Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Father - Daughter Date

"Children Learn to smile from their parents" - Shinichi Suzuki

The universe works in strange ways and I for one am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. On the 15th November 2010 my uncle Marc Lawson Turnbull sadly passed away from a heart attack at 4am.He was one of three brothers from a incredible women with whom I am very close to, my Grandmother who I consider one of my best friends.

One of the other brothers was my father, yes my real dad who I haven’t spoken to or seen for over 10 years for reasons actually unbeknown to myself, as I believed he left me and that he was not my dad.

Anger, resentment is the feelings I felt and thoughts in my head which had been bestowed onto me and which I had created. Like the saying when it rains, its pours to me this was more like hurricane catrina, my world had been blown apart.

I was a mess, not only did my grandmother someone I love so much lose the one person that has taken care of her and loved her, her son Marc Lawson Turnbull, no parent wants to go before their children, someone who could always light up a gloomy day with a whimsical joke, speak his mind and create his own dreams but at the same time my father was being flown in from Down Under to support his mother and family.

To be honest I didn’t know what to feel, I cried about nothing and everything, lived on mild tranquiliser’s for 2 days and didn’t want to be with anyone but my sister as I believed she was the only one who knew what I was going through.

I have always been an incredibly strong individual because of what I have been through, but this is the one thing in my heart I had not dealt with and I had locked it away, we never realise how much our childhood affects us until the universe tells you its time.

I was fine, 22 with an incredible family, a step dad I consider my hero who I always felt that if I ever spoke to my real dad I would be betraying him. Amazing friends, the most incredible sister who has inspired me throughout my life, a strong mother who allowed me to become the women I wanted to be and a boyfriend who loves me for me.

Remember how I said the universe works in strange ways? Get this…

My dads name is Lloyd Lawson Turnbull, I have never met another Lloyd in my life and this year I have been with the most incredible man for 6 months, yes my longest relationship ever who I met on one random Wednesday evening his name. Lloyd, yes you heard me Lloyd, for the first 2 weeks of our relationship I couldn’t even say his name.

So Wednesday the 17th was the BIG day. I woke up thinking I was fine, but in actual fact, I was a shambles. I didn’t want to be alone for the thought of having a panic attack, now always being someone who is quite stable and not the type to ever feel anxious, I didn’t know what to do with myself, I wanted to run into a cave and hide or better yet got o sleep and never wake up.

Dinner was being held at my cousin’s house, which has always loved the man I once hated. It was going to be the whole family. My gran, her sister, my cousin, my dad’s brother from London and of course my father from Australia.

The afternoon was spent with some of my closest sitting on the veranda in the rain. I am one of the luckiest girls in the world; I have people who surround me with light and love. In dark times you realise how privileged you are to have such people around you, I was inundated with messages and phone calls from people who have known my situation for years. Friends who I hadn’t spoken to for years, who took the time out to phone me and tell me that they loved me and that I must be the women I have become today and be proud of myself.

My friends gave me strength and power to get through this. I arrived home to get dressed for the big date, it was my mother and step dads 7 year anniversary on the same night and they were about to head out on a date, my step dad called me and asked if I could walk somewhere to chat, I walked into the garden not knowing what to expect.

The words he spoke came straight from the heart, he told me that I must be strong and walk in with my head held high and that he loved me and that I was going to be okay, he said I must remember that I have done nothing wrong and that my father is my father and that I must love and forgive him to be at peace with myself because if anything happened to my real dad and I had not been at peace with the situation I would never forgive myself. He said the exact words I needed to hear, especially coming from someone who had become my dad and loved me for me, I burst into tears and my heart smiled, I felt a warmness inside that I had never felt before.

It took me about 20 minutes to decide what to wear, it was like a first date or seeing a friend you haven’t seen for years, but it wasn’t just a date or a friend, it was my father, someone with whom I had cut out of my life and I had let the memories fade.

As I stood staring Blankley into my closet I finally opted for comfy black tights, a body stocking, cowboy boots and a black blazer hair tied in a bun with minimal makeup, stop thinking so much and just be me.

My heart pounded during the 10 minutes car journey, which felt like an hr.

Finally we arrived, everyone was standing on the veranda as they watched us pull into the driveway. Do I shake his hand? Do I hug Him? What’s happens if I burst into tears? I kept talking myself through the moment, when I finally stopped and took a big breath in. I AM I, I am proud and I will let this moment be.

He hadn’t changed much; he still had my same blue eyes, big muscular build, dressed in cargo with his glasses at the end of his nose and the big smiling gap between his teeth.

He embraced me, took me into his arms and told me that he loved me and began to cry. My spirit was released, my hatred turned to love and not only did I forgive him; I forgave myself for the hatred and pain I had caused myself.

He hasn’t changed one bit, the memories began to come streaming back from when I was a little girl, the good memories, the ones I had let myself forget.

The things he said made more sense think and I its because as you get older you are open to new experiences and start to see the world in a different light.

He snuck around the corner for a cigarette and I decided to join him, people come into our lives to teach us things and even though he hasn’t been there for me and I hated him for it, he made me a better, stronger person and I saw that last night.

I finally understood his language, the words he spoke to me made more sense now than ever before. He told me to be the trawler of my own boat, watch out for the tides, the waves and sail my ship. He told me he had no regrets and the I shouldn’t either. I realised I had my father back, but he had always been there, I had let him go.

It was one of the best nights of my life and I had to share it with all my friends who had been there for me, I wouldn’t have got through it without them.

And for those who I wasn’t able to share the moment with, it went a little something like this.

“ So I had to share this moment with all my beautiful friends who have got me through these tough couple of days, just had a cigarette with my real dad who I haven’t seen for over 10 years…he gave me advice told me to take no shit and be my own master. I’m smiling now and I wanted to tell you all, I feel free and at peace. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and for all your support, you are my solid ground, my soil. Thank you for making me the women I am today.”

Last night made me realise its okay to forgive and its okay to have two fathers.

I love them both for different reasons and my father is my blood, after 22 years I am finally at peace and today it has made me a better person for it. Tomorrow I will know that I have given my love and done what I needed to do as a daughter.

He leaves in just over a week and I never thought I would say this, but I am going to miss him and take every opportunity to make up for lost years, I will listen, I will love, I will talk and I will be free.

Thank you to everyone, my mother, my step dad, my friends, and my big sister who told me its okay to love and forgive. My incredible boyfriend Lloyd for giving me the time and space to let me allow him into my life and finally accept a man and allow him to love me and of course my friends…

From the friends I haven’t spoken to in years, to the friends that love me everyday and to the new friends, thank you all.

Hayley Illing, Stephanie Leonsins, Megan Eloff, Romey Aspden, Sam Dalais, Leeroy Duke, Garreth Van Niekerk, Andrew Mons, Courtenay Carey, Jennifer Wilson, Nkuli Nhleko, Charlie Friedman, Toyah Morris, Bianca Davies,Morgan Evans, Shani Sayag, Adele Milana and Bailey Shneider.

You have no idea how much your love and support means to me.

I leave you with this.

We were made with the ability to love, to hate, to forgive and to hold onto judgment and hatred.

Life is simple.


Thanks for teaching me to smile Dad.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Since the day I left school I thought I wanted to be a journalist.I wanted to tell a story. However sometimes life gets carried away with you and you forget some of the most simplest, most beautiful times of your life. 

I started this blog because I wanted to share a piece of my life as so far it has been so fascinating, I wanted to share it with the world, after posting 2 blogs and neglecting it for more than 2 weeks craving and wanting to write again, to tell my story, life ran away with me and I forgot about the simple most beautiful moments in life that at the start of it all inspired me to start this blog.

Why is it that the most life changing thoughts happen after a couple of drinks or after a big fat joint....its times like this when you sit looking, thinking and wondering about the world, believing that you cant change it, that the most powerful thoughts come into your mind.

Sitting listening to PLUSH I began to write again, music plays a huge influence on our lives.I have always admired singers, song writers and artists who believe they can change the world...have you ever thought about the POWER words have on us?! The reason I love music so much is because words make a person feel real, words make you laugh, make you cry, make you want to love, hate and most of all experience the world and what it has to offer.

Such as a simple photograph... My room is filled with photographs of beautiful people, some I see everyday, some people who I have only ever met once and some people who have had the biggest impact on my life, I see these photographs everyday yet I often forget how every person in that photograph has made an impact in my life. Its sad to think that due to technology we have lost that sense of treasury, a simple memory captured in a frame can evoke the most precious memories, stories and moments that we tend to forget.A picture is forever.

I know this may seem a lot to ask, but do me a favour....let's stop the world turning for one second, do the things you love, write more , sing songs you love even if you cant, dance your heart out even if you have no rhythm, tell someone you what you honestly think, tell someone you are falling in love with them, wake up and realise how amazing life is... even if you don't feel it or believe it...just enjoy it!!Go out and print those pictures from a holiday years ago, get them framed and look at them, treasure them and most of all REMEMBER that moment, you captured it for a reason, cherish it!!

The smallest incidents in life make you feel inspired, we don't always feel it every day. However the days you feel inspired, don't just sit back and watch it happen, show the world you feel inspired, it might just change someone's life or inspire them to inspire others, it's as simple as that...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Open Your Eyes!!!

I have done some pretty crazy things in my life, nothing that I regret. I have met fascinating people, in the strangest places who have taught me some of life's biggest lessons.

One night at 3:00 in the morning, Hayley and I decided to stop for smokes, driving back from Roseboys, of course the most obvious place to stop for smokes is at the Caltex garage on the 
corner of Oxford. Being a little bit tipsy after a few tequilas ( my favorite drink) I walked into the garage grabbing an Ice tea, a packet of cigarettes and then decided I needed a little something to snack on, what's better than a greasy packet of Nik Naks at this time of the morning? Keeping it Old School Kids.

As I walked to the chips shelf in my intoxicated state, well it took me about 10 min
utes to find the shelf where all the chips were. I love to chat to everyone in the garage after having a 2 minute conversation with the lady who sells pies, eventually I found the Nik Naks...and there she was, with the nastiest weave I have ever, you know the ones that look as though they are about 6 months old and haven't been brushed for weeks, let alone days, a shorter than short pair of Red hotpants and silver shoes and a yellow top ( don't we just love the combination of red and yellow together? BELTER).
Now I have a bad habit, when I buy treats early in the morning I like to buy for everyone around me...Hey it puts a smile on their faces :) 

So thats how I met Cindy. After realising that we both had great taste and our choice of snack for the morning was exactly the same, how could I not offer to pay for her packet of Nik Naks?
It all began with one simple question, What are you doing at the garage so early in the morning I asked? What a Stupid question I thought as the words had already sprung from my tongue, isn't it obvious!!!(Lisa you IDIOT!!!) she answered , "Ahhhh, Honey what else would a women dressed like me be doing here at this time in the morning, I am a prostitute my sweetheart"

Not knowing how to reply, I smiled and said, let's get you that packet of Nik Naks, after paying for the chips I asked her how her night was going? Before I knew it I had made  a new friend, 15 minutes later after talking about how her night was going, I remembered that Hayley had been waiting for me all this time, not that she would mind, we can sit in her car for ages just listening to great music and reminiscing about the nights adventures and I must say a night doesn't go by where we don't have fun, we make sure our lives our filled with it.Thats what we live for.

Of course I had to introduce my new friend to Hayley and Hayles being Hayles offered her a cigarette. And before we knew it, Cindy was sitting in the back of our little Opel Corsa having a cigarette with us and chatting about life, men, the industry and why this was her chosen career path. Cindy was from Mpumalanga and was studying to get a Diploma in management, however due to certain circumstances of her mother and father passing away due to AIDS, She was in Johannesburg to support her entire family as well as send her younger brothers and sisters to school. On top of that she had to pay for their food every week.

After enjoying the conversation with Cindy so much, we decided to invite her to join us at a friends Digs for a drink, YES people we asked a prostitute to come for a drink and it was the best thing I ever decided to do!We ended up spending the whole night with a prostitute and guess what, we didnt have to pay...ha,ha I think she just wanted some friends for the night. She gave up a night of work and money to have a chat, a smoke and a drink with us. 
What an honor, she was one of the most inspirational women I had ever met.

When we arrived at our friends digs, there were 4 boys living there. They opened the gate and in complete shock said " Who's your friend ladies? Weren't there only two of you?" our answer, " Ahhh yes, this is our friend Cindy from school" - of course they knew we were lying.

But due to the fact that I have the coolest friends in the world, they welcomed her into their home and we sat outside drinking wine,well Hayley and I did of course Cindy opted for a Castle Cortz. We sat and spoke for ages listening to what someone from a different background had to say.

Cindy told me so many stories that I found it hard to believe, about rich men with beautiful wives and children who pick her up and take her to their homes in the middle of the day whilst their wives are at work and when taking their families out for dinner will sneak to the bathroom and phone her whilst she waits on the street, saying " wait for me, I will fetch you in an hour". I was in utter shock and dismay thinking about the fact that one of these men could be someone's father or a friend of mines father. It happens and its reality.

Cindy taught me two things that night, she asked Hayley and I to promise her that the day we find the men we want to be with for the rest of our lives we will love them and give them EVERYTHNG they want, because if they are not getting it from you, they will get it from someone else . It's the truth, its the way men were made, they have needs and as a wife you have a responsibility. It was one of the most amazing nights of my life, I may never see Cindy again, but she will never be forgotten. Thank you Cindy.

We all choose different paths in life, some people become lawyers, some people become politicians, professional athletes, strippers, plumbers, prostitutes, but at least their being what they want to be and just because you may choose to do a career different to someone else's, does not mean you have less integrity or self worth. Your career does not make you who you are and we are all judged by what we do, but there is so much more to people than just their job status.

Today I was asked by an old friend to ask around if there were any girls who would like to be in the music video that was being made in tribute to Lolly Jackson, the concept was to show how he wanted people just to have fun. Now after the death of Lolly Jackson there is alot of controversial debate going on. After posting on my facebook that Teazers was looking for girls, of all sizes, tall, skinny, attractive and unattractive to be in the video and just have fun-NO STRIPPING,  I received an extremely negative response, at first this annoyed me, one response was that " Lolly was a launderer, involved in human trafficking and a bad man" Im not saying he was or wasn't, I don't know the man. 

However I truly believe that as the youth of today we need to start creating our own opinions and this made me realise that I wasn't annoyed, I was actually happy.

Whether someone's opinion was negative or positive the fact of the matter was that they had an OPINION and thats what matters.

I truly believe that we all need to make up our own minds, the media is there to sensationalise situations, hey someone's gotta sell newspapers right? but as the future of our country we need to create of own opinions, stand by our own beliefs and say what we believe.

I have been to a few strip clubs before but don't end up watching the strippers, instead ask them "Hey, how are you doing?" and get to know them better. Why you may ask? I don't know..why not? They are people too. I  have once again met some of the most respectful women, who have families to feed and at the end of the day they will do whatever they can do make ends meet.  One of the women  I met worked a 10 hour shift as a travel agent and then stripped every night till 4am to support her child.         
We are so quick to judge but ask yourself this...If your family was starving or you had to put yourself through studying would you not do whatever you could to reach your dreams or to feed your family?!

I went through to Teazers this afternoon, no matter what the truth is or what happened Lolly was loved by the people that worked for him and with him, I saw it with my own eyes, the kitchen staff, the girls, the club managers. I don't know what he did and I really don't care, the point I am trying to make is that what we have read in the newspapers and seen on TV and in the media is not all true and I saw it with my own eyes. 

This man touched many lives and still has the support of many wonderful people.

The point I am trying to make is that no matter whether or not you agree or disagree with the industry or the people that are apart of it, we all need to start opening our eyes and minds...

Next time you are afraid of someone because of what they look like or what they do maybe just take a second to give them a chance, you never know when you are going to learn something life changing that will benefit you for the rest of your life. 

We need to stop being so judgmental, we are not 
here for a long time, we are here for a good time so seize the moment, meet fascinating people, have thought provoking conversation and enjoy every minute of it.

Thank you to all those people who have opened my eyes and I look forward to meeting the rest of you in the strangest places.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Sneaky little trip to the Mother City

One of my favorite places for a little weekend retreat must definitely be the most beautiful city in the world, Cape Town. Seeing as though I went to boarding school and most of my friends went off to study in Cape Town I consider myself extremely lucky, as I always have a home away from home.So off I went on a little adventure, me and my tog bag packed with clothes that would get me through the next 5 days, like a little homeless tortoise, no plans, just adventure and a little bit of mischief. 

My weekend started in the High Cape, a world on its own.With perfectly manicured gardens, and a view over the entire city. It was Thursday evening and whilst deciding what my friend Nkuli and I should do, my concerns were that I needed " a bottle of red wine, curry and a fire" so we decided to hit Kloof Nek road and found exactly what I was looking for. ASOUKA- great atmosphere, sensual vibe, average service, however our waitress had just moved to South Africa from Chili and was working to earn some extra cash before traveling Africa.Thats whats so beautiful about our country, so many interesting and diverse people to meet.

After two rather pricey bottles of red wine, bear in mind that we are still students we were invited to join a table of elder acquaintances, sipping on rather pricey bottle of Veuve Clique 
(my utmost favorite champagne). As I love to meet new people my immediate answer was yes, after we took a visit to the bathroom, where we met a well dressed, friendly BEE character, smoother than black cat peanut butter.We all joined the table, where one of the men sitting at the table presumtiously spoke out to our new friend asking him " If he was a rascist?" After seeing our reaction, he quickly responded by saying " I cannot ask that question!" Nkuli responded by saying " and why not? Because you feel it is a rascist question?" Being 20 years younger than our new friends, an immediate debate broke out about rascism, apartheid and the younger generation.Nkuli and I with our great debate skills did not give up without a fight, our BEE friend stood up and kindly asked the table if he could speak, before given the chance the women around the table turned around and made rude remarks and comments, totally ostracising our new friend.In utter disappointment and anger Nkuli and I took a stand speaking from a point of view from the younger generation, trying to change the perspectives of our elder generation.

The owner of the restaurant asked us to lower our voices, which of course being respectful customers we did so immediately. There was only our table and another table with 3 customers next to us. After deciding that our new racist friends will never agree or see our point of view, we decided to leave. As we stood up, the owner came up to us and said that we had to " Get Out" of his restaurant as our topic of conversation was making his other customers feel uncomfortable. To make a bigger scene he asked the bouncer to escort us out, who then grabbed the drink out of Nkulis hand and pursued to "escort" us out of the restaurant in a rude and forceful manner.

This is South Africa, how can one expect people not to talk about the problems we face. I really feel that the older generation need to open their hearts and their minds so there can be some enlightenment within our country, how else are we going to move forward and grow if no one is willing to speak up or listen? We need to start talking, instead of pushing our problems under the table.

There is alot going on in our country and with all the political debate the youth have started to get move involved with politics. Politics has become exciting and the youth have started to form opinions, Its alive and kicking and we should be given the opportunity to be heard.

Friday night was dinner at PANCHOS in Observatory for Courtenays Birthday, a little Mexican restaurant with two sittings, 6pm and 8pm. It is extremely popular and bookings must be made.It is essential to drink frozen Margaritas which come in gigantic jugs and luminous in colour, which I must warn you as good as they taste, they have a sneaky little bite and before you know it you could be stripping off your friends clothes in the middle of the restaurant.Another must is the Chilli Popas, a huge Jabenero chilli, stuffed with cheese, and deep fried in a batter. Absolutely delicious and if its your birthday you get to wear a bright coloured sombrero just for laughs and of course to get into the vibe.

Next stop was a club called ASSEMBLY, now whilst I spend my life in heels in Johannesburg and love to take time out in CT, sneakers, a FINGER peak cap and vest was a must as I had heard that this was an "underground" club, however to my dismay, the commercial TIGER TIGER crowd have found a sudden interest in electro and minimal music, as was obvious when I saw girls dressed in tiny minnies and Lady Gaga heels lining up at the door.The Line up for the night were THE CYBER PUNKERS From Italy, who DJ whilst wearing Paint Ball masks, they captured the crowd the second the beat kicked in with boys and girls jumping wildly, in amongst the sweaty people, speakers blasting, floor shaking, it was incredibly sexy. They were absolutely mind blowing to say the least and are definitely an act you must be sure to catch next time they are in SA.

When the music stopped at 4am and all I wanted to do was carry on, I tried to persaude the minions to head to the BRONX, after this idea was wavered, we headed to a digs called THE MILL. And the crazy madness went on, Cape Town is such a small place and you never know who may walk in the door, seeing some old school friends I hadn't seen in years. Time had come for us to head home, well not home cause I didn't exactly have any plans, or home for that matter. Romenoff aka Romey my sexylicious, blonde belter of a friend headed off to the next digs, where I witnesed the most insanely tranquil, euphoric sunset I had ever seen. And that is when it hit me " THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS CITY" sitting on a roof top on the outskirts of the inner city at 9:30 in the morning. It was a sight not even a picture could explain.

Of course the weekend would not be the same without a little visit to the one and only CAPRICE, with the sexiest bartenders and best cocktails. It is definitely where all the beautiful people hang out and if there is one thing I am an appreciator of it is beauty and one thing is for sure, Cape Town is full of beautiful people, who know it and love to flaunt it and if you ask me what is wrong with that..the answer is simple....Nothing!!!

Cape Town has everything a student could want...Great nights spots, fabulous music, there is something to do every night of the week, culture, gorgeous people, great restaurants where you can eat good wholesome meals for cheap, ARNOLDS on Kloof Road, for a R9.50 breakfast, bear in mind this deal happens for 15 minutes. 

It was the perfect weekend retreat, where one is suppose to come back revitalised and refreshed. I came back with no voice, a sprained ankle and only about 9 hours of sleep.

Driving down De Waal drive, sun beating down on my face, the ocean infront of me, tunes pumping in the background....Cape Town is ALIVE!!! I fall inlove with the city every time I go there. Thanks for the perfect sneaky little weekend CAPE TOWN - YOU MAKE MY HEART SING!!