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Do not give them parole!

January 17, 2012

I’m not sure how many people remember the Alison Botha case.  Here is a link with information regarding the case and Alison’s biography.  I remember when this attack happened.  I had just finished matric.  I was completely horrified.  It rocked South Africa as it was a particularly brutal crime and her survival, let alone recovery, was an absolute miracle.  She recovered and went on to become a motivational speaker and wrote a bestselling book.

Here is an excerpt from an IOL article published in 2003.  The article was published shortly after she gave birth to her child, Daniel.

The tall, attractive former head girl was abducted outside her Port Elizabeth home by Satanists Frans du Toit and Theuns Kruger.

They drove her to a deserted site in bushes near a secluded coastal road and raped, stabbed and practically disembowelled her. They slashed her throat 16 times and stabbed her more than 30 times in the stomach before leaving her for dead.

In an extraordinary story of survival, Alison clung to life, crawling slowly through the bush, bleeding profusely and cradling her exposed intestines in a denim shirt while holding her partially severed head straight with her other hand.

After crawling 90m, Alison collapsed on the road where she was found by motorists, including veterinary student Tiaan Eilerd, who covered her with his shirt and tended to her.

The attack shocked the country but also inspired an outpouring of support and admiration for her because of her gritty determination to take back her life. At their trial, the convicted “ripper rapists” were given several life sentences.

Alison’s injuries were so severe doctors feared she would not survive. They said only time would tell whether or not she would be able to bear children. So for more than eight years, Alison never knew for sure whether she would ever be able to have a baby.

It is now being reported that the attackers could get parole (after being handed life sentences in 1995) due to new legislation relating to life sentences.  An online petition has been set up against their release.  Please go along and sign it.  I am not sure how much of an impact it will make on the parole board, but at least we have had our say in some small way.  I find it hard to believe that criminals such as these could possibly be rehabilitated.  Sure I’m not a psychiatrist, but when you have the propensity for such violence, will that ever go away?

What if they are parolled and they harm someone else?  It is unthinkable.  What of the justice that Alison deserves?


Thank you Secret Santa

January 10, 2012

My dear friend at Tiny Toes did a blogger’s Secret Santa this year.  It was awesome!  I wound up having to buy a gift for one of my best friends which was awkward but added a whole other level to it which also made it more of a challenge to me.

Tiny Toes has just revealed the gift givers and mine was Cat from juggling act of life.  Thank you very much Cat!  I love my gift and it was so exciting going up to the Post Office to collect it.  I will admit to not waiting until Christmas to open it 🙂

You can never go wrong with jewellery!!




Silver jewellery and gemstones…

October 26, 2011

And these are a few of my favourite things!!

I have been very quiet of late.  Very quiet doing some really amazing things that I am thoroughly enjoying. One of these amazing things is a silver jewellery making course with my Mother, Sister and another Mom and Daughter that we are friends with. Doing the course was my Sister’s idea.  It was a gift that she and I gave to my Mother for her birthday.  And what a fantastic idea it was!  We are all loving it.  We are all trying new things and doing new things that scared the crap out of us at our first lesson.  We are using lots of tools.  Boys tools.  Like saws and files and hammers.  We’re using flames too!  Yes, they actually do trust us with fire.  Well, most of the time.  I have noticed some of the more experienced students slowly moving away when I reach for a blow torch.  I don’t blame them.  I still get mixed up between the oxygen and the gas.  Oxygen = green, gas = red, right?

I am actually quite sad that Saturday is our final lesson.  Excited that we should be finishing our projects, but sad that we will be done.  There has been some discussion about doing the next course, but I just don’t know if time will allow me.  The course we are doing is the Beginner’s Jewellery Design And Manufacture course through the Ruth Prowse school of Art.  I don’t really have a creative bone in my body, so the fact that they actually allowed me to set foot in the building (and it is a beautiful old building) is quite something in itself.

Anyway enough nattering, here are some photos of my handywork.  I am seriously proud of myself so don’t say anything mean, or point and laugh at me.

The silver has been melted down, put into a mould, flattened and shaped through a roller. Reheated numerous times, hammered, cut, soldered and filed.  All of this has been done in 2 x 3 hour lessons.

~ I will do an update on lessons 3 and 4 (hopefully with a finished piece!) soon ~

The Dalai Lama vs The ANC – Catch 22…

October 5, 2011

Let me start off by saying that I am not a fan of either.

The ANC have proven to be generally corrupt and self serving.  They have forsaken the very people who have voted them into power.

My personal feelings towards the Dalai Lama are mostly distrust.  Historically Dalai Lama’s have been a cruel bunch.  They have treated their minions as slaves and severely tortured and punished them if they stepped out of line.  I will admit that the current Dalai Lama is endearing and does emit a sense of peace and love.  However he is not an innocent man fighting for world peace.  It is well documented that he has accepted bribes and practices nepotism.

Here is a quote that sums things up nicely : “In fairness to the 14th Dalai Lama, cruelty in old Tibet did not start from his years. But a message from the “great” 5th Dalai Lama can be a meaningful reference: “Commoners of Lhari Ziba, listen to my order: I have authorized Lhari Ziba to chop off your hands and feet, gouge out your eyes, and beat and kill you if you again attempt to look for freedom and comfort.” And the “great” tradition continued until Tibet’s peaceful liberation.”  This quote is from this article.

This week every time a news broadcast comes on reporting on the Dalai Lama wishing to come to South Africa for Desmond Tutu’s birthday party, it has annoyed me no end.  Andre and my business relies almost solely on goods that we import from China.  Should China decide not to trade with South Africa we would be out of business.  As would thousands of other companies in South Africa.  This would mean that we would all be out there beating the pavements looking for a job.  Unemployment is this country is already sitting at around 25%.  We cannot afford to lose any more jobs and for any more businesses to close down.

It is not in South Africa’s interests to cause a political upset with China.  I am very aware of how materialistic this is of me.  And I am not in the least bit ashamed or embarrassed by it.  We all need to put food on the table.  We all need to pay our bills.  Sometimes you have to set aside your ideals for the greater good.  Sunshine and happiness does not tuck you into bed with a full stomach.  Think about how many people would be affected by China dropping our trade agreement, and how few are actually directly affected by the Dalai Lama attending a birthday party.   I do not like the idea that another country gets to dictate to us who may or may not visit our country.  But for something so trivial that could affect us so greatly it’s just not worth it.  It is what it is.  Politics.

My new project is…

August 15, 2011


Tomorrow is a busy day for me.  First I am going to see my lovely beauty therapist Ané.  She will be removing the hair from the places that I would prefer hairless.  I am so chuffed with myself that I am keeping this up.  Low pain threshold – bullshit!  I have graduated from just the bikini area to underarms and legs.  Tomorrow I am attempting to add eyebrows to this list.  Eyebrows for me are the worst.  Not the waxing but the plucking.  My eyes start watering and I feel like I’m going to hurl on the person with the tweezers.  I really love Ané, she is terribly sweet, a little shy and best of all I love her name.  <Although I prefer the Anais spelling, but alas, Joe Public would probably pronounce it incorrectly every chance they got>.  So because of my fondness for Ané, I have warned her that if she comes at me with tweezers, there may well be disturbing consequences.  She has promised to use her ‘chocolate wax’.  How can I say no to that?

The other thing in my quest to become Miss South Africa is that I am going for a fitness assessment at my local ladies only gym.  I’ll wait for you to get back on to your chair.


Yes it is something that I have been turning around in my head for a couple of months now.  I am so unfit, so overweight, so exhausted all the time.  Gym really does seem to be the answer.  Before Andre and I got married we joined the gym, in anticipation of our Eurotrip Honeymoon.  We wanted to be as fit as we could be so that we could enjoy our trip to the fullest.  Well we did go fairly regularly for a few weeks, fairly irregularly for a couple more months and then avoided that neck of the woods completely.

I went into the gym this afternoon <after a HUGE mug of heavenly café mocha> to check it out.  It looked really really great.  Small, smelly (as any self respecting gym should be), testosterone free (as advertised) and only had about 8 ladies abusing the heavy machinery.  I asked whether there were usually around this number of members working out off-peak and was told that the owner actually considered this to be quite busy.  Yay!  Hopefully no fighting over machines.  That used to seriously piss me off at my previous gym.

A quick visit to their website informed me that I get discounts through my Medical Aid and will most likely not pay a joining fee.  I am a little concerned that they might be promising The Earth and I may only receive London.  But it is seriously worth a shot.  I have nothing to lose, well except weight and R290 per month.  Another nice thing about this gym is that you can chose to either pay month-by-month (more expensive option) or sign a 1 year contract.  Previous gym = No month-by-month and 3 year contract.  Sounds great doesn’t it?

So just to sum up for those who can’t read good.

I want to go from this :

To this :

Crazy or inspired… ?

August 4, 2011

I live in a seriously suburban area of Cape Town. All the houses look pretty much the same. All built out of cookie cutter shapes. There are rules in place for the entire suburb. All the houses are painted various shades of beige, with a few select streets allowed blue trim on the window frames. It is a very calming and serene area and I do enjoy living here. But it can get pretty boring at times. Sometimes I think I’m already living in an institution.  Sometimes I think I’m living on Wisteria Lane.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this a few weeks ago :

At first I thought it was a mould that had been covered in sand (I’ve seen them do this on kiddie shows), I thought it couldn’t possibly be real. I wondered if it was a very clever advert for the construction company whose signboard is up. Then sure enough a week later there was a lizard guarding her eggs in place of the beautiful Sand Castle. Sadly I did not get a photo of that. I kept meaning to, promise!

The following week an article cropped up in our local newspaper. I then realised that it was, in fact, real. I just did a quick google and found this article : No building site safe from sandman

The artist’s name is Reon Zeff and I think it’s just lovely. I love people who embrace their inner child. Especially when they do it with so much sass!

<Thanks to Celeste aka Reluctant Mom for guiding me through my brainfart and showing me The Way with inserting links.  I seriously forgot how!>

The mice at war

August 4, 2011

Here is a photo of Andre and my desk setups in our home office.

In this photo you will notice the following :

• I am shopping for a new bedroom suite online. You have no idea how difficult this is. Most furniture store’s websites seem to be offline at the moment. Most frustrating and I just don’t have the energy to drive around (or be driven more like) looking at various options right now. Casandra has been in seclusion at home with The Pink Eye since Sunday and I am pretty much shattered. She went back to school today.

• My wedding photo displayed above my desk. All very proper. Andre has drunken photos from the good ol’ days displayed on his. Typical.

• My addiction to Mountain Dew. I can’t help myself. The stuff is liquid heaven.

• Andre’s Father’s Day “Casandra’s No 1 Dad” badge. I find it terribly sweet that he has it so prominently tick-tacked to his desk lamp.

• Spaghetti junction underneath Andre’s desk. Not so much underneath mine.

• We both have wireless mice. Hence the title of this post.

I hate wireless mice. I really do. Always have. I used to have one years ago and it would constantly run out of steam while I was in the midst of month end. I would then have to pull one of the guys off the factory floor to drive to Checkers to go and buy me bloody batteries. Don’t ask me why I didn’t keep spares. I probably did, used them, and forgot to replace them. Anyway it was a ridiculous scenario.

So guess what happens. Gizmo-loving-Andre buys me a flippin’ wireless mouse. The same as his. Apart from the batteries running out at 11:30pm when all I want to do is finish my work and go to bed, it appears that our mice are at battle with each other. I started suspecting this last night. Every time Andre starts using his mouse mine shuts down completely. I’m trying desperately to catch up with my work that has fallen behind as I have been entertaining a very energetic Casandra stuck at home with pink eye. Andre is facebooking. Click click click. My mouse shuts down. I nearly throw it against the wall. Apparently you cannot use them in close proximity of each other. Which we most definitely are. If we were any closer I’d be sitting on his lap. Or him on mine!

I will be acquiring a mouse with a wire today. Antiques just work for me. (Plus having a mouse with a wire sounds a little dirty.)

Feck I hate wireless mice.