Month: November 2008

blogging mojo

I’ve had no blogging mojo. I suppose it’s just a case of knowing that if I started I wouldn’t know where to stop. The last week has been totally bizarre.

I have a family member who really is not well. She has, what I think, is bipolar and a symptom of that is alcoholism. She’s been moved around from family member to family member and kicked out after she becomes too much to handle. The problem is that when she’s manic, she can become aggressive.

We’ve all tried to help over the years – it has been going on for about twenty – but each time we do, something happens to stop us completely. The worst was when we eventually managed to get her to a psychiatrist and he did no evaluation – just told us that we were ganging up on her because she was afrikaans and we weren’t. I mean – WTF!

Every time we’ve tried to help, its been thwarted.

Over the last two weeks I’ve had funerals for two other family members who died. I know! Told you it’s been crazy. I saw her at one of the funerals and my heart just broke. She’s been living in the Free State with her family and looked really sad and lost. My sister and I told her we would get her help and that she must move back beginning of December. This way we could try get her help.

All was fine until this weekend. I got a call to say she had been missing for 24 hours already and was last seen wandering the streets of a nearby location. We called police, we phoned hospitals and we prayed like never before. Miraculously she returned two days later unharmed.

That was the last straw.

I have never been so scared for someone in my life. We immediately picked her up (my sister has been amazing) and got her here, and I started calling. I called AA and they wanted me to go to a meeting for family of alcoholics. I explained that there was more to it than my needs. Eventually, after a lot of calling, I found a support centre for bipolar. I spoke to the most amazing lady and for the first time in 20 years someone HEARD me. And spoke to me with compassion and wisdom – something we’ve been needing for years. She pointed us to a nurse who worked in an academic hospital. Long story short, we managed to chat to the family member who has agreed that something is not right (its taken 20 years to get to this point) and got her to the hospital. They treated her so well and with such care. And for the first time in our lives we feel like there’s hope.

She has been feeling better and stronger, and hopefully feels totally loved by us. But it’s left the rest of us all feeling a bit exhausted. I’m just grateful she’s okay and praying that we finally see some stabilisation.

Why am I sharing this? I have no idea. I suppose I just need to let it out and maybe there’s someone else who can offer advice or get some hope from this.

On a different note, I’ve started reading “The Shack”. I’ve heard so much about it and keen to see what they hype is all about. I have a whole hoard of books to get through this holiday, so bring on the vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tintswalo Game Lodge

A few weeks ago, Frank and I went on a media visit to Tintswalo Game Lodge in the Kruger Park. It really is a special place and worth visiting if you feel that way inclined (or have the cash). It’s not cheap but they go out of their way to treat you to an amazing experience. The level of detail and personal attention is quite something.

The highlight of the trip was definitely the game drives. We were taken every morning and afternoon on a personal game drive with an amazing tracker and guide. I saw animals and birds I’ve never seen before.

One thing I’ve never seen is an animal killing another animal in the wild. I’ve seen my cat eat my goldfish and that’s scarred me enough, so not so sure I was up for a wild game kill. But like it or not, I was headed for one. I struggled through it – but found it strangely rivetting. It was quite something. Frank took these pics – not the clearst but we did zoom in quite a bit…

And, oh yes – warning not for the fainthearted!

Here we have the wild dog going in for the kill…an impala (a pregnant one as we discovered later)… a pretty rare sight. Frank took these while I gagged…

Wild dog tucking in… the impala wasn’t completely dead… so she came up with a moan and the wild dog went back for the kill. At this stage I was screaming for someone to help Bambi…

Making sure bambi the pregnant impala was totally dead…

Die Bambi Die!

Feasting away…

Bye Bambi!

Well, after that we hardly saw any animals… some say it’s because we used up our wild animal luck with the wild dog kill. If I knew it was so amazing and rare (for want of a better word) I would have kept my eyes open more…

Oh,(c) Photos can not be re-used without permission šŸ™‚

Mama Africa

So I woke up to hear that Miriam Makeba passed away last night. Very sad news. She was such an icon and because of the work I do on the magazine, I was recently reading a lot about her and even trying to make contact. It would have been amazing to meet her or even just have a chat on the phone.

A lot of people not based in Johannesburg have asked about the magazine I work on, so this will tell you a bit more. We are a positive voice about Joburg – a city that often gets the brunt end of the stick. But it is an amazing city – you just have to know where to go. Not that they’re hidden – but everyone has their own Joburg. And its a city where anything can happen – you just have to want it to.

Our most recent issue’s cover is a recreation of an old Drum cover. Originally shot by Jurgen Schadeber, it featured Miriam Makeba in song as she stood in front of a wall of album covers. A simple shot, but iconic now. She wore her green dress – the only one she performed in because she couldn’t afford more than one fancy dress and her yellow shoes. And the two of them alone in a warehouse doing the shoot for the cover was actually a huge risk. Schadeberg was arrested for contravening the Immorality Act while shooting a Drum cover – the one of Dolly Rathebe in her bathing suit on a mine dump. The same could have happened while shooting this cover. If you want to see the original cover you can click here… I can’t repost it for usage reasons.

So in honour of Drum magazine and Miriam Makeba (who always sang about Johannesburg) we chose a rising South African singer Lira to follow in Mama Africa’s footsteps and recreated the dress and did our tribute to the cover… I feel especially pleased that the magazine is currently on shelves over this time. I think it’s a fitting tribute to an amazing artist and performer.

Yes we can!

I woke up to Obama-world this morning, and feel the need to join the throngs of blog entries that will be about the man who will always be the first black American president. I listened to his victory speech with much interest.

I cried, Jesse Jackson cried, Oprah cried…

He’s an amazing speaker and with his election comes the hope that our future will be different. That somehow we won’t be as scared of tomorrow as we are today, and that a better life is possible. Even in little old South Africa.

I do believe change is in the air. A lot of philosophisers and writers speak about the 7-year cycle. I think its even biblical. And thinking back to 7 years ago, I remember watching CNN as the second plane flew into the Twin Towers and somehow knew that the world as we knew it had changed. Seven years before that I stood in line to vote for a new government in our land – the first elected democratically by all its people. Every 7 years we’ve witnessed big change in the world and I know that today is significant.

So today I blog with a positive smile on my face and a hope that maybe, just maybe… we can!

Random and weird

Okay , so Allie tagged me, and as Allie knows, I do as she says!!

So I have to list 7 random and weird things about myself and then tag others.

So here are my 7 things:

1. I have a fear of weedeaters. Especially if there is a person chopping up the sidewalk while I drive past. I literally scream like a little girl and accelerate to get past.

2. I have a Miley Cyrus cd. Yes, I’m 36 and I like Hannah Montana. Well, two songs of hers. I blame it on my nephews.

3. I wish I wasn’t scared… all the time.

4. I never thought I’d fall in love. Ever. I thought that I would protect myself from being hurt to the detriment of all my relationships. I’ve learnt that I can love, and be loved.

5. I believe in laughter – it heals everything.

6. I studied acting, not because I wanted to be an actor, but because I wanted people to think I was okay (maybe even different), and needed the instantaneous response. I only realised I was okay when I stopped looking for other people to tell me.

7. I want to write a novel.

I’m sure there are loads more… but these are the first that popped in my mind. Thanks Allie, that was fun…

I tag Shayne and pakistanijakes.