Tuesday, April 21, 2009

For everyone born before 1986!

I know this is old...I remember receiving it in an email a long time ago. I came across it again in a magazine the other day and it really made me smile. I just love it and had to post it for those of you that haven't read it yet. It is brilliant and so true. Enjoy!

For everyone born before 1986:

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked.

We had no child-proof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.

When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops and fluorescent 'spokey dokey's' on our wheels.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags -riding in the passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted the same.

We ate chips, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy juice with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no-one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.

After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded.

We did not have Play stations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no DVDs, no Internet chat rooms.

We had friends - we went outside and found them.

We played elastics and rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt!

We fell out of trees, got cut, and broke bones but there were no law suits.

We had full on fist fights but no prosecution followed from other parents

We played chap-the-door-run-away (knock & run) and were actually afraid of the owners catching us.

We walked to friends' homes.

We also, believe it or not, WALKED to school; we didn't rely on mummy or daddy to drive us to school which was just round the corner.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls.

We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

The idea of a parents bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of...They actually sided with the law.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you're one of them. Congratulations!

Share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as real kids before lawyers and governments regulated our lives, for our own good.

For those of you who are not old enough, thought you might like to read about us. This my friends, is surprisingly frightening.. and it might put a smile on your face:

The majority of students in universities today were born in 1986........

They are called youth.

They have never heard of We are the World, We are the children and the Uptown Girl they know is by Westlife not Billy Joel. They have never heard of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Nena Cherry or Belinda Carlisle.

For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam.

AIDS has existed since they were born.

CD's have existed since they were born.

Michael Jackson has always been white.

To them John Travolta has always been round in shape and they cannot imagine how this fat guy could be a god of dance.

They believe that Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible are films from recent years.

They can never imagine life before computers.

They'll never have pretended to be the A Team, Red Hand Gang or the Famous Five.

They'll never have applied to be on Jim'll Fix It.

They can't believe a black and white television ever existed.

And they will never understand how we could leave the house without a mobile phone.

Now let's check if we're getting old...

1. You understand what was written above and you smile.

2. You need to sleep more, usually until the afternoon after a night out.

3. Your friends are getting married/already married.

4. You are always surprised to see small children playing comfortably with computers.

5. When you see teenagers with mobile phones, you shake your head.

6. You remember watching Dirty Den in East Enders the first time around.

7. You meet your friends from time to time, talking about the good Old Days, repeating again all the funny things you have experienced together.

8. Having read this, you are thinking of forwarding it to some other friends because you think they will like it too...

Yes, you're getting old!!

Source : unknown, someone mailed it to me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

In loving memory of my Grandmother

"Ain't life funny"...The past couple of weeks have been so exciting, with the birth of baby Beuthe, Marc and I getting married and celebrating love and life with our friends and family.

There was a sad end to our trip, when my Grandmother, Jacoba Petronella (Kota) Tolken passed away on Friday, 10 April.

As I was contemplating this quirk of fate, I was reminded that, its "the circle of life":

It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle of Life

She was laid to rest on Wednesday, 15 April. And though, death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

"Ouma Kota, you'll be missed but you will live forever, in our hearts"!

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
To a loving Mother, Grandmother and Friend:

If we could bring you back again,
For one more hour or day,
We'd express all our unspoken love;
We'd have countless things to say.
If we could bring you back again,
We'd say we treasured you,
And that your presence in our lives
Meant more than we ever knew.
If we could bring you back again,
To tell you what we should,
You'd know how much we miss you now,
And if we could, we would.

By Joanna Fuchs
My Gran with me and my Aunt Elizabeth (daughter) and my mom (daughter in-law)
For the ones she left behind:
Daughters, Grandchildren, Great-Grandchildren and close friends

Words, however kind can't mend your heartache: but those who care and share your loss wish you comfort and peace of mind. May you find strength in the love of family and in the warm embrace of friends.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Saying our "goodbyes"

We got back to JHB around lunch time on Wednesday, 8 April; still talking about our amazing 3 days in "Adventure" country. Thanks to: Thaba-Metsi and Magoebaskloof Canopy Tours

The first sign that our trip was quickly coming to an end was when Marc started thinking about work. And when the thinking turned into talking about work and then wanting to download emails so that he could sort it out before Monday, I knew... it was now time to start packing and saying our goodbyes.

Rephrase: we don't say farewell...we just say "goodbye, see you soon". Even though that "soon" ends up being in another year+.

At least we have skype, facebook and good old fashioned email to keep in touch until then. What would we do without technology. So, though we are miles apart it always feels like we are just a phone call away, which really makes time fly. And, before we know it we will be planning our next home leave or better yet, our friends and family will come and visit us in Indo....

To those of you that mentioned possibly visiting us...we are going to hold you to it; start planning those trips!

We managed to squeeze in a couple of "last" dinners and breakfasts before we departed Jozi on Saturday, 11 April.

Mel and Austin - Big hugs, Melly...

Lesleigh, Sylvia, Tanya and little Theresa

Crazy chicks

Dean and Marc
Warren and Michelle, another two entrepreneurial friends.
They recently started managing the Auto Cradle Estate, a conference and exhibition centre in Magaliesburg. Warren also started WotzOn, a magazine where you can advertise events happening in your area. So if you are looking at hosting an event or want something to do, check out: Auto Cradle Estate and WotzOn!

Adventure "honeymoon" with friends in Magoebaskloof

Sunday,5 April - Months of planning and now that we have said our I do’s it is all over. Just like that…. a bit of an anti-climax I thought. Which is exactly what I expected and that is shy we decided to have a weekend wedding celebration , allowing us to spend two days with our family and friends, celebrating our special day and it was great.

Marc and Tarryn, Lesleigh, Marc and I left Machadodorp around lunch time, for what can only be described as fun, fun, fun in Magoebaskloof, Limpopo province.

No honeymoon? you might be wondering….

We were not planning on having one. Besides we've been to so many honeymoon destinations over the past couple of years that I can't really say I feel cheated...It just felt right to rather spend the week after our wedding with our family and friends, as we don't get to see them that often.

Let's call it our Adventure "honeymoon" with friends then.

Tarryn and Marc None gave up their corporate careers about 4 years ago to pursue a new and very exciting life in Magoebaskloof.

What started off as an idea for an outdoor adventure company, many years ago has now turned into a large operation. And we were lucky enough to get a taste of what they have to offer.

Thaba-Metsi Adventures offers ab sailing, quad biking, kloofing, tubing, paintball and more to small and large groups. They have conference facilities and it is ideal for school groups, team buildings or corporate functions. They can accommodate up to 40 people in very comfortable, stylish self catering chalets as well as tented camps next to the dam. They can also offer alternative accommodation on a nearby family farm, Cheerio's

Forest chalet at Cheerio's where we stayed on the Sunday night.

So whether you are after a exciting adventure get away or a quite weekend away in the beautiful valley near Haenetsburg, Magoebaskloof, where you can have a "braai", fly fish and take in the fresh country air Thaba-Metsi is just the place for you.

They more recently acquired the franchise for Magoebaskloof Canopy Tours
Check it out if you are not familiar with it: http://www.magoebaskloofcanopytour.co.za/

This concept started in Costa Rica's rain forest and was soon brought over to South Africa - Magaliesberg, Tsitsikamma, Karkloof and now the amazing MAGOEBASKLOOF CANOPY TOURS.

Les, Tarryn and I in Haenetsburg, after a lovely breakfast on Monday, 6 April. Ready for our canopy tour adventure.

Marc N, showing us how it's done.

Marc B in his element.

Les and I very excited about the next slide, bring it on....
Tarryn, you may as well be one of the guides...

The team - We had great fun guys. We will definitely be back!

We couldn't stop talking about how much fun the Canopy Tour was. Definitely something everyone should experience.

Monday night we had braai under the stars in true South African style. We loved it, thanks T&M.

After breakfast on Tuesday, 7 April Lesleigh, sadly had to leave. Marc and I had so much fun that we decided to stay for an extra day of outdoor adventure.

We enjoyed a two hour out ride along the river in the afternoon. I knew all about it when I got off the horse and the next 2 days after that, though.

Late afternoon we went on a quad ride, which we really enjoyed.

On Wednesday, 8 April Marc and I said our goodbyes and headed back to JHB. Taking in the beautiful scenery...

The amazing African sky I mentioned in an earlier post.

With all the Thaba-Metsi activities as well as the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour only 4 hours from Johannesburg it is the ideal get away for the adventuress. BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW!

Contact Thaba-Metsi Adventures
Please contact Marc or Tarryn Noné on 083 866 1546 or e-mail us on:adventures@thabametsi.com or thabametsi@mweb.co.za for prices and schedules for individuals, groups or corporate team building.

Click here for Directions to Thaba-Metsi Adventures

Our Wedding Day

I woke up with a big smile on my face on Saturday morning, 4 April thinking; Today I marry the man of my dreams, Today I marry my friend.... "I am one lucky girl".

Looking at my best friend, Les lying next to me, I also realised how lucky I was having her with me. Thanks so much for taking the time and making the effort to come all the way from Denver, Colorado to share our special day with us. It really means the world to me. You are a great friend and I LOVE YOU with all my heart.

Another reason I felt "lucky" is that unlike most brides that spend a fortune on hair and make-up, my make-up artist sister, Jacqueline did my make-up and my "always has perfect hair" cousin, Amori did my hair.

And as always Jacqueline, you know how to paint a face...thanks sis!

By: Fran Mc Kellar Photography

Amori did such a fabulous job with my hair. Mori, I really think you missed your calling. Well done and thanks a lot, I loved my hair do. Oh, and the glitter finished it off nicely.

By: Fran Mc Kellar Photography

So in between the girl talk and sipping champagne I was slowly titivating myself ready to walk down the aisle at 3pm.

So once the hair and make-up was done, all I needed to do was slip the dress on and run, I mean walk down the aisle....

Well, not without some small wedding hiccups though, right. When the DJ finally arrived an hour before the ceremony was suppose to start. Well, let's just say he did arrive but he was not ALL THERE . First he gave me lip about using my laptop and playing my play lists which is what I agreed with the venue. Lesleigh quickly gave him lip about being so full of LIP and we were finally ready to start the ceremony at about 3:10.

I’m going try and write this without sounding like it was a huge disaster, because even with all the little (ok, they were not so little but they made the wedding) mishaps this was still the best day of my life and I wouldn't change a thing.

As Lesleigh and the flower girls, Anje and Amone made their way down the aisle I realised that the DJ wasn't playing the right song. I figured it's ok, asked them to please just make sure he at least plays the right song when I walk down the aisle. And as we got the cue to start walking, of course it wasn't the right song...anyway.

By: Etienne Bester

As it turns out, the DJ playing the wrong song was not half as noticeable as the maid of honor and almost the bride, walking down the aisle without their bouquets.

Well, as you can imagine, that really broke the ice. The guests packed up laughing as my cousin ran up the aisle followed by my sister with the key to the room.

By: Fran Mc Kellar Photography

Two minutes later bouquet in hand with the right song playing (Only Time by: Enya), my mom finally walked me down the aisle towards my Mr. Right.

By: Fran Mc Kellar Photography

So if you think that was funny, wait...there is more:

And without explaining the pastors sermon or should I say "relationship advice" in detail, let's just say that it was not what we expected. Not at all what you see on TV....

By: Etienne Bester

We were kind of caught by surprise when he said "the bride and groom will now exchange their vows". We looked at each other, the pastor smiled, we laughed nervously, Marc said "are we not following your lead"?, and when the pastor then laughed nervously we knew that we would just have to wing it. And we did. I don't think we did a bad job as there wasn't a dry seat in the house.

Lighting the unity candle...

Kissing the bride...By: Fran Mc Kellar Photography

And the one thing that we did discuss with the pastor was not to forget to say "you may kiss the bride", which he did forget and one of our guest had to remind him.

Presenting: Mr. and Mrs. Beuthe

By: Fran Mc Kellar Photography

So, though it was not a traditional wedding ceremony, it sure was a memorable one and I know that both Marc and I will remember it always, and so will our guests.

After the ceremony we proceeded to cut the cake, followed by the family and group photographs before Marc and I went off to take some bride and groom shots.

The best Made of Honor a bride could ask for. "Thanks for all your help with everything, Les"!
Group shot

Bride and Groom shots by: Fran Mc Kellar PhotographyBy: Lea van Coller

My favourite photo ;-) by: Etienne Bester

Just before 6:00 we entered the reception as Mr. and Mrs. Beuthe and for the rest of the evening our MC, Dean led us through what can only be described as a casual, fun wedding celebration which was exactly what we wanted. The speeches by the best man, groom and my sister were done in between courses and they were short and sweet but meaningful and very special. Good job, guys.

We had guests from near and far (as far as: Germany, London, Dubai and the USA). Thank you to all of you for traveling the distance to share our special day with us.

We did our fist dance at about 8:30, followed by the bouquet and garter toss, which meant there were no more interruptions from about 9:00 and we were able to celebrate and have fun.
By: Fran Mc Kellar Photography
By: Etienne Bester
So now let me get back to the DJ that was NOT all there....

It turns out he was enjoying the open bar too much, and to make a long story short half way through the evening we fired our DJ as he was the one causing unnecessary interruptions.
Luckily the venue did have a good sound system where we plugged my laptop into and the Party continued, until almost 2am.

Misty Valley Lodge was the perfect venue for the casual atmosphere we were after. The set-up was ideal with the small bar area right next to the reception area. It allowed the party animals to dance the night away, while some of the guest enjoy the late evening around the fire.
Thank you to the organisers and our guests for making our wedding day so special!
Check out our wedding website to see more photo's of our special day!
Click on the below link:
Below is the beautiful poem on the wedding program, that might not be very clear:

I love you, not only for what you are
but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself
but for what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out;
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
and passing over all the foolish, weak things
that you can’t help dimly seeing there
and for drawing out into the light,
all the beautiful belongings
that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.
I love you because...
you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life
not a tavern but a temple;
Out of works of my every day, not a reproach but a song.
I love you Because…
you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good
and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.
You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it by being yourself.

Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

(Not just any) Trip to SA

I have been on an amazing high (of excitement) the past couple of months. And as it turns out, I've also been very slack...I just realised that I haven't updated the blog since the post on our engagement in January. Oops.

So much has happened since, but I won't go into the details of the wedding planning and bore you with what kept me sooooo busy.

I had great fun planning the wedding and really counted the days until our BIG day, which was on Saturday, 4 April in the Highlands Meander, Machadodorp, Mpumalanga.

Dress in hand I departed for Abu Dhabi on the 12th of March. I decided to visited Amori in Dubai (which I will refer to as Legoland from now on), for a week.

I took the Etihad shuttle from Abu Dhabi to Dubai where Amori collected me. It was so nice to spend time with my cousin and I was of course so spoiled. Legoland is truly a fascinating place. Having been there before in 2005, I kind of knew what to expect.

Though one would associate Dubai with glitz and glamour I must admit it looked a lot like dust and sand to me.
I remember thinking "I'm missing something" when I visited in 2005, when I realised it's colour that is missing. No vegetation....not so pretty. Well, I guess it is the dessert after all, right. I am still trying to decide if the palm trees are real or fake.
Amori lives in a great area called Jumeirah Beach Residence where for a minute the real "fake" plants actually make you feel like you are in tropical paradise with the beautiful turquoise ocean on the one side, and a marine walk lined with cafe's and designer stores on the other but when you look up and you see all the cranes and the building and demolishing going on you are quickly reminded that you're not. Oh, and the camels are a dead give a way of course.

Apparently Dubai has 20% of the world’s cranes. No wonder the national bird of Dubai is the "crane". Hahahahaha! I like that joke...

The view from Amori's apartment on the 21st floor .
I went with Amori and her friend Angie to a Tiesto concert. Though not really my kind of music, I really enjoyed it. Thanks girls, it was fun!
Amori made sure that I visited all the big malls that Dubai is known for...Batuta Mall, Mall of Emirates and Dubai Mall are some of the ones I remember the names of.

I don't think divers will see any fish life in the Arabian sea because they are all in the aquariums around Dubai.
A drive by the famous Burj Al-Arab Hotel.

My last night in Dubai, Amori wanted to show me the Atlantis Hotel Complex, The Palms, which now that I've read up on it a bit is pretty amazing. Still Legoland, but they get an A for effort.
On the Wednesday, 18 March I bid Amori farewell and headed to sunny SA, where I was looking forward to seeing green for as far as the eye can see. And knowing that when you look up, you will see the amazingly blue African skies and stunning sun sets. Which are really a rarity in Jakarta and I made sure I took it all in, in the 3 weeks I was at home. I was reminded again of what a beautiful country SA is and I felt truly happy with our decision to get married in SA.

The next couple of days, I spent with my mom and sister. Dinners with family, Shopping, ordering flowers, tying ribbons around favors etc.
Dinner with my mom, aunt and sisters.
I also met the new addition to the Beuthe family. I didn't just become a wife, I also became an Aunty. Natalee Beuthe is only 3 weeks old in this picture and really cute.
On Sunday, 22 March I woke up very excited, not just because the wedding day was getting closer but because I was going to see my best friend and made of honor Lesleigh again. Lesleigh moved to Denver a year ago, and when I calculated that we hadn't seen each other in a year and 8 months it made our reunion even more special. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
I just love it when a plan comes together. Our friend Julia returned from her weekend in the South Coast on the same day so the three of us met at the airport and we spent 2 days together catching up, being silly (how I miss that, girls).
Looking at the photos of our "1st night reunion", I realised just how silly we were when I couldn't find one that I could post. LOL ;-)

On Monday, 23 March the 3 of us went on a little road trip to Machadodorp to check out the wedding venue and to finalise the arrangements. And I was very pleased when the girls agreed, that it was indead a terrific venue.

Lesleigh and I spent one night with my Mom on the Tuesday, before she went to go soke up the KZN sun.
So finally after Marc arrived on the 28th of March and Lesleigh returned from her trip to KZN on the 30th, the final countdown to the BIG day began.
On Wednesday, 1 April it was Lesleigh's birthday (Happy Birthday, my friend) and between the b-day lunch, mani and pedi and a "braai" in Pretoria that evening Lesleigh didn't really have time to even think about how old she really is. Private joke...LOL ;-) Just kidding my friend. You don't look a day older than 25. Happy Birthday, Les.
It is not offen Marc gets to stand in front of a big "braai" like this one. Tanya and Les enjoying a beautiful Pretoria evening.
Meat, meat and a man must eat...something else we dont get alot of. Yummy!
Sylvia, our gracious host and the Birthday girl, Les!
On Thursday, 2 April. Lesleigh, Marc and I headed out to Misty Valley Lodge. We decided to go earlier so that we could finalise the seating arrangements and other wedding arrangements.

We were very happy that we did go up earlier when we were sitting around the log fire, sipping a glass of vino. Something else we miss...the cold.
Cheers...to a good choice of venue. "We like it here" ;-)
I was a little bit worried when we woke op on Friday morning and it was white with mist.
Friday, 3 April marc and I had to go through to Belfast to meet the pastor that was conducting our wedding ceremony. From about lunch time, our guests started arriving.

From around 4 the girls all met at one of the chalets for my lingerie "shower" that Lesleigh arranged. Kitchen teas sure are boring.....Go for the underwear girls its fantastic. I received so many nice things, I truly feel spoiled. Thank you!
So while the girls were sipping wine and chit chatting the boys were trying their luck fishing in the nearby dams. Some of the boys were luckier than others (Go Terry and Marius). But, one thing they all caught was a sun burn. So instead of a blushing bride, we had a blushing groom and loads of blushing men. LOL ;-)

We moved to the pub for another relaxed evening around the bar and in front of the fire, catching up with all our friends that we hadn't seen in a while.

So it went from saying "we are getting married in 4 months", to "we're getting married in a week" to "we are getting married tomorrow....YEAH!!! I could hardly wait....
Wedding and post-wedding posts to follow soonest.