A Duchess of Note...

Don't get me wrong, I am NO Kate Middleton fan. I have NEVER come across anybody as boring as her, from her personality to her looks and wardrobe. Her make up makes her look ten years older - especially those raccoon eyes -  and her wedding looked like a boring middle class affair with no imagination, compared to the Monaco wedding shortly after, which - by the way - was the grandest most regal wedding I witnessed since Diana's.

Having said that, it struck me today that she possesses a quality that I can only admire and hope that I get there one day: Regardless of her personal goals and beliefs, she transformed herself to be an ambassador for her country

Lost Luggage Lunar System

A while ago I read a joke in a magazine, where they discovered that the ring around Saturn was really all the world's lost airline luggage! It might not be very scientific, but I am quite certain it is true!

As an avid traveller, I spend a lot of time in airports. It may be that I am bored or sleep deprived, but while waiting for my luggage to arrive on the conveyor belt, I ask myself a lot of questions, like: Who are the people whose suitcases come out firsts? In 30 years that has never happened to me. Statistically it should have, but it hasn't.

A Friendship forged by Food...

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” CS Lewis

My wasband and I were very different people. He loved being the life of the party, pleasing people, meeting new people, in short: he is a people's person. Me on the other hand, not quite so much. In fact, I have on many occasions considered buying an island off the coast of Italy, with only me and an Internet connection of course.

There's Just Some Things That Time Cannot Erase...

"Still Haunting me"
Annemie Odendaal - Charcoal
Once while visiting in Washington, I saw a park with statues for unknown fallen soldiers. It stirred something inside of me, not specifically because it was for soldiers, just because of the intense pain I felt when I saw it. It somehow echoed my own pain and loss. I came back home and immediately drew this sketch, to remind me of how moved I was by this incident.

Do you know how much pain you carry inside of you? Can you name it, or does it just drift around in a muddy sea of confusion and grief?

Botox or Detox?

That is the question. 

After years of denial, I am now also a heavily armed warrior, fighting the anti-ageing war. Just because your spirit stays young, doesn't mean that your body kept up. 

What I do know, is that the face in the mirror doesn't exactly resemble how I remember myself. Your body changes, but you don't change, and that, of course, causes great confusion.

A Woman of Great Importance

Charcoal sketch, 
Annemie Odendaal
The most remarkable woman I ever knew, was my grandmother Anna. She was very wise and always gentle and kind. She never judged or spoke ill of anyone. I don't remember her talking much, but when she spoke, we listened.

Despite being a highly intelligent woman, she was content to be an exemplary, supportive wife and mother. 

Travel Spot: Makalai Game Lodge

Freezing! Unfortunately this is what I remember most about the weekend. Not the wonderful animal sightings, which we had, or the annoying guests, which there were, or the wonderful, spacious, romantic room with a fireplace and sightseeing deck. Just the cold...

Other than that, it was an enjoyable, unique adventure for us city-light creatures. No phones, no television, no radio (unless you count the incessant two-way radio chats between the rangers, which I suggested they syndicate out and sell as a full-time radio station), and no civilisation for miles!

Miss Understood

"Pity the Child" - Oil
by Annemie Odendaal
Pity the child who has ambition, Knows what he wants to do
Knows that he'll never fit the system, Others expect him to
Pity the child who knew his parents, Saw their faults
Saw their love die before his eyes
Pity the child that wise
Pity the child but not forever, Not if he stays that way
He can get all he ever wanted, If he's prepared to pay....
from the musical "Chess"

To Regret or not to Regret...

Annemie Odendaal: "More lives than One"
I have always said that I regret nothing I have ever done in my life. Good or bad. It made me who I am today, it taught me lessons and it brought me to where I am at this moment in my life. 

Or did it?

Turns out there is one thing I did in my life, that I will regret forever, and that was getting married. Even though I am single again now, I just cannot shake the uneasy feeling that because of the mistake I made, I might be at the wrong place in my life right now.

Suicide Watch.

The age old question: Can you go to Heaven if you commit suicide?
Charcoal  - Annemie Odendaal
"The Life she longed for"

How will we know? It's not like we can pick up the phone and ask them. Although I cannot conceive that our merciful God will not have any circumstantial clause where we can be forgiven and still go to heaven, I understand that it is a great sin and one the Bible warns us against. 

I also know that a lot of people have been saved by the bell so to speak, like the murderer who hung on the cross next to Jesus. When he realised Jesus was innocent, and took accountability for his own sins with true repentance, God told him that they will be together in Paradise that same day.