• Nov
  • 23
  • 2010

Looking for the signs (Day 8 of the 30 Day Trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In Thoughts & Concepts | Comments Off on Looking for the signs (Day 8 of the 30 Day Trial)
Yin yang pictureImage via Wikipedia
Every day we are faced with decisions; some monumental, and others rather trivial… but each and every decision amounts to something – be it life changing or not. I am one of those people who looks for signs and symbols in everything that is presented to me. I weigh the odds and debate the pros and cons, and try to determine how each decision will impact my life. The fact is that every possibility has a “counter possibility”, if you will. The yin to it’s yang; the dark to it’s light… all forming the resolute balance that keeps everything flowing.

When it comes to the more important stuff that involves definite impressions on my life… sussing out every angle is imperitive. But how do we know for sure? The signs are often there but perhaps not as clear as you would have hoped. Perhaps you have been waiting for this moment for ages, and when it comes time to make the decision to put it in motion, suddenly the pieces don’t fit together as you anticipated they would? Where are the signs that tell you this is right? Or wrong? Maybe they are there but you’re just looking too hard… And by you, I mean me.

Sometimes we just need someone to push us in the right direction and say: “Here it is! This is the path… your choice will be rewarded; travel this way!” But then where would be the fun in that? Trusting yourself; your instincts and your heart is the way forward. But not always easy… *sigh*

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  • Nov
  • 22
  • 2010

My baby is still a baby…. to some degree (Day 7 of the 30 Day Trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In Parenting | 2 Comments »
Both of my kids have sprouted up before my very eyes. I don’t remember when it all happened (same way that I don’t remember hitting my thirties – that crept up on me like an infection). One day I was crying as I fled the pre-school after leaving them “on their own” for the very first time… and next minute they are in Primary School, spruced up in their uniforms telling me that eight sided shapes are called octagons. I knew that by the way… I was just indulging them!
My heart beckons for those younger years to come back, and yet I know that every moment is only to be relived in our memories and through photographs. Still…. my heart yearns for “babyness”. Holding a new born baby in my arms has much the same effect on me as mashed avocado, balsamic vinegar and black pepper on toast does… it invokes sheer bliss. I can’t even begin to think about the moments when they (Amber and Cam) won’t need me anymore, and my life won’t be so focused on planning holidays that involve kids; preparing meals that are A&C friendly; making separate salads without the tomato and avo; renting DVD’s with a no more than PG10 age restriction… Hmmmmm… sounds like it will actually be quite fun when you put it on paper. Hahahahahaha……
But any mom will know what I’m talking about.
Still; there are those moments – very brief and very far between each other – when they show signs of their youth, and remind me that they are still fragile little angels that need our guidance and nurturing touch. Not even twenty minutes ago I had to pick Cameron up from the dining room chair and carry him to his bed to sleep. He had come home from school and decided to draw a picture, but had fallen asleep mid-scribble with his head resting gently on the piece of paper. Too cute. The fact that I could actually pick him up was one thing… But it just brought the memories flooding back to life. *sigh* 
Having babies is tough; Parenting is tougher… but letting go and accepting that they are growing up is the toughest; if not impossible.
  • Nov
  • 21
  • 2010

Hungover Domestic Goddess-ness (Day 6 of the 30 Day Trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home, Movies, Books & Stuff | Comments Off on Hungover Domestic Goddess-ness (Day 6 of the 30 Day Trial)
Scones are also commonly served with jam and c...Image via Wikipedia
I often feel that incredible urge to go wild in the kitchen.. spend hours and hours of slicing, dicing, mashing, mixing and creating elaborate and inventive dishes. Lately – admittedly – I have not, as we have been eating mainly salads and as much raw food as possible. But every now and then my body tells me that it needs something and I have to combat hell and high water to make sure that I get it before spontaneously combusting!
This morning I woke up after an awesome drunken day and night out with my girlfriends and mates from high school; absolutely ravenous and about to suck the blood from my arm if I didn’t get something in my body quick! I do remember being starving last night, and somehow never actually made it past my wine glass to get something to eat! This morning, my body was telling me one thing and one thing only: I want scones with jam and cream. For real? Hungover as all hell and you want that?
I slept a little longer thinking that I could trick my body into wanting egg and toast instead, but nope. It wanted scones with jam and cream and there was no diverting it’s decision off track. 
So this is where the domestic goddess thing comes into play, because I couldn’t navigate a route around the bloody annoying (applogies to those who take part) 94.7 cycle race this morning, so I couldn’t get to a coffee shop to satisfy my craving. So I baked. Yes. I baked. Hungover as f*** and I baked scones; I whipped cream and I cut up the scones, spread jam on them and dropped a massive lump of whipped cream on top before satisfying my unending craving! How is THAT for Domestic Goddess-ness? Huh? Nigella, eat your heart out chick…. You ain’t got nothing on me! 
Hahahaha… oh geez this is too good! **A few minutes later…**

Lying on my bed writing this blog I smelled something burning. And realised it was part two of the scones in the oven – now burned to black charcoal after being forgotten in the oven. Hmmm. Nigella can have her title back! And I should just stay in bed before I hurt myself.

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  • Nov
  • 20
  • 2010

South Africa is the Shizz (Day 5 of the 30 Day trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In South Africa | Comments Off on South Africa is the Shizz (Day 5 of the 30 Day trial)
Numida meleagris, taken at Kirstenbosch, South...Image via Wikipedia
It is so incredible how completely different I feel today. Yesterday was the old “woe is me” saga; the tale of two extremes! And today I am bursting with vivaciousness and energy and brimming over with enthusiasm to get out there and experience this awesome day. It is truly amazing what sleep can do!~
The best part is waking up to a weekend in the arms of Mama Africa! With her streaming sunshine, countless birds in abundance, and the beauty of her exuberance that we find right here in our own garden.
Taking the dogs for a walk in the park this morning, we were greeted by a large family of Plover’s protecting their nest with passionate fervour… and a little bit of annoyance. The dew was fresh on the grass, the sky a magnificent blue that couldn’t get more intense. Little bees were buzzing above the purple flowers covering the veld and Guinea Fowl were making the most of the morning – just like us – a few metres away in the lush, green, riverside grass. As I walked I felt so priveleged to be a part of this incredible world; this country; this life. To walk side by side with these cheeky birds, under the South African sky… I am sure Johnny Clegg wrote a song about this? Minus the birds….
I love our life.
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  • Nov
  • 19
  • 2010

Lack of sleep (Day 4 of the 30 Day Trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In Careers & Writing, Health & Fitness | Comments Off on Lack of sleep (Day 4 of the 30 Day Trial)
CappuccinoImage via Wikipedia
The vicious circle of lack of sleep has caught up with me. All this concern and worry about other people has got my knickers in a knot, resulting in countless sleepless nights – tossing and turning while playing out scenarios of ugly confrontation in my head. So what do I do to counteract the slump I find myself in the next day? I drink copious amounts of coffee. Actually not copious… Just one or two, but the canteen makes them frikkin’ strong so they count as three in one! 
So then… I get home in the evening – all wirey and pumped up because I’ve been blitzing my brain with caffeine, and I can’t sleep. And so the cycle continues. *sigh* 
Just talking about it is exhausting me.
So finally… it is the weekend and I can find some semblance of a normal life again and in doing so find my Zen. I don’t have to think about work; I don’t have to think about the kids tonight because they are sleeping out; I don’t have to think about me, you, them or us… I can just BE. And by the time Sunday evening rolls around I will have found my balance again.How incredibly marvelous.
For now, Mike and I are going to go and burn off the caffeine with some spicy, tantalising and delicious curry from Ghazal. Oh happy flippin’ BEAUTIFUL days! Happy Kat.
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  • Nov
  • 18
  • 2010

Richard the Flower Man (Day 3 of the 30 Day Trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In South Africa | Comments Off on Richard the Flower Man (Day 3 of the 30 Day Trial)
12Image by ididj0emama via Flickr
I just have to share the loveliness of this tiny piece of my life… there is this guy, his name is Richard. He sells flowers on the corner of Old Pretoria Road and Gibson Drive in Buccleuch, every evening come rain or shine. I actually need to get a photo of him to add to this blog, but for now I will just tell this little story.
For the 7 years that I have lived in Buccleuch I have seen this guy trying to flog his goods. He only sells them from about 5pm onwards which leads me to believe that perhaps he has a day job too? I hope so… because no one ever buys his flowers from what I can tell and I don’t know that he can make much profit from the flowers that he does sell.
I used to feel a sadness seeing him standing there in the rain, covered only with a plastic bag to shield him, holding up his beautiful roses or lilies. As I sat in traffic I would watch people drive past without even noticing the person standing a few metres away from them. But still he would persist. He always wears his red fleece and a white cap, his beard is always unshaven and flecked with grey. My natural thought process was always “poor guy”; heartbreak and a whole range of emotions bordering on pity. I started buying flowers from him every couple of weeks, hoping that people would see us making the exchange and then follow suit. It hasn’t worked from what I can tell, but still he carries on. 

Every single day that I drive past whether I buy from him or not, I am greeted with thee most incredible smile, a wave and a bow. It almost brings tears to my eyes and he totally makes my day burst with sunshine. Every now and then he throws in a free bunch for me, which I refuse to take – as every bunch has the world in value for him! But he gives them over selflessly, without thinking of the personal consequence. Isn’t this the true value of being a human being? Selflessness? Being free to give without expecting to receive?

The thing that I am most in awe of is his sheer will and determination. If I were to drive up to that intersection now at 7pm, 8pm or even 9pm, I know he would still be standing there armed with his roses. If ever a person were to complain to me about how de-motivated and lazy they felt, I would take them to meet Richard the flower man. In a manner of seconds this man makes it all make sense… and he does it with a smile, a wave and a bow.

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  • Nov
  • 17
  • 2010

Turning a blind eye ain’t so easy… (Day 2 of 30 Day Trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In Thoughts & Concepts | 4 Comments »
Justice League: Cry for JusticeImage via Wikipedia
Sometimes it is easy to turn around and walk away… You see that guy pissing on the pavement, and you can have him arrested for indecent exposure, but what the hell… you don’t. That was a silly one… What about: You notice that your colleague has mistakenly sent you the incorrect information for the second time after being very specific in what you requested, and you can lambaste him or her… but you don’t. You go and find the info for yourself. That was also lame… Anyways. These are easy to side-step and overlook. They don’t necessarily irritate or annoy you for longer than a few seconds, and then your focus is shifted onto something completely different.
And now for something comPLETELY different!
But then… oh yes! Then. There are those things that you just cannot ignore. The kind of stuff that makes you feel a queasiness in the pit of your stomach; the stuff that gives you that sense of shock and horror combined into one indescribable emotion; a feeling of absolute disbelief… maybe even anger. Those things that you KNOW are not ethical, that are just.not.on. Turning a blind eye would mean forcibly disconnecting yourself from something that you truly believe should be opposed.
But, what if you were to jeopardise your (say for example) health or wellness or perhaps your stability if you were to speak out against it? What if it would directly implicate you, and threaten your livelihood if you were to stand up for what you believe is right? How do you get around it? Tempt fortune and fate and go out there all guns blazing? Or secretly “know” in your heart that by feeling this way you are doing enough?
Some very good people I know went out there armed with their six-shooters and they were taken DOWN. And for reasons that are completely unethical. For reasons that were to be a start in improving (for example) people’s health or wellness or stability. And now, they have potentially lost it all because they chose to have an opinion. They chose to speak out on behalf of those who’s voices weren’t loud enough. How can this be? How can freedom of thought, opinion and speech be smothered? How can the attempt to correct and make better be intercepted by refusal to accept or acknowledge, and then turned into something to fall short on? My mind just can’t put the pieces together.

And now from my point of view; now that I am armed with this information; now that I’ve been alerted to the fact that this crooked, unfair and disconcerting treatment is actually happening (for real) in a place not very far from home, what do I do about it? Turn a blind eye? Or tempt fortune and fate? I tell you, it isn’t that easy to decide… And if choose the latter, I wonder if I can speak loud enough for my voice to be heard?

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  • Nov
  • 16
  • 2010

My 30 Day Trial

Posted by Katherine Stott In Careers & Writing | Comments Off on My 30 Day Trial
A young female of White-fronted Capuchi Monkey...Image via Wikipedia
My husband has been reading the blog belonging to some guy… can’t remember his name … who does all these random 30 day trials such as eating only raw for 30 days; experimenting with polyphasic sleeping patterns for 30 days etc. Ok, I have been informed that his name is Steve Pavlina – free press! Anyways, without even reading this guy’s blog I am already giving him inbound links to increase his standpoint on Google. Lucky him, now if he did the same in return I’d be most graciously happy!
I’m veering off the point at a rapid rate. So, in line with our conversations around Steve Pavlina and certain rituals that we go through or partake in; certain boundaries that we place on ourselves for self-enlightenment; and certain tests that we endure to better ourselves, I have decided to try and write a blog everyday for 30 days. It sounds like something that is easily do-able, but I am often without inspiration – staring at a flashing cursor with nothing to say except “I’ve got nothing to say.”
The idea is to gain self-discipline; so partaking in a sort of Yoga for the brain if you will. By setting this goal for myself, I need the will and want to be able to achieve it, and that means ignoring my “monkey mind” when it wants to play and forcing myself to get down to business.
So this is Day 1. That was the easy part… 29 more to go :)
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  • Nov
  • 15
  • 2010

The World according to Facebook…

Posted by Katherine Stott In Movies, Books & Stuff | 2 Comments »
This is icon for social networking website. Th...Image via Wikipedia
Since the advent of Facebook, there have been a chunk of changes affecting our daily lives and how we communicate. The one thing I absolutely love about Facebook is how it has brought me closer to my brother who lives in New York, and my cousins who live in San Francisco and other far reaches of the world. Friends that have relocated are now within reach, and all in all the world has become a little bit smaller because of it.
This is the side that I love. Then there is also being able to keep up to date with what is happening in Jozi: what gigs to get to; when your favourites bands are playing and where.
Then there is the ridiculousness of it all; the way that Facebook has become the means in which we commnicate, in that you don’t share your latest and greatest news with your friends via telephone because you can just update your status and the whole world will know what you’re going through. And then there is exactly that… the whole world knowing everything! Since when are we ok with this? I really love hearing about what random people are eating for lunch, but then again – I am a cuplrit of it too? I often feel the need to share the details of my morning, the aggravation of my day, or the sheer bliss that is bursting from my heart! Do people really wanna hear this shit? I suppose they can selectively decide… But with your news feeds you don’t always have the opportunity to choose.
We often joke about how things aren’t official until Facebook says it is so; like when Mike and I started seeing each other, we were together for a while before we changed our relationship status on Facebook. And only when we did was it sealed in blood and legit, and friends bounced around with glee for something that happened weeks ago in reality.
Creating an event is rad, because all the attendees are right there at your fingertips… but how often have you not even thought of the people that don’t live and die by Facebook, and neglected to invite them by email, sms or phone? They just don’t find out about it; dont come; think you’ve neglected them… bla bla bla.

When I get to work in the mornings, I skip through my newsfeed and see what is up in the world. And I feel a sense of connectedness to everyone that I am friends with. Cool, I guess… and then I pop on about 5 hours later and see that people are still at it: commenting on the same status update or photograph like they have nothing better to do with their time. Whores to the thrill and attraction of Facebook, and her clever wiles.

I almost see the world becoming brainwashed because of it; being sucker punched into thinking that this is where life begins and ends and then forgetting about the natural world out there filled with people and beauty. There are trees outside! And birds… and little things that scurry around… Did you know that? No? Oh well…. perhaps they will make a Facebook aplication about it where you can grow virtual trees, and put birds in them and score points or some shit.

Who knows? Funny thing is… I’m going to post this to Facebook for my friends to read. So maybe I don’t have a point… Or maybeeeeeeeeeeeeee…???

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  • Nov
  • 10
  • 2010

Every day needs a soundtrack

Posted by Katherine Stott In Music | Comments Off on Every day needs a soundtrack

I pity those people who don’t have any particular “taste” in music and don’t spend any time listening to anything melodious. I feel like they have been short-changed and they don’t even know it. I feel emptiness for them and a sense of their dull apathy for life… Surely it’s a colourless existence?
I can’t even fathom the idea! No music? No beats, no treats, no lift me off my feets?
Everyday has a soundtrack, be it fuck-shit-up metal (and that can be for great days and bad) or shake-your-ass funk; each and every day has a special ring to it and deserves the musical accompaniment to go with it. Today was a particularly fabulous day; add in a sprinkling of driver-seat-dance-moves, sunshine and sunglasses as well as the advent of zero traffic and I’m smiling all the way to….. not the bank, but work! Funk it up with some Incubus and “hey presto!” you have a day made in heaven!
Give me a pressing deadline and I’m on the Atreyu, Avenged 7x, Machinehead or Weezer / Sublime on a more chilled day – why? I have no idea, but somehow they make me focus and give me the speed to crunch my way through to seconds before the clock hits closing time. And then when I need to come up ideas? Bring me back down to Earth with Jack or Ben, and make my heart fly with Andrea Bocelli to name a few…
The list goes on and every day is different, but how awesome to have a definitive sound to each and every moment, emotion and event?
WHY would anyone deprive themselves of this beautiful, free (depends where you get it) and free-ING birthright!? I suppose it doesn’t really matter (poor them), but just sitting here listening to Mike play his guitar made me think about how beautiful it is to have a sweet and harmonious background for my thoughts to play out on. Amen to that!

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