This picture epitomizes the reason I love South Africa. It was taken near Thornhill in the Eastern Cape. Truly a hidden wonder.
“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight”.
~ Phyllis Diller
It really frustrates me to hear South Africans talking about how they can’t wait to leave the country. Everyone knows at least one of these people. They complain about the poor economy, the failing government and rampant poverty challenging the country. They venerate ‘overseas’, shiny, First World countries and endorse an unrelenting “the grass is always greener” attitude. A large majority of the time these same people are back home in six months time, their tails tucked regretfully between their legs, after a miserable and homesick experience.
I am ashamed to admit that I used to be one of those people. But I am older and wiser now. I would love to travel in order encounter all the world has to offer, but my suspicions tell me that it will be difficult to live up to my high expectations after living in South Africa. And I am not discomforted to admit that I love South Africa. Sure, our country experiences difficulties. What country doesn’t? Driving through the unspoiled countryside of the Eastern Cape I cannot help but feel my heart swell with pride at being privileged enough co-exist alongside such unabashed beauty. I do not doubt the indulgent nature of this statement, yet is it not better to be taken aback by the natural beauty of the countryside rather than idolize material objects such as fancy sports cars and flat screen televisions??
Yesterday I had the immense pleasure of taking a trip to the local cinema to watch Material, a proudly South African movie featuring a totally homegrown cast. And I was not disappointed. Not only was Material one of the best South African movies I have seen in a long time, it put a smile on my face at a time when I really needed to feel the corners of my mouth twitch in delight. I was really impressed with this film and I will recommend it to everyone I know because it is definitely yet another reason to adore this country.
What do you love about the country you live in?? 🙂
Apparently we spend one third of our lives asleep. I think I am the exception to the rule.
I can’t remember the last time I had a proper, uninterrupted night’s sleep. Even when I was a child I can’t remember ever being a ‘good’ sleeper, whatever that means. The years spanning from age five to about nine or ten I would suffer from a recurring nightmare. My house was burning down and I was stuck on the toilet, paralyzed. Pretty traumatizing for a kid, let me tell you.
I’m petrified of the dark and even to this day I struggle to fall asleep without at least one light on somewhere in the house. Oh, I’ve watched enough horror movies to know what happens when the lights are out. I’m a certifiable nervous wreck when there is a power failure.
Falling asleep is rarely the problem. It’s waking up and hour and a half later that tends to bother me to a certain degree. The seemingly endless tossing and turning. Checking the time only to discover that the hour I am sure has passed is actually only two minutes and thirty-five seconds.
So I usually end up on the couch in the living room, a zombie-like expression on my grey-ish face, watching mind numbing late night television. This usually comprises the less popular cartoons from my youth and Will and Grace reruns. Sometimes I will get lucky and an old episode of South Park will make an appearance.
Nevertheless, sleep and I have never had a particularly healthy relationship. The monster that lurks under my bed these days has morphed into an exceptionally cheeky bastard called insomnia. Last night’s entertainment included a remarkably resilient mosquito (who I could have sworn I killed at least 50 times) and a boisterous moped next door that enjoys leaving the house at four o’clock in the morning, stalling (I’m pretty sure outside my window) and letting a cell phone play an alarmingly raucous ringtone for several hours before dithering off down the road.
So when that blessed moment arrives and I actually fall asleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light, I just have to smile and be thankful for life’s little moments of pleasure 🙂
Welcome a little bit of the original boogyman, Freddy Kruger, into your life. Watching Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street always makes me smile! 🙂
“I can remember soundtracks that you just can’t separate from the film – It’s just so intertwined, so important. Like the Hitchcock ones where they kind of inform each other and become this larger thing as a result.”
– Jonny Greenwood
If you haven’t already, do yourself a favour and WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!
Films with great soundtracks really make me grin from ear to ear. A good soundtrack can really make or break a movie, in my opinion. A movie with a rocking soundtrack really is one of life’s little gems. When I watch a movie that encompasses AMAZING songs it kind of makes me wish that I had a soundtrack to my life. Or a theme song, like The A Team or Rocky. A song can really encapsulate the entire ambiance of a film in a single verse and a powerful chorus.
If you had to choose, what would the soundtrack of your life sound like?? Mine would definitely include some Jimi Hendrix, a splash of The Beatles, a hint of Damien Rice, a sprinkle of Mumford and Sons, a dash of The Rolling Stones, a little bit of Led Zeppelin and definitely Janis Joplin and Joan Armatrading. And that doesn’t even begin to cover it. I mean, I still have a lot of living to do.
Some films with truly remarkable soundtracks:
1.) Garden State: A wonderfully poignant combination of indie and powerful tunes.
2.) Across the Universe: The Beatles. Do I really have to say anything else?? Julie Taymor, I salute you.
3.) Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: So strange, yet so wonderfully brilliant.
4.) The Boat that Rocked: The swinging 60’s wrapped in a fantastically hilarious package.
5.) The Rocky Horror Picture Show: I can’t even begin to describe the awesomeness of singing transvestite aliens.
6.) Juno: A beautifully quirky soundtrack to match Diablo Cody’s crazy, brilliant script.
7.) I’m Not There: A humble tribute to the genius that is Bob Dylan.
8.) Hair!: The dawning of the age of Aquarius, of course.
Which movies have soundtracks that make your ears dance with delight??
I recently discovered the joy of sewing. It is a hobby that requires a certain amount of patience I was unaware I possessed. Much to my surprise, I really enjoy sewing. It soothes my soul and rewards me a sense of pride upon completion of whatever it is I’m sewing. Today I altered a tunic and sewed a fabric bird onto an old sweater. It made me smile because I had created something new and exciting out of something old and staid. Groovy! 🙂
What made you smile today??
I particularly enjoy singing along very loudly and quite animatedly to my favourite music while driving. It’s one of life’s little pleasures in my opinion. I’m pretty sure I have garnered quite a few strange glances while doing this, but I don’t care because I love it. Sometimes I even pretend that I’m Janis Joplin and thank the audience after a particularly exhilarating number. I strongly suggest that everyone should indulge in this activity at least once because a.) it’s really fun, b.) it makes driving a lot more entertaining, and c.) it can be extremely cathartic. So you can imagine that a huge smile was put on my face while driving home today when I glanced in my rear-view mirror caught the guy driving behind me singing and dancing in a remarkably animated fashion. Right on, dude!!! 🙂
Have you ever experienced one of those days where everything seems simply too much to handle? Those unbearable moments that seem to consume your entire soul and find you on your hands and knees beseeching your maker for some kind of release. Those “please let Armageddon strike now” occurrences. Those times you long to hibernate within the safe, warm trenches of your duvet and pillows.
Can we ever really plan for anything? We try and life turns around with a severely disenchanting, Heath-Ledger-as-the-Joker-like smirk plastered to its face and releases a hearty chuckle. We merely wander aimlessly through time and space while contemplating life’s little curve balls. We could spend all our lives negotiating the human condition and suffer self-induced aneurysms attempting to discover the ‘meaning of life’.
And then, just when you are about to throw in the proverbial towel and fling your exhausted onto the ground in a defeated slump, a sliver of sunshine peeks out from behind the cartoonish rain cloud hanging over your head. Something happens that sort of makes the planets realign again.
It’s different for everyone. Maybe it’s slowing down to watch a flock of birds dance across a cloudless sky; or bumping into an old friend you haven’t seen for years; or breaking open a steaming, fresh bread roll; or feeling the first drops of rain on your face before a cloudburst; or maybe even finding the last Twinkie left in the world. These are the moments that allow us to step out of the fog and appreciate the things that make life bearable. These are the unsung instances that represent the beauty of life.
My life philosophy? To quote Woody Harrelson’s character, Tallahassee, in Zombieland, “Enjoy the little things”.
Something that makes me smile: Singing along to Mumford and Sons while driving in traffic. Somehow makes the 28kms from my house to the university worth it 🙂
“She thought it was the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely; and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly.”
– Jane Austen, Persuasion
A little Jane Austen always makes me smile 🙂
Life is a strange and complex thing, is it not? I will challenge anyone who argues the world is made up of merely black and white components. Life is simply not straight forward. And I revere the shades of grey. The unashamed beauty of what it means to be linger in the cracks and brazenly dances naked outside the designated lines.
Everyone struggles painfully to classify every aspect of their lives. Explanations, descriptions, validations, verification. The beauty in life lies in that which we cannot define and the acceptance of the inability to understand. It is taking a step back and savoring the small moments that bring joy to your life.
This blog is dedicated to these fleeting instances of undisguised pleasure. I will talk about things that make me smile, things that annoy me, and life in general. I have been called a ‘hippie’ more times then I can remember and (if the term ‘hippie’ refers to someone who believes in peace, equality, liberation, and an alarmingly good taste in music) I do not disagree. So be prepared for contemporary discussions surrounding music, art, photography, music and cinema inspired by a 1960’s theme and motivated by all things vintage.
Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”. I implore you, let’s embark on this psychedelic adventure together.