Family Weekend Away – Scarborough

I got my photos off my phone!!!  So happy lol!

Last Friday around lunch time we packed up the car – 6 people, 6 dogs and a trailer, and headed out a 50km from Cape Town to Scarborough for the weekend. My cousin found a stunning pet friendly holiday accommodation and booked it for the family for the weekend. What a beautiful place! Scarborough really is a quaint little seaside village – there is nothing there except a little restaurant and a small cafe. Not even an atm or petrol station. Just a whole bunch of pretty (and some not so pretty) houses scattered along the coast and up the side of the mountain.

The weekend weather was absolutely perfect and we spent our time eating, drinking, swimming, tanning, playing pool, playing darts, manicuring, laughing, talking, rock hopping, beach walking, and a few of the most ridiculous games of doubles tennis you could imagine. The dogs kept stealing the balls, so that made the whole thing so funny!

Absolutely amazing and much needed time out! I love the house so much (it sleeps 13) that I think I’m going to book it for the weekend of my birthday at the end of September. The weather isn’t really all that great at that time of the year (still kind of wintery wet and cold), but it’s nice to get away for a bit, no matter what the weather!

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My heart…

Let’s face it, any one who has a child knows that their heart no longer belongs to them. From the minute your child is born your heart is walking around outside away from you, where you can’t always protect them.

Over the past few weeks I’ve literally experienced heartache when my child, my heart and love of my life, tells me that it’s wrong for mommies and daddies to not live together, and we must stop fighting and say sorry and be together.

Aurora is 4 years old and has been up and down between her dad and I since she was 18 months old. She doesn’t remember a time when we were together, and still she knows that that is how it’s supposed to be.

How do I explain to her that mommy and daddy don’t love each other and that it would actually be wrong to live together? Even if it is for her, the one person that both of us love more than anything else on this planet? It’s a constant heartache for me, knowing that this is the one thing I cannot give my child.

Parents who stay together in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the children give up so much – everything, in fact, to give their kids the kind of life they think they need. Sometimes this isn’t the right decision. Sometimes kids do need to see 2 happy, single parents who can focus all of their time on them, instead of parents who are together, yet never have any conversation or time for each other, essentially living past each other and in some cases having extra-marital affairs to feel loved and wanted.

It’s tough. And when Aurora states that she wants to stay with me and not go to her dad for her time with him, I’m consumed with guilt for not having the tenacity to follow through on my vows to her father. Sometimes I think dealing with him would be worth having my child with me all the time, instead of only 50% of her life.

But then I know that my life would be empty and unfulfilled. I’d be angry and agitated (because that is what he does to me), lonely and feel unloved, and I probably wouldn’t be the awesome mom I am now 🙂

Everything is as it is for a reason. I had my many reasons for leaving him, and maybe one day, if she’s old enough and interested enough we can have the conversation,  woman to woman. But for now I just have to hug her tight and tell her that no matter where I am, or where her daddy is, she is very much loved by both of us.

Happy Wellington’s Day :p

I’m not one for hearts and flowers and chocolate (ok, I am one for chocolate), and Valentine’s Day is usually just another day for me. In the past I have gone out of my way and tried to make my significant (or in most cases, insignificant hahah) other feel loved and special. But that’s just the problem – I’m the only one that’s made the effort. So, I stopped, I’m just not bothered any more. It’s far too commercial and the true meaning of Valentine’s has been lost.

I would like to say though, Happy Valentines Day to my friends, family and followers – the people that are with me, supporting me and cheering me on. The ones that have opened their hearts and their lives to me… thank you… 🙂 You’re all special to me, every day.

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Weekday afternoons in Cape Town are just so awesome :-)

I fetched Aurora a bit earlier from school today because i a) wanted to miss the worst of the traffic, and b) spend a bit of time on the beach with her. Aurora wanted ice-cream as part of the deal so i scraped my last few coins together for a soft serve cone from Mickey D before hitting the beach.

We had so much fun, playing splashing games and screaming every time we saw a dead crab or jelly fish… shrieking when our feet got cold and wet from an unexpected wave that goes further than any of the ones before… we watched the kites and played on the swing and the jungle gym and greeted dogs and laughed and giggled and just had fun being together.

Last Friday we stopped at the Company’s Garden to feed the squirrels (and have ice cream) before heading home…

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It’s afternoons like this that make me feel so incredibly blessed to be living in such a beautiful city with such an amazing child in my life.

And i have to admit that for this i definitely don’t miss being in an office environment 🙂

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34 before 35 – #20 Volunteer at an animal shelter

Yesterday I spent the day out at DARG in Hout Bay with Cam in an effort to get started on my list of things I want to do/get involved with before my next birthday. 

DARG is a pro-life, non-profit organisation that rescues, cares for and re-homes abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs. It is their vision to be a leading example of animal sheltering in South Africa.

When DARG was founded in 1995 by Cicely Blumberg, Leslie McClaghlan and a group of volunteers, it was inially a shelterless rescue network. DARG eventually rented, at a very nominal fee, 28 dog kennels from a Mrs Harrop who ran a boarding kennel. For 3 years more and more dogs found their way to DARG, and almost 3000 dogs were homed.

When Mrs Harrop passed away the property was put up for sale. DARG went on a search to find a donor who could buy the property and let DARG continue to run the kennels.

In early 2000 a Mr. Antonio Giovanini and his wife Joy bought the kennels and land. The land was put into a trust, and is reserved exclusively for use as a NO-KILL animal shelter.

We spent the morning walking some of the dogs that are currently residing at DARG, a few of the mutts really stood out 🙂 There are some really special animals available for adoption – these guys have so much love to give and they all deserve a chance to live their lives happy and loved. I have an adopted dog, Flick, who has been with me since June 2012. He is quite possibly the most loving animal I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life.

Spot - a very friendly young dog

One of the gorgeous kittens waiting for a home

If a new family pet is something you are considering for your family, I urge you to adopt, rather than buy. There are puppies and kittens available, and DARG will help you choose an animal suitable to your home and lifestyle. If you are unable to adopt you could consider also donating food (not just to DARG, you may have another shelter in your area that would benefit from caring people like you). If that is out of your budget, a couple hours of your time on weekends is all these animals need – just a little love and care goes a long way.

Ross - a very chilled little boy :)    I think this is Figaro - mischief personified!

What I will say though – is if you get a pet you need to understand that this should be a commitment you make for life – your dogs and cats are more than just animals. They are a part of your family and shouldn’t be abandoned or traded off because you don’t like their personality or you’re bored with them. It’s all or nothing when it comes to owning a pet.

You can find DARG on twitter , facebook and on the web

Spread the love and help save a life 🙂

Well Hello there 2013 :)

Wow. The start of another year. I have say that I am very happy to see the back of 2012, and I’m looking forward to basically starting from scratch going forward.

I’ve never really been one for making resolutions – my only resolution usually is not to make any resolutions – that way I won’t be disappointed if I don’t stick to them.

This year though there are several things that I need to achieve:

1. Starting off with finding a job that I can thrive in, that I can grow into and move my career forward.

2. From that a new family home for Aurora and myself and my menagerie should be within reach. That will be my main focus for this year.

3. Spend more time with family, my cousins and sister and nieces… my other sister and her family are moving down from Joburg at the end of May and I can’t wait to have her and all the kids close so I can spend time with them.

4. Take Aurora to Durban for a weekend, just to take her to Ushaka. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but haven’t managed to get around to it. I’d also really like to take Aurora camping. I also need to plan a trip to visit my granddad. Aurora just turned 4 and has never met my Grandpa…  I need to do this as I feel like time is running out…

5. Spend more time with quality friends… I have those few who make plans and then flake at the last minute. As much as I enjoy their company when I’m with them, I need to reserve my time exclusively for the ones who have the time for me. 

6. Avoid getting involved with emotionally unavailable men. You’re either with me or you’re not.  

7.  Start entering more runs/walks, train properly and enter and complete at least one half marathon this year. Focus on my physical health and mental well-being. Stop worrying about what one person thinks or says or does and just focus on being happy with my child and my life. 

I think those are my main areas of focus for this year. Not a bad start and all totally achievable. I may revisit and revise, adding new stuff to this list as I go, but this is the closest I’ve ever come to making a proper resolution list.

Let’s get this year started!