Tuesday, 31 May 2011

may, 31st - leila's....

day 478:

we went to Leila's over the weekend.....i've been really looking forward to going. it sort of lived up to expectations...it was crammed and you share tables with relaxed locals, which i love. the food was farm fresh. some highs were the beetroot with feta and crunchy english peas.....still in their pods. the minus was that it was seriously not toddler friendly (except for the distracting pea shelling).....and i felt almost uncomfortable being there with Limi. after hiding her in the corner, i still found Leila and her waitrons pretty unwelcoming.......but hey, it was worth a try. (and if you can visit without a small child, on possibly not such a busy day, then perhaps you will have a completely different experience). i still love what they are all about. 

and hey, it couldn't dampen our enjoyment of a lovely three day weekend.

Monday, 30 May 2011

may, 30th - 3 long days....

day 477:

we had a wonderful weekend...three long days with the three of us.

hope yours was just as much fun.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

may, 29th - hackney city farm....

day 476:

heehaah. what a great day.

we discovered another absolute gem in London {via lovely friend, Bonnie}.....Hackney City Farm. it's smack in the middle of East London and very close to this and this and this. and somehow, after all this time in London it completely escaped my notice.........

it's a perfect mix of farmyard and quirky english eccentricity. in between the pigs, ducks, chickens, straw and lambs, there was photoshoot going on and the sound of cars in the background. it's not a petting farm, it's really more the real deal...standing at the fence looking at ducks frolicking in the bath....or running across a cobbled courtyard scattering chickens.

it felt just like a visit to a farm of some slightly, shambolic relatives who look after their animals like children (it's a very happy and healthy farmyard) . unsurprisingly....Limi loved it. 

[this is after Limi joined the ducks splashing in a puddle]

sometimes you do something once and think although that was fun, you wont be rushing back. HCF is definitely worth more than one visit.

Friday, 27 May 2011

may, 27th - weekend....

day 474:

it's a long weekend in London. whohoo.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

may, 26th - yours truly....

day 473:

i promised some more of this lovely coffee spot in Cape Town on day 436. it's called Yours Truly and stands out from the crowd on Long Street. when i was a student in Cape Town, we would frequent Mr Pickwicks, a cafe on the very same street, for late night foraging and their baked cheesecake. it doesn't surprise me that Daniel Holland, who started Yours Truly, used to waiter at Mr Pickwicks. it has the same African heart and European flavour.....although, whereas Mr P was a bit grunge on the edges, Yours Truly is a seriously beautiful space.

it only opened last year but seems to already have plenty of fans and that's probably down to the lovely buzz and friendliness that you experience as you walk through the door.....i was sad that we were tight for time because i could definitely have stopped, sipped my coffee and just enjoyed the energy.

it also serves delicious looking sandwiches....and reading about Daniel, his ethos is about sourcing from local suppliers and supporting the community....so really, he's as responsible as he is lovely. often when i ask if i can take pics, people can get a bit funny....but with Daniel he was so friendly that i felt completely inspired.

if you're in Cape Town (or if you're not, make a detour), support this place....they deserve all the good things coming to them.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

may, 25th - balancing.....

day 472:

my posts last year contained a lot more musings.....on motherhood and other topics.....yes, this blog has never really been too wordy but lately, i feel like i'm just churning out pics. i guess that what comes with being busier....less opportunity to sit and musificate (it must be a word.....right?) but for me, it's quite interesting to go back and re-read letters or diary notes that were written at a particular time.....so, since this is a journal of our adventures and cheesy as they may be....i'm bringing back 'letters to limi' and maybe even a few to myself.

so, as obvious as it may be to most of you, i wanted to write about the struggle to find the right balance.......finding the balance between being an individual and part of a family....finding the balance between career and homelife......finding the balance between work and play. i mean, it's seriously not a new topic and i have no solution but probably for the first time, i'm realising just how we struggle to find our own answers to this subject.

one thing that is clear to me is a need for flexibility...some people like structure and certainty.....i like flexibility.......i love working and having a career and contributing financially, but i also want to be able to adapt that around Limi and A. (this probably stems from me really hating missing out on anything) so having to miss out on Limi's 'end of term' swimming session eats me up inside....

the other aspect is doing things that you're passionate about. so, unless what you're passionate about doesn't allow you the financial freedom to enjoy your downtime, i think that it's important to spend your days/nights doing what you love......i mean that wraps up lifestyle and career balance into one.

and finally time, time is such a precious thing but i guess what i'm learning is that we're playing the long-term game here......just as you think that the individuality versus family balance can get no worse (103 days straight of spending 24 hours a day with a demanding infant)...it shifts and you suddenly get some of your self back but also start getting more from the family aspect......

so really, the balance thing is an ever evolving dynamic state where we constantly need to look for solutions, my suggestion (again, not a new one) is to enjoy every second.....make it about what you want to do.....and when you look back, you'll see that in fact, you probably got the balance just right.

Monday, 23 May 2011

may, 23rd - where we stayed - part II....

day 470:

a few more pics of the amazing place that we stayed at in Cape Town {see day 436}. Doreen rents out these spots as well. one is a two-bed cottage converted from the old wood shed for the Church next door and the other, a perfectly sized studio that was once a garage. 

wooden crate stools on the left, by Animal Farm. inspired by the plastic versions found in African shebeens (drinking halls), barber shops and spaza stalls, Animal Farm calls them an 'ode to every African tale voiced from these seats of hope'. love the messages on the different versions: 'High Hopes - Big Dreams' and 'Short Courage - Tall Stories'. the headboard shows off the original stonework on the right. such a brilliant idea....have to admit to having a attention-to-detail crush on Doreen.

just can't understand why i didn't take more pics.......these are seriously beautiful, warm, witty and most importantly throw-your-shoes-off-relaxing spaces.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

may, 21st - saturdays....

day 468:

i guess we all have these preconceived notions of what it's like to have a toddler....well, besides the obvious new signs of 'i-can-do-it-myself' that keep emerging in our household (seriously, three of us with that attitude may be too much for one house), i always pictured a toddler with small hands dragging around a much-loved toy.....

well, Oslo is brand new (a gift from a friend) but first choice for taking to breakfast today. sometimes, not often, what you pictured in your head is what you see right in front of you.

ps. the sweet dress is from my sister.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

may, 18th - day in paris - part II....

day 465:

Paris, Part I {see day 464}

1pm: strolling through alleys and along the Seine to reach lunch in The Marais.....

love those glasses.....

chatting to a local at the table next to us we found out that on a tuesday, Parisian restaurants all receive their fresh produce for the week, so tuesday is the best time to have lunch in the city. all these tables were full...we just lingered until the locals had all headed back to work.

if you order the chocolate mousse at Chez Janou, they bring the bowl and you can serve up your own portion.....how civilised.

love the detail.

6pm: headed back to London on the Eurostar. what a beautiful day.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

may, 17th - day in paris - part I....

day 464:

we met a great friend in Paris today for lunch......work is preventing us from going to her 40th celebration in Greece, in May {see our planning trip last year day 105 , day 107 etc}, so, we did the next best thing and met up in Paris........

this was our day...........

8am: we reach Paris {it did require a 3:15am start....yikes!} and off we head to their hotel. we get bumped to the front of the taxi queue for having a baby.....seriously.....in Paris.....never would have thought.

9am: rooftop views from their room. could you ever get tired of looking at this city?

10am: out strolling......past the Centre Pompidou......great quote (translated using A.'s schoolboy French): 'Art must discuss, must challenge, must protest.'

11am: make our way to the stock-your-dream-kitchen store, E. Dehillerin 

this shop makes you want to open up a patisserie.....immediately.

Paris Part II, tomorrow....lunch in the The Marais.
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