Friday, 31 July 2009

Department of Home Affairs


Tool my afternoon off yesterday to Visit our Friendly and Efficient Home Affairs Department in Alberton to apply for Megan's Unabridged Birth Certificate.

Firstly, I went to the wrong office. I went to the Department of Labour where you register for the UIF - stoopid me - stood in a queue for half an hour to be told this. *sigh*. The Labour Lady directed me to the correct offices, which she explained was only about 200 meters up the road. I decided to leave my car where it was parked (as parking in Alberton Voortrekker Road is always a nightmare) so I thought I’ll keep my secure parking spot and just walk up the road.

Wrong move!!!

By the time I got there (more like 1km down the road), my feet and toes were throbbing all over again after the 702 Discovery WALK THE TALK on Sunday. Urgh! Anyway small price to pay and when I went inside, I was pleased to see that the queues were not that long.

However, I did have to stand in 5 different queues…I went to the Enquiries desk first to be told to go to another queue for the Birth Certificates. When I got to the front of that queue I was told I had to complete another two forms – back to the enquiries queue for those forms and to complete them. One of the forms is an avidavat stating your relationship to the applicant / child – Mother - surely that would be enough? No, then the question they asked made me burst out laughing.

“and you know this because ________________________”

It took me a while to think about how to complete this. So how does a mother know that her daughter is actually her child? Erm, well, firstly I was in labour for 5½ hours and have the episiotomy to show for it? I remember that the pain was slightly worse than a paper cut? Yip, I remember now….I distinctly recall pushing a 2.6kg baby through my fanny, Mr Home Affairs.

So, I finally completed : “because I gave birth to her!”. *shakes head* Don’t you hate idiotic government forms and red tape? I thought to myself is this REALLY necessary?? Probably not, but if I don’t complete all the details, I will probably received a phone call in two months time to tell me my application was rejected because I had failed to complete the forms correctly. When in Rome do as the Romans do.

The other form was every little details about my child, the pregnancy and the birth: whether I smoked, drank or took drugs during my pregnancy. Whether I gave birth to her vaginally or via c-section, whether she needed an assisted birth with forceps or vacuum…. I kid you not!!! So I humoured them - I completed all the various irrelevant information about Megan’s birth weight, what was her apgar scores were and whether she still alive or not. Would I be applying otherwise?

Have you forgotten yet what my application was actually for??

I mean I had my original ID with me, Riaan’s ID and Megan’s original birth certificate and now I have to waste my time completing forms like this – that have NO relevance whatsoever.

Anyway, so back in the queue with idiotic forms fully completed and getting really irritated, I finally get to the front of the queue and the lady - Yvonne Moloi – I am not protecting anyone’s identity here…doesn’t even LOOK at my forms but stacks my three application forms together in a neat little pile and tries to staple them together – no staples! She proceeds to disappear under the counter for 20 seconds *lots of mumbling* looking for staples to fill her stapler. Eventually she immerged with a little bank bag which she slowly and carefully opens, (NO SENSE OF URGENCY HERE!!) removes one string of staples, closes the little Ziploc bank bag and double checks its closed again and disappears under the counter again. The staples finally get put in the stapler and she manages to staple my three sheets of paper together – only to be told to go to the Cashier to pay my R70 for the services.

Another queue!

The cashier was actually reading the YOU magazine between clients! No smiles were exchanged with her. This is a very serious business, you see. I paid my R70, making sure I had the “WRITE AMOUNT OF MONEY” like the sign said. They can’t even spell, avoiding any more delays. I was told by the soopa friendly and enthusiastic Cashier to go back to Yvonne Moloi to process my forms. Do you detect sarcasm in my tone? Hmmmm

What? Are you insane? Do I have to stand in that queue AGAIN?? I just came from there?!?!?. I was obviously thinking this – not saying it out loud. If I had, I’m sure they would’ve shunted me to yet another queue. Perhaps to the shrivelled old little man sitting underneath the sign that read; “Finger Prints Done Here”. He looked like a piece of leather and about 90 (in the shade) and I actually recognised him from when I applied for my new ID when I got married 10 years ago!! Gosh, had that wee man actually moved from that exactly spot since then? Yes, that is his one and only job and he’s probably been doing it since he was about 10 years old. How stimulating can that be? Poor bugger.

So, yes back to the story, I kept my big mouth shut and stood back in Yvonne Moloi’s queue for her to process my forms. When I got to the front of the queue she looked at my receipt, put my forms on a massive pile of applications and said “be sure to check only after 2 months”. So much for processing…

I was gobsmacked! Is this how our country is run? All these unnecessary jobs for people who look for staples, stack papers or take fingers prints as their sole key performance? No wonder our country is in this state…2½ hours later I was out of there and walking the 1km back to my car.

I then stopped off at the Union Hospital as I had promised Megan to drop a card off that she had made for one of her Teachers who was a patient there. Turns out she’d been discharged that morning so I killed to birds with one stone and decided to loose their loos. 2½ hours of queuing will do that to your bladder. I pulled down my jeans and heard “PLOP”. I thought to myself – what was that? - I don’t remember having a No. 2?! My cell phone had been in my jean’s back pocket and had slipped out and dropped into the loo bowl. I whipped around and dug it out, pulled up my jeans at lightning speed and flew off to the hand drier to dry my phone. I immediately took the battery out and held it under there for a while. The phone switched back on and then off again a few seconds later, then on again. I washed my hands and sprayed them with my anti bacterial spray (urgh! Digging in the toilet?!!?) I walked back to the car and my phone switch on and off again. I heard cracking coming from the speaker and though that’s it, its stuffed… I will leave it open to dry out for a few days and then try and switch it back on. In the meantime I’ve lost all my contacts.

So not only did I have an eventful afternoon at Home Affairs, I drowned my cell phone too.

What a great day!

Moral of the Story: Remember when you have kids apply for their Unabridge Birth Certificate upfront and avoid fun and games at the Home Affairs.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Dancing Girls

video

Silly Evenings At Home

Silly or wot?A nice one
KK telling me to shoosh as her baby was "sleeping"


My Boerewors

Kissies!
Mum and Megan (check out those wrinkles!!)

Megan posing

Megan being silly
Silly faces
Cheeky KK
Bum's Up! I didn't post the one we took before this where he pants had fallen down and she gave the camer a perfect brown eye.

KK and me
the three girls
Bunny ears
Megan's handy work with the cam - Mum and KK

Finger up yer nose!
KK kissing her baby
Megan pulling a move

Heidi Klum Gorgeously Preggie with # 4!

You know I'm all a fan of Heidi

Here she is : an expectant Heidi Klum heads to the park with her children - Leni, 5, Henry, 3, and Johan, 2. The Project Runway host and her husband Seal are expecting their fourth child - a daughter - this fall.

Lookin' good Heidi!!!


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Chilli Chocolate Mousse Recipe


A simple recipe for Chilli Chocolate Mousse. 

At first you will find the chilli very subtle, but remember it develops as the mousse chills.


Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (310 ml) water
1 x 310 g Ina Paarman's Chocolate Mousse

Mix

1/2 t (2,5 ml) cayenne pepper
1 cup (250 ml) fresh whipping cream

Garnish:
6-8 fresh red chillies1 chocolate flakeCayenne pepper

Directions
  • Measure water into a medium size mixing bowl. 
  • Sprinkle contents of Chocolate Mousse pack over the water. 
  • Add cayenne pepper. 
  • Beat until well blended. 
  • Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 15 minute
In a smaller mixing bowl whip the cream until soft peak stage.

Remove the mousse mixture from the fridge and using the same beaters, whip again for 1 minute until smooth.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the mousse using a spatula or metal spoon and stir until evenly blended.

Spoon the mousse into small coffee cups to fill to the top and smooth off the tops with the back of a knife.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Place cups on their saucers.

Place a whole red chilli on each saucer to garnish.

Dust chocolate mousse very lightly with cayenne pepper and top with pieces of chocolate flake. 

Enjoy!!

Conversations With Megan

In the car on the way home from school:

Megan : We learned about occupations at school today.

Me : WOW, Meg thats a big word. Do you know what it means?

Megan: Yes, it means what job you're going to do when you're big.

Me : Very good, Megan and have you decided what you want to be when you're big?

Megan: Yes.

Me: Would you like to tell me?

Megan: Yes, I want to be a fire-fighter and at the end of the month, when I get my money, I'm going to buy a big white bakkie (pick up truck) and a blue four-wheeler.

Me : *Trying not to giggle* Seems you have it all planned out.

Megan : Are you laughing at me mummy?

Me : No! I am just smiling.

Megan : Then I will go on holiday with my four-wheeler on the back of the bakkie.

Me : Are you going to get married when you're big?

Megan : NO!! I am not going to marry anyone!

Me : Why not?

Megan : Boys are naughty and they say ugly words.

Me : *trying hard not to laugh again* Yes, so where are you going to stay when you're big - on your own?

Megan : NO! I'm going to stay with you.


So much for job satisfaction, Megan ...just gimme the salary and the stuff!!!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

702 Discovery Walk The Talk 15km

I signed up for the Discovery 702 Walk The Talk this year and today I had to get up before 6am to get to the packed venue (Marks Park, Emmarentia) before the race started at 7:30am. Mandy picked myself and Norman up and was our designated driver to drop us off at the Start Line. I had made us some hot chocolate for all of us as it was -3 degrees C when she picked me up.
Thank You Thank You Thank You Mandy!!!
Norman was not officially registered, but decided to come and support me anyway (just for fun). Ja he is a little nutty....and it was great to have someone to walk and talk with. We met other friends there too (the Myburgh Bundle) but we soon over-took them and raced ahead. At first I thought Norman and I had rudely been left behind by the Myburgh's - but it was the other way around!!! Sorry Myburgh's!!!
The first 10km was lots of fun and everyone along the way was full of smiles, songs and chirps. Even the registered dogs were excited to be there and barked at everything including the South African Police Service who were there in full force.
The atmosphere was bubbly and electric and it was awesome being a part of such a large crowd. There were loads of strange characters along the way (Norman and I share a passion for observing and watching people) and we had great fun spotting all the odd-balls. People with funny hats, funky stripey socks and bright coloured outfits.
The last 5km was tough for me as we had set our pace quite fast and my feet and thighs were starting to burn and throb. By the last kilometer I was really feeling the pain and started verbalising it quite strongly. Sorry for the whining, Norman. We made the 15km in almost exactly three hours (and twenty seconds).
It was such a fun day and a very well-organised event.
Riaan and the girls collected us at the Finish Line and we all went for a celebratory Brunch at Wimpy. Now I can hardly walk....went for a HOT bath and rubbed so much Deep Heat on my legs that I had to blow the "heat" away with the cold setting on my hair drier...yip over-did it with the Deep Heat but now I can at least walk.
See you next year!!!
Early Morning 1.5km walk from the Parking Lot to the Starting Line.

Finally we arrive at the Start11km marker and feeling the strain on a downhill
but such a spectacular view of Johannesburg SuburbsThe Finish Line
A downhill and view of the walkers
Signage along the way
Our Goodie Bags
The Entrance to Marks Park Finished!!!!!
Early Morning walk to the StartGraffitti along the way
a Family and their pooches


Me along the way, posing with a couple of fruit-cakes

A Discovery Carrot


Walked passed the impressive Auto and General Building
This guy reeked of "Aqua Velva" or some similarly strong aftershave. I didn't zoom in for this one and I could still smell him a good few meters away from him. He has such a little gay swish of his hips too.
Along the road


Janie's Bundle Came Around for a Visit

Janie Megan and KK
Megan with her cousin Claire

Mick, Megan and Claire


The Guitar Hero Band


Braai at Norman's

You wann show me yer wot???!! Dirk and Mandy
Kaylin on the TrampolineSteve
Richard playing soccer


Mel and Shaun



Richard making sure the wall doesn't fall down










Sick Donovan - he ate two day old Maccie D's



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