Don’t buy me a C-string…

May 31, 2007 at 4:24 pm (Uncategorized)

Ok, now I’ve just about read all I ever need to about fashion. It’s not about the G-string – or Mrs M’s B-string. Nee, it’s the C-string. I ask you: what next?

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Round 3: Toby Hanks vs The Insurance People

May 30, 2007 at 11:16 am (insurance)

It’s been a lengthy battle but it finally seems as if these people are seeing the light. I spoke to one of the managers at my insurance company (Still no word from my first guy, mind you). He’s proposed a compromise after lengthy apologies and an acknowledgment that they screwed up.
A free month cover, a waiver on two key aspects of my policy (which would’ve had me shelling out a few more rand), punishment for the sales guy and a market related cover figure instead of a trade related cover.
My policy will still be more than what was now originally quoted but this is what they’ve now offered. I have yet to accept but for me the most important part is resolved: they admitted their guy screwed up and they said sorry.
What I have learnt from this whole thing:

  • Make notes and get the names of everyone you speak to – I quoted extensively from my notes so could tell them exactly what went on in our conversation.
  • Always triple check the excess you’re quoted on is not just the basic excess (there’s a difference between the two which the guy failed to make clear to me).
  • Don’t give up no matter how frustrating it is. It takes a lot of calls and angry exchanges but if you stick to your guns you will get somewhere.
  • Don’t just accept the first thing they tell you. If you have a point, make it – several times if you have to.
  • Have faith in our consumer complaints bodies. After making it clear I would lodge a complaint with the ombudsman (thanks Louisa!) and contact consumer journalists such as Kampvegter at Die Burger ( and Wendy Knowler at the Cape Times (, things started moving much faster. But I also made it clear that I would only do this after I had tried to solve it myself. They understood the situation wasn’t just a case of running to the media, so tried their best to fix it.
  • There are some nice guys out there. My Complaints Guy followed up to check if a manager had contacted me and asked if I was happy with the service and the result. I would like to think it’s because he’s genuine and not because he was scared shitless I would get him into trouble.

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The hoaxes of Zuma

May 30, 2007 at 9:41 am (annoying, Jacob Zuma, news&media)

Am I the only one who is SO over Jacob Zuma’s hoax stories? For heaven’s sake man, enough already! The kanga-lover is back in the news again. For a hoax story. Again. Ag shame, he just never gets any rest, does he? My heart pumps lumpy custard for his baby-oiled self.
But what’s worse is the fact that he’s playing the SA media for all it’s worth – he knows that every hint of scandal will be covered extensively, giving him a much needed publicity boost. Even now I’m giving him space (but I’m not kidding myself; my blog is not a national newspaper) which is exactly what he wants.
Whether it’s good or bad, our knee-loving JZ is loving the limelight as it keeps him on the public agenda. Won’t be surprised if his next move is a public shower…

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Quote of the week

May 30, 2007 at 9:27 am (quotes)

“Benni is soooo 2002!”
Mrs M on Benni McCarthy’s diva antics

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A cutting pain

May 30, 2007 at 8:45 am (crime, fury, murder)

Not even scissors are safe anymore. How do you deal with the fact that your kid has been stabbed – in school – with a pair of scissors?
My heart bleeds for this boy’s family and a report in the
Cape Argus just filled me with more despair. In Cape Town, of the 109 high risk schools, 34 of them are primary schools. These are kids under the age of 15!
Even worse is the fact that most of the schools are on the Cape Flats.
Not surprising, I must say, but really disheartening. These are schools we competed against in athletics meetings; schools who have the same problems, background and issues that we had in our school in Lentegeur, Mitchell’s Plain.
These are the schools so many of my family, friends and my brother are still attending. And there’s actually nothing we can do about what’s going on there. I feel powerless and I’m angry because I’m powerless. I just don’t know what to do.
I don’t know what’s going to happen to the 17-year-old who wielded those deadly pair of scissors but I do know this: banning the stuff in schools will not stop the violence.
If you’ve been fucked over for so long and remained on the fringe of the BEE-trickledown, you won’t just change your ways because some prissy education department official had a bright-spark idea to remove sharp objects. I’ve seen people been stabbed with pens and pencils – are they going to ban that too? Please. Spare me.

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Thanks friend

May 30, 2007 at 8:29 am (friends, private personal space)

There are days when you feel so low there’s just nothing that can cheer you up. Except the company of a good friend. Even when everything is at its lowest ebb just being in the presence of that person can cheer you up. We all need someone like that in our lives.
Friend, you know who you are: thank you for all the lovely words and the absolute faith. It did a lot more for me than any amount of hot chocolates and cigarettes. Even more than chocolate (and that’s saying a lot!).

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Hi there Hillary

May 28, 2007 at 9:08 am (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, politics, US politics)

I don’t quite know what to make of Hillary Clinton. On the one hand she obviously rocks because she’s a strong, powerful woman making waves in US politics. And she’s definitely smart, another plus point.
On the other I don’t know if she’s lame for sticking with Bill or just very shrewd to stay with him. And I don’t know if she’s sincere.
I have no doubt she’d be an able president (who can be worse than George?) and the fact that she’s a woman doesn’t mean she’ll be any less capable than, say, Obama. But I’m not sure whether I think she should be president.
There’s something about her that turns me off and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It’s weird but there’s something inherently fake about her.
Maybe I just need to read about her a bit more and see what else comes out the closet. Or do the politics fundis have an opinion I could evaluate?

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Diana’s death not dead

May 28, 2007 at 8:09 am (Anna-Nicole Smith, news&media, Princess Diana)

Why on Earth can they not just leave her alone? Geez…the same like poor Anna-Nicole, Diana just can’t be left alone.
Seems another sleazy tabloid wants to make a quick pound by showing images of the crash in which she died. Why?
I’ve said before I won’t read stories about her (not stories about stories about her) and I don’t intend to start now. But hell, this is too sickening for words.
When will the dead just die and be left alone? Is it a media hungry for copy-selling stories – or is it a public willing to buy because their hunger for these stories are so great?

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Scandal is not enough

May 25, 2007 at 3:51 pm (blogs, stupid)

The blog scandal continues. Earlier I posted a link to the site Patrica de Lille didn’t want mentioned. I figured it’s news and everyone is searching for it anyway. After reading Vincent’s comments I took the link off but not because I’m am scared of a judge – it’s because, ethically, it’s not a good thing to do.
It’s a bit of an awkward thing actually – the blogosphere is built on principles of free speech and saying what you want. But as a journalist, I can’t do something that is patently unverified and potentially false. That’s why I took the link off. It’s just against the principles of doing no harm if you can help it.
One half of me wants to say “it’s available anywhere” and blogs are about free speech then my rational side kicks in and says Vincent is right – we must not take our freedoms for granted and abuse it. We’ll see if the charges made on the sex blog is true, then we’ll talk again.
I feel thoroughly chastised.

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Frivolous Friday fun

May 25, 2007 at 2:49 pm (private personal space)

Ten things about me that shock even me.

  1. I thought – briefly – Steve Hofmeyr is sexy.
  2. I have friends who love Noot Vir Noot.
  3. I eat cream crackers and tuna for supper (or Simba chips on bread) because I’m too lazy to cook.
  4. I had a gatsby for lunch and sat outside while we ate it. Revival in coloured pride and all that.
  5. I read fiction stories in YOU magazine and remembered it.
  6. I own six pairs of shoes with heels.
  7. I remember the theme song to Gummi Bears.
  8. I don’t know if I really believe global warming is a problem.
  9. I don’t really like children – especially if they want to touch me.
  10. I can’t believe I’m recording this in this blog.

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