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  • helen brain - Can Celine Dion Bring World Peace?
    snatch or phrase she starts to sing along This year has been so kak and I ve sung much less But twice something has happened which struck me as so significant About two months ago I was in Pick n Pay pushing my trolley down one of the aisles and Celine Dion was playing over the loud speakers Can t remember the song but the shop was nearly empty and I was alone in the aisle except for one of the shelf packers I was singing along and I turned into the aisle and there was the packer belting it out too So we sang together while I loaded up my trolley and she loaded up the shelves and we grinned at each other both knowing that place where the song is bubbling out of you so you may as well just sing and who cares if someone thinks you re weird Yesterday I went to one of the charity shops I visit Jenny the manageress has a lovely voice and she s a good oldfashioned belter The radio was playing that Celine Dion song about you are my eyes when I cannot see you re everything to me can t remember what its called But Jenny was singing away and I couldn t resist so I started singing too and so was a bloke trying on shoes and one of the refugee women with a baby we were all belting it out having a ball and I thought to myself here I am the only white woman in a charity shop with people from all over Africa and we re all joined together because we love this song And then I thought Yeah Celine Dion for the Nobel Peace Prize Because if her song can unite four strangers in

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=379 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - All at once
    to start some new traditions None of us are that keen on turkey and cooking that huge meal in the heat and then sitting down to eat it without Luke My stomach turns at the thought For me the one thing you have to have at Christmas is Quality Street chocolates I don t really eat them well only the one with the orange centre but they look so pretty None of us are believers so it doesn t make much sense filling the house with tinsel and decorations and little scenes depicting baby Jesus in the manger And those paper crowns make your head sweat I also like Terry s Chocolate Oranges Maybe we should just go shopping and put our favourite foods in the trolley The kids will choose zoo biscuits and Coke I ll choose prawn cocktail Though maybe not because prawns eat dead people Salticrax We love salticrax And beef Wellington roast potatoes butternut and teeny peas So there is food we can cook to create a new tradition for the family Maybe next year we ll be able to face doing it the old fashioned way But this year it hurts too much Next blog entry Comments Shaz on 16 December 09 The reference to zoo biscuits reminded me of a classic when I was young We stayed in a block of flats in town at the time and my mother was mortified when I asked in a loud voice in a lift full of people whether I could please have a dog biscuit of course I wanted an iced zoo biscuit but my mother got some strange looks Big hugs and best wishes Le Organist on 15 December 09 I m not a food bloke but I like the horror movie tradition If there

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=378 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Sad things
    You know what I find sad That you marry someone knowing what they re like and then over the years you expect them to be different I wish I d been gentler with Luke now and more accepting of his humanness Less demanding of perfection I wish I d taken more responsibility for my life and less for his Next blog entry Comments Debra on 10 December 09 Isn t

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=377 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Scary Nun
    Doesn t matter if you re not hungry You can t go losing weight and becoming attractive to men because then you will be committing a sin If you should die in a car crash before you confess to a priest you will go straight to hell I know scary nun is a nasty piece of work but 11 years of brainwashing at a convent school is hard to reverse Next blog entry Comments JaneH on 09 December 09 I think I know her name Gill on 09 December 09 Totally agreed Where did the celibacy crap come from anyhow I mean if God didn t want us to have sex He wouldn t have created us all with sex organs Right Jen on 09 December 09 Then there is the weird thing that I was taught by really wonderful nuns who were well educated and taught us to think critically but they were Dominicans then I taught at a convent very briefly and met scary nun and she was so destructive that I forced my father to go in and hand in my resignation The thing is that celibacy as a requirement for making you special in God s eyes is a load of codswallop Jen on 09 December 09 Then there is the weird thing that I was taught by really wonderful nuns who were well educated and taught us to think critically but they were Dominicans then I taught at a convent very briefly and met scary nun and she was so destructive that I forced my father to go in and hand in my resignation The thing is that celibacy as a requirement for making you special in God s eyes is a load of codswallop Gill on 09 December 09 Yes scary nun was clearly

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=376 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Does being cross make you fat?
    to their level and These things are sent to try us So I learned very young that one shouldn t confront people but offer up one s suffering for the souls in purgatory Then I married Luke and when we went into our first parish my weight went from normal up and up and up The more disillusioned I became with the church the more powerless I felt the more disrespected I felt by the hierarchy and some of Luke s colleagues the huger the conflict grew If I complained or protested I was a bad Christian and a non submissive wife and a stumbling block in his ministry and the thorn in his flesh If he s been a fighter it would have been different But Luke s phobia about authority and his social phobia meant confronting anyone about anything wrong was enormously stressful almost impossible for him It cost him so dearly So I felt emotionally abused by the church hierarchy as a clergy wife and I had to try and fit into a mould I just wasn t shaped right for and the cost to myself was huge I was holding back my native instinct to fight for my rights shovelling down my anger at the way Christians treated us and trying to be a good clergy wife which meant never complaining being obedient to what the hierarchy told us to do and supporting my husband even if I thought his decisions were detrimental to our family That rage had to go somewhere It s still inside me simmering and steaming and lurching around my stomach like volcanic lava wanting to blow up in the face of some incompetent and unpleasant bishops I ate down my rage to protect my marriage It was a bad idea If

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=375 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Nice Aunty
    it could all just be an evil conspiracy between her and Mr Stuyvesant can t be mere coincidence that when he leaves she moves in Gill on 05 December 09 No she s the old hunched over one with the shrill Irish voice who taught me in grade 2 She used to pull my hair when I got my sums wrong she dressed like a nun but she was the wicked witch from the west JaneH on 05 December 09 Scary Nun I know her well She is the one with the hook nose and black bushy eyebrows who makes me sweat when I have to work with numbers Helen the Blogger on 04 December 09 ODAT Finally worked it out One day at a time right Yes well Nice Aunty thinks that a donut a day keeps your troubles at bay Just keep them nice and buried just for today Later I will introduce you to scary nun Gill on 04 December 09 Soooooooooooo very true We must have all been to the same place that teaches the ODAT philosophy What it ends up translating to is I ll start again tomorrow JaneH on 04 December 09 My experience is that ODAT can be a dangerous place too It makes it possible to visit the nice aunty ODAT and to expunge the memory of yesterdays overindulgence before embarking on todays Unfortunately my body doesn t operate on ODAT principles and it lovingly stores all extras in preparation for the day that there may not be any As it stands I could probably solve world hunger right now Giill on 03 December 09 I ve been thinking about this Nice Aunty Like I said I have someone like this who lives in my head She solves every single problem known to the world She solves every conflict and every emotion and every situation and yes she is really really really good when the A word surfaces Her tools are fruit cake and shortbread and biscuits and muffins and toast and honey and toast and jam And chocolate cake with cream is a favourite of hers too She is a problem solver extroadinaire Gill on 03 December 09 Wow I think this lady lives in my head And I have the cinnamon twist stuck to my hips to prove it And as for Peter Stuyvesant he was a very close friend of mine for lots of years Helen I am SO interested in what you say about triggers I learned about triggers the same place I learned about ODAT Should have stayed there huh kim on 03 December 09 oooh She looks just what I need this morning If you share your nice aunty with me I ll share my best friend Peter Styvesant with you And then everything will be in moderation and we will all feel balanced and cheerful and acceptable Helen the Blogger on 03 December 09 Patty It s so interesting to see the different reasons why

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=374 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Being rooted
    don t feel strong enough or rooted enough or supported enough to stand upright And my weight has served as a block of concrete making me feel more substantial sturdier and protected from damage I drew the second picture of two of the characters who have something to say about my eating habits First up is the bossy skinny dictator who yells at me to get disciplined to ignore how I feel physically and emotionally and to get on the floor and do 100 press ups now Second is the goth teenager who opposes everyone and everything just because she can She s a powerful part of the process and she and the dictator are at war She s worked out that saying NO is the worst thing for the dictator to hear Why does she do it Because she doesn t feel heard The dictator doesn t care how she feels and to the Goth her feelings are everything What I m realising is that the essential me up till now has been like a little troll toy gazing up at these gigantic people powerless to control them Watching them warring and there are others who I ve still got to explore and feeling that hiding away is the only thing to do when the Olympian Gods of diet and body hurl thunderbolts at each other I think becoming mature means that the essential you grows in stature until she is controlling the characters who are reduced in importance to being little trolls Next blog entry Comments Helen the Blogger on 07 December 09 Isabbel My plan is to use the trunks of the avocado pear tree I m chopping down as uprights But I don t know how to treat them so they don t rot Any ideas

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=373 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Roses and Butternuts
    a few months ago because I threw a whole lot of worm compost around the roses suddenly among the roses popped up butternuts and tomatoes Now Luke would have pulled them out because he liked to keep things categorised and because he was ruthless about pulling out plants that weren t right whereas I get all sentimental about them But I left them and they re flowering and fruiting and bounding around the garden twisting among the pelagoniums lurching across the peach pip pathways and behaving profligately and most inappropriately in such a well planned horticultural display I got my rake and a bag of compost this weekend and cleared out areas of weeds I ve going to throw down sunflower seeds and cosmos and gazanias and see what comes up And the garden has become mine I can t maintain it as Luke wanted it and I don t think he d want me to For him it was just a tiny version of where he wanted to be in the Karoo walking across the veld with his dog Blommetjie Seeing the plants in the wild So I feel that I can move the beds six inches out into the pathways Throw down sunflower seeds Let the butternuts and roses intertwine And I feel him sitting there on the bench enjoying the sun and enjoying my pleasure in the garden we re making together Next blog entry Comments Louise on 03 December 09 Wow What a great blog heather on 01 December 09 love the butternuts behaving rampantly in the neat correctness of the rest of the garden x Gill on 25 November 09 Helen I so so so so love the way you describe your garden and what you have done with it It s like the garden got let out of chains and is now allowed to be free That is the impression I get with the butternut growing in amongst the roses My Dad is like that with his garden a place for everything and everything in its place I have to admit I like the butternuts in amongst the roses Thank you for this totally beautiful blog entry Helen the Blogger on 25 November 09 Isabbel Gee if I knew the answer to that question When Luke and I got married we slotted into a dysfunctional dance where we each propped up the other It worked very well as long as we kept to the prescribed dance steps When I went into therapy seven years ago I began to analyse the dance and see how it was harming me I began to insist on the steps changing Because Luke was so appallingly anxious and because he must in fact have been ill for quite a while without us realising it he was reluctant to make changes to the status quo So I had to force them with ultimatums that made him stop dancing and stop panicking about change and take small steps that would make

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=372 (2016-04-24)
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