Goodbye Tata Madiba

The man who would be president ...Nelson Mandela

The man who would be president …Nelson Mandela

Everyone it seems has a Nelson Mandela story to tell and so do I, although I am very sad I never got the opportunity to actually meet him in the flesh I am happy to say that he ate our cake.
Way back in 1993, just after I had opened Lollipops in Yeoville a young woman came into the shop. I wasn’t there at the time but she spoke to my mom about having a cake made. She said she had been to a few places and they had all refused to make the cake or couldn’t make it for whatever reason. My mom turned around and said that she thought it would be no problem to make, but what was the cake? The lady replied that she wanted a cake that was half the ANC flag and half the flag of Quebec, Canada.
She also said that she wanted the cake because Nelson Mandela was coming for lunch and she wanted to present the cake to him. We took the order. When I heard this I had to laugh, who was this woman, was she nuts and why on earth would Nelson Mandela be coming to her for lunch? Regardless, I instructed the baker to make the cake and as luck would have it I wasn’t there when the cake was collected so I couldn’t get my questions answered. A couple of weeks went by and the same lady came to the shop and dropped off the picture you see above. I could have slapped myself.
The young woman is Jay Naidoo’s wife, the older her mom and the man in the pic, well his face speaks for itself. Nelson Mandela, then the future president of SA, had gone to the Naidoo’s for lunch.

Yesterday, Sunday, we went to Houghton to pay our respects. I have to say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I can only say that I am grateful and privileged to have lived through the changes that have come about in this beautiful country.
It felt quite fitting that we had to park a few blocks away and walk to the house, in fact as we were walking towards the house a young boy and his father passed us walking back to their car and we overheard the little guy say, dad, it is a long walk, just like The Long Walk to Freedom. Yes, that is exactly how it felt, the long walk to the house felt like part of the journey and added to the overall experience.
I have seen comments posted by people, that I am friends with, who wonder why all this fuss over an ex terrorist. I can only feel sad for them because they have obviously missed the point and have yet to move forward from their sheltered points of view, particularly since you do not have to actually be a fan of Nelson Mandela to honour the man for his courage, his strength of character and for his magnanimous generosity. I personally was and still am a fan, I think he was one incredible human being.
People dancing, people singing, the atmosphere was alive, electric, the vibe almost carnival. It was not an atmosphere of mourning but one of rejoicing, people celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, the Father of The Nation
For me, my long walk through Houghton yesterday felt amazing. To walk amongst white, black, Indian, to hear almost every language under the sun spoken and to have interacted with these people was an honour.

Scenes From Houghton, The Home of Nelson Mandela on Sunday 8th December 2013

20131208_145220

20131208_142714

20131208_143058

20131208_143216

20131208_143244

20131208_143755

20131208_143932

20131208_144118

20131208_144146

20131208_144200

20131208_144302

20131208_144416

20131208_144516

20131208_144621

20131208_144713

20131208_144922


Scenes from 98 Oxford Road, Blue Moon Communications

20131208_151551

20131208_151729

20131208_151739

20131208_151749

20131208_151800

20131208_151810

20131208_151819

20131208_151827

20131208_151837

20131208_151849

20131208_151910

20131208_151935

20131208_152031

20131208_152129_2

So Much Death, So Little Time

This morning at 10.13 my mum called to tell me that my sister’s husband, my brother in law has passed away. I wasn’t especially close to him. They have lived in London for the past 25 years or so, so we have never really had a chance to get to know one another well. So why then do I feel so broken right now? Why am I who is so many miles away feeling that loss so keenly? Is it because my beloved sister has been robbed of her life partner by a dreadful disease that ate away ate her husband for years, that her two teenaged children are now fatherless. He was an incredible father, always having time to spend with his kids at the end of every working day. As they say it is quality time over quantity time any day.
I think I am feeling so sad at this moment because it is only mid March and already this year a handful of people amongst my friends and family have passed away. In January alone we buried two friends a week apart. One older, one my age, no time to mourn the loss of the one before the second dropped dead from a heart attack. At least his wife was with him at the time, in fact neither of the two died alone, both had the comfort of their wives with them.
I am feeling horribly mortal at the moment. Death is so final in our daily lives. You may believe in an afterlife, a place where spirits roam free and are happy to have shuffled off this mortal coil but that doesn’t leave the rest of us left behind with much comfort. We may be relieved that those who have suffered in pain have passed on and are now free of that burden. We may be relieved that they are no longer a burden to us, the hospital visits, Hospice, funerals, all of that behind us. Rituals that are meant to comfort us after their passing but do they? Does that wake give you closure? Does the sound of soil hitting a coffin make it easier to cope with the lost of a mother, father, husband or child.
The comforting arms of friends and family are there for you in the immediate aftermath but what happens once the dust has settled and they have all returned to their lives, a week or two weeks later. The calls stop coming, the food stops arriving and you are left to your own devices. Attempting to pick up the pieces of your shattered life and move on. How do you move on? Do you pack up their stuff and donate it to a charity organization? Do you leave it in the cupboard for months after so that you can hug their clothing and remember their smell. Do you hold onto a favourite jersey and hug it like a pillow at night whilst you sob your heart out because you miss them and you are actually inconsolable?

Or do you light a candle, paint a picture, put a photobook together and remember the good times?
If the person you loved was ill and suffered greatly before passing on, it takes a long time before you can remember the person they were before they got ill. At first all you remember is the hospital, the smells, the sadness, the fact that they looked gray or they looked yellow, or just sallow, the funeral, the medicine, the doctors, the sadness that wells up in you every time you think of them. Months and years can pass before you can remember the love, the sense of humour they had, the good times that you shared. It takes a long time to make peace with their passing. I know they say that you expect the elderly to die, it doesn’t make it any easier though. It becomes harder and harder as time passes to remember their faces, their laughs, their smiles.
But.
You do eventually. Eventually you learn to smile again, you can talk about them without crying, you can laugh at anecdotes about them, their little idiosyncrasies, their silly jokes. You learn it is okay to laugh, it is okay to be happy, to pack their stuff away or put it in boxes in the storeroom. Life is okay to go on with.
You need to forgive yourself for life carrying on, for living whilst they have passed on, for being happy when you have no idea if they are happy any more. It is okay, life goes on and for that, though it is hard to believe at the time, life does go on. It doesn’t stop because the person you loved has passed on. Cows still need to be milked and accounts still need to be paid and it isn’t fair. The whole world isn’t mourning and the whole world didn’t stop because you wanted to get off. Life goes on and IT IS OKAY. In fact it is a blessing because you begin over time to forget, you move on and it is okay. It is okay to move on. To fall in love again. To feel again. You can forgive yourself because it is okay.

Death unless you are a medium is final. So remember to make your peace every day, kiss them, hug them, tell them you love them because one day it is too late and you never said those words, returned that book or sent that message. Life really is too short for regrets so on their deathbeds if you are lucky enough to get the chance to say goodbye then do it. Tell that person that it is okay to die, to move on, tell them that you will be okay, that you will go on and that you love them. The soul hears.

To all those that have passed on before me you are loved, you are missed, you are remembered, you will never be forgotten and I will be okay without you one day.
I am okay without you.
I am okay.

The Month of Love & other Delights

Helllooooooooooo Everyone

January is pretty much us and the month of love almost upon us! What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day? Girls do you realize that as this is a leap year you are allowed and encouraged to take the leap and ask your man to marry you? I had two offers of marriage today but I think they were only because they both need someone to cook for them and they thought I owned the Lollipop Lounge! Poor boys, Lollipops Caters to your other needs! This month my baby girl, Indulgence, celebrates her 6th birthday! She should have started grade 1 primary school with all the other kids this year but I decided that she is constantly learning in the school of life and for this beautiful girl a little bit more home schooling is not going to be a bad thing, plus the text books are a whole bunch cheaper and we won’t mention the uniforms!! Come celebrate with us! Come raise your glass and toast my beautiful non-furry girl on the 25th of February from 2pm to 5pm! There will be loads of pink bubbly on ice and cupcakes galore to feast upon and best of all this is we are not charging you one cent to come to our little party! Just pop in and have a glass with us! Email me to say if you are coming so I know how many bottles of bubbly to buy and how many cupcakes to ice!

So what else is happening @ Indulgence this month of love:

AuthorTalk

This month’s AuthorTalk is a gala affair with not one but two authors on February 11th. This is THE month of the year that we hand over all the books that you guys have helped us collect over the past 12 months. Heading up our fabulous double bill is Charmaine Pauls, a South African girl living in Chile who has just published her first book. Charmaine is taking time to make her debut appearance during her fleeting trip to South Africa. She will followed by the never short of controversy, David Bullard who really needs no further introduction as far as I am concerned! For this event we are doing things a little differently so please take note of the following: There will be a two course plated set menu @ R75 per head. There will of course be a choice of red meat, white meat or vegetarian so no one will go hungry followed by a delicious desert as only Indulgence can! Serving lunch from 12h30 BOOKINGS BOOKINGS BOOKINGS only please!

Both authors will have books on sale and of course they will quite happily sign them for you. I will see if I can persuade them to each give us one to hand out in the draw! As far as Animals In Distress is concerned please bring along whatever you can that will help an animal in distress from blankets, food, toys, kennels etc! They are happy to take anything that we can give them that will help our furry friends! Amiga will hand over her pocket money that was raised from her birthday party in Decembe. And then of course this is a brand new year for collecting books so remember as always to bring along your two books, one to swap and one to donate as we begin collecting a whole new year of books for Amiga’s charity of choice!

About our authors:

Charmaine Pauls South African born Charmaine Pauls followed a career in all the facets of her communications degree, including public relations, journalism, advertising, and brand marketing. Her debut novel, Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, was released in August 2011. Her second novel, Between Fire and Ice, will be released by Melange Books in August 2012. She currently resides in Chile with her husband and two children

David Bullard South Africa’s best loved celebrity “racist”. Author of South Africa’s most talked about newspaper column (Out to Lunch), TV presenter, after dinner speaker and exposer of humbuggery. Loathes political correctness and lefties. Now writing for Playboy magazine every month.

Valentine’s Day

“I love you in a place where there’s no space or time

I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine

And when my life is over

Remember when we were together

We were alone and I was singing this song for you

We were alone and I was singing this song for you” 1972 The Carpenters

Unfortunately Valentine’s Day falls during the week this y

ear so the best I can offer you on the actual day is my love! Hahaha, on the other hand of you feel like going out to breakfast we will open at 7.30am so you can bring your girlfriend, wife or secretary for a quickie breakfast on the way to work. Nothing says I love you better than crispy bacon and scrambled eggs! We have a very romantic range of heart shaped cakes, cupcakes, heart-shaped biscuits, chocolate roses and gingerbread men with big hearts if you fancy sending some to the office, the school or your home! Make my life a tad easier and order early so we can avoid disappointing anyone

! (by the way I love flowers, Lindt chocolate, Dune perfume and like most women gold, silver and diamonds work fabulously )

Calendar

Feb 11 AuthorTalk with David Bullard and Charmaine Pauls

Feb 14 Valentine’s Breakfast

Feb 25 Indulgence FREE birthday party

Next month @Indulgence we have the book about advocate B

arbie, the Fetish Flea Market and one or two other things so watch out for your next newsletter! And that is all I have to say for now!

Have a very romantic, very lovely month. Be kind to yourself, love your neighbour not his wife and be safe!

Love ‘n Lollipops

Mandi Friedman Lollipops Catering

“Food, Passion, Life”

Tel: 011 782 5063 Fax: 0866 33 9331 Cell: 082 895 3698

Indulgence Coffee Cafe, 1 Mount Dev, 225 Beyers Naude Drive,

Northcliff ext 5

Lollipops Catering Africa cc 1998/020733/23

2.2 children and white picket fences……..

I can  very clearly remember sitting on the red brick steps at primary school in the early 80’s with the winter sun shining down on us benevolently, chatting to my female friends of the day about our bright and shiny futures. I don’t remember us talking about careers and work and succeeding in the big wide world out there beyond the school hedge but we did talk about husbands and children and knights on white horses and houses with picket fences, 2.2 children, four cats and a dog called Rex.

I don’t remember any of us talking about going forward as upwardly mobile single women, future business moguls, managing directors, movie directors, divorced with kids, single women with kids, single women without kids, single women with dogs as kids, widows, lesbians  with twins, female adults with huge chips on our shoulders and running accounts with therapists. Foremost in our simple pre-teenage minds were husbands and children and happy ever after lives. Even though many of us came from broken homes with numerous divorces and step parents by the dozens we never actually thought “”that” would happen to us. But then like all things in life  you don’t, do you…………..until it happens

Leaping forward in time to a quiet autumn evening in 2011, funky music playing on the radio in the background. The temperature outside is dropping but it’s still warm enough to be sitting at the laptop in just a T-shirt banging away at the keys and hoping my fingers can type as fast as my brain is churning out the thoughts that hound me as the light outside fades to inky darkness; a perfect match to the dull ache in my heart.

It never crossed my mind that 30 odd years after this starry-eyed childhood contemplation of the future I would still be single and childless. I have never married. I have never given birth to a child. I am single. I have the most amazing girl friends. They are scattered around the globe in a modern age diaspora, and lo and behold so many of them are single as well. What happened to us along the way? How did we go from the blossom and romance of youth to jaded and single and over 40 in the blink of an eye? Is being single an unconscious decision we made somewhere along the line or a conscious one? is being single the armour we wear to protect ourselves? Or is it modern men? Did we look around us at the single men out there and think, fuck me, I would rather be single. Is it because we are  the epitome of  independent, self-employed, self-motivated, self-starters who are able to support ourselves, who are able to make our own way in male dominated society that we are single? Do we scare men off? Are men put off  by the fact that we CAN support ourselves, that we CAN go through life without them, that we CAN purchase our own vibrators and change the batteries ourselves, that we can call an electrician, sleep with a plumber or have our newspapers delivered?

Shit I hope not. I don’t want to be single all my life. 

If that is the truth, that I don’t want to be single for the rest of my days, why do I keep making the same stupid mistakes? How stupid am I? What silly romantic notions lurk in my mind? Why do I constantly repeat the mistakes of the past like a CD stuck in the same scratch?

I cannot speak for my friends but for myself………..I never set out to be a single 40 something year old, not consciously at least. I would love to have Mr Right walk into my life instead of continually seeing the back of Mr Wrong’s head as he gets booted out the door just like his predecessor.  I would love to share my bed with a wonderful man, share the days happenings over dinner, walk hand in hand, bitch about the neighbours, make love in the  rain and chase the dog away from the nibbles on the picnic blanket. It would be wonderful to wish one man a happy birthday for years in a row, happy 25th anniversary and scream at him for getting you into this mess as the next contraction hits. Admittedly I have a penchant for walking into a room filled with men and fancying the only man in the 1 million, one hundred and thirty-one men that are filling the space at the time that I cannot have, the married man.

I have already broken my heart  over one married man for whom I would have gone to the ends of the earth. A married man who talked to a young woman of love and romance, of a home and children, of shared bank accounts and overseas holidays, of white weddings  and golden anniversaries. A married  man I loved with all my heart. A broken heart.  A really broken heart, so broken that it would take 12 years to mend and another seven before I would actually be ready to drop the walls around me, break down the barriers and hack into the cement shell around my heart to let a man in again. 

 In the mist of the 19 years between existing and being ready to love again there would be no shortage of  men along the way. One night stands, two-week interludes, a four-year romance, a one year joke with a man, no make that a boy, a decade younger with a humongous penis and a fabulous sense of humour. And although I loved each and everyone one for the brief 15 minutes they graced my life they never chipped the lead-lined casing protecting my aching and lonely heart. I may have cried some tears when they moved on, got asked to leave or fell off the edge of the earth but it was okay they weren’t Mr Right anyway and no I wasn’t in love with them.

 Mr Right, no, no, no I meant to say Mr Wrong would make a grand entrance into my life  2010 and rock my world so much that my armour would weaken and cracks would begin to marble the plaster of my heart. 

You would think that having learned my lessons along the way so well, having nursed my broken heart and knowing the male  creature as well as I think I do, that  I wouldn’t rush head long  into another dead-end relationship, that I would hesitate before taking the plunge, that I would reflect on the pain that would be waiting in the wings, that I just wouldn’t go there again. You would think! And you would be wrong.

 Alas, I never learned from those lessons life handed me. I never took heed of the treacherous road I travelled. I never worried about my achy breaky heart. I jumped headlong into the embrace of danger. I rushed heedlessly into the passionate embrace of the demon that likes me being single. You see this is the chip I carry on my shoulder, maybe single is a self-destructive state of mind;  a finger that beckons you at high-speed towards the dangerous curves so that you ignore the bright yellow and black of the chevron signs.

And if this blog makes no sense to you, it is because I am unable to make sense of it myself. My attraction to the dark side, my lethal penchant for repeating the mistakes of the past for you see, I have gone and done it again…………I have broken my heart

I have fallen in love with a married man.