Friday, May 31, 2013

A long-ish friday morning (sunshine) post

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.


off to ea... study, with some food.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The voices in my head

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.
Until then xx

Sunday, May 12, 2013

cold feet but a warm bed

A very over-due post written by a very cold and tired Lynsay. This week will be half-way through May. Which might be the reason I haven't written- mid terms are coming up in 3 weeks and lecturers are panic giving us last minute 1000 word assignments. Also on my list of things that annoy me this month is that I was led to believe that Durban in winter is wonderful and sparkly and you can spend your holidays suntanning on the beach. Lies. I've slept with socks on for the last week and even Graham doesn't complain when I bring out our enormous sheep-skin blanket to cover the duvet with. It may be time to invest in a heater. 


This weekend we went on a mini road trip to just outside Petermaritzburg to have lunch with some college friends. It poured with rain and we sat in a badly insulated room on plastic garden chairs eating average food but the most spectacular chips. So for all of you who are traveling through Assegai and develop a craving for slap chips, stop in at the Pot and Kettle, ignore everything else on the menu (their coffee machine probably won't be working anyway) and have the chips. 
One of my absolute favorite things to do with Graham is to drive longs distances together. He usually chooses the music (this time it was Simon and Garfunkel) and I bring the snacks (jelly babies) and we dance and we talk and we shout at other drivers and it is simply lovely.


We then rushed back to get ready for a 21st party- which was outside so by the end of the evening I couldn't feel my feet, fingers or most of my face. The cake was good though, nothing quite beats a traditional vanilla sponge. And I don't think I have ever been so thankful for my bed and Grahams talent of sometimes functioning like a heater.


And then mothers day. My first without my mama. Almost every year for the last 5 years we've "surprise" taken her to a beautiful French bistro for the most expensive food you will ever have in your life. But today all I could give her was a phone call. It felt a bit weird. Not being able to join in with all the other people taking their mothers to dodgy cliched restaurants or making her breakfast in bed (successfully done two years in a row, only with the aid of Graham though) or racing out to buy her the last bunch of pink roses at woolworths. It sucked more than a little bit.


So Graham and I (mostly me) made baguettes for lunch and I did Latin wrapped in our sheepskin while eating chocolate spread for dessert. I'm now trying to decide what to make for a family dinner tomorrow night, something warm? I'm not sure if I'm ready to attempt lasagna again. or cutting onions (does anyone know how to cut onions without going blind? because every time I cut them I have to wear sunglasses. Graham says I look like a drug addict when I do and drug addict is not a good look on me). No onions. No Pasta. chicken perhaps? Maybe it will come to my in my dreams 
sleep tight xx