The Countdown

When the clock struck 00h00 on Saturday 31st December, so too began a countdown of a more ominous kind. 

Images of lazy days in pyjamas on the couch with a book, spaghetti-strap sunburn from days spent in the sun, the freedom of doing your grocery shop at 11 in the morning, morning gym sessions followed by sleep-ins flashed past my eyes.  These were soon replaced with images of 3o juniors making the transition from ‘small fish’ to ‘big fish’ with the attitude to match, a one-speed fan in a cell-sized classroom overcrowded with 30 sweaty pubescent kids, red pens and arthritic fingers, losing your voice in week one, and making the change from strapless tops to cap sleeves and knee-length skirts.

The metaphoric storm cloud hanging over friends and family enjoying their summer day.

But the silver lining, for the nerd-type that gets excited at the prospect of such things, I get to go stationery shopping.  At the end of every metaphoric storm, there is a rainbow.

“Good teaching is one-forth preparation and three-fourths theater.”
Gail Godwin
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Home Sweet Home

Browsing blogs I came across some cute and quirky scatters – how awesome are these? 

 

Bang on trend

 
 
 

For a beach-side holiday home

 

Scatter some holiday cheer

Visit http://www.jillyshappyhome.com/ to see some more!
 

Ever so craftily!

Shopping is a woman thing.  It’s a contact sport like football.  Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase. 

– Erma Bombeck

Over the years, I happen to have strong-armed many a family friend into perusing my table of crafts (these were vast & varied as the years marched by: friendship pins, quilling, stamped cards, scrapbooking and the sort)  I can safely say I fancy myself as quite a crafter – past and present.  I’m certainly not a craft prodigy by any stretch of the imagination.  But I do enjoy a good craft session.  Even more than that though, i appreciate crafts that are the product of other people’s vast imaginations and creativity.  Have time, will craft.  If not, make time, buy other’s crafts.

Cue the I Heart Market.

This treasure, not-so-hidden, held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium the first Saturday of every month is a feast for the senses.  And a strain on the purse. 

Each month, my home is adorned with a new-found beauty sourced at this fabulous market.  Oh So Handsome can only sigh when I arrive home burdened with bags of goodies.

Durban is being spoilt this month, with not one, but three markets!  Definitely a must visit if you’ve never been before.

Visit iheartmarket.blogspot.com

Deck the Halls

thriftshopromantic.blogspot.com

Considering I’m pretty new to the blogging world, one would no doubbt expect an onslaught of self-reflexive posts, pondering life as I know it. 
 
Such self-indulgence is but a mere luxury as a teacher in December.  There is the tedious task of marking exams ad nauseum, not-no-nice report comments to be disguised in euphemism, classrooms to be cleared of a year’s worth of teenage trash (read: lunchboxes filled with mouldy fruit, letters written in pretty pink, sports kit abandoned – P.E is after all only a free lesson)!  Seemingly insignificant little tasks, but time-consuming and soul-sucking.
 
Yes, there’s been a drought in BlogLand, but as I hear the impending storm rolling in, so too have the BlogLand clouds burst forth. 
 
I married a Scrooge.  In fact, I was fathered by a Scrooge too.  Apparently its true what the all-knowing ‘they’ say – you do indeed marry your dad!  But I am not one to be deterred, and my in-your-face love of Christmas can only be ignored for so long.  The house has been Christmas-fied; the dogs lost amongst green fir leaves, baubles and the smell of burning candles.  The neighbours have been subjected to tinsel and shiny things, and the electricity bill just increased exponentially.  Oh Handsome One finally succumbed to the joy that is Christmas and filled my advent calender with some of my very favourite spoils.  Awkward Amy bounces along the shoulder-to-shoulder supermarket aisles to Boney-M and sings along tunelessly to Michael Buble’s carols in the safety of her own home where no-one can judge.  The only thing that has been missing in the build up to Christmas is an actual Christmas-Carol-Singing outing, followed by mince pies and hot chocolate.   To be remedied this fine Summer’s eve.
 
Blast this Christmas music.  It’s joyful and triumphant.
– The Grinch
 

Spring: in sights and smells

Spring is a special season.  Not in the tree-hugging, hippie-loving sense, but because it is the season which plays host to a particularly important birthday. 

So, because birthdays are about the joy of receiving (if we’re going to be honest with ourselves), I thought I’d do a bit of giving (the free gift-kind of giving of course!) simply because this comes uncomfortably close to another well-known season of giving; the kind that puts strain on your purse. 

Who doesn’t love the sights and smells of Spring? Enjoy!

1. Spring Storms

The clouds come over and the trees turn a virulent shade of putrid green to the soundtrack of deep-throated rumbling.

[picture credit: angelrays]

2.  Swallows

The eaves above our front door are currently being rented out to the most gracious of lessees.  Beautiful and an honour? Yes!  But it turns out all new-borns are poo-making machines.  A small price to pay.

[photo credit: weheartit.com]

3. Mowed lawn

The tangy smell of freshly-mowed grass.

[photo credit: pfranzme.wordpress.com]

4. Fallen jacaranda flowers

The lush purple carpet at the base of the tree.  The not-so-lush lilac-brown-slush that results from driving over them in your rush to make that morning meeting.

[photo credit: embodyjoy.wordpress.com] 

She’s wearing the ruby slippers…

Dorothy.  Wear red shoes and the nickname is inevitable.  But that aside, isn’t there a magical feeling of wonder that comes when slipping on a pair of your very own pair of ruby slippers?

Having woken up to grey clouds (suitably poetic as they are), with the prospect of marking the exam scripts of, oh I don’t know, ninety whiny pubescent teens, and perhaps the most frightening of all – facing the horror of the local tax offices – the promise of butterflies and rainbows was but a mere whisper. 

It is said (by the wise and sage beings we refer to as ‘they’) that we make our own destiny.  Turns out ‘they’ are indeed wise and sage.  By simply opening my wardrobe, catching the plush look of my suede cherry-red pumps, I set out to have a foot-tappingly joyful day. 

The next time you’re battling to see the silver-lining, close your eyes and tap your heels three times and think to yourself ‘theres no place like home’.

Thanks to omnipresent Google, here is some joy-inducing red footwear to inspire you on your cloudy and grey day!

The Gaping Hole that is Cyberspace

Blogging [verb]   To add new material to or regularly update a blog.

For months, the Amy-who-wants-to-start-blogging has been playing a messy game of tug of war with the Amy-who-is-too-scared-to-start-blogging. 

The English teacher in me (the verbose version) finds the concept enticing – kind of like the not-to-be-eaten-until-Christmas candy canes hanging on the tree.  The annoyingly self-conscious version of me has for a long while viewed the concept with wariness – the risk of your words tumbling into the gaping black hole that is cyberspace a real, and, after all, a most probable fear. 

Blogging [verb] To strip your literary *smoking hot* soul bare-naked and parade in front of a crowd who is entirely disinterested. [no R100 notes slipped into your metaphoric g-string]

Then there’s the question: Is blogging hip and edgy, or a cry for someone to recognise a lonely soul (read: sad & lame)? With trepidation I mentioned it to my linguistic-whiz of a friend, and asked her the very same question.  Her response?  “Remember how we wondered about Facebook? And now look!” A wise and sage piece of advice that she followed with: “Ben Travato blogs.  He is the King of Cool”.  So true friend, so true.  But I find myself thinking, you Virgin Blogger, are far from being named ‘Queen of Cool’, rather you’re Queen of Quirkiness…and not the hip kind of quirky either.  But I’m finding peace in my online label as ‘slightly kooky Princess of Averageness’.

[“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”]