All posts filed under: Your Story

Bedside Tale

I advertised my ‘entire bedroom’ for sale on Gumtree. It now resides 15 kilometres away in another suburb with a delighted new owner. By ‘entire bedroom’ I mean queen sized bed frame, bedside tables and table lamps. My husband was slightly puzzled when I began moving everything out of our bedroom but agreed that the bed had to go. The jarring creaking from the dodgy frame was grating his nerves too. We never loved it enough to fix. After the delivery, he was uncomplaining that he had to sleep on the floor that night. Or that the entire contents of his bedside drawers were now unceremoniously dumped into a basket on his side of the mattress. He’d done it all before. Our first bed was one of those parental hand me downs. That finally went to the tip after moving countries and living way past its sell by date. The second was a brand new ensemble that saw us through 14 years and three children until it started to bulge in all the wrong places …

A Naughty Thing Called Life Documentary

Growing up in the mid 1970’s as a young schoolboy in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, I vividly recall Edouard “Spyk” Gheur arriving from Belgium as the ‘new kid’ in class at the school we both attended. It’s hard to imagine during those innocent, carefree years we spent as classmates that years later his life would take a radical detour into the world of hard living and drugs, which almost cost him his life. Thankfully he lived to tell his story and warn others of getting into drugs in his autobiography, ‘A Naughty Thing Called Life‘, which has received rave reviews in the UK and around the globe. In the coming months, well-known Indie film maker and producer, Mark Brown, will start filming a documentary revealing a visual play-out of Spyk’s life as his story unfolds. To show your support for filming Spyk’s visual documentary, visit the IndieGogo campaign and make a contribution. “Spyk” featured as JournoNews.com’s first ‘Off the Cuff‘ guest in September 2012. http://www.papaspyk.com/

Travels with my son

Thomas and I are incredulous. And it’s not because we are soaked through our clothes, from the spray of Victoria Falls. No, we are gobsmacked because we have just seen our first fifty trillion dollar note. We are standing outside the Zambezi Blues River Cafe, a shady haven of a restaurant in the small town of Victoria Falls, having just strolled up into town from the falls. A very charming man is asking for R100 in exchange for a large wad of Zimbabwean dollar notes. In his substantial pile are a couple of fifty trillion dollar notes, a few for five hundred million dollars and some for two hundred thousand dollars. My favourite is the pretty purple note for fifty million dollars. ”Will this money buy us a coke and a hamburger at the Wimpy?” I ask the man, thinking it’s worth a hundred bucks just to be able to touch such large denominations. ”Of course,” says Mr Charming and the deal is done. ”Here Tom, have fifty trillion dollars,” I say nonchalantly, tossing him …

Our Bridge to Brisbane Glory

I’m not quite sure what brought it on. Perhaps it was turning 46 – edging towards a half century and a last chance to cling to a glimmer of youthfulness. The seed was planted by my gorgeous Kiwi friend with the toned, tanned legs and a penchant for Boot Camp. “Come on, it will be fun!” she enthused. Fun? I mulled it over for a few days and then an old spark of competitiveness was rekindled. Perhaps this old girl wasn’t so old after all. We decided five kilometres would not suffice – far more challenging was to commit to 10km in the annual Bridge to Brisbane run. There is nothing particularly profound about running a 10km race. Seasoned athletes regard the distance as a mere training run — a little jog to get the circulation going. And it’s not as though I’ve never run the distance before. I am not, what one would call, a complete novice. I have run the distance many, many times. In fact, if I should be so bold, in …

Have you caught the ‘grey and yellow’ recently?

“You use the train?” she asked me, looking down her nose through her readers. Amassing me with the ‘them’ who relied on the grey and yellow carriages in the Cape Peninsular. I love the train, the carrier of personal worlds and private realities.  I remember my first trip, the first time I engaged, not as a tourist going to Simonstown, but as a commuter.  I’d moved offices and decided if I expected my staff to use the train, then I should too. So I boarded at Claremont station one sunny afternoon.  At my naïve best, I didn’t realize the class split by carriage between first and third class.  In the first five minutes, two rather dodgy looking teenagers were engaged in argy bargy that was accelerating beyond using their elbows. The fierce interruption by an elderly ‘tannie’ (auntie) further down the carriage, pried the one youngster away with her eyes to a seat safely beyond ‘punching distance’.  At the next station, I changed carriages only to find myself sitting opposite two prolifically and amateurly tattooed …

My Freedom Day triumph

Five, four, three, two, one … By the time our relay team eventually started the 7,5 km race from Robben Island to Bloubergstrand on Sunday, the suspense had become unbearable. Already the race had been postponed by a day because of rainy weather. Now, our 10.30 start had been delayed by more than three hours because of serious fog. We were not amused. Being full of adrenalin with nowhere to go is no fun. We had dropped our first swimmer to catch the ferry to Robben Island and then launched our boat at the Waterfront. We set out — the remaining three swimmers, our skipper and a second — to the island. Things were not looking good. The fog was so bad that we could barely see in front of us. Our GPS helped. Then came the interminable wait. “Freedom Swim delayed due to fog. Wait for next SMS.” Then: “Fog is lifting. Expect an 11 am start. Wait for next SMS.” Then further delays until we ran out of jokes, rusks and conversation. Tension …

Bunyip Springs Farm Stay, Queensland

Bunyip Springs FarmStay offers a choice of accommodation, from excellent overnight accommodation through to longer stays. Choose from the Bunyip Springs Cottage or the Bunyip Springs Lodge. Both the Cottage and the Lodge are set in home paddocks on the property where guests can enjoy a tranquil rural setting and take part in farm activities if they wish.  It’s the perfect place to give children hands-on experience with the farm animals. Bunyip Springs Farmstay is located 210kms NW of Brisbane and is only 23km from the top of the Bunya Mountains National Park, view a map of the local area. The Farmstay is also only 5kms from the South Burnett Maidenwell Astronomical Observatory. Why not enjoy the viewing of our spectaular night skies with a farmstay experience. For any further information on Bunyip Springs Farm Stay please feel free to contact us. 503 Maidenwell-Bunya Mountain Road Maidenwell QLD 4615 Tel: +61 (0)7 4164 6175 | Email | http://www.bunyipsprings.com.au/ DIRECTIONS TO BUNYIP SPRINGS From the northside of Brisbane travel to Caboolture, Kilcoy, then Yarraman. From the southside …

Exotic Quirimbas Archipelago, Northern Mozambique

Sue Segar, recently travelled to the remote and exotic Quirimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique. What do Daniel Craig, David Rothschild and Tokyo Sexwale have in common? Well, one thing, I gathered on a recent trip, is that they have all discovered Mozambique. In particular, they have been captivated by the remote Quirimbas Archipelago, a vast chain of 32 offshore coral islands which runs for some 250 km along the country’s northern coastline. In fact, so captivated is our new Human Settlements minister that he recently bought his own island, called Quilalea, in this relatively little-known paradise. Till recently, the small island of Quilalea boasted the most expensive luxury resort in Mozambique, but Tokyo, who reportedly bought it for $20 million, will keep it for the private use of his family and friends. Flying over the islands in a small plane recently, it was easy to see why this compelling archipelago is increasingly being described as the ”New Maldives”. And why the Rothschilds bring their friends and have invested hugely in the area. It explained why …

Goodwill visit to Central Africa

Sue Segar spent a week travelling with senior members of the South African National Defence Force on the annual goodwill visit to soldiers deployed in the Central African Republic, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. We exit the airport building and walk into smouldering heat and a throng of beggars carrying dangly-legged beggars on their backs. We are told to keep walking and not to engage. Go straight to the vehicle, we do not want any diplomatic incidents says the general in charge. We know that we can be glad we have come through the diplomatic entrance – people have been known to part with hundreds of dollars just to make it through the crooked bureacracy from airplane to taxi. Welcome to Kinshasa, capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Leopoldville, once nicknamed ”Kin la Belle” (Kinshasa The Beautiful), and now known as ”Kin la Poubelle” (Kinshasa the dustbin.) Whatever you do, do not take any photographs of airports, soldiers, policemen. And, if you think the Parisiens are hostile and unfriendly, try the …