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This weekend I discovered that Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens are not the same person.  Also, I gardened the ass off of Saturday, apartment gardening having been replaced by courtyard gardening, next stop actual farming.

Also, I thought (and felt) a lot about loneliness.  And how to talk about it, write about it, swim through it.  More on that when thoughts have become sentences.

Also, I went to an ameezing Sunday afternoon Joburg rooftop party for a good cause.

Sometimes Joburg is a bad, bad boyfriend.  He forgets about you, is a bully or just plain ol’ doesn’t seem to care.  But then, out of nowhere he arrives with a bunch of ranunculus in the form of a glorious, windy, clear afternoon of good music and great company and suddenly, all is forgiven.  I heart you Joburg.

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Old Flame

Some days, my car is my office and Joburg is my work space.  Monday was one of those days.  And for a reason that is a mystery I suddenly saw the city afresh.  My old flame with new eyes.  I took these three pictures at three different moments of the morning.  I like that they are real and a little messy and unashamedly imperfect.  Kind of like Joburg itself.

More on my old flame Joburg.

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Date Night with a Lady

Hair straightened – check.  Impossibly gold jacket with impossibly large shoulder pads – check. Snake skin high tops – check.

Tonight it’s you and me, Lady G.

 

[Photo Source]

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Suddenly

I really like days that unfold completely differently to how you imagined they would.  Today was one of those days.

Beauty and the Beast

Birthday card with surprise ticket to Gaga for Joel.

Tipp-Ex, you clam.

These guys and that guy.  More here.

Jocelyn.  Who said to me today, “You look like a Bond Girl.  Except really, really, really (she said ‘really’ 3 times) short”.

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Topshop – Take Two

More than a few years ago now, I worked at Topshop on Oxford Street in London, in the women’s underwear section.


My department was made up of all the girls not quite edgy enough to be selling jeans or leather jackets, so we, the more wall-flowery, shy employees ended up in the underwear department.  We were a some what motley bunch,  like pirates with lunch boxes and good intentions.  A Russian girl, four British girls, an Australian girl and me.

Our shifts were long and tiring.  Sometimes I wore heels because I wanted to feel fancy.  Largely the heel wearing times turned into blisters and tears on the bus home times, but mostly, the experience of working there was incredibly eye opening.  I learnt a lot, hung a lot of underwear back onto hangers and saw a lot of tourist’s boobs. [Read more...]

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Park Life


This afternoon 11 of us humans and 4 of our dogs went on a dusk stroll at Emmarentia Dam.  It’s funny, sometimes events can be planned and scheduled and talked about for months and then other times, a few last minute texts and a call or two later, you find yourself surrounded by friends and their hounds, having the best time, doing something so simple like going for a walk, together, as the sun goes down.

 

 

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This Is Who We Are

The first post that I wrote on Ameezing was about Joburg.  Living in Joburg, loving in Joburg, surviving in Joburg.


I’ve been here for twelve years now.  In this city during these storms and those power failures and endless days of sunshine and endless nights of cautious possibilities.  It took me almost a decade in Joburg to realise that this place had become a part of who I was, how I saw things and how I moved through the world.

It made me see good things with an exhilaration that rarity brings and see bad things with an optimism that practiced, chosen cheeriness brings.  It made me appreciate friends and good weather.  It showed me how to do more than was expected, be more than people thought was possible and to dry those futile tears and just get the heck on with it.

Joburg takes great delight in holding your hand and leading you down a path of darkness, black ink across a white page, a path so vivid and real that it begins to feel like all there is.  And just when seeing starts to seem like something you used to do, the darkness is gone. Replaced by a new day, a positive moment, let’s face it, the smell of a braai at sunset.

[Read more...]

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A Change of Plan. And a Caterpillar.


‘I think I have writer’s block’, I tell my brother, Ty, when he asks about my lack of blog posts.

‘No you don’t', he replies. ‘Just not writing is not the same as Writer’s Block.’

And dang, in that moment, I realise that he is completely right.  Not knowing what to say, not knowing how to say it, being unsure if it is good or not, all of that just equals not writing.  And not doing what you love out of fear or apathy or ‘losing your nerve’ sounds like crazy talk.  Crazy talk that very quickly becomes time that passes, leaving a unsettling emptiness, an unfinished sentence, a half drunk cup of tea.

So here’s what I am going to do.  I’m going to write.  Everyday.  Here. For a month.  Seven days a week.  I’m not sure yet what I will say.  Or how I will say it.  But I’m going on a diet.  A diet of words, to shed apathy and fear and well, more apathy.  Words for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Words.

A month of words.

Hello tummy butterflies.  Let’s begin…

[Read more...]

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New

It’s really hot in the cafe where I am sitting right now.  There are fans blazing away but somehow, the air is still still and thick like jungle air.


There is an old man here who comes in about this time everyday.  Sometimes he wears a hat.  But not today.  He helps himself to a beer from the fridge and sits and drinks it.  Alone.  He doesn’t distract himself with a phone or an iPad or even a book.  He just sits.  And watches.  Observing with an honesty that makes him fascinating rather than unnerving.

It stormed an hour ago.  The kind of moody storm that growls as if it will stubbornly stay for days.  But then unexpectedly clears, like fog in the wind.

There is newness, friends.  So much wonderful newness.  Joburg, my beloved, has turned warm and stormy and tree lined, with days that stretch on into balmy evenings.  And balmy evenings that stretch on into cool nights.  A night air that licks at your skin with freshness.

Ready or not, time marches on.  I turned 32.  And celebrated with ameezing friends and an ameezingly towering pink cake.  It seems that as you get older, birthdays becomes less about well, becoming a year older, and more about celebrating the people you are lucky enough to share life with.  I looked around that birthday dinner table in disbelief at how fortunate I am to be able to experience things, enormous and minute, with people who are loving and clever and creative and ameezing.

Some things have become very clear in the last while.  Mostly lessons learnt, through a little bit of stumbling and a little bit of hand to forehead slapping, but also through opening up and just being not so afraid all the darn time.  Leaping does sometimes end in knee scrapes, but mostly with a pounding heart, eyes wide open and a sense of wonder.

There is someone new too.  The story of how or who is a little too new for here, but I wanted to share that there was.  That I feel so  lucky and excited to be starting a journey of sorts with someone who is smart and funny and kind and terribly dapper.  And tall.  So very tall.

Newness stretches across many paths and comes with some unexpected and wonderful things.  And sometimes with flowers.  Lots of flowers.

 

[Instagram borrowed from the lovely Cara Birdie]

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Before Now

Last weekend at a dinner party, some friends and I were talking about how things move so quickly and how technology has shaped and changed our lives now.  My friend, Leetil Lauren, said, ‘My grandmother arrived in Joburg by ox wagon, and now she reads books on her Kindle.’  I’ve thought about that all week.

I took some pictures of Joburg last night from Shine Studios in Braamfontein.  Gritty, surreal, a little bit scary, a lot wonderful, imperfectly imperfect Joburg.  I freakin’ love this city.

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