Tag Archives: Johannesburg

The art of giving this Christmas

It’s that time of the year again, when we eat too much, drink too much and spend too much money. Well, most of us in any case. For a huge portion of our population, it is a time where people feel the most at loss, especially when it comes to making it a special time for their children.

Enter Dlala Nje’s annual Christmas Party. These guys run a cultural games emporium in Ponte City for the children of Hillbrow and surrounds and throw a Christmas party for these kids every year. They provide a space for children to have fun in a safe environment and enjoy all sorts of activities for the afternoon. They even get a present each and a chance to sit on Santa’s lap!

For a lot of these children, this will be the only Christmas fun that they experience and the only gift that they receive. Orphanages in the area are also invited and it is an afternoon of (mad) fun with face painting, crafts, cupcakes, jumping castles, performances and of course, presents!

We managed to collect about 1000 gifts from many kind hearts (which wasn’t enough!) and spent our afternoon madly helping out with the party. There were so many smiling faces and I am so happy to have been a part of such an amazing initiative. I have all the time in the world for these guys and their cause.

Here are some pictures from the day. I hope that you will be there next year too, to help make a child smile, as Madiba would have liked it!

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

Dlala Nje

Apparently this is me as an angel – bless!

Dlala Nje 2

What counts in life

Dlala Nje 1

It’s not a party ’til there’s a jumping castle

Dlala Nje 4

DJ rocking the decks

Dlala Nje 5

When making angels turned into making binoculars

Dlala Nje 6

THIS is the coolest car in the world. He was so chuffed with his gift!

Dlala NJe 7

So proud of her snow man Christmas tree decoration

Dlala Nje 3

Face painting is always a hit – even when we have no idea what to paint or how!

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Something creative for your Saturday afternoons – Mosaics at Marmalade

If you’re like me and struggle to find a good creative outlet, it’s great to be helped along the way.

On the weekend, I went to a mosaic afternoon at Marmalade in Chartwell. The afternoon is made of snacks, drinks, conversation and creating your own mosaic piece. A very chilled out and creative way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Marmalade is a ‘country cottage shop’ with all sorts of country-style pieces, gorgeous little girls’ dresses as well as distressed furniture (I have my eye on their headboards). It’s the love-child of Genevieve de Freitas, who started making wooden photo frames in her garage and grew her business into the little gem that it is today.

Marmalade Mosaics 2

Marmalade Shop. The veranda is the mosaic area.

Their mosaic afternoons happen every Saturday, from 2pm – 5pm, and the cost is R250. They’re also on Facebook as Marmalade. I’m hoping my piece was good enough to make it to their page – we kind of forced Gen to take photos of our work and tell us that it’s lovely, so we’ll see…

It’s also not just an adult activity, they cater for children as well and have a playground in the garden. It’s really peaceful and quaint – I’m glad I experienced it and will be back for more (after my mosaic mirror frame actually turned out quite lovely). I’m going to put my mirror up in my new home as a reminder that we need to slow down and let some creativity out once in a while (with wine and cheese, of course). It’s good for the soul.

Marmalade Mosaics 3

Getting inspiration from the tiles

Marmalade 7

The mosaic table

Putting the idea together

Putting the pieces together

Grouting!

Grouting!

Starting to look good...

Starting to look good…

The final product. Not too bad for novices, right?

The final product. Not too bad for novices, right?

 

 

 

 


Make a big difference this Christmas with Dlala Nje

The guys down at Dlala Nje in Ponte City are hosting their annual Christmas party for the children living there and in the surrounding areas and orphanages of Hillbrow, Yeoville and Berea on 6 December 2013.

[If you haven’t already heard of these guys, do yourself a favour and explore their website. Two “white okes” move into Ponte City and start making a difference in the lives of the community – it’s unreal what they have accomplished and how they have changed the perceptions of inner city Joburg.]

Nonetheless, the matter at hand is the Christmas party. Last year’s party was a rip-roaring success and you will not believe the amount of hopeful little faces playing outside on the concrete, getting their faces painted and waiting in line to sit on Santa’s lap and get a present (likely the only present they received for Christmas).

I wrote about the experience last year too – check it out here.

This year’s season is upon us and we’d LOVE for some support in the form of gifts or even volunteers to help on the day (second hand toys are also welcome). Please get in touch with them directly, or me, if you would like to help out. It will make such a difference to their lives – you just don’t realise it yet.


My Sanity

Running

I LOVE my exercise. I can’t cope without it. It’s my sanity, my health regulator and helps me fit into my bikini (somewhat). It makes me happy.

I went into this year with a big problem. I had been having years of lower back pain after exercise, due to some sort of lower back disc issue that I can’t fathom to try and explain in normal human language. I had just started running and was IN LOVE with it, training for my first 10km ever and feeling on top of the world. Until my back gave in again and I was back at the physio in excruciating pain. I was told to give up the running and any sort of impact sports – my lower back just can’t cope with it.

I moaned about it a lot, having a go at all the fat, lazy people who have perfectly healthy spinal discs that don’t want to exercise. A friend suggested I try biokinetics, after it had helped him when he had been told he’d never run again, and then did.

I walked into the closest biokinetics centre and decided to give it a go. Sarah-Jane took me on and probably thought I was a little nuts just walking in and saying ‘I have no idea what this is all about, but can you help me run again?’. She promised that she would. Like it was nothing. ‘Yeah right’ I thought. But gave it a try in any case.

It’s been about 9 months of stretching, strengthening, aligning and stabilising. I’ve been doing my exercise programs every day (even the ones I hate) and taken on swimming as my main form of exercise (which I first thought was naff, but started to really enjoy it). Every biokinetics session assessed my progress and pushed me on at a pace that my body was happy with. It turned out that all my core and back supporting muscles were in essence, not functioning at all, and my injured lower back was taking all the strain – over and over again. We worked on fixing this.

So here is the announcement, ladies and gentlemen, I have just recently been given the go-ahead to start jogging again. This is a huge success. I feel a trillion times stronger than when I first walked into the centre that day, wincing in pain. I’ve had a few jogging sessions already and not one single sign of any pain or distress in my back. It feels incredible and I have no doubt that I will be running again very soon – something I didn’t think I would ever do again.

It’s amazing what your body can achieve with patience, hard work and the right professional guiding you.

I still can’t actually tell you what biokinetics is (it’s such a silly word), but I can tell you that Humphry and Healey Biokinetics have helped me so tremendously with my injury that I would suggest every single one of you go and see them if you have a sports or movement related issue.


Dear Joburg, I’m annoyed with you

barbed-wire

Dear Joburg,

I’ve had some time to think about our relationship while we were on a break, and I’ve decided that I am not okay with how things are going.

Your roads are death traps. Aggression, aggression, aggression. At every intersection, main road, side street, quiet lane, anywhere I venture out in my car I am met with aggression mixed with stupidity. I refuse to speed up way past the speed limit because some wanktard is in a hurry and driving up my ass. Unauthorised back-entry is rude, my friend, and not socially acceptable. Leave 5 minutes earlier if you need to, but don’t make it my problem. I also refuse to drive through a red traffic light because you are hooting behind me. It’s red. Red means stop, fool. I don’t care that the road is clear enough for me to sneak through. It’s a red traffic light. Did they not teach you that in nursery school? Should we take you back there?

I don’t enjoy waiting at my driveway for 10 minutes while the taxi blocks the entire entrance while it offloads and on-loads far too many people than is safe. And you’re IN MY DRIVEWAY!

I don’t enjoy the competition to be the best, the biggest, the richest, drive the sexiest car, have the most Twitter followers, be retweeted by some lonely dork behind his Mac who happens to be big online, or to define my worth by the brands I wear or associate with.

I don’t enjoy that shopping is an activity. And that smacking a wannabe model into a promotional campaign to help you dress yourself is actually exciting. I don’t enjoy that there is a handful of people that you HAVE to associate with to boost your reputation and to get the “favours” you need to succeed. I don’t like that you can hardly trust a Joburg blogger these days because they’re likely being paid or getting free products for everything they write and sincerity no longer exists.

I don’t enjoy that your men think that women are objects and have forgotten how to care about anything other than their image and the way that others perceive them. When did you become a cesspool of douchebaggery?

I don’t like that I am constantly on guard, wandering what people’s ulterior motives are or what they’re looking to steal from me.

I think we should break up.


The scar on South Africa’s pretty face

Okay, so here’s the follow up to my post on ‘Middle Class Musings’ in Australia.

I’m sitting on the plane in Sydney, about to fly back to Jozi-Town, with mixed feelings. I’ve had three weeks to get used to a way of life that we don’t experience in South Africa.

It needs to be talked about. That embarrassing thing about our country that ruins our beauty. The hideous scar across our perfect face. Crime. It’s such an ugly word. It’s such an ugly thing.

I’ve had three weeks to get used to not having to worry about keeping my handbag close to my side and zipped up wherever I go, not having to look after my belongings like a hawk, not having to keep alert and aware of all my surroundings in case of a mugging, hijacking, smash-and-grab, or bag-snatch. I’ve not worried about locking everything up with bolts and alarms and gates and electric fencing. You don’t realise you are doing it, until you don’t have to do it anymore.

I’ve had to learn to be free and safe. It sounds ridiculous, but I had to learn to do it. Leave my belongings way up on the beach and go swim in the sea, knowing that everything will be there when I get back. I’ve felt safe while driving (very slowly) on the roads – no aggressive pushing, hooting, cutting me off and road rage. The death toll over the recent long weekend was 9 and this caused an uproar at the shock of such a high number.

I go back to South Africa with a heavy heart. I feel sad for us that we live in fear and don’t realise it because that is what we know and are used to.

That being said, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Especially when the fence is barb-wired.
It’s also greener where you water it.

grass-always-greener-other-side


Uber chauffeur service now in Jozi!

Listen up, folks – you want to hear about this. I tried out Uber chauffeur service on the weekend and was thoroughly impressed.

New-Logo-Vertical-Dark

It’s a 5 star chaffeur service, run exclusively by an app on your iPhone/Android. Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the UBER mobile app (iPhone/Androidor go online at m.uber.comand register (you will need to enter your credit card details to register, but don’t worry – your details are safe)
  2. Pinpoint your pickup location (and if you want a  quote and estimated trip time, your final destination too), and order your chauffeur.
  3. You will be sent a confirmation SMS and be provided with the details and photo of your driver, details of the car and registration as well as estimated time of arrival. You can contact the driver via phone/SMS at any time if you need to.
  4. Don’t worry about waiting outside: the app shows you exactly where your driver is and you’ll get a text message when your car is arriving.
  5. You will be picked up in a BMW 3/5 Series, Mercedes E /S Class  or Audi A6s. No messing around with average cars!

mercedes-chauffeur

6. All payments are seamlessly processed with your account’s credit card, there’s no need to tip, and a receipt is immediately emailed after your ride.

Now here’s the part you really need to pay attention to…

Uber has sponsored some free rides to up to 1,000 popcorncandi.com readers! When you register, enter the promo code “PopcornCandi” (not case sensitive) and get 2 free rides up to R200 each. (Note: The promo is only available to new users)

Go on – give it a try, you will not be disappointed. Feel free to share this with your friends as well so that they can experience it too.

For more info: Find their website here or find them on Twitter here.