I’ve been the target of an unwelcome suitor. A knock came at my door some weeks ago and I, thinking he was here to discuss some water problems we’ve been having in the building, allowed a very drunk Italian man who lives on the first floor into my flat. The caretaker of our building has since told me that he’s a general nuisance and a hopeless alcoholic. Anyway, once inside, the man lurched at me and told me that he’d known at first sight that we were meant for one another and that he was going to make me very happy. Grappling at my left breast and slathering my neck with smelly wet kisses, he proclaimed himself to be so generous that he’d just last week given his ex-fiance R10 000. To get new teeth. I was too busy fighting his hands away from my chest area to ask about the fate of the ex-fiance’s old teeth. I darted behind my dining room table and eyed my sabrage sword hanging from the wall. Before I could get to it, your man – very unsteady on his feet – charged at me and got me in a bear hug, clutching each of my buttocks firmly in his hands and proceeded to tell me that he’d been a parabat during his military service and that he’d make sure nobody would ever harm me: his ‘queen’.
By this time I’d managed to dance him back toward the door and – before he knew it – I had him out onto the landing and shut the security door between us. In a wheedling tone he begged to be let in again and then took to bellowing that I was a ‘stuck up cow’ and did I realize that he was not only rich, he had friends in rough places I’d never even heard of. One door down, the door opened and my neighbour, Brice, from Nigeria, an ebony mountain of a man, came out onto the landing and stood, arms folded, an implacable expression on his face and steadily gazed at the Italian who, by now, was spouting and spitting vile gibberish.
Finally registering Brice’s presence, the inebriated wretched slunk away down the stairs. He’s been back a few times, but I simply don’t answer the door. And I now have Brice’s cell phone number saved on quick-dial on my own cell phone.
I’ve had happier attentions from my close friends and family over the last hard times, like my darling sister jumping in to replenish my internet airtime when I ran out.. While I’ve been job hunting a friend has taken over Our Alice’s char wages and my best friend through high school – whom I’ve known for going on 44 years – surprised me with a delivery of a truck full of luxury groceries. From fancy cheeses, pates, chocolates … toilet paper, shampoo and soap … fruit, bread, cat food and cat litter … I don’t need to cross the doorstep of a supermarket for at least two months. I was speechless and at a total loss for words at her generosity.

tanias gift-1_edited
Seemingly as a sign of a new chapter opening, one of my miniature rose bushes – which I’d all but given up hope of ever flowering – has just produced a bud …

mystery rose_edited

And to end the year, one of those quizzy-things that’s doing the rounds today:

  1. What did you do in 2013 that you’ve never done before? I bought my own washing machine. And I learned to accept help from people who care about me.
  2. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, a dear friend gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
  3. Did you attend any funerals? No.
  4. What date/s in 2013 will you remember and why?  14 July – my daughter said she loves me and we began our reconciliation after a long period of not speaking to me.
  5. Were there any illnesses or injuries in your family? Not in my immediate family, no.
  6. What was the best thing you bought? My apartment.
  7. Where did most of your money go? On buying and renovating my apartment.
  8. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed…”
  9. This question is missing.
  10. What was your favourite TV programme? I don’t have a TV.
  11. What was the best book you read this year? White Truffles In Winter by N.M. Kelby.
  12. What was your favourite movie this year? The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
  13. What did you do on your birthday? I moped. I’ll celebrate my 50th birthday next Wednesday, hopefully in a better mindspace.
  14. Did you travel anywhere this year? No.
  15. What did you do for Christmas? I had a sumptuous lunch with a friend and her extended family at the Johannesburg Country Club.

Goodbye 2013, thanks to all my blog friends for your unstinting love and support. May 2014 bring you all rich blessings. xxx

“I believe in justice. And in love. And in NOT getting over it, because that’s too much to ask of a human being. Getting over it is the wrong thing to want, anyway. You should never expect to get over it, the best you can hope is to live past it. And you go on. Your past becomes a part of you, you just fold it into the gnocchi dough and keep rolling.” Lisa Scottoline



  1. Love you and praying that 2014 is going to be YOUR year Cindy. I loved being 50 and have now embraced being 60! Wishing you awesomeness and so much love and happiness. So very proud of you my dear friend xxxxx

  2. Cin, my prayer for you is that you own this promise God has given all of us:
    “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
    See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
    I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”
    Is 43:18-19

    Love you my dear, brave friend. One day when we meet in person, I am going to give you a big hug – you are an inspiration!

  3. You have some really good friends, Cin, that’s wonderful! Your neighbour looks like the ideal neighbour to have with that unsuitable suitor following you around. I hope he (the suitor) realises soon enough that he is not wanted. Sounds like it was very frightening!

    I like your questionnaire, I may use it. Such an easy way to sum up the year.

  4. Pingback: What I Did in 2013 | Leeswammes' Blog

  5. So good to see you “back,” Cin. That wrestling match sounded HORRID and your neighbor sounds delightfully imposing . . . as all the best bodyguards should be. A good person to have on Speed Dial!

    So glad that the year is ending on a high note for you. With the bud of a rose holding promise for the days ahead.

    Glad you’re not planning to mope on your 50th! Have a GRAND Birth Day and lots of BRIGHT days ahead!

  6. You have come a long way amica mia , and have walked a long hard road this year with ups and downs. This year is ending on a good note for you , You are blessed with good friends, and most important of all , is that Your daughter is talking to you again . Much love always my friend. Happy New Year and God bless always .

  7. What a horrid experience that was but such a blessing that you had a knight in shining armor to come to your rescue. A great friend to keep on speed dial. Happy New Year Cindy, and may you receive many more blessing this coming year.

  8. Unbelievable. What a vile man. I do hate it when people are so quick to tell you how much money they have – it almost always isn’t true. And as for thinking he can just put his filthy paws all over you – it’s too much. But by stark and polar contrast – what about the generosity of your friend! How thoughtful and kind. I have friends in a very difficult situation at the moment – the husband has been out of work for 15 months. They are in very desperate times. An angel like your friend would be very welcome in their world right now. Happy New Year to you Cin and I hope 2014 is a wonderful and prosperous year for you xx

  9. Oh my gosh that horrible man! To bad you couldn’t have gotten that sword to him, he needs some adjusting!! So glad that you are ok and have a good neighbor to watch out for you. Glad as well for your great friends to help you through rough times. We all need help at some point or another. Just as my best friend moved across country a few months ago God brought another into my life. Here is hoping for a much brighter and happier new year for us all. Hugs to you. Oh I love the little rose bud, it’s so beautiful.

  10. I am so pleased to see you online once again, Cin, and happy that your friends are rallying around. I know it’s easy to say, but take your future in both hands and make of it what you want. God has given you another chance. Take it and be the boss. I wish you everything of the very best for 2014, my friend.

  11. Compliments of the new Season Cin and a very happy birthday to you! My 2cnd eldest sister turned 50 on the 1st Jan. Just like you, she does not look a day older!
    That is a good friend you have there, did not compromise on quality!

  12. Dear Cindy, I cannot imagine that drunkard in your home and think the resolved tone with which you describe it is indicative of the terrific year ahead of you. Have a wonderful 50th! It’s a pleasure to know you.

  13. Happy 2014, Cindy dear friend! Wonderful, newsy and funny post….a fantastic way to sparkle in the new year. Stay blessed and may God shower you with His choicest Gifts of Health, Happiness, Peace and Contentment, my lovely. Hugs xx


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