Do you even lift, bro?

So this is going to be totally self indulgent and, usually, I am the first the wrinkle my nose at those who post about their self indulgent gym posts on social media, but whatever.

Today, for the first time since I left South Africa, I went to the gym and actually exercised properly for almost an hour. I didn’t die (like I thought I would), pass out or vomit (I was convinced at least one of these things would happen). I didn’t forget how to use a bicycle or rowing machine. I did pick a 5kgs weight to bicep curls and totally overestimate my strength – I used to pick up a 5kg with ease. Now it feels like my bicep wants to pop out of my arm.

Anyway, I know I’m totally unfit and I know I have along way to go to get back to where I used to be, but the main, bestest thing is that I enjoyed being active again and I feel more productive this afternoon because of it.

I’ve been making a concerted effort to eat healthier (read: cutting out processed foods and sugar) for about 2 weeks and I have been drinking loads of water and it has paid off as I am already 4 kg down – and before anyone thinks “oh yeah, another fad diet” – no, its not. Before I moved to the UK and got into a bad habit of eating unhealthily, I consistently ate well – my sugar intake was limited, as was my processed food intake. I feel like I finally have my mind in the right place as it is not hard to not have sugar and it is no longer difficult to decide to cook a healthy dinner instead of getting the nearest, easiest thing because I don’t feel like cooking. I, however, have decided that instead of following this lifestyle in the same way that has branded it a bit of a cult (LCHF, if you were wondering), I have decided to be realistic about it. Which is why I allowed myself a potato chip or two last week during our work pub lunch – it didn’t do any harm to my progress and, most importantly, I didn’t go and consume the chocolate aisle of Tesco because I’d already fucked up my day by eating a piece of fried potato (I almost did, but I talked myself out if it and had coffee instead) :)

I plan on attending a combat fitness class tomorrow evening and I am pretty convinced that I may blow carrots and peas after that one. Whatever, its not like I haven’t seen suspicious pools of stomach contents outside gyms in London before (although, it was also near a bus stop…so I cant be sure that it wasn’t one of the evening crowd on their way home after a night of partying…).

In other news, I experienced England A&E full tilt this weekend – two and a half hours of bleeding grannies, sick children, miserable people and one guy who took it upon himself to loudly exclaim that he had been waiting and hour and what does he pay taxes for!? I dropped a 5Kg granite block on my foot and was told to get xrays to make sure it wasnt broken. It wasnt, thank god. Shan’t be doing that again soon though.

Over and out!

The one about skiing…

How do you, successfully, write a blog post about the last month and a half of your life when that month and a half was so packed with amazing shit. How do you explain this amazing shit?

Well, as most of you know, I spent my winter holidays in the Three Valley’s in France – two weeks of skiing, snow (kind of), cold – it was, literally – literalleh – the best holiday I have ever had. If you have never been skiing, please do yourself a favour and go and do it.

On my first day of trying to ski, I made the mistake of putting on and strapping up my ski boots at the flat and then walking to the practice slope – by the time I got to the bottom of the ski slope, I was in a bad mood and not interested in this skiing business. My legs hurt, my feet hurt (the shoes are incredibly heavy and the angle at which you stand is quite unnatural). I gave the slope one go, fell twice and wondered why I ever thought skiing was a good idea. The second day was better, luckily. I got the hang of snow ploughing down the little slope (or pizza’ing, if you watched South Park in your youth, like I did)…I think I tried my first green slope on the third day and, as expected, I had some glorious wipe outs there too.

Every day that I skied I got better and better and progressed to a blue run by my second week without wiping out on the way down. On my last day of skiing, I had confidently learnt to ski (turn and almost stop) with my skis parallel to one another. As my luck would have it, some douche bag clipped my skis while I was going quite fast down a blue run, which tripped me and resulted in a knee injury. Like an idiot, I insisted on doing two more slopes after that, but, as I kept falling, I got so pissed off and gave up. This was our second last day, so I had gotten in some pretty good practice in our two weeks at the resort anyway.

On one of the days, we took a drive to Annecy which is a lakeside town about 2 hours away – not only was the drive amazing, but the town itself was just too beautiful. We shopped. A lot. And ate pizza. A lot of pizza.

We spent our evenings at the ski resort reading, playing board games and having a general chill (after a whole day of skiing, you dont have the energy for much else). I was in bed by 8.30pm on most nights. On NYE, we walked down to the main village in the snow (EEKKKK :D) and drank mulled wine while listening to the “live” music (read: a live guitar player and drummer playing to a backing track – it was weird). I was in bed by 11pm. :D

Christmas was spent sitting outside (in the cold) watching the newbie skiers on the practice slope, eating croissants and drinking coffee, followed by presents and a walk to the main village. Later that evening, we had steak, sweet potato bake and salad for dinner (very xmassy, I know) and finished off with a peach crumble. Tradition what?

My last day in France was spent wondering around Moutiers, which is also beautiful, although it rained non stop…also, restaurants close at 2pm and open at 6/7pm every day – why the f***? What are tourists that are waiting for their train supposed to do – especially when the wait is like 9 hours? Yes, I spent 9 hours waiting for a train. I was never as happy to see the back of a train station as I was that evening. Side note: 9 hours on a Eurostar is not much fun either. It is not possible to sleep comfortably on a train – much as you might like to kid yourself into thinking it is.

Im afraid Im not giving much detail on my holiday – if I do, this post would, likely, turn into a book.

All I can, confidently, say is that: if you have the means to travel and experience these kinds of things in life, make sure that you do it. I cant explain how travel changes your perspective in life, but it definitely does – you will never regret travelling, you will never regret the lessons you learn and you will never look back. Once you eyes have been opened, they are open forever.

Peace!

Things I love about London – Crussh

I thought I’d start a new series of posts in which I describe and explain why I love a certain thing in London – shop/restaurant/area/experience – whatever.

So to kick it off, I’ve chosen to blog about one of my lunchtime favourites – Crussh.

images

One thing I adore about London is variety of lunches. Cape Town had some decent options, but, to be honest, you can only have Kauai, Sumo and sandwiches from Pick n Pay so many times (yes, it is a gross exaggeration, get over it). London is a literal Smörgåsbord of luncheon options – you get your usual meal deals from the Tesco’s of the world, sure, but you also get any number of ready made meals in the form of sushi, vietnamese, pita’s, salads, pastries (obvs), artisan pizza, greek foods, italian pastas (made by actual Italians), Thai food, Beer (or just alcohol in any form), pub lunches, low fat, low carb, high fat, no fat, paleo, vegan, vegetarian – the list of options is really endless. Your get these little chains of “fast” food restaurants that cater to a lifestyle, which amazes and excites me to no end.

Crussh is one of these – they cater to the low carb lifestyle and, specifically to my liking, LCHF. I mean, they do, do super grains mixed with fancy stuff, but I love that they have roasted cauliflower and pomegranate health pots – or a ginger teriyaki chicken zero noodle soup concoction (which I had today and died for); they have raw date and chia seed bars with no sugar, Bullet coffee (which is coffee with MCT oil added to it); and all kinds of scrambled eggs high fat loveliness for breakfast. The food is also really flavourful and thoughtfully made.

Their slogan is “Fit Food” and I can definitely endorse that – fit food it is. Yummy food. Healthy food. Get in my mouth Food. I usually bring my own lunch to work, but on the days (like today) when we had leftovers for dinner the night before and I don’t have lunch type food on hand, Crussh is my cheeky first option.

Also their coffee is really quite nice (the only reason that I dont buy coffee there regularly is because they dont serve cream with their coffee…and the lady at my local Pret knows my order by heart and, for that, I have a coffee-shop-crush on her. Also, she gives me free coffee every now and then)

Anyway, this is my London love for this week. Now give me a week to think of another one.

Peace!

 

Romance isn’t a science – it’s a heart

I have no idea if the husband will even read this (if it isn’t car-related, his blog reading is sporadic at best), but, well, here goes anyway.

Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows that emotion and feelings toward your significant other tend to go in waves – some days you like your partner more than other days. Most of the time, it is due to a myriad of reasons – how busy you are/have been at work, how busy you are/have been at home, how much time you have/haven’t spent with your partner, stress, travelling, personal emotions…there really is a long list of things that can affect the way you feel about your significant other at any given time. I, too (and like everyone else – whether they admit it or not), am guilty of this: sometimes I like my husband more than other days (note that I said like, because I always love my husband. Even when he pisses me off). Sometimes I want to be left alone; sometimes I am irritated; sometimes I am annoyed..one thing that is constant is that he is the only person that I want a hug and reassurance from when I have had a bad day or am worried about something; he is the only person who I want to see everyday at the end of the day when I get home [I, personally, see this as a good quality of my relationship with him (note: not my marriage, but my relationship. My marriage is secondary to my relationship)].

Anyway, the point of this is that, right now, I am very much into my husband – for all his faults and virtues, his quirks and my qualms.

So, husband, if you are reading this – even if I dont show it all the time, if sometimes I am a miserable cow (especially in the mornings), if I am quiet and moody and for the times when I am not:

For all the pokes, pinches and elbows in the sides, youtube videos on a Sunday morning, running for the bus every morning, dreams of travelling, actual travelling, co-baking, silly inside jokes, laundry-doing – for everything that makes up our life…

I.L.Y. <3

People who just got off airplanes are more susceptible to the flew

In 18 days, I’ll be waking up while its still dark and making my way to Gatwick airport to fly off to Geneva for a day of sightseeing before taking the train to South West France for two weeks of skiing. I know I have blogged about this in the past, but I could actually combust.

world-in-hands

I guess its not a big deal for people who have lived close to the middle of the planet in a first world country all their lives, but for a chick from the bottom of Africa who never had the financial means to travel well and often, the opportunity and act of travelling still blows my mind.

Never in a gazillion years would I ever have guessed that I would be able to spend a day sight seeing in Geneva (by accident) before heading off to ski for two weeks in the Alps. I never thought I would see the Eiffel Tower, or the Louvre – or the Château Versailles. I never thought I would see Scottish soil, or Welsh sheeps – or real, live leprechauns (okay, I haven’t actually seen a real leprechaun, but I do know someone from Ireland (and have, obvs, been there) who is as close to a leprechaun as possible – visually (sans the beard), although his personality and demeanour mirror that of a troll). I never thought I would have fika in Sweden or wine in Belgium. In short, travelling is both very surreal and very real and I could never get enough it.

I don’t understand people who live in one place all their lives and never have the desire to travel, or the ambition to make it happen. I firmly believe that life is too short to live in one place, but I realise that emigrating is not for everyone. At the very least though, I would expect people to want to see what else the world can offer. My ex-flatmate from my early twenties out-rightly admitted to me one day that she has no desire to ever leave Cape Town – not even to travel within the country. All she wanted was to marry her boyfriend (who is now her husband). I’ll never understand that mentality and the lack of wonder in the world around.

Sometimes I think my husband thinks I’m mad because I’ll tell him that travel and experience mean more to me than buying a house. If I am honest, as much as I’d like to buy a house, I’ll never be bothered if we never do. I’ll be bothered if I never travel again in my life. Insanely bothered.

My view on this is that, at the end of the day when I am old and grey, I don’t want to look back at my life and see that I spent it living in the same house that I spent a large chunk of my life trying to pay off, all the while never really living. I would look back and enjoy the memories I made from travelling – even if it is in a house that I don’t own. Ideally, I’d love both, but I cant, logically, sacrifice a house for the enjoyment I get out of life when I travel.

Perhaps my views on this will change when I have children, although I highly doubt it. The best I can do, is hope that we have the means (and plan for it, obviously) to have our cake (house cake and travel cake) and eat it.

And that’s what I have to say about that.

I heard Einstein got along well with his parents … relatively speaking.

Perhaps it is due to a change in perception, but it seems to me that, since we moved to England, there are more people that we know coming to England to visit. Maybe because we live here, maybe its total fluke.

This year we have had quite an influx of friends, which is always wonderful, because you really do miss out on people’s lives living so far away.

FotorCreated

I’ve had the privilege of seeing family I hadn’t seen in over 10 years (Ian and Lee, Barb and David) which was very special; I had friends over that I never thought I would see out of South Africa and some who I knew I would see somewhere in the world – I even had a visit from the CEO of dg, which is the company I used to work for before I left.

Every time someone comes and someone goes, I realise how lucky I am to have the people that I have in my life. All of the cliché mantra’s about age and perspective, etc really are true and this goes for friendships too…I think, when you get older, you start to collect people in your life who are truly meant to be there and who have a deserved place in your life and your heart.

What amazes me more is the diversity of the  people in my life – some of my closest friends came from the most random of places…weddings, work, gym, nights out in dodgy bars, high school – and they are the people who I never thought would be the ones who stuck in the end.

All I can say is that I am grateful to the universe for the friends and family – and husband! –  I have.  Life would not be worth it without them and I am so glad that I have had the chance to see some of you this last year. As for the rest of you, well, I know we will see each other soon. :)

They want to extend the Northern line, but I think this is Morden adequate.

Perhaps this presents my degree of London newb-ness, but I got to work seething this morning…about nothing, really.

I got onto my train this morning, as I do every morning – the 7:47 to Cannon Street, and as everyone had piling in (we pile in because the train is so full, so it is very much a case of run, jump in and hope there is enough space that you don’t end up falling out – I have been known, on occasion, to throw extreme caution to the wind and sit on the floor at the end of the carriage), the conductor announced that there was a track fault further up on the line and that the train was cancelled and had been diverted to Victoria. Not the end of the world, I can deal.

They failed to mention that it would take an hour to get to Victoria (all the while I was standing and being swished around the carriage, holding onto the railings for fear of, accidentally, fly kicking my neighbours, while those smug, seated onlookers sat in their chairs, newspaper and latte in hand, being all seated and such. If I even dared to attempt to hold a newspaper and latte….). Anyway, we got to Victoria an hour and 10 minutes later (let me mention that, by this point, I was already late for work). I, then, frantically tried to find my way to the underground entrance, while half heartedly looking for a Pret-a-Manger because I really did want a coffee, but only if it didn’t require much effort. I don’t know Victoria station all that well, so it meant crossing a few paths – and, apparently, I chose to cross paths with the most miserable people in London. Holy heaven on a hot potato, but how did I dare walking in front of Madam-faux-fur-coat-with-overbearing-lipstick. I must have really ruined her morning for her to walk away tutting like that. Poor dear.

Anyway, I didn’t find a Pret, but I did find the underground entrance by following the very slow moving herd of cows people into the depths of London City. I do mean slow moving…it took me 15 minutes to complete a journey that should take about 4 minutes. Anyway, I finally squished onto a loaded tube, after loudly asking why it was so difficult for these people to move down the f***ing carriage (yes, I know…I am my father’s child) and then spent the next half an hour rebounding in an out of the tube to let people off (people have this inherent fear, it seems, that if they get off the train at a station that is not their intended station to let someone off, bad things will happen, so instead they will worm around and knock people over, or mould into the profile of another person that they don’t know, just to not get off the train. Its ridiculous). Some lady obviously saw that I was having a bad morning because she signalled to me to come over so she could give me her seat. She is my favourite person in London today.

Anyway, I eventually got to work nearly an hour late (bear in mind, I am also still on probation with this company) pissed off and ready to go home.

And I still havent had coffee.

So, like I said, I was really pissed off for nothing, because what can you do about a rail fail – it happens to every commuter in every country at one point or another.