Day 37 – Scramble for Scrabble

How to win at Scrabble!!!!

Oh so VERY short and sweet! Need a serious session of relaxation with my new found friend….. online scrabble!

Sorry guys, but need to take a break today! XXX


Day 36 – A little sex, and not much city!

Golden Girls = Sex and the City

What did Abu Dhabi pay HBO to have a whole film shot on location? Yes, I was very trepidatious going to see the latest rendition of what was one of my favourite tv series of all time. I was already a little let down by film numero “o no”, but after reading all the crits, assumed the worst.

My verdict is a bit undecided and confused. I mean – the phrase of the movie HAS to be: “Well hello, Laurence of the Labia” – but outside of that it was just a desert background to make the fashion  look more colourful, and most unnecessary costume changes. I mean talk about old colonial travel styles with truck loads of baggage – and not too few Middle Eastern stereotypes either.

Now Liza Minnelli was FABULOUS – and in my reconfirmed fag hag status I shall revel for the time being. And yes — I related to the distance that people will put between themselves and their loved ones for a job or a better future / prospects.

In a nutshell, maybe because I was expecting to be massively disappointed, I was pleasantly surprised. Two and a half hours of mindless amusement with a shocked giggle every once in a while,Low calorie popcorn, diet coke and one SMALL Ben & Jerry’s Cookie dough later, with a hint of pissy weather – and in all it equals a perfect bank holiday Monday.

What did I not like – HOW did they manage to get an Australian rugby team worked into the script? Truly – did they not realise that there might be a couple of southern hemisphere neighbours that would not relish in this overindulged attention… especially to their packages. And we ALL know the truth in that regard!

A part of me will always reflect on the series, but I have to allow for the natural process of aging that all us avid followers must surely be able to relate to. I appreciate that I could not spot too much Botox and implants – and in that I felt kindred and kindled. If not for the fashion, and the hint of a tryst on the beach – at least the wrinkle stayed true.

I mean – even to those iconic style icons, and straight talking geriatrics – aging can’t always be easy! Forty here we come, or what do you say, Samantha? All us golden girls must stick together!


Day 35 – Juicy!

Juicy Fruit - of the non chewing gum veriety!

I’m taken back to my childhood, where we had a vine in our garden, and “organic” to the roots. Grapes were really juicy, and they had big bitter seeds inside. What is a grape without seed? Ha Ha – I know – seedless. Yes I asked for that, but seriously – will we be destined to eat genetically modified, tasteless fruit for all eternity until we pop over the waters to France?

I recall with clarity how we never believed that we had to pick the apricots before they were ripe, and it had to be first thing in the morning, before they got too hot in the summer sun. Of course we knew better – so sympathy was far and in between when you were crawling with cramps on the floor, and echoes of “I told you so!”

My dislike for peaches stems from the fresh peaches picked from the tree behind my Wendy house that looked totally edible, until you tasted the furry skin on your tongue, and was put off the texture for life. The plums had no problem hanging to maturity, as you knew the reward would not only be juicy – but juicy to the core, so you did not have to mind biting into the stone.

And then there was the avocado tree, the Pomelo trees, the oranges and the loose skinned big yellow lemons. And most importantly – God how I miss Figs. Ripe, soft and kind figs.

Fruit were juicy – even though the trees struggled at times with severe droughts and too much sun. There has to be a way that we can get fruit over here that has had the patience and time provided them with juices and pips – fully seeded and sweet.

Yes, we had fruit this weekend, and Rose wine and brilliant company and lazy dinners, but it was the biting into that seedless grape that reminded me – sometimes we need to mix bitter pips with the sweetest juice to have the greatest experience in life.


Day 33 – The best little……

Vuvuzelas and Black Label - wish I was there!

Allow me to share this story with you – with permission from my astounded mother, of course.

I receive a frantic phone call: “Skype me please – quickly”! Now for those who do not know, my home town in Graaff-Reinet is about the size of New Ross, but quite isolated – so prostitution and soliciting  flesh would not be something that would make for an every day occurence.

Apparently…. and this is how it goes – in a shop in GRT today the first casualty of the World Cup hit the heart of our Karoo Town. Yip – a Frenchman (or someone with similarly suave accent) approached a lady that had just preceded him into the shop – and very bluntly enquired what R200 would get him.

That part is amusing enough – the reply even better – “You think I’m cheap?”

To which he replied “And R400 (about €40)?)”

To which there was no reply. My mother who of course had no need to eaves drop, as this conversation was well within ear shot – picked up her jaw of surprise off the ground, and watched as they left in the same direction…

I know in my heart she was wondering, as many in such small towns would as well – where di they go to?

Now I realise that this is verging on the amusing, but unfortunately there is a very tragic side to all this in SA as well at the moment. For some, the World Cup has brought nothing but a last-ditch opportunity to tap a couple of cents out of the tourist base that will visit – and at any cost. It is well-known that some parents would even resort to sell their own children – what is the true legacy that this tournament is going to leave behind?

That said – I am truly proud to know that such a magnificent event is hosted in SA – and hope to have many an Afro-Irish celebration over the next weeks.

Oh yes – due to my imbibition of Rose last night – I have picked up 100grams. Ahem – and there is a Bank Holiday weekend lying ahead as well!

Viva! Viva! Viva! Viva the best little WORLD CUP in the World!


Day 32 – Apple Inc

An Apple a day keeps technology at bay!

This is my first ever time blogging on an Apple. My addiction to the ol’ iPhone is beyond a joke by now – but I have never really gotten into the whole Mac mentality. That said – the keyboard is compact (read minute) and the mouse is a bit weird.

I am clearly digressing from my calorific intake, instead injesting the wonders of Apple. Should I not rather be chewing on the real deal right now – like a juicy Golden delicious – or feel my gills contract with a nice sour Granny Smith? I’d much rather spend energy finding the keys on a keyboard that is more than a bit foreign.

A conversation on modern technology is what started my day, and how hoteliers in general feel that they never had to pursue the need to know anything about IT. To a point I agree – I mean service is everything, and the experience at any hotel should be honed around the wonders of the art of giving beyond reproach. That said, I do also feel that now with our guests being more aware of technology, we would not be serving them as required if we do not at least speak the same language.

So in that lies my whole argument – we need to educate the masses – in English, and make all this accesible to all, so our patrons have a broader choice, a better experience and we know that it IS important to have free wi-fi. That just because you join a social networking site does not mean that someone is going to steal your entire identity, or funnel your millions into their own bank accounts.

Like with me typing this blog tonight on an Apple (yes, getting used to the keyboard, and it is growing on me) – it is all about choices really? Do we face our fears and get on with it – or do we bemoan the fact that we are being forced to choose away from the comfort of the known.

What have we got to loose? Oh yes????!!! My trigger word! Loose – and in my case I only want to be a loser of the calorific kind….

Yes, I lost 200g (but weighed in very early this morning) today – and not had an Apple in site!


Day 31 – The Bitch of the Flies

I piss on YOU! I WILL have the last laugh....

It always astounds me, that even though I am from Africa, I have never encountered such arrogant a species of fly such as those we find over here in Ireland. Blue Bottles indeed.

It’s not that they are particularly different to those we have in South Africa, just that they have such different personalities. I mean – the one’s in SA are nippy and zippy little pests, that can always be enticed into smelly fly traps, and the problem is gone. Maybe I should call them stupid, but at least they know how to fall into traps.

The local Irish variety on the other hand are slow, laboriously hefty things that fly somehow suspended. They must clearly also be from the land of saints and scholars, as they seem to be intrepid at avoiding every flytrap in their way. They also seem to be immune to every pesticide going – so I really hate them!

Today however, I have resorted to the oldest but most effective of traps – the sticky swirly one that used to hang in your grandmother’s kitchens way back when. The one they fly into and they squirm to get free , yet just entangling them more than before into the most gooey of substnaces – and then they DIE.

And it’s working! So yes, I have lost my daily 200g in fly chasing. My 10 minute excercise was the frantic flapping of arms to keep them from flying suspended around my head – and I am now officially the bitch of every fly that might think of coming my way.

Do you think the fact that I have 50 lazing un-milked cows across the field might have anything to do with this?


Day 30 – Worth my weight in gold?


I have to lose 7 of these - EVERY DAY - for 82 days!

Allow me to share a great experience with you. Today I chatted to my brother on Skype. Not so novel, I know, for some of us – but yet again I am intensely fascinated by how modern technology has truly turned the world into a little cyber squatter camp (if you have a laptop & a bit of Wi-Fi). It was so nice to see him, the family – the pet sheep, to mention but a few!

On top of that – it was also weighed in day today – 5 pounds in total only! ARGH!!! I will simply have to take ownership and put this all in perspective.

I have 82 days left to lose 35 pounds to declare the 40.40 challenge a success. To be more specific, I need to lose 194 grams per day for the next 82 days to make target (we’ll keep it sikply and say 200 grams). That equates to 1/5 of a small bag of sugar, or 1 large bar of Aero, or 1/3 of a brick of butter….. and the list goes on. This is not calories, this is purely the amount of weight I have to lose per day!

So I will stick to the butter analogy, and I have to see 200g melt away every day for 82 days. pretty daunting when you actually put it in real tangible terms, instead of some abstract calories!

That said 200g is also just a very small nugget of gold – depends on the substance…. I mean – the money spent on gaining every 200g is worth far more than a blob of butter! Gold it is then!

We have yet another perspective on the goal, but for those – like myself – that might have been distracted by my social commentary, rather than the matter in hand….

Hi, my name is Bettieboep, and I like to eat. I will endeavour to go the next 82 days by trying to shed 200g per day of my body mass. I have to go home tonight and do 10 minutes of spinning on my back. This is like riding an imaginary bicycle in the air.

All your thoughst and encouragement much appreciated! Carpe diem!


Day 29 – The day after…


Yesterday was just simply NOT a blogging day. It was a day for reflection and nostalgia.

Just when people tell me that social networking is over rated, or mostly that they don’t understand it, then you realise how it also brings people together. My post wine-jump expedition on Saturday was followed by more wine, a “braai” and our divorce party. Yes, my Ras is moving out, and as this was our second divorce, we felt that we had to celebrate it. (For those that do not know about our soon to be EX-living arrangement – watch Modern Family)

But I digress – just by chance I tapped my Facebook update on the ol’ iPhone, and there I am met by two posts from someone who is a friend of my mother, and merely a Facebook acquaintance of mine. It was what he posted though that touched me profoundly, and opened floodgates of distance, memories of laughter, love and mostly my mom and my longing for the wisdom of my dad.

The one was Jacques Brel (famous Belgium songwriter and singer) singing Marieke, a song that during my growing up was belted out by a singer Leonora Veenemans on many occasions. It recollects long journeys in a Grey Rover van den Plat to Cape Town, where the tape would be played over and over again. It reminds of chilly nights in Hogsback to a 3/4 beat. It makes me remember my mother varying it with every Elvis track imaginable, and boisterous singing to all corners of South Africa – in heat that saw the tar glimmer oily on the horizon, or in stop start slides down black frosted mountain passes.

The other? The other was a clip where Anthony Quinn (very elderly) meets the composer Mikis Theodorakis in a slow dance and a fast embrace to the now symbolic plucks of the Theme tune to the Movie Zorba the Greek. And in Anthony Quinn’s frailty I see the passions of the past, but in his spoken words I hear the answer to our present. “And I want you to know, the music of Zorba – is the music of life. And to live life fully – you must always love. And I love you” A man must have truly lived to say those words to another man so convincingly, and so unashamedly – such awe and humility in those simple words.

So out of the doldrums that was homesickness, sadness and nostalgia yesterday, I give you today these words from Zorba himself:

Alexis Zorba: Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You’ve got everything except one thing: MADNESS! A man needs a little madness, or else…
Basil: Or else?
Alexis Zorba: …he never dares cut the rope and be free.

Five pounds down in total – falling seriously behind. Then again -I’m on a journey more thana quick ride?

Calories? Who cares….. rather – Teach me to dance!!


Day 27 – Dedication

Wine Gums? Oops - I must have misheard you...

Sometimes a picture replaces a thousand words- all of it in 10 minutes. So my text came through…. Do jumping or skipping with a bottle of wine in each hand for ten minutes and then enjoy a glass of wine after – you’ll deserve it.

Talk about guilty pleasures… Sorry Marcin, I have already had two, but I did my jumps! Yes, I have just spent the past 10 minutes jumping around the kitchen with a wine bottle in each hand…. Douglas Green’s NOT so finest, I might add.

My mother is having her birthday, so I am doing a long distance celebration. The Stormers lost – the closest thing to Province I can remember, which was sad – so I have to drown my sorrows.

It looks like Leinster is in with a chance, but then again – who cares about the Magner’s League? I mean – talk about a second-rate contest… what happened to something worthwhile, like raising the Heineken Cup?

Right, I am being braver than you could possibly imagine – I am bound to have a divorce on my hands with that comment, and a disowning from my sprog.

Even writing this blog, I am showing utmost dedication, as I sit at the bar counter, looking at the two brave bottles that rest in my hands during my exercise session – thinking…. which one should I have first?

Marcin, and you said I can have only one glass?? Give me a bit of a break – I mean, I did my jumps, surely I deserve more!


Day 26 – GUINNESS!!!


Mother's Milk

Short, black and gorgeous…. like my last pint of Guinness (YES, 270 calories per pop) – that’s going to be my blog tonight.

The end of a great week – challenging, changing and courageous, but we’re there. We have taken the first tentative steps into our new computer system at the hotel, and all are now on board.

I had no passion today for calorie counting, and did not do my 10 minutes, but I jumped around like a cheerleader with pure enthusiasm all week – so only the scales will tell the next week.

Now I am going to continue with my Bacchus induced indifference, and have another couple of glasses of red wine, and enjoy this weekend to its fullest. Who knows – we might even go for a walk.

Bare with me there – but tonight I need a life!