Number Thirty – #30DayBlogChallenge

Number 30: A photograph of yourself today, plus three good things that have happened in the last 30 days.

Well… You didn’t ask for a NORMAL photo. I was in a silly mood and playing with bunny ears so I snapped a few shots in my brother’s mirror (he’s got the only remaining full-length mirror in the house. My one broke).

Bunny ears
Not quite your usual Playboy bunny pyjama shot…

And then three good things… They’re not necessarily going to be amazing things, not in any sense of the word. But they made me happy, and that’s all you need.

1) Signed up for a social media for business course being run by one of the agencies here. It’s six weeks and my company is covering the cost. Yay!

2) Dinners with friends… Happened a few times, but “friends” in my life are good things, consistently. Deal with it.

3) And got news that somebody surprisingly  close to my heart was pregnant.

And so ends the 30 Day Blog Challenge (Hey! I made it!) What have I learned from all of this? 

a) I’m not geared for blogging to a pre-set list of topics each day. It’s not my style

b) Stuff can go unintentionally viral unintentionally quickly

c) flickr.com has some amazing, amazing photographers. Yes, you can pretty much find anything on there.

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Day Twenty-Eight – #30DayBlogChallenge

Day 28 – Your favourite movie.

I am sure that I shock exactly no one when I say that I have no favourite movie.

I have a list of about 40 that I love , but only a few hands-down favourites.

Stardust, starring Charlie Cox and Claire Danes and based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. I love how rich and textured this film is. Simply saturated with beauty and magic.

Titanic , James Cameron’s epic still remains one of my favourites. Watch it now that you’re a little older, and watch it carefully. It’s immense. You all can keep Avatar, thanks.

Saving Private Ryan: The first twenty-odd minutes of Steven Spielberg’s war epic have to be some of my favourite scenes of all time. Absolutely harrowing, incredibly filmed.

Forrest Gump. Really, I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love this movie. I cry every time.

Grease. It’s cheesy, I know. But it’s one of my go-to films when I’m feeling down.

Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s iconic. I could watch it half a million times over.

Moulin Rouge! I haven’t seen it in years, but I love Baz Luhrmann’s style and adore the choreography and the music.

Chicago Love the attitude, the sex appeal, the performances, the casting. Everything. This is probably high up on the list of favourites, ever.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I can pretty much recite all three films. That’s how many times I’ve watched, and how much I still love.

Disney films, in general.

The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Fight Club…. I’m a David Fincher fan girl.

Inglourious Basterds. No explanation needed, I feel.

Day Twenty-Seven – #30DayBlogChallenge

Day 27 – Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs.

Fun fact: I don’t own an iPod. And I recently cleared out my laptop and haven’t had a chance to re-import all my music. So, I shall do the next best thing. My phone. (Don’t judge me, think I only have about 12 songs on the thing anyway)

1. Every Teardrop is a Waterfall – Coldplay
2. The Immortals – Kings of Leon
3. I’m Only Joking – Kongos
4. Shake It Out – Florence and the Machine
5. Pyro – Kings of Leon (told you)
6. Hurts Like Heaven – Coldplay
7. One – U2
8. Radioactive – Kings of Leon
9. Settle Down – Kimbra
10. Somebody I Used To Know – Gotye ft. Kimbra

Most of it was from my calm-me-down-on-the-way-to-the-clinic playlist.

Day Twenty-Six – #30DayBlogChallenge

Day 26 – Think back to how you were five years ago. How have you changed since then?

Firstly, for fun… Here’s me. Five years ago. Give or take a few days.

Self

I remember drinking a fair amount of vodka around the time of this photograph, which was taken in the first few days of us moving into our new flat in Grahamstown.

Five years ago would have been February 2007. Wow. That’s a long time ago, and much has changed. Honestly, I’m hardly the same person I was back then. Although, if there’s still some old Candace, she is buried quite deep.

Some context. Five years ago, my father had been lying in a coma for almost five months. There was still hope (to me, at least) that he might wake up and come back to us. He was still in the ward in Jwaneng. I had just returned from Botswana where, despite all of the awful stuff that had been happening, I managed to have an amazing holiday.

And then, I was back in Grahamstown, in my first flat with M. For a number of reasons, I was angry, terrified, hurt. I had just hooked up with the person that was going to define my life for the next three and a half years. That is all a very different story, and not what the question was.

Five years ago, I was wild. I drank a lot – we all did – and I made a number of bad decisions. I was in my third year of university, was the Features Editor of the varsity newspaper and was a dedicated journalism and English major. I still had a family, relatively intact. I still believed that the world could be a good place, that it would all work out. I had absolutely no understanding of the definition of pain. I thought I did. That would all come much, much later.

I was proud. Of myself, of my father, of my family. Of what we had been through and who we were. I still am, I guess. Proud of my family. I’m almost never proud of myself, anymore.

I spoke my mind, I made bold choices, I charged through life – not recklessly, just at pace, with force. Now I am more reserved. Maddeningly so, I would imagine. I agonise over decisions. Am terrified of saying the wrong thing. Fret over things I say that could be misinterpreted.

I am much more responsible now. For myself, for my brother, for my mother. Somewhere along the line I became the pillar for my family to lean on. My defining characteristic is that I’m scared, of everything. And that has defined and destroyed a few things.

But, there are good things, too. I have a kick-ass job. And I do wish my dad was here to see it – though I shudder to imagine trying to explain this weird “Facebook” thing to him. He could barely figure out how to turn on a computer, and it took him an hour to type out the one and only email he ever sent me.

I also have a few of the same life dreams. I want to travel. I want to write and publish a novel. I want to do some good in the world, changes some lives. I have changed two, already, I know. Definitely. But that is another story, for another day.

My standards are much higher. I am more generous now, less selfish. More quick-tempered and demanding. I am still infinitely loyal, willing to drop anything and everything to help if I can.  I grew up somewhere along the way.

Like I said. Sometimes I’m not sure who this new girl is. Sometimes I’m not sure that I like her. But it is fascinating trying to get to know her.

Day Twenty-Five (Booyah!) – #30DayBlogChallenge

Day 25 – Something that you miss.

I’m not going to have just one “something”. I was planning to do a long post with photographs and everything, but most of those pictures are on my old harddrive and some surgery is required to rescue them off there.

In no particular order…

I miss my dad. Every day. I wish more than anything that I could have just one more day to spend with him. I’d have so many questions for him that I never thought to ask, and I want so desperately for him to be “caught up” on my life and offer his advice and thoughts. Even some teasing would do. I’m not sure I would be able to say goodbye, at the end of the day.

I miss my dog, Misty. She loved my father so much, and she only managed to live a few months after he died. She was only 10 years old. She died of a broken heart, I think. I miss being able to bury my fingers in her fur. I miss taking her for long walks on the stretch of dirt road that ran alongside the fence in Jwaneng.

Then… I miss dancing on tables at the Union in Grahamstown, miss nights packed on a small dance floor at Friar’s, crappy vodka and R2 glasses of box wine. I miss Mr Brightside and L and long hours spent drinking bad coffee and solving the world’s problems in her res room. I miss being told off for talking through my windows, miss pre-drinks and 100s club, watching rugby games in the bitter cold, puddle-jumping and BP runs and Friends marathons. I miss being young, silly. I grew up to quickly, somewhere.

I miss my Dinky car, I miss my Gran, I miss him, I miss the feeling that I could achieve whatever I wanted. I miss having a real family, I miss not having to be the pillar in the middle, I miss being able to write volumes of bad poetry and not care.

I miss the person I used to be. I’m just getting to know this new girl. I haven’t quite decided if I like her or not.

* And now we’re caught up. 

Day Twenty-Four (Oh, all right) – #30DayBlogChallenge

Day Twenty-Four: What’s in your purse?

By “purse” here I’m going to start with the way we use the word here in South Africa – and then move on to my handbag – and then we have all our bases covered.

Firstly:

Purse

It's brown, and my brother bought it for my birthday last year.

In that one is my bank card, my credit card (which I loathe), an old bank card (which I keep meaning to get rid of but always forget), my medical aid card, driver’s license, blood donor ID card, various points-based store cards (I don’t believe in clothing accounts and things), a R20 note, some spare coins, till slips and a Korean coin, gifted to me by L.

Handbag

My handbag. I bought it for myself. It cost more than I'd planned to spend and I felt guilty for ages. I love it.

In my handbag I have my purse (see above), my make-up bag, a notebook, a pen, my poor tangled earphones, my 3D glasses (I always carry a pair. I watch a lot of movies, these guys come in really handy). There’s also a bottle of headache pills, some anti-nausea pills, lip-balm and my external harddrive. It goes (mostly) everywhere with me.