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Sunday Reads

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Sunday Reads

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10 things that make me smile

  1. Discovering a lovely brand of tea.
  2. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning during the BSF break.
  3. A wonderful chat with my sisters and friends.
  4. I read my first Bessie Head (Maru) this week and it was lovely.
  5. Successfully parallel (flash) parking in one attempt.
  6. Trying a recipe and immediately knowing you will do it again.
  7. Enjoying Season 7 of My Kitchen Rules.
  8. Seeing my nephew and niece as they start to interact as siblings.
  9. Really enjoying the study of James. Quite challenging but very interesting.
  10. Discovering a great podcast and then going back to download all 80 episodes Smile 

Some more about me ..

What’s on your nightstand?

My bible, two or three books I am currently reading, a bottle of perfume, two birthday cards from family, a coaster (for my nightly cuppa tea), some paperwork I need to file.

What is an ideal day?

Predictable i.e it goes according to plan with nothing unexpected.

What trait do you deplore in other people?

Dishonesty, lack of conviction.

What trait do you most admire in other people?

Honesty, loyalty and ambition/drive.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Books, tea and stationary.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Hopelessness and having nothing to look forward to.

Who’s your favorite hero of fiction or movies?

Moses from the books by Barbara Kimenye

Mountain or beach vacation?

City, but if I had to strictly choose, then beach.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My buck teeth.

 

Question time

What I’m listening to: NPR’s Hidden Brain. Haven’t really gotten into any new music of late. So happy to take any suggestions in the comments.

What I’m reading:  Introduction to African Religion by John Mbiti; The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna.

What I’m wearing: Blue nail polish on my toes because nothing says summer quite like that.

What we’re watching: Just finished Shameless Season 5 and waiting to continue onto season 6. Trying to get time to get into Billions.

What I’m struggling with: My inner critic particularly professionally. Also, trying to maintain my theme to stay connected to some of my friends and acquaintances.

What’s making my heart happy: BSF, Downton Abbeys’ last season, Woolworths Spicy Chai tea

Inspired by Joy at Frock Files

Sunday reads …

  1. If you would like to incorporate more vegetables into your diet/ be vegan. Here’s how to go about doing so.
  2. Recipes to enjoy your grains.
  3. Such a beautiful and poignant story of motherhood.
  4. And this post on surviving after losing a mother from one of my most favourite bloggers.
  5. Creative ways to counter the rising pay gap e.g. publish pay info by gender, make an offer that ignores past salary levels, teach women how to negotiate.
  6. The Mr and I have the same and different takes to this Saturday dilemma.
  7. I so DO NOT endorse people that believe in presenteeism.
  8. This is the kind of meaningful stuff I want to do with myself.
  9. But what is this now???????????? Virginity testing, school only for virgins? Madness!!!
  10. Because who would not like poached pears with tea?
  11. Another tea recipe (tea-infused lemon tart)
  12. What Obama carries in his pocket  … (Lemme know what you think?)

Sunday Reads

Better late than never ….

  1. Because we all need to be more productive at work.
  2. Liked some of these comments on the state of play between men and women and the chores at home.
  3. The (silent) perils of a PhD.
  4. I enjoyed this profile of Michael Phelps and congrats on the upcoming Baby.
  5. Fascinated by the paths that people that go to highly sought after schools take afterwards.
  6. Ain’t this life though?
  7. Alanis Morissette redoes “Ironic”. HILARS!!
  8. If you wish to read all of HONY’s stories on the Refugee plight in Europe.
  9. Love this story about revealed and stated preferences.
  10. Some great conversation starters
  11. If you have loads of tea and love to cook with it.
  12. Roasted green beans with hazelnuts

27. Putting yourself first

A close friend of mine and I often talk about how women always put others first in their lives and they then become a last priority. Also, how women’s self identity often lies with others: I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and never a broader sense of what they really are like. This was made only too real for me in recent weeks when a friend of mine was rushed to hospital seemingly suffering from stress-related issues that then became physical. This scared me and drove home the idea of self-love.

How do I take care of myself?

I will start by being honest to say that I don’t always put myself and that when I don’t it does make me feel not so great. This is what I rather try and do instead:

  1. Exercise. It helps me to burn that anxious energy but it also forces me to be in the moment and to enjoy or even breath through the pain and after, I am more relaxed and more capable to deal with whatever the issue was.
  2. Prayer & journaling. Writing and praying also helps to start my day on a positive note, it helps me commit my actions to God and to trust that it will be well. I make a lot of lists and more often than not, they are useful because I don’t lose my mind.
  3. Evaluate priorities. I find if you keep doing stuff, people keep expecting you to continue with it and rarely will they report back and ask that you stop. So it’s up to you to really stop, step back and determine whether this activity is still as helpful for you. Same thing with money. Do you need to keep spending all that money? Does that debit order still make sense for you?
  4. NO GUILT. A part of me knows that I cannot do everything and that I cannot be everything to all people but sometimes I finish that sentence with, but watch me try. And when it doesn’t work out, guilt is an easy second feeling and I have to say to myself, no more! None of that around here.
  5. Sampling magazines and books at Exclusive Books. Particularly on a quiet evening when it is not too busy. Every so often, that’s my plan for the evening and boy do I look forward to it.
  6. Catching up with a friend whether via email or WhatsApp. So enriching and often empowering.
  7. Listening to Music. Whether an oldie or a new album. Something about music just makes me so happy.
  8. Tea. Because tea …

A couple of other interesting readings with a more conclusive list of things to start doing today to do better for yourself:

12. South Africa v Kenya 2015 audit

Following from Fridays post and this one two years back I would like to extend the list by  a few things that say home to me and that don’t feel the same here

  • Kenya has a huge tea culture. Even when families have a big do and people have been drinkin’ when tea time (4-5pm) rolls in, people – old and young, male and female, will all take a break and have a cuppa. Not so much in SA. How many times have I hosted people, offered tea and heard, ” well, we are drinkin’ so maybe not.”
  • Also, just the fact we prefer tea to coffee. Despite growing and exporting both.
  • Also, just the fact that it took me years to find a local brand of tea bags that was brewed as strong as the one I loved at home. Hello Five Roses African Blend which is perfectly strong and is sourced from Eastern Africa teas.
  • Taxis that do not have a fare collector or someone that calls out the route. Meaning that the person that seats up front, next to the driver, has to take the fare and give back any change. Nerve wracking when I used to take a taxi where the fare was R11.50 per person and you had to quickly decide how much was due for all the 15  taxi passengers. Fast. It also never ceased to amuse me how the driver would be so uninterested i.e. if you needed him to give you two fifty cents for R1, he would look ahead and say he has no change! So what must happen?
  • In addition, you have to learn all the different taxi signs to be able to signal correctly to the driver.
  • All this, against the fact that I do not speak any Zulu, which is standard taxi language for Johannesburg. NERVE WRACKING!
  • Also, I find that I still compare the price of taxi (matatu) fare in Kenya v SA. Very expensive in South Africa.
  • Standard rice in South Africa is fat and Basmati is quite expensive. I will just leave that here because in Kenya we have different quality of Basmati rice for all!
  • One ply tissue? One ply tissue? WHY? What does it do. I find that I totally judge any establishment that has one ply because ONE PLY TISSUE IS INEFFECTIVE!
  • Fast food and eating out is much cheaper in South Africa than in Kenya. Although, the food in Kenya is naturally organic whereas it is highly processed in SA. On this, I would rather be in Kenya.
  • Being asked all of the time (still) what my name means. Urrggh! Almost universal fact is that all South African names have a meaning and it is expected that similarly African names on the continent will be the same. Which for the most part is true. I just happen to be that minority with a name similar to a local name that has a meaning, but mine doesn’t. It would take a separate post to explain all the inappropriate places where I have been asked what my name means – just off the top of my head, calling for official purposes to speak to an individual and having to leave a message with the receptionist who will keep me on the phone longer to ask what my name means and whether I have heard of the local equivalent. Urgggh just urgggh!
  • I miss the fruits in Nairobi that taste great all the time!! Not so much here where it’s a lottery of what you might get.
  • Talk radio. Bye Bye all the morning drive filth in Nairobi. Just good bye and good riddance!
  • How the country bleeds or shines when the Boks, Proteas and Bafana Bafana play. I don’t get it. I am most likely to be the person shopping because people are at home or at Sports bars and I can finally pack by the entrance to the shopping centre.
  • South Africans have labour rights and a social security system that actually works. It still surprises me!
  • The state of education. I argue all the time with people I know that it is unacceptable and that in Kenya poor people work hard and get the best quality of education that they can possibly get for their kids and the pass mark is much much higher than here. It saddens me that in Public primary schools, the kids get like half an hour of homework, Monday to Wednesday and maybe on Thursday and this stops almost a month to the final exams! Yes, I know there are private schools but there you get what you pay for – as it to be expected!
  • Beach fronts in Cape Town and Durban are easily accessible to the public. You can park your car and walk to the beach and not to have to walk through a dingy path or pretend that you had gone for drinks at a hotel. Nah! None of that, you just walk across and sit beach side 🙂
  • Expiring data??? Not sure if this applies in Kenya but where does expired data go? Does it slow down or what happens? I do not understand why data has an expiry date.
  • Also just Kenya rocks for the fact that Wireless is widespread and the net speed is much faster.
  • Our lackluster presidents. UK and JZ belong together and both sadden me!

If you have been to or lived in either country, please let me know your thoughts? If you have only ever lived in the one country, what makes it home for you?

Gnovembers favourite things list

Currently listening to this album and loving it. A bit late but it’s been my work jam for some time now!

Recently read the following book: Review here.

Recently shopped at The Space in Rosebank. I love the shop, often has lovely clothes but of a larger size. Check it out!

Currently drinking Ginger Glace tea from Tea Merchants

Ginger Glace

I have enjoyed eating Tapas at Doppio Zero in Rosebank. My favourites, Chickpea fritters, fried haloumi, the calamari and chicken livers. Just yum and not too filling if you are having an early dinner.

I am ashamed that I watch the following reality shows but I so do love them:

Also, do reach out to a friend and enjoy the little moments. Life is too short and great friends are hard to come by so keep the few that you make

*All views my own

Long weekend Reads

Tomorrow is a Public Holiday in South Africa so snuggle in and read up!

  1. Is the World Bank becoming obsolete? I certainly hope not!
  2. ‘Sexiness’ isn’t one of the main qualities that a girl needs to make it in a tough and competitive world, in my opinion. And if she is trading on that, then you’ve got a problem.” More here
  3. Who doesn’t like to look at beautiful food?
  4. Twelve types of peeps on Instagram (Aside: A close pal is on my bum to join and I.just.dont.feel.like)
  5. Looking for a whole week of recipes to make?
  6. I’d say this is a compulsion, but we all need something.
  7. In case you ever wanted to make your own tea blend
  8. Not so sure about this tech solution for the homeless. Not sour grapes, just not sure.
  9. I love reading about teachers using contemporary sources to get students to learn and really engage with the material.
  10. Because I just love Toni Morrison
  11. This is how to teach Maths.
  12. What a cool grannie!
  13. How much does stuff cost in your parts of the world?
  14. Crazy unintended consequences of the US’s Migration Policy.
  15. Was talking about this with a friend earlier this week.

My Crazy Happy List

I was challenged to do this post by a friend (snarky things these private blogs) so I will cite the initial source Karen.

“Grab a pen and paper, and list everything you love to do that fills you with joy and/or grace.  It can be shooting photographs, or cooking, or taking a shower, or running a mile, or singing or whatever.  Write deeply profound things, or silly little things, like organizing the junk drawer in your kitchen.  Write until it exhausts you.  Just write whatever fills you with joy or grace.”

In no particular order here are my favourites:

  1. Listening to Talk Radio and Podcasts.
  2. Reading. A good book, a great article, a lovely post. Even bad stuff, I will read as long as people write. I like the fact that reading allows a third dimension to come in and you can start to hear, smell or imagine stuff beyond what’s actually on the paper.
  3. Sitting with family to have easily six conversations running concurrently and speaking a mish-mash of all the different languages we speak or appropriating words to mean something new altogether.
  4. Chatting – whether on Gmail or on Whatsapp. I love the connection it gives me and the fact that it helps pass time.
  5. Getting a good work out and pushing my body really hard.
  6. Road trips with my Mr – gives us a chance to really talk and connect as well as listen to each others Music (his mainly).
  7. Cooking for family and seeing their appreciation S/O to my nephew who is so complimentary when you hit the happy spot. Also, getting a new cookbook and trying a new recipe and having it come out tasty and adding it to my repertoire of meals.
  8. Browsing in a bookstore or being in a Library. BOOKS, YUM!!!
  9. Journaling and my journals. I have journaled more on than off since I was 11 years old and have kept each of them.
  10. Writing lists. Anyone that knows me knows that I list everything for private and professional stuff. To-do lists, shopping lists, meeting notes, books to read, places to go, stuff I like – LISTS are my thang
  11. Reading an applied Economics paper that answers a really practical and useful question and actually getting it.
  12. I make a mean cup of tea.
  13. Friendship – catching up with a pal and connecting whether on silly or deep things. Just connecting.
  14. Getting my hair done. Ok, I will say that again, getting my hair done.
  15. Going to Church and being in a room with other believers.

What about you, what’s on your crazy happy list?

Sunday reads

Enjoy your afternoon of Sunday reads!

  1. What’s in a name?
  2. I hear you, but I still struggle with this
  3. There is always that one question that seems to be doing the rounds in interviews. Here is the latest one
  4. Yes these are stupid outbursts but what happens to their lives afterwards?
  5. I can only pray for these people. May God judge them ever so severely!
  6. Because I love Obama
  7. Cooking with wine? Here are a few tips
  8. Oh my heart, such a  cool dude. Please have a listen
  9. I might very well love to drink tea, as much as I love reading about it!

Cheers!

Some Sunday Reads

Hope you are having a lovely day, here are some lovely reads for this afternoon.

  1. Going beyond the heading : malaria nets and depleting fish stock
  2. A decadent shrimp risotto recipe
  3. Beck > Beyonce 
  4. So excited for the new TLC Album
  5. This wedding had me catching some type of feelings!
  6. Because I totally love tea
  7. Booya! Reverse tourism

Week 6’s little pleasures

child-laughter

I had such a long and trying week and whenever that happens, I force myself to identify the little things and enjoy those.

  1. Listening to Barbara Kingsolver at the Rosebank Exclusive Books. I kept saying to myself under my breath Tata Jesus is Bangala!
  2. Iced bubble tea at Happy.Me Rosebank
  3. New work out gear
  4. Fish curry with friends
  5. Two great gym classes
  6. Loving my Pilates instructor and class. So tough on the core but so good.
  7. Reading Gone Girl. LOVING IT!
  8. Finished Jonny Steinberg’s Little Liberia and I loved it so much.
  9. Getting started on tonight’s dinner – we are hosting friends from our Honours class and with the numbers (and so I can also chill and enjoy the evening) this is best.
  10. Dinner with my sister and nephew because I had no power at home.

Life is about all the small moments and I hope that I remain conscious enough never to forget that.

Sunday reads

Some Sunday reads, enjoy!

My afternoon indulgence

If I was a stay-at-home mom or wife, at three o’clock each afternoon I would make myself a hot cuppa tea. In this case it’s rooibos with lemon and a little sugar.

Image

Rooibos tea w/ lemon