So, to recap……had friends…..husband died……made additional friends……. became the sole supporter, nurturer, decision maker, fearful, neurotic, maladjusted, hardened, intolerant, and INTOLERABLE wretch,…..assumed my friends had accepted and understood (even if  they were a tad annoyed) my present day personality…..Chapter One friend came to town during COVID.

Now that you are all caught up with Chapters One, Two and Three of my Chapters of  Friendship, let’s move on to Chapter Four shall we?

During this plague infested time of COVID, I have totally tipped the panic disorder severity scale. My friends (bar one), have been less neurotic, or should I say, they have been “normal”. I did not partake in….ummmmmm…… ANY FORM OF NORMAL HUMAN BEHAVIOUR!!

When our side of the world started getting back to some kind of, barely there, normality (that period shortly before abnormal became a thing again), my friends started getting together for coffee a little. Nope, not me….I stayed shut up in my hole, unless I absolutely HAD TO go work or get *&%$#@ food for my children, who INSISTED on eating during those months!! Sure I was judged, mocked, ridiculed….but I couldn’t have cared less. I desperately needed to stay safe!!

Now, just a bit of background info on me and my germ-a-phobias……..have none. Yes….I am as shocked as you….a phobia that I don’t have?? Wow….who knew?? I was that mother who, if dummy dropped on floor, couldn’t see the point in sterilizing said dummy, when I had just seen my child mopping the floor with their tongue anyway!! Washed child’s hair…child ran out to play with hair still wet….no problems here….child cannot get sick from wet hair!! Hot and humid night….fan on….children do not get sick from a draft!! Viruses make people sick……not air, wind and water!!! Dust…….dust can be annoying with allergic children….but what are you gonna do??

So when ”Rona” arrived on the scene, even my children were like, “mom…..what is wrong with you? You are not normally that person?” Well, now we were dealing with something new, foreign, cray cray…..I hadn’t put many years of thought process into this *&^%$ dreaded plague!! I reasoned with myself, not completely sure myself why I was behaving like that!! 

So life just paused in my house. No going out unless you ABSOLUTELY HAD TO!! This lasted for a good five months, until I could no longer chain the kids (more so the social butterfly I call Pepper) to a tree.

Back to my Chapter One friend, whose ”Namaste-ness” soothed my soul and calmed my ticks!! We kept in touch over the years via social media (so beneficial in situations like these), and saw each other once or twice, very fleetingly, when she visited family in the country. But for all intents and purposes, we were so distanced, that she just remained part of my first chapter of friends.  

In ”Covid December”, she had to return for a family situation, and she stayed for the longest she had ever stayed, so we saw more of each other than we had in 20 odd years. We spent very special and quality time together, and I literally felt as if she had never left.

I was always aware of how similar we were in certain respects. We were both very reserved, shy and, in retrospect, probably lacking more self esteem than a colony of teenagers!! Stop that frowning…….I see you……..I REALLY WAS that girl!! In fact, between you and me, I kind of am still that girl. But, be that as it may, we were also very different in many ways.

However, with this visit of hers, I realized how much more she understood me than I would ever have imagined.

Anyway, the conversation of ”Rona” came up…obviously….a lot’…… obviously. But on the one occasion she quite innocently said, “you know, I have been thinking a lot about you during this time, and wandered whether you are more stressed than me, being that you are your children’s only living parent?”

“Yes, yes I am”, I replied, explaining how, even though my children are now older and could be self sufficient if they had to be…….um….jury’s still out on that one……. it terrifies me to the depth of my being  to think of them losing me as well!! And we carried on with our afternoon chitter chatter.

At a later stage, she said how much she had missed my energy, honesty, candidness  and sensible way of looking at things (also known in my social circle, even by me, as my intense, tactless and  nutjob way of looking at things) She said she missed what she got from being with me. This calm and sensitive ‘’deserter’’, who I used to try and absorb the ‘’Namaste’’ from actually LOVED AND APPRECIATED…..AND MISSED my company!!

She enjoyed my company, she missed me and she appreciated me for who I was, and understood me for who I had become. I cannot tell you how validating that was for me. Just in the course of the light conversations we had together, and without being asked, and without even realising it, she made me realise that who I had become was who I always was, with a bit of ‘’life happens’’ along the way, and that I was actually not as horrendous as I had allowed myself to believe.

It was only when I got home, did I realise, that this “deserter”, who had, in the last 20 years, barely spent time or even chatted a great deal with me, had understood more about me than the friends that I had spent the last 15 years chatting to, and spending time with. It all fell into place (even for me), as to why I was behaving so out of character. I had just assumed my friends were right, and I was wrong, and bought into the ridicule.  Well knock me over with a steam train, why don’t you.

Thank you my deserter. I do not think you realize what you did for me. I was so touched by your message that I had ”filled your cup”.

You my friend, filled my soul.

Chapters of Friendship

Friend Applicants

When I was young (and clueless), my selection of friends required that the applicants tick every box on the Application Form. All boxes not ticked….move on to the next Application…..beat it sista!! So, as you can imagine, my friend selection criteria was incredibly harsh, but what else could a perfect person such as myself do?? Surely I could not have been expected to have befriended less than perfect people??

Anyway, you will be shocked to note, that I never actually found anyone who I considered “perfect” in the application process, but found a handful of ”as near as dammit” people. And so my few years of friend selections were fleeting. I say fleeting, because when I met my future husband at 16…well…I will get to that shortly.

The friends that have been in my life have been aligned to the three distinct chapters in my life (with other fuzzy chapters in between). There was Chapter 1, from birth to 16 years old (of which I remember next to nothing….snatches at best, and then meeting my husband at 16). Now, my husband, bless his cotton socks, was not a man who liked to socialize a lot….or at all for that matter. So I had my carefully selected ”as near as dammit” handful of friends by that stage, and they slotted in with my next chapter…obviously….otherwise it would have meant that there was a glitch in my selection process. But I was not releasing any new Applications for Friendship.

Now, one such friend, was a girl who was not connected to the others at all. She wasn’t a school friend or a social friend. She was kinda “my friend” as opposed to “our friend”. She was way more ‘’Namaste’’ than me. So, actually I loved her ‘’Namaste-ness’’, as it soothed my soul and calmed my ticks!! When she told me a thousand years ago, that she was emigrating to Canada, I was broken. I started distancing myself from her (for my own protection….as I do), and then she was gone. She made a significant comeback towards the end of Chapter Three, as will be dealt with in my next post.

Enter Chapter Two…..as far as friends go….totally uneventful. I still dabbled with Chapter One’s friends (other than the one that had THE AUDACITY to leave me high and dry, taking her ‘’Namaste-ness’’ with her). When my oldest child started school, I met a ”what’s her name” and a ”what’s her face” through our kids here and there, but honestly, I was still working full time, and my husband had still not felt any desire to do much socialising, so the friend application process was suspended until further notice.

The one ”what’s her name” was very special. Our sons developed a close bond, and she too was the most like me of all the ”what’s their faces”. She was so special, comforting, gentle, funny…..really funny…but quietly, in a ladylike and tactful manner! She just had this ability to take you under her wing, and make you feel safe. She became my new ‘’Namaste’’, and I kind of felt (as I still do), that we were destined to be friends.

There were just such notable instances over the years that made me feel that even if we lived on different sides of the world, we would have connected at some stage. Having said that, she is always on the bloody other side of the world, but comes home in between.

She too did not escape the process of me protecting myself emotionally, and distancing myself from her. Geeeez…aren’t you guys starting to regret not being one of my friends??? You too could be cut off emotionally by me in a heartbeat!!! That after having to endure the grueling application process to boot!

But this friend, even when she was on different sides of the world, would be such a comfort and presence in my chapters. She was and will always be ‘’my person’’ In fact, I considered her whole special family “my people”….still do….To be fair, I was blessed to have  few of those…still have! However, ”my person” rose to the occasion every time. 

Chapter three….my claim to fame….became a widow, and the ”what’s their names” and ”what’s their faces” all flooded to my side. They provided unbelievable emotional support. I felt as if they had physically lifted me up, and carried me through an emotionally trying chapter. I even started referring to them by their names!! They were each completely different people. There was very little any of us had in common, other than the fact that we were mothers, trying to get through mothering. Some came, some left…but the OGs were, and still are a very special source of friendship and therapy.

Of course, I also still had my Chapter One’s, who were totally part of my support system. They knew me from before I met my husband, knew my husband from the day I met him, knew us as a couple and our lives together. Some of the Chapter Threes had never even met my husband.

It was during Chapter Three (rather late than never), that I realised not all boxes need to be ticked in the friend application process. No, each person gives you something the other cannot. I had the sister, the friend, the confidante, the advisor, the grounder, and “my person”. AND, I still had my Chapter One’s. So I was one lucky somebody.

But because the Chapter Threes were so present and supportive during this time, I almost felt like they had been through this turmoil with me. Like they understood and accepted, when over time I changed in so many ways. Not by choice mind you. But when I went from being a fairly ‘’Namaste-ish’’, just wanting peace, love and happiness while I fulfil the role of wife and mother type of a gal, to becoming the sole supporter, nurturer, decision maker, stresser, neurotic, maladjusted, hardened, intolerant, and yes (as ‘my person’ so graciously slipped out once) INTOLERABLE wretch, I might have been expecting too much from my Chapter Threes to understand and accept this about me.

Over the last couple of years, I have realised how different our priorities are, how differently we see and do things and how different our lives are. All totally understandable mind you, but I just subconsciously assumed they got that. Not sure that this was totally fair to them…just was what it was….in fact is what it is. Unlike the Chapter One’s, they had no, or very little knowledge of me as a person before I lost my husband. So, although I was no placid Princess before, I certainly was not as bitter and twisted as I have become!!  

This point was so totally brought home to me a few weeks ago, when My Chapter One ”deserter” needed to come back during COVID for a family situation, and I realized the privilege of having friends from the days of yore in your life.

However, once again, I have waffled away on the one topic, and will have to discuss this lesson in my next blog.

But for now, I feel, it is the beginning of Chapter Four, which is perhaps going to be a merging of all my Chapter Ones, Twos and Threes. Perhaps (which I think everyone who reaches a certain age evolves into), the checklist in the Friend Application needs to be amended to the Friend Retention checklist, and perhaps more stringent requirements in the Application process need to make a comeback.

Click this link to apply………………….

Adios, adieu, sayonara, arrivederci, auf wiedersehen and bye-bye.


So, just to recap….husband died….devoted my life to and sacrificed the world for my children a la Mother Teresa. Discussed my first kick in the bum moment from my children in my last blog….you know….where I was told that this devotion and sacrifice WAS ENTIRELY TO THEIR DETRIMENT!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyhooo…..over that moment, moving on to the second (and hopefully last!!!!) kick in the &^%$# moment.

I have family and friends who live in all corners of the world. Time and time again, I have been offered, requested and even badgered by some, to visit them. 

“No I can’t”, I would answer, “I cannot afford to take a family of three on an overseas holiday”…or “my kids have school” or whatever else applied at the time. 

Their response was always “come without your kids, stay with us, you deserve a break”. Were these people of unsound mind??? My children and I do things as a unit, I am not rushing off to who knows where, and leaving my children behind. I mean did these people not know who I was?? Mother Teresa…suffering saint…martyr….paragon of virtue…….helloooooooo…did these people not get the memo????? 

Furthermore, how could I possibly have enjoyed something when my poor little sweetie darlings are sitting at home on their ownsome lonesome……like two little orphans….left to fend for themselves by their selfish and irresponsible mother? Poor Salt and Pepper…..just imagine?? Just so you know….they are now 20 and 23 years old, and I am still saying the same thing. 

So ”Rona” December, my older son (Pepper), informed me that he wanted to take me on a holiday to a Bush Lodge for two nights, because of the crazy, stressful year 2020 was. He said he really felt I needed a break, as we had not been on a holiday for a good couple of years.

“No, absolutely not! Firstly, there is this little thing called C-O-V-I-D!!” I said.

“It will be safer there than where we are now mom,” he reasoned.

“Well secondly, there is no way I am allowing you to pay for me!” I sternly pronounced.

“But I want to,” he declared, “it is to thank you for everything you have done for me.”

“I have done nothing more than any other mother would have done”, I said, holding back the tears of pride and joy, realising this was me finally getting acknowledged for my valiant efforts as the paragon of virtue who devoted her life to and sacrificed the world for her children. 

“You did plenty more than you needed to, and now that I have graduated, I want to thank you for paying for my studies”, he insisted.

“You don’t give ME a graduation gift, that is what I am supposed to give YOU?” I said….by now choking back the tears of gratitude ….… thinking of my friends telling me that they had bought their children fairly extravagant graduation gifts.

Look what all my sacrifices have given me, I thought, a thoughtful, gracious and selfless child. So now, not only did I feel guilty because I hadn’t bought him a graduation gift…BUT MORTIFIED, BECAUSE HE WANTS TO GIVE ME A GIFT. Is this kid playing games with me? I thought to myself. Is this his way of making me feel even worse than I do??

Anyway, he really was a persistent little bugger, but I insisted on paying for his brother (Salt), as Salt had just finished studying, but had no idea what the future year held, and I was NOT going to let him blow even a cent of his savings on anything as flimsy as a holiday!!

“I don’t think he wants to come” Pepper said. “I think he wants to stay at home rather.”

“Whaaaaaaaat???? What do you mean STAY AT HOME????” I asked.

“No, we were chatting, and he said he’d rather stay home and ‘chill’, and we could go” he replied.

“Not even a remote possibility” I said…………..”SAAAAAAAALT” I bellowed, summonsing this spice, just to clarify what he actually meant in discussions with Pepper, and which Pepper CLEARLY misinterpreted!!!!

So, Salt saunters into the room (as Salt does), and when posed with the question, casually confirms what Pepper had told me.

“No….you caaaaaaan’t!!!” I spewed.

“Why not?” the child even DARED to ask me.

“How do you think I can go and leave you here on your own? Not even an option” I demanded.

“But why not?’ he repeated.

“Because we are a family, and it just wouldn’t seem right” I explained.

“But why not?” he *&^%$ asked AGAIN.

Pepper then pipes up, and says “maybe he just wants to stay home and chill mom?”

“Why would he POSSIBLY rather do that??” I grumbled. ”I am sure he also wants to go away?”

That is when Salt, irritated by the fact that he was being discussed as if he wasn’t even in the room, took the matter in hand.

“Mom….do you understand that I have spent EVERY DAY for the last ten months with you guys??” he said, assuming he made his point.

“What’s your point?” I asked.

“You two go…..PLEASE….” he begged. ”I would love to just have 2 days at home to myself…..in fact, don’t be surprised if you get a message that an anonymous donor paid for an extra night” the little bastard, swine imbecile said!!!

“He’s right mom” the other little swine says, “ I wouldn’t mind staying home alone if you guys decide to go somewhere without me someday.”

“Oh”, I meekly said……thinking about all those lost opportunities over the years where my children actually would have wanted me to go….and there I was, the Mother Teresa…suffering saint…martyr….paragon of virtue, assuming that me devoting my life to and sacrificing the world for them was actually what they would have wanted…..even expected from me. But here they were telling me, that in fact, THEY WOULD HAVE LOVED ME TO HAVE GONE ON A FEW VACATIONS ALONE….you know….a la ”Home Alone”? 

So……. sneaking off to the bathroom to have ”a stern talk” to my husband…..check.

Finding myself a partner…..jury still out.

Booking a trip of a lifetime…..immediately as my bank balance allows.

Adios, adieu, sayonara, arrivederci, auf wiedersehen and bye-bye.


In the last couple of weeks, my children have brought two notably upsetting truths to my attention.

On completion of my rant about the one truth, I realized the second truth will have to wait until next time.

After my husband passed away, there was only one thing of which I was absolutely certain. I was going to make it my mission, that no matter what, my children’s lives were going to change as little as possible as a result of the loss we suffered. THERE WOULD BE CONTINUITY!!

 I was surrounded by concerned people (bless them, they meant well), that decided that I needed to find a partner. Some felt I needed to do so….…like forthwith……..post-haste!! Some broached this (what I imagined should have been perceived to be a very sensitive topic), VERY SOON….too soon, after I had lost this soul mate of mine! There are those that still, 15 years later, feel this is too sensitive a topic to discuss with me.

Interestingly enough, the closer the people are to me, the less likely they are to broach the subject. Probably because they know me well enough to know my answer! But I have evolved to a stage where if this question is posed, I really have no problem, on an emotional level in answering their question . My answer, however, is a bit wishy washy, as are my thoughts on it. The answer has always been crystal clear, it is the reasoning that has been the wishy and the washy!

For the first 5 years, I was in a semi vegetative state, so it was not even a thought. Eventually, it became less about the fact that I had been with my husband for 23 years, he was my one and only…my soul mate, my confidante, my companion and my friend. When the anger (as discussed in a previous post) set in, it was more about, when would I possibly even have the time (never mind the inclination) to meet someone else? It was simply never a thought or an option for me. But underlying everything was me not wanting my kids to have to be subjected to some random third party now entering their lives. We were a unit, and we will stay that unit. Only we knew what a traumatic experience we had, and only we knew how we would deal with it. THERE WOULD BE CONTINUITY!!

There have been those that have been so absolutely eager for me to “move on”, that they have even imagined fictitious relationships forming.

On one occasion I heard that my one brother had apparently decided that I was crushing on the 150 year old married vascular surgeon treating my mom at the time. 

On another occasion, my one friend decided that I was crushing on an out and proud gay Entertainment Coordinator on one of the holidays we went on. 

A friend’s mother-in-law, who was neither particularly partial to said friend, nor keen to engage in too much chit-chat with her, would ask every time said friend saw her, if I had found another man yet. She even passed along some advice for me through said friend, saying that perhaps if I wore some make up, fixed my hair and dressed a little smarter, I would find someone. Thank goodness she did not request that I change anything else………was there anything else?? Oh, my warm and engaging personality………yes……..phew……..thank the oceans she didn’t suggest I change that!!

And so it went……the Estate agent selling my house, the husband of another friend…..I could go on, but believe me when I tell you, there were a lot of requests for me to find a man!

There was even a request for me to ”move on” from my husband himself (via a medium I visited a year after his passing), but I will leave that there….for now.

So, essentially, my life has been consumed by my children. I did everything for them, went everywhere for them, ate for them, drank for them…. you know…like any regular mother…..well…helicopter mother…..except I was NOT A REGULAR MOTHER. No, I had lost my soul mate, my confidante, my companion and my friend.

So, when my kids were not yet ”human”, I had amazingly awesome friends who became my soul mates, my confidantes, my companions and my friends. However, as much as friends can fill your cup (and at times, more than a spouse), it’s just not the same when you need advice about your kids. If I was faced with an important decision, or choice, sure it was awesome to have them there to bounce things off. However, these poor friends had no idea, that after they spent quality time deliberating and giving their opinion on whatever quandary I faced at any given point, I would think what the bloody hell does she know about my children or our lives??” So I felt very alone in my decision making efforts during those years. I am sure some decisions were unbelievably impressive, and others were downright crap. But to be fair to myself, that is any parent’s lot in life. Big difference with two parents though….when things go South as a result of a decision made, each parent can blame the other, and they will both feel vindicated. I had no one to blame (other than my late husband, who you might remember, I turn my wrath upon, when feeling oh so sorry for myself.).

But guys, I had done it solo…on my own….no outside interference……what an impressive accomplishment!! My children remained intact….would grow up TOTALLY well rounded, lives undisturbed ……..I……SINGLE HANDEDLY…….HAD INSURED THAT CONTINUITY I PROMISED MYSELF I WOULD…..Bravo Grumpy Mummy, you did it …you astounding you, I told myself. 

Anyhoooo, as my children started getting older (and wiser), they started slowly becoming my soul mates, my confidantes, my companions and my friends. It happened organically….behind my back! If they saw I was upset or concerned about something, they would ask why. When they were younger, I kept everything from them…to protect them…keep them young…keep them innocent. But as they grew older (and wiser…dammit), it became more difficult, and I would chat to them, confide in them even ask their opinions. I realized that they had become way smarter than me (also behind my back). They relaxed me, made me feel like everything was always going to be alright. Wait a minute……this is THEIR fault!!!! Well not really, but can you blame for falling into that trap? The thing I have so agonizingly missed……having the emotional support ……was being handed to me on a platter. 

So please just imagine for a moment, how absolutely gutted I was, when during a lockdown discussion……debate……. dispute (all three actually), which then became an emotional plea (which in retrospect, was probably a planned intervention by these two traitors I call my sons), I was notified, in the nicest possible way of course, that they both felt a huge responsibility towards me, and anticipated this holding them back in the future. They explained very nicely…….like I was a two year old…….that they might one day feel the need to move in on their own, travel, take a work opportunity in another country etc, but they will always love me, and always be there for me.

WELL BLOW ME OVER WITH A BLOODY FEATHER!!! There I was patting myself on the back, for staying single, staying focused, keeping the circle round, and these little reprobates, in a five minute quarantine family chat, advised me that I actually caused more harm than good. And they are right!! By staying single and making them my life, the tables have now turned, and they feel they have to do the same for me.

I was gutted and honestly felt (and still feel) like I did my two beautiful boys an injustice. To these beautiful sons of mine, I say 1000 times over, I am sorry, and I promise to make changes to my life that will enable you to live yours to the fullest.

First……just sneaking off to the bathroom to have a ”chat” with my husband.

Second…….off to find a man…….hmmmmm, wonder how old that 150 year old vascular surgeon is now….no matter….have to start somewhere!!

GOLIATH VS GOLIATH and their itty bitty grumpy mummy….

Goliath vs Goliath

So, as previously mentioned in an earlier blog, I have Salt and Pepper for children….chalk and cheese…..apples and oranges…black and white……I really could go on, but I think you get the picture? This being said, there have been a number of …….. shall we say, ‘’differences of opinion’’ in my household over the years, as I assume there are in most?? Not yours? Just smile and nod…..I implore you!!

When my sons were just little itty-bitties, they were an average size. I am also just an average size. We were a fairly average sized household! Okay, not going to lie, they were always a little taller than their peers, but not dramatically. More importantly though, I was an adult, and they were still little itty-bitties. So when there were ‘’differences of opinions’’ so to speak, their size was not an issue. I would grab each one by the arm (firmly), and send them to their rooms to cool off……. easy. What a mother I was! Problems nipped in bud…..just like that!

But eventually these teensy weensy little darlings grew up, as they do. They didn’t just grow up, they grew into MAMMOTH BEASTS. Besides the obvious problem created for the mother…..me…I am the mother (who was still same size as before, but now looked itty-bitty next to them), this created a new set of problems, and even more troublesome, a new set of dynamics!!

My younger beast, Salt, is three years younger than Pepper. When they were teensy weensies, Pepper always had the upper hand. He was older, and he was for a long time bigger. When ‘’differences of opinions’’ emerged, Pepper treaded lightly, as he understood he was the older brother, and did not take advantage of his younger brother. But when Salt grew….my goodness gracious, HE GREW……tall, big and oaf like in stature did my Salt grow!! So now we had a situation of Salt, not the most even tempered oaf, suddenly realizing that, although his height was fairly similar to that of Pepper’s, his oaf like stature was going to be a huge advantage!! It was as if oaf had been unshackled….released into the Universe, to be an intimidating presence in poor Salt’s life.

Being the calm (not), relaxed (not) and composed (certainly not!!), mother that I am, I detected a problem or 3 in the horizon. For instance, I pictured Pepper being flattened by Salt like a bug, or either Salt or Pepper landing up shattering the glass coffee table, that they always bloody manage to stand so precariously close to when undertaking a  ‘’difference of opinion’’. Threatened to get rid of that table on many occasions I did, but then I reasoned that there were also windows ‘n stuff that one or both could go flying through!

Now, for you to comprehend why this apparent over reaction on my part reared its ugly head, I feel you need to understand a bit of family history on the part of the paternal and maternal ancestry of Salt and Pepper.

My husband was one of four brothers. A Lebanese family (continental, feisty and spirited), close, family oriented, bickered, pooped and farted…..BUT, when there was a ‘’difference of opinion’’.….tempers flared, fists flew, obscenities were yelled…once or twice mouths foamed…..I kid you not. This was COMPLETELY foreign to me!! The first time I witnessed this, I was ready to call for back up. But then, as quickly as it started, it ended. Back to the close knit family they had been five minutes prior. Us girlfriends and daughters-in-law became so unaffected by it, we would just carry on with whatever we were doing, as if nothing was happening.

Now, Salt and Pepper’s maternal side was in deep contrast to the feisty paternal side! I had three older brothers. Growing up, I have very few memories of arguments ever becoming physical between them. My two older brothers were the closest in age, so they would probably have been the best candidates for potential ‘’differences of opinion’’ They were chalk and cheese, just like my honey darlings. Big difference though, was that as much as my second oldest brother would have been game for a battle,  my oldest brother is the most evenly tempered, logical and philosophical person I have ever come across. Yes…we are full blood relatives, so don’t even ……. They were both a decade and a bit older than me, so I did not have any first hand experience of the dynamics between them. The third brother came along six years later, and there I did witness arguments and ‘’differences of opinion’’, but more in a big brother bullying a younger brother kind of way. We were more the sulkers than the fighters.

So, you see, I had to wait a minute to see in which direction my sons would go, in order to plan my strategy going forward. Well a minute passed, and well yes….of course,  over reaction on my part was completely justified. Of course the road taken by both oaf and the bigger oaf was the feisty and spirited road!!!

However, to all those single moms out there, who have 2 oaf like creatures…..feisty and spirited creatures, in your homes, I say this…..

There comes a time when you cannot physically separate two Goliaths. When two feisty and spirited Goliaths have ”differences of opinions’’, and your hand cannot even FIT around their arms any longer….or your screaming on the top of your voice is not even heard over said oafs yelling at each other…..get your car keys, go to your car and drive around the block until you get calls or messages from these sweety darlings, telling you to come back, or that they are sorry or that they love you, or all three. I have learnt that once you remove yourself from the situation, everything diffuses. Works like a charm!

To date, there has been no fists flown. I cannot lie, if this does ever happen, I see my inner beast coming out, and oafs or not….this itty bitty grumpy mummy will make Salt and Pepper wish they had never flown a fist!!!

Oh go ahead….judge me…..until you’e walked a mile in my shoes…blah bah blah


Our Rainbow Nation

Okay this is…..probably…..maybe…..perhaps  my last blog with political content…..promise…..probably……for a minute….let’s see……definitely for the moment. You see, what happens with me, is that I get the itch to write on a topic. Invariably once I start writing, I start waffling on about one particular aspect of the topic, and then, Bob’s your uncle, I have written a full blog, without having written on the various other aspects. So……..there you have it…….the behind the scenes workings of a Master Blogger!!

So, I am just going to say it…..shout it from the rooftops….even better, from the top of Table Mountain…..I live in THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!! Yes, damn straight it is South Africa. We have the BEST climate, the BEST food, the BEST cityscapes, townscapes, seascapes, waterscapes….EVERY CONCEIVABLE SCAPE!!!!! And if that wasn’t enough, we have the BEST PEOPLE…..hands down!!!

Yes, there is crime. This I cannot deny. However this  should not define our country!! Now, before you (most especially South Africans….. unquestionably the HARSHEST CRITICS of our beautiful country) start waving your hands in the air, hollering things like……

“What about the corruption? What about the poor standard of education? What about the economy and the frightful rate of our currency…….”

Let me just say the following…..

Corruption and crime go hand in hand, so for me they need to stay under one grumble. But having said that, there is crime everywhere in the world. Where there is power, there is corruption. True, South Africa has one of the highest crime rates worldwide….but we have found ways to live with it, and work around it. Not justifying it, but it is our claim to fame (crime), that has actually brought the majority of our people together. You know how trauma shared between  people can bring them closer together? That is essentially what has made the South African people so strong, so connected and so remarkably warm and friendly….you know….. everything everyone doesn’t seem to hear about, and everything a lot of South Africans just don’t seem to recognise.

The critics living here choose not to see (or for that matter, partake in) this phenomenon. To them, I say shame…you are missing out on so much. Being able to comprehend what another person is confiding, by having gone through similar experiences has created such strong bonds amongst our people.

Our currency rate is horrendous, but our standard of living is higher than most places. So for those middle to upper class South Africans living in South Africa, we all admittedly accept that if we were elsewhere, earning elsewhere’s currency, our standard of living would drop dramatically. For the South Africans living below the breadline, they would not be able to leave, so they have no choice but to remain here. Interestingly enough though, those are not the harshest critics. 

As far as our “poor standard of education” is concerned, I find it interesting that scholars from South African educational institutions, from my observations, are not required to repeat grades when moving to another country. If our system was so poor, surely they would not be able to cope without being held back? Furthermore, from what I have seen and heard, graduates from South African Universities are highly sought after internationally. This has been my personal experience. Perhaps you have opposing experiences to this, which I would be gladly be willing to hear.

Look, I do not profess to be any sort of seasoned international traveller, or unseasoned one at that, but I do have a brain, eyes, ears and common sense. So I kind of feel this make me qualified enough to have this discussion!

Thirty years ago I was hearing “this country has five years left”. Thirty years ago I was hearing “if we don’t leave now, in five years we’ll be leaving with just our clothes on our backs”. I have heard these and similar statements from way back then up until now. Not sure why it is always “five years”, but nevertheless “five years” it always is.

I constantly hear people saying “We have to leave this place”…..well…… off you go….why are you even still here? In fact, some of these people were saying that thirty years ago, and guess what……STILL HERE!!

“There is no future for us here”, said thirty years ago. Still here? Well clearly there has been, at the very least, a thirty year future so far? And you have survived? Made a living? Had and educated your kids? Lived well? Blow me over with a feather!!

Quick question though…..would you have survived, made a living, educated your kids and lived as well, if you had left all those years ago? When this question is posed to whomsoever dares say this in my presence, the general consensus is no, but their children would have been safer and had a better future. They know this how??

The most dispiriting aspect, is that most of the gloomy, pessimistic and negative naysayers, are those that are still living in and off this beautiful country of ours. It is either these people, or the ex pats, who just seem bitter and angry that they no longer live here. The people that have left, and are happy and comfortable with their decisions, do not talk about this country in a negative light. No need…they are happy and content..….The people that have left, and wish they had not, but cannot (for whatever reasons) come back, are the ones who have only good things to say.

So, when foreigners come and visit our country for the first time (generally they come back again), I always hear them say how much they love the country, and how they cannot believe how differently it was painted to them. The artists painting the picture, were either the people still living in and off this beautiful country, or those who still long to return, but cannot. 

I really find that sad. Worldwide people are so patriotic when it comes to their countries of birth or residence. Not for so many here in sunny South Africa….nope. Personally I believe that this lack of patriotism is one of the biggest problems in this country. Yes, it has been said that dissent is the highest form of Patriotism….but I speak not of dissent….I am speaking of negativity, PESSIMISM, DOOM AND GLOOM. If you don’t like the country, for crying in a bucket……. LEAVE!!!!!  

Now that we have cleared the air, allow me to move on to the biggest positive about this amazing land….the people. Yes the resilient, warm, playful, funny, generous, self-deprecating, resourceful, entrepreneurial and FRIENDLY melting pot of cultures. We are affectionately known as the rainbow nation, and that is exactly what we are! This of course applies to the majority of people. The minority should be shipped off to those greener pastures they incessantly refer to. It is that minority of grumbling Gerties that cast a shadow over this country!!

We have proven ourselves time and time again. When everything matters, we come together as a country and shine!! We shock the world, which is understandable, but the fact that we have to prove ourselves as a country to the negative and pessimistic South Africans themselves, is just downright sad!!  

Off you and your children go…..in all probability, I will be here to turn off the lights……me ‘n those clothes on my back that the grumblers keep referring to…..oh….and my children of course.

I pray that one day I will not be eating my words. I have no doubt that there are a lot of people waiting in the shadows to tell me “we told you so”. However this is my beautiful country with it’s beautiful people and it’s beautiful climate, food, landscapes and its beautiful melting pot of different cultures. I embrace everything about South Africa, and hope that the people who only have negative to say, start changing their negative mindset, and perhaps this country will indeed be what it already is for me…..the best country in the world!!

South Africa, I salute you!!


I know the content of my last few posts have been more political than grumpy mummy content. However, being a grumpy mummy does not strictly just involve being a mummy……more just being grumpy (something I do with such ease). But you will probably be glad to know….for now….my political opinions (aka rants and raves), are just about out my system….for the time being.

It is also a big decision to post political content, as there is always chance of being lambasted by people who misinterpret your words, or take them out of context, or just completely disagree with you!

There will always be the “White privilege” brigade…..the “tone deaf” brigade…..me…that’s me..…I am that brigade!! However, the “politically correct” brigade, is where I branch off in another direction. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the way I see it, is that when it comes to racial discrimination, people are ignorant, and hence, intolerant of other races and cultures. I also believe that they are not totally to blame for this. This increasing culture of political correctness, is not only going to keep racism very much alive, but is going to reverse so much of the progress that has taken place over the years. Will it not create a breeding ground for racists to become more racist, or turn many of the ignorant and uninformed into racists? Bear with me here……..

Intolerance is such a large part of racism. For me, intolerance is the root of all discrimination. This can be further cultivated by adding 1 tbsp of ignorance, 2 ml of upbringing and 1 tsp of being ill-informed, to produce different degrees and strains of bigotry. But bottom line….IGNORANCE CREATES DISCRIMINATION!!

So having said that, how do we educate the ignorant without discussing the subject openly, without debating and conversing about the issue? People have to tip toe around so many issues today…… one has to “watch what we say”, “be careful how we say it” and “stay away from sensitive issues.” How will the ignorant and ill-informed get educated and evolve? How does one manage to get them to understand something, when we are all too nervous to discuss it? These angry and bitter people, will now scream “everything has to be so damn politically correct”, “these people are so damn sensitive”, “they can talk about us, but we can’t say anything about them”….blah, blah blah. Has this not done the EXACT OPPOSITE of what this new era of political correctness is supposed to mend???

Let me explain by way of an experience I had approximately 30 years ago…….. damn….I am old!!!!!! This is something that has always remained sharply etched in my mind. I was in practise, and employed a Candidate Attorney (C.A), who was doing his practical training with me. Yes…..he was a Black guy…..not “an African” (the way people who are too scared to use the word “Black” when referring to…….well, a Black person……lest they be banished to purgatory for using a “politically incorrect” term). For me, an “African” is a person from Africa…..but that’s just me. Anyhoo back to my experience (which took place an upsettingly long time ago dammit!!) My C.A and I, together with a few others, were standing waiting for an elevator. When the elevator opened, he entered before me. Some buffoon took it upon himself to reprimand him for having no manners, as he “should let the lady go first”. My first thought was would he have done this if my C.A had been White? My second thought, which I verbalized, was “how dare you speak to my employee like that??” He just crept back into his shell and scuttled away.

My C.A was very dejected (understandably, since he had just been reprimanded by said buffoon, and couldn’t dare defend himself). I then apologized on behalf of buffoon, but he then proceeded to explain to me, that the reason he did that, was because in his culture, the man has to enter a room first to ensure it is safe for the woman to enter. Simple…got it…understood and actually appreciated the custom.

Now, if we had not been allowed to have this discussion, I would still be ignorant to this. This gentleman (buffoon), putting aside the manner in which he handled the situation, felt that he needed to teach a young man manners…..HIS manners. Perhaps if a conversation could have been had amongst all of us, that moment would have been an opportunity for him to learn about, and appreciate someone else’s custom. The next time he saw this happen, he might even have smiled and appreciated the behaviour that made him so angry on that day. Now imagine that snowballing?

The different cultures in South Africa are so incredibly diverse. That is what makes this country so special! There is even diversity within the Black culture itself  There are various tribes that each have their own unique characteristics. Their culture is expressed in their arts and crafts, their fascinating folklore and religion, clothing, cuisine, music and languages. How do we understand, learn and become TOLERANT of our neighbors, our fellow man, if we are too scared to have these discussions??

Regarding political correctness worldwide, I get the feeling that political correctness is taken to a whole other level internationally. I also truly get the impression that racism is a much larger problem overseas than it is in Africa. Africa (for the most part) is a continent of very even tempered, unassuming and self-deprecating people. It is possible that in Africa, the Black population is the majority, so the ratio of bigots to humans is on a much smaller and controllable scale.

Overseas, things are quiet on the surface, but it appears that there is a lot of frustration erupting under the surface. Eventually this just then manifests as anger and hatred. So Pleasantville on the surface is the goal, despite all this anger and hatred bubbling under the surface? Totally absurd!!

Regularly seeing on the media how Black people in America are victimized, abused or murdered by the authorities is insufferable. It is agonizing for me to see what is happening, and it is even more disturbing when you witness how they escape any kind of accountability. Every so often, a bunch of people, who feel they have had enough of this insufferable behaviour on the part of the authorities, take to the streets to voice their anger and pain, only to be condemned for their ”unacceptable behaviour”. However, without this behaviour, the perpetrators would never be held accountable. Even then, when these protests draw attention to the problem, all that happens is that some bogus investigations and here and there (when the authorities have not managed to succeed in the ”we thought he had a gun” defence), there might be some bogus suspensions that take place……. just to keep everyone quiet. All the while, knowing the media, as they never fail to do, will move on to the next newsworthy story, and these offenders will quietly be sent back to their workplace to continue their abhorrent behaviour. This, only to have the same thing happen a few days, weeks or months later!! Retribution is non-existent. It is terrifying.

For me, this situation is becoming more blatant and taking place more nonchalantly than ever before. It is as if the more stringent the rules of political correctness become, the more these racists, bigots…..MURDERERS want to laugh in the face of these rules. It is like poking the dragon. It just makes them more angry, more toxic and more IGNORANT!!!

Perhaps there is such a thing as being too politically correct? Or perhaps we have lost the plot?? Don’t misunderstand me, there is most definitely a place for political correctness in our society. There are so many people who need to know that they need to be mindful of what you say. That racial intolerance (or any intolerance for that matter) cannot be condoned. They also need to be mindful of being tone deaf…..although the majority of tone deaf people have no idea that their words or actions  are actually tone deaf.  However, to have a better understanding, tone deaf people would need to be educated on why their words or actions were perceived as being such. How do they understand this, if conversations cannot take place?

As I see it, the climate of political correctness, has created the scenarios of words or conduct becoming national and sometimes international calamities, in anything from 0 to 60 seconds! We are missing the chunk in between the words or conduct and the calamity…….DISCUSSION….DEBATE….KNOWLEDGE!!!!

Look at it this way…….if I was speaking to someone about a blonde lady, who was standing next to a brunette lady, and someone asks “which lady are you referring to”, I would reply “the blonde lady.” Yes, I get this analogy is different, as there is a history of oppression, yes I get that there are dimwits who need guidelines to behave in a socially acceptable manner, but can we not JUST CALM THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THE *&^$#@%$ DOWN???? 

Let’s rather try and talk to each other, learn from each other and maybe one day, love and respect each other. Comprende??


So, as I mentioned in my previous blog, here I am 25 years post apartheid, a South African White and previously advantaged  female. Well, perhaps less of the ”previously”, as I will always continue to reap the benefits of having had those priveleges and advantages over my non-white counterparts. A concept which is SO foreign to SO many.

I grew up with so many more opportunities than my non-white counterparts. I grew up in better living conditions, a better environment, better education, better health care, had more opportunities….the list goes on. I also grew up with the privilege of not having to worry about being racially profiled, and not having to live in fear of my or my family’s freedom or safety every day. 

Please do not see me as some liberal free spirited flower child, who sits under a tree, sips milk and peacefully sings along to ”Kumbaya” type of gal. ‘Tis true, that song formed a large part of my background music as a child, but that is only because I have a couple of brothers who did in fact grow up in the Sixties, sat under a tree, sipped milk and sung along to Kumbaya. Do have loads of love for that song though……but as I mentioned previously…I was the indifferent and ignorant teenager, and my teenage years were only in the Seventies…so I just listened to the song for enjoyment. 

Things have certainly progressed in the right direction in South Africa. There are more opportunities for non-whites, access to better education, health care and living conditions. There are, however, a vast majority of people who still cannot afford the better education, health care and living conditions. In fact, those that can, need to be commended, as their road to get there cannot ever be underestimated!!

There is also still so much ignorance on the part of so many of the White South Africans. It literally baffles me to my core, that people cannot comprehend the long term effects of racial inequality. 

They accept that the prejudice, bigotry, hatred and segregation that once was, was not acceptable. However, too many White South Africans make the most ignorant, lamebrain and dimwitted statements and observations.

Now, being lamebrain and dimwitted is totally on them. Ignorance, however, might not be totally within their control, especially in the current climate. However, this I shall get to another time. I just need to get these statements and observations off my chest for the moment.

Whenever I am present during such discussions, I (loudly and passionately) voice my opinion. I used to believe that people just needed to be more informed. I almost pitied them for being so out of touch, with what for me was so apparent. But one thing is for sure, and it is not through lack of trying…….I CANNOT GET THEM TO CAPICHE!!!!!

So back to those statements and observations….

”There is no excuse for a non-white South African to be struggling anymore. They have the same opportunities as us now.”

Do they really??? So the fact that their parents were not able to receive a decent or any education, were prevented from amassing and maintaining wealth the same way our parents could, has no impact on their children’s lives today???? I think not!!

So you are saying that your children’s non white counterparts, whose parents did not receive the education or opportunities you had the privilege of receiving….in fact the RIGHT to receive, are on an equal footing??? How is that even conceivable?? 

My son even manages to comprehend that, while he finds studying for his degree tough, in his privileged surroundings, with his electric lighting, a full stomach, and a car to drive to and from University, his situation is IMMENSELY different to the vast majority of his non-white counterparts. Many of the students do not have all, or any of these luxuries. Yet, they work harder, get up earlier, get home later and so many even do better. And when I have to hear that the only reason they get better marks, or even pass, is because they are graded differently, I want to erupt into flames!!!

WHAT CAN YOU NOT COMPREHEND???? Hopefully the world will reach a stage where the disparity created by racism narrows, and non white families WILL have the means and opportunities of  their White counterparts. But if you think that this is where we are now……oh brother….what chance do we have of righting all the wrongs??????

Another dumbass statement….

”Our kids better apply to Universities overseas, they will not get into the Institution or Degree they want to here, because of their skin colour.”

Now, full disclosure, when I was looking to apply at Universities for my son, I almost thought that maybe these blanket statements, that are so frequently and comfortably voiced (with such authority mind you), might bear some truth. Not a conversation took place between parents where this topic was not discussed.  Perhaps you ARE that  liberal free spirited flower child, that refuses to accept the true state of affairs, I thought to myself.

I also assumed that all these kids would in fact not be educated in this country, as apparently all these parents had spent a good year discussing how they have to send their geniuses off to greener pastures to be educated.

Amazingly enough, all the White children (who apparently are now the disadvantaged, according to their parents), that I knew, managed to get into the Universities and the degrees that they had chosen…..in this apparently ”awful country” of South Africa. Of course there were one or two who might have had to settle for studying towards a degree that was their second choice, but who is to say that this had anything to do with them being the ”wrong colour.”

There are some faculties at the Universities that have a more rigid quota system, but this is to try and equalise opportunities. This DOES NOT mean that the non-white student who was accepted over the White student, did not deserve their place. They still need to have sufficient points to qualify. Even then, there is inequality, as there is still a large disparity between historically-Black and historically White schools…..and even Universities. Hence, it is still the White students, who have an advantage of their counterparts, who might not have attended one of the “better schools”.

These pundits truly believe that the Universities in this country will accept a non-white student with absolutely no, or limited academic ability, over a White student who is apparently considerably more deserving, just to fill the quota. Yes…….please listen to the reasoning, and tell me I am not going mad for wanting to explode into flames when I have to listen to this tripe!!! People genuinely have the conversation that the non-white applicant, who had passed Grade 12, probably had not ”deserved” to pass. They believe that the adequate points they attained to be accepted for any given degree, in all likelihood were inflated, so that they could be accepted over the much more deserving White student. They were apparently accepted only because they were previously disadvantaged. ”Reverse racism” they cry out…………where is that damn rolly eyed emoji when you need it??

So to sum up…..these blithering baffoons believe that the uneducated non-white person was accepted to study towards a Degree, and their brilliant honey bunny (or hunny bunny’s friend/friend’s sister/friend’s cousin) was not ALL BECAUSE OF REVERSE RACISM!!!!! And if that wasn’t enough rot for you…brace yourselves….because apparently these uneducated and undeserving students will, in actual fact, get their degrees whether they pass or not  ALL BECAUSE OF REVERSE RACISM!!!!!

Part of me wonders (and hopes) that if these geniuses spewing out this dribble, were to actually read the last paragraph, they would understand how UTTERLY STUPID THEY SOUND!!!!! But probably not. They will probably (and in fact do) just shake their heads, and discuss what a ranting, raving and emotional nutjob I am!!

Yet, if they are to be believed, all the professionals in this here country of mine, in the near future, will actually be uneducated and unqualified. Imagine that?? Clearly this is absolutely absurd. Please tell me this is absurd!!!!!!

Ofcourse, once their children are getting close to graduating (for the degree that they were not going to get into…because they were the ”wrong colour”), these parents then start with the next series of statements and observations…. 

“Our kids will never find a job in this country….they need to go elsewhere….there are no opportunities here….they are the wrong colour.”

Are they really? I know many White graduates that secured a position. Maybe they slipped through the cracks…who knows?? Or maybe….now hear me out on this one…….THERE ARE IN FACT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR CHILDREN IN THIS COUNTRY!!!!! 

Yes, the playing fields are levelling out. Yes, White job applicants have more competition than they had in the past. But this does not mean that there are NO opportunities for White applicants. It is harder than it used to be. There are times where promotions are given to the non-white applicant over the White applicant, but this is all necessary in order to right those wrongs that took place over so many years. 

Is it fair? Maybe not. But it is certainly more fair than the previous era, don’t you think??


I had set out to write about the extremely sensitive topic of racism, well my experiences of racism….you know…as any White South African privileged female experiences …uuuuum…..okay, let me rather say my perception of racism…… but landed up getting sidetracked (as I do), about my experiences as a criminal law Attorney in South Africa, a few lifetimes ago.

The tone of this Blog is going to be more cordial and less snarky than my average tone. Believe me, this is not something I am thrilled about, as somehow snarkiness is my forte!! However, I totally feel the need to get this off my chest, which essentially is the purpose of blogging, is it not? So bear with me and my lack of snarkiness in this here blog!!

So I was born and bred in the beautiful country of South Africa. I am a 50 something White South African female, who grew up in the heart of the Apartheid era.

As a child, I never questioned what was going on around me – at all – about anything, even unrelated to race relations. I was indifferent, unobservant and oblivious….. I was the person who I have very little tolerance for nowadays!! I do not remember my parents trying to indoctrinate me in any way. Race was never mentioned or discussed in my presence. To the best of my recollection, I was never raised to believe that I was different from, or better than anyone else. Perhaps, being the fourth child, my parents just didn’t spend too much time trying to ”enlighten” me about the way of the world, as by that stage they had realised that I was going to learn everything as I forged ahead on my journey anyway. So, my parents could have been racist, but it was never apparent to me.  

Yes, I did grow up white and privileged…..but did not realise this at the time. In retrospect, the fact that the oppression, inequality, and discrimination which had to be going on all around me, was not something which I had noticed or questioned, made me guilty of White ignorance. Something my generation manages to use as justification for not being part of the problem. We plead ignorance. I WAS ignorant, but does that make it forgivable?  

However, I did grow up in a world of absolute inequality. I went to a school where there were only Whites – never even for a moment wondered why. Lived in a neighborhood where only Whites resided – never even questioned why. Lived in a time when there were “jobs for Blacks” and “jobs for Whites” – never questioned that either.  Yes, oblivious to it all I was. I was happy living in my little peaceful bubble.

After matriculating from my exclusively White school, I entered University to study Law. I was not one who had always dreamed of becoming a lawyer, but because I was ”that person” (you know….indifferent, unobservant and oblivious), I had not yet contemplated my future….my dreams….my passions or my purpose. So, long and boring story short, I decided to study law until I had an idea of what I wanted for my life.

The student population was for the most part White. Yet, I still had no conversations with either myself or others as to why this was so…..again, White ignorance. However, when I did eventually step out of my state of oblivion, that little peaceful and ignorant bubble of mine did not merely burst, it exploded!

I always favoured the underdog…..always wanted the world to be just. This of course makes it all the more surprising that I had never noticed all the injustice around me. Once I started observing so many injustices and so much inappropriate behaviour, and heard so many unacceptable conversations, I was determined to fight the good fight!!

Thomas Jefferson said “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty.” I spent most of my years in my professional practise opposing the legal system, challenging the system……”resisting” the system…a la Thomas Jefferson!  For the most part I had success, but I realised in the big scheme of things, the disparity of the legal system was not going to change. Only if someone was fortunate enough to have a person fighting for their rights, they might escape the results of the extremely biased legal system, and even then it was not a guarantee.

In those days, the majority of the legal Institutions were inhabited by a very racist culture. Even the non-white people within the legal institutions were racist towards other non-white people. From the police all the way up to the Courts there was just a culture of racism, and no-one seemed to be bothered by it. They were in that peaceful bubble that I once lived in…..not a place to be for change to take place!!

There were days when I got home from work, that I cried ….out of frustration……out of anger, or just out of sheer sadness. I realised that even though I was there gallantly resisting the system, like Tommy told me to, I was not going to CHANGE the system….this prejudiced, bigoted and discriminatory system. I am not even referring to the laws…it was the PROCEDURE that was so unfair.

If the unfair system was not enough, there was the abundance of blatant corruption. This was there just to make sure that if you, a White or affluent person, found yourself facing the justice system,  and by some default possibly slipped through the cracks of everything else in the legal system that protected your White and/or affluent ass, you could always pay some or other official to ensure you escaped the long arm of the law! And yes…..shock horror to all those racists who are still walking amongst us, corruption was widespread, even in the ”old white South Africa”!!! So to sum up…..the racism and inequality that existed in the legal system and institutions, resulted in the wrong people facing time in custody (at the very least), and probably being incarcerated.

It was the people who could either not afford adequate legal representation, or to pay someone to make their criminal docket ”disappear”, the petty thieves for the most part, that were dealt the rotten hand. It was during these years that I realised exactly how much inequality there was.

There were a few significant events which led me to eventually leaving the legal profession. One such event was when I decided that, if the corruption did not come to an end, the crime in our country would escalate to unimaginable heights. So youth and innocence led me to going public with what I had experienced. Everyone in the legal system knew it existed. There were those who participated in the corruption, and there were those who knew the corruption existed, but chose to ignore it. Well I was neither, I thought to myself. I was going to single handedly end corruption in the country!! That was my purpose, my reason for which I was created!! Wowzer…..there it was MY DREAMS, PASSION AND PURPOSE! Well, apparently not!! For a couple of weeks after the story went public, there was a lot of hoo hah in all the media, and then the next newsworthy event took over. All I achieved from my valiant effort, was finding my car tyres slashed outside the Courthouse! Well that was that then…..clearly I had another purpose??

Another event was when one of my clients, who was out on bail for an offence, was shot dead by the police for trying to rob a bank…..to get money……to pay the Detective working on his first arrest…….to ”make everything disappear”. What made this even more shocking, was when the Detective gleefully told me why my client had attempted to rob the bank!

But the final straw was when a prosecutor approached me to discuss a ”deal” with my client. Not your regular plea deal you understand? When I reported this prosecutor, and realised that no action was going to be taken against him, it was my time to realise that nobody, least of all me, was going to change the system. So I had to make a decision to either “suck it up”‘ and continue to try and do what I could to help whomever I could, or to pack my briefcase and exit the profession. Not my proudest moment I’ll admit, but the fact that I could not quietly stand by and watch what was going on, and had in the interim had one baby and was pregnant with the next, kind of had me packing that briefcase and exiting the profession.

So many years have passed, and the corruption still exists. It has reached an all time high, in that it is now even more prevalent, more blatant, and costs people a lot less to make things “disappear”. Corrupt traffic cops are a dime a dozen, everyone knows it, the majority of the population are complicit in the corruption. Who can blame them really, when they know that trying to eradicate it by reporting it will get them nowhere!!  In fact, when both my children started driving, my conversation to them was not, ”be vigilant of criminals”, but rather ”be vigilant of the cops.” 

I am not in the system any longer, but just from my observations, it appears that there is still way too much inequality, and the previously disadvantaged still get the raw end of the deal.

It is no longer a few rotten apples in the barrel. Unfortunately, the large majority of the barrel is now rotten. What chance do the other apples have? What chance does our amazing Country have of eradicating the biggest problem we have? I truly believe (naively perhaps), that sometime in the future there is going to be SOMEONE who believes when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty, and not only fights the good fight, but triumphs!!