It’s started

Yip, that time of the year, it seems to start earlier and earlier. The girls are just enchanted and blown away by the Christmas decorations. Their little faces light up when they spot the trees in the shops, it’s so sweet and even I can’t wait to put up our decorations.

You won’t believe it but we are once again undecided about which car to buy. The Fortuner is very practical and would be perfect if Chris could drive it and he didn’t have a Mini but a Polo or something like that with 4 doors. It’s just really big and I’m not sure I’m ready to drive such a big car. My brother mentioned that the Freelander has had good reviews, so we borrowed one overnight and I just LOVED driving it – awesome, felt like a car, I’d buy one in a flash. Downside is that it doesn’t have 7 seats and is actually smaller inside than my Scenic and it costs the same as the Fortuner. Oh boy, what to do. At the moment my car is actually driving beautifully so who knows.

Santa shoeboxes were safely delivered on Friday morning, the girls loved helping me wrap them up and Zoe made special cards to go with. She was most concerned that the children might not have mommies and daddies to help them open their presents (never mind our children were an 8 year old girl and a 15 year old boy. Our church has a baby home and a lot of their stuff is given to “the children/babies without mommies and daddies” so she had a hard time understanding that you can have a mommy and a daddy and still not have any money. I hate the fact that SA has so much poverty but I’m also glad my children come face to face with the reality of how the majority of the world’s population lives – not in the lap of luxury and priviledge like they do – but faced with a daily struggle to survive. I am a bit of a head in the sand type of person when it comes to SA and the world in general’s problems – my brother comes to PE for the day once a fortnight to operate on children and the last time he was here he brought a Mail and Guardian that he’d read on the plane. Chris was away so we were staying with my folks and I read it. I admitted to my mom afterwards ( and she agreed with me)that if I read it every week I’d probably run away – how horrendously depressing it was. I’m sure our Herald will never win any awards but at least it tries to be a bit positive and upbeat in amongst all the drama, corruption, blood and guts. I also found out exactly where our boxes were going – to a farm school on the Seaview Rd (ironically where I run this morning) and will try and make a point to find out more about the school and whether we can help at all with stuff during the year as well. The girls go horseriding there as well so a perfect opportunity.

Friday afternoon I looked after a friend’s children and the kids had a ball. The weather was divine and they swam most of the afternoon. I need to say again how amazing the solar heating is, our pool is unbelievably warm, even I stayed in for ages and I had to bribe the kids out of the water after more than 2 hours with the promise of decorating their own flapjacks. In the evening Chris and I went to a Music Trivia evening and it was such a lot of fun. I’d never been to one before but I so enjoyed it and will certainly go again.

This morning was a 27km race. Chris was supposed to run as well but he was a bit sick so decided against it. He has been working unbelievably hard and is also on-call for private this week (something he’s not done before) so he’s been even busier than normal. He is really unsure about what to do as he cannot carry on like this. The option is to go fully private but he’d need bigger rooms (which the hospital doesn’t have at the moment) and they’re looking at renovating to expand his current rooms but that’s taking forever. The other option is to buy a house near the hospital and convert it but that would be an expensive option (definitely worth it in the long run though) and with us needing a car and all the renovating we’ve just done, it would be a scary step. The other issue is his conscience – if he goes, the department would fall apart as he is the only consultant. There are 4 registrars training under him that would immediatly not be able to carry on with their training and no plastic surgery available to anyone in the Eastern Cape. His plan is to get all the registrars training posts at the other tertiary hospitals as and when jobs come up and then resign but that means he has to stick with it for the immediate future. Chris is a very relaxed, easy-going, never gets flustered or stressed kind of guy but I can see he’s taking strain and the stress of having to run a department (something he never planned or wanted to do) means he has less time to do what he loves to do (operating and making a difference). He has always, always loved his job and never, ever once complained about going to work and I don’t want to see that change.

This afternoon we went to a genuine Hallowean Party. The family that live across the road from my folks are American and they hosted a huge party – about 50 kids plus adults and they went to so much trouble. There were Hallowean snacks of all shapes and form, a treasure hunt, decorating cookies, dad’s gruesome garage (the dad had set up a whole lot of different tricks and stuff which the kids got to go and see/experience in groups). I missed that because when the lights went out at the start Ava totally lost it, so we left but Zoe just loved it – he did experiments with smoke, they had to touch “brains”, do a dance with strobe lights,etc. Can’t even think what else – colouring in, movies (they haves boys in Grade 1 and 3 and then a girl in Grade R) for the older ones and the entire house and garden was decorated. We had to take 50 (!) small treats along. They were judged on their costumes and then the parents had to pretend we were “houses” and they came trick or treating to each of us and got a massive bag of treats which I will ration. The girls both went as Tinkerbell, Chris went in his theatre scrubs (boring I know but he was on-call so just in case) and I was a cowgirl with my Tucson Arizona cowboy hat.

Now, quickly back to today’s running race. I desperately want to run a sub-5 hour Two Oceans next year. The major races all have pacing groups these days and the Sub-5 hour pace group for the Two Oceans starts in the B seeding group. To qualify for B batch you need to run a sub 3.3o marathon. A 3.30 marathon means you have run at an average of 5 minutes/ km for 42 km. That’s pretty tough. There is a marathon on 3 December which I did last year in 3.39. My best marathon time is 3.36 so I’ve got a chance but it will be very tough. At the 27km race today I did a 2.08 (and came 6th)! 2.15 would’ve been 5 minutes/km so I managed it today but that was 27km and not 42km. At the same race last year I ran it in exactly 2.15, so I’m hoping that if I could knock 7 minutes off my 27km time, I can knock 6 minutes off my marathon time. There is still another marathon at the end of Jan and then an ultra marathon in Feb but I’d like to do the time sooner rather than later and have the pressure off me. There’s no reason I can’t run a sub-5 hour Two Oceans if I start in C group but I just think it’ll be easier to manage if I can run with the right pace group.

Anyway, my turn to do Sunday school tomorrow so better get my A into G and I better go and raid those Hallowean party bags – can’t have the girls eating so many sweets now can we. Chris is at work 😦 and he’s the main night-time snacker in the family so I actually need to help myself before he gets stuck in!!

We did actually take photos of our 2 Tinkerbells so I’ll upload them and show you soon.

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2 Responses to “It’s started”

  1. cat@juggling act Says:

    Such a great idea to get the kids involved in the shoe boxes. I hear PE is very windy today – what’s new?

    I love my MPV and I have to admit that I would love a new MPV, not an SUV

  2. zamom Says:

    Windy we are indeed. This is our windy “season” but boy am I getting a bit sick of it now. The other thing is one just never knows when the season will be over.
    We definitely want a car that can go off-road as we want to go places that only 4×4 can go now that the girls are a bit older. Unfortunately Chris has a Mini so I’m the one who has to drive the big car.

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