Koedoe Jumping, by Johan Slabber

My sister just returned from a Karoo road trip. I love the olive oil she brought home. There’s lots to love about the Karoo.

My great great great grandfather Earnest Collett, who farmed in the Karoo

Karoo Sand – one of 300 colours from the Midas Envirolite Zero VOC range


Photo: Deborah da Silva

Photo: Deborah da Silva

This is very clever and beautiful. The layering of earthy textures, the painterly melding of colours and the palpable sense of slow living captured in these pictures. Taken in the high mountains of Lesotho by Cape Town photographer Deborah da Silva. From a series commissioned for a boutique hotel in Lesotho. See more here.

‘Stillness’ and “Peace’ – by Midas Envirolite Zero VOC eco paint


Tones of mushy peas and avo – bowl by Tessa Gawith

It’s raining mushy peas, avocado, wasabi nuts and guacamole. Everything in my universe is pointing to this smorgasbord of soothing greens.

It started on Friday when someone at the office put a bag of wasabi nuts on the table and my sinuses did a breakdance. Next thing, I get a press release from my friend Tessa Gawith, the potter who is a colour geni.

“I have a new colour! I’m racing through to drop off for meeting for next range. It is the colour of avo flesh. It is so exciting.” says the tweet.

Except it wasn’t a tweet, but an old school SMS, sent to those of us who completely get the thrill of finding something new that just works.

I love getting this kind of breaking news from Tessa.

So I popped into her Muizenberg studio for a preview and went home with the bowl up top. That lovely colour made me think not only of avo, but also the bagful of dried peas in my pantry. Weekend project. Mashed peas taste nothing like peas as we know them, but more like a marriage of avo and chickpea. (Do them this way… cook and mash the peas (for a few hours), add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, chilli and crumbed feta. Mash some more.)

And then I found the perfect thing.

On Sunday I peered into the wonderful windows of Anke the stylephile in Muizenberg. The beautiful dress-coat looks like it was purpose made to be a hostess outfit for the next time I serve mushy peas on toast. Nobody buy this dress please. It has my name on it.


From the Midas Envirolite range of Zero VOC environmentally friendly paints - available from Paint&Place paint shops in South Africa.

Tessa Gawith is preparing a new range of ceramics, soon to be launched in select Woolworths stores. I love her grey range and I think the trickle glaze on these cups is fun.


'SIT DOWN & LISTEN": From the Montebello craft centre in Newlands, Cape Town.

Are your AR’s slipping? Are you bummed that the Duchess of Cambridge has a far better team of orthodontists than you? Would you like to be Sir, Duchess or President of something? Even if only of your own kitchen, dining room or TV room? Then, as a start, get one of these.

On the topic of power, I think we should steal a few leaves out of Youssou N’Dour’s book. Youssou is not just a hot and world famous musician. He also owns his own TV and radio network.

Youssou is the media. And as of Monday this week, he’s in the running to become the next President of Senegal. Sounds to me like one day Youssou just woke up and said ‘dammit, why the hell not?

Or rather, he heard the call.   

“For a long time, men and women have demonstrated their optimism, dreaming of a new Senegal,” said Mr. N’Dour in a broadcast on the TV station he owns. “They have in various ways called for my candidacy in the February presidential race. I listened. I heard.”

The New York Times says Youssou’s chances might be slimmed down by the fact that he comes from the Peter Gabriel / Bono era, and under-25’s, which form the majority of Senegal’s population, relate to a different kind of thing. But hey, the man’s got style.

One of 300 colours from the Midas Envirolite range of ZERO VOC paints. At Paint&Place paint shops in South Africa.


'Somewhere Between' one of 300 colours from the Midas Envirolite range of Zero VOC paints. At Paint&Place paint shops in South Africa.

Somewhere between the end of one year and the start of another, while the world catches its breath and you don’t know what day it is, while your phone is on messaging and you’re throwing a frisbee around in the play-play pages of your 2012 diary, feels completely the right time to consider how to carpe the diem in 2012. So I thought, while dipping into a few new ideas on professional housekeeping from my favourite blogs. I’m attaching a link to some insights from Seth Godin that turned a light on for me. Specifically, how to avoid going shouldawouldacoulda in 2022.


I hope twenty-twelve pumps up your sails and lets you drop anchor in interesting places. I saw this painting on the side of the road in Kalk Bay yesterday. I hope nobody buys it. It looked so perfect on the tarmac against that lovely chalky white wall. Even the scuffed old peeling artwork had been done a favour by being left out in the rain. They must leave it there.

I love this time. I mean specifically the last week of one year and the first week of another, when it feels as though time is in suspension. Nothing and nobody expects you to be paying attention. I have books to read. Food to cook. People to talk to. Ceilings to stare at. A tan to monitor. Chakras to line up. I might even paint a few walls or windows or chairs, just for the fun of watching paint dry. In a sense, this is when a lot of important work happens. Wasn’t ‘Rest’ one of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits. Didn’t he say that it’s necessary to switch off before you can find your on button again, and go another lap? I think so. Steve, I’m being a good girl. I’m chilling like a professional and taking my protein supplements so I can go into 2012 properly, like a fresh horse.

'Chill' - one of 300 colours from the Midas Envirolite range of Zero VOC eco-wise paints. Available from Paint&Place paint shops in South Africa.

Yesterday I wandered into a new shop in Kalk Bay called ‘Relax’. They sell beautiful handmade Mexican hammocks made of finely woven embroidery thread. Michel, a Frenchman who is the hammock afficionado at ‘Relax’, demonstrated how to chill properly in a hammock, without falling out or twisting your back. The difference with Michel’s hammocks is that you can stretch out width-ways. This allows you to lie flat and avoid tumbling out in the middle of a REM cycle or waking up with a scoliosis. It also makes it possible to share the hammock with a friend. 
Michel and his colleague Jeanette mentioned that very soon there will be other attractions at ‘Relax’. There’ll be food and coffee and snacky things, served in and around this blue room. 

The blue room at Relax, Main Rd, Kalk Bay

The colour of this room is so intense, I felt like a guppie in an aquarium. It reminded me of a snorkeling experience I once had in Malawi. I thought I’d research Sky Blue and its relevance to emotion. This is what said:

  1. The Throat Chakra is associated with the color sky blue. This chakra is our will center. The healthfulness of the fifth chakra is in relation to how honestly one expresses himself/herself.  Lying violates the body and spirit. We speak our choices with our voices (throats). All choices we make in our lives have consequences on an energetic level. Even choosing not to make a choice such as in repressing our anger (not speaking out) may manifest into laryngitis. We have all experienced that “lump in our throats” when we are at a crossroad of not knowing how to speak the right words in any given situation, perhaps even stuffing our own emotions. A challenge of the throat chakra is to express ourselves in the most truthful manner. Also to receive and assimilate information. Seek only the truth.
Alright then. I’m going to choose to not say anything further. And I won’t be lying. My holiday in Kalk Bay is nearly over. Say if you think I should get back to work sooner.


Meermin Street is the street we’ve been staying in at Cape St. Francis. At this time of prolific bloatedness and rampant everything, being in MoreLess street has been a big relief. Meermin is about 40km from the nearest mall.  I fished out this shot from my picture archives today. This picture, taken during a burst of pre-Christmas energy about a month ago, looks like Christmas to me. A MoreLess kind of Christmas. Raspberries make the best salad dressing. I think interesting dressings in glass bottles are nice to give to friends, if you’re in the mood for making things. I made this dressing by soaking a punnet of berries in vinegar, as above, then added honey and some Dijon mustard. Drizzle in olive oil, beating with an electric whisk. The vinegar/oil ratio should be about 1:2.

Raspberry Red is one of 300 colours from the Midas Envirolite palette. These Zero VOC eco-wise paints are available at Paint&Place paint shops in South Africa.


 I wonder what John Lennon would have said if you’d told him he was trending? Ten years ago the word didn’t even exist. [Portrait by Jack Mason]
 So I read somewhere today that John is one of the hot trends of the minute. Does this make my passage wall a trendy passage wall?

I’m just asking.

This portrait, by Jack Mason, is one I’d been threatening to frame up for a whole year. I got it back from the framers last week and hung it in an empty spot in my passage straight away. I like it there.

It’s true, what Steve Jobs told us in his famous Apple ad. When someone is very influential you can walk right past them all the time, but you can’t ignore them.

Tuned into trend: Midas Envirolite Zero VOC environmentally friendly paint, in the colour 'Storm' was used on the passage wall above. Envirolite comes in 300 colours - at Paint&Place paint shops in South Africa.


Seen in Camps Bay today

Can you think why someone would do this to their car? What’s going on here? Why would a person cut off a lovely cypress and sew it to their car?

On second thoughts, actually, forget about the car. I really want to get to know the owner.


Cooks beautifully. Designed to outlive me. Good for arms.

Reminds me where I put the garlic. It gets busy in the fridge.

I’m over the idea of stuff that looks cool but has no use. I’m finding it easier and easier to relieve myself of things that don’t pull their weight around the house. I was given this beautiful pot by my family for my birthday. Now this is a present I can understand. I’ll use it everyday for the next forty years, and I’ll enjoy it every time I cook with it. Its usefulness goes beyond stews and curries and things. This pot is so damn heavy, man, it’s a workout. Who needs arm curls when you can spend an hour in the kitchen every night lifting your Le Creusets?
I have other pots that are close cousins to this one. I wasn’t going to admit it but what the hell. I’m collecting these things. Who wouldn’t? I also love the little tskoskes that are the offspring of the main Le Creuset range. Like the little garlic keeper, the salt pigs, the butter crock, jugs, honeypots and other can’t-live-without items.
Without further ado, go look at the kitchen section in ‘The Room’, a Freeworld paint ideas guide at the back of the latest issue of Elle Decoration. The paint stories at the back were a very absorbing part of my day job recently. So the new issue is finally out, with lots of tasty painting ideas for us to do at home during the hols. The kitchen section also throws you a chance to win a Le Creuset pot in the palest blue – a lovely calm, clear, beachy colour called ‘Coastal Blue’, for summer. One of these blue pots would feel so comfortable next to my Le Creuset apple sauce pot. With competitions, I say there’s no harm trying. If you win, I’m coming for supper.
To enter, get details from this link to the Elle Decoration blog.
Now at a news stand near you. There’s a big fat paint supplement at the back, compliments of Freeworld. This issue is no slouch.
From p27 of ‘The Room’ : get ideas for ways to paint up a storm and make nice in your kitchen. And win stuff.