Friday, 20 December 2013

How the year doth fly

I am in a minor state of shock that we are less than 12 days away from the end of 2013. Where did this year go? Will the next 12 days also bleed away rapidly until I find myself (hopefully) standing amongst friends counting in 2014? I have so much to cram into this last week and a bit it's nuts. Primarily work-related but this includes Christmas shopping. I am terrible at gift buying. I think last year I bought the gifts on the 23rd, wrapped them on the morning of the 24th only to have them unwrapped that evening. I had plans, oh I had big plans, this year to be better, more prepared. Um yeah. It's the 20th today.... still no gifts.

I have however been putting in 10+ hour work days, which for me is something new on a repetitive scale. Being first in, last out of the office is a little depressing, particularly when Durban has decided that summer = sunshine and it's stopped raining enough for the beach to be golden and the sky a beautiful blue (azure?). Although, I quite like the rain too. Perfect weather for cuddling up with tea and a book or DVDs. Alas and alack. I have an excuse for writing this post though - data reductions are running elsewhere on my computer, so you see, I am at work and am merely multitasking (and avoiding writing what I should be - a paper).

Looking back on this year, overall it's been marginally better than the hell that was 2012. Only marginally though. Three burglaries in less than a month, two house moves, work progressing at a snail's pace and then going back 100 steps, a few bad romantic decisions, one of which was most disappointing as it revealed a lack of good character judgment on my part, or that I am just too good at deluding myself. My country's sorrow at the passing of our only decent democratic President to date. (I'm disregarding all of the governmental ballsups this year as, let's face it, those are an annual surety.)

But, it hasn't been all bad. I've met at least one new person who has become a good friend, I gave my first public lecture and didn't have it flop, and I enjoyed a realxing (and sunburnt) beach week with my best friend when we needed it most. In a week or so I'll get to see a friend I haven't seen in two years, and either by the end of the year or at the very start of the next I will see someone great whom I haven't seen in over three. And there are probably many little happy things that happened that I just don't remember right now. One can always hope 2014 will be better.

Plus, there's always the New Year's Eve party to look forward to. Who knows what will happen..... ;)

Friday, 6 December 2013

Goodbye to our Nation's father

06 December 2013 was not going to be anything special. I had the normal errands, a work conference/workshop to go to, average stress, average joys. But then I woke up and the first thing I saw on the social networks was a very sad thing indeed. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, or Tata Madiba to many South Africans, has died. 

I had to visit various reputable news sites before believing it. There have been hoaxes before. I am sad to say it's true. It wasn't as huge a shock as it could have been considering his long illness and Death had been knocking on Mandela's door for a while. No-one can deny him entry forever. It is still sad though. He wasn't perfect, but he became a great man who did great things for his people and his country (my people, my country). He makes me incredibly proud to be South African.

He was been born a Xhosa boy from the rural Eastern Cape, and he died a national hero and is furiously loved and respected by most of us South Africans, not to mention many internationals. Flags today will fly at half-mast and I know there will be moments of silence and mourning. To his family, you've lost something more important than a hero; you've lost a father, brother, husband, friend. Know that millions of people mourn with you. Sterkte.

So, so long Tata Madiba, hamba kahle. May you find the peace you've so long fought for.