Friday, 19 July 2013

Madiba Madness

The great man has officially passed the 95 milestone on his long walk to heaven. And if there is such a thing as heaven, Nelson 'Madiba' Mandela will definitely be going there when he leaves the world. I think only the purest of white supremacist racists will dispute that, and even then, there may be some of those who won't. 

Having never met the man, but having read up on the histories of my country during the Apartheid era, he is no saint, but he has become an icon of what presidents should be for their country. Sure, he was involved in some hanna-hanna back in the early days, but to my knowledge at least, he was always pro-peace. If you could get your point across without throwing rocks and causing blood to run, then that was the way he wanted to do it. And then he got chucked in chookie for 27 years. 

I will always wonder how different the political state of my country would be if he had've been a younger man by the time he was freed. Even though his presidential run was during my primary schooling, looking back as an adult having read about him and listened to the older generations, I think he was a pretty good president, particularly being the first after the NP got given the boot. To have a decent first president after an independence seems quite rare to me, Africa-speaking. The main horrid example being our Northerly neighbour and his 20-something years of derailing his nation. Thank goodness we had Madiba. A man who worked for his country rather than expecting his country to work for him. A pity his successors never got that memo. They preach his name but they just use it as a screen to shield their self-serving arses. Ok, whoosah. Let me stop before I go into a disillusioned rant.

The point of this post is to pay homage to a man whom I think has been one of the best things, if not THE best, to happen to my wonderful South Africa in the last century. He has roads named after him and statues of him standing in many countries outside of his own. The world reveres him and that makes us proud. I think he deserves all the admiration and respect we all have for him. He earned it with action, not just words. He has given us 67 years of true service. I wish more of those had been with him as president. Now I wish everyone would leave him alone to live and die in peace. Doesn't he deserve that too? 

I understand that we as a people love him, and the idea of all that he stood for. But to say to him 'We are not ready to let you go', as I have heard many a time in the last month or so, well, that's just not cricket. At this stage in his game I don't think it should matter what we want. He has focused on us for enough of his life. Now it's time for him to have what he wants, and if that means he is ready to let go of his life of hardship and service, then I think we should let him do that with happy hearts that we were lucky enough to have him, and his last days will be peaceful and filled only with family and love, not with pleading, whining people. The idea of Nelson Mandela will not die when he does. That is his legacy to his country and to the world. 

My birthday wish for him (for yesterday) is that he will be comfortable and happy, to have all pain and suffering removed so that he can live or die in peace. We love you Tata Madiba. 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Light a candle to stave off the dark

Having been a fairly introverted child, one capable of being alone for hours on end without complaint, I still catch myself missing that solo ability sometimes now that I am in my twenties. As always, we evolve through our developing years. I have evolved into a more social person, though nothing compared to the butterflies I know. Even though I still need quiet time (yes, I sound like a 4-year-old) and time free of the pressure of entertaining and conversing, it is pleasant and fun to spend time with friends, to feel a part of something.

My flatmate has been away this past week and after 7 days alone, I am doing my nut. Almost. It's amazing how much we take for granted the presence of another person, even if you're not doing things together, the simple fact of knowing someone else is in the house, is around, makes the loneliness less. And boy have I felt lonely some of these nights. During the work week it's fine - I am at work, seeing people (some whether I want to or not), part of the daily ebb and flow. It's on the weekends and for me particularly at night, that I feel at a loss. I have baked biscuits, built a puzzle, read a book, and watched countless episodes of Hart of Dixie and Chip 'n Dale (Rescue Rangers!) and yet I finish all that and still wish there was someone there.

Realising this, I discover to my shame, that I am quite a selfish person. As I've said, I still enjoy (and need) my time alone, but it's on my terms. Alone when I want to be. Around people when I want to be. When it's NOT on my terms I feel the lonely pity party ensuing, or conversely a perverse desire to make people disappear. I know people who know people, you know. Anyway. I need to learn to be happy alone again. And that's in a romantic and non-romantic sense. In the former area I am jaded these days, so that's ok. But this desire for attention has got to be nipped in the bud. If it's even in the bud anymore. One can hope. Onwards!

On a selfish-related note, I just saw I missed a call from my father earlier today. I should call him back, but I just am not ready to talk to him and hear his disappointment in himself and life, which is unfortunately mostly his own fault, which is difficult to admit. I do need to got a hold of my mother though, and find out how she is doing with the recent changes and setbacks. Why am I finding it so difficult to be a good daughter?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Ah.... Completeness :)

I have finished it. It has taken me about four months of intermittent building, but I have finally finished my first ever 6000 piece puzzle. As I have mentioned in a previous post, the image wasn't one I would have chosen, but I must admit that the final product looks much better than the box.

I borrowed this puzzle from my graduate supervisor whose wife enjoys puzzle building. I don't have any documentation to verify this, but I think I started it (so that means ferreting out the straight edges) roughly at the start of March this year. A lot of backache and cold-bum later, it's done!

Sorry it's the wrong way round...
14 April -- Got the colourful bits going. Water, jaguars, macaws. And a frog.

Pieces scattered everywhere!
25 May -- Two days before my birthday. Puzzle pieces everywhere! That's probably how I lost one...

not quite picture perfect....
27 June -- Ta Da! Assuming the puzzle was 6000 pieces (which it isn't), there are actually only 5997 here. One my supervisor has, one I found in the vacuum cleaner, and the other has been knicked by gremlins. Must be.