Thursday, June 28, 2012

Memory of Water

Tonight came close to being a good night. And, in fact for awhile it was! I got to go to an amazing show, I got to spend time with Grant and I had a nice dinner. And then it failed.

But let me start from the beginning. I got to go to an amazing show! It is one of the few shows that I am going to this fest (unlike last year when I had a plan practically every night). And I will admit from the outset that I may be a little biased about it - it was directed by a good friend after all. But that is no reason to let the awesomeness slide. I didn't know what to expect from The Memory of Water. I had read the summary of course, but you know summaries - they don't tell you very much. I even convinced Grant that he had to come along. It took a little persuading, but he relented, especially after I bought him his ticket.

And so, at 17:45 we made our way to NG Kerk Saal to go and see The Memory of Water, directed by Deborah Robertson. I had a little trouble getting in (booking through Computicket and collecting the tickets at the door is not a good plan) but we managed with some time to spare and took our seats towards the middle of the room. Two of the actors stayed on stage while people found their seats, one sleeping while the other smoked to add to the atmosphere that the play was to provide. And then it started.

From the first few lines, I was intrigued. And I stayed that way throughout the play. There wasn't a moment of boredom, there wasn't a moment where I thought that it might have been running to long, there wasn't a moment where I regretted going to the show. The acting was superb, the timing was perfect and, even when things went wrong like the set falling over halfway during the show, they didn't skip a beat as the eldest sister exclaimed "Old house!" and they continued with the script. It was funny, it was poignant, it was heartwrenching and it was amazing. I left smiling and filled with warmth, and I would recommend that everyone snatch up the opportunity to see the show before it finishes on Saturday.

Once the play was over, it was time to grab some dinner. Grant wanted to catch the football, so there was no chance of heading home to cook. So we decided to go to the Albany Club. We tend to go there occasionally for lunch and we knew that they would be open for dinner during fest, they are usually quick and make decent meals, so we decided that would be the place to go. We arrived and quickly found a seat. We had been hoping for a table in the bar area since it is warmer and more lively, but no such luck. Nonetheless, we got a table and settled down for a nice meal. The menu was pretty much the same as it always is - typical pub meals of burgers, calamari, chops, etc. with a few Fest additions like Kudu steaks and Butter Chicken. Grant decided to take advantage of the festival and go for the kudu, while I decided on the calamari. The food was decent and came fairly quickly and I was looking forward to dessert when Grant saw the time out of the corner of his eye and realised that he had to run. Which was fine. I ordered the bill as he ran out of the door and waited for it to come. And waited. And waited some more. A table came in and sat down next to me, ordered, got their food and I was still waiting. The other table finished their meal, got the bill and left and I waited. Finally my waiter came in and asked if I wanted the bill because it seemed that my partner wasn't coming back. To which I responded, with frustration. "Yes, I want that bill. That's why I asked for it 25 minutes ago!" Five minutes later he came back with it, and then left. I waited five more minutes before deciding that it was enough and walking through to the kitchen to pay. My waiter found me there and brought over the card machine. Only to say, "I don't know how to do this". It is not rocket science. Once one of the managers had rung it up, he then handed me both the slip for the restaurant and the one that I am supposed to keep. It boggles my mind.

Anyway, I was more than a little annoyed after this, and I made my way to PnP only to park in front of someone who appeared to be taking some coke in front of my car, not wanting to move out of the way which, though not directly affecting me, still pissed me off even further.

So no, despite a wonderful play and a decent dinner, I am sad to say that it has not been a good night. Here's hoping that tomorrow will be better!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


It comes in waves and unexpectedly.

It starts with something as simple as a picture. A photo of a friend from way back when that takes me back to days spent laughing in hotel rooms and getting into trouble that seemed so big at the time and feels so small now, sneaking bottles of champagne at New Years and regretting it in the morning, kissing and telling and moving on quickly, lessons and card games and thinking it would last forever. Thinking that we'd always stay young.

Tumbles forward to nights spent ballroom dancing in a crowded Friar Tucks, spent huddled in a res room listening to Placebo and planning surprise birthday parties in the middle of the night. Days spent juggling classes and social life, old friends and new ones, bouncing off the walls with excitement at new opportunities and new places to go, things to do, people to meet.

Until suddenly first year is over. The fun is fading as I come to the realisation that my University life can't just be non-stop partying. Friends fade as groups split and new friends are found closer to home. Suddenly I become the responsible one, the reliable one, the sensible one, the one who will stand up for you, will butt in to help and will speak your mind when you are too scared to. The friend who tells you what she thinks, but is there for you if you decide to do your thing regardless.

And before I know it, I am moving out, am settling in, am studying hard and partying little, am reclusive and despondent. Still there if you call me, but lost in my own world for the most part. Away from the centre of things, I start to cave in on myself, stop venturing outside the eight walls of the two rooms that comprise my homes. Lectures, home, Grant, home.

And it is finished. Four years of studying comes to a grand finale of examinations and expectations and tearful goodbyes. A heartbreaking ten hour journey stands between Grahamstown and Cape Town, both halfway houses to my grander plan of Korea, excitement, exploration and exhiliration. And it is exhilirating. A year of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. New friends, new places, a new start away from everything that I know, everything that I want. A whirlwind year of thrills and spills, fun and heartache, learning in a new way what the world is about. Travel and people and places that I will never see again.

Only to return to Grahamstown a year later. Grahamstown, which never changes but changes so consistently at the same time. New people, but young people, people that I can no longer relate to. New places, but all the same in their vibes, their atmospheres, their memories of days gone by that haunt me everywhere I go, reminding me of my youth and the people that I miss.

Nostalgia comes in waves and unexpectedly, and then fades into the distance as my daily routine resumes.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Breaking the Bad Habits

I hate calorie (or kilojoule) counting. I hate it with a passion. I don't like being around people who do it and whenever I find myself doing it, it feels like I become an annoying, overbearing, obsessive person, and I don't like that feeling. And yet, I have found myself doing a lot of it lately.

I am trying my damndest to be healthy lately. And I could say that it is because my friends and I have a contest going on where the person to lose the most weight by the 20th will be winning a wad of cash. But I don't think that is quite it either. Sure, the contest gave me some incentive to get started, incentive that was definitely needed! But a couple of nights before it was suggested, I was sitting in bed and, inexplicably, I was crying. I just couldn't stop it. The tears were just leaking out of me unprovoked. I'd had a bad day, and it culminated into a bad week, month and year so far with everything that has gone wrong just taking over in my mind. And there have been quite a few things going wrong. Not that things are dreadful, but you know how it happens - you start obsessing about something bad and all of the other bad things come to mind and take over completely until you can't think of anything else. And a big contribution towards that was my weight.

My weight has always been very up and down. It was way down when I was young, and then I hit puberty and it shot up. Around the age of 17, I started getting it back down, and then around 20 it started creeping up again. At age 22, during my year in Korea, I got it back down to where I was fairly comfortable with it (sure, I still wanted to lose some weight, but I was a good 10 kgs lighter than when I had arrived). And then I came back to Grahamstown. And in one year it all came back, bringing its friends along to join in the fun.

I know that weight is not the be-all and end-all of life. I know that being thin does not make you happy. I know that indulging every whim doesn't either. But I also know that exercise releases endorphins, and I know that being comfortable with your body does make you more comfortable in general. I know that I would feel a lot less awkward about going out if I didn't have to try on five different outfits, all of which I feel are completely unflattering.

And so I am one week in. I am dieting, but not crash-dieting. I like to think of it less as dieting in fact and more as changing my eating habits for good. I am trying to cut down on wheat, since I suspect that my thyroid isn't a big fan of it. And speaking of my thyroid, I am trying my best to take my thyroid medication. Everyday. Which I am usually pretty darn bad at. I am also trying to eat breakfast everyday. And I am exercising. I went walking and jogging every day last week and, despite the weather turning bad, I intend to keep at it.

So, there is a new section that you can expect to see in my blog, and that is things that I have been eating. And for the first segment:

Chicken Salad
Italian minestrone and rye bread
Rice cakes with lettuce and tuna
Rice cakes with fat free cottage cheese and lemon chicken
Grilled chicken, salad and baked potato
Portuguese grilled chicken with mixed veg and mint rice
Baked fish with lemon, mixed veg and bakes potato
Turkey and avocado on rye
Fat free vanilla yoghurt
Original rice crackers with fat free cottage cheese
Celery and fat freee cottage cheese
One breakfast rusk with my one cup of coffee in the morning