Blogless week…

…that was last week. So much to do, so little time, so blogging took a back seat.

It was a week of new experiences, spending time with fellow professionals I like and respect and a visiting a  much-loved place.

On Sunday I flew in to Cape Town and spent the day at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the most beautiful places I know and love. I cannot get enough of it. I have visited a few times and there is still so much left to explore. I cannot wait to go back.

On Monday I did a talk at the Scrum User Group conference – this was a new experience for me. I am used to speaking in public – for entertainment purposes. This was different because it was an industry talk. I learnt that I am more terrified speaking in front of people, some of which I know, than 500 strangers.

Gimme MC’ing an event full of 500 strangers any day.

Forward in to the new week and blogging once again.

Share Your World – Week 41

Sharing a bit of my world through Cee’s Share Your World questions. Go over to Cee’s blog to participate.

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Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

Always being the person behind the camera I have very few recent photos of me, so I would like to be the person in the photos for a change. I was looking for a decent head and shoulders pic of me for my speaker bio and the only suitable one was taken 3 years ago. Hope the audience is going to recognise me next week :-).

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

Playing with my 5 year old nephew on Saturday, building things, watching Disney channel and his drawing of my house and pool. He’s given my pool 6 steps (it has 3) and I am very blessed that he wants to improve my pool :-).

What is your greatest extravagance?

My Suzuki 750GSXR which is sitting in the garage. I think I should sell it.

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

S for Steady

S for Sometimes Scared

S for Strict

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

It was my 22nd wedding anniversary on Saturday, I am grateful for finding someone who is still in my life. I am looking forward to my birthday on Wednesday :-) – hint hint…presents…

Ready, Set, Done: Gatvol

WordPress daily prompt: Ready, Set, Done. 10 minutes. You and your keyboard (or smartphone. Or tablet. Or pen and paper). No pauses, no edits, no looking back: it’s free-write time! Click here for other entries.

Ten minutes over. Now if you see this, it’s because I have had the courage to post it. After a day like today I don’t care. I’m just gatvol*.

* gatvol – a South African word derived from Afrikaans, meaning to be irritated or sick and tired of something – to put it politely.

Share Your World – Week 40

Sharing a bit of my world – questions from Cee Neuner. Go on over and get to know more people’s worlds.

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You’re given $500,000 dollars tax free (any currency), what do you spend it on? 

Wow! $500,000 dollars tax free (I take it they’re US dollars) – that is R5,620,000 (million) South African Rands. That’s a lot of money, plenty to go around. I would put one fifth of it in medium risk interest bearing account. The rest I would use to establish 3 non-profit organisations: 1) empowering and protecting women and children; 2) providing education to children in need; 3) showing different farming methods for sustainable farming to poor communities.

What’s the finest education?

My very first (serious) job was at a large bank, and the Managing Director of the insurance division had risen through the ranks without a university education. He was a damn fine leader, manager and business man. He said that the letters after his name were the following: QBE – Qualified by Experience. I never forgot that.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

Rather than type of art, my favourite artists are very different from each other. I like them for different reasons: 1) Toulouse Lautrec – his colourful works depicting the theatrical world of Paris really catch my eye with its undertones of debauchery and gaudiness; 2) Picasso  for the whole passionate person he was.

Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?

My Very Energetic Mother Jumped Straight Up Nine Planets – Mars Venus Earth Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for family, a comfortable home and Che. This week I am looking forward to having my hair done, The Blacklist episode 3 and visiting family on the weekend.

 

What are you looking forward to this week?

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From Nothing to Nothing

It was dark, overhanging clouds heavy with rain cloaking the days in inky darkness, turning them into night. Thunder crashed overhead signaling a downpour that never came. It had not rained in ten years.

She alighted from the back of the taxi that had come all the way from the city. Her suitcases were unceremoniously dropped to the cobbled pavement. She paid the driver in notes which he gingerly held by their corners as though they were tainted, contagious, of what she did not know.

She pulled her scarlet cloak tighter around her shoulders hoping that the envelope of warmth it afforded her would extend to the people walking past, looking down, not daring to make eye contact with the beautiful and mysterious stranger.

Maybe they were afraid of greeting her, giving them something of themselves, lest she asked for more.

She knew what they were thinking, she could see it in their eyes.

“A woman on her own…”

“Look at the red cloak she is wearing.”

“She’s too beautiful to be a good woman.”

“She’s not like us.”

“I hope she doesn’t cause any trouble.”

And they hurried past, leaving her, standing on the cobbled pavement in front of the station that had not seen a train in ten years.

What they did not know was that she was not lost. She knew this village well, knew its people and the way they thought. That was why she had left, on the last train, ten years ago…leaving behind the insularity of the small village and the insularity of the villagers’ thinking.

Sitting on that last train ten years ago she had made a promise to herself to never return. She ran away, never once looking back, leaving behind…nothing.

Now she was back. She had broken the promise to herself. She was back…to nothing. She was still running away, backwards, towards this village of her birth where she still had nothing.

Nothing save for the scarlet cloak and the two suitcases still on the cobbled pavement where the taxi driver had unceremoniously dropped them.

A clap of thunder had her looking up at the inky heavens. Memories of the past crashed into her, jolting her body much like a flash of lightning jolts even the strongest tree. Trembling she  raised her hand to her wet cheeks wanting to wipe away tears only to find them dry.

In confusion she looked down and saw the drops of rain starting to wet the cobbled pavement, landing on her face, sliding down her scarlet cloak to form a scarlet pool at her feet.

WordPress weekly writing challenge: ForeshadowThis week, we want you to toy with your readers’ emotions and try your hand at foreshadow. Click here to read other bloggers' interpretation of this week's theme.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime – In the Harbour

I do not like taking photos in low-light situations because it takes skill (which I do not yet have) and often have to fall back to flash (which I do not like). So I do not often venture into Nighttime photography.

One exception is where there is a lot of ambient or reflected light around, as was the case with the photos for this week’s challenge. Cape Town is one of my favourite places on earth and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront provides many opportunities for photography.

The V&A Waterfront is a working harbour, as well as being a huge entertainment, lifestyle and residential space thus making it one of the city’s major tourist attractions. Apartments go for many millions of rands.

These photos show all of these dimensions, the lit up residential units providing a domestic backdrop to the huge cranes and ships. There is lots of reflected light providing pockets of yellowish glow to the whole scene.

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WordPress's weekly photo challenge this week is Nighttime. Click here more Nighttime posts.

Welcome to my personal blog. I write about a lot of different things so if you like eclectic then you'll like being here. Sometimes I'm #justsaying.

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