Tag Archives: Johannesburg

Day 29 – a picture of myself


With John van de Ruit at the VIP launch of Spud 4 on Friday 3 August 2012, held at the SAN Deck at Sandton Sun Hotel. Thanks again for the pic, Carmen 🙂

Day 19 – a list of all the places I’ve lived


Not a very long list.

Vanderbijlpark, Pretoria (house 1), Pretoria (house 2), Pretoria (flat shared with friend), Pretoria (house 2), Johannesburg (room in acquaintance’s house), Pretoria (house 2), Pretoria (shared room in brother’s house), Pretoria (flat shared with mom).

Day 9 – pet peeves


Bad writing, including grammar and spelling (particularly in novels) and if authors – and worse, their editors – can’t keep their characters/names straight. I mean, did you even bother to reread anything?

Nosy people. I know curiosity is a human condition; I’m an inquisitive individual myself, but I respect people’s privacy and boundaries. I hate when people eavesdrop, or fish for gossip. I don’t mind gossip if it has no malicious intent, but if someone told you something in confidence, I really don’t want to know about it. Sies!

Doing dishes. I don’t think there’s a single chore I hate more than that.

Traffic and rude drivers. Jo’burg is full of them, and Pretoria isn’t far behind. Everybody wants to get to their destinations; we’re all tired, rushed, hungry, etc. but a little common courtesy will go a long way in avoiding accidents, bottlenecks and road rage. I’m just saying.

Inconsiderate people in general. I’ll just leave it at that, because I could go on forever on this topic.

Meetings that do not add any value to projects I’m working on.

Lazy people who expects others to pick up the slack, and then take all the credit for themselves.

Day 1 – Write some basic things about yourself


This is actually turning out to be a little more difficult than you’d think.

  • I’m job hunting. And I’ve joined a workers’ union. Better safe than sorry and all that. Keep me in mind if you know of anything I’d be good at
  • I get bored easily. This is why I have so many blogs going. And why I’ve now resorted to Polyvore to entertain me when Pinterest falls short
  • Technically I’m single, although it would be more accurate to say “it’s complicated”
  • I don’t want to explain the complication on here
  • I’m ambidextrous
  • I’m  a dreamer
  • I’m a writer (several work titles referred to me as one), but I feel like such a fake when I say it. A handful of blogs does not a writer make
  • I live in Pretoria and work in Sandton. This means I get up at five to miss the traffic and reach work just before six
  • I listen to audio books during my commute
  • I like surprises – good ones, obviously
  • When I drink coffee, I only drink one cup (two at the most) and only in the morning. I prefer hot chocolate, particularly from vida e caffè

I think that’s quite enough for now. If at the end of the 30 days you still have questions, you may ask. I’m not promising to answer though 😉



My previous obsession has been upgraded. Sort of. Well, it surely is more expensive! I’d love one of the higher units with a view. And my kingdom for a walk-in wardrobe goody. The “Type D” is my current dream unit – I can convert one of the bedrooms into a library/study, and I like the idea of a seperate scullery. The open-plan of the “Type A” units do not appeal to me at all. “Type C” isn’t too bad at all, but there’s no scullery and the kitchen’s not at all enclosed. And because the only way I’ll ever get to live in any of these units are in my fantasies, I pick D. On the 15th floor nogal! Who’s coming to my house warming?



So it’s been three weeks since my finger was used as a chew toy, and although the nail is going to take months to look normal again, and despite the lump of eina nerves that make the finger go numb when I apply pressure (like when typing), it is a lot better.

The two weeks I spent at my mom’s place was great. I didn’t get to sleep in much, but I did whatever I wanted to – which wasn’t much – and I felt very happy to be with the people I love and who cares for me.

Going back to work wasn’t too unpleasant, and things seem to carry on as they always have, but that’s more or less where the usual business ends.
I’ve decided to move back to Pretoria, because Johannesburg just makes me miserable. Sure my fuel consumption is going to increase & cost me more, but at least I’ll have one happy place, where I currently don’t have any. I will get up an hour earlier to (hopefully) get to work the same time I do now, and I will get to listen to my audio books while sitting in traffic in the afternoons. At least, until the Gautrain starts running from Pretoria. A month pass will be cheap by comparison, especially with the ever-increasing cost of petrol and the tolls launching soon. On days where I need to go see my doctor, for example, I’ll drive in, but that won’t be more often than once every two weeks.

In order to better cope with the nightmare that is my finances, I have applied for debt counselling. I’ve come to a point where ensuring that I pay all my accounts every month means I have no money to live. Technically I can’t afford to eat, drive, have life insurance, a pension fund and several other bits, non of which qualifies as luxury expenses. I can’t even buy a single of my beloved magazines. I’ve tried selling my books (and my soul, several times), but no one seems to be interested. I need to buy a new mattress. My back is giving me problems again, but buying anything is not an option.
The problem now is that I need to pay for my brother’s petrol on Saturday so he can help with the move, and I only have enough money to put petrol in my own car once before the end of the month, which is still a long way off. I’m not even IN Pretoria yet, and already I have petrol issues. That makes me sad, but I’ll have to make a plan. I’m taking control of things that are a problem, as much as I’m able to, and I can’t let this derail my plans.

It has been a long time since I had a plan of action, and more importantly that I have set in motion, and I’m determined to see this through.

During my lunch break on Wednesday I hope to open a new bank account, as advised by my counsellor, taking one more step closer to taking back control of my life.

If you happen to find some loose change between your couch cushions, won’t you please mail it to me? 😛

The downside of weight loss


Before I moved to Johannesburg, I cleaned out my cupboards and chucked everything I haven’t worn in years. My tendency to insulin resistance has led to my weight climbing sneakily and although there was a time where I weighed less but looked infinitely worse, my dress size became one I was very ashamed of. Of course, being tall helps and the few people who do know what size I wore were genuinely surprised by the number. I didn’t for a moment think I’d need my “skinny” clothes again.

When returning to Jhb after the Festive Season, I decided that a drastic change is in order. So starting on 10 January, I did a two-week extreme weight loss kick-start, by cutting out carbs in all shape of forms. That lifestyle is by no means healthy or sustainable, and I decided to choose my carbs carefully. I made a radical cut in the amount of sugar I consumed: no more soft drinks other than Sprite Zero (mostly as a treat over weekends); two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee and tea (when honey is not available), as opposed to the usual four; diluted fruit squash (just enough to make water taste more bearable). Breakfast is mostly protein based, and lunch features whole wheat pasta or brown rice with lean protein and mixed veg. Dinner doesn’t happen real often, and is usually little more than a handful of rice crackers and a cup of instant soup.

In 14 weeks I’ve lost a total of six and a half kilograms. That’s 700 g more than my first target, three and a half kilos from my second target, and nine and a half kilos from my ultimate target. That is a lot of weight to shift still. And I’ve come to realise that weight is just a number. Why? Because the real change is in my body; this is both good and bad.

The good is the confidence that steadily increases every time I try something on from the very back of my cupboard; something gorgeous, but just a little too tight in places. Now it fits perfectly. Well, mostly. My winter wardrobe is no longer constituted of jeans alone – two pairs of black pants and one lovely green pair now fits my curves – and that is good, but also bad. I only have three pairs of jeans that fit at the moment (something very unusual as it is my wardrobe staple), and they are starting to get a little too loose around the waist.

That brings me to the bad. Last winter I only bought a couple of long-sleeved tee-shirts to wear with my jeans under short-sleeved tee-shirts. This year I’ll have to buy at least two new pairs of jeans, at least two new bras, and in all likelihood a new winter coat/jacket/blazer. For me, finding the perfect pair of jeans is an absolute nightmare. I’ve thought about trying something other than my trusted wide-leg option, as I am more confident about showing off my legs, but I still have doubts. And although this is a versatile basic in any wardrobe, jeans tend to be a little pricey. Still, probably not as expensive as my preferred brand of female support: La Senza. I just love the quality of their bras. Their strapless bras (which come with removable pads, fabric and translucent straps last time I bought a pair) and their t-shirt bras (offering great cover and wider straps for curvier girls) are the best. I usually buy each style in both black and nude. I should at this stage perhaps mention that I’m not as particular about the sexy lacy numbers in my cupboard, since their function is mostly seduction, and when they do get worn (which isn’t often), they don’t stay on long. The exception is the exquisite designer lace corset I bought a few years ago.

So as much as I was hoping to treat myself to a pair of new boots this winter (if my feet are cold there’s no warming me up), I suppose I need to get my priorities straight. I was looking forward to buying new clothes once I’ve gotten to a stage where I’m content with my body – which is still a bit of a way off – but this in betweenness is not making me happy. At the same time I’m not too keen on wearing slouchy oversized clothes – not only does it make me look neglected, it keeps me from seeing my amazing transforming body and keeping me motivated.

Now that I’ve gotten my sulk in writing, I shall put it aside and do what needs to be done, when I’m able to do it. Eye on the big picture, so to speak, and all.

Over being broke


It’s one thing to have debt. It’s another to have no disposable money after everything’s been paid for the month. Scratch that. I only paid half of my rent this month.

Pay day is next Monday. I very much doubt that my petrol is going to last until then – the fact that I’ve been to Pretoria three out of the last four weekends is not helping. I need these weekends, though. Somehow being idle on a Saturday here is less depressing than doing it in Jo’burg where (maybe because of its inherent pace) I feel like I should be out exploring and being social. And those things cost money, which is why I avoid doing it.

I wish I could buy my mom flowers for today – 34 years ago she lost a baby girl; 15 years ago her father died. She is going through a tough time, emotionally and financially, and the only thing I feel I can do is visit her as often as I can. Or can’t, as the case may be. Tomorrow is her birthday. I literally spent my last money yesterday to buy her a journal. She has a need to get her thoughts and feelings out too, so “an offline blog” seems like a good solution. She also said she wanted to start a new journal tomorrow. On the cover of the one I bought her, “Believe in yourself” is etched on the cover.

I feel a little panicky about Christmas. It will only be the two of us, most likely. My brother and his girlfriend (fiancé?) are going to her parents – her mother refuses to change their plans – and my nephew generally spends the morning with his mother. I tried to convince her to agree that we won’t exchange presents this year, but she wouldn’t have anyt of it. Of course, my birthday being two weeks before Christmas is not making me any happier this time.

I most probably won’t be coming to Pretoria next weekend, as much as I’d like to. I’ll be in my room in Johannesburg, watching movies on my laptop, having a pity party. This too shall pass… eventually… I guess…