yes yes… I have been very naughty!

Its been so long again since I posted. I think the main reason is that Facebook seems to be my main mode of communication. Whether its for posting a quick photo or a snippet of lets face it… totally useless information!
I love the fact that I can be online and instantly have a quick chat with someone on the other side of the world in another time zone whom I haven’t physically seen for years. Its also a wonderful way for me to stay in contact with my parents and my sister and close family on a daily basis.¬† BUT…I really do love the blogs… they are just a bit time consuming… or I’m a bit lazier nowadays.

This last week I have been re-aquainted with blogs… hence I’m back here today…
One of my oldest and dearest friends is currently here in the UK and is blogging. Genee Mee! a very very dear friend who has stood by me from a very young age… all through my life Genee has always been there for me. Swimming, netball, school, university, at my wedding, when my children were born and when my darling daughter Gaby died… she has always had the way and manner of just letting me be and talk and talk and talk…The last 16 years of which have been “separated” by a huge exspanse… Genee living in South Africa and I moved to the UK.

We can go weeks and even months without talking but I can get a single email or phone call from her saying she is passing through on business and its like I spoke to her last night. Its that lovely familiarity of an old friend, a comfort, a safe place. Our whole house gets excited with each visit from Genee, however fleeting it may be. My two children are so used to seeing Genee and always ask… “now how are we related to Genee?” and I just smile and say… through me… mummy! Genee is family to me and my family. She is always ever so patient, even when I’ve dragged her off strawberry picking on a hot summers day.. surrounded by squealing children and trudging through warm wet hay strewn english strawberry fields. Or when she needed to escape the hurly burly of London and Ive dragged her along to my childrens sports day… she is always smiling, always laughing, kind and generous… and I am always so proud of what she has achieved in her life… and even more so this week!

You see 18 months ago Genee had never done a triathlon… Her equally lovely sister Hayley encouraged her and today… well… they are BOTH in Team SA taking part in their respective age groups in the ITU World Triathlon Championships being held in Hyde Park.

I am SO SO incredibly proud of her! It is such a wonderful achievement and we are all so thrilled and excited for them both. She is afterall “OLD”!ūüėČ (she will kill me for this)
Fair Lady Magazine in South Africa ran and article on her and she has been asked to write a blog and keep readers up to date… I cant believe she is doing it… that’s more work than FACEBOOK! They’ve had such a busy time this week and I cant wait to catch up with them tomorrow for lunch… and then on sunday, come rain, hail, snow or sunshine… my little family and I will be there to support a very special friend.

Genee… we are SO proud of you and Hayley! Have an amazing life experience!

You can follow Genee on her blog here:

so where have I been?…


Honestly… I simply do not have the faintest idea where time has gone? It has just magically disappeared into a hazy fog.
I had no idea that it had been so long since I posted but thought that I had better make an effort again. Thank you to all of you who have kept “bugging” me …. I do find it quite amusing at times that ones’ day to day ramblings can be so interesting to others… but I must err on the side of caution here as I recently discovered the nasty side of facebook.

Simply put… if you do not understand how it works… ie I am not personally sending you a message by updating MY status… then you should not be on facebook…. or any other public forum for that matter. Nor do I take to it lightly when someone uses MY status from a happy event to be malicious to a third party… result… you are defriended….

I had no Idea what I was going to blog about this evening, perhaps the glorious joys of staying in pj’s with the kids till midday on a grey half term day… or perhaps my exploits at trying to bake the perfect macaroons like Laduree… but clearly this is taking me down a different route.

I think sometimes that programme on telly… yes you know the one…. “GRUMPY OLD WOMEN”… was written with me in mind. I find myself nodding in agreement to just about everything and throwing in a “hell yes” at the appropriate moments. Its at this point when kiddies slink off to bed and dear husband makes a hasty retreat to the safer confines of the study or other telly.

Maybe I am going through a mid life crisis? Who knows? Who cares? One thing I do know is that life is way too short to waste. To short to waste on people that continue to hurt us… cut them out… rather surround yourself with people who make you laugh till you cry and cry with you till you laugh once again.
People who still find the joy in simple things… like leaf rain in autumn… cold misty mornings, coffee by the fire… and yes drooling over those beautiful rows of perfectly shaped macaroons in all their glorious colour.

I was having a particularly bad monday a few weeks back and on the cold wet dark school drive as I was about to leave… a knock at my window…I looked out to find a beautiful friend standing in the rain clutching a bag in her outstretched arms… a little green bag… a little bag from Laduree … all for me. Nicola had been in London at some point the weekend and had thought of me… such a small gesture had such an impact on my day! Nicola you are a star! Thank you!

I know in the past I have often written about friendships, and this time is no different. I have such an amazing and diverse group of friends. But at the same time I have been re-evaluating friendships or I should rather say relationships with others. I’ve been cutting down my friends list on facebook…. re writing my address book… and having a good long hard look at current relationships that have just continued because of ” history”. Why do we feel that we “have to” stay friends…?

Peoples’ lives change, circumstances or simply people change. It is our right to change to grow to be… be who we want to be. I firmly believe that we continue to evolve and change our personalities included, till the day we die. People get divorced and move on after a few years and “get over it” so why should we stay “partnered” with the same friend for life… when they hurt us or do despicable things?

I have over the years cut people from my life but usually only at the insistence of my husband. He finds it much easier to just move on… I still always think of the what if’s and but’s… however I am learning…

And then there ARE those friends who you hardly ever speak to or even see…. but when you do, you just pick up and carry on from where you left off… those are the best friendships… true friendships… nothing expected… just pure joy and happiness at seeing each other again. I am so fortunate to have a number of those!

Which leads me on to such a terrible awful topic…. the dreaded… family… oh yes… we do all have some sort of family but one thing we all have in common are family “issues”… and its just simply expected that you HAVE TO LOVE YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY FOREVER AND EVER….. huh…. duh…. why?…. I did not choose you… you just came along with the package…. friends are chosen… family not…

Now before I go on….I do dearly love my family… well most of them… eccentrics… normal?… even the odd fruitloops…. but I also just don’t relate to a few… quite simply… and after years and years decided that neither they nor I was going to change and they were making my life and the lives of those around me miserable…. even though I live thousands of miles away in a different country. Such is the “strength” of an acidic relationship. I decided that enough was enough and made a conscious decision to cut ties… and we have all bee so much the happier for it. I know the sayings… “blood is thicker than water” etc … but you know what you need water to survive to live to be clean… and thick blood is no good to me …. it is sticky and gooey and old…and it kills….

What I was not prepared for however was the fallout from my decisions… how all of a sudden other family and family friends “took sides”… strange though as it may seem, they to this day do not know why I made my decision. That decision was between my husband and myself …. not for coffee table or shall we say trans atlantic telephone conversations…. tell you what, this family have supersonic communication between Africa, USA and the UK… just don’t mess with their telecommunications!

Extended “family” and friends all of a sudden just simply cut ties with us… literally within hours of my decision… they played judge and jury… at first I could not understand it… and it did upset me… but with my darling husband continually reassuring me… I have finally come to realise that you need to do what is right in your soul, what feels right and not what is “expected”.
I have never been one to “do as I am told”… this post comes at a time when I have my own children wanting to know why people can be nasty and yet we are always told we HAVE to still be friends and we have to be nice….?

Be yourself, be TRUE to yourself, and live your life with love and happiness and if you are as fortunate as I am to have the most wonderful parents, sister, husband and friends… well then its all the more worthwhile… what a blessing that I have them as true friends because I WANT to… and not because I “HAVE TO”…

What a day…


Sunday 25 April 2010

This is going to be one of those days that is forever imprinted on my heart and soul.

It was the day of the Virgin London Marathon…

and I DID IT!

This was such an incredibly hard day for me both phsically but more importantly, emotionally!¬† I did this stupid stupid thing 10 years ago saying that I would like to do the London Marathon in 2010!¬† Unfortunately for me it came round way too fast and fate intervened and that’s where I found myself at 7am on a grey drippy morning at the start at Blackheath.

But what a day!¬† I am no athlete and yet I found myself surrounded by so many other people exactly like me… but what was truly humbling was listening to people’s stories… and everyone had a story.¬† Such sad sad stories but yet we were all there to commemorate and celebrate at the same time.¬† Remembering the sad times but giving grateful thanks to charities who helped us, our families, friends and colleagues in times of dire human need.¬† I honestly never knew there were so many charities and felt at a loss for words many a time.¬† Chatting to people and then finding myself wiping tears away. This was all before the start!

Our start was at 9:45 but it took us almost 25 minutes to eventually cross the actual start line. An amazing experience in itself.¬† The rest of the day just went on painfully slow for me as far as the actual run but the crowds were amazing and were it not for them I honestly do not think that I would have made it.¬† I was so overjoyed to se my darling husband and Ryan and Aimee my precious children along the route at various points cheering me on and my husband telling me sternly at mile 20 that I have to do it and finish! Thank you my darling! Although at the time I was not thinking that!¬† My few hours of pain and discomfort was nothing compared to what our babies have had to endure right up till the end of their lives no matter were it days or hours… this run was for all them and for the charity, BLISS, and most importantly for you my darling daughter!¬† I miss you so incredibly and NOTHING will ever take that away… Happy 10th Birthday Gaby!

I feel so priviledged to have experienced this day and to have had these life changing challenges… but… I have literally got the medal and t-shirt… and I am NEVER doing this again!

Thank you so much to all of you for your words of encouragement and support and most of all your financial support to such a special charity…

xxx Tanya

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~ Thomas Campbell


Where on earth has the time gone to? 

In one way it seems an eternity as I sit here and just cannot believe that it was 4 years ago!


As it was¬†four years ago and each year after that, it is a grey cold winters day… every now and again a glimpse of sun has come through to brighten the day.¬†

I can recall the moment, place and feeling that left me totally numb. 

The shock, horror, sadness…. but also a peace… a peace that washes over slowly and you just know… know it will be all right.


I look at photos of you and share and discuss them with your niece and nephew. 

You are always a part of our conversations and I know inextricably woven into the fabric of our very lives. 

Your quirky dry sense of humour, your fun-loving attitude … we DO miss you…. the old you…

and so today I hold onto the memories in my heart and the photographs in my hands…






“Photographs are precious memories . . . the visual evidence of place and time and relationships . . . ritual talismans for the treasure chest of the heart.”

~ Robert Fulghum, in From Beginning to End



A promise is a promise… with a bit of help…


Yes those few friends of mine who know my secret think that I have TOTALLY lost the plot and that I am seriously mad… and they can be TOTALLY forgiven for that…



I made a promise to myself 9 years ago that in 2010 the year that my precious Gaby would have celebrated her 10th birthday and the year that I mourn 10 long years of her not being a physical part of our family… I would run the London Marathon and raise funds for a charity that is so close to my heart!

Fate¬† or whatever you call it has intervened and¬† this past May… actually in the week of her birthday I got an email back from the charity concerned saying that the applications needed to be in before the end of May!¬† How could I not send it in? In the exact same week…?

Well it took me quite a while and huge box of tissues later my motivation was done and …. I was notified last week that YES I HAVE A PLACE!!!!

I just sat down and cried and cried and cried…. I can now finally do something really worthwhile and give back to a charity that not only saved my precious Gaby for a few hours…. but also had the knowledge to ensure that I had the correct course of treatment in my subsequent pregnancies and then again when Aimee needed special care and I had the support of specialist nurses…. this charity through its continued research and support and fundraising gave me my life… my darling children… and how can anyone EVER repay that?

So watch this space… I have a year…. I will want to raise as much as I possibly can and will be doing various things… but in the meantime if any of you are interested… please go to:…

and I promise if I have to crawl the distance I will!!!

Happy 9th Birthday my Angel…




Today the scar on my heart is ripped open, raw, burning…AGAIN!

I find myself gasping for breath… even tiny little breaths…

So many things are playing through my mind that I find it all too much at times…

I hear the songs Tears in Heaven


Dance with my daughter 

playing through my head in snippets 

knowing only too well that I have shed so many tears…

tears that could fill and ocean


that David will never dance with his little girl…


It is always so incredibly hard , but especially this time of the year… Gaby’s birthday today… and the anniversary of her passing tomorrow…

But for these two days that I relive every single minute, every moment, every word that was utterred and every smell I will also know that if it were not for Gaby,

I would not be blessed today with my gorgeous two children lying sleeping upstairs in their beds!


Happy 9th Birthday my precious angel, no one will ever know the impact that you have had on my life!


Smells and memories…and grandparents


This is just a quick posting more for myself as a reminder or a “log”.¬† I am still always surprised by myself when in the midst of a very busy day I am all of a sudden hit full force “smack”… in the middle of of my face with a memory… sometimes they are sad and sometimes they are happy.¬† Even the sad ones still bring a smile to my face.¬† Memories from so long ago…

Now I have two… yes not one… but TWO darling Yorkshire Terriers, they DO drive me crazy at times especially Bentley, aka “SHREDDER”, but we do adore them and cannot imagine our family life without them now.¬† So to get back, I decided to cook their dinner the other evening and as a treat I was boiling up some ground beef / mince.¬† Actually I was “lightly poaching” it! ;-)¬† I was standing stirring it and all of a sudden I just got that smell.¬† You know the smell of beef being cooked without anything added… instantly I was transported back at least 29 /30 years… to my grandparents home!¬† I can still see them both lovingly doing the exact same thing for their beloved poodle.¬† I remember and could smell that same smell of walking into their home and knowing that this is what they did everyday for such a beloved pet.¬† I suppose it was that act that represented so much more than just making food for a dog, but being an act of total dedication love and commitment for their companion.¬† They used to let it cool down to room temperature in his little bowl on top of the television and then when it was deemed suitable they would hand feed their beloved pooch.¬† As a child seeing that routine did not mean very much to me , it was just part of life but now… that smell! In my own home almost 30 years later, such a wonderful memory trigger.¬† The human brain / body is AMAZING.

The other smell memory trigger is slightly “weird”.¬†

This same grandmother or “OUMA” meaning “old mother”, was a chain smoker!¬† Her whole life!¬† My father used to say to her she should rather just eat the cigarettes as she smoked so many and ate so little.¬† We all knew she would not stop and she always made excuses as to why her nicotine stained walls in her home where that way… “oh it was the neighbours burning their rubbish” or the usual one was “it’s those big trucks and their exhaust fumes”.¬† No one in the rest of the family smoked… well not that anyone owned up to… cousins?ūüėČ

Now all this cigarette smoke permeated everything in her home.¬† She had beautiful things in her home and lovely furniture but boy did it all stink of cigarettes… old stale cigarettes.¬† I had one of those relationships with my grandmother where I think possibly we may have been too alike, this is where I SHUDDER even admitting it!¬† I loved her dearly because she was my grandmother but also because she was such a mysterious woman.¬† She never gave a lot away in the way of her emotions or her feelings and every now and again she would wistfully talk about a time long ago and she would drift off with a little corner of her¬† mouth turned into almost a smile.¬† I would often speak my mind to my grandmother and then I would be “banished” as being that insolent brat and she would not talk¬† to me for weeks on end, until I went and apologised or things just blew over.¬† This happened so many times that I just cannot care to remember.¬† I still had an unusual relationship with her and I loved her deeply.¬† I moved away to England and hated the fact that for the few times I went back to visit I always thought that this would be the last time I saw her… she continued to suck on those “life saving” cigarettes to a ripe old age!¬† She loved raspberry Lindt chocolate that she had acquired a taste for whilst visiting and touring around Italy with my Aunt.¬† She always spoke so tenderly of that and as it was impossible at that stage to get in South Africa as well as the UK ( for some strange reason they never imported it here, the raspberry one that is), so each time we went over to Europe or friends went over I would always look out for that Raspberry Lindt chocolate.¬† I never went back without any bars.¬† It was her second vice after cigarettes.¬† I only realised after she died when we were clearing out her home how much that meant to her.¬† I found next to her bed in her bedside drawer at the back, a book with addresses etc in.¬† In the middle of it was every postcard that I had ever sent her together with all the empty Raspberry Lindt Chocolate wrappers!¬† Yes she kept them all.¬† A couple of months after she passed away they started importing the Raspberry Lindt Chocolate Bars here in the UK and I remember so clearly seeing it for the first time that it just took my breath away and brought a tear to my eye.¬† I phoned my father as soon as I got home to tell him.. “I can now get Raspberry Lindt Chocolate here”… too late…!

Ok so that was not the point there… I got side tracked… the Raspberry Lindt had nothing to do with the smell of memories… it was actually the cigarette smoke.¬† After my grandmother passed away she had all this furniture that no one wanted.¬† I had always from a young child loved her dining room table and whenever I went over I would lovingly polish this table and the chairs. I have no idea why a child of 8 would fall so in love with a dining table and chairs?¬† My grandmother had always said that the table would be mine one day.¬† And so it came that the table and chairs made the long journey back to England together with my grandmother’s headboard, side tables, lounge sofa and 2 wing back chairs. Also 2 very old tins full of buttons… yes… BUTTONS… I just could not bare for all her things to be disposed of even if they were “only” buttons.¬† I had the dining chairs recovered and the table took so much elbow grease to restore the shine.¬† The side table have been updated and I use them in my bedroom.¬†¬† The headboard took so much detergent and oil etc to remove the nicotine stains and smell from the wood! It did work in the end…then the 2 wing back chairs… they are still in their original bright red velour upholstery… (it helps that I adore red!)… I have not had the money to reupholster them… but…I don’t know if I can eventually…¬† They stand proud in my lounge facing the fireplace and we have people come and go… sit on them chat and have¬† had a few Christmas drinks around them, yet no one knows about these special chairs…¬† they STILL smell of my grandmother!¬† Most times I do not even notice them but every so often I charge through the lounge to get to the laundry and I am hit with that smell… of my grandmother’s cigarette smoke and of her home and I am left feeling like¬† a little girl again.¬† I sometimes find myself just sitting in those chairs and feeling so close to them both… my grandfather used to sit in one in the ;lounge with the sunlight always streaming through the lounge across his face and my grandmother would sit opposite him.¬† That smell…¬† it makes me feel so sad yet so happy and so close.¬† I love the fact that I am able to incorporate those things that belonged to my grandparents into my very busy home her in the UK.¬† It is a tie that I have back to my family so far away.¬† Just thinking about it now as I type this up I realise that I have quite a few of their things… I also have my grandfather’s rocking chairs that he used to have in his study.¬† I used to love sitting on these or sitting on his lap in his rocking chairs.¬† They have long since been recovered and sit proudly in my kitchen area now with the kids always climbing all over them and every so often I smile and then tell them all about my grandfather.

I know my darling cousins will remember these items and some of the eccentricities and maybe I just wanted to remind them about these things… they are not gone…. they are here but so too is the memory of our grandparents not gone.. or rather I hope not…

So for you all my darling cousins wherever you find yourselves in the world, smile, think about how “crazy” they were and actually all those times long ago¬† that we all had together!¬† I miss you all!


xxx T