The perfect art to child-rearing

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Let me begin by stating an absolute fact: there is no perfect art to child-rearing. Anyone who tells you different has done you a great disservice because you are pursuing something non-existent.
There isn’t a blueprint or a formula. But let me not tell you about all the “not’s”.

I’ll tell you about my mother and I, and you can interpret however you choose.

When I walked into my moms room, threw myself on her bed and started chatting she asked me some stuff about the way she raised me. One question particularly stood out: “What did I do so right?”
This isn’t arrogance, she has been asked “What did you do?” by so many people over many years – as if the measure of who I am can be quantified by adding, dividing and subtracting to the square root of discovering perfection.

I don’t consider myself to be the perfect child, but should we delve into the basic prerequisites of a perfect archetypal modern child, there are a lot of blocks I get checked in on my profile.

After my mom asked me “What did I do so right?” I told her: “It wasn’t one thing. It was everything.” I surmised that the way she reared me was reactive to the polarizing opposite of how she was raised. I told her that who I am and how I came to be wasn’t entirely her doing, but that I had developed my knowledge, behavior etc. from years of observing and reacting in kind. I evolved myself using my personality to learn and adapt in any environment.

My mom gave me an incredible opportunity to imagine and be a child beyond the limitations of what reality would eventually restrict me to.

In meditating on my own childhood I came to an understanding of one the freedoms of childhood:

Children are brave.

As a  baby my universe was what I could hear, see, taste and touch. Poets say that “there is nothing beyond the senses”, and so as a baby and into adolescence there was nothing sinister in the shadows beyond the darkness I understood in color. The comfort felt in my mothers arms meant unwavering safety and love in that moment, with no heady depth to it referencing the marks of meaningful life experience. When I was young I did not know I was breakable and weak, and therefore did not need to act strong. Because I did not know who I was in my adolescence, there was no need to don a mask and present a farce to the world for one reason or another. My world was a fortress and a universe – able to be manipulated but vast enough to be interesting and dangerous. Fear did not factor into my worlds because my mother was part of the thing that made every day so full of promise and joy.

Children just want to have fun, explore and get into trouble unwittingly whenever possible. Its adults who understand fear.

So to run amok in youthful grandeur is a gift I never took for granted. I savored my freedoms, and the rebellious rearing so far away from the stereotypes of my race.

Mom said that I used to climb on high things – cars and cupboards alike – and then scream in joy as I jumped into her arms. She said I was fearless because I knew beyond a doubt that my mommy would catch me. In every scenario as long as I live – I know my mommy will find a way to catch me.

It is probably why I can throw myself into so many unpredictable life-altering scenarios – but I have been working on weaning myself of my dependency on this safety net

…it takes time.

 

**I plan to write more sometime so stay tuned for a 2.0 post.

Summer Couture

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You know I never fail to love a good party, and attending Head Honcho‘s annual “Stay Fresh” events becomes mandatory to maintaining my feel-good vibes.

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Me and my buddy Cwenga posing at the themes “All White” Stay fresh party.

We look like we’re starring in a new music video for Usher – LOL!DSCN3353

Bathroom selfie on fleek!

Boob levels are not :(black&white

Only one of my friends picked this up, but I decided to be lazy with my apparel this year and don a near replica of my 2014 outfit to the same event.

I wore the white – and more gaping version – Gabriella Fraser Designs jumpsuit with an open back, slitted sides and plunging front. It was the only choice when it came down to it, for an event that demands a clean party with no grunge factors. I love that the material she uses is heavy enough not to blow up and reveal my special parts, but light enough to be a must-have summer item.

How would you rate the way I styled them?

I searched thee entire Cape Town CBD looking for the perfect accessories and found those gold metallic tatts to don. I teamed those skin accessories with sunnies, a white leather cuff, a vintage silver necklace and flip flops.

They tell me not to dream big

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I had a chat with someone a week ago and they told me that given my status as a ‘beginner’ according to world media, that I shouldn’t consider covering the Cannes Film Festival right now.

It’s good advice I guess – very pragmatic.

I find it utterly distasteful though for myself.

Even when faced with the certainty of failure and disappointment, I’ve never stopped myself from setting some incredible goals for myself.
I know I don’t have the money for it, nor the considerable experience that is apparently required to cover such an event.

What I do have is immeasurable passion to learn.

At the end of the day, such events have been covered all across the world in nearly the same structure. However, my predecessors have only then ever appealed to a specific kind of clientele in print publication, television etc. In the same way that I learned to navigate London Fashion Week by trial and error, I hope to do the same at Cannes. My approach and my perspective is singularly unique, and I hope to capture a rather exceptional piece of the acclaimed film festival.

I refuse to dream small.

I refuse to always remain logical and pragmatic about the logistics of my dreams.

I will find a way to Cannes, in the same breathe that I say I will cover the Toronto Film Festival, San Diego Comic Convention, work at Sundance and attend New York Fashion Week either this year, or the next!

I’m stylish with a Ruff Tung

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I’ve been trying to forge new avenues of potential success for myself; using my vast skill set to customize a career for myself that doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m doing something mundane. I  love media, entertainment, and above all – fashion!

So finding out that I’d won a dress in a competition I’d entered by a fashion label called ‘Ruff Tung‘, was a great feeling.

I got to talking with the owner via texting, and decided to meet up while I was in Cape Town. From reviewing their pieces on the online store Spree website, I figured I’d only be partial to a few of their pieces and have little gumption to become a raving fan.

Oh!How foolish was I in that minute!

I went to the Ruff Tung headquarters

…and proceeded to just fall in love with a new fashion brand. Fooling around in their studio with the different pieces was great fun, and I found that once their dresses were in my hand I could not do anything but love them. I like a minimalist aesthetic, comfort and style; and to find folks who design with that in mind makes me happy.

 Playing with their navy Vanessa crepe dress with sequins detail in black.

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My ass looks sooooo fetch in this dress.

I usually avoid patterns and print like the plague, but I feel so grown up and sophisticated sexy in this dress.

This is their geometric-print black and cream poly spandex dress.

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 Besides their black one-arm jumpsuit, I die for this gown.

I took some time out of fooling around to lounge about Daisy Buchanan style.

Isn’t the gown just incredible in color?

It feels lovely and soft on the skin and flows freely.

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Now that I got a really intimate look at the workings of Ruff Tung I cannot wait to begin our journey together in fashion.

Thank you for the gifts and great experience RT!

For anyone looking to buy some really good clothing items at affordable prices, visit the online store Spree and buy buy buy!

Out and about in Cape Town

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Yesterday I had a really full schedule, but I made sure I met up with my second mommy and had lunch at Beluga.

Dim Sum is apaprently very delicate and is recommended to be served hot. We ordered 3 different kinds of Deep fried Wontons:

Prawns

Mushroom Beef and coriander.

Coriander Chicken

It was a lovely meal and the vibe at Beluga is very relaxed and cool, with a warm formal set up.

The Foundry
Prestwich Street
Cape Town
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After lunch and hitting The Lot’s R99.00c Sale on Kloof street I went to a meet-up with some friends at a place called Yours Truly, and had a depressingly terrible-tasting cocktail while being well-dressed.

Today I wore a knit dress from The Lot and leopard-print pumps from Trenery.

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Afterwards we went to The Cape Town Carnival and got to watch Beatenberg perform. They have opened for Thirty Seconds to Mars during their Cape Town leg of the world tour. I love their sound because it does not have the heavy hand of being authentically African; Its a sound that is contemporary pop house in the South African context.

How you like the glimpses of Cape Town?

I Graduated again!

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Excuse my brief absence from blogging, I’ve been planning my Cape Town trip.

I arrived in the city on the 12th March, and have been running myself ragged renting gowns and meeting up with people…and having bottles upon bottles of good wine with my friend Amanda.

I graduated yesterday for the second time. I seem to be collecting academic accolades like it’s my job.

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I wore a cute strapless dress by a Cape Town-based designer Leandra and now possess my BA(Hon) degree in Sociology.IMG_2921

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Next up: perhaps NYU and Columbia for Masters and PhD respectively. I just need money for it all!

Ollie in London: The Days that followed Fashion Week

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Following London Fashion Week, and the scrumptious food consumed during said week, I turned full-on tourist. I gave up the stiletto heels for functional shoes, big coats and scarves.

One thing I can say about world travel is that once you know what vibe you’re into, you’ll find a mellow way of getting to it in any town or city. London, while rife with contemporary pop culture energy, is a city defined by being historical. It does not have the earthy pseudo-religious tradition of a people, and places,whose essence and chronology is tied to nature, deities, magic and mythos. What it has is a heady hand in the molding of western culture. It has been the base of one of thee most incredible geopolitical military powers in human history. It has been the continental cross-road of language creators and speakers, slavers and those enslaved by more than cruel men, the rich, the poor, the lost, dreamers, vagrants, saints and sinners.

I like London for the architecture.

I used to read about the twisted vines of mapped cobbled roads that lead to tiny gardens and houses of parliament. I read of the bleeding and mangled bodies of Jack the Ripper’s victims found in the streets of London, or near the river Thames. I’ve read fanciful tales of vampires that meet to indulge in decadent debauchery in London’s most exclusive back door haunts. I’ve seen paintings of the outskirts of London where misty depressing moors stretch out to the dusky horizon. I’ve seen films recreate the many centuries and historical events that have made an impact in the continuity of human existence – all tied to London.

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Since I was an adept hand at the public transport system, I took a bus ride to get to Buckingham, and was told by the attendant the last stop for my bus was Trafalgar Square. I located an Information office in the area, proceeded to get my bearings as I threw question after question at the Information officer about every landmark and tourist spot in London, and finally went on my way. I decided to walk. Trust me, its part of the tourist experience, makes it much more flexible to maneuver directions and is a gift to you when you discover some amazing nestled wonders while pounding pavement. I walked from Trafalgar to Buckingham – through various parks and regally named streets and pathways.

I was in my Trenery leopard pumps when I stepped on the Jubilee Walkway, looked up at Buckingham

…and felt nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, its got an overwhelming untouchable gated vibe which speaks to the fact that it is the residence of royalty. But unlike the drawings, paintings, long-winded words in old books etc. It did not inspire the same reverence I’d had having never seen it. I guess, in part, it was due to the presence of us tourists. We take away from its ‘shine’ and leave a grey curious spectacle to be seen. I’m also super peeved I didn’t get to tease a Palace guard like I’d planned.

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Following that experience I walked through to the gold statue Victoria fountain, snapped some pictures, passed various royal properties and monuments to arrive at The National Gallery.

The National Gallery was everything I’d hoped. The paintings,drawings and mosaics I had only before studied in high school textbooks, were in front of me. In dried up, cracking paint and smudged coal and pencil was life. It was the past, present and future etched on canvas for billions to see through the eyes of the artists and through to their makers. From seeing Da Vinci’s work to Van Gogh, and Tintoretto I witnessed the famed hopes and despair of generations, I saw architecture, food, clothing, humanity, evolution, religion and even nautical talent being celebrated.

I didn’t get a chance to re-create the Bond/Q scene from the film ‘James Bond: Skyfall’ though, and that irked me a lot.

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Have you guys ever seen the view of Trafalgar Square? I can barely describe it. You’d have to witness it yourself to understand.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Anyway, while standing trying to digest what I’d experienced at the gallery I saw a familiar piece of home – a building with Suid Afrika carved above the high pillars. I saw my flag and a poster advertising South Africa, and understood it to likely be an embassy or tourism office. Felt good to spot a little of home there.

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Lil bit of home spotted earlier by Trafalgar Square.

Lil bit of home spotted earlier by Trafalgar Square.

After that I looked up trying to find my next target – Big Ben. I literally just started walking straight towards it. Along the way I found a Sherlock Holmes pub with its front glass sandblasted with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes’s iconic portraits.
Obligated selfie was necessary.

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Also got to see the theater known as The Playhouse, and while walking I got thee most incredible picture of the London Eye.

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I arrived into the vicinity of Big Ben with a hectic amount of human and vehicle traffic. I saw Big Ben and the House of Parliament up close. That piece of architecture gave me little butterflies in my tummy. It was just purely awesome. It turns out that I’d arrived right before a political debate would commence, and outside the building political commentators, general media and reporters in the midsts of interviewing, were all queued up to enter the chambers. Intriguing that the people lined outside preparing to strike against certain political figures within had less of the vibrant vehemence South African people have when striking.

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The next day I took several trains to reach my destination – Abbey Road Studios. Anyone familiar with The Beatles, or general Brit pop culture would know its significance. I spent 10minutes there poking about (with permission within reason).
I then went outside in the rain and re-enacted The Beatles album cover taken on Abbey Road. The inhabitants driving by actually understood, and with sardonic smiles let us tourists do our thing for a while.

Enter the home of The Beatles music

Enter the home of The Beatles music

Abbey Road. Moment of Silence to appreciate The Beatles ;)

Abbey Road. Moment of Silence to appreciate The Beatles ;)

Abbey Road. Moment of Silence to appreciate The Beatles ;)

Abbey Road. Moment of Silence to appreciate The Beatles ;)

One train ride later I bought an umbrella and walked myself to the 2nd place I’d been most eager to visit since landing in Britain – 221b Baker Street. Yes, building owned by one Mrs Hudson and the home of one Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. It brought my eager beaver fangirl out and I shivered at being in a place where one of my all-time favorite novel-to-television characters had been written to exist.

I made sure to leave with a business card in case I was ever in the need of the Consulting Detectives skills.

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I got to see the BBC headquarters – the juggernaut that had birthed so many of my favorite television shows.

BBC HQ

BBC HQ

I didn’t care how much it would cost, nor the health issues I’d incur walking through the rain and waiting hours in queues – the number 1 place to visit while in London, for me, was Platform 9 3/4. If you read my letter to J.K Rowling you’ll understand the prolific role Harry Potter books have played in my life. Being in any place in London that celebrates, profits or further delves into the realm of that book franchise’s world is a dream come true.
I got to see the wands of each character, and I found my wand to be The Elder Wand (because only a person as wicked as I is deserving of wielding that wand without repercussions). I saw all the Harry Potter memorabilia – Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, the golden egg from Goblet of fire, and Tom Marvolo Riddle’s diary (sans Basilisk fang- which leaves me worried). I donned my Slytherin scarf, grabbed my wand, my cases and my owl (named Nymeria) and sped across through the wall at Platform 9 3/4.

Best. Moment. Ever.

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The James Bond ‘Bond in Motion’ Museum I went to after, was a nice way of rounding things up though.

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Funny story though: The place I’d booked at forgot I’d wanted to book for a last night. Scary thought not knowing where you’re gonna crash right?
Not!
I spent the last day browsing designer pop-ups at London Fashion Weekend, and went to Starbucks and spent hours blogging and social networking after. Then I simply got an Uber London cab(which is just a sublimely efficient service) to the nearest train station and had a comfortable trip to Heathrow in a near empty train, in the dead of night, without fear that I’d be attacked or something.
I chilled at Heathrow for a couple of hours, got a refund on the remaining cash on my Oyster Card(I still think the public transport system structure there is amazing), and used up my 4 hours of free Wi-fi at the airport Skyping with mom, and Instagram’ed how comfy I was reclining in an airport cafe couch while waiting for my departure time.

Shout-out to the Etihad Airline. I had a really surprisingly comfortable first trip abroad, and look forward to any that follow. Their personnel’s uniforms are so chic guys, and they kept them pristine for hours on end. We had a medical emergency on the flight and the personnel handled it so well. Kudos!

The man at the Immigration desk when I first entered London Airport said in a mocking tone: “Oh! You only have £300 to spend? You know that won’t get you far in London right?”

I spent 10 Days in London with a trip budget of R20 000.00c and I enjoyed myself and survived. I did everything I wanted comfortably. I’d love to see if I could manage that in destinations across the globe.

Anyone wanna sponsor the challenge?

Let’s promote the notion that global travel isn’t an impossible feat for normal people with low budgets and big holiday dreams. It’s all about how you plan!