What’s in a name

said the ill fated Juliet of Shakespearean fame. I say, what’s in a bag or more specifically what’s in my bag?

 The topic of modes of conveyance rose like a bubble of laughing gas over coffee this week. My co-commentator is a mom and she carries a potato-sack of a bag filled with oddities that only moms understand. Wet wipes, hair grips, books, toys of various genres, obscure crayoned drawings and the like. It’s a very elegant bag don’t get me wrong …. just well-sized.

I own four bags (is that a lot?) – small black evening, small black day, small tan day and medium chocolate day. Oh bugger and then there’s my work bag – bought for me some twenty years ago by my mother. A knock-off Louis Vuitton which, given its inauspicious beginnings, has stood the test of time. It is big enough to take folders on a bad day but on a good day it has:-

1 x purse

1 x pencil bag with house keys (office keys live on a lanyard around my neck during the day – boring hey!)

1 x pencil bag with cosmetics (let me tell you, much cheaper than a “cosmetics” bag – you can throw it the machine to be washed)

1 x ipod (a.k.a. saviour of lives when it all gets too much).

1 x notepad and pen

2 cell phones (1 work, 1 personal)

And in the side zipper thing – pepper spray, small change and gum.

A very mundane collection of goodies all in all but I like order (is that a type A personality?), glorified chaos just doesn’t work for me.

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Le Cafe’

“I walked into the warm ambience and was immediately assailed by the aroma of coffee and vanilla and spices. There was a quiet murmur of conversation much like a gathering of somnambulant bees. A cosy corner table smiled invitingly at me and I sank down into its warm embrace. With a smile to rival a Cheshire cat, an enthusiastic waitron delivered a latte with aplomb and departed in a funk as, despite an adjective strewn description, his offer of chocolate pie was declined.

 Tantalising crumbs of banter filtered through – reminiscent of finely brewed Jamaican Blend. Across the way two blue dowagers in animated conversation about “that gel in Apartment 2”. In the love seat a young couple engaged in an intimate tête-à-tête – much eye contact and hand holding, the recipients of indulgent glances from across the room. My neighbours were an old boys club – corpulent members, well polished and at ease with their self proclaimed magnificence.”

 

Picture courtesy of somewhere in the www

Slight character licence taken following a soothing thirty minutes in our local with an old friend yesterday. “Names have been changed to protect the innocent” – 🙂

“Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy.  [Coffee] is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so.  From roadside mugs to the classic demi-tasse, it is the perfect democrat.  ~Author Unknown

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.

When I grow up I want to be a photographer

 

Ok so here’s the thing, I have indulged my burgeoning delight in “proper” photography and purchased a new camera. Over the aeons I have “officially” been designated she with the camera at all family functions, vacations etc and I have plied my trade willingly with various companions. Firstly a kodak instamatic something or other, then a glorious canon something or other (note my technical acumen) and then my first digital friend emanating as a free gift from a cell phone contract upgrade. Perfectly servicable was Fred but with a non-existant zoom and given our penchant for wildlife and mountains etc it was never going to quite suffice. After months of “looking” I eventually settled on a Nikon Coolpix L120 – it was a toss up between this and the latest Canon but over the years canon seems to have forgotten south africa exists so their loss. As you might have gathered Annie Leibovitz I’m not but in short, loving my new addition (in a sexy deep red with black and silver trim) – it’s sturdy and stable and with practice (my macro close ups still have a bit of a shimmy) it’s going to be fabulous. I was practicing in the garden yesterday (DH thought practicing was a euphamism for not wanting to weed the rockery – never!) and herewith a few attempts.

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

The Modern Woman’s Lament

Greta Garbo said something along the lines of “I want to be alone” – I concur. Why is it that nobody will leave me alone? Does that sound arrogant – maybe you would say be grateful that people want you in their lives? This too is true but just for a little while I want to be left in peace. We’ve just been away for a few days to a quiet midlands retreat where there were green fields, lots of trees, cows and horses and sheep, big skies and a tractor or 3. We sat on a very deep-set old fashioned verandah and watched the world. We drank red wine (in really hideous glasses, not that it affected the taste a jot). The rhythm was slow and unhurried – in fact, other than getting takkies on to go for various walks with DH – I spent 5 days in my pj’s (please note not a hint of guilt). I ignored my phone – checked my e-mails only once (which is good for me, really), watched dreadfully girly movies on the box. DH plugged into his computer during said episodes casting a baleful glance at yet another dose of “angst”.

The downside of all this relaxation is that now that “normality” has returned and I use that word lightly I am painfully aware of how ridiculous “normality” has become. My jaw is sore from my plastered on smile, my voice hoarse from being sugary sweet and my ear crushed from having a landline adhered to its lobe and a mobile tucked under my jaw.

Just 5 minutes where you are responsible only to and for yourself.

Please.

 

DIY with a Porcupine

Aaah nothing as salacious as the title conjures – merely a spot of sanding and scraping, a lubrication of wax to bring out the sheen and a good dose of

 

what a fabulous find and such an asset to the age-old profession of DIY.

 

“Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. ”
Francis Bacon