Goodmorning Cape Town, from Melbourne

A lot about Melbourne reminds me of Cape Town. The weather when it’s mild, easy access to beaches, malls all over the place and Christmas in summer amongst other things.

The outdoors lifestyle and relaxed way of life is similar too. Not forgetting sport! Especially cricket.

Here in Melbourne poverty isn’t noticeable at all – it certainly doesn’t exist even 1% of the extent it does in Cape Town. Houses are generally huge and I heard on the news the other day that the average house in Australia costs around AU$540 000 (about R4,3million!)

What I find most notably different from Cape Town is that people just are not as friendly in Melbourne. Greeting strangers is very rare. The odd person has shouted a hello here and there, but it is not the norm as far as I have experienced in my two weeks here.

At home walkers, runners and cyclists doing their morning/evening session greets everyone they meet along the way back home. In Melbourne it just doesn’t exist. And we have been on a few walks.

People are not unfriendly at all, in fact they go out of their way to be nice. There just isn’t the same warmth as at home. Maybe it’s just me since Cape Town happens to be my home.

Don’t get me wrong. I like it here. I like being a visitor here.

You don’t have to hang onto your
belongings for dear life when you leave home. If you forget to lock your front door it doesn’t turn into a major catastrophe. Your chances of being a victim of violent crime is basically zero here.

Public transport is clean and generally safe.

I couldn’t live in Australia though. Even as an introvert I enjoy the way we embrace strangers (literally and figuratively), the way we speak to people who are not part of our inner circle. The way we accept people for who they are.

I’m surprised that of all things I noticed the friendliness factor, because I sometimes get annoyed at home when it seems like I can’t leave my home without having to greet half of Kenilworth and Lansdowne.

I think when I get home in 10 days time, I will appreciate our friendly hospitable people most of all. Those people who it so much better than I do.

Before I left Cape Town in mid-December many people told me to just see that I return. As if I would ever consider not doing so.

The Paleo Diet

It’s that time of year again – when we look at trimming down in the new year.

While I still don’t personally do diets, because I would never be able to stick to an eating plan.

But some people like having the discipline of planned meals and exercise programmes.

The Paleo Diet is all about eating meat, nuts, fruit, vegetables and seafood. But no grains, dairy or gluten and minimal carbs.

Celebrities like Megan Fox and Uma Thurman have apparently followed this diet.

The diet supposedly takes one back to the Stone Age when hunters had to gather food in the natural environment. Surprisingly they gathered no legumes like beans, peas and lentils.

Primarily the diet consists of:
1. Lots of Animal fat (meat)
2. Fibre from fruit and vegetables
3. Moderate amounts of essential fatty acids.
4. Foods with high potassium and low sodium content.
5. Foods rich in antioxidants.
6. Probiotics from plain yoghurt.

1 Snacking between meals
2 Salt and sugar – eat honey instead
3 Refined and processed food
4 Ceral grains
5 Legumes and pulses
6 Dairy produce, except plain yoghurt.


The least of my concerns about travelling to Australia was jet-lag.  But boy oh boy, did it hit me really bad!

I arrived in Melbourne at around 2.30 in the early hours of Wednesday morning and as expected was sent to the ‘special’ customs where my bags were double checked.  A South African woman travelling alone rises some suspicion it seems.  I wonder why.

The process was painless and relatively fast as I had nothing remotely illegal in my possession. Not even a packet of Niknaks! And after flights that totalled 25 hours and another 2 hours on the ground, Australian customs was a walk in the park.

I travelled on Emirates Airline  from Cape Town to Melbourne, via Dubai and suprisingly Kuala Lumpur.  Suprisingly only because it was supposed to be a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, but when we got there we had to disembark and wait because another passenger had, according to the announcement, gotten sick on the plane and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance. I reckoned a fault was found on the plain or something to that effect.

Anyway, I’m here in Melbourne and as before, it reminds me a lot of Cape Town.  But without the mountain in the middle of the city and not that many coloured people.  The weather at the moment is similar to when I left Cape Town – mild temperatures.  Blowing hot and cold all in one day.

We went to Southland yesterday, a mall not far away from where I’m currently staying.  The best thing about the mall is the fast food places.  So much other than pizza, burgers and fried chicken to choose from. I had a fried vegetable pancake from a chinese deli. And a coke.

When I got back home at around 3.30pm, I was told not to go sleep as I had to get used to the Melbourne time-zone.  Easier said than done because jet-lag had set in big time.

I went to nap anyway. For about a half hour.

By 8.00pm I was finished.  Done for the day – holiday or no holiday.  My eyes refused to remain open.

Today is a day of chilling out and more sleeping but my holiday starts in earnest later today with everyone else going on leave. 

So I’ll get to Google now and plan some things for us to do for the next few days.

Hopefully this jet-lag thing goes away soon!



7de Laan Spoilers – January 2012

Monday 2 January 2012
Episode 2646

An old friend returns to the Laan. Marcel opens up towards Ryno about her feelings. Who will be cast as the lovers in the play?

Tuesday 3 January 2012
Episode 2647

Zinzi finally meets Tumi on a webcam date. But how long will she now be able to keep up the false front? Gita has the contract ready, but can Willem come up with the final amount?

Will Marcel continue working for Ryno?

Wednesday 4 January 2012
Episode 2648

Marko tells Xander about Miss Madeleine’s ultimatum. Kim’s flirting with Pieter irritates the living daylights out of Annelie.

Gita sees Willem in a suspicious situation.

Thursday 5 January 2012
Episode 2649

The matric results are out. Will Errol pass matric with exemption? Tumi sees Zinzi in an awkward situation through the webcam.

Will Hilda’s attempt to bake Vince’s famous mango mousse cake lose the deli an important client?

Friday 6 January 2012
Episode 2650

Aggie finds a new outlet for her jewellery and there’s a crisis at rehearsals. Alan brings Gita a juicy piece of info about Willem and Mariëtte.

Monday 9 January 2012
Episode 2651

Who will be the play’s new director? Ryno feels a pang of jealousy when an old friend phones Marcel. Gita plays cat and mouse with Willem.

View detailed spoilers for January 2012

Who will be the play’s new director? Ryno feels a pang of jealousy when an old friend phones Marcel. Gita plays cat and mouse with Willem.

Zinzi is a nervous wreck when Tumi shows up in Hillside. What will Hilda do when she sees that Matrone can’t keep her hands off Oubaas during rehearsals?

Maria receives bad news about her house in Qwa Qwa.

An old friend of Marcel’s rocks up at her and Ryno’s romantic dinner. Zinzi realises Tumi is the one and Gita approaches Willem with a new money-making scheme.

Will Mariëtte fall for Gita’s new deal? Why does Marko ask Bernard if there’s something between Paula and Altus? Will Tumi discover the truth when he visits Zinzi at Hillside Travel?

Mariëtte is upset by a strange phone call. Annelie warns Zinzi that she is taking her attempt to impress Tumi too far. Simon makes no secret of the fact that he really likes Marcel.

16 – 20 Jan

Will Hilda be able to control herself when she sees Matrone flirting with Oubaas during rehearsals? Will Willem and Mariëtte accept Gita’s proposal?

How will Altus react when he realises that Marko has Paula in his sights? Mariëtte hits upon a plan to raise the money for Gita’s deal. Paula has a brilliant idea for the Miss Madeleine launch.

Is something cooking between Paula and Marko? Will Willem sign Gita’s contract? Tumi makes an unexpected confession to Zinzi.

Oubaas confronts Paula over her unpaid rent and Marko gives her an ultimatum. Gita bares her claws while she, Willem and Mariëtte celebrate their business contract.

23 – 27 Jan

Who is going to win the raffle? San-Mari encounters a crisis on the eve of the concert. What will Willem do when he realises Gita outwitted him?

It’s the night of the play and two of the characters cause an upheaval – with longlasting results. An old friend returns to Hillside.

The play was a great success … but have they succeeded in raising enough money to buy computers for the orphanage? Aggie gets another order for her jewellery and Xander gets a surprising call from his mother.

Will head office like Marko and Paula’s idea for the Miss Madeleine function? Vince is upset about his mother is moving to Johannesburg. Will she accept Bonita?

Why does Altus suddenly hand over the Miss Madeleine project to Diederik? Charmaine has her doubts about Daleen’s motives and the big day for Annelie’s Miss Madeleine photoshoot dawns.

More spoilers to follow…

7de Laan Spoilers December 2011

1 – 8 Dec

Diederik surprises Pieter with a confession, Altus gives Xander a talking to about Vanessa and Ryno doesn’t like the idea that Marcel might accept a job in the Cape.

Altus warns Willem against Gita, Ryno approaches Marcel with a proposal and is something cooking between Diederik and San-Mari?

Paula tries yet another plan to get rid of Flooze, Aggie has to decide whether she wants to continue the jewellery business and San-Mari discovers a new side to Diederik. 

Will Willem fall for Gita’s charm?
Oubaas discovers the cause of his heartburn, Diederik is involved in small accident and Bernard has ‘n great idea to raise funds for the children’s home.

Felicity is back from, Oubaas plans an anniversary surprise for Hilda and Xander  tries to reach out to Vanessa.

9 – 15 Dec

Oubaas decides on his  anniversary surprise for Hilda, Zinzi goes on a blind date and Xander tells Vanessa that he loves her.

Aggie receives bad news about a jewellery order, Diederik is in hot pursuit of the Flooze and Paula has a bright idea of how to finally get rid of her.

Marcel makes a breakthrough in her research for Ryno’s book, Vanessa makes a final decision regarding Xander and Oubaas and Hilda fall in love all over again as they dance to Ollie Viljoen’s surprising new sound.

What will Diederik do when Rowwe Jack rocks up with Flooze at their date?

Gita and Willem are head over heels, Aggie is still in two minds over whether or not she should continue the jewellery business and Zinzi joins an internet dating site.

A distracted Willem receives a phone call from a girl and claims that it’s from his sister. Will Gita believe him.

More to follow shortly