14 November is World Diabetes Day


Preventing Diabetes
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, prevention is the way to go.  You should be especially careful of your diet habits if you are at increased risk of diabetes.  The risk factors include having a family history of the disease, being overweight, being over the age of 45, having heart disease or high blood pressure and leading an inactive life. 

Preventing diabetes is not difficult, and it is never too late to start.  Simple strategies such as having a healthy diet, being more physically active and losing a couple of kilograms if you are overweight will be able to help. 

From the diet perspective look at:
·         Increasing your fibre intake – this will improve blood sugar control and can help with weight loss as it will help keep you fuller for longer and thereby prevent excess eating.  To increase fibre eat 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruit per day, choose mostly whole grain foods, and eat legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils) regularly

·         Don’t go on fad diets – fad diets are generally very low calorie diets where you are deprived of certain food groups.  Although you will lose weight on these diets most people cannot keep the weight off as they cannot stick to the diet long term.  Rather get into better habits i.e. eat breakfast early, eat enough during the day by having regular meals and snacks when hungry, have a small supper, drink enough water, and incorporate small treats occasionally.  Keep in mind that physiologically, sugar control and insulin functioning are better during the day than at night, so make breakfast the largest meal and supper the smallest

·        Watch your portion sizes – your body will tell you how much food you need, so when you feel satisfied, stop eating.  If you eat a good breakfast and eat regularly during the day you will not be too hungry at dinner and will be able to keep the portion small.   Portion sizes should be roughly a palm size protein, ½ to 1 fist size carbohydrate (legumes and starchy veg are your best bet), a small amount of added plant fat and lots of non-starchy vegetables

Managing Diabetes
Even if you have developed diabetes, it is not too late to change your eating habits to manage or even treat the disease.  The most important thing that you can do is to lose a little bit of weight.  A 5-10% weight loss can help lower your blood sugar levels.  The weight around your waist is what you need to focus on most to lose.

A ‘diabetic diet’ does not need to be complicated, and no special ‘diabetic foods’ are needed.  Get into better eating habits by following these simple rules:
·        Eat at regular times in the day – consistency helps the body regulate blood sugar levels.  Start off with a good breakfast and eat regular small meals and snacks during the day.  Try to keep portion sizes/calorie intakes the same every day.  If you have eaten too much on one day, don’t try to ‘undo’ it the next day.  Just get back into your normal routine as soon as possible

·         You can eat carbs – but it is important that you choose higher fibre, low GI, less processed carbs (such as seed loaf or rye bread, brown or wild rice, sweet potatoes, peas, legumes, whole-wheat pasta, oats etc.) AND that you have to eat them in moderate portions

·         Choose fats wisely – fats are fantastic to add to your meals as they slow down the digestion of the carbs and thereby help control blood sugar levels.  However, not all fats give the same health benefit.  The fats to choose predominantly are the healthy plant fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and olives.  Omega 3 fats found in fatty fish (pilchards, sardines, herring, trout, and salmon) are healthy animal fats that should be included in the diet regularly.  Other animal fats are the less healthy fats and should be used sparingly.  The worst fats are the trans fats that are created when fats are hydrogenated.   They are found mainly in processed foods such as fried and baked foods (doughnuts, pies, pastries, samosas, hot chips, biscuits etc.)

·         Become smart about sugar – having the occasional treat is not an absolute no, but it must be occasional, and if you have a treat it must be small.  Eat it slowly, mindfully, savouring each bite, so that you can get as much satisfaction out of the small treat.  Reading labels is the best way to determine if the product has large amounts of added sugar.  Look at the ingredient list to see where sugar is listed.  If it is early on the list then more sugar has been added.  Remember that honey, jam, syrup etc. are also sugars!

·         Learn how to keep your weight constant – weight cycling (losing large amounts of weight and regaining it after the diet is stopped) is the worst thing that you can do to your health.  It is better to be slightly overweight but have constant healthy habits.  It is important that you don’t go on and off ‘fad’ diets.  Your diet should be forever, so find an eating style that will fit into your lifestyle.  A dietician will be able to help you work out a plan that suits your individual needs and is sustainable.



Kim Hofmann RD(SA)
Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715

The Consumer Protection Act 20-day notice period for tenants



We remember April 2011 looming and bringing with it the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) with its reach extending to Lease Agreements.  Prior to this colleagues and I attended numerous seminars at quite some cost – there were many people giving talks on their interpretation of the then proposed Act and their opinion on whether or not property rental agreements would fall under the ambit of the CPA.  Eventually it was clear that leases did indeed fall under this legislation, and finally, some very well-informed seminars later we had a good understanding of what was covered by the Act.

Before this enlightenment we initially understood that the CPA was born out of a need to protect consumers and believed that when written they were thinking in terms of things like Gym memberships, and Cellphone contracts etc., not leases surely?

But a rental agreement is a service as far as the CPA is concerned and amongst other things, the 20 working days notice which the CPA allows on a contract applies to tenants – but subject to penalties – remember that in terms of the Act, the act of giving notice does not cancel the consumers’ liability if the supplier is in for costs or as in the case of leases, loss of income (if the property is not re-let timeously).  
Image from RNEWS

So, in terms of the CPA the consumer (tenant) has the right to provide 20 working days notice (*see exclusion below) but reasonable penalties will apply if the property is not timeously re-let. The landlord however must make every effort to re-let the property, and using a good agent should be able to rent the property again within a couple of months.

The CPA talks about a reasonable penalty being applied and Regulation 5 (3) stipulates that a supplier (landlord) cannot “charge a consumer a charge that would have the effect of negating the consumer’s right to cancel a fixed term consumer agreement as afforded to the consumer by the Act”, meaning that the penalty must not be so great as to make it impossible for the tenant to cancel, e.g. if six months remaining on the lease, charging the tenant the rental for the remainder of the lease period. Also the landlord cannot charge a penalty if a loss is not incurred, for example a replacement tenant is found in the first week and occupation date corresponds with the date the exiting tenant is vacating.

A reasonable penalty is thought to be up to about two months' rent. And a tenant may also be liable to pay any agent's commission and costs of marketing, i.e. the landlord may recover reasonable costs incurred.

* Note: A lease does not fall under the ambit of the CPA if the consumer (tenant) is a juristic entity with an annual turnover which exceeds the threshold stipulated by the Minister of Trade and Industry (R2 000 000.00).  All natural people are consumers regardless of their net asset value.

The information contained in this article expresses our thoughts, views and understanding based on our experience and is not to be taken as legal advice. As such LettingWorx Rentals will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information.

LettingWorx Property Rentals
Southern Suburbs, Cape Town
property@lettingworx.co.za
Telephone:083 324 7401

Upcycling Clothing is the new Trendy word for Creative Alterations!


I found this interesting site under “Upcycle Clothing / Etsy” & I recommend you have a browse here.

This is where I started my research on this interesting subject, till I went cross eyed as I edited thought 18 pages till my right hand was numb with copying appealing photos & my own Design Talent was saturated with wonderful fragments of ideas that could be expanded upon.

This site sells remade clothing some of it with dismal bad taste & some of it fabulously inspiring!


My ideas of cause is let’s do it ourselves with me, some basic sewing skill & a sewing machine.

It’s the new word of Wearable Art which has existed for a long time in various forms.  Gypsies did it, Dancers do it, Stage work requires it & Hippies did it & still do it!

I have been remaking clothing in my sewing classes for about the last 6 months without knowing that I had somehow felt the trend & began to experiment with my Intermediate Pupils with wonderful wearable results that were so exciting.


Now I feel I can really experiment more with the creative aspect with some of them as well as the practical ones.

It’s a new word of Wearable Art which has existed for a long time in various forms.  Gypsies did it, Dancers do it, Stage work requires it & Hippies did it & do it!

 

I must admit that I forgot clothing could potentially be so much fun & we could experiment with the concept in milder ways by embellishing one’s Dressing up Wardrobe. Perhaps you could work on an outfit for a Party or a Night on the Town for the less daring & everyday wear for the Artists & more adventurous amongst us. This is also idea with the Festive Season coming up. I so wish we still dressed up! What about a Fancy Dress Party with a Theme!


I heard there is a Bar in Cape Town that is like a Saloon in the Cowboy Days with a swing doors… so that you can make quite an entrance & perhaps if you misbehave ~ quite an exit! This would make a wonderful outing with a group of friends.

I have often wondered why I keep clothes I no longer wear or can wear & now I understand that it is more for the particular look that I want to duplicate or expand on the idea it represents.

I have the serious side of my work but this is like it started long ago for me ~ it is Transformation & a form of play with Image Making.

Upcycling is a new branch of my work now. The serious side of my work is I offer my Specialty which is Dressmaking & is a proper education on making clothing from commercial patterns.


I love Home D├ęcor so I have just designed a Mini Course for Absolute Beginners doing items for the home ~ the terminology is Soft Furnishings. I call it “Feathering your Nest” & we do Tablecloths with mitred corners for any size or shape of table with contrasting or matching Napkins, Place Mats, Cushion Covers, Cushions any size or shape, Curtains or Pillowcases & Bedding.

I am also open to your suggestions so if you have a sewing machine in the cupboard or you intend to buy one with aspirations of practical & creative sewing come to Fine Feathers Sewing School.


I’m a local here in Harfield Village, a creative gypsy spirit who found her place to put down deep roots & where I work from my Studio.

I look forward to introducing you to a practical & creative skill at any level with many options.

Contact me on Whatsapp on 076 562 8151 or Landline 021 6711387
or email me on finefeatherssewingschool@telkomsa.net

Fine Feathers Sewing School









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GUY FAWKES

Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot!

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.




It’s that time of year again when we all celebrate the assassination of Guy Fawkes, who famously – in
November 1605 – tried to kill King James I and blow up the British Houses of Parliament with a cache of dynamite.  Not a Nobel feat at all, but rather a dastardly plot to wreak havoc and kill the people who formed the Monarchy and the government of the time. This sort of behaviour is nothing new, and unfortunately we still see extremists like this in our midst today – such as the ISIS terrorists. Or Anders Breivik, the Norwegian neo-Nazi who, in July 2011, killed 77 people and injured 200 more, in an attempt to bring his anti-establishment, anti-migrant ideologies to the fore of modern media. Over 400 years after Guy Fawkes, we would do well this November, to remember the destructive, treachery that is – for some – still a small part of being human.  But can neuroscience shed some light on the brains of citizens who engage in such destructive, seemingly insane acts, as we light our fireworks and sparklers this Bonfire Night?

It can seem mysterious as to what fires people up, to engage in extremist views that often have the intent of causing injury and death to other citizens who may hold opposing views.  Treachery has negative connotations, as it suggests a failure to conform to the status quo of society, but it can also be a positive response to an oppressive regime, such as the Arab Spring, or the Struggle against the brutal Apartheid regime, both of which were caused by citizens uprising against inhumane values.  Perhaps the difference lies in the nature of the plotting, and the ability of the brain to calculate the difference between right and wrong.  And also the ability of our brains to evaluate the future outcomes of our actions – treachery such as Nelson Mandela’s against the Apartheid regime, is plotting for a positive outcome that benefits society as a whole. Perhaps Nelson’s plotting showed a virtuous ability to put the people before himself – a sentiment that he was prepared to die for.  Similarly, the Arab Spring – plotted to improve the lives of many within a global society too.  But the same definitely cannot be said for the likes of ISIS, Breivik or Guy Fawkes.  Instead of plotting for the greater good, like our hero Nelson Mandela, treason can – like we saw in Guy Fawkes’ group – be motivated by fear.  Fear could be what we are seeing in today’s far-right values that have motivated Brexit and the election of Nationalistic leaders.

Treachery and plotting are secretive acts – motivated by fear and arousal associated with the  avoidance of being ‘found out’.  For some, the arousal and excitement surrounding secretive plans becomes addictive, and can fuel group cohesion.  The brain may release pleasurable dopamine chemicals when a person ‘gets away with’ trickery, which also has the function of giving people continuous energy to engage in complex, secretive tasks.  It takes a lot of mental energy to engage in treachery! Similarly, being part of an undercover group, like Guy Fawkes was, likely releases the brain hormone oxytocin, which creates a sense of bonding and kinship between members of the same group.  However, treachery within group members can also double-back on itself – as one person always wants to dominate - like the famous ‘Animal Farm’ story by George Orwell.  One theory is that people who are lacking feelings of citizenship and social inclusion in their everyday lives are prone to treachery and plotting. This could explain why many of the people who are caught plotting against society, are often loners that have been ex-communicated in some way.  Joining a treacherous group or ideology gives the brain a sense of purpose, when purpose might be lacking.  And combined with the sense of arousal and excitement, enables a prolonged, focused motivation to get a specific job done.

And so, for modern examples like Anders Breivik’s first psychiatric diagnosis, or the ISIS 
extremists, would Guy Fawkes and his comrades be diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenics?  Nelson Mandela was not – during his treason trial – diagnosed in the same way – at least by sober, sane modern standards.   So what differentiates them?  Is it the difference in motivation?  Self-interest versus interest in the greater good of society?  Maybe.  But one thing is for sure, treachery involves a sense of one’s citizenship.  How do we hold in mind a healthy sense of belonging to a multi-cultural society?  Guy Fawkes and his group were excluded Catholics in a society that was predominantly Protestant – and despite the Gunpowder plot happening some 400 years’ ago, we witness a re-hash of this same story of social exclusion in our newspapers and other media all the time.

And so Harfield Villagers – from our Rainbow Nation – remember, remember the 5th of November, and what it means to be good, global citizens! Let’s remember dear Nelson too, and help everybody, no matter what their individual characteristics, to feel included as we warm ourselves around the Bonfire this Guy Fawkes’ Night!


Dr Samantha Brooks is a UK neuroscientist working with the University of Cape Town, specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction. For more information on neuroscience at UCT and to contact Samantha, see www.drsamanthabrooks.com.













Huge savings available on lower-rate home loans


South African home buyers need to become more aware of the advantages of being offered a lower interest rate when they are initially approved for a home loan, says Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond, SA’s leading bond originator.

“As consumers, we all waiting to see whether the Reserve Bank might raise rates to try to contain inflation later this month, or possibly lower rates to try to boost economic growth and job creation – and most of us know that whatever decision is made will affect us in terms of our monthly repayments on existing debts like car finance and credit card balances as well as home loans.

“Generally, we are all also aware of the need to cut expenses wherever possible in order to cope with the rising cost of living, especially given the VAT, fuel and municipal increases that have taken place this year. But among prospective borrowers, we are finding that there is not enough awareness of the really substantial savings to be made by securing a new bond at a lower rate from the outset.”

For example, he says, a 0,5% rate concession on a new R1m home loan will immediately reduce the minimum monthly bond repayment due by some R330 a month – and automatically generate an annual saving of almost R4000 - without the borrower having to do anything.

“In addition to this, it would cut R80 000 off the total amount of interest due over the 20-year life of the bond – again without the borrower being required to take any further action – and if you were to offer consumers similar savings on their cell phone bills, for example, or on the eventual cost of their car, we have no doubt they would be queueing up for the opportunity.

“We have also seen the insurance companies get very good at making consumers aware of how much they could potentially save by comparing various short-term insurance offerings. But we don’t see the banks advertising competitive rates for home loans in the same way, and in fact most home buyers still seem to have the impression that they are ‘lucky’ to be approved for a bond at all, on whatever terms the lender chooses to offer them.”

However, says Botha, that is patently not true. “Despite the current economic conditions, BetterBond is currently able to secure approval for more than 80% of the bond applications we submit, which just goes to show how keen the banks are at the moment to lend to home buyers. Indeed, we have not experienced this consistent rate of approval since before the global financial crisis of 2008/09.

“What is more, our multiple bank approval process ensures that we are able to offer every applicant the lowest interest rate available to them from a range of options. And since the variance in the rates and rate concessions offered averages around 0,5%, the majority of our clients are able to access significant savings opportunities as outlined above.

“This is a compelling reason for home buyers to always enlist the help of a bond originator like BetterBond when applying for a home loan rather than trying other means, especially since our service is free to potential borrowers.”

Issued by etc

Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.

Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665
E-mail: anne-marie.bamber@betterlife.co.za









Pool Cover – the legalities

Internationally, pool safety laws are incredibly strict and over the recent years we’ve seen new pool safety regulations coming into play in South Africa. What is most surprising is how few people actually know about the legislation, especially considering the strict bylaws that have come into play this year.

The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) is updating the laws for private swimming pools due to the continued incidences of children drowning. Where before, a fence surrounding ones pool was enough, now there is a bylaw stating that simply putting up a fence is no longer sufficient. In fact, we’re now being told that pool covers are absolutely mandatory.


Part D4 of the National Building Regulations states that “any owner of a site which contains a swimming pool must ensure that access to such a swimming pool is controlled” and that failure to comply with the requirements will lead to fines or even a jail sentence. Home owners can now also be sued for negligence should someone drown in their pool. So what are the laws you need to be aware of?

According to SABS, every private swimming pool needs to be surrounded not only by a child-proof fence but must also be fitted with a safety net or cover. The regulations for the above mentioned are as follows:

All private properties with a swimming pool will require a certificate of compliance and no property may be sold without this compliance certificate.

Every private pool shall be enclosed by a fence or wall at least 1.2m high, measured from ground level, and have a smooth finish that provides no footholds. The wall or fence must be sunk at least 50cm into the ground and will not have any gaps along the length or height that are larger than 100mm. All enclosures must have a self-closing, self-latching gate which cannot be reached by a child of seven years old. The construction requirements of any fence or gate must comply with the requirements in the SANS 1390.


All private pools will require a pool net or cover in order to meet the new SABS standards. The net or cover is not allowed to be DIY installed but rather must be fitted by an “accredited responsible party”. A cover must not allow rainwater to pool for more than five minutes (another drowning risk) and must require keys, combination lock, or “special tools, devices, or inaccessible locations” to remove. If a child can unfasten the cover it will be disqualified. Larger swimming pools must have a net or cover that can carry a weight of at least 220kg – one child and two adults -  to allow for rescue should anything happen. Smaller pools, less than 2.4m at its widest point, have a weight requirement of 125kg – one child and one adult.

Any property owner has the responsibility to ensure that their pool has both a fence/wall and a net/cover and “shall not allow water in an unprotected swimming pool.” Owners shall also be responsible to ensure that some sort of pole – a brush, leaf scoop, etc. – is available nearby to assist a distressed person in the water.

Hopefully this article sheds some light on the new legislation and raises the awareness of a topic which very few are clued up on. A pool cover is definitely a legal prerequisite for any home with a private pool and you’d be breaking some pretty strict laws should you not have a certificate of compliance, especially if trying to sell your property.

Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen who specialises in the Claremont area, shares some household tips and handy home hints with you every month. Read more of his articles here.

Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367 | andre@norgarb.co.za | www.norgarbproperties.co.za








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Patchwork | November in the Garden


Spring is bountiful in the garden as temperatures and daily sun hours continue to climb. Make sure you are mulching so that the soil doesn't start to dry out as things heat up. 

Here's the plant list for November:

Amaranth, Basil, Bush and Climbing beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Butternut, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrot, Chard, Cape Gooseberry, Carrot, Celery, Chives, Chilli, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Ginger, Globe Artichoke, Leek, Leaf Mustard, Lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes, Parsley, Peas, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Rhubarb, Sweetcorn, Sweet pepper, Sweet potato, Turnip, Tomato, Watercress, Watermelon, Zucchini