Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Happiness is...???

When I first read this quote, I thought to myself, "What a stupid thing to say. Why wouldn't you do what makes you happy?" But it seems that karma has come to have her way with me and I'm finding myself struggling more and more with finding the time for the things that I love. I am by no means a workaholic and I like to think that I live a relatively balanced life, but it's almost as though there are too many things that I love to do and not enough time in the day. How do you prioritise what makes you happy? Conundrum.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Unsafe Parking at Gardens Shopping Centre

What's the best way to ruin a great weekend? Having your car broken into on Sunday night. Yup, that's me right now. And since this irritation happened in Cape Town, my fellow Capetonians can consider this post a public service announcement (as well as a much-needed rant from a very pissed off Karen). So where, you may ask, did this horrible act of vandalism take place? In a dark and dingy alleyway that smelled of pee? Outside a suspect establishment under a bridge? Oh no, dear readers, my beloved car (now that I come to think of it, she really needs a name) was broken into in the undercover, "secure"parking lot of Gardens Shopping Centre in Gardens. 

Last night, with a severe lack of decent viewing on TV, I decided that I really needed a DVD to end off my weekend. So at 19:00 I drove to Gardens Centre and I, being the responsible person that I am, thought that it would be safer to park inside the parking lot than on the street . Sure I'd have to pay R6, but I figured that it would be far less money than paying for a vandalised car. I was in the shopping centre for no more than 15 minutes and, when I got back to my car, I noticed that the back, rear window had been smashed. Since I keep nothing of value in my car, the culprit's intention was to get at whatever was in my boot, which in my case was a yoga mat and a bag containing leggings, a yoga bra and top. Since the mat was left behind, I'm pretty certain that my car's attacker isn't a budding yoga enthusiast (or wears a 34A bra) and was probably hoping for something a little more exciting.

When I looked around the parking lot, there was not a security guard in sight. And no, I did not want to leave my car and go searching for one (in the parking lot where a vandal may still be lurking), and so I left the centre feeling incredibly upset and even more unsafe. I'm sure that somewhere on the back of the parking ticket there's a statement in fine print saying that I park at my own risk, but surely the whole idea of safe and secure parking is that you can go into a shopping centre without worrying that your car is getting broken into. And what if the situation had been much worse? If no one was around to protect my car, who knows what other unsavoury characters could be hiding in the shadows waiting for a 24 year old woman to return to her vehicle.

I often get told that I do not complain enough, but this is one situation where I simply refuse to let things slide. This morning I lodged an official complaint with Gardens Shopping Centre and am waiting for a response. And now, I'm off to draw money to pay for my R1200 bill to replace my window. Make that R1206 - I did pay R6 for parking after all.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

That Helpless Feeling

On this, Mandela’s birthday, I am faced with a moral dilemma. This is something I’ve been grappling with for quite some time now, but it seems that today’s 67 minutes initiative has encouraged me to address this issue head-on and find out whether other people feel the same way. Every day on my way home from work, I see familiar faces at my car window begging for money. And every day I feel like a terrible person for turning them away. It’s not I’m not sympathetic, but I also don’t believe in continually giving people cash handouts – especially after I’ve just slaved away at a desk for 10 hours to earn that money. 

But then a few weeks ago, the cold weather really set in and I noticed more and more homeless people sleeping on the pavement or in the shelter of shop doors, with hardly anything to keep them warm. I know that we can’t save everybody, but if we don’t try to help our fellow man then what does that make us? I used to have a teacher who would always say that you must put yourself in another person’s shoes before you judge them, and so I stopped to think what I would want if I were in that situation.

Naturally I, being obsessed with my stomach, immediately thought of a hot meal and this sparked an idea: I would make a big pot of soup, buy some polystyrene cups, and go and give soup to these poor, cold people. I was excited, I was all ready and rearing to go, and I was feeling really good about the situation. But then something began to rear its ugly head – some may call it pessimism, others realism – which made me stop and wonder whether this was really a good idea. Is a 24 year old girl driving up to a group of homeless people and handing out soup an act of compassion or stupidity?

When I mentioned this to a friend of mine, he told me that it’s far too dangerous and that the best thing that I could do is to buy a whole load of blankets “and throw them out of your car window as you drive past”. I felt deflated: is this really what our world has come to? That we’re afraid to help people less fortunate then us because of the fear that we’ll become a newspaper headline on the next morning’s front page? Am I being completely naive about the world that I live in?

So here I sit, on the great Madiba’s 95th birthday, wondering what exactly I should do. It seems that today most people are happy to give 67 minutes of their time to help another, but what about all of the other minutes that pass us by? Do we not act selflessly because of fear, uncertainty, circumstance or just plain apathy? Should we continue to exist in a society based on fear, or should we try to change that and make it one based on love? What do you think? 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Yellow and Grey

Yellow and grey - one of my favourite colour combinations at the moment :) I really want to make a skirt out of yellow and grey chevron material, so if anyone sees any please let me know!

Thursday, 4 July 2013


My sister is crazy talented when it comes to all things crafty, especially scrapbooking. She has an awesome blog - nickywithstripes - where she posts pics of all of her latest amazing creations. Yesterday I was perusing her layouts and was inspired to create a design for her made up of pictures that I've found in shades of her favourite colour - turquoise! While it was still in the process, Jillian at work came and looked over my shoulder and said "Oh, are you making a vision board?". I stopped and thought, "Hey, I didn't realise that that's exactly what this is!" So now I'm inspired and think that it would be awesome to make a whole load more boards with great pics to give me (and you!) a creative boost, and Nix some more designs for her layouts. Stay tuned for some more vision boards in more beautiful colours :)