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

Beautiful Imperfections

Image source: http://piccsy.com/
I may not have exotic eyes lined with kohl, mesmerising you with some Persian promise.
I may not be a perfect size ten , with skinny thighs and humble breasts.
I may not have sleek black hair, with the scent of coconut oil.
I may not move with the grace of a swan or twirl like a gentle breeze.
I may not bow to your every command or soften my voice so as not to be heard.
I may not be all the things you think he needs.
I may not be your idea of beautiful, but he sees more beauty in me than I’ve ever seen in myself. 

The Adjustment Bureau

Source: http://piccsy.com/

Just to be clear, this is not a review, but in case you wanted to know what my thoughts were on the actual movie, absolute bollocks. Moving along….literally. I recently moved countries and continents for that matter with my brand spanking new hubby (check out his blog here)and it has certainly been an adjustment.

Moving from London to Cape Town was never in our plans, but here we are in sunny South Africa and I’m absolutely loving it. There’s something exciting about coming back home. All those “ordinary” things which I took for granted while growing up in Cape Town, somehow seem so shiny and new. Like waking up to the sight of Table Mountain outside my bedroom window, taking a 10 minute drive down to the beach after work and feeling the sand between my toes, enjoying the lovely fresh seafood down near the water’s edge, where it was probably only caught a few hours ago.

Source: http://goo.gl/nHXV3 

The adjustment from living in a 24 hour city, where everything works like clockwork is quite surreal. Moving back to Cape Town feels like slamming on the breaks and shifting into cruise control. The vast difference in climate, when moving from cloudy grey skies with intermittent rainfall to the sunny, sometimes windy and altogether warmer Cape climate, has also been a bit of a shock to the system.

Source: http://goo.gl/DUZey 

It’s actually quite amusing how the same things that used to annoy me about my home town, is now what I appreciate the most. To name but a few: the lady down by the corner shop who wants to know who your mother is and always asks “aren’t you family of aunty so and so who lives in so and so, who was married to such and such?”; the lack of organisation in processing any sort of official paperwork (which sometimes works in your favour), the man at the market promising to give an excellent deal on that dress- “just because you’re such a pretty lady”, the maniacs we call taxi drivers and their accomplices (taxi guards) trying to squeeze into the non-existent lane in the middle of peak hour traffic and the woman at the supermarket checkout proceeding to telling you all about the amazing dishes she makes out of the same types of mushrooms that you are buying- “you should really try it you know”, she tells me.

I’m not completely ignorant of the issues that plague our country and I realise that their are still many areas which need dramatic improvement. But, I can say in all honesty, that despite the shortcomings of this colourful and friendly place I call home, it’s good to be back. In my experience  I’ve found that sometimes you have to leave the things you love behind to truly appreciate it.

Source: http://goo.gl/rmXkh

Mommy, where do babies come from?

After having a conversation with my sister over the weekend I was reminded yet again of the amazing things that come out of kids mouths. My 5 year old nephew is a prime example and constantly challenges my thinking with his blunt questions and his simple view of the world. I wonder sometimes when life became so complicated and when I stopped being a kid.

You see my little nephew is quite a little firecracker with loads of energy, just looking at him tires me out. He’s such a free spirit, constantly jumping off things, rolling over things, tumbling onto things, running into things and throwing things over. He’s also quite a smarty pants and constantly questions my logic.

I recall many interesting conversations while driving him to and from his swimming lessons on a Wednesday afternoon and they would normally go a little something like this:

Him: Do you know where you going?
Me: Yes, I know where I’m going.
Him: But how do you know, if you’ve never been there before?
Me: Because I looked it up on the map.
Him: Are you sure you know though?
Me:  I think so, yes.
Him: I think you’re lost!
(You got me)

He questions everything and I love him for it, although it sometimes drives me insane and makes me blush with awkwardness. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s one of the reasons I cling to the childish bits that still remain in me. He reminds me that there is a certain innocence in youth, an innocence that allows for wonder and bewilderment. An innocence which doesn’t discriminate against stupid or obvious questions; which encourages you to jump, skip, hop and dive into the unknown, always knowing that there’ll be someone there to catch you or put a plaster on it if you should fall.

Source: Google Images

Curry in a hurry

I took a walk down Brick Lane today, with my heels clicking on the cobble stoned ground, as the faint sun shone down on my face. The lane as always, is a hub of activity and sensational aromas. Curry houses line the street on both sides, proudly displaying banners which are similar from one restaurant to the next. ‘Best Balti House 2010’ reads one; another says ‘Curry House of the Year 2011’; and yet another: ‘Restaurant of the year 2009’.

Clearly a marketing ploy to attract many naive foreigners, but hey who can blame them? This is after all Banglatown. Walking down Brick Lane feels like a completely different world in the middle of a very English city. There’s even touting outside of nearly every restaurant, trying to entice you into a meal in their fine establishment, while their competition across the way nudges you closer to his end of the lane.

The name is derived from the former brick and tile manufacturing that took place in the area, using local brick earth. At first the area was occupied by French Huguenots, who left their mark on many of the side streets in this area, such as Huguenot Place, where my office is situated. In the last century however, the area has been occupied by Bangladeshis.

It’s quite a popular hang out spot for trend setters, who spill over from the nearby “trendy” Shoreditch. Big hats with peacock feathers, red-dyed fur coats, thigh-high boots, purple hair and top hats are all the norm around these parts. On the weekends the lane turns into a street market, with street vendors, songstresses and Carrom Board games; providing a little ‘something’ for everyone.

The rich heritage of the area, combined with the quirky characters that hang out there and the smell of masala is what makes Brick Lane unique to me.

Image sources:
http://prashart.net/wordpress/2011/11/06/prashart-discovers-cafe-naz-bricklane/
http://www.wyndhamgrandlondon.co.uk/blog/whats-the-best-curry-london-can-offer/
http://spitalfieldslife.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/ajgordon-guy-with-bike-brick-lane-1-of-12.jpg

Right on time!

Tropicana’s major sun installation in Trafalgar Square yesterday.

 
Sometimes I wonder where I would be right now if I had made different decisions in my life. If maybe I had stayed on in that great corporate job earning a good salary, I’d be settled in a nice comfortable lifestyle. Maybe I’d have been better off if I had not gone back home to finish my degree or if I’d lived somewhere else in the world…etc…etc…etc.

For the past month or so I’ve been having a lot of ‘what if moments’. Unemployed, in a different city, with only my savings to live off, I was starting to feel a little more than out of my depth and the gloomy weather wasn’t particularly helping the situation.

But in the space of a week, that all turned around. A short visit from my family gave me the pick-me-up I needed. Two job interviews later, I landed myself a job in communications, my three-week old cold finally packed up and left and the sun decided to come out in Trafalgar Square. In short, I got my mojo back.

Things don’t always happen just the way you want them to or when you want, but when they do, it’s always right on time! 🙂

People

They say the people you love the most are also the ones who have the ability to hurt you the most. I’ve experienced this first hand and I must say its like a dagger straight to the heart. But the most amazing thing is that it doesn’t kill you, as cliché as it sounds, it does only make you stronger. 
The hurt and resentment may linger for a while, but it soon fades if you’re willing to let go of it. The longer you hold onto it though, the more it eats away at the core of you and in some cases it may eventually destroy you. 
I’ve learnt a few things about people in my lifetime. I’ve learnt that no other living creature can produce as much affection as another person and that almost no other living creature can hurt you more. I’ve learnt that people can be fickle, but that they are also caring. 
I’ve learnt that people are cruel, that they make mistakes, that they sometimes have bad judgement, that they can say hurtful things without a second thought, that they like to gossip; but most importantly, I’ve learnt that people need forgiveness. 
So let bygones be bygones. Because as George Michael said: ”People….You can never change the way they feel. Better let them do just what they will. For they will. If you let them steal your heart from you.” You can’t change ‘them’ but you can change how you react 😉
Image source: http://piccsy.com/

La Vie Simple

 a.k.a. The Simple Life

A few weekends ago I spent some time on what my best friend and I affectionately call ‘the farm’ or what is better known to others as Clanwilliam. I decided to make the long trip to this little ‘town’ outside of Cape Town to spend some time with my Bestie and her hubby who recently moved down there for work purposes.

The drive down there took forever and the more we drove, the more I felt as if any and all elements of my city life were disappearing before my eyes. Looking out at the huge expanse of dry land, all I could see for miles were mountainous landscapes and dams in between. I was expecting to arrive to at a tiny little town with gravel roads and perhaps one general store, but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

So there may not have been a shopping district as I know it, but there was in some sense a town centre, with all the major bank branches, a Spar, a restaurant and even a local pub, all of which ran on ‘country time’ (i.e. no after hours shopping). Despite this however, I thoroughly enjoyed soaking up ‘The Simple Life’ and the many great things it had to offer.

For starters, no one told me how freakin’ fantabulous the champagne is out in the country, but I certainly took full advantage of this. Then there’s the beautiful landscapes, which are simply breathtaking and the fresh air, which is nothing like the smog-filled city air and made me want to bottle up a few litres to take back with me. The best part of the weekend though was the people.

There’s something very endearing about small town people that just creeps right into your heart. They’re the most accommodating people ever, who will go out of their way to try and help you even if they don’t know you and especially if you’re an out-of-towner. There’s also the courtesy factor, where everyone greets everyone, despite them being strangers to each other and it certainly is true what they say about news spreading fast in a small town, because everyone either knows you within the first 24hours of you being there or they’re sure to know about you.

I thoroughly enjoyed my ‘mini-break’ to the farm and it certainly made me appreciate the great outdoors, made me believe in the good of humankind again and made me realise that sometimes less really is more.

Image sources:
http://lifeasahuman.com/files/2011/04/cow.jpg
http://cdnimg.visualizeus.com/thumbs/37/9b/life,quotes,simplicity,smple,life-379beb6637bec3ddff7f820a36a9d939_h.jpg