Thursday, June 30, 2011

What motivates me?

Interesting question...

I am not a competitive person which I think can play a big role in someone's motivation.

My motivation comes from anxiousness about where I could be if I fail to accomplish a certain task or take action. Hang on…this sounds like I have a fear of failure, so perhaps I am competitive after all, there goes my second statement.

My motivation also comes from the confidence that I have in particular areas in my life, from positive past experiences.

This is a topic I have never really narrowed down, I’ve just been educated.

A Buenos Aires Secret Garden

My aching feet are evidence of an exciting, explorative day

Yesterday I arrived in the never sleeping Buenos Aires.  Buenos Aires seems to almost be bursting at the seams with culture as there are so many different people spread across the city. According to our tour guide, Buenos Aires has Italo-Argentines, Anglo-Argentines, a substantial Jewish community, a Chinatown, a Koreatown, and immigrants from neighbouring and nearby countries (Paraguayans, Bolivians, Peruvians).

Buenos Aires is full of surprises! Today alone I have come across three hidden oasis tucked away behind the walls of private villas or Casas as they are called in Spanish smack bag in the middle of the buzzing city. The only evidence of these secret gardens is parts of fountains, trees and plants which can be seen by having a sneak peak through the ornate cast iron gates and down marbled covered arched hallways. It is incredibly temping to push open the gate and discover a real ‘secret garden’.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A little trip..

One of the many benefits of living in the Western Cape is the many weekend away options. With a student budget weekends away whether it be camping, borrowing someones holiday house or hiring a place with buddies is very possible. One doesn't necessarily have to go away for a long time to feel rejuvenated, sometimes a few nights can do the trick. This week on my (very) present student budget I'll be going to stay for two nights at Warmwaterberg with three of my school friends. Warmwaterberg, a holiday farm just outside Barrydale has steaming hot springs for guests to enjoy. R90 ppn is all it cost to stay in one of the farms original cottages, fully equipped and all we needed to bring was food or enjoy the farm cooked fair at the restaurant which looked over the mountain landscape. I'm looking forward to wood fires, hot chocolate and great chats with three of my special girlfriends.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Write a list: the 10 most unexpected consequences of being online.

1.    Finding out people are engaged or pregnant before their family do.
2.  Chatting to a long lost friend you never expected to be on Facebook chat, the same time  as you were.
3.   Believing Dr. Google more than your family doctor.
4.   Realising you aren’t as alone as you feel, people’s blog posts mimic your experience.
5.   Learning paint techniques via UTube.
6.   Knowing people through Twitter before you’ve met them in person.
7.  Being able to super-multi-task and communicate with a multitude of people at the same time via Twitter,  Facebook , Gmail email , Gmail chat and Blackberry messenger.
8.  Finding the right hair colour for you using the Sunsilk Hair Make Over tool.
9. The fact that you instantly feel edgy without internet access.
10That when you search Sarah Bell online you find graves stones as well as people’s faces.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Designer lunch

The Cape Town area there has seen a veritable explosion of innovative lunch venues over the last few years. Lunch time options for those who work on the edges of the City Bowl have increased significantly. Several delis and cafes have opened their doors and it is evident from the creativity and standard of the food on offer that the chefs involved are passionate about cooking.

Cookshop is one of these, tucked away on the bustling thoroughfare of Hatfield Street. Cookshop is owned & run by foodie enthusiast duo Ammy & Tom. Both have a long history in the restaurant industry and have merged their different strengths. Tom runs front of house and makes one of the meanest cups of coffee in Cape Town. Whilst Ammy conjures up the daily menu & directs the other cooks to help produce all the fare on offer.

Cookshop is well known for their hearty designer sandwiches, which combine an array of flavours; The Serious Gourmet (meatloaf, rosemary & almond mayo, brandy prune and rocket), The Italian Job (salami, cream cheese, tomato & rocket) and The Mighty Chook, the most popular sandwich (free range roast chicken with coriander, chilli, almond mayo and cucumber).
Ammy says that the key to a great sandwich is the freshness and quality of the bread, fresh ingredients and balancing three flavours. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine are her major inspirations. She is obsessed with spices and fresh herbs.
What sets Cookshop’s designer sandwiches apart from the rest, is the fact that they make all their own sandwich ingredients and their spreads are unique. Proof of Ammy’s creative flair is clearly evident in the Cookshop’s menu and was evident when she discussed her spreads ‘Why does mayonnaise have to be ordinary when you can make it extraordinary?’
The food philosophy at Cookshop is simple, fresh and wholesome combined with big, bold flavours.

Situated in Woodstock, The Kitchen, Superette and The deli have similar offerings to Cookshop; honest food, full of flavour but each offering something unique such as The Deli’s apple and fudge cake and The Kitchen’s array of colourful salads.
What these places have most in common is that they combine unusual flavours, creating something delicious, taking food to an art form. Julia Child described this creative aspect of cooking when she said, “Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.” 

(the creative) elephant in the room

 Now that I have a wonderful 2 months of holiday stretched out in front of me I’ve finally got time to do fun time consuming arty things.

Project 1. knitting. First obstacle relearning how to knit and learn how to knit ribbed. Accomplished after many errors, lots of laughter and tea. I have kindly agreed to make my boyfriend a scarf. It’s going along slowly but not without a few holes here and there.

Project 2. Paining. My sister has wanted stripes painted on her wall. So after watching YouTube videos on how to paint vertical stripes I think I’m ready to get my hands dirty.

Project 3. Mosaic. I love making mosaics as the final product has a high chance of looking good, it’s rewarding. I’ll be creating a splash back for the kitchen.

Being creative in any form makes me feel alive. One wonders why I didn’t study something with a creative focus.

South America Baby!

Very excited as I have just booked my ticket to South America, Argentina in particular. There is talk of heading up to Peru and Columbia but that depends on funds.
I have been before but it’s hard to get tired of the colourful food, couples dancing Tango in the streets, endless clothing and shoe shops, Spanish accent and men (please don’t mention that to my boyfriend). 

We’ll be hiring an apartment in one of the oldest parts of Buenos Aires called San Telmo. San Telmo has a strong French architecture influence that it sometimes easy while sitting at a corner cafĂ© to be feel that you are in fact in Paris.

My father, my travelling partner will be going for business and as his admin assistant I’ve  agreed to be paid in clothes, not a bad bargain I think ;)

I better get my old Spanish phrase book out and get practising!

Every day is a good day: At the Wacky Wine Festival

Last weekend I went to my first Wacky Wine Weekend which is held in the dorp of Robertson.
A R80 'passport' allows you free reign to taste the wines and enjoy the festivities happening at wine farms spread across the Robertson region.
The town was packed to the brim and people had even resorted to camping on the lawns outside The Dros. 

The weekend consisted of drinking lots of delicious and not so delicious wine (the poo smell variety) lots of cheese, bread and coffee, four of my favourite things minus the not so delicious wine.

We ended the weekend with a lazy late afternoon cruise up the Breede River which snakes its way through the Robertson Wine District, a perfect end to an indulgent weekend.