Skybok recently covered events for Rotary PE West as part of their “Medieval Festival”. It’s a whole weekend of festivities themed around the Middle Ages and it’s hosted at Victoria Park in Port Elizabeth. Their “Royal Banquet” is on a Friday night where everyone arrives dressed up in costumes from the Middle Ages. There is a dinner and lots of entertainment. During the Saturday, they host an entire day filled with arts, crafts and activities that people during those times used to play! Together with my brother, I filmed and photographed these events for them. I spent about two days editing and adding music and I am so excited about the final result! It was such a festive evening and day and we managed to capture the spirit and ambiance into two easy 2 minute video profiles. See both videos below. To watch in the best quality be sure to change the viewing settings to 1080 p HD (click on the cog in the toolbar at the bottom of the video). If you are in South Africa and would like to get in touch with us to film your business or event, see our facebook page here. We also have our twitter here, our YouTube Channel here and our website here.
Currently I am spearheading the launch of a brand new initiative at Doubell Machines as part of “Going Green”. This is something that I’m really excited about as the environment is something I care deeply about. As a manufacturing business, we release a lot of carbon when we make the machines. This is bad for the environment. To reduce our carbon footprint, for every ten Jumbos we sell we are adopting a penguin from SAMREC. SAMREC is an organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of African penguins. They have a beautiful facility in Port Elizabeth located in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve. See their website here. This is our first penguin, Keith. He is suffering from a bad shark bite and bad circulation. He is an adult penguin and he will be released back into the wild once he is healthy again. I designed the logo for this initiative this week (see above) and unlocked a very creative streak in myself I never thought I had! It is now active both on our website and Facebook page here. This is the start of many initiatives to come. I am in the process of filling out the adoption papers – watch this space for photos!
Coming up this week is Rotary International’s amazing initiative, The Rotary Family Health Days (RFHD). Rotary has formed a fantastic partnership with the Department of Health, Coca-Cola, the CDC and USAID in order to host a series of Health Days (across the world) from 9-11 May 2013. On the days the Department of Health will supply qualified people to do completely free testing, screenings and counselling. Rotary’s role is to give as much support and service as possible where needed during the three days. All Rotary Clubs in the world are taking part in this initiative during these three days.
- HIV Testing & Counselling
- TB Symptomatic Screening
- Diabetes & Blood Pressure Screening
- Polio & Measles Vaccination
- Vitamin A tablets
- 9-11 May
- 9am – 4pm
- Dial *120* 7343 for a site near you. In Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the site for the three days is the NMMU’s Missionvale Campus. You can dial +27 82 5515 845 for more information.
May is one of my favourite months. Last year this time I was getting home from London where I had just done Top Model UK. Here in South Africa, May is the last month of the Autumn season and things are headed for Winter so it’s getting chilly. Good thing I’ll be in New York when it’s the height of Winter here! For May I decided my 3 new things would revolve around spring cleaning.. this is going to be a month of organizing and cleaning out! Here are some of the things I’m going to do:
1. Clean out all my old stuff and give to charity. This includes my old books, textbooks, sport stuff, ornaments and clothes. I just realized I am keeping a lot of my old things and it’s piling up. I am doing a huge clean out this month and I have three charities in mind who I would like to drop my boxes off with. I will keep you posted!
2. Read a book. I have started an incredibly-written novel by Julian Fellowes called ‘Past Imperfect’. I love reading but the trouble is sometimes life runs away with me and I never finish things I start reading. This one I’m determined to complete!
3. Finish another blog I’m creating. I’m working on a new project and I’m going to work extra hard to get it done before the end of the month. Very exciting stuff, watch this space!
Any fun things happening for you this month?
The next morning our protagonist wakes up in her hotel room with a red rose and a letter outside her door. It’s from her husband, apologizing for his affair and begging for her forgiveness. He confesses everything, along with the fact that he secretly flew in from his business trip in Vermont just to watch her show. In the letter he tells her how magnificent her performance was and how much he loves her and how sorry he is. He asks, with one single red rose, if she will accept his apology and forgive him. He writes about the dreams and plans for their lives together which they once had. He wants to re-ignite those dreams, as well as the flame between them. Our protagonist reads the letter and is taken back to a time when they were indeed very much in love and shared many dreams. She thinks about their memories and the passionate times they’ve shared together as she decides what she will do.
1. The Rose. Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. The red rose was also adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christian martyrs. Obviously the rose is the perfect symbol of the love between our protagonist and her husband, as well as the beauty of their relationship. The red is associated with blood which is also poignant as blood is connected to life. It is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients around our body, as well as playing a role in removing waste from our system. In a way, this symbol represents that he wishes to remove the ‘waste’ that has accumulated in their relationship – culminating in the toxic affair. As blood also plays a role in repair in our bodies, so this symbol serves furthermore to represent his wish to take the first steps toward repairing the life they have together that has been wounded. Again, the red of the rose playing a role as a motif throughout our story. See it’s symbolism HERE.
2. Perfume. While she is relieved, she is unsure what to do. She wonders about whether or not she will forgive him as she gets ready. On her dressing table is everything beautiful, delicate, feminine and luxurious. It represents her inner self and the side of herself she is confident in, unlike their relationship which she is unsure of. We have her seated at her dressing table as she remembers all their loving times together. She sprays on her favourite perfume. It’s the same scent she was wearing when they first met, on a romantic rainy evening years ago, and this moment takes her back to that time. The definition of perfume is “A pleasing, agreeable scent or odor”, made up of the word “fuming” - To fill or permeate with fragrance; impart a pleasant odor to. This is symbolic as these memories are like a pleasing fragrance to a troubled mind. She thinks back to their gentle and sensual first kiss.
3. Music. Finally she makes her decision. She decides to forgive him and give their love another try. Her exuberance in spirit is matched only by her cheeky smile as she realizes that “she’s still got it!“. Her husband has chosen to stay with her over his mistress. There is a sense of triumph mixed with lighthearted relief. Their love is indeed the same beautiful song she’s remembered all along. We have her sitting next to a piano, with her smile at the outcome of her tragedy as the symbolic Crescendo in the musical score that was this story.
Here are some behind-the-scenes pics:
So I’ve just done another shoot with my favourite photographer Sarah Keogh. She is so professional with such a great eye and is very good at what she does!! I had a lot of fun with her on this shoot and also with Nina Thompson at Kinky Curly Straight Hair Design who did my make-up and hair. Together we shot a stunning editorial with a story about a passionate love. Our protagonist is an old hollywood theatre doyenne and as the story begins, she finds herself in a majestic opera house preparing for her performance in a few hours. She is decked in pearls, lace, fur and diamonds. She is surrounded by luxury, but as she walks through the gilded rooms she is torn inside. She knows her husband is having an affair. We have the first shots of her alone around the beautiful, golden theatre. She is angst-ridden and upset. She doubts herself, questions their love, worries about the future of a marriage she thought would never end. She feels betrayed, confused, unsure and lifeless. Yet, she knows she has to put on a mask for the world in a few hours when she performs on stage for hundreds of people. She puts her bravest face on for the world, while beneath she’s far from together. She wants to tell him the truth about her feelings, but decides it might be best not to. We have a rich surrounding of opulence on the surface with deeper layers of a less-than-lavish sadness.
I liked the symbology of the props we used:
1. Pearls. Pearls symbolize Purity, Spiritual Transformation, Charity, Honesty, Wisdom and Integrity, all the best within us. The woman in our story has always been faithful to her husband. She’s honest, pure of heart and values her own integrity as well as the integrity of the relationship. But now that’s all been thrown into question. She needs to believe it hasn’t all been for nothing. Through all the anxiety, she clings on to what she’s always held dear and appeals to her greater wisdom to make sense of it all and guide her to make the best decision for her future.
2. Gold. As well as being associated with power, strength and wealth, Gold is associated with the wisdom of aging and fruition. The fiftieth wedding anniversary is golden. Our precious latter years are sometimes considered “golden years”. The height of a civilization is referred to as a “golden age”. In the same way, our protagonist feels a connection to gold as she she feels she has grown up beyond her years. Her life has catapulted her into the limelight very quickly and she is experiencing her golden years at a young age. Through this she has attained great power, wealth, strength and influence. However, she has had to sacrifice her youth and naivety. She’s learnt hard life lessons that have pushed her spiritually, emotionally and psychologically beyond the age of her peers. As a result she feels alone in the world, with the red velvet settees her only companions.
3. The Mirror. Reflecting surfaces as well as the natural reflective surface of the water plays an important role in the religious concepts of many people. It is believed that somebody who gazes at his own reflection will lose his soul in the process. Therefore Narcissus, who was in love with his own reflection, was doomed. This was because his soul was ‘captured’. In many customs, in order to bar the dead from staying on earth, people veiled the mirrors in the death chamber (especially true in the Victorian era). This was to ensure that the soul of the departed would not get trapped behind the glass and be prevented from passing to ‘the other side. The woman in our story gazes at her reflection and it is symbolic of her feeling scared and trapped in the situation she’s in. She feels she can never escape. At the same time, she wonders if she would in fact want to, as it is a means of validation of her existence. If she escaped, she might fall into nothingness and cease to exist.
4. The Star. For centuries, the symbol of the star has been used to reference divinity, intuition, the feminine, hope and guidance. Stars offer the unique ability to guide us through the night. They can also refer to one’s need to discover their own inner light. Stars exists above us as well as within us. They encourage us to reach beyond our own egos and trust in something much greater than ourselves. The woman in our story has a star around her neck, representing she has found her inner light and values her intuition to guide her in times of darkness. This is one such time, with the problem of an unfaithful spouse, and she puts her trust in her inner spirit to give her hope and guidance.
Easter was awesome, exhilarating, special and delicious. For me, as a Christian, Easter is the true new year. It is the period from Good Friday to Easter Sunday (when Christ was crucified and when he was resurrected). It is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, culminating in the celebration of the resurrection of Christ (Easter Sunday) on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. He died on the cross to pay for our sins and allow us entry into God’s kingdom after death. His resurrection symbolizes the resurrection of all of us after death into Heaven, where our souls are very much alive and immortal in His eternal Kingdom (if we lived as Christians according to His Word). In short, his resurrection symbolizes new life. It sets Him apart from all the other historical figures in those times who claimed to be the Son of God because none of them came alive again after they died. This was a true miracle. Through doing this he proved that what he had been saying all along was true; Every miracle he performed and everything he preached about God and the way man must live on earth was true. It renews your faith, this time of year, and for me it only cements it. You look again at the important lessons of the Bible and the Ten Commandments and re-commit yourself to living the loving Christian lifestyle. Satan will always be around to throw us off track and we need to be strong. Of course we will always sin, no matter how hard we try, because we live in a fallen world. What sets you apart is your repentance and prayers for forgiveness. God guarantees us He will always forgive us if we confess our sins and repent.
Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance which begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days (not counting Sundays). The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday, with the Wednesday before Easter being known as Spy Wednesday. The last three days before Easter are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (sometimes referred to as Silent Saturday). Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively commemorate Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The week beginning with Easter Sunday is called Easter Week or the Octave of Easter, and each day is prefaced with “Easter”, e.g. Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, etc.
It is a very holy time for me. I really enjoy the service on Easter Sunday, before sunrise on the day of resurrection. The service is very early and I am not usually a morning person, but for this I am! The Easter Vigil is performed during this service. This is the most important liturgy of the year, which begins in total darkness with the blessing of the Easter fire, the lighting of the large Paschal candle (symbolic of the Risen Christ) and the chanting of the Exultet or Easter Proclamation.
There’s something about the lighting of the fire and the candle that makes you feel reborn in a way. After this service of light, a number of readings from the Old Testament are read; these tell the stories of creation, the sacrifice of Isaac, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the foretold coming of the Messiah. This part of the service climaxes with the singing of the Gloria and the Alleluia and the proclamation of the Gospel of the resurrection. At this time, the lights are brought up and the church bells are rung, according to local custom. A sermon may be preached after the gospel. Then the focus moves from the lectern to the font. Anciently, Easter was considered the ideal time for converts to receive baptism, and this practice continues within Roman Catholicism and the Anglican Communion. It is traditional for the congregation to renew the vows of their baptismal faith at this point. The Easter Vigil concludes with the celebration of the Eucharist (known in some traditions as Holy Communion).
The whole service consists of 4 parts:
- The Service of Light.
- The Service of Lessons.
- Christian Initiation, or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows.
- The Holy Eucharist with the administration of Easter Communion.
Here is something interesting I found: The first recorded “Sunrise Service” took place in 1732 among the Single Brethren in the Moravian Congregation at Herrnhut, Saxony, in what is now Germany. Following an all-night vigil they went before dawn to the town graveyard, God’s Acre, on the hill above the town, to celebrate the Resurrection among the graves of the departed. This service was repeated the following year by the whole congregation and subsequently spread with the Moravian Missionaries around the world, including Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
So you see then the chocolate eggs are just the cherry on top for me Eggs symbolize the beginning of new life, fertility and abundance. And of course, chicks come from eggs and represent rebirth and springtime. Rabbits are known for their rapid reproduction and therefore also represent fertility and new life. So this is why these are popular symbols at Easter and why we eat them
How about you? How was your Easter? How did you celebrate?
Here is a gorgeous photo I found of the celebration of the Easter vigil at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris.