Friday, December 31, 2010
The land of the blogdom has taken me away from my first love.
All those hours last in a maze of bloggedness means less time for my books.
I have been unfaithful with my i pad, turning simulated pages with unfeigned delight.
Now I am even contemplating a KIndle.
O the shame!
In truth, one can't be unfaithful for too long.
For the weighty loveliness of a book, a real book, calls...
O, to see them stacked in piles on bed side tables, next to the loo, climbing the stairs or gracing bookcases grand and small is an endless delight.
Here at Rodwell, I can just imagine the treasures in Virginia's personal library.
Books are the best accessories a home could wish for.
An i pod next to bed is no replacement!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Mr Nielson better known as Sid, introduced me to Brene Brown and I'm passing on the favour to you.
Dr Brown is a research professor in social work who has spent the last five years of a decade long study, looking closely at shame and empathy.
Find her theory of Wholeheartedness here
Don't you feel better already?
This glorious creature is Jane Aldridge.
Jane's blog is full of Jane.
Jane in one fabulous vintage ensemble after another.
It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.
And Jane does it splendidly!
Her shoes alone will have you faint with envy.
You'll want to copy her every look.
Become Jane's vintage twin!
Even a cockroach brooch looks covetable on our Jane!
And she's funny and charming too.
Find her here, and feel the love.
Mr Nielson better known as Sid, and I sat up in the gallery and looked down upon a hall of wonders.
Hundreds of young doctors, and some of their mentors about to graduate into the field of medicine.
I felt humbled.
I thought of all my unfinished degrees ...
Skye glances up to find us in the upstairs gallery.
And then en masse they wave their certificates in relieved gratitude.
They are all so beautiful.
Wouldn't you feel better if these three came in to take your blood pressure?
Later as we celebrate in the garden at Talana, an unexpected group of carols singers arrive!
And are lucky to find a very appreciative crowd!
Then Ma makes one of her marvelous speeches in a kitchen full of doctors, cause what's a party without a legend or two...
Watch out for the intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
as your heart
falls out of your mouth
Ann Sexton from 'Admonitions to a special person'
found on running after my hat
After three daughters Mr Nielson better known as Sid, and I were convinced that my fourth pregnancy would present us with another, so we were more then amazed and delighted when it turned out to be our son Steele.
Even our doctor, used to earnest instructions from us to remain silent during the delivery gesticulated wildly towards the 'evidence' between Steele's legs!
And whilst there was something so romantic about having our own version of 'Little Women', nothing could prepare us for the unique wonders of raising a boy.
A little testosterone goes a long way!
Here Steele is, gearing up for a night out with the boys.
Nothing like a few drinks and a game of pool in Mr Nielson's bar to get the evening going.
Turning on the charm already...
That's my boy!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
When my daughter Tiffany was a little girl she developed a fine sense of the tribal.
This no doubt was passed on to her by her dear mother, cest moi so she cannot be held liable for such foibles!
Tiff wanted everyone she liked to be Jewish, just like her. That way, they would instantly feel like distant cousins you could invite round for dinner.
'Is Princess Di Jewish? ', she would ask expectantly. 'Brittany Spears, Dame Edna, The Spice Girls? ... Well, it was the nineties after all and Tiff was short on candidates!
Of course, Tiffany has been in heaven now for thirteen long years, where she has no doubt discovered that such things don't matter in the end at all.
Still, I think she would have loved this letter from Shel Dorf, the co-founder of Comic-Con to Julie Schwartz editor of DC comics, in which he attests to Superman's tribal links!
Shel decides that since Superman was created by 'a bunch of Jewish kids from Cleveland, this makes him Jewish.' Then bemoaning the fact that Superman was unlikely to have even known he was of 'the tribe', Shel is comforted when he looks up 'Lois Lane's' real name only to discover that it was Lois Farbotnik.
'So a union between them would have been kosher!'
'So a union between them would have been kosher!'
Tiff would have been proud!
Found on letters of note
South Africans were horrified and ashamed at the news a few weeks ago, of the death of Anni Dewani who was honey-mooning at The Cape Grace in Cape Town.
And while everyone lamented the existence of such ugliness in our city I could not help thinking of my friend Zahida Sabadia who died under similar circumstances more then a dozen years ago.
Zahida was a beautiful young doctor, married to psychiatrist Omar Sabadia.
When Zahida was hijacked in the city of Pretoria, Omar made a dramatic appearance through the media, begging for the release of his beloved wife.
When her body was found a few days later next to her abandoned vehicle, Omar was the picture of husbandly grief, but within days it became clear the he had recruited two of his past patients to murder his beautiful wife.
Zahida had a warmth, charm and grace that was unforgettable, that made her stand out, as many do who die too soon.
Like Anni Dewani...
Whose parents need to know the truth of what happened on that terrible night.
Looking across the waterfront at its splendid illuminated beauty reflected in the water, with Table Mountain as the perfect backdrop, it's hard to believe that a tale that ends in sadness can ever have begun in the midst of such loveliness...
For The Grace lives up to its name.
It is a place of exquisite refinement, understated and seemingly effortless in its simple style.
Designer Kathi Weixelbaumer was recently commisioned to oversee a complete refurbishment of The Grace, and she in turn commisioned African Footprint to design and hand paint all the textiles used in the hotel.
The murals, wall-hangings and soft furnishings all tell the elaborate story of the fairest Cape, and of the Dutch East India Company around which the city grew
These elegant silk dupioni curtains handpainted in calligraphy, which tell the story of The Grace as well as the maritime origins of the present day Victoria and Alfred Waterfront are yet another example of their work.
In front sits one of the 500 antiques Weixelbaumer purchased to create a collection of furniture, art and accessories that best reflect the history of the city as a trading route.
This beautiful mural found on the fourth floor Lobby adds to the theme of storytelling about the Cape..
It seems surreal to think that it was in this peaceful and gentile space, that the Dewani's began an evening that was to go so horribly wrong...
Long years of saturated learning and endless endurance
The slow burn, of pain and fear in a patients eyes that stays with you late into the night.
The gratitude of healing.
New life that breathes for the first time in your hands.
And life that ends with your vigil at the bedside.
It's been six long years, and Skye is a doctor.
And now to Bara, the largest acute hospital in the world for two years of internship.
Then a year of community service.
Don't put your daughter on ward rounds Mrs Worthington!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
An unexpected lunch prepared by Zoe, the beautiful young chef, is one of those meals I will always remember. Farm boerewors alongside greens fresh from the garden, thick slabs of white farm butter and artisan bread served with Danish feta and plump red minted tomatoes.
I can't begin to describe the loveliness of sitting out on the stoep overlooking the bleached wheat fields, with lunch presented to us on large vintage platters. The addition of music, laughter and beloved friends made it unforgettable.
You cannot help but fall in love with Halfaampieskraal, so much so, that by the time Cobus looking for all the world like a Mills and Boon hero, finally walked through the kitchen door I was hard pressed not to fling myself into his arms.