Category Archives: miscellaneous

considering options

After weeks of ghastly sorting, my lounge, dining room, work rooms and bathroom all look much more like the kind of rooms that human beings can actually live in :)

new 1

new 2

The lounge still has to accommodate (for now) my market display stuff and all my stock, but it’s a big room (originally two separate rooms) plus there are two large items of furniture in it that are not mine – they will soon be leaving the building, so to speak, and then there will be more space.

My bedroom still has crap in boxes under the bed and containers of fabric and beads, but that is the last stop; the deadline for that is Sunday. The jacuzzi bath is now empty and may be replaced with a shower – why replace it at all if the house is going on the market, you may ask? Well…another option has been proposed to me recently, and I have been giving it serious consideration (with the help of my accountant and an objective adviser). It is an option that affects more than just my financial position so I must think carefully and honestly about myself and what works for me. I’m still keeping an eye on houses for sale in beautiful little towns outside Cape Town, but am very happy to have a viable alternative to work with – not to mention the lovely man in my life who came up with the idea :)

It’s going to be a good day. I have etsy orders to get to the post office, six heart cushions to finish in time for Saturday’s market, a kitten to play with, and a date for dinner at my new favourite Italian restaurant. Here’s to good days – may you all have one, too, and many many more.


and yet more changes #3

Friday. Official Office Sort-Out Day. The ‘before’ state of things:



Yes, it really was that bad. What I have achieved after two days is not 100% yet but it’s a damn good start – considering that I also fitted in a long coffee-break with a friend, a dinner and theatre date last night, packing the car for tomorrow’s market, and getting a large order ready for a new supplier yesterday on about one hour’s notice. And the temperature was in the mid-30s — nearly %#@* killed me…but boy oh boy, did I sleep like a baby!

after 2

I am giving myself a big pat on the back right now. Sorting and tidying will recommence on Sunday, all being well.

Happy weekend, everyone :)

and yet more changes #2

Remember that pigsty pandemonium I showed you last time? My tv lounge? Here it is now with a fresh coat of paint on the floor, all the useful stuff sent to the charity shop and the useless crap sent to the bin. The floor is still wet so I couldn’t get any further in than the doorway to take this pic. Progress, my friends, progress!


And then, taking a step backwards…because that is what I do so well…here is my new art deco oak server, collected a couple of hours ago from friends in Woodstock who are trying to streamline their interior decor. I know it seems like beyond stupid to acquire a new piece of furniture when I’m going to move in the next few weeks, (a) they were desperate to get rid of it, and I like to help my pals; (b) they refused to let me pay, and (c) I really love it. What’s not to like?


It will stay in the dining room for the meantime, and get moved to the tv lounge when the floor is dry.

Today is Office Sort-Out day. Before and after pics tomorrow. A luta continua

and yet more changes

My garden is looking so lovely right now, as high summer approaches and all the little plants and cuttings recently planted are starting to grow up and bloom. Despite the drought, our work-around has been successful – (grey water, gutter overflow, pipes, buckets, etc) – and Peter has helped me take wonderful care of it all. He’s busy deadheading the daisy bushes as I write this.

Sadly, it won’t be mine for much longer: it’s time to pack up house again and move on. It’s not my first option but circumstances are such that I must accept somebody else’s first option. I have not made any permanent living plans for the rest of my year, I’m just going to focus on packing and sorting and clearing up space and believing that everything happens for a reason. I don’t actually truly think that, to be honest. I think things happen that we have little control over and then we just deal with them because we have no choice – it’s in looking back that we can reshape events and change perspective so as to find silver linings and positive outcomes, because to do otherwise would be too bleak to consider. Just my view. Bit of a miserable one, I suppose, but I’m stuck with it!

Yesterday, this was the front part of my tv lounge.


Today, I can actually see some floor:

Room 4

The car is packed with stuff to be taken to the charity shop. Let me get on with that before I run out of steam….

time out

I am here: on a farm just outside Ladismith, in the Klein Karoo.

Klein Karoo 3

Klein Karoo 2

Klein Karoo 1

It’s hot and dry, as you can see, but there is no shortage of water because there’s a private dam and a windpump system set up to pump water straight from the surrounding mountains. So, YES, I can run a deep bath without guilt and even extend shower time from 45 seconds to any length of time I feel like….. The exact opposite of what it is like in Cape Town now, as we get closer to DAY ZERO. Level 6 water restrictions will be implemented from next week and we will all be paying a drought levy from February 2018 onwards (based on the value of one’s property). I have mixed feelings about this – on the one hand, Capetonians are all in this together and have to do the best we can to save water, and on the other, 66% of residents are clearly not doing their bit and don’t care that there’s extra cost involved because they are wealthy enough not to feel the impact. The arrogance! I’ll be very amused to see some of those high-and-mighties impatiently queuing at the nearest mountain spring to fill their empty containers along with the rest of the hoi polloi.

In the meantime, from a cool cottage in the Karoo (about 4 hours out of Cape Town), where you must keep your eyes open for cobras and boomslangs when you go for a walk and the doors bolted when you go out because the baboons are way ahead of things like locks and keys, where the loudest sound is the silence of this extraordinary mountain country punctuated by bird calls, and where I am finding some wonderful peacefulness both within me and without, I hope you are all having happy holiday times.

Taking stock in September

Inspired by Rachel, inspired by Pip

Making : two patchwork cushions for an order for Lindi

Cooking : there’s a photocopied recipe for Julie Sahni’s green bean curry on the kitchen counter, but so far no actual shopping has been done with the making of it in mind

julie sahni

Drinking : coffee. without sweetener because I forgot to put any in and I can’t be bothered to leave my desk now and go back to the kitchen

Reading: The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks

Wanting: my unsorted boxes from the house move last year to disappear into thin air

Looking: through the French doors at the sparrows outside on the patio

Wishing: that my unsorted boxes from the house move last year would disappear into thin air

Enjoying: the spring days and the cool nights

Waiting: for Thursday, when Karen and I get on the train for the long trip to Johannesburg and switch off from our normal lives completely

Liking: my slowly improving sense of well-being

Wondering: how long the Guptas will be allowed to run our country, and where all the good guys are


Loving: my garden and how much everything has grown in the last 16 months

Pondering: quantum physics. I read In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat by John Gibson, really slowly, and still can’t understand any of it

Listening: Jim Croce (in the car only)

Considering: whether or not I deserve/can afford to splurge on new cosmetics from Mac

Watching: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (on youtube, in bed, on my phone, late at night)

Hoping: for a lucrative 2017/2018 market season – my bank manager is also hoping for that, on my behalf

Marvelling: at how fat both my cats have become, despite being given the correct amount of Dr Hill’s Science Food at meals

Needing: already have everything I really need

Smelling: being a smoker, not that much!

Wearing: old jeans and an old hoodie of Rob’s with black and white skulls on it

Knowing: that first I have to be content with myself before I can find happiness in a relationship with anyone else

Bookmarking: hair tutorials on putting my hair up

Feeling: optimistic

Dreaming: of independence

Hearing: yes, it’s occurred to me that I should go for a hearing test but, in general, selective hearing makes for a more harmonious home life. A lesson I learned from my ex-husband :)

Anyone else out there taking stock today?

the Jill Goldberg Award for Political Incorrectness #2

I have finally found someone worthy enough to receive the second Jill Goldberg Award for Political Incorrectness* (apart from Mr Trump, of course, but he’s just too easy, plus he already holds the emeritus position).

toilet paper award

Today’s winner is a woman who saw my couch throws at a market and asked if I could make one for her to fit her couch exactly the way she wanted it. She’d had a throw specially made before (by someone else), but it turned out to be way too big and, when she asked them to make it smaller, it turned out to be way too small. Clearly she wasn’t good with a tape measure, so I suggested I pop in at her house and measure the thing myself. Which I did. We talked about colours and textures and got along just fine, until it was time for me to leave.

She walked me outside to my car. There was a buzz of activity at the huge house across the road – construction vehicles, piles of bricks, painters, men in safety hats huddled in groups, armed guards, etc. So I said, Ah, looks like they’re having some changes made to their house – but what’s with the four armed guards?

Customer: Yes, so noisy, it drives us all crazy. They’re having a third floor built, so we’re going to lose our sea view altogether. No-one knows what they do, probably drugs, there’s a permanent team of four guards, sometimes with dogs.

Me: Wow, sounds serious. Maybe they’re diamond merchants or politicians or something?

Customer: Could be. But they’re Jews, of course, so they could be involved in anything. And that’s how they got the planning permission to build so high right in front of us – the rest of the road is also full of Jews so they all band together. They said, don’t use our names but here’s money towards legal costs if you need it. Real Jews, you know.

Me: Real Jews? As opposed to, what, fake Jews?

Customer: Ja, real Jews, so there’s nothing we can do. They’ve got everything all stitched up. People with money can make happen whatever they want.

Me: Ah yes, of course, so many members of our own government are wonderful role models for that! But getting back to the Jews: as my ex-husband, Aaron Rabinowitz**, used to say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I wouldn’t be surprised if they stretch to four floors, actually – sounds like they might need permanent accommodation for the guards.

* Awards are made to whomever I want and whenever I feel like it, and I am the only judge. The results are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

**Name changed to protect my ex-husband, who real name is even more “Jewish” than the made-up one!