Pär Lagerkvist – throwback

Jag vet att bortom det jag dunkelt anar

finns nya ting, mer sällsamt underbara

än de jag höll förundrad i min hand.

Jag vet. Jag är rik som ingen.

Jag håller i min hand de gåtfullt vissa tingen,

och deras bröder vänta mig i dolda land.




July 10

I wrote this post on July 10. Just have not gotten around to publishing it.


Yesterday I consumed my last annual leave day. 18 days a year of absolute freedom (“absolute” not to be taken literally, as I have to burn some of those 18 yearly free days – conditional freedom – I need to present myself at the office at 9am the morning following the incineration of that bitter-sweet, lovely, terrible, day 18.)

Freedom, you think. Is that not a word with a bigger meaning than being used to describe the, to most of us, inevitable fact in life of having to re-appear at your office at 9am. Well, yes and no. Maybe an aspect of freedom can be the choice to leave that office, the money and its 18 annual days of conditional release. To live on the street. Or maybe to go help someone, an old parent, a friend, a charity? Or go study, and come back to that office, but as the manager, the graphic designer or perhaps the chef of the company kitchen? Even if you do not want to leave your current position for any of the reasons above, with its package: salary, conditional annual-release and health-insurance; does it not give you a satisfying sense of freedom that you could still, in fact, choose to leave?

Well, maybe this is going to sound odd. But just that, that simple, banal sense of freedom – the lack thereof is one of the heaviest burdens I currently bear. I am not entirely sure why it would hit me so hard. – Because, although I am truly grateful for my job – and could even go as far as to say that I rather enjoy it (and a couple of the characters I see every day) – I do not have any other choice but to scan myself into the building every morning at 9am. I am a foreigner, not a citizen of South Africa. I may build my nest here and live my life here, be with my Anthony: On the condition that I follow the rules.

I am 21 and eager to study, learn, discover, change, move, move back, do a course, volunteer, lay at home and sleep for a month. There are plenty of fine academic institution here, exciting projects, cool places to live, short-term programmes for volunteering, surfing, travelling, meditation – whatever – they scream out my name but, when I walk past, I lower my head to avoid their eyes. I try to put it out of my yearning mind. If I stopped working I would be kicked out of this country, where I have a partner, a lease contract, pets, a TV, a bed, a life. I know it is only right and I understand it is the law. But having grown up in such a free country, being a kid using “the air is free” as an argument for everything I wanted to say or do, I feel stripped of my sense of freedom. It is one thing feeling trapped and “forced” to take maths as a subject back in school, and another when a country where you have made your life, will only have you if you keep your current professional position. – If you scan into that specific office building, every day. If you promise not do anything too exciting: Not to touch the glass, not to talk too loud, not to walk on the grass. Not stay too long, not be away too long, not have too much money, not have too little.

It is dark when I leave home, and dark when I come back. My eyes – squared and stale from the day in the bright, unnatural light from my computer screen – are too tired to read. My mind – perhaps too stagnant to take in the stories anyway – is growing increasingly shallow as the knife, the threat of being deported, presses harder against my throat the moment the dreams or fantasies dare to briefly liberate themselves.

Anthony and I are the greatest team and together we can get through anything and hold onto dreams that we know can only come true in a far too distant future. If there is anything that I have learned, about myself but maybe also about people in general, is that if this everyday-freedom-of-choice a country can provide you with, is a pond full of worries, the love and belonging one person can instil, is an ocean of certainty.

A true paradox: my heaven with Anthony that I longed for, and is every bit as sweet as I could have ever hoped it would be, has also become my prison. But my cell-mate makes me feel like my striped prison uniform is a princess dress, and the prison a castle: two lovers locked away, sacrificing their now for a shared future. A future where the princess may read, play video-games or enrol in a harry-potter-symbols-course, and the prince may be a food-lawyer or maybe a chef in a law firm (or something like that).

Moral of the story: 1) I get very carried away with symbolic thinking whenever I attempt writing a post. 2) I intend to find a way to have the cookie and eat it too, I have my cookie-prince, now I am going to find my cookie-licious freedom – be it geographically, within myself, or both. 3) My eyes do actually go very stale from the computer and it makes my struggle to concentrate on a book. I need to remedy this somehow. (Apart from changing occupation – of course)


Kingdom dance

Today I have hit a little bit of a low point. The day did not start out very well, because Rue has been sick during the night. The keeps having to go outside during the night and without going in to detail, there is something wrong with her tummyL. We took her to the vet this morning who prescribed quite a lot of meds and she seemed quite worried, urging us to come back if the throws up to put her on a drip. A drip! Scary thought.

Anyway, so I had a lump in my throat all morning, hoping Rue is not in pain.

On top of that… It is Friday and I have got to concentrate on work… I am really trying to, but Rue is sick and tomorrow is my final exam for my marketing course. If I was not working I would have studied today, so I feel a little stressed out, and keep trying to remember things in my head, scribbling random facts down on a piece of paper…. But then again, that’s how I work, I need the knife against my throat to really work hard; and I know I will tonight.

I need to take the exam tomorrow and not go for a second op for complex reasons having to do with funding my UCT studies from next year. I so wish I could have taken a later exam opportunity, this weekend I will miss Anthony’s cousins wedding. It stinks beyond all measure. But still pretty good that I get the house to myself to study! Going to invade Anthony’s office and the lovely desk…. Going to miss him like bad though… I am such a pathetic baby at night, whenever I am alone in bed I keep hearing noises and thinking about murderers…  And when Anthony is next to me, I don’t even bother locking the doors properly haha:)

Overall, I just feel pretty exhausted after this week, worrying about Rue, working full hours as well as studying till late every night. It is going to be nice with a bit of a break from studies until January!

I listen to the 10 hour version of this song when I study. Listening to it know it is just annoying but trust me it works when you are in deep concentration…..



A little story about being first time puppy-owners.

So as much as I am excited about recording little pieces of our life on this blog, maybe even a little bit every day or every other day; I, in all honesty actually forgot we even have a blog over this long weekend, it was totally lost in all the fuzzy love and puppy breath kisses and cuddles with little Rue.

I can warn you now already, this post will be longer than average, and not very funny. I can write for hours about everything I know about our puppy Rue, and I sort of have. Please, feel free to skip the text and just admire the little face in the pictures, I wont take offence.

Our Rue in the car, on our way home.

She is beyond amazing – sweet, beautiful, cute, clever, the perfect little companion. Anthony and I have been waiting to get a dog since about November last year, when we seriously started looking for that perfect companion. We has our eyes set on a Bulldog for a long time (I LOVE BULLDOGS – will be our next dog), but after some research we concluded that it may not be the ideal dog for first time owners. Boston terriers are a mix between the English bulldog and an extinct terrier dog, bred down to a smaller size and a calmer temperament over the past 200 years. They originate from (spoiler alert! -) Boston, US. We saw a Boston on the street, researched them, and were HOOKED.

It has been so special to follow mommy Tequilas pregnancy, birth of the puppies and seeing them all grow bigger as the weeks went by.



Rue’s father, CJ, beautiful daddy who was born in the US. Picture from http://www.jabbari.co.za


The girls in the litter only a few days old, we knew from the start we wanted a girl.

The girls in the litter only a few days old, we knew from the start we wanted a girl.

Little Rue with her bigger sister, Ruby, to the left.

Little Rue with her bigger sister, Ruby, to the left.

Tiny Rue slowly growing

Tiny Rue slowly growing


6 weeks old

6 weeks old

Rue in the middle with some of her sister and brothers and her Boxer friends

Rue in the middle with some of her sisters and brothers and 2 of her Boxer friends

We always knew we wanted to find a reputable breeder who was registered with KUSA and has shining references (We found Jabbari, a kennel breeding Bostons and Boxers just outside Pretoria). It was either that, or rescuing, and I try justify not choosing to recue by saying that we are first time owners and wanted an experience we felt was safe and where we were in control. I do feel we made the right decision for this time. Rue is perfect. Buying from gumtree was never an option!!! And we are definitely getting her spayed at 6 months – people breeding with their registered pooches for a quick buck – consider all those lonely unwanted doggies sitting in the SPCA or walking around on the streets. We were made aware very early about the problem of overpopulation in the canine world. Although…. I must confess, I go on gum tree to check out puppies almost every second day to get some daily cuteness-input…. Does that make me a hypocrite?

So anyway… After a long wait, on Friday it was finally time to head to the airport to pick up our baby. We left ridiculously early – my idea of course – and has breakfast and lunch at the airport. Luckily, and amazingly enough, there was another couple waiting to pick up their puppy form the same flight – Rues brother Dexter!

Me holding Rue for the very first time

Daddy Anthony with his little baby

We hung out and chatted about the babies and how we are going to raise them, and then suddenly, there they were, Rue in a pink crate and Dexter in a blue one! Graham, the guy of the other couple, filmed as his girlfriend and I started “iiiiih”-ing and “AAAAAAAAAAAH”-ing and I bet that clip will hit a million views if it ever reaches YouTube.

Graham and Joanna with their puppy Dexter

Dexter was hungry and scoffed down a lot of ham :)

Little Rue and her brother Dexter

RUE IS SO TINY! She came in one of those small crates that are made for cats, and she took up about 1/5 of that space – I cannot explain how tiny our little girl is! Her brother was so much bigger it was hard to believe they came from the same parents. Puppies shaking after the flight from Johannesburg, it was amazing being able to sit down on a blanket outside the airport and let the two siblings reconnect. Well, they mostly just made a mess on the paving and devoured the ham we brought…. But they seemed a lot calmer after tumbling around a little with each other. We took about 10000 pictures and they are all amazing and worthy of the world’s worship, but unfortunately I will have to select only a few to include in this post.

Rue in the car

Check out my thumb on her head and get an idea of her tinyness.

Sleepy at home after a long flight.

Since we picked Rue up, we have done very little apart from cuddling her, making sure she is eating well, drinking, sleeping, pooping, weeing…. She has met our friends Tamlyn and Jason, Anthony’s family including the dogs, the vet and her doggie day mother, Annabelle.

We went to the vet for a puppy check-up, and a lot of people recommended using her. Honestly though, I was a little disappointed. She just felt her spine and said she was healthy – didn’t check her nostrils (Boston’s can have problems breathing), didn’t check her heart beat or initiate to share any vital information, we literally had to drag every piece of advice out of her. She also recommended we feed her only Hills, something EVERYONE in the dog community (ok, not everyone maybe, but the huge majority) has advised against. So confusing. There were we, having bought the most monthly budget-shattering dog food known to man, made with whole chicken, salmon, herring and eggs and other amazing whole goodies, and she advises us to feed Hills, a food that consists of flour with a little added vitamins and minerals?….  We just want to best for her. The very best!

We are weaning Rue onto Orijen puppy food, imported from Canada

Today is the first day I am not with her the whole day… While Anthony and I are working and studying, she is at day care. It is such an amazing little day care, with the sweetest, most dog-loving woman you have ever met, Annabelle. She has such an amazing way with dogs and she absolutely adores Rue. Rue is in very good hands, and it is such a relief knowing she is safe and not having to leave her alone at home all day at her tiny 8,5 weeks of age.

Anthony and I are both addicted like silly to little Rue and we argue about who is going to hold her next, feed her next, etc…. Our cat Cohen also LOVES Rue, plays with her and takes care of her… We have not introduced Rue to our lizard Smaug yet, as Rue tends to have a little taste of just about everything that she comes across.

Cohen is only 11 weeks old but was so mature and gentle with Rue


Can’t wait to pick up Rue this afternoon and lay eyes on her little squashed in face, big eyes and that little pink tongue when she yawns.  Can’t wait to go crazy with prise and treats when she makes a poop in the garden or tuck her into a million blankets and just admire the cuteness. A dog just makes your life a lot better somehow.

Little miss perfection shwoing off her cuteness

Today, Anthony had coffee at least twice.

I am not sure if anyone would have noticed, but I have been playing around a little with the design of this blog. Clicking around on these free templates, I feel like such a looser. I used to blog a bit when I was younger and would design everything myself. Apparently this skill is not like riding a bicycle, like I thought.

I quite enjoy writing and taking nice pictures and stuff. I used to have a nice camera but I sold it for quick cash to go to Amsterdam a couple of years ago. I regret it like you wouldn’t believe, it was also one of the shittiest trips I have ever been on. But more about that in a future post, maybe. Ok, just one interesting thing. You see the word “shittiest” I just used? Well I wrote “most shitty” and Word corrected it to shittiest. I find that very interesting. Shittiest? Really Word, really? That is the ridiculousest autocorrect from you I have ever seen, you used to be so proper and guide me to a righteous way of typing.

Anthony got all excited about me writing about him. And I’m like… Well, the blog is called karinandanthony, how would it look if I just wrote about random stuff I wanted to write about? And then I regretted saying that, because even though I was just teasing, Anthony saves my ass very often and I love him ass-much. And he is really, really great.

The plan is for him to write a bit as well, so I asked him to send me something I could publish. But no, he’s got to do law school stuff – but he has time to take a picture. So behold, all you who are reading, for here is Anthony’s picture that he wanted me to use:

 IMG-20140320-WA0001 (3)

Yes, a picture of a coffee cup, with obviously coffee shop-bought coffee, and a fancy leather wallet lying on the side. My boyfriend is the sweetest thing alive. And I am a very sceptical girlfriend.

Anthony sent me this picture over What’s App, and the conversation goes:


-          Picture of coffee for our blog


-          Xxx


-          Aw, hehe, thanks…

-          Why don’t you write a post and email it to me as well?


-          I don’t have time, Im in class the whole day :’(

-          But it’s a cool pic, hey?


-          What, which one? Of the coffee?


-          I think it is….. I like it.


-          HAHAHAHAhahaha

-          Ok.

Yes, I am a witch and I am mean over what’s app sometimes. I actually smiled, he is so cute that man. Wants to help me, sends me a coffee pic. Cute, very cute. 20 minutes later I get another pic:

IMG-20140320-WA0003 (2)


-          That pic.


-          So, did you speak to Mariette today, what’s the plan for tomorrow?

This will tell you quite a lot about Anthony. He is my perfect match. Not any part of him is cynical or sceptical. He is just lovely, intelligent but simple at the same time. That perfect combination that equals a rich life but with less stress about shitty(iest?) things. Myself, I tend to over-analyse things and usually it just gives me a headache and I have paid the price to reach no conclusion.

And oh, just to follow up on yesterday’s oversleeping…. Today I got up at 5am with Anthony, made myself coffee, eggs and then had breakfast in bed and watched an episode of suits. I LOVE SUITS.

Other things I love today:

-          Tomorrow is a public holday.

-          Tomorrow we are picking up Rue at the airport

-          Today is technically Friday.

Other things I love less about today:

-          We are cleaning up the whole house and garden, because Rue is coming.

-          We are cleaning up the whole house and garden, because Rue is coming.

Little rewards for my usual mess

Okay, I’ll admit it’s pretty cheesy to include your pets in you blog header. But having moved to deepest Africa for love (Anthony), my puppy, cat and dragon (ok, lizard…) are all the family I have here.

Anthony and I created this blog about, what… 3 months ago maybe. Paid for the domain and everything, “keep friends and family updated”, we said “we should write everyday” we said.

Anyway, I thought I would actually grace this blog with a first entry, a first post and a hello to the internet from me and Anthony.

In a blog you write interesting things, and since I do pretty much the same thing at work every day, and leave home at 7 and come home at 19:30, that is going to be a little bit of a challenge. But as if the universe knew today was the day of my karinandanthony.com blogging debut, 2 interesting things happened.

1. Anthony woke me up at 5am as usual, to give me a kiss before he leaves for Stellenbosch. I love this little consistent moment in the morning, when everything is fresh, just as him and I are; a new day that doesn’t need anything to be said about it just yet, for a second you can just curl up in each other and be unaware of the fact that you possess a full time job.

He leaves, and I ask him to please reset the alarm for me, as he does every morning. Isn’t it the best feeling to wake up tired at 5am, only to be able to turn around and fall asleep again for another 1,5 hours?  Yes I know.

We also all know that when you wake up and the sun light is beaming though your windows and the birds are SCREAMING, and you are no longer unaware of your full time job, sleeping in is not a very nice experience. It is 8:35 and I start work at 9. Living an hours and a half’s bus ride from work, the panic rises in my throat. So what do I do? – Collapse in bed and call Anthony.

-          YOU DID NOT SET MY ALARM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-          What, ja I did? I double checked it even and it was on.

-          YOU DID NOT SET MY ALARM!!!!!!!!

-          Love…. I set your alarm. You changed your alarm tone to that distant waterfall noise, do you think that might have anything to do with it….

-          You did not set my alarm……….

-          Ok babes, give me 5 min and I’ll see if I can organize something. *hangs up*

ARGHHHHHHHH WHY did he not set my alarm…… And then my snooze goes off, for probably the 20th time that morning: a faint, barely noticeable, distant (very distant) waterfall sound comes on. Shit, I now feel like an ass on top of having to be late for work plus not having time to do my makeup or eat breakfast. Phone rings.

-          My dad is going to come pick you up, he will be there in 10 minutes.


-          What? What do I need to ask you, do you have a better plan? Are you going to stay at home or something?

-          No….

-          Were you going to take to bus?

-          No….

-          Ok, so I must call and cancel my dad?

-          …..No…

I amaze myself with my aggravated irrationalism sometimes. I am so lucky to have someone to “organise” something for me, when my own instinct is to collapse in bed. I am so lucky to have a father in “law” who is willing to come pick me up.

When I realized that, I had a pretty good day onward.

As a matter of fact, I got a lot done at work today, be it because of having slept longer than usual, or a little feeling of gratitude in my stomach wanting me to do the best of this day that was so heroically saved by my boyfriend and his father.

2.The annual inflation salary adjustment paid my inbox a visit today to give me a raise. It made me kind of happy + a little guiltier about having been late.

A post has officially been posted, and the timing is pretty good! – Because on Friday Rue is coming! Our little puppy whom we have been waiting for for 10 long weeks… Our little princess that we are going to spoil beyond what the dictionary could ever define spoil as. AND TRUST ME THERE WILL BE BLOGGING ABOUT THAT.

This is little Rue, the actual Rue, not just a picture from Google of the cutest Boston Terrier alive.