Choose Love

The context:
Ntokozo Qwabe, a Rhodes Must Fall activist wrote a message to the waitress who served him:  “WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND.” (The full article can be read on IOL).

I have very mixed feelings about this article. Firstly, we actually should be paying people decent wages so that they are not dependent on tipping. Secondly, We  need to acknowledge that there is a strong link between economic power and land ownership.

ResponsibilityThirdly, we need to make sure that we are seeing each other as people. Race is relevant. White privilege does exist. But, we need to work at creating a legacy where South Africa is truly inclusive and everyone feels welcome. That includes asking the questions about how to give back the land. I feel that this article may be a distraction from our real issues and doing a disservice to movements that are working to dismantle the wrongs of our past.  Because as Terry Pratchett said in A Hat Full of Sky, “Even if it is not your fault, it is your responsibility”. As a country we need to start taking responsibility for our actions and working towards a united, peaceful, safe place to live.

The most important thing that I believe we can do, is to truly start seeing each other. To see the pain that exists. To reach out with compassion, to choose love over hate.  (And, I am glad that I did not stop searching because I found that there are people across all the races who are reaching out with kindness and that makes me happy). Some people are saying that people giving a tip to this waitress is an example of white economic control. (They may be right) I see it as an act of kindness of choosing love.

Love and politics,

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Add to identity: teacher

Hello computer,

It’s funny the paths that we end up on. I can currently call myself a teacher (in addition to being a mom, and web designer). I am blessed to be teaching some home-schooled children web design and I am loving it. It is stretching me in ways that I did not expect, and reminding me of my younger self. There is something amazing about watching someone get a concept…it is like seeing a sunrise across their face and with smiles that can light up the world.
It is wonderful to watch how these youngsters interact with each other. And in other ways, it reminds me of how much my parents taught me. I don’t know if I will continue beyond this year…the immediate commitments that I have made but I am incredibly grateful to be sharing the journey with these children.

I am facing challenges because these kids are not all the same and that is part of what makes this journey worth while, I love working with these individuals. It helps me knowing that they are learning good habits as well, and I have begun to relax more. (When I confided my initial stress to Riaan telling him about the burden that I felt to make sure that I did not teach them bad habits he reminded me that everyone picks them up anyway.) I am proud to be able to say that these students understand the importance of separating structure and presentation.

It feels good to be giving back to the web design community, to the people who have taught me so much by passing it on.

Love and lessons,


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Happy birthday, Professor Sir Pratchett

Hello blog

Today, I remember a great man. Sir Terry Pratchett has shaped me in so many ways. My beliefs about humanity, and my sense of compassion were strongly influenced by him. Sir Terry Pratchett has taught me to see the best in humanity. He taught me to believe that people are people. It was him who helped shape me to believe in human rights. Sir Terry shaped the way  I think.

It is actually impossible for me to find the words to express how much of a gift his words have given me. In the past months of grief he has helped through. He has helped me to keep faith in dark moments…to not give into hatred and for that I will be eternally grateful.

He shaped the way that I look at the world and to be curious. He taught me that judgement is human but that we should not act hastily on that judgement.

Love and gratitude,

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I still believe in Human Rights

It’s Freedom Day in South Africa. Our national holiday, the equivalent to the 4th of July. We had a rocky start to the year and I have had to decide whether I still believe in the things that this holiday represents. At it’s essence this holiday commemorates the advent of South Africa’s Constitutional Democracy with universal suffrage. It was when as a country we decided to take a progressive and pro-human rights stance.

For me, the South African Constitution is an amazing document, and it represents a promise of what we want to achieve. Some parts of the document, especially in the Bill of Rights are aspirational and are unlikely to be fully realized in our current economic and technological climate, but it is a commitment to our future selves and future generations. It is where we say that we will do our best to make things like universal healthcare and education a reality, where we can genuinely feel safe and become safe. It says that we promise to learn from our mistakes…to look at our history and our future and choose what is best for the country, even if it means that it may be difficult for us now. It echoes Cicero’s arguments on Good and Evil that sometimes we need to defer pleasure for a greater gain in the future.

Even though my world was shaken when my dad was murdered…when his Constitutional rights to bodily integrity, life and property were violated without any process, I believe in the importance of the Constitution. I believe that we need to keep our promises. I believe we need to look at what our freedom cost and not give it up.

I realize that this post may seem incredibly naive and yet while I type I remember my dad telling Camilla after I left the lounge sobbing after a scene in Braveheart that I am similar to my mother. I am choosing to look at how things are and how I want them to be, and choose the better path. Just like those who campaigned for South Africa’s freedom did.

Love and freedom,

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Life continues…

However, life continues to be, as it has always been, unpredictable, and none of us can really control much of it.

Grieving Mindfully by Sameet Kumar

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Getting started with modern cloth nappies: Some things to think about

Modern Cloth NappiesHello computer,

Since we have been using cloth nappies with Lucas since he was around 3 months old I sometimes get asked for advice about getting started. I thought that it might be a good idea to write it all down in a blog post and so, in no particular order, here are some things to consider:

Questions to ask yourself before buying your cloth nappies

Who is going to be changing the cloth nappies?

My husband suffers from Repetitive Strain Injury which means that his hands are often quite painful and means that a cloth nappy with poppers or snaps is actually very difficult for him. So if any of the caregivers suffer from any painful conditions that affect their hands mobility look at velcro or a simpler fastener rather than the snaps.

Also if you are going to be sending your child to a daycare with cloth diapers find out if they have any preference.

Who is going to be washing the cloth diapers?

You need to consider how involved the washing routine is going to be. The simplest nappies to wash are all-in-ones because they don’t have any removable pieces.

How often are the cloth nappies going to be washed?

Depending on how often you are going to do laundry influences how many diapers you need. As a general rule nappies should be changed every 2 to 3 hours except when a child is sleeping which translates to between 6 to 8 diapers each day on average. This means that with our stash of around 27 nappies I can comfortably wash every second days and air dry even in winter. (Our nappies being a blend of bamboo and cotton take a really long time to dry).

Why do you want to use cloth nappies?

If you want to use cloth nappies for environmental reasons you probably want to stick to nappies made from a natural fibre (so cotton, hemp or bamboo). If you are wanting to go for cloth nappies due to budget constraints then synthetic nappies are generally cheaper.

What is your budget?

Initially cloth nappies require forking out a bit of cash. Collecting cloth diapers can also become a bit of an expensive habit, there are a huge amount of insanely cute patterns out there. (I stay away from the sites that sell cloth nappies now…)

Your baby’s physique?

Some nappies are more suited to a slender baby while others will fit a chunky little one.

Is your baby a light, medium or heavy wetter?

Most South African cloth nappies’s absorbent portion is made from microfiber, cotton, bamboo or hemp or a combination of them. The general consensus is that microfiber is the least absorbent followed by cotton and bamboo with hemp being the thirstiest of all the materials.

Any sensitivities or allergies to materials?

If your baby reacts badly to any material you want to stay away from it.  Even if your baby doesn’t exhibit any sensitivities to fabrics generally, I recommend getting one or two of your chosen brand before getting your entire stash because some little ones react badly to certain nappies.

Love and nappies,

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A New Year’s Wish

Hello blog,

It’s been a while. The year started badly. My dad was murdered on New Years Day 🙁

The trauma counsellor told me that three months is a normal trauma response and so I have dubbed this a “new” new year in my mind.

And so, here is my new year’s wish:

In this year to come may you know that you are loved and worthy just as you are. May you love wholeheartedly. May you remember who you truly are, and if you falter may you be reminded of it.

A short and simple wish.

Much love and here’s to an improving year.

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Terry Pratchett on Death and Grief

“People lived, and died, and were remembered. It happened in the same way that winter follows summer. It was not a wrong thing. There were tears, of course, but they were for those who were left; those who had gone on did not need them”
“She heard him mutter, ‘Can you take away this grief?’
‘I’m sorry,’ she replied. ‘Everyone asks me. And I would not do so even if I knew how. It belongs to you. Only time and tears take away grief; that is what they are for.”
Terry Pratchett – I shall wear midnight

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…”
Terry Pratchett Reaper Man

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WP Joburg Meetup

Hello blog,

I have been quiet for a while, but I had a good reason. I have been busy preparing to give back to the amazing WordPress community as well as helping the Friends of FreeMe Free Wildlife get a website up and running.

image credit: Stephan Griesel

image credit: Stephan Griesel

Yesterday, I presented at the WP Joburg meetup on the Genesis Framework for WordPress. It is the first time in over four years that I have done some public speaking… which came as a shock when I realized.  I had some initial nerves when I started presenting but after a couple of questions those settled down and I think that the talk went quite well.

The thing that I enjoyed the most while preparing for the talk was realizing that I knew more than I thought I did about the Genesis Framework.  When preparing the talk I made use of Scrivener and it worked very well, and I think that I am going to keep on doing it when preparing for future talks.

Due to the nature of Genesis (being super awesome, and super-powerful). I only scratched the very, very surface and about the only code that we discussed was framework.php.  The slides are available for viewing on line through Slide Share:

I only covered a fraction of the content that I had generated while preparing for the talk and so I am going to be making that available as well in the near future.

Love and WordPress Meetup,


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What I am grateful for…

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more.

image credit: BK via Flickr

Hello computer,

I had planned to write this post last week Thursday on the American holiday of Thanksgiving, but I ended up spending the day with a sick toddler.  There is no expiration date on gratitude so I am going to write it anyway.

I am grateful for so many things this year. I am super thankful for the amazing staff in the Krugersdorp Private Hospital’s medical intensive care unit for taking such amazing care of my mom in law for over a month. I am incredibly grateful that Lucas still has his ouma and that she is still physically present in our lives.

I am grateful for new friends made. I have become more active in the homeschooling and WordPress  communities and have made some fantastic new friends.

I am grateful for old friends who have stood by me and with me through difficult times this year.

I am grateful for my family…it may not be perfect but it is amazing and we have supported each other through a lot this year.

I am grateful for the things that I have learned and that I am becoming more willing to be vulnerable. I am grateful that I am getting better at giving and receiving help unconditionally.

Most of all, I am grateful that I am still here and that I know depression lies.

Love and gratitude,

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