Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Siargao - The Philippines (Entry 2)

Siargao

Day 2 - 29th June:

Rolling out of bed this morning I was ready to make the most of my first full day in Siargao.
I pulled on a brown hippie skirt and a bright orange tie dye crop top over my bikini and headed to breakfast.

I ordered the omelette with mango and banana fruit pieces on the side, a banana shake and a black instant coffee. Just as I was munching away, the rain began.


I decided to wait the rain out and read my book for about an hour while I woke up with my caffeine fix. 

I can't really imagine a better place to just slum out for the day. It kind of reminds me of a beach bar back home called PiliPili - just better. 





After about an hour the rain still hadn't subsided. I didn't have anyone to talk to - and I had nothing to do. No one was around. It was only 9am and the loneliness made me just want to have a glass of wine or a cocktail already. It's astounding how quickly one turns to alcohol when they need comforting. 

I resisted the urge and decided to plop my Go Pro into its waterproof casing and take a walk under my umbrella. I wanted to go and find the market which was apparently just around the corner but the rain was pelting down and my skirt was getting soaked in the puddles flooding the dirt road. 

Me attempting to smile..... 

My Go Pro underwater casing started fogging up so I was worried it was going to damage my camera so I removed it. Apparently it's pretty common for the underwater casing to fog up and you can buy special anti-fog accessories for your casing. It still makes me laugh how many additional things you need in order to own a Go Pro. 

I didn't get very far on my walk until my frustration got the better of me. Nothing was going right. The worst part of all was having no one to talk to. I thought traveling alone would be so freeing and wonderful. Time just to myself sounded like just what I needed. I'm a bit of a recluse anyway back home. I don't go out much and I adore quiet days staying in by myself - but then why was I finding this so hard???? 

I think it comes down to wanting someone there with me to enjoy the experience. There was no one to laugh with, no one to make plans with - no ones energy to feed off. My own energy and soul felt depleted. I was so ready to enjoy the day but the rain wouldn't stop, the Go Pro casing was fogging up, the yoga I'd been anticipating in the Cloud 9 Tower above the ocean had been cancelled. 
I had nothing to do. 

This is supposed to be a paradise Island - had I known it was El Nino I'd have changed my holiday for another time. It wasn't Kermit's fault - not all all! They've been amazing to me. Last night when I was ordering dinner I was looking at all of these pretty shell necklaces they had for sale and Gianni smiled at me and said if I like one I could take one. I asked him how much and he said I could just have one. It was really sweet and a lovely gesture. I even got a Kermit water bottle (seen in the top photo of this post). 
It was the rain. It was El Nino. The rain was making it impossible to do anything at all, including getting a tan (which I so desperately need)!. I literally haven't used my sunblock I'd so carefully decanted into two 75ml bottles once. 
If there had at least been some sun I'd have been happy to beach-bum it alone on the white powdery sand and read my book. Relax. But the sand was sludge and mucky, the skies were clouded over and the flooding was just getting worse. 

The fact that Sam and I have been in a major argument has really been getting me down too. I miss him and need to feel some love and affection but lately things have been seeming so distant and different. I hate feeling so insecure about it and us. I felt this major weight resting on my heart, along with a serrated knife twisting into my pulmonary artery. And no I'm not over-reacting. I'd honestly never felt this alone and uncertain - and all I needed was a hug... and someone to laugh with and share something fun with. Even my surf instructor wasn't around in the morning to hang out with.

I had a surf lesson scheduled for 1pm and I decided I'd go even if it was raining - I mean, you'd get wet anyway right?! So all I could do was wait around the resort blogging and surfing the net, listening to Jack Johnson until the instructor rocked up.



I went onto google and typed in: 'Things to do in Siargao.'
There had to be something! 
Everything available online was for when the weather was good though. 
I wrote a couple of things down anyway:

  • Visit the Sohoton Cave at Bucas Grande
  • Visit the Magpupungko pool
  • Visit the market (when it clears up...)
  • Yoga in the Cloud 9 Tower (when it clears up...)
They were the top things that took my fancy. I took my list to the owner of the resort and asked him when these would be possible. Most required boat trips and taxi services so I'd have to arrange it through them. 
He told me that a group had gone to the Sohoton Cave this morning before the rain had started! I hadn't known and was so gutted!!! They make sure you have a good group going before booking the trip because otherwise the travel expenses are really expensive for just one person... it's also obviously not that fun to go alone and don't I know that now!!!
Gianna, the owner, said he'd speak to a couple of the other people and try to arrange something for later in the week. I then asked him about the rest of my list, determined to make something out of my time here! 

*

Tuesday I am scheduled for a 5am surf followed by a day trip to the Magpupungko pool thanks to my chat with the owner. He said it takes about an hour to get to the pool from the resort and an hour back and I could spend as much time there as I like. 
In the afternoon once we get back I've got another surf booked in with my instructor.

So tomorrow sounds more promising. 
At least I've started a plan... and raining or not I will be going bloody through with it!!! I refuse to waste my only time here. 

Wednesday there's yoga scheduled again in the Cloud 9 Tower so I am praying that the weather comes right so I can do that. Yoga and meditation sounds like just what my soul needs right now. I need to get back into a good head space. I haven't been in one lately. There's so much stress pulling me down and worries building up inside me. I've been asking so many questions about myself and my life. I'm just in a really uncertain and vulnerable state right now.

After the yoga I've decided I'll wonder through the market on the way back and then would love to take out the resorts SUP board and paddle around on the calm water. There's also said to be some good bars to go and see in the evening on Wednesdays so that sounds like what I need to do so that I can go and make some friends (hopefully). I have to try at least.

Thursday there will be island hopping and more surfing. The island hopping is something I've been really looking forward to so I am asking every blogger and reader out there reading this to PLEASE send positive vibes and cross their fingers and toes that the weather will be good on Thursday. 

Friday morning there's more yoga in the tower and I also have a massage I can have at any time during my stay here. 

*

I don't want to plan each and every day out to a T but I do want to know that I have things to look forward to instead of sitting around and doing nothing. 
It might not go according to my little plan as I've done it above and that's fine. At least I know there are possibilities. 

I know I plan too much and need to just let things happen more by chance - but right now feeling the way I do, bored and alone, I want to try and prevent that from happening again.

My surf went amazingly. After just one lesson with the instructor, Eloy, I can already notice small improvements in myself. He really tries to make you understand your mistakes again and again until you get it into your head and fix them.

I've never received such good surfing advice and honestly think coming to Siargao to better my surfing was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. 




There was a bikini party at Pagoda Beach Bar and of course I was more than ready to go. I needed to meet people! I asked the owners how to get there, it's pretty close to the resort but I was a bit nervous to walk alone. He introduced me to two guys sitting at a little round table outside enjoying a Pinoyrinha cocktail. One was a naughty looking Spanish guy covered in tattoos and the other a fellow South African! I was stoked to have met someone from home. I sat with them as they finished their drinks and then we got up to go.
There were fireflies in the bushes and we all started trying to catch them. It was amazing! I'd never seen a firefly before and it was magical to feel like a child again catching fireflies under the stars.

Two other people that were on the same flight as me to get here, a girl called Ellie and her brother, Harry, joined us too. So did a Filipino / Austrian girl.
There were only two motorbikes between us so we all clambered on together like this:


I was on such a high from having met people at last! Chatting and dancing and singing, listening to a band singing Bob Marely songs. I was finally happy.

The party was fun! You could buy a bottle of rum and a bottle of coke for 100 pesos which is about R27.00 in South Africa ($2.00)! 


Everyone that had their bikini on got a free shot too, so off came my clothes to prove I on my bikini and then down went a shot of vodka. 
Pagoda beach bar is a three storey spiral tower overlooking the ocean. It was low tide when we went there so the water so far out in the distance, the moon was nearly full and the bar was pumping with all sorts of people from around the world. 
We all explored the flimsy tower that rocked back and forth whenever we moved until we got right to the top level and lazed around on some hammocks while we drank our drinks.



Once we were all pretty merry and dancing away I realised I had a bit of the reef in my foot from the surf earlier. The Spanish guy sterilised a pin and started digging in my foot to get it out - I'd had so much rum I barely felt it but Harry and Ellie held my hands anyway :)





When we got back to the resort (I have no idea what time it was) we were once again mesmerised by the fireflies but it wasn't long before I found my room and crashed onto my bed. 

Everything really has been so much better compared to the first lonely day and a half. By the time I went to bed after the Pagoda beach party I was truly smiling and feeling like planning my holiday in Siargao was definitely the right choice.
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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Siargao - The Philippines (Entry 1)

Siargao

Night 1:

I finally arrived! Touching down onto Siargao Island was such a relief after the flight being cancelled the day before and having to find my own way for a night. 



I should have started this post saying, I finally arrived and I'm alive!!! I could have kissed the ground when I got out of the airport transfer car and to Kermit Surf Resort. For a chilled out Island, they drive like crazy! The hooter is their favourite thing, I'm convinced. There's stray dogs wondering the roads, balls swaying to and frow if not the swollen nipples drooping down to the floor. Kids seem to think the road is their playground - in fact, everyone does. Be it on bicycles, scooters, tuk-tuks or foot, there's always something to dodge on those windy little lanes. 

Arriving at Kermit I was shown to my room, equipped with full airconditioning, before enjoying this Asian style breakfast of fried rice with an egg on top. It was divine! 
One of the guys that work their sat me and a couple of other new guests down at a bamboo table and told us more about the resort. I was then told I had my first surf scheduled for 1pm so I squeezed a nap into my schedule for a couple of hours (jetlag still mucking my system around a bit). 
The Kermit beds are wonderful.  They are also constructed from bamboo which adds such a rustic touch to the resort. When I saw the blanket I was a bit thrown back because it was a really thin little sheet and I'm one on those people that like to snuggle with a big blanket - but after my first nap I totally understand why they give you a sheet instead of a full thick duvet. It's SO humid - if you had more you'd be crazy. 

By the time my first surf arrived I joined my instructor and we chose at my board, a rash vest and started to wax the board up. The board had a Go Pro mount stuck on it already which was great, so I scurried back to my gorgeous thatch-roofed room and grabbed my Go Pro. 
My instructor and I took a motorbike down to Quicksilver and Cloud 9 surf areas, the surfboards stashed on the one side safely. 
It's El Nino in the Philippines at the moment which means the climates change sporadically. This meant that instead of being the driest season in Siargao which it normally is, it was pouring with ran like they've never seen before. The roads were completely flooded. 
Luckily the rain stopped as we trudged up to the Cloud 9 Tower and jumped into the water and onto our surfboards. 


The surf lesson was great!!! I really did get assigned such a wonderful instructor who watched me closely and gave me the best surfing advice I've ever received. He pointed out all of my mistakes and helped me so much for way over an hour. The water was deliciously warm and full of surfers from all levels of surfing and from all parts of the world. 

Philippines people are a bunch you just can't help but fall in love with. They are so so so so so friendly and welcoming and helpful. 

Once I finally said 'Enough!' (all the paddling destroyed my shoulders. It's something I really need to work on improving. I've never been a strong paddler!) my instructor and I made our way back to the Cloud 9 tower where I'll be doing yoga tomorrow morning. We stacked the surfboards back onto the side of the motorbike and went to a quaint little shop across from the beach where my instructors brother works. They invited me for a light lunch that I didn't need to pay for - it was spicy noodles, grilled fish, steamed beans and carrots... it was just amazing! I felt so healthy and revitalised when we finally hopped back onto the bike and drove through the puddles back to Kermit. 

Kermit's food has a pretty impressive reputation... it's honestly one of the (many) reasons I was looking forward to coming here. 
Well - I can safely say that my first meal did not disappoint!

I ordered the Tortellini al Pomodoro:



It was incredible - like everything has been so far. 

It's still a bit lonely here - everyone else has people to eat dinner with and relax with and I haven't really met anyone yet which is hard. I'm not great at just going up to people and chatting. It takes me a while to warm up to people. I don't even know where to start... so for now I'm just getting aquatinted with their happy hour white wine and vibey old school music. 



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Travel Stresses

The last twenty-four hours have been incredibly lonely and scary. 
I was bound to enter Siargao Island yesterday morning but the flight was cancelled due to bad weather. 



We actually flew all the way there and then couldn’t land so flew all the way back. The flight itself was so cute - the air hostesses play a game with the passengers, asking questions about safety procedures and if you guess it right you get a prize. I’d never experienced that on a flight before so it really added a nice touch. 

The views from out of the window were incredible. There's thousands of deserted jungle patches on the water that look just like this:


My camera picked up the propellor's on the plane



After we landed back in the Mactan Cebu Airport no one told the passengers what to do or where to go, so every question possible was flying through my head. Where will I stay tonight? What is going on? Will I be reimbursed? W.T.F???

I was being really strong for as long as I could. Three Canadians my age adopted me and we started to discuss ways to get to Siargao Island together. We could take a ferry to Surigao and then another ferry to Siargao! That would work! So they opted to get their tickets refunded in full while I ran the idea past my folks. My folks told me if there are storms there and planes are unable to land then a ferry ride sounds too dangerous and they told me to just wait it out while they called my travel agent. So my three Canadian friends whose names I can’t remember because I was too busy trying to control my anxiety, left and I was left alone. 

Being alone in a foreign country with no idea where you should go or what you should do is so daunting. I sat there on the airport floor watching everyone else that was on my flight cuddle their partners and talk about what they should do. Two heads are better than one. I had no one. The time difference between Philippines and back home was also frustrating because most people back home were still fast asleep. 
Eventually the tears came in big heavy drops. I couldn’t stop it… and once someone finally approached me to ask if i was OK that just made it worse. I’d never felt so afraid and alone. 
Eventually my travel agent managed to book me on a flight for the next day (today) and booked me back into my accommodation I’d stayed in the previous night again. 
To calm down I crossed over the road and did some retail therapy by buying a discounted Louis Vuitton purse. It’s amazing how sometimes a materialistic item can really cheer you up. Clutching proudly onto my new Louis Vuitton, I entered my hotel, made my way to the restaurant and ordered two big glasses of delicious white wine. It calmed me right down while I updated my friends and family. 






I then decided to treat myself to a massage available at the hotels spa. OH. MY. GOD. It was beyond incredible. I chose the two hour hot stone, Jasmine oil massage. It was cheaper than a 30min back, neck and shoulder massage back home!!! Normally I cannot handle a massage. I am way to ticklish and falling asleep isn’t possible because I’m too aware of someone else touching me. This massage however, lulled me right to sleep. Incredible! It cost 1,800 pesos and it was worth every penny. Afterwards she did the most amazing stretches and then left me in the dimly lit room to eat a banana and sip on some black tea. Divine.

After the massage I could have gone right to bed, but I realised that I hadn’t eaten much because I’d been so stressed out so made my way back to the restaurant (still looking like Popeye after my breakdown) and ordered a big steak and more wine. I decided I didn't care that I was blowing my budget to smithereens because I’d had a really rough day and just needed some spoils and comfort. After dinner I went straight to bed. 

Now it’s just after 6am and I’m back in the airport scheduled to depart for Siargao once again. I hope that it goes through this time - but at the same time I’m scared that I’ll get stuck there and miss my flight over to Indonesia next week, but I guess I just need to let go and take it one step at a time.



This past 24 hours reminded me of one of my favourite quotes: 

“Put all faith and trust into the universe and it will deliver.” 

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Hong Kong and Cebu

Hello from the Philippines! 

During my 9 hour layover in Hong Kong


It’s been a mad journey to get here from South Africa so far, from being sandwiched between one belching and one farting passenger on the long-haul flight from SA to Hong Kong, a 9 hour layover in Hong Kong International Airport, a two hour flight delay to reach Cebu in the Philippines and then finally after over 48 hours of pure travel checking in to a swanky hotel for the evening. I literally sunk into the bed like it was a marshmallow… after bathing in this ginormous tub wrapped in marble.

I’ll start my highlights from the beginning. 
It truly amazes me just how helpful, friendly and warm people are to you while your traveling. In the past two days I made some lovely travel friends by complete accident. One was this wild purple-haired Jozzie girl on her way to LA. We got chatting in the queue as we waited to board the flight to Hong Kong and instantly hit it off. We spoke about what we imagined Hong Kong to be like and where we were off to. It was a great way to ease the riddled nerves because I’m not sure if you know this but no matter how often I catch flights around the world, that doesn’t make flying any less daunting for me. Yip…. I am 100% absolutely petrified of planes. Once on board we parted ways, being seated in different aisles on the plane and never saw each other again. 
I did see three lovely glasses of complimentary white wine though (also a fabulous easer for the nerves) and got stuck into season 21 of America’s Next Top Model. 
I flew with Cathay Pacific and was totally impressed right from the start. The Chinese air-hostesses are gorgeous and classy, extremely helpful and wonderful. 
The food! I've never enjoyed airplane food so much! We had a choice out of three equally delicious meals, I chose a steamed jasmine rice chicken curry with cashew nuts. Amazing!
The onboard entertainment was great, with some of the latest films (for South Africa anyway…) like The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. There were so many great TV shows to choose from too and games like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (I managed to score 8,000.00 Pounds but then got a question wrong and left with only 1,000. Sniff.).
Gigantic spicy Korean lunch
Finally arriving in Hong Kong International Airport, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Having been in Singapore airport (jaw-dropping) I’d imagined Hong Kong’s airport to be somewhat similar. I found it to be pretty boring actually. The shops were minimal as were the choices in places to eat. I finally cozied down at The Food Plaza where I ordered a spicy Korean noodle dish. Be warned!!! It comes in a portion big enough to feed a family of four or more! It's pretty pricey but for the size it's worth it! Especially if you're lucky enough to be traveling with someone and you can share it, if you aren't a germ-a-phob or anything...

They also didn’t have knives and forks so I spent the better part of two hours slurping up my noodles one strand at a time. I think the Chinese people all around me were cackling in their heads at my inability to pick anything up. 
After about five hours of my layover, the jet lag finally got the better of me so I wondered off to a row of waiting seats and spread myself out across it, sleeping on my bags because I was traveling alone and didn't want anything being tampered with while I had a kip. 

The jetlag was rough...


I’d been trying really hard to not go into duty free no matter how minimalistic it seemed because my holiday hadn’t even begun yet - but honestly, after seven hours there is literally nothing else to do. Michael Kors’ and Marc Jacobs’ names lured me into the first shop where I drooled for the longest time over purses and handbags that I knew i couldn’t afford. A girl can dream though, right? 

Duty Free
That's one thing I found about Hong Kong - it is ridiculously expensive. A normal coffee cost me R 50.00 which is probably not much for people earning dollars or pounds, I think it's less than 50p for you guys, but for us that's criminal! The exchange rate for us South African's is dismal. 


Eventually after nearly nine hours of waiting my gate number to board my flight to the Philippines was released and I made my way to board the plane. Disappointment flooded through me when I realised the flight had been delayed for an hour so I went to the nearest restaurant by gate 65, I think it was called Nosh, and ordered a take away glass of wine. Yes! Take away wine!!!
While I sipped on my plastic cup of icy white wine I got chatting to what I’d thought was a Philippines mother and daughter. They were so sweet and interested right from the start. The husband came to find them after a while and it turns out he’s Norwegian, married to this incredible Filipino woman, so their daughter was the most interesting mixture. 
Anyway… this Filipino woman took me under her wing as her own for the duration of the flight into Philippines and then even escorted me to my hotel across the street, making sure I was safe and checked in before they headed on their way. I am overwhelmed by her kindness and am so grateful that there are people like that in the world. I wish I’d taken their names and kept in touch, but the jetlag was still destroying me and all I could think of was bed. 



To have a bath and wash after two days of travel was heavenly. My shoulders were aching from lugging my 8kg suitcase around with me everywhere I went. God knows what I've put in there... I'm almost positive my dads hidden a couple of bricks in the secret pockets just to laugh at me! :)

The bed, as I already told you about, was literal heaven. No exaggeration. The definition of class, comfort and relaxation. 
The hotel I stayed at was right across the road from the Mactan Cebu Airport, at the Waterfront. I'm really disappointed that I didn't get more time there. They have an after hours spa, live musicians, a casino, a pool and a menu that looked mouth-watering. The staff were just perfect. I've only spent a handful of hours in the Philippines so far but people here are so much more friendly and helpful than anywhere else in the world. It's also HOT! Like, really hot, which I LOVE!!! I'm a bit of a warmth-whore. Whether it be the sun, a fireplace, a heater, an electric blanket, a water-bottle, a sauna room... that's when I'm at my happiest. Warm.
I'd been checking out the weather forecast for days and the temperatures read 26-29 degrees but it honestly feels like 35+. It's so humid, I wasn't expecting it at all.
Blissed out completely....

*The hotel only accepts credit cards or Philippine Pesos though so if you stay there make sure to convert your dollars to Pesos beforehand. 

That about wraps it up to this point. I’m now sitting back in the Cebu airport after a 4am wake-up call to catch my flight to a paradise island an hour away. 
My flights been delayed for over two hours - pretty pissed because I could have used the extra couple of hours sleep and perhaps a swim in the hotel pool I didn’t even get a chance to see… but travel is unpredictable and such is life. 

I’ll updated you all again soon. 



Love from Cebu.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

再见

Hey all you bloggers, 

I just wanted to say I'm sorry for my previous post. I was feeling really down in the dumps for way to many reasons than I care to mention.
I've since calmed down about my daily life stresses and am feeling a lot stronger in general. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

That being said, I wanted to say goodbye!
I'm off, leaving on a jet plane!! With nothing more than a backpack slung across my shoulders and a small carry on bag containing a bunch of clothes that are going to see me through the next while as I galivant around Southeast Asia on my surfing trip!



First stop, Hong Kong! 

I'll update you when I can. 

Ciao for now, or should I say it like the Chinese do: 

再见


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Friday, June 19, 2015

My Current Emotions


This is how I feel today... as low as I have ever felt.
I'm questioning who I am... WHAT I am.
Bad things have been happening recently. 
Bad things keep happening.

Thank God I'll be in Southeast Asia in less than a week. 
All alone.. to forget my worries and sadness.

Get a hobby you say? Get out of town.. that's coming... but for now I feel like this too... 
(also because I found my first wrinkle the other day): 


I'm not joking.

And this will PROBABLY (more than likely) be me tomorrow morning... but it's my day off, so who gives a shit???






And THIS will be me if I get to the Philippines next week and someone took away all of the Rum (cos that's what they drink there.... ya'dig????)



And this will be me at the end of every day ... because... well... I'm just an absolute wreck right now and I don't know what to do with myself. 


I can't wait to leave the country next week and be alone.




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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn by Aidan Chambers | Book Review


Using a pillow book as her form, nineteen-year-old Cordelia Kenn sets out to write her life for her unborn daughter. What emerges is a portrait of an extraordinary girl who writes frankly of love, sex, poetry, nature, and, most of all, of herself in the world. As she attempts to capture “all” of herself on paper, Cordelia maddens, fascinates, and ultimately seduces the reader in this tour de force from a writer who has helped redefine literature for young adults. A book not to be missed by any serious reader.
Blurb taken from: Goodreads.com



The writing style of this book is like nothing I've ever read before. 
I had no idea it would be what it was when I found it nestled in one of the quirkiest little secondhand bookstores I have ever seen. 
I'd been in Cape Town for a weekend away - a very 'different' weekend away. 

It was a weekend where I blossomed. 
I learned heaps about myself, discovered new joys in life, gained a tremendous amount of confidence and did a lot of things I'd never done before...... 
Scary things. Things that could have turned out very differently than they did. 
I'd put myself into incredibly dangerous situations. 
I was relentlessly taking risks in an extremely vulnerable yet empowered state. 
Quite frankly, I was a state.

(much like Cordelia Kenn is in this book... I had no idea I'd connect so much with her character)

I don't regret going to Cape Town on that weekend though. 
I grew from it - I gained the most wonderful life experiences that I am sure will be weaved into my novels at some stage or another... 
and from that trip I also gained this book... 

'This is All':


I struggle to understand how it was written by a man. It's so well described through a female 'voice'. Mustn't have been an easy feat so kudos to him. 
At times I could DEFINITELY see that it was written by a man though. Things were said that no girl I know or would ever want to know would say.

The main character is supposedly 15 / 16 years old and I'm sorry but no girl of fifteen that I know is that sexual, intense, mature and downright creepy. She longs to know the smell of his crotch????? Really!? Urgh... and she's writing this book for her daughter!? I'm sorry, but if I had thoughts like that (which I don't.... thank God!) then the last person I'd want to share them with is my daughter!? 

I can't be the only one who's creeped out by that????





Heading into Part 2 of 'This Is All' I didn't like that I had to Google how to start reading it (the A & B sections). 

It should have been explained in the book. 


I feel the writer deletes words from dialog that should be there. Little but important words. It's written in a way that would be unnatural to speak, if that makes sense? 



I DO like this book - it's just odd. 

Different.

The story-line started to intrigue me properly from about half way - which is quite far into an 800+ page book. Nonetheless I'd stuck it out and suddenly wanted to find out what happened next and couldn't help but keep turning the pages. Even the writing style and dodgy characters started growing on me...


I thought I'd gotten passed the flipping back & forth after the A & B sections finished but then they came back... with a vengeance! 


This book can be incredibly difficult to read. An absolute (delightful) nightmare. 
I say delightful because the size of this book (massive) compared to everything else I have ever read makes it hard. Finding a new section further on makes it quite fun for the size of the work. But how to get back and when???




I must admit that it was tempting to put this book down and give up on a number of occasions - it's not an 'easy' read what with the going back and forth all the time. 

Sometimes I'd literally have NO idea how I was supposed to read it and would feel like the book needs to come with a manual. 
It's OK to give the reader their freedom to choose where to go first - but explain that in the blurb or in the intro! Something! It hit me square in the jaw (pretty much like some asshole (who likes assholes) who owns a swanky guest house in my home town did once....) and I didn't see it coming. It made me stop reading it for days while I scoured the internet trying to get some help. 

Somewhere down the line, I was completely drawn into this book though, without even knowing it. 
I got hooked. Maybe it's because you stick it out with Cordelia for so long in this mammoth sized book, but somewhere along the line the book becomes unputdownable. 


It's exactly as the book says... Maddening. Fascinating. And seducing. 
By far the most unique book that I have ever, ever read. 


Bravo to the 70+ y/o male author, Aidan Chambers. 
I have no idea how you did it. 






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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

May Monthly Favorites

My Birthday!







The merry month of May is my birth month and this year was just wonderful. I was absolutely spoiled by friends and family and a new fiance! 


Our Engagement Party:



Celebrating our love with all of our friends and family was just wonderful. 


Early Morning Surfs and Sunrises Before Work:





Yip... even in the middle of an icy cold winter where my phone's weather forecast predicts snowfall (weird), we still surf. 
Fun fun fun.

For all the crap that South Africa has, one thing that you won't get anywhere else that is so gorgeous is a South African sunrise.
Honestly, how breathtaking is that!?

So blessed to call this place home.

My Favorite Purchase in May:


Hands down my onesie... I have wanted one for SO long and now I practically live in the thing. 

The Start of Wedding Planning

After getting engaged at the end of April, Sam and I set to work on our guest list. We actually managed to get loads done!
We booked our venue, secured a photographer, I've got a make-up artist and.. drum roll.... a dress! 
So things are going really well in the Crazy-Bride-To-Be department (but I'll do a special post going more in depth about that at some point). 


Enjoying Fairview Wine Estate (for like.. the millionth time)






 Fairview Cheese and Wine farm on the way back from Cape Town is one of my favorite places in the world. 
Much wine and cheese were bought... naturally :)

Work Fun with Colleages


Drinking wine with the girls at work is always an added bonus to my working day. We have this gorgeous French exchange student, Lea, as part of our team for a bit and she's such a ball of fun.

Fun Friend Moments


 Rene joined me for my shopping trip to Cape Town and tagged along to the wedding dress appointments. She is honestly one of the best friends (and bridesmaids) that you could ever ask for. 




Mothers Day


In South Africa we celebrate Mothers Day in May and this year I was in charge of the planning... and if I'm in charge of planning you know it's going to entail copious amounts of wine, some oysters lambasted in lemon and Tabasco and a ginormous sushi platter.

We did just that. 




Overall, May was a wonderful month - but I have a feeling this month is going to be even better....
Why is that?
Well.. because I am off to Southeast Asia!!!
Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia! 

Here I come :)

This means I may be quite absent from blogging until my travels are over but I'll be sure to take loads of photo's to share with you all and of course there will be so many fun travel stories to write about soon too! 

Just carry on leaving your comments below and I promise to get to each and every one of them as soon as possible.


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