Food to Truly Appreciate

Holidays, for me, mean food. My family likes to eat meals out in restaurants relatively often during the holidays so I get to try a mosaic of flavours. However, my gran likes to be one of “the regulars” and she has been staying with us for the past few months. This is what has gotten me thinking about the system we can fall in to with the food service industry.

There are so many restaurants that I’ve been to where the food is – in actuality – really mediocre. I’m not saying that all restaurants have to be worthy of Marco Pierre White’s scrutiny, but they should at least try to cook their food so that I don’t think, “Well, I could make this at home”. I have been to breakfast spots where the only difference between the restaurant’s cooking and my own home cooking is that they had bacon in their fridge. But what is most remarkable is how so many people don’t notice this and have accepted that some restaurants are just like this. My delusion was recently shattered.

I visited an Italian deli a few days ago that reminded me of the purpose of restaurants. Looking at the board of daily specials, I couldn’t decide between the napoletana pasta or pesto pasta but luckily, I found out that one of the other specials – primavera pasta – is a combination of the two. My first bite filled me with such a blissful feeling. I truly felt that I was eating a homemade bowl of pasta in a cosy kitchen in Italy. The deli is owned by an Italian family and this shines through in their food. The recipes must have been passed down generations; nurtured and adapted. After I finished the last mouthful of warming spaghetti, my mother insisted we order dessert. The tiramisu was rich and creamy, packed with the perfect traditional, coffee flavour. Walking out, I knew that I would never be able to make that at home. It felt worth it. I was happy.

This restaurant was Super Sconto. It is on top and a part of a grocery shop filled with authentic Italian food like pastas, sauces and desserts. It is located at Tirren House, Corner 5th Street, 169-171 Louis Botha Ave, Orange Grove, Johannesburg. The deli has a wide selection of cheeses and cold meats that you can choose to fill your sandwich with as well as a changing daily special menu with warm meals like pasta and pizza.

There are a few other restaurants that I’ve been to that are also truly worth the visit due to their authenticity of flavour. These include an Indian restaurant, Thava [The Gardens, Johannesburg], a thai restaurant, 2Thai4 [Illovo, Johannesburg], and the African, eclectic Milk Bar [Rosebank, Johannesburg]. I may review these restaurants further in the future because they are among my favourites and they know how to give a dish – to quote Matt Preston – bags of flavour.

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My Jaded Denim

The name of this blog comes from the thing that hangs over my desk chair all year round. Every holiday I go on, it is the first thing packed in my suitcase. I have three of them. Three of the most beautiful denim jackets.

My first jacket was a gift. My brother and his girlfriend gave it to me for my birthday about 5 years ago. It’s a summery, light blue in a boxy 80’s style that comes in at my waist. They got it custom ordered by their friend who owns a vintage boutique. It has some rad patches like one of the “Fast Girls” band logo and little silver spikes that line the top pockets.

My second jacket was stolen. I came home one day to see it draped over my desk chair. Prophetic? That’s where it lives now, but back then I was a bit surprised to see it. The way these things work in my household is that if you don’t want some of your clothes any more, you dump them in the next most deserving person’s room. So I see this jacket in my room and assume that either mum or my brother’s girlfriend decided to pass on the legacy. Turns out, our cleaner accidentally put it in my room and I had been wearing it for about a year while my brother and his girlfriend had been blaming their housemates for stealing it. Luckily she let me keep it because I had grown far too attached. It’s a darker blue; quite thin and it matches almost anything.

My third jacket is probably my smartest purchase. I tend to impulse buy things. But this jacket was a perfect buy. I was in Grahamstown (in the Eastern Cape, South Africa) for the National Arts Featival and I spent the day browsing the market. I think I may have actually let out a really loud gasp when I saw my jacket hanging among some other vintage coats. It’s a vibrant denim colour with fleece around the cuff and collar and lined with red, chiffon-like material. This wintry jacket means I can wear denim all year round.

Three jackets to make me smile. I still can’t decide which is my favourite.

Tribute to Matisse’s Rhythm and Meaning

The liberation of colour.

Henri Matisse revolutionized the use of colour in art. He started the Fauvist movement which stemmed from the Post Impressionist movement. He manipulated colour to create the 3D effect of his art instead of drawing lines or shading.

For the first time ever, Matisse’s works were exhibited in Africa this year. The exhibition was in Johannesburg, my hometown so I was incredibly privileged to go and see it.

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It’s a common opinion about Matisse’s works that anyone could do it. But the point is that no one else did. Matisse was so conceptually innovative and he broke down barriers in all of his works. He gave future artists inspiration and the courage to reject everything conventional.

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Some People Feel the Rain, Others Just Get Wet

I had chanced upon a spacious window ledge on which to plant myself. It belonged to a quaint coffee shop that rimmed the pavement of a street that is always crawling with unfaltering, lively activity. Even then, when the moonlight had painted the world with a milky glow, a steady stream of humming cars filled the cobblestone street. My eyes lost focus as my mind wandered, causing the lights of the audacious, neon signs to blur together in patterns of red, purple and sapphire. I was drawn back to reality by a passing couple talking in tones that complimented the smooth jazz that was playing in the café.

Only then did I notice the diversity dancing around me: two gentlemen sit outside the restaurant across the street in a stern discussion and wearing suits to match; a long haired musician crosses the road with his psychedelic guitar case to meet two women modeling unruly hairstyles and rebellious eyeliner; a neat, but nervous teenage boy approaches a shy young lady who is scented of the flowers in bloom; and an old man, wearing a coat of what was once pure wool but now mirrors the rugged texture of his unkempt hair and beard, sits alone on a bench beneath a traffic light. The night was pulsing in an unsung rhythm, harmonising with the flickering stars above. I watched them slowly melt into the sky as clouds crept onto the canvas. After a fleeting moment of pure emptiness above, the clouds burst and millions of tiny crystals cascaded across the suddenly misty sky.

Each drop was like an oasis. As they fell they seemed to collect and bottle up specks of light that skated around them. A sudden wave of cool air ruffled my hair and whispered in my ear but I couldn’t decipher their tales because a distant rumbling started to crescendo. The thunder sang songs of foreign places as wind hissed softly at my bare ankles. The rain gradually gained confidence and each splat competed with the next to be the hardest and loudest, shattering the kaleidoscope of lights inside themselves to create wide puddles like splintered mirrors.

Umbrellas erupted all around me and added a treble tone to the tropical melody the instant the rain began to beat on their heads. No matter who, every person caught in the shower raised their arms for cover and sought shelter; some would help, some would laugh but all would run. Various haircuts began to frizz as the surrounding air drank up the water; boots, sneakers and stilettos all became waterlogged as they splashed through puddles and every car whose tires further crushed the glassy water was frosted in water droplets.

The traffic lights cycled through green, orange and red a handful more times until ripples ceased to roll over the puddles’ reflections. It was as if I had witnessed time turning back because the water mirrors had been repaired and reflected the solid stop lights. They were reminiscent of pomegranate seeds surrounded by other smudged colours from the flourescent logos and dim street lamps.

Now the two men in ties wiped the water from their hair and draped their dampened jackets over one arm; the musician and his friends dripped into the café that I was neighboring; and the old man hopped in the puddles next to the young couple who sat on his bench, cherishing the last few raindrops on the their cheeks.

A Travelling Concert

Last December music was coursing through my veins. I visited my best friend who lives in Australia. I never thought that my family would be able to afford it but some how my mom and I managed to scrape enough money together to buy plane tickets.

I couldn’t wait to see my best friend but my level-headed mom could see the impracticality of planning this trip. Just too expensive. But I don’t think I’ve mentioned what a genius my best friend is because she inspired us with the greatest motivation to get our act together and come visit: she bought me concert tickets. Not just any concert tickets but Ed Sheeran tickets AND Taylor Swift tickets. A week apart from each other.

So Ed’s concert was first (yes we are totally on first name basis). We were going with some of my best friend’s friends whom I had never met before. We had standing tickets so of course that meant queuing the whole day. We waited from 9am until the gates opened at 4pm but it was alright because we had brought pizza and playing cards and we made some friends. The only downside was that it was so hot and I ended up getting the worst sock tan in the history of sock tans.

Eventually we made it in and we walked briskly (so as not to get shouted at by strict security guards)  as close to the front and middle as we could get. We had a phenomenal view of the stage!

Two hours later Foy Vance took the stage.

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To be brutally honest, the first time any of our concert crew heard of Foy Vance was in the queue when we looked at the tickets. I admit… We thought it was a typo that meant to say Vance Joy.

Then Passenger was cheered onto stage.

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I had been dying to see him since I missed the concert he did in my hometown last year. He had the crowd laughing because of his dry sense of humor from the moment he was welcomed to the stage. After introducing one of his songs as “Beautiful Bird”, seagulls started circling the top of the stadium in growing swarms with each chord he played. He eventually had to stop playing and say something along the lines of: “You have no idea how long that took to practise. I’m so glad those three months of training and all that money paid off.”

Then Rudimental got the crowd hyped.

They were so rad. I always have this thing about bands where I get annoyed when the only performer is they lead singer and everyone else is pushed to the background but Rudimental is a completely different story. Not only were there a lot of musicians playing a lot of unconventional instruments but each and everyone of the band members was involved. They even found a way to include the drummer. Absolutely amazing performers.

Then Ed.


Unbelievable! He performed the entire concert by himself. He used a loop pedal to get layers of harmonies from both him and his guitar and he created the beat by looping himself hitting the guitar. He performed his songs in such a creative way by changing melodies, combining songs and getting involved with the crowd. I didn’t want it to end.

Buuuut… Not to worry. Just the following week I was stuck in traffic on my way to Aami Park to see Taylor freakin Swift. Taylor Swift has been my favourite singer since I first heard You Belong With Me back in about 2009. And finally, after about 6 years of buying CD’s, learning lyrics and wishing for a concert, I was going to see her live with my best friend.

Vance Joy opened for her with his beautiful melodies.


Vance Joy is actually from Melbourne so Taylor Swift actually thanked everyone for “lending her our homeboy” for the tour.

But I confess, I couldn’t give him my full attention because I was too busy freaking out about the bracelet that we had just gotten upon entrance. It was such an amazing surprise when she walked onto stage and everyone’s bracelets simultaneously lit up.


(Sorry about the super blurry photo)

Everything about the concert was beyond my expectations. She sang all my favourite songs – even the old ones – and gave many of them a beautiful twist. There was an awe inspiring dance crew backing her up and the multiple costume changes were overwhelming but brilliant. I have been a big Taylor Swift fan since I was about 9 so it was amazing to finally see her after all these years especially because I got to share this beautiful experience with my best friend in the whole world.

Sixties Sandals Back in Style?

Chunky sandals like Birkenstocks may be associated with fashion from the sixties so this could be the reason why they are receiving so much criticism for sneaking their way back in style but the joke is on all the haters because sixties fashion is totally in these days. Everyone is in love with vintage clothing and anyone who has a mother who saved their clothes from their teen years are the envy of the fashion world.

Personally, I love chunky sandals. They compliment street style in a classic and – yes, I’m going to say it – vintage way. I have a pair of jeans that I found at the back of my mom’s cupboard. They are high-waisted boyfriend jeans with authentic holes on the knees in the most gorgeous faded blue. These jeans match chunky sandals in collaboration with either a tight, tucked-in, or cropped top. The jeans are loose and therefore don’t accentuate my legs; the sandals don’t tightly fit my feet, they rather distort the shape of my feet to make them look bigger; this is why the shirt I wear needs to match the criteria listed above because I need something in my outfit to show off curves on my body so the tight top can emphasise my upper body, and a tucked-in top and cropped top can draw attention to the waist of the jeans.

Chunky sandals also look great with skinnier pants. However, now the delicate science behind the top changes because now you need to find a baggier/looser top to balance the chunkiness of the sandals. This can be achieved by using a scarf instead though or maybe a baggy jacket.

These sandals are a great excuse to make your outfits more bold instead of always wearing sneakers with your street style clothes (this is more a note to self than anything. I have an unhealthy obsession with wearing my Converse). Experiment with colours and outfits. Always remember to make a fashion statement an be bold.

Jaded Denim Jacket xx