6 years since you left

Dear Pops,

Today marks 6 years since left us, 6 years where to me the World got a little quieter.

I found a card that you gave me when I was in Matric.  It was after I had climbed out of my bedroom window, on a school night, headed to the Holiday Inn and gone jolling with my fake ID.  This was way before the cellphone and now that I myself am a parent, I can’t begin to imagine how you must have felt when you discovered my bed, packed full of pillows but no Nikki to be found.

Instead of being grounded until I was 40, you came home the next day with a Swatch watch I had my eye on for months and the most beautiful card.  The one sentence that stands out for me is that you would move mountains for me.  Indeed you would and did.

Looking back on my schooling days and living at home, I now full appreciate all that you and Mom must have gone through to make sure I always had what I needed.  Giving children a loving, happy, healthy and secure upbringing is no mean feat. If I didn’t thank you enough when you were around, please know.  Thank-you for always having my back.  Thank-you for always believing in me. Thank-you for teaching me that while swimming upstream might be exhausting, it is even more rewarding.

They say that death changes everything, time changes nothing.  This is so true.  Pops, I miss you always, today especially.

To end off with lyrics from your favourite song: “What goes up, must come down.  Spinning wheel got to go round.”

Love you madly,


PS, I am super jealous that your band crew just gets better every year.  David Bowie.  Prince.  Heaven sure sounds like fun xxx


1948 ~ 2010

Did Dimitri receive his care package?

Okay friends, this is where I require a little help, to settle an office/friend circle/general world debate.  Let’s start at the beginning.

A couple of months ago, just after leaving the office I realised I had a flat tyre.  Now as much as I am all for the “Girl Power” vibes and Mrs Dallas did spend TWO Physical Education lessons teaching us this much needed “skill”.  I don’t change tyres. Brute strength and dirty hands, just aren’t my thing.  The obvious choice was to call my husband and “ask” him to drop everything and weave his way through rush hour traffic like a knight in shining armour to rescue his damsel in distress.  All I needed was a suitable place to stop in the narrow streets of Newlands.  Luckily I eyed the side street next to The Sweat Shop and while looking for a parking a gentleman kindly pointed out I had a flat tyre.  I rolled down my passage side window to inform him that, YES, in fact I was a aware of this but needed to call my husband. Not to worry he tells me, park on the pavement, outside the store him and his crew were renovating and he would assist me.  Just the thought of not having to wait for my husband (patience is not my strong point) and not having to get my hands dirty, made me pull onto the pavement and exit the car!

Soon I was surrounded by Dimitri and crew, who soon worked out where everything was and got working on getting the tyre changed.  I got chatted and found that the 2 guys assisting were Dimitri and Ashley.  We chatted about everything and nothing – which is a gift I have.  I know now that Dimitri gym’s in Athlone with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ex trainer! Soon enough the tyre was changed and we off they went to get their transport home and off I went on my merry way home.

Only while driving home I realised that my passage side window was still down and that in fact anyone could easily have taken my bag, phone and everything else lying open for the world to see.  But they didn’t.  The fact that Dimitri had taken the time to assist me, when he could very easily have kept going and headed off home, was really cool.  I am a big fan of Random Acts of Kindness and the Pay It Forward concept but I must admit by 5pm that has often worn thin with me.

I thought as a way of thanking them I would together a care package for Dimitri and Ashley.  Off I went to buy Steri Stumpies, Eet-Sum-Mor biscuits, Cupcakes and appropriately, MAN SIZE Lunch Bar’s.  On my way to work the next morning I stopped off at the place they were renovating. There was a dude on the stairs getting his morning fill of nicotine.  I asked if Dimitri or  Ashley had arrived yet, apparently they hadn’t.  I handed this dude the care package, asked him to please pass it on and off I went on my merry way, confident and never doubting that my good gesture would not be received by Dimitri and Ashley.  That is, until I got to work…

Upon telling my lovely colleagues about this story they were all convinced that I was far too trusting and that those Steri Stumpies and baked goods were never delivered to the intended recipients.  In fact, the girls have taken it as far as asking everyone who visits us if they think the package was delivered to Dimitri and Ashley.  Seems people think it didn’t make it!  I do feel that I do at times see the world through rose tinted glasses but I still believe they got the care package and spent the day on a sugar high.

I need your help.  Tell me there is another kind soul out there who thinks that Dimitri enjoyed those baked goods and Steri Stumpies? Or do you think the other dude had a great lunch and perhaps even offered Dimitri and Ashley one of “his” Eet-Sum-Mor ‘s?


Eid Mubarak

Growing up in the Eastern Cape my interaction with Muslim peeps was somewhat limited.  In Std 5 at St Anne’s Convent we had Riad Masoet join us for the last year of Primary School. Ironic hey? A Muslim boy at a Convent but that is the makings of a whole other blog post.

My next encounter was the fact that the Gatti Ice-Cream shop in East London was owned by a Muslim gentleman.  I would often get it wrong and head over on a Friday at lunchtime to stock up on ice-cream, only to find the shop CLOSED.  Seriously? Do you not want my business?  Who closes shop midday to head off to the mosque on a FRIDAY?  Don’t you use a Sunday like the rest of us to exercise your religious activities?

Then it all happened.  Seven years ago we relocated to Cape-Town.  So my introduction to the Muslim culture started, kinda like a baptism by FIRE.

The start of a new job and new colleagues. Very exciting.  I get myself involved in all sorts of activities and soon we have a Staff Social Club going and I arrange our first event.  A braai at the office.  I will bring our Weber, buy some meat & beers and we will be good to go.  Or not!  I quickly learnt that things were not that simple.  Not only did we need halaal meat but also a halaal braai/Weber.  The beers were literally put on ice until after hours once our Muslim colleagues had eaten and left the event. Although this seemed a little odd, it was the way things got done in Cape-Town and I soon adjusted my way of thinking.

Over the last year I have had the privilege of sharing my office with the most insane bunch of ladies,  two of those being Muslim. It has allowed open conversations regarding our religious beliefs and a greater understanding on my part of how and why certain things are done.  It also affirms for me why I love this country so much – DIVERSITY!

So a massive “Happy Eid Mubarak” to  my specials, Fatimah and Raeesa. You have not only taught me what “Haram” is but also that perhaps I should try a little self sacrifice next Lent.  I am just not sure which would be worse, no coffee or no social media?



Lessons for my Tribelet’s

Lessons for my Tribelets

This has been sitting in my draft for 2 years now as I still have some much to say.  But then I had a little think about the person I am and realised I would always something to say. So this will  be a work in progress blog post.  So for now my Tribelet’s, keep these things in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to sit in the front row of your life.
  • Fashion comes, fashion goes but when it comes to pink & red / black & brown, never the 2 colours should meet.
  • You matter.
  • Travel as much as you can, see the world and see our beautiful country.
  • Sometimes it is okay if the only thing you did today is breathe.
  • Please don’t smoke, you know how much I hate it and how horrible it looks. Oh, and how bad it is for you.  
  • If you stumble, make it part of your dance.
  • Olives are not an acquired taste, they are plain nasty.  
  • Love truly does make the world go round.
  • Remember when you look up at the stars your Pops is the brightest one, looking over you.
  • Try everything at least once! Expect for drugs, skydiving, F1 racing and crocodile wrestling .  All very overrated. 
  • For the girls: Always wear your invisible crown.
  • For Caleb: It is never too late to be a Rock Star.
  • The truth always wins.
  • Always be Proudly South African and please never support the All Black’s.
  • You are enough.
  • Please and Thank-you are still magic words, no matter how old you may be.
  • Be kind to others, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.
  • Always know the difference between what you are getting and what you deserve.
  • Life is far too short to drink bad coffee.
  • It is never about what you ask for but about how you ask for it.
  • Be kind.
  • Music could solve all the world’s problems if we could all just stop and listen. Take time to listen.



** Always remember: I have loved you all before I knew you and I pinky promise I will love you all forever and then some!

To my Daughter on her 21st birthday

Dear Tayla,

Today, 21 years ago, my life would be FOREVER changed and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The memories I have of 23 February 1995 are vivid, colourful and always put a smile on my face.  We all know patience is not my strong point and this was tested after you decided to make me wait an extra 10 odd days for your arrival.  I thank my lucky stars that  Queen were performing at Sun City the on 25 February.  This led our legendary Dr Smit to induce me on 23 February as he was heading off to jol up a storm with Freddie Mercury.

I nervously arrived at the hospital on Wednesday evening.  We were told that all the family must leave and they could return the next morning around 7:00am as I was being induced at midnight. So there I was left alone, not being able to sleep, too excited and nervous about what lay ahead.  No sooner did the induction process start at midnight and so did the contractions.  I remember the old school midwife telling me to wait it out for the “real pain” when I asked for drugs, any drugs!  Next thing I knew the doctor was being called, I was in the shower and being told by the same said midwife that if I didn’t get out of the shower in the next 2 minutes the Dr Smit was coming in to get me out.

With no time for anyone to be called and no drugs, there I was in the labour ward, alone, being introduced to my daughter at 5:30am.  Selfishly I treasure the fact that I had that experience on my own. I felt like someone had finally won my heart and I was happy to hand it over unconditionally.  It was the start of our adventure.

The first official photo of Tayla Vanessa Viviers

The first official photo of Tayla Vanessa Viviers

I remember when you started school in London.  We had just arrived there and you were decked from head to toe in Barbie clothing.  When I fetched you after your first day and asked how it was, you enjoyed it but mentioned that the English yobs kids were teasing you about your clothing.  My heart broke for you but the only concern you had was that they were already Harry Potter books.  So off to GAP we went to kit you out in the coolest clothing.


You have achieved so much that we are all so proud of.  Your overseas exchange that you went on in Grade 7.  I was so shattered that you got to spend your 13th birthday in another country but once again you took it all in your stride and made the most of it.

13th birthday celebrations in the UK

13th birthday celebrations in the UK

Your determination is something I admire.  From Grade 10 you were convinced that you wanted to study Speech and Language Therapy.  I thought it was a phase, that it too would pass.  When I realised in Matric that you were still singing the same tune we arranged for you to job shadow at Groote Schuur Hospital.  Within the first hour I received a message to say that you were loving it and that this is definitely what you wanted to do.  You wanted to help people and make a difference.  Third year into your studies and I have no doubt the people you work with will be richer therefore.


Just love this photo!

Our own Teletubbie


We have been so fortunate to have had such amazing people helping you along your journey.  Your Dad and Nanna have always been there to support you.  They add some sanity to the crazy mix of people in our lives.  Gran and Babe are forever the Pillar of Strength that keep our family together.

The Gran and The Nanna!

The Gran and The Nanna!


The Babe!

The Babe!

My one comfort is that although Pops is not physically here with us to see what a beautiful woman you have grown into, I know he is with you constantly and permanently smiling down on you.

Special times with Pops.

Special times with Pops.

Your siblings (there are a truckload of them) love you to bits and the highlight is always when they they know you are coming home for the week-end.

Ella-Blu and Caleb with you before your Matric Farewell.

Ella-Blu and Caleb with you before your Matric Farewell.

Two peas in a pod.

Two peas in a pod.



Sisterly love

Sisterly love

Welcoming your only brother, while Ella-Blu is not that convinced.

Welcoming your only brother, while Ella-Blu is not that convinced.

We have cried. We have screamed. We have been angry. We have laughed until the tears roll down our cheeks and we do that silly snort.  Most importantly though, we have always loved.

Happy 21st!!

Happy 21st!!

I end this off with words from the wisest Bear there ever was, remember always:


“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together,
 There is something you must always remember. 
You are braver than you believe, stronger than 
You seem, and smarter than you think.
 But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.. I’ll always be with you.”  
Winnie the Pooh

The happiest of birthday’s to you.

Love you Always,


PS… I have saved the embarrassing photos for Saturday’s party


Right about now feat Feel Good Friday

Love, Kids and Other Things


Tribelet’s – Tayla has finished her last exams and second year varsity is done and dusted.  She is one step closer to becoming a Speech and Language Therapist.  Also, soon to be celebrating her 21st in February.  Not sure how that happened. How did 21 years just race by?

Ella-Blu is in study mode as she writes her year end exams for Grade 8.  She continues to amaze me with her dedication and commitment.  She attends extra lessons for Maths and Afrikaans, with some of those being at 6:30am.  Never a moan from her, she gets it done.  Her Maths has improved so much but the Afrikaans still seems to be a challenge.  Don’t get me started on the fact that our children still need to be taught Afrikaans.

Caleb is all about the sport.  After the RWC the rugby ball has been shelved and the cricket kit is out in full force.

Mili-Flyn continues to obsessed with wearing dresses, especially the fancy type.  I did wish for 1 of the 3 girls to be somewhat girly and it seems  my wish was granted with this character.

Camping – I am happy to report that the camping trip was a huge success and I would definately go again (blog post to follow about the trip).

December – We are all doing the great trek up to Jozi in December to send time with Evert’s family.  This will involve camping, lots of the Afrikaans language, hours of driving and time spent in the car but on the upside I get to see my bestie.

Work – This has been a testing year on the work front but having said that also a very satisfying one.  It has required me to step up to the plate and reaffirmed skills that I had not used in ages.  I am working with an incredible “All Chick” team, which I must admit I was trying really hard to avoid.  I do believe women can do anything that men can, but do I really want to change a tyre and get all greasy? I think not.  So while I am not the first to burn my bra and I feel more comfortable with the opposite sex, I can state that I have stumbled onto a winning combination of estrogen.  Our office is currently a hub of Christmas activity.  A little early, I know, but with most of us going on leave from the start of December we are cashing in on the Christmas spirit.


Pug Life – Our adorable pug Cooper turns 1 on 26 November.  Thinking of baking a “pug friendly” cake for him but we all know my skills do not lie in the kitchen.  So perhaps Tayla will take up this challenge.

Cuteness overload

Cuteness overload

What’s on the box – My current viewing pleasure has to be Blindspot.  Besides the intriguing story line, Sullivan Stapleton is also very easy on the eye.

This World – While I was saddened and shocked by the events in Paris over the week-end, I just can’t bring myself to follow the masses and add the French flag to my profile picture.  This is not because I don’t care, it is that I care about so much more. There were the bombings in Beirut which seemed to go unnoticed, our community has recently experienced unrest in Masimasiphumelele, human trafficking is on a steady rise, the nearly 300 Nigerian school girls that where kidnapped in April are still missing.  Then there is Syria.  The list is endless.  So while I read silly comments on Facebook where narrow-minded people state they will not pray for Paris but instead only African countries, there is tiny glimmer of hope. I realise I have great friends who choose to not singling out an event to pray for and support, they instead choose to support the Human Race.  This is my choice.  Irrespective of colour, creed or continent we need to praying for this.  So when there is a profile picture/banner that supports this, I will put it up. *climbs off my soapbox*

Today’s Feel Good Friday is a tune that has my office and household not only tapping their feet but singing along.  Enjoy it!

Braai Day Tips

Heritage Day aka Braai Day is always a big deal in our house.  Besides the fact that I am fiercely patriotic, who doesn’t enjoy a Public Holiday that encourages you to jol with your mates?  To ensure everybody gets it right tomorrow, here are a list of top braai tips from the BRAAI MASTER himself, Jan Braai:

1. Nothing beats a wood fire.

2. Gas is Afrikaans for a guest at your braai, not something you braai with.

3. Braaiing is a fat-negative way of cooking food. When you braai, fat drips out.

4. Avoid using indigenous wood. Alien plants drink lots of water. Besides, it feels good burning Australian rubbish.

5. Braaiing is a direct form of energy use, from the coals to your meat. With electricity there’s spillage between the power plant and the pan. Braai if you love the Earth.

6. Have enough ice to cool beer and treat burn wounds.

7. Smoke tends to go towards attractive people, so send them to the kitchen to make salad.

8. Animals eat grass and veggies all their lives. Eating meat is like taking vitamins.

9. A cow must be killed only once. Don’t braai steak until the flavour is dead.

10. A braaibroodjie is your chance to have your bread buttered on both sides.

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