18 March 2018

On new things and travel plans

There has been great excitement in our household this week, for several reasons. Firstly, the husband started working on Monday, in a real job at a real company with a real salary.

This is important for so many reasons. Of course, the money is going to help tremendously. It will remove the pressure from me, as we can now easily afford not only paying for university, but also to save up money to travel and attend festivals and concerts and feed our hobbies. But, almost more importantly, it means the husband will feel like a productive human being again and get out and about. As glamourous as executive house husband sounds, I know it has also been a frustrating year for him at home with not much to do other than clean house and play games. For his own sanity and sense of self-worth, I am grateful this has come along.

Unfortunately, the husband’s bicycle was stolen at the station on Monday while he was at work, which did put a bit of a down spin on the mood in the house, but we quickly ordered him a replacement bicycle (thank you Amazon) and by Friday, he was independently mobile again Smile

I also discovered this week that I have been putting away £50 a month into a savings benefit through work since I joined the team here in the UK, and it had accumulated into quite a nice little bundle. And, instead of being a fiscally responsible human and just leaving it alone, I decided to spend a chunk of it on a new Xbox One X for the house. In reality, what this has meant is that the husband, who plays predominantly in the sitting room, has been upgraded to the Xbox One X, and our original Xbox One that was there has moved up into the bedroom to replace my Xbox 360. The new beast arrived yesterday afternoon, so we are both grateful for the snowy weather outside forcing us indoors to play with new toys.

We have been looking at concerts and festivals this year, and have so far decided on seeing Epica in April, Ensiferum and Ex Deo in May and Powerwolf in November. These I will attend with the husband.

The kid and I are also looking at attending one day of Lollapalooza Paris this year. Neither of us have been to Paris before, and so we have decided to make a bit of a trip of this. As an art student, the kid is very interested in seeing the Louvre, and I really just want to go take a picture of the Eiffel Tower and have a pastry walking along the Seine. We are, of course, very aware of the fact that this is quite a thing, being able to plan a week-end away in Paris. It is certainly not something that was part of our world two years ago, and is one of the main reasons we chose the UK over Australia, New Zealand and the US for our new home country.

We are also planning a visit to South Africa later this year for my mother’s birthday. I am looking forward to seeing my mother again, as well as a few friends we have left behind.

As I mentioned, it is a little snowy outside again, which is simply glorious and beautiful to look at. This is a picture taken from our front door this morning:


11 March 2018

On doing nothing and procrastination

Today is Mother’s day in the UK, which means I get to do even less today than I normally do on a Sunday Smile

Sometimes, doing nothing is very hard work. You have to keep yourself from doing something active, which means you need to find things that you can do passively. This often involves consuming visual media (movies and TV Shows), but even that can’t always keep me from doing things. I mean, I am sitting here with my laptop open writing a blog post, aren’t I?

I have been dreaming recently about building a bed and breakfast establishment that is also a library. I think I may just want to live in a library. I have also been thinking a lot about writing again. I have the need to finish one or two of the novels in progress, and really get someone other than me to read it. But the power of procrastination has been very strong recently, even stronger than my inability to do nothing, and so I am stuck in this place where I don’t want to do nothing, but I also cannot bring myself to do the things I really want to do.

But, since I have scheduled these regular blog writing sessions, I am getting more into a good mind space around writing and creating a welcoming space for the words. If I can sustain this for a few more months I will be able to schedule regular writing time for fictions. In the mean time, I will keep filling up the well.

I travelled to Leicester again this week, where the world was wrapped in fog for a day. This picture was taken outside the hotel I stayed at, and is an actual Pokestop, because I am a nerd and two years behind the rest of the world.


4 March 2018

On Snow and other Marvels

I have been avoiding the news for the past week again, because I am feeling a bit of outrage fatigue again. But, if unless you have been living under a rock, you may have noticed that the UK had a little snow storm this week.

I was lucky enough to be working with a customer in London on Tuesday when the snow started, and found myself constantly distracted. Growing up in the Southern Hemisphere, my exposure to the white stuff has been very limited, and I have never really experienced a full blown snow storm.


We woke up on Wednesday morning to a scene from Narnia.


I travelled up north for a customer visit on Wednesday evening, much against advice from others and common sense. And while I was a little worried about being stranded in the middle of nowhere, I really enjoyed the adventure of travelling against the odds. The journey felt like one of those going home for x holiday movies, and I did provide me with the opportunity to take some more great photos Smile


By Friday, it had been snowing for a few days and our housing estate was an absolute wonderland with enough snow for a little snowball fight.


We really enjoyed playing the snow, but were grateful when the snow stopped falling and melted away by Saturday afternoon. It has been a great distraction from everything else at the right time for me.

I’ve made a point of watching each of the Marvel movies in the cinemas as they were released, but unfortunately missed Thor: Ragnarok last year. Which is a pity, because it was directed by one of my favourites, Taika Waititi, who was responsible for one of my favourite movies, What We Do in the Shadows (if you haven’t watched it yet, what’re you waiting for – it is absolute gold!).

The latest installment in the Thor series was nothing short of magnificent. I loved the relationship between Thor and Hulk, and all the Loki karma. And well, Jeff Goldblum.

We’ve also been working our way through Marvel: Agents of SHIELD recently, as I discovered we can watch it on Amazon, and it has been really good to get immersed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially with Avengers: Infinity Wars just around the corner. And it has really cemented me as a Marvel fangirl.

25 February 2018

On revolutions

“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

There is a revolution happening. An awakening of sorts, and our young people appear to have decided that they have had enough of the bullshit passed down to them by older generations. And I am so proud of this young generation, standing up to those who believe the youth should blindly follow them simply because they are older. A revolution is starting, and it will bring about much needed change.

This revolution has really become visible after last week’s school shooting, and young people like Emma Gonzales has risen up and made their voices heard in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time. I am so proud of them, and so excited for the future because of them. It feels like there is hope again.

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
― Joe Klaas, Twelve Steps to Happiness

We finally got round to watching Black Panther last night, and I am so happy that the movie was made. While it is first and foremost a comic book movie and an origin story for a super hero, it also told a story that is incredibly relevant at this time.

In a time where racial tensions are running high and are being fueled by political leaders, a story with strong POC characters that defy stereotypes is incredibly important. And the movie not only provides strong POC characters, but also strong female characters that are well written and simply fabulous. And I can only hope that Princess Shuri can be a rolemodel to girls of all colours to attract more girls into STEM.

18 February 2018

On Anger, Change and moments

“Granny Weatherwax was often angry. She considered it one of her strong points. Genuine anger was one of the world's greatest creative forces. But you had to learn how to control it. That didn't mean you let it trickle away. It meant you dammed it, carefully, let it develop a working head, let it drown whole valleys of the mind and then, just when the whole structure was about to collapse, opened a tiny pipeline at the base and let the iron-hard stream of wrath power the turbines of revenge.”

― Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters

I have always been angry, in varying degrees. As a teenager, I was a ball of undirected anger that rebelled against pretty much anything I could without even thinking. And, while the anger is still there like a warm comforting ball in my stomach, I have managed to tame it a little, and use it, much like Granny Weatherwax and her creator, the great Pterry. Recently, I have been angry about politics again, especially US politics. And I have not been sure why a South African expat living in the UK would be so angry about US politics…

When learning about the Nazi regime in Germany, the question is often how did it happen? Surely not all Germans were complicit? Surely not all Germans believed in the concentration camps, and death camps? And we must remember that it didn’t start with death camps and firing squads. It started with right wing rhetoric and little liberties removed. And as much as we, as a human race, say never again, we are watching the same shit unfold in the US.

And the rising violence in the US is scaring me and making me angry at the same time. School shootings are a particular horror that I am not sure how to deal with. One of the reasons we left our home country behind was to try and give our child a safer, better future, but I never ever had to worry about my child having to face that kind of ordeal at school. No parent should ever have to face that fear or bury their child because of senseless violence. I do not want to imagine what it much be like to be a parent in the US, and my heart aches for every parent that has had to deal with this loss.

And there have been a lot of them. There have been 7 school shootings and 18 gun-related incidents at schools this year alone and it is only mid-February. And yet politicians make statements like guns are not the problem, and some even recommend putting more guns into schools by having armed security guards on school grounds. As if more guns will solve the problem of gun violence. But are we surprised, considering Cruella DeVille is the Secretary of Education. Her who won’t create safe spaces for transgendered students. or any students, really, for that matter.

A friend on Facebook shared this slam poetry video, and I thought it was really appropriate to share again now, as he is far more eloquent on this topic and says everything I want to say but cannot get out in a coherent sentence because of the anger and fear wrapped so tightly around my heart.

South African map with flag  of South africaIn other news, Jacob Zuma left office in South Africa this week, much against his own will but the country will be better off without him in the driving seat. I have always had some concerns about Cyril Ramaphosa, but I do believe that his background in both trade union work and as a successful business person makes him a far better candidate than the man who sold out our beautiful country. The king is dead, long live the king.

I spent most of this week away from home travelling to customers, visiting first Knutsford and then Leeds. While it is always hard being away from my family, I do enjoy the opportunities to see different parts of the country (and the world) and capturing moments with my camera.


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