Tag Archives: biscuits blooms and banter

A dog friend in need is a friend indeed

Blackie Dog


I’m sitting in my car in the driveway on Sunday morning, a dog sleeping outside my door, listening to the doves cooing, the weavers bickering in the trees, and the bees buzzing in the distance. These are all the sounds of spring and summer – sounds that lift my spirits and make feel that absolutely anything is possible and, actually, there is still a lot of good in the world.

I’m sitting in my car because we’ve just returned from The. Longest. Walk. Ever. Long in terms of time, distance not so much. We didn’t really choose to walk at a pace that had disabled snails smirking at us – it was Holly and her new shadow, Blackie who chose to amble along slowly on this beautiful spring morning.

Blackie is a Labrador cross Border Collie and the newest addition to our little suburban family. He is a rescue dog from an amazing organization called Barking Mad. His first Person went into a retirement home and couldn’t take Blackie with him. And we were looking for a calm, friendly, affectionate, secondhand hound as a companion for us, Idumbe and as a cuddle monster for Holly. It seems we found all of those things.

Blackie and Holly have taken to one another beautifully. She lies on him (we peel her off) and he lies back and soaks up the attention. She rubs his ears, he closes his eyes in pure bliss. Thankfully he is one of the most tolerant dogs I’ve ever met, so he’s well suited to our family with its raging lunatic toddler and slightly neurotic German Shepherd.

Idumbe and Blackie dog

Idumbe, Holly and Blackie

As for why Blackie was on a go slow when we went to the dog park? He was absolutely petrified! It didn’t occur to us that he might not be used to going for long walks in open fields with hundreds of other dogs racing all over the place marking their territory. But it seems that was indeed the case. He’ll soon get used to going out for walks though – we’ve been taking the neurotic Shepherd four times a week.

So why am in the car? Holly passed out on the way home and she doesn’t transfer from one sleep spot to another. So, instead of waking her and having a grumpy on hands, I’ll use this time to write a little. It’s what we moms are good at: grabbing those few quiet moments that are presented as little gifts from the universe and clinging to them for dear life.


Wear flowers in your hair

MeadowI can’t believe that in four days it’ll be spring. We haven’t had much of a winter here in Johannesburg but the weather’s supposed to make up for that by being freezing this weekend – just in time for spring day. Oh, Weather, the irony is not lost on us. Despite this imminent freeze caused by hell hath no fury like a winter ignored, spring day is almost here and, regardless of how much it snows, I will celebrate my favourite spring things. And these are:

1. Jasmine blooms7 Overgaauw Chardonnay 2012

2. Lighter mornings and lighter evenings

3. Weekend braais

4. Chilled white wine

5. Chilled sparkling wine

6. Very big Magnum ice creams

7. Voile curtains billowing in the the afternoon breeze

8. Dogs splashing in rivers

9. Salads with dinner

10. Fewer clothing layers

11. Pretty painted toes

12. New sandals

13. Lying on the hammock reading a book

14. Frogs singing

15. Spring rains and the new life they bring

If you’re planning on spring day festivities, grab a copy of the September issue of Essentials (or go to the website www.essentials.co.za) and have a look at the fabulous recipes and delicious wines we have for you. And if spring day turns out to be the coldest day of the year, and you have to postpone your celebrations due to the snow, you’ll have a fab mag to keep you company as you bundle yourself up in bed with a hot chocolate.

Hot choc 1

Happy Pappy Day

I believe, probably like many other women do, that my Mister is the best baby daddy there is. And I have irrefutable evidence to prove this claim.

Evidence that Mister is the best Daddy:

  • Holly smiles and runs (i.e. crawls very fast) towards Mister/Pappie when he gets home from work. And, you know what they say, a baby (and animals) knows if a person is good or bad (don’t they?).Dog
  • He has no problem singing the Smurfs theme tune to Holly to elicit a laugh and encourage her to ‘sing’. Let me just say that hearing a 30late-year-old gentleman singing ‘La la, lalala, la’ in a high-pitched voice is truly something to behold.Smurfs
  • Mister baths Holly every night because that’s their thing – it’s their own special time together in which Mommy should preferably not interfere. Unless it’s to bring a towel, pyjamas, toys, soap, something else forgotten in the bedroom…
  • When Mister leans forward and says to Holly, ‘Give me kisses’, she responds by giggling, smiling a toothy and gummy smile, leaning in and slobbering a ‘kiss’ all over her daddy.
  • Mister lets Holly slobber all over his face as she attempts a kiss.
  • Mister comes home from work – this is a lot more than many other men who have fathered children accomplish, so already he’s beating a large proportion of so-called father’s by just coming home.
  • Melting when his baby girl gives him a big, open mouthed sloppy kiss, or rests her head on his shoulder like the whole world is ok if he’s there. And it is!
  • Please excuse me speaking plainly here: Praising her for getting rid of her giant, man-sized farts and being genuinely proud at what she can accomplish.
  •  Telling her she’s amazing as she stands up, unassisted while eating supper, and smears squashed butternut or spinach all over his work shirt, in his eyebrows and generally in his face area.Spinach quiche
  • Mister often walks kilometres around the house at night trying to put a niggly, tired baby who has severe FOMO (fear of missing out) to sleep. She genuinely believes that as soon as her little eyelids close we haul out the ice cream (which she’s never tasted), call the clowns (whom she’s never seen) into the house, open the windows for the Hadedas (she’s obsessed with them) and stand around shouting, ‘Oof, oof, oof!’ (her universal expression of pleasure).Hadeda
  • He wakes up in the middle of the night, regularly and very often more than once, to bring her to me for a little snack. And then, when she falls asleep in the bed with us, he never complains about the three-in-the-bed. Or the fact that he has feet up his nose and fingers in his eyes.

    Found on Pininterest

    Found on Pinterest

And I know when she’s a little bit older, he will happily sit in front of the telly watching football and rugby playing Barbie with her. And this image makes me love them both even more (not least because it means I’ll have some free time…). I can see him gladly complying when she asks him to brush her hair into a pony because ‘Mommy doesn’t do it right!’ and dressing her in the mornings for nursery school as he dresses her now.

And all these things, these little reasons that are such big reasons, are what makes my Mister the best baby daddy. They’re also the very things that make him a ‘real man’. It’s not grunting guy at the gym or the booitjie chugging beers at the bar that makes a real man. It’s the one who does what he promised to do when he married his wife or had a baby.

Is your man a ‘real man’? Let me know and if you believe he is then go to www.essentials.co.za and enter our Real Man competition. You and you partner can win some amazing prizes and feature in the magazine.