Category: beauty

July2016

From left to right:

  1. Painting I saw at First Thursdays
  2. Pretty flowers on Lion’s Head
  3. Carrot cake flavoured ice-cream from The Creamery

It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve booked my tickets to Victoria Falls International Airport and since then I haven’t done much in the way of research and planning. I haven’t booked accommodation, arranged for any tours or check that my yellow fever certification is still current, which is worrisome considering that I board said flight in less than two weeks. Instead I’ve spent the last two weeks feasting (Ramadaan just ended), teaching myself some Python scripting, and being paralyzed by fear.

 

You see, days after I booked my plane tickets to Victoria Falls (which is situated in Zimbabwe), I would learn via Twitter of the national shutdown protests in Zimbabwe. This ultimately leaves me with the following questions:

  • Is the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls safe to travel to?
  • Is it ethical to travel to a country where a majority of the citizens are clearly fed up with the current government?

*

Anyway, I’m currently reading “Into Thin Air“.

Here’s an extract from the novel:

“Straddling the top of the world, one foot in China and the other in Nepal, I cleared the ice from my oxygen mask, hunched a shoulder against the wind, and stared absently down at the vastness of Tibet. I understood on some dim, detached level that the sweep of earth beneath my feet was a spectacular sight. I’d been fantasizing about this moment, and the release of emotion that would accompany it, for many months. But now that I was finally here, actually standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn’t summon the energy to care.

It was early in the afternoon of May 10, 1996. I hadn’t slept in fifty-seven hours. The only food I’d been able to force down over the preceding three days was a bowl of ramen soup and a handful of peanut M&Ms. Weeks of violent coughing had left me with two separated ribs that made ordinary breathing an excruciating trial. At 29, 028 feet up in the troposhere, so little oxygen was reaching my brain that my mental capacity was that of a slow child. Under the circumstances, I was incapable of feeling much of anything except cold and tired.”

Training for an ultra-marathon (anything over 42km) is tough. It requires dedication, commitment, sacrifice and TIME. Boy, does it require time.

 

Training for the Two Oceans Ultra (and the Comrades) is a big time suck. My week days consist solely of working, running, and sleeping. Lather, rinse, repeat. My weekends are spent leaving parties early (22:00 for the latest), because I have to wake up at the crack of dawn the very next day to pound the streets and think about my life choices. Weekend runs can last anywhere between two to five hours. Naturally my run is followed by SLEEP. Three to four hours of glorious SLEEP.  I normally awake from these epic slumber events completely listless. So listless that I often hope that there’s food in the fridge and I won’t be forced to put on pants and venture outside in search of sustenance. (Spoiler alert: There’s never anything in the fridge).

 

One of the ways in which I’ve decided to make training (and all the accompanying sacrifices) easier is by making the most of my rest days. This means spending it with people I love; people who make me laugh; people who support my endeavours. It also means doing something special; something out of the ordinary; something other than sitting on the couch and watching TV.

 

This is why I’ve compiled the not-so-bucket list. It’s a list of achievable things I’ve always wanted to do in Cape Town, but never make time for. One of those things was swimming at the penguins at Boulders.

Here of some of the photos I took at Boulders.

Boulders

Entrance fees from 1 Nov 2015 – 31 Oct 2016
R65 for adults
R35 for children

Operating Hours: 7 days a week
Dec – Jan: 07h00 – 07h30
Feb – April: 08h00 -18h30
May – Sept: 08h00 – 17h00
Oct – Nov:  08h00 – 18h30

 

TurkeyIMG_3032IMG_3183IMG_2770IMG_3136IMG_3754 Church in Istiklal Street IMG_3800

  1. Google Earth map, with the yellow stars depicting the different cities and towns I visited.
  2. Smug cat in Ephesus. (Demarked by the yellow star beneath Izmir.)
  3. Snail. Heybeliada Island, off the coast of Istanbul.
  4. Fish braai on a yacht. Kaş, Turkey (Yellow star below Fethiye).
  5. Art gallery in Istanbul, Turkey.
  6. Umbrellas in the sky. Antalya, Turkey.
  7. Catholic church in Istanbul, Turkey.
  8. Ruins close to Olympos. (Yellow star below Antalya.)

IMG_3460

Photograph taken somewhere in California.

I am currently reading “The Reader” by Bernhard Schlink.

Here are two of my favourite passages from the book:

“When I let her alone to prepare pudding, she was not at the table when I came back. She had gone from room to room and was standing in my father’s study. I leaned quietly against the doorpost and watched her. She let her eyes drift over the bookshelves the filled the walls, as if she were reading a text. Then she went to a shelf, raised her right index finger chest high and ran it slowly along the backs of the books, moved to the next shelf, ran her finger further along, from one spine to the next, pacing off the room. She stopped at the window, looked out into the darkness, at the reflection of the bookshelves, and at her own.”

“When an aeroplane’s engines fail, it is not the end of the flight. Aeroplanes don’t fall out of the sky like stones. They glide on, the enormous multi-engined passenger jets, for thirty, forty-five minutes, only to smash themselves up when they attempt a landing. The passengers don’t notice a thing. Flying feels the same whether the engines are working or not. It’s quieter, but only slightly: the wind drowns out the engines as it buffets the tail and wings. At some point the earth or sea look dangerously close through the window. But perhaps the film is on, and the stewards and air hostesses have closed the blinds. Maybe the very quietness of the flight strikes the passengers as an improvement.”

What are you currently reading?

InstagramAugustLeft to right, top to bottom:

  1. Flower in my friend’s garden. Hashtag life goals.
  2. Always choose the window seat. View as I flew over Africa from Amsterdam. All desert sand and blue skies.
  3. Dendrobium Orchid. Conservatory of Flowers. San Francisco.
  4. Painted Heart. Union Square. San Francisco.
  5. Dahlia garden outside the Conservatory of Flowers. San Francisco. The Conservatory is free to all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month.
  6. Orchid. Conservatory of Flowers. San Francisco.

Must Read

  1. Ronda Rousey’s response to people who think her body is too masculine.
  2. J.K. Rowling is awesome. Not only did she write the Harry Potter series (which I still haven’t read), but she her response to a disparaging remark on Serena William’s body, is simply perfect.
  3. Julia’s last fuckable day.
  4. Donald Trump is a dick, but Heidi Klum is unfazed by his comments on her body.

Feel free to send me any links to articles on women being awesome.

MumbaiMumbai. Gateway to India is in the background. We took a ferry to Elephant Island.

 

Thinking

“That what you make and what you do with your time is more important than you’ll ever fathom and should be treated as such.”

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about goals, priorities, time management, sacrifice and death.

 

Books

I’ve mentioned Mary Roach a couple of times, but I’m not sure that I’ve managed to convince you what an awesome writer she is. So here’s another quote from her novel, Gulp. This one is taken from chapter 8, where she looks at whether it is possible for a human to survive being swallowed by a whale.

“While a seaman might survive the suction and swallow, his arrival in a sperm whale’s stomach would seem to present a new set of problems.*

*I challenge you to find a more innocuous sentence containing the words sperm, suction, swallow, and any homophone of seaman. And then call me up on the homophone and read it to me.”

And yes, I am still busy reading a book I profess to love. I am busy – earning a living, training for a marathon and socialising with strangers.

 

Socialising with strangers

A few nights ago, I had supper with a Bullmutt and his cohorts.

Me to the waitress: I’ll have a cappuccino.

Waitress: Erm, someone’s already bought you a Long Island Tea.

Me: But I don’t drink.

Waitress: You can start today.

Naturally, I had to tweet the above conversation.

My favourite response to the tweet came from MFS. MFS: That is true. (You could tell her that you also don’t murder … If you do murder, use a different example.)

Our train to Agra was late. By two hours. While waiting for our train, I took photos of random strangers.

Scenes from the train station - headed to Agra

  • Our schedule for India was overly ambitious. We have seen too many cities in such a short space of time, and I am feeling beyond exhausted. There is nothing more that I would love to do that relax inside my hotel room, but alas, we’re headed to the airport in a few hours. Delhi to Kerala.
  • If you fold up a map incorrectly, I will wonder if you we’re raised by animals, even if you are my mother.
  • Yesterday I was forced to use the toilet on the train. As I approached the lavatory I couldn’t help but think, “The urine smell is strong with this one.”
  • We have mastered the art of shoving four people (including the driver) and three pieces off luggage, the size of a Labrador into a tuk-tuk. Trust me when I say that this is no easy task.
  • The Taj Mahal really is a tiny of beauty. The prettiest thing I have seen in the whole of India. And I totally shed a tear. No shame.

It is official. My cousin’s baby is cuter than my kitten.

Baby Sue

*

If you’re looking for an interesting read this morning, I recommend David Sedaris’ article on his sister’s suicide.

If you’re looking for an interesting photo/travel blog to devour, I recommend Pomelo.