February 27, 2012

Meat in the city.

I had a bit of a funny weekend. Not bad, but a bit odd at times. Many lost jokes too and even more really silly ones. A true example from the Fleisch Fest Julia, Meike, Ian, and I went to yesterday afternoon:

Me: Julia, look there is the bread master!
Julia: Who?
Me: Jason. The master of the bread, I told you about him!
Julia: Yes, but which one?
Me: The one who looks like a biker though he is a baker.


Both of us: Boah haha ha ha ha. 

The burnt Cosmos may have helped to make us appreciate this comment more than usual.

On the note of burnt Cosmos: Did anyone else know a Cosmo gets burned? As in put on fire. Apparently the girl next to me at the bar with the tattoo knew, she looked very non-fussed by the bartender’s actions. I on the other hand felt a bit offended by the dirt in my drink topped by the dirt in her looks when asking her, why if it was an essential part of a Cosmo they never showed it on Sex and The City. Considering we were at Tjing Tjing and no one, but me would ever admit to being so uncool as to watch SATC*, I probably deserved that look. No one, but me and Julia actually, because when I told her about my newest discovery from the cocktail making world her first question was how she could have missed that during six seasons of SATC. I love how great minds think alike.

Other than that there was lots of running after meat and then eating what we caught. None of us is a lady or has any shame and Ian just really likes meat, so we rather ran than to feel left out with empty plates. Which ended in multiple food comas and a whole lot of left overs, because as usual in situations like this post war times – there is actually enough for everyone.

In addition my tortilla scored a 7.0 and I bought the perfect birthday gift/dress for myself. More about all of this tomorrow as I actually have birthday invitations to finish.

*If it makes me sound any cooler – I had to think quite long about this acronym and every time I mention the show I always get confused whether it is called “in the city” or “and the city” as both would make perfect sense to me.

February 22, 2012

Birthday = happyday.

It is almost time again. Birthday time. I’m turning a “Schnapszahl” this year, the magical 33. In case I haven’t mentioned – I am a complete birthday nutcase. I get that from my Dad who incidentally turns 77 this year and wants to fly me in. Again. When telling him thus as I was there just two years ago for his big 75th celebration, he just replied “But I am turning 77. It’s special.”
Deep down I am very much his daughter and agree that it is special. So is my upcoming day. I will never be one of these people who want to forget their birthdays. Or deny wishing for anything when asked for present ideas. Or not remind everyone and anyone including random strangers about the big day far in advance and closer again to the day to make sure everybody marked it firmly down in the calendar. Or not want to be congratulated and spoilt rotten once the day has finally arrived.
I think the main reason, people trying to avoid their birthdays, is actually not shyness but the fact that they don’t like to get older. For some odd reason I am lucky here. Yes, I also get older objectively, but since I can remember I have always added another year whenever people ask my age a few months prior to my actually birthday. So when the day comes I am already used to the new age. Less scariness. How genius is that? Mind you, I do also truly believe my life has only gotten better with each year. Hear that, Meike?* Also I know quite a few people who are years older and we though we are taught these days that 40 is the new 30 and they still have a complete blast.
So there is really no good reason to fear the getting older part. I also can’t understand what could possibly be wrong with cake or sweets, dinners, friends calling, Facebook wall messages from lovely strangers, and presents you actually want? I just can’t find anything fault with that. At all. Ever

One problem however remains: I have no idea how to celebrate this year. Options over options and again none at all. Blank canvas birthday to-do list in my head. The only thing I know is that I feel like sending proper paper invitation cards for some odd reason. Not sure if this will happen. It surely won’t if I don’t make up my mind quickly on what to do. Otherwise blank invitations too. Fill in your own party details maybe. Any ideas anyone? Of course the best idea will score an invitation too. I promise there will be cake and I won’t say no to presents either.

*A German friend who thought coming to Cape Town to drown the big 30 in tons of nice wine would be a good idea. An idea we can all agree on, birthday jitters or not.

February 17, 2012

Vote for food!

After yesterday’s admittedly very blue post today something more fun. Let’s talk about food. Yes, you read correctly not pasta, but food. In general. All sorts of food. Food and the fact that I think it may have just been me who nominated my wonderful cousin Thekla for the Eat In Best Food Blogger Award. Because she just is!

A little over a year ago she started in this venture called blogging and though it was after Julie & Julia and Jamie Who not a new thing by far, there was something that she was just doing right… and different…and lovingly.
In a world of 50 course menus, blobs of food served in test tubes, and portions that make French cuisine look like a Mount Everest on your plate, there has been a new trend in food lately. Call it back to the roots. Old school is nouveau. Not little is more, but simple is. With her blog and service Domestic Goddesses I think Thekla has hit the mark of this new appreciation for honesty on a plate and simplicity in the kitchen.

For me personally...well, she was the one who inspired this little blog here. She also inspires me in the kitchen. I still mainly cook pasta, but I try and play with new things thanks to her. If I find a recipe I don’t quite dare to attempt myself I will take it to her. Most of the time she ends up cooking it while I keep company with a glass of bubbly or two. I just pretend I learn all there is while watching and do my share by chopping the occasional onion.

Out of an impulse when putting things in my kitchen after moving in, I put this picture of her and me up next to the stove. A picture taken when I had just moved here and had enough time to acquire a proper tan. Though it might be an odd place for a photo, I just like it there, cooking, looking at my inspiration – we look happy, it makes me smile.
When I was back home in August I went through old boxes of photos and I came across the one on the left. It was taken when I first came to South Africa 16 years ago. It shows Thekla's Mum Colleen and myself at some farm stall and though photographically it seems a silly picture (no faces, no scenery, no nothing) to me it sums up everything that drew me here in the first place: light, warmth, and extraordinary people.
I took it back to Cape Town with me and for some reason it found a fitting place in my kitchen as well. Considering that Thekla draws her cooking inspiration from her mother, I think it closes the circle nicely.

Now we get to the deal: Thekla is nominated and needs votes. Either you liked this post or you liked my cooking and since now know where it comes from – vote for Thekla!*

*Or I shall never cook for you again. Obviously.

February 16, 2012

Bye bye yogi.

A good massage should do what a good yoga class will – relax and re-energize at the same time. Luckily I have just had one of those massages so I have the relaxed, calm energy to write about the fact that unfortunately the good yoga is a whole different story now. I can't promise that it will be a funny post at all, but this is why I started writing in the first place: to get stuff of my chest and by writing it down trying to make a tiny bit more sense of my world in the sometimes vain attempt that life will be better with a bit more sense. It doesn't always work, but I have always tried nonetheless.

My beautiful yoga studio has closed down. It has happened surprisingly and so sudden that I still can't really wrap my head around it. Reasons are the usual in a world driven by money and real estate. Unfortunately not even yoga teachers can live of love, air, and open heart chakras. I knew that, but reality only struck now and I am out of the job I loved most in the world. A job, I guess luckily I never relied on to pay my rent, but which paid me more than I could ever imagine in smiles, contentment, and a sense of purpose. Now I feel like the carpet is being pulled away from underneath me, taking something away that just made me a little more me.
Me teaching yoga. Who thought it possible? And there I was. I never asked for it, it just somehow came to me and found me, which made it all the more special. We are all put into boxes and whether we like it or not that is how the world works. I liked my box “yoga teacher”. It added something to me that made me feel wonderful. Now I feel like I'm no yoga teacher anymore. My wonderful friend Julia did put head straight though saying “of course I am not no yoga teacher anymore”, but I can't shake the feeling that I have just lost something forever.
My teachers are going back to their old studio. I think they are relieved. Relieved from a burden of responsibility and financial strain. I understand that and I am happy for them that they are doing fine. At the same time I can't shake the notion of feeling betrayed. How can you go back from a space of utter light and clarity to the past? I don't think I can. Not now. Not yet.
I know it will be fine. Luckily just in time wise words popped into my head. Sometimes things need to break and fall apart to make space for better things to come and grow. I believe in that. Strongly. Always. I also believe that sometimes you can just cry for a bit, mourning the loss for something that was beautiful and sacred till you feel ready to get up and find the next big adventure.

February 15, 2012

Valentine's delight.

I wanted to write this very enthusiastic post about Valentine ’s Day this year and start with a snarky remark รก la ‘only single people complain about Valentine’s…’, but I actually lost all interest. Can you tell that the headline is dripping in sarcasm? Maybe I should have stuck with a re-run of last year’s post, which I thought actually summed things up quite nicely and my cupid picture just made me laugh again. But here we go… Yesterday started well enough with a little present from one of our hotel contacts – exactly the right amount of heart-shaped cheesiness I can enjoy. Due to a lack of proper boyfriend material in prior years I had made very sure that this year would be different.
Since men tend to complain that women never say what they really want, I spilled it out to Ian: I want to do something nice with you on Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile thinking: I don’t care if you don’t want to as I will give you chocolates and wear red underwear to make up for it in return.

Guys, this just is the deal for V-day. Get over it.

Ian got over it, at least in mind. Unfortunately his stomach didn’t agree. Of course I was teasing him he did it on purpose to wiggle out of it. Apparently not. There was champagne and take away sushi on the beach planned, but instead I ran salt cracker and Panado errands and had a semi-sleepless night due to a bed too small for two grown-ups who don’t want to lie on top of each other due to sickness. So here I sit today, grumpy, tired, and my cold again in full force trying to convince myself that Valentine’s is in fact overrated to manage the disappointment. Who am I kidding?

So instead of leaving this post on a clever note, I am kindly asking you to share your misery if you also had a crappy Valentine’s. If you were all lovey-dovey and bubbly and happy – great for you! – but please don’t tell me.

P.S. Am I the only one who thinks it weird that even my ink cartridge supplier wishes me a happy Valentine's??

February 8, 2012

Non-starving art.

I haven’t been writing much lately and I have to blame the heat amongst other distractions. Yesterday I was thinking about it though and realized maybe one really needs to be a starving artist in order to get any writing done, hot or cold. I’m not starving which is why I’m not writing. I don’t need to write in order not to starve so why bother? Not that I would ever consider myself an artist, but writing can be considered an art, and here I am not writing because I am not starving. Ponder upon that for a moment.
In fact I used the new couple's night apart to make myself delicious prawn pasta. Ian, who in case you haven't guessed is the new boy on the block and according to Thekla I mustn't call him any nicknames, doesn’t like prawns. I find this so incredible that it actually makes me want to stomp my foot on the ground and shout “How can anyone not like prawns, Silly?” I don't, because I am still too flattered by his apparent love of me cooking anything but prawns that I don't want to go there quite yet.
So there with my huge plate of pasta, I, the non-starving artist, had this epiphany that art can never be fed by real food. It is just too distracting. If I have food to eat I will not only eat it and thus waste time I could spend on writing but also watch a movie while I eat thus wasting more time not writing.

Whenever I fantasize that the key to successful writing is probably just getting away, I already fail in the 'planning in my head stages. I can envision myself under an olive tree somewhere in Spain or France. Close to the ocean with a little simple white cottage which has the bare necessities: a bed, a desk, and … well, a kitchen. I wonder how difficult it would be to make my own olive oil. Or could I, the big city girl, ever learn to catch a fish? Then again I actually don't like fish all this much, but maybe when caught myself and prepared with my homemade olive oil it would taste totally different? Then there is the wine, which is of course a reason itself to go to Spain or France or in fact Italy would be great as well. Wine will help my art. To a certain degree. I have known myself to cross the line. The line is reached when each word has to be rewritten twice because my fingers and brain don't want to talk to each other anymore.
My other writing scenario pictures myself in New York. In this little cafe down by Houston Street where they had this amazing Salad Nicoise. Or at Caracas with some arepas and Coronas. Though maybe that might be too noisy and again with the alcohol. Coffee rather. But not Starbucks that's for sure, their coffee just sucks and though Dean & Deluca has the best scones, their table settings are basically non-existent.
See my dilemma? Getting away is even more exiting in terms of food than staying at home where I only have to deal with healthy pre-yoga snacks or dinners to impress the new boyfriend. Don’t even get me started on road trips. I don’t think I would write a single word if my life depended on it. Road trips make my heart and stomach race.
So be happy to read what you are reading right now as I will be off to plan lunch soon while wondering: who has time to write if not an artist who is truly starving or someone who doesn't care about food? These weird creatures apparently do exist. I only know one – my sister in law who as a poor fashion design student in Rome would rather spend her food money on Prada shoes and thus starve. Though keeping in mind that Prada shoes vs. food is a whole different ballgame compared to writing vs. food. A discussion I don’t want to get into as the Prada shoes in my closet are already starting to giggle and I don’t want to upset the pasta in my pantry.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...