An article I wrote for the Sunday Tribune KZN Business supplement.
Talk around the Glug-Glug Wine Club dinner table each month always somehow turns to matters of the home.
Now you would think that we had more interesting things to talk about but discussing irons and clothes pegs is actually very enlightening. It highlights just how stressful it is to runa home and the high level of skills required to do so successfully.
Required skills to be a successful modern housewife according to Glug Glug members
- Weatherforecaster: Deciding in the morning if the clouds are going to dissipate or not. Often the deadline to put a load of washing on arrives and the sun has either appeared or disappeared. What to do? Bloody Durban weather.
- Clothepeg connoisseur: Apparently you can’t just hang your clothes up any old way. There is a right way and a wrong way. Who knew? I just hang everything upside down. It seems right for about 50% of the garments. Oh, and God help the lady that does not fold her washing with military precision when taking it down.
- Iron technician: Not all irons are created equally. Besides which – steamers are the next best thing, not irons. As far as I am concerned, if an iron last longer than a year it is simply brilliant.
- Dishwashing machine expert: To rinse or not to rinse before packing in? This argument gets discussed more frequently than the topic of husbands and becomes far too heated for my liking. Watch this space. This could be what starts WW3
- Detergent detective: Finding the latest, new,improved wunder-cleaner is essential. Once found it then requires stalking of the cleaning lady to ensure that she only uses the recommended amount and not the whole bottle in one day. The stalking is essential as the said bottle of phenomenal cleaner costs more than your entire month’s grocery budget.
- Pantry science: Not all tins live up to their expiry dates. Knowing which ones you can use after those pesky dates takes years of experience. Rotating produce and stock control requires meticulousness attention to detail. I don’t have a pantry. What a relief.
- Human Resources Degree: Actually, discussing the management of household cleaning staff requires a book, not a blog. The stories that get shared each month have me either gasping in horror or gasping for breath they make me laugh so much. I am so grateful for my sweet, short sighted Gladys.
And you thought we just discussed sauvignon, sex, shopping and shoes at wine club,right?
Glug-Glug ladies, thank you so much for always being there as my mentors and tutors as I bumble my way through housewifery. My house is still standing and no-one has died as yet so I must be doing some of it right.
Just wondering. Do you think roses go on the endangered species list after Valentine’s day? Also – do all the unsold heart-shaped chocolates get melted down and turned into Easter eggs?
Anyway – I did send this to my business e-mail database today and thought I would share it with you.
Without startingto sound like a gardening blog, considering my Jasmine post, I love the perfumethat some plants have. “Yesterday, Todayand Tomorrow” trees emit the most glorious smell. I have never had any luck with roses but ifone has the patience to adhere to their long list of fiddly and fancifulrequirements – roses will bless you with their beautiful scent.
|One of the many Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow trees in my jungle, umm, garden.
I have thisugly, messy, unruly plant growing like a weed in my garden. For 11 out of 12 months they serve no purposeexcept as privacy from our neighbours who are so cool we don’t really needprivacy from them. They also dropcopious amounts of large, elongated, shrivelled leaves. (The plants – not theneighbours. Really!) I have no clue what they are called – their Latin,biological and common name all elude me.)
What is sospecial about “plant with no name” is that the ugly brown clumps at the end of theirstalks turn into white laced pompoms and drenched the air with a powerful aromathat can be smelt for miles. The smellpermeates every inch of the house and the garden. This only lasts a couple of weeks but I lookforward to those 2 weeks every year. Theperfume is so potent that one could almost get a headache from it.
|They look like Lamingtons, don’t they?
I am sograteful that these “weeds” grow so prolifically in my garden.
Please come and visit me one evening (they onlygive off their precious aroma at night) in January/February and allow theglorious perfume to uplift you.
If you knowwhat they are called – I’ll give you a glass of wine. Fair trade?
The other day I added a sparkly, dazzling, disco-like button to my blog…I’ll wait while you look. Seen it? Okay – let’s continue.
This button, when clicked, will take you to a blog called “No, Really, you can eat it” (yes, really) where Melanie shares recipes and all sorts of interesting stuff.
She offered to give me a recipe as thanks for sharing her shiny button. I advised her that a salad recipe would be appreciated as it is so gosh darn hot in Durban at the moment.
Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
I am a rather simple chick. I have no illusions of grandeur and my wishes are verging on the dulland darn right boring.
- I wish the Alien would listen to me the first time I saysomething (Not a difficult request surely?)
- I wish my cats and dog would stop shedding hair everywhere(I am drowning in their hair, people. HELP!)
- I wish alcohol didn’t give me a hangover (How can somethingso delightful be so punishing? It’scruel I tell you.)
- I wish TV adverts weren’t so bloody loud (They are at least1000 decibels louder than the programme you just fell asleep to.)
- I wish women could stand together and force feminine hygienecompanies to bring down the prices of sanitary towels/tampons (Come on, it’s arip off. I expect to see cotton wool pricesafter gold and oil prices on business news. It is clearly a rare commodity)
When it comes to my birthday I am therefore totally coolwith just a well-worded card or an e-mail or a phone call. No mess, no fuss required. I am over 40 remember. As long as Chicken Man and the Alien rememberto give me an extra hug and kiss (and exempt me from cooking dinner) I am ahappy camper.
We have a no-gift policy in our family. One of my brothers does not conform to thispolicy however and, together with his wife, always gets me the most apt and amazinggift. I was nursing the last fumes in myperfume bottle and VOILA – they gave me perfume for Christmas. I was growing crow’sfeet like ostrich feet around my eyes squinting against the Durban sun andVOILA – they gave me sunglasses. So it goes on…
This year they gave me something that I have wanted since theproduct first hit the market. Myobsession for reading has never been a secret. So, when I opened their gift to me last night, I could not contain mytears of gratitude. I have aKindle!
What more can I say? A fantasy comes true. I’ll ignore the cat and dog hairs and payfull price for tampons as I lose myself in my love for the written word on my new toy. Thank you Herman and Michaela.
|My joy cannot really be captured by Kodak but thank you Vernon for sending me this pic.
The Alien turned 15 in December. Of course, all she wanted was a Blackberry. Every other need and want paled in comparison to her desire to have BBM (Blackberry Messenger)
I stuck to my guns of not getting her one – with difficulty though. The nagging, tantrums, depression and blackmail would have had the most hardened Marine SEAL crying like a baby!
Her joy when she received a Blackberry from her Uncle and Aunt was a sight to behold though.
The look of love as she clapped eyes on her BB for the first time almost brings tears to ones eyes??
Then there is the “look Mom – I have a Blackberry. How cool am I?” stage. Pouting is of course compulsory.
This is followed by the far away stare of an Alien plotting all the possibilities opened up to her thanks to finally becoming a part of the BBM generation.
The Blackberry has been surgically attached to the end of her hand since she received it.
Quick question: Is there medication I should be giving her or counselling sessions available to ensure that she is emotionally prepared to get through the first day of school without it tomorrow?
The Alien’s plea for a Blackberry in order to make her lifewhole has not waned since I wrote about it here.
She has quite a sense of humour thatkid. When all the children in her classwere told to place their phones on the teacher’s desk prior to writing an exam– she placed her calculator on the desk. She had written” Blackberry” on the calculator. At least the teacher appreciated her humourand informed the Alien after the exam that she did not have any missed calls orBBM’s.
The Alien still does not have a Facebook account so, when Iread this little piece she had written, I took a look at myself. Was she suggesting something? Am I a neglectful wife and mother? “Nah, this seems to be how everyone is thesedays.” She said. Phew. Still – it makes you think, doesn’t it?
Modern Times – guest blog by the Alien
I wonder why your faces don’t change colour from staring atthe light coming from your screen all day.
Your daily dose of exercise is poking people?
You are following him, she is following you. Who is actually the leader in this wholefollowing pack?
Your laptop is an upgrade of your husband/wife. It goes wherever you go. You tell it all your feelings and it respondswith about 100 comments.
And if your computer shuts down – your life shuts down. Oh no! Now you have to talk face-to-face!
I’ll give you some pointers about real life.
- You don’t poke people when you want theirattention nor do you put up your thumb and say “like” when they say something interesting.
- When you get bored of the conversation, youcan’t shut down.
- You don’t actually follow people wherever theygo because that doesn’t lead to friendship – only restraining orders.
- Your computer is NOT your life.
Alrighty then, best I listen to my daughter and sign off, pack my laptop away and GETA LIFE.
I wrote a post a while ago about how we have to believe alot of the mumbo jumbo that advertisers claim about their products. (Read here)
Cosmetic companies also make a lot of claims about naturalthis and organic that. I, well actuallyRoxy the Foxy, have proven that one company is not lying.
The Alien won a Palmer’s
hamper filled with all their cocoabutter and olive butter products. Cool. They all smelt very niceand Alien and I looked forward to trying them out.
|An Amoeba on steroids?
Yesterday I found this strange thing lying on the floor. Is it a potatoe, I thought. I gave it a hesitant kick. Nope – too light to be a potatoe. Maybe a sponge? We don’t have sponges in the house so unlessthat Squarepants dude paid us a fatal visit – not possible. Mmmmm. Having established that it was not alive and dangerous, I picked itup. I smelt it (as one does to unknownobjects.)
It was a bar of soap that Roxy had been chewing on! What? The dog may not be a genius but she is not THAT stupid. Yes, her breath does smell at times but wesurely haven’t given her that much of a complex about it? Anyway – why not chew on a tube of toothpastethen?
Out of curiosity, I had to prove that this soap’s cocoabutter ingredient was what Roxy was after and it wasn’t just a moment of fullmoon madness for her.
I put the bar of soap back, right next to the Dove soap, andVoila! Proof that you can believe what some products claim about natural (andedible) ingredients. Best I hide theshampoo with lemon extract.
|“Ooh yummy. My snack is back”
|“I’ll take that now, thank you, before you remove it again”
|“Now for a bit of Cocoa Butter indulgence. Move aside, Mom”
I have been feeling sorry for Chicken Man of late. He is under so much stress, running around like a headless chicken tokeep his customers and bosses happy.
Likemost companies, those higher up in the pecking order are the ones that reap therewards of his moo-tivated and egg-zacting hard work.
But no matter where on the food chain we are – we all need tostop for a good chirple every now and again…