Thinking & Feeling

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

Friday, 25 December 2015

The Elves of Christmas in review

These Christmas Elves have been visiting me every year for 10 years now.

I love it and look forward to, and treasure, these photos every year!

This is how they have evolved through the years...







Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

On 6 Dec (9 days behind the official date) we hosted Thanksgiving in Cape Town 2015.​​

About 40 friends and family joined us to eat, drink and be merry and most importantly be thankful and show gratitude for the many blessings in our lives.
As is customary during the dinner festivities we went around and allowed everyone to say a few words of thanks as they wished. It was completely optional. I REALLY didn't think either of my boys would speak - a good few adults were too shy to - but they both did! They stood up in front of all those people, many of which they don't know and:

Quinn: Said that he had just come back from a really tough 10 day hike at school*, and that after only getting very limited supplies of powdered soya mince and powdered mash etc and starving most of the time for 10 days that he is very grateful for home and FOOD! And also for for Nathaniel's heart op being successful and for his amazing recovery since.

Griffin: Said he is grateful for me and all the time and effort I am putting into all his end of Grade 7 stuff and getting him ready for high school and all the money being spent on his schooling. That when I am busy with the baby, Quinn will help out with cooking and make dinner. And for having his baby brother.


I'm so impressed that neither mentioned technology, or consumer goods at all. xxx

*More so Quinn's group Journey apparently got old/wrong maps and had a very bad start to their journey. Their guide was new and completely inexperienced too. So they got horribly lost and went the wrong way walking 20+km extra on the first day or 2 and taking 2-3 days to find any of the proper scheduled activities, so they ran out of food and missed a lot of the fun stuff. The group morale was VERY low and they had one boy who stopped eating or drinking, and another who was very unfit and slow and they had to carry all of these 2's stuff for them. In the end they had an intervention and 4 of the group gave up, left and went home early. Quinn says he had the option to quit, but chose to stick it out and finish. And he did. Apparently by the end he had been largely instrumental in turning the group's spirit around and they finished as one of the groups with the strongest vibe. And ended up loving it. I am VERY proud of him for that. What a great life lesson right there!

​My gratitude for this year:
There is a Swedish proverb that says "Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow." I think this sums up my experience and learnings this year.

As I started to reflect on this past year to count my blessings and think about what I am thankful for so many thoughts and feelings came up. I realised that behind that which I am thankful for is deep, raw and very real emotion. There came the realisation that despite the good it's been a really difficult year where much has been quite chaotic and in flux.

Some really significant and traumatic things have happened that have shaken us to our core. Things that are not easy to cope with at all. And yet we all did.
We have all survived, strived and even thrived despite all the challenges and so I have realised that it is the social bonds and the support given through the good AND bad stuff that strengthen us, and that make the joy that much sweeter and the deep sorrows to be bearable.

So am really grateful for the bonds:
- Of family.
- Of our tribe here in Cantoria. Lead by our King Andrew and his little Prince Nathaniel.
- Of my big boys Quinn & Griffin who are my life's pride.
- Of my extended family of parents, sisters and their families
- Of Andrew's father and siblings.
- And of course the very special bond of friends both near and far.

I am thankful:

That my boys Quinn & Griffin remain wonderfully easy going, and excellent big brothers to Nathaniel.

That we got to take little Nathaniel to go see his America family in the states and especially Grandpa Lou in Florida.

That despite the extra chaos it brings; that our lives have been rich and full of visits of family and friends from all over the world.

And I really am grateful that I have a home full of boys (including the cat and dog) that understand, support and tolerate me (most of the time).

To end off some wisdom from another Swedish proverb which says:
"Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours"

Merry Christmas one and all!

It's that time of year again....

I hope that you have a wonderful Festive Season, celebrating in whatever way you do.

May you have plenty of time to have fun, relax, enjoy friends and family, and good food and drinks.

I hope 2015 has been a good year for you and that 2016 is even better!

With much love
Jane and all the boys in my life