Thursday, 22 December 2011

National Geographic Photo Contest 2011

Please click on the link below to see some incredible photographs. I thoroughly enjoyed having a long look at them all. We surely live in a beautiful world.

http://m.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/11/national-geographic-photo-contest-2011/100187/

Sandy Bigara

Monday, 19 December 2011

Bon Jovi Dead. Hoax Exposed.

The internet was buzzing yesterday with rumours of Jon Bon Jovi's death.

The singer is very much alive and well, posting a picture of himself on Twitter with a dated hand written card saying "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey"

The hoax started with a 'news article' posted on 'dailynewbloginternational' and seems to be the only article on the blog. The reason for the hoax is unclear and large sections of the article were lifted verbatim from an article about the death of Michael Jackson.

Here's what Jon had to say about it: http://m.facebook.com/BonJovi?_rdr

We're all glad that he is alive and well!

Sandy Bigara.

References:
http://m.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jon-bon-jovi-death-275490

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/12/false-news-report-about-bon-jovi-death-appears-to-copy-times-story.html

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Rising Sea Levels

Read the article linked below.

http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-spectator/revealed-the-sea-level-scam/317232421639701

Monday, 28 November 2011

ANIMAL TAIL @ The Catalina 13th-22nd December!

ANIMAL TAIL by Sandy Bigara
- Bookings are now open for this fantastic fun-filled children's show! -

Sing with Durban's very own DandyLion, listen to gorgeous stories, laugh out aloud at silly animal characters, sing-a-long, dance-a-long and more! Ages 3 and up.

Bookings: Catalina 031 3056889 or www.strictlytickets.com.

Time: 11am daily (excl Mon 19th)

Dates: 13th – 22nd Dec.

Price: R45 (Added boat ride: R60)

Block Bookings: 10ppl or more: R40 (Added boat ride: R55)


Click link below:
http://m.facebook.com/event.php?eid=146722845428237&refid=46&_ft_a=1338511229&_ft_tf=187740714644438&_ft_tpi=654046745&_ft_ti=17&_ft_sai=2309869772&_ft_fth=4b4fedfcc2e83bc1&_ft_time_ft=1321957776

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Kittens Needing a Good Home

Click on the link to view the info and pictures of each kitten, if you're in Durban, South Africa and you'd like to adopt one of these little ones, please don't hesitate to contact Shanyn.

Shanyn took in the Mother cat Gem and has helped her with her litter - Gem and her Kittens need to find homes now.

The following album is "public" so you can share it with anyone that you think would be interested:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150374058866746.343272.654046745&type=1&l=55415d4507


Sandy Bigara

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Second Chance Donations Appeal - S.A.

Dear Friends of Second Chance

As many of you know, Second Chance is currently going through an extremely difficult time. We have been hit with a terrible outbreak of Toxoplasmosis – we have a strain that is deadly and we have already had one casualty since the outbreak was diagnosed yesterday, we have some more that may have to be hospitalized and we are going through a lot of medication, the medication that we are currently using does not seem to be effective, so we are trying to source an alternative – we have been told that the alternative medication is extremely expensive. Our vet bill is starting to climb extremely high although our vet is trying to assist us as much as possible on welfare rates.

We are therefore left with no other alternative than to ask for assistance – whether it be financial or with donations of food (food donations will assist us because we can use the finances that would have been used for food towards the vet bills). We would also need donations of Bleach and other cleaning equipment if possible.

At Second Chance we pride ourselves to keep the casualty numbers as low as possible by acting fast and trying to gain control of the situation as fast as possible, we, however have never seen such an aggressive outbreak and we are seeing more infected cats by the hour. Within two days we have 32 cats that are showing symptoms, 6 of these are severely ill. We simply cannot take on this huge task without assistance and prayer.

I have listed the details of our vet below, as well as Second Chance's banking details – please note that it is extremely important that you let us know that a donation has been made into the vet bill so that we can consolidate the payments with them. Also, feel free to contact them on the listed numbers for any questions you might have.

Second Chance's Primary Vet Banking Details:
Brighton Beach Veterinary Clinic
Contact tel 031 466 2449
Nedbank Bluff
Branch Code 130826
Account Number 1308119453
Ref: Second Chance Sanctuary

Second Chance Banking details:
FNB Bluff
Branch Code 250135
Account Number 62239003578
Ref: Name and Telephone number

The following foods are used by Second Chance:

Wet food (any of the following):

Pets Mince from Bluff meat supply
Chicken
Chicken Livers and/or hearts
Pampers Tins (Saucy Mince)
Petley's Tins
Lucky Pet (for the sick ones that do not want to eat)
Cape Point Mackarel Tins (in the human food isle)
Pilchards in Tomato Sauce

Cleaning Equipment (any of the following):

Bleach
Tile cleaner
F10 foggers
F10 SC disinfectant
Environvet
Dishwashing liquid (also used to clean the floors – hehe)

We thank you in advance and hope that you will be able to forward this mail on to anyone that may be able to assist.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Spam Spammity Spamspam

We've all seen them. We have all ignored them at some point, and shamefully, we have all copy-pasted at one point or another.

Let's delve into the inner workings of no-doubt troll-created BBM and Facebook status spammys.

What are the best/worst you've ever seen? There are some really funny ones out there.

The next topic I will address is the "Photograph with inspirational message" phase that most women over the age of 35 seem to indulge in.

I've tried to create a hybrid, it's an ugly stupid beast of a status spammy but here goes...

Let's break it down now:

"Would you do me a favour and post this as your status for one hour?..." (Notice the personalisation here, works every time *not really but anyway*)

"...If you believe that everyone should reach their dream..." (Keep it random and open ended, emotional status copiers love this, they'll be like 'sob!' 'sniff!' "Let me help someone reach a dream by posting this kak status!")

"...Then repost this..." (Obvious reiteration here, remind them why they're even reading this kak status.)

"...Make sure you post it on my wall..." (Yes, Facebook friend, I have the time to do all that and still post it on your wall. Gotcha. Sure thing. See you there.)

"...I already know who will..." (Peer pressure at its brightest, friends will think "ohmaigah! She'll just know I didn't do it!")

"...If you don't repost..." (See the change in tone here? It's the twist in the tale, er, in the kak status.)

"...Then giant llamas will sit on your face, and a child with a mild hernia will die..." (Let's just be creative here, why not? If they're still reading they might just copy paste...)

"...You have 42 seconds to repost this (More randoms, adding random time frames seems to be a winner, it shows that your kak status is legit. For reals. They skrik because it's taken them 20 seconds to read it so time is min.)

"...Just do it and see who will give you money..." (Adding a money hook always works. Heck. I love money.)

Let's keep the spam coming. No, really. Stoppit.

Sandy Bigara

--------------------------

Here it is if you'd like to try it out on FB or BBM :o) Lol!

"Would you do me a favour and post this as your status for one hour? If you believe that everyone should reach their dream...Then repost this. Make sure you post it on my wall, I already know who will... If you don't repost, Then giant llamas will sit on your face, and a child with a mild hernia will die. You have 42 seconds to repost this. Just do it and see who will give you money..."

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Fireworks: Pet Advice

It's *that* time of year again.

The time of year when people forget all decency, and feel the overwhelming need to set fire to things that go **bang**. I, myself, cannot fathom the obsession, and feel that the fear and trauma inflicted upon our poor pets is just not worth the pop and whizz of a firework display. Diwali, Guy Fawkes, Independence day, New Years... I don't give a shizz whether it is religious, celebratory or society induced: fireworks are selfish and unnecessary.

But, my feelings aside, here are some helpful tips with regard to assisting your beloved family pet during the crazy season.

Forewarned is fore armed - watch your calendar's, be aware of 'Firework' nights and take precaution. Because, fireworks will continue, the people funding and utilising these noisy crackers are not in the least concerned about *your* pet. They want a bang and a bang they shall have.

Some tips for 'Firework' nights taken from: http://www.ci.desoto.tx.us/index.aspx?NID=1307

1- Make sure your dog has his collar and ID tags on.

2- Make sure you have a current photograph of your dog available to hand out to neighbors should he become lost.

3- If possible, stay home with your dog – especially if he is prone to storm anxiety or has shown signs of anxiety with fireworks in the past.

4- Do not take your dog to a fireworks display.

5- If at all possible keep your dog in a secure area indoors. If he is used to being crated, that is the best place for him. If not, crating him could actually increase his anxiety. If your dog will be loose in the house, it is a good idea to close the shades and curtains and turn all the lights on so that he will not notice the flashing of the fireworks. Also turn the TV on and increase the volume a bit so that the ka-booms and whistles will be muted.

6- If you are unable to keep your dog indoors or he is not used to being inside, make sure his outdoor area is secure. Dogs that do not normally jump over, dig under or chew through fences have been known to do this when fireworks begin. Tethering your dog during fireworks can be dangerous. In a panic, he may become entangled in the tether and choke.

7- If your dog does get out and becomes lost start looking for him as soon as you discover he is gone. Because he will be in a panic, he could go farther than he normally would in a much shorter period of time. On the contrary, he may be hiding under a bush on your front porch – too scared to come out.

Another fantastic site is: http://www.iheartpaws.com/articles/154/1/How-to-Help-Your-Thunder-and-Fireworks-Scared-Dog-by-Martha-Windisch/Page1.html Worth looking at if you are an. Animal lover.

I also enjoyed the practical approach given at: http://www.ehow.com/m/how_2362778_ease-dogs-fear-fireworks-.html A lot of the time, it is the owner's behaviour that starts the 'fear cycle' in pets.

I hope that you all see through to the New year with no lost or injured 'furry family members' :o(


Take care

Sandy Bigara

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Hero's: Why Have They Changed So Much?

Confined to a morning of bed rest after having a bit of a wobble (too much stress, deadlines looming, and the loss of a friend on Sunday) and paging through a magazine about DVD's, I saw one ugly character after another... Which begs the question, do they think it is charming? Is it a more realistic body image to portray? I have to be honest. I miss Prince Charming, Sinbad and Aladdin. Those guys were a bit of alright. My boy cousin's wanted to 'be' them.

- When will Digital Animators return to the 'old days' style of handsome painted hero's... And give us a hero that isn't facially challenged and in need of orthodontic assistance? (Arthur Christmas, Ratatouille, Up, Ant Bully, Monster House and more...)

Where is it written "All digital hero's must be gangly (or obese), disproportionate, dentally mal-aligned and must appear to be dim witted... Oh, nose and ears must also be greatly exaggerated."

I cannot think of one 'handsome' digi-cartoon hero!




Sick Sandy Bigara

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Book Launch Soon!

This is it!

My book launch is this friday at the stunning www.uptonhall.co.za - I can't wait!

Due to the incredible generosity of certain women in my life I have almost all of the money for the launch, I have had a great response to the invitations and I am confident that it will be a fabulous evening!

I can't wait to thank everybody by name.

xx

Sandy Bigara
www.thorngateseries@blogspot.com
Sent from my BlackBerry®

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Natural Botox and Skin renewal

Want to look younger? Don't want plastic surgery? Don't like the idea of botox? Well then, read this: http://consumerproductsdaily.co.uk/indexi.php?&t202id=300055&t202kw=ca&match=&c3= It's all about the combination of two products - Relift XS & Juveneu. Combined, they reduce wrinkles and make the face more youthful... Try it. Let me know!

Relift website:
http://www.reliftxs.com/nid468/?AFID=447670&SID=369623542

Juvenue website:
http://www.juveneu.com/uk/index.php?i=i&AFFID=4&C1=400128&C2=242141398&C3=u

I'm going to try it.... Hey, a girl has to look her best!

Sandy Bigara

Monday, 10 October 2011

Man-up, Men.

I read an interesting article today which prompted me to write this. I have read quite a few similar articles across the web, and I have noticed this trend. I have also read countless Facebook status's where women are complaining. The issue at hand?: Men need to grow up.

The facts and stats stated in the following article are interesting: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/04/opinion/bennett-men-in-trouble/index.html and show that there is a steady decline happening.

What are your views? Is this Just an American problem? A friend of mine, Duane Kay, has a gift for writing 'Life Guidelines' here's what he wrote today:
"Thought For Today:
Ephesians 6v4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

God knows that Fathers provoke their kids. God was mindful of Fathers and their behaviours. Yet, it's sad to see that today we have Grown Boys called Fathers who borrow from their kids, think their kids owe them the world, live by pride and PROVOKE their kids to anger. Some Men are nothing without their children, whether biological or step. It's sad that Fathers would lead their children to bottle stores, and not to church. Grow-Boy."

Why are men not stepping up to the plate? In South Africa across the racial sphere's there are too many Fatherless children. Too many split families. Too many 'surprise kids' - Boys don't have actual male role models anymore. They have their school friends, the TV, Wii, Playstation or my personal worst(haha) Ben10, as their guides.

No wonder men grow up with no 'hope'.

You may slate me for pushing Religion - but I'm telling you now, solid Family, good positive Religion and honest Hard Work go hand in hand to build a man.



Sandy Bigara

Blackberry RIM Server Crashes: Global B.I.S. Black-out's

Blackberry's B.I.S and BBM service's across the globe are down, read: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/blackberry/8818094/BlackBerry-services-collapse.html

RIM's Server in Slough - Canada have failed, leaving millions of users worldwide without the BB Applications and more importantly, without the free messaging service Blackberry Messenger, or BBM.  

RIM's spokesperson was not available for comment.

The question now is, will it ever come back? Will we be refunded for the lost hours that we have paid for?

This doesn't bode well for RIM.


Sandy Bigara

Parties @ Oasis



Party Venue:
R375p/hr min 2hrs max 3hrs, full use of the modern colourful playground, LOTS of shade, use of the tarmac undercover area, space for vroom bikes and skate boards, use of the smaller sandpit (ideal for under 2's) swings, slides, jungle gyms, balancing beam, monkey bars, rocking horse, wendy houses, zebra seesaw and more!

Catering Per Child:
R80 per child, minimum of 10 children, for a table of child friendly low sugar snacks and fruit juice. We take the fuss and worry of catering away, we also know what kids love to eat!

Party Packs:
R35 per child, minimum of 10 children. (Corn Chips, fizzer, smarties, sucker and colouring in page&crayons.)

Adult Catering:
R500 for snack platters and 2x Box Fruit Juices. Cups provided. There is an Adults table available for snacks, and a smaller adult table for an Urn/Juices. (We do not provide an urn.)

We do not do themed parties, however, we do provide 4 x 1m by 1m children's tables and one 1.5m by 80cm table for juice and for the birthday cake. There is ample space for wall hangings or themed decor. There is space for a small jumping castle - we have a contact for that as well.

We assist with setting up, clean the venue throughout the party and assist with packing down the party.

The packing down process begins 15min before the end of the party time.

Call: 0828650226 or email admin.pawpaw@gmail.com to book.

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Dark Book, Some Links and an eBook Reader


Do you want to download my novel as an ePub book, but dont have an eBook reader?
... never fear! ADOBE is here! http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/#fp
1. Upload the free software.
2. Sign up with Adobe for your Adobe ID.
3. Start collecting eBooks to read on your PC!

Move with the times: eBooks are the cheaper option, and you can collect and store an entire library of books using the Adobe Digital Editions reader.

Also, I have also published A Dark Collection of Short Stories - It is a nice bittersweet collection of slightly macabre stories (I write children's theatre, and mushy love stories... this is definitely my alter ego writing these shorts!)

While I'm at it - if you like Afrikaans Pop/Rock please visit: http://www.meganfaebre.co.za/ Amazing woman and a lovely voice.

Have a FAB day!



Sandy Bigara

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Durban Sand Castle Contest... and a Beach Rant

   On Saturday (despite the gale force winds) we packed the kiddies into the car, and headed off to check out the Durban Sand Castle Contest, happening on Durban's 'New Beach' beach.  
   The first thing that caught my eye was a striking sandbag display (below) spelling out the word "DURBAN" nice touch guys ;o) within minutes we were given Nivea peaks, the girls were given free Nivea beach balls (a real hit) and we spent an enjoyable (windswept) half an hour or more exploring the ranks of Sand Artists.

   We were there only one hour into the contest and so I am sure that the sculptures grew progressively more interesting with time.
   I am sure that they will upload some great photos to their website: http://www.streetscenetours.co.za/sand-castle-competition/
Or, to their Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=236170309768965

 
We enjoyed the clear air, pumping music (courtesy of the Red Bull bakkie and some wicked remixes) and lots of happy faced volunteers. Here are some of the Sand Castles one hour into the contest…

Prepare thyself for some RANT time:
   My only negative comment is this: From the car park to the sand castle lot, one had to pass the children’s new and revamped paddling pools, pass the change rooms, the ‘Pirate Ship’ play area and an “available to rent” Restaurant/Venue which sits atop the very clean and presentable toilets.
   Now my above statement is negative because of one thing: The entire walk stinks.
   People obviously don’t feel the need to use the public restrooms and have urinated all over the dying palm trees, the pirate ship and the walls of the restaurant. The newer simplified paddling pools smell horrific, the grass is littered with chicken bones, shards of glass, cigarette stompies and other bits of rubbish (there are adequate and well marked bins provided.)
   The children’s play area is unfinished – the gravel and builder’s rubble has started to surface from under the layer of sea sand (obviously laid there for the 2010 Fifa World Cup) and there are sharp bits of gravel, concrete, blue stones and glass where the children jump from the height of the ships deck. My daughter climbed the barrels and jumped to the sand – nearly injuring her foot on a sharp chicken bone protruding from the ground.
   When we visited Australia in 2009 I was amazed at how clean the public areas were, no urine smell. No rubbish littering the ground (in the presence of bins) there was PRIDE.
   I ask this one thing, South Africa: When your government takes the time to create a visually beautiful play area, pools, clean toilets, rubbish bins etc WHY do you, as a South African people, ruin it with your mess and stink? The company, Street Scene Tours made a huge effort, gathered sponsors, provided an awesome opportunity for a fun and enjoyable family day, and there was this down side. You know it. You can imagine it if you have ever walked our beaches and parks before, it’s…
…The “Durban Smell”…
 "It kinda smells like the colour brown... your thoughts?" - Flynn Ryder, Tangled 2011

   The beach was clean, I will go there happily.
But, the play area… and paddling pools?
I for one will never take my child there again.

Sandy Bigara

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Thorngate Sales: Nearing 60 copies!

People said: "Dont self-publish! You'll sell 5 books and quit." Well...

TWO books sold today! One ebook from me via email, and one Paperback novel from LULU site!!

Click on the following links:
eBook - http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/thorngate/17428193 (epub)

Paperback Novel - http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/thorngate/17429354

Yay! Keep it up!

Also, my first international readers have received their eBooks! Harley in Holland, Kirsti in Australia :o)

Kirsti wrote: "I've finished reading the e-book of your novel, and I loved it! :) you are so incredibly talented :) can't wait for the next one"


Let me know guys!



Sandy Bigara
Sent from my BlackBerry®

Friday, 30 September 2011

eBooks and Paperbacks: It's Book Launch Month!

My Novel, Thorngate is now available as an ebook, either from lulu or from myself personally.

Click on the following links:
eBook - http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/thorngate/17428193 (epub)

Paperback Novel - http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/thorngate/17429354

I have made some changes to the book's blog, and added more photo's to the photo gallery :o)

The invitations are rolling out and the emailed/hand delivered/posted envelopes mean only one thing: it's all actually happening!!


I hope that all of YOU are following your dreams - NEVER give up.


Sandy Bigara

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Racial Hatred and Feeling Homeless

My heart aches at the anger, racism and hatred that is so firmly directed at the white minority in South Africa.

This blanket of anger and resentment has settled over the youth and young adults like a disease. If only that anger could become determination - to study hard and finish school. To work hard, and smart. To work towards an economically viable and trusted (investors) receptacle for International funding... But no. It's easier to hate the white man. To stare me down whenever I am in your presence, to see the blank rage there. Directed at me. Because I am white.

Standing in my own suburb, waiting for a soft-serve with my giggling little girl (3.5yrs) who swings joyfully on the silver balustrade, and asks the tall african gentleman,
"Hello there! Why have you got a cheetah's tail on your head?"
To which he simply clicks his tongue at her innocence, and looks away, leaving her heart sore and confused - instead of sharing his fascinating inheritance with her. Standing in my own suburb, their suburb too. Waiting in line for my small order, I am stared at, hard. Unblinking stares directed at me, at us. When I smile or acknowledge the connection the look intensifies and I am afraid. I am afraid, 3 kilometres from my home.

Xenophobia, Genocide, Race Hatred, Misconceptions, Ignorance. These are the enemy.
"Robbing from the rich to give to the poor"
It won't work. It can't work. Because then everyone will be poor.
"Give a man a fish... He will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish... and he will have food for life."

I understand that it is hard - there are so so so so many poor Black South Africans. So many. But even if every White, Indian, Coloured or Asian South African handed over the total sum of their wealth and left... There would *still* not be enough to go around. And who would share it? The minute wealth is in anybody's hands: corruption sets in. You know it's true.

What South Africa needs is:
--Lower salaries for people in power - their annual earnings could sponsor the school fees of many, many government school learners. (R600 a year per child)
--A fully funded independent task team to expose corruption at *every* level of government, at within the Medical and Educational sectors (ghost teachers, medical aid fraud)
--Free education at government schools.
--Free basic health care - Clinics/Government Hospitals.
--Job creation - within airports, easily acquired tenders, malls, smme's, larger companies.

These are just some of the things that could be done to raise the standard of living across the board. This new africanised romanticised "Robinhood hand-me-down" mentality is dangerous.
DANGEROUS.
The masses are not being looked after.
The elderly are not being cared for.
Widows and orphans are not being sheltered.
People are not working - or even trying to get work.
They feel hopeless.
They are misled by Politicians or Media to have hope in the fanciful pipe-dream of shared wealth and land...

There are simply too many people. Too many people without a Matric. Too many people dreaming of a better life (via ancyl's vision of economic anarchy and hinted-at multicultural genocide) and, too many people *not* seeing a way to get out of the situation. It is very bleak indeed.

But, we are a very young Democracy. We have proven to the world that we can work as a team, that we can raise the standard. I just hope that we have the tenacity to stick it out for a while longer - give the next generation of 1994 babies a chance to raise the bar. We are flogging a young horse, expecting to ride a trained racehorse before we have even put a saddle on it for the first time.

I have taught for many years, my past students now range in age from 15 to 25 years old. I am friends with them on Facebook and see them growing, voicing opinions and preparing for life. I see hope in *them* they are focussed and hard-working. They are mixed race, mixed gender and mixed religion... And they are the future. I just hope that they are strong enough to pull families from poverty, create jobs, stifle this latent rage and motivate for positive change in South Africa. Or else we are all doomed.

I am just tired of being afraid, being made to apologise for the skin on my back. Being made to feel hopeless, sad, not welcome. Surely this is *my* country too? It's not. Apparently. Even though I am a third and fifth generation South African.

There is nowhere on earth that I can call home, and I am not welcome here, anymore.

Sandy Bigara

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

ELEnin - Should we be afraid?

The following link is very interesting,
I caution people to not believe every hyped-up Youtube video on the subject.

Watch the web for global Volcano eruptions, Earthquakes, Typhoons, Cyclones, Tsunamis and other anomalies like Mass animal deaths.

I don't know if this is the beginning of the end, but I do know that it is a time for introspection and loving one another.

Think about what is truly important to you.

Here is the link:
http://alamongordo.com/mysteries/elenin-timeline/


Sandy Bigara

The Photo is taken from: http://jimmyprophet.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/the-planet-xnibiruelenin-brown-dwarf-event-timeline-2011/

Recipe: Chicken & Date Pan, On Jacket Potato

Double-Click on the Picture to see the comments :)

Chicken & Date Pan, On Jacket Potato
 
A splash of Olive Oil
2x Chicken breasts - roughly diced
1x Medium sized onion chopped finely
1/2 Chicken stock cube
1x Carrot - cubed into half cms
1x 5cm of English cucumber cut into half cm cubes
3 Dates pitted and chopped
Half tub of fresh cream (add more if needed)
1 Tbspoon of Royco's Chicken a la king cooking powder.
3 x Medium sized jacket potatoes washed.
 
1. Add onion, olive oil and chicken breast to the pan, fry up until chicken is tender and onion is soft. Add chicken stock cube and mix to break it up.

2. Add carrot, cucumber and date mix - stir up on a high heat until vegetables look done (stir fry style).

3. Lower the heat and add fresh cream, add a tablespoon of Royco's Chicken a la king (it makes the cream thicken and gives the sauce a great buttery flavour)
Royco's website: www.mealinspiration.co.za

4. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, then lower the heat until time to serve.

5. Place clean potatoes (jacket potatoes - in their skins) into a microwave safe dish, fill it 1cm with water, prick the potatoes and cook on high for 4 minutes. Turn over and check the softness, cook for another 4 minutes on high.

6. Remove the potatoes from the microwave safe dish, break them open (stack them, slice them or even mash them) and sprinkle a little cheese onto them, spoon the hot chicken mixture on top, garnish and serve.
 
This was a firm hit with my family - even the little kids ate all of their supper!
 

Hope you enjoy it!




Sandy Bigara

Monday, 19 September 2011

Update: First Motivational Talk

Don't forget to check out:

www.thorngateseries.blogspot.com

And email:
thorngateseries@gmail.com

...For YOUR own copy of my Novel: Thorngate. Do it before ELEnin arrives ;o) hee hee!

I have posted photo's in the Photo Gallery section of the book's blog. There's a cute one of my little daughter with the first book copies there as well - so cute!

Good News! Half of our book launch has been paid for by a generous fan! Now to organise it all beautifully!

I am giving my first motivational talk, and book reading, at a high school tomorrow, hopefully the students will purchase the book!

Have a great day,


Sandy Bigara

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Mothers And Daughters UK



I have spotted a wonderful find... One of my favourite people on the PLANET has turned her incredible mind towards something fabulous, fashionable and new!

The lady in question? - Cristine Dyer. An awesomely talented lady with 'itchy fingers' for creating something beautiful!

Cristine has a great eye for detail and has a knack for making her home/s look tasteful and chic. Her list of available products is growing and she will 'make to order' as well. I just wish that I lived closer!
_____________________
The following is taken from the blog:

"I began this business due to "itchy fingers" and looking for a way to start supporting my family more. Currently, a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful children, I wanted to create something that would be accessible to both mothers and their daughters. I find myself often online, shopping for my children and my husband and rarely including something for myself. Mothers and Daughters creates an opportunity for you to shop for your daughters/babies and then pick up something for yourself. Or for you to pick up a "can't go wrong" gift for your mother/grandmother/aunt/friend.
If you would like to place an order, please use the Contact Me page or alternatively search for me on Facebook. Items will be available on eBay by 19 September 2011.
I am constantly sourcing items and playing with new ideas, so please bookmark this page and come back regularly to see what is new!
There will be a lovely range of Christmas items arriving at the end of October!!!
Please allow max 2 days for dispatch.
All prices are excluding postage.
Please note, due to UK Health and Safety, I am currently waiting for the Cosmetic Safety Assessment Package, which allows me to legally manufacture and sell bath bombs, melts and lip balms within the EU. I will then be joining the Guild of Craft Soap and Toiletry Makers. Both of these, ensure you that you are buying from a legal seller within the United Kingdom. - Cristine Dyer"
_____________________

Fantastic!

Cristine's contact details are on the Mothers & Daughters blog:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mothers-and-Daughters/243463239032169
Please go to the Facebook Fan Page link (above) and click 'like' - Beautiful gorgeous things for all of us!

The blog site's address is:
-(Blackberry/Mobile) http://mothersdaughters-uk.blogspot.com/?m=1
- (pc/mac)  http://mothersdaughters-uk.blogspot.com

I hope that you find something lovely to buy if you are in the UK :o)

Have a great day,

Sandy Bigara

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Indulge Yourself with Hannah's Decadent Delights

If you are online today, and live in Durban, KZN or, in the UK - please go to the following Facebook fan page and 'LIKE' it.

INDULGENT DELIGHTS
http://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=202688293100033

I have known Hannah Sampson Edy for over a decade, she is an incredible person - a loving wife and mother to three gorgeous children - and she still finds time to create stunning sewn designs, and bakes up a storm! She is a creative all-rounder and plays classical piano as well, hearing her sing is a real treat :o)

Her baked and sewn creations display her 'all round' talent - her work is described as 'classy' and after viewing her: cakes, tarts, cheesecakes, brownies,baby buntings, cushions, sleep-time doudou's and even her fantastic design: a blanket that clips onto the front of your pram (so that your baby can sleep peacefully and/or not get sunburned/wind blown) and doesn't blow away! No more pinning and tucking blankets that flap all over the place! - I am seriously impressed!

Hannah does hold Open Days for her Indulgent Delights range and if you 'like' the page you can find out when the next open day will be.

If you have a look through the Fan page's Photo Albums, you will see an array of scrumptious goodies that are made-to-order. Her prices are fair considering what you get... Wouldn't mind sinking my teeth into a gorgeous White Chocolate Brownie right now... Nyom!

Let's support our local artists!





Sandy Bigara

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

This Is For You

You know who you are, this is for you.

It is only when you're at your lowest, that you realise who is truly behind you. Treat your loved ones with care, be respectful, honest and upright in your dealings with others.

Don't let another squash you, don't let anyone rain on your parade, we're all made with purpose so shine on regardless.

Those who try to still your flame: burn on.

Those who pull you back, clip your wings: fly on.

You are a survivor, living with intent. You know who you are - you're reading this and thinking: yes!

You know that you are not living up to your full potential, but the prospect of actually 'making it' is terrifying: GO FOR IT.

I hope that you succeed.

Sandy Bigara

Monday, 12 September 2011

Frankie Beagle: Stunning South African Talent

Join Frankie's Fan Page on Facebook!
Frankie Beagle Fan Page
Stage Name
I asked Frankie where she found the inspiration for her stage name; the answer was quite simple… Frankie used to perform under her maiden name: Frances Charlton, but found that she was leaning more towards an edgier name for herself. The answer was right under her nose… her nick name is “Frankie” and her married surname is “Beagle”… Voila! Frankie Beagle. Gorgeous!

Home Turf
Frankie and her supportive husband Jordan hail from Gauteng or, Jozi as she lovingly calls it. \

1. What topic do you find crops up again and again in your song writing?
Celebrating the delighfully humourous imperfection in ourselves, love and humanity. Oh, stars also come up a lot…

Favourite Performance Venue
In Jozi – Shepstone Gardens and The Bioscope are Frankie’s fave’s as for Durban, she has played at Splashy Fen and loved it!

Give Thanks
I asked Frankie about people who have encouraged her and motivated her, supported and uplifted her – she answered instantly:

Jennifer Fergusson - “I am a HUGE fan, she is favourite SA artist” Jennifer and Frankie did a gig together at the beginning of the year and Frankie really loved the experience.

Shotgun Tori – for being so incredibly supportive.

Song Writing Groups/Clubs/Classes - in Jozi, for the influences and motivation of the song writing community.

2. Who is the love of your life? And how did you meet?...
Jordan, he lured me into what would be my first photographic darkroom at 19 and taught me how to...print :o)

Style / Influences
Folk, RnB are her musical influences.
Artists who have inspired her are: Nina Simone, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, Ane Brun.
Her music is also influenced by Art Movies.

This is noticeable when listening to her album “The Sound” her lyrics and musical direction are superb, artistic and tasteful. Just stunning.

3. If you could go on a wild crazy adventure, what would you do? And where would it all take place...?
Travelling up Africa and playing music in the most unexpected or rural places with a troup of songwriter friends… Or selling everything and doing volunteer work around the world.

Embarrassment
I asked Frankie what her most embarrassing moment was on stage… after a good laugh she remembered a time when she forgot her lyrics mid-song and swore in front of the crowd!

She also added “But that was along time ago!”

The Voice of an Angel
Contact Us
http://www.reverbnation.com/#/frankiebeagle
http://www.myspace.com/francescharlton
email: frankie@beagle.org.za
0823265831 or 0835606996


4. What instrument would you love to learn to play? And why?...

Piano. My mother was an outstanding pianist and teacher she tried to teach me but I was stubborn & lacked discipline & focus. Stupidly, I thought guitar would be easier.  Guitar is the perfect traveller's instrument but piano is such a widely expressive & old instrument that has been woven into almost all music we hear, making it so accessible to the heart's ear. Maybe I will still learn.
 
Ultimate Goal
Touring overseas. Building an overseas fan base and getting into festivals in South Africa and Abroad.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The N-Word and the K-Word


Please note: this is an OPINION piece and this is my humble opinion. I am sick to death of the Media glamorizing certain words or actions to reap online clicks or paper sales. I read an article yesterday – the person in the limelight is a well known and much loved celeb. After an altercation he in now without work and "shamed" it's utter rubbish! Politicians say the most awful racist things constantly and nothing is done. One word said in anger makes a half page highlight. It's not right.
   
It amazes me that in our modern age we are not really concerned with things like over-sexualized television content during "family hour" and teenage promiscuity, drug use, child trafficking, corrupt politicians and gang violence – hell, it hardly makes "news" anymore. But if someone 'non-black' in the USA says the N-word (despite the fact that most young trendy African Americans use it in their every day conversations, and have no real history, hurt or resentment linked to it at all see: www.lamebook.com) then it is a MAJOR news story with the 'culprit' head in hands – ashamed and remorseful and begging forgiveness.  

In South Africa there is the K-word.
It is an ugly word.
I get it.
It is as offensive to Black people as "Kill the Boer" sung by Julius Malema, and "Mshini wam" (bring me my machine gun) by President Jacob Zuma, are to Whites.
  
I am the product of an abusive home situation and I was sworn at violently every day till I was 13. That doesn't mean that every time I hear a swear word I have a melt down. They are just words to me. The sentiment behind the words has more effect on me than the *actual* word itself.

If a nasty word is said in drunkenness or in anger – it really doesn't get any deeper than that – it's carelessness. No need to "go deep" and try to "figure out why I said it" – you had a beer or two, it affects your tongue. Have you all read the statistics about how your mental capacity is affected by alcohol?



"The cerebral cortex and alcohol
The cerebral cortex processes information from your senses, processes thoughts, initiates the majority of voluntary muscle movements and has some control over lower-order brain centres. In the cerebral cortex, alcohol can:

  • Affect thought processes, leading to potentially poor judgement.
  • Depresses inhibition, leading one to become more talkative and more confident.
  • Blunts the senses and increases the threshold for pain."


Case in point:
A South African celebrity who has worked incredibly hard to entertain us for over 20 years has now "fallen from grace"

Picture the scene:
Some men are drinking at a team build, they are known for enjoying a few too many beers. The one guy owes the other guy a lot of money, has not paid back a cent. Mr Borrower has recently bought a car and a house despite owing money to Mr Money Lender. Mr Borrower is now harassing the tipsy Mr Money Lender and pretending that they are bosom buddies (Mr ML is famous – who wouldn't?) After a repeated harassment and altercation, the money lender is so enraged that he spits out the worst insult that he can think of: the K-word.

And boy oh boy does it cause a ruckus.

Mr Money Lender quits his job/s and sits in his home in shame. The nation looks on in mock horror as verbalised tut-tut's ring out.
Not really.
The average man-on-the-street has more to worry about than the K-word. The man on the street is trying to survive, trying to earn a living. This was a private spat that was dragged into the media because of one word. If Mr Money Lender had said "F---off stupid twat!" we wouldn't be hearing about it now would we. (?)

My husband posted something online last night:

"It takes just one act of stupidity to destroy ninety nine good deeds"

And this is true here, I think.  


We can take three lessons from this situation:
1. Stop drinking so much.
2. Don't lend money to anyone.
3. Think of a new insult to throw.
 
Now, this poor Mr Money Lender is supposedly broken hearted and spending time deep in thought as to WHY he called out this god-awful word… While Mr Borrower STILL owes him a lot of money and is now hanging onto the sympathy vote so that he doesn't have to repay Mr ML.

I think that this world is SERIOUSLY skewed.

Children are exposed to violence, sexually explicit material, women are abused every day, men are treated badly by the mothers of their children… there is SO much wrong going on and no one gives a rats… but say those two magical words K- and F- and voila! Media presence! Ratings go up! The shame! Front page news! Vilification! *sigh*

How do YOU feel about these two words? I don't want a History lesson – we know where they come from and the ugliness that went with them – I want to know NOW – are YOU affected by these words? Are they just being glamorized by the media? Do they truly make the user into a vile monster? or just someone who didn't think before they spoke…


   

Sandy Bigara

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Tara and Steve Fataar and Friends!

Awesome evening of live music @ The German Club. Come and support:

TARA! AURY LIVINGSTONE! SHANNON HOPE! SANDY BIGARA! Drumshack JON! STEVE FATAAR! and, JOHN ELLIS!

-- The German Club. 7 Barham Road, Westville

-- Bookings: 0312660836.

-- Cash bar and food available

-- R60.00 pp

-- 6:30 - 11:30pm

DON'T MISS OUT!!


Sandy Bigara
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Pinotage On Tap: Diemersfontein Wines

Here we go- hope it's clear!
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

TODAY: Pinotage On Tap - Don't Forget!

KZN
(at Piggly Wiggly)

10 September 2011

Prices:
-R210.00 Fan Ticket (Ticket only)
-R625.00 Fanatic Ticket (Ticket & 6 bottles of Diemersfontein Pinotage)
Tickets available at Computicket

Bands: Gerald Clark, Plush

Shuttle Services:

Eves Airport Corporate Executive Shuttles

Rates & Collection Points:
- Nandos at Gateway
- La Lucia Mall
Rates: R200 pp one way, R375 pp return

To book at Eves Airport Corp Exec Shuttles, contact Evelyn / Naren @ 083 303 3340 / 082 463 2636 or email shuttles@eves.co.za

Durban City Tours

Rates & Collection Points:
- La Lucia Mall 10h30
- Pietermaritzburg, Parklane Spar 13h00
Rates: R145 pp (return) from La Lucia, R105 pp (return) from Pietermaritzburg

To book at Durban City Tours contact Pascal at durban.citytours@gmail.com


ACCOMMODATION PACKAGES

Granny Mouse Country House 
Offering an exclusive stay at their 5 star Country House & Spa.
2 Nights accommodation for 2 people sharing, including dinner, bed & breakfast
Including :
Your tickets to Pinotage on Tap
Half hour Indian head massage
Transport to and from Pinotage on Tap festival (all day)
R5 250.00 per couple
To book: 033 234 4071
http://www.grannymouse.co.za/contact-getaway-natal-midlands/

Midmar Dam Self Catering
Offering self catering and camping accommodation
Rates
Pinotage on Tap Special offer - get 20% discount on the rates below
R280 per person per night, self caterin
All accommodation rates quoted are inclusive of gate entry fee, community levy and emergency rescue levy. Therefore only day visitors will pay a gate entry fee.
Rustic cabins R190 per person sleeps 4 pax. Minimum cost R380
Camping sites R70pppn without plug points
Camping sites R75pppn with plug points
Please note a key deposit of R200 is payable on arrival.

To book: contact Central reservations at 033 845 1000 - Remember to use the booking code POT2011 to receive your discount!
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Catherine Krog's Murder: What It Taught Me


Catherine Krog's murder on Thursday shocked us all to the core. But it was a suddenly very public exposure of a serious injustice. The Judicial and Social system let down Catherine, Bella and yes, even Bella's Mother and Ex. Evidence supports how both adults were pushed to their limits - and one of the adults snapped.

Beyond reason.
Beyond any rationale.
Beyond hope.

Catherine's life was snuffed out too soon, smothered in heartbroken seething rage and insanity. Little Bella will have to bear the truth and live out her life with the knowledge of her parent's feuding, I just hope and pray that she is raised with strong sense of self worth and that she will understand that above all else, her Mother loved her, till death.

I was told details of the murder suicide but decided not to publish them out of respect to Catherine and Bella. Some things are best kept private and I'm saddened to see the media having a field day with this story. Sensationalism sells it seems - we accept this. Perhaps that is why I am a blogger and not a journo.

In life, when we choose a partner, and then have children with that partner it can be an incredibly heartbreaking and disturbing mess when things don't work out. Men steal their children, Women refuse access, Men threaten, Women manipulate: we are awful to one another. There will never be a clear cut answer, I only implore:

-Be WISE in your choices.
-Be KIND in your actions.
-Be TRUTHFUL in your relationships.

I also offer my sympathy to Catherine's family - also to her Mother. When a Mother and Daughter don't see eye to eye there is always SO much hurt and anger, words unsaid. Words twisted by the media.

I hope that the countless people affected by Cat's death find comfort. I know that it has affected me deeply, I am hugging my children tighter, squeezing my husband's hand. Using Catherine's sad passing as a lesson to love as fiercely as she did.


Sandy Bigara

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Catherine Krog Murder: Wear PINK

The basis of this blog is doing the rounds via social networking - let's take it a 'peaceful' step further:

Catherine Krog was murdered this morning by her ex, in front of Bella, Catherine's 2.5 year old daughter.

The ex then killed himself.

This tragedy has left a little girl without her Mummy and has robbed the world of a COURAGEOUS angel.

The justice system let Catherine and Bella down. Wear PINK tomorrow if you to are fed up with being let down by our SA Justice System.

We can make a difference. we need to do it together.

RIP Catherine

Now here's the 'further' part:

Post a Picture of yourself wearing PINK or even better of you and your colleagues etc tomorrow, whether it is on your bbm Profile, Linkdin, Netlog, Who'swho, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter - let's clog the 'net with PINK for Cat!


Sandy Bigara

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Breaking News: Catherine Krog Murdered By Clinton Walley: Thursday Sep 8th

I am so shocked and saddened. I have cried for over an hour - so completely appalled and angry that this has happened. Our Judicial system is flawed beyond measure and this act of horror is just a drop in the ocean of wrongdoing. Rapists walk free, killers are given bail, even convicted paedophiles walk the shopping aisles in complete anonymity.

Catherine Krog has overcome so much to give her little girl Bella a good start - she has run a successful company, provided motherly love, comfort and a solid fun filled life for her little girl.

This morning her ex Clinton Walley shot her dead, and then shot himself fatally: leaving their daughter without parents. It is not clear whether little Bella witnessed the shooting or was unaware of the tragedy.

The following is a good article about the time when Clinton kidnapped Bella. Catherine won over the hearts of the nation's mother's with her pleas for help - we all rejoiced with her when she was reunited with her baby girl after 11 days of worry:
[ http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/mommy-it-was-so-scary-1.1018775 ]

Images of Catherine Krog alive and well, how we will remember her:
[ http://www.google.com/m/search?oe=UTF-8&client=ms-rim&q=catherine+Krog&channel=browser&hl=en&site=images&tbm=isch ]

Catherine wrote on her Facebook wall this week "My only fear is that I won't be remembered as being courageous..." Well, Cath, you were one of the toughest, strongest, most stubbornly courageous ladies I've ever met. We will remember you that way.



Sandy Bigara
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Exhausted Rambling Hyper-Links

Trying to recover from zero hours sleep - a teething Toddler and Virus filled coughing kid: just reading links on friends walls and thought I'd share some of the links with you.

I apologise in advance for the ugly looking hyper-links! I'm doing this from my phone and I'm exhausted. I have a music student coming over in an hour for rehearsals (We are providing Sound and Entertainment for Reach for a Dream tomorrow) and I have an unplugged acoustic gig on Saturday that I have to prep for!! Not to mention the three live children's shows happening Thursday morning as well...

They're random, and rambling. Enjoy.

1: Typhoon Death Toll - Sad that there are even more deaths and destruction!
[ http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/death-toll-from-typhoon-talas-rises-to-42-in-japan-thousands-isolated/ ]

2: Radiation Deterioration Discovery - Reading this article, I realised one thing. I am not a scientist.
[ http://m.io9.com/5619954/the-sun-is-changing-the-rate-of-radioactive-decay-and-breaking-the-rules-of ]

3: Fire Halted By Son Coming Home For Lunch - Reading the article I realised that I know the family very well!
[ http://www.iol.co.za/mercury/student-just-in-time-to-save-pets-from-fire-1.1132920 ]

4: World Cup Rugby - I have zero interest in Sport and personally felt that the 2010 Fifa World Cup Soccer was a farce, let's hope that SA does us proud this year as well.
[ http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/newsletter_archive/go_bokke_what_the_papers_didnt_report_.html ]

5: Braaiday - (Rebecca Black "Friday" Parody) »Barbeque«
[ http://m.youtube.com/watch?desktop_uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgLyLvCXYKUg%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded&feature=player_embedded&v=gLyLvCXYKUg&gl=GB ]

Have a great day



Sandy Bigara
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Hairy Memoires

It is Sunday evening in South Africa, I have no Chocolate or Cappuccino and I’m taking a “break” from Motherhood and Wifedom for a minute.
I was just sitting here reminiscing back in time… thinking of all the weird and wonderful hairdo’s that I have had. And it hit me – as a human race we sure do know how to make ourselves look dumb@$$.

Across race and age we are walking around with the weirdest hairdo’s…and thinking we look HAWT. Heck, there are so many photos of bad hairdos on Google – somebody is posting these pictures and either ROTFLTAO* or thinking… “I am one HOTFOX baybay yeah…”

Well, I decided to post a few of the funnier ones that I saw – prepare thyself. If you don’t at least snigger then you are a cold hearted fool. Just kidding. They are silly though.

Looking at this and other black and white photos, I realised that since the dawn of time, people have been making hair style booboo’s. Check this one out… Nice necklace though.

"Is the pearl detail a bit much? D'you think? Are you sure?"
Firstly, I think that the celebrities are partly to blame… or their stylists. Either way, it’s all funny as hell! I remember being a little girl and seeing my Mother with hair exactly like this and thinking "Whoa, Mom is so pretty!" - Some may argue that this is niceer than the modern look (sleek, layered, coloured)

"Wish I'd used more volumizing spray..."

Some big hair is ART. I get it – but it still looks awesomely cool and wickedly funny!

I have no words (-.-)
My best are the 80’s photos, I can just imagine the process of getting ready to go out every day… they say men are Metrosexual NOW? Imagine hugging your 80’s Mullet-man and smelling hairspray… mmm.

"Make sure you get the light bouncing, nay, shimmying off of my curls"
Remember I mentioned Celebritites?...  Imagine sitting behind this at the movies?

"Oh sorry. You cant see the movie screen?? Well the Get the __ out."
Ok. We all know that white men can’t jump. Dance. Sing well, or belong to hiphop Gangs (unless you are Italian, and Mafia inclined, in which case you are the BEST at being Gansgta – we wont argue with you, or do you any favours) Now, this guy challenged that norm and well…proved my point. Yo Yo Afro. He must've had fun though!

"Say You. Say Me. Say it together. Naturally."
I have no comment for this next picture. All I know is, he's "available and looking".

"I can make yau'lls world spin. Give a bruther'a chance."
I apologise in advance and, for the record, I feel really dirty just looking at this.

"I love you here...and I love you there..."

You see, we like to think that the bad hair days are behind us, that the 80's caged and contained the badness of our wild and untamed hair. But, most of the awful hairdo's online are current. Eish. Nay man.

Have you ever had a REALLY bad hairdo? (I know I sure have!) Well then, tell me about it.... 





Sandy Bigara

*Roll On The Floor Laughing Their Asses Off