Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Read this: The Fault in our Stars

Every so often a book comes around that you totally judge by its cover. The first time I saw the blue and black cover I grabbed the book from the shelf and read the back. Another. Cancer. Story. Not quite the head space I wanted to find myself in. 

A few weeks ago a good friend told me to read this book as it was totally my kind of book. I was not having a good week, and said I really did  not want to cry. She assured me it was a happy story. I took the book home with me and forgot about it. After messing around on my iPad for way too long one evening, I decided to start reading a book before bed instead of Twitter. I started with The Fault in our Stars.

The Fault in our Stars

I read the first chapter and smiled. It was a great story. After each chapter you want to read more and more. I took this book with me to read while away in the bush for the weekend. At times I became so engrossed in the story I was the rude kid in the braai area trying to have a conversation while finishing the book. I don't want to give anything away but this is not a typical love story, it is a story that will make you think, laugh, cry and at the end be pleasant to remember. 

After I finished the book I found out it was being made into a movie. Check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Postcrossing - it's not what it sounds like

My roommate first introduced me to Ideas magazine, and since then it's been on my must buy list. Last month, the cover caught my eye as did the freebies. Each mag came with six beautifully illustrated postcards.

ideas magazine march 2014
The idea is that you sign up on postcrossing and get given a profile of a person to write to. The joy of a postcard is that you have to keep the message short and the type of postcard you send is part of the message. I signed up and got given a teenager living in Russia. I kept my message short and sweet and of course had to draw my signature sk8erg8er. I shall continue to do this.

sk8er g8er
This is a sk8er g8er and was invented during my days at university. This particular specimen was drawn in Hong Kong outside the panda enclosure. Everyone was writing messages to save the panda, I decided not to. Such a rebel like that.

I sent my new Russian postcrossing friend a postcard from the Ideas magazine. I got to experience the South AFfican postal service and the inefficiency of the lunch time service. Two people stormed out, one dropped the f bomb and another kept on repeating the same story over and over. She had stood in the wrong queue for over an hour and was making it everyone's problem. 

Keen to add to my postcard collection, I headed to Exclusive Books and they had a sale. I collect books and am constantly buying them even when I reach the end of the month Salty Crack stage. I found a Where's Wally postcard book for only R40. 

I got a response today that my postcard had arrived. It reached its destination in 27 days after traveling 8,581 km! Now I wait in anticipation for mine. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Watch this: The Lego Movie

Last weekend, after a games night that got rather out of hand, I was meeting up with my buddy Les. I was super slow but functioning. Up until Les mentioned the movie, I hadn't really heard much about it or seen much coverage. Don't get me wrong I love Lego (who doesn't) and even have a Lego Snape keyring. 

We had pre booked tickets and the only queue we had to endure was for our popcorn and coke. Recently I have been plagued by undisciplined kids and their parents who do nothing. I was pleasantly surprised when a grandmother returned the small Slushy because "That's a small? You know how much sugar is in that and I've got to let these kids sit still. They'll be begging me to go to the loo". I nodded approvingly. Although I don't have any offspring of my own, I did teach children from the ages of 2 to 16 for four years and know a thing or two about discipline. 

The movie is brilliant. We caught a 16.45 show and although we were surrounded by children, you could see the adults were enjoying the movie too. There are so many one-liners and different layers to appeal to all. If you would like a laugh this long weekend then pre book your tickets and go watch The Lego Movie. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tomato Soup aka Twighlight Soup

The best quote I ever heard regarding soup was "He is like a man with a fork in a world of soup" - Noel Gallager about his brother Liam. 

When it gets cold and rainy, it's time to whip out comfort food. Soup is one such food. This recipe is adapted from a vegetarian cookbook my BFF gave me when I was in my five year vegetarian phase. To those who hate tomato soup, this recipe is delicious and unlike any tomato soup I've ever tasted.

tomato soup how to
Twilight Soup in 5 easy steps. You're welcome. 
You'll need: 5 fresh chopped tomatoes, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 cup of vegetable stock, 1 chopped onion, garlic & coriander. 
  1. Chop the onions and saute in olive oil with garlic. 
  2. Add the can of tomatoes and chopped fresh tomoatoes
  3. Add the vegetable stock (I make a cup, You can use chicken stock if you want to)
  4. Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste, chopped coriander and blend away
Serve with toast and garnish with fresh coriander. #Yummy

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Welcome to the Eminem Show

You never really know what to expect when you go and see someone perform live. Some artists sound terrible, while others sound exactly the same and sometimes they'll sound even better that their album. Eminem falls into the better than his album category.


Hi my name is, What my name is, Who my name is....

The first time I heard Eminem, was when I was a teenager and MTV still played music videos.  I remember getting the CD as a gift, putting it into my CD player and hitting repeat all while perusing through the album art. Oh how times have changed. Want to feel even older? Here's a fun fact: Eminem is 40 years old. 

Enjoy the ride

We put some cash on our Gautrain cards, and waited for the train to Park Station to arrive. I always feel very First World when I take the Gautrain. It just doesn't feel like South Africa. We hopped on and at each station become increasingly aware of the different demographics that make up cosmopolitan Joburg. At one point we were packed like sardines, and my friend literally had a big ass right in her face. One guy got on shouting that "People must f$#@ move" and when my friend said what a douche, his friend agreed. We hopped on the Gautrain bus, again standing due to the size of the crowd and were dropped off right outside Ellis Park Stadium. More queues - after waiting for one person to throw a fit as her ticket wouldnt let her go through - we were in. To the beer tent. 

Just one beer

Standing in a queue to get booze at a concert is a real bonding experience. You get pushed up against people you don't know and you meet interesting characters. A large dude barked loudly on his phone "F%$# the popo. I'm here to have a good time!" Here, here. When we finally go to the front, after much debate about whether we could take liquor into the venue, we had two choices: Castle Lite or Black Label. Also they had run out of cups, and you could only take alcohol into the venue in a plastic cup. For the die hards, they decided to "Buy a case and we'll just down it dude" while others went mental "What am I supposed to do?". We just bought a six pack of Black Label and were going to smuggle them in. Yup, we're rockstar like that. 

And then we went into the arena

At this point it got really cold and started to rain. We decided we would buy an Eminem hoodie to keep warm during the show, but the queue for the Official Merch was insane. Onward and upward. By the time we found our seats, we decided it was selfie time. Once the stadium had filled up and the stage was almost set, you could feel the vibe. 


The white sheets hung low, with EMINEM in large black letters and then the music started. Eminem's shadow appeared as part of the I and the crowd went crazy. Eminem has such stage presence and gave the crowd what we wanted. There were some lesser known hits, but he didn't disappoint and performed his hits. The backup singer that did all of the female singing parts was amazing! 

At one point Eminem did a medley of Hi My Name Is, Will The Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up and Dear Stan and at that moment I thought it doesn't get better than this. That was until the same large dude we had been acquainted with in the beer queue, was coming back from a beer run and fell onto us. Drenched in beer we helped him up, and carried on singing. 

Can I get an encore?

Of course Marshall Mathers came back and did an encore, and sang "Lose Yourself". We went full gangster, our arms were doing the gesture. The show ended with fireworks and we started the mass exodus. It took us a while to get out of the stadium, and we headed straight to the buses to catch a ride back to Park Station. Chaos ensued. Bus drivers had been instructed to only let people in at the front of the queue - this despite the fact that all 50 000 plus people left the stadium at about the same time. People started shouting, standing in front of as well as hitting moving buses. No one was allowed to get on. After about 20 minutes we decided to walk and find a taxi. 

Take the long way home

All the taxis we came across were either booked or going to fetch someone. We followed the traffic jam and after about 15 minutes of walking, we found another crowd and they were walking to Park Station. So this is what we did - took a walk through Joburg CBD in a group. I saw one Gautrain bus pass us on our way back. After 40 minutes of brisk walking under the night sky - we arrived at Park Station and hopped back on the Gautrain to get home. 

The train was crowded but everyone was talking about Eminem. After Marlboro we were free to sit down and hilarity ensued. Two individuals who had driven up from Margate and had come to Eminem to celebrate their first anniversary, but had been together since she was 14 and he 20, had had an amazing time but were also really intoxicated. It started with a make shift phone boombox that played all sorts of music, and each time the song changed the wife would move to a different person and ask them to sing. The husband was babbling on about politics and hugging a lot of his new friends, while taking selfies. 

Towards the end of the ride, the wife decided she wanted a cigarette and when the train stopped, she lit her ciggy and smoke on the platform. A guard came running up to which she said, one more drag and proceeded to put it out on the platform. She came round to where we were sitting and started chatting about life, her job as a teacher and asked the woman with blue hair what we were all thinking. "Is that a wig or is your hair really blue like a Smurf?" 

Another smoke break - only this time we weren't stopping. We actually went backwards to the same stop and then forward again. The husband and wife lit their ciggarette on the train and sat down to have a smoke. Instead of saying anything, one brave passenger joined them. The husband then sat down next to a guy with dreads and proceeded to tell him how he respected all Rastafarians. 

Most of us jumped off at the next stop, and the last sight we saw, after say bye to our Margate friends, was the "Rasta" mouthing help me. 

All that and a bag of chips

We met up with our lift back home at the station, and they had bought us a big mac, coke and chips. Perfect way to end an eventful night out. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mosaic: make your own jewellery holder

I love to craft. Anytime that I can sit down and get lost in crafting, I am happy. My sibling knows this all too well and got me an awesome DIY mosaic kit for my birthday. After spending the better part of four months on my desk, I decided to finally open it up while binge watching Suits. 
diy mosaic
I found it very therapeutic (could also have been the red wine) and decided to try some more. A few years before, while writing my thesis, I tried my hand at mosaic. I had a lot of time on my hands, and made a photo frame. It came out pretty well and sits on my mom's bookshelf. I then tried to make coasters for my dad, and when I gave them to him, and said I made them, he said "I can see that". That was the end of my mosaic. 
On a Saturday, I was running errands like grown ups do, when I decided to stop at the hardware store to get nails. I wondered around after at least three people asked if they could help - I must've had that helpless rookie look about me - when I discovered a mosaic studio. JACKPOT. 

Make your own jewellery holder
Wood board of your choice * Mosaic tiles (I liked red, mirror & gold) * Wood glue * Tile cutter *Grout *Hooks
  • Smear the wood glue on the wood board
  • Cut the tiles with the tile cutter
  • Place the tiles on the glue
  • Once covered, mix your grout & smear
  • Allow to dry & then wash off excess grout
  • Add the hooks
diy mosaic jewellery holder bird

Monday, October 28, 2013

Deliciousfest - Jamiroquai has got the boogie that's for real yo

Allow me to digress: on entering competitions via social media

Before I tell you about how awesome Jamiroquai was, let me tell you that social media competitions in South Africa are an untapped resource. Granted I have never won anything over R1000 but I must've won about 7 competitions in the last year. I alerted my sibling and her significant other to the competition to win tickets to Delicious Fest, and guess what, they both won. My sibling got VIP tickets and her boyfriend won the ones us common folk get. He was nice enough to give me those.
We arrived at about 3 in the afternoon, and as with all outdoor gatherings, traffic was bad. We sat along a single lane road, inching along while those in luxury SUVs and taxis used the shoulder on the side of the road as the express lane. At first I was angry that they were pushing in, but then my anger turned to jealousy because my car would never make that road.

We walked through the exclusive estate and got to a caravan which was also the ticket office. We got our tickets and as we were about to leave, a guy in his mid twenties was there with his mom trying to sell an extra ticket. He kept on saying "Mom, look what you are making me do". Oh family outings are so much fun.

On being parched 
The queue separated the mere mortals from the importants, because VIP got special arm bands and us plebs just walked in. It was hot. Like mid 30 degree hot. I always wonder why outdoor events never have enough people manning the bar or why there are so few toilets. I was parched and eventually we had to settle for some weird never heard of flavoured water (read coloured sugar water) that was cold and didn't have a queue the length of a small country. 

There were loads of food trucks and different snacks, but if you go to these foodie festivals, you tend to see the same people. The chickpea fudge people, the olive people, the turkish delight people, the list goes on. We headed to the main arena, a lush field of grass surrounded by a hill, with the fancy Michellen star restaurants to the right, and the bars & Checkers cheese and bread stand to the left.

As always the main bar was terrible and no person in their right mind would wait in that queue. People were buying cases of liquor to make sure that they did not have to go back. I decided to stand in the Milk Stout queue, which was shorter but also had bouncer who took his job way too seriously. Once in, they had run out of other liquor, the official line being that "the guy is going to get some more", so I ordered Milk Stout. I have never had this before because it looks revolting. Surprisingly it is not that bad, and due to its abundance at the festival, became the drink of choice.

At first I thought who in their right mind would buy cheese and bread, but that is exactly what we did and decided to park on the lawns to the sounds of Mi Casa. Jigga was the hit, but you could sense a real cultural divide - I had no idea there is a dance associated with that song. But now I do and whenever I am driving and the song comes on the radio, I have an urge to dance.

The drink of champions or when there is no other liquor to consume: Milk Stout

On not being a VIP

They announced the main act would be on in an hour. As I mentioned before, I did not have the bracelet that would grant me access to the VIP area, however this did not stop me.
"Just walk up and see what they say."
"What if I get rejected? That will be so embarassing."
"That will be amazing. Hello YouTube."

I pulled down my sleeves, covered my non VIP bracelet hand, and walked confidently up the stairs. No one stopped me. I walked in so chuffed and we headed straight for the hay bales that would give us an awesome panoramic view. You know you are getting old when you would rather watch a concert in comfort, and not from the front row.

The way to see a concert: from the comfort of the VIP area
On seeing Jamiroquai

One of the best things about seeing live music, is that you can sing a long. And boy did we sing. His tunes took me back to the late 1990's and the early 00's. I was commenting on how cool the Virtual Insanity music video was, when I got told "That's how you know you're old. You're talking about a time when MTV still played music videos." Well the band is amazing, and they even poked fun at themselves "Here's a song that no one has ever heard of and that the record company didn't like".

The vibe was amazing, the cheese and bread picnic awesome, milk stout delicious and the music, well that was just rad.