Apple – an experience not a device

The south of Joburg has come into the 21st century. We have an iStore at The Glen. It was the opening today. At 8h45 there was already a queue outside, a crowd of people facing the glass windows, staring at the iAssistants inside receiving their final briefing before opening the iDoors.

BBM to my husband: “iStore open at The Glen. If I don’t come home, that’s where you’ll find me”. My husband’s BBM response: “Shall I bring a sleeping bag and a flask of tea?” (Yes yes, I do have a BB).

The iStores I’ve been to in the USA and here in SA look the same. Clean lines, lots of light, it’s a beacon in a mall, crowded with iFans. I am unashamedly one. The products are made for people. All people. They are people’s products. They are not fussy. They are beautiful. They are easy to use. And the packaging is sooooo beautiful, that it takes me a while just to admire the packaging before opening.

iStore experience in the USA and SA is different. I prefer the USA experience. I like being being welcomed at the door and asked what I would like to do today. I like it that any assistant carries a hand-help POS and can ring up my sale wherever I am in the store. No standing in a queue. I like being asked, “Would you like a printed invoice or can I email it to you?” and it gets emailed right there and then. I have not experienced that in SA. I suppose there are other considerations why this model wouldn’t work in SA.

Countless articles have been written about why Apple is such a successful brand and the secrets of its success. For each article writing about why Apple is so successful, there are an equal amount of articles by people telling us of why they hate Apple.

Like every successful brand, there are the fans and the detractors. The Apple brand is one of those that builds loyalty, sometimes blind loyalty. I read sometime ago that Apple was the only brand that had positive spin in the popular press every single day. That is an achievement.

Then there is Steve Jobs. Visionary and creative genius. By many accounts, not an easy person to have worked with. But a person many people would have wanted to work with. Me included!

Whichever way one looks at it, Apple is one of the leading global brands. Love it or hate it.

You know how I feel…


The road not taken

I am neither here nor there this week. Lots of thoughts going through my mind. Lots of arb and random thoughts. What I’m thinking of now is the road I am on at the moment and where it is taking me. There is an element of planning and an element of going with the flow, allowing myself to experience it with wide eyed wonder.

I took this photo at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, CA, on the way to Lake Tahoe. The road was so serene, few cars passing, that I stopped in the middle of the road to take the photo. I was looking for an effect of endlessness and the road not taken.

Road on the way to Lake Tahoe
The road not taken


Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is my favourite poem. I hope you enjoy it:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Ode to exercise

The geyser is still on the blink. It’s so irritating. It’s not more than 5 years old after the last one burst and was replaced by the insurance company. So still showering at the gym. Maybe I will put in a gym session as well. I haven’t been very “gymmy” lately, just not been in the mood. The result is 3 kgs evident. If I put my mind (and body) to it, it should take me a month to be back to my pre-India body (says she, chewing on a sweet Gulab Jamun).

I am not into weight loss gimmicks or products. Common sense eating and exercise is all that’s needed. Common sense in that if you take in more calories than you burn then guess what? And that’s where the exercise comes in. It helps you burn calories, those that you don’t need. But here’s the magic thing – the more you exercise the more you have to eat (healthily and common-”sensily”) in order to sustain the exercise.

To gain slimness you have to exercise. Diet will only get you so far (imagine all that slack dangly skin, ugh!). Exercise is key. Exercise is king. It doesn’t matter what exercise. Are you burning calories? Are you becoming fitter? Are you having fun? If you have answered “Yes” to all those questions, that is all that matters.

Over a number of years I became progressively non-slim. It happened, and one day I woke up and thought, WTF? To get it off took another few years. Not that I was dieting during those years. Nooooo! I was trying to find shortcuts. Which didn’t work.

One day I woke up and decided that the time had come to go to the gym. 6 months of personal training and sensible eating changed my body shape. I surprised even myself. The benefits of exercise were also many, the most awesome one was realising that the happy hormones were coursing through my body. It’s like walking on clouds. Walking into the gym, smelling the combination of chlorine and sweat, together with the pumping music is enough to get me all excited about working out.

You have to be patient and sustain the routine until the endorphins kick in and the dual anchors of smell and sound will carry you through the tedium of treadmill and bicycle until you want more.

But I hate gym, I hear you say. So did I. But that’s ok. There’s hiking, dancing, running, hockey, netball, soccer, cricket. Anything to get your heart pumping and the unwanted calories off.

The best investment I made was a heart rate monitor. Mine is not fancy, it is the basic entry-level model and it tells me my heart rate during exercise. Based on certain thresholds I program in, it tells me if I am over-exerting myself, and at the end of the session tells me how many calories I’ve burned. The more fancy models give you much more info including downloading the exercise info onto your computer so you can do all sorts of analysis (if you’re into that sort of thing). My basic one is more than enough for me.

As to the thresholds, you can either get a personal trainer (which I got for 6 months, but when he stood me up 3 times I decided to go it alone), or do your own research. There are lots of online resources. OR you can buy a book. Or an exercise and fitness magazine available at any supermarket.

They key to all this is off course – your goals! For me to be healthy is the main goal. The fact that I can now wear skinny jeans – well this is a bonus.

So there you have it. All of the above has been written based on my own personal experience. Now to put it into action again to shed the 3-India-kgs.


Today was frustrating! F…f…f…frustrating! I feel drained. All I need is a hot bath and the geyser is on the blink so I have no hot water. I settled for toast with peanut butter and I will shower at the gym in the morning. Oh how I hate not having my daily soak :-(.

On the bright side I got my new shoes delivered from Zando. I am posting a few pics. When I saw these shoes I couldn’t resist them.

ALERT FOR MY GUY READERS: The next section is a girlie section. Tread at your own peril. If you must read this section, then at least buy these for your girl/woman/wife/functional equivalent. Else just scroll down to the next section.

Levi boots
My new Levi boots


How gorgeous are these? Will go wonderfully with jeans. Levis off course, my favourite brand. Strains of Nancy Sinatra’s “These boots are made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do…” come to mind.





Zoom boots from Zando
Red suede animal print boots from Zoom


I wanted a pair of red boots. And a pair of animal print platforms. When I saw these I hit the jackpot – I got both in one item. And saved money in the process :-). Will be worn with an all-black outfit.







I started this post off trying to vent my frustration and successfully managed to put myself into a good mood by writing about my new shoes. Shoe shopping works.

If you must know, these also put me into a good mood:

  1. Food – feed me and I am happy.
  2. The smell of coffee.
  3. Even better, a cappuccino in my hand.
  4. Riding my motorbike.
  5. Shopping for cosmetics.
  6. The coffee shop experience, especially with my friends.
  7. Slap chips with tomato sauce – food.

Today I had 3 coffees, 2 of which were soya cappuccinos. I read with delight that coffee in moderation is good for you because it has antioxidants. Cappuccinos are mostly milk anyway. I know that some of you will argue that soya is not milk. A colleague calls it vegan coffee; the name has stuck because I have found myself referring to it as vegan coffee too. I reckon that having my coffee with soya milk makes it a high protein low GI drink, which is a meal for me. It’s filling and nutritive. It’s my morning and afternoon low calorie snack. I love its multiple benefits.

Well I’ve shown you my boots and put myself into a good mood. Perhaps a bit of TMI with the “these also put me into a good mood” bit. But I’ll survive. And so will you.

Next time you see me, remember to feed me.

PS: I bought these boots and don’t have to punt Zando, but their merchandise is so gorgeous and delivery fast, that I wanted to mention it here. Always nice to support local business. 

My kinda joke

What's green, has many holes and if it falls on top of you
it will crush you?

Have you got it? Do you know? No? Ok…I will tell you…

...a golf course, of course! Duhhh!

You didn’t find it funny? Oh well, you had to be there.

Absurd, off the wall jokes are my thing. The Goons are just so abstract. Monty Python equally so. You either like it or you don’t. There’s no middle ground. And there’s no getting used to it. You either get it or you don’t.

How about this one?

How do you get a dog to stop barking in the front garden?
You put it in the back garden off course!

I can just see you with your hands on your head, eyes rolling 🙂

Then there’s this one from The Goons:

Bluebottle: Eccles, what time is it?
Eccles: It's 8 o'clock.
Bluebottle: How do you know it's 8 o'clock?
Eccles: A nice man wrote it down on a piece of paper
for me this morning.
(disbelief...a slight pause)
Bluebottle: Why have you got it written down on a
piece of paper, Eccles?
Eccles: So that if anybody asks me for the time then
I show it to them.
Bluebottle: ...but Eccles, what if it isn't 8 o'clock
when they ask you?
Eccles: Then I don't show it to them.
Bluebottle: Eccles, how do you know when it's 8 o'clock?
Eccles: I've got it written here on a piece of paper.

Perfect logic, don’t you think? Can’t be faulted 🙂

Absurd and abstract.

You have to be there…


What kinda of jokes and humour do you like?


Agile Coach and Social Entrepreneur, chief wide eyed in wanderer, wonderer and bottlewasher…Inspecting and Adapting is my mantra


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