Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Wonders - 22 March 2017

Okay, Boolings, so I’m not quite up to speed yet.  Every second Wednesday is better than no Wednesday Wonders at all though, right?  I’m working on it.  To be fair, last week I was in the midst of a CRAZY work week.  The weekend leading up involved 18 hours of sleep in 3 days, seven early morning (and by early, I mean 4:30am) starts, and a bucket load of exhaustion.  Go easy on me this time? 

That aside, it’s been a great couple of weeks, with a lot of laughter and love thrown in to keep me from going off the deep end.  Some of the happiness came from:

  • My rasta ankle bracelet – with bells!  Mama Boo calls me Tinkerbell every time I walk down the stairs, and I can’t sneak up on my boss anymore, for which he’s very grateful. 

  • Taking Care of Business… I.E. Self-love, focus, satisfaction.

  • Rubber Duc playing at the Granite Rock Beer Garden a couple of Sundays ago.  It was just the right amount of fun, the guys were all great, I made new friends and got in The Zone, and I got a signed album from the band.  All in all, a great, if exhausting, day.

  • A very unexpected blast from the past, in the form of a phone call from an old friend I hadn’t spoken to for a good 18 months.  We didn’t stop talking because of drama or anything, just life happening and time ticking away as it does.  So reconnecting out of the blue was absolutely fantastic, and left me with a very warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.  Also: SO MUCH SKINNER! HAHA It was a good laugh.

  • Fresh sheets.  Is there any better way to sleep? 

  • Disconnecting from drama.  It’s so easy to become embroiled in other people’s issues without even realising it’s happening, and it’s happened to me many times.  It’s exhausting and draining, and I just don’t have energy for it, so now, when I see it building, I actively disengage.  My life is simpler and happier than it’s been in years, and I’m not going to sacrifice that for anyone else’s small worlds.

  • My sister from another mister.  I honestly don’t know what I would do without this babe in my life.

  • That feeling of quiet pride when making better choices for myself, when I’m used to making shitty ones.

  • The Stand.  I’m a Stephen King junkie/fangirl, and I can’t hide it.  I got this book, which I’ve been looking for for at least two years, on the cheap, and I’ve DEVOURED it.  I finished it yesterday, and it was glorious. 

  • Ginger kitties are life.  Our last two ginger babies found a home ten days ago, so it’s just the mamas left with us at the office now.  And Ginger (very original, I know)… Well, she adores me.  She gets so worked up when I give her loves that she bites and zones out, and it’s the fucking cutest thing ever!  I love her too much.

  • Jammin’ Reggae Fest.  After months of insane prep and chaos, it all came together beautifully, and I met some truly incredible people.  The feeling of love at the festival was overwhelming, and I was in such a good place that day.  I was exhausted when I went to bed, but I was so happy. 

  • Driving home alone on a Sunday night, through the Durbanville winelands, watching a full moon rising, and being left speechless at the beauty the Universe was giving me in that moment.  It was ultimate peace, and I marvelled at the magic of it for a good 20 minutes, saying my thank yous to the Mother, before I got going again.  Truly magical. 

  • Working with a fantastic team of incredible people.  I truly couldn’t be luckier or happier. 

  • Being utterly exhausted after a crazy couple of weeks, but knowing what we pulled off in that time, thus making the exhaustion worthwhile. 

  • 14-hour recovery naps and the feeling of crisp freshness the next day.

  • Knowing certain truths in my soul and having them confirmed, without even having to ask.  Always trust that intuition, friends.  Drown out the heart and the mind, and listen to that gut, and you’ll never go wrong. 

  • Mama Boo being the best housemate ever.  We just get it all right, and I challenge anyone to find a better deal.

  • Finally feeling like I’m getting my mojo back.  Despite the exhaustion and trying times, I’m finding me again, and goddamn, it feels good!

  • In that same vein, knowing my power. 

  • A perfect Sunday, consisting of sleeping until I woke up naturally (with no alarm), feeling fresh and ready for the day, a sneaky glass of beer on my morning travels, a good giggle with a friend, a nap, reading in my cool room on a hot day, a walk on the beach and a delicious late lunch to round it all off.  Glorious!

  • Honouring my truth, even if it’s hard.  I can’t hide from it and I can’t deny it, so why not just embrace it and be it?

  • A soaking wet scarf to wrap around myself on a stinking hot day.  We’ve had a little heatwave in the Cape the last few days, and I loathe the heat.  Like, LOATHE it.  My only relief last night was wrapping a wet scarf around my melting naked body and laying under an open window.  Did the trick just in time, and I finally got the sleep I thought would never come. 

  • Foggy and misty mornings which make my writing juices flow. 

  • And finally, for this week, I’m grateful for gratitude.  Knowing that despite the challenges, there’s always something good out there, and that it’s not that difficult to find, makes me so happy with life. 

 I’d love to hear what’s made your week grand!  Drop a comment on the Facebook page or just in the box below.  Share the love, Boolings!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday Wonders - 8 March 2017

So, Boolings, it’s Wednesday!  Old readers will know what that means, and new ones are about to find out…. Wednesday Wonders

It’s always easy to get caught up in the day to day bollocks and feel like most days are bad days, so having a weekly(ish) deadline to publish a gratitude list is a really lekker way for me to remind myself that life is actually kak cool, and there are plenty of things to be grateful for.  So, without further ado, here are some things that have made me really happy in the last couple of weeks.

  • Rediscovering myself and my truth.  I was unsummarily dumped some time back, and I moped for as long as I could bear it… About a week.  After that, I decided, screw that, I happen to think I’m a pretty cool human with a lot to offer the world, and hiding out in my bed, crying and eating McFlurries wasn’t going to get me anywhere, and started the moving on thing.  It’s been rough at times, as any break up is, but Susie Creamcheese here always looks for a silver lining, and tries to make the best of everything.  Let me tell you, rediscovering my mojo, bit by bit or in clumps at a time, has been wonderful.  Reconnecting with people, things and rituals that make me feel like a better version of myself has opened my eyes to how good my life can be, and how not good it has been for a while now. 
  • Blogging again.  God, I’ve missed this!  I know why I stopped, and I wish I hadn’t, coz sharing this little corner of the intertube with you makes me feel good and you seem to enjoy it, so I think I should keep doing it!
  • I still, and probably always will, love my unicorn hair SO much!  With pink or purple or turquoise hair, I feel like myself, and I meet so many people who just come up to me and say they wish they could do it.  What a conversation starter!
  • Doing actual make up again.  I know it seems like a silly little thing, but I’ve been stuck in a rut for a long time, and I neglected a lot of things that used to make me feel good.  My hair, make up and clothing choices have always been a reflection of who I feel like, and that rut has been very apparent.  No more, I say! Time to have some fun again!
  • The realisation that the shorts I got for Christmas are all too big for me now, and I can fit into jeans that I haven’t been able to wear in months. 
  • Secret Sunsets.  I was lucky enough to have an incredible long-time friend share this event in my Facebook feed, and I immediately thought “Yes!”.  Then it got even better – the event was moved to the venue I work at, and I got a comp ticket!  Dudes.  DUDES.  What. A. Fkn. Blast.  At work that day, we were all wondering how one would engage with the people there with earphones on, but believe me when I say they make it happen.  I hugged and high fived and booty bumped a bunch of strangers, and was overwhelmed with this sense of joy and love from this collection of weirdo people I’d never met.  More love than I thought I’d feel for a long time.  It was incredible, and I can’t fucking wait for the next one! 
  • Buckleys Bellville.  I haven’t been for bloody ages, and I went there on a random Tinder date the other day, and it was a little like a homecoming.  Happy times, happy (fuzzy) memories.
  • On that note, Tinder.  Sometimes dodgy, sometimes successful, usually fun.  The best part so far?  Meeting my Twinsie, and responding “Ah, shame.  You show that to people?”  when I get random, unsolicited dick pics.  Guys, really?? Just… just don’t.  Rather just fucking talk to a lady, you know?  It won’t kill you. 
  • My Tinder Twinsie.  It’s amazing – we’re like the same person, so look out world!  Now that we’ve connected, and we know our power, we’re taking over. 
  • The Durbanville Artisan Festival.  This was a shit ton of fun!  Met up with awesome old friends, amazing new ones, had random conversations, drank far too many wine slushies (LIFE), and went on the swings.  What a jol!
  • Living simply.  It’s amazing how happy my life is since it became less dramatic and stressful.  There’s definitely an upside to all of this! 
  • My beautiful workplace.  Every single day that I drive in here, I just get overwhelmed with how amazing it is!
    Does it get better than this?  No sir, it does not.  Best. Job. Ever.
  • Enjoying my own company.  I’m usually the kind of person that thrives on social interaction, but spending so much time with myself lately has given me a new appreciation for how cool alone-ness can be.  On Saturday, I was alone for half the day, driving around running errands and singing to myself at the top of my lungs.  There’s magic in that, friends, and it’s the best kind. 
  • On the flip side of that, the second half of Saturday was spent with some of my favourite humans on the planet.  There was a few sneaky craft beers at Granite Rock Beer Garden (try the Weiss!) with my Twinsie, followed by an incredible surprise birthday party with a ‘Dress like a biker’ theme, where I just…. I just partied.  Wow.  It was so worth the Black Label hangover the next day (being in my 30s is the pits!  I never used to hurt so much after a couple of Labels, but my god.) If you’re interested, check out the album here by the super-talented Geoff Shar.  They speak for the awesomeness of that party better than I can. 
  • The way the Universe has been gently nudging back in the direction of reconnecting with Magick, and how she keeps reminding me that I’m gonna be okay, as long as I’m kind to myself. 
  • Related, Nylon’s Ask a Witch column.  I discovered this thanks to Gala’s Carousel this month for February, and I couldn’t stop reading it.  See what I mean about the Universe and her nudges? 
  • This article, that gave me a little bit of clarity in a foggy time, and hope in a dark one.   Looking forward to the power of three even more now!
  • Now that I’m not wasting precious energy on things that just make me feel bad, I’m feeling so much more focused, not just on myself and my healing, but work- and goal-wise as well.  This is fantastic, obviously, and people are noticing, as evidenced by the fact that as I was leaving work yesterday, my boss thanked me for being ‘cooking’ again.  I was a bit confused, and he said “I don’t know what’s changed, but you’re so on the ball, the ball can’t drop.  It’s lekker”.  Nice, né?
  • All of these things.  In fact, this whole #MarchIsMagical challenge – it’s been a great way to kick-start the reclamation of my mojo, and the fact that I had so many things to just fill that one post made me giddy with joy. 

So, these are the little things that have kept me smiling in the last couple of weeks.  Life is, in fact, wonderful! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I'm back!

My, my, my.  It has been a long time, hasn’t it?  Last we spoke, I’d just moved to Cape Town, was still calling it the Mother Shitty, and was learning to be a human again. 

Well, Boolings, let me tell you, SO MUCH HAS CHANGED.  It was only when I was reading these old posts today that I realised two things.  1) I NEEEEEEED to start blogging again; and 2) I done growed up some. 

In the two and a half years since my last post, these are some of the things that have  happened:

  • Mama Boo and I moved out from the friends we were staying with and, after a brief sojourn in what may as well have been a shoe box, we found an amazing flat with an incredible view, and have been there just over two years now.  Never been cosier or happier in a home since high school.  
  •  I got a new fkn bed, and it's the love of my life!!! I've spent almost three years sleeping on a squeaky, springy, slumpy three quarter bed, and I was DONE with that noise, so I sucked it up and splurged on a double bed, which makes me feel like a princess with no pea.  It's the best.
  • I got a job I loved, and worked my way up till I hit the glass ceiling that was in place there.  Asked questions and wanted more, and when I realised that wasn’t going to happen, and that it was sucking my soul out, I got my ass outta there faster than the Flash on his way to a ‘Netflix and chill’.
  • After leaving the succubus of a job, I got my dream job.  I can’t rave enough about how amazing it is.  I know I always start jobs with this zing of excitement and positivity, but I’m almost six months in now, and I can honestly say I want to do this forever.  It’s THE BEST, even though it’s exhausting.
  • Dated a very cute fuckboy (before that was an accepted term) for a very short period of time, and it all ended when he decided I was too much for him.  At the time, I was of course gutted, but realised that being too much for someone just means that they’re not enough for me.  Realised also that that’s okay, not everyone is.  (Old me would have lamented this for eons, but that bit about healing?  It seems to have sunk in somewhat.)
  • Dated a smart guy, who made me laugh and think and moan, and thought that was enough.  It wasn’t.  Put up with two years of bullshit because I listened to my idiot heart instead of my much smarter brain (and MUCH smarter friends and family), and ended up with a break up text just shy of our two year anniversary.
  • Found my tribe in Cape Town.  These people… I can’t even begin to sum up how incredible they are.  They’re nothing like I ever imagined my tribe to be, but my god, I couldn’t imagine my life without them!
  • Let go of my obsession with hating Cape Town.  The me of three years ago would be scandalised to hear me say this, but I fucking love it, and I’m not sure I’d ever leave again.  Don’t get me wrong, Jozi will always be home, but it’ll always be there and I’ll always love it.  Cape Town, however, despite its awful drivers and onbeskof wind, has won my heart all over again.  It took a long time for me to realise it, but I think that now that I’ve settled and found something to fill my days that I absolutely adore, it’s made it easier to love, and to admit that love.
  • Stopped denying my weirdness, and dyed my hair bright pink with a purple undercut.  And fuck me, I feel like myself again!  It’s funny; when I moved here, everyone said I’d fit right in with all the weirdos, but I denied that part of myself and tried to just blend in with the crowd and be a regular Jane.  FAIL.  I hated that, it made me miserable, and it never fucking worked.  Now?  Doing what I love, with people I adore and would take a bullet for?  I’m me again, and I’m happy again.
  • Certified my old hipster status by FINALLY getting my ass to a festival.  Two years in a row, and I want to LIVE at Up The Creek.  Just look at this!  How did I miss this for so long, and how can I make it my life?  It’s the kitties titties, guys.  You should be there.  You won’t regret it!

It just goes to show, resisting change doesn’t stop it from happening; you just end up making the same mistakes over and over until you learn and grow. 

Having recently come out of the long term shitty relationship, I’m in a place of insane growth right now, and as much as it hurts, it’s fantastic and I’m glad for it.  I’m pushing myself to new limits, trying new things (shout out to Tinder and Secret Sunsets, and that’s just this week!) and becoming a whole new version of myself.  I think I’m gonna like this version more than the last. 

So, in short, now that I’m back, keep your eyes peeled for Wednesday Wonders, Tinder Vigilante stories, Shit You Couldn’t Make Up, and more! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On healing, dog bites, and vodka

After a year or two like my last year or two, the word ‘healing’ gets thrown around a whole lot. After you get divorced, people say “You’ve got to give yourself time to heal” as often as they say “What happened?”, and almost as much as they say “Well, his loss.” And for a while there, you thought you were doing really well at this whole ‘healing’ thing. I mean, you were happy, you weren’t hurting a whole shit load, and you were getting on with your life. Or so you thought.  


When The Ex moved out, I went straight into party mode. I mean, literally. He moved out on the Saturday, and I went to Park Acoustics on the Sunday, and I barely stopped partying until I came to Cape Town. That’s almost a year and a half of solid, epic party insanity. But when everything in my life really began falling apart (you’d think that losing my best friend and safe place would be the worst that could happen. Apparently not.), I realised that I needed a change and a chance to really examine what had gone wrong in my life, and that’s why I came to Cape Town. Filled with fear and dread, I packed it all in and shipped what was left of my life across the country… ‘To heal’, I told everyone. 

I seemed to have this idea that coming here would just be a continuation of my post-divorce life with the sea in the background, instead of Ponte, and with my mama thrown into the mix. Turns out, there’s a whole lot more to ‘healing’ than that. 

Since I got here, there has been a fair amount of partying, but nothing like what I’m used to. It’s true what they say about the pace of Jozi, guys. It’s insane. Jozi-ites work faster, drive faster, and party faster. We’re on another level entirely. What most people here call an epic night, is what I would have called ‘pretty cool’ before.* Although, I’ll grant you, even my friends in Jozi seem to be of the opinion that I take epic partying to another level. Nonetheless, there hasn’t been much of that since I got here. 

I have, however, taken introspection to another level. (It seems that I’m the kind of person who does things to the extreme. How did I not know this about myself before?) I’ve examined The Things That Happened To Me down to the tiniest detail, and analysed them to obscurity. And therein lies the healing, for me at least. Just this morning, I was writing furiously in my journal about discovering NEW magic, NEW wonder and NEW adventure. About discarding my expectations and past experiences of the above, and finding new and unique ways of finding things that make me believe again. These are the things I miss about myself - the childlike way I saw the world, and how I loved it recklessly. Since The Things happened, I’ve not seen the world that way. I became excessively (see?!) cynical about life, and more so about love. It didn’t stop me from loving recklessly, but even that recklessness became destructive, leading to even more cynicism. Great. Anyone got a muzzle for this vicious circle? 

Anyway, a thought spewed out onto the page, and it struck me. In fact, it glared at me first, and then slapped me a few times, to make sure I got the point. (Sometimes I don‘t process things until I‘ve written them down. And occasionally, thoughts force me to pay attention like this, instead of just zooming by). This particular one went like this: ‘Just because I don’t see things with child-like wonder anymore, doesn’t mean there isn’t wonder to be seen. I’ve been so wrapped up in not being who I used to be that I just haven’t seen it.’ Not being who I used to be. That’s an interesting one. I think it’s a two-fold issue: 
1. I’ve spent the last year and a half making a point of not being who I used to be. The angry girl, the unhappy girl, the fat girl, the girl who needed a man, the girl whose dad died, the stuck girl… That’s who I was before, and I was trying my damndest to shed those versions of me, because I didn’t want them to define me any longer. The trouble, of course, is that in my determination to shed the labels, I missed a crucial step… REdefinig myself. It’s not all bad, though… In my avoidance of dealing with what had defined me, and why, I learnt to really live in the present.** 
2. More recently - since I came to Cape Town and slowed the pace a little - I’ve grieved for who I used to be. The angry girl, and the party girl. In all my ‘I’m not The Things That Happened To Me’, I didn’t really deal with those Things. I was too busy trying to survive and keep going; I was using all my energy keeping up the appearance of being alright. And I was hard on myself when I couldn’t keep it up. But now that I’ve had no distractions from any of that - no sand to bury my head in - I’ve taken a long, hard look, and I AM dealing with it all. I’ve allowed myself - with much gnashing of teeth and wailing - to acknowledge all the shitty Things, and start processing them. The Fears. The Guilt. The Loss. (You’d think that I’d recognise grief, but it took me a while to realise that that’s what I was doing). I’ve grieved for the recent version of me, because I was happy. I just wasn’t healing. 

Guys, they don’t tell you this at school, but… Healing fucking HURTS. We all seem to think that it’s light and sunshine and roses, because how can anything hurt more than the things that have broken you, right? Well, guess what? IT FUCKING DOES. 
When you think about an injury, is it just the initial injury that hurts, or does the healing process contain pain too? When I was bitten by my dog, it hurt like a motherfucker when his tooth was actually IN my hand, and as he ripped it out. But did it stop hurting once I’d been to the doctor? Um… NO. It hurt like hell for weeks after that. Throbbing pain that kept me awake at night, and resulted in pharmaceutical companies making a few more bob out of me and my stupid dog. Once the pain eased up, it was still there, itching and stinging. The skin started to knit, but if I waggled my thumb, it all opened up again and bled and oozed and stung, and I’d have to start all over again. The tetanus shot and antibiotics made me feel like a very nauseous, angry zombie for 2 weeks, and the rabies shots bruised and itched along with the rest. And years later, it still aches in a certain kind of cold. 

The same concept applies to emotional pain, and heartbreak. If my heartbreak had been physical, it would most certainly have gotten infected and probably turned septic, because I just left it and hoped it would go away. Pouring vodka on a stab wound, like they do in the movies, doesn’t actually fix it. The stab victim - usually on the run because Hollywood - eventually ends up getting it seen to by a professional, and they put gauze on it, and he gets medication for it, and it hurts when he moves. Vodka might keep it clean-ish, but it doesn’t stitch it up, and it still stings like hell. Think of how the tough guy ALWAYS winces when he pours half a bottle of liquor on his wound. 

All I did for a very long time was pour vodka onto my wounds. (Literally, sometimes. So many empty Smirnoff bottles in my recent memory. Vodka is great, but not very helpful.) But I think that, perhaps, the skin and bone of my raw, infected wounds are starting to knit, finally. They will reopen from time to time, and bleed and ooze all over my life, because I’m not laying in traction until it’s all better. I’m living in spite of my pain. I’m living because of it. But, Goddammit, I’m living! And there will be scars. That’s what happens when you get ripped open and your insides are set on fire. But the scars won’t define me, either. I have to wear them for the rest of my life, but they don’t have to be ugly. I’ll never be the girl I was before, but that’s ok. Even stalagmites grow, no matter how slowly.

*I am not referring to partying in town, mind you. I haven’t done much of that, but I suspect even that couldn’t keep up to the insanity I’m used to.
** For the most part. There was a romantic element that took up all my ‘what-ifs’, but those are as pointless as nipples on a chest plate, so we’ll let that one slide.

Also, you might be interested to know that Cape Town - or Table Mountain in particular - is one of the healing vortices on the planet. That’s why so many people are drawn here when they need to heal. The Universe, right? 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Shit You Couldn't Make Up - The Rainman Edition

Guys. GUYS. I have a serious, and pretty unbelievable problem, and I need your help. Miss Loudmouth Chatterbox (moi, obviously) CANNOT TALK TO GUYS.
I know, I know. You're thinking 'Pfffft! Sure, Shell. Whatever you say.' But I swear, it's happening to me, and I'm fucked if I know why, or what to do about it. I've gone from the girl who makes friends with a girl by telling her that her (hideous) top is cute and so unique, just so I could get her to talk to my friend who couldn't take his eyes off her all night, to the girl who can do no more than coyly bat her lashes and smile at the boy across the room.
I was the girl going up to a cute boy in a bar and saying, 'Here's my number. That's where you can call me to fetch my friend over there after you take her home tonight.' Now I'm the girl who says it counts when a gorgeous specimen who makes her lady parts giggle follows her outside when she goes to smoke, and they stand near each other and do the subtle check out, but nobody says anything.
Old me: "No time to explain ... Get in the punani!!"
New me: *Gurgling fish out of water noises, complete with bulging, panicked eyes* (Thank God for giant sunnies!!!)
I can remember dates of 1970's celebrity deaths, and my junior school phone number, but I can't remember how to flirt with a hot guy? What am I, the fucking Rainman?!?!?!
You see, I've come across a remarkably sexy and sweet looking guy a couple of times on my jols with Mama Boo the last few weeks, and we've established that we've noticed each other (as evidenced by the pathetic overuse of Bambi-style Kissy Eyes.) The next logical step is one of us talking to the other (and hopefully, the other talking back, thus creating what I believe they call Conversation). This is where shit gets weird, because I freeze up and get clammy. Fuuuuuuuuuuuck. 
I know what you're thinking... 'Dafuq, Shell?! Why are we even having this conversation?!'* I'm wondering the same thing.
So, friends, this is where you come in. I'd appreciate any reminders of how easy it is to just fucking talk to a guy. ALso: tips on how to talk to a smoking hot yet apparently shy boy would not go amiss. You guys can be my wingmen... wingladies... Wingpeeps!**
* Transcript of actual conversation about the dumbest problem I've ever had, so I know it's what you're thinking

** Weeps? Er... 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A new feature! Shit You Couldn't Make Up

Boolings.... Dear Boolings.
You must be SO tired of hearing how hard the last year's been, with the divorce, and moving house, and losing my job, and losing my house, and having to move to Cape Town. And yea, it has been hard. And I've alluded to some pretty cool times as well, and there have been a load of those. 


But what I haven't told you about? The crazy times. And when I say crazy, I do mean cross-the-street-she-looks-like-she-might-bite-you crazy (sometimes). Some of my friends have been privy to the silliness and downright insanity of those times, and more than one of them has told me to BLOG IT. NOW. In the thick of the insanity, I never felt much like blogging (or breathing, for that matter, but hey... Keep on swimming!) Now, however, as I'm healing, I have realised that you might actually enjoy some of those stories, and so I've decided to create a new feature here. So, get your popcorn popped, your Kleenex packet open, and settle in for
Miss Boo Presents.... Shit You Couldn't Make Up
There will be thrills, spills, and probably more than a few grils. You can also expect a very unhealthy dose of weird-guys-in-bars, so stay tuned! Some of it will be outdated, but the thing with my life is that it seems to be a constant stream of Shit You Couldn't Make Up, so the likelihood of running out of material is minimal.
Until the next post, dahlings, stay silly!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

An Ode to Old Shoes *Updated*

I (re)discovered the most perfect song for this story. OMG, how did I forget about this?! I went to the Mr Cat & The Jackal album launch last night (amazing doesn't even begin to describe it!!!) and they played this song, and I was just like 'Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait a minute....' So, here ya go. Give this a listen while you read this story. It's just a perfect combination. 

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned my trusty old FILAs in this post. God, those shoes! 

They’ve been through things, and seen things I can’t even remember (mostly due to debauchery and drunkenness, but also because it’s impossible to remember everything that’s happened in ten years.) I have loved those shoes like babies, and they’ve never let me down. Well… things changed last weekend. But I’ll come to that. 

I bought these babies for R130, ten years ago (almost to the day, now that I think about it!), at the Oriental Plaza. Moderately dodgy, maybe, but well worth it. If I work out cost per wear so far (which is how girls usually justify expensive shoes, not el cheapos), it must be down to a matter of cents. 

From the first day, I practically lived in the damn things. They were always my go-to shoes, for pretty much any occasion. (I even considered wearing them for my wedding, but changed my mind when Mama Boo and The Ex shot that idea down in shouting flames.) Off to the shops? Trusty takkies. Family do? Yep. Night out, filled with dancing and debauchery? Obviously!! Even when our cleaning lady damaged the canvas when she tried to bleach the rubber caps, they stayed and ‘developed more personality’. 

If shoes could be used to chronicle a life, these would result in volumes. They were there when Daddy died, and when I had a gun held to my head (I distinctly remember thinking ‘Just look at your shiny new shoes and not at his face, and you’ll be fine.’) They were the shoes I was wearing when The Ex proposed, and the day my divorce came through. They saw the inside of dodgy clubs, doctors’ rooms*, dozens of concerts, shopping malls, airports and planes, funeral homes, churches, abandoned hospitals, and countless other attractions. They saw numerous Park Acoustics, nature reserves, cross-border game drives, the streets of Sydney, and hundreds of local beaches and markets. They got me through at least a dozen house moves (I shit you not. There have been more than 2 dozen in my mere 28-and-a-bit years, but that’s another story!), and so many important and not-so-important events I literally don’t have enough space in my head to remember them all. They even outlasted my marriage, making them one of my longest-lasting relationships! 

And now… they’re gone. *sniff* (I’m taking a moment here, guys. You may need to grab a Kleenex for the next part…) 
I wore them on the day I left Joburg, and they facilitated my first contact with Cape Town. That night, Mama Boo glanced at my feet, and a gasp of recognition burst forth. ‘Are those the same old Plaza takkies you’ve had for years?’ she yelped. ‘The very same,’ I replied proudly. Apparently I’d mistaken her yelp as one of joyous recognition. Her next comment remedied that. ‘NO, Shell! I cannot believe you still have those, let alone wear them. No, no, no. They’ve got to go.’ My face fell. ‘They go, I go.’ Nobody said ugly things about my babies! That didn’t stop Mama Boo from pulling very amusing faces and sighing in frustration every time I pulled the Trusties on, though. 

Then, last Saturday, we finally had some gorgeous weather. And, after my griping the night before**, we headed off to the beach. Mama took me to the spot where she scattered my grandparents’ ashes, and we sat and took in the glorious beach and view for aaaaaaages. It was exactly what I needed. Unfortunately (in this case, anyway), I’m still a real Vaalie at heart, and so I only took off my shoes (the Trusty Takkies were the obvious choice) once I was on the Actual Beach. I strung the laces together and threw them over my shoulder, and strolled through the icy West Coast water barefoot. It was amazing, and quite an interesting experience when the cold made my feet so numb I couldn’t feel them anymore. 
Eventually, we started back to the car, for the sake of a proper pee (I was NOT having a pee in that sea – it would make a solid pee-cicle***, and I wasn’t risking it). We must have walked for a good half hour, and were almost at the car when a horrible realisation hit me. Something was missing. I spun around searching for the Trusties, but they weren’t over my shoulder, and they were nowhere I could see. They must have fallen off my shoulder**** where we were sitting at the G-Force’s Ashes Spot*****, and I didn’t realise. By the time we had got back to the car, the tide was coming in fast and strong, and I knew that if I tried to go back to the spot, a) I’d pee in my pants (warm, yes, but still not an appealing option), and b) the tide would likely have taken them by the time I got there. So I had a little moment of pricking tears (I am not even fucking kidding), and decided that ten years was a good run, and we’d seen a lot together, but maybe this was part of my Fresh Start, and maybe it was the Universe trying to make me let go of things. Lesson painfully learnt, Universe. 

I have since bought a new pair of shell-toes, but they’ll never be my old Trusties. While similar, and effective, they’ll never live up, and we can’t (yet) laugh together over some of the things we’ve seen. In time, sure. But there will only ever be one pair of Trusty Takkies, and they’re somewhere in the icy Atlantic Ocean now.****** They will be missed, and remembered with fondness (except by Mama Boo, who said that me losing them was the best birthday present she got. Puts the money spent on Actual Gifts in perspective, no?) 

* Not entirely unrelated, in many cases, to aforementioned dodgy clubs
** (To the tune of ‘This is officially the most beautiful city in the WORLD, and what have I seen of it since I got here? Pubs and bars and back seats of cars. I could be back in Joburg for this. Natural beauty, this weekend, or I’m going home.’ Yes, you’re right in thinking I’m a brat, but that doesn’t take away the validity of my argument.)
*** A pee icicle, obviously
****I’m not unconvinced that Mama Boo didn’t assist them in ‘falling off my shoulder’. Ahem. 
*****When we had a house full over over-70’s, we referred to them collectively as the Geriatric Force, or G-Force
******If you are the lucky finder of a scrappy pair of FILA takkies, found on Milnerton beach, hit me up. Those babies have at least another 5 years in them!