Five Friday Facts

1. My car will always be the dirtiest car in the parking lot. I ride horses and drive on dirt roads. This is an unavoidable fact of life.

2. Steak will always be on my priority list. It’s as simple as that.

By Another Pint Please… on Flickr

3. Sleeping late is wonderful, but getting up before the sun comes up is much more satisfying.

4. Friends come and go, and that’s okay. And some bother to see it through and can be called up after months or years (be patient with me guys, I plan on getting to everyone ASAP).

5. The best music is not discovered by listening to the radio – you find it word of mouth.

By Vectortrance on Flickr

Five Friday Facts

My 2012

This year I will not be writing at least one blog post a week. I won’t be exercising more often either. I will probably eat more fruit and vegetables, but I am not going to commit to anything. I’m still going to be smoking, unless I really feel it’s time to quit.

This year I will not be making any serious resolutions that I won’t be able to keep. In 2012 there are only two things I plan on being better about.

1. I will clean my tack more regularly.

2. I want to eat more steak.

By cleaning my tack, I will automatically be a better horse woman. And this is a life time goal of mine. My equipment will last much longer and my ponies will look much more impressive.

Shiny leather beats dirty leather

And I love nothing more than a good steak. It makes me happy and fills me up.

All I need

This way I know I will have no guilty feelings about my blog being idle for a while (I do this mostly for fun after all). And I don’t have to care about my running shoes gathering dust in the back of the cupboard either. At least I know they are there when I need them. I can eat what I want, because I tend to automatically prefer healthy food and as for smoking, I’ll be ready one day.

And just like that I am going into 2012 more relaxed and confident about achieving my goals. I’ve already cleaned my tack thoroughly – my leather is spotless and smells fantastic. As for the steak, I had a particularly good one on 1 Jan.

How many people can beat that kind of performance five days into the year?

My 2012

Strange Behaviour

I think the consumption of fruit is strange. Unless it’s a tomato or avocado, I’m not interested. And I haven’t developed scurvy yet, so that means eating fruit is not a major part of human survival. I don’t have time to waste on fruit either.

Fruit contains seeds and avoiding or ingesting the seeds is way too much effort. If I’m going to eat something healthy, I want it to be easy.

Why people choose to eat this stuff if more than I can understand

That’s why I cannot understand why the girls at the office eat fruit salad for lunch.

If you’re going to eat fruit salad, it should at least be for breakfast. Restaurants are onto this fact. Why do you think you can only order fruit salad up until 10:00am? Because it doesn’t make sense to eat it at all, but some freaks do, so it’s just there, along with muesli and yogurt (seriously, who goes out for breakfast and eats muesli and yogurt?).

Really? You can't make this at home?

The girls already think I’m a freak. So, I can’t appeal to them to stop eating fruit at lunchtime. They don’t understand that I find it confusing.

Lunch, in an ideal world, would be steak. Something big and filling to get you through the day.

Meat
The perfect lunch

 

 

Strange Behaviour

Steak

I am currently hanging out in the Free State. Farm country; and the only thing people here talk about is the price of lamb, how much rain there has been, when the next rain will come and whether or not they should spray Round Up on those invader trees down by the river. It’s fantastic fun.

The best place to spend summer?

The Free State is also the place where a lot of meat comes from. The perfect place for a carnivorous young woman to spend her vacation? Not really and here is why:

Just because steak can be grown in the Free State does not mean you will find good steak in the Free State. The meat is here is cheaper than in the city, because of transport costs and, a little secret, all the good steak goes to Johannesburg. And once it’s there, it’s tricky to get hold of, but always worth the effort. For obvious reasons, you can’t grow good steak in Johannesburg. It’s not a great place to raise a good piece of meat – too much noise and pollution and no room for the steak to mature. This makes places outside of Johannesburg necessary and very important for the enjoyment of steak.

Meat looking happy as it gets ready to move to the city

It’s too bad really. The Free State has the potential to produce good steak, but it fails miserably. There isn’t that much to do, so from a very young age everyone eats a whole lot of meat, but it’s not good meat. It’s really boring, talentless meat. But because the locals don’t know any better, they spend their lives indulging in low grade beef and often relish in its toughness. So everyone goes about their daily lives without knowing what a great steak tastes like. And this makes me very sad for the average Free State dweller.

Rare Steak
It looks so good I just want to hang it on my wall.

I’ve been here for just over a week now and I find myself missing steak. I dream about steak at night sometimes, I think about it during the day… All of this even though I can have as much meat as I want. It’s easy to find and requires little effort to prepare. But it’s just not the same. Once you have had good steak, you just want more of it.

Steak

25.5

About two weeks ago I hit the middle of being 25. Now I’m heading towards my late 20’s pretty quickly, and I’m okay with that. Because I’m all about knowledge, and I’ve learnt a lot. This post has been a long time coming, these lessons have been a long time in their making, but now I can make them facts.

I have concluded that peanut butter is one of the best things ever and gherkins can bring about world peace. Sushi is still one of the tastiest things I can put into my body and curry fixes everything. Getting free stuff will always be cool, even if the ‘gift’ has no logical use, finding an alternative stimulates creativity. Music is still a sanctuary and reading is a neglected love and not by choice. Red wine goes with just about everything, but nothing beats a beer on a Friday night. Shooters are no longer as interesting as they were, and I would rather have a Red Bull when I want a buzz. I am too old for clubbing and I like to be in bed before 23:00.

How is it possible for something to be this good?

I now know that relationships will end, and sometimes you really can’t work it out and should stop trying. It hurts, but that’s alright. Because even pain goes away eventually. And the lingering heartache is just because good memories cancel out the bad ones. Moving on is not terrifying and the alternative to happily ever after is not that bad.

Working from 8 to 5 (on a good day) is what happens in the real world, and it’s not the worst way to spend time. Stress happens, but so does shit and there is no getting away from either. There are worse places to be than the office on a Sunday – I could be unemployed.

The truth - it hurts

Having friends, really good friends, is a blessing. 95% of people will misunderstand me and I don’t like the way 95% of people do things. But those are my problems and I am not theirs. But those who care about me, those who really care about me, help me take on my problems, and I am happy to help them with theirs. I will never underestimate an ear to whine into, a shoulder to cry on and a hug from someone who at that moment (and probably most of the time) has more inner strength than I do.

Breaking down is okay – I am not a fortress. Being made out of stone is unhealthy and dysfunctional. I am by no means a fully functional human being, but maybe one day when I grow up I will be. I will make mistakes, but they are only mistakes if I don’t learn from them.

There is great beauty in the world. And it’s worth pausing for. There are moments of such inescapable beauty that will happen and when they do, it’s okay to cry.

One perfect moment out of many

My horse, Ashgar Leam, is my rock. He’s frightfully handsome and is my soul mate. Our relationship is one of complete trust, thorough understanding and deep love. We were made for each other and get each other so completely I will not even try to explain, because there aren’t words and I don’t care if you don’t get it. I do and he does and that’s enough. Nothing else in this world matters as much as his four legs, his brown eyes and everything else that makes him horse.

This is what real love looks like

Strangers are best avoided, but when necessary there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of their kindness. I have been saved from disaster several times in the past six months by people I will never see again.

Living in the millennium is not an excuse to neglect the past. Good books were written before 2000. Amazing music was produced before Britney Spears and filling my collection with ‘classics’ is a worthy investment. Just because it’s not a best seller does not mean it should be passed over.

Too classic - too awesome

I’m still grappling with this one – but I should never be near my phone when I’ve been drinking. I do dumb things, I say things I never would to people I probably shouldn’t. This hasn’t led to any serious disasters, but things can’t be recalled once they have been sent into the universe via technology.

Moments of immaturity are fine. Silly things should be laughed at. Stupid people should be mocked (in private). Using the language of teenagers colours dialogue – as long as punctuation is still a priority.

Amazing people should be recognized and learnt from. Getting over my own ego has been tough; sadly I am not that smart (yet). Industry leaders in whatever field are wonderful to talk to.

Doing stuff alone is empowering. I crave time on my own and I am now happy to go to function without a plus one or colleague. I will go out and meet new people and if we never cross paths again I still had a few hours to enjoy their company and learn.

alone does not equate sad! This is not what alone looks like!

The past can’t ever be changed. Letting go of guilt is a challenge. Ultimately there are two choices in life, rolling over in submission or standing up, finding balance and taking on the next hurdle. Taking some time to gather your strength is advisable and then fully forward, because reverse is a gear you should only use when driving. Bring it!

Yeah!

And bring on the next five months, bring on 26 – I can’t wait for what will happen next.

Before I forget – I would like to add that I like steak. Steak is awesome. It’s good knowing A-grade meat is out there.

And one day I’ll get over saying AWESOME all the time.

25.5

Winter – It’s Not That Bad

It’s still cold, but we all survived the mutant cold front and are stronger people for it.

I’m not going to lie – there will be cold fronts ahead and days where we all can’t feel our fingers and our cars won’t start in protest of the icy weather, but winter is really not that bad.

B
A representation of what happens in a cold front. I have no idea what it means.

The solstice has passed. That Pagans have partied. That means the days will get longer, the sun will warm us for a few moments longer each and every day moving forward. And even the most hardened night-owl will admit that the sun isn’t a half bad thing to have floating around in our solar system. And just think about that extra vitamin D you’ll be getting. This has various health benefits I honestly can’t be bothered to get into right now.

I'm feeling warmer already

We have passed winters peak and summer is on its way. Spring is around the corner, and everyone loves spring. So hang in there, and if you can’t, well, winter is not entirely terrible.

Just think about hot chocolate… Go get some, and then continue to read. It’s good, isn’t it? It’s making you feel warm right now. And it’s yummy.

Hmmmm

Winter means it’s okay to pick up a bit of weight. And this is natural and good, don’t fight it. Your body needs a bit of extra padding to survive. So there is less than zero reason to panic because of a few extra rolls. No one is going to make love above the covers for a while still, and if you have half a brain, you’re wearing enough clothing to hide the winter flab when you aren’t getting frisky.

In winter you get to enjoy soup. Soup is great and you can have it at any point in the year. But if you think about it for a few seconds, it’s not nearly as satisfying as when you have it in summer. Throw in a tasty slice of ciabatta or rye bread and you’ve got a healthy meal that not only warms your body, but is yummy too.

It's never the same in summer

Don’t even get me started on stews, casseroles and pasta bakes… These taste so much better when it’s freezing outside. So enjoy your food, go wild, eat chocolate… Being chunky can be solved by reading Cosmo or Women’s Health next month. They will have you bikini ready before you can say September.

If you aren’t working in education and are still doing the whole 9 to 5 thing, getting up is an achievement every single day. Getting out of the shower is about as fun as chewing on sandpaper, but if you have half a brain, your clothes are warming near the heater. So get smart and stop whining.

Getting into bed at the end of the day is now better than ever. And two days of every week you get to lie in and enjoy the toasty cosiness. Is there anything better? Yes, probably, but on those days there aren’t. And while you work, you have warm and lazy mornings to look forward to for an entire week. This is awesome, admit it.

And then there are movies in bed. It gets even better, because reading in bed becomes a refuge, something you look forward to because it’s warm and stimulating.

When it’s cold and no clients are hanging around your office, it’s okay to wear a blanket at your desk. This not only endears you to your colleagues (themed blankets even more so), but makes you feel like a Mexican. When you get over wanting Tequila, you get to experience a tiny part of a different culture. If you’re really brave, wear the blanket around your clients. They will probably admire your attitude and sensibility meaning more business in the long run.

Go get one

If all of the above are not enough for you, think about the balmy winter afternoons that we so often experience in South Africa. Don’t take them for granted. Go for a walk – you won’t sweat profusely. Lie in the sun – you won’t get sunburnt. For me, there is nothing nicer than being outside on a mild winter day. There are more of them than you realise too. You’re just too caught up feeling sorry for yourself to take advantage.

Every single snow flake is unique - and that is pretty impressive

Winter also means there is the chance of snow. In South Africa, snow is cool (until you play in it – then it’s just wet and cold). But snow is pretty, and filled with nitrogen or something, which is great for plants growing in spring. That means your steak will taste better and your soy products will have higher nutritional value. So winter is the foundation of happy dining in summer.

Snow = Better steak in summer

I don’t love winter. I just don’t mind it that much. And I’m done complaining and whining about how I have frostbite (no one believes me anyway). But being a human is about looking and moving forward. And that’s what we’re doing.

And in a few months we’ll be moaning about heat. And I’ll have something else to write about.

After winter comes spring and blossoms and hay fever.
Winter – It’s Not That Bad