how you do it, you want to have The Forge with you.

And for all this greatness, I blame one person. Sue. Sue, the creator of beautiful things, Sue, the writer who speaks her truth without fear. Sue, who awes me with her endless love for those around her. Sue, the woman I am proud to call my friend. Sue, who makes all things possible.

I love you my friends. Thank you so much for this time. It’s true when I say, that you have changed my world.

I am footed in gratitude. And buoyed by love. Thank you.

twelve random monday thoughts as i sit here

1. I am a lucky, lucky fucker.

2. I’ve never been this relaxed. Ever. That’s all there is to it.

3. They’re gonna have to draaaaaaaaaaaaag my ass home.

4. As I sit here typing, Sue is to my right. And I am just awed.

5. Awed. Can I tell you this, audience of twelve? Here is my gorgeous fried, a woman who works hard, loves without abandon and does everything in her power, every day, to live her life to the full, and moreover, help everyone around her, at all times. She has the time for everyone, for every nuance of life, and does not mind my insane mess in the room I’m staying in. No really, it’s a mess.

That aside, when I walked in on Wednesday and finally got to see my amazing friend, and hugged her, I felt like home. I just felt home. I can’t ever thank Sue enough for this time, in her home, in her office, in her space. Where I truly feel zen. And inspired. And compelled towards being a better-than-I-am-Cath.

6. The people. I’m surrounded by gorgeous, divine, funny people. Chris, who makes me laugh so much. So passionate. Brendon. Beyond clever. Beyond divine. Gabriel. Hilarious storyteller. JoC. My friend. She who is now beyond her comfort zones. The amazing Forge team. I just have no words.

7. The people. The Justin. Hilarious and honest and so much fun it scares me. We could talk for years and never be finished. The Andre. My friend with the moon photo that saved my day so often. The BC. What do I say there? Hey, at least I didn’t bail on you! 😀  The Heather. Mama to be and so full of love.  The Scott. The funnyman with heart.

8. Rocking the Daisies. The infamous, brilliant Byron. The superwoman Cath. The crazy and funny Elan. The musicalmover Gabi. All the beautiful people.

9. The random things. The random man opening our tent at 3am. The random naked people at RTD. The cold lake swimmingness. The tunes, the feel of the ground beneath my feet. The chilly wind. The man with the mattress tied to the top of his car. The fact that Sue has the same mugs as me at home.

10. Were it not for Cam and some members of the audience reading this, waiting for me to come home, I would never leave.

11. Thank you so much my friends. Thank you so so much for this time. This heart-time, and quiet.

12.I am so blessed.



So I broke tradition again this year, and didn’t do the great big roundup of what 2008 brought us, took from us and threw at us. I’m okay with that. What has stayed, has stayed. What’s left, is better left alone and most of all, what is far more freaking important, is enjoying or hating each day as it is.


Yes, I have a new year’s resolution. To learn and practice patience. Some of those among you are laughing at that. Some of you think I am already more patient than for my own good. Some of you probably think it’s bloody impossible. Truth is, I know my patience is tested, daily. I know that life throws frustrations at me that I possible don’t deserve but, it’s what I have to work with. And if I can gain a little time just by being patient, then I’m sure as shit going to try.

Resolutions aside, I have no pre-conceived ideas about how this year will be. Strange that. Truly. I hope that it brings enough to keep me busy, enough to keep me sane, and an abundance of smiles, with the contrasting requisite amount of the blues to keep it all in perspective.

But, before we get on with this year, let’s just take a little look at our holidays. This is the first time, ever, since I began working, that I can truly confess to have done nothing constructive and yet felt the most grounded. The most at peace with the good and the bad. I didn’t check my emails, ate too much, slept in, cut my hair off, didn’t worry about my to-do list, ate slowly, watched movies, laughed, smiled, spoke honestly without agenda and spent good time with good people. Pretty much, I’m festive pudgeful and peaceful.

It was not without it’s irks, thanks to Virgin Mobile. But, I’m happy to say that I finally, after three months of hell, I have ported back to Vodacom. But, that’s peripheral now.

cathpic000Let me tell you about you. It’s during this time with you, the ups and downs – and I’ll get into those just now – that I have made the firm choice about where I want to take my writing. It may seem so simple to you now, but, to me, it answered where I want to put my niche. I won’t ever say restrict myself, because there are no limits to where I would go for you, but it was you who finally pegged it for me. You said “write me a story”. So, for you, Cameron, I will write a story. Every day, we write our story together and where I can I’ll fill in the parts that are not ready for you yet but that I want you to know about me one day, when you ask, “mom, what were you like when you were younger?”.

Sometimes, I feel the weight of single parenthood weigh upon my heart like a sinking tanker. But, then, you turn and smile at me, and we are okay again.

The ups and the downs.

cathpic002I’ll admit, we’ve both had ups and downs this holiday. The first down would have been you having your tonsils out. Hell on Earth for every parent. Especially when your puking-blood child awakens and lashes out like a wild animal caged up for the first time. But, you, so brave, as always, you fall asleep and wake up, a changeling again, eager to embrace the world and love whoever will let you.

And love you do. Without abandon and without concern for tomorrow or consideration, coordination or reciprocation. It’s you who loves without expectation, and you who inhales every breath without worrying where the next one will come from. You love and you trust and you believe. When you awoke from your drug-induced sleep in the hospital, you confidently strode off to the playroom and found a friend, Your shyness is a distant memory, and your clinging to me every day is just a whisper. You are growing and dancing your way through life. At your own pace, set to your own tempo, and never apologizing for slowing down, speeding up. Singing all the way. Never stop singing, never stop dancing. Even when someone tells you to stop. Ignore them and keep going, my sweetheart girl.

cathpic023So, we came home from the hospital that day and fell into bed, so glad to be home and safe. You healed, we talked, we shopped, we sang, we went to the movies, we ‘did lunch’. When did you get so big to know that your favourite “lunch in a restaurant, mom, Not Spur” meal is waffles and a pink milkshake (‘in the special cup, mr waiter”) and heaven help the establishment should they be out of waffles. What you don’t know, and couldn’t know, is that when I was a little girl, that was my special meal. That’s what my dad would take me out for every Friday afternoon after school. I guess that’s genetics for you. It just means the world to me that you, somehow, will have similar memories of those precious times with your parents. Because, trust me, one day, you’ll hate me and wish I were different/dead/ignorant, but on another day entirely, it will mean everything in the world to you that we did that together. I treasure those Friday afternoons with my father even more now, because I can do them with you.

Father Christmas, or as he’s known round here, Christmas Father, spoilt you rotten. It’s as it should be, then.

cathpic012cathpic0201Presents and presents and gifts from friends and you singing Silent Night and whispering to me in the dark at bedtime “mommy, you know, if you’ve been good, Christmas Father will bring you a present too. I know, cause I asked him to”. You’re already riding your Princess bicycle (a note for Larcy here – it freaking has a 12 on it. I died) like you’ve been doing it since birth. And you love the fish. The fish were a bloody good idea. Winston, Cecil, Meryl, Cleese and Sushi are now well ensconced in our lives and hearts. And yes, they have middle names.

cathpic018I learnt a lot of things this year. I’ve always been desperate to honour people. To capture for them and for myself, a moment where they have touched me, or given me something so great that I can’t explain it. Where they’ve taught me something, shown me a view or warmed my often cold heart with a little flicker of their own flame. Where they have shared or taken away. For each of those lessons, I am immensely thankful and my biggest gift, given to me so many times, over this past year, has been people. Wonderful, funny, loving people. My greatest gift in life has always been people. Cameron, whatever life gives or takes away from you, my strongest desire for you in life is to have good people around you. I am richest in friends. That makes me the most blessed person I know. I don’t care if that sounds conceited, it does mean that I am unashamed of being so lucky.

cathpic010It’s true. You’re an Abba fan. Thank heavens! You are a dancing queen of no comparison, and I am so bliss-filled to see you dancing around singing “Super Trouper”. Although, of course, in your world, you sing it: “Soopah Twoopah beets are gonna fine me” (your Uncle Garry is going to be so deathly proud to read that). Love it, all of it. Just, please, don’t become Muriel like I am on my bad days. Hehe. This photo does not even do mild justice to your Mamma Mia fixation. But, the hat says it all. J In between Kung Fu Panda, the penguins from Madagascar and your fairy godmother desires, you keep singing. Never stop singing.

I saw the new year in with great friends, good laughs and smiles all round. You saw the new year in watching the ‘pretties’ and fireworks with your grandparents. I never really had grandparents and am so thankful that you sit upon your grandpa’s lap and watch the bright lights and noise from the safety of love.

It may seem to have been quiet. It may seem to have been boring at times. It may seem to have been without great adventure, or without grand event. But this holiday time has meant more to me and done more for my soul than any other time. It affirmed what I needed to know, and left me wiser, happier and at peace. Which is why, tonight, Cameron, now that you’re asleep and dreaming of “rainbows and princess dresses” I’m sitting here writing you this letter. A letter to my daughter. One day, when you’re older, I hope it helps you to write your own story.