Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Election day. It's been a long time coming but after much political drama, it's only a day away. Personally, I'm looking forward to voting. I'm also looking forward to no longer being bombarded with campaign material everywhere I go. And who knows, maybe Julius Malema will even quieten down after his idol is voted into the presidency. Nah, not likely. Anyway, the important thing is tomorrow we get to vote and have our say. I won't even begin to pretend I believe that Jacob Zuma isn't going to be the next president, but I'm certainly going to use my vote to help ensure he has a strong opposition.

The thing with politics, I feel, is the sense of helplessness the general public has. We see the craziest things happening and watch in shock and horror as high-ranking officials walk away from corruption scandals and the like unscathed. So when it comes to elections, it's almost as if a little bit of control is redeemed, giving people like you and me a chance to have our say - and be heard. It may be a little voice, but it can go a long way. So yeah, I'm looking forward to casting my vote tomorrow.

On a lighter note, have you guys seen any of the recent ads that play on the political slant? One of my favourites is the Nando's ad, which 'interviews' Julius Malema. (That's certainly got his panties all twisted, but it's not personally demeaning - it makes a play on the concept of 'change'.) I also LOVED this ad for Wimpy's Cups for Votes campaign. It's not a new concept - apparently Starbucks did something similar. But the ad itself is simple and quite, what's the word, touching? Nice copy, nice music. Check it out.

Anyhoo, seeing as tomorrow is a public holiday and there are more of those to come, I've put in for some additional leave and so will only be back in the office in about two weeks from now. Bliss! I'll miss the Internet access, but it's a small sacrifice for some much needed time out. Catch you on the flip side, and don't forget to vote!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Sweet 47 and never been kissed...

If the Monday blues are bringing you down, here's something that's bound to make you smile and perhaps even give you some goosebumps. Just in case you haven't already seen this, here's Scottish lass Susan Boyle's 'audition attempt' for the latest season of Britain's Got Talent...

Susan Boyle Sings on Britain's Got Talent 2009 Episode 1 @ Yahoo! Video

Well, whoddathunkit, eh?

Friday, 17 April 2009

Much ado about nothing

Remember the (big and expensive) ad that appeared in the Sunday Times the other week... the one about lengthening the skirts depicted in restroom signs? (Here, this one):

Well, as suspected, it was indeed part of an ad campaign. For this:

Yup, that's right. Good ol' Mrs Ball's Chutney.

But what's the connection you may ask? Good question. Seems the marketing guys behind the Mrs Ball's brand are trying to get across this message: If it ain't broke, don't try fix it.

Hmmmm... It's a bit of a stretch if you ask me. I think advertising should be product-appropriate. For example, I hate watching a long and emotional ad that practically leaves me in tears, only to find out AT THE END that it's a frikken' Telkom ad. Another example: there was recently an ad on the telly in which a guy scales buildings and does some hectic stunts in a race 'against the clock' to put coins in his parking meter before the gap-toothed meter-maid gives him a ticket. The 'big finale' comes when he tosses his coin which bypasses the hungry meter and inserts itself snugly between the two front teeth of the surprised meter-maid. All this for a
glass-fitting company(!!!). Too much, I say. I hate it when advertisements build you up and then let you down.

So I do think that all the fuss created around the 'NSEP' is a little OTT. Besides that, this sort of campaign misses the mark a bit when you have to stop and explain to the market what the correlation is. And all this for chutney? C'mon...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Post bunny ponderings

Well, I don't have much to talk about today. The long Easter weekend was really nice and filled with delicious chocolate and much-appreciated relaxation. I also went to a friend's birthday on Saturday which was pretty cool as I saw people there who I hadn't seen in ages. Nice bunch! And I'm pleased to report that I was very civilised with the wine and woke up the next morning without even the slightest hint of a hangover. Yeah, I know. Impressive. So it's back to work today and I must admit it was really hard to get out of bed this morning. What hasn't helped is that I've been struggling to sleep lately and so last night I took a couple of sleeping tablets. They certainly didn't help me fall - or stay - asleep, but they've made me feel seriously groggy this morning. I'm waiting for the caffeine to kick in and then I'm sure my day will improve considerably. But for now, I have a cotton-wool-filled noggin.


Cape Town has been enjoying some seriously beautiful weather over the last few days and so I took full advantage of the warm autumn sun and spent lots of time in my garden over the weekend, with a book and copious cups of tea. (See, it's not all about the wine!) I polished off 'The Inheritance of Loss' and I have to tell you, it's a pretty damn good read.

The novel has been sitting on my book case gathering dust for quite a while now. I bought it a book fair back in 2007, after hearing Marian Keyes rave about it. When I headed over to the Penguin stand to buy it, the author (Kiran Desai) was there doing a book signing so yeah, I've got a lovely little message from her in the front of the book. It's just a pity it took me so long to read it! I've got such a huge backlog of books at home that I still want to read, never mind the books I'm reading for my course. (I'm slowly working on an honours degree in English literature and this year I'm doing a paper on 19th century literature. I wish I could tell you that I love Victorian novels, but I'd be lying. So there.) Anyway, that's my excuse for not reading 'The Inheritance of Loss' sooner. It's a great read - if you come across it, be sure to grab it!

So what with all the reading in the ol' garden, there was also some local squirrel action. 'Cute little guy though nowhere near as friendly as his pals in the Gardens.

Here he certainly looks like a rat. You'll just have to take my word for it that he has a bushy tail and really is a squirrel.

All that squirrel/tree rustling piqued the cat's interest. Though considering the size of his gnarly squirrel gnashers, I reckon it would be a fair fight and so I'm not too worried about finding regurgitated squirrel bits on my lounge floor rug anytime soon.

Playing the waiting game...

(Ooh,' Al no corrida' is playing on the radio. Haven't heard that in ages - kinda corny but still a good song. Yeah, old school is cool!)

Okay now that I've resorted to waffling about random squirrels and my sleeping patterns now seems a good time to, erm, stop.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Insanely Happy Friday

Yeah, I know it's not quite Friday yet but seeing as tomorrow is a holiday, that makes today Friday in my mind. I'm doing cartwheels on the inside. Inner crazy, outer calm and all that. Anyway. Nothing lifts the spirits like a four-day weekend. Woohoo! :)

So however you plan on spending your Easter weekend, may the bunny be extra kind on the chocolate delivery and remember, chocolate tastes even better when accompanied by a lovely red wine. (Now you know how I plan to spend my weekend.)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

La-La-La... I can't hear you...

With all the shenanigans of our local politicians, the nose dive in the economy and my distinct lack of optimism, it seems nothing is going to save my sanity except a practical stick-my-head-in-the-sand approach. That and heading for the nearest open bottle of pinotage. (Not in an alcoholic sort of way. More in a 'I really appreciate red wine' kind of way.)

Anyway, in keeping with the denial avenue, here are a couple of gorgeous pics by Hans Silvester. I'm going to read up a bit more on him, but so far I can tell you it seems he spends his time in beautiful parts of the world taking shots of cats in natural environments. I like his style. The image below of the old Greek lady with the cat is simple yet rather poignant.

Here's a great pic! 'Not sure if you can make it out properly as the pic is rather small but the colour is gorgeous and the kitty in the corner below completes the lovely composition (Ooh, listen to me. Sounding like an art critic and all...)

Anyway, before I head off for the aforementioned vino, did anybody see this half-page insert in the Sunday Times over the weekend?

C'mon, this has to be a teaser campaign for something. Surely they can't seriously want to change public restroom signs to show the ladies with longer skirts! Jonathan Cherry reckons it must have something to do with the upcoming elections. Weird, hey? I phoned the call centre and got through to an automated message. Then I visited their website, but can't make out if there's anything fishy. Bizarre! Surely there's no way something like this can be legit? Peculiar, eh?

Monday, 6 April 2009

One step forward. Two steps back.

I had a really great weekend. Great friends and too much wine was the order of the last two days. And so it was quite a downer to start the week off with the ridiculous yet unsurprising news that the NPA has dropped all charges against Jacob Zuma. Not because they have insufficient evidence that he's nasty and corrupt, but because they reckon there was political interference (from the Mbeki government) and abuse of power. Again, technicalities.

All along, it's been pretty obvious that Jacob Zuma is going to be South Africa's next president. A man who has been fired as Deputy President of South Africa... a man who has been caught up in a pretty nasty sex scandal though, granted, he was found innocent of rape charges... a man who has been accused of corruption on quite a grand scale... a man who practices polygamy... a man known to burst into song about his machine gun. Yeah, we all knew that he's going to be heading into power. But I had hoped - naively - that he would still have his day in court where he would have to prove to the people he claims to serve and represent that he is indeed innocent. Now we'll never know the truth.

After the fall of apartheid, South Africa really seemed poised for changed. It was a positive place, alive with the anticipation of rebirth. It seemed as if the liberation struggle had finally, finally paid off. But is this what people were fighting for? Replacing one corrupt regime with another one? What a shame that this is what we've done with such a wonderful opportunity. How very sad!

Yeah, today is not a proud day for South Africa or its people. The only winners here are Jacob Zuma and his ignorant, brain-washed supporters.

'Guess I'd better learn the words to Umshini Wami. Something tells me we're going to be hearing it more now than ever.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

No speaking, dear. Just smile.

Ah bless. It seems Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, had a simply fabulous time during her recent visit to Guantanamo Bay. According to news reports, she gushed profusely on her very own Miss Universe blog about what a wonderful time she had and how lovely the place is.
"The water in Guantanamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable... I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful."
"We visited the Detainees (sic) camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how they recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting,"
Hmmm... I wonder if the tortured and shackled prisoners feel the same way? Do they take time out of their busy prisoner schedules to sip on cocktails while admiring the gorgeous sea views?

Off to the beach for some fun in the sun...

'Love them cart rides!

Searching for pretty seashells is awesome!


Well Dayana dear, it's a good thing you're pretty 'cos you're certainly not bright. Maybe you should stick to saving the dolphins.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

'Hate the game, not the playa'

Well I have to say, as far as April Fool's Days go, this one has been rather lacking. No huge pranks to speak of. While skimming through this morning's Times I tried to keep a skeptical eye out for would-be 'prank' articles. But with elections drawing closer and the contending parties getting into a tizzy over campaigning, it's hard to take anything that features in the newspaper seriously. Especially yesterday's newsflash that this Friday the NPA is going to announce owhether or not they're going to drop the charges against Jacob Zuma. I mean, WTF?!?!? Stuff like this really makes my blood boil! I wish that was just an April Fool's Day prank, even though it most certainly is a joke.

Anyway, let's keep it light. This morning local radio station CapeTalk played a little prank on their listeners when they told Capetonians that there's a motion to change the name of Table Mountain. You can imagine how many panties ended up all knotted over that one! ;)

And the Times reported that South Africa's uber-dodgy former health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, is set to make a big comeback, after her successor (Barbara Hogan) spoke out publicly against the government's stupid, stupid, stupid decision not to give the Dalai Lama a visa so he could attend an upcoming conference. (The frikken' Dalai Lama!!! I mean, c'mon!) We know the bit about denying him a visa did actually happen and that Ms Hogan did indeed speak out against the decision, but let's hope the rest is nothing but a joke. Right?

And then there was a little piece about the ANC being pissed off that DA leader Helen Zille was going to perform at a jazz festival to be held in Cape Town later this month. Yikes. ;)

Anyway, whether you've been taken for a sucker or dodged that bullet, here's hoping your April Fool's Day has treated you kindly.

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