Lady Gaga rocks Jozi

I have so much to tell you I don’t even know where to start. Lady Gaga came to South Africa last week and played her first show in Johannesburg on Friday 30 November, 2012. Let me just start by saying I was absolutely blown away. I wasn’t the biggest or the most passionate fan, but I was keen to see the spectacular that I’ve heard so much about – The Born This Way Ball.

Let me just tell you that the standing section is not for the faint hearted. If you’re short, small, young, or have any issues with people in your personal space, breathing on you, or resting their armpits on your shoulder, bare this all in mind when you rush for your spot. And rush we did. After arriving at Soccer City and grabbing the quickest beer of my life, we went to go and stand in the queue. This was at about 3.30, with the gates only being opened at 5pm. Off we went, through the first check point, to stand behind several hundred people who were already waiting at the gates. We then did the worst thing, which would have irritated me, and I felt terrible doing it, but we found a friend much nearer to the front and made our way through the heaving throng of irritated fans making comments like “no really, we weren’t here first, don’t you worry”, which, to be fair, is probably what I would have been saying had I not been dragged through the mass hand in hand with the more uber of the fans in our little group :|

From that point, as soon as the gates opened it was utter chaos. Hand in hand, we ran like mad things, sprinting from one check point to the next where were stopped by the fact that we had to get through a narrowing space, or scan our tickets at the gate. Once inside the actual stadium, no one would let us down onto the field to the standing area, re-directing us from one entry point to another, and back again. And I was running, let me tell you. The fear of potentially losing the people I was with to that crazy crowd was enough to keep my legs pumping and my chest open in spite of being sick, having no voice and having coughed at least one of lungs up in the past week.

Anyway, having finally arrived in the standing section, we found ourselves about 4 or 5 rows of people back from a ramp-type looking thing separating us general standers to the super uber fans who had been in the queue since god-knows-what time that morning, or the day before. Apparently 250 people were let into the “Monster Pit”, and those were the first 250 people in the queue, as far as I understand it. The rest of us, as I mentioned, ran for our spots. I never thought I’d run like that for a pozzie at a concert, let alone a  Lady Gaga concert, but let me tell you it was worth it. In spite of the mouth breathing, drugged up retards who seemed to be incapable of not invading my personal space.

For a bunch of people who were at a concert of a woman who basically preaches tolerance of everyone, in all shapes and forms, whatever their life choices or preferences may be, there was a hell of a lot of nastiness going on around us. A couple of girls just behind us almost got into fisticuffs with some pushing and shoving, followed by a few choice words out of one of them. The guy in front of me had a go at me for keeping my arm in front of me to protect my boobs, because it was digging into his back – yes that’s how close he was, A guy to our right full on shoved one of our friends out of his way and proceeded to stand with his sweaty armpit resting on my shoulder. The amount of times my toes got trodden on, and the amount of people who’s sweaty bodies rubbed up against me at one point or another, doesn’t bear reminiscing about.

And, in spite of all of that, this was by far the best concert I’ve been to. Sure it was expensive, but no more than Linkin Park golden Circle. And considering the show that we got out of it, the value for money was so much more with Gaga. The set alone was absolutely awesome, like a doll’s house that folded out in the form of a castle, let alone the 20 odd back up dancers, all the costume changes, additional props such as the ‘unicorn’ that she came out on, and the motorbike that she was practically a part of. The whole thing was a show, with a story behind it, narrated by a hologram on the right hand side of the stage. The choreography was pretty awesome – made me think how incredible it must be to be a back up dancer for someone of that stature, and all of the back up dancers also had several costume changes as well.

Anyway, enough of my waffling, check out the Edge of Glory – don’t worry about the picture, rather listen to the crowd taking over her voice.

<3 HealthBoxSA

A couple of weeks ago I saw some buzz around the launch of the local initiative HealthBoxSA, spearheaded by Lisa Raleigh, and Emma King (creator of sahealthblog.com). The launch happened at Melrose Arch, and from there, give aways weren’t far behind.  I spotted one on http://www.le1ghlo.com and responded, and lo and behold, I’m a winna! The idea behind these boxes is that you pay a set amount per month and you receive a box stacked to the brim of samples and goodies to be tasted and tested, before you go out and spend money on the real thing.

The box is so jam-packed packed with awesomeness that you won’t know where to start. As per Le1ghlo.com, ‘Designed by International Contemporary Artist, Bron Stofberg, the Health Box is an environmentally-friendly product beautifully packaged with the slogan “Love to know and learn to grow“.’ The design is stunning (I’m thinking of framing it and putting it up in my kitchen) and the contents have already found their way into every area of my home – they include healthy food products, fitness equipment, vouchers of epicness and beauty products.

There’s a lot of stuff in there! I was amazed so I took a picture of everything in the box. Check out the list pic by pic, below.

Tried this out last night – very nice!

Nice and light, sinks in quickly, doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy or heavy, but not dry either.

keen to try this out as I eat waaay too much salt!

Got one of these in a Rubybox a couple of months ago – it’s lovely. Has a minty smell and leaves skin feeling soft and clean.

I went digging in this little package of delight last night and discovered crunchies, ginger biscuits, and peanut butter biscuits. Done.

My mum’s already tried to nick this to use on her hands with which she battles with dryness.

Took me a while to figure it out, too. It’s a resistance band, all rolled up into a handy little tube. Just what I needed as I missed getting one at our work Discovery assessment!

All in all I think it was a pretty darn good haul!

Find out more about the launch and prices here.

A #bpdaily roundup

I thought it’d be fun to put together all the #bpdaily pics I’ve taken this year. Not as many as there should be considering the hash tag, but anyway…

Which is your favourite?

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Nothing good ever happens without a fight

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Where’s the inspiration gone?

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Alcohol and Calculus don’t mix – Don’t drink and derive

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Boys will be boys. And so will a lot of middle aged men

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School is like a lollipop – it sucks until it’s gone

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Every morning is the dawn of a new error

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Thanks to @RobsieM for helping me out the day I missed goodie

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Statistics mean never having to say you’re certain

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Leave the past, Engage the present, Create the future

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Storms make trees take deeper root

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No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow

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Acupuncture is a jab well done

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Stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me

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After the laws of physics, everything else is opinion

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Budget, budget, budget

Let me preface this post by saying that if you arrived here thinking you might get some advice on how to budget, you have come to the wrong place.

So this is obviously relating to me. Although I do like to think that I’m not the only person who’s in this boat. Money, money, money. And now I have an Abba song in my head. You too? It’s a pleasure…

I’ve come to realize that there are a couple of different monetary stages in life. So far, anyway.

Stage 1: Reliant

Growing up, you may have been lucky enough to get pocket money from the fogies. At least until such time as you’re old enough to work. That’s not to say that my folks were stingy, and although I got ,yield a job, my pocket money didn’t stop – the job simply gave me additional income to survive my O’Level break. My first job was a fun time at the good old Keg & Maiden, at the Harare Country Club (sounds much posher than it was, trust me – think farmers who’ve come into town to buy supplies. Short shorts, long socks, only a two tone if you’re really lucky, and enough cash to get them drunk with their buddies and give the waitresses a hard time, and a small tip). Throughout my school career I somehow managed to squirrel money away to the point where even though I really wanted something, I wouldn’t buy it because I didn’t want to spend any money. Needless to say, this didn’t last.

Then you head on out to varsity, and again if you’re pretty lucky you get a pocket money/allowance to survive on. Naturally you’ve forgotten how you used to save money for space cases and Barbie dolls, or Legos and toy cars, when you were little, and find yourself tearing through your whole allowance in ten days, and spending the rest of the month just surviving (and doing so while helping yourself to a little first, or second, year spread). Borrowing money off wealthier res mates (those who get a bigger allowance from mum and dad) to make sure you have enough money to contribute to the cane and creme soda, or no-name box wine you’re sharing with one or two other people. Each time you go out.

Moving out of res and into digs means less of the spread as food takes a back seat when mum and dad aren’t paying for it directly into your res fees. But still, you manage to party 17 nights in a row, and do it well. Somehow. Even if it means buying washing powder, toiletries, make up, antibiotics, vitamins, rice cakes, peanut butter, rusks, tea, coffee, cleaning equipment and almost everything else you can think of (except booze) on your pharmacy account. Yes, you read that right. Butlers pharmacy. For everything a Rhodes student could possibly need (other than booze) that mum and dad will pay for, via account, at at least 120% of the regular price. Aaah those were the days…

Stage 2: Self sustaining/ Stage 1: Reliant

For me, this was followed by a year in the UK, the first half of which was spent outside of London, waitressing, and pretty flush. Followed by a trip to Thailand, which drained the savings, and directly after that, and stupidly so, a move to London, jobless and pretty much penniless. Stupid, stupid, stupid. A month with no work meant borrowing money from M&D again. So much for coming home with loads of £s and being able to do what I wanted for a while. No, no, home just before Christmas with no money meant finding a job, and doing it quickly.

Stage 2: Self sustaining (again)

Luckily, the job hunt coincided with a family holiday to Durban, and luckily enough, I managed to get me a job interview. In ballito. Uh huh. I know. Ballito!! The stuff dreams are made of. Although I didnt really know more than one or two people in Durbs, and had no idea where I was gonna stay. Besides the point. This little stint, first job, graphic designer, by the beach, with a pretty decent salary, saw me living in a beautiful digs in implantable. Not cheap, but worth it. Again, partying it up in Durban north, living in umhlanga, and driving to and from ballito everyday started to take its toll on the finances. Now I’m not gonna say I survived on popcorn and vodka alone, but well, yeah. (I lost 8kgs so if nothing else it was good for my waistline)

At that stage I got a little greedy and jumped ship from a pretty awesome job for more money. Living and working within 3kms of each other, I saved bazillions on petrol, but moving to Mount Edgecombe meant a heavier rent. Still, I was feeling flush again. For about 8 months. And then I got retrenched. And that is another long n nasty story for another time.

Stage 1: Reliant (again)

From there I did the only logical thing any sane 25 year old would do. I packed up and ran home to Joburg to mummy and daddy. Obviously. Thinking it would just be a little while, till I found another job and got myself back on my feet, I settled in. It took me about three months to get a job – that was awesome for the self esteem – and then I wasn’t earning any more than what I had been on. Sadly this meant I couldn’t move out, not in Joburg! So, you know, you let it go and just get on with it for a while. You get a raise or two and find yourself comfortable again.

Here I must raise a warning: living at home is not the same as not. You may think you contribute to rent and food. Have you thought about what that rent contribution would compare to if you were in your own place? Probably not even close to half. Then, there’s lights and water. Groceries, cleaning supplies, toilet paper for goodness sake! And if you’re silly enough to think you can afford to buy a place, think again, again. And then again. Coz then you have bonds and levies, and parking space fees, and maintenance, and when the toilet breaks or the washing machine floods YOU have to fix it my fiend. Not M&D, you!!

Stage 3: Scrimp and save so you don’t have to borrow any more from M&D than you already owe them…

So now I find myself regressed to varsity days where I weigh up wine and cigarettes versus food. Funnily enough, not much has changed in terms of my decision ;) however, now I have a credit card. Uh oh…

Asid from all that, I totally love my new home. What? I do!!

Tell me you feel my pain?

Don’t be fooled, he’s an asshole!

So I see this guy every morning on my way to work, on First Avenue in Hyde Park. Yesterday morning I had a couple of spare minutes so I pulled over into the cul de sac and went to go and say hi, and get a photo. He’s a gorgeous specimen, however when I went to stroke his nose the asshole tried to bite me. (I’m referring to the horse, in case you were wondering.)

Needless to say I backed away. I suppose I might have figured it out by the way the dude is giving him side eyes – making sure he doesn’t try and take his arm off. Anyway, it’s still nice to randomly see a guy and his horse in the middle of Joburg in the mornings.

Celebrations and Jubilations

It’s only taken me a year, but I have finally sorted out my domain for my blog.
Hooooray!!

#HOCConfessions – Giveaway

“It’s time to get paid for your sins with House of Coffees Confessions. Plunge into pleasure when you own up to your steamy Seductions and Daily Obsessions.”

So, House Of Coffees is running a campaign on the 5FM Breakfast show which ends this Friday (6 July) to promote their latest range of Confession Coffees.

The blends are:

Java Seduction – a light roast with a touch of caramel and vanilla

Light Addiction – a light roast with traces of berry and toasted almonds

Daily Obsession – a medium roast with hints of chocolate and caramelized sugar

Dark Temptation – a dark roast with fruity undertones

CONFESS AND YOU COULD WIN R5000

The idea behind this giveaway is that you ‘fess up, over a cup of coffee – ie. tweet your personal confession, based on the flavours of the coffee (above). What you need to do is follow the House of Coffees on Twitter @HouseOfCoffees, or Like their Facebook page here, tweet your confession using the hashtag #HOCconfessions, and you could win R5000! Then tune into Gareth Cliff’s show everyday this week. If he calls you and you confess to your sordid little secret live on air, the money is yours. Remember to answer Gareth’s call with: It pays to confess with the House of Coffees Confessions.

Daily Prize Description:

R5000

House of Coffees hamper including:

Confessions Daily Obsession

Confessions Java Seduction

Confessions Light Addiction

Confessions Dark Temptation

Travel plunger

Mug

The guys at House of Coffees are also giving me a couple of additional hampers to give away to you guys. So, once you’ve tweeted your confession, leave a comment on this post with a link to your tweet.

So, start confessing and who knows, you could totally be a winner!