Sunday, December 11, 2011

Su Nuraxi, Barumini, Sardinia


The nuraghi are the archeological traces of the ancient cultures that lived in Sardinia from about 1500 B.C.  These rock towers looks like a heap of rocks from afar, but once up close it is pretty amazing to see the detail in them, how they were built, how many of them have several floors withe niches. I am quite in awe how they built with such giant stones. The one in the picture is close to Barumini and probably one of the most famous nuraghe in Sardinia. They suspect that this nurahge was used as a symbol of power or as a sacred space. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An exhibition in Pavia

One of my favourite things of living in here in  Milan is being able to attend a lot of exhibitions and see art that I never would be able to see back home.  It is also so easy to hop on a train and go to the neighbouring city just for an interesting exhibition. Today me and Edith went to see the exhibition on Degas, Lautrec and Zando in Pavia at the Visconteo castle. A lady the other day asked at school how many exhibitions on impressionist and post-impressionists do we really need? But after seeing this exhibition today I think one can say for certain that we should always be able to see these works. There were a whole series of the circus lithographs and scetches by Lautrec  which really just reminds  you about the power of a good drawing.  Such simple drawings that tells a great story and makes you feel quite happy just by looking at it.  These are not the best of images, but I was trying to take them sneakily as it wasn't allowed to take pictures. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have been pretty blessed in my life to have made some really awesome friends, and here in Milan it is no exception. They really are people I could count on and then they are also a wonderfully talented bunch too. Most of them are artists who enrich my life with their perspectives and humour and inspire me with their discipline. I've come love them like family. So on my art blog I will be doing a little feature on each of them soon. Read it here.  

(Below are a few photos of my favourites. The first one was taking by Wei-Ning on our last night out, the rest was all taken by me through out the year)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cures for homesickness

 I am not really homesick, but I thought it would be a nice section to add to my blog, as usually when I do feel those blues coming, baking or making a dish from home helps to get the mood up. Dinner with the friends also help, and since the other night it was the first time we have seen each other since summer holidays, I whipped up a batch of these. These cupcakes are a classic - they are fluffy, soft and just the right sweetness. With normal icing it reminds of my birthday parties as a child, but they are amazing with this lemon butter icing.  And it is so simple and can be made without electric mixers and fancy things (all things a foreign student lacks in a rented apartment). To view the recipe just click on the image.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A family trip: Portrait of my mother.

Having been away from home now for 8 months my excitement kept me awake the week before my parents and sister arrived here at  Cadorna station, and when they arrived it felt like have never been away from them. So on that excited state we parted from Milan central station for a trip starting in Tuscany, making a turn in the Alps and ending in Milan.
Going on holiday together as a family is not something new to me. This is one of the important things my father worked into our years since I’ve been a child. It was not necessarily anything luxurious yet these childhood travels through South African landscaped lies embedded in my mind as joyful childhood memories.  However I have not travelled with my parents in years, and I’ve never travelled with them as a grown-up. With my new perspective of travel  and perhaps this part of growing older  it made me look at my parents in a different way, it was sometimes frustrating  but mostly quite entertaining, and somehow  illuminating in who I am.

My mother is a lady. I have never heard her utter a crude word in my life, never heard her shout and she always drinks her tea from a pot.  When we have guests things are served properly and when it is a special occasion the good silver is taken out.  She is also very shy and sometimes it seems has this thing where she needs the confirmation of others to make a choice, but at the same time she has very strict ideas of what is wrong and right, even though she would never impose it on someone. My mother has been brought up to be completely proper. She was raised in the height of Afrikaner nationalism in Pretoria, in the times when children must be seen and not heard, where women got bad reputations for “promiscuity” and where most things they saw were under the conservative censorship of the then government**.  On top of that they were raised  in kind of high society Pretoria of those days, my grandmother have always been the perfect host and was featured sometimes in the society pages for the dresses she wore to functions. This makes my mother often care too much of what other people think.

The problem is this, my uncle always said to me that in my case the apple falls very far from the tree; I am not shy, much more flexible on my ideas and I am definitely not as conservative. Yet the older I get, the more I am aware of my complete resemblance to my mother, I talk like her, I look like her, I tend to express anger like her and I have inherited al lot of the same insecurities. This was a scary thought for me at first, yet once I observed the situation more closely I realised that it’s also from her which I’ve gotten that thing which has allowed me to have a life full of  amazing friendships. It is from her that I learnt to be soft, to be loyal, paying attention to my friends, baking cookies for everyone for no reason, to keep the peace, be diplomatic and that clean sheets and a well made bed is the best thing in the world, and that little things count.  These qualities are which made her a wonderful mother. She always made sure I had tissues on me, a habit I still have now and I am lucky for, one always need those at some point.  It is she who made me tea every afternoon after school, who put flowers on my bedside table when I came to visit from university and who listened to me moan for hours about the same topic on boyfriends that broke my heart.  She always has time for people and it is something that I have inherited that I hope I will never lose. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When the cat is gone

I am now in Milan after a trip with my parents, and it is true what people told me; Milan is a ghost town this time of year.  It is very lonely! The upside though is that my house-mate is also on holiday which leaves the apartment free for me to sing and dance,  the best is I don't even have to put on pants :-D I am actually supposed to get some work done but I spend a lot of it creating mixes to dance around with. So here is my underwear-sing-out-loud-because-the-neighbours-aren't-here dance list :) . 

1. She's got you high - Mumm-ra
2. Warrant - Foster The People
3. Campus - Vampire Weekend
4. After Hours - We are scientists
5. Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye ft. Kimbra
6. Just like heaven - The Cure
7. Rolling in the deep  (Villa remix) - Adele
8. Crazy for you - Best Coast

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Watching tourists, Firenze

Firenze, Flash the Mime

Unfortunate angle, Firenze

Sometimes one just happen to not concentrate where one takes pictures and what one aims at when having the happy snappy tourist syndrome. And me being short  and then there is giant public sculptures - don't stand so close to it when taking pictures: limited points of view.  Wooaaah!!!!  I am amazed at how much detail one can carve in stone ;-)  

Funny story though, my mother said that she came to Italy in the 70's, and being an Afrikaans girl living in a very conservative, censored and isolated South Africa then, these sculptures shocked the hell out of her :-D

Monday, August 15, 2011

Colour, Firenze

I don't know this lady but  I was mesmerised by the colours she wore. It stood out between all the people and the grey walls. Also it is reminiscent of the ice cream (gelato) that we ate a lot of.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Berlin in grey

Quick Berlin Guide

This is a little late but I've been away, but here it is :)

Berlin is a big city and not easy to immediately get a feel for especially when staying only a few days. With big modern buildings and wide streets and a very extensive public transport system it can be quite overwhelming at first,  if it rains it can be grey and with its history a little heavy; but with some wanderlust and some tips from people who know something one will definitely discover what everyone is going on about.  I decided to write a little quick Berlin guide to narrow it down at least a little bit 

1.        All trips is better when done with a partner in crime –  a besty  is the best travel companion and can  turn even the grey days into fun.

2.       Cheap accommodation – a trip always feels more successful when the accommodation offers value for money, in this case we felt very content with our hostel Amstel House. One gets a double room at 17.50 euro  p/p a night, with clean facilities, very sociable  foyer and bar. It is situated in the more quiet Alt-Moabit area and is close to a metro which makes it easy to get around.  

3.       Do pack an umbrella and a coat, it was in the middle of July but we had two days of cold wet weather.

4.       Kreuzberg, a hip, grimy area with quaint cafe’s, vintage shops and design and fashion concept stores. The most people here dress in vintage and that weird mix of trashy  I would compare to the band Die Antwoord.  In this area you can find all the things deemed cool on hipster blogs: old records, vintage, craft, design posters and cafe’s with mismatched antique furniture.  We were particularly drawn into one which also happened to show a Bollywood film in the background.  It is also close to the area Friedrichsplein which is full of nice places to dine and has beautiful trees.

5.       Mauerpark market – where you can find amazing second-hand clothes and stuff. I for instance found the knitted waistcoat for 3 euro, leather bag for 8 euro and this very different necklace .

6.       These paintings by Caspar David Friedrich at the Alte Nationalgalerie.

7.       Berlinishce Galerie for contemporary art and also to go see a permanent collection of the Fluxus movement.

8.       While going to the Alte National Galerie also go hang around in the park at the Berlin Cathedral. Such a beautiful place.

9.       Hamburger Bahnhof museum – lots of art which can be considered the start of contemporary art as we know it today.

Ps: Stole some layout from Miss Moss, although mine is slightly cluttered in comparison, love that blog.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Berlin: Singing in the rain

I actually have a lot more to post about Berlin but tomorrow I am going away and will not have access to my computer. Will post more when I return. I am dancing because I am so happy I am seeing my parents and sister tomorrow. (This is my attempt at making a good old cheesy gif, its bad but its a first).

Berlin: Singing in the rain

I actually have a lot more to post about Berlin but tomorrow I am going away and will not have access to my computer. Will post more when I return. I am dancing because I am so happy I am seeing my parents and sister tomorrow 

Berlin: Kreuzberg

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Berlin: Tea with Lise

Day 2: Having tea on the way to Schloss Charlottenburg

Berlin: First Impressions

- At the Berlin Wall -

One great thing about living in Europe is that it is so easy to travel around. With our summer holidays here I am taking the free time to do just that. This pas week I met up with my best friend in Berlin. After everyone has told me about how amazing the city  it it seemed right to go see for myself.  

My  besty Lise and  I met up at our hotel as we both got to Berlin  at night.  My flight got delayed which got me arriving at the hotel at 1 am. The excitement when two friends who have not seen each other in a few months  is one magical thing that this earth offers us, and so it was for us. Having too much to talk about (as it goes one always ends up talking in the dark) we ended up falling asleep just before dawn. We arose the next morning after the cleaning lady knocked on the door. We rushed to finish considering the fact that we are in another city and fought of the rain and freezing wind like true determined tourists. Like all typical tourists we headed for the centre first.

 Berlin is a big city and not easy to immediately get a feel for, this is especially true for the centre which has big modern buildings and wide streets. It was pouring down and so cold and we have not yet had breakfast, this made us feel unwelcome in the city at first. We rushed in to a place that offered food and tea and after that we rushed towards ZARA who had a sale to see if we can find perhaps another jacket. Warmer and fed we  felt more courage to trump the weather and go see what the city had to offer.

Berlin can seem very grey at first, there is the Holocaust Memorial, a beautiful land art piece but kind of depressing, then you find Check Point Charlie and the remains of the Berlin wall. This combined with bad weather was about enough that we could take and we ended our day with a piece of cake and tea at a Starbucks of all places. The cake did not disappoint. After that we accidently stumbled across the area around Alexanderplatz and Hackescher market where you find the Dome and the museums and green gardens. Even in the greyness we were convinced, we actually do like Berlin. We ended our day in our hostel room with Prosecco and a kebab and  with the good conversation and giggles only a best friend can offer...