• Jun
  • 30
  • 2010

A little place I like to call my own

Posted by Katherine Stott In Love & Relationships | Comments Off on A little place I like to call my own

We all have those moments; frustration and anger tied up in little increments of time that combine to form a bad day. Very often it is the same trivial things that irritate us, exhaust us, outright annoy us or cause us to become tense and wound up. I think that living in Jozi contributes to the road rage, the gritted teeth and profuse swearing… but I’m tired of passing the blame and bleating on about Johannesburg and her myriad shortcomings. Besides, Jozi is beautiful in her own way – it’s us, the people that make our lives difficult to bear.

Anyway I’m quickly moving away from my point: Perhaps a lot of us have these feelings in common; it’s how we deal with them that set us apart from each other.
 

I am no picnic that is for sure. I am defensive, short tempered, irrational at times, most definitely a passive aggressive and will explode at any given moment when there is enough of a build up to light my fuse. Mix in the Jozi traffic, taxis, lack of ocean and nature around us and limitations on time, and you would often have a recipe for disaster. That is if you don’t have a happy place. Everyone should have at least one; a space, a place, a song that takes them there. I have numerous little areas of my life that allow me the time and space to come back inside myself and just be. And all that crap that affects us externally never gets the chance to break the exoskeleton and get inside where the actual damage can be done.
 

Life’s trivialities can bring us down, but there are so many simple ways that we can elevate ourselves right up to where we belong again. I have countless simple solutions that can bring about such vast change: a complete overhaul of emotions and psyche. As simple as:
  1. A huge, squishy hug from Amber or Cameron – heaven
  2. A delectable kiss and hug with a long pause, as Mike cradles me in his arms – bliss
  3. 10 minutes on a yoga mat – calm
  4. A brisk walk around the neighbourhood in the afternoon – invigorating
  5. A long, hot bubble bath – delicious
  6. A moment of reflection – awe inspiring
  7. Having dinner at one of our favourite restaurants with the family – special
  8. Tucking myself in bed with a fabulous, inspiring book – decadent
  9. Being next to (or on)water – grounding
  10. Dancing my little heart out – electrifying 

There are more, but each one of these above elements has the power to make me feel whole again, to make me feel like ME! And allow me to just be. My “happy places” have the power to wash away the strain of the day and paint a smile on my face without fail, and ultimately keep me away from the complexities of life in Jozi where everything is simple and sweet.

  • Apr
  • 27
  • 2009

Spring Cleaning

Posted by Katherine Stott In Love & Relationships | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning

I feel as though I have walked the entire perimetre of Johannesburg today, all whilst remaining inside the massive and all encompassing Builder’s Warehouse on Rivonia and Witkoppen. I also lifted the equivalent of about 100kg’s of refuse into my car before ferrying it to the dump for the local’s there to sift through. It was a productive day, although not exactly what I had foreseen for my day off from work and responsibility. With the kids away, I had envisaged a selfishly indulgent and relaxing day ahead. However, it was not to be.

Mike’s immense keenness to fix the kid’s trampoline, get rid of all the rubbish in the store room and tidy up the garden should be intoxicating and preferably contagious! It should make me grateful and overjoyed! And it does… provided it doesn’t involve my lazy self! As much as I searched inside for my little glimmer of eager enthusiasm, I could not seem to locate it anywhere. It might have had something to do with the fact that my idea of today had centred around me staying in bed with my laptop and a cup of coffee, perhaps some toast or a bowl of Weet Bix. I had a perfectly painted vision of myself tackling the series of press releases I’d been assigned last week, expertly wafting through each one with a fervent, bespectacled, professional edge. I managed two paragraphs before the divine and delightful, pro-active Mr Mike got me up and at ’em to go and “get things done.”
I have to admit that cleaning out an entire store room full of rubbish evoked an incredible sense of positive feng shui-ness in me. A feeling of absolute relief at creating some space and finally ridding ourselves of all that crap. And by crap I mean the most useless, arbitrary junk that one accumulates for no real reason except that it “might come in use one day.” So I’m not exactly complaining that Mike chose to lift me out of my perfect little day and place me in the unwelcome terrain of manual labour in this case. I now have a whole new empty space to fill with crap that “might come in use one day!”

I think my sense of humour was dampened when we hit builder’s warehouse. We were there because Mike wanted to fix the trampoline for the kids after they had bounced it into submission and snapped a support beam. He needed some parts for the operation and even though it was all for the benefit of my children, me and my little companion – the black cloud above my head – kept on quietly questioning how important this really was. I guess it was because I knew that the moment we walked through those doors, Mike was going to be transported to that unreachable destination where hardware and power tools titillate the male senses to such a degree that mother earth cannot communicate with them anymore. I expected at least an hour, and was given about 55 minutes. Not too bad. A thorough and intensive investigation of each aisle provided us with the 5 things we needed to fix the trampoline, the 1 thing we needed to clean up the garden, plus 2 spray bottles and a pack of batteries. Of course we also managed to find potential bathroom fittings and basins for bathrooms that we haven’t yet built or even contemplated. All in a day’s work and an incalculable number of metres covered.

I don’t actually know why I am complaining. Probably because my body is sore, I’m tired and the evil and cursed PMS has hit, and added to that the idea of now sitting down to research and write a press release is most certainly less than appealing. But every now and then I gaze dreamily out of the window and catch a glimpse of my “garden boy” trimming the bougainvilla and I mentally slap myself across the face. Isn’t this what I have always asked for? That guy who uses initiative, who is a DIY fundi like my dad was, that guy who sacrifices his day off to do something to brighten the smiles of my children? And the fact that he wants to involve me in his practical, manly missions is surely just an indication that he wants me by his side or values my opinion?

When I consider my day from Mike’s perspective instead of my selfish, stubborn and self indulgent perspective it is so obvious I am a complete ass! But quite clearly an ass that is very much loved :)
  • Apr
  • 04
  • 2009

I’m just a girl…

Posted by Katherine Stott In Love & Relationships | Comments Off on I’m just a girl…

I’m just a girl… searching for the perfect sunset in the idyllic location of my dreams, and yet trapped in a conrete world where cappuccinos at Fournos are my small piece of heaven. Jozi is a great place to be for those who want to be surrounded by enigmatic people, electric vibes and surging energy. A constant flow of parties from one place to the next, one person to another. A consistent, if not exhausting, buzz of activity that never dies but only moves through extremes of intensity.
Yup, Johannesburg is ALIVE with expression and enthusiasm! Her flame can only grow larger and brighter, fueled by her people’s never ending desire to progress, to grow, to change, to thrive. Success drips from the exhausts of BMW’s and SUV’s as they accelerate through their days of non-stop appointments and business meetings. The scent of wealth strides in step with every Carducci and Gucci while Armani briefcases and top end Nokia’s accessorise power suits, Europa shoes and five hundred buck haircuts. On the flipside are her dirty streets and colourful natives, toy toying in the background with bright white grins plastered across their soft faces. Gathered around metal bins, roasting mielies atop as they banter incessantly through the smoke. Sitting on the pavement amid tall, dry grass watching the world as she spins away, leaving those who can’t keep up a few steps behind.
Everyday is a freshly painted portrait of adventure. An exciting race across the hours of light in an attempt to reach darkness before anyone else does, and even then the race does not end but merely takes on a different colour.
What more could a young girl want? A social environment bursting with a myriad flavours and exhilerating options. That is unless you are me. What more could a girl not want?
It’s a fabulous life for those who’s moment’s of joy come from the initial crowd reaction to the unveiling of their newest ensemble or most outrageous hair colour. It’s a small piece of paradise for those who can only talk about lowered suspension, mag wheels and bucket seats. It’s hotter than a Nando’s chilli burger for those who live only to gossip, to socialise, or thrive only to laugh and drink and eat and then do it again the next day. All fabulous one would think!
Unless your most intimate moments are spent alone or with the love of your life. Or maybe not quite for you if waking up to a breathtaking view is more enviable than an Ed Hardy T-shirt. Perhaps it wouldn’t be your thing either if you enjoyed moments in silence, enraptured by the ocean or the simplicity of thousands of bug noises, bird call or the croaking of frogs a metre away. Unfortunately for Joburg’s hustle and bustle and her welcoming arms, this is me. And living in Joburg is not me, or for me. But it’s the only place that I can sustainably exist for the time being. So here I am…. still searching for my perfect sunset, and occassionally finding it amongst the polluted clouds of Jozi’s skyline. This seemingly beautiful sight can occupy my hungering spirit for now, knowing that this is only temporary. That my idyllic location awaits and it is only time that seperates me from stepping into it.
I’m just a girl. And all girl’s just wanna have fun – to their specifications, of course! :)

Flickr Stream