Holiday catch-up

January 28, 2015

tidal pool smallWe’re into the second week of school and I’m slowly adjusting after six weeks off. Sounds idyllic but actually it was pretty hard work with two small ones. A baby who woke up at 5am on the dot (before the blinds – now we get to sleep for an extra 45 minutes) and then the monotony of looking after an 8-month old and a 3-year old. There’s only a certain number of times you can watch The Little Mermaid, print Ariel colouring-in pages and change nappies before you go a little dilly.

We did get down to Betty’s Bay for a couple of days and then to Hermanus. I love being at Betty’s Bay — even when the time is short and we have two little ones to look after. Our trip to Hermanus was a little too eventful for my liking, however. I packed the car – no small feat involving spatial reorganisation and tough decisions about what to leave behind — and then we were all set to go. Children strapped in, house alarm on and the food in cooler bags.  Of course the car which was working perfectly well 10 minutes before now wouldn’t start at all Jump leads? Nothing. Call the AA and prepare to wait for 2 hours. And then in desperation telephone my father-in-law who knows about cars. He says something about the solenoid, tells me to put the car in 2nd gear and try it again. Voila! I haven’t been so relieved since my previous car broke down in a dodgy area on the way to Betty’s Bay.

And then Hermanus. Hot, windy, crowded. But still lovely. Some of my favourite things: early morning walks with the little one in the pram; lunch at a child-friendly wine farm near Stanford with a superb play area for children; and then swimming in the tidal pool near the Marine Hotel.

Leah loved it. There were starfish! And the pool was the perfect temperature even for a cold-blooded creature like me.

We still had a couple of weeks of childcare, home maintenance etc. but at least we were refreshed by our time by the sea.

Today was my first day of taking Leah to her new pre-school. But that’s a story for another day.

Spring break

September 7, 2008

P and I had a relaxing and enjoyable four days in Arniston. The road that took us there.

We got an upgrade on the cottage since it was our first time staying there. Good clean self-catering accommodation with a relaxing sea view (that’s P on the balcony).

Sunrise over the sea.

We also saw whales at Gansbaai, watched DVDs (Ricky Gervais in Extras was good), read (still busy with Anne Enright and Margie Orford), drank lots of tea, played Scrabble (I made PATENTED), saw the impressive Waenhuiskrans cave (see previous post) and basically vegged out. I liked this photo of river water at Betty’s Bay. Back to work tomorrow *sigh*.

On Every Street

August 28, 2008

There’s gotta be a record of you some place
You gotta be on somebody’s books
The lowdown – a picture of your face
Your injured looks

The sacred and profane
The pleasure and the pain
Somewhere your fingerprints remain concrete
And it’s your face I’m looking for on every street

This Dire Straits song has been playing on my laptop and in my head for a couple of days and it has a pleasingly haunting quality about it as well as some excellent guitar chords. The first lines make me think of how no-one escapes what Foucault calls the “web of power”. We’re all on somebody’s books with our concrete fingerprints and injured looks while other aspects of us might be more fleeting and changeable.

But the idea that really grabs me is the one of the singer (Mark Knopfler in this case) looking for “your face” on every street. I was reminded of this song today when one of the army chaplains was saying goodbye to a departing sickbay staff-member with a quote from Psalm 139: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Now I’m not one for quoting Bible verses but I liked the way this linked up with the Dire Straits song and with the psychological idea of Transference. Basically what this idea says is that we all carry around within us images (or imprints) of our early relationships (or object relations), which we then use in relating to the world. In a strict sense of the term, it refers to feelings (both positive and negative) towards significant others (a partner, parent, colleague etc.) which become transferred onto the therapist in the course of psychotherapy. I thought Dire Straits expressed this quite poetically with “it’s your face I’m looking for on every street”.


On a personal note, I’ve been thinking about relationships recently since a very new relationship ended and another one has already begun. P and I are going to Arniston for a few days next week and we will be taking some books, wine, DVDs, Scrabble, cameras and no dog. Joschka will have to do without chasing her tail on the beach but will instead have granny (and the cat) for company instead. I will also leave the laptop behind most probably so I will sadly have to do without my daily blog-fix. But hopefully I will come back with renewed energy to post some inspiring and thoughtful ideas about whatever it is I’m reading. I want to write something about slowing down and how it is not a narrowing of options but an opening up of experience, allowing us to engage with the world in a deeper way. If that sounds a bit flaky then you should hear me after a glass or two of wine 😉