Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Between Days

I am too much of a capitalist and/or princess to call myself a true environmentalist. I love shoes, I shop quite a lot and I wear perfume and make up. BUT I will say this: Where I can, I do my part. I always make an effort to get friends to drive together when we go somewhere. I recycle. I use a fair amount of organic, eco-friendly household cleaning products like Organic Worx and body products like The Victorian Garden and Green Light. I buy second hand where I can [well, vintage clothing]. I don't eat meat. The list does go on, but that is not the point of this post.
Today I went to Woolworths. I love Woolworths. What am I saying? EVERYONE loves Woolworths- their food, their homeware, their clothes, accessories and shoes. Every now and then I have a bit of a rant at their lack of vegetarian meal options, but other than that I love Woolworths. #inLizeland, my life would be sponsored by them. That is also not the point of this post.
Today I was there to buy towels for my guest bathroom towels and place mats. This whole grown-up living thing is grand, and I plan to equip myself so as to be a believable adult. Standing in the queue I am reminded of the many great projects Woolworths has put in place- organic, sustainable and environmentally friendly catch my eye in the descriptions of these projects, and I smile.
At the counter, I am asked if I would like a bag. Now, I believe everyone should carry one of those reusable shopping bags with them [or in their car] at all times. It is such a simple thing to do, and if everyone did it it would make a big difference. I have one such a bag. It is purple, made from recycled stuff and it is purple. It also folds into a teeny tiny bag, making it convenient to carry around in my over-crowded handbag.
Very small
Now so big, can barely fit self and bag into screen!
Big enough to fit fair amount of self IN bag. [Would not, however, recommend this as one may likely a) suffocate and die or b) be mistaken for new purple Ku Klux Klan and be killed.]
But realistically, I do not expect people to carry more than one of these with them. I don't. So, upon being asked whether I would like a bag, I say that I do have one. I add, however, that there is a possibility that everything will not fit into bag in which case I would like [well, need] an extra bag. The woman at the teller seems to miss this part and I see the other woman picking up a place mat and sending it in the direction of a plastic Woolworths bag. I stop her and explain again why I do not [potentially] want a bag. She looks exasperated at having just unfolded this plastic bag, rolls her eyes and says 'It's a free bag! Why don't you just take it?'
I will not go into detail of my speech that ensued. It is simply too lengthy. In short, I explained [very politely] to her that it was not about whether the bag was free or not. It was not about feeling cheated for having to pay 20-odd cents for a plastic packet. My concern lies with the environment, and I am taking the teeny steps I can take in order to live as greenly as I can.
It is a sad truth that our generation is sitting with repercussions that are products mainly of our forefathers'. And while we may not be able to fix whatever terrible outcome will come of it all, we can each do our bit, which is why people with a state of mind like this woman, people who really don't care and people who think we cannot make a difference and therefore do not even try, sadden me. It all begins with a state of mind.
PS. My little bag is from Bunchy Bags, but I would recommend the Woolworths reusable shopping bags, especially the 'Green Fish' one. The Mermaid bought me one recently and it is colourful and bright, plus it is a reminder of how one can do one's part for the environment by only eating 'green' fish.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Run Run Run Run Run!

The reasons my blog is quieter than usual at the moment is that the launch of my website is imminent. So I'm trying to store the cool ideas I have for when that launches. This is why I have not gone into much detail of my latest 'thing': running.
I did horseriding at school, which is not only one of the most expensive sports in the world, but also one of the most time-consuming. So when I ran it was sporadic, meaning I never really got very fit. Also, I injured my knee quite badly in a showjumping accident in 2001. So, other sports were not participated in often by me. But after 13 years of horse riding, I sold my pony and now I have a new goal: to run 5km.
Unicorn running effortlessly.
The Spar Women's Challenge is dubbed 'South Africa's Most Beautiful Road Race'. It is sponsored by Jacaranda [where I work]. It would also fall on the very last day of my 5km training programme, that day's training being 'Run 5km' [duh]. All signs pointed in the right direction, and I started training, mostly at Virgin Active.
It is only 4 days until the race and where once I thought I would surely die running this thing, I now feel quite ready. I have slowed my pace from 10km/h to 9km/h when training so as to not exhaust myself and put myself off running. While I may not be able to complete Saturday's race in any record time, I am confident I will compete without walking once and without dying. [If I don't blog within, let's say, 5 days of the race, assume that I did, in fact, die mid-race].
Today my race shirt arrived. It is pink. I am excited. It also matches my pink Power Balance band. Running is so much more fun in pink!
Me, excited.
More feedback on the programme I'm using after the race. If I survive, of course. But I highly recommend it, that's all I'll say for now.
PS. the title of this post is not just completely random and dumb. Ten points to whomever can tell which band and/or song I'm referring to.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Acceptable in the 80's?

You may remember that I recently had my debut as Gym Unicorn. I got three invites to the fabulous Virgin Active in Centurion, and it was all lots of sweaty fun.

A few weeks ago I was employed full-time by Darren Scott as Just Plain Media production assistant [also content idea-comer-upper, voiceover-er and general fill-inner and helper-outer.] With this comes a salary. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am being paid. With this came the theory that I am now considerably more grown up and between great power, great responsibility and cash, I figured I should live as such.

I got a cleaner and dogwalker[once a week] and a gym membership. I joined nationwide, so I can gym no matter where I go [well, unless I got to Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein, but hopefully I won’t]. So, I have been gymming. And right now my goal is to compete in next week’s Spar Women’s Challenge. Hailed South Africa’s Most Beautiful Race, it makes sense that this should be my race-running debut. So, I need to run 5km [NO walking], and not die. This by next Saturday.

So far it is going well- I have a running program, toning program and eating program. I am tired but nicely so, and I feel generally better and bouncier. But a few odds things have happened at gym. I have been chatted up. Now, some of you may know that this NEVER happens. I can go to any club, with any number of people, I can wear Amish clothing or nothing more than clingwrap and nipple caps. I NEVER get chatted up/talked to/flirted with. I’m not sure why. Some say I am intimidating [fuck off, I’m fucking not!], I believe that I am secretly obese , hideous and/or invisible.

Except at the gym. The first nicident was fairly straightforward- not completely unfortunate looking boy talking to me. A bit odd, as I am sweaty and have my leg up on the bar for post-run stretch, but hey. And then, he invites me to CHURCH. Which is weirder- that I’m being chatted up in the gym, or that this person [his name escapes me] is inviting a stranger [who, by the way, has not been to a Christian church in four years] to church? I’m not sure.

Not to be put off by this, I return to gym. I do, after all, need to train so as to NOT die next weekend. It is quite late, thus not many people in gym. I have just trained my butt off with my trainer [Jamie, the Brit. We love him.] and now I am running. I’m going on 30 minutes at 10km/h. Needless to say I am sweaty and red-faced, as one is at gym. Up walks a guy. Every time this happens I think it is a trainer who is going to come help out with my technique or similar. No such luck.

Random middle-aged man: Hi.

Me [running at 10km/h]: [pant] Hi. [pant]

Random middle-aged man: You’re probably married…

Me [running at 10km/h]: [pant] I’m 21. [pant] I’m not married, [pant] no.

Random middle-aged man: Oh. Because I’m looking for a wife.

Me: [runs faster] …

Not only am I being chatted up in the gym, but by someone who is likely twice my age and desperate enough to just about propose to me, even though he doesn’t know me at all?!

Are gyms the new night clubs? Will we someday tell our children how we locked eyes from across the handlebars of our respective rowing machines? How, ‘your dad was perfect for me, I knew it by his Teesavs’? And what about people who don’t gym? The nerds, the goths, the socially handicapped and the obese people who hide out at home and hiss at the sun? Will they set up virtual gyms for chatting-up purposes? Will Stephanie Meyer write a book about a gym where everyone secretly wants to munch on the other person’s takkies?!

Oh dear. We’re doomed.