All good things come to an end

A week of sloth (some enforced – blackberry outage, grumph) has come to a grinding halt and Pandora’s box is once again happily spouting mayhem.

My loudly proclaimed “me, me, me” diatribe didn’t quite make seven days but it was distinctly therapeutic while it lasted. On Tuesday we had our October “be a tourist in your own town” session. We live within in a reasonable distance from this gem but have never visited, always being under the false impression that it was just a hotel or you just went there for a meal. Not so, Makaranga Lodge’s greatest attraction for us is its gardens. Initially DH was having none of it that we would be allowed to visit willy nilly but I persevered and we moseyed along. Wow, wow and wow – an oasis. They are a hidden paradise of botanical splendor in our urban (albeit green belt) sprawl.

    

Himself turned another year older this past week (bless, I did suggest a walking stick – won’t tell you the response :O) and we treated ourselves to a meal of splendid indulgence at Aubergine’s in Hillcrest. My favourite place in KZN to dine and they didn’t disappoint – ambience, food and service: the bees knees. They offer a prix fix menu (such a good idea) filled with such lip-smacking goodies as a cheese soufflé, falklands calamari and the chargrilled fillet (amongst many others) – oh my goodness.

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Trois et Quatre

The rudiments and about what I remember of high school french – I always wanted to read the damn book, not stand up and flap my jaws!

A slovenly Sunday imbued with sizzling hot sunshine dicated the moment du jour. Entirely selfish yet heavenly couch schlumph with book 4 and 5 of Earths Children. I have been a fan of Jean M Auel since my teens and with book 6 “Land of Painted Caves” having just been published a little re-read was necessary (L.O.P.C. will be my christmas gift to myself). If you have a passion for the ancients coupled with a good yarn, don’t miss this wonderful series.

And then it was Monday – normally the “harbinger of doom” and the start button for a chaotic week ahead. Perhaps because of this dodgy reputation I chose to let the day manifest momentously (can a day manifest momentously – go on then.) For two hours, 120 minutes (DH was at a seminar hence carpe’ diem) I flicked the off switch. No radio, ipod, television, cell phone, laptop or book – my only company was myself.

Contemplative, introspective ……. beginning to fathom this going on retreat malarky. What a humdinger of a day 🙂

Do something for yourself

or in this case, I’m doing for me. So the prequel is, I’m on holiday (DH is self-employed so the concept of being on holiday doesn’t seem to quite compute) but instead of packing and trekking we are embarking on our first s.a.h.h. or “stay at home holiday.”

It was, as dawn broke yesterday on my first day off, that I had a thought (cue the theme to “War of the Worlds”). For seven days, every day, it’s going at some point (however briefly) to be about me. Oooh self-centered and egotistical you might think or she must be a doormat by profession – thankfully negative on both counts (in my opinion that is). Its just that don’t you find yourself always doing for others? Which is not necessarily a bad thing I know, but there are just some days ………..

Anyway enough philosophising and meaningless drivel. For me, on day 1, I went shopping (momentous I know but work with me). It was all in aid of this dratted wedding in December and in the norm clothing shopping fills me with as much glee as polishing the silverware. Yet, being out and about on a week day by myself engendered just the tiniest hint of hedonistic self indulgence and to boot I came away with two basic pieces for my Out of Africa sojourn.

An afternoon nap enveloped in gentle sunshine inspired movie night. A filmophile’s feast of Lord of the Rings (all three books) until the wee hours. DH did pop in occasionally – he has a liking for the epic fight scenes.

Super Rugby Saturday broke with a lyrical sunrise – so African in it’s intensity and colour palette. I’m having a very uncharacteristic get up at sparrows week for whatever obscure reason. While DH was chasing little white dimpled balls in his dreams I crept downstairs, vaguely reminiscent of the odious Argus Filch, to argue vociferously with the television through two scintilating games of world cup rugby and madly tweet my conclusions.

For all those naysayers who are thinking hen-pecked husband – fear not, post match trip to the local DIY shop for various steel, wood, nails and bolts bits to monkey proof our two bird feeders. We have a troop of vervets that live in the valley and take immense pleasure in crashing through the garden, like a herd of marula-soaked elephants, tipping up the feeders to gorge on their scattered contents. DH spent the afternoon reinforcing and I supplied the conveyor belt with drinks and snacks. The war continues.

In truth I fear, much like the Maginot Line, the mantra of “doing for me” will be a finite project but opportunity looms large.

Guilty Pleasures

An attention grabbing headline if ever there was but in this instance there is no leaning towards the hedonistic interpretation thereof. Instead, a mild deviation from the norm, a slight kink in the road which brought as much selfish enjoyment as any libertine derives from a session of sybaritic indulgence. My run-of-the-mill work day chimes from about 7.30am to 6pm, most of which is spent rooted in front of my computer, utilising some form of “modern” communication.

The weather gods set the tone for yesterday, blustery, grey and overcast with persistent rainy squalls. There was a clear message from the heavens that the only place to be was enveloped in the cuddliness of home. Fate was in cahoots and it was with great pleasure that I observed the back of my bureaucrat disappearing down the stair en route to some “all day gathering of like-minded idle chasers”. By 4pm (my official finishing time – hah!) the left-shouldered red devil, after an intense and philosophical battle with the white version on the right (she of virtuous intent), won the day and it was with a most ludicrous sensation of “breaking the rules” that I gathered up my worldly goods and headed out.

I crept home (can you “creep” in a red jammy of ancient lineage and double-box noisy exhaust? – I gave it my best shot) and slid indoors doing my most worthy impression of uriah heep. Choices, choices  – a veritable flower garden of options and decisions over what delightfulness with which to while away two precious hours of “me time”. Paramount was the choice of attire and without a second thought for decorum, or fashion for that matter, I was transfomed into the bit part actor “Bag Lady” – baggy tracksuit pants, voluminous sweatshirt in a bright purple hue and New Yorks socks – buttercup yellow with a taxi patterns 😉 DH’s worst nightmare 😀

There was a momentary relapse with thoughts of grout scrubbing and floor mopping but these traitorous intruders were soon overwhelmed with an army of eat, drink and be merry warriors. Accompanied by a whipped cream fleece blanket, three chapters of my Karen Rose book, a decadent hot chocolate and the most luscious avo that ever dropped into the world from some far flung tree (only slightly tweaked with a twist of sea salt) I ignored the intrusive blue message light blinking on my cell, the impatient squawking from a squadron of hungry garden birds waiting for their feeders to be replenished and the creaking, tottering pile of folded washing glaring balefully at my prone form. One hundred and twentyish golden minutes later my “heaven on earth” came to an abrupt end when the “white one” reasserted her dominance and I remembered to my horror that culinary servitude was required to manufacture a batch of cupcakes as a donation for the girl child of one of my dearest friends who is raising funds for some scholastic venture.

It was good while it lasted.

“There is no such thing as pure pleasure; some anxiety always goes with it.”  ~Ovid, Metamorphoses

Someday I will

with thanks to:- http://slpmartin.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/some-day-i-will/

Rise above the ties that bind me to the mundane and the predictable,

Immerse myself in all that is inspirational and creative,

Be irresponsible, be unreliable,

Think only of myself and let the rest of humanity paddle it’s own canoe upstream,

The cornucopia of living that beckons, awash with adventure and colour and exhilaration is enticing and beckons just over the horizon like some illicit affair,

Someday I will turn away from the straight line that my life path follows and walk the crooked lane.

Someday

Eating when it’s hotter out than in the kitchen

So on Tuesday it was hotter than lunchtime in Hotazel,

http://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.northerncape.org.za%2Fgetting_around%2Ftowns%2FHotazel%2F&ei=RieSTMCxHMasOIvAkf4G&usg=AFQjCNHNGiKM7O6c4VTrSI8Z-w9y_kLl3w

The prospect of feeding moi and himself loomed large and the thought of cooking was depressing so …… compromise. Skyped him to say “darling, we will be dining alfresco” and ventured to the deli. Somewhile later my shopping bags (material please note, no plastic ;-)) bulged decadently with crispy rolls, cold meats, exotic salads, cheeses of every hue and aroma, glorious fruits brightly clad in their summer coats and a selection of petit fours for pud.

The wine proved a tad more perplexing (I know we like it but what exactly is acceptable is always a bit of a mystery) – eventually settled on a half bottle of breath-takingly cold rose’ from the fridge (no white as we have a long running dispute as to the merits of chardonnay versus sauvignon blanc and it was too warm for exercise of any description, even if it was verbal).

Anyway, anything with an electrical link bit the dust and the garden was lit by bamboo torches and tea lights on the table (useful and ever so pretty). I was leaning toward a little Bocelli but good old chit-chat and catching up was the order of the day.

It was, in a nutshell, kind of fun.

“Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at the moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine a bit of unscheduled pleasure.”