They should put prizes in tampon boxes ……

prizes in tampons

 

They really should ……

If you could change ONE THING in this world, what would it be?

 

I saw this question recently posted on Redhead Writing — I do love her.

I pondered the question for about 12 seconds —- If you could change ONE THING in this world, what would it be?

My thing to change is that our young girls, especially our girls in the bottom rung of our socio-economic ladder are exposed to sexual education, life skills, and more importantly the concept that they can do so much, so much with their lives if they are able to hold off having children, or contracting HIV through sex at a young age.

I am not suggesting that boys are not equally exposed, but my heart and my soul goes out to girls — maybe because I was a girl child at one point.

I did not grow up in a rich suburb. I was lucky enough to grow up in a white suburb in the 80’s. In comparison to what girl children were exposed to in townships probably looked like something on the level of Bishops Court.

There were several girls in my school who were pregnant in Standard 8 or Standard 10.

Without going into way too much detail — I held off having sex in my teens because I was so shit scared of being pregnant and married to some guy in a blue overall, and this would be my life.  My mom had her first child at 17.  I really really did not want to have a child, and my life, my ambitions, my belief that there was something more out there for me, to come to a grinding halt.

I am not suggesting that having a baby at 15 or 18 is a death sentence, but realistically if you do not have some financial, emotional, and social support it does make life a bit of a challenge.

Young girls in our townships are not being educated to believe that they can actually move out of their situations —- they are not being upskilled that life is there to be grabbed, and is easier to grab if you do not have a baby at 15 or 12 years old.

Our country does not have the social support system to support a young girl with a baby.

Our social system cannot support a person with TB.

Odds of there being resources to assist a 15 year old with a baby, living in a shack, with 9 other people, is fairly limited, even on the most positive days. Even on days when our faith in South Africa is at an all time high.

I wish for our girls, that they could believe and see that life with education, and no babies when they are babies, offers them so much more.

It is still difficult, it is still going to be rough — but not having a baby, and finishing school, and working hard, and finding ways out of poverty is easier without a child.

Children are lovely —- children are great, but not when you are a teen, with no education, no money, and very little in the way of opportunities.

I am not sure how to word this well –but my one thing, and I am sure if I thought hard I would and think of a thousand things, but today, my one thing is to change the lives and open the minds of girls in our townships/poor areas.

This was my original comment on her facebook page:

That young girls are given the sexual education they need and the life skills that our society robs of our children, both boys and girls — at a very early age. That young girls understand that if they are able to delay having a child — especially in our society — I live in South Africa — they are able to open a world of opportunities and access to education, and access to a better life than what is being denied to them at the moment. There is a strong preference for our girls — young girls in our townships — to acquiring Sugar Daddies. It has status. It gives them access to a few rands per month. It also makes them fall victim to rape, abuse, AIDS and being abandoned with a baby. These are girls as young as 11 or 12. Right now it is an insurmountable problem. We have very little in the way of social support, and a young girl with a baby, is pretty much left to fend for herself, denied education, denied medication, denied a life really. Okay, possibly mine was a bigger ask that you wanted in your question.

 

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What is your – If you could change ONE THING in this world, what would it be?

 

 

 

 

A young woman takes her pet lobster out for a walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 
pet_lobster

 

Nothing to see here.  Just taking my lobster for a walk.

Enjoy your Friday, and your weekend!!

 

How mother’s day goes …

01mothers-day-article

Words you just don’t say …….

Saw this on Facebook

The “You Don’t Say Campaign” seeks to raise awareness around the misuse of language that relates to the LGBTQ community and gender issues. These words dehumanize and marginalize many within the Duke community and beyond and it is important to understand why.

Our Goal: Foster dialogue on the intersection of language and gender and sexual identities.

Words mean something. Think Before You Talk.

There is a line between us being so politically correct with our speech that we will eventually not be able to say anything without offending someone, and being aware of the power of our words and being consciously aware of the words we use.

And that the meaning and the emotional value of the word might be something we do not realise because for what ever reason we have become desensitised to it, or possibly we just do not realise the sheer weight of some of the words and phrases we use in every day life.

I recall using the word “Nigger Balls” for those large black sweets that you purchase from the shop at 5 cents a sweet, and suck them for about three months.

I have no idea where the word came from – but it was the “phrase” that was acceptable, and as a child it was the words I used.  I only stopped using it because I no longer ate the sweets, and it came back to me when my kids started asking for the same sweets – they refer to them as jawbreakers.

I did not “think” about the phrase “Nigger Balls” at the time – I did not find it offensive.

It is an offensive phrase.

Sometimes someone needs to point it out to the user, because we do not always “hear” what we are saying – and do not always realise the impact of what we are saying – and the damage our words do.

Or the stereotypes that we continue to propagate because we are using “common acceptable terms.”

I have a son and two daughters.

It seriously does my head in when someone tells my son “don’t cry like a girl” or “you throw like a girl” or what ever the other things are that people say, which degrades and undervalues girls as somehow not being “as good” as boys.

I encounter these “girls are weak, but pretty” and “boys are strong, and must hide their emotions” every day —-

I like this campaign ……

 

you_dont_say campaign

 

man up

 

man up 2

 

Please visit their facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/youdontsayduke?fref=photo

Follow them on twitter – https://twitter.com/youdontsayduke

 

Have a good weekend, where ever it may take you!

 

1404_Best-Friends

Win Family Tickets for FAMFEST at the Wild Clover Farm on Sunday, 13 April 2014.

FamFest, the festival that puts kids and families at the forefront, will be making its return in 2014 to the Wild Clover Farm just outside of Stellenbosch on Sunday, April 13th and we are offering two lucky families tickets to the event!

famfest

Having successfully launched a year ago at the Claremont Cricket Club in Constantia this family festival will be strutting its stuff in the Northern Suburbs.

With an action-packed day full of kiddies entertainment there is plenty to look forward to including jumping castles, petting farm, face painting, balloon sculpturing, roaming magician, kids movies and interactive dance sessions brought to you by Jelly Bean Events – specialists in kids entertainment and events.

Whilst the event is geared towards kids, FamFest has plenty for mums and dads to enjoy with a wonderful selection of live music entertainment, delicious food, a fully stocked bar and shaded seating areas.

In addition to this, with the help of a controlled entry, tight security, an on-site medic, labelled wristbands and FamFest child-minders parents can sit back and enjoy the day while the kids run amok.

Do not miss out on this day of excitement at the beautiful Wild Clover Farm in April, and grab your tickets today!

Founder of Famfest - Frankie Hannigan

 

Jumping castles and plenty more inflatables for kids to enjoy

 

Kiddies facepainting

 

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Petting zoo

EVENT DETAILS:

Date: Sunday, 13 April, 2014

Venue: Wild Clover Farm, R304, Cape Town

Tickets: R60 per person available from www.quicket.co.za/events/4622-famfest. Kids under 2 get in free.

WIN TICKETS: To win 4 tickets for your family comment on the post with your name, email address and comment with what your kids would enjoy MOST about FamFest!

Check out the video from FamFest last year – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DGXIEiORSM

For more information visit the website at www.famfest.co.za or contact info@4leafagency.com, 021 462 1529.

Follow the action on Twitter @FamFestSA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4LeafFamFest

For media enquiries and images please contact Andrea at KL PR & Events at andrea@klprsa.com or call 021 671 4127. 

Illusions of the Body by Grace Hagan

Illusions of the Body

This series was made to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like. Most of us realize that the media displays only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering. That contrast would help a lot of body image issues we as a culture have.

Imagery in the media is an illusion built upon lighting, angles & photoshop. People can look extremely attractive under the right circumstances & two seconds later transform into something completely different.

Within the series I tried to get a range of body types, ethnicities & genders to show how everyone is a different shape & size; there is no “normal”. Each photo was taken with the same lighting & the same angle.

Celebrate your shapes, sizes & the odd contortions your body can get itself into. The human body is a weird & beautiful thing.

Note: This series is product of passion on the part of the artist & volunteers. If there seems to be certain body types, genders, ethnicities etc that are underrepresented, it is because that type of person has not chosen to be apart of it.

I have not intentionally excluded anyone. 

I received this email from Grace Hagan – I had mentioned her work in an earlier post — see here.

I wanted to thank you for putting my series Illusions of the Body on your website, doing that allowed me to reach millions of people.

Some of them felt relieved that they were normal, some were amazed about how much someone could change within the span of two photographs, some told me they wished they had seen this when they were younger & they were going to teach their kids this lesson.

It even caused people to want to participate in the series!

Due to the positive response I’ve created a lovely coffee table book of the series. I felt that Illusions of the Body was best consumed with multiple body types to look at rather than a single print of one person.

 

Illusions of the Body Book Cover

Includes 17 never before released images.

All advance purchases will be numbered & signed by the artist

Full Color

100 page

Bound Softcover

Matte Cover Finish

8.5”x11”

 

Limited Edition Signed Pre-Order $50

unsigned post release $60

Books will be shipped May 1st.

They can buy the book directly from my website. I made an easy URL for people to remember: http://IllusionsOfTheBody.com/

Gracie Hagen lllusions of the body 2

 

gracie hagen illusions of the body

Book Launch Party April 26th, 2014 at 8pm -11pm for those people in Chicago.

Location Forte Framing & Gallery, 2301 W. North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

People can pick up their book early & I’ll be there doing a book signing.

 

 

Pharrell’s Happy will totally make you fall in love with Cape Town … all over again

If you haven’t seen the Pharrell Williams “Happy” shot around Cape Town, then grab a cup of tea, and watch this.

I guarantee you will sit there smiling like an idjut the entire way through this video.

Directed by Shamiel Soni and Tannan Woods and produced by Nicki Priem, this absolutely great video will make you fall head over heels in love with the beautiful Mother City.

 

 

Because some days I can’t be expected to write anything funnier than this ….

How not to pose with …. just about anything …. but especially with your “beige coloured” dog.

hownottopose

Cyclist Hooligans in Beach Road, Cape Town ….

 

Earlier yesterday morning I was driving on Beach Road towards Cape Town, just past the Pavilion.

There are two lanes and I was in the right hand lane. I found myself approaching a bunch of about twenty cyclists, probably practicing for the Argus Cycle Tour. They were in the left lane, but many were riding abreast so some were even encroaching into the right hand lane, past the center line.

Aware of the new 1.5 meter rule, I slowed to give them space and was unwilling to overtake.

Further ahead was a stationary vehicle that was double parked but it went unnoticed by the leader of the group who was looking back and communicating to the rest of the team. The group were moving swiftly and only at the last second when the leader again faced forwards, did he see the vehicle…. Just in the nick of time. He had to swerve to avoid the vehicle and this obviously upset him.

He stopped his bicycle abruptly and flew into a violent rage.

The entire peleton pulled up in support and some followed his lead.

I fumbled with my phone for valuable seconds and eventually got the camera going, and filmed the violence unfolding before me.

You can clearly see how they battered the vehicle, bent the windscreen wipers, pepper sprayed the driver, tried to steal his keys, assaulted him with a bicycle wheel and punched him and the passenger in the face repeatedly. There was a lot more going down than what you can see in the video.

I drove away as the vehicles further behind me grew impatient but a few hundred meters further I decided to do the right thing and return to assist the driver and his passenger.

By the time I got there, the cyclists had left (I passed them) and the Van was nowhere to be seen.

I stopped at my friend Dave D’Aguiar, and shared the video. Dave was equally disturbed by the video and took it to Sea Point Police Station himself about two hours later.

He inquired at the charge office if anyone had laid a charge against cyclists for road rage and, as coincidence would have it, the victims were themselves in the police station doing exactly that!

As it turns out, they were volunteer workers cleaning up the hydration bags and other litter after the finish of the 10KM Sunshine D, Nelson Mandela Commemorative Walk.

If you would like to be instrumental in bringing these hooligans to justice then please SHARE this post now.

Like minded citizens may recognize some of the perpetrators and the clubs they ride for. If you recognize any of the cyclists in the video then either ‘name and shame’ or call the investigating officer directly, Warrant Officer Olivier on 021 430 3700.

Original post and video supplied by:  Symon Scott

 

#semicolonproject218

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Not usually a fan of these “one day wonders” that float around the cyber web, but this one has given me pause for thought today.  

It has brought many people to mind who are often in a far worse state than others realise, and whose every day is a battle to breath, just to breath.

 

February 18th is #semicolonproject218

For anyone who has suffered mental illness, trauma, self harming and suicidal thoughts, draw a semicolon on your wrist. A semicolon represents a sentence the author could’ve ended but chose not to.

The author is you and the sentence is your body. 

 

Miley Cyrus Gives ‘Bill Clinton’ a Blow Job on Bangerz Tour

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miley-cyrus-opens-bangerz-tour-vancouver-07

Miley and her arse, Miley and her pot-leotard, Miley giving President Clinton a blowjob, Miley and …… well the list goes on and on.

Some days I think she is brilliant and has this “how to stay in the eye of the media” thing perfectly taped.

Then on another days I sit and wonder where it all went so very wrong.  Do very horribly wrong.

I have listened to a few interviews with Miley Cyrus and I have been impressed by her.  Far more than I thought I would be.

I was prepared to find her frazzled, and possibly coming off a Meth high – but she appears bright, articulate and seems be in control of her career.  She speaks openly about what she does.

She does not sound like an unsuspecting naive young girl being pulled and shaped by behind-the-scenes-media-executives who are pulling the strings.

Miley is firmly in control, making the decisions and guiding her own career – and has luminously white teeth.

All the shit she gets up to is well choreographed, and planned, and she makes many of the creative decisions on how she wants to appear, what she wants to do.

She is not coming off a bender and  losing her shit at a McDonalds or Dunkin’ Donuts- this is all planned, she has consented, and is in control of all that is going on.

I saw this link to : Miley Cyrus Gives ‘Bill Clinton’ a Blow Job on Bangerz Tour and it was no more disturbing than the other pieces of theater we have come to expect from Miley.

I am just not sure where you can go after wearing camel-toe leather shorty-shorts, and masturbating on stage with a rubber finger…. I really am not sure where you can go from there, but Miley has shown that actually she is able to make you wince even further, and find new ways of making you wonder about her choices, and what on earth we are having to watch whilst trying to hum along to a song.

I was looking through the comments on the above link.

Often that is where you really find the “cherry” of a great post.  EMPRIRICALLOVE put up this comment which echoes my thinking, but I was struggling to put it into a coherent thought.

Thank you! This has little to do with political commentary and much to do with Miley’s struggle with her sexuality and the role sexuality does/doesn’t play in her public image.

Miley perfectly exemplifies the expectation for women to be deemed “fuckable” by consumers before their talent can be valued.

It is no wonder she is swinging all over the sex pendulum as she tries to stay valued as an artist while growing out of childhood.

If Miley hadn’t been a child star first, her antics would not be upsetting to us at all.

She highlights the nastiness of social expectations. It’s fine to sexually exploit celebrity women because we remove them from their childhood and personhood.

Watching Miley is like watching our daughter or sister or niece and not some random Maxim chick. Uncomfortable? Good. It’s fucked up.

Yep it is all fucked up!

I do have a theory — that we have gone so far past what is decent, and what is considered “good taste” that there is going to be a backlash, and we are going to go back to dancing with a 30cm gap between us, and everything that has got so “outwardly sexual” is going to go through a stage of prudish second wives outlook …. I just hope it comes soon.

How do you shield your children from this shit?

It is slowly being considered “normal” and trying to reason with your child that “normal” is not dry humping a car in a leotard, or masturbating in public with a giant foam finger, or looking like you are sexually available to every hip hop grill-wearing, underwear showing, too much jewellery wearing shit head out there is actually not the “new normal”?

Miley, you are really not making this parenting malarkey easy at all.  Now get some clothes on, and let’s try to appreciate you without having to look at your vagina.  Please.

Source:  http://jezebel.com/miley-cyrus-gives-bill-clinton-a-blow-job-on-bangerz-1524322891?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

You had me at Dulce de leche ….

I hardly ever never get excited by “make your own shit at home” blogs – really I know that there is very little I can make, that someone who makes it for a living cannot do better.

I also really do not get my rocks off when I bake a cake, and it looks like crap, and I could have just popped down to the local “tuis” home baked place, and picked up a rocking cake for a few rand.

There is nothing in my soul that sings when I have to spend hours and hours trying to make something at home, that probably tastes worse, or looks decidedly crappy in comparison to what I could purchase in the shops.

I am without a doubt not into the whole hipster movement of doing things myself.  I am a fan of the present capitalistic, and “please go to a store and buy it now” sort of mindset.

But then I saw this one on making Dulce de leche at home —- Dulce de leche and I have a very indecent relationship.  I think about Dulce often, I am besotted over Dulce.

I can eat a jar in a few hours and still have a twinkle in my eye ready to eat another one.

Dulce has very little regard for me, and as far as I know cannot be purchased locally.

What madness, madness I tell you!!

If you know about a store locally that stocks imported Dulce de leche please do let me know.

I love LOVE LOVE dulce de leche.  I know it is meant to spread on bread or pancakes, but I have not moved past the point of eating it directly out of a jar.

It takes too long to get the bread out the breadbin.

Until then I might be boiling up a little bit of goat’s milk – the entire things sounds wildly suspicious.

This is a bit like illicit drugs  If you can’t buy the stuff, then the final option is to just make a little at home, until a decent supplier contacts you.

homemade dulce de leche

homemade dulce de leche, oops

Guess what, guys?! This weekend, we’re going to make dulce de leche. Or maybe cajeta. Or maybe both.

Step away from the cupboard; I don’t mean like that, the way we’ve always made it. It’s time to break up with the can of sweetened condensed milk; it’s us, not it.

Because I’ve tasted the other side, the one where you take that milk in your fridge that you needed to use up anyway, the sugar that’s already in your pantry, a bit of salt, the smallest snippet of vanilla bean and maybe a cinnamon stick, if you so desire, and boil them together until it smells like the heavens exhaled in your kitchen and the mixture becomes the most complexly flavored thick copper caramel with a deliciousness will bring tears to your eyes.

And no, I am not being melodramatic; you’ll see.

Read the rest of the post here.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

I missed this performance on the Grammy Awards 2014 – I switched over a few minutes too late.

I heard about the performance when I saw the shit fit people had about “having to view” people taking part in same sex marriages.

There were people who were having a total moral collapse on Twitter .

I assumed maybe there was a lot of tongue and possibly sex on the stage by the sound of things.  I hadn’t seen the performance but I started to wonder if the Grammies had “overstepped” the line of what is considered acceptable.

Because these people (there are many more) were seriously upset.

macklemore01 macklemore02 macklemore03 macklemore04 macklemore05 macklemore06

I eventually had a chance this weekend to go and view the performance on youtube.

I swooned.  I sighed.  I decided I am in love with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and their Same Love performance.

In the 30 couples (who were actually actors) there were maybe 5 – 6 same sex couples – there was no kissing, no exchange of saliva, and no groping going on. You would think newly married couples, who were married by Queen Latifah would go absolutely monkey.

Nope, this group was all smiles, and light kisses brushed against cheeks.  Nothing worth averting your eyes about, or putting your hand up to cover the delicate sensibilities of your children.

If your children were watching this they would probably still be mentally scarred from the earlier opposite sex performance by Beyoncé and Jay-Z – but there tweets by the right wing about that —- I really do struggle some days to figure out where the moral compass is of Joe Public in America.

Remember though how people went absolutely ballistic when Janet Jackson’s boob popped out for 1/16th of a second 10 years ago. I still cannot understand what made people lose their minds over this incident but these advertisements seem to be okay at the time.

leecouch

Ad_Nylon 160804.ai

But anyway.

Pick ‘n Pay’s response to the alleged abduction at a Pick ‘n Pay store

Pick n Pay’s first priority is always for our customers and their safety, and we take all incidents very seriously. Thankfully the child is safe and was already back with her mother when our store staff were first alerted.

We have cooperatedfully with the police, including providing a detailed statement and sharing our CCTV footage.

We have also met the mother again since the incident to express our sympathy and support, and explain the actions we have taken.

Our understanding is that, having investigated the evidence including our CCTV footage, the police believe that this was not an attempt at kidnap and that there is no case for taking further action.

There have been many reactions to the incident at the Pick ‘n Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg.  Some a bit alarming, some a bit concerning about the sanity in the blog-o-sphere.

I think the key issue here is that the issue is not that the specific retailer is to blame.  It is a “sense/feeling” that the incident was not handled well, and more importantly this could have happened to any of us.

You.  Me.  Anyone.

I am sure that if this had occurred in another retailer they may have dealt with it in the equally fumbling, less than ideal manner, but the reality is we will never know.  This happened, and this store dealt with it this way.

I am glad that Margo has brought this to attention – not to shame Pick ‘n Pay but to remind us how quickly things go wrong, even when you are picking lettuce up at your local retailer.

I sincerely hope that we have all learnt something from this incident.

I have three kids, and the reality is when I am shopping I cannot actually hold on to all of them, nor hold their hands no  matter how goof my best intentions are.

If you have shopped with children you will understand what I mean.

I often shop with my two youngest, and as much as I want to tell you I hold their hands the entire time.   I need to queue to purchase items and am distracted as I order at the delicatessen or the bakery.  And again cannot look at my kids as the assistant hands over the order.

I have to put groceries and kids in the car – and then I need to do something with the trolley – how do you expect me to keep all of these within eye sight?

It just is not possible.  No matter how vigilant you are.

I do not expect retailers to be responsible for my kids – but I do expect them to have a procedure in place when something occurs and listen to me if something has happened to my child.

No they are not the police.  But listen to me if I am indicating a problem, and take the time and energy to call the police so that they in turn can interview the suspects, and be able to handle the situation on the spot.

I sneaked in to a drive-in movie when I was about 11. They called the police.  I think the entry cost was R1.50.  The police came out and scared the shit out of me.

Point being, sure it is not your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone on the planet, but if there is something that smells a bit iffy call the police, or some form of authority and allow the time to investigate, take statements – then step back.

When my kid were smaller and in the habit of throwing almighty thrombies at retail stores, I would leave them thrashing and screaming and just walk away – I would remain in ear shot so I could still hear them losing their shit in the aisle, I just would move on.

Clearly I would rethink that as a course of action.

Margo I hope you will heal from this – I cannot imagine nightmares you have.

I “almost” slammed my child’s hand in the car door when he was an infant. I didn’t.  I still think about it nearly every day and imagine the damage it could have caused.  My infant is now a 12 year old man-boy.  I still think about that day when ever he gets into my car and I close the car door.

Moms/parents worry.  Moms freak out if kids are out of their line of sight.

I hope we all have taken something positive from this experience.

Except Leon and Chuck. They have been total dicks!!!

{I think it is fine to be total dicks, but then be a dick who has no problem exposing who you are, and where we can contact you.  Be a man use your this-is-me-and-I-stand-by-my-statements-made-on-line.  Hiding behind a shite email address makes you double the dick — and a total shit head at the same time — other wise, good luck with that}

Original post and comments can be read at:  https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/abducting-babies-in-trolleys-at-pick-n-pay/

The one about the Nanny and the Delivery Man …. and the scam

I have a Nanny/Housekeeper who works for me.  She told me this story last week.

We were expecting a pest control company to stop by the house and do the spray thing to get rid of ants, fleas, and other unwelcome house guests.

{On a side note, if you are looking for an excellent pest control company in Cape Town, contact Rod Bendix Environmental Care on  021 555 3788 or 082 823 0247 – I have used them for years and they are brilliant.}

I leave the house and tell Priv about the pest control company and they will stop by later that day.  I am out for the day in various meetings, so I will not be able to pick up my phone until after 16h00.

A bit later in the morning guys arrive at the front gate, buzz and ask to be let in.

Priv asks for what.  They explain they are here to install a security system.

Priv explains she does not have permission to let them in.

They start to create a scene and explain they have a receipt.  The job has been paid for and they must do it today, or they are going to go and not come back, and it will be all her fault.

They are really pushy and confident and start to get quite harassed with her, and her inability to see reason.

Priv goes down to the gate, and does not open the gate, so she can see what they have with them –  they are insisting they have a paid and signed receipt, and instructions to be at our home.

The guys start really making a fuss, and waving around a piece of paper in front of her with our details on it and insisting we have paid for the alarm system, and her not letting them in will have all sorts of repercussions.

It is on their booking sheet, and if they do not get in now to install it, then she will need to realise that she will get into trouble.  They are really putting pressure on her to let them in – and being all “we are in a rush, stop monkeying around woman” sort of tone with her.

Priv recalls an article she has read in the recent neighbourhood newspaper, about how people steal your mail, and then use the details on envelopes to create a “receipt.”

They use this to gain access to property via the domestic who usually is swayed by the “official looking document.”

Priv takes one look at this situation and goes: “Well I don’t understand why you need to install an alarm when we have one, and it is working, and it is on.”  She starts asking their names and says she will call the owners to check with them.

The guys carry on insisting, and Priv INSISTS  she will call the owners, and reaches for her phone.

The guys then start to back track and question what the house number is — and they start to make a scene that they have got the wrong house and and  ….. eventually they leave.

We did not get a call from a company about installing anything, that we have paid for.  Nor did these guys pop along to a neighbour as they had made a mistake with the street number.  Our road is so short you can see the top of the road from our house, and our house is the house at the end – so had they made an error, they would have driven to a neighbour.

Priv is a hero for reading the neighbourhood paper, and sticking to the rule of not letting ANYONE in, no matter whom, if she does not have our express permission.

Maybe this incident has been repeating itself at other homes –  maybe these guys are getting access into houses with this simple but effective scam.

It makes sense to tell the person at home about this SCAM, so they are aware of anyone arriving with a delivery/collection or installation and they appear to have the correct documents.

Stealing your mail seems a really easy way to set this one up so that it looks very authentic.

I can’t imagine (I can, but I choose not to) what could have happened had these guys gained access to our property.  Hells bells, too traumatic to think about.

Be safe people, be safe!

The one where Georgia got slapped through the face ….

I heard from someone todaywho I have not spoken to in years – it appears Reluctant Mom has a farther reach than I realised,who would have known?

Certainly not me.

Anyway, for some reason this post jumped into my head – it is not quite the trolley snatching incident of earlier, but I think it is a good example of how quickly things can happen, even when you are standing RIGHT THERE.

I originally published this post in May 2010, and I think there are some key similarities between this and what occurred to Margo. If you squint your eyes and sort of look at it for a while.

 

It’ll knock your socks off …

On Saturday afternoon I went off to Pick ‘n Pay to do some grocery shopping – we  had friends coming over to watch the game and then stay for dinner, so I needed to get quite a lot of things and it was easier if I went without the entire family.

I left Isabelle and Connor home with Kennith, and Georgia came along with me to the shop.

We moved around the store and got what we needed.  While standing in the queue at the check out, I stepped away from my trolley to look at the soup display and was trying to decide whether we could include a soup course.

Retails often do displays right at the front of the stores, so you tend to impulse shop – appeals to the kind of shopper I am.

I was standing there with a liter of Minestrone in a bag, wondering could I eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?  Would my friends eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?

I was using my six-sets-of-eyes-that-mother’s-have to watch the trolley, Georgia who was standing next to me, and also to glance at people walking past.  I kept my one hand on her to ensure she was not wandering off as the store was really busy.

This woman walked past – long dark hair, maybe late thirties, and her son trailed behind her – about a metre gap between them.  He had on a dark tracksuit pants, takkies and a t-shirt – quite a solid built guy, I estimate about 11 – 14 years, but can’t be sure, as I do not know many kids that age.

It’s strange that I saw him, as I did not really notice him as my eyes were moving from trolley, to Minestrone, to the contents of the Minestrone, to Georgia, to generally public and back again …  all while wondering if I would use croutons and cheese with the soup and what bowls I would use, and whether I had enough.

But I did see him.

Then I saw him unfurl his hand, which I noted was quite a large hand.

Then in that moment I saw him open his hand.

He pulled his hand back while he was moving past her, and slapped Georgia through the face.  So hard that she lifted off the ground and flew into the vegetable/soup display.

It took me a few moments to register what the hell had happened.   It was beyond surreal.

I was trying to pick Georgia up at the same time emit some sound out of my mouth that possibly showed my indignation and horror at what had just occurred, as the boy and his mother continued walking like nothing had occurred.

I picked Georgia up who was now crying hysterically – as you would be when slapped senseless while perusing soup at the local Pick ‘n Pay.  I managed to shriek loud enough for the mom of the boy to turn around and look at me – and I said “your son just slapped my daughter through the face!”

Her face looked like I had slapped it.  She stared at her son and quickly started saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry….” to me.

I glared at her son who was turned away from me.  I was now ready to go over and beat the crap out of this little tosser right there in the veggie aisle of Pick ‘n Pay.

He turned to face me – while walking away from me – and I realized with sinking horror that he had Down Syndrome features.  That is where it got awkward, and my anger turned to shame and embarrassment.  I really did not know what to do.

Georgia was screaming and crying – I have her up on my hip, and I am staring at this situation and every part of me just wishes we all were not here right now.

So what happened?

The mother said sorry – I mouthed it was fine.  She kept moving away from me, and did not actually stop and walk back to me and apologise.   Her son carried on walking behind her not changing pace.

Georgia was hysterical, I had to tell her “it’s okay, it’s okay, it was an accident…” – yes, I realise it was not an accident, but what was I going to say?

I could have gone with …

That boy has a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome, and for reasons I can’t explain decided to give you a flattie in the middle of Pick ‘n Pay – and me your protecting mother, stood there like a total freak and did nothing to protect you or to stop it happening.

I also felt embarrassed that I was about to rant at a child that clearly had a disability, and felt totally powerless that this had happened and I did nothing to prevent it or to remedy the situation. ”

Instead I comforted her, paid for my groceries and packed her in the car.

I felt that we had been assaulted in full view of a store full of people, and no one (not one) stepped forward to assist me or my daughter.  I realized that the boy could have pulled out a knife and slashed her, and I would have been equally powerless to prevent it.

I really felt traumatized and a bit violated that some stranger had walked up and assaulted my child while I was standing there and I did nothing, and afterwards it was me who felt bad for what had happened.

Georgia was upset afterwards for a few hours, but seemed most upset that the boy did not come and say sorry to her himself  (clearly they teach the power of sorry at her school).

I really do not have a conclusion on what happened.

I really felt totally powerless and immensely angry.  I wish I had reacted differently to the mother, but what would I have said? What could I have done to make it better for me and Georgia, without going totally berserk in the veggie aisle?

It also made me realise how totally vulnerable we and our kids are when we take them out into public.  That some stupid or misguided person could do anything to our child in the blink of an eye, and even with us standing there, we would not be able to foresee it or stop it.  {this is how it relates to what happened to Margo ….. alarming right?}

https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/it%E2%80%99ll-knock-your-socks-off-%E2%80%A6/

Abducting babies in trolleys at Pick ‘n Pay …..

I heard this mom speaking to John Maytham today on Cape Talk.  It was one of those conversations that makes your blood run cold.

Here is the post Margo13 put on Hellopeter:

I had the most horrific experience in Pick N Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg yesterday, I was in the vegetable isle I turned around to pick up a lettuce and when I turned back my 4 year old daughter was gone alone with trolley .
I froze and became hysterical I then saw the 2 guys with my trolley , they told her to keep quiet and sped off with her into another isle .

I called security who let the guy go saying they were joking I called manager of Pick n Pay Yusuf who was very abrupt and told me they had mistaken my trolley with my daughter in for theirs

I do not except this I am emotionally wrecked and my daughter scared I went to Muizenberg Police Station and tried to lay a charge only to be told that they did not get away with my daughter so no case

In my view there was intention.

So she was in the supermarket, her young daughter was in the trolley, in the front fold down section – she took 5 steps from the trolley to pick up a piece of merchandise, turned around and the trolley with her child was gone.

GONE.

Two men had taken the trolley and had made their way to an aisle two aisles away, where they were trying to get her daughter out of the trolley.

The woman found them, questioned them, did not believe they had taken the wrong trolley – and called security.  She was trying to apprehend two guys, and at the same time calm her child down who was clearly upset.

The store felt they could not hold the men, as the child had not been abducted, and thus there was no crime.  And then let them leave.  The store.

Clearly there was a crime in progress, and fortunately due to the quick acting mom she managed to find the men, her child and prevent them taking her child out of the store.

Can you imagine how this day could have turned out?

Margo13 had said that after she got her daughter back, her daughter had told her that the men had told her to be quiet, and that this was their secret.

Can you imagine how traumatising this must be to that mom?  To any mom.

I regularly take my kids with me, in the same trolley, in the same position – the nature of grocery shopping is you take a few steps away to grab something, then step back – one assumes your bag will be stolen, not your trolley with your child.

I would like to find how Pick ‘n Pay is going to handle this.

Surely the men should have been “asked” to accompany security to the manager’s office so they could take some information, and contact the police who in turn could speak to all parties and establish the details before letting them go.

Surely.

Pick ‘n Pay can detain someone who they suspect of stealing until the police arrive.  One would think they can detain a suspect or two who are suspected of attempting to abduct a four year old child.

Surely?  Surely!

If you have heard anything more about this incident and know what is happening, please share.

The lesson : Your child is not safe anywhere.  That should feed nicely into all our paranoia.

Takealot you sure have the goodies ….

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I received a voucher for Takealot when The Reluctant Mom won the Kidzworld SA Mommy Blog of 2013.

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My experience with on-line shopping  has been limited to book purchases.

I like to smell my purchases.  No really.  I walk around Woolworths sniffing clothing.

No I am not sure exactly what I am hoping to smell, but there we go that is what I do.  I usually touch the item first, sort of rub it between my fingers, and if it passes the “rub test” then it moves to the “smell test.”

Unfortunately on-line shopping lacks a “scratch and sniff” patch.

I was less than excited by the prospect of shopping on takealot, but it was a late night, a large amount of wine was consumed, a slab of chocolate was scoffed, and at that point I was pretty much willing to give anything a go.

I lurked around takelot, and though my initial plan was to purchase books.  I tried to be loose and cool and browse all the categories.

I will confess that things that had a price that had been crossed out, and then there was a new flashy “cheaper than before” price, really had a large appeal.

I bought a few things, and my voucher was for R600.00 – I had to pay just over R100.00 more as I had added a few things that were above the budget, and then waited for delivery.

Delivery was marked as the 15 January 2014.

I received two emails, one to confirm that my order was processed, and a second to confirm that my payment had been processed.  All very efficient.

I placed the order on the 2014/01/09.

Delivery was scheduled for the 2014/01/15 which seemed fair enough – I was not in a real rush.

I got a call after 15h00 on the 2014/01/10 to confirm I would be able to accept delivery today, and delivery would take place before 18h00.  It did.

I received my box this evening – it was neat, and well packed, and all the items were individually wrapped, and well cushioned.  The courier was friendly, professional and overall a really good experience.

I do love receiving things!!

I was really happy with this entire takealot experience.  The prices were good.  I liked the website, there was a good selection, and it was simple enough to work well.  From purchase to cart it was simple, clean and easy.

This is my box – Die is my does – translation for my Afrikaans readership of 3.

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I bought fragrances I had wanted to try.

I must confess that the  DESEO by JLO was much nicer than I remembered.  I really liked all three that I ordered.  I purchased another Tangle Teezer, I think I should just get these on a stop order every two months.

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Well done takealot, and thank you again to KIDZWORLD.

Happy New Year …. and stuff

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