Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and governments restrictions on traveling, many may now stay home over the Easter holidays but even then safety in and around the home is still paramount.  

Hattingh reiterates that criminals do not take a break – in fact, they love holidays as much as anyone else, just for the wrong reasons. Holiday planning has got to, therefore, include home security. 
Getting swept up in the excitement and forgetting all about home security basics, like checking your alarm is working properly and alerting your security company to your plans, is negligent.

“As there is a lot to think about, most of us plan a holiday with a check list. I suggest checking your home security will not let you down takes priority on this list. No matter how brief or extended your trip away from home is, make sure you have peace of mind everything will still be intact when you return,” she says.

“The best defence against burglars, trespassers or opportunistic thieves is to make your property as unattractive to criminals as possible. With nobody around to deter criminals, it pays to implement extra precautions to keep your belongings safe – inside and outside the home.”

3 top going away tips:

1. Make it look as though someone is home. Get your friendly neighbour to pop in and switch on lights and close/open curtains, collect the post and put the sprinklers on every day. These functions can also all of course be managed from your smartphone or laptop, from anywhere in the world, with advanced security systems. Speak to Fidelity ADT about the options.

2. Keep it quiet. No, the whole world does not need to know you are going away and for how long so do not post your holiday plans on social media.

3. Lock up and double check. Sheds, windows and garages are as important as the front door and gate, so make sure everything is properly secured and locked before you leave. Even doggie doors should be closed off as criminals are known to easily gain access through even the smallest of spaces. Rather board your pets or leave them with family. 

Hattingh says in addition, proper perimeter protection, garden beams and an alarm linked to armed response, solid security doors and burglar proofing, sensor lights and panic buttons for staff on the property are all ways to keep your property and belongings safe.

Loadshedding, she adds, is definitely a concern these days and it can wreak havoc with security systems. The likelihood of this happening while you are on holiday must be factored into pre-planning for a holiday.

“Talk to your security provider about any concerns you have before you leave. It may even be a good idea to get one of their consultants out to cast an eye around your property – a trained eye may pick up weaknesses you have not noticed.

“Tightening up small vulnerabilities can amount to a huge relief when it comes to home security. Do not leave anything to chance this Easter,” Hattingh concludes.

Compiled on behalf of Fidelity ADT by Cathy Findley Public Relations, for media queries contact jacqui on 011 463 6372 jacqui@findleypr.co.za


Easter is here again, and just after Easter South Africans also celebrate Freedom Day; both are celebrations with a common theme.  But what can neuroscience tell us about freedom and free will?

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.
Easter is a Christian celebration to remind us that love sets us free, as we recall a man who, 2000
years ago, did not yield to the cruelty and tyranny of the Roman society in which he lived. Similarly, Freedom Day in South Africa is a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s unyielding belief in the day – 27th April 1994 – when South Africans of all colours could live together and vote in a democratic election.  Mandela’s love for his country and its people – a love for which he was prepared to die – similarly showed how love can be alchemised into freedom.  People are free to choose whether to be motivated by feelings of love or hate, and these two men provide examples to us today that love is what sets us free.  As John Lennon famously sang, “All you need is love” and “Love is the answer, we know it for sure”. But what can neuroscience tell us about love and freedom?

Love and freedom are natural partners, because the opposite of freedom – constraint, tyranny, oppression – are often motivated by the need for power and control, and the feelings of hate towards those who appear free.  It might be a political group trying to heft its weight over the citizens of the country for selfish benefit; or a toxic family that tries to enforce its values on its members.  In both cases, individual members are not free to exercise free will, but are instead dictated to by the values imposed by others.  In contrast to this, free will – an area of neuroscientific research that has been extensively studied – concerns a person’s freedom or sense of agency, or the ability to make decisions for oneself.  In brain terms, free will is related to activation of the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex and parietal cortex.  These brain areas are connected to enable a sense of body ownership, as well as self-directed, goal-oriented behaviours based on autobiographical memories and plans for the future. 

For example, even though Jesus Christ and Nelson Mandela were both persecuted and incarcerated
by powerful, corrupt, hateful organisations that eventually fell (the Roman Empire, the South African National Party), they both held in mind important beliefs that were not changed by force, incarceration or the threat of death. These two men could have chosen to react differently to the unjust ways that these powerful organisations controlled them – allowing aggression and hatred to override their behaviours.  But instead, they exercised conscious veto, or ‘free won’t’ to gain personal mastery over a terrible situation. The notion of conscious veto is in response to the major criticisms of free will – the idea that we have a mini controller in our heads telling us what to do.

The neuroscientific data from the famous Benjamin Libet ‘half second’ studies showed that our brains actually decide how to respond to a stimulus about half a second before we are consciously aware of our decision to do something like eat chocolate.  This seems to suggest that there is no such thing as free will; but instead that our actions are driven by other factors.  A rather discouraging thought if we are not really free to control our own thoughts and actions!  However, this is where the notion of conscious veto, or ‘free won’t’ comes in.  Our brains may already have decided upon a course of action, but the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex can subsequently choose whether we continue to act as our brains have planned, or to inhibit this prior response.  Conscious veto is what both Jesus Christ and Nelson Mandela exercised when choosing not to attack or seek revenge against their perpetrators – and lucky for South Africa that Nelson Mandela’s conscious veto did not lead to his death.

So when we think about the story of Easter (no matter what one’s faith) or the wonderful, freedom-promoting legacy of South Africa’s Madeba, consider exercising conscious veto for the purposes of freedom in our own lives.  We can’t change injustice and corruption in the world, but we can, for a better future, choose how to react to it.

Happy Freedom Day Harfielders!

Dr Samantha Brooks is a UK neuroscientist in Harfield Village, specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction.  For more information you can contact Samantha at: www.drsamsanthabrooks.com.


Financial education is a complex subject, often fraught with even more complex emotions. Whatever your feelings about it, money is something we cannot live without and, as such, the better we understand and manage it, the more likely we are to be comfortable with it, in a way that ensures our financial stability and independence.

BetterBond’s latest stats show the average age of the first-time home buyer to be around 38. When you consider that most home loan periods are 20 years, or 25 years in some instances, that takes one close to the age of 60 before your home loan is paid up, which means you have less time to put these monthly bond amounts into other savings vehicles, such as retirement annuities.

A bond is effectively a savings vehicle in that you’re paying money towards something, a very large asset, that you will eventually own and, as such, the sooner you enter the property market, the more time you allow yourself to save and accumulate wealth in this way. But the fact that the average first-time buyer, at 38, is likely to have been working for around 15 years, it begs the question about the financial education of young people around property and affordability, and savings in general.

Surely this points to a need to educate our children about money from an early age? So much of what we understand about money, its power and influence, comes from what we observed and experienced with our parents. Whatever your own early experiences of money were like, it’s up to you to teach your children about money in a way that seeks to empower them to make rational decisions around money and helps them understand the value of money.

1. Patience is a financial virtue
Depending on their age (and temperament!), teaching a child about the need for patience, and why not everything can be had or done at a moment’s notice, is particularly difficult but such an important lesson when it comes to making money work for you.

If there is a toy, game or experience they really want, tell them that they can have it only if they put their pocket money towards it for a set amount of time.

2. Money is all about choices
Whether you have a little or a lot of it, there are always choices to be made about money. Rather than shy away from decisions, embrace them and use this as an opportunity to teach your children about money. Look for situations in your daily life to start a conversation about how to make decisions around money. Discuss the considerations, ask them their thoughts, point out the pros, cons and possible outcomes of various scenarios. The point is to create awareness around the fact that money means choices and decisions, and the more financially literate you are the more likely you are to make decisions that contribute to long-term financial stability and independence.

3. Save, save and save some more
South Africans are known to be poor savers. 10X Investments’ 2019 Retirement Reality Report revealed that almost half the respondents in the survey indicated that they are not saving for retirement at all. The importance of saving cannot be overstated, and the earlier you introduce the notion of saving to your children the better.

Open a savings account for them and encourage them to get into the habit of saving a percentage of the money they receive, be it their pocket money, birthday money or earnings from a holiday job, into a savings account. Take the time to teach them about interest and how the more you save, the more interest you’ll get.

4. Property is a tool for building wealth
Property is a great case study for teaching children the basics of investing. Explain that while the home costs money every month, it’s a good debt to have because you’re paying towards something that will be an asset one day (assuming the property is bonded and you’re not renting). Add that the more that gets paid into the bond, the less the interest will be and the sooner the investment can be leveraged for acquiring further assets.

At the end of the day the most important thing is to talk to your children about money in a way that is age-appropriate and that stimulates their own thinking around money and the value thereof in a productive way.

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


It's April already - how did that happen!? I can feel the temperatures have dropped in the morning and evening, and the mornings and evenings are darker. The seasons are turning. As we head into Autumn, it's valuable to reflect on how we feel, and to note that it gives us the best insight into what's happening in the garden. As things cool down, it's great to start mulching your beds for Autumn and Winter, and to capitalise on the remaining warmth by getting some new seeds into the ground.

On that note, here's our plant list for April:
Broad beans, Beetroot, Brocoli, Cabbage, Calendula, Carrot, Chard/Spinach, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Chives, Chilli, Kale, Kohlrabi, Garlic, Globe Artichoke, Leek, Leaf Mustard, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnip, Parsley, Peas, Potato, Radish, Turnip

Happy growing! 

Patchwork Group
Gabriella Garnett
076 2199 849 | gabriella.garnett@gmail.com


The Marathon Series:

What do I eat if I want to train for an ultra-marathon?

Training for the comrades is no joke.  It’s hard work – those endless hours of training spent on the road – you need strength, endurance and stamina, as well as good nutrition and hydration.  Is there even time for a life?  Nutrition and hydration of course plays a major role to ensure that you have the energy available to do all the necessary training without having burnout or getting sick!  Let’s take a look at what this entails and what you should focus on to ensure that you can put your body through the preparation.

Your day to day diet
One of the most important things to work on is to ensure that you eat enough in your day to day life so that you have energy for the training.  You can get energy from carbohydrates, proteins or fat.  Each of these food groups play an important role in our bodies and should be incorporated into your eating plan.

Carbohydrates are the best source of immediate energy (although there are those that will disagree with me), and are the largest contributor to the energy needed during exercise.  They fill up the muscles with glycogen – the storage form of carbohydrate that is used first during the exercise periods.  Once this energy is used up your body relies on blood glucose (which it can get from any of the food groups).  As exercise becomes more intense, carbohydrates contribute mostly to the energy supply. 

Generally speaking, long distance runners need between 7 and 10g of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight during the intense training periods.  This is a lot of carbohydrates.  For example, for a 60kg person, that would equate to 420-600g of carbohydrates.  In carbohydrate servings, which is a bit easier to understand, this is 28-40 servings (see ideas for servings below).

Examples of 1 carbohydrate serving = 
• 1 cup (250ml) milk
• 175ml plain yoghurt
• Tennis ball size fruit or 20g dried fruit
• ½ cup cooked legumes, starchy veg or starch
• 1 slice bread
• 3-4 crackers
• ¼ cup muesli or ½ cup all bran etc.

When you think of eating 28-40 servings of these foods (and possibly more if your weight is higher) it feels like a mountain of food.  It is because of this that we often suggest using fluids (such as fruit juice, smoothies or sports drinks) to get the carbohydrate quantity up as it is often easier to drink calories, especially when the appetite is down due to the excessive exercise.  It is of course important though that we eat a reasonable amount of food in the ‘better nutrient’ form (for example whole-grains vs white) to ensure that you get the vitamins and minerals that your body requires. 

Fats can also contribute to the energy needed for exercise, however, as the exercise becomes more intense fat is less available as the conversion of fat to energy is slower than carbohydrate. If you are running along at a slow consistent pace, your body can tap into these fat stores nicely to keep you going, but the minute you want to sprint a short distance you will feel flat if you are not eating carbohydrates.

Fats plays many important roles in our body.  Aside from an energy source, they support cell growth (every cell is made up of fat), play a role in hormone production, help our body absorb fat soluble vitamins, protect our organs, and keep us warm. 

Runners therefore need 20-35% of the total calories to come from fat.  The best fat choices are those that come from plants, such as nuts, seeds (as well as the nut/seed butters), avocado and olives, and any foods that contain these for example hummus, pesto, and oils, as well as fatty fish.  Fats from other animal products should be used in moderation.  The fats that you want to avoid is the cooked plant fats (these are seen in products such as fried and baked goods).

Fats are very energy dense, so the amount that needs to be added to the meals is not a lot. Half an avocado, a couple of tablespoons of hummus or a small handful of nuts or seeds are adequate to add to a meal or snack.

Protein does not contribute to a lot of energy during exercise (only about 5%), as long as you are eating enough energy overall.  When your body runs out of energy from carbohydrates and can’t tap into fat stores, protein will be used.  Protein however does start supplying energy during rest as it is needed for muscle recover and to help refuel the glycogen stores. 

The amount of protein endurance athletes require is 1.2-1.4g per kilogram body weight.  For our 60kg person this would equate to 72-84g.  This would be roughly 10-12 servings of protein (see ideas for servings below), which is not very difficult to get to in our Westernised diets.  Protein shakes can also be used, especially if you are struggling to eat due to loss of appetite.  Generally a serving of protein shake is equivalent to 3 protein servings.

Examples of 1 protein serving = 
1 cup (250ml) milk
175ml plain yoghurt
½ cup cooked legumes
30g fish, shellfish, chicken, meat, organ meat, cheese
1 egg
½ cup tofu 
Roughly ½ piece of meat alternative (e.g. Fry’s)

Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are very important in everyone’s diet, but they are especially important in the runners’ (and any exercisers’ actually) diet as exercise produces free radicals (this is because more oxygen is used and more food is oxidized into energy during the exercise).  Antioxidants from food help to neutralise these free radicals so they cannot cause damage in our bodies.  Fruit and vegetables are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Runners also need lots of other minerals such as zinc, iron, manganese and copper.  As an ultra-distance runner you should consume at least 8-9 servings of fruit and vegetables as well as wholegrains, fortified breakfast cereals, low fat dairy, fish, chicken, meats and plant fats.  Fatty fish are vital in the diet as they help fight inflammation as well as boost immunity.  It is therefore ideal to have at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week for a good dose of omega-3.

Is it time for you to step up your nutrition?

Article written by Kim Hofmann RD(SA)
Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715
Website: kimsnutrition.com


• The procedure for applying for a VA (“verlore akte”) copy of a lost title deed or mortgage bond  is now more complicated due to an advertisement having to be placed in the local newspaper circulating in the rea in which the property is situated.

• Owners of properties are therefore encouraged to look for their  title deed to ascertain whether it is an original or not. If your property is un-bonded, you should be in possession of the original title deed. If your property is bonded, it will be held by the bank as security.

• Should you discover that your title deed is lost or misplaced and you intend selling or bonding your property, you will need to apply for a duplicate original.

• STBB can assist you with this process and it will save a delay down the line when you sell your property since transfer cannot be passed with such original.

Contact Lauren Smith at laurens@stbb.co.za for more information.


South Africa celebrates Human Rights Day on the 21st of March each year. Human Rights Day reminds us of two things – namely the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960, as well as the progress we have made as a nation in achieving human rights for all South Africans. It is furthermore on this day that we commemorate the establishment of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

The SAHRC promotes the respect, protection, development and attainment of human rights in South Africa. Interestingly, the SAHRC was established on 21 March 1996 – exactly 35 years after the Sharpeville Massacre. In response thereto, the United Nations has furthermore declared March 21st as ‘The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’ and signifies a greater international effort to eliminate racial discrimination globally.

Human Rights Day is thus a day on which we remind all South Africans that, in stark contrast with our racial segregationist history, we now have a Constitution with a pioneering Bill of Rights that serves to shape our democratic era with the values of non-racism, dignity and equality.

STBB Claremont