The road not taken

I am neither here nor there this week. Lots of thoughts going through my mind. Lots of arb and random thoughts. What I’m thinking of now is the road I am on at the moment and where it is taking me. There is an element of planning and an element of going with the flow, allowing myself to experience it with wide eyed wonder.

I took this photo at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, CA, on the way to Lake Tahoe. The road was so serene, few cars passing, that I stopped in the middle of the road to take the photo. I was looking for an effect of endlessness and the road not taken.

Road on the way to Lake Tahoe
The road not taken


Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is my favourite poem. I hope you enjoy it:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Ode to exercise

The geyser is still on the blink. It’s so irritating. It’s not more than 5 years old after the last one burst and was replaced by the insurance company. So still showering at the gym. Maybe I will put in a gym session as well. I haven’t been very “gymmy” lately, just not been in the mood. The result is 3 kgs evident. If I put my mind (and body) to it, it should take me a month to be back to my pre-India body (says she, chewing on a sweet Gulab Jamun).

I am not into weight loss gimmicks or products. Common sense eating and exercise is all that’s needed. Common sense in that if you take in more calories than you burn then guess what? And that’s where the exercise comes in. It helps you burn calories, those that you don’t need. But here’s the magic thing – the more you exercise the more you have to eat (healthily and common-”sensily”) in order to sustain the exercise.

To gain slimness you have to exercise. Diet will only get you so far (imagine all that slack dangly skin, ugh!). Exercise is key. Exercise is king. It doesn’t matter what exercise. Are you burning calories? Are you becoming fitter? Are you having fun? If you have answered “Yes” to all those questions, that is all that matters.

Over a number of years I became progressively non-slim. It happened, and one day I woke up and thought, WTF? To get it off took another few years. Not that I was dieting during those years. Nooooo! I was trying to find shortcuts. Which didn’t work.

One day I woke up and decided that the time had come to go to the gym. 6 months of personal training and sensible eating changed my body shape. I surprised even myself. The benefits of exercise were also many, the most awesome one was realising that the happy hormones were coursing through my body. It’s like walking on clouds. Walking into the gym, smelling the combination of chlorine and sweat, together with the pumping music is enough to get me all excited about working out.

You have to be patient and sustain the routine until the endorphins kick in and the dual anchors of smell and sound will carry you through the tedium of treadmill and bicycle until you want more.

But I hate gym, I hear you say. So did I. But that’s ok. There’s hiking, dancing, running, hockey, netball, soccer, cricket. Anything to get your heart pumping and the unwanted calories off.

The best investment I made was a heart rate monitor. Mine is not fancy, it is the basic entry-level model and it tells me my heart rate during exercise. Based on certain thresholds I program in, it tells me if I am over-exerting myself, and at the end of the session tells me how many calories I’ve burned. The more fancy models give you much more info including downloading the exercise info onto your computer so you can do all sorts of analysis (if you’re into that sort of thing). My basic one is more than enough for me.

As to the thresholds, you can either get a personal trainer (which I got for 6 months, but when he stood me up 3 times I decided to go it alone), or do your own research. There are lots of online resources. OR you can buy a book. Or an exercise and fitness magazine available at any supermarket.

They key to all this is off course – your goals! For me to be healthy is the main goal. The fact that I can now wear skinny jeans – well this is a bonus.

So there you have it. All of the above has been written based on my own personal experience. Now to put it into action again to shed the 3-India-kgs.


Today was frustrating! F…f…f…frustrating! I feel drained. All I need is a hot bath and the geyser is on the blink so I have no hot water. I settled for toast with peanut butter and I will shower at the gym in the morning. Oh how I hate not having my daily soak :-(.

On the bright side I got my new shoes delivered from Zando. I am posting a few pics. When I saw these shoes I couldn’t resist them.

ALERT FOR MY GUY READERS: The next section is a girlie section. Tread at your own peril. If you must read this section, then at least buy these for your girl/woman/wife/functional equivalent. Else just scroll down to the next section.

Levi boots
My new Levi boots


How gorgeous are these? Will go wonderfully with jeans. Levis off course, my favourite brand. Strains of Nancy Sinatra’s “These boots are made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do…” come to mind.





Zoom boots from Zando
Red suede animal print boots from Zoom


I wanted a pair of red boots. And a pair of animal print platforms. When I saw these I hit the jackpot – I got both in one item. And saved money in the process :-). Will be worn with an all-black outfit.







I started this post off trying to vent my frustration and successfully managed to put myself into a good mood by writing about my new shoes. Shoe shopping works.

If you must know, these also put me into a good mood:

  1. Food – feed me and I am happy.
  2. The smell of coffee.
  3. Even better, a cappuccino in my hand.
  4. Riding my motorbike.
  5. Shopping for cosmetics.
  6. The coffee shop experience, especially with my friends.
  7. Slap chips with tomato sauce – food.

Today I had 3 coffees, 2 of which were soya cappuccinos. I read with delight that coffee in moderation is good for you because it has antioxidants. Cappuccinos are mostly milk anyway. I know that some of you will argue that soya is not milk. A colleague calls it vegan coffee; the name has stuck because I have found myself referring to it as vegan coffee too. I reckon that having my coffee with soya milk makes it a high protein low GI drink, which is a meal for me. It’s filling and nutritive. It’s my morning and afternoon low calorie snack. I love its multiple benefits.

Well I’ve shown you my boots and put myself into a good mood. Perhaps a bit of TMI with the “these also put me into a good mood” bit. But I’ll survive. And so will you.

Next time you see me, remember to feed me.

PS: I bought these boots and don’t have to punt Zando, but their merchandise is so gorgeous and delivery fast, that I wanted to mention it here. Always nice to support local business. 

My kinda joke

What's green, has many holes and if it falls on top of you
it will crush you?

Have you got it? Do you know? No? Ok…I will tell you…

...a golf course, of course! Duhhh!

You didn’t find it funny? Oh well, you had to be there.

Absurd, off the wall jokes are my thing. The Goons are just so abstract. Monty Python equally so. You either like it or you don’t. There’s no middle ground. And there’s no getting used to it. You either get it or you don’t.

How about this one?

How do you get a dog to stop barking in the front garden?
You put it in the back garden off course!

I can just see you with your hands on your head, eyes rolling 🙂

Then there’s this one from The Goons:

Bluebottle: Eccles, what time is it?
Eccles: It's 8 o'clock.
Bluebottle: How do you know it's 8 o'clock?
Eccles: A nice man wrote it down on a piece of paper
for me this morning.
(disbelief...a slight pause)
Bluebottle: Why have you got it written down on a
piece of paper, Eccles?
Eccles: So that if anybody asks me for the time then
I show it to them.
Bluebottle: ...but Eccles, what if it isn't 8 o'clock
when they ask you?
Eccles: Then I don't show it to them.
Bluebottle: Eccles, how do you know when it's 8 o'clock?
Eccles: I've got it written here on a piece of paper.

Perfect logic, don’t you think? Can’t be faulted 🙂

Absurd and abstract.

You have to be there…


What kinda of jokes and humour do you like?


Better sex, more money, younger skin

Yeah yeah I know…it sounds just like the cover of a woman’s magazine, or a men’s magazine for that matter. These have quickly caught up with what men really want. It all started with David Beckham and the sarong! Remember that? Us humans can’t resist a headline like that. So many people are making a lot of money by selling dubious products on the web by hitting where we are weakest. For years and years and absolutely YEARS I spent thousands, in fact TENS of thousands of rands (I could’ve paid my house off already – see More Money below) on women’s magazines. I’m sure that articles were recycled every year or so. Because there is only so much that can be written on how to lose weight, how to win your dream guy and how to look younger in 10 days. This post is my take on better sex, more money and younger skin. Kinda…

Better Sex:

Some years ago my husband got a newsletter in the mail advertising a newsletter. If he signed up for a subscription, each month he would get a newsletter that promised him that he would discover thousands of secrets that would change his life for the better. Starting with getting free tickets to TV shows (Ag no please!), professional betting secrets revealed (Hmmm…), how to develop brain power while you sleep (YESSS please), what every man needs to learn from women (oh yeah!), a safer alternative to Viagra and it works in 10 minutes (…), why standing on your head can get you pregnant (I won’t be doing the headstand in yoga anymore!), and last but not least, how to have better sex (…). If I look through all the covers of Men’s Health and Cosmo for the last year, these will all undoubtedy be a cover article. He didn’t subscribe at the time (dang!) and this morning he pulled this out and we had a good laugh – better than the Sunday Times for sunday morning coffee reading.

More Money:

Um…well…no more online shopping – sorry Zando. Definitely no gambling (said above newsletter promised professional betting secrets revealed, and how to save R300,000 on your bond repayments). Or buying the face cream below.

Younger Skin:

There’s a pervasive ad on Facebook, it goes something like this, “Mother of 54 looks 34” – or something like that. Anyway you get the drift. What disturbs me is how Facebook determined that I needed to see that ad and pushed it to me. I am not 54 and I don’t buy skin products online, nor do I research skin care online either, but this is the topic for another post. Curiosity got the better of me so I clicked on the link :-). There was a huge long spiel on how dermatologists don’t want you to know this well kept secret. Well if it was a secret, it is no more, is it? IT’S ON FACEBOOK!!! So you have to buy the cream, and if you buy this cream, there is another cream that you can also buy and they work together to keep your skin 20 years younger. Suspicious of a scam I checked on Snopes and Scam Checker but it wasn’t listed – so it must be real. My great- grandmother swore by sweet almond oil. I swear by vitamin E and wheatgerm oil shots in my favourite moisturiser.

I haven’t bought a womans’ magazine in years and my bond is almost paid up. When it comes to skin care advice I call on the most beautiful woman that has been around the sun 69 times – my Mother. Her skin is smooth and flawless, so I reckon that she must know something about it. Re the better sex bit – this is a G rated blog and my nephews are my friends on Facebook, so that’s it for that.

Tell me – do you still buy womens’ magazines? Do you click on Facebook ads promising the fountain of youth? More importantly, have you bought that miracle face cream? What’s it like…?