The Art of Living in a Ruin

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Living in a Ruin

Living in a ruin is not for sissies. The most important factor before moving in is that the ruin is safe to live in and there is a roof over your head.

I am making the assumption that you don’t have electricity or running water.


Access to water will contribute to luxury living in a ruin.

You will need water for drinking, ‘bathing’, dishes, and to use as part of the restoration/renovation clean-up. At the bottom of the range of luxury living, you may need to fetch water from a water source, or set-up a system to catch rainwater, and make sure the water used for your consumption is kosher.

They say you can never be too thin or have too much money, but I say you can never have enough buckets living in a ruin.

Fire (heat)

A two-plate gas stove is sufficient. You need fire to cook your food, make hot drinks and warm your bath water. Fire is a great mood restorer; I know you’ll agree after a cup of coffee on a cold winter’s morning.

Fridge and Food

Since there is no electricity, you will have to create some cooling system. Google field fridges; I’ve used the 2 ceramic containers method with some doubtful success. If all else fails, stock up on tinned food (veggies), rusks, biltong (if you can afford it), nuts, rice, oats, and powder milk. Make sure every item is well secured and sealed for roaming rats and mice at night.


The first step I would recommend is to sugar soap all the painted walls in your ruin. This removes a lot of dirt and grime as well as old energy (yes it does), and makes your place looks fresher. Hang your paintings on the wall, put your Persian carpets down on the floor, take out your best cutlery, light some candles and incense, endeavor to put fresh flowers in an empty ‘Farmer’s Girl’ baked beans tin, often. In fact, use everything beautiful you have to enjoy living in your ruin.

Finally, don’t underestimate the beauty of virgin white paper plates ~ it makes washing up a breeze!

Are you ready for BLACK FRIDAY?

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Black Friday Update

Are you ready? Latest shopping traffic update: Festive season is around the corner and what better way to get the plastic melting than by kicking off the “Shopping” seasons with Black Friday.

Traditionally black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving in the United States. Retailers are announcing specials in advance, with shop front displays bigger and better than ever. Even online shops are gearing up for increased shopping traffic. The general American public flock to the major retailers for unbeatable specials on major retail items. Dedicated shoppers are known to camp out in front of major retail stores to be the first in line to get hold of those special offers. Black Friday has become known for the smell of credit cards melting and ardent shoppers fighting, pulling and pushing each other for that illustrious sale item. Black Friday is the ultimate showcase for the latest products and sets the shopping tone for the festive season. This is the ideal way to stock up on Christmas gifts for that someone special!

In South Africa the trend is not far off from the US market, with even our local online stores offering Black Friday deals. Retails stores in general look at the festive season as one of the most profitable periods that contributes millions of Rands into a weakening economy. This remains the time of year where consumers spoil themselves and those they hold dear, by throwing financial caution to the wind. Whether you have saved diligently or just reverting back to the good old faithful credit card, Black Friday deals are the best way to stretch the festive season budget. So start your holiday shopping now by looking out for Black Friday deals on online shops such as eBay, and even

Shop Shop Shop, click click click is what the retailers want to hear so if your neighbour is shouting out loud he might have gotten the deal of a lifetime.

Happy shopping and enjoy the holidays!



More Interesting Reading:

What is BLACK FRIDAY all about?

How to Take Responsible Risks to Success

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How to Take Responsible Risks to Follow Your Dream

Anyone who’s ever had a dream or a vision for their life knows how difficult it is to obtain that dream. Dreaming in itself involves risk, but knowing how to approach that risk makes it possible to view your road with an open mind. You have to decide which risks are worth taking to reach your goal.

Dream big – with a realistic timeline

There’s nothing wrong with having a big dream – if it’s your dream, it’s a big dream. But one of the risks of dreams is that they won’t happen overnight. You have to risk your time and energy on something which may only pay off in a few years. Don’t give up too soon. Just as you need to give yourself time to succeed, you need to give yourself time to fail. Make your time count.

You don’t live in a vacuum

Simply having a dream is not selfish, but how you approach it may be. Risking all your money or stability is not a smart move, especially when you have people who depend on you. Dependants may be a lot more forthcoming with support for your dream if they know they can still count on you to fulfill your responsibilities.

The risk of “haters”

There’s a huge difference between constructive criticism, criticism, and haters. Taking risks and putting yourself out there for the world to see will attract attention. There will, unfortunately, be people who try to break you down. Listen to constructive criticism and not those who are simply trying to break you down.

Is the risk worth it?

You need to ask yourself if your dream is worth the time, energy, and risk. Picture yourself ten or twenty years from now and honestly ask yourself if you will regret it if you didn’t take the risk to follow your dream.

Being responsible in the risks you take to follow your dream does not mean that you are any less passionate about it than someone who drops everything in their life to follow theirs. Reading books like Quitter and Start by Jon Acuff will also help you approach your dreams responsibly.


Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais is a trained language practitioner living in South Africa. Her interests range from language, archaeology, and mythology, to speculative fiction, media, and technology. Her published articles include Top 5 Vintage James Bond Cars, 5 Tips for Surviving Change in a New Job, and 5 easy time hacks to get more time out of your day. Her work has appeared in Speculative Grammarian and her published fiction includes “A Fair Trade” and “The Call From Below”. Links to articles, fiction, posts, and her contact information can be found at, or follow her on @CarinMarais.

Open Secret: How to do what you love an earn a living

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The secret of making money doing what you love is an open secret

Sincere enthusiasm is irresistible

I remember a silly joke we used to tell when we were children: “Eating raw onions is the secret to good health; it is just difficult to keep it a secret.” Well, if you are doing what you love, your satisfaction and glee will be obvious. You cannot hide it; cannot keep it a secret.

Many of us cannot buy into the spiritual conviction that the universe will conspire to accommodate our dreams if we shall but leap into the void in good faith. I am one of those of little faith. However I do believe in the laws of science and the law of attraction is one. If you bristle with joy and enthusiasm, it is infectious. I have seen it with own eyes. Just as it cannot be faked, it cannot be resisted. You get cooperation and funds, transport and premises, and the world smiles with you.

The frequency of vibrations is a reality

Remember the magic of those iron filings on a metal plate that rearrange themselves into different pretty patterns when different notes are played on the violin? It is one of the few lessons from school that impressed me. We have since gained insight into quantum physics, and know that vibrations can move along pathways we cannot trace but can measure. If you put lack of fear, belief in yourself, abundance, gratitude and the will to do what you love out there, it cannot but have an effect.

The nitty-gritty

Back this esoteric sounding (but actually connected) stuff up with decent equipment, a sense of humour, accessibility (have business cards ready), courage, gratitude (get help and appreciate and compliment other people), integrity (deliver what you promise), humility and being prepared to learn from mistakes and the ability to forgive and let go, you will instill confidence and prevent work from piling up.

Focus is a great asset. T.V wastes a lot of time, gossip dissipates goodwill. Unnecessary bureaucracy, fear of impermanence and rejection, making excuses and playing the victim,  and worrying what others think of you are time consuming and futile. Give up bad habits and negative mindsets (if they are your master you are doomed to be a servant) and you will feel lighter, and time will be more fluid, will expand exponentially because you do what is meaningful to you, and you have energy to spare. 


If you wait till the moment is right you will never make money doing what you love. Start now! Begin before you are ready. Stepping out of your comfort zone will always take courage, but if your convictions are sincere and you do the basics right, you cannot but make money. If you are unapologetic about what you want, you can extend the same generosity to others.

And watch the abundance flow …

Ref: how to

Word Count: 486


Save more or earn more

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Earn more – Teach others to work for you!

Save more or earn more – what to do?

Since a very young age, our parents drill into our heads that we should save part of our pocket money and not spend it all. Wise instruction, but seldom do you hear a parent guide his child into being a good entrepreneur, earning more rather than saving a bit of what you have!

Save more or earn more – Two principles, who will win?

Earn more so that you can save more!

Most parents can only afford a specific amount of pocket money for their children. I have seen through the years how the children with very little have been creative in multiplying their pocket money as opposed to the children who were given everything they needed (or wanted).

A child who never has enough for that dream, but with a parent who will encourage, equip and motivate will turn the dream into a vision and then a mission. Odd jobs like mowing the lawn for the neighbour, helping to carry groceries from the store, washing a car, washing windows during school breaks and thinking creatively about ways and means to earn hard cash will eventually enable this child to mature into a wise adult who will always have the desire to earn more by creating opportunities for himself.

It is of course, a good idea to save as well, but with the little interest earned it does seem like a bit of a pointless effort. You will certainly not get rich by saving your money. You need to invest smartly and look for ways to earn more.

Run if you want to catch it

The opportunities are out there, but you have to go and get it! You have to market yourself and find ways of earning more. Educate yourself to be creative. Make people want what you have to offer.

I have seen young people work at three or four different ‘jobs’ and earn a cosy amount by doing so. They have jobs they go to each day, but they are not afraid to tackle extra opportunities to earn more. A few extra hours a week makes a world of difference in your earnings.

A good example is about a housewife who started selling cosmetics in multilevel marketing. She recruited twenty people to sell and became a manager, motivating each of the twenty people to recruit only five people each, which brought her down-line to 100 people selling the product. She was earning a percentage of everything they sold and all she did was train new people and have a weekly meeting with her consultants. She is now 220 people strong and keeps moving up, grabbing hold of every opportunity to earn more. Greedy? No, just wise.

If she can do it, so can you!

Another way to be a wise winner, is getting decent Insurance cover!

Do you want to buy a car

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Buy a car you can afford

The 3 most important things to look for when you buy a car                  

If you are anything like me, you have no idea what to look for or look at when you decide to buy a new car. I decided to do some research to find the 3 most important things to look for when you buy a car. This article is also for those of you who have already bought a new car and are not at all satisfied with it.

Today’s car dealers are so clever. They would be able to sell ice to an icemaker if they were asked to. They have many different tactics to sell you a car at an unreasonable price. Why you ask? They get commission on every single sale they make. The more they sell the car for, the larger their commission. They are smooth talkers, and before you know it you will be driving out of the car lot with a car that you cannot afford and don’t even really like.

  1. Do not go to one dealer only. Search for different dealers and compare their prices. Also, consider your budget, and make sure about the amount that you are able to spend. If you so not find something matching your price class, search in another country, but keep in mind that there will be shipping costs. You will get something that matches your expectations as well as your wallet.
  1. Ok, so you now have the dealer that you want to buy a car from. The next step is finding the type of car that you want. You can browse the internet to get more or less an idea of quality. Browsing the internet for cars will save you a lot of time and money as you do not need to travel from showroom to showroom. When deciding on a car you need to keep the following in mind: size, mileage and budget.
  1. Buy a car that best suits your style and make sure you get it in your favorite color. Take advice from other car owners and remember, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you apply all of these tips, the salesman will not be able to convince you to buy a car that is sure to break down after a month. Be on top of their game and get the best out of the deal.

Happy shopping!

Now that you have decided which car to buy, the next step is to insure your car!

TOP 3 cheap cellphone insurance companies

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TOP 3 South African cheap cellphone insurance companies

The TOP 3 selected South African Insurance Companies have earned the trust of numerous South Africans by sticking to their promises and providing their clients with exceptional value for money and outstanding service.

The TOP 3 options for decent cheap cellphone insurance are:

Budget Insurance

Budget Insurance has been around since 1998 and they still provide South Africans with adequate insurance at low, low prices. Budget cuts the cost and not the cover.

1st for Women Insurance

1st for Women provides South African women with Designer insurance at Discount prices. Pay up to 29% less on vehicle insurance at 1st for Women just because you are a woman! Get outstanding cellphone insurance at 1st for Women NOW!

Dial Direct

Dial Direct is a household name and provides South Africa with simple, smart insurance. They cut the cost and stay abreast of international insurance trends in order to provide you with the best insurance all around.

Really cheap cellphone insurance for YOU

Your cellphone is no longer an aid to make calls and send text messages. You communicate with your loved ones, friends and colleagues. You can load apps of any kind, take photos and much, much more. Without your cellphone, you will lose that connection …

Budget Insurance

Budget Cellphone Insurance will replace your lost or stolen cellphone in no time and you even pay really affordable premiums. And …you will be covered anywhere in the world!

Budget Cellphone Insurance Features:

Your Budget Cellphone Insurance cover includes:

  • Cover for theft
  • Smash and grab cover
  • Accidental loss
  • Accidental damage
  • Water damage

1st for Women Cellphone Insurance

1st for Women Cellphone Insurance covers your cellphone against loss, damage and theft. Our quick claim processes will provide you with a new cellphone quickly and efficiently. We will do everything possible to replace your former cellphone with the same specified make and model.

Your Cellphone Insurance can be moved to 1st for Women quickly and without hassle.

You can get Cellphone Insurance either as a stand-alone policy, or as part of your Portable Possessions Policy. Either way, you will be covered by one of our exciting, affordable insurance products and also be eligible for our FAB Benefits!.

Speak to one of our professional consultants today and ask for a free Cellphone Insurance quote.

Dial Direct Cellphone Insurance

Dial Direct’s Cellphone Insurance package covers the following:

You have two options to choose from:

  • Specify your cellphone on your Portable Possessions Insurance
  • Take out Cellphone Insurance Alone at Dial Direct
  • Your Cellphone Insurance will cover the following:
    Smash & grab
    Accidental loss
    Water damage

The choice is yours. But, rather act quickly and get Cellphone Insurance. It’s the simple, smart way to be responsible and to get peace of mind. Getting Cellphone Insurance has never been easier or affordable.

Get your Cheap Cellphone Insurance right NOW

Call any of the TOP 3 South African Insurance Providers for excellent insurance and professional service at a cost you can easily afford.


Excellent Value Car Insurance South Africa

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Dial Direct Car Insurance South Africa

Dial Direct sets the trends for Car Insurance South Africa

Ever since 2003,  Dial Direct has been one of the most trusted insurance companies in South Africa. Dial Direct still sets the latest trend for inexpensive and innovative car insurance products.

The winning philosophy of keeping it simple and smart allows clients to reap the benefits of insuring with a company that combines a history of service excellence with a progressive and modern forward vision.

You get cutting edge insurance at a price anyone can afford.

Speak to one of our friendly, professional consultants today and get a FREE quote. 

Dial Direct Car Insurance South Africa for Simple, Smart Insurance

You can select any of the following affordable options:

Comprehensive Insurance covers your car against any accidental damage. With Dial Direct Car Insurance South Africa, you’re also covered when driving someone else’s vehicle  in the event of being involved in an accident.

Third Party, Fire and Theft Insurance covers you for damage that you cause to another person’s car or property or damage caused by any vehicle which was towed by your insured car.

Third Party Only insurance is inexpensive cover for vehicles with a lower value that are fully paid.

Dial Direct Car Insurance South Africa Additional Options :

You have the following products to select from in order to enhance your Car Insurance policy:

Mechanical Breakdown

Affordable insurance cover for mechanical parts like your engine, steering, gearbox, fuel system, cooling system, air conditioner, drive shaft, prop shaft and electrical ignition.


Chips, dents and scratches on your car? With Touch-Up cover we’ll repair your vehicle without affecting your claim free status.

Sound System

Excellent Insurance cover for your vehicle’s sound system.

Hail Damage

Insure your vehicle against the damage of hail storms.


Cover against damage to the canopy of your insured vehicle.

Tyre and Rim Guard

Potholes and bad road conditions can cause extensive damage to tyres and rims. With this affordable, additional cover option, you are covered against damage to tyre & rims.

 Dial Direct Car Insurance South Africa BENEFITS

South African car insurance policies from Dial Direct include dynamic Dial Direct Benefits, as well as the Dial Direct ASSIST advantage at no extra cost.

You need look no further for adequate, affordable car insurance developed specifically for South African conditions.


7 Ways to pay a lower Car Insurance Premium

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YESSS!!! Pay less on Car Insurance!

How to pay a lower Car Insurance premium

When you buy a car, you have to be prepared for some additional monthly expenses. These monthly expenses include monthly installments on your car, fuel, toll fees, oil, maintenance and last, but not least – your car insurance premium.

You can’t do anything about the price of fuel, unless you want to trade your car for a scooter and you cannot stop paying your car loan. You can choose to drive on back roads and bypass e-toll, but then you are subjected to more potholes and subsequent damage to your tires and rims. If you do not maintain your car, you may have to fork out a lot of money on repairs for mechanical and/or electrical failure. The only thing you can actually save money on, is paying a lower car insurance premium. Here’s how to do it.

7 Ways to help you pay a lower Car Insurance premium

When you buy a car, consider the following 7 factors:

1 Vehicle Value

The more expensive the vehicle you want to insure, the higher your Car Insurance premium will be. The high cost is a result of repair and replacement cost. If you want to pay lower Car Insurance premiums from the word go, buy a less expensive car.

2 Vehicle parts and repair

Vehicle parts and repair costs regarding specific vehicles are factors that also elevate Car Insurance premiums. The availability of vehicle parts also affects the premium. Cars with readily available and inexpensive replacement parts will be less expensive to insure.

3 Muscle cars and sports cars

Cars that are built for speed will require a higher insurance premium, due to the higher risk involved regarding probable speeding and accidents. These cars are also a higher risk regarding car theft and vehicle vandalism.

4 Expensive Extras

Insurance premiums will be higher when you add expensive sound systems and modifications to your car. The replacement value and the car is also a greater target foe car thieves. You can pay a lower Car Insurance premium if you keep the standard sound system and refrain from adding visible modifications to your vehicle.

5 The color of your car

Car owners with lighter colored vehicles usually pay a lower Car Insurance premium, due to the fact that more car accidents involve cars of darker colors. Statistics show that dark cars are less visible at dawn, dusk and at night.

6 Safety and Security

You can pay a lower car insurance premium if you install an improved vehicle tracking device, car alarm and gear lock.

7 High risk Vehicles

Certain makes and models of cars are more likely to be stolen. Speak to a consultant from your Insurance provider and find out which vehicles are statistically classified as high risk.

With the information provided here, you now have 7 ways in which to counter insurance costs and pay a lower car insurance premium.

Car Insurance

Virseker offers ample, affordable insurance for all your car insurance, home insurance and business insurance needs in Afrikaans. At Virseker, we understand that you love your culture and language with a passion. That is why we provide all our services in Afrikaans, especially for you.

We also offer you the “Gatsakbonus” that you can qualify for after remaining claim-free for four consecutive years. You either get your first year’s premiums back, or 25% of your premiums over these four years, whichever is the lesser.