Tag Archives: Eastern Cape

The meaning behind my blog name

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The Fat Diaries began as a place to practise my writing and initially I was going to reveal my weight and my weight loss journey.

Whatever……..!! The weight loss has never happened. After this blog challenge at the end of Feb, I will have some bombshells to discuss. I’ve stewed over a few subjects lately, but have restrained myself.

So, wait for it, it’s coming.

I like blogging and I love writing. I need to be more uninhibited though. More truthful. and by truthful, I mean truthful by revealing things that I wouldn’t ordinarily do. Like my weight…or things I’m ashamed of etc etc. like my sneak eating chocolates. I think truth makes for the best kind of writing. Truth has stronger resilience. It is flawless in its execution.

I’d also like to write more about living on a farm and living in the Eastern Cape. The strong social divide. The hearty, colourful and warm people in the Eastern Cape.

I really love it here. and truth be told, Eastern Cape people, for the most part, are unpretentious and hospitable folk.

Unpretentious people just do it for me. am sure you’ve gathered that about me, by now!

Is food and cooking becoming screamingly pretentious and unrealistic?

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Please don’t continue reading if you don’t want to be infected by discontentment, restlessness, or just plain grey, moody March and April.

I’m feeling disgruntled, hostile, filled with discord and just plain incompatible with life at the moment. WTF? I’m usually annoyingly happy.Someone once compared me with the continuously happy nun on Sister Act. You know the one with a fat round face and a happy smile. I was so pissed off with the boy who told me that, that I’ve refused his friendship on facebook twice.

But what I want to discuss today is the latest Food and Home I bought and read this morning.

Is food and cooking becoming screamingly pretentious and unrealistic?

Let me paint a picture. I live on a farm about 110kms away from the nearest city. I bought the mag coz the cover looked delicious. It had a picture of a Plum and Apple crumble, in a bowl, displayed  on a piece of hessian.

The piece of hessian, I presume, is to create a sort of homely look and give one a feeling of using local, farm ingredients. Now, I live on a farm, and not a fuck would I EVER use a piece of Hessian ANYWHERE in my kitchen. It absorbs dust and dirt and continuously sheds little bits of fluff and hessian. I see that Plum and Apple Crumble resting ever so gently on that piece of hessian and I can unfortunately imagine tasting little pieces of hessian and fluff.

So the tasty looking crumble is discredited by the pretentious piece of hessian.

Also some of the recipes use ingredients like:

  • galangal
  • arborio rice
  • asian mushrooms
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • chestnuts

Okay there aren’t to many unknown ingredients, but still, I’m in a critical, slightly bitchy mood. But in all honesty, the recipes seem a tad pretentious and make use of expensive nuts, pomegranate seeds and other expensive ingredients. Ingredients, that I, wouldn’t even be able to locate in the greater Eastern Cape region. So that leaves only those living in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town able to cook these recipes. Nice one Food and Home!

So let me ask you again:

Do you think cooking has become a tad pretentious?

on page 40 of the Food and Home there’s a picture of a blonde girl in trendy (spotlessly clean) gumboots touching a little calf. Her white, short, anglaise dress spotless and gleaming in the sunlight. Highly unlikely in real life. Next to her in another photo is a wire crate of glass milk bottles filled with milk. There are NO lids on the milk. HUh? Also highly unlikely.

Life on the farm…and other stories…

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Blogging began as a way for me to just speak. Nothing else. A little platform to voice a thought, opinion or record something.

I enjoy reading other blogs. I don’t always have the time to read other blogs. I admittedly always make time to read the Reluctant Mom’s Blog though. She has a refreshing way at looking at things. She’s not scared to have an opinion. Her world in the suburbs of Cape Town is a world apart from mine here on the farm. But intrinsically we have lots of things in common. Like loving the husband, kids and most things a thirty-something South African woman, would find important. I do admire most, her zero tolerance for bullshit. A most commendable trait in anybody.  http://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/

So, as I mentioned earlier, blogging became a way for voicing and recording. Life on a farm in post Apartheid South Africa has changed greatly from life on a farm during Apartheid. With fundamental things, like housing and salaries. But fundamentally, on our farm, the respect is still there.

My matric class was the last only white matric class in our school. They had started integrating all kids that year. I’m writing this matter of  factly, because how do you begin to apologise for a whole body of ignoramuses that made descisions before I was born. I’m envious of our kids. They have the opportunity to go to school with all colour groups and become colour blind. In our part of the world it is disrespectful to not respect the different cultures. If someone is black, they’re black, and they have a heap of traditions that go with it. Like amakweta’s. Like circumcision. A huge deal for a Xhosa boy. So it’s not a simple case of not seeing colour but rather respecting the package that comes with it.

People look at my magnificent view from my verandah and comment that I must really appreciate this. I do. I really do. I appreciate it every day. It’s just that sometimes it’s difficult to stop and smell the roses when you’re in a rush in the mornings with the school run, bags to pack, framing, admin and books to do and staff to organise. It’s not that slow-paced, methodical life you may think we have on the farm. Well not for us. Not for John and I and the kids. There’s always something going on, something to do and somewhere to be. In fact it’s sometimes downright hectic. 

I like it like that. He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest. Dylan Thomas. and all that……..

Eastern Cape farmers…..

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I’m suffering from a bit of end of term fatigue.

Thank goodness it’s one more week. I feel like I  have my fat ass glued permanently in a car seat. It’s the traveling and the childish chattering that makes me tired. God knows, my one child doesn’t speak words, so I appreciate every word that gets uttered from Aidan’s lips, but fok, it’s tiring.

And….the other mommies small talk. Jong, sometimes I don’t want to. And I know sometimes they don’t want to either. But you’re there, thrown together for two hours at tennis, or half an hour at swimming, or cricket, and well you do……coz, as John always says: “What must I do. Roll snot balls?” No, I don’t want to be accused of rolling snot balls. God forbid. Gah!

So you chat about school. And you chat about husbands and you chat about living on a farm as a woman.

 About how sometimes you feel emasculated. (I know emasculated is a phrase for men…but you know what I mean.) by emasculated I mean…Eastern Cape boys are very chauvinistic.

 If you gasp at this and say: “I’m from the Eastern Cape and I’m not chauvinistic!”, then darl, I’m afraid you’re gay. Because they all are. They may try to think they’re not. But you see, their mamma’s train them from little. Thy shalt expect lunch at 1pm sharp. Thy shall have sandwiches and cold cool drink waiting for you next to the flask of hot coffee at 3am when you go and hunt. Thy shall drop thine clothes onto the floor and someone will pick it up after you. It’s the unspoken law here in these here parts.

At braai’s, the women sit on one side and the men on the other. I don’t know why. It’s an unconcious shift. It begins all mingled and ends all segregated. I’m one of those that are happy in the sisterhood coz I have sisters and girl cousins. I’m used to it. But I know it drives others insane.

There’s something hot about an Eastern Cape farmer. All that masculine testosterone. No apologising for their masculinity. Mud and dip/doses spilled on their shorts and farm shirts. The smell of lanolin from wool on their hands. Masculine and no apology for it. No contrition for who they are and regret for the kind, honourable men they’ve become.

Because as much as you run the house coz you the woman…… they make you feel cherished, and pretty, and dainty and honoured. They stand back at doors for you, they offer all the women a drink, they pay for your meal, they apologise for swearing in your company, they hold you in the palm of their hands.

and you know what?……it feels nice…