(Isak Dinesen as a young girl)
Happy Monday everybody.
I am reading a gorgeous book right now–Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (real name Baroness Karen Blixen). It is amazing. It is so beautifully written. It is about this very take charge kind of woman who moves alone to Africa and starts a coffee farm there. She loves Africa and the people, and she writes about her time there. There are so many beautiful descriptions of mindblowing things. For example, yesterday I was reading about how she used to ride her horse through this river, up a rocky cliff and onto this high plateau that stretched for a hundred miles where all these herds of wild animals grazed. She would ride her horse right up among them…I will quote:
Here lay before you a hundred miles’ gallop over grass and undulating land; there was not a fence nor a ditch, and no road….
When the rains come, and the young grass is fresh on the plains, you feel as if riding upon springs, and the horse gets a little mad with the pleasantness. The various kinds of gazelles come to the green places to graze, and there look like toy animals stood upon a billiard table. You may ride into a herd of Eland; the mighty peaceful beasts will let you get close to them before they start trotting off, their long horns streaming backwards over their raised necks…
And I had to excerpt. The whole thing sounds like…..a dream.
I once took a trip to Africa with my family and we went on a safari at an animal preserve. One day, my dad, my sister and I went on a walk (instead of touring in armored jeeps). What a thrill. To be out there, walking on the plains, with lions etc. We saw so many herds of animals doing bizarre behavior like turning around and around in a wheel, sensing us. C’est incroyable!!
Yes I spoke french.
She is a hunter, and although I could never hunt and think it is terrible to hunt, she even makes hunting sound beautiful, because it means being out there among all the animals and hunting dogs. She had all these Scotch Deerhounds which she took hunting with her. Listen to this:
“I took them with me when I was out riding in the Game Reserve, which I was not allowed to do, and there they would spread the herds of Zebra and Wildebesst over the plain, as if it were all the stars of heaven running wild over the sky.”
Anyway. It’s great. Again recommended by Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project Blog’s book club. (I wrote about another animal book– The Midnight Fox which, she recommended , which I loved, here.)
I found a new African inspired vegan shoe for you. Trip to the Tropics Heel from Modcloth. This is actually my favorite look of heels. And they are vegan, and quite inexpensive, from modcloth. They also come in Orange and are top rated on the site!
A pretty good find.