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Writing 101

Daughters are put on this earth to be loved – no matter what. I recall reading something alone these lines a long time ago. What the author failed to mention is that these same daughters can be a tad challenging at times when they do not get their own way. Then again, that is what makes them so special.

Weekends are times to reflect on the week just past and your successes and achievements. Ah, but that is before Tes arrives home on Friday afternoon in one of her argumentative moods. The cats run and hide under the bed while the dogs disappear into the far reaches of the garden not to be seen for the rest of the day.

The heavy oak front door bursts open and thumps loudly against the wall, allowing the cold winter sunlight to stream into the house. Tes glides through the entrance heading for her room, “Hey dad, you home yet?” can be heard from behind the now closed bedroom door. “University was terrible today.  The lecturer did not arrive and the assignment he left us to do had a page missing”.  “Worse still, it rained on the way home and I got wet”. Can you fix this for me?” “Who me? Of course not! Remember, men do not understand anything” and with feminism the flavour of the day I decide not to try. A quote borrowed from the movie Madagascar, “Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave” seems to be very appropriate.

smile-and-wave

I have learnt to walk on egg-shells when Tes is in in one of her moods. Is it the right approach?  Definitely not, but sometimes it is the best approach. Do I understand her moods? Oh yes without a doubt. Any father that has raised a daughter on his own develops a very special bond with her and understands her in ways nobody else ever will. I know when she is happy or sad, when to leave her alone and pen an article like this or when to sit with her and let her cry on my shoulder.

Then along came dating and another new amazing yet concerning chapter begins in Tess’ life. The hormones are racing and dating is now the name of the game. Boyfriends come and boyfriends go (without my help of course). Some do not even get to the first date but who cares? Not me sir. The sooner they leave the happier I am.

I have a motto about dating that has served me well.

my-dad

 

So, to all you wonderful parents out there, have fun raising your daughters. Even the bad days will be remembered fondly and your frustration will quickly be forgotten.

 

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Today I want to suggest an exercise that has the potential to improve your blogging profoundly if you build it into your daily routine.

Look at another blog

OK – this may not sound that profound – most of us read other blogs every day but it doesn’t revolutionise what we do – but stick with me for a second while I explain HOW to do it in a way that could have a big impact.

Here’s what I do every day

I choose a blog and then spend 5-10 minutes reviewing it. My aim is not to ‘consume’ it as a reader…. but rather to review it with the view of learning about blogging.

 

Always wanted to know how to boost my traffic.

Web Marketing Newsletter

google-plus-social-icon-20438843You can boost your website traffic by posting your blog links on Google Plus. How come? You might ask. Well, it’s because of these three things:

1. Google Plus is owned by Google.

2. Google search is what most people use when searching for stuff online.

3. Google gives importance to links that are being posted on Google Plus.

It really is that simple. So all you have to do is make sure that you have a G+ account. If you’re logged in to your Youtube account or Gmail, you’re also automatically logged in to your G+ account. Now, what you have to do is just optimize your Google Plus. Join circles, follow people, add your contacts from your other social networks. Then start posting your blog links to your G+ account.

For more information on how to do this, please head to:  Increase website traffic with Google+…

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The Boss! He turned my life upside down the day I joined the firm. A tall man with broad shoulders, wild red hair and piercing green eyes.  Quick to anger, his booming voice is often heard lashing out at the unfortunate staff member who makes a mistake.

Demanding only the best in the shortest time possible from all his staff ensured that everyone stayed focussed all the time. There were no “bad hair days” or slacking off early on a Friday afternoon. No sir, not when the boss was around.

Well, that is what I thought. I soon learnt that he had a soft spot for the women, young or old. Don’t get me wrong, he was not a player. Actually he was happily married and had 3 children, a son and 2 daughters.

I had the good fortune of meeting the eldest daughter for the first time one afternoon on my way out of the office. She was walking towards the ground floor lifts when I spotted her.

Beautiful, stunning where the first words that sprung into my mind. I was in love, instantly and without a doubt. How is this possible? Until then I was a firm believer that love at first sight was a fallacy. How else could I explain my sudden emotional turmoil, other than to say it must be love.

She had on a long flowing green dress that clung to her supple young body and complimented the colour of her eyes. Moving with grace across the floor, the tips of her painted toes could be seen peeping out from under her dress with every step she took.

As she got closer her refined features became more apparent. Her fair skin complimented the colour of her hair and eyes. The dimple on the corner of her full lips may be seen as a flaw to some but to me, it was beautiful.

She caught my eye and smiled mischievously. “You must be Gordon” she said, as she came to a stop in front of me. “And you are Carol, I assume”? She smiled and nodded her head. “I have been dying to meet you” we both blurted out and then stopped, and started laughing like two old friends.

 

 

 

A woman brushes past me as she dashes to board the last train to Cape Town. In her haste she drops a letter and I watch as it drifts slowly to the ground at my feet. Without hesitating I stoop and pick it up before rushing after her.

Too late! The train doors hiss close and I watch in dismay as it accelerates out of the station. I turn away from the edge of the station and walk back to the bench where I left my luggage, letter in hand.

Seated once again, I examine the letter hoping to find an address I can return it to. The outside of the old envelope is blank so I gently remove the single sheet of paper from the open end. The paper is delicate and has a soft feminine fragrance.

There is a short scribbled message in the centre of the page.

Mom, help me please! I am in serious trouble, and need you here. Paul is missing and the police are not taking me seriously.

You warned me that this may happen, but I did not listen. I have moved in with Mrs Smith because it is no longer safe at home.

Please hurry mom, I think Paul is dead…

 

 

 

Walking down the familiar cobbled street to the quaint coffee shop were we first met, still brings tears to my eyes. It has been over a year since the tragic accident, yet it still seems like yesterday.

Our first meeting was by chance, when I dashed in there one night to get out of the cold, pouring rain. On entering the coffee shop I spotted an empty table near the fire. Without checking that it may be occupied I made my way over to it, and dropped my weary frame into one of the over-stuffed comfortable chairs.

The room was warm and snug. The roar of the fire was a pleasant change from the organised chaos on the city roads outside. Old stagecoach lamps hung from the walls, throwing pools of dim light over the tables. Large oil paintings of winter scenes in old London adorned the walls, like windows into the past.

My exhaustion caught up with me and I fell asleep in this warm and comfortable environment. I woke slowly to the gentle touch of your hand. Opening my eyes I saw your radiant smile for the very first time. You were sitting in the chair opposite me. Only then did I see your handbag on the table and realised that I was an uninvited guest at your table.

Apologising for the intrusion I stood up and looked around for another empty table. You just smiled, touched my hand briefly, and asked me to sit down and share your table. I looked down at this beautiful young woman, smiled and sat down immediately. The rented video I planned to watch that evening, suddenly became unimportant.

We sat next to the fire until the early morning hours talking and laughing like old friends. This was a dream come true for both of us. It was as if fate had guided us to the coffee shop. Little did we suspect the heartache that lay ahead for both of us.

This chance meeting changed both our lives forever.

Music has always played an important part in my life. It is an anchor to my past, my present and my future. It has the power to raise my spirits and just as easily, send them crashing into a pit of despair.

Looking back over the years, I have been fortunate to experience the rock movement of the 70’s, punk of the 80’s and so much more. Then along came Rap and the likes of Eminem and his “Rap God” song. Now I do not know about you but rapping 100 words in 15 seconds is an impossible speed for most of us.

One of the big musical moments in my life was the release of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. The censor board released the movie without an age restriction. However, 6 weeks later they reversed their decision, deciding that the track “Touch-a Touch-a Touch me” was unsuitable for public viewing, and set a date for the banning of the movie.

The night before the banning every cinema in the country aired a double feature of the movie for one last time. The irony being that the entire audience consisted of school children.  Those were the same children who skipped school or slept through half the lessons the following day.

The next song on my list is from the “Rock” genre. Go and listen to the way Meatlof sings his song “Bat out of Hell“.  The music is wild and noisy but it carries a message if you listen to the song.

My last selection is the theme song of one of the “Rocky” movies starring Sylvester Stallone. I refer of course to “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. A very fitting piece of music for a powerful movie of the time.

There are so many more songs that come to mind that are worth mentioning so it is actually sad to stop now.

 

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