Finding a piece of peace

I love my home, but I also love my adopted home. There are so many differences and so many similarities between the two places I call home: Cape Town and London (read more about that here).

 Cape Town is like a slow leisurely drive on a Sunday afternoon, with the fresh breeze blowing through your hair and the sun setting just behind the mountain top. London is a little more like changing into fifth gear, putting the full weight of your foot on the accelerator, running a red and coming to a screeching halt outside the Morley’s down the road.
Turn Your FOMO into JOMO.png

Over the past year and a half, I’ve experienced so many changes in my life: new job; new flat; new-ish country; new friends and plenty of new adventures. It’s been a busy time with so many adjustments, many disappointments, major heartaches, many celebrations, many frustrations and many unbelievable moments. With so many changes it can be hard to keep grounded and I can honestly say that it’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

For the longest time, I’ve been struggling to find a balance in my life. You know how it goes, as soon as one area of your life is going great, suddenly something happens in a different area of your life and totally upsets the rhythm of your flow.

Living at full-speed in a such a busy city, where FOMO is a real thing, it’s often tough to find a little peace. But  after a lot of soul-searching, I’ve  finally come to realise the value of down time and giving your soul some room to breathe.

As a serial over-committer,  carving out some ‘me time’ is still something I have to work very hard at, but I’m getting better at it. Also, I now have no shame in admitting that I won’t make it for your 10am brunch date next Sunday, as I have a plans with my duvet and my new book! LONG LIVE CHILL DAYS!!!

tumblr_n67bjb2mlt1r5gmiko1_500

Image source:

FOMO: https://b-is4.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/do-you-suffer-from-fomo.html

Lazy Days: http://weheartit.com/entry/group/48680185 

The Unbearable Grief

Sad girl holding umbrella (Image source: http://www.hercampus.com/school/maryland/5-ways-avoid-winter-sadness)

“Grief has never looked so beautiful. Quite a paradox, as surely it must be the hardest emotion we have to bear.

It is said the only way out of grief is through it. Otherwise, it can hold us in depression or send us into a madness that can take lives.

Even in death, Ophelia is held in grief as firmly as her heavy dress holds her in water. The haunting subject makes this painting an unlikely favourite.”

– Tate Britain on ‘Ophelia’ by Millais

The ‘human’ in human error

 

 

Oops (Image source: http://www.wrestlecrap.com/icfyt/29204/)

In a world where we rely so heavily on technology to manage our daily lives, I sometimes wonder what the future holds for the human race. From smart tech in the home to wearable technology, the ‘smart revolution’ has changed and influenced nearly every aspect of our lives.

Now, I am certainly no prude and tech plays a huge role in my life, and in particular my work. However, when it does go all glitchy, (which let’s face it, it so often does) we go through the usual process of:

  1. getting frustrated
  2. trying to solve the problem ourselves
  3. rebooting
  4. getting it to work again (or if this fails…go to five)
  5. approaching a professional ‘fixer’ to get it working /OR/ giving up and chucking it

My job involves sitting at a desk all day, stringing together words to fill up blank pages on a blank screen, which then gets cut, copied, trimmed and churned into creamy butter, dripping off the pages of high spec laptop screens. Typos always ruin teh moment. (Image source: http://www.lolsotrue.com/usertag/typos)

By no means is it an easy job. I don’t always get it right and because I’m only human, I sometimes make mistakes. But lately, I have begun to question whether we’re more forgiving of bugs in our tech systems, than the bugs in our fellow man.

If your Fitbit’s not working properly and you’ve tried all of the steps above, you’d probably get rid of it, get a replacement or ask for a refund. I’d probably do the same.

But have our friends / colleagues / teammates / customer service agents, become as replaceable? Or have we just become less tolerant of human error and more reliant on tech to deliver near-perfect results. I suspect it may be a bit of both.

What’s new pussycat?

Source: www.piccsy.com 

Some of you may have thought that I’d completely disappeared off the face of the earth, but alas, Google Latitude has found me. There’s no hiding from those sneaky satellites. 

For the past month or so, I have been, for lack of a better phrase, ‘in hiding’. This is partly due to lack of blogging inspiration, planning my wedding, picnicking in London’s lovely parks during the few days of Summer we get, catching a tan and my plan to take over the world (ala Pinky & The Brain). Ha ha ha!
But a big dose of reality, a small dose of guilt and an equal measure of inspiration has helped my find my way back to my center. Hummmmm….!!!
I’ve been battling for a while now to find some balance in my life. The past six months have seen me move homes, move countries, move jobs, get engaged, graduate, making some major decisions, adapting to future in-laws, make new friends, say goodbye to old friends, pack up my entire life into 30kg of luggage and undergo scrutinous immigration interrogations. 
Source: www.piccsy.com
Needless to say, it’s all been exhausting and challenging. But six months down the lines, the scales finally seem to be evening out and I feel more at peace. It’s taken a while to get to this point, but I’m finally beginning to feel some relief. Nothing in my life is going according to plan at the moment, but somehow, it all seems to make sense. 
I guess sometimes the best made plans, are the plans you never make. 
As an added bonus, some light entertainment for your Tuesday morning, compliments of the legendary Tom Jones.

Back in the zone

Hello all you Beautiful Blog Beauties,

After catching up on some Glee episodes last night, I’m sitting in the office jamming it up to some old school, Fleetwood Mac to be exact and I’ve gotta say these folks were are the shizz nizz. So sorry for being so quiet for the past few days, but the past two weeks have been a bit of whirl wind of activities and festivities.

I spent some time in the country side living la vie simple (a.k.a. The Simple Life) which was surprisingly refreshing, then enjoyed a lovely bout of Summer flu, finally finished my very long and  tiring year of studies, celebrated wedded bliss with some old friends and now here I am back in the zone.

These past two weeks have felt like a bit of a marathon, but a fun and unexpected one that has kept me on my toes constantly. Talk about unexpected, while walking in Woolies the other day I heard freakin’ Christmas Carols playing in the store and I had to take a minute to digest this highly suspicious activity. But then it dawned upon me that Christmas is only one month away. Can you believe it?

Just when I thought I could finally get a bit of a break and catch up on a year’s worth of sleep, the festive season arrives baring great tidings of great celebrations. Well, I guess the only thing left to do in these very unexpected situations is embrace the change, slap on your cape and call upon your super hero powers to help you survive it all or just turn on some Fleetwood Mac 😀

Image sources: 
http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/8000000/Glee-Wallpaper-glee-8088197-1280-800.jpg
http://piccsy.com/

Things that baffle me

So from time to time I find myself lost in thought while contemplating certain things that I find, well baffling. Things like:

1. How during a very lengthy speech, someone always says ‘if there’s one thing I want you to take away from today, its this…’ and then proceeds to tell you ten million things.

2. Motorists driving in the fast lane, when they know the top speed on their little lightning bolt is 60.

3. Cashiers who ask how may I help you and then proceed to park you off to the side while they help all the other customers, because your request is way too complicated, so you get to go last – Whoopee!

4. Mopping the kitchen floor last, because you wont need to go in there for another 20minutes while it dries and then annoyingly needing something in there 5 minutes later and messing up the wet floor.

5. Parent’s telling their kids: ‘I’m not gonna speak to you again’ after repeatedly telling their kids to behave and knowing that they’re probably going to have to say it another 20 times before they listen. Why not just tell them the truth and say: ‘I’m going to keep reprimanding you for the rest of your life’ – that’ll shut them up.

6. Annoying marketing people calling you up and enquiring how you are and then proceeding to tell you how they are without any enquiry from you. I didn’t ask, coz I wasn’t interested and no, I’m not buying whatever you’re selling!

7. Security taping your bag with yellow tape as you enter a store, to prevent you from stealing, because obviously nothing will get past that ‘hard core’ little piece of sticky yellow tape.

8. How the weather seems absolutely cold and miserable when you leave home, so you put on some layers, only to find that its a bright Summers day when you get to work and proceed to sweat your pits out for the rest of the day in your snuggly jersey.

9. Grabbing a quick bite to eat on your own at a restaurant and getting asked ‘will anyone be joining you Ma’am?’ Well, yes actually, I was saving that seat for my little green Martian friend.

10. Desperately dashing toward the loo while trying to prevent the biggest little waterfall from exploding in your pants, getting your pants unzipped and your bottom on the seat just in the nick of time, only to realise that there’s only one sheet of bog roll left.

Anyone else feel baffled by these things? Maybe its just me, maybe its just the way the world works or maybe I’m just a tad bit cynical. Oh well, now you know.


Image source: http://piccsy.com/

Blogfest

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across this little experiment called the Blogfest, co-hosted by fellow blogger Matthew MacNish. As a social media devotee, I thought it my duty to share the concept with all of you.

The idea behind it is to introduce three of your favourite blogs to your readers and then visit the list of blogs, which other bloggers (participating in the blogfest) have nominated as their favourites. The point of it all is to start following other blogs that might have flown under your radar before and possibly find bright, shiny new blogs that tickler your fancy. In short; Pay it forward.

So, although the list (see it here) has now officially closed and I’m a little late to getting this news out to all of you, here are some of my absolute favourite blogs

1. For quirky little tales of adventure and random little tit-bits about foreign colleagues, you need to check out Peas on Toast.

2. For all the latest gossip and having a go at silly celebrities, I simply love Hurricane Vanessa

3. For hilarious emo comics and rants over turnstiles, Candy for Breakfast always makes my day.

4. For daily little bouts of inspiration and to really get your taste buds watering, Jhordan’s Sister is the ultimate indulgence.

5. For absolutely gorgeous photographs of the cutest little couples, Roberta De Lilly’s shots are my absolute favourite.

6. For extremely witty and sarcastic humour, I find The Oatmeal, absolutely hilarious!

Ok, so I know that’s more than three, but hey, at least I didn’t give you my entire blog roll. Check out these really awesome blogs and get a taste of something different. 

The Bountiful Bake Off

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending some time in the company of some lovely ladies at the very lush Grand Daddy Hotel. My fellow blogger Jhordan’s Sister was the hostess with the mostest and organised the great little battle of the bakers.

So we all showed up on Sunday morning with our Tupperware and a very healthy appetite. My little creation was a Moist Chocolate Mouse Cake topped with ganache and fresh strawberries.

My Moist Chocolate Creation

The mission seemed simple at first, consume large dosages of bubbly and sample all the lovely baked goodies in the room. The morning got off to a great start with lots of chatter and bubbly going around the room, but by the end of the afternoon I was good and ready to roll out of the hotel after consuming my weight’s worth in cake.

The Winners of the day

To round off the festivities a winner was chosen and won a cute little apron by yet another blogger, The Sewing Room. The best part of the event was that I’d never met any of these ladies irl (in real life) and that we’d only met via Twitter or Blogger. I guess it just goes to show what the power of social networks can do and I also proves that not everyone you meet online are weird/ stalkers/ mass murderers/ insane/ living in their mother’s basement/  collecting your Facebook profile photos, printing them off and sticking them in an album that they show off to family, telling them you’re their friend.

Some of us, are actually fairly normal…see 😀

Normality is overrated anyway.
Image sources:

Don’t break formation!

Conventional is a good fallback position isn’t it? Well, I’d sure like to think so sometimes. For me conventional is equated to familiarity, stability, assurance, normality and all those other wonderfully safe sounding words. There have been many times in my adult life that I’ve been tempted to convert to a more conventional lifestyle. After all isn’t everyone’s aim to be ‘normal?’

But, people are often ostracised for going against the ‘norm’, for being different, or not living conventional lifestyles. It’s not always easy doing things differently and not conforming to societal standards and sometimes the alternative seems far easier, even I’ll admit that. But, I think individualism is one of the most significant aspects of the human species. If it weren’t for individualism, we would never have had an Einstein or a Martin Luther King Jr, or a Andy Warhol or a Michael Jackson, or the Hippie Movement for that matter.

So maybe conventional lies in the unconventional. Perhaps crazy equates to normal and conformity is also radical. After all if we’re all trying so hard to be different all the time, who’s to say that they weren’t right when the said: ‘the more we change, the more we stay the same’?

Images from Piccsy.com