Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We had a lovely celebration this weekend; dearest M turned 60, and what a party it was!
Walking along the cliff path to the venue in town; The Barefoot Cook - the food was simply delicious, so if you ever land up in Hermanus, be sure to give them a visit; roses and wine; PianoBen  provided great music; I am allowed to reveal that the party girl wore a pink rocker belt; sunflowers and candles in the fountain; golly, those girls can dance!; a surprise visit from a bagpipe player to celebrate the birthday girl's roots; weaving our way back to the guesthouse after many glasses of wine and champagne, we encountered a school band playing big band jazz, a suitable way to end a fantastic afternoon!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Practice makes perfect

I have forgotten everything I learnt in the embroidery workshop I attended last year! So I borrowed a book on basic embroidery stitches from the library and practised last night.
Okay, it is far from perfect, I know, but I'll practise some more, okay? I think I like cross-stitch and backstitch best.

This weekend I will be going to Hermanus again - this time to celebrate the 60th birthday of a dear friend. (And Snous will be having her second sleepover.) Have a great weekend, everyone - be good!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Acquisitions #16

I read a LOT of books. Most of the books I buy are second-hand, and I won't post them as new acquisitions - there are simply too many! But I have decided that I will post all new books that I buy.

I have been interested in Emily Dickinson for a long time - this biography by Lyndall Gordon (originally from South Africa) focuses on the feud that developed in the family as a result of the relationship between Dickinson's marrried brother, Austin, and Mrs Mabel Todd.
The second book is by Damon Galgut, also a South African - it is his second book to be nominated for the Booker prize.
My next editing project has been postponed, seemingly indefinitely ...  I am not sure if I should cry (probably - financially speaking) or yodel with ecstatic happiness (definitely - I could do without the stress and aggravation which accompanied the last project). The South African education system is in turmoil yet again - with most text book projects being canned or postponed by publishers until they have more clarity from the Department of Education on exactly what will be happening.
So I am looking forward to having lots of time to catch up on my reading!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What to do while you are waiting ...

While you are waiting for the courier to drop off those important documents for which you had
* begged and pleaded with several people (that you would normally not spend the time of day with), and this with humility and appropriate acknowledgement of the enormous power they wield over you
* knocked your head to a bloody mess against brick walls (called helpdesks)
* battled windmills of various sizes and degrees of ferocity and stupidity
* tossed & turned at 2 am, and at 3 am, and at 4 am ...
* sent faxes ad nauseam
* spent hours on the phone
* succumbed to embarrassing & demeaning crying fits

for a period of three weeks ... and now, yes now, while you are waiting with a faint glimmer of hope for the courier to arrive, this is something to do:

* find an old paperback
* tear out the pages - rip, rip, rip - feeling better already, aren't  you?
* roll lots of rolls like these, using a little glue to secure

* take a needle and strong thread and stab it through the top ends of the rolls - stab, stab, stab - and again  through the bottom ends to make a kind of rectangular mat
* tie together the ends of the threads to make a circular cylinder
* put over an ugly plant pot
* hope for the best

Dear friends, have a lovely weekend. And hope for the best. xxx Anairam

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Full moon rising.

Three (interesting, but disappointingly short) articles I read this week:
Who designed our universe? (My personal opinion is that it is geeky teenager in another part of the multiverse, playing around in the school lab. Soon he will be off to the canteen for a smoothie and we will be goners.)
Four good study habits (and some myths debunked).
And finally, following all these hyperlinks ain't good for you! (But you already knew that, didn't you?)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Face the future

Oh dear, I hope this one is not too depressing. I recently watched a Dutch film called Vroeger is Dood which is based on the book by Inez van Dullemen. It reminded me of this journal page which I made a few months ago. The journal page is a little less dark than the film though, I hope ...
Perhaps I was reminded of the film and journal page today because it is my mom's birthday, She would have been 87.
I guess at some or other stage we all have to face the future.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Acquisitions #15

I like articles made of wood. And I like handmade stuff - especially when I can meet the artisan and chat about his or her product. I bought two bread/cheese boards at the Longbeach market a while ago.

I also bought this small vase made of pear wood. I would use it for a stem of dried grass or seeds or a tiny branch. I love it that he left the knot (bottom left) unworked.

Happy weekend everyone! Visit a market and buy something handmade!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bright spark

I saw this amazing cloud while travelling to Baardskeerdersbos last weekend. The sun was behind it and it looked like a sparkler - with the edges of the cloud serrated in a most peculiar manner. It didn't come out quite right in the photograph; it was taken from the moving car, and the trees kind of got in the way ...

For the past year I have been trying to read two or three interesting articles a week - to keep the old brain going. Man cannot live by novels alone. I have decided to post links to these every now and then - more as an archive for myself, although of course you are welcome to follow the links and read the articles yourself. My idea was to gather all these interesting little titbits and nonchalantly drop them into conversations, impressing people with my amazing knowledge and insights. Only, I forget what I've read after a day or two, and I have no conversations. With people, I mean. With Snous I talk plenty.
On eating local food. An alternative viewpoint.
On language: How did it evolve?
On language: How it shapes your thinking.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A salad for spring

Gosh, when did I last post about a salad? As many of you (and with that I mean one or two of my three readers!) know, I eat a salad for lunch every day (for example here and here and here and here). They are usually a variation on the same theme: something green, something fruity, something cheesy, something nutty, something for colour, with an interesting dressing added. This one was particularly inspired, I thought.

Mange tout, stirfried in a little olive oil with whatever fresh herbs you have available - I added a bit of thyme and a few leaves of origanum. Use this as the base of your salad, then add slices of pear, some baby tomatoes (for colour) and feta. I finished it off with a salad dressing made of leftover basil pesto, olive oil and lemon juice, with a dash of sea salt and ground black pepper. I shake up all my salad dressing ingredients in a jam jar with a screw top, Jamie Oliver-style. The salad needed nuts, but unfortunately I had none. Some toasted pine nuts would have rounded it off nicely, I think.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Acquisitions #14

I have coveted garden furniture from hope for a long time. Their tables, chairs and garden benches are all handmade locally, using timber grown and milled in Knysna. A few weeks ago I bought a square table, just big enough for two people to have lunch, and two scandinavian-style chairs for our patio. I can't wait for summer!

Happy weekend, everyone! Be outdoors! (We will be going to Baardskeerdersbos to attend the opening of my brother and his wife's new coffeeshop/gallery. Snous will be having her first sleepover as she can't go along. Oh dear, I just know there are going to be tears .... mine!!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Acquisitions #13

I don't usually put food on my list of new acquisitions, but this is an experiment. I am no gardener, but I would love to grow my own food. At least some of it. So I bought some lettuce plants, coriander and basil - I hope to soon be making my salads fresh from my garden!

It will be interesting to see if they survive the fresh sea breeze here. And more importantly,  the stormwinds! And did I mention the army of snails that has made my garden its operational headquarters?