In praise of the hood

If like me, you’ve been spending this week drooling over President Zelenskyy (and his wife, Olena – both are gorg) and watching the events in Ukraine unfold with a sense of disbelief and horror not to mention helplessness, then you’ve probs also googled ‘What to do in the event of a nuclear attack?’ and ‘Are we safe here in South Africa?’ (The answer is apparently yes BTW.)  

The world currently does seem like a fairly scary place, which makes the small kindnesses of everyday life more important than ever. In this spirit of kindness, I wanted to give a shout out to our neighbourhood shopping precinct which I’ve really got to know and enjoy in the time of the Rona.

Parkview neighbourhood

I will start at the end that has both a Church and a bottle store (covering all spiritual needs). A few car guards and some homeless people sit around here and our usual walk in the morning takes us past them and we exchange greetings and friendly banter.

Then it’s masks on as we cross the road and enter the official Tyrone strip. The bottle store has seen very hard times with the booze ban during Covid and it’s good to see them up and operating now. They also stock de-alcoholised wine which has been great for me during my sober curious journey.

Parkview Ballet and Dress Up in the neighbourhood
Parkview Ballet and Dress Up

We have spent thousands at Parkview Ballet & Dress Up over the years on kids’ presents and ballet gear, not to mention dress up stuff for various sporting events at the daughter’s school and for Halloween. I LOVE their selection of stuff.

The flower man Godfrey Mudau
The flower man Godfrey Mudau

The first little Mall on the street always has the best Christmas decorations. It also has the optometrist and Added Touch – the place I go to get my nails done plus the chemist where the daughter had her ears pierced. I am exceptionally fond of the jewellery store downstairs called Lali where I got the pearls for my daughter’s 18th and a signet ring for my son’s 21st.

I go to the Fruit and Veg if not every day, then at least every second day. I still do a major shop at Woolies every week but since Covid, I’ve started spending more and more money at our local shops.

The staff are all amazingly friendly and Godfrey Mudau does the most gorgeous flower arrangements.

Trabella Pizzeria in the neighbourhood
Trabella Pizzeria

Spar stocks my fave brand of Starbucks coffee pods plus I love their kitke bread which is baked every Friday. They’re also open until 7pm which is very helpful. We get takeaways from Trabella most Saturday nights, their thin crust pizzas are the best I’ve ever tasted (I recommend the garlic focaccia and the avo, feta and bacon pizzas. YUM) and they also do delicious pastas.

The beadman Lovemore Chiyago with Security Guard Sobala Moyo
The beadman Lovemore Chiyago with Security Guard Sobala Moyo

Mr. Lovemore Chiyago, the man who sells the wire animals outside Spar is a consummate salesman and is always trying to sell me one of his fabulous peacocks. I’ve resisted the peacocks but have bought numerous chickens and bunnies for my Easter table.

I love the gorgeous jewellery at the Makery which is inside the second mall, along with the chemist that sells awesome disposable masks and has the friendliest, most helpful staff.

We get all our balloons for parties from the stationery shop called The Write Stuff and next door to them is Art Africa where I’ve bought so many gifts for Overseas fam and TONS of Christmas decorations. There’s also a dude who plays guitar outside here every day which is very cool.

Blind Tiger is our local. My fave drink there, back in the day before my sober curious journey was these mini bottles of prosecco that they do, I also enjoyed their kir royales and their fabulous cocktails. Their chips and calamari are stunning and I love the bunless burger.

Me Eunice you look fabulous Eunice I know
Me: Eunice you look fabulous!
Eunice: I know

Then there is our centre where the Lake cinema used to be back in the day which now contains the Foyer coffee shop and too many interesting shops to mention. Our friend, Olivier is based there – he makes wonderful clothes and bags and hats and also does alterations.

Across the road is the wonderful Eunice Selinda who guards the library. I must give a shout out to our very professional car guards who are there during all weathers and do a brilliant job keeping us safe. I am happy to part with my money to support them, they are that fab.

Croft Co Menu

At the end of the strip is our fave, Croft & Co, our chats with Grant and Marisa and Mandla and the rest of the crew honestly kept us sane during covid. They are open from 6am which is so useful when you have to drop a child off at some sporting event at dawn’s crack. From the beginning of this year, they started opening in the evenings, you have to try their pulled pork and their chicken pregos are TO DIE FOR.

Our hood is beautiful, it has a real sense of community, and we are hashtag blessed to live here.

The Dry

Film/TV recommendations: Watched The Dry on DSTV Box office on Sunday night. I enjoyed the smoldering Eric Bana v much, he is delish, plus was great to see author, Jane Harper playing an extra in the funeral scene. HOWEVER, this is a multi-layered story that didn’t quite work as a film for me. Some great lines like “worst of both worlds” but I do believe this would’ve worked better as a limited drama series where they could really do justice to each storyline. I am a HUGE fan of the book which perhaps affected my opinion of the movie, I would recommend watching the film before you read it.

The Christie Affair

Book recommendations: The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont. This novel drew me in slowly and then got me thoroughly hooked. Utterly gorgeous writing and I’ve always been fascinated by the disappearance of Agatha Christie, so this telling of it from her husband’s side-chick’s POV was both fascinating and heartbreaking. HOW DID THIS AUTHOR COME UP WITH THIS STORY?? I am in awe of her and highly recommend the book. Thank you, Helen Holyoake and Exclusive Books for my copy.

That’s it for this week. In the words of the late, great John Lennon: “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.” Have a good weekend, everyone. Happy reading! xxx