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  • helen brain - December 9
    even remember what we did for Christmas last year The whole six months between July and January are virtually blank for me My stress levels were so high that I ve got no memories from those six months at all except an uncomfortable feeling of rage and emotional disruption Today my favourite baby Emily came to play and so did her cousins a two year old with a head of auburn curls and milky white skin who is obsessed with helicopters and his five year old brother who is so cute that I want to indulge him endlessly They sat around my kitchen table while we waited for my pecan honey sticky buns to come out of the oven and I thought again I was born to be a nice aunty It s much more fun than being a relative because you have absolutely no responsibilities at all Nothing is required of you You can indulge away be enchanted by feed treats play with and make a wonderful environment for a child to feel happy in and then they go home and you don t have to worry about them or care about their development or if someone s being

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=501 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Inside Outside In
    pleasure in curating the things in my house It s never been so clean or ordered and coming home and seeing the uncluttered house with everything in its place gives me pleasure The funny thing is that Luke was desperate for the house to be like this I feel awful that I didn t do it earlier that I caused him so much frustration and grief He used to say that he couldn t bear to come home because it was all so dirty and full of dog hair and it enraged me because no one else had a problem coming to my house it s always got visitors in it My friend Daphne is a psychotherapist who has a website called insideoutsidein co za She works on your living space as well as your inside psyche space as she believes the two are linked Since Luke died I ve had to grow up very fast The things I used to leave to him are now my responsibility And I m not spending a lot of energy trying to handle his anxiety disorder and the mayhem that caused emotionally But maybe I m just unsuited to sharing my living space

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=500 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - tidying up
    see the horrible dirt clinging to everything and it all got a bit much and I felt overwhelmed by the horror Luckily SARS sent me a tax refund and I discovered Marvellous Maids You ring them up and they send around a woman who cleans like a German missionary not a speck of dirt stands up to the rubber gloves of doom They ve beaten the house into submission Then I found a gardener who has come around and tidied the shed which was so messy it took him 6 hours hard labour and has sorted out the garden And finally praise god I located my builder who had changed his cellphone number I thought he was avoiding me and he s sending a team of blokes to do all my maintenance and repairs It has a wonderfully rejuvenating effect on me a thorough springcleaning of everything I own performed by someone else naturally I m providing work for people who need it and the feeling of chaos is being replaced by one of hopeful control and creative energy I have celebrated by making Emily a party frock and a set of clothing for her teddy And a pair of

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=499 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Crash
    He was very small maybe 4 or 5 His younger brother was twisted around the driver s window lying on top of his father The mother was squashed under the driver s seat All three were unconscious The driver of the speeding car was sitting dazed and unresponsive behind his airbag He seemed shocked but ok I sat with the child in the road trying to comfort him He was the only one conscious and screaming for his mother and father When he lifted his head it was full of gravel But he was the lucky one Without seat belts the three people who hadn t been thrown from the car had hit each other and the windscreen and dashboards and were in terrible shape After a while some passersby decided to lift the other child out of the car to get him off his father He screamed terribly once or twice and then lapsed into unconsciousness blood bubbling out of his ear He looked as though he was dying It was a terrible thing to see Took me back to Luke s death and his crying in agony so near the end and us unable to do anything except keep calm make him as comfortable as possible and be there with him until help arrived or death It s a funny thing death Once you ve seen it and allowed it to shape you you get a certain familiarity with it It no longer frightens you like it used to You begin to accept that it is part of the life cycle the part we usually avoid thinking about The next day I went to a wedding A happy occasion with dancing and laughing and feasting and everything decorated and made as beautiful as possible A celebration of hope

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=498 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Armistice Day
    don t have to go to war Pip is only 16 but even he might have signed up for World War 1 And I might have lost them all Thank you to all the peacemongers the reconcilers the tolerant and slow to anger those who talk rather than fight and those who fought so that we could live in peace Next blog entry Comments Gill on 13 November 10 My

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=497 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Passing it Onwards
    at the end and who he had asked to organize his funeral told me I was being unfair and when I d calmed down a bit I wrote a letter of apology and paid the bill Then a few weeks later the kids found me in floods of tears with an open envelope in front of me The ladies who run the Cathedral Bric a brac shop had decided to use some of their profit to send me a cheque for the amount I d paid as a way of thanking Luke for his service to the cathedral I was very very touched My domestic worker Elizabeth Sinxo and her mother Shilla were two other people who were incredibly kind to me when Luke was dying They enveloped me in huge hugs and mothered me Last Saturday night Elizabeth s husband Philip couldn t sleep with stomach pains In the morning she got him to the doctor s surgery but they had to wait for the doors to open Finally he got inside collapsed and died He was young early forties Their eldest child is writing matric at the moment and there are three younger ones too As a family it s a disaster Philip was recently unemployed so there s probably no life insurance or workmen s compensation I wondered how I could help So I passed on to her the money that the Cathedral ladies sent me It gave me huge satisfaction to take the kindness they d paid me and to pass it forward to someone who needs it now Their kindness soothed me at a time when I could have lapsed into bitterness and now that I m settled again and financially more secure it s time to repay it Next blog entry Comments Debra on

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=496 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Disaster at the Garage Sale
    as one does I turned it over to see the maker s mark It s not for sale shrieked the woman Too late A litre of grape juice poured over the table destroying her merchandise and her morning I was mortified and mystified Why was the grape juice there And what was I supposed to do next I looked to Alexia for help She was pretending she didn t know me The woman scurried off muttering and giving me filthy looks I didn t feel so welcome anymore so I skulked off into the car wondering if I should cry or laugh The shame was thick on me Round the corner I stopped the car and we laughed until we cried Very mortifying But it made the day for all my friends Next blog entry Comments isabbel on 08 November 10 That is so funny I nearly fell off my kneeling chair laughing not at you Helen but what on earth did she put a container of juice on a garage sale table for it must have been thirsty work Grace on 05 November 10 ROFL I needed that story today words like mortified mystified scurried muttering filthy shrieked and

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=495 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Idols
    from a criminal past and becoming a husband and father and part time pastor He s the bad boy turned good Vote for him and you buy the book that says that we can all change our lives and go on to develop our god given talents and reach the top Elvis story Vote for Elvis Blue because every time he sings a love song he s singing it for you Straight from his heart to yours You ll never be alone because Elvis is the ever present ever faithful lover who will hold your head when you re dying And Sindi s story There wasn t one Unless it was young black girl wants to be white The blond wig was a mistake She made it her trademark but I think it became a barrier to us seeing the real her We looked more critically at her face her strange little mouth with teeth like a mouse Her curious habit of scowling when she sang as though she hated us She is wonderfully talented but she wouldn t tell us her story so she didn t get the votes So tomorrow night who will win LLoyd Last night Elvis

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=493 (2016-04-24)
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