Thinking & Feeling

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

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

April in Paris

..May in Seville!

Yes, well after spending the last 14 months firmly in good old SA, I am now jetting off again! And this time I am really excited.

I passed on my 'travel all around the world, all the time - seeing nothing' banner to Richard when I left, and he joined, Canonical.

This trip is also work related (for him), as the next Ubuntu community gathering and developer summit is being held in Seville (Spain), as well as an Edubuntu Education Summit which Richard is arranging- and I get to tag along!

So not only does this give me an opportunity to see all my ex-colleagues, who I have been missing SO MUCH, but since I won't be working the whole time I should get a chance to actually see something this time and Richard and I get to spend our birthday together - in Paris no less!

There must be something to April in Paris, since a movie and song have that title.

I was last in Paris in 1987 at nearly 13 years old. I suspect it is going to be more fun in 2007 at nearly 33 years old :))

So we jet set out of SA on April 27th (Freedom Day) and fly to Paris, where we'll have 2 days and nights and then we head off to Seville, where we'll be staying in a hostel-type lodge for a few nights before heading to the official hotel (which looks pretty swish) for the official stuff.

Now I 'just' need to finish making plans for the kids for while we are away - no mean feat that, I tell you!

I have a week to get everything sorted out, shopping, letters to all and sundry, schedules, baby sitters, lifts, packing, shopping, visas, etc etc and then we get on the plane and relaaaaax!

Oh I guess I should do some planning as to what to do once we get there... any suggestions?

Wednesday, 11 April 2007


I sailed on THIS 2 weeks ago!

It was really fun. Especially since they serve sparkling wine non stop AND it was really windy with high seas. Ratanga Junction has nothing on this!

Monday, 9 April 2007

Easter Week-end

My Easter week end has been kind of blah, but there have been some nice bits.

On Friday we went off to stay with a friend of a friend on his farm in Scarborough. We were there for a braai, to camp over night and to ride horses. There were 6 kids, 8 dogs, 7 adults, 4 cats, 5 horses and several million flies there...

The braai-ing attempts were rather hampered by the seriously gale-force winds, and after getting the food cooked we huddled inside to eat it and then all decided to go to bed at 21:30 as the constant and howling and swirling wind was simply exhausting.

We abandoned the idea of sleeping in our tent when after getting the tent pitched it stayed pretty much flattened against the ground in the wind. So we slept on the floor of the house instead. I was battling with hay-fever from well, hay, and the assortment of animals milling around, so I had actually been quite keen to seek refuge in the tent, but it was not to be. I did survive the night albeit sniffling and wheezing and we woke to a much calmer and lovely morning.

We went down to feed the horses and let the kids have a ride. There are 4 horses and one pony. We took Patch the pony and Annie the horse out and all the kids had a turn to ride both. They did so well that even I decided to take a turn. And I am not a horse person AT ALL.

More Pics here.

After that we had a scrumptious farm breakfast of strong coffee, bacon & egg rolls and hot cross buns. Delicious!

We decided to go home instead of staying another night. So we were back in time to see the Bangladesh World Cup Match, which SUCKED!

Yesterday was of course Easter Sunday, and well we are not religious we do believe in chocolate ;) Our Easter bunny is rather tardy/lazy though and never gets to our house very early. This year it strangely waited for me to come back from a quick run before appearing at about 10am. Quinn is well past believing in any of these things any more, but is more than happy to go along with it all. Hell, who wouldn't!? I mean copious amounts of free chocolate, not many people would decline THAT.
More Easter Hunt pics here.

I had been trying in vain to do some volunteer doula-ing since Thursday. I tried the Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Groote Schuur, The Retreat Midwife Obstetrics Unit you name it. all my attempts were thwarted either by bureaucracy (most of the time) or no one in labour at the time (occasionally) or no one without a partner and the policy of only allowing ONE partner. Yesterday I was told by the labour ward nurses at Mowbray Maternity Hospital that yes they were very busy and would LOVE some help, only to be turned away at the labour ward entrance after rushing there to be told I couldn't go in because I didn't have express permission from the chief superintendent. ARRRGH. It's terribly frustrating knowing that there are so many very young, scared, uneducated, uninformed moms being left to birth alone, and who really need help, and just not being able to get to them. It kills me.

So after being so excited I had to come home all despondent 20 minutes later.... :( *sulk* It's like I only have access to mom's that don't REALLY need me. Even though I could help the affluent private sector moms, and they could certainly PAY for me, which would be nice, I am almost more inclined to want to help on a volunteer basis where I can really make a difference. KWIM?
Anyway that SUCKED.

So I came home, gardened for a bit and then took the boys to play cricket. Then we went to fetch Griffin's friend to come sleep over.

Today Richard's sister and family came over for lunch. They spoiled us as usual. Ferrero Roche chockies and Pierre Jordan sparkling wine etc! :) It was great to see them. Unfortunately Richard's dad is not well. He has Alzheimers and just had double bypass surgery, so he is going to need some nursing care etc. We will need to figure out how to sort it all out.

Tomorrow is back to work. Blah!

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Weight over the years

Just for fun I decided to plot my weight over the past 17 years....

The first big dip and climb show my own growing up and finding out who I am phases, after that the little bump followed by the 2 sharp peaks indicate my pregnancies...

I've been pretty constant since then...

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Quinn the musician

This week Quinn also had his first ever music concert - at school.

All beginner music students had a turn to show case their talents - some amazingly well, some far less so. One poor little guy really struggled with his clarinet... ;)

Quinn has started recorder lessons this year, as we thought that was a good introduction to music and he can move on from there once he has a basic grasp.

The concert was lovely. Instead of sitting around still and quietly they made it a dinner event. The hall was set up with decorated tables and each family was requested to bring a light picnic dinner (al a Kirstenbosch sun set concerts), it was lovely, festive and social. he boys got to eat and mingle with us, and only had to assemble a few minutes before they were due to perform.

Quinn was selected to play in a group which would be performing a simple 3-note tune called 'Old MacDonald Tutes is Flute'.

He was by far the youngest and smallest in his group.

Arriving on stage with his group.
About to start playing.
He did very well, and afterwards declared that it was 'easy'.

I also won the lucky draw, and walked away with a R100 Musica voucher. Score! :)

Quinn is officially a cub

Quinn is now officially a cub.

He was chosen as one of only 2 of the new cub intake who already knew their Cub Law and Cub Promise, and so he was scheduled to have his investiture on Friday.

He got his new uniform on Thursday, and we only tried it on just before we had to go to cubs on Friday - what can I say, it's been a busy week! We found that everything was rather large! Oh well...
Arriving at cubs

The cubs had an end of term party and played some fun games, and then it was time to invest the new boys. Quinn went first. He had to recite his Cub Law, which he did beautifully, and then answer a few questions, and then he had to repeat the Cub Promise as the scouter was saying it. Also he got to do the salute for the first time.

Saying the Cub Law & Promise.

Once he had made the promise he was awarded his troop scarf, by the troop scouter. This scarf if unique to their troop 6th Rondebosch Scouts, and distinguishes them from all other troops.

Getting his scarf.

Then it was time to get his badges. He got his scout badge, his district badge, his troop badge and his six badge. (He will still get his swimming and adventure badges which he earned.)
Getting his badges.

Then he was welcomed officially as a cub.

Well done Quinn!

Baby Update - 1 week old

Well the baby is a week old today and so far it's looking good.

He has lost weight - which is expected with any baby - but is otherwise doing well.

He was moved out of NICU into High Care on the second day, and they have now been told as soon as they need the high care area he will move into a regular incubator, so that's great!

Although he was drip-fed with IV fluids initially they have found that his tummy is able to metabolise milk, so his mom is expressing breast milk and he is being fed with a nasal feeding tube. (Babies this young can not suck yet, that reflex only comes in a few weeks before birth - i.e. due date.)

My friend has been able to hold him briefly several times, and should be able to hold him more and more once he is out of high care. Skin to skin contact (Kangaroo Care) with preemies has been shown to really help them strengthen and grow. They need to touch, smell, hear and see their mommies!

My friend is also coping very well, and has been home for several days now. It must be extremely hard to go home without your baby. She has been very courageous and strong. I admire her for that.

I feel very privileged to have been part of this whole experience with them.