My kinda town, Joburg is ... - project me day 664

It's moments like these, when I reflect back on a week filled with proudly South African moments that I think most about my far away friends. I think of my blogging sisters around the world, Nikki, Traci, Dawn and so many others. I wonder what they think of when they ready about my love for my country and mostly, my home town.

My bio used to say 'born and bred Jozi" girl until I was advised to change it. Sometimes I understand why and other times I regret not having that define me. I love being a Joburg girl that much and if ever there were a week I would wish my friends around the world could share with me, it would be this one just past.

I won't kid, it wouldn't have harmed having them around to help pack, unpack and calm the waters because moves are never fun and for some reason I felt very alone in anyone understanding what another move in my life meant to me.

Between all the box packing and unpacking, they would have shared three moments with me that epitomise why I adore Joburg the way I do.

One is culture, the other the passion and the third is the fun.?They would have climbed into my world and visited the village of a Joburg boy who left a legacy that touched the world. They would have met my gorgeous friends, who are the heart of Jozi for me anyway, and shared in the makeover fun at one of Jozi's hot spots. Lastly and to end a whirlwind tour of my home town, they would have been just in time for the highlight of Jozi's theatre events that rings in the countdown to the end of the year.

 

Gail Johnson, Nkosi's mother in nearly every sense of the word, keeps his legacy alive.

I am beyond proud that Lifeology has been appointed as the social media strategists for such an incredible project. Over the next few months I will be sharing the story of Nkosi Johnson, who was an HIV positive little boy with a very big dream. He wondered what happened to all the other children and mothers with HIV. Not only did he wonder, he wanted his 'mother', who took care of him like her own after him biological mother passed away from aids, to help him help others. Gail and Nkosi fought the school system until they made impact and he was the first infected child to be accepted into school. This little boy, wasn't little at all. He was might and his legacy continues on, with Gail at the forefront. It was a joy to visit the village last week and finally have the honour of meeting Gail and taking a walk though the second of many properties that all began as Nkosi's Haven in Gail's own home.
My friends would be so proud ... it all started in Jozi!

My incredible friends who joined me in the fun of a Bobbi Brown experience

I can see my friends from across the world fitting right in with those who all began as Twits and have blossomed into genuine, special and dependable friends. Another proud moment for me the Bobbi Brown trust in their brand and my blog. Secretly, well, not so secret, I haven't been connected to the direction of the blog of late. Unbelievably, I have never received more compliments, comments and thanks for blogging so honestly. It's amazing that, while have cheeks rouged by one of the finest makeup products in the world, at Melrose Arch, which happens to be one of the hottest spots to hang out in Jozi and being surrounded by giggles and Twitter scandal that us girls love to share, that I could be reminded of just how purposeful I am right now. We all need that. We all need to be reminded of our efforts in even the smallest way and I haven't been able to give it to myself ... so I'm shamelessly clinging to other's compliments and applying my perfectly pink Bobbi Brown lipstick often.
Wow, Nikki, Traci and Dawny ... you would have loved that day!

And after that ... I would have had anything to have them help me deal with the absolute chaos that was the move to the new house. For some reason we didn't get the support we thought we would have and it took its toll. Every muscle in our bodies ached by Sunday midday and Pat and I fell fast asleep holding hands on couch (okay, I dropped that in because it was just too cute) ... but by the middle of the day we had to scrub off the dirt that comes with moving, put on our best and paint on smiles ... because it was panto time in Jozi.

 

The amazing, world class, cast of this year's pantomime, Cinderella at the Joburg Theatre

Greggie and his family introduced me to the yearly tradition of the pantomime, which only takes place in my home town, Joburg. The build up has been thrilling for me, thanks to the social media journey I have taken with both the Joburg Theatre and BankservAfrica, one of the companies who have sponsored the panto for the next two years.

My dearest friends, you would have been swept away by the breathtaking, magical production by Janice Honeyman. Greggie said something so important after the show, that had me laughing, crying and singing along. He pointed out how the panto is in the blood of everyone in Jozi and we knew when to interact with the cast, when to sing along and when to boo the very ugly sisters (the amazing talent of Tobie Cronje and Robert Whitehead).

I have met so many of the cast and beamed with pride at the joy they are going to bring to so many hearts, young and old ... and then Carmen Pretorius sang and outshone some voices I have seen collect Grammy's. Wow, just wow!

I wish I could share the whole story line with you, but it would take another 100o words and I would have to explain so much of that production, that is born from being South African.

I've had a crap day. I'm sure it's because moves are naturally traumatic, but I feel that I haven't had a moment to myself. I think it's going to be like that for a while, but the whole day I've been doing one thing ... thinking of a sparkling princess chariot flying across a stage and the tear I shed in pride of being a part of the tradition of panto!

 

Bongani Mthombeni AKA Prince Charming!

Michael Rubenstein from BankservAfrica. The brand that believes in the limitless power of the arts and all that is Joburg Theatre


Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Jaco van Renseburg, Malcolm Terrey, Stephen Jubber, Sibu Radebe and the rest of the cast and crew of Cinderella, I wish you a season filled with laughter, sing-a-longs and standing ovations.

If only my friends where here to see my town now!

The best of intentions - project me day 663

Wow, I've just gotten home from opening night of the annual pantomime at the Joburg theatre. The whole way through the spectacular show I had the blog post rambling through my head. I couldn't wait to get home and blog ... blog ... blog.

Then I thought about the days just before the house move and pined for the moment that I can share my day that I spent at Nkosi's Haven and the memories of a little boy, Nkiosi Johnson, who left a legacy. I havent' spoken about being all pampered with the girls thanks to Bobbi Brown and I planned a whopper of a blog.

But this little steam train is all outta steam. My man is snoring next to me and I am surprised I can string so many words together. Moving is not for sissies!

Tomorrow ... tomorrow I'm going to share with you some of the most amazing moments born out of the heart and soul of the incredible city I call home, Johannesburg

And then it just felt right - project me day 662

I'm exhausted after a day filled with moving, so this is going to be so short, but so very sweet.

I can't tell you how much I just adore this house. It felt like home the second Pat and I had our first tiff over dozens of packed books. It felt perfect when his priority was using his new braai (barbeque) ?to cook dinner and mine was making the bedroom semi?livable.

As soon as the house is a little more sorted I will post pics but I get the feeling we are going to be settled very soon and magical things are going to happen in this new home.

Wow, it just feels so right ... so everything does happen for a reason ...

No comments and long winded blogs - project me day 661

Everything is so unlike me at the moment. I have comments that are unattended to and that's the first thing I ever do on my blog. I also have the most gorgeous day to share with everyone and I pride myself in blogging in real time ... but something is different at the moment. My attention is somewhere else.

Tomorrow Pat and myself begin our lives in our new home, shared with my amazing and special mom. How awesome to live with two people I love so dearly.

So tonight it's knee deep in boxes and off to pack the last of the things before a crazy day of moving tomorrow.

Have I told you how in love I am?

Knee deep in boxes - project me day 660

Swimming in boxes!
Can't talk now ...

Wow ... moving ain't for sissies but I knew that because I do it so freakin' often!

A good night - project me day 659

I snore! My man says it's cute ... how lucky can one girl be?

I know this because I just passed out in the middle of watching NCIS Los Angeles and I don't do that because Chris O'Donnell and LL cool J are too hot to miss!

I'm exhausted and it's not surprising ... the heat and a very busy day.

I have so many exciting things to share with you tomorrow ... about the contrasting world of a chidlren's village and one of the world's best known makeup ranges ... no wonder I'm exhausted. Hot dogs from the communal kitchen at lunch and champagne in a luxury store at dinner.

But that's tomorrow ... right now, I have some snoring ... I mean sleeping to do!

A day from hell - project me day 658

It's damn hot and for a goddess girl I shouldn't be cursing the weather so much.

Moving sucks for some reason, this time around and I'm in a total tizz. I have a deadline of 2 article for the end of the week and people on my case for stuff ...

Honestly, I want to weep today!

I've been driving around for painters, packers, you name it.

And the worst part is that it's Pat's birthday and I didn't even manage to buy him a candle to shove into a slice of dry bread.

I'm mortified. I didn't have one moment to get to the shops to buy ingredients for a meal and nothing I planned, did I manage to do!

Sigh ...

So I got a whole lot of snacky stuff from good ole' faithful Woolies and I'm throwing a blanket on the grass and eating under the stars ... I guess I still found a glimmer of living with courage (hell yeah), consciousness ( um ... ) and a damn good sense of humour!

The heat is on - project me day 657

Literally, it's the hottest day in October in recorded history. If I'm?exaggerating?then it's worth it because, damn, it's hot!! It was sitting at around 36 degree (Celsius) today and all a girl want to do is get her bra off. Of course I left it lying on the bed so the estate agent had to call me to hide it before the potential buys spotted it, but there's a lesson in that for me.

I've just come off a much longer than expected radio interview with Kieno Kammes on Talk Radio 702. It's been on my vision board to be on that radio station and once again I'm reminded that I can set out and achieve anything I want to.

The truth is that just 20 minutes before I went on air I had a serious heart to heart with Greggie about the direction of my blog and what my dearest friend has seen slowly begin to happen.
He sees old patterns. He sees the pattern of making my life (and my blog) too much about other people. When I do that, I can't blog properly because I'm too entwined in other people's lives and I don't want to break their trust by sharing their stories, but the truth is that my days have been consumed with other people's issues.

It's not for me to reveal their laundry for passers by, but it is for me to reveal mine because that is what I set out to do when 'project me' was born. It certainly turns up the heat a notch because I have to figure out a way to get back on 'project me' ... and make my story about me! Live my life for me and consume myself with me first before I lose myself in anyone else.

Tonight I was reminded just how powerful my story is and just how much this blog has the potential to touch people's lives. It was the wake up call I needed to remind myself about that purpose and not that goal.

Honestly, I am so detached from my own story at the moment that I wouldn't know what to begin to tell you, so I'm going to go and tackle the heat, hoping it doesn't keep me up all night. I'll tackle the other kinds of heat in the morning ... sizzle!

No more Mr Unexpected - project me day 656

He's making me toasted sandwhiches while I blog after an exhausting day. It started off fun and chilled with friends. I didn't even mind that New Zealand won the rugby.

It then turned into a mad rush to get ready for a show day, a much needed heart to heart with Greggie and then the realisation that I have an entire house to pack up in one week and a move next weekend.
The house isn't finished being painted and the guys we found are so freakin' slow. We can't start cleaning or moving across until all the painting is finished ... and to be honest, I'm feeling a very unsettled.

Well, I would feel a whole lot worse if I were doing this on my own, but I'm not ... I have my man by my side and it's so special to be able to create our home together.

That's why tonight's blog is so important to me.
It's officially been 4 months and a few days and every time I blog about my man, I feel as though I'm hiding something very special ... and I am.

It's time to say good bye to Mr Unexpected and introduce you to my very special, loving and caring man ... Pat!

There's something else I haven't shared at all and that's the two precious children that he has. They are a teenage girl and boy and they don't live in Jozi, but the time is getting closer to meet them over the December holidays.

Between starting a life together,?which is very different from moving into my mom's place with me, to moving into a home together and realising that I'm someone's kid's girlfriend ... well,, it's a little stressful! But, Pat's at my side every step of the way.

He puts up with my sudden bursting into tears, my irratic emotional outburst and my huffing and puffing when life doesn't seem to go my way. It would be unjust to continue to say anything is unexpected about a man who has taken the time to learn to love and hasn't run away or gone loopy in the process 😉

So for the rest of my Sunday night I'm going to be stare at boxes scattered around my lounge, tell Pat I'm never going to get it all done and be ready for the move ... and listen to him tell me that he believes we will, because we are in this together!

Where were you dancing to Copacabana? - project me day 655


Don't tell me you didn't do it! I don't think there's anyone out there (younger generation listening to Bieber, not included) who didn't find themselves dancing to Barry Manilow's Copacabana at some point in their lives.

I shamelessly loved Barry Manilow and it's one of my fondest memories that bonded us as a family. Okay, everyone except my dad. If my memory serves me correctly, my oldest sister was even the head of SA's Barry Manilow fanclub.

The weekends turns Talk 702 radio into solid gold moments that bring back memories from different parts of my life and this weekend was no different.
I'm a car dancer ... I do the whole bopping of the head, shaking of the shoulders and tapping on the dashboard. Summer is always best because the windows can be down and the music blaring out my open windows. I'm shameless about that too and don't even mind being caught listening to Shirley Bassey or The Carpenters.

I loved the Copa moment today because it took me back to when the song was remixed and we were all dancing to it in clubs all over town. Who would have ever thought. All of a sudden it was acceptable to be caught dancing to a Manilow song ... and I used to dance! I would climb onto the speakers at the or a table and totally throw my name away to Copa ...

Today, it made me smile. It made me think of the innocence of growing up and thinking that it was totally cool to love the Manilow. It made me think of when I danced myself silly until the sun came up and I lived for the weekends and the next jol. It reminded me that my youth was carefree and toes tappingly good, but that some things never change ... at the Copa!!

So, where were you toe tapping to the Manilow ... and don't dare tell me you weren't!