My sister’s name is Jacquelyn. On her first day of school, she – not being one to ever do things in single measures – befriended a set of twins as new best friends. The school being a girls-only establishment made the mother of said twins a little curious when they arrived home full of praise for their new friend ‘Jack William’; the woman was very relieved to discover that there was no double-barrel-named little boy in the class and that her daughters had simply given my sister’s name their own interpretation.
I’ve always called her Jackie, and she is everything a sister ought to be. Although she’s much younger than me (my brother came in the middle of us three children; the only ‘planned’ baby my parents produced – but that is another story, for a different day) she’s been my bedrock through all my ups and downs.

jackie bunny
I recently bought myself a rabbit; Jackie had sent me some money and I was missing Betsy. This, the latest in my longtime habit of rabbit-ownership, is one that cannot destroy my garden. It seemed only fitting that my new bunny be named Jack William and he (yes, he’s pink, but I decided I needed a male about the place) somehow makes Jackie closer to me as I enjoy my early-morning coffee in the garden every day. Jack William is proving to be an amiable housemate; he’s most agreeable and I’ve yet to hear him utter a bad word.

fish fingers_edited
Living alone is becoming easier as I get on with it. Being so busy at work helps and the free time I do have is usually taken up by my trying to catch up with sleep. I do enjoy the freedom to do as I please; like eating fish fingers for breakfast without having to explain myself. And the pleasure of having an entire chocolate orange all to myself.

Johannesburg is fast becoming empty; everyone’s starting their annual trek to the coast. I’ll be home alone over the festive season for the first time in my life. I’ve armed myself against melancholy with lots to read and plan to watch a lot of movies. My mantra will be that wonderful quote by Paul Tillich:
“Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”

And if the glory wanes somewhat, I know that my sister is only a phone call away.

55 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful quote.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    1. theonlycin says:

      I read it years ago and have never forgotten it, Mandy. It’s so true. xxx

  2. Zirkie says:

    I love Jack William! He is pink after all! 😉 I saw those chocolate oranges in P & P, is it nice? I adore choc and orange combinations! Hugs to you, Cindy!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You will love the chocolate, Pinky. Big hugs back at you xxx

  3. crafti says:

    What a lovely read 🙂

  4. I love your rabbit and his name is perfect.

  5. Tandy says:

    I used to love Decembers alone in JNB – you can explore all the shops etc. Without being crowded 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      The traffic is already quite a delight 🙂

  6. Leeswammes says:

    Lovely rabbit! You should talk to him every morning when you wish him a good morning – tell him your plans for that day and make it sound GOOD. Then you’ll feel lucky that you can live that day, even a Christmas day on your own.

    Hope it’s solitude rather than loneliness you’ll experience, Cindy!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Judith, I actually do talk to Jack William every day, but I must admit that I sometime moan – must work on making our chats all about good stuff.

  7. suzicate says:

    “Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”-one of my favorite quotes. You will get through this. Big hugs!
    I love that you named the rabbit Jack William after your sister…It’s ok if it’s pink, after all, your sister “Jack William” is a girl, lol! That story about the name is priceless!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Funny the stories we remember, hey, Suzicate 🙂

  8. Pussycat44 says:

    Love the new addition to your “family”.
    Thanks for sending all the Vaalies/Gauties to my neck of the woods.
    I’ll also be alone for Christmas, but I’ve bought lovely goodies to eat and to drink.
    It’s not nice to be alone, but I’ve got used to it now.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Good for you, pussycat, they say we get used to anything after a while.

  9. Wonderful! I’m spending my holidays alone this year, too. It’s wise to prepare ahead of time for what you’ll do, I think. Without plans, I’ve sometimes had bouts of sadness or loneliness take me by surprise. It’s easier to avoid than to try to drag yourself out of that state, I’m sure you know. Thanks, Cindy!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re right, Cindy, I’ve made myself a list of chores a mile long; things I don’t get much time to do when I’m working long hours.

  10. Sparkle says:

    Hi Cin, you rarely mention your sis n bro. Do they stay in GP too?
    Happy Holiday’s!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      No, Sparky, my sister is far away in Port Alfred and my brother is also a fair distance away, in White River. Happy holidays to you too.

  11. slpmartin says:

    Given your busy schedule of late…a quite relaxing holiday with Jack Williams should be just perfect…have a wonderful holiday season my friend.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too, Charlie, at least I’ll have the time – finally – to catch up with blog reading 🙂

  12. adinparadise says:

    I’m sure that you and Jack William will have a most enjoyable Christmas. He is rather gorgeous. Love the story about you sister’s name. 🙂 Fish fingers for breakfast and a whole chocolate orange sounds like a great idea to me.

    1. theonlycin says:

      He is handsome, I am thinking of getting him a bow-tie for Christmas 🙂

  13. nrhatch says:

    Treat yourself special EVERY day . . . and keep your sister on speed dial. She sounds like a keeper.

    1. theonlycin says:

      That she is, Nancy 🙂

  14. Dee says:

    I do love your Jack William, he is so very pink, how wonderful. Wishing you a lovely holiday

    1. theonlycin says:

      Best wishes to you too, Dee. Thanks.

  15. dearrosie says:

    What a lovely introduction to your sister, and your bunny Jack William.
    When I feel lonely I go for a hike, there is no better medicine for me. I’m sure there must be many amazing hikes around and near Johannesburg. (If you don’t feel safe hiking alone you could join a hiking club.)
    Have you visited Sterkfontein Caves? I highly recommend that you take yourself there!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ve been to Sterkfontein Caves and agree that it is a wonderful experience. I live very close to Zoo Lake, which is very safe for walking. Thanks for the hint, Rosie.

      1. colonialist says:

        I know of a nice ‘unofficial’ entrance to Sterkfontein caves. It involves a bit of tricky climbing down, though.

  16. Miss Chris / David's Dance says:

    I am also just a phone call away…..

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, my sweet friend ❤

  17. Mal says:

    Ooh, love that rabbit, love that pink – pink’s my favourite colour… Purr-fect!
    Psst, what sound does a rabbit make…meow? wuff? oink? moo?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Rabbits ‘huff and snuffle’ but I have heard one give out a peculiar squeal when it was frightened by a dog.

  18. colonialist says:

    Jack WIlliam seems most agreeable. Which is a pity if you want someone to argue with?
    I can only take a certain amount of my own company. I talk and sing and make noises far too much.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I have enough arguing with my authors at work, Col, peace must reign at home 🙂

  19. matron says:

    The chocolate orange sounds delicious,I’ve never heard of it,. Love Jacky’s colour.

  20. Ruth2Day says:

    I love Terry’s Chocolate Orange, I had one a week or so ago, and it was delicious! 🙂

  21. theonlycin says:

    Look out for the chocolate orange, Checkers stock them. You’ll love it 🙂

  22. adeeyoyo says:

    Love the rabbit and a bow tie will make him look SO distinguished. Missed you guys. Glad your sister is around (for the holidays?). Have a great time with her. I love Christmas in Joeys with the empty streets and shops.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Unfortunately I can’t be with my sister, Adee, but thanks for your good wishes xxx

  23. One of these days you must get on a plane and spend Christmas here. Just one Dickensian Christmas….I hope the time to yourself proves a time to recharge. I,too, adore fish fingers for breakfast, though to know you do is the biggest surprise 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      Christmas in England, what a dream, Kate. And we could eat all the fishfingers we wanted for breakfast 😀

  24. Tammy says:

    I love Jack William. And you’re wise to plan how you’ll spend your time. I had a Christmas alone one time and did just that – down to what my meal would be. It’s a lovely memory.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Tammy, I’d love to know what your solitary Christmas meal was 🙂

      1. Tammy says:

        Curried carrots with cashews.

  25. Jamie Dedes says:

    What a pretty rabbit.

    Planning is indeed the path to survival for a first … second … third holiday alone. After some time, it does become easier. Love and agree with that Tilich quote.

    Be as well and happy as you can, Cindy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Jamie, same to you xxx

  26. And I am only an e-mail away, so you’ve got more than one person to call on! You’ve got TONS! Do you Skype? Perhaps we can Skype on Christmas Day. We’ll be on the Outer Banks with our granddaughter (and her parents, too, I guess! 😆 )

    BTW, Cin, do you know what has become of our dear Sidey? Is she alright? Is she in “recovery mode?” I don’t want to bug her, but I miss her and pray each day that she is doing well. If you know, let me know.

    You are still sounding so good. Sometimes I know what an effort that is, but it really is worth it. Your outlook sounds so positive. Makes me proud of you (as though I have something to do with it! Hey! Maybe I did! I complained about my own problems so much endlessly, or every chance I got [and get] I could take your mind off of your own!) Oh well, life is a wonderful thing, especially if we could just figure out how to get God to see things our way. I have always considered myself sort of an adviser to the Almighty, and am frequently disappointed when God does not seem to see things the way I do. . .go figure! 😆

    Love, Christmas Blessings, and a Joyous 2013 filled with surprises and the blessings of the abundance of enough. . .


    Love that rabbit! And pink is in for men these days. . .

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’ve been a huge support with your wise words, thanks Paula. I do Skype, but always forget to turn it on. I’m not sure about Sidey, we lost contact some time back.
      Keep addvising the Almighty, He has to take heed sometime 😉 Merry Christmas to you and yours. And, as always, I wish you too ‘enough’.

  27. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s a lovely story about how Jack William came to be and I’m glad there’s a new man in your life. It’s a shame you can’t be with Jackie for Christmas! I do hope you have a lovely Christmas Day despite having to spend it on your own xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      I will have my mother-in-law and brother-in-law over for lunch, HS, I’ve already started preparations.

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