likes, loves and lusts

grow garden grow!

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As another section of the "green" project, we've been potting little cacti out and about the house. These are growing surprisingly well! I say surprisingly, as we stay in a very wet, green area - you'd think the little guys would be drowning. But they're flourishing, often sprouting the strangest of flowers when you least expect it. This is the row of cactus around the pond - some of them are from the biggest cactus garden in the world, which is actually in SA's Northern Cape.

an urban dweller

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Discovery have a lovely set of promos on their channel - random little two minutes pieces about a person of interest. They never tell you who they're featuring so unless you recognise them or their work, you're in the dark, but intrigued.
The first one I saw was of a night club owner, the next a local artist Gregor Jenkins (him I recognized). Last night's was of Jackie Kwan, a young Asian guy living in Johannesburg practicing that strangest of all sports, Parkour. It's beautiful to watch, and you can't help but be in awe of him. And with that, I also felt a certain sense of pride in Johannesburg, the bustling edgy city that it is.

It's a simple video of a small piece of urban culture tucked away in an enormous city where only those who are looking really hard, will find it.

Unfortunately, the only version I could find online of the vid has been dubbed, but you get the idea:

play nice now everyone!

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This is essentially a rant about social media.
While not many people use the incredibly stoic phrase "social media", it forms a part of most of our everyday lives. In fact, blogging right now I am "engaging in social media". It's intrinsic to almost everything we do, and more and more the "mainstream" sectors are starting to wake up to the power of this "social media" - cellphone networks have their own networking sites, fizzy drinks have mobile sites, ad agencies are making made-for-mobile TV shows, and PLENTY brands exist on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to name a few.

My issue today, then, is that I am a digital native. I live and play in this world everyday. I love exploring new platforms, new arenas, new playrooms - I'm in Second Life, Club Penguin, I use Skype, MSN, Twitter, I'm trying to sign up for Habba... and my end frustration is - NOTHING TALKS TO ANYTHING ELSE!!!

For example... in order to Twitter on my iPhone, I need an application of some sort. There isn't an official Twitter app, so I download Twinkle - like Twitter, but allows for photo update. Great. Then I realize, the people available on Twitter aren't necessarily available on Twinkle. Those are Tapulous people. Not Twitter people. In several instances, they operate in both environments, but only if you physically cross over. So when I made a friend on Twinkle, it didn't reflect on my Twitter. Annoying.
Then, I see other people are using Twitpic to upload pics to Twitter. So let's try that. Issue NOW is, if I twitter a pic on the move, using Twinkle, it doesn't go to my Twitpic collection. I have to go back and upload it there if I want that stream to be a reflection of all pics I've uploaded. Annoying.

I'm working on different platforms - mobile and online - why can't my applications and logins reflect that while I needed to use different apps to access the system on each one, they're happy to talk to each other and play along? Why on earth, in this day and age of rampant personal publishing, internet stars and brand-agnosticism, do I have to remain true and faithful to one app? Huh? Tell me that.

And don't even get me started on my blog that wouldn't let me in because I used a different Google account for my Gmail than I used for my blogger....argh!

more storage options

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In my search for bookshelves I came across this. It's not especially pretty or fabulously designed, but it is an interesting idea in using space you hadn't thought of before to store your stuff if you're space-anorexic.

shelf life

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After much deliberation and back and forwarding on what to do with the odd "cottage" area, we've decided to turn it in to a library. I'm going to cover the two main walls with book shelves, floor to ceiling. Great! Idea in the bag, but now what?
Having shelves put in is not nearly as easy as it seems. For one thing, you can't simply google "shelf people" or "shelf installation". What you'll get is a myriad of companies who specialize in shelving for large warehouses and storerooms etc. Yuk.
And for another, the options on styling and design are almost endless!

What I have googled though, are a range of images of other people's shelves that I like. And I'm not just talking shelves here - I'm talking *library* - I want the whole schkaboodle, rolling ladder included (just because I'm going to relegate the cr*ppy books to the top shelf doesn't mean I'll never want to reach them again). Through my search I've managed to narrow down what I want - simple, elegant, light, asymmetrical, but not crazy-go-out-and-join-the-circus shelving. Simple, yes?

On Tuesday last week I met with a woman from a kitchen installation company - they do shelves of course - hoping that she'd be able to solve all my problems with a magical wand swish and a sexy design. Boy was I mistaken. I hesitate to even post her "design" it was such a cacophony of angles, wood and boxes. Added to which she missed the brief completely. So tomorrow is round two, with the people who made up my study desk for me. I'm infinitely more optimistic, but we shall see.

What I found on my searches...

Be asymmetrical with your verticals, but try to keep your horizontals uniform. Your books can then afford to be a bit messy, but it won't end up looking like your old school library.

Use all the space you never thought you had (these are built in to the ceiling). Above and behind doors is always sneaky for those pressed with space.

Aspire to owning the ultimate library ever, even if you don't yet have the space, finances or books :)

And this one is just a fantastic way of filing your books, so that they create a feature in the room too. Maybe unpractical, but very pretty.

Now what furniture to put in...

designers on design

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A friend made a fabulous find at the recent Exclusive Books Summer sale - Designers on Design.

"A beautifully illustrated guide to today's cutting-edge furniture and product designers, it features interviews with each of the designers asking questions such as, "What product do you wish you had designed?", "What was your big break?", "What influences your work?" and "What's the greatest challenge you face in your work?"."

I didn't see the book at all, and was very disappointed. After searching no fewer than four different branches for the book, she arrived at work this morning with a copy for me - she'd found one all the way on the Eastrand! (guess they're not that into design over there ;) )
I'm super excited, and have been paging through it all day. It's a lovely collection of features on various contemporary designers who work on everything from vacuum cleaners to sofas - with the guy who did the iPod smack bang in between.

If you're into design, or furniture see if you can get your paws on it:

the doom song

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What's not to love!?!

"doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom"

lighter-shade-of-green thumbs

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This is technically resolution #2. Learn more about gardening. Or more specifically, enlarging the veggie patch that’s already there. Creating the veggie garden wasn’t my idea, I hardly did any of the planting, and I definitely didn’t choose what to put in there, but I have been doing the picking of the “fruits” of the garden, and I found I quite enjoyed it.

I do not have a green thumb by any stretch of the imagination, but this I’d like to try. It’s just so rewarding pulling an *enormous* tomato off a tree/bush/shrub that just a few weeks ago was pretty, little, sprouty thing. And yes, that is my technical term for them.
I’ve found in taking over the maintenance of the veggie patch, that getting things to grow can be quite fulfilling. And I think there has to be something in that if you’re on the path to brighter, shinier you. Surely the earth has something to impart?

So I’ve decided to not only get this patch big and beautiful, but to grow it until it’s something extraordinary. Or at least until I can make a complete salad out of it. To this end, though, I face a few challenges:

a) slugs and snails I refuse to use pesticides on (anyone know anything about the chili/garlic spray?)
b) replacing all the lettuce and rocket that turned in to baby trees while we were on holiday
c) finding the leeks I know we planted
d) choosing what to add
e) getting whatever I choose to add to grow and flourish when it’s me that’ll be doing the planting this time

It’s quite a fun project, and I’m lucky to have been given a head start. But in a climate of renewal, self-sustenance and “green is the new black” I feel like its also a very relevant project.

monday morning music

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Cute video done for local group Fuzigish's track, "Black Magoo". Animation by


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Last night we went to go see Nataniёl's new production, Coronation. If you're living in South Africa, and you've not been to see Nataniёl yet, you're missing out on a large piece of our culture and colour. He's brilliant, fabulous, fantastic, amazing. I've waxed lyrical about him before, when we went to go see Men Who Fly, but he really is that good.

Last night's story - he creates all his songs, stories, anecdotes around a central theme for each production - was about finding your place in the world, and how many people confuse this with the pursuit of power. Filled with stories of people in cities, people in small towns, people with small minds, people with big hearts, he paints a wonderful picture of South Africa-and in fact history - with all its good and bad, but mostly, all the humour there is to be seen and experienced if you'll only look at things slightly differently. The word that best fits him is "poignant".

He carries himself like a prince from a long-forgotten royal court. Hand gestures are precise and considered, there's no excess in gesture, but plenty in costume.

As a performer in South Africa, Nataniёl is singular in his craft.

"A king too shy to appear in public, a dictator eating his subjects, a pregnant beauty queen, a commander in love with the enemy, through the ages history has provided us with countless examples of the unbelievable and the royally insane.

Coronation takes a look at the madness and absurdity of power and those whose lives are ruled by it, those who will die in pursuit of it, those who will die being oppressed by it, those who will die defying it and those not realizing they are in possession of it." -

new year’s resolution #1

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It’s the most obvious one of all, and the one I tend to hate most: go to gym. Get fit.

For a range of reasons, I’ve not consistently done any exercise since leaving ‘varsity. I hate feeling intimidated when I walk into a gym and I’m surrounded by people who know what they’re doing.
They know where the machines are. They know how the machines work. They know where the change rooms are, what the classes are, who the instructors are, what to wear, what not to wear, what to do, what not to do, how to do it, how many to do, how heavy to do them, how to TURN THE TV ON ON THEIR MACHINES!!!

I don’t know any of it, and it pisses me off. So I don’t go. Easy way out, I know.
So this year I’ve resolved to not only go to gym, but to overcome my fear and uncertainty of gyms. To this end I’ve re-signed my contract (yes, they cancelled it ‘cos I wasn’t attending), picked a machine I know how to turn on, and I try go each day, just for 20 minutes.

Sounds lame, but it’s a start. I’m able to walk directly to my machine, push the buttons I need, and do my thing for 20 minutes. For me, it’s huge. In time, I might do my thing for longer, or harder. I may even change machines, or routines. It’s a crazy world!

blo me down

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Always wanted your own English Chesterfield couch but realized you're neither old enough nor French enough to afford one? Or... want to be able to take your own furniture when visiting friends who aren't as clean as you'd like?
Either way, BlOfield inflatable Chesterfields are for you!

They're east to transport, easy to clean, are more stylish than those odd black ones on Verimark ads, and they're soon available in SA! Twiice International is bringing them in, so watch this space.