Sunday, November 16

Our Saturday Hideaway

Jennakins came to visit me at the cottage this weekend! It was so nice to have a friend over and I realised I hadn't cried at all this past week which means this city girl must be starting to settle in. We both fancied a quiet morning so we decided to tuck ourselves away at Deborah's in Kloof. It can get pretty chillos up the hill (read: I am wearing Eskimo boots in November) so it's nice to know there's a cozy spot nearby where you can sink into a comfy sofa. Thanks to my mom for telling me about this place - I actually ran into some other folks there who had been sent there by my mom! Take a squizz below and be sure to visit Deborah's if you also love tea and treasures. x

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Monday, November 10

Cottage Report: Week One!

Howdy! So when we last left off, I was climbing the walls in excitement to move. I have since moved and in short, it has been nothing short of...tumultuous! I discovered that there are two sides to moving - the practical side and the....emotional side. Now, the practical side was surprisingly fun for me! It would appear I quite enjoy calling movers, getting quotes, packing boxes and that sort of thing. After dreaming of moving up the hill for so long, I was not expecting to completely fall apart by the time I got here! I still can't put my finger on one specific thing that triggered the tears...rather, I think it was a bunch of things compounding from not having a bath anymore to getting completely lost on my first drive around the hood. Thank you to the taxi driver who told me I was driving into oncoming traffic! You don't realise how comforting your routines, habits and familiar places and faces are until you're so far-flung from them. So let's list them all, shall we! 

Things I miss
Everything familiar from knowing where the bathroom switch is in the dark to the guys at my local Clicks who used to greet me as "Beep Beep!" because I was always setting the alarm off for some reason. (FYI, I am not a shoplifter.) I miss smiling hello to the guy that makes beaded animals outside my old Spar. I miss my local Woolies even though I always regarded the parking lot as the seventh circle of hell. I had to pop in there before a housewarming last night and I could have hugged everyone behind the counter! I miss my besties living nearby to me...I miss my short drive to work and I miss how neat and new everything was in my flat from the basin to the kitchen cupboards. 

I was asking some guys in our new hood to direct me to a place that sells car wiper blades, and they were like, "Just go past the Portuguese restaurant, next to the Standard Bank" and I was like, "Where the hell is that?" I couldn't figure out where to order our garbage bags, I kept taking wrong turns and it took me half an hour to find the toilet paper at our new Spar. ALL OF THIS will naturally come in time but it's a little overwhelming at first. I suppose it didn't help that I had a haemorrhaged ear drum (long story) and was lacking about seventy hours of sleep.

This led to irrational breakdowns of epic proportions!
Somehow, not being able to find the garbage bags led to thoughts of commitment and "What happens next? Will I ever be able to have a child one day? How could I - I have no time or money to even buy a vacuum cleaner!" (Thankfully, Jon got us one!) Then I clicked on an animal-cruelty link on Facbeook which led to me watching every tragic video on the internet which led to me deciding on immediately becoming a vegan! I cried for all the animals. I cried for my old kitchen cupboards. And, I cried at the realisation that I am in fact, a crazy person.

Let me interject all this crazy with this: Jon, aka Tall One has been AMAZING! I never in a million years thought he would be interested in buying curtains and bed-base covers but he has taken to domestic life like a duck to water! He's gone out of his way to make our home feel homely, and he's endured several psychotic episodes from me. I cannot thank him enough for his patience, understanding and infinite kindness...thank you Tall One! 

So we decided to do something positive
On Saturday, we figured some fun outings 'round our new hood would do me a world of good. First up was the Shongweni Market, followed by the Denny Mushroom Farm and a bit of dish-rack shopping! Now, this is what my dream weekends are made of. Instead of skipping through the aisles of home stores, I just felt waves of inexplicable sadness. We are living in one of the prettiest suburbs in KZN and here's me just, crying at every corner! Once we were home, Jon tucked me into bed with tea and sent me lots of helpful links about dealing with moving stress! Oh, it's also been flippen freezing every day. 

Then, the sun came out!
This morning, we woke up and it was sunny for the first time in seven days! I'm not usually phased by sunny weather but today, I was ecstatic! We headed out for smoothies and at 10am, I exclaimed, "Hey, I haven't cried today!" Jon was like, "This is true! Are you sick?" Ha. After a drive around town to figure out what shops live where, we headed to the park to do a fun shoot with family. Then, we went for a walk around our hood (which is like something out of the Truman Show - the houses look like they are painted monthly and everyone has cute swing sets and about five Golden Retrievers), strung up some curtains and I felt normal for the first time in days.

My goal right now is to focus on the positives and be grateful for all the newness in my life like a garden and a ridiculously picturesque neighbourhood. I swear, it's like Pinterest central over here. Jon says I should knock on the doors and ask the owners if I can blog their homes! I'm sure that I'll settle down in time when things are a bit more familiar and we have a couch - and chairs - and a table to sit it at! Jon also said, "If you leave this place in a year, you are going to be crying because you miss the new Spar, and the gardener, and the trees..." 

There is sooo much more I'd love to write but I better leave it at that. Here are some pics from our Saturday morning excursion before the waterworks kicked in! x

PS: That is not our place below! Just a random house I liked.
PPS: I realise there were a lot of South African references in here. Sorry, buds abroad! 

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Wednesday, October 22

A new chapter #datcottagelyfe

Hello guys! So as most of ya know from my excitable tweets, I am with Tall One!
 That's it in a nutshell but here's the long-winded ramble if you fancy some bedtime reading...
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Jon and I were buds back in 2000 (oh yeah, we're going back that far) but our lives went in different directions during the ten years that followed. Waaaay different directions. Thankfully, social media - I mean, life - flung us back onto each other's paths! Shortly after getting back in touch, I told him how much I love crunching through autumn leaves and he declared, 'Well then we have to go for a walk in Winston Park! "Where is that?" I replied? Well, he took me to this picturesque tree-lined avenue with great big piles of colourful, crunchy leaves. It looked like something out of a movie! I couldn't believe I'd never been there before. As we wandered down the road, I noticed that the houses were pretty freaking fancy, and I remember thinking, "How many companies do you need to be CEO of to live here?" It was beautiful but far from anything I could ever afford or suit really, being the misfit that I am!

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Sounding sort of romantic, right? Ha. Well, life decided we had to part ways again. Bummer! But I'd still drive through Winston Park now and then and take in all the leafy goodness. My current flat is based in Durban, and I love it to bits, but more and more, I'd find myself heading up the hill to visit the markets and second-hand stores. Eventually, I started day-dreaming about living up there in a little cottage - you may remember me blogging that about 50 000 times!

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A little after New Year's Day last year (I remember that being quite poetic for some reason!) I was tucking into breakfast with friends up the hill and Taryn said, "Your dream of living up here? It's totally gonna happen one day," and I was like, "Yeah, that'd be awesome but it's too far and expensive and I'll be all alone..."

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Then, not long after that, Jon came back into my life (huzzah!) and before I knew it, he was living with me for two months while his room was being renovated. Despite my studio being about the size of a shoe box, we got on amazingly well! I was having so much fun that I suggested turning it into more of a permanent shindig. I don't wanna speak for Jon but I think he was pretty taken aback by that! He sort of awkwardly replied, "But this is working so well as it is..."

I won't lie. I was GUTTED for the first 24 hours but then I thought, "You know what, that's totally chilled. Living alone has tons of perks and we'll just visit each other and it'll be fine." I wasn't in a rush so I never mentioned it again.

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A couple of months later, I decided to cottage-up on my own and went to view a place in Kloof. Jon asked to come with and afterwards, he calmly said, "So that looks like a place I'd be happy to live in too." I was like, "WOAH. What are you saying here?' See, Jon has lived with his current housemate for thirteen years - thirteen years, people - so I knew this was a pretty big deal. I was super stoked but then my brain short-circuited and transitioned from excitement into, 'UH-OH. COMMITMENT. COMPROMISE. CHORES. Where will his hiking gear go? What'll happen to my weird, gold pineapple? HOW WILL THIS WORK? Am I ready for this?'

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After going through every emotion in the rainbow, I remembered that Jon is in fact the most easy-going, helpful, practical and kind-hearted human being on the planet and I chilled the heck down and got excited again. We started cooking up plans and thinking about where we could live. FYI: not that place below. That's a cottage from a holiday jol we go to!

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Rental prices are kind of ridiculous so I couldn't believe it when we spotted a listing for a cottage in Winston Park for a bargalicious price! We hurried over to view it and told the landlords we'd love to be considered for it. There was one hitch, though. It didn't have a bath. And I am all about the baths. We hadn't been looking long so when the landlords offered it to us, we decided to turn it down and look a little longer.

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Well, we looked and looked and looked but everything was either too pricey, too dodgy or not remotely private. For some reason, my mind kept drifting back to the Winston Park cottage - so much so, that I began dreaming about it! And while it only had a shower (and some serious 80's style cabinetry going on and a couple of cracked tiles), it had a garden! Now, I haven't had a garden since I lived with my folks back in the day. It was also spacious with two bedrooms and a great big lounge. The back door led onto a sweet patio with an awning covered in greenery. I could just see us getting hammered sitting out there with friends on warm summer evenings.

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Over a month went by and eventually I suggested to Jon that we contact the landlords and ask if it was still available. He just laughed and said, "Don't be ridic, that thing would have gone the next day!" I decided to chance it anyway and popped them an email - lo, and behold, it was still available! The people who were going to take it after us had changed their minds at the last minute. And now we're moving in super soon!

People keep asking me if it's the "Pinterest" cottage of my dreams. And no, it doesn't have shiny subway tiles, wooden floors and white floating shelves but it has plenty of character and it's neutral enough for us to put our own stamp on it. Most importantly, it felt like home and I can't wait to move innnnn! Although, if you have a bath, I will be visiting....

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Because we've both only ever rented furnished places, we own absolutely nothing! So we're going to have to buy everything from beds and couches to chairs and major appliances. It's gonna take time (and a shed-load of money) but we'll get there. We'll get there...

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As excited as I am to move, I am having a rather emotional time saying goodbye to my flat. I put myself back together here after getting divorced. It's been my safe-haven over the past three years and I've made so many wonderful memories in this little studio with it's lilacy walls and wooden floors. I think I'll have to write another post to pay homage to it!

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Crumbs, well done if you made it through all this waffle! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for future homey instalments! And Jon, if you're reading, thank you for putting up with my crazy ways and for being the level-headed rock in my life. You're the best, y'hear.

PS: I don't have pics of the new spot yet but they're coming, they're coming x