This is a post about wine

My two best friends are Kim. No that’s not a grammatical error, they are both named Kim and have been friends since primary school. They allowed me to join their mosh-pit of craziness in 2009 when we all moved in together (of course they shared a room). I promptly named them Kim 1 (brunette) and Kim 2 (blonde). Kim 1 is a logical, everything-is-black-and-white lawyer, Kim 2 is a conservation graduate that works in spectrums of colour.

Over the past year and a half (since Kim 1 returned from Belgium where she met the love of her life) every time we get together, Kim 2 brings with a free bottle of wine she got as a party favour from a friends 21st. The girls parents printed her photo on the bottle (thanks Azel’s ma & pa). Being the wine-snob I like to think I am, I consistently refused to drink this wine, always bringing my own.

When Kim 2 decided to move to London, we knew we would have to open and drink Azel’s bottle in farewell and memorium for our trio of madness.

I was put to shame.

In spite of the kitsch bottle the wine was smooth, rich and delicious. (that said I did have a killer headache the next day)

Thanks my Kimmy for showing this snob that looks can be deceiving

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Kim 1 suspiciously sniffs the bottle of wine, and says it smells like olives

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The last guest didn’t know the party was over

My moms university copy cost her R5 in the 70's

My moms university copy cost her R5 in the 70’s

Love can make or break you. It can only go one of two ways: wonderfully or horribly. Sometimes it does both, say, over a five year period. Well, that was the case for Jay Gatsby anyway.

With the movie being released in cinema’s last week I knew I had to read the book first(I intend to watch it tonight. The soundtrqack is superb btw). My mom’s copy (above) cost her R5 when she brought it in the 70’s.

The story, in essence, is a simple one, but the fluid, enigmatic writing of Fitzgerald meant that I opened the book to read and before I knew it I was on page 60! It was absolutely excellent, I now have a book-hangover. I can see why its a classic. The 1920’s are such a magical time in the collective conscious of the modern world.

I hope you do read it if you haven’t already, no one writes in poetry anymore the way Fitzgerald does.

Pair with a rich and nectar-like Chenin blanc, such as the Ayama Chenin (pictured above). The winemaker describes this wine as “everything is spirit, passion and contradiction…at the same time warm and complex.” Perfectly complementary to The Great Gatsby.

Scots wha-hey

I can say that because I’m Scottish. Biffy Clyro is back with their new album Opposites, better than ever! It’s been three years since they hit the global market with Only Revolutions, from which we enjoyed the anthem Mountains.

Here’s the video for the title track of the album. You can’t help enjoy that roguish accent

Gone baby gone…

This is not a love story

This is not a love story

I don’t read thrillers. I’m more the classic literature/academic type (as you may have noticed) rather than the dime-a-dozen paperback type.
Yet, for some reason I felt drawn to reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn when I discovered it on a colleagues desk in January (I regret that decision now).
So I bought it, and I read it. I have to say that I found the prolific use of bad language and the very sexualised nature of the book offensive, but I really enjoyed the way that Flynn writes, picking up little details in a very natural and descriptive manner. Her characters, especially protagonist Nick are complex and three dimensional, which I enjoyed.
This book is a mind-funk from beginning to end. In the first half I thought it was a social commentary novel on women’s abuse, the second half a thought “psycho bitch”.
For all the *ish* that goes down in this novel, the end, though sad and scary is probably the best possible ending Flynn could have written.
If thrillers are your thing, you’ll enjoy this, if not then rather give it a skip.
Pair with anything that will make you drunk 😉 just kidding, it goes well with the Nuy Pinotage.

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Apparently you can remix anything

colossians
I have a friend called Sean. Sean is one of those really, really smart people who use big words like “exegesis” and “eschatology” and he likes to challenge me. So when I got an SMS from him as I was walking out of the cinema saying “Hey Sonshine [sic] I bought some books for you, you free for coffee?” My answer, of course, was hell yes. I should mention that Sean never, ever reads non-fiction. Ever.

One of the books Sean gave me is written by theology-philosopher couple Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat, called Colossians Remixed. It’s a postmodern examination of the text of Colossians, and reading it is like eating a granola bar: you have to chew every bit slowly and carefully but its very nutritious.

I’m inclined towards postmodernism. I think it’s a philosophical perspective that really describes the condition of the world: it’s a mildly nihilistic, each-to-their-own, no-central-truth sort of philosophy (yes, I am a philosophy major, it’s my secret indulgence). So this perspective taking on a book of the Bible that claims that Jesus is the One Truth, and that there are certain standards everyone should live by was quite an academic challenge, which I think the duo execute very well.

Turning both postmodernism and Colossians on their heads, the authors show how the two can work together. Parts of the book both challenged and offended me (particularly when they say that reason is an idol), but the call to question the current world-system and ultimately live an alternative lifestyle in this day and age really appeals to me. To stand out, to not conform to the Empire, is the essence of this book.

If you question things, understand postmodernism and are interested in faith-matters or are a practising Christian, I think you’ll really enjoy this book.
Don’t pair this with anything except a strong black cup of coffee.

<p>Article by Aimee McDonald</p>

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Over the love??

The much-anticipated Baz Luhrmann screen adaptation of the classic novel, The Great Gatsby has hit SA cinema’s, I’m off to watch it today.

Two things: I luuuurrrvvveee Florence and the Machine, and I love Baz Luhrmann

I’ve heard nothing but praise for the Gatsby soundtrack, and because it features Ol’ Florence, it’s well worth a listen. Take a listen to her track from the film, Over the Love.

<p>Article by Aimee McDonald</p>

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Midweek smile

This is a relatively old music video from Australian outfit Temper Trap. They’ve since released their second album.

This (their best song ever) appeared on their 2010 album conditions. In fact, it was the reason I bought the album in the first place.

I love this music video, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen, my favorite is the little curly-haired kid in the middle, and the ending just makes it.

<p>Article by Aimee McDonald</p>

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Swallowing Worlds

Reading Midnight's Children is like swallowing a world

Reading Midnight’s Children is like swallowing a world

I’ll come out and say it: I love postcolonial literature. I can’t help myself, and I love magical realism even more.

There is no author that better marries the two than Salmon Rushdie. He is the undisputed champion of magical realism, twisting and contorting your brain into shapes you never thought possible.

I’ll say this as well, I’m an unadulterated fan.

Rushdie has opened the mystical world of India up to me, and given me a love for a place I’ve never been to. His flagship work, Midnight’s Children, is in my top ten list of best books of all time (not to mention I think he is one of, if not THE, greatest living authors).

In his unique story-telling, spiral-twirling style, Rushdie conveys the independence of India from British Colonialism through the lives of the Midnight Children, magical babies born at the stroke of midnight on the day of India’s independence. The story is told through the life and eyes of changling Saleem Sinai, who spends the majority of the story literally cracking and falling apart in his curry-jar factory (that is what magical realism asks of you).

The tale interweaves magical realism with historical events, giving a new perspective on the history of India’s independence, and what it means today. It is hilarious and profound in turns, so enjoyable you won’t notice how thick it is.

Best paired with the spicy boutique red wines of Rusticus in Robertson. These wines are handcrafted, luscious and spicy, just like Midnights Children.

The latest movie version, produced in collaboration with Rushdie himself, should be hitting South African screens shortly (featuring the hot Indian guy from the New Girl, whoop whoop).

Caring is creepy, you can hear it in this song

The Shins and I have been in an on-off relationship since we met in my final year of high school. I was 18, Garden State had come out the year before, and there was an underground buzz about this band.

A lot happened between when I met The Shins and when I began varsity, and for me they were the soundtrack to those changing years. Pink Bullets (still my favorite song of theirs) saw me through my first heartbreak, and Phantom Limb inspired me when writing my English 101 essays. Most recently Port of Morrow walked me through the death of my Nanna.

Can one band mean so much to a person? When their sound is this unique, and they’re lyrics so intriguing, yeah I think so.

Enjoy.

<p>Article by Aimee McDonald</p>
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