Monday Musings 11 October: Nature’s first green is gold

Ever hopeful that in my ripe old age of 40+ I’ll suddenly develop green fingers, I planted some veggie seeds a month or so ago; images of conveniently popping to the nursery for a fresh carrot or two, some tomatoes and a head of broccoli spurred me on that Sunday evening. Although, at the time, I recall it was still pretty frigid in the Cape and I’d run out of potting soil so the collapsing remnants of a mole’s sand heap became my viable plan B. 

A few weeks on, little green shoots started popping forth from some of the seedling planters. Not knowing my spinach from my rocket leaf and also not being too fussed about it, I was thrilled that against all odds something could grow other than spekboom from our barren West Coast sand and that the seed packets I’d bought in January still held the promise of life, or dinner.  

But it was not to be. Despite my newfound (read short-lived) enthusiasm for vegetable gardening, I confess I may have forgotten to water those green shoots sometime in the middle of September, if only for a few days. The unforgiving Swartland sun sadly had their way with the saplings and all that remained were a few baby lettuce leaves (I think) – enough for one BLT if I was lucky.    

My shocking gardening skills notwithstanding, I’m thankful that the same cannot be said for the revival I see around every turn with the arrival of spring. Finally, the heavy cloak of winter has wrapped herself up, with all her baggage, and retreated to the back of beyond until her time returns.  

And with her departure, the greenery of growth and life, renewal and rest, peace and harmony has been restored. I love this quote from Pedro Calderon de la Barca who captures so well how I, and I’m sure many in the tourism and travel industry, feel right now with the most recent news that the Brits have removed us from their frosty red list: “Green is the prime colour of the world and that from which its loveliness arises”.   

Lovely, yes. That’s how things feel right now. Like a fynbos ‘bouquet’ after a devastating fire, little buds are popping up in their iridescent shades of green, pink and yellow. The clouds are lifting and there couldn’t be a better time to share this loveliness with the world.  From Germany to Canada, the Yanks to the Brits (better late than never), Mzansi is ready with a warm embrace. 

Last week’s Red to Green announcement by the UK appears to have had the effect of Viagra on travel both inbound and outbound with tour operators and travel agents reporting record bookings over the weekend. Dare we hope that our season will be saved and the pent-up demand for travel we’ve been speculating over will transpire into bums in seats before the month is out?  

Cape Town certainly seems to think so. We were thrilled to see that the Mother City is ready to welcome its first cruise ship on November 18. And we’re also knee-deep in lots of wonderful Tourism, Entertainment, Arts, Culture and Heritage experiences thanks to SATSA’s Let’s Go initiative for the next year. We’re sowing the seeds now for a bumper crop later and it looks like we won’t have to wait too long.  

As those green shoots grow long deep roots, a heartfelt nod to those who were in the trenches, tending to the garden either behind the scenes or in the spotlight, cheering from the frontlines or back benches, or even leaning in to create space and time so that others could roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty when so many thought our barren sand couldn’t possibly yield a bit of hopeful greenery. This Monday Musing is for you. South Africa’s red to green win was a Team SA effort. Long may we tend this garden together. 

Meanwhile, my lettuce leaves are still growing. They may be spinach… I’ll let you know. 

Mindful Musings

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Marketing Musings

Strike while the iron’s hot! South Africa has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these past few months, but it’s our time to shine and the announcement that we’d gone from ‘naughty’ to ‘nice’ gave us more than a few opportunities to do so.  

From Wesgro’s cheeky Tweets to South Africa’s is Travel Ready’s ‘Reunited’Rhino Africa’s nod to Star Wars to lots of beautiful coverage in the UK travel papers

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What the world was musing over this week

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When Facebook went down 

Well hello “literally everyone”! That was Twitter’s jibe this past week when Facebook and Instagram went down. Makes you think what life would be like without social media, eh? But we loved this bit of fun from brands that leveraged it. 

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Dinosaurs: ‘Bizarre’ fossil is Africa’s first ankylosaur 

Can’t wait to meet the new prehistoric vertebrate hitting the headlines this week. “Think of a coffee table. Short, broad, covered in spikes and walking towards you. That’s an ankylosaur!”

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Tuk Tuk time of your life 

Meet the nutters who have spent the last of their savings on two tuk-tuks and are planning a bone-rattling expedition from Kenya to Cape Town to raise money for Africa’s rangers. 

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First malaria vaccine approved by WHO   

With more than 260,000 children under five dying from malaria each year in sub-Saharan Africa, this malaria vaccine, decades in the making, could save tens of thousands of lives. 

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Squid Game 

It’s the first South Korean drama to top the US Netflix charts and its core message is ‘can I ever repay this debt?’ Would it not be easier to game to the death?