I hate flying. Hate. I've always been plagued by air-sickness so flying for me means that I will potentially be throwing up sometime in the next few hours. To try and fix my air-sickness I have been given packs and packs of mentos to chew, wet-wipes to wipe my face and feel "refreshed" and numerous tiny glasses of aeroplane coke. And as a result I hate mentos, wet wipes and aeroplane coke. Listening to Sherlock Holmes for 2 hours while pretending to sleep so I can avoid the food when it comes around seems to be pretty effective in getting me through a flight.
Ugh *thinks about the destination. thinks about the destination*
This week I feel slightly insane or maybe "all over the place" is a better way to describe it. We had a busy weekend, I had very little time to work and now I'm running behind trying to catch up which is so not ideal considering my week ahead. I guess it doesn't help that I've spent forever looking at pictures that remind me of Paris- but it does mean that you get to see these pictures (tell me i'm not crazy, tell me they want to make you go to Paris RIGHT NOW).
This weekend I baked the entire weekend. We had friends over on Saturday for tea (and then happily they stayed for lunch) so I baked (being the wonderful domestic goddess that I am) Cinnabons (a recipe from my best friend) which were sensational and everyone was super impressed (because no one really thought that Cinnabons could be made) and I also made brownies which turned out to be pretty crud. This is my brownie problem, everything is fine until I put them in the oven for the "required amount of time" then after this time, when I take them out, the top is black and the brownie underneath is still sloshing around in the pan. So how on earth do I cook the mixture through without burning the top (and in the "required time")? I made Cinnabons again on Sunday so now I'm all Cinnaboned out- and my kitchen smells like cinnamon which is never a bad thing.
I promised a biscuit recipe a while ago and so here it is:
[recipe for the most amazing vanilla biscuits ever]
200g butter, softened
1 cup (200g) castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cups (420g) flour
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
-Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease a baking tray
-In a bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and castor sugar. Add the egg flour and vanilla essence. Mix until combined.
-Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour before using.
-Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the cookie dough to the preferred thickness.
-Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
-Decorate with royal icing
2 egg whites
21/2 cups (350g) icing sugar sifted
juice of 1/2 a lemon
-In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites, icing sugar and lemon juice together
-Start on low speed and increase the speed as the mixture gets smoother
-If the mixture is too dry add more egg white
I hope it brings you much eating happiness
I knew this week would feel bitty and odd- Graham left for a conference yesterday and I'm leaving for Cape Town tomorrow to apply for my French Visa (party time) and then we're racing back to Durban to be here for a show on Friday night. On top of this my delightful lecturers have saved all the enormous tests for next week and the following week (I have a test the day before we leave for Europe- apparently I won't be studying for that one). Argh it's all a bit overwhelming at the moment.
In other happier news- it's Spring! Spring sounds like it should be a really nice season but in reality it's pretty crud. In Cape Town Spring isn't very different from winter and in Durban Spring seems to be the ONLY time in the year that the wind blows like mad (In case anyone is wondering- Autumn definitely wins for the best season of the year) I'm tired of this "cold" Durban weather and impatiently wait for Summer every single day (will take this statement back when I'm dying in the summer heat wave).
Did I mention it's 2 and a bit weeks to Paris and Amsterdam?
Gosh I never ever post about anything remotely concerning fashion BUT when I saw this collection I knew that I just had to share it with the world (my very small world of blog-followers). So here it is, the new Free People lookbook collection called 'Like a rolling stone'
It's beautiful and colorful and makes me want to buy all the clothes and then go live in a wood cabin and be a gypsy (or at least look like one). It also- weirdly enough- makes me want a llama.
This is Graham. He is quite funny, QUITE. But he thinks he's definitely the funniest person he's ever met. Most of the things that make him giggle/laugh/cry with laughter have to do with me- I have a suspicion that he married me because I provide him with comical relief or at least endless amounts of humorous material. He's been saying forever that he'd love to write down the things that he says about/to me to be able to show the world his genius.
So here are some touching things he's said in the past while-so that you can decide for yourselves.
*Lynsay, after being incredibly aware of the weight she's put on comes to Graham to show him that she can't fit into her jeans anymore and when she bends over they rip. Graham thinks this is very funny. Later when they're out for lunch and the bill arrives the waiter puts the bill in front of Lynsay*
Lynsay: "See, even the waiter knows that in our family I'm the one wearing the pants." Graham: "yes, the ripped pants" *Graham dies of laughter*
Lynsay: "Love I'm not going to be here for the afternoon is that okay?" Graham: "of course it is. I'll have time to spend with some of my old girl-friends."
*Around easter time, driving to Petermaritzberg*
Lynsay: "I think we need to get out of this lane, it says that anything over 3 tones can't drive here." Graham: "I don't think we need to worry about weighing that much unless... *looks at Lynsay's stomach* how many marshmallow easter eggs have you eaten?"
*Also around easter time*
Lynsay: "do you want a marshmallow egg? No? Well I'm going to have one" *Graham puffs out cheeks, makes his body as big as possible and follows Lynsay around making loud stomping/eating noises*
[And this is Graham's favorite] *Graham is standing around a braai with his friends telling them how excited he is for the start of the Premiership season when Lynsay comes into the conversation*
Lynsay: "Why don't you get this excited about seeing me?" Graham: "Because you don't go away for three months at at time."
Yes, this is my life. It's enough for me to want to go on an all-cupcake diet
4 more weeks to Paris! I keep wearing my country Road jumper (shocker, its cold in Durban) with French words on it to remind myself of this glorious fact. The days are moving speedily along; I finished Lolita and have given myself over to Charles Dickens 'The Haunted House' which I find way too creepy to read in bed at night time (even with Graham next to me- although for the past few days due to his sickness it's felt more like i've been sleeping next to a railway station. One that I have to wake up every hour and ask to roll over so that I can get some sleep... so if you see me and wonder why my face is like it is the best thing would probably be not to tell me that I look tired).
After the shortest long weekend ever I'm back in the same place as I was last week when I told you I had resolved to get my reading butt into gear and I am happy to report that I have! I'm on my way to finishing Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita which has been an incredibly challenging read. Not because of how he writes, I love his whimsical sarcastic way of writing, but because of the subject matter. The narrator often begs the reader to try and understand the things he's writing from his point of view or at least to be sympathetic to his unhealthy obsession with little girls ("nymphets") and Lolita in particular. I do think I'm more sympathetic than Graham has been (who tells me the narrator should be locked up in an asylum for perverts) but it's still been difficult understand or to get on board with Humbert's (that is, the narrators) illicit actions regarding his "step-daughter."
Aside from reading we had a friend come and stay over at our place this past weekend. We only have one bed so we had to buy a blow-up mattress and slept on it on our lounge floor which was like a mini camping trip (a camping trip where graham would slam/roll his body into the tv cabinet every 2 hours or so throughout the night). We spent saturday lounging around, getting tea, going back to bed, having hour-long heated debates in bed while the sunlight streamed in through the curtains- the perfect way to spend a day in my opinion. We decided to take a chance on having lunch at a mexican place well known for their food poisoning and we came out alive with full tummies (the food was surprisingly good!).
[Only 6 more weeks to Paris and Amsterdam. One of my lovely friends is in Paris at the moment and all her pictures and tweets are causing the anticipation of traveling to be SO much more than is rationally acceptable. Grahams mom bought me a beautiful brown leather passport cover to take with- 6 weeks seems like a century away!]
For the past few days (and days to come) I've been cooking my little heart out-obviously not to the level that it's done on master chef but still- I made my (when I say my I mean Jamie Olivers) amazing chorizo pasta on saturday night which has become to go-to dish for when we want something yummy and spicy that requires very little effort. I baked for women's day on Thursday (regular vanilla biscuits with royal icing but for some reason they turn out to be flipping fantastic) and I shall put the recipe on the blog soon. Last night I made spicy fish stew which may replace the chorizo pasta as the easiest tastiest dish I know. And tonight it's roast chicken and oven veggies- so chilled. I must admit that I'm pretty impressed with myself, a year ago I could make toasted sandwiches but now I think nothing of making roast chicken. Its pretty awesome what you can teach yourself to do when you have to. When you have a starving husband at home who looks at you with puppy eyes when he asks what dinner is.
I know you're dying to read a bit of Lolita now to see what dodgy things the characters get up to so i'll save you the trouble of hunting the book down;
[this quote is taken from the time that the narrator first sees Lolita]
"It was the same child-the same frail, honey-hued shoulders, the same silky supple bare back, the same chestnut head of hair. A polka-dotted black kerchief tied around her chest hid from my a gaping eyes, but not from the gaze of my young memory, the juvenile breasts I had fondled one immortal day. And, as if I were the fairytale nurse of some little princess...I recognized the tiny dark-brown mole on her side. With awe and delight... I saw again her lovely in-drawn abdomen where my southbound mouth had briefly paused; those puerile hips on which I had kissed the crenulated imprint left by the band of her shorts- that last mad day behind the "Roches and Roses." The twenty-five years I had lived since then, tapered to a palpitating point, and vanished."
I have never been incredibly good at anything. Only recently have I developed some skill in baking, I'm able to draw fairly well if I put my mind to it (I have an amazing memory- you can ask Graham to verify this) and I sing pretty well, or so i've been told, but i'm not REALLY good at any of these things on this very short list. I have only ever been really good at reading books. (Embarrassing though it may be) I'm proud to say that the awards I got in school were for reading. I was on every book general knowledge team there was throughout school. Reading was what I looked forward to every break time and at the end of every school day. sheesh I was the girl who had read her matric set-work in the first year of high school and when she felt like she needed some challenging reading decided to spend some quality time with Chaucer. I was the girl who other girls didn't understand- because who reads anything other than magazines- and the girl that intimidated the boys by being as knowledgeable about Sci-Fi and fantasy worlds as they were. I was the girl who preferred books to people because books were safe and you could always rely on them to take you into another world.
With my obvious love, no, passion, desire, hunger for books the day that I discovered that I could get a degree in reading (by becoming an English major) was a very exciting day. And now here I am, living the dream only now I don't read.
Looking back trying to figure out what happened I instinctively blame my studies. In the past 4 years I already have to do so much reading for university that any reading outside of my degree is limited to magazines (what up high school girls). But if I'm honest the reason I read less now is because I'm lazy. I would way prefer to spend an afternoon on our couch watching The Style Network or E! or anything really trashy and exciting than doing something as strenuous as reading Charles Dickens (something my teenage self would have laughed at).
Enter my very patient and long-suffering husband, the reading champion, the man who has read 30 books this year so far. For almost 3 years he has gently nudged me to read, clearing my dish-washing schedule, making a set reading time for both of us, giving me books he thinks i'll enjoy, encouraging me to "talk literature" with him. But I've been more set in my television watching ways than either of us anticipated.
Today I begin a new book. And I'm excited about it, I haven't had a new book in a month and a half. Hopefully this re-kindled passion will set me on the road to becoming an english major that my child and teenage self would have been proud of.
5 years ago I went to Paris with my mother and one of my sisters. I think I had seriously low expectations of what it would be like because it turned out to be way more magical than I could ever have dreamed. I have wished and wished to be able to go back (not over exaggerating at all) and my wish has finally come true thanks to my fairy godmother- or my mother and father whichever you prefer.
In just less than 2 months time my mother and (now) two of my sisters and I will be jetting off to Paris and Amsterdam *contains excitement*
I am now on the hunt for things to do in Paris. Most of the large museums and art galleries we checked off our lists last time we were there although to be honest I wouldn't mind doing them all again (if you have any ideas of exciting things we can partake in in Paris please do tell).
In other news: we love love watching modern family (okay, so maybe I do more than Graham does) and there is this one scene in the first few episodes where Cam, a pretty hefty character tries to convince the audience that he's only put on a "few pounds" due to adopting a baby. In the next scene we see Cam being caught on camera in the pantry stuffing his face with food. How does this relate to my life? Well, I got fat. Okay maybe not fat but certainly 10kgs heavier. We first realized when I zipped up my skin in desperately trying to fit into one of my dresses (that I fitted into perfectly 8 months ago). So I have been packed off to gym for weekly sessions with a trainer and a super delicious (heavy sarcasm) new eating plan. Things like regular cheese and pasta and potatoes and fruit loops (only just recently re-discovered) are considered "cheats" and apparently I'm only allowed to cheat once a week.
In the past 8 months-being married to Graham- I have developed more of a love for food than I had before. I pour over my recipe books for hours trying to decide what to make for dinner, something that will challenge me and develop my cooking skills. And (I think) that Graham has had fun tasting all my exotic creations. But now with this new eating scheme things have become more difficult (and I can't help but feel more bland). We are limited to meat, chicken or fish with veggies for dinner. Last night worked out pretty well, I haven't cooked fish before and I added in some cous-cous for Grahams carbohydrate need. If any of you dear readers have ideas or recipes that fit our -hem- restrictions please email me or Facebook me or comment in the section below.
I'm busy making lists for Europe in my head. My parents bought our flights yesterday. I found a little paper version of the Eiffel tower and a beautiful passport cover and am just trying to justify buying them. Be prepared to hear lots more about Paris and Amsterdam on the blog in the weeks to come.
I feel as if I have been to the edge of the world and back.
My whole life I've spent believing that the rest of the world was more beautiful than the country I live in. All it took for this to change was our short road-trip through 3 provinces 2 weeks ago.
Graham hated the driving. I, on the other hand loved it because I like to watch the world go by outside
while eating nik-naks and listening to Graham singing along to Queen. The first day we drove for 9 hours. 9 hours of watching the dry sparse landscape go past. 9 hours of Grahams choice in music. 9 hours of not being able to feel my rear end. But we eventually got to Bloem, had some dandy times with friends and food, and started the second leg of the joinery early the next morning.
Graaf Reinet was absolutely not what I had expected. A Quaint beautiful old town with one very trendy coffee shop called polka [definitely worth the visit if you're ever in town, it has the most wonderful fire place that inexplicably seems to warm the whole place. Perfect for a cold winters day/night]. After much ambling we drove to the farm where we would be staying. Our guest house was an old house that had been beautifully re-done, with wooden floors and enormous bathrooms and (the most important part) a smashing fireplace. I won't bore you with a step-by-step account of our time there- it was filled with a very wonderful reunion with two long lost friends, two icy cold nights spent snuggled around the fire place with board games books and chocolate, breakfast held under the blossoming cherry trees, croquet on the lawn, a painful hike up the mountain, watching the sun set over the river and then having hot chocolate at the aforementioned restaurant, a windy night, an early morning and breakfast on the road in some small town and then Port Elizabeth.
The boys had planned something special for Thursday night, a show of some kind, they were very proud of themselves for having thought of it. It magically turned out to be ballet (surprising if you know Graham and Sean). And the next morning we whisked ourselves away to St Francis bay. Windy as hell. There we stayed with new friends and did much bonding over Modern Family season 2 and board games. We spent the 2 days in St Francis dreading the 13 hour drive back home but it sneakily arrived at 5am on Sunday morning. We hit the road. Graham conquered 4 hours before we had to stop for breakfast at a steers (keeping it classy) sometime later- just before we entered cows-in-the-road country- I took over. Learning to dodge cows and goats as they walk into the road and then panic because they've walked into the road is definitely a skill I do not want to develop. After a few hours of rear-end numbing driving we came to the border between the Eastern Cape and KZN and it was in this area (while Graham slept curled up beside me) that I had the privilege to encounter some of the most amazing scenery that I have ever seen.
To be clear. I think (rather thought) that the most beautiful places I have seen are in Europe- parts of Germany, England, France, Turkey, Italy- but driving through the land just before we crossed into KZN I was ashamed to have been surprised that such beauty existed in South Africa. I passed deep ravines (that looked like they had been made by someone ripping the earth apart-terrifying and beautiful) which were sprinkled with fine, beautiful sand colored grasses that made the ravines look like they had been covered in velvet. The ravines gave way to enormous black hills which in turn became kilometers of pine forests. The sun started setting and the ghostly moon rose and sat above the enormous pines as we flew past. We could have been anywhere in the world but to my incredible delight we weren't, we were at home.
Fast forward a few hours of driving and we arrived back in our little suburb in our little province. Graham and I decided that the only rational thing to do after 13 hours of driving and our happiness at being back in Durban was to get curry for dinner. So we did.
There are two types of people in this world. People who see holidays as the perfect opportunity for getting up early, reading, going to the beach, going for a run and then spend the day doing something productive (exhibit A. My husband) and then there are people who think that holidays have been given so that we can sleep in until 11am, stumble into the kitchen to make tea and then head back to bed and the laptop for the rest of the day. I am the latter. Yesterday I got out of bed 3 times and it was glorious. And the reasoning for this lifestyle? That holidays were designed for rest and that exactly what I'm going to do (even though much rest was had during the semester).
Now before you all start saying in your heads "ah, so that's why she looks like she does" I want to make clear that I've only spent the past 2 days in this manner (even though it is my preferred way of spending my days). This past weekend Graham and I got back from Cape Town (me feeling exhausted and graham feeling refreshed from all the running around). I had the most wonderful two weeks there, they were full of meals with the family by the fireside, discovering an amazing greek restaurant with friends, two beautiful weddings and seeing people we haven't in ages, road trips in the dark, listening to hours of Thin Lizzy and Journey, Lunches with friends, Despicable me 2, games nights, secret birthday party planning, baking with my sisters, waking up every morning to have my dog jumping around on our bed, pizza for days, watching the sun set over the city, cold toes and many many trips to second hand books shops.
Graham had his birthday this past week & because I think birthdays should be over-the-top-exciting (and he totally doesn't care about birthday at all) I tried my hardest to make his wonderful (this included making him wear a Birthday Boy badge and getting up at 6am to make him breakfast- why yes, I am the most dedicated wife ever, thank you) which involved having (too much) sushi for dinner and watching modern family (my birthday gift to him).
In other news I've found the most exquisite smelling bath bombs, before these I was a dedicated bath bubbles girl but oh my goodness these things smell like heaven- I've put one in my car. I got them at The Space in durban so I'm not sure whether The Space in Cavendish are also running the line (if they are you should share it with the world and then everyone would be happy and smell nice).
This week Graham and are doing some more road tripping with friends we haven't seen in 7 months! We are so excited- but I'm probably going to have to take my neglected Latin homework with. It's even been neglected this week because iv'e developed an addiction to modern family and everything has come in second to that (sometimes I read though) (that was incase Graham reads this post). Another recent addiction? Panic at the Disco. They are fantastic and magical and I could listen to them for hours.
[but in light of my current mood I'm going to post lyrics from one of my favouritest songs ever, Down by the Riverside by Agnes Obel- listen to it if you haven't already]
Down by the river by the boats
Where everybody goes to be alone
Where you wont see any rising sun
Down to the river we will run
When by the water we drink to the dregs
Look at the stones on the river bed
I can tell from your eyes
You've never been by the Riverside
Down by the water the riverbed
Somebody calls you somebody says
swim with the current and float away
Down by the river everyday
Oh my God I see how everything is torn in the river deep
And I don't know why I go the way
Down by the Riverside
Why hello there. It's been a while, (gets completely sidetracked by Facebook) since I last wrote I've had days of studying, early morning exams, a slight jamie olive addiction, become a star trek fan, minor breakdowns fixed by hot-chocolate with mini marshmallows, relief, a second kitchen tea, mornings of tv watching, re-discovering my books, 6 hours of baking, an aversion to chocolate (due to baking), winter sales, disappointments, goodbyes, hellos, cold cape weather and peppermint tea.
I love cold winters, going to sleep with the rain beating down on the roof, snuggled under layers of blankets. Which is pretty fortunate seeing as I'm in Cape Town for 2 weeks.
Also helpful is bringing with a pile of books that I've been meaning to read forever. I just finished C.S Lewis's 'That Hideous Strength' which was by far my favorite of the three books in his trilogy. I think his use of Arthurian legend is really what got me hooked, and Merlin -oh it was so exciting. After that I read another C.S Lewis, his re-telling of the greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, 'Till we have Faces' and because I absolutely love greek myths I was always going to love the book. It speaks such truth about human nature and love- it's terrifyingly accurate in fact- and it made me want to read more on the greek legends (a good thing as i'm majoring in classics). It seemed to have the same affect of Graham because he is now hooked on a novel re-telling the Trojan war. Today I started an autobiography of F.Scott Fitzgerald which is slightly shocking, usually I detest biographies and auto-biographies but I do love me some Fitzgerald. And in amongst this I'm trying desperately to finish a book by D.A Carson that iv'e been sitting on for a few weeks now- so much reading and so much time to do it in makes Lynsay a happy lady.
I'm just trying to give my brain a rest after my exams (which went mostly very well thanks for asking) and I only had one incredibly disappointing mark, English. It's pretty disheartening when the subject I'm majoring in, the subject that is the whole reason why I'm even doing another degree turns out to be the subject I suck at the most. Perhaps I'm being too critical of my natural abilities. Everyone I've spoken to (or rather whined about this to) has been encouraging, told me that I needed time to adjust (apparently not applicable for the other subjects though) that english is just a generally hard subject to conquer, that it will be better next semester. I hope so otherwise goodness knows what kind of depressing its-the-end-of-my-life posts ill put on here (you should be rooting for me if only not to have to read those types of blog posts).
I have however been excelling in some other areas of life - the incredibly tiny culinary area of my life. My parents gave my Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals cookbook and I have triumphantly been able to make two of those meals in under an hour. They were also really tasty. But the climax of my cooking career (so far) came last week when I baked 120 triple chocolate biscuits for a Church function- by the end of my 6 hour baking stint I never wanted to see chocolate again ever- and after they had been served I had a fair amount of people coming up and congratulating me (maybe I forced a few people into giving me their good opinion) on my baking. Even the caterer told graham that the biscuits were excellent. Some little old grannies said they would support me if I opened a bakery. I didn't have the heart to tell anyone that it's actually the recipe that makes the biscuits- anyone can bake (although apparently no one thought I could bake before this cookie incident).
I'm off to enjoy some bracing Cape Winter sunshine, some reading time and a delicious sandwich from Knead.
Love always x
Today the toilet and I are not friends (Graham says it's mostly my fault though) every cleaning day up until now our relationship has been very simple. I squirt pink cleaning stuff in the toilet, scrub the bowl and then it in turn is clean and shiny and smells nice (which is all I ask of it, really). But today when I delicately plunged my toilet brush into the porcelain abyss I got more than I had anticipated when I took the brush out again. It took a few minutes of standing there gagging for me to even figure out what to do. Graham's only in put into the situation was to tell me not to clean the toilet straight after he'd been on it. Lesson learnt.
It's been marvelous having the past few days off to study; I can have tea in the morning with Graham, read, take my time showering, eat food whenever I feel like it, nap when the work gets too strenuous, have time to make the house sparkling, eat food- Like a mini vacation.
This past weekend my parents and a sister flew up to visit us. We took them to Durban's hotspots (just the beach). We had a spectacular breakfast at freedom cafe (to be honest I don't think I've ever had a bad meal there) walked along the promenade, ate ice cream, and then went to Barbacoa for dinner-more amazing food! At the end of the weekend Graham and I couldn't have imagined needing to eat for a while. But luckily on monday that feeling had passed so I made delicious Bacon Carbonara pasta and Bruschetta (I'm trying to figure out a way to make the sauce thicker- double cream just doesn't seem to be working...) and on tuesday night I made incredible sweet potato and chorizo soup which went well with the cold weather.
On the subject of cold weather I would just like to draw something interesting about Durban people to your attention. It is rarely ever cold here in winter. And by cold I mean cape town cold, the type of cold that forces you to wear 2 pairs of socks and a beanie and thermal underwear and two jumpers to bed whilst also having your heated blanket on. But for some reason Durban people, who do not experience this cold, think that after a day when the sun hasn't come out by 12pm and there is some drizzle in the air that an ice age is imminent. And this thinking is then worked out by rushing to their nearest supermarket and buying up all the soup and ready made lasagna and bread and anything that could be heated in a microwave. Tuesday was like this. Frenzied mothers with trolleys smashing me and other innocent bystanders (who are just there to buy a packet of mini marshmallows) out of the way in order to get to the last packet of tomato soup and then to hurry out of there before they are snowed into the shopping mall for the winter. It's pretty amusing to see.
[Sticks her head around the laptop and sees that the sun has come out and it's a good time to hang up the washing. Hangs up the washing].
Graham and I have spent lots of time this week (and other weeks) discussing what we think makes up a family. It may seem a silly question, something that you disregard the first time either of us brings it up but its an interesting and complex question. Are there certain elements that make up a family? Do you, for instance have to be blood related to be a family? No, obviously (I'm just trying to get you to think) and neither is it defined by having a mother or a father or a spouse or children. Sometimes people are pressurized into feeling like they must have one, or all of those things, in order to have a family, or to be a family.
We usually take our rubbish out late on wednesday nights, after we get home from biblestudy, and to do this we have to walk off of our property and then come back in through the garage. And this week, as we were walking back and I watched Graham playing with our little dog as we made our way up the path I became so aware that this was my family, no better or worse than any other family but perfect for me. And I was happy.
Wednesday evening and I am panic making last-minute spaghetti carbonara for bible-study in half an hour but in-between frying the bacon and waiting for the pasta to cook I have a small window of time to write to you.
And I do feel that I have to tell you even though I am incredibly rubbish at writing on here at the moment there are times in my day that I write to you in my head, telling you how beautiful the campus grounds are in in the autumn light or how I have recently become very attached to having flowers in the house or how watching Jane Eyre makes me feel. So even though I don't write, I am actually always writing to you in my mind.
Cape town in early Autumn is perfection, it's just chilly enough to wear boots and scarves and justify drinking tea at every meal of the day and it's beautiful with the grey cloud hanging over the mountain and the leaves in the avenues turning gold. But I've come to realize (with it almost being winter and all that) that nothing beats Durban in the late autumn and winter. nothing. Even though It may be cold in the early mornings and late evenings (which is fine because usually i'm snuggled under a blanket during such times) during most days the air is perfect and warm. And the best time of these magical winter days? Afternoon, when I walk back from lectures through the park and everything is golden and when I get home I'm greeted by an enormous patch of happy sunlight in our lounge where I then proceed to spend my time until it gets dark.
In other news: I never thought I would get tired of cooking for people or entertaining. Apparently I over estimated my love for food. And people. This weekend we had a glorious saturday; I made real oats for breakfast (more on this later) we cleaned, we went to the beach, I read, then we had people over for a burger and games evening. I love burgers and I love games and it was a smashing evening. Then on sunday we had Grahams cousins over for brunch which was lovely- and there wasn't even that much cooking involved but when we discussed having people over for dinner on monday night I really could think of nothing I wanted less in the entire universe. So we went out for dinner.
Saturday mornings are our breakfast mornings. We go big (because technically we don't have the option of going home). In the past month we've done fry ups, omelets, french toast, oats. And then we sit at our dining room table in dressing gowns and pajamas and listen to Mozart or the Lord of the Rings sound track and feel sophisticated. It's the most wonderful ritual and something that I look forward to every week.
And just like that my first semester is over. Half of my family arrives this weekend (Graham and I are planning on treating them to a Durban weekend, that is, to spend most of the time on the beach and some of the time at Gateway). And in a months time (hopefully a very short month) ill be writing to you to tell of our upcoming trip to cape town and how, from the time that my exams ended, my life has become a blur of morning television and daydreaming my july holidays away.