Being Younger…

I’m watching a TV series called “Younger“, and I am rather enjoying it – but it has got me thinking too…

In a nutshell, Liza is a recently divorced 40-year old mother, her teenage daughter is studying abroad, and Liza has to figure out a way to support herself and her daughter since her ex-husband’s gambling addiction has left them in a financial hole – losing all their savings and their house. She tries to get a job in publishing, but is dismissed due to her age. On a night out with her best friend, she is mistaken for a “millennial”, so her BFF comes up with the idea of giving Liza a makeover in order to pass her off as a 26-year old. Ultimately, she becomes an assistant at a publishing firm, she befriends a 20-something co-worker, gets a hot a 26-year-old tattoo artist boyfriend, and has to quickly learn the ins and outs of social media, age appropriate slang, and how to party all night…
Granted, Liza has a lovely figure, small boobs, and has obviously followed a strict facial cleansing regime like her mother told her to when she was 12. 😛

Unless I lose 35kg, dye my hair, and botox my hands, there’s no WAY I could pass for 26… But watching the show has had me wonder what I would do if it were possible – to go back to being 20-something, as a 40-something woman.

When I celebrated my 26th birthday, I was a working single mom to an almost 8-year-old boy.
I fell pregnant at 17, so by the time I was legally permitted to drink and party, I had to organise a baby sitter in order to do so (my folks were fabulous with that), I partied quite a lot with my girlfriends, but it certainly wasn’t every night – or even every week.
I didn’t go to varsity. I didn’t take spontaneous trips with no idea of my destination. I took my son with me when I went out as much as I could. I tried to avoid a hangover unless I knew he was staying somewhere overnight. Partying all night wasn’t an option. I never took men home with me, or let them meet my son unless we were actually “involved”.

I was always conscious of the fact that I had a little boy depending on me. He was my life.

It might be fun to be younger for a little while, to experience being young, free, and single…

Would you consider it?

Being Among the Shrooooooms

Every summer, our garden is full of mushrooms. Last summer, even with the little rain we had, I would go out some mornings and full a plastic shopping bag with big mushrooms that filled the lawn.
I pick them because even though it seems the dogs ignore them, I don’t want to chance them eating something poisonous by accident.
The ones I’ve seen the most of mostly look like these:

This summer, I noticed a few other mushrooms in the flowerbeds, and the more I looked, the more I found!

These I found growing in a small clump together, about 5cm tall, with the biggest one (left and top right) about 10cm across. They are white and look almost velvety.

I think these are all the same kind of mushroom… They have grown in the flowerbeds, in the shade, about 5cm across, and they are about 3cm tall. They’re quite delicate to the touch but the white stalks are sturdy. Maybe a ‘Common Ink Cap’?

These are growing in the flowerbeds where its coolest, maybe 2cm tall, and pale yellow. They are very delicate and they don’t last the day.

This one is all alone, growing on the side of a dead tree stump, in full sun. It looks velvety, and its about 5cm across. I think this is a ‘Turkey Tail’.

This one is all on its own, in the cool shade, about 10cm across and about 3cm tall.

And just out of curiosity, I didn’t pick them all the morning like I usually do – I waited to see how fast they grow, since I would go out in the mornings and find them everywhere! I didn’t use anything to give some perspective, but I think you can see how they’ve grown in the space of about 11 hours.

I think this is a ‘Green-gilled Parasol’ or a ‘False Parasol’, but it could be a ‘Shaggy Parasol’

I think this is a ‘Green-gilled Parasol’ or a ‘False Parasol’, but it could be a ‘Shaggy Parasol’

And the more I looked, the more I found – six or seven different kinds! Some of them look similar, so I may not have found as many as I thought… 😀 There was even one that was all spindly and wispy, and when they “died” they seem to turn into goop, an oily black slick on the mulch!

I did a bit of Googling to see if I could work out what they were, but I’m battling to ID them! Does anybody know shrooms?

A Year in Review – Forty @NocturnalWenchy Questions

I haven’t done one of these in a few years now…

  • What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
    Had a Christmas without my son…?
  • Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    I never make them. I know I won’t keep them.
  • Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Nope. First time in many years!
  • Did anyone close to you die?
    Yes… ?  My Granny darling in January, and my Daddy darling in August.

  • What countries did you visit?
    I didn’t cross any borders.
  • What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
    Money! And yes, I know what that sounds like!
  • What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?
    January 3rd and August 7th ?

  • What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Puppy Patrick graduating as a Guide Dog, and having a few of my cakes make it to the CakesDecor.com home page!

  • What was your biggest failure?
    My own laziness.
  • Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I spent a week in hospital with asthma complications, and I had sinus surgery.
  • What was the best thing you bought?
    I got several new cake decorating tools!
  • Whose behaviour merited celebration?
    Our knucklehead! ? He’s a PADI Dive Instructor now working at a resort! We are unbelievably proud of him! 

  • Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
    I invoke my right not to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me. ?
  • Where did most of your money go?
    The vet… ?
  • What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    A few of my cakes make it to the CakesDecor.com home page! ???
  • What song/ album will always remind you of 2016?
    I can’t think of one…
  • Compared to this time last year, are you:
    • Happier or sadder? Sadder
    • Thinner or fatter? Fatter
    • Richer or poorer? Poorer
  • What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Visited my parents.
  • What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Bingeing on junk food.
  • How did you spend Christmas?
    My Glugster and I spent it at home with the animals, after I had a bit of a meltdown and bailed on my family.
  • Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
    My family, via WhatsApp group.
  • Did you fall in love in 2016?
    I fall in love with my darling Glugster every day! ?
  • How many one night stands in this last year?
    Are they still one night stands if I’m happily married to the guy? ?
  • What was your favourite TV program?
    There are a few that I watch – Game of Thrones is up there. And Orange is the New Black.
  • Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    I can’t think that I hate anyone, as such… I do have a very strong loathing for a couple of people, and that list doesn’t change.
  • What was the best book(s) you read?
    I didn’t do a lot of reading… I miss it.
  • What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Deezer!
  • What did you want and get?
    A new ring! My darling Glugster got me a gorgeous ring with three bands and Swarovski crystals to wear on my ring finger! ?

  • What did you want and not get?
    A car… Renting a car certainly makes maintenance easier, but we can’t have the car we would like.
  • What were your favourite films of this year?
    I saw Fantastic Beasts with my Glugster on the big screen and that was awesome, and I saw Finding Dory with my mommy darling and my sisters and that was great fun!
  • What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I stopped counting at 40, but I got to sleep in, a clean kitchen, breakfast in bed, and a chilled day at home with my Glugster and my furchildren.
  • What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Not having to pinch pennies… I grew up being frugal, I have no problem with that. What I hate is panicking when the petrol light comes on.
  • How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? *snort* I have no such thing. I wear whatever fits me.
  • What kept you sane?
    My husband. My precious Glugster.
  • Which celebrity/ public figure did you fancy the most?
    I don’t really “follow” celebs or read gossip magazines so by the time I find anything out its old news.
  • What political issue stirred you the most?
    I am frequently rendered speechless by the antics of the South African government, but I still can’t believe that Trump is the president of the USA!
  • Who did you miss?
    Nathan… My Granny darling… My daddy darling… And my knucklehead, who works far from us now.
  • Who was the best new person you met?
    Hhmmm… We spent the year fairly closeted at home, but I met a few new Guide Dog puppy raisers and they are such incredible people!
  • Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
    Everything matters. Everything.
  • Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 
    All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day.

Clearly I’m Getting Old.

I must be, because I’m reminiscing about “The good ol’ days…” and muttering into my coffee about “Thats not how we did it back then…”

I’m talking about blogging. And heaven knows my blog has gotten quiet since my son grew into an adult and said I couldn’t write about parenting him anymore.
I still write about my animals, and my cake art, but those are on seperate blogs to this one.

Seeing Facebook group posts like “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I get 10K readers?” or “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I make money?” and one of my favourites “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I get free stuff?” makes me want to ask them if they can even write worth a damn.  🙁

Ugh. I miss what blogging used to be.

Make no mistake, I’ve had my share of some AWESOME freebies. I still get invited to an event once in a blue moon and I blog about them. But I got lucky because I was there when SA businesses started asking bloggers to talk about their products, before you had to be an “influencer” with an audience of thousands.
But that isn’t why I started blogging.
I STARTED blogging because I wanted to share my life as a single mom.
I DISCOVERED I could make friends – many of whom I treasure some eleven years down the line. Hell, I met my darling Glugster, my husband, through our blogs!
If I remember correctly, there were easily fifty local and international blogs I was reading on a weekly basis at the very least back in the day. I loved reading them and leaving comments*.
Very few of those blogs even exist anymore. And now there are only a few blogs I still read, and I can’t remember when last I started reading a new one.

In the early days, before Facebook and Twitter (and and and), we didn’t use our real names, and we were super neurotic about people discovering our identities, and being stalked and murdered by the weirdos on the internet.
Now the weirdos are loud and proud, and everyone uses their real names.
Bloggers I got to know long before blogging was a business, or social media was a career in South Africa, have succeeded in turning their blogging into a business. These people are incredible writers and/ or photographers, and their work is worth paying for.
I am not a writer, not by a long shot. I am a blogger. 😛 And there is a big difference. I have seen my writing turned into a masterpiece when edited by a writer, so I do know the difference. And I am a happy snapper, not a photographer.
IMHO, if you want to blog to make money and get freebies, then you had better be a good writer, and at the very least a half-decent photographer, and work on your blog daily, to get and keep “influencer” status.
It takes WORK.

But I do miss the days of reading about each other’s adventures just for fun.

*I am a serial comment leaver, I will comment if I read your blog. It never occurred to me to lurk

I Don’t Get It!!!

Let me tell you a little story.

On October 3rd, my Vodacom debit order was returned when I was R100 short on my bank account.
My fault. I totally get why it was returned.
What happened was that my debit order went through on October 3rd * instead of Saturday October 1st. Because they don’t do them on a Saturday. WHY CAN’T THEY DO IT ON A SATURDAY!??! Do they need someone to sit in the bank and push a fucking button!?!?
Anyhoodle.
I called Vodacom the same day to ask them how to go about making payment so that my phone didn’t get cut off, and I paid by EFT the next day, calling Vodacom again to make sure they saw the payment had gone through.
I thought it was sorted.

Then today, TEN DAYS LATER, I get a text message from Vodacom telling me my debit order bounced, and will I please call 082-blah-blah-blah to make a payment arrangement!!!!
Worried that something had gone wrong and they hadn’t seen that I had actually paid my account, I called them.
When I told her I was calling about a text saying my debit order had not gone through, she immediately launched into the script for making payment arrangements, and when I interrupted her to say I had already MADE the payment – she had to go INTO ANOTHER SYSTEM to verify this and ensure that my account was indeed up to date!
She then tells me the text message is automatic, and that I don’t need to worry about it. She couldn’t tell me why I would STILL get the text message EVEN THOUGH MY ACCOUNT WAS UP TO DATE!!

Vodacom, WHY oh WHY are there SEPARATE SYSTEMS for these things!?

Absa, WHY oh WHY can’t you run debit orders on a weekend?!

Its not nineteen-bloody-sixty! Everything is electronic now FCOL! I mean, I can watch an American presidential debate LIVE, but you can’t get your systems up to date in real time!??!??

* which I stupidly assumed were automatic payments, set up so I that wouldn’t forget to MAKE payments