I did a ghost walk when I was recently in New York. If you have been following my blog, you’ll know I love them.
Below are some photos with captions of the most haunted spots in NYC! Feel free to ask questions or give feedback about an awesome ghost walk you have done! (please try leave the name of the company and the city you did it in!) (more…)
This is the cave of Makhetha Mantsopa. The prophetess was a renowned healer, rainmaker and diviner. She was also sister to King Moshoeshoe I – founder and first King of Lesotho. I wrote about Lesotho earlier this week. She was born around 1795, in a place called “Likotsi” or “Ramakhetheng” near present day Maseru (the capital of the Kingdom). In 1851, she predicted that the BaSotho (the people of Lesotho) would triumph over colonial troops led by Major Warden.
There are about 10-15 visitors per week to this cave – where she gave healings, performed miracles, announced prophecies and said prayers. A lot of people pray through her at this place to their ancestors and to God, much like the Virgin Mary in Christianity. The Priory of St Augustine’s is a monastery next to it, established in 1871.
There is a spring at this site, where people come to drink waters they believe are sacred and provide cleansing and good fortune. Watch the video below and read on for photos! Leave any questions you have in the comment section below! (more…)
I wrote before about Lesotho – the African Kingdom I visited last October. Now, I’d like to put faces to the name. Here are some children at an orphanage in Maseru, the capital. There are also pictures of children I met while on my way to a school in the Maluti Mountains. The culture and history of Lesotho are so rich, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the people and the kingdom. Stay tuned for a piece on a spiritual cave nearby…. where a prophetess used to give healings and prophecies in the 1800s about the future of this kingdom. Have you ever considered going to South Africa? I’d love to know your thoughts + questions!
Mercado De San Miguel is one of the most exciting things to do in madrid … a day and night food market… fresh food, plenty of cocktails and- my favourite – oysters! 🙂 in cape town we have something similar called ‘the biscuit mill’
Christmas / New Year’s is that delicious little period in life when all the worries of the world seem to fade away into some fantastically naughty little indulgence. It can actually be any indulgence in the world – allow me to show you some of my little indulgences over the past 2 weeks 🙂
I flew up to Johannesburg with my family & stayed at Southern Sun, Montecasino. I absolutely LOVED my hotel! We had a gorgeous view from our room overlooking the “Sun Square” as well as a superbly-designed lake, fully equipped with a family of ducks and my favourite – two black swans 🙂 The hotel is a brand-new addition to the hotel family at Montecasino from my understanding… opened in May 2010. I’ve always stayed at their legendary Palazzo hotel when I’ve travelled to Montecasino. I still absolutely love it! But compared to this new addition, it’s a tad old-fashioned. Apparently it’s due for refurbishment this year, which will hopefully give it the freshness & contemporary ambiance of its sister hotel the Southern Sun!
Opened in May 2010 the Southern Sun Montecasino located at The Pivot is an exciting addition to the Montecasino Precinct. The hotel has 194 bedrooms and offers all the modern facilities for both business and leisure travellers including a high spec gymnasium.
The hotel reflects a fusion of period and modern Venetian furnishings with a fresh electric style. Punchinello’s restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine in an exciting open plan kitchen which allows guests to share in the activities of the bustling kitchen.
A contemporary bar and lounge leads out to a large wooden deck overlooking the pool which is the ideal setting for sundowners.
Walking out of our hotel, there was easy access to the main Montecasinoentertainment complex. We spotted these fabulous Venetian-inspired statues along the way! I loved them – there was a statue for every season. My favourite was summer…
There was also just generally some beautiful Venetian-inspired scenery which was so inspiring.
There is an exciting hub just a 5 min walk from our hotel called “Sun Square” which is just brilliant! Complete with restaurants – including the winner of Masterchef South Africa’s very own restaurant called Aarya – a musical fountain, a big screen TV, a clock tower and a giant Teatro (Italian for “Theatre”) hosting top notch productions all year round. Everything in the complex is styled to look like Venice, which I loved. This is where we celebrated New Year’s Eve.
The fireworks at the stroke of midnight were marvelous. I absolutely loved them. I think fireworks at midnight on New Year’s is an absolute MUST. Fireworks & champagne, that’s a true celebration for a new year. All these pics are by my brother, Dane Doubell. Prior to the countdown on New Year’s Eve we enjoyed the award-winning, much-acclaimed musical production “Dirty Dancing”. It blew me away.
I was really excited to wear my new dress from “Forever New”, white always looks great against a bit of a tan 😉
On New Year’s Eve we started a special new tradition which I hope will last for a very long time… We lit 2 beeswax candles which were part of a delicate little ornament I received as a gift from a friend who went to the German Christmas Market last year.
I lit the candle on the left for the old year and blew out all of the past. Then I lit the candle on the right for the future, and breathed in the light of the new year.
I recently created a quote for myself which is where the premise of this tradition began 🙂
Breathe out the past and breathe in the future
I also saw one great quote at “Skoobs” – my new favourite book store – which held lovely significance for me.
To top it all off, I threw a lucky penny into this fountain on New Year’s Eve and made a wish.
What I totally enjoyed about Montecasino was walking around the complex popping into this shop and that, grabbing an iced coffee and watching the live entertainment. There’s always some entertainment in the centre, from saxophone players to magicians to singers to circus folk. I loved the bookstore in the complex and also the 3D cinema where we watched some great films.
Something we loved to do was take a golf cart during the days from our hotel to the “Palazzo Hotel” and swim in their beautiful pool! We alternated between swimming at our hotel and the Palazzo hotel, which were both so gorgeous…
A few more indulgences were definitely at the breakfast buffet.
There were so many people at this hotel and in the complex generally.. I knew we’d picked the perfect place to spend New Year as a family 🙂
On the last day we visited the Montecasino Bird Gardens ……… and I loved it. My impressions of the park were that it is very clean and spacious. Also that they have such a diverse collection of birds. The birds are well looked after and I was thoroughly delighting in all the various exotic birds they have there…
They hold wonderful bird shows every day at different times of the day. I really enjoyed it much more than I first thought I would – I felt like a kid again!
There was one creature I particularly liked, and that was the chameleon!
I also liked the snake, seeing as 2013 is the year of the snake!
I calmed my nerves at a nearby waterfall – gorgeous!
On one evening we went and got a Thai Massage. We did a foot massage and then went into a full body “deep tissue” thai massage. Absolutely incredible! They actually manipulate your entire body as part of the massage. It’s quite something – had me stretching in positions I never knew I could. The parlour where the Thai spa was lay inside the Montecasino complex, making it very convenient for us. I just remember walking in and smelling the sweet scent of vanilla incense…. it was stunning.
I loved everything about this place and it certainly made me add “get a thai massage at least once a month” to my resolutions list.Here is some more info on Thai massages (I found it quite interesting!)
Traditional Thai massage is based on the belief that all life force spirals around special pathways, or prana pathways, in the body. There are 72 000 invisible energy lines, which make up the energy body. Any blockage along these lines can cause disease (dis-ease) on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Thai massage focuses on 10 important lines, called sen sip. By releasing any blocked energy along the sen lines, prana can flow freely, thereby restoring balance, health and harmony in the body.
Traditional Thai massage is a combination of acupressure, reflexology and yogic exercises, or gentle stretching, which manipulates the energy lines and so diminishes tension, stimulates metabolism and creates a feeling of wellbeing and vitality. Unlike some other therapies, you will feel refreshed and energized after a Thai massage, rather than sedated and lethargic.
After a glorious holiday in Johannesburg, we flew back to my home town Port Elizabeth where I am currently writing to you from.
Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of dreams are not definitively understood, though they have been a topic of scientific speculation, as well as a subject of philosophical and religious interest, throughout recorded history.
While reading up on the ancient history of dreams, I came up with pretty interesting stuff. According to the ancient Mesopotamians, our soul actually moves out from our body and visits the places and persons we see in our sleep. The ancient Chinese believed this too. They even believed that sometimes the god of dreams carried us. Babylonians and Assyrians divided dreams into “good” which were sent by the gods, and “bad” which were sent by demons. And that our dreams could be prophecies; either good or evil.To the ancient Egyptians, people with vivid and significant dreams were thought blessed and were considered special. They wrote down their dreams on papyrus. They believed that dreams were like oracles, bringing messages from the gods. They thought that the best way to receive divine revelation was through dreaming and thus they would induce (or “incubate”) dreams.
Egyptians would go to sanctuaries and sleep on special dream beds in hope of receiving advice, comfort, or healing from the gods.
The Greeks and the ancient Hebrews also shared the idea of incubating dreams. The earliest Greek beliefs of dreams was that their gods physically visited the dreamer, where they entered through a keyhole and exited the same way after the divine message was given. The Hebrews, like many other ancient cultures, incubated dreams in order to receive divine revelation.
For instance, the Hebrew prophet Samuel, would lie down and sleep in the temple at Shiloh before the Ark and receive the word of the Lord.
Mmmm, that got me thinking. If I had to incubate myself while sleeping, What would my ultimate dream bed look like?
What do you think? 🙂 The earliest Christians mostly shared their beliefs with the Hebrews, Greeks and Egyptians and thought that dreams were of the supernatural element because the Old Testament had frequent stories of dreams with divine inspiration. The most famous of these dream stories was Jacob’s dream that stretched from Earth to Heaven. Many Christian men preached that God talked to his people through their dreams. In the Islam faith, dreams play an important role in the history of Islam and the lives of Muslims. Ishtikara or “dream interpretation”, is the only way that Muslims can receive revelations from God after the death of the last Prophet Mohammed.
In today’s modern times – thanks to Freud and Jung – it is generally believed by many that dreams are simply the expressions of the dreamer’s deepest fears and desires.
C.G. Jung put forth a theory of dreams which is quite popular today.
Following in the footsteps of Sigmund Freud, Jung claimed that dream analysis is the primary way to gain knowledge of the unconscious mind. He says that the dream is a natural phenomenon which we can study, thereby gaining knowledge of the hidden part of our mind. The images are symbolic of conscious and unconscious mental processes.
I’m not sure what I believe, but while having a smoothie the other day I got to thinking about putting together a simple list of “dream meanings” for you. When I was young, my grandfather bought me a dream book from Milan. You can buy it HERE. There are hundreds of entries in this book, each with a very simple explanation next to it. I can’t say that any of the explanations have ever been wrong! So here goes, I’m going to write down a few of the common ones for you to read:
Apple – Temptation. These are considered a good omen, and can be the sign of a new love. You may be led into temptation earlier in the relationship than perhaps you had planned.
Baby – Contentment. At its basic level, dreaming of babies is a sign of contentment & happiness in a relationship.
Bee – Wealth & Prosperity. To dream of bees is a sign that you are going to come into wealth & status, and honey-bees in particular indicate wealth & prosperity.
Biscuits – Disputes. If you dream of eating biscuits then petty arguments could break out in your family.
Boots – Promotion. Well-polished boots indicate there will be a promotion at work. This is particularly true if you dream that you are buying them, which represents an interview.
Bride – Luck. Dreaming of seeing or being a bride is an indication of luck and future happiness. If the bride looks unhappy then someone is displeased with you.
Bridge – A change for the better. You are starting on a new venture & indicates positive action. However if the bridge appears unstable then take it as a warning that you are not ready to make that change.
Cat – Beware another person. Ill-luck & treachery. Seeing them in dreams indicate that another person could be trying to steal your affections and are just toying with your emotions. Be warned.
Cemetery – Prospects. Cemeteries in dreams have different meanings depending on how well the grounds are kept. If the grounds are tidy then there will be happiness and financial rewards in the future. If the grounds look dreary, there may be trouble ahead, though news from friends will bring prosperity, resolving your problems.
Chandelier – Status. Seeing a chandelier in your dreams indicates that you will be given an important role. It brings status & honour and indicates a successful time in both social & career circles.
Chicken – A warning message! Dreaming of chickens is said to be a bad omen, as it brings trouble. In particular the trouble is associated with partners, in both business and relationships. Tread carefully in these areas of your life.
Chocolate – Pleasure seeker. Eating or drinking chocolate is an indication that you are trying to seek pleasure. You are in the mood for finding someone new to light up your life.
Churchyard – Prospects. If there are no graves, you will live away from where you were born.
Colours – Blue: Spiritual well-being & understanding. A good dream for friendship and help from others. Green: Luck & Help in finances. Also fertility and growth in the family. Orange: Promotes health & energy. When orange is seen, changes will take place quickly. Colour of optimism & thus the energy you deliver at the moment will be rewarded in success. Pink: Honour & the honour of being looked up to by others. It is often shown at the start of a new relationship. Purple: Career success & achievement. It represents forthcoming news of promotion or being honoured. Meetings with important people will promote you in some way. Red: Passion. Common in dreams when emotions are high. If you see someone wearing red in your dream it means that want you to notice them.White: Purity & Clearness. It means everything will go well & that the choices you have taken are correct. Yellow: strength of mind & determination. It is the colour of communication so is very good in business dealings & negotiations with others. It is a good colour to see at the start of new ventures.
Crying – Good news. Things will get better.
Death – Regeneration. Death does not literally mean ‘death’ but refers to the closing of one activity and the start of a new one. Often it means there will be a complete change in your life, indicating the death of the past.
Dog – A man’s best friend. Seeing a dog represents a best friend you have in your life, or many good friends. You have someone who is loyal to you and will not question your judgement, sticking by you at all times.
Driving – Take your time. Roads mean journeys and suggest life decisions. If you are the one driving in your dream then you could be trying to push things too fast. If you are the passenger this is good news & career advancement.
Egg – Fertility. Dreaming of eggs is linked with fertility and can indicate gain & prosperity. If you are eating eggs then your body is telling you to consider your diet & nutritional intake.
Electricity – Energy in your life. Represents energy coming into your life. The brightness will dictate how quickly things will take off. Switching electricity on indicates the start of a new project. Switching it off is the end of a project or relationship.
Escape – Obstacles. A common dream telling you that you will encounter obstacles that you must try to overcome. If you are escaping from prison then you are feeling confined & trying to get out of a situation. Escaping from natural disasters means an anxious transformation with a successful outcome.
Explosion – Improvements. You are about to go through an explosive time but the changes made will be for the better.
Eyes – Look around. you. You may not be looking at things in the right way.
Fairies – Granted wishes. You are about to be successful in something you have planned.
Falling – Fear of failure. The type of fall you experience will determine the outcome. A long distance then changes in your life will take a lot of effort to go forward. However, falling a short distance means you will be able to get over the setback quickly. If you are walking & fall over in front of others, then their friendship is not to be trusted.
Fire – Impending trouble. Seeing fire in a dream indicates trouble ahead. Problems will pursue you especially if you are burnt by the fire in your dream. If you manage to put it out then you will be able to deal with the obstacles you face.
Fireworks – Fireworks in your life. A celebration or passion in a new relationship.
Forest – Obstacles & Opportunities. If you are alone in the forest then someone will let you down. Hiding or being lost in the forest indicates obstacles you must accept & face to be able to proceed. You may have to undertake a long journey to resolve the issue. On the other hand, if you feel you are enjoying the forest walk then it indicates that you will gain status & fame.
Gold – Fame & Fortune.
Goat – A warning about business involvements.
Gun – Distress and worries. A time of severe stress and worry is coming, relating to external pressures of people’s opinions of you.
Hands – Creativity. If you see hands doing things in a dream (working, painting etc.) then this indicates that you will be using your skills in a work opportunity that will provide long-term rewards for you. If they are grubby hands, you must watch how you present yourself to others. Old hands represent the easing of a financial burden. If you dream of the left hand it indicates romantic involvement that will fall apart due to deceit. The right hand denotes falling prey to the deception of others.
Helmet – Problems. To see someone wearing a helmet in a dream indicates that someone else is hiding their true motives from you.
Horizon – Success. The horizon represents the future & your personal ambitions. To see a new horizon means that you will achieve success and peace.
Horse – Speed, power & status. If you are riding a horse & are in control of it in your dream, status awaits. If you are riding an uncontrollable horse, then the dream literally means you are being taken for a ride: look at relationships very closely. If you are riding a horse that constantly bucks, it could indicate you have a back or joint problem: your body is reminding you to take care of your health. To see a horseshoe is a lucky symbol, some luck is about to come your way. A stallion indicates success and someone with a powerful personality will help you.
Ice – Warning, You need to pay close attention to your finances or you could get into trouble. To see an icicle, however, indicates that given time your dreams & aspirations will come to fruition.
Isolation – Worries. If you dream you are isolated it means that you have complex personal issues on your mind that you are having difficulties explaining to others.
Jade – Intuition. If you see the green stone Jade in your dreams, it means that you should trust your inner intuition. Your gut feelings will guide you the right way.
Jewellery – A good omen. Amulets are symbols of protection. Earrings mean you need to listen carefully to what is happening to enable you to take advantage of situations around you. However, it is also a warning to be careful of repeating something you heard to others. Necklaces are good for romance providing the necklace doesn’t break, which represents quarrels. Bracelets stand for long-term friendships and relationships. If you have just met a new partner and dream of a bracelet, this dream foretells that your engagement is in the near future. Rings stand for commitment in long-term relationships. They do not have a beginning or end and stand for the eternity of a relationship.
Keys – Solutions. They represent solutions to problems. Unlocking a door with a key can indicate that a new opportunity will present itself indicates sexual involvement with someone.
Killing – A period of misfortune or stress. If you dream of killing someone, on purpose or by accident, it means you need to curb your temper. This type of dream indicates that you may be facing a period of emotional stress. There is a need to make sure you are not overreacting with people and it could mean that you have an anger control problem.
Leopard – Dangerous rivals. A leopard attacking you in a dream signifies opposition. So be careful where you place your confidences. To kill the leopard means you will outwit your rivals.
Lift – Success. To dream of going up in a lift indicates swift promotion and career opportunities; expect to hear news soon of career enhancement. If the lift is on its way down, then it indicates a time for rethinking your career plans.
Lightning – A bolt from the blue. Dreaming of lightning indicates that you will soon find yourself in the middle of some unexpected events. However, just as everything feels fresher after a thunderstorm, so your dream represents renewed vigour and continuation of some old projects as well as the start of some new ones.
Lizard – An insincere acquaintance. It represents untrustworthy foes that you need to be on the guard against.
Lost – Find a new direction. If you are lost in your dream then it indicates that you feel you have lost your way in life.
Mask – To dream of someone in a mask means that you are being deceived. In real life, you may feel that this is true but do not know who the person is. When in a dream state, concentrate on seeing the person behind the mask.
Meat – If the meat is raw then it signifies you will not fulfil your life’s ambitions. But if you dream of cooking meat or cooked meat, then you will accomplish a lot in life. Changes in the near future will help you on your way financially and you will do well.
Milk – Good health. Dreaming of milk is a general dream indicating good health. The more milk you see, the better your health & joy will be.
Moon – Emotions. A moon shrouded in mists or clouds represents a relationship which you cannot get through to on an emotional level. If the moon is waxing, it indicates success in starting new projects & relationships. If the moon is waning, it represents the ending of relationships or the solution of problems. A bright, full moon indicates success & happiness in relationships. A bright, moonlit night also heightens sexual sensitivity & indicates happiness & contentment in a relationship.
Numbers – Prediction of your destiny & are often considered the key to the future.
1= New beginnings
2= Intuition & Balance
3= Activity, fertility & growth
4= Order & Structure
5= Resourcefulness & drive
6= Harmony & love
7= Investigation & contemplation
8= Authority & executive decisions
9= Re-assessment & planning
Omelette – A false friend. This is a warning dream about false friends who are about to let you down. You might find that they seem to praise & elevate you, but this is just a ploy on their part to take advantage of you.
Onions – Envy from others towards you.
Orange – A choice of lovers. If you dream of eating oranges then it indicates that you are in a situation where you may have to choose between a number of suitors who are after your affection. At the moment you are undecided but you will be forced to choose between them in the near future.
Palace – To see a palace means that you will soon be honoured by those around you.
Pastry – Decisions. If you dream of pastry then you will be faced with some crucial decisions. You will also have to be on your guard to watch out for someone who is trying to deceive you.
Penguins – A message to relax. You are behaving in an authoritarian manner with others. Although you may be acting with the best of intentions, others may feel you are restricting them.
Photography – Deception. It indicates the deception of others in dreams. Take a good look at who is taking the photograph of you.
Planets – An indication of feelings. The planet you see will give you an indication of the area of your life that is affected. Mercury=Represents travel & is an indicator of news & communications. Venus=Planet of love. Brings relationship into focus & is also believed to bring luck in financial issues. Mars= Heralds arguments as well as action & activity. Jupiter= Promotion & status. Saturn= Indication of time & age. Uranus= Computers & ideas. Neptune= Mystical side of life. Pluto= The restrictions we place upon ourselves.
Potatoes – Good luck all around.
Rabbit – Fertility.
Race – Perseverance against time. This dream indicates you need to adapt to new circumstances; you may need to review your life and prepare to make the necessary changes.
Road – Paths of direction. Travelling up a road, either walking or driving, indicates you will be making changes in your life. The straighter the road, the easier the changes. The bumpier the road, the more obstacles there will be to hinder your progress.
Robbery – Oddly enough, if you dream of losing something of value it indicates unexpected gains are soon coming your way.
Rose – Romance. Should it appear in your dreams, you can take it as a sign that love will soon blossom. You should be feeling very confident & happy at the moment as the relationship is shown to be one of dedication & love.
Sadness – Worries will be over soon.
School – Looking to the past. Dreaming you are at school suggests you are not letting go of the past. This is causing problems for you as you are unable to move on fully until you lay the past to rest.
Shoes – Opportunities. Well-polished shoes indicate that there is going to be an opportunity at work. This is particularly true if you dream that you are buying them, as it represents the possibility of an interview. If the shoes are neat but well-used it shows that you are going to be wealthy in life. If you lose your shoes it indicates that you are wasting your efforts on something that is not going to work out.
Shooting – Shooting someone in your dream indicates that you have a dispute with them. You need to curb your temper.
Silk – Luxury. It shows a forthcoming time of luxury.
Sleeping – Exhaustion. This is an indication that you have been burning the candles at both ends. You need to rest before it seriously affects your health.
Snow – A positive omen. Contentment in a relationship & bodes well for the future. If the snow is heavy you will be rewarded greatly for the efforts you have put in. If the snow is light then it is a good time to look at business investments.
Spider – The web of life. Spiders are thought of generally as lucky. Only exception is if you dream of a tarantula, which means a medical check-up is in order.
Stars – Success. Stars in a dream bring success. If you just see one star, this indicates that success will come in the form of the companionship of a prospective partner. A multitude of stars means success through the help of many others and also means that you will be admired by others. For those with aspirations of stardom, this dream could herald a burst of activity that might end with the realization of your goals. Prepare to work to your full potential!
Tea – Popularity. It indicates that you will do well socially over the next few weeks.
Teeth – A reflection of your emotional state. Teeth that are white & pristine indicate things are going well. Stained teeth suggest difficulties building up through negligence. Teeth falling out indicate a phase of growth into new spheres of activities & social circles. The upper teeth represent male family members & the lower teeth represent the female family members. The eye or canine top teeth represent the father while the lower canines are the mother. Damage to the particular tooth could indicate damage – physical or emotional – to the corresponding family member. If your teeth are suddenly longer it foretells of a forthcoming legal issue. If your teeth are knocked out by someone then it indicates financial problems brought about by that person. Prominent or buck teeth indicate travel opportunities are nearby. Going to the dentist in a dream is actually good news, indicating you are sorting things out for the better. A set of false teeth signifies unexpected help from another person. Having fillings mean you are going to get help from another source. Having root filling work indicates you should dig deep into your resources & be more careful with financial speculations in the future. Brushing your teeth indicates that you will have obstacles to overcome. Picking your teeth means your friends will let you down.
Tiger – A struggle, but you win.
Time – If you dream of time in a very obvious way (a clock, a watch etc.) then it is an indication that you need to get on with things straight away rather than putting them off.
Toad – Toads indicate success. Expect success & luck in the future.
Tree – Lucky in love but not in work.
Umbrella – Something to fall back on. You are protected from the problems with which you are faced at the time.
Uniform – Status. A man dreaming of a uniform indicates a rise in status. For females this dream means a new relationship opportunity will arise; also a promotional opportunity.
Vine – Success. If the vine looks healthy it indicates that any business or other projects you start now will bring more success than your wildest dreams.
Wind – Ideas. The wind brings learning and ideas to the meaning of dreams. A gentle wind means good & steady progress. But if the wind is gusty then it can mean that your ideas keep stalling. If the wind is very strong then it may be a hard job for you to succeed.
Wine – Celebration. Drinking wine indicates a celebration in the near future. A young person drinking wine means they are soon to have a relationship with a wealthy person.