Life, Love, and Passports

community

Entertaining angels unaware

Whilst having a conversation with a friend she remarked how the unexpected generosity of a relative stranger had a profound affect on her. Her only regret was that she had not really taken the time to get to know the individual. I guess we can blame that on being preoccupied with the people who we’ve built a rapport with. Truth is it’s hard to imagine that people need assistance when we’re comfortable.

It got me thinking of the opportunities we are often afforded to be an angel to somebody in need. There are many times where a little helping hand could make a world of difference if we’d just take the time out to care not just to people who’ll reward us for our kindness but also the randoms we encounter along the way. After our conversation I’ve decided not to just wait for opportunities to show kindness but to also look for them.

People across the world no matter what the state of their lives could do with an act of kindness. Will you be an angel to somebody in need?

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Every bit helps

There are many good causes out there. Tonight I was fortunate enough to be part of  the live recording of this track of which the proceeds will go to a worthy cause. We can all make a difference!


Remembering one year on

I could not stop thinking about Bianca Couch on the anniversary of her disappearance. I felt particularly heartsore for her mother because this is the cruellest punishment – the uncertainty must drain the hope out of her. So on this day I hoped that she’d find renewed strength and have the unwavering ability to never give up!

The twentieth of December may have passed without much ado to you and I but to a family a piece is missing and their lives remain incomplete until that piece is safely returned to where it belongs.

Wherever you are Bianca know that there are people waiting for your safe return!


Helping hand

I’ve been volunteering at the local food bank for just over a year now. While it started out as a way of helping people in need, I had no idea that it would change me in so many positive ways. I’ve been forced to look inside myself and to deal with many indifferences and perhaps judgements which I hadn’t realised were such a part of my make up.

I’ve worked with so many volunteers who’ve impacted my life with their positive attitudes and caring manner. As it turns out the food bank is not just about food it’s so much more. Meeting people from various walks of life with very different circumstances really does stretch you and sometimes leaves you in tears.

Today was one of those emotionally draining days where the food parcel was a very small part of our service to the community. I walked away feeling so grateful for all that I have because looking inside constantly can make you selfish. I’m so glad I signed up to help when I did. If you have an opportunity to serve in your community do it. You’ll be surprised you might just be the one being helped.


So long farewell

A couple of days ago my friends and I got together to celebrate our friendship with special friends who are returning to South Africa. Life has a way of getting you to believe that good things will last and I wish they would. Experience tells us that nothing lasts forever not the good or bad! I have to admit there are days I feel like life is an absolute party pooper.

So we ate, laughed and reminisced about the past but also looked to the future and where the road leads not just them but all of us. It’s hard to believe that our paths crossed just over two years ago and we gained a new family away from the comfort of home.

It will be sad when they finally step on that flight in about two weeks. It’s by no means the end of our friendship but we will miss them all terribly alas life’s many roads require us to take them.

God speed my dear friends!


Celebrating our heritage

South Africans are celebrating Heritage day today which is one of many public holidays. This is a day set aside to celebrate our diversity and the contribution of South Africans in building our rainbow nation. It is traditionally celebrated by citizens having a braai (barbecue) with family and friends. This is our most cherished culinary achievement. I’ve been gone so long I hope I’m not too brainwashed by the British version which consists of grilled hot dogs and burgers.

I’ve done my bit by opening a can of All Gold super fine smooth apricot jam (serious patriotism!) because there’s no chance of me having a traditional braai in this rather morbid weather anyway. So while I snack on a piece of toast I’m actually dreaming of sitting around celebrating instead of preparing to do homework.

I’m a proud South African making my way in a foreign land. It’s weird but whenever a stranger recognises my accent I feel like I’ve brought all of me on my journey. I’ve had to drop some typical South African words and phrases most notably the phrase ‘just now’ and robot (traffic light). Otherwise I’m trying to keep it real because I’ve got so much to be proud of.

Happy heritage day! Here’s to continuing our contribution to our heritage wherever you find yourself in the world. Consider yourself an ambassador I do!


“If I cannot tolerate my life I may have to go sooner”

These are the words of a completely paralysed gentleman following a stroke. He has made his request known by communicating via a computer controlled by his eyes. He is presently in a legal bid to demand the right to be killed. He is supported by his wife who is his carer. Along with other members of his family who all strongly feel that he should be given the choice to die.

It is such a sensitive topic and my heart goes out to this man who had an active life and is now trapped in a body that will not respond no matter how much he wills it. Death is just so permanent though and once the decision to end his life is taken there are no retakes.

The courts are adamant that to legalise this type of legislation is equal to giving murder the go ahead which will always be a crime no matter the reason. Personally I feel that the family should be giving this man all the reasons he needs to stay alive and by supporting his bid it seems they are keen to be rid of him. Just my thoughts!


Torch party

Well the Olympic torch relay finally arrives in Birmingham today. No doubt people will be out in their numbers to celebrate a very special occasion. We’ll watch the procession from probably one of the best spots in the city – the rooftop of our local church.
Prior to the torch passing there’ll be a BBQ (can I just say that the world could learn a thing or two about the traditional south African braai!).
The choir will provide the entertainment while we wait for Sir Cliff Richard to make his way past our viewing point. I’m secretly hoping for a last-minute replacement by Peter André.

There’s now less than a month to go to the Olympics and Birmingham are the official host city for the Jamaican and American athletes.
Bring on the games!


Here comes trouble

Funny how our parents always warned us about choosing friends wisely particularly during adolescence. My mother always said choose friends who have a vision for their future and are not just caught up in the moment. I must admit it was a tough to imagine that anything else mattered than being popular. So some thirty years later I can see what she meant. Popularity can only get you so far but planning for your future is always going to benefit you.

Sadly for some people the need to be popular and centre of attention never grows old. There is nothing worse than an adolescent attention seeking adult. You just want to shout ‘Can you grow up already!’ Of late I’ve been seeing the need to limit my interaction with these kind of individuals because no matter what you say it always ends up being about them. I refuse to be absorbed into somebody else’s little world. My life is way too busy raising my daughters to be caught up with people who have no desire to evolve.

The time has come for me to walk away from troublemakers, bullies and self seeking individuals. It seems choosing friends is a lifelong challenge. Thankfully for the most part I’ve made relatively good decisions. Friendship doesn’t have a recipe for instant success but I’m certain it shouldn’t take a lifetime to develop lasting and rewarding ones. I’m so grateful for all the amazing people in my life!


Double edged sword

For many of us being asked to give an honest opinion varies depending on who the person is asking the question. The tricky part is whether the individual actually seeks the whole truth or just wishes perhaps for you to stroke their ego and are horrified with your honesty. Now I’ve never been one to read between the lines of absolute statements. I just grind my teeth though when I realise that the person has no intention of considering the advice. Absolute waste of my time!

Recently I fell to the double-edged sword after being asked for my opinion. Perhaps it wasn’t honesty the individual was seeking. I must admit I was horrified by the response and kept thinking to myself that they’d asked for my opinion I did not offer it.

Looking back I have to now agree with my very wise father who says there are some things which should not be communicated by text. Emotion and attitude are left to the recipient to decide and depending what space they are found in it could have disastrous effects.
I often get annoyed by stuff I read particularly on social networking sites and usually after a moan to my long-suffering husband I try to look at things differently. Truth is nobody likes to be misunderstood. I guess the solution is clear communication.