Archive | January 2011


I’m frightfully grumpy; Kate Shrewsday, that razor-sharp mind and – by far – the most eloquent blogger I’ve ever come across, has – just like that – announced her last post. Short of boarding a plane for London, there’s diddly-squat I can do about the matter. I’m bristling with crossness; fit to be tied, really…

I quite forgot what I was going to blog about today. Wind gone from my sails, as it were.


Here you go, then; went to the Exclusive Books sale yesterday and showed admirable restraint. Most exciting purchase was ‘Feeding Desire’; 288 pages of stuff about the ‘Tools of the Table’. The House &Leisure special edition Food issue … total waste of R40 and the irritation of Trevor Noah bleating his CellC piffle at one as one opens the book. *grump factor increases*

Oh, and, because Mandy in Mauritius mentioned them, and because the people at work have remarked on them, a few of my pairs of specs. I collect them and have them in most colours. I co-ordinate them with my shoes and handbags, which strikes many people as quite bizarre.

Nothing more to say today, I reckon I’ll go out into the garden.

Drown my sorrows and try to formulate some way of getting Kate to change her mind.

Bloody hell!



For more info (or to contribute) on the weekend theme, go to:

Exaggeration is to paint a snake and add legs.  Proverb

I’m very busy, see; that busy that I didn’t have time to do a post yesterday. There was eating and huddling to be done. I’m not exaggerating. All I can offer today is a fruit salad and some trivia …


On this day in 814 Charlemagne died. Charlemagne, Charles I, Charles the Great, King of the Franks, Charles le Grand, Carolus Magnus, Karl Der Grosse, King of the Lombards, master of Western Europe, Emperor. Some of the food related ‘facts’ I have come across related to Charlemagne:
* the peacock was first served in Europe during his reign;
* Saurbraten was invented by Charlemagne;
* Roquefort cheese was a favorite of his;
* the knife began to be used to eat food for the first time during his reign (rather than the fingers);
* Roses were used to cover his tables for meals.
I have no real corroboration for any of these ‘facts’.

– souce:


I didn’t get a gap to dash across the road to check out the Herbert Baker house today, things were too busy, starting with breakfast. Here’s proof to our Australian friend, Nurse Myra,  that people (Moi!) do eat fish paste at breakfast. My trolley choice todat was anchovy toast and assorted melon.

My friends think that I am co-coordinating my working wardrobe with my daily packed lunch; today was a tuna salad which didn’t really match my brown shoes, but –anyway – there’s no room for debate as I didn’t eat my lunch; I was too full from the mid-morning surprise.


It turns out that our MD, a formidable businesswoman and a global industry player, is a foodie too. I found her in the kitchen whipping cream; a pile of impressive almond meringues and a bucket of mixed berries at her side. On a whim she had decided to spoil the agency with a mountainous Eton Mess. For some reason this incident filled me with bubbly mirth and I had to restrain myself from rushing to the balcony and screeching my good fortune, to have landed amongst this group of fascinating people, at the milling traffic on the road below.

What strikes me in this company; despite the frequent and discerning attention to culinary enjoyment, is the mature attitude of the staff at large. Time is made to eat, sure. But – boy oh boy – when they work they work. Everyone seems to own their particular function with a sombre sense of diligence and … pride. Yes, the pervading impression I get, having spent some time trying to analyse it, is pride. People seem very proud to work here.

I really can’t say I blame them.

I’m kinda proud too.


When you have something for breakfast, you’re not going to be starving by lunch.
Bruce Barton


And so I see the wisdom behind this breakfast trolley and have – in two short days – learned to appreciate it. My choice this morning was toast with cheese and grapes with strawberry yoghurt (brought from my home fridge).

We huddled in earnest and then it was time for lunch at my desk.


This is the view from my window at work; it is one of the Herbert Baker residences that give Old Johannesburg (and Muizenberg) its unique character. It would have been the home of one of the Rand Lords, but I can’t find it referenced in any of the Baker online catalogues. Watch this space, I’m determined to uncover the history.


Mynakedbokkie has challenged us to reveal how we came to choose our blog names.

Well, my blog name was – for years – Original Cin.  (I had to change it when I moved to WordPress as I found somebody had already taken that name; hence the current TheOnly Cin.) Contrary to common assumption, the name Original Cin has nothing to do with Eve or the Bible.

Many, many years ago I started a business.  It was multi-faceted and my copywriter friend (Roy Weiss; does anyone know what became of him?  He seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.) suggested calling the business The Seven Deadly Cins.  I didn’t like it.  We bandied several names about, none felt right.  There were two Cindys in the building, one a new girl, who’d only been with us a few weeks.  One day someone called asking to speak to Cindy. 

Our receptionist asked which one the caller wanted to speak to and the man said ‘the original one’…



Lunchbox contents:

2 slices (large) leftover roast sirloin pie (from Sunday lunch)

Chopped tomato, onion, gherkin and rocket salad.

Other desktop lunches spotted: Lots of Woolies tubs: Lasagne, Penne Arabiatta, Chicken & Pasta Salad. Wholewheat bread with cream cheese. Yoghurt and fruit salad. I saw one guy eating a big brown bag of sliced biltong.

There is a trolley at 9am with complementary toast and assorted spreads (jam, fishpaste, Marmite, Melrose cheese spread. And fruit.

There is an automatic coffee bar with really good coffee.

They don’t have meetings, they have ‘huddles’ … I attended two ‘huddles’.

And so on to today’s prompt. What is your favorite sound?

I could ramble on about the sounds of waves, the sound of my daughter saying she loves me, an orchestra in full throttle or a lone guitarist strumming on a sunset beach …

Nah, I love the sound of a wine cork popping free from the neck of its bottle.

Damn that no-wine-on-weekdays resolution. What the hell was I thinking?


From ‘The Crowded Street’ by Winifred Holtby:

Martin Elliott smiled at her. ‘Have you found that too? Don’t you think about the books in most circulating libraries that they are nearly all the wrong way round. Short stories with happy endings and long stories with sad ones. Quite wrong.’

‘Why that?’

‘Ah, surely the short story should end with tragedy, for only sorrow swoops upon you with a sudden blow. But happiness is built up from long years of small delightful things. You can’t put them into a short story.’

Today’s prompt for the Post-A-Day challenge is: How do you define the word friend?

I read the passage quoted above early this morning, before I’d seen the prompt, and it made a profound impact on me. It’s true, really, happiness can come in fleeting blitzes; but, ultimately, it’s a multi-layered thing.

And so, with a repost from July last year, to the topic of friendship.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the concept of a ‘Best Friend’. So many people pass through our lives at different times, in different circumstances, and each fulfills a unique and memorable role in the constantly changing ‘who’ that we are at any given moment.

There are those jealously guarded school attachments, shared secrets of crushes and the dizzy excitement of preparing for dances. Heartbreaks, disdain of fuddy-duddy parents and overindulgence in chocolates which necessitates hours of shared face packs. Despite heartfelt promises on the last day of school to write every day, new university friends are made and the school pals are eventually relegated to a clutch of fading polaroids.

Then comes the real world and the workplace; you’re flung in amongst people you’d perhaps not have in your home. But there is the common field of reference and you find that you side with someone against the tyrant who is your boss, that you both laugh at the silliness of pompous language. A memo containing ‘paradigm shift’ or ‘intrinsic strategic positioning’ can have you both rolling on the floor with laughter, to the bemused stares of others in the office. When you leave the company, this friend will handmake a card for you that you will frame and keep on your wall for ever, because it speaks volumes about the many years of private jokes between the two of you:

Your honesty, integrity and commitment to staying at the leading edge of marketing communication could put you in line to win an XXX Raising The Bar Award.
But your sluttish behaviour, habitual substance abuse and persistent use of expletives has earned you a Raising The BRA Award.
Jolly well done, we’ll miss you Luvvie!




With a successful marriage comes years of accrued observations and events; the physical proximity leads to a relationship in which so many things can be left unsaid. It’s an unparalleled concord and probably the closest one I would consider for the term ‘Best Friend’.

Mature friendships, gained and grown in later life are truly above rubies. The wealth of accumulated knowledge and experience that can be enjoyed over a cup of coffee or a bottle (or six) of wine is joyful beyond words. Shared parenthood trials and tribulations, love of the arts; literature, music and humour, these are the rewards that come with the advance of age.

Enriching? Hell yes, I’ve been – and continue to be – incredibly lucky.


Yesterday was International Hot&Spicy Food Day on the Food Reference Culinary Calendar and, appropriately enough, Tandy issued a challenge to cook something savoury, using chillis.

Well, I’d decided to spend today cooking all the suppers for the coming week, given that my routine is about to change for the first time in ages. As it happens, my chilli yield from the garden is always good; chillis are about the only edible thing I don’t end up killing with kindness, I find they thrive on neglect.


Almost everything I cook has chillis in; that’s just the way we roll in this household. I started with a pork and ginger stir-fry for Monday night; all I have to do is get some wraps on the way home.


Tuesday is a chicken and butternut coconut curry; I’ll boil some basmati rice when I get home and we’re good to go. (Forgot to photograph this.)

Wednesday is a chourizo, sundried tomato and sweet potato casserole; Old Spouse passes a good bakery on his route and can pick up a crusty bread to mop up the sauce.


Rissoles in a basil and tomato sauce for Thursday; I’ll just stick a few potato wedges in the oven as soon as I get home and toss a few leafy greens, and we can eat by 7pm.


I roasted a chicken to have cold on Friday night, with a big summer salad. I reckon I’ll want to put my feet up and have a glass of wine by then. Here’s everything ready to go into the freezer, now I just need to remember to take the correct packet out every morning.

Come to think of it, after all these hours in the kitchen, I think I deserve a glass of wine right now! (There’s a sirloin roasting in the oven for tonight’s supper.)