Category: Dizzy*

Cape Town Marathon

On Sunday, while the rest of my friends are sleeping in and eating pecan pancakes drenched in maple syrup, I will be running the Cape Town Marathon. My friend, Dizzy* who is thoughtful and kind, sent me the following motivational e-card:on_marathons

Books

I’m finally finished re-reading “The God of Small Things“. It’s a really beautiful book. It has so many layers and you should really read it. Put it on your bucket list, along with sky diving and running a marathon.

And because I simply can’t mention a book without sharing a quote, here’s an extract:

“They were both men whom childhood had abandoned without a trace Men without curiosity. Without doubt Both in their own way truly, terrifyingly adult. They looked out at the world and never wondered how it worked, because they knew. They worked it They were mechanics who serviced different parts of the same machine.”

Anyway, I’ve now moved onto “The Hunger Games”. (Check out the “Mockingjay” trailer here.)

Travel

My archaeologist cousin recently departed for Turkey. He’ll be there for year, finishing up his studies. Before he left, we had a farewell braai for him. We spent hours talking about a variety of topics: the war in Gaza, HIV, cancer and anorexia. Yes, we’re a merry little bunch. At some point during the night I said, “I hope I never have to endure chemotherapy.”

Cousins in unison: You mean you hope you never get cancer!

Anyway, I hope to visit my cousin soon. Turkey sounds like an interesting country.

The nose-ring
I’ve had an incident with my nose-ring. I woke up one morning to find that it was missing. I reacted to the situation like any rational girl would. I turned to twitter. Naturally. My sweet and caring friend, Dizzy* replied with, “Did you inhale it? It was rather small.”

Upon closer inspection I realised that my stud hadn’t fallen out. My tiny, little stud was still there. Just covered in a thin film of dried blood and now submerged in my flesh. Repositioning the stud would require placing my finger up my nose and popping it back into place. But I am a drama queen of note, so my initial reaction was, “I am going to my sister. She’s a doctor. I am sure she has access to aesthetic.”

You’ll be glad to know that the stud is firmly back in place. The procedure did not require the assistance of any medical professionals. And no one was harmed in the process.

 

Empire of the Moghul
I am currently reading “Empire of the Moghul: The Serpent’s Tooth” by Alex Rutherford.

Extract from the novel:

“At a tap on its head with the steel rod the mahout held in his hand, the elephant brought its foot down on to Majid Beg’s abdomen. His screams rose to an animal pitch and there was a crunch as his pelvic bones broke, crushed against the hard granite. A pop of air followed as his stomach wall burst and the stench of human faeces rose as his intestines ruptured. After a few moments he ceased both his screams and struggles. At another command from it mahout, the elephant raised its foot, turned and slowly plodded back towards the fort, more orange dust adhering to its bloodied right forefoot with each step.”

 

Buea, Cameroon
I am currently in Buea, a small town in Cameroon, for a conference. I arrived in Cameroon on Saturday, 3 May and will be here for 7 days. And as a consequence, I will unfortunately be missing the South African elections.

During a lunch break, I was approached by a colleague from Ghana.
Colleague: You’re from South Africa? I have to talk to you about the Oscar Pistorius case.

A few weeks ago a few of us met up and had supper at Nonna Lina. It was there that I revealed that after 6 years of friendship, I still have NO idea what Dizzy* does for a living.
Dizzy*: My work wants me to utilise my networks to grow the business.
Me: What? They want you to cold call your friends and sell them the internet.
Silence.
Juan: Yessss. And if you buy four internets she’ll throw in a twitter for free.

This weekend I…

  • Attended Juan and Dizzy*’s housewarming. The theme was ‘embrace your stereotype’. Naturally I turned up as a terrorist. I wore a scarf and a jilbab and strapped a clock to my chest. I’d hoped that the clock would clearly represent a bomb. Unfortunately some made the assumption that I’d actually turned up as the “Girl, whose biological clock is ticking”.
  • Went dragon boat racing with my running club. So. Much. Fun. Seriously. I’m actually considering organizing this for my 30th birthday.
  • Bid goodbye to the lovely Mr Schnapps and Dark Knight, who leave for Austria in a couple of days. Since it might be YEARS before they return to Cape Town, they have been gracious enough to extend an invite to visit them. 24 hours later and I’ve already Googled the crap out of Slovenia and Italy, two of the countries I might call on before heading to Austria.

On Monday, I found out via Twitter that my dear friends, Dizzy* and Juan are engaged. To be married. To each other. This is what Juan had to say about the engagement, “It was touch and go,but in the end the brainwashing and breaking down of her self-esteem worked!”

God, I love you guys and I wish you everything of the best.

I’d been talking about BUYING an apartment for the last 8 months now, but that’s all I ever did. TALK. There were no steps taken to achieving this goal. No newspapers consulted, show houses viewed, or contact details given to real estate agents. I talked about how nice it would be to host dinner parties at MY place, dreamt about how I’d furnish MY space and hoped that by simply putting it out there, the universe would provide.

When simply hoping didn’t prove fruitful, I decided that perhaps what was needed was a little less talk and A LOT more action.

STEP 1 – DO YOUR RESEARCH

The first step in my master plan was to consult both the property section of a newspaper and a few real estate websites.

STEP 2 – ESTABLISH CRITERIA

I then circled the properties that fit my criteria: close to work, good neighbourhood, secure parking and WITHIN my budget.

STEP 3 – ESTABLISH CONTACT

I then contacted the agent and made arrangements to view the house.

STEP 4 – BRING IN THE EXPERTS

On the day of the viewing I brought along an expert – my dad. Over the course of his lifetime he has bought three houses, which is three more than I’d ever bought. Unlike me, my dad knew all the right questions to ask. What is the levy? How long has this property been on the market? Are you willing to accept payment in smiles?

Sounds simple, right? Well it would have been if I’d have set my expectations lower and stuck to the game plan. But they weren’t and I didn’t. I thought it would be easy. But I soon learnt that my criteria were broader than I’d originally imagined. I didn’t just want a one bedroom apartment, with parking, in a secure neighbourhood. I wanted an apartment with decent cupboards, clean carpets and a proper shower (i.e. doors instead of a shower curtain). I wanted a place that didn’t smell like pee. And I wanted all of this for under a million rand. Apparently I have better luck teaching my cat to read.

And then when none of these apartments met the bill, I did something silly. I drove around the Southern Suburbs (notoriously expensive neighbours), and merely walked into ALL the open houses. BAD IDEA. All the pretty things. Oh so pretty, and oh so far out of my reach.

Of course now that all my illusions have been irrefutably shattered, I now realise that the only property within my budget is a metal shack in Gugs, a South African township. Suuuure, those things get superhot in summer, but as my friend Dizzy* says, “Think of it as a free sauna.”

During a quick game of 30 Seconds on Saturday night, one of my friends described the 12 apostles as “Jesus’ entourage”.

Thanks to these beautiful ladies (and some men not pictured in the above pic), I had a lovely weekend. We ran a short little race (21.1km).

Woke up at 04:15 on race day, only to have a bus load of marathoners laugh at us.

 We had a potjiekos cook-off.

Played an intense game of Jenga, 30 Seconds and Uno. There were allegations of cheating.

 

I’m back from camping at Rocking the Daisies. The price of a full weekend pass was R450. That excludes the extra R50 I had to shell out for the use of clean toilets. There were other free portaloos available, but after a couple of hours these became less than savoury.

I must admit that while driving back home, I kept trying to figure out how often I went to the toilet, and how much money was actually spent each time I went. R10 a pee? While doing this mental arithmatic I was reminded of something one of the boys said. “I’m going to get my monies worth. I’m going to eat lots of curry and I’m going to have a shit in those toilets.”    

Dizzy*: So there aren’t any daisies at Rocking the Daisies?

Everyone: Nope.

Dizzy*, pointing to the ground: Just this lavender.

Someone else: Actually, those are weeds …

The dam at The Cloof, wine estate, the venue for Rocking the Daisies.

More photos and stories to follow tomorrow.