Category Archives: Experience

I can’t believe I’m alive

My first thought as the truck came hurtling towards me was “I’m going to die.” As metal screeched and the windshield cracked, I closed my eyes and then… Nothing. The truck had stopped, smoke hissing.

Luckily it clipped two cars, removed a traffic light and knocked over a street pole before landing on my Yaris. That’s when I finally moved, terrified the roof was going to collapse and trap me under the truck. I undid my seatbelt and climbed over the passenger seat as fast as I could.

I smelled the sweet slickness of oil running down the road. My legs wobbled and fell out from under me. A stranger helped me up.

I might start pole dancing.

It’s very unsettling to realise you’re alive when you were about to become another statistic. I feel like someone was watching over me. I’m also grateful for street poles and amazing Toyota manufacturing. Watching my wonderful little Yaris being towed away made my heart hurt – I’ll probably never see her again.

My poor Yaris. It saved me.

Impact-wise, my back’s a little stiff from tensing in shock and my stomach hurts from nerves, but otherwise I’m miraculously well; unlike the worker in the back of the truck who was bleeding and carried off on a stretcher.

I’m pretty sure the truck’s brakes failed. It was a dilapidated piece of crap that shouldn’t have been on the road.

Not hiring Randpave, ever.

Life is fragile. I never understood that until now. You can be innocently waiting at a red light and a one-tonner will come plowing across the intersection, over the traffic island and straight into you. Which is why I’m now eating a slab of Dairy Milk chocolate in bed with the man I love.

Cake, Love & an iPad

I pretty much had the best 30th birthday possible. Two nights of live music, time with my parents, wonderful friends who give lots of hugs, an incredible iPhone cake from Charly’s Bakery, and being super-spoilt with gifts – including a beautiful iPad 2!

I felt lucky and privileged to have a husband I adore and so many special people in my life. Thanks to all of you for making it so. X.

iPhone cake from Charly's Bakery

Surprise! It's an iPad!

Me and my gorgeous Mom

Graffiti at 5Gum party

Krushed & Sorted at 5Gum party

Twitter? It's a piece of cake.

Gazelle makes me do a happy dance

30 Things I Know At 30

I turn 30 on Sunday. As great as they were, I’m quite happy to leave my 20s behind. Hallo new decade! And here’s what I figured out in the last one:

  • There’s no such thing as too many shoes.
  • People will disappoint you, but you’ve disappointed them too.
  • Marry the love of your life, the one who makes you laugh.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Your 20s are for being selfish and self-absorbed.
  • Don’t drink all night if you have a presentation the next day.
  • Nothing is sacred.
  • There’s a difference between being a friend and being used.
  • Macaroni cheese can cure most problems.
  • You should have got over your quarter-life crisis by now.
  • Sometimes love is not enough.
  • Feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of energy.
  • Nobody has all the answers.
  • Use eye cream every night.
  • Taking responsibility for your actions is part of being a grown-up; blaming others is part of being a child.
  • Nothing is forever.
  • What seemed exciting or romantic at 25 was really just sordid.
  • The GHD is the best invention since mascara.
  • People don’t change, although they sometimes evolve.
  • Everybody hurts.
  • Nothing is what it seems.
  • Hey Jude is a great karaoke song.
  • There are three sides to every story.
  • Learn when to cut your losses.
  • Prioritise your time, it goes by faster every year.
  • Cheap make-up looks, well, cheap.
  • Don’t take stuff personally.
  • Never put anyone on a pedestal.
  • Don’t eat garlic the night before a job interview.
  • Life’s too short – and it goes on.

The birthday invitation my mom made 25 years ago.

The magic of Franschhoek

South Africa is my country, but I’ve felt a kinship with certain places that is not based on language, culture or nationality. One of them is the island of Ithaca in Greece, where some of my ancestors are from. The other is Franschhoek, another ancestral home, but unfortunately one with no ancestral land.

Alistair and I would go to the Cheese Festival every year and make a weekend of it in Franschhoek, staying in a private cottage with our own pool. It was an escape from “hectic” Cape Town.

A few weeks ago we went back for the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to (except my own of course) and stayed in the same cottage. We took long walks, read our books, and of course ate out – a lot. Franschhoek has a ridiculously high concentration of exceptional restaurants.

I have to thank JamieWho who recommended Pierneef a La Motte, where I could eat every day for the rest of my life (try the Springbok, Red Wine & Truffle Risotto). We also went to Mange Tout at La Rochelle for spectacular views and traditional fine dining. Completely delectable and completely relaxing.

The wedding at Vrede en Lust was breathtakingly elegant and beautiful. Beyond words really. Charne and Andrew are uniquely kind and special people, never cynical or disingenuous. Time with them is always refreshing. So of course everyone cried, even me, and then we danced until late under the super-full moon.

When Al and I got back to the cottage, we couldn’t resist a 1am skinny-dip under the stars. Everything felt just right for the first time in a long time. That’s the magic of Franschhoek for me.