cricket on saturday afternoon_edited

View from my balcony: Saturday afternoon cricket match – King Edward School.

“Mr Edgerton was suffering from writer’s block. It was, he quickly grew to realise, a most distressing complaint. A touch of influenza might lay up a man for a day or two, yet still his mind could continue its ruminations. Gout may leave him racked with suffering, yet still his fingers could grasp a pen a turn pain to pennies. But this blockage, this barrier to all progress, had left Mr Edgerton a virtual cripple.” The Inkpot Monkey – John Connolly.


View from my balcony towards the East / Linksfield Ridge with Jacaranda Trees.

I can extend my deepest sympathy to poor Mr Edgerton; I too have been beset with writer’s block for the longest time. My torpor extends even to reading my friends’ blogs. So too my kitchen passion has waned and it is all I can do to force myself to eat a slice of toast and a glass of milk. I’ve been mired in self-pity and fear as I get to grips with the reality of my new life and wrestle with the task of finding gainful employment at a very bad time of the year. As Johannesburg begins to ready itself to empty as its residents flock to the coast for two months, I begin to dread spending the festive season on my own.

noise no rain_edited

View from my balcony of a storm brewing over King Edward School.

I sooth my dread with the thought that the lovely views from my balcony will be mine alone for a time and that I will be able to enjoy the afternoon summer storms without the customary noise of excessive traffic. I make sure that I make a daily gratitude list, and on that list the first five items are always the same:

My relationship with my daughter continues to prosper and we talk daily

I own my apartment outright and don’t have to worry about paying a mortgage

My divorce will soon be final and it has been amicable

Despite my currently poor diet, my health is very good

I have an extremely loyal and supportive group of friends

I constantly remind myself that the acronym for FEAR is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL.

kes chimney

View from my balcony over King Edward School.

A wise friend suggested that I make a list of 10 random things that make me smile – not obvious things close to my heart, like my daughter or my cat; just arbitrary things that never fail to lift my spirits. I will admit that making the list did render a smile:

Jacaranda trees

Vanilla milkshakes


Harley Davidsons

Santana’s “Oye como va”

Braai (barbeque) fires




Fountain pens

survived the hailstorm_edited

Roses blooming in my little potted balcony garden.

ally sleeping_edited

Princess Ally; my ever-loyal companion.

And so I remain steadfast in my quest to keep the faith and to believe that – soon – all will be well again …


76 Comments Add yours

  1. SuziCate says:

    I shall try to remember that acronym for fear!
    Best wishes to you!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, SuziCate πŸ™‚

  2. Fabulous to have you back and SO good to read about you and dort!!! You have a wonderful view of that school *wonders what’s behind the yellow door* xxxxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Behind the yellow door is a classroom, Chanty πŸ™‚

  3. Miss Chris says:

    Ja my Cinderella. Life most certainly goes in stages and phases and I have always lamented why some have to end but have always been told that without an ending there cannot be a new beginning – whether one sometimes wants that new one is unfortunately a lot of the time not a choice but as we start to look through clearer glasses the view does become better! xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Chrissie, at the moment the glasses are very foggy, I look forward to looking back when I have a clearer view πŸ™‚

  4. colonialist says:

    You certainly have some lovely views – including the close-ups!

  5. Dee says:

    Thank you, thank you for making my morning, and bringing me joy this day!!!!!! I love reading your blog, and it is my hope to meet you one day. Trials are meant to strengthen us, and it seems your trial is bringing about many positive things, with your daughter and husband.After seven years I still wish I could have an amicable relationship with my love but it will have to wait till I pass on. I live, staying busy serving others, and safe in the love of our father, who has given me the strength to do whatever I have tried, even building for Habitate, It is amazing what we can do. I like the views from your balcony, and the roses are wonderful I will give thanks for you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Dee πŸ™‚

  6. Colleen says:

    Wonderful that you have overcome that initial hurdle Cindy. I am still trying myself and like you the block extends to reading and cooking as well. For some reason it wasn’t in evidence while I was on the farm….new surroundings and challenges maybe? Force yourself to write regularly and you will overcome it completely and the fear will also vanish with it. All WILL be well….I continue to pray for you and I love you. Your photos are glorious. You have a natural talent for gardening…. I wish you could find a lovely job in a local nursery where the roses flourish and bloom and there is a pond with ducklings giving you something to smile about πŸ™‚ Wishing you watermelon and milkshake days ahead. Take each day as it comes and don’t look too far ahead. Maybe find someone (or three) who you know will also be alone and invite them for a Christmas day picnic in one of the pretty local parks, with each one of you supplying a plate of eats xxxx ❀

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Colly, I’ve been very fortunate in being invited to share Christmas lunch with my sponsor and her family πŸ™‚

  7. Carina says:

    You have always inspired me and still do.
    I admire your strength, insight and honesty
    Often I am jealous of your solitary lifestyle with a cat ( yes I know…till I have it)

  8. Mika says:

    Beautiful post dear one …Much love always xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      And much love to you too, dear Mika xxx

  9. Bravo on sharing your heart with us Cindy! I am sending you a BIG virtual hug.
    You really do have beautiful views and the most adorable companion, Princess Ally.
    Have a happy afternoon.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy xoxoxo

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Mandy πŸ™‚

  10. nrhatch says:

    I’m glad that the jacaranda trees are in bloom . . . since that’s on your list of 10. Soak up those views. Bunnies always make me smile. Also tiny tots (when they’re laughing).

    “False Evidence Appearing Real” can be a real downer when our mood is precarious. We don’t always have the necessary strength of will to say, “THAT’S NOT TRUE!” . . . so the cycle continues and we begin to believe that we belong in the middle of the pity party we’re throwing.

    Sometimes it is the littlest thing, like a fountain pen, that reminds us that all is NOT dark and gloomy. The sun is always shining, even behind the clouds.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Wise and very true comment, Nancy, thanks πŸ™‚

  11. These are some lovely, honest thoughts that give me much to think about. I’m glad to hear from you, Cindy! I think of you often, around the other side of the world, going through so many changes,and showing so much fortitude. Best wishes to you!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Cindy xxx

  12. optie says:

    You certainly have spectacular views Cin. This time of year can really induce a bout of depression when all is not well in one’s life. Don’t beat yourself up about it, try and re-energise yourself by doing something for others who have far less than you do. I love the list of things that make you smile, what a great way to remind oneself that happiness is of our own making and finding joy in the little things in life. I pray that the New Year will bring new and exciting opportunities for you job wise. You’ve come a long way in a short space of time, give yourself a pat on the back for what you have already achieved. ((Hugs))

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Optie, I am optimistic that the new year will bring positive changes πŸ™‚

  13. cecilia says:

    I always said to my students, fear is your only enemy. Don’t divorces take such a long bloody time. c

    1. theonlycin says:

      They do take a long time, Cecilia, considering how easy it is to get married in a hurry πŸ˜‰

  14. Cindy Knight says:

    When I read your post this morning, the first thing I thought was wow…I’m not the only passenger on this boat! I’m not in the throes of a divorce, but as part of a couple we have had our own recent challenges, but what really struck a cord with me was your comment on the blog and cooking…I have been avoiding those too until yesterday. I am finding comfort in returning to my blogs and getting reacquainted with my kitchen and now I am trying not to feel too bad for avoiding them for so long. I have more than just one fear to overcome, but today I am feeling hopeful. I sincerely wish you the best and that you have all the strength you need to conquer your challenges.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Cindy, and enjoy being back in the saddle with your blog and kitchen πŸ™‚

  15. slpmartin says:

    Good to hear from you again…have missed you…counting blessings does help set perspective.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Charlie xxx

  16. Good on you, Cindy! I’m glad you have such spectacular views from your balcony! And aren’t jacarandas simply stunning!

    1. theonlycin says:

      The trees truly are a joy to behold, Celia πŸ™‚

  17. I too need to remember that acronym for fear! You have the most beautiful roses and a lovely cat. Hugs from me.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, hugs back at you πŸ™‚

  18. souldipper says:

    Then there’s the other acronym for FEAR: “Flub Everything And Run!” But that’s for the faint of heart – not resourceful, creative, independent and intelligent mistresses of magnificence!

    1. theonlycin says:

      There’s another acronym, Amy, but I can’t remember it right now πŸ™‚

  19. monica says:

    Hi Cin, love the pics you shared and you do have a beautiful view from you balcony. Would love to see a small bit a greenery here in Windhoek now! Have a good day.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hope you get some rain soon, Monica πŸ™‚

  20. hotlyspiced says:

    The view looks very peaceful and serene. I love the jacaranda trees. I’m so sorry to hear you might be alone for Christmas but you did say you have a fantastic group of supportive friends. I’m sure they won’t let you be all alone for Christmas. I’m glad the relationship with your daughter is improving. I pray you will very soon walk into the perfect job xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, I am sure January will bring a job prospect. For now, all I can do is be patient.

  21. Dear Cin, it has been many years since we last spoke and I only yesterday stumbled across your blog again. Maybe at the perfect time. Maybe it was meant to be, not sure. But I am glad that I did. Keep working it – it works if you work it and take it one day at a time. Lots of love always, your pink sheep, Jono xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Lovely to hear from you again πŸ™‚

  22. adeeyoyo says:

    Great acronym, Cin. Don’t be disheartened by the time of year for job-hunting – there may be lots of temp vacancies over the holidays. And they often turn into permanent positions! You are always in my thoughts as your life echoes what mine was. There will always be ups and downs but they do smooth out as you sail through… β™₯β™₯β™₯

  23. Sparkle says:

    Hi there Ms Cindy, glad to read your post, always check if you haven’t posted and happy that you did. Did subscribe but not sure why I did not receive the notifyer.
    Try Pnet and for your job hunting, they always have vacancies but not sure if you are still into publishing/proof reading that you used to do. Hoping that you will have a breakthrough soon.
    You have a great taste, are you sure you do not want to start your own event planning co/Interior deco. though there seems to be a lot of them nowadays? you will do pretty well since you are so creative and smart. Woman & Home mag has a lot of ideas around what you enjoy(ed) doing.
    Still love you dearly πŸ˜‰
    Ps. don’t forget to register for the etoll before 3/12/13 we like it or not – it is happening.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Sparky, but I don’t have the energy or confidence to start my own thing at the moment. Will have to wait and see what happens in January. πŸ™‚

  24. Arkenaten says:

    Been a while….

    Here’s a nice version of the song.
    Carlos had ditched his Gibson SG for the Yamaha, put on flared trousers and a turtle neck, (eeek!) cut his hair and was into that whole spiritual thing with John Mclaughlin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Super version, thanks Ark πŸ™‚

      1. Arkenaten says:

        And he’s coming here next year! How cool is that!

      2. theonlycin says:

        Wish I could see him 😦

      3. Arkenaten says:

        The ticket prices are a bit steep.
        But you never know what’s around the corner, right?

        And why play at the FNB stadium?

  25. Yes, all will be well again, Cin…
    I love your Roses and your cat! πŸ™‚

  26. You have shared your heart, and in doing so, you have sobered me and cheered me up in one event. Cool! I like the acronym, love your cat! Blessings to you, Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Blessings back at you, Carol xxx

  27. Hi Cindy! Gosh your flat has the most gorgeous views – I can only imagine what a peaceful and soothing sound afternoon cricket must be, and how heavenly are the jacarandas and roses…you are incredibly fortunate to own your flat outright – how I wish I were in a similar position, because there are few things in life as debilitatingly unsettling as insecurity about your home, and your income. You have one major worry but the other one is sorted. It’s so challenging finding a new groove after so many powerful changes, isn’t it? And job insecurity has a way of gnawing huge chunks out of one’s soul. I feel for your there, I really do. It took me a very long time to find a new groove and it was extremely tough until I did but boy, the rewards of staying the course are spectacular in terms of growth, happiness and prosperity. You will get there. I’d like to stay in touch, so will DM my phone number in Facebook. I am also completely meh about writing and cooking but am putting it down to the end-of-year syndrome, and instead concentrating on doing things that I enjoy and that I never have time for. I am so glad you’re blogging, I’ve always loved your writing. Sending you hugs and love from Cape Town. You’re my kinda gal. xxxx Sonia

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Love you long time πŸ™‚

  28. Tammy says:

    Love your photos and will always dance to Oye Como Va!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It ALWAYS makes me dance, Tammy πŸ˜€

  29. colonialist says:

    btw – It is a wonder there haven’t been moves to rename the school the Dr Ayamma Strggalero School, or something like that.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Um … I don’t get it?

      1. colonialist says:

        Everything is being renamed after ‘Struggle Heros’ these days! And using all their names and titles.
        Like the streets:
        West Street = Dr Pixley Ka Seme Street, frigg sample.

  30. Jamie Dedes says:

    Cin, what a view and what beautiful photograph.

    As always, you are in heart and prayer. It was always apparent that you are hugely talented and very, very smart. Keep on keeping on. You are overcoming … a day at a time, eh?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, Jamie, one day at a time xxx

  31. footsy2 says:

    I have this friend, who, regardless of circumstances, chooses to spend the festive days slaving away in a ‘soup kitchen’ cooking, serving street people, – and then doing the dishes. Says it keeps him grounded. Of course, a bank c.e.o. with Hawaii in mind is preferable πŸ™‚ Strength to you Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Footsy, I am considering volunteering at a local soup kitchen. xxx

  32. Dee says:

    I think you will find it brings you joy and takes you to a good place. It allows us to not think of ourselves but others and makes you grateful for your circumstances. Just wanted to wish you a happy thanksgiving and let you know that others share your feelings at this time of year. My husband’s birthday was the 28th and our anniversary is two weeks away, this season is always hard for me, terribly emotional, just have to fight it off. Looking forward to more posts.

  33. Dee says:

    Thinking of you, just wanted to say Merry Christmas.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, Dee, I hope your Christmas was a happy one. xxx

  34. Dee says:

    A New Year is coming, Each day is a gift, we cannot go backwards, only forward. I do hope your blog and you come back. We miss you, Hugs across many miles!!!!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hugs back at you, Dee, all the best for a very happy new year xxx

  35. Ruth2Day says:

    fabulous views and so glad you and your daughter are good πŸ™‚

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m glad too, Ruth πŸ™‚

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