Friday, November 5, 2010

The Rock

This is the new flagship Rain Store - The Rock
59 West 49th street between 5th and 6th Avenue
You have to see it

Unashamedly absent

I have been neglectful and absent. I admit it and I am sorry. But I have been busy - as usual doing queenie type things. Just got back from 18 days in New York where I got to open a new Rain store, have my shoes professionally shined, sleep in the back of truck on a bubble wrap pillow ( see picture ) and travel on my second least favourite airline ( after Delta ) - American Airlines.
What is it with these american airlines - they seem to strive to outdo each other on apalling food, outdated ill equipped planes, antiquated grouchy crew and rude indifferent service. HOW do they stay in business one wonders?
Anyway, enough moaning. I am one lucky spoilt rainqueen ......... got to open a store in the centre of the world , and one with a brass door and a badly behaved tree outside. You have to see it - it is SPECIAL.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my bead man

And this ladies and gentleman, is the man from whom I buy my beads.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


With a population of over 1 billion, India is busy and noisy. The roads are another story . With all sorts of exotic traffic trying to get from A to B, everyone has a need to make themselves heard –loudy, persistently , all the time, everywhere. Every vehicle from a bicycle rickshaw to a train, makes itself heard . Diaphanously cacophonous ( is there such a word ?........ sounds good anyway ) is an understatement for the horn blowing, bell ringing, music blaring noise pollution which one is exposed to on India’s roads ( or shall we call them tracks ).
The journey to Bundi has its challenges. Apart from aforementioned noise and lack of peace, one faces endless hours of vehicular , animal and pedestrian obstacles allowing progress of only a mere 30 km/hr on average. Apart from all the common stray goats, holy cows, overloaded camel carts and diesel pumping tractor taxis , there are enormously and dangerously overladen trucks heading who knows where – Bhopal maybe ? Overloaded to more than double their width and height – so they protrude a full fifty percent into the adjacent oncoming lane. You have to see it to believe it. It is chicken playing game par excellence. It is the wild wild west.
The truck windscreens are gaudily decorated to within centimetres of their line of vision – so they don’t see the oncoming traffic anyway. What you can’t see , you just don’t have to worry about. Decorated with pom poms, luminous woollen tassles, streamers, garlands of real oranges, painted slogans and messages to the vehicles behind, tin cutwork, filigree etc. They are gaudy but loving works of art. And the horns ....well, these are no ordinary hooters as we know them in general civilisation. With one press of the horn the loudspeakers play an entire one minute dittiy at full volume .There are endless variations of these tunes and ditties , each driver having his own special unique signature in decibels.
The drivers ( who live in their vehicles as a mobile home and perform their daily ablutions very visibly along the way for all to see )have an attitude and an ego to mirror their lorry. They travel jauntily with attitude- elbows jutting from the windows, one hand barely on the wheel, grinning with their red betel stained teeth, they steer these amusement parks with alarming recklessness – all to the deafening shrill of hindi music at maximum volume.
My discerning queenly tastes and zen zulu approach to design and my love for less is more and pared down sophistication just can’t quite grasp this idea of beauty with all is loud garish excess and bling. But to the owners of these vehicles they are the most beautiful thing in the world, and they convey them with a badge of pride.
I enjoy the colours, the vibrancy and the pace first, but later, the slowness and noise starts to get me down , and to test my patience and I feel that latent defect gene commonly found in South African city dwellers ,called road rage, rear its ugly head. Unable to change anything about situation I make a conscious decision to travel resignedly , enjoy the mayhem , but secretly longing for the smooth ride of my silver beamer back home, with my cool bluesy jazz music, sun roof and a Woolies chilled lemonade.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hallitosis and wild India

Another flight from hell. This time the one to Indonesia – sandwiched between my gum chewing teenage niece and a Frenchman with chronic halitosis. ........ and I have a nose to rival pinnochio.
Fortunately a benevolent air steward rescued me with an extra eye mask to use over my mouth. The Frenchman fell asleep – mouth open – as fate would have it perfectly in line and only just centimetres from my super sensitive snout – breathing foul fumes as he snored.
And so I sat for four solid interminable hours alternatively trying to hold my breath or to synchronise my breath in with his in order to avoid the overwhelming stench of old Coquille St Jacques a la Provencal coming from his fundamental orifice.

Next stop India ..... and the ideal trip to India surely has to be via helicopter – ferrying one in a becoming queenly manner between oases of civilisation and conveniently avoiding the mayhem and squalor in between the jewels .
On the upside, India is truly Incredible as the advert states – exotic and magical . The remnants of a glorious colonial imperial past, the grandeur of the Maharajas make it all so bearable and beguiling.
But to get to each pot of gold, one has to endure filth beyond measure, persistent aggressive beggars, hooting crazed drivers, overcrowded trucks and trains, intense people pollution coupled with chaos and pandemonium.
Just when you start sinking into despair, a colourful sight of a group of labouring women in irresdescent saris in a field of rice, lifts your spirits and you can carry on. India is not a place for the faint hearted, impatient or overly hygiene conscious.
So, how does this queen cope ?
Armed with a pot of the strongest brand of Tiger Balm , a bottle of hand sanitiser and an inhaler of potent pungent essential oils – I can persuade my nose to endure. Sunglasses help to screen out demanding beggars, and a strong relationship with my God and Father helps me survive the onslaught of mad mad crazed drivers.
I hate it and I love it, and everytime I cope – only only just.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

long time hatching eggs

Where have you been for the past 2 months I hear you say ?
Let's just refer to it as an incubation period. I have been sitting on eggs - trying my darndest to get the jolly things hatched. And it has not been an easy 2 months. Lots of birthing pains , lots of tears, lots of frustrations and disappointments.
BUT ...... all is not bad. I hear the rumblings of life in those eggs - there are stirrings and tiny cracks appearing which herald LIFE. A few more days and just maybe .........

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don't count your chickens before they have hatched

Don't count your chickens before they've hatched !

Do you remember my sheer devastation last year when our store at the Rockefella Plaza in New York fell through ? I was gutted. I had had high hopes and expectations ....and then it all fell flat.
Well, I am again sitting on eggs - waiting to hear from the Rock if our offer has been acceptable or not. I am hoping, praying and planning. I just need that nod of approval and we are ready to launch into a major creating, making, packing and shipping frenzy to get that store up and running by end August.

But as they say, I cannot afford to count my chickens.......just have to wait for them to hatch !

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Elephant riding and fabric shopping

We went fabric shopping - Analena and me - and decided to have a spot of R&R ( adventure style ) . We did some elephant riding and white water rafting. Cant show you pics of the latter as camera was not on the boat for obvious reasons. You will just have to believe me. What good fun.
Then..... we had to work, running around hunting for beads, buttons, ribbons, strings, fabrics, wools, tools, papers, bottles, spices and all manner of STUFF.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hannah - this is unconditional love personified. No matter how long I have been away, no matter what my mood or state of mind, no matter how I look or feel ..........She ADORES me ......... and the feeling is mutual

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Another dodgy airline ............ not nearly as bad as Delta ( and here we are comparing the mighty USA carrier with a small African airline mind you ). But nevertheless challenging on the olfactory senses. Mine are so sharp at the best of times and in such circumstances, it is a curse. Not only is the airport in Addis Ababa dreadful - there is not a square centimetre allocated to non smokers. Smokers have free reign everywhere. Then comes the plane and the passengers who make use of such a low cost airline. They have no toilet training whatsoever. Truly. This is no exaggeration.
My survival mechanism is to close my eyes, nose and mouth, with masks sprayed with lavender oil, and to pretend I am somewhere else.


Just been in Asia, and guess what I spent one sunny morning doing ? I found a nice dentist and had my teeth cleaned ! It was a simple exercise with no necessity for understanding of each other's languages. After all , conversation is pretty limited when you have a mouthful of instruments ! And what a bargain price - for the price of a pizza and iced tea, I had my ivories tickled - and look how sparkling they are !