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.
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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!!!

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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 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

Today I laughed

Today I laughed. 
I laughed a good, hearty, belly ache laugh.
I laughed with all my heart and cried great big giant tears of laughter.
I laughed with so much joy, I felt as if the sun was streaming right through me.

Not because anything was particularly funny or because anyone cracked a joked. 
Not because I discovered that I had become an overnight genius.
Not because I’m slightly mental and possibly a bit delirious.
Not because my life is perfect and all my needs are met.

Source: http://weheartit.com/

I laughed because that’s what you do when you realise that life is unpredictable. 
When it dawns upon you that no matter how well you may think you have this life figured out, it will always climb up on a tight rope, do a little twirl (just to show off) and then come graciously swinging down and hit you smack bang in the face with a great big thump.

I laughed because I’m human. 
I laughed at my human disillusionment that things would go exactly according to plan, because I’d done the math, I’d seen the forecasts and according to my sources life was in fact a simple formula that could be mastered.

I laughed because life is consistent in it’s inconsistency and despite being constantly surprised by it, despite my fears and reservations, I’m happy to have this life. Happy to love and be loved, happy to experience the best of times and the worst of times, happy to laugh and cry, happy to wake up each day to a new surprise, whether good or bad.

Today I laughed. I laughed because it was all I could do.

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Source: http://piccsy.com/

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/

New beginnings

I know this may come a bit late, but Happy New Year to all of you. My new year started out in a different city, on a different continent and with a considerably colder climate. I decided to make the big leap across the ocean to pursue my career and my heart. The decision wasn’t an easy one to make.

Leaving behind my family and friends; the lovely warm Cape climate; the smell of Mum’s home cooking; and all the familiar little traits that constitute home was harder than expected. But when it came down to it, I packed up my life in 30kg of baggage and boarded a plane headed for London.  Although I’ve been here before, everything feels different this time around and my body still seems to be recovering from the shock of the extreme climate change, but I know that in time I’ll adjust.

I made a decision a few years back to live my life with as few regrets as possible. Granted, it hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve put on my brave face and tried to stay true to my word. It’s not always easy to make major changes in your life, especially when it involves leaving the ones you love behind.

Sometimes there are so many reasons not to do something, but the one compelling reason that shouts from your gut, is the one that keeps you going. So here’s to a new year, with new challenges and no regrets.

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Image source: http://piccsy.com/

Home Comforts

As the time is nearing for me to make my big move abroad, I find myself contemplating what I can and cannot live without. There are certain home comforts which I simply cannot imagine my life without and the thought of not having them at my disposal makes me slightly nostalgic. Things like ‘Wonderkroon’ and Jamaica Ginger Tonics, which my mother swears by and always seems to make me feel better when I’m sick.

Then there’s my all time favourite cereal, Pronutro, which tastes just as good now, as it did when I was five years old. Salticrax, which despite its misleading name, is the absolute best savoury snack. I’ve also got a weakness for Flings, which generally are considered ‘baby chips’ due to their soft texture, but hey who cares right? Rooibos Cappuccinos, Woolworths Marshmallows, Kauai, Mugg & Bean, Old Biscuit Mill, Eastern Food Bazaar, the V& A Waterfront and the Company Gardens are just some of the things I’m going to miss about my home town.

I’ll most certainly miss all of my favourite delights, but I’ll miss this city and the people in it the most. Cape Town has a certain spirit about it, especially around Christmas time and the people who live here are some of the warmest, funniest and downright nicest people I know. No matter where I go, this will always be my home.

So here’s to new beginnings, lasting memories and a place I can always call home 😀

Image sources:

The art of disillusionment

Funny how we thought we were being all grown up and making grown up decisions. 
How we honestly believed that we could live our lives apart. 
And the way we went about things, all head and no heart. 
Being practical, responsible adults, as if the world expected nothing less from us. 
How we convinced each other and ourselves, 
that this was the only way for things to be. 
That this decision was logical and that this was what was best for both of us. 
How we both resigned ourselves to living a life where ‘we’ didn’t exist and how when it finally came down to it, our hearts were stronger than our minds. 

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