Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Although it is mid-November, it came as quite a shock to me when I went to a shopping centre only to find it was already adorned in Christmas lights and decorations. My daughters also reminded me this morning that they only have 20 school days left this year – how time flies. On the one hand I can’t wait for the school and Christmas holidays to begin, but then on the other it all feels too soon. One thing I do know is you cannot stop time, so nothing to it but to embrace each day and focus on all the things we have to look forward to.
With Christmas looming it is time to start thinking about gifts, celebrations and holidays. On the gift side of things I am advocating small, personal, useful and if possible homemade! I don’t think anyone is in a position to be extravagant and even if they are, this is no time for extravagance, there are too many very needy people and causes in the world.
I have recently discovered www.weheartit.com – thanks for the images!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Its Sunday evening – the end of a lovely weekend with my family, the first in too many weeks that I have not had to work – sheer heaven. Although we have spent the best part of it at home, we had a gorgeous evening with friends last night in their equally gorgeous home. I haven’t laughed so much in ages and it felt so good to be in their company. Its only when you get over a stressful period that you really appreciate life without pressure and worries.
I keep saying it and one of these days I know I will find the resolve to do it – make some changes! There is nothing I want to change about my personal life, but I could happily make some material changes (to my house) and of course work! How many times will I say this, I wonder, before I actually make those changes – or accept. The problem is there are days when I do actually enjoy what I do, but unfortunately they seem to be heavily outnumbered by the days that I don’t. Even as I write I feel like a fraud and ingrate – how lucky I am to have a job and how lucky I am to work somewhere that I am wanted, needed and appreciated! Perhaps what I really need is a change of attitude...
This month I turn 40. I am neither daunted by it or excited about it – just another number. I have never believed that age defines anything. But, I do need to think about whether I want to celebrate my birthday as a milestone, or just do something quiet and intimate with special friends and family. I am inclined to do the latter but I know the pressure is on to do the former!
Summer is on its way, the days are longer, warmer and as Sarah says, she can smell Christmas in the air. While the Northern hemisphere hauls out their winter woolies and battens down the hatches for winter, we are digging out the flip flops and throwing open our doors to let summer in.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
It is Sunday the 13th September and weeks since I have even considered writing anything for my blog – just no time! And if I don’t write something today, it will be another few weeks before I get a chance to do so again.
Our busy season has started again and therefore time to get my head around work and out of the clouds so to speak! Fortunately my work does provide windows of inspiration, such as the amazing village we shot in this week. We were shooting a commercial for Sunlight washing powder in a little village up the West Coast of Cape Town called Mamre. Apparently originally a mission village, this is now a thriving community of predominantly poor people with some locals who have become more prosperous. What struck us the most was the level of creativity, ingenuity and flair of the home owners – what we would throw out or pass over as junk, they have found a use for or turned into art.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Another weekend been and gone and its back to the grindstone. We went to Kalk Bay fro breakfast yesterday – we ate at a lovely new spot called Kasia and Figg. Then we had a wander along the road and looked in a few shops, just perfect. I am on the hunt for a teapot! Yes, of all things..... Of course I have a teapot, in fact I have two (actually 3 if you could the gorgeous silver teapot I inherited from my grandmother), but I am looking for one that will make more than two and a half decent cups of tea! You would think it would be a relatively easy find....well no, it isn’t! Of course there are loads of teapots out there but they are either too small or too plain or too ugly! I want something either gorgeously elegant or very quirky.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Another cold and wet day but it is Friday so it doesn’t feel too bad. Getting into work this morning I had to stop for a large, black pot-bellied pig to cross the road – not a usual occurrence in a city but quite the norm in this part. There is a school up the road that has some farm animals and either they regularly let their two pigs out to forage in the streets or the pigs have a way of escaping. Its quite sweet really – piggy in the city – I love that tenuous link to rural life!
I think that when spring arrives we are going to get a couple of chickens again. We had two lovely, fat hens a few years ago and apart from the fact that they produced one gorgeous fresh egg each everyday, they were family pets and I was quite heart sore when my husband gave them away (another story!). They were great at keeping the garden pests under control but not so great for seedlings and forget about planting any veggies. They also has a habit of coming into the house and finding their way onto the beds where they would leave evidence of having been there... So there are things I do miss about them, and things I don’t - but I still loved them.
My friend Tina sent me this pic taken in Hoboken, New Jersey. Wow, if only it really was mine! Just imagine owning a deli, hmmmm..... I’ve never met an Italian called Lisa?!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
My word, its gone from sublime summery weather over the weekend to ridiculous gale force wind with torrential rain! I shouldn’t complain – rather we get this weather during the week when we are stuck behind our desks, and the glorious sunshine over the weekend as we did.
I’m always a little nervous about putting pics of my girls on the web, but I’m taking the plunge because I love these two pics. They reflect both their personalities so perfectly and they fill my heart with joy to see their happy faces. They are such joyful girls, I am so very, very blessed!
We have so many things to look forward to still – days like this on the beach and so, so much more!
Friday, August 14, 2009
What a fabulous idea! Such a shame my poor Danie is recovering from a hernia op or I would be loading him, the girls and the dogs into the car and seeing where it takes us! I remember a weekend many, many years ago (long before we had the girls) when Danie and I did just that. We were living in Johannesburg at the time and we were desperate to get out of the city. We got into the car and picked a direction to head out of town and just drove. We did get quite lost but eventually ended up on what I am certain was private property on the edge of a secluded piece of river that ran into the Hartebeepoort dam. We threw down out picnic blanket and spent the next couple of hours eating and dreaming while being watched by baboons and iguanas! It became a favourite place for us and we went back many times.
Friday, August 7, 2009
FRIDAY AT LAST! This week has been interminable. I thinks its been a combination of the weather and the fact that the office has been so quiet – lots of staff sick or on leave. When there is a buzz in the office the days go much faster!
Its also a long weekend – whoopee! No plans to go anywhere special but I have old friends from Johannesburg coming on Sunday for a few days. I love them dearly and can’t wait to see them but they can be rather exhausting company! But it will be fun and lots of catching up to do. This weekend I have GOT to get into the garden a bit – both me and the garden are desperate! If I don’t get those spring bulbs in this weekend I am going to be sorry. Its also time to get more creative in the kitchen again (oh and clean out my fridge before Marcio arrives or he will do it!).
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Its my sisters birthday today and I am delighted to say that she is in good spirits! The last two years have not been good ones for her and the effects thereof seem to have been heightened around her birthday in both those years. In fact, birthdays have always been a highly emotional time for her, even when we were little.
My birthday wish for her is that all the stress and trauma of the past two years can we over shadowed by years of happiness and prosperity from here on. May abundance come to her in bucket loads, along with love and laughter.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I don’t know if it is because its nearly spring or because its just about time I did something, but I have itchy fingers to do some ‘stuff’ to my house! Apart from the fact that it is very much due for a good paint (and cracks need to be filled – again!), I just feel like it is looking very drab and boring. I pour over magazines and get so inspired to do all sorts of things, but then the usual obstacles prevent me from doing anything – like money. Then there is the ‘priority’ list – what is most urgent. I would love to paint the house but its an expensive job that will leave no money for anything else, plus the fact that my lovely husband will only have one colour on the walls – white! I can live with white walls as long as I can introduce colour in other ways, but then I look at pictures and I would love to experiment with some different coloured walls – even if it is just one wall within a room.
Probably one of the biggest ‘emergencies’ in my house at the moment is to replace one of the couches. It is too big for our lounge, is the most boring of fabrics and is coming apart at the seams. I am dying to get rid of it and get a lovely new one.
And then there are the girls rooms. It is high time they got a bit of a makeover. Nothing too radical or expensive, they just need a little ‘maturing’. Oh yes, and more cupboard space! I love freestanding wardrobes and that is what we have, but the reality is they never look as good as the picture above! Thanks to Design Sponge for amazing images to drool over!
So, its time to make the list and get some quotes and see how far we can go and what we can do on a shoestring budget!
Monday, August 3, 2009
What a wonderful weekend it has been......gorgeous weather, great friends, good food! The weekend kicked off with a deliciously social and relaxed dinner with family – its been a while since my family have got together like this and whenever we do we wonder why we don’t do it more often. The conversation is great, we tackle contentious issues head one and everyone gets to share their opinion, and in the end we all have a really good laugh which is what really makes it special. Laughter is the best medicine and boy do we know how to laugh together!
This weekend had a very definite feeling of spring about it. Our almond tree is in full blossom and absolutely stunning – every single person who walks or drives past our house pauses to enjoy its beauty. Alas, a week from now it will all be over. Already our driveway is a mass of pink petals – it looks like wedding confetti has been strewn all over it – but if we get some rain this week there won’t be a blossom left on the tree – so sad. But its not the only sign of spring. Going out for a bike ride yesterday afternoon we were assailed by the scent of jasmine in the air – I love it!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I have never been a big fan of Thursdays, for some reason they are the longest and slowest of all days of the week. I remember that when I was at school Thursdays were always long days because of sport and for some reason we invariably had tests on a Friday so you always had to study on a Thursday. I suppose that the fact that today is cold and grey doesn’t help matters either. Of course there is one thing that Thursday does have going for it – it is followed by Friday!
The pic says it all and makes me think of my fabulous friend!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Waking to another gorgeous morning, we headed up the West Coast to Langebaan where we met my mum, sister and Max for lunch. After eating far too much at a restaurant on the beach that serves a buffet of traditional South African food, we went for a walk. Max, Emma and Sarah could not resist the temptation of the sea and led by Lulu, it wasn’t long before all three of them were in it fully clothed. I am sure this is one of the few places on earth where you can swim in the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of winter!
Back home and with the sun setting it is time to sit in front of the fire and snuggle up for the night.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Its a beautiful winters morning, the sun is shining but the air is cold and clear. I have decided today is a good day for a bit of a clear-out. My girls and a friend are sitting listening to musicals and singing along as they do some beading for a school market day they have coming up – its very productive and jolly! I have already gone through a whole pile of magazines, torn out the pics and articles I want and taken them to the local recycling bin. My next mission is to get stuck into Sarah's cupboard and sort through the clothes I can donate to a charity. Depending on how long it takes and how much energy I have after that, the garden is in desperate need of attention....or maybe I’ll just get onto the hammock with a book.....love weekends!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thanks to Amber and her fantastic blog http://mrpricefashion.blogspot.com/ I have discovered this amazing website - http://www.garancedore.fr/en/ Wow, talk about style – what amazing photographs, beautiful people and inspiring words. I think that if I had to go back to my first year out of school now, I would without a doubt start doing something far more creative than I am doing now. Even though the industry I work in IS creative, my job is not. Looking at this website I am so envious of this inspiring womans job, style, talent, you name it! Both my daughters are creative and I will encourage them to explore their creativity and expand their horizons through travel, reading, visiting art galleries and exhibitions, watching movies, etc. The world has so much to offer and they have so much to look forward to.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I dream about living in the county one day. Of course in my ‘dream’ it is all rambling old cottage (beautifully fixed up with all mod-cons of course), gorgeous garden adjacent to bountiful veggie patch and a few well behaved, healthy farm animals who roam freely without wreaking havoc on said garden! The reality I know will probably not be quite so picturesque or perfect, but we’re all allowed to dream. I have wonderful friends who packed in the city life and moved onto their dream farm – in their case a simply gorgeous lavender farm. Lucky, lucky them, yes indeed, but I don’t think its quite as fabulous as I like to believe. That’s not to say they are unhappy with their decision, they love their farm, but it can be tough and in fact they have decided to move into the local village rather than live on their farm. However, this has not dampened my dream one bit! I don’t see myself as a farmer, in fact I don’t want a farm at all, just the country cottage......something like these pictures ;)
I have recently returned from a holiday in Scotland with my girls and my mum. I have been to Edinburgh many, many times and lived there briefly as a child. It was Emma and Sarah’s 3rd time there and probably their best holiday yet as they are old enough to have been quite independent, something they are not able to be in Cape Town. We had incredible weather and I have to say that every time I am there I fall a little more in love with Edinburgh than the last time - it is a beautiful city and I feel very at home there.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I love anything vintage, from photographs to posters and postcards, to fabrics, clothing, furniture and books. There is something about Europe, France in particular, that is synonymous with nostalgia, romance and history that is so appealing. Which brings me to the iconic Coco Chanel. If ever there was a woman who epitomized elegance, she is it. Thanks to her invention of 'little black dress' we all have that never fail number in our closet to save the day when we have 'nothing' to wear to a special occasion, and just a splash of Chanel No. 5 can make the difference between feeling dull to feeling fabulous.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
When not spending them with friends, Sunday afternoons are spent on the back veranda. Emma is never without a piece of paper or notebook and pens drawing and doodling and Sarah is never without a book or an Archie Comic - even if it is one she has read 10 time before. A bike ride or dog walk is always a good way to end off a perfect day.