South Africa has vast array of great wines. I usually base my choice on the attractiveness of the label, which is generally NOT the most failsafe way to choose a decent bottle. With this method, the danger is that you end up with a bottle of sauvignon plonk or mer(de)lo, which is a pity when SA has so many stunning wines to offer.
I have now found a much, much better way to discover great wines. Do you want to know what it is? Continue reading →
In my last post, Hats for Twins, I mentioned a shopping trip and some interesting underwear that was on sale in Downtown Jozi. In any city, if you’re prepared to get off the tourist trail with its well trodden attractions, you’ll no doubt see all sorts of unusual and unexpected things.
There was plenty more to relish in Downtown Jo’burg starting in the Fashion District…
Buying decent undies when overseas is one issue many expat gals grapple with. It falls under one of the ‘lesser challenges of expat life’ and yet the struggle is real. It’s often a top of the list shopping item when heading home on home leave. In parts of the Far East you might be met with “Sorry madame, we don’t have extra big size for you”. In more remote places or less developed places the things you want simply aren’t available or maybe they are, but the prices are eye watering because they are imported.
We lived in Istanbul before moving to Johannesburg and there were a number of weekly local markets called Pazaris. These were places where locals (and expats) would go to buy spices, beach towels, table linen, cheap t-shirts for the kids and underwear (okay, this is probably not where expats would buy their underwear, but we’d enjoy haggling for some of the other items).
Voila, an enticing display of lingerie in Ulus Pazar.
I noticed quite quickly that the stalls, selling bras and knickers, were almost always manned…by men.
Generally the bras were stacked cups pointing upwards or fetchingly pegged out on view above the stall.
The New Year is often a time for reflection. Rather than bore you with my inner navel gazing though, I’m instead going to share two photographic reflections with you. Before heading back to the UK for Christmas, we spent a glorious week down South exploring Cape Town, Knysna and Franschhoek. Both reflection photos come from that trip.
Knysna is a small touristy almost-beside-the-seaside town in the south of South Africa. If you look at a map and draw a line between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, Knysna is roughly two thirds of the way along it. It nestles by a tidal lagoon, protected from the worst of sea storms (hence the ALMOST-beside-the-seaside description). The lagoon ebbs and flows into the sea between the formidable rocky Knysna heads.
Pronounced nize-na, Knysna is a bit like an African version of England’s Cornwall. The coastline is dotted with beaches, there are plenty of seafood restaurants, lots of holidaymakers and plenty of outdoors activities. Although, be warned, if you are thinking about choosing canoeing in the lagoon as an outdoors activity you will get splattered with lagoon water and it STINKS.
….And should you furthermore decide to take both your children out on the lagoon, (“Pleeeeeeease Mummy, we’d love to go canoeing. Please.”) it helps if they are proficient paddlers. I took a tandem canoe with Pickle and Sweetpea struck out on her own.
Once we’d paddled quite a distance they both decided they were “soooooo tired” and which resulted in me trying to get back to base with the second canoe tied to the back of the tandem one and two dead weights flailing their oars about in my face, further dousing me in ghastly lagoon water, while I battled against the tide. Meanwhile Mr Incredible was shoreside busy reflecting (falling about with laughter at my predicament) over a cheeky esspresso.