Love Actually Not – Life Lessons 


1. My heart was always on my sleeve, it always will be.  If it wasn’t, my heart wasn’t in it. 

2. I expressed things sooner rather than later. I’d rather have no regrets than die wondering “what if ?”. In the end, I’m not wandering

3. I was brought up in a culture that made men hard. If you saw my tears, then you probably know that was a glimpse of my heart and soul. It was all you’ll ever see again 

4. I’ve put heart, soul and passion into everything. I’ve taken the risks and suffered the loss. There is nothing like heartbreak received and given. 

5. I never confessed love unless I really meant it. 

6. I made mistakes. Big ones. I was probably yours and you were mine

7. I mourned too long. Beat myself up about it. I probably missed my soul mate during these times 

8. I gave up on love because of you. I wanted to give up life too. You were never worth that. 

9. Saying sorry was hard. Not being forgiven was worse

10. Not getting closure caused the greatest pain I’ve ever experienced. 

11. Looking for closure wasted many years of my life 

12. Different phases of life and circumstances made me a different person. Everyone changes. I’d like to believe it was for the better

13. Lies kill. I told them. I heard too many and believed them.

14. I trusted you. I lost that. You trusted me too. I may have lost something really great but broken trust is irreparable. 

15. I avoided awkward communication. I hate hurting anyone. I don’t enjoy confrontation

16. I raised my expectations because you ignited a spark inside me.Defusing that spark isn’t ever easy

17. Winning is easy. Losing is something I took to heart. Until I heard “The sun will rise tomorrow. No one died. Life carries on. Celebrate your highs and spend less time dwelling on lows” – Mike de Kock

18. Despite doing everything I could for you, I had limitations. You saw this as a weakness

19. Our path led to better ones

20. Our journey ended with greater wisdom for me 
I am grateful. Without all this, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. 

21. I now recognise narcissists, psycopaths and their ilk that destroy others lives. I help their victims come to terms with this. I identify with their pain 

22. I was the right guy at the wrong time. You were just the wrong woman 

23. I allowed myself to be used. I let you exploit my kindness without expectations 

24. I gave up easy gratification for long term contentment and happiness. 

25. I reinforced my faith and realised that rejection was God’s protection

26. I made peace with never being a father. It isn’t the same as losing a child as I can never imagine this loss, or experience it first hand. I will never bury or grieve a child lost 

27. Giving everything is dangerous be it emotional or material. 

28. I gained the gifts of empathy and compassion by your lack of them 

29. Everyone has a sad story to tell. It exposes them and makes them vulnerable. It makes people understand what lies underneath. You gave me mine

30. People that laugh in darkness give others beacons of light. It was the only gift you left me with 

31. Silence is never golden 

32. The lack of intimacy IS relationship ending. The emotional bond broken is irreparable 

33. What you say about others is a reflection of yourself. Avoid gossip and degrading others

34. Build friendship. 

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Wally Brits II

Tomorrow marks what would have been Wally Brits birthday.
I first met him way back in 1986 when looking for an air filter for my bakkie on a road trip back from Cape Town.
I walked into V and R Engine Spares and got chatting and we ended up doing a lot of business over the next five years. Unbelievably, I didn’t know he had an interest in horses until I read Wally Brits had bought a R90,000 Mexico II colt for Jean Heming to win the Bloodline Million.
In 1992 I went to collect a new Hilux and ended up staying with him in Fourways.
His opening line was “Lisa, Chris has a lot better taste than you have”
This was Wally.
A charmer to the very end.
We went racing, bought a colt when I wanted a filly called Star Award.  Wally thought Main Command was the next July winner, talked me out off bidding on the filly.
Main Command ran a distant last in his only start.
Star Award beat the best of her generation.

He went into The Brazilian Coffee franchise when under restraint in the motor trade and out of this,  Max his son was brought into the world.

We might have drifted apart ten years ago (for reasons no longer relevant)and it took years to repair but our passion for the thoroughbred brought us together again.

Wally always had my back.
He appreciated despite everything I remained a friend and always had his back.

He was at times brash and overbearing but I’d known him for such a long time it didn’t matter.
He’d tell the same jokes and people would laugh again and again.

Wally loved his family to the end.  He adored his Mum.
He hated being at odds with his sisters and Max.

It’s taken years to get over the shock and disbelief you’re no longer with us Wally.
I miss your daily call.

What I won’t ever regret is our last goodbye. A kiss on the cheek and hug.
And you saying “I love you Chris”

The stables up above will never be the same again.

Those names we shouted home together will always ring in my ears be they maidens or feature race winners. Shoot the Booze, Air Combat, Disco Man, Phunyuka, Cookie Monster, Sweet Sanette, Personal Catch, Bed of Roses, Brute Imperial, Earl Abroad, I’m Demanding, Catch Me, Catch Twenty Two, Damage is Done, Simply the Best, Rose of Mooncoin, Red Kaschka.
God took from us one of racing’s finest soldiers.

It is no longer a time to mourn.
It’s a time to celebrate.
To give thanks for the amazing journey we shared.
To remember the laughter
To remember the great moments of victory and your refusal to accept defeat.
To remember the immense amount of wisdom you imparted to me.

Walter Elliot Brits Happy Birthday my chyna

And I love you too brother

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Dam Busting

I haven’t written for what seems an eternity.

Everyone has a block now and again but this I can say was one initiated through the grief and mourning I endured for my best friend Wally Brits.

I moved city, took on a new career, am as happy as I have ever been in my life. I changed career paths again and took on a bold new challenge that keeps me extremely busy and pays me very well. Again, I am very happy with this life I now have.

Yet I could not write anymore. The grief in my heart had blocked all out. There wasn’t a thing I could do about it . I made excuses and won’t dwell on them but at the end of the day, the only way to release your pain is to let it out, pour it out and talk. I confided in one of my best friends. He saw my pain, identified with it and had walked a similar line.

It isn’t easy at all. I asked God for a time out. I still don’t understand why he took Wally away and left me picking up the pieces again. So many friends so dear to me taken and my heart broken so many times.

In the space of 3 months in 2014, 14 people passed away. Not all were close to me but bad news kept hammering it’s way home.

A message out of the blue changed things for me.
I began chatting to someone that was so kind, felt what I was feeling, had experienced similar pain and most of all listened.

Not many people listen.

Most people would choose to pay lip service, mumble apologies and try and escape the emotional involvement and commitment that helps sharing grief. It is the easy way. It is the way we all know helps us best. No one likes crying openly and expressing your sorrow. Many of us were brought up to avoid all sorrow and NOT cry.

Did I cry ?

Eventually yes. Most of the painful areas I experienced were talked about and addressed. Talk is a great healer. It provides you with an avenue to pour all your emotions out, shed the tears that need to be shed and say farewell to that burden you’ve carried over hills and dales.

I cried buckets, I laughed, I realized how much passion I still have for everything I love doing.

I realized how much others love reading what I write.
I realized how much my own circle of friends love me and appreciate me in this wonderful community.
I realized that love is never anything to give up on. This the most important lesson of all.

Without an open heart, you’re closed to everything good that comes your way. You block out the simple things and take everything for granted. You lose so much time, which is so precious.

I will never forget the kindness and time you spent with me. It opened up those dammed up channels and reignited the spark.

For this, I am always grateful.

Friendship is a two way street. No conditions, respect, trust, love and understanding.
The bond you forge over time is one that should be cherished and guarded at all costs.
It’s the ability to listen and speak when you need to.
It’s the wisdom you share that helps you empower each other.
It’s the fight and struggle in troubled times where united power brings you back.
It’s the dance and celebration in happy times.

You listening, sharing and comforting me was one of my greatest blessings I have received.
You confiding and sharing your pain enabled me to help you back up and begin your process of healing.
Your wisdom and great passion is what will make us the best of friends.

I have always believed that those who have left us won’t rest and watch over us until they see your happy heart.

It is time Wally, You rest well my friend wally brits

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The Durban July 2014

The new polytrack has brought about a historical change in this great race, it now sees the field reduced from 20 to 16 runners. This obviously gives runners from the outside barrier a fairer chance and I believe this race is very open this year with numerous runners staking claims.

The horse weighted to win this is Halve the Deficit. The Sean Tarry and Chris van Niekerk combination have won the last two runnings of the race and Pierre Strydom picks up the ride. He won for the same combination on Pomodoro in 2012 and simply can’t be ignored in the big races.
The blonde bomber rode London News to success too
Halve the Deficit comes off a short head defeat in the Jubilee Handicap at Turfontein, has 8lb lighter to race with and likes racing handy. Pierre is a master of pace and judgement, so there will be no excuses if he races handy, slows the pace down and turns this into a sprint down the straight. A tail wind will no doubt help him too.
Since January he hasn’t been out the placings and at 14/1 represents great each way value.

Sentiment rules my heart in the race. My good friend Ian Longmore has Futura, a superbly bred colt by July winner Dynasty.
He has been heavily supported and deemed by some to have been lucky in his quest to make the final field.
He is the one three year old that has taken on older horses and Brett “William Wallace” placed him near perfectly to qualify with the lowest weight carded.
The art to winning handicaps is placement and preparation and don’t write this colt’s chances off based on his last run. The pace was slow and he raced too handy to relax and turn it on like he has shown in winning four of his six starts.
He jumps from a handy position, will get relaxed on the rail and show his turn of foot in the straight. I expect him to win the race in both head and heart.

Sentiment plays a part in both Cherry on the Top for Jessica Slack and Espumanti for her mother Mary. Two of the most passionate hardworking people I know, that invested heavily in the thoroughbred industry, bought wisely, bred perfectly and reap the rewards of their endeavours.
They have trampled on men in what most feel is a “man’s game” and they bring two very good fillies to this showdown.

Cherry on the Top is a Triple Tiara winner and looked on track last season when she dominated her sex at Turfontein. Travelling, winter and a hard season probably led to her opting out the July and her season thus far has been a lot easier. Her second start saw her defeat Espumanti who she meets on better terms for it and Mr. Ferraris appears to have her ready and well for a go at the July. he has run close up with Rakeen and Silver Point in years gone by and son David had success during his retirement.
I will not be surprised if this filly does win or run into the money. She is very well weighted.

Espumanti has now matured into the filly that everyone expected her to. She has always been six months behind her age group but now 4, she has got stronger and showed a great turn of foot at the course to win the Greyville 1900.
Mary has yet to win the race but Mike de Kock needs no introduction to the winner’s enclosure on July Day and produced fillies in Igugu and Ipe Tombe to win it.
The de Kock factor ALWAYS must be considered and despite two years in exile, Mike has a real live chance here.

Legislate caught my eye in the Cape Derby when he beat Brett Crawford’s Captain America convincingly. If anyone thought that was luck, he consequently defeated him twice more (though now gives weight away to him which levels things up).
He has sentiment too, Jack Mitchell was more than disappointed when I was in the suite when Jackson failed to win as favourite.
He has been displaced as favourite by Louis the King and I don’t see why.
This Dynasty colt has exactly what it takes to win the July. A strong turn of acceleration to win at Greyville.
I backed many Guineas and Daily News winners on exactly this to win the July, like Royal Chalice and Dancing Duel to name a few.
Justin Snaith has had a tremendous season thus far and it would be the cherry on the top for the yard since Flaming Rock pipped Al Mufti in 1991.

The Daily News form which Legislate won brings both Rake’s Chestnut and Louis the King into the reckoning.
My preference is for Rake’s Chestnut as he was interfered with in that race and had to be held up and switched out. He was desperately unlucky not to win on the day.
Stable reports that Louis the King is popping out his skin must be believed. Geoff Woodruff won the race back to back with El Picha and since relocating to Randjiesfontein has established his dominance as a top trainer.
I expect both these horses to be involved in the finish.

Justin Snaith also has a filly in the race In the Fast Lane, who won the same race as Ipe Tombe did before her July win. She was significantly slower than the colts but drops 8lb from her weight carried that day.
In modern times, fillies have shown they can match their own sex and elders, so don’t discount her from the placings.

The older brigade of King of Pain, Capetown Noir, Wylie Hall, Whiteline Fever, Punta Arenas, Tellina and Jet Belle are all in the race because of class and form shown.
King of Pain showed his best so far and gelding has done the trick for him. He is by July winner Grey’s Inn but carries a big mass here and meets his old nemesis Capetown Noir giving him weight.
They should finish close together but I would prefer the latter of the two, trained by Kannemeyer who has won July’s before. Blinkers go on this talented colt and if they keep his mind on racing, he has a very sharp burst of acceleration that will give him a chance.

Wylie Hall hasn’t won since beating fellow runner Whiteline Fever October last year and is a solid handicapper. I don’t expect either to be a threat to the previous horses mentioned.
Punta Arenas has to have a live place chance. Stan Elley has been in the placings many times with longshots and his preparation has been on key.

For my friend and fellow Kitwe man Glen Kotzen, I don’t feel Jet Belle will live up to his previous winner in Big City Life but if she does, a big roar will go up in these parts.

My 1 – 2 -3

Halve the Deficit
Rakes Chestnut

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The Boss

I last cast my eyes on Bruce Springsteen in 1988 at the National Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe. This was a time when the Freedom struggle in South Africa was at it’s peak and violence escalating. It was a time when young white South Africans were beginning to question the Nationalist government for the first time and the beginning of the end.

I won’t forget the number of young South Africans bailing out of private charters at Charles Prince airport and bubbling with enthusiasm to see The Boss, Sting, Tracy Chapman and Peter Gabriel for a paltry $20 Zim or $5 US at the time.

What they didn’t expect was the fervour against apartheid expressed by the musicians that night. The event had been organised by Amnesty International and ironically these musicians sang in the yard of one of the worst dictators in African history. We didn’t know it at the time.

The event opened with the group singing “Get up Stand Up” and the crowd picked it up, more so I believe as the words of a popular Peter Tosh song in the era rather than participation in active protest.
Mandela in these times was a bad word, the ANC were the enemy.

I didn’t know Tracy Chapman was African American but was wowed by her music, Sting sang his new haunting ballads, Peter Gabriel put up a acrobatic performance during “Sledgehammer” and Bruce Springsteen brought us all to our feet, as the amazing showman he is.
Just when the crowds were slowly making their way out, he came back and played his rendition of “Twist and Shout” that drove the exhausted 80,000 crowd into a frenzy of rock n roll dancing masses.

I messed up too. I flew a date in and didn’t recognise her at the airport. She sat on the steps outside during two trips into town, to ascertain whether she had travelled. I finally plucked up the courage to enquire whether the auburn haired lady was in fact Kerryn Reeves-Moore and if looks could kill, I would never have seen Bruce Springsteen twice.

The night before we flew down to Harare, I unfortunately watched “La Bamba” which is the story about Richie Valens a farmworker that rose to rock stardom and died in a plane crash with Buddy Holly at age 17.
As a 25 year old in a plane the next morning, I wasn’t all that confident and happy inside a light 6 seater aircraft.

This year, MNet premiered the movie Flight on the Sunday before we flew.

We had a blast though. The Boss was at his very best and it has always been a bucket list item of mine, to see him again.

Last year @merrystrwberry tweeted she had booked tickets for Bruce Springsteen on February 1 at FNB Johannesburg and my mind was made up, I had to be there.
I rustled up the interest of my housemate Karl van Blerk and we slowly began to tick items off the list.
VIP Tickets – check
Air tickets – check
Money – check – though FNB gave me a near scare clearing my salary
Car hire – check
Accommodation at the amazing Willow Place in Randjesfontein – check

It seems a whirlwind right now but we woke up at 4.30 to get to the airport on the Eastern side of Lusaka and it seemed hours till we reached OR Tambo, as we battled to contain the excitement of going to a rock concert.
This was my first big concert since the Boss last played for me (Robbie Wessels before 400 people in Kitwe just doesn’t count) and we were one sleep away from this massive event.

I messed up again. I invited a girl to come along and exchanged the tickets for three which meant hop, skipping and jumping all over Johannesburg and Pretoria east. Eventually we were dressed to suit the event and on our way, or so we thought.
In a very festive mood and high on the euphoria, I received a Whatsapp message from paul, the proprietor of Willow Place to say the tickets had fallen out the car door …..
I don’t think that trip has been done faster than that. Ever

Fortunately, a technical delay allowed us time to get into the stadium and buy beer, Brutal Fruit and Boerewors rolls (No eye contact was made during the consumption of them, although I did confess I was a little disappointed when my date nibbled on her wors rather than wolf it down).

We got to our seats and after a few Mexican waves, during which I spilled beer over an elderly lady that was “nie jou tannie nie” when my date offered an apology and in what now seems an instance, The Boss was on stage and paying tribute to Madiba with the AKA Special’s “Free Nelson Mandela”. having been outside the borders of South Africa during a great part of the 80’s I had heard the popular song often on local airwaves and now it was being sung again.
The Boss was a god

The crowd packed out laughing when Bruce grabbed a banner and displayed it to us that read “I was your first black South African fan” . Several more banners were displayed at different stages of the night, each pertinent to the point of the show, while others were for requests.

Bruce is the finest showman since Jimmy Hendrix and James Brown combined. He made numerous jaunts down to the crowd and his interaction was brilliant. His presence and aura kept the crowd going, although our particular section was rather staid as we appeared to be the only three people dancing and rocking there.

The rain came pouring down, yet we rocked on and The Boss still made several trips out into the driving rain to interact with soaked fans in the Golden Circle and rev things up.

For me the standout of the night, was when The Boss performed John Fogerty’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain” and the rain stopped falling !! Bruce Stopped a flash flood.

He is a god of rock

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@jackie_cameron: Jackie Cameron goes Biblical:

Mick GossSummerhill Group CEOListen, I’m no gourm…
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