me Life and Times of the Fireflies: 2018

Monday, 12 February 2018

We're Moving!

Home is where the heart is, right? And if home really is where the heart is, then a great part of it - my heart that is - has been poured out into this space over here. Words have always been a source of great comfort and solace to me through the years. I have drowned many of my sorrows and dowsed several of my fears on blank pages; housed between the covers of a journal; until eventually making the leap (after much convincing from my sisters) to this space on the internet.
For several years now, this has been home to my feelings and thoughts. This has been the home of my memories and life's ramblings. For many years this has been the space where I've recorded and documented all my life lessons and most prized accomplishments...this has been my comfort...this has been a very big part of me...this has been a home of sorts - even if just for my feelings and thoughts. And now I'm leaving it behind so to speak, to set up home in a new space!
 I feel like I've done a lot of growing in this space, and leaving it behind seems bittersweet. And just like one would do when leaving a physical home behind; lingering along hallways and bedrooms recounting pivotal moments and memories; I find myself doing much of the same as I've been browsing through old entries of mine- reminiscing - before I make way for new beginnings.

I didn't even know how to use a computer properly when I started this blog, and even though I'm still majorly technologically challenged, I've learnt so much along the way! I've grown as a mother and as a person - and our family has grown (and is still growing) considerably too! And so what better time to pack everything up and move on to a newer, prettier and more functional space.  
Every now and again there's a little voice in the back of your head that screams for an adventure. Where on a whim, you decide to pack everything into a bag and step out of your comfort zone. Where suddenly you know it's time to start something out of the ordinary and trust the magic of new beginnings. That's how I'm feeling right now. 5 years ago that feeling was tied to starting this blog; and in this case, I've packed up all the memories we've accumulated over the years, carefully boxed and sealed them, and had the moving guys  had a tech savvy person ( Andrea from Bird & Design ) set it all up in our new space.  And so it's with great, anxious excitement, that I want to announce that we have a brand new home on the internet!

So this is my last post here in this space. A last goodbye and farewell to a platform that has bode me well over the years. From now onwards, you can find me in my new home and space Life and Times of the Fireflies. Please hop on over and check it out :-)

 Thanks for reading!

Monday, 29 January 2018

An Open Letter to My Child's Teacher

It seems like an odd time to pen a letter to a teacher my child is leaving behind...or rather, children.  It does feel like the end of an era, doesn't it. All so final with the last of my brood leaving your class to spread his new found wings. I thought I'd write this letter while my feelings are raw and thoughts are still fresh. But to be honest, these feelings have been swirling around in my head and heart for a long time now. Ever since way back last year as I witnessed my child transform and grow. And a lot of it has to do with you, so I wanted to say, Thank you. 
I wanted to say thank you for taking my child's anxiety and turning it into confidence. Thank you for giving him validation...for making him feel important. Your reassuring words and gestures worked like magic and has given him the ability to see and believe in his own abilities, and the confidence to conquer anything he puts his mind to - even standing in front of the class to say his orals.  
I wanted to say thank you for nurturing his enquiring mind. For being patient in answering his millions of questions. For allowing him to have a voice and giving him a chance to be heard - Even if it was to tell a story that related to his several cousins and aunts. You listened and made him feel valued.
I wanted to say thank you for creating a caring and nurturing environment where he felt safe and comfortable...a place where he felt happy...a place where it was easy for him to learn.
I wanted to say thank you for teaching him that getting all the answers right is not the only important thing (even though it is a great reward for working hard). That being kind, considerate and compassionate to his friends holds far greater value.    
I wanted to say thank you for seeing my child as he truly is. Thanks for seeing his strengths, his potential, his determination, his drive and his independence. Thanks for seeing his intelligence, diligence and perseverance (with his handwriting). Thank you for  seeing past the statistics and assessment results (even though they were pretty incredible), and seeing him as a person and nurturing him holistically throughout the year. You have helped him grow and develop, not only as a student, but also as a person, and for that I am particularly grateful.   
When Zaydaan started school I really felt like I threw him into the deep end. I planted him like a little seedling into the great unknown and watched (and wavered...and also doubted my choices) as he figured his way around; but by the end of that year he had transformed into a bud. You, in turn, took my little bud and made him blossom and bloom <3 And now he's stepped into grade three with a tenacity and confidence and a fire in his eye that makes me feel like he's totally got this!

I just wanted to say thank you - for all that you are, all that you stand for, and for all that you do for all the kids who walk through your door. You have a unique ability of not just teaching, but truly investing in all the kids you encounter and have certainly left a lasting impact on all of my children - For Saafiyah, it was her first year in the big unknown and you helped her thrive...and who can forget that letter Raqeeb wrote in grade 5!! You are one in a million and I'm so sad to say goodbye. Instead I'll say one last time...thank you. Thank you for being an important part of my family's incredible journey!

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing
A blurry picture of where it all began

And now...It's a pity Saafiyah is missing from this picture

And now marching off to grade 3!

Thank You!

From all of us <3

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Life Lately - Starting 2018

And just like that the holidays are over, the kids are back to school and things are returning to normal - if we can even call this life we live normal! I'm a bit late to the draw this year with getting the blog going. Precious time with the family had taken precedence over updating this space over here...especially after our rough start to Summer (read about it HERE ). But that rough start has made me realise more than ever to capitalise on whatever time we have with our loved ones, and so we kept the Summer partying going till the very end before we get swallowed up by our busy schedules. I suppose that's why, even though we are way past halfway through January, it feels like I'm only really getting started with 2018 now!

At first, I found the idea of 50 days and 150 meals of Summer vacation a little daunting and exhausting. But by the end of it, I found it to be a great time to reconnect with my kids - to have long and meaningful conversations with them, listen to their woes (and sometimes, complaints about my parenting), delve a bit deeper into their psyche, focus on character know - all the things we let slip by during the year because there's just too many things to do. And somewhere along the line, as kids often have the power to do, they have brought about the biggest changes and realisations within ME!  
 I feel like the end of 2017 and this Summer holiday has really set the tone for things I need to change and focus on in 2018. It started out as a little niggly voice in the back of my mind, a little whisper into my subconscious; and is now reverberating through every aspect of my life. It's a common theme that's coming pouring through - especially out of the mouths of my kids and I think it's time I really start listening to the signals.

So, even though I have no profound resolutions or goals set for myself  for 2018; the one single change I want to focus on is to live less of my moments behind a screen or a camera lens! To live less of my moments observing my family live their lives from my own created fortress of stop trying to capture every single moment perfectly and start to live every single moment that I am given with my family! If there's one thing I want to achieve this year, then it is to find a happy medium between the two.

 I know that this is just the beginning of a very long stretch...that there's plenty more lessons still to come; and I'm ready to embrace and learn from whatever comes way; but at least it's a pretty good way to get the year started - focused on family and ready to grow :-)

Thanks for reading!


Friday, 12 January 2018

WFOT Congress 2018 - Top 5 Beaches in Cape Town

We've had a slow start to Summer this year, and even though the temperatures are far departure from the cold Winter chill, we've had very few real "beach days" on offer so far. It makes me feel like the best days are still to come, and that, much like in 2017, they will extend far beyond the conventional Summer months and flow over into the months of Autumn...and if you're lucky, also coincide with your stay here for the WFOT Congress!


For me, trips to the ocean are not only reserved for the Summer months anyway. There's something soothing...calming...and almost cathartic about the rhythmic music of the waves crashing against the shore, that has me going back all year long - if not to dip my toes into the water; then certainly to catch a sunset or immerse myself in it's calming energy - and for that reason, even though the WFOT doesn't coincide with Summer, I'm including this list of the best beaches to visit anyway...because when in Cape Town, no matter the season, you simply have to stop by a few of our iconic shorelines!

 CLIFTON:  Definitely the crème de la crème of what Cape town has to offer - the four Clifton beaches are ranked up there amongst the most beautiful beaches in the world! This strip of beaches is probably the most popular amongst tourists, and for good reason. The scenic drive along this famous beach strip alone is enough to take your breath away; while the white sands and blue waters provide the perfect backdrop for countless travel pictures that will make everyone back home wish they were there with you! 


CAMPS BAY:  Just a short distance away from the famous Clifton stretch, is the palm fringed and bustling shoreline of Camps Bay! It's idyllic location, breathtaking backdrop and easy access to a host of restaurants and eateries just across the road; makes it another popular destination for also ME! I love visiting this place all year round!

LLANDUDNO:  About a 15 minute drive away from Camps Bay - and also midway between the bustling Camps Bay strip and Hout Bay harbour; nestled at the base of some of the most beautiful seaside homes, you will find the more private secluded strip of paradise on the shore of  Llandudno beach. Limited parking facilities means that this beach is hardly ever packed to capacity, and the crashing waves makes this a popular spot for surfers.

BLOUBERG:  This is a bit of a drive from the city centre, but the sweeping shoreline and amazing view of Table Mountain in the distance will make the trek worthwhile. It is also one of the best beaches when it comes to activities. It's one of the world's most popular kite surfing destinations - while also ideal for surfing, wind surfing and other outdoor sports.


BOULDERS:  Getting it's name from the giant granite boulders that shelter the beach, Boulder's beach can be found along the quirky Kalk Bay/ Simons town stretch towards Cape Point. It is one of the only places in the world that you can get up close to the African penguin. Penguin viewing is made easy by boardwalks that lead visitors across the beaches as well as to the information centre

When you're living along a coastline, there's no shortage of beautiful beach destinations to visit...but if you're a tourist (or, living in Cape Town and want to feel like a tourist) then these are the beaches you simply have to visit!

Thanks for reading!!