Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 21 December 2012

Xmas 2012 - Crazy Fraser's Wrap-Up

It is hard to believe we are at the end of another year!

Although it has been an extremely full and busy one (aren't they all?) and a lot has happened, it seems like just the other day that I was summarising 2011.

Once again I think we have had a happy, and successful year with much to be grateful for on the whole. We have worked hard, played hard, and had lots of fun, travels and adventures - with a few challenges and successes mixed in. 
Some highlights are mentioned below, in more or less sequential order:

To start the year the boys and I were privileged to be invited on a  trip to Namibia, a country I'd never been to and actually knew very little about. We enjoyed a fabulous 10-day trip from Windhoek, to Etosha, then Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Mariental and back home. Namibia is a beautiful country and we had a wonderful and very memorable time there. The landscape, desert terrain, dunes, animal life and rock formations are spectacular. I'll definitely go back to see more sometime.

In March I had an opportunity to go on a last-minute whistle-stop week-end trip to Dublin, Ireland. It was a whirlwind trip, but was absolutely wonderful staying in a gorgeous and quite luxurious hotel. Drinking Guinness direct from the source at the Guinness Storehouse was quite a treat as was getting to eat at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant at the Powesrcourt Hotel!

Following quick on the heels of that trip, was Quinn's 5th (and hopefully final) Cholesteatoma-related ear surgery. His titanium prosthetic ossicle has come out of his ear drum and our by now beloved ENT Ollie and Prof James Looke replaced it again and did some other magic during a 5+hour surgery. We are very pleased to report that despite some initial concerns the new prosthesis seems to have settled in well and his right ear is now the better-hearing ear, so we are thrilled! His hearing is functional now and his ear are stable which is awesome. We are as always very grateful for the top-class care we receive which has made a world of a difference to Quinn and his ears and hearing issues.

Then came my first ever Argus Cycle Tour event. 111km around the Cape Peninsula. It was a stinker of a day and I was VERY nervous before hand, but I loved it and it went pretty well and I was happy with my time of 5h16m.

After the big op the boys, Andrew and I jetted off to Thailand and Cambodia, via Dubai, for a fabulous 2 week holiday. We spent one day in Dubai, and then several days in each of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, and Siem Reap. I love SE Asia and we had an awesome time touring, shopping, eating, walking and eating some more. The Temple Complex of Angkor Wat was a highlight for me, and the people and temples, food and vibrancy of the whole region just inspires me and makes me so happy and fulfilled.

We came back from our holiday during the day before the Two Oceans Half Marathon, which I had entered and had committed to running in support of a charity cause. So despite being wholly unprepared, exhausted and tired with jet-lag I woke up at 4am to go run it. It was a tough tough race. But somehow I survived it and finished in a fairly decent 1h58m.

After that most of the year was filled with school, work and running and very little else. The boys now 12(nearly 13!) and 11, completed Grade 5 & 7 respectively at school. Griffin has come into his own and has started performing quite well and is a hard working and conscientious little boy who has a firm set of principles and a good work ethic which he sticks to. Quinn has had a varied year either doing brilliantly, or not so well at all, depending on his whims at the time and how interested he is (and how adolescent he is behaving) etc. Both have really grown and matured this year though and really are independent, helpful, cooperative and thoughtful. I am very grateful for their help and understanding and assistance in day to day life. They are wonderful boys and I am proud and privileged to be their mother.

In October the boys and I again attended Rocking the Daisies and as always had a fantastic time camping and enjoying the local music talents SA has to offer, and following that Andrew and I spent a couple of night in Tulbagh celebrating his big birthday milestone. It was a lovely break out of town and the craziness of life and work and we enjoyed some calmth fresh air, cycling, wine farms, chocolates, wine and food.

In November we were lucky to be included in an authentic traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Andrew and his American friends. I had no idea how much food that involved and how much it was possible to eat, or how you could fit 50-60 people in one person's living-room for a sit down dinner. But somehow we pulled it off and it was fabulous. I loved it!

I have personally worked way longer and harder than I ever have before, and had to sacrifice a lot of personal time and social opportunities in the process. The boys also had to be patient with me and understand that I had much less time and energy for them a lot of the time, but we all got through it. I was managing a large project which was part of a huge programme which took over a year to deliver. My project was 3000-day's worth of effort and the programme was about 30 000! Towards the end I was roped in to be Implementation Manager for the big Release Deployment which took place this past week-end. It seemed to be an insurmountable task and was completely overwhelming at times. But somehow I managed to pull all the many many threads and checklists and plans together and we coordinated about 200 people in about 15 teams on 3 different continents to work through a plan which started on the Thursday night and finished on Tuesday morning, and despite one or two hiccoughs since has really been a huge success. It is a huge relief and feels good to have achieved something that big!

On the work front things have been a bit uncertain on both the client and our side with a lot of positions being cut. Our futures are all a little uncertain. I am still here, for now, and sincerely hope that will continue for a while yet, as despite the long hours and very hard work, I do love my job and we have a fantastic team and are treated very well.

Quinn has recently upgraded from specs to contact lenses, as prescribed by the ophthalmologist. He has been loving them and the freedom to wear goggles and sunglasses and be 'normal' while still being able to see has been a revelation to him.

Other notable an memorable events were:
-          A Personal Best time of 1:51m for a Half Marathon at the Safari Half Marathon in May.
-          A week-end break to the Breede River for a paddling trip with friends for my birthday, which was a new experience for me and was great fun.
-          In July we were invited to a 4th of July gathering which was fun and festive.
-          The Body World Exhibition at the Waterfront for Griff's birthday
-          Sailing to Robben Island and Clifton and back on a lovely sailing yacht.
-          Seeing Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia co-founder) speak
-          An incredible helicopter trip on a Huey Combat helicopter with Andrew
-          Participating in 3-4 #Moonlightmass cycle events. Cycling through the streets of the city with hundreds of others on the night of the full moon. They are really fun and festive.
-          Supporting my friend Beryl who ran and finished the TUFFER PUFFER (160km race) – that was a momentous occasion. WOW.
-          Achieving a personal best time of 48m45s in the Gun Run 10km race
-          Running a record (for me by far!) 2600km for the year! – I did say the year was pretty much work and running!

And with that another year is all but over. Now it's time to finish up at work, prepare for Christmas and wind down towards the end of the year and a well deserved and much need break.

Sorry that I have not had much time to see and stay in contact with many people this year. I hope to have more time and opportunities to see you all in the next year!

Much Love Jane & Boys

1 comment:

  1. A tough but great year. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas