Monthly Archives: December 2011

Party Cocktails

2011 is over and 2012 is fast approaching, to bring in the new year here are a few yummy cocktails and even the words to the age old Old Years Eve song:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,for auld lang syne,we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


1/2 Light Rum, 1/2 Lime or lemon juice, 1 teaspoon grenadine: Shake and strain

Banana Bliss

1/2 Brandy, 1/2 Banana Liqueur: Shake and strain


3/4 Dark Rum, 1/4 lime or lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon castor sugar: Shake and strain, decorate with a cherry

Gin Fizz

1 tot Gin, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon castor sugar: Dissolve sugar in the lemon juice and add gin. Shake and strain into a tall glass. Top with soda water.


2/3 Bourbon, 1/3 Sweet Vermouth, dash of Angostura Bitters: Stir and strain, decorate with a cherry


1/2 Tequila, 1/4 Cointreau, 1/4 Lemon or lime juice: Shake and strain. Moisten edge of the glass with lemon or lime and dip in fine salt.


2/3 dry Gin, 1/3 Dry Vermouth, dash orange bitters: Shake and strain. decorate with a stuffed olive.

Pink Lady

1 tot gin, 1/2 white of 1 Egg, 1 tablespoon Grenadine: Shake and strain


1/4 Vodka, 3/4 Orange Juice: Pour over ice in a tumbler, decorate with a slice of orange

Remember not to drink and drive – Be safe on our roads!



Posted by on 30/12/2011 in Cocktails, Drinks


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20 Things to do in 2012


With 2012 on our doorsteps, I’ve devised 10 things that I’m adding to my bucket list for 2012 which must be done! – This was my original first sentence, but as I was typing and thinking I noticed that my 10 things had grown to a list of 20! Honestly it made me feel so motivated and inspired, not to mention excited. I want to start on my list right now. Some of the items are once off things or things I need to concentrate on and a few such as the things I want to do at least once a month are going to get whole lists on their own! I’ve always thought of doing a lot of these, but somehow they always stayed just a thought. Somehow by putting keyboard to monitor, it makes it more real. Plus the fact that it is now published to the Big World Wide Web ensures that I can’t back out!

√ Throw a dart into the map of South Africa and travel to where it lands

√ This is a three in one: Go on a fun cruise with friends / go to the Knysna Oyster Fesitival / go cherry picking

√ Submit a photo to a competition – and hopefully win

√ Learn another language

√ Train and ride in the Cycle Challenge

√ Watch the following films: American Beauty (1999), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), The Breakfast Club (1985), Citizen Kane (1941), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) – I have no idea if these are any good – but they are on an ‘All time Greatest Film’ list I have.

√ Read the following books: Animal Farm by George Orwell, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

√ Go on an overnight horse safari

√ Leave my mark in graffiti

√ Stay in the best suite in a five-star hotel (this one might take a bit of doing!)

√ Ensure that social media is not the only form of contact I have with those I love and care about

√ Do something once a month that I’ve never done before

√  Keep a reflection journal on what my choices are, how I feel about them and where I am heading 

√  Always find time to head out and connect with nature in one form or another

√  Say no to anything that doesn’t contribute positively

√  Do or make something creative at least once a month

√  Finally master Photoshop!!!

√  Once a month do something purely for myself which makes me feel good

√  Try to clear the clutter I’ve collected (to understand I’m a huge sentimental hoarder and find it hard to throw things away)

√  Go and see at least one play and one concert in 2012

Well those are mine, obviously it is a very personal choice, but have you thought about some outrageous fun things you would like to do in 2012? Well put pen to paper and make it happen. I look forward to hearing from you what your list looks like and most importantly if you achieve them!

Here’s to an amazing, awesome and exciting 2012!!!

Happy thinking.


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Posted by on 28/12/2011 in General


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Leadership Quotes


Whether you need a little “umph” yourself, or something to get the people you are leading motivated, here are some awesome quotes that often get me on the right road.

“You will only go as far as you think you can go” ~ Anonymous

“What happens to a man is less significant than what happens within him” ~ Louis Mann

“By perseverance the snail reached the ark” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve” ~ W. C. Stone

“If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?” ~ John L Mason

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase” ~ Martin Luther King

“You create your own universe as you go along” ~ Winston Churchill

“Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you are right” ~ Henry Ford

“The harder you fall, the higher you bounce” ~ Anonymous

“TODAY I will make choices that bring me closer to my goal” ~ Anonymous

Now go out and take over the world!!




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Posted by on 26/12/2011 in Quotes


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Wildlife Photoblog


As this is a photo blog I will keep it short and sweet.

The below pictures are a few (else I’d take pages and pages up) of my favourite wildlife pictures for 2011.


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Posted by on 23/12/2011 in Wildlife


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Hints and Tips part 1

Greetings all,

I love hints and tips to use around the house, making life just that little easier. I’ve put together a few and will in due course add some more – so keep checking back!

1. Place candles in the freezer for approx 3 hours before burning them. Why? Because they will then have a longer burning time!

2. (This one Soek and Zippo especially love) When bathing your pet, place a rubber mat into the bottom of the bath – This ensures a more secure footing for your pet, making them feel just a little more safe and secure!

3. Sprinkle a little salt in your frying pan before cooking with oil – it helps prevent the oil from splattering.

4. (This one is so simple – but so effective!!!!) To pick up pins, use a magnet which has been placed inside a plastic bag. Once all the pins have been picked up, turn the bag inside out and you will have them all neatly inside! Voila!!!

5. One for the ladies – To tame eyebrows – spray a little hair spray on a toothbrush and brush on eye brows – the stickiness helps keeps the hair in place.

If anyone else has some tips just email me on – and I will happily add (along with credit)



Posted by on 19/12/2011 in Hints and Tips


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A letter from France – Une lettre de France

I wrote the below blog for a good friend of mine Grannie Banana and have added it here for my readers to enjoy. You can also follow her on her blog

Dear Reader,

Before reading this letter, I want you to find yourself a quiet relaxing spot, pour yourself a glass of wine and put on some soft music, even light some candles if the mood strikes you – only then will you be ready to be transported to where I find myself.  I’ll give you a few moments to prepare.

Right – you ready? Let’s begin.

Imagine a town with cobblestone roads, rich in culture and history. Imagine a place where the bells of an ancient church chime each hour. Hear the people around you chatting in the lyrical language of love. See children laughing, adults walking their dogs, woman dressed to perfection and the men who feature in many a romantic girls dream. Soak in the aromatic smell of freshly brewed coffee and you will have an idea of where I am.

“Un café en France” – does that not just sound better than “A coffee shop in France” so while I sit here and absorb all that is French, drinking une grand café (TIP: If you drink your coffee white, make sure to ask for milk – else you will get it black) I feel the need to be creative (France does that to a person!) and have therefore decided to put pen to paper – well to be correct: keyboard to computer.

The French themselves refer to France in the feminine – La France and this is so true. La France can only be a woman! With all her secrets and desires, pretending to be haughty and aloof, yet demanding that you love her for all that she is – unconditionally. Teasing you with her beauty and charm, but never letting you in to her innermost thoughts.  She is a temptress flaunting her delicious wines, creamy Bries and Camemberts, rich delicious chocolates and soft freshly baked breads. She seduces even with her words – words which even when only spoken flow over you like a musical note.

There is a saying that says “When in Rome, do as the Romans,” but in France it is more than that – she brings out “Les joies de la vie” – The joys of life.  Going to a market on a Saturday morning and standing before a vendor only selling olives, deciding whether I want huge garlic green olives or succulent black olives – the olive choices are endless.  Then on to buy fresh farm eggs – with the feathers still stuck to them. Popping over to buy paint brushes and paint, because I feel inspiration from Monet! Ordering a freshly baked baguette which will be the perfect companion to the pate I’ve bought. Going to the local supermarket and picking out an affordable ruby red wine to accompany my meal. Stopping at the “bureau de poste”, to send a postcard. (Yes! I actually wrote a postcard) During cold winter months dressing in boots and scarves, packing hot red wine and sitting on a bench discussing life and all that it means. Running down streets laughing and giggling just because you are alive and France will not look at you with scorn if you do so. La France – she brings out all that you wish to do – and somehow never find the time for.

Of course as any lady she has her moments, such as siesta time when the town shuts down for… well … a nap. This would not be so bad if all the stores shut and opened at the same time, but no each one has its own times – and it becomes a finely tuned mission doing your shopping in the afternoon.  Or the red tape bureaucracy – the French LOVE paperwork… for anything you want to do there is a mile long paper trail that follows it. Also we think in l’Afrique du Sud – South Africa (my beautiful country) people like to strike – well in France I think it has almost become an art form!  A lot of people will also say that the French are an unfriendly lot – I disagree. It is not that they are purposely unfriendly – because I have met too many French people who have helped and been kind to me for this statement to be true – it is more that they do not easily let people in. I find them to be a proud nation – you are in their country so the very least you can do is try and be respectful by attempting to speak their language.

If you were at a quiz night and was asked who is “La dame de fer” – The Iron Lady? Would you be able to answer? If they gave you a clue and said it is the most-visited paid monument in the world would you be able to answer now? What if they said it was one of the recognizable structures in the world?  I’m sure by now you know I’m referring to “La Tour Eiffel” – The Eiffel Tower.  A visit here must be on every person’s bucket list when visiting France as it is truly the global icon. There are three levels and you can purchase tickets to ascend either by stairs or lift.

Thanks to the Hunchback of Notre Dame everybody knows of the beautiful Notre Dame de Paris church, but how many of you know that the name means “Our Lady” (how poetic?!) which is the French title for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jean de Jandun named it one of the three most important buildings of Paris. “that most terrible church of the most glorious Virgin Mary, mother of God, deservedly shines out, like the sun among stars” Even if you are not religious, just for the sheer beauty this church is a must!

Ever heard of the Mona Lisa? Yes that lady with the half smile that makes you wonder what on earth she is thinking about! Well her home at the moment is the Musée du Louvre, Paris (also featured in the Dan Brown book “Da Vinci Code”) – and she is actually a lot smaller than you would imagine. Be prepared for loooonnng queues!

Aaah beautiful Avenue des Champs Élysées or just “Champs Élysées” for those in the know. “La plus belle avenue du monde” – The most beautiful avenue of the world. The clipped horse-chestnut trees lead you into a false sense of security where you think this is just a beautiful avenue whilst being one of the most famous … never realising that this is also one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world! 1.91km of luxurious, name brand stores delighting every stylish person, demanding you live to higher standards and yes where I ended up buying the most expensive pair of shoes I own, due to having worn an uncomfortable pair before. (Ok Ok honesty: I just wanted to say I bought something from a store on this avenue!!!!)

There are many many many more things to see and do while in magnifique France – these are just scratching the surface.  What I can tell you though, is that memories will be made, and inhibitions will be released and I console myself that when I leave, I will have something to remind me of the essence of France.  What is that you might ask?

Well let me give you a hint: In an interview Marilyn Monroe was asked what does she wear to bed? Her answer?

“Chanel no 5.”

My fragrance! – To me it embodies all that is France – seductive, soft, enveloping – the smell of a woman in all her glory, never quite letting you in, romantic, encouraging you to let go and yet protective of herself, a timeless classic and always, always a lady!

Bisou, Bisou,

La Dee

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Posted by on 15/12/2011 in World


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Animal Olympics

Imagine an olympic sized stadium. Imagine spectators cheering wildly. Imagine nervous but excited contestants.

Welcome to the award ceremony of the Animal Olympics – who is the best of the best? Who will take home coveted gold medals? Who will make their species proud? Who are the world record breakers?

A hush falls over the crowd as the announcer clears his voice and in a booming voice calls out, “Ladies and gentlemen I will now announce the winner of our first category – The fastest animal”

“In second place: we have Ostrich speeding over the finish line at an incredible 70 km/h, affording him the title of fastest 2 legged animal, but unfortunately not fastest land animal”

A slightly disappointed but satisfied Ostrich, claims his silver medal and returns to his cheering fans.

” and now, taking the gold…please step forward…with a body made for speed…prey beware…at 110 km/h…the incredibbbbbbbble CHEETAH”

Growls of excitement echo as the cat species cheer on their comrade, while Cheetah streaks over to claim her medal.

“Quiet please, quiet please and onto our second category – The tallest animal, we call on…”

Before the announcer can finish his sentence Giraffe has already strolled elegantly to the podium.

” ummm, yes, uhh, standing tall at 5.5m the winner is most definitely GIRAFFE, round of applause please, yes round of applause” 

Giraffe patiently waits, while staff search for a ladder, in order for the President of the Animal Olympics to bestow upon her the gold she deserves.

“Thank you Giraffe, moving on to category three. Who do you not want to invite to a tea party? Who do you buy soap for as a Christmas present? If you haven’t guessed it yet – This is the Smelliest Animal category”

Across the stadium the spectators are pinching their noses closed, everyone looks suspiciously at their neighbours while turning slightly away…who is this creature? Skunk pipes up “Don’t look at me! I did not even compete!” 

Shamefacedly Polecat slinks to the podium, meekly accepts his gold and then in an act of defiance lets off one quick squirt…leaving his horrible smell of victory to linger.

Scarcely breathing and struggling to talk, the announcer’s voice squeaks “Please would Rhino Beetle and Goliath Beetle come forward” 

“The next category we have named “The Beetle Wars”, and as both of you have come out winners, we will be handing over two gold medals. The first medal goes to Rhino Beetle, who as most of you know, is part of the Baby 5 of Africa, able to carry over 800 times its own weight at only 60mm, Rhino Beetle you are the STRONGEST of creatures aaaaaaand with a wingspan of over 20cm, easily having a length of over 10cm, and as your name suggests……… Goliath Beetle you are the BIGGEST and HEAVIEST of beetles” 

But wait what is that commotion? The humans in the crowd are running for cover, pointing and scurrying. Is it a plane? Is it Superman? No…it’s a…a..a…BIRD? huh? I hear you say, a bird? Humans are scared of a bird? *sniggers from the predators are heard*

Well yes, in this case, humans had better be scared! It’s the Cassowary, even though it is flightless, with its powerful legs and knife-like claws it has been known to KILL humans!

Security efficiently and quickly removes the Cassowary and the show must go on….

“Ladies and Gentlemen settle down, settle down please. We have arrived at the grand finale category – that of who is the LARGEST. In order to be absolutely clear we have decided to split the category into land and marine, we have furthermore split marine into mammal and fish. Unfortunately as our marine winners are unable to attend due to … well due to being unable to breathe above water…they will have their representatives from Marine World accept their awards. In the largest of all fish swimming our waters, at an impressive 40 feet in length the gold goes to…..WHALE SHARK and taking gold for the largest mammal please give a round of applause to…….BLUE WHALE at an astounding 35m in length”

(Dear reader please note at this point due to a lack of supporters there was only a smattering of applause – I suppose under water there were a lot of bubble claps.)

A hush falls over the stadium…the largest land animal is going to be announced, who is the biggest of all? Does speed really matter if you could just trample your enemy? Does being tall help if you can just be pushed over? There is an air of expectancy, as if the crowd knows the answer – but could there be a surprise twist?

“The largest land animal is…….

the mighty

the proud


The trumpets of hundreds of elephants resounds throughout the stadium, the matriarch of all elephants leads her herds forward in a triumphant march, each receiving their gleaming prize as they pass the President of the Animal Olympics. Victory is theirs.

and yet…. louder and louder ….the strains of a familiar melody is heard….in the…in the jungle…in the mighty…in the mighty jungle…the ….the lion sleeps …the lion sleeps tonight….. Louder and LOUder and LOUDER……until the crowd is silenced by it. And from deep within the bowels of the stadium a mighty roar is heard, the roar of power, the roar of authority….and from all corners of the stadium padding towards the middle come the LIONS….and as one they roar….“You might have won yourselves little sparkles, but remember, always remember WE are the KINGS OF THE JUNGLE…THE PRIDE OF THE AFRICAN BUSH…hear us RRRRRRROOOOOOOOAAAARRRRRRR”



Posted by on 07/12/2011 in Animals


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