March 30, 2012


I almost can’t sit still to even write this as I just found out that not only got Julia a press pass for Toffie Pop, but that I won an all access pass thanks to this lovely guy just now.

Imagine picture of girl jumping up in excitement here.

This is where we will be for the weekend... In addition I have developed a rather concerning obsession for The Hunger Games series which will be fighting for time with Game of Thrones perfectly accompanied by some rainy fall* weather and family time.

So there… I’m off... back on Monday!
*Yes, yes, I know you call it autumn.

March 28, 2012

Picture perfect.

It is only Wednesday, but the week already feels very old. I have done much, thought much, talked much. Today I will be myself much. I will clean my beautiful little flat, I will organize, I will cook Moroccan meatballs yet again, I will finally watch Games of Throne, paint my fingernails peach orange, and enjoy being by myself.

To keep everyone else amused in the meanwhile here are the promised pictures from our Stellenbosch trip, taken with Julia’s cool iPhone… I want one too! It would make everything in life so much prettier! Strictly Apps speaking of course, because Siri still sounds like a ditz who doesn’t know left from right…

March 27, 2012

Trailer trash.

Even with only posting my little broken heart story once yesterday, I got more page views than usual which actually concerns me a bit. Or is it just that everybody else is down too and misery seeks company? Either way, I wasn’t so miserable yesterday when I left the office at 3pm to check into the Grand Daddy Hotel with my boss, her daughter, their neighbours, and Julia to watch Princess Bride open air and spend the night here:

I was a bit concerned that any boy might be scared of that much pink, lace, and ruffles, but as Sebastian attested – it’s cool. Mind you, he is only 13 so this opinion could still change, but for the time being he was quite content to hang out.

There was no question that Julia and I would like it though, except that moving the amount of pillows from bed to couch took 10 minutes.

Amusing naughty bears in the neighbouring trailer…

My birthday cake substitute thanks to Eugenie’s carving skills:

Sparkling night view.

Manhattan-esque morning view:

Thanks to the tinted window my camera goes Instagram/Hipstamatic/iPhone App I don’t have.

March 26, 2012

A little me.

It’s a ramble, but I think you will forgive me. Just have to get it off my chest…

I think the reasons for heartbreak are eternal and with history repeating itself will remain timeless. I do find a small comfort in this fact. Just knowing that I am not the first person and won't be the last to feel how I feel and why I feel this way. I do feel bad for women though ten, fifty, one hundred years ago who couldn't listen to Adele yet, because that girls knows about heartbreak alright. Listening to her makes mine at least seem a bit more insignificant and not so much to write home about.

All good things...must come to an end. Which is something I knew except yesterday when we were watching the movie All Good Things and I complained what a horrible, depressing movie it was. Thekla asked me if I wouldn't have guessed considering the title. I didn't. My knowledge of English sayings is a bit limited and it made me very upset to see Ryan Gosling as a psychopath with no warning.

Regardless though I will admit that my heart is neither truly broken, just a bit scratched, and things weren’t always good, which was the reason why they had to come to an end. That is life. Sometimes there won’t be any sexy time (trade mark creation used courtesy of Thekla and Julia) in a pink lace trailer, but a girlfriend on your side to eat macaroons in bed with instead. Which is not a bad way to spend a Monday evening after your boyfriend just broke up with you…

March 23, 2012

Road trip in German.

So apparently some people thought my notion of feeling like a little bowl of soup was a bit strange. Julia asked me whether I was alright and told me she was unsure if it was okay to ‘like’ the post on Facebook. The truth is I don’t know if I am alright, but sometimes you just have to take it one day at a time and if that doesn’t work an hour at a time will do.
On Wednesday we took it a day at a time and Julia and I did a road trip or as I like to call it in German: Ausflug. Road trip might be misleading for locals as we just went to Stellenbosch. One mustn’t forget though that even if Stellenbosch might just mean commute to the natives to us it definitely constitutes as a road trip. I will admit that living right next to my office may also help any 45 minute drive to feel like a proper get away.
Admittedly the Ausflug wasn’t much more than lunch and ice cream in the end, which made us late for Babylonstoren, but since it was lunch at Casparus and the ice cream dark chocolate flavour, it was well worth it. There would have been macaroons as well, but the lady was so rude that we decided it wouldn’t be fair to the macaroons to buy them from such a rude lady as it would surely spoil our tasting experience. Now I’m thinking that we should have bought them all so they could have lived a happy life in our tummies away from the lady…

(I was craving another portion of salmon soufflé in the evening and almost called to see if they would deliver. I settled for Colcacchio instead, which for once was a let-down, I should have expected since I was actually craving salmon soufflé and not pizza.)

Just a perfect place to eat ice cream and have a chat.
More pictures once the iPhone hipster has internet again and sends them to me. Yes, Julia, that was a hint… *

March 20, 2012

Little things.

For the last few days I have been feeling very defleated. The word just got stuck in my head somehow, but was nagging me a bit so I finally looked it up. No such word exists, surprise surprise. I now had the choice between defeated and deflated and though neither is a really nice one to describe one’s feelings. Luckily for me though it is the latter, which seems the better of bad options. So here I am, feeling deflated at the moment for various reasons, real or imagined.
Thekla posted a story about soup a few days ago and during a chat conversation about the post, I told her that I felt like a little bowl of soup right now. The obvious question was asked i.e. how does a little bowl of soup feel. The answer is obviously a tricky one and one mustn’t get stuck on the word soup as it is much more about the word little to me. I remember when I first went to New York for a visit. The whole trip had been quite momentous as I was not only visiting the most exciting city in the world, but was also trying to decide whether I could build a life there. On my final day I had put my last bit of cash into a breakfast which turned out not to be fancy, but just very expensive. Since the only other money I had left, I needed to put aside for my taxi to the airport, I asked the snotty waitress to give me a doggy bag for my fruit salad so I would have some form of lunch.
I walked through the city and when it started raining I continued walking as I had no $1.50 left to take the subway. I still remember the corner of Lafayette and Houston when I looked down at my at the doggie bag I was holding and thought Oh no, my little bag is already wet. 

I’m not sure what it is, but something about the use of the word little in both instances seem significant to me. It appears to be a reflection of me in both cases, feeling somehow little and insignificant to the world. It’s hard to describe and sometimes even harder to get out of. In New York it was just the case of me using my emergency credit card and instead of having wet fruit salad lunch, going to a really nice Soho restaurant for pasta.

For right now I am following the advice of my aunt: If you can’t muster enthusiasm or joy for your life i.e. feeling like a little bowl of soup; practise acceptance of the way things are i.e. soup is not so bad.
In addition I like to turn it around a bit and look at the little things that actually bring beauty to life and can make a huge difference. These past few days there were these:

Julia “recovering” my birthday balloons which I lost due to a gale force wind in Gardens. Or so she says…

Gooseberries growing thanks to Ian and against my better judgement and yes, he is looking quite smug every time he checks on them now…

Delivery of good fortune in the best form possible: dipped in white chocolate and decorated with a star.

My newest book obsession: Q – A love story. What can be better?

Last but not least my new favourite website which makes everything just better just by looking at it: , which leaves only one question: India or Morocco first?

March 16, 2012

Pastaholic goes classic.

I realized the other day that there is such a thing as the holy grail of pasta. Mac&Cheese. A holy grail I have had yet to touch. Maybe it was the fact that having lived in an American dorm I had seen too many pre-packed, just add water and stir, eat straight out of the box versions of Mac&Cheese. Scary stuff I think. Or it might just be that I don’t like the macaroni shape very much (and if you think one pasta shape is much like the other, you really just need to go back to Pasta 101, because it is not!). I am also a bit scared of white sauces. They always seem to come together by magic and I am afraid the meal will be ruined if I don’t flick my wand the right way.

Either way with all the choices and options for pasta there are, it just never occurred to me that a recipe which is so famous (or infamous in case of boxed Mac&Cheese), might just be that popular for a good reason.

Yesterday I had the first one on one catch up session with Julia since she moved here and we decided to stay in and on the balcony. I have an old issue of Food & Home in my bathroom right now – Why? Where do you store your old food magazines? – and found a recipe for classic Mac&Cheese with a gorgonzola twist. This and some twitter post about the general beauty of Mac&Cheese finally gave me the push to brave the unknown.

The result:

1. White sauces are the easiest bit of magic ever. No flicking needed.

2. Spreading the macaroni really thin in an oversized casserole dish makes for more yummy crunchy bits.

3. A classic is a classic for a reason.

4. Having a new favourite that requires cream and impolite amounts of cheese kind of sucks…

Blurry Mac & Cheese due to my hand shaking in excitement.

March 12, 2012

The good life.

My birthday has come and gone. I am a year older, probably none the wiser, except for the knowledgethat I am loved. I did know that before of course, but being spoiled silly always helps to remember.

I do think people know by now that I am not the biggest fan of standard birthday cards. I like the ones from a select few i.e. my mother and Julia as they are usually something to keep and bring out at times when I need to put a smile on my face. No difference this year and I wanted to share with you the poem from Joseph Beuys Julia shared with me:

Anleitung zum guten Leben

Lass dich fallen, lerne Schlangen zu beobachten. Pflanze unmögliche Gärten. Lade jemanden Gefährlichen zum Tee ein. Mache kleine Zeichen, die "ja" sagen und verteile sie überall in deinem Haus.
Werde ein Freund von Freiheit und Unsicherheit. Freue dich auf Träume. Weine bei Kinofilmen. Schaukle so hoch du kannst mit einer Schaukel bei Mondlicht.
Pflege verschiedene Stimmungen. Verweigere dich "verantwortlich zu sein" - tu es aus Liebe! Mache eine Menge Nickerchen. Gib Geld weiter. Mach es jetzt. Es wird folgen. Glaube an Zauberei, lache eine Menge. Bade im Mondschein.
Träume wilde, fantasievolle Träume. Zeichne auf Wände. Lies jeden Tag. Stell Dir vor, du wärst verzaubert. Kichere mit Kindern, höre alten Leuten zu. Öffne dich, tauche ein. Sei frei. Preise dich selbst.
Lass die Angst fallen, spiele mit allem. Unterhalte das Kind in dir. Du bist unschuldig. Baue eine Burg aus Decken. Werde nass. Umarme Bäume. Schreibe Liebesbriefe ...

I only found this art card with an English translation:

I am not sure where the translation of the title comes from as I would have called it “Recipe for a good life” or something to that extend. It also raises the question why Beuys would want me to watch snakes as per the German version. Not that I think snails are much more appealing, but in terms of appreciating and learning patience and slowness they make a whole lot more sense. Unless you can think of an important lesson one can learn for life from snakes. I am lacking a bit in the fantasy department here…

March 9, 2012

Vielen Dank für die Blumen.

Yes, there were actually lots of flowers. And cake, balloons, presents as well as a lovely dinner at the Pot Luck Club. There was also this little card from my boss (Accompanied by a voucher to the Princess Bride on the Grand Daddy roof. Ian will have to sit through it because that is the condition to spend the night with me in the Love of Lace trailer afterwards.)

This card reminded me and brought back memories of my 20th birthday, the first I celebrated away from home when I lived in Hamburg. I must admit I don’t remember much of it; I do however have one clear memory of my friend Johanna who had come early for a visit. We were passing time and ended up lying on my bed, which was actually a pull-out couch as my first flat didn’t have a proper bed, in the afternoon while we waited for the rest of the girls to arrive. Time got long so we drank a bottle of bubbly, not so shocking, OR a bottle of Martini Biano, slightly more concerning. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details as it has just been a long time ago. But either way we must have had fun, as I clearly recall not only eating gummi bears while we drank, but also drowning the most colour appropriate ones in the bubbly/martini glasses, recreating the most nail biting scenes from Titanic.

Looking at my little card I wonder if drowning gummi bears in drinks is in fact a common past time which we just didn’t know about and thought us special. What does everyone else do while they drink?

March 6, 2012

Dress rehearsal.

… and then there was the dress. Finally. Sorry it took me so long, but after all I do have a birthday party to plan.
If you are a guy, you may want to give this story a miss and go back to the one with the Tortilla and if you are a girl…well, I am sure you know the feeling. The feeling you get deep down when you find a perfect dress. The feeling when it seems like the stars align and you get a glimpse of what heaven is all about. For you anyhow.

This happened to me on Sunday. I was killing some time because I was getting my shipment from Italy aka my friend Alessia from Rome, meeting me for lunch and bringing me pasta and Bacio. The real parmesan cheese managed to get intercepted by customs yet another time, but the thought makes me too sad to explain any further… So there I was buying Ike his 5 year old ‘big boy’ birthday shirt from Country Road and then had a quick look around myself. There it was on the shelf and just a little while later on me:

Though I called it my early birthday present to myself to validate the expense, I immediately had to wear it out to the meat party. Excitedly I told Ian about it on the phone before he fetched me. In hindsight I know it was a rookie error to expect any praise from a boy for something that is not barely covering my bum cheeks, my breasts, or is made out of sheerness and lace.

Ian: Wow – you got a new nightgown.

Indignantly I complained to Julia on the phone, the person who I know would understand me and more importantly the dress. Arriving and meeting at Tjing Tjing the dress was inspected by her and she just started to shake her head at Ian.

Julia: This does not look like a negligee!

Ian: I said nightgown not negligee.

Who would have known that a South African man knows what a negligee is?

March 1, 2012

The almost perfect score.

The past weekend had 3 highlights. One I told you about already. The second one was the meal on Friday evening. Let me elaborate…

My uncle has recently become the master of the Spanish Tortilla. And Gazpacho, but this is not a story about cold soup (Sorry Dirk, I like your Gazpacho, I just don’t think soup is worthwhile writing about…). We have been the happy receivers of his newest cooking endeavour for the past few Sundays over lovely, lazy family lunches and except for Bob have now officially given him the 10.0 for his Tortilla 2 weeks ago. Though he totally deserves this score, I think Bob was quite smart as he only gave him a 5.5 in order to poke his ambition and make him try again and again and again thus getting us more lovely lunches out of it.

I, instead of insulting him, thought I’d rather try it myself. So on Friday, it being the end of the month, me being somewhat broke, I thought a little dish of potatoes and eggs would be the perfectly frugal end to the week.
Off I went to the kitchen with a boyfriend eying me dubiously from the couch. Though I was cut off halfway through phone directions from my uncle, I was confident and had promised him a piece if I deemed it above a 5.5. Though this picture of the little Tortilla in the pan is somewhat scary looking, I was quite proud of my end result.

Not so yummy looking yet...

... much better!
Ian, good boyfriend he is, said it was the best Tortilla he ever ate, mentioning only much later it was the only Tortilla he ever ate. I still decided it was in fact good enough to show to the master of creation. Mind you, I don’t think I would have gotten in the house without bringing him the goods when Saturday morning dawned.

There he was with a scrutinizing look on his face while he dove into the Tupperware with two fingers breaking off a large chunk. Now I was scared. Had I committed the cardinal sin of Tortilla making? Had I overcooked and overdone it?
“Mmh. Mh. Mh. Chuckle. Chuckle.” My uncle is the only person I know who actually chuckles and these chuckles translated to the fact that I became a proud owner of a 7.0 for my first Tortilla ever.
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