In Loving Memory of My Father

It is Father’s Day today and it also would have been the 95th birthday of my Dad.

So before I go rambling on about my Dad, may I wish all Father’s a Very Happy Father’s Day. I know the circumstances surrounding this special day are not always ideal and unfortunately not all Father’s have the opportunity or the privilege of spending time with their children today.

A sad reality of the times we live in is the number of broken marriages. And Father’s are often on the losing end when it comes to having to negotiate visiting rights and access to their children.

Sadly I am also aware of many Father’s who have decided to abandon their obligations to their children after the breakup of a marriage, and this not only means financial obligations, but also the obligation of being a parent and being part of their children’s lives.

My Dad was not the best Dad in the world and my parents did not have a happy marriage. I have many memories of plates being thrown across the room by my parents and the consistent yelling and screaming at each other that ensued, with my brother and I sitting in our rooms quietly hoping it would all go away and wishing we could just leave.

My Mother’s struggle with alcohol exacerbated the situation and I am sure there are many of you with similar stories.

This blog is not to share the pains and bad memories of my life, but rather a celebration of my Father.

Regardless of how bad things were at home, he was always there for us. He stuck it out and bit his tongue with my mother and the end of his years were enough to test anyone.

He always made sure we were well provided for and we wanted for nothing and he stood by my mother and us till the end.

I left home at 17 to seek a better life and that too was filled with its own trials and tribulations.

Sadly my Dad was diagnosed with Emphesema at about the same time as I left home and he spent many years carrying around an oxygen bottle as he was not able to breathe and slept in a recliner as he could not lay down.

My last memory of my Dad was my final visit to him in hospital before he passed away where he pointed to the corner of his room. He could not speak much as he had an oxygen mask on. He had bought my eldest son a gift for his second Birthday.

It was one of those black scooters that toddlers love riding around.

I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was 22 at the time (some 32 years ago).

My Dad passed on a few days after this and never got to see his Grandson use the scooter.

I only have fleeting memories of my Dad now and wish I had more time with him and wish he could have gotten to know his 4 amazing Grandsons and Great Grandchildren. They have done me proud and I know he is looking down on them, full of pride and joy.

Here’s to you Dad, with all my love and thanks for bringing me into this world.

Group Sex

One of the joys about reading my blog is the fact that I may be actually writing about Group Sex or something with a twist on the term.  This post unfortunately has a twist.  Seeing as though you are here, please stay……….. (I’ll make tea!)
I just love group sex chat.  There is so much negative connotation surrounding social media and many people are under the impression that it isolates family and friends.  Well I must tell you that social media has brought us closer than ever as a family this past week.
We are a fairly normal family. In fact we are quite a
close family.  We interact with our 4
sons all the time so I can’t complain.  Son no 2 lives in
Dubai and we don’t talk as often we we should.  We typically Skype each other.  Son no 1,3 and 4 don’t interact with no 2
enough and  I always try to encourage them to talk to each other more often.
Son no 3 set up a “group” for us as a family on Whatsapp this week.  For those of you who are not familiar with this – it is a real time messaging app that works on all mobile phones – iphone / blackberry / android / symbian / nokia / windows.  It is like text messaging on steroids and uses data so it is cheaper (for us here in South Africa anyway) than texting.
Anyway Son no 3 invited the whole family to join the group.  This of course was met with everyone responding with all sorts of comments about groups and groupies and groping etc (remember I have 4 boys so everything has a sexual connotation somewhere). And of course everyone was downloading pics and posting them for the group. (Profile icons used below)

The whole week has had the family interacting in one way or the other – even simple little messages like good morning or good night.  It has also helped with coordinating collection times from school.
Hubby sent out a message on the group chat session yesterday saying “he was coming out now”, meaning he was just finishing a meeting.  Of course this was met with a slurry of messages from the kids about “coming out” if you know what I mean.
Son no 2 sent the first message saying: Just came out?  Think you guys need to have a talk then! (aimed at hubby and myself).
I then said:  Didn’t you guys know? (playing along)
and then I added:  Haven’t you guys ever seen my strap-on?
Hubby said: You should see my strap-on….. 😉
Son no 3 said: I don’t wanna know and I don’t need to know!
Son no 2 said: I always knew there was never anything there.
And of course the obligatory “lol’s” followed from all.
Then this morning I sent out a message asking what “twerking” was (I don’t get out much).  I’ve heard the term used umpteen times but couldn’t be bothered to find out more.  Anyway curiosity got the better of me this morning.  The conversation went as follows:
Me: Ok – so WTF is twerking?
Son no 3: Nobody say anything!
Hubby: You must watch it – next best thing to belly dancing
Son no 3: NO!
Me: Is that a challenge
Son no 3: No!!! It’s not funny!! It’s sick and wrong!!
Hubby: Can’t wait to see you twerk 😉
Son no 3: NO!!
Son no 2 (from Dubai): This language could be banned in Dubai
So anyway, it has just been a real playful week with us all interacting at various times during the day about all sorts of things.  You should all try it – it could be fun!

Lanthie Ransom

Ridiculous Traditions

As you all know I had 4 sons and having 4 sons meant I ended up cooking rather large meals on a daily basis.  One of my shortcomings as a mother is that I have not managed to rear my sons with the ability to cook a meal and hubby is not the sort to get stuck into the kitchen either.

Sure my sons can pour their own cereal and have on occasion been known to make 2 minute noodles or microwave some popcorn, but that is as far as their culinary skills extend.  I must admit that son no 2 has managed to become quite adept to cooking a meal now that he has had to fend for himself in another country.  In fact I heard a nasty rumor the other day that he actually irons his own clothes as well now.

The fact that I am not wild about cooking has meant that I have been known to bitch (alot) about having to cook every night.  So we started a family tradition many years ago whereby Friday nights became take-out nights.  It is the one day that the kids really look forward to.

You can all jest about the fact that my cooking is not great, but I’ll have you know I make the World’s best  Mac and Cheese and find I can bribe my kids into doing anything on the promise of making Mac and Cheese for dinner.

Regardless, take-out night is still the favorite.

Son no 1 got married 3 years ago and Son no 2 moved to Dubai 2 years ago so family diners are not quite as big as they once were.  Although we do have Son no 2’s best mate living with us and he eats for 6 all by himself.  Take-out night now includes him and Son no 1 and his wife when they come for their weekly visit to see us.

So recently we added to the Friday night tradition and we watch a series called Ridiculousness.

In case you are not familiar with this series, it consists of them showing a series of viral video’s from the internet with Rob Drydek hosting the show.  The viral video’s usually consist of some poor soul (usually male) getting hurt and falling off of something or the other.  Men typically being slapped / banged / thumped or kicked in the nuts and of course this raises many a “Ooooh Ouch” from my sons as they cover their own.

So I thought I’d post a few clips from YouTube for you.  Enjoy….

Way Back When

A fellow blogger recently did a post on remembering what it was like being a kid (you know – back in the old days). So I thought I would do some reminiscing as well.

One of my earliest memories was when I was about 5. We lived on a sewerage farm back then and my dad was the big boss. There were only 11 houses on the sewerage farm and probably about 10 or 11 kids in total lived on the farm. We were all around the same age. Anyway, back then we lived in a much safer world. We were free to roam around and one of our neighbors sons was visiting and we were playing outside. For whatever reason, we were showing each other our various you know what parts and he kissed me. My mother happened to be looking out the window and saw us. He was banished for life and I remember getting the hiding of my life. He may have been banished for life from ever visiting me again but I have many memories of the two of us getting up to all sorts of mischief when I was not at home.

I remember my brother and I used to fight all the time. I am 5 years older than him. I remember the maid locking him in his room when he was about 3 or 4 to keep us apart. I was not too impressed with this and went outside to wind him up through the window and I ended up breaking the window. I didn’t tell anyone and when my parents got home they assumed it was him and he was severely punished. My brother and I are the greatest of friends now but back then we were arch enemies.

When we were both older, my dad bought us each a horse – at least mine was a horse and I think stood about 21 hands high (if I remember the terminology correctly). It was white and grey and I called him Stoney. My brother got a much smaller horse (may have been a Pony) as he was much younger. It was pregnant at the time and a lot more tame than mine. Anyway, I loved my horse. I learnt to ride very quickly and being on a farm, we were free to ride and roam about. I was always on my horse with some of the neighbors kids who also had horses. We rode without saddles most of the time. And as we all got older, we started venturing off the property onto the back roads to bordering towns.

My parents both worked all day back then. There was no one to supervise us except the maid and I think if we were not home, she had less to worry about. I was hardly home. If I was at home, I was listening to my portable cassette deck and was probably listening to Elvis.

I used to go to an English school. The neighbors kids all spoke Afrikaans as their home language so they went to a different school. I used to walk about 2km every morning to catch a bus to school. Back then girls were not allowed to wear pants to school and our uniform was a skirt and blouse with short white socks and I remember being absolutely freezing early in the mornings. Stockings didn’t help either.

Life has changed so much now. I have 4 boys and they have always had 24 hour supervision. Never allowed to go out without me knowing where they are going, with who they are going, what they are going to do and when they are doing it. They have never used public transport on their own. Never been able to ride their bikes out on the street. We just do not live in the same safe world. I suppose living in Johannesburg doesn’t help either as it is not the safest city in the world.

Let me know how far back you can all remember….

Absent Family and Friends

Christmas is a joyous time and brings so many families and friends together one way or another. Filled with joy and laughter and the screams of young children running around playing. 

But sometimes due to circumstances beyond our control, we are not able to be with those we love and cherish and this post is dedicated to all those families and friends who are not able to share in this joyous occasion together.
My second eldest son was not able to join us this year for a second year in a row. He lives in Dubai and he was not able to get away from work to spend the time with us and as much as we wanted to, it was not possible for us to join him in Dubai either.
It goes unsaid that I love all my children with all my heart. It pains me to not have all my sons with me during this time. I accept that we will not all be able to be together in years to come and they will all make new lives with their own families and friends one day. 
I usually find myself taking loads of pictures over Christmas for my photo album – filled with memories of times gone by. I couldn’t take any pictures this year. Somehow it was admitting that I would be making memories without my son – not something I want to do willingly. So it is hard, really hard to enjoy the season and even harder to explain this.   I am a sensible woman and I know I am being silly and stupid, yet it makes perfect sense to me. It is like a puzzle with a missing piece or a jersey with an extra arm.  My life is just not complete.   I also know I am not alone and there are so many of you who have friends or family who could not be with you during this season either.
Unlike so many other people, I have so much to be grateful for.  I am surrounded by people I love and that love me and for that I am truly thankful.
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. 
By Tomas Jefferson

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I recently did a post about my 25th wedding anniversary where I mentioned all the countries I have travelled to.  A few fellow bloggers have asked what my favorite country was so I thought I would blog about it.

These are the places I have been to in a bit more detail and I have tried to keep it short and sweet (in no particular order):


Hubby and I stayed at the Indigo Bay Resort on Bazaruto Island a few years ago.  We never had a honeymoon 25 years ago so this was the closest thing to a honeymoon.  We were only there for a few days.  The resort was great and we had some amazing barbeque’s on the beach.  There was not much to do and we spent 3 days reading.  We missed the kids on this trip as they somehow keep you amused.  We took a little plane there from Vilanculos in Mozambique – one of those planes where there are no seatbelts or luggage hold – you just chuck your luggage in behind your seat (and cross your fingers).


Hubby, I and Son no 1 and 2 lived in Brunei for 2 years back in 1994.  We were on contract to a company specializing in the development of entertainment venues for the Sultan of Brunei and his family.  It was back to basics here with no entertainment for the general public – not even a cinema.  But they have the most amazing beaches and rustic restaurants.  We had the best food I have ever tasted here.  We met some great people here from all over the world and it all makes for great memories.


While living in Brunei, we had the opportunity to travel to nearby locations.

We stayed at the Tanjung Aru Resort in Kota Kinabalu a few times which was fabulous and we have many fond memories of this resort.  The first time we went, we stayed in the honeymoon suite with Son no 1 and 2.  I remember the first time we used the Jacuzzi with them and they were scared shitless of it.  The honeymoon suite was being offered at a good rate and obviously accommodated the 4 of us very comfortably.  We went scuba diving on a nearby island and I loved it – one of the few occasions Hubby has managed to get me on a boat – as a general rule – I don’t do boats!

We also stayed at a resort in Kutching – don’t remember it much so it could not have been very memorable.  I do remember taking a combi from the airport and it being the bumpiest 45 minute drive ever – and Son no 1 slept through it.


This was also a stone throw away from Brunei so we spent a few days in Labuan.  Labuan is a tiny island off the coast of East Malaysia.   I remember taking a very old plane there which was very suspect.  Again I don’t remember much about the resort.


Hubby has been to the USA a few times but I managed to persuade him to take me with him to an exhibition to Las Vagas.  We went to the LDI Exhibition and also did the backstage tour.  This is where you get to do a tour of the backstage areas of some of the theaters in Vegas.  This is one of my best memories.  I spent just over a week with my mouth open in utter amazement at some of the technology.  We also got to see loads of shows as part of the tour.  Unfortunately I did not see or do everything I wanted to do in Vegas so this is definitely on my list of places to go back to one day.  I would also like to see more of the USA. (Route 66 on a Harley is on my bucket list)


I have been to London a few times.  London is not one of my favourite places but it is one of the cities you have to experience.  Hubby and I have stayed in some of the smallest hotel rooms you could ever imagine and been in some of the smallest hotel elevators you could imagine.  In fact we were in London during 9/11.  I remember it clearly as we were in a little gift shop in Leicester Square just before seeing a movie and we saw the twin towers collapsing on the TV’s in the gift shop.  We were stuck in London for an extra day due to the panic which followed.  We will be taking the kids to London sometime soon as I think it is one of the cities you do need to visit – perhaps we will make the effort to go to Paris as well.


We went to  Le Coco Beach Resort (Which has since been revamped into the Long Beach Resort) back in 2000.  I was 7 months pregnant with Son no 4.  Son no 3 was 3 years old and he learnt to swim here.  Son no 2 also broke his toe the day before we left for Mauritius and he was on crutches.  We had an amazing time – but as Hubby says – the world’s most expensive swimming pool.  Kids generally hate the beach and sea so we find ourselves laying next to the pool everyday.  There was very little TV in English and I remember watching The Thomas Crown Affair in French about 20 times (I don’t speak a word of French!).


We have been to Singapore many times and this has to be my favorite place in the world.  Everyone is very friendly.  You feel extremely safe.  And there is loads to do.  My sons are all computer geeks so we always spend hours in Sim Lim Square.  The food is amazing.  The last time we stayed on Sentoza Island and went to the aquarium, the zoo (day and night time version) and many other attractions.  Kids absolutely love the science museum and they have a Tesla generator there which is amazing to see in action.


World Expo 2010

Hubby and I spent 10 days in Shanghai in 2010 to see the World Expo.  Hubby has been lobbying the South African Government to bid for the World Expo in 2020 so we went to experience it ourselves.  You have never seen so many people in your life.  People queuing for 6 hours to get into an exhibit.  People were all very friendly and eager to communicate – even if there is a language barrier.  Shanghai was very efficient in every aspect.  I would have liked to see more of Shanghai but there was just not enough time.

Hong Kong

We spent a few days in Hong Kong on our return from Shanghai.  I know so many people who have said that Hong Kong is amazing.  I found it very hot and humid and there were far too many people.  We found it difficult to do anything without fighting through thousands of people – all carrying umbrellas!  We went to the aquarium but saw very little – there were just too many queues and in the end we gave up and stayed close to the hotel.


Hubby’s brother and family have lived in Dubai for the last 18 odd years so we have close ties with Dubai.  Son no 2 is now also based there.  The first time we went to Dubai was back in 1994 and I remember lots of desert.  Now it is all built up so it is a very different place.  We lived in Dubai for a year in 2008 when we decided to expand our business there.  Unfortunately the economic crisis hit at the end of 2008 and we had to come back home to South Africa. You do feel very safe in Dubai and there are some great shopping centers.  Living in Dubai was an experience.  You only have to read Martin Fullard’s blog to find out what a weird and wonderful place it is.

Hopefully this is not the end of my travels and I hope to have many more countries to add to this list in the future.

My Brood

Had a lovely weekend so far.  Went to our local casino yesterday for Sushi and today we went out for a family lunch to a famous South African restaurant – Carnivore.

My kids
From left to right:
Son no 4, Son no 3, Friend of Son no 2, Son no 2, Girlfriend of Son no 2, Wife of Son no 1, Son no 1
Currently watching 21 Jump Street for the third time.  Everyone is relaxed and having a ball.

Mine’s bigger than yours

This week is quite an exciting one for me.

Today was Son no 1’s birthday – he was 24 today. So I made my famous Mac and Cheese for dinner – this is the favorite meal with all my kids. I felt quiet bad as this is the first year I did not buy him a present. It is very difficult buying something for a IT geek who has everything (And he really would not appreciate a pair of socks!).  So we had dinner and then had some delicious chocolate cake (store bought I’m afraid – I have to work for a living!).

The printer technician also came early this morning and replaced the fault part on my new printer.  So I did some test prints and it is amazing.  Can’t wait to actually have to print a job on it for a client.  The word will get out though and I am sure I will have loads of people wanting printing done.

I am having my hair done tomorrow – I need my high-lites redone and could do with a trim.  I have been trying to grow my hair for about 18 months now.  It has been really difficult as it irritates the hell out of me, but I have managed to grow it this long and I am certainly not cutting it short again.

Then I am having my monthly wax on Thursday – This probably falls in the TMI category so I will leave it at that…..

Then on Friday – Son no 2 arrives from Dubai!  He is bringing his girlfriend with and I am dying to meet her. Pity they are only here for a week.

I am bracing myself for the heightened testosterone levels with having all 4 boys around for a week.  In fact – I have been seriously thinking about popping one of my HRT pills into their morning breakfasts for the next week in anticipation that it will being down the testosterone levels.

Mine's bigger than yours

Son no 4, who recently turned 12, is starting to go though puberty.  He is being so testy with son no 3 at the moment and just pokes and pokes and pokes at him all the time.  We are still having the morning snarl at each other as Son no 4 is still sitting in his new position at the table and Son no 3 still insists on setting his place in the old position.  Everything is a competition and they are all experts at everything.  Most of the time I can ignore it, but some days I want to pull my hair out.

Next week will be worse as I will have all of them wanting to prove something – especially the 2 older ones making a point of telling the 2 younger ones why they have it so much easier and when they were little they had to do this and that else they were beaten or locked in the bathroom etc etc  (they must have found their way into an alternate reality at some point as I don’t remember any of this, but anyway….).

Well it is time for bed and I will let you know how my week goes.

A Man’s Perspective

When I started blogging, I wanted to write a blog that appealed to all and not just to a particular genre.  This is not easy though and I have found that I tend to write more towards the type of bloggers that typically comment on my blog.  Not that this is an issue as I have made some wonderful friends and have found some amazing blogs.  Not a day goes by without me reading a post out load to Hubby from a fellow blogger which brings a smile to both our faces.

I find myself writing more about getting older, menopause, my kids and all thing mommy orientated nowadays.  And let’s not forget to include who’s the hottest hunk out there type posts.

Occasionally it is nice to come across a blog that looks at things from a different perspective and I have found such a blog.  It is a blog called “The Shitty Dad”  and it is about (in case you hadn’t guessed) the trials and tribulations of being a Dad.  I love his blog and it is great to hear that the male population have their challenges as well when it comes to parenting.

So go along and have a look:

Silence is golden

I read a post this morning by a fellow blogger about sibling rivalry so thought I would have a rant as well.
Son no 3 is born on an odd dated day and Son no 4 is born on an even dated day.  So a few years ago we implemented a rule which has worked well so far.  The rule is as follows:
On an odd dated day – Son no 3 gets to sit in the front seat of the car.  However, it is also his day to do the chores. On an even dated day, the rule applies to Son no 4.
Easy to understand and this has worked for many years.
Except this morning!
We all get ready for school and I go out to my car to do the morning school run – only to find Son no 3 is sitting in the front seat.  Son no 4 is standing next to the car demanding he gets out.  Son no 4 sees me coming and of course comes hurtling towards me, insisting I tell Son no 3 that it is not his day and he must get out NOW!
So I get in the car.  I politely tell Son no 3 to please move into the back seat.  He refuses!  So I close my eyes and sigh!  Just what I need first thing in the morning.  I explain to him that there is a rule – and he knows the rule – it has been in force for many years.
So he snarls at me – “it is a stupid rule – it wasn’t in place for Son no 1 and 2 – so why must we put up with stupid new rules”.  
And he still refuses to move.
So I had to get angry and demand he moves or else!
He finally moved.  And I drove them to school in absolute silence – perhaps there is a God after all!