Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ONE AND A HALF

I have been in two minds about this post. It has actually kept me up at night and its on my mind…a lot, so here goes.

On the 22nd October it marked the 1 and a half year date since my dad died. It is suppose to get better with time….. It does not feel like it has, maybe it has, I am still not sure. All I can think about is the night before, the fact that we didn't message like we usually did before bed, the horrible flight to JHB, the days of agony watching someone dying and then the mess of emotions that came after it. Its surreal, its unfair and its constantly on my mind. More so at the moment because I am coming to the end of my time at varsity. My dad was very supportive of my journey at varsity and always very enthusiastic about it. He will not be here for graduation.

He will not be here when I get my first job, when I walk down the isle, when I have children, when I need to celebrate, when I need my dad and his shoulder to cry on. He will not be here for a road trip I would have liked to do. He won't be here to hear about my day, to receive pictures of the cat who doesn't belong to me, to chat about everything and anything. I try talk to him still but its incredibly hard because I will never really understand nor come to terms with the fact the he is no longer here, in person to actually speak to.

It was and always has been my biggest fear to lose a parent. My parents divorced when I was 11 and my dad and I only became very close again three years before his death. Its was a long hard journey, but we both worked very hard, we got to see each other and we spoke everyday. I made sure to include him in every aspect of my life - but I have always feared losing my dad for good.

Its hard to lose someone, twice.

I will never forget the feeling or moment when I heard he was in hospital. He was unable to speak, move or communicate. I sobbed, I begged, I bargained, I stood there in disbelief. I didn't ask his family members enough questions, or the doctors or nurses, I wish I had, I wish I had pressed them for more answers, stood up for myself, fought back to the lack of support and assumption made by those who think they knew everything, but knew nothing. There are reports missing, there is a flawed system where there is little regard for those that have passed away. Its clinical and painful to try and get answers when no one can give them to you. Its frustrating to mull the story over and over in my mind, trying  to make sense of it. 

You automatically cope - you push forward, you push on, your body runs on adrenaline, you think you won't be able to but you do. It doesn't get easier you just cope better. I am sad, and filled with regret somedays, I wish I had said or done this or that, called, said good night, said everything, said more. It is hard to lose a person twice, someone you loved dearly, a parent.

I spoke to him a lot for those few days while he was in hospital, I don't know if he heard me, I spoke as much as I could and said all the things I wanted to say. It will never be enough, but I hope he heard. I hope I will be able to get the images of someone who was severely injured and dying out of my head and start remembering a person, a parent and someone that I shared some wonderful memories with.

 I know my dad would not ever want me to feel pain or sadness, but it is hard. There is no rule book for death, no order or the 7 stages of grief or loss, no sign of where or when it may hit you or when you will feel at peace with it. There are days and weeks where you I think " I got this, I am making peace with it, I am ok, its all ok"  and thats great. But there are days which are not so great, but you carry on, you wipe away tears, call a supportive friend, speak to mom, cuddle up to boyf, write, remember, push on push forward and try.

Time will heal they keep saying - I really hope it does.

Every single day is a blessing to cherish and to remember, to love the people in your life, to forgive them, to share everything with them, to laugh, cry, sing, dance, celebrate and mourn together. To never forget, to always try, and to always know that in time, this too shall pass. I know this journey will take a very long time, but I am here now, living it out as best I can, feeling the emotions I should and working through it everyday. I won't ever stop trying and apart of me will always want answers, but right now I have to accept what I do know. I thought this whole thing would make me wiser and able to give great support and advice to people - but not yet, maybe one day. But for now - I will just keep on trying, remembering, loving and cherishing the time we had. I will do all the things I promised you I would do, I hope somewhere beautiful you are watching down on my and you're proud of me.


Note:
Thank you to all the lovely kind, caring, compassionate and selfless people in my life who are always there for me, who always put a smile on my face and have supported me wholeheartedly through this journey, I am so grateful for all you love and support.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

LIESBEEK RIVER TRAIL - LOVE MY HOOD


After years of having the beautiful Sea Point Promenade to walk and run along, I am finally starting to discover little hidden gems like the Liesbeek River Trail, in my new hood Rondebosch.  We have not walked the full length of the trail, only a small portion on route from our other walks, but it really is a little piece of heaven in the middle of the city and suburbia. 

Its pretty safe and relatively busy with other walkers and runners, we have only gone on weekends so I am not too sure what it would be like during the week. Here are some pictures I have recently snapped from a few of our walks. We try walk on weekends because we both do a lot of sitting for work and studying. Its really nice that this lush trail is so close to where we live and so accessible - going to be making it a regular habit.





(pictures by Saturday Girl SA)

According to SA-Venues

One virtually has to be a member of the Friends of the Liesbeek to be aware of this hidden gem of Cape Town. Unbeknownst to them, Capetonians can actually spend time strolling along the trail that lies along the 8 km Liesbeek River starting up near Kirstenbosch.

Sometimes spelt Liesbeeck, the river starts somewhere up on Table Mountain above Kirstenbosch and is regarded as the oldest urbanised river valley in South Africa. It then flows via Bishopscourt into Newlands, and then on to Rosebank, Mowbray and Obs where it joins with the Black River. The Two Rivers Urban Park is on land here between the Liesbeek and Black rivers. The Liesbeek finally empties into Table Bay at Paarden Island.
Part, or almost all of this walk, is trailed and follows from Kirstenbosch down through Fernwood (Newlands) where there is a paved path for prams and on the opposite side of the bank is Bishopscourt Village Park, popular for picnics. 

At Paradise Road intersection there is a children's playground and all along here one can ride a bike or push a pram until the path peters out on Buckburn Road. A little further along the path takes up again, this time more applicable for walkers, on the other side of Sans Souci Bridge close to the Newlands Swimming Pool. The path runs until Dean Street Bridge.

The river now heads under Main Road but you can pick up it up again past Josephine Mill, along which there are benches. Continue with the path past Albion Spring and cross Rouwkoop Road and over a bridge, through Roslyn Park, where there are further benches and a grassy area. 
You can persevere on to the interesection with Alma Road, where there is a path again and some lawns".

If you have walked the full route would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any other walks or recommendations for Newlands or Rondebosh area let me know!

See map and info from SA-Venues here

Saturday, October 18, 2014

LUSH - THREE PRODUCTS I AM IN LOVE WITH

I may have gone a little overboard in the LUSH store recently……. as one does. I have been using drips and drags of cream and scrubs and finally after they all finished I decided it was time to invest in new ones! Summer is coming up and I definitely feel like I want to shake off the long winter (and my dry skin) so what better place to sooth the soul and spoil ones self. PS: If you ever want to buy me a gift - you know where to go……


I cannot recommend LUSH products enough. For some reason I always had this perception that they are pricey. Actually they are well made products that really WORK and are reactively inexpensive compared to some of the other products out there that are loaded with all sorts of weird chemicals. I had a little LUSH sabbatical because I no longer have a bath since moving, so we only have shower now and I forgot about all the other great products they have - not just cool fizzy balls for the bath.

So here is a little break down of the three products I am currently in love with.

RUB RUB RUB - Shower Scrub
This is a fine sea salt scrub with a light fragrance of mimosa and orange flower. It isn't too harsh on the skin as a scrub and its perfect because it lathers up and becomes incredibly soft and smooth making it a fantastic shower gel. I suffer with dry skin and if I use a very heavy exfoliator which sometimes  aggravates my skin. This is just the perfect combination and you can also apply it to dry skin before you hop into the shower for deeper exfoliation. The best part is, you can still smell it on your skin later in the day and it really does feel very luxurious when you apply it. I haven't tried it yet, but they also recommend you use it in your hair as sea salt creates volume and is great for massaging the scalp. If anyone has tried this let me know! Also fantastic for tired feet! 

NEW CHARITY POT - Hand and body lotion
Each Charity Pot aims to create change through funding small grassroots groups working in the areas of environmental, human rights and animal protection and 100% of the proceeds from each sale go to charity. 

This particular one "aims to educate the local community in squatter camps in and around Cape Town on the harmonious relationship between humans and animals. " - Lush SLUSH fund.

It contains Fair Trade cocoa butter, fresh aloe and moringa oil, as well as rosewood oil, geranium and ylang ylang. Ummmmm I cannot even become to express my deep love for this lotion. I don't know if I will use another brand for a really long time - because this brand works. You do not need a lot of it and it absorbs into your skin beautifully! I am a big fan of the Dove Shea Butter Body Lotion, by oh my heavens, this stuff simply steals the show. It is another level of luxurious. It smells edible and is incredible and I just want to lie in a bath of it (if I had one and it came in that quantity) because its that good! Yes that good.  It leaves my skin feeling so nourished and after a hot shower it soaks in beautifully. It has a slightly oily texture so you need to rub it in well and I usually apply it at night before bed. I also use it in morning on my arms and elbows and it doesn't  leave me feeling greasy or sticky. I am punting this product to everyone I know, especially if you suffer from dry skin. I use it as a hand cream at night before I sleep when it will have the most chance of absorbing into my skin and I can already feel my hands are softer and less dry. Please try it and let me know your thoughts!

LIP SERVICE - Lip balm
I am a huge DCT Blistex fan and have always suffered with dry or cracked lips so its my ultimate go to lip balm. I gave my last pot to a friend and since then have been looking for alternatives to DCT, I haven't found one to be honest but this is a close second. Just some of the ingredients include, apricot kernel oil, cocoa butter, beeswax and extra virgin olive oil. It has a granular texture to it so feels a bit weird, but once you apply it its very smooth and soothing and it doesn't dry out easily. It also, obviously smells incredible and edible.

So those are my top three favourite LUSH products at the moment and the one thing I have noticed is that you don't need a lot of each product and they really do last. Quality for sure and I will be stocking up when this lot runs out. I have yet to find a LUSH product that is disappointing and I am going to stay a big fan I think. Don't forget to return your empty lush containers! 

For more information on other products and prices check out the LUSH South Africa online store