Tag Archives: london

Homecoming…

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Four years ago on this day, I arrived back home to South Africa. One suitcase and 3 boxes later. I cried at Heathrow saying goodbye to friends and to the city which had become my home and love. Strange as this was the same picture roll back my life to December 2000, Durban International Airport. I left as an SA child and returned an adult from the UK.

My decision to come home was not my own but something my late dad wanted so as I booked that single ticket and packed my life into 3 boxes, never did I think, I would return back to SA on a permanent basis but I now know it was my Kismet. I returned just before my birthday month.

The first 6 months were awful. I was homesick for London, my friends and the life I had built there for myself. I felt a stranger in the land of my birth, everything had changed – friends were married, new places had popped up and most shockingly – my parents and gran had gotten older. I missed my carefree London days of using public transport and socializing.

Depression did start to set in. I lived for those London calls, messages and any reminder of my life in London. As an extrovert I found it very hard not having a social circle and not always on the go. So I started reading more, and spending time with family. I got to be home for the amazing World Cup and felt shivers run down my spine everytime I heard the National Anthem.

One of the major things living abroad does to you is that it makes you love the land of your birth fiercely. In 2011 dad was diagnosed with cancer and my life changed.

Looking back now, its very clear that I needed to be home. I started working short contract after contract and I worked with friends I studied with. Eventually my job began permanent.

In 2012 after Dad’s passing I started slowly expanding my social circle and entered the world of Social Media. In June 2012 I was approached by a company called My digital life to write blog posts. Me? Write? No way! But I tried and I loved it.

Six months down the line the site closed so I had no choice but to start my own blog and that was how https://spicegoddess.wordpress.com was born.

As I wrote, I found opportunities started arriving on my doorstep, social circle increased, Twitter activity increased as well as my Twitter following. It was here I discovered the Goddess within me who needed to pen her thoughts and share them through her digital addiction.

My humble blog has gained readership over time and often offered me a sanctuary to vent. I write because I love to, I share, I inspire and I create.

At the start of 2014 I promised myself I would blog atleast three times a week and I kept to my goal. Yes I am still in love with London and all my amazing memories BUT now I know there were reasons for me to return home.

Thank you to my readers, Twitter followers, Sue Levy and Rupasha who saw my passion for words and they nuture and inspire me to #Live2Inspire others, I thank you all with gratitude and love from every inch of my Soul.

I leave you with this Youtube Video … I’m coming home , I’m coming home tell the world I’m coming home my Kingdom awaits..

As I boarded that plane at Heathrow with tears in my eyes a heavy heart this song played in my head and I knew it was time to return home to my Kingdom as there was work for me to do…

Ciao xxx

5 things you didn’t know about me…

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5 things you didn’t know about me:

  1. I lived in the lil town of Ixopo for a year and taught at a boarding school where Alan Paton was once the Headteacher of.
  2. Crazy me took up Archery for 6months when I was in London. I wasn’t very good at it but loved the history, and the thought of being a female Robin Hood.
  3. I slept on the road to get tickets for Centre Court at Wimbledon. Great night with friends, meeting new friends and I got to watch Andre Agassai in centre court while eating strawberries and cream and drinking Pimms.
  4. I had my passport stolen while on holiday in Switzerland.
  5. I can’t eat apples but can drink apple juice.

Go on share 5 random things about you with your readers…

 

ciao …

My favourite read …

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About 6 years ago during my adventures in London, I came across a book that I fell in love with, cried and could relate on so many levels. During my move I misplaced the book and then 6 months ago I remembered and had to place a special order for my book which has a rather odd title – For Matrimonial Purposes by Kavita Daswani.

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The book is set in two totally different continents in two bustling cities,  Bombay and New York. “Anju” is the damsel who we come to love and share her journey as her family in India try to find her a suitable boy to marry. Anju lives in New York. A modern Indian girl who loves drinking cocktails and fashion, but every time she returns home to visit her family she is put through this whole process of meeting suitors. I identify with Anju and often find myself laughing out aloud when I am reading this book.

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This book is a must read its light , funny , sad and let’s us each walk away with a glimmer of hope. The following are some of my favourite lines in the book :

  1. “why aren’t you married yet?”.
  2. “he looks like he should be on some America’s Most Wanted List”.
  3. “in your baby pink sari ,you look like a marshmallow .All soft and sweet and fluffy and nothing inside but air.That’s what he wants.
  4. “I don’t want you to be happy .I want you to be married.”.
  5. “Beti,the boy destined for you is already born.He is somewhere in the world.We just have to find him.”.
  6. “First get married ,then do what you want.”.
  7. “he was just like every other guy I’d known- scared and closeminded.”.
  8. “I’ve met your soulmate, I’ve met the man you are going to marry.”.
  9. “we need to be two independent people in this.That’s the only way we can see if its going to work.”.
  10. “Rohan led me around the nuptial fire and I followed , our karmas cleansed by its warmth, our lives starting anew”.

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Join Anju on her quest of finding a husband feel her emotions and never give up hope :).

Ciao xxx.

Ps what are you reading?

Love Actually…

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In keeping with the theme of Love Month  I have decided to share how I met a boyfriend(now ex).

The story starts 8 years ago in London on a dull, gloomy October day. The weather matched my mood. After having a crappy day at work I decided to jump onto the Tube and go west into the City.I found myself at one of my favourite spots in London. Canary Wharf. I needed to think about my work situation while having a Vanilla Latte in Caffe Nero and doodling in my diary. I was in no mood for company. I love Canary Wharf as it has such a buzz of activity around it and not to mention fab spots to eat and shop at AND gorgeous suited and booted men for me to drool at :).

I ordered my vanilla caffeine hit, settled down at a table for two, put my head down and started pondering and doodling. I was totally oblivious to the fact that the coffee shop was super full with patrons also getting their caffeine fix. Suddenly I heard this very manly voice with a hint of a foreign accent ask if he could please share my table. Instantly without looking up, I responded “no, sorry!”. The voice spoke again, “Please, I need to have my lunch and rush to a meeting and the store is full”. At this point I looked and there infront of me, stood the most sauve looking booted and suited 6ft tall guy. I then responded “ok, BUT don’t talk to me”. He pulled out the chair sat down and said “Hi, I am Mr Y ( name withheld) thank you for letting me share your table”. My reply, head still down “I said don’t talk to me”. He chuckled and said “Don’t you ever smile or tell people your name”. At this point I looked up with a smirk and ” I do. Don’t you stop talking?” Mr Y replied, “Wow, you have such a lovely smile. When you smiled, I blushed”. I got all flustered by this strangers words. My diary was now 2 full A5 pages of doodles.

Mr Y got ready to leave. I was rather glad he was going. Before he got up he said “Please do me a favour?” To which I replied “Now what ?” “And maybe “.He said, “Tomorrow, meet me here. Same time, same place, same table please, as I would love to get to know you. In my now coy moment I replied “You wish. Bye! “.

On my journey home, I kept thinking about this booted and suited stranger who invaded my space and my quiet moment. Once I got home, I was rather busy as I had to meet friends for dinner.  The next morning , I kept thinking should I ? Shouldn’t I go ? I took forever to get ready for work , choosing the perfect outfit and getting my hair and make up perfect. I didn’t dare divulge to work friends about the tall dark stranger I met with a slight foreign accent or the fact I was contemplating meeting him after work. All day I was in two minds. After work, I made an excuse of meeting other friends and left. I got onto the Tube still oohing and ahhing. As I approached my stop for home I said to myself, “Live a little ! ” “Carpe diem”, and so I set off to Canary Wharf to meet Mr Y. The thought crossed my mind in case he wasn’t there 😦 oh well I would go shopping and have dinner at my fav Japanese eatery, Wagamamas.

With a deep breath, I walked into Caffe Nero, and there he was sitting at my table looking at his watch with 2cups of coffee waiting for me. I instantly smiled and got all shy. As I walked up to him he got up pulled my seat and waited for me to sit down. This was the start of an amazing 18month relationship that ended sadly when Mr Y was diagnosed from cancer and kept me out of his world. I cried and threw tantrums as all I wanted was to be there for him. He explained to me on our final meeting that he would never want me to see him suffer or become his widow as I was so young. I couldn’t understand this. It broke my heart into a million pieces. He refused to see me or even speak to me after that final goodbye. To me, I felt my heart had stopped beating and I couldn’t breathe. I had the loving support of a  group of my friends in London who looked after me , bought me biltong, let me sleep over , took over my lessons when I broke into tears , cooked for me and basically helped me through my pain. During this difficult time I realised how much Mr Y loved and cherished me not to see him that way but remember him as the tall dark booted and suited stranger who took my breath away.Till this day I do wonder how he is.. Is he still alive and all the “what ifs”. Having experienced such a beautiful relationship where he taught me about love, life and enjoying Bollywood, this has made me rather picky in men and not willing to settle for second best.

So yes its all true …

Mr Y did exist …

It was Love Actually 🙂

LONDON CALLING ….

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For all those who know me and have been reading my blogs and tweets , you will know that I have a mild obsession with this amazing place. I spent 10.5years in this breathtaking city and it truly captured my heart and soul.
So why choose London , London is a melting pot of cultures abit like South Africa but on an entire other level. I personally loved the Old Buildings, the bustle , the amazing transport system and the fact that there was so much to do all the time.

5 Travel tips for London
1) Invest in comfortable walking shoes as you will be walking loads (perfect workout).
2) Buy an Oyster card for getting about a weekly one is better and gives you unlimited travel on buses, trains and tubes.
3) Always carry an umbrella.
4) Never push in , as everyone here stands in a line.
5) There are newspapers and magazines at the Tube stations which are free pick them up for daily bargains and events.

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Living in London can be very expensive , but there is so many Free attractions to visit that all you really need your travel card to get you there and a packed lunch. Here are a list of my favorite FREE London attractions to see:

1) Greenwich Park – this is such an amazing park and area to visit .It has little streets , with alleyways filled with old fashioned shops. Its also the home of the Greenwich meridian line which is worth the walk up the hill as the view is amazing. This park is visited all year round and is such a fab place to chill in makes you think you are not even in a city. The old fashioned sweet shop is a sweet lovers paradise filled with endless jars of sweet treats packed for you into candy stripped bags. My other favorite shops here include the fab bookshops and a Milkshake shop that makes 101 different milkshakes from every chocolate to biscuit to candy.Greenwich is also home to the very interesting Maritime Museum which houses some fab artifacts and is free and often pirates can be found roaming in this museum.
2) Science Museum – another free and fantastic place to visit . Interesting and interactive displays with 3D and 4D activities . Educational but definitely not boring.
3) The V&A museum is another place I lose track of time from the Roman , Greek and Japanese rooms the sizes of these artifacts are mind blowing and take one back in time. My other fav place here is the Architecture floor with models , floorplans and stories of most London famous buildings and buildings around the world.
4) China Town is another place that is filled with colour , interesting smells and bustle that makes you think you are in China. Even the street names here are written in Chinese so authentic .
5) Harrods is a defo must see for shopaholics and all those just wanting to see products which most of us average joes cant afford. This store is beautiful and one can easily get lost just looking at all the fab products, each floor is for a specific type of products. My favorite floor is the food court with the most amazing selection of fruit, vegetables , fish and meat from around the world . It’s a foodie heaven. Though the store is expensive one can buy a few lil treats of yummy morsels, candy , bags and aprons to take home as gifts from your travels.
I hope I have given you a little insight into the London I have started a passionate love affair. This is just a little peak …Look out for more posts on my blog about my amazing lover London.
Cheers Mate , Mind the GAP

Instructions …..

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My brother like most men are clueless about many things and often need us to tell them information they need.

So today my brother and his gf were going to the Taste of Durban.They both had never been before.So like always I had to share the information on the event with my brother before he left.
I visited the show yesterday so was still armed with menus, maps and general information.

As my brother was about to leave home , I sat him down and did a run through of the event. From the purchasing of crowns, to the stalls he had to visit . I even marked on the map where he need to visit and ticked off on the menus what he needed to eat.

I felt like the ORACLE giving him all this important information.The Oracle was a nickname , my friends in London gave me 🙂

So lets wait for my brother’s feedback on the event and lets see if the information I gave him was useful or is his sister silly……

ciao
xxx

Dreaded C WORD……

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Ever since my Dad died last January from Cancer, its a word that I dread and detest.

So when my mum returned from London after visiting her beloved youngest sister who turns 50 next week with the heartbreaking news that she has Cancer. I felt as if another part of me was dying. My aunt lost her daughter my 16year old cousin last year, so now having to deal with a blow like this is very devastating.

My aunt has ovarian cancer , she has already started her chemo and has started losing her hair. She has now taken what ever remains of her hair totally off:( I have decided to grow my hair and give it to her to be made into a wig as she refused one from the Hospital.

Every side you turn there are stories of Cancer and it doesnt have a particular race, age or sex.I hope and pray that they find a cure for this disease 😦

So dear readers keep my family in your prayers as emotionally we are heartbroken.

ciao
xxx

British Addiction

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I have a crazy infactuation with all things British……But dont blame me as I lived there for over ten years..

As a kid I grew up watching Mr Bean and Faulty Towers and fell in love with the British sense of humour. So when I decided to spread my wings and fly London was no surprise. In my head I had visions of snow , fog , Royal Family and Tower Bridge.During my exploration I fell more in love with Britain….

The famous pubs, museums,double decker buses and the English accent all became a normal much loved feature of my everyday life as I explored the streets of London.

Each part of Britain is so unique and delightful with its own regional dialects , customs and inhabitants. But the thing that struck me was how diverse it was and was a definate melting pot of cultures. Each of these cultural groups brought with them their traditions and food.

One of my greatest life lessons was realizing I had such a great rich culture coming from South Africa but was totally smitten by the Brits.

Now days I still watch BBC programmes , buy all things British I see in local shops, hang on to London memories and get super excited when friends there send me a care package……

Cheerio Mate
xxx

Welcoming Winter….

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Winter is my favourite season. I love this season as it brings images of fireplaces, hot chocolate and snow.

I dont like extreme heat so hence Winter is for me.Since experiencing a proper change of seasons and Winter I fell more in love with this season. I love the fact that you can actually dress up, full make up, hair done and not worry about the heat damaging your hardwork.
Winter clothing is so playful and fab colours all the deep rich tones. Boots, scarves, hats and coats ooh such choices.

Winter brings yummy food treats in every home from cakes, pies, stews, spicy crab curry, samoosas and lots of warm drinks. Generally one tends to put on a little more weight during these months.We tend to snack more and look for comfort food.

My favourite winter moments where in London waking up to snowflakes falling and the sky so light. Walking to work as there were no buses running and then seeing the paw prints of foxes and birds in the snow totally breathtaking. I recall fondly standing at the window with a dear friend Travis watching snowflakes fall, just silence between us while sipping piping hot cups of tea to warm us. Such a blissful moment taking in the beauty around us. Later on that day, I had my first snow fight with my friends it was awesome, we instantly became kids running around throwing snowballs at each other and making snow angels.

For me winter also has a romantic notion of cuddling by the fireplace, in a log cabin sipping Mulled wine. Winter is associated in my mind with Christmas.

I love Winter no doubt about that……. Mother Nature, I waited with bated breath to welcome Winter with open arms and recall all my wonderful memories…..

First steps into adulthood

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Its very surprising to me that, I am now in the field of education for 13years. We sometimes need to reflect on our past journey to see how far we have really come.

My first job was at a boarding school in the Ixopo area.I had never lived away from home so a newbie out of university and a city girl this was a big change. I recall looking for cellphone reception as we drove to Ixopo, we have never been to this place so it was a defo a family roadtrip. As we got more and more inland on windy roads, I began getting a little nervous.

Eventually we arrived at the school, which immediately reminded me of an old English boarding schools much like the ones I read about. The setting and surroundings were breathtaking the rolling green fields described in Alan Paton’s book Cry the beloved country. Later I learnt that Alan Paton was actually the Headmaster of the school at some point how amazing.

It was a very small high school with only 500 boys and girls and only 25 staff. All staff lived on the premises ane were mostly husbands and wives. The girls hostel in which my flat was in was run by 2 very English matrons very typical to the books we all have read growing up. The garden even had English roses and hedges.

The school was steeped in tradition and sport. All staff were required to coach teams and be actively involved in extra curricular activities. As its such a small town there was not much to do so guess been involved in school life was not too bad. The town had 1 main street with roughly about 8 shops. Cabin fever especially for a city girl.I did things I never did before like coach a swimming team, start a supper theatre and host the first ever cultural day at the school.

Within that year, I applied for a job in the UK and was successful. Th headmaster was not happy about losing a young staff member. So in the same year that I started I left to start the new adventure in my life in London.

I did enjoy my first year of teaching, made some amazing friends, got to coach sports and got to know some fab kids who are all now grown up but still keep in touch. Its amazing how far and wide my journey has taken me. The road ahead now seems more amazing and I look forward to new adventures that my career path leads me too.

Ciao
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