The Wonder Of You

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I looked at a friends Facebook timeline today and found myself comparing, wishing and wanting. Comparison is truly the thief of joy.

Then later, I opened a gift I was meant to fetch in January but was only in the area today to collect. The universe has a funny way,  for the message received is far for meaningful and apt today. I’m so grateful.

A sentimental, special gift of mala beads from my sister, @vickystephens now living in Marco Island, Florida, USA. She is a Yoga Goddess.

Yes, I cried.

My dearest Victoria Plum,

The missing of you is everywhere. From seeing the Ponte building, to Creme Soda and Fontana chicken pies at 2am on the pavement in Hillbrow.

As I smell the wooden beads, hold in my hand what have been in yours,  it brings an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, joy, connection and a love, a friendship that has never failed me.

I am exceedingly blessed to be loved by you. I can only ask forgiveness for wanting the worldly things I longed to have earlier today.

I may never again have what was once my joy, but some have never been loved with the depth and length that I have.

The wonder of you.

Namaste.

Stel.

Jozi Food Whore – leaves no dish untasted.

30 Things I am grateful for:

1. My Tall, Dark & Handsome. The man has oodles of patience and tons of love and I am blessed every day for having him in my life, for those generous arms around me. And he brings me cheese.

1-jozi2. Friendships. So many amazing friends have blessed me with their light and love since 2010, when I first started “living life”. Countless, spectacular people who have come and stayed, come and gone, come and gone and come again. The list is long.

3. My brother. We used to be each others’ best friends until our respective partners came along but our connection remains deep and sometimes even just a gesture or a word or a look can have me in fits of laughter. That’s years and years and years of friendship right there.

4. My doggies, Spud and Lemon. They’ve been with me for 7 years now, and they’re crazy – completely abnormal – pavement specials. But I do love them. And they were there through the worst times of life, without ever ceasing their attempts to lick me! And that’s what you need in a good friend. Ha.

5. Family. We don’t always get along but when the chips are down, family is there for you.

6. Good people in hard positions. It’s tough to remain a generous, giving person when you’re in an ‘ard-as-nails job but I’ve met people who still remain kind and big-hearted even when they often receive only negativity in return. That’s a special characteristic I cannot claim to have but which I can definitely appreciate in wonderful people I know.

7. Food, glorious food. We are so spoilt when it comes to food. We must never take it for granted. Every single bite should always be appreciated and savoured. And when it comes to food, there are many many many things to love. So many. But some deserve their own line.

8. Cheese, all the cheese!

9. Baked cheese cake.

10. Eggplant

11. Cannolis

12. Pasteis de nata

13. Biltong

14. 90% dark chocolate

15. Coffee

16. Any paneer dish.

17. Peanut butter

18. Beer …

19. … and wine. Let’s be honest, people. Life is hard. But there are fantastic days that cannot be measured. Hot summer days where you get to put a cold beer to your lips, and swallow that goodness, and feel it tingle on your tongue, and tickle down your throat. And cold winter nights, when you sit around a fire, ignoring the fact that it’s freezing, and drink some lovely bold red wine from our very own shores. That’s when life is good.

20. Braai. Is there anything better than a braai? Tell me what. I will listen, half-heartedly. Braai has all the elements. Fire! Food! Company! Warmth! Community!

21. Laughter.

22. Sleep. I love my sleep and a good, solid, lights-out sleep is something I am extremely grateful for. It doesn’t always happen but when it does, I absolutely luxuriate in it.

23. Jo’burg thunderstorms. One of my favourite things is driving into Jozi from the north when a storm is just rolling in and you can see all the swaths of rain and the thunder going crazy from a distance.

24. My health. Though I’m not in peak physical condition (thanks, beer!), I’m in pretty good nick. I have a great many close friends and family members who are struggling with serious health issues daily. Never take your health for granted.

25. My job. I’m often heard bemoaning my day job and the fact that I can’t attend certain events as a result but truth be told, I was about to lose everything when this job came along so I’m more than a little grateful.

26. My phone. Oh, how I love my phone. This little treasure chest gives me all the functions I need to run my food-loving moonlighting life. Without it, I would be lost!

27. My car. There was a time when I almost sold it to get a scooter (cost-saving stories). But seriously, I would have missed my “Ossewa” (it’s a mommy wagon, basically) a helluva lot. Useful does not even begin to describe my MPV.

28. Nature and the great outdoors. Saffas don’t always stop to appreciate how amazing our quality of life can be. Step out your door, even in the urban sprawl of Jo’burg, and you won’t have to go far to find nature in all its glory: lush green spaces, trees, flowers, and beauty.

29. This city, Jozi. I’m not from here but I feel like I should be. If you ask me where I was born, I’ll say Rustenburg. If you ask me where I’m from, I’ll say Jozi. I love every single part of this city, even the grime and the dark bits. Yes, it needs a lot of work. Jozi is like a porn star who made some poor choices in the past, but who is also trying to kick some bad habits and come clean as a soccer mom: she’ll forever be edgy and a little dark but she’s trying to do the family thing. At least her kids will always be able to take the knocks and get back up again, even if they are a little dysfunctional.

30. This land. Say what you want, political and cultural arguments aside, this place is in my bones. I was born here and I played in the red dirt, and when I played rough and the dirt rewarded me with scratches and scrapes, it mixed with my blood. I go away, and I miss it. I meet foreign faces in foreign places, and I smile when I think about my countrymen and women. I visit a land where the sun hardly shines, even for just a few days, and I dream of turning my face into the sun at home. Not everyone loves it. Not everyone believes I should love it. It’s irrelevant. I love it.

Find me on Twitter and Instagram as @JoziFoodWhore and on Facebook at facebook.com/JoziFoodHo. I also have a blog! www.jozifoodwhore.co.za

The Food Musketeer – #21 REVIEWER IN JOHANNESBURG

☆ Love ♡ Food ♡ Photography ☆ ☆ Living Life 1 Meal at a Time☆

30-thankful

Think this is a wonderful initiative, to count our blessings in a way… so here is a quick snapshot of the things I am grateful for.

  1. My Family near and far
  2. Awesome friends who accept me as I am
  3. Living in Beautiful South Africa / East Rand
  4. My health that’s improved over the years
  5. Pork Ribs
  6. Braais with Masala lamb chops
  7. Privilege of always meeting new foodies along my journey
  8. Highveld thunderstorms (when they arrive)
  9. Lindt chocolates
  10. Bacon
  11. Vodka
  12. Technology
  13. Spices, without them what would food taste like.
  14. Access to semi clean drinking tap water (you appreciate this when travelling abroad)
  15. Electricity, when there is no power cuts.
  16. Having the ability to work and make a living
  17. Good, will always prevail over bad.
  18. My moms chocolate cake
  19. Hairdryers and straighteners
  20. Beautiful flowers to brighten our days.
  21. Amazing weather
  22. Birthdays, it means we survive another year
  23. Being able to travel.
  24. Learning something new everyday
  25. Rainbows
  26. Weekends and public holidays
  27. Internet
  28. Diverse cultures that give us new perspectives on life
  29. Challenges that make us stronger.
  30. Swearwords to express myself…lol

Twitter: @dajeeml

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News24 Voices: Maya Dajee

Eu sou grato,  José 

​30 Things I am thankful for!!!

1) I am thankful for all of the people around me (Friends, Family, The girl I will marry one day)

2) I am thankful for every opportunity that I have been given in life.

3) I am thankful for making every mistake I have made and learning from them.

4) I am thankful for my amazing  girlfriend, that loves me for who I am.

5) I am thankful for every person that has ever helped me through tough times.

6) I am thankful for the way my parents have brought me up to be who I am today.

7) I am thankful for having a house to live in and food on my table every night.

8) I am thankful for Having all of the amazing things I have ( EG: Car, Bike)

9) I am thankful for having a job.

10) I am thankful for all the help people have provided for me in the last few years .

11) I am Thankful for  being able to have had experiences in life and to be able to distinguish between right and wrong.

12) I am thankful for  meeting new people, getting to know other things and being able to learn more and more very day.

13) I am thankful for every moment spent with my loved ones.

14) I am thankful for  music.

15) I am thankful for passing school.

16) I am thankful for the life I live.

17) I am thankful for the people that have never given up on me.

18) I am thankful for nature.

19) I am thankful for being able to say I have made I this far.

20) I am thankful to have people be there and listen and understand when I am down and out.

21) I am thankful for all the little things in life.

22) I am thankful to have been able to travel to see different things and have a better understanding on how everything works.

23) I am thankful to see life from a different aspect to everyone else.

24) I am thankful to have been blessed with people who share the same goals as I do, as they motivate me to do better.

25) I am thankful for each second/minute/hour I get to spend with my amazing Tayla- Jade.

26) I am thankful for my dad teaching me how to be a man/gentleman.

27) I am thankful for my family giving me the opportunity and loving me unconditionally .

28) I will be thankful for my own family one day.

29) I will be thankful for my wife one day.

30) I am thankful for the life I live.

Twitter: @jhilario22

Instagram:

Turns out we both liked men.

Dear friends, family and interesting creatures,

I happened upon my dearest friend, Louw’s video about being different yesterday. I’d never thought different could mask the word gay.

When I finished watching Louw’s video about coming out to his Dad, I had an ugly face cry.  I hated that Louw had felt any hurt ever.

I felt compelled to acknowledge the truth in my own life. My children’s father is gay.

I usually am very quick and witty about this subject. I say things like: (insert drum roll here)

I love gay men so much, I even married one once.

The truth is nothing like that. Truth is jest.

I would like you to watch Louw’s video, before you read the 30 things Brian is most grateful for. Perhaps it will explain to you, why I have felt an assortment of emotion, but never anger, nor blame. It’s a strange, strange world we live in Master Jack. 

I urge to you attempt to accept, embrace and have empathy for what you do not understand. I know this is not easy. Not for you, and certainly not for the person standing before you.

Thirty things I am thankful for:

There are so many ways I could look at this, so I will probably split my thirty things I am thankful for between the serious and the slightly more flippant.

  1. I am thankful for the path I have walked, for better or worse I feel I am a more authentic me.

Roughly a decade years ago my life was in turmoil. I realized whatever life I was living it was not me. Being a sometimes compulsive writer I wrote my thoughts down at the time and made a decision to try something new.

What I wrote at the time follows:

“I have never been afraid of death until now, not death itself but rather the life I will live until I die. A life lived in fear, a life that becomes banal, uninteresting even to myself” For a few months I know I lost the plot completely and drew into myself. No More.”

I will not live an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to love
so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

– Dawna Markova.

To not live an unlived life I realized was to require an absolute freedom, not bound by the shackles of my past, or the shackles of a grafted on morality.

I would rather live a life guided by that which sits deep within me. An honest life that is true to me and true to those around me.

“Accepting a freedom like that is both exciting and terrifying. How much do the points of reference on a moral compass shift, when reliant on purely one’s sense of self and who one is?”

The words above were written by a man who had been living in absolute fear and conflict with himself, deeply closeted to a point of denial.

Making a decision to seek something different, I never imagined where the journey would take me.

Today, I am a happy, out of the closet man who can fully accept me without conflict. So yes, for this I am thankful.

  1. I am thankful for my three children. Each a unique and special blessing who have walked the long path with me. Who love and accept me for who I am, flaws and all. Without them I am nothing.
  1. I am thankful for the mother of my children. Without her I would have nothing to offer this world when I am dead and gone. I hope that they each carry a piece of me, so that others will know my character even if they never met me.
  1. I am Thankful for a Grandmother who carried me in my youth. She was a mentor, a confidant and a friend. Certainly she formed part of the mould for who I am today.
  1. I am thankful for those others dear to me no longer of this earth. The lessons learned the memories cherished. For them in those dark hours I will still steal away and cry.
  1. I am thankful for past lovers. Some left me hurt, some left me poorer. Some I will carry in my heart forever. The all left me older and wiser.  I am thankful for that wisdom.
  1. I am thankful for the children along the way who I did not raise but still call me dad. It has been my privilege.
  1. I am thankful to live in a country and community that makes room for all and gives all a place in the sun.
  1. I am thankful for a small but precious circle of friends. These are the family I got to choose.
  1. I am thankful for my brother. He will always be a shining star in my life. Never on this earth could anyone be more proud of a sibling.
  1. I am thankful for late night conversations, the sharing of tears. I hold these moments sacred.
  1. I am thankful for my first love. Music. The soundtrack to my life would be an eclectic mix. Everything I have ever felt can be expressed in music, be it the lyrics or the emotion of the instruments.
  1. I am thankful for the fact I have lived over two decades in the one industry, it was foretold I could never make it in.
  1. I am thankful for those who will put themselves on a stage to perform. These courageous people who put themselves out there for our entertainment.
  1. I am thankful for the artists in the world. The ones on gallery walls and the ones on the subway walls. Creativity in all its forms inspires me.
  1. I am thankful for the moments when my mind grows still.
  1. I am thankful that in most cases we get to try again tomorrow.
  1. I am thankful for a world rich in fragrance, be it a flower, a dish to feast upon or the unique scent of a man or woman.
  1. I am thankful for the tree lined avenues I travel on my daily commute.
  1. I am thankful for the random smile of strangers.
  1. I am thankful for the animals I have loved throughout their lives. I love them still.
  1. I am thankful to the genius who first took leaves from a plant and let them steep in boiling water. Five Roses African Select is its perfect form.
  1. I am thankful for the genius who figured out fermentation. Beer or wine for me.
  1. I am thankful for the genius who figured out distillation. Vodka anyone?
  1. I am thankful for the genius who first processed a Cocoa Bean. 75% Dark chocolate for me.
  1. I am thankful for the Afrikaans language. Truly a beautiful language.
  1. I am thankful for the months that run out before the money does. Wish it happened more often.
  1. I am thankful for the nights where I beat insomnia. I wish they were more.
  1. I am thankful for “out swimming” a lot of other sperm. (Sorry I could not resist)
  1. I am thankful for any of you who took the time to read this.

 

May love and laughter light your days,

and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,

wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world

with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons

bring the best to you and yours!

 

With Love,

Brian