Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Social Club #9 - Hair Bows, Cross Stitch and Crochet

For those of you who don't know about the Social Club, check out the latest post here.

Door Porn - When one door closes another opens

Whilst in Europe, I could not get enough of their amazing doors.  So I started taking photos of every door that I liked and started my Door Porn collection.  Everyone knew of my obsession and kept pointing out pretty doors. "Hey Nats, door porn!"  I will pick my favourite ones and then get it block framed and put it up in my house.  Will post once that is done.  A lot of other things to do before I get there, but I usually do everything I say I will. So watch this space. Enjoy feasting your eyes on the 'DOOR PORN'.

Home Inspiration

One of my favourite blogs is A beautiful Mess. My infatuation with interiors frequently gets stimulated by the 'at home with...' posts that I find on there.  I am constantly busy with plotting how to improve and decorate my space and just really loved this post, 'At Home With Antonia Osswald'.

I love these dipped dyed curtains and think I might have to copy it for my foyer.  We recently learnt how to tie dye in Social Club, have a look how easy it is here.  I also found a link to Antonia's blog where she explains how to dye the curtains, it's in German though, but I am sure that Google Translate will help to decipher.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Natsnotfazed Monthly Mixes - Oh My It's July

A while ago, I decided to share my monthly music mixes with you. I have had some requests for the next music mix and have only had time to put together a mix recently.  Apologies about the wait everyone!
I didn't make a June mix, as I was on my Eurotrip.  You can read about my trip day by day in older posts.

This months mix is mostly some of my favourite music that I haven't listened to in a while.  I have also added a Cape Town band called 'Gateway Drugs' which I absolutely love.  Then I added some of Deftones best tracks, as I am going to see them in August.

I recently discovered Soundcloud, you can follow me here.  I also created a 8 Track account and you can listen to my first mix here.  I dig another Cape Town band called Al Bairre that you will find in the 8 Track mix.  They will be playing at RTD this year.

Download this month's mix here, called 'Oh My It's July'.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Day 24: Park Guell, Seaside and Paella *Eurotrip*

I slept till 10am. Now that's the latest that I have slept on my holiday. We got ready and had breakfast at a cafe. Then we took the metro to Park Guell. It was a scorcher and we were hot as hell. The park is on a hill and you take about 8 sets of escalators and a million steps to get there. It's so worth it though. This was my favourite Gaudi so far, but when I go inside the other houses one day, I might change my mind. 

Day 23: Gaudi Day *Eurotrip*

We woke up not feeling too bad and got ready for the day. We had breakfast at the hostel and then made a mission to Sagrada Familia which is the cathedral that Gaudi designed.

Day 22: Barcelona Walking Tour, Shopping, Tapas and Flamenco *Eurotrip*

We woke up at 9am, which is the latest that u have woken up on my holiday. It was great, as I needed the rest. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed again!

We got ready slowly and then ate breakfast downstairs in the kitchen. Had some chats with other girls sitting at the table and found out what they have been up to. 

We were then collected for the walking tour by an Irish tour guide. He used to be an architect, but with the economy in Europe that is in such a bad state, 90% of architects are sitting without jobs. He also teaches English to make a living.

Day 21: Barcelona you beauty *Eurotrip*

We got up at 3:30 am. Totes cray I know. Sigh. Yawn. Stretch. Yawn. Ok let's say we have learnt from our mistake. We ran through the streets of Porto to find the Mc Donald's which the picking up spot for our shuttle was. We get there right on time and off we go to the airport. This would be my 5th last flight before I land in SA! 

I was looking forward to a comfy flight. Cuddled up by a window seat. Trying to catch a few more minutes of sleep. My friend sat behind me, because she had the same idea. What I didn't account for was sitting next to a bloody Spanish dude taking over the arm rests and sleeping with his mouth open snoring like a bear. Wow that was a pleasant flight. Not! 

Day 20: Porto Market, Tram ride and Sardines *Eurotrip*

8am start and first things first, tea! My friend only starts functioning after she has had her cup of tea. We need her to function so let her have her tea! Seriously she's grumpy if she doesn't get her tea, but this is what makes our friends unique and why we love them so much. 

We had our yummo ham & cheese Portuguese rolls and coffee / tea, and then got ready to go to the Porto market. The market wasn't really anything special, but think it would be much better on a Saturday when all the stalls were open. 

We ran into the two Australian chicks from our hostel and decided to chill with them for the rest of the day. We went to a deli shop and bought a few gifts. I managed to find the shop with the cool printed tights again and got 2 x more pairs. This meant less money for food which meant eating less! Haha! So worth it!

Day 19: Porto Tour and Porto Wine Bar *Eurotrip*

Portuguese rolls taste the best in Portugal. Who would've thought! This will sound silly I know, but I never thought about having Portuguese rolls in Portugal. So for breakfast at the hostel I had a ham and cheese Portuguese roll. It tasted so good, fresh and soft. Then I had another. That's when I clicked. Must be because the Portuguese knows best to make Portuguese rolls. We had a lovely breakfast at the hostel.

We were collected from our hostel to go on the walking tour of Porto through the old city. We all met at the square and everyone from the different hostels had to introduce themselves. We started the tour and the guide was very knowledgeable and informative.

Day 18: Santiago - Porto the charming city *Eurotrip*

Up at 7am and getting everything ready to go to Porto today, which is the second largest city in Portugal. I'm getting quite used to my surroundings here in Europe. The excitement of being in a new city has worn off and I could definitely imagine myself living here. I'm very adaptable and have lived in many different cities before, so feeling like this is not unusual. I do miss having a place to call home though. 

At 8am we walked to the cathedral through the old city. Being surrounded by so much history everyday must be amazing, but I'm not sure if the residents see the beauty of their city each day? We walked past quite a few different groups of youngsters still in their jolling clothes from the night before. The mascara smudged under their eyes. Sucking on cigarettes. Sipping on beer. Chatting and laughing loudly. Looking lost and anxious, not ready yet to go rest their heads on their pillows. I imagine how perfect it would be for a photo shoot. The contrast of the classic old buildings with the young grunge youth in front.

Day 17: Santiago de Compostella *Eurotrip*

I know we are super awesome, but awesome people also need to recharge their batteries. Today was one of those days.

We slept in till 11am, well my friend did and I woke up at 8am, as my days have started early recently so I'm not used to sleeping late. We got ready and went to the supermarket to buy some food. We went to a restaurant and had some breakfast. 

We were going to walk for 2-3 days, but we chatted and decided not to anymore mainly because of my injured foot. I was overjoyed about this news, as this meant that I could officially relax and enjoy the rest of my holiday with my friend. We then went back to the room and chilled for a bit, googling options to get to Portugal.

We looked at a few clothing stores and bought some goodies. Stoked to be able to buy stuff again and not think about that you would need to carry whatever you bought on your back. 

Later on we had a bed picnic, munching on all the snacks we bought and watching BBC News. This was the only English TV channel we could watch. Our snacks consisted of: cocktail tomatoes, roasted almond nuts, pancetta, olives stuffed with anchovies, smoked cheese, strawberries and yogurt. This was so much fun! We both needed the rest! My friend travelled for about 30 hours and she was jet lagged and I was just tired from all the walking.

Day 16: O’pedrouzo - Santiago (total kms walked: 188kms) *Eurotrip - Camino*

Today was the big day! We were going to walk the last 19kms to Santiago, which is where all the pilgrims finish their journey. All roads lead to Santiago. You can start the Camino hike from various different starting points and everyone’s common goal is to reach Santiago. Here you attend the mass at THE cathedral (biggest cathedral in Spain). 

The South African family that I have been walking with has been walking for 31 days. They were ready to finish their walk! So the mom and I decided that we were going to get up extra early so that we can have a makeup party where we will put make up on so we can look super-hot when we enter Santiago.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Day 15: Arzua - O'pedrouzo (total kms walked 169kms) *Eurotrip - Camino*

6am start. Being woken up by zip sounds and scrunching of bags. Sounds of backpacks being packed. Right now I think that it's something I won't miss at all, but who knows I might miss this when I'm back to living my luxury life! My simple life back home seems so desirable right now. I'm envisioning my bed with me lying in it. Freshly washed clothes and sheets. Watching series. I just want to do that right now for days on end. I need to live in the moment I know. Ok let me try harder.

Forced my boots on. Redic pain with each step. I told the family not to wait for me, I need to warm up my feet and I will catch up. Today it was The naked and the famous that kept me company. Again there were tears. My feet were sore and I could feel the plantis faciates. Sigh. 

Day 14: San Xulian - Arzua (total kms walked: 150,5km) *Eurotrip - Camino*

Good night’s rest. Two sleeping pills. The snoring man slept on a mattress outside so we can get some proper sleep. Shame he got cold, but it was very humble of him. We had tortillas for breakfast and hit the road. 

I was in pain. My running injury (plantes faciates) was paining. My Achilles heel was so swollen; I struggled to get my boot on. My blisters hurt. I popped two Camino candies and hoped my feet would warm up fast. As soon as the blood disappears and your feet becomes numb if gets a wee bit better. I couldn't stop myself crying for the first half hour. Big Crocodile tears just running over my cheeks with each step I took.

Day 13: Vilacha - San Xulian (total km walked: 122,1km) *Eurotrip - Camino*

How amay may to eat a proper breakkie for s change: Boiled egg, brown bread, yogurt, orange juice & coffee. Popped some Camino Candy: Ibuprofen and then start with the Camino shuffle until the feet are warmed up and you can't feel the einas anymore.

Day 12: Sarria - vilacha (total kms walked 89,1km) *Eurotrip - Camino*

It was quite different to wake up and not chatting to anyone. No one in my room spoke English and everyone just got down to business and got ready for the day. I was starving by this time. Last meal I had was a sandwich at 5pm last night. I didn't have a guide book so I didn't know how far the next town would be so I can grab some food. The closest restaurant or shop was all the way downhill and I wasn't too keen to walk back up the hill. I was overjoyed to see that the next town is 2.5km away. 

My feet were feeling pretty good and I'm happy that the day off my feet helped.

I arrived at the restaurant and ordered bacon, eggs and coffee. It was delightful to have a proper breakkie again. I wasn't used to it anymore, it was very oily and rich and I only managed to finish half of it.

Day 11: Pamplona - Sarria (by train) *Eurotrip - Camino*

I woke up at 10am and started getting ready to go to the train station. My mate made us tomato scramble eggs on toast and coffee. Then he walked with me to show me where the bus station is. When we arrived there we realised that there if I take the bus, I will be late for the train. So he took me in his car to train station. He showed me where to go to catch the train. There were super drunk guys there who were singing and shouting. They got in the same carriage as me. Luckily I had my earphones and I listened to some music. At the next stop the police was waiting for them and they were thrown off the train.

I settled in nicely on my spot on the train and was looking forward to rest and chill for 7 hours. There was a full on restaurant in the train which was really cool! They played a movie which I would have loved to watch, but couldn't hear anything. I tried looking for an earphone jack, but couldn't see anything. I only discovered the earphone jack when the movie was finished. Next time I will know. I was a bit of a train virgin today!

Day 10: Zubiri - Pamplona (total kms walked: 69.2km) *Eurotrip - Camino*

You would think that I should have a hangover today, but thanks to my mom for teaching me to take milk thistle when you drink, I didn't have one. Was feeling peachy actuals.

Same routine every morning. Pack up the old pack. Take care of your feet and suit up with your hiking gear. We arranged to meet the rest of our crew at the bridge at 8am so we did just that and then we fell in the road again. Some pilgrims took the bus to Pamplona, due to sore feet or just avoiding the rain. The bus took a half hour to get to Pamplona and it took us 7 hours to walk the 21kms. Cray I tell you!

Day 9: Burgette - Zubiri (total km walked: 48,2km) *Eurotrip - Camino*

I slept like a baby right through the night. I really cannot remember when last that happened. Man was I stoked! This could all be to one of the following reasons: sleeping pill I got from Bearman, or the Lapis Lazuli crystal that I got from Durango (this crystal is for migraines, headaches, skin disorders, anxiety, calms nervous system, reduced inflammations and pain) or the copious amount of sangria we drank last night. We polished off 5 bottles of Tinto vino and two pitchers of beer between 4 people.

We were up at 7:30 and back on the road by 8:45. All the pilgrims that stayed in the previous town were walking past our hostel and we were waving at them from our balcony. I have found my favourite new tree. Not sure what it is called, but I'm seeing them everywhere in Spain. 

Medium ascents and descents and a few snack & boots breaks. Lovely to have delicious snacks to eat instead of white baguettes. Boots breaks are where you take your boots off and let your toes breathe. Cold breeze on your toesies: best!

Day 8: Orrison - Burgette (total km walked: 29km) *Eurotrip - Camino*

Wakey wakey egg and backey! I wish! Instead we got Baguette and jam, coffee in a cereal bowl and OJ. The friendly Afrikaans man bought me a sandwich for the road for lunch. So I took my ticket to Juan-Jacques the chef. And he said: oh your telephone number merci! And pretended to be very disappointed that it was only my sandwich ticket. Funny man!

On the road again welcomed by rolling green hills for days. Alt-J, Bon Ivor, Calexico, Ben Howard, Boy keeping me company. Walked with the Denmark, French and Durango.

Love it when you get to that part of your holiday that you forget what day it is. That happened today. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Day 7: St. Jean de Pied Port - Orrison (total km walked: 8km) *Eurotrip - Camino*

7:30 rise and shine sunshine! Packing the old backpack. Breakfast of toasted baguette and jam or honey.  Random fact: you don't eat off a plate when eating these breads for breakfast, just off the table. Then you wipe up your crumbs and walaa! Maybe this is so you have fewer dishes to wash, haha! I dunno? 
In my first post of day #1, I thought that it was weird to only have breads for breakfast, but I am realizing now that this is the norm. 

Coffee is quite good that you get here. It seems like everyone has their own coffee machine. No one ever makes instant coffee that I have come across so far. A coffee machine is quite affordable here, about 20€.

Driving to St. Jean was so picturesque. As this is the Basque Country you see the typical white houses with the red shutters everywhere. We arrived at St. Jean and had a smoothie and then asked the waiter where I should start hiking. They showed us to the right. Then I was wondering if I have my passport and I unpacked my whole bag and yay I found it. The two boys made some jarbon & fromaige (ham & cheese) baguettes and gave me two for my journey. How sweet! It wasn't nice to say goodbye, I felt that I have grown quite close to these two guys and it was sad to leave them behind. My friend said it felt like I've been here for a long time instead of two. Days. He is not the first person to say this. He's friend from Paris said the same think, it felt like we knew each other first, but we knew each other for under 24 hours. I must have this effect on people. I think it’s a good thing? I said my good byes and was off to start my journey.

So I walked to the right and was greeted by a hill. Thoughts going through my head: why did I pack so much crap in my backpack, what can I through away, why am I doing this? Advice I can give anyone that is considering doing the Camino: pack light, like super light. I met a few pilgrims on the way which was awesome. A dude from Boston that was walking the same pace as me and we had some great conversations.

Day 6: BAB, Bayonne, Anglet and Biarittz Road trip *Eurotrip*

Early start. Mc Donald's coffee and croissants for breakkie. On the road enroute to Anglet.

Stopped at a Casino which is a supermarket here. Bought a French baguette, ham and cheese. I made the sandwiches in the car kitchen on the back seat. Was super yum! 

The Pyrenees Mountains were staring at us the whole way. They were covered in snow and looked quite daunting. Ok fine, let’s turn around and go home, don't want to hike anymore! Haha! Jokes.

So I chose to sit on the backseat so I can sort my backpack out. I forgot my towel and vitamins somewhere along the way. I was upset for 2 minutes and then I got over it, because ag you know it happens! Then I decided to write out the postcards (20 of them) in the car. Had to take a few breaks to fight off getting car sick. 

The one dude that came along, his aunt stays in Anglet and we were invited for lunch at their house. Bonus!

Arrived at Anglet at the aunt and her partner, they didn't speak a lot of French. But they were very welcoming. We sat down and had prawns for starters. Got told that prawns are like their peanuts with their beer in Anglet. Then we had pieces of duck breast and fried apple with baguette on the side. Man oh man the duck was super tender. After that we had two kinds if cheeses with some more baguette. For dessert we had gateau Basque which is a Basque cake Cherry flavour. We ended with some delicious coffee and dark sesame seed chocolate. Four course meal done & dusted. Wow now I was reds to roll to the beach. 

We went to Bayonne to a few stores.  It was like walking on a movie set in the streets. Pictures don't really do it any justice.  After that we picked up a few beers in Biarritz and went to the beach. We chilled here until 10 pm, yes it was still light. The beach was amazing and strange to see such old ruins next to the beach. There were a lot of surfers in the sea, but the swell was small. When nature calls, oyster calls. Only toilets are at bars or restaurants so we had to have a drink aka oyster shot at the bar so that we could use the toilet.

Day 5: Lafrancaise, Carcassonne, Laubrac *Eurotrip*

Matin! Morning! We went to the village in Lafrancaise to pick up some croissants for breakfast. My friend made me a bowl of hot chocolate and I had a chocolate croissant. Super yum! It was weird to get a bowl to drink something out of. Guess it's normal here. 

Packed everything up and downloaded my monthly mix, which you can get in an earlier blog post here for the road trip to Carcassonne. 

Carcassonne is over 750 years old and a medieval city. I can totes see Rapunzel in the tower with her plait of hair hanging down. It's just so Amay may being surrounded by such history. Just imagine being here like 750 years ago! Taking photos to try and capture the awesomeness is just impossible really. First of all there are so many bloody tourists. How cool would it be if you could put on these special glasses so that all the other humans disappear, but you have sensors to prevent you from walking into the people. Then I would be able to take rad photos. 

Anyhoo we were just trapping around the old cobble path and looking at all the tourist stores.

Tummies were rumbling and we started looking for a restaurant. We found a cool restaurant and ordered foie gras and a salad each. I had the salad Au Margret which is dried duck breast. 
It was all delicious.