Monday, April 22, 2013


The topography of Cape Town means that some suburbs - those closest to the mountains - are lush and tree'ed, green and shady. These are the wealthy ones.
The further from the mountain one gets the less shade there is, the less green, the less wealth.

It's not just in Cape Town that shade belongs to the wealthy though right?

Shade ... feels luxurious. It dapples, it hue's, it gives texture and depth and mysticism and richness to everything around it.
Driving from Hout Bay, over Constantia Neck and down through Bishop's Court to Tokai (all four amongst Cape Town's wealthiest suburbs) is to travel through an almost continuous canopy of different greens. It relaxes the eyes, and also the shoulders. It draws one out of the car, out of your thoughts, and sets your mind free to gambol in the lushness of it all.

Well it does me. I've a bit of a thing for leaves.

It was only as I left the canopy, drove out into the light, needed to find my sunglasses and crack the window for some air, that I contemplated green and its association with wealth.

Large sprinklers ticking across deep green lawns, the colour of money, the leafy suburbs, proud old oaks on the grounds of proud old schools, going green - and having the time and resources to do so, shady nooks, summer in the Hamptons ... rich, fertile, green.

On the subject, I'm starting to plan my first herb and veggie garden. The thought terrifies me, I'm not known for my green fingers, but I like the idea of growing to eat and I love the idea of popping out to pick something for dinner.
Apparently growing one's own veggies is like printing one's own money - let's see.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

holding the space

A new, hippie-ish, phrase I've heard a lot recently, bit it's growing on me.

I had an amazing yoga class last night. I suspect that listening to people go on and on about how much they love their sport must be up there with as boring as listening to their dreams, but nevertheless yoga last night was inspiring and therapeutic and cleansing and just ... amazing.

One thing I love about yoga is what a solitary pursuit it is. My teacher likes to say that no matter how large or small the class, it's just you and your mat, and what you make of it.
The space to think, or not to think, is limitless, and what I found myself thinking about as I sweated it out through the movements last night was another solitary space I've been occupying recently.

I bought myself a stand-up paddle board a couple of months back, to punt around the lake and work the core and have a water sport all of my own, and I love it. On Sunday I went out, exploring further from home than I've done before, and found myself alone. So rare.
Alone but for a million coots, a couple of hundred ducks, a handful of pelicans, jumping fish, sail boats in the distance, a lone canoeist arcing through the water in front of me. Glassy water and perfect sun on my shoulders. Alone and chanting, in my head, 'hold this space, hold this space, hold this space, hold this space because you know you'll need it.'
But I also needed to focus on cutting my paddle through the water, 'don't drop it, don't drop it, don't drop it', the growing ache in my shin muscles (yup, who knew one had shin muscles right?), looking out for patches of dense water weed, and as with most things the magic got lost a little in the detail.
I came home happy and tired, but wishing I could have crystallized the feeling, caught it in amber to hang round my heart.

And then during yoga last night I did. I revisited the water, and in complete clarity brought up all the things I'd  experienced on Sunday afternoon - the smell of the water, the sounds of the water birds, the wind whistling through my paddle, the impenetrable mass of the lake, the freedom and calm, completely without concerns about falling in.
While my body exerted itself in other ways my mind floated like a bubble over the surface of the water, I found the space was still there, and I held it.
I hold it still.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

lists of 5: 5 reasons I'm already feeling better.

- a big weep, a couple actually
- yoga this morning
- her 3 hour nap
- smoked salmon for dinner
and most preciously,
- so much warmth, love and support from friends far and near ... thank you.

These are the things which have me feeling better today.