Grace and time

As women, we tend to notice other women more than we notice men. We are always looking to our female icons for fashion inspiration, chatting to our friends and neighbours about beauty tips. Women talk about women.

My mom and I were sitting at Vida on Sunday and looking at the diverse group of people around us. I noticed the beautiful, slim Camps Bay moms who had dragged their unimpressed toddlers into the morning mist for a social caffeine injection with the girls.

I noticed in particular one woman warmly greeting another with a warm, beautiful smile on her face, the two had a short exchange asking after each other’s husbands etcetera etcetera. The one woman gathered up her young and waved goodbye, and as soon as her back was turned, the once beautiful smile turned into a sneer that sat on her face like a scar.

I thought to myself “Jesus, was that the same woman” my mom noticed the observatory expression on my face and said “party mense is lelik as hulle ophou smile ne”.

And that got the cogs in my head turning, because not only was this woman no longer pretty, she was in fact quite ugly. It did not take rocket science to see that life had dealt her a hand of sour cards, it was written all over her face, and her snide insincere cover up face was now ugly too.

So what does it take to be stunning, to be gorgeous. In my opinion, it takes grace and hard work. See you can spend every last penny you have access to, on the most miraculous beauty serums, treatments and dopas. You can drink herbal tea and go for cellulite treatments, you can Botox the past out of your face and smother your skin in organic this and that from the top of the Himalayas to the bottom of the dead sea, but if you’re not feeling it inside, you’ll just be a an expensive mess.

Seek joy they tell us, seek inner peace. Yes, I can agree with that. Live a healthy life, stop smoking and drinking, stay out of the sun and avoid saturated fats. Doing those things will get you far I guess.

But how? That’s the part they seem to leave out.

Think of one dynamic, beautiful woman you know. For me I know a couple but Aletha Carswel springs to mind. My friend Genevieve and I often muse that “We want to be like her when we grow up”  one significant thing to notice about Aletha, is that I have never been able to gauge her age. I met her when I was 17 years old, and I dare say that time has appears to have forgotten all about her! I think she has hardly changed over the last 11 years. There is a regal and eminently graceful confidence in the way she carries herself, and I know this is a petty small minded self-involved thing to say, but she still greets me, in fact she makes an effort to do so.

She makes people feel special and memorable, and if I’ve learnt one saying that will always ring true, it’s that people will forget many, many things about you, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

You may notice, that if you don’t know who Aletha is whilst reading this article, you don’t know much about her physical attributes, but I can guarantee that the picture envisaged in your mind does not resemble a hideous witch. Aletha is beautiful and kind, she is effortless and timeless.

Now think of the nastiest person you know, and counter her looks with your feelings. Take away the way she makes you feel, and discover how much more beautiful she could have been, if only it wasn’t for the way she treated the world around her.

That brings me then to the discovery of such glowing beauty, I think it has something to do with intention, what you intend… Do you intend to be happy? Do you intend to make people around you happy? Do you intend to see only beauty and goodness in those around you and in the situations that life throws at you?

Look I’m not saying, go forth and be naïve, use your own common sense. But learn to put your own rose tinted glasses on when the world  gets a bit grey, and above all if you have kids – I think you’ve got to Mary Poppins magic the crap out of them. Kids will keep you young, if you choose to play and interact with them.

I’ve since that day at Vida, tried to smile at random strangers, it’s quite hilarious the reaction of some people – I walked past a lady in Spar, our eyes met and I nodded a smile off in her direction – so shocked was she, that she turned to look behind her, only to find that I was in fact smiling at her. Not in a creepy axe murderer “you’re next” kind of way by the way… mind you.

So to be beautiful, I think you should drink lots of water, try to make someone else smile at least three times a day, get a good serum, use a good SPF for the day, eat healthy, yummy food, play with the people around you, find the fun in every situation, get enough sleep as often as you can, and be real, be sincere in your emotions, let it all hang out.


Left above: Aletha Carswel     Right:  Genevieve and me

My very own time Machine

We all have certain things that move us. For me sounds, music in particular and smells are two things that have the ability to transport me to a vivid memory at the speed of light. The smell of Aqua di gio for men, the sound of Blue Spanish eyes by Al Martino, Chanel No 5, and strangers in the night…

Clair de lune by Debussy brings back a flood of memories, and I came across this great video that has a very calming effect while you are running backwards through years of your life. It’s just beautiful, enjoy.

Winter is coming to Cape Town…

Winter is coming to Cape Town…

This may be slightly premature, but the rainy weather in the city today has made me realise that we are stepping closer to winter in Cape Town every day. It has been an interesting summer. I didn’t spend half as much time on the beach as I usually do. This is evident in that my “tan” has already started fading, and my summer glow is almost gone.

Nights are getting colder, the sun is setting slightly, but noticeably earlier. Another way of telling that winter is surely en route is by the migration of all who can afford to travel to warmer places. My friends have all (every single one of them) decided to go overseas this winter, I have New York, Spain, Vietnam, Turkey and Bali on the travel list of places to research slightly so I know where my buddies are hanging out, so I can “travel” with them.

I love hearing about all the adventures, or misadventures, shopping and restaurants, and I will be along for the ride inside a Black Berry or/and an Ipad or whatever, while cozy-ing it up in Cape Town. I am so looking forward to road trips to Hermanus, wine tasting in Stellenbosch and some serious yummy comfort food in Franschhoek.

For me, winter is a time to quiet down and reflect, review my goals and do some serious introspection. I am hoping to take up Hot Vinyassa at Jai and learn to cook Thai food… and then there is the French, I have been threatening to learn French for the past two years and have just never gotten around to it, now I just need to find a patient peep from France to sit down and teach moi.

Daisy was a rollin’ stone

Do not be fooled by the innocent organic image you have in your mind when you think of a festival called “Rocking the Daisies”.

It was one of those where years from now, people will reminisce “Remember Rocking the Daisies 2009?” many will claim that they were there, and those that were will merely share a knowing look.

Now I’m not an avid fan of the South African (English) rock scene, but they’re not half bad.

We arrived Saturday afternoon, the festival runs the entire weekend, so we pretty much arrived amid daisies in full swing. All you could see after all the cars, where tents, a mess of people, a dam and a stage. A multitude of sights, sounds and smells.

We finnaly fount a spot to set up camp, a ten minute argument about not only the exact placement of the tent but also the direction of the door, caused my loss of interest, I was in no mood, so I made myself at home.

Lying on my bag, gazing at the expanse of blue skies above me,  the girls persisted. Before long a couple of guys from across the demarcated walk way decided that although it was really amusing to watch our attempt at pitching the tent, it would be more manly to do it for us.

With the tent up and all the admin sorted, the time had come to seek our next adventure! We found our crew next to the dam. Naked swimming man, dirty people using blow up pools for boats.Hmmmm… It didn’t take long before we where bikini clad, tanning and making hazardous wine-Redbull concoctions, catching up and debating worlds end at 2012.

The wind picked up and we headed back to pull on some jeans and grab warm tops. I was amazed by the diversity of people that come to an event like this, emo kids, old people, young people, the cool kids and the hippies. I’m not a hippie, I do not spend weekends showering in temporary showers, eating my tofu. I can stay a night, two max, and then I need to at least pee in a cleanish kinda place, I had to get over that idea really quickly…

After hours of jumping around in the electro tent, I was dirty, drunk and stoned. We left in search of food, instead we found a temporary tatoo parlour…Still hungry we where aimlessly wandering around talking the biggest load of… world philosophy, to anyone who would listen. Eventually, we where super exhausted, and I could not go another hour without food, so we went back to out tent.

Sleep would not come, someone stole the night, the morning came, and we left. Dirty and finished but oddly mirthful.celphone 009

The mass suicide?

beachedwOver the last weekend over 55 pilot whales beached at kommetjie, close to cape point in Cape Town. Volunteers and the authorities tried to push some of the whales back into the ocean, but in the end over two dozen of them died on the beach and another 40 had to be shot.

Why do these beautiful ocean giants beach, surely not for a tan? I did a bit of reading and there are loads of reasons why they could, some reasons seem perfectly sane and others just a little crazy, but you can decide for yourself.

In natural conditions, it is simply a case of miscalculation, hunting to close to shore and maybe just not paying attention properly. Then there is gently sloping coastlines that somehow messes with their echolocation (their navigation system). Also radical changes in the earths magnetic field could have something to do with them being set so badly off course, it is said that these changes happen just before big earth quakes, apparently it even messes with the navigation system of birds… which ominously reminds me of the air France plane crash…

Shark warnings have been issued around false bay, and surfers have been asked to be careful when going out to sea. Its going to take a while for things to settle down in the ocean, seeing as with all the body fat on a whale, even in death it can retain close to it’s body temperature for up to three days.

As for the whales successfully pushed back out to sea, I’ve read that many of them get so depressed about the loss of their family that they just go back to shore to die anyway. They really are like people in some ways. It made me wonder about the state of things, what we take for granted, what will happen to us in our world while we are all so busy living… and then I haven’t even touched on the subject of the ufo that supposedly saved the planet millions of years ago, shew.

Balkanology magic

Run walking down the street in a dodgy part of town, it’s raining hard and the wind is whipping at my face. I can hear the faint sound of a trumpet and I smell spices of some kind mixed with the rain. As I get closer to the Albert hall, the music becomes clearer, like seeing a car approach in the fog.  An odd looking couple stumbles past me, strangled in a laughing embrace.

I reach the entrance, steamy smoke billows from the door, I pay the cover charge to a big bouncer reminiscent of chocolate from Moulin Rouge. The way inside is a maze of red ad cage and Gypsies filling past.

Then once inside the sweet smell of weed and incense gently tickles my nose, the music is loud and the crowd is a colourful mess of beautiful girls and dirty attractive men. Then something magical seems to happen, the music is absolutely hypnotic, all reservations all preconceptions simply forgotten, and automatically I start dancing like it’s the most natural thing ever, the music puts my body at ease and movement comes without thought. I am convinced this is the natural condition of the human body, this is happiness, peace.

I have never had as much fun as I did that night, crazy balkan beats, I am addicted.

Vitamin Water Revive!

vitI attended the vitamin Water Cape town launch! Can I just say, I think its the most fun you can have with water. We discovered new combo’s and kept on making up coctails, needless to say we were all a bit vitamined out by the end of the night.

One of my friends, the beautiful Genevive Morton actually stared acting a bit strange towards the end, and if I was a bottle of Vitamin water I would have been really scared!

Great product, my favorite is the revive, mmmmmm…. I could actually do with one now.gen

Sunday Bloody Sunday

This year, like every year before it there will be one Sunday where you can mostly remember, from every year what you did. This is the Argus Sunday, the cycle tour. I am such an avid fan of cyclists, I love them, bless.

Kidding. I hate them, absolutely despise (people with cars will agree). They have this way of being worse at road ownership than BMW drivers (Renowned for egotistical driving). This is how it goes, you put out your stupid cyclist hand to turn and all traffic will stop, don’t worry about the person who just almost knocked you off your bike, swear at them and  peddle off into the sunset. Or why don’t you bunch off assholes all ride together and see how many of you it takes to take up the entire road, so no one can safely get past you… single file buddy!

Breathe… count to ten. And now! They have their annual asshole meeting,  and they flood the city with their evil bikes, and take all the space at the Vida in Camps bay! Go home! Sunday comes and Cape town is constipated, you can not go anywhere, because the entire city all around the big ass mountain is squared off for them, perfect. Plus to add insult to injury, no Olympia Sunday… Can you see me, weight distributed to one leg, standing tapping my foot.

So for this year’s great escape, I think I’ll head in the general direction of the winelands. Go ride out the heat wave in a pool between the vines, before I knock a wanna be lance off his horse.

The ORIGIN of my love affair

origin1I long to feel… to taste… to see. Not a man, simply Herbal ib. An infusion of raspberry, hibiscus, and mint. (And other stuff I can’t remember now)

Very upset, that is how you can describe my demeanor for the past three weeks. Endless sleepless nights, teary mornings and dismal late afternoons consistent of running the holy bejesus out of my poor body, as a method of extracting thoughts that would help me make sense of my life.

My solace… tea. No not just tea tea, herbal ib infusion. In my mother’s home, as in many of my friend’s homes, tea is undoubtedly always the answer (Until lunch time at least, because that is when I turn to Whiskey). Since I can remember, the phrase that was the starting point to each and every “life crisis solution” was: “Kom ons maak vir jou n bietjie tee.” (translated as, “Lets make you a cup of tea” for our non afrikaans speaking folk)

But I have not always enjoyed the loving aegis, characterised by Herbal ib. I found this special, hot (in colour) dark pink tea a mere month and a half ago at a place called The Origin, a local coffee house and barista training centre in the heart of the Waterkant, the artistic quarter of Cape town, otherwise known as home, to many of my coffee aficionado friends.

At first I marveled at the fact that the same group of people come to the same cafe everyday, and sit there for the better part of the day, working, arguing, taking bets and scrutinizing unsuspecting newcomers. To an extent it is a bit of a meat market really, and as with all meat markets, there are some interesting cuts… lets leave it at that.

I have lived in the mother city for seven years, and thought that I had seen and found it all, so my introduction to the Origin was a supervenient gem in the crown of a cape so familiar to me.