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February 10, 2016 / Elizabeth Mamacos

Sew much has happened…

 

So here’s a visual history of the past 2 years:

I’ve also finally started sewing again! More on that to come soon ūüôā

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September 19, 2013 / Elizabeth Mamacos

Dove Friends TV Advert

Another great ad, from Dove, which makes you think about how you see yourself. The brand asked women ‘What do you love about your body?’ This is what they had to say.

So, what do you love about your body?

September 17, 2013 / Elizabeth Mamacos

Frank Turner – The Road

My favourite playlist. Perhaps even of all time…

July 8, 2013 / Elizabeth Mamacos

A whole new world… of knitting

I seldom sew through winter. I prefer to make light summer dresses, and since there is minimal instant gratification in the cold months (I can’t just wear it to work the next day) I let my machine gather dust.

I have, however, experimented with crochet – I hoped for a creative outlet with quick results, however I am officially useless at it. All that stitch counting, the weird language of patterns and so on. No thanks.

I expected knitting to be the same, and in many ways it is, but it is also slightly easier (weird pattern language excluded). I gave it a bash though, and with some thick wool and giant needles I can knit up a scarf in a few days! Not as ‘instant’ as producing a dress in four hours, but close enough.¬†

Also, I can knit outside the house! At lunch, on holiday, in the car… works for me.

Here’s my very first completed creation, which I made from two balls of cream wool/acrylic mix on size 12mm needles this weekend, and wore to work today:

 

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May 13, 2013 / Elizabeth Mamacos

The Itheko Slave Route Challenge

Yesterday I ran my fastest 10km race! I surprised myself¬†immensely, too, as I had no ambition to run a fast race and also because this is a¬†particularly¬†hilly route which includes the infamous ‘koeksister hill’.

The start:

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The Itheko Slave Route Challenge calls itself¬†one of Cape Town‚Äôs most beautiful races. Both 10 and 21 km participants run through the Cape Town Castle – literally through the castle: into the grounds, through a narrow tunnel into the courtyard and through the centre, before heading back out into Darling street. Runners then take a ‘historical journey’ through District Six, Gardens, Wale Street and into the Bo‚ÄôKaap, where the terrible hill awaits. Those on the 21km route also take a trip down the fanwalk and through the Waterfront before ending on the Grand parade outside the Town Hall.

This race is characterised (and made famous) by the the ‘koeksister hill’, a long, exceedingly steep stretch that awaits runners at about the 8km mark on the 10km route. Once you’ve made your way up here, there is a much needed water station, but the locals have also set up shop and happily hand out freshly-made Cape Malay koeksisters¬†to every puffing runner!

Koeksister Hill:

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It’s much harder than it looks!

May 3, 2013 / Elizabeth Mamacos

Dancing with the Devil

This past Wednesday we had another public holiday is South Africa. This one is¬†internationally¬†known as Workers Day. The day dawned with lovely clear skies and bright sunlight, so of course the mountains called to me. Of the three peaks which surround Cape Town city, the one I hadn’t yet climbed was Devil’s Peak.

I was pretty surprised to reach Tafelberg road and discover that the harbour and the city shore was covered in a thick layer of fog, while the rest of the city was warm and clear. The fog horn could also be heard quite clearly from this far up.

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I made my way to the end of Tafelberg road, parked, and headed straight uphill into the sunlight streaming over the peak:

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If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought it was full spring up there! Butterflies, beetles, sugar birds and flowers where everywhere, so while the trail was fairly clear of people, it was full of life. If you look¬†carefully, you can spot two¬†sugar birds¬†in this pic below. A female silhouetted¬†against the blue sky, and one¬†hovering in the sun’s rays¬†above the red Ericas. He is in fact sporting a¬†beautiful¬†long tail and spent a lot of time hovering and chirping and generally showing off to any passing¬†females (including me!). Check out a much better photo here.

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I also stopped and tried to have a conversation with a little toktokkie beetle, but he wasn’t as talkative as his distant relatives on Lion’s Head, who tap their¬†abdomens against the rock in response to a fingernail tap.¬†Autumn Brown butterflies were out and about too, and I spotted a lone Mountain Pride butterfly (also known as the Table Mountain Beauty, for obvious reasons).

Autumn Browns (also known as the Cape Autumn Widow) are quite marvellous in that there is only one generation per year and they all hatch from their pupae on the same day! This year is seems to have been the 17th of April, when parks and grass verges where suddenly covered in a fluttering array of floppy deep brown butterflies. They have a distinct way of flying Рlazy and low, they often bumbled about my knees. Unlike the Mountain Pride, which darts about busily at head height and seldom seems to stop to rest.

Another surprise up there was just how green the flora is right now. The recent rains have really cheered up the fynbos, and there were plenty of small flowers and striking proteas on display. I was delighted at the number of King Proteas I saw. Although they clustered about fairly far from the trail, their pale pink outer petals made them stand out quite sharply against the fresh green fynbos.

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The hike wasn’t easy, with a fair amount of clambering up rocks necessary. I took the Newlands Ravine route up from Tafelberg Road, which meant that both sides of the Peninsula¬†where revealed to me as I climbed higher and higher. Here’s the view down towards Cape point:

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I took the contour path back down, as my knees don’t take well to steep¬†downhills¬†and I didn’t want to risk a fall.¬†The walk back down, although easier on the knees, took a lot longer than I expected. I felt quite daunted when I saw this ahead of me, which was only a fraction of the trip home:

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But the views were spectacular, the weather ideal and the mountain wonderfully alive.

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April 30, 2013 / Elizabeth Mamacos

Freedom on Lion’s Head

This past Saturday was a public holiday is South Africa. It’s the day we celebrate 19 years since our first democratic election in 1994. It was a beautiful autumn day in Cape Town, so we group of us took to the mountains that loom so protectively over the Mother City. What better way to celebrate freedom, than by taking advantage of it?

It was a magnificent day, with ideal weather for an uphill climb at dawn and a downward stroll at mid-morning…

Dawn over the city:

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The magnificent Table:

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Hannah’s first Lion’s Head climb:

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The team on top of the world:

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