February 20, 2010

Heading for South Africa!!

I can hardly believe it myself, but it's true!
Just a few days ago Craig convinced me that it is time for a long overdue visit to see my family in South Africa!! Now that Jemma has left home. Craig and Amber are quite capable of managing a couple of weeks without me. Craig has done the same long journey to SA three times alone to see his dad, who was not very well at the time.
My mum, dad, brother a
nd sister all live in Johannesburg having emigrating, oooh about 25 years ago and I haven't seen them all for literally years and years, it's been over 10 since I saw Heidi and Kevin and I haven't even met my little 5 year old nephew Luc. Nor have I met Kevin's wife Christine yet. Even my aunty Joy is coming over from England while I am staying, so we get to overlap our visits for a few days before I fly back. It feels like a lifetime ago that the four of us, Craig, Jem, Amber and myself left Jo-burg after living there for 18 months when the girls were only 4 and 6 years old. My mum and dad did come and visit us here in Canada in 2007, but the week they stayed with us flew by so fast and it seemed like they had only just settled in when they had to leave us again, so they didn't really get to know Jemma and Amber properly at all.
I will be travelling 'solo', something I haven't done since the days before I met Craig, so I will admit I am a bit (a lot) nervous, but excited at the same time. Not too thrilled with the prospect of waking up at around 2.30am to get to the airport at 4am on Thursday, but once my journey has begun I expect it will be fine. Plenty of water to drink, a good book and some earplugs! Just in case the compulsory in-flight baby or toddler is in the seat in front of mine. (a sleeping pill would be a great idea, but I don't have any of those)
What will I be doing in SA? Very little I imagine, I ha
ve no expectations apart from loads of nattering. Looking forward to visiting both siblings in their new homes, sitting under the shade of a tree, taking in the familiar scents of grenadines, oranges and other summery African smells, perhaps a dip in the pool when the heat is just too much for my winter white Canadian skin! I will be reminded of the many visits to my parents home back in my early 20's and again in in my 30's as a much younger mum.Taken just before we left SA in 1998!
I intend to get unit 5 done on my course before I leave so I can justify a break from studying. The freezer is jam packed with meals for my own little family of two and fingers crossed they will become closer in my absence :)
So for this week I shall sign off on a happy note with only 4 more days left of looking at the deep snow in the back garden for a while. Having said that, today was spectacular and did almost feel warmish, well at least driving around in the car. Blue sky and pristine snow everywhere - will I miss it?
Nah, mosquitoes and tall iced drinks - here I come!!!

February 03, 2010

Groundhog Folklore

On Tuesday Feb 2nd, after hearing the Folklore Groundhog prediction that there are another 6 weeks of winter left I felt a little disheartened. The thermometer in Craig's car read -22 degrees C as he left that day for his evening of darts, so I suspect Mr Groundhog is correct again as he has been for the last 11 years locally.
However, that was two days ago. Yesterday the mailbox contained the second installment of my home study course - Yay!! So, today here I sit, having a computer morning, bundled up in the study finishing lesson 3 entitled 'Meeting your Client's Needs' I am enjoying being immersed in reading material, scribbling down notes, researching and putting together a portfolio of clippings and samples as I go along.

During my waiting time between study units
a copy of the latest Cath Kidston catalogue arrived in the mail from the UK. It was like an injection of Spring as I leafed through the pages of pretty kitchen ware and fabrics. Obviously Spring is a while away yet, but it will come along eventually, usually about a month behind the UK.
Despite the hibernation inducing weather we have managed to get out and have a little social fun in the evening. Friends of ours hosted their 3rd annual Cocktail competition party on Saturday. The theme Casino Royale meant we could dress up 007 style! I love parties, especially when there is an excuse to dress up too! Taking along ingredients for a cocktail of our choice for 8 people we chose the Rum Rollover and came a respectful second! It was a lovely evening and certainly a welcome break from the mid winter blues.
'Shaken, not stirred'
Hazel x