I am so pleased Theo has started blogging again, I love the way he writes. He has a way with words.

Theo Coggin

Friday I was comprehensively rapped over the knuckles. By one of my students. Oops, nothing quite as hard-hitting as that. She is one of the most stimulating students I have had for some time. Xoli Makubalo works for a small company and had spent six days in December learning the pitfalls of corporate communication in a micro-enterprise. Friday she came to me for feedback, which I dutifully gave. But the most valuable part of the afternoon was her parting shot: “When are you going to update your blog!?”

She was ably supported by a colleague, Chantal Meugens, who muttered darkly how she had been asking the same question for months.

Mea culpa.

Why, I wondered aloud were they so worried? Because, they rejoined, people like us want to learn.

The lesson? It’s simple isn’t it? Practice what you preach.

I have been guilty of not keeping my blog up to…

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Herman Hesse

“Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again.”

Re-discovered my blog

Well, it’s been two years since my last post – sounds like a confession doesn’t it? The break in posting came about as a result of becoming too absorbed in my work and family and forgetting about everything else around me. No more I say! It’s time to put fingers to keypad and put some of my thoughts down – no matter how weird they may be.

I’ve got so many thoughts running through my head. So many ideas to share and so many lovely sites that I’ve visited. I’ve discovered so many things in the past two years about myself and about the world around me. I’ve met some amazing people and of course lost some too.

I’m seizing this day and starting this blog anew. Good luck to all you brave people willing to take the time to read what may sometimes be strange ramblings.

Have a stunning Monday. 

People

I’ve recently met the most amazing people who are making huge differences in peoples lives. These people are inspiring and have made me realise that there is still good in the world. There are still people who are willing to take risks for others.

When chatting to them, one realises that it often does not take a lot of money to help others, most times, it’s just the will to do it. The general comment from them is that the easiest way to make a difference is to identify an issue that either makes you irritated or that you are passionate about. If you are mad about the litter in your community, instead of moaning about it, do something – take a garbage bag and start picking up the litter.

Generally it takes one person to start something and when others see you do it, you’ll be surprised to note that they start joining you. It may not be at once, but eventually they will see how much you get out of doing what you do.

One thing I’ve learnt from these amazing people is that they really do get more out of giving than the receiver gets. Some of these people have everything, but they’ve said that nothing compares to the feeling they get when they help someone.

I do my bit here and there, but I think that it’s time for me to think about doing more. Getting my kids involved. I think that it’s time for me to look at the issues around me and start working on them. Who is with me? If every one of us did something positive in our communities, can you imagine what an amazing world we’d live in.

Here’s hoping that more people follow suit.

Life

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to come here and pen my thoughts. Life has been so hectic since returning from leave – it doesn’t even feel as if I went away – scary!

I realised this weekend how easy it is to become wrapped up in our own lives, how easy it is to exclude others. It’s so important to book time for friends so that you can reconnect and catch up with what’s happening in their lives. It’s a humbling experience to snap out of the “me” mentality.

My best friend of 30 years is an amazing woman who even though I neglect her, opens her arms to me when we eventually connect and doesn’t hold it against me when I’ve forgotten birthdays, anniversaries or even to call. I may be in the communications field, but I’m the first to admit that communicating with loved ones isn’t where my strengths lie. I could go for months without speaking to my mother if it wasn’t that she looks after my kids. The only reason I manage to keep in contact with my brother is thanks to a wonderful tool called skype – it’s so easy and quick to say hi. My sister and I talk every so many months – not really ideal I must admit.

I so loved spending time with my friend. We looked at photographs of her family which for some may seem boring, but for me it was lovely because I hadn’t seen them for years. Remembering her parents and grandparents was a real treat. It made me realise how important it is for me to start getting into my piles of photographs and to start putting them into albums. If not for me, but for my kids. They deserve to have their pics sorted. We also listened to music which took us back to our youth.

But the best thing was watching our children play together. The fact that they have formed a friendship just like ours is amazing. I hope that 30 years down the line, they too are still friends and find themselves looking at photographs like we’ve just done. Wouldn’t that be just too damn wonderful!

Back at work

So, my wonderful holiday came to an end, it was far too short. I had just started to relax and the nots in my neck went away when I found myself on the long road back home.

The kids on the back seat were content for a few hours and then as the hours started ticking by, they started to get niggly – daddy, are we there yet…mommy, he looked at me…mommy, she’s on my side of the seat…mmmm can I go back to the beach, please!

Made it home in one piece thankfully although on the way there was a nasty accident on the far right lane due to poor visibility through a fire that no doubt occurred because someone carelessly tossed a cigarette out of their window.

For days after being back, I found myself constantly looking at what the weather was there compared to here. It is like summer there but it is so damn cold here. I used to love winter, but as I get older, I just want winter to end quickly. I prefer being warm. At the moment I’m huddled in front of the heater with a fat jersey on and big fluffy slippers and yet I’m still cold.

It’s just another 41 days before spring…can’t wait!

Walking in paradise

As far as I’m concerned, there are few things in life as wonderful as being close to nature.

Walking alongside the ocean today, I felt at one with the sea, the sand, the rocks and the vegetation. As my feet touched the ground, the way it sank and was enveloped by the cool, rough brilliantly coloured grains of sand was wonderful and immediately transported me to my childhood. Memories of days gone by flooded in – holidays filled with love, laughter, fun and new and exciting things.

Each step brought a new memory which is strange as I don’t remember much from my childhood. My mother always complains about my lack of memory when she reminisces and I can’t recall the things she’s referring to.

Rolling skating with my cousins at the roller rink,  going to the city hall for movies as there was no movie house in Hartenbos and the excitement we felt at doing this as it was so different to where we came from. Riding on the train to Mossel Bay which was like a holiday on its own and being treated like an adult in the dining cart and irritating my brother because I took too long to eat.

I remember the boys on the train who were on the way to the army barracks. They were all scared yet excited at what’s to come and I remember my sister who is eight years’ older than me, drooling over them.

I remember my mother saving all her money for the holidays so that she could take us out and treat us to lunch, something that my children take for granted.

I remember the time I tried to ride an ostrich at Oudshoorn. I tried to look so cool in front of all the people in the audience and climbed on it, only to fall off the other side. It was humiliating yet it taught me how to laugh at myself.

So many wonderful things that I seemed to have forgotten flooded back just by walking in the sand. The crash of the waves, the sound of the birds in the bushes, the cool, smooth rocks all joined together to help me remember.

How wonderful it is to think back. So many good times. I don’t think I thanked my mother enough for all she did for us, for all the sacrifices she made. I can see now that I took my holidays and her for granted. Thanks ma for the memories.

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