Red Whine: November 2012 Archives


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This is a cheating post. I'm uninspired, tired and still ill.

But at least I'm posting. Quantity over quality.

All for NaNoBloPoMo.

(I don't think this is quite what they had in mind, but there ya go! I can't mess this up on Day 28.)

And on the 25th day, she was ill.

When asked what is wrong, I would ordinarily be all tough and answer dismissively and airily (or as airily as one is able to be when half of one’s airways are obstructed), using the rasp in my voice to lend the toughness just that bit of a rockstar edge: “Oh, it’s just a cold.”

But this? This monster? Isn’t just a cold.

Oh, no. After careful consultation of my trusty and beloved, dog-eared edition of the Time/Life A-Z Medical Encyclopaedia, I have come to the alarming conclusion that I have… the Man Flu.

Why that particular strain, you ask?  And how does this Man Flu differ from your run-of-the-mill cold and flu?

At first glance, all the symptoms are identical: scratchy throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing with such force that you can blow your neighbour's hair back from where you are curled up in a pathetic bundle in bed, feeling lousy, feverish, and achy. But in the trusty tome, it says that when you are feeling particularly SORRY for yourself on top of all of that, and act to your loved ones as if you are on the brink of death? It’s definitely the Man Flu.

Yes, it IS mostly just a male affliction. But in VERY rare instances, such as this, even the strongest women sometimes get weak enough to be overcome with it too. It’s horribly shameful, which is why I would never have admitted to it unless I WASN’T DYING AND FEELING ALL CONFESSIONAL DUE TO THE FACT THAT I'M DYING.


Was that my last breath? It sure felt like it should've been. Can't see anything, 'cause it blew the glasses right off my face. 

Updated to say: No, I also have NO idea why and how the font managed to change colour halfway through this blog post. (Yeah, got my glasses back.) Unless... I have given it my highly contagious and fatal form of Man Flu too!?


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The scream may have been earth shattering, had any sound managed to actually escape from my mouth. I only realised later that I never actually screamed out loud, even though I’m sure my lips assumed the oh-shape it would have had to make to form that sort of terrifying sound. That the faint echoing that was bouncing around in my mind later on was simply a remnant of a deafening thought.


Several minutes before, I had been slowly, furtively making my way down the aisle, like a huntress. 

My heart was pounding and the sweat was beading on my brow. My eyes were thoroughly sweeping the shelves for that one, crucial object.


“Come on; come on; where ARE you?” I muttered under my breath. A lot was riding on me finding what I’d been searching for. I needed to locate it in order to save face.

So engrossed was I in looking, that I never saw the woman until she spoke behind me, causing me to jump a metre high. “Is there anything I can assist you with?” she asked. It was soon her turn to be somewhat unnerved when I spun around, startled by her voice.

When I finally composed myself, I decided to take her up on the offer of help. “Yes, please. I’m looking for this.” I reached into my handbag and whipped out the mocha mechanical eyeliner.

She shook her head. “Sorry, the manufacturer has discontinued that particular brand and colour. May I interest you in anything else?”

That was when the scream of frustration exploded in my head.

In case you think that I’m slightly overacting, consider this: this sort of incident hasn't been the first of its kind for me. Whenever I find a product that I like, that somehow, magically, works for me, it gets discontinued.

I’m still mourning the loss of the liquid foundation that was a perfect match for my horrible skin colour (or lack of – I make albinos look tanned). That foundation turned my skin translucent and glowing. So of course, the manufacturer ruthlessly axed it from its product line, making it very clear to the world that maybe I WASN’T born with it.

The list of products past is in fact so long, they could all easily populate an entire section of a store. Among them are sweeteners, mascara, medication, hair products, body lotion, bras (just like that, my chest was divided, conquered AND lifted!), nail polish, stockings, gum, coffee… you name it, I’ve loved, loyally supported, and cruelly lost access to it.

I’m really starting to think it’s some sort of cruel conspiracy aimed at one particular consumer.


The violent riots that have been plaguing the region where I live for the past few days might be inching closer to us - if it's not already upon us. 

A short while ago, my phone beeped with a message, warning everyone in our picturesque, quaint town of Stellenbosch to stay indoors; that truckloads filled with rioters have apparently arrived in town and that all access roads into and out of the area have been blocked. 

It is difficult to discern rumour from fact, but last night's message, about an uprising on the outskirts of town ended up being true. Hundreds of rioters burned tyres, threw rocks at passing cars and vandalised traffic lights - amounting to millions of rands in damage. It remains uncertain what their motives were, though. Some claim it was about providing free electricity to the town's informal settlement (AKA shantytown/township), while others think it is also about the labour dispute involving the labourers who work on the wine farms in the area.

When will people learn that violence and destruction solve absolutely nothing? 

is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Terra: YES! Wait... you didn't think that I would be this possessed to post for NO REASON, did ya???... [go]
  • Terra.Shield : OH! ... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: Be a bit like serving drinks at AA?... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: I personally think it is a mindset that has been cultivated over the years, and one, if not stemmed,... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Ms. Crazy Cat Lady Pants!!! Squeeeee! Sooo good to see you! (I thought NO ONE was bothering to read ... [go]
  • Ms. Pants : Kitties don't get enough credit sometimes. (All times, if you ask me, but I'm a Crazy Cat Lady.)... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Hey Tamara! I know, right?? That is a tough act to follow indeed. I adored that dentist. He used to ... [go]
  • Tamara Tipton : Well, I am not sure how any dentist could live up to that standard! LOL! I hope your appointment was... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: I'm really really glad that I'm not the only one, Po! Sometimes I drive myself mad with all the what... [go]
  • Po : Those questions run through my heads for various times in my life too, that is for sure!... [go]
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