….let there be shopping….

Archive for the tag “Afrikaans”



My husband is an intelligent man. He once put together a set of 8 different sized washing baskets in such a way that the result was a perfect rectangle.

He is a successful farmer and knows stuff like when to put the rams with the ewes and how to cut the balls off lambs so that they don’t reproduce.( not so sure about my facts here. )  Also how to classify wool with his fingers so that it sells at the market and our family can eat. And wear clothes.

 He even has quite impressive insight and knowledge of PMS. Which is why I married him. (that , and the gorgeous wooden deck attached to the stoep with the most glorious view of the valley where I regularly sit and sip my wine while contemplating life. )


He can not spell.

He denies this of course, but it drives me up the wall. And makes me think of the time his mother had a car accident when he was 6 months old and he flew through the window  and ended up hanging from the fence by his scalp. ( you know the story) And his parents did nothing about it. No brain scans. No remedial testing. Nothing.

This is the note he made after getting the info on  the preschool we want to send farmerboy to this year :

The teacher’s name is JILL. And the school is called LITTLE STEPS.

See what I mean?

No wonder I sometimes get NO BLOODY WHERE with arguments with this man.






Farmers live by the weather report. It’s a holiness equal to the opening of parliament.  And in our house, we don’t live by just one weather report on one TV channel. Nope. Immediately after the weather guy on channel 132 has done his thing in English,  farmerhusband changes over to channel 111 to listen to almost EXACTLY the same predictions in Afrikaans. Just in case the English guy got it wrong…

The weather girl on 111 used to be extremely nervous. The woman never breathed. NOT ONCE. By the time she was finished I felt light headed on her behalf.

She also never swallowed. I know this because I did the same thing when my mother forced me to sing a solo on stage in the local Eisteddfod when I was in grade 10.

Sheer terror does that to a person. I was a cute Eisteddfod solo singing candidate at the age of 6. Not so much at the age of 16 .  But lets let that sleeping dog lie….

Back to weather girl.

Weather girl changed in front of my eyes.

One night she was doing her breathless  “deer caught in headlights”  routine and the next she was Miss Cool-as-a-Cucumber. She came up for air in between provinces.  She swallowed. She was confident. She was flawless.

Her transformation screamed “tranquilizer! ”

Well, ok. That’s what it screamed to me. ( being somewhat of an expert on the subject . See “What PND felt like” if you’re curious)

I was proud of weather girl. She had come a long way. I could now watch her while we both breathed  and without the Eisteddfod flashbacks.

Also, it became a habit of mine telling the serious weather – watching husband how many tablets I think she’s had. ( “Two!” on a good night and “she’s only taken a half!” on a wobbly night. Yes, I know. It’s sad the things that amuse us when we’re bored out of our minds. )

He doesn’t appreciate my diagnostic abilities.  He is concentrating after all. “Two! “, “1 and a half! ” and “no, girl, you shoulda taken more! ” doesn’t go down all that well.

Which makes it all even funnier to me.

Sad. I know.


pregnancy tests

Image via Wikipedia

There is nothing like motherhood to get me muddling in a puddle of doubt. Come to think of it, it starts right at the moment  those two lines appear on that little pregnancy test stick.

“How accurate are these tests? “ and “ Will this pregnancy go the distance?” and “What if I told the world and then I don’t make it past 12 weeks? ”

Then for 9 ( actually 10 ) months mixed in with the excitement is pure fear.

“Will we still see a heartbeat at the next scan? “

Time for the birth brings more excitement and with it more fear.

“Will my baby be ok ? “ At farmerboys’  birth he did cry ( like in the movies ) but he was crying through fluid. “Oh, no, HE’S DROWNING! “ is what I thought.

I waited for all those months to meet him and now he’s drowning!

Of course he was absolutely fine. But still.

And then we embark on the whoozy, sleepless first weeks of caring for a newborn baby. Me : “ Is he getting enough milk? “ and “ IS HE STILL BREATHING???”

And “ In all of my life I am never going to sleep again………….”

Then comes introduction to solids, immunization, milestones, the ever present “growth spurts” which is offered as the reason behind just about ANYTHING baby does differently.

And during and in spite of all the fretting baby actually makes it through. He starts to smile, he starts to sit up by himself, he starts to crawl and then walk and then proceeds to destroy the house………..”Is he NORMAL? “ Oijoijoi……………

Right now I’m obsessing over his social skills ( or  lack thereof ). Living on a farm 45 minutes drive to the nearest town plus being the only Afrikaans family with small children for miles is not great if you want to teach your child not to bite little Johnnie’s ear because you want his toy truck….

Or that doing the “look-at-me-how-funny-I-can-be” over the top behaviour won’t exactly endear you to your peers. ( even just typing that makes me cringe for the sake of my child. Ai. )

He is of course much less phased about it all than me. He’s made it from those 2 blue lines to being potty trained, eating with a fork and speaking 3 languages. ( Afrikaans, English, Xhosa)

And he’ll “get” the social thing too.

Sooner or later. Or maybe never? And then he’ll become a lonely recluse living as a bum in Boggomsbaai and beg for a living at the one and only Stop sign and…..



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