Take it and leave it

After a hellish few weeks – some of the most stressful that I can remember – I finally managed to sneak in a teeny bit of leave. And I say a teeny bit, because I ended up working a ton around it (yes, I know, I’m an overachiever. you can shout at me later. I almost didn’t take the leave at all – I compromised and took less than I should have.)

Also over the last two weeks in particular, I’ve felt my handle on myself slipping. Nothing dramatic – I just needed to remind myself that gosh darnit, I am awesome. And I needed to hear it from myself, and not from anyone else. You know how it goes. (I’ll stop rambling soon, I promise.)

So I set myself some targets for this week. I had some gift vouchers for a manicure and a facial that I needed to use, so there was that. I wanted to take a trip out of Cape Town – within driving distance, on my own, to go exploring. I wanted to go to a yoga class. I wanted to go to a coffee shop and have a coffee on my own and try not to care. I tried to check my Whatsapp only 15 times a day instead of 50. My email embargo flew out the window, alas. But I tried.

But I did all of this and a decent amount more, I reckon. Who needs Eat Pray Love? I did my own version. With jellybeans, mild road rage and the most kick-ass floral pants. Girl needs her floral pants.

On Tuesday, after rushing into work for a bit, I finally managed to get into my car to head off on my travels. I left later in the day than I had wanted, so I had to cut my trip short. Below, essential solo travel supplies: Jellybeans, neon glasses and kickass floral pants. R50 from Cotton On. Best. Sale. Buy. Everrr.

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Decided to explore Cape Point And Surrounds. The game became this: Whenever you see a little brown touristy sign, go forth and explore. If it was free. Because I forgot to draw cash.

But first photo stop… Just outside Simon’s Town (Missed the Naval Museum, Boulders cost R45. Damnit, I wanted to see some penguins!)

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Should’ve brought a hair tie… Though I kinda like how crazy and wind-whipped my hair is here.

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Scarborough beach. Dodgiest public bathrooms ever (not pictured) and what I’m sure was a drug deal in one of the cars (also not pictured). Pictured: Beach.

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Beachy toes and kickass pants.

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I don’t do selfies very often, as you may have guessed.

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Lighthouse near Kommetjie was closed for maintenance. Laaaaame.

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Also not pictured were the troupe of baboons I came across near Cape Point (R90 entrance! Fuck me!), the ostrich farm (ostriches terrify me), Die Kom, Misty Cliffs and the random Rastafarian on Ou Kaapse Weg.

*Edit: Was asked about the road rage. Truck going pretty much going -15km/h up Ou Kaapse Weg. I never claimed to be patient.

Heading home.

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Hardly an epic journey, but it was good for the soul. Good music, pure and total alone time, and around three hours on the road.

I also went to my first ever Bikram yoga class (totally not pictured). I’ve done Vinyasa before, but not for a long while, so there were a few severe learning curves again. I didn’t throw up, and almost only fainted once. Success!

Then, today, I ticked off the facial (my poor skin, so many extractions!), the manicure and the coffee shop. (Note slightly smudged nail and chocolate cookie of deliciousness from the coffee shop. Worst nail polish ever, jeez. Took three hours to dry).

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Also signed on for my sixth and final (sniff) egg donation with the wonderful, inspiring women at Nurture. There will be a decent long post once I’ve nailed down some of the details. But for now, I rest. ‘Cause life, from tomorrow, is going to get wild.

Who needs sleep, anyway?

“Goodbyes are few enough, and we take them where we can”

This line – this entire piece, which is Neil Gaiman’s tribute to Iain Banks on The Guardian – hit me so hard that it actually, physically took my breath away.

Not because I’m a fan of Banks – I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read one of his novels. I only read the piece because Gaiman rocks my socks off these days. Anyway. It speaks of loss – unexpected loss, although I believe truly all loss is “unexpected” – in a way that really resonated with me.

This passage, in particular:

And then, a week later, with no warning, my friend Bob Morales died, and I was upset that I hadn’t replied to Bob’s last email, from a week or so before. So I replied to Bob’s last email, although I knew he’d never read it. And then I wrote to Iain. I told him how much I’d loved knowing him, how much I’d enjoyed being his friend, even if we only saw each other in the flesh every few years.

Followed shortly by:

And he wrote back and said good, comforting, sensible things. Goodbyes are few enough, and we take them where we can.

*Emotional rant warning: Leave if you’re not good with this sort of thing*

I never got a chance to say a proper goodbye to my father. He pretty much went from Real Dad > Coma Dad in the space of roughly 10 minutes, while I was in res at University, and then from Coma Dad > Dead Dad in the space of 14 months.

And as much as you can talk to Coma Dads, unlike in the movies, they don’t wake up if you ask them to squeeze your hand if they can hear you. And they definitely don’t talk back.

One of my life’s biggest regrets – as stupid as it is, is the fact that I cut short that holiday at home – the very last holiday I would have with my father – for the first time ever, in favour of going to visit a friend in the Eastern Cape.  My next holiday, I was doing a work experience in Cape Town, so I couldn’t have gone home. I know that I couldn’t have known what would have happened. I get all that.

But I thought we would have more time. Years and years more. He was 49 when he had his stroke.

(As a result of this, I have the biggest fear of abandonment/loss/change. But that’s not the point of this column.)

You know, I thought I had a point to all of this. Perhaps it is this: Reply to the email, even if it is a one-liner. Tell people that you love them (God knows I should practice what I preach here, I’m pretty much physically incapable of saying the L-word, even when sober). Hug your friends and mean it.

And fuckit, forgive yourself when something awful happens and you didn’t do all those things, or say goodbye in the way you wanted to.

The day I said goodbye to my father was two months before he died. It was the way I wanted to say goodbye, the way I needed to say goodbye at that particular time, but the movie fan in me kept on hoping his eyelids would flutter open, he would see me, actually see me and he would say my name.

Goodbyes are few enough, and we take them where we can.

Making a comeback… Kinda

I had been in a much better space, when I decided to make my blog comeback a few days ago. I thought I had things (read: my emotions) under control. Thought I’d sorted out a few personal issues. I hadn’t. All it takes is one rogue Facebook activity. So there you go. Feelings, hey. Not for sissies.

Anyway, mercifully I had sort of pre-planned this blog post, so I don’t need to channel too much mental energy into this. Wow, I’m depressing myself even. Enough of this. Pretty pictures.

So my mom moved to Cape Town. Like, for reals. Then I took her to the Bon Jovi concert at the Cape Town Stadium, which was surprisingly fun – even though it was two-and-a-half-hours of Bon Jovi.

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Then, Bryony and I had our hair did by a ghd stylist one random Friday afternoon. It was fun, it looked awesome, but heck, I do not have that amount of time and patience to spend on my hair on a regular basis. Sheeesh.

Edit: My stylist Jennifer may be the most fascinating person I’ve met in a long while. She styles hair as a creative outlet, but she also studied criminology and sociology and regularly lectures on the subjects. She’s also passionate about facilitating reconciliations between victims of crime and the perpetrators by sitting them down and allowing them to ask questions of the prisoner. Utterly fascinating stuff.

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I spent a very inspiring day at NetProphet as well. Although it wasn’t necessarily directly related to my job and line of work, it was still quite fascinating and very inspiring to have a listen to what people are doing with digital start-ups and entrepreneurship in Africa. (And the world.) It’s also made me realise that I’m stuck in a bit of a rut, so there you go.

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Then, the wonderful Timmy and Xanthe finally had their engagement party – with a silly hats theme. And man alive, do I love any excuse to dress up! So I made my hat below. Feather courtesy of The Chaeli Campaign run I did a few months back 🙂

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The party was held at Timmy’s beach cottage in Smits. There was wine, potjie, more wine, delicious food, more wine, some port, a lot of champagne and more food.

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We got drunk and took a selfie on the beach with my phone. Which takes a lot of co-ordination, don’t ya know. Also, have I mentioned I’M A BRIDESMAID???

Yep, I’m one of TWO bridesmaids. We’ve been promised no ugly dresses, so there you go. I cannot freaking wait. Below is the gorgeous bride-to-be, in a hot black wig and a pink fascinator that took a swim in the ocean and I had to go rescue.

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Random dinner at Timmy and Xanthe’s… I was put in charge of mixing the Mint Julep. It was extremely medicinal.

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Hail! That looked like snow! In Cape Town! That is all! Just lots of exclamation marks! This is my street.

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The story of Brobeans

Also, the night before this we rescued an extraordinarily drunk (possibly drugged) random that was dumped outside my house by a possibly deranged taxi driver. When I say dumped, I mean dumped. Drunk dude (christened by my brother as “Brobeans”) even cracked his head on the pavement. He managed to crawl to my garage before the security guard from the hotel across the road charged out to stop someone robbing him and flagged my mom down off the balcony. She managed to rattle up a woman in our building who works with the neighbourhood watch, and between us and George the security guard we managed to get Brobeans out of the rain and into our lobby, where he threw up everywhere.

We managed to get Brobeans to unlock his phone (he couldn’t talk or walk, but thank fuck he knew his pin code) and started dialling random numbers, before finding a friend of his who promised to send someone to pick up Brobeans. Said friends were utterly marvellous -they said in ten years of knowing him they had never seen him like that, and ended up carting poor Brobeans to the Medi-Clinic where they put him on a drip.

That was not the end of Brobeans, though. The dude turned up on our doorstep on Monday morning (after sending the sweetest text to apologise, even though he didn’t need to – we were just so relieved he was okay) with gifts for all three of us ladies in the block, plus George. Warmed the cockles of my usually frosty heart, I’m telling you.

And now, a little something from the blogger. I found this mini questionnaire, thought it would be fun as a little welcome-home-gift to myself. Questions and answers below, obvs.

Year I started my blog: This particular blog (there have been others) kicked off in January 2011.

My first post was called “It’s That Time of Year Again” – and it was a reaction piece to the Academy Awards nominations that year. I had such lofty ideals.

My day job: I’m the Entertainment Editor for iafrica.com and the Social Media Manager for Primedia Online. All the same company – just two portfolios, really.

My favorite post is probably one of my egg donation ones – called “D-Day”, although I love most of them in that category, particularly “On Egg Donation Number Five“. I also kinda love “Cinema Etiquette“.

The celebrity I want to read my blog: Like “celebrity celebrity”, probably Jennifer Lawrence (I’d just have to delete this post first). Or Lena Dunham. Blogger celebrity, Allie Brosh, obviously. Movie celebrity, Joss Whedon. Writer celebrity, well… That’s a long list, how much time do you have?

Best reader comment Probably a comment from a woman who had conceived via egg donation. She didn’t say too much, but I shed a little tear over my keyboard.

Other blogs I read: So many blogs, so let’s keep it local (and two internationals that I read religiously). Indieberries, Raising Men, Midlands Musings, So Close and Hurricane Vanessa are the local ones that I pretty much check into daily.

Internationally, my absolute favourite is Hyperbole and a Half (Allie Brosh is my spirit animal) and Enjoying the Small Things.

Punk’s not dead – though you did try to kill it. The 2013 Met Gala

I’m in a silly, judgy mood tonight. Therefore, I shall resort to silly, judgy things like judging celebrities.

First up… Sarah Jessica Parker. Just, she’s trying so hard that it’s kinda exhausting to look at. From the (admittedly pretty fun) mohawk-inspired Philip Treacy headdress to the very busy, heavy dress (she really does favour the tapestry, does old SJP) right past her lacy knickers (yeah, we can see ’em) and those tartan LV boots. Well. I need to go lie down somewhere.

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Don’t tell anyone, but I really like (most) of Sienna Miller’s jacket. Look, the studs on the sleeves are a bit much. But it’s pretty hot. In a don’t-fuck-with-me-or-I’ll-cut-you-bitch kinda way.

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Speaking of don’t-fuck-with-me-or-I’ll-cut-you couture, Madonna. Just, actually. She’s becoming a bit of a parody of herself, really. But, my god, I wish I had her confidence. And her shoes.

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Look, Stella McCartney tea cosy aside (although secretly I kinda like it), Kristen Stewart looks fierce. Love her make-up. And her hair. And her figure. Please can I have her figure?

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BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Look, I know Kim Kardashian is pregnant. I’m not laughing at her because she’s pregnant. I’m laughing at her because she’s wearing somebody’s fucking dining room curtains… And cut out gloves to match.

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Speaking of people starting to look like parodies of themselves… I’m pretty sure this crown was on the cover of one of Katy Perry’s albums. It’s just… she’s trying so hard. Still, I’d love to go on a night on the town with her. She’s probably a blast. I mean, she’s wearing a crown.

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After some AMAZING looks for a couple Great Gatsby events, Florence McFrumpypants has returned. Last year she wore an Alexander McQueen (I think it was) lampshade. This year, it’s bag lady chic. It’s okay, Florence. I still love you.

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Phwoar. Emma Watson is ridiculously, ridiculously sexy in this gown. Her stomach? I mean, I’d go gay for this girl. (Heck, I’m halfway there already).

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Feathers. Sequins. Sheer lace. Sideboob. Anne Hathaway is exhaustingly edgy in this Valentino. And yet, still looks pretty amazing. And I’m digging on her peroxided hair here.

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Oh, Ashley Greene! You have one of the most rocking bodies in the universe, and you wore a couch you acquired from Marchesa? For shame, Ashley. For shame.

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No, Beyonce. Just no. What the actual fuck are those boots? (I think someone watched Hunger Games recently, actually. This screams “Girl on Fire”)

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tuesday’s trailers – thor: the dark world; r.i.p.d

So we’re trying something a little different here, chez Rabbit Hole. I’ve been looking for other ways to express my love of film, outside of work and spamming my Facebook friends and Twitter followers (love you all!) so I’m going to try to incorporate at least one (maybe two) film related posts a week into my blog. This is also good because it means I’ll have something structured to write about.

Don’t worry, though, there will still be more random confessions of a twentysomething here too. (In fact, remind me to have a rant over the whole “Can-you-be-friends-with-your-ex” thing at some point. Sheesh).

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Anyway, to kick things off, here’s this Tuesday’s trailer… For THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Which totally warrants the shouty capitals because it looks awesome.

It’s pretty self-explanatory: A sequel to Thor/The Avengers, with Natalie Portman back as Jane Foster and Chris Hemsworth looking unruffled as usual as Thor.

A stolen synopsis reckons: “In the aftermath of The Avengers, Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.”

My most fun comment on the trailer – which is epic, and I’m very excited – relates to Loki. Particularly, the Tom Hiddleston fangirls who are freaking out about how sexy he looks. Look, I think he’s cute enough… But really, in the ten seconds we see him, he looks very unwell. I’m sure he’ll clean up nicely, but y’all need to rein it in until then. It’s a little creepy.

And then… the next trailer broke here in SA on Friday morning, so it’s a little stale. But you can just deal.

It’s R.I.P.D, starring Ryan Reynolds (he needs to do something great, quick, before he gets too stale) and Jeff Bridges, aka The Dude.

From IMDb: “A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him.”

Looks like it wants to be Men In Black. And you know what, that’s okay. Just please don’t suck too hard.

Enjoy.

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Where does the time go? Here I am, it’s two-thirds of the way through April, and I just feel as though time has disappeared. Again. And it scares me. Like, I’m 26 now. 26. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is still young. But I’m actually old. And all the things I thought I’d do and the kinda person I thought I would be at 26 when I was 16… Well, I’m not. And that makes me sad. Just call it my quarter-life crisis and be done with it.

Anyway, so I got my hair did…

Before…

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After…

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I had a birthday party…

(This is probably my favourite photo of all time)

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(1x table photo)

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And some of us went to go watch Desmond and the Tutus (and got very drunk, and burned our calf on a motorbike exhaust)

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Birthday presents!

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And, because this post has been rather dull, here’s 26-year-old me indulging in some jazz hands for work photos.

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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.