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.

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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A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Friday morning last week saw a lucky bunch of ladies dressed to the nines in the “Creatively Stylish” theme as specified by Intel, arriving in droves at the beautiful Shepstone Gardens. This absolute gem of a venue is tucked away in the most unsuspecting place, just off Louis Botha. Having not known it existed I was amazed at the stunning setting – a perfect place to create the magic of a Wonderland.

Secret Garden

Each lady chose a tiny hat on the way in, in order to add the hats to the mad (speaking for myself of course) in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Mad Hatter's Hat

The beauty of the setting was complemented by the decor which was simply Alice.

A Jozi Wonderland

Gorgeous tables

The Little Things

Drink Me

We were lucky enough to have Dion Chang of Flux Trends speak to us on the title “Does my Bum Look Big in Cyberspace”, discussing fashion trends in the online space.

"Does My Bum Look Big in Cyberspace"

Spotted: Beautiful shoes

I was lucky enough to win myself a silver HD video FlipCam by Cisco in the lucky draw. It’s a 4GB camera with a flip USB to both charge and transfer.

Apart from all the delicious goodies, we each came away with all sorts of lovely things courtesy of both Intel and Dell, including a New York Times Best Seller – Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey, cupcakes, Lindt deliciousness, lip-gloss, Revlon goodies and lovely Roll-On Pumps (pewter) which fold into a handbag and come encased in a fold up bag that opens up to make space for the heels you swap out.

The weather on the day was beautiful and I have so many other lovely photos, but here’s the last one

Sun-gilded

Huge thanks to Intel for a spectacular day :)

x

Smash and Grab and other fun stuff

After spending hours on Monday night waiting for the adrenalin to wear off and for shock or sleep to set in, lying in bed and thinking through the entire incident bit by bit, gradually remembering things that were actually on my passenger seat that the guy must have grabbed after he smashed my car window, and thinking of all the things I could have, would have, should have done, when I actually sat down to write about the whole thing, thinking it would be soothing or something, nothing came. It wasn’t like I sat and consciously thought “I can’t write about this, I don’t know what to say”, but rather my incredible ability to procrastinate kicked in and I managed to distract myself for a good hour or two at the end of which I was ‘too exhausted to be awake anymore’. Self preservation kicking in? Too soon?

That’s not to say it isn’t the sole train of thought, blocking my productivity as though someone dropped whipped cream into peach juice, pushing everything out of its way. Slightly differing versions playing themselves out, starting to curdle with each other, when I least expect them. And then I find myself completely distracted for an inexplicably long time and unable to function on a normal (haha yeah I’ll keep telling myself that) level.

So after my rambling, here’s what actually happened. My closest friend has recently gotten engaged and her fiance was away for the beginning of the week and we decided to take advantage of the opportunity on Monday night to have a little girly time so I got sushi from a place near the office and decadent chocolate mousse, caramel filled, hidden centre cupcakes from Woollies before heading over to hers in Fourways for a glass of wine and a chat about wedding dresses, venues and to ogle the ring for the second of many times to come. After a lovely evening laughing at the sausage dog, Ted, lappping at the (empty) wine bottle with great fervor, and the cat, Abby, a great ball of fluff, crawling into a back pack with just a paw visible, stomach  full and smile lines deepened I decided to head on home.

This is Ted making friends with the wine bottle

Having filled up my car with Diesel the previous Thursday but the petrol/diesel strikes looming in the not too distant future (today – Thursday 13/7 in fact) I took the decision to go off the Corlett off ramp right (instead of the usual left to home) to pop up to the petrol station and get a quick top up.

This is not my favourite off ramp/ intersection in general as there is always a wealth of beggars (perhaps not the best choice of words on that one) walking up and down, looking for a handout.  I am a pretty wary and aware driver at the best of times having been taught to drive by none other than Mr. Car, in Zimbabwe, defensive driving trainer to the Zimbabwean reservists. I noticed as I was driving up that there was no one at the intersection and just assumed that it was empty. I guess, in hindsight, the logic probably had to do with the fact that it’s the middle of winter and they were likely huddled up somewhere.

When I came to a stop, there were two cars in front of me, the nearest of which had been driving like a total tool, either not having a clue or simply not paying attention to which lane he was or wanted to be in. I flashed him, he swerved back into the lane I was in, all at about 10 or 15kms an hour and then we all came to a stop at the red light. A sedan taxi pulled up the lane on my left and stopped just in front of me in the next lane.

When I caught site of the red-jacketed person coming down the road from behind me on the left, I assumed it was a beggar and, admittedly, looked away to try and avoid getting into any kind of eye contact situation. Awful I know, but seems to be one of those things in this place, not that that makes it acceptable.

The next thing I knew there was a red-clad arm flying through an explosion of glass. I’m not entirely certain of my initial reaction but I can imagine it was along the lines of “Whaaat thhheeee….?” The arm came flying back in a again and by this stage I think I’d realised what was happening, if only subconsciously. I screamed “fuck off” so loudly that it probably echoed across the highway (not really but still) and this hand came back into the car again. At this point I was leaning over trying hit the arm out of my car, get it out of my personal space, screaming all the time.

When I had to take a second to breathe I heard that he was asking me for something. Then I realised he was telling me to give him my phone. Where was the phone, give him the phone. “I’ll shoot you”. I’m hoping this was a last ditch attempt to scare and that he didn’t actually have a gun because I was still screaming and trying to hit him.

He didn’t seem to be going anywhere and I couldn’t go forward because of the cars in front of me. I slammed the car into reverse, deciding that if I could get my window, and thus my vulnerability, away from him it would be ok. I think the robot must have turned green though because he started to move away with his little haul off my passenger seat. After sticking his arm back in so many times, he must have gotten away with something, right?

As I started reversing he took off behind me, up the slope towards the highway. I sort of started aiming for him but he was already long gone by that point, thank heavens. Imagine the damage to my car otherwise…

Took a breath, realised I definitely didn’t want to be there any longer than I had to be and turned right at the robot, shatterproof chunks collapsing out of the window frame with every metre.

The robot under the bridge had gone red by this stage and the driver of the sedan taxi that had pulled up in front of me in the next lane was sitting there. He asked me what the guy had managed to take at which point I had absolutely no idea what had been on my passenger seat to start with. I always put my handbag on the floor under my legs on the driver’s side when I get in the car, in an attempt to avoid this very situation. My phone, that he was after so desperately was in between my legs – also not something I usually do as I tend to be relatively good about not using my phone while I drive. There was a lunchbox and a jacket on the passenger floor, but he hadn’t taken those, whether he couldn’t reach them or decided they weren’t worth anything I’m not too sure. My TomTom was plugged in because I am still unsure of my way back this side on the highway after a year and a half of permanent Jozi living – I tend to use William Nichol rather but decided, since we’ve recently moved, that that would be the long way round. The cover was on the seat and I figured he must have grabbed that in his haste.

The taxi driver told me that the guy had been wearing red jacket and that I should go and find the ‘blue flashing lights up there’ and tell them what happened, and be sure to tell them that he was wearing a red jacket. I’m not sure whether I would have remembered the red jacket or not, had the taxi driver not told me. I’m starting to wonder if I even had my eyes open at all through the whole thing!

I made my way up to the BP, pulled in to top my car up. The stupid thing only took R42. What. A. Waste.

I sat and shook voilently for a few minutes. Two guys pulled up next to me in a big white car (clearly wasn’t paying much attention cause I have no idea what kind of car it was). They asked what had happened and if I was ok, then one promptly disappeared into the garage shop and came out a few minutes later bearing coke and chocolate. Sugar for the nerves. Couldn’t have done a better job. Couldn’t have been more lovely. They were still there by the time my mom pulled up, whether by chance that the tank of the car was so huge that it took that long to fill, or just that they stuck around I’m not sure, but huge thanks to them, whoever they are – good vibes and all that!

This is my window in lots of pieces

It’s amazing how an incident such as this, a crisis, however minor, can shed light on so many things, not least of which the calibre of the people surrounding you, from the least expected love sent in your direction, to the least expected lack thereof.

And all those things you think about after that you ‘should’ve done’?

Just remember that should’ves don’t count.

xx

To warm the heart and add a smile

One of the many things that makes Joburg so great is the beauty of the sunsets here. Some might say that their spectacularity (totally a word) is as a result of the pollution in the air. Well if we have to deal with the pollution anyway, we may as well enjoy the view.

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To Wish Impossible Things

It seems every time I start writing one of these posts I get side tracked, save it as a draft and inevitably don’t get back to it until it’s no longer relevant…

Maybe I shouldn’t tell you that I started typing that intro about 3 weeks ago…

and so onto more relevant points and interesting facts that are still with the times… :)

I think that in the days after the world cup finished the whole country drew a collective breath and let out a long, slow sigh. Some of them were wistful, some of them relief, some just trying to breathe again i think! These days were filled with a post-successful World Cup rosy glow, in spite of the horrors of fresh xenophobic attacks all over the country. Something special definitely occurred during that month of unity and togetherness and it still hasn’t disappeared. I still see crs regularly, on my way to and from work, with mirror flags and waving car flags, houses that haven’t taken down their world cup decorations from their gates and a friendliness that, while inherent in Africans as a people, had been missing for a time in this place.

I’m battling to believe that it’s almost amonth on from all the excitement now – time isn’t just flying, it seems to actually be disappearing! But all in a good way – visits from my brother in the UK, trips to the beach, catching up with cousins and family friends, soon to be followed by a trip to The Ivory Tree Lodge game reserve in the Pielanesburg to make the most of a holiday trip that I won in Longevity! (So do keep entering those competitions – sometimes people actually do win them!!)

Work is great and the most exciting thing currently is the first local production of a TVC for one of our bigger clients, which is involving one of our copywriters, an art director and a creative director and which  just ‘warms the cockles of my heart’ and is basically ridiculously exciting! It just goes to show that this little company is capable of gigantic things – watch this space!

So the title of this blog post is borrowed from a song by the fab band The Cure and I reckon that it should be the theme for the week/month/year/life! Because honestly, if not… why not?!