“…Stretch out my life
And pick the seams out
Take what you like
But close my ears and eyes
Watch me stumble over and over…”
*Lover of the Light*
Mumford & Sons
This Goose is Cooked!
22 May 2013 Leave a Comment
“…Stretch out my life
And pick the seams out
Take what you like
But close my ears and eyes
Watch me stumble over and over…”
*Lover of the Light*
Mumford & Sons
21 May 2013 2 Comments
I don’t profess to know anything about relationships, in fact I know very little, though what makes anyone an expert when it comes to relationships anyway? We may have psychologists that specialize in the field on love, marriage and relationships but I believe they can only be a guide or offer insights into the mechanics of relationships.
In the end you are the one that has to make choices, based on what you have already dealt with, what you are dealing with and what you are prepared to deal with in the future.
So what does this have to do with me and my love life, or lack thereof?
Well, I have some insights regarding this subject over the past few months. Some truths I can handle and some not so much, that I am trying to deal with or should I say ignoring flat out most of the time.
I spent most of my adult life in a long term relationship, part of that was marriage and the end was divorce. Looking back I cannot blame my ex or myself for what happened but I can only look back and be thankful that instead of a long, drawn out, painful ending to our marriage, we both did what would be best for our daughter.
This is not to say I did not leave without scars.
I realize now that I not only gave too much of myself but I sacrificed too much of myself. I was nineteen when I met my ex, young and impressionable and the reationship moulded me.
I became a shitty stepford mum.
By that I mean that I did what I could to be the perfect wife. Cooking of meals, dinner parties, domestic work, mothering and being dutiful to my husband.
The shitty part is that all through this I knew it was little more than an act. Deep down inside I knew that this was not the mould for me, there was more for me than being chained to the basin and washing machine.
Toward the end I felt trapped, caged into an existance that was not meant for me.
Fast forward to post divorce Goose.
Words that come to mind are: Wild, Untamed and Fiercely Independant.
Those words do not mix well with relationships.
My first relationship consisted of many nights drinking far too much for my liver to handle and far too much sex and not much else. I guess that is what a rbound is about? Looking back The Rocketeer mentioned this but I was caught up in a wave of post divorce elation to see it for exactly what it was.
The second relationship was pretty much the opposite, many dinners and movie nights and quite a bit of romance. The Vegetarian was very affectionate and this was something I did not deal with well at all. Imagine trying to break in a Wild Horse. That pretty much sums it up. It ended hardly before it began.
Since then I havent been in a relationship. Only series of false leads and dead ends.
I blame this almost entirely on my choices.
You see, there may have been great guys that were genuinely interested in me, men that I could have pursued “proper” relationships with but I either did not see them or ignored them flat out.
The men that I found myself interested in?
Unavailable. All of them. Either already in relationships or emotionally unreachable or way out of my league.
I am the type of woman that naturally gets along better with men on a friendly level. I enjoy physical competition(I used to do kickboxing, one girl in a class of men) and men arent as touchy as women are and I can be downright sarcastic and rude, which most women my age find inappropriate(I have very few female friends who get me or are pretty much the same as me, but very few).
I guess loud, sometimes arrogant, sarcastic, competitive and rude do not make for girlfriend material.
I am not the type to take home to your mother.
I’ve tried behaving…but again that does not gel with who I am at the moment.
I have done the stepford wife before and I am not too keen to take up that role again.
It doesnt mean I dont want a relationship.
It also doesnt mean that I do want a relationship.
This year I have been focused on my career and what I plan on doing for the rest of my life and this has left very little of my time, in fact virtually no time to indulge in relationships. I am either away in the Drakensberg or in the Pilanesberg or I am at home with my Daughter. At the moment I am not willing to give up either for a man.
This lifestyle fits in with my fear of committing to anyone pretty well. Even if I had the time for a relationship or tryng to find one I am almost in no doubt that I will be attracted to the same men that cannot commit to me. What I am putting out there is what I am getting…and that is no commitments.
It all boils down to me being petrified of sacrificing and giving myself up again to the one I love. And who will be able to deal with a woman that is never available, because there is no chance I will give up what I have now…not for anything.
Slim pickings then for me, isn’t it?
I had someone tell me that Bear Grylls would most likely be the perfect companion for me…about right…but he is unavailable isn’t he?
Besides…who would date a guy that drinks his own piss?
19 May 2013 2 Comments
Aren’t they luxurious?
There is nothing quite like booking into a 4/5 Star Hotel is there?
You know they are serious when they hand you a key card. The one you use to also activate the electricity in the room.
Crisp white sheets,king size beds, Fluffy white towels and those dinky containers of shower gel, shampoo and body cream.
I fall in love with these rooms. I also find it only fair to take full advantage of them by using every facility they offer at least once, the towels especially, I use all the towels, but before you think it, no, I do not steal the towels!
That’s just petty.
But as for those tiny shampoos and soaps, well those are all mine!!!
If there are shower and bath facilities I will use both, sometimes one right after the other. There’s just something about a hotel shower and bath that make you feel a little fresher and newer than the bathroom you have at home isn’t there?
Tonight I am staying in Shumba Valley Lodge. A beautiful hotel of sorts where the rooms are rondavels(thatched huts) with all the trimmings.
The cream smells like baby powder. So I smell like baby powder.
The shampoo smells like honey, so my hair smells like honey.
I’ve used the shower facilities and a little later I’ll be soaking in the bath.
And here I’d have to raise a complaint.
There is no bubble bath. Or bath salts.
How can one have a hot bath in a lodge without them?
It is a travesty of epic proportions.
I’m going to have to eat all their biscuits. And drink all their coffee and tea to make up for the injustice of it all.
Most of all I can’t wait to jump into bed and wrap myself up in those deliciously crispy fresh white sheets and surround myself with the whole six pillows they have placed on the bed.
And you can bet I’m going to use the air conditioner. And the television. Hell, I might even read the Bible (which, according to one of my clients, is the most stolen item in hotel rooms).
Let’s not forget breakfast in the morning. Sitting on a terrace overlooking the swimming pool, eating bacon and eggs.
Nom nom nom.
And don’t forget the telephone. The one you can call reception from.
I have another complaint.
There are no “on the pillow” chocolates.
It’s a disaster.
I might have to ask for more coffee to make up for it.
The funniest thing.
Last weekend on I was sleeping in the snow on the ground freezing my ass off.
Would it be wrong to say I’d rather be back there?
16 May 2013 2 Comments
I have vivid memories of a long gone era, when I was young and my parents were still married. When evenings were filled with music and dancing.
Some of the most special are of my father singing “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino or him crooning to “November Rain” by Guns and Roses. It was no surprise that most of these moments were when he was tipsy, sometimes not. He was a conservative man but through music he awakened. These were the times when he most displayed his affection, either with my mother, myself and my siblings and his extended family.
I remember going to a music festival with him when I was seventeen. Nevermind Oppi Koppi or Splashy Fen, I went to KKNK( the Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees – an arts festival in Oudtshoorn). Afternoons consisted of drinking cheap bottles of wine and listening to musicians, young, old, Afrikaans and English. I had to live in a tent for a week nd had to deal with my father trying to bum cigarettes off me as he had recently found out that I was a smoker. He had quit for two years, but that didnt deter him from asking. Being the good daughter I refused him a ciggy everytime.
Although I thought the trip might be boring…afterall I was 17 and a typical rebellious party animal daughter…I took the portunity to spend the little time I could with my dad as my parents were divorced and we didnt spend a lot of quality time with him back then.
Well, it is one I will never forget. Instead of watching me like a hawk he let me do pretty much what I wanted to. If I didnt want to spend tme with him I could walk through the small town of Oudtshoorn dropping in on little art shows and comedians, looking through flea markets and meeting some interesting people.
I remember sunshine and music. Blackie Swart singing “Luwe Lulu” and heaing some David Kramer and Koos Kombuis. I could barely speak Afrikaans back then, hell I stil do a shitty job of it, but it wasnt so much undersanding what they were singing about because it was about feeling.
And music is about feeling.
Music is about laughing and crying, about lifting the spirits or sometimes fueling your anger. The strumming of a guitar and the beat of a drum. A voice singing a tune, someone singing along, the clapping of hands and the movement of feet to tunes.
I remember my darkest moments, lying alone in my bed, the tears streaming like a flood; to the sounds of Pink, or Guns and Roses, or Matchbox 20 or Sara Barielles or Live. Has your heart ever been in so much anguish that you cannot breathe, your chest is caving in and in those moments you are so completely overcome with grief you feel you will die?
Have you ever been at a concert and they play your favourite song. Thousands of people dancing and singing to the same lyrics. Almost as if you are in trance. A feeling of complete elation and bliss that cannot be substitute?
It is true that I love the mountains, but second to the mountains is music. I cannot go long in this “Babylon” without it.
15 May 2013 Leave a Comment
“Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”
13 May 2013 2 Comments
Take all your fears and your worries and put them on a mountain and what do you get?
Those same fears and worries reflected back to you, but where you have no choice but to face them. The mirror will not simply go away.
I know I’m mountain obsessed. My fellow guide, Jubber calls my blogs “mountain sheizer porn” (does that mean shit mountain porn?). He may have even compared it to Mills & Boons.
I really don’t care.
I’ve spent the last three nights and four days huddled in a tent with two women who were strangers ,before the Mafadi Trip, but now are more than friends.
This “hike” was a test of my mental and physical endurance, people skill and or lack thereof.
In four days we battled the elements, sun, wind, precipitation, white outs in the snow, have to navigate through an ice and snow laden pass, putting what should have been a two day hike into one to reach “civilization” in time, constipation in icy cold weather (yes, constipation so bad you have to sit in the freezing cold snow for up to half an hour before you can get back into your tent).
I could go on for hours, but honestly, those of you who have done some climbing, mountaineering or overnight hiking will know this. And those who haven’t are most saying:
“What the Hell were you thinking?”.
Refer to my last post, as I asked myself that very same question before doing this trip.
Right now I’m writing this blog looking at the very mountains I have come from. The tops are sprinkled with snow and the peaks stand benignly in the distance. Unmoved. Unshaken.
And I sit here again in total awe of them. Even as I’m typing this the tears are running down my face and I feel stupid.
They’re only mountains.
That’s what they said.
But they are something much deeper, something that lies deep within us all.
We children of the mountains…
What I saw in the women I had the greatest pleasure in accompanying was more than soul stirring.
It was a testament to human endurance. Both mental and physical and spiritual.
Two women, one with mountain experience and one without. Polar opposites in many ways. Whom I walked with up the mountain, shared every waking hour with in a tent just big enough for us to lie next to each other side by side.
Where a decision to go out to the loo became a two hour personal war. Where sleeping was a luxury. Where putting on our literally frozen shoes meant sacrificing warmth and comfort.
Where physically they were pushed not only past barriers, but shattered them. Where despite there bodies time and time again wanting to quit. Or their minds fighting their fear of heights, their anxieties of getting lost or being unable to make it back down.
They may have had fear in their hearts, but I only saw courage and determination. Wills of iron.
Not once did either say “I cannot do this”.
Snow, steep passes, toilet issues, blisters, walking in darkness, trusting one another, keeping the spirits up, these women beat all these odds and came out on top.
In truth, we did not summit Mafadi. We were camped around two hours away, but the weather did not allow for us to reach the peak.
But as far as I am concerned, and they are, we reached the top. We have seen things many others will never dream of seeing in their entire lifetimes.
The mountains have shown me that the human spirit is far stronger than the body. And it has no boundaries. We can push so much further than the “I Can’t” attitude we so easily throw up there when the going gets tough.
I’ve not only come back down from the mountain humbled but I feel a peace in me that was not there before.
The Spirit of the Mountain has enveloped me.
07 May 2013 Leave a Comment
Fuck A Duck.
The last few evenings have been restless to say the least. Sunday evening I managed an entire 2 hours of sleep if I was lucky, and yesterday evening I managed perhaps five yesterday evening.
A pattern is emerging. Sleepless nights before and during a trip have plagued me since the beginning of my hiking lifestyle. Well I cannot afford to go without rest for the five day, four night trip to the highest peak in South Arica.
I leave for the trip tomorrow morning and I fear I will not get enough sleep, so I am seriously considering a little help in the form of a sleeping tablet.
Yes, I have always been averse to the use of any type of medication, especially sleeping pills, but I almost feel as if I do not have a choice. Sleep deprivation, as fun as it may be at the time(if you call tossing and turning in your bed unable to shut down the endless feedback in your mind fun), really does suck and in the end affects concentration, decision making, performance and reflexes.
Why am I battling to sleep? Well I guess it has to do with nerves…a mixture of excitement and apprehension.
Also, a look at the upcoming weather forecast has me slightly rattled. Temperatures are dropping as a cold front is hitting the Berg this weekend and this will be the coldest weather I have been subject to in my life so far. It is also the longest trip (only a day but that’s 24 hours, and that is a lot).
I signed up for this. I enjoy hiking, the mountains and sleeping in tents on the ground, and making number 2′s in the bush and freezing my butt off in the middle of nowhere foregoing television and a bed and a heater. And sometimes, like this moment, I ask myself:
And then Frosty pipes up in the back of my head:
“Let’s see if you’re worth your salt.”
I have to face the challenge. I have to work at it. I have to prove myself. I have to sacrifice for what I love. In some messed up way I realize that I did not only choose the mountains but the mountains chose me. Every day up there is another gift that unwraps itself.
But I am up for it?
As the Mountain Man says: “It’s a rite of Passage”.
But why oh why can’t we just cheat and buy the certificate online?
Before I depart on this trip I leave you with this quote from the film Legends of the Fall and I realize that I am quite happy with either end:
“Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy, or they become legends.”
05 May 2013 5 Comments
I’d like to think I’m particular when it comes to men. In fact I think I’m downright fussy.
I wouldn’t say I have a “type” but a few certain aspects that make up a man have to be just right to grab my attention.
But there is ne thing that I still can’t wrap my head around, something that I’m still very indecisive about men.
It is size….you know…there below the waist…before you all start thinking with your dirty minds, pull them out of the gutter.
I’m talking about the size of a man in jeans. No, not the bulge in the front of a mans jeans! Let me see if I can explain this in laymans terms:
Jeans come in many cuts, boot leg, straight leg, skinny, ripped, acid wash, baggy, etc. As with women the shape and size of the jeans on a man can turn hunky into downright scary.
We’ve all had that awkward moment when the tops of our bottoms have peaked out of our jeans, or we have been witness to this not so savoury sight:
Women the world over have suffered for too long where the trend has been low waisted skinny jeans. The only way to overcome plumbers crack is to remain in an upright position permanently or wear a blouse so long that when you sit down or bend over the offending crack is well hidden.
But the wheel turns and now skinny jeans are trendy for men!
Now skinny jeans aint called skinny jeans for nothing. You need to be semi anorexic to look half decent in a pair. Men and women alike.
But there is something deeply wrong with a man wearing skinny from the start.
An anorexic man? Well that implies no muscle tone whatsoever, and from my standpoint that means I will most likely be able to kick that guys ass from here into his next pair of skinny jeans.
Okay…I won’t lie…some men can pull it off, but if I tried my luck with any of them I might be arrested for soliciting a minor. Because honestly, have you ever seen. A man over 25 years old wearing skinny(Bon Jovi is the exemption to the rule).
If you are over 25 you’ll most likely come down with a case of “plumbers crack” and “beer gut front”….did I just puke a little in my mouth?
Yes I did.
Let’s not even go down the path of the adolescent boys that choose to wear OVER size jeans that barely hang off their tiny hips(these boys are also most likely Manorexic. It’s a wonder they even put boxer shorts on underneath.
Any man my age doing that?
Well they deserve a man size wedgie!
But wait older men have their faults when it comes to the denim variety too.
Jean shorts. Those horrible boxy grandpa pants(because you probably are a grandpa if you’re wearing them”.
I think I puked more than a mouthful there.
So, where was I?
Something about jeans?
Apparently guys can be brutally honest with each other, so take your “best man friend” shopping with you next time.
And when trying on your sexy little skinny jeans don’t forget to ask:
“Does my dick look big in this?”
Let’s see how your Bromance weathers that little question.
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