Today marks the day the pre-extention-lockdown in South Africa would have been lifted. As many people have been referring to it, parole day.Continue reading
Today is day 20 of the lockdown. Like the featured image of this post, it feels as though time moves at a snail’s pace of late. I have slowed down. As I sit typing this post, I can hear the waves crashing in the distance, and the occasional cheep of a wagtail. The local hotel’s resident ducks are also meandering around the neighbourhood by the sounds of things. All these sounds have just been drowned out by an aircraft that is audibly flying very low.Continue reading
Days 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday, or in my case Eat and Sleep…and Day 11: Moanday…
Aside from the delicious ravioli that I prepared; I made a focaccia pizza in the slow cooker. I was on a video call with Eliza, and completely forgot about the bread, which burnt to a crisp at the base and along the edges, so it was kind of flop-paccia. I think the recipe is meant for a large slow cooker, because mine rose quite a bit more than the picture on the recipe. Still, it tasted delicious. I’ll make it again as it is a superb way to use leftovers.Continue reading
We thought January was long… It’s day 4 of #SALockdown, or as it feels to some of us it’s the 8360th day of March.Continue reading
As the sun begins to set on 2019
I reflect on where I am,
what might have been…
I remember the rivers I cried:
How, in March, I wished I had died.
So much has changed this year
Yet much is the same
Family, friends, job, dreams
Yet the solid ones remain my team.
I remember the laughter and smiles:
Gatsby, weekends away, foresty miles.
Often it was tough, but mostly good;
I loved and lost and stumbled and fell
But like a Phoenix, I rose
and finally understood
I remember feeling undefeatedly victorious:
The freedom of turning forty, so joyous!
Excitement grew, as did my dreams:
Of travel and writing
Of leaving what’s safe, to open my mind
To see new places, to spread my wings.
I remember the sad goodbye of dear, dear friends,
But our bond is stronger than time’s end.
I remember standing in speechless awe
Of the Mighty Zambezi and Victoria Falls
As 2020 looms, undoubtedly with challenges of it’s own
I take solace knowing I won’t have to face them alone.
**Unless otherwise specified, all photos are my own and my not be used without my prior written permission.**
Yay! Cake for days…
This is what Tina said when I sent her a picture of the FOURTH cake I’d had in as many days in celebration of my fortieth birthday this past weekend. It was the absolute best commemoration of my earth-joining ever. To say I’m all caked-out is an understatement, but knowing me, and my insatiable sweet-tooth, the feeling will pass soon.
On Sunday (my actual birthday) night, as I lay on the couch with a sore tummy (not from cake, but lots of laughter), I felt immense gratitude for my blessings – my parents, my friends and their love for me. I know I’m special to them, but somehow I was reminded of it, and extremely overwhelmed.
It all started on Friday evening. Eliza, Nathan and Carmen, along with their little ones hosted a surprise party for me. There was sushi, the most amazing quiches, milk tart (a South African confection) and a coconut cake. There was also bubbly…
We spent the evening on the couch under blankets watching Rocketman. I have newfound love for Elton John’s music. When I suffered my major depressive episode earlier this year, I would often play I’m Still Standing, singing along at the top of my lungs. Then I’d burst into tears afterwards.
The next morning I woke up at 06:15. For those of you a little slow on the uptake, it was Saturday. Who in their right mind wakes up so early? I’ll tell you: People that are (almost) forty. I made the best of it with a cappuccino as I watched the sunrise. This photo doesn’t do it justice.
The afternoon The Bean, some of my closest girl friends and Cousin Lara got together for a vintage high tea at Déjà vu Vintage House. The Bean and I even “bopped” on the stage and the pillbox hat I was wearing came right off.
We regaled stories and shared memories and Cousin Lara had us in stitches with some of her tales. Our host, Joan, baked a royal lemon and elderflower cake for the occasion and her husband, De Waal took many photographs for us.
The day was perfect. It ended with The Bean, The Toppie, Elizabeth and I staying over in Eliza and Nathan’s Airbnb, Eagle’s Rest.
Sunday morning, I woke up feeling different. I can’t pinpoint what exactly is different, but something is. It makes me excited and hopeful for the future. That morning, I did something that I’ve always loved: I crept into bed with my folks and had coffee with them. I realize more and more that these moments often taken for granted are going to be no more some time in the future, so I cherish them even more now. We had a lazy morning before heading off to The Cork & Plunger for lunch. As always, the food and service was en-point. This was also where we enjoyed cake number three, a Vegas-themed one, baked by one of my colleagues, Marjorie. The wording underneath the cards reads A Royal Start to a New Decade. After way too much food, everyone went their separate ways.
Yesterday I got to work and there was another cake, again baked by Marjorie.
I got a lovely card from my colleagues. Many of the messages inside touched me deeply, but one in particular brought tears to my eyes. It read “May you receive the abundant kindness you always give to everyone around you”. Even just thinking about it makes me emotional. I’ve always said that I want to be remembered for something. To be remembered for kindness is better than my name on a plaque. I’m blessed to know that I do reach people and that it is my heart that they see.
I’ve made a promise to myself – to be as kind to myself as I am to others. Cheers to forty!
I’ve been a bit “unbalanced” today, not sure why, but I think it may have something to do with a hypnopompic episode I experienced last night. I went to bed early and at some stage during the night found myself in the lounge obsessed with wanting to know what the time was. I kept saying to myself It’s dark, it’s still time to sleeeeeeppp, but my brain was having none of it until I found the time. Seventeen minutes to midnight… Hallelujah, I could go back to the snugness of my bed and get at least another six hours in. I did, but I tossed and turned the whole night. When my third alarm of the morning rang, I set another. Fortunately work wasn’t demanding today, so my lack of brain-power stealthily remained under the radar.
Now, I’m sitting at my favourite writing spot, double-shot cappuccino for company, loungy-kinda music in the background being drowned out by a table of patrons clearly celebrating something and a crackling fire for warmth. I’ve blogged about fire before because flames are mesmerizing. The way they dance across the wood, creating glowing embers is almost hypnotic.
Today I finalized arrangements for a part of my upcoming-40th birthday celebrations: A vintage-style ladies’ high-tea for some of my closest girlfriends and of course, The Bean. The blokes will be included at a separate celebration (which I’ve planned as a picnic in the park, but that idea may change given the limited numbers of positive RSVP’s received). Every year I try and do something “different” from a hobo-themed party to an as Nathan jokingly refers to it “a boring meet and greet”. Last year I had a movie-themed trivia-chill night which was a great success. For those of you wondering what I looked like, here is a photo of me as The Joker. Charlie did my make-up.
I was telling Charlie afterwards that I almost always feel “deflated” after my birthday because the actual event, while always fabulous and fun, seems to be anticlimactic, because I have so much fun planning. Today when I confirmed the number of attendees and menu options with the owner of the venue, I told her “I’m starting to get excited now.” Her reply was “You should be excited. The Germans don’t say ‘Die vorfreude ist die schonste freude’ for nothing.” Given that my German is about as good as every other European language I know, I called in my trusty friend, Google. Turns out that what the Germans say is true: The anticipation is the most beautiful joy. I love the excitement that comes with a celebration of some sort.
On the subject of celebration and mounting anticipation, I have had a dream ever since I can remember and that is to visit Victoria Falls. Shalya-Rae says it must be because of a history lesson we had in fifth grade about Livingstone and Stanley. I don’t remember it (does the memory start going at 40?!), but whether it is the reason or not for my obsession with The Smoke that Thunders, I can’t say. All I know is that I am going! In November… and I’m over the moon about it!
I had actually saved for another holiday, but things didn’t go according to plan. Initially I was disappointed, but then the opportunity to visit one of my bucket-list destinations came along. I’m not big on signs from The Universe, but this was a cosmic confirmation to realize my dream. I didn’t really waste time in making a decision. I armchair travelled with Eliza and Nathan one evening, saw the lodge and booked my spot the next day. Everything lined up perfectly. I’ve gone all out – an all inclusive package, accommodation at a five star tented lodge on the banks of the Zambezi. To say I can’t wait is an understatement.
I have told everyone that if they want to get me a birthday gift, I’d like money for my holiday, because I’d love to do the Flight of the Angels and if possible, visit the Devil’s Pool. Harriet gave me my first US Dollar and subsequently The Bean found three more which she gave to me. I’m crossing my fingers and my not-yet-sagging-boobs that it will improve.
Anyway, my dinner’s just arrived, so I’ll catch y’all on the flipside.
‘Til next time…
I’ve tried my hand at many creative things. Fabric painting, cross-stitch embroidery, colouring-in, and quite recently mosaic. I didn’t attend a class, or anything like that; I just winged it. The store that sells kits close to where I stay has a limited selection, so I opted for a butterfly, not sure what I was going to do with the end-product. I found out from my friend, Alice, earlier this week that a butterfly signifies metamorphosis in some circles.
Intent on starting the project to keep myself busy while cat-sitting for my colleague, Nicola, I ended up binge watching Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, with the cats chilling on the couch next to me instead. Then a little disaster struck (well, if I’m honest, it’s been a long-time coming) and I had to flit off to hospital for two small (although very invasive) procedures, which left me with a week at home to recover. I’d started the butterfly somewhere before that, but it lay gathering dust on the shelf because I didn’t really have an offset point for it. I happened to mention it to another colleague, Carrey, (who was kind enough to take me to the hospital the morning of the procedures) and she asked to see the progress as I worked, because she loves handmade things, but is not arty. At all!
I finished it earlier this week and while I was admiring it, I received a message from her and thought I’m going to give this butterfly to her for her birthday, because every year, she transforms into a more beautiful soul. The last photo I’d sent her was of it covered in grout, so she didn’t know that I’d indeed finished it.
She almost dropped it when she opened the box this morning, tears of overwhelming gratitude and excitement running down her cheeks. I felt a bit of a tug at my heartstrings, because I felt like I’d accomplished more than just completing a project; I’d touched her heart in a special way. She is filled with ideas of where to hang it, and when it’s up, I will go for coffee and see it in all its glory.
Just goes to show – everything does happen for a reason. On some level I must have known why I’d bought this butterfly kit, in these specific colours…
The bug’s bitten me though. I ordered three more kits from a Facebook friend who has a mosaic-kit business. The will be here later today! They’re also going to be gifts. One, a pink and white cross, for my beautiful goddaughter on her Christening which is taking place on December 8th, and the others (I’m not going to say what they are, because the friends for whom I’ve earmarked them, will immediately know what they’re getting as gifts).