A Good Goodbye

I desperately want to close this chapter of my life. As a matter of fact I have to. In doing so I am required to make a couple of changes.

I am saying goodbye to my blog.

Before anything else, THANK YOU.

My readers, friends, supporters, and yes the judgy Judy’s too; thank you for allowing me to share my heart. That you for allowing me to split open and spill generously. My personal life, work, lifestyle, thoughts, ideals and so much more has been splattered all over this WordPress medium and I have found much pleasure in discovering that like you I am simply human.

I’d like to create a more professional blog for my personal brand and my lifestyle blog. This will become available with the next http://www.mathunzi.com website update. I also wished to be booked for more professional writing work in various spaces, so rather that be my resume of all things “vocab”. The opportunity to study further has me taking advantage of the chance to better my technical writing technique. Allow me to grow and prepare to do better by my audience in future.

I will spend what is left of 2018 catching up. I have promised you so much and I will deliver as far as my being and time permits. I will then only manage comments and communication on this page and leave it open simple as a reminder of where I have come from.

The book

Turns out it isn’t as simple as one would assume or prefer. As much as “best selling author” is seemingly a popular title of late, putting actual pen to paper is not as breezy as a Sunday morning.

This how ever is a story that I must tell and I will tell it. On my own terms! This is where I will shift the pieces of both the making and the breaking of my heart to. I pray that someday someone picks up a copy and says “God must be real”.

Please do not categorise my work amongst the memoirs of victims. I am not here for that. I have ingested enough pity, mostly from self, to drown me for decades. Take me as I am. She who loved even after loves wrote her multiple goodbyes. She who said yes, again.

2018

Less than 90 days of this indescribably turbulent year. Stay with me if you dare as we say goodbye to that which was and can no longer be.

DM me for lunch dates. Email me for collaborations. Invite me to talks, campaigns, NGO’s and events. Let’s have those conversations

Mathunzi MacDonald

The short of it

I have successfully failed at crafting an introductory lifestyle blog whilst utilising my more common style of writing. With each paragraph I felt more like a raging fisherman’s wife rather than a blooming and contemporary lifestyle blogger. Boy did I complain about the demise of my former lifestyle city living glory and the real hacks my problematic skin has afforded me since primary school.

But, in 2018 we know better, so we do better. So here I am to very briefly share a little bit about my city life and the commencement of my wellness journey. And yes, you may raise your glasses to the more detailed blog posts that will follow because I do promise not to slack.

Before the anticipated ramble do remember to visit http://www.mathunzi.com for a look at who I am and what I do. And in future search Mathunzi Macdonald on your YouTube app for video footage of my journey, music and experiences.

Let’s begin with my beautiful addiction. Well, it isn’t contributing much to the beauty of my skin or immune system but work with me; Coffee.

You may have spotted me or notice that I spend a lot of time at Starbucks. Thankfully my addictions do not extend to WiFi even though I appreciate the uninterrupted Apple updates and music downloads that come with having my feet up on their couches. The gingerbread latte always hits the spot but nothing quite does it like their food and desserts. I can’t complain about the Jazz that plays overhead and I am grateful to have graced the Starbucks Rosebank stage performing my own music with The Verse.

But then came Naked Coffee. I think I may be in love! In support of black business and beautiful souls, Gorge Sandton will be a spor to visit. Owned by actress Mapaseka Koetle-Nyokong and her husband, an experience there has already confirmed it as my other home. At home we stick to our green packaged bestie Jacob’s K and bitterly weep over the loss of my Nespresso machine.

4th avenue in Parkhurst is ideal for easy Sunday living and seriously good food. I was also introduced to Miss Salon London on this street and has my first ever tattoo done here. I don’t frequent it as much since Menlyn Maine came to existence boasting culinary beauties such as Ribs & Burgers but it is always a safe bet if anyone were to ask where to dine in Johannesburg.

Be it a grocery cart or sit in at the cafe, Woolies stays winning. May I argue that contrary to popular belief, their regular food and household products are priced in the same category as most other popular supermarkets. Free tip; Grab a green smoothie to get regular. It gets the job done but tastes way better than green juice.

Host your breakfast and brunch meetings at Lucky bread 7. Wives and in house honeys, the breadsticks are a winner for your partner’s snack time or lunch box.

I stumbled upon a growing collaboration opportunity with The Laser Beautique Irene branch and this is where I will begin my new skin journey and continue my much needed pamper sessions. Look out for #MakeupIsOptional and more excitingly #MathunziAndFriends as I will have a few old and new friends join me at TLB from time to time. My hair care will continue at Candi & Co. Reasonable prices aside they serve free drinks and have decent WiFi like Miss Salon London does too. (Sucker for bottomless cappuccinos).

#IAmMyOwnBodyGoals Therefore, most exercise (if I successfully work through this laziness) will take place in the comfort of my home.

Speaking of collaborations, I recently discovered that a primary school companion Muhle Matthews works for one of Joburg’s most popular hubs, Maboneng. A few years before this I discovered her singing ability which is rather sweet in comparison to her husky speaking voice loaded with a strong twang, which leans more to sexy. Muhle, my photographic and digital guru Nigel and myself sat down and curated the inception of my more intentional exploration of Maboneng and the spaces with it. Let’s just say a lot of my time will be wasted there in 2018. Oh! I will glady welcome a surprise party at the Living Room, any time of the year, I’m not picky.

I think I have far superceded the confines of being “short” so let’s speed this up.

Nouveau over commercial movies anyday. Theatre is undoubtedly the most authentic way to experience the art of acting. Live music never fails to elevate the soul. Markets and rooftop events are ideal to quench YOLO and FOMO. Hiking at Hennops is all of R70 (totally worth it) considering all the zonkey’s you’ll see. Yes! Zonkey! Hahaha.

Is it considered saucy when you clarify that pumps are not ballet flats? Consider it pay back for the giggles that taunt me for shopping in the junior sneaker section because my foot freakishly shrunk to nothingness in 2009. I declare 2018 the year of pumps and sneakers and finally affording goodies at Zara out of sale season. Don’t be fooled by the TopShop merch in my closet, I have my ways that rescue my pocket from constant emptiness.

As I wrap this up, let me share what I genuinely am burdened to share in my journey; The true meaning of being kind. We preach a lot on showing kindness to others and seemingly forget to show ourselves even a smidgen of it. Listen, you cannot give what you do not have so be kind to your self. Forgive yourself, love yourself and spoil yourself rotten when the means allow. You really only get to do this life thing once, do it well; kindly.

Confessions of a young wife Part 2

Before we go any futher, let me mention that although I have improved greatly, my mouth still has its moments. It is as if the more you uncover in marriage, as far as your spouse as well as challenging dynamics are concerned, the more you have to say. Anyhow…

There are many ‘love languages’, and today I want to share my experience with the kind that has less potential of causing emotional damage. Funny though, as much as it is commonly related to the physical, I personally find it emotionally and mentally stimulating.

A wife who cooks and cleans. (Feminists just put down their mobile devices, kidding). Growing up, cooking and cleaning was a chore. A hideous one at that. Possibly one of the reasons the above ‘cliched statement’ grew to be a sore point for many women. Domestic duties became an exercise set to prepare us to adequately perform in our ‘wife’ capacity within the institution of marriage. To cushion the blow we were told that “a way to a man’s heart is through the stomach”. I battled to associate a pot belly with happiness, the harms of literal thinking.

I am generous at heart. This translates in to me being what I call a ‘feeder’. I want everyone to be fed, and fed well, all of the time. This however does not mean I have an interest in cooking daily. Bless the soul who developed the concept of Mr Delivery. I also did not suffer the stereotypical behaviour expected from black/african men (Come home and demand you plate full of home cooked food). Many attributed this to my husband having an English father and being of Scottish decent, but this sadly is not the cause.

My husband spoke a similar ‘love language’.

Why do I believe cooking is more than a chore? My husband’s reasons for taking his turn to cook, do the dishes or make a cup of tea were varied, but at its core his wished to remind me that he was present and wished to meet my needs. He came how one evening, after we had consumed take outs for a while (way to long honestly) and said “Tonight you are cooking, what do you need”. I turned around with such vigour and enlarged my playful eyes and responded quite swiftly “What the hell for?”. His response was simple “I miss my wife’s cooking”.

My husband did not miss my cooking (as good as my cooking can be if I say so myself), he missed my attention, consideration and warmth. The things that homes are built on. Cooking, when done well, is an art. The reason our ‘quick meals’ and failed lasagnes are found acceptable however is the heart behind the art. Someone took the time to consider my physical and mental needs. The body and mind sadly do not function on romantic utterances.

Look at the concept of negligence. Failing to meet the physical and mental needs of a child by failing to provide regular and wholesome meals is considered negligence. Marriage doesnt suddenly allow us to evolve in to super beings whos needs suddenly differ from those of all mankind.

The mind also requires a sense of order in order for it to function in an orderly fashion. Creating a space where this is attainable speaks more of your ability to sympathise with the needs of those you care for than your domestic finesse.

I am appealing to the part of our beings that are able to put the needs of others before those of our own. This speaks more of us than it does of those who receive. An abundance of self love allows for an extension of genuine care an affection. With no expectation of a word of gratitude. How much more happier would we be if we found contentment in simply knowing that we have done good and we did it well.

Food speaks to all of our hearts. So men should not shy away from learning and speaking this here language.

I probably should mention that we live in an age of food channels, food blogs, cook books, cooking lessons, Woolworths (hahaha) so excuses have been reduced.

Explore the human condition. Relationships thrive on the reciprocating of meeting human needs.

Let me cook… Not

Caked up & Tired 

 
I have better days, but some days almost reduce me to tears with an intense craving for cake. Really good cake. Rich, soft sponge, perfect filling, fattening cake! One morning I told my husband how much I would love cake for breakfast as I had been craving it all week. His response was peculiar. He asked if I was sleeping well. Now what do my sleeping patterns have to do with the price of cake? He continued to explain how the craving of cake is associated with insomnia. 

I had to consult doctor google urgently. And lo and behold. Craving cake, carbs and junk found is one of the major signs of insomnia, poor sleep, anxiety and depression. Speaking to a psychologist I confirmed all this. 

This is when I began to trace back to my ‘weakest moments’. I generally enjoy all things fatty and delicious, but intense craving did come about at my ‘low feeling’ and ‘poor sleep’ episodes. 

My mother has waved her hands in the air and ranted about my father’s poor food choices at random. My mother is a vegetarian and has been for 25 or so years, my father a pescetarian. He does however have the random craving for junk food. Now notice, he is one of the people I know to suffer from insomnia. A very busy man who is constantly ingrosed in various studies I wonder how and when his mind rests. So here mom, the better we sleep the better we eat. 

The body and mind attempt to find a substitute for the things necessary for the body’s function that are found in sleep. Also, the imbalance created by an irregular sleep pattern must somehow be compensated for. Carbohydrates seem to offer such substitutes. You can read more about this study online. 

Personally, I should thank my lucky stars that rapid weight gain is not familiar to me or I would quickly emulate the shape of many birthday cakes. The best way to combat the symptoms is to deal with the cause. 

So here’s to beating insomnia, somehow… 

   
   

Pies and pretty things 

Cooking calms me. When it is not perceived as a task it then becomes rather pleasurable. 

Growing up, all things associated with the kitchen were chores. The worst of these being the dishes. Even if there were two mugs, a few plates and spoons, squeezing diswashing liquid into the sink pained you. Dish washing was so horrendous a task you would ration it into three (3) parts. “I wash, you dry”, and drag someone else into the kitchen to pack them away.  Our parents must have looked on in horror at a growing generation who found defeat in stroking pieces of porcelain with a dish cloth! How could possibly handle a giant piece of metal with four wheels attached to it some day? 

In our home, cooking was a skill that one had to grasp by the age of eight (8), latest nine (9). My sister and I would alternate all week, and fight each friday when it was time to prepare for the Sabbath. We’d each list what we had supposedly prepared the friday before, adding all sorts of fantastical dishes to the list in an attempt to make our toils seem so heavy, that it would be gravely unfair to be made to do it again. This must be the reason I have issues with odd numbers. 

We have not yet established all the problems of this here dynamic.  Here is what I feel was the nail to the culinary coffin. My mom has been a vegetarian for about 25 or so years. At some points in her journey she adopted a vegan diet. My father however, was the extreme opposite, and enjoyed his meat product. This left is children with a constant swing vote which was mostly driven by craving, but at times by what my mom chose to include on the grocery list. 

I have no issues with a varied diet, none at all. My problem was that both parties expected a well balanced meal each evening, which left you cooking double the ordinarily required amount. So you would spend 20 minutes staring at two different pots of rice, for one evening’s sitting. Daunting does not begin to describe it.  

I needed an out so I found on in pasta. No one knew that whole wheat pasta existed at that point so the starch option was standard to all. Id create the same base and in the other pot substitute the vegetarian option with soy mince. This worked of course until my family realized that, that is all I ever prepared! 

I did explore in the kitchen, just as to know how far my skills did stretch, but my attitude towards cooking was tainted. Until recently…

My husband has always known that I can cook and bake. But, this was a basic chore, and these were mediocre meals until I learned what cooking means to me. 

I consider myself a ‘foodie’. I enjoy good food, I am knowledgeable about food and I have a relatively strong pallet. (Will blog about super tasters soon). Being able to add the preparation of good food to this list pleases me. I now cook and bake because I enjoy it. Immensely! I won’t deny the moments where the aim was simply to impress my husband lest he forget that he married a winner hahaha. 

Below is a display of desserts I prepared recently. A pumkin pie and an apple crumble. The recipes are not my own so I will not share them. This is simply testament that I have discovered the beauty in food and art in cooking. Despite the trauma of soy products.