Three . . . two . . . One . . Launching Jedland

Taking a deep breath, here we go then. My novel Jedland is now available from Amazon. I always thought you needed a Kindle to read kindle books, but nope, there is a lovely little Kindle App that can be downloaded to smartphones, laptops, iPads etc etc. I only learnt this a short while ago myself,  and now I spend many a night annoying my hubby as I read from my phone while he’s trying to sleep. Something about the light he says. I don’t know what his problem is, the light is bright enough for me!  

Hope you will take a look and if you enjoy it please would you let your friends know.

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Hubby’s Tools and plenty of dust!

Well there be lots going on in the Ruth2Day household at the moment. We’ve had the damp fixed, we’ve almost completely painted the interior, we’ve even had some cooking done in the kitchen – have I told you how apt I am with a packet of mince and a wooden spoon? I tell you life is looking good!

Admittedly it’s not been all happiness and goodwill. Nope, not at all. In fact I’d go as far as to say we’ve come mighty close to some serious blood-letting. Hubby’s that is, not mine, the perfectly delightful woman that I am 🙂

It’s the dust that goads me people. The grey particles. The bane of my life. The stuff that gets in between your toes, that reaches your knickers leaving you to itch, the sort of itch that would have you screw your nose and bop on the spot.

It’s everywhere. And I mean everywhere. And does hubby think to cover things when he reaches for his sander? His gunfight at the OK Carroll pose taken, hammer and screwdriver in opposite pockets, revving his tool, his brow beading as sander touches wall, spitting particles of dust into yonder? No. No. Simply put, no. Nope, nooooo he doesn’t. Instead he grins like a three year old as my glare takes on monumental passion, my finger tips having left paths in acres of dust as far afield as rooms he hadn’t even been near.

“What?” he says, fluttering his eyes, dust rolling down his cheeks.  Yes, you boys do that to! “I can’t see anything.”

“No, darling,” I say, my right hand hovering around his screwdriver. “How about putting on your specs then?”

Of course maintenance isn’t just about dust, it’s about tools too.  And many men, I would suspect, will consider themselves incomplete without a man-sized toolbox at their side, chunky and slightly battered from holding up the beer fridge on Rugby days. Not to mention the umpteen shelves of half-filled jars of screws, bolts and dust, and in hubby’s case his personal favourite of mangled paint brushes submerged for decades in turps. I’ve not tried this myself, but I’m suspecting that once lit and burning, these little gems will ignite the braai . . . for the next month . . . for the whole street.

Around about maintenance time we seem to suffer the lose of kitchen utensils too, mostly knives that is. Take this past weekend for example. I purchased a nifty knife sharpener. It’s great, got a suction pad and very portable. I’m thinking about those days when sharpening is needed but you’d much prefer to be in the pool. No problem with this little gadget lovely ladies. Picture it. There you are, floating on the lilo,  sharpener suctioned to the chopping board you’ve balanced on your chest. Feeling rather parched you have a Martini in one hand, blunt knife in the other. I mean how clever is that? Talk about multi-task!

Sorry the lilo and the Martini overtook my track of thought there. Yes, missing knives. Despite hubby’s very full toolbox and gadget full shed, he seems to find much joy in smuggling out my knives to cut tape, saw through plastic tubing, and if he’s lucky enough to get away with it, do some pruning as he makes his way towards the waiting tube. And isn’t that exactly what he did this weekend. Yes, he did. There I found him, on his hands and knees, picking flecks of paint from the skirting with my very nicely, newly sharpened knife.

“What are you doing,” I roared, feet apart, hands in the air.

He shrugs, continuing to scrape. “I thought your nice sharp knife would do the trick.”

Trick! I’ll give him a trick. Head in Hoover bag here we come!

Rocky Horror, Prime Circle and the UFO

Did you have a good New Year? Lots of festivities and happiness, or early to bed and slept through?

Hubby and I were hoping to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but sadly it was fully booked. Such a shame as I was so looking forward to welcoming in the New Year with Dr. Frank N. Furter.

Oh well, maybe next year. Um, correction, this coming New Years eve – nothing like looking ahead is there – I’ll do all my bookings early i.e. not three days before.  Although I must say I was quite taken aback that Capetonians actually pre-booked well in advance for something, because let’s be fair here, ye old mountain goats do lean towards last minute decisions.

Well we headed to the Waterfront, which was pumping – wind and people that is. Prime Circle were billed, and even well before they were due on stage other bands were blasting out a noise, entertaining many and no doubt startling just as many in the process. Hubby was in the startled brigade and wasn’t keen on eating his fish ‘n chips wearing earmuffs, which seemed pretty ridiculous to me as his hands wouldn’t have been compromised. But anyway, he got his way, and with that in mind we ate at Willoughby’s and headed home shortly after.

Back home we went wild and watched the TV. Honestly the excitement of the night was so much I was poised to scream. Anyway, just prior to midnight I was out in the garden when I swear I saw a UFO. And before you say anything, it was well before we popped the champers!!!! So where was I, oh yes here. Looking skyward, I spotted a fast moving, bright light, that was certainly not a plane; the light was single and the speed was way too fast, as well as it seemed quite low. Hubby said he was sure it was a satellite, but I’m not so sure about this. If anything I would put money on it being a UFO whose occupants after scanning my retina and internal organs, decided I wasn’t quite up to scratch and left me standing. While I’m pretty chuffed about remaining on earth, I can’t help thinking how rude they were, I am after all quite delightful.

Body no good

A few weeks back my youngest daughter won a Mother’s day competition that sent hubby and I off to a swanky hotel for the night. What a treat!

Now I don’t know about you, but whenever I get the chance to stay somewhere swankier than home, I always head off to find the spa facilities for a bit of self indulgence.  Could it be I’m quite partial to wearing an oversized luxurious gown that was clearly made with a hulking rugby-player in mind, and of course the equally oversized slippers? Actually, side tracking for just a mo, aren’t those slippers the most stressful things on the planet? I’m always reduced to a unglamorous shuffle as my toes fight to keep them on and not send me flying into the tranquil garden’s trickling pond.

But back to the massage. Great, I thought as I headed off for my Chinese massage, lunch was light, and instead of the usual herbal tea and bite size muffins, I’m sure they’ll be bow-ties and Saki, and naturally silk kimonos instead of the regulation fluffy gowns. Hang on, are Kimono’s Japanese? Well whatever, you get the gist of my expectation.

I arrived at the door and knocked. I could hear some rattling going on and I was tempted to leave and check I had the correct room when the door was opened by a tiny little Chinese lady with a giant grin. “Hello,” she says beckoning me into what looked like her living room. “This my sister,” she continues, pointing to a young girl watching a movie on her laptop.

Now at this point I’m starting to get nervous. Where the heck is the massage table? As the door closed behind me I scan the room for feet behind a curtain, fully expecting the sisters to have a brother about to leap out and bundle me off to some White Slave Trade auction. Mind you, I was sure he’d have sent me back pretty quickly, rumour has it I can be a little difficult at times.

“You go through,” the little lady says, leading me into her massage room. “Take clothes off,” she instructs me. “You like Chinese food?”

Do I like Chinese food, I’m inwardly shrieking. I’m not here for a chow-mien, Missy. It’s a massage I want!

Eventually I end up on the massage table. “You like hard, soft massage?” she sweetly asks.

“Hard please, but softer on my legs,” I say, figuring this little lady won’t have an ounce of strength in her body. But boy was I wrong, she was like a demon on steroids. She endlessly pummelled me while telling me “Body no good, body no good.” You’re telling me body no good, I wanted to yell.  I was in better shape before I came in here.

But that wasn’t it. She then leapt onto the massage table, climbed on top of me and proceeded to walk up my back with her knees. By this time I was spread-eagled on the table and gasping for my life. I have never experienced so much pain, not even childbirth comes close to it.  Seriously, If I’d had clothes on I think I would have leapt up, knocked her to the ground and fled. Not even her sister could have caught me.

Eventually she reached her final spot on my body, my ears. Gripping them both she begins manipulating.“This sore?” she says, to which I  barely mumble a yes. “I no need do body,” she continues, still gripping my lobes. “Ears tell me body no good.”

Note to self: Confucius say, you no like pain, then you no have Chinese massage.

Podcasts, Desert Island Discs and what I’d take with…

I’ve had my iPod for a couple of gazillion years now, and every so often I plug it into my ears and listen to some really dreadful music, which considering I put the tracks there myself is kind of sad.

This little device also has loads of other features which I never use – I mean how many electronic calendars can you operate at any given time?  It would take me longer to update them all with “get up and brush your teeth” than actually  squeezing on the toothpaste.

But one little feature I have hovered over is the Podcast.  Now I’ve always thought Podcasts are brief little ditty’s to occupy the boredom between wrestling with making supper …or not.  And being a little bored this week I went in search of some Free Podcasts to give them  a try.  Well wasn’t I just surprised by the offering.  There are literally thousands you can subscribe to.

I fell on the BBC’s  listing on iTunes and was delighted to discover they were indeed free and updated weekly.   I was also really pleased to find I can subscribe without registering on the site, which is amazing as nearly every webpage you connect to these days wants to know more about you than your own mother.

I’ve tried not to go bonkers with my choice and have subscribed to the following:

  • Graham Norton’s – radio show
  • Desert Island Discs
  • Women’s Power Hour
  • Rhod Gilbert
  • Books and Authors
  • And from Radio 702 and Cape Talk 567  the UK report

At this point I’ve listened to 2 episodes of Graham Norton and had a mighty good chuckle while doing so, plus 3 episodes of Desert Island Discs where the Castaways have been Michael Mcintyre, John Bishop and Dawn French.

So this got me thinking about the few tracks I do enjoy on my iPod, and would therefore select if I was ever asked to participate on the show – when I’m rich and famous and should anybody be interested in listening to me that is.

Remembering you are only allowed to select 8 discs for this show, here would be mine:

Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears – this one I put on repeat a lot.  And mostly it’s blasting away in my car as I head to the office, and then again when I leave on a Friday as a form of psyching me up for my weekly grocery shop

Day Dream Believer by the Monkees – so had a crush on Davy Jones when I was a kid.  Used to watch “The Monkees” show on the TV and dreamt of joining the band as Davy’s girlfriend and have him sing to me all day long

Valerie by Steve Winwood – no story just love it

Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden – makes me think of the UK

Lovely Day by Bill Withers – no story just love it

Africa by Toto – I arrived in SA in 1981 and when this song came out in 1982 it just seemed so right to like it

Tainted Love by Soft Cell – this was a massive hit in the UK in 1981.  I carried a 45 vinyl copy in my luggage and finding nobody had ever heard of it in Warmbaths – where I started off, what a story that is – felt strongly that I was living amongst a bunch of retards.  Although I hasten to add I don’t think that any more and would like to send a big HELLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO to all my Warmbaths followers.  You know who you are….actually are there any of you out there?

Rock your Baby by George Macrae – this so reminds me of my Dad.  Every single time I hear it I picture him boogeying around the living room.  He’s a short bloke and great fun and seems to have a right leg that just wants to twist.  How could you not like a song that does that to your Dad?

Now I’ve shared mine, how about you?  Any castaway songs you’d choose, and also any great podcasts to recommend?

Hubby, Dogs and Trees

Hi there,

Phew, life has been really busy for me.  Not life changing or anything dramatic mind,  just not enough hours in the day to do everything.

Anyway, as you know I like to share a few snippets about my hubby,  so here we go with his latest “moment.”

The past weekend was really good in our household, weather was pleasant, no rushing around, youngest daughter was out, doggies were sprawled and I’d managed to cook a reasonable Sunday lunch.  In short, a smiley weekend.

So there we were, Sunday late-lunch is done and we are now heading off to the forest for a much needed walk.  Doggies were loaded, we climb into the van with stars and hearts  floating around the pair of us – picture a  love struck movie and you’ll get the idea.

Within seconds of leaving the perimeter Vesuvius erupted and by the time we reached the forest – a mere three minutes later – we were both about ready to toss each other out of our moving vehicle.

I get out the van, slamming the door with enough force to fool the neighbourhood of a pending earthquake, and hubby does the same.  We both take hold of a doggie, I head off, hubby does too and WHAM, he walks into a tree.  Now I didn’t see this happen, so after hearing a noise, I turn round and find him down on one knee holding his head in his hand.  First thought was,  my goodness, bit late to propose, darling.

Suffice to say, I was not very supportive and spent a considerable amount of time trying not to laugh…to be exact the whole way round the forest through to the following day.

Now, hubby, who I love more than anything in the universe, holds me responsible for anything he cannot find or see.  I swear if he lived alone he would have to acquire a multi-personality called Ruth to accuse of moving all and sundry.  And if there is no way I was around and find myself reprieved of accusation, then the nearest person in sight is to blame. I tell you this because of the next point.

Monday morning, calm has restored, I have not yet managed to ask him about his head.  Cruel you may think, but in my defence, m’lord,  my lips can’t control themselves and I start resembling the joker.

“How is your head, darling,” I manage to mumble.

“Sore.”

“I thought you might blame me for putting the tree in the way.”

“No,” he says, touching his graze.  “It’s the dog’s fault.”

 

 

 

The London Olympics is over and I’m now in training… with some boiled sweets

Phew, what an amazing couple of weeks we’ve just had.  Back to back sport, amazing camaraderie and as for those extremely fit bodies that paraded in my lounge, well it was a pleasure to flick on my TV each day.

I don’t know about you, but from the phenomenal opening ceremony to the blast of a closing ceremony last night, it has been an absolute joy to watch and be part of. And as one can expect from such an event, the need to take up sport and emulate these Olympians has transpired, not only beyond my front door, but also within.

But what could I do I ask myself?   Could I be the next female Phelps?  Probably not.  Could I take on Usain Bolt in the 100m?  Most definitely not.  Could I even take up a bow and plant an arrow in a bulls eye?  With co-ordination such as mine, I think not.

There seems only one sport I could take on then.  And that I believe is speed-walking.  Yes my friends,  come Rio 2016, I fear I will outshine my fellow Olympians and walk my way to victory.  Of course there are a few obstacles to overcome, namely, the stride, the pose, the wiggle and sourcing a good supply of boiled sweets and some large rubber bands.

Let’s start with the Stride.  I watched the ladies speed-walk over the weekend and the silver medallist Olga Kaniskina  had a stride that was to be envied.  Unlike her fellow competitors, whose feet were flapping like propellers, Olga kept her stride, fast, smooth and long.  I tried to emulate this while walking the dogs yesterday, and it was near-nigh impossible, actually it was impossible.   So I will be taking on the propeller walk, and this is where the rubber bands come in.    My plan is to slip a rather large, yet tight, rubber band around my ankles and begin training in my hallway.  Providing my circulation remains intact, and that I can keep my falling to a minimum I foresee I will be up to speed within a couple of weeks.

The Pose – this seems pretty easy to do.  Stiff back, eyes forward and swinging momentum for the arms.  At this stage I feel no training tools would be required, but if need be hubby has a plank or two in the garage that will fit down the back of my shorts and rest up at the nape of my neck.  I could encounter a few ill placed splinters, but they can be easily removed.

The Wiggle – now this might be a little more problematic for me as my lower body rhythm chromosome is missing.  I can swing my hips from side to side a couple of times, but to do this and keep my bottom cheeks clenched for a lengthy period of time is not going to be easy.  I say this because if you’ve ever tried speed-walking you will notice how you tend to clench your cheeks as you move.

But ever resourceful I have a solution for the clench, the humble boiled sweet.  Without going into too much detail, I feel the insertion of a boiled sweet between one’s cheeks followed by a hefty-long clench will do the trick.  The goal here being to unclench and release the sweet at the end of the training session.

So there you have it, a sport, a plan, a dream… and a large bag of boiled sweets.

Give me strength, or give me a straight-jacket…

Whenever I write about my hubby, I always feel I have to qualify that I love him more than life can believe.  The reason being I inevitably portray him as a complete fool incapable of even lacing his shoes.  Which to be fair, might be why he wears slip-ons. No,  I don’t mean that, just kidding.

So with the niceties out the way, let’s launch into the latest head-banging-against-wall moment with hubby.  I’ve actually had 2 this morning already.

Over the weekend our garage door broke, the wires on the rollers tangled and the motor took early-retirement.  Now our garage is a double one with a middle post which gives us 2 doors.  And as we’re still waiting on the repair man, hubby and I have been man-handling the broken door, which is no mean feat.  Our first attempt had me hanging onto the pulley while hubby heaved the door up.   Seems perfectly fine until you picture me sprawling backwards over the bonnet still clutching the pulley.  This as you can imagine elicited a few giggles, and we have now perfected the technique, i.e. hubby heaves and I sort of play with the pulley.

This morning though, it didn’t go quite to plan.  Hubby suggested I maneuver the car to pull out through the other working door.  I said not a good idea as I could potentially whack it .  Fair enough he says and tightens his dressing gown, slips on his slippers and leads me to the garage.  Did I mention it is raining and 6.15am?

I took hold of the pulley, hubby heaved, and a piece of mechanical wear flew past me and landed on the floor.  Not to worry hubby assures, we can still do this and so we did.   I’m happy, he’s happy, I’m ready to go.

Oddly it seems the piece of mechanics that is now on the floor was pretty important and hubby now has to hold the door in place while I drive out.  Once again on the surface all pretty easy.  I start my engine and edge out, careful not to roll over hubby’s slippered feet.

Now what possessed hubby to move away and fiddle is beyond me, and over the next couple of days no doubt he will come up with some gem for his actions.  But whatever it was, he moved and fiddled.

In the car,  I hear a rumbling.  I look up, my jaw drops. Hubby is yelling, his gown is flapping and his slippers are flying outside as he launches himself at the accelerating door.  I can’t work out which pedal is the brake, and all I can see is hubby grappling with a door he has no chance of stopping, not ever, not never, it’s on its way down.

If ever there was a moment of luck and stupidity, it was this morning.  The door hit the car but thankfully smashed the VW badge off the bonnet and clipped the number plate.  As for stupid, well need I say anymore.

Talk about heart stopping, I was convinced my car was heading for panel-beating heaven.

Number two moment is too exhausting to repeat in full, suffice to say hubby who has only just learnt how to switch on a laptop is at his office and calls me to help him access his email.  He has a couple of pages of notes on how to do this, written in his own hand that make no sense to him or anybody for that matter.

Some fifteen minutes later, me head on my desk, he reads message 1.  But to get there, he’s rebooted the laptop several times, intimidated there are power problems which were actually down to his modem not being plugged in, battled to find the arrow key on the keyboard, open an email,  and, blow me away with his insistence of needing to open an attachment when there was no attachment in sight.   As for his affection with the internet E button on the bottom left hand corner, well I could dedicate a novella to this alone.

Give me strength, or give me a straight-jacket – whatever comes first.

PS Hubby just called.  Garage door repair man is on his way….hubby has left his house keys in his van….his van is out on a delivery…