Saturday, 26 January 2013

Family Braai

A sunny Summer Saturday afternoon in South Africa. What to do, what to do? Oh yes. Braai. That's 'barbeque' if you're unfamiliar with the term. Braai sounds so much better to my ears. So yes, cook meat over fire. If there are women involved, make salads. I realise this may seem quite chauvinist, but it's a simple fact. If a braai in SA is being organised by males alone, chances are you'll have meat and rolls. If you're luckier, there'll be braai'd mielies (corn-on-the-cob) and jacket potatoes cooked in the fire. But no salad.

I've been delegated the job of making a potato salad, which is my sister's forte'. My goodness, it is a longer process than I remembered. I preferably peel and chop up the potatoes pre-boiling but since I came into the throng late, they were boiled whole and jacketed. They are now de-clothed and sitting in the fridge to cool so I can chop em up and get creative. I enjoy having an extensive spice & herb rack to play with. So far I know there'll be salt, ginger, parsley and cayenne pepper, just a dash. We'll see how that goes and take it from there.

Prepping the potato salad.

My dad decided to try some tallapia braai-ing...

...I forced him to prep outside because it was stinking up the kitchen - thank goodness I'm no fisherman's wife!

The fish marinating - I wasn't brave enough to try the cooked version.

The final product - very very tasty! Got my sister's potato salad stamp of approval :)

(P.S. the family time was good and relaxed and I ended off the evening with going to watch LOTR Extended Edition with a friend and ended up getting home 7am the next day - turns out I can stay awake all night if LOTR movies are involved.)

An old post from 25 October 2012

We would all be terrible in an actual emergency. South Africans I mean. Sitting at Fego getting a light dinner before my movie. An alarm starts going off and nobody does anything. Brief moment of people wondering what is going on, but on the whole, people remain sitting at their tables; no-one starts running, we all just let it fade into the background, continue conversations. Just another day at the office. I think were it Americans, they'd all be halfway outside by now. We're all going to die :)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Our Ama-Zing Planet

I don't surf the web. I have maybe 5 sites that I visit religiously but that's pretty much it. It's a good thing then that I have Facebook friends who do the surfing for me. Today one of my ex-professors (he's still a prof, just no longer proffing me, obviously) shared a link that I now want to share with you.

It's photo's from 25 places around the world, but they aren't of people or shiny buildings or a lot of the other crap you see in tourist brochures. These photo's have made me think again on all the wonder there is to see and experience. Yes, sure, there are some phenomenal man-made structures to be seen around, and a few of those photographs have them as their subject. What I find to be more amazing and breathtaking are the natural scapes. The ones that you look at and can't help but drop your jaw in wonder at how something so beautiful and complex just... happens.

It gets my travel bug, having lain dormant since pre-India, jumping a bit. One thing though is that the majority of the places in these photo's are off the beaten track and I wonder how many people who visit the Czech Republic go anywhere other than Prague, or leave the coffee shops in Amsterdam for long enough to see anything else of the country. For that matter, I wonder how many tourists Yemen, Turkmenistan (which I can't point to on a map), or Bolivia get. They're not exactly known holiday destinations. But I think it's these sort of countries that may have some of the most spectacular landscapes to share. The ones unpolluted by masses of the human race.

That's something I think I would like to experience: standing near the edge of the Door to Hell or watching the clouds in the water of Salar de Uyuni and just marvelling in the prescence of magic. Because although all of those photo's can be explained by science, I think our emotional side lets us expeience it as at least a little mystical. That's simply more fulfilling than breaking it down into logic and physics. Granted, that is interesting for people like me too, but I don't feel physics. Well, I do; gravity, inertia, etc, but you know what I mean.

So there are more things to put on my Bucket List. I just need funds and courage. One is easier to get than the other. Here is one of my favourites from that site:

Zhangye, China
Zhangye, China

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

How do we date?

Ok, so we're just over three weeks into the new year and life is the same. I guess that's what happens when you don't do anything to change it. I am really looking forward to the beginning of February at least - I move back to DBN with my best friend. Will make getting to the office every day much easier. Mainly I am looking forward to the change hopefully kicking me out of this flipping depression. And I will have a friend to go to gym with, or more than likely force me to go to gym. That will hopefully combat the after effects of said depression. Why can't I be the type of person who can't eat when emotional? Ah well.

Those are definitely not the best reasons, and there are more, and happy ones too. I think I'll leave those for a future post when I am hopefully happy and bouncy and people are back to thinking I'm manic and weird rather than withdrawn and hermit-like.

On a wholly separate note, but what I really wanted to talk about, do people date anymore? I don't mean 'going steady', rather, do people go on dates? I was having a minor 'oh-my-god-how-have-I-been-living-my-life' moment so I made lists. I blame watching episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Without going into too much detail, I've kissed more than double the amount of guys than I have been on dates with, and I'm not even sure I know what counts as a date these days. And to top it all off, the names on the dates list aren't the same (bar one) as the more-than-kissed list. So this makes me think, what on earth have I been doing?!

These days it's often frowned upon to be the girl that wants the fairytale - the meet-cute, the first date with all the expected flutterings, the second and subsequent dates getting to know each other, the natural development into a full relationship, etc etc ad infinitum. It all sounds so easy. Ha! I have never been one of those girls who gets all, for want of a better word, girly. I don't know what it is, perhaps I'm getting sentimental in my old age. I want that fairytale now. I am tired of making dubious decisions and then feeling like crap. So all that waffle begs the next question....

...Where do people meet other people these days?

And please don't say at work. I have to have some part of my life separate from all that. Please.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Starting things off

Welcome to 2013. An obligatory remark about people thinking the Mayans meant us not to see it seems in order. There it was. The new year doesn't feel all that different to the old one. In fact, I think the only reason I know one day from another is due to my calendar. It can be rather morose, ticking off the days in our lives.

Ooh, random aside, I happened upon an episode of Days of Our Lives a few weeks ago and it gave me a happy bubble of memories hearing the unchanged intro: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives". Amusing how old TV series from our bygone days bring memories right back into focus.

I have work to do and if I can fight off my lethargy and listlessness (is that a word?) I will get down to it again and perhaps win a battle for a change. Dammit I miss my pep and vigour from undergrad days. Rereading contracts etc I have found out that I will only have two years more to get my Doctorate done and dusted, assuming they let me upgrade quicksticks. Two years. Dr Knowles by 25, able to do nothing more than some coding, literature hunting and a crap load of radio data reduction. Where is that going to take me? On the other hand, my grandfather will be proud, assuming he is still kicking which I truly hope he will be. Gosh. In two years time my sister might be starting to think about adding minature humans to her and the hubby's life.

So much has the potential to happen in 24 months. I find it alarming and not a tad depressing that in many, if not most, people's lives, for any given block of 730/1 days no change can be seen or felt. They say that the only constant in life is change. How much change can we experience by merely riding with the river?