Easter treats, autumn outfits and top TV


Easter treats, autumn outfits and top TV

Fomolista finds this week also include a versatile phone accessory for the car, brilliant classical music recordings and ways to sleep better on an overnight flight.

  • 29 March 2024
  • Lifestyle
  • 8 min to read
  • article 13 of 16

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A phone clamp that can charge

Some Samsung smartphones have a troublesome weakness. When the tin brain picks up slight damage or dust particles in the charging port, it is interpreted as moisture and a horrible little alarm goes off. The screen tells you to unplug now, otherwise the earth will tilt on its axis. Once that happens, the phone goes into a kind of crippled mode that can last for days — and you can't charge it.

The only advice is to use wireless chargers — most of the more sophisticated Samsung phones can do this. The good news is that there are phone clamps for the car that are also wireless chargers. Xaomi makes a great one — the Mi 20W.

It consists of a sturdy clamp and a fast charger. It also has an automatic action that almost grabs the phone out of your hand if you hold it in front of the clamp, in a futuristic kind of Buck Rogers moment. It even makes a zzzzzt sound.

Even if you don't have problems with the charging port, it's still a good idea to use wireless chargers, because the most common problem with phones is wear and tear on the charging port — and it's really disruptive to have to hand your phone in for a while for such a trivial repair. It's a bit expensive — R948 at Takealot — but you won't be sorry.

Victorinox remains the gold standard for sharp knives, and at Yuppiechef you can order a set of six knives and six forks for R2,999. It is described as “sharper than British humour" but Victorinox is synonymous with Swiss precision.

We love the pretty glass and paper eggs we bought from H&M Home. They're perfect decorations (we hang them on a dry branch) for the Easter table. R149 for three glass eggs and R179 for six paper eggs.

Top products for sleeping on a plane

Try this air pump inflatable U-shaped travel neck pillow for R195 at Takealot — 28% off right now.

It can easily be deflated by opening the air valve then you can fold it into a compact size. It is ergonomically designed and made from quality material with no sharp edges.

Laureen Rossouw swears by the Premium Blackout Sleep Eye Mask (3D breathable mesh design) from Takealot.

She says: “I’ve written about it before but will do it again for anybody who missed out. This eye mask has added at least one to two hours of sleep to my night rest. It not only blocks out all the light but blocks out all stimuli at the same time. Buy two. I can’t wait to test-drive it on my first overnight flight.”

Orthofit inflight socks sheer for R169 at Takealot. These socks are big enough, non-itchy and affordable. They improve blood circulation and reduce fatigue and the risk of deep vein thrombosis on long flights.

We also love the Uriage Eau Thermale Water Sleeping Mask  to counteract the drying effects of recycled aeroplane air.

Our top snacks (we try to avoid plane food) are pistachio nuts and biltong, and the best alcoholic beverage to ease you into your night rest is a Bloody Mary.

Fomolistas are crazy about this

Top tips for your autumn capsule wardrobe

  • Sleeveless long jacket over T-shirt or crew-neck pullover or top.
  • Sleeveless sweater or cable sweater over shirt with a pleated or pencil skirt.
  • Unbuttoned extra-long shirt jacket over T-shirt and unbuttoned shirt.
  • Flight/bomber jacket with and over everything.
  • White quilt or soft fabric long or three-quarter coats over all that is white or cream.
  • Trench coat if you haven't already, invest now to dress up year-round and instantly unify your outfit. It can also be a dust coat.
  • All in the same colour, just in different tones and shades. Finish with scarf or sweater.


Belfast (new on Netflix)

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Drama with Judi Dench, Ciaran Hinds and Jamie Dornan.

We love Kenneth Branagh, especially since his tour de force in the film adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V.

Belfast is a semi-autobiographical film in which a nine-year-old boy, Buddy, must find his way to adulthood through a world turned upside down by “the troubles" (the Northern Irish conflict). This was a violent time when there was dissension between those who wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom and those who felt strongly about a united Ireland. It lasted for decades.

Rotten Tomatoes describes Buddy's experiences: “His stable and loving community and everything he thought he understood about life is changed forever but joy, laughter, music and the formative magic of the movies remain.”

Jude Hill wins hearts as the innocent Buddy, who learns valuable life lessons to the beat of Van Morrison's songs and comically woos a Roman Catholic girl.

The black-and-white movie, with splashes of bright colour, received an Academy Award for best original screenplay.

Rotten Tomatoes awards 86%.

Mr. Sunshine (on Netflix)

Drama (24 episodes)

With Kim Tae-ri and Lee Byung-hun

If you are a fan of historical or costume dramas, Mr. Sunshine will surprise you. It depicts life in Hanseong (now Seoul) in the early 1900s and focuses on activists who fought for the Joseon Kingdom's (Korea's) independence against Japanese occupiers in particular. Mr. Sunshine is an epic series about how these turbulent events affected the people and their culture, language and clothing.

The drama begins in 1871 and mainly takes place between 1894 and 1907, a time when the monarchy began to falter under pressure from numerous Japanese ministers. It is also the time when slavery was abolished. Lee Byung-hun is excellent as Eugene Choi, a slave who flees to America and returns as a captain in the US Marine Corps.


Ali van Wyk, Vrye Weekblad's new content editor (and an accomplished pianist who began his tertiary studies with a BMus), selects five of his favourite classical recordings.

#1. The Complete Beethoven symphonies
David Zinman with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich

American conductor David Zinman made Beethoven experts sit up with this authentic recording in the late 1990s. He tried to stick to Beethoven's tempo indications, which are usually much faster than the great conductors of the 20th century preferred. It's a lighter, dancing Beethoven, and it's delicious.

#2. Johannes Brahms, Piano Concerto No 1 in D minor
Emil Gilels, with Eugen Jochum and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Amid piano giants like Sviatoslav Richter and Vladimir Horowitz from Russia, the Ukrainian Gilels sometimes takes a back seat. But there is no more monumental recording of this wonderful Brahms work. Especially listen to the powerful first movement, the Maestoso.

#3. JS Bach, Goldberg Variations
Glenn Gould

The eccentric Canadian Bach pianist Glenn Gould recorded the Goldberg Variations twice — in 1955 and 1981. The recordings are remarkably different — 38 minutes for the first, 51 minutes for the second. Nevertheless, both are seen as seminal. I prefer the more spontaneous 1955 version. Gould's many enemies hated his outrageous liberties with tempo choices and phrasing but they had to grit their teeth in recognition that it made sense.

#4. Frédéric Chopin, Études Op. 10 and 24
Maurizio Pollini

Maurizio Pollini, who died last Saturday aged 82, was one of the last great 20th century pianists. When he won the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw at the age of 19, Arthur Rubenstein, himself one of the greatest Chopin interpreters of the century and chairperson of a judging panel that included the French conductor Nadia Boulanger and the Soviet composer Dmitry Kabalevsky, said: “He's already playing better than any of us on the panel."

#5. Maurice Ravel, Piano Concerto in G Major
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, with Ettore Gracis and the  Philharmonia Orchestra

A more dreamlike recording of Ravel's light and elegant piano concerto does not exist. The great old 20th century piano master from Italy, Arturo Michelangeli, with the conductor Ettore Gracis, recorded it at Abbey Road Studios in London in 1957 and it remains one of the recordings that set the standard. By the way, Michelangeli was also Pollini's teacher and an enthusiastic pilot and racing driver.


Small little recipe

Live healthily

Read this article for great advice on walking and weight loss.

Lose Weight By Walking: Here's The Ideal Distance To Walk Each Day For Real Results

Winter is coming

Today we're sharing our favourite tea to keep colds and illnesses at bay. It's not only tasty, it helps to kill bacteria in the mouth, gets rid of mucus in the lungs and supports the immune system.

Add a pinch of ginger, 1 stick of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of cloves to three cups of boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes, pour into your flask and keep on your desk.

Drink with honey (optional).

The Fomolistas wish you a happy Easter weekend. 

♦ VWB ♦

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