Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Harry Potter took the world by storm, first in a ‘children’s’ book and subsequently, due the enormous success, in a series of movies. Apart from enjoying the books and or movies, what can we learn from this wizard from ‘The cupboard under the stairs at 4 Privet Drive’?

1. It pays to keep certain things to yourself.

Even before he went to school, we learn this. Early one morning, Harry collects the post and receives his first letter. He walks through to the kitchen with an amazed expression on his face to hand the post to his uncle and gets the letter taken away and thrown in the fire. He could have (should have) taken it straight to cupboard and keep it to himself. Keeping things to yourself can be a very good thing to do but not too much. Secrets can lead to trouble if kept too long.

2. Fame is not everything.

Professor Snape makes a point of making this clear to Harry in his first Potions class. It is true because fame, even in reality, is not everything and will disappear if there is nothing to back it up. Just go back and look at ‘famous’ people of the 80’s or 90’s that no one remembers to see for yourself.

3. Do not be a hero.

If there is trouble brewing – turn and run the other way. This is Harry’s biggest flaw! This is also the biggest and most ridiculous mistake made in movies especially horror movies. If they are supposed to be going away from danger, Harry, Ron and Hermione will go directly to it leading them into some serious danger at times.

If you are trained for these situations e.g.: police, then do as you are trained but 9 times out of 10 you are not trained for it so get away after alerting the necessary authorities.

4. Friends come from the most unlikely backgrounds.

Harry meets 2 friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, on the first trip to school on the Hogwarts Express. They could not be more dissimilar. Ron from a magical family background, Hermione who had ‘muggle’ parents and who turned out to be super intelligent and Harry who had no parents and had no idea about magic. They turn out to be the best off friends by the end of their first year.

A lot of people who are friends are from very different backgrounds and possibly would not talk. They have something that brings them together and they stay friends forever, growing closer, the more they spend time together. I am sure you have friends like this.

5. A name will only get you so far.

As in the Harry Potter films, your name will only get you so far. Unfortunately in reality, this goes too far. The more connected the family or the fancier the school – often gets people further than it should. However, as in point 2 above, it will catch up with you. Harry did not get through exams because he was Harry Potter. Not even Prince William could do better even when his gran is the Queen of England! Your family name or the school / university will only get you so far.


Unfortunately for this blog post, most of these points led to a much more exciting series of blockbuster movies. The principles apply very aptly in the ‘real world’.

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Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would enter and complete the Argus, and I am happy to say that I have done it. In the process, it exceeded all of my expectations!

The one thing that totally made the whole experience was cycling with the Cows.The people organising the Cows made me feel so welcome and part of something great. The support from the Cows and the support on the side of the road was incredible. It shifted the focus from doing the Argus and trying to do an impressive time, to doing the race to help raise money for CHOC. Even though I cycled on my own, I never felt like I was on my own, there were always other cow cyclists around motivating me to keep on going.

The day started at sparrow fart, after not much sleep during the night. But waking up on the Sunday and thinking there are no more sleeps; the day is finally here definitely got me going. I get goose bumps thinking about it now.

The race was going so well until my chain came off. I must have had someone powerful watching over me to remind me to uncleet (take my shoes out of the pedals) before trying to work out how to fix the chain situation. I have a habit of forgetting to uncleet with the result of falling, entertaining to others but can be pretty painful.

I have never had to try and get the chain back on before. To make things more interesting, it managed to come off and get wedged between the gear and the frame of the bike. I managed to get it all back on like a total rock star and I was off again.

The scenery was totally amazing! There were certain parts along the race where there was a slight breeze off the sea and it felt like there was an air conditioner blowing, it was a welcomed addition.

Being from Durban and having never driven the route, I am not sure exactly where we were in the race,  but we had just come up quite a hill and we had reached the flat. We were all going a quite a fast pace, only to see a massive baboon on the side of the road trying to cross the road. That was all I needed, to be taken out by a baboon! Fortunately there were lots of conservation people keeping the baboons from crossing the road.

As the day progressed the heat increased. Some amazing people in the towns were spraying the road with their hose pipes, which was a total life saver. Throughout all the training and the morning I was worrying about Chapman’s peak and Suikerbossie hills. Let me tell you, NOTHING in the world can ever prepare you for Chapman’s or Suikerbossie until you have driven or cycled up it. I was so fortunate to be cycling with another cow at the bottom of Chapman’s peak and he helped me stay focused and keep going. There were many times when I wanted to get off and walk, but he was right there telling me to just put my head down and keep going. What I battled with on Chapman’s, besides feeling like i was cycling in a sauna (it was 42 degrees at the top of Chapman’s peak), was that I didn’t know how long it was. What happens is this: you look and see what you think is the end of the hill, put your head down and go for it, only to get there and see that you are not even half way! I conquered Chapman’s peak and so proud of myself for not giving up!


But after all that, I reached the finish line and that feeling of finishing and accomplishing something that I never thought I would have, it was totally worth it!Again the Cows were amazing after the race. There was no one asking what your time was, just congratulating you on finishing giving us a place to sit in the shade, something to drink and a burger.

I will definitely be back next year!


This is a guest post. The opinions and views other the writer do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the blog or its owners and as such the blog and its owners cannot be held responsible for them.

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