On turning 30 – a few jumbled thoughts

DISCLAIMER: This post is a couple of months old. I found it in my drafts folder the other evening and was rather surprised by its substance. 

I’m nine months into 30 now, the Paris attacks seem like an eon ago (with far too many similar horrors having followed in their wake), and Adri’s beautiful little Fia is motoring around their home on chubby hands and knees already (nothing like watching kids grow to make you realise just how brutal the passage of time is). But much of what I felt and anticipated here still rings true. 

I obviously thought it was no good/too personal to publish at the time, but since my sentiments haven’t changed, I’ve decided to put it out there anyway. Better late than never. Maybe I’ll follow it up with a few new insights in due course.  Continue reading

Just tell me a story: 5 podcasts I can’t get enough of

If there’s one thing I love more than anything else in the entire world, it’s a good story.

And, if you’ll allow me to brag just for a second here, I’m really good at sniffing them out wherever I can.

So, when I finally got round to listening to Serial Season 1 – the who dunnit drama that got the entire world tuning into podcasts again – sometime last year and devoured it at a furious pace,  it didn’t take me very long to find similar sorts of audio thrills elsewhere.

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vergenoegd wine estate, stellenbosch, indian runner ducks, ducks, cute, animals, winelands, winter adventures

Snaps: Vergenoegd runner duck parade

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a real weakness for animals. Especially cute ones.

Just dip into the Gypsified archives and you will find plenty of evidence – phantom cat syndrome, alpaca cuddling with Marli, Monday menagerie, sleepy owls, lonely whales and, of course, a Sandokan overload.

So, when Vergenoegd Wine Estate’s daily duck parade started making headline news sometime earlier this year, it wasn’t very long before I developed a serious obsession.

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10 Questions for my mom on Women’s Day

Coming from an overwhelmingly large extended family, of whom the vast majority are women, I’ve been very lucky to have some incredible and diverse role models since day one.

I can tell you quite honestly that I’ve learned something valuable from each and every one of these ladies – from my wise and tenacious 91-year-old grandmother to my feisty youngest cousin.

However, if there’s one woman who stands out head and shoulders above the rest in my walk of life so far, it would have to be my mom. Lisel Krige.

She’s been a friend, a confidante, a spiritual guide, a career advisor, an inspiration… To me, but also to many others along the way.

Professionally, she’s taken on a range of roles, most recently shouldering the huge responsibility of being a DA Ward Councillor in the Overstrand Municipality.

Inspired anew by her passion for people during the run-up to last week’s municipal elections and on the eve of Women’s Day 2016, I wanted to pick her brain a bit and share her answers with you guys.

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I’m tired of being afraid

There have been times in my life when I was brave.

Like in matric when I decided to face my stage fright and try out for the school play. I got a part – not a very glamorous one, but a part nonetheless – and even did a bit of improv when my onstage husband missed his cue and left me in the lurch.

Or that one family Christmas when I punched my acrophobia in the gut and leaped into a river from a high rock. The beauty of the waterfall thundering close by and the pristine sandy white beach and the cheering faces of cousins and brother and aunts and uncles and mom and dad won out over the wobbly knees and racing heart.

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10 Obsessions of a pre-teen girl circa the late ’90s

Blink 182 recently released a new album and you know what came with it? A flood of nostalgia.

Since hearing the first strains of California a few weeks ago, I’ve caught myself reminiscing ever so often – about my childhood, which has left me feeling intensely grateful for how uncomplicated it was (thank you mom and dad) and also about my teen years, which has left me feeling intensely embarrassed about how angsty I was most of the time. Dang, if only I knew how good life was back then!

I guess retrospect is a good teacher. It has certainly reminded me that living lightly and being happy is so much more rewarding than getting stuck in a rut of negative moods and emotions.

It has also brought to mind some of the quaint hobbies, activities and fashion obsessions that occupied my mind in that vulnerable slice of time between being a child and becoming a fully-fledged teenager. That awkward year or two of discovering just how very wide the world was and how strange it could be to find your place in it.

Here’s a little snapshot of things that tickled my fancy back then… maybe you can relate:

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An itinerary for my brain on its 3am adventures

3am – Depart from the land of Fitful Sleep for a short excursion into Wakefulness en route to the Republic of Deep Sleep.

3.20am – Train delayed due to howling winds outside? No problem! While away the time by exploring the popular after-hours district of Existential Dread.

3.30am – Enjoy a lengthy trip down the dark side of highly acclaimed Memory Lane with its spectacular display of neon billboards flashing all your worst, weakest, meanest and most embarrassing moments.

3.45am – Since the latter normally proves to be particularly gripping, we highly recommend taking the time to investigate the extensive exhibits on display in the Museum of Awkwardness.

4:15am – That was fun right? Well it could hardly match what happens next: a continuous replay of the scariest moment from the FIRST AND ONLY scary movie you EVER watched, followed by the renowned What Was That Noise?! rollercoaster ride.

4:45am – Head down to Blues Beach and take a languid swim in the Sea of Comparison. This ancient site of emotional torture will have you weighing up your life, looks, personality and intelligence against every other human you have ever known… and particularly those you don’t, in no time whatsoever!

5:15am – By now you would have worked up quite the appetite! Quench your thirst with the legendary Self Doubt cocktail while indulging in a platter of the choicest selection of What Ifs.

5:45am – After a jam-packed adventure in Wakefulness, it’s finally time to head on to the Republic of  Deep Sleep.

6:30am – Curse the alarm clock and come up with the groggy idea to write this silly blog post. Also vow to steer clear of the District of Existential Dread on the next excursion into Wakefulness, planning to opt instead for a wander down the Lane of Love and a top-down drive along the Coast of Contentment, cruising back along the Happiness Highway.

Any insomniacs out there who can relate or is it just me?

 

Ice Cream sandwiches in Sea Point

I’d heard about ice cream sandwiches before, but never really paid them much attention.

The picture I had in my mind was that ice lolly you buy when you can’t afford the big guns – Magnum and Mega and even Fruttare: a rectangular slab of vanilla ice cream encased in two crispy wafers. Relatively uninspiring, but icy and creamy enough to suffice as a substitute for deliciousness on really hot days.

So, when my cousin, Nikola called me up one afternoon to ask whether I wanted to go for an ice cream sandwich at Crumbs & Cream, this new place in Sea Point, I was slightly skeptical.

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How to know if you’re suffering from phantom cat syndrome

I have a cat. His name is Sandokan. He’s a big, fat tabby that weighs in at around 8kg with a temper to match his size. Everyone’s scared of him, including me. Despite his unexpected swipes and frequent hand mauls, I really do love him. And miss him a lot… because, you see, he doesn’t live with me.

I got him in 2009 when he was just a tiny kitten with big ears, big eyes and a tiny belly and I was in the last phase of writing my thesis. For about six months we lived in bliss, him frequently launching his mini feline body across the room and skidding along the highlighted pages carefully arranged on my bed or desk; me, in turn, insisting on constant cuddles that would cramp his tiny style. We got on each other’s nerves, but always made up just in time for him to find a cozy spot on my head/face/neck to sleep while I lay in meditative shavasana so as not to disturb his delicate rest.

At the end of that year I got an amazing internship opportunity that would send me careering off across the country – from Cape Town to Joburg to Port Elizabeth, and back to Joburg and Cape Town again – for the whole of 2010. There was (and still is) nothing Sandokan hates more than a road trip, so it became obvious that our paths would have to split for those twelve months. I put him in foster care with my parents in Betty’s Bay, comforting myself with the knowledge that he had a huge backyard to play around in, fynbos to explore, field mice to pester and birds to dream of catching.

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