Sunday, October 28, 2007

Why I love my country

Why are South Africans so patriotic? What makes them so passionate about their country? Why do the hairs on the back of their neck stand up?

It’s a simple question, yet everyone has their own answer, and all for very different reasons. Some people have a sense of freedom that was missing for a long time, some people simply like the scenery, whilst others feel that it’s a sense of home that you just can’t replace with another. Some people are more political and enjoy the new democracy, some people love it because of the business opportunity, and others just like the lifestyle which they know is unique.

For me it is various reasons.

1. I love you South Africa cause you gave birth to me….. I am a "Child of Africa" as was my Father and his Father and his Father before that. I love the smilling faces in the streets. I love pitching a tent in the garden in February, to sleep under the stars with my children. I love you South Afica because at Christmas when families gather we bond and celebrate with laughter and have watermelon fights till our faces turn red… And when our country plays rugby in the world cup even granny knows the score and when our teams win we feel like warriors.

2. I love waking up early on a Sunday morning to go and spend the day at the beach with friends. The girls suntan while the boys play touch rugby. I love the cool summer breeze on a hot day while drinking afternoon cocktails. I love the braai’s we have at our house with family and friends. I love falling asleep in the sunshine on a chilly winter afternoon. I love the rainy days you can spend at home watching DVD’s.

3. I love the culture overload, food and music, wildlife and diverse climates, history, tradition, survival, local is lekker, meilies, braais and biltong. More than anything, the People who depict togetherness unlike any other country in a global context where war and racial hatred is the easiest route. South Africa defines me, the place from which I interpret the world and other people. I love South Africa because it has Soul and her soul is embedded in mine, or perhaps mine is embedded in South Africa.

4. We can speak Afrikaans (or at least try)… . Also, South African girls can do anything that the boys anywhere in the world can do- yet we still have the feminine charm- and know how to laugh!! The ‘manne’ knows how to ‘braai’ a proper ‘choppie en wors’ .

5. I love possibilities that are so tantalizingly close to being fulfilled - the hope and dreams of a truly unified country with people from many different cultures and religions, prospering together, looking after each other and our country. South Africa is like a teenager, still a bit unpredictable, moody, irresponsible at times, but with the promise of turning into a wonderful adult.

6. Its sunshine. always sunshine. People display a genuine kindness and interest in their relationships with others. The bond of friendship still carries a lot of meaning and the general openness of our culture is truly heart warming.

7. Its in laughing with friends and with your chomies, your “bra”, your boet and bud. Being in a totally different landscape and sometimes climate within an hour or two. The crunch of the beach sand between your toes, the prickle of the salt on your skin and the sunburn from beach cricket. The shoes caked in red earth , socks covered in “blackjacks” . Cruising in a taxi with kwaito blaring out the speakers, the revival of Newtown. Mrs. Balls, beef chakalaka, niknaks, chappies, biltong, Castle, Cape Town, Black Label and sunshine always sunshine.

8. I love South Africa becasue it is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world with exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture, offering the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. This truly beautiful country at the southern tip of dark and mysterious Africa offers diving and wildlife experiences beyond your wildest dreams.

You can dive sharks and wrecks on rugged wild coasts, or simply relax with whales and dolphins and enjoy pristine coral reefs and abundant wildlife.

9. Where else in the world can you go from Oceans and Mountains, through beautiful vinyards and into arid desert, from open bushveld, to tropical forest. Where else can you find such a diversity of people that 11 official languages are required.

South Africa is a country rich with resources, cultures and geographies and few countries the size of South Africa can boast such diversity. But none of this matters, if it doesn’t feel like home, and thats why I love South Africa. Its home.

10. I love highveld thunderstorms, the sound of the cicada beetle, biltong, REAL muesli, hearing birds in the trees EVERYWHERE you go, rainbows, dogs barking at night , flying ants, achar, cumulonimbus, “mielies!!!”, sweet fruit, etc. etc. etc. But i think, most of all, it’s the people. I think it’s difficult to understand this for some people - but I love having a chat with the parking attendant, the checkout lady, or the curio seller.

11. We are living in the undisputed “cradle of mankind” - South Africa’s best-kept secret. We have a HUGE repository of fossil materials and geological history which has been preserved for more than 4 billion years right here on our doorstep. Our position right on the southern tip of the ancient continent of Gondwana has blessed us with a unique diversity and quality material, which is attracting some of the greatest natural scientists and evolutionary scholars in the world.
12. I love it that we have the greatest weather on planet earth, no serious threat of earthquakes, and we are about as far away from terrorism in an increasingly mad and dangerous world of fanaticism and fundamentalism as we can possibly be.

13. Sunrises that one wants to make up to even with a hang over from hell
Stair way to heaven Sunsets..
Skies that are blue for more than 5 days a year!
Thunderstorms and lighting that will remind you who is boss!
Low cost of living that makes unemployment bearable…in some cases enjoyable
Different shaped houses that you can swing more than a cat in … grandmother…
People of all colours, forms and shapes… who can smile and greet you!
A multitude of healthy looking…non boozed. sun tanned….tight arsed fit men
Winters with Sunshine
Sea with waves that you can put more than you toe in!
Highways that you can go more that 100km on….

14. I love South Africa because it has the pride of a long history behind it, and the rich diversity of many cultures coming together. SA is indeed the rainbow nation. South Africa has the strength that one only achieves by facing head on, and triumphing over, severe hardships.

15. I love South Africa simply because it’s home - in a way that nowhere else I’ve been in the world could ever feel like home - and home is where my heart is.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Something new

Today Angela helped me set up my subscription via email ... so now you can subscribe to my blog and when something new is posted you will receive a notification in your email.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Morning

Okay, Expressions of Cape Town has come and gone and being back at work and also being a Monday ... I thought the only way to get through this day was to have some jokes, well for me at least :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Earning a salary for a living

This sorta sums it up ...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Colour in our lives

How important is colour in our lives? According to various studies colour has a major influence on how we feel emotionally and even on our day-to-day performance. For instance, the colour you paint your living room could have an effect on how often you lose your temper in it! (What colour is your living room?) The colour of food packaging is vitally important too. It is carefully considered before marketing the product as certain colours are appetite stimulants whereas others may give the impression that the food tastes bad or is poisonous.

So, which colours should we avoid in our living rooms? Well, surprising as it may seem, yellow is not a good choice for the domestic environment. Usually yellow is associated with sunlight and is traditionally a happy, optimistic colour. It can also help you to think clearly. However, according to recent studies, people become irritable and even angry more often in rooms which are yellow than in rooms of other colours. It can also be upsetting for babies, who will cry more often in rooms with yellow colour schemes.

Orange is less risky. It can make you feel better by reducing depression. Red, however, traditionally associated with anger, can make us feel irritated and overstimulated if we are exposed to too much of it. Meeting rooms with red colour schemes may promote more argument than agreement! Red is also recognised as being effective in making you hungry which is why restaurants often include red in their colour schemes.

Pink might be a good choice for the walls of your living space if you want a calm colour that makes you feel loved and protected, but beware, it can also make you feel lethargic. Some sports teams have been known to paint the walls of the opposing team's dressing room pink in order to drain them of their energy prior to the competition or match.

Blue could be a good choice for the walls of your living room if you want a peaceful colour. People perform better in rooms with blue colour schemes so it is a good colour for offices. Believe it or not, weightlifters have been shown to lift heavier weights in blue rooms than rooms of other colours. But the shade of blue is important too – certain shades can seem cold. Dark blue is not recommended if you are prone to depression. As far as food is concerned, blue is an appetite suppressant. Scientists suspect that when hunter-gatherers searched for food they discovered that blue (or blue-ish) foods, such as berries, were poisonous.

Perhaps the easiest colour for interior walls is white. It is neutral, it doesn’t clash with anything, it is a good background colour, and it is always in fashion!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The fastest car

A man goes out and buys the best car available in South Africa, a 2007 Turbo BeepBeep. It is the best and most expensive car in the world, and it runs him R5,000,000. He takes it out for a spin and, while doing so, stops for a red light. An old man on a moped, both looking about 90 years old, pulls up next to him.

The old man looks over the sleek, shiny surface of the car and asks "What kind of car ya got there, sonny?".

The dude replies "A 2007 Turbo BeepBeep. They cost R5,000,000."

"That's a lotta money!" says the old man, shocked. "Why does it cost so much?"

"Cause this car can do up to 320 Kilometers an hour!" states the cool dude proudly.

The old man asks "Can I take a look inside?"

"Sure" replies the owner.

So the old man pokes his head in the window and looks around. Leaning back on his moped, the old man says "That's a pretty nice car, alright!"

Just then the light changes, so the guy decides to show the old man what his car can do. He floors it, and within 30 seconds the speedometer reads 320. Suddenly, the guy notices a dot in his rear view mirror. It seems to be getting closer!

Whhhoooooooooossssshhhhhh! Something whips by him! Going maybe three times as fast!

The guy wonders "what on earth could be going faster than my Turbo BeepBeeP?" Then, ahead of him, he sees a dot coming toward him.

Whooooooooooosh! Goes by again! And, it almost looked like the old man on the moped! Couldn't be thinks the guy. How could a moped outrun a Turbo BeepBeep? Again, he sees a dot in his rearview mirror!

WhoooooooshhhhhhhhKa-BbbbblaMMMMM! It plows into the back of his car, demolishing the rear end.

The guy jumps out and discovers it is the old man! Of course, the moped and the old man are hurting for certain. The guy runs up to the dying old man and asks "You're hurt bad! Is there anything I can do for you?"

The old man replies "Yeah. Unhook my suspenders from the side-view mirror on your car!"

Friday, October 5, 2007

Buyers Remorse

We have all done it, purchased an item that either we didn't need or paid more then we expected for an item. You walk out the shop and you get the feeling in the pit of your stomach of, "what did I do?" Temptation to figure out a reason to return it to your item jumps up, especially if you have a spouse who might not understand your purchase. Could I say it was damaged? Could I say it was not what I needed? Many devious ways to get your money back and make your buyers remorse go away pop into your mind.

There is indeed a way to deal with buyer's remorse without lying! There is a way to make yourself feel better and enjoy your purchase without the guilt.

First, look at the item that you purchased. Does it enrich your life or bring joy or brightness to your home? Is it a quality item? Does it fit the need that you purchased it for? If the answers are yes, be reassured that you made a wonderful purchase. Anything that enriches your life and brings happiness and joy is worth the price.

If the answer is no, you can still get rid of your buyers remorse without resulting to deviousness.

The good news is that there are several options open to you!

First is reselling the item. Place it on eBay or in a newspaper or other selling forum and try to get some if not all of your money back for the item. Another option is to donate your item to a charity auction or sale. By doing that you will have both a tax write off as well as the reward of doing something positive for others. Or you could give it as a special gift to a friend for a birthday, anniversary, wedding or just because.

Never feel bad about a purchase. You got it for a reason and can always find some way to have the item bring you joy, peace and happiness!

Enjoy your purchases!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Retail Therapy

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping

When I have had a less than good day, I sometimes do what I consider to be the ultimate pick-me-up: I go shopping. It makes me feel like I'm righting a wrong in some way.

While some of my “therapeutic” apparel purchases are impulse buys, they’re usually items that I've had my eye on for a while. It’s not that I set out to buy a blouse, it’s more that I saw this great jacket, it’s a little more expensive, and now I’m buying it because I feel I deserve it. I feel it is part of our nature that, as women, we feel good when we buy something.

Men like bigger toys. For women, it doesn’t take a car—it can be a sexy shirt, a necklace, or a great handbag. If you’re not feeling your best, or having an ‘ugly’ day, a new pair of pants can be a great lift. Women are actually happier when they’re wearing something brand new.

On the opposite end of the social spectrum, of course, is online shopping, a purely solitary experience. But what Web shopping lacks in social bonding, it makes up for in its immediacy: the ability to provide true instant gratification, at any time of day or night.

When you physically go shopping in a store, it can almost be like a girls’ day out—it’s a social thing. But shopping online is down and dirty shopping— it’s pure. With online shopping, you’re able to get this ‘therapy’ at the click of a button, without even leaving your home. If it’s a rainy day and you don’t feel like going outside, you can just go online and satisfy those cravings. It’s an instant fix.

The bottom line? Shopping, for women, is ultimately a feel-good thing.

Wikipedia: Retail therapy is shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer's mood or disposition. Often seen in people during periods of depression or transition, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as "comfort buys."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Obligatory Office Equipment

Another sensational idea for office equipment!

• Workload getting to you ?
• Feeling stressed ?
• Too many initiatives “cascading” down?
Here is the new low cost way to cope!
Take 2 paperclips and elastic bands.

Assemble them as shown on the picture.

Apply the construction as visualized

Enjoy your day.

This obligatory office equipment will help you to reach the end of the day with a smile on your

Monday, October 1, 2007

Art lessons on line

Learning to paint

I had all intentions of starting an on-line "art lesson a day" from today, but my schedule is still a little hectic, what with work commitments and rolling out a new database on a new operating system and "Expressions of Cape Town", my time has been a little limited. I will start preparing the lessons during this month and please come back next month and I will show y'all how to do the most basic of landscapes from beginning to end. I will make each one of you an artist even if you have never picked up a paintbrush... so get ready with the shopping list of paints, brushes and canvas ..... and watch this space.

My favourite song

Storms in Africa - (Enya)

Though I walk through
Warm sands in Africa
Winds will grow soon
To storms in Africa.

How far to go
I cannot say.
How many more
Will journey this way?

Dark skies fall on
Black earth and ivory.
Far from your sun
Clouds now close over me

How far to go
I cannot say.
How many more
Will journey this way?

Storms have come!
Rains wash the earth away
Dark skies fall down
Into another day.
Rains have now come
From storms in Africa
Time will go on
Through Storms in Africa