The Whippet in Linden

* Alternative title: The Post of the Many Links

For me, August means a number of things. A million family birthdays. It's windy, dry and dusty so I walk around with a box of tissues under one arm, battling my allergies and making my hair look extra nice so that people will have something else to look at besides my red nose and watery eyes.

For some reason, August always makes me feel restless. Edgy. I feel alarmed that the end of the year is already on the horizon. I long for spring, and rain and hot summer days. Our September diary is already full, and from there it's just downhill at break-neck speed to the end of the year. Exhausting, really. And much, much worse than all of these things is that for some reason I seem to have morphed into the Most Impatient and Crotchety Mother Who Ever Lived.

August and me, not good friends.

In an attempt to calm my restless nerves, and on a much more interesting note, I have recently discovered a treasure trove of online sites selling amazing, hand-made goods made by super-talented South African designers. Honestly, I've been blown away by the sheer talent and creativity that's out there: earrings, ceramics, jewellery, art, décor. I've been plotting and scheming for a while now to spruce up some spaces in our home - and now I can legitimately spend our hard-earned money on some lovely, pretty, homey, cosy things. Click here and here and here to see what I mean.

August got a face-lift all of a sudden.

In Good Company was one of the shops I stumbled upon during my online shop crawl. I wanted to check out their actual shop in Parkhurst, so we set off for Jozi on Saturday for a good breakfast and a bit of shopping. Our coffee shop of choice  - The Whippet in Linden. Good coffee, a HUGE tea selection (if that's your thing), great eggs benedict and homemade fudge for dessert. Also takeaway. One of each flavour. Yum.

I dutifully got permission before the time from the shop owner to take some photos of In Good Company, which I was hoping to share here. Except that there was so much I loved that it was a struggle not to immediately unload armfuls of stuff onto the counter for payment in a cunning and surreptitious manner so as to avoid being noticed by The Husband. Party décor, vintage toys, old-fashioned dominoes and lovely glass jars of brightly-coloured gobstoppers which immediately made me feel that Willie Wonka had not only made them but also hand-delivered them with a few trusty Oompa Loompas in his great glass elevator.

We came home with some secret treasures. Secret because she doesn't know about them yet. We're expecting a visit from the fairies soon, and rumour has it they come bearing gifts. Like fairy-sized birdy lipbalm and shadow puppets and a special tin keepsake box for fairy treasures.

Two weeks to go, and then it's officially spring.

Bring it.