Liz's colonic journey

image Mari asked me yesterday for pictures of the garden and this morning gave a brilliant opportunity to catch it. How nice to have full sun and clear skies for a change, grey skies leave me rather drab. (I wish I could send some of our rain to Australia where they are having these horrible wild fires that just love wild eucalyptus.) We are blessed with our greenery. I love the different green contrasts around this oregano plant, with the splash of colour from the garlic chives.

The garden has suffered (sort of) from the lack of Alphaeus’ attentions for nearly a month. I love our treed place. The leaf fall associated with it would drive some wild, but I’ve quite enjoyed kicking through the leaves and the peppercorn berries to get to the postbox. The yellow Mandevillea (if that’s what it is) is glorious in the sun.



And I’m pretty chuffed with how well the egg plants are growing – I see a tasty Mousaka every time I look at them. The monkeys have steered clear of them, though they did have a couple of chomps out of the tomatoes.

imageI’m loving watching the birds from the porch. Two of our neighbours asked if they could cut back some of the trees bordering their properties and that’s opened up whole new sunny areas that we would not have been able to create. Have to say that my hammock was looking particularly attractive today.


Since these pics this morning, Alphaeus was in and worked his magic, while Victoria got us sorted indoors. We’ve managed to stay on top of the housekeeping over the festive season, but 32 was nowhere near as pristine as usual.

Having chemo over Christmas felt very different to last year. It’s part of the new normal to go in and just do it. On the plus side, my bloods have been good all through, except for one week’s delay for that blasted infection. I haven’t had any more infections since the beginning of December. The downside is that the longer the chemo goes on, the worse one definitely feels. The yuk/weak feeling seemed to hit me earlier – the Friday of chemo week rather than the Sunday/Monday following it.

What was weird though is that I didn’t seem to have the fall-out on Monday the 24th when we went to Paul Roux to spend Christmas with Pat’s brother, Richard. It rained buckets and the top temperature for the first two days was 16C. Having packed in a 32C Durban swelter, I took all the wrong kind of clothes. Sandals, cutoffs and mud don’t go well together!  It was a beautiful time of ‘kuiering’ though, limited digital access meant talking to real, interesting people on Rich’s porch about things we wouldn’t normally discuss. It was fun – and I didn’t feel nauseous once – though I confess to two or three naps a day.

My first DRC Christmas morning service was fascinating. The dominee made us feel so at home that it was impossible not to follow the service in spite of my limited Afrikaans. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church after the last hymn (StilleNag/Silent Night) and the responses of farewell.

We spent a really quiet New Year. Actually I went to bed at 10 because I was feeling ‘lomp’ only to be wakened by a massive bomb firework going off outside the bedroom window at 12 on the dot. I worried about the dogs who were guarding, and neither seemed fazed. In fact, Rocky looked seriously interested, while Pepper continued to snooze and chase dream rabbits. I think they felt safe because Pat was sitting quietly in the lounge watching telly. I was highly stimulated to say the least – the adrenalin giving me the energy to text and call quite a few people. Maybe that’s why humans need fireworks?

I finished the last dose of chemo in this treatment round on Friday last week. The weekend was very lazy and I just couldn’t get going with anything – lots of naps. The mini-miracle was having tea with Joan C and Charl at the KZNSA gallery on Sunday, which was a happily sunny day. Beautiful. It was quite an effort to get into the car with Pat driving, and then to find Charl and Joan at the table. Yet after two hours of chatting and catching up, with a lovely feta and spinach muffin, I felt like a new woman. I came home and vacuumed the house – the dustbunnies were the size of small cats! How does that happen? How is it that being around special people is so re-energising? I’ve been feeling better every day since. I even got to do a bit of work today. My head is getting organised and I’m starting to focus. This is a very Good Thing. The list of things to do seems to grow exponentially.

I have my next CT scan on the 16th and consult with Doc Landers on the 18th to evaluate how well this round of chemo has worked, and what to do next, if anything.  I need to be on my feet for June and our trip to London and San Francisco. First things first though, we need to get our visas sorted!

It’s so nice to have everybody back in town, I missed Sharon and Dave while they were away, and Paulette and  Sioux and everybody else while we were out of circulation. Let’s go 2013!


Comments on: "2013 – Let’s see what happens next" (10)

  1. You garden looks lovely Liz and you are able to capture it so well ! Loved pics of Rocky going to school . all clean and shiny in his new collar.
    heres to 2013,London San Fransisco and all the other wonderful things waiting to happen !

  2. I’m sorry to be banal, but for some reason I picked up on your mention of a pristine household and getting rid of dust bunnies. I have just spent time in my cousin’s house in Pretoria while my cousin and her husband attended the birth of their first grandchild in Salt Rock, Durban. Their household was so scarily clean and organised, it was a bit hard to relax in it. In a kitchen cupboard, the coffee cup handles all faced due South.

    But they’re good at drinking wine, which we did when they returned, for just one night before I returned to sweaty Durban.

    Love to you both


    • Handles of coffee mugs all pointing in one direction – who has that much cupboard space? That’s amazing. It has an appeal to my control freak nature – but I’ve had to compromise. And dust bunnies can be quite fun! Welcome back – thesis done and submitted?

  3. i thought the absence of words was intentional, worked for me 🙂

  4. ah. beautiful. thank you

    • I’ve now added some explanation – I uploaded the pics and hit Publish instead of draft – that’s why there were no words initially! Thanks for asking for an update – you always get me moving.

    • your photos hold a wabi quality – beauty of the most ordinary circumstances and objects (Japanese word used in haiku context)

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