In good company. For the rest of forever.

Sometimes it’s baffling to think how when you get married, you’ll be spending the rest of your life with someone (well, that’s the plan anyway). At shul yesterday (the synagogue) it was announced that a couple were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Pretty amazing, because how many people actually get to reach that these days? Between divorce rates, people getting married much later in life and the reality of mortality it’s quite an achievement.

This isn’t meant to be overly deep, but I really realised yesterday that I’m going to be in good company for a very long time. Now keep in mind that we’ve just come back from an overseas trip. That meant absolute hours spent flying together, travelling on buses, and walking the streets together – not always a pleasent experience in Israeli heat. Situations you can easily get very frustrated with each other (and it happened a few times) You know, on top of general living together.

Anyway so yesterday was Shabbos, obviously (that’s our Jewish Sabbath). During these 25 hrs starting Friday evening we can’t use electricity, drive and a large number of other related things. It might seems restrictive, but it’s a great time to connect and just chill. It’s like having compulsory chill time.

We went to shul (synagogue) in the morning, and that ended at around 11. We hung around with friends, eating and chatting. We decided we didn’t feel like going to the shiur (sermon) and were home by 12:30. In winter you see, shabbos starts early and also comes out early, but getting home at that time meant we still had another 6 hrs to go… And no cellphones, Facebook, twitter or series to occupy us. We chatted for like an hour and then had a nap… Ok, it was 3 o’clock. 3.5 hrs left… I started wondering whether we should maybe get out that night after spending so much time at home in each others space…

But we had one of the best shabbos afternoons we’ve had in a long, long time. Often we meet up in the day with friends, but yesterday it was just us. We got up and played our new monopoly deal (which I sucked at, and eventually won a game) and then went for a 1.5 hr walk before coming home to read while we waited for shabbos to come out.

It wasn’t worlds most exciting day filled with fun outings and activities. In fact, it was relatively low-key and it was really just the two of us. But moments like that, among the mundane reality that is sometimes life, it feels good to know that the person you chose will really keep you company for the rest of you life.

Oh look, I’m back.

I kind of forgot to make any big mention of the fact I’d be away for two weeks and off the blogging-radar for that period. We went on a family trip to Israel, which was all sorts of wonderful. There was much fun, eating, family, shopping and seeing of friends. I do plan to blog about it properly, but for now I’m just getting all the pictures together etc. If you really want to see what went down, feel free to check out my instagram feed!

Happy weekend, everyone!

My Pen-Pal has Whatsapp: Now what?

Let me set the scene of this situation. This isn’t quite a “pen pal” I’m talking about, but rather one of my very close friends from High School. Her dad works for the US embassy, and as a result they travel every couple of years to live in a different country. When we all went on our gap years, she went back to the States to study, but she has now moved to Israel and is her happy, hippy self there.

Anyway, I’ve only seen her once since High School. Once. We never Skype, but somehow manage to send each other newsy emails every other month. Whenever I get an email from her, it’s like receiving surprise mail in the post. I can;t even put into words the excitement when I get a mail from her. It’s like a long-lost friend. She’s never been the “technological type”, hardly ever using a cellphone even in High School (which wasn’t too many moons ago) and to this day she doesn’t use Facebook (though she does have an account).

I sent her an email letting her know we’ll be in Israel so we can try arrange a time to meet. I took a chance, and asked her whether she had Whatsapp. Lo and behold – she did. I messaged her this morning for the first time, just to test. It was a game changer, in a strange way – it felt life saving. Not only can we use it to discuss our plans to meet next week – but I can also message her whenever I like! Whenever I think about her, or have something small to say (no matter how important or unimportant it may be).

But what about our emails?

I love how in that moment I messaged her the world instantly became smaller and we were suddenly connected again so closely and simply. Something I think I take for granted with all those I whatsapp daily. But I think these emails make me too happy to let them go. Obviously, more than anything I can’t wait to message her now and then to say hi and have a quick chat, but our thread of emails really hold a special place in my heart. I have friends from High School who I never see and I don’t speak to, but I kind of know what they’re up to with Facebook. It’s like catching up with people has become so passive, you don’t even have to speak to know what is going on in their lives. They practically broadcast it to you. I guess we all do.

Over the years, through gap years, university, working and general life keeping you busy, we’ve always managed to keep in contact with our sporadic emails. I think they’re totally worth it.  Each email is a response to the last, asking questions based on the previous email, always wanting small tidbits of news from the other. It’s also nice because our short and direct emails usually swell on the great things that are happening in our lives – it’s sometimes just too lengthy to type out our problems. Besides, we don’t speak that often, so it’s far from a complaint platform. I don’t know many people out there who keep in touch via some “old school” method such as this and I think it’s kinda special.

long lost friends lee and thea

This is the last time we saw each other, in December 2010. The first time seeing each other since finishing school in 2007!

Doesn’t the internet and technology just completely blow your mind sometimes?

10 things you probably don’t know about living with a magician.

Your life often becomes an impromptu magic show when you’re married to a magician. For a while he initiated #MagicSundays on twitter, and he’d perform magic for people and staff in the shops while I’d be trying on clothes. We can hardly go out for dinner to friends or families without being asked for him to perform and naturally he always carries a deck of cards on him. This guy is 100% dedicated to his craft, and one of his friends (a professional magician nogal) was surprised he doesn’t do this professionally. It’s a pretty glamorous lifestyle (I’m feeling somewhat famous now, excuse me while I gush), but let me let you in on the secret, behind-the-scenes, reality of it all…

1. His hands are always occupied with a deck of cards.

Walking through the mall – nah, he’s not interested in holding your hand. Trying to shop for things for the house/clothes/groceries – you better hope there’s no mirror nearby or you’ll lose him in a heartbeat as he perfects and hones his skills. Sometimes, you just have to accept that the magic is king.

2. Apparently, all your clothes have “fluffballs”.

You know, those fluffballs from when your clothes go through the washing machine five times too many. But it doesn’t matter if my clothes are 2 years old or brand new – if there’s a hint of red, green, yellow or blue he’s likely to make sponge balls appear straight out of my clothing. Even in public. He’s done this to some of the guys working in Woolworths even. I’m not quite sure what they thought. Luckily, I don’t wear much of those colours very often (for this very reason).

3. Magic rolls out into all elements of his life.

Recently Greg has been learning coin magic, which I personally think is pretty awesome. He uses those old R1 coins (they were sadly before my time) that are bigger than the current R5. Some of his routines include making coins go from one hand, into the other and subsequently fall with the loveliest *chinkling* sound into a wine glass. It’s an impressive effect. Except when he chooses the chinkling of a falling coin to be his whatsapp message tone. I could live without that.

4. You have some interesting pets.

We have a ferret called rocky and a small family of bunnies.

5. He finds uses for the most unlikely objects.

The other day I had to buy Greg a set of elastic headbands. Girl ones. He wasn’t put off by the lumo green/yellow/pink colours one bit. They’re now lying all over the lounge. Oh, and lemons of course. And tomatoes. Don’t ask.

6. Most guys watch sport, or even some series.

No, Greg watches hours of magic DVDs. They’re stacked proudly on our bookshelf (or they’re lying on our couch), and there’s always some magic-something open on one of our laptops.

7. I taught him the skill of blogging.

As a digital gal, I told Greg he needs to have an online presence that is constantly fresh and updated with new content (duh). So I taught him about blogging. Now he blogs almost as much as I do, and probably has more followers on his magic blog than I do.

8. I may not know how the tricks are done, but I can recite his routines.

It happens when you see the same tricks over and over being performed to different people. At one point I could recite the “patter” (that’s the fancy magic word for all the word fluff they use to keep you laughing and entertained. A good magician has good patter.) of his entire sponge ball routine (without the magic sponge-ball effects, obviously). There’s the ” ‘Russian’  shuffle, where the cards rush from one hand to the other”, jokes about being stoned, he means, stunned. I’m practically a magician myself, without the talent I guess.

9. Your priorities shift

When Greg’s harddrive crashed about a month ago (2T) we didn’t mourn the loss of the movies, series, university work, photos, memories that were stored on it. No, we mourned the loss of 100GB of magic.

10. You can sometimes take the credit for his extraordinary skills.

We always joke that I’m his trusty assistant, but in reality, I really do nothing to assist hist shows (except for maybe strategically seating myself in the “bad angle” spots so that no-one else does). So when people come up to me, gushing at how incredibly talented Greg is – I smile politely and say thank you, you know, as if I had so much to do with everything. And I can’t quite respond with “yeah, I know, right?”. (Though I secretly wish I could)


A dose of Harry for the day.

So in my past life (read: childhood). I was the hugest Harry Potter fan. I may or may not have written about this previously, but I’m not sure I want to dig up blog archives of posts to prove it to you. But I saw this and it made me smile. And I hope that it’ll make anyone who lived through (and with) Harry and the gang, smile too.

1 (1)  e im q6

(Apologies for some of them not coming out. Anyway, source here.)

Yes, I’m laughing at you html

So aside for watching tons of awful foreign films at University (that were mostly in German), I also spent many, many hours learning to code websites. I spent most of my day (I only had class 11 – 2 by my 3rd year, and I often left home at 5), in the dungeon basement lab, where all the macs are stored, coding. Squinting at the massive mac screen in front of me, trying to find a piece of off syntax for why my website isn’t doing what I want it to do. It became the bane of my existence.

I don’t regret it, as it gave me a great skill, but I can’t explain the frustration, the tears and all ’round turmoil that coding created in my soul while at University. I can’t complain either because I did really well and got class medal for 2 out of the 3 courses (well, there were only like 9 of us in this class).

In my day-to-day these days (2 years out of varsity) I sometimes come across the odd element of code when making Facebook apps, but now if we need something specifically styled – I’m likely to just send it to the Development guys. I came across these minimalist posters (now, I love minimal design) for how html tags can be used in real life. They’re classic. Especially the breakup one.

If you code, this will make your heart sing too.

<body> <html> <div> <em> colour: .class </html>