Monday, September 29, 2008

Zanzibar 5th avenue

Its not all poverty and squallor here in deepest, darkest Africa you know! For the record, I do not ride a Zebra to work and have never, not once, found a lion in my garden - as fierce as she is, the neighbour's Siamese doesn't count! What we do have, is a very sharp sense of humour and an ability to rip ourselves off better than anyone else can hope to. As proof, I sumbit these pics of beach-front stalls found on the beautiful, serene, magical beaches of Zanzibar (an island off the cost of Tanzania, the country just below Kenya, if that helps).

These arts/crafts/beadwork and occasional jewellery sellers know how to catch the tourists' attention and they also know how to use the internet, be it from what most people would consider a shack somewhere in the jungle with antennas tied to the tops of coconut trees - no seriously, its amazing what people do to get things to work for them. More on the beautiful scenery there another time, for now, enjoy the humour of the people of Zanzibar. Hakuna matata!








Friday, September 26, 2008

Virtual dress up

I don't really know what this site is meant to do, but it is loads of fun!


My first attempt at playing dress up:


Try it at Polyvore

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yes, I bought shoes

When you travel as regularly as I have been for the past few months, giving in to that 'from me to me' present gets a lot easier. You know, you're spending time away from home (feeling sorry for yourself), missing sleep and missing friends and possibly missing the train at times, with browsing through unfamiliar shops often the only form of entertainment available. No prizes for guess what's on the list of items on the most regular basis.

Had dinner with a friend in the UK & took a new work colleage from SA with. Her first response to my colleage when she heard that we'd been browsing shops earlier in the day - so did you buy shoes too? Oh well, guess one needs to be predictable some of the time!

This was also one of the times I was quite happy that the fashion seasions in South Africa are always (at least) one cycle behind, so we're only going into the spring/summer trends of the beginning of 2008 now. Yes, those same items that can be found on sale in the Northern Hemipshere for next to nothing since the stores are making space for new autumn/winter stuff, soon to be followed by the next spring/summer collections - usually in the dead of winter!

I don't normally think of myself as a fashion slave, but couldn't miss the gladiator sandal trend that was all over the place earlier in the year and what do I find? A lovely pair of brown leather calf high gadiator sandals for....drum roll please...5 British pounds! What a steal, and what an impossibility to pass by. So, getting back to SA, what do I find in all the shop windows? Gladiator sandals of course!

Problem is, I'm not sure if it's as much fun knowing that this is so two minutes ago in the rest of the world...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Healthy travel eating

Leaving for the UK again tonight, already cringing at the guaranteed water rentension from long haul flying and the extra kilos I always seem to come back with after a few days of travel. I have tried (and continue to) many different options to mitigate that - sofar, drinking lots of water and eating fresh fruit as often as possible but at least twice a day are winners. Staying away from the comfort component of food - difficult when you're far away from home and feeling sorry for yourself - also something to pay attention to.



I'm also experimenting with different meal options on the plane. I've tried vegetarian/vegan - very healthy but not always filling, given that often the airline's idea of this type of meal is fruit and nuts (for EVERY meal!). Vegetarian/Ovo-lacto (including milk & eggs) is a better option for this, but not necessarily any healthier than the regular fare, given than potatoes smothered in cheese falls into this category (and are served as well, without seasoning - yuck!). This time I'm trying the Muslim meal option (hopefully this is not disrespectful to the Muslim religion - I'm opting for the health benefits). I tried it on a short haul flight recently and had to wrestle the cabin attendant for the meal - being blonde and not obviously Muslim, he was convinced it was some kind of mistake. Holding thumbs for tonight's flight!

It would seem that I am not alone in this quest, found a blog entry on 101 Cookbooks on the same topic, the entry is short but the comment string offers some great tips - have a look.

On a different matter, perfected foot (hmmm, only just noticed how foot and food are so close, no wonder I love them both!) comfort on my last trip - wore soft suede boots to the airport, really comfortable and you still look good while waiting for the plane. Once on the plane, take them off, store them in the overhead compartment (the suede folds up really easily) and wear the flight socks supplied by the airline for the rest of the trip (do take socks in your bag as some airlines don't supply socks or could not have stock for that flight, etc). Best bit about this is also looking good when stepping off the plane - especially if you have a gorgeous man waiting to pick you up!

Happy flying, someone has to!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Boot-e-licious

I am not the tallest person. At 1.65 m (or thereabouts) some would consider me to be of less than average height. I usually counter this by 'being tall on the inside' as I like to think of it and basically living in heels. Luckily, this often results in me being considered to be quite a bit taller than I actually am, and my er, curvaceous body type can be pulled off. Years of ballet (in my youth) have blessed me with substantial calves which look amazing in a pair of heels. All this background required to get to the point of this - if you have my particular height and body type (and looking around there are definately more than one of me) good luck if you're ever looking for a lovely pair of boots to complete your winter wardrobe.

You either need to have a foot a number of sizes larger (which would usually translate into an exponential height increase), or you need to have the build, appetite and genes of Kate Moss or some other waif-like creature to fit into the gorgeous options on offer. I find this incredibly frustrating and often feel like putting on a pout and whining that this is unfair (which is basically what I'm saying right now).

I know that when I find a pair of boots designed by someone who does not also double up as a horse-shoe designer (and can therefore be forgiven for thinking that all creatures have legs the size of their ankles) I am ecstatic and immediately buy a pair in all the available colours since it will be a long while until I come across this miracle of modern footwear again. When I spot a gorgeous pair that I would love to own and don't see 1) a lace up option 2) a substantial amount of expansion built in 3) suede-like stretchable material, I despair and first look around to see who will see me embarrasing myself by trying on a pair that will refuse to pull up past 50% of my calf. Very often I won't even bother. I mean its one thing to find something that doesn't fit in the privacy of a change room cubicle and you can wiggle and wrestle out of it in your own time, but quite another to be seen trying on a pair of boots and going through similar motions in full view of other customers. (I'm not sure if the amount of calories burnt off during this process is worth it)

Perhaps private cubicles to try on shoes may be an option now that I think of it, considering all the bending and possible exposure of underwear (or lack thereof), badly paired socks, un-pedicured feet, etc. could be done in the privacy of your own little stall with your own mirror that you don't have to wait your turn for. Of course, I'd also like more roomy boots. Please.