Cooking Pots, Guns and Kitchen Safety

What do guns and cooking pots have in common when it comes to kitchen safety? As it turns out, plenty. Growing up half a century ago as a young boy in a beautiful country in Africa, it was drummed into me by my amazing hunting grandmother that you never point a gun at a person even if the gun is not loaded. Break that rule, get the unloaded assumption wrong. and you are heading for tragedy.

I think the rule should apply to toy guns as well.

The same rule applies to cooking pots. Always put cooking pots on genuine heat resistant surfaces, even when the pots are cold. It is a good habit to get into. Never assume that the pot is not hot . Have a look at the picture to see what happens if you get the assumption wrong!

See? Guns and cooking pots have plenty to teach us.


Sandwich Toaster Cleaning Tip

This really works. Tear off two sheets of kitchen paper toweling. Fold it double. Saturate it with water. As soon as you take the toasted sandwich out of the snackwich maker, put in the saturated towel. Shut the lid. There will be all sorts of hissing and steaming noises. A short while later when you remove the paper, it will leave the snackwich maker very clean/


Toasted Cheese Sandwich Tip

The secret is to start with toast. Toast two pieces of bread. Cover 100% of one side of both pieces of toast with butter. Cover the unbuttered side of one piece of toast with plenty of chutney. On top of the chutney put a generous amount of grated cheese. Place the other piece of toast, unbuttered side down, on top of the cheese. The sandwich is ready to go into the hot sandwich toaster. Remember, the butter is on the outside – top and bottom. Toast the sandwich and enjoy.

Why does it taste so good? If you like fried bread I don’t have to tell you why!


The George Cross and Covid19

Perhaps Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, might consider awarding the George Cross to the gallant health and caring services as a whole, for their acts of great heroism and conspicuous courage in serving others during the extreme danger of Covid19.

With respect, the award could be made now. Remember that the award of the George Cross to Malta was made in April 1942, during the Second World War.

Thank you.

If you agree with this idea please pass it on.

John Bartels, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. 31 December 2020

Learn from Plato: Rein in the Emotions

Look at the picture. Plato says we can learn about ourselves from a two horse chariot.

The two horses are our emotions which can be good or bad. The reins are our will. The person in the chariot is our intellect.

Common sense tells us that if the two horses are allowed to run wild there will be an almighty crash. The same goes for our emotions. If we do not keep our emotions in check there will be big trouble.

Back to the two horses. The driver must keep them in check – this is the job of the reins. It is the same with us. Our will is our reins. We must use our will to keep our emotions in check.

Last, an obvious point. If the driver of the chariot does not know where he is going he will not know where to guide the chariot. This is where the driver’s intellect comes in. He must think first before he rushes off in his chariot. It is the same with us. We must think things through before we act. If we do not, our emotional horses may bolt dragging us into all sorts of big trouble. The saying “look before you leap” sums it up!

Clever chap, Plato!

Keep safe


Tragedy in our imagination

“The greatest tragedies exist in our imagination”

This was the wise advice my late mother passed on to me long ago,

We must learn not to worry too much. It is quite probable that what we are worrying about won’t happen.

This is the message of our beautiful friend below. So, cheer up.

Macular Degeneration Tip

Are you challenged by macular degeneration? Do you have trouble seeing faint lines on your computer screen like where to type in a password? Here is some advice. It works for me. I hope it helps you.

Please note: This is not medical advice.

Tip: Make sure the computer screen is at right angles to your eyes (see diagram below).

Like this:

Please pass on this tip on if it helps. Thank you.

Food for Thought: How to develop genuine confidence

“Be clear that confidence and self-esteem are not the same. Self-esteem refers to general feelings about yourself; confidence refers to your belief and feel in that you can perform a task successfully.” Hank Weisenger, Famous psychologist, writer and corporate adviser. Link to source

Please scroll down below the picture

Photo by Rafael Cosquiere on

My takeaway from this valuable insight from Psychologist Weisenger? Confidence is in relation to getting a job done. So, how do you develop strong confidence? There is only one way. Find out what you must do to complete the job successfully, Then, work hard to develop the required level of competence. Only then will genuine confidence begin to emerge. As the famous golfer Ben Hogan apparently said: “The secret is in the dirt”.

Photo by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS on

Self-esteem alone will not enable anyone to fly a Jumbo Jet from London to New York. Confidence to fly across the Atlantic only comes from rigorous training and lots of hard work. There is no short cut to genuine competence which leads to genuine confidence.

How to really help your child who is struggling at school

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Calling all parents. Listen to this TED Talk if you want to learn how to really help your child who is struggling at school. The talk is not about how to make sure your child gets an “A” every time. You will learn how to give your child something much more valuable which will last a lifetime. To see the TED Talk Click here.

The TED talk is by Dr. Carol Dweck, an American Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Stanford in the United States.


Has 2020 Changed Your Assumptions?

Photo by Casey Allen on

Has 2020 been a year in which your basic assumptions have been challenged? Have your basic assumptions changed about yourself and the planet in which we live? My guess is they have – for you and for millions of people all over the world. Are you disturbed by what has happened in 2020? Should you be?

Dr. Ian McCallum of Port Elizabeth, South Africa has written about these challenges to our assumptions in a very important “must read” article.

To see the article click here.

Dr. McCallum is a psychiatrist, psychologist, award winning author and poet. He is an adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela Graduate School of Business in Port Elizabeth. He is also an honorary lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town. In his youth he was a Springbok Rugby player (he represented South Africa).

Thank you.