Friday, 29 August 2008

Blog Award

As a Proudly South African, I was able to accept a blog award over at Desire's (Doing Life) blog. Check it out and accept one for yourself too.

Proudly South African blogger signing off ....

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Another Award Received

I received this award from Desire, Jacqui, Libby & Tracy - thanks so much, I feel quite honoured!

The rules are simple: 1. Make a blog post where you pass the award on to seven blogs you like and 2. Post a comment at their blog to tell them about the award!

In no particular order, here are the blogs I have chosen:

Desire, Tracy, Leanne, Berlydene, Libby, Andrea & Tracy S. They are so inspirational and I always look forward to seeing their updates!

Award winner signing off ....

Sunday, 24 August 2008

BOM Challenge # 4 & 5 Teen and School years

This was a great challenge to do and brought back to many fond memories of my youth gone by. I had to split this challenge up a bit as I found that I had quite a few photos. I have done 4 layouts titled:

The Athlete
Matric Year
School Years (I am still busy with this one and will upload once I have finished)

Here they are with all the journalling:

The journalling reads as follows:

My friends were a very important part of my life. I just so enjoyed being with them and socialising. We often had sleep-overs with midnight feasts!! I remember the one time we all stayed at a friend, Althea’s house, and decided to throw potatoes onto the neighbours corrugated roof at about midnight!! We would wait for about 10 minutes and then do it again. He was wild and we were all hysterical with laughter at waking them up. Then we proceeded to go up to the road armed with potatoes and eggs and threw some eggs onto the wall of one of someone we knew and stuffed a potato up the exhaust of someone’s car that was parked outside. We were bad, but it was such fun!!! In those days there were no videos and we used to hire 8mm reel movies.

My best friend was Ingrid (known as Gigs as her baby sister couldn’t pronounce her name!). She arrived in Durban in 1970 and was in my Std I class. The teacher moaned at her about something and I was so upset about this and befriended her and we have been great friends ever since!! She now lives in England but we still keep in touch. We have one of those friendships that we can just pick up where we left off – it is great.

We never had TV in those days even though it was around. In my primary school years, our neighbours Hilton and Deslyn and their neighbours Victor and Harry would come to our place and we would often spend Friday nights sitting round the kitchen table listening to “Squad Cars” and then playing monopoly or a card game. Other radio programmes I enjoyed were “Jet Jungle, Men from the Ministery, Test the Team and Kids say the Darndest things”. In later years I would go to our new neighbours, Eugene (he was really cute!!) and Deidre and would watch TV with them.

I enjoyed reading and often borrowed books from a friend across the road, Gillian, as she had a great collection. To name some would be Nancy Drew, First to Fourth Form at Mallory Towers, Famous Five, Alfred Hitchkock, the Hardy Boys and lots of others by Enid Blyton. When I was younger I used to read the Beatrix Potter books that my uncle had sent me from America and this is where my love for the figurines came from – I am now an avid collector and have quite a number of the various characters from the story books.

My friends stayed in different areas of Yellow-wood Park and we either rode our bikes or walked to each other’s houses. Gigs and her sister Marian and I went for a picnic on our bikes once and we took a packet of hand picked mulberries and when we stopped to eat them, they had leaked all over Marian’s school books! She was not impressed.

We often played schools in our kaya and in later years that is where I would go to tape music from the radio onto a tape. It was nice and quiet except when my dad decided to mow the lawn!!

On week-ends, we often caught the bus into town and went to movies. On a Saturday they used to have the Sterkinekor Kiddies Club. For less than R1-00 I could catch the bus (return) see a movie, have popcorn, coke and sweets and still have change!! Ice-skating was also a popular event for us, but this was a bit costly as we had to catch two busses to get to the rink. But we always had a lot of fun and I always came home sopping wet from all the falls I had.

In my teen years there was a group of us that always hung around together and we were referred to as “the gang” – Bev, Andrew, Gavin, Deryck, Derrick, Beverley, Gigs and I (seems I have a thing for Dereck’s!!). We often hung out at Andrew’s house in their double garage with his brothers Gavin and Deryck. In later years (with the help of us girls) we repainted and converted their maid’s room into a “den” where we often sat listening to music and chatting. They also had a caravan at Kelso and many a week-end we would catch a train and spend the week-end there – we certainly had a load of fun.

We all belonged to Junior Church and every Friday we had Youth evening and we would do something social. One of my favourites was going on a progressive supper where we started at one house and walked to the next to have the next part of the meal. In those days we walked everywhere and sometimes it was as late as 10:30pm. It was during this time that my friends got me to drink coffee as I didn’t like it and always wanted water!! We often went away on camps and one of my favourite was Teen Ranch in Isingolweni down the South Coast. Neville and Ruth van der Walt were our team leaders and we used to call them “Shrink and Stretch” because Ruth was so short and Neville was so tall.

The music I enjoyed was Abba, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath (the song Paranoid was always played at the ice-rink and I have fond memories of this), the Who, the Beatles, Showaddywaddy, Clout, Rabbitt, Slade, Kiss and the Osmonds, to name a few. I still enjoy these groups and actually like any kind of music that you can dance to. I was mad about Rabbit, especially Duncan Faure and use to have posters all over my bedroom wall of all these groups and more! They came and played at the Durban City Hall and my friends and I went to see them live – we were screaming like crazy when we saw them!!!

I had a lot of friends and socialized in different ways with all of them – some due to sport, some because of school but “the gang” were the friends I saw most. I was fairly popular and was always involved in something somewhere. I was never a bully and was quite sensitive and got upset if people fought with each other, which sometimes did happen.

When I left school I went to Natal Technikon and my friends there were Deanne (who I ended up sharing a flat with after I finished Tech) Ingrid, Ronelle, Wendy and Alison. Ingrid and I ended up working together at Standard Bank, Mobeni Branch when I got my first job.

The journalling reads as follows:

I love sport. My dad was a great tennis player and I think I must have got his sporting genes. Both my parents were always at my sporting events cheering me on and encouraging me and this was a big thing for me to have them there

In my matric year I was house captain for Mendel and was the vice captain for the inter-school athletics team.

While at school I played the following sports:

v Athletics - each year from 1973 I made the inter-schools team for various events, and in 1977 earned the “Best U15 Athlete” award. This was my passion! I was in the open relay team at the inter-schools and we won the trophy
v Cross Country – this I enjoyed and it improved my 800 and 1500 meter times in athletics meetings
v Swimming – in my matric year I was in the synchronized swimming team and we won. This was the first time that Mendel had ever won!
v Hockey – made the first team in matric and played against a touring Cape team
v Netball
v Soccer – for a short while
v Badminton – winning quite a few trophies (which my son “sold” to earn extra pocket money!!)
v Gymnastics – I enjoyed this and often practiced routines with my friends at home
v Ballet – reaching grade 5 at the Royal Academy of Dancing
v Speech & Drama – earning a bursary to study speech and drama for a year with Professor Elizabeth Sneddon in 1977
v Music – reached grade 5 in the Trinity School of Music (London) for piano and grade 2 in theory, grade 2 in the Royal School of Music (London) piano and grade 1 in theory. Sadly my teacher passed away and I didn’t want to start with a new teacher in my matric year
v Modern Dancing – only did this in standard 9 for a short while
v Squash – this was an extra sport offered to the matrics and I really enjoyed this. My dad, brother and I often went and played during the week at the squash courts in Jacobs
v Dance Drama – did this every year from standard 6 to matric
v Tennis – for a short while. I made the semi-finals in a doubles tournament and then broke my collar bone. It was not a sport I really enjoyed.
v Table tennis – we had a table set up in our double garage and the neighbours used to come over – we had loads of fun.
v Girl Guides – from being a Brownie and progressing to Girl Guides. I gave up in std 7, having learnt a lot of practical things.

And the journalling reads as follows:

Matric at last! This was a good year for me as it spelt the end of school. Not that I did not like school, but just that I was now going to either go to University or Tech. I did not like learning and loved sport and if I could be doing some sort of sport training, that came first over any homework or learning. Needless to say I did not get a matric exemption so could not go to University. I chose to go to Natal Technikon and did a National Secretarial Course – Computers.

I was the Mendel house captain and the vice captain for the inter-school athletics team. As matrics we got to choose an extra sport and I chose squash – a game I really enjoyed and played well, often winning my games.

For my matric dance, I asked my neighbour, Eugene, to come with me and can you believe it, it only cost my parents R3-00 for us to attend! My other neighbour, Hilton, asked me to his Marist Brothers matric dance and there also had a farewell dinner later in the year. My mom made all my dresses that I wore to these dances.

And I used to think I was really fat!!!!

Reminiscing signing off ....

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Mug lucky draw

Don't you just love this mug? I certainly do and I hope to win it. Why don't you head over to Gisele's blog and enter to win.

Mugging signing off ...

Sky Diving

Not me, so don't get worried!! It was Grant. He said for his birthday this year that he would like to go skydiving, but every time he made arrangements the weather turned out bad. Anyway it was while Leanne was out in May that he ended up going. It was the 3 May 2008 and we drove up to Pietermaritzburg airport for him to dive at about 1pm. When we got there we sat around for a bit and then his instructor (he was going tandem with Grant) gave him a run down of what he had to do. He had to dress in a particular outfit - looked like overalls! and then we went to the airport area. He got onto a small aeroplane and up he went. It was quite an amazing feeling watching my son jump from an aeroplane. Nevertheless he landed safely and you could just see from his face that he was on a serious adrenaline high. He said he definitely wants to do this again.

In May I went on a 2 day scrapathon and the colours for two of the layouts were perfect for doing Grant's skydiving pictures. He has been bugging me for not having put his pictures on my blog, so here are the layouts I did:

Flying high signing off ...

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

I am a Winner!!!

My "IF" challenge layout (see post a couple below this for picture of layout) won the prize - this is what was said on Tracy's blog:

The winner of the "IF" Challenge is ... (drum roll, please) ....
MICHELLE RAMSAYI decided it wasn't fair for me to choose a winner as I am not an impartial judge, so I got a friend to have a look at the entries and she chose Michelle's LO, based on her journalling ...

Congratulations and thanks for your heartfelt, indepth and honest journalling, Michelle - I really enjoyed reading about you - especially the bull's testicles bit (how did that enter you mind???? - too much Fear Factor, baby). Please e-mail me your addy and I will send you your FREE STASH ...

Thanks Tracy - it was fun doing this challenge and certainly got me reflecting on my life. I will put up a picture of my free stash once I receive it - can't wait!!

"Iffy" winner signing off ...

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

A Quiet Week-end

Well, I had a quiet week-end. We collected some furniture from Dereck's late mom's flat and did some serious tidying up at home to make space for the new furniture. We managed to see off an old sleeper couch - while Grant was on his way to a second hand shop he stopped to put in some petrol and the petrol attendant bought the couch!! Then his girlfriend's step mom, bought a home gym and he went to another second hand shop and got rid of a few more items.

One of the things we got was a corner display cabinet which is now in our bar and is filled with Dereck's minature guitars and Grant's mini car collection. I must say it looks really good. I will take a picture and post later.

In our computer room, we now have a small wall unit with the tv, dvd and surround sound and the recliner couch that used to be in the lounge which got relegated to Dereck's office, now has a suitable place in the corner as well as a double seater couch. It really makes the room nice and cosy to watch tv.

Anyway, I had to post this so that I could test out my signature. I had created this a while ago, but just never took the time to see how it would fit into my blog - guess what, I now know how!!

Nice and tidy signing off ...

Wednesday, 06 August 2008

"IF" Challenge

I am off sick at present with a serious bout of flu, and got up just now as my back was getting sore from lying down all morning. I decided to finish of my "IF" challenge layout that Tracy gave us. The idea is more about journalling than pictures and this is the first time I have done a layout without any pictures in it!

Here is my finished product:

The journalling on the outside reads:

… I could start my married life over, is there someone else who I would have preferred to marry? No, because I am extremely happy to have such a wonderful husband as Dereck. I had been invited to my matric class Teacher’s wedding and didn’t have a partner and my friend arranged for Dereck to be my date. 28 years later, we are still together, having been married for 24 years. There was a stage in my live where I questioned my relationship, but that was me rather than any actual problems. Dereck is a wonderful support and I have had a lot of freedom
to do the things that I have wanted to. Dereck has always been there and provided for us and
we both have a lot of fun together even though our music tastes are “kilometers”apart!!

… I have to say how I am feeling about life right now, I can honestly say that I am content, happy and really satisfied with all that I have achieved.

… I could bring up my children in a different way, would I do it? No. I feel that I was strict enough but also gave them some space. I am happy with what both Leanne and Grant have achieved and I have a wonderful relationship with each of them. Leanne & I often used to go to
the movies and shopping together and now that she is overseas, this is something that I really miss a lot. Leanne, Grant and I have a wicked sense of humour and have had many good laughs
about someone else’s misfortune often to the horror of Dereck!

And the journalling in the middle reads:

… I could go back to school, would I study harder? No, because then I would have got into University and gone and studied at Rhodes as a Phys Ed Teacher. Instead I chose to go to Natal Technikon and did a Computer Secretarial Course. In July 1999 I bought a Run/Walk for Life Franchise and felt that I had then achieved my “Phys Ed” dream.

… I had the choice of sitting at home and watching TV or going out with my friends, I would definitely choose my friends.

…. I had the choice between chicken or beef, I would chose chicken.

… I had the choice between a sandwich or
a salad, I would choose a salad.

… I had to totally give up eating chocolate, I could not do it. I would have to have at least a piece in a month!

… the mind can dream it, the body can achieve it. This saying has kept me going
through many difficult walking races that I have participated in over the years. It has also made me more determined to prove someone wrong if they ever told me that I was not capable of achieving something.

.. I had to choose between tidying up or scrapping - the tidying up would lose 100%!!

… I had to eat pigs brains, or bulls testicles to win a million rand, could I do it – NO!!

… I told you my nickname at school was “Frog” because I put a dead frog on a friend’s hair and it got tangled in it, please don’t laugh out too loud!!!

… If I had to buy a cake for a function or bake one, I would definitely bake one.

"If " I had to sign off .....

Sunday, 03 August 2008

BOM Challenge #3

Wow, I have completed the next challenge in the Book of Me Challenge over at Tracy's and it is not too late for you to enter. For this challenge it had to be about the day we were born.

I really had fun doing this and I think it got my mom thinking too about how she was feeling etc. on that day back in 1962.
Here is my layout:

The journalling on the left page reads:
“On Friday 15 June 1962 at 08h00, Michelle Frances entered this world”
said proud and happy parents, Lu and Laura Engler.

Birth weight: 7lbs (3.18kg) Length: 20inches (53 cm) Hair colour: brown
Head circumference: 13½inches (33.2cm) Eyes: blue then turned green

My mom had a good pregnancy and carried me mostly in the front. She was often complimented on how good she looked whilst pregnant with me. My dad took her to “Mother’s Hospital” in Greyville on the evening of 14 June 1962 and she was in labour for 10 hours before I was born the next morning. My mom had a natural birth, I was born on my due date and did not have any Jaundice. As soon as my dad had been told that I was born, he came to the hospital and once he saw that my mom and I were okay, expressed his joy at my birth. At birth I looked a lot like my dad’s mom “Granny Engler” but as I got older there were strong resemblances of my mom when she was a little girl. My mom told me that when she was a little girl she loved looking after other people’s babies and helping to dress and feed them and when I was born, she was so excited that she now had her own baby to look after. I was a very easy baby and slept through from 6pm – 6am from 7 weeks. I hardly ever cried and could be left in my pram or cot for ages and my “Granny Farquharson’s” friends often used to comment to my mom on what a good baby I was. I was always a very healthy and dainty baby. When I got my teeth they came through very easily with no vomiting, crying or upset stomachs. My mom told me that when I was 3¾ months she came to take me out of my cot and I had a tooth! I was breastfed for 9 months whereafter I decided I didn’t want to be breastfed anymore and my mom taught me to drink from a cup.
The journalling on the right hand page reads:
On this day …

In the Gregorian calendar, the 15 June is the 166th day of the year (167th in a leap year)

South Africa passed a bill setting the death penalty for many crimes

Buddy Nobles ran a world record marathon in a time of 2h14:28

The Israeli premier, David Ben-Gurian resigned

WWUP TV channel 10 in Saut Ste Marie, MI (CBS) started broadcasting

The Beatles did their 2nd BBC performance, performing “Ask me why”, “Besame Mucho” and “A picture of you”

China had a brief conflict with India over a disputed Himalaya border

In Lincoln, 3 people were killed and 50 injured when a train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh derailed.

These are the tags:

My discharge card

The things new moms needed to take to hospital

One of the congratulations cards my mom and dad received

Another card

A few more cards

Two telegrams

I really had fun looking up the information to see what happened on that day back in 1962 and I hope my mom enjoyed giving me the information I needed - thanks mom.

Happy challenger signing off ...

I'm a "Pommy Mommy"

At 12h45 on Friday, 1 August 2008 I was officially sworn in as a British Citizen. I was able to do this as my mom was born in Scotland and I was born born between 1961 and 1983. The next step is to apply for my British Passport. Here I am holding my official certificate of citizenship:

South African Brit signing off ...