Tag Archives: motivation

These chaps can really snap 2 (and paint)

Some fellow bloggers really enjoyed These chaps can really snap. This got me thinking:

“Hmm… let me showcase some more hot-shot photographers (and one painter) in These chaps can really snap 2!”

As with the previous blog, I have attached links to the artists’ profiles (below their photos) so you can see more of their cool work and talent.

I obviously take no credit for their work and am happily advertising what is freely available for all to view (gloat over) on the net.

Keith McInnes

Fabrizio Musacchio

 

Peter From

 

Lincoln Park Zoo

 

The Forester Artist

 

Stephanie Borcard

 

Wolfgang Staudt

 

Trey Ratcliff

The next two photos are from Ben Myburgh who previously featured in this blog as “The local telephone man”

 

And now I must read up about HDR and what it might do for my pics!

Also click on the artist’s links as some of them offer online tutorials.

Instead of ending off right here; let me be cheeky and add one of my own favourite photos. Ben Myburgh helped me edit it.

 

Andrew Harvard

Port St Johns & Other Legends

Wikipedia describes Port St Johns as follows: “Port St. Johns (or Port Saint Johns) is a town of about 5000 people on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is situated at the mouth of the Umzimvubu River, 220 kilometres (140 mi) northeast of East London and 70 kilometres (40 mi) east of Mthatha.”

South Africa Info is way more descriptive: “Port St Johns is a swashbuckling village of legend on the Pondo side of the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. It is also one of the highlights on any international backpacker’s world itinerary because of its natural setting, frontier atmosphere and appeal to more adventurous younger travellers.

The backpacker facilities in this African village are excellent. They cater for couples, solo travellers and small groups of young people. The backpacker lodges will help their guests set up activity itineraries every day, which include everything from jungle swings to unusual walking destinations.

Four backpacking establishments that come highly recommended in Port St Johns are:

The Island Backpackers Lodge
First Beach, Port St Johns, 5120
Tel/Fax: (047) 564 1958
Cell: 082 813 1611
E-mail:theisland@wildcoast.co.za
Web:www.theislandbackpackers.co.za

Amapondo Backpacker – HIGHLY RECOMENDED!!!
Second Beach Road, PO Box 190,
Port St Johns, 5120
Tel/: 081 257 4504
Cell: 083 315 3103
E-mail:info@amapondo.co.za
Web:www.amapondo.co.za

Ikaya ‘Le Intlabati (House On The Beach)
Second Beach, PO Box 32, Port St Johns, 5120
Tel/Fax: (047) 564 1266
Cell: 083 715 1421
E-mail:ikaya@telkomsa.net

Jungle Monkey
340 Berea Road, PO Box 130, Port St Johns, 5120
Tel/Fax: (047) 564 1517
E-mail:junglemonkey@iafrica.com

I stumbled upon PSJ (Port St Johns) for the second time in 2004. It has a special place in my heart.

Whilst I am no expert of the goings-on in PSJ, I do know a few things that work well for me when there:

  1. Jungle Monkey and Amapondo backpackers are great for a party; Spotted Grunter best if you want to sleep. Cremorne is on the North bank and neat
  2. The fishing is relaxing / laid-back if you want it to be; sometimes successful and sometimes not
  3. The food at Delicious Monster is “eat your fingers off your hand” stuff
  4. Cow pooh lines the airfield runway and the view from up there is refreshing / magnificent
  5. You can stay on the “cultured” side of the river  (North bank) or cultured side (South bank) – horses for courses
  6. Don’t swim in the sea as there are a lot of Sharks and attacks
  7. The drive to Poenskop is full of sights and it’s nice to fish there and have a picnic
  8. Crime is everywhere so be careful
  9. There is a gap in the mountain, which I have seen from a distance for good reason
  10. The sea is rough at times and the area has a history of shipwrecks
  11. There is an abandoned hotel (Cape Hermes) overlooking the sea
  12. The Sardines swim past in July / August
  13. Buy your food and drinks in the town – there area ample stores
  14. Visit PSJ at least once in your life if you are able to leave fussiness at home, drop any airs and graces, and “get down on the ground” with some of the locals – you will then have a laid-back rejuvenating holiday
  15. Read some more “facts” below

Early morning view from airfield

“Don’t land now as we are busy grazing”

The Gap

The birds are far & few but laid back 😉

Pic taken from Spotted Grunter side of river; Cremorne is in the rear

Buy your nuts, bananas and avocado pears on the roadside

The view from a table at DM (Delicious Monster) Restaurant at 2nd Beach

DM entrance

DM undercover & open eating / chill areas

DM specials

My no 1 dish Crayfish Thermidor

Timol’s choice of a meal

The other / alternative “facts”:

  1. During 2004 I met a chap by the name of Daryl. He stayed in PSJ on the side of a small river
  2. Whilst he may not have been an Angel and I’m sure wronged some people (like we all have), he was a gentleman
  3. He taught me few a few important things about life
  4. I did not take Daryl seriously when I first met him: he was dressed shabbily and did not have a few cents to rub together. However, looks can be very deceiving
  5. He made many claims about his “former” life. I thought him to be a storyteller of lies until he showed me some photographs that stunned me (shut my trap)
  6. He indirectly gave me relationship advice which turned out to be so true. I wish I had listened to him more carefully
  7. One day when chatting about load shedding (electrical supply cuts) for a few hours every week and how this “seriously” affected our lives, Daryl said “hey bru, that’s nothing. I never had electricity for 3 years”. This stumped us yet again.
  8. I caught a Salmon at Poenskop and gave it to Daryl. He was very appreciative.
  9. The next visit to PSJ I was gobsmacked to hear how Daryl stretched and shared that one fish with lots of people / neighbours
  10. Daryl was free diving one day when an octopus “attacked him”. His recount of this story every visit / every evening would have all and sunder in stitches / laughing our heads off
  11. One afternoon, when I first met Daryl, I needed salad dressing. I never thought to ask Daryl of all people. He offered to make me some and I hesitantly accepted; not knowing what on earth he would bring back. Daryl turned out to be a super talented cook – he came back with a fresh herb / creamy salad dressing that was so tasty. Again, Daryl proved that we should not judge a book by its cover
  12. In early April 2012 we again met up with Daryl and went on a fishing expedition to Poenskop
  13. Daryl was clearly suffering from a grave illness but made no fuss of it
  14. He slowly walked to and climbed onto the vehicle, and accompanied us – he made the effort albeit huge beyond what most would manage
  15. Daryl so unwell that he was not able to cast his line into the water – we had to help him
  16. Daryl still hasn’t told me why some call him “Double Barrel Daryl”
  17. He was an authority on many subjects

I have never telephoned Daryl although he gave me his mobile number years ago.

We called Daryl’s number last night; I’m not sure what made us do this. It might have been because we were sipping on a few beers, having fun, laughing and enjoying the company of family – the moment was good despite other heart-wrenching things going on in our lives at that time.

Alas, a feeling of sadness came over me when I heard that Daryl had passed away in April 2012 – no doubt shortly after that last fishing trip.

Below are some pics of the Legend.

Daryl in 2004 telling us the “octopus story”

The last fishing trip in early April 2012

Goodbye mate, until we meet again in person or spirit.

Cold Turkey (Everybody’s Free – To Wear Sunscreen)

It was all engines go and roaring for the UK and then Turkey in my last post. It was set in stone – tickets & accommodation were all booked. I explained in great detail to friends and colleagues how Timol and I would walk the markets and alleyways of Istanbul, and then sit down to rest with a Turkish coffee and hookah. Really now, what could go wrong?

We landed in the UK and had two days at New Barns farm outside Birmingham and exploring London CBD before I received the first SMS / text.

I am sure all of you know some of the Baz Luhrmann lyrics to “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”. The full lyrics appear at the end of this post, but for here & now I specifically highlight “Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good”. This was said for good reason.

The SMS suggested I return home immediately as my Mother was critically ill.

Within 5 hours of getting that message (only 48 hours after landing in the UK), Timol and I were boarding an Emirates flight to head back home. Turkey was out the door.

I didn’t know if Mother would make through the next 22 hours whilst we hurried back home. I sent messages asking that she just hold on a little while longer: that last smile, warm hand, touch, goodbye, word, bit of advice, smell seemed all so very important at that point but definitely not when I hurriedly left Mother about 3 days before, to look after things while I was away.

Long story short. I have been home 9 days, never saw Turkey but did see Mother tonight at the hospital. We watched a little television, shared some memories and how our days went today, got some fresh air outside, sampled the view over Durban CBD, held hands and made arrangements to see each other tomorrow.

Things are not at all well with Mother and the chances of improvement are ultra-slim to nil, but we have shared 9 glorious days that perhaps should not have been ours – I have told Mother that this is indeed our “bonus” time; like in pinball: we are scoring big and I for one love it!

Yes, our days together are surely numbered but I think that they have always been; from the moment I entered this world from her womb. It only now that we appreciate this a little or lot more.

A little advice from my Mother today “savour, enjoy and appreciate that simple cup of tea or plain apple, because you don’t know what it’s like (how terrible and torturing) when you can’t have them any longer”. Mother is no longer able to eat in the conventional manner and in all likelihood will not do so again in this lifetime.

I cannot even begin to describe Mother and the enormity of her heart, the unconditional love, care for all, warmth, courage of a Lion (she is a Leo) and many other talents.

Perhaps the pictures below of Mother and her son (me) taken about 40 years ago will provoke some thoughts.

It’s nearly bedtime for me so let me leave you with the promised lyrics:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind sides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen”

Of dreams not pursued & other Gems

I received a new email this morning from Goodlife Zen about Izzy who was an educator but wanted to become a… wait for it… a NINJA!

Yes, a damn Ninja, of all the things that an educator might want to become.

The linked article is “how to embrace uncertainty in the pursuit of a dream” and starts as follows:

“Do you have a dream?

There are those moments in time when you can see it, feel it, and for a short moment you live it.

But then you come back to reality. You feel the doubts, the insecurity. The mind starts shelling out questions:
What about money?
What will your friends say?
What about your career?
What if you fail?

It’s scary, overwhelming. You want to do it, to go for it.

Sometimes you even swear “This is it!” but then the doubts start creeping.
I can’t do it.
It’s not realistic.
Focus on your career.

So with all this on your mind, you choose to wait. But there is a problem: As long as you keep choosing to wait, you will never move forward with your dream…”

Read the full article here and visit Izzy’s site where you can see what he calls “14 Ridiculous Pictures” like the one below.

Now if you have read this far and looked at Izzy above, then please continue because I have a few more gems courtesy of other inspirational folk.

One of my favourites is “If Not Now, When & If Not You, Who?” by Dr. Cindy Solliday-McRoy who says:

“Consider this your wake-up call. I’m here to remind you. This is your one shot at your life. It isn’t a dress rehearsal. There won’t be another show. You are here-and-now, by a special one time only, limited engagement. This is it! The one and only unique expression of YOU, you are ever going to get. What a great “present!” You don’t want to miss it! So, go ahead! Open it up. Look inside! Think to yourself: If not now when and if not you who? Carpe Diem!”

Read the full article here.

Michael Josephson’s “what will matter” is another favourite of mine.

Link to Michael Josephson (image above) here.

And if you are still hungry for more; check-out my previous post “The ultimate personal growth guide” where you will find “The ultimate personal growth guide” by Goodlife Zen.

Wishing all a splendid new work week during which time you will continue pursuing your dreams or at least start taking them more seriously.

Image above courtesy of Andy Carr.

Bluff, Durban – Of friends fishing life & other things

SA Venues accurately describes the Bluff as follows: The headland known simply as “the Bluff” – a thick green belt that has a strong attraction for those who steer clear of the built-up beachside areas of Durban, Amanzimtoti and even Umhlanga Rocks – is a collection of suburbs that cover the stretch from the military base in the north of the Bluff to Treasure Beach in the south. The Bluff also forms the gateway to the South Coast with its many seaside resorts and other attractions.

The Bluff offers stretches of unspoilt beaches with dunes, rock pools plus favourite fishing, diving and surfing spots that provide sport and recreation for the adventurous. Ansteys Beach with its paddling pools and surf spots is popular with the local residents especially the surfers, body boarders and kite surfers.

A dear friend and ex-work colleague let me into his secret a few weeks ago.

Roscoe and I cracked the nod to join him for some good clean early morning fun – coffee, after the “exploration”, from my friend’s stainless steel flask was mandatory.

The sunrise that greeted us from over the Indian Ocean was magnificent.

A few fishermen were already busy on the beach trying their luck to catch Shad, the best bait being Natal Sardine.

Whilst Shad can be caught using Sardine and a unique trace, my friend and I decided to keep our hands clean and use the spoon method.

Roscoe, pictured below, was patient with us (well for 30 minutes or so..). This fishing expedition did not involve long walks, meaty bones or a warm blanket.

We joined a large bunch of fishermen, who were trying both spoons and bait.

It was a hive of activity.

The great thing about fishing is sometimes, if not always, just being at the sea, making an elaborate trace, constructing an amazing trace, smelling the fresh salty air, mingling with good friends,  taking a break physically and mentally, pondering, letting the cold water run through your toes and feeling the sand underfoot.

The fisherman below, “Basil”, was in the action.

My friend below, although going through very trying times right now (times that would make lesser men crumble), was full of fun, optimistic, energetic, encouraging and set a fine example as to what the rest of us should do under such circumstances.

I know my friend as a wise level-headed gentlemen, who I first met in 1989 or so. At that time I heard of his great work accomplishments and my aspirations were then set.

I wish him and his ex-colleagues the best of luck with the challenging times ahead. The good they have done in our community is etched in our history; no-one will take this away.

For all of us I record the words of Mary Anne Radmacher below:

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

And when a hard day nears its end ““Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”

Or better still “I will do again tomorrow!!”

A drawing below by grade 5 (standard 3) children, aged 11 years or so, is golden advice to end this post.

The ultimate personal growth guide

For a change, this post is not about food photography or travel.

However, the topic is a tool or medicine definitely needed by all three for there to be any measure of success.

Rewind: Timol, Roscoe and I are just back home from a weekend away. It was planned the day before we left.

The destination was an hour away on the Natal North Coast; a little cottage about 50 metres from the sea.

All cellular telephones, radios and televisions were turned off.

It was a weekend of beach walks, seashell collecting, fishing, reading, talking, sleeping and exploring the Old North Coast Road on the way home (with a stop-off at La Lucia to do some more fishing).

It was a good time to finish Who Will Cry When You Die? (Robin Sharma) and think about making one’s life far more meaningful.

I love a good old dose of motivation, a huge big dose on a regular basis to be more precise.

My favourite quote, or at least one of them I should say, is by Mary Anne Radmacher:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Those words are so powerful and encouraging.

And when your little voice has spoken; and you are prepared to try again tomorrow, then grow your confidence with this from source unknown:

“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

Before I move out the spotlight, let me also share my top-two power tunes.

Some of the lyrics just get me buzzing with juiced-up powerful motivation.

I won’t reveal their identities in the hope that you will click, listen and also feel the positive energy:

  1. Road to recovery
  2. On the summit 

Well now that I have hopefully set the mood, please take a good look at something I can only describe as a treasure chest of personal growth ammunition.

The ultimate personal growth guide by Goodlife Zen offers, among others, the following titles:

10 Answers You Should Know Before Your Job Interview
20 Tips that Got Me an IT Promotion
How to Start Freelancing Without Quitting Your Job
How to Lose Your Fear of Being Fired
How to Motivate Others
How to Make Lots of Money During a Recession
Man’s (Career) Search for Meaning
3 Areas You Must Invest in During a Recession
Fear of Flying: Facing the Fear of Success
10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Job
Dead Man Working
Scaling Simplicity-Driven Entrepreneurship
Why I hope the Free Brigade is Wrong
The Business of Forgiveness
The Best Decline Letter of All-Time: Edmund Wilson
A 12 Step Strategy to Refit Your Blog to the Social Web in 2010

Click right here to see and read all 100 best posts!

I have saved the link for future use; for one day when I need that one article / idea that’s going to make all the difference.

Was it a trip an hour out of Durban or a travel adventure on the road of life?