Jy blaai in die argief vir 2009 September.

Living with dementia (luckilly there’s a funny side too!)

September 23, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

As you may know, my 83-year old dad lives with me since October last year. (My mother died a few months before.) Before her death, she often expressed her worries over my dad’s failing memory since a stroke 6 years ago. We always laughed at the funny things, but NEVER realised how traumatic it must have been for her to see him deteriorate like this in front of her very own eyes.

Now I’m the one in her shoes. Since the stroke 6 years ago, a few other things added to his problems (head injuries in car accident, another minor stroke a few weeks after he moved in with me), and a CT-scan a year ago confirmed that his arteries are busy calcifying in the brain. I was also unaware that he apparently had been formally diagnosed with Parkinsons, since my mother never told us or simply didn’t know why he had to take certain medication. To add insult to injury, he also has prostate cancer. But otherwise (and I’m not flippant) he is fit as a fiddle. Although he shuffles along with help, he still insists on walking a bit. He still eats well, and hasn’t even had a cold this winter.

But seeing him fumbling for the right words, or saying something completely inappropriate, is sometimes very sad. And a tad scary. This is not how I want to remember my dad, but as he lives under my roof, it’s part of my life daily. I hardly ever get called by my own name. I am more often than not my sister, and sometimes I am my mom.

But before we all sign a suicide pact, let me tell you about the funnier moments:

* When my mom was still alive, he shot straight up in bed one night, switched the bedlight on and shook her: “Do you play cricket?” he wanted to know from the bewildered woman.

* On our last family holiday together, he sternly reprimanded us for leaving on the stereo in the lounge. “This little voice in the box is still talking!”

* Before I had help for him, I had to put him in bed at night. Which meant, amongst other things, brushing his false teeth. Which I HATE more than anything. So, I quickly handed him the teeth after cleaning it, and busied myself with tucking him in. When I looked up, there he was lying with a VERY lopsided look. Teeth in completely the wrong way, upside down AND front to back, completely unable to utter a word. Or to fix it himself. He just pointed at his mouth. When it was fixed, be both started laughing hysterically. (Sometimes it’s either that or crying your eyes out, which I often do.)

* He wants to get up and “go to work” at odd times, sometimes at 02h00 in the morning. Then the night-helper, who sits next to his bed for exactly these moments, and to help him use the toilet at night, has to do some talking to keep him in bed. One night she called me, at wit’s end, because Oupa wants to get up. I waltz in, completely sleepdrunk and not knowing if I’m coming or going, just to be told that he has to get up. NOW! To attend to “all these people sitting here waiting for him”. (He was a station master, and later on a goods- and passengers-superintendent for the Railways, and often had to deal with irate customers.) Used to this by now, I tell him that I’ll deal with them, and that he can sleep. But I was puzzled to know who he “saw” in his room. Was it perhaps my mom? Or other people he knew? So, the next morning I ask him who visited him during the night. Of course he had NO idea what I was talking about. He listened to my explanation, and then simply said: “Sulke helle! (Such bastards!)” 

* He went on and on for two days about his dynamite book. As in the stuff that you use to blow things up with. I was at wits end, because he never had an interest in things like this. So, nada dynamite book that I could think of. When I told him there was no such book, he got VERY mad and said that he “wrote the damn book himself!” (My brother and I now jokingly say that the reason why SA Railway Services held him in such high regard all his life, is that he would blast anything out of the way that didn’t belong on his station.)

* One day I got home to find the day helper almost white from stress. She had to look for Oupa’s dreaded dentures (something that NEVER leaves his mouth, apart from when being cleaned). He insisted that she never gave it back to him after cleaning, and she spent more than an hour looking for it everywhere: dirty laundry, dustbin, under his bed, everywhere. Only to find it in his mouth after she eventually persuaded him to open wide…

* He taught us to have respect for our fellow humans, and to treat everybody with respect. I seldom heard the k-word out of his mouth during all my 40 years as his child, not even when it was fashionable to talk like that. And of course I don’t use the word myself, and my kids never hear it in my household. But, with the failing mind, something deep within remembers that word, and when he use it to refer to his helpers, I reprimand it. (Although they are VERY gracious about this, and accept it as part of his dementia.) So, one day, after saying it twice in about 10 minutes, I reprimanded him. “My kind, ek gebruik SELDE daai woord. BITTER, BITTER selde!” he said. ( My child, I hardly EVER use that word, EVER.)

* He retired 20 years ago, and officially announced it recently, when the helper wanted to give him his early morning coffee. I heard the goings on of an argument, and went into his room. “Tell this woman that I DON’T have to get up, because I am NOT going to work today,” he said with a very smug look on his face.

( I was awarded with an Caxton Excellence Award recently for writing an article on suddenly becoming a parent’s caretaker. Getting the recognition for that made my load a bit more bearable. As I say, I do it with helpers. I take my hat off to all of you out there who look after your elderly parents, disabled children or spouses or terminally ill loved ones all by yourself. This one’s for you! Let me know if I should post the article.)

Something to do tomorrow instead of sitting lazily around

September 23, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Now don’t say I never give you good advice!

Slim woordspelings met hasie

September 23, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Nou’s ons darem ver te ernstig hier in blogland. Seker die wind wat wereldwyd waai! Kyk hoe baie woorde kan mens maak met HASIE!

HASIE • Wat noem jy ‘n deurskynende hasie? Spasie!
• Wat noem jy ‘n hasie in ‘n pyp? Blokhasie
• Hasie in die tuimeldroër? Spinhasie
 • Wat noem jy ‘n hasie ini hospitaal? Operhasie!
 • en ‘n hasie ini spur? Inspirhasie!
• en hasies wat paar? Vibrhasie!
• wat noem mens ‘n hasie met GPS? Navighasie
• Wat noem mens ‘n rugby hasie? Paashasie
 • ‘n Halwe hasie? ‘n Sie
• ‘n Hasie wat mond-tot-mond asemhaling toepas? Oksidhasie
• ‘n Walt Disney Hasie? Animhasie
• ‘n Vuvuzela Hasie? Gerhasie
• Wat noem ‘n mens ‘n hasie op ‘n telefoon? Kommunikhasie
• Wat noem ‘n mens ‘n losbandige hasie? ‘n Flirthasie
• wat noem ‘n mens ‘n hasie wat preek? ‘n Kanselhasie!!!!
• wat noem jy ‘n ryk hasie? Inflhasie!!
• ‘n Hasie wat boer? Plasie…
• Wat noem mens ‘n siek hasie? Inflamhasie
• Wat noem jy ‘n hasie wat oorsee gaan? Immigrhasie
• Wat noem jy ‘n hasie met diarree? Purghasie!

(• iemand wat heeltyd hasie grappies vertel? Irrithasie )

Sandstorm in Sydney, Australia

September 23, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

 My friend Elize Olivier sent this from Sydney. She writes that they had a big sandstorm. “Ons het ‘n verskriklike sandstorm gehad vanoggend – eers deur Canberrra en toe hier by ons verby.  Baie eerie – niks voëls wat sing nie en geen son nie.  Natuurlik is alles vol fyn rooi stof en ons het gewag vir reën om alles in modder te verander, gelukkig nog nie.  Nou is dit weer oop en die son skyn.” (Ek weet net nie wat maak die dinosaur daar nie.)

On a sober note…

September 23, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

after all the fun of the last few days.

* My heart goes out to the parents of the head girl of Standerton Primary who was found dead in the shower on Sunday night. Also to the parents of the head boy of a school in Pretoria who shot himself and left a letter saying he was just too tired to go on living. Having had my first encounter with the death of a relative last year when my mom died, I cannot begin to imagine the loss of a child.

* Don’t be too surprised if the inquest into the adminstration of the SABC comes up with the name of a very famous, well-liked politician or two. ‘Nuff said. Just watch that space.

* Thank you, Minister Nathi Mthethwa, for at least acknowledging that crime in South Africa has a “uniquely violent character” and that the police should do more to combat that. But it’s no use complaining about crime the whole time if WE as South Africans don’t join in the struggle. One such way is by joining e-blockwatch. I know Andre Snijman, who started the project, and he is really passionate about mobilising more South Africans to watch out for each other. E-blockwatch assisted in the search for Leigh Matthews, Sheldean Human and the recently “lost” American tourist. It was through Andre and other e-block members that they finally realised the girl didn’t even enter South Africa in the first place.  

How it works: you join as a member, and in the event of something going down (or up) in your neighbourhood, suburb or town, you get alerted via SMS or e-mail. Should you run into trouble, the same method will be used to get others involved in, for instance, looking for you. There’s also a panic button system by which you name 5 friends or relative to be contacted immediately should you send a message (via SMS) that you are in trouble (e.g. hijacked, attacked in your home, etc.) Through cellphone technology, it immediately allocates the position of your phone, sending those co-ordinates to your dedicated friends or relatives so that they can immediately start searching in the right area. (I tested this, and my position was given to the nearest street corner! Clever hey!

JOIN NOW! Click on www.eblockwatch.co.za

An ABSOLUTE gem found on the streets of Jo’burg

September 22, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Remember the herbal healer-stuff I blogged about a week or two ago? Today something even funnier came my way courtesy of a very friendly young guy handing out pamphlets in bumper-to-bumper traffic. As traffic was literally CRAWLING along – when will these roadworks EVER end?! – I had a quick glance at said brochure. It was hilarious!

I won’t name names, because from the names these two operate under, it looks like they may have friends in hiding (you catch my drift??).

The dear little piece of advertising contain the usual amount of yadayadaying and blablabla about Sleepless Nights, Weak Erection or Enlargement, Lost Loves and Promotions At Work. But these guys put a fresh spin on things. And Apparently They Thought That By Starting Every Word with A Capital Their Brochure Sounds More Serious.

What qualifies them to heal people? (Sorry, To Heal People.) It must be “The Knowledge They Gained From Havard (sic!) University of Witchcraft in the U.S.A.” 

They can even help with the particular problem of “Weak in Bed Ejaculation Quickly or Small in Size”. (HUH???)

Can’t have a baby? “Low/Weak Sperm Count, Miscarriage All The Time, Can’t See Menstruation (HUH??) Or Always Heavy and Painful (YOU OR THE MENSTRUATION?) Try …(the healer himself) For A Success. (DOES THAT MEAN HE WILL PERSONALLY DO THE HONOURS??)

And yes, you’ve guessed it, they CAN predict the Lotto (which naturally explains why they still  can’t afford a proofreader for their brochure). 

So, Have You Been Trying Your Luck In Many Ways But Not Been Succeeding, Court Cases, Interviews, Exams, Playing Lotto, Casino, Horses. Why Not Try These Herbal (SIC) That Are Going To Do Miracles Forever. Rings, Charms, Stones And Sticks. (HUH?? Will they ring you, then charm you, then use sticks and stones?? Or do they throw the thingies??)

Ps. A Big Storm, or is it A BIG STORM, outside. Before this lightning strikes me and my trusty laptop into next week, I’ll sign off. See ya later!!

PPS: Jippie! The first real storm. It might even hail! Will report back later.



Name change URGENTLY needed for this squatter camp

September 22, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

If you live in Gauteng, you get to see the WEIRDEST things. But this signboard takes the proverbial cake. (I would say this is one place the government can rename with pleasure…)

Fraai (skonerige) Afrikaanse grappies vir julle…

September 22, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

…. terwyl ek my jis afsukkel om ‘n kursus vir aspirant-joernaliste saam te stel. Waarin het ek my tog begewe? So baie om te se, so min bladsye!! Gedenk aan my! (Hoekom so baie jokes op my blog? Want die lewe is flippen moeilik genoeg. Laat ons lag terwyl daar tyd is!)

Wat’s die verskil tussen ‘n goeie sekretaresse en ‘n BAIE goeie sekretaresse?
‘n Goeie sekretaresse sê: “Goeie môre, Meneer!”

‘n Baie goeie sekretaresse sê: “Goeiste, Meneer, dis al môre!”
Vrou gaan sien ‘n priester na haar 9de baba.

“Ek weet nie hoekom word ek so gou swanger nie.. Dit moet iets in die lug wees” 
“Ja” se die priester ” dis jou bene…..”

Oom wat verkeersman was , kry Alzheimer en gaan ouetehuis toe. 
Daar reel hy die verkeer van rystoele en looprame in die gange Een oggend vergeet hy om sy broek aan te trek, hy stop die tannie in die rystoel.

Toe sy voor hom stop kyk sy so in Meneer vas  “Ag Vader, moet ons nou vanmore nog in die pypie blaas ook.
“Dr,  ek het infeksie!” 
Mev, hoeveelkeer het jy seks?   
So een keer per maand.

Mev dit is nie infeksie nie, dis ROES.
Seuntjie vra sy ma. 
“As binne egtelike kinders deur die ooievaar gebring word waar kom buite egtelike kinders vandaan? 
Ma antwoord

Rondloper voels!

Seuntjie aan ma: 
“Ek wil graag ‘n boetie hê vir Kersfees” 
Ma: “Daar is te min tyd daarvoor my kind.

Seuntjie: “Maak dan soos Pappa en sit meer manne op die job!!!!! 

Funny out-of-office e-mail replies

September 22, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Tired of your boring old out-of-office reply? Want to spice up your mail-life? (As opposed to the male in your life, or the life in your male!!!) Then by all means feel free to use any of the following witty, nifty and very informative replies as your automatic one. And why not leave some of your own in my comments section? Maybe we can create the Official Letterdash Interesting Excuses Etc Thesaurus.

1. I am currently out of the office at a job interview and will reply
to you if I fail to get the position. Please be prepared for my mood.

2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of
the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received
anything at all.

3. Sorry to have missed you, but I’m at the doctor’s having my brain
and heart removed so I can be promoted to our management team.

4. I will be unable to delete all the emails you send me until I
return from vacation. Please be patient, and your mail will be deleted
in the
order it was received.

5. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged R5.99
for the first 10 words and R1.99 for each additional word in your

6. The email server is unable to verify your server connection. Your
message has not been delivered. Please restart your computer and try
sending again. (The beauty of this is that when you return, you can
see who did this over and over and over…)

7. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing
system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a
reply in
approximately 19 weeks.

8. Hi, I’m thinking about what you’ve just sent me. Please wait by
your PC for my response.

9. I’ve run away to join a different circus.

10. I will be out of the office for the next two weeks for medical
reasons. When I return, please refer to me as ‘Lucille’ instead of

So laat ‘n mens ‘n vrou soos ‘n VROU voel…

September 21, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

‘n Grappie ter afsluiting van 21 Sept 2009. Gekry van Faan uit die verre Ierland. Geniet, en slaap lekker!

Die vliegtuig was op pad na die OR Tambo lughawe toe dit in ‘ n
geweldige storm invlieg.

Dinge word al rowwer, en een van die vlerke word deur weerlig getref.

Een van die vroue op die vlug haak heeltemal uit. Sy gaan staan voor
in die gang en skree: ” Ek is te jonk om te sterf! Maar ek het een laaste wens as dit
dan moet: Is hier enigeen op die vlug wat my vir oulaas soos ‘ n VROU kan laat voel?”

Stilte. Almal kyk na haar. Toe staan ‘ n Vrystaatse boer agter in die vliegtuig op en stap vorentoe. Hy is
aantreklik, lank en sterk gebou. Hy stap tot by die vrou, en knoop sy hemp stadig los.

Niemand praat of roer nie. Almal staar na hom en sy gespierde bolyf. Sy snak na haar asem. 

Hy fluister: “Stryk my hemp, en bring vir my ‘ n koue bier.”