Another year

So end of 2013 sees me in hospital for 4-5 weeks while I recuperate from a series of ops. These were ones that Katja wanted me to have some time ago – running repairs for damage done (wrists, elbow & shoulder). Not a great time to be stuck in hospital, and it gives me too much time for introspection.

We never spoke as much over the Xmas holidays as she always went to Namibia, but we always sent wishes for the New Year. Of course, too, had she been around with me stuck in hospital, then she would have conversed all the more, and perhaps included a trip to see me (even though she knows I HATE having visitors in hospitals).

But she would have helped me through the mess at the end of last year. I have never worked for as long, or as hard, as I did last year, but finished the year with less than zero in my accounts, and clients owing me over R1M. One project I have been working on for a number of years was put forward for a prestigious international award, for precisely the work that I am responsible for. Out of 68 cities that were accepted, we have been short listed down to the final 15. I was invited by the organisers to speak at their conference to the UN in Vienna in February. Which was really exciting, and I know Katja would have produced press releases and the like for me… But then people began crawling out of the woodwork, and trying to both claim authorship for my work, and even writing to the organisers to tell them that, and asking if they could co-present with me… I was really annoyed, until in heard back from the city, who decided that this award was not important enough to be worth paying for my trip. So the annoyance turned to frustration, and sadness.

That has all been now replaced with a cynical view, and next year will be different, will have to be different. Fuck them. No emotions next year, no more writing this blog, no more exposing anything. Only work for people that pay, and then only do what is required; no extra’s, no freebies. If cities are late paying then I shall stop work until they pay.

All this has also had a huge impact at home. I know I have been a shit to live with…and I think the knowledge of what Katja meant to me hurt. I don’t know what she will decide…although fear it might not be good. Oh, and I have completely fallen out with my parents in the interim.

So I seem to be starting the New Year, having a really shitty time in hospital, but taking the view, Fuck The World, for next year.

So near and yet so far

There are days when I need you more than others. I need you every day – we didn’t have to speak every day…we sometimes went weeks without actually talking. But we always knew the other was there…in emergencies. Days or nights when we just needed an ear, or a shoulder. I need you now. I really need you now. Being here in your house makes me feel closer…but actually the distance is the same. I need your wise words, I need your hug. I need you to tell me to buck my ideas up, & to stop feeling so fucking sorry for myself. I need one of those Katja hugs right now.

But I know I will never experience one of those ever again.

I know you will never be here for me anymore.

I will always love you. My life will never be the same without you. You picked me up and put me back together again…sometimes literally… I want to tell you that I finally did something about the surgeries i face over Xmas. I should be promising to SMS you as soon as I come around after the anesthetic, like I always had to with all the other operations. I always did that…and you didn’t mind what time of night or day I did that…or whether the message made much sense. But I always knew once I came around that I needed to do that. I knew how worried you used to get, even though you tried so hard not to show me.

God I miss you so much. I spent so much of today just crying; I was quite short with Thabs, as I needed some space today…I hate doing that…but he cannot see these tears…he has his own.

I need you now.

Happy Birthday

Happy 51st darling. You will always be young.


I took that photo at one of our special lunches at Gilroys. You were so alive… So special… I remember you particularly wanted me to photo you…like the other one I took in the Waterfront.

God I miss you. I never realised how much I needed you in my life until you were gone.

Still too Fresh

Am sat waiting for my lift, to take me away from the Lodge again.

Am sat where HER car should be. Looking at HER old house, where SHE should be (dashing about as she would be late taking me to the airport!!!). Have HER old dog Trixie at my feet.

Tomorrow should have been HER 51st birthday. I should have been staying here to celebrate HER birthday with HER.

Life is so fucking unfair.

Times heals????

Does it hell. How many times do I have to live through the realisation that I shall never see her again?? I feel I am clinging on by my fingertips… I have buried myself in work. Using physical pain to block mental pain. And then through the fog it hits me all over again. I have lived her death over and over and over. I wish I could have offered myself in her place. Part of me did die that day. I needed her. I need her. I still need her.

Life Love Laugh

Death Cry

Shit. Nothing makes sense anymore. She made sense of it all… No sense without her…

I miss you, you wonderful wonderful person every day. Life is just monochrome without you…

A different life, a different time.

Not sure I can do this without you.

But nobody can know…nobody knows…only us. Only me…

A year gone by

Can’t believe that it has been over a year since we lost Katja. Although much has happened, so much has not changed.

Back at the Lodge now. Good to catch up with Thabo. But we need to visit Miriam who has been hospitalised due to PTSD. Am feeling bad about that situation, but in reality, there is very little that I can do.

My own health not good. But hopefully can delay any surgery until Christmas.

Awful, awful day

Writing this on the plane home. Luckily it is quiet, and no one near me, plus still daylight so can explain dark glasses.

Today we had to pay out retrenchment packages to all the staff. Some have been there for 26 years, and I have known for 16. They have the awful awful situation of losing Katja, their friend, and employer, then the tragedy of the shooting on the Lodge in December, now, they have no job, and they must leave the place which they have called home.

I had to look each one in the eye, and explain the package. We are able to pay them double what we are required to pay…but it still seems a paltry sum. Several are too old and will not find alternative employment. I honestly don’t know what will happen to them. I hope I can stay in touch.

But I also had to say another farewell to Katja…I am not sure I can stay there again. I will try to for Thabo’s sake.

I feel dreadful. My physical condition is not helping either. Pain keeps me awake, and being awake makes me think…

One member of staff, Miriam is in a bad way, and I fear she is suicidal, I am trying to get her into hospital as I think she might try to kill herself, she has already been diagnosed with PTSD. But I fear this will push her over the edge. I feel so guilty leaving…but I cannot help more even if I am there. I have asked them all to look out for her, and started the ball rolling to get her hospitalised. What an awful way to end up. I really hate all this. I need to get away from there though; I was drowning, suffocating. I need to breathe, to collect some spoons…and maybe time to start the grieving process… I can’t get any further now. Everything hurts, emotionally and physically just pain…

back at the Lodge (for the last time?)

i did decide to ignore the medicos advice, and jumped on a plane. I had to be here, if only for the staff. They are all leaving apart from Nomsa and her mother. Thabo seems to be coping well with all the changes to what has been his only home.

I have to put on this strong, unconcerned mask. Underneath I am really battling. Not helped with my physical conditions. i wanted to write this an hour ago, but hands would not type. Times like this I used to get a huge hug from Katja…

And so it all goes horribly wrong

Fuck it

The Lodge is sold, to an awful new owner, who is making radical changes, is looking like he will not take on any of the existing staff… The long term tenants have been given 3 months to get out. The dogs must go.

I ought / need to be there. But my own situation is just as shit. My neurosurgeon thinks that while there is a problem with my neck, there are other problems with my shoulder and carpal tunnel syndrome that need fixing first. So it looks like I am facing a whole series of fucking operations again, which means I cannot travel up there (or to any other of my projects even though they are all screaming for my presence).

I will take 2 of Katja’s dogs, and try to employ Nomsa. I think I am going to have to try to find a place for Nomsa, Thabo, and Gugu to live. Hopefully the pensions we give the rest of the staff will be enough to look after them. But I need to travel up there to get the dogs, and I am not fit to drive, and might not be for a while.

This is no what Katja wanted, and I am feeling so bad, so awful, that I have let her down, and am letting all the staff members down. It is just fucking awful. I am stuck and don’t know what to do. I need my Katja to advise me, to support me, to get me through this really shitty period.