We had a lovely weekend in Durban full of Indian food, sea food, and photo oppors. I hustled to get some good shots for P’s article and I hope they will suffice. Since we live in land-locked Jozi, it was a special treat to be able to do my running along the ocean. They have a great wiiiide paved sidewalk next to the beach and it’s full of Durbanites working out. If I had an ocean to run next to on a daily basis I imagine I’d do a lot more of it. Life gets crazy over the next month for both P and me so it was nice to chillax together before it all blows up. This week I’ll be working on editing my photos for P’s article and chilling with the dog before we go on a hike for Easter (sadly, mini daxy puppies are not equipped for hardcore hikes).
Here are my Jozi prints, from my places we have lived series. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy life in Joburg. The top is obviously a map of Johannesburg in South Africa, the second one is all the stops of the Gautrain (for those font lovers), and the last two started as photos of iconic Johannesburg landmarks -the Hillbrow and Sentech towers, and ended up like this. We have some lovely friends who are sadly leaving to go back to the UK (such is the expat cycle) and I am planning on framing and giving one to them.
Print, share and use. For private, non-commercial use only, thank you.
I hope you like my new minimalist blog banner too, designed by Victoria at Vmac & Cheese.
I’ve just finished putting the final few touches on our bar and it’s now ready for your consumption. We entertain (read: drink ) a lot and so it’s fun to have a bar that’s functional as well as nice to look at. While I don’t have a bajillion dollar lucite vintage bar cart in real life like I do in my imaginary life, our house has a built-in bar that’s accessible from the dining room and living room, and it ain’t too bad either.
A few notes about where I got stuff:
All of our stemware is from CB2 that was bought by our crazy generous family and friends as wedding presents, (there’s two more shelves that you can’t see!). It’s beautiful stuff that won’t make me want to slit my wrists if we break it.
Our wedding cake topper was found on Etsy.
The tri-bud vase is from Santos in Parkhurst, Johannesburg
The vintage-inspired tumblers are from a lovely shop called Life Unplugged in Parkhurst, Johannesburg
The octopus hook is from Anthropologie
I DIY’d the bottle stoppers from a tutorial on Cupcakes & Cashmere
I also DIY’d the gold leaf tray, with a tray from Mr. Price and gold leaf paint
The clear bottles are filled with spirits, and I’m going to continue and shell out for the bottles that are pretty (I’m not too concerned with what’s in them, as long as it’s alcohol). Tomorrow I’m going to show you how to make your own saffron infused-gin along with a photoshop label download so you can give your infused liquors as gifts or as pretty additions to your bar.
I learned how to do the “attention circles” over at Pugly Pixel. Thank god for that woman.
Thanks to Freedom Day and Worker’s Day and Generous Bridge Day From Work we had a 5 day weekend, so we headed to the Midlands in KZN with friends. The weekend was full of boating, beering, eating (fresh, made-from-scratch pelmeni! aloo gobi! potjies! to name a few), and game playing. Seriously, there was a game of musical chairs after dinner one night and it’s hard to get more fun than that. It’s fall and in KZN it seemed exactly like a New England fall, with leaves changing brilliantly on the trees. Life is exceedingly difficult in South Africa.
Any time you feel down, just look at pictures of apex predators. These guys were about 3 feet away from our car, and slowly passed us one by one, giving new meaning to the word ‘catwalk.’ For the first lion, the windows were rolled up. After we saw that what they were interested in wasn’t us we rolled down the window a bit in the name of good photography.
I flew down to Cape Town for the weekend with Tulin and Elisabeth, our latest visitors and good friends. We soaked up the city (and unfortunately, the rain) and ate too much food and shopped on Long Street. A lovely weekend if I do say so myself. I’ve been there so many times since moving here and it was nice to have a relaxed time instead of rushing around to get in all the sights like we usually do. I got some good ideas next time I go with P to have a slow, romantic weekend.
Mozambique is a small country filled with many miles of under-developed (and therefore extra-beautiful) beaches. We made it to our own slice of paradise, Macaneta Island, after a treacherous and impressive journey- we took a small car through crowded streets, to barely-marked roads, across an estuary on a rickety ferry boat, to an island with rain-destroyed dirt roads. P was a champion driver and after arriving at our destination we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset and beer. To relax after our stress-filled journey we went on a midnight swim, drank a few bottles of wine, and woke up to the sounds of the ocean and drank coffee on a nearly deserted beach. Mozambique is quite similar to India with less pollution, better weather, and a bit less dynamism (perhaps because there aren’t a billion people there).
The sunset picture was the view from the back of our thatched hut over the estuary, I astoundingly did not take a picture of our pristine beach, probably because the time spent on it was midday – the time of the worst photography light. Fisherman walked along the shore trying to sell us giant snappers, rock lobsters, crabs and the like. While we weren’t equipped to do our own cooking we enjoyed more than our fair share of fresh seafood, Rachel lived through a paralyzing jellyfish sting, I ate bowls and bowls of green chile chutney, we swam day and night, debated books and authors, came up with a sure-to-be hit show called Tiger Talk, and the trip was truly one of the most memorable thus far , which I think says a lot.
Another set of lovely friends visiting (Nick and Rachel), another safari in Kruger (my life is very hard, I know). This time in the category of Things I’ve Never Seen Before: a whole group of young male lions (I don’t think it’s proper to call them a pride when they’re just a wandering group of brothers who aren’t fully grown) and a group of hyenas ripping apart a left over animal corpse (look carefully, you can see them). As the lions paced around our vehicle, staring at the humans inside I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures when they were directly next to me. The female scared me far more than the males, I felt as though she knew exactly how easy it would be to jump inside and tear me to shreds (ok so maybe I was a bit nervous since I’ve never been directly available to so many wide awake apex predators). I was too nervous and excited to operate the camera properly and had to put it on automatic mode.
We stayed in a lovely cottage overlooking a river in and in the morning we watched a hippo splash around for her morning bath from our porch. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been on safari now, but every single time I feel like I’m a five year old discovering how planes fly or where rain comes from. Normally I pay almost exclusive attention to the big game, but thanks to Nick’s enthusiasm (during his high school years he taught ornithology at a local nature center) I became interested in the birds. Above you can see the technicolor European Bee Eater perched cheerfully on a tree. Following his lead I purchased an animal guide to Kruger and surrounding areas and we worked hard at checking off every animal, bird and reptile that we could, and before I leave this continent I am determined to check off every single one.
These are images of life in Jozi from the past week. Isn’t she a beaut? (Yes, to answer your question Jozi IS a she). We’re having a steady stream of guests (and this just in- two of my best college … Continue reading →