Book Review: Mushy Peas on Toast (Laurian Clemence)

Book: * 55/100 *

Peas has just broken up with her long term boyfriend Anthony. She deals with her heartbreak with a lot of alcohol, partying and the support of all her friends. She has a mundane job as journalist for a food magazine, and lives under the tyranny of her Sub editor, who seems to hate Peas on principal. She meets Randy a short while after her break up, falling headlong into a relationship with him, even though she isn’t over Anthony. One of her best friends Connor starts dating Gwendolyn, a very pretentious girl. Gwendolyn doesn’t like Peas at all, and Connor initially tries to keep them separate.

Randy and Peas’ relationship gets very rocky. They are too similar, and eventually they break up. Now Peas have to deal with double the heartbreak, and also try to be more mature about things, as her friend Lizzy starts to point out that Peas can be very self-absorbed.

What will Peas do? And will she find love, or learn to deal with being single?

Rating: 7/10

The book, written by Blogger Mushy Peas on Toast, is this miraculous evidence of the power of the Blog. I had perused author Laurian Clemence’s blog numerous times, and saw that she had a published book. I have to confess, I wasn’t overly interested in the book at first. My sister brought a copy, not knowing the author had a blog, and when I read it I was hooked right away. The book is hilariously funny. It is well written, and a terrifyingly accurate account of the fast lives young people in JHB lives.

I really enjoyed the book. I read it after my own break-up last year, and it really helped me organize my mind. When I read it this time around, I cracked myself for the humor and ridiculous situations.

Mushy Peas on Toast is a great read, and I would recommend it to South-African expats who are homesick, people who want to understand Johannesburg better and anyone who needs a good laugh.


What happened this weekend, bliss and three very irritating things

First of all, the last few weeks have been so wrong in terms of eating. I can’t stop. It just seems like I have flipped this mental switch, and now I need to turn it back. Immediately. I ate slightly better on the weekend than I did during the rest of last week, but I still desperately need to stop eating. In a bid to save myself, I have packed tons of (healthy) food.

We are hosting a Halloween party! Guess who my character will be?


Friday night we had pizza with my sister and her husband. It was very delicious. I read for most of the night, finishing Mushy Peas on Toast by Laurian Clemence. I loved the book for so many reasons – it is really, really funny, it is a proudly Johannesburg story, and the writing style is very easy to read, and well written.

I also started Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is the second time around that I am reading it, but I really am enjoying it so much more now. The book is wonderfully written, full of little facts and theories and ideas. Per se, I do not enjoy self-help books or autobiographies, but this book is a prime example of how something can work if you do it right.

Saturday I went to a friend’s birthday braai, and it was very nice. Saturday I encountered the three very irritating things. I have been slightly annoyed with this pompous idiot for a bit now, but I always choose to remain silent – he is dating a friend, and I really don’t want to offend my friend.

Three very irritating things:

Saying: “I don’t swear”

Well, fucking congratulations for mentioning it to me. I am so thankful for this piece of insight into your self-important mind.  No, really.

Who mentions stuff like this?

Someone who wants to be patted on the back and told they are such exemplary beings.

Me, being a bit childish at times, promptly starts to swear more than my usual quota.


Saying: “I don’t drink”

Once again, congratulations. We are not the type of friends that rag on you when you don’t consume alcohol. We couldn’t care less. Then why bring it up? Because you want to be told you are such a wonderful person.

Saying: “We don’t celebrate Halloween”

Yes, we were all planning to sacrifice a chicken that night. Now you stopped us. No one CELEBRATES it; we have fun by dressing up as funny characters and then having a good time – just another reason to have fun.

These three things were done by the same person in one evening. And after several months of dating, he still holds her hand every damn second of the damn day. I am NAUSEATED. If my future boyfriend ever attempts to follow me into the kitchen where the other girls are baking a cake, I will promptly kick his ass.

Okay, I have mostly vented my frustration.

Sunday we went to the Kliprivier’s Nature Reserve. It is so beautiful and calm. It is an oasis in Johannesburg. I am so thankful that they are putting so much effort into keeping a part of the land as it is supposed to be. I felt so content. I read my Eat Pray Love book under the shade, and felt like Elizabeth Gilbert would approve. Bliss.

My plans for the week includes Studying, eating much less, exercising, and ignoring frustrating people. Yours?