Jeffrey’s Bay

February 20, 2019 at 08:30 (Move, Uncategorized)

Been in JBay for a little over two weeks and overall, it’s been good. There are a few things that I had expected but the levels were surprising. I expected the macho male first attitude but the number of entitled white men was more than I expected, and also, the number of younger white men with that attitude. A large number of young people also smoke, and it’s weird to see.

One thing I didn’t expect the was the terrible driving. There is no traffic in JBay and only one traffic light (which is out during load shedding), but the driving is appalling. Another thing is barking dogs. Dogs bark all the time – it feels like I’ve swapped house/car alarms for barking dogs.

Generally though, I’m pleased with the move. Last week I found a cute place that can be made really comfortable. It’s small and super convenient.  When we were looking at houses back in CT, there were a few places that looked amazing. When we got here though, the places were still great but they were far from shops and other conveniences, and to get anywhere you would need to get into a car because the road need an upgrade and the driving is all over the place so cycling was out of the question. Living in the city for near 20 years means that I can no longer live without certain things as much as I liked the idea of our very first plan, I’ve realised it’s not for me – too remote, too much hard work and I don’t want to be so far away from everything.


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Mary, moving and spiders

December 31, 2018 at 07:32 (Move, Uncategorized)

Mary loves eating spiders.

Rose and Mary bring all sort of bugs into the house, they play with them till they’re dead and then Rose plays with them some more. Most mornings involve crime scene clean up.

Mary though, has a fondness for spiders. She doesn’t play with them at all – she catches and eats them. One evening she came in meowing as usual but when she came into the room, she was also licking and chewing (and meowing). It looked like she had a blackjack stuck among her whiskers so I quickly got up to pull it out. It was a spider leg. She wasn’t distressed at all, she was finishing up a delicious snack.

In my current  urban environment, the spiders tend to be small. But JBay has a lot of natural vegetation and the houses all have large gardens, and my year in Mossel Bay taught me that given the chance, spiders grew very big. I have a fear brewing inside me – Mary bringing in a large spider, a rain spider, a hairy spider…

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November 23, 2018 at 17:39 (Move, Uncategorized)

I’m always torn when starting a non-English show that is still ongoing. What happens if the translator/s give it up half way? Or worse – one or two episodes left. But also, I’m so used bingeing a series, I don’t want to wait a week for an episode.

I started Children of Nobody anyway. It’s good, I hope I get to see it until the end.

I also have five weeks of work left before it’s proper work from home vibes. Then it’s final weeks of the house I spent 18 years in from a teenager to an old cat lady 😀

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November 16, 2018 at 11:46 (Move, Uncategorized)

So my last post about house selling was just before what happened to be my last show house. Excellent! Super pleased to finally make some progress on the whole moving process. And it is such a process. Gosh – the steps and paperwork involved is crazy, but luckily, a lot of it done by lawyers so no actually work on my part.

Not only is the process multi-stepped, it also takes a number of weeks. And usually during this time, people would pack up their stuff. But we decided to move in February and so started the packing up process then.  We also expected the house to sell a lot faster than it did so for near a year, we’ve been living half packed, sort of out of boxes and with no furniture.

It wasn’t total madness that lead to getting rid of everything so early. The main reason for the move is a lifestyle change, and part of that change is to simplify. Many items in the house we had because we had the space, and a lot of the furniture wouldn’t fit in the smaller house we want to buy – again because big furniture was bought to fill big (and high) spaces. Strangely, one of the things I’m most excited about is having regular height ceilings. And walls made with bricks, not clay.

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Show Houses

October 24, 2018 at 08:19 (Move, Uncategorized)

As an introvert, show houses are the worst thing when selling a house. The tidying and packing up of valuables is annoying enough, but being out the house for two hours with no purpose is so draining.

And then there’s the hope that someone will say ‘I’ll take it’. But by Wednesday that hope has faded and disappointment remains. Also, I keep looking at houses in JBay and then they disappear and I’m like I wanted that one. Sigh…

I didn’t expect to still be in Cape Town in October, especially since I wanted to start some craft type thing for markets or some such thing – my half baked ideas.

It’s all so frustrating.

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August 9, 2018 at 11:52 (Move, Uncategorized)

When I stopped working full time in the later half of July, my diet changed without me realising it. Getting up later meant I drank less coffee in the morning and leaving work earlier meant less coke and snacks in the afternoon, and because I was mooching at home I didn’t feel the need for energy to get through the afternoon. This meant my caffeine, sugar and processed food intake dropped by more than half in the space of a weekend.

At first I couldn’t figure out why I felt like shit – headaches, muscle pain and lethargy, and a general feeling of argh. One early morning when the muscle pain had woken me yet again, I did a Google search of my symptoms and I had Death. Completely unhelpful so I thought about my life and tried again with life style changes instead of physical changes. After reading about crash diets and withdrawal symptoms, I took some steps to up the crap in my diet so I could slowly cut it out and not feel awful everyday.

While I now feel physical better and my usual self, I find my mental state a little adrift. The position I held had many aspects – daily and weekly tasks, ongoing tasks, maintaining tasks and general monitoring and ensuring smooth running of the campus as well as dealing with students. I have none of that now. And while it was difficult to let it go while I was trying my replacement and I don’t miss it now, I do on occasion find myself  looking for task to do at home. Or thinking I should check the progress of something. But on the other hand, I also find myself staying up later watching another episode because I don’t have to get up for work. It’s a strange place to be, and until I find a happy balance that’s how I’ll be 🙂

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Changing tack

July 23, 2018 at 10:46 (Move, Uncategorized)

One thing I’m finding a little difficult about leaving and training my replacement, is to not getting involved or stepping in to quickly sort something out. Obviously, I have my system and she will develop her own system but I have to make conscious efforts to allow her to do so. After managing the front desk for so long, it feels a little strange to step away. But in another way, it also feels really nice to step away.

Now I just need my house to sell so I can spend my days mooching around.

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June 28, 2018 at 17:33 (Move, Uncategorized)

…have changed.

As much as I am taken with my original plan, I’ve been readjusting it with more reality in mind. I’m physically limited since my car collision and I’m seriously accustomed to certain conveniences. It’s less than a five minute walk to the Spar where I can buy anything to eat when I don’t want to make efforts to cook (put things together and warm them up), and while there are no traffic issues in JBay, I don’t want to drive eight or so kms to the nearest shop.

I also want to make another attempt at a home industry. I’ll have to scout around and see what avenues I can pursue but I’m thinking about sewy crafty things or cakey pastry things, preserves from the garden maybe.

I have many plans and ideas but no decisions will be made till I’ve got there and mooched around for a bit. I may even think of something I haven’t thought of now 🙂

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April 27, 2018 at 16:24 (Move, Uncategorized)

My downscale and simplify lifestyle plan has certain requirements that are not negotiable. There were a number of things that were in mind while scouting potential areas to move to, such as wifi, certain shops and things like vets and bank branches.

The wish to simplify isn’t to become a hermit grubbing in the ground making soap out of worms (but if people want to do that, go ahead and grub). Reducing the stresses of commuting, city life and working life is the goal. There will be stresses in the new place, of course, there is no utopia. But here is a chance to do so.

In a way, I’m returning to living ways of my youth. We always lived along the coast in smaller towns, little shops and local crazies. I’m just adding wifi and convenience to the mix.

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Basic Cake

April 21, 2018 at 14:12 (Bake, Move, Uncategorized)

In efforts to simplify my life, I’ve decided to reduce my blogs and add categories to my main blog. Bake, Move and Travel have been added. Move is for the move to Jeffery’s Bay while the others are pretty self explanatory.

First Bake post 🙂

Even my most exotic looking cakes start with plain cake of either vanilla or chocolate. Over the years I’ve refined a recipe that always works for me and always tastes good.

1.5 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk

100g butter/full fat marg

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract/essence

Cream the butter/full fat marg and sugar until smooth and creamy, add eggs and milk [and vanilla extract/essence for vanilla cake] and mix with a whisk.  Add shifted flour and baking powder [and dark cocoa power for chocolate cake].  Do not over mix the batter.  I usually fold in the flour with a spatula. Bake at 180C – the baking time will depend of the size of the tin used.  A shallow tin will cook faster than a deep tin but usually it bakes for 30 – 45 minutes.

Ice as desired, or not.

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