September 27, 2011

Of yoga and dragons.

I just put this on facebook: “i'm trying to write a post about yoga and dragons. i don't think it will make sense to anyone but me.” Consider it a warning, but I thought this post needed to be written.

Have I mentioned how much I adore the movie ‘How to Train Your Dragon’? And that I was running around for days after and told everyone I wanted to have a Night Fury? Yes, I know the film only came out last year, which makes me a fully grown up person with a slight dragon fetish. I also believe I would have made an excellent addition to the Harry Potter squad of dragon keepers. You can get the extend of my dragon love by watching this again – I mean, come on, I filmed an entire episode of Life with my camera to show you amazing sea dragons dancing.

So there I was with my affinity to dragons on my yoga mat yesterday, though feeling like a freaking knight sent out to slay the dragon. I was Siegfried* and no questions asked. I had dragons and demons and all other kind of creatures inside of me and on my mat, which needed banishing. Or so it felt. It was quite scary actually. A night fury on its own. On top of it all I got quite mad, because I didn’t find the peace I was looking for in my practise. One thinks that doing yoga will give you peace of mind, some spiritual awakening or light. I got nada and then quite pissed actually. Then even more scared. I almost cried quite a few times. I think for the past few weeks I have almost avoided my mat, because it scares me. The things that move in my head, that come up out of nowhere it seems, make me want to run for the hills and never stop or look back . Like facing the really scary kind of dragon, the Night Fury kind before you know that it is a vegetarian dragon.
So after weeks of feeling uneasy in a place that usually feels home to me, something happened last night. Complete Night Fury epiphany. Class was over. I was lying still in blue light. The dragon had curled up beside me and started to purr. Everything was well again and silent. The thing that I had been fighting in me - it turned out to be a good dragon all along. I just didn’t know and was too scared to look till it came running directly towards me.
I came home and for the rest of the evening I felt like I was on a cloud and glowing. I couldn’t sleep, but that sometimes happens after yoga, I call it yoga insomnia and it’s quite beautiful. I woke up this morning and the cloud was still there. It still is now.

So there – piece of wisdom for the day: Face your dragons, don’t run away, stare them in the eyes, take them home, screw meat-free Monday, and feed them meatballs. And if you still ask yourself what this post was all about, just think of me with a little dragon sitting on my lap, doing 108 Oms tonight – it may just make you smile.

*German dragon Siegfried, not American tiger Siegfried!

September 24, 2011

Gone Shopping.

My friend once gave me a little ceramic sign, which said 'Gone Shopping'. I have seen similar ones here saying 'Gone Surfing/Fishing', but shopping was definitely more appropriate for someone like me.

You can call it the final step or the last resort of getting over someone, but in the end it will always be this for any woman: retail therapy. Though the crowds at any mall on Saturdays scare me, I know it was just what my soul needed and buying flowers at the Hope Street market wouldn't suffice. I also debated briefly with myself over the state of my account, it being the end of the month and all, but guess what – I won the debate and so did my credit card, which was allowed to come out and play.
The end goal for this therapeutical approach is simple in theory: ignore price tags and come home with one or two, in fact as many fabulous items you desire and your world will be right again. Preferred are items that make you look and feel pretty as usual your ego can need it after rejection, but ultimately anything that will make your heart light for the day and give you a tiny smile will do.

The one problem with retail therapy – you need to actually buy something in order for it to work. I did not today.

I started at Country Road, tried on dresses, draped scarves around my neck, realized I needed a pedicure first before I should buy sandals, and finally decided that my mood wasn't low enough yet to spend R 300 on a white t-shirt, the only thing I really liked.
La Senza was skipped immediately, no one needs a reminder of beautiful lingerie just lying in the closet, when there is no one to see it on.
Bookstores were next as they are usually a safe bet for me. Buying books makes me feel a million times better than buying Prada shoes. Then I decided to be a tiny bit sensible and take a rain check as I have a huge pile of unread material next to my bed and on my shelf, so I didn't even enter to tempt myself and browse.
When I found myself at @home, starring at 6k espresso makers, actually contemplating how much I had on my savings account, I knew there was trouble. Luckily my eyes were pulled away by some nice outdoor tea lights, which I had to forgo, because who am I kidding I don't do candles and I live in Gardens so my balcony doesn't do candles either. Then I saw a very cute mini lime green braai. I don't know how to braai, I am not particularly keen on braaing and I don't even like green. So that was that. Finally I was starring at a box of miniature rubber ducks. Cute. And yes, I was seriously tempted.
I was down to the bottom of ideas and decided to buy sun tan lotion. If I wasn't going to the beach today, I would surely quite soon and it would be the ultimate daily cheer me up of a summer to come to have SPF 20 in my bathroom already. Again, no luck – I wanted the one that smells like Tropicana coconut and not the spray on that always slides out of my hand.

After this, I gave up and decided that the universe wasn't finished telling me something. I realized that sometimes in order to move forward, one just has to sit still and feel what there is to feel inside till the storm blows over.

September 22, 2011

Same old, same old.

Or so it seems right now. If your heart is heavy it does affect the head too. It makes holding it up high so much harder, yet one knows that is the only solution to the problem in the first place.

There is a new One-who-must-not-be-named in town (which you may have guessed after yesterday's post). At least for the week. The week is almost over and calendar settings have always helped me with matters of the heart, so I am hopeful that by Monday I will be my old cheerful self again.

In the meanwhile I allow myself to mope (if it gets too bad though, I blame PMS, otherwise I would feel pathetic on top of everything else) and enjoy waste amounts of tequila & co. I will also sarcastically call it a great coincidence that Air Austral has changed our flight times to Reunion for Christmas holidays so drastically that I basically have to rearrange the entire trip. This incident allowed me to call their call centre and yell at the representative. Not my finest hour, but I did blow off quite a bit of steam which was good.

To not aquire to much more bad karma by screaming at innocent by-standers who just happened to cross me, I have a simple, but hopefulle effective strategy in place to get me through till Monday:

In no particular order...instead of taking deep breaths...

Girls' night out

Chanel lipstick from Julia

Exhibit opening


Family time


A cute guy to flirt with a little to take the edge off

Watching Hanna (no one can mope or have any romantic thoughts when watching a movie about a teenage assassin somewhere in the Arctic)

Coconut fragrance

Okay, off now to get into the heels, back to my funny self on Monday.

September 21, 2011

A morning after tale.

I was about to post a list of my newest obsession, but then I got bored and started thinking about the concept of ‘the morning after’ instead. I decided it would make a far more interesting read, considering that my obsessions included things like carnations, chilli, and Thorn Birds.
The phrase ‘the morning after’ usually has a bad connotation and implies at least a bad hangover. For me it mainly just means confusion. As the night before usually entails some sort of ecstasy and the morning means facing daylight and its’ consequences. Been there? Done that. A typical morning after for me will include any amount of the following:
  • Wearing the same clothes to work two days in a row, hoping the boss won’t notice.
  • Engen hangover breakfast.
  • Staring at my phone, urging it to ring scenarios. I also tend to wonder what girls were staring at before there were telephones. Just out of the window? Probably a better view than staring at an iPhone.
  • Flashbacks of the previous night, which make me cringe. Did I really say that out loud? Ups. Must have been that second glass of whiskey talking...
  • Begging my co-worker to get me KFC lunch.
  • Flashbacks of the previous night, which make me smile.
  • Fruitless attempts to get any work done.
  • Lots of deep breaths taking and the realization that taking deep breaths is quite overrated.
  • Severe longing for the days when my bedroom was still next to my parents’ so mornings after had a whole different meaning and would just include a few curious looks from my Mum over breakfast.
  • Day dreaming about an evening of pasta and Friends re-runs.
Summing this list up, I had the grand epiphany that the single person’s worst enemy is not the first date, but the morning after.
Why we still do it then except for the obvious reasons i.e. the preceding night?
Because there is just nothing better than tired eyes that still sparkle and a tiny smile in the corner of the mouth, which lingers the whole day.

September 14, 2011

Rainbow coloured bookworm.

I don't think me and my life are very colour coordinated. My favourite is to wear black and navy together and I think that would piss off serious colourists. I guess I can put on a snotty face though and say I know better because of my time with Italian Vogue. Or I can just not care.
Lately I have been seeing lots of interior magazines though showing people's bookcases which have been colour coordinated. To me that is just as good a way of organizing your books as any other and it definitely looks prettiest. Mind you, most of these people have bookcases big like the entire Hogwarts library, but I just thought to myself – why not me too?
The whole plan was further inspired by Julia and our nightly trip to steal a ladder in Berlin. Sorry, I am not allowed to write this as we didn't steal it. We just took it with us as it was lying on the street and did not seem to have an owner, unless you think the neat pile of bricks next to it would indicate otherwise. Though I wholeheartedly agree with Julia, if you don't tie your things down in a city like Berlin, it is kind of your own fault if your ladder gets stolen in the middle of the night by two slightly tipsy girls on heels.
She wanted the ladder to use as a bookshelf. I should add that it was a beautiful, old, shabby ladder – very vintage chic. A few weeks later I got an email from her with a picture of the ladder/bookshelf. To make it look neater she had also covered all her books in uni-colour wrapping paper and re-labelled them in neat handwriting. I was quite impressed. I think last time I actually covered a book in paper, I was in primary school and one would get a lower mark if having uncovered school books. Also, I tend not to have the patience for projects like this (one mirror from the DIY project is still unpainted on the floor under the table; my attention span for stuff like this is just short). I did however have the patience to do this:
I think I got lucky that my local book collection isn't big yet and it took me all of 7.5 minutes. Otherwise more floor space might be occupied by books now. Now...someone please call ELLE Decor!

September 12, 2011

I ♥ U at midnight.

I thought it time for a little weekend recap again...It started nicely enough with an invitation for my company to stay at a swanky 5 star hotel. Lovely Thekla was my plus one and the hotel took it serious by putting up this lovely card on our room table:

Please note the honeymoon comment!
We had a good giggle with this photo op and used Thekla’s engagement ring to improve it even further. Mind you, the champagne was not provided by the hotel for the happy couple, but snuck in by ourselves.

The pictures are a bit random and I guess just prove what can happen when you give people free drinks all night. Though the latter I had to do sober or not, as I had promised Genie, my boss’ daughter to paint a moustache on ‘sleeping’ Mark. Luckily he is a real good sport and held very still while my shaky hand attempted an ‘I ♥ U’ without poking his eye out.

Saturday dawned gloomy, but was immediately smoothed over by a huge room service breakfast and Vampire Diaries, followed by the lunch of the century at Casparus. We had travelled to Stellenbosch to attend something which turned later out not to be a party, but a sit down birthday dinner at a student pizza parlour. Thank god for this lunch, making the carbon footprint worth it. There is a certain special delight of having a fancy lunch instead of a fancy dinner and now I actually wish I would have gotten my camera out. I, for once, actually chose to eat pasta, something I never do when eating out as I always feel I can do better at home. In this case though, we are talking linguini with salmon, prawns, crayfish sauce, and basil oil – no chance for the little pastaholic here. No chance for the linguini to be photographed either as I inhaled them...and the salmon mousse...and the bread roll...and the wine...and the tasting bites from my fellow diners. But since they call Etienne Bonthuys the wizard of sauces (or something to this regard, I just like the word wizard) I will definitely take my Dad there when he comes as he is a freak for sauces and will see if the food can stay on the plates for long enough to take a picture.

Sunday was as usual a bit blue, but all better after a yoga class and splurging on a bunch of tulips who I carried through Woolies for half an hour like a new born baby. I just thought they would make me very happy, which they did (imagine a smiley face here).

September 8, 2011

Égoïste translated.

Today should be Monday. It feels like a Monday. It is raining. I dreamed I went on vacation with both my parents, my brother and his family. If you know us, you will understand that this is not a pleasant dream. The Frenchman has a girlfriend. Big breath. Though I guess now the voodoo has no other choice but to work. For now I am still dealing with the ancient question of “What does she have that I don’t?” Has anyone in history ever gotten a satisfying answer to this question? Except the bitchy answer - she has the boy and you don’t.
Anyone? Anything? Come now, we can fly people to almost Mars these days, how is it possible that we haven’t progressed with this matter?
To find answers I started my own, small survey i.e. I asked my friend Naomi. Here is her answer: “Dude, don’t go there, it could be that she has smaller ears.... or she blows bubbles in his ear.” That’s why one needs friends! Before I could start arguing with her about ear size and such, I luckily remembered this piece of beauty and it made me feel all better:

I decided instead of whining around, asking stupid question, I will join the league of gorgeous women all over the world, call him a selfish prick, elegantly slam my imaginary shutters closed, and move on.

September 7, 2011

A non-reviewing review.

I’m not a writer, a food critic, or even a blogging socialite. The latter actually scares me a bit.

Despite being none of the above, I do have an opinion and I usually like to voice it. Sometimes at times, when I should better be quiet and in a way, which is ... let’s just say... a little blunt. I guess I can still improve on my people and opinion raising skills. Though not here. This is my blog and I can bloody think and write whatever pleases me. Today it pleases me to write everything I liked about the Toffie Food Festival. You may have gathered this is not an objective review, no one is paying me to write it, so I allow myself to gush over what I think was gushable and nothing else.

It started off well with the goodie bag. Like most people I’m a sucker for goodie bags, and this one was actually very neat. If one wanted to find something to complain, it would be the fact that it was full to the brim and therefore quite heavy to schlep around all day. Poor me. As usual I was way too early and therefore my goodie bag and me had enough time to wander the halls and see all that was on show. The exhibits were slightly quirky yet informative, and the piñata room even gave good advice by spelling out: DON’T HAVE UGLY KIDS.

Toffee or not, they all looked very yummy. I still don’t understand how anyone could have mulled over the fact that there was no toffee to eat when there was so much else. Plus the toffee beer SAB offered was incredibly delicious. On Sunday I started drinking way too earlier thanks to the German (If read ‘ze German’ one more time, I will be really upset. We all get it, yes, Germans have an accent. So do Afrikaners. Ours is nicer.) I was quite proud of the fact that involuntarily or not, he got the most laughs and defied the cliché of the humourless Bavarians. The free beer might have had something to do with that though. 
So afterwards it was straight into the beer hall. I believe in the all or nothing principal, which offered me the option to continue drinking throughout the morning without feeling bad. Mind you, I also had sausage and pie and Peruvian something something fritters, which in hindsight I should have taken home too. Or not. As I may have not had enough space in my stomach for my secret dinner. I drew quite the jackpot as I went to the SAB headquarters and was spoiled by Pete Goffe-Wood, whom I started to have an unofficial crush on after the first bite of the pork terrine we had for 2nd course. The crush became somewhat more official after two more glasses of beer and the baked rice pudding.
 Obviously the whole festival wasn’t all about stuffing my face, it was about the speakers. Except maybe for Anna Trapido’s talk about her book ‘Hunger for Freedom’ as it was accompanied by a 19-piece lunch pack, each item representing a dish with importance in Mandela’s life. One wanted to be careful though with munching too fast. A guy sitting next to me took a huge bite of the prison Christmas cake, just a moment before Anna warned us about how nasty the cake was.
The guy put on a brave face and swallowed without a sound; I was quite impressed.
All speakers were a beautiful mix of – “wow, I didn’t know this”, and “wow, I need to try this”, and “wow, now I’m crying”. I walked out with a new restaurant I want to try with my Dad, a new business contact, an overall feeling of inspiration, and thanks to a goodie bag voucher 2 beautiful, decadent Le Creuset espresso cups. Not bad for a day and half of sitting on rustling, brown paper covered chairs, which surely must have cost some poor interns some nerves.

September 2, 2011

Bad voodoo.

When I came back from vacation I was re-energized and full of new plans and ideas to turn my life around. This happens about every time when I go on holiday and my life has yet to turn around. This time I can proudly say that I have been more successful than usual: I quit smoking, I keep my beautiful flat somewhat neat these days, and I haven’t worn sweatpants to work once.
On the other hand I’m still very unsuccessful in letting failed personal relationships go. My heart still stopped the other day when I saw my evil ex-flatmate at the Garden Centre. I had to buy myself a bottle of bubbly to calm my nerves, which I know I shouldn’t need anymore as it has been over a year since we parted ways. And let’s not even dwell on the ex-males in my life and just say – it takes me forever and ever to get over someone. Argh. I hate it and don’t quite know how to quit. I’m not even talking about getting over a proper heart break. I mean getting over the annoying part that comes after the heart is mended, but I still think of someone and wonder and ponder just because I can. Unfortunately there are no books or Cosmo articles out there on this matter. So I just continue to feel annoyed, wait for months and years to pass, and feel a bit mental at times. Meanwhile always sincerely hoping I am not the only one who has these feelings. Am I?

Last night I tried a homemade recipe and attempted in some voodoo which included writing a list, checking it twice, tearing it into little pieces, and finally letting it go up in flames. Or at least that was the plan. The first three parts came along grand and I had the proper candle selected too, which could hold the amount of paper and ashes. Unfortunately I had forgotten that you can only hold a tiny piece of paper for so long before it will burn your hand. I had also forgotten that when you drop it next to a wicker into hot wax, it may not crumble and die, but continue to burn even higher and turn the formerly innocent candle into a dangerous device.
Photographic proof of how I suck at voodoo. To keep my flat safe, I decided to flush the rest of the pieces down the toilet. I figured water can have equally destroying powers as fire and might be much safer to use. Guess what? Pieces were still floating the next morning. Ergo: I really suck at voodoo.

Though you will be happy to hear that even if my execution was a bit crude, it seems to work like a charm so far. Maybe I should include some safety tips and write an article for Cosmo. Or maybe it is simply time to see my shrink again.

September 1, 2011

A hot combination.

I dream of yoga classes all the time, I guess it just comes with the territory. Last night was noteworthy though: Alexander Skarsgard alias vampire Eric from True Blood was in class with me, attempting to do Bikram yoga in a long white fur coat!
The girls where ooohing and aahing and gushing over him, but he just ignored us. To be fair we were there to do yoga not stare, but still... We therefore started discussing the other lekker options of men and fantasy creatures from the show. I guess we wanted to show him that he wasn’t the only one. The conversation got more and more heated and I even threw in: “Yes, and what about the hot pirates and werewolves?” Pirates?? Not sure where that came from, but I’m pretty sure with all creatures running around, True Blood has yet to introduce pirates. Maybe I was thinking Jack Sparrow was hot enough to be included in the mix...
The fun really started when the boys joined the conversation and listed the girls they liked. One guy described a girl character, which may or may not be on the show – after all this is still my dream – and said he liked her because she was so down to earth and economical. Have you ever laughed out loud in a dream? I did when I heard that.
I’m not even sure what that would mean for a girl, a car, yes, a car is economical, but a girl? How sad that you would make that your priority when dreaming about movie characters you will never meet in real life anyhow. Okay, I won’t get worked up anymore, it was only a dream after all, but down to earth is already one of my No.1 most hated phrases, but it was topped by economical here.

So this morning just for fun and in an attempt to find the true meaning of this dream I googled: “Vampire Eric doing Bikram yoga in a white fur coat”. The first link coming up was for Vampire Diaries, obviously completely missing the mark, but then I saw this: Yogaposeur. I am not sure how the blood stain remover relates to a cynical yoga website, but I thought that Google did quite well with this link. From there it led me to another vampire-yoga connection : The Twilight -New Moon Pose at Hipsteryoga (Which is a website awesome altogether.)

It seems like vampires doing yoga are everywhere right now. Wow, my dreams are so in!
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