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Getting lost in the details

By on Nov 24, 2014 in Musings | 0 comments

As I become older I become more aware of my short comings and bad habits. This year has been a particular rollercoaster of self discovery for me. Now that we are expecting a baby I’ve found that I am suddenly trying to experience myself through the senses of a child – you learn quite a lot about yourself that way! Of course with 2014 drawing to a close now I am also thinking of what goals I would like to set for 2015. 2014 was great for me in terms of the goals I set last year this time, they were nice, achievable, concrete goals and as such they all were achieved. I’d like to do the same thing for next year, but this time I want to focus less on life in general and more on me. I have a terrible habit of being reactive and of getting stuck in the details of a task or an event. For instance, when a Red Buffalo Trading order comes in over a weekend I am like a tornado through the...


By on Nov 20, 2014 in Inspiration - Thoughtful Thursdays | 0 comments

Trust your hunches.
They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.

Dr. Joyce Brothers

Empty streets

By on Nov 17, 2014 in South Africa | 6 comments

I am home; back in Stellenbsoch were I grew up. Stellenbosch is one of those towns that is absolutely postcard perfect. It is a town filled with white gabled Cape Dutch homes with immaculate lawns and tree lined avenues, surrounded by mountains that look as if someone sat down and painted them onto the horison. Not only is Stellenbosch breath takingly beautiful but it is also almost completely empty – at least compared to Kunming it is. When I walk around our neighbourhood there are of course people, but they are dotted around like props in a movie. Here and there, there is someone walking their dog, strolling along pushing a pram, jogging in high fashion running gear or pottering around in their rose gardens. A far cry from Kunming’s bustling streets with its flower and  veggie vendors, delivery trucks, ebikes and busses. I think the lack of people is the thing that I notice...

Friendship is born when…

By on Nov 13, 2014 in Inspiration - Thoughtful Thursdays | 4 comments

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C.S. Lewis Being amongst really good friends is a feeling like non other. There is something so special about being with people who just ‘get’ you. You don’t even have to say anything, they just know what is up. Friendships like that have become harder to find as I get older, and I find myself cherishing the times I have my friends around me. Even though we have drifted geographically apart as our lives lead us to China, Canada, Norway or the different suburbs of Cape Town, we somehow still pick up where we left off each time we meet. The next few months I have many of my good friends around me here in South Africa, and I want to make sure they know how much I love them, I want them to know how much their friendship has meant to...

The mushroom hunters

By on Nov 10, 2014 in Travel in China | 2 comments

When the rains start in Yunnan, it signals the start of the mushroom season. Suddenly the street markets are filled with folks from all corners of Yunnan, selling baskets of exotic looking mushrooms, and the hotpot restaurants start offering mushroom hot-pots. Yunnan province is 90% mountainous, ranging from altitudes of 76m above sea level to 6700m above sea level. The range of geological diversity produces about 600 of the 2000 edible species of mushrooms in the world. Yunnan mushroom exports total a billion dollars annually, resulting in many rural farmers quitting more mainstream jobs, such as construction work, just to focus on mushroom harvesting and trading during the monsoon season. But the forests of Yunnan are not only filled with rural villagers collecting mushrooms…. A new breed of mushroom hunters entered the forests in 2012, they are the scientists of ICRAF, (the World...


By on Nov 6, 2014 in Inspiration - Thoughtful Thursdays | 2 comments

It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

Paulo Coelho