7 things I’ve been loving lately

These past few months have been super busy and while I’m really not a fan of haring off from one thing to the next all the time, the busy-ness has also brought with it a lot of wonderful experiences, opportunities and learning curves.

Here are a few of my recent highlights:

My job

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In just under eight months at Cape Town Partnership, my horizon has broadened tenfold and my interests have expanded to include a host of things I would probably have considered downright boring in the past.

From attending food security workshops to writing articles about the future of Cape Town’s underutilised urban spaces, it’s like my brain just gets to burst with new ideas on a daily basis.

While much of my work is focused on the somewhat more serious side of things, I get to do a lot of fun stuff too. Last month, for instance, I was lucky enough to attend a day-and-a-half of Design Indaba and the month before that, wrote an article about ‘Digital Love‘ for the latest edition of Molo. The cherry on top at the moment, though, is a project we’ve just started, which I can’t tell you too much about just yet… except it’s the exact kind of thing that made me want to be a journalist/writer in the first place. Will keep you posted!

Plus, who wouldn’t love a place where donuts ever so often find their way to your desk completely unbidden?

Going back to yoga

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I’ve been doing yoga on and off now for the past 12 or so years and really feel like it’s not only my favourite form of exercise, but also does wonders for my relationship with myself. As I commit to the practice of yoga and push the limits of physical comfort, the body I so often alienate becomes fond and familiar territory once more and the mind that wounds and wanders, sheds its animosity more easily.

Despite these proven benefits, I still struggle to make it a priority. But I’m getting there. Luckily the studio I go to is just a few hundred metres from my office, so logistically it all works very well. So far, I’ve found the early morning sessions are definitely the best bet for me, as late afternoons often bring an energy slump or unexpected alternative temptations. So, here’s to eventually getting into an uninterrupted rhythm of #YogaEveryDamDay!

The owls outside my window

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For a while now I’ve intermittently been hearing the distinctive hoot of an owl somewhere in the vicinity of my flat, sometimes so close it may as well be perched right on my windowsill (it never is though).

After months of remaining entirely incognito and driving me INSANE in the process, the mysterious creature finally revealed itself in the early evening dusk not too long ago – perfectly silhouetted on the roof of the building opposite. Adding even more magic to the already magical moment, another owl suddenly came swooping in from nowhere to rendezvous with its friend (or, more likely, lover). I was so excited I could almost burst and proceeded to take a slew of terribly-lit, shaky photos. Soon enough, they melted away into the night again and I thought that was that.

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A few days later, however, I caught a second glimpse – just before dawn. One of the two was announcing its arrival with the usual mournful hoot and when I whipped the curtain back, I spotted it settling into a large palm tree about 50m from my bedroom window, so close I could have touched it… if I had a very long stick. (Which I obviously wouldn’t do… jeez!). It must have been exhausted from a busy night of hunting the colossal rats that scamper around the streets in these parts and identified the tree as a comforting spot to rest its weary wings. I watched as it shuffled around clumsily, hopping from frond to frond in search of the perfect position and giggled as it glared at the noisy seagulls, pulling its head in with annoyance every time one swooped in too close for comfort.

So, yes, it seems like I have a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls who like to visit my hood every once in a while and this makes my soul sing.

Updating my wardrobe

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I also mentioned it in my last ‘things I’ve been loving lately’ post, but this wardrobe update is an ongoing process.

You see, I’ve always been keenly interested in the fashion world – I think it’s one of the most accessible art forms out there – yet, I’ve never really given full expression to this side of myself. Maybe because pulling off certain looks has been intimidating or possibly because I’ve never quite managed to find my fashion groove. However, firmly over the threshold of 30 now, I’m finding liberation from all the past insecurities and discovering the joy of developing a style that is fun and fresh and all my own.

Currently, I’m really excited about the change of season and working warm Autumn tones into my outfits. Mustards and maroons? I’m here for that. Also seriously crushing on Wanderlust Leather’s super cute vellies right now. Feel the need to invest in a pair soon, but trying to decide between the Dora and the Jaunt is kind of tough, yo! Help?

Atlas Trading Company

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If you’re into trendy health foods, but feel frustrated by their exorbitant prices, I’ve got one word for you: Atlas.

Located in the Bo-Kaap, this family-run business was established in 1946 and – as a purveyor of spices, rice and all sorts of other niche pantry items – has a special place in the heart of many-a Capetonian with a love for cooking.

Despite the fact that they’ve been around for so long, these guys really have a knack for keeping up with the times and trends, stocking everything from Quinoa and Chia Seeds to organic turmeric and Moringa Powder.

Just to give you an idea of how good their prices are – I bought a 500g pack of Quinoa for only R38. I’ll just let that sink in.

Weekend adventures

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This year has been rich with micro-adventures of all sorts, mostly squeezed into those precious hours between Friday evening and Monday morning and have included:

A couple of quick escapes to Betty’s Bay;

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Sunday afternoon outing to Babylonstoren with Guillaume;

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Alpaca-feeding and wine tasting for Marli’s birthday and even…

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A whirlwind visit to the Umtamvuna River Lodge in Port Edward for Dinele’s wedding, flying into King Shaka International early on the Saturday, hitching a 3-hour ride on the Margate Coach, spending Sunday night with the love birds themselves at their Durban home and flying out again early on the Monday with all the family bonding time possible squeezed in between.

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I wonder what else awaits!

Going analogue more often

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In an effort to limit screen time, I’ve been trying to write things by hand more often – from shopping lists to deep and meaningful thoughts that pop up out of nowhere on my bus ride back from work – and carry a little notebook with me constantly now.

I still reach for my phone automatically when I want to make a quick note, but I definitely feel my natural affinity for journalling making a triumphant return.

3 thoughts on “7 things I’ve been loving lately

  1. Lisel says:

    A deliciously spicy variety of pulsating LIFE things! And the journalling is probably one of your best practices… keep it up, girl!

  2. Lea Smit says:

    Lovely to keep up with the nuanced details of your days, weeks and months Nahds! Thanks for the easy-to-read, interesting content. Inspiring me to be more aware of the ‘things’ that keep me busy.

    Right now I would share an image of the ridiculously large salad I am eating at the new Paarl Col Cacchio … the fact that I will probably finish it here, the family of 3 with the non-present-hooded-iPad-playing-6-year-old sitting at the next table and the ponderings on how western society has made Old Age a business.

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