Monday, February 20, 2012

sandwich fillers...

for reasons which shall remain incomprehensible and entirely inexplicable, there comes a time (or indeed, many times) when a girl (read as 40 something) gravitates, like a mesmerized spinning top, into Self Help Mode. i am not talking about at the buffet table. i am always at the front of that queue, no matter how hard i try and resist. i lurk around a bit and eventually say “oh fuck it. why not?” and happily dive first into the lasagna. everyone else is either far too well mannered, not hungry enough or so ridiculously timid they deserve a poke in the eye with a blunt stick followed swiftly by another large serving of chocolate mousse. graced with not one but three glazed cherries.

in fact, the same rings true at the self help shelf in our local book store, which i have proudly and scoffingly eschewed for the last decade or so. (the self help section, not the book store.) lately, in fact Monday last week to be precise, precision being a rare and surprising trend in my days, I found myself perusing, then actually buying (astoundingly) books called ‘be happy: release the power of happiness in YOU’ and ‘Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life.’ there was only one other customer in the shop and i noticed he had chosen the far superior Stanley’s Dark Safari. he didn’t look the type, from the way he was holding the book. uncomfortably, i thought. so i naturally assumed he was buying it as a present for someone else. i briefly mused on who the happy recipient might be and decided it was for his daughter, if he had one. he was behind me at the computerized till, which seemed to be momentarily dead. the self help books, MY self help books lay brightly obvious on the counter.

it reminded me of the time when i uncharacteristically, she quickly points out, bought some sexy little lacy pants at Mr Price in Smith St., Durban. i had hidden them underneath my Sensible Brooks. the queue was very long and of course, the um, little black things didn’t have, surprisingly, a price attached. just my luck. the fierce sales lady, who had lipstick on her teeth and wore too much rouge, was irate and not shy. she swung them triumphantly around her head, whilst roaring “ Sanette! How much are these?” to the vaguely inept saleslady a kilometer away on the other side of the shop floor. lots of little knowing looks were shot from strangers in my purple faced direction. here I was again, it seemed, under a not too dissimilar situation, although a far more well mannered one. self help books are at least polite. understandably, mr dark safari was looking at me sideways, in an alarmingly pitiful fashion because, i like to think, i looked too normally happy to be buying these kinds of books. at least the look was sideways and not down his nose.

i haven’t started the aloneness one, yet, as am sandwiched tightly between Hemingway and Harrison, the polony and the gherkins being ME releasing my power of happiness, or at least making a courageous yet seemingly futile attempt to do so. i might not make it to the aloneness one. nevertheless, I have presently adopted the rather comforting but not entirely convincing mantra of “I am a wise person” when I feel myself slip sliding in a downward or doubtful direction, followed by “happiness is inside of me, not outside”, as i rightly recall....

it seems to help momentarily albeit a pleasant little distraction from the weather. and i also like Abba.

at least it rained today. and then some.

KITCHEN BOARD: 20th february 2012.

some people are efficient, it seems. noddy badges and biscuits all round.
invisible angels are beautiful things. like the rain.
toodely toot, y'all and bisous X.X.X. fresh rainy ones all about ya. x. j

Friday, February 10, 2012

a rat tale.

i've been busy trying to slow down time people and it's no easy task, as y'all know.
for fear of boring you, oh random but worthy reader, with tales of hot classrooms, in which i have been kept prisoner, i shall instead lambaste you with tails of another kind.

mid week. school day. routine. up and at 'em. stumble downstairs with a sleepy mashed potato head. with thick fingers i put on the kettle and slice the bread, reminding myself of granny martha's wise and true advice "let the knife do the cutting" only after demolishing the first slice into a crumpled (or rather crumbled) ball and the loaf into a diamond shape. stumble back to bedrooms and en route, catch my reflection and give self fright. berate myself for doing nothing about it but remember that it's all rather too late. continue to harangue myself with mum's "it's no use crying over spilled milk" and other irrationalities like the children are starving in somalia and isn't life a blast you lucky lucky person while i shout " rise and shine. rise and shine" to my sleeping army who shout back "stop shouting ma!" i soon realize that i am becoming not the sweaty German man but rather Dahl's Mrs Twit.
shuffle back to kitchen, carefully avoiding any encounters with reflection, light a cigarette and watch the kettle wondering why it hasn't boiled yet. second born stomps in. i growl " check the toast" and realize he can't get to the oven (we don't own a toaster) because i am rooted to the spot staring at the kettle and Thinking Things. so i open it. he says, "it isn't ready ma." i continue, smugly, " oh but i think it is. it LOOKS like it isn't but on closer inspection you'll find that it is." whilst leaning down to poke it and demonstrate a self righteous wisdom to second born, i see a grey frilly thing lying below the toast on the lower level. i am not wearing my glasses. so i say to second born "what's that?" he says matter of factly, "it's a rat." i say "no. no! Oh. My. God."
its tail was curled and crispy and its incisors exposed in a toasty, deathly grin. it was very dead. and i promise you, oh bestests, it wasn't there when i put the toast in. who will believe Mrs Twit then?
we ate the toast, with long teeth. you can eat anything with nutella.
even the cat refused toasted ratatouille for breakfast.
cats these days just aren't what they used to be.

Kitchen Board: a few days ago just after The Rat Incident: Feb 2012

thank you pam, for your ratastic contribution to the kitchen board.
toodely ole toot, oh bestests, and bisous X.X.X. jump in your arms there's a rat in the oven ones x. j