About Me

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A constantly curious and melancholic wanderer...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Hobbies

I have recently (and actually not-so-recently) started to invest in two hobbies:

  1. Photography (not-so-recently, I actually started just before my 24th birthday when I got my fancy camera from Jaco)
  2. Cooking and baking (recently, like since I got married)
I love taking photos and I really wish I was better at it.  I just took normal photos of everyone around me and with get-togethers and gatherings, and wildlife when I got the chance.  But for my 27th (eish) birthday, I got a photography book which seems to be very informative and I really hope to go to a course later in the year or early in next year...

So, according to the book, I should take photos of everything and everyone from different angles and in different lights and basically get a new computer with better colours and obviously get something like photoshop, so I've still got lots to do and learn. 

But I think from now on, I will just take millions of photos and upload it and you will just have to bare with it :)  Untill I become better at it.

My second hobbie, cooking and baking is not one that I give a lot of attention to yet. I just love the feeling of making a nice supper for Jaco or baking muffins or trying out something new.  Luckily I've got lots of recipes and I am aslo following a lovely baking blog. Just lacking the lots-of-time aspect still :)

Normally I have way too many hobbies at the same time and I end up watching series instead:) 

But these are the two I plan to focus on in 2012.

This is what I aspire to...

*Image from Flicr, posted by Ancalop.

And this...

*Image from Blog:  Life beyond cupcakes.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

The beauty of an old age home...

Got to love my work...In 5 minutes you can go from aahh to eww...


"You are the sweetest person I know.  If I could have a daughter again, I would want you"


"I will come to the movie, but only because I want to stare at your legs all the time"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Weekend

Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

Louisa May Alcott

Movie Memo of The Week

If you haven't seen this, here are the Oscar Nominations for 2012: 

Best picture
“War Horse”
“The Artist"
“Midnight in Paris”
“The Descendants”
“The Tree of Life”
“The Help”
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Best actress
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Rooney Mara, “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”

Best actor
Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Gary Oldman, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Best supporting actress
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Best supporting actor
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Max von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Best director
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
Terrence Malick, “Tree of Life”
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Best original screenplay
“The Artist”
“Margin Call”
“Midnight in Paris”
“A Separation”

Best adapted screenplay
“The Descendants”
“The Ides of March”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best foreign language film
“In Darkness”
“Monsieur Lazhar”
“A Separation”

Best animated feature
“A Cat in Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2”
“Puss in Boots”

Best animated short film
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
“La Luna”
“A Morning Stroll”
“Wild Life”

Best live action short film
“The Shore”
“Time Freak”
“Tuba Atlantic”

Best art direction
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“Midnight in Paris”
“War Horse”

Best cinematography
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

Best costumes
“The Artist”
“Jane Eyre”

Best documentary feature
“Hell and Back Again”
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Libration Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”

Documentary short subject
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
“God is the Bigger Elvis”
“Incident in New Baghdad”
“Saving Face”
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”

Film editing
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

“Albert Nobbs”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“The Iron Lady”

Original score
“The Adventures of TinTin”
“The Artist”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy:
“War Horse”

Original song
“Man or Muppet”
“Real in Rio”

Sound editing
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“War Horse”

Visual effects
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“Real Steel”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

If you are movie fanatics like us, you will get up very early on Monday Morning, the 27th of February, to watch the 84th Academy Awards live.  Get some coffee, croissants and asscorn, invite some good friends (that are also crazy about movies like you) and you are ready for the Oscars...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rhino Poaching - It's Real

Okay, so I have been postponing to write this blog.  Maybe because I always postpone Important Things or more likely because I've been thinking and thinking about how I can make a difference and I still have no clue.

No, I don't believe posting a picutre of a Rhino bleeding on your facebook page is making a difference.  It might be creating awareness, but it's highly unlikely that you are friends with a Rhino poacher and that he/she is going to look at your facebook page and because of this very sad picture are going to change their ways.

So, I actually don't even know why I am writing this blog.  Because what difference is it going to make out there?  But I think I need to share the horror and extreme sadness I experienced when I saw my first poached Rhino in real life.

We were still on honeymoon in Madikwe River Lodge close to the border of Botswana.  We arrived late the previous afternoon, so this was our first game drive.  The air was crisp, the sun was just rising and I was feeling extremely happy.  I just married the man I love, we went to Bali and had an amazing experience and now we were in beautiful South Africa in the bushveld driving around seeing beautiful wild animals and feeling as close to God as you only can do in nature.

Suddenly the ranger came to a stop.  He noticed a rhino lying in between the bushes.  At first we thought he was sleeping.  He looked so peaceful.  This beautiful, majestic animal that according to our driver weighed about a ton.  Then the ranger exlaimed  "That is a poached rhino!"  He was immediately on the radio, calling the police and the Park's Association people to inform them what happened.  He drove forward slowly and now we could see the rhino's face.  The bloody hole where it's horn used to be.  I felt nauseous and did not want to look, but at the same time I kept on taking photos.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I couldn't believe this was a poached rhino in front of me.  Suddenly the reality of it all hit me.  Iv'e seen the news, I've heard about the statistics, but it did not sink in.  It didn't make me feel like this...
I felt extremely sad, but more than that...I felt violated.  I couldn't believe that people are killing our rhinos.  That they shoot an animal weighing more that a ton (it's weight can even go up to 3 tons) for a horn that weighs about 6kg. It doesn't make sense. 

It was a quiet drive back to the lodge.  Later on the ranger told us that the poachers were there about 20 minutes earlier than when we arrived and that if we arrived on the scene of the crime, they would have shot at us.  That's how bad these poachers are.  They would kill - not only animals, but also humans, just for one small horn.  This is the reality in our country South Africa.

So, that brings me back to my question: "What can we do about this?"  And to be honest, I don't know the answer to that question.  But I know I want to contribute in some way to try and make a difference.  So, I went to the Stop Rhino Poaching Website and decided to make a monthly contribution from now on.  And I will look for any projects on their website that I can join in order to make a difference.  Check out their website, give a monthly donation, buy a bracelet and sign up for their appeal to make sure that rhino poachers are denied bail.  It's small, but it's a start...

A Whole New World

Today we had a group where the oldies had to identify different flags around the world and then search for it on the world map. 
This lead to some interesting conversations:

OT:  Which country's flag is this?

Mrs J:  "Well... (thinking very hard), if there is black in the flag, then it is always an African country"
OT:  "It's Palestine's flag"
Mrs J:  "Well, I'll be damned.  And with such a big stripe of black"

OT: (after showing the Russian flag) "What language do most people in Russia speak?"
Mr B:  "Italian"

OT:  (showing China's flag):  "Which country's flag is this?"
Mr J:  "China!"
OT:  "Well done Mr J!  Can you tell us anything else about China?"
Mr J:  "They populate like fleas"

OT:  "What is the capital city of Denmark?"
Mr S:  "You should ask Hitler?"
OT:  "Why, did he come from Denmark?"
Mr S:  "No, but he knows everything..."

Then to add to the previous conversation:

Mrs N:  "Yes Hitler, I knew him well.  After he did so many horrible things, I decided to act up against him.  I went to all the countries around the world and taught the people how to hug, so that they can learn to love rather than to hate.  I wouldn't say I changed the world, but if you think about it...there's never been a World War III."

OT:  Speechless as usual

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Weekend

Movie Memo of the Week

Seeing that Jaco and I have been married for more than two months now, he has decided to ask me the ULTIMATE QUESTION:

"Which 5 movies would you want with you on a deserted island"

Well, first of all this question brings the following question to my mind.  "What type of deserted island will have a dvd player and TV availabe?'

But, I guess this is not a question to get too analytical about.  So I made my decision after thinking about for a little while (even though this is apparently one of the biggest decisions of my life).

Here are my choices:

  • Big Fish

This movie has a very special story behind it, which I won't share now, but besides that fact, it really is a brilliant movie and it has such a diversity of stories in the movie, that I don't think that I will get bored of it easily...Besides...a Tim Burton movie is a must.

  • Love Actually

I will never get enough of this movie :)  My favourite love story is the two pornstars.  The movie always reminds me that..."Love is actually all around us"

  • Enchanted

To satisfy the child in me.  And to keep my believe - that there is still some innocence left in the world -alive...

  • City Lights

I just could not decide on my favourite "vintage" movie, as I suddenly found a love for all older movies.  But then I decided this is the one.  Charlie Chaplin:  City Lights.  Black and white, comedy a bit of drama and romance all wrapped up in one.  Can't go wrong with this movie.  

  • Lord of the Rings - Trilogy

Well, if i get the box set, then I am cheating nicely.  3 very good, very long movies.  Should keep me going for some time and I get completely lost in the world of Middle Earth.  

So, there you go.  I have answered the ULTIMATE QUESTION.  I am not sure if I pass the test of time... This is up to my husband to decide :) 

Art and other things I know nothing about. . .

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso

I am not one to analyze art and say deep and meaningful things about pieces of art. I do get touched by art quite often, but I honestly don't know how to express myself about it.  I mean who am I to say this painting is brilliant and that one is crap. 
But I do know when I like something and when it makes me feel inspired.  
Here are some paintings from my favorite local artist.  I think his work is delightfully simplistic.  Let me know what you think.


All paintings by Abe Opperman

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Word of the Week


1. Noun. Porridge made of rolled oats.

Exact synonyms: Oatmeal

Generic synonyms: Porridge

2. Noun. A gathering at which burgoo stew is served.

Generic synonyms: Cookout

3. Noun. Thick spicy stew of whatever meat and whatever vegetables are available; southern United States.

Generic synonyms: Stew

Don't you think it sounds nice to say:  "I think I will make us some Burgoo tonight Darling"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monday oh Monday

I really hate Mondays.  I wish I could skip Monday every week, but I guess then I will just hate Tuesdays.
I especially hate Mondays if I had an awesome weekend (party, good friends, champagne cupcakes, relaxed Sunday doing absolutely nothing and realising I love doing absolutely nothing with the one I love...)...

But this morning I decided to try and have a better Monday.

So I made the following changes:
  • I snoozed 30 minutes instead of 45 minutes (small steps okay)
  • I decided to take all the leftover champagne cupcakes to work instead of eating them at home the whole week.  (then at least my colleagues have to be friendly with me right?)
  •  I put my radio on Classical FM on my way to work instead of the normal sounds of 5FM)
  • I decided to love Monday instead of hating it and ignore the fact that I am tired and do not want to be at work and want to lie in my bed and snooze the whole day, possibly the whole week. 
So far it's going great...But then, it is only 08h42...

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gloomy Friday

here lies Charlene van Zyl (formerly Richards)
(sometimes) loving wife, daugther and friend
cause of death: realising that she failed miserably at trying to make the world a better place
in the end she proved to be a real human being

Be yourself. . .

― “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Marilyn Monroe

Movie Memo of the Week

I am really lookin forward to this Movie: My Week with Marilyn.  We saw the trailer the other night and it definately looks worth a watch. And I think Michelle Williams will make a pretty believable Marilyn (much bettter than Jennifer Love Hewitt's attempt in the Audrey Hepburn Story).

Here are some photos: 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Gloomy King

Many years ago in a period commonly know as Next Friday Afternoon, there lived a King who was very Gloomy on Tuesday mornings because he was so Sad thinking about how Unhappy he had been on Monday and how completely Mournful he would be on Wednesday”  Walt Kelly

*Found this quote on the internet and couldn't find an ending anywhere.  So I decided to write one myself...
Many years ago in a period commonly known as Next Friday Afternoon, there lived a King who was very Gloomy on Tuesday mornings because he was so Sad thinking about how Unhappy he had been on Monday and how completely Mournful he would be on Wednesday.
Then Thursday came and he thought he might try on a Smile.  It felt rather Nice.  On Friday the Gloomy King found True Love.  "Oh Friday, what would I do without you"  he cried. 
Friday said:  "If you want, we can meet again next week?"  The Gloomy King suddenly felt a burst of Happiness bubbling through him.  "I will live for Next Friday"  he thought to himself.
Saturday came and went without any tears.  The Gloomy King was feeling less and less Gloomy.  Sunday started out allright.  Then suddenly the King thought about how Unhappy Monday makes him.  How Gloomy he will feel yet again on Tuesday and how Mournful he would be on Wednesday.  He felt rather Blue. 
In the end the Gloomy King died of a broken heart.  It was tragic and short. 
It was life as we know it...

Serpent what?

We were busy with a group yesterday - Musical Balloons :)  As soon as a person caught the balloon and the music stopped, they had to answer a question about themselves.

OT:  Mr B, you caught the balloon, it's your turn to answer a question.
Mr B:  Okay dear, ask me anything...
OT:  What is your favourite animal?
Mr B:  Oh, that's easy.  Snakes off course.
Mr J:  Snakes!!!
Mr B:  Yes, I'm a serpentologist.  I've got 5 pofadders in my cupboard. 
OT:  5 Pofadders in  your cupboard?
Mr B:  (now getting a sly look on his face) "Yes dear, why do you think my cupboard is always locked..."

I must admit, even though this is highly unlikely, I think I might stay out of his room for a while...

Double Movie Tuesday

I am super excited for our movie date night.  Every now and then we go to see double movies on a Tuesday. 

On tonight's menu are the following:

  • Midnight in Paris

Here is a short synopsis: 

This is a romantic comedy set in Paris about a family that goes there because of business, and two young people who are engaged to be married in the fall have experiences there that change their lives. It's about a young man's great love for a city, Paris, and the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better. It stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, and Carla Bruni among others.

The main character (Owen Wilson) goes back in time and meets people like Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway.  I am much looking forward to it. 
It also looks like there are some beautiful shots in the movie:

Next on the menu:

  • Ides of March

Two words:  Ryan and George :)  Not even mentioning that they are both really handsome, these are also two really brilliant actors. 


George Clooney goes behind the camera for the fourth time to direct The Ides of March, an adaptation of Beau Willimon's play Farragut North. The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, an idealistic deputy campaign manager for Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), who is in a major political battle in Ohio that could be the key to winning the Democratic presidential nomination. When the opposing candidate's campaign manager (Paul Giamatti) offers Stephen a job on his staff, Stephen neglects to inform his boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Just as that omission is revealed, Stephen uncovers a dirty personal secret that could sink Morris' political career. The Ides of March screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
We will also sneak in the following in my big handbag:
  • 4 home-made hotdogs
  • 1 packet of Salt&Vinegar Pringles
  • One Caramel-filled Cadbury's slab
Can't wait till tonight :) 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Life's short. . .

Always make time to twirl...

Collective Nouns

Think you know your collective nouns well?

How about the following:

  • A ledger of accountants
  • A billow of winds
  • A balance of bookkeepers
  • A resolution of mediators
  • A galaxy of astronomers
  • A last of cobblers
  • An extraction of dentists
  • A trawl of fishermen
  • A gaggle of telephones

And my favourite: 

  • A wish of ghosts

Word of the Week





adjective: Devouring; voracious.


From Latin edere (to eat). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ed- (to eat, to bite) that has given other words such as edible, comestible, obese, etch, fret, and postprandial.


"For too many years my edacious reading habits had been leading me into one unappealing corner after another, dank cul-de-sacs littered with tear-stained diaries, empty pill bottles, bulging briefcases, broken vows, humdrum phrases, sociological swab samples, and the (lovely?) bones of dismembered children.
Tom Robbins; In Defiance of Gravity; Harper's (New York); Sep 2004.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Audrey Hepburn

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
Audrey Hepburn

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