A Moving Story

My award winning book – whoo hoo!


I have to share this exciting news with you all. Last Monday we found out that one of my books “Sibo on the Move” got an award. Actually it got two awards – one national and one international. How cool is that?

The funniest was that we had no idea it had even been entered into any competitions. So the whole thing came as a total surprise when Ingrid Jensen (Executive Manager Reputation at Gautrain Management Agency) called to say that they had won awards for the book in the category of writing.

For those who don’t know, this book was commissioned by the Gautrain a few years ago and the topic was etiquette whilst using public transport.

In a nutshell – manners!

The Gautrain is very spiffy. Clean, safe and lovely to travel in and it’s important to keep it that way. People sometimes forget or just don’t care that they’re sharing a public space with other travelers and it is vital to be considerate. Little things, like not talking, or listening to music too loudly. Or not putting your feet on the seat – so that when the next person sits on it, they get their clothes dirty.

Worse… aaarrrgghhhh… seriously gross… sticking old chewed gum under the seat! Oh my word – that is just so gross.

There are also special spaces on the Gautrain for people with disabilities, to make life a little easier and safer for them. Able-bodied people should not sit there. Just don’t do it… okay?

Gautrain is very safety conscious too. If you have travelled on the train, you’ll know that there is a yellow line on the platform that you have to wait behind when a train is approaching. (This is for your safety – not because they want to be mean.) Once the train stops – the correct etiquette is to let the other passengers get off the train first. But all too often people are worried that they are going to miss the train – or they’re just plain rude – and they barge in without even thinking about the poor folk who are trying to get out.

Seriously people – it’s not hard. Just be considerate. Be kind. Be nice. It costs absolutely nothing and it makes such a difference. This goes for all public transport.

The National award was called the Silver Quill Award and the International one was called the Gold Quill Award of Excellence.

Quite spiffy hey, now I am an award winning girl!

Be kind please people.



History Lessons

It seems as though the powers that be are thinking of bringing the subject of History back into high schools.

It’s probably a good idea but the way it used to be taught was boring beyond belief. Literally!

Kids become disinterested and have no clue why they have to learn such ancient out-dated stuff.

Just reading from the books – blah blah blah… is not the way to teach history.

I guess they will also have to make sure that it is taught from different perspectives. There are always two (or sometimes more) ways to look at anything, no matter what it is. Different sides of the coin, so to speak.

Part of me thinks that schools should just show movies in history lessons. Lump all the history lessons together into certain time periods throughout the terms and show a movie that depicts some event in history. I’m sure there are probably plenty to choose from.

Then have group discussions and debates with the children and get their perspective on whether things happened in a good way or a bad way and what they would have done if they had lived in that particular time.

This way it makes the history more real – instead of a boring old topic that involves dead people – even if they were wonderful, powerful people who risked their lives (and sometimes gave them) to bring about change.

I know that sounds harsh, because history has shaped the world into being what it is today – which, let’s face it – is not always that great and could have been done differently.

Include a bit of everything too – so that maybe people understand each other better. It’s so easy to judge when you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Maybe it would be a plan to get an older person – who’s lived through some of the not-so-distant history to come and talk at schools. Tell the kids how things were. Make it real.

Most kids today would probably think that history was a few years ago when they had a cell-phone that was not smart. Ten years ago in a kid’s life is very very long time in the past. Something that happened 30 years ago is ancient history to a kid… but our parents can remember 30 years ago like it was yesterday – so everything is relative.

History is cool – but please people – teach it right!



The Blackboard Cat

The other day I took the last toilet roll to clean up a mess I’d made and forgot to tell mum. I didn’t think much of it at the time. In fact… I did not think about it at all! But when mum went to fetch one for their bathroom and found the packet was empty, she was as mad as a snake.

I confessed – mainly because there was nobody else in the house that could have taken it. Don’t think Dad even knows where they are stashed. Mum ranted, raved and performed. Really – you would have thought I had taken something very precious, instead of the last loo roll.

Luckily I still had half of it in my room which I could hand over.

I was telling my friend Nomsa about it at school the next day. She comes from a big family and they are always having some spat or another. Nomsa said that they’d had the same problem – someone was always finishing up something and driving her mum crazy – but they had found a solution that worked a treat.

They had painted a piece of hardboard with chalkboard paint and stuck it up in the kitchen. When somebody saw that the peanut butter was running low – they had to write it up. Or if her brother finished most of the bread (which he was always doing) he had to write it on the board. Her older sister was always making cookies, and used up the sugar at an alarming rate – that got written up too.

Then when her mum was going to the shops – all she had to do was take a photo of the board with her cell phone and she had an instant shopping list.

Their system worked really well – they hardly ever ran out of anything anymore. Even when her little brother ate the last apple – he could not write but he could draw – so he climbed up on a stool and drew a picture of an apple.

So I told mum about this idea after school. She thought it sounded quite good and said she had a piece of hardboard in the shape of a cat that we could paint with chalkboard paint and put up in the kitchen.

It’s still early days – so we’ll have to see if it works for us.

Have a happy day!