Monthly Archives: July 2013

Just keep swimming

This post is more a check-in than a proper inspired post…So, in case you were wondering, I am still alive and kicking. Barely…

I have had a wee bit of a rough time at the grindstone recently. I am definitely not going to bore you with sop stories about long hours drowning in millions of numbers; chasing/begging/pleading with people; and crapping on people while being crapped on; or give you my lessons learned in corporate politics. I still have my head above the water and I am sure if I carry on a little longer, the other side of the swimming pool will come in sight?

And the following are the positives that I am holding onto today:

  • It is Saturday and I don’t have to work today.
  • I am taking my girls to see the St Petersburg Ballet performing Swan Lake this afternoon
  • I have loads of wine in the house, and all my gas heaters are full. Thank goodness for home deliveries

I will be okay. I am a survivor. And I won’t allow anybody to convince me otherwise.

But, this got me thinking. What is it that make some people survivors? Why are some people able to plough through tough times and come out the better for it on the other side?

Why will some people look back on a bad episode in their life, able and willing to count the life lessons learnt in that period. And other people will forever reflect on the same episode as the reason everything went pear-shaped?

Believe me, I am not saying this because I have managed to survive a few rough storms in my life. I often think that my life story would make a pretty incredible book. The focus on incredible, because I doubt many people that know me will believe some of the stories I have to tell. But the main theme will be one of survival, and that there is always a sunny day on the horizon, even if not in the immediate future.

I don’t know if I will ever write this book. For many reasons, partly because my memory is just shocking. I can remember exactly what I felt like 30 years ago, when my dad had a stroke/embolism in the brain and our lives were turned upside down, but I cannot remember the name of the friendly friend-of-the-family that took me and my siblings in for a month while my mom was spending every waking moment by my dad’s bedside 600kms away.

I am more of a bigger picture kind of person, details are not my forte.

But back to the survival game. Of course I have sympathy for people who are constantly being pounded by bad things life throw at them. I am not for one moment trying to make light the devastating events that happen in other people’s life. But it always amazes me how some people can come out on the other side, able to share their experience and being a motivation to others. And I love those stories. Like the story of Nelson Mandela.

One of the most amazing stories I have ever read is a story about Alison Botha, told in her book I have Life. Alison was left for dead after a horrific rape and attempted murder, but somehow managed to get herself to safety and survived. And eventually the perpetrators were caught and she saw them being sent to life in jail, but not before going through another ordeal in the courtroom. It is an inspiring story about survival, choice and the amazing healing powers of attitude.

And that I think is the crux of it all. In the end, what makes someone a survivor has little to do with physical strength, circumstances or your pick in life, but more about emotional strength, our choices in life and how we chose to let our circumstances shape us, by focusing on the opportunities and being positive.

So, in the words of the world famous blue surgeon fish, named Dory…

dory_2525738bDory:”Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills… When life gets you down do you wanna know what you gotta do?”
Marlin:”I don’t wanna know what you gotta do.”
Dory:”Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”


Posted by on July 27, 2013 in About me


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Happy blogging birthday!

Believe it or not, it has been a year today, since I posted my first blog post!

buncee_clipart_birthday_06When I hit ‘publish’ for the first time, I have to admit that I did not know whether anyone would bother reading my ramblings. Of course, I knew that a few friends would read it, out of obligation or because of fear of never being invited to dinner at my house again…I don’t know. But I was overwhelmed with the response.

I re-read my very first blog post “Hello world” the other day and was surprised that the reasons I started the blog were just as valid a year after! Not too shabby, methinks!

It took a couple of posts before I started gathering views from strangers in the blogosphere. And likes. And followers. And my personal favourite, comments. I still get excited every time I get a comment on my blog. And I have taken a decision that I will answer every single comment!

I have also started reading many other blogs, and was amazed at the talent out there! From beautiful photo blogs, travelling blogs, humourous blogs, and blogs where people share their most innermost feelings, I have learnt so much, met so many, shared in so many stories. I feel privileged and blessed.

Over the last year, I noticed a trend. I still share my blog posts on my personal Facebook profile, and there are still quite a few Facebook views, but most of my views are now coming from followers and random WordPress users. It still surprises me when I open my stats and see views from faraway countries like Brunei Durassalam, Napal, Bolivia, Viet Nam, Jordan, Qatar.

I decided a little summary of my views, would be appropriate.

The Justcallmegertie map

The Justcallmegertie map: readers all scattered across the world!

Up to date, I have had (for me at least) a staggering 3,623 views.

Of course, most of the people who read my posts, are still from South Africa, but over the last few months, with the second most views coming from the UK, but over the last few months, I have been gathering views from the United States and Australia.

Top country views...

Top country views…

The most popular topics I have written about (according to the tags), are travel, Peru, Lima, kids, family, parenting, fitness (a wish list???), Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and the Andes.

The known search terms are always interesting as well. The most popular search term was “perth skyline”, clearly referring to the picture I posted of the Perth Skyline from Tomkins Park (which was a picture I took, not one I stole off the interweb).

Other popular search terms are:

          • lost clipart or getting lost clipart (referring to my expedition in Edinburgh)
          • adventure clipart
          • scorpion and the frog (who would thing a rambling about an ex would bring me so many views)
          • grade 7 entrepreneurs day ideas (if you’re wondering, go for lemonade!)

And then the weird….single pretoria latino women to date with whatsapp contact details. People actually search things like that?

Or who got stuck in the middle of the great wall of china? Now, THAT would make an interesting blog post!

Or safe conversations with a women here have a glass of wine. Atta boy, please leave your name and number and I will phone you back!

And someone out there is even more optimistic than me, according to this search term…look sexy while visiting machu picchu end of march 2013. Sorry to disappoint, but there are not many people who can look sexy when hiking a 4 day trail in the Andes mountains, with only a bowl of warm water to wash in the evenings…

He will not be stuck in a corner...

He will not be stuck in a corner…

And to answer this question…did elton john play in stealers just a waste of time. He may have gotten stuck in the middle with someone, but FYI, Stealers Wheel is a band!

One of the most amazing things for me has been to come across people I know, and realising how posts resonated with people on different levels. I love it when someone say they can relate. After all is said and done, we are all human beings with the same insecurities, confidence issues, but also a need to laugh at ourselves (and others!).

And for me…this has been a fantastic experience, and opportunity to tell my stories, to share my fears and dreams, almost like keeping the diary I have never been able to maintain. And I am thankful for every view, comment, share or like.

My personal favourites have been my letter to Santa, my year of firsts and my posts about the Inca Trail.

So, I am wishing myself a very happy blogging birthday, and may there be many, many more to come!

Lots of cyber hugs!


Posted by on July 16, 2013 in About me



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