Friday, November 11, 2011

currently obsessed with

This cover. Amazing how not having Cyndi Lauper’s voice makes it kind of heart-wrenchingly sad. In a totally awesome way of course.

this dress pattern. I’ve wanted something 50s-ish for AGES and I found patterns and now sewing machine is dead and I am sad. And aware that even if I made it it would probably be a disaster (my sewing was tremendous fun but also mild panic as I tried to keep up with my mini-machine, not get my finger sewn through and avoid its enthusiastic bouncing sending it into my lap).

Painted shoes! My Docs are still too shiny and look like school shoes so I am really keen to sand them down and paint them. There are also a bunch of awesome techniques for buying ugly heels and painting them with awesome patterns. I wish I was artistic AND brave. Anyone keen to spend a weekend making a mess?

Sleep. I’m not getting much these days. I seem to alternate between 6 hours of solid sleep one night and about 2 hours of broken sleep the next. I made coffee this morning and forgot to boil the kettle. It’s starting to get to me.

And of course, late night productivity spurts. Last night was insane! I think I did a week’s work in 4 hours.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


This is way overdue. I blame swopping computers and not having the one with photos and an internet connection at the same time for a while.

Namibia was amazing and incredible and beautiful and unbelievably stressful. Being stuck in a confined space with my mother for 10 days was not easy. I have a lot of respect for her, but we are just too different and just don’t get along.

Getting to know my grandmother as an adult rather than grandbaby was interesting too. She certainly is incredible for someone nearly at 90.

It was also an opportunity for me to observe two very different women and how they do things: my mother with her ‘take-it-or-leave it’, straight out attitude, and my grandmother who is soft and gentle and ladylike (very much a girl of the 1920s/30s). While I am neither of them, it was like watching an excerpt of ‘how to win friends and influence people’ as I could see what they did and how people around them responded.

I was planning on writing about Namibia in detail but I am rushed with work and I can’t quite get my head around the amazing expanses of nothing and the extreme beauty of the place so I will leave you with some pictures instead.

IMG_3199 IMG_3208 IMG_3341 IMG_3370 IMG_3389 IMG_3391

IMG_2751 IMG_2784 IMG_2803 IMG_2822 IMG_2825 IMG_2853 IMG_2857  IMG_2865 IMG_2880 IMG_2963  IMG_2991

IMG_3096 IMG_3118 IMG_3126


IMG_3056 IMG_3059 IMG_3065

Thursday, November 03, 2011


I have been shouted at for ignoring the blog, and I do love the blog, it’s just that I have a thesis to finish I hit 80% of draft on Tuesday, helped by a giant lot of personal-life stress that make me insanely productive.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m not sure how long or how far or how much sacrifice it will take me to get there.

In the meantime I’ve found love and kindness and encouragement and support in a lot of places. Last week was the first crisis that didn’t make me want to go to the lab. I feel like I’ve lost and gained immeasurably. Is that even English?

I deactivated my facebook account. then I reactivated it because I was tired of explaining to people that I wasn’t getting messages. I’m not seeing myself installing the app again though. And I don’t get notifications because I turned them off. So I might as well deactivate. but then that takes effort. So yes. No. Who knows?

I starting sewing and LOVED it, only to be terrified by the depressive tailspin when the machine broke (it was a pocket-sized adorable little machine but apparently being dropped a few times wasn’t good for it). I found myself with an urge to paint shoes last week. I think the relief of doing SOMETHING creative with obvious progress-markers was slightly addictive.

Anyway the salt-mines are calling.

How’ve you been?

Monday, September 19, 2011


My grandmother has the most impressive memory EVER! She has spent the last two days telling stories non-stop. I have custody of my dad's video camera in the back seat and occasionally I record some but mostly I just listen.It's kinda scary just how little I actually knew of my own family history!

Anyway, today we hung out in Windhoek, visited my granny's primary school (for the record, I loved it and if I ever have kids they're getting shipped straight over the border to a place that has hiking on the curriculum), did some museum-ing and found soup for lunch between going to see my great-grandmother's grave (she died very suddenly in 1945) and then settling down for tea and cake at a castle.

Things I have learned:

  • Well an entire family history in great detail. I knew vague details but coming back here has kicked my grandmother into memory lane and she hasn't even begin to run out of steam. For an 88-year-old she remembers details, names, stories, relationships between random people, the colours of the flowers on the mantelpiece.... EVERYTHING. 
  • That my grandmother who has always been incredibly neat and tidy and gentle and conservative etc etc can giggle like a little kid when telling stories of childhood mischief. 
  • There was childhood mischief. Who knew/
  • Windhoek is really pretty. There are flowers everywhere, it is clean and well maintained, the people have AWESOME accents and call everything 'beautiful'
  • There is free wifi all over the place. 
  • It is really expensive, I think the big European tourist industry has pushed the pricing up. For a simple pub-style meal (something that would be R40-R50 in Joburg) you can expect to pay at least N$70-80
  • Namibian currency is... well to be honest I don't have any. 1R=1N$ and they accept south african money. Just make sure you get change in your own currency or you'll be stuck with something you can't spend.
  • The girls wear the most awesome skirts. I want one. Everything is light and airy because it's so flippin' hot. 
  • they have WEIRD shops
  • pretending you can speak German to get into the Lutheran gingerbread church because you think its pretty might just lead to you being stuck in the back row during a history-of-namibia lesson. which would be cool if you actually spoke German.
  • There are German tourists everywhere. You can also eat German food everywhere
  • The lizards are totally adorable!

Anyway off to the dunes tomorrow! i can't wait to see real real REAL desert! Namib here we come!

ever think...?

So I'm in namibia and I can't sleep and I have been working really
hard and am tired so I don't know why lately I'm not sleeping. Except
my mother and her vuvuzela practice during naptime but that is another

I decided today that I might have a sudden-onset-flying-phobia.

Something about the noise of being right by an engine which didn't
sound 'normal' - not to mention the logical 'I'm in several hundred
tons of metal and the cars are TOO big, why are we so close to the
groud, we should be climbing, why aren't we climbing I'M GOING TO

And the airport is outside the town so I was convinced we were going
to land on a farm.

It is strange, I always loved flying (I used to ask for turbulence as
a kid), but I think I've dealt with death too much over the last year
and I think I lost my immortality. It just sucks that there's a good
job as a trainee pilot going and I thinlk I might not be suitable

Monday, August 22, 2011


I have a draft to send in this week, and a trip to Namibia to finish planning, so no time to chat I’m afraid, in the meantime, enjoy this:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Also on my mind

so after the rant (sorry, had to get it out my system) I was thinking about Dirty Dancing.

Yes they're remaking the movie and that's ok because we will all love the old one just as much and the new one might be awesome, and if not we'll have to watch the old one to compare them. Not to mention my personal philosophy that there will never be enough dance movies around and as long as it isn't made by Disney (because high School Musical doesn't count) I'm ok with it.

And in light of what I've been thinking for a while I realised that one part of Dirty Dancing that really hit home with me was that Baby Was Right. not a new concept I'm sure, but it was to me.

Her parents picked out the perfect guy for her who came from a wealthy family and said and did all the right things. But the coming of age was her seeing past that and falling for Patrick Swayze instead, even though he was the epitome of what her parents didn't want. And what made it special was that there was no sour relationship with her family, no need to go out and prove a point, she simply reached that stage in her life where she did what she wanted to do, she went out and learned and saw and made mistakes and fixed mistakes and did what she needed to do.

So yes, a remake may be something unwanted by my generation, but those are lessons that are important, and a remake is the only way that the next batch of little girls learns to make her own decisions. An how to carry a watermelon. And not get a dodgy abortion. You know, stuff.

My anthem right now

One day this will be me!

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

something getting on my nerves right now

Yes, this is a rant, and probably too long to read, but i needed to write it.

I was reading an article the other day (do yourself a favour and read it), and this stuck out at me:

Or there's the 14-year-old who was at the movies with her friends when a man in his 20s put his arm around her shoulder and asked her to come sit with him. She said no and he went away but she was shaken. Talking it through with her friends, there were suggestions that her outfit was ''kind of sexy'' and so maybe she shouldn't dress like that any more. Others in the group thought that was unfair: her outfit was amazing and she felt great in it. She just needed to be ready for men who thought she was older or looking for a boyfriend or whatever. Together, the girls came up with a strategy: the next time she (or any of them) had an adult man crack on to her she should say - very loudly - ''I'm 14!'' and if he persisted, she would - louder still - tell him he should be ashamed of himself for trying to pick up a child.

There's no doubt the ideas behind this solution came from a thousand conversations with adults and peers and from various forms of media. When it came to the crunch, the girls were able to talk it through, support each other and come up with a strategy that acknowledged unfortunate realities while refusing to cower in the face of them. Talk about empowering.

Unfortunately, when the girl told her parents about the incident, she was banned from going to the movies with her friends. Again, an understandable impulse but the girl feels punished for fighting her own battle and will either stop doing so or - more likely - will be sure to keep future battles a secret.

Read more:
And that pretty much summed up my teenage years, even a lot of my life right now.

As a teenager I dealt with a lot of things, went to a lot of places and got up to a fairly normal amount of stuff. I still have a major issue with the fact that I had to do a considerable amount of lying in order to do the normal things that people my age were doing.

Nowadays I live with my parents and so they feel quite OK about tracking my car, having a tracker on my cellphone (which is used regularly, not just in case of emergency) and recently phoning my friends to find out where I am at 7pm because of the 'emergency' of needing to know if i would do laundry.

I have been out enough to have had a fair number of experiences that I'm sure would freak my mother out, because the world is a big ugly place and the chances are if you go out and have fun you will end up with 50-year-olds staring down your shirt or having a drink spiked or having a road-raged driver get out his car and spit in your face. It happens (all true stories).

What bothers me is that people are so busy trying to wrap their daughters in cotton-wool (and I say daughters because of the number of times I argues against unequal restrictions to hear 'but your brother is a boy so he can do more, it's not safe for a girl'

And my real point, besides the whining?

As a kid and teenager I was cotton-wooled within and inch of my life. As a young adult I am as controlled as they can manage. Guess what, it never stopped me anyway.

Can people stop trying to raise gentle delicate flowers and teach their kids to be tough and smart and have values that will stay with them long after they take control of their own safety. That little girl in the movie house was so strong and she dealt with the situation and came up with a game plan, and for that she got kept at home. Next time she will lie about where she's going and it will take things going very very wrong before she asks her parents for help.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

pretty much the most accurate thing I've ever seen.

click to enlarge, only about half of it shows here
image from here

" You know that scene in Babe where the farmer clog-dances for the pig? Sometimes I'm the sick pig and I need a farmer to cheer me up. And when things get bad, my boyfriend does dance for me, and it never fails to make me laugh. He's a pretty snappy dancer." - Shirley Manson

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More weird stuff that collects on my computer

I have a terrible right-click-save reflex. And this stuff adds up. In the spirit of not being a crazy hoarder I thought I’d share…

happy bubble drink stardust



Friday, July 22, 2011

Something that makes me happy

Driving through an intersection when the car 2 cars ahead turns left then the car in front of me turns right and I go straight. It's like driving in formation when the entourage peels away so I can lead the way into adventure.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I was reading a blog post on writing up this morning and one person said something along the lines of 'I'm listening to a lot of country music, is this normal'

Well whenever I'm depressed and working hard I turn to Josh Groban.

Is this normal?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Quiet feelings

My apologies for yesterday’s rant. I finally managed to look through it again (with my hands over my eyes and peeping between the fingers, and besides being able to explain some things (and get them Okayed) and fix some others I know that i have a LOT of work to do, but it will be Ok. Eventually.

I promised myself that (besides the family trip to Namibia) I wouldn’t go on holiday until the complete first draft was sent off. Maybe that’s why I’m thinking of very little but this:


and this:

TANiA.endless, nameless

Only several gazillion rewrites and a chunk of labwork to go.

I need to get me a hammock!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


So after waiting two months for my supervisor to bother reading a draft I got it back. And he hates it. I told P1 a while ago that the worst thing you can get back is something with almost no comments on it because it means that it’s beyond saving. I changed my mind. Worse than that is something with a solid column of red down one side which is a combination of chunks being deleted and comments such as ‘what is the point of this? why did you even do this study?’

Not to mention when he got too annoyed with doing that and started leaving comments like ‘this paragraph doesn’t fit. Delete.’ and then ‘read comments for above paragraph’

Which wouldn’t be all that bad – I mean at least I know where I’m going wrong (answer, pretty much everywhere) except that I’ve been waiting so long I actually had another draft ready to go and a third one almost there.

I’m just glad that the flu made me lazy and I didn’t get much done for the last week because I was too tire. Everything else from the last 8 weeks has just been deleted and started over.

And I pay R16000 a year for this?

If it wasn’t for the gaping 5 year hole in my CV I’d be halfway to Sweden by now. Either way I’d always expected the next time I cried myself to sleep to be over boy trouble or friend drama. I expected wrong.

Oh well. Back to work.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Not my day

So I don’t know if I mentioned this but my grandmother grew up in Namibia, and I grew up hearing her stories of various people and places and adventures along the way. When my grandpa died on Christmas day, my father and I decided that we would take her back there so she could show us the places I’ve heard so much about (my dad took my grandparents there a few years ago).

Anyway after an awesome afternoon of looking over maps together I realised that I hadn’t looked at my passport recently and I remembered going when I was 16 so… uh oh… and I checked and saw that it expires next month.

So this morning saw me trotting off to home affairs, getting horribly lost and exploring johannesburg north for an hour or so and then arriving and being whisked away by Jacob (who gave me a business card and offered to get absolutely anything done, no queues for R200). Jacob was very nice when I rejected his offer, and because I’m a student and he has a daughter studying at the moment he decided to take me under his wing anyway.

Once he’s organised photos, photocopies and forms for me he left me in the queue and I sat for an hour and a half before I got to the counter (there were only 5 people ahead of me so who knows why it was so slow). There I found out that i had misread my passport and while it does expire  in August, it’s August 2012, not next month.

Then I got back to P1’s car (mine is at panelbeaters) while on the phone, and struggling to manage all the ID book, papers, photos etc etc opened the car door right into my forehead (the corner of my door).

And then got stuck in traffic.

On the plus side my phone service provider called and promised to send me a shiny new purple phone next week! I bounced around for about an hour after the call before the headache got worse (it’s quite epic looking, I’m hoping nobody thinks I’m being beaten when they see the swelling).

on another note, i really want to do this:


and am regretting having the world’s darkest hair.

a post about elephants

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My so-called life

I would blog, but I’m facing a personal crisis right now – a situation is approaching where I am going to have to be ‘the Bigger Person’ and I really don’t want to.



Meet my little pwnie, Buttercup-the-Kickass. Made here.

Take that mr ex-stalker! Hoof to the FACE!

At least in cyber-space I can still be immature. and it feels GOOD.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I would include a cheesy quote about stars


but I don’t want to.

(Dedicated to the people who knew that before I said it)

image from

Monday, June 27, 2011

The awesomeness of discovery

So I discovered this morning that the boxing class at the gym is not actually a tae-bo style like I’ve done before. Nope. You get your punching bag and you beat it up.

Of course not knowing this I didn’t have boxing gloves (a relic from TOD) with me, but I joined in anyway and ended up a)with sore knuckles, b)exhilarated to the point of wanting to go running (I opted for a nap anyway) and c)with the trainer person insisting that I stay an extra half hour next week so he can teach me how to train in between. I may die.

Then after a long day of being victimised by someone with a vacuum cleaner (the lady who works for us is awesome, but seemingly eccentric and spent several hours vacuuming the tiles outside of the room where I was trying to work), I got changed for yoga (because you don’t spend an hour boxing and then maintain the ability to walk unless you do some heavy-duty stretching) and found that my gym shirt (it contains a shock-absorber and was my pride and joy for two days before I got bitten by the dog and couldn’t run):


for some reason finding hidden pockets in clothes is one of my favourite surprises (only ranking behind rediscovering hidden pockets and finding money I hid there)

I have a pocket and I am invincible!

this just about sums it up


picture from here

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pretty shiny prizes!

The super-awesome Nes has given me two LOVELY awards. Something about her… well IRL Nes is one of my favourite people in the whole world. I often think she’s not crazy at all – everyone else is. She’s someone who just loves the people she cares about, no matter how much they may hurt her. she’s always available when you need a shoulder to cry on, a pep talk, or just some girly gossip. She was the P1’s first cheerleader, and even co-conspirator who gave him the address to send flowers to my lab, and then called me to make sure I wasn’t freaking out when I got them.

Anway back to the shiny pink prizes:

blog prize 2 blog prize 1

They both follow pretty much the same drill: 7 random things about me and 5 awesome people to pass it on to.

Random things about me:

  1. I have had a mild obsession with Bon Jovi since I was ten, and ever since the rumours of their coming to South Africa started I’ve checked their tour website at least once every two weeks.
  2. The scariest thing that happened to me was babysitting for the first time and hearing my mother’s voice coming out of my mouth.
  3. I am trying to visualise were I will be a year from now, but I can’t seem to imagine a complete picture.
  4. Graduating is becoming something of an obsession (well graduation and sleep). My father is determined to get me to wear the horrible pouffy hat though.
  5. I am desperate to see the phdcomics movie!
  6. P1 is getting me seaquest, but that is not without judgement on his part (and on the housemates too)…
  7. I’ve developed an unhealthy addiction to the tubs of candyfloss you can get at spar. The sugar makes me cranky but it’s just so tasty and I love having a blue tongue afterwards

So people to give it to… I think it’s about time the skinny-bitches got something pink and shiny. They can split it one each if it makes them happy, otherwise doubling-up is totally ok too.

Dating is my hobby: OK, I’m a bit of a lurker there but I just love her blog with the insightful experiences of growing up and settling down and enjoying the simple moments that make everything worthwhile. And the occasional panic which I can totally identify with.

Bonda84: besides being my email-advice giver, I am loving seeing her having fun and living her life after settling for not-good-enough.

Kath Lockett: For moving across the world and still making me laugh or cry. And for showing me that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved and happy which is better than perfect.

Po: for stopping blogging and making me so sad and then starting again. And for having awesome music taste (and not just the vuvuzela)