Category Archives: You don’t say!

Christmas fever everywhere

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Perhaps it will be a Christmas holiday!

Christmas preparations in full swing

With just a little under three weeks to go and the clock ticking persistently, Christmas day is approaching at full speed. Suddenly one realizes how much still has to be done, but the excitement cancels out any trepidations.

Most people are planning a Christmas holiday somewhere. Anywhere, as long as it is away from home. Vehicles have to be serviced. New swimsuits and slops for the whole family need to be purchased. Dad is folding his blindingly bright Hawaiian shirt with the hibiscus print and dusting off his fake Panama hat and sunglasses with the mirrored lenses for the beach. Nothing like a beach holiday to make the old man forget his age.

Others are doing the repairs at home that have been on the to-do list since February. Isn’t it amazing how an expected visit from the in-laws motivates you to open the toolbox and get out the paint brushes? We don’t want to give anybody a reason to gossip after the holidays.

Little children have written letters to Santa clause to let him know what is on their wish lists. The blind faith of a little child always astonishes me. It is no problem to expect the old man with the red suit and white beard to be able to bring a real aeroplane or a baby Kuala bear.

Since Christmas in most households starts with, and ends with Christmas lunch, the food is a major issue. Any turkey that is still alive at this late stage of preparation, is surely in hiding in China disguised as a hedgehog. Freezers are bulging, booze cabinets overflowing and pantries stocked up to the ceiling with all that will be eaten and drunk on this one day. Just one day!

If not last week, certainly this week the grannies will be filling every hollow thing in the house with home baked biscuits. Ginger, custard and coffee biscuits. Short bread and crunchies. The family recipe from four generations back is used for the rusks that are thirty centimeters long and can soak up a mug of coffee in one dunk. That is for breakfast on Christmas day just to see everyone over till the feast begins shortly after twelve.

Will it help to ask that the poor and the lonely should be remembered in all this?

Have a merry one!

Office Party Archetypes

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Office Party coming up soon?

Office parties, how does one describe them? To some they are a great opportunity to build team spirit after a hard year and for others they are the root of all evil. It is widely accepted that spouses and partners find office parties apprehensive or even downright loathsome. Irrespective of the potential unhappiness they may cause, a good old office party is always fun. It is that one day you don’t have to pay for anything – it is all on the HOUSE!

Office Party Archetypes

When an office party is in full swing party archetypes always rear their head:

The Macho Man – who signals his lack of social prowess with a beer-belch after every one of the 15 beers (and counting) he has had. Accompanied by an incessant genital scratching as if trying to make sure it is still there…

The Nerd – awkwardly making his way through the crowd freely dispensing anecdotes from the previous decade. Yes, the exact same ones you tried to avoid last year.

The Loud One – that you can hear from wherever you are at the party, like the siren on a fire engine.

The Dancer – with the hips that don’t lie, well at least not in their mind…

The dreaded Kisser-Hugger – Yes, the one who has a built-in GPS just to find you! No matter how cold or frank you are, you too will be receiving the hug and kiss you made sure of leaving out of your letter to Santa Clause.

According recent surveys the Kisser- hugger is the least favorite of the characters. Studies have shown that these characters are found to be the most annoying.  Most people noted that they feel their personal space is invaded and that the charm of kissing was left behind in the sixties for good reason. No matter how much society has evolved these archetypes remain a constant at office parties. They have a knack of embarrassing themselves, but still make for a good laugh.

Office party time is here! Grab a glass of champagne and salute the passing of the work year.

What is BLACK FRIDAY all about?

Aspects of Time: Finding the gift

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Finding the gift of Time

 The value of this precious commodity depends on how you view it. Let’s have a look at Time and how we identify with its various aspects.

Linear Time: A man-made commodity

Linear Time is a human invention. We’ve derived means to appoint seconds, minutes and hours to a day, followed by weeks, months and years ~ all linked to cycles and seasons. Let face it; although Time-keeping is man-made, it does have its benefits like keeping appointments or scheduling certain activities.

Subjective Time: A circumstantial commodity

We alter Time according to the situation we find ourselves in; Time can stand still, seem like an eternity, you can lose track of it … Time can speed up, and during a life-threatening event you may see your whole life flash in front of your eyes in an instant when the moment  moves back into the past.

Objective Time: Past, present and Future

We now understand the concept of linear Time as well as subjective Time, so what does ‘Objective Time’ mean? Is this perhaps where the true value of  Time lies?

When we look at the future, we can say with certainty that it does not exist. It is an unknown dimension that has not been explored yet, although the possibility exists that the next moment, the very future itself, is shaped by our decisions, choices or even worries.

Looking at the past, most people will agree that it does not exist either. It’s over and done with, and nothing you can do can change those mistakes and mishaps or bring back the good old days.

So if the future and past don’t exist, we are left with the present, the true gift of Time.

How you use the present, determines the value of this aspect of Time. Here your dreams and visions are shaped, or here your fears take a foothold.

It’s quite safe to conclude that the Present is our most valuable commodity.

Objectively speaking of course …

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Author: Sharon du Plessis

Bio: Artist and Writer, author and illustrator of self-published Afrikaans Tarot Deck, Shaman apprentice and teacher.



Surviving change – High School to University

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Surviving change in the transition from High School to University

The Changes a student might me challenged with:

It is seldom realized what challenges the transition from High School to University could hold. Students are not only faced with a new environment, new people, rules and regulations, but are additionally faced with a diversity of languages and cultures they might not have been used to back home. They might have to learn to live in a society which isn’t as conservative as what they were used to.

Then, apart from all that, they would be forced to learn to do things on their own. At University your parents and lovable, nagging teachers aren’t there to help you get through the work, attend your classes or to help you with your assignments. It is your own responsibility whether you attend your classes or not and to know when you have an assignment due. Students are also faced with an enormous amount of work and mostly the work is self-study, which means it is yet again your own responsibility to do it. Unlike your teachers in High School, your lecturers won’t beg you to finish or hand in the work. If you don’t do it, it’s an incomplete mark against your name which may result in  a failed course.

5 Tips on how to handle these changes:

1. Stress

With all the work stress and the negativity caused by being away from home, it is important to stay busy. If you stay busy you don’t have time to feel homesick and in this way you stay on schedule with your work load.

2. Social Events

It is also a good thing to participate in social events or to become a part of the University’s societies. This will create opportunities for you to meet people and make new friends. By making new friends your new environment will become more like a home to you and you’ll feel less alone.

3. Exercise

Becoming a member of a gym is another way to keep you positive about the changes you have to deal with and by staying fit will also make you feel better about yourself physically.

4. Entertainment

You could also put some time aside to explore your new environment by going to museums, art galleries, shopping malls, coffees shops and festivals. In this way you familiarize yourself with your new home and it will open your eyes to the beauty it has to offer.

5. Communication

As you explore your new environment and participate in some of the activities held by the University, make your parents or friends back home part of your new experiences by telling them about it. This will not only help you to stay in contact with them, but it will also help you avoid feeling as if you’ve lost them since you’ve moved away.

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Author: Irene van Staden

Irene van Staden is currently a second year student at the University of Stellenbosch, studying BA (Art and Culture). Her interests range from language dialects, visual art, literature, art festivals, theatre, cultural movements and student life.

Contact details:

Irene is available to write Guest Posts for your website or blog. Contact her at the e-mail address provided.

Top 5 Cars: What our cars say about us

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The good and faithful, the memory-maker and the dream-chaser

The old adage goes: “The best car is a paid off car”, but for most of us our cars are far more than the monthly payments we have to make on them. Our cars reflect who we are and where we are in our lives. The symbolic status of the following cars has made them unabashed icons on South African roads:

1 Citi Golf

The good old Citi Golf – never has a car been more akin to student life that VW’s Citi Golf. Although no longer in production this car is still a standard issue with all student cards. It is the pure economy of this car, both at initial purchase and subsequent maintenance that made it the must have entry-level car for many generations.

2 VW Polo

The red ribbon Polo – Diving through that red ribbon to get to that “new car smell” the mark of the new entrants into the job market is VW’s Polo. Offering dependability, fuel efficiency and just enough curve-appeal to remain cool this is just the car to have when buying your own first car.

3 Toyota Corolla

Faithful Toyota Corolla – For decades a symbol of reliability, the Toyota Corolla has been the sensible car for young families and people that have secured themselves in their careers. Offering a balance between comfort and economy this car’s most attractive trait remains its reputation for being utterly reliable.

4 BMW 320i

Put on your power-suit with the BMW 320i – This is your statement car. This is the car to say: “I’m no longer keeping up with the Flintstones!” This car most often chosen by the newly successful offers performance and luxury.

5  Bentley V8

Platinum Status – Bentley V8 is the ultimate driving experience, unrivaled in its combination of luxury and performance, but affordable only to the elite.

Whatever car you choose: good old faithful, the memory-maker or the big dream chasers – they are wheels that like rolling.

Budget Insurance – always there for you!

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Author: William Carter

Bio:        William Carter – Freelance writer that likes writing about actual events that are relevant to the time we are in. My passion is people, we are so diverse in many ways, my opinion might not be yours but in today’s world we all have the right to opinions and formulations. It is nice to be able to debate and in the end be as we are.

Contact William for Guest Posts at:


How to Walk tall and do what you love

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Do what you Love & Walk comfortably in your OWN shoes

We humans are multi-complex beings harboring our own unique interests, curiosities, loves and peeves.  We’re all divinely afforded one life and what we make of it, is up to us.  Life owes us nothing and if we don’t make a conscious decision to make the most of it, it’ll simply leave us behind.  Life is short, so start living it the way YOU want to live it – right now!

Les Brown, motivational speaker and author, advised:  “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”  How true.  When you’re on your death bed, you don’t want to look back on the life you’ve lead and be filled with remorse and regret for all the opportunities that went to waste because YOU didn’t have the courage to make a grab for it.

When you’ve the guts to do what you love, you’ll be rewarded with a sense of purpose and direction in life. Your life will feel and become more meaningful.  You’ll be abuzz with creative energy and positive flow and will look forward to every waking moment to pursue your special interest.  Life is to be enjoyed, not simply endured!

For you to walk comfortably in your own shoes, you need to refuse to settle for second best, and not give up on your dreams and aspirations.

Consider the following scenarios:

Negative Scenario 1: You hate what you do… you’re wearing someone else’s shoes

You drag yourself to work, resentful of the fact that you’ll be computing numbers all day long. You feel frustrated, bored and unfulfilled.  You struggle to concentrate on your work and your mind keeps wandering. You second-guess yourself and feelings of doubt and despair cloud your every judgment. Negative thinking and worrying are your constant companions.  You lack initiative and motivation.  You only do what’s expected of you in order to pick up your paycheck at the end of the month.

Positive Scenario 2: You love what you do… you’re wearing your own shoes

You can’t wait to start working on the exciting new project waiting on your desk.  You’re positively brimming with new ideas and feel passionate and alive. You’re experiencing boundless levels of energy and feel positive and highly motivated to make a success of the job at hand.  You’re confident that you’re doing the right thing.  You do more than what is expected of you and give your utmost.  The paycheck at the end of the month is simply a bonus as you already feel rewarded just by doing the things you love.

If you want to start living a more meaningful life, you’ll need to reconsider the influence other people’s opinions, expectations and perceptions have on your life.  Are you doing what you hate because you want to conform to other people’s ideas of success?

It is time to identify your own personal vision of success.  The choice is yours.  Do what you hate and be miserable in a Ferrari, or do what you love and be happy in a rusted sedan.  Chances are, if you do what you love passionately and work hard at it, you may end up parking the Ferrari in your driveway anyway.

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Should you Save More or Earn More?

Is depriving yourself of joy a good thing?

I shall never forget one of my most profound life’s lessons. It came, as many light bulb moments do, unexpectedly over a glass of wine. But what a glass!! A friend married a widower some years after the death of his first wife. His children were grown up and had left home. They invited us to dinner and served our wine. Two of the glasses were exquisite crystal, one in a deep shade of red and one in blue. The other people had wine in ordinary glasses. I commented on the fact and out came a story that held the seed of a life decision that has served me well: The husband and his brother were each given a set of 12 of these hand-cut glasses upon the occasions of their weddings, by their parents who had saved these 24 treasures when they had to flee their homes in Poland during the anti-Jewish pogroms. The first wife of our host had never used them for fear of breaking one. However, every time they moved house or when they were taken out of the display to be dusted, one would break. Now only two were left and the second wife decided to use them with respect but without fear and guilt. The host’s brother and his wife had used theirs regularly and often, and still had 7 unbroken ones left.

Poverty Consciousness

The fear of not having enough is often found to be unjustified. I still think about the Peter Jander painting I did not buy, but could have, as the worry about being too extravagant had turned out to be groundless. My family wanted for nothing after all; I had made a plan to earn more anyway.

There is a line in Charles Dickens uttered by (I think) old Mister Micawber who always had “penury difficulties” where he recalls the pleasure the purchase of a pretty bonnet for his wife had brought her. It is too, too counterproductive to skimp and save, and it sucks the energy and joy out of the day.


Isn’t it better to work creatively around what one earns, find ways of earning more, and enjoy the rewards? Isn’t it better by far to feel energised by a weekend by the sea? Don’t you feel as if you can stride across continents and sing on top of the world when you wear those gorgeous suede boots? I feel as if I can move mountains when I get something I want: I may not need that lovely pillar-box red gas heater. I could sit with a hot water bottle on my lap. But the comfort the heater brings builds courage for the next day’s work, allows me to give my all in my work, warms the creative juices, not only the toes.

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Live life to thrive – doing what you love

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Are you doing what you love

Surviving in No Man’s Land?

Do you drag yourself out of bed each morning hoping the day will pass in a blur so you can get right back into bed and just go to sleep and block out the boring, mundane life you feel forced to lead? Do you only put in enough effort to survive each day, vaguely hoping that everything works out for the best at the end? Are you simply going through the motions required to earn paycheck after paycheck as month after tedious month ticks by?

It sure sounds like you’re trapped in survival mode – living your life on full auto-pilot. Answer the following questions truthfully:
Doing what you love, when last have you felt
 passionate about anything?
 excited by something?
 a sense of achievement?
 a sense of fulfillment?
 that your life has meaning?
Hmm, that bad? Life is too short to not experience it in full. You have only one life to live and enough of it has been wasted in limbo already.

Head for the Land of the Living

It is time that you board the bus out of no man’s land and head for the land of the living. Your ticket out of the shadows is L-O-V-E. You need to figure out what you love doing and then start doing what you love.
The moment you do what you love, you’ll experience passion, excitement, a sense of achievement and fulfillment and your life will have meaning again. Explore your interests and identify the things you love. Start pursuing it. Open your heart and mind to new possibilities and get excited by the adventure that awaits you. Your life is far from over. In fact, you need to kick start it.

Live Life and Thrive

You owe it to yourself to do what you love and live your life to the fullest. Life owes you nothing – if you allow life to get you under, it’ll simply gobble you up and spit you out. You need to make a conscious decision to live life and thrive. Be decisive – get up, take life by the throat and conquer it big-time.

Here follow more reasons why you should be doing what you love:
 You’ve one life only and you’d better make it count.
 You’re 100% worthy of living a happy and fulfilled life.
 You owe it to yourself to tap into everything life’s got to offer.
 You deserve to be happy and experience joy and inner peace.
 Doing what you love will improve your overall well-being.

Why are you waiting? Start doing what you love straight away!

As important as it is to be doing the things that you love, it is also important to have Insurance cover for the things that you love!


This article was published on and is reposted with permission.

Fat finding mission – Tim Noakes diet

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Fad or fact?

Once more Prof Tim Noakes is on a (pork) roll

The latest Tim Noakes diet plan is also referred to as “The Red Meat Revolution”. The demonization of saturated fats was very effective in creating an avalanche of disease in the Western World. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease were all blamed on cholesterol. The medical ‘industry’ went wild. We now know that the original research did not take into account many aspects, including smoking. Everybody knows (in layman’s terms) that carbohydrates become ‘sugar’ and that insulin is secreted when glucose levels rise. Glucose that is not used is stored as glycogen, and when the ‘storage’ is full, it is stored as fat.


After advocating pre-athletic jaunt carbo-loading, we are now told that the body’s preferred fuel is fat. This is true. One does not get hungry so quickly and in any case fat equals flavour, so things taste delicious and one is satisfied on several levels. Paleo foods (from our ancient evolutionary past) are upheld as the original sustenance. That the Tim Noakes decarb diet has helped many people lose weight and regain health, is not to be disputed.

At what cost?

However, one may do well to look at dietary changes in a more holistic way.

Although in no doubt about the harmful consequences of most dietary habits in developed countries, some of us are dubious about dismissing thousands of years of nutrition. Poor old gluten has been much maligned, but perhaps it is processing, GMO, chemical meddling and refined sugar that turns wheat into poison. Civilizations have been built on grains.(Rice, wheat, maize, oats, rye, millet, sorghum, kasha, quinoa, spelt, buckwheat, teff ) Potatoes, yams and other root crops as a staple prevents famine. Carbs may not be necessary, but hunting is not a lifestyle within reach of the majority. We all also know the horrors of commercial meat production, the destruction of rain forests to ‘grow’ beef, the ecological consequences of effluent from piggeries, the diseases of battery chickens, the stripping of the oceans, to mention but a few. To advocate even greater consumption of meat by the privileged few at the cost of the majority and the planet, is something conscious people may want to consider.

Throwing a spanner in the works

No, I am not preaching. Yes, I did mean to throw a banger in the mash. People need to do what is right for them, and Prof Tim Noakes certainly has the courage of his convictions, because nutritionists and medical people are challenging him on the long term effects. For me the jury is still out on this one.

Keep check on your weight, but also be responsible about your Insurance cover!

This article was published on and is reposted with permission.

What does wealth really mean?

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What is wealth?

Start Building your own Wealth Now

Take good care of your money today and it will take care of you in future. Be proactive – create your own wealth by making a grab at money now.

Define Wealth

Francisco Colayco, entrepreneur, author and financial advisor stated: “Wealth does not necessarily mean having millions and millions of pesos. Being wealthy simply means having the financial resources to support your chosen lifestyle. Wealth is nothing more than having money to fund your particular needs at any given time.”

Some of the wealthiest multi-billionaires on the planet allow themselves no rest as they are constantly and almost feverishly busying themselves with amassing more and more wealth. Why? They need to keep on funding their lifestyles. It costs a lot of money to keep one’s own private jet in the air and since money has the knack of dwindling away very quickly if it’s not being taken care of, it makes perfectly sense to keep the dough rolling.

Conduct a quick survey among your family, friends and colleagues. Ask them to define their understanding of the term ‘wealth’. You’ll probably be surprised at their answers. For some people wealth simply means having a roof over their heads. For others it means having several roofs over their heads.

Needs and wants

Wealth means having money readily available to pay for what one needs and wants.

Needs are essential and basic requirements necessary for our survival such as food, clothing and shelter. Wants refer to what we desire or wish for and may include things like entertainment and toys. Wants are nice to have and may make our lives easier and more enjoyable but it is things we can do without if need be.

Sometimes we need to make some sacrifices in the short term to gain in the long term. If we want to create our own wealth, we need to take a long, hard look at our lifestyle. Yes, we need clothes but does it have to sport expensive designer labels? We need food but does it have to be gourmet dishes? Do we always need to have the best and latest of everything? Do we have to compete with the Joneses? Do we have to present a certain image to the world? (It seems like some serious introspection is called for!)

Be money-wise as from today

Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy commented: “Today the greatest single source of wealth is between your ears.”

Use common sense. Use the money you have today wisely. You can’t spend it all in one go and hope you’ll be okay in future. You’ll only have future money if you plan today. Start with what you’ve got and make the best of it. Take good care of your money and it will take care of you right back.

A few basic steps on how to create your own wealth

Determine your needs
A bit of frugal and modest living now will take you far in future.

Determine your wants
Have fun and reward yourself now and then but do it in a money-wise manner.

Draw up a budget and stick to it
List your income and expenditure and have a clear idea of where your money is coming from en where it’s going to.

Have a short term plan in place
Having achievable and measurable goals will encourage you to stick to your plan.

Have a long term plan in place
This will remind you what exactly you are working towards and keep you focused.

You can only create your own wealth if your income is greater than your expenditure. Either curb your spending or up your income. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to earn extra money. Be creative and be prepared to work hard. Enjoy seeing your wealth grow.

This article was published on and is reposted with permission.