Ghost Stories

Pre-Ghost Tour snacks at our house.  Ghost Pops, Skull Gums and ‘Veins’. Obs.

Pre-Ghost Tour ghosts at our house – Make yours with balloons, sandwich paper and a permanent marker.

On Saturday night, seven of us friends put on as many layers of clothing as we could find and headed out into the freezing (literally) Joburg night to The Mystery Ghost Bus Tour.  The tour is run mostly from a bus (with the locations kept secret and changing with every tour).  And includes two pubs stops and a midnight visit to a graveyard.  Even though I am a huge scaredy cat, I would really like to go back to some of the buildings that we saw and go exploring.  Did you know that there is a castle in Kensington?  Our Kensington?! [Read more...]

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…and a Ghost Tour

The book the whole planet is reading (and my mouth guard).  I’m about to find out what all the house wife blushing is about.  A cold front is on its way to Joburg this weekend.  I love the cold if only for all the wardrobe opportunities it brings. And for the all snuggling in bed with a blush inducing international best seller it requires.

On Saturday night I am going with a group of friends on a ghost tour of Joburg.  I am really, really scared of even the idea of ghosts.  But I really, really like seeing weird and wonderful corners of Joburg.  And I get to secretly wear my dressing gown under a long black cloak all night.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Ooooooooooooooh.

Happy Weekend Ameezings.

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I Miss You

Hello Ameezing Friends, its been long hey?! And I miss you.  It’s funny to say there really hasn’t been time over the last few weeks for this little thing called blogging, but there reeeally hasn’t been.  Shame.  There’s a few things I have been wanting to talk to you about, some I’ll come back to and some, have kind of dissolved in a moment in time, but I still wish we’d had a chin wag about them.

I’ve gotten more responsibility at work and the lessons I have learnt from that, one of the top ones being ‘Confidence’.  Confidence assures, explains, sells, fixes, keeps calm and carries on.  You can never have enough confidence.  Or double-sided tape.  The terribly tragic death of Amy Winehouse.  The opening of the Rosebank Gautrain (there’s now a train running underground virtually right outside my front door.  Ameezing).  Being broody, since this post about love and divorce, I have discovered a new-found freedom in honesty here.  Even if it’s a little scary.  More about babies and divorce to come (‘Oh no she di-ent’).  Super excitement about a little Cape Town getaway with Mr Ameezing next week.  I’m a Joburger through and through, I work too much, stress alot and get a kick out of violently beautiful sunsets, but Cape Town is my secret crush.  One I will never act on, but sometimes fantasize about.  So I am really looking foward to a little flirting session next week.

I took this lantern picture in Thailand in January whilst on the back of a scooter, with Mr Ameezing expertly navigating the traffic (helmets? In Thailand? Never!)  We stopped at a traffic light and I glanced up to see a sky of lanterns.  I look at this photo often, to remember that moment and the ocean of feelings it came with.

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Four Weddings and A Power Failure

Ms Love dresses like a Victorian chamber maid.  She speaks in a soft, girlish voice and says, ‘hhmm, yes’ alot.  She is somewhere between 40 and 70 years old, it really is impossible to tell.  She wears her hair up in Victorian kind of ‘onion’ bun and doesn’t wear a stitch of make up.  And when she comes to open the gate for us she is very apologetic about the fact that the power is out.

Ms Love runs a museum from her house.  Or rather, her house is a museum, a perfect replica of Victorian times.  Right down to the whale boned corsets hanging in the closet and the calling cards at the door.  Did I mention she lives in Auckland Park? The Auckland Park next to Melville, Joburg.  Her front door not more than a kilometre from Campus Square.  This absolute treasure of a time capsule, right there, a suburb or two away.

We arrive on Saturday morning to see her exhibition of wedding dresses from the last 150 years.  Even though there is no power, she walks carrying a candle (it is an eerily fantastic sight, a Victorian chamber maid, carrying a candle through a darkened hallway lined by century old wallpaper) and the house it freeeezing cold (those Victorians weren’t as much about heat as they were about velvet curtains and well stocked libraries), the exhibition is an incredible collection of dresses and wedding paraphernalia.  Made only better by Ms Love’s great knowledge of anything Victorian.  “My mother’s honeymoon underwear was made out of parachute material.  It was around the time of the war and they had no other fabrics so many wedding dresses and other garments were made of soldier’s parachutes”, she tells us.

The experience is absolutely spell binding, fascinating and creepy in a really wonderful kind of way.  I cannot recommend her tours enough.  The Wedding Dress Exhibition runs until 31 July 2011.  Regular tours of the house are by appointment.  Lindfield House Museum – 72 Richmond Avenue, Auckland Park  (011) 726 2932.

Ooh, and afterwards she serves a full tea with jam and cream scones on her verandah in the sunshine.  Ameezing.


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Before Sunrise

One of the very few benefits of having a 4:30am call time on the roof of a 22 storey building in town when its -2 degrees outside, is seeing the city before sunrise.  There is something eerily beautiful about Joburg just before the day begins, the calm before the storm that is another day here.  After seeing this view and watching the sunrise creep across these buildings I think Joburg is definately a morning person.  High Five, you tricky little city, you.

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I Spy…

Six different locations in three days, 4am call times and difficult clients make for all work and no play.  And most tragically, no blogging for what feels like an eternity.  But I am back! Still very much in search of all things ameezing…

Going into people’s homes to make commercials is a funny thing.  You shake hands, say ‘Nice to meet you’ and minutes later you’re rifling through their kitchen cupboards looking for the perfect fruit bowl for that sunlit kitchen cereal advert.  For a few hours or days, you get to know their fridge magnets, their bathroom cupboards, what they keep in that draw in the hallway that is usually full of homeless keys and old postcards.  Weird.

The silver lining of this bizarro cloud is getting to feed one’s insatiable desire for snooping and to see how other people really live, in their space, the stuffing of their lives.  From tiny, corrugated iron shacks in Soweto to grand, old Herbert Baker houses in the suburbs to tiny town cottages untouched by time and Mr Price (I now know what a home-made bread knife looks like.  Steel pole, putty, sharpened piece of metal.  Boom), peeking into the way people live is a fascinating, surreal and ameezing experience.

I Spy:

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Before, After And A Little Bit Inbetween

Rosebank.  Yesterday afternoon.

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Eye Of The Beholder

Last week, these moments had me looking a little longer.

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A Little Rooftop Love Affair

My lovely Cousin Robyn got married last weekend.  On the roof of a building in downtown Joburg, bathed in golden sunlight and with a smile only a person who knows true love can smile.  Once all the photos from all the cameras have been collected I want to do a decoupage of my favs to show you.  For now, here of two of the beautiful couple on their day.  Congratulations baby cousin, you were an ameezing bride on an ameezing day.

Robyn’s dress by the Ameezing Joel Janse van Vuuren

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I’d Sell My Puppy For…

I love puppies.  Puppies, babies and giraffes (I mean, come on!).  But there are a few things in this world that I would sell my puppy for.  On eBay, to the highest bidder, send it into the cold, dark night with Cruella De Vil if needs be.

So Ameezing has a new category called ‘I’d Sell My Puppy For…’  A picture wish list of ameezing things from around Joburg, the interweb, the world or just imagined.

Here are the first three things I’d sell my puppy for:

These Shoes:

I’m going through a bit of ‘an English train driver in the forties’ phase, style wise.  This, combined with a love for the circus and leopard print (from before it became so this season, I swear) made my knees go literally wobbly at the sight of these lovelies from Florsheim.

This Picture:

I’m finally moving this weekend.  And no new space would be complete without this awesome print from Mezzanine in Greenside.

This Puppy:

Okay, so I don’t actually own a puppy.  But if I did, I’d totally sell my puppy for this puppy.

Seen anything you’d sell your puppy for?  Send it through (camillajvv(at)gmail(dot)com) and I’ll do a post on it.  Eg. ’Angelica Houston would sell her puppy for…’

Check out the column on the right for other categories.  Joburg, friends, People of Joburg, ameezing things etc.

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