Since the coronavirus pandemic hit our shores, leading to the announcement of stringent lockdown measures and an almost total shutdown of the economy, many South African small businesses have been struggling to stay afloat. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to support and buy local.

In the light of this, I’ll be doing a series of posts over the next few weeks, featuring my favourite South African makers and brands – from jewellery designers and artists to skincare products and shoes.

Two weeks ago, I featured a few artists and illustrators whose work I dream of collecting. This week, I’ll be featuring 12 South African jewellery designers (presented in alphabetical order) whom I came across on Instagram during those lazy lockdown days. Their varied and diverse handiwork remains among the favourite posts in my feed. I do, however, think that I may have to do another round-up at a later stage – there are seriously SO MANY amazing jewellery-makers in this country!

If you have any local brands/makers you love – no matter what they do – please leave a suggestion in the comments! 

Continue Reading "Support local: 12 South African jewellery designers to watch"

As you might have gathered from some of my previous posts, I’m a huge fan of supporting local brands and makers. Also, whenever I need to buy an item of clothing, homeware or even consumables, I always try to check that it has been made in South Africa and preferably somehow supports small business. Of course, this isn’t ALWAYS possible, but I try…

Anyway, since the coronavirus pandemic hit our shores, leading to the announcement of stringent lockdown measures and an almost total shutdown of the economy, many South African small businesses have been struggling to stay afloat. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to support and buy local.

In the light of this, I’ll be doing a series of posts over the next few weeks, featuring my favourite South African makers and brands – from jewellery designers and artists to skincare products and shoes. I’ll be kicking off my series with artists and illustrators whose work I’d love to collect and hang all over the walls of our new home.

If you have any local brands/makers you love – no matter what they do – please leave a suggestion in the comments! 

Continue Reading "Support local: Proudly South African artists & illustrators"

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"

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"
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"

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"

Here’s a little confession I bet many of you might find surprising: I’m a perfectionist.

I know it doesn’t seem that way. By all accounts, I’m pretty laid-back and quick to let things go when they don’t work out according to plan.

But I have a sneaky suspicion that these are the methods I’ve developed over time to protect myself from disappointment and constantly feeling like a failure. That’s a post for another day, however.

The point is: I think there are two kinds of perfectionists in this world.

Continue Reading "Learning to appreciate the process"

‘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 you to meet Melanie van Zyl. She is a travel writer and photographer whose work just seems to capture the wondrous essence of every place she visits. 

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Melanie van Zyl on Travel Writing and Photography"

This past Monday (22 April), we celebrated Earth Day. While it may have slipped by unnoticed for some, it offered a moment of reflection for many.

While I certainly didn’t dedicate the entire day to thinking about the ways in which I’ve harmed – or, in fact, tried my best to help repair – our planet, I did spend a few minutes taking stock of my behaviour. As proud as I am of the reusable straws I whip out of my handbag every time I sip a smoothie in a coffee shop or the artillery of shopping bags I’ve built up in my war on plastic waste, I still have a long, long, long way to go.

Fortunately, there certainly is no lack of inspiration out there: men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our natural resources and encouraging others to do the same.

In this past week, I happened to come across interviews with two women who have not only had a major impact on environmental policy around the globe but also inspired those around them to rethink their way in the world.

I wanted to share snippets of their stories with you… and then thought, what the heck, in for a penny, in for a pound: I might as well throw in two more inspiring environmental women warrior stories! So, here you go:

Continue Reading "Earth Day: Meet These Badass Women Environmentalists"

When it comes to dreams of travel, there’s an outright war being waged within my soul.

While one side yearns to explore places unknown – inhale their strange air, indulge in their exotic cuisine, listen to the unfamiliar song of the languages the locals speak – the other side desperately longs for a grand return to so many I’ve been before. To retrace the footsteps of the woman I was back then, to see what she saw and maybe even point out a few of the things she missed; to sink my teeth into the delicacies I’ve never been able to find back home; to stake my claim for some sort of familiarity; but mostly just to be there again.

Portugal is one of the places I wish to return to most poignantly. Porto, in particular.

Continue Reading "Take me back: Porto"