A chance encounter with the Primrose Rugby Club

It was per chance that I found this article today. To all the Primrose Rugby boys, staff and parents who traveled on this flight with us…I’m sure you will all just be smiling when you read this.

Tim Bruwer Blog

Primrose Rugby Club 2

On a blustery day in September 2012 my wife and I were relaxing in our seats in the rear of a plane on the tarmac at Cape Town’s international airport on our way back to Australia, when a babble of excited voices filled the aircraft and a group of young boys, accompanied by some adults, made their way to where we were sitting. We quietly braced ourselves for a long and noisy flight.

The boys were all dark-skinned and clearly belonged to some sort of sporting club.

Whilst growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid era, I had never once played sport against, nor even sat next to anyone who was not white. Under the laws of the time everything relating to racial matters was separate or ‘apart’ – sport, public transport, park benches, churches, schools, toilets and even public parks.

Having been active in the Anti-Apartheid movement for…

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Lion’s Head

Lion’s head is a mountain in Cape Town located between Signal Hill and Table Mountain and from what I now know, peaks at just over 669m above sea level. This would have been useful to know before I actually agreed to hike up this mountain.
So Elroy, my work colleague says: “Zivs, let’s do an early morning hike up Lion’s Head this Sunday.” Fuz, my other colleague and I are all excited since we’re on this “get fit” buzz but not actually doing anything but talk, to get fit. Although Fuz has been doing a bit of Parkruns lately, like most of Cape Town.
So on Saturday night, my bag is packed. Clothes are ready for my big hike. I don’t have a CLUE what I’m in for, but I am ready to go. I have very little sleep that night fearing that I won’t hear my alarm and be embarrassed to have my colleagues at my front door with me in pyjamas. I have this image in my head, me sweating like a horse, drinking lots of water. My over active brain is not even registering that there’s going to be strenuous activity at all!!

Elroy is outside my front door at 6.15am on Sunday morning. Mug of coffee in hand and we are getting ready to go. Mandy, my overly excited neighbour, is out in the road in pyjamas asking me if I’m seriously going on this hike, but saying that she’s very proud of us all. The adrenaline is pumping all the more now that she’s there cheering me on. I love the fact that people who know me, believe that I’m unable to do things. I want to go out and do it just to prove them wrong then.

So a 10 minute drive to our destination. The road is dark but when we reach the starting point, there appear to be hundreds of cars and clearly many people with head lights almost already at the top of the mountain. I am soooooo ready for this. Gripping stuff. People always talk about this hike. My younger sister has pictures to prove that she’s already done it and now here I am, ready for this Lion’s Head.

2 MINUTES into this hike and I’m huffing and puffing, reaching for my water bottle. Fuz shares my sentiments that this wasn’t exactly what we signed up for, but on we trek. Sulaiman and Elroy are ahead of us thankfully so can’t see just how pathetic we look at the very start of this trail. My inner child wants to run back and say, “I’ve changed my mind” but the adult inside of me says: “if Anna Steele could cope with a spanking from Christian Grey in his Red Room of Pain, what makes this so hard?”. I think I said the word “Fuck “more times than my colleagues can remember.

So we pass the first stretch and I’m waiting for a plateau but sadly it doesn’t arrive. My “Fuck” has now been replaced with “What the fuck was I thinking”. The next leg involves climbing rocks, hanging on chains and climbing up steel ladders. I’m starting to feel like I’m in an episode of Survivor Africa. This part I knew about, but in my head I kept thinking that it couldn’t be that bad. My concern was also that Fuz has shorter legs than I do but who was I going to save first if we were falling down the mountain. The further up the mountain we moved , the more Fuz kept cursing saying that she’s certain even getting the selfie at the top wasn’t worth this pain.

People started passing us, moving downwards and telling us not much further to go. Like seriously?? To me it looked like we were about 5 minutes from the top but I was told just another 15 minutes. My breathing had settled but my legs weren’t playing the same game with me.
And then, at last, we get to the top after one and a half hours. No one exchanged as little as a “Finally”. We sit quietly. Elroy and Sulaiman light their cigarettes. Forget that this is a fire hazard. I take out the steak pies. Fuz was smart enough to pack in yogurt. Certainly a much healthier option, considering our mission and Sulaiman brought along frozen water bompies which he collected at the Two Oceans race. Very smart.

So in typical Cape Town style, we take the selfies. We smile and wave regardless of the pain we feel. We say how beautiful our city is and how we really don’t appreciate its beauty enough and slowly we make our way down the mountain so that we can Instagram the pics and show our friends how horribly cool we are having climbed all the way to the top of this mountain.

I’ve ticked this off my bucket list. It’s unlikely I will do it again, but yes, it was absolutely breath taking and by that I mean the hike literally took my breath away.
Thanks Elroy, Sulaiman and Fuz for laughing with and at me all the way to the top. You made it worth the pain!
Let’s do another route some time.

Love you.

 

Thoughts for Today

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!

To those who celebrate, hope you’re all having a wonderful time. I personally don’t celebrate Valentines day because I think its an excuse to actually tell someone you like them AND buy them food or something. One should never need to do that, but hey, that’s your choice.

Was chatting to some friends again and was just talking about this new Ed Sheeran song, Shape of you, and saying how its grown on me. I didn’t enjoy it much when I first heard it, but have started to like the beat. The video is pretty cool too.

Wish I could have someone sing that he’s “in love with your body” ( even after the four kids and stretch marks)and then have Bruno Mars tell me to leave that “Versace on the floor”. I would even leave that MRP or AC Kermans item on the floor for him!!!!

Anyway, just my thoughts for today. Hope you have a WONDERFUL Tuesday.

What is this thing called PMS?

PreMenstrual Syndrome

According to my little Google search, PMS stands for “PreMenstrual Syndrome – it’s the combination of symptoms that some women suffer from a week or so before their period. Symptoms appear before your period starts (as many as five days) and will disappear during your period.” Really lovely definition I say in a mocking British accent , but do you truly know what these “symptoms” are all about?

Every month this creature arrives and takes control of my very being. I know there are millions of women out there who share my sentiments and that’s why I felt the need to share my thoughts with the male species. They call her “Aunty” (more like Evil Aunty), or The Red Ferrari and a million other things but no man can EVER know what a woman goes through during this time. Yes, of course, there’s the exception of those few really special ladies who don’t feel a thing, but I believe the general female population are with me on this one.
Now, there are obvious physical symptoms which most of us are very familiar with but this isn’t the bit that I want to talk about. It’s the hormone bit. The one that our male species have difficulty with. Although we are already complex creatures, PMS takes our level of “complex” to new heights. We move from totally loveable and happy ,to dark and dangerous before you can say “Spiderman Help Me.”One minute you’re in laughing about some joke that he told you and the next minute you hear yourself asking: ” What’s so funny? Are you laughing at me??” He, is totally confused because he, thought you were sharing a funny moment.
Yes, you men are all smiling now and nodding your heads and saying: “Ja, why do you women do that?” Truth be told, we DON’T know. We can tell you a million times to stay out of our way because we have PMS but we don’t know what we’re capable of doing. The hormones are almost in total control, I would imagine it’s like having your body taken over by an alien. This is the point where its safer for men just to steer clear because no matter how good your intentions, we WILL find something wrong with your last comment.
I heard my sons talk about a female teacher recently and complained that she was so grumpy, she appeared to be “on her period all the time “. I feel really sorry for PMSing teachers in boys-only schools. Not because boys together can be ruthless, but because teachers aren’t allowed to slap the little shits. I can only imagine that girls-only schools are a thousand times worse especially since it’s a fact that women who share the same space daily like work colleagues or class mates, go into their cycle at about the same time. Multiple murders then I guess.
A little while ago I read a book called The Red Tent . It takes one on a journey into the desert during biblical times and shows us how even back then, women were kept separate from their male counterparts during their menstrual time. They were in a state of impurity or fragility and were exempt from performing certain domestic functions. I don’t however believe that this was the only reason they were kept separate. Back then men didn’t have tons of encyclopedias about PMS. They followed their gut and so I believe that their gut told them to steer clear of women in that state.
I remember always telling friends that even I feared myself during my menstrual cycle. If there was ever a time that I would commit a murder it would be during that time. Only to wake up a week later all teary wondering what demon had possessed my body this time. You ladies out there KNOW what I’m talking about and as many times as we tell ourselves that we will be more mindful next month round, it’s just out of our control.
Shane’s solution to this all is a “PREMENSTRUAL Goody bag” which he would be happy to put together for us ladies and I would naturally do the marketing. He suggests that this little bag contains things like chocolate, sweets and other nibbles which I thought was a novel idea. Sadly, Shane, I think you’re missing the important bit. I think you should include a sedative of some sort (stronger than chocolate that is, and preferably one that comes in a box from some Pharmacy) a bottle of something stronger than Coke and a Romcom.

So ladies, You are not Alone, said Michael Jackson and I believed him! 

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13. University of life: (Mom’s lectures)

Our elders did not have much tertiary education, but they are so much wiser than so many younger people who do. * You may say that they attended the “University of Life” where you learn through “ex…

Source: 13. University of life: (Mom’s lectures)

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PARENTING PORN

“Carlin, what is the origin of porn?

Porn has always been with us. The earliest nude drawings were discovered in the Chauvet cave complex dating back to the Paleolithic period. They discovered engraved images of female reclining nudes and vulvas created by man in 10,000 B.C.

Video-based porn started in the 1920s, with short films called “smokers” that depicted both heterosexual and homosexual sex acts.” Excerpt from article on Huffington Post :Do Women Really Hate Porn? An Interview with Carlin Ross- February 2016.

 

So my sons and I have had this discussion several times and they have been asking me when I’ll be posting this article.I’ve put off this task for a while thinking that in my community these things are not generally discussed in a public forum but then I asked myself why the hell not??

There are so many questions that we all have on this topic but are too scared to ask them for fear of being judged.

I wish we could all learn to have important conversations with our children and ourselves for that matter. Conversations about keeping Pornography in the home for example.

Ok, you can all start breathing again. I won’t post any porn pictures on this site. I would really just like to start a frank discussion with parents out there. We know that many boys and equally so girls, in their teens watch pornography. With advances in technology, our kids are able to access this so much easier and maybe this explains why my sons have password locks on their phones but aren’t concerned about me rummaging through their wardrobes.:)

We all know that this happens. Maybe some parents believe that their kids have never watched or seen pornography in any form, and yes there are many who haven’t, but there are oh, so many, who have. Is watching pornography worse than watching violent or horror movies?

What do you do when you’re scanning through the family laptop one day in desperate need of a copy of that CV that you saved in 1920 something and discover a folder which looks like it holds the said CV but instead find something that looks more like Godzilla. Someone’s vagina is staring straight at you and you die instantly and close the file. Sitting dazed for a few minutes. Totally in shock as to how this non Van Gogh artwork has found a place on your laptop. So slowly your hand moves over to the mouse again and you click on the same “Godzilla” folder hoping to find the Tooth Fairy Files , but there it is again…GODZILLA!! I’m sure many of you have had this experience. Some may just have felt too awkward to discuss this with their kids and swept it under the rug. I know some of you probably grounded your kids because of something like this and the kids still don’t know why they’ve been grounded.

So, who has this discussion with the kids? Mom, Dad or both? What about single parents? How do we broach this subject with our teenagers? Do you wait and pray a lot that you never find the stuff on their laptop or are you one of those parents who believe that your child would never do “stuff” like that. Take it from me. They Do, do stuff like that whether  we have put the fear of God into them or not. Kids are curious and they have raging hormones.

Do we feel that because we believe our kids won’t do it, that these discussions should not happen in the home? Growing up, our parents’ approach to sexual content  was extremely conservative.  With time, some have changed but it’s also not easy for parents.

When we asked questions, our parents offered a response. If we asked , “But why?” we were told; “because I said so!” and that was the end of the discussion. Times have changed. If we as parents don’t have these discussions and share our views with our kids, they WILL find the information elsewhere.

I think of my very first discussion with my kids on this topic. I still cringe at the thought. There is no right way to have this discussion. Should we as parents be proactive or reactive about this topic?

Let me have your thoughts. Would you have these discussions with your teenagers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maths Matters

Do all kids battle with Mathematics or just the ones I know? I recall being at high school and switching from Maths to Business Economics(B.E.) Back then Maths Literacy wasn’t a subject. I …

Source: Maths Matters