The MTN grinch who stole Christmas and New year :-(

mtngrinchChristmas is a time when we all remember each other, send messages of hope, love and comedic moments as well as talk to those who we never talk to at any other time of the year, if ever. We start getting our Christmas and new year messages ready and texted-up from early on in December and failing to do that, we hook on and save the first cute text message that get send our way to send along again to everybody we know and love and hopefully remember to remove the one who send it to us and add our name to the message and so the Christmas spirit get send on and on…

With the “advent” of social media, facebook, twitter, pinterest, whatsapp, mixit etc, we are now in a position to not only share tried and trusted text messages but also colour in our messages with….where I had a silly moment….or….look at me hanging from the top of the tree….or… look at all the places I am visiting….or…..look we are sleeping…..(you know the usual exciting holiday fare).

But this year (maybe you have not even noticed which would really be tragic) the MTN Grinch stole my Christmas and New year and all the in-between happy moments that I could have happily shared with you. Not that it is the first time that this particular Grinch has tried to steal my happiness. It has happened quite a few times in the past as well. Normally when I am not at home near my landline and on the road when I really need to be mobily connected. MTN, as my service provider, has provided excellent service when I do not need it, and have efficiently managed my debit order, but the moment I need to have mobile access they make sure that they suspend it. I misguidedly thought that we use debit orders in order NOT to get suspended for non payment. Surely they manage their side of things and dip their greedy little paws into my account whenever one of their executives need to send their wife to a spa. But noooo, they like to show me who is boss by suspending me for…..I really don’t know.

This all really does not make any sense to me as they stand to make a LOT of money out of me at moments like this as I am far more likely to want to talk to everybody and their aunties when I am on holiday and far away from home. Now you may snigger and rightfully wonder why I blame the MTN Grinch for suspending me in mid-data if possibly it could propably be a case of lack of end of year after-present- buying and holiday petrol buying and over indulgence-spending-fund-up-drying. But as lack would have it, I have managed to hook my MTN account into one of my hubbies accounts (don’t tell him) that seems to have money in at all the times (and yes there have been previous occasions of Grinch like behaviour) that they have suspended my data life stream.

And yes, I have on previous occasions tried to phone their helpline and pushed their various numbers without being lucky enough to connect to human beings. If anybody can enlighten me on how to actually talk to a non machine I would be most grateful, but numbers 1 through to 4 do not seem take any non push/voice input.  And yes, I have on these previous occasions got into my car and actually driven to my esteemed service providers’ centres, I have received my number and I have sat in a random queue for an extended period of time after which I have ranted and raved and kicked my feet in the air as well as tear my hair out at petrified Grinch agents that then tried to desperately pacify my with very rational explanations……..

It is The System. The System apparently randomly decide on occasions that they need to impose a credit limit on debit order accounts instead of just sticking to debit order logic- I talk/tweet–> you debit- all very orderly. Naaaah this System is the Grinch. No talking for you, especially when you are away from home, on holiday, out in the gramadoelas sticks doing training and especially not over Christmas and New year. So what if your loved ones, 4000 friends, circles, fellow twits and pins are dying to get your inspired Christmas and new years message of hope. The Grinch will show you. Christmas and new year suspended.

Then miraculously on the 2nd it came back on. Out of the blue. Or is a case that the whole of MTN also went on a festive season break? I really don’t know and as MTN (Maggie Talk Not) can’t be reached coherantly on numbers 1, 2, 3 or 4. After pressing 1 numerous times tin Grinch voice assured me in a staccato voice that I have Zerooo data bundes left and Zerooo sms’s and  Zerooo love and peace for 2013 left, but have for the hell of it connected me again. Go figure.

So as the MTN Grinch stole Christmas and new year from me, it does not “mean” that I do not love you all dearly and would have loved to have talked and tweeted and facebook you with wonderful wishes for this wonderful year. So I will try my best to catch up with good wishes as I go along this new year and wish you ALL a happy and prosperous and blessed year. If you do not hear from me again, it might be the Grinch being slightly irritated with me again which have resulted in me being suspended yet again.


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* 2 cups flour
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cup of water
* 1 tsp baking  soda
* 1 cup of  sugar
* 1 tsp  salt
* 1 cup of  brown sugar
*  Lemon juice
* 4  large eggs
*  Nuts
* 2  bottles wine
* 2  cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to  check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure  it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and
drink. Repeat.  Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy  bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this
point it’s best  to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup… Just in case.  Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the
bowl and  chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging  fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried druit gets  stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample  the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or  something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your  nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever  you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try  not to fall over. Don’t forget to beat off the turner.

Finally,  throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter  with the cat. Go to  Woollies and buy cake.

Bingle  Jells!

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A few random thoughts

I was send this by my colleague, Mercy,  from Nigeria and want to keep it so I am posting it here to refer to.  Some wise thoughts…. 

  • Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout the journey.
  • So why is a Car’s WINDSHIELD so large & the Rear View Mirror so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.
  • Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to burn, but it takes years to write.
  •  All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either.
  • Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!
  • Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!
  • When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.
  • A blind person asked Saint Anthony: “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision!”
  • When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
  • WORRYING does not take away tomorrow’s TROUBLES, it takes away today’s PEACE.
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Strategic incompetance

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*(Skrywer: Naam weerhou om “veiligheids”redes)*

Ek is ? pa. Soms moet ek my soos ? pa gedra. In die ou dae was dit albasters, tolle en ketties. Dinge het verander. So twee weke gelede fluister die twee stoutgat buurkinders oorkant die straat mos die woorde ” GOLD REEF CITY ” vir my laaitie. Nou wat kan ? man nou doen? Jy gaan maar GRC toe.

Oukei, so beloer ek mos hulle webwerf. Nananana, lyk heel mak, hier en daar ? ry en ? rol of twee. Ek wil in elk geval ook in die myn afgaan. So trek ek my plakkies aan, kam my hare en daar gaan ons, die hele fendêmillie. Ons kom nogal vroeg daar aan. Ek kap manhaftig twee worsbroodjies weg, en ? halfliter melk, en besluit om maar die pa-seun voetjies-vleg ding te doen en ry saam met sy eerste rit genaamd die Wegholtrein. Eers gedink die ding is vir kleuters, tot hy sywaarts ook begin beweeg. Effe ongemaklik gevoel toe ons afklim. Waggel toe maar agter die mannetjie aan na die volgende een.

Hoor hom voor ek hom sien. Klink soos ? Boeing wat land. Toe gewaar ek die groot naambord: Anakonda! Ek het al gehoor van die goed. Nog net ? tuinslang van naby gesien. Maar nou ja, ek’s mos die PA van die huis, dra die broek, issie ? sissie nie. Ek maak my arms bak, en ek loop fier en regop teen die dekplank op. Ek gaan die donner ry. Wat kan nou eintlik verkeerd gaan? Eerste fout is die lang tou waarin jy moet wag. Gee jou kans om te sien wat doen die ding aan mense. Toe hy die tweede keer kom stop, klim daar so ? jong student af met spiere waar ek voue het. Hy skiet ? kat net daar oor die reling. Sy tjerie se denim is nat en ek kan sien sy het reeds ‘n kat geskiet! Nou weet ek, my twak is uitgeknip en afgerol vir my.

Ons beurt. My klein snotneus trek kleinkoppie, maar ma kyk my uit. Dis hier waar ‘n mens maar maak of jy windgat en manlik is. Hou my ken hoog en knyp die boude styf. ‘n Mens klim in die ding en maak soos ? vlermuis, jy hang half onderstebo. Die veiligheidstaaf wil nie oor my hoenderborsie nie, so toe hou ek maar my lyf Ville Valo, en maak myself dun. Haak die belt een gaatjie te styf . . . dink ek. KLANG KLANG KLANG KLANG . . . en kom ons neuk nie rond nie . . . skielik is ek so bang dat ek ? nieraanval kry . . . Dan draai die ding en dan HEL HY NA BENEDE MET DIE SPOED VAN WEERLIG.

Glo my maar, vergeet van enige kar, bike, vliegtuig of wat ookal jou maatstaf is waarmee jy manlikheid meet, die ding gee gas soos niks wat ek al ooit gevoel het nie. Maar of dit nou nie genoeg is nie, gaan voeter die ding onderstebo met jou. Ek voel daai worsbroodtjies en melk hier teen my ribbes. Nee wag, ek voel hulle tekstuur, elke enkele veseltjie en grein van hulle. Kêrels, ons kom uit daai eerste draai met die spoed van flippen wit lig. Ek wil hê hy moet stop. Ek bid vir die eerste keer in 22 jaar Ons maak weer gelyk.

Toe slaan ons daai tweede kurwe. Korter radius as die eerste. Ons move so vinnig daar deur dat ek een van my plakkies verloor. Eers onderstebo, dan deur twee reghoekige draaie waartydens ek tien jaar ouer word. En toe kurk-flippen-trekker hy met ons. Klits daai worsbroodjie en die melk laat dit lyk soos daai gemors wat jy oor bobotie gooi. Nog ? draai en, ag te hel daarmee, traak nie wat vroutjie of die wêreld van my dink nie, toe skree ek soos ? Namibiese vlaktevlermuis wat se sonar gekalf het.

Ons kom daai stasie binne met skyt teen my bene en bobotie gemors in my hare teen 200 km/h en net vir die grap en net vir die pret, briek hy doodstil binne 10 tree. Ek sit net daar, versteend, te bang om te roer. Alles in een slag verloor. My trots, my valstande en my worsbroodjie. Vroutjie wil nog soos ? wafferse Eva, ooo! en aaa! en kom ons ry weer die slang, maar ek bly dikbek en naar en hou voet by stuk ek wil huis toe gaan.

Die slang in die paradys was sekerlik ook ? Anakonda…..

[Dankie Selma vir ierdie ene- lekker gelag] Hier is sommer ‘n video van die slang…

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A spinach salad 4 those who do not eat spinach

spI do not do spinach. Jik Jik Jik. Way Way to green for me. And I do know how to cook it. I was taught by my Italian mother-in-law to do it in all kinds of exotic and inspiring ways. But it still tastes green. Jik.

Then came Martine’s Christmas salad. I am now addicted to raw spinach so it is not your everyday recipe this- it is a tummy altering one! And you do not have to be a master chef to be able to prepare it either. Meh.

So thank you Martine for sharing it with me….

½ Cup Oil (not olive)
¼ Cup Apple cider vinegar
½ Cup sugar (or less)
1 union cut in quarters
1 Tea spoon Worcester sauce
½ Tea spoon Paprika
Salt & Pepper
2 Table spoons oven roasted sesame seed
1 Table spoon poppy seeds

Just chuck everything into my blender and blend away! Keep in fridge till ready to serve

Arrange 1 packet of young or baby spinach (stems removed) and 2 punnets of Strawberries, cut in pieces, in a bowl and drizzle the dressing over just before serving. Very njammie!!!

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I love all my children!

I had a wonderful Sunday with the kids. It is Bert’s birthday coming up and we will be out of town, so we decided to have a children’s lunch. Plus the lost lamb, Elrieka, was returning to my fold so I decided to do all their favourite foods- chicken pie and gammon for Bert and icecream for Elrieka.

Children are such an amazing blessing!

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What does it mean to be a mentor?

One of my most inspiring mentors, Tony Carr, is having a Big Splash this weekend (although I would imagine the water in Cape Town might prove to be a little cold), as he and his very special partner, Margaret, is celebrating 120 years of being alive and well and living a Cape Town. I, unfortunately will not be able to make it there on a Face- 2-Face basis, but I am planning to take some time out, pour a little fruit juice and “virtually” have a little splash in their honour (It might involve a little splash of vodka with a twist).

Thinking about this special day for Tony and Margaret, made me think of what make them such incredibly momentous people. This in turn made me think about what it means to be a mentor. If you count the number of times I have used the word “think” already, quite clearly, I think that this is the first response they elicit in those around them- to make them think

But I think I am digressing. Tony and Margaret personify the word. Mentors.

According to the dictionary (online of course) to be a mentor is to be “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Them to a T.

Tony started off as my imaginary friend (that is what my husband thought). When I started my studies, I discovered Tony somewhere in the realms of the virtual world. Even though I never smacked eyes on him, he was there with advice and gentle prodding and pulling, guiding or rather reflecting me in the right direction whenever I dashed off on a wild goose chase or he had to un-cringe me from various foot in the mouth (my speciality) situations. Sometimes I wondered if he is the voice in my head or if he even really exists (in real life that is).

He has the ability to bring out the best in people. He makes the time- a rare quality when it comes to academics. When you get despondent with teachers who do not want to learn and learners who do not want to teach, he ALWAYS comes up with a subtle solution and even makes you think that it was your brainwave. When you reach a dead end- he is there to inspire you.

Big scale mentoring is his speciality as is evident in his conferencing persona. He is always ON. Never OFF. In ten places at the same time- virtually everwhere- no escape-relentlessly pulling the world into an educational debate of note. Always pushing the boundaries while at the same time making everyone feel valuable and noted. The best conference director ever.

Which brings me to Margaret.   I can only think that we need to give Margaret some of the credit here as I cannot see how Tony can be this omnipresent person without having a life-force to support and inspire him. I first met Tony and Margaret in Hogsback (my paradise) after years of Tony being my imaginary friend and was astonished to see that they (both) actually exist in real life (or I might also have been mistaken as the fresh mountain air can make you think that you see things, hobbits, fairies). What striked me though, was the sense of their communal mentorship- something more than just being soul mates.

Margaret and Tony, even though we cannot be there to splash with you, I do hope that you will be dancing wildly (I will do my jiggle here in your honour). And I want to thank you both for changing the lives of those you touch, including me, by being mentors in the true sense of the word. Thank you.

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We had wireless access 250 years ago!!!

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, British scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Brit’s, in the weeks that followed, an American archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story published in the New York Times: “American archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years earlier than the British”.

One week later, the Cape Times, in South Africa, reported the following: “After digging as deep as 30 feet in his backyard in Thabazimbi, South Africa, Lucky Simelane, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely f–k all. It can therefore be concluded that 250 years ago, Africa had already gone wireless.”

Just makes you bloody proud to be from Africa !

(thanx Nompilo for this one!)

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Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers

(by Susan Johnson)

With the South African Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 Census workers will count every person in the South Africa and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.

The big question is – how do you tell the difference between a Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:

  • If a Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don’t know into your home.
  • Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your identity number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the Census.
  • While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION.
  • The Census Bureau will not ask for bank account, or credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations. Any one asking for that information is NOT with the Census Bureau. AND REMEMBER, THE CENSUS BUREAU HAS DECIDED NOT TO WORK WITH ACORN ON GATHERING THIS INFORMATION. No Acorn worker should approach you saying he/she is with the Census Bureau.
  • Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census.
  • Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the Census Bureau.
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