April 26, 2013

To read or not to.

I wanted to write about books. So I wrote and wrote and upon looking for a reference in my stories already posted, I realized that I had basically written and published the whole thing already two years ago. Shit. Does that happen to other bloggers too? You would assume I can remember these things. Or at least check my own blog before starting to write. Anyhow, read it here and know everything is still the same except for the fact that I got a Kindle and love it to bits. Putting corners in pages is overrated.
However I wanted to write about books because I was inspired by my favourite list-lady who asked for lists with your favourite books this week. Since I have just experienced the joy of finishing a book in just a few hours (Gone Girl) again, I feel quite inspired to lay low on the Grey’s and instead read something new. So I liked the idea of exchanging book ideas with others.  But upon looking through some of the lists others had already written I realized that might be a tricky one. I might share a common interest in Harry Potter with someone, but if the rest of the reading list contains of Nicolas Spark and Lauren Conrad, I… rather not comment.
Mind you someone could feel the same about my list. After all I don’t like the Great Gatsby nor Great Expectations.  I thought instead of summarizing the books I’d rather give a short explanation why I like them so much. Know where I'm coming from and then judge away if you must. Hopefully you will rather go and buy some books,  Lauren Conrad or other…

The Travel Book – Lonely Planet.
My best book of all times. It has moved across oceans with me despite its weight. It’s my book for inspiration, for making me feel good, for dreaming about other place, for deciding where I want to go to on vacation, and for looking up capitals of the world if I need to win a bet and want to outsmart Google.

Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class – Bikram Choudhoury
A must for a teacher, but also a really great for an avid Bikram practitioner. It is equal parts posture clinic and a really good read. The man is crazy, but really funny.

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rawling
An ex-lover gave it to me as a farewell gift when I left for New York. Call me silly sentimental, but I felt very connected with Harry as we were both thrown into new worlds that were a bit scary, but where we ultimately belonged.

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet – Reif Larsen
I smiled throughout the whole book and I still smile whenever I make corn on the cob. It is just.so.freaking.awesome.

The Brothers Lionheart – Astrid Lindgren
My favourite childhood adventure ever. Dragons, evil rulers,  revolution and cherry blossoms.

Why Do You Kill?: The Untold Story of the Iraqi Resistance - Jürgen Todenhöfer  
& A Mighty Heart – Mariane Pearl
I’d put these two together, because to me they both tragic yet wonderful stories that illustrate human compassion, tolerance and forgiveness as qualities above all else to make the world a better place.

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Made me want to run away and join the circus for real. Ever since I have been bugging her on Twitter to finally write another book – she is brilliant.

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty - Anne Rice writing as A.N. Roquelaure
Not sure why Amazon compares it to 50 Shades of Grey in their review, because it was there first and it’s a BDSM novel done right. And yes, it does live on my nightstand.

The Alexandria Quartet – Lawrence Durrell
I have tried and failed many times to get into it. For some reason I think I must try again, because something tells me I’ll love it and it will be a favourite.

For full disclosure and here comes the part you can judge me for: I love all historic novels by Ken Follet and Rebecca Gablé. Tough thanks to the latter I will also kick your butt at pub quiz when the topic of War of the Roses ever comes up.

April 23, 2013

Collection for a sad girl.

My friend is sad. There was a boy and then the boy was no more and we all know how these things sometimes go so I don’t really need to explain. Now she is sad and she doesn't want to speak about it, which is fine, we all know that feeling too. I hate the fact though that I cannot sit next to her on the couch, not speaking and just refill her tequila glass in regular intervals. Because I think that’s what friends are for… to not speak, to share silence and to make themselves useful as bartenders, who ask no questions.

This not an option right now thanks to 14787 kilometres between us according to Google Map as well as multiple tolls, some other countries and one ferry.

Some girls when sad might take comfort in puppy pictures and Paulo Coelho quotes and hey, I don’t judge. Frank Sinatra was my non-judgemental hero when he said: "Basically, I am for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquillizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels." So if it is puppy pictures for you, it’s fine by me. I just don’t think this would work for my friend as we are more the slightly cynical type that agrees Mr Coelho has been a bit over-quoted of late and that giraffes make everything better, not puppies. So I put some other things together for her. I will call it a collection of things to make you feel better when some stupid boy made you sad and I cannot be there to sit next to you on the couch, not speaking and just refilling your tequila glass in regular intervals. Don’t even ask me how some of these things ended up in the collection, it might not all make perfect sense to the outsider. And yes, I am fully aware there are a good few inspirational quotes and baby animals. You can judge away if you must. I just saw them, thought of her and hope that they might just bring the tiniest smile to her in lieu of tequila...

Find the complete collection here.

April 16, 2013

The myths & morals of green juice.

My Dad gave me a juicer for Christmas. He is one of those people who in addition to any monetary gift they may give still need to have something for under the tree. My idea of buying myself a new bikini with his money, taking it to Germany, and putting it under the tree re-wrapped, was rejected. So after much thinking of what I actually needed, I decided to ask him for a juicer. It fit nicely underneath the tree, but barely in my bag, so admittedly it became a bit of a schlepp.
It has long made it home though and I love it. I was especially excited to start green juicing after hearing wonderful testimonials of how it basically cures cancer, eliminates cellulite and makes you forever 28. What nobody tells you though is that green juice is well…to put it nicely…not for the faint-hearted.  No, all these green juice junkies make it sound delicious, like a cocktail and you won’t even miss the alcohol.
Trying to make it more cocktail-esque in my Consol cocktail jar. Unfortunately not working all that well in terms of taste.

And they also always, always fail to mention to a newbie like me that it is sort of mandatory to put celery in your green juice!
Let me quickly tell you my two cents about celery: Celery is THE most disgusting, not only of all vegetables, but of all foods. If celery were to become extinct, I would hold a party - a R.I.P. & good riddance celery party. Before you ask – yes, I have eaten celery before. I come from a home where parents insisted that I try everything once, at least as far as food goes. This has led to me being overall quite unfussy with food and I will still try almost anything. So yes, celery and I have crossed paths on a plate on occasion and I was not impressed.
So not impressed in fact that I made a holy vow to avoid celery at all costs. Which is tricky, because people like to sneak it into dishes where it serves no purpose whatsoever. I mean is there a good reason why it needs to be in Chicken Satay Noodles? Or in a chicken salad? Or in any salad for that matter? Noodle soup? Surely you can add something else for a green touch?! It’s everywhere where it doesn't need to be and the tiniest bit will fuck up  - excuse me, but there is no other word for it - an entire plate. You can blind taste test me and I will find the celery. In fact you could call me the truffle pig of celery. Though to even make this comparison is a bit blasphemous…for truffles to be mentioned in the same sentence as celery - poor truffles!
My Dad wouldn't believe me. He loves celery and finds it hard to comprehend that anyone wouldn't share his enthusiasm. A conversation a few years ago went like this:

Dad (proudly announcing): I am making you chicken breast with pasta. And some celery soufflé/gratin/sauce/whatever on the side.
Me (sighing): Dad, I really don’t like celery. In fact I hate it.
Dad (voice slightly shaking): But you have never tried it before!
Me (more patiently sighing): Dad, I'm 28* years old, so yes, I have tried celery before.
Dad (voice still shaking): But you have never tried it the way I make it!
Me (still sighing, less patiently): That doesn't matter it is still celery.
Dad (now with tears in the corner of his eyes): But…!

We had this conversation not once but a few times over the years and inevitably my Dad ended up being upset, because I’d either reject his dish or clamp my nose shut to eat it. Two years ago I decided to change tactics and simply told him that I was allergic to celery. My Dad thought this to be very sad and immediately offered to fix the poor thing, which was me, something else. I think eventually he worked out that I made the allergy up. But he still takes it with good grace and just teases me about it once in a while which is much preferred to eating celery.
So now you can probably understand why I wasn't too keen to keen on sticking celery into my green juice. But as it seems to be the key ingredient to eternal health and youth and upon the realization that green juices aren't very yummy to begin with I decided to face the enemy head on this week. My fridge wasn't keen on the plan. When I brought home a pack of celery yesterday it got scared and gave me a look of horror, of don’t you dare put this in me! So I decided to put it next to the juicer so they could acquaint before today’s morning meeting. 
Today I can proudly tell you I made it; I drank green juice with celery! Aaaaand? you are asking. Let me just say that the experts were right - you don’t taste the celery in the juice. However they failed to mention that you might just keep on burping up celery taste for the whole morning. And that you do taste, over and over again.
Needless to add the left over celery is finding a new home immediately and from now on I will be officially allergic for the whole world to know.

*I truly still was 28 when this conversation took place. 

April 12, 2013


I am on honeymoon. With my iPhone. At least that’s how I imagine honeymoon will feel like. This is how honeymoon should feel like. If it doesn't, I think you are doing it wrong.

Considering that I was the first in college to sport a red iMac in the dorm, I know that I am surprisingly late with getting iPhone. The reason is simply that I can fly to Bangkok for the price of an iPhone. And since I actually am flying to Bangkok, I couldn't spend the money even if I wanted to.
Last week I decided to take a chance and ask around overseas if anyone could help. Lucky for me the stars aligned and my brother has taken pity on his poor African relative and given me his old one - free.  
Clad in an old Hermes box a client of mine brought it with from Germany - free.
My company’s wonderful contact at Vodacom sorted out my SIM swap and patiently helped a technically challenged girl activating it – free.
Then my also wonderful college helped me set up it up so I can play Angry Birds – free.
So here’s to all the guys in my life this week who saved me a lot of money and basically brought you this:

me + stripes + instagram = finally hipster.

P.S. And as all new iPhone owners probably did when they first got it, way back then … I will instagram the shit out things and you can follow me here. Please indulge me for a week or so. After all I'm basically a newly-wed.

April 9, 2013

Messy hair and inside smiling.

The weekend brought little improvement to my general mood. On Sunday I almost cried while driving to teach a class, because I was just so desperate to practise myself. Don’t get me wrong - I love teaching; I think I never had a more favourite job and I wouldn't even call it that. It usually makes me very happy to teach, but this time I just really didn't want to, I just really needed to slay an inner dragon or two on the mat myself. Anyhow…I couldn't  And yes, it was fine. And no, I didn't burst in tears. And no, I didn't torture my students a lot more than usual because of my frustration, though some may disagree…
However it just showed me that I am not completely back on track yet in terms of unwavering enthusiasm for life. I shall ignore your question of - am I ever? But at least I re-learned the lesson of appreciating the small things in life. Some you may call minute, but they still made me smile. At least from the inside.

Yesterday I added an extra ¼ mozzarella ball to my salad, to the ½ ball that was already in.
 It made me happy.
And then it made a little bit nauseous.
But happy was definitely first.

A proper GAP store.
One that is not in the Northern Suburbs.
One filled with jeans that fit me.
One with staff that was quite American. As in friendly and helpful.

A dance party in my lounge.
You can think about Grey’s Anatomy in general or me for watching too much and mentioning it way too often whatever you like, but it reminded me to have a dance party in my lounge.
Bestest idea ever.
Instant mood enhancers.
Almost like wine.

Thank you, big brother!

But nothing made smile more than finding this:

Yup. In case you wonder what this post is all about - this is it. I just needed a reason to show you this.
Me in a nutshell.
If my hair would ever fit in a nutshell that is.

April 5, 2013

The honesty in wine.

You inspire me to write a very honest post how everything is very bleh this week and how only wine can make it better. This is what I tweeted to fellow blogger Keri yesterday. She recently wrote an amazing post about what happened to blogs being more about personal experiences than about brand marketing. I couldn’t agree more with her. As much as I sometimes envy those who get invited to shiny PR events and have more ad banners than text on their blogs, this post confirmed for me that becoming one of them really shouldn’t be a priority. Writing should be. Telling you stuff. The good, the bad, and the embarrassing to make you cringe on my behalf and have a laugh.
But after writing the tweet I reconsidered, because in the end this is not a diary and I don’t want it to become a place where I offload ALL my emotional trash. I told Keri I would leave it with a tweet, but she insisted. And I reconsidered again. After all I cannot complain about bloggers not being more personal and not follow suit. So here you go… Everything is very bleh this week and only wine can make it better.  It seems that at certain times in my life the stars come together, magically align, and… fuck it all up. This is one of those times and it is not just me. I know more couples fighting, separating or discovering that yet another soul mate was just another bed mate than happy ones. And not that it makes me any happier if my friends are unhappy, but misery still loves company. Drinking too much wine together with a friend in order to forget is a lot less pathetic than doing it alone in front of Grey’s Anatomy (yup, that would be me!). The universe seems to agree with this theory and thus throws us all together in one miserable bunch at times. And just like living in a house with girlfriends, all getting PMS at once, we forget what is good for us and feed each other alcohol, chocolate, and good reasons why the calories in this case don’t count. They all make for better companions than big girl pants when times are tough.


I give it the weekend. Then I will go the other route of yoga and green juice. Yes, I shall be that girl. The party pooper of the pity party. The one who runs around in the forest instead the liquor shop. In case you will hate me then, my fellow miserable friends, rest assured I will still make my credit card cry. After all shoe shopping is a healthy vice compared. So just know – we will always have Prada.  

April 2, 2013

Why big girls don't cry and wearing pants is optional.

Last week was a tricky one so I decided to rather be quiet than mope. First of all there was this guy. This guy I met a couple of months ago and we started hanging out. And after a while of hanging out there was a drunk text message from me that suggested we should do more hanging out than just hang out. And so we did. It was clear from the beginning that it was going to be nothing more than that as he was going back to Germany eventually and so really what’s the point? But it was also nothing less and hang out we did. And stargazed. And drank wine. And kissed. And all was so easy breezy and therefore quite wonderful. You know how these things go… and then he left on Tuesday. Which was to be expected and fine, but definitely didn't make for a great start into the week.
In addition I had to have a little surgery on Thursday. Nothing major and again it was to be expected, but also didn't make for a great start into the long weekend. Add on top of this a whole bunch hormones, also to be expected, but my week was basically a goner.
So I took the week as a lesson in learning to go with the flow and the art of letting go. The operative word being learning as we all know how so not good I am at going with the flow and letting go. Me, the masterplanner of all things and life in general. 


Though I would like to pretend that it was the picture above and its Thai words of wisdom, which taught me the lesson and got me through, we all know that it is wasn't. As per usual it was only with the help of too much wine, pasta, Grey’s Anatomy re-runs and not judging myself whatsoever, that I managed last week. This morning when I woke up with an emotional hangover and realized it was time to get out of my haven, put on my big girl pants, and get on with my life. I should add here that putting on big girl pants is a phrase I loathe. Mainly because it tend to mix it up with putting on fat girl pants. You know, the pants you put on when you know you will be bloated and still overeating on chocolate. You know you need them, but they are still the most unsexiest, un-ego-boosting of all pants. So in my mind this phrase just creates a very confusing paradox. But basically I had to get up this morning, brave the rain and the confusion and put them on.
When I got to the actual putting-on-pants part, the ones I wanted to wear had shrunk in the washer. And they still fit. True story! Despite it being the day after Easter weekend and a week of major hormonal rage. Has that ever happened outside a fairy tale ever? Nope. Thank you, Monday Tuesday Gods!
This already helped a bit, though I still really didn't want to leave the house. I rather wanted to stay in and eat more chocolates and see how long it would take for my shrunken pants to fit no more. However it seemed the universe was really intended on getting me out of the house and thus it made me grab my Bwanwar fragrance which I hadn't even looked at in months. It’s a perfume I bought a few years back in the Seychelles from a tiny company called Kreol Fleurage and it wait for it! reminds me of my mother. You would think that is a bad thing…or weird at least…that I want to smell like my mother, right? It is not. This scent is my personal equivalent of wearing big girl pants and one that doesn't confuse me. It makes me feel comforted and grown up in a good sort of way. And as it is it seems to find me whenever I need a little something to get me out of the door and into the big girl world.
So now I am curious…is it just me or do you also have a preferred version of wearing big girl pants? What gets you out of the door when all you want to do is clutch the frame and yell I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go! ? And most of all I would like to know – what do guys put on when they need to wear some big girl pants?

P.S. S**t - I found the picture on a travel blog, I really liked and didn't note which one. I did not mean to steal and not credit - promise. If you know it or it's yours, please get in touch so I can credit.
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