The things I collect #BlogVember

My blog posts have been kind of few and far between over the past months… I’m not sure why that is. Probably life and how busy it tends to get. And also the fact that I don’t always feel like sitting down in front of a computer screen to write at night, after I’d been doing just that all day.

But, I want to write, dammit! I want to tell stories and paint pictures with words and express my emotions accurately in prose… and I’ve come to realise that if I don’t exercise a measure of discipline, grab every opportunity to practice my art, it’s never going to grow.

So, I’ve decided to take on a little challenge. It’s called #BlogVember and when my lovely colleague, Aneeqah told me she was going to attempt it I just knew it was something I had to try too.

Dreamed up by two local bloggers, Cupcake Mummy and Love, Kids and Other Things the challenge is basically to do a post every day throughout November. Each day has a different topic, which makes it fun and easy to plan at least.

Now, I’m the WORST at challenges. Sometimes I give up before I even begin, but I’m going to put my heart into this one. So wish me luck!

Here are the topics for the month, starting with today’s: What do you collect?  

blogvember

Looking round my flat right now, I can pin point at least four different collections, of which the most obvious is…

BOOKS!

Bargain books from Napier. So stoked to have found these. And only R25 each #roadtripper

A post shared by nadia (@nadia_safaria) on

Especially second-hand books. There are few things I love more in this life than trawling stalls and shops and bazaar tables in the hope of finding something truly wonderful. The older and more used, the better!

The fact that I seldom end up leaving one of these little missions disappointed means that shelf space has officially run out, now spilling over onto tables, the floor, my bed, the bathroom… forcing me to curb my enthusiasm somewhat lately. Or try at least.

But of course there are the kinds of books I simply can’t resist: anything about India, stories set in the Middle East, South America or Africa, fairy tales, travelogues, beautiful old poetry collections and the occasional classic.

My all-time favourite finds? Definitely Richard F. Burton’s Tales from the Arabian Nights found in a pokey little shop in the Antique Market off Long Street as well as Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts that I picked up for something ridiculous like R3 at the library sale in Kloof Street.

What’s missing? So many! While my shelves are groaning, my library is far from complete! But if I had to choose one book I’d love to lay my hands on right now, it would probably be a beautifully bound collection of Pablo Neruda’s poems – either his Elemental Odes or his Love poems. Actually what am I saying? I want both! I want all Neruda’s poems!

RECORDS

Good vibes on a sunny day #vscocam

A post shared by nadia (@nadia_safaria) on

After years and years of wanting one, I finally invested in a record player recently and while the majority of the vinyls in my possession are really my parents,’ I’m slowly building up a collection of my own.

ELEPHANTS

A colourful new Addo ellie for my herd. Thanks @imarkrige & @tamara_jayd 🙂

A post shared by nadia (@nadia_safaria) on

It started when – knowing how fascinated I am by these strange and intuitive creatures – my cousin, Tanee, sent me a beautiful bejeweled wooden elephant from Holland (of all places) while she was au pairing there for a year. Soon after, I attended a junk swap and gained a little family to join it. Most recently, Imar and Tamara brought me a colourful, chubby ceramic one from Addo Elephant National Park. I even have a swanky silver ellie doorstop!

SUCCULENTS

I don’t know if it’s quite PC to say you collect living things, but hey. I’m going to go with it. Like with second-hand books, I can’t resist a nursery, or even better, a roadside succulent sale. I currently have about 17 succulents in varying shapes and sizes and just love the way they add a beautiful burst of life to my flat.

What I’ve been listening to lately

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Okay, look people, I’m of the opinion that if there weren’t any music in this world, there would pretty much be no reason to exist. At all.

Imagine we had to wade through our lives sans soundtrack.

No soppy love songs to accompany the mushy first flutterings of butterflies-in-the-stomach.

No epic oeuvres to guide us along winding coastal roads at sunset.

No palm muted punk rock to soothe our angsty teenage souls (and take us right back to those best-of-worst-of days unexpectedly on a Tuesday night in our late twenties.)

No Alanis Morisette (or Taylor Swift/Adele/death metal if you’re that way inclined) to blast at top volume when those butterflies suddenly turn into sharp little shards of ice.

No Bohemian Rhapsody to… actually just that. No Bohemian Rhapsody.

Doesn’t that just sound unbearable?

In fact, I’m quite partial to the idea that if there weren’t any music in this world we probably wouldn’t exist in the first place. At all.

An age old concept Bruce Chatwin highlights poignantly in his amazing Australia travelogue, The Songlines:

 “Aboriginal Creation myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path – birds, animals, plants, rocks, waterholes – and so singing the world into existence.”

 

Don’t you just love that? The idea of everything being sung into existence!

So, I guess it’s no surprise that discovering the kind of soulful music we crave is always a rejuvenating, life-giving experience.

Here’s what I’ve had on repeat in my ears for the past week or so:

Ambient Electronica

m83

After months and months of pretty much listening to only to various forms of indie, indie folk and folk music, I suddenly had an overwhelming craving for really pretty, ambient, almost ethereal electronica.

So, I decided to dig around a bit and get some recommendations. Within a few hours I had constructed a Grooveshark playlist that comes pretty close to perfection, featuring Felix Laband, M83, Andrew Bayer and Air. Give it a listen, yo!

John Wizards

JohnWizards

It was a blog post by the lovely Emma-Jane that introduced me to these local lads earlier this week.

Originally from Cape Town, this six-piece band has been making quite a name for themselves overseas with their delighful eclectic electronic reggae.Their songs have a very definite African tinge to them both in sound and name – there’s one called Muizenberg, another Lusaka by Night as well as a Limpop and iYongwe.

According to their website they will be traversing Europe till deep in November, but I really hope they do a little December home run!

 

Milky Chance

Milky Chance

This super cute German duo’s sound has been described as alternative pop folk rock with reggae and electronic undertones. Which means their tunes are actually quite similar to John Wizards. But then there’s the voice. Oh the voice! Slightly gruff with that sexy folky twang. Hmmm… and the man behind it isn’t too bad either.

Okay, yes. I have a huge crush on the singer dude. HUGE.

Thanks to my friends Marli and Bronwyn for introducing me to my new obsession with this song that just makes one want to boogie.

Also check out this super cool video for their song, Down by the River.

Nahko Bear and the Medicine People

nahko bear

I’ve been listening to Nahko Bear for a while now and fall just a little bit more deeply in love every time I hear one of their songs. It’s difficult to describe their sound, but guess it comes down to a vibrant blend of a little bit of everything – jazz, folk, hip hop, Native American tribal, surf rock… All I know is that it’s full of good vibes and happiness.

It really makes you “believe in the good things coming,” as ‘Black as nigt‘ professes.

Oh and Nahko is just gorgeous!

These are my two favourite songs:

 

Last, but not least… an assortment of vinyl

After wanting one for close on forever, I finally took the plunge and invested in a record player about a month ago. It’s a super cute little thing – a pink Crosley Cruiser the size and shape of a suitcase, with tiny built in speakers that make a big sound.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Currently I own only about 15 records, which I picked up for dirt cheap at flea markets and second-hand shops. And unfortunately most of them don’t sound that great.  But ever willing to help me pursue things I’m passionate about, my parents kindly lent me some of their old vinyls to get me into the swing of things so long.

My current favourites include an assortment of greatest hit collections, including Queen, Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Leonard Cohen, Peter Sarstedt and the Eagles, as well as Dire Straits’ Making Movies.

On a mission, though, to build a mighty collection!

I absolutely love the ritual of it – getting home after a long day at work or waking up on a lazy Sunday morning, opening up the suitcase lid, lifting that little arm, picking a record, placing it gently on the turntable and carefully letting the needle drop just right to crank some old school tunes.

It’s my best!

If you’re looking for a little Crosley of your own, check out Superbalist.com