A new day
Entered in Lori’s 26 Weeks Letter Challenge.
A new day
Entered in Lori’s 26 Weeks Letter Challenge.
Well, come on in and have some coffee. Talking about coffee Che and I took our little stove top expresso maker on our long weekend away because, you know, we didn’t know if the cottage had a coffee maker. Instant coffee is completely totally OOTQ (out of the question) and going without coffee for 4 whole days is also OOTQ.
How was your week? How are you enjoying the coffee and the view. Thank you for coming all this way to visit in our gorgeous Stone Cottage in the Broederstroom hills. It’s not our cottage, sadly, it belongs to a lovely lady called Gwynn and you can rent it on Airbnb.
We’ve had a lovely time here. The weather has been glorious. On our first morning here we woke up to mysterious mist cloaking the surrounds and as we had breakfast we saw it roll down into the valley and disappear.
I then spent that day and the next one wandering around, aimlessly, wondering if I had something to do. That’s how I feel when I’ve been madly busy with work and other stuff and when I finally settle down to rest it takes me 2 days to wind down and start to relax. Well that was today, the penultimate day here. Tomorrow we return home.
I slept well the first night. The next 2 nights I woke up various times thinking about all sorts of stuff. This client which is trying to tell me how to do my job (why did you ask us for help hey? If we’re the experts then let us be expertly!) this type of behaviour really grates me.
Then I started worrying about the week in July where I return from Cape Town on the last flight on Tuesday night, have a 4 hour training session with the MD of a new client on Wednesday morning, and fly to Durban on the first flight on Thursday to return on that self same day.
I also worried about my upcoming trip to Barcelona via Portugal. It’s a business pleasure combination trip. What do I pack? I’ve got to pack lightly. What hand luggage do I take (the last time I wasn’t allowed on the domestic flight to Lisbon with a small carry on because I had bought something on duty free – have you ever!)?
Do I take my DSLR camera (more hand luggage)? Do I wear the jewellery I normally wear or leave it at home so as not to attract attention (I’ve never been to Barcelona). And a whole lot of other useless stuff that thinking about in the middle of the night 1 month before the trip is of no use other than to keep me awake!
All of the above sounds like frivolous stuff and not worthy of worrying about and if you’re thinking that then you’re right! It is all that.
The week ahead is going to be busy. How’s yours working up to be?
I think that perfection and continuous learning are mutually exclusive. Here is why I think so.
…and this too…I totally buy into.
Curves in nature…
I was born and bred in the city.
I love the hustle and the bustle.
In as much as I like to occasionally get away to wide open spaces I find that I can quite easily ‘get away’ to a city and recharge my batteries just as effectively as being at the beach, the mountains or wide open spaces.
I love the vibe and the hum.
I still have dreams of owning a loft style penthouse at the top of a building overlooking a city. Glass floor to ceiling, double glazed, off course.
I love finding hidden green spaces.
I feel immediate relaxation when I come within sight of a city. I feel even more relaxed when I find shopping malls!
I love seeing how families adapt to city living.
I’m curious about the large metropolises in China. It must be fascinating and very Blade Runner-ish!
I love the people.
Right now I’m yearning to visit Lisbon again. I’ve been there so many times and yet I know that I’ve merely scratched the surface of knowing it fully.
That’s me…a city kid at heart…
I spent the whole day, the whole whole day wandering around wondering if there should be something I should be doing!
I sat down and read 3 pages of my book. I wandered into the kitchen countless times looking for something to eat or drink. I took some photos, shown here. It’s all because I can’t #justrelaxalready!
It’s as though all this wide open space is toying with my mind.
We woke up to a gorgeous sight of a misty morning…
…and loved seeing the mist recede into the valley below as we had breakfast on the deck.
After breakfast I took some photos…
…and more photos as I tried to settle in to some relaxation. I love this pic of the sun.
I hope I’ll become more acclimatised to doing nothing this long weekend.
Well hello everybody! Tomorrow is Youth Day in South Africa and I’ve done what many people have done – taken Friday off and made a long weekend of it.
We’ve holed ourselves in the hills close to the Magaliesberg, in a stone cottage apply called – Stone Cottage.
The plan is to lounge in the wintry sun, read real books, savouring the smell of the paper as the pages are turned. There’s no wifi and the only internet connection I have is on my phone. The good thing about this is that it will curtail my time online. Nothing wrong with this. I spend way too much time there, mainly getting lost on Twitter.
There are monkeys, porcupines, bunnies and jakkals around. I haven’t heard any yet. Perhaps later.
I have my camera, tripod, and Che has his binoculars. The nights are pitch black. The silence natural.
Every once in a while the lights dim momentarily and twice they’ve suddenly gone out for an interminable couple of seconds. We were warned so there’s no alarm about this. The borehole water is heated with gas and when the shower is turned on it places additional load on the pressure pump causing this to happen.
Che and I are warmly ensconced here until Sunday. We have coffee, tea, hot cross buns and some wine. And chocolate.
I think we’ll be ok 😉
Until tomorrow then…
Did you know that mint tea is good for the digestion and hence should be drunk after a meal?
Dramatic vistas as seen from the top of Table Mountain.
I couldn’t choose which photo of the Mediterranean Sea to post…so I posted both. Taken from the Tel Aviv beach front promenade.
26 Weeks Letter Challenge is hosted by Lori. Should you want to participate, this is what you need to do:
My parents told me that they found me under a rock in the mountains of Namaacha in southern Mozambique. True story. Not the under the rock bit. The bit that they TOLD me I was born under one.
For many years I believed this mythology because I didn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes like my brother and sister. I guess that’s what parents tell their kids when asked where babies come from. I don’t mind that at all, it’s rather original, although being dropped off at my parents’ doorstep in a basket lined with pink softness by a stork does sound appealing.
But what does “origin story” mean? I mean there’s the chronological bit, that’s easy. I know I wasn’t shipped to earth, bitten by a spider or caught in the blast of gamma radiation. So let’s get that out of the way, shall we?
I’m second generation Mozambican although I can’t lay claim to that nationality anymore. My parents relinquished it when we immigrated to South Africa. Both sets of grandparents were also immigrants, having left Madeira and Portugal for a better life in Africa many decades before this.
Now that that is out of the way let’s get to the exciting stuff.
Family rumour has it, that on my Mom’s side of the family we’re descended from the illegitimate branch of a Portuguese noble family. It’s rather convenient that it is the ‘illegitimate’ branch because usually there’s no record of those, especially 200 or so years ago.
I haven’t been tempted to do a genealogical search but I may (maybe…perhaps…)…have searched my Grandmother’s apartment in Lisbon for a crown, maybe some jewels, maybe…at least…just a tiara…but alas, nothing. So this narrative that never was shall remain the stuff of family rumour as we regale ourselves on Sunday afternoons with ‘what if’ scenarios.
My Dad’s family hails from Ireland and it’s said that during the Great Famine our family branch fled to an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – beautiful Madeira. This one sounds a bit more plausible and there’s a whole lot of this family still around that tells the same story.
All of these narratives have remained oral at best. There’s a part of me that is curious to verify these stories and there is a part that is happy to just let it be.
But there’s more to origin stories than just where one comes from. I did some research on origin stories and came up with some interesting concepts.
Ben, in the Daily Post says that “Spiderman has one. So does Wonder Woman. What about you?” and how one of his favourite aspects of the genre of comic books “is how characters, superheroes and supervillains alike, get to have a compelling, poignant origin story: a pivotal moment that made them who they are, and set them on their respective paths of altruism and destruction.”
Robin Rosenberg in his article “The Psychology Behind Superhero Origin Stories” in the February 2013 issue of The Smithsonian Mag says that “origin stories show us not how to become super but how to be heroes, choosing altruism over the pursuit of wealth and power.”
He found that superheroes go through 3 types of experiences that change their lives.
Trauma - Bruce Wayne witnessed his parent's murder and vowed to dedicate his life to fighting crime as Batman. "In real life, many people experience “stress-induced growth” after a trauma and resolve to help others, even becoming social activists."
So I haven’t become a social activist although it’s not too late for that. I won’t lie…leaving Mozambique and the enforced separation from important people in my family did have an impact in my life. The bright side of this was the shaping of the Family narrative as a top value in my life.
Destiny - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer, about a normal teenager who discovers she’s the “Chosen One” — endowed with supernatural powers to fight demons. Buffy is reluctant to accept her destiny, yet she throws herself into her new job. Many of us identify with Buffy’s challenge (minus the vampires) of assuming a great responsibility that compels her to grow up sooner than she wants to."
As a teenager I had visions of being a special person, chosen to do something great in the world. The details of what that ‘something great’ was is not clear and I confess to it never being clear. It was a cool notion though, a bit of normal whimsy in a normal teen’s life. My life has progressed in a normal way, thankfully. Great responsibility has come with trying to live a good life, being a good person, and being true to my values, beliefs and dreams, knowing that these are likely to change in my journey of becoming a better person today than I was yesterday.
Sheer chance - which transformed a young Spider-Man, who was using his power for selfish purposes until his beloved uncle was murdered by a street thug. Spider-Man’s heroism is an example of how random adverse events cause many of us to take stock of our lives and choose a different path."
Random adverse events have happened. How my life has changed and what learnings I’ve got from that have come to me most often long after the event. I haven’t always reflected in this way, and as I have dealt with trauma and other stuff that’s happened I have changed and become a different person. I’m hoping a better person, better able to serve herself and the world around her.
I’m happy that I wasn’t shipped to earth, bitten by a spider or caught in the blast of gamma radiation. I’m happy being the kid found under a rock on a mountain somewhere in Africa. I’m happy with the rumours of nobility. I’m happy with the Irish connection.
We all have origin stories. We are all original. This is a part of mine because my origin story is still alive, evolving as I reflect, learn and adapt to the unfolding flow before me.
I’m happy that I know who I am.
Hello and come on in. I have new coffees. My favourite is the Nicaraguan one. It has such depth of flavour. I opened the Kenyan this week and it’s also good, although the Nicaraguan still tops it. I suspect that this will change as I open the new packs.
So, if we were having coffee, I’d definitely recommend that one, or a 4 to 1 blend of both.
The week was busy-ish. On Monday I was at a client, and for the next 3 days I was working at home. It was great to be able to do that and boy was I busy.
I managed to blog every day. I’m not very happy with my writing this past week. I was distracted and too critical so what came out could have been better. I’m trying to do the daily WordPress one-word prompt but some were so uninspiring this week that I posted photos instead.
I also finally wrote a post on my visit to Portugal. I have so much more to write about and so many pics to share that it’s simply overwhelming and I’ve not done what I wanted. Hope this makes sense. In any event, I published A Simple and Meaningful Tribute yesterday, telling the story and showing the pics of a photographer’s tribute to the elderly who live in a particular narrow lane in the Lisbon suburb of Mouraria.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that my car went in for a service this week. It took longer than the usual 1 day. The rear gearbox mount was broken which came as a surprise for me. The roads in some parts of Joburg are so bad and there are speed bumps everywhere that I could’ve done the damage at any of these times.
Some of the speed bumps are not well sign-posted and the white paint has long ago been faded by the sun that I don’t see them until it’s too late. Sometimes I manage to come to a sharp slow down just before my car hits the speed bump. There are other times that my car bounces over them and I wince because my car is quite low to the ground.
So ja, it could’ve been any one of those times. In any event, I got my car back on Friday afternoon. The mechanic SMS’d me 25 minutes before closing time that my car was ready and Che and I had to rush to go and fetch it. Now it’s happy and sounds like an aeroplane when I brake to slow down. Rather cool.
I’m looking forward to next weekend. Thursday June 16 is Youth Day and I’m taking the Friday off as well. Che and I are going to the Magaliesberg to a delightfully looking Stone Cottage I found on Airbnb.
Until next time, have a great week!