Honey, I’m baaaaack! Yes, the holidays are over and we are all a little fatter and poorer and wishing that the six months of Januworry were over already. January feels like it goes on FOREVER especially if you are doing Dry January. I am still on my sober curious journey, which means that this month has been fairly dry for me; I had a couple of glasses of wine for my daughter’s 18th but that will probably be the full extent of my partying for this month.
To celebrate the aforementioned bday, we went to a restaurant called Luce at the Hyde Park Hotel – chosen for its views and because that was the nickname of my late MIL. There was NOBODY there when we arrived because we got there at 6.30 still not grasping the fact that curfew was over (I mourn with all parents over the loss of the curfew.) The food was so-so, but the view of the lightning over Joburg was GORGEOUS and our waiter, Mthandazo was hilarious.
- Me: Why are there no people here? Did we frighten everyone away?
- Him: I didn’t want to mention it, but I was thinking that you have.
I hope you all had a good break, I took a whole two weeks’ off, yes, I would like a round of applause especially as I turned down a couple of scripts over Christmas, which for a work ho like me is pretty damn amazing. We headed off – in a very empty plane – to Durbs on the 16th (it was INCREDIBLE to be back in the Slow Lounge – the holiday always starts there) and we were lucky with the weather down on the South Coast and spent a lot of time on the beach. We also had a wonderful get-together with the Husband’s family and some close friends of ours that we hadn’t seen FOREVER.
(At this point I would especially like to congratulate my daughter on getting Omicron straight after school broke up and not messing up the hols for everyone.)
After our trip to the coast, we came back to the big smoke for Christmas, to a rather jolly Christmas party/21st with the Red Wine Friday crew (where I didn’t touch a drop and felt very SMUG), followed by a stunning Christmas Eve lunch with our besties where there were quite a few sore heads (again, I felt SMUG with no hangover).
We also had a get-together with my family on Boxing Day including my nephew and his lovely Dutch girlfriend who managed to come out from the UK. After all the uncertainty, it was very special to be able to have these gatherings, and we even had A WHOLE WEEK OF SUNSHINE between Christmas and New Year.
New Year was spent having a romantic dinner with my husband at home while the kids joled (jolled?) – the daughter in Cape Town which she said was thankfully full of tourists and the son in Joburg which didn’t feel as empty as usual over New Year. I kept putting off taking down the Christmas tree(s) and the decorations and eventually the family did the deed on the 9th. I HATE taking down the decorations and would like to be like Queen Elizabeth and remove them in February – perhaps just before Valentine’s Day.
Most of us are now back to work and back to school, the son has just graduated with his Bachelor of Health Sciences degree but alas there was no graduation just photos with the gown and the scroll – which according to his one cousin looked like he was carrying a delicious chicken wrap – and my daughter goes into matric so we have a matric dance to plan for which let me assure you is on par with planning a wedding, I am already exhausted.
Film/TV recommendations: The Puppet Master – a riveting doccie on Netflix about a psychopathic con-man. Absolutely jaw-dropping. We also went to see Spencer at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank – Kristen Stewart was amazing but the actual movie is a bit meh.
The following week we saw The Lost Daughter – Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut as a director and based on Elena Ferrante’s novel. Adored both Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson and the TENSION – that bloody doll – ugh. Excellent.
Also on Netflix is Don’t Look Up – about the meteor crashing into the earth and all the peeps who don’t believe the world is going to end, and those who are trying to make a quick buck out of it. Thought it was very funny in an horrifically scary way. A marmite movie, you either love it or hate it.
Naturally, I’ve read tons of books over the festive season but the one that really stood out for me was The Idea of You by Robinne Lee about a middle-aged mom who has a raging love affair with the twenty year old member of a boy band. Sexy and funny and heartbreaking, I loved it – also some of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read – I’m not joking, it’s incredibly difficult to write good sex scenes.
I also gobbled up Boiling a Frog Slowly by Cathy Park Kelly – her memoir about surviving an abusive relationship. Beautifully written, I found it moving but also very chilling to see how easy it is to get duped by an abuser – and how difficult it is to escape.
In other bookish news, I am now able to tell everyone the title of our group novel that I’ve been not-so-subtly hinting about over the last few months – it’s called Chasing Marian. Why? Because it’s about four friends who are DESPERATE to get to meet Marian Keyes when her trip to South Africa is cancelled. Not only did the fabulous Marian Keyes read our book OVERNIGHT but she gave us a blurb for the cover and proceeded to Tweet about it. Marian makes a fictional appearance in the book along with Himself (her husband). The book is light, it’s funny, it’s heartwarming, you can pre-order it here:
- Loot: https://www.loot.co.za/product/mmmw-7352-g750
- Exclusive Books: https://www.exclusivebooks.co.za/product/9781770107601
- Bargain Books: https://www.bargainbooks.co.za/pre-orders1/
- Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.ca/Chasing-Marian-Amy-Heydenrych-ebook/dp/B09R12GKVY
That’s it for this week. I wish all of you the BEST DAMN YEAR EVER filled with book launches and films and theatre and sports’ matches at actual stadiums and lots and lots of get-togethers with family and friends and TRAVEL!! And obviously GOOD HEALTH and LOTS of lovely moolah to pay for it all.