Live Life Always

What do you choose to focus on every day? The good experiences or the bad? I do my best to focus on the good, the positive and to be thankful. My friend Sean Williams, does the same.

Sometimes this requires some creativity! To be able to look beyond the mess and in this case literally heaps of rubbish and see hope and possibility instead, is not easy. But it is possible when you are as passionate about a cause as Sean is.

As of 6 May 2021, 50 000 bags of litter have been collected.

I have been volunteering with this incredible group of people and share their vision about recycling and cleaning up our planet one bag at a time. Before the end of the year, our aim is to have collected 100 000 bags and build 100 dustbins.

It takes guts, passion and heart and Sean and his team (a group of residents from the Diepsloot township, along with volunteers) have all of these attributes and more, as they tackle the community with the daily clean-ups, building dustbins and educating others about the importance of looking after our planet and keeping the environment clean. Sean has been invited to speak at a number of schools in the area and I am excited to have been invited to join him next week, and encourage the children to become passionate about saving our planet too.

Sean’s environmental non-profit organization, Live Life Always, is donation driven and relies on sponsorships to employ the team and are always in need of help, in order to keep this initiative going.

Please visit www.swtrust.co.za or email Sean sean@swtrust.co.za if you can contribute in any form.

TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

Milk Tart Memories

This weekend marks one month since our move to Johannesburg from KwaZulu-Natal, and to celebrate this milestone, I bought us some mini milk tarts to have with our coffee today.

For my overseas readers, who may not be familiar with this classic South African dessert, I thought I would share some of its history below:

The milk tart, or melktert in Afrikaans, is one of South Africa’s most traditional sweet pies. It is omnipresent in our country and appears in every supermarket or bakery. It consists of a sweet pastry crust, filled with a mild, creamy custard of milk, flour, sugar and eggs, baked in a round pie tin and dusted with cinnamon after baking. The ratio of milk to eggs is higher than in a traditional Portuguese custard tart or Chinese egg tart, resulting in a higher texture and a stronger milk flavour.

Even Jamie Oliver made our famous milk tart a few years ago, and added his own unique twist to the recipe by pouring golden caramel over the top, giving it a “naughty, shardy crunch”.

The milk tart recipe originated in the Cape of Good Hope when Dutch settlers arrived in the 1600s and introduced the milk based filling and the Cape Malays added the cinnamon flavour. The crust traditionally consisted of short-crust pastry but these days many people use ready-made puff pastry instead. With crustless tarts becoming a trend, our ancestors would be turning in their graves if they knew some milk tarts are now being made this way!

It is served sliced, chilled or room temperature. If you are ever lucky enough to come visit and have a piece (or two) of this South African favourite, be it a traditional recipe or with a modern twist, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Lockdown Day 101

I woke up this morning at 4am and had a head full of thoughts, including this poem, which I decided to scribble down:

Haters going to hate, debaters going to debate,

It could be how you look or what cake you ate,

Your choice of life partner, drink or license plate.

It’s hard to not let it sink your heart and take root,

Especially when people band together in cahoots.

But despite of the pain, don’t claim their shame.

You are not the one to blame, don’t fall prey to this game.

Rise up, dust yourself off and no matter what they say,

Take your power back and don’t waste the day.

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In a world that is battling right now, be kind.

Race The Comrades Legends

Following the cancellation of the 2020 Comrades Marathon, the Comrades committee have created a virtual running event instead: Race The Comrades Legends. I thought it would be fun to share a little about this race for those readers who are not familiar with what is happening this weekend and if you are interested, it is still not too late to enter!

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Participants from all over the world will virtually compete, run with and compare with each other and past Legends of the World’s Greatest Ultra. As I type this today, there are currently 30 000 entrants.

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Race The Comrades Legends will run on Sunday, 14 June 2020 at 00:00am (12 midnight) and finish at 23:59pm on the actual race date in your time zone. Anybody can join in the fun. You can choose to run a distance of 5km, 10km, 21.1km, 45km or 90km. If you are an entrant in the Comrades Marathon it is free.

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You can run in any location, the comfort of your own home, on a treadmill, outside in the garden or neighbourhood, all at your own pace. However, you have to be mindful to respect the Government regulations in your area pertaining to Covid-19 restrictions.

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All the finishers are emailed a virtual medal and certificate as well as a real medal which will be delivered to them.

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However, the Race The Comrades Legends finish will not count towards an official Comrades Marathon finish!

Below is a photo of my husband and I with coach Lindsey Parry at the Comrades Expo.

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Good luck to everyone taking part. Have fun and keep safe.

World Book Day

World Book Day is celebrated annually on April 23, observed in more than 100 countries and is an occasion to celebrate and promote the joy of books and the art of reading. With us in lockdown, it is the perfect time to find a good book and let our imaginations run wild.

I woke up feeling a little sad today and thinking back to some of my favourite books, including childhood stories and memories, has definitely helped lift my spirits and bring a smile. They are the perfect link to the past and the future, as well as being a generational bridge.

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Personally, I could do with an escape to a make-believe world right now and love this other quote from Dr. Seuss, one of the most influential authors of all time: “I like nonsense, it wakes up brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

This one by Neil Gaiman is great too:

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO sums up the theme of World Book Day 2020 through these words; “Books have the unique ability both to entertain and to teach. They are at once a means of exploring realms beyond our personal experience through exposure to different authors, universes and cultures, and a means of accessing the deepest recesses of our inner selves.”

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The quote above makes me think of all the teachers and parents at home with their children, doing school work.

Dr. Seuss also said, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.” I agree! Every book has its own lesson, for children and adults alike.

“Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai

Hang in there everyone.

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Play With A Purpose

Doesn’t everyone want to #DoMorePlay? Some young children don’t get this opportunity.

This December at the Do More Foundation, we are giving young children from impoverished communities across South Africa a better start, by equipping the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres and pre-schools they attend, with high quality “play kits” that encourage early stimulation and learning through play.

We will also be training ECD practitioners on how to use these “play kits” to build strong young minds.

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For only R2500 you can provide one “play kit” for an ECD Centre that reaches an average of 50 young children everyday. Visit http://www.domore.org.za to learn more.

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I was inspired to write this poem earlier today and hope it encourages you to support the cause and share our campaign with your family and friends. Thanks so much!

Play Poem

This week we launched our exciting new campaign – #DoMorePlay.

The aim is you make ‘play kits’ available for our children across SA.

By partnering with us, you will be helping these kids in so many ways,

Through play, they can learn and build strong young minds every day.

Instead of donating toys this year, help us implement sustainable change,

Either as a business or in your personal capacity, we are happy to arrange.

I hope our #DoMorePlay campaign will move your heart and give you a reason,

To please consider helping us impact 5000 young children this holiday season.

Sandwiches Stacked – World Record Smashed

In the previous post I mentioned that the Do More Foundation was aiming to make 100 000 sandwiches on World Food Day (16 October) and I am excited to let you know that not only did we crush the world record of 57 000 sandwiches, but we exceeded our original target! Together with 50 corporate partners across South Africa, the Do More Foundation made history by making 107,418 sandwiches in one hour!

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Over 2500 volunteers at 43 sites across South Africa were allocated one hour between 10am and 11am to pull off this feat and we did it. This was an overwhelming experience and one I will never forget. In the process of making these sandwiches, a total of 14 000 loaves of Sunbake bread were used, as well as 1,7 tons of Rama spread and 1,7 tons of Yum Yum peanut butter.

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The sandwiches were thereafter distributed to children from impoverished communities across South Africa.

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The dedication of time, energy and resources to this cause, from the corporates that took part, as well as the meticulous planning and organization from the Do More Foundation and volunteers, all contributed to the outstanding success of this venture.

Even though records were smashed, the most important aspect was being able to raise awareness for food insecurity and the effect it has on young children in South Africa.

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Warren Farrer of the Do More Foundation, believes this year’s epic sandwich attempt was merely a taste of what’s to come. “I’m really looking forward to taking it up a step next year”. He also reflected on the success of the event and thanked all those who took part. “When you have a vision and an idea that connects with people, amazing things can happen. Today we helped brighten a little child’s day somewhere. There’s no better reward. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing partners, so a massive thanks to all those involved.”

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World Food Day – Do More

One of the biggest challenges facing our nation today is the constant plight of hunger and the shortage of food. According to the United Nations, over 2 million South Africans survive on only one meal a day! Think about that for a while. How many of us take it for granted that we have daily food, easily available and never have to wonder where our next meal is coming from?

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World Food Day on 16 October aims to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

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This week, I joined the DO MORE FOUNDATION as a volunteer and I share their vision, that together we can help raise awareness about South Africa’s food insecurity problem and its effects on our young children. The foundation has to date, provided over 4 million meals to people in need. It is inspiring stuff! But on 16 October, World Food Day, they are dreaming even bigger and aiming to set a new WORLD RECORD: to make 100 000 peanut butter sandwiches in ONE hour.

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I have had an exciting few days with the team, helping behind the scenes, packing boxes of supplies and getting ready for this epic event.

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I cannot wait for next week! There are over 40 organisations on board at more than 40 different sites (with 3 public events) across the country. This is one of South Africa’s biggest corporate collaborations, and I encourage you to show your support by following the conversations on social medial and sharing the love.

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http://www.domore.org.za

Potatoes For A Purpose Project

Over a month has past since my last post and I am happy to report that since then I have been progressing slowly and am now following a run/walk programme, grateful to be back on the road again.

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Sometimes you just need to walk your potato!

However, this comeback is a journey all on its own, and fear can cloud the joy of my running return if I allow it. There is the constant fear of re-injury, frustration at starting over, worrying about what people think, adjusting future plans and realizing I may never return to where I once was. And that’s okay. I’m working on treating myself with grace (no one judges you as much as you judge yourself!) I am embracing this new season with freedom from expectations, and my running and my racing will be my own.

One of the best things to come out of these months of rest, was the creation of my “Potatoes for a Purpose” project. Yesterday I was blessed to have this story feature on the front page of our local newspaper, the Highway Mail, giving this initiative some exciting exposure. I am hoping this platform will help generate increased funding for the Inanda Trail Running club, to help them to fulfill their dreams and goals for the future.

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Below are a few extracts from the article.

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Please be in touch if you would like to learn more or contribute in any way. Thank you.