Sunday, 13 December 2009

In the Mother City

It is so good to be here. Even if it makes me realise how I have missed it over the past two and a half years.

Details when I am back in Joburg, I promise. Any Cape Town bloggers keen to hook up? Mail me at doodles of a journo at gmail dot com.

Friday, 11 December 2009

If I don't see you before then...

Although I probably will ;-)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Random snatches

I got a lot of stuff done at home yesterday - finished off that freelance project, did some web copy for another client, wrapped my dad's Christmas present from my mom (long story), had Boss Chick and Roo over for tea and ordered a wedding gift from here for friends getting married soon.

Then it was off to visit Louisa to drop off her baby shower present. I figured we would pop in for a little while, but we ended up only leaving at 8pm last night! Louisa and I swam while TSC and Sparrow played endless games of darts, and eventually Louisa's mom invited us to stay for dinner. I felt bad that we stayed so long, but I had an awesome time - haven't laughed so hard in ages. Between Louisa's marvellous sense of humour and Sparrow's mad antics, we were certainly entertained!

Today's been ok so far - had a brainstorming session with a client this morning for the morning job. Champagne and orange juice got the creative juices flowing, although they've also meant that this post has been written in the 5-min comfort breaks in between sections of the meeting.

This afternoon I will hopefully FINALLY lock down TSC's present. I have ventured out shopping to buy it five times now. FIVE. The first place I visited was too expensive, then the next place didn't have stock. The third place had stock, but only in pink etc...


Hope I get it sorted today because TOMORROW WE LEAVE FOR CAPE TOWN!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Exciting news

We have our first booking for the World Cup next year! Yup, TSC and I are renting our spare rooms out and we've had a booking confirmation and request from three folks in the USA. For me, this will be a way of actually getting involved with the whole event. Up till now it's felt like it's been over my head. I'm excited to host guests and show them some of amazing South Africa (have always dreamt of running my own B&B) although I'm also a bit nervous! But being pushed outside of your comfort zone is usually a good thing.

In other news, I am working from home today. Why? Well, Tuesday is the day our cleaning lady and gardener come to do their thing, but yesterday the gardener couldn't make it as he was taking his sick uncle to the bus to go home to Limpopo. They think he may have TB, so he's going home to the family where he can be taken to hospital and visited.

Normally our cleaning lady, Margaret, takes care of Stephen, our gardener, while they're both here on one day a week, seeing she's been working in this house for the past seven years and knows every nook and cranny. But seeing she already came yesterday, I asked my boss if I could work from home today so there's someone around and she agreed. There's really no work to be done, so I don't think she minded at all, although I still hate asking for favours.

So now I am here, in my tracksuit, to make sure Stephen gets lunch. He's a lovely guy, but he's only worked for us on a once-a-week basis for about two months, so I'm not quite ready to leave my house open and trust him completely while I'm away for the day.

Unfortunately, seeing I primitively use the IE feed reader on my work PC to keep track of blogs, I may miss a post or two here at home. But fear not, I shall return tomorrow.

Off to check my work mail now. Just to be proper and all. Have a good one.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Last night, having finished up with my freelancing for the day, I chucked together a hasty jambalaya for supper and TSC and I dashed to Cedar Square to see Julie & Julia, which I've been wanting to see for ages.

We both really enjoyed it. Meryl Streep as Julia Child reminded me a bit of my late grandmother for some reason. And it was really interesting to watch a movie where blogging features so prominently.

Amy Adams was far less annoying than in some of her previous roles and I actually warmed to her for the first time. There were some laugh out loud moments too, like where she's trying to cook lobster.

We had a "lovenest" seat in the cinema for the first time. So comfortable to be able to snuggle without an armrest between us! Aside from a technical sound glitch (why does this always happen to us?) that meant the movie had to be stopped for five minutes and we missed a few seconds of the story, it was a perfect evening.

Today I'm hoping to finish off the freelance project, although that all depends on whether I can get the outstanding info I need from the client in time.

TSC is busy painting my folks' garage roof today, so while he's not around this afternoon I will finally get to buy and wrap his Christmas present. I won't mention what it is, just in case he decides to lurk a while (I think he has a better idea of what my blog is after last night's movie) ;-)

Other than that, there is much admin planned for today. Yuck. But at least it's the kind of admin that doesn't require much brain power. Because that is a commodity seriously lacking in my vicinity today. December brain mush has arrived in full.

Off to... wait, what was I going to do now?

Monday, 7 December 2009

Five days!

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Holiday in Cape Town with amazing best friends!


The weekend, in short, was exhausting and emotional. On the plus side, I discovered these amazing homeopathic drops for mild depression, grief and tearfulness that will be my new best friend in encounters of the in-law kind. Magic stuff!

I also made enough money at my open day to buy TSC's Christmas gift and presents for his whole family (which did much in putting a stop to the guilt-tripping going on) and my mom and dad.

A further discovery was that I still suck at 10-pin bowling, and that I should not be let loose in company when over-tired, hormonal and angry. Unless I've been doped with my magic drops. Then I'm just peachy.

I leave you with a pic of me and the parentals with Gogo and her family in front of her new house.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Cop out

I actually have very little desire to post today. Too much nonsense going on with the in-laws.
Here are some photos instead, taken at our sushi course.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Mood

Personal storm cloud hovering over head, short temper, twitchy, bags under eyes... kinda like a zombie with Tourettes syndrome, actually.

  • Rampant PMS
  • Insane last-minute freelance job with huge workload and ridiculous deadline
  • Having a host of guests for a year-end life group braai who only left at 11.30 last night (not that it wasn't an awesome time - a blast was had by all)
  • Having a house that looks like a whole host of guests trooped through it in last night's storm - muddy floors, wrapping paper everywhere, paper plates in the strangest places...
  • A certain phone call at 6am this morning from the in-laws to ask if they could arrive this eve and stay for the weekend
  • A certain argument with TSC on the above point
  • The knowledge that a certain Doodling Journo will surely be blamed for the fact that the response to afore-mentioned phone request was 'no', despite the fact that said Journo's partner is responsible for most of the weekend engagements and has an interview tomorrow, meaning that there will be no time to actually see the in-laws at all
  • Having to cancel Friday night's dinner engagement because of afore-mentioned ridiculous deadline
  • Stressing about the logistics around a particular Christmas open house this Sat and how everything will ever get done on time
  • Not being able to think of a final bullet point to make it an even number

Plan of action:

Any or all of the following:

  • Beat head repeatedly on desk until unconscious
  • Practise the ancient art of escapism by ignoring problems and reading blogs
  • Collapse in a heap of snot and tears
  • Put on big girl panties and suck it up
  • Vent on blog

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I'm dreaming of a green Christmas...

This year, I'm making a little effort to have a greener Christmas. And it really is that - a little effort. But it still makes a difference. Here's a few small tips I'm trying out to make less of an impact on the environment this festive season:
  • Switching my fairy lights for LED ones. They use less energy and, IMO, they are prettier.
  • Not buying wrapping paper. I am re-using wrapping paper, gift bags and ribbons from previous occasions, and wrapping some presents in newspaper with pretty bows tied on and others (the small ones) are being packaged in cute re-useable drawstring fabric bags. I'm also re-using old jam jars, which I've discovered make beautiful jewellery gift boxes once decorated. Maybe I'll be brave and try my hand at the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki (wrapping presents in fabric).
  • Not buying a tree. TSC and I cut some long branches from our laurel tree and made them into a cone-shape to act as a tree. I'm putting it up this afternoon, so I'll post pics soon.
  • Rethinking my Christmas cards. Close family and friends get handmade cards crafted out of scraps of paper, fabric and last year's Christmas cards. Everyone else gets an email card (I still go to a little effort making something pretty and personal to send out).
  • Maximising the romance of candlelight at meal times. Switching off the lights and lighting the candles not only soothes the soul, it saves loads of electricity!
  • Enjoying South Africa's summer Christmas weather. Sipping a cocktail on my veranda or having a game of tennis while we're on holiday means I'm not wasting electricity watching TV or wasting money at the mall ;-)
  • Not doing disposable. Instead of using paper napkins, I use fabric ones when we entertain. They're not only more classy (so long as they're not stained!), they're also greener. I'm also trying to resist the temptation to use paper plates and cups when we have large groups over, although sometimes we just don't have enough crockery to go around!
  • Recycling. Making sure all those extra bags of paper, glass and plastic from the festive excesses get sorted and recycled. And the table scraps go in the compost heap.

Any tips you'd like to add?

Also, here are the long promised photos of my jewellery. Sorry they're not great quality - my little snapshot camera's flash is evil, so I was trying to shoot these at night without using it. Also, this is a very small and randomly picked selection (every piece is a once-off, so if I have to shoot and post every piece I've made it will take six years). Right, now that the excuses are out of the way...

red heart earrings

purple and silver choker

chunky red keychain

gold butterfly and blue sequin chain

chunky gold bracelet with fresh water pearls

Green and silver delicate choker

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

2 for the price of 1

Not really, hey. If anyone had to pay for content here, I'd be out of business. I have no illusions of tackling Google. See, I'm not Rupert Murdoch.

But that is neither here nor there. What is here, are two topics in one blog post.

World AIDS Day. It is today, people. And in the spirit of occasionally providing worthwhile and useful content, I have found six little known facts about HIV/AIDS for you. why six? Because a) it's an even number and b) the lovely Momcat gave me an awesome award which demands I tell you six random things about me, but I reckon this is more beneficial. So here goes:

  • Two HIV positive people in a sexual relationship should still use condoms as re-infection is a possibility.

  • It can take years for people with HIV to develop AIDS. "In some people, the T-cell decline and opportunistic infections that signal AIDS develop soon after initial infection with HIV. Most people remain asymptomatic for 10 to 12 years, and a few for much longer. As with most diseases, early medical care can help prolong a person's life." Quote from here.

  • According to this site, studies indicate that condoms slip off the penis in about 1 to 5 percent of acts of vaginal intercourse and slip down (but not off) about 3 to 13 percent of the time. So using condoms means safer sex, but not 100% safe sex.

  • Use only water-based lubricants with latex condoms as oil- or petroleum-based lubricants (like Vaseline) will cause the latex to break. (People with latex allergies can use polyethylene condoms with oil-based lubricants.)

  • There can be a link between HIV and other STDs. According to these folks, having a sexually transmitted disease can increase your risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV. "This is true whether you have open sores or breaks in the skin (as with syphilis, herpes, chancroid) or not (as with chlamydia and gonorrhea). Where there are breaks in the skin, HIV can enter and exit the body more easily. Even when there are no breaks in the skin, STDs can cause biological changes that may make HIV transmission more likely. Studies show that HIV-infected individuals who are infected with another STD are three to five times more likely to contract or transmit the virus through sexual contact."

  • It is possible to get HIV through unprotected oral sex. See here and here for info.

I hope you learnt something.

Now, the second topic. Well, it's not really actually a different topic. See that award from Momcat needs to be passed on to six Gorgeous Bloggers. But I don't want them to feel like that has anything to do with my HIV/AIDS post. So, ladies, feel free to stick to the original meme and post six random things about yourselves before you pass this on. Or feel free to ignore if you're not the blog awards type. K? Right, the list...

  • Kimmi. Coz she's awesome both IRL and on her newly founded blog.

  • Paula. Coz she's back in blogland!

  • Helen. Coz she makes me laugh and then she makes me think.

  • Meriel. Coz she is sweet, thoughtful and funny and let me see her wedding invitation copy before posting it. LOL.

  • Shayne. Because I love her posts and she understands my garden-watching habits.

  • Po. Because I have never met a more entertaining or incredible seamonkey. Or someone who will debate books with me for days in a comments section.

So, you lot, this is for you: