No roses to wish my readers a happy Valentine’s Day, but I’ll share a photo of a belated housewarming gift I received from one of my neighbours last week. Her name is Ethelynne, she’s 86, Jewish and is an incorrigible gambler. She tells me that not a week goes by that she doesn’t buy a lotto ticket and has done so since the advent of the lotto draw in this country.

lounge potplant for blog 14 fe

I’m settling into my apartment with increasing enjoyment and I continue to ‘play house’; having finally unpacked the last of my boxes, the place is beginning to look more like a home and less like a furniture warehouse.

entrance hall for blog 14 feb

lounge couch for blog 14 feb

lounge long view for blog 14 f

lounge wall for blog 14 feb

After the disastrous encounter with the amorous Italian Paratrooper, I am meeting more of my neighbors and have begun to acquaint myself with the diverse African cultures that make up the melting pot that constitute the tenants of this building.
Without being familiar with the South African accent, one may miss out on the humour in the exchange I had with an ancient lady from the third floor the other day: I’d arrived in the foyer to find her trying to wrestle her shopping bags into the equally ancient elevator, while struggling to keep the heavy door from squashing her tiny, crippled frame to a pulp. The sweet old dear must be over 90; I’d hazard a guess that she may well be over a hundred years old. The doors swished shut and I said “I’m Cindy.”
“Oh,” she said, “I’m thin too! Always have been, no matter what I eat.”
I managed to restrain my mirth while I carried her bags to her door, but I now smile every time I pass the third floor.
Less amusing, and very alarming, is the rumour – conveyed to me by our busybody caretaker-lady – that the Nigerians a few doors down from me are trainee witchdoctors and are slaughtering live chickens in their apartment in order to use the blood for rituals! I’ve taken to keeping a beady eye on Princess Ally’s demeanour, in the firm belief that cats have a superior sense of knowing about the nearby presence of evil of any sort and that – if the chicken-slaughter story holds any truth – Princess Ally would be going about hissing and spitting with her heckles up. On the contrary, she is the most relaxed cat I’ve ever known and her show of “How dare you have left me alone for so long?” indignation when I walk in the door at the end of the day is an act worthy of an Oscar. It’s quite apparent that she’s been happily sleeping since my morning departure.
I fact, I have – on occasion – had to pat her gently to wake her!

ally on windowsill

In other news, I’m loving my job; I must have the nicest boss on the planet and I steadfastly believe that an act of God lead me to be employed by her. I’m very grateful for the amount of free time my job gives me, which enables me to fetch my daughter from school most days. Watching this child of mine undergo the transition from girl to woman; to change daily before my very eyes, never ceases to take my breath away.

The most surprising news I have to tell is that I’ve had tentative overtures from a few potential swains. I am, however, only just beginning to enjoy my single status too much to reciprocate in kind and my inner-grammar-Nazi makes their (there!!!) amorously texted declarations of honourable intent cause me to break out in hives – as opposed to eliciting a demurely flattered blush to the cheeks.
Still, the fact that I am engaging in even vaguely romantic dialogue is a sign of my miraculous growth over the past two years. I often catch myself, these days, marveling at how far my spiritual journey has brought me to be in the world which I inhabit today.
I’m living life on life’s terms; one day at a time. And I’m finding it more joyous than anything I could have imagined…



  1. Your home looks fun and inviting. I love the table! And your daughter is such a beauty. So very glad that you two are on good terms again. It’s always so nice to be friends with neighbors well except maybe scary ones who may be witchdoctors! My goodness! So glad you have a cat to keep you company they are wonderful friends. You are strong and beautiful, I admire you.

  2. You’re doing really well, Cindy! And your house looks very nice. The neighbours sound interesting… Keep a distance where needed. Well, one day you can write about about the assorted neighbours!

  3. Your daughter is gorgeous. I love the photos of your apartment – you’ve decorated it beautifully and clearly you have great style. It’s good to know you’re being know as Thin Cindy! I do hope there aren’t any live chickens in your building nor any witchcraft. So pleased to hear your new job has been a divine appointment xx

  4. Funny story about the 90, or older lady, who has always been thin. It’s amusing when someone doesn’t hear but doesn’t know it, as with this woman, or knows they didn’t hear and tries to repeat the misunderstood message. Always something make one laugh. And, what a beautiful cat! Blessings to you, Cindy…

  5. Morning Cin, you are a star! Love your apartment, love that you and your neighbour are thin, and the txting swains .. oh my! your apartment looks divine, what a gorgeous floor! take care.. c

    On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM, The only C

  6. Your home is so inviting OC, obviously put together with lots of love 🙂 Have to agree with you about being a grammar nazi – basic errors like that grate on me too. Is it laziness or ignorance? Neither would be endearing qualities in a potential lover.

  7. What a beautiful living space you have, Cindy. And it sounds as if life has been made keener by past hardships, a sharper blade than ever it was before.
    Daughters: they take our death way as they grow, don’y they?

  8. Thanks for the smiles this morning, I am so glad you are doing well, God has definitely blessed you in all area’s of your life. I love what you have done to your apartment, quite a change from the beginning. Your daughter is so beautiful and I am glad you get to spend time together. So wonderful that you are getting to meet neighbors, a new kind of family as you reach out in love.

  9. LOL and true @ Adeeyoyo!
    what the Niger’s are doing cannot be true. just take any newspaper and check out classified section, they claim to be capable of enlarging a penis. a normal person will know that cannever happen. so they are con artist, swindling money from naive people.
    Your house looks beautiful. Is OB still at a boarding school?

    Does the old lady have family/relatives visiting? must be sad to live alone at her age.

  10. Hi Cindy, Just wanted to share that I miss your posts, you bring smiles and encouragement to others with your new journey. Praying that things are good with you, do you think you could manage one a month at least????? Hugs, Dee

  11. Happy Easter Cindy, it has always meant hope to me, may you have continued hope and love as you move forward in your life. Miss your blog. HUGS

  12. Have you noticed any recent surge in readership based on your ‘Ritual Slaughter’ heading? Over the past couple of weeks a piece I did some time ago deploring the custom has had readers swarming like blue-bottle flies on a turd. I wonder why? A turd-world thing?

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