Capturing magic

There is something a little magical about Ellie Goulding, and her music often carries it across.

I remember how mesmerized I was when her first single, Starry Eyed, hit the radio. I put it on repeat wherever I was. This golden songbird has yet to disappoint.

This song is equally magical, and I think anyone who’s inclined to be a little creative will find that it resonates with them. It’s just the kind of song which could inspire you to write, paint, draw or dance.

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Best break-up song ever

I have to post this music video on the blog, because sometimes I forget how good it is, even though it came out in 2012.

Train’s first hit was Drops of Jupiter, and the next big one was Hey Soul Sister. So I was pretty surprised to find that their 2012 album, California 37, hardly featured the soft, romantic ballads I’d come to expect from this San Francisco group. It was much, much better.

There are so many good songs on the album, that it’s the kind of thing you want to take with you on a road trip. This is one of my favorite tracks off it, because it is so deliciously tongue-in-cheek

Reimagining History

photo (7) Max du Preez is a living legend, few South Africans would dispute that. A wild cat journalist, he started his own liberal Afrikaans magazine to counteract the apartheid regimes endless propaganda during is dying days in the 80’s. His publications, Vryeweekblad, broke the story of Vlakplaas after he and a colleague got Dirk Coetzee, head of Vlakplaas drunk. You can read about all this in his biography, Pale Native. However, the particular piece of work I would like to talk about is a recreation of South African history called Of Warriors, Lovers and Prophets. Max has done endless hours of research to bring South Africans the most uncanny tales from our past, starting with the arrival of the first settlers and ending in a democratic South Africa, these short but true stories will give you hours of ammunition for small talk over coffee with colleagues, while making you seem super intelligent. It’s a great book which ends on a high note, my only difficulty was that because it comprises of short stories, I often wasn’t compelled to read on to find out what happens a next, but I am really glad I finished it. Pair this treasure trove of tales with a juicy red, my favorite is the Guardian Peak Merlot, or as you can see from this picture, a good hot chocolate.

Born to change the world

Everyone believes they have a purpose in life, and at some point, everyone believes they have the power to change the world.

I think that you don’t have to be a big celebrity or well-known philanthropist to change lives, all you need is to have a heart big enough to love others right.

This song is so powerful because the lyrics with the images show us just how important it is that we live to make a difference to others. I’m not lying when I say that I cried the first time I watched this video.

I hope that watching it inspires you to go out and make a difference today!

 

Love in the time of revolution

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I can’t imagine a culture further from my own then Russia during one of it’s most turbulent historical periods. Dr Zhivago is an epic love story that spans 50 years of Russian history, from the birth pains of revolution in 1906, through the killing of Tsar Nicolas, the civil war and World War Two.

The story of the titular character is one of tragedy, caught between the love of two women, dedicated Tonya and wild Lara Fyodorovna. The image of Yuri Zhivago’s two love affairs is an image for the polarisation of ideas within the novel. Yuri is torn between his profession as a doctor and his gift for writing, his love for the Motherland and his dislike of communism. I swept through this novel, in spite of its thickness, and while I think I did miss some important elements through the translation, it was a wonderful read. The hardest part is to try keep up with the (very) Russian names, so try to find a copy with a list of characters at the beginning.

Pasternak writes in an astoundingly poetic way, and I suspect much of the novel is based on his own life experience and ideas. A close family friend of Tolstoy, Pasternak was strongly influenced by his work. He won a Nobel prize for literature for this novel, but was forced to return it by the Russian communist government.

Because the book is so thick, you’ll need to pair it with more than one wine. For this, I drank the Lourensford Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Brennaissance’s bordeaux blend, called Full House.