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Category Archives: Short side of Crazy

My insane life, my lousy choices, my journey from there to here. Ultimately all the things that helped me to gain wisdom, strength and a damn good sense of humour!

The Attack of The Demon Hobbit (final)

My daughter’s continued fear was the impetus that sent me off to pray. My prayers went something like this:

‘Divine Mother ‘(I had decided feminine energy was warranted)

‘I want The Hobbit to die. I know that’s not going to happen soon so I ask for help in dealing with this situation in a way that will bring healing and relief for myself and my child.’

(I’m very honest when I pray).

It wasn’t long before I began to understand what I had been missing. I was still angry and that meant that I was still afraid. Despite my ‘courageous’ behaviour my daughter was still picking up on and experiencing my fear. I knew it was time to release my anger and the only way to do that was to forgive him! The thought of it made me sick to my stomach!

There and then I had to decide whether my anger was more important than my child.

The answer was obvious. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I had to try. I began by treating him like a human again. Instead of just staring I began to say good morning. In the beginning he still scurried away, but eventually he began to return my greeting. Slowly and quite often through gritted teeth I adapted my behaviour and so did he.

Children often take things at face value and this time was no different. After a while The Diva began to relax when we bumped into him. Eventually when we saw him she would chat away quite happily. Ultimately of course The Hobbit began to believe that his behaviour was now considered acceptable and began to take advantage. He would offer lifts and ask if he could give chocolate to Hannah and basically try to pick up where he left off in terms of friendship. I would always say no thank you and when he asked why as he always did I would simply reply: ‘You know why’ and leave it at that.

All through this process The Diva and I would discuss what was happening. We talked about fear and anger. We talked about people who do bad things. I explained that I was being friendly not because what he had done was OK, but rather because I didn’t want to be angry anymore. When he offered to give us something and I saw she was confused I would gently remind her that he wasn’t our friend because he had done a bad thing and he had broken our trust.

It was a long and often painful process but one which ultimately paid off. She knew that he could no longer be our friend and she understood why, but most importantly – she was no longer afraid – and I was no longer angry.

About 2 months ago The Hobbit eventually died.

He went for an operation and after being released he contracted septicaemia (spelling?). He was rushed back to hospital where his organs collapsed and he went into a semi-coma. His toes in the one foot became gangrenous, and spread up his leg. They amputated it without his consent or knowledge. He woke up a few days later to discover his leg missing. Despite the fact that he was recovering well he died a day or two later.

I had cause to ponder the intricacies of The Universe…………………………

fini

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Short side of Crazy

 

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The Attack of The Demon Hobbit (2)

So many things came to light after the Attack of the Demon Hobbit. It turns out that my daughter had seen him crushing yellow tablets between 2 spoons on the large deep-freeze that stood in the kitchen – and that had been 2 or 3 months before the incident!

From what we could see he had slowly been drugging me, upping the doses all the time. We think the last night he had become impatient and simply given me too much.

I went to the police and gave them all the details. They said they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it but duly went to talk to The Hobbit and his son. They went through his medicine cabinet and looked specifically for date rape drugs but couldn`t find any – the chemicals are the same as in sleeping tablets and he had boxes full of those! The detective said it didn’t matter because unless I could prove the drugs were administered to me in his flat by him I had no case. I would also have to prove I had been `sober` going in and drugged coming out.
Short of having a video camera strapped to my head there was nothing I could do.

We were terrified and helpless. I changed the locks and rocked my baby to sleep every night. Eventually after a week of  my daughter having nightmares I called in the big guns – I called her Daddy – The Dodgy Barman.

Oh Sweet Jesus, he has his uses!!!

He was enraged, off his mind furious – BEFOK (as we say in South Africa).

The next thing I know he arrives at the door with a sweet smile. He greets his daughter and gives her loads of love and then says `Daddy`s just going to have a little chat with those people, I`ll see you now`………..

His hair was cropped short, he was wearing dungarees so his tatoos were sparkling and he was apparently armed with a gun and a knife…..and a lovely smile………

Well, needless to say he spoke so nicely to them that they called the police the next day and attempted to lay a charge!

Bless SAP! They may not have helped before but they sure did then – they basically told him to stop wasting their time, nicely of course…the detective did call me and I told him the truth – I had not asked Dad to visit them but I was terribly happy that he had. The law couldn’t protect me so surely her father had the right to try? He didn’t argue with that.

I had spoken to my daughters teachers and together we watched her for months to make sure she was in fact OK. The immediate assumption was of course that The Hobbit had knocked me out in order to gain access to her. We checked her essays, carefully checked the pictures that she drew, watched her as she played to see if anything fearful was being re-enacted, you name it, we did it – nothing! She had nightmares in the beginning but those seemed to stem from her fear that she would lose me and not directed towards a danger she herself faced.

So if he hadn’t interfered with her WHY? Why had he done it?

As I thought through all I knew about him the only thing I could come up with was that he was more lonely than anyone realised.

His son lived with him but was out most days and nights. His wife had died years previously and the rest of his kids were far away. I know he loved the idea of us spending time there, he had made mention of the fact that it felt like having a family again.

While I was passed out the first time he had fed The Diva and watched TV with her and we had left there at about 9pm instead of just staying an hour. Could it really be that simple? Could he have drugged me to ensure that I spent more time there, albeit passed out?

It was truly baffling. This man had been my friend and he wasn’t far wrong on the family thing because we had been that comfortable with each other. Apart from being angry and afraid I was desperately sad.

I had fortunately always been kind and friendly to the security and cleaning staff at the building and when they had heard what had happened they all came to check on us. For months afterwards they would hover and continually ask us if we were OK.

They hated him – he treated them like animals. He was a hardened racist and a horrid person to those who worked for him. This sweet man, my friend, was a bully and a tyrant. I had always known that, so why had I befriended him in the first place?

I believe now that because he made my life easier, I had chosen to overlook the fact that he was a pig – after all he was fabulous to us. I had traded my conscience, covered my eyes and accepted his friendship.

Its a painful lesson to realise you’ve traded with the Devil to ensure your comfort.

Thinking on what could have happened to my child I was ashamed.

I was given a powerful lesson in authenticity that I hope to God I never forget.

We had lived through hell, but it wasn’t over yet – The Demon was now untouchable and living 2 floors down……

to be continued…..

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Short side of Crazy

 

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The Attack of The Demon Hobbit (3)

I had covered all my bases after being drugged. I had spoken to the police – they couldn’t help. I had spoken to the Body Corporate of the building and submitted a detailed report – without proof they wouldn’t  help. I had changed the locks and studiously avoided the front entrance where he sat in the morning. As it turned out he barely left his flat for 3 weeks after the event, so that was superfluous anyway.

I had stayed in close contact with The Divas teachers to ensure that she was indeed OK and her dad had paid the building manager a visit.  I tried to find another flat but with no real resources I couldn’t afford what was available.

I was reeling at that stage, I couldn’t eat or sleep. On the rare occasions that the demon made an appearance I would take another route through the block, using the back entrance, the stairs, anything not to run into him, especially when with my daughter.

We were stuck there and we were afraid.

Enter the fabulous Toni Mc Guire!

Toni is a close friend of the woman I work for. She had become a bestselling author by writing about her life of abuse and neglect. This woman is a survivor of note – what she survived in childhood is unimaginable, truly. She has a heart of gold but my God she is tough! My boss had told her what had happened and that I wasn’t coping well. She had asked me if I wanted to speak to Toni and see if she could help. I agreed immediately. She arrived at the restaurant one afternoon and waited for me to finish my shift and promptly kidnapped me and took me round the corner for coffee and a little chat…..

Unlike everyone else she definitely didn’t handle me with kid gloves – thank heavens! Toni didn’t waste time. She basically told me that I was choosing to be a victim and was certainly behaving like one. She said that if I ever wanted to be free of fear I had to stop running away with my tail between my legs. I had to start using the front entrance of the building and if the demon appeared I was to look him straight in the eye. I didn’t have to speak, but I had to stand firm, not only for myself, but also for my child. By running away I was teaching my daughter to be a victim too!

Jeez Louise but she laid into me!

Sound hardcore? Perhaps, but I trusted her implicitly. She had survived years of impossible trauma. She had lived through things that you and I can barely conceive of.

It’s an amazing thing to hear your circumstances translated by a woman that has walked through fire. Before long she had me screaming with laughter at the way she’d have handled him. Talking about my ‘sad story’ became a one woman comedy show and believe me that was exactly what I needed. Her passion and humor were the gifts that gave me courage to stand up for myself. That day she filled me with fire and determination. Hell-fire actually!

That same afternoon I had an opportunity to test my mettle. I was waiting at the lift (which has a glass panel), and I realised that the demon was in the lift but hadn’t seen me. As the lift came to rest I opened the door and just looked at him. The demon got such a fright he promptly closed the door and it the ‘UP’ button – funny that, I always thought hell was down…..

And it continued. After a few weeks he eventually had to come out of his flat to run the building and when we saw him I would just look, never saying anything and he would scurry off like a rat.

For a while it felt fantastic. I felt free and powerful. Toni had been right!

‘Yeah run you slime from the inside of a sloths belly!’

There was just one problem, while I was enjoying taking back control of my life and a release from fear, my daughter was still afraid.

I knew I had to find a way to help her, but the only thing that ultimately made sense was the one thing I really didn’t want to do…..

to be continued…

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Short side of Crazy

 

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The Attack of The Demon Hobbit (1)

Knowing my readers as I do it’s high time for a little more horror………….

So about 2 years ago I was living happily in my flat and the world was quiet and peaceful and had been for a long while. I had befriended the building manager or rather he had befriended me. When I’d moved in years before he had wanted to take me out, he wasn’t actually lechy, just lonely. Of course I’d said no – after all the old boy was in his 70’s already.

Despite throwing him to the curb we got on really well and he was a great help and good company. He would offer us lifts to school when the weather was lousy, we’d go shopping together and The Diva and I would pop in for tea at least twice a week. I had someone to chat with, The Diva had a permanent source of chocolate – it was a really pleasant friendship.

He loved cooking and would often make extra and send us off with a huge tub of stew or soup, we even enjoyed a few New Years Eve dinners with him and his son. Everything was peachy.

One year he got really sick and was rushed off to hospital. He was close to my work, so every day I would visit him and do his washing and buy whatever he needed while he was there. He was my friend.

His son was my age and we also got on like a house on fire. We didn’t have the attraction distraction but we were both computer and art mad so we had loads to chat about. Whenever something needed doing in my flat one or the other was always there to help.

On the day they invited me for a braai everything began to change.

I was always tired so the thought of a cooked meal which didn’t need my attention was perfect. His son started the braai and while he was busy  I went and sat inside on the couch, thinking I’d watch a little TV while he was mucking about lighting the fire. The next thing I knew 4 hours had passed and I woke up with a fright, feeling a bit disorientated. I hadn’t worked the night before and was not bone weary, just my normal tired. It was a little frightening, but I didn’t bother about it too much.

A while later I had popped in as usual and the old man had gone to make the tea. I was sitting watching the news armed with a steaming cup of tea when after a few minutes I began to fell really tired, crazy tired. I had worked the previous night and assumed that it had suddenly caught up with me. I duly left and went home.

I sat on the bed and before I knew what was up it was morning. Impossible! I hadn’t even put my child to bed.

By this time I was seriously worried but still wasn’t connecting the dots. I had my suspicions and tested the theory by refusing tea when I went there the next couple of times, but eventually convinced myself that I was mistaken – after all he was my friend. I was always tired because I worked so much and it made sense that sometimes it would just catch up with me….

A few weeks later I was again sitting with ‘the boys’ and had told him that I was so tired nowadays that I could barely function. He said why don’t you have a nap on the couch and relax. I declined saying I had a lot to do and I still had to fetch a carpet from the garage with his son. He duly went off to make the tea.

The next thing I remember I was waking up in my bed the following morning. My hair was still wet and I had a cigarette burn on my leg. My daughter was standing over me staring intently and shaking me so that I would wake up.

I knew something bad had happened. I Immediately called my friend ‘Panelvan’ and explained the situation as best I could – I was still bombed! He immediately rushed round to help. I was still dis-orientated and dizzy but compus mentus enough to speak to Hannah to ensure that nothing untoward had happened to her. She seemed worried about me but otherwise fine. No one had touched or photographed her or asked her to do anything strange ( we had asked all the questions we could think of).

We then called my local doctor who was not there, but a lovely lady doctor was on call for the day. We went in and explained what had happened, she immediately drew blood and sent it off to the lab for an emergency test. The tests came back positive for date rape drugs. From what I understand these drugs can disappear rather rapidly from one’s system and because it was administrated so early the previous day they weren’t convinced that evidence would be found. I was apparently given an enormous dose – they had no problem finding it! And no I hadn’t been raped.

My daughter had said that I had gone with the son to fetch the carpet and then we went home and I ran a bath – I don’t remember. She became worried when the bathroom was so silent and went to check on me and found that I had fallen asleep. She shook me and shouted until I stirred. She said that I turned my head slowly and stared at her with big eyes and my mouth hanging open.

She managed somehow to get me out of the bath and dress me and put me to bed. My little baby girl, all alone, not given any supper and with no one to call on for help literally saved my life by getting me out of the bath before I drowned.

She was only 7 years old at the time.

To be continued….

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Short side of Crazy

 

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Be Free Dodgy Barman!

It is often said that the people you struggle most with, quite often become your best teachers, and It’s true, but what is equally true is that it’s also code for:

‘You miserable bastard you nearly destroyed me, but I’m stronger now!’

That in many ways describes my earliest relationship with The Diva’s dad. That said, there is another side, one which truly only began to develop in the last few years.

I could not accept what had occurred, I could not accept the lies, the crazy behaviour and of course – the rejection. On and on the list went, every year growing longer, bringing with it bitterness and anger. I fought with him, I fought with his family, I fought with myself. One day I woke up and I realised I was sick of it all!
I was tired of being angry.

Another hugely irritating life lesson kept whispering to me:

What you Resist, Persists

‘Oh Blackbeards Balls! Bugger off!’

But the whispers were right.

I didn’t want to give him a chance, I didn’t want to know his heart, I didn’t want to even acknowledge he had one!

Now under normal circumstances I’d suck it up and play nice because my child needed and deserved a father. With him it was a problem because he’s so unreliable and off-the-charts that I couldn’t find enough good in him to warrant allowing the relationship between them to develop.
Round and round it went – right up until the time she slept over at his place for the first time.
I was sick with worry. Her dad although more than capable of caring for her under normal circumstances, would not be if he got wasted.

She had asked for her dad, I had stalled, procrastinated and then finally gave in.
She went, she returned, she was happy! Not only that but she was calm and content – more than I’d ever seen her before.
The Diva – so named for her dramatic and demanding nature – was at peace. She had finally got what she was needing and wanting. At that point I had no choice, I had to find a way to ensure that she could develop a relationship with him.

I knew the starting point was me. If this was going to work I had to be willing to not only forgive him, but I had to actively accept that even he had goodness. Without that I knew that whatever developed between them would be marred by my hatred and anxiety and quite frankly would ensure the relationship had zero chance of succeeding.

From the moment I was willing to forgive and release my anger things began to change. He could feel my resentment subsiding and began to respond accordingly. As I relaxed, so did he and lo and behold we slowly and often painfully began to create an unspoken peace treaty.

Not only did our relationship improve, but my relationship with his family did too. Anger is a wonderful payoff when you’re feeling hurt, but thats only because we don’t bother to read the smallprint. Anger will fill you with lovely manic energy and at the same time rob you of the most important energy of all – love.

Love is not a naffy, warm and fuzzy emotion – it is an active gift which should be given freely. It is made up of things like forgiveness, mercy, grace and loyalty to name a few.

As I removed my claws from his throat I began to see his heart. As I began to understand that he wasn’t a malicious beast but rather a slightly weird one I began to realise that there was in fact a way to get this to work.

I realised that you can’t change someone, not without their agreement. I had to begin to work with what he had, I had to learn to work withing the boundaries of his strengths and accept his weaknesses with good grace.

So where are we now?

The Dodgy barman has become my friend and my brother all rolled into one. I consider him our greatest protector. God help anyone who attempts to harm us, and believe me I`ve had reason to test that theory (another long story).  He now has a wonderful girlfriend who I really enjoy and who is absolutely fantastic with our daughter. His parents and sister and extended family love and cherish us and we adore them right back.

Nowadays I know for sure that if things are tough I can talk to them and they`ll move heaven and earth to help us.

Love doesn`t just happen, except in the movies of course. I`ve learnt that love is a choice, and in relationships it`s a choice that quite often has to made over and over again, often as in my case, with the same person.

`Dad` will always be a rather off-the-wall individual. He will always say and do things that are hellishly inappropriate and he`ll always be a bit wild –  he`ll also always be a Dodgy Barmen, but at least now I can say that he`s OUR Dodgy Barman, and that`s as it should be.

 

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Short side of Crazy

 

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Pregnant and Alone – the saga contines…

When I fell pregnant I was running a restaurant that was owned by a friend of the chap that had owned the Grill I had worked at previously. About 3 months into the pregnancy the restaurant was sold and I was jobless. I immediately hooked a few shifts back at the grill and worked there until I was too big to get past the tables. I was fortunate enough to have befriended the owner of a local fallafel shop in the mall who had been struggling to find a honest manageress. We agreed that I would work there until the baby was born. I worked up until 2 weeks before my due date. Heavily pregnant I would have to move tables, lift and turn chairs and stock, to say nothing of the normal duties required, it was very hard going.

This pregnancy was a roller coaster of exhaustion and hunger. Towards the end I wasn’t earning much and because staff food at the fallafel shop was ONE toasted sandwich a day, I was really taking strain. I was so malnourished that my teeth started breaking and crumbling. I had lost weight and was carrying an enormous baby, I was quite literally all stomach. Once I had got to the point that I could no longer work the pressure was on! No income, no family to help I was in deep water.

It was round about this time that my new brother came to the rescue. I was on the verge of losing my home because I had no money for rent. I was well on the way to a complete breakdown – life was really harsh. He swooped in and paid my rent for 6 months, paid for my daughters schooling for a year and generally saved us from complete disaster.

I had no facility to translate his kindness. I was in a state of panic as I didn’t know how the heck I could ever repay him, I was deeply grateful for his help and yes I was ashamed! I hadn’t known him for very long and there I was, knocked up and virtually destitute. My fantasy of meeting my family as a successful, intelligent and confident human being was in tatters.

Help also came from The Lioness, my friend/sister/mother all in one. Once the flat was secured there was still the problem with food and supplies. Nice to have a home, not so nice to starve in it! At this time she was also sitting on the bones of her butt financially but she would arrive constantly with not just food but luxuries too. I’m not going to give too much away here because frankly she deserves a post dedicated only to her which I will write soon. Where my brother rescued me financially, she rescued me emotionally as well. To this day I believe her love and support quite literally kept me alive.

Despite the help, I was still struggling, and more than the monetary nightmare I was reeling with the darkest depression I have ever experienced. My daughter and I were not doing well together, things had reached fever pitch in our relationship. I was alone, frightened and carrying the baby of a man who didn’t love me.

My worst ever memory was produced during this time. My daughter had gone to work one night and I was alone at home. For the first time I truly understood what my child had gone through all those years while I had to work and she was alone. I was overwhelmed with guilt. I was desperately sad, for her, for me and for the future of the baby. I decided to try and call the baby’s father to chat with him. I wanted to discuss the possibility of giving my child up for adoption because I just couldn’t see a way to survive without finances. I couldn’t bear the thought of giving my child away, but being the cause of it’s sorrow and deprivation was worse. I needed someone to talk to and called the Dodgy Barman- BIG mistake. He was drunk, very drunk. I was desperate for someone to hear me. I kept trying to explain how I was feeling but he talked over me, totally off his face and I eventually put the phone down.

I had a carpet with a square design on it. That night I began ‘walking the square’. Round and round cradling my stomach, crying, apologising to the baby and raging at God. It a definate truth that when your emotions are out of control, your body is too! I ached everywhere, I felt like I’d been run over by a bus and I guess in an emotional sense, I had been. I wanted to die, I wanted to live – I wanted the pain to stop.

I thought of sleeping tablets and painkillers. Surely that would be the gentlest way for myself and the baby? I had failed utterly as a mother to my eldest, how could I do that all over again. We had struggled all our lives to survive and now I had made things worse by falling pregnant. Surely my daughter would be better off without me. My new baby and I would die together, saving us both from the possibility of seperation and my eldest would finally be free to decide her future without my influence.

That night I walked and planned and cried and raged – but I kept walking. Frantic and crazy with grief I kept walking, until I couldn’t walk anymore. and then I slept.

Somewhere, somehow I found the determination to keep going. I say that as if that strength came from me – I’m actually not convinced it did.

Eventually I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. My father came up with her name, it meant Grace, and considering all that had happened, Grace was the one constant blessing throughout.

Grace that we survived, grace that my eldest daughter and I loved each other despite our wars, grace that at the most desperate times help did in fact come to us – (albeit it often at the last minute) and grace that today I consider my eldest daughter to be not only my greatest fan but my dearest friend.

Grace – we would all have been destroyed without it.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Short side of Crazy

 

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Abortion – The Saga of the Dodgy Barman Continues

I was pregnant, alone and thoroughly broken. The thought of becoming a single mother all over again was horrifying. While raising my eldest daughter we had been desperately poor and without any support from my family. I just couldn’t go through it again. I had always been vehemently against abortion, but I knew that this time it was the only thing I could do.

I went to the local government hospital to book an abortion. It’s now legal in this country, but that said, the staff that are forced to work in this particular section hate it! It goes against everything they believe is right. Although the elderly nurse that counselled me was kind and understanding, the rest of the staff was most definately not. They don’t make it easy for you at all. By the time I had managed to make the appointment I was sobbing!

and it didn’t end there…..

I went to work that night and told the staff what I had decided. The mamma’s in the kitchen were horrified – culturally it is a total no, no! The eldest mamma drew me gently aside and with tears in her eyes begged me not to go through with it.

‘Give the child to me’ she said, ‘I’ll raise it for you!’

and yes, she WAS serious! She said that children are a gift from God and we didn’t have the right to destroy them – well that conversation nearly finished me off! I was completely taken aback by her willingness to raise my child despite the fact that she earned a modest salary and was already supporting her grandchildren.

A day or so later I was sitting at the restaurant keeping one of the customers baby’s amused. I used to sit down on a chair and hold them under the arms and gently swing them back and forth – it worked like a charm. As I was doing this I suddenly saw myself with my new baby, doing the same. That picture floored me.

It wasn’t long after that when my eldest daughter, the Seasprite cornered me on the balcony one night to chat about the future when she suddenly burst into tears and begged me not to go through with the abortion. I told her that I hated the idea but that I couldn’t bear the thought of struggling to raise another child on my own. Despite what I had said her pain really moved me – she had echoed exactly what I’d been feeling.

The following day I made a decision. I would NOT abort my child. Before I could change my mind I went back down to the hospital and asked to speak to the matron. ‘Sister Severe and Unforgiving’ came up to me and asked what she could do for me. I stammered that I had booked an abortion but wanted to cancel. Before I knew what was happening this hardcore nurse walked up to me with tears in her eyes and hugged me! ‘God bless you my dear, God bless you!’

Well I was finished. She duly announced to the room at large that I had changed my mind and removed my name from the ‘death register’. I left there in tears with smiles and words of encouragement from all the staff.

I had no idea how I was going to cope and with a fair knowledge of how bad it could get, I was frankly terrified. I’m not sure if  I would have cancelled the abortion had I known just how desperate things would become – what followed was worse than anything I could have imagined.

It was also, ultimately to become the second greatest blessing I have ever received……………..

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Short side of Crazy

 

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