Archive | July, 2013

Visit Edinburgh even if you don’t like whisky or haggis

29 Jul

We had just three short days in Scotland visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow to go and see where my grandfather Morris Nathan Berkman was born. We stayed in a fabulous self-catering apartment, The Knight Residence,  which I can recommend and you can read my review of it on here. 

Allen Jaffe of ROI Media spoke to PR-Net

26 Jul

Last night’s sold-out PR-Net meeting with Allen Jaffe speaking about measuring return on investment was testament to how hungry the PR industry is to quantify our social media efforts. Our venue was the superb restaurant, The Savoy Cabbage and, as for all PR-Net meetings, Mike Wesson took the photos.

Seen there were:

Cruise the Baltic – more fabulous and affordable than you think.

22 Jul

The first chapter of our cruise adventure on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas is live today on You can click here to read it. You can also book your next cruise – my most favourite way to travel – at Cruises International by emailing, seeing or calling +27 (0) 11 327 0327.


Pack right: I review two carry-on bags

17 Jul

Stockholm's famous waterside fun-park can be seen in the background.

Stockholm’s famous waterside fun-park can be seen in the background.

Packing right is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a great trip. Have the right bag to pack, and you’re almost there.

I reviewed two bags while we were in Europe recently, the one I’m carrying in this photo and a more executive looking Samsonite. You can read that article by following this link.

My top tip though is to also pack an easily foldable hold-all for your shopping while you are away. Both JP and I had to buy new bags to bring our loot home.

Discovering your power to go it alone

10 Jul

See page 22 for my story

See page 22 for my story

The newly formatted Discovery Magazine is out now. The Winter/Spring issue is a smaller format than before but it remains a good read. There’s a piece on the Power of Reinvention and they have included my story as an example of how you can change your life.

You can download a pdf of Discovery Magazine July 2013 here.

I shared five tips how to get it right:

1) Start Slowly: During my first year I only worked-out in the pool.

2) Get support: but don’t use the lack of it as an excuse. I made myself sick and I had to make myself better.

3) Know why you want to lose weight, find a plan and stick to it, giving yourself a year or two to achieve your goals.

4) Find an exercise you enjoy: I love being on the mountain in Pringle Bay and walking on the beach.

5) Communicate: I shared news about my plan to change my eating far and wide – let people know what you eat and why.


When the wheels came off

3 Jul

At Peterhof, Peter the Great's summer palace in St Petersburg.

At Peterhof, Peter the Great’s summer palace in St Petersburg.

The wheels came off on the last leg of my trip. I don’t, as you might imagine, mean that I went into a carb-crazed face-feast or behaved in a way injures to my health (JP might argue this point about my shopping) but what I mean is that just moments from our final London destination, I lost a wheel. I’m not surprised. Years ago I abused the same hard-back American Tourista (read invincible luggage) on a trip to Venice when I was so infuriated by how far we had to walk to our hotel launch that I forced my through the throngs, up and down Venice’s bridges bashing my case on each step which sounded like a mafia shootout in slow motion.  Last week, having shopped for more items than I had space to carry, I was bashing my poor bag up and down the steps of The Underground – much later did I think to rather change trains at wheel-chair friendly stations.

I should not be allowed to own luggage. The best news, aside from the wonderful gear I purchased at half-price sales, is that the nice people at The Luggage Warehouse in Willowbridge replaced the wheel in the time I had the cheapest coffee in the last month and sent me on my way just with a bill for the replacement wheel. How Fabulous Is That?

I mentioned my anxiety about coping with my eating plan while abroad. Eating on the ship could have been easy as there were many perfect options but I struggled as it was so tempting to have wall-to-wall food, every minute, of every waking hour, and then free room service.

JP and I at Nyhavn, Copenhagen

JP and I at Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Eating right in London was very easy as I resolved I would rather spend money on shopping than eating out. I bought a Giorgio Armani vintage (okay, second hand) jacket from the Trinity Hospice Shop for 18 Pounds (R270) –  the same price I paid for a chicken Caesar salad and cappuccino at Spaghetti House – not a Michelin-star restaurant. I found a vintage leather jacket at Camden Lock Market for 10 Pounds. At five pounds for a 1.5kg chicken and 2 pounds for broccoli, I was happily eating chicken and broccoli for less than I can buy it here.

I did have a crisis while I was away and very nearly comfort-ate directly from a jar of peanut butter on the kitchen counter when I realised that I had left my brand-new Olympus TG 2 camera on the train from Edinburgh. It felt like I’d been punched in the chest and was flushed with rage but I found just speaking (okay, I was shouting) the way I felt was enough – I didn’t have to burry my emotions with food.

As much as I love being at home, I learn so much more about myself when I travel. I think we all do.