World, meet Jasper

We’d been toying with the idea of getting a dog for some time, Guillaume and I.

Maybe it started with the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Border Collie we met during our first weekend away together in Tulbagh almost three years ago. For those two days, he was a constant companion – chilling on the stoep while we braaied and even joining us for a hike up the mountain in search of an elusive waterfall. We dubbed him Wouter for some reason and soon ‘Wouter’ became a central figure in our future dreams.

Our far-in-the-future dreams, that is. Because, let’s be honest – first, a long distance relationship and now, living several suburbs apart – our situation has been far from ideal for co-parenting a canine.

But, then, we stumbled upon the sweetest soul who somehow decided he had to be ours. And who were we to turn him down?

Continue reading

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

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.

Continue reading

Rod's Trail, Betty's Bay, mountains, hiking, overberg, overberg hiking, adventure, travel, explore, fynbos, kogelberg

Snaps: Rod’s Trail, Betty’s Bay

While the past week or so has been a rather stormy one down here in the Western Cape, I must say, we’ve really been blessed with some particularly pleasant winter weather.

And nowhere is a bright winter’s day more beautiful than in Betty’s Bay. Anyone familiar with that side of the world will know that for 80% of the year it’s a high energy zone – all gale force winds and stormy seas. But when it decides to take a breather and… just… rel…ax, it’s seriously the most exquisite place in the world.

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

A short list of things freelancing has taught me… so far

It’s been just over four months since I set out from the safe harbour that was my stable job as a content producer for a well-respected media house into the wild waters of freelance writing.

While I wouldn’t say resigning was a spur of the moment decision by any means, it certainly was a 1-2-3-JUMP, now-or-never kind of thing. I’d felt a change in the tide of my life and knew it was time to take a definitive step instead of just waiting for the restlessness to abate, even though I didn’t have too much of a plan in place.

Apparently this isn’t an altogether alien occurrence among those about to clock over into their 30s and my friend, Leandra, even told me its name: a Saturn Return.

Wikipedia explains it as follows: “The phenomenon is described by Western astrologers as influencing a person’s life development at roughly 29.5 year intervals, though the planetary influence may be felt for a few years before the exact conjunction… These intervals or ‘returns’ coincide with the approximate time it takes the planet Saturn to make one orbit around the sun, roughly 29.5 years.”

While I find astrology to be little more than light entertainment served up among the gossip and self-help articles in glossy magazines, I have to admit that this Saturn Return theory sounded rather spot on, especially since my big decision came exactly – almost to the day – at 29.5 years of age.

Continue reading