A New Look for Joburg Expat

If you’re reading this, you will have noticed that my blog has a new look. And if you read on, you’ll find out how it came about, but I suspect only fellow blogger will have any interest in that. If you’re not one of them, just take the day off:-)

Redesigning your blog is always a scary prospect. Your blog almost feels like your identity, and you’re reluctant to mess with it. It’s like deciding to get all your hair chopped off, or coloring it red. But sometimes it has to be done, especially when your good friend tells you it’s time because the header belongs in a museum. So you decide, oh well, putting a new picture in my header is way overdue, let’s do that quickly before I have to make breakfast in half an our. Okay, well, that precisely is the problem with me. “Do it quickly” is often my thought, but then my actions don’t pay any heed to that whatsoever. Before I know it, I’ll be immersed in it knee-deep, not emerging from that particular project until weeks later. I once decided to replace the knobs on my kitchen cupboards and ended up having the entire kitchen redesigned and rebuilt. And so it was with the new header for the blog. I didn’t have a good picture, so I decided to make a collage instead. Easy enough, I thought, with my newly acquired skills (or I should call it illusion of skills) in Photoshop, shown to me by the same friend a while ago. About three days later I had a satisfactory header image. What happened, you see, is that I discovered all this cool stuff you can do in Photoshop. Blur edges. Improve sharpness. Fade the image. Put the imagine in the wrong place by accident and find out that it actually looks cool when the ones behind are showing through. Go online and find a website where you can download actions that do much more than fade the image. And once you’re online so much looking at websites, you get new ideas from other people’s blogs as to what your header should look like.The good news is, I think I now finally understand the concept of layers and layer masks. I’m sure that’s got to count for something in life.

Of course I didn’t stop with the ... 


Good Friendship

One of the worst things about being an expat is that you always have to leave good friends behind. No matter how hard you try to stay in touch, it won’t be the same as when you saw each other every day. Social media makes it easier in some ways, but harder in others, because some people are ... 


The Mystery of the Missing Cement Mixer

Zax and I were reminiscing the other day about Singapore. He was two years old when we lived there, and in an absolute boy’s heaven. Singapore in the late 1990s was a hub of construction with cranes and other heavy machinery wherever the eye could see, the result of which is apparent in a skyline ... 


What’s a Ballbox?

This question was something I puzzled over all day yesterday.

Jabulani, in his typical 13-year old morning funk, had thrown a “Mom, I REALLY need a ballbox” at me before rushing out the door. Newly in high school with all its added demands and responsibilities, he has been slightly stressed ... 


Me? Getting into a Balloon?

You know me. I hate heights. Just thinking of that bungy jump Zax did still makes me feel weak in the knees.

So, as you can imagine, when the prospect of a family balloon safari came up in early 2010, right after we’d moved to South Africa, I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic.

But since I”m often accused of not feeling terribly enthusiastic about proposed activities, and since it seems my enthusiasm ... 


Back to the Cradle

Noisette, the kids, and our World-Cup-ready car; can’t believe this was almost 2 years ago!

I’ve been wanting to tell you about the Cradle of Humankind for ages. Considering that we visited it for the first time in early 2010, almost two years ago. The cradle of our South Africa adventure, if you will.

It was May of 2010 when we set off for one of our first outings in South Africa, ... 


Horses, Horses, and More Horses

When you’ve got nothing going on in your life but a horse show, you take pictures of horses.

Brown horses.

White horses.

Brown and White horses.

Little horses.

Pretty horses.

Jumping horses.

Bucking horses.

Peeing-when-performing horses.

Sleepy horses.

Sleepy dogs on horses.

Kissing horses.

Loved horses.

Horses’ ...