Thursday, August 25, 2011

I have an addiction...

...for any garments created by Arwen Garmentry. From her corsets to her couture I want more more more!

The proof of my addiction:
  • In terms of corsets I already have 1 steel boned underbust, 1 waist cincher, 2 merry widows, 3 bodices and 1 girdle.
  • In terms of couture I have the most kick-ass tangerine-coloured Circle Skirt , a Warp Top (the same colours but in reverse), a Garlic Jacket and a stunning fushia Steampunk Barber-sleeve Top.
My next purchase is the skirt version of this:

In case you're wondering, that's a bustled dress. I'm hoping that the stripped black and white cotton I have chosen is still in stock. Sadly enough the gorgeous material that dress is made of is sold out.

Why do I have so much? Not only for the sheer gloriousness of the items,but also because of the luxuriousness of the fabrics, the fact that all her clothes are custom hand made and the superb craftsmanship and quality of the garments.

I am getting friends and Family onto the addiction bandwagon. LadyItalia had a corset dress for her wedding and my mom has the Classic Ramshorn Shirt.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Society and Women

Women's roles over our thousand years of history have regularly changed. Some good, some bad and in every strata of society they have been different. I'm not going into all of them because I would end up writing a book and many books of this kind have already been written.

But there are some things that grate my carrot. There is this huge and ridiculous pressure from Western Society that, as a woman of the 21st century, you should be in a successful relationship / marriage, have a career, kids and a mortgage by the time you turn 30. And that that should you not have achieved these milestones then you would be an unsuccessful spinster for the rest of your life and that you will be forever unfulfilled because you do not have children

What a load of BS! And sadly this nonsense is perpetuated my media and chickflicks. No wonder our generation is one of very confused women.

Career. Not everyone is cut out for a career, as we aren't all super competitive people. I'm 31 and only now coming into my own in terms of my work. Will I ever be a career woman. I don't know. I'm not competitive. I like having a life outside work. Only time will tell.

Regarding kids. I don't want any. Reasons:
  1. I don't like them. Simple as that. I have no maternal feelings towards the critters. I'm happy for my friends who are happy to be having them, but please do not expect me to gush over them. And what is it with women speaking to babies in high-pitched squeaky voices. If I was those kids I'd puke all over them. I don't speak to my cats that way and I consider them my fur babies.
  2. Our planet is severely overpopulated. Why bring spawnlings into the world where there will be a serious lack of resources in the near future.
  3. Bringing up kids is extremely expensive and time consuming. You loose all your independence and money. Yes that is a very selfish attitude on my part, but I rather like my independence.
Thank goodness my parents don't care if they have grandchildren or not. Thank goodness that most of my girlfriends are in no hurry to have kids or don't want any. So I don't get that shocked "What's wrong with you that you don't want kids" spiel from them. And those who do have kids don't ostracise me for it.

I'm grateful my parents had me. Part of me is sad that I am the last in line with the family surname. The only other person with the surname is a distant cousin who hasn't had kids either. But hey, that's how the cookie crumbles and I won't cry over it.

Relationships. I'm very happy single. Being an only child I've learned to be happy by myself. And this is something my mother told me and she has been spot on about it.
"If you cannot be happy by yourself, you will never be happy in a relationship. A significant other is not there to complete you, but to complement you."
Too true. I have known serial daters, who could not be on their own for any period of time and were always flitting fro one person to the next, never happy with what came their way. I'm in no rush to be in a relationship. Over the years I have found out what I want in a man and I will not settle for less. (That's another story that will be told another time).

Mortgage. In this economic climate, it's a tricky one. And with the house prices in South Africa getting a bond is no easy task. No such thing as 100% bonds with low interest rates. My friend L'Emmerdeuse and her husband bought their first flat in Paris. A 100% bond wit no interest! So unfair. I bought my duplex with the help of my folks. There was no way I could have done by myself.

So please, the perpetrators of this BS, please STOP IT! I am not missing anything by not having kids. I am happily single and I have a "Rabbit". I am leading my life at my own pace and enjoying it thankyouverymuch!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What I am NOT going to miss...

...from my old job is the piece of shit laptop and the non-existent network that FAILs at a sneeze.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Food: 1 meelion vs. Me: 0

After a weekend of festivities, I gingerly stepped on my scale this morning and went to hide under my duvet with shame. Eish!

Weight needs to be lost! Like 30kg. I'm not kidding. That's how much I put on since I started university, and even then I wasn't super slinky. I just want to be healthy again. I would like to drop down one top size, back to ye good old 34, and not have rolls of blubber frolicking around my midriff. I would like to fit into a size 36-38 pants again, not an abominable 42.

Just by looking at the number you can guess that there is quite a discrepancy between my waist and my backside. 4 sizes difference! Yup. All my weight sits on my thunder thighs. I have never had a 90's - 00's fashionable shape. I'm more a busty, tiny waisted, hippy kinda girl. 50's style rock on me. Corsets rock even more. The waif-android look engendered by gay fashion designers is just not me and never will be me. (I have a whole rant about this and it will get blogged).

So have a backside and I have come to accept it over the years. With famous ladies like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, the bootylicious booty has come back in vogue. Thank goodness! But the thunder thighs, not so much. They need to go!

Now I've done tons of diets. From Low Fat No Carb to WeighLess. It works for a while, then I somehow fall off the bandwagon.

From my therapy sessions it would seem that my food issues probably stem from early infancy, ad that I've eneded up associating food with validation. My lonely teenage years coincide with my weight gain.
  • Few friends at school, eat food, feel better.
  • Lack of romance at university, eat food, feel better.
  • Unhappiness at work, eat food feel better.
Have you spotted the vicious circle yet?

I have no excuse now. I'm starting a new job and I have great friends. So I shouldn't be eating all the things I know are bad for me. I can see getting over food will take a while.

It is imperative that I loose the weight, not only for my physical well-being, but also for my emotional well-being. I plan on taking my time shifting the darn kgs. Something like 2kg a month isn't too hectic. I hope. That would mean it will take me 15 months to shift the weight.

So today I started (why do we always start things on a Monday?). Yummi strawberries, blueberries, a bit of muesli and yogurt for breakfast. Lunch at the canteen offered butternut soup with health bread. I was debating between that and a haloumi salad. I should have had the salad. The soup was yuck! and I didn't even eat half of it. Of course by the time 3 O'clock rocked up my stomach was growling and the canteen closed. Only the coffee bar was open and all they had were chips.

See! Sabotaged on day one already!

At least the GingaNinja is home early tonight and we're having chicken wraps, with tomato, lettuce, avo, mushrooms and other good things. Hmmm...Leftovers...

Of course, all the chocolates I've been given for my birthday are already planning my downfall. I will have to put them out of sight.

I also need to start doing some form of cardio-exercise. Time to get quotes for gym memberships, even though I don't enjoy the gym. Sigh...

No cheating girl. The journey from 94 to 65 starts NOW!

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Wish me luck and support!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Things I should remember...

When my baking cookbook, given to me by my dear friend Gilamonster, says that the cake serves 12, that they actually mean 12 starving Ethiopian families.

I decided, being the super efficient planner that I am, to bake one of my birthday cakes for Saturday last night . That way I can store it in the fridge and it's one less thing to do on the day. Red velvet cupcakes are also on the menu.

This particular chocolate cake recipe should fill a 24cm spring-form cake tin. Well, that it did, to the brim. And anyone who's done any baking knows that cake rises. Double at least.

So I emptied half of it into another tin. Thank goodness I have two. Now I have two cakes, one which is now sitting next to me at work.

Meet the Chocolate, Orange, Almond Cake, drowned in chocolate ganache:

PS: Yes, I did lick the bowl.

PPS: For the best Red Velvet Cake recipe...IN THE WORLD (to quote good ole' Jeremy Clarkson), go to

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I get by with a little help from my friends...

So sang The Beatles. And it's true.

As an only child I learned how to entertain myself. A very useful skill when your parents take you along to visit their friends who don't have kids.

A very useful skill when you are ostracised at school because you've been brought up by bookworm parents who read Goethe to you at age 4, you grow up surrounded by art and classical music and you're a smart kid.

My childhood was pretty lonely. I had few friends, and being in a school where the kids' parents are on contract, those friends never were around for long. The girls were worse than the boys. We are supremely bitchy things as kids, but we mostly grow up OK. I have one friend left from those days, L'Emmerdeuse, who is now happily married and living in Paris.

The teenage years were worse. Do you think girls can get bitchier? Yes they can! Thank goodness for growing up.

At University I started blossoming and formed some good friendships. Even more so when I started postgrad, joined a Dungeons & Dragons role playing group (yeah yeah yeah, girl playing D&D, geek, whatever). I also started archery and made close friends there too.

I am proud to say that I have an amazing group of friends who are always there for me, just as I am there for them.

And friends are extremely important to me. Relationships come and go, but friendships are the champagne that make life's blues go away.

So a big thank you to all the wonderful people in my life, without whom it would otherwise be most dull.

Joining the Blogosphere

After much deliberation I have finally taken the plunge and decided to join the blogosphere. A good friend, Dr. S., told me that writing a blog could be very liberating. So on her advice, here it is.

This is a time of changes in my life. The last couple of years have been difficult emotionally and physically, resulting in the triggering of a depression. As I never suffered from depression, it took me a while to realise that something was wrong. At the beginning, I though that the "off" feelings I was having were due to the fact that I was turning 30 and was single. There is this huge (and ridiculous) pressure from society that, as a woman, you should be in a relationship/married, successful in your job/career and with kids and a mortgage by the time you hit 30. If you have not achieved these milestones you will be an unsuccessful spinster for the rest of your life, and unfulfilled because you do not have children. (But that is another story to be told another time.)

So there I was, on the verge of 30, with none of the above. (I lie, I did buy a duplex. One out of four.) And in a state of panic, of "oh my god, I've hit my sell-by-date and will never be in a successful relationship or be able to shed my extra weight". Not a good place.

And I turned 30. I had a great party and it was good and I was not terrified of being 30 anymore. Yet the "off" feeling persisted. I became weepier and weepier. One day I accidentally knocked my mom's glass of wine and burst into tears. Crying over spilled wine. Seriously? THAT's when I knew something was seriously wrong.

So off to the GP, prescribed anti-depressants and off we were. I stopped feeling all weepy, but I was far from OK. I started procrastinating at work, counting the minutes till I got home. This was compounded by the fact that money was tight. Paying a bond and all associated bits and bobs were taking a strain on finances.

Early this year I got weepy again. So back to GP, upped the medication. Weepiness stopped. As did my sex drive. That scared me. I knew that taking anti-depressants can cause a loss of libido. Had I been single at the time I probably would have been OK with it, but I wasn't, and for the first time in a while I was having a great sex life. To see it fizzle out did not help matters.

The miserableness at work worsened. I didn't get a raise (then again, the raise my colleagues got were a piddly joke). My flatmate, the dear and lovely Miss ADHLAS (Attention Deficit...Hey Look a Squirrel), moved out. My relationship was not going where I wanted it to.

That's when, amazingly enough, things in my head started to fall in place. I realised that I actually disliked the company I was working for, not my colleagues though. Just the company, its management and attitude. I had been working on the same two projects for three years. I wasn't getting onto new and different projects.I was stagnating and my passion for the field I was in was being sucked dry.

So I revamped my CV and put it out there. Slowly job-interviews started trickling in. A recruiter found me and now, many months later, I am working out my last few days at the company and exited to be starting a new and better paid paid job in September. This also means that money for being paid out leave and some from my retirement annuity will be used to pay off debts. And I will have enough money on a monthly basis to not to have to use the dreaded credit card, to put more money into my bond, to restart my savings and still have enough left over to treat myself.

Miss ADHLAS gave me the name her shrink (Mrs. S), whom I've now been seeing for almost two months. These have been two months of discovery for me. I am discovering things about myself that I'd been unconsciously locking away. It hasn't been easy. This Gordian Knot of issues and emotions will take a while to loosen. Some sessions leave me hollowed out, some elated.

I broke up with the ex. He wanted a casual on his terms easy sex relationship, I wanted something serious. Since then, my back pain stopped, clearly stress related. I joined a local dating website, and started chatting to some interesting guys. I even went out on a few dates. Me, dating! Have you ever! And the guys are quite nice, if not potential significant other for me, they are excellent friend material.

I've gone back to a lower dosage of meds and I'm feeling good. My libido is coming back too. I can foresee I need to invest in more batteries.

A good friend of mine, the LouwnStar, said to me the other day that he's glad to see me getting my groove back. And it feels good.

So here I am: New beginning, new-found groove and new-found confidence. Full steam ahead.

I'm turning 31 tomorrow. I won a wine hamper! I am in a better space than ever! Come on future! Bring it on!