1. This past weekend was my eldest sister Emily’s bachelorette weekend in Stellenbosch. We fancied up the place with glitter, gold, blushing pinks and warm metallic tones. All us bridesmaids were kept extra busy in the weeks leading up making fluffy tinsel photo walls, gold bunting, paper rosettes and generally just putting too much glitter on everything!  

     
  2. This past weekend was my eldest sister Emily’s bachelorette weekend in Stellenbosch. We fancied up the place with glitter, gold, blushing pinks and warm metallic tones. All us bridesmaids were kept extra busy in the weeks leading up making fluffy tinsel photo walls, gold bunting, paper rosettes and generally just putting too much glitter on everything!  

     
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  4. Photo Wall Success !!

     

  5. The Present

    When I was young, 5 or 6 or so, I pulled up a chair and climbed atop to peer onto my mom’s cosmetics shelf as she applied some lotion in the mirror next to me. I was after one thing: a small match-boxed-sized present I had spotted blinking at me from below. It had been sitting up on that shelf for months. Something about an unopened present that managed to last that long intact seemed utterly unnatural to my 6 year old sensibility. It was so neatly and tightly bound in shiny red wrapping foil criss-crossed with mirror-like gold ribbon and a puffy little bow. It was surprisingly light when I pinched it between my fingers delicately, as though it was filled with a single whisper. I sniffed it, shook it and held it up to my ear desperately trying to allow it to reveal the inner contents to me.

    "When are you going to open it?", I enquired longingly.

    My mom looked at me and smiled warmly.

    "Never", she said.

    "What?", I gasped.

    "It’s not supposed to be opened".

    "What do you mean? Of course it is. How else are you going to know what’s inside it?"
    “I already know what’s inside it.”

    "You do?"

    "Everything and anything I could ever want."

    As long as I am alive I will never forget the frustration and confusion I felt at that moment.

    How could something - or rather nothing - possibly ever sum up everything someone would ever want? It appeared to provided no useful or evident pleasure of any sort; you could not play with it or eat it and really, what was the use in keeping a lousy gift around if you could never enjoy the fun of opening it?

    It was a couple years later in my grade 6 English class that I encountered a similar notion ( and again with the box analogy). We were learning about Abstract Nouns: Love, Compassion, Patience, Comfort, Trust, Companionship. When suddenly my teacher said something completely curious.
    “Now always remember, the easiest way to test if something is, in fact, an Abstract Noun… “, my teacher swooshed around to pick up a koki and write on the board as she continued; “- is to remember: you can give it to someone…. but never in a box.”

    I couldn’t help think back to that shiny red anomaly of a gift and wonder weather my mom was hoarding abstract nouns.

    It has taken me a lot more years and the better part of making many miserable mistakes in the quest for happiness or fulfillment to really start to make sense of what my mother was getting at. And although I never saw the little red box again, the power of using an object as a symbol or symbolic metaphor for reminding one of the simplest, oft forgotten or ignored, truisms in life has always stuck with me.

     
  6. It seems that random once-off activities of domestic inquiry into what I can do/make with things I am about to throw away are the trend for my Sunday evenings at home. Last weekend I found myself making cottage cheese from 2 L of goat’s milk that was going sour. The cheese ended up to be delicious and from the whey I made soaked wheat bread, stock AND I used it to thin out my hummus, thereby winning over some extra kitchen know-how as well as relinquishing the urge to simply trash everything once I’m halfway done with it.

    Tonight I tackled a big candle left on my dining room table which had burnt the wick to extinction but left a plump corpse of thick white wax surrounding it. I chopped it into chunks with my largest kitchen knife ( like a crazed butchers wife) and emptied a tin of crushed pineapple. I threw the chunks in the cleaned-out tin, whacked it on my gas stove on the smallest ring and watched the dormant arsonist inside me bubble up like the hot transparent liquid oozing from the bottom. I sprinkled in a few drops of lavender oil, gave it a swirl and off I went a-dippin’ varied lengths of string and twine. I sat with the hot tin of wax outside on my balcony in the perfectly cool spring air, methodically dipping from left to right and watching my little army of stiff string celebration candles growing like my winter belly layer.

    They turned out rustic and imperfect and wonky… and oh do I love them.

    Next time I will try adding some colour to the wax and creating some fancy ombré ones or maybe dipping their slender waxy bodies in glitter right before finishing.

     
  7. Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2014 / FUJI

    #ConeyIsland#MermaidParade#NewYorkSummer2014

     
  8. humansofnewyork:

    "I’m trying to distance myself from the idea that youth is the best time of life, because a lot of my friends are really anxious about growing older. I’m studying classical drawing, which helps. It really slows things down. We can work an entire month on a single drawing. And I don’t plan on reaching my peak before the age of fifty."

     
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  10. I’M IN NEW YORK !

    Today was a day of many firsts…and therefore it was the best kind of day because even things that seem simple and obvious, when experienced for the very first time, are doused in glittery surprise, excitement and exoticism. Like shopping at Whilefoods for the first time, or watching a writer feverishly attack the keys of a typewriter in the subway to fulfill his paper promise of “poetry on demand”.

    In fact this whole week has been a bunch of first from the very first step I took off the plane onto JKF tarmac, to my first yellow cab taxi ride with Cheralee, to our first all American diner lunch together over which we basically condensed 3 years of social narratives, future dreams, morphed personal philosophies and opinions between bites of home fries and gulps of steaming fresh coffee ( which a man with a glass jug is always hovering about dispensing liberally into my mug each time I get halfway finished). I am still amazed at how easy and fluid it is connecting with another human being you share a friendship with even after years apart. From the moment we left the Airport on Friday, where Cher traveled all the way to just to come and meet me at a ghastly early hour, till late Sunday night- it seemed as though nothing had changed and that we both just had way better stories to tell each other from time spent on our own adventures.

    I ticked the rest of the afternoon by wondering about the Lower East Side, Little Italy , East Village and did some shopping at the “pharmacies” here( which was an actual experience in itself) until it was time to head out to Brooklyn for dinner. I met up with Cher under the giant glowing neon sign of a Dunkin’ Donut on Canal street and we caught the subway to Bedford station in Williamsburg where we met up with Theo ( Oliver’s brother) and Ashleigh ( Theo’s girlfriend) for drinks at “The Soft Spot”. Along the way, we weaved through a lucky packet of bars and evening spots, each more specific and alluring than the last. One promising the best fried chicken on (?) waffles in New York, the next peppered with leather-cad, tattoo laced arms clutching beers out of street-side windows alongside another oozing a dim amber glow and Frank Ocean soundtrack onto the street, afro-topped, fedoras-wearing clusters of people dotted inside and out on couches.

    "The Soft Spot" was screening the Ivory Coast -Japan FiFA game on a TV in the background while I was introduced to everyone and simultaneously handed Mega Chocolate M&M’s from Theo, I had almost forgotten the World Cup was even on. We ordered drinks and I tried desperately not to appear too overwhelmed by all the energy that was bubbling around, above, on , in and throughout the entire day leading up. We had relocated to a small bistro-light strewn court yard at the back of the bar when another one of Cher’s mates- a fresh-faced beauty also by the name of Ali- joined us. She hopped in with a head full of candy floss curls, Nike sneakers on and a story spilling into the air about being day-drunk on beer and not eating a thing yet before she had even properly reached our circle. I knew we’d get on immediately. I sat for the rest of the night in amazement at the incredibly theatrical and genuinely hilarious play between the other four. It is a special thing when you are invited into the sacred space of friends that know each other intimately enough to be utterly bizarre and shameless around each other. At around 10:30pm we headed a few bars done to "The Meatball Shop" where we were eating dinner and had left our names on a list an hour prior. Upon entering the music inside the restaurant is nothing I have ever specifically heard before but it immediately reminds me of how young, exciting and unexplainably precious my youth is.

    We sit at wooden tables near the back and the others tell me about the options for the night; which turn out to be basically meatballs on sandwiches, meatballs on brioche and meatballs on salad with a selection of sauces and sides; perfect! We mark our decisions with black kokis on laminated menus and hand them to the waitress who has already put in the order for our “Moscow Somethings” a drink comprising of gin, ginger-beer and lime if I remember correctly- which everyone is disappointed to discover aren’t served in beaten copper mugs as is usually the tradition. The spot is noisy, filled with groups of friends carousing, music playing and dishes clattering but I barely need to hear what is going on at the table to appreciate the interactions. Everyone is so animated and basically on form- in a highly reactionary soft of way. An american sort of way.” Are we already drunk?”, I think to myself… no. It’s such a good crowd of people being genuinely hilarious. I especially appreciate Cher and Theo’s outburst of duets, accented role plays and dance moves while waiting for our meals which come, in true American style; mega portions with all the trimmings. My beef meatballs with spicy meat sauce on salad and seasonal beg is delicious! I devour it salivating while Ali and Ashleigh tell us about a free music concert in Brooklyn the next day that they’ll both be heading to.

    Once we are all stuffed and even the thought of trying to sneak in a cookie/ice cream sammich is not an option to be entertained we pay the bill and step out onto the street which is still a-buzz with activity. It’s colder out tonight than I expected it to be for New York Summer evenings but I’m assured it’s not usual as the days following seem to prove as well. Theo and Ashleigh head off- while Cher and Ali seem to perform a duolgue of hilarities for me on the street. It’s been a long and very eventful day for my first in New York and I’m satisfied that midnight means I am successfully beating the jet-lag game before it even begins! We head home and I almost get lost walking from Canal St station back to the apartment because all the crammed streets of daytime Chinatown have become a calm, quiet skeleton of themselves- wearing an almost unrecognizable guise of scarcity. I take a shower and plonk myself onto my bed, unable to close my curtains because gazing out onto New York City buildings from the 6th floor vantage point of my bedroom fills me with childish excitement.

    I can’t believe I’m actually here.