Hea’ it is…as promised.  Ghairu’s Revue.  Tried & Tested…I scrubbed the whole flo’ (yes, hands and knees) to this one:

Its a Shame  (The Spinners) – 1970 V.I.P.
Hey Love  (Stevie Wonder) -1966 Tamla
Just The Two Of Us  (Grover Washington Jr. & Bill Withers) – 1981  Elektra
love love love (Donny Hathaway) – 1973 Atco
Cupid  (Sam Cooke) – 1961 RCA 7883
Hello Stranger  (Barbara Lewis) – 1963 Chess
You’re all i need to get by  (Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell) – 1968 Motown
Spinning Wheel  (Chris Clark) – 1969 Motown
Out There  (Willie Hutch) – 1974 Motown
Be Thankful (for What You’ve Got)  (Curtis Mayfield) – 1972 Roxbury Records
I Wanna Be Where You Are  (Michael Jackson) – 1972 Motown
Come get to this (Marvin Gaye) – 1973 Tamla
Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby (Sweet Tender Love)  (The O’Jays) – 1976 Philadelphia International Records
What You Won’t Do For Love  (Bobby Caldwell) – 1978 TK Records
Boogie Oogie Oogie (A Taste Of Honey) – 1978 Capitol
Joanna  (Kool and the Gang) – 1984 Polygram
You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine (Lou Rawls) – 1976 Philadelphia International Records
Be My Lady (The Meters) – 1977 Warner Bros
Lost & Turned Out  (The Whispers) – 1978 Solar Records

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The past several days have been uncharacteristically cloudy, damp and cold. While a great excuse to clean, read, crochet, cook and snuggle, I was over being inside…after doing all of those things.

Being without a car for the time being, and always making mental notes (when I am driving) to explore my hood on foot, I set out on an Urban Hike, down Linksfield to and thru Norwood: outfitted with my new crochet tam wit pom pom, a vest, backpack, a pair of $1 stretch gloves and my favorite beatup Pumas.

For background, Linksfield, where I live, is a neighborhood slightly Northeast of Joburg’s city center. Equidistant between two major highways and shortcuts away to everything. It’s nicely tucked away while still being central, and sits at the base of a ridge (Linksfield Ridge), affording me some great views and dynamic climbs all around.

Demographically, the homeowners close to the Ridge are predominantly Jewish. I often see black hatted, bearded men walking on Fridays with those tassels hanging down from their waists, and skirted women in local shops. Closer to Louis Botha, the area is more mixed…racially as well as ethnically. While not Yeoville, there is a diverse sampling of Africanness that I enjoy…with shops and energy to match. The Zulu chemist is next door to a West African Boo Boo (men’s clothing) store.

My walk down was peaceful. I remember a quip a former boss told me of a good photo exercise: walk thru your neighborhood and take a snapshot every 50 steps. I didn’t do it, but will one day…you should.

Long story short, my Urban Hike turned Urban Bike on the way home…when I saw Buzz.

Buzz is my new buddy for these things. I’d seen a bike shop en auto and my interest was punctuated by the Onitsuka Tiger sign on the adjacent marquee. Didn’t see any Onitsukas, but did cop a great yellow/black mountain bike and lock for under R700.

I rode down to Norwood quickly realizing, as the cool air combined with warm sweat, how much I missed riding. A whole different experience from NOLA flats, but the same rush. I love it.

I’ll fill in on Norwood later…or better yet just add a link.

I do need to get used to hills, but did decently on the way back.

Schwinnie Mandela…this one’s for you 🙂

For our pioneer, my Soror, Dorothy Irene Height.

I was inspired by Loretta’s dedication here: SisterSong E-alert Tribute to Dr Height

I first met Dr. Height as an undergraduate…Eta Kappa Chapter’s overzealous Social Action Co-Chair who insisted on being present at Delta Days at the Nation’s Capital in 2003 – though it took me out of ATL during NBA All-Star Weekend, and our Chapter’s Rush.

No matter.  As one of very few undergrads, it was an amazing experience.  Replete with meetings.  Dr. Height, Julianne Malveaux, Hortense Canady, and Stephanie Tubbs Jones.  Always revered and dignified in sorority spaces, as a pioneer and our longest-termed National President, she was as expected…but equally warm with smiling eyes and spirit.  An anomaly for some who have seen so much in a lifetime.  She signed my copy of “Open Wide the Freedom Gates” and snapped a cell phone pic, which Sprint unfortunately deleted at some point.

The next experience came in 2004, where I landed as the FMF’s Campus Organizer in my first “real” job.  $26k per year and $26/per day per diem on numerous road trips to Mid-Atlantic and Southern States.  In the personal and organizational struggles leading up to the March for Women’s Lives, Dr. Height was at the table, even without being there – with the passively warring “Big 4” Feminist factions and the Women of Color actively exposing all the bullshit.  In my warmly received but ultimately failed pitch for DST to become an official sponsor – supported by Dr. E but tied up by Dr. Boyd – her ideals were at my back.  Under Geraldine P. Woods, DST was the first to come out with an openly pro-choice organization in the PanHell…quiet as it’s kept.

I saw her many times, always sharp and in a crown::as an aside, Ellie once spoke of her invite to a hat sale at Dr. Height’s condo.  Oh to have been a fly on that wall.  Legend has it that she never wore one twice, and Ellie ended up with a few.

NYT called her “unsung” – but I would hardly say so.  Perhaps not widely known, but always present, praised and respected by all who did witness her.  Always on the front line…lifting as she climbed.

To Higher Heights.

For Keith Elam, my Morehouse Brother – Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal (GURU)

The Universe seems to teach in themes…simultaneous events of similar character test foundation, offer perspective or steer course elsewhere. Today, yesterdar, the day prior, the Universe gices but can just as quickly withdraw.

My lent car – mobility
Automomous taska @ work – agency
House keys – accessibility
Busy schedules of friends – availability

And yet I am here. Focused on progress not stuck in my struggle. I remember my first BBM statys…pre *Nobuhle: “I don’t have it all figured out. Just working with today and a series of tomorrows.”. Work with it, with them.

Things are changing, and always will. Let them be and adjust accordingly, while maintaining foundation, purpose and intention. Offer the Universe perspectives, for its gifts…and takes.

Ghairu Does Bikram Yoga

for all the times I declined…nearly a year’s worth, to multiple people,  i finally went into the heat under the most serendipitous circumstances.

(1Apr2010)

BEFORE

AFTER

More Later…but I appreciate any thoughts on perceived difference….

This morning’s breakfast, to heaven with guava::koeajwel::guayaba and passion fruit::grenadilla::maracuya that scented the office kitchen; yogurt and granola 🙂

The availability and diversity of produce in SA is admirable, especially considering most is locally grown (not imported).  Farmer struggles are a reality…will speak of ET’s untimely demise at a later date (and farmer suicides on the other side of the coin), but damn production is incredible.  Though not everything looks the same (different strains of greens most apparent), and things aren’t as overinflated/genetically modified as in the PathMarks/Rouse’s/Safeways/Publix some know, they’re all readily available and locally grown – which is my preference.  Though ultimately my preference is for things that taste good, and these deliver.  I appreciate the joy and discipline of cooking and eating seasonally – this was my first guava of the year, and I smelled their availability down the street.

I have a weekly ritual in Yeoville.  The market. Saves time, money and sanity.

For less than R50 ($6.88 at today’s exchange rate), I get everything for the week.  Fruits from Robert, my favorite Ghanaian vendor…referred courtesy of Tangai.  Veg from him and my other favorite Mma and her son deeper in the market.  I buy black-eyed peas, cassava flour and other staples of my African diet that are overpriced/unavailable in chain stores and underutilized by standard South African palates.

BLISS!

…why’d u take so long to come to me? And Love, Love, your Love…why u keep hiding from me? All the tiiiime….

I woke up this morning with this song ringing in my head. The madness. Frantically searching for a video or file via Blackberry…SUCCESS!!! And an mp3 replete with cracklins of an LP. The only kinda Bacon I can stand. Morning YUMM! I miss this lil 45 back in NOLA 😦 For the heck of last year’s sake, I downloaded Stevie too.

I’m prompted to make a “Weekend Cleanin’ Grooves” playlist now, with Donny at the top. Although I don’t know if they ever played this one in my earshot, I’m reminded of Rhythm Revues. A grateful weekly indoctrination courtesy of Felix Hernandez and my Mom. Reminders of sunshine Sundays, riding Broadway, piano lessons, maybe an H&H Bagel @ Zabars, and coming out of the Lincoln Tunnel.  The Bliss of just entering double digits!

Yes…the list. It’s coming.

Check this original version.  Had no clue Donny was a cover.  AMAZING!