How going to a Joburg market finally convinced me to get a new phone

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ugh, I need a new phone. I have finally made peace with this very uneasy truth. I have never had the opportunity to actually upgrade from one phone to the other, as I have always left my cellphone in a shop somewhere, had it stolen out of a handbag in a club or just generally misplaced it and never found it ever again. So I am one of those fortunate people who have always been forced to get a new phone, whether I was buying a cellphone or just quickly doing a simswop for a family member's old phone.

Now, I am in the position where I am forced to get a new one because my old iPhone 4S sucks, big time and it is time for un upgrade anyway. Not only is its screen smashed, the back of it is smashed too - I have replaced both so many times now that I don't even bother anymore, I know it will just be broken within the next hour or so. I am a serial cellphone dropper, notorious at that. It might be because I always want to carry everything in my hands, despite having a handbag JUST there.

The other reason I need a new phone is because this old rickety thing of mine takes KAK photos. I think all the times I've dropped it has messed with its head and no matter what I try, they all come out kak. Case in point, when my friend and I recently visited a few Joburg Markets around the city. Now, I know you might be thinking why I am using a phone to take blogpost pics and not a proper camera - truth is, I will remember everything there is to remember, but to charge the batteries on my camera? Fuggetaboutit. Where I put my four memory cards? No idea. So phones are just more reliable than I am.

Our first stop was The Sheds@1Fox , which is quite lekker on a Thursday, because it has bands going, good food, craft beer and none of the hipsters. I like hipsters though. But on Saturdays, I think it is still being overshadowed by Neighbourgoods.

Come on people, why is no one visiting 1Fox? Why trample each other to death at the other markets if you have so much more space here, but pretty much the same on offer? This problem needs to be fixed - like my phone.

Our second stop was - tuddumtish - Neighbourgoods. Whoa. Overcrowded markets probably brings out the introvert in errrbody. People watching is quite interesting, but while there I definitely thought that my tv and my couch was inching up on my priority list.

We also checked out the Factory on Grant, which is quaint and doesn't quite pack the punch of the other two markets. We went there after one of the stall owners at Neighbourgoods told us that their shop was based here - a screenprinting shop, which offers classes in the lost[?] art. BONUS: On Fridays, The Factory has a nighmarket - I am yet to visit - where you can get a stall FOR FREE and sell your goodies. I bake some mean rusks, maybe I should drop in on a Friday and sell them with some boeretroos.

Coming back to my phone, this dilemma comes in - currently my contract is dirt cheap, because it is also so ancient that it could be excavated with the dinosaurs. I don't like spending money when I don't need to.

So I thought instead of upgrading, I should just buy a newer secondhand phone and just do a simswop and keep my old dirt cheap contract. Life hack unlocked and accomplished? Methinks so.

Selling my phone? As much as I would love to have done that, and use Gumtree's new Phone Price Checker tool to see what I could get for my unapolgetically used iPhone - I doubt that anyone would want to buy this old hack Its battery doesn't even last five minutes.  But maybe I will slip it in under secondhand phones and see if I get an offer ;)

Collaborated post

Folkloriikka {feature}

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Folkloriikka is a jewellery brand designed and crafted by Simone Toerien. The word is Finnish for “the study of folklore” and was chosen because of her love of Scandinavian design, wintery landscapes and her fascination with myths, tales and folklore.

Simone begins all of her pieces in wax, spending a wealth of time carving and etching the intricate details that bring her work to life, before casting them in sterling silver. Simone was also one of the featured artists at this year's Design Indaba. Her creations are equally enchanting as they are beautiful. The most compelling facet of Simone is that she overcomes challenges daily, but does not let it come in the way of her creativity.

1. Simone, I love all the little creatures you come up with. How did you start and how long have you been making jewellery?
Folkloriikka started as nothing more than a dream when I was working as a graphic designer in Cape Town. I left my job and moved home to Hermanus in 2012 to take time off to rest and heal after I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

It wasn’t long before I needed a new creative outlet and began a jewellery hobby course at Ralph Walton Design in Hermanus in 2013. During one of our lost wax casting classes, I made my first Fox Ring, a gift for a good friend of mine.

I began making more animal pieces to complete what would be my first range - The Familiars. It was not long after that that I was running my own online store.

I asked Simone if she minded expanding on having lupus and she said:

I wasn't sure if I should go into too much detail though it was a major part of how I ended up starting Folkloriikka. 

I have been off medication for a year, there is no cure for lupus but it no longer affects my life, occasionally my fingertips go numb (Raynaud's phenomenon), but nothing to complain about.

It used to impede my ability work, severe fatigue and joint pain that made walking difficult and driving nearly impossible. I attribute a stress free, healthy lifestyle, the fresh air in Hermanus, yoga and doing what I love to my steady recovery.

Getting my diagnosis was scary but also a huge relief, I'd been ill for years and always treated for my individual symptoms. I was able to give myself permission to let go of work commitments and take time off before pursuing my own dreams at my own pace.

As of this year I'm happy to be living and working in Cape Town again.

2. What sort of products do you make?
I make handmade woodland inspired sterling silver jewellery. All my pieces are individually carved in wax before being cast in sterling silver.

3. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
Forests, folk tales and curiosities - odd trinkets, vintage pieces, interesting objects from all over the world that have a story to tell. My grandmother's traditional jewellery from Mexico, and her art nouveau pieces from Holland sparked my interest in the world of jewellery.

I am also inspired by other young brands that pay close attention to detail in every aspect of what they do, from crafting their products, to their photography and their marketing.

4. What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?
Trying to do everything on my own and learning that I can’t. I spend a lot of my time making stock and organising deliveries, when I’d really love to be designing and carving new pieces. I’m still working out how to find a balance.

5. How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
It’s exciting to see local designers creating products at an international standard and making great design and expertly crafted goods accessible to the South African public, especially online. I’ve always loved the simplistic, honest way many young South African designers do their marketing and presentation, their genuine love for their product inspired me to go out and do my own thing.

6. What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
So far I only work in silver, but I have plans to work with warmer tones soon. A lot of the feedback I got from the Design Indaba this year was to produce a brass range. I would also love to work in gold.

7. What would you do if you won the lotto?
I have always dreamt of having a beautiful home studio space nestled in a forest beside a lake, I would employ people to assist me in creating my jewellery so that I could spend more time learning, designing and creating new work.

8. Where to from here?
Folkloriikka is still very young and I feel like I’ve hardly begun to achieve my business’ full
potential, I would like to produce more ranges, find more local boutiques to sell my pieces and
increase my international audience and sales.

My goal is to maintain my level of attention to detail as my business expands, to keep innovating,
experimenting with new techniques and to collaborate with people who are trained in other areas
of design to develop unique products.

9. What has been your proudest moment since you started?

I have a few but my highlights would definitely be debuting on as a featured
designer, it was really exciting, most of my pieces sold out within an hour. I was selected as a
2015 Design Indaba Emerging Creative which was a huge honour and an incredible opportunity
and experience.


All images were provided by Simone

Love is Wealth

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Do you know your purpose in life? Have you figured out yet why you have been put on this beautiful big blue and green speck in a million galaxies?

I think it’s safe to say that Nick Vuijcic sure does. Here is a man, born without arms and legs, that overcame all obscurity and even overcame depression and suicidal thoughts to become one of the biggest motivational speakers on earth. Probably one of the highest paid ones too, but let’s not get into that right now.

On Saturday, a friend and I were lucky enough to receive tickets to watch this man. I was fascinated by his agility, his way of moving around – at one stage whispered to my friend that he must have a very strong core – and his sense of humour. Despite being faced with adversity, he rose above all his stumbling blocks to become an inspiration to others. He is a husband and a father – this man, who was told that he would become nothing in life.

It just made me realise that in this life, we have so much to be grateful for, but yet also so much to learn.

Nick made us do an exercise of writing down the three most important things in your life.

My notes looked like this – I added two more, because while other people have the ability to think more broadly, I just thought singularly:

1.    Flip
2.    Faith
3.    Mom
4.    Mila – my staffie, guys
5.    Health

Nick’s list encompassed faith, family and mission. “My mission and purpose doesn’t need to look like yours, my dreams don’t need to look like yours and you don’t have to look like me.”

He said that if you look at the world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by its problems – violence, human trafficking, everything, xenophobia, murders, financial struggles – but it all needed to be seen as a form of growing.

He said that fear and pride formed some of the biggest challenges to reach your goals and alluded that you needed to remain centered, accept yourself.

Family is everything

Nick also said that one of the greatest things his parents ever told him was the value of family. “Family to me is so important. My dad had three jobs. . .yet, he always had time to come home and make me feel like one of my best friends in the world.” 

T"here are some people who sacrifice their entire life to give their children opportunities they never had. On one level that is admirable, on the other level I’ve seen people go way far, to the point where they forget to be father’s and husbands and I don’t expect my son to be a good husband to his wife and loyal to his wife until his own father shows loyalty."

Now he made some points that I agreed with very strongly and others that I couldn’t agree with at all.

“Family is more important that education.”
Really though? Can you provide for your family if you are not educated? I’m not referring to buying your kids the latest Playstation or having the biggest tv, but providing them the most basic structures -  a roof over their head, a warm bed to sleep in, a full tummy – aren’t these all privileges of education?

The second statement he made is that family was more important than money. Now this I agree with. If you are going to chase Mammon, instead of building a relationship with your wife, your siblings, your children, then you are on the wrong path. What use is money if your time is always robbed?

He also said that men usually felt that their worth was determined by the amount of money they brought home. “Men, I don’t care how much money you have. What matters is how you speak to your wife and your children.”

If the world wasn’t so money centered, what would it look like today? Would people be able to determine their purpose and their value more easily? If money didn’t exist, would the moral fibre of society not be strengthened?

If anything, this speech made me realise that it was important to find that balance – why care what other people drive, or what brand of clothing they wear, how much their perfumes cost?


If you have love – if you are loved and you love in return – you are the richest human being on the planet.

Love is wealth.

Image via

I don't know how to title this post

Friday, April 17, 2015

On Wednesday, August 13, late afternoon I had a missed call on my phone. I had just come out of a meeting. It was my mom. I phoned back, expecting that the call would be to arrange something for her birthday, which is two days later. "Hallo mommy, how are you"? Not good comes the reply. My mom never answers a question like this. I can hear the tears are welling up, her throat is closing up. Did someone die? Did she put my 14-year old dog to sleep? Is my dad okay?

I have cancer. 

Just writing those three words still feels so surreal. My head goes empty, I feel woozy. No, not cancer. Anything but cancer. I fucking hate cancer. This cannot be happening to MY mother, this should not be happening. I didn't need to ask what sort it was, mom just said I found a lump. My whole world fell apart.

Stay cool, stay calm, stay collected I tell myself while on the phone. For my mom's sake. But as the news sinks in, it hits me hard, I am winded. I broke down. I am lucky that we have a sound studio in our office. I used it as a safeplace to let out all the anger and sadness. "Phone your mother," I text my brother. Why, he replies. "Just phone her," I answer.

Half an hour later he phones. Are you okay, he says. I nod, knowing full well that he cannot see my nod, but I think he knew I was nodding, too heartbroken to speak. "Don't worry, this is not a death sentence. People beat cancer all the time." That's what you think, I think. I know what cancer does to people, I witnessed it with my own eyes. I cannot go through this again, not with my own mother.

Saturday. I saw my mom for the first time since the news. She looks radiant, positive, whereas I am walking with a black cloud above my head, no silver lining. (How do you write about a parent who has cancer and its effects on the people in the wake of this news without seeming utterly selfish and egocentric? I'm not the one with cancer, I'm not the one who has to undergo treatment or who has to get an operation, but it hurts like hell, it kills and eats you inside, steals your joy.) "Don't cry. This will all be over soon," mom says while she envelops me in a hug.

She has her operation to have the lump removed two weeks later. In solidarity, I put pink streaks in my hair as opposed to shaving it off, something I had done at the age of 21, when my aunt was diagnosed with cancer. Even after the procedure, she was positive, she was healthy and she looked good. I had to go overseas. On my return, little foxes started appearing, with their bushy tails on fire and setting alight to the meadow of positivity my mom found herself in.

Smoke was starting to cloud her vision, just like the dark cloud was already blanketing my thoughts for weeks. Mom recounted stories of how people noticed that she was missing a breast. How the woman in her regular grocer would stare at her - why do people do this? Why do they stare at people who look a little different? My sister-in-law confirmed that, even though my mom says she's fine, she really was not fine. "She never leaves the house, even when I ask her to come somewhere with me," she says. I'm fine, mom retorts.

Her first session of chemotheraphy was on a Friday, I take leave from work to be with her and support her through this poisonous hell that has to be willingly injected into her body. Soon she comes out, much sooner than we expected, tears welling in her eyes. "I can't have chemo today, I have an infection. I just want this to be over with, I just want this to end." Her next session is to start in two weeks time, to give the infection from the operation a chance to clear up. The doctor won't risk giving chemo at the same time. Gone is the positive and strong mom I saw earlier. Now reality kicks in.

Fast forward to November 6. Mom has been admitted to hospital and discharged a week later. The chemo did not sit well with her, she wants to quit it. We were also in an attempted mugging and there was a fatal hijacking in our area. It all builds up.

Dad might have cancer.

In this minute, I did not even have the energy to cry. I knew it would come out sometime, but I just didn't have the energy.

I knew there was a lesson to be learnt here somewhere, but I would just like to stop being tested for a day or two. I would like to breathe and not worry about anything. My head just kept on spinning.

By December, my mom had gone through, and thank God survived, another serious stint in hospital. There were talks of blood transfusions and some scary medicines. And then the doctor told my mom that he would not continue with chemotherapy as it will kill her before the cancer does. If the cancer did.

It was a four-month wait, but this week my mom went back to the doctor's office and she was clean! There was no trace of cancer in her body. And I have to say that even though she lost some of her hair and shaved her head before everything could fall out, I have never seen anyone look more fabulous with a pixie cut than my mom.

I praise God for healing her, because it was only through His grace and love that she is now stronger, sexier and healthier than ever. To God be all the glory!

 {Image from this Etsy Shop}

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