~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Healthy obsessions

Top Billing | Magazine programmeI admit! I admit! I do.....

I suffer from a few obsessions. Just a few.... There, I said it!!

But obsessions is such a strong word and sounds terribly unhealthy, don't you think?

So I applied my mind to the problem and found a solution, to the terminology, you understand. I suffer from....healthy obsessions. That doesn't sound so terminal.

Well, let us analyze then....and see if they are so unhealthy.

Some would disagree. But I guess you always get one, don't you?

Biggest obsession = Magazines. No one spot, top contender!

But, since the recession has taken a stranglehold, I too have had to make some "retrenchments" in order to keep the household department of finances afloat. I used to partake of quite an assortment, and I can hear you baying for a number! But quite honestly, I have no idea and think I am better of not knowing, quite frankly. I might just develop a huge complex.

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There is just something about the lure of a new monthly glossy front cover that is just irresistible to me!! You walk into the shop... quite unsuspecting, and they seductively lure you over to take a peek inside...Then, they shamelessly flaunt the possibilities of life contained between their covers, and before long I am sipping a cocktail on a sandy beach looking very La Lawson and mysterious under a floppy hat! I have hardly tasted the ambrosial concoction before I am torn away to the craziness of a colourful market in a far flung place that I have never heard of.... Before I am able to buy something my eye catches a promise of easy dinners for a week and before the menu is planned I am strolling through gardens of delight from India to Canada, getting grand tours of glamorous homes....and so on...and so on.... So you can clearly see how they end up in my trolley. Therapy for the suburban mom!

From fashion glossies, to home decor, to gardening and of course food, travel and everything else that falls in between. I draw the line at the gossipy ones to maintain a certain degree of decorum. Occasionally an overseas publication would seduce me and I would succumb with a smidgen of buyers remorse and a grumble in the direction of the weak Rand. The buyers remorse would only last until I got my investment home, mind you. Thankfully, that store that used to sell back copies of overseas publications closed down (major sigh of relief) That was simply a bridge too far with the unstable currency. Always blame the currency...
Garden and Home

So, I get them home and all the way in the car I anticipate the moment I get to kick back with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and tuck in.

I parted with all the fashion glossies and women's magazines, as well as the travel ones. Only the special interest magazines remained, namely home, food and garden. I reckoned that I could survive without the others so long as the basics were maintained.

And, anyway, I stumbled upon them in my local library. Whipeee!!! Only drawback is that I have to return them and also I have to endure the strict stares and shaking heads of the librarians as I use up all the space on my library cards and occasionally on my family's cards for glossy fashion magazines. At one point I felt obliged to inform the librarian mistress(hair pulled back in a strict bun perched atop her head, and I have to give her credit for this, very fashionable cats eye glasses) that I belonged to a book club and do actually read. Furthermore, I launched into a review of the latest Lesley Pearce novel that she was clutching possessively, but to no avail. She was not impressed. Icy treatment it is for me...

Storage  is a problem though, since I do not part with my treasures. I have a built in cupboard in the library/den at home and have limited myself to one door of said cupboard (the other door is given over to shoes – not now- tell you about those another time. Please! One, obsession at a time) 

I have devised a filing system that works like a charm for me. I file my magazines in seasons. Yes seasons, as in spring, summer, autumn and winter. The current season being autumn(here in Cape Town)sees my autumn foodie magazines migrate downstairs in proximity to the kitchen as their storage space is claimed by summer all tucked away until next year.

The Gardener MagazineThe gardening magazines are separated from the Home and Garden variety for quick reference (I always get distracted if I have to wade through some glam houses before I want to read about bulbs) These are left for leisurely consumption when the gardening is done.

It all starts off very orderly at the beginning of the season but somehow degenerates into having a pile of mags in all my favorite spots, bottom of the coffee table, next to my bed and so on.
What’s in the latest issue of Woolworths Taste magazine
A rainbow of post it stickers mark recipes and whatever is a hot topic for me at the time. Needless to say I have magazines dating back, well quite far and eventually some of them get tossed but not before removing favourite pages and filing them into files (I know, I know!!!) Do you throw out close friends? I think not…

My library of mags add value in so many ways. Firstly they keep me entertained for hours on end and yes I do go through them year after year and always seem to find something that I missed the previous season and anyway, one’s interest changes and one’s tastes. I have been educated in cooking, decorating, gardening and much much more. I read my magazines with my little black book and pencil. Odd, I know! I jot down the details of a new restaurant or shops that I want to visit, and in order of street or suburb. Hence I often get calls from friends asking V where can I find okra? (the veg kind) or where do you suggest for Sushi, etc….you get the picture. So, I seem to store a vast amount of useless info, only until someone needs it then voila, useful!!!

Buying a foodie mag is like getting a new cookbook every month! An affordable one at that!

Can you ever replace the intimacy of a magazine with an electronic device? The answer is most certainly …No!

So healthy or unhealthy? You be the judge…

Well, I am off to cook, travel, garden and paint, all from the comfort of my arm chair, well until some one asks " What's for dinner?"

Oh and, the third Thursday of the month just passed, so I went to book club!!! I am just about to escape to the world of "The Russian Concubine" by Kate Furnival...

Happy reading


Ps: And if you happen to have some time....allow me to seduce you...

The Gardener
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Garden and Home
Food & Home Entertaining

All the pics of the glossy front covers were taken from the magazine's web sites. Enjoy!

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