Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Up to the Skies

I love this image.

Read more about the photographer, Vanessa Lewis, at Handsome Things.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cape Town Trip: The Journey

I thought it could be fun to add to my Tour South Africa series with a few blog posts about my mini-holiday-within-a-holiday to Cape Town. I grew up in Johannesburg but to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the hubby and I took our parents down to Cape Town for a few days to catch up.

So we headed to OR Tambo airport, got on our plane and started taxiing down the runway. I decided to get some good shots of the beautiful South African landscape, so I got my camera out (I had the window seat. Yes!). We were leaving the approaching rain behind us.

We took off, and I got some great shots of the suburbs below, and some shots of mine dumps (if you don't know what a mine dump is, please follow this link - if you visit Johannesburg you will see a lot of them. They are basically leftovers from the mining process, and Johannesburg isn't called the City of Gold for nothing! They are now being reprocessed because there is gold in them still)

We lifted up above the clouds...

and then the Captain came over the speakers, quite unexpectedly. There was smoke coming from one of the restrooms. Yes, he's right, I had smelt something strange... and we were turning around, so that the engineers could check out what was going on.

Oh. Ok. The plane began to turn, and then hit a pocket of air. We dropped a few feet and a few people squealed. Super.

When we landed, there were four fire engines waiting for us. And some other emergency vehicles. Hmm.

And then the firemen came on board to check it out... with those giant helmets on.

How did they get into that tiny loo!?

We disembarked, and waited a couple of hours. We got on another plane (something about a faulty hydraulic system, so yep, I liked our new plane) and headed on our way. No trouble this time, but I had an aisle seat. No pics until Cape Town.

I hadn't been since I was about twelve so I was wondering what to expect - and the mountains we could see from the airport did not disappoint. Nor did the view from our rented house in Fish Hoek, either. Take big, deep breaths. Take it all in.

Then we headed off to nearby by Simonstown for dinner, where the South African Navy comes home to roost (and where the great Just Nuisance once walked). I ate my much loved and missed kingklip, and it was a meal from heaven. With a view to match.

We went for 6 days, and hired a car. With our rented house, air ticket, food, booze (but not a lot!), all our sightseeing, it turned out to be $500 a person. In peak tourist season. So if you'd like to visit South Africa, you should know it will be reasonable once you get there. And once you see the rest of my photos, you will want to go.

More to come.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Here & Now

I don't like this blog to be one of those navel-gazing blogs, but I know I always like to read more about the people who's blogs I like. So I'd like to share a bit about me, if you'd like to hear. I know this is late for a January-resolution type blog entry, but since I've got back from my South Africa trip things have been kind of nuts. So end of January will have to do.

I've always been someone who thinks they're focused on the now; you know, take the time to notice the beautiful snow on the trees after a storm, or see the rainbow in the sky. Maybe think to myself how lucky I am when I'm surrounded by good friends. But I never realized I am also the person who is always planning for the future; a future life. Maybe something I've dreamed of but will probably not come entirely true.

I'm not sure what did it, but I know realize that I've never really appreciated the present because of this. I'm always planning for what's to come, instead of enjoying what I have. I think my change of heart may have had something to do with my trip home: I felt like I had connected with who I was before I came to the States. I did stuff I used to do, and used to love. My brother reintroduced me to birdwatching. I've been a bird watcher all my life but stopped when I moved to the States. Was I overwhelmed and was too caught up with keeping afloat? Maybe. But today I stopped at the bookstore and picked up the Sibley field guide to the birds of North Eastern United States. Things are going to change around here!

Not only have I picked up my first American birding book but I decided to pay more attention to my apartment - sure, its not a home that I've bought, the one I've been dreaming of, but its my home right now. I've been inspired by all those terrariums on my favourite blogs, so I followed this simple tutorial from Amy Merrick, and made one to go on my fabulous new Ikea PS cabinet side board.

I also finally got to recovering some old floor cushions I've had for years - I cut the fabric out about two years ago and never finished them. I was probably terrified of how to put in a zip! Well, now I know.

Do you like the cushion on top? Its a great addition to my collection from Mr Price's LOVE RSA range (I also have the tin under my sink, holding my new sponges, and another two cushions in the spare room!).

Do you ever feel this way? How are your resolutions going?

I hope 2012 is a year filled with wonderful times for all of us.... Cheers!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

From the Sea

I spotted this in one of the magazines I got while in South Africa, and I am. in. love.

African Urchins
- each one is unique, the design based on mother nature's best: those beautiful little urchins that wash up on South Africa's beaches.

They come in gold, rose gold, silver and with and without stones... starting at about $300 for the tiny silver one (with no stones!) I'm thinking its something I'll be saving up for.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm Back! And Happy New Year!

After a wonderful holiday I'm back. I was so blessed to be able to spend a good three and a half weeks with family, in some of the most beautiful places in the world. I hope your festive season was as good, and that this year will be a great one for you.

This is just a snippet from my trip. I'll share lots next week: for now, my major goals in life are to not fall asleep at work, and to try stay awake passed 8:30pm. A seven hour time difference will do that to you!

Speak to you soon!