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Thursday, 26 July 2012

One of the Boys - July

One of the Boys – July

Stupid Things you do that Make Our Panties Drop

When you do or say anything nice “Just Because”
When you fix stuff
When you emote
When you want everyone to know “She’s Mine”
When you call me by my name
When you top up my wine
When you work out
When you wear a suit
When your hair is messy in the morning
When you’re cooking
When you do anything without a shirt on (Seriously you could be E filing topless and it’d be hot)
When you’re playing a musical instrument.
When you’re talking about something you’re passionate about
When you’re vulnerable


Neat Weekending

If your chick is anything like me her weekend is almost full by Wednesdays. Social engagements, grooming appointments, catch up coffees, family do’s and of course time with you. Could be special to book her out a few days in advance to do something out of the norm. I’m dying to go check out the Nirox Foundation near the cradle of humankind. It’s a beautiful sculpture park that sometimes opens to the public for exhibitions and events. Check out their website:
Plus, I imagine it’d be like a mini city getaway for the afternoon. There’s that romance factor, the oh-he-just-gets-me element and nature… come on? Chicks dig it.

Shoes Demystified

The obsession we have we shoes. Puzzling isn’t it? Or is it?

Let me break it down for you. My shoes fit me if I’m having a fat day or trying to catch anorexia. Yes they hurt my toes, but not my feelings. They make my legs look longer and skinnier. On days when I feel as little as a drawing pin they perk me up and instantaneously start playing my theme song: Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love, as I strut into the office. Do they impend my driving ability? Maybe. Do they eat into my bank account like a silkworm ravenously knawing at a mulberry leaf? A little.  Do they also make me feel like I can kick stiletto ass and take names? Jimmy Choo, yes they do. Simple as that.

Between the sheets in July

DO some research on new positions or better yet, invent a new one. There’s more than one way to skin a cat… or nail the G spot.

DON’T do anything freaky without running it by us first. Yes I’m talking to you, guy who thinks he can get away with slipping a quick one in the back door. Uh uh, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself sucker. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Unhindered Joy

A 14-hour train ride can really deteriorate your personality, even if it is snaking its way through the Himalayas. After 4 hours I’d seen enough beautiful views, shanty towns, cows, trees and brightly coloured houses scattered across the hills like a spilt bag of jewelry.  Wedged into an unconditioned toy train is enough to give even the most seasoned traveller, the grumps.  Suffice to say I was relieved to reach Shimla. My first little mountain town!

Shimla may be one of my favourite places in the world so far. Though I feel I might say that about everywhere in India. It really is such a magical little spot, and don’t we all need buckets more magic in our lives.  Strolling through the town, the palette of colours couldn’t have been better picked by an artist. The Pinks, Blues, Greys, Cobblestone Shades, Mountain Greens, Turquoises and Bright Oranges are like children, all fighting for my attention.

I take a pine scented hour-long walk to the 1700-year-old learning center, its path dotted with monkeys and disconcerting looks at my one bare shoulder. I wish I could tell you more about the magnificent building but too distracted by the gardens outside, I spend most of my time there catching butterflies and sipping cardamom tea in the garden.

En route home I decide to climb down to The Lower Bazaar, a more local style market one road down from the main strip of shops.  Just as I turn to go down a cascade of small hobbly steps, I am lured into a local fabric shop and seduced by the idea of a new set of scatter cushions. Now that I had one bargain in my bag I feel ready for a day of shopping, tasting, talking and walking. As the day and my time in Shimla draws to an end I treat myself to some freshly cut coconut, vegetable samosas and a rice pancake stuffed with masala and drizzled with Dahl and coconut paste.  The next stop on my journey is a town called Mandi, famous for its temples.

Imagine marbles in a small tin can being thrown down the steep side of a cliff. This is what it feels like to transcend from the serenity of Shimla into the madness of Mandi, by taxi. I’d like to say this was the scariest part but I’d be wrong. The scariest part was my first encounter with an Asian toilet (don’t ask me how I’d managed to avoid the ordeal up until this point) at a truck stop along the way.

I arrive in Mandi, a town not quite as picturesque as Shimla and amongst the murky fog of smells and enquiring looks from locals, is an oasis, no, a palace where I am staying. Its Maharaja, who tells jokes and comes down to dinner in his Pajamas, hosts the old palace, now converted into a hotel.  My plate clinks as it settles in front of me and I immediately smell the paneer-cream stuffed dumplings in a creamy curry sauce. I can literally feel my pants getting tighter as I rip apart a mint chapatti and dip it into a pot of loveliness to shlurp up – but I don’t care. It’s delicious. 

We take a walk around Mandi and though I am enticed by the bright temples and the rushing sound of the Ganges, my best part of the day catches me completely off guard. I love when that happens.
A group of schoolgirls dressed in white linen uniforms rush up to me to shake my hand and give me hug after hug. They are so full of innocent happiness and wonder and I’m really touched by their display of unhindered joy.

My first auto rickshaw trip in India takes me up a tall slope to the temple of Kali, a Hindu goddess I’ve been really excited to learn more about. Kali is known as a powerful goddess as well as a destroyer, we have the same name (Everyone in India pronounces my name Kali and I secretly love it) and somehow I really connect with her energy.

I walk up the steps to the temple and ring the bell; not really knowing what protocol is for a western tourist wanting to send a prayer up to the Hindu goddess.  I kneel down and look around me at the golden walls, glittering fabrics and flowers and then at the holy man in the red turbine next to me waiting for me to pray. I haven’t prayed in a very long time and see this as a chance to be spiritually moved. Closing my eyes I ask Kali to help me realize my power as a woman and to help me manifest this power in my life.

Whatever greatness I have inside me. Help me realize it and use it. I think.

The man in the red turbine hands me holy water to drink and a crumpled up piece of newspaper wrapping sugary sweets inside like treasure.  I get up and take a walk around the temple looking at some of the pictures and forms of Kali. The goddess is beautiful with long, dark hair and haunting eyes. Sometimes she is shown with bones and death around her but the picture I enjoy the most is where she is painted blue and looking straight at me holding a pink flower. I press my head against the wall, hoping I’m doing it right and then head back to the palace to sit with my thoughts. 


Thursday, 12 July 2012

The F Word

It’s very rare to find yourself in just the right place at the right time with the right people. But here I was. It was late afternoon and My Guy and I had just found the perfect spot to lay our blanket down on some crunchy brown leaves at Emmerentia Dam. It was warm enough for my favourite white Joe Borkett maxi dress but cold enough that I could occasionally sneak right into the nook of his neck for a warm, cushy squeeze of loveliness.

Ed: “Where the bliksem are you okes? We’re walking up some kinda hill, I’m in trees, I dunno where I am.”

Carly: “I’m standing at the top of the hill in a long white dress, you can’t miss me.”

Ed Sarcastically: “Sounds like a wedding dress…”

Carly With Equal Sarcasm: “I guess it could be”

Giggling to myself, I looked back at My Guy who laughs nervously and waits, looking up at the clouds as I head out to meet my best friend and his lovely girlfriend Olivia. It appears we have found ourselves on an impromptu double date... or triple if you count the vodka and condensed milk as couple no 3.

Maybe it was the perfect lighting, maybe it was the lazy afternoon and easy conversation or maybe it was the knowing glance I got from Ed telling me he liked my new boyfriend. I’m not sure. But it sorta felt like a fairytale.

Ed and I have a running joke that stems from our mutual avoidance or rather inability to accept the binding of two people for eternity. In Ed’s case this is far more literal and at times a physical running away from commitment. Mine is a little more dark and twisty.  I have on more than one occasion physically seen Ed tie his shoe laces and briskly jog out of the door of a long term relationship while I have a nasty habit of professing that I have found The One after only 2 hours of knowing someone thereby dooming the romance into premature we-jaculation. It’s sort of a “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean” situation where I believe we have been put together in this universe to teach each other some kind of balance between the two and effectively “lick the platter clean”.  Or something like that.

As long as Ed has known me I have always been courted by a surprising number of bizarre suitors. Everyone from The Butcher, The Baker to The Schizophrenic Candle stick maker has made an appearance in my book of not so happy endings.

Carly: “You gotta kiss a few frogs…”

Ed: “My God Carly what pond do you find them in?”

It sounds worse than it was and I say was because I like to think I’ve grown into a less naïve more streetwise kinda Princess who has diverted her energies in searching for a Prince toward more fruitful ventures. Like hooking herself up with a sweet castle and kick ass role somewhere in the kingdom we call life. (Funny how when you do that, Mr Charming himself waltzes in and swoops you right outta your glass slippers). Likewise I have felt beyond proud to see Ed allow himself to fall in love, risking all the kings horses and all the kings men not being able to put him back together again. 

It’s no surprise that Ed and I had dubbed the word “Forever” as The F word. A word that seem to shackle both of us in one way or another, the pea underneath a thousand mattresses we sit and drink cocktails on. But somehow sitting there in the park on my colourful quilt, laughing and playing cards I realized that maybe the two of us had finally found a fable we were happy to stay in for a while. And Forever? We’ll let that be the page unwritten in our tale.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Over My Shoulder

The other day I found myself in a rather familiar position. I was fumbling in the dark on all fours in my dressing room. No - fortunately or unfortunately (depends on how dirty your mind is on a Thursday afternoon) I was not doing any sort of kinky doggy styling, I was stuck in what I like to call the Mordor of my closet. This is the very dark and ominous area where my non-heel shoes find themselves after I kick them off at the end of the day.  That’s a lie. They usually find themselves strewn all over my apartment and end up here in Mordor after my saint of a helper (Is that the right word? I want to say maid but it sort of makes me sound like I live in the caste system. Which I don’t. And she’s fabulous.) has collected them and put them away.

There comes a time in every girls life where she must go through her wardrobe and discard what has not been brought out to play in the last year. That’s my policy anyway… it makes me feel less guilty when I continuously fill my shelves and hangers with the latest looks, knowing full well that I am sacrificing good responsible Rands. Rands that could go to a better gym membership, or a trip to the optometrist so I can finally cure my undiagnosed night blindness. Nope. These Rands are right where I like em…  sitting on the shelf in my wardrobe. So I make myself feel better by dropping a massive bag of pretty things from the past off at a charity drop box every season.

Which brings me back to the floor of my dressing room and to Mordor. There are some shoes down here that I had completely forgotten about, some that I hadn’t worn once, some that I’d worn so much they were in tatters and some that screamed, “What was I thinking?!”. I pulled out a pair of luminous blue slip on sneakers with skulls on them. Immediately I’m transported to Covent Garden in London where I bought them after a day of walking and shopping that completely wore my meager Mr Price Pumps out. I almost put them back but then I remembered that I wasn’t a 19-year-old rocker anymore, or was I?

Next was a pair of Brogues that had sadly never come out to play. For those of you wondering wtf Brogues are – they are those smartish, manish looking flat shoes that cool indie girls wear. I thought I was cool and indie enough to wear them but it turns out, I ain’t. Every time I put them on I felt like a phony. They were easy to toss. Along with them went the “practical” work heels from Woolies that were uber comfortable but made me feel like a math’s tutor – in a non hot, I-wanna-be-taught-a-lesson teacher kinda way.

As I was going through each pair, I realized that each one had it’s own story to tell. The beige pair of kitten wedges I’d worn at my Mom's surprise wedding, the black pumps I’d worn on my first date with My Guy so I wouldn’t be too tall, the gumboots that had seen 2 Oppi Koppi’s and a Splashy Fen festival. With each pair that I placed in the black plastic bag of no return I took a glance back over my shoulder at the journey I had walked in them. Some steps easier to take than others and some roads more windy and wonderful than I could have imagined.

I slugged the heavy bag into my entrance hall where it would sit for weeks before it would get to the drop off box. Maybe it’s my nasty habit of procrastinating or maybe sometimes it’s hard to let go of things (useless or not) that have come along the way with you. This goes for shoes, hair colour and ex boyfriends.

Looking back, I realized that there are going to be some things I didn’t even give a chance, some that left me in pieces and some that still make me think “What was I thinking!?” but I guess that’s just part of figuring out who you really are so you can step into who you want to be… and who you want to be with. The great thing is that someday you’ll find a magnificent pair of shoes that fits you just right. They don’t leave blisters, they always look good and you feel like a billion bucks every time you put them on. And it makes clearing out the old ones, to make space, so much easier.