Sunday, April 2, 2017

MARCH 2017

Hello darling Em,

What a busy month you've had!  Swimming gala, drama, dancing, fancy dress, sports, uncle Steven came to visit .... phsew, every week was something!

                              You were a girl from the country in your Wellies and straw hat.

 And then you wore the lovely ethnic Zulu outfit Gogo gave you to a fancy dress

You did well at your swimming gala

 Uncle Steven came to visit and we all went out with Jeff and Gail, Denis and Rita, 
Laura and Gavin to Chez Nous in Westville

I had a small operation to my left knee to release a tight band called the ITB.  I can't dance with you or do taining walks for a few weeks but will soon be back to walking around the block with you.

 Gumpie and I went to iMfolozi for a weekend.  While we were in the park the clutch on the X-trail came loose and we had to have the car towed to Richards Bay.  Your Dad offered to collect the car from the garage there on Saturday and you three spent the night with us at iMfolozi in a 5-bed cottage.  The next day we went Game viewing in your car.  It was fun being with you all in the park!

At the last assembly you were called up for a special certificate!  You also won the 'Teacher's Helper' badge during the term.  We are all so pleased that you are having fun this year, Em.  You have done so well that you no longer have to go to Speech or to Remedial, unless there are new things that you need help with.

Now - imagine this!! Mom and Dad want to do a family walk on the Camino next year in the July holidays!  Gail wants to go with, and Brian and Craig.  We'll wait and see how many people actually join the walk next year.  But int he meantime you are walking-training and when you come to our place we allow you to walk slowly on the treadmill, under supervision.

You will be spending a week in Johannesburg with Jeff and Gail during the Easter holidays and I know that you are looking forward to that.

Lots and lots of hugs and kisses my darling!


Darling Em,

You had a busy month with Kevin and Jacks visiting with their baby Riley, school parties, and plays.

The modern take on a little girl reading the baby a story - from your Doodle Pad!

In February Gumpie and I celebrated 50 years of going steady!  We have been married for 48 years but have been together since 1967.

You made a fabulous pirate!

And just look how cool you were for this photo-shoot!

Whenever you come to visit you always ask if you can visit the doggies - Dax, Josie and Peach - who belong to Delano and Jacques.  They live in the flatlet.   Josie is you favourite because she doesn't jump as much as Dax and Peach is inclined to keep to herself.  I also love Josie the best.  She is a submissive little girlie and loves to be cuddled.

Of course, you often bring Muffy to visit as well but she isn't really interested in the other dogs.  She likes to go out and say hello but then she wants to come straight back inside again.

I think Patty is smiling in heaven when she sees you, Mark and Tammy with Muffy and I think she is especially happy when she sees you and me taking Muffy for walks around the block.

I love you Miss Emily - I love you more than Jelly Tots!

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Happy, happy New Year Emily Ann!

I am wishing you a wonderful year, full of happiness, love, friendship, achievement and good times.

It is 2017 and this year you will be 9 years old.  When I started this blog in May 2008 I did not imagine that I would still be writing for you 9 years later!

You started school in a new classroom with a new teacher, only 3 girls and 9 boys in your class.  You have made new friends and still play with your old friends at breaks.

You will join a drama class and will also continue with dancing on Saturday mornings as well as swimming, OT, Physio and remedial so you are going to have a busy year but much of it will be during school time.  

Lucy has been you favourite 'Baby' for while now.  She has lovely clothes, can eat and wet her nappy. 

In this photograph you look like a grown up Disco-Queen!

You are looking forward to Kevin and Jackie will be visiting you guys next month with their baby Ethan.

Thank you for visiting last week.  I love having you here, playing with you and spending time with you.

Big hug my BFF!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


My darling Em,

This is the last post for 2016 - an eventful year for you.

You started at your new School - La Lucia Junior Primary - in January.  You made friends with Ethan and Captain - two big Labbies - after being afraid of big dogs; you had a holiday in Johannesburg and at the river with Jeff and Gail in April and September; you did your first 200 m swimming badge in June; we went to the Midlands Saddle and Trout and to Hluhluwe in June: Jeff was diagnosed with cancer in his tonsil and in June and had to undergo surgery, chemo and radiation. In August you cracked your big toe (ouch!); you had two birthday parties in October - one with beanbags at your house and one at the SPUR in Durban north.  You had two treatments this year and you grew 5.5cm to 1.2m tall.

Although you passed everything in Grade 11 it was felt that you would benefit more from repeating grade 11 next year than going to Grade 111.  It was difficult for your Mom and Dad to explain this to you and you were not happy with the idea.  One of the good things about repeating this year (instead perhaps next year) is that all of your friends from Grade 11 will still be at the school next year whereas after Grade 111 they will all move on to a Senior Primary school.  Also, you have many friends in Grade 1 who will be moving into Grade 11 so you won't be without friends next year.

In December Jeff, Gail and the boys came down for Christmas.  It was a busy time for everyone with some sleeping at your house, some at Zimbali and then Jeff and Gail at Rob and Faye's place in
Sunningdale for a week.

We spent Christmas Eve at Greg and Sharon's, Christmas day at our house, and had a braai after New Year's day.

 We gave you two throw-away braais and you enjoyed this one on your front lawn

In these photographs you will see a few people you might not recognize at a later time.

The young girl in the Christmas photo is Taylor-Belle (Libby), Gail's niece.  Her sister Jacqui is Libby's mother.

The older woman opening a Christmas gift is my friend Janet Nicholson who I worked with at the SPCA.

The woman in the bed is Marion Jackson.  Marion and I have been friends and walking buddies for many years.  She had a back operation and wasn't allowed to sit for 6 weeks so we put the bed in the lounge for her.

You will see your Aunty Candice and her friend Ben on the photos as well.

Brian brought Gunza to Durban with him, so we had a full house on Christmas day.

2016 was a Leap Year.  A normal year has 365 days and a leap year 366 days, with the extra day in February - 29th Feb. A leap year occurs every four years to help synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, or the length of time it takes the earth to complete its orbit about the sun, which is about 365¼ days.  This happens every 4 years.  

A timeline of World Events in 2016:
Britain voted to Leave the European Union.
Donald Trump became the president of the USA

Mother Teresa is declared a Saint by Pope Francis
After years of fighting, Italy became the last Western country to accept gay couples

A number of famous people died in 2016:
David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Arnold Palmer, John Glen, Fidel Castro, Nancy Reagan, Mohammed Ali, Carrie Fischer, Debbi Reynolds, Geroge Michael and many others.  (One day you can Google these people to find out what they were famous for).

Soon it will be 2017 and you will have a whole new year, with new experiences, new friends to make and new things to learn.
I am so grateful for every little bit of time that I share with you and am determined to be here for your wedding day, even if it 20 years from now when I am 90 years old!

Love you lots my darling girl,


Friday, December 2, 2016


Hello my darling,

Every time I see you seem to have grown up a little bit more.  We didn't get to your Christmas concert this year but Mom sent me this photograph of you looking a grown-up model with lipstick!  Gorgeous girlie!

We don't get to see much of you anymore.  From the time you were a baby until you started school we saw you nearly every day.  I used to push you around the garden in your pram and the rocking motion would put you to sleep.  When you started sitting and taking notice of things around you I would show you all the flowers and Strelitzia was almost your first word, followed by bougainvillea and Petrea!  You still love to play with the little 'helicopter' flowers, twirling them till they spin and float.

In 2010 you started attending play-school across the road from our house a couple of days a week and we saw you regularly during the week.  Once you started pre-school, then Junior Primary with afternoons at swimming, physio, OT, Speech, Remedial and so on, we only see you over weekends.

This year we started collecting newspapers for your school and also those little plastic ties you find on bread packets.  Your school makes money from the paper and the plastic ties go to charity.

When I went to your school one Saturday morning to watch your group dancing, you also showed me the big cheque that your school got for collecting so many newspapers.

When we got to the school you all lined up on the field - cricket and rugby players on one side and dancers on the other. 

Then we went to the hall and the parents and children sat on the stage to watch you dance.  It was wonderful Em!! 
I never imagined that I would be watching you hopping, skipping, leaping, twirling, running and dancing!  You are a miracle child.

You went to Hluhluwe with Mom and Dad last weekend nd we baby-sat Muffy.  She sat looking at the front door most of the time waiting for you all to get back! 

It's great that you enjoy the game reserves at a young age.  You saw cheetah, and you saw lions in a tree!  That is quite an unusual sight.

Only one month to Christmas and holidays.  We will have Christmas at our house again this year and we are looking forward to having all the family and friends with us to celebrate.  I'm sure Santa knows that you have been a wonderful girl this year and will bring you a special gift.

Love you lots like Jelly-Tots!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Hello darling Emily,
It is your birthday month - 8 years old!  Wow! 
On the 7th October you went for your treatment.  You are so brave when they put in the port and you don't cry or complain.  Tam and Gail stayed with you and you were allowed to have a chocolate ice cream during the infusion.

Your Mom and Dad bought a big new King size bed.  For a few months you have been going through to their room at night and getting into bed with them.  There wasn't enough space in the double bed and Mark said you were kicking him in the 'you-know-what' and his head!  This bed is huge and you can all fit in it.  Tammy usually puts up a side protector but this time it wasn't up.
On Friday you were given a Happy Birthday rosette to wear at school all day.
Sunday was your actual birthday!
You had two parties!  One for the children at your home with bean bags and dress up; and one at the SPUR on Sunday for the oldies and a few parents.


On Wednesday after your party, Tammy had to have an operation on her wrist.  I fetched you from school and took you home.  Mark brought Tammy home and once she was settled, Mark, you and I went to the Wimpy in Kensington for lunch.

You seemed to know everyone on Kensington!  The staff at Wimpy and at Walton's next door knew you and spent time between eating, visiting friends next door and playing on the jungle-gym play ground.   When three bigger boys arrived and started chasing each other on the jungle-gym we asked you to join us at the table for a while.  One of the boys had Down Syndrome and we explained to you that he was born with a genetic condition which meant that he might not be able to understand that he couldn't play rough games with you because you had a different genetic condition called osteogenesis imperfect (brittle bones).  You accepted that and waited for them to leave before you went back to playing on the gym.

Having a birthday so late in the year (you are the 2nd youngest in your class - and the smallest) has shown that you might need to repeat Grade 2 next year.  Your IQ is exceptional and you have scored above average for things like vocabulary, memory and maths etc but your ability to concentrate and progress shows that you are immature for your grade. 

We have told you that many brilliant people had to repeat grades (including Albert Einstein) so it won't be a huge setback for you.  You already have friends in First Grade who you will socialize with next year and your Grade 2 friends will still be at the school next year.  Mark said that they have mentioned this to you but, understandably, you are not happy about repeating so they won't confirm it until about 2 weeks before the end of the term.

When you are in University one day you won't remember how it was in Grade 2!

Love you more than jelly-tots my darling!   (And you will say - "love you more than Smarties!)