emergency survival bag

How to Make Your Own Emergency Grab Bag

Have you ever watched a first-time mother turn up at a dinner party?

She’s got this bag of “things”.

Extra diapers for those disastrous overflow occasions. Specially scented hand wipes, anti-rash creams, the wireless two-way radio spy device, and a spare blanket because the place might have a draft.

She’s taken the time to equip herself for every eventuality.

One might say that young mothers fit into a class of prepper that excludes emergency stores of ammo, but might include an occasional conspiracy theory, like whether it’s okay to vaccinate your little bundle of mucus.

apartment security tips

How to Choose a Safe Rental Home

Safely choosing a rental home can be tough. I recall my first experience of renting a cottage on a plot of land.

It ticked all the right boxes.

The place was affordable, the people in the main house were nice, there was lots of space and we could even get a dog.

My rookie brain glossed over the obvious signs that we were in the process of making a significant mistake. As the landlord shuffled around the cottage rubbing his hands together, I accepted his assurance that the area was safe.

Confirmation bias ensured that I ignored the alarm system, security gate, previous hacksaw marks on the burglar bars, and my gut-feel about the landlord.

I signed the lease.

The first incident was a burglary when we went on holiday. Our ever-competent South African criminals simply unbolted the badly installed security gate and broke the frame off the door.

Then there was the brutal home invasion that changed my life forever. 

Six months of COVID in South Africa

Here’s what we know now


After a full half-year of lockdown in South Africa, we’re still learning about the Coronavirus contagion that has sickened the world. Some patients are battling to throw off the debilitating ME-like symptoms (Myalgic encephalomyelitis) that linger for many months. A trustworthy safe vaccine is still elusive. Our children are generally safe. The press tells us that immunity, after contracting the disease is not a guarantee. Here’s an update on the current situation.

COVID-Controversies

COVID Controversies

COVID controversies. The jury is still out on some key issues.
Nine months in and COVID research is still in the messy phase. While the planet waits
impatiently for the dependable scientific consensus on the prevention and treatment of the pandemic, medical research still disagrees on several issues. Here are some of the key COVID controversies that medical science is still wrestling with now; and the state-of-play for each.

Why Start a Neighborhood Watch

Why Start a Neighborhood Watch Program?

You live in a high crime area. What does that look like? 

If it looks anything like where I grew up, the streets are empty at night. 

People were once neighborly, but that’s now a distant memory. 

I remember when the walls went up. They used to be about waist high. They’re now at least two meters tall topped with clicking electric fences or razor wire.

Three Levels of Situational Awareness

The Three Levels of Situational Awareness

“I just knew it”,

“You knew what”?

“I was almost in a car accident today, luckily I had a sixth sense it coming at me, and I got out of the way in time”,

“What are you talking about, you think you’re some kind of a clairvoyant”?

“No, listen. As usual I was late for work and I trying to get my makeup on, and I was about to pass through that intersection, you know the one next to the diner with the creepy clown”?

“You mean the one that looks like Pennywise the Clown”?

Odds of Beating COVID are Much Better This July

We’ve come a long way fast since March 5th, 2020. On that day, the first Covid-19 patient had much to fear. Then, very little was known about the contagion and the limited data and scientific ambiguity made it difficult for the medical profession to confidently treat the virus with any certain belief of a positive outcome. This July, we know a lot more. Thanks to the load on our northern hemisphere and western Cape colleagues, today’s Covid-19 patients benefit greatly from the world’s experience and the short four months of steep collective learning.