Life, Love, and Passports

Archive for July, 2012

Wave your flag

It’s that time in the sporting calendar when the world gets very patriotic about all things patriotic. Whilst strolling around London yesterday I guess we must’ve seen just about all the countries represented at the Olympics the only ones I wouldn’t have recognised were the same ones who seemed totally made up at the flag procession!

My girls were very ecstatic whenever they spotted the South African flag and were well aware that we had earned a gold medal on Sunday of course my hoarse voice was testament to that fact. I swear Cameron van der Burgh could hear me willing him to break the world record in the 100m breaststroke as I’d done when he broke the Olympic record the night before in the heats.

Last night we attended a dj bash in London at Ekhaya (home away from home for South Africans during the Olympics). The moment I walked in I was transported to another place a place where everybody was backing the same team. The spoken word, poetry and house music provided by The Indigenous were phenomenal. I loved every minute of it and felt totally ‘Africanised’ after the event. Though I still feel a bit foggy after a late night I can’t wait to get my flag out and give the biggest, proudest wave.

Proudly South African!


Why I think Victoria Beckham is truly special

Let me just start by saying I know that you can’t believe everything you read in the tabloids. Every now and again though you find yourself reading an article and start feeling like the report could actually be true or else the writer is just quite spectacular at storytelling (lying!).

This particular article was about Victoria and David’s desire to have a fifth child and that part was believable. Now the reason I think she must be truly special were the reasons that were given. At the moment they have four children but the number five is really symbolic to them for one reason or another as well as it being the number of rings in the Olympic symbol. Having a fifth child would round their family number off to seven which was David’s football jersey number for England. Even more spectacular was their desire to have this baby conceived in England (none of their other kids were conceived in the Uk) during the Olympics and the year of the diamond Jubilee.

If nothing else I did find the article quite entertaining and thought how awesome it must be to have that kind of script for your life. If you’re reading this Victoria I’d love to know your side of the story and just so you know I only ‘half belief’ this story! Good luck getting number five not that you need it your plan sounds pretty solid.

Let the games begin

So the long awaited Olympic opening ceremony took place in London last night and the eyes of the world were watching. I couldn’t help but feel terribly disappointed with the whole event. While it has received much praise from the British public I kept thinking ‘does the world get this?’. While it is meant to chronicle the history of Great Britain and its wonderful heritage I certainly felt it came up short! If I hadn’t been living in Britain the entire ceremony would’ve been lost on me except for the odd appearance of Mr. Bean and the world famous James Bond. I think Danny Boyle missed a trick by putting on a show that was far too quintessentially British.

Admittedly not everything was that bad and I guess the organisers should be applauded for including people from various walks of life. My highlights were the lighting of the cauldron and its amazing formation along with the fireworks display. I’m still wondering why David Beckham had to be on that speed boat delivering the torch I don’t think it added much more to an already traditional moment. Good on Sebastian Coe though for keeping his promise of making the games about the younger generation but why didn’t he insist that it continued with the musicians because it was obvious that Paul McCartney was longing for his bed with nothing short of a karaoke performance.

Though the games kicked off a few days ago with football and rowing the real deal starts today with one of my favourite events swimming. After watching the nations parade during the ceremony and seeing the athletes filled with hope and expectation I can’t wait to watch one of the greatest sporting events in the world.

Honeymoon Murder – What really happened to Anni?

In November 2010 news broke that a British couple had been attacked while on honeymoon in Cape Town,South Africa. Sadly the wife had been shot and died at the scene.

As the story unfolded and the groom Shiren Dewani began to give an account of the circumstances and in my mind he went from grieving groom to highly likely suspect. At the time of the incident I remember going out on a limb and stating on a social networking site that I smelt a proverbial rat. People probably just thought it was my South African cynicism but it was actually just common sense. There are things you just don’t do when in a country that is known for carjackings and senseless killings. Driving around in townships late at night and hiring a taxi tout at the airport just to name a couple. A few months after the world cup in South Africa and more than enough negative reporting from the British press you would’ve had to have been living under a rock not to know the dangers. Then again a couple who choose their honeymoon destination based on their initials leaves a lot to be desired. I have no doubt that it was the grooms idea!

After many contradictions in his account the groom quickly became a suspect. Then he did something I will never understand he a hired a well-known publicist Max Clifford to speak on his behalf. A rather strange move considering this publicist is usually associated with high-flying celebrities.Surely this heart-broken man should’ve been home mourning his bride privately. Instead he put on a show of grief that even a blind man could see right through. Everytime he opened his mouth another contradiction followed. Truth is if you are going to lie you’d better have a good memory.

Days after Shrien had returned to Britain the South African police request that he returns to answer a few questions as they now had a suspect in custody. A taxi driver who claims that he was hired by the groom as a contract killer. After this revelation the businessman from Bristol has what it seems is post traumatic stress. He is then sectioned under the mental act and has been fighting extradition to South Africa based on health reasons and human rights issues. He will appear in court on the 31 July for another extradition hearing where his attorneys will ask for their clients safety to be guaranteed.

This story is really sad for all parties involved. I guess it’s the ultimate betrayal when you commit to spend your life with someone and they have no thought for your well-being. Selfish people should never marry that is a fact. Anni’s parents have lost their beautiful daughter and the one person who really knows what happened refuses to appear before the court and give his side of the story under oath. No doubt that Shrien’s family want to see the case resolved and this state of limbo they live in resolved.

I wait with bated breath to hear the outcome of the extradition hearing.

This blog helps to raise awareness of a global problem – human trafficking!

For sale : Humans

Are you trafficked proofed?

Well, if you are asking yourself what that is, then you probably aren’t!

Once you are traffick proofed, you will be able to recognise who are the people at risk of being trafficked.  Yourself? Your kids?  Your neighbours?  Who in your community is at risk?  But more importantly, it helps people to recognise the signs of being trafficked and empowers them to take preventative measures!

People are trafficked for:

  • Slave labour
  • Prostitution
  • Forced marriage
  • Sale of their organs or body parts
  • Drug mules
  • Child soldiers

Don’t become a statistic!

We will be running this programme in South Africa because we want SA citizens to be traffick proofed!!

Are you a concerned parent?  We can go to your child’s school.

Are you a young women?  Young man? We can come to your community/place of work/church?

Are you a pastor? Grandparent? Teenager? Principal?

We all need to be trafficked proofed…

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Things my father taught me

My father was never a man of many words though these days he tends to make up for lost chat time. Growing up there are things that he insisted on and I swear it was his guidelines to being a perfect gentleman over and above the more common rules. These are a few I remember.

1. A gentleman always has well polished shoes so you can imagine how his world changed when they changed the traditional polish and brush to the modern push and swipe. The effect is just not the same.

2. A gentleman always wears a belt on his trousers to give him the well-groomed effect.

3. A gentleman always carries a fresh hanky irrespective of whether or not he has a cold. He’ll always find a use for it. To this day my dad carries a handkerchief with him daily because it’s the right thing to do.

4. Never wear creased clothes it’s a poor reflection on you. My dad still insists on neatly pressed shirts.

5. Of all my fathers gentlemanly requirements a timely haircut is one of his obsessions. A trip to an old school barber is always on his agenda.

6. Finally, may I just add that my dad is the coolest looking dad. I know it sounds slightly biased but if you knew my dad I have no doubt you’d agree!

* On a personal note I’d like to thank all of you who read my blog I hope you know it means much to me. With the summer break well and truly upon us I’ve decided to take a much-needed break and will blog once a week for the next 8 weeks. So until the next time remember to take the sunshine wherever you go!

Good news Monday

Wouldn’t it just be great if for just one day a week we didn’t have to read or hear bad news. Naturally that day should be Monday. I have tried and to a certain extent I think I’ve won quite a few battles against the dreaded day that follows two of my favourite days. As the academic year draws to a close the fire and enthusiasm are slowly dwindling as we edge ever closer to the summer holiday. We have six glorious weeks to look forward to and of course there are dreams of sun filled Summer days but at the rate the rain keeps falling we may just find ourselves building an ark.

So notorious Monday is drawing to a close and after a day of varied timekeeping obstacles I am very relieved to have my feet up after what has been a pretty rough beginning to my week. Here’s to the rest of an appointment filled week. Hope your week is filled with all that is good and noble!

Super Rugby

After a busy morning trying to get my girls to a cinema party which they thoroughly enjoyed!

I’m vegetating on my couch watching my home team the Sharks taking on the Cheetahs. I don’t know what it is about watching rugby that makes me strangely homesick. I suspect it’s not just the rugby but the venue as well and in a strange way I feel that I’m not that far away from so many people with whom I’d like to enjoy a chat and tea.

Whatever you find yourself doing on this beautiful day I hope it’s with the ones you hold dear if not just make the most of it anyway!

Latest research shows that…

I’m not sure what it is about these articles that gets on my nerves it’s probably the fact that it usually starts by disregarding previous findings. There should be a law which prevents these researches from repeating topics already researched. The very nature of people and our individuality should perhaps suggest that the outcome will vary every time.

I sometimes read it just to have a laugh whether it’s about the length of time a child should be breastfed, the effects of 1/2 aspirin , working moms v stay at home moms, how many units of wine is good for the heart. The list goes on and on. I guess if they didn’t repeat the already researched subjects very soon there’ll be no need for any of them.

As for me I’ll continue to be cynical because after all is said and done I’d like to think I’m more than a mere statistic when it comes to the things that really count!

Birthday Wishes

I took an extremely brave or stupid decision tonight when I asked my soon to be five-year old what she wanted for her birthday in a few days time. I could tell by the tone of her voice that she honestly believed her wish was possible. She asked for a big brother and a dog!
After explaining to her why that dream wasn’t going to come true she gave me a look which was her way of saying “then why did you ask?”

I’ve always enjoyed thinking about gifts to purchase and enjoy when the recipient displays absolute pleasure. I do feel though that in recent years I’ve lost my edge and it was proven again tonight that my days of thinking creatively have diminished. Surely it’s got to be more than just the thought that counts and more about the person.

It will take time to figure out what would make my daughter smile like the luckiest girl in the world but I’ve decided she is worth the effort!