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Archive for May, 2011

Patricia grew from strength to strength. After a few months she left the Avril Elizabeth home for the disabled and started grade 10 at school. She was quite behind with her work and was tutored until she had caught up with the other pupils. She adapted and did fairly well at school. Patricia went on to complete her 10th grade. Well at least she almost completed it. A month before her final exams she relapsed and experienced a full blown psychotic episode. She told the vice principal of the school that she was a detective and she was investigating criminal activity in the school. The vice principal handled her with care and admitted her to hospital.

I can still remember the gossip, how everybody was discussing this freak at Sunward Park High. It was really embarrassing for me being her brother, and people were even treating me differently.

Sadly Patricia always seemed to develop a resistance to the medication. The illness always evolved and formed a new strain. She had been diagnosed with so many different forms of the disease to the point that nobody knew what her exact condition was. Thankfully Patricia was given a pass on her grade 10 because of her previous annual results. 

At the same time I was in grade 8. I achieved well at school and when I was fourteen I experienced a long period of depression. This was the first time I had ever felt this way and it was a dark and cold place with very little relief found in whatever I did to try and escape it. It was a difficult time for me and my school grades depreciated. I tried to cope with the overwhelming heaviness that I was trying to overcome, but soon felt that it was far easier to just give up.

It was an intense pain at the pit of my stomach like an overwhelming heaviness dragging me down. It wasn’t a case of feeling sorry for myself because my life could not have been more perfect at the time. It was as if my focus was taken from the daylight and placed in a black tunnel of doom. I felt hopeless and longed for my death.

My mother was gravely concerned. She could detect the first signs of mental illness dragging me down to the pit. She took me to see a psychologist and he talked me through my feelings. The dog could have barked me through my feelings for all that was going to help. The psychologist said that he did not want to medicate me; he first wanted to see if things would improve.

I can remember that the depression lasted for exactly eight weeks and just as suddenly as I felt that way the depression lifted and vanished. It was like a chemical imbalance that radically altered my mood.

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When I was a boy of about nine years old I soon developed a taste for reading. We never had Sony Playstation or incredible animated adventure movies to watch. I remember some of my favourites were Enid Blyton’s Adventure novels and mystery novels. I even enjoyed The Famous Five and Secret Seven. I used to escape into these stories and loved to take a journey with these characters. Some of the other stories I enjoyed were Bobby Brewster and the extraordinary things that happened to him, as well as Billy Bunter. These were the old classic children’s stories and they all revolved around the unusual and interesting behaviour of school children.

The story I have developed with Green Planet and Green Planet Under Fire also revolves around school children and their ways.

When I was young I would have loved nothing more than to get my hands on a copy of my latest book. It comes highly recommended to all young people and even adults as well. The story is fast, interesting and funny. It brims over with new concepts and entertaining ideas.

Emmaline Sawyer is one of the characters that gets captured by Azor the evil flower fairy on Green Planet. Emma is a compulsive liar and is cleverly taken care of by Azor. For every lie that she tells a new branch or twig would sprout from her body. Emma could not resist the urge to lie and pretty soon she had taken on the form of a colourful bush.

There are several events on Green Planet that occur quite the same as this one which makes the story bizarre and riveting. There is a portal in Chimzen the wizard’s tree house where the characters move between to teleport to Green Planet and back to earth. It is a lovely mixture of a foreign planet combined with the normal day to day events on earth.

If your children love reading I can highly recommend this epic fantasy series for them to enjoy.

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So Patricia had spent many months in Weskoppies. She had deteriorated even more and was at the point where all she did was sit and stare into space. The doctors told my mother that it would be best for her to forget about the fact that she had a daughter and leave Patricia be. She was the equivalent of somebody that was brain-damaged, who would never amount to anything.

My mother would never accept that though and insisted on the hospital releasing her daughter. The doctor asked my mother to reconsider, but she would hear nothing more about it.

It was a tough time for all of us as a family now that Patricia was home. I was petrified that she would go all crazy on us again and rip up the furniture. That was not going to happen though; Patricia was close to catatonic that she could barely move a limb. She literally sat in a chair all day long and stared at the ceiling.

My mother was in a desperate situation and tried everything in her power to bring Patricia around, but it was hopeless, she would not respond. My mother had to help dress and bath her in the beginning, until eventually she could at least do that much.

There was nowhere to take Patricia during the day and my mother had no idea what to do with her. My mother had to go to work and she did not like the idea of leaving her at home. So she decided to take my sister to the Avril Elizabeth home for the disabled.

The staff at Avril Elizabeth did not take too kindly to the idea of my sister spending time there, but my mother begged them to have her. They agreed on the grounds that if there was any trouble Patricia was to leave immediately.

So that was where Patricia stayed during the day. The first few months my sister did very little other than stare into space. There were several good nurses on staff at the home and they encouraged Patricia daily to try and help them with a few small things.

Gradually Patricia responded to the patient love she was shown and started helping out at the home with a few things.

As the time passed Patricia slowly progressed back to her normal self. She started assisting with the mentally handicapped children and before very long she became an asset to the home.

My brother, Grant suffered with cerebral palsy and also attended at the Avril Elizabeth. My mother used to fetch Patricia and Grant from there in the afternoon and Patricia would always go on excitedly about how she had helped the children.

So when the doctor tells you that there is no hope for your son or daughter, always remember that the hope that you have for your children is all the hope that they will ever need.

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Just returned from a three week holiday out in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. Had the most wonderful time with family. First we went to Oudshoorn and travelled to the Kango caves from there. What a spectacular tourist destination. The caves were like something out of a creepy horror movie, yet the inside features were incredibly fascinating to look at.

We proceeded to take a trip through the garden route, what an absolutely awesome scenic journey. Gazing across at the massive stretches of snow capped mountains and awesome epic sheer drops into the valley. I have definitely drawn inspiration from this trip for my next epic fantasy adventure novel.

We travelled all the way to Hermanus where we stayed for a few days. The houses along the main road running through the town were massive and it became clear to me that most of the people residing in this neighbourhood were extremely wealthy. Even though I could not afford a house like one of these, I soaked up the beautiful scenery for a moment and pretended that one of these holiday homes was mine.

Then we were off to Cape Town and from there we journeyed back up along the coastline. Now Cape Town has to be such an incredible place to live. The entire city is like a massive utopia with age old trees towering over the houses.  When I was young I lived in Cape Town and never had much of an appreciation of this wonderful city. But now I can’t believe how spectacular it is with those incredible mountains high up in the background.

Our scenic journey took us past George, Knysna and Plettenburg bay. To be away from these beautiful long sandy beaches for such a long period made it most enjoyable to make sand castles with my nephews and splash in the icy sea. The scenery along the way was breathtaking. I think we must have documented an entire episode of National Geographic with the footage that we took. The Tsitsikamma forests were fascinating to look at with their endless rows of conifer trees. We passed the most beautiful bridges along the route with a sheer drop of over 200M’s. Bloukrans with a sheer drop of about 230M. To think that people actually bunjee jump off that one. Totally insane.

From there it was back up to Port Elizabeth and back to Grahamstown. It was a tiresome journey at times with the endless kilometres that we travelled, but the epic scenery and the great company more than made up for that.

Oh well, I’m back at home in sunny Johannesburg only wishing to be back there again. Those good times always seem to go by so quickly.

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