When a piece of your heart dies

10 March 2016, the date I will never forget for as long as I’m on this earth. This was the last day I ever spoke to my mum, because during the early parts of 11 March 2016, God recalled one of his favourites.

To write about this isn’t easy, I never thought it would  be when I started. I don’t think you’re ever the same after you lose your mother, your biggest fan, your best friend. I can’t even explain the feelings I experience daily but all I know is that life is no longer as it was. I know I’ve changed and everything around me with it.

I also know that I need to begin a new normal because all the things I previously thought important suddenly seem insignificant. I don’t want to go into details of how I lost my mum, I believe it was predestined.

I’m writing this so that I can document memories about my mother while they are fresh in my mind lest I forget them with time. I will continue to add memories as I remember them.

I remember my mum enjoyed reading – books, newspapers, periodicals, magazines, billboards, everything. I would look up and see her mouthing every word she read silently as if they meant the world to her.

I remember my mum always referred to us (to others) as hers: “my Aysha” or “my Ahmed” or “my Issa“.

I remember her waiting to have breakfast with me, always (unless I was away).

I remember her being loud and full of life.

I remember her scolding me saying: “You think you’re perfect…”

I remember her striking up a conversation with random people in a checkout queue, a long-haul flight, the Tour Eiffel elevator while waiting for me at the airport.

I remember her snoring, it held a certain comfort for me knowing she’s there.

I remember my mum loved music, she hummed to songs on the radio or our playlists. She loved Queen, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Nana Mouskouri, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, to name a few (this list will increase as I go through her CD collection).

I remember my mum loved house plants, our flat was infested with potted plants all healthy and happy, well taken care of.

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My mother was not perfect, she did not have to or want to be but the day I lost her was when a piece of my heart died. All I have left now are fragmented memories and a time slipped through my fingers.

Fatima Patel (née Mayet) 10 January 1944 – 11 March 2016


When Time Kicks Your A$$

It’s been nearly four (4) years since I posted something here. Time passes us by so fast that you don’t realise it been four years since you last checked your own blog. You get stuck in living other people’s lives that you forget to update your own. Perhaps there comes a time in your life when you realise you’ve become a very private person and updating everyone about your life, every so often, online is not something that appeals to you anymore.

A lot has happened in four years – I moved from Paris to London and in doing so realised I miss Paris more than I ever imagined, I became single, I lost good friends along the way and people don’t blog anymore – they now VLOG.

Life is a strange and fragile thing that is made up of both tangible and intangible elements. Time is one of those intangible elements some of us are blessed with, others are not. It’s always free but in its passing it will give you something, always take something in return and you will never be able to retrieve your loss or happy moment. It has simply become a memory, which we can either choose to forget or keep strong in our mind. Either way, we have to make the best of what we have for now.

In the words of the High Priestess of Soul, Ms Nina Simone: “Time is a dictator as we know it, where does it go, what does it do and most of all is it alive. Then one day you look in the mirror and you are old and you say where did the time go.”

This post is dedicated to Maria Ghelakis (1981 – 2015)

Halfway Here, Halfway There

My postcard for this week arrived. This time it really was a surprise because I was out and about Johannesburg the entire day and the postcard’s possible arrival slipped out of mind. When I returned home late last night it was there, waiting for me, almost accusingly.

It’s a beautiful postcard showing a black and white picture of the Eiffel Tower in all her metallic glory. The picture makes me think I’m in a different century, one before colour photos and email, when postcards were a common occurrence. In fact, during World War II if a family received a postcard from their loved one in battle it was a happy time for them, however if they received a telegram sadness descended upon the household because their love one was either MIA or even worse.

Anyway, I digress – this week’s postcard in essence is reminiscent of how simple life used to be and can still be. It also reminds me to be happy no matter how archaic some people may think this “postcard relationship” is.

So as the title to this post suggests, my time in Johannesburg is running low and I’ve reached the halfway mark to seeing Peter again. It’s a bittersweet feeling to be honest. I miss him quite a bit (to a point of me picking fight with him every time we chat although I tell everyone he picks one with me) but at the same time it’s not easy to admit that I will be leaving Johannesburg (with all her faults and beauty) soon to be with him.

If there is some girl or guy out there in a similar to situation to mine please contact me, it will be interesting to compare notes. It doesn’t matter if the countries are different, the feelings and emotions must be similar.

The Eiffel Tower

Mother load…

So as the title to this entry suggests, I’ve received a glut of something. And as you, dear reader, correctly guessed its postcards. My gentle giant a.k.a Monkey a.k.a Peter decided to surprise me by sending three postcards from Geneva. All of which were purchased and written in Geneva but posted in Paris.

They arrived separated in the post, one as you know came yesterday and the other two this morning. Gotta love the postman for keeping my anticipation levels up. Thank you Mr Unknown Postman and…

Thank you, Monkey!!!

Anyway, moving on to another topic which happens to be this blog. I once read somewhere that in order for a blog to be successful one needs to write about a topic or subject that one is passionate about and knows well. I guess my blog ain’t gonna be all that successful ’cause I write about everything and nothing really. And because if I had to write on what I’m passionate about and know well I might just bore my tiny troop of die hard followers to oblivion. I wouldn’t want that, who would follow my blog?

So to all you guys and gals who at least read my ramblings, however few you are, thank you… and enjoy the two new postcards!

My second postcard from Geneva/Paris

Peter may be missing my family???

My “sticker” postcard

Contents of my “sticker” postcard

Another one follows soon after

I’ve received my second postcard. It arrived this morning as I was ready to leave the house. It was bought and written in Geneva, Switzerland but posted from Paris. Peter admitted to not having time to write and post the postcard before catching a plane back to Paris. Bless him, at least he tries.

Before writing this entry, I watched a film…. a cheesy one titled “The Lost Valentine”. It was one of those films you get stuck watching because there really isn’t much to watch on TV despite the fact that you have over 80 channels to choose from and you don’t feel like doing anything constructive (having been lazy for over a year now, I seldom find anything constructive to get involved in).

Anyway, I got stuck into this film and by the end of it I was saying to myself: “Wow, I wish I’m loved by someone as much as this woman (Betty White) loves her husband in his absence.” I had to snap out of it and remind myself that it was a cheesy made-for-TV movie. But it made me realise that by Peter sending me a postcard once a week gives me something so seemingly obscure from him to treasure and touch and feel while we don’t see each other. It really is quite endearing.

I guess I’m missing Peter (which 30 year old watches a full movie whose main character is played by Betty White?). This is the longest time I haven’t seen him for since we met in November 2011. He really used to spoil me by making an effort to see me nearly everyday till the 12 June 2012, the day he left for Paris. I’ve never been so spoiled in all my life, it really is a WONDERFUL feeling to be made to feel so special.

Last week someone told me that they wouldn’t want to be in my situation i.e being on a different continent as my husband. Her exact words were, “it must be like being single with a distant sense of commitment”. My initial thoughts were, “that’s why you’re single, you want everything to be perfect all the time,” but that wasn’t a nice thing to think let alone say out loud (and people who know me well know that the filter between what I think and say seldom works) so I held my tongue (bless ME). I told her the truth, something someone close to me in a similar situation said to me, Peter and my current situation is a means to getting what we want.

Anyway, enough of the gooey stuff and on to the more mundane. Just so everyone knows, I managed to find myself a contract job in Paris. I officially started today and will continue to work from home once I’m in Paris. Lets hope it all goes well. I have to thank my new “boss” for being so patient, I really did drag my feet on accepting the offer. I honestly have become so lazy since I stopped working full time. Wish me luck or rather wish my boss luck….

Postcard No.2’s contents

Written in Switzerland but posted from Paris

And so it begins…

I received my first postcard from Paris this week. I never thought that receiving something as small and impersonal in the post, such as a postcard, could be so exciting. I guess email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc has taught me to enjoy the more simple things in life.

Having said that, I think my husband is a brave soul. He actually deciphered how to send a postcard from Paris to Johannesburg. I don’t think I would have known where to begin. I’ve never bought a stamp in life. So I guess, email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc has spoiled me a little.

Old school isn’t so bad after all, it created a bit of excitement in my lackluster life. Well to be honest here, I’ve been waiting for Peter’s postcard since he sent it to me on 16 June 2012. The fact that it took so long to get here (owing mainly to a strike at the South African Post Office) really heightened my sense of anticipation. Its like waking up on your fifth birthday to see what special gift you received. Only then you got a Barbie doll or in my case large teddy bears and now you receive a postcard…

Have I grown to be THAT old? Or is that as you get older you simply appreciate the simpler things in life?

Me thinks the former, I’m not the philosophical type…

Contents of Postcard No.1

Contents of the Postcard No.1

Notre-Dame by Pierre Boussier

The first postcard sent to me from my husband in Paris.


So as you know (as per the “about this blog” section) I’m sitting in Johannesburg, South Africa and my husband in Paris. I thought the title “Transition” fitting because of where I am right now in my life. Its a weird space to be in solely because in essence its a state of limbo. Its like moving house ON STEROIDS.

Apart from my personal transitions (and there many the two highlights being getting married and moving to another hemisphere) the buzz word in South African politics is also “transition”. And you sitting there right now thinking: “What is this woman on about, firstly she’s talking about her move now she’s on about politics?”

Allow me to elaborate, politics is essentially apart of me. I make my living trying to pre-empt African politics for investors. My counties of interest are South Africa, Angola and the DRC.

So two of my “countries” and myself head into transition. As I get ready to move to Paris, South Africa’s democracy is forced to move into its second phase of transition and Angola attempts to vote-out its president, who has been at it for the 33rd year running. Interesting time ahead… Interesting indeed!!

I think I’m the only one of the three that’s got the ball rolling, I have my life packed into four bags floating somewhere between Durban and Paris. The waters to east and west of Africa are pirate-infested. I’m feeling real confident here….

PS: My husband sends me a postcard from Paris every week… we trying to be old-school here, bear with us…..