I’m a Naked Niche Blogger!

I finally know what I am. A Naked Niche blogger!

There are parenting bloggers, food bloggers, DYI bloggers…there are bloggers for all niches. They seems to have loads of followers and build up an audience quickly.

And then there’s the non-niche bloggers, like me. We blog about many topics. Often I don’t know what I’m going to write about as I open my laptop. I call myself an eclectic blogger. I like the term Naked Niche blogger too.

Jen@MuddyBootDreams says it so well: “We’re the ones who go from topic to topic, changing our subjects like our socks.  We touch on various ideas.  We express our thoughts and our feelings, learning and trying different things as we go.”

With regards to audience she goes on to say: “Your so-called “audience” is made up of real people: bloggers that you follow, and who follow you. They care about what you write, and they come to read your blog because they like you, and you like themThey are not just anonymous commenters who stop by occasionally to learn how to makeover a piece of furniture, find a good chicken recipe, or the best way to hang a curtain rod.”

I’ve found a group of wonderful bloggers in Sparky’s Blog Challenge. We communicate on Facebook.

And it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one out there feeling the way I do. I’m a Naked Niche blogger ;-)!

Read Jen’s full article here.


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Are they inspired to be better than us?


This post was inspired by Roche Mamabolo’s post entitled “What we teach”.

When I entered high school (I went to an all-girls school), the least useful subject was Guidance (it’s now called Life Orientation). It was supposed to guide us in things not related to academics.

Imagine my surprise when the 1st lesson of Grade 8 was the screening of a grainy black and white movie of a woman giving birth. There was no introduction or preamble or anything approximating sex education.

What message do you think was being given to us by the department of education in all its wisdom?

Don’t you think that without the frame of sex education, the message of such a movie was rather a limited one?

Wouldn’t it have been better to temper it with another video followed by a practical of how to change a tyre? How to open a bank account? How to do a budget? You know, useful things that everyone needs to know in order to navigate the practicalities of daily life.

My Mom told me at an early age – “Study and work hard so that you never have to be financially dependent on anyone.”

My Mom taught me that women have value, and to hold their own in any context is natural. No announcements. No fuss. It’s natural.

What do we tell our children, girls and boys?

What do we teach them?

What do they see in people who are supposed to be role models?

Are they inspired to be better than us?


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A tale of two cities

If I had to split my time between 2 places only, I would choose San Francisco and Johannesburg.

One city I know well, the other one I want to get to know well.

Johannesburg is where I live, I know these streets, the people, some of its secrets and many of its treasures. It’s the biggest man-made forest in the world and no vista is more spectacular to see a huge part of this forest than from the top of Munroe Drive in Houghton.

In spring the purple jacarandas line the streets like a purple canopy. In winter the sunsets are like a fire in the west, fleetingly showing off all the colours of the red, orange and yellow palette.

There’s a frenetic energy befitting the economic hub of the country.  People speak fast, walk fast and drive even faster. It’s not a place for sissies.

Johannesburg began as a mining town established when gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand. Many buildings still go back to that period, and the city is laid out in a grid pattern. It’s easy to imagine dirt roads, horses and saloons on every corner.

It’s known as the city of gold, or Egoli (Place of Gold), Jozi, Joeys or Joburg – to those of us who live here.

San Francisco I experienced fleetingly, as a tourist. I experienced a similar energy, even more sleeplessness, more of a 24-hour place than Johannesburg.

I crossed the Golden Gate bridge and looked across at Alcatraz and thought – “I can swim that…!” (Yeah, right!).

I rode down Lombard Street in a mini van with 6 of us yelling, screaming, laughing nervously and commenting about what South African taxi drivers would do in their tin cans without any brakes – it was memorable!

I experienced Fisherman’s Wharf, and loved it. The vibe and energy. Each corner turned was a new discovery. The novelty shops. Entertainment arcades. Seafood restaurants. And a subtle setting of the sun over the marina.

Silver painted buskers stood statue-like waiting for kids to go up to them and tentatively touch their glistening skin before making a sudden move, much to the surprise and eventual delight of the kids.

In the evening we drove to the Coit Tower and wondered the gardens looking at the lights framing the skyscrapers.

In the chilly wind I made a promise – that I would be back, for a longer time, to experience the city in its entirety.

Yes indeed…if I had to split my time between 2 cities, Johannesburg and San Francisco are definitely my choices.

In the summertime for both.


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Writing 101 Day 5: Someone’s Lost Their Ride – 100 Word Story

Writing 101, Day 5 assignment - Be Brief 
You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

“I wrote a letter to my love and on the way I lost it…” I distractedly sing the children’s rhyme, my eyes on the treacherous path. I see something…

White paper napkin, black scrawling writing, red lipstick smudges. Crumpled up. Carelessly lost. Or deliberately thrown? Placed in my path by pesky wind.

Picking it up, I read:

“8 o’clock. Be there. The ship sails. Never to return.”

Well someone’s lost their ride. I sigh, smell the rich perfume still on the paper. My fingers feel dampness. Of tears?

The church bell tolls nine times.

Tears come unbidden to my eyes.

Breaking the drought

It’s been a while since my last post – Tuesday June 10th in fact! Lots has happened and I have not had the energy to blog, sadly.

Last week…

…I had a work dinner on Wednesday and had half-a-glass of red wine with my delicious ravioli. It was a good wine, a Rupert and Rothschild. Note to self: NEVER, but NEVER EVER drink red wine again, even if it’s expensive! It’s simply poison for my system. The next morning my sinuses had swollen up, my face was puffy and I had nausea, sinus, neck and shoulder pain. Almost like I had a hangover but with half-a-glass of wine! Have you ever…!!??

Last weekend…

… was a long one in South Africa and we went away to Mount Grace in the Magaliesberg. It was wonderful, just being pampered and doing nothing all day but lie in the sun topping up on Vitamin D reserves. Che and I had a pamper session at the spa on Saturday morning and I spent the rest of the time catching up on items on my WordPress Reader – so I know what’s been happening with everyone else. I can recommend the a la carte restaurant Rambling Vine where we enjoyed 2 excellent 3-course dinners – without wine for me!

A new lens…

Prior to the weekend I bought a new lens for my camera  – I’ve always wanted a 50mm-300mm lens so on Friday morning before we left I snuck out to the electronics shop and bought a Sigma lens.

I’m really still learning about photography. For years I was a point and click photographer – too intimidated by the complicated features of an SLR camera. Eventually even I got frustrated with the slow response of the point and clicks. The picture I saw and wanted I simply wasn’t getting. So I bit the bullet and got a DSLR.

I’m not much of a manual reader and definitely don’t have the patience for photographic courses so I’m going it alone. Che is a very proficient photographer (he did photography in school and even developed his own pics back in the day) so I have a source of ready info at my finger tips.

So the weekend at Mount Grace also turned out to be a photographic lesson from Che Hubby. I enjoyed it and I’m sure that I got a whole lot better. I played around with Bokeh after reading a post on Cee Neuner’s site. I had loads of fun on macro setting. Here is a pic I experimented with.

WIldflower of the Magaliesberg - succulent from the Aloe family I think...
WIldflower of the Magaliesberg – succulent from the Aloe family I think…

Hunting for heat…

We travelled back to Jhb on Monday afternoon. It was cold and we hadn’t yet replenished the gas bottle for the heater. At 8pm when normal people were having dinner and watching TV I was driving like a lunatic around the neighbourhood looking for gas. I went to 4 service stations before I found one which still had stocks.

Sinuses again…

Well, the sinuses never really cleared up. They were really bothering me, I had symptoms of fever, hot and cold all the time, it was so bothersome. On Thursday morning I woke up feeling nauseous and sweating like mad – I actually woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat and had to peel off the soaking PJs to put dry ones on. In the morning I had pain in the head neck and shoulders as well. I know when left untreated sinus problems can become secondary infections, so I decided to stay home and go to the doctor. I don’t like antibiotics, I much prefer the natural way of treating things, but sometimes I know it is necessary and this was one of those times.

Today I am still off, panicking because of unfinished work at work. And tomorrow I’m not going to Wintercon, Toastmasters club officer training. Last week I was elected President of Talk with Purpose toastmasters club but I’ve been President of 2 other clubs before so I should be ok.

Cheerio for now friends!