This is 13

His thirteenth birthday has come and gone.

It was a whirlwind of the weekend filled with friends, and long nights… just what he wanted. We organised a sleepover with two of his friends… well “sleepover” is a stretch, because they played Fifa on Xbox for the entire night, lounging around on a massive bed we’d made from blow-up mattresses. The next day, we took him and some friends to the movies and Milky Lane for waffles. He had a ball, and they were shattered afterwards and went to bed super early. Success!

So 13 at the moment…

He’s tall and lanky now. He’s taller than me, and that gap is increasing.

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The iPhone and headphones are constant companions. And if you’re wondering about apps… it’s mostly Whatsapp, Apple Music and YouTube. Oh and the soccer results websites.

He’s soccer crazy!! And he’s disappointed that the high schools on his list don’t play the game. If he’s not playing Fifa Xbox, then he’s playing soccer outside with Connor, or talking non-stop about matches and results and players and coaches etc… it doesn’t stop.

If you’re wondering about social media…

He’s deleted Instagram from his phone again. He hasn’t removed his account though. Said he was bored with it. I’m wondering how long this status will last.

He did ask me the other day about Facebook and Twitter. I straight out told him he had to wait until he was 13. Bwahaha!! He quickly reminded me of his age! Damn!

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We still haven’t got confirmation of a high school for next year… I’ll blog about it when it’s over. This is the most drawn out, stressful process ever!

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He apparently hates photos of himself. Thankfully I’m ok with moody shots 😉

I’ve been relatively quiet about him on my blog, and rightly so. It’s his story to tell now. I could write about a whole lot more actually… but it wouldn’t be fair on him. Ho hum, the joys of parenting

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A marathon on the horison

I know, I know, I said I’d never run one… but I’ve gone and done it… I’ve signed up to run my first marathon.

You may remember in my Two Oceans blog post this year, that I added right at the very end, that I’d like to run the full ultra next year… well plans have started.

Last month I ran the 32km Cradle race. I did it just so that I could see whether I could get my head around running further than 21km. I’m not going to lie, it was hard. I struggled in the last 7 km, and I was really grateful that my RWFL buddy Jolene ran with me the entire way (even though I knew she was running a whole lot slower than she’d have run it without me). But I did it! I finished it in 3h40… 10 minutes slower than I’d hoped, but I’m ok with that.  If you look at the bottom left photo at the bottom there, that’s me and Jolene with big smiles just after we finished that race.

Then, last week in Soweto, after a tequila and a few glasses of wine, my colleague, Karen, said she was planning on running the Cape Town marathon in September… next thing I knew, I was also running it! LOL!

So, race entries have been bought!

Another RWFL buddy, Nick, has sent me a training plan that I think I can follow. I’m within range of the 6 month sub-5 hour programme, so I “should” be ok.

I have 4 months to get my speed right, work on my headspace around being on the road for so long, and condition my body for the race.

I’m aiming to use this marathon as my Two Oceans qualifier, which means I have to run the 42km’s in under 5 hours.

It’s not going to be easy, but I’m determined to do it… and have fun in the process! I’m not going to lie though, I’m petrified, and every time I even think about it, I involuntarily take a huge breath. This is not a small undertaking for me.

Before you ask, Comrades is not on my list… I’m aiming for Two Oceans, and that’s it, I’m not running further than 56km ever!

So, I have a goal in sight… and lots of hours ahead of me plodding on the dark winter roads.

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Cycling around Soweto

I spent Friday afternoon cycling around Soweto, eating bunny chow and having fun with colleagues.

We went to Lebo’s Backpackers in Soweto for a cycling tour around Orlando… and some of my colleagues opted for the tuk tuk option.

When we arrived in at Lebo’s, we started with bunny chow. I was starving by then, and the food was really welcome after the hectic morning at work. Bunny chow is normally a half loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with curry or stew. I opted for the beef stew and vegetable stew. It was very good.

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The tuk-tuks lined up, ready for action.

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We had our tour cut short a bit, so we didn’t get to visit the hostels, which are always very interesting. I’ll have to do this again, just to do that bit!

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We stopped in Meadowlands, on the way to Vilakazi street. The guide told us about the history of Soweto while we had stopped there.

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After visiting a local celeb’s house, we cycled to the Hector Pieterson Memorial. I’ve been there a few times, so the story isn’t new to me, but it’s still chilling to listen to, and makes me want to cry.

I must say though, that I was a little disappointed with the guide. I remember there being significance to the walls built around the place, and the “river of tears” and the lines of different coloured bricks along the pathways… and even the names of the kids killed that are listed on the walls… and he didn’t mention that at all. Half the team hadn’t ever been in Soweto before, and it’s a pity they didn’t hear the whole story. Because we work in a design space, the significance of the way it was designed and built would have been really interesting for the group.

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Next time I’ll definitely take some cash with me, to buy some goodies from the market next to the memorial site. I just love these Soweto paintings! Cycling through Soweto 018 Cycling through Soweto 019

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Then we got to the famous Vilakazi street. We stopped outside the Mandela house (I’ve blogged about this on my jeanetteverster.com blog) for a while, and listened to the guide talking about how many famous people live on the street.

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Cycling through Soweto 022 Then it was shebeen time.

It’s a pity we hadn’t read the site properly, because none of us had any cash on us, and the place was a cash-only bar! Note to self for next time!
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Next time I do the tour, I need to find a way to take more photos! Maybe the tuk tuk would have been a better idea for photos… we didn’t get to stop enough for me to take photos with my camera. I did try to take photos while cycling, but that was really messy! LOL!

If you’re wanting a quick tour of Soweto, and you don’t have much time on your hands, then this is a great tour to do. It gives you a fabulous overview of the main sights.

However, if you’re really interested, then go back, and do proper tours of the Mandela house (which I’ve blogged about before), and the other amazing places in Soweto. You could spend a full day in the area for sure.

After the cycling, we went to the Orlando Towers. No, I didn’t jump again 😉 This time, we went to the awesome pub, Chaf-Pozi, to have a braai and a few drinks. The music was fabulous. The food was amazing… and the drinks… well… there was tequila!

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It was an amazing day. I got home with a smile on my face… albeit with lots of sadness because that was the last outing with my old team.

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Having fun manning a water point

Yesterday was a Mothers Day like no other I’ve experienced. Instead of sleeping in and cuddles with kids, or being out on an early morning run, I got the kids up at 4:30am in the icy Gauteng cold and we headed out to man a water point.

Our Run Walk for Life branch manned the 8km water point at the Adrienne Hersch race on Sunday.

I was actually going to run the race, and the kids were going to help at the water point… but I’ve been sick for over a week and decided that running a half marathon with a head cold wasn’t the greatest plan in the world. So instead, we all went and had an absolute ball!

Of course I took my camera along too. And in fact, between lifting it with the one hand, and holding out endless bags of water with my other outstretched hand… my shoulders are pretty stiff today! LOL!

It was dark when we started setting up the tables and drinks, and once it was done, we all enjoyed bacon rolls (braaied on a skottle) and hot coffee and milo.We played music loudly, and danced in the streets while waiting for the first runners to arrive.

Katherine and Rachel had made Mothers Day signs for us to stick to the tables… and we made sure we shouted “Happy Mothers Day” as often as we could 🙂 which made lots of runners smile.

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It was fantastic watching the runners come through. It was also fabulous to watch the runners with the kids.

These were the guys leading the pack, and they past us 26 minutes after the race started.

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This guy’s parents and grandparents were standing with us, cheering him on… so I took a few photos for them and they received an email from me this morning 🙂

He’s 17, and finished the 10km in 36 minutes! So impressive!
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I loved this moment! Rene Kalmer spotted Rachel holding out her water, and made a point of aiming for her sachet. Rachel was thrilled and cheering afterwards for “selling” her first water! Rene won the 21km in 1h22!
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Caroline Wostmann raced through soon after Rene… it was so awesome to spot them running past us, and actually knowing their names! Who’d have thought that I’d know top runners names by sight! Hehe this running bug has seriously bitten.
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And how amazing is Sonja Laxton? She finished the 10km in 52 minutes… in my dreams!
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I loved spotting friends and colleagues amongst the runners and walkers in the race.

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We had a ball!

The boys both said that they wanted to do that again. So the early morning moans and groans were worth it 😉 I love that we could do this as a family, and have fun in the process.

It’s also about time that I gave back a little to this awesome running community.

And yes, I’ll definitely volunteer to man a water point with my Run Walk for Life branch again. It was great fun.

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Quickest way to make me cry…

… is to get both my kids in the spotlight at some event. That’s what happened this week at the best Mother’s Day assembly ever! I knew it would happen, so I packed loads of tissues, and sat there sniffling into my tissues while I tried to focus the long lens on my camera. Mother’s […]

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The new HealthyFood Studio at Discovery

I went along to the media launch of Discovery’s new HealthFood Studio in Sandton this evening. What a gorgeous place to learn how to cook! The HealthyFood studio that has been built in the Discovery offices in Sandton, and anyone can book a cooking class there. They have 3 hour long evening classes and 4 hour […]

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Saying yes to unplanned outings

Sometimes the best times with your kids are unplanned. I spent a long weekend in the Midlands at my cousin’s wedding, and L and the kids stayed at home. I had promised Connor that I’d take him to Hamleys in Sandton on Wednesday, but thinking about it on the way home today, I decided that […]

Freelensing the dogs and not winning

I got home relatively early today to meet an insurance guy, who never pitched up… so I picked up my camera, unhinged the lens, and played with some free-lensing. At the beginning of summer, I scattered a pack of random seeds, hoping to get a romantic looking mix of flowers throughout my garden. Well, with […]

And so ends our holiday at the seaside

We had the most amazing holiday with friends in Muizenberg, as you can tell from my other blog posts… but I’m not going to bore you with umpteen blog posts outlining every thing we did. Instead, I’m going end my holiday post series with photos from the one of the afternoons we spent closer to the […]

[Photos] Kalk Bay harbour on a rainy day

A bit of a photo story of our afternoon at Kalk Bay harbour     We were sitting in a restaurant when this amazing rainbow appeared over the sea. Half the patrons were hanging out the window of the Brass Bell taking photos of it… instead Hilary and I ran along the pier to get […]