Weekly photo challenge: Letters

Barely a couple of hours after landing in San Francisco I found myself walking through Union Square to the iStore.

Imbibing the night life, the energetic atmosphere of this wonderful city, I couldn’t resist taking this photo. I would so dearly have loved to go in, have a drink and some pasta, whilst listening to thrummy jazz.

Isn’t music such a universal language?



Subjectively lifting the spirits.

No translation needed! Don’t you think?
San Francisco Union Square - Music, the universal language
San Francisco Union Square – Music, the universal language


The week that was

Blogging daily? Really?

It’s always my intention to blog daily. I’ve managed to do this many times. Sometimes, however, I over-estimate the time available to blog, and invariably this is what gets left behind.

I need my sleep!

As time marches on to the midnight hour, the energy left for blogging becomes less as the need for sleep becomes more.

What? Only 11 posts so far?

…well…12 if you count this one…and I so wanted to have a full 30 posts this month!

But this isn’t a competition…

…or a race, but you see…each day I don’t post is a day that I have deprived myself of the joy of writing and to log it as one more day of experience towards being a better writer.

Enough self-pity, you had a good week!

Yes, yes I did!

Easter with family.

A dear friend who lives in another country spent a few days with me.

Traffic was a breeze ‘cos of school holidays.

Another 3 day weekend!

And going to the Teatro at Montecasino to watch The Sound of Music!


Desensitization – cops 1 robbers 0

There was a shooting (cops 1 and robbers 0) on Rivonia Road by Morningside this afternoon. As a result this main arterial that crosses Sandton from South to North was closed until well into the evening.

As the company I work for is situated on the busiest intersection on Rivonia Road, it took me 30 minutes to travel less than 500m. Traffic backed up into level 2 of the parking garage.

The intersection with Rivonia was gridlocked as cars kept on moving even after the red light came on, effectively blocking those of us trying to get across.

I must say that surprisingly, there was very little hooting and road rage.

Traffic police were nowhere to be seen. No surprise there! No gesticulating traffic cops shouting at motorists this time. No slapstick in the afternoon.

We’ve become desensitized in this city – listening to the news on the radio about the shooting and being caught in the resultant traffic chaos – all  could think of was that I needed to get across the intersection to fill up with petrol so that I didn’t have to leave home earlier in the morning to do so.


Who remembers these 70s TV shows?

It’s inevitable that as children we’re influenced by what we see, hence the importance of parental control. There wasn’t much sex or violence on TV in the 70s…at least not on South African television.

South Africa in the 70s was insular and closed. Media was heavily censored. TV was only introduced in the late 70s. These TV shows opened things up a little for those fortunate few who had a TV.

Which 70s shows do you remember fondly?

Little House on the Prairie – Every Sunday night the whole family gathered around the TV to watch the latest episode. My sister and I identified with the Ingalls sisters – me with Mary, being the eldest. It was because of this series that we started calling my Mom and Dad, Ma and Pa. We still do. Enjoy the video below of the opening and closing music and credits.

MacGyver – I had a crush on Richard Dean Anderson. Because of him I started carrying a swiss army knife in my bag. And paperclips. I never knew when I’d need them – any tool would do!

Emergency! – This was when I discovered the existence of paramedics. I was bitterly disappointed that I couldn’t dial 911 from South Africa.

Chopper One – It didn’t last longer than 1 season. I had a crush on Dirk Benedict. At one stage I wanted to learn how to fly a helicopter. I never did.

“CHiPS” – Monday evenings were CHiPS evenings, dinner was gobbled as quickly as possible to be in front of the TV when it came on. My fascination with bikes started then.

Which 70s shows do you remember fondly?

How to take control of a room full of people – the best toastmasters advice I’ve ever received.

I was day chairman at a regional conference sometime ago, having to deal with a very rowdy crowd of toastmasters. After the morning tea break, the 500 or so people ambled into the hall, talking animately and generally taking their time about sitting for the next part of the program.

I used the gavel to not very good effect. The more I banged on the lectern the noisier the crowd became, raising their voices over the banging. They eventually settled down and I had to work extra hard at clawing back lost time to get everyone to the sit down lunch on time.

As I removed the lapel mic a very senior toastmaster in terms of tenure came up to me and said this:

“Regina, when people return to their seats after lunch, just stand in the centre of the stage and say nothing. This gets people’s attention faster than trying to shout over the voices and telling them what to do. You will show assertiveness by taking control of room in a quiet manner.”

After lunch I did just that – and as if by magic, the chattering died down quickly and people took their seats, looking at me in anticipation of the next part of the programme.