Tag Archives: south africa

Spree S/S 14 Launch

1 Oct

Just after I got back from our amazing trip to Rome and Paris [more on that soon], I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Spree’s S/S 14 Launch, and it was just one of those events that ended up being the perfect way to spend an evening. The evening started with bubbly [always good!], and then several people from Spree spoke to us about the online store, the season ahead, and fashion in general. I was thrilled to hear Chris Viljoen speak, and he took us through several designs currently in store.

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After the talking was over, we got to try on the clothes, have our hair and make-up done, and pose for a little photoshoot! I got to wear this interesteing Black Coffee dress, which I wouldn’t normally have picked out for myself but Chris knows his stuff! The heels are Errol Arendz.

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I mean, if that isn’t the perfect way to spend a mid-week evening, I don’t know what is. Add to that some delicious snacks, and great women like Bailey and Natalie… I mean! At the end of the night we also walked away with a handbag from Spree, AND a voucher to spend at the store. I chose this beautiful pleated maxi skirt from Cheryl Arthur, and I’m excited to say that the weather seems to finally be getting summery enough for me to give it a spin soon!

I’m really loving the selection on Spree, but especially the local designers! Chris Viljoen is a legend in the local fashion scene so it comes as no surprise, of course.  I’m definitely keen to buy more local designers’ wares, and Spree’s service is excellent: Free delivery, and it’s fast! Plus the team is on hand to help you at the drop of a hat.

Thanks for a great time, Spree! Here’s to future shoppings.

25 Things I Learnt In Almost 25 Years of Living

5 Aug
  1. Quality trumps quantity.
  2. Clutter is not good for you. Whether it’s physical clutter in your home, or people you don’t need in your life, a regular spring clean is great for your soul.
  3. Good skin and good eyebrows are NB. Get these two right and you’ll solve many a make-up woe, and you won’t have to wear nearly as much of it.
  4. “Skinny arms are everything.” -Natalie Roos
  5. There’s no substitute for hard work. You can have all the best ideas, and all the talent, but without hard work people are going to overtake you at some point. Learn not to rely on your natural gifts as much, because it can make you lazy.
  6. There are only two things that cost money that make you richer: books and travel.
  7. Speak up, always. Even if it’s your boss, your new lover’s parent, or someone famous or important, I feel it’s important to speak up. I don’t mean insult their ugly shoes or tell them their face sucks. But if someone is being a racist, sexist, bigot, or general douchebag, speak up. Maybe, just maybe, you will plant a seed and that person will start to rethink their attitudes.
  8. The fear and anticipation of pain is often far worse than the pain itself.
  9. Animals are therapy.
  10. You need to rid yourself of the people you don’t need in life. I’m not saying treat people as though they are disposable razors. But sometimes we hold on to people because we’ve known them for too long, or they’re linked to someone else in our life, etc. And we forgive them over and over and over for the things they do that hurt us, anger us, or break us down. It’s not an easy decision to make, but there are times where you need to decide that enough is enough, and cut those people out of your life.
  11. Not everyone has amazing close-knit families who share everything, or a place they’ve always called home. And that’s okay! Because if someday you start your own family, or find where you belong, nothing will beat that feeling. And if you don’t? Well, that’s okay, too, because not everyone needs to have the same stuff.
  12. If you have something important or difficult to say, say it first thing in the morning.
  13. Things happen for a reason. You might have no idea what that reason is in the moment, but eventually it will become clear.
  14. There’s no better feeling than being healthy and happy.
  15. Peplums are not for everyone.
  16. Comparison will make you miserable. Especially in the  age of social media and the internet, you are constantly surrounded by pictures of strangers’ perfect lives. Firstly, people only put the good stuff online. Secondly, for every spoilt brat who had more Louis Vuitton bags than you, there are millions of people who wish they could have the basic stuff you have. Stop comparing yourself to other people, make a list of the things for which you are grateful every day, take control of the things that you don’t like about your life [or make peace with them if they can’t be changed] and be the best, happiest you you can be.
  17. Keep a journal. Even if it’s only to laugh at yourself, or see how far you’ve come.
  18. You don’t need to live by a bucket list. We are often made aware of the amazing things people want to do before they die, and I think we start to believe we haven’t lived unless we’ve been to space and flipping cured cancer. Personally, I don’t want to bungee jump, make an art film, own a vegan lodge in Bhutan, or fly a fighter jet. Not that there aren’t things I want to do in my life. All I’m saying is you don’t have to live by some insane bucket list of things the world has given you the idea you “should” do. Maybe your bucket list is 100 movies you want to watch. At home, on your couch. You watch those movies! And don’t feel like that was a life any less lived than that dude your friend knows who got his foot bitten off by a shark.
  19. Quotes are rubbish. The people in my social media feeds who post inspirational quotes about spirituality and all that deep stuff are some of the people who are least at peace with themselves. Pretty words from Oprah or Chopra are not the key to a fulfilled life. Make your own quotes.
  20. There are only two things in life that are perfect: Mathematics; and classical music.
  21. The best time to take risks and chase that dream of yours is right now. Even if it’s just taking the teensy little first step, our of a billion, stop not doing the thing!
  22. There’s a lot to be said for small pleasures. A perfect cup of tea, a good laugh, a warm bed: The happiness they bring about may be short-lived, but it’s very satisfying. And sometimes it’s enough to turn a bad day into a kind-of-okay one.
  23. Look after your skin. Hair is whatever: You could pretty much singe it off with bleach, and it’ll grow back. Skin won’t. Invest in quality skincare from a young age, and wear SPF. You absolutely will not regret this when you’re older.
  24. Surround yourself with inspiring people. It’s all good having people be complimentary about your achievements, but you need to also have those super people who make you give yourself a kick in the butt. Don’t get comfortable.
  25. Everything is temporary. I’m only 24, so I’m aware that I don’t know much. But so far, almost 25 years into being alive, I can confidently say that nothing is permanent. Broken hearts heal, and the big disappointment you think you’ll never get over fades into the background, sometimes making way for better things. Do take your time to feel all the feels, but remember that whatever you’re going through won’t last forever.

Cape Town today

21 Apr

This time of year is Cape Town’s best kept secret. Forget coming here in summer: April is the time to visit the fair cape! Not a cloud in the sky, the temperature is still warm enough (most days) to walk around without jerseys and jackets, and (best of all) there is no wind! I love this city but man this place’s wind makes me want to kill myself. (Exaggeration).

Sure, the ocean is bloody freezing but it pretty much always is so I tend to look at it and nothing more, most of the time.

This weekend was magical. Sleeping in, brunch, seeing The Kooks live, spending time with a long list of special friends, walks on/along the beach, naps… Thanks, Mother City. You are too kind.

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A Weekend In Franskraal

7 Mar

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photo 4This past weekend we drove out to Franskraal, a coastal town just past Stanford on the East Coast. Now that we’re married we are eager to have tons of “weekends away”, and the Western Cape is so ideal for that. Just a few hours’ drive takes you to beautiful coastal towns, the winelands, mountains, and more!

We drove up after work on Friday which was a good move as it made the weekend seem so much longer! Plus the drive was beautiful and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the mountains, lighting up the beautiful Elgin valley, and finally setting the ocean on fire as we got to Hermanus.

On Friday night we drank and braaied to celebrate Stef’s birthday [the whole reason for the weekend away]. We all chipped in to buy him Settlers of Catan and an extension pack that allows up to six people to play.

On Saturday morning after a big breakfast we went to the beach. SC and I went for a jog and then walked back in the waves. I’m pretty sensitive to cold but the water was a perfect temperature and I have decided the East coast is where it’s at; I just can’t face the arctic waters of the west coast! After some reading time on the beach [still on Les Miserables, should finish in the next decade] we went for a swim and then finally headed home where we had a late lunch with some bubbly. We then went to Birkinhead Brewery in Stanford which has the most incredible mountain views and delicious beer. We watched the rugby which was not as exciting as the drinking game we invented: Take a sip every time the angry Afrikaner at the end of the bar drops an f-bomb. After that we played Settlers of Catan which I was sure I would hate but completely loved. At 2am, Chris won.

Sunday morning was another big breakfast and then SC and I went for soft serve. I’m not much of a sweet tooth but man oh man, give me soft serve on the beach and I am one happy girl! It has to be the strawberry and vanilla kind, or if it’s plain vanilla it needs to be dipped in caramel. Obviously.

After that we went horseriding on the beach. On Saturday we saw horses on the beach and jogged until we caught up with them to ask for a number. It was just Simon and I on the ride and he was a bit nervous because he hasn’t ridden much and the last time I took him riding he was put on a fairly grumpy horse. Simon got a palomino gelding Goldy, and I was put on a feisty little skewbald called Harry. He was a handful, but such fun to ride! Simon went from being nervous to even be on a horse, and having never done more than ten steps of trotting, to galloping on the beach! I was so chuffed and I definitely plan to do this again, soon. Having done horse riding for 13 years of my life, I miss it every single day.

After a really stunning ride, made better by the fact that we were the only two, along with the guide, we drove to Hermanus en route home. We stopped there for a walk around. It really is a beautiful town and was pleasantly quiet. We went to Hemingway’s which is contending with Book Lounge to be my favourite book shop in South Africa. I got a better copy of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin [ours is falling apart] as well as the complete works of Shakespeare because buying them individually is a mission and takes up too much space in our little flat.

After a lunch of gin and tonics and  fish and chips with a view, we drove back to Cape Town, enjoying another beautiful afternoon of sunshine.

It’s energising escaping the city, even if only for two days. I plan on doing more of this in future!

Home Making

9 Feb

Our flat came fully furnished since the owners live in Ireland. But the furniture, since the flat is inside a residential hotel and was rented out as a hotel suite, is very… Hotel-eqsue. By that I mean no clear identity of someone’s taste, nothing too arty or unique. It’s all standard home ware that is neither offensive nor particularly inspiring.

The coffee table, however, was offensive. Hideous, and with a design so impractical it infuriated us everyone time we walked past it [possibly a result of severe toe-stubbing due to said ridiculous design.

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After searching high and low, we found the design we wanted. I wanted something locally made, something that was simple and functional, and something that served to make the space look bigger and lighter, rather than the clunky, heavy piece we had. It couldn’t be white due to our Nguni rug, and black or dark wood combined with the dark wood floors would just make the room too dark. So we went for a colour: Jade Cluster [Dulux]. The design is by Stokperd, a local designer. The price was less than a third of anything else we saw, and it has made a big difference to our living room.

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The table is super glossy and the colour is a brilliant emerald green [which cannot be seen in the pictures]. And, of course, nothing in a house is complete without a little personalisation:

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From to right: According to The Rolling Stones; our wedding album; Grace: A Memoir; Biografie van ‘n Bende; The Clash.

 

The Childhood Project

3 Jan

For Christmas I got a BICYCLE! Yup, it’s just like when you up when you were a little kid and there was a shiny new bike, complete with training wheels and, if you were a girl, pink pom-pom things off the handlebars, and a basket.

For my tenth birthday [if I recall the age correctly], the usual ‘wake up and find presents at the foot of my bed’ was replaced with being told to walk down the hallway to the kitchen to go see my present. It was a bicycle. I had never, ever mentioned wanting one. I had never expressed the desire to have one, or do anything with a bicycle. I felt so guilty, feigning excitement, while on the inside I was going “Why on earth did you guys get me a bicycle?” I suppose the reason was that it was just the done thing: Kids learnt to ride a bicycle at a certain age, and kids wanted a bicycle at some point in their lives.

The problem was that I wasn’t overly excited about- or interested in learning to ride the thing. The bigger problem was that I turned my nose up at what I wasn’t naturally very good at. I got through music exams and school exams  without opening a book, and with very impressive results. I did horse riding every day, a combination of enjoying it and being good at it. But things I didn’t take to with ease did not interest me, especially having a fair amount of “things” at which I was naturally, effortlessly good.

I’m sounding very braggy right now- I promise this all has a point.

Even less appealing than having to actually practice something just to get the gist of it, was the idea that, in the process, I would be repeatedly humiliated. Falling off was one thing. Having my mother run next to me holding the handlebars of my bicycle steady was quite another. Of course the best place to try learn was in the street [completely flat and mostly very quiet in the small Mpumalanga town where I grew up], meaning having to endure all of this in plain view of others, well aware of their puzzled head-scratching, wondering how it was that a child of ten had not yet learned to ride a bike, and seemed to be unable to do it.

I lost interest fairly quickly, and traded that humiliation for having my siblings tease me for the next fourteen years about my disability.

And then, SC bought me the most beautiful Johnny Loco for Christmas! Her name is Vivienne, and she has a bell and she is the fairest bicycle in the land.

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I had been dreaming of cycling around Cape Town with its oh-so-trendy cycling culture. A woven basket in front, I would cycle to work, to the market to get vegetables and flowers, up and down the Company’s Garden- it was all very chic in my head. But now I had to learn to ride the thing. The hours leading up the lesson were spent rationalising that perhaps some people are just genetically incapable of riding a bike! This was met firmly with “You can stand upright, you can ride a bike”. SC was gobsmacked that I could ride horses without falling off, yet not ride a bicycle. But, as I pointed out, my horses didn’t just randomly fall over!

It took about 40 minutes or so. At first I was snappy and on edge. At some point, I think I just got over myself and pedaled off. It’s embarrassing, really, that it happened like that and that it was as simple as telling a very stubborn mind to just shut up and sit down.

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Now, this joyous occasion has not only robbed my siblings of their favourite joke, but also got me thinking to the other gaps in my childhood. There are many things I didn’t do! I grew up in a depressing mining town full of racists and kids who I found infinitely unrelatable and in general I preferred the company of myself to anyone else. So things like tennis, which involved other people, didn’t seem appealing. Plus, I didn’t need other sports: I had horse riding. Things like ice skating were far too exotic for Standerton, and the nearest rink was a good three hours away.

But I feel this lesson [in balance, and my own character] has brought about the time to tackle these vast expanses of my formative years, and fill them up. I feel I need to:

  • Play tennis: I have never ever so much as picked up a racquet and hit a tennis ball with it, but I actually think tennis would suit me because Lacoste
  • Learn how to do a cartwheel
  • Learn how to whistle
  • Learn how to ice skate: I was actually recently taken skating by a friend and made huge steps [as in, actually let go of the railing]
  • Watch Cinderella and Snow White [other than that my Disney education is quite complete, and I regularly indulge in my favourites]
  • Dive into a swimming pool: I don’t mean from a diving board, even. I have never dived head-first into a swimming pool. This, however, results from two very bad drowning experiences when I was 2, and then 3. Nonetheless, it must be tackled!
  • Go fishing. Sure I will hate it, but at least I will be able to have an informed opinion of it.
  • Climb a tree [you’re reading this thinking I’m a freak, aren’t you? I have pulled myself up and sat in the low branches of trees, but I’ve never actually climbed one, I feel.]

Another thing most children experience is getting stitches or breaking something. Besides for being born, I’ve never needed to go to a hospital. Besides for my wisdom teeth, which I had removed under local anesthetic , I have all my body parts including tonsils and appendix. Look, I did once suffer a kick from a horse which just about split my ear in half, but it wasn’t stitch-able. But still, it seems another childhood rite I skipped over. Although I could do with keeping it that way.

So there you have it. My chilhood project for 2013! If you’re an expert in any of these things and feel like giving advice, or maybe even teaching me something, let me know. And feel free to add other things that are must-do childhood activities- who knows what I’ve left out!

LH

A Lovely Picnic Wedding

10 Dec

Last weekend we went to a morning wedding in Constantia, and I just loved how laid-back everything was! It wasn’t formal at all, but still tastefully done and an enjoyable day. Kids were welcome, and after the speeches people who weren’t enjoying the ice-cream stand were playing a spot of crocket or French cricket on the lawns at Little Stream Estate. It was a perfect summer’s day, and the bride’s father’s speech may have made me a little sniffy.

Congrats, Mr and Mrs Heslop!

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There was no seating plan- you simple grabbed a chair/bench/blanket under the trees.

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The food laid out on a help-yourself table, meaning we could go back for seconds [twice].

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Home-made lemonade!

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