Oats are the most dangerous of breakfast foods

“Oats are the most dangerous of breakfast foods”, I tweeted somewhat prophetically on Monday morning.

See, despite my most careful preparations, I still managed to have my morning bowl of oats explode all over the office microwave. Smooth, real smooth. And, of course, as if that wasn’t enough, I also burned the roof of my mouth in my desire to actually have a breakfast that wasn’t trying to kill me.

Don't let their sedate appearance fool you. Oats are actually lying in wait, plotting your demise.

Don’t let their sedate appearance fool you. Oats are actually lying in wait, plotting your demise.

Fast forward to Thursday morning… I’m over-tired, desperately looking forward to the long weekend. And, heaven forbid, wanting breakfast. I go through the motions. Oats. Water. Microwave. Low heat, because otherwise breakfast ends up decorating the microwave. Medium heat, because I’ve just realised how much shit I’ve got to do before all the public holidays, and can’t really face spending six minutes playing an excruciating game of the-oats-in-the-microwave-go-round-and-round.

Now, the office cereal bowls are mighty pretty. White, clean, decent-sized. But my god, do they retain heat like nobody’s business. I once heated up a stir-fry in one of these so-called “Microwave Friendly” bowls and almost dropped the damn thing all over my shoes after I took it out the microwave. So you can imagine what oats do to these bowls.

But, because it’s Thursday morning and I’m multitasking and trying to send pictures from my phone to my work email because the office Easter Egg Hunt was that morning and I absolutely must get the photos up, I forget that The Bowl Is Lava. And start taking it out the microwave… Foolishly, with my bare hands. The “Oh shit this is hot” registers, and I half-drop the bowl onto the edge of the microwave tray, and try to grab the stupid fucking thing before it pours all over my stomach and shoes and whatnot.

Bear in mind that microwaved oats are the closest thing to napalm in the civilian world. 

Now, I’m pretty sure stuff like this is supposed to happen in slow-motion. It totally does in the movies. But this happened lightning fast. I tried to grab the sides of the bowl to catch it. I was 50 percent successful. Left hand was fine, right hand was plunged into the volcanic breakfast food.

I didn’t scream, I didn’t cry. Instead, I calmly turned to the kitchen sink to run my hand under some water. Only, there was somebody there, filling up the kettle. At an immensely leisurely pace, I might add. I calmly asked her to “Please move”, and I think she may have replied something about the kettle. I then informed her that I was “on fire” and pretty much lost control of my voice at that stage, snapping at her to “PLEASE. MOVE”. She did, at almost snail-like pace, it felt. And blessed, blessed cool water was running down my hand.

And so it was that I ended up feeding myself oats with my left-hand and flinching with every keystroke, and dashing to the water cooler at the gym. (Of course, Hardcore Gym Guy took one look at me running my hand under the water and quipped something about “That’s not going to work”. I’m not sure if he meant it wasn’t going to help my hydration, or it wasn’t going to help the pain from lifting weights. Regardless, he got the Sad Oat Story) .

It also meant that I spent a large portion of my night out last night stealing ice out of people’s drinks and resting my hand against the coldest glass on the table.

Today, I have the gnarliest blisters on my right knuckle, and a healthier appreciation for yoghurt and cold milk.

Because long weekend

This time of year in South Africa is packed full of public holidays. Human Rights Day, Good Friday, “Family Day” (eg. the day after Easter), Freedom Day and Worker’s Day. All in March/April/May. So I took full advantage, and exercised my Human Right to take an extra day off and make up a long weekend.

And it was crazy. The good kind of crazy, for the most part, that kind that makes you feel I am living.

After work I drove through to Bergvliet (in peak traffic, mind you – I had completely forgotten how hellish the drive back to the burbs was) to join Bryony and her hubby at a run/walk in aid of The Chaeli Campaign. It kicked off at the Bergvliet Sports Club, which springs some interesting, neon-related memories to mind (and it also made me realise that I may have been drunker than I thought that night… Seeing as I walked into the ladies’ bathroom on Wednesday and had that overwhelming feeling of What is this place? Still. It remains one of my favourite nights. Ever.) 

Anyway, we decided to skip the run and did the 4km walk instead, ’cause we had B’s dogs with us. And after, it was beer and a boerewors roll, before heading back to B’s for dinner. From there, I did a quick-change in her bathroom (I still cringe whenever I go in there, remembering my Epic Drunk Dial escapade. Oh, lordy) and headed out to a friend’s birthday drinks in Woodstock. Jess was well into the shots by the time we arrived, and I braved chocolate tequila and caramel vodka in the name of being a Good Friend.

I love buying presents. It's a  thing. I get especially thrilled when I find budget-friendly perfect gifts.

I love buying presents. It’s a thing. I get especially thrilled when I find budget-friendly perfect gifts.

And then, I managed to drop my R1200 glasses off the balcony. And all in the name of vanity. You see, somebody wandered up to the group that was hanging out on the balcony and wanted to take a picture. So I pushed my glasses on top of my head – with rather more vigour than anticipated – and felt them slide over the back of my head. I turned just in time to hear them crash to the floor a storey below, into the parking lot.

Of course, because I can’t actually see without the damn things, I ran around the flat shouting “I need someone with eyesight!  I need someone with eyesight!” Thankfully, I managed to find Christie (who has contact lenses) and we dashed downstairs. We found the frames quickly enough – sans one lens – and I was crawling around on my hands and knees in the parking lot, praying to the God of Optometry (he is a very cruel, greedy god) that the other lens was in one piece. It was. And I did a shrieky, giggly little jig out there in the parking lot. Hey, I never pretended to be cool. Christie managed to pop the lens back in and voila, the party continued.

We were all meant to head out to a place in town, but after scoping out the 200-odd people in the queue, changed our minds. Jay had volunteered to drive with me in my car and we drove down Long Street, stuck in traffic, with me getting him to hack Ingress portals on my phone while I drove. Like I said, no cool kids here. We eventually found out that Jess and company were at an ultra-dodgy dive on Long Street, but one look at her in the bathroom when we arrived and I knew it was time to get her out of there. And so I volunteered to drive her and her boyfriend home to Constantia, some 20 minutes away. Nobody objected, but nobody else jumped up to help either.

And because I was too wired after that, I drove home the ultra long way round… Around Camp’s Bay, taking in the lights and revelling in late night Cape Town. I’d had a long talk with Jess’ boyfriend in the car, and it actually opened up my eyes a little – in a very painful way, but it needed to be heard. And that was Wednesday.

Thursday I went to go see Quartet with Cait – was lovely just to bond, and it was quite a lovely cast and quite a lovely film, but not quite satisfactory. (Ack! Bad, Candace, bad! No mini-movie reviews, you’re on leave… ish!)

Friday, it was off to my first ever sunset show at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Stefan had texted in the morning with the offer of tickets for the Farryl Purkiss/Jeremy Loops/Xavier Rudd gig, so I reckoned heck yes. And it was stunning, and surprisingly healing… Although maybe that’s because we also had some major bitch-bonding time. The hippies were out in full force and the chilly wind brought a pretty heady smell of pot wafting over regularly. But it was an amazing show and a beautiful setting – and I’d definitely do it again. (Although ultra-top-tip: Definitely leave a few minutes before the set ends. You can hear the music for ages AND you don’t get stuck in the heaving crowds. Win!)

I <3 Cape Town

I ❤ Cape Town

Saturday I got a severe case of the Sads. I was meant to go film for work and got out to the location, then called it off. I was meant to go to the Biscuit Mill with Bryony, but she took a while to text and I could feel myself wanting to curl up into a teeny, tiny little ball and just go to sleep. Instead, Xanthe texted. Beer. Forries. Now. So I did – and beer turned into lunch and an awesome chill out with some great friends. Bryony eventually did text, and I of course immediately felt guilty for sorta bailing on her… If anybody would like to start work on a Time-Turner a la Harry Potter, that’d be good.

I then had to drive Sean out to Bergvliet for a beer pong tournament (true story) and raced back to get home in time before they started closing all the roads for the Bafana Bafana game. Now, living in Green Point is amazing. Seriously. But every time somebody wants to stage an event, they’re all like “Hey! Green Point is like, totes the place to do it.” I’m not kidding. This week, the roads were closed for soccer. Last week, for the “Cape Town Carnival” (Hiss. It made me miss Iain’s housewarming. Okay, well, Carnival and Xanthe & Timmy’s engagement. But, you know). The week before that? The Cape Argus. And the week before that? Pride. Madness, I tell you.

And then, because I am the World’s Best Sister, I drove out to pick him up at 12.30am again. It’s all good though, after Jay I know that road pretty much backwards, so hecking out there at that time of night is a piece of the proverbial cake.

And now it’s Sunday. Cait decided we should all go hiking this morning – fair enough. We mapped out a route to Tranquility Cracks, but none of us had counted on the wind. It started out well enough…

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But as we turned the corner into Corridor and got further up the ravine, we were nearly blown off the mountain. No, seriously. I was holding onto a rock, being buffeted backwards, completely astounded by the sheer stupidity of it all. After a hasty mid-hike conference, sanity prevailed, and we scuttled back down. We tried to warn other hikers (seriously, actual “gale force winds” is an effing safety hazard, people), and you’d be surprised at how few listened. Sure, you probably do this all the time, but all it takes is one gust of wind and a mis-step. It’s a long tumble back down to Camp’s Bay, people.

Anyway, we took the scenic, less fatal route back down.

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Anyway, I shall stop thrilling you with my weekend tales. I do, however, have a point to all of this.

Time with the people you love is one of the best reminders that you mean something. No matter how dull a grey the world is.

Also, choose plastic lenses.

 

Date Night

Sometimes – more often than I should probably admit – I find it very hard to like myself. I know that’s not particularly uncommon, or even mildly interesting to most people, but it is a truth.

Anyway, I saw some terribly overdone quote on Facebook earlier this week – something about love yourself like you would love the love of your life, or something inane like that. And I decided, heck, this whole self-betterment Cosmopolitan/718 Ways to Achieve Happiness industry does rake in millions – presumably for a reason. And so on Wednesday night I decided to blow off the press screening that I was supposed to go to, and decided to treat myself to a date instead.

Now, it has been a while since I’ve been on a date. Not since JJ, and that particular date was in late July. I know, I know. Anyway, I was a little rusty on the whole concept, but I think I may have won.

First, I treated myself to a nice bubble bath, with an old favourite book. I tend to reread the Harry Potter novels when I’m struggling emotionally – so if you know me, and you see that I’m reading Harry Potter, a hug is in order. Just saying.

Bathtime

Now, I usually lump foam bath into the “absolute luxury” category of shopping. I usually buy Radox ’cause it’s marketed as being fabulous – but I find it doesn’t make really decent foam, and the bubbles don’t last. And I feel super slimy. And it’s a little more expensive. Anyway, I ended up choosing something from the Good Stuff range at Pick n Pay – and it was awesome. Thick foam, the bubbles lasted longer than I did, and it smells superb! And I won’t lie, I definitely bought it for the blurb on the bottle at first, but I think it’s a new favourite.

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Then it was time to get all dolled-up… In my favourite pyjama pants. I’m loving that the nights are getting (slightly) cooler – means I can live in these bad boys again!

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And, of course, what date is complete without flowers? Now, I wasn’t actually going to by myself flowers, so I improvised.

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Then, I cracked open a baby bottle of JC le Roux and treated myself to a plateful of sushi. Also from Pick n Pay, freshly made. Hey, don’t ever say we’re not schmancy chez Whitehead.

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And then – oh goodness, this is so cheesy, don’t judge me – because on dates people are meant to say nice things to each other, I opened up my journal and started writing some nice things to myself. Things I like about myself. Look, I’ll be honest, it’s currently a short-ish list, but I’m saving the page and will return to it as I think of things. I already did today.

And no, you’re not getting a picture! Ha.

And then it was time for a private screening of one of my favourite movies. It’s the Special, Extended Edition. It’s awesome.

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And then, midway through my movie, my mother texted and all my zen was shattered.

But still, you have to start somewhere. Learning to love yourself, it would appear, is a process.