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Spectre

I watched the latest Bond film, Spectre at The Labia. I cannot get the opening scene, which is set in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead Celebrations (Día de Muertos) out of my head.

 

I also couldn’t help but wonder how one becomes a professional assassin, not that I’m looking for a new line of employment.

 

Running

I ran the Pollsmoor 10km. I managed to complete the race in 50 minutes – a new PB. I could never have accomplished this feat without the encouragement of a fellow runner. He kept reminding me to breathe deeply, and wing my arms as I headed up the hill.

 

Running outta time

My colleague says that he is still young, only 31, far too young to be married with kids. I wish I felt that way. I wish that I felt YOUNG. I wish that I didn’t feel like I’m running out of time.

 

This body is earned

I recently turned 30 (ahem) and I love my body more now that I did in my twenties. It’s not perfect, but it’s strong and lean. And this shit is earned.

Wild mustard flowered on the cracked banks, and I picked a bouquet for Yvonne. What was a weed, anyway. A plant nobody planted? A seed escaped from a traveler’s coat, something that didn’t belong? Was it something that grew better that what should have been there? Wasn’t it just a word, weed, trailing its judgments. Useless, without value. Unwanted.  

Well, anyone could buy a green Jaguar, find beauty in a Japanese screen two thousand years old. I would rather be a connoisseur of neglected rivers and flowering mustard and the flush of iridescent pink on an intersection pigeon’s charcoal neck. I thought of the vet, warming dinner over a can, and the old woman feeding her pigeons in the intersection behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken, And what about the ladybug man, the blue of his eyes over the gray threaded black? There were me and Yvonne, Niki and Paul Trout, maybe even Sergei and Susan D. Valeris, why not? What were any of us but a handful of weed. Who was to say what our value was? What was the value of four Vietnam vets playing poker every afternoon in the front Spanish market on Glendale Boulevard, making their moves with a greasy deck missing a queen and a five? Maybe the world depended on them, maybe they were the Fates, or the Graces. Cézanne would have drawn them in charcoal. Van Gogh would have painted himself among them.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

White Oleander

November15Left to right

1: I look my two-year-old niece to the aquarium. I trying to turn her into a budding zoologist.

Me: Touch the seaweed.

Her: No. It’s wet.

2: I participated in the Stragglers 15km on Saturday and only managed to finish it in 1:24.  I simply couldn’t will my legs to run harder.

3: Last weekend I celebrated the union of two good friends. The wedding was held in the most beautiful setting ever.

November Instagrams

What do I do with all these feelings tearing me up inside?
What do I do with all these wasted hours dreaming of you at night?
I’d like – Freshlyground

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Lineup for the Summer Sunset Concerts available here.

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I managed to complete the Vital Winelands Marathon in 4:13. That’s a new PB of 14 minutes. I also managed to cross the finish line 4 minutes ahead of my dad. Booyah!

And for my next magic trick, I will attempt to run a half marathon (21.1km) in under 1:55 and a 10km in 50 minutes.

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It the second week of November and I feel compelled to put fingers to keyboard, compelled to recap these last few weeks, compelled to tell you that I still exist.

 

The thing is, since being back from Cali I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. I haven’t booked a one-way ticket to Japan. I haven’t mastered the art of Python scripting or HTML5. And I most certainly have put an end to world hunger. I’ve spent the 3 months getting back to my pre-travel fitness level and training for the Winelands Marathon.

 

Pre-travel fitness

Getting back to my pre-travel fitness level was easy enough. It took me 5 weeks of consistent training. 5 of hill repeats, 5 weeks of leaving parties early and repeating to myself that “This is the life I’ve chosen”, 5 weeks of consuming GU for breakfast. Easy enough!

 

Insert humble brag here. A couple of weeks ago, I ran the Landmarks half-marathon (21km).It’s a tough route. I did last year and was completely gutted. I just walked so much. No matter how hard I tried to will my body, my legs simply wouldn’t comply. I ended up finishing the race in 2:11. This year? This year I managed sub 2. Redemption, baby!

 

Winelands Marathon  

Where do I even start with this one? There was definitely fear, and anxiety, and despondency.

 

I have not been able to keep up with my partners’ running pace. I have been lagging behind, and have not clocked in as my kilometers as they have. This had made me feel panicked and uncertain.

 

The result is that I may have asked strangers on Twitter to break my foot IF I did not finish the Winelands Marathon in less than 5 hours (qualifying time for an Ultra). All they had to do was drop a sledgehammer on my right-foot, since it already felt like it had a stress fracture. (Side note: That foot only hurts when I walk. It’s TOTALLY fine when I run.)

 

With less than a week to the marathon, I’m no longer feeling this way. I’m feeling calm. I’ve told myself that I don’t need to finish this marathon in sub 4 hours. There’ll be plenty of other marathons. All I need to do for now is qualify for Comrades. And set a new PB for a marathon … Easy. No pressure.

 

AND now for a random quote:

“I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. I saw you and made up my mind.” Toni Morrison

Can we just take a second to acknowledge the fact that San Francisco has some of the most beautiful buildings in the world? That is all.

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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’.”

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

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  • And Daniel Craig, the current James Bond actor, has my heart. He was recently interviewed and made it quite clear that he thought James Bond was a misogynist. “I think you mean the charms of a woman his own age,” Craig said. “We’re talking about Monica Bellucci, for heaven’s sake. When someone like that wants to be a Bond girl, you just count yourself lucky!”
  • This poem by Sarah Koopman is my everything. “When you take my mind, take it fiercely.”
  • Have I told you lately how much I love JK Rowling? This woman does not take sh*t from anyone.
  • This video of a German man misunderstanding the term “party pooper” is brilliant. Could not stop laughing.
  • Imraan Christian’s photos of the #FeesMustFall campaign are just amazing.
  • I watched the movie, “The Martian” and loved it. Now I have to drop SUBTLE hints to my family and friends, that I really, really, really, want the book for my birthday.
  • This story has me completely fascinated with the Berlin Marathon. Toying with the idea of running it next year. Would also love to hike the Fish River Canyon and trek gorillas in Rwanda, next year. If only I had all the money in the world. (Real talk: I am slightly worried about the upcoming Winelands Marathon. I’m afraid that I might not do well.)
  • Joy the Baker, talks about her perfect weekend.

Days after arriving back home, a friend asked me if I wanted to spend a couple of days on Table Mountain in October. My initial reaction was to say, “No.” I’d just spent a month in Turkey, followed by 5 weeks in California. And although 90% of my Californian expenses was covered by work, there was that other 10%. One night’s accommodation in a 4 bed dorm (without a bathroom!) in San Francisco, set me back R800. For those of you who are unfamiliar with South African currency, R800 is a month’s petrol. But after agonising over the idea for several hours, I reasoned that if I wanted ensure that 2015 would be my BEST YEAR EVER, I would say, “Yes.” And if money ever became an issue I could always sell a kidney. Not necessarily mine …

I’d love to rhapsodize about the incredible people I met on this trip and the things I saw along the route, but I’ve just run 14km and I am exhausted. So I give you photos. Enjoy!

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We stayed in the Overseers Cottage. For more information on the accommodation prices, visit the SANParks website.