Thinking & Feeling

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

Monday, 30 April 2012

Spar Women's Challenge - The Good, Bad & Ugly

The Spar Ladies Race - or Spar Woman's Challenge as it is now known - is a regular on my running calendar. This year was my 7th time running it. Wow, have I been running for that long now?!

At last year's Spar Ladies Race I managed my personal best time over 10kms. So I was quite looking forward to it. The boys also competed for the first time last year, and have carried on entering and enjoying races since, so they took part again this year.

Sadly this year the race was really not that well organised. Actually that is a major understatement, it was actually pretty badly organised! They changed venue, and didn't seem to publicise it much at all. I just happned to find out the day before that it had moved. I wonder just how many people drove off to the old venue to either register or worse on the actual day!? Then the logistics of the new venue just did not work at all. Which was further escalated and compounded by rain on the day, too many people and then marshals who totally lost control, of the crowds and then themselves too. It turned out to be pretty horrid in the end unfortunately.

My dear school and running friend Lindy died tragically a week before, and I was running this race in memory of her, so it was also pretty emotional. So when acompletely over-wrought marshal yelled at me persistently and got quite aggro when I was looking for the boys in the mob and mayhem at the finish, I ended up breaking down in tears and sobbing my heart out.

Also, I was still stiff and sore - a full week later - for the Two Oceans Half (still need to blog about that too!), so I didn't really enjoy the actual running either.

Hopefully they will have learned some lessons, because despite the rain there was some serious bad planning, like a severe bottle neck at the start - 2 turns within the first 100m!? WHY!!?? So it was impossible to get going or pass anyone I wasted literally miuntes just trying to get going in the begining. There were also marshal along the route insisting on herding people into narrow sections. I eventually got the hell-in and just ran around them. Then there was a bottle neck at end too, so people had to queue for ages to pass the finish line. And probably the STUPIDEST thing... anyone wanting to leave at the end had to cut across where the runners were coming in, and this was a bottle-neck too. Adding the rain and cold to all of that and it was literally mayhem. People were cursing and shoving adn it was just not a nice fun or pleasant vibe at all.

So the boys and I got the hell out of there as soon as we could and had a nice breakfast elsewhere.

Usually we'd stay on and have a really enjoyable morning at the race enjoying the festivities.
Anyway, I'm sure we'll be back again next year...

My results over the 7 years I have run this race are as follows:

Spar Ladies Race 2006:Total number of 10km finishers = 4351
- Me - #469 = 00:58:12 - so I just missed the top 10%.

Spar Ladies Race 2007:
Total number of 10km finishers = 3957 
- Me - #204 = 00:54:16 - so I shaved nearly 4 minutes off my time, even though the course was tougher. I finished in the top 5.5% :)

Spar Ladies Race 2008:
Total number of 10km finishers = 4847
- Me - # 177 = 00:52:26 - top 3.65%

Spar Ladies Race 2009:
Total number of 10km finishers = 4667
- Me - # 148 = 00:51:35 - top 3.17%  

Spar Ladies Race 2010:
Total number of 10km finishers = 6509
- Me - # 212 = 00:53:02 - top 3.25%

Spar Ladies Race 2011:
Total number of 10km finishers = 9093
- Me - # 158 = 00:50:45 (officially listed as 51:01) - top 1.75%  << still my Personal BEST :)
Spar Ladies Race 2012:
Total number of 10km finishers = 9497
- Me - # 206 = 00:53:08 - top 2.19% (But I could have done better!!!)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Let’s set the world on fire

It may not be a very nice theme (albeit it topical - ito fire, not the scars and drinking), but I am loving this song at the moment, it is really catchy, and I find myself singing along everytime I hear it.

Toniiiiiiiiight, we are young!

So here is today's SOTD...

FUN. - "We Are Young"
(feat. Janelle Monáe)
Give me a second I,
I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she's waiting for me just across the bar
My seat's been taken by some sunglasses asking bout a scar, and
I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you're trying to forget
But between the drinks and subtle things
The holes in my apologies, you know
I'm trying hard to take it back
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I'll carry you home

We are young
So let's set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Now I know that I'm not
All that you got
I guess that I, I just thought
Maybe we could find new ways to fall apart
But our friends are back
So let's raise a toast
'Cause I found someone to carry me home

We are young
So let's set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry me home tonight (Nananananana)

The world is on my side
I have no reason to run
So will someone come and carry me home tonight
The angels never arrived
But I can hear the choir
So will someone come and carry me home

We are young
So let's set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I'll carry you home tonight

Monday, 23 April 2012

Parenting... not for the feint hearted!

After yoga last Thursday night I had about 8 missed calls from home and several SMS alerts from ADT. Zen-state immediately erased! Just like that! OMG WTF was going on!?

I phoned immediately to get Quinn sounding very shaken AND stirred. I thought maybe there'd been a break-in or something. I asked what was wrong and he said softly, ' There's been an accident in the garage...' and started crying. My mind went off imagining the worst scenarios  - as one does. I asked if he was ok and he said yes. I got him to stop and calm down. He confirmed that everyone was alive and well, and safe and that the house was still standing. Right, so not THAT bad. Whew. I decided anything else could and would be dealt with. I told him to calm down and wait for me and I got home as fast as I could (passing an horrific accident en route), while being careful myself!

I think it was good that I had been at yoga and had been in the zen-state... because it allowed me to stay calm and actively decide to deal with whatever had happened without freaking out and over-reacting emotionally.

When I got home I was firm, but kind and concerned, and got Quinn in front of me, and told him to tell me, 100% honestly WHAT HAD HAPPENED!? I explained that I could only deal with it and try to fix it if I knew what had happened. No bullshit. He didn't even try to make up a  story...

Let's just say there was a situation at my house involving 3 tweeny boys, lighters, petrol, wind, too much imagination, adventure-lust and bad judgement. And not enough common-sense or fore-thought! You know where this is going right!??

The result was an out-of-control petrol fire in my garage further fuelled by an exploding lighter - because a regular petrol fire is not exciting enough right, so throwing a lighter into it would be MUCH more fun right!?? This of course splattered burning lighter fluid all over the place, which caused the fire to spread up the wall. They realised things might be getting out of control, so they decided to douse it with a bucket of water. Instead of putting the fire out though, this just spread it further, with burning petrol now floating off all over the garage and up the wall, towards the electrical socket. They got a huge fright so grabbed the hose and hosed it off. This of course implicated the electrical outlet and garage door motor too and caused sparks to fly. The entire house's power went down and seemed the garage door motor circuit had blown. OI VEY!

Thankfully, they did manage to get the fire out. No no one was injured and my house survived, but the boys fully expected to be murdered and were terrified. They had cleaned everything up by the time I got home. Afterwards we found a packed bag and sleeping bag by the front door. Quinn was so scared he was considering running away! Poor kid. He said he was going to go stay in the park.

Turns out they were minding their own business at home when the neighbour's son T came over with the petrol and the bright idea to play with it. My 2 should know better!!! Hopefully now they really do!? I told Quinn that while I wanted to be angry with T, I am not, I am angry with him. HE should have said no! This is a big learning experience and hopefully something that has taught him a lot.

I took Quinn over to go talk to T and his parents as soon as I'd debriefed Quinn. I was a bit worried about how it could turn out. But it was handled very well by all. Everyone was civil and cooperative. Despite me marching into their house and saying to T, 'What the hell were you thinking..?!'.

I must say I was actually was pretty proud of them, and me, in how it was handled. I stayed calm. The kids were 100% honest and disclosed EXACTLY what had happened. The adults chatted calmly and non-threateningly without diminishing the seriousness of the situation, or just how badly wrong things might have gone.

The neighbours conveniently had an electrical engineer friend there as it happened so he came right over and checked everything and got it all working safely again, and there was actually no damage at all.

Quinn apologised profusely and we had a long chat afterwards about how he was lucky it did not go a LOT worse and hopeful he learnt something from that. Seems he has. He also understood that I had to go over to T's house and get his parents involved too, so was not upset about that. I really think he got a HUGE fright which shook him badly and showed him that he could get out of his depth if he is not careful. I had a long talk with him about him having to make judgement calls and being able to SAY NO, when an idea seems stupid! And how some things are acceptable risk and other really are not, and how to tell the difference.

Griffin also ponied up and came to me and said if Quinn or T were getting punished he should be included because he was there too. I asked Quinn if Griffin WAS involved and he said no. Griffin insisted that because he stood by and watch, and didn't say no (more so thought it was cool at the time) so he was involved by implication. I was impressed with this attitude too.

So the end result was everything was handled calmly and cooperatively, everyone has learnt lessons and is happy nothing went badly wrong. Amnesty was granted for upfront full disclosure, honestly, taking responsibility and stepping up to accept consequences. All in all a good outcome I think.

This parenting thing is not easy!!! But at least we are all stil alive and we have a home. For now!!! :)

iPad Wallpaper Flamme

Sunday, 22 April 2012

I got lucky!

The fabulous, and just simply divine, Sally-Jane who is the one and only PINK HAIR GIRL had a give-away competition on her blog  recently. And the prize was some fantasic skincare products by esse!

Now I know the esse range, because in one of my EXTREMELY RARE facials (I am not kidding when I say I have had maybe 5 in my whole life), the last one in fact, esse products were used and I loved them. They smell and feel great on your skin. They seem light, fresh, rich and well, real to me.

I am not really into expensive, 'clinically formulated', latest and greatest fad cosmetics, but somehow these feel genuine, honest and nutritious.* I really love them, and I am not just saying that.

So when I got the news that I was the winner I was quite simply thrilled!! Especially since it has become evident of late that I really need do to pay more attention to my skin now...

The hamper arrived while we were away on holiday (I must blog about that. We had an amazing holiday!),so it was a wonderful surprise to come home to.

I have been using the products for about a week now and I love them!

The Gel Clenser is fresh and cleans well. I struggle to not use good ole soap if I don't have a cleanser that feels like it is actually washing, and this one does. It is a nice foaming gel. Does the job and my face is not dry and tight afterwards. Perfect.

Toner..? Ok, so I seriously need to learn what this is about and for. It doesn't really make sense to me, but I am trying to be dilligent and actually use it, and we'll see how it goes. It is nice and refreshing though so I'd use it as a face spritz in summer! (See I am useless/clueess with this stuff!?).

The Cocoa Exfoliator.. ? Wow, I LOVE IT! Yum! It smells delicious! Exfoliates just enough, so it is really gentle but gives you a nice scrub. As someone who runs and cycles and gets very sweat and salty this is great! And the smell?? Simply amazing! I actually want to eat it. It is so luxuriously decadently yummy. Just like Belgian chocolate. It leaves you face feeling sparkly clean but soft and moisturised too. Have I said how much I love this!? I. LOVE. IT!!

The moisturisier is nicely rich and creamy, but not at all oily. It manages to be noutishing but still very light and it absorbs well. Perfect for me. I could possibly use a richer night cream too, but for day time this one is really great.

THANK-YOU esse and Sally-Jane!

Here is the more official info on the products (get them you won't be disappointed, especially the Cocoa Exfoliator!):

Esse Organic Skincare offers a range of organic products produced by a company that is 100% ethical in all its dealings. They are certified organic by Ecocert France, and also support PhytoTrade and the Fair Trade movement which ensures that the ingredients and raw materials used are sourced and purchased from local co-operatives to uplift and empower rural communities. Please see more of all the Esse organic skincare products at
Esse hamper
Containing: Gel cleanser, Toner, Cocoa exfoliator and Deep moisturiser. Valued at R740!
Gel Cleanser
A foaming, tingling wash that deep cleanses without drying.
Peppermint and Spearmint oils refresh and improve micro-circulation to aid in the elimination of toxins. pH balanced at 4.5 and uses mild biodegradable surfactants made from coconut oil and glucose. Additional Uses:
Can be used as a body wash
Same to use on acne affected skins
Natural and Organic Cosmetic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard available at
100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin
66.3% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming
Esse Toner completes the cleansing process with actives to revitalize, protect and improve skin texture.
Rooibos Extract provides potent antioxidant activity. Olive leave extract combats the negative effects of pollution and reduces sun damage. Additional Uses: Can be sprayed over make- up to freshen and re-hydrate throughout the day.
Natural and Organic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard available at
100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin.
82.8% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming
Cocoa Exfoliator
A delectable exfoliation experience for all skin types.
Fine Cocoa particles polish and refine the skin’s surface and flavanoids help protect against future sun damage. Wild sourced African oils provide slip and nourishment.
Additonal Information: Treat hands and feet to a gentle exfoliation.
100% of the total ingredients are from Natural Origin
56.5% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming
Deep Moisurizer
Esse Deep Moisturiser will moisturise and maintain balance without leaving greasy residues or dry areas.
Ylang Ylang’s balancing effect stabilises both oily and dry skin patches creating an even skin state. Honeybush is included for its anti-aging, anti-oxidant and healing properties.
Natural and Organic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard available at
100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin.
82.1% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming
* All my very own unsolicited opinion this. I was not asked to do this post or say anything about the products at all.

Spar Ladies Race 5km - Quinn & Griffin

Quinn ran the Spar Ladies Race 5km even last week-end and really applied himself. He focused and really went for it...

He ran the 5km in 30 mins!!! That's pretty fast. :shock:

This is the same child who took about 70 mins to do the same distance last year because he was fooling around so much, jumping on water sachets, irritating his brother, spraying water at people, loitering and drinking 4 cups of coke at the water point. So generally to distracted and discombobulated to even TRY.

I am so proud of him! And I think he really enjoys it. :)

I am doing the Safari Half in Wellington on 1 May and he wants me to enter him into the Fun Run there too. He is almost at the point of wanting to join me on a run around the Rondebosch Common too.

Griff still takes part willingly when ever possible. He does it quite seriously and with commitment, but he is a definate walker. He was enjoying it more than it look like... he is just very earnest! ;)