Thursday, January 28, 2010

The blog challenge on Female2Female is about your favourite city - where you live or where you want to live.

I am a Cape Town girl and until my husband was transferred to Johannesburg almost 14 years ago I never thought that I would leave Cape Town.

Because it is my home town and I have an obvious connection to it I love Cape Town.  I love the sea - to walk on the beach or just to sit and watch the waves roll in.  In the first year that we were in Cape Town I really missed the sea.  Each time that we got take-away we had to stop ourselves from thinking that we could go down to the beach to eat.  No more going to walk on the beach while debating important issue - like the house that we wanted to put an offer in for.  Before we found our rhythm in Johannesburg, we were a little bored on the weekend.  And unfortunately the botanical gardens is no substitute.

One of our rituals in the first year of being married was to have a Monday evening drink.  Much needed after the first day back at work after the weekend and a good way to ease into the rest of the working week.  We either went to a pizza place at the V&A Waterfront to have pizza and share a bottle of red wine, or to a pub in Tableview that overlooked the sea.  On the weekend, going for tea at the Rhodes Memorial and walking up the mountain afterwards was a great end to the weekend.

When we moved to Johannesburg I missed our rituals and the places which were a part of those rituals.  I missed knowing where things were and recognising names of schools.  And most of all I missed my family.  I was a stranger in a strange land.  A land that was strangely devoid of wind and endless drizzle.

The weather must be one of the pluses of Johannesburg.  I appreciate not being blown off my feet  - I used to work on the Foreshore in Cape Town so I know just how strong the wind is in Cape Town.  I enjoy not having drizzle for days on end - I love the fact that it can be rainy and sunny in Johannesburg in one day.  The downside of the weather in Johannesburg and the one thing that I really hate is that it can be overcast on a summer morning.  One summer it seemed that we hardly saw the sun because it was overcast when we went to work and dark when we drove home.

There are so many positives and negatives to each city and you can enjoy both if you appreciate the positives, but my favourite city must be the city that I have left my heart in and that is my hometown, Cape Town.

My vent about traffic and the people in it

For two years all I had to do to get to work was to drive about 3 blocks.  It was absolute bliss not to have to spend hours fighting through traffic in the to get to and from work.

Recently I have started a contract position that requires me to drive a long way to work, thankfully mainly on the freeways (one of which has almost no construction work happening on it) and as result I have understandably lots to vent about traffic-wise.

Where to start - well there are the roadworks which slow down traffic, the slow drivers who insist on driving 80k/h on a freeway, the numerous truck with dubious loads - parts of which may be falling on the road - and the fast drivers (going above the speed limit) who think that you will magically disappear from the fast lane if they drive 5cm from your bumper.

But driving home today I realised that all of the about does not upset me as much as those drivers who consider the road to be their personal dustbin.  It really gets to me every time I see someone throwing a ciggie but, a tin or some kind of wraper out of the window.  I also start hearing voices saying 'Who do you think is going to pick that up'.

I may have a less tidy car than those who dispose as they drive but I take some pride in having listened to the lessons of my elders when they taught me to not litter and to treat property outside of your home as my own.  You would not thoughlessly throw rubbish in your garden so why do it to public property?

And now that I think of my dear car, I must give her a little tidy up and throw the papers and other rubbish that I have collected in the car - and of course correctly recycle those items that I can recycle.

Monday, January 25, 2010

If only ....

There are not enough hours in the day or rather the day and the night.

If one makes allowance for a full 8 hours sleep, there are 16 awake hours in the day. If we are lucky we will spend only 3 of those 16 hours travelling to and from work, which leaves us with 13 hours.

If we work from 8 to 5 we are left with 4 hours! Me thinks there must be something wrong with my calculation - 4 hours left in each day to do what we need to do.  Well 5 hours if you actually get to take your lunch hour.

If we take away the good stuff, like watching our favourite tv programme we have 3 hours left to make and have breakfast and supper, and generally do the usual weekday household chores and spend time with our family.

As much as I love my sleep, I wish I was the type of person who could survive and thrive on way less sleep than the average person.  I would have so much more time to do the things that I put off again and again because there is just not enough time in one day.

The huge plus for me as a working mom would be that I would have a good couple of quiet hours just to myself.  Now that would be bliss!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our day out

I was reminded again this afternoon why I hate grass - apart from the hassle of trying to get it to grow, to get it green again after the winter and then having to cut it - it makes me really itchy.  Something I only remember after the picnic.  But I do so love picnics and having picnics with my children, so the joy of getting to the garden (in this case the botancial gardens not mine) for the a picnic surpasses the irritation afterwards.

During our time at the garden as usual we went through a couple of seasons - it was overcast, it threathened to rain and then it was hot-hot again.

Alexandra was very enthusiatic about packing the picnic basket and Matthew was suddenly picky about a sauceless hot-dog (something he insisted on the week before) - as a result we came back with almost as much picnic stuff as what we went with.  Except of course for Mommy's flask of tea which was completely drained by Mommy. 

Our outing included the obligatory reading of the notice board outside of the gardens where is shows with symbols what you can do and what you cannot do inside.  They got stuck on the hiking symbol and were not sure about the meaning of the guy lying down with the half moon above him, but the glass and the bottle was an easy one. 

Another obligatory event at any garden outing is the ride on the big toy train.  I settled down with the picnic and left when to do a round trip on the train.  I noticed when they came back that they were standing by the 'train-lady'. My children's memories at any place stretch back at least two years with perfect clarity, so it was easy for them to recall that they should get a lollipop with the train trip.  Matthew was perplexed that this was no longer the case.  The Gardens had asked them not to hand out sweets to the children any longer as the birds were apparently being hurt when they found the lollipop sticks.

I bought the newspapers before we got to the gardens with the hope that I could relax and read while the children amused themselves.  No I don't know what I was thinking.  The newspaper had a little outing, got rained on a bit and blown a bit as well, but not really read.

I was going to take the camera so that I could take photos of the gardens and my children, but I have managed to run down the battery on the camera (and the Garmin) and in my dear hubbie's absence I have no idea how to charge either.  I did take some pics on my cellphone and as soon as I manage to download those which may involve having to find a cable which I didn't think was important at the time ...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Update on work and a merit badge for my daughter

I was very chuffed last week when my daughter received a merit badge for her hard work, neatness and being such a trooper in the mornings when I leave - she is in Grade 1 so they take things easy sometimes and find the positives in each child. The teacher told me that she can already see a difference in my daughter now that I am at home. It may be a combination of me being able to spend more time with them during the week, and me being more happy with my work situation.

The work is slowing coming - I am actually finding that I am busier than I thought I would be. I have three company secretarial jobs and am feeling very positive about what I can contribute to my client's business. I am feeling so much more positive about my abilities. Where in the corporate environment the emphasis seems to be on where you need to 'develop' an employee so you have to concentrate on your employees' weak points, now I need to concentrate on my strong points and 'sell' those to a client.

The party venture that I have with a friend is always coming along nicely. We have a couple of projects/parties in the pipeline and we did our first party on Saturday. After working on Friday and then having to get up early on Saturday for the party I was exhausted when I got home on Saturday, but I was also energised about doing something that we have been trying to plan for a while.

Here are some pictures that I took on Saturday.  The table as we set it up, the pinata that we made and the party packs and personalised frisbees (the take home gift)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

matla a bana - a voice against child abuse

Today I attended a networking function and one of the speakers at the function was Ingrid Botha, the fundraising and marketing manger for matla a bana - a voice against child abuse.  The charity aims to minimise the secondary abuse of children.  This occurs when a child needs to their case of abuse reported at the police station and the police do not understand how to deal with the young victims.  Matla a bana aims to educate the police with regards to how to handle these young victims so that they do not suffer this secondary abuse when they report their cases.  Matla a bana helps to maintain the mini-police stations that they have to these young victims and they need your assistance in this regard.  They see children from a young age up to the age of 18, and they need your assistance in making a difference in these childrens' lives.  If you would like to assist or need more information about how you can help, please contact Ingrid Botha on 083 560 7010 or

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I love the quotes on the back of the Huletts sugar packs and I always make a point of reading them before I put the sugar in my coffee.

On Monday morning when I was confronted with the closed doors of Pick n Pay, I decided to waste some time by walking around the centre a bit and then I saw that the Seattle Coffee Shop was open.  Perfect for the quick cup of coffee.

The quote on my sugar pack was as follows (and I can quote it not because I have a terrific memory but because I saved it for especially to share):

"You may never know what results come from your action.  But if you do nothing there will be no results." Mahatma Gandhi

So often we decide not to do something because we don't think that what we can produce will be good enough or that we will failure.  Often we don't know what will come of our actions, every human being has such potential and the ability to surprise even themselves - but in other to do that you have to take some action.

I thought that this quote was so relevant to me, since I have just broken away from the corporate world to finally work for myself.  To start the process I had to take a leap of faith - I decided to resign my full-time job not knowing fully what results would come from my actions.  At the moment, I am truely enjoying the results of my actions and the road that this leap is taking me.