• Jul
  • 20
  • 2010

Snowball effect in effect

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snowball effect in effect
Nighttime rush hour in the Emerald CityImage by rutlo via Flickr

Tonight was the snowball effect in full effect… I need to leave work at a certain time, and if I don’t then things start to fall apart. It was signed into my contract, and I purposefully come in at sparrow’s fart when everyone else is asleep so that I can be 100% within my rights when I leave work at 16h30 on the dot.

I am the type of person who needs to see her tasks through to completion and can’t leave strings untied and ends hanging loose when I leave for the day. Tonight there were frayed edges and chunks of strings blowing around in the wind so I had to make sure I tied them all up and packed them away neatly. The whole time I was doing this I knew my kids would be waiting, but I did my best to push my conscience aside no matter how much she impatiently tapped her foot, with hands on hips, while making clucking noises like a hen who is severly pissed off…

Come 17h20 I ran out of the door after a successful loose end round-up, only to be met with rush-hour traffic in its prime – as I expected. This is where the snowball effect came into effect:

  1. Traffic – no more to be said there, need to fetch kids by 17h30 – not gonna happen!
  2. Late for the kids, was already dark when I got there – poor babies
  3. Fine to be paid for being late – tsk tsk
  4. Noticed Amber’s school tracksuit has a huge rip in it – need to replace asap
  5. Fly to the nearest Woolies – Corsa Lite’s are called Lite for a reason
  6. Doors just closed before I got there – aaaargh
  7. Drive home with a black cloud over my head
  8. Get home and have to darn Amber’s school tracksuit – oh joy
  9. Burn dinner – although that was Mike’s department
  10. Now have indigestion and headache

So the moral of the story is: Don’t ignore your conscience or face black clouds and indigestion
Or even better: Never think (even for a second) that work is more important than your family….

Now that we have sorted that out I can finally relax….. *happy contented kat-chilled-at-home sigh*

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  • Jul
  • 19
  • 2010

Opportunity creeps around corners…

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Opportunity creeps around corners…
There are endless possibilities to every day. Just when you think you are at your limit; you’ve reached your maximum; or there is no further capacity for you to grow, you find out that all you had to do was change your vantage point and you would see the next opportunity hiding around the corner.
Sometimes all we need is a little lateral vision, tied together with faith in ourselves and the opportunities become endless! What an amazing thought, and all it takes to conjure up is a change in perception… *happy thoughtful sigh*
  • Jul
  • 18
  • 2010

The White Lion…

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | Comments Off on The White Lion…
White lion at the Seaview Game & Lion Park, Ea...Image via Wikipedia
We watched the movie, The White Lion yesterday… a proudly South African movie that was filmed, produced and sourced using only local talent. It was beautiful, and captured the Summer scenery of the South African bushveld that we know all too well. The animals in this feature film were the main characters, and they brought all the emotion and storytelling to the movie without CG and computerised interference. They were awe-inspiring, and they just reminded me once more of all the things that I want from this life.
These wild and wonderful creatures and the vast landscapes of the movie’s location made me think once more that I am wasting these valuable years of my life living in Jozi. As much as Johannesburg has in colour, energy and activity, the bushveld has in natural simplicity: in boundless appealing colours, bountiful vibrancy and energy, teeming with natural activity. Being close to these creatures and the vast open spaces that our country is famous for is where I want to be, and I know my family shares this ideal. What is a PlayStation when you can be sitting on your porch watching Giraffe waltz gracefully past? What value does a Porsche Turbo have when you can drive the expanse of your land in a game viewing vehicle kitted out for the spotting of Leopard and Elephant? Clothes, labels, the latest Decor and technical gadgets all mean nothing when featured alongside the natural splendour of our homeland.
With my goals so readily in sight I just want to be there now! Each day is a step towards the bigger picture, and each ZAR earned is another contribution towards attaining bliss.
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  • Jul
  • 17
  • 2010

The inconvenience of incompetence…

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | Comments Off on The inconvenience of incompetence…
Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...Image via Wikipedia

Dealing with incompetence is something that we all have to endure now and then, perhaps on a daily basis if we are really lucky *said with only the slightest hint of sarcasm*. Today, going through all our bills for rates, lights and water, we realise that for the past two months “they” haven’t been recording or reflecting our payments. Now this is Joburg Connect we are dealing with, and at any given time they may choose to become Joburg Disconnect, and shut us down completely. As someone who has had water and lights cut off for not paying accounts, I know all too well how eager “they” are to do it and I do NOT want to venture down that road again. Ever! 

But what do you do? You are being the loyal and trusting citizen, paying your accounts with your hard earned cash, and some reprobate with half a brain sitting in the back office of Joburg Connect is not holding up their end of the bargain by doing their job. Somehow they missed your payments. Twice. And now you are receiving letters saying: “We are concerned about the arrears on this account. Immediate payment of the full amount is required to avoid cut off of services and legal action.”

Well I am concerned about the ineptitude of the people that are supposedly providing us with a service, but only seem to provide disservice, dissatisfaction and a horrible feeling of helplessness! Scream as I may want to, my little voice is a mere squeak inside an empty room… And that empty room is sucking away our cash and spitting out hate mail that says we still owe more. What to do?  We send our emails and we make the appropriate calls in the hope that maybe someone, somewhere will put two and two together and realise that we are not the ones at fault. And we sit and wait, all the time hoping that they don’t cut us off!

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  • Jul
  • 16
  • 2010

It’s Friday… I’m in love

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I don’t have much to say except – WOW! That was one helluva week! In short, it swept me off my feet – and not in a good way – and knocked me completely off course! I am so grateful for the weekend… just in time for me to recharge, regroup and relax! Enjoy it everyone…… x

  • Jul
  • 15
  • 2010

the big front…

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | Comments Off on the big front…
Eruption of Stromboli (Isole Eolie/Italia), ca...Image via Wikipedia

It is amazing how many people are not as together as you think they are. They come across as completely secure and content with their lives in every possible way, they’re always smiling and joking around…. and yet they are actually borderline explosive inside. All you need to do is ask the right questions and it all comes pouring out like molten lava.

When the gates open and you are met with the underlying drama that covers a part of their lives, you get a sense of comfort in knowing that we are all the same. Everyone has their melt-downs, and sometimes we all have moments of weakness. Not everyone is 100% together all of the time, and thats totally cool. So long as we can recognise it, accept it and then let it go when we’re done having our emo-moment. I had my share of being sucked into emo-ness today… I’m totally over it now, but it was quite something being in that space and recognising all these other faces in the pit with me… Tomorrow is another day… and not just any day, it is a Friday. Bliss!

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  • Jul
  • 14
  • 2010

How can you not feel?

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Some people walk through life without ever feeling compassion, feeling the love of life or without ever experiencing an emotive response to anything external. Like crying in a movie, or laughing when someone says something ridiculous… How can you not feel or react? How can you not be affected by the world around you? I’m definitely not one of those people that I’m speaking about. I cry in Television adverts and almost every movie we hire from the DVD shop, be it a thriller, comedy, romance or action movie. My family is used to this now and they simply shrug it off with a facecious: “Mom’s crying again.” On the flip side of that, I also laugh too loud and often when I’m not supposed to… I get protective and angry and heated about stuff that deeply concerns me. “Feeling” is something I do pretty well, and I’m not about to stop!
I had two experiences today that made me FEEL the awesome and the not-so-awesome on the emotional scale, but both made me realise how blessed we are to be able to relate to each other on this non-verbal, emotional level.
The first experience was the awesome: I had to sign off on the results of 3 tests that Cameron wrote at the end of last term. One for numeracy, one for literacy and the other one for life skills. I read over the first one saw that he got 100%… I looked at him and smiled without saying a word. He simply grinned back at me standing tall and proud with his shoulders back and his head slightly tilted. Already the warmth, the WOW feeling being shared between us. I looked at the next one – 100%. And the last one – 100%! I joked and said that these tests were too easy, but he knew that I was incredibly proud. And they were all so neat, with gorgeous illustrations and bright, bold colours. I could tell immediately that he took extreme pride in what he was doing which only made me glow inside and out, as much as I know he was. Off he went… smiling all the way, leaving me behind watching him go. And then off I went thinking about how I needed to shout this from the rooftops!
But that time never came. Work intervened and I got stuck into it. But then…
Experience number 2 – the not-so-awesome: The end of the day came around and I fetched the kids from aftercare. We checked their homework when we got home and were presented with their homework diaries to sign. I noticed that Amber had a warning for not having her PE kit with her today. I remembered her packing it in the morning and saying “I’m lucky I remembered my PE kit today!” with a little smile on her face. I reminded her of this and she said that she had forgotten it after she remembered it. And then she started crying and told me that she got a pink letter for not having her PE kit (this is a very bad thing in kid world) and she had just had the worst day of her life! Her friend Sunny was being an outright cow to her (she didn’t use those words, I added them for dramatic effect) and everything went wrong. More crying. *Heart melts* I could have ripped my heart out of it’s cavity and felt less pain than I was watching my daughter fall to pieces.

I explained to her about how everything goes wrong at the same time, and why we need to keep our spirits up regardless. I told her I was shouted at by my boss today – which I was, I also told her about experiences as a child when things didn’t quite go my way. I hugged her and kissed her and held her until the tears dried up and all that was left was the little whimper every now and then as she took deep breaths to calm herself down. A little while later we were talking about the most random stuff and laughing as if the bad things had never happened to her. Everything was a distant memory and smiles were abundant on her face again…

I was happy to have been able to put that smile back on her dial, and the hugs and kisses has a small part to play in it… but how would I have helped if I couldn’t “feel” what had happened to her, and relate to her as a person who has been there; done that; and got the T-shirt?

Feeling and relating to one another in this way is something that many people won’t make time for… or can’t make time for. But by doing so – taking the time to feel what another person is experiencing can mean the difference between a hands down awesome intimate connection, or something you just walk past without even noticing what it is. Like dog poo. Or similar. We’re all much more evolved beings because of it. Because of feeling, that is. Not dog poo.

  • Jul
  • 13
  • 2010

The magic of Biryani :)

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | Comments Off on The magic of Biryani :)
Spice market in Medenine, TunisiaImage via Wikipedia

This morning I was hanging on by a thread… about to fall into the traps of flu-dom and feeling extremely sorry for myself as I dragged my heels around the office. Come lunchtime, I was already 1 x Corenza down; 1 x Nurofen down (codeine and all – missed falling asleep in my desk chair by only a second) and ready to climb on the couch in reception and fall asleep. Just when I was about to cancel the rest of the day and submit to the aches, pains, throbbing head and pathetic whimpers, I discovered Tuesday’s lunch menu.

Hello vegetarian biryani.

I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy food, and this particular meal brought out the best in my wimpish-ness (yes, I know it is not a word)… I was on fire! And not in an all-guns-blazing really cool kind of way, I mean I was ON FIRE! Seconds before I was about to throw in the towel and run to pour myself a glass of milk I experienced it… The rush from the chili or spice or whatever it is that gets them endorphins going long enough to help you finish your meal – burning bits and all! That kind of mellow, hey whatsup, I’m chilled and happy kind of feeling. It totally, and I mean totally, destroyed any trace of whatever bug was about to bite me and now I’m totally cured!

So from now on when it comes to sniffles and snot you can forget the pharmaceuticals and all that costly nonsense… I’m prescribing a biryani that will burn the living sh*t out of any normal human being! Worked for me…. Try some today!

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  • Jul
  • 12
  • 2010

I’m so glad I’m where I am today

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | Comments Off on I’m so glad I’m where I am today
Yesterday was epic! Sitting in a fan park surrounded by a sea of colourful people, sipping on ice cold beer (probably only cold because of the sub-zero temperatures, but at least there is a plus side, yeah!?) chilling with my family, dancing under the stars, watching the 2010 World Cup Final and just soaking up all the goodness that transpired because of the event. 
It couldn’t have been a better night… I watched in awe as they displayed the creative genius of our country during the closing ceremony and felt so incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. I sat in anticipation as Netherlands and Spain battled from one end of the field to the other… I relaxed back in my camp chair and literally watched the world go by. I was thrilled, delighted and fascinated by everyone and everything.
What fascinated me the most was the comings and goings of all the teenagers, and how – if I think back – I used to be exactly like them. They get dropped off by their parents and have absolutely zero interest in the game, but rather prefer to march from one end of the field to another, arms linked, gossiping and whispering and laughing extra loud so that people will notice them. The guys wearing their suit jackets, retro hats and David Beckham scarves, and smoking like they are currently undergoing lectures in Smoking 101. They casually joke around and it looks as if they are characters in a theatrical production, always trying to pass as 5 years older than what they really are. It was so amazing to watch. I remember thinking (in my day as a 15 year old) that guys like that were the shizniz! WTF was I thinking!? And then…… the brief look in the mirror from 18 years ago. The skinny little teenage girls in their strappy, off-the shoulder tops baring shoulders and cleavage on a one-way trip to pneumonia. And yet they do it, because that’s what is going to get the attention of David Beckham scarf guy. And they joke, and she gently pushes him and says “No way!” And he laughs his David Beckham-too-cool-for-school laugh and strikes a pose, nodding with his head cocked to the side. And she acts all shy and coy like she’s been practising it in the mirror all day. And believe me – she has! They had been living for these moments all week, and I remember exactly this when I was in their shoes all those many years ago.
The best part about it was the reflection. And how when I looked to my left and saw my sexy husband in his responsible winter weather hoodie and beanie, beer in hand, watching the game I thought how lucky I am to not have to be a part of the chase anymore. And how when I looked to my right and saw Amber and Cameron in their camp chairs, bundled under a blanket, I thought how lucky I am to have them to tie me down and keep me grounded. And how when I look at myself in my hoodie, jacket, layers upon layers, jeans tucked into two pairs of socks and a pair of Uggs, beanie a-top head and specs a-top nose, I am so happy to be me. Just me, with nothing to prove, no one to have to wear make up for, or make exaggerated efforts for… Because I am who I am and my husband loves me that way, my kids love me that way and I love me that way.
Plus there is also that pneumonia thing that I don’t have to worry about!
  • Jul
  • 11
  • 2010

Proudly South African… more so than ever

Posted by Katherine Stott In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Proudly South African… more so than ever
Fans celebrating the upcoming 2010 FIFA World ...Image via Wikipedia

Having this massive event in our beloved country has been a thrilling experience that has captured the spirit of South Africa more so than anything ever could. There have been many moments along the way during these last 6 weeks where I have shed a tear of pride and swelled at the thought of our rainbow nation making such a lasting impact on the international world. Watching Bafana Bafana in action (especially in their match against France) evoked a feeling similar to that of watching my child run an athletics race or perform in a school play. The pride; the love; the adoration; and the undying support from all of South Africa has been an uplifting experience never to be forgotten.

We showed the rest of the world that against all odds we can pull magic out of our hats. We came, we hosted and we conquered, and many thousands of people will remember these moments in awe as much as we remember them with pride.

We, as a family, have been less than involved with the World Cup, but it isn’t for not wanting to be. The whole event happened so quickly, and already we are facing the final: Spain vs Netherlands. My son, Cameron would have watched every single game if he could, and we always thought there would be more opportunities to catch a game on TV, go to a fan park or maybe grab a last minute ticket to the actual event. And now it is almost over and our opportunities have run dry… So tonight the fan parks await and we will see the 2010 World Cup out with a bang.

But even without watching all the games and without going to a stadium, we have all been a part of this momentous occassion. It has been spilling out into the streets and into the shopping centres, restaurants and bars. It has been everywhere. The colour and energy painted on every street corner, the cosmopolitan, cultural combinations reaching out from every corner of every room. I for one am going to miss it when it is all over, and I’ve never been much of a soccer fan. I am, however, a huge South Africa fan and anything that washes our multi-cultural family with positivity, vibrancy and the feeling of “One Love” will always get me out of my seat, blowing my Vuvuzela and cheering with all my heart. May there be many more occassions for us to do exactly that.

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika!

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