Category: random

IMG_2879

Photo taken in Turkey.

I’ve just finished reading, “Best White and Other Anxious Delusions” by Rebecca Davis.

My favourite extract from the novel:

“Then Desmond Tutu really set the cat among the pigeon by proposing that white South Africans should pay a ‘white tax’, to which many white people responded with fury that they already paid a ‘white tax’ called ‘tax’.

It’s cute how many white people genuinely believe they are the only ones who pay tax, as if whenever anyone else gets to the Shoprite till, the checkout lade presses a secret button marked ‘No VAT FOR DARKIES’.”

*

Did you know that they pay a tampon tax in the UK? Coz tampons are a “luxury” item …

Nicole recently sent her “no BS club” a monthly review template. And because I’m a sucker for these types of things, I thought I’d participate and share my answers with you.

Thinking back over the past month, I am …

–          Most proud of my new Personal Best for a 21.1km run (2:01). The last time I set a PB for a half-marathon was 2 years ago. I was beginning to believe that I would never break 2:09; that I would never get any faster and that I should instead focus my attention on running further. And then, just like that, I smashed it. And it was easy. It didn’t feel like work. It didn’t feel like I was pushing myself. It felt like just another training run.

–          Deeply grateful for my dad. He’s always willing to train with me. (My sister recently told her friend that she was always our dad’s favourite. And then I picked up running.)

–          Impressed by the way I handled tough choices. Distance running requires dedication, commitment and sacrifice. It’s leaving a party early because you have a 06:00 race the next morning. It is leaving the comfort of your warm bed on chilly mornings. It is ice packs on inflamed muscles, black toenails and chafing in awkward places.

–          So glad that I learned that I haven’t peaked, that I haven’t reached my threshold.  Setting a new PB has reignited my love of running and inspired me to work harder. I can’t stop wondering about what is possible. Can I achieve 1:57?

–          Continually inspired by my friends, Amy and Barry. They aren’t runners, but they are individuals who are actively pursuing their passions.

Looking ahead to next month, I am …

–          Super excited about the Cape Town Marathon (42.2km) happening on 21 September. I ran the marathon two years ago and the last 6km were PAINFUL. I completed the thing in 5:17. This year I’m confident I will complete it in 5 hours. (And if I don’t, then I’d just train for the next marathon. I will run an entire marathon in 5 hours.)

–          Choosing to let go of Quiz Night. I no longer enjoy going to quiz night. The only reason I continue to go is out of habit.

–          Fully committed to tapering. I plan to spend the weekend before the actual marathon surfing.

–          Consciously prioritizing my training for the next two weeks. I also plan to carve out time for my conservation planning course.

Do my current habits support my goals? YES!

From the very minute I set foot in Udaipur, I fell in love with the city. Slap, bang, irrevocably in love. The city is vibrant and bursting with colour.

According to Wiki, Udaipur is referred to as the “Venice of the East”. It’s a reputation well earned. Udaipur has FIVE major lakes. Unfortunately we only managed to view one lake – Lake Pichola.

Udaipur - water, pillars, architecture
Lake Pichola.

Donkeys hauling sand
Donkeys hauling sanding. The donkeys were herded by women. I found this quite strange.

Kingfisher - Udaipur
Photo of a Kingfisher.

Blue & white
Photo taken at Jag Mandir, a palace built on an island in Lake Pichola.

Blending in with the flowers
As you can tell from the photo above, I am incapable of smiling.

If you want me to be your very best friend, tell me a story. Tell me a story about your travels adventures. Tell me where you’ve travelled and what you’ve loved about each city. Tell me about all the places you plan to travel to and why you want to go there. Let me yearn, let me dream.

And in that vein, here’s a list of my favourite attractions or highlights of each adventure.

Kilimanjaro (2007) – Bruce, my tour guide. That man … That man warmed up my hands. He took my hands out of my gloves, held them between his hands and blew on them. Officially the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.

London (2008) – I only really spent a day in London and would love to go back. I’d love to check out LEGOLAND (I’m weird, I know). Highlight of my trip is having lunch besides the Thames.

Paris (2008) – The Louvre. That’s the ONLY thing I loved about Paris.

Italy (2008) – I spent just under 3 weeks in Italy. In that time I visited Turin, Genoa, Florence, Venice, Rome, Naples, Milan and Pisa. If I had to pick ONE highlight, it would be the Sistine Chapel. No wait, Pompeii. No, it’s the entire town of Turin. Oh and Florence is pretty cool too. Basically, what I’m saying is that Italy is awesome and I REALLY, REALLY want to go back. I want to climb Vesuvius. I want to check out the Coliseum. I want to sunbathe on Capri and the beaches of Cinque Terre.

Kruger National Park (2009) – Elephants. They’re huge and temperamental and there’s always a slight chance they would charge your car.

Kruger2Photos taken in 2012.

To be continued ...

 

Yesterday I was lucky enough to watch two really inspiring TED Talks – Brené Brown’s The power of vulnerability and Amanda Fucking Palmer’s The art of asking.

If you’ve read my blog post yesterday, you’ll also know that I preferred Amanda Fucking Palmer’s talk to Brené’s. Amanda Fucking Palmer talks from personal experience. She talks about her first job standing on a milk crate, dressed as a bride, asking for money in exchange for a paper flower. When strangers offered her money, she would hand them a flower and look deeply into their eyes. And her look would say, “Thank you. I see you.” And strangers would often return a look that said, “No one sees me.” And this is pretty much the point at which I teared up.

Amanda Fucking Palmer goes on to say that one day she was standing on her crate, when someone screamed at her to get a fucking job. And even though this happened years ago (she’s now a famous musician), you can tell that the memory still hurts her. She then goes on to talk about the fear of shame and why people are so reluctant to ask for money. She also talks about why people shouldn’t be forced to pay for music, but should rather willingly donate money to the cause.

Brené’s talk is a little more academic. She talks about what she’s learnt after years of research. Of course, this doesn’t mean that her presentation doesn’t have any merits. Anyway, here’s what I took away from her talk:

  • Vulnerability is necessary and should be embraced.
  • Vulnerability allows us to be authentic and to connect with others.
  • You cannot numb pain, hurt and anger. Numbing those emotions means that you’ll numb others, like happiness and love.
  • To be truly happy and to live a life of fulfilment, you need to have the courage to be imperfect and believe that you are worthy of love and belonging. To need courage to be vulnerable. You need courage to risk something with no guarantees. You need courage to say “I love you” first.
  • You also need to be compassionate – to others and yourself.
  • You need to believe that you are enough.
  • You need to practice joy and gratitude.

Anyway, if you have 30 minutes to spare (each video is about 15 minutes long) and the bandwidth, then check out their TED Talks.

Vulnerability

Photo taken inside the glasshouse at Kirstenbosch Gardens.

Very busy on this side – marathon training, home loans and I’m to fly up to Joburg next week and the week thereafter for work.