Monday, February 27, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Unfortunately my computer has decided to go on strike… every time I try to do some form of productive work on it, it restarts itself. My brother tells me that it’s the heatsink and fan or the power supply That needs replacing, but personally I just think the thing hates me.
Between work, sleep, an attempted social life and the occasional heated bitch slap given to my computer I haven’t been able to find the time to write at all.
Not only had Shaun been keeping me in the dark about any form of plans, but he also kept receiving mysterious telephone calls that sent him running off behind closed doors.
Eye contact became non-existent as I tried to pry information out of him for days – but in my defense, Valentines treats have never come often for me so I was beyond the stage of excitement to experience a real Valentine’s Day filled with spoils.
When the big day finally arrived, I’d somehow managed to pack a bag for a trip that I knew nothing about, (and for those of you who know me, you know that I HATE surprises!!).
He rushed me around the liquor store, in a fluster to get to our mystery destination before the sunset.
We finally arrived at the opening to Old Drift where he gave two small hoots, clearly to ‘warn’ someone that we had arrived. This sent my wired mind into an absolute frenzy. We stopped the car and started trekking off into the bush, far away from the usual picnic spots.
Soon enough I started noticing the odd rose petal teasing the way towards a beautiful candlelit clearing by the waters edge.
The sand was painted in red polka dots from the array of gorgeous rose petals scattered along the surface.
Honestly, I couldn’t have planned it better myself, it was that breathtaking.
Once the initial shock had passed, his dad climbed out of a small hiding spot in the trees and wrapped me up in a big hug.
The hoots that Shaun had given as we’d entered the field had been for his dad, who quickly lit all of the candles leading up to our tent while we were walking down.
I know it all sounds so cheesy and cliché but nothing like that has ever happened for me before so I was overwhelmed by it all.
Valentines with my previous boyfriends had never been something for the books – so I literally felt like the luckiest girl in the world and was completely inspired to crack open the spine of my latest notebook.
And of course I roasted the much anticipated marshmallows!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
You could be absolutely perfect for the position and do everything down to the ‘T,’ but you may have a problem fitting in with your colleagues.
We’ve all heard or experienced this scenario before… it feels like family, right? Becoming chummy with your colleagues has both its advantages and disadvantages – feeling comfortable doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing well. In fact the majority of the time if you feel comfortable you subconsciously start slacking off in small ways that some wouldn’t even notice.
- Go The Extra Mile – if there are finger prints on the glass doors or window panes that the cleaner missed, polish them away. It takes less than five minutes to do so, it’s productive and it’s true that a cleaner environment makes for a happier you.
- Don’t Expect Praise – Sometimes you could be doing really well, but that doesn’t mean that the manager is going to let you know that! You need to earn praise, don’t expect it to be handed to you on a platter after not mucking anything up in the first week.
- Leave Your Problems At The Door – I think every manager’s nightmare is hiring someone who darkens everyone’s day. Try to be optimistic about things in general. Happiness and unhappiness are contagious. If you’re having personal issues at home whether it is with your folks, your partner, a friend or your kids… just be aware that this is not works problem. You will only make matters worse for yourself by putting a downer on everyone else’s day. Don’t put your job in jeopardy.
- Free Up Your Calendar – Unless they are arrangements made prior to your employment there; try not to ask for special days off unless it is really necessary. Manager’s want someone that is flexible, someone that they can rely on. Keep that in mind next time your friends peer pressure you into taking time off to join them on a pointless drinking marathon.
- Smoke Breaks – Having recently quit smoking myself, I am in no situation to preach; but try not to take advantage of your smoking breaks no matter how stressed out you are. Your employers will definitely get fed up if you’re dashing out back into the smelly, damp alley-way every hour for a quick puff. Three times a day max, even that’s pushing it.
- Be Eager To Learn – The only questions that are stupid are the one’s that are not asked. Don’t be shy to learn, even if you think it to be the simplest of things, better safe than sorry.
- Look Presentable – Do you really think your employer wants you greeting clients or sitting behind their desk in baggy or ripped jeans, that grungy looking beanie that’s far too big for you or a button up shirt with missing buttons or a noticeable stain on the cuff? No. Keep your hair back out of your face, it opens you up and makes you look more approachable. Make sure every crease is ironed out of your clothes. Keep your nails in good condition and only wear minimum, tasteful jewelry. Don’t wear items that are undeniably too small for you (it looks trashy,) or that comfortable shirt that you think looks great but you know you actually swim in. Cover up your tattoos to the best of your ability even if it is for a video store job or personal trainer where these things can usually be overlooked.
- Women – Makeup. I know many women who either just can’t be bothered, don’t have time or just don’t like putting makeup on for work in the mornings. But lets face it, a lot of us tend to look washed out and messy without it. I have mastered painting my face in just over two minutes now (daily natural look consisting of base, blusher, mascara, earthy eye-shadow and lip balm). Would you rather be assisted by someone that looks tired and unfriendly or someone who looks well put together, pretty? I know its shallow, but its how the world works.
- Men – Why are you so lucky with so many things? Shave. That’s all. Keep it clean. If a man was assisting me who was sporting a Guinness Book of World Records beards I would be mightily distracted. Otherwise, just look after your hands. Keep the nails short and clean. Brush your hair once in a while, your girlfriend might adore the bed-head look on weekends but your manager despises it during working hours.
- Posture – Don’t turn into the Hunchback of No’tradame, even if you don’t feel like being at work today. Stand tall and proud and plough through the day.
- Distractions – Either keep your mobile off or on silent during working hours. Show your employer that work is your main priority. Facebook, Twitter and Myspace will all still be there after your eight-nine hour shift. If something happens that’s life threatening someone will get hold of you somehow and they won’t do so over social media networks anyway!!! Personal problems left at the door remember?!
- Eye Contact – When in meetings or engaging in casual conversation, make eye contact with the people you work with as well as the clients. Show interest in what they have to say. You will look confident, organized, professional and in control.
- Always Have Something To Do – If there is nothing to keep you busy other than standing around playing with your hair, find something. Don’t ask for something to keep you busy straight away, use your own initiative. Do walks around your work environment, get stuck in and dirty those hands.
It really all comes down to the first point mentioned, go the extra mile.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I listen to music not for the way the artists voice sounds or the melody.. I am slightly deeper than that. The music I listen to I like because of the lyrics.
The reason I turn Windows Media Player on in the mornings or after work is to find inspiration or hope in the words being poured from the speakers into my soul. An easy to listen to, pleasurable voice is of course a bonus for me... I believe to sing meaningful lyrics you need to have respect for the words. You need to believe in what your saying and say it with confidence...
Tonight I padded into the kitchen, barefoot with an unstoppable craving for hot chocolate. After being momentarily satisfied with my quick brew, I retired for the evening to my little boudoir.
Depending on my mood each and every day, I make playlists to get me through whatever is eating away at me that day.
A lot of the time I never really figure out what it is that is eating at me - but the music puts my troubled mind to rest. Music is soothing and relaxing and everything that I need in my life to make it complete.
The Cure's incredible cover of Tainted Love originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1964, Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by the Crash Test Dummies, Colorblind by Counting Crows...
They are but some of my favourite songs.
Yoav, who I met in Knysna (there should be a post somewhere in my tangled mess of blog entries on my meeting with him...)
Believe it or not, after a day of pure disappointment of meeting one of my musical heroes who was only interested in a skinny blond harp player and completely ignored what must be one of his clichéd biggest fans... he actually ended up apologising and serenaded me around a camp fire, singing my ultimate favourite from his beautiful collection, 'One by One'...
Although I was always a huge fan of his work, I'm not one to watch music videos.
I prefer closing my eyes and listening to the songs. I wish we could do that with our love lives. I wish we could all close our eyes and talk to people... find interest and love in someone from what they have to say, For who they are, not for who they appear to be. Not for their sex appeal....
Anyway - my point being that as I had never actually WATCHED Yoav's performances, only listened, I didn't know that all those beautiful drum-like taps throughout his acoustic guitar and miracle of voice is him tapping the guitar with him fingertips. He's amazing. Such a talent and I am so proud and boastful about the fact that South Africa has so many amazing artists born and bred here.
Elvis Blue, Prime Circle, The Parlotones... I could go on, but they aren't featured in tonight's playlist.
Though the following artists are.. and they are well worth a listen. Especially if you are in one of those nostalgia-ridden moods as I am tonight.
Bethany Joy Lenz - a young woman introduced to me by a very amazing television show called One Tree Hill. Not only is she incredibly talented, she also has her head in the right places. Her music means something to me, it could mean something to you too.
Deep dark secret: I have a tendency to belt out her music with my volume cranked up to 30 after a glass of wine or two.....
Bright Eyes.. What can I say? I don't really think the actual songs are very good to be honest; but the lyrics are beautiful, raw truth. The truth that it gives us if we are willing to overlook the exterior is a blessing. Even if you just google the lyrics and read them in your own time, it will change your life.
The Counting Crows... God. Lets just say after 'Cruel Intentions' I was hooked. Enough said.
That's always the thing about blogs... you could have all of these great ideas and write manically... but the start and the end of your post is always a tricky one.
How do you start a blog post and instantly hook peoples attention?
How do end a blog post and leave the reader wanting more?
Usually the start of my entries are fairly simple.. I just start. Ending is a different story though. When do you stop? I could carry on writing forever... especially after all the creativity mulling around in my head after the above playlist has worked its magic.
I guess all I can say is that's all I have for you tonight.
Keep reading beautiful people, for your time is something I am so unbelievably appreciative of.
Keep a look out for my post on my camping trip which took place last night... its a work in progress and I am still fiddling with all the awesome photographs I captured.
Sweetest Dreams World.
Friday, February 17, 2012
And now for the big questions... what to eat and drink?
My partner rang me bright and early this morning asking what I felt like drinking this evening. Although the answer will probably always be Hunters Dry, my signature cider, I couldn't even think about it. I was still in waking up mode.
What does one normally drink when camping?
In good old England it would probably be OBS, but here I guess normal beer and cider will do.
Braai / Barbeque... my favourite being chicken drumsticks. I also love junk food with a passion, crisps of any flavour in general.
There's still a lot that needs to be done, such as the shower head being tightened and my door replaced, but this is the outcome of my personally designed humble abode.
So that's it!
Finally got some time to declutterize my room.
Cleaning is something I find to be very therapeutic. It really did help. I'm not sure what it helped with exactly... my minds been pretty clogged recently with my relationship taking sharp turns when I least expected it, my new job at the spa which is going great by the way and just life in general! It helped
to clear my mind for seven hours. I had something else to focus on. Those seven hours were my very own kind of productive meditation.
I have noticed now that a clean room definitely helps clean the cobwebs from your soul too. I feel revitalised and fresh...
Clean room - happy me!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Somehow I made it work up until this point however. Now I have just had enough.
And yes... those are chilli seeds on my window sill. Don't ask.
My room is in desperate need of some spring cleaning!
Inside the card was a beautiful poem that he'd hand written.