I’ve been on a low buy but then a whoops happened

For the last couple of months, I’ve been seriously making an effort not to spend money or buy anything unless I absolutely need it. The first reason for this is because I’ve been sick and had to pay for some really expensive tests and scans. Another, I have a ganglion pressing on a nerve in my wrist and I need to get it removed but I can’t afford the surgery, so I’ve been saving up for it. And lastly, I’m paying off a car. All these costs are long-term and ongoing for now. It’s hectic.

Obviously when you’re trying not to spend money, you want to buy all the things. It always happens to me. This is part of the reason why I make lists. It reminds me of how fleeting my desires are, and also lets me know which ones are more of a constant.

So, what is on my list this month?

Urban Decay All Night Travel Duo – R350
I’ve been using the All Nighter travel spray for years. And by that, I mean the same bottle with the same liquid. I go through sprays notoriously slowly and I only ever use this stuff when I have a special event (which is not often).

What makes this set different is that it includes Vitamin B3 Quick Fix prep spray (I think that’s what it is) and I’ve been wanting to give that a go for ages but I can’t bring myself to commit to a full size, considering my lax spray use. I figured since I like All Nighter, why not?

Clarins Double Serum 30ml Set – R599
This set comes with a 30ml Double Serum and deluxe samples of the Extra-firming Day and Extra-firming Night cream (both a major favourite). I’ve been wanting to try this stuff since the re-launch, but it’s out of my price range. However, at R599… So tempted.

I’ve just finished my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, so maybe… just maybe… But probably not.

Stila Shimmer and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow (Grace) – R350
I bought myself Boheme (a lilac shimmer kind of colour) in may for my birthday but at the same time, I had swatched Grace and fell in love with it. I ultimately chose Boheme because not only did I love the colour, I didn’t have anything in my collection in that same colour. Since then, every time I visit Woolworths, I swatch Grace.

Lamelle Recharge CE Complex – R760
This was on my birthday wishlist and I initially told myself that if I didn’t get it from my parents, I’d buy it myself. Needless to say, I never got around to it because life happened and money needs to be saved. I think I need to finish up some more skincare and then I’ll maybe put in my first Dermastore order.

Lamelle RA Cream – R760
I really want to start including retinol (or derivative) to my routine. Apparently this is a good starting point? As far as things go, this is quite low down on the list.

Dr Dermal Texture Correction Pads – R475
The Pixi 20% glycolic pads have been on my wishlist since forever, but considering I don’t actually travel outside of SA and trying to get hold of it here is near-impossible, I’ve been hunting down local alternatives.

I have used the Nip + Fab glycolic pads (both the normal and extreme versions) but this brand isn’t stocked here anymore, and they really didn’t do much for me, so I’ve been looking for something potentially stronger. These have received some amazing reviews. I’m super keen.

Sorbet Vitamin Rescue Masque – R100
I see so many people talking about this mask and having such great experiences with it, that I couldn’t help but want to try it. I have masks to use up, so I stored it away at the back of my mind until I found out it was on sale. I rushed down to my local Clicks and even tried the one near my work, but none had stock of it. I was at the Waterfront on Saturday and saw it on a shelf going for R70. Score! When I got to the till, it was rung up as R55! Sale price on top of a sale price, score! I ended up getting 2.

iPad 9.5″ 6th Generation with Apple Pencil – R4899 + R1999
Yeah. So this is where the whoops came in. I’ve been wanting an iPad for absolute years but I couldn’t justify it. One, they seemed way more expensive all those years ago and two, I had a working laptop. I still do have a working laptop (the same one) but it’s slowly but surely giving up the ghost. It doesn’t hold a charge, I have dead pixels, my keys keep coming off, it’s slow… The list goes on and I think having something that would work going forward was a motivating point.

Anyway, back then I abandoned the idea of getting one and started looking at bottom of the range Wacom tablets because I really wanted to start drawing again. Those too, were out of my range back then so I gave up on it. Until the iPad Pros were launched.

Here we were introduced to an iPad that could be used for drawing, and at the same time, the Apple Pencil was introduced. I started doing some research and sadly found that the Pencil wasn’t compatible with the older iPad models (that incidentally started popping up more frequently in sales). Alas.

Then the iPad 9.5″ 6th Generation was announced, with Apple Pencil compatibility. Cue: angel song. This thing worked on my mind constantly. I googled it. I watched videos. All my ads on FB started showing me iPads (damn you!) and finally, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

On the weekend, I did the worst thing. I went to go check it out in store. And oh my gosh. I got my dad to check it out. Then my mother (we were all at the mall having coffee) and then later that evening, my boyfriend.

My mom knew I was going to get it. She was like “Tarryn, just buy the damn thing cos you’re just going to go back tomorrow and get it.” Well, I got it that evening when I dragged my boyfriend to go look at it (okay, didn’t drag. He was looking at getting a cellphone on clearance).

Well. So. I bought it. And the pencil. And a screen protector and cover. Man. I put all this on my credit card and now my bank account hates me and I’m feeling guilty AF!! But. It’s beautiful. And I’m going to draw tonight.

PS: I got mine at Incredible Connection because surprisingly, it was cheaper than iStore. I bought the Pencil from iStore as Incredible had run out of stock.


A birthday wishlist 2017

I find birthday wishlists helpful – it gives me a real idea of what the person would like, and it gives some suggestions. A friend asked if I was posting one this year, so I thought “why not?” Some of the things on this list are like ultimate wants and aren’t available in South Africa, but hey!

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Beauty Glow or Natural Beauty – 49 GBP/R840
I would do bad things for this. I’ve been eyeing the Natural Beauty one for ages but then they launched Beauty Glow and my heart (the part where the beauty obsession exists) stopped for a moment. It was love at first sight. Sjoe. Anyway, they’re both beautiful. They do have a third (Seductive Beauty) but that one isn’t for me. If I was going to order this myself, I’d probably use Aramex Global Shopper (cos I’m not sure if the Tilbs delivers to SA or not). I got Natural Beauty from a few of my friends. And oh my gosh, is it beautiful!

Foreo Luna Play Plus – R620
Ultimately, I would love a Luna Mini 2, but that’s like R2500! The Play Plus is much nicer than the Play because you can replace the battery! The Play only has like 100 uses and then you chuck it, so this is a much better bet. It is also a much cheaper way of finding out if you like the device or not. Another potential love is the Luna Go (combination skin), but again, that’s R1750. So, Play Plus it is! In the colour purple, of course!

Lush It’s Raining Men Shower Gel – R175/R295
Every year I put this on my list – and for good reason. It is seriously one of my all time favourite shower gels. I don’t buy it for myself because a medium size is R175 and a large is R295 and that really is a bit silly to spend on a shower gel – except when it’s a gift 😉 I got this from the same bunch of friends who got me the CT palette. Love this stuff!

There are so many things that I want from this brand that I thought I’d just include it all under one heading. I currently use the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I love it. Since my skin has been going insane (so dry and flaky lately), I thought maybe the morning oil would be a good addition – Daily Reviving Concentrate (R815). I’ve also got my eye on the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, but that’s a bit spendy at R895. The Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate (R750) also looks good. And lastly, I have 2 masks on the list – the Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque R485) and Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque (R485).

Rose Gold Coat Hangers – R250 for 5
I know. Coat hangers. Like, what am I, a fashion blogger? But seriously though, I need new hangers, and these are adorable.

Smashbox Always On Gel Eyeliner in Fishnet – R250 (Red Square, Woolworths, Truworths Elements)
I’ve seen a few beauty bloggers talking about this black eyeliner. Apparently, you can use it on your waterline and it will not budge. I’m sad to say I’ve had a few horrible/cringy experiences where I have worn an eyeliner in my top waterline, believing the promise that it will not move… and it did… leaving me looking like a panda with a hangover. Ugh, just the thought makes me shiver.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All Over Miracle Oil – R395 (Red Square, Woolworths, Stuttafords, Truworths Elements)
Apparently, this smells nothing like the original Eight Hour Cream… Thank god for that… Anyway, I’m running low on a body moisturiser and this is said to be the bees knees! Also got this from that same group of friends. Damn they spoiled the crap out of me!!

I have some other random ideas… Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen (probably costs the earth, so nevermind), Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage Eyeshadow Palette (well, if the eyeliner is bad, this’ll be worse), sheet masks (I love these and I’m really not picky!), Filorga Meso-Mask, Woodwick candles (they crackle!), Clarins Extra-Firming Day Cream (I’ve been through so many samples!), body scrubs (scrubbier the better!), mascara (I’m always looking for something that gives me uber volume)

I do have other ideas but yeah, maybe this will be some help, maybe it won’t. 24 days and counting 😛 Though, I’ll probably only celebrate in June with friends cos life.

Word up!

Words are my job. It might not seem like it here, but it is what I spend my time doing for eight and a half hours a day.

To quote, “words don’t come easy.” Crap adage, but it’s true. I struggle, the average person struggles, and clients most definitely struggle.

I spent a year working at a small company that specialised in content strategy. Content strategy basically focuses on the planning, development and management of content, but it’s also more than that. It’s about user experience, finding a harmony between design and ideas and creating useful and usable content.

I’m not a content strategist, but this is how I understand it, and when you think about it, it makes sense. Of course when you create or present something to the public, you want their interaction with your product to be seamless!

Content strategy isn’t just about the words on a page. It is also about the media – be it images or video, for example – that is used. If the end package isn’t well structured, informative and interactive, then you’re screwed.

My point? Even though content strategy seems obvious to me – and probably to you – it isn’t really put into practice. To be fair, South Africa is a little behind the times when it comes to this concept, but I’m finding the longer I’m in the industry (and by industry, I really mean the professional real girl world), it is a concept that gets left by the wayside.

People just don’t care. Or consider themselves experts. Or think that their content is fine the way it is. But as any writer, editor, content creator, artist, etc knows, a fresh pair of eyes can open new worlds. Often, when we’re working hard on something or baring our souls, we get blinkered. It happens to everyone.

A company who offers a content/strategy service hasn’t established itself just to show you how crap your content actually is – they’re there to help you reach your full potential. That’s how I like to see it at least.

This is actually a rant in disguise 😉

My company gets a lot of packaging work. What this means is that our client already has their design – they just need us to help with production.

This is all great and well, but every single one of these clients are experts in their own craft, not in the craft we provide. Many of these jobs don’t even make it onto my desk, which is a problem, and goes straight to our designers to ensure everything is set up correctly before we send it to print.

Today I read some packaging while I was eating my lunch. It was just sitting on the boardroom table and I couldn’t help but take a squizz. Consistency and grammatical problems are the things I see a lot of. Malapropisms, too. Or just stilted text with no flow.

I saw many of these when reading the packaging mock-ups. The design is beautiful. If I saw it on a shelf in the shops, I’d be drawn to it. If I turned the package around and read the back – like I usually do – I probably wouldn’t buy it because of all the niggly things and niggly things irritate me… but that’s just me 😉

So, here’s a product with great potential. The client has been featured in a number of publications. She has a great product with a fantastic design but she falls short when it comes to copy. I can tell you now that using me didn’t even enter her mind because she has a “it’s fine” outlook when it comes to her own copy. Just fine is not enough! Make it right! Make it perfect!

I work on newsletters, websites, press releases, posters, flyers…basically anything that needs copy. I sit in during brainstorming sessions. We all have a voice here and we all contribute, be it copy-related or not. This is a process that works! It means that we don’t just focus on the look, we focus on the feel too.

This isn’t everyone’s process, and not every company or person understands or values good copy. Pity, because I feel like most of the time I have to beg the accounts manager, after reading crap copy, that his clients need me. I’ll do it for free, damnit!

Equally, there have been situations where I have edited, written or rewritten copy for a client and it has been rejected. This is because:

  1. Instead of taking the time to go through the changes, they have opted to go with their original copy. This client is usually busy, unconcerned about copy in general, or doesn’t care – they just want their project launched NOW; or
  2. After looking at my copy and seeing what they feel are only minor changes (even a tiny tweak can affect readability!), have decided to keep their own words; or
  3. They have a shit ton of arrogance – they believe their copy is better. Maybe a few of them are right (obviously not to me, but that’s the nature of subjective work…), but often, the copy doesn’t serve their intended purpose or just sucks, but they refuse to believe/see/understand this. It’s an affront or insult to suggest otherwise…which it isn’t.

Sigh. Just sigh. Anyway, my point here is that when creating, consider the other elements. Copy is just one of them. What is your purpose? Let all the other elements enhance these goals. If you think it’s good, have someone look at it. Take the time to test things out, have people read, look, and experience your creation and find out what they think. What is working? What isn’t working? Yes, it’s touchy-feely, but it goes a long way to putting forward your best work.

Critique isn’t a bad thing, even if it’s hard to take! I need it. We all need it. I find it difficult to take sometimes, as I’m sure others do too, but it can be incredibly useful.

I’ll be taking the time to listen carefully to the feedback I receive – and hopefully, hopefully, they’ll do the same.

Good riddance to June

I feel like I can breathe again. For a moment there, it felt like my heart was drowning. This month, my brain really showed me how incapable it is at correctly analysing situations, so much so, I was left in a flat spin and feeling more panic than I have in a very long time.

That aside, there were some highlights…

  1. Kamersvol with Jess. I used some of my birthday money to get a few skincare goods (Skoon and Skincreamery). We had brunch and champagne while we were there. Perfection!
  2. Sunday meet up with friends. We went to JC’s and had a good early supper, half price cocktails and a much needed chinwag
  3. Lunch thanks to the boss. It was his birthday in June, so he treated us to burgers. So good!
  4. Father’s day breakfast was delicious 🙂
  5. A good friend’s birthday party. Exactly what I needed!

This month I have some major goals, mostly all finance related. NEED. to. SAVE. But also, I have a few appointments I need to schedule/save for and they’re the sort that dent the wallet 😦

I also didn’t publish a want-list last month. I got a lot of amazing things for my birthday, so I’ve been focusing on finishing up old stuff and using new stuff. I also feel like want-lists make me want to spend more money… Which I’m trying to avoid. BUT I think I will be buying a few things this month anyway.

Onto the empties!

Dove Purely Pampering Shower Cream with Shea Butter and Vanilla (500ml)
Love this stuff. I needed something to fill the gap so I got this. It was on special at Clicks or Dischem. It’s always my fall back.

Skoon Hot Cloth Cleanser Nkuto Butter (10ml sample pot)
A while ago I bought a bunch of trial size stuff from Skoon and I’ve been making my way through it all. I swear, I haven’t tried anything I don’t like from this brand yet! So, this is a hard/solid butter, which you scoop out. I warm it in my hands and then rub it over my dry face to remove makeup/or remnants of makeup. I then use a warm washcloth to remove the butter. Left my skin feeling soft and clean. Love!

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Liquid Foundation – 02 beige clair (sample sachet)
The shade was too dark for me, but I still wore it to work, just blended down my neck so it didn’t look off. I’m definitely going to be the 01. I loved how this applied. It has a very liquid consistency that just melts into the skin. It really is no work at all. I did get a bit oily throughout the day, though, so not formulated for oily skinned girls but I may actually seriously consider it as a winter foundation because it is so nice.

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
I bought 3 of these, so I’m on my second one as I type this. There was a 3 for 2 going on at Dischem and since I can’t find my usual Body Shop Cool and Creamy Wash ANYWHERE, I had to go for this (my second favourite morning cleanser). It’s simple, moisturising (but not too moisturising) and perfect for no makeup days. It gets the job done without freaking out my sensitive skin.

Woolworths Love Your Skin Extreme Moisture Hand and Nail Cream
Love the scent of this. Love how moisturising it felt – probably the glycerin. I didn’t repurchase as I have another hand cream floating around.

Agadir Argan Oil Moisture Mask with Keratin Protein – Sulfate free (Sample sachet)
I got this sample with my Olaplex No. 3 treatment. I reallllly loved this! It smelt amazing and oh my gosh, so thick! Seriously. This stuff is heavy duty and my hair loved it. I may consider this in future, to be honest!

Clarins Extra-Firming Day Cream (30ml deluxe sample)
My mom gave me a few of these – she gets them regularly when she buys her day/night cream (also Clarins, obv). I freaking love this stuff. I always end up using it around winter time, and my slightly (very slightly) less oily skin just loves it. I think they’re giving these away because the line has been discontinued? Someone, confirm this? I would buy this in full size but it’ll probably be in pot form (which I hate) and these deluxe samples come in squeezy tubes (yas!)

Kiehl’s High-potency Skin-firming Concentrate (Sample)
I really, really loved this. My skin felt so smooth and soft the next morning after applying this. Does anyone know how much this goes for? I did Facebook Kiehl’s but never got a reply. This is something I would consider saving up for. With the sachet, I got about 4 days use, and every single day was a good skin day. I do have another sample of this (YAY!) but I’m not using this right now.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads
You get 60 pads in this tub, and I think it’s like 2.8% glycolic acid. I must say, I didn’t see too much of a difference using these. Sadface! But I do want to spring for the Extreme version (which is like 5%) Maybe the reason I didn’t feel like this was doing anything is because I’m using the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Serum, which is pretty damn amazing.

Esse Microderm Exfoliator (full size, 50 ml pot)
This lasted forever. This felt so luxurious and creamy. When they say microderm, they really mean it. You can’t feel the exfoliation at all – perfect for sensitive skins. I really loved this, but I haven’t repurchased cos I have Ren’s Glycolic Exfoliator stuff to get through first.

As you can see, I’ve used a lot of skincare this month, mainly because I’ve really been focusing on my skin since turning 29 *sob* I’m hoping this coming month is just as good!


I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I believe that if you want to make a change, don’t wait for the clocking over of a new year. Over the last two weeks, I’ve read innumerable posts about the goals people want to achieve this year. Some have summed it up in one word, others have used lists.

I like the idea of setting a “theme” for the year ahead. It’s not quite a resolution, it’s more of an outlook. This idea has stuck with me and I’ve realised that mine, for 2016, is balance.

Reflection and retrospect is a weird thing. Sometimes it’s not a very nice thing. I’m guilty of letting people, things, emotions consume me for periods of time, and I want to work towards undoing this.

I am lucky in that I have some really amazing and special people in my life. I have my health (though I will be working on that more), a job, a home… In other words, I have a lot of things I often take for granted. I forget to say “thank you”, “I love you” and “sorry” as often as I should; I just assume all these things will always be there when I want them, despite my occasional neglect.

To everyone who has stuck with me – thank you. I love you. Sorry. I’m working on becoming a better person. Here’s to a richer, lovelier year than the last and I hope you’ll all see me trying and growing.

Happy New Year!

May overview

May was birthday month, which meant a few sneaky gifts to myself from myself… you know the deal. So let’s get done with that now – on my actual birthday, I finished half day and went off to Stylebar in Palmyra Junction and got a Brazillian treatment/blowout thing done. Oh, did my wallet weep. But I am telling you… I washed my hair for the first time on Saturday morning (it’s Monday now) and holy mother… SO SOFT. Unicorn hair, I tell you! It’s amazing. It’s never, ever, ever, ever felt like this in my entire life. I now, also, realise the importance of dry shampoo.

The second gift to myself was the Dior Eye Reviver Palette. When I got to the Dior counter in Edgars, I almost died. I could feel my wallet telling me that I could afford all the things I want, but my brain was saying that would be a very, very bad idea. I listened to the brain and just bought the Eye Reviver Palette but that blush. That blush. And the other palette. Ugh. Let’s move on.

Despite all the spending, I did actually finish a few things! Whoop!

Soap & Glory Orangeasm Zesty-fresh and Revitalizing Body Wash
When Laurie came down for her wedding, I made a sneaky Boots order for her to cart back to this side of the world, and this was one of the products in that haul. It was… okay. Rich and Foamous will be happening next time.

Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo for Very Dry, Dull Rebellious Hair
I really liked this. It smells spicy and almost manly? I’m using Joico at the moment because I need to use Sulfate-free crap on my new hair (*sparkle*), so, bye bye normal, cheap shampoo!

Lush D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap (150g)
I had the big tub of this stuff, and surprisingly, it lasted me quite awhile. Did it give me a smoother shave? No. It felt nice, though, and smells nice but I don’t think that warrants a repurchase. Sorry, Lush. Maybe next time.

The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter (50ml)
I had one of these small tubs from a gift set I received years ago (I know) so in an effort to finish it off, I took it to work to use as hand cream. This wasn’t a very good hand cream. It just didn’t sink in, and felt like it sat on the surface, but anyway, I kept at it and now it’s done. I got a hand cream for my birthday so I’ll be using that now.

Lush It’s Raining Men Shower Gel (250g)
I need this in my life again. It’s expensive…but it smells freaking amazing. Baby, you’ll be replaced with a new one. Promise!

Johnson’s Face Care Daily Essentials Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes
I use these to remove my makeup before gym, but I do make sure I wash my face when I get home. This is the green packet. I’ve since repurchased this, but instead, got the blue packet.

Carmex stick
Not to be confused with the pot version – which I’m almost finished with as well. This’ll be another repurchase because it is the ONLY stuff that works for my lips. I know it’s got Salicylic Acid in it, but hey, I don’t care. It works for me, and believe me, I’ve tried every single thing I can get my hands on.

2013 round up. Sort of.

I’ve always felt I’m the sort of person who, when asked about how I am and what I’ve been doing, replies with the answer that was given the last time the question was broached. This has mostly been the case for years now, give or take a few swapped out details (lost job, got a new one, for example). And it really bothered me, really. So, I decided to do something about it towards the end of 2012.

A few things came together in 2013. One – I decided I would definitely be going to the UK, no matter the financial cost. Two – I re-met a friend/acquaintance, who became so much more than that. This is sort of monumental in terms of personal life OMGs because before this point, I had been single since the dinosaur age. Three – I was finally in a stable job. And four – go with the flow a little more. Jump, fall, and most of all, do things for myself. I think I managed to make at least some headway with this point.

So why the UK? I had been dying to go for ages. So many of my friends have moved there and I wanted to see them. But also, I wanted to explore. I had never left South Africa before this point, and going on this trip would mean my first time flying. That alone was enough to get me all excited.

UK highlights include (in no particular order):

  • Seeing Laurie and Kasha’s face in a sea of people and coffee and business men, all the while being so goddamned tired and hating everything about flying and planes and babies and luggage. Thank god they rescued me from Heathrow. I’m not sure I would have made it out alive alone! With them, I went on my first adventure. One of the tube lines was down (I arrived on a Sunday I think), so we had to walk loads, and get on the bus and take the tube and and and… Ooh, and I figured out the joys of Oyster Cards 😛 And the not so joyful act of reloading said card. ALL MY MONEYS.
  • Arriving at my destination. Standing outside Camden Town station (I think), I saw magical mermaid hair in the distance and just knew it was Holly 🙂
  • First pub lunch – Holly and Macca, along with Macca’s family, took me along for a traditional English Sunday pub lunch. And oh my. I had pork belly (first time), with apple sauce (holy macaroni), peas… AND YORKSHIRE PUDDING. That stuff is a god send!
  • Getting tickets to see The Breeders live 😀
  • Harry Potter Film Studio. Enough said.
  • Highgate Cemetary with Holly and Macca. Oh. My. Gosh.
  • Nottingham. I organised to stay a few days with my godfather. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. Within about 2 hours of arriving, we were already walking down to visit a pub. I think we went to about three (and drank at each) before going back home for dinner, and going out again. To another pub. This time, it was the Grey Hound I think, and a nu rock/metal coverband was playing and we got so wasted we had to take a taxi home. But we missed the first taxi so we had to call another one. Ha. Had a nice fry up the next morning and went exploring.
  • ROCKETS at the National Space Centre in Leicester with the godfather.
  • Wollaton Hall in Nottingham. You know in Jane Eyre and books like that, you always read about these manors with ginormous grounds and basically an entire town employed by the homeowner… well this was exactly it. Extravagance, luxury, deer, and so many windows.
  • St James park with Laurie and Kasha. Actually, just exploring London with these two was….AMAZING.
  • Dinosaurs. This really should be put right at the top of the list. My aim was to go to as many museums as I could. And wow, did I fit in a few. The National History Museum, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the museum near Tower Bridge, Sherlock Holmes Museum… I hope I haven’t missed anything out.
  • Sitting on the steps, eating one of those apple pastry things with Laurie and Kasha, watching this total nutter do what we assumed was the beginning of some flash dance, only for it to be some very weird solo calisthenics/dance number.
  • Delicious food and restaurants, and of course, Holly’s birthday, with Holly and Macca.
  • Oxford with Holly, Pril and Rich. Just wow. Oh, and that weird Curiosities museum was BAD ASS.
  • University of Oxford Botanic Garden, and seeing Lyra and Will’s name on THE bench (Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials, for those who don’t know what I’m going on about).
  • Sleeping on couches and blow up mattresses.
  • Shopping. I arrived with a half empty bag, and returned with one that required some elbow grease to unzip.
  • M&S honey and pear (or something) fruit smoothies. Actually, Sainsbury’s, M&S, Boots… All this foreign food/drink was sooo good.
  • Underwear shopping. Yes, I’m putting that on the list.
  • Tea and biccies with Laurie, Kasha and Jesse.
  • Meeting Anton/the_basilisk 🙂
  • Watching ALL of Hannibal Season 1 with Laurie.
  • Laurie and Luc’s shower. I can’t even describe the joy of experiencing their water pressure.
  • The plane ride home. I bought myself a decent pair of earphones so I could actually watch movies this time around (I stupidly didn’t bring any with me on the way to the UK, and the headphones they provide had poor sound. Actually, the plane ride there was terrible, but that’s another story). Also, just the idea of coming home was… without words. This was the first time I had been away from home for so long. I wasn’t really missing my parents (sorry guys), but I was starting to miss my own space. And ofcourse… I had left someone behind.
  • Homecoming. Hugs, kisses, my person, my bed, my cats, my bedroom, and the first shower after the flight. Bliss.

I’m sure there are others… if I’ve missed anything out, remind me!

Holly, Macca, Laurie, Luc, Kasha, Bill and everyone else who put up with me… Thankyou! You all made this so much easier for me, and it was such a relief knowing that I always had someone to rely on and show me around. I had the best time thanks to all of you 🙂

October motivation

I don’t make resolutions in the New Year. I figure if you want to change something, do it now. There’s never going to be a right time to start – you’ll inevitably find reasons to delay it if it’s something you’re dreading. I’ve been thinking for awhile now and there are things that I want to do, and currently am working towards, but I think listing it might help me remember. So here goes:

  1. Spending ban. I am dead-broke. Like impossibly cry-worthy broke. So, I’m on a self-imposed spending ban starting today after lunch (going to coffee with a friend). I will make an exception for my dad’s birthday on the 14th of this month, but other than that… no more dinners out, no more splurges. Sorry guys 😦 But please, don’t stop inviting me to things!
  2. Empties. I have a lot of crap floating around my room, whether it’s half finished shampoos or beauty products, I plan on using everything up until it’s empty. This will also help me on my quest to stop BUYING STUFF. Let’s do it!
  3. Continue making an effort to look good for myself. For a long time I just sort of slobbed about. I didn’t wear makeup and didn’t really care what I wore. I was also feeling really depressed for awhile and during this time, one thing I read was that just getting out of bed and making an effort to look good will help perk you up. And honestly, it helped a bit. After much thinking and moping, I realised that the reason it might have been working was because I was respecting myself. My self-esteem and confidence hasn’t ever been very good, but I found that spending an extra few minutes on MYSELF for MYSELF made me feel better about myself. So here’s to some self improvement on the emotional front 🙂
  4. Stop eating so much shit. My mom has been on a no-carb, minimum-sugar diet and it has made me CRAVE bread and biscuits and pasta like no tomorrow. Ultimately, this has meant that when I do go out or have an opportunity to buy stuff for myself, I go a little crazy. This is a problem, since I already have a weight problem. My aim is to not cut out carbs altogether (because I love them) but to eat them in moderation. I’m planning on making healthy snacks for work again (I used to be very good about this) and just try keep healthy.
  5. Walk more. I am so unfit, it’s ridiculous. I hate exercise, I really do. I’ve tried it and I never enjoyed it. I’ve also experienced too many ankle injuries that went untreated, which means that along with my bad balance, stabilisation can be pretty difficult on uneven terrain. Lame, I know. But, I can walk. There are roads. There are stairs. This can happen.
  6. Get writing. I write every day, but that’s because I write for a living. I want to write every day, creatively. As in, write things in my own time. NaNoWriMo is happening in November, and I feel like I’m in the deep end already! I have no ideas, no spark and no passion. I need to desperately fix this, because I used to really love writing, even if it wasn’t particularly good. I think this is why I need to oneword again.
  7. Drink more water. My lips are always chapped, I’ve been getting headaches again… Possibly dehydrated? Anyway, water’s good for you and it tastes nice – bonus! I promise to finish at least one 500ml bottle of water at work every day.
  8. Stay in contact. I’ve been in my own little world recently. Work’s been crazy and I’ve been trying to learn how to share myself with someone again (It’s been years, guys. YEARS). Sadly this has made me a terrible friend, and I’m so so so sorry. I want to respond to more emails, sms or whatsapp my important people more regularly and to attend more friend things. If any of you read this, please invite me! I love you all and I want to see you.
  9. Keep on reading. I have been a terrible reader for the last seven months. I’m normally a hundred-books-a-year sort of person, but I’m nowhere close to that. Books gave me inspiration, got me excited about the reading community and inspired me to get chatting to other readers. This *has* to start up again.
  10. Explore Cape Town. I feel like such a country bumpkin sometimes. I left the country for the first time in June of this year. It was also my first plane flight. It got me thinking about places I haven’t been to and I realised that there’s so much of Cape Town that I haven’t actually seen or experienced. We have a lot to offer. I want to see the wild flowers near Clanwilliam, I want to go to the Planetarium again, explore museums, go to Llundudno beach, watch a sunset and sunrise, go to Rhodes Memorial for breakfast, frolic around in the Company Gardens, have a picnic, enjoy the last of our forests… If any of you have any ideas, let me know!

I will stick to this list.
I will stick to this list.
I will stick to this list.

Over and out!

Posted in life


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That moment when…

That moment when…
…you’re sad for no reason at all.

It has been so long since I’ve felt this way, I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like. Oh, life.

So, I shall leave you with a song. This is the wonderful Neko Case singing “Hold on, hold on”.

Feeding the machine

In an effort to inspire myself and get myself thinking more creatively, I’ve decided to oneword every day. Oneword is this awesome site that gives you one writing prompt (a word) per day, and you have 60 seconds to write about this word. You can register an account with the website, which allows you to keep a log of all your entries, but you can also oneword as a guest with a nickname.

I’ve been onewording since about 2003/2004, and registered an account in 2005, but since I’m pretty lazy, I haven’t really kept up with the prompts (at least on a regular basis that is) over the years. Hopefully this year will be different!

You can read my entries here. It’s all raw, unedited word vomit 😉

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"We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

- T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1917)

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