Nightmare New Internet Provider


For a while now, we’ve had problems with our Internet provider, which can range from extremely slow Internet, no Internet at all and bad customer service, among others. About a month ago, my husband decided to set up a poll on Facebook in a bid to sniff out the bad providers and hopefully identify a few good ones to consider moving to. People responded in their droves, with our current provider coming bottom, which was no surprise. There was one clear winner, who was consistently scored 4-5 out of 5 by those who took part. So we bit the bullet and got the wheels in motion to move our custom to said provider.

We did further research, and everything seemed fantastic. The new Internet provider was very quick to respond and within no time at all, we shelled out an eye-watering installation and first month subscription fees. All we really cared about was making this move to our new provider. Everything was going swimmingly, and we were installed within a few days of starting our enquiries. But from that point on, everything started to go pear shaped!

Two weeks into our contract with the new provider, we realized that we may have jumped from the frying pan straight into the fire! For the past two weeks, we’ve been stuck in a living nightmare with the new Internet provider. We were in the middle of phasing out our old provider, so we had two modems between which we could swap, depending on which was faster or just better overall, at any given time. I’m grateful we hung fire with disconnecting our old provider!

Right from the get go, this new provider was raising some red flags. To start with, the installation guys seemed in a rush to finish the installation and rush off to their weekend. This was done on a Friday afternoon. They came exactly two Fridays ago. We got a satellite dish, which we believed would give us a faster and stronger signal. The guys needed to drill a hole in the wall to poke a wire through. Well, they went in guns blazing and made total mess of it. We weren’t happy about this, as we live in a rented flat.

Once installed, we observed their Internet service over the weekend and were shocked to see it was actually performing far worse than our current provider. Where we were promised we’d get ten times better speed, they were ten times worse than our current provider, generally considered the worst in the country! Watching YouTube videos was a nightmare, with a lot of buffering. It was the exact opposite with our current provider! Some emails were taking forever to come through. Uploading and downloading material was futile, with the system stating days, while our current provider was doing it either instantly or in a couple of hours! We were truly baffled, but knew we couldn’t ignore these glaring issues!

We then fired off emails to the new provider, detailing the problems we were having inside of a week of being with them. At first there was no response to our emails, or a courtesy call for a few days. We also realized some of the attachments we’d sent them showing various screenshots had been left untouched in all this time!! By the end of the week, at the end of our tether, we sent them a very stern email telling them if they didn’t address the issues we had, we were ready to terminate the account. ONLY then did they call and then send out their technicians to have a look.

I use the term technicians very loosely because the guys were clueless. It was left to my husband to trouble shoot for them! They did agree on testing our Internet speed that it fell way below what was expected, and were left scratching their heads. Apparently, our problems were unique and they had never encountered anything like it! They were honest enough to say they were clueless as to how to resolve them, and subsequently couldn’t offer any options, let alone solutions, instead grabbing their things and leaving!

We gave it another two days for the company to redeem themselves, but it looked to us that they weren’t going to address the issue any further, but rather let us continue to pay for a very shoddy service. They seemed pleased to continue taking our money, even though it was apparent we were not receiving the service for which we wanted to make the move. Finally, this Thursday just gone, I decided to call them and lay our cards on the table and let them know that in the two weeks we’d been with them, we’d had nothing but problem after problem. I told them we’d concluded the best thing would be to part ways at this juncture, and they didn’t put up any resistance.

Yesterday, exactly two weeks to the day since we had our installation, the technicians came to uninstall their equipment. In our last phone conversation on Thursday, I’d pointed out we didn’t expect to serve the stipulated threes months’ notice, given the situation. Luckily, they didn’t fight us on this, but neither did they move to pacify us in any way, shape or form. This has left us to wonder why this Internet provider garnered so many rave reviews, yet they clearly fell way short with us. That will probably remain a mystery. I’m just glad that we never did get around to disconnecting the old service provider. We’ll plod along with them, and continue the search! Maybe it is true what they say about better the devil you know!

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Interesting Home Remedies


There used to be a time when people turned their nose up at home remedies, but the tide has now turned in favour of natural remedies over conventional medicine. With more enlightenment, more and more people are jumping on the natural remedies bandwagon. There are countless nature stores popping up everywhere across the globe. It also helps that there are now experts trained in Aromatherapy and other holistic therapies, who are always on hand to offer advice and guidance to those who need it. More and more people are also becoming a lot more conscious about what they put in the bodies, and opt to go the natural way, before resorting to conventional medicine. Nobody can dispute the fact that home remedies are currently at their most popular.

I too like to dabble, and if it’s something I can take care of with herbal remedies, I’d sooner do that than take medicine. Of course, the important thing here is to understand that there’s only so much natural remedies can do, and know when to seek medical attention.

Below are very interesting home remedies for various ailments:

Mouth ulcers mash a ripe banana with a generous dollop of honey and apply to the affected areas for quick relief. This will lessen the pain and speed up the healing process. Of course, you can eat the rest of the paste!

Prevent sunburn by mixing a few drops of Neem oil with a little mild oil to block out harmful UV rays. Neem oil is known for many healing properties, but it’s also very effective in guarding against sunburn. I would however, still urge you to top it up with your sunscreen for extra protection.

Lime or lemon juice and milk can be used as a natural face cleanser. Famed for her beauty and flawless skin, Egyptian Queen Cleopatra clearly was ahead of her time, as she’s said to have bathed in milk. So do like Queen Cleopatra and mix a pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons of lime/lemon juice and 50ml of raw milk and use it as a face cleanser for glowing skin.

For indigestion and tummy trouble, mix half a teaspoon of ground bay leaf with a pinch Cardamon and hot water. Allow to stew for 10 minutes, and then sip slowly after a meal.

Lower your cholesterol by looking to the powerful substance lecithin, a type of fat that’s essential to body cells. It can be found in food such as egg yolk, vegetable oils, whole grain cereals, unpasteurized milk and soya products. These have been shown to slow down the build up of cholesterol in the body.

Stop your hair falling out with mustard oil and Henna. This combination will also result in healthy hair growth. Cook Henna leaves in mustard oil to the point of burning. Filter the oil and gently massage a little of the oil into your scalp every day for results.

Use Basil for sore throat. Basil has antiseptic properties and offers one of the best and quickest natural remedies for sore throat. Boil 3-4 Basil leaves, allow to cool down and use to gargle. If you can stomach it, you can also drink the mixture as a tea.

A mixture of baking soda and water will relieve flatulence. Mix about a quarter of a teaspoon with some water and drink for relief from intestinal gas. This mixture may also offer relief from tummy ache.

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Astros Chocolate: A Review

The decadent Astros

The decadent Astros

Like a lot of people, I love chocolate and have a few favourites. One of them is the Astros. I like my chocolate light and not very heavy on the chocolate, and Astros fit the bill perfectly. In as much as I enjoy chocolate, some can be too much for me, so I tend to gravitate towards those that have a wafer or biscuit centre. This means I can indulge without worrying too much about the calorie content, plus it leaves me wanting more! Astros fit into this category.

Astros are quite simply, delicious and as Cadbury (yes, another Cadbury product!) puts it, devilishly melt in the mouth! Cadbury describes them as ‘candy coated chocolate with a biscuit centre’, and I believe that’s spot on. Sadly, they may only be available in Southern Africa and maybe Australia under a different brand. I understand they used to be available in the UK, but were discontinued for whatever reason. So some of you who are interested in trying them out may have to take to eBay or maybe even Amazon, as they’re sure to carry them on there.

Astros come in 40g and 150g packages. I’m often tempted to go for the latter, but have to settle for the smaller box because I know I’d easily polish them off in one sitting! They are that delicious. I only opt for the bigger box if my husband assures me he’ll have at least half.

What I like about them is the melt-in-the-mouth effect they have. There’s nothing I hate more than having to really work my jaw when I’m eating chocolate, as is usually the case with chocolate containing caramel. With Astros, there really isn’t much chewing required. It really does melt in your mouth! Also, there’s not many in the smaller pack, so you get your chocolate fix and don’t have to worry too much about the amount of calories as much as you would if you were having a regular sized chocolate bar. What I find curious and don’t really like is the absence of the calorie content information on the box. I’ve looked everywhere, but can’t seem to find it anywhere. This leads me to believe the delicious little treats may very well have far more calories than we all think!

Even still, I would still happily rate Astros a glowing 5 stars! However many calories are contained within them, I think they’re a treat worth breaking the rules for once in a while.

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My own

The Weather Will Do What It Wants


Today I woke up to a very interesting day in terms of weather. We’re gradually moving towards the winter, but only yesterday I was moaning about the relentless heat, as it doesn’t seem to be cooling off as we head towards winter here! When I got home from work yesterday, I was surprised to see clouds forming, and the temperature dropping sharply. It just seemed random. I casually said to my husband, it could be gearing up for some rain. You never know, but these days it appears the weather will do what it wants, never mind what season it is!

Even as I said it, I didn’t honestly believe it would rain because with it being April, it’s not really rainy season. Botswana’s rainy season usually wraps up in February. As usual, I laid out my clothes for today before I went to bed, as it saves me bags of time in the morning. Naturally, I chose summery clothes that would keep me cool through what I expected to be another scorching day. Imagine my surprise when I woke up in the morning to find the weather dull and grey! It was also blowing a bit of a gale, very much reminding me of British weather. So I had to scramble around looking for a totally different outfit, which I really wasn’t happy about because I hate rushing first thing when I’m still feeling groggy.

I headed off to cover a news event on the commemoration of the World Haemophilia Day, which was being held out in the open at a mall square. Because the organizers had expected it to be hot, they’d erected this pretty canopy, which while suited to shielding people from the full glare of the sun, was utterly useless at protecting them from the rain. I didn’t think much of it because even at this stage, rain was the last thing on my mind. Alas! I was to be proven well and truly wrong.

We were alright for a while, but halfway through the proceedings, the weather took a turn for the worse; with clouds turning angry and dark, and rain pounding down steadily. The temperature also fell, forcing people to whip out their jackets and cardigans. It seems people came prepared! I was freezing, because I had on a little three quarter sleeve cardigan. At one point it got so bad that some people, including me, ran out from under the canopy to take shelter under the shops’ rafters. The whole thing was just comical, but at least everyone involved had a good sense of humour and had a few giggles about it. Actually, it kind of lightened the mood, given the subject of discussion.

The dull, grey weather seems to be persisting into the night, so I’m guessing tomorrow will be another cool day. Personally, I’m not complaining, we have enough scorching hot days through the year to do without a few, when it’s the last thing you’d expect at this time of the year!

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RIP Oh Great one, Prince

my personal dedication to the purple one

my personal dedication to the purple one


I write with a heavy heart to announce to those who don’t already know that the artist formerly known as Prince has died at the tender age of 57. It was announced in the last hour or so that the diminutive, and hugely talented star succumbed to a nasty bout of the flu. Earlier in the week, I caught a snippet of news stating he’d been rushed to hospital, but never ever thought it would come to this!

If you haven’t already guessed, Prince to me was one of the standout stars out there; a one-off, a real entertainer and my musical hero. I loved the man and adore his music. So I’m still reeling from this news, and just find it hard to believe. I have some of his music that I often play on a loop. As eccentric as he was talented, I admired and respected his work as well as his unquestionable dedication to his craft.

A Few Interesting Facts About Prince

  • He was only 5’2
  • He played electric guitar on Madonna’s like a prayer
  • He danced with James Brown at the tender age of 10
  • Michael Jackson wanted Prince to duet with him on his iconic song bad, but Prince took objection to the line your butt is mine
  • Prince once had the biggest crush on the actress, Kim Basinger
  • He was a skilled basketball player in high school
  • He never listened to his old albums
  • He wrote Sinead O’Connor’s biggest and massively successful hit song nothing compares to you
  • He wrote his first song at 7

Love or hate him, to me, Prince was one of those rare gems that I regard as one-offs in the music industry. He will forever remain in the history books as one of the biggest stars with the biggest influence on fellow artists even today. In my opinion, he has gone too soon, and what makes it even harder to believe is the fact that he died from the flu! Maybe it’s silly, but I would never have thought people, especially people with access to the best medical care, could die from the flu today. That certainly puts into perspective, our own mortality. RIP oh great one!

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Spar Fruit Fuel: A Review

the fruit fuel I had

the fruit fuel I had

In my quest to watch the calories and keep the flab at bay, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. It can get boring eating the same things over and over again, so I try to find ideas with which to jazz up my diet. This I find, also helps me stay on track and not lose interest in my drive to stay in shape.

So two weeks ago I happened upon something I’d not seen before in Spar, my local supermarket where I do my weekly shopping. I was drawn to it by the colourful packaging, at first mistaking it for juice. On closer inspection, it said it was fruit fuel on the front. My interest was well and truly piqued!

So What’s It All About? 

*This review is based on the apple, peach and apricot flavor. There are a couple of other flavours, which I’m sure are just as good.

  • Comes in a little 125 g pouch
  • 100% pure fruit puree
  • No added sugar
  • Free of any preservative, colourant and flavouring
  • Contains 250 calories

As I stood there looking at the packaging, the fruit fuel appealed to me more and more, so I took a couple to try before going in guns blazing, just in case I didn’t like it.

The Verdict

I couldn’t wait to taste my new snack idea! So as soon as I got home, I was straight in there, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. In fact, I really rather like it! It has the same sort of consistency as baby puree that comes in those little pots. However, the taste is much, much better! I found the burst of different, zingy flavours on my tongue quite delicious. It’s surprisingly filling, and actually lasts a good while. I’ve found it handy in tiding me over when I start to feel the hunger pangs when it’s not quite lunchtime. Sometimes I don’t even feel the need to eat lunch, when I’ve snacked on my little fruit pouch around mid morning.

I like it; like it a lot and give it an easy 5 stars out of 5.

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My own

Another Lazy Sunday

Trying to do like MR Froggie here!

Trying to do like MR Froggie here!

I don’t know about you, but today I fully intend to veg out and just take it easy. Sundays are my favourite day of the week, because I can just take it easy and recharge. It has been a very hectic week for me, and as a result, I’m feeling very tired. This week, I was able to run a few errands and sort out a few things including signing up with a new Internet provider, paying a few bills and opening a business bank account; all on top of doing a horrible morning shift from Monday to Friday. So I feel completely justified to treat myself to another lazy Sunday.

Doing shift work is not nice at the best of times, but I feel the shifts I’m currently working in this job have to be some of the worst. I’m not exactly moaning because I’m just grateful to have a job, any job, even though I don’t like the hours and it doesn’t pay much. A job is a job and this one takes care of some of my bills. The shift that bothers me the most is the 3.30am to 10am one. I’m ok from Monday to Tuesday. By Wednesday I start to flag, and by the time I get to Friday, I’m totally frazzled and bereft of all energy! I don’t know, I feel I’m getting too old to be doing this sort of thing J

This week was no different, except I had all these other things to take care of. Usually, I’m able to get home by 11.30am at the very latest. On getting in, I have a quick bite to eat, work online for a couple of hours, before taking a shower and heading off to bed for say two hours. This week it was nearly impossible to get some day time shuteye because the kids are off school, as it’s their mid term break. So it’s been noisier than usual during the day. Plus, it’s been very warm, and the brightness and glare of the sun seeping through the cracks in the curtains hasn’t helped. Sadly, I’m one of those people who need it to be completely dark in order to get good quality sleep.

So all that has added up to leave me feeling beyond exhausted. I just hope having a lazy Sunday will help me feel re-energised in time for the new week starting tomorrow. The saving grace is that I won’t have to get up at a stupid time to go to work! I really have to seek greener pastures and get a job where I can do ‘normal’ hours!

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The People We Meet Online


I’ve been working online for just coming up to two years, and it’s been very interesting to say the least! I’ve observed so many interesting characters, the different types of people we meet online; I’m now moved to write about the types of weird and wonderful people I’ve come across over the past months I’ve spent working online.

Well, as you can imagine; some are pleasant and great to know, others not so much. Whichever way you look at it, here are my findings:

The Pleasant and Friendly are those people with whom we all like to associate and the types I tend to gravitate towards. These are people I can see myself hanging out with and enjoying a good laugh with offline. They’re pleasant and always display the right sort of etiquette. They tend to be very helpful and are very courteous and sensitive to other people’s feelings. These are my favourite types of online friends. These people seldom put a foot wrong.

The Great Pretenders to me are people who always seem to see the need to hype up everything they do and say, basically fronting to their online community. You can basically see right through them, but they’re so far gone, they don’t realize you’re onto them. I’m guessing they probably believe their own lies. I reckon these people are classic fantasists in real life.

The One-Topper Types is self-explanatory. You’ve done something, so they have to have done it, and done it many times better. Ask them to substantiate their claims, and they go silent on you and leave the discussion thread altogether! The interesting thing is that they never learn; in fact, their claims only seem to get bolder and more brazen. These types are rather entertaining, but otherwise inoffensive.

The Passive Aggressives tend to initially appear friendly on the surface, and will even go out of their way to befriend you, but then will start having underhand pops at people or even dishing out back-handed compliments. These people can also be cyber bullies who are probably bullies in real life. They’re very clever at being sneaky in the way they bring others down, in order to elevate themselves. They don’t have social graces. I’m guessing these people are insecure, and have such sad lives their online communities are all they’ve got. I like to steer clear of these people.

The Perpetual Moaners are those I believe probably like the sound of their voices, and will forever moan about one thing or another. Everything is very woe is me, please huddle around and make me feel better about myself. Sometimes, they’re also given to telling little porkies, and getting tangled up in their own web of lies. Some of the things they tell you just don’t tie up. The frustrating thing about these types is that no matter how much you try to prop them up and make them feel better about themselves, they don’t always bite. They moan some more, wanting more of your time and energy, inevitably sucking the life right out of you. Definitely the types to keep at a wide berth.

The Cyber Bullies- well, we all know these types and you’ll probably have encountered one at one point or another. I’ve had a couple of incidents involving these in the past, and they basically get a buzz out of bullying people online. They’re not happy unless they’re bringing someone to their level of depression. You are best off not engaging them and thus getting yourself sucked in to mud slinging, verbal wars of words with them. You don’t want to entertain them by rising to their bait; you need to walk away from them and take your dignity with you.

So where do you fall, do you recognize yourself in any of these? Which type is your least favourite here?

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Blue Zebra Creative




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Trouble with Our Water Tanks


I recently wrote about the severe shortage of water in Botswana, and how we are constantly subjected to water rations. We were lucky to successfully twist our tight fisted landlord’s arm, and convinced them to install reserve water tanks for us, which have somewhat helped us during water ration times. Granted, there’ve not been as many as all that since before Christmas.

Anyway, the guys who installed the tanks were very lax and took forever to get them all done. It really was a shoddy job, and once they were done, they never even told us or even bothered to tell us how they function, what to report in case they malfunctioned etc. We basically had to work it out ourselves.

That wouldn’t matter so much, but since the tanks were installed, we’ve had all manner of problems with them. For instance, our water pressure has really taken a hit, especially upstairs in the en suite bathroom. The problem is even worse in the hot water tap! We’re now forced to shower downstairs in the guest bathroom, and it’s a hassle. The tanks in our line of apartments also made quite a racket 24/7, which the guys came and sorted out after some badgering. One of our neighbours also recently had a problem where water wasn’t filling up her tank, and she didn’t have water in the mains, although we knew for a fact there was no water ration.

This afternoon things took a turn for the worse with our next-door neighbours’ tank. We were in our home office when we heard what sounded like a lot of water gushing into the tank, so we went to investigate. Sure enough, the water was filling with so much force and speed, before we knew it, the tank had filled up and the water was spewing out of the tank. The lid looked like it was in danger of bursting open with the sheer pressure of the water. We knocked on our neighbours’ door, but they must have been at work, as we got no answer.

In the end we called the landlord, who assured us she was sending someone around to have a look. Meantime, my husband was able to stop the water filling up in the tank by locating a little tap that he turned off. Needless to say, no guy ever turned up. It’s now evening time, and our neighbours aren’t home yet. I’m just glad we were able to arrest the situation, because at least now the water’s not being wasted, and our neighbours won’t be hit with a huge water bill! But clearly, these tanks need to be looked at, because something’s just not right!

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My Neighbour, The Singer


Neighbours….we all have them in all shapes and sizes, and they all come with their own unique characteristics; some pleasant, some loud, some anti-social and others just downright rude. It’s really just the luck of the draw what you get blessed or cursed with. I have in the past written about my immediate next door neighbours being a little strange, but otherwise not offensive. I suppose I count my blessings, because it could be far worse.

In the past, there’s been the curtain-twitching while we’ve been hanging out in our shared back door space, which they don’t use I’m guessing to avoid talking to us. This is the type of curtain-twitching that if you blinked, you’d miss it, but still a bit rude in my book. There’s been the weird semi-nude house cleaning, which anyone can see through the crack in the flimsy lace curtain. Over the last few weeks, we’ve also come face to face with the young wife, who refuses to crack even the tiniest of smiles or make eye contact! Each time she’s inadvertently stumbled across us, she’s offered a very abrupt hello and continued on her way! Now the husband is the exact opposite; we know he’s not looking to socialise with us, but each time he’s seen us he he’s smiled and even stopped for a few minutes to make small talk.

Otherwise the couple keeps themselves to themselves and seem very withdrawn and maybe even conservative, especially given their age, which I’d put at no older than 25. So imagine my surprise this morning when I woke up to a mini-concert in the back of our flats, and it was coming from none other than the guy! I mean, to be fair, he has a decent voice, but I thought it was odd that on a weekend, especially on a Sunday, at 10am, he chose to belt out a song at the very top of his voice. I crept down the stairs to determine where the singing was coming from, just to be absolutely sure. –and there he was, on his back porch, clearing off the cobwebs that had been piling up for weeks from his area; without a care in the world, in nothing but a towel around his waist, blissfully singing his heart out! In fact, through the curtain (I didn’t do any curtain twitching, I promise!), I could make out a hint of a smile!

I concluded the man was in a happy mood, and since I needed to have already been up anyway, I decided to let him off. He wasn’t doing anybody harm, and it wasn’t all that early. Plus, it was just nice to see him being happy and just basically chilling. I mean, who would have thought it; my neighbour, the singer!

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