I have so many books on my to-read/ currently being read list!
- Happiness like Water - Chinelo Okparanta. This is our read for this months book club. For short stories, I am quite enjoying them. Will do a review on it later.
- 491 Days: Prisoner number 1323/69 – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Motivated to read it after watching the Mandela movie last December. Just really want to make up my own mind about this lady.
- We need new names – NoViolet Bulawayo. This novel is doing so well all in the press and I honestly haven’t been this excited to read any book in a while.
- Winter of the World – Ken Follet. I won this on an on-line competition and I feared that I would forget the books’ plot after almost two years. FEAR. NOT!! It is just as riveting I hope he is writing book three already.
- And the mountains echoed – Khalid Hosseini. So last Wednesday I took some overdue books to the library and stumbled upon a book sale. Being unable to resist it, I looked through and found this book and since it was “quite new” I got it for R15. What a steal!!
- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants – Malcolm Gladwell. I really enjoy his reading although in other quarters he has been criticised for not being rigorous enough
- Salt, Sugar and Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us – Michael Moss. This book got me to reconsider my dislike for digging and reconsider starting my own garden and avoiding processed foods. Simply written and very educative, also very heavily reliant on research and other facts, which is a great read.
- The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver. Everytime I see this lady’s writing I want to shout, “Tata Jesus is bangala!” From her novel, The Poisonwood Bible.
- The Sculptor of Mapungubwe – Zakes Mda. I have grown to love and respect this guy and his writing so much. CANNOT wait to read his latest offering.
- The Reader – Bernhard Schlink. This was on Oprah’s list of books so I also wanted to check it out. I also wanna check out the movie thereafter and compare.
What are you reading now? Or do you plan to read?
PS: Mega shout out to Lupita Nyongo! Kenya Oyeeeee!!!
Posted in books
Tagged 491 Days, books, Chinelo Okparanta, David and Goliath, Happiness like Water, Khalid Hosseini, Lupita Nyongo, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Moss, NoViolet Bulawayo, Salt Sugar and Fat, We need new names, Winter of the World
I have started to blog about the wedding preparations so many times and stopped because the process of it all is so exhausting, like even typing that sentence is enough of a killer.
In the last two weeks of Jan/early Feb we viewed a total of ten venues.
- Ingaadi - if I wanted to get married on the lawns, it would have been perfect. They don’t have a chapel!
- Chez Charlene – went to a wedding three years before and I wasn’t wowed – loved it so much this time round. I loved the attention to detail and the finishing,the chapel and the grounds and the little ritual that the coordinator spoke about.But it did not have on-site accomodation
- Diamond 4 Venue - they had the best space for the bride to get married in and a beautiful reception venue. The chapel, just average. The outside area looks like a construction site and I felt that for how much I was paying, the outside should look good.
- Usambara – they had the best chapels of all the places I went to. Beautiful lawns and a place to have cocktails, BUT, the smaller venue was dark and the lady making the sell talked my year off, even I was exhausted!
- Everwood - have you ever felt nothing for a venue and then had to go through the motions of whatever you felt? This was that place – they call it country/rustic and in my head I kept thinking incomplete and underwhelmed.
- En-Gedi - I really loved this place. Loved the bridal suite, the chapel (before I saw the seats they use) and the grounds. I wasn’t sold on the reception venue though – it had these weird corners to take and it felt a bit dark. But I felt it could be redeemed.
- Oakfield - this was my number two venue by far. The venue had a horse and carriage, beautifully manicured lawns and grounds, they looked like THIS is what they do and it showed!!
- Tres Jolie - I initially really loved the venue because of the chapel. It totally rocked then we got to the venue and it looked so busy with so many little nooks and crannies and the venue just looked, OK at best.
- Hoyo Hoyo - So I thought Everwood underwhelmed me? Nah, not so for this place. I had no energy to even try or pretend to like the place. Thank God for the Mr who rose beautifully to the occasion and asked all that we needed to know. I definitely left the place knowing its a NO.
- Zulu Nyala - So beautiful place right in the heart of Joburg. I mean they even had a place with wild animals and stuff and the most beautiful lake and lighting fixtures in the chapel and reception. So beautiful white and red stuff all over. Loved it too.
Just before I went to view all these places, I read this article about questions to ask at your venue. A very nice read, basically, make sure to ask about:
- Decoration that are allowed and what’s not. For example certain places won’t allow Chinese lanterns, or certain types of candles ..
- How long have you got the venue for? How much does it cost after that stipulated time?
- Number of stalls in the gents and ladies – nothing like having so many guests wait in the toilet because there is only one.
- Might be obvious, but what is included in the venue hire and what is not, down to the number of drinks and the starter or not.
- Does the venue have an allocated wedding coordinator or will you need to hire another?
- Who are their approved vendors and what do they like about them?
- Any discounts or variable costs that the venue can give that point or at a particular season?
- Number of waiters and serving stations. Are the waiters included in the venue hire or are they an additional cost?
A big thing for us is the fact that the wedding will be in August and it might get cold, we wanted somewhere people could stay late at the wedding but be indoors. Particularly for the older folk.
We settled on Joburg because the next day we have a traditional ceremony at the Mr’s place in the East.
I wanted a beautiful chapel and the venue we selected definitely has. We also wanted a dance floor to boogie the evening away …
So what venue did we select? Number 2!! Close runner up was definitely Oakfield and at Number 3 was Zulu Nyala and En-Gedi.
What would you have selected? What questions did you ask your venue supplier?
Posted in marriage
Tagged Chez Charlene, Diamond 4 Venue, En-Gedi, Everwood, Hoyo Hoyo, Ingaadi, Oakfield, Tres Jolie, Usambara, Venues, Wedding, weddings. planning, Zulu Nyala Country Manor
No one is perfect. Not a supermodel or that lady or gentleman next to you whose arms or beautiful high cheekbones you wish you had. I suppose that’s why God made us, to appreciate the variety around. But generally, I think the following about people’s observable insecurities.
We all have that “thing” that makes us hang back and treat other peoples” body issue with some respect.
Some guys can laugh at theirs and they expect others to be able to. And thats not good or bad, it’s good to read your audience too and see where they fall on the like or hate their “thing”.
PS: This conversation was inspired by a thirty minute conversation with a friend with me threatening to pinch her cheeks for something she had said to me. Turns out she isn’t so big on people doing that ( my question though is, who would pinch a 26 year old’s cheeks? Why?) and we stumbled into those things we all don’t like and wanna avoid drawing attention to.
If I did not primarily blog to make myself happy and to try and chronicle my thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes, it would get awful boring and lonesome. Must say there is nothing like spending time agonising over a post, mulling it over and then returning to it, editing until the final product is good and then hitting post only for no comment or interaction, and sometimes, even a “Like” would do.
So there, I said it, it would feel nice to have that public acknowledgement from time to time.
Must say though, the best feeling, more than a “Like” is notification of a subscriber and the ensuing debate in my head as to what in my writing must have pulled them in and for me to try and write better/ differently to draw in even more.
Or nothing like having a comment from a blog that I love and admire and it feels so good to have them come along here to my space and also comment.
I also do understand the people that read and move along, I do stalk other bloggers from the sidelines and comment in my head or feel with them when “real life” happens to them but never comment in person. I too “feel” as I’m sure all my loyal reader and subscribers do as well and for that I am grateful to keep doing this and keep sharing of myself.
I wish I was being paid to promote this challenge below but it’s just something that is close to my heart – nutrition and particularly, what kids eat. Oh, and I also love the brand!
Competition runs from 27 January to 16 February 2014.
Enter the lunch box challenge by sending a photo of your healthy lunch box idea (contact details at the bottom of this post). To stand a chance to win, use at least 3 food items currently on WRewards and make sure you include all 6 food groups. Entrants stand to win weekly great prizes and an overall grand prize where five entrants stand to win R10,000 for their school fees and a further R10,000 for their school.
The 6 Food Groups to be included are: Protein, Starch carbohydrates, dairy, fruits and vegetables, fats and fluids
- Name and Surname
- Age (if you’re younger than 18 years of age)
- Contact number
- Woolworths or MySchool card number (if you’re younger than 18, please send us the card number of your parent or guardian).
- Name of school (if you’re younger than 18 years of age)
- A photograph of your healthy lunch box
- Your signature lunch box name
Send pics via email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or via post to Lunchbox Challenge, PO Box 3880, Cape Town, 8000
Good luck and remember you can enter as many times as you wish to before the 16th of February!!
What would I have? I thought I could do it off the top of my head but I might need additional time to figure this out!
Anything you have read this week that tickled your fancy?
Please watch this video by Lupita (Nyongo).
All I want to talk about is the bit where she didn’t know she was Black until she moved to the United States, similar to my experience when I moved to South Africa.
In this week following the announcement that Dr. Mamphela Ramphele would be running as the Democratic Alliance (DA) Presidential candidate, there have been a few frank racial conversations doing the rounds (and some not so objective). Due to this country’s history, it does tend to take on a racial slant and this morning my colleagues and I spent some time considering how we move past that history to a non-racial, inclusive society. Now while I don’t know the answer two things did hit me, POOF!!
- Due to its’ terrorised past, South Africa needs many safe spaces for people to talk about the past, their current situation and be empowered to face their future. Until then, you find many people crippled by their past, their current stereotypes and too fearful of the future to participate fully in the society. You also do hear of denialism and white guilt because some White folk do also need that space to, frankly deal with the emotions that they might not want to or have never acknowledged to themselves.
- Conversations need to begin moving from black/white, them/us to better understanding that the value of people comes from that core thing inside them that makes them human. When we look at it at the racial level, we stick to single identifiers only and don’t consider the whole of what makes individuals people. An individual is made of a sum of parts and race or gender or interests make up the constituent parts and not the whole. For some its spirituality or religion that helps helps them transcend this and that’s important for us to consider – how do I get there? For me, it’s an understanding of the Creation story in Genesis – God made us all, male and female, in His image and likeness.
A bit simplistic, perhaps but what do you think?
I got a diary that asked me to write a letter to myself on the 1st of January and read it at the end of the year. Well, as I am twenty five days too late. Happy 29th birthday and all the best for this year and always.
I wish for myself this year to keep my sanity and maintain all my close friendships at the same time. Regarding friendships, I wish to have few and dear friends that I can share with and be open to laughter, criticism and everything else in between.
I pray for financial stability. Boy how I do!! I am embarrassed to bring this up again, but I totally need a side-hustle because I really want to travel and I am willing to sacrifice something to do this. I want to use my skills set and the time in the evening I have to make this work. Definitely not those online data entry jobs, nah, something more legit and visible.
I want to work with women this year and empower them in a meaningful and tangible way. I want to grow closer in my walk with God and indeed, this is finally the year that I shall read through the book from Genesis – Revelation!
As usual I want to read great books, eat good food and have a merry old time.
Cheers to a great year and happy birthday to me …
Posted in books, design, dot, good, Heart matters, home, madness, marriage, misc, school
Tagged 29 today, birthday wishes, dreams, Happy birthday, plans
Last year I spent much of the year trusting and waiting for the Lord that it is only fitting for my verse this year to be a continuation of that and of the lessons picked or learnt.
- This verse speaks to me because it urges me to forget the past things and look at the new things that God promises to do for me and mine.
- While He will do that, I need to look out and be ready to receive and recognise it or it will pass me by and I will chalk it down to luck, goodwill or something I could have done.
- Also, that the new stuff will be exceedingly abundantly above what I can imagine or think of.
- The new and exciting thing are not limited to one area of my life only and will traverse every part of it. And I think its fitting for me in this year!!
So I am just going to hold on, learn, look and wait to receive.
What about you? Have you got a word, a theme verse or some guiding principle for this year?
This is a belated Daily Post from the 8th of January titled:
Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life,
either for the better or the worse. How is your life different
today because of him or her?
I encountered the teacher that had the most impact in my life in my first year at University. She taught me a course titled “Communication and Culture” over two semesters and her name was Rebecca Ng’ang’a. Not only did she teach the course content but she was inspirational as well and imparted various life lessons. As a first year course predominantly, and for many, our first time in University these lessons were important as University tends to come with a lot of freedom and spare time.
I remember about her course that we had to write a “Reflection”, an essay on some part of her class and we had to write a minimum of ten of each per semester. They could not be superficial as what she cared most about was how the course content was changing your world-view or previous perceptions of a particular topic. I recently came across some of them and it’s amazing how much I have grown up or how in some areas I have developed. Case in point was in the area of marriage, in my younger days I might have been a bit cynical and even dubious of the fact that people could commit to each other in that way. Obviously, that has changed.
I also liked her approach to teaching because she taught us to really interact with the information imparted and to continually question our assumptions – something I don’t always do but I have recently been challenged to start doing once again.
On a less inspirational note, I did particularly like her because she was comfortable in her skin and would often poke fun at herself and make endearing self-deprecating comments of herself which made her human in my eyes unlike some of my earlier teachers that always felt the need to be super heroes. That and the fact that she took pains to dress up to class and would often colour coordinate her outfit, from the hat on her head to the little shoes on her feet and her bag. If it was a red day, she was dressed in red throughout and boy would she rock the monochromatic look!!
More importantly, she had a passion and a zeal for Christ and she often talked of her relationship with Christ and that inspired me to want to get to that point in my life and/or in my walk with Christ. And this is what I most fondly remember about Mrs. Ng’ang’a. My sister recently met her and I only wish I had gotten the chance to say to her how much she had inspired me all those years back and at that particular stage of my Christian life.
Going home for two weeks and arriving seven hours to the first day of week and not sleeping until four hours before you report to work is repeat after me, NEVER a good idea!!!
Now I am barely awake but I am hoping to begin blogging and more consistently.
Happy New Year and I pray that 2014 brings you joy, peace and great health. I will not be doing a recap of my top posts from last year and my projections for the coming year as I realised that in looking at all the posts I read, I ignore such posts and move onto the next one!! Having said that, this is a year of significant change for me and I wish to reflect that in some of my posts and writings and pray that you will all stick along with me (and invite a friend along too)!!!
God Bless …
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.
Posted in books, design, dot, good, Heart matters, home, madness, marriage, misc, school
Tagged 2013 in numbers, 2014, annual report, cable car, Happy New Year, San Francisco cable car, stats helper monkeys
- Sulky moody people
- People that spit and pee in public
- Single, friendly types on a bus or flight
- Loud, flashy clothes and individuals
- Science fiction, horror and fantasy
- Basketball, volleyball and netball
- Reading manuals
- Religious fanaticism
- Sycophancy and hypocrisy
- The smell and taste of hot milk and hot water
- Eating burgers or schwarmas in public
- Music: Soul, Jazz, Lingala
- Practical jokes/ pranks
- Rum and raising ice cream
- Visible panty lines and visible underwear
- The feeling of dirt between my toes or having rain fall on my toes
- Biscuits, chocolates or sweets with nuts or coconut in the centre
- Red meat
One of the things that has been on my to-blog list for a while has been looking at my younger journals and typing out an old post. Below is one of those instances. Again, I am just blown away by how clear I was about life in my youth.
Take a moment right now (and always) to start the habit of praying for your future husband. Pray that God would protect him in the physical battles that he faces but especially the spiritual battles. Pray that God would protect his mind, his body and his soul until the day that you find him.
(15th August 2005)
Something I did and two and a half years later, I met him and continue to pray the same thing over his life.
- My family
- All my friends
- My bed, my linen and all my pillows
- My room/ any personal space I lay claim to – so my desk, a particular seat I like
- Quiet early mornings and rainy afternoons
- Rock/ Soft pop music
- Third Day, Sarah Groves, Dixie Chicks, John Legend, Barlow Girls, Casting Crows, Simpiwe Dana, Freshlyground
- Baking and cooking
- My handbags
- Washing dishes and a sparkly and shiny kitchen
- Generations, Intersexions, Masterchef, Come Dine with me SA, Wedding shows, Gilmore Girls, Felicity
- Music award shows and countdowns
- Countries I’d love to visit: Britain, India, Spain, Morocco, Namibia, Australia
- My stationery especially my pens
- Watches with a black face
- Food I love to eat: rice, potatoes, fish & sea food, butter nut, pastries, porridge
- Bookshops, Libraries
- Long and quiet bus rides
- Basking in the sun
- The Bible my mom gave me when I turned 16
- Flavours I love: cinammon, cumin, vanilla, coffee, black pepper
- Sports I love to watch on telly: Hockey, Athletics, Tennis
- NEW YORK!!
- My earring collection
- Authors I love: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Marian Keyes, Ken Follet, Bryce Courtenay ( I simply looked at my bookshelf but this list is in no ways complete )
- My mugs each and every one of them.
Posted in home
Tagged about me, books, food, places, Sarah Groves, shows, smell, spaces, sports, things, times
Must say I do feel like I should go out and conquer the world!!
Please note these are not my cartoons and if circulated please do not pass them off as yours or acknowledge me.
Posted in books, design, dot, good, Heart matters, home, madness, marriage, misc, school
Tagged funerals, Mandela