Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Breast cancer awareness and support

La Femme breast cancer teas

We are marking La Femme’s Breast Cancer Awareness day for 2008 with two teas at the Boardwalk Conference Centre here in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, October 4. You can read about in next Wednesday’s La Femme and check out all the photographs on line from Monday afternoon at The Herald picture gallery
The wonderful women at Reach for Recovery
may be able to help women newly diagnosed. If you live in our region, call Sheila Dibben, here in the Eastern Cape, at 079-347-9591, or e-mail her at: easterncape@reach4recovery.org.za

Sheila is in the right of the photograph, with fellow Reach for Recovery volunteers Leonie Harry (left) of East London, and Port Elizabeth’s Wanda Postepska. They have all had breast cancer, fought it, survived and now help others with their battle.

But what about those of you who are further afield, and couldn’t be with us, but would still love to share that sisterly support? Apparently, a growing number of cancer patients are finding solace online, finding the Internet a place to discuss the disease, keeping friends and family updated, and connecting with other patients.It doesn’t have to be breast cancer. More women die of heart disease than cancer each year, and many women die of other cancers, cervical cancer is one of the big ones. It’s just that breast cancer has become almost like a uniting force for women and although it may be the catalyst to meet in the first place, it’s not the final point in our discussion on our health and well-being.

However, with millions (yup, literally, there are millions) of blogs in the world, where do you even start?

www.CarePages.com is almost like Facebook, but without all the junk associated with it, where you create a page where people can go to give you some emotional support.

www.caringbridges is another site that offers a free, personalised website to support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery. Caring Bridge also has a video you can watch which explains what it does, and several inspiring stories.

It's not just women who hide their spending

Update on Pat’s puppies

Last week I wrote about a colleague who lost out on half her birthday present because she hid its cost. Apparently, this is a very human failing, as a recent survey by Virgin Money highlights. This showed that more than three-quarters 80% of respondents admitted to hiding purchases from a spouse or partner.

It can also be damaging: 4% claimed that their other half left them once they found out about the sneaky spending.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that most women (76%) said their secret shopping was for shoes (and this season, it's gladiator sandals that are all the rage, says our fashion ed, like this one from www.ninewest.com

Another 11% said it was for jewellery, 4% for handbags (like this one from http://guccicomte.wordpress.com/ ), 4% for naughty bedroom toys and 3% for perfume. And 2% said they bought for cars and apartments without their partner knowing.

Don’t quite understand where they hid that new car .. you can’t really scrunch up the packet it came in and throw it in the back of the wardrobe, now can you?

Where it gets interesting is the areas where men lied: nearly half of them were hidden techno-freaks, with 41% of men spending on stuff like big screen TV’s (yawn ... when will guys just get over this TV fixation?). Then, there were quite a few (19%) who said it was spent on clothes, 16% claimed sporting goods and 9% admitted to adults magazines and movies. Just like the girls, 9% of the boys owned up to buying cars and apartments without telling their other while 6% bought gifts for the mistresses.

Now that I find interesting, did you notice any figures for us women buying gifts for our hidden toyboys? Nup, didn’t think so ...

Sunset over Hobie Beach

Local is lekker

Judy de Vega used to be The Herald's chief librarian - now she has joined the photographic staff and, as you can see from this shot, is a painter with a camera. Judy took this photograph last Thursday in Port Elizabeth, as the sun went down over the harbour. She was shooting from Shark Rock Pier, looking north west. Just look at those gorgeous clouds ... Monet couldn't have captured it better and I bet it makes the ex-pats out there homesick.
Now compare that to the wild waves at Shark Rock less than a month ago, on Monday, September 1 http://www.theherald.co.za/Giantwaveswreakhavoc/index.html Judy's colleague, award-winning photographer Fredlin Adriaan, took the one used here. Port Elizabeth truly is a city of contrasts ...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Most men should not wear Speedos

We may make an exception for Ryk ...

Our fashion ed here at The Herald, http://www.theherald.co.za/ Barbara Robertson, passed on photographs of this new “modesty suit” from Speedo. In case you are wondering, it is not a joke, you can buy these and you’ll read about them in La Femme one of these days. In fact, the suits are a pretty good idea as they cut back radically on your risk of contracting skin cancer, always a worry here in sunny South Africa. Plus I would imagine there would be a market among Muslim women, who would love to romp in the surf at Hobie Beach but don’t want to be “bare”.

Now I would imagine that most women know already that there is an unwritten rule that no man, except for Ryk Neethling, may wear a Speedo. I could post a pic of Ryk wearing exactly that (and you'll find one at http://www.rykneethling.com/ ) but I fear it would be labelled a cheap shot so let’s rather take an example of man who is in flagrant disregard of this rule.

Sadly, very few men are aware of this rule. As cricket season gets moving, just take a look around Castle corner at St George’s and those magnificent bodies fed by the frothy brew. Those very same men are the ones who I reckon could consider buying themselves a modesty suit for the beach.

It is perhaps redundant to say there is no such rule for women. Of course, you do get the tannies from Gauteng who descend on our beaches at Christmas, broil themselves to a polony pink and then desport themselves in costumes that don’t cover half enough. However, on the whole, women don’t need this type of rule because we are often our own fiercest critics and hate being on the receiving end of the withering comments.

But take a look at these two photographs and tell me if there is not something just slightly crazy about it all ...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why do so many women lie about what they buy?

Puppy love costs dearly

I heard a delightful story from a colleague at The Herald http://www.theherald.co.za/ this week. Animal lover Pat was in a coffee shop in Circular Drive here in Port Elizabeth and saw a painting of seven golden retriever puppies. She swears the pups were so beautiful they would have melted even Cruella de Vil’s heart so she decided there and then to splash out and buy the painting, and took it home to hang in her lounge. When her husband saw it, she had a pang of buyer’s remorse: after all, which level-headed adult with even a modicum of good taste would spend R800 on a print of puppies which even Pat describes as “a huge gold blob”?
"So, how much did you pay for it darling?" he asked.
"R400," she replied.
"Well," he said, "since I didn’t get you anything special for your birthday, let me pay you back for it and we’ll call that your birthday gift."
Pat so wished she’d told the truth because she’d just lost R400 - busted!
It also struck a chord with me and probably with half the female population. Haven’t you ever told the guy in your life “New shoes? Oh, no, I’ve had them for ages ...” or “This top? It was half price/on sale/really cheap/only R79”. And I know that this is not unusual, because I’ve heard a similar story from a Collegiate parent who fibbed about the cost of daughter’s matric dance dress (don’t worry, Mrs B, your secret is safe ... no names or dates will pass my lips ...)
What is it with us women?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

National Heritage Day

Wednesday September 24 might well be National Heritage Day and even National Braai Day here in South Africa, depending on your political and gustatory tendencies, but in the United States it’s also National Punctuation Day.
Even an illiterate moron can see that a panda which “eats, shoots and leaves” is a little different from one which “eats shoots and leaves” – and Brit wit Lynne Truss made her name an international synonym for perfectly punctuated sass in her excellent book of the same title. As she says on her site “Have fun. And always remember, ‘Call me Ishmael’ is different from ‘Call me, Ishmael’. Commas really do make a difference.” http://www.lynnetruss.com/
My own favourite illustration of that is closer to home: “Woman! Without her, man is nothing.”Or, if you want to invert the sexist slant, you might perhaps prefer: “Woman without her man is nothing.” Happy National Punctuation Day!

A Beauty Competition for Nuns

(What nunsense!)

Did you see that piece in the paper about an Italian priest holding a beauty contest with a difference - it will be open only to nuns? What a weird idea!

The Times online reported that Father Antonio Rungi, of Mondragone, near Naples, said he expected at least 1,000 nuns to enter the Sister Italia contest.

It would run online at first, but he hoped that it would become a "real pageant" along the lines of the annual Miss Italy contest. No bathing suits though, or snaps of the contestants draped over rocks hugging a beach ball or frolicking in the surf. Father Rungi, a moral theologian with his own blog, said that the nuns would not wear swimsuits or revealing outfits.

What he valued most in a woman was "inner beauty". Asked for his feminine ideal, he replied: "Well, I would say Sophia Loren."

Mmm, now there’s a woman who is more famous for her out-there assets than her inner beauty I would say ... when she played a nun in the 1972 movie White Sister, she was anything but au naturel and I’m surprised the panstick make-up didn’t stain her wimple.

Anyway, the well-meaning padre received criticism galore for his idea and has now scrapped the pageant. Among his flood of abusive emails was a writer who The Times reported, he said, “told me I would end up in Hell".

Perhaps it’s just as well. Rungi also would have put a age ceiling on the contest of 40 – but if you’re looking for inner beauty, why should you be less beautiful when the face is less smooth and the hair going grey?

Pity, though, I should have liked to have nominated our own Eastern Cape’s Sister Ethel of Missionvale Care Centre .. now that’s my idea of a truly beautiful woman, both inside and out.

sam said...
yes, you make a really valid point. It's hard to imagine how Mother Theresa would have fared in such a pageant, she was certainly no oil painting based on the criteria used in most contests, but it would be hard to beat her inner beauty. Clearly the misguided man has missed the whole point of becoming a nun, glad he has dropped the idea! (But then, maybe he knew all along that it was a non-flyer and just did it because he knew he'd get a ton of publicity, which, of course, he did!)
September 28, 2008 1:35 AM