Every so often, when my schedule allows and deadlines aren’t coming at me as thick and fast as they normally do, I spend an hour or two volunteering at an urban farm close to my home in Cape Town.

Sometimes, I help place tiny seeds in polystyrene planting trays and other times I clear weeds from the veggie beds. It’s nothing fancy and I love it precisely because of this. A couple of hours away from my laptop, feeling the sun on my shoulders and inhaling the scent of earth and soil.

Continue Reading "Random Thought: Of Our National Anthem and the Ones Who Love It Most"

Since I first started listening to podcasts in – I don’t know – probably 2015, they’ve become an integral part of my daily life.

Need to relax after a long, stressful day? Switch on an episode of Modern Love or The Moth and let the ‘stranger-than-fiction’ real-life stories soothe my soul.

Know I have a long solo drive/trip lying ahead? Save up the latest episodes of all my favourite podcasts to savour word for word as the road ahead unfurls.

Bored and need some inspiration? Re-listen to some of the stories that made an impression on me before.

Basically, podcasts are my go-to form of entertainment.

They have also become one of the ways in which I practice self-care on a daily basis, as they feed my mind, uplift my spirits and inspire me to become a better interviewer/storyteller/writer.

In recent weeks, I have found much solace, food-for-thought and amusement in the following four podcasts:

Continue Reading "Podcasts I’ve been enjoying lately"

I recently read a luminous travelogue/memoir/work of philosophical genius called My First Summer in the Sierra that really struck an almost uncanny chord with me.

Penned by Scottish-American naturalist, John Muir in 1869, the book is basically a personal diary of his experience joining a crew of shepherds on their humble search for good grazing in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.

He was a young man of 31 at the time and intent on finding meaning beyond the mundanities of daily life. And, well, (spoiler alert): he found loads of it in the wilds of North America.

It’s been quite a while since a book resonated as deeply with me. Its pages are properly dog-eared now, stuck full of place-holder post-its and almost entirely covered in pencil marginalia and underlined paragraphs.

So, I decided to jot down some of my favourite quotes right here:

Continue Reading "Wise Words: A Collection of Quotes from John Muir"

Looking back into the Peregrina playlist archives, it’s evident that – for me – any change of season calls for a soundtrack.

So, it’s hardly surprising that I found myself collecting songs again recently to match the mellow golden glow of Autumn. A season after my own heart.

I guess the reason I love it so much is simply because of its subtlety. The way it inhabits the in-between with such splendour. How it arrives without fanfare and leaves without wasting time on goodbyes.

I love it for its romance – the soft twirling of leaves and the dramatic sunrise pink streaks, special gifts for anyone with eyes to see.

It’s also the season that lends itself best to soothing melodies, sultry love songs and slow jams… and who doesn’t love those?

Continue Reading "Playlist: Hazy Autumn Days"

If you don’t know me personally, you probably wouldn’t know that I have a little obsession with fairy tales. Also, folklore, fantasy, myths and legends.

I did my English Literature Honours thesis about the Cinderella story and have a vast array of fairy tales/folk tales/fireside stories/myths/legends etc (including at least 3 volumes of 1001 Arabian Nights) on my bookshelves.

For the past few years, however, this hobby hasn’t received all that much fire from me. Which is fine – I mean we can’t pursue everything all the time can we?

But as I was looking for new podcasts to listen to recently, it suddenly dawned on me: hey! I wonder if there are any good ones about fairy tales out there?

Well, I did a little Google search and, let me tell you, there are loads! Some are obviously better than others, but wading through the masses, I discovered a few that definitely deserved a click on the Subscribe button.

Here are a few of my favourites right now:

Continue Reading "Fairy tales, folklore and fantastic creatures – my favourite podcasts right now"

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year for us here in the southern hemisphere. And also the longest night. Mid-winter.

It’s been cold and stormy and I keep finding myself closing up tight into a bud, instead of blooming where I’m planted (as the motivational wallpaper on my work computer says I should).

Self-care comes in many forms: exercise, meditation, craft and music. This week, music has been my physician of choice. And the songs that seemed to grab me most had one thing in common: strong female vocals shot through with vulnerability and a good measure of fun.

Maybe you’ll enjoy it too…

Continue Reading "Playlist: Girl power"

Remember in August last year I shared my 5 favourite podcasts with you?

Well, seven months down the line and I’m more obsessed with *listening* to stories than ever before, regularly discovering new gems to add to my weekly playlist.

Instead of introducing you to a batch of my new favourite podcasts, however, I’d rather share a few of the individual episodes that have really captured my imagination lately and stuck around in my head and my heart… for various reasons.

Continue Reading "Podcast episodes I’ve enjoyed lately"