Thursday, 26 January 2012

Ten Favourite Smells...

Frangipani-Africa-Style


“It was very pleasant to savour its aroma, for smells have the power to evoke the past, bringing back sounds and even other smells that have no match in the present.”
                      "Like Water for Chocolate" ― Laura Esquivel

I love the smell of fragrant flowers, baking cinnamon buns, that sweet clean scent of a just bathed baby.  Funny, isn’t it how good smells are a big element in our sensation of comfort?
There’s so much of the pleasure lost today – fruit that’s been irradiated and in cold storage for weeks doesn’t have that intense, fruity aroma of a vine ripened, sun warmed granadilla.  And let’s not talk about those perfect, beautiful tunnel grown flowers with no smell at all… so disappointing, they may as well be plastic.  

African-Rose

Of all the five senses, smell is most linked to our memories, our past; but best smells do change, our “noses” develop, and our olfactory abilities can be trained.  I have many, much-loved scents although I don’t know when or how they all became so special, but pleasant smells are very personal and we all have our picks. The following ten in no particular order, are my favourites …

  • Freshly baked bread
  • Frangipani Flowers (Plumeria)
  • Lavender and beeswax wood polish
  • Approaching summer storms (smell of rain)
  • A bowl of freshly picked, sun ripened lemons
  • Roses – (preferable dark red Damask roses)
  • Vanilla
  • Fresh brewed coffee
  • Eucalyptus (Blue Gum)
  • Ripe Cantaloupe (Rock melon, Spanspek)  


These are mine. What have I left out?  What are your favourites?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Kalahari Dreaming…

I never knew my father; his shadowy presence prowled around the edges of my consciousness. Once or twice, we met.  Central to the plot of my own existence...


... Welcome. Please go to Wildmoz to see all our new articles on Africa as and when they appear. For more, we are publishing all our African Folktales in their full version in e-books for readers, PDFs, etc. as well as in hard copies. Keep a look out for these wonderful little stories for children and adults alike at Wildmoz.com. Collect for yourself a set of twelve, in the format of your choice...

Lake-Nyasa-and-Malawi
Lake Nyasa

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Famous...what good is that?

My father was a writer… He was famous – in an obscure way – although better known for other things. His are not the best or greatest works I’ve ever read, although some of his books are considered classics.  But as I said, he was famous for other things…

... Welcome to this folktale. Please go to Wildmoz to see all our new articles on African Folktales as they appear. We are publishing all our African Folktales in their full version in e-books for readers, PDFs, etc. as well as in hard copies. Keep a look out for these wonderful little stories for children and adults alike at Wildmoz.com. Collect for yourself a set of twelve, in the format of your choice...

Cappuccino-Stock-Market

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Protest Internet Censorship with WordPress...

Join Wikipedia, WordPress and all the other online communities who are blacked out in protest today against SOPA!

WordPress.org-vs-Wordpress.com

Go to WordPress and add your name to the protest, if you're American; or sign the international petition (scroll to the bottom of the page) to the US State Department, if you're not. Together, we can make a difference!



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Wikipedia to black out; will go dark for 24 hours...


Don’t Let It Happen!

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) – may look good from far, but is far from good! Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, AOL and others have all spoken out against the proposed legislation and its threat to the Internet…and now Wikipedia! Please bear with me people, THIS IS IMPORTANT! It has the potential to affect us all and although I'm politically neutral, it is important that we stand up for basic human freedoms and the freedom of expression.


For some time now, I have had the Support Mozilla link in the upper left side of this page.You may not be American, and English may not be your home language; this doesn’t matter! If you use the Internet, this legislation will affect you…Read more here at Time Magazine...

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2104586,00.html#ixzz1jirpzbdZ  

The latest, on-line giant to get involved in the protest against SOPA and PIPA, is Wikipedia. Tomorrow, Wednesday, the 18th; Wikipedia will black out the English language version of its website for twenty-four hours. Many other online communities such as Reddit, Boing Boing and others will be joining the protest.

More Than Conquerors

Although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. The following excerpt is from The Wikipedia Open Letter…

“We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression… Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia… We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it…!”
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/English_Wikipedia_anti-SOPA_blackout


Bookmark with Facebook, share on Twitter, share on Reddit.com, share on Digg.com.

Do what you can to make your voice heard.

With all the social media available, just take a few minutes to put in a word, somewhere, even if you’re not American, in support of a free Internet.  Imagine, for a moment, what life would be like for all of us if we were to lose this remarkable resource…


Saturday, 14 January 2012

WordPress…I Slay the Lion…


I can get myself into tricky situations!  There were times over the last eight days or so where I seriously began to doubt my sanity. I mean, every kid over ten can build their own website – so what was I trying to prove? For my purposes and to tell a good story, M and I have assigned our own hall-of-fame status to five top website platforms out there, and WP became the lion.

African-Lion 
King of the Beasts
I wasn’t even sure that my poor old PC would survive...but it did and today’s post proves I’m still here. And the men in white coats never even appeared in my neighborhood, so looks like the heat’s off.  Coolest of all is that I built my first website, by myself and I’m waaay over 14…take that, all you junior internet geniuses.

If you’re at all interested, pop on over to MozimaxWeb and have a squiz at the WordPress entries, Parts A and B and then the step-by-step... err... steps, 1 through 6; aka the six steps to build a WordPress website. If I can do it, then anyone can and this is a written guide (with pictures) that I hope will help everyone from babies to baby-boomers build a website…assuming they need and want one.

Zambezi-Chobe-River
Chobe River
Technology aside, M and I are busy with our new baby, http://wildmoz.com! The ultimate website for all things African, south of the great rivers (the Limpopo and the Zambezi); with an emphasis on wildlife management, conservation and the genuine African experience.  We’ll be following the experiences of people on the ground who work with dangerous game every day; their passion for the land and the majestic animals that are their work. There’ll be some history – just the really juicy bits, awesome photos, exciting (true) stories, suggested reading and the occasional book review. As a collective, the families featured here have been living and working on this continent for generations and there are many engrossing stories, warm-hearted reflections, thrilling anecdotes, and astute insiders perceptions that we will share.


What http://wildmoz.com. won’t have is politics…Africa has had (and still has) enough comment, criticism and judgement to last an eternity and for some amazing reason the whole world feels free to do this.  Well I’ve got news for you – we live here – along with more than a billion or so other native Africans, (as of November 2009, the total population of Africa was estimated at 1 billion)! And it’s a whole lot more complicated than anyone realizes, so please, leave politics out of it and just enjoy the safari…
  

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Elephants Crossing the Chobe River…


The project I wrote about here is almost ready to be revealed. Along with the completion of this particular venture, exciting possibilities have appeared; prospects that cannot go unheeded and I’ll be sharing more of these new paths before long.


African-Elephant
Elephant - Zimbabwe
Sitting here, very close to the southernmost tip of Africa, the elephant doesn’t feature much in our local wildlife scene anymore.  Back in the day (Oh, about 300 years ago) there were many elephants in the Cape.  Human expansion over centuries has almost eliminated elephants here, and today there are only a few known specimens of Cape elephants living near Knysna and Addo in the Eastern Cape.
African-Zambezi-Elephants
Elephants Crossing the Chobe River - Botswana
Fortunately, for us and the elephant, there are other parts of Africa more tempting for elephant habitation… here’s a glimpse of what life can be like if you’re an elephant, without pesky humans plowing up the natural bush, paving over the savannah, sticking buildings everywhere and just generally getting in the way.  

Tanzania-Uluguru-Mountain-Stream
Uluguru Mountains - Tanzania
Imagine, having a whole slice of river all to yourself – and your other twenty or so relatives.  Mind you, if I had a choice, I’d pick this lovely pool and these pretty little falls in the Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania… Mmm, and not so much family; at least not to bathe with!  Imagine, after the heat and dust of the plains below, this is waiting...

Tanzania-Uluguru-Mountain-Waterfall
Anyone for a Swim?


The picture of the Chobe River is too small - I have purposely selected "large" for these photos so that you can click on them to see the elephants (and the scenery) better.

Friday, 6 January 2012

A Whole New Year…

After an unusually full holiday season, the beaches and the roads are emptying as the holidaying multitudes head back to daily routine and into the promise of the New Year. 
West-Coast-Beach-South-Africa

Marking one of the highlights of the season; this short hiatus between the old and new; the past year can be weighed by the entries in its diary, lending impetus to change and growth. I so love this time of year with all the reflections on the year just gone and the potential of the year unfolding before me.  I love the new diary in my hands; the blank pages thrill me with anticipation and as I transfer important dates and anniversaries, I find wonderful surprises, accomplishments forgotten in the bustle of the busy year just gone. 

New-Diary

One New Year’s Eve, in Scotland; I think 2008, I was sent a quote (see below) that has impacted on me ever since… The simple thought that potential could exist in my life was a 180 degree shift from where I had been and opened a whole new world of opportunity. Everything, anything became possible and as the reality sank in I was freed from a lifetime of self-contempt and all the damaging emotions that come with being in that place.  I still walk through the rooms, planning improvements, contemplating changes…But now it is with a pleasurable anticipation... 

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room-by-room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

~ Ellen Goodman


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