“Goodbyes are few enough, and we take them where we can”

This line – this entire piece, which is Neil Gaiman’s tribute to Iain Banks on The Guardian – hit me so hard that it actually, physically took my breath away.

Not because I’m a fan of Banks – I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read one of his novels. I only read the piece because Gaiman rocks my socks off these days. Anyway. It speaks of loss – unexpected loss, although I believe truly all loss is “unexpected” – in a way that really resonated with me.

This passage, in particular:

And then, a week later, with no warning, my friend Bob Morales died, and I was upset that I hadn’t replied to Bob’s last email, from a week or so before. So I replied to Bob’s last email, although I knew he’d never read it. And then I wrote to Iain. I told him how much I’d loved knowing him, how much I’d enjoyed being his friend, even if we only saw each other in the flesh every few years.

Followed shortly by:

And he wrote back and said good, comforting, sensible things. Goodbyes are few enough, and we take them where we can.

*Emotional rant warning: Leave if you’re not good with this sort of thing*

I never got a chance to say a proper goodbye to my father. He pretty much went from Real Dad > Coma Dad in the space of roughly 10 minutes, while I was in res at University, and then from Coma Dad > Dead Dad in the space of 14 months.

And as much as you can talk to Coma Dads, unlike in the movies, they don’t wake up if you ask them to squeeze your hand if they can hear you. And they definitely don’t talk back.

One of my life’s biggest regrets – as stupid as it is, is the fact that I cut short that holiday at home – the very last holiday I would have with my father – for the first time ever, in favour of going to visit a friend in the Eastern Cape.  My next holiday, I was doing a work experience in Cape Town, so I couldn’t have gone home. I know that I couldn’t have known what would have happened. I get all that.

But I thought we would have more time. Years and years more. He was 49 when he had his stroke.

(As a result of this, I have the biggest fear of abandonment/loss/change. But that’s not the point of this column.)

You know, I thought I had a point to all of this. Perhaps it is this: Reply to the email, even if it is a one-liner. Tell people that you love them (God knows I should practice what I preach here, I’m pretty much physically incapable of saying the L-word, even when sober). Hug your friends and mean it.

And fuckit, forgive yourself when something awful happens and you didn’t do all those things, or say goodbye in the way you wanted to.

The day I said goodbye to my father was two months before he died. It was the way I wanted to say goodbye, the way I needed to say goodbye at that particular time, but the movie fan in me kept on hoping his eyelids would flutter open, he would see me, actually see me and he would say my name.

Goodbyes are few enough, and we take them where we can.

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Making a comeback… Kinda

I had been in a much better space, when I decided to make my blog comeback a few days ago. I thought I had things (read: my emotions) under control. Thought I’d sorted out a few personal issues. I hadn’t. All it takes is one rogue Facebook activity. So there you go. Feelings, hey. Not for sissies.

Anyway, mercifully I had sort of pre-planned this blog post, so I don’t need to channel too much mental energy into this. Wow, I’m depressing myself even. Enough of this. Pretty pictures.

So my mom moved to Cape Town. Like, for reals. Then I took her to the Bon Jovi concert at the Cape Town Stadium, which was surprisingly fun – even though it was two-and-a-half-hours of Bon Jovi.

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Then, Bryony and I had our hair did by a ghd stylist one random Friday afternoon. It was fun, it looked awesome, but heck, I do not have that amount of time and patience to spend on my hair on a regular basis. Sheeesh.

Edit: My stylist Jennifer may be the most fascinating person I’ve met in a long while. She styles hair as a creative outlet, but she also studied criminology and sociology and regularly lectures on the subjects. She’s also passionate about facilitating reconciliations between victims of crime and the perpetrators by sitting them down and allowing them to ask questions of the prisoner. Utterly fascinating stuff.

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I spent a very inspiring day at NetProphet as well. Although it wasn’t necessarily directly related to my job and line of work, it was still quite fascinating and very inspiring to have a listen to what people are doing with digital start-ups and entrepreneurship in Africa. (And the world.) It’s also made me realise that I’m stuck in a bit of a rut, so there you go.

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Then, the wonderful Timmy and Xanthe finally had their engagement party – with a silly hats theme. And man alive, do I love any excuse to dress up! So I made my hat below. Feather courtesy of The Chaeli Campaign run I did a few months back 🙂

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The party was held at Timmy’s beach cottage in Smits. There was wine, potjie, more wine, delicious food, more wine, some port, a lot of champagne and more food.

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We got drunk and took a selfie on the beach with my phone. Which takes a lot of co-ordination, don’t ya know. Also, have I mentioned I’M A BRIDESMAID???

Yep, I’m one of TWO bridesmaids. We’ve been promised no ugly dresses, so there you go. I cannot freaking wait. Below is the gorgeous bride-to-be, in a hot black wig and a pink fascinator that took a swim in the ocean and I had to go rescue.

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Random dinner at Timmy and Xanthe’s… I was put in charge of mixing the Mint Julep. It was extremely medicinal.

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Hail! That looked like snow! In Cape Town! That is all! Just lots of exclamation marks! This is my street.

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The story of Brobeans

Also, the night before this we rescued an extraordinarily drunk (possibly drugged) random that was dumped outside my house by a possibly deranged taxi driver. When I say dumped, I mean dumped. Drunk dude (christened by my brother as “Brobeans”) even cracked his head on the pavement. He managed to crawl to my garage before the security guard from the hotel across the road charged out to stop someone robbing him and flagged my mom down off the balcony. She managed to rattle up a woman in our building who works with the neighbourhood watch, and between us and George the security guard we managed to get Brobeans out of the rain and into our lobby, where he threw up everywhere.

We managed to get Brobeans to unlock his phone (he couldn’t talk or walk, but thank fuck he knew his pin code) and started dialling random numbers, before finding a friend of his who promised to send someone to pick up Brobeans. Said friends were utterly marvellous -they said in ten years of knowing him they had never seen him like that, and ended up carting poor Brobeans to the Medi-Clinic where they put him on a drip.

That was not the end of Brobeans, though. The dude turned up on our doorstep on Monday morning (after sending the sweetest text to apologise, even though he didn’t need to – we were just so relieved he was okay) with gifts for all three of us ladies in the block, plus George. Warmed the cockles of my usually frosty heart, I’m telling you.

And now, a little something from the blogger. I found this mini questionnaire, thought it would be fun as a little welcome-home-gift to myself. Questions and answers below, obvs.

Year I started my blog: This particular blog (there have been others) kicked off in January 2011.

My first post was called “It’s That Time of Year Again” – and it was a reaction piece to the Academy Awards nominations that year. I had such lofty ideals.

My day job: I’m the Entertainment Editor for iafrica.com and the Social Media Manager for Primedia Online. All the same company – just two portfolios, really.

My favorite post is probably one of my egg donation ones – called “D-Day”, although I love most of them in that category, particularly “On Egg Donation Number Five“. I also kinda love “Cinema Etiquette“.

The celebrity I want to read my blog: Like “celebrity celebrity”, probably Jennifer Lawrence (I’d just have to delete this post first). Or Lena Dunham. Blogger celebrity, Allie Brosh, obviously. Movie celebrity, Joss Whedon. Writer celebrity, well… That’s a long list, how much time do you have?

Best reader comment Probably a comment from a woman who had conceived via egg donation. She didn’t say too much, but I shed a little tear over my keyboard.

Other blogs I read: So many blogs, so let’s keep it local (and two internationals that I read religiously). Indieberries, Raising Men, Midlands Musings, So Close and Hurricane Vanessa are the local ones that I pretty much check into daily.

Internationally, my absolute favourite is Hyperbole and a Half (Allie Brosh is my spirit animal) and Enjoying the Small Things.