>New mielie website

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Mielie has a new, very cool, website!. I especially love the little illustrations, the people page and the product page where you can buy online. I read about almost all of the special ladies who work at Mielie, and I am always filled with inspiration and awe for women who are doing something for themselves with ‘vooma’ and passion. I also LOVE the Xhosa word for the day on the home page. Today’s is “umqhaphu” which means cotton. What a beautiful website.

>Packing up, baby!

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I know I haven’t blogged in two entire weeks exactly today. All I can say is that moving overseas and packing boxes and visa matters are so time consuming. My time has been gobbled up the past fortnight. Having said that, there have been many fun and eventful things happening too! Dinner with friends, Cape Town drifting slowly and reluctantly into Autumn, pink Lazari cupcakes and getting out of the blue messages from friends and family, the magnificent yet menacing fire that stripped Table Mountain on Devil’s Peak side, reading up about Berlin and Amsterdam [two cities I can’t wait to explore], Milnerton market shopping where I bought a gorgeous old brown suitcase, becoming very enraged that the Dalai Lama has been refused a visa for South Africa [grrrrrrrr], and all the subtleties that fill our days and make them all individual. In which case we cannot lump them all together and say “time flies”. Otherwise, we are having a “packed-up party” in our empty flat on Monday, it will be completely empty except for some tea lights and paper cups for punch…I think it will be fun!

>De Waal Park

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Today was beautiful and hot. After teaching and the bank [a surprising visit: no queue, an efficient bank lady, and voila…it was done!] I went to the New Designer’s Market and enjoyed browsing, but most of all I am happy about the new dress I bought. It’s cutesy and has pockets, and most of all, it is cool for this hot Summer! There was some fun stuff…flowers planted in shoes, second hand goods, sushi, smoothies, some shops and some sweets. Then we went to De Waal Park, and I remembered how a drive to the beach or a walk to the park at the end of the day makes you feel like you have had an afternoon. We sat on a park bench, dreamed and watched people walking their dogs, pushing their children on swings, two little girls sliding down and up and over the slide, a couple with their small baby twirling slowly on the roundabout. Park benches bring out the philosophical side of me and I love the humanity there. People in the open with green grass under foot and a sense of the working day’s death for that day. I got completely slobbered on by a fat labrador called Lyle [on my new dress, hmph] and spun around on the roundabout till I felt sick. Bliss. Followed by my newly invented “B” salad: baby potato, brussel sprouts, bacon and blue cheese sauce…amazing what a budget can do for you. Off to wash the dried slobber off my dress.

>Oh goodness, double room?

>As you know we are heading to London on the 7th to arrive on the 8th of April. I have been searching a double room for us to rent and…scary! I know I need to be flexible but I cannot stand to rent a room with a Manchester flag all over one wall, a patterned duvet from the 70s and a small box telly set in one corner on cheap, assembled cupboards. Somebody stop! If you know of anyone with a beautiful, even retro room in Camden, Putney, Richmond or any good area in London and where a married couple like us could live in a house-share, please drop me a line. Anything? Anyone?

>210 on Long

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I went with two friends to mark assignments over a Horlicks and Lunch Bar milkshake at Royale this afternoon [Bliss minus marking]. I am so excited to know about this market at 210 on Long…a New Designer’s market. I will definitely be there, I hope it will be full and fun! Just wanted you to know, it is tomorrow afternoon and I didn’t want you to miss it. I would be sad if I did. Sounds very cool.

>The infamous ’09 Argus

>Ar⋅gus   [ahr-guhs]
–noun
1. Classical Mythology. a giant with 100 eyes, set to guard the heifer Io: his eyes were transferred after his death to the peacock’s tail.
2. a son of Phrixus and builder of the Argo.
3. (in the Odyssey) Odysseus’ faithful dog, who recognized his master after twenty years and immediately died.
4. any observant or vigilant person; a watchful guardian.
5. (lowercase) Also, argus pheasant. any of several brilliantly marked Malayan pheasant.

You might recognize the name or word ‘Argus’ as:
Argus Panoptes, a mythological giant with a hundred eyes.
Argus, a brand of camera
Argus Filch, a fictional character in the Harry Potter series
Argus butterflies
The Cape Argus, a newspaper printed in Cape Town…

In my case, the pain in my buttocks and in my knees definitely remind me of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour anytime I hear the name mentioned! Mm, yes I did it. And I finished it and I got the medal to show for it, but goodness, it was so, so hard in the howling and billowing wind. Most of the time on the 110km route I wondered what on earth I thought I was doing riding such a distance in 65km/hr winds…at times. Something kept me going, I don’t know, the fact that I had trained a bit and had bought padded tights which are just too hideous to have wasted R200.00 on and oh, gel gloves for another number, not to mention my faithful husband letting me tuck in behind him and pushing me up the bigger hills, and thinking about perseverance, and thinking that if I do it and finish it I will never have to do it again…the battle raged on! My favourite part was definitely the stillness and majesty of Chapman’s Peak drive…the silence as cyclists made their way up the side of the cliff and the powerful sea motioned on below us with wind blowing spray across the surface. Oh, and my second favourite part was collapsing on the grass at the end, looking up at the sky and knowing that I didn’t have to move a muscle for at least twenty minutes. I did smile though…wahoo [blow trumpet]…I did it.

>Ideas worth spreading

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This week I have been reading this blog belonging to Geraldine Eliot. She has such an honesty in her writing and I was delighted to read that she is familiar with The Artist’s Way. My lovely friend Sarah told me about this blog, in particular the clip from the awesome Ted.com. I was captivated by an eighteen minute talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love on genius, creative success and the expectation of the lack thereof, fear and the creative force which lies outside of ourselves, waiting to be called upon when we are working or creating. I loved her honesty, humour and ideas. Definitely go and watch it if you are a creative and have eighteen minutes to spare. I will definitely be popping into Ted.com to see which ideas they think are worth spreading.

Have you read Eat, Pray, Love? I’ve heard mixed reviews, but after hearing Elizabeth Gilbert talk, I really want to read the novel.