Old Man Circus Shoes

It took me a long time to realise that I love and feel most comfortable wearing shoes that look like they belonged to male Siamese twins in the circus during The Great Depression.  A little bit strange, a little bit boyish, a little bit surprising, a lot ameezing.

Welcome to the family, old man circus shoes.

[Get your old man circus shoes from Rage - for the price of exactly 9 cappuccinos]

PS.  Check out more threads of Ameezing here and here.

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Single and the City

It started with attempting to do the zip up on the back of my purple dress, it continued with trying to open a new jar of strawberry jam and ended with answering the sales lady who was taking my details that yes, I was Ms and not Mrs.  Oh the journey of clichés single life brings.

And to be honest, dear fellow life liver, it’s different to how I remember.  Or maybe it’s different in your thirties.  Eeuw, ‘in your thirties’, wretched little words.  When your life goes galloping boldly down a specific path (getting married at 24), it seems so clear how things will be in the future when you are older and wiser and have made mini yous.  And then, ahem, life happens.  Loads of it, lived, right before your eyes, right before you can stop it or tell it to give you a minute to tweet it all.

And suddenly, trust me young uns, it really is suddenly, you’re 31.  And single.  In a no man’s land (yes, a no man’s land) of living a grown up life completely selfishly.  For you.  Here’s where it gets tricky…I love it.  This grown up existence of eating loads of sushi whenever and going to the movies at the last minute, sleeping diagonally across the bed and just generally living for myself.  But, how can something you love also sometimes, just sometimes, make you bone crushingly sad?  Sad to not be a mom in her twenties, sad to not be buying the teeny, tiny dresses that dance on the rail at Woolies as I walk past, sad to not be telling stories, or showing pictures of my mini mes and family holidays.   Sad to not be building something, with someone.  To love and be loved.

But then, just as this sadness is about to become a full body tattoo of no return, I see saw back to complete calmness and euphoria that life is exactly as it should be.  That I am so grateful for these unexpected adventures.  That I would only want that life if it was completely right.  That things happen as they will and that Heidi Klum is way over 30 and still a super hot mom.

I don’t really have an answer here.  I’m not sure if I even have a question.  But, I reckon that if I feel like this, as the sheriff in ‘The Walking Dead’ said, “There must be more of us out there”.  Just incase there are, I want to say you are not alone, don’t worry too much about the see-saw, just enjoy the playground.

I took this photo last night when I figured out how to use my camera’s timer.  Rah!

PS.  On running into exes.

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On Exes (Yes, I’m going there)

I was scared to write this.  Then I thought, ‘Heck, why not? Life is short’.  Then I was scared again.  Then I thought ‘Heck, why not? Life is short’.  Then I was sca…
You get the picture.  Why does no one ever really talk about running into exes?  It seems like women’s magazines have all areas of relationships covered, but running into exes, like maths at a beauty school, is a murky, untouched subject.

Here’s the thing, you’re with someone, your life is one.  Then you’re not with them and your life is two.  But we still remember the one.  The shared experience, the bad times, the good times, that one time that one thing happened.  That pair of shoes, that moment, that year, like it or not, was a part of your story. But you move on, in every way.

And then you run into them.  And suddenly, you’re half that person again and you’re half somebody completely new that they will never know.  You’re also half really glad you wore that top that makes your boobs look great.  It’s always a zingy moment.  Zingy as in, your nose goes a bit tingly and you feel like you have to glance down just to check you’re not having one of those terribly awkward ‘naked in public’ dreams.

And my experience is, you always have a million things and absolutely nothing to say, all at once.  Old you, new you, all the yous are fighting to be the best them they can be.  And it’s hard, and a little scary, and a little sad.

Here’s what I’ve learnt though.  No regret. Absolutely zero regret.  About having one life, then about two lives.  About running into each other when you have those tracksuit pants on that used to be awesome but now have more holes than a sieve.  About having sadness or nostalgia or anger or any Pantone booklet of emotions that sharing time with people brings.  No regret.   Just grace.  Grace and gracious peace.  And a top that makes your boobs look great.

PS. On divorce and old love.

[Picture Source Unknown - holler if You do]

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Going Solo

…deep breath…Mr Ameezing and I are no longer together.  Let’s start there and work backwards.  I have slinky-ed with the idea of talking about this here for the past few weeks.  And in the last day or two (and with Mr Ameezing’s consent) I decided to write about this part of my story.

The details are just for us, but to say it happened and happened for a reason.  Mr Ameezing remains just that.  And my hope is that we will be friends for a long time.

As for me, I find myself in a twi-lit place of being alone but not lonely.  Of believing in love without living it right now.  And of somehow remaining a hopeful, hopeless romantic.  To new adventures, in whatever form they may come.

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The Weight of Waiting

If I were to write the story of these pictures it would be one of waiting.  Of a moth so out of place yet totally at home in a dull parking lot.  Waiting for its mate, or perhaps the sun to shine in a place it never will.  Of a mother and daughter, sitting in town on plastic chairs, eating cheap biscuits and watching each other’s hair being braided.  Of an anxious girl in a printing shop, waiting for her job interview to start.  Nervously wringing the umbrella she is holding like she is wringing out stubborn, wet washing.

Of a girl, let’s call her Camilla, who travels a lot without going very far.  Who sometimes feels like Pavlov’s dog on a hamster wheel.  Who is not very sure of her own journey but whose heart gets made to feel like air in seeing others living their lives in beautiful ways.  Whose whole Monday is made by seeing a moth, a mother and a daughter and a girl, waiting.

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Another Kind of Wonderland

Three Ameezing Things about Finishing Work before Dusk:

1.  Your house has a life of it’s own.  Little, blue cartoon birds could be making Sleeping Beauty’s latest nightie in the lounge whilst you’re at work.  Who knew that for a tiny but lovely  window of time (between 5:10pm and 5:25pm) a sequined cushion repaints my walls with magical, mirrored light?

2.  Sunset walks in the park.  Just as ridiculously good as they sound.

3.  Like that scrumptious, first coffee in the morning, the evening crickets bring, with their weird tin-ny chirping, a tsunami of possibility.  A whole night ahead.  Where anything from womb like slumber to life changing adventure can happen.


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Message in a Bottle

My friend, The Ameezing Jacqui, recently moved back to London after spending two years in Joburg.  In the short time she spent here she became one of the best and truest Joburgers I know.  I miss her every day.  She has written a letter to Joburg about her time here.  I am honoured to share it with you:

Hello Joburg

I left your shores just over a month ago and now that I’ve had a little time to reflect I think maybe it’s time to share my feelings with you. After all I spent two crazy roller coaster years in your presence.

I arrived on your shores as a token Australian who had endured most people she knew questioning why in hell she would want to move ‘there’. That place where people get murdered all the time and apparently cars have flame throwers built into their wheels to ward off the thieves.

But I like to think I have changed those people’s perceptions because you’re actually a pretty amazing place. You’ve taught me to find beauty in the most simple things. Sunsets like I’ve never seen before. Gorgeous farms just a short drive away. A city centre that shows the promise of a new era. And a community spirit that goes beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.

Yes it wasn’t always pretty and I had a fair few days where I really hated what you showed me. But you taught me that there are a lot of people in the world who don’t have anything at all. And as much as I might want that new copy of Vanity Fair it’s really not the end of the world if I can’t afford it. Because it’s nothing in the scheme of things. And I think there’s a lot of people in this crazy world who need that lesson.

Most of all you taught me that, maybe because of how you are, you breed some of the most incredibly loving, giving people I have ever met in my life. People who will go out of their way to make you feel welcome, show you the best bits of the city, and save you when you’ve broken down for the third time in two weeks. Without complaint. They are people who will buy you coffee and pretty earrings and share Ameezing photos with you. Just because they want to.

These people changed the way I see life in more ways than I can mention and that’s pretty damn cool.

I may not live on your fair shores forever but you’ll always be in my heart. And I hope more people get to know you like I did.

Lots of Love

Jacqui xxx

(Ameezing: Thank you Ryan for the beautiful photo)

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Joburg, you heart breaker, you.

Living in Joburg is like having a boyfriend with more than seven tattoos that you would never take home to meet your Mom.

He may be an excellent kisser, wear the perfect skinny jeans, love dogs and play the bass guitar, but man alive is he scrappy, unreliable and able to break your heart when you least expect.  He is Joburg. And you’re sixteen and can’t believe this rock star wants to hold your hand.

And everytime he disappoints you, you think ‘This is it, I’m leaving for good. Go and trash someone else’s life, asshole’, he arrives on your doorstep with a spectacular sunset, a stranger’s random act of kindness or a new building, (the breathtaking Circa Gallery). And your heart softens and you stay because you know for every flaw, he has a meellion strengths you haven’t yet discovered. With cautious optimism (and for the last time you tell yourself) you tack your heart back onto your sleeve, take Joburg’s hand and stay a just a bit longer to see what will happen next.

This year is Joburg and my ten year anniversary.  It’s been a torrid relationship. But one with many perks and little regret. And I think we’re probably in this for the long run. Growing up together, making friends that became family and having family that became friends. I love you Joburg, you drive me crazy and break my heart to glue it back together to bulldoze it apart again, but geez, you make me happy and keep me excited and unnerved and curious and inspired.  So thank you, I’m thinking about inviting my mom to come and meet you properly soon.

My brother Ty and I did a shoot with our Dad in Main Street in the city a while ago. Thanks Ty for always taking beautiful pictures, Papa for being a super willing model and Joburg for being your unapologetic self.  This is my favourite shot.

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