Thursday, December 22, 2011

Basil Martini

When Arwen celebrated her 30th she did so at Gin in Greenside. There she introduced me to an AMAZING cocktail: the Basil Martini. I have been hooked since. Until recently I have had neither martini glasses, nor cocktail shaker, so the only cocktail's I made were the ones that didn't require fancy tools.

For my birthday I received a lovely voucher and eventually found what I wanted to spend it on. Gorgeous martini glasses (8) and a shaker. So for Christmas I decided that I would make Basil Martinis and started looking for recipes online. There were so many variations it was hard to choose one. The first recipe I tried was horribly sour and did not remind me of the ones I had at Gin. I then decided to combine receipes and I hit the Jackpot. Not bad for a second attempt. 

Being the lovely person that I am I have decided to share the recipe with you.

Basil Martini



Ingredients

Sugar syrup
1 cup sugar
1cup boiling water
Lemon rind (optional)

The following quantities are for one glass so adjust for more.
Basil leaves (lots)
1 tot dry vermouth
2 tots gin
Juice of 1 lemon (fresh!) (approx 2 tots)
Ice

Method
1. Make a sugar syrup my adding the boiling water to the sugar. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. At this stage you can add some lemon rind to flavour the syrup. Allow syrup to cool. The great thing about the syrup is you can make it in advance and keep it for ages in the fridge.
2. Take basil leaves (5 big ones or so) and place in the shaker. Add 2 tots of gin and muddle.
3. Add the vermouth, 1 tot of syrup (if you want it sweeter add a 1/2 to 1 tot extra), the lemon juice and ice cubes (5-6).
4. Close the shaker and shake it shake it baby!
5. Strain into your martini glass and serve with a sprig of basil.

Drink and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Looking stupid in the cinema

It has become the new movie gimmick. Nearly every movie released has been subjected to it. Some movies tack it on and some are designed around it. Not having the choice to watch a movie normally drives me batty and has reduced the number of times I head off to the cinema.

Yes, you've guessed it. I'm talking about 3D.

The Oatmeal sums it up beautifully.

There are very few movies I want to watch in 3D and those are usually animated movies. I loved How to tame your dragon in 3D, especially the scenes where they are flying through the clouds. But as for other movies, thanks but no thanks, I want to watch them normally. The 3D glasses generally give me a headache and never fit right and the 3D effects are not that great.

Why can I not choose how I want to watch my movies. Some movies to give you a normal option, but to find a cinema that screens the normal version is like finding a needle in a  haystack. I realise that cinemas want to make more money, as if normal movie tickets weren't expensive enough. I think however, that they are driving many clients away. I have spoken to many people and they are all getting annoyed at the 3D phenomena.

Oh and now they are making...GASP!...3D TV. Seriously? Why? Go away 3D. Shoo.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Artist of the week: WOODKID

My friend Bast introduced me to a new artist: Woodkid. His real name is Yoann Lemoine and he's a French music video director, film director and musician. His first album (which I'm currently listening to) is called IRON EP.

I don't know how to describe his music. Definitely indie, with piano, violins, trumpets, drums and orchestration.  His French upbringing definitley comes throughin the melodies. I'm not talking about acordeon java style French music, but the French balads I grew up with. The music will grip you and not let go.I heartily recommend you listen to it.

And watch the music video for Iron. Oh! My! It is stupendously exquisite and haunting. It features Agnes Deyn, an owl, wolves, gorgeous men and mind-blowing cinematography. This guy is damn good at what he does. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 in review

2011 has been quite an interesting year for me. Let me look back on it.

It didn't start off very well. I was suffering quite badly from depression and had to have my medication upped. Work was not going well either and I was struggling to perform. The fact that I was working for a company that did not value its staff did not help. It was hard walking into a building with such negative energy.

I was in a relationship for a while, which although was great at the beginning, fizzled out. I felt used when he told me that he just wanted a “fun” relationship. I wish he’d told me this upfront.

I then started seeing a shrink. It was the best thing I ever did! I have learnt so much about myself and how I deal with difficult situations and why I make the choices I do. I’m healing and I’ve been off my anti-depressants for 4 months now, with no relapse into depression.

I got a new job, which has been highly satisfying. Not only from the point of view that I am being paid way better than at my previous place, but also that I am doing challenging work and learning so much. I also get to travel all over the country and discover places I have never been to.

I have been able to kill off my credit card debt and increase my home loan repayments. And to add a glorious surprise: I got my first ever Christmas bonus and a raise! I wasn’t expecting either, seeing how I’ve only been with the new company for 4 months. So that bonus will probably go towards my UK trip in September next year. And will be able to afford getting a new set of wheels. It’ll be sad to trade in my darling red Fiesta, But I need a car with safety features and efficient fuel consumption, considering all the travelling I’m doing. I’m thinking getting a Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20 or Mazda2. Of course a Nissan Juke would be quite awesome, but I think it’s a somewhat out of my budget. I’m going to start my research and test driving before I make a final decision.

I also started going to the gym on a regular basis. It has improved my sleep patterns. Although I haven’t lost any weight yet, I am confident that I will shift quite a few kilos next year. And it will help with toning and help me improve my body image. I’m still quite hung up on how I look and I know that it is an issue that will take me quite some time and a lot of therapy to sort out.

I’m glad 2011 is coming to an end. I am looking forward to my Christmas break, even if it’s only 9 days. I’m excited for 2012. It will be a great year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic...

Does anyone remember watching Kindergarten Cop all those centuries ago? I’m a massive Arnie fan, so I’ve actually got the DVD and watched it recently.

Today the office fire alarm went off. So down we all traipsed, two by two. And I couldn’t help think of Kindergarten Cop, how at the beginning of the movie the kkindergarten kids run around screaming during the fire drill while the other kids leave the building quietly and two by two. By the end of the movie, when there is a real fire, the roles are reversed.


And I think, will we also be running out screaming if there is a real fire in the building?

All together now:
Reading, Writing, Arithmetic
Kindergarten does the trick!
When it comes to past the test
Kindergarten is the best!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blue Velvet Delight

Since Bast is coming up I've decided to make my infamous Red Velvet Cake. She's never had it before and I think it is high time to introduce her to the decadence that it is. I have however decided to make it with a twist. It will be a Blue Velvet Cake (blue being Bast's favourite colour after all).



Miss ADHLAS sent me a link a while back for a Blue Velvet version. Now I don't know where I'll find violet food colouring, but I'll see how it turns out with just the blue food colouring.

For those Americans reading this blog (if any), the Red Velvet Cake has only recently appeared in specialist cake shops in South Africa. And to date I have yet to find one that is as moist and decadent as the one from Joy of Baking. Mostly the ones here are dry (I think they are baked too long), may not have buttermilk in it and do not have a mascarpone, cream cheese, whipped cream icing.

Every single person who has tried my Red Velvet came back for more. A LOT more. I hope the Blue Velvet will meet with the same success.
 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Manners maketh the man

Never have words been truer.

My friend Bast is coming up from PE for a few days before Christmas. She's had a very rough two years and I thought it would be really cool to get all her Joburg friends together for a bring 'n braai. So I got all their email addresses from Bast and sent out invites 2 weeks ago for an event that is taking place this Friday. I requested that they RSVP by last Friday, which would give me time to plan food. 

3 people responded the day I sent out the invites. Since then, nothing! So today I sent out a message, that I needed RSVPs. Slowly the responses are trickling in (all apologies that they can't make it).

I swear there are so many South Africans (OK, maybe you get them all over the world) that have absolutely no manners. And it grates my carrot. How hard is it to RSVP? Did these people's parents never teach them that it is very rude to not respond to a host? Do they not realise that not replying to an email does not constitute as no? The host(ess) wonders if they have received the invite, or if they will respond. It's a limbo response.

These are also unfortunately the type of people who will consistently cancel at the last minute or always come late. It shows a complete lack of respect towards other people. Can you just imagine what they must be like in the work environment?

Woosaaah...Breathe in....Breathe out... This should not get me in a tizz the way it has, but it still manages to get under my skin. I guess that's what happens you get a superior upbringing. You can never hang out with the plebs.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Am I fussy and full of shit?

Yesterday evening I went out for drinks with some of my colleagues. We had a great time and it was perfect to help us unwind. We talked about many things, and one of the conversations ended up revolving around relationships. My one colleague said to me "Stop being so fussy and full of shit and you'll find a man". Now it was said in jest, but it made me think about whether I am that fussy or not.

Now I know that the "perfect man" does not exist, just like God, Father Christmas, Unicorns and the Easter Bunny. But, having been around the dating circuit a bit, I know what pushes my buttons and what just doesn't work.

So yes, I do have a list. Let's see:
  • Atheist (or non-theist). Dated the spiritual and religious guys. Never again thank you very much. They just didn't respect my point of view.
  • Must have a similar cultural upbringing to me. If I make reference to Cthulhu (the guys in the office didn't understand why I was so chufed to see a reborn Cthulhu sticker on a car in the office basement. They had never hear of him) or Modigliani I would like the guy to get it. And in SA it can be quite hard. I look at my colleagues, sweet, smart people, but they tease me for my general knowledge. More than half the time they don't know what I'm on about. Now I'm not saying I need daily intellectual conversations, but run-of-the-mill topics get boring very quickly.
  • Not a computer nerd. Dated a couple of guys who were so deep into their bloody PCs that it became a nuisance. Playing some PC games is fine, but living WoW, and spending every spare second you have in front of your machine? Thanks but no thanks. I want a relationship where I actually go out and do stuff (see my bucket list).
  • Should enjoy reading, on a variety of topics. Sci-fi and fantasy don't cut the mustard. How about science, history, travel...
  • Should enjoy cooking. It's awesome if a guy can cook. And not just one or two staple recipes.
  • Taller than me. I've dated shorter guys and it's just weird and awkward.
  • Preferably fit. A bit overweight is OK (yes I may be judgemental but fitter guys generally means better sex). I know I'm not the slimmest being out there but at least I'm doing something about it.
  • Not clingy or jealous. Just trust me. I'm not going to cheat on you, so chill.
  • Must have/rent his own place. I've decided that no man will move in with me unless he is serious about the relationship, and I mean SERIOUS as in wants to spend the rest of his life with me serious.
Of course all these prerequisites are all fine and good, but the most important thing is to have a deep connection. If the connection is there then all the rest is just an added bonus.

So until I meet  man with whom I "connect" on a deep and meaningful level then I will happily remain single until I do (though there will always be that element of jealousy at all my friends who are with someone with whom they've connected on a deeper level).

Then again, maybe I am fussy and full of shit. I don't know. You tell me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Satan's Scatter Cushion

I've been having an email discussion with Miss ADHLAS regarding the cat she inherited (Mr. Chen) from the Matthews. They couldn't look after him anymore because of W's Allergies. So Miss ADHLAS took him over.

She told me today that she's found out that Mr. Chen had been fed by three different people in the block of flats. So now she's the only one feeding him and he's getting 2 cups of kibbles a day. I thought to myself that that is a LOT of food for one old cat. It turns out she forgot to say taht they were half cups! I had an image of an exploding Mr. Chen a la Monthy Python (After dinner mint?).

This is the response I got back:

"He's big, but not that big. I call him Satan’s scatter cushion, not Beezlebub’s beanbag chair."


Bless my heart! I fell out of my chair I was laughing so much. Only Miss ADHLAS would describe a cat that way.

I hope it made you laugh as much as me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Schadenfreude

In today's news: Greenpeace activists arrested at COP17. For trying to illegally hang a banner off a hotel in Durban. This clearly shows the level of intelligence of the people who join Greenpeace. Had they gone through the right channels to get authorisation they would not have gotten arrested and would have been able to put up their banner. Idiots!

Now I am an environmental consultant.  That means we're environmental risk managers (snazzy sounding isn't it).  Our purpose is to ensure certain activities have legal authorisations to take place. We set up systems in place that must be implemented to mitigate negative environmental impacts and enhance positive ones.

We work with the principles of sustainable development and the Triple Bottom Line (People, Environment and Economy)  in mind. We look at activities from the moment of conception to the moment of decommissioning. ALL THE WAY! We don't just look at one tiny facet.

Greenpeace, on the other hand are like a gnat. A nuisance. Sure they have made people aware that there are environmental issues, but that's about it. They offer no solutions and they never look at the bigger picture. Close down the coal mine but take no consideration for the people earning a living from such an operation. That's their attitude.

Greenpeace seem to take people on who don't have a working knowledge about the environment (natural and human) or the economy actually works. They are Eco-Terrorists and that's about it. So I'm always filled with glee when they get apprehended.

On another thought, what was that banner made of? From the picture some kind of cloth membrane. But an artificial fabric it seems (i.e. derived from petroleum?)? And what will they do afterwards with that banner? How environmentally conscious of them.

Friday, December 2, 2011

No Sympathy

Awwwww, poor Jackie Selebi collapsed at his home when he heard he had to go to jail. People are reportedly concerned taht he can't walk. Poor corrupt baby. Hear the sarcasm dripping from my voice? Seriously people!

He's corrupt, was caught and fairly trialed and convicted and has a 15 year jail sentence. He's gotten his just deserts. Let him rot in jail!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Grumpy old lady with shotgun

At least, I wish I had had a shotgun yesterday morning. To blow up the speakers blaring loud music at 6AM for some damn race.

I live in a gated suburb that is very popular with runners. We have the Old Parktonian Sports Club next door, running clubs during the week, regular races etc. It's nice because the neighbourhood feels alive. The organisers of the races leave us notices of when races will happen (generally early on Sunday mornings) and apologising for traffic disruption. We don't mind, as races are not noisy events. The occasional soccer leagues at Old Parks are noisier (and even then you barely register them).

So yesterday morning, I fell out of bed with fright, at 6AM, when this horrible techno music started blaring out of nowhere! And it didn't stop. The DJ had great fun playing certain songs over and over again. And then shouting in the microphone because clearly the loudspeakers were not loud enough. When I escaped to my folks at 11AM the music was still blaring. So much for a Sunday morning lie in.

Apparently a colleague of mine who stays next to Delta Park, a few kilometres away from me, could hear the noise.

Now, I'm not quite sure what the noise by-laws say, but I'm quite sure one is not allowed to disturb the Sunday peace, especially not in a residential suburb. And not at that level of dB. I spoke to some runners who complained that it was unpleasant running past where the speakers were. I don't know what the organisers were thinking, but they seriously lack any consideration to residents that's for sure!

And how does one go about submitting a complaint about public nuissance?

I feel like a grumpy old lady complaining about kids making noise, but can you blame me? Grumble Grumble Grumble....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I WON A T-SHIRT

I had a letter published in the Women24 Weekly newsletter :-) On a day where so much shit has hit the fan I am glad to have a silver lining



Monday, November 21, 2011

Chocolate cake: 1 vs. Me: 0

Oh ye gods, seriously?! What is it with my mood these last 3 days? It’s not that time of the month so I have no excuse to feeling blue like this. It does not warrant eating a whole chocolate cake in 2 days. Yes. I ate a WHOLE cake this weekend. I just needed it. And I want more.


I’m feeling blue and cranky. I curled up the whole of Saturday between a book and watching loads of nonsensical TV. I barely had the energy on Sunday to grub around in my garden. Even Sissi realised something was up with me and she spent the weekend glued to me and being an utter darling.


Now I know I was tired on Saturday. Friday we had a work breakaway session. We went down to Parys and in the evening we partied like there was no tomorrow. I managed to avoid the hangover, but wow was I tired. I haven’t partied hard like that since varsity days. 7 years out of practice. I had a great time.


The person who invented Jager-Bombs should be shot. It’s vile! Because I’ve just joined the team I couldn’t actually say no. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t like in order to not be alienated by one’s team. It sucks and I wish it wasn’t necessary. I tried to get out of drinking the ghastly stuff by asking if I couldn’t have Sourz instead but it fell on deaf ears. So one JB followed by a bottle of water it was. And I didn’t keep track of how many JB’s went around. Shudder.


I digress.


I suspect that the blue feeling may be a mix of things. Being tired for one. I’m always more emotionally sensitive when tired.


Then my parents told me that they are going down to the Kruger from 18 December until sometime in January. Christmas is a special time of the year for me and spending it alone will be very hard. I am trying to organise a Christmas Eve supper to at least spend one of the days with close friends. It’s a tricky one though, as the majority of my closest and dearest friends will be doing their own family celebrations. And this is where being single hurts. If you’re in a relationship with someone special you can spend the holidays with them.


One of the guys at work asked me where I was going for the holidays. I told him I’m staying home. I got a strange look from him, as if I was some kind of freak to not get out of town for the holidays. First of all, I only have the few days between Christmas and the New Year and where would I go? Plus, holidaying solo sucks. It’s an extra nail in the coffin. Sure I could get friends and go somewhere with them. But wait, the majority are in relationships and I would be the third wheel. No, I’d rather hibernate in Joburg.


And to top it off I keep getting dodgy messages on dating-buzz, or else if I contact someone whom I think could be interesting to get to know all they want is friends with benefits. Seriously guys, is all you think about getting an easy fuck? Do you have absolutely no self-respect? No man will get access to that part of me without showing that he actually truly loves and values me. I realise there are decent guys out there, my cousin met her hubby via a dating website after all, but this crap is seriously making me want to cancel my profile.


I feel that there is also too much of a sensory overload at work today. One colleague is having constant telephonic kaffee klatsches, then there is drama unfolding on other projects, there’s constant blablablah, people talking on top of each other and I can’t even hide in my ipod as I can’t handle the music right now. I need to be somewhere quiet to work. I want to crawl right out of my skin like some moulting insect or amphibian.


ARGH! I want out! Now hand me that cake!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Artist of the Week: YOAV

Sunday I discovered the most amazing artist: YOAV. He opened Tori Amos' concert.


He is a singer-songwriter of Israeli-Romanian descent and raised in South Africa. His music is based solely on his vocals and an acoustic guitar and uses a loop-station. He has the most insane talent. My jaw just dropped listening to him. Without realising I had heard one of his remixed songs on the radio We all are dancing. Well, let me tell you, the un-mixed version will blow your socks off. It's just superb.


He also did a re-interpretation of the Pixies' Where is my mind that is just haunting. It featured in the movie Sucker Punch's soundtrack.


So whatever you do, please please please find his songs and listen to them. I promise you will not regret it.

Bad things come in three

Seriously. The story of my life. But this week is an impressive one.



  1. Sunday I loose my cheque card at Emperor's Palace. I guess I forgot to take the card back after I paid for the Yoav CD at the Tori Amos concert. Of course I only notice this when I'm halfway to Bloemfontein for a site visit on Monday. So quick call to Nedbank to cancel the card. Luckily it's chipped so no money stolen from it. The good side. I just picked up my shiny new card from the bank. I am so happy how fast they got the new card. Thank you Nedbank.


  2. During last night, my phone, for some unknown reason, switched itself off. So my 4:00AM alarm did not go off and I missed my flight to Sishen. Wonderful! Project leader not impressed. I'm so mad at myself for not having a back-up plan. And I've NEVER EVER missed a flight. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a stickler for punctuality. I still haven't gotten over the missed flight.


  3. I was driving dad's car until my insurance kicked in. Yesterday I pick up my little Ferrari (I wish!) and transfer all my stuff from dad's car to mine. Most stuff got dumped into a big bag which I took out the car when I got home. This morning, as I get to work, I realised my access tag is still in the bag in my bedroom. Well done! And there are no visitors tags available today for some reason. Quite a nuisance as every time I need to go to the loo I have to wait by the doors till someone walks past to let me out.

On the fun side, I got an email from ABSA saying I need to update my log-in details. Funny, as I don't bank with ABSA. But I'm waiting for my Nigerian relatives to die so I can inherit some money and possibly also to win the UK lottery.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's God got to do with it?

Dear Michael Schermer,

Thank you once again for a great article. And for your great argument as to why the motto "In God We Trust" is outdated and defunct.


If you want freedom and security you need the following:
The rule of law; property rights; a secure and trustworthy banking and monetary system; economic stability; a reliable infrastructure and the freedom to move about the country; freedom of the press; freedom of association; education for the masses; protection of civil liberties; a clean and safe environment; a robust military for protection of our liberties from attacks by other states; a potent police force for protection of our freedoms from attacks by people within the state; a viable legislative system for establishing fair and just laws; and an effective judicial system for the equitable enforcement of those fair and just laws.
Nuff said really.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Garden Is Bonkers!




















Dear Garden,

You are beautiful, lush, green and FLOWERING AT THE WRONG TIME OF THE YEAR. Well, the "Wild Dagga" (Leonotis leonurus) is. It's an autumn / winter flowering plant. Not summer! Silly. Put still stunningly pretty with all those orange flowers. The sunbirds are going crazy.


Love,


Yours truly

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bustle Rustle!

I got my bustled skirt from Arwen and wore it for the fisrt time to the CCHQ Halloween Party (The party was a dirge. Dark Noise need to reconsider their DJ's).

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it!







And yes, the corset is also one of Arwen's creations.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Respect Mine Body!

Now for all those religious zealots and Pro-Life morons to catch a wake-up call.


I'm Pro-Choice. It is up to a me, and me alone, to decide what I wants to do with what's going on in my body. If I want to go on ahead with a pregnancy, if I wants to abort, whatever my choice is, it is not up to others to judge me. If I want to use contraception it is not up to some crusty old man in a white gown and a weird hat to tell me that it's a sin to do so.


It's about respect after all. Respect my choices and my decisions. I'll respect yours, even though I may disagree with them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The 2012 Bucket List

I am feeling so much better than yesterday. Had my crisis and am ready to face the world again, though I could do with a big jar of Nutella, you know, because it tastes so good.


In the spirit of making sure I haven't done anything with my life, I have decided to create a Bucket List for next year. I have no intention of pegging anytime soon, but I don't know what else to call it. A To Do List sounds like it should includes grocery shopping, paying bills and washing up.


So here are some of the things I'd like to do next year (once the oh so ghastly credit card and other debts are paid off. I've been waiting 10 weeks now for part of my retirement annuity to be paid out so that I can pay off the stupid debt. Sigh!):


1. Canopy Tours. Magaliesburg and then maybe Magoebaskloof and Tsitssikama.


2. Hot air balloon ride.


3. Visit the Irene Country Market.


4. Visit the Pretoria Botanical Gardens, and other parks in and around Gauteng. Possibly picnic linked with friends. That would be really nice.


5. Going to the Pretoria Zoo. I haven't been there since I was a kid.


6. Visit Erica and Hendri in the UK in September. Advice as to places to visit in 2 weeks?


7. Regular attendance to the Bioscope.


8. Taking up ballroom dancing.


9. Explore and discover the hidden gems in Joburg.


10. Teach myself photography through an online course. Spudson to provide me with the details.


11. Going to HQ for 60 day matured sirloin steak.


12. Visit art galleries and markets.



I think that should keep me busy enough....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Giant pot of Nutella anyone?

It’s incredible how a movie about a dog’s unfading loyalty to his master can make me have a wobbly, bringing out the vulnerable and lonely side of me.

I’m coping pretty well these days. I’m learning more about myself, my habits and patterns. But I still have the bad habit (or is self-preservation?) of ignoring the needy inner me and pushing it right back into the cupboard and locking the door on it. And every now and again, the loneliness comes seeping out again and catches me unawares.



I am not the type of person who will ask others for help. The last think I want is to be that clingy friend who always needs a shoulder to lean on. I don’t wish to put such a burden on my friends and end up alienating them. So I put up a mask to prevent friends and family from worrying about me.



I won’t lie that I often feel like a third wheel around many of my friends. It’s hard seeing them so happy and complemented in their relationships, and her I am with a string of failed relationships behind me.



I really would like to meet a man who will appreciate me for who I am and who will make an effort to show me that he appreciates me. I would like to connect with someone on a much deeper level and not solely based on lust. And I don’t want to be 80 when it happens.


I want someone who will accept that I have my inner weak child and that every now and again will be my rock, someone who understands that I need to feel valued. I don’t want to be taken for granted, to be someone’s booty call. I know I have a rather stringent list of requirements, but it’s mainly a list of what I do NOT want in a guy. I’m a pretty awesome person (if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have the amazing friends I have) and I do deserve a pretty awesome guy.



I don’t know if it has been my lack of judgement when it comes to the guys I’ve dates or if it’s a symptom of my generation, but guys don’t seem to want to invest in relationships. Of course there are exceptions and the exceptions already in relationships. The old motto “Guys are like public toilets: Occupied or full of shit” seems to pop up at this time.



I guess that what scares me; is that it will take so long to meet the right guy.


And then I smack myself for being such a morose cynic. I find it hard to forgive myself for being weak. I can't find it in me to hug myself and say it's OK, everyone goes through this. We're not machines. Only human.


I’m also scared of looking back and realising that I have done nothing with my life. I don’t want to spend my weekends indoors watching TV. I want to be out doing stuff, not necessarily stuff that costs money, but just to be out and about. Be it a picnic in the park, or going for a walk, or discovering new places around town. And I would like to do that with someone special.



So yeah, today I need a huge hug and a large pot of Nutella.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Movie Review: Contagion

This Sunday I went with a group of friends to Pretoria for a Medieval Fayre that didn't materialise. Either the venue was changed or the event cancelled, in any case there was no mention of this anywhere on the web. So we decided to head off to Menlyn (what a horrible shopping centre) and watch a movie. We chose Contagion.

Nothing spreads like fear.
Having seen many mediocre dread disease movies, I was unsure of this one, especially since I had not heard of it,. But seeing it had an exquisite cast and Soderbergh generally makes good movies, I decided to give it a chance. And it exceeded my expectations.



Spoiler Alert!

"Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies a few days later. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Center for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic."

The acting is excellent, the cinematography very clever and the plot, well, it was realistic. It showed how people react in the face of fear, the decisions they make: kidnapping, punting products that have no proven cure benefit, selflessness, looting, rioting. There is no clear black and white, just shades of grey. We really are after saving our own skins at the expense of others. It's a cynic view but deep down we know that humans are not the nicest animals out there.

And the scary part: Something like that could happen at any time, we know how fast the Spanish Flu and the Avian Flu spread.

I give it 8/10.

Wisdom of the Week



Not only was Betty White the sausiest of the Golden Girls, but she had a wicked sense of humour too.



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Banana Cupcakes



I had some very mushy bananas and what better idea than to make banana cupcakes on a glorious Sunday? This recipe makes 12 muffins.


Ingredients
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour sifted
4 eggs
1/4 tsp nutmeg
225g mashed bananas
100g chocolate chips

Icing
200g cream cheese / mascarpone
175g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
edible glitter, and decorations

How to:
1. Pre-heat an oven to 180C. Place baking cases in muffin tins.
2. Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar , flour, eggs and nutmeg and beat until smooth.
3. Add the mashed bananas and chocolate chips.
4. Spoon the batter in the cases and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the muffins when cooked and allow to cool down.
5. To make the icing, slowly beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence together.
6. Swil or pipe the icing onto the cooled muffins and decorate with edible glitter and decorations.
7. EAT!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Meat Issue

I just read an article that got me thinking about what we eat. There is a huge debate / flame war going on out there and it's time I add my two cents worth regarding


OMNIVORES vs. VEGETARIANS vs. VEGANS


So lets get facts straight.


Omnivores eat everything. Veggies, starches, meat, fish and other animal products. I'm one of them. I thoroughly enjoy animal products.


Vegetarians fall in many categories. You have have the ones that will dairy products only , those that will eat fish only, those that will eat dairy and fish only.


And the Vegans, who will not eat ANY animal based product, or wear products made from animals (wool, leather, silk).


Then you have those on paleodo-diets who only eat veggies and meat. No grains. Apparently that's what our ancestors ate. I disagree. We certainly ate grains but only when in season, and veggies only in season and meat when we could catch it. The cave man did not have the best diet. Having done an Atkins diet (low carb high protein) once that viciously rebounded on me and messed up my entire metabolism, I can tell you Paleo is not the way to go.


So the whole debate people are having is that it's cruelty to animals to eat animals, bad for natural resources to do animal husbandry, bad for natural resources to destroy large tracts of land for mono-culture crops, that we have evolved to eat both vegetables and meat, that our digestive system is not geared to eat plant matter only etc. The list is endless.


So where do I, as an omnivore stand in all this? I do believe we are meant to eat animal protein. Our digestive system is not designed for pure vegetable diets. We haven't evolved that way. We digest meat-based iron better than plant based iron. And no, spinach is not very rich in iron. There are others plants that fare much better.


I'm not saying vegetarian diets are bad per say. Unfortunately many vegetarians don't quite consider what nutrients they need in order to be healthy and they get deficiencies and that's where the whole vegetarianism / veganism is bad for you argument comes from. I've known obese vegetarians because they predominantly ate starch. I've met on the verge of starvation vegetarians too. Not good. If you buy the correct books that tell you what plants have the right nutrients for you and how to balance your food, then you'll be a healthy vegetarian / vegan.


It's all about doing your research properly.


I think modern society consumes far too much meat. Fish is healthier, but you then have the dilemma of depleting the oceans resources and destroying marine ecosystems from poor fishing methods. Buy only from sustainable fishing practices. SASSI has a great booklet that will help you determine which fish you should buy.


The Meat-Free Monday is a good idea. But I recommend you extend it to every second day meat-free. There are many options to get protein: beans, chickpeas, soya (though soya monocultures are the reason for the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, so I say stay away from soya) and Quinoa.


It's all about balance. A bit of protein (the size of your palm), lots of veggies and fruit (the more colourful the better) and some starch. If you have a balanced diet you will not suffer from cholesterol, overweightness, heart disease...


Nuff said!


PS: Dear Vegans, let your babies have mother's milk. They need it more than your morals / ideals. Let them get mommy's antibodies, let them grow strong and healthy. Only when they are onto solids should you decide to go vegan on them. Don't forget the importance of omegas for their brain development too. Before you even think of bringing them up on vegan diet from day one go to your dietician and follow their advice. Seriously. It's for your baby's own good!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WARNING: May contain garlic

Yesterday I decided to harvest some of my home grown herbs and make my very own basil pesto. It was a huge success. I believe that had any vampires decided to have a go at me they would have disintegrated into sparkly dust.




Ingredients


Approx 50g basil (or rocket or both)


Crushed garlic (the quantity will depend if you are vampire hunting or having to go to work the next day)


Grated Parmesan (again, quantities at your discretion)


Pine nuts (or walnuts or pecan nuts)


Olive oil




Food blender is a must, be it a handheld one, or a snazzy one. Otherwise you can use a mortar and pestle and be at it for years. Your choice really.




Method


Whizz up the greens. Add the garlic, Parmesan and nuts. Whizz whizz whizz until you have a paste. Slowly add olive oil until you have the consistency you want.




That's it




Make pasta. Add pesto. Eat! OM NOM! NOM!




HEY PESTO!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

THE QUEEN HAS SENT AN EMAIL

Email from the Queen - An important announcement regarding the USA




To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)



Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.


To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:



  1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').


  2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'


  3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.


  4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.


  5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.


  6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.


  7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.


  8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.


  9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.


  10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.


  11. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).


  12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.


  13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.


  14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).


  15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

GROSS!

This is what Jodie Marsh now looks like.




Is that a human being? Is it a coconut stuffed handbag? What happened to that gorgous buxom feminine body of hers? And what is with that spray tan colour? Goose shit green?


And please, someone explain to me how, in any universe a body builder could in any shape way or form look appealing. Toned bodies are nice, but oily, shit-coloured coconut stuffed handbags / matresses? Really?


What's your verdict?

HOT or VROT








Catholic Idiocy...Again

And am I surprised? No.

An article from the local online news: Belgian arch: No divorcee teachers
Brussels - Belgium's outspoken Roman Catholic Church leader, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, stirred the beginnings of a fresh controversy on Wednesday after recommending divorcees not be allowed to teach children.

So that would mean that there would be much fewer teachers around (as if we needed less), considering the high rate of divorce worldwide. How does being divorced affect the ability to teach children? Please explain that to me. The Catholic Church is only to happy to forgive paedophile priests but not divorce? I thinketh me that they have lost the plot. And are still stuck in the 15th Century.


My lovely neighbour is a teacher. Yes she's divorced (her husband was a dick). She's religious. She's an utter darling. Telling her to not teach because she's divorced would be just plain stupid. The Catholic church really needs to learn to think.


Oh, wait. Ratzinger was elected Pope. I guess you can't teach old crusty farts to actually thing and be progressive. If the other monotheistic faiths can move with the times, why can't the Catholic church?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What men really want

My great (and lecherous) friend Taltos sent me a great article on what men really want. It's quite an eye-opener and things start making sense when reading it. Here are some direct quotes. But I recommend you read it (whether you are man or woman).




Men hide their emotions from themselves and us.



Women assume that when men hide their issues, they have a secret plan. They don’t.



Meanwhile, what is it men really want? To be loved without expectation. To mess up without being judged. To feel emotions at their own pace. And to be allowed the simple privilege of honest talk.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ma Shrooms are growing

They are growing extremely fast. Look at them. As big as my hand. And so many of them!




I e-mailed the kit suppliers to find out what they are supposed to look like when they are ready for harvesting. I've been told that they should be ready by tomorrow! I am sooooo exited :-) NOMNOMNOM!


"Bon Apetit!"






































Sunday, October 9, 2011

Epiphany

I posted a status earlier today, at night. So many of my friends responded and I suddenly had an epiphany on how I tend to approach relationships.

I recently met a really nice guy via DatingBuzz. We chatted online for a while, decided to meet and spent an awesome Sunday together last week. We then decided to meet up again this weekend. He came over to my place, had lovely lunch, watched tons of DVDs, series etc. And nothing happened! I thought to myself "Am I misreading the signals, do I think he's interested in me but isn't, isn't he supposed to make the first move, why hasn't he..." If you know me well enough you know ten million scenarios always go through my mind. So the doubt settled in.

This morning I read my friends' comments on my status, and I realised something: I ALWAYS rush into relationships. I don't let them slowly mature from friendships into relationships. It's instant gratification. And the result: two long-term relationships who's endings hurt, and a string of short term relationships / flings that hurt me even more.

My shrink and I have spoken quite a bit about instant gratification. I reach for the sweet comforting food because it makes me feel safe and good. I rush into relationships (today's epiphany). Like Jean Anouilh's Antigone
"I want everything of life, I do; and I want it total, complete: otherwise I reject it! I will not be moderate. I will not be satisfied with the bit of cake offered for being a good little girl. I want to be sure of everything this very day; sure that everything will be as beautiful as when I was a little girl."
And I want it now. This very minute.

But I am at a stage in my life where I need to learn that gratification need not come immediately, that there is the delayed gratification. The gratification of "I haven't felt the need to eat the desert and as a result I've lost weight", of "I haven't rushed into a relationship and it's worked out for the best" (maybe friendship, maybe relationship).

Go slow. Isn't that a new lifetyle trend anyway? Go slow, get to know the guy better (as LeBiscuit recommended). You never know where it will lead. Agrippina actually said "Maybe he's a gentleman". I like that thought. I've always wanted to date a gentlemanly guy. And Taltos, it wasn't your long-distance vibes vibes that interfered. I was me expecting too much too soon.

So thank you all for making me realise this about myself. You rock! And I love you all very dearly! *MWAH*

Now let me post this before I get all emotional and teary.

PS: Next time round I'll be going to his place and he's making me dinner. That's promising. AND I WILL TAKE IT SLOWLY! No need to rush.

Darn it all to heck!

Hmm... I think that if after a very long second "date" the guy hasn't made a move it's probably only destined for friendship. Damn! He's a really nice guy to boot. So where the fuck will I meet the right guy who'll be as interested in me as I'll be in him? Or have I lost my mojo?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Band of the Week

I'm always having fun putting unknown bands (to me) on my ipod. This week I discovered a band I totally like: HURTS.


Do yourselves a favour and go listen to them. They've been around a while it seems, but never heard their songs. They're classified pop-alternative-rock. If you feel like listening to some soft-cock-rock meets Depeche Mode, meets highly orchestrated melodies this is the band for you. The lead singer has a gorgeous voice. The lyrics are stunning. I'm hitting the repeat button. A lot.



from the album Happiness (2010)


There are times when we question the things we know.
We never thought that the cracks would begin to show.
We both know love is not that easy,
I wish I'd known that it would be this hard
To be alone. Please, come home!

The loverless nights, they seem so long,
I know that I'll hold you someday.
But until you come back where you belong,
It's just another lonely Sunday.

Is this the end of the love that has just begun?
I always hope that the best, it was yet to come.
So please come back, don't you leave me
We're both so young, I know you need me too.
And there'll always be, times like these.

The loverless nights, they seem so long,
I know that I'll hold you someday.
But until you come back where you belong,
It's just another lonely Sunday.
Maybe we'll see that we were wrong,
If ever we look back one day
But till you come back where you belong
It's just another lonely Sunday.

Lonely. Lonely.
If you don't come back tomorrow,
I'll be left here in the cold,
If you don't come back tomorrow,
I'll go.

The loverless nights, they seem so long,
I know that I'll hold you someday.
But until you come back where you belong,
It's just another lonely Sunday.
Maybe we'll see that we were wrong,
If ever we look back one day
But till you come back where you belong
It's just another lonely Sunday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I have baby oyster mushrooms!




Still babies, but there nevertheless! I'm a proud mommy and I can't wait to harvest them. They look a bit obscene, but soon they will be yummi goodness in my plate.

The light at the end of the tunnel

It has been nearly a month since I've weaned myself off the anti-depressants and I haven't felt this good in a long, long time. I have been monitoring myself very carefully. The last thing I want is to head down that hellhole again. And bar one hiccup, my mood has been 8/10 most days.


Going to the shrink has also taught me a lot about myself. Things that I would not normally have picked up on and when made aware of it, suddenly make sense. It's quite an awakening.


Many factors have played a part, the most important one being the new job. Chinabean told me the other day "They do say that change is as good as a holiday - I'd say the proof is in watching you right now!!!" It's a great affirmation when friends notice the change. The work load is quite hectic, but I am learning so many new things. I'm finally coming into my own. A great reward when colleagues compliment you on work well done and clients request further work from you. And I got to see my very first mining blast. It was HUGE and totally awesome! I'm still on a high from it.


One of the fun things about being off the drugs is not only the happy factor, but that my libido has returned. I had forgotten it was this high. I do feel it needs to be held at bay with a cattle prod lest it try and take me over, but it's good to have the old friend back. Thank goodness for the Rabbit and Duracell batteries.


Life is good. May it continue!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another gold star for yours truly

Another kg down! Booya! Without even making an effort. Being happy in the work place is doing me a world of good. Happy dance!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Get Thee To Balkanology

The term is EPIC!


Balkanology presents: Boom Pam Live from Israel, A Fiddle East party.

Joburg, Carfax, 15th October 2011
Doors: 9pm
Tickets: R120 door and online: www.webtickets.co.za

DJs:
Toby2shoes
Maoriginal

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=254063854629784

We are absolutely ecstatic to present BOOM PAM! A Mediterranean Balkan Surf Rock Tuba driven power trio seasoned with dueling guitares and alcohol soaked wedding party ecstasy, all the way from Israel.

≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠
Tel Aviv based band Boom Pam was formed in 2003, plays a mixture of Mediterranean, rock and surf music in a format of a unique power trio consisted of Electric Guitar, Tuba and Drums. Boom Pam have been playing in Clubs, Bars, Live Venues and Music Festivals.
Their live act was an immediate success in all forms and scale raging from a tied Concert Halls to wild alcohol soaked parties. Playing in Tel-Aviv and all around Israel, the show took place in venues of all sizes, from private houses to the Philharmonic.
Highlights were warming up for both the reunion show of legendary band "Minimal Compact" and Emir Kusturitza's "Non Smoking Orchestra" and showcasing at WOMEX 2006 (the World Music Expo) which all launched they're worldwide touring career.
Boom Pam's debut album was recorded in Frankfurt for the German label "Essay Recordings". The band co-produced the album with DJ Shantel. This LP was released during the Spring of 2006 and is being distributed throughout the World. The album went straight into the top ten list of the European World Music Charts.
Second album "Puerto Rican Nights" was released on 2008 by "Essay Recordings" as well.
Back in Israel, the band kept being involved in numerous artistic collaborations. Amongst others: Working with the "Bat-Sheva" Dance Ensemble, releasing several Israeli hit singles, recording music for films and collaborating with the New York based band, the Balkan Beat Box. Recently played a concert with the Israeli philharmonic orchestra.
Their debut show in North America was at the globalFEST 2007, held in NYC. Afterwards they have toured throughout the USA and Canada, opening for the legendary VENTURES in California, playing in the Winnipeg folk festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival.
In mid 2010 Boom pam released their 3rd album at Tel Aviv based label "Audio Montage", followed by appearance at SXSW and three European tours.
Boom Pam have been playing together for 8 years and have been touring extensively around the globe (Europe, U.S.A., Canada, Mexico and South Africa), continues to blend magic Surf Guitars kicked by Tuba and heavy Drums on an ecstatic Mediterranean spicy trip.

The Bliss Bubble

I'm in a bliss bubble. It rocks! I recommend it. The receipe:



  1. Be in a job you enjoy with awesome colleagues.


  2. Visit dear friends you haven't seen in a long time.




  3. Go on a date with a guy who does actually look like his photo (hot) and with whom you end up spending 8 hours just chatting and having a great time with. More please?!

And even though I woke up at 3 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, got stuck for 45 minutes on Jan Smuts because the robots were out at Hyde Park and there were no pointsmen on duty and I could put my head on my desk and have a good snooze, I am happy.


So I need to share the Love. Or is that Lesbians?


Wallace Wells: If you want something bad, you have to fight for it. Step up your game, Scott. Break out the L-word.


Scott Pilgrim: Lesbian?


Wallace Wells: The other L-word.


Scott Pilgrim: ... Lesbians?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sustainability

As an environmental consultant I try to practice what I preach. I re-use and recycle anything that I can, and I try to consume only what I need. I realise that one person can't make a difference, but if I can change a few people's attitudes and behaviour then that will make a difference. I know I am not perfect and I love my little luxuries...and sushi. But I try.


Now anyone who knows anything about me knows my passion for gardening. Ever since I moved out of my folks place I've been pottering in the dirt of containers and flowerbeds. Some projects have been successful, some not so much.


I like hardy unfussy plants. Plants that won't complain if I forget to water them. Plants that will thrive with minimal interference. Hence the vast majority of plants in my garden are indigenous and hardy. And they are happy. The fact that my Black-eyed Susan creeper has taken over one wall with only the help of a nylon trellis, that my Albuca are starting to flower profusely, again, are testimony.


The cats love it too. My jungle garden means there are LOTS of birds and lizards. And lizards are crunchy little buggers that are fun to catch and it's even more fun to leave a wobbly bit at the bottom of the stairs for me to step on (thanks a lot girls!).


I digress.


In these days of high consumerism, there is a growing trend towards growing one's own food. Whether it's in containers on a balcony or in the garden. Whether it's stylised, mixed in with the normal garden plants or a hodge podge jungle garden, anything goes.

So I have decided to embark on a new project. Veggie gardening. My garden in small but I have much space on my patio. I am going to attempt a vertical veggie garden. One wall is bare and sunny and the perfect place to hang up pots full of yummi nutricious goodness.

Meet the seedlings I have bought from my local garden centre. And my organic veggie gardening book Jane's Delicious Garden. It will help me get growing and I am very excited to see how it all works out.

Here is what will be planted (some I already had):



  • Edible flowers and companion plants: Pansies, Nasturtiums and Marigolds.


  • Herbs: Rosemary , Sage, Thyme (lemon and normal), Basil (sweet and red), Coriander, Parsley, Chives, Marjoram, Oregano, Vietnamese Mint, Spearmint.


  • Veggies: Cherry tomatoes, Eggplant, Spinach, Strawberries, Lettuces, rocket and welsh onions.


  • And seeds (peppers, pac choi, cucumber).

I think it will work out quite well. My family and friends will probably also get a lot of overflow (depending on how successful the project is).



Pictures to follow :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Musings

Discovering civilisation had a great blog post the other day. And what was said is only too true. Getting to one's goal weight is a change of attitude, of seeing things in one's life.


So here are some things I need to look at differently:



  1. Food. It's not my enemy. There are many tasty healthy options out there that I actually like. So instead of reaching for the slap of chocolate when the sweet craving hits, I should go for the strawberries, and pat myself on the back for doing the right thing, for treating my body to something nice. I recently discovered that I actually like pawpaw/papaya. I used to avoid it. Now I generally have a Tupperware of diced strawberries and papaya at work with me to snack on. And I'm loving it!


  2. Exercise. It's not my enemy. I do actually feel good and sleep really well on the days I do exercise. The fact that I was a snort-blort monster last week and on site most of this week didn't help, but I can go out and do stuff this weekend. Ha!


  3. Accept thine body shape! I am hourglass/pear shaped. Busty, narrow-waisted, hippy and (unfortunately) thunder-thighs. Damn genetics! I love the fact that I have cleavage. Weapons of Mass Distraction! The narrow waist is great (though currently too well padded), the butt is great. Bootylicious yeah! But those damn thighs....And nearly all my weight sits there. And it's the hardest part to loose weight from. But they are part of me and I need to accept that. But it's damn hard. Looking at myself in the mirror and seeing how out of proportion my body is between the bum and the knees. It feels like the thighs belong on some other body. Do you remember that game we played as kids where we folded a piece of paper in three. One person would draw the head, fold the paper, the next person would draw a torso and the third the legs and when the paper was unfolded you would get a really funny person. That's me. I want to get to the point where I only have 1-max 2 size differences between my waist and my butt. Currently my waist is a 36 and I wear a size 42 pants. Just to get the damn thighs in. I struggle to find pants. All they make are narrow legs, even the Levis Eva range don't fit. I need super wide pant legs. And of course I always end up making tons of alterations at the waist as it's always too big. But yeah. Accepting my shape is the hardest thing.

It's not going to be easy. At all. But I need to reward myself mentally for every good choice I make. Maybe I will make a chart where I award myself stars for every kg I loose / size I go down, black stars for when I seriously slip up (like eating the whole slab of chocolate). Do you, dear readers, have any ideas I could use?

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Hiccup

I had a hiccup yesterday. Not one of those diaphragm ones that you can get rid of by drinking a glass of water upside down. (Yes, it DOES work! Ask me how.) But an emotional hiccup.

Yesterday was one of those gloriously beautiful late spring /early summer days. Blue skies, warm, peaceful... Just perfect. One of those days you want to spend outdoors with family, friends and a significant other. But there I was, alone, feeling rather sorry for myself. I was totally listless, moody and weepy, wishing I was with friends rather than by myself.

You may be asking “So why didn’t you get hold of family and friends?” Well, the parentals are in France for my Gran’s 90th so option (a) was not applicable. And I seriously considered phoning up friends to see if we couldn't maybe do something. But I feel guilty organising something so last minute. My friends have their own lives to live and I certainly do not expect them to go out and do stuff at a drop of a gloomy person's hat.

You’re melodramatic and silly and worry too much, and you can call us anytime!” I can hear those friends reading this post say. I know. I know. But there still is guilt. I am a giver, not a taker. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that they can come and talk to me anytime. I don't often ask for help / support fom other people. It's not the best thing in the world but I'm working on it. I know I can't only give, otherwise there will be nothing left of me to give. I need to "gift" myself more often.

I am also often ruled by the irrational side of me. I tend to keep it buried under the efficient rational me, but it does get the better of me at times. Like it did yesterday. The irrational side was saying "You're single and are unlikely to find a man who will appreciate you like you should be". The rational side "Bullshit. He'll come along one day." Irrational "yeah! When I'm 80." You get the drift.

So why was I thinking relationships when I'm happy being single? Was it seeing the ex at Billious' 30th and having that kick-in-the-gut feeling at how good he looks in a suit? Even though he behaved in a selfish and arrogant manner in the past and I bear him a grudge. Is it seeing so many of my dear friends in successful relationships? Or was it simply that it was too stunning a day to be spending alone? Probably a bit of all of the above.






I think I was just tired. It was Billious' 30th birthday bash the night before and I got to bed late and stupidly woke up early. Of course once I'm semi-awake there's no going back to sleep for me. So after lunch I put my picnick blanket under the tree, some pillows and had a light nap with the cats. I did feel a bit better after that, and so decided to spend the rest of the afternoon reading The Science of the Discworld and tanning my legs (pasty white legs not sexy).






So in the meantime I will look at this picture taken at Billious' party and reflect on the fact that I have AWESOME friends!










Starring in no particular order yours truly, Ming the Merciless, Miss Wolf, Celtic Woman and Miss ADHLAS.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Foiled

Foiled...by the dreaded head cold. 3 days of snotty grotty nose and lymph glands the size of Lesotho. So 3 days of no gym :-( But on the good side I've lost 1kg. Woohoo! Eating healthy is paying off. One gold star for me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul

We have coffee stations dotted around the office. Quite necessary in a building full of engineers. At my nearest station, the container with hot chocolate is labelled Chicken Soup.


I guess hot chocolate is chicken soup for the soul.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Step In The Right Direction

Friday I boldly went where I have not gone in a very very very long time: The Gym!


I am finally in a frame of mind where I am feeling enthusiastic for the future and I've decided to start exercising again. I do pilates once a week, but that's for spinal rehabilitation, and I need to be physically more active.


So off I trundled to Planet Fitness. I was planning on going to Virgin Active which is literally opposite work. But when I found out the monthly fee (with discount) I almost had a heart attack. R400/month! Seriously? Apparently they give you a hot towel and there's a fruit and juice bar and all sorts of flimflammery. I don't care. I just want to exercise.


Thank goodness PF was a fraction of the price. And they had an awesome special of 4 months free Personal Trainer classes. That way I can learn lots of exercise without hurting myself. Phew!


It is my aim to go most weekdays after work to avoid the traffic. Should be feasible. Friday I walked, cycled and did that cross-trainer machine thingy. It was a great feeling!


So here's to a leaner better me!


PS: Of course it helps to stick to a healthy diet. That's the next hurdle. Fruit as snacks need to be implemented (reaches for the diced papaya and strawberries)



Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bitterness and Healing

I have been single for two months now and I'm enjoying it.

But I need to write this blog for some emotional cleansing. Maybe if I write it down I will finally be able to let go of the bitterness inside me.

In December last year I started dating H. And it was great. He's an intelligent guy, has great knowledge on numerous subjects, and, yes, he was great in bed. We only saw each other on weekends because he lives in a different city.

Everything was going hunky dory until I started feeling that he wasn't putting any effort in the relationship. He was being lazy. The fact that I was on increased dosage of anti-depressant didn't help my libido, but I was able to overcome that. Yet, things just continued spiraling downwards and I was increasingly unhappy about the lack of effort or anything that H invested in us.

Eventually, we decided to call it quits. And he said to me "I told you from the start that I just wanted a fun relationship". Uh! Say what?! That conversation never happened. We did have a talk about finances and who pays for what kind of thing.

(Please note, the guy is stingy. We had our regulars sushi night yesterday and there was no all you can eat special and he was very upset that L&G who had organised the venue had not factored that in. Lazy and stingy. And a dick.)

So nothing about what we expect from the relationship. At the start it was great fun, we had an awesome time together. ..Oh! Wait. Fun as in no-strings attached booty call fun. That's kind of fun he meant. Gee thanks for not letting me know. I feel cheap and used. And extremely bitter.

And here I thought a 38 year old guy would be serious about relationships. If he wanted booty call he should have gone for some silly 20 year old.

A later incident made me even more resentful. We play D&D together and H is the DM and there are 7 players in the group. 4 of the guys come from Centurion and 3 of us from Joburg. So it seemed fair to play at the DM's place in Centurion. Recently, one of the players had to bow out to to unforeseen family drama. So that left 6 people, 3 from Centurion, 3 from Joburg. We continued playing in Centurion.

One day, I couldn't catch a lift to the game and I sent out a friendly email asking if maybe we could play at my house this one time as I'd be really bummed to miss out on the game. The guys responded happily with didn't have an issue changing the venue this one time. All except for H. He was so vociferous in his answering email I was just knocked off my feet! And I know that the only reason he did not want to change the venue the one time was that he's to lazy to get his stuff together and go somewhere. See tat word. Lazy. Yeah. I think that had he used a more apologetic tone in his response I would have been OK with missing out on the game. So I told him that due to his unflexibility and selfishness he'd just lost himself another player.

I then sent out a mail to the other guys telling them of my decision and that I was going to miss them a lot and that I truly enjoyed playing with them. The responses I got back from the guys were so sweet, I felt validated that they at least liked me and enjoyed playing with me too.

So yes. H is a dick. A lazy fat one. And may he regret his decision forever.

Last night, H was the last to arrive at sushi and G who was sitting next to me told me to breathe out and relax because he instantly noticed how I tensed up as soon as H rocked up. G also passed on a book voucher H had given to him to give me for my birthday. And I gave it straight back to H. He looked confused and said "But it's for you." To which I relied "I don't want it" and walked out.

Sigh..Phew... I think I feel better. I'm just so puzzled as to why I'm so hurt. I obviously had deeper feelings than I thought I had, and that feeling used made it worse.

I am not someone's booty call. I am a beautiful, intelligent and educated woman and any man who does not realise and appreciate that is not worth an iota.