Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays GSD

Happy Day of Reconciliation. We have reconciled with the neverendingness of loadshedding and have gotten solar panels. We haven’t had a gennie now for a couple of months (ours died and went to gennie heaven) so it has been absolute bliss being able to work and keep the fridge running during the power outages. Not to mention the gate motor.

Let me tell you a story about our gate motor. The battery is almost ready to go to battery heaven and during our one loooooooooooong outage – we had a delicious 8 hour one on Friday, Dec 2nd – said motor went on the blink after about 4 hours. We, during this time, had met lovely friends, Nerine and Bruce (you can read Bruce’s fab blog at http://ruminantpinkfriday.com) for drinks at zooty new spot Acid. We enjoyed some gorgeous champers at the place but inside was both too hot and too loud for our old, deaf, menopausal selves so we popped up the road to Il Contadino for some fresh air and nosh and their excellent wines by the glass.

All was excitement at Il Contadino as someone’s phone got snatched from the table in front of us and then there was an accident at the traffic lights (which were out because – loadshedding). Our lovely waiter could see I was feeling a bit jittery by the end of the evening and escorted us to our Uber. However, when we got home our gate would not open and being South Africa, our house is impenetrable. The husband did not let this worry him and happily waved our (very concerned) Uber driver off whilst I was hissing: why did you tell him to go? Whyyyyyyy?

The husband got on the phone and called our domestic (no answer), our domestic’s daughter (no answer) and finally friends of ours (voicemail) to see if we could come and bunk with them. We then had a suitably white trash argument in the middle of the road about whether he should’ve let the Uber go or not. Luckily, our domestic and her daughter had been woken up by the many calls and came trotting down the driveway with the keys for the gate motor. However, trying to open the motor is not for the fainthearted and there was more lively discussion about this before we finally, finally got into our abode. As the power had been out for 8 hours, I had to chuck all the food I had bought which did not add to my joy and happiness.

Solar Panels

It was the final push we needed to sign up for solar. We are using a company called GoSolr recommended by lovely friends, Kate and Boykey Sidley, we are renting our panels for around sixteen hundred SA ronts a month, we will let you know how it goes. There have been some glitches with the battery not charging and the electricity tripping – turning on the oven and the hair dryer together are a no-no – but hopefully all of these issues will be ironed out.

Last weekend was a whirlwind of preparation for our family Christmas lunch amidst stage 6 loadshedding, Chasing Marian being released internationally and finishing the edits on my memoir. After the word about Chasing Marian went out, the absolute ANGEL that is Marian Keyes posted about it not once, not twice, but three times, dear reader. I really have no words for how utterly fabliss she is. Marian can be going through the most stressful time personally but will always, always find time to support other authors. Like I said, she is an angel.

Christmas get together

This is also a good time to give a shout-out to our wonderful team at Pan Macmillan SA who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for us and our little, lockdown book. Thank you, team Pan Mac. If you live overseas and you want to order a physical copy of the book you can do so here:

And please, please review Chasing Marian on Amazon and Kobo and post about it where-ever possible (only good things obvs!) TIA.

Also, some lovely news is that our company, Go See Do South Africa has won a series of awards in 2022. I honestly cannot keep up with all the accolades, so I asked the Husband to talk me through them. Here they are:

  1. CorporateLivewire Global Awards – Content Management Network of the Year 22/23.
  2. MEA Business Awards 2022 – Best Nationwide Travel & Tourism Experience Booking Platform – Africa.
  3. Corporate LiveWire Innovation & Excellence Awards 2022 – Traveller Information Network of the Year.
  4. World Association For Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) SME Excellence Awards – Winner, Resilience in Product/Service Innovation.
  5. The Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism – Shortlisted.

And it goes without saying that if you need to get your brochures out and about in SA, we are the peeps to talk to!

Distribution Officer for GSD Gauteng Xolane Clement Sibanda at OR Tambo
Distribution Officer for GSD Gauteng, Xolane Clement Sibanda at OR Tambo

Film/TV recommendations:

I have been glued to Harry & Meg’s doccie on Netflix. It makes one a helluva lot less interested in marrying a prince after watching it (obvs I am married already to an absolute PRINCE, but you know, if I were in the market). I will also be reading his book as soon as it’s out. Yes, yes, I know I should be above all this. I am not. I am RIVETED. Best soap opera evah!

Harry Meghan

Book recommendations:

Marian Keyes is not only an angel, she is also an INCREDIBLE writer. If you haven’t read any of her books, you’re in for an absolute treat. I would start from the very beginning with her first book, Watermelon. Just talking about them makes me want to reread them. Yes, reader, I have read (and reread) every single book she has written – some an embarrassing number of times. For not only are they rollicking good reads, they are also deceptively deep AND are a masterclass in humour, structure, pacing and authentic dialogue. I highly recommend them.

I’ve also started tucking into romcom The Arc by Tory Henwood Hoen recommended by Schim (Gail Schimmel) on lovely FB book club If you liked that book, you’ll like this one. It had me snorting my tea last night. It’s the perfect holiday read, I got my copy on Kindle.

Book recommendations GSD 1

This is my last blog for 2022, it has been a year of extremes, some amazing highs and some very, very bad lows. You can read all about them in my sober curious memoir which will be out in March next year. I would just like to thank all of you for reading and sharing this blog, I so appreciate it. Special shout-out to my sister-in-law, Sandy who gets the Best Fan Badge. Have a lovely festive season, dear readers. Remember that when everything gets a bit much, you can always pick up a book and read. See you in the new year, my love to you all and happy reading! Xxx

Christmas Tree