Stuff

i want to go to there

holy moly, it’s only 18 odd days and then my SUMMER HOLIDAY starts. today i’m reflecting on summer holidays of old, 99.9% of the time spent by the sea (where else?). our family haunts were:

knysna:

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when i was very small, we went camping in knysna. i don’t remember much else apart from squishing around in the mud of the lagoon when it was low tide looking for crabs. the ever present silver kombi was there (that thing took us everywhere, all over south africa, for years and years – then it was stolen from outside my parent’s house and found weeks later in lesotho full of chicken feathers)

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knysna

knysna

and more significantly…

kraalbaai, langebaan:

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we stayed on a wooden houseboat that was owned by the south african parksboard (i think it still is). my dad played a role in helping sanparks establish the west coast national park (and designed the houseboat) in the late eighties – evidently why we went there so often. it was the BEST!

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the houseboat when it was launched

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i distinctly remember the long drive there in the trusty kombi, and finally arriving in the public parking lot. it was ‘paved’ with hot white/grey gravel and those horrible 3 sided thorns that you had to watch out for as you made your way to the path that wound down to the jetty (there were also public long drop loos in the parking lot, they fascinated me – in a gross way). i can actually smell the sea and that beachy fynbos aroma just thinking about it…. also the constant low hum of cicadas in the heat.

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don’t forget the rubberduck, holiday necessity of note (and how you got to the houseboat)

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my dad & brothers would sail our yacht (teenybobber – heee) from gordon’s bay harbour and park it (park it? anchor it) next to the houseboat and we would stay there for what felt like…. months.

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in our swimming costumes all day

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jumping off every possible surface into the sea (including from the roof)

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giggling at people trying to windsurf (my dad in that picture)

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if not swimming, then colouring stuff in (also looking fashionable)

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chops & wors from the teeny tiny braai (wearing super white block out sunblock)

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drinking cooldrink (sometimes coke, if you were lucky) as the sun went down (no beer for me back then, my dad drank castle dumpies though). aaaah… it was truly flinging flanging magical! really the best holiday a kid could have (and all done without any TV’s or video games).

nowadays we hang out in betty’s bay, where we’ve had a holiday house for almost 10 years.

bench

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our dogs having a good time

it’s my seaside destination of choice because not a lot of people bother with betty’s (they usually scoot straight past to hermanus, which is so overcrowded you couldn’t pay me to go there) and it’s close enough that the drive is only around an hour, but far enough away that it really feels like holiday.

beach

not exactly the prettiest town, but certainly some of the prettiest beaches (usually it’s all clear skies in summer, but check that cloud out!)

coastal road

… and definitely one of the most beautiful coastal stretches in the world.

if you’re on holiday soon (or not), a happy summer to you! if you live up north and you’re in the grip of winter, well, dream of africa?

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kris·miss·moss gift guide

i’m thinking about christmas already. sigh. my family has instituted a one gift per person R100 limit (to combat the “meltdown“). i told them R100 is almost impossible, so i’m shooting for under 200 bucks. anything handmade is great to me, and anything i can order online is even better. if i can walk to a shop – wonderful, but that kind of limits you geographically & since i’m out in “the sticks” (as some might say) i welcome e-commerce with open arms (i’m also lazy). PLUS i’d also like to inject some christmas cheer into the south african postal service (i have faith!) – herewith my south african friendly online shopping gift guide

local shops:

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marisa girardi - take it from me, you’ll be hard pressed in finding a lovelier and more accommodating person to buy from! marisa made my couchie especially and popped him in the post the same day he was ordered. she also has a range of jewellery, brooches & art.

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skinny la minx – well known local designer whose textiles have been featured many times on blogs like design spongedecor8 and many more. her shop is on etsy, but if you’re south african you can get in touch with her directly about local orders

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the wren – handmade bags & purses (also on etsy & flexible with south african customers)

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beatnik bazaar – hells yes, a wide range of beautiful goodies from this stanford based shop (order by email) – if you’re in that area i reckon actually paying her shop a visit is a good plan, too (note: she also stocks skinny laminx & the wren goods)

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jezze prints – another uber talented local designer (looooooove that cushion)

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kim gray - i absolutely covet the springbok bags, but budget wise there are some nice necklaces & other treats for under R200 (she also stocks smith’s rosebud salve! nice!)

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shine shine – i’m not 100% sure if you can order online but the fabrics are rad

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franzart – my sister in law sells her wee oil paintings on bid or buy – they are cute & well-priced. (not much in the shop right now, but do contact her if you see something you like in her sold items or if you want something specific)

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buycool – there is nothing handmade about this shop, but it stocks earphones under R200. i always lose or break mine, and my iPod deserves to be heard (can’t do without it on a treadmill, hence the sporty clip type). wait… am i buying gifts for myself? ok you can buy it for me.

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take2.co.za - this is my go to online shop for books & dvds. their selection is great, their prices are good & they deliver quickly & without mishap (in my experience, anyway). the books, from left to right, are: over & over: a catalog of hand drawn patterns (R268) ; The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature (R192) andItalianissimo : The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best (R154). the dvds are: 30 rock season 2 (R193); mad men season 2 (R183); paul simon graceland: the african concert (R220)

international, but they ship here:

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threadless – they deliver to SA and their prices are so reasonable considering the quality of the t-shirts you get (american apparel – they are very soft, trust me) and also the choice of designs are immense. (a wee bit over R200 if you incl shipping, i’ll give you that. buy in bulk?) etsy - you’re probably thinking “obvious”, but you can’t beat it for one of a kind affordable products & great interaction between sellers and customers. i think just about everyone on etsy ships internationally – so go forth & have fun buying. i have my eye on the following:

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caitlin quiet’s prints (pepperminte)

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pomadour’s japanese sewing books

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deebeale’s prints

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janet hill’s prints

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katie daisy’s prints

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j davis studio jewellery

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dores jewellery

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engrave your book - double my budget, but still awesome. these are custom engraved leather covers for moleskines, perfect for writers, artists, scribblers and anyone else who loves a good journal.

victoria secret

victoria’s secret – i’m really only including this because they have some amazing swimwear (something i feel is difficult to find here – nice swimwear anyway) and it’s around $20 (R150) for each piece (they sell them seperately, so let’s say R300-400 for a swimsuit) and they ship here so… why not? maybe go in on one parcel w/a friend – the more items in one order the less the shipping works out (also eco footprint etc!) and lest you forget, it’s summer in the southern hemisphere (for all of you who might think i’m crazy to consider swimwear in the holiday season)


wow i might have to do a second installment of this gift guide as i haven’t even touched on some of the stuff available online (i don’t mean everything – only the places that ship to SA). i also realised that it’s all things i love – for chicks. so, if you’re a dude, buy nice things for your girlfriend and/or mom – okay? i might have to focus on something for guys, next time. playstation games and leather-bound books? wait, that’s also stuff i love.
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ethiopia

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a work colleague recently returned from a trip to ethiopia. i want to go to there (is that ever going to get old?)

flickr credits: stuarrrrt & maksid

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getaway

the dudes in my family went on a big bad bike trip this past weekend.  they had several burst tyres when going through the tankwa karoo. so if you ever decide to do that… take lots of spares. i wish you could take a train right through the karoo – i would LOVE that! and i don’t mean the typical blue train route… more off the beaten track. kind of impossible to take a train to Die Hel though.

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september

flip it’s already july! as much as i hate that this year is flying by, things are looking up. why? because now we’re only 2 months away from the best month of the year: SEPTEMBER! the weather starts getting hotter (but not too hot) … and it’s my birthday. it ain’t called SPRING for nothing, dudes.

spring-sprung

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