Tag Archives: featured

How I Met Your Father: The One with the magical Harry Potter Cosplaying in Cape Town!

Kids, by the winter of 2016, I had been Game of Thrones ’Melisandre and Khaleesi and Wonder Woman, all in the name of cosplaying events in Cape Town.

So, when the opportunity arose to transform into Hermione Granger for the highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child launch party, there was NO way I was going to miss out on it!

HP 1

Your Spirit Mom Leo, lovely mermaid Emma and I had to complete quite the rigorous process to get our owls and golden tickets to Hogwarts aka Exclusive Books ‘party at the Canal Walk Shopping Centre – I mean, seriously, with the amount of hoops we had to jump through just to score an invitation, I practically had to give one of you up before you were even born…

After two months of emails, registration AND costume planning, The Night finally arrived:

30 July 2016 …

Any fan of the book or movie series will know the feelings that hearing the signature Potter music conjures within you.

Add that to the incredible sense of belonging you feel when you see hundreds, nay THOUSANDS, of fellow Potterheads dressed as Dementors, Dumbledore, Luna Lovegood; Moaning Myrtle and more and you’ll understand when I say that I felt like finally, I’d come home.

Leo, Emma, your aunt Bennii and I were utterly gobsmacked at the realistic and detailed costumes on display. While we rocked the crazy hot Bellatrix, gorgeous Quidditch Seeker, beautiful muggle and sexy student looks; other fans were unbelievable Snitches; Sybill Trelawneys and more:

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Beautiful muggle Bennii tries to take care of Bellatrix’s scary Dementors and look utterly terrified at the same time!
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Charming fans in full Potter cosplay!
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Kooky  Sybill Trelawney , a gorgeous muggle and the HOT Seeker Emma!

As I said, the atmosphere was utterly magical because of all of our die-hard Potterhead enthusiasm and seeing everyone in costume BUT I need to stress that the event was no party.

By the mere mention of the word party, we’d been harbouring fantasies about chocolate frogs, a sorting hat ceremony etc …what we got instead was a four hour long queue and preferential game playing cards with very little communication from the Exclusive Books staff about what was happening.

The organisers either desperately needed to hire Leo and I to do their book launch parties for them in future because we’re kickass publicists, magic fanatics AND awesome cosplayers or they should have taken a leaf out of Ster Kinekor and Mnet’s, uh, books (pun TOTALLY intended) who rocked a feast with music and entertainers worthy of a Westeros wedding for the Game of Thrones Season 6 screening.

The #HarryPotterSA thing wasn’t all that bad, though, because awesome Emma was the star of an Expresso TV show interview and your Spirit Mom bagged the top feature in Channel 24’s round-up of the event.

31 July 2016 …

3, 2, 1 …LUMOS!

Finally, after hours of queueing and leaping through the half-hearted attempted at a Platform 9 & ¾ portal, we got our fangirling hands on brand-new copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!

Leo HP collage
“An insane convict, star student, and a quidditch champ walk into a bar filled with muggles and magical creatures…” Image and caption credit: Leonie Mollentze

We were tired but happy and even energized enough to scare the living daylights out of a parking attendant when we stopped for drinks at a nearby petrol station 😉

HP 6
Thanks Nan Williams for supporting us as we fly our freak flags!

Cosplayers are only as good as their supporters, though so a HUGE thank you to your aunt Bennii and your Nan for braving the icy weather, hordes of people and late hours to be there for us xxx

 

How I Met Your Father: 3 things I wish I could say to your Great-Grandpa on Father’s Day

 

Pa Eid

Kids, in the winter of 2016, your Great-Grandfather was dying of diabetes.

Watching him battle this silent and dangerous disease, the way it ravished his body at a rapid pace was almost too much to bear. Seeing the once powerful man he’d been reduced to a withering, childlike figure in constant pain broke my heart.

Emotions, as you can guess, were running rampant within the family, further annihilating existing estrangements and making things even more difficult so I was determined to remain strong, the voice of reason and not verbalize my own reactions.

But I did need to express my feelings so here are three things I wish I could have said to Pa on Father’s Day 2016:

  • You were more than my granddad… you were my Dad:

My father was murdered exactly a week after my eleventh birthday and for most of my life, I carried that sorrow as a HUGE chip on my shoulder.

I hid behind my identity as a fatherless child and used it as the excuse for all of the s*** I got up to in my tween years but it wasn’t true… I wasn’t fatherless.

My dad’s Dad stepped up and did all of the fatherly duties a second time around – he was the one who picked me up from school and my first internship; searched for me when I ran away once (long story); helped me move out of the parental home TWICE; taught me to be responsible for my actions; grounded me a lot; helped to pay for my tertiary education; collected me from the airport after my international trips; disapproved of the bad boys I seemed to love; helped to nurse me through various illnesses and helped me navigate the tricky parts of adulthood.

Anyone can be a father but it takes a man to be a dad and granddad!

  • You were imperfectly human and my superhero:

Pa wasn’t perfect – far from it. My childhood Sundays always ended with him being a drunken, crying mess because he’d helped himself to one too many drinks from his business.

He always seemed to say the wrong things at the wrong times and seemingly favoured my siblings over me. Most of my teens and early adulthood were spent crying over insensitive things he’d said about me, my life plans etc.

But …

As I entered my 30s, I realised that actually, Pa was my superhero role model for adulthood. If he was doing the best he could and winging the rest of it well into his 70s, I wasn’t doing too badly either.

  • Thank you for loving me:

Pa and Faz US

Pa had been raising kids for nigh on 30 something years by the time I came along and he thought he knew how to do it well … but then there was me.

I was a sensitive, strong-willed, prone to emotional outbursts creative who refused to conform to any of the customs set by the culture, religion and class my family adhered to.

For years I rebelled against these constraints and vocally so. It led to endless fights, countless time-outs and dramatic stand-offs because I felt that no one, least of all my grandfather, understood me.

It wasn’t until my mid to late twenties, when I learnt to accept myself as the emotional, weird writer and unconventional woman I was, that Pa let go of the apron strings too and our relationship improved dramatically.

We could joke about my drunken debauchery in the US and his fumbling courtship of your Great-Grandma; talk about work (even if he still didn’t know exactly what PR was); debate religious convictions (he was the only one in my entire family who accepted my deflection from the Islamic faith without having a nervous breakdown or keep pushing me to choose another religion) and be honest about our feelings ( my proudest moment was when he said I love you to me without me having to say it first).

When I finally learnt to love myself, I discovered that Pa had loved me as I was all along.

The thing that frightened me the most about Pa dying was being truly fatherless for the rest of my life – of not having someone who fiercely loved me, worried about me and looked out for me being there when I needed him the most …

But…

He’d raised me to be a formidable, independent woman who could and would be the pillar of strength he and our family needed during a difficult time. I hope I’ve made him proud.

Happy Father’s Day, Pa! I love you xxx

How I Met Your Father: The one where I got my full geek on with Wonder Woman cosplaying

Kids, by now you know that I am weird and I own that s*** like a superhero. Wonder Woman, to be exact.

Faz Wonder Woman

So it should come as no surprise that when I heard the comic book store I virtually grew up in, Readers Den, would present a local version of the Nirvana of Geekdom, Comic Con to the Mother City as FanCon Cape Town; I decided to suit up and have a Wonder Woman costume designed.

You’ve seen the cool as ice photos of my and your Spirit Mom’s Game of Thrones cosplaying, but did you know my dress-up antics date back all the way to the 80s?

1985/ 1986 …

The story goes that your Grandpops was desperate for a son after two daughters from his previous marriage and because he was a huge, and I mean, HUGE Superman fan, he was determined to create a costume for his heir.

Luckily for him, your Nan was crazy about knitting and geek boys so whilst he drew the Kryptonian emblem, she crocheted a blue, red and yellow onesie, complete with a cape to accompany it.

Except …

Their last ultrasound revealed that I was, well, me … and the doctor turned to them to say:

“As it turns out, Superboy is actually Supergirl”

I “flew” into your super grandparents ‘lives two months earlier than expected and had to spend several weeks in an incubator so my lungs could grow.

Two months after they took me home and I had grown to a satisfying size and weight, your Nan and Grandpops suited me up for my first ever cosplaying session … meet the Girl of Steel:

dad and supergirl

2016 …

Fast forward some 30 years later and Supergirl had evolved into Wonder Woman.

I had loved Gal Godot as the Amazon heroine in Batman vs Superman and was determined to rock her modern look because it was a sure bet no one else was going to (patterns for the new costume were hard to find on the internet).

wonder woman batman vs superman
Image credit: http://www.giphy.com/gifs/batmanvsuperman-batman-superman

Yeah, the skirt was short and the look required LOTS of skin to be shown but f*** it, you only live once, right?!

When I told your Nan about my plans, she was more excited than I was and promptly took me shopping (her favourite activity!) for material and accessories.

Luckily for me, because I loathe shopping like a cat hates bathing, we found all of the material we needed to bring Wonder Woman to life at Fabric City in the City Centre.

Keeping your grandmother in check as we searched for toy swords and shields was like trying to contain an over-stimulated child in a candy store so I let her run rampant 😉

Wonder woman basic material

 

The material paired with the corset I’d commissioned from fellow cosplayer Candice-Lynne Barker, left me satisfied I had everything we needed to breathe life into my iconic character. I reached out to your Great Aunts Shamiela and Shanaaz and their back-up team at the Bernina sewing shop in Claremont for assistance in creating the costume.

Several fittings, late night sessions and tons of comparing it to the movie look, I could shimmy into my suit and blow fellow cosplayers away at Fan Con.

Your Aunts Sam and Mishka joined in on the dress up fun as Harley Quinn and Catwoman ( yes, yes, I know, how can two DC Comics  villains hang out with a Justice League member, but we made it work!):

wonder woman catwoman harley quinn

FanCon itself was such a mind-trip and it was so amazing to be able to roam about with other like-minded people, exchanging compliments on costumes, ideas on characters and thoughts on movie adaptations of our favourite comics and graphic novels.

Having your Nan, Great-Grams and your Great Aunt there to support me was also a ground-breaking moment in finally being accepted as the Wyrdo  I was.

wonder woman and family

Sharing the stage for a cosplay competition with other contestants was thrilling but I still had time for one more costume change…

Faz Khaleesi 2016

FINALLY! Khaleesi Fazielah could claim her Iron Throne 😉

What, you may ask, has this got to do with meeting your father? Well. Kids, as my own parents proved, there is a handsome geek for every Wonder Woman and mine would do a superhero landing in my life pretty soon. You guys listening to my wacky adventures are proof of that!

 

 

How I Met Your Father: The One where I friend-zoned perfectly nice guys

Kids, as you know, I’ve had my fair share of always being the friend and never the girlfriend but, and I am ashamed of this, I have friend-zoned some perfectly nice guys over the years too.

I was so bad, I made what Daenerys did to Jorah look like mercy…

friend zoned
Image credit: http://www.i.ytimg.com

1999 …

Zunaid was my be all and end all during that first blissful year of my teenage hood and needless to say, I only had puppy-love filled eyes for him but that did not stop other guys from crushing on me.

Imran and I had known each other since kindergarten and because he was a year younger than me, he was the kid brother I had never had.

A funny, sweet guy, Imran somehow didn’t seem to fit in with his own grade so he hung out with my click and quickly became one of us.

Initially, when he started making snide remarks about Zunaid, I put it down to him being super overprotective in a brotherly fashion.

It was only when Imran set fire to the school field one day while Zunaid and I were making out that I realised that my “little brother” and I needed to have a chat.

The heart-to-heart that followed is one that still haunts me…

When I explained to Imran that while I loved him, I didn’t love him the way he loved me, he turned those sad, honey brown eyes at me and said:

“I don’t want to be just your friend …”

youre-still-my-bestfriend
Image credit: http://www.google.com

Imran eventually went on to date Lameez, one of my friends, but it killed me to see that sadness in his eyes every day …sigh.

2012 …

Thirteen years later, I was working at a tourism company and unexpectedly, my friend’s then-fiance Ted joined the team.

We’d hung out before, of course, in social settings and Ted and I were, if not completely chummy, at least well enough acquainted to have lunch together occasionally and chat up a storm on Skype.

Even when the company domestic made remarks about how I seemed to laugh too much and glow when Ted was around and he kept bringing me treats all the time, I still didn’t think there was anything more to our friendship that just that – being buddies, bros, amigos etc.

Then, a text message from my friend arrived out of the blue, to say that she really appreciated everything I did for her and Ted, telling me what a good friend I am to both of them and that she hears a lot about me from him.

Keep Calm he's yours
Image credit: http://www.ak0.pinimg.com/

Ok … weird, when I hadn’t heard from her in a while and extra suspicious because the tone of the text seemed to imply lines being drawn.

You guys know, though, that I am utterly clueless when it comes to guys hitting on me so if that is what Ted was doing during our work day, I wasn’t picking up on it and any way, he was my friend’s man – hoes before bros and all of that.

Fast forward a year later and both of them had disappeared out of my life like mist before the sun. It hurt me greatly but like all break-ups, I got over it and moved on until a few months later.

My friend reached out and invited me for lunch, where she explained she had dumped Ted and was getting married to someone else. No explanation as to why I had been iced out of their lives but seemingly willing to put whatever chilliness had arisen between us to rest.

By 2014, she was married with a kid and I was about to set off on my US trip when Ted reached out, to commiserate about the break-up and wanting to meet for “coffee” or dinner.

Again, my intentions were completely friendly and anyway, I was head over heels for Monroe at the time so yeah, a dinner with an old friend sounded like fun.

Said dinner turned into an awkward group hangout with your Uncle Tendai, which included a ghost tour hunt (sorry T!) and one where I realised that maybe, just maybe there was more to Ted’s reconnection request than meets the eye.

A month later, Ted contacted me on the day I discovered Monroe had friend-zoned me (the audacity!) and I was feeling emotionally vulnerable.

I figured we were still just friends so I told him about my heart-break and bless his poor kind heart, assured me that Monroe, the jerk, didn’t know what he was missing out on.

unsaid
Image credit:  www.38.media.tumblr.com

A lot was still left unsaid and it’s something I’ll always regret …I’m sorry, Ted, I’m really sorry!

As the search for your father continued, I vowed to friend zone guys as little as possible – after all, aren’t the best relationships born out of friendships?  😉

 

 

 

How I Met Your Father: The one with the user loser

unavailable man 2
Image credit: www.burnsmentalhealthandwellness.blogspot.com

Kids ,in 2016 as I waded through various online platforms like , gasp, Tinder,  for potential life partners and your father, I was adamant not to repeat the disastrous mistakes of my irresponsible youth – like falling for the user loser.

Grab a snack and let me tell you about that time I fell for the Biggest Loser…

April 2008 …

One of my very first PR campaigns for the TV station I worked for back then was marketing the local version of hit weight loss series, The Biggest Loser. As excited as I was to line up media interviews, write press releases and arrange the launch, I was not prepared for falling for one of the contestants.

Having battled some weight issues myself over the years, I had a healthy admiration for all that these men and women were going through, especially for the blonde Jacques.

As our initial emails became ever more friendly and flirtatious, I became really excited about meeting him in person at the launch of the show in Johannesburg, certain that his sweet online persona would carry through to his personal one. Yeah, right …

The day and night of the launch was like a dream – my first airplane experience, staying in a hotel room all by myself AND working on a hot new show was a huge milestone for 22-year-old me.

A milestone made all the more memorable by the fact that Jacques and his family seemed to adore me – his mom called me her soon-to-be daughter-in-law and he was all touchy feely – it was like my birthday had come early… swoon!

swoon two
Image credit: http://www.d.gr-assets.com

That night, with the help of your fabulous Uncle Clayton, we met up with Jacques and the rest of the contestants at a nightclub and things were going well – a lot of sweet nothings were whispered into my ear; intimate touches, numbers exchanged, plans for future visits made etc and I left for Cape Town feeling like I was on cloud nine.

Six months later …

After months of feverish emailing and text messages and calls back and forth to say how much he missed me and enjoyed my company, Jacques went radio silent.

Slightly worried but still hopeful, I put it down to him working long hours at a car dealership. Besides, I was so hooked on his daily morning and good night messages and seeing him onscreen, I could survive a few weeks without hearing from him, right?

Uhm, yeah, no news is never good news as I was soon to discover.

One not-so-bright morning I received a call from Jacques, sounding happy to hear my voice and eager to catch up. I was delighted and gushed profusely until he dropped the mother of all bombshells:

“So, the reason I am calling … could you assist with getting media interested in my upcoming wedding?”

Wait… what??!!!! Are you f***ing kidding me?!!!!

Months of flirting, hour long calls and naughty texts and he was engaged the whole f***ing time?!!!!

I was mad, Diary of Mad Black Woman mad and then it hit me: I had wrongly assumed that all formerly overweight people are inherently good, kind and loving people and I had fallen for the guy Jacques used to be, not the vain, slim man he became.

diary of mad black woman
Image credit:  www.giphy.com

I’m proud of myself for not bursting into tears during that horrible phone call. Instead, I gathered the shards of my dignity and congratulated him on his upcoming nuptials before saying that I highly doubted any media would be interested in a reality TV show contestant’s wedding when said person was not the winner of the show.

I never heard from that user loser ever again … thank the gods!

How I Met Your Father: 3 times I didn’t know I was being hit on because I’m so clueless

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Image credit: www.memegenerator.net

Kids, before your father managed to convince me that yes, really he was into me and wanted to be my forever weird partner in life, I was utterly clueless about men hitting on me.

I, of course flirted up a storm with anything that moved but when it came to recognising that someone else was doing it to me … well, let’s just say, these were not my finest moments.

Grab a seat and let me tell you about the three times I didn’t know I was being hit on…

New Year’s Day 2005 …

It had been one of those unbelievable nights my high school self could only have dreamt of – partying in Long Street with the love of my teenage life, the hot jock jerk Tashriq.

Sure, he had spent most of the night in the clutches of my frenemy Fatima (unwillingly so, I may add) and I had spent most of the evening playing it cool by dancing with strangers and our former classmate Imtiyaaz (not my childhood wanna-be husband), when really all I wanted to do was scream about how happy I was that we were hanging out together.

Midnight had come and gone and I had been blessed with a hug and a kiss from the dastardly good-looking crush of years gone by. I was floating on a cloud but of course, I had to pretend it meant nothing.

hug
Image credit: www.naniokami.deviantart.com

Fast forward to the boys dropping us off at home, and as we said our goodbyes in your Nan’s driveway, Imtiyaaz saved his number onto my phone. He handed the phone back to me with a coy “Call me”.

In what can only be described as me having a total blonde moment, I replied: “Why?”

Cue the awkward silence as everyone realised what exactly was transpiring, expect for me…

A confused look passed over Imtiyaaz’s face before he rallied and said: “Oh, you know, for whatever…”

I still didn’t get it, and ended the weird exchange with: “Uh, sure”

I know, I know, oh my gods, how could I be so dense but I was in a lust-filled fog, ok? That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

August 2009 …

My cousin and her then-boyfriend were big into the church scene and we were having a karaoke/dance fundraiser on this particular Friday evening.

I had already done my Good Samaritan act of the night by helping a fabulous teen come out of the closet by shaking what our mamas gave us on the dancefloor to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive and was happy to spend the rest of the evening joking around with Jay, my cousin-in-law’s best friend.

We’d been friends for years and had a brother/sister relationship going so whenever he hugged or touched me, I thought nothing of it. His inquiries into my relationship status, too, was par for the course for us and I was really just having fun with him.

bad at flirting
Image credit: www.someecards.com

Later that evening, as we parted ways, Jay hugged me extra tight and lingered as he said: “I tried, I did but who knows? If only this night had gone as I wanted it to…” One last wistful look and he was gone, leaving me to wonder how the heck I hadn’t noticed the vibe was more flirty that familial all night!

August 2014 …

As you guys know, I was living life to the fullest in the States – dancing on bar tops in Las Vegas, day drinking in a San Francisco park and kissing strangers in New York.

What you don’t know is that Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome wasn’t the first guy to put the moves on me that night in the Big Apple.

Our tour manager Rammel had been all kinds of awesome all through the tour and I had stuck with him to get the insider’s guide to all of the local spots, enjoying his insane sense of humour. Likewise, he was always thanking me for getting some of the others to join us on these escapades which was cool.

On our first night in New York, the group was having dinner at a pub on Times Square. I was joking around with Cheree and Tash, my friends when I had the sensation someone was watching me. There was Rammel, staring at us and looking hesitant before making his way over to us.

Completely unnecessarily, he ran his hand slowly down the middle of my back as he told us we’d be leaving for the bar soon, and let it rest on my hip for a second too long. “Okaaayyyyy”, I thought, “ that was weird!” Not unpleasant, mind you, just odd.

As we arrived at the bar, it struck me that something might be going on here, but I chalked it up to my over-active imagination and got stuck into the first of that night’s several Cosmopolitans.

do you like me
Image credit: www.media.teentimes.com

A few minutes later, Rammel comes over to where we’re sitting at the bar to char to the bartender, and, the same as Drew would do later, leans into me whilst doing so.

“Hey ladies, how ya doing?”, he says. We giggle, already slightly tipsy (I’ve told you. States portions are three times the size of SA ones!) before continuing our conversation. Rammel told us to let him know if we needed anything and then vanished.

Was it callous? Probably but like I said, I had no freaking clue back then when men were hitting on me.

Four Cosmos in and  only after Drew laid one on me with the same moves, I realised what Rammel had been doing and went looking for him. He’d left by then, of course, and no matter how much I tried to recapture his attention for the rest of the tour, the moment had passed. F*** a f***ing zombie!

Thank the gods, old and new, your Dad got through to me or you wouldn’t be here 😉

 

How I Met Your Father: 5 things I learnt whilst being on a dating pause

single-happy
Image credit: http://www.kampungwanita.com

Kids, as you know, in the autumn of 2016, I hit the pause button on finding your father and dating.

Too many disastrous online and speed dating episodes had left a bitter taste in my mouth about the whole process and I decided to rock the art of going solo for a while.

By March, I had been on my singleton kick for just over a month and I picked up a few well-deserved lessons along the way:

  1. People will gossip: and sometimes those people are your own family. Mine came up with the ingenious thought that if I wasn’t bringing a man home, I must be a lesbian. Cue awkward “so, where’s your partner or is it your friend?” questions.                                                                                                                                                                                   There is nothing wrong with loving girls, as you well know, but clearly my relatives had not been exposed enough to my Alexander Skarsgard obsession, my stalker war stories or met He Who Shall Not Be Named.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Their gossip hurt for a while, especially when all I had been doing was killing myself trying to meet the right guy for so long but then I figured F*** it! People who talk are fans and have nothing better to do with their time.
  1. Meeting new people was more fun: without the added pressure of always wondering whether the hot barista or fellow runner was a potential mate, I could relax and just talk to guys.                                                                                                                                                                             This time, I wasn’t even worried that I’d end up as always the best friend and not the girlfriend. I could and did just truly enjoy having normal conversations with relatively normal guys.
  1. Less time spent on dating woes meant more time to do great things: like train for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Fun Run; get my geek on at comic book movie premieres; indulge in my love for magic and spend time with your Great-Grandfather.

     I was spending more time being me and that was always a good      thing!

  1. I developed a super power for spotting time and emotion wasters: He Who Shall Not Be Named decided to poke the bear during this period by asking for special favours and trying to be the centre of my attention at events.
ain't nobody got time for that
Image credit:  www.33.media.tumblr.com

He did not succeed, much to his utter disappointment. Ditto for the ex-boyfriend of a  friend who was always trying to be something more to me but only when it suited him. Ain’t nobody got time for that …NEXT!

  1. Being alone did not mean being lonely: and I was perfectly ok with it. It tired me watching family and friends agonize over relationship issues and the fear of being alone. I did not want to be that scared to be alone when I was in a  relationship someday so  taking some time to figure out who I was and what I wanted was just fine by me.

I owed it to both you and your dad to have my shit together by the time I met him … and man, am I glad I did!

 

How I Met Your Father: Confessions of Cape Town’s Bridget Jones Part 2

bridget jones fuck

Kids, as you’ll well remember from some of my previous tales, I had quite the reputation for being Cape Town’s Bridget Jones. I was known for getting myself into some hilariously embarrassing situations.

I wish I could tell you that I got better at not doing it over the years but I didn’t. Settle in and let me confess a few more of my embarrassing Bridget Jonesesque tales in Cape Town:

December 2015 …

On a blustering Sunday in the Mother City, your Aunts Sam and Mishy, your godmother Missy and I headed out to the gorgeous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden for popular singer Jimmy Nevis’s Summer Sunset concert.

Once we were finally settled in a good viewing spot, we got down to the very important business of indulging in all of the yummy picnic goodies we’d brought along. As resident chocoholic, I’d ensured that we had a tub of Nutella and accompanying strawberries and bananas to enjoy.

Chatting away to the girls while I spread chocolate up and down the elongated shape of the huge bananas, I explained how I had first been introduced to the absolute heavenly combination of Nutella and banana by your extremely naughty Aunt Kaanita a few years previously.

chocolate banana

Completely oblivious to the stares of near-by fellow concert-goers and picnickers, I was about to put the oh-so-good chocolate-covered banana into my eagerly anticipating mouth when I heard the gentleman next to us exclaim:

“You aren’t really going to eat that, are you?!”

Blushing from head to toe, I just nodded my head in the affirmative before take a big bite out of my sweet banana and received a round of applause and laughter from one of the other groups near-by.

Kill.Me.Now.

January 2016…

Your Spirit Mother, the freaking awesome Leo, was celebrating her Name Day and, in honour of the fact that we fly our freak flags proudly together and are partners-in-crime for all things naughty, I asked your talented Aunt Sam to whip up a decadent Magic Mike chocolate cake, complete with a stripper pole and doll sans clothing.

leo magic mike

I unveiled said salacious sweet treat to the Lady Cumberbatch-Mormont-Littlefinger on Camps Bay beach, with a side order of Naughty Girl bubbly.

Whilst trying to pop the bubbly cork and NOT get arrested by the police officers walking by, it was hard not to notice the double takes of beach goers and runners out on their daily beach visits.

As one woman who sat down on a bench close to us just to have a better look remarked:

“Well, doesn’t he just look quite realistic? That’s some cake, hey!”

Comments from bolder street vendors alluded to us needing a real naked man instead of a doll and yes, I was just as disgusted as you are right now!

Yes, ordinarily this situation would have been embarrassing but who has time to blush when you’re celebrating the life of a beautiful, wyrdly awesome sister freak? 😉

Kids, these would not be the end of my “good god, why did I do that?” moments in gorgeous Cape Town – those would last for decades. You already knew that, though, didn’t you? I really am sorry about showing up in my too-tight Wonder Woman costume for your parent-teacher meeting … I love you!

 

 

How I Met Your Father: Getting felt up for all the right reasons in all the wrong ways

“Oh gods, why is it that the first time I get some boob action in years, it’s gotta hurt like a mother f***er?!”

Kids, hitting 30 was a wake-up call for me that if I was planning on having and raising you guys, I needed to get my shit together and take care of my body, mind and soul … starting with a mammogram to check that my “twins” were in good shape.

Right, let’s pause here for a second while you get over being grossed out …

keep calm and check the girls

Anyway, as I was saying, I marched myself off to the doctor’s the Monday after my return from paradise for what turned out to be quite the torture session.

Take your top off and let me squeeze them …

Following a brusque Q&A about why, at such a young age, I thought I was at risk of breast cancer (apparently having a sister who had a breast biopsy at age 16 and my own cancer scare and subsequent drainage at age 20 weren’t reasons enough!), the unsmiling radiology assistant asked me to disrobe and join her at the very inconspicuous x-ray machine.

mammogram 1

Sweet mother of dragons, if I had known how f***ing painful the procedure was going to be, I’d have reconsidered doing it. Ms Thing manhandled my pleasure pillows like they were slabs of meat, squishing first one, and then the other between two glass plates that then squeezed down extra hard as the x-ray was taken.

I remember clearly thinking: “Oh gods, why is it that the first time I get some boob action in years, it’s gotta hurt like a mother f***er?!”

When I complained to say that it really, REALLY hurt, my lovely attendant coolly said: “It does? Well, just hang in there, it will be over in a few seconds.”

Longest freaking seconds of my damn life, up until then!

Let’s take a look-see…

Despite not taking me seriously as someone who needed to be checked out when I’d arrived, something in the x-ray must have freaked her out, so my attendant very calmly asked me to join her in the ultrasound room.

As I laid down on the bed, she rubbed some warm gel onto my breasts and massaged them deftly while moving the wand over them to see inside.

At one point, I clearly saw her taking the measurement of a very big cyst and I slowly started to freak out. When she finished her exam (and several measurements more!), she quietly turned to me and said: “There are quite a few cysts in both of your breasts and I’d like to hear from the doctor what he wants to do about them. I’ll be right back.”

buffering

Kids, those five minutes seemed to stretch out forever … I started imagining all sorts of horrible things. Like what if I had cancer and therefore could never have you? What if I died? What if, what if, what if!

Bam! Wham! Thank you, mam …

Eventually, she waltzed back into the room and with a blank expression told me that while my breasts were riddled with cysts on both sides, they were benign and I wasn’t dying. The doctor didn’t think an op to remove them was necessary and they did not want to see me until I was 40. Well, gee, thanks for the sensitivity, people! F***!

wait what

Really? That’s it? Felt up for 5 minutes, nearly handed a death sentence and then it’s all over in a matter of seconds? What an anti-climax!

I know you’ve probably been as uncomfortable listening to this story as I have been telling it to you but what I want you to take away from it is this: if you’re worried about something, have it checked out. Even if the health professionals treat you like a dummy, you persist and find out as much as you can.

Medical knowledge is power … and, doctor’s rooms make for great guy/girl pick-up joints 😉

 

How I Met Your Father: 30 and a week of the good, the bad and the ugly

Kids, as the saying goes, in life only three things are certain: death, change and taxes.

The week after my 30th and return from Mauritius, I had a brush with all three. Since I hate them equally, you can imagine how utterly delighted I was they decided to show up at the same time … not.

These things, I know, were part of being an adult but who the hell decided I was ready to do that, huh?

icant adult

I won’t bore you with the monotony of taxes … suffice it to say that e-filing, as we old folk called it back then, did NOTHING to simply the goddamn painful process, so let’s move on to the other two.

Change …

After switching gears between a highly stressful job and a more relaxed one in 2014, I had committed myself to spending more time with our family, my friends, potential partners and two projects I was involved with.

For a while, I felt like I could expertly manage all of them – and I did. But, as the year progressed, I felt myself becoming increasingly short-tempered and spread too thin between everything, leaving very little time for that precious commodity I was harping on about last week – me time.

I agonised for months about what to let go of and fretted about how it would impact certain relationships. Needless to say there were plenty of sleepless nights and bargaining with the Universe for energy, more time, Channing Tatum showing up to ease my stress the Magic Mike way ( oh, quit the eye rolling, you guys!)  etc to help make my decisions easier.

magic mike gif.gif

I hate change with a deadly passion and nothing unsettles me more than the not knowing what happens next. The indecisiveness drives me absolutely crazy and I would rather know for certain one way or another that what needs to be done is done than living in the in-between forever.

As it turns out, when the death brush happened, making the change choice was a no-brainer. Nowhere close to easy, of course, but ridiculously simple and a relief.

Death …

In the week after turning 30, I was faced with the realization of my own mortality in two successive and painful blows.

Not only did I have a mammogram, which briefly caused alarm but your great-grandfather’s health took a really bad turn for the worst.

I’ll tell you about the boob-squeezing mammogram next time (dudes, appreciate the fact that I did my best to ensure my lady pillows were in tip top shape for your arrival!) but for now, let’s talk about Pa.

He’d been a diabetes-sufferer for all of my life but somehow, after your great-grandma died, it just seriously took over his body. By mid-2015, he could no longer move about without a walking stick and in late November, he’d completely lost the use of his legs. His arms looked set to follow the same route soon.

I’d known he was ill, of course, and rushed off to see him at Groote Schuur hospital the Monday after my island holiday, when the diagnosis of irreversible nerve damage  was handed down to him  but seeing how frail he was a mere week later really, really got to me.

As your aunt Sam and I massaged oils and lotions into his now stiff legs and ever-thinning body, I could barely contain my tears and I didn’t dare speak because I knew my voice would betray the depth of my grief.

Faz and Pa

This is the man who raised, fed, clothed, educated, disciplined and loved me for most of my life.  A man who had always been the most powerful force in my tiny universe and whom I had spent a lot of time angry at because I didn’t think he loved me enough or as much as he loved my sisters. I know now that wasn’t true – he loved us all differently because we were so different.

The fact that we didn’t share the same blood was never an issue– he’d been my granddad from my first moment and no one could have done more for my siblings and I than he did. He loved us as he had loved our father before us.  The greatest lesson I’d ever learnt from him was that family wasn’t always blood.

Pa was the UB40 –loving, Frank Sinatra –singing, Vienna smoortjie (spread) – making goofy grandpa of my childhood; the believer of my teenage studying dreams and my voice of young adult reasoning. The idea of further adulting without him just didn’t bear thinking about.

But I wasn’t ready to let him go and I was seriously pissed off at the Universe. We’d barely gotten over Mama’s loss  – what fucking right did the gods have to want to take the only father figure I’d truly known away from me now?!

So, I got mad – Hulk mad – at the sheer bloody audacity of the Fates to do this to my family and I twice in the space of two years and at the unfairness of it all. How the heck were we supposed to be adults and responsible about this when the grown-ups in our lives were dying all the time, huh?

hulk mad

For me, being angry was a hell of a lot easier that being sad. The sadness at seeing my grandfather so very weak and knowing the inevitability thereof, just broke me, kids.

When faced with the loss of someone you love, all of the other things in your life pale in comparison. I knew now what was important – spending as much time as possible with Pa and making good memories with him…. I freaking love you, Percival x

Next week on How I Met Your Father: Getting felt up for all the right reasons in all the wrong ways – a scan by scan mammogram story.