"You use a mirror to see your face, but works of art to see your soul." - George Bernard Shaw
2023 ended rather tragically for me and so I signed a 'sad' leave form with my name on it and submited it to the universe. Universe said, "Take your time."
It's the Chinese year of the Wood Dragon. He beckons us to explore our own depths, encouraging independence and a thirst for knowledge and creativity.
"What if Christmas doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps... means a little bit more!"
It’s the final countdown and its time to start packing up the laptops and offices, saying our goodbyes for the year, and for me saying a big thank you to everybody who has been involved in helping to get Carrie's Connoisseurs out of the starting blocks this year.
"And when you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it..."
Some 25 years ago Paulo Coelho published a book that lingered long in my memory and had a profound effect on my life. It's called The Alchemist. I can think of little nicer as a holiday read/Christmas stocking filler than a copy of this along with a beautiful bottle of wine.
"As you ramble on through life brother, whatever be your goal: keep your eyes upon the donut and not upon the hole."
So, Murray Banks was a psychologist/psychoanalyst born in the US in 1917. I like him. Having read some of his work, I think he was the kind of guy we could do with having around right now.
"Courage is grace under pressure." - Ernest Hemmingway
Wine is always a winner!
I have been very busy chatting to the industry and attending some interesting new vintage launches in and around Johannesburg.
The Good, The Bad, and the Rugby
I can't play sport very well. In fact, I can't play sport at all really but I do like to watch (some) sports. Rugby is not a favourite but which soulless creature could help themselves from not being carried away on this huge wave of Rugby World Cup mania that's currently crashing on French shores?
"Excellence is not a skill, its an attitude."
Ralph Marston is a Texan champion of self-improvement and we'll hold it right there because he does actually encourage millions of people around the globe on a daily basis. And I do happen to agree 100% with his quote above. And the reason I am speaking about excellence is because I was lucky enough to trap Tim Atkin for the best part of an hour...
Forbidden fruits and swallows of Amazonian proportion
"There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable." - Mark Twain
Time slips and slides when you are having fun...
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge."
Bertrand Russell is a wonderful mixture of the 'stuff' that turns me on. A 20th-century philosopher who focussed on ethics, logic, mathematics, metaphysics and philosophy, he eagerly championed anti-imperialism having been born into a life of wondrous privilege and peerage in Wales in 1872.
"What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it explode?"
Langston Hughes is a favourite American poet of mine and his quote above sprang to mind when searching for some inspiration this week.
"I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul."
During the course of the last week I had the pleasure of a second interview with Herve Delabesse. We continued our French journey in an attempt to pique your interests to explore the wines of this gorgoues country.
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." - Albert Camus
It's closing in on us... There have already been a few mornings where I haven't wanted to get out of bed.
Barrelling into Autumn
"Autumn is the season that teaches us that change can be beautiful." - Heather Stillufsen
All of a sudden the driveway is knee-deep in gold, red, and brown leaves. The leaf blower can't keep up and the swimming pool's trap is permanently clogged.
I remember the 14th July 2011 so well.
It was the day that I lost my safety net; my biggest fan; my rudder and compass. It was the day my mum passed away and it felt like somebody was cutting off both my legs and cleaning up the bloodspill with my heart...
To the best of my knowledge, Easter has yet to be cancelled.
And whilst it could slip into the category of offensive if taken too seriously, I think we can pull it off for another year if we just focus on the sheer gorgeousness of choccy indulgence...
"Some days I wish I could go back in life. Not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice."
I was running up the staircase at home the other day (yes, I can still run up a flight of stairs) where I have a rogues gallery of family photographs that line the wall all the way up...
"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home." - Carl Sagan
The harvest is in full swing in our winelands!
Carrie Adams is back!
"Who, being loved, is poor?" - Oscar Wilde
I think that 2022 was navigated with great care by many of us and I'm not sure about you, but I landed in 2023 a little shy of declaring 'my best year yet' attached to a list of unmanageable resolutions.