Monthly Archives: October 2010

Appetite

Appetite ↔ Action


FEMALE KUDU EATING – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa


MALE KUDU EATING – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

APPETITE

More than a motivator,
marker of hunger,
it drives decisions,
sometimes destiny

Herald to action,
heartbeat of life,
this humble impulse
will be heard

Embraced,
befriended,
Appetite begs
not only for food

Managed,
directed,
it offers a door
to understanding

Quotes to consider:

“A well-governed appetite is a great part of liberty” – Seneca

“Reason should direct and appetite obey” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Appetite comes with eating; the more one has, the more one would have.” – French Proverb

“Always rise from the table with an appetite, and you will never sit down without one.” – Horace Greeley

“As we become purer channels for God’s light, we develop an appetite for the sweetness that is possible in this world. A miracle worker is not geared toward fighting the world that is, but toward creating the world that could be.” – Marianne Williamson

“Doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age” – William Shakespeare

For another peek at Nature’s perspective, here are some lions feeding on a Wildebeest kill:


LIONS FEEDING ON WILDEBEEST KILL – Welgevonden, Waterberg, SA

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Acknowledging SA Media Freedom Day

Hmm, what am I inspired to blog about today? Let’s see…

How wonderful to enjoy this freedom of expression. Imagine if it were axed?

Today is Media Freedom Day here in South Africa, kicking off the Right2Know Week of Action campaign. The objective is to lobby our government to “Stop the Secrecy Bill! Let the Truth Be Told!”. The bill is before Parliament as I write. It could “have the combined effect of fundamentally undermining the right to access information and freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution.”

If you care to add your name to the list, which includes such luminaries as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nadine Gordimer and Prof. Kader Asmal, click here: Sign On!

To offset the sombreness of the message, here are two pics to remind us that it pays to look up. I shot them just over our road this morning, to share a taste of the Jacaranda trees that are blossoming everywhere. Please excuse the imperfect focus – it was a bit windy:


JACARANDA TREE IN BLOOM – Johannesburg, South Africa


JACARANDA TREE IN BLOOM – Johannesburg, South Africa

And here’s a quote to go with that: “An optimist is the human personification of spring.” – Susan J. Bissonette

On that note, I’m rooting for the Secrecy Bill to be stopped!

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The Case for Clean Water – Blog Action Day 2010

Don’t spill, you’ll waste it! Precious drops sink into the hot sand as I mentally admonish myself, pouring water from a 25l canister into a basin. It’s time to wash my hair and there’s not a chance the shower will do it. A scant spray at best, I’d hog our whole supply that way. This is the Central Kalahari Desert and water is scarce, so we’ve brought all our own. Along with a potent reminder not to take things for granted. Such as the basic essential that we’re blessed to have on tap back at home. Like countless other people, but unlike almost a billion around the globe. Here are a few pics to set the Kalahari scene:


DAVE doing the manly thing – Central Kalahari, Botswana


‘SOMEBODY’S WATCHING YOU’ – Central Kalahari, Botswana


LIONESS on the prowl – Central Kalahari, Botswana


STORM BREWING – Central Kalahari, Botswana

It’s Blog Action Day today, which means that thousands of us are posting about Clean Water, this year’s extremely worthy topic. Accordingly, today offers the perfect opportunity to say THANK YOU, and for that matter, in writing. Having recently visited Lesotho, Dave and I witnessed women carrying water from rivers to their rural dwellings, high on hillsides. Back-breaking work, to be repeated in endless cycles. Our Blog Action Day team have provided significant insights into the world’s water crisis, including the statistic that “African women walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 18 kilograms to gather water, which is still usually not safe to drink.”


WOMAN CARRYING WATER – Lesotho, Southern Africa

The Lesotho rivers appear clean and likely are, fed from the majestic Maluti mountains. But we can’t be sure, nor of the mineral make-up of the water. Jason Green from Protector Treatment Systems drew my attention yesterday to their revolutionary solution that removes “contaminants such as silt, colloidal particles, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, cysts, metals, fluoride and arsenic” and can “be powered and operated by children”. His business partner, George Rose, is quoted in their press release as saying: “I’ve seen people in Africa with skeletal fluorosis who can barely walk due to the mineral content of their water supply.” To read more, also of the pilot project in Kenya, visit www.protectorsystems.com.

This is just one example of the positive effort being applied to this issue internationally. Big up to the whole Blog Action Day crew for their part in it too. They offer a simple way for us to contribute, by signing their petition to “Stand for an International Water Treaty to Provide Clean Water Everywhere”. You can do that here: Sign Petition. Good for them also for making us mindful. Last week I blogged about teaching our puppies to swim, without a passing mention of the privilege of a pool. I won’t wait for our next trip to the Kalahari to say THANK YOU again, with sincere appreciation for an abundance of Clean Water.

Finally, speaking of Botswana, water and lions, here’s a pic of the thirsty cats that we found in a shower (from my post: Taking a shower on the Wild Side…together with Lions!) :


THIRSTY LIONS – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana

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Introducing our new websites!

Wow, there’s some impressive free website building software on the net these days. I decided to get with the program last week, choosing www.wix.com for our studio site, mainly because it’s photographer friendly. And – how essential is this, ladies? – colour codes perfectly with our branding, which is the brainchild of my super talented stepson, Michael. Apart from a technical hitch which has proved most frustrating, creating the website was astonishingly simple. All ‘click, drag and drop’ with no programming required.

A little background info: OV&P Studio is a division of our company Outdoor Video & Photographic. Based here in Johannesburg, we’ve reopened the studio which we ran for a number of years, specializing in modeling portfolios for the likes of Figures Models SA. More details and a selection of images, including our product portfolio, are available on the website. Here’s a preview, starting with the Home page, which features my stunning stepdaughter, Terri-Lee:


OV&P STUDIO Website – Home Page


OV&P STUDIO Website – About Us Page

OV&P STUDIO Website – Modelling Portfolio


OV&P STUDIO Website – Specials Page

OV&P STUDIO Website – Product Portfolio


OV&P STUDIO Website – Studio Page


OV&P STUDIO Website – Contact Us Page

To view the portfolios and animation, please visit the site: www.ovpstudio.com.
Big thanks and credit to www.wix.com! Terri-Lee chose another major player in free website software, namely www.yola.com, for her site: http://terrisinteriors.yolasite.com/. Take a look! She offers fabulous interior decorating, based in Port Elizabeth.


TERRI'S INTERIORS – Home Page

Strangely enough we were simultaneously struck by a similar inspiration, only to discover it afterwards. Perhaps something’s going on in our collective consciousness . . . do you have a new website to share too? Continue reading

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Heads up about Blog Action Day 2010

Hey Everyone,

Just a quick note to spread the word about Friday’s online event. 15th October is Blog Action Day, which unites bloggers from over 100 countries in blogging about a single globally important topic, which for this year is clean water.


LEAF FLOATING ON WATER

Thousands are due to participate, including the White House Blog and The Official Google Blog. The objective is to include as many blogs as possible, regardless of size or focus.

For more info, check out the Blog Action Day site at www.blogactionday.change.org.

Hope you join in 🙂 Continue reading

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On a gardening note . . .

A gasp of wonder accompanies the unearthing of my first radish crop. Composted soil cakes my fingers and filters between my toes as I double dig my veggie garden until the sweat flows freely. Swiss chard, sweetcorn, peas, carrots, potatoes in piles of tyres, tomatoes, squash and the sweetest, fattest strawberries under the scorching African sun. All of these and more contribute to feeding our largely self-sufficient community.

This memory murmurs from a distant two years spent as an uchi-dechi (ull-time trainee karate instructor) on a Stilbaai farm. It enriches the playing fields of my mind, while fulfilling a lifetime’s gardening duty. I’m also left with an understanding of my mother’s (and her father’s) passion for the pastime. After all, there’s something kind of cosmic about getting down and dirty – as any kid, or enduro rider, can tell you 😀

So I gladly obliged when my Mom asked me recently to photograph her Spring garden:


A Glimpse of Mom’s Garden


POPPY with STATICE


HIBISCUS FLOWER

Yogi Raman, the fabled sage featured in Robin S. Sharma’s “The Monk who sold his Ferrari“, draws an analogy between the mind and a garden. He explains our natural tendency to think negatively, while emphasising the importance of plucking out all negative thoughts before they have a chance to take root. Just as one would lovingly tend a garden, starting with awareness of the weeds. One of his suggestions is “Opposition Thinking”, which entails immediately replacing an undesirable thought with an uplifting one.

Great advice, with a view to nurturing a mind full of beautiful metaphorical flowers 🙂


SWEET PEAS


CALENDULAS & CALIFORNIA POPPIES


NASTURTIUMS & POPPIES

In summary, Robin Sharma states that “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts”. Something worth thinking about . . .

Oh, and a post about my Mom’s garden couldn’t be complete without mentioning Gypsy and Fudge, who live in one of the corners. They’re her guinea pigs – and grandchildrens’ delight! This is Gypsy tucking in, but thankfully not into the flower beds:


GYPSY the Guinea Pig

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Puppies’ First Swimming Lesson

‘Come quick! She’s in the pool!’ Merriam calls – earlier this afternoon.

EEK! MAD DASH . . . phew, Quilla’s fine, frolicking on the top step 😀 Quest hovers on the deck, nosing his sister anxiously. He’s totally unsure what to make of this. Meanwhile, I’m torn in two – the camera or the swimming costume?? Temptation wins! In I go, despite the chilly water. It’s a spectacular Jo’burg day, but still EARLY summer here.

However, the cold can’t compare to the captivating fun! Quest responds to coaxing, so the puppies launch together into their first swimming lesson. Both are cautious, preferring the security of the steps, but with support and playful urging they get into the game. Turns out Quest is a natural, innately confident at anything new. Quilla’s her mildly haywire self, sending far more water flying than nearly necessary. But at least it works for her 😀

Within a few tries they get the drift, also grasping where the steps are located. I’m chuffed about that, although this summer seems set for loads of soggy mayhem!

No pics in the pool, but here they are afterwards, sporting the wet look:


QUEST’s Wet Look


QUILLA’s Wet Look

And Tex looking on in his grandfatherly way. Swimming has never been his thing!


TEX in Grandfather mode

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