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Archive for September, 2008

Ridiculous O’Clock

To some people 5am is a great time in the day, if you are the only one around at the time you get some ‘quiet time’ to get all the niggly bits done, things that need no distraction.  Ever since I was a tiny baby, sleep and I were best friends.  My mom used to tell me stories of how she had to wake me up in order to feed me and I still remember the time as a teenager that I managed to sleep for 16 hours, bliss!  I love my bed and my bed loves me should have been tattoed on my forehead.

Unfortunately, as I got older the time to sleep became less.  My mom leaves for work at 6am due to living about an hour’s drive from Johannesburg and traffic being as jam-packed as possible.  When I started Uni, I had to catch a lift with her and so my mornings started at about 5.30am, my idea of personal punishment.  Now, I live about 12 hours flight from my mom and I have developed a new personal alarm clock, caffeine.  About a year ago I was struggling with sleep and dear R suggested that I cut out caffeine as this might help me, which worked like a treat.  I always drank rooibos tea when I was younger and switched to this permanently.  Recently I have discovered that if I drink any sort of caffeine, I wake up in the early hours of the morning, instantly.  Not even a gradual wakening but an instant, eyes wide open with thoughts rushing through my head instantly- type of thing.  Very irritating to say the least. 

Luckily most restaurants stock decaffeinated drinks and usually this should not be a problem for me but, we’ve been going out for the last couple of days and I have a feeling that someone ran out of de-caff and thought that I wouldn’t notice, ha!  I think I should take every person’s number down that has given me a hot drink and if it causes me to wake up, I’ll call them so we can share the experience together.

Anyway, enough about that, as I am up I might as well be doing something useful like looking at my favourite blogs and watching Pride and Prejudice.

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A thatched cottage.

If I had to say ‘thatched cottage’, it might make you think of a lovely old English cottage with roses in the garden and a gorgeous tabby cat gently cleaning his paws in the calm sunshine.  Unfortunately, ‘thatched cottage’ describes my hairstyle today.  If you look under the dictionary, it will say “frumpy, frizzy unmanageable curls”.

Looking at my hair this morning in the unflattering light was just the last straw (haha) to a frazzled mind.  I used to have incredibly short hair which was easy to style.  Foolishly I have decided to grow it again and fervently promised to long-suffering husband to embrace the curliness of my hair.  It was either that, or he would haul out the prenup and remind me that the small text at the bottom refers to my hair and that ‘you will be calm when growing it’ was set in bold text for a reason.

I have been searching in vain for a hairstyle to appeal to me but I seem to be struggling with finding celebrities out there with curly hairstyles that look natural and fabulous.  I need to find a picture that I can give to my hairdresser as an example without her shaking her head sadly at me.  This will be my mission this week, find one picture of a curly haired celebrity with a style that I would like to emulate.

OK, pessimistic moan over.  If anyone has seen any optimism for sale lately, let me know, wouldya?

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Well, hello September!  Time really does fly when you get older.  When I was younger I remember having to wait forever for my parents to finish watching the news before we could watch our programmes, anyone remember Party of Five

This past week at work has felt like swimming in the deep end of an endless pool.  My brain was tired and stressed and I found myself snapping at my husband for breathing to deeply and not whipping up meals on demand.  Me on PMS, never a good thing.  Luckily my manager is one of those understanding types and gave me the day off as TOIL (time off in lieu).  Yes, I toiled therefore I deserved TOIL.

The first thing I did was naturally write out a long mental list of things that needed to be done, house cleaning and washing being top of the list and I had to pull myself together and realise that this is a day for me, I could do anything that struck my fancy.  I was built with the guilt gene buried deep in my brain so this has been hard to do but so far I have;

  • slept in later than usual
  • had breakfast in bed reading blogs
  • played with the cat
  • went shopping and ended up buying some styling creme that will hopefully tame my curly hair
  • aimlessly wandered around a material store
  • nosed around Zara and drooled over a cherry red sweater with the cutest buttons on the sleeves
  • drifted around Marks and Spencer with the older generation and bought some dinner for tonight
  • came home and baked banana loaf

I think that banana loaf is one of the five fruit and veg that you should try and eat a day, it’s more-ish, cake-like and has enough bananas in it to make you feel slightly healthier after having a slice.

My recipe for this loaf came from an old cookbook called ‘Come, Cook with Mary’, it was given to me by one of my mother’s friends, who had it passed down to her from her sister who sadly passed away about 10 years ago.  Our local church in my hometown used to have all the ladies send in their favourite recipes and bind them into a cookbook, which went on sale to raise funds for the church and community.  This is one of those cookbooks, splattered with flour, oil and enthusiasm.  Most of the recipe titles begin with a persons name like, ‘Aunt Jane’s Genoa Cakes’, never mind that we have no idea who ‘Aunt Jane’ is.  But this is the book you come to when you want something familiar and comfortable to nibble on, and the banana loaf is the essence of being at home when the wind and rain come knocking on your door.

BANANA LOAF

2 cups (240 g) flour
1 cup (120g) caster sugar
120g butter
2 eggs
3 ripe mashed bananas
65ml water
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 160C
Cream the butter and sugar together.  Stir in the bananas and beat well.  Beat in the eggs one by one.  Add flour and salt and stir in well.  Dissolve the bicard into the water and stir into the batter, then add the baking powder.
Pour into a well-greased loaf tin and bake for about 50 minutes.  Let cool a little in the tin before turning out.

Serve with a cup of coffee and you are good to go.

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