Archive for the ‘Soapbox’ Category

h1

#slutwalkjhb 2012

25 August , 2012

This morning was the second annual Johannesburg Slutwalk, and of course I was happy and proud to be part of it!

If you’ve been living under a rock or just don’t know what it’s about, it’s a walk to raise awareness that it is NEVER okay to blame the victim (or survivor as I prefer to think of it) of a rape for the crime. No means No, no matter what you’re wearing. It’s a dress, not a yes as the slutwalkers were chanting.

Sandy (one of the organisers) had me quite emotional with her words before the walk, especially when she spoke about the 5 year old girl who has been raped for the third time!

There were two other brave ladies whose speeches I also enjoyed, but the lady from the NPA left me kind of cold with her ramble.

I didn’t catch her name, but I’d like to tell her: if you come forward after you’ve been raped to report it and the state doesn’t secure a conviction you haven’t failed. The system has failed you! Grrrr…she seemed more focused on the message of “Don’t wash off the evidence.” than “Don’t blame the victim.” which is what the walk was really about.

Anyhoo, on to the photos! 🙂

image

Angel and Volt.

image

Jon and Sheena.

image

Sandy.

image

Marieks (she managed to collect 38 rape survivor bags!)

image

image

image

image

image

image

Some of my favourite outfits from the day. That last one was a guy wearing photos of a friend who was raped and murdered last year!

image

image

image

image

image

I will keep walking for this cause, untill there is no more cause to walk for!

Hope to see you there next year…

Advertisements
h1

Watch “RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms” on YouTube

20 July , 2012








h1

Ta-tara-dah!

24 April , 2012

Obviously these pics were taken before it got cold. This is the place where Nicola went/goes to swimming classes. We’ve put them on hold until spring for now though.

20120204_10044320120204_100627

Right…bullet points for today I think.

  • Last night, since I was so tired I decided the quickest thing I had in the house to make was the cheat version of muscle mussel soup with some of our freshly baked bread. I wasn’t sure if Nicola would go for it, but she loved it! Win…definitely will be making that again when i don’t feel like serious kitchen time. (It’s very simple to make, don’t knock it before you’ve tried it. Take one packet of cream of mushroom soup and make it as per the instructions on the packet except replace half the water with milk instead. Add a pinch or so of crushed garlic. When the soup is hot, ready and thick whack in one or two tins of muscles mussels – just drain the oil out first! And that’s all there is to it. Serve with some fresh buttered bread.)
  • This morning I found myself with no office pants to wear. They are all between tumble drier and ironing stages of the process so I went with a skirt, some leggings, and boots. With this I decided to wear my poncho. Nicola pipes up from the bed, “Mamma! Jy het jou superman baadjie aan!” Mwahaha! From now on, that’s what I’ll call it. 😉
  • My last little bullet of the day I will dedicate to radio ads that anoy the hell out of me. First up: The stupid SANRAL one. It is not an E-road buddy, it’s a highway. At the very least it’s a national road. That’s why it’s called N1. Calling it an E-road is a tad presumptious, and it doesn’t make me more likely to go get one of your pox ridden tags either. Grrr! The other two are guess the flavour adds, I think one is Lobello and the other one is Stimorol gum. If you don’t know what to call it after you slapped it together I don’t know why I would want to buy it firstly, or secondly help you come up with a name for your lab accident? This does not seem like a good campaign to me, but maybe I’m just odd that way. I don’t get the feeling that they already know what it is and are just trying to see if we can guess, it’s like they accidentally came up with something that probably doesn’t taste bad-ish but now can’t decide what it reminds them of that consumers may have heard of before.

 Oh…and my hair is looking great today after yesterday’s extra conditioning by the way. We got loads of sleep and I’m feeling muuuuch better. 😉

h1

On e-tolling

9 March , 2012

So this week there was a big Cosato led march in the CBD (and all over the country) about labour broking and e-tolling. I expected really crap traffic, some song and dance past our offices, and really crap traffic back home again – but I got none of that even though it looks like there was a really good turnout for what is obviously a serious issue.

The labour broking doesn’t really personally touch my life, although I can understand why people would get uptight about it when they are continuously put on short term contracts for yeeears with no security or benefits associated with normal working conditions. I don’t have a big problem with trying someone out on a contract before you employ them full time, but when you’ve got the same little face doing the same thing for years on a succesion of short term contracts it seems a bit underhanded to me.

The e-tolling doesn’t affect me very deeply on a personal level either since I hardly drive on the highway anyway (I park all the way on back roads from my house to work and the 1,5km of highway I do use doesn’t have a gantry on it). I still don’t like the idea though…and I might want to use the highway over weekends on the odd occasion.

I’m sure you’ve heard all the arguments against it by now, like the fact that there is already a substantial amount of tax on every liter of fuel that is meant to fund road works, no alternative route available and so on, so I won’t repeat it all again.

Nope…today I am posing a question, and maybe some clever trevor out there can tell me if this is indeed a get-out-of-toll card or not?

If you go look at the very last sentence here it reads: “Private mini-bus taxis, used by most commuters in the absence of a comprehensive public transport system, are exempt from the tolls.” Now, I know this particular article says private mini-bus taxis, but I’m assuming buses and taxis which don’t happen to be mini buses are exempt too? Is there a specific place where taxis register? Do they seem like the kind of industry that has a strict register and pay loads of tax and so on? If you get one of those special licences that says you’re allowed to transport people and whack a TAXI sticker on the back of your car and occasionaly give someone a lift would you get away with not paying 30c a kilometer to a max of R550 a month for using the road you’ve already paid for? I heard that there are even discounts in fuel taxes for taxis if you take your receipts to a specific place (but i’m not exactly sure where that place is, but I have no reason to believe this isn’t true too).

I think this could be worth looking into if you use the highway a lot…just saying. 😉 Put on your green hats and tell me why this wouldn’t work, mmm?

There! And you though I only ever talked about tantrums and potty training. 😆

h1

My Wednesday Post

23 November , 2011

First, a snoozy photo of Nicola. 🙂

201109283389So yesterday was #blacktuesday in SA. A very contentious piece of legislation, known as the secrecy bill, was passed in Parliament. The only positive thing you can really say about this whole business is that a whole lot of people rolled up their sleeves and fought it with everything they had. People were encouraged to wear black to show that they opposed the bill, hence the term #blacktuesday. The ruling party’s MPs came dressed in anything but black to show their support. According to reports they were ordered to be there and to vote along party lines – and so the Protection of State Information Bill was passed. The fight’s not over yet, but if you ask me it’s only a matter of time.

Theoretically the point of the law is to protect state secrets. From what I understand how to determine what constitutes a state secret is left pretty vague. It also creates a criminal offence punishable by up to 25 years imprisonment for anyone who rats out a “state seceret”. A lovely addition for whistle blowers and media in general of course. But don’t worry the government promises that it won’t be used for that…and since they are always so true to their word we all feel completely reassured now (sarcastic voice for everything after the … in case you missed it).

I do hope that the bill doesn’t make it past the other hurdles without at least some DRASTIC modifications, but as I said before, it’s probably only a matter of time. What did become clear yesterday from all the protests and the way it was pushed through regardlessly by the ANC with its two thirds majority, is that if you have any rights left in this country it’s only because they haven’t decided to take it from you (yet). It is in everyone’s interest that the next elections bring about a bigger and stronger opposition. Just putting it out there. Use it, don’t use it.

Now that concludes my political ramble (something which you don’t really expect to see here anyway since I hardly ever talk about it – and I don’t plan on making a habit of it in future either).

On to other things closer to home:

If you were in Johannesburg yesterday you probably got to see a beautiful storm along with us. It had everything a good storm needed to have, rain, hail-stones (in some areas as big as marbles in other as big as ping pong balls), thunder, lightning, mist, wind…general chaos and so on. When we were driving through the mist this morning Nicola asked me about it and I explained that we were driving through a cloud. She quite liked that idea and it led to much ooooh-oooooh-ing from her side. My vegetables seemed to have made it through more or less in tact. I think it helps that they are under trees. It looks like a bomb went off in the undergrowth, but on closer inspection none of the leaves belong to the vegetables so it’s all cool. Nicola was also very fascinated with the hail, and threw a big whopper because I wouldn’t let her eat it. Eventually I just relented and let her have a handful or so, which restored me to hero status in no time. 😉

Last night there was another episode of the same storm, and the weather was just too heavy to take a chance on bathing Nicola so we ended up going to bed really early. Everytime there was a rumble in the sky Nicola tried her best to climb into my PJs with me, I ended up wearing her like a scarf for some part of the evening, but it was a great cuddle and we fell asleep just before 19:00, which is kind of a small miracle in itself.

Oh…back to vegetables. Let me share this quickly with you. I had a bit of a surprise yesterday regarding herbs. As you know I have also started a herb garden in pots along with my veggies. As you also know, (i think I told you) my landlord orginally comes from the Netherlands. Well, after seeing my pot garden (as in garden in containers) take off, he’s started groing his own too. Mostly basil and parsley, and one bucket that I couldn’t identify and looked a bit like when the tomatoes started coming up.

Apparently they aren’t tomatoes…I’m not thrilled about this, but it really is none of my business. Hopefully either the macgafter business will take off like a rocket so I can start looking at buying a house, or I win the Lotto. Either one is fine by me.

And then lastly:

This morning one of my colleagues asked me how I was, to which I always answer that I’m brilliant (cause I am, even when things around me are not). He then tells me that that I am looking very fluffy this morning (perk of my new curlier hair and the humidity I suppose)…according to him that usually means that someone is pregnant. Huh?! Never heard of that before. I am going to be scrutinising all pregnant women I know to determine their fluffiness. I think he’s just messing with me, or trying to ask me in a creative way if I’m getting any? Lunatic… 😆

There’ll be another post a bit later on with the cookie recipe on it (Marcia asked). And I am again apologising to everyone for being so far behind with my comments on your blogs. I will try to catch up tonight!

h1

Quick update on quitting

12 October , 2011

Photo of Nicola “planting” the flowers again after she’s picked them. 😉

20110921085

I have still not gotten round to downloading my photos from the weekend. The reason being that I find myself unable to keep my eyes open after I’ve put Nicola to bed at 20:00…and I figure, why fight that right? Being asleep does wonders for missing out on my cravings anyway. 😉

The only problem is that I now constantly wake up to Whatsapp messages from my sparrow saying things like, “It’s very rude to fall asleep without saying goodnight you know…lol”. I do feel a tiny bit guilty about that, but I’m sure I’ll get better again. Right now I need as much sleep as I can get. I say sorry when I wake up (even if it’s at 2:00am – hehehehe).

So, you may have wondered how am I doing with the quitting business and the answer is – not bad actually. This is my first ever attempt at cold turkey quitting, and I won’t lie, Monday was ROUGH. I actually did fine all day until exactly 15:00 when one of colleagues got up to have his 15:00 smoke, which I usually had with him, I felt like wrestling him for the half a pack of smokes I gifted him that very morning and lighting at least three at once! I happened to be chatting to Sparrow at the time and asked him to distract me because I really did not want to fail…his solution was to go buy a red bull and some chocolate (which I did not find incredibly helpful at the time, although the red bull actually came in handy on my way home a bit later). It is perhaps better that he didn’t get to see my face when he made that suggestion (in an effort not to get hooked on red bull instead of smokes I’ve only had one since he suggested it).

I had a little weep in the ladies room at work. I’m still not sure if it was because I really wanted a smoke, or because I really did not want to be wanting a smoke. It doesn’t matter, I didn’t have it and that took me one step closer to kicking my nicotine addiction.  I decided to do something I never do to distract myself untill the craving passed. So I ended up taking the stairs down and up 4 flights, then I felt better (except for the bit where I was having trouble breathing – hahahaha!). On the way down, and up, I was thinking to myself that if I really didn’t feel better by the time I got back to the top (crawling if I had to) then i should maybe ask someone to chuck me over the balcony. It will be a quicker and more merciful way to die that to kill myself one cigarette at a time. That actually got me laughing at myself (talk about the drama darlings!) and I think that may have done the trick.  😆

On Tuesday, being day two, I was still anticipating a bit of unpleasantness but it really wasn’t that bad. If someone asked me to explain it I would have said that on Monday I WANTED to the point where I cried, on Tuesday I just WANTED, and today I just wanted. Makes sense? Anyhoo, the first three days are the worst as far as I’m concerned – so we are just about over the hump on this one, whoohooo!

h1

Monday morning post-mortem of a weekend well spent

26 September , 2011

I don’t know about you – but I could have done with a bit more of this…other than that, the weekend was more or less purrrfect!

201108302954

I had the best weekend ever! Of course you’ve seen the Slutwalk photos, so you already know what I got up to on early Saturday. To my shame I have also realise that riding a desk has done nothing for my fitness levels – I was so pooped after that walk, and I was hurting in places that I had long forgotten I could hurt in. More or less everything from the hips down was aching. Scrap that, from about rib level down, plus my left shoulder. (I did a bit more than the 3,7 with the marshalling in the beginning to help direct traffic to the parking areas – and it didn’t help that I packed a bag for every eventuality either and lugged it all over with me). I am definitely going to have to start taking the stairs at work from now on. Just as soon as my shins stop hurting…

Sunday morning Nicola and I had a nice lazy start to the day. We woke up at 7-ish, put on a load of laundry, lounged around the house in pj’s, had a egg and bacon breakfast, and then followed that up with a nice hot bubble bath and a little bit of shopping before we headed off to our family braaiday (which we had on Sunday instead of Saturday). When your day begins that relaxed the rest of it usually turns out pretty good too, or is that just me? (I do not like to be rushed in the mornings, ever).

One of my friends, Clayton, joined us – and we had a nice catch up and brain storming session. He’s a clever man that Clayton. I think when you find someone with a clear vision of the world it’s a good idea to try and see the world through their eyes for a bit. Anyway, without going into too much detail, I feel quite excited about some of his ideas and if the stars align I’m hoping to get involved in a few of those projects. It’s going to be phenomenal! Keep your fingers crossed for me ‘kay? I love working with people who are passionate about what they’re doing, especially if what they’re doing is something that I believe in too. 🙂

Sunday night, back at home it was the usual feeling of where the heck did the weekend go?! I also got to have a nice long chat to my Sparrow last night. And not a, what’s the weather like, kind of chat either. I sure miss that little bird. Nicola’s been a bit under the weather, but luckily she settled down fairly easily and I had a bit of time to just sit and process all the awesome that has come across my path recently.  I am a very lucky girl. I might be the luckiest person that I even know. Just thought I’d mention that, in case you haven’t noticed. 😉

Hope you all have a kick-ass inspiring week ahead! And in whatever you get up to, try to take the scenic road, you won’t be sorry. That’s my words of wisdom for the week.