About Me

My photo
A constantly curious and melancholic wanderer...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Something Ridiculous

There are many ridiculous things in the world.  I will often exclaim:  “That’s so ridiculous!” when  I witness certain events on the news – the latest one about the uncontrollable biter playing football for Uruguay -  Luis Suarez or as some like to call him:  Jaws.  I used that sentence the other night while we were watching a comedy show done by Trevor Noah who talked about how “being gay” is illegal in countries like Zambia and how a person will get arrested if they are found to be gay.  He thought this was really ridiculous and tried to see the funny side of it.  What would a police force look like who investigated people who are gay and how would they identify them?  Do they ask them:  “What is the purpose of that flamboyant scarf you are wearing?”  The concept is so ridiculous that it is actually funny. 

There are also many things that I observe in the world around me and in everyday life that I think is ridiculous. 

For instance people who only drink tea and never experience that satisfying feeling of your first sip of coffee in the morning.  That feeling of pure bliss and suddenly knowing that no matter how down you are, everything will be okay in the end.

Another ridiculous thing is when people go through all the trouble of going out to see a movie and paying all that money for tickets and then they talk throughout the movie.  According to my husband (who is a bit of a movie fanatic) there is a special place in hell for such individuals. 

I do not understand people who never listen to any music.  How can you discover and become more aware of the melody of your life, if you don’t listen to any songs?  My life would be very bleak if I didn’t constantly fill it with all kinds of weird and wonderful music.

Many people (and definitely also me) sometimes forget to dance in and enjoy the rain.  Isn’t it a bit ridiculous that we decide that sunshine means happiness, but rain and cold and clouds means sadness.  Shouldn’t we appreciate all the seasons and all the aspects of nature?  We as humans are so fickle and ridiculous in our demands and perceptions of life.

I find it extremely ridiculous that a lot of people never read and that parents don’t introduce their children to the imaginative world of books.  It’s sad that many people only read from their kindle and Ipad and never go into a bookshop and smell that new-book smell.  They will never turn the pages of a book that you just cannot put down.  All my childhood memories are filled with images and characters from all the books I’ve read.  I was completely lost in the world of books and it was really hard to get back to reality and find a balance between the beauty of books and the sometimes-harsh-but-if-you-look-really-close-just-as-beautiful-world we live in. 

But I guess one of the most ridiculous things is that when I had to write this piece, I struggled for a while to get my imagination flowing, so I turned to the only resource I could think of in case of a writer’s block in that moment; my good friend Google. 

I must admit, I did find some ridiculous things.  Did you know that you could fit 360 teardrops in a tablespoon?  Which is ridiculous if you think that somebody had the time and the motivation to cry and then catch their tears with a tablespoon (which couldn’t have been an easy job) and then counted each drop until the spoon was full.  What’s even more ridiculous is that this story makes me want to try it and maybe even write a song about it… “Just a spoon full of teardrops make your worries go by… in the most delightful way”.

I also learned while I was on Google about a high-energy juggling and acrobatic act performed by two slapstick stuntmen, called “Something Ridiculous.”  They seem to have made “being ridiculous” a way of life. 

But nothing I found stirred my wild imagination in action.  It actually just made me sad to think that we live in a world where little is left to the imagination.  We never have to wonder about things anymore or ask inquisitive questions to our parents, teachers or friends.  We never go look for the answers in libraries filled with knowledgeable books and encyclopaedias.  Most of life’s answers are but a click away with the technology of today.  You can even Google something so ridiculous as:  “When someone waves to me, should I wave back?”  The internet is truly making us smarter and dumber at the same time.  

People are watching television (and I am including myself in this statement) rather than curling up on the couch with a good book.  And it’s not that television is a bad thing, it’s just that if all the images are given to you (and sometimes in very violent and explicit ways), you don’t need to use your imagination.  And I think growing up and even being a grown-up without imagination is something very ridiculous.

So maybe I should have rather written about this land far, far away called Flutterby, where a little girl lived who was called Inara.  She was born with fairy wings, but a wise old lady told her that she shouldn’t tell many people about her wings as people can sometimes be ridiculous when they see beauty different to their own.  So she grew up knowing she was a fairy and she died without anyone knowing about her wings. 

Perhaps if they sometimes tore themselves away from the television, their emails, facebook status updates and connecting without every really being connected they would have caught a glimpse of the glitter and magic they were surrounded by. 


Ons het `n rukkie oor die alledaagse dinge gesels…

“Ek glo nie meer in God nie”

Al het ek dit vermoed, skok die woorde nogsteeds…

“Ek verstaan” se ek sag.  “Dankie dat jy eerlik is”

“Dit het net gebeur.  Een dag was daar net die twyfelinge van kinderjare en toe skielik die sekerheid.  Hy bestaan nie en al het Hy gee Hy definitief nie vir my om nie.”

Ek bly `n rukkie stil.

“Ek kan jou nie oortuig van God se bestaan nie, ek is nie so goed met woorde nie…  Wat ek wel weet is dit:  elke keer wat ek van God praat is daar `n roering in jou oë en ek is seker jy voel dit in jou hart…  Dat alles nie net vir niks kan wees nie en dat soms wanneer jy `n kind sien glimlag, jy`n stukkie hemel kan proe.
Hoop is net `n tree weg van Geloof.  En net jy kan die eerste tree  terug gee..."
Opgedra aan almal wat bietjie ver van God af voel…
* We have been talking about everyday things for a while...
"I don't believe in God anymore"
Even though I expected this, the words still shocked...
"I understand", I said softly.  "Thanks for being honest."
"It just happened.  One day there was still the  doubts of childhood and then suddenly the  certainty.  He doesn't exist and even if He did, He definitely doesn't care about me personally."
I was quiet for a while..
"I cannot convince you of His existence.  I am not all that good with words.  What I do know is this:  every time I talk about God there is something in your eyes that tells me what you feel in your heart...  That everything cannot just be for nothing and that sometimes in the smile of a child, you can taste a bit of heaven.
Hope is only a footstep away from Faith.  And only you can take that first step back."
Dedicated to everyone that sometimes feel a little bit far from God...


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Holiday Planning - Part 1

You will be happy to know that I have indeed made some progress with my boring sorting-out-my-laptop task. (I won't mention that I am leaving my music and photos folders for last which will probably take the longest...).  Between that and spring-cleaning before my mother-in-law comes for a visit, I also need to do some holiday planning.  So I have decided to do a quick post about my planning so far :)

Me and my husband have decided on the itinerary and we are getting very excited for our get-away.  It has been a while since our last overseas-adventures and we are ready to put our travelling boots back on.  The itinerary is probably the easiest part and yes we haven't booked tickets, accommodation, transport or any of those important things, but at least we are sure of where we want to go and what we want to do. 

Here follows our 16-17 day itinerary.

Day 1:  Arrive in Paris.  I just recently finished my Paris blogs and you can have a look at the lovely photos we took over here. We are not yet sure how our flights will work and just how much time we will have to explore the city of lights, but I think since we did a lot of the touristy things the previous time, we will maybe just go sit in a street café and drink in the Parisian atmosphere (and some café off course).  I need to practise my French (okay no, rather do a crash course into a few basic communication lines) before we go and also remember to rather start speaking to them in Afrikaans first - even if they won't understand them to hopefully get a bit of a warmer welcome than before. 


Day 2 + 3:  Off to Burgundy and the wine estates.  We are very excited about this part as we both miss the Cape and the wonderful wine tastings you can have there.  I am sure this will be a different and wonderful experience.   So far, we are going to sleep in Beaune for the two nights.  I still need to work out the specific things we are going to do, but hopefully we can do some biking in and around the vineyards , taste lots of wine and maybe do some mustard-shopping in Dijon and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Everything depends on our budget off course.  We might just have to look at the vineyards and imagine what the wine tastes like...


Cute little restaurant

 A portrait of life in Beaune

I love how Dijon looks. 
Some interesting facts about Dijon.  It is the old capital of Burgundy.  Its mustard and cassis (black currant liqueur) are famous, and Dijon is also an important shipper of Burgundy wine. It is at least equally noteworthy for its art treasures. *


The Owl Trail in Dijon
*There is a lot to see and do in Dijon and it’s easy to find your own way around town.   Just follow the Owl’s Trail or “Le Parcours de la Chouette“.  The trail is named after the stone owl at the Notre-Dame church.  Look for the tiny owl on the facade of the church and don’t forget to stroke it for good luck and to ensure you will return!

Day 4 + 5:  Moving on swiftly to Provence.  We will be staying in Avignon for the two nights, but with lots of visits to other places like Saint Remy de Provence and an ancient stone village called Les Baux.
Something interesting that I have learned while planning our holiday is that Provence actually has a big Roman history and influence. 
*The Romans made the region into the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name. It was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence until 1481, when it became a province of the Kings of France.[2] While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity, particularly in the interior of the region.[3]
I am not so sure if we will still be able to see the lavender fields in bloom as I think that they are actually at their most beautiful at the moment.  But I am sure there are lots of other beautiful things to see in the country side.


Some beautiful buildings to go discover in Avignon.

Apparently this carousel is in the middle of the town and will I have to go and  find it... Carousels make me extremely happy.  Not as much as lamps, but close.  :)  

Beautiful photo opportunities in Saint Remy de Provence. 
*Saint Remy is a small, sleepy town with a whole lot of history. Not only was it once the site of a Roman city, it was also where Van Gogh was housed at the Monastery de Mausole when he was being treated (unsuccessfully) for his many psychiatric problems.

 Luckily the olive theory works for me and Jaco, so I will get to eat all the yummy olives that we buy.
I can live with these things...
We will explore St Remy and the surrounding country side on bikes again,  as this is the cheapest mode of transport except walking off-course.  I found a website to hire electrical bikes which can be quite an adventure. 
Day 6 + 7.  The French Riviera.  We are not exactly sure of our plans here yet, but we will probably be based in Nice.  And we are thinking of hiring a car for two days and just driving along the coast (not so sure if you will be as close as we get here in Mauritius), and stopping wherever we want and stay for as long as we feel like.  We do however first have to find out whether we will be able to drive there or what you need to do to get an international licence.  Seeing that it will be on the opposite side of the road.  Eeeek.
Some possible places that are on the list include: 
  • Monacco (I'm not so sure about all the hype over Monacco.  I am actually pretty sure it is not my cup of tea, but Jaco really wants to go, so I will join him as a good wife).
  • Menton (this one is for me and you will see why in the picture below).
  • Antibes (where apparently there is a lot of Picasso's paintings).
  • Vence (where there is a lot of Matisse paintings).
  • Cannes (where they have that film festival).
  • St Tropez ( The inhabitants of Saint Tropez are called Tropéziens and the town is familiarly called St-Trop). 
Nice, where we will be based.

Monacco - it does look very exciting at night time. 

Apparently is this a good dress code in Monacco. 


Menton - I love love love how this place looks. 


Look at this cute street in Antibes. 
A side street in Vence.
 Saint Tropez - this looks familiar :)
A picture of the women in Saint Tropez who apparently live by the motto:  "Do a little and do it always".  He he
Delicious macaroons in Cannes.

 Some street art in Cannes.   

Stay tuned for Holiday Planning Part 2 - Italy :)

 * Encyclopaedia.com
*  Travel Signposts
*  Wikipedia
*  Why Go France

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Picnic with The Mullers

As promised the photos I took of our best friends and their beautiful baby Paul when they visited us in Mauritius...

A serious series of Paul

Some special father and son time

Family fun in the sun

Portraits in black and white
And one more just because he is soooo cute :)

Back in the saddle again...

I have been out of touch with reality (and technology) for the past few months.  First of all we've had non-stop guests for about a month (which was lovely) and then I went to SA for more than a month (also really lovely).  But now I am back in sunny (although slightly chillier at the moment) Mauritius and ready to continue with my never-ending-to-do-list that I started with a while ago.

Things that I have been doing in these past few months that weren't specifically part of any list.
  • Finishing the business plan for our company Living Change.  I had to google "How to write your own business plan", but I think I did all right in the end.  Now, we just have to wait and hear what the Board of Investment says. 
  • I was a tour guide for almost a month and "housestess"* which I really enjoy.  Since being in Mauritius I have discovered a gift for hospitality that I never really knew I had. 
  • As part of being a tour guide for my guests I also explored some exciting new things in Mauritius.  I did zip lining for the first time in my life and it was pretty amazing. I also touched a cheetah for the first time ever.  (I must admit it is a little strange that I had to come all the way to Mauritius to do that, since I live in a country known for it's amazing wildlife, but it was such a cool experience). 
  • I wrote an article for an OT magazine.  This is not exactly creative writing, which I really hope to do more of, but at least it's something.
  • I played photographer for our best friends and their beautiful baby (which I will post as the next blog).
  • I presented training on Person Centred Care in SA with a wonderful company called Geratec.  It was quiet stressful but also such an amazing experience and privilege to present with one of the best speakers on aged care in the world according to me and one of my role models. 
  • I finished the Millennium Trilogy - you know the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and I can't remember when last I enjoyed reading so much.  It is wonderfully written and intriguing up to the end.
  • I travelled all over South Africa including the Cape, the Freestate and Gauteng and spend lots of quality time with family and friends. I miss most of them already!
  • I missed my husband every single day that I was gone and realized that life is just not the same without him. The sky is definitely a weirder blue, flowers don't smell the same and chocolate tastes less like chocolate.  You catch my drift :)
Some photos of my Mauritius adventures...

So, back to The List...

Since we got a new laptop recently and I had to transfer all my documents from the old laptop to an external hard drive, I decided it will be a good idea to start with number 100 and something on The List:  "sorting-out-all-my-random-junk-on-the-computer". I desperately need to delete, reorganize, refile and alphabetize (yes I have issues) all my documents, music and photos.  This will take a few weeks, possibly more than a month.  But it will be a huge relief when I am finally done.  Since I am then already working with photos, I will add "putting-some-photos-of-family-and-friends-on-our-digital-frame" to the task and maybe burning a cd or two for the car and a few close friends. 

So let me get organized...