Food, Music, Wine: The Perfect Day

OK. So I had a plan for today’s post but, as usual, I’ve decided to change it at the last minute. I’ll post what I was planning to on Wednesday so you won’t miss out on anything.

I have just gotten back from the Alexander Bar in Town. My Piano Teacher’s partner had a show on there and we decided to go. It was my first time at the Alexander Bar.

First impressions of the Alexander Bar: loved it.

Godfrey‘s performance was beyond spectacular and I could (and would) sit through it again immediately. Given that the entire hour-and-a-bit performance had been with him and/or Nicholas (the Piano Teacher) in standing behind a keyboard I don’t think they’d be too keen on spending the best part of three hours on their feet without a break. All the same guys, I’d do it again.

If the stellar music wasn’t enough, the food at the Alexander Bar is also great and their wines aren’t too bad either. While at the Bar I rediscovered a wine that I forgot I liked – Miss Molly’s 2013 “In My Bed” – which is always a nice ‘extra’ when going out.The atmosphere at the Alexander Bar is also something to be envied. The main

The atmosphere at the Alexander Bar is also something to be envied. The main restauranty bit is cluttered (in a good way) that just envelops you and makes you feel at home within the first few minutes.

All in all, the evening went fantastically and I’d do it all again very, very soon.


The Move, England, a General Update

Everything seems on the up at the moment. My courses are underway and are running smoothly, the blog is surviving better than I thought, and the semester is one step closer to being over.

Plans for us to continue to leave the country, though, continue and we are hoping to be out of South Africa permanently within 1.5-2.5 years or so. Yes, our current time frames aren’t necessarily the best but, hey, we gotta do what we gotta do. Either way, no matter when we leave the country permanently, the South African branch of the family is busy planning a trip over to England next March so it won’t be too long before we see our close friends and family again. Hold on guys, almost there.

While our moving plans are “borne back ceaselessly into the past” (to quote F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby), my sister and her husband have settled in quite fantastically in their new life in London since their arrival this January. It would be beyond fantastic to be living in the same country as them from day one but the wheels are very definitely in motion to make this happen. As part of their final preparations to make their stay in England permanent, my brother-in-law has come back to SA from London so that he can pack up the remainder of their store-room and some other administrative tasks (in addition to catching up with family).

Continue reading

The Surgery That Nearly Killed Me

This is something I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while but have never really got around to it until now. I guess there’s no time like the present so… why not now?

On 24 May 2011, I went into the Operating Theatre to undergo a several-hour surgery that (in theory) would make walking easier and correct the slight leg-length discrepancy. Several years later, I can say that the goal of the operation had been achieved but sometimes I wonder whether it was worth it given the Nightmare I went through. Yes, the operation seemed straightforward enough on paper but, in hindsight, there were several things that could have gone better.

After coming out of the surgery I was high on pain medication (as you’d expect) but within an hour or so I realised that I was far from high enough. As my doctors’ knew I had spasmed in a fashion that is not too dissimilar to those of a child’s growing pains. That notwithstanding, they decided that I should be in hip-to-toe casts on both legs. Completely forgetting that spasms were triggered by stress, I launched into a spasm down the length of both legs for about 2 hours. Stopping it would have been simple enough: (1) break them physically like growing pains, or (2) medication to stop the spasm. Obviously, option 1 was a no-go and nor was option 2 as the medication, apparently “severally lower my oxygen levels” so they were reluctant to give me the aforesaid ‘lifesavers’.

Continue reading

Why I’m Studying English: Teachers & Favourite Writers

Following on from my post about my plans to move to England, I think it is time I expand on the reasons why I am studying English and why I want to continue it going forward.

As with so many things, I can’t put a single reason that led to the decision being made as no single answer exists. While the love of writing and the English language had been part of me for as long as I can remember, the decision to study it after school (and indeed at a Postgraduate level) was a little more complex than being an ‘innate decision’ that had been pre-determined by Fate.

In addition to highlighting the handful of English teachers who played a significant role in influencing not only the way I write as a university student but also the way I see and appreciate English more generally, I think it would be an ideal time for me to introduce you more fully to the writers/poets that strike a particular chord with me. As interesting as these writers are to me, I cannot discount the influence of the quirky, dynamism of my English teachers (particularly in the latter part of my academic career) that brought the language alive for me.

The Profound Effect of English Teachers

I’ve had many fantastic English teachers throughout my school and early university career. That said, there have been some extraordinary individuals that have played a significant role in influencing my understanding of English and my love of the Literature. Without these people, I seriously doubt whether I would be the person I am today.

Continue reading

My Relationship with Blogging

Hey guys,

I’m actually a little surprised with the traffic that’s been coming here. The Disability Diaries hasn’t been running very long in real terms but I’ve been in and out of the Blogosphere since my early-teens if memory serves. That said, it was only recently with the establishment of The Disability Diaries that I have felt a true, lasting relationship begin to form.

If I’m honest, one of the earliest things I remember on the subject was just wanting a space to write. Writing short stories and things like that never really interested me though. I’m not that type of person. I don’t think that I’m particularly imaginative when it comes to cooking up a story, expanding on it, and maintaining it over time. I’m far better with non-fiction writing. ‘The Blog’ seemed like a good idea at the time as it was a space that could be my own but, at the same time, not so private that I felt no one would read it.

While I blogging has been something I’d periodically get into and drop out of, it feels different with The Disability Diaries. Somehow it feels like it better portrays me as a person. This is most probably due to the fact that I am coming more into my own as a writer and becoming more confident in writing. There is no doubt that I find myself being far more confident in my writing ability in the last couple of years or so but I think knowing people are willing to read it inspires me to continue.

Continue reading

Life After Varsity: The Plan So Far

Sorry for the late posting guys (although it’s still technically Saturday). So, as you probably know, last week I released a poll on Twitter asking you guys what today’s post should be about. When I checked the results this morning there was a 2/3 majority wanting me to outline my plans (as they currently are) are after I graduate at the end of next year.

Currently, I’m half-way through my Undergraduate at UCT with majors in English and History. While I’m currently in Cape Town, my end-goal is to live and work in London. Immediately, however, my plan is to finish the undergrad and then leave for England as soon as possible afterward.

The Great Migration

My family and I have been planning, in varying degrees of seriousness, to move to England following a Family Reunion in mid-2015. More recently, though, we made the final decision that we’re sticking to come hell or high water: we’re leaving.

My sister and her husband have been living in London since January and loved every minute. My parents and I are set to leave South Africa once I’ve graduated. One of the main reasons for our delay, aside from my studies, was so that we could get the house sold to provide us with the capital to purchase property in England.

Continue reading

Why I’m Leaving South Africa

To those South African friends: I’m not due to leave until the end of Undergrad so we’ve still got time together. That said, there are several reasons why I’m going to leave. This post focuses purely on one small aspect of why England is better on the Disability Front (which in and of itself is only one factor in the Emigration Decision).

My mother just got back from a trip through England for the last month earlier today. Yes, she spent some of the time with family and looking around but the primary motivation for the trip is house-hunting.

As a family, we’ve decided that we have to move to England after I’ve finished my Undergraduate for various reasons. While there, my mother decided to have a look around areas more generally as well as at specific properties. Hearing some of the stories of her trip in the hours since she’s been back, I’m amazed at the accessibility and general awareness of disability differences between England and South Africa.

Public Transport

The brief period of time that I spent in London a couple of years ago really opened my eyes to how accessible Public Transport could be for disabled people. Not once was there a bus, train, or taxi that I couldn’t use. Although I did not spend my time exclusively in London, London was the place where I used Public Transport the most.

Cape Town, in contrast with London, is largely unaware of its disabled population on the Public Transport Front. While one could argue South Africa’s awareness is somewhat justified given its past, it was refreshing to be in a place where accessing the city was possible (not to mention easy and affordable).

Continue reading