Longings of the Heart

13
Apr

suitcases

 

I should have called this blog “Living in (at least) Three Continents”….ALL the time.

That is where my mind constantly goes. All in one day.

I have lived as an expat for the past 17 years. That means I am either “home” – which could be the posting where our family currently reside…. with my mind at my other “home” – my birth country where we still go often and have property to take care of.

Or vice versa. I am visiting our home country – which then means – I am either away from my kids and daily household or if we all went – it means the usual dailies go on where the dog, our stuff and our “life” is.

Later years another dimension was added to the mix….. having family or a spouse or a household member being in a place – other than those 2 mentioned already. My sister lives in another country – that already puts my mind on a different time zone for scheduling phone calls, keeping track of different weather conditions and different vacation times etc. So – the clock keeps on ticking sometimes beyond bedtime to make that call to her or keeping up with them away on holiday while we are in school and just finished a holiday. This is not even to mention the friends you keep up with in all those destinations where they have gone since you all met on this expat journey. That just about adds in every possible continent on this Earth!

But as if that was not quite keeping my mind busy enough – expat life usually is because of a spouse’s job and very, very often that means an extensive travel schedule that goes along with that. My husband comes and goes and as a tight, close-knit family who likes to keep all in the loop, he stays in touch several times during his days while away. Completely different locations each time he goes and that means once again – yet another continent’s time zone, weather, travel departures and arrivals to keep track off while carrying on the usual daily routines.

Going to bed, knowing he is on a plane and should arrive sometime before I awake again…. him leaving some mornings before I am fully awake…. and then sometimes showing up in the middle of the day after a long trip are things that sort of constantly shake up the predictability of any given day.

Kids start to travel alone at a younger age these days and that was also added on top of the keeping track of who’s where and who’s here…. all the things a Mom needs to have in constant check when you count numbers for dinner, have a longing for that time together and always wanting to know that everyone is safe and sound at the end of each day.

Besides keeping track of who is where at any given point, there is your heart to take into account. Sometimes you wish to be somewhere you are not. Like missing a certain person, you can also miss a place.

The smell of our holiday house in wintertime when the fire burns all day….

The sense of being surrounded with your extended family all around one dinner table….

The amazing experience of Zebras out on the lawn at our home in Africa…..

The feelings of gratitude I feel when we visit Cape Town and could sip coffee outside on the balcony with Table Mountain unobscured in view…..

Sometimes I wonder if the simplicity of having everything that you hold near and dear in one place wouldn’t have been easier. If having it all scattered all over the universe is really enriching us or tearing us apart to always be all over the place and impossibly ever in one place at a time. Being extremely grateful for all the blessings of seeing the world, having lived everywhere and having loved ones everywhere…. I know what the answer should be. I know it will be frowned upon if I sound unthankful for these opportunities we got and continue to have.

But my heart longs to be in a different place today. I wish I could just close my eyes and be there when I open them again. To be where you wish to be at that given moment. Wouldn’t that be just the most amazing thing that could ever happen? If your travel schedule could be in sync with your heart’s desires on a given day.

Now, to pull myself together. Focus on what I was doing before I started dreaming….

Back to being a brain that feels like an Octopus head with all the tentacles floating all over to try and catch it all….as it goes on and around with the world clock ticking ahead as if it just doesn’t care that we all try to keep up with what is going on everywhere where a piece of ourselves are.

It is Monday and I am going nowhere. My bags will remain where they are…for a few months more…

Not too long and we will be “home” again. Away from “home”…. and keeping up with all the rest that will be in one or 2 or more continents other than those 2….

A never ending cycle.

 


Ilze

Why… I don’t know

16
Mar

I love writing…
Why I don’t do it more often. I don’t know.

I will have to fix that.

Before I know another day is gone.

Better make use of those hours granted me each day.

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Ilze

Wanchai Hong Kong

26
Jan

I love taking snaps as I stroll on the street. But when you are not on a photoshoot journey – you barely have time to stop, wait for a pose or the perfect shot. Especially if those with you are on a mission to get somewhere else !
But sometimes its good to share what you see just with the blink of an eye, with those who have never been on that street before.
So today, I take you for a stroll around the block in Wanchai, Hong Kong, around the Wetmarket and a few blocks into Causeway bay getting there.
I am also experimenting with some slideshow software. This time using Slide.ly. Check it out. And let me know if you liked it so I can upload some more of those photos that are just sitting in my photofolders !
Enjoy !

Strolling in Wanchai by Slidely Slideshow


Ilze

Marsala

20
Jan

Say What?  Yes. Marsala. The new Pantone Color for 2015.

It’s a WINE, it’s a PLACE, it’s a famous Chicken dish….. and right now it is IT !!! THE Color to go for.

And if you keep your eyes open – you will notice it everywhere.. it has been around for a long time…and still will be.
Like the inside of this old Trunk – my version of Marsala – spotted @Kamers earlier this year.
It’s a sophisticated, rich and grounded colour and the items that the owner displayed here actually gives you a good kickstart on what you can do with it in a room to bring out the colour. Either stay with it in the same hues… the beautiful copper, the color of the belts…… or go for something completely different and opposite to accentuate like the white or green in this case.
This is a sort of washed out version of the real Marsala. It gets more intense and deep as you move more to the color of the wine. See these gorgeous Celebrities who immediately embraced the new trend on the Red Carpet here.  Simply Stunning !!!

But I like this one too – the more humble version, washed out, been around and well-loved before ! On the inside of an old trunkcase.

IMG_1949 - Version 2

Poor MARSALA inside of the trunk had no idea it would become this famous…. but it has been around for a long time and hopefully will for many years to come.

So happy it is getting its moment !!

What are your views on it?

Personally, I like it. Actually, I love it. Remember this post from way back when….when I was WISHING for a room I could makeover in this color scheme and then had to find somebody else to give the goodies to?!

Well – that collage fits right into the mode you will enter into when you embrace this year’s Pantone Color Choice.

Ever wondered how they decide or who gets to decide on it? You can read all about it here and watch the video here for some wonderful insight into this process – an watch the Interview with Lee Eiseman – Executive Director of the Pantone Institute.

Would I personally go out and the next thing I buy do it in MARSALA?
Well – the short answer is No. The reason is not because next year it will be something different and you will be stuck with a “so last season” sofa…. it is more a question of it needs to be right for the room – no matter if it is IT and HOT right now.

But the answer is a definite YES if it suits your room, style and the ambience you wish to create.
It is a beautiful colour and if in doubt which direction to go with your next interior move, then I say go for it. Especially in the form of accessories that you can swop around and supplement once the color is not so high trend anymore.

My advice is always that a room and a space should speak to you personally and you should go with your gut and your heart and feelings at that stage and while you are in that room. Right now I have a little thing for Tangerine Orange and Cobalt Blue and it is so NOT the Pantone Color right now?! But I have a room and a couch that I feel is crying out for it…so, that is what I plan to give them now.

But if you are lost, you can certainly not go wrong to take the lead from the Color Experts and do something so hot, so trendy and so beautiful that it obviously spoke to enough people to be on TOP of TASTE for 2015 !!

Have Fun.

Let me know on the facebook page if you like it or not ?! MARSALA.

I like the sound of it – that’s for sure.

If you are still not sure what it exactly looks like …. here you go:

For some more beautiful images, go to Shutterstock here and simply Google MARSALA….. who needs me???!! to tell them what is MARSALA.

Have fun with it !!


Ilze

A New Year

13
Jan

Hello Peeps

New Year Celebrations are slowly fading.

Does not mean we need to stop celebrating.

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But time to celebrate our creativity again this year.

I had such a fun project over the Festive Season. Will share soon.

To a bright and beautiful 2015 ahead of us all !

Let’s celebrate and also try some new things this year.

 


Ilze

Ten things I learnt from taking up Yoga

20
Nov

For too many years I did not get into the whole Yoga thing, because somebody told me it would take my mind and run away with it into some transcendent state and spiritual journey which did not quite sit well with my own beliefs.

But I met too many people on the way to whom that did not happen and who all looked totally fine to me and to be honest – in the best shape of any regime out there. So, I decided to try it out for myself. Loved it from the word go and now I am “well” (….debatable?!) on my way to some weird position that will make you gasp one day when I put it up here. Just watch this space !

yoga pose 1

Photo Source Credit: http://yogapos.es/poses/565#.VG01gFeUe0x Photo taken by: Bright Yellow Dot. Model: Rachel Novetsky

There is the Rachel Novetsky’s of the world…and it will take me a lifetime to never get where she already is. But so be it…..

In the meantime – I have already learnt so many other valuable lessons from doing yoga, that I would not dare, not share it with those of you out there still wondering if you should or should not become a yogi.

Today I share just TEN of the TOP benefits you get from taking up Yoga !

1. It really gives you the opportunity to look down at your feet during a pose, reminding one that one should have soaked off and not picked off the gel pedicure on one’s  toenails.

2. If you stand next to the wrong person in class, there is a good chance you will see yourself sticking out on both sides of them in the mirror.

3. There is a very good chance that at least 5 things you never got round to doing in the past week, will randomly pop into your head in one of the classes at a time where you have zero chance of writing a little reminder to yourself . So it will pop up again in the next class. And it will repeat… untill it stops… and then you will know you are not a beginner anymore. You tend to learn to not think of them. It becomes a time when you can … forget about them. Exactly the point of yoga.

4. You don’t need to put on socks and sneakers to go do it. What a FANTASTIC motivation to get up and just GO !

5. A simple seam on a yoga pant can become super annoying when it is too thickly stitched when you are suppose to be focusing on “nothing”

6. There is really no point looking at the person next to you. You will either hate them or hate yourself. Rather look at your toes – untill you notice the peeled off gel – then it make sense to rather look at the person next to you whose nail polish is still in tact.

7. I learnt that the mirrors in those gym studios are not nearly as forgiving as the ones they put in dressing rooms with dim lights.

8. I learnt to be thankful for the things I can do today. Because in ten years I would wish I could still do them. As I now think back in awe what I was capable of ten years ago – without  a day’s yoga !

9. People in a yoga class frown upon you if you wear make up and jewelry and not the other way round. How refreshing.

10. Big busty women has it so much easier to get their chest on their knees… it’s already halfway there. But oh boy, the extra weight to keep off the floor in plank… oh well… good for the arms I suppose !

On top of it all – it’s ALL about the teacher. I landed a hot spot with a SUPER teacher.

That is making all the difference to me….. I am loving it !

Just look at all the wonderful things you get on top of a sexy ass !!! All so worth it.


Ilze

Words by Mama

13
Nov

Words by Mama is a blog where I am one of the contributors, sharing some ideas.
You can go check it out here and my posts are featured as ideamama.

On the days I write there, I will gently guide you there ! Thank you.

You will find lots of other interesting reads there, too. So, it’s worth expanding the horizons and go peek there.

The blog originated from a very good friend of mine, Jen from Rockginger  – I am not even sure right now if she is an editor/ writer/ producer/ director of movies or a pretty good mix of all those, because she does it so well,  but one thing I know for sure is that she is super talented and a super cool mama!

Today, for my first post, a very special birthday with some great ideas for a FROZEN THEME BIRTHDAY party.

Be on the lookout for many more to come !

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Ilze

Oscar Pistorius…. “I DID it” .. and is this what happened that night?

14
Sep

That must be what is going through Oscar Pistorius’s mind today.

He is either thinking – I DID it… ( kill her unintentionally but knowingly…. ), and I DID manage to pursuade the judge that I did not … (my story worked).

OR…..

I DID it….(proof my innocence) because it was a pure, tragic accident…and I managed to get that message across without contradiction (the judicial system works).

Only Oscar knows. In the judge’s own words.

Because let’s face it – the rest of us still DON’T know….after this lengthy, costly trial.
Tons of people are not convinced.

And that is probably the saddest part of this whole verdict.

Legal issues aside – let us just assume that in LEGAL terms, the RIGHT verdict has been handed. I am talking here about PUBLIC VERDICT in trying to come to conclusion and closure myself to this matter that lied so close to South African’s hearts.

Those who believed he was guilty before this trial, still believes that…and blame the system for failing to point that out and those who believed he was innocent, feels justice has been served.
But nobody feels any kind of RESOLVE. Nobody feels as if the truth came out.
Even if it DID.
It still just remains Oscar’s version. And his fans believe in him and therefore his version. And those who don’t support him, don’t believe him and therefore reject his version.

Those who believe he should have been guilty, is angry at the judicial system.
Those who believe he is innocent, is angry that the verdict is not convincing the other side.

Why is that? Why are there so many thousands of people who believe that and feel that this has not brought any closure?

Let’s put your personal judgement aside for a moment… what you THINK has happened. Because, let’s face it… it does not seem as if the trial changed any of that for anybody out there…sadly.

And we take it that Oscar’s version is the real version. That means …. This is simply a case of ….

REEVA – being at the WRONG place , at the WRONG time.

And for Oscar – the tragic reality of having a GUN in an UNGUARDED moment.

This is one of the 2 points that I want to make from this post today. Having a gun in a moment where you can’t think straight, would have made all the difference in this situation. Doesn’t matter if he thought it was an intruder or whether he knew it was Reeva.

If he thought it was an intruder, and he did not have a gun at hand. He would have had to find alternatives – activate the panic button on the alarm, call the security, call 911, hide, go back to bed to discuss with Reeva what to do….
All this would have meant that by the time he took 5 minutes to look at alternatives, he would have saved her life as she would have walked out of the toilet – and besides the crowd whom he would have alerted by now, they all would have been happy, alive and well.

But no – he did not have time to think before he act, and the fact that he acted – a life changing (ending?) event – for him and her was the result.

But what if they DID have an argument and he also did not have a gun. See – this is where my personal opinion comes in on why people are so upset and wanted this version to be considered more than anything that happened.

I THINK….that this is a possibility of what may have happened that night – not pointed out by the State or the Judge:

I think they had a loving relationship.
I think he had some anger management issues.
But – you get good guys, great guys, who are in wonderful relationships – except for this one tiny bit of them that snaps when something triggers that little switch inside of them.
Reeva saw a tiny glimpse of this when he seemingly went off about something stupid in an earlier event. Her only voice for this is the whatsapp messages in which she hinted on this.

See – I don’t think that he ever before seriously lashed out at her.
I am convinced that he did not physically abuse her.
She is a smart girl and she would have left. She advocated for that.
But to his credit, I also think he is a good guy with not that dark of a side to him.
So – yes, the judge was absolutely correct in stating that they had a normal relationship. The State tried to proof otherwise.

I just think that a situation arose where he “snapped”.
On the spot, in the moment….even if they had the whole evening peacefully chit-chatting, laughing and loving moments. Something started it out of nowhere.

It got louder – something seemingly simple, got out of control as the argument went on.
She realized that she should remove herself from the situation to let him cool down.
She knew something might happen – the debate getting too heated to remain in it, but also deep down believed nothing would really, really happen – after all, Oscar is a good guy and famous on top of it all ……so, she did not alert anyone.
She was considerate. She wanted to handle it, protect his good name and let the situation resolve privately between the two of them.

A sort of typical ROAD RAGE incident. He was simply outraged at that stage.
She ran to the bathroom and locked herself in. Telling him to calm down while their fighting and yelling continued.
He got frustrated beyond his wits – and got his gun in an attempt to threaten her. NOT to kill her.
He loved her, he is intelligent and he knows better – even in this state.

The prosecutor failed to point this out. They said they had a tainted relationship. This is not the case. It is staggering how many “normal” relationships have this secret of verbal abuse when things heat up. Otherwise, seemingly and genuinely loving relationships.

He told her to get the F@*$ out …. Just as he described on the witness stand and she refused….wanting and waiting for him to calm down.

For him to be in this situation of all his power taken away, he armed himself to empower him and get the upper hand on her. He probably told her he is going to shoot down the lock to force her to come out. Not to shoot HER…just to use his gun to get what he wants…access to her that she was denying him. And to regain power over her in that situation.

Again – she is smart. She knew to stay put.
He shot at the door. Thinking/ Hoping she is standing/ sitting on the toilet and that his shot would open the door for him and force her out. Simply because he felt that his manhood was stripped from him by her “disobedience”. Yes – he did not mean to kill her. That part is also true – as the judge pointed out AND Oscar – on so many occasions.

She, however, curious to know what is going on while having this fight with him and trying to talk sense into him, stood RIGHT in front of the door at the time of shooting.

The MOMENT he realized what he had done… he snapped back into the reality of the situation. After all – everybody agreed – including the judge – that he was in a mental capacity at the time to take decisions.
He then acted again like the loving, caring Oscar who just threw his toddler tantrum, threw his toys out of the cot….. but since he is not a toddler, he immediately realized the mess and the mistake he made.

He scrambled around, he yelled frantically, he phoned immediately, he wanted her back – no argument, no pointless anger outburst would ever want him to see her dead or hurt. It was just a game, it was just a power struggle, it was just a moment in which he “lost” it. He has had this with previous girlfriends and it never turned out this way. He regained it…very soon , very quickly – so, yes judge – he did try to save her, he did try to resuscitate her, he did pray to God to save her – in fact…. I think even people who DON’t believe in God pray to God to help them when crisis hits !
Does this mean all of what I have described here did NOT happen. No, not at all.
It could still have very much happened. It just means that the MIDDLE part of this story does not make any sense when you hear the BEGINNING and the END parts of it.

And yet – It is all still part of a very common occurrence.

The ONE and ONLY difference to this situation vs other similar ones – is that most people usually don’t have a GUN to their side, in that moment of madness.
This is probably what has saved millions of lives.
To have a GUN in an UNGUARDED moment – means that you can do something that you never planned, or intended or would ever repeat if you had even just a minute to think about it.

If Oscar did not have a gun that day, he would have had to use other means to put his personal stamp down. And perhaps Reeva would have left him, but at least she would have had the choice.

I think he made a huge mistake, he regrets it with every bit inside of him. He is not a murderer and he did not want to kill her.
But, let’s face it – whether it was an intruder or Reeva – both would have been alive if there was no gun near in this moment of Human Judgement Error.

And I think THAT is why so many feel that justice has not been served. So many just simply wanted the truth to come out.
So many who feel that the above may have been what happened – feel that that option was not even considered – not by the State and not by the Judge.

So, women in verbal abuse situation feel cheated. They know this was a real option – this version of events that the State unpacked. But they also know that those guys never plan it and they are deeply sorry afterwards. Nobody ever gets in their car and go look for somebody to have a fit of Road Rage. No – they go on an ordinary shopping trip and somebody take their parking and their whole situation explode with consequences they never foresee or feel good about.

I still feel that there is the flip side that Oscar is telling the truth and the absolute truth. And for that – I think the judge is correct. It was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that his version is not true. And therefore you can not let your feeling and emotion dictate otherwise.

I feel that there was a JUDICIAL verdict – correctly and there is a PERSONAL verdict – that each person has made up irrespective of what the judge said. And we should not get those two mixed up.

He must have the benefit of the doubt, if there is even the slightest bit of doubt. And who here can say that they can absolutely rule that out. Nobody.

But to say that women’s advocates are outraged and highly frustrated that the story did not come out, IF it was the story, is very understandable. Because all they want to do is to END this, before somebody else pays the price.
The sad reality of verbal abuse and these incidents of rage, is that only the two people involved usually know what exactly happened and how…. and in this case it has come down to not only those two – but only one. And that is Oscar Pistorius.

With everything in me, I hope that the real story came out. This would give him peace and public opinion would die down.
If it was not, I wish that he would get himself to the point where he would stand up to all those men who has this trigger and tell them – that it is serious, it is deadly and it is not worth it. Get help. Get Advice.

As a South African I have been asked numerous times now what my opinion is on the Oscar Pistorius is. And too many dinner conversations had led me to believe that many, many people feel that the above situation is what happened.
….yes, just another Ordinary Person’s OPinion on Oscar Pistorius’ situation that night….. a possibility !

So – I know that I will be asked in the next coming weeks, what my opinion is on the Oscar Pistorius verdict.
To all those – I will direct you to this blog post. I can not repeat my mind that many times. I say it here and this is my view of it. Purely my view.

If you agree this is what happened or COULD have happened, share this story and maybe those who wanted this side of the story to be considered i.e woman in verbal abusive relationships and persons against guns in households, would feel like they are a little bit closer to closure after reading this.


Ilze

Robin Williams

20
Aug

A final thought.

Such a beautiful tribute. By Robin Williams himself. RIP.

It is however not always that easy to make your life spectacular while you struggle with such strong forces against you, constantly powered by stress and anxiety while you try to pull in a different direction – constantly striving to succeed and not succumb into despair.
Depression is a serious illness and needs proper care and attention and often we are in denial.
Take the time to care for yourself when you experience any of the symptoms and reach out for help at the earliest signs of it.
I did. And I am glad I did.
It is not simply an issue of mind over matter.

Reach out today.


Ilze

Always a new start…

13
Aug

The kettle boiling. Three cups on the counter. Three chocolate cookies from the cupboard.  A little treat for me and my girls.

And as I waited in anticipation for the boil, cups and cookies neatly in a row.. my mind wandered about what lies ahead this semester and how we will do it this time round.

Tomorrow school starts again. Back home after a long summer break. Blog break so long that I had to enter twice when asked the so familiar “password box”…. only when it comes back shaking with “incorrect user or password”, I am woken up…shaken up…. at all the “new beginnings” I have made over the years.

Always new ideas and new undertakings at the beginning of a new school year.

And then pretending the calendar year also signifies a new “year” – gives me double opportunity to make all these deals with myself on how things will be different this time.

I can only sigh …

as I finally sign in…. accepted by my “Blog” after such a long break… always happy to welcome me back no matter how long the neglect…. I finally sign up for what lies ahead in real life too.

Whatever that is – be it different, be it the same. No choice but to give it a go and hope for the best.

Things are already different. I will post this – without having the perfect picture to go with it. Without having to know if anybody read it or not. But just by following my heart and pour it out when and where I want to….. as I pour in the tea and ponder while I stir it around hoping for a smile on the faces on the receiving end.

But by siging in, signing up… I am still in this game and I am still keen to push forward, carry on and make it happen.

Not only for me, but also my beautiful girls who are eagerly awaiting their tea and treats.

Remember to put “two cups of sugar” in mine, I hear the little one’s voice coming from 2 rooms down….

I smile for she should know by now (age 7) the difference between a cup and a spoon of sugar…. after all… she is the one who said at dinner….when I did utter some of my “plans” for the new year….”I’m sorry I don’t want to hurt your feelings – but is this not what you said one year ago?”

Yes – I did. Thank you for reminding me Sweetie.

A new start. A new time of trial and error.

As long as we keep on trying !

Our kids are watching. The world is watching.

Be true to yourself. And that is the only advice I comfort myself with as I sipped my tea…. and tasted the treat melt away in my mouth.

I missed you blog !! I am back.

 

 


Ilze

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Makes me happy that you got this far down on my blog ! See some older posts in the Archives or by clicking back. Powered by Wordpress Hosted by dreamhost Technical assistance by Libby Heasman from Crimson Pear. Blog design - me, struggling my way through it as a work in progress !!


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