Oscar Pistorius – No more running

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Oscar-end of the race?

Oscar Pistorius – the end of his race

Oscar Pistorius, renowned star of the race track also known as the Bladerunner, has come to the last straight of this race. The race he is running now is like none he has ever run before. This one he is literally running for his life. It is the murder trial where he is the perpetrator and accused of premeditated murder on Reeva Steenkamp, in his own bedroom.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel assumed that Oscar Pistorius’ mental condition claim is “a fallback position”.
The murder trial is due to resume on Monday and any time soon Judge Masipa will decide his fate. That decision will mainly depend on the reports of three psychiatrists and one clinical psychologist, who had the mammoth task of evaluating the mental health of our fallen star, Oscar Pistorius.

Oscar Pistorius – the last four weeks

Every weekday of the past month Oscar found himself spending long periods of time at the former asylum for the criminally insane, which was built more than a century ago for detaining society’s most dangerous criminals.

Every morning he was driven down the gloomy tree lined path leading to the building. A path that reminds strongly of the usual paths that lead to the cemeteries of old. TV showed him being taken there by a family member, but once there, he was on his own. Nobody to coach him how to answer questions. What to say and what not to say. Whatever he said, his life depends on it.

The viewers of the broadcasted trial have often witnessed Oscar reaching for the ever present bucket, in which he vomited due to stress and emotion. One has to wonder if that happened during his tests and questioning in the asylum. Was there a ‘bucket’ too?

Surely he was must have tried to anticipate the repercussion of every answer he gave and every action he made. He was between a rock and a very hard place. Did he want to be diagnosed as mentally unstable? Or stable? I surmise ‘unstable’ would have the lighter consequences.

Oscar Pistorius – the last weekend

And so today he has nowhere to go. No hospital room . No court room. No one asking him any questions. No thinking and mulling over in his mind to try and take the correct next step, whatever that may or may not have been.

What is he doing with his free time this whole weekend. Perhaps his last 3 days of freedom. Or did freedom for Oscar Pistorius end the moment he fired his first or four shots at the locked bathroom door, in the wee hours of Valentines Day 2013? Or was it when his loved one received a fatal bullet? Or will he be saved by an unstable verdict on his mental health?

Perhaps ‘freedom’ for Oscar Pistorius will be a reflection of the words of an old song that indicates, freedom only means he ‘has nothing left to loose’?

You, however have much to loose!

That is why you should call Auto & General Insurance right away to get all your valuables insured!


What does Financial Freedom mean to you?

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Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom in this age

A few decades ago people were working to afford their 5Cs better known as Car, Cash, Credit Card, Condo and Country club membership. What does financial freedom really mean today?

Even though many people still chase the 5Cs of old, more and more people are going for the new set of 5Cs namely – Career, Comfort, Children, Considerate and Charitable.

Remember the quote of Confucius. He said: – “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”, let’s stop chasing the 5Cs and start chasing the 3Ws.
They are:
How often have you heard someone say that when they stop working their mouth will stop as well. This happens when people exchange time for money.

How often have you heard someone say that they want to pursue their passion while working? How many people have actually achieved that dream?

We should see the 3 W’s together with financial freedom rather that looking forward to retirement.

When do you have Financial Freedom?

You are financially free when you do not have debts and have a passive income that is able to satisfy your lifestyle. You are financially free if you can choose to stop working and pursue your dream of acting or whatever else you have a passion for.

Money is a big problem. Most people have more debt that income and this puts them in a financial predicament.
Have you and your spouse quarrelled over money?
Are you troubled over your credit card debts?

You will be shocked when you compare your lifetime savings to your lifetime earnings. Think about it – have you ever wondered how much money has passed through your hands, yet how little of it you have kept?

The best thing that we can do is to pay off our debts as soon as possible because we cannot achieve financial freedom any other way. We need to work hard so that we can live without worries. The path to financial freedom is a hard one, but if we keep our minds set on the goal, we can achieve anything.

An excellent financial decision you can make, is to have your home and all your valuable belongings insured against damage and loss!


Business Insurance: Get it today!

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Get your Business Insurance NOW!

Business Insurance: Wise advice made for wise choice

Xolani flicked an imaginary speck of dust from the shiny buffet and smiled proudly at her granddaughter, Themba.
“You’ve done well, my child. I’m sure you’ll have guests flocking to sample the menu when you open in a week’s time. I’m so excited for you!”
Beaming, Themba nodded and slid open the doors leading onto the wide verandah. “Come see the view, Gogo,” she invited and gestured to the panoramic vista of dozens of exquisite Baobab trees that stood scattered among thick Mopane bush.
“Ah, I see now why you named your coffee shop ‘The Baobab’!” Xolani exclaimed. Then she pointed worriedly to the dark, threatening clouds looming overhead. “It seems like we’re still in for some heavy rain today.”
“Yes, I don’t like the look of those clouds. It’s been raining almost nonstop for days now,” Themba frowned. “Come, let’s rather go inside, Gogo. I’ll make us some tea.”
Xolani and Themba had scarcely sat down to enjoy their tea and scones when the storm broke loose. The heavens opened and rain came down in buckets. Thunder clapped deafeningly and had the woman looking at each other wide-eyed with shock.
“Oh no!” Xolani suddenly yelled and jumped up, pointing to the ceiling. “Look, Gogo, the water is coming in! There and there and…”
“Careful that you don’t slip, Themba!” Xolani warned when she stepped into a pool of icy water that had accumulated in the middle of the floor. “Look, the water is coming in from under the doors as well!”
“It’s flooding, Gogo! My coffee shop’s flooding! What am I to do?” Themba cried. “All my savings went into this place. I’m supposed to open in a week!”
Xolani folder her arms around Themba and patted her soothingly on the back. “Hush, my child. Remember, you’ve got Dial Direct Business Insurance. Your coffee shop’s covered against floods. Dial Direct will take care of everything!”
“You’re right, Gogo!” Themba smiled through her tears. “You advised me to call Dial Direct on 0860 10 45 80 and get business insurance. You’re so wise, Gogo!”

Why don’t you follow Gogo’s wise advice?

This article was posted on http://www.dial-direct.co.za/and is reposted with permission.

Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano

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Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano

Why the name Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano

Parmigiano-Reggiano is called Parmesan in English. It is a hard, granular cheese that is cooked but not pressed. This cheese is named after the areas where it is produced, which is the Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna, Modena and Mantova, Italy.
Italian law prescribes that only cheese produced in these provinces may be labeled “Parmigiano-Reggiano”. European law classifies the name, as well as the translation “Parmesan”, as a protected designation of origin.

How is Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano made?

Parmigiano-Reggiano is made from raw cow’s milk. To get naturally skimmed milk, milk is held in large shallow tanks to allow the cream to separate overnight. This skimmed milk and the whole milk of the morning milking is mixed and pumped into copper-lined vats. Starter whey is added, the temperature raised to 33–35 °C (91–95 °F). Calf rennet is added and all is left to curdle for 10–12 minutes.
The curd is minced into small pieces, the temperature raised to 55 °C (131 °F) under watchful control by the cheese-maker. The curd settles for 45–60 minutes and then collected in a piece of muslin and divided in two and placed in molds. At this point it weighs around 45 kg (100 lb).
The cheese is put into a stainless steel form that is pulled tight so the cheese keeps the wheel shape. Two days later, a plastic belt imprinted numerous times with the Parmigiano-Reggiano name, a number and the date of production, is put around the cheese. Then it goes into a brine bath to absorb salt for 20–25 days and aged for 12 months.
At 12 months, the Consorzio Parmigiano-Reggiano, inspects every cheese and it’ll either pass the test and get his stamp of approval or fail and gets marked so consumers know they are not getting top-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano. Modern practice simply have the cheese stripped of all markings.

Parmesan – Use of the name Parmigiano-Reggiano

The name is trademarked and legal exclusive regulation is exercised in Italy, over its production and sale by the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Consorzio. It was government verdict.

Each wheel must meet strict criteria to merit the official seal. Because it is widely imitated, Parmigiano-Reggiano has become a progressively more regulated product and in 1955 it became a certified name. Looking at the process and time it takes to produce Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano, one understands the high price.
In the US the name Parmesan is also used for cheeses which imitate Parmigiano-Reggiano, along with phrases such as “Italian hard cheese”.

BEWARE, if it doesn’t say Parmigiano-Reggiano it IS NOT Parmigiano-Reggiano!

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How to handle fear – strategies that work

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Fear of heights

Overcoming fear is a skill anyone can acquire

“How to” columns are often pat and preachy, so I shall avoid minimising your fears by ready- made answers. It will require work. You have lived with your fears for a long time, and they are part of you. To debrief a set of beliefs takes time and awareness, and the true desire to stop being crippled by fear. Some fears are legitimate, and are healthy warning mechanisms when there is real danger, but when you justify holding onto those fears when the danger is absent, we enter the realm of neurosis. Other fears are disproportionate and can be called phobias.

Fearlessness is inhuman, and can be found in psychopaths and saints. To be guided by fear only is paranoid, and the motivating force behind much political evil. It is also the daily reality of people that are powerless and preyed upon. For those of us somewhere in between, there are ways of dealing with fear.

Face it

A feeling or a thought may not be the truth, but it is nevertheless true for you. Often we are embarrassed to admit (even to ourselves) to being afraid of something others handle with equanimity, so we avoid the experience and it can ruin one’s life. Confession really is good for the soul. Before on can confront a problem one has to acknowledge its existence. Avoid self pity, but do talk about it, write it down, or define it. The nebulous cloud of fears swirling in the mind keeps the fears shapeless. Once written down or articulated, it has a manageable shape. Then one can look it in the eye and say, “I can observe you and keep you in your place”.

Where do you come from gremlin / tokoloshe?

Once identified, one can try to find out how one came by this fear. Was it early childhood conditioning, a nasty experience, or perhaps a generational pattern we are perpetuating? Maybe trans-generational trauma is at work. (There is a growing body of research that posits that we carry negative things that happened to previous generations). The unreason of some fears may be because they are not personal, but some family or cultural heritage. Not everybody can access therapy, or pay a life coach, but the roots of fears sometimes become apparent once we have revealed the fear to ourselves and a diary, or a friend.

Is it a valid fear NOW?

For a long time I resisted reading the Eckhart Tolle book, The Power of Now, and was quite annoyed by everybody spouting it as some sort of superstitious mantra against the evil eye, but I have to admit it is indeed very practical in combating daily challenges. Fears may have been valid at some time, but most are created by the imagination. Right in this minute, is the fear warranted? You will find that mostly it is not. A very liberating exercise is to thank Destiny, God, the Universe/ my ingenuity/a moment of sanity/ my loved ones/ my intellect/Grace/my courageous self, (whatever you believe in) for the fact that I do not have to be afraid in this moment.

Be pro-active

Action is required. Do something: Ridicule is very useful- draw a snake with a silly facial expression and toothache if your fears have the shape of a snake. Sit in your wardrobe and hold the door shut, in the knowledge that you are in control of the door, if claustrophobia is your problem. Gradual desensitization works for some; others prefer more confrontational techniques, but both require courage. Courage to act, not lack of fear, builds strength of character. Turn your fear of drowning into a story or painting – art has always dealt with subconscious fears and desires. Re-write the positive outcome of situations you fear, in as many ways as you can. Help others with their fears, as this will bring perspective to yours.

There are hundreds of techniques ranging from hypnosis to EFT, Neuro-Linguistic Programming to diet, but the above is available to us all.


Know that whatever front people present, everybody is afraid of the unknown, failure and change. These are the intangibles that remind us that our sense of control is an illusion. But one has to be mommy bird as well as baby bird in the nest of adulthood: If mommy never pushes baby out of the safe nest, he will never learn to fly.

Ref: www.wikihow.com/Overcome-fear



Article originally posted on  http://www.wheretoinsure.com and reposted here with permission.


Recent fashion statements at the South African parliament

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The State of the Fashion – The State of the Nation

Unfortunately I missed most of the T.V. screening of the ceremonial swearing in of the new cabinet, but I did catch a glimpse of some exotic moth-in-the-becoming: A sort of chrysalis in purple cling wrap, with lilac sequinned tulle floating around it. “What possessed the wearer? The designer should be shot!” was my first reaction. But I have changed my mind. Why not? I mean, let’s have fun! The only sane reaction to much else perpetrated by governments all over the world, in the name of their electorate, is hysterical laughter, so why take it all so seriously? Almost a year ago, in June 2013, the office of the ANC whip released a statement to the effect that the then parliamentary leader of the Democratic Alliance, Lindiwe Mazibuko was dressed inappropriately for Parliament and that her outfit (a paisley dress that ended above the knee, black stockings and a red jacket) lacked respect for the debate, and decorum of the house. You don’t say!

Carnival chic

Fortunately no such protocols exist for red carpet events. Let’s look at some of the latest fashion statements: The DA’s Patty Duncan wore the flag; her husband a delightful tie that used the elements in an original design. The flag rather lends itself to de- and re- construction. For me it is one of the symbols of our freedom that we can enjoy our national flag without fear. Mandla Mandela was barefoot, and carried a spear. His wife Nodiyala wore a beaded outfit to match. Where else in the world would one find anything so authentic? I am so bored with variations of the Imperial dress code, that Mandla’s initiative charmed me.

At last somebody saw fit to dress Helen Zille, who supports local designers, in green. Her colouring lends itself to the cooler Titian hues, and I look forward to mossy greens and olive velvet soon. In the meantime, she looked great in a muted lime dress by Louis Designs, with fabulous beading done by Bead to Africa. Now if only Ms Zille will lose those frumpy glasses! Get some funky apple green Elton John round specs, or maybe some rich brown tortoise shell rectangles, please Helen. The DA blue is very unsympathetic to you too, so don’t take loyalty and visibility too far. If you absolutely have to, team it with some emerald.

The regal Baleka Mbete always delights with her eccentric and view-obstructing headgear. Thuli Madonsela, dignified as ever, was a goddess in a golden gown by King, while Lindiwe Mazibuko was the silver princess in a raw silk gown with a train, designed by Kat van Duinen. The coup, however, was Patricia de Lille who pulled off a white tuxedo style suit by menswear designers CSquad, cleverly worn with a colourful blouse.

Hats off

But one of the fashion statements that must surely get the first prize, is Malema’s red beret! The quasi military aspect can be forgiven if it is worn lower on the forehead, the black piping just above the brow; the puffy bit should be tilted slightly to one side. It is neat yet stylish, the colour is gorgeous, it can be dressed up and down, can carry off a brooch on the flattened side, and translate into red and white shweshwe fabric for informal occasions. I am getting one tomorrow.

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This article originally posted on: www.first-for-women.co.za/ and reposted with permission.