Check out my new locally hosted website, I’m looking forward to your feedback.
Please visit www.muthablogga.co.za to view my latest posts!
Check out my new locally hosted website, I’m looking forward to your feedback.
Please visit www.muthablogga.co.za to view my latest posts!
Secrets Unearthed ( yes, my favourite Jeweller in Cape Town) in collaboration with Casacade Jewellery will be showcasing their range of silver wares accompanied by bubbly and snacks this evening at their studio in Plumstead, Cape Town . For more information or to RSVP, visit their Facebook event page : http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=230839096950201 .
Then, if you have nothing to do this Wednesday evening, and love film, I highly recommend making a B-line to Fuguard Theatre. There’s a short film festival waiting to delight you. 6 of Cape Town’s finest emerging film makers will be presenting this short film extravaganza for free ( of course donations will be welcome)! Thanks to Grolosch, you will even be getting a free brewski, on the house.
The films showing are:
Anatoemy by Karlind Govender
Control by Michael Cleary and Pieter Hugo
Hive by Garrreth Bird
Jornada del Muerto by BlackMilk Productions
Sweetheart by Be Phat Motel
Witness by Dale Yudelman
Now, how can anyone with a creative bone in their bodies resist such an offer? Visit their Facebook page for more info : http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=127837963968538
Settling into bed now and got my new book, Marketing Metrics by Paul W. Farris. Back to School tomorrow and I’m looking forward to getting back into routine. Yoga class first thing in the a.m, and loving the idea of adding a spinning class. Had a spin on Friday which burned over 400 calories in 45 minutes! An action packed week to follow an action packed weekend.
Yesterday, my daughter and I hit the aquarium were we watched a fantastic magic show followed by the feeding of the predator exhibit. We cruised the red and blue sheds and headed to Quay Four for lunch. It amazes me, how, in so little time, my little girl has grown into a mature young tween. Five years ago a trip to the Aquarium meant chaos and possibly a tantrum somewhere along the lines and today I can sit and have a fabulous mom and daughter chat, no problem. Today, we visited family, and enjoyed a lovely Sunday lunch followed by Sundowners with my favourite ladies at Pepenero’s in Mouille Point. It’s a fabulous place to go for a romantic dinner, a business meeting or like we did this evening, an all girl catch up. 4 pm to 7 pm is happy hour and the cocktails leave little to be desired at half price. Every mom needs a little me/ social time too, and what better way to do it than catch up over cocktails watching the sun set over the Mutha City. Thank you my gorgeous friends.
Wishing all my readers a lovely evening and a great start to the back to school week ahead.
“I don’t give a crap if your busy!!! watch this documentary, this movie will take you to a new level of water appreciation.”
It does, after watching this film, I’m counting every drop I have access too as a blessing. The race for clean renewable energy sources is nothing when compared to the immanent depletion of our fresh water resources. Already it has been mapped out where conflict will occur over water first, and it will happen within the next 15 to 20 years. First world countries included. This is it, we are going to live through modern day man’s greatest challenge yet.
The film starts with the renditions of a man who journeyed in 1906 from Mexico to California in search of gold. He survived without water for 7 days, when rescued, he documented the experience of thirst;
“Saliva becomes thick, a lump seems to form in the throat, the tongue swells so large that it squeezes past the jaws, the throat so swollen that breathing becomes difficult, creating the terrifying sense of drowning, the face feels full due to the shrinking of the skin, many people begin to hallucinate, the eyelids crack and the eyeballs begin to weep tears of blood.”
The speaker goes on describe his state when he was found :
“His skin was like purplish grey leather, scratched but with no trace of blood, his lips had disappeared as if amputated, his nose withered to half its length, his eyes trapped in a wink-less stare. This is not a film about saving the environment, it’s a film about saving ourselves.”
Makes my skin crawl. Fifty years from now, we, our children, or children’s children, may experience thirst as described above. Every source of water on the planet, even our rain clouds, may be privatised. This is already happening. By the time most people realise what is going on, it will be too late. We’ve got sink holes forming under our cities as we drain ground water faster than it is being restocked. I was surprised to find out that this is where sink holes actually come from. Instead of replenishing the earth, rain water is being sent straight back to the ocean without leaving its precious mineral deposits along the way. Previously, not thought to be a problem, it is. We are using 30% more ground water than is being re- deposited. Why, if, there are permeable paving solutions that allow for rainwater to pass through into the subsoil, with the pollutants from cars being removed, improving the quality and the amount of ground water, are they not being used.
You are probably saying, yes, but we now have desalination, can’t we simply remove the salt from our oceans? Sure, but unfortunately desalination plants require fossil fuels to run, a lot of fossil fuels. It’s a dirty process and is extremely damaging to the surrounding environment, our environment. Nuclear power is also not an option as we do not yet know how to get rid of nuclear waste. Then we also need to ask, who would own these desalination plants? Corporations most likely, in collaboration with the World Bank. Imagine relying on them for water like we do for medication. Imagine what that means for a second, a corporate coup restricting water supply to your country, which has no water for a week or 2, how many would die? That sort of power, no one should ever have.
As a South African, living in the Mutha City, I am finding it easy to be passionate about this topic. In 2009 the City of Cape Town ( click here to see the weekly dam level reports) released a report stating that our water supply would not adequately supply our city beyond 2013, since then we have installed a new dam and are transporting water from outside the city via pipeline. This film really hit home for me here. Dams and pipelines will not solve the problem long term. Another proposed project includes the building of a desolation plant along the west coast of Cape Town ( check out Cape Town’s water plan for 2011 here). As if we weren’t already one of the dirtiest countries in the world with our fossil fuel driven power stations. Now that I understand the impact, I’m completely against the idea. Perhaps it is time for us to do what they did in Bolinas, California. The citizens called for a halt to all housing development until the local water supply in the area could support all the people currently living there. It was a battle fought in court for 14 years. Government officials had said that this was an interference with commerce. The people ultimately won and it’s working for them.
Besides highlighting our local issues in sunny South Africa this film showed me the true dark side of corporate America and other 1 st world countries in Africa. The World bank has been providing African countries with ‘aid’ for years, while getting back $1.3 to the $1. So much for aid, sounds like daylight robbery. Basically through a million documents and legislation it comes down to something like this: ‘Hey, we’ll give you way below market value pricing on your valuable resources in exchange for aid you need now but later you will still owe us and will continue to do so forever as that is how our system works’. With no choice, they accept. I’d like to know how on earth this makes any sense? No wonder these countries cannot provide adequately for themselves or their children and need aid in the first place. It’s a sick cycle and it isn’t going to stop until the 1st world country populations, catch a wake up call.
It takes 7 litres of water to produce 1 litre of bottled water, 32 liters to produce a single microchip, 350 000 litres to produce a motor car. So, what can you do about the situation?Find out more here or here or here or here and do take a look at Chicago’s green alley project, which is reducing there lost rain water to storm drains by 80% here.
Personally I take showers, we are lucky enough to not have a garden but a paved back yard, I grow my plants in insulated pots which don’t need lots of water, our toilets have the dual flush system.I turn off electrics and don’t leave lights running ( remember it takes water to produce electricity). We don’t have leaks, we don’t leave our water running when brushing teeth or washing hands, we only ever run full washing loads. I think I’ll be adding water catchments and even better, a hydroponic system so I can grow my own veggies in a much more water efficient manner than can ever be delivered by a store, and so can you, even if you are living in a city in a flat you can do this, check out www.windowfarms.org. Love the window farms concept.
I guess, the bottom line is that its time for us as a global community to grow up, start taking responsibility for ourselves.
There’s a serious distinction between being self-employed and being a business owner. For those that have not read ‘The Cash Flow Quadrant’ by Robert Kiyosaki, the distinction may not be so clear. Let me elaborate in the simplest possible manner. When you are self-employed, you own a job, you are the business. When you are a business owner you own a business that works for you, in the same way that an investment does. It does not need your input to continue its day-to-day processes and if you died today it would live on as your legacy to the world.
Being a business owner, has always been and always will be my number one goal. I do however want to achieve this goal without capital ( monetary capital) input from either myself or others. Getting my current business off the ground was easy in this way. No monetary capital required, just hard work, and a lot of it.What I realise now though, is that I made the no.1 rookie mistake of all who are self-employed. I did not look at my time as capital. Read that again. Your time is capital.
To be perfectly frank, at the time, I had no choice, time was all I had to give. I wanted to be self-employed, I wanted to be independent and not have someone else decide what I earned or what I did. I have certainly achieved this. My idealism and passion for what I was doing has spurred me onwards through some extremely rough times, but how long can one move forward on idealism and passion alone, when you are constantly bombarded with the fact that we do not live in an ideal world and passion wither’s under these circumstances.
Today, 5 years later, the long hours required of me on a daily basis are no shorter. I cannot yet, decide to simply take a break for a month or two, take a long holiday, not have my phone on for emergencies, or be anywhere without reception for more than a day or two. If I do take a break it is chaos on my return, requiring days or weeks of playing catch up, not to mention the lost income or upset clients. Originally my goal for the business was to have more time to spend with my daughter, run the errands that need to be run, study further, enjoy my favourite hobbies ( writing, researching topics of interest, DIY, gardening, exercise, cooking and photography) .
My Mutha was always one of my greatest inspirations ( I hope I will achieve the same for my daughter one day), she has and still is self-employed to this day. She still works hard and it keeps her young, ( really she doesn’t have a single health issue and is still gorgeous when compared to her peers), she won’t stop as she loves what she does, it is purely luck though that she loves her work, as even if she did not, it would still be necessary for her to continue due to financial requirements. While I admire and love her enthusiasm and the way she can weather any storm,I have to ask, do I want the same situation for myself in 30 years from now. The most honest answer I can give, is, no.
So where does this leave me now, having come to these astounding yet simple realisations, that only experience can provide. A catch 22. On the one hand I realise that I don’t want to be at these cross roads forever. On the other hand I want to take the next step but stepping away from my current business and starting something new, from scratch, after 5 years of input, feels wrong. I have been in the midst of this internal battle regarding my infant business with all its birth defects for 6 months now and it hasn’t improved the situation.
Another thing I realise is that, I have a few character flaws hindering my progress. I like getting things done, I enjoy doing things myself or in a certain way and I find it extremely difficult to let go of the reins, I enjoy control, not something many will admit to, but I have found being honest with myself to be the best start to progress.Funnily enough I have come up with a plan which could allow me to make my current business, ‘me free’. Sure it’ll take some more ‘Time Capital’ on my part to get it going, but once running, it would not require very much input to be run. It’s such a bold move though, that I am scared I might simply slip back into old habits, feeling a need for control, wanting to constantly make sure clients are happy and then there is the fact that the model is so different from my current one that it will come with a range of new defects I cannot be expected to comprehend at this point. Considering that it does put my entire current business at risk is also just plain frightening.
Steve Pavlina‘s book, ‘Personal Development for Smart People‘, mentions several factors I can attribute to my current cold feet. Over generalisation, social and media conditioning and the lack of accuracy inherent of planning for anything. Perhaps I should take this risk, perhaps I should simply take Richard Branson‘s advice and say ‘Screw it, I’m going to do it’. If the Time Capital I invest ends in my business going under, what is really the worst that could happen? I’d have to start again, do something new, learn many lessons in the process. Not sounding that bad, I guess.
What would you do in my shoes? Do I take a leap of faith and step back from the reins, possibly risk the business its taken 5 years to build or continue to be self employed, play it safe and continue loosing my Time Capital?
If there is one thing in this world I love, it’s a clean, neat desktop that offers the functions I use regularly, without those messy and often downright ugly Gadgets offered by Microsoft. Meet Rainmeter, a desktop customisation platform that allows you to display exactly the information you want to see, how you want to see it and nothing else.
Personally I opted for the Wheat 1.0 plugin.Which was designed by independently. Check out these gorgeous results:
Pretty, right? Time, date, my favourite blog feed, Google search and notes. What more does a mutha need?
There are so many options available and all plugins can be edited to display as required via notepad. For a few more examples of what I’m talking about, take a peek at Rainmeter’s download page by clicking here.
How to install and manage Rainmeter
Step 1: install Rainmeter here: http://rainmeter.net/RainCMS/ , choose the best option for you 32/64 bit version as you require.
Step 2: Once installed download your favorite skin from Rainmeter’s recommended skin suites or if you like mine, download Wheat 1.0 here. (You can also download multiple skins and simply mix and match your favourite elements from each of them).
The rainmeter forum has a wealth of information on this product, but if you get stuck, leave me a comment and I will assist.
As a bride you have probably started realising the same thing I did about 8 months ago, getting married is expensive. I started questioning, why this is the case. Weddings appear have become an entire multimillion rand industry, generally aimed at tourists. Perhaps its cheap for a foreigners budget, but for us poor South Africans, it leaves the newly engaged couple with a sense of dread and the possibility of not being able to afford a honeymoon. Mutha to the rescue. As I love researching things and DIY-ing everything, I’ve already lowered my costs significantly. Below are list of some of my favourite service providers that’ll give you the sense of relief you have been looking for:
The first step in planning any wedding is of course looking at your budget and the number guests you are planning to have, personally I am keeping the guest list to a modest 60 to 70 people. Extended family and acquaintances can suck it up if they don’t like it, the cost is a little more than significant and being my practical self, I won’t not enjoy a wonderful honeymoon for their sakes. The venue fees and lunch or dinner might at first appear ‘cheap’. Don’t be fooled, while it looks like a total of around R 300 to R 400 per head, when you get around to considering all the other expenses involved it generally works out to more like +-R 1000 per head. If you are really clever and with a bit of hard work, you can possibly get this down to around R 600 to R 800 ( I certainly have!) including your dress and sparkles.
So this is the first and most important step, you will need a guest list and its a good idea to first discuss family with your partner and parents. If your parents want certain people that are not on your list, invited, and you are covering the wedding costs, its common courtesy for them to cover the bill for these insignificant randoms who will be hanging around on the big day.
Next, you’ll need a budget planner. Download your free budget planner and guest list manager from www.perdekoop.co.za. You can tailor it to your needs. It certainly served me well, to arrive prepared, when looking at venues. If I had not had that little piece of paper everywhere we went, I would not have found, on further investigation, that most places, had a gazillion little hidden costs they would only normally tell you about after you have signed the papers. Caught a number of them out hiding more than 50% of costs originally given to me.
Now here’s where the real fun starts, based in Maitland and stocked with all sorts of things you may require at your wedding, www.merrypak.co.za. They have a much wider range in store than what is on their website. So do yourself a favour, before having your budget ripped to shreds by your venues provided ‘party planner‘ ( they all insist you have one that they provide, for which you pay), take a trip to Merrypak, you will be surprised what you find, from paper, to cake décor and confetti!
A while ago, while my fiance and I were viewing one those heavily over priced wine estates as venue, I did manage to come away with the contact details of the place I will be hiring a lot of our decor from, Bunches for Africa. These guys have got ‘well priced’ down to a bunch of real, tangible good prices. They also supply flowers and are truly the best value for money I have found so far in Cape Town. Check out there website here: www.bunchesforafrica.com.
Hope everyone excuses my silence this last week, but I’ve been busier than usual the last few day’s. A Mutha’s got to work sometimes too, you know.
I have been extremely busy with 2 massive work projects which have been eating up all my time. Not that I’m complaining. 2 new websites in a week, challenging but fun. Enjoying every second and writing up a storm, not too mention how much I love doing what I do! I have a few articles I’ll be posting later this week that I have been working on behind the scenes, so watch this space for tips on saving money on your wedding invites, useful wedding service providers in Cape Town that won’t leave you feeling like you just made an organ donation, and updates on the latest book I have been reading. Also coming up; some great new recipes that’ll have your family and guests ( whoever is lucky enough to be invited) wagging their tongues around like happy puppies and singing your praises to the Gods. In the interim, here’s some food for thought to get those creative juices flowing and beating ageing simultaneously:
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Hope everyone is well and that your munchkins aren’t driving you up the wall yet, personally I think I saw a grey hair this morning! With 3 weeks of school holidays to go, I cannot say there won’t be a few more by the end of it. Happy Holidays MuthaBlogga’s!