Category: good times

I generally spend my Friday evenings swimming at a public pool, but after learning that rain was predicted this Friday, I decided to tick one more thing off my not-so-bucket list.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition

Here of some of the photographs I snapped at the exhibition. WildlifeExhibition

Middle photograph: A wide aperture lens was used to focus on the two butterflies and blur the flowers in the background. The female butterfly is more transparent due to an unexplained tendency to rub their wings more.

I absolutely LOVED, LOVED this exhibition. I absolutely admire the amount of patience is required to take photographs of wildlife. Not only did I get to see some amazing works of art, but I also learnt a great deal about climate change. Did you know that jellyfish numbers are increasing due to climate change? (If you go, DO read the notes beneath each photograph.)

This exhibition runs until 15 April 2016.
Where: Chavonnes Battery Museum, V& Waterfront
Time: 09:00 – 20:00
Price: R50p/p – R240p/p (depending on whether you’re a student or pensioner).

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  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.)

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.

Turkish tea on a yacht

Photo taken in Kaş, Turkey. 

Mosque, Cirali

Photo taken in Cirali, Turkey.

While I was in Turkey I managed to ride a hot air balloon, drink Turkish tea on a yacht, marveled at several beautiful mosques  and read two books: “Snow” by Orphan Pamuk and “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith.
I really loved Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” and have recently purchased “On beauty”. (I did NOT love “Snow” and upon completion ended up discarding the novel at the airport). I’ll try to transcribe a larger paragraph or section from “White Teeth” before I leave for Durban. Key word in that sentence is “try”.
Anyway, I’m currently reading “Kinshu” by Teru Miyamoto, who is apparently a prize-winning author in Japan. “Kinshu” consists entirely of an exchange of letters between a divorced couple.
Here’s an extract from the novel:

““She said her four sons had died in battle, but this was not entirely true. My father said that there was at least one untruth in Grandmother’s story. Three of her sons did in fact perish in battle, but the second-eldest, Kensuke, seeing his comrades die one after the other from starvation and malarial fever in Burma, walked deep into the forest and hanged himself. His death in battle had been fabricated by the military, and Grandmother learned the truth from a soldier who had been repatriated from Burma. He came to visit, carrying a small square paper box containing Kensuke’s ashes, as well as his glasses and his tattered notebook. When Grandmother heard that Kensuke had not died by an enemy bullet but by his own hand, her face turned deathly pale. Only one thing was written in his notebook: ‘I was not happy.’””

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Photo taken in Durban

The following was written a while back …

Books

I’ve just finished reading, “Hyperbole and a half” by Allie Brosh. Allie Brosh is a blogger who talks about her dogs, her childhood and her struggle with depression. Her book (and blog) contains comics (not just words!) and “the secret to eternal happiness.” She is of course lying about the “secret to eternal happiness”.

My favourite quote from the novel is her description of depression and everyone’s optimistic suggestions for combating the disease.

“It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.”

Next up on the reading list is:

  • Snow by Orphan Pamuk (Started reading this a while ago …)
  • Kinshu: Autumn Brocade by Teru Miyamoto
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  • Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

Running

On Sunday, I ran my first race since Two Oceans Ultra – UCT Memorial 10km. I knew that no matter how tough the route I would be able to complete it in 55 minutes easily. I managed to do it in 54. I probably would have done better if I didn’t stop at the 9km mark.

Travel

I’ve yet to board my plane to Durban and I’m already plotting my 2016 adventures/bucket list.

The Comrades Marathon in Durban is definitely on my list. I’d also like to do the Oudtshoorn Marathon.

Juan and Dizzy* might be moving to the UK soon. So I’m thinking of visiting them in London and then popping over to either Rome or Paris to run a marathon.

I also need to tick off snowboarding and hiking the Fish River Canyon from my bucket list. *Sigh*

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A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about how it was only March and already 2015 was turning out to be a pretty awesome. I talked about how I’d finally obtained that effing sub-2 and how I’ve set new PBs for a 5, 21, 30 and 42km. I also stated that I was about to participate in my first ever Ultra and that there was a chance I might not complete it. And if this were to happen, there would be tears.

Well, I did it! I completed the Two Oceans Ultra (56km) in 6:25. I was hoping for sub-6 and up until the 28km I was on track. That is until Ou Kaapse Weg and then it all went downhill from there. Figuratively speaking, of course. Ou Kaapse Weg is a bitch 7km climb.

What else can I say about the race?

Well, for weeks before the big day my father and I planned to run the race together. We trained together – 5 days a week. We talked strategy. Or more accurately, he talked and I tried to absorb it all. On the day of the race, at the 7km mark, he left me. And I wasn’t surprised. Or angry. Or hurt. He’s done this before; so many times that I expected it. At the 37km mark I caught up to him. And then I proceeded to finish the race ahead of him, by 12 minutes. (It’s funny, at the beginning of the year he told me that I would be able to kick his arse in shorter races but I’d never take him in longer events. This year I’ve beaten the old man in a 10, 15, 21, 30 and 56km race. And now I want to do what he’s never been able to achieve. I want to do a marathon in less than 4 hours.)

At the about the 40km mark, there was a radio announcer slash TV presenter. He asked various runners what was the first thing they wanted to do when they got home. Some said they wanted a cold beer. Others said they wanted a warm shower. And I just thought, “I’d like to take a nice, satisfying shit.” Right now several mothers are wishing their sons would end up with someone as classy as me.

Other than wanting to take a dump, I also wanted to cry, a lot. After 42km, running is no longer fun. It’s just this stupid hobby that requires you to move your legs in quick succession. And yet, the very minute I’d crossed the finish line I was so overcome with euphoria that I vowed to run the Comrades next year.

So that’s one of the reasons that 2015 has gotten a little sweeter. The other is that I’ve been awarded a partial scholarship to go to the United States for a few weeks.

Life is good.

The first time someone asked to take my photo, I was on Elephant Island. On that day, I would write the following note in my journal, “I am like a mini-celebrity in India. Guys keep staring at me and taking my photo. Must be the copious amount of Tabard I am wearing. Guys can’t resist the smell of insect repellent.”

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Old man - Jaipur
Taken at the Amer Fort in Jaipur. If you look closely enough you can see the elephants in the background.

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Pictures taken at my sister’s bachelorette party on Friday. The party was held in my apartment and we had so much of fun, playing games such as “pin the junk on the hunk” and “toilet paper wedding dresses”.

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I was in a minor car accident on Saturday morning. Heart sore.

A few days ago I wrote a blog post on the highlights of my trips abroad. I that post, I proudly proclaimed that the only thing I loved about Paris, was the Louvre. Seconds after posting that, I stumbled on THIS blog post. And now I’m all, “Ooooh pretty. Perhaps I was too hasty. Perhaps I should give Paris a second chance?”

Anyway, here’s part 2 of my travel highlights.

Garden Route (2010) – Watching a woman get stabbed in Jeffrey’s Bay, for daring to steal another man’s alcohol. Ha, I kid. I didn’t actually see her get stabbed. I just saw her prone, bleeding body in the street. Nah, I think that the highlight of this trip would be the treetop zip-lining.

Bali (2011) – Running through streets of Bali during a thunderstorm. It was frightening and exhilarating and I’d never before experienced anything like it. The other highlight of my trip was experiencing my very first earthquake.

Lombok (2011) – Snorkelling. I suffer from claustrophobia. I freak out in tiny dark spaces (and yet I did an underground tunnel tour of the city), and hate having a mask cover my mouth and nose. Preparing myself mentally for the task was the best decision of my life. I swam above a turtle and saw so many incredible looking fish. I tried to memorise the colours and shape of each and every fish. I wanted to describe each fish in detail. It was just such a wonderful experience.

Kula Lumpur (2011) – Eating authentic Indian food off a banana leaf.

New Orleans (2011) – The ghost and phantom tour. Our guide was a comedic genius and I loved every minute of the tour.

Washington DC (2011) – The Lincoln Monument. There’s just something so majestic about the statue. It might just be its size.

Washington

 Photos taken in Washington DC.

In a few days time, I will be ticking ONE item from my bucket/life list. While the rest of you are office bound and lamenting the horrendous Cape Town weather, I will be traipsing along the Mozambican coast.

 

But before I jet off to the land of prawns, coconuts and coral reefs; I will be going to the Eastern Cape (for work). I will then head to Durban for 5 days. There I will gorge myself on bunny chows, surf in the warm Indian Ocean and explore uShaka Marine Park. Oh, and I’ll also be supporting my dad, who will be running his third Comrades Ultra-Marathon.

 

He has yet to complete the Comrades within the cut-off (he’s missed it by minutes) and I hope that by running the last 10km with him, he’ll find the strength to complete this momentous task. I also hope that one day I too will find the strength to run the entire 87km.

 

From Durban it’s just a “short” bus ride to Johannesburg and Maputo. (It’s an 8 hour bus ride from Durban to Joburg. And another 8 hours ride from Joburg to Maputo. Oh the fun I’ll have.)

 

From Maputo, I’ll head over to Vilanculos, where I’ll be joined by one of my dearest friends, Cazz. As yet we don’t have any set plans (other than to have fun), so if you have any tips or suggestions, please head on over to the comment section.