Author: KokkieH

Standing for something

It’s election year in South Africa. This fact was suddenly brought home to me on Sunday when, turning out of our street, we were confronted with election posters on every lamppost on the way to church. Only one party’s, by the way – looks like they decided to get an early start.

Election posters are only that big, so parties usually come up with a slogan that’s short enough to fit in while big enough that motorists can read them without squinting so desperately at the poster that they actually run into the lamppost supporting it. In an ideal world, that slogan will also tell people what your party stands for.

This party must have one hell of a copywriter, or they don’t stand for much, as they managed to keep their slogan to only two words:

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Sleepless nights

Sleepless nights

It seems we have reached the night-terrors phase.

At around 3 this morning Elizabeth screamed, as in damsel in a horror movie screamed. Attentive parents that we are we naturally leapt out of bed and ran to her – no jokes, we live in an area with many venomous snakes, and one regularly hears of people, and especially children, being bitten by a snake in their bed, so naturally we assumed the worst.

When we got to her she kept saying “fork, fork” inbetween sobs – fork is currently her word for anything sharp, which only increased our fears. While the wife held her I took all her bedding and mattress out of her cot, but nothing there, and we couldn’t see any bite or sting marks on her skin, so assumed it was just a bad dream.

So I lay waiting the next two hours for my alarm to go off with the Minion’s feet in my kidneys (not taking chances on invisible snakes we took her to our bed where she promptly decided lying in a position perpendicular to us was most comfortable).

Come morning the missus takes her to her room to get dressed, and she start speaking of the fork again, except now it sounds more like pig (if you’re horribly confused right now, the Afrikaans words for fork and pig differ by only one syllable – “vurk” vs “vark”). Apparently a pig was trying to smell her, and she wasn’t having any of that.

(Your guess is as good as mine where she got the idea of a pig sniffing her – the only pigs to which she has regular exposure is one with a last name Bank and another with a first name Peppa…)

Anyway, come bedtime all goes well – getting dressed, storytime, the regular routine. Until the wife tries to leave the room. Total hysterics. The pig mustn’t smell her. She wants to sleep in our bed. She wants us to stay with her.

Apparently this is a phase they go through, which means it will pass (hopefully soon). Pigs, though? Wherever did she get that one?


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Family

Family

Christmas is a time to be with the ones you love. At least, that’s what all the movies and sentimental WhatsApp messages everyone keeps sending me tell me, so it must be true.

Anyway, my work includes some amount of travel, and every time the hardest part is saying goodbye to the Missus and the Minion. I usually go drop them off at the in-laws, so I know they’re not alone at home and that both sets of grandparents are close by to help out in a crisis.

But it doesn’t change the fact that I miss them like crazy, and that from the moment I wave goodbye to them before going through airport security I’m aching to get back to them.

My trip to Orlando this September was no exception, and was probably worse – how can one not dwell on family if you’re literally across the road from Disney Springs? How can I walk past a Princess Boutique and not want to take my little girl there, or visit Diagon Alley and not wish I could apparate my wife, who is as much a fan as I am, there with me?

Then I found the Lego store in Disney Springs, and decided to find my family…

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