Wednesday 30 May 2012


OK so here's the idea...

There are hundreds of bloggers out there doing sponsored posts and product reviews.

I'm looking for bloggers to approach organisations, companies etc to make donations to Children in South Africa in exchange for blogging about it.

If we all club together think of the advertising they could benefit from. Then think about the numbers of children reached and provided with much needed educational supplies, blankets and clothing.

I've been visiting townships and informal settlements, helping to identify needy children for a Christmas gift project.

These children in the schools and day care facilities have NOTHING...their parents pay on average between R70-R200 (Rand) a month per child to have their children looked after while they go to work to earn R150 per day. The children are fed and educated out of this money, with often 60-150 children in the facility. (Current exchange rate R100 = £9)

The facilities have no running water and infact the whole settlement relies on government trucks twice a week to refill the tanks, there is no medical aid or even electricity.

The conditions are appalling, there is no respite from the cold in winter where temperatures drop below freezing and no respite from the heat in the summer. In fact I visited 2 facilities today where the children were sat on the dirt floor, eating pap. These children are suffering with heavy colds, their eyes are streaming and most have sinus problems and their parents do not have the money for simple medications to alleviate the symptons. A lot of these children are HIV positive or have AIDS.

I'd like to be able to donate actual goods to these facilities. Money donations to these facilities is a no go. I don't want your money, I want your time, your blog, your cast off clothing and blankets and educational supplies to distribute. The postal system here is not reliable and the costs for secure posting from other countries is high (twice as much as the contents of the parcel)

Please can you help with the following:

Ideally I'd like to find a company that will pay for a container to be shipped here, a place where donations can be sent to and a team of volunteers to sort the donations to ensure the contents are suitable for customs.

Maybe you help out with a scout group, a school, you work for a shipping company, the post office or a courier firm? or you're based in South Africa and your company has a Social responsibility. Can you organise donations, funding for postage/transportation costs?

On a smaller scale how about finding a sponsor to pay the secure postage costs for you to send a parcel to South Africa.

I will organise the distribution this end, I promise to take photos of the donations, provide storage and deliver them to the facilities. I will blog about the individual and/or comapny involved. I will promote your blog post for your sponsor ie 'donation for..... donation of.....(insert individual/company name) (no links please)

I will give my time in exchange for your help.

Please help with #BloggingForSouthAfrica anything you can do will be welcomed.

To make postal donations please contact me on twitter as @chickenruby if you would like my Post Box address.

If you can offer help please leave a comment below or you can email me on

Lets spread the word as far as we can in #BloggingForSouthAfrica

Lekker Mums

Last weeks Lekker Mums was hosted by Chloe at @ourpeagreenpod, the challenges set this week are:
1. Body - Your Sunshine Rituals
I stay out of it as much as possible...yeah I know boring, but the sun shines here everyday, in the summer reaching temps in the mid 30s and winter low 20s. I wear factor 50 on my face and neck to stop it going all scrawny

2. Mind - That Niggling Feeling

Quite often in life there is always something that we need to do but that we keep putting off. If you are anything like me there will be about 23 of these things at any given time. This week I quite simply want to encourage you to tick one of these silly little things off your list & feel the satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that there is one less thing to do! For now...!

Get back into swimming, I keep finding excuses as to why I can't go.

3. Spirit - Memories & Legacy

How would you like your spirit to live on? What stories would you like to share with your children that you haven't all ready? How do you want your children to remember you? Why not share a favourite memory with us? What else would you like to be your legacy?

As we are moving tomorrow, I've been writing names on the back of photos. I've also gone to the trouble to print my blog off and put it into a booklet for the kids to read we are adding the photos to it.

4. Special Days - Diamonds & Rings

They say in times of 'economic downturn' it is important for the people to keep morale up & to have events which lift people's spirits. We are certainly doing that this summer with the Diamond Jubilee & indeed the Olympics. Whether you are positively enthusiatic or just plain nonplussed about these giant events, why not have a think about what kinds of events lift your spirits. Could you get involved in some activities nearer to home? Are you taking part in any of the national celebrations this summer? Could you throw a tea party? Could you have a rave? What event, big or small, could you get involved with that would boost morale in your area?

I'm spending time raising awareness, funds and donating my time to various schools in townships near us...I won't be spending money on celebrating the jubilee, when there are people dying of starvation within a 10km radius.

5. A Big Question - Do You Do Enough?

It is natural as a parent to want to do as best by our children as we can, but, honestly do we really think we are doing enough? Or are we doing too much? How can we tell that what we are doing is right? I'm not sure I have the answers but I'd love to hear you discuss...

You can never do enough for your kids, they will always be left wanting, what you think is best isn't always what they want to do and vice versa.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

How do I go about fundraising in South Africa?

I had a stressful day yesterday...moving house...Today I went to an Informal Settlement and everything was put into perspective.

I found a day care centre for children aged 6 months to 6 years. I was representing another charity last week supporting the donation of shoe boxes filled with gifts for Christmas.

The day care caters for 62 children all from the township with 4 members of staff. They charge the parents R70 a month and that's their only income.

Today I turned up with a boot full of shopping, womens clothes and some basic crockery.

The children ran to the car, shouting, waving, the staff carried the bags into their kitchen and thanked me 'God bless you'

It's winter, they have a metal building, with various rugs scattered on the dirt floor, for schooling. There is no insulation, electricity or water. A seperate building for cooking and 2 huts with a hole in the ground for the toilets.

I want to do a one off project for this facility and thats to buy every child a blanket, hat, scarf and pair of gloves. It is winter, wity average night time temperatures around 5c and it's going to get colder) It will cost under R50 per child (that's less than £5) If I can get a deal with a supplier, even better.

But this is where I come unstuck....I don't know how to go about asking for donations. I can ask on twitter but how do we get the money here from other countries.

Are you able to help?

Monday 28 May 2012

Would you say half these things if you weren't hiding behind the internet?

I hate how people hide behind 'no offence...but' 'i'm not a racist...but' and many more and how people think they can say '140 characters hasn't expressed what I was trying to say, I didn't mean it like that' as an excuse...well start a blog or tweet 1/3 etc.

I've noticed over the last few weeks how nasty things are becoming on twitter.

I find it really sad that people think because they hide behind a screen, a cartoon character and an alias that they can say what they like, when they like.

OK fair enough if someone posts a direct racist, sexual (there have been many more) comment, but not call you a Nazi or Stalin because they don't agree with your opinion or even worse a racist...becuase again they don't like the comment you made on their original tweet.

Football is a heated discusion at the best of is a game of opinion and unfortunalty, your oprion doesn't count, unless you happen to be the referee.

At the Champions League Final I tweeted that it would be nice if The FA would teach the players to sing the national anthem when it was played in their country or the country in which you played.

Striaght away I got involved in a debate...'yeah but half the players are foreigners, why should they sing the English national anthem' my response... 'oops sorry, should've said the English players at least' there were many more amusing and interesting comments, lots in agreement, and the friendly banter ensued...isn't this what twitter is for?

But one tweeter took it too far and said to my original tweet 'no offence, as I said earlier, half the stadium full of nazis, the other half German' and also called me Stalin for forcing people to sing the national anthem of my country and not their own...well I'm Welsh and I sing it as she is the Queen of the UK, despite Wales is another country and I live in South Africa and make an effort to join in with the English sung bits.

The second example of such nastiness occured this weekend.

Someone posted a comment 'when you are a strong woman, proud gay person or a conscious black person is when you see how truly sexist, homophobic or racist people are'

I didn't disagree with her I replied 'you don't have to be any of those to witness it at all'

Her reply was 'you do to truly understand it'

I then replied as a strong woman, proud straight person and a conscious white person, with 'how about being a victim of physical racial abuse for being English in South Africa as I was by someone the same colour as me'

She replied with 'I hate this kind of discussion for reasons that can't be expressed in 140 characters. I don't think that's comparable'

I wasn't trying to make a comparisson, I was explaining to her that I do understand what it's like and you don't have to be female, gay or black to witness discrimination.

In the meantime she tweeted to the person who thought they should apologise for my 'attack' 'I know you'd never send twats my way deliberately!! She saw what she wanted to see' and ' Love that as sson as I start tweeting opinions it takes less than quarter of an hour for an idiot to appear again'

A Twat???? an idiot???? who the hell does she think she is? she tweets a statement and if someone supports it and gives another example of how it affects everyone regardless of sexual orientation, colour of skin or sex...they are a twat...I think not.

But then 'and if another white person attacks you how the hell is that racism?! Look the word up. And also grow up'

but then she tweets in the main timeline '.@chickenruby was attacked by another white person in SA for being English. This is why she thinks I should acknowledge black2white racism??'

At this point I google her, she's a comedian...with a few links to some guest appearances she's made on the telly, hence the large number of followers...but can someone explain to me where she got the bit about me trying to get her to acknowledge 'black2white' racism and what right she has to call me a twat? an idiot?

I didn't disagree with her I just said that racism isn't just about her.

How to...transfer your telkom account

I was advised to submit the forms for transfer at least a month in advance.

The agency we employed contacted me around 10 days prior to the move to say they'd help, but as is the way here (based on experience) if you want anything done, you do it yourself.

This particular bill is in my name, don't ask it was a painful experience trying to get it put in the name of someone who is only here on a visitors visa, but it was finally agreed after setting up hubbies bank account for payments (which by the way, I pay on my card, monthly at the post office) I need proof of residency.

So I explain what is happening and lo and behold, she helps me fill the form in, tells me I need the stand number of the house, they take a copy of my ID and off I go.

2 weeks later I get a call from the gate house to say Telkom are here to put in the new line.....hang on I'm not in the new house till June 1st. That's ok they say, we'll come back.

1 week later they are back....noooooo...I'm still not in the house. it's ok they'll come back again on June 1st.

So far this sounds reasonable, but I wasn't holding my breath...until...

June 1st, moving day 'this is telkom we are at the main gate can you authorise our entry'

30 minutes later...ta dah...we have phone and internet.

18 days later we have no phone or internet. I'm in the UK, hubby can't ring out to report a fault, so I tweet my number to a guy in South Africa to report the fault because I'm on a UK IP address and can't access all the facilities of the Telkom website.

3 days later, hubby finds out why we've been cut off. We've exceeded our credit limit, so he pays R300 and phone/internet reinstalled.

Apparently we'd exceeded our limit from the costs invlolved of transfering the ADSL .

Why didn't anyone tell me this?

I didn't ask, that's why

How to...change the the water and electricity when you move house, in South Africa

By now you should know where your municipality department is. You will have gone there to set up your utility accounts and wasted days of your life in the queues to query a bill on more than one occassion.

I visited the offices last week to ask what to do and how to do it.

Here is what happened.

HER: Fill this form in (walks off)

ME: mmmmm excuse me

HER: if you wnat to cancel your contract, fill this in (walks off)

ME: (finger on buzzer) I don't want to cancel I want to transfer to new address

HER: you have to cancel (walks off)

ME: (finger on buzzer)

HER: (pokes head round door, pokes head back inside door)

ME: (finger still on buzzer, new woman comes out) excuse me I'm moving house next week I don't know what to do, can you help me please?

HER: you have to cancel old contract, fill in that form, then open new account (gives me new form) and pay new deposit

ME: what do I need?

HER: Just your ID

ME: it's in hubbies name, what do i need?

HER: just your ID, copy of contract for house and copy of hubbies ID

And sorted????

So I return a few days later, forms have been filled in and hubby has signed them (ahem) I have a certified copy of the rental agreement, certified copy of hubbies ID (in colour) my ID and copy, letter from company to say we are the tenants of the property, cash for the new deposit in case the card machines aren't working.

Sign in at desk, sit and wait, called after an hour, existing contract cancelled, what's left of deposit will be refunded after last months bil has been deducted (holds breath) and here comes the next problem.

HER: we need a copy of your husbands bosses ID

ME: frantic emails sent, phone calls made to disturb meeting, colour ID sent, forwarded on (free wifi)

HER: gives me statement to make payment of new deposit

ME: stand in queue for an hour (card machine working) return to waiting room, sit for a further hour as I'm now back of the queue...

I still have meter readings to take and submit on the moving day, which will invole another visit (don't get me started on the email and telephone process) trust me it's quicker to visit in person, even if it does involve 2 visits and a 3 hour wait.

I don't think I can take anymore of this

I'm sitting here at my desk having spent the morning entertaining different people as they quote for our house move on Thursday, I feel sick, I have a huge knot in the tummy and the only thing that's stopping the tears from flowing is there is a guy here removing the stained glass panels from doors and windows for repair after various door slamming incidents and the odd fight amongst the kids.

I don't want to move, I shouldn't have to move, I'm so pissed off that I'm struggling to put it all in words.

When we moved here we knew nothing, knew no one and got no help...'yeah and...' I hear you say.

Well think about how you'd go about moving house in the UK, utilities, broadband, insurance, removal firms etc, etc and then come to a country where everything you've ever known is done completely differently.

For example How do you go about changing your electric and water supply from one house to another?...take the readings, call it through on the you have to cancel one contract, take out another, pay a new deposit and all this takes 3 hours, in person because you're not the named tenant of the property and your visa says visitor, so they won't discuss details with you.

Unless you've ever made an expat move you'll not understand how alone I feel right now, how pissed off I am and why I'm on the verge of tears all the time.

Hubby doesn't understand either, because I actually get things done, I battle through the tears and the frustration, but it doesn't get any easier to manage or to do.

This is my 4th move in 18 months. Out of our house into temporary accomodation in the UK for 6 weeks, arrival in South Africa to temporary accomodation for 6 weeks, and we move out of this house where we've been for 15 months into, what will hopefully be our last move for a few years, on thursday.

In the meantime I'm surveying the damage around me, half packed boxes, can't find anything, still having to do the normal day to day stuff.

It's not my fault we are in this situation it is the companies for messing up the first time around.

I think I'm going to check into a hotel till Friday and give them the bloody bill.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

#snaphappybritmums photo a day for May

Day 31. My come say hi

Day 30. Fruit....we are moving tomorrow, haven't been shopping in a while

Day 29. Panorama....view from the balcony

Day 28. Macro image

Day 27. Something for baby....well I'd need medical intervention so here's a teenagers pram

Day 26. Supermarket....Lethabong township

Day 25. Something old....My Gran's engagement present from 1934 and yes I use it

Day 24. of the few open spaces I found when we first moved to South Africa

Day 23. hunting in back streets for a bible bag here

Day 22. Something beginning with A....Armoede, Afrikaans for Poverty

Day 21. Music....I've been playing this clarinet since I was 7

Day 20. A poster that catches your of the many organisations I have volunteered to work for

Day 19. Your favourite smile

Day 18. What the weather is like today....well it's winter now and temps will drop to below freeaing, but they do reach 25c in the day

Day 17. Crocs

Day 16. Smooth....this floor took me all day to clean

Day 15. Fly the an expat you can never have enough

Day 14. Mirror Image

Day 13. Guilty bedside cabinet filled with goodies from the UK

Day 12. Kissing....Glaswegian kiss on the rugby pitch

Day 11. Frozen....despite it still being 22c in the day, the inside of buildings are really cold

Day 10. Blossoms....son has been diagnosed as dyslexic,now he can use his laptop at school he is blossoming

Day 9. Inside my (drinks) fridge

Day 8. Best part of me....My hubby

Day 7. Warmth....autumn is coming to an end

Day 6. View from a above....we'd been in the bird hide 5 minutes before we realised this was under us

Day 5. Blue....our pool

Day 4. Tipple

Day 3. School days....last time all 3 of mine were together for a school photo

Day 2. sons flight was delayed by 24hrs and while I tried to track him hubby made coffee

Day 1. 1st thing in the morning

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Is it always really a twitter glitch?

I'll admit it, I've unfollowed people and when they've questionned it, I've blamed it on the 'glitch' and refollowed.....but why?

In the real world I'll avoid someone that I don't like, or I'll just cut the contact off gradually.

After moving to South Africa it was a great way to get rid of dead wood, in real life, by text and facebook, but not on twitter. I've blocked people in the past when they've been abusive towards me.

I was unfollowed recently by a woman who was upset she had been following me for 6 months and I hadn't followed her back and she made quite an issue about it. Well I don't check my followers. I did sign up to 'twunfollow' a while ago and despite revoking access, I still get occassional notifications, but I just delete the email.
Twitter to me without saying Hi, is akin to standing outside someones window listening in, if I don't see or hear you, how do you expect me to know you are there?

If I don't want you listening in I'll draw the curtains (blocking)

I tend to unfollow people that rarely tweet or haven't tweeted in a while. I unfollow people that I don't have a lot in common with or non stop tweet links (especially if its to sponsored blogs) but I don't unfollow people that I chat with regulary, people that are on my face book or I interact with on Instagram.

I've been known to only ask once or twice to find out if someone has unfollowed me, just out of concern that I've offended or if I genuinally think it may be a 'glitch'.

However this week 3 people unfollowed me, 3 people who @reply me on a fairly regular basis, that have thanked me for the RT or have RT'd me. All 3 were also on Instagram and that's how I knew they had gone.

I'm not bothered that they had gone, unfollowed me...I am just puzzled as to why they would go to the effort to remove me from both places? why they are happy for me to still outside their window listening in?

How do you deal with being unfollowed? Do you ask why? Does it upset you? Do you unfollow back?

I've had the most amazing day

This is where I've been today.

There are two main areas in Olievenhoutbosch, namely the informal settlement area and the formal government housing area. In the formal community (government housing) there is electricity for all the houses, as well as water and sanitation. The informal settlement area, however, is crowded, lacks sanitation, electricity and all basic municipal services.

I am volunteering with Santa Shoebox and we have until today to register facitites to receive Christmas gifts.

Due to misspelling of a facility name, we were unable to contact one of last years receiptants, so I volunteered to see what I could find out.

Today I drove into Olievenhoutbosch to the secondary school on the edge of the informal settlement. I'd already asked at the Petrol Station if it was safe and I'd given a lift to a woman from another volunteer project to the area in the past and she had pointed the school out to me.

It was totally amazing, I fought back the tears as we moved from one day care to orphanage, people phoned their friends to help me, guys whistled at the end of the street, beckoning us to follow them to someone else that could help and eventually we found the Day Care Centre.

No bigger than a double garage, 2 shacks for toilets (they dig a hole, put a shack over the top, when the hole is full, they fill it in my digging a new one and move the shacks) A metal shed acted as the kitchen, no running water or electricity where they prepare food for the 62 children aged from 6 months to 6 years.

Parents pay between R200 and R350 per month for care from 5am-5pm to enable them to go to work and they must provide all the educational supplies. Out of this the facility employs 4 full time staff around R150 per day, supplies the food, water and activities.

The facility was clean, the children very well turned out and very quiet. They all stared at me for ages, I must have looked very odd to them. The guy who took me round said 'you won't see many people your colour here'

I completed the forms, I met the staff and spoke with the children and made an appointment to go back next week to obtain a list of the childrens names and ages for the appeal.

In the meantime I will be gathering educational supplies and baking cakes and as we are moving week a week thursday, I shall be having a good sort out of clothes, toys and other stuff to take back with me.

I gave my guide some money and thanked him for his time. The children all waved me off and as I rejoined the highway I'm afraid the tears came.

Monday 21 May 2012


Blogging for Madeleine Helping to raise awareness outside of the UK as requested by @theroomset
Please look very closely at these images do you recognise me?

I'm writing this post as part of The campaign #blogging4madeleine
to help raise much needed awareness to find Madeleine and reunite a family torn apart.

Contact your local police force immediately if you see Madeleine
or call +44 (0)845 838 4699

When i first saw the hashtag I was a little sceptical as to how #bloggingforMadeleine could help. I selfishly thought that this was just a gimic to bring traffic to people's blog or was it a one sided opinion of 'did the parents do it?' or 'how could they leave their children alone while they went out for dinner?'

But after reading a couple of posts it made me remember it's not about any one else, it's all about Madeleine.
What ever happened to her, whether she's dead or alive, whoever's fault it is or who is to blame she is a 9 year old girl who is missing.

My kids have all gone missing at some point...the eldest aged 2 wandered off at a car boot sale. I thought he was with my mum, she thought he was with me.
The middle son disappeared in San Francisco aged 12, there was so much for him to see. The youngest is the only one we've had to call the police out France (was found under an ice cream sign) aged 4, in Abergavenny the following year when he ran off to find Fireman Sam and aged 8 on the beach in Perranporth.

I was petrified, I had images of never finding them, I was shaking, crying, shouting out their names. They were missing from between 5 minutes and 2 hours (Beach) the panic kicked in straight away each time. I was also scrutinised by the media as BBC sea side rescue were filming that day and followed me with a camera about 2inches from my face, they didn't use the footage as I didn't look distraught enough to make good TV viewing.

I read an article in Woman magazine, dated 7th may 2012. In which two journalists gave their opinion on whether it was time for Kate McCann to give up the search for Madeleine, after leading with the headline '74% of missing children are dead within 3 hours of abduction'

It's not their business, nor is it mine to pass judgement, but if it was my child, I don't think I'd rest until I had answers.

I met Kevin Wells, Holly Wells father (Soham Murders) at a Child Protection Conference a few years ago, even though he knew what had happened to his daughter and had the opportunity to say goodbye with a funeral, he still focused his whole life on preventing this from happening to anyone elses child.

You do what you need to do...I needed to write this and if you feel the same, please blog for Madeleine and help to raise awareness.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

this weeks groovy Mums

If you don’t know what Groovy Mums is or how it can jazz up your life, click here All mums are very welcome to take part and this is possibly the most flexible linky on the planet as you get to make up your own rules.

So without any further ado here at this weeks challenges.

1. Body – Best Foot Forward

How are your feet? Would you happily publish a photo of them on your blog or could they do with a little care and attention? What could you do to treat your feet this week?

2. Mind – New Words

I want you to find 3 new words this week and hopefully ones that mean something to you.
Patience - my adult son has been visiting, it's been difficult, in fighting with him and his brother.
Atmosphere - not been good
Love - they are both my v=children, I've remained neutral

3. Spirit – I always struggle to come up with a challenge for this one so if anyone has any ideas on how to move this one forwards, let me know.

As ever alcohol pops to

4. Blogging – I am inviting you to get behind my new blog hop type thing which will take place on Fridays. It is called Savvy Online Shoppers (SOS) It is all about celebrating the things we buy online from the mundane to presents to the spectacular. Come back here on Friday and find out more.

Will do, but online shopping isn't really that safe here and the postal service is to say the least, a little dodgy.

5. Charity Connections – It is #charitytuesday so BritMums are asking people to blog about their charity shop finds and experiences. If you write a blog, tweet @BritMums to let them know and they will promote the post for you to their thousands of followers.

I will be using our charity shop quite a bit in the next few weeks as we are moving it supports (and I quote) The Mentally Ill.

I also urge you to read these two posts and to take action. I am really disappointed at the numbers signing up to my #mums4good campaign so any help will be appreciated. Do click on the #mums4good on the sidebar and find out more. Discovering what it is all about will only take a few minutes of your time .

6. Special Days – Think about an important day for you that is coming up. It might be a birthday, an anniversary, a day off from work/home or a holiday. Commit now to making it really special for YOU. How will you do that?

Well last year I celebrated my 40th birthday, It was a very quiet affair as I knew no one and the day was spent with my Hubby, kids and my parents. This year for my 41st, in June, I will be celebrating it in style.

7. Twitter Party – All mums and mum-friendly employers and businesses are invited to the #groovywork Twitter party tomorrow Wednesday 16th May from7-8pm. If you have never attended a Twitter party before, fear now. Just be on Twitter between 7pm and8pm (you don’t have to be there all the time) and use hashtag #groovywork as we chat about all things work-related for mums.

Anyone fancy sorting me out a visa first?

Short but sweet this week. Hope you like the challenges and have a go. If you blog about them, link up and tap into the other lovely mums who take part.

Monday 14 May 2012

What I love as an expat

There are some, in fact there are hundreds of reasons why moving 5764 miles from home is the best thing we've ever done...but you wouldn't know that from reading my blog...or would you?

I blog about the highs and the lows of living in South Africa, the funny and the sad stuff. It's all factual. I blog when I'm down and I blog when I'm happy. I blog about the kids when they piss me off, hubbies less than useless company (although things are improving) oh there's just too much to say here. I was going to hyper link some posts but couldn't decide which ones to pick.

So, without further a do here is 'Finding things you love overseas' inspired by the @Michelloui The American Resident

I love being able to pop out to the shops
I love being able to drive on my own, even in the dark
I love how I can discover new places without the GPS
I love being able to sit in the sun at anytime of my choosing
I love the open space in the houses and outdoors
I love the blue of the sky
I love the wildlife, birds and animals
I love the people (government departments excluded)
I love South Africa

Thursday 10 May 2012

I am NOT lucky, this has all been hard work

What does the word Lucky mean to you?

The dictionary definition of lucky is 'having, bringing or resulting in good luck'
The dictionary definition of luck is 'anything that happens by chance, an advantage or sucess due to chance'

So Lucky means to me that someone happens to be stood near me as I trip and they catch me....or I knock a glass out the cupboard, fumble around with it in mid air and catch it just as it hits the ground. Or I roll double six, 10 times in a row to win big in Vegas.

Are you with me so far?

I'm sick to death or being told how lucky I am, to have met my husband, that he has a good job, that we have a nice life style, can afford holidays and live in South Africa, Lucky that I don't have to work, lucky, lucky, lucky.

Well let me tell you and let's clear this up right away. So you're telling me I was unlucky with my first choice of husband? I was unlucky to have 3 wonderful and handsome boys. I was unlucky that I had a crap car and couldn't afford holidays.....oh you don't mean that do you?

Was it luck that I just happened to work as a family support worker? after being lucky to have a NVQ 3 in child care. Was my husband lucky that his wife left him and he needed care for his profoundly disabled daughter and wasn't it lucky that I just happened to be available.

Oh and then I was lucky that he fell in love with me, I was lucky now to be Mum to 5 kids, it was lucky he'd done a degree after school and worked hard, it was lucky that because he had his degree we could afford a house for all 7 of us to live in, lucky that I was able to go to Uni and get a degree, lucky that someone gave me a job, because I had that degree, lucky we could buy nice cars and have foreign holidays?????

Need I go on? Apparently so, because I'm lucky to be living here in South Africa, it had nothing to do with leaving 3 kids behind and all our family in the UK and absolutly nothing to do with my husband having worked hard to get this position.

No, it appears that everytime I just happen to be standing somewhere like outside a travel agents and someone walks out and says 'this is your lucky day' I've decided to pay for your family to go on holiday'
or the other time I was stood at the bus stop and this guy day, pulls up in his car and says 'this is your lucky day, here have my car I don't need it anymore'

So if it's not luck, is it fate? (the power that predetermines events) or is it as I believe just good old fashioned hard work and having made the right choices in life?

Wednesday 9 May 2012

this weeks #groovymums challenges

Thought I'd link up todays post about weight loss to @kateonthinice #groovymum blog hop challenge this week
I know I don't need to lose weight, maybe tone a little, but then who doesn't after having 3 kids?

Anyway as I've said before my groove has returned, I am no longer looking for my groove, it's taken 16 months to adapt to being a SAHM, I've made friends, hubbies company has finally sorted out the mess they left us in financially and emotionally? well I've just got over it and moved on. That doesn't mean to say I don't get down from time to time, but it's now moments in time rather than days of it.
but I've told Kate I'll carry on with the challenges each week, it gives me something to focus on, helps me to help others and I get to meet some lovely people.

On to Kates challenges this week.

1. Body - How about getting into gardening as a good form of exercise? It is not too late to plant some fruit and vegetables.

I've sacked the gardener, he did sod all except chase leaves with a hose pipe and as we are moving end of May, I didn't see the point in paying him till then and having to pay a gardening company to tidy up after this week I shall be sweeping the autumn leaves away.

If you do plant something, you can also link up here and find out about ONE's "Let's Thrive" campaign.

2. Mind - why not look at the Open University website and investigate learning opportunities to fit in with your current commitments.

Mute subject with me at the moment, I was on my final unit for my degree in psychology but had to give it up due to lack of internet when we first moved here (it was a research project and no the local library didn't have internet, infact it didn't have power sockets) i promise to look into it again after my son's visit.

3. Spirit - do you have a favourite prayer that helps you? Or it could be a poem or inspirational saying? Tell us about it. It might help somebody else too.

Nope, afraid not. I'm more likely to crack a joke than come out with something thought provoking.

4. Blogging - Are you taking part in the #SnapHappyBritMums photography challenge? It is not too late and it is lots of fun. Basically, @BritMums on Twitter give a prompt each day and if you feel inspired, you post a pic that meets that theme.

Oh Yes and I'm having immense fun with it.

5. Charity Connections - Do you shop online? If you do or intend to at some point you can raise money for any charity of your choice including schools by clicking on the big square #mums4good badge over in my sidebar. All you need to do is to give your email and your name. You don't have to commit to shop today or to spend a certain amount. You don't make a donation to charity but the retailer you spend with will. Simples. So why are you not clicking? It is FREE money for charity.

Sorry, we've had this discussion before, there is no way I'm doing anything online in South Africa.

6. Special Days - Don't forget to get involved in the #groovywork Twitter party taking place on Wednesday 16th May 2012 from 7-8pm. We are talking about family-friendly jobs and self-employment opportunities.

I'll come along and see if there is anyone that can help me earn some pocket money by me working online from here. the next special day for me here is Mother's Day on Sunday.

Wow, you've lost soooo much weight.

Er no I haven't.

I've lost the number of times people say this to me, especially when they haven't seen me for a few weeks. Do people have a mental image of me being fat? How do they describe me? 'you know the chubby one that needs to lose weight?

A woman at school said to me today I'd lost so much weight that it really suited me. I told her straight, I haven't lost any weight, But she was adamant that I had, that I had been so much bigger last time she saw me. She was right, I was wrong....No other explanation.

I'm 5ft 7in and weigh 11 stone, yep quite heavy and you'd think I'd need to lose weight, but not really.

I do prefer to wear baggy clothes, loose fitting, especially in this heat, but that doesn't mean I'm covering up my fat.

I wear a size 10-12 on the lower half and a 14-16 on the top half.

So I decided to take some pictures of my fatness so I can take comparative shots next time I'm told I've lost weight.

Front and side images clothed, as appears naturally and as appears when I readjust the waist band on my jeans...i.e.pull them up.

I bought these jeans from Fat Face in November 2010 in a size 10.