Thursday, 31 July 2014

How To Ensure That You Are Saving Water And Energy - Brought To You By Finish


It is no secret that I cannot live without my dishwasher. I use it every day and sometimes twice a day on the weekends. It does concern me that I may be wasting water and electricity and have always figured that it uses just as much water to wash dishes by hand three or four times a day in order to have a kitchen that is clean and tidy. Packing dishes in the dishwasher through out the day is far easier and the kitchen looks tidy with all the dirty dishes "hidden away". Here are some energy saving tips brought to you by Finish that can help you save water and energy when using your dishwasher.



HOW TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE SAVING WATER AND ENERGY 
Sure, nowadays household dish-washing machine manufacturers are doing their utmost best to make energy and water consuming appliances as efficient on utilities as possible, however, that doesn't mean there’s nothing you can do to further help your appliances be even more efficient. This post identifies some tips you can use to ensure you are saving the maximum amount of water and energy with your dishwasher. The invention of dishwashers has surely made dish-washing more bearable than in the past. But we now need to think deeper than just the convenience of dishwashers. Some of us hardly think about the need to save water and energy especially when it comes to household appliances such as dishwashers. You may be thinking how you could even begin saving water or energy with an appliance that needs both. Before we get into this, ensure that when buying or considering to buy a dishwasher, be mindful of the size and the energy label of the dishwasher, as this is one factor that can make a dramatic difference on the amount of energy and water consumed in your household. Here are 5 tips on how you can reduce the energy your dishwasher uses.

 5 Energy Reducing Tips for your dishwasher 


1. Fill it up 
You don’t need to run your dishwasher with every set of dishes. To ensure that you make the most of your dish-washing liquid, water and energy, it is best to fully load the dishwasher before running it to start washing. However, just keep in mind that an overloaded dishwasher cannot work effectively.

 2.Pre-rinsing is unnecessary 
We know that dirty dishes after washing, can be one of the most frustrating things, hence the perceived need for a pre-rinse. With modern dishwashers, this is no longer the case. All that you have to do is to ensure that the dishes are emptied and scraped and the dishwasher will clean even the dirtiest of dishes.

3. Use Energy-Save / Economy Setting 
This is the most water and energy efficient program available to you at the twist of a knob. It ensures that your dishes are washed at lower temperature and uses a few litres less water than the standard dishwasher cycle. Some dishwashers can be programmed for low water or quick wash cycles, which are also water and energy efficient. 

4. Avoid the Half Load Setting 
This type of program uses less water and energy than some of the other settings, but it would be a great idea to wait for your dishwasher to be fully loaded and use the energy-save program. So only use this setting if you know you won’t be around for more than two days and don’t want to come back to a house smelling like 3 day ago dishes. 

5. Avoid the Rinse-Hold Setting 
This setting uses an excessive amount of water. If you would still like to rinse your dishes, rather hand rinse the few dirty dishes rather than use about 10-25 litres of hot water for each dish-washing cycle, yes and that’s as high as it can get. 


 By keeping these tips in mind when doing your dish-washing, you will not only save energy and water, but money and time too. When buying or considering buying a dishwasher, be cognitive of the size of your household so you consider the size of the dishwasher, also, the frequency of washes based on your household kitchen habits. You can never save enough, so ensure that you are trying to save with every household appliance you use. 

 This post was sponsored by Finish: The Dishwashing Expert, for more dish-washing tips visit their website.



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My Cluttered Life

I absolutely hate filing and I don't know anyone who does like filing, but I have gotten to the point of hating it so much that I don't do it and I am now drowning in paper work. I find any excuse to not do filing and it is now affecting every aspect of my life. Our house is cluttered; my office and desk is cluttered and my mind is cluttered. I feel like our lives are cluttered and unnecessarily stressed.

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I have always hated filing, but always knew the importance of it. I would bitch and moan about it, but was still very meticulous about doing it. We supposedly live in a paperless society, but there seems to be more paper around now with all the checks and crosses to ensure that we all adhere to the rules and regulations of modern day business, than there ever was pre-electronic world.

I found this interesting article on how clutter negatively affects our focus and thought process. I only glanced through the article and will be reading it properly over the weekend. You can read the article over here. I need to buckle down and get my workplace in order and hopefully that will filter down to the rest of our lives.

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So is a cluttered desk a sign of genius? I don't think so - my desk is proof of that.

Have yourself an awesome and very productive Thursday and I am going to try and put my head down and work without distractions for the rest of the week so that I can go into the weekend with a clear head and not a mind bogged down with clutter.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

On-line Shopping - Impressed

On-line shopping should appeal to my dislike of trawling the shopping malls, but I am still a bit caught up in the "back in the day" mentality where on-line shopping was as foreign and unheard of as Wi-Fi and laptops. However, I have bought a couple of things on-line and I must say the only time I did have a problem was when I renewed our McAfee Antivirus software a few years ago. That was a nightmare resulting in me being very sceptical of "quick and easy" on-line purchases.

The other day, Chad wanted something from Kalahari, a book actually and he asked if I would get it for him. I have bought books from Kalahari in the past, pre- "McAfee" nightmare and I never had any problems with them - my McAfee nightmare had nothing to do with Kalahari. I registered and placed the order last week on Monday and received confirmation of my purchase - it takes 7 to 10 working days for the parcel to be delivered. The estimated delivery date was 1 August 2014. I received an email the following day informing me that there was a 2 day delay with the parcel and the estimated delivery day would be the 4 August. A bit disappointing, but we were informed of the delay, which counts for a lot.

On Friday, I received a mail informing me that the parcel had been dispatched and would be delivered in 24 to 48 hours (business hours). There is an option to track your order, but I never did. Yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call from a lovely lady, whose name I don't recall, she phoned to check our address. I am not sure if this is routine or if it is because we have an issue with the spelling of our street name. Around 2006, there was a mistake in the map books and Garmins and our street name was spelt with an "A" instead of an "E" - the second letter in our street name. They then changed the spelling on the actual street name sign  and we had one spelling. Now they have corrected the map books and Garmins, but not the street name so now it is "pick of the version" or how we feel on the day that we write our address. Our suburb that is NOT a new suburb, (I moved here the first time in 1984) does not come up on Google maps nor Garmins and you need to put the City only - very confusing.

I explained all this to the lady who called to confirm the address, as they were not sure if it was a stand alone house or a complex and I had not added the street name. We live in a Cul-De-Sac and she called again to double check that she had the right place by checking the name of the street at the end of our Cul-De-Sac. I am really impressed and the parcel arrived before 10.00 this morning.

The door to door courier fee of R35.00 is really worth it and is far better than having to go to the post box everyday to check if the parcel has arrived and then finding the time to stand in long queues at our Post Office. I will buy from Kalahari On-Line again.

Chad's Parcel


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Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Cruelty That Is Life

It is without a doubt a fact that because I have lived through the death of my child, I am quite desensitised against the death of others. It is not something that I can hide or lie about, it is a fact and I am not shy to say it or even ashamed to say it. Also living in South Africa with the high murder rate and road death rate many people become desensitised to horror stories, in fact the whole world is full of cruel horror stories of death and abuse.

However, there are some stories that affect me whether they are just simply sad or terribly horrific and this week has been a tough emotional week for me. A week where I have hidden behind, not only my own grief and tears, but also tears for strangers. Life is cruel; life is sad and life is just so unfair. My own tears and grief bubble at the surface everyday of my life, they are hidden from both strangers and those close to me and when I hear sad stories they are not just sad - they are proof that life is just so unfair and so cruel.

Some nights, like last night, my head is just so full of grief and sadness and thoughts of an unfair cruel life that not only can I not sleep, but I don't want to sleep. My sobs silent as I think of this life that is so unfair and cruel. This morning after my morning chores of packing the dishwasher and sorting the washing and other early morning chores in a silent sleepy household, with only my dogs for company, I sat in the lounge drinking my coffee. Tired and in no mood to face the day, mindlessly going through my Facebook feed - I am not a fan of Facebook, so that in itself is out of the ordinary for me . I follow or like, whatever you call it, a page called "My Special Angel - For Loved Ones Lost" and found the following image - it sums up everything I feel in a few little words.

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People say things from a place of kindness, even ignorance, but it is mostly the wrong thing to say to a grieving mother. The other popular one is "He/She is in a better place" as opposed to what??? - the lovely fun times your child is having everyday???? the life your child is living???? The other one is I will pray for you or you are in my prayers - Unless your prayers are going to bring my child back to life, which they won't - then how will that help me. Words cut more than they heal or help - a hug is sometimes all we need - a shoulder to cry on. Hearing that you will never survive and I am very strong is not what we want to hear - it is cruel and unkind and no help at all - we have enough guilt without you adding to it.

I have been reading a blog about a woman's struggle with Cancer for about a year or more now - her battle with Cancer has been much longer than that, but that is how long I have been reading the blog. It just hit me so badly when I read this post that the end has arrived. When a parent has to explain to their child that they are dying, that a little girl will no longer have a mother. Life is cruel; unkind and it just plain and simply sucks. I don't know what is worse - the unexpected death or being given a death sentence - neither is worse than the other - they both are just terrible ugly and cruel. There are many such stories, but like I said in the beginning of this post - sometimes I don't feel a thing, because I have my own pain and grief and other stories just hit me like a ton of bricks - I can't explain it. This one is one of those stories. It is a connection that I have on another level. I have tried to explain it previously it in this post here and here

Another story that hit me like a Tsunami of bricks this week was the horrific story of the four year old dragged outside his father's car by hijackers. I don't think anyone could be desensitised to this story. These are not criminals or even murderers that did this - they are inhumane savages and there is no other word to describe them. To try and be polite and politically correct and refer to them as criminals is just vulgar - I just cannot even think of the word I want to use when I hear people saying they are criminals.or hijackers. When the thrill of theft or hijacking of a car, becomes bigger than the screams of a child being dragged outside a car then you are no longer human - you are a monster savage and you have lost the right to be referred to anything humane. It breaks my heart that a child suffered so much pain and cruelty. It is beyond crime and even murder. I have heard a lot this week of how people would "not survive it" if it was their child. So which child do you choose - your dead one or your living one?? Don't add to the parent's grief by making them feel guilty, because they did not drop down dead when their child died, because you know you will if your child died.

It took me years to get back to not hating the country I live in, because of the lawlessness on our roads; the unnecessary deaths at the hands of others and the murder and crime. This story has just brought me right down to the level of negativity that most people are at in this country of ours.

Nothing takes away the pain the death of a child causes a parent - no poem; no quote; no sweet story, however what poems like these below do is make the grieving mother or father think "Oh My Word - I am not the only person who feels like that" "I am not going mad - I am not going crazy" It also makes us think that other people may read the poem and understand what life is like for a grieving parent.

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

When Your Fun Imposes On My Fun

We went out for a late lunch  today to a restaurant that shall for all intents and purposes remain unnamed. I am simply not naming the restaurant, because it would be unfair to blame the restaurant for its uncouth, noisy drunken patrons. However, the very slow service just added to the aggravation of having to put up with loud raucous swearing. If I wanted that kind of atmosphere I would have gone to a pub. It was the first time and last time we will go to that restaurant.

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I was no angel in my youth and don't profess to have been one, however, a mother sitting in a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon getting louder and louder the drunker she gets using the foulest of language then shouting I love you to her baby being carried to the play area by a drunk father is enough to turn one's stomach. We had a party of such men and women at the restaurant. Yes have fun, enjoy the birthday, laugh joke, but honestly when all the other patrons are starting to feel uncomfortable then that is no longer fun. When conversation at other tables are drowned out by drunken swearing then it is no longer fun. That is the one thing that gets to me about the no smoking laws - you cannot smoke in a public place, but you can get fall down drunk in a family restaurant and climb into your car and that is OK, as long as you did not smoke in the restaurant.

No we don't want to hear about your birth plan or your gynae's advice when you gave birth. Quite frankly the fact that you are drunk out of your mind on a Sunday afternoon trying to out swear, out laugh and out brag each other takes away any expert opinion you may or may not have of birthing or mothering.

You may think your privileged upbringing and fancy clothes make you classy and cool, but your loud raucous laughter and filthy mouth makes you common and uncouth. Your disgusting behaviour infringing on other patron's enjoyment just makes you common cheap and low class.

And in other bad news.... it is back to school tomorrow, back to waking up early; fighting the traffic and nagging about school work.


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My Views - Sixty Seven Minutes

This post should have been posted on Friday, but thanks to our ISP I haven't been able to post anything until hopefully now. We have had intermittent coverage since Thursday afternoon and it was such a struggle to go online for work purposes that I was not going to bother to try go online to blog.

On Friday it was the Esteemed Mr Nelson Madela's Birthday, our former state President. Some years back an initiative was started in honour of Mr Mandela whereby individuals and businesses give 67 minutes back to the community. You can read more about the initiative over here.

Now make no mistake I respect all individuals who go out and do their 60 minutes for charity, I personally believe that everyday should be Mandela Day. I conjure up these images of little orphans lying in their cots 364 days of the year with no stimulation or kind faces and then on the 18 July they are pounced on by hundreds of friendly faces handing out food and sweets and toys - playing with them, giving them so much stimulation and attention.They go to sleep with big smiles on their faces and wake up the next morning to find themselves all alone with just their over worked caregivers trying to look after them. Rumbling bellies, no stimulation; no smiling faces wondering what they did to deserve this rejection.

Maybe it is not as harsh as my imagination makes it sound and there are many initiatives that are 365 days long and not 67 minutes or one day, but I can honestly and openly say that I have never done anything for 67 minutes. Yes, my reasoning may be a cop out, but it is my belief and reasoning and I firmly believe that charity begins at home - first and foremost.

What grates me the most is how Corporates', commonly known as big business in South Africa come up with these initiatives to give back to the needy at the expense of their own clients. The powers that be in big business, like banks and mobile service providers should step out of their ivory towers EVERYDAY and see the frustrations their bad service causes their clients and the domino effect their bad service has on the people who live below the poverty line.

Big Business, like banks; mobile service providers and Government are not covered by the CPA (Consumer Protection Act) and there is absolutely nothing the consumer can do about their bad service. So on Friday, whilst our ISP was "giving back" to the community, they were in fact taking away from that very same community. Intermittent internet and no internet coverage meant that weekly wage staff were only paid after 7pm at night as we struggled with no internet. Staff who live from Friday to Friday and need that money to get home, staff whose children are probably the very ones who are being fed at these "give back" to the community initiatives. Although I find it very difficult to understand how a concert can feed a starving child, but yes that is a corporate's view of poverty and suffering.

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I always wonder if the powers that be, who step out of their ivory towers on "give back to the community" days actually give a dam about the person who scrubs their toilets; packs their groceries; washes their cars; fills their tank with fuel. Those are the very people whose children you are feeding at your feed a child initiatives - some of those children are orphans, but some have parents who just don't earn enough to pay school fees and you might say "why do they have children"  well why can't they also experience the love of a child?

As frustrating as it is for me when I get to a traffic light and a minibus taxi has blocked the intersection to let a passenger on or off and I want to press hard on my hooter and scream expletives and hand signs. I stop and think - that person getting on or off the taxi may or may not have spent the day scrubbing floors and toilets; maybe it is the person who spent 9 hours on her feet selling shoes that cost more than her monthly wage in a store where sitting down would have ruined the image of the upper class store. It might even be the person who scrubbed your toilet or the person who washed your fancy car in the freezing cold, who just wants to get home after a ten hour shift and barely has the energy to walk another block to catch a taxi, that incidentally does not have a designated stop. As frustrating as it is for me to miss a traffic light to let a minibus taxi in front of me, I do it, because that taxi driver has 20 people who need to get to work on time, I have myself. However, saying that I will NOT let the driver of a fancy car or any private vehicle push in front of me.

We all hate taxi drivers, because of the few rogues in the industry, but we forget that they bring the majority of the workforce to work each day. Imagine rushing into your favourite coffee shop and not being able to buy your morning coffee, because all the staff never came to work because there are no taxis. We forget that taxi driver woke up at 3 am to start his day and has to fight through traffic all day; fight through the hatred just because he drives a minibus taxi. His child is probably the one you are feeding during your 67 minutes "giving back" initiative. Yes I hate the taxi drivers who kill and maim as much as I hate every other motorist who drives in a way that will kill and maim. However, I believe it is my duty to give the taxi drivers the respect they deserve as a public transport driver. I believe that by giving a taxi a gap in the traffic instead of just blocking him like everyone else does, he will hopefully, be less likely to shove his way in front of another car or drive into on coming traffic, because instead of some white middle aged woman refusing to give him a space in the traffic, she smiled and let him through.

Imagine if all motorists used their "67 minutes" to respect the rules of the road EVERYDAY, who gave the taxi drivers the respect that public transport drivers are given in other countries, there would be less starving children who need to be fed on the 18 July. I certainly do not live in lala land and I know that there are plenty of bad taxi drivers out there, just yesterday we experienced it when we left Northgate shopping centre. Two taxis had blocked the road, one almost rammed into the other because I am assuming the one was accusing the other of stealing his passengers and the poor passengers were petrified as they were being screamed at to get into the other taxi. You could see he was a young upstart and sadly his kind do aggravate an industry that is already hated. Nevertheless, there are plenty drivers who if shown some respect and kindness would like to just get through the day as safely as the next person. Earn a minimum wage and go home and see his child that was no doubt fed at school by your 67 minute giving back initiative.

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We have a second business that we manage since March this year, that barely breaks even. It is a business run on unskilled labour so it is minimum wage. It must be so difficult to live on minimum wage and although we pay our staff more than minimum wage, if we pay them anymore we will be running at a complete loss and they would not have work. Although our prices are not regulated, if we increased them we would be way above market related prices and we would have no customers and therefore no business and the staff would have no jobs. Mark and I should not have a business like this, because we get too involved in the lives of our staff and we feel guilty that they live on minimum wage. The result is we pay them more than we should, on weekends we will buy a big bucket of KFC or a few pizzas and a couple of 2l cokes, so they can have something nice for lunch, instead of dry bread or pap (maize meal). Mark said on Father's Day when we were out to lunch both quietly feeling bad that our staff are working and we are out eating that they have days off during the week, when we are working so we shouldn't really feel guilty, because they also only work 5 days a week.

So do I feel guilty for not being involved in the 67 minute initiative, not at all. I have enough staff members to care about everyday. Staff that I buy soup for on very cold days; staff that we buy lunch for; staff that we give extra to everyday. Those are my 67 minutes, taking the time to find out who is behind the children fed on 67 minute feeding initiative days. Imagine if Madiba only did good on one day of the year.

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It is our prerogative whether we take part in the initiative or not and either way I hope you had a good day.


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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Durban - The Good The Bad The Ugly

Our weekend went by so quickly and it is hard to believe that this time last week we were travelling down to Durban looking forward to the weekend. It really felt like Hello Durban Good Bye Durban and no in between, but there was plenty in between. After our leisurely breakfast that started off very rushed then slowed down to a long relaxed pace, we went for a walk along the promenade. We were bombarded with beggars asking for food and money.  Chad and Mark brought their bicycles with and after our walk on the promenade they went cycling and I went up to the hotel to have a nap. I was quite annoyed, because there was a cleaner in the room when we went up to the room after breakfast and then just after I arrived back in the room a cleaner came barging into the room without first knocking. The safety catch was on, but it is quite frightening when the door bashes open, it is also annoying that they come and clean twice, they should do one room at a time and do it all at once.



Chad said that it is so much better cycling along the promenade than walking, because the beggars don't harass you for money and food. It was so bad walking around on Saturday morning that I was even asked if I would share my ice cream by some woman. "Yes sure you can have a lick and then give it back" - honestly I think they just do it to annoy people. We did come to the conclusion that there is something about Mark that attracts beggars to him. It is not like Mark even exudes wealth and he certainly does not dress the part of a wealthy man, as long as his clothes are washed and clean he does not put any thought or effort into dressing, yet we witnessed people crossing the road and almost running up to him to ask for money.

Proof That I Actually Put My Feet In The Water


I was walking along the promenade and the water's edge taking photos, whilst Chad and Mark were cycling on Saturday morning and not once did anyone approach me for money, but walking with Mark and we are approached all the time. On Friday evening we were walking back from Ushaka Village after dinner and this guy called out to us saying he won't harm us and come close but.............. The but was the start to his long story. He was a young guy around 28, but you could see he was a beggar, very well spoken, but with long hair unshaven and he walked along telling us his story. His name was Shaun Baxter, now ordinarily I would not put someone's full name and surname on my blog, but firstly I don't believe his name is Shaun Baxter, because he looked Indian and the name Shaun Baxter is certainly not an Indian name and secondly if his story is true and he can't get hold of his extended family, because his phone was stolen (his parents are dead) then maybe if they Google him they will read this post and find him on the streets of Durban - His family are from Newcastle. OK I really don't believe all that, but Mark fell for his story hook line and sinker and gave him R100.00 for food and to pay for a night at the shelter. He thanked Mark profusely and walked off with a spring in his step. He then stopped and said that the money gave him power, we must wonder why he was slouched and dragging his feet and now he has so much power in his steps and he proceeded to walk along side us - after saying he won't come close and went on and on about his story. Chad said he would be an excellent Used Car Salesman and I said he could be a motivational speaker. He spoke non stop, fluently and had an answer to all the advice Mark was giving him to get out of his situation. Eventually I said to him that he had every excuse to stay in his situation and no reason to get out of his situation and that Mark gave him the money so he could leave us alone, not to stay talking. I just don't give money to beggars and the reason why not is a whole post on its own.



We eventually ditched him and could enjoy the sound of the Ocean and the sight of the moon reflecting off the Ocean. It is sad that people get into these situations, but you cannot fall for every story and Mark almost always does and then the guilt he feels because he did not give to everyone his another story all together. Shaun Baxter was not the only one he gave to - it was just the most at one time and every ten steps someone no matter the race; colour; creed; language; young; old; male; female would come and ask Mark for money.

With all the beggars; prostitutes; pimps and thieves and ugliness of City Life, I still love Durban and could still see myself living there.


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Self Destruction

As if I don't hate Thursdays enough as it is, Mark woke up at 3.30 this morning to take his grandmother to White River to stay with one of her granddaughters. White River is about 385 Km's from home.  Needless to say I am tired and very irritated and do not see the point of him having to take her on a Thursday as opposed to a Saturday when we don't have to work. Added to that our electricity went off again last night, which set our electric fence alarm off at 1.30 - it happened on Monday morning as well.

Just to make my day/night even better, we had cottage pie for supper made from mince (ground beef) which Mark bought from our local Spar. Mark prefers Spar mince to Woolworths mince - yes I know he is crazy there is no comparison, especially our Spar's mince which is fatty and disgusting. I cannot eat their mince as I get terrible reflux and it feels as if my throat and oesophagus has been eaten away. It happened two weeks ago as well from eating mince from Spar and added to that I had chocolate last night - something I cannot eat any more as well. My GERD/Reflux/Ulcer is getting worse and worse and I was choking last night it was so bad and I feel awful today - the lack of sleep didn't help. It makes me wonder why we do things that cause us to suffer. Why we intentionally abuse our bodies.

I did it for my whole life smoking and eating badly to an extent, but now my eating habits are causing me to really suffer so why do I do it? I have been on a path of self destruction since Clint died, some days totally intentionally; some days subconsciously; some days just out of habit, but intentionally or not I am self destructing. Some days, like today, when my analytic brain takes over I can describe it as inflicting as much pain on myself intentionally so that I can suffer and feel a tiny bit of the pain my child felt during his last hours when I did not do enough to keep him safe and alive. There is absolutely no way reflux and a sore throat from acid reflux can ever compare to the pain Clint felt and went through without medical intervention or even an aspirin. To even try and compare it would be ever so wrong, but psychologically and subconsciously, I do believe that I do it to myself to try and make up for not being able to ease his pain.

It is a huge catch 22 situation, because I have another child who I should be doing everything in my power to live a longer and healthier life for. Last night during my bouts of broken sleep and chronic reflux, I decided no more I have to stop eating stuff that causes me to feel so ill, unhealthy and uncomfortable. Now that I am at work tired and irritated and haven't had breakfast (nothing unusual - we hardly ever have breakfast) I have this "what the hell" kind of attitude again.  I have to say I am feeling too ill right now to even look at a chocolate and have not even had coffee today, only a cup of Rooibos Tea.

To say my self destruction is only because of Clint's death is a lie - it has just worsened and I have a reason for it now, but the fact of the matter is that it is something I have done all my life. It is not only drug addicts and alcoholics - yes also smokers, who self destruct, there are many other ways to self destruct and eating an unhealthy diet is one of them. When you totally know that you are going to suffer after eating something and then go and eat it and enjoy eating it, it is so wrong and so self destructive and so me.

Today I need as much motivation as possible to get through this day and found these inspirational messages to share and reflect over.

Hope your day is better than mine.

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hello Durban ...... Good Bye Durban

We went to Durban again last weekend. We never go away and then we go away all the time. Its just so cold in Joburg and we enjoyed our weekend so much when we went to Durban for the Top Gear Festival that we decided to go down for another weekend. It was a quiet day at work and Mark half jokingly half seriously said I must book for the weekend around the middle of July and I did. We booked at the Garden Court Marine Parade again, because Mark loved the view from where it is situated and just its location generally. I never mentioned it on my blog or to anyone in "real life" so as not to jinx it. Oh and it was almost jinxed when Mark's grandfather died, so it was really touch and go as to whether we would go, but on Thursday the day of the funeral, we decided that we had paid and it would be a waste of money to not go. I made sure to date stamp my photos as proof that we really did go down again, because believe it or not we were given the exact same room as the weekend before.

Looking Down From Our Hotel Room

The Beach Front From Our Hotel Room

The Surf The Sea The Ocean - From Our Hotel Room
To be quite honest, this time we experienced more of the ugliness that is a huge part of Durban than we did the last time, but I still love Durban and the ugliness does not overshadow the beauty that it has. After the funeral, we went back to work to tie up a few lose ends and organised the staff for Friday, I went home to pack at about 16h45 pm and we left home at 18h15. It was freezing on the way down. We stopped at the Vaal Stop Wimpy for dinner and it was bitterly cold. Whenever we stopped for fuel or for a bathroom stop it was just bitterly cold - below freezing. We arrived at the hotel at 01h30 am and the difference in temperature was amazing. As we stopped the car, we were still climbing out when we were approached by a young girl asking for money for food, because she was hungry - she was eating peanuts and going on and on like a nagging child. A security guard from the hotel saw her and came rushing out to chase her away - bad for tourism. She was a cheeky little girl, who I am sure was not much older than 15. The security guard was speaking to her in Zulu and we could not understand what they were saying, except for him saying about three times "You Young - Too Too Young " She was no doubt propositioning this old man. Sex for food; survival on the streets. We drove past a few prostitutes walking along the street soliciting their wares, so it is not a shock to see it, the shock was that she was a waif of a girl and so innocent looking - nothing mature or sexual about her at all. That was the shock. We left her and the shocked security guard and checked in. This time we were assisted by a lovely friendly man by the name of Emmanuel, so much better than our previous check in experience. What a surprise to get the exact same room - kind of a good omen for  a good weekend away.

View Of The Pier From Our Hotel Room

How Calm Is The Sea
We fell asleep at around 2.30 - after a relaxing bath my head hit the pillow and I fell into a deep sleep. Mark woke up at around 7 and woke me up and then he fell asleep and then we had to rush and shower to make it to breakfast at 9h50 and breakfast ends at 10 am. We made it in time and they only closed the buffet at around 10h45.

Friday was a very slow day walking along the promenade and relaxing in the hotel... just what we needed.



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