Just one more chapter…

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Over the last couple of months I have submerged myself in books and I have made pretty good books choices lately because I haven’t been able to put them down. I have been a part of many different worlds and fallen in love with characters and felt their happiness as well as their pain, thats what a good book is supposed to do to you right? So, I have made a deal with myself that I will buy at least one book per month, hopefully I remember this deal come month end.

At the moment I have been stuck in a “psychological thriller” loop which is my preferred genre of book, but I have been trying to branch out and explore a little more which I will get to once I’ve finished the book I’m currently reading. I hear Wilbur Smith is a good writer and rumor has it, you either love his style and story line or hate it, I’m keen to see which side I take but that is a blog for another day.

A while ago I bought 3 books from Amazon and I had never heard of Mary Kubica before and her book titles didn’t say much but they also said a lot at the same time, they got my imagination going and I was hooked. I got 3 of her books but they sat on my shelf for a few months as sometimes life gets busy but once I started the first one, I went through all 3 and I couldn’t get enough. No spoilers ahead, I promise.

The way she writes is flowing, easy to read and oh so descriptive but just enough for you to create your own thoughts and images and to develop the characters into the way your imagination is working. She writes from the perspectives of the different characters which I had never seen before in a book (not that I have read all that many), so it was new to me and I really enjoyed it, it completed the story from all aspects and gave me an insight into more than one characters life from more than one point of view. Initially they start off slow but it builds the suspense, and while reading from one character she will drop a ‘hook’ if you can call it that and then change to the next character which makes you want to finish that character and dive into the ‘hook’ she dropped on the previous character but then she drops another ‘hook’ on the character you’re on and its just a wild cycle of MUST KEEP READING! She adds many twists which always keep you guessing about whats to come and if you have an idea in your head of where the story is going or where it will end, be prepared for a “whaaat” moment because it will end in a way that didn’t even cross your mind.

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  1. The Good Girl

I read this one first and I think it took me two days to read on and off. She took me into a world that is fiction but there is the possibility of similar situations happening in this day and age which makes it that extra bit more thrilling. There are 4 points of narration to take in with this book, the perspective of the family, the detective, the kidnapper and Mia, the girl who was kidnapped. So many emotions are brought out seeing the different points of view and the different experiences each character is going through.

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2. Pretty Baby

I read this one second and it took me a little longer to finish this one because I couldn’t tear myself away from the Gilmore Girls but I managed to finish in under a week. Going down to 3 main characters, Heidi, Chris and Willow, it makes it a little bit easier to juggle the different stories in your head and it all comes together at the end but for me there seemed to be a lot more twists in this book, she just keeps adding them and just as you’re set on the path you think you’re heading, she adds a crossroads. She is always one step ahead of your thought process. An incredibly talented writer.

3. Don’t You Cry

This one is my absolute favourite, it kept me up until 3am. Its twisted and there are some deep psychological reasons for the happenings and it sends your imagination wild. In this book she makes two complete different worlds of two different characters: Quinn and Alex, their stories are not linked, or so you think but without ever meeting, their paths do seem to cross but not in the way you would expect. She makes you feel something whether its good or bad but emotions you never thought you had will come out.

All in all, these 3 books are a must read and I look forward to reading anything else she writes.

These are the books I have set my sights on and will keep my busy for the next couple of weeks :

  1. The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr
  2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  3. Eleanor Olifant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman
  4. Predator by Wilbur Smith
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

A good variety I have chosen I think. I can’t wait to get stuck in!

xx

I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place. – Anne Tyler

 

 

 

Spread Kindness – It’s Free

2018-04-15-PHOTO-00000851I have been sitting on this blog for a while now, mainly due to studying and my unhealthy addiction to the Gilmore Girls. If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t, its a trap, or do, just don’t say I didn’t warn you. The wit and brilliant writing makes it difficult to turn off.

So, kindness, hmm, seems to be something not many people are willing to offer. How many times have any of us turned down an offer to go for a drink or a meal because of lack of cash flow. You see, kindness doesn’t need a cash flow unless you want to go big and donate money to a Wildlife Fund or an Orphanage which in all fairness helps more than saying a small kind word to someone who really isn’t having the best day, but not everyone is in a situation that allows for that.

A couple of years ago, I was driving back from university, before I dropped out. Just as I was coming out of Pretoria CBD, the gears in my car seemed to be in the wrong places, 1st gear was no longer where it should have been and it felt as if 5th gear had taken its place. Anyone ever tried pulling off in 5th gear? So here I am, in the middle of an intersection with my car moving at a very slow pace, there was a slight downhill and my car seemed to roll forward and eventually I was out of the way. Every single car that was so inconvenienced by having to maneuver a little to go around me had some rude gesture or some horrid words to say to me because I added a couple more seconds to their time before they could rush to the standstill traffic on the highway. No one had any idea what was happening and I felt like I really needed a sign on my back window saying “sorry, car trouble” as if that would have changed their response.

We are so quick to hurl rude or harsh words to people if they slightly inconvenience us that we don’t realize that everyone has their own storm that they are dealing with and by  being a horrible human being, you aren’t making their situation any better. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t realize how much a simple smile or an “are you okay” can change. It will take roughly the same amount of time to say a kind word rather than something harsh.

If someones doesn’t earn as much money as you or have the same materialistic things as you, it in no way makes them any less of a person. They deserve to be treated with the same respect you would treat the manager of a company. They deserve a simple “how are you?” or even a “thank you” , or “can I help you with anything” is a good one. you never know, you may just make their day. The warm fuzzy feeling of helping someone or making them smile feels pretty darn good.

There are plenty of ways that one can show a small amount of kindness without having to pay a cent, in case you are having trouble thinking of a way to be kind, here are a couple ways:

  1. Write a note to someone, complimenting or thanking them.
  2. Offer to help someone with anything they’re busy with.
  3. Volunteer at a homeless shelter for humans or animals. ( a lot of animal shelters let you take the abandoned dogs for a stroll, they even have events for it).
  4. Donate the items in your home you no longer use.
  5. Encourage people who are doing their best.
  6. BE KIND TO YOURSELF, say something nice about yourself every now and then.

Being kind is easy if we just stop for a second and put that tiny bit of effort in and realize we are all going through something, you’re not the only one having a bad day.

Lets all spread kindness and good vibes.

x

Don’t leave the children behind.

Many people learned that when I moved to the UAE I brought my cats with me. One of the most prominent questions asked was “how long did they have to be in quarantine for?” Funny thing, they weren’t in quarantine at all, much to my pleasure. This is not to say that all countries do not require pets to be in quarantine as each country is different, but lucky for me, my children didn’t have to be.

Bringing my children with me was hands down one of the most daunting experiences I have ever had, but it was completely worth it.

When I first moved here, I came alone and Cheyne stayed behind in South Africa, which helped a lot because we started the process to bring Brooklyn and Brody with us a bit late. I suppose it doesn’t help that he is the king and I am the queen of procrastination.

First of all I had to find out if pets were allowed to be brought into the UAE, which they are although certain breeds of dogs are not allowed into the UAE, I obviously didn’t have to worry about that (Brody does a pretty good Pitbull stance though). Next up was finding out where to start. Google was my best friend and my worst enemy mainly due to the fact that I was staring at all this information at my fingertips but could not understand any of it. I decided to ask the help of the professionals which saved me from a mental breakdown. I found many companies that help with the process to take your pets with you when you move abroad, getting quotes was my next step.

I went with a company called PETport in South Africa who were absolutely amazing. They sent through a list of things that I needed to get done but by this time I was already in the UAE so I had to rely on Cheyne and my special mother dearest. They both went out of their way to help and make sure the process was smooth sailing. Anyway, the information was an overload for my brain and I honestly just wanted to cry and find a real adult to do it for me. Once I gave myself a good chat I settled down with a notepad and the information I recieved on the computer, I made a list, a short breakdown of what needed to be done in a timeline kind of way. It made all the difference and suddenly 20+ pages settled nicely into 5 or so main points.

  1. Take children (cats) for Rabies and 3in1 Vaccines (may vary) and have Microchip inserted if it hasn’t already been done.
  2. Wait 30 days and take children back to the vet to have blood drawn and sent to Onderstepoort for analysis.
  3. Wait for results and pets can travel after a certain stipulated period of time.
  4. Organise import permit from the UAE.
  5. Fill in forms and submit documents that were needed such as passport and arrival address.

Once I had made my own life easier I went on to find an agency in the UAE to help with the import permit and bringing my children into the country. After reading a blog similar to this one but from a different home country I found a brilliant company called the British Vet. They were beyond amazing and responded to all my frantic queries with patience and understanding.

The fact that I had my Mom and Cheyne’s parents to help made everything a little less stressful. They had no problem carting my kids (their grandkids) up and down to the vet to have everything done that needed to be, for them I am very grateful because now I can call Abu Dhabi home, with my little family all together.

So before I carry on, here is some background on my brats.

Brooklyn : Cheyne has had her since she was a kitten, a cruel human abandoned her and her brother in a box. Cheyne then adopted both of them. I came into the picture around 4 years later and Brooklyn and I became soulmates. I saw her curled up on the bed and made the usual noises humans make to lure cats into their cuddling arms, she looked up and ran to me and could not stop rubbing all over me covering me in her fur that is unusually soft. I was smitten, since then we have been attached. I have a shadow and a trip hazard wherever I go. Cheyne began to feel lonely as I always had a Brookles on my lap or napping with me so for his birthday we decided to help another poor fur baby.

Brody : Queen B, we like to call her. She was dropped off at a local pet rescue and the instruction from the owner was to euthanize her. CatsRus did the opposite and gave her plenty love and affection for two years. Sadly because she wasn’t a striking color or a munchkin cat, she was often overlooked. When we saw her we fell in love, she rubbed up on Cheyne and then we knew, she had chosen him. We went through and gave all the other cats and kittens needing a home a bit of love and cuddles and then decided to adopt her. The best decision we could have made, she has brought nothing but love, laughs and scratches and bites into our home. She may be sassy but deep down she loves the forced cuddles and kisses we shower her with.

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Brooklyn on the left and Brody on the right. They may look similar but they are complete opposites.

As I was saying before I get carried away with talking about my gorgeous babies.

Once I had everything in order, we booked the flight. My parents had just gotten back from visiting us in the UAE so I planned it around then so my mom could be the taxi for her grand cats. They were collected in the morning and had their final vet checks and their external and internal parasite treatment and then they were loaded onto the flight (I had researched everything to do with their flight, the temperature in the cabin, if they’d have water and food and a comfy pillow, how bumpy it would be, how dark it would be). They were on a night flight with Etihad Airways so I’d be able to collect them in the morning. Did I Sleep? No. Did I track their flight most of the night? Yes.

Unfortunately I was at work by the time we were able to fetch them. Cheyne did the honour of fetching our brats and phoned me in the car on the way home so I could speak to them (if you didn’t already know-yes I am a crazy cat lady). I’m sure you could have guessed, the day was the longest day I had ever experienced. Eventually when I got home and saw them, Brody hid under the bed and Brooklyn rubbed her unusually soft fur all over me just like the first day and my heart was happy. The next couple of days was rather stressful, I was worried about them becoming ill from the stress of traveling. They were checked by the Vet about a week after they arrived and all was good.

Since then, they have been causing havoc in our home and filling our hearts with happiness. We buy them toys yet they find our shoelaces and charging cables tickle their fancy a little more, they have a full bowl of food but yet they think are starving and need more pellets in the bowl to make them look a little more full. They carry little pieces of cat litter through the house so the humans can stand on it 10 minutes after sweeping and mopping.

Brooklyn and Brody are everything to me and if I can relocate them as easy as I did (stressful, but easy) then there is no excuse for anyone relocating to another country or even a different town or province, to take their fur babies with them. You wouldn’t leave you human child behind would you? You make a promise, you keep it, simple as that. We promised that we would look after these two beautiful souls no matter what and so far I think we are doing a pretty good job. It may have cost a little more than spare change but it made us happy and happiness counts more than anything.

 

Kisses from the brats ❤

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