Tag Archives: Cape Town

Happy Anniversary /Ode to Marriage

Today marks our third-year anniversary and I am not sure what it is about marriage that makes each year feel tougher and harder than the previous one yet the returns are just as fulfilling. I love being married and I love my husband and even after all these years together (nine this year) I am still remarkably happy that we are together. He is certainly my person.

What have I learnt so far?

  • Communication, yes, it’s great and truly the key. Half of communication however is being mindful of how you deliver the message. It is possible through how and when you say something to break the other person or get a response that you were not prepared for. True Story.
  • Regarding in-laws, that can be managed. There is a happy coexistence that you can attain. A fine line between respect for them and firm boundaries for your relationship. Also, one of the ladies that spoke to me before I got married reminded me that I can never be the best daughter in law and so I should not work on that but focus on being respectful.
  • Marriage is better when you have a crowd with whom you experience it together. This calls to mind mentors, other happily married couples of all ages and even people that are dating and hoping to also settle down. Being surrounded by happy couples in different seasons of life keeps you connected and encouraged to strive more within your marriage.
  • The move to the Mother City was also beneficial because it helped us build a firm foundation for this new phase of our relationship and to help the “crowd” around us begin to see us as a unit and to respect that.
  • Though we had known each other since our early twenties, we only got married in our late twenties and in the last three years we have spent a lot of time integrating our single lives into our new entity. In true us style, this has involved a lot of “business” meetings to plan, dream, forecast and review our future plan. Although we are closer now than when we started we are still not done. Urggh.
  • My husband is my best male friend and probably someone outside of my family that knows me best BUT having said that, I still believe it is important to keep other friendships going strong in your lives and to continue to meet new people and maintain old friendships. This is important because of the “crowd” I spoke of earlier but also the fact that when we interact with other people it draws out another side of you and also allows you to miss your partner that you look forward to seeing them.

Having said all the above, it is a fact that marriage is work. You only reap what you put in. Also, that both of you must work on it or the other party eventually gets worn out and might lash out. Each year has brought us something additional to work through / focus on and that has been interesting and kept us both connected.

What will I work on this year?

Firstly, on the words I use. I know that as a wife, I can either build him up / tear him down and I have to be very careful not to do the latter. Secondly, in the Love Dare  the authors speak of  guarding one self against spending time in your mate’s depreciation room. This is basically the place where we keep stock of all of his bad traits and all those things you do not like about him. I also have a depreciation room that he could dwell on but that won’t take us anywhere if we both fixate on it. Lastly, to work on making more couple friends and hanging out with those we currently have.

In closing, one piece of advice we received that I always remember is that marriage is what you make of it. Just as no two marriages are the same, you can get out of yours the things that you want and that works for the two of you despite what other people out there might feel/ have to say.

So here’s to many more and loads of love.

 

Sunday Reads

 

Sunday Reads

Recipes

 

 

The Cape Town Art Fair

I went by this past weekend and it was truly the best use of my time. I enjoyed it and would happily recommend it to anyone. Below, some of the bits that best stood out for me.

 

Enjoy!!

Sunday Reads

(Long) Sunday Reads

  1. Great marriage lesson about talking honestly of our growing up experiences
  2. Clothes, beauty and Africa (NY Times)
  3. Uganda’s fastest and cheapest street food: Rolex. Do yourself a favour and google how the typical Ugandan pronounces it 🙂
  4. …. and then a brief history of Vietnam’s street food, the Banh  mi.
  5. School lunches in Japan.
  6. So much good in this story.
  7. Relationship goals. Yes!!
  8. I love mussels and this seems so simple to make at home.
  9. I sometimes feel this way about my accomplishments. Yeah!
  10. I WANNA host an ice cream social too.
  11. Because Lagos loves to party.
  12. Bringing up kids in this day and age is not for the faint hearted.
  13. Giving birth in Guinea is not child’s play.
  14. We must watch Hidden Figures. Very important story to tell!!
  15. Yummy (no egg) ice cream recipe.
  16. This is my plan for September – need to get a proposal out.
  17. I had a similar meal recently at a restaurant, YUMMY cauliflower.
  18. Some more productivity hacks.
  19. This letter. So true and poignant!

Black, Female and Strong

It is a really interesting time to be in South Africa, what with all the #Fallist talks and the different dialogues happening around race, culture and identity. Last week, I attended the Open Book Festival in Cape Town and happened to attend two talks that had me very excited.

The first related to decolonising institutions. Although most African countries obtained political and some level of economic independence, in the main very few countries embarked on that extra step to decolonise their culture, their thinking, their language and their identity. My personal view is that this is vital and regardless of the length of time that has passed from independence, no country is fully emancipated until they do this and I suppose this is where South Africa is at the moment. Slightly controversially, I think that it is the colonised Black people that must fully lead in this process and set the agenda. Also, less clear to me is the question of language. Can a revolution led in the “colonisers” language ever be taken seriously? Or have that full acceptance and recognition? While I am not fully convinced it can be, I am not sure what the counterfactual is.

This talk also touched on the question of privilege which led me to think of my own story and my privilege. As I am obviously Black and female this makes class my privilege because through class, I can transcend some of the discrimination I would otherwise face. For example, I am really grateful that I am privileged to be able to outsource some of the things I don’t enjoy doing around the house to someone else and pay her to do them on my behalf. Some of the expectations that I am graciously excused from as a  new wife by my extended family. I am extremely grateful but also, with privilege does responsibility also increase. To give back, to ensure justice and reduced inequality for others that are less fortunate. To do something.

The second talk was on feminism. The panel has become my ultimate girl/writer crush/ perfect dinner guest list/ people I must meet before I leave the earth. The moderator was Mohale Mashigo and the panelists were: Yewande OmotosoNnedi Okorafor and Pumla Dineo Gqola. After the session was over, I just wanted to sit and bask in the warm fuzzies generated by that session. Nothing I love more than passionate and educated women with a strong opinion that they are happy to share and loudly at that. For the hour that they spoke, it was nice to talk about common and sometimes not so common experiences we share as women. When did you first know that you were a feminist? How do the books that you read portray female characters? Media? TV? Is feminism for all? Is this brand of feminism accessible to all or are there some class privilege undertones? When the struggle is so tough, how do you reignite the joy and keep the focus? I am obviously not even summarising the discussion well but it was a very interesting discussion.

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L-R Mashigo, Okorafor, Gqola, Omotoso

(Long-ish) Sunday Reads

  1. Love the little eateries in Cape Town –Hallelujah. Truth Coffee.
  2. Sometimes in a long-term relationship you can forget how to really have a good conversation. Here’s how to rekindle that.One. Two.
  3. I wonder what a similar labour market analysis would reveal of the aged workers across Sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. I love reading about productivity hacks.
  5. Some apps to help with  productivity.
  6. This article is spot on about how alcohol is fuelling a lot of women today.
  7. One day when I am all grown, I will use my board and have a charcuterie and cheese platter.

Recipes

 

Sunday Reads

  1. This article captures how a good policy intended for women can conversely benefit men.
  2. Tips to help one eat in moderation.
  3. Again this article on how African women’s bodies are fetishised and no one really cares for us. They never loved us!
  4. This place has been popping up quite often, should try and stop by before the cool kids monopolise it.
  5. For anyone looking to study for a PhD. Some valuable advice.

Monday Blues …

It is currently 17 degrees in Cape Town, with 100 percent chance of showers from now until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. So the weather is a bit dreary but, I have been listening to some lovely tunes this morning.

 

Enjoy and thank me later!!

 

Sunday Reads

  1. Quick lunch/snack recipe: Chickpea “tuna” salad 
  2. Cooking with lentils & beans
  3. Don’t really like vegetarian burgers but these lentil meatballs sure look yum!
  4. This article made me realise why people do not share the names of their babys before birth, but clearly once they are born, the name is not safe either!!
  5. Pics of the beautiful Cape Town.
  6. Beautiful pics of the Festima Festival in Burkina Faso.
  7. Some non-traditional baby gift ideas.
  8. Breaking up is hard. Breaking up in the day of Facebook, is something else altogether.(NY Times Article)
  9. A better way to think of your to-do list.
  10. Get Tested. Be Faithful. Remain Faithful. Otherwise, always use protection.
  11. On buying friendship in Japan. Read this and thanked God for my genuine (free) friendships.
  12. This lady did what I always say to my single pals about putting themselves out there in order to meet a guy!
  13. Sad that the recently legalised Marijuana business in the states has a colour preference.
  14. How do you feel about motherhood?

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Exploring my little town

This past Tuesday I attended an event called Pechakucha in Cape Town CBD and I loved it.

PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images. The presentation format was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture. The first PechaKucha Night was held in Tokyo in their gallery/lounge/bar/club/creative kitchen, SuperDeluxe, in February, 2003. PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps — just about anything, really — in the PechaKucha 20×20 format.

Check out the global site to see whether your city is hosting an event.

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I went all alone, new city = few friends and the Mr had another engagement. It’s OK to go alone, you still have tonnes of fun but it’s definitely better with someone  or better yet with a crowd. This past we listened to the following 9 talks as shown in the poster below.

 PCKC 2

My reactions? (Numbers below coincide to the numbered listing above)

  1. Given by Macio, Lloyd and Karien (VDMMA Architects). I never knew that architecture could be so sexy. They are re-purposing an old agricultural silo into the largest museum of modern art on the African continent. The presentation was very detailed but between their presentation style and the beautiful pics we have to look forward to, it was a very interesting talk.
  2. Presented by Sarah Joanna Kennan whose love for tequila saw her visit Mexico and start to grow the agave plant in the Karoo. I loved her talk because it dealt a lot with passion and life being a journey that helps you answer questions you didn’t know you had. Isn’t that beautiful? Other lesson: agave can be spun into fabric that can be used to make surfboards.
  3. Presented by Lawrence Batchelor who based his presentation on the Bates Method that helps people back to normal site. What I learnt from him is that, your eyes do get tired and that you should blink often and breathe. Blink. Blink. Blink.
  4. Kris Steyn managed to link his love for sailing with the creation of leaders. It seems that there is a shortage of young sailors and if you do know anyone interested, have them email him.
  5. Sarita van der Walt introduced us to biomimicry and how we can learn all these lessons from nature. Definitely learnt a lot and it was interesting to see how this philosophy is being applied in furniture design, software designs and other areas of our lives.
  6. Delroy Guzha urged us to think past exercise and fitness and look at introducing new habits into our current lives. I heard this talk in light of all the stuff around how sitting is the new (insert whatever morbid thought here). Little things, not slouching at your desk, sitting on a fitness ball to urge your lower back to kick in, walking and not sitting around all day.
  7. If I had met Dr Sahal Yacoob before I gladly dropped Physics 16 years ago, I might have kept at it. Imagine listening to an intense Physics talk at about half 8 in the evening and still feel captivated by his presentation. All I remember in case you are interested, Higgs Bisson, The Atlas Experiment, neutrons collide.
  8. Teagan Philips captured our imagination with her combined love for cycling and drawing cartoons. Great talk but you know how I do not know how to cycle,right?
  9. Zara Vorwek talked about positive psychology. I took away from her talk that she encourages one to be mindful and practice gratitude which is something that I am trying to inculcate into my life this year.

Overall, definitely go if they have it in your city. The next one in Cape Town will be held on the 3rd of May.

My weekend in food

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Went to a fancy Stellenbosch restaurant for lunch with the Mr this past weekend and this is what I had.

XOXO

Did my parents know the answers to all of life’s lessons at my age?

Adulting never gets any easier the longer you keep at it. I recently got thinking on three things in my life where I certainly needed my parents to come through and tell me what to do or how to do it.

  1. Finishing high school and having to decide what career I wanted to pursue thereafter. Then having to visit the different Universities and make my application and everything else. Coming on the back of completing high school and being told everything I needed to do, this freedom was quite sudden and frankly overwhelming. However, I oddly always knew what I wanted to do and so all I had to work on was finding a school to study Economics.
  2. Dealing with my first job. So many different things. One,  I put in an application for a Work permit and this took over seven months to finalise and eventually I had to decide whether to stop working while I await my permit or go back home and either look for a job or start the application all over again to come back and coninue with my old job. Two, dealing with a difficult boss and having to decipher honest feedback against being bullied. The hardest lesson ever that I had to go through. Three, deciding to quit and wishing I could ask my folks to take care of me again.
  3. Moving house across cities. Urgggh!! I thought of my mom for months in the build up to it and for weeks after and secretly begged that she would offer to come help me.

And this is only up until now. I cannot imagine having a first baby, bringing up kids, losing loved ones, sickness, marriage stuff. Oh dear me, please can I just go back to being twelve!

First thoughts on the Mother City

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View of Table Mountain

  1. The mountain. On a beautiful or cloudy day, the mountain is majestic and I love how imposing it is!
  2. The water. Very beautiful but often just as cold.
  3. It is a much smaller town so most places are within twenty minutes of each other which is lovely. Very welcome respite from Joburg where standard driving is about 40 minutes.
  4. The shops around us open fairly early and close late. The nearest Woolies for example opens at 07h30 and closes at 21h00. Obviously not great for the workers but I am loving that flexibility.
  5. The beautiful and artsy CBD.
  6. I am finding the drivers are quite chilled and very law-abiding. I have on occassion been driving at 80km/h (aka the speedlimit) on the fast lane and have not had a single driver drive up close to me or overtake me at a weird angle to prove a point about my granny driving.
  7. Relatedly though, no one tells you about the insane traffic jams in Cape Town. Such a nightmare and mainly because of the mostly two lane highways!! Why now?
  8. The public taxis (matatus) have a tout calling out destinations and such. Much prefer that to Joburgs finger signs.
  9. It is standard to have buildings that have no parking and as a result I now park on the street outside my house. But, you have to be careful about where and how you park or you could easily pick up a hefty fine – I already have three for my efforts!
  10. Things work – so far, only one traffic light has been out, traffic got collected on Christmas and New Years despite those being public holidays.
  11. You could experience four seasons in a single day which was initially very distracting and difficult to plan with. But, you can get around that with jerseys at your desk or in the car.
  12. Much longer days with early sunrises and later sunsets. Initially disorienting but with time you adjust, except for the fact that we are eating dinner later and later because its hard to imagine eating dinner when the sun is still hot and out.
  13. Some malls charge a nominal fee for the toilet usage. Found out when I was so pressed and not sure I had a coin to pay!
  14. CAMPS BAY!
  15. The massive inequality between the haves and the have-nots. And indeed the cost of living which brings to mind the Kiswahili saying hii nchi ina wenyewe (this country has its owners). Of course Cape Town is not a country, but in many ways, it feels like it is!

Coming from a very diverse city in terms of race, language, ethnicity and nationality, Cape Town is quite binary in terms of White/Coloured; South African/ Foreign and there isn’t much of that in between grey layer that makes things all the more interesting. And this is what makes me miss Joburg the most. Joburg is not a classic beauty like Cape Town is, it’s not even as organised or run beautifully but there is an innate beauty it has, an edginess and a diversity that I greatly appreciate. Outside of that, Cape Town is a place I reside at but it is not home.

Reviewing 2015 through posts

I have enjoyed posting so much this year and pushing myself to write more, write in different formats or on different topics than the typical ones I would. Thanks for the reads, sharing and comments!

  1. My theme this year was on obedience.
  2. Listened to great music too!!
  3. Took care of myself!!
  4. Really got into podcasts.
  5. Ten little things I enjoyed this year (the first of many similar posts)
  6. I hurt when the Xenophobic attacks broke out! In February. Twice.
  7. Read a lot about women struggling with infertility.
  8. Cooked some nice things.
  9. Read some good and bad books!! The invention of wings was easily my book of the year.
  10. Made a personal announcement too!!

Enjoy and looking forward to 2016!!

Some recent pics

Of the mountain from my office

Recently went to Paarl with a couple of friends, gorgeous weather and lovely views!!

Enjoy xoxo!

Sunday Reads

  1. Interesting to read that Chartered schools do not do any better for children in more suburban areas.
  2. Planning an upcoming Cape Town city centre adventure.
  3. Cooking with sweet potatoes
  4. Celebrating love, marriage and all things in between. Also, check out their podcast, season 2 is coming up.
  5. How to help a friend going through a rough time.
  6. On meeting your biggest idol!

Before making it a home …

…. this is a list of things I have to do!

Breath out slowly ... Fun times ahead …. xoxo

Sunday Reads

Greetings from a rainy and cold-ish Cape Town!

  1. New Gilmore Girls episodes coming on Netflix. Be still my heart!!
  2. Welcome back Rory, Old Friend!
  3. So sad this story about dying alone but intriguing what happens behind the scenes.
  4. A cool list of some podcasts to listen to, in case you need some ideas.
  5. Funky (and fashionable) Korean Babies
  6. More on the boy child’s woes!
  7. Some beautiful placards driving the message on #Feesmustfall
  8. Got myself some Castor and Olive oil from this place and it smells DI-vine!
  9. Yummy recipe!! Cauliflower, quinoa and a stir fry
Enjoy!!