This quote may as well have been written by me:
Having had a few horse riding lessons from my dear friend, Liz “The Horse Whisperer”, I have recently discovered a hidden love for these beautiful animals. This is the culprit, Bella:
Now this poses a bit of a problem for me as I definitely can’t afford to have a love for horses, but I’m just going with it for now. If you’d like to help me fund this little hobby, I’d love to do some business with you in the social media space – find me at @mysocialideas on Twitter and Social Ideason Facebook (cheeky business punt there).
So why do I want to jump onto the back of a big muscular animal? Because I’ve learnt a lot from this so far:
I’ve learnt that you don’t just ride a horse…you work bloody hard at it first and then it starts working out. You don’t climb on and push a button, this is a living, breathing, thinking animal.
I’ve learnt that confidence counts far more than just knowing what you’re doing and together with persistence, something’s going to give.
I’ve learnt respect. Respect others and you will get respect in return.
I’ve learnt that every horse is different, and each one needs an approach specific to them.
Some metaphors for life in there, methinks?
I’ll keep at it, I’m gaining so much already.
And I’ll get some proper riding boots…having a horse stand on your foot is painful!
I’ve been fasting for the past few days and today is my first real day of eating food again, and thought I’d share my experience with you.
As my title says, fasting definitely isn’t for sissies! I did a 3-day juice fast, which basically mean that for 3 days I didn’t eat any food and only drank water and raw vegetable juice at meal times. Let me tell you the thinking behind it before you all think I’ve gone bonkers…
So there are various reasons for fasting (health and spiritual reasons) and mine were health-related. It’s said that fasting is a healing agent, giving rest to your system and eliminating impurities that have accumulated for years. The theory behind it is that during a fast, the energy that is usually directed towards digestion is available for repair and healing of the body and clears the mind. Seeing that I’m approaching 30 (still far away, but nonetheless, approaching) and I have never given my body a proper rest, I thought I’d give it a go. A bit of clarity never hurt anyone, anyway!
Sounds so good in theory, but in practice…holy moly it was difficult. You don’t realise how much time in your life is dedicated to preparing and eating food, and how much of a social role it plays, until you take it away.
I struggled…a lot…and not because I was hungry and weak – that feeling went away after about a day and a half – but more because the rituals of preparing food and eating are such a big part of my life. Without them, I felt completely lost!
It made me realise how much I love and appreciate food and how much I enjoy socialising over a meal or glass of wine and how much I love to cook. I have a new-found respect for everything that I consume. I have been privileged enough in my life to never have had to feel hunger for more than a few hours and this was quite a reality check for me. I was grumpy as hell for those three days (thanks to those around me for just putting up with it!), but nonetheless I am so glad that I tried this out. (Losing a kg or two was a nice side-effect as well).
I can’t say that I’ll do it again in a hurry, but I’m pretty sure that I will do it again in my life. It’s like getting a tattoo…sore as hell, but feels good at the same time.
I’m not a personal journal blogger. I don’t account for every day of my life with my blog. I generally try to ensure that my readers get something useful out of my posts, but this one is all about me. Because it’s my blog and I can. As 2011 draws to a close (took damn long enough), I find myself reflecting on the craziness that was this year. So you get to hear it. I’ve done some serious and some random things this year and I know it’s all leading me to somewhere sparkly and new. Dust off the cobwebs and watch the reflections of the disco ball, 2012 is bringing something bizarre, I can feel it.
Here’s an account of some of the main events of my 2011, so that you can understand why I felt the need to take some time to reflect on everything that happened and focus on where I’m going from here:
- I started blogging!
- Went from blonde, to ash blonde, to brunette, and am half way back to blonde again.
- Experienced my first Durban July, in a blur of high heels and whisky.
- Lost one awesome roommate for her love of her man and gained another awesome one who will probably leave me for her love of India.
- Travelled. A lot. Tranquil Transkei, Crazy Croatia, Familial Eastern Cape, Australia and even a place called Tonteldoos. Became a tourist in my own town, Jozi (iheartjozi).
- Went on a Buddhist retreat. With myself. Found peace, not Buddhism.
- Began a relationship with yoga. Love/hate. Started a yoga blog. (kissmyasana). Learnt not to laugh when I’m told to exhale through my vagina.
- Started to worry about environmental issues. Have not yet chained myself to an elephant.
- Fell into a real person relationship and then straight back out again.
- Reconnected with my BFF who treated me to a VVIP rockstar return.
- Got adopted by a second family.
- Got a new niece and nephew. Re-discovered how much I love the kids in my life.
- Found my passion in social media.
- Jumped off the corporate hamster wheel (it’s okay, it smelt like poo anyway) and started working for myself (mysocialideas)…watch this space for a personal business punt in the new year…
- Got smacked in the face with grown-up reality when doctors declared that my mom is losing her fight against cancer.
- Learnt that it’s okay to cry sometimes.
- Found my big girl panties in the bottom of my underwear drawer and am ready to start wearing them.
- Got a tan.
That’s quite a list.
And yes, this post probably has nothing to do with you, but for me, it’s made me realise how much I’ve experienced in one short year and how much I’m capable of doing the rest of my life. Each year brings its’ crap and its’ goodness, it’s how we deal with it that makes the difference.
When my sister’s friends in freaking Australia told her that she has to try The Barefoot Cafe in Cintsa East, we thought that it is definitely something that we had to see!
We dragged the whole family there for breakfast and loved it. It’s totally hippy and very very chilled out. Owned by surfers, the food’s good, with a range of breakfasts (definitely a hangover breakfast menu), burgers and pizzas. Interesting menu, I must say…’chicken is a vegetable’??? No chance of a decaf soy latte, but that’s okay, we’re all pretty chilled!
It’s all about the vibe and I can imagine having some decent parties in that bar – especially with ‘Surfers on Acid’ on the menu…hmmmm…
If you’re in the Cintsa area this December, go check it out and join their Facebook Group if you’re interested in keeping up with them.
I’m not talking about calories here – I’m talking actual physical guilt. The guilt you feel when you cause another to be hurt, or take part in that suffering some way.
We are all guilty of blindly eating foods that we have no idea where they came from (no, not the grocery store’s shelf – there’s a whole lot that happens before it gets there) or that we don’t know exactly what’s in them. It’s a difficult act to take part in, because once you know, you cannot ‘unknow’. Most people would rather not know how that juicy steak came into being on their plate, because if they did, they’d likely not eat it. This would cause some serious lifestyle changes that, let me tell you, are not a walk in the park.
Having watched some of the Earthlings documentary recently, I’ve started to have to think more ethically and wondering how on earth I’m going to cope with this. The scenes in that movie show you your worst fears of how animals are treated in this world in the name of ignorant consumerism – they cannot be unseen. Traumatised after 30 minutes and jolted into the realisation that humans are indeed @ssholes.
Where do you stop? How do you live a normal life? How do you eat out socially with non-vegetarians? What started as pescatarian, moved on to vegetarian, is now leading into veganism. We’re not just talking food here, we’re talking clothes, pets, cosmetics, non-animal-friendly materials and unethical products in all areas of your day-to-day life. All these things contribute to the violent torture of animals and the raping of our environment and it’s not easy to find vegan-freindly alternatives.
Having some amazing vegetarian/vegan friends along the way helps a lot, but mingling with the rest of society seems to be a problem.
I just know that I’d rather consume life-giving food than life-taking foods. And I don’t want to be part of any industry that contributes to the unethical treatment of animals. Maybe it really is that simple.
Stick around for some more posts about this journey, I’m sure I’ll have lots to share along the way. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter too.
In today’s social media age, the gold rush is to get followers. It’s like human blood for vampires, or the opportunity to speak B.S. publicly to a massive audience for Julius Malema.
It’s like the world is about to run out of air and the only way to get more is to get another follower. Social media heroine. Already I feel the need for a fix… *twitch *twitch
Let’s just all be logical about this, though. Take the needle out of your arm and focus.
Yes, you need followers. Without them, you might as well be in a black hole, listening to the echo of your own voice. But would you rather have a thousand followers who are spambots, or 100 followers that you can actually engage with? Hillbrow whore or upper class escort?
All I’m saying is that we all need a strategy – attract the right kind of followers and you’ll get far more satisfaction out of the whole experience (no I am not still referring to prostitution).
Forget the follower count, focus on engagement…the rest will come.
Thought this was very cool.
Virgin Active is attempting a Guiness World Record for the most bums on seats on Monday 5 December at 8pm. This is a global initiative and quite exciting, as us spinners that don’t actually cycle in the real world like to take part in whatever cool spinning event comes our way. I think this one will do the trick :0)
It’s only an hour and at least we didn’t get a ridiculous 1am slot! Keen to join me? Sign up at your closest branch.
I recently went on a very special family holiday to Umngazi River Bungalows and Spa on the Wild Coast of Transkei. The Transkei is one of my favourite places in our gorgeous country. It’s untouched paradise on our doorstep – screw Mauritius, hit Transkei, baby – it’s far more real (okay I wouldn’t say no to Mauritius, but you know what I’m saying).
Umngazi really is the perfect family resort and provides the easiest, most comfortable family holiday I have ever experienced. The kids have an absolute blast, with organised activities every day…bug-hunting, beach snail feeding, crab-hunting, fishing competitions, marshmallow braais etc. etc. absolutely divine. Nannies are also available to look after the kids while the adults sip cocktails at the poolside. It’s just decadent. It’s not my usual kind of holiday, but for the kind of family time we were needing, it was just perfect.
Us grown-ups also have plenty to keep us busy. Every morning is an organised walk or hike. I did the Sugar Loaf hike one morning, which is a walk along the hills on the coastline, with the most magnificent scenery. We did some whale-watching along the way from the cliff-edges – it was just breath-taking!
Gillies are around for hire and will help you organise a boat and bait and take you to the best fishing spots.
The sunset cruise is also a must – Kevin the skipper is a pro at attracting the fish eagles to swoop down and catch some fish and will also entertain you with his ‘fat mama’ dance…was a good giggle 🙂
All meals are included as well, with the amount of food at each meal phenomenal. If you enjoy fresh seafood, Seafood Saturday will have you at your knees – platters and platters of crayfish, prawns, mussels, calamari…ridiculous! There were vegetarian options, but they’re not the best. I may just be fussy in terms of the kind of food that I enjoy, but the vegetarian meals did not seem too thought out in terms of health and nutrition…if you want to see the rant (take it with a pinch of salt), see it here.
All in all it was an absolutely phenomenal holiday with the family and I’d recommend it to anyone needing to take some time out in luxury. If you want to rough it a little bit, check out Swell Tours Guest Lodge – a bit of rough and rural paradise in the Transkei.
Spoilt, spoilt, spoilt, I heart South Africa.