July; it’s a wrap

July has come and gone, and with it (I hope) the worst of the winter. Here’s a wrap of what I got up to!

I returned back to South Africa at the end of June, after 2 months in Europe. The idea was to walk the Camino de Santiago solo as some sort of rite of passage into my Middle Age (I turned 40 in April). Well, it turned out that the Camino wasn’t for me but I still spent a lot of time thinking about my life and what it want it to be like going forward. The main conclusion was that I’d like to travel less. Most people think that’s weird to say, but I spent far too much time away from home last year (I never had a longer stretch than 3 consecutive weeks at home). So basically, I went all the way to Europe to realise that I wanted to be at home. Sort of.
July_Camino

I only walked one week and 160km of the Camino, but it was enough for me to find answers to some of my questions. I enjoyed bits of the walk, and hated others…

July_Sweden

I then spent a considerable amount of time enjoying the Swedish forests. Sometimes, you forget what is right there in front of you and think that further must be better…

So July was a treat, with no travel at all planned. I have missed routines, and it felt so good to be back on my yoga mat, going to classes twice a week; waking up slowly and planning my day with a cup of tea in bed every morning (yes, my husband brings me a cuppa in bed every morning; he’s a keeper); and start to look for more desk-based work.
July_tea and yoga

Tea in the morning and yoga in the afternoon – what bliss!

My sister visited! Well. Technically she’s my sister-in-law, but as neither of us ever had a real sister and we feel so close she’s my sister now. We spent a day in Joburg exploring Maboneng. I had the most delicious Indian butter chicken for brunch at Market on Main (yes, we may have had a wee bit of wine the night before, leading to some cravings). We stopped by MOAD, which was as arty-farty as always (far too complicated for me – I’m more of a pretty pictures kind of girl). Then, we had a couple of beers at Zebra Inn, chatting to the delightfully quirky inn-keeper Swazi. He told us stories of when he used to track animals on foot in deepest darkest Africa in the 60ies. Africa was not for sissies back then! The trophies on his wall tell the rest of the story.
July_Jozi
I got a new job! As the content editor of High Tea with Elephants which I am so excited about. Pretty pictures, beautifully crafted words and products that one can spend hours dreaming of (whether it be an exclusive lodge or a fancy bag). Go check it out!
Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 15.47.16
I have cut back on running, which makes me feel lazy… But after two marathons and two ultras in five months, my knees were starting to take a bit of a toll. Hubby and I have gotten back into mtb, which I love for three main reasons; quality time together and great exercise while being out in nature. We ride in Groenkloof Nature Reserve, where you sometimes bump into giraffe, zebra and ostrich!
July_sport

At the finish line of Stockholm Marathon and the somewhat wilder activity back home

We ate a few really good meals! Like a 10-course menu at Cube where I hadn’t been for ages. But the rural area where we live (aka Pretoria) also has a few gems. Priva serves up taster size or full meals, accompanied by live jazz and they have an oyster & champagne bar; who can go wrong with that!? Fermier is a farm-to-fork concept on a small plot on the outskirts of town, where you will get a 7-course menu paired with very interesting wines. Focus is on sustainability, so you’ll get more than one cut of each type of meat, and most wines are grown organically and/or biodynamically. Next on my bucketlist is Urbanology; the new fusion restaurant in downtown Jozi.
July_food

Duck at Cube; quail at Fermier (birds of a feather?)

July_food2

The champagne bar at Priva; awesome mural at Urbanology

And for Mandela Day, I planted fruit trees in Soweto. I can’t wait to go back in a few years time to have my fruit salad of peach, citrus and fig! It was an awesome day at Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers, and long before I go to have fruit salad I will most definitely be there for one of their storytelling evenings that happen every last Thursday of the month.
July_Mandela Day
Now August is here. It’s my second and last month at home for a while. By September, a hectic travelling season starts for me with three work trips and a holiday. When I get back (early December) I won’t travel for some time. Hopefully.
This is a bit of an unusual post for me, but I was inspired by Natalie who did a lovely sum-up of her month on Tails of a Mermaid. Not that my life is remotely as glamorous as hers, but I think it is a good way to blog about those little things that don’t add up to a blog of their own.
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