Winning a Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany's hosted by Smile 90.4FM

Mother’s Day Breakfast hosted by Smile 90.4FM

As a child I had loads of fun entering any competitions I could lay my hands on. I didn’t always win, but the fun was the anticipation of waiting for the closing date to find out if I had actually won anything.


I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old, I won a set of two medium sized Easter eggs in a colouring competition. The last prize I remember winning was as a young adult (about 18 or 19 years of age). A petrol station had just opened up across the road from where I lived and they had a lucky draw competition to attract as many customers to the filling station as possible – I don’t remember what you had to do to enter. I just remember you had to be present when the lucky draw took place – which I was and I won a car radio/CD player. I entered a few more competitions after that but never won anything and soon lost interest in entering competitions, and of course, life happened so didn’t have as much time on my hands.


Fast track many moons now to a few weeks ago. A local community radio station here where I live, which I listen to while I’m working advertised their annual Mother and Daughter Breakfast which I’ve always wanted to attend but was always sold out as soon as ticket sales opened up but was also way outside what my budget could afford. Every year they hold back at least two sets of double tickets which you can win in a competition but because my luck with competition seemed to have run out in my early adulthood, I never entered the competition.


Smile 90.4FM radio

Smile 90.4FM Banner

Then, last week, I looked at the competition while browsing their website and although my mother is no longer alive, I thought “what the heck?” I’m going to enter and if I do win, I’ll ask my sister to go with me as she is an incredible mother to her two children who are my niece and nephew of course.


Two Sisters

Breakfast at Tiffany’s hosted by Smile 90.4FM

Low and behold – guess what? Last week Thursday (which was the closing date for the competition), I received a call from the radio station saying that I should stay close to my phone because I “may be a winner” in the competition I entered. A few hours later, they called back to tell me I had actually won a set of two tickets to their incredible annual breakfast. Wow! You could have blown me over with a feather! To be told live on air that I’ve won – after not winning anything for so many years was just an awesome experience.


Jo-Ann Strauss

Jo-Ann Strauss at Smile 90.4FM Breakfast at Tiffany’s


The theme for this year’s breakfast was Breakfast at Tiffany’s held at our local Cape Town International Convention Centre. What an awesome experience. We had a local band called The Black Ties to entertain us and the special Guest Speaker was our very own Jo-Ann Strauss who was also our very own Miss South Africa about 19 years ago. What an inspirational speaker.


The Black Ties

The Black Ties

Besides the incredible entertainment and encouraging message, each person received a goodie bag “to die for” with items like braai tongs and a rubber “oven” glove –  meant to be used with the braai tongs but for those, like me who don’t braai, I suppose we could use it for the oven too. There was also a back of brownie mixture, tin of hot chocolate powder, coffee capsules, a bath mat, make-up kit, face cleanser and a 4-in-one meat rub which could be used on poultry or fish as well.


The Goodie Bag

Goodie Bag from Smile 90.4FM Breakfast at Tiffany’s


This competition has certainly restored my belief in winning again and I will certainly make more of an effort to enter more competitions from now on.

Reflections of an aging mind (and body)  . . .

Le Franschoek Hotel, Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa

View from Le Franschoek Hotel, Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa


I can’t believe how 2018 just flashed and disappeared before my eyes. It didn’t help that I was working three jobs (full time day job plus two evening jobs) which is why, I hope you can understand, I wrote so little here.

Unfortunately, in spite of giving up my evening jobs, 2019 seems to be no different. Here I am, writing to you but it’s already the middle of March. Where has the time gone?

This year started off well with me having some annual leave for the first time in about five years but then during the last two weeks of January everything seemed to go a little pear shaped. Let me give you a little background before I tell you why my year went a little pear shaped.


Lunch with friends

View from Rhodes Memorial Tea Room


Last year (2018) I had two very bad falls – in both cases my left knee took the brunt of the fall, so before my knee could heal properly from the first fall, I fell a second time, hurting the same knee causing more injury to an already injured knee. Nevertheless, I plodded along trying to keep as much weight off the knee, resting as much as possible in the hopes of healing coming eventually. That’s until the last two weeks in January 2019 when everything went pear shaped.


I started noticing more and more pain coming from my left knee and also noticed that I still had a bruise on the knee (my last fall now being 9 months ago – so this was not normal). I discussed this with my Physiotherapist who advised me to massage the bruise to see if it would go away naturally – in spite of the fact that this knee was now so painful that even just having my bed sheets touch it made me want to jump sky high. I tried massaging the bruise for about 3 days but nothing happened. I then tried to ignore the bruise but after a few days started noticing my knee becoming red and swollen.


Cellulitus, inflammation

What the knee looked like on 11 February 2019


Well, me being the person who tries to avoid going to the doctor at all costs, decided to ignore the fact that my knee was getting more red and swollen until that fateful day on Mon 11 February when I could no longer ignore the pain.


Side note: As I continued to try to ignore the pain, I was taken out for dinner on Mon 4 February by my cousin as it was my birthday and Saturday 9 February went out for lunch with my sister and her family to celebrate my birthday seeing as they could not see me on the actual day of my birthday.


I made an appointment to see a doctor on Tues 12 February but took the latest appointment I could get so I did not spend most of my working day waiting to see a doctor.

After examining my knee the diagnosis was Cellulitus which, as the doctor explained, was an inflammation in the tissue between the layers of skin around the knee and in addition to this, I had a slight fever.

According to the doctor, when there has been trauma to a particular area (in my case my knee probably as a result of the falls I had), fine tears develop in the tissue between the layers of skin and if any fluid – even just a few drops, drop into these tears, it causes an inflammation.

I was immediately hooked up to a drip and fed a dose of antibiotics through the drip (killing two birds with one stone). The doctor marked the area with a pen and took pictures so we could monitor the progress. I was told to come back the next day so we could see if the treatment worked (doctor assumed I would only need one drip and that I could go onto oral antibiotics from day two). I was booked off work for three days to give me time to rest the knee. The pain in my knee was unbearable to say the least.


Wed 13 February – pain still unbearable but back into the car and off to the doctor I went. Doctor was happy with the progress as there was clear movement from where the pen marks were and how the inflammation was drawing away from the pen marks but the treatment was not working as fast as the doctor hoped so he ordered me back on a drip (with antibiotics fed through) for another day with instructions to come back again the next day.




Day 3: Thurs 14 February (how I spent Valentine’s day): same as yesterday. Back on the drip with antibiotics fed through the only difference today is that the doctor decided he could now start me on oral antibiotics. Doctor gave me a script and was put on a double dose of antibiotic (Augmentin) twice a day (plus one antibiotic I had to only take once per day). He said that in spite of having an antibiotic through the drip, I should still start my oral antibiotics that evening as well. Doctor left me with instructions to see him again the next day.

Well, let me tell you this, having one kind of antibiotic fed through your drip, plus a double dose of Augmentin plus one other antibiotic all within a matter of hours, certainly had me bouncing off the walls that night. Do you think I could sleep that night? Noooooo . . . besides the pain keeping me awake, I now also had all this antibiotics in my system making me bounce off the walls.

There was also a new development . . . before getting into bed for the night, I noticed a “bump” forming on my knee right in the middle of my knee cap. As the night progressed, it started looking and feeling like an abscess which came with pain and tenderness of its own.


Friday 15 February – After only about two hours of sleep, still in pain, back in the car and off to doctor once more. Doctor was happy with progress and said there is no need for the drip any longer. I could now just continue with the oral meds until I finished the course but he still wanted to see me daily to monitor the progress.

I then pointed out the little “bump” on my knee which now was not so “little’ any longer and the doctor agreed that it definitely was an abscess which needed to be lanced to release whatever junk was building up, so off we went to the treatment room to find me a bed.

I was given a local anaesthetic into the knee which was a total waste of time because it had no effect on me whatsoever and the doctor proceeded with lancing anyway. Having an abscess drained from an inflamed knee is no joke I tell you.

The force and pressure this doctor used on both sides of my knee (left and right and then top and bottom) felt like he was trying to dislodge my knee cap with his bare hands. He did each side about 6 or 7 times – being forced to stop in-between to give me a chance to get my breath back. I tried all the breathing exercises they usually tell mothers giving birth to use but that did not help. Doctor offered me another dose of local anaesthetic which I refused because the first dose had no effect on me anyway so why bother?

The amount of fluid he got out of that abscess exploded like a volcano, he said was equivalent to half a litre of fluid and floating in that fluid was a blood clot which he says must have been the bruise that wouldn’t go away, that dislodged itself from my skin and became a blood clot floating around in the fluid.

By the time he was done with me I felt like a train had run over me. I struggled to get back to my car after that and finally made it home.


pleasure, entertainment


Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February – my doctor was off for the weekend so he had another colleague take care of me for the weekend. Doctor was happy with the progress we were making with the medication and just told me to continue. I begged the doctor for a break from coming in every day (the pain and the exhaustion was really getting to me) and he reluctantly agreed to give me a break on Monday from coming in but said I definitely needed to come back on Tuesday to see my doctor.


Tues 19 February – doctor happy with progress – no sign of further inflammation, the wound from abscess still needed dressing, but told me to continue with the oral antibiotics until I completed the course.

The rest of my time on antibiotics left me feeling sick all the time. I really struggled to get through each day – walking around feeling nauseous the entire day is no joke. I really don’t know how women with “morning sickness” get through their pregnancy. Kudos to those who make it through!


Saturday 23 February (the day before my course of antibiotics was meant to finish), I woke up and found that my fridge had died sometime during the night. Fortunately what I had in the freezer was still frozen so I quickly got that out and got it into the communal fridge in the complex where I live. The rest of the stuff in my fridge had to be thrown out.

So . . .  I had to get myself another fridge. Ordered one online which would only be delivered on Thursday. This meant having to cope without a fridge for almost a whole week.


Wednesday 27 February – had a work Board meeting to attend. The boss arrives at my place as she is travelling with me. We’re in the car, ready to go . . . and my car won’t start. The immobilizer won’t deactivate. Get roadside assistance in, they are unable to sort the problem out due to the mechanical set up of the car so I need to be towed to a garage to have the problem fixed.

Car gets towed to garage. Fortunately, I work from home so go to my desk and get to work – nauseous, stressed and exhausted.



View from Bertha’s Restaurant, Simonstown, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa


Thursday 28 February – struggled to get out of bed due to nausea but managed to get through the day working somehow but was forced to stop working at around midday due to very bad stomach cramps. I shut down my computer and went to bed.  Spent most of the day throwing up – could not even hold water down, needless to say, could not really eat much either.

While in bed, the garage called to say my car is ready for collection but I explained I was too sick to get my car and said I would collect my car the next day.

I spent the rest of Thursday running to the bathroom to throw up, which I hoped would get rid of the cramps, but to no avail. Turns out I had a bad case of Diverticulitis (an inflammation or infection of small pouches called diverticula that develop along the walls of the intestines. The formation of the pouches themselves is a relatively benign condition called diverticulosis).

After what seemed like forever, I finally made it through the night.

Friday 1 March – Stomach cramps now a thing of the past, but stomach feeling very tender after the last two days. Managed to get my car, worked the rest of the day and then just went back to bed after the work day was done.



View from Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa


What happened between 1 March and now is just a blur. Apart from chasing work deadlines, nothing much has happened.

Hope this explains why there’s been so little posted here. I’m hoping to remedy that and get back to my weekly posts but hey . . . life happens!

Walk a mile in my shoes . . .



For most of this week it has been bugging me to write something about the life of a person with a disability. The part of this that has bugged me the most is how some people with a disability struggle to find a life partner to settle down with.


Using myself as an example: sitting at a table in a restaurant or behind the wheel of my car, I have often had many men flirt with me but the minute I get up from the table or get out of my car, they look the other way.


I’ve had many flirts via text message going as far as an expression to meet up but the minute I reveal that the venue needs to be accessible (I can’t climb stairs for example), they never contact me again.


Yes, there are many people with disabilities who do find love with able-bodied (people who don’t have a disability) but I think there is an equal amount like me, who simply just don’t find that lifelong partner.



While all this was going through my mind and I was wondering exactly how I was going to put this post together, I came across this video which sums up a lot of what I was going to say about persons with disabilities.


We are people too. We also have hopes and dreams. We also want to get married, have children and live in a house with a white picket fence. We don’t want your pity, we don’t want you to do everything for us. We want the opportunity to live independently and contribute to society just like everyone else. So why not give us an opportunity to do just that?


Have a look at this video here – it says it a lot better than I can: 






How to restore balance in your life

Franschoek, Western Cape, South Africa

Pause, Reflect, Re-evaluate, Purge,  Restore

Oh my word . . . can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve sat down to write a post. This blog is all about the “journey called life” – my journey, and yet, I’ve allowed “life” to get in the way of so many things to cause me to go totally off centre.

I think at some stage I wrote a post about how my life trying to earn a decent living was consuming me to the point that I didn’t have a life.  I reached a point where I was working three jobs causing me to work until midnight seven days per week just to put food on the table.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t about getting rich. It’s never been about getting rich. I’ve never been a money chaser. It’s been purely about earning enough money to keep a roof over my head and some decent food on my table instead of baked beans on toast three times a day.

I wasn’t happy being sucked into this big, black, dark hole but it was like I was on a hamster wheel and just couldn’t get off.  The one job I was doing at night which I thoroughly enjoyed up to a point, became what was consuming me. Instead of only working 2 hours per night three days per week, I was working 4 hours per night seven days per week (more on weekends). I was not an employee of this organisation, I was working freelance and instead of appreciating my efforts they abused and took advantage of me and my time by just expecting more and more. It was like giving my hand but they grabbed the whole arm.

This was not how I expected my life as a freelancer to turn out. This is not how I expected my life leading up to my retirement years to turn out. Something had to be done – and fast!

What was the solution? How did I get myself out of this big, black, dark hole I found myself in and back into the light?



I had to pause, reflect, re-evaluate, purge, and restore my life back to what I want it to be.

Pause: I had to physically stop! I had to physically move away from my desk and put myself into a space where I was removed from the current environment that was consuming me. The place I live in is tiny so the only way to do this was to go for a long drive somewhere where I could be removed from my “normal” surroundings.

Reflect: Being away from my “normal” environment, gave me the opportunity to reflect on what my life had become, where I was heading and what could potentially happened if I continued along this path.

Re-evaluate: I forced myself to take a good, long look at my current state of life and re-evaluate where I really want to go. Is this really the kind of life I want for myself? Is this really how I want to spend what could be my last few years on this earth? Okay, granted, I’m not in my sixties yet, but I’m not far off.

While I took care of my mother during her short illness, I realised that there is so much more to life than “things”. My sister and I stopped buying each other “things” a few years before our mom became ill and rather focussed on experiences – to focus on our bucket list instead of buying more “things” but somehow, when my work became all consuming, I seemed to have lost sight of this aspect somehow and it was time to get this back.


Purge: The time came to do a real purge of what was pulling me down. First step was to get rid of the job that was dragging me down but this had serious implications and consequences. I was not earning much from this job but the little I was earning was helping to pay the bills each month. How was I going to live without this money? What was I going to do to fill the gap? Where would I get another job from to close this financial hole?

One consolation was that I had reached the point that my credit card which was maxed out at one stage was now at a point where I was able to manage my monthly repayments and it was no longer maxed out. I continued to cut my expenses to the bare minimum. I don’t spend any money unless I can pay cash. My credit card (yes, I only have one) is for emergencies only. I do not have store clothing accounts ANYWHERE!!

So, I resigned from the job that was dragging me down with immediate effect. This was such a shock to my system, that it took me about a month to get used to the idea of no longer having this job and once my mind and body made peace with the fact that this particular job was no longer there to drag me down, it felt like a huge boulder was lifted off my shoulders.


Guess what? I now have more time to devote to my third job (which has now become my second job), I no longer work till midnight every night, I have my weekends back to do whatever I like (I can choose to work if I want to but not obligated to) and this job, now covers the hole I thought my second job was going to leave.

I survived!!

 Last night I purged again . . . a committee I was an Executive member of, also draining me of time and energy without adding any value to my life, I resigned from.

The message I would like to leave with you today is don’t be afraid to take that leap into the unknown. Get rid of whatever it is that is holding you back. Yes there will be consequences for your actions but you are stronger than you think. Somehow you will manage to absorb the shock and you will cope.

I hope this post has left you encouraged and motivated.

Let me know if it has motivated you in some way. I’d love to hear from you.

Comes the Dawn


I cannot believe it’s been so long since I’ve written a post. Where has the time gone?

I’ve been so wrapped up in trying to survive financially that before I know it, not one week, but a whole month has gone by and I’ve not written anything to post.

It’s rather strange, really, because when I started out with my blog, I religiously wrote every single week, I put so much pressure on myself to make sure I posted at least once per week, and yet my blog never really attracted any followers. Yet now, in the past six months when I’ve not written at all, I’ve had so many new people sign up to my blog.


Welcome to all my new readers who have joined in the last few weeks and months. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. I hope some of them at least make sense and resonate with you on some level. Do leave some comments sometimes so I know what you enjoy reading and what I need to focus on more.

One of the reasons why I’ve not really written these last few months is because of the lack of readership, I thought that I may have to change direction and re-look at the focus of my blog and try something new. At the same time though, I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to refocus and re-brand my blog.

During these last six months, I’ve written many posts (some complete) but just never got around to posting and when I had the time to post they were no longer relevant. Then there were posts that just never got finished and are no longer relevant anymore.

Now, with so many new people joining, maybe I should keep my blog as it is right now and see where it takes me. Please help by sharing your thoughts on my ramblings and let me know if I should continue writing or just totally throw in the towel.

I will now make a more concerted effort to write more often so I don’t lose all you lovely new readers so, watch this space!

It’s my turn . . .



This year has been absolutely crazy – the start of my year was the worst I’ve ever experienced. Mom taking ill and dying so suddenly three years ago was nothing in comparison to the way last year ended and this year started.  The rest of the year, having to focus on staying afloat financially was equally stressful. Not knowing if you’re going to have enough money to get you through the month and not sleeping much because you’re working long hours and stressed has not helped either.


This has been the year I’ve chosen to rebel against the “system” to rebel against the societal “norm”. After 50 years of doing as I was told and doing what was expected of me, it’s been “my turn to see what I can see. I hope you’ll understand, this time’s been just for me because it’s my turn, with no apologies, I’ve given up the truth to those I’ve tried to please”.


I’ve rebelled against the system of being the “good girl” always doing what’s expected of me by my family, friends and society as a whole. “Now it’s my turn . . . I don’t have all the answers but at least I know, I’ve taken my share of chances. What’s the use of holding on, when nothing stays the same?”



“So I’ve let it rain, knowing it would’nt hurt me, and I’ve let you go” (mom) “though I know it won’t be easy. It’s my turn, for years I’d seen my life, through someone else’s eyes. Now it’s my turn, to try and find my way and if I should get lost, at least I’ll own today”.


“It’s my turn to start from number one, trying to undo, some damage that’s been done. It’s my turn to reach and touch the sky and no one’s going to say, at least I didn’t try.”


So to those who have understood my journey this past year and who have stood by me and supported me through it all, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without your love and support, I would not still be standing.



To those who have not understood my journey this past year and who have decided not to support me through my journey, I’m sorry that you chose to leave me at a time when I needed you most. Like I said earlier in this post – “I hope you understand, this time’s been just for me because it’s my turn, with no apologies, I’ve given up the truth to those I’ve tried to please . . .”


My journey to start from number one, trying to undo, some damage that’s been done has not ended yet. I am a “work in progress” and still have far to go. Those who have supported me up to now, I hope I can continue to count on your love and support through this journey.


To those who have chosen to abandon me in my darkest hours, thank you for your support over the years. I do wish you well in the future.

May the New Year bring you love, joy and happiness. May the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow.


Where in the world am I?

My sincere apologies to all my loyal followers for being absent for so long.

I know I’ve not posted for a while –  I have so many posts I’ve started and either not finished or finished but not posted and would prefer to give you fresh stories to read.

I will get myself back on track as soon as I can.

For now, please be patient. I’m also thinking of chancing the look  of this blog – I’m just not quite sure what I want to do and how I want to go about doing it yet.

I will be back soon.

Your patience is appreciated.

A tribute to the resident I never got the chance to know


Today I’m struck by how fleeting life can be – we are here today and gone tomorrow.

Yesterday (18.03.2017) around mid-day after returning from a business meeting, I was greeted by a resident of the complex to let me know one of the residents was found dead in her flat. At the complex where I live, we receive a call from the Security Desk at 9:00 every morning just to make sure we are okay. When the Security person called her room yesterday, there was no answer and upon investigation found her dead in her room.

Watching her body being taken away by the Funeral Undertakers yesterday was really sad – a stark reminder of how I watched my own mom’s body being taken away.

What was even more sad and thought provoking was watching her family come in this morning to clear out her place – removing all trace of her ever even being here. The family sent two male members with a kombi and one of the two drove her car away.

I was struck by how wise it was to send someone with a kombi to take everything away in one foul swoop rather than have four or six motor vehicles each carrying a load which I think would have been more traumatic for the family.

Is that what life is? You’re here today and gone tomorrow?

so easy to remove all trace that you’ve ever existed?

Sitting at my window there is a glaring empty space where her car used to park – a glaring reminder of someone who once was and who is no more.

I will miss the nameless resident who I never even got a chance to know (I’ve only been living here for almost two months now and don’t even know how long she has was here). I think she only moved in about a month before I did.

I will miss seeing her go out every day and come back home to where home was for the last period of her life.


Oh death where is your victory? Oh death where is your sting?



 You may also enjoy reading these posts:

 The winds of change

The Ultimate Gift

Grief, Mourning and Bereavement – what is the difference?

Woman heal thyself

The pain of watching a parent age

Stop the bus I want to get off

In memory of mom – Flowers for my mother

Who moved my cheese again?

Reflections on a year that’s passed

6 Things you should love about your life

The winds of change and 6 lessons to learn about embracing change