In this time of a novel coronavirus wreaking global havoc and the equally novel responses to this crisis, I have one of the least novel thoughts in the history of thoughts to share with you today.

A cliché even.

But as Terry Pratchett once said: “The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.”

They’re basic and rudimentary, but essential instruments in the construction of our reality. Especially in such strange and uncertain times.

So, the thought I want to share with you today is this:

Continue Reading "In retrospect, freedom"

For the past few weeks, I’ve been plagued by a recurring nightmare.

While each dream plays out slightly differently, they all follow roughly the same pattern:

I suddenly remember/discover that, in order to pass a course/graduate, I need to hand in complex assignment/sit for a lengthy exam/attend an important class.

The deadline/test day is upon me, but I’m both empty-handed and empty-headed. In a last-ditch effort to cram all the information I possibly can into my brain before it’s too late, I set out for the library to find the prescribed book/document containing all the answers.

Continue Reading "Resting in the question mark"

If all had gone as planned, we would have been on day five of a blissful honeymoon somewhere along the Garden Route (I think…).

Instead, here we are on day 14 of a 21-day national lockdown, hunkered down in our homes, movement restricted to only the most necessary excursions. The government’s noble effort to help flatten the curve of Covid-19 infections in South Africa.

Continue Reading "Love in the time of lockdown"

It may only be February, but I must say, it feels like we’re at least 5 months into the new year and -decade already!

Looking back over the past 50 days, I can quite confidently confirm that 2020 did not – I repeat – did not come tiptoeing in gently.

There were those few peaceful post-New Year’s days with my family in Tergniet, but since then, it’s pretty much been a whirlwind of change and excitement.

Here’s a little rundown:

Continue Reading "2020 Life Update"

This past weekend, we celebrated my mom’s birthday with a family picnic in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve.

Following a little meander along the Palmiet River Trail, we settled on some rocks close to a rushing waterfall and enjoyed fresh Portuguese rolls, coffee, tea and home-baked goodies courtesy of Imar and Tamara. This spot also happens to be a designated swimming zone that I’d love to revisit on a sunnier, more summery day.

After the picnic, Imar and I decided to head back to Betty’s Bay along the 6km Oudebosch trail, which connects the Kogelberg Nature Reserve with the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens. After being damaged by the devastating fires in January, the hike has been closed for much of the year. It was reopened to the public recently, but with much of the path back down into the garden not fully restored just yet and a couple of rusty tools scattered along the trail, we suddenly doubted whether this was really the case.

We were very pleased and excited to walk alongside two sets of Cape Leopard tracks – possibly a mother and a cub – for quite a bit of the middle section of the trail, though, and kept our eyes peeled for the elusive creatures. Sadly they were in no mood to be spotted (Lol lol).

Either way, it was an invigorating and memorable experience. Here are some photos I took:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Picnic in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve"

It’s been a heady few weeks for us South Africans since the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup at the end of October.

The team returned home last week and received a well-deserved heroes’ welcome at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, followed by more of the same in the various cities they’ve visited as part of their Trophy Tour.

Today was Cape Town’s turn and, of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

After an early wake-up to get some work done, I grabbed my camera, got on the MyCiti bus and headed into the streets just before 11am.

I wended my way from Strand, through St. George’s Mall and all along Adderley, turning down into Darling Street where the celebratory atmosphere was practically palpable. All along the way, fans waved South African flags and burst into spontaneous renditions of Shosholoza and the National Anthem. Most were kitted out in green-and-gold, but sadly some couldn’t escape their workwear. No matter what they were wearing, though, not a soul was left out of the festivities!

It was truly a sight to behold and I relished capturing some special moments on camera.

Here they are:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Springboks Trophy Tour"

‘The Wild Woman Interviews’ is a series of Q&As with women who do interesting, brave and inspiring things. The name hints at how nature, the outdoors, travel, the natural cycles of life etc. motivate and influence their passions and pursuits.

This month, I’d like to introduce you to Bulelwa Msengi. She currently heads up the tourism portfolio for South African National Parks’ (SANParks) Cape Region and loves spending as much time as possible running, hiking and exploring the outdoors. In this interview, she shares some of her favourite local hiking trails and reasons why all South Africans should make an effort to visit and support our national parks. 

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Bulelwa Msengi on our National Parks and Living Life Outdoors"

With all the Bok-related patriotism in the air, it’s hard not to think about being South African. I’ve caught myself softly singing our national anthem a good few times since Saturday and, without fail, feel my eyes well up when reaching those last two lines.

Earlier this year, I wanted out. I wanted to pack my bags and move somewhere safe. I wanted to escape the violence and the tension and the feeling of always looking over my shoulder.

But what good would that do? In the name of safety, I’d lose so much.

I’d lose living in a country where:

Continue Reading "On being South African"

Last year, I discovered my old point and shoot film camera in a drawer. Believe it or not, I actually still used it to capture my first few months at university back in 2004!

Anyway, since I had started dabbling in film photography, I decided to pop one of the expired Kodak Gold films I had recently acquired into the sturdy little body and decided to keep it in my handbag for spontaneous shots.

Well, over the next few months, it became my constant companion and ended up accompanying me on work trips to Maputo and Mpumalanga, as well as random adventures all around Cape Town. Sadly, one fateful day, it must have decided that it had served me loyally enough for long enough and simply gave up the ghost.

Fortunately, I could still wind the film up and have it developed.

The result? Super grainy snapshots – some overexposed, others under and yet others completely covered in light leaks. Not great photos by any standard. Yet, somehow, the more you look at them, the more charming they seem to become.

Or maybe I just feel loyal to them.

Maybe you should judge for yourself:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Super Grainy 35mm Point and Shoot"
Even though yoga lends itself so well to an ‘anytime, anywhere approach’, it sure is hard to set up a home practice.
I’ve been trying for more than 10 years and only recently managed to carve out at least 3 hours a week for at-home yoga.
One of the main reasons for this little success is the fact that I started my 200hr yoga teacher training (YTT) course in August. Apart from having to practice a certain number of hours per week, I was also given specific poses to work on improving.
While joining a yoga class is great for getting into a delicious flow, an at-home practice is the perfect way to get better at things you’re not that good at. Yet.
Being committed to arriving on your mat in your own space can also save you a lot of money when studio/gym costs are hard to scrape together. Which – let’s face it – is a reality for many of us.
So, if you’ve also been struggling to get a yoga practice going at home, here are a few things that helped me set mine up:
Continue Reading "How to get your home yoga practice going"