(5) Things We Love …#33


One: Ask A long saved holiday read from Slate magazine: the Dalai Lama’s Ski Trip. The writer, Douglas Preston, meets the Dalai Lama in Santa Fe, New Mexico and takes him skiing. The article ends: As we finished, a young waitress with … Continue reading

(5) Things we love…#32


Portraits of Africa: This image has been in my mind’s eye all week. It is so quintessentially and quietly African amongst all of the cacophony, violence and thunder of this huge, complex continent.  The picture was taken by Carol Beckwith and … Continue reading

The more things change….

Apron housewife vacuuming den

Reading statistics doesn’t thrill me. As a matter of fact, reading any text filled with numbers tend to make me skim over it. But allow me to introduce you to some statistics I found wildly depressing. The setting: Harvard Business … Continue reading

(5) Things We Love …#30

Anshelm Kiefer:Eddie Clarke Royal Academy

1. Sensational Art: Anselm Kiefer at The Royal Academy. Sensational Photo by our friend Eddie Clarke. 2. Smart words: Meryl Streep.  Amen sister 3.Simple Thinking: There is always an I in happiness 4. Starry Night: Safe cycling in Eindhoven. An homage … Continue reading

What you always wanted to know about cleansing but never asked

Beets from bettysorganics.com

It’s been a few months since my trusted juicer exploded and left a mess of pineapple mush dotting the kitchen walls. I bought it fifteen years ago, when juicing was far from fashionable, even in California, and a work colleague … Continue reading

(5) Things We Love…#28


1. Tender In 2010, photographer Tim Flach published his extraordinary dog portraits. This year, he’s back with More Than Human (UK; public library) — a collection of striking, elegant portraits of our fellow beings. See more of Flach’s breathtaking work … Continue reading

(5) Things we love …#26


1. Burned Shou Sugi Ban is the ancient Japanese art of torching timber as a way of making wood less susceptible to fire and keeping away insects and rot. The technique provides a weirdly beautiful alternative to traditional timber cladding. Once the … Continue reading

Chic lit. How to be a Parisian – wherever you are.


Baisable is the French word for Fuckable. I tell you this as I have recently been advised to: “Always be fuckable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night, or … Continue reading

(5) Things we love….in London #25

The chandelier in the entrance hall of the Victoria and Albert Museum

I just spent some time in a city that I used to call home a long time ago and that still makes me deliriously happy. I visit every so often and, while the changes are always noticeable, its spirit remains … Continue reading

A romp through Hollywood’s closet

hedy lamar peacock costume

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has, in a few short years, gone from stodgy to trendy. I always loved the place, especially meandering around the furniture department, which is filled with recreations of rooms from different time periods. Its … Continue reading

(5) Things we love…#26

Hunter S. Thompson graffiti

Men after our hearts – Sofagirl once told me she had met Clive Owen and she wouldn’t have minded further deepening their acquaintance (not her actual choice of words). I will confess I started watching “The Knick” on Cinemax because … Continue reading

(5) Things we love … #23


Truisms: Artist Jenny Holzer took over the empty marquees above theatres on 42nd Street in NYC.  Instead of advertising forthcoming attractions she posted statements that reflect her “uncommon sense”.  These truths almost have the ring of proverbs.  I love how she reorders … Continue reading

(5) Things we love…#25

Image by Dean Chalkley

Youth: Love her or hate her, Lena Dunham is hard to ignore. I am most definitely in the “love” camp because I see her as a beacon of inspiration for a new generation of smart and uncompromising young women. Ms. … Continue reading

(5) Things we love … #24


 Poet Clive James is dying and just published this lovely poem in The New Yorker.  It’s reminiscent of the practice of Japanese Death Poems. or jisei. The essentail idea of a jisei was that as we are readying to die, our reflections on … Continue reading

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.*


I don’t consider myself a feminist. I never have. I consider myself absolutely equal to any other human. There are people who are more intelligent than I am. Better sportsmen and women. Superior writers, artists, entrepreneurs, activists, aunts etc, etc. … Continue reading

Soul Made – the fallacy of looking for “the one”

Paris lock bridge

Falling in love is my specialty. Sofagirl  (who recently wrote about the subject) likes to joke that my relationships have been informed by the torrid and never happy ending Russian novels I used to be so fond of. And she is … Continue reading

(5) Things we love..#22

Can be purchased from Food52

1. Making dreams come true: If anyone at Zara is listening, please start working on knock-offs of these two dresses. The one on the left is by Dior and it keeps popping up in every single magazine in different iterations … Continue reading

A blast from the Seventies – Chocolate Peppermint Fridge Tart

photo 1

I’m a huge fan of “Top Chef” – the US TV show that pits proper chefs (rather than Master Chef’s home cooks) against each other. And has other proper chefs evaluate their efforts. I coach them from the sofa, counselling … Continue reading

The unforeseen cost of loving a pet


During those moments of procrastination or weakness, I can be found clicking away on the site of the boxer adoption shelter where Ottie and Portia came from. I scroll through the photos of all available boxers, read the cleverly cobbled together … Continue reading

(5) Things we love …#21


1. Filed: Joan Rivers – comedienne and human being extraordinaire. Irreverent, insulting, botoxed. Kind to a fault, unfiltered, loving and loved. But this we knew, who would have thought she was supremely organised too? For the past three decades, Rivers … Continue reading

10 Books that have stayed with me – part 2


My friend Eddie poses interesting challenges – some more highbrow than others. Just the other day he had me testing which one of the Tarot Cards I am (The Fool) and if memory serves, a few weeks ago it was … Continue reading

Buy a pair, give a pair – Warby Parker’s new collection


When the e-mail from Warby Parker landed in our inbox, asking us to help them spread the word about their new eyewear collection, my first instinct was: in this small patch of the web, you are preaching to the converted. And … Continue reading

(5) Things we love …#21


The Flamingos are back, as I was sitting at the Traffic Light today a flock of 12 flew over my car and landed in the Black River, which runs along the walking track I take with Jack. It was cleaned up last year and they arrived out of the blue, in search of a mid migration snack. Now they’re back for a second visit: happens to everyone who comes to Cape Town. They’ve also shown up on fashion runways. Not sure they’d be thrilled to know. Continue reading

10 Books that stayed with me

Oriana Fallaci

My dislike for Facebook is at times mitigated by the posts from some of my favorite people. While I will avoid vacation and children photos like the plague – what is it with wanting to showcase an unrealistic and totally … Continue reading

Standing on ceremony.


It was my mother’s birthday dinner last night. We have a tradition at sofacasa with the Nans: each person gets to have a dinner party to celebrate the day they were born. They choose the menu (schnitzel and chips last night), set … Continue reading

(5) Things we love…#20

Garance Dore stationery

1. Breaking news – We take reporting from the front lines for granted too often. Whether reporters and photographers put themselves in the arms of danger out of a compelling duty to report a story or to satisfy an adrenaline … Continue reading

The Mighty Nacho Stack and Famous Guac.; a match made in Friday night heaven.


Every Friday the Nans come over after school and the weekend has begun. We have a menu of things that we do: go out for coffee or ice cream, head to the beach for a swim or surf, take a walk in … Continue reading

Fit for a change.


I’ve been toying with changing the way that I do things. The idea is to add value to my day by lessening the amount things I put into my brain, and increasing the amount of work I expect from my body. The plan is still evolving – but I took my first step (literally) by buying a pair of running shoes, and downloading an app called “C25K” which promises to take me from the sofa to running 5 kilometers in 9 weeks. Continue reading

(5) Things we love … #19

jean michel basquiat boy-and-dog-in-a-johnnypump

1. Intent: I want one of these for the garden in McG. Why? It looks good so I can leave it in place all summer. The Nans will love it and spend more time in the garden. It has a solar panel … Continue reading

Cold is cold, as ice is ice.

Burton And Taylor

I wonder if I have ever had a great love affair. I've had great lovers. I've had great affairs. But I am not convinced I've ever had the two simultaneously. There was a man that I loved when I was younger, who might have fit the bill, but he couldn't keep his trousers up. And he lied with a smile. Something I didn't recognise back then, but that I can read from fifty paces now. An ability that has probably prevented both heartbreak and mad-fun in equal measure. Continue reading

And I love the rain ….

There was a mountain there this morning.

It has been raining today. My little office is at the back of the house, in the extension – which has a tin roof. All day I have been listening to the water grow stronger and then wane. Pouring down so hard that I can’t hear myself speak on the phone, then reducing to a drizzle, barely registering on the windows.

Today feels like a crossing. A bridging from one time to another. I have given up my other few little jobs and have decided to work full time for The Lunchbox Fund – making a commitment. It has been a while since I had only one job. But it feels right, focused and solid. Continue reading

The price of admission to happily-ever-after.


I’ve been trying to get sofamother to put together a list of her truisms for “This Much I Know”. My mother is a pretty shrewd cookie and usually doesn’t hesitate to share her opinion or wisdom. But on this she’s being uncharacteristically … Continue reading

Location, location, lo… not so fast.


As part of the (ongoing) office snazzing up, I sold my desperately uncomfortable chair on the internet. The woman who bought it turned out to be a location scout and admired sofacasa’s high ceilings, shiny wooden floors and generous proportions. I loved seeing my home through her eyes. “Would you be interested in offering your house as a filming location?” she asked. “We have a Pamper’s commercial coming up – and they’re looking for a family home like this. The going rate is about R15 000 ($1 500) per day.” Continue reading

Notes on a conference, if not much of a scandal – BlogHer ’14

oh, we do exist

The omens didn’t start auspicious. First, I got lost around LAX trying to find the parking lot where I was fixated my Jemima would spend a couple of nights. It turned out there was no need to hurry to the terminal, … Continue reading