M-M-M-M-M-My Corona…

Since Covid-19 started spreading around the world, I’ve been nervous.
When it got to SA, I was more than nervous, and the faster it spread the more nervous I got.
For about two weeks before our president announced an official lockdown for South Africa I have been careful, and my hubby and son have been home with me since March 16th. I’ve only been popping to the shops when absolutely necessary – my Glugster usually going for me. My business has completely shut down, as have many others – no social gatherings means nobody needs cupcakes.
I’m not paranoid – I’m asthmatic. I am one of the people they’re talking about when they say “at risk”. I have been asthmatic all my life. Yes – I aggravated it with smoking, and I have pets – but I am also allergic to more than 70 plants and grasses, so I’m always on meds, and for the most part its under control.
If I do get flu, I rush to get it under control before it turns into Bronchitis because once I’m coughing, I’m screwed.
I’ve been hospitalised for my asthma five or six times as an adult, at least three of those times because flu turned into Pneumonia. And I’ve been lucky, I’ve always had medical aid and someone to look after my kid and my family and my animals while I’m hospitalised for a week at a time. :/

Now do this – take a deep breath, as deep as you can. Exhale as much as you can, and inhale again. Do it again. Do you ever think about being able to do that? Actually test yourself to check how your lungs are doing?
Unless you have experienced it, I cannot describe to you how scary it is to not be able to breathe. To not be able to yawn. To not be able to speak more than three words at a time. To be left breathless by pulling a T-shirt over your head.
And this is BEFORE I end up on a drip and oxygen and physiotherapy!
Its terrifying!

Even before the Corona virus started its mission, I was careful. I loathed touching an ATM, an elevator button, escalator banisters… I would wear a bandanna over my face if I had to sit in a doctor’s waiting room. People’s sidelong glances are hysterical, but I don’t want to catch whatever the people in the waiting room might have!
Corona has made me even more careful.
In the last week, a small part of me has even wanted my husband and son to stay two metres away from me if they’ve been in contact with other people, but I have to shake myself sane because I am already THIS close to being a complete germophobe!

Every morning I wake up wondering if I am going to start feeling COVID-19 symptoms today. Wondering if anyone I’ve been exposed to in the last week has passed it to me.
Every time my Glugster or my knucklehead goes to the shop I add 10 days to my count, hoping they weren’t exposed to the virus while they were out.
If my chest gets a little tight in the day, or I sneeze or cough, I hope like hell that my nearest hospital will have a bed and oxygen for me if I get sick…

This is not about you. This is not about a lockdown impacting your holiday plans, or you being stuck at home with your kids.
This is about NOT spreading a clearly dangerous virus, which you ARE able to transmit even before you feel sick, BEFORE you even know you have the virus.

STAY AT HOME!

#Coronavirus #COVID19 #StayHome

Being Peri-Menopausal, and Pissed!

Why in fuckity does nobody talk about this insanity, except in jokes!?

Fair warning – if you find bodily functions TMI – especially the female kind – you may want to read something else today.

I have blogged about getting older and being peri-menopausal before, here and here, but today I am especially baffled by why I was never warned about this properly!
Growing up – depending on your family, and your culture – you will most likely be taught about “the birds and the bees”, and periods, and how your body will change.
Someone will give you a book, or someone will talk at you while you cringe and blush – but they stop talking when they get to the part about having babies, and how not to have babies!

WHY!??!?! The first time most women find out anything about being peri-menopausal is when they’re right in the thick of it!
The only time you hear about peri-menopause on TV or in movies, is when someone whispers about a woman “going through the change”, or jokes about hot flashes. The peri-menopausal women are portrayed as crazy and best pandered to, or avoided entirely. And they are often depressed about about becoming menopausal.

To be honest, for many women peri-menopause can be an insane period,* and you don’t have to be over 50 to experience it – I had just turned 36 when this shit show started!
For almost 10 years now, I have alternated between a crazy unpredictable menstrual cycle, having no period at all for a few months, and then having a few periods where I bleed like a stuck pig. Thank heavens I work from home – I can’t imagine going through 4 pairs of panties in a single morning whilst being office-bound!
This after my monthly visit from Aunt Flo has been a breeze all my life – I never had crazy cramps, or serious PMS, or any other complications!
As if that isn’t enough to push me to the brink, add to it that when I’m not having a period, I go from feeling like I have a furnace in my head, to having palpitations, lightheadedness, and vertigo. Then I have night sweats for a few days, where my hair and pillowcases will be drenched in sweat as soon as the sun goes down. I’m an emo, stabby bitch FAR more often than I would care to admit, and I suddenly have high blood pressure, when it has been low my WHOLE life.
AND my libido has taken a nose dive. That REALLY bugs me.

Before you ask – I’m not using any kind of hormone replacement therapy because of the prevalence of cancer in my family, and because most days I am pretty much fine.

I am actually looking forward to finally being menopausal though, because that means this crap is finally done with – but that is at least a year away. Again. It looks like my shrunken ovaries are determined to push their luck as much as they can!

*pun intended

Being Too Social


Social media has turned us all into introverts – its not that its “too people-y” outside, its “too people-y” in our own heads!

I wrote a post on this back in May 2011, and if anything, its gotten worse – and we do it to ourselves!

Having an active social life that includes “real life” friends and family as well as an online existence has become normal. Its unusual to meet someone who is not on Facebook.
In the days before the internet, our social circles were a handful of close friends, if you were lucky you could include your family. If you were really lucky, you had a best friend too. These were the people you invited to birthday parties and special celebrations, the ones you called if you had news. These were the people with whom you shared your life, and it was done face-to-face, or over the phone.
Announcements of life changing events didn’t happen every day, and if something big happened – a baby, a loss, a new job – you had ample time to process it emotionally before the next proclamation (in theory, ‘coz shit happens), and these announcements were shared personally, without the need for a disclaimer to not share it on social media until you’d had a chance to share your news yourself.

I know I bounce from one emotion to another a lot more often in a single day than someone who doesn’t use social media. If I woke up on the wrong side of the bed ten years ago, I would probably have stayed in that mood all day. Now if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I can scroll through Facebook and within an hour I have laughed, been disappointed, excited, annoyed, gone back to feeling grumpy, posted about it somewhere, felt better because I got it off my chest, and then gone back to being grumpy because nobody noticed!
People we used to talk to face-to-face now post their news online, and because of social media algorithms we don’t see it. Then we overthink everything without really giving ourselves the chance to finish thinking about the last thing, and then we feel guilty because we’re suddenly laughing at a cat video, when we haven’t yet finished mourning something else entirely!
And for heaven’s sake – you can’t change social media algorithms with a status update!

I love how social media allows me to be the centre of attention sometimes, and keeps me grounded and aware of just how blessed I am, and I hate how it makes me feel left out. I hate how it has allowed me to believe I have better relationships with people than I really do…
I love how I have also discovered things I didn’t know I would be interested in, I have had my mind changed, and I have been educated, but I hate how it also makes me feel less than…
Social media has done more to break down the barriers between races and cultures than politics will ever do, but it has also increased those tensions.
It is an awesome and powerful double-edged sword.
It can empower you and make you feel like you actually have a voice on this overcrowded planet, but the emotional overload is why people don’t want to talk on the phone anymore, or commit to an invitation, and I miss that.

…come play on my roller coaster

Being a Bird Watcher

The birds in our garden…

It’s magical.

A pair of Crested Barbetts have taken over the dead tree that had Black-collared Barbetts nesting in it last year, and I’m pretty sure there are chicks in the nest.

A pair of Hadedas have a nest in a thorn tree overhanging our garden, and have a clutch of three new chicks – the umpteenth time they’ve hatched chicks in that tree.

Yesterday and today, a pair of fluffy Bulbul fledglings have been following their parents from tree to tree, chirping softly while they wait for their next meal and squealing with mouths wide open when their parents are near!

All the trees, and the various berries (mulberry, syringa, privet) makes our garden very bird friendly! We’ve had Muisvoel chicks, Hoepoe fledglings, Loerie fledglings, Masked Weaver chicks! I just love it!

I miss sharing this with my dad so much. He would have loved the the Crested vs Black-collared Barbett battle!

How to enjoy a Comic Con!

On Sunday September 16th, I attended my first Comic Con – the first ever Comic Con in Africa!

I have waited YEARS for Comic Con to come to SA, and as soon as I saw the announcements my Glugster and I were determined to go. Hubby doesn’t mind dressing up, but its me who wants to CosPlay, and its so easy with Terry Pratchett’s Nanny Ogg as my alter ego!! So hubby came along in civvies and carried all our stuff, while I hung onto my hat! 😛

As soon as we could we booked our tickets for the Sunday (Saturday was already sold out), and I started checking on my costume. I tried to make my boots more red, made sure I had the right spray to make my hair white, and got my mom to make me a cape (the last one I used was rented).
In the weeks ahead of Comic Con I asked a couple of friends to play Granny Weatherwax and Magrat Garlick to my Nanny Ogg, and we went as Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters! It was SO much fun, and we were recognised a lot more often than I thought we would be – with people taking pictures with us and of us!

Picture by Starbright Jewellery

Once we got home, I realised I hadn’t taken NEARLY enough pictures of the day, and some of the incredible costumes I saw, and we hadn’t seen everything there was to see! I started thinking about how we can make sure we miss nothing next time, and that is how this blog post came about.
So. What will I do differently next year?

  • First – shoes!
    I will make sure that both my Glugster and I are wearing super-comfy shoes (mine were no problem, his weren’t fabulous) because there’s a LOT of walking and standing at Comic Con!
  • Second – we will start saving money WELL in advance!*
    Food and drink at expos is notoriously pricey (as in R20 for a can of Coke) and you can’t spend the day there and NOT eat, but you need money for all the cool stuff thats on offer! The original artworks and paintings and jewellery were SO “must-have”, and if you are a collector there are comics and games and all kinds of things you may be battling to find in actual shops.
  • Third – we will have a “schedule”!
    Our plan is to first check the list of talks and workshops happening and what time they are taking place so we can be sure to be in the right place at the right time. Then we will do a tour of ALL the stalls and displays and have a good look at everything on offer and on show. Then we’ll break for food, and THEN we will walk around checking out everyone’s costumes and taking pictures of, and with them!

If you went to Comic Con Africa this year, did you get a VIP ticket? Is it worth the expense?

*There is NO way I will ever fork out several hundred rands for a photo with a celebrity, unless I win the lottery!