Damien’s Room

Here you can see some of Damien’s bone collection- the big ones on his windowsill. You can also see how many books he has. The big ones are on the top shelf of his desk and you can juuust see a little through the gap between the leg of the bed and the ladder. There where the glare of the desk lamp is you can kinda make out a model of a predator and an alien (the ones from the movies), his pride and joy. There’s also a Lamborghini, a BMW and I think the other one is a Porsche. His uncle and his Grampa gave them to him! Under the desk are three huge plastic boxes with lids, one contains LEGO; one has all his action man “stuff”; and the other has McDonald’s toys in it. There are also a couple of pictures of me and one of his godmother there somewhere… pity you can’t see the EMINEM or the shark posters from this picture. This is also the tidiest his room has been in many weeks. Up until a few days ago you couldn’t even SEE the top of his desk… you see, he wants his privacy, so our rule is that he has to keep it tidy himself- I don’t go in there at all except to wake him up and kiss him goodnight. If he doesn’t bring his dirty laundry it doesn’t get washed (and yes I do ask him for it).
Don’t you just love his bed?!

The Origin Of…

Have you ever really paid attention to words in the nursery rhymes and fairy tales we tell our children? Try reading them as if you were from another planet and had never heard them before. Some of them are pretty damn scary. A lot of nursery rhymes have their origins in history though. “Ring a ring a rosies” for example, is from the bubonic plague in London (1665). The plague symptoms were a raised rash- “ring of roses”, and violent sneezing, hence “atishoo, atishoo”. The “pocket full of posies” comes from their belief at the time that illness was carried by bad smells. The great fire of 1666 put a stop to the plague when it killed the rats that were the actual carriers. “We all fall down” suddenly makes horrible sense now hey? “Jack & Jill” is about Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the words were just made a little “friendlier” over time. Even “Humpty Dumpty” has its origins in British history. It was actually a term used to poke fun at fat people, and refers to a huge canon mounted on the wall of St Mary’s Wall Church in Colchester. It was supposed to protect this Royalist stronghold in the English civil war of 1642 to 1649. But a Parliamentary canon succeeded in damaging the wall beneath it and it fell to the ground. Colchester then fell to the Parliamentarians after an eleven week siege. And you know the one about “The Grand Old Duke Of York”, who had ten thousand men? Yup, also based on history. It refers mockingly to the defeat of the Duke Of York in the War Of The Roses between the House of Lancaster (whose symbol was a red rose) and the House of York (a white rose). Even “London Bridge”, the great stalwart of musical baby toys, is about the times London Bridge was destroyed and rebuilt from the time of the Romans. The song actually has twelve verses! “Oranges and Lemons” is about executions and tortures. “Georgie Pordgie Pudding and Pie” is about a bisexual English courtier named George Villiers, the first Duke Of Buckingham (1592-1628). He was lover to King James I and romantic aspects of his affair with the Queen of France- Anne of Austria- were featured in Alexander Dumas novel “The Three Musketeers”. How about “Doctor Foster went to Gloucester”? It dates back to the 13th century when King Edward I (nicknamed Longshanks coz he was over six feet tall) was thought to have visited Gloucestershire and fallen from his horse into a big mud puddle. He was apparently so humiliated he never went there again. The rhymes “Little Boy Blue” and “Old Mother Hubbard” are possibly based on Cardinal Thomas Wolsley. The “bone” in “Old Mother Hubbard” refers to the divorce that Henry VIII wanted from Queen Katherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. The “cupboard” is the catholic church. Cardinal Wolsley was apparently a rich, arrogant, self-made man. But because he was a braggart he had many enemies and was unpopular in England. He was supposed to “look after the sheep” as the Cardinal but he was more interested in lining his own coffers.
As for fairy tales, now there’s a whole ‘nother kettle of bananas. Murder, attempted murder, child abuse, house breaking, neglect, depression, even just general cruelty. You name it, it all features somewhere in the fairy tales we read to our children. Just look at stories by The Brothers Grimm… their name suits their stories if you ask me! More on that later.

This Weekend…

Actually seemed quite quiet, until I started writing about it. On Friday afternoon when I went to fetch Damien, he had been in trouble with his aftercare teacher. He was back-chatting and walking around the complex without asking first. He also had these huge fire crackers that he got very upset with his aftercare teacher for taking away (no idea where he got them). So we had a long chat and he apologised for being rude and misbehaving, but he sulked all the way home because I got rid of the crackers. Traffic was a nightmare too! Then I did dishes and fell asleep in front of the TV. I was supposed to have a facial on Saturday morning but my beautician phoned on Friday to cancel, now I have to wait three more weeks- huge disappointment! Not to worry, I went shopping on Saturday morning… oh joy! It was just groceries but I SO love spending money! Then Damien and I went to Wimpy after for waffles and met up with my best friend and her boys. I haven’t seen her in so long I almost didn’t recognise her- she looked fabulous! Her hair has grown past her shoulders and she’s lost so much weight the last few months. Then her mom and sister arrived and we ended up spending a good few hours there drinking coffee and chatting. Then I registered that I had a trolley full of groceries but I hadn’t brought the car! Brilliant! Luckily we don’t have to walk far so Damien just took the trolley back after we unpacked everything!
Saturday night was our fifth movie night at my SIL’s place. Miss Congeniality 2. Very cute, not as good as the first one (are they ever?) but a good giggle. I bought myself my favourite pinotage and drank almost the whole bottle on my own. I would have finished it but for some mysterious reason I was the only one drinking alcohol (and I had to drive) so I figured I should reign myself in just a wee bit. BTW, has drinking gone completely out of fashion? I mean, I seldom drink- but I really do love a good red wine on movie night… anyway, we chatted about a “year end” party for our movie club and decided to do the whole sequins, satin and feathers thing at the end of November and actually go to a theatre for a movie with dinner afterwards. Should be extraordinarily entertaining! Sunday started out pleasantly (weather wise) but when we came out of church it was bloody freezing! Oh, and when we came into the church, I took a communion wafer and put it into the silver chalice like I do every Sunday, and for some reason Damien (who was behind me) decided to have a closer look at what I’d done and promptly knocked the bloody thing over! ALL the wafers- on the floor. I only heard it fall and when I realised Damien had knocked the wafers over I wondered what would happen next! I had visions of them canceling communion because the wafers had been on the floor! Paranoid neurotic that I am. Nothing happened of course. Everything went on as usual. We stopped to buy Oreos (the original kind) and we had coffee and cookies at my granny’s house. I then went home to attempt to do some housework. I did washing, dishes and fell asleep on the couch. I had a splitting headache and unbelievably I actually think it was from the wine! I must really be getting old – I never get a hangover. It made sitting in church a tough two hours… but I tried very hard to be good and stay awake (by praying with my eyes open, teehee). I tried to nap on the couch while Damien tidied his bedroom and then my mom phoned in the afternoon to invite us for coffee and my nap was ruined. Went to the folks for coffee while my cousin visited and then found out that another cousin (brother to the one who was visiting) and his wife are expecting their first baby! Then I went home, watched conspiracy Theory and went to bed.

Oh Dear…

My fetish for wedding magazines seems to have kicked in again. I have bought yet another one in the last week. Here in SA imported magazines like the ones I like cost a fortune. The one I just bought is the July- August issue of you & your wedding and it cost me R89! For a magazine! My dad would probably soil himself if he knew what I could spend on a magazine! The last one I bought was wedding flowers and it’s probably got half as many pages as my most recent acquisition, but it cost me R75. Someone rap me over the knuckles please… no, not really, I allow myself some luxuries. My deal is not to buy a novel AND a magazine in one month since they cost about the same… but I do buy Damien the magazine he likes too- so I’m not completely selfish, at least not all the time.

Signs That Will Confirm You Have Grown Up

1. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as “dressed up.”
2. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
3. 6am is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
4. You hear your favourite song in an elevator.
5. You watch the Weather Channel.
6. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “break up.”

7. You go from 130 days on holiday to 20.
8. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.
9. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door
won’t turn down the stereo.
10. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
11. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
12. You feed your cat Science Diet instead of McDonald’s leftovers.
13. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
14. You take naps from noon to 6 pm.
15. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of
16. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 am would severely upset,
rather than settle, your stomach.
17. If you’re a gal, you go to the drug store for ibuprofen and
antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
18. A R15.00 bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good stuff.”
19. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
20. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to
drink that much again.”
21. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

22. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
23. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that
doesn’t apply to you and can’t find one to save your sorry old butt.

BONUS: When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them
instead of asking “Oh s*$# – what happened?”

good for a giggle, enjoy- ciao!