Up-grade Extra Tuition Holiday Crash Courses


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Parents, this one’s for you! Up-grade Extra Tuition at La Lucia Mall is holding ‘crash courses’ in a variety of subjects for children from Grade 1 to Grade 12 this September holiday. The idea is to give kids an intensive, three-hour workshop on subjects that they may need a bit of help with or for a bit of extension.
Three hours may seem a long time for the littlies but the junior primary course is going to be an hour of literacy, an hour of numeracy and then an hour of crafts, broken up by 10-15 minute breaks for juice and a snack.
The older kids will focus on one subject for the full three hours, but also have hourly breaks for some refreshments.

Take a look at the courses on offer: (Click on the image to make it big enough to read)

Up-Grade Holiday Workshops

As you can see, some courses are already full and places are filling up fast, so let Brett at Up-grade know if you want to book a spot by emailing him on brett@up-grade.co.za, calling 082 8777 161 or visiting www.up-grade.co.za

I realise that this is a shameless plug for my husband’s business but it’s my blog and I’ll boast if I want to!

Yippee! I’m Back!


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I'm Back

Apologies for the lack of activity on my blog over the last few weeks but I have been unable to post anything! I could write posts, see the previews and edit them but nothing showed up on the site when you visited. It has been a very frustrating time, but thanks to a great computer guru Durban Diva is back. Yay!

I have lots to tell you about, including a new newspaper in Durban – The Witness – exciting times for print media; a fabulous prawn buffet at the Hilton Hotel and a wine festival coming up.

My first post following after this is for moms and dads, though… Are you looking for something for your kids to do this holiday? Would you like them to brush up on some skills in subjects they are finding tricky at school? Then watch out for a post about Up-grade Extra Tuition‘s Holiday Crash Courses in a variety of subjects for kids of all ages later today.

Something a bit different this Sunday – The BMW International Polo Series


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I am really sad to be missing the Durban leg of the 2013 BMW International Polo Series at Shongweni on Sunday when South Africa will take on Chile. It is always such fun and such a treat to dress up and attend such a refined, elegant event. We don’t have enough of these in Durban.

I was totally charmed by the Guide to Polo BMW sent me last week and I am breaking one of my own rules by copying and pasting a Press Release onto my blog almost word-for-word. I so enjoyed reading it, and learnt so much as well, that I thought I would share it with you:

The sound of pounding hooves, the clashing of the mallets and tinkle of toasting champagne glasses can only mean one thing; it’s time for an encounter of sportsmanship, glamour and style at the 2013 BMW International Polo Series.

The much anticipated annual event will see Chile and South Africa play it out for victory. The two countries have an almost 40-year rivalry on the polo field; a fitting co-incidence since BMW South Africa also celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Whether it is your love for horses or the speed and sporting appeal of polo, the BMW International Polo series is an event to experience. In preparation for the Tests which will take place at Shongweni in Hillcrest, Durban on Sunday 18 August Waterfall Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg on Sunday 25 August, we thought we would give you a basic grounding in Polo101.

Questions you have always wanted to ask

How many players are on a team?

There are four players per team in outdoor polo.

How long is the game?

A polo match lasts about one and one-half hours and is divided into timed periods called chukka. Each chukka is seven minutes long.

Concept and rules of Polo?

The basic concept is based on the ‘line of the ball,’ a right-of-way established by the path of a traveling ball on which strategic plays are made. The line of the ball defines rules for players to approach the ball safely.
The rules of polo are written and used to provide for the safety of both players and horses. The rules are enforced in the game by the umpires who blow whistles when a penalty occurs.

How are goals scored?

Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled mallet.

Why are the polo horse’s manes clipped and tails tied?

Free flowing manes and tails are a danger in polo because they can become entangled with players’ mallets or with the reins as the rider tries to control his horse. Manes therefore are shaved and the ponies’ tails are wrapped or braided to prevent the hazard.

Why are there no left-handed players?

Lefties were officially banned from polo in the mid-1930s for safety reasons, but the restriction was relaxed after World War II when polo players of any persuasion were a scarce lot. The USPA reinstated the lefty ban again in 1974 and it’s stuck: there are no more left-handed polo players.

What do the positions of each player 1-4 mean?

The Number 1 is a forward, and attacking offensive player similar to a wing in hockey or a forward in soccer. The Number 2 is also primarily an offensive player who is expected to be able to turn quickly and follow the lead of the Number 1 in order to be in position to pick up a drop pass or take advantage of a missed or blocked shot. The Number 3 is usually the strongest player on the team and the field general. The Number 3 attacks the opposing defence and turns the ball up-field, usually with a pass ahead to his Number 1 or Number 2. The Number 4 or “Back”, as he is often referred to, is the most defensive-minded player on the team. His responsibility is to defend his team’s goal and he should be able to turn opposing shots at goal aside, or completely reverse the direction of the ball with a powerful back-shot.

Mallet: What a Polo stick is called. Mallets are made according to the player’s preference.

Pull: A stroke that is hit at an angle and crosses in front of the pony and their line of advance.

Approach Shot: This is a long shot taken with the purpose of getting the ball close to the opponent’s goal.

Centre T: A T-shaped symbol in the middle of the field with the top of the T running parallel to the side-lines. To start a game the two teams will be on either side of the T facing the same side-line. An umpire will be facing them and throw the ball between them and the game will begin.

Change of Ends: After a goal has been scored, the two teams will switch sides.

Cut: When a player makes a stroke that is at an angle to the direction they are riding.

Forehander: When a player hits the ball forward.

Topping: When a rider hits the ball too high.

Doesn’t it sound like such fun? If you are looking for something a little different to do this weekend, then don’t miss it. The South African Polo Team welcomes Chile for an international test match to be played at the Durban Shongweni Club on Sunday 18 August 2013, 11h00 – 17h00.

Public tickets are pre-sold on the South African Polo Association website (www.sapolo.org.za) and tickets are also available at the gates on the day. Shongweni tickets cost R80 per person (West Bank) and R50 per person (East Bank).

See http://www.bmw.co.za/polo or http://www.sapolo.org.za for further information.

Call for Artists for Interpret Durban


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I think that this sounds like a fabulous opportunity for local artists to get their names out there and to promote our fabulous city at the same time!

Interpret Durban, brought to you by Street Scene and Intertwine in collaboration with eThekwini Municipality, the KZNIA and Spingleap, is in its 4th year and as, always there is a multidisciplinary competition with fields including photography, T shirt design, mix medium and short film. The prizes are brilliant – over R50 000’s worth up for grabs in addition to the great exposure.

Interested? Submissions are now open and artists, photographers, illustrators and film makers from all over South Africa are invited to enter work around the theme, The Concrete Circus. Interpret Durban 4 (ID4) is all about showcasing the city of Durban so keep that in mind. Entry forms for each of the four categories can be found on the Interpret Durban website www.interpretdurban.com and submissions close on the 22nd August at 12h00.

The four categories are:
• T-shirt Design brought to you by Spingleap
• Photography in association with the KZNIA
• Short Film in association with the KZNIA
• And Mix Medium

For those of you who are not artists, you can still join in the fun as all selected entries will be displayed on the night of the 31 August at Durban City Hall, on an evening that is part exhibitions, live music event and awards ceremony.

There is also a video calling on artists so have a watch here: http://vimeo.com/71569094

Follow the Interpret Durban crew to be kept in the loop about the nuts and bolts of the events at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/interpretdurbanDBN
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/InterpretDurban

A Treat of a Day from Taste and Sanlam Glacier


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I had such a fun Saturday at an Artisan Bread Baking workshop with Woolworths TASTE magazine and Glacier by Sanlam. Three brilliant local artisan food-producers were invited to come and tell us about their craft and let us sample some of their wares: Master Backer Graeme Taute, the Standeaven Brewery and Chick and Bob’s Charcuterie. This was the first time the workshop has been held in Durban and it was such a success that TASTE has promised to host some more in the future, so I would recommend keeping your eyes peeled and signing up for the next one as soon as you can as this one was sold out in three days. It’s such a treat for Durban to have these kinds of events and I was so grateful to have been able to attend. The best way to find out about the workshops is obviously to buy TASTE magazine and also to sign up for their newsletter by clicking here

Let me tell you a bit more about it before you rush off to the TASTE website, though!




Our tutor in the fine art of bread baking was Graeme Taute, a master baker whose breads are enormously popular at the Karkloof and Shongweni Farmers markets. He proved to be as good a raconteur as he is a baker, regaling us with anecdotes about bread making and describing the “dramatic” processes in colourful terms which kept us engrossed and entertained as our dough was resting in between stages. Lots of laughter was enjoyed by all as we stretched and folded and kneaded (there was a lot less kneading that you might expect) and I felt quite proud as I left my little loaf to be baked.




The second half of the morning was spent tasting beer and sausages. Now, I must admit that I am not a beer drinker at the best of times, let alone on a Saturday morning but I was most pleasantly surprised at the fact that the beers provided by the Standeaven Brewery were quite drinkable and there was a Cranberry beer which was a revelation – a delicious, delicate drink that I will definitely seek out again. I will also be making an effort to get hold of Chuck and Bob’s sausages soon. I particularly enjoyed a tasty English Breakfast sausage. Shaun from Standeaven and Simon from Chuck and Bob’s both gave us great insight into their creative processes and told us why they do things the way they do which made tasting their produce even more enjoyable. To find out more about The Standeaven Brewery, visit www.thestandeavenbrewery.co.za and find Chuck and Bob’s at www.chuckandbobs.com. Both businesses do stock local supermarkets so look out for their products.




After the second session we were treated to starters so good-looking they seemed straight off the pages of TASTE at La Storia restaurant which is adjacent to the International Hotel School which was our venue for the day. Platters of gorgeous bread, meats and cheese nestled in verdant green rocket were polished off and we all enjoyed the experience of lining up to receive our main course from Afro*s Braai’d Chick’n which was delish! The sweet ending to a delicious day was creme brulee from La Storia.




Throughout the day, we had been encouraged to tweet using the hashtag #tasteglacier and there were prizes for the most tweets and tweet of the day. The best loaves also won their bakers great prizes and the winners were delighted. The rest of us did not leave empty handed, though. We were each given a truly fabulous gift bag to take home. A genius touch was providing us with goodies to go with our bread for dinner that evening. How lovely it was to have dinner sorted after a busy day and to know that I had baked the bread we were having was a really good feeling. My hubby was extremely impressed with my talents as a baker and devoured my bread with relish. Obviously, he is already asking for more, and as I now know that baking bread is a simple, rewarding process I will certainly be stretching and folding again this weekend.



The day was sponsored by Glacier by Sanlam, which seems a rather odd match for bread-baking, doesn’t it? In their own words, it’s a match made in heaven though: “We like to think that, like a master bread maker, we at Glacier are calm, patient and experienced – and can transform the ordinary to the extraordinary. Our financial services take international best practices and diverse financial solutions and blend them into a world-class wealth-creation and preservation offering.” I like companies that think outside the box and found it interesting to hear more about Glacier. If you would like to know more, as I did, see the Glacier website www.glacier.co.za Thank you so much again to TASTE and Glacier for inviting me – the day was as professional as it was enjoyable and I will be the first in line to sign up for your next Durban workshop!

UP-Grade Extra Tuition


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My brilliant husband has hit on a great idea for a new Durban business: a centre for extra lessons in Durban called UP-Grade.

We have both been school teachers and realise the great demand for good quality extra lessons. Brett has decided to fill this gap by providing high quality extra tuition to Durban students in a friendly, positive environment where they are encouraged to give of their best and reach their full potential at school. We’re looking for qualified, talented and passionate teachers to come and teach for an hour, two hours or perhaps even ten hours a week at UP-Grade Extra Tuition.

UP-Grade will take care of all the administration so that teachers can focus on teaching and encouraging students to work to the best of their ability in an environment that is tailored to making learning as productive as possible.

Students will be given tailored-made extra tuition to complement and enhance their classroom learning. Parents will be able to choose between one-on-one lessons, two students or a group lesson of a maximum of five students.

If you’re interested in sending your child to UP-Grade Extra Tuition, or are an excellent teacher who may be keen to join our team, visit our website at www.up-grade.co.za, send us an email on brett@up-grade.co.za or call UP-Grade on 073 720 5585. Please spread the word to your friends and family, too!

I’d also be really grateful if you’d click through even if you’re not interested at all as we can do with as many visits as possible to push us up the google rankings.


Design Team Launch


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Design Team LaunchI spent a very happy couple of hours yesterday morning learning about Design Team’s new fabric range, Mix and Match, at their Durban Showroom at The Collection in Churchill Road.

Known for their vibrant colours and locally lekker patterns, I love Design Team’s commitment to local manufacturing. I was pleased to discover that they don’t discontinue anything and that you can have fabrics custom-made according to your base cloth, pattern and colour preferences. How fabulous?

The Design Team Durban showroom has a great selection of retail products available for you to buy. I loved the lampshades, cushions and zipper pouches.

Head on over to the Garden and Home Facebook page where you can see some more of my photographs.

To learn more about Design Team Fabrics, visit www.designteamfabrics.co.za

I Love Pop Up Shop

i love pop up at artSPACE

For the next twelve days, artSPACE Gallery is home to some of Durban’s most talented designers in the form of Genevieve Motley’s I Love pop up shop. This lady’s talents extend beyond jewellery design to an excellent eye for what’s hot.

You’ll find the wares of Freshly Found, Victoria Verbaan, The Shaw Sisters, Jen Jen, the Woodshack, Anna-Louise Sleepware, Emma-Jayne bags, Kristy Kyle and Genevieve’s own jewellery collection amongst others.

I bought this gorgeous Victoria Verbaan print and was seriously tempted by several other items.

Victoria Verbaan

Now, it seems that some people find the prospect of visting artSPACE daunting as it’s off Umgeni Road blah, blah. Don’t be intimidated. artSPACE is in Miller Road. Turn out of Umgeni, into Miller and drive to the end of the very short road and you will find a wide pavement which offers plenty of parking and a friendly carguard to look after your car. Nothing to it. Now you have no excuse so make sure you get there before the shop closes on 15 June.

For more information, see the I Love page on Facebook

Garden and Home Refresh, Renovate, Redecorate Competition


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Garden and Home Magazine is running a makeover competition with fantastic prizes up for grabs, including a feature about your makeover in the magazine! Sponsored by the Southern African Stainless Steel Development Association, SASSDA, the winner will win R40 000 worth of stainless steel appliances.

As regular readers may know, my day job is as a journalist for Garden and Home and so, if someone from KZN wins, I’ll likely be the person who comes to your home to style the shoot and write up the story! Come on KZN! Don’t let me down.

We’re looking for beautiful rooms that through some clever updates have improved your lifestyle and added value to your property. Whether you’ve done this on your own or had help from a professional, you’re eligible to enter. We’re looking for makeovers of any area of your home from bathroom to bedroom kitchen to kid’s rooms. And if you’re mid-renovation, get a move on as entries close on 31 August 2013.

Go to http://www.gardenandhome.co.za for more information and to enter or click on the flyer below.

Good luck!

Stunning Stamps



My mom and I have been helping my sister with her wedding planning and errands as she lives in Melbourne and is getting married here just before Christmas (SO exciting!!)

We popped in to the post office to post her invitations and I was completely charmed by the gorgeous standard postage stamps we were issued with.

Themed around astronomy, I think they are quite exqusite…

I like the fact that they highlight the achievements of South African stargazers throughout the ages.

Just a bit of prettiness and SA pride for a Friday morning!