Tuesday, October 13, 2009

life is good

be an optimist, be good to yourself, tell yourself something nice, smile at yourself, prepare your favorite food, take me - time, wear your favorite dress, be confident to be you, dance in the rain, pour lovely words out over yourself, spoil yourself, fall in love with who you are

just remember life is good because 'you deserve it'

Monday, September 14, 2009

Let life begin


"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to get through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that this was my life. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. "
(Alfred D Souza)
There are those days, when I feel like I am a director watching how the movie of my life is being produced, but then I realize 'hey I'm actually the protagonist - I'm in it'. Then I have to start 'acting' or better say, have to live. And then there is the best moment of all, I have this big smile on my face and realize I'm alive. I love life.



Thursday, September 10, 2009

Let's talk about sex


Let's talk about sex - HIV and SDTs...

I was privileged to visit Pieter Dirk Uys in Darling and listen to some of his advise around the status of HIV/AIDS education and so I thought I would take it to heart and finally write something on this not so comfortable topic. He said to us 'Penis and vagina are never pleasant dinner conversation topics. However, if we don't talk about it when we are sitting together with our friends over supper or having a drink, when will we?'

Truth be told, in the last let's say five years I can probably count with fingers of one hand when HIV/AIDS and STDs have been discussed at socials I was at.

I think we (and I fully include myself) all assume we do know and understand how we get HIV/AIDS. I think generally we all do. Most of us do know that the vaginal fluid, semen, breast milk and blood of a with HIV infected person have enough of the virus in it to infect another person. I think we all know that we can get HIV by having unprotected sex with infected persons, sharing needles and through mother to child infection.

For me the problem of understanding how to get HIV started with knowing the details. I will try to write this as clinical as possible. This is not about lifestyles or judgments on single hood or sex before marriage. I will just try to share questions, answers and doubts I had over the last couple of years.

As long as I was in a long term relationships the problem was very minimal. Both got tested at the beginning and everything was sorted. But as life takes it turns and partners as well as circumstances change, the spectrum around sex broadens.

So the questions that I had during the last couple of years:
1) What happens when the condom pops when you sleep with a guy you hardly know? Can you do anything or is your fate determined if he is HIV positive?

Yes, luckily you can. Within the first 72 hours you can get ARV treatment. However, you need to consult a doctor or go to a clinic. General rule should be, after the orgasm, the guy should pull out and you should take care that the condom is still on. Ladies, in my experience the best is to double check, sadly some guys don't seem to know how to use condoms


2) Will you get infected through oral sex?
These questions are highly contested in the scientific world. To be safe, be safe. You won't get infected if you swallow the semen but if you have little cuts in your mouth etc it is already more risky...so if he wants a blow job, he should put on the plastic.

3) Something interesting to try out are female condoms. It's just a different way of protection. It's a nice way of spicing up the routine. Yes, they are a bit more expensive and seem first more complicated but ultimately they are the same user friendly as male condoms.

4) Once the penis lost its erection you should put on a new condom for the second round.

5) I like cremes and massage oils but had to learn that oil based products will dissolve latex condoms...

That's all I wanted to share with you. Generally, I just wanted to encourage you to make HIV/AIDS a dinner conversation from time to time. It might be uncomfortable but might save a life!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ladies Night

When guys hear 'ladies night' they get a spark in their eyes and wild fantasies creep through their minds about what women are talking about and doing during this special 'only ladies' time. Women normally have a big smile on their face and start giggling and whispering.

I recently went to a ladies night that turned out to be totally different to the once I had been to before. We designed cakes. No, it wasn't a desperate housewife club in its mid forties but a couple of tweens and early thirties ladies creating cakes. The outcome were wedding cakes / birthday cakes which would have been worth selling good money. We had loads of fun and good chats and that is what ladies nights are all about.

Any ladies night I attended in the past was great fun even if it was without a theme, just a get together, going for supper or going out for drinks and party. Maybe it's the modern way of female tribalism to exchange knowledge and experience. I wouldn't have missed one of them. Yes, I also had some strange experiences or heard some creepy things during ladies nights but the more you know about the things happening in the world the better.

Ladies, haven't had a ladies night for a while - it's time to organise one.

You need it - you'll love it - go for it!!


P.S. And just for the men who read this page...yes, @ ladies nights we talk about men, relationships, sex, flirting as much as we talk about recipes, monthly pains, sales, nail polish. We talk about our dreams, wishes and about daily life. We go out, eat, dance, drink, have fun, flirt, meet people. We laugh, giggle, sometimes cry..

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yellow


I think I have found the new remedy against depression and bad mood – yellow. A bright sunshine yellow just puts me immediately in a good mood and makes me feel summery and happy. Hence, sleeping in my new Bafana, Bafana shirt, wearing yellow whenever I can…it works!! Ladies, give it a try, all of you could do with a big sunshine smile.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gabriella’s Song – As It Is In Heaven

Py Bäckman
Helen Sjöholm
It is now that my life is mine
I’ve got this short time on earth
And my longing has brought me here
All I lacked and all I gained

And yet it’s the way that I chose
My trust was far beyond words
That has shown me a little bit
Of the heaven I’ve never found

I want to feel I’m alive
All my living days
I will live as I desire
I want to feel I’m alive
Knowing I was good enough

I have never lost who I was
I have only left it sleeping
Maybe I never had a choice
Just the will to stay alive

All I want is to be happy
Being who I am
To be strong and to be free
To see day arise from night

I am here and my life is only mine
And the heaven I thought was there
I’ll discover it there somewhere
I want to feel that I’ve lived my life!




Tuesday, July 28, 2009

While a couple was eating breakfast, the wife saw her neighbor hanging the washing outside. "That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap." Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this." The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."
And so it is with life. Morale:

What we see when watching others depends on the cleanliness of the window through which we look.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Beautiful you

picture by Ideago

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Let your light shine
Don’t hide behind a guy
Don’t put on a fake smile

Beautiful you, precious soul – hurt so many times -
Trust the world
Let your light shine
Don’t hide behind a guy you don’t love
Don’t let your passion die
Don’t pay the price.

You are gorgeous, wonderful
You are intelligent, amazing
Don’t lose yourself
doing things for others
but nothing for yourself .
Don’t punish yourself

Beautiful you,
Warm, caring friend
Don’t be more TO others
FOR others
Then FOR yourself

Gracious,
Be you
Let your YOU be
Allow your YOU to be
Love you

( June 2009)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Women = Chameleon in relationships


I had an interesting discussion with one of my guy friends. He ‘complaint’ about women in relationships. He said he always feels betrayed by women in relationships because women change so dramatically when they get into a relationship. My first reaction was to defend all of us ;-) and to deny that it was true and that his generalization was absolutely nonsense - but it gave me food for thought. So here a couple of my thoughts and also thoughts other people shared with me. Why do women change in relationships?

One of my married friends raised a very interesting point. He is married for a couple of years and he said he discussed it with other married friends that their wives have changed so drastically after they got married. They feel that women loose a lot of the things that in the first place actually attracted them to them.

As a counter argument I would say that everyone changes in a relationship and that people in relationships generally change. I think it is natural that one gets older, that you don’t dress up as much, that you don’t go out every weekend, that you don’t really like partying and that couples rather have dinners or host at their place.
Then, thinking about it, I actually realised that couples where both stayed relatively independent and remained very much who they were, when they met, are the happiest couples.

Another thing that guys seem to pick up is, that very independent women become ‘pleasers’ and let the guy take all the decisions – where to go out, what to eat at a restaurant etc…..
I do understand the thing of having babies and being more at home, but let’s be honest, before we have babies, and even before getting married, many women turn into a couch potato….why? Is it because we have found HIM so now we don’t have to try anymore? I know myself, once I’m in a relationship, clubs and going out does not seem to be so appealing anymore. Party and dancing, yes ok, once in a while; live music and concerts also ok…. But staying out till dawn? No thank you. In contrast, I heard from women that they feel very comfortable having a relationship and spending time together as two people. They are very ‘self sufficient’ as two people and they really don’t mind just hanging out as two, they don’t argue a lot, neither don’t work on each others nerve, they are just fine as two people. 

Here the collection of ideas collected over the last couple of weeks
  • Have each your own life, your own hobbies, your own friends
  • Do not fall into the pleasing trap
  • Do not try to think into ‘his head’ and ‘what he likes’ and what ‘he would do’
  • Insist in your choices and decisions
  • Have me time – at least once a week
  • Have a date with your partner/husband at least once a month
  • Have a girls night out (a real one and not checking your cellphone every five minutes for an sms from HIM or going home after dinner back to the couch)
  • Keep your girl friendships alive
  • Don’t try to hang out at all the events/parties he does and don’t try to do everything together as a couple rather choose one or two projects/activities/hobbies that you do together
  • ‘get/have’ a life
Some more ideas? Contradictions?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Africa – Afrique

photo by Africa
Africa – Afrique
Dressed beautifully in bright, natural colours 
Diamonds and gold are your earthly jewellery;
Your people are your wealth.
Pearls and oyster shells of the sea are woven into your colourful dress.

Africa – Afrique
Your body shaped like a gazelle - strength of a lion - endurance of an elephant and speed of an eagle. Your skin shimmers in multiple tans. Your nature unifies serenity and wildness - cat and lioness.

Africa – Afrique

is your most common name but in hundreds of languages they sing your praises and lullabies. Wisdom is your birth name.

Africa – Afrique

When I look into your eyes - tears slide down your bronzed cheeks.
Your body scared – divided – cut in pieces.
Your open mouth a silent scream
Red marks – blood, rape, death all over you.

Africa – Afrique - rise - Africa – Afrique  

(flying over the African continent, inspired by other artists during Africa day – June 2009)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Let your light shine

Mandela used the following words by Marianne Williamson to inspire a whole nation.Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure,
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous –
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some of us: it is in everyone,
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
Give other people permission to do the same.
I think these words are very powerful and I was inspired by them many times. I think specially women need to listen to these words very carefully and allow their lights to shine. Remember you are ‘brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous’!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Girlfriends


Many men wonder about the friendship between women. Either they face a kind of ‘competition’ with the best friend of their girlfriend/wife or the closeness between women has made them feel uncomfortable.

I was recently asked if I am lesbian because I was hanging out with one of my friends quite a lot. Or due to the announcement of ‘not minding’ to sleep in one bed with a female friend I got a couple of strange looks from men.


So what is it? I think men just need to accept that the friendship between men and the friendship between women is very different. I know that you can’t generalize these things, but there might be some truth to this.


Firstly, I think, women have fewer issues with touching, hugging and holding each other, sleeping next to each other, being naked in front of each other.

Secondly, women have a need to communicate and express themselves. They need/want to talk. Women talk a lot. That’s why they need other women because men just don’t have the patience to listen neither do they listen in the same way as women listen to each other.

Thirdly, women normally have a different way of thinking. Emotions are intertwined with rational thoughts which is often confusing for men.

I also think women understand non-verbal communication better and can exchange their observations.


I'm not sure, maybe I'm missing something. I don't understand why it is such a big thing to men. Any thoughts, ladies?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poem: La hora chunga

La hora cuando todas las parejas han vuelto a casa

Es la hora cuando tienes que volver a la soledad

Es la hora cuando no sabes a quien llamar

La hora que grita – solo, sola, solo, sola

La hora después de las sonrisas

La hora después de la fiesta

La hora de las lágrimas

La hora de la verdad

La hora drama

La hora negra

Hora soltera

Es la hora

Es hora

Ahora

(Dedicado a un querido amigo – Mayo 2009)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Love poem for Cape Town

Cape Town – you still smiling and looking majestic from top of the mountain. I’m sad and bitter, I’m crying out – I’m the little dot lost in the busy city bowl. You don’t care, life goes on, the sun rises and in the shades of your beautiful sunset I can cry my tears. In the longing to the far away, I can look over the ocean and try to find what I have lost. Your freezing water, will make no difference to my numb heart. Your townships full of misery will not touch my miserable soul. Your glimmer and glamour will not impress my saddened face. Your masses of people and dense crowd will not take the feeling of being lonely away. Your attempt to unite the diverse and bring together what has been divided long ago, seems like the quest for neverland. For me today, my own pain seems bigger than any other scar. Your Jazz, your music, your shows will remind me that only in fiction and fairytale life is enjoyable.Cape Town you city full of contrasts!!
(February 2009)


Just be, just want to be for a while
Be, not do, not create, not make
Be, not argue, not discuss, not plan
Be, yourself, myself
Be who I am.
Be who you are.
Be with me
Be me
Be with you
Be you
Be us
(February 2009)


After the party
The party is over, the laughter is gone, the bottles are empty
Everyone went home.
I’m sitting here alone. Staring at the leftovers, the party hats…
We had fun, we danced on the tables, popped champagne bottles,
we were high, we laughed
Over, alone
The bad smell of alcohol and cigarettes is in the air.
Left behind,
after all,
it’s me alone
A bad taste in the mouth is all that stays.
(March 2009)


What is love?
Love is the light within us. Love is the empathy and care we have for others. Love is the tear of loss. Love is letting go with pain in the heart. Love is a hug. Love is to listen. Love is to let others be. Love is what makes us smile. Love is what breaks us. Love is the warmth we feel for the innocence of a child. Love is music and art. Love is what nurtures and what kills us. Love is nurturing and sowing. Love is being overwhelmed by nature. Love is God.
(March 2009)


I’m standing at the house of my relationship.
I’m looking through the window.
I see this couple loving, living and fighting.
I see the tears and the frustrations
They holding hands, hugs and kisses
Lots of love but little laughter
Smashing of doors, shouting and anger
Romantic moments, lit candles and darkness
Very little laughter, serious talks,
caring for the other but not being heard

I turn around, the sun brightens my face
And
I walk away.
(April 2009)
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