Category Archives: Messages

Online gratitude, acknowledgement and news.

Heads Up – WE HAVE MOVED!

Hi Everyone It gives us great pleasure to inform you that Naomi’s Notes has A NEW HOME: http://www.naomisnotes.com Please click on that link so that we can welcome you there! See you shortly, Naomi & Dave P.S. We’re keeping it … Continue reading

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Blogging Date to Diarise

It’s a red letter day: June 15, 2011 – at least for bloggers, and more specifically those who would like to grow their readership and maximize their marketing efforts.


BEAUTIFUL LADY CONTEMPLATING BLOGGING

Our wonderful friend Michelle Salater, who has grown her own (Copy Doodle) and other blogs to phenomenal levels of success, is hosting a free webinar on June 15, 2011 at 1pm ET / 10am PT or 7pm here in Johannesburg.

With Copy Doodle recently listed #17 on Technorati’s 100 Best Small Business Blogs, Michelle is well qualified to advise. We have also witnessed the growth of the elite Hills of Africa Travel blog, which she has developed and manages for another special friend of ours, Sandy Salle, CEO. One of the powerful things, among others, that Michelle achieves is to attract media and key influencers via the blogs.

Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to learn from her first hand via her free webinar, which you can sign up for here: How to Increase Profits and Exposure with a Business Blog. During the webinar, you’ll get an exclusive sneak peek of Love Your Blog, her “new step-by-step system that will show you how to create a business blog that pulls prospects into your sales funnel, saving you time, money, and headaches”.

Despite mine being to date a personal blog, Michelle inspires me to explore improving it, if only to share photography and ideas with a wider audience. I’ll be joining her for sure to find out more, so please stay tuned for something fresh soon πŸ™‚

P.S. While photographing our lovely friend Juanita in our studio, Jina hopped up and settled on the laptop – in her favourite position, right across the touch pad πŸ˜€


JUANITA & JINA CHECKING OUT WORDPRESS

P.P.S. Just in case you’re wondering how the screen is so legible and clear of reflected light, it’s with the help of a little Photoshop magic (sorry, purists ;-)). Of course, I had to select the Wordpress sign up page, being such a big fan of this fabulous platform! Continue reading

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Mother’s Day message

To all the Moms out there (with heart-felt thanks to mine and Dave’s), may your day be fragrant and full of flowers!


Yesterday Today and Tomorrow plant lining a walkway – Jhb, SA

These quotes are especially for you all:

“If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.” – Attributed to Claudia Ghandi

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

And two more to take the pressure off . . .

β€œThere is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” – Jill Churchill

“Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion-picture star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word “collectible” as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success.” – Fran Lebowitz, “Parental Guidance,” Social Studies, 1981

Although I’m not a mother in the full sense of the word, I love my stepchildren dearly – sincere thanks to them for the countless blessings they bestow on my life πŸ™‚

Last but not least, because the four-legged members of our family matter too, here’s a special mention for the youngest, who turns 1 today: “Happy birthday, Quest, you handsome hound!”


QUEST – May 2011

Bones are on the way, boy πŸ˜€ Continue reading

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Marriage & Romance

How wonderful to watch some of the Royal Wedding yesterday, so many years after Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s. Teenagers then, we crowded into our school hall for most of that day, savouring the moment, not to mention the opportunity to skip classes. Even in South Africa, we felt strangely included, similarly to yesterday.

Thanks to the massive scale world media of course, but perhaps also in part because of our British ancestry. At least, that would figure according to Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating book, Outliers. As for the present, though, Prince William looked dashing, what a beautiful bride Catherine Middleton made . . . and what a gorgeous dress Sarah Burton (for Alexander McQueen) made. I whole-heartedly endorse the fashionistas’ praise πŸ™‚

On the subject of weddings, we recently attended one in Botriver, near Cape Town. I mentioned our pending trip in a previous post, promising some photo’s, but to be honest I took pitifully few – feeling rather too social. Instead, I’d like to share a link to the official photographer’s beautiful blog, which showcases a stunning celebration: Tasha Seccombe Photography. There are four posts altogether, if you feel like a leisurely browse.

It took place on a wine farm in the wildest wind, lending a wintry, Highlands feel. Being partly Scottish, I loved the bagpipes, along with the kilt worn by Warren (the groom) – and the bride, Jen, was simply lovely. Apart from plenty of traditional delights, technology played a role too. Jen’s parents were in England, unable to travel for health reasons, so they shared the experience via Skype. Isn’t that cool?

Our sincerest wishes go to both couples for a magic married life, filled with romance. Being a chik-lit/romance novelist, that’s significant to me πŸ˜€ While in Cape Town, I did take the following pic of Foresters Arms (“Forries” to the locals) because this restaurant and pub features in my first novel, Out of Air, and I wanted a photo for the book’s website. We had a fabulous Friday lunch there, finding it as vibrant today as in 1994, when the story is set:


FORESTERS ARMS restaurant & pub – Cape Town, South Africa

So if you happen to take a trip to the Mother City – and fancy a British feel – put it on your list of places to eat . . . drink . . . and be merry! Continue reading

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“Time to say goodbye”

As prepared as we may try to be, we never are entirely. That just seems to be the way of it. We bid farewell to Tex yesterday, shedding tears for the fourteen years of unconditional love that’s so unique to dogs. Despite dealing repeatedly with death, it’s still somehow inconceivable that one moment he’s with us . . .


TEX AT HOME – Johannesburg, South Africa

. . . and the next he’s not.


HOME WITHOUT TEX – Johannesburg, South Africa

There’s comfort in the peace of his passing, which mirrors the overwhelming majority of his life – apart from the terrors of our Highveld storms. Here’s a pic taken some months ago, before the rapid acceleration of old age, showing the gentle soul we’ll always treasure:


TEX – older

For the record, here’s another in younger years:


TEX – younger

R.I.P. beautiful boy. Our love goes with you, like in this haunting song by the brilliant Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman:
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Easter eggs and bunny slippers

HAPPY EASTER to all who celebrate it πŸ™‚


EASTER EGGS in a basket – http://www.ovpstudio.com

Apart from Easter messages, masses of chocolate and public holidays, this time of year tends to be marked by media warnings about road safety, lending some sobriety to the pending long weekend.

With that in mind, I’d like to spare a thought for a special project which is underway at the Children’s Hospital Trust. Managed by my wonderful sister-in-law, this is the fundraising arm of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.

The objective is to equip four METRO Emergency Medical Services ambulances with specialist paediatric equipment, facilitating a hugely positive impact on the prognosis for small patients. A total of R2,000,000 is required for this purpose, every cent of which goes directly to the project. Looking at images of the proposed ambulances (Bugs Bunny pics and all) is really moving, prompting this mention.

Should you, or someone you know, be in a position to help, please follow this link for more information or to make a donation: www.childrenshospitaltrust.org.za

Either way, enjoy a delicious Easter and appreciate the bunnies because . . .

“You can’t get a swelled head if you wear bunny slippers.” – Dean Koontz

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Perfect excuse for cake

Not that we need one πŸ˜€ – but my blog turned two this week:


Chocolate Cake

And far more significantly, Dave and I are celebrating the 16th anniversary of our marriage (today) and wedding (tomorrow), so this goes out with a huge hug and kiss to the husband of my dreams . . . and to all the great cyber friends who have made this blogging journey such a joy!

On the subject of marriage and blogging, here are two quotes to consider:

“Marriage is more than the sum of its parts.” – Unknown

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list.” – Unknown

My apologies for neglecting not only this space lately, but also all of your beautiful blogs. Photography, commissioned writing, and the start of Race Season has taken precedence. Hopefully, though, things will settle down soon – after the national enduro in Lesotho perhaps, which we leave for tomorrow πŸ˜‰ Continue reading

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Saving a Turtle

Another big thank you to Hills of Africa Travel – for being simply the best! Today, they’ve featured the second part of their interview about my novel (chick-lit/romance) on their blog: Out of Air: A Story of Sheer Inspiration – Part II.

In case you’re wondering about the book’s title, a fellow writer and student on my first novel-writing course, Leilani Basson, suggested it during a brainstorming session. This followed a discussion about the inspiration, which includes scuba diving. Dave is a long-time instructor, and introduced me to it almost twenty years ago.

We shared an amazing experience once, when he saved a giant leatherback turtle from running out of air. It was held fast to the sea bed by three fishing lines, attached to triple-hooks in its mouth. Wedging his diving knife handle into the huge beak, Dave gradually worked the hooks out, freeing the turtle to come up for air. Through it all (15 – 20 minutes), it seemed to relax into a kind of trance, as if realizing he was there to help.

This is one of my most special underwater memories, contributing to certain key scenes in Out of Air, as well as the title. Metaphorically, it relates to Gina’s breathless state of being as she strives to navigate the storms of her search for true love.

I don’t have a photo of the leatherback, but here’s a loggerhead sea turtle instead:


EYE TO EYE WITH A TURTLE – Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Mozambique


LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE WITH SCUBA DIVERS – Mozambique

My sincere thanks to Leilani, and especially Dave. Without him, Out of Air would not exist – for countless reasons.

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Gift of Love

Just a quick note to say HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, everyone!

Here’s a pic of Dave’s gift. I Hope you’re being treated too πŸ˜€


VALENTINE GIFT – OV&P Studio (www.ovpstudio.com)

Also, a HUGE CYBER HUG to our fabulous friends at Hills of Africa Travel, for featuring an interview today about my novel: Out of Air: A Story of Sheer Inspiration . . . MWAH! Continue reading

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A Novel Valentine

Sincere thanks to the stunning team at Hills of Africa Travel in the USA, for requesting an interview about my novel for their blog. This has been the catalyst for creating the website www.outofair.com – artwork by my gifted stepson:


OUT OF AIR website – Home page screen shot

The article will take the form of a two-post series, the first on Monday 14 February, which is Valentine’s Day. That also happens to be the day the story begins. If you’re not familiar with it, take a look at Chapter 1 to discover Gina’s Valentine surprise – not what she had in mind for her romantic dinner Γ  deux!

Hills of Africa Travel are also the reason behind the penguin pictures on the website, because it was while documenting their magic Soul Safari 2009 that we visited Boulders Beach in Cape Town. Here’s a snippet of video we created from the encounter. If you watch closely, you will spot the camera in Dave’s hands πŸ™‚
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