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?

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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.

 

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** 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.

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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.

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Just love this photo!

Our own Teletubbie

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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.
Tribelet's
Tribelet’s
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,

Mom

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.

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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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Who’s the Boss?

I read an interesting article on HuffPost, written by Greg Savage who is a leader in Global Recruiting.  He speaks about how people don’t leave companies, they leave leaders.  This article is worth a read if you are leader of any kind.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-savage/people-dont-leave-companies_b_4277535.html

Combined with this article and having had a flurry of colleagues recently leave to take up  various new challenges, it got me thinking. Is there such a thing as a dream job?  Or is this as rare as the unicorn?  Do people still stay in a job for 20 years and wait to get their gold watch like our parents did?  Have corporate and business structures become so “flat” that if you desire any form of growth you need to job hop?  And of course the Million Dollar question, money?

After many conversations at “book club”, around the table at a braai or from various comments on social media I firmly believe that ONE of the main reason why people leave their employment is due to the leaders.

Here is a list of Bosses you could encounter in the workplace:

The Typewriter Boss

The Typewriter Boss has had the same job for 30 years.  He hates change. He likes to reference “the good old days”.  He still has a box of floppy discs which he uses to back up his DOS.  Social Media is foreign to him.

The Black & White Boss

The Black & White Boss works strictly by the book.  No initiative.  No sense of humour. No grey area. When presented with a question he will answer by quoting paragraphs directly from the Constitution.  Approach with patience and perhaps even a dictionary.

The Grey Area Boss

The Grey Area Boss is the exact opposite of the Black & White Boss.  This man only works in the grey area and pushing boundaries is his strong point. No task is impossible.

The Martyr Boss

The Martyr Boss lives for the company. He has no life. He works every Public Holiday and averages a 12 hour work day.  How do you know this? Because he tells you, everyday! He insists on coming to work no matter what state of health he is in.  In fact, even though he broke his arm while cycling, he still managed to SUP to work during the floods.

The Jargon Boss

The Jargon Boss is all about what is on trend.  Whether it be about what he’s wearing, what he’s driving or what device he’s using.  This boss attends many conferences and seminars.  He likes  to justify that by chucking in “terms” and phrases he might have picked up.  Even if those have no relevance or context to the conversation.  “So although our GP might be down it is due to the influx of data which was determined by the algorithms of which I will bring the analytics to at our next meeting.”  Makes no sense but sounds impressive, at least in his own mind.  If you are not a lover of cheese, this boss will be a challenge.

The Rarely Spotted Boss

Here the name really says it all.  This boss floats in and out when need be.  His sporting code, which is normally golf, takes priority over most things.  That is one appointment in the diary that can never be changed.  He leaves his team to carry the can and swoops in for the good stuff.  Not the worst kind, especially if you are not a fan of the “micro manager”.

The Hollywood Boss

This boss has his name and title everywhere. On the door, on the email signature, on the business card.  He has all the fancy gadgets that are needed to be successful (in his eyes).  Apple/Mac stuff adorning his desk. Montblanc pens to sign those “deals” with.  He does not have the modest Nespresso machine in his office, he has his own Barista.  Lip service aplenty here.

The Sadistic Boss

On the outside all looks good. Staff are provided with lavish events, they are signed up for motivation courses and on a rotation system get to be “flavour of the month”.  This boss keeps a scorecard, not necessarily in his head, it could  be a physical one.  The staff need to fall in with all he is experiencing.  So if said Boss is cycling the Epic, for argument sake, the whole staff must be active, happy and healthy. If said boss is in a slump and besides to go on a bender, the whole staff must join in.  If you don’t, you can be sure that you struck of the favourite list, never to be placed back.  This boss also likes to shout from his desk to get staff into his office.  The idea of using the phone has never been an option for him. If staff members are to be disciplined, this is done with the door open, in full view of other staff.  Kind of like a very “subtle” warning of who is actually the boss. If this boss is encountered, revert to BizCommunity immediately, I repeat, immediately.

The “I have faith in you” Boss

This boss is a rare gem and a keeper. Hang onto him with both hands/arms/legs.  He sees something in you that you perhaps don’t even know exists.  He has faith in the team he has chosen. He does not micromanage, he merely meets with his team on a weekly basis to touch-base and add pearls of wisdom.  He uplifts his team and leads by example.  Winner!

Have I missed out a boss that you have experienced?

Disclaimer:

** Feminists please note that all the bosses were referred to as a “HE” only for ease of reference.

** Some people might well tick more then one box here and be a multitude of bosses

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hUmp Day Hottie – Siv Ngesi

hump day hottie

My inbox has been flooded for requests of another installment of hUmp Day Hottie.  More specifically, the ladies want to know about Siv Ngesi.  So for the sake of the Nation I met up with him for a “coffee date” and during the conversation I chucked in some of the questions you wanted asked.

 

LK&OT: Thanks for meeting up with me.  Sorry Miss Bailey couldn’t join us but she is busy with her rehearsals for the The Rouge Revue Burlesque Company or she is eating bacon. Never really sure with her.  Anyway, coffee?

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SN: No way! Detoxing.  I have a topless shoot coming up in a couple of days!

LK&OT: Again? Didn’t we have the same conversation last time I saw you?

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SN: That was for Cosmo. Different shoot this time.  Anyway, it would be unfair of me to deny the ladies of seeing my six  eight-pack.

LK&OT: Fair enough. I am amazed at all that you manage to do: Boxer, MC, Comedian, Presenter, Actor, Producer, Protector of the Ladies and most importantly Protector of the Children.  I see you have also committed to running the Cape-Town Marathon. Do you ever get tired?
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SN: I will sleep when I am dead Sister.

LK&OTH:  Point taken. Seems to me that Black Twitter has it in for you.  Any response?

 

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SN: They just need to keep calm and remember: Siv is the King of Twitter.

LK&OT: And when they refer to you as UMLUNGU?

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SN: Sticks and stones Sister!

LK&OT:  Our most popular question, are you a boob or butt guy?

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SN: I love ALL women.

LK&OT: I loved watching you on Strictly Come Dancing. What is your favourite dance move?

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SN: That propeller dance or was it called the helicopter?

LK&OT: If you say so, then the Helicopter it is.  Moving on, people are asking if you have a Super Power?

super siv

SN: Super Siv!

LK&OT: Do you have  a weakness?

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SN: Look at me and think about what you just asked me? I think not.

LK&OT: Sorry, that was really a silly question.  I need to get Miss Bailey to start doing her research before she sends me these questions.  We have already run through the long list of all you do. However, if you weren’t all those many things, what would you be?

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SN: Rugby player, no wait…

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SN: A pilot, no wait…

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SN: That oke that Kurt Darren sings about, Kaptein span die seile.  Actually, on second thoughts

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SN: A professional boxer like my hero Muhammad Ali.

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SN: Actually Siv could be just whatever he set his mind too.  If Kanye is planning on being the President of the USA in 2020, then President of South Africa I can be.

LK&OT: Aunty Helen will be very chuffed to hear you are running for Presidency. Last question.  Talk us through your knock out of Graham Richards and your victory dance.  I believe he ended up with a couple of stitches?

Siv

SN: Graeme is my bro and that was all for charity. The little victory dance was me channeling some of my Strictly Come Dancing  moves.

LK&OT: As always you have kept me entertained.  Best of luck with the Cape-Town Marathon.  We will  be along the route, look out for us.  We support you all the way.

 

** Once again thanks to the peeps on the interwebs who have kindly let use their images.

Feel Good Friday – Toe vind ek jou

Feels like forever since I did one of these posts and it has been.  I am not even sure I have an excuse as to why I have not been blogging.  I took a look at my drafts and there are currently 12 posts there, waiting to be brought too life.  So hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

Work as always is interesting.  A few changes with a couple of teammates leaving (that in itself is a pending blog post).  The Tribelets are keeping me busy with their hectic sport and social schedules.

Week-end plans:

I have 4 boys sleeping over tonight, all under the age of 8, so not as exciting as it sounds!  Then off to Caleb’s rugby match on Saturday. So pretty much the glamorous life of Soccer Mom, except I wont be wearing a matching tracksuit.  A much needed catch up with mates on Saturday evening around the fire. Then the compulsory visit to Bob’s bagels on Sunday, after waking up early for the start of the Comrades. Bliss.

I originally had Cheerleader by OMI as today’s pick for a Feel Good Friday tune, albeit the video is terrible.  There is however a tune that I have on repeat, perhaps not that upbeat but Proudly South African.  Give it a listen!

Stay safe, stay warm and have a great week-end.

 

Heaven has taken my Hero

Dear Pops,

Happy 67th birthday!

Mili-Flyn never had the privileged of meeting you.  All she knows of you are the stories we get to tell, so she knows of you through our wonderful memories.  We always look up at the evening sky and pick out the brightest star, which is you, looking down on us.  She knows you are in Heaven looking over us constantly.  She asked the other day why you couldn’t visit us from Heaven.  The idea that is was too far didn’t seem to matter to her, she said you could simply take a plane. If only it was that simple.

So while you look down on us, I have no doubt you are kicking up your heels in Heaven and having the best celebration.

Miss you always,

Nix

Pops the Legend
Pops the Legend