Hi everyone!

What an incredible week it has been, and I’m so excited to chat about some of the things that I experienced this week. First and foremost, though, you are probably wondering what a TweetUp is? Before I explain that, I need to chat a little bit about generations and technology. Anthropologists and social scientists look at generations of people and based on the world that they live in and engage with, categorise them into an appropriate enumeration. Well known generations are Baby Boomers, The Silent Generation, Generation X, etc. This led me to wonder what generation I belong to, as I was born in 2008. Since generations are defined by their actions and behaviours in the context of their environment, it is not yet 100% clear what my generation will be called. A couple of popular names cited for my generation are Generation Z, Digital Natives, Gen. Tech., or The Internet Generation. No matter which name applies to me, there is a common theme: technology! And with today’s technology comes a whole new world that I’m super excited to lay my hands on.

I’m also very relieved to mention that the two old codgers that share the house with me (aka ‘The Parents’), despite being from a prior generation, are actually very techno-savvy. This puts me in a trump position to being exposed to and using technology, as they happily invest in it, and then I capitalise on that investment. They too use their high-tech devices, and every so often I assist them in going to a new level of usage. A recent introduction that I made for them was Twitter – you will have heard me speak about this social networking facility previously. Both my old codgers Tweet, which is miraculous in itself, and they’ve even taken it to the next level, and actually went to a Tweetup, and took me with. So, to explain, a Tweetup is where Tweeple (Twitter people) meet, in person, for real! Put simply, people Tweet each other via the social network on a virtual basis. Being virtual, they never ever really meet each other. However, a Tweetup is where you actually arrange to meet Tweeple in real life. This is what we did on Saturday evening.

Now, to create some additional context, I need to explain what the Tweetup was for. One of Mom and Dad’s Tweeps, namely @MelanieMinnaar (Tweeples names always start with an @ sign – so if you want to follow Mom, her handle is @ledlet, and Dad’s is @norwin), decided that, with the onset of winter, use the Twitter social network to drum up support for donating blankets and other warm items to charities and people in need. So to cut a long story short, over the past number of weeks Tweeps in South Africa have started Tweeting about the Twitter Blanket Drive, or #TBD for short (the hashtag is used in Twitter to group common themes). Before long, #TBD centres were being established nationally, and in all the major centres Tweetups were planned.

That brings me to Saturday evening. Just before 6pm, Mom, Dad and I hopped in the car with bags of fleeces to take to our first Tweetup and make a donation. We were quietly nervous but excited in the car, as we were about to meet a crowd of people whom we’ve never spoken to (other than via text messages on Twitter). In many cases we didn’t even know what the Tweeps would look like in real life. After a few minutes travel we arrived at Café E Vida at 24 Central on Gwen Lane in Sandton. After parking we headed into the venue and there were already crowds of people there.

@jackiejvr was ready with name tags, and pretty soon we were all making new friends and chatting excitedly with our Tweeps. For a large part of the evening I was under the spotlight and the centre of attention, as Mom and Dad use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to provide minute by minute updates on my status during my procedures to friends and family. As these social networks are open, i.e. anyone with access can view them, my updates begin to attract lots of interest. From prior blogs you will have seen that many of our supporting messages arrive via these social networks, and it’s a small handful of these people that we meet at the Tweetup, who instantly elevated me to celebrity status. It was awesome to meet and thank these people in person, for all their support and wishes. Additionally, it was also awesome to make a whole bunch of new friends. The #TBD Tweetup was so successful nationally, that it was even mentioned on national TV, just before a really hectic Super 14 rugby match between the Blue Bulls and the Stormers, in Soweto. Yes, you read right, rugby is now being played in Soweto! This was not the only noteworthy thing of this Super 14; the other is that this was the last Super 14 to ever be played. From 2011, it will be known as the Super 15. If you haven’t already heard, the Bulls won by eight points.

During the evening, I also learnt an important piece of history about my Mom and Dad. The venue we were at, Café E Vida, was on Gwen Lane, directly opposite the building where my Mommy and Daddy meet for the first time ever, and started dating. They told me how, in the first years of mobile technology in South Africa, they both worked at Vodacom (called Vodac in those days), and they took a fancy to each other. However, having good business ethics and values, they tried to keep their relationship a secret. This was done by leaving little notes on each others’ desks. Why notes, you may be wondering, why not just email, SMS or IM each other. Well, those things didn’t exist then (which is why I’m a Digital Native and they’re Generation X)! Mom and Dad mentioned that in those early days you had pre-printed paper templates to write office memos on! Nowadays an email will suffice!

Apparently Mom and Dad did occasionally even get a bit braver than notes, and bags of marshmallows or chocolates were left for each other, with secret notes! Also, being close to Village Walk and Sandton City, they both used to sneak out to meet for lunch. However, in an attempt to be discrete, they would never leave or arrive back at the office together. However, Theresa, who worked at the reception desk, pretty soon put two and two together and discovered their secret! The rest, as they say, is history, and 13 years later, I arrived on the scene, unplanned!

Ok, back to me now! You’ve probably been wondering how I have been doing and feeling. Well, the week started off rather badly, with my being diagnosed with a chest infection. On Monday my temperature spiked at 39°C, causing Mom to go on high alert. Mommy immediately got to the business of getting appointments with the doctors. First prize was to see Nicoletta, my regular paediatrician. However, her schedule was extreme, so as a backup, Mom also booked me in to see our GP, Anthony. My first appointment was with Dr Anthony and he diagnosed me as having a chest infection. Later in the morning, Dr Nicoletta’s offices confirmed that Mom and I could see her late in the afternoon. We took that appointment too, and, as per Dr Anthony’s diagnosis, she confirmed I had a chest infection. I’ve been placed on a course of antibiotics to address it. Since the recovery period from my brain surgery is up to six weeks, Mom is not taking any chances with my health. I also managed to have a marathon snooze during the day, which is great, as sleep is very healing. Mom also granted me masses amounts of chips during the day, as this was about all I could eat. The antibiotics have taken effect and I am starting to feel much better, despite my nose stilling running and the occasional cough.

On Tuesday morning Mom and I had an appointment with Edna whom I charmed as I always do. Some of my developmental issues were discussed with her. Afterward Mom and I headed to the Pick ‘n Pay at Victory Park for some grocery shopping. At the green grocer we found an incredibly beautiful bunch of flowers for Nina, which we dropped off later in the day. While at Victory Park we also popped into Strawberry Fields to chat to Lilian Meyerson, who is a keen follower of my progress. I also went to chat to the bookseller. It such a nice communal centre and everyone makes me feel very special there.

I didn’t get to sleep well on Tuesday during the day, so I helped Mom to clear out the car of some of my paraphernalia and discarded food objects. Roxy waited patiently nearby and snapped these up as they came flying out the back seat of the car. Later in the afternoon Mom had arranged for Granny to come play with me, as Mom and I were a little fed-up of each other. While Granny was there Mom and her spoke about my potentially going to a play school for one morning a week. Some time later Dad arrived home, and while Mom went for a snooze, Dad and I played and played. I also tried to sleep in my own room again, but that didn’t work out too well – I’m still feeling very post-traumatic from my last hospital visit, despite the fact that either Mommy or Daddy, or both, were at my bedside for the full 40 or so hours I was in hospital.

Since I was ill and mostly house-bound for the former part of the week, I decided to exercise my Digital Native inborn skills and modify my blog. Having posted in excess of 160 blogs on the current theme, I decided to change the theme to a more crisp 2010 feeling theme. Surf to my blog and tell me what you think. Click here.

By Wednesday Mom and I agreed that I was well enough to go back to music, but to my massive disappointment it was cancelled as teacher Liesel had taken ill, and there were no substitutes to take her class on her behalf. I did however get to see my little friends at Mom’s club in the afternoon.

I also saw Auntie Birgitt and Uncle Wayne on Wednesday evening. They were in Johannesburg again for a week to do a number of talks. They had arranged to stay with their friend next door to us, but walked across on Wednesday evening during my bath to say hi! It was awesome to see them again.

Thursday was the last Thursday of the month, and as is tradition with us, we have family breakfast. We opted to go to Europa on 1st Ave in Linden this time, and not Doppio Zero. As the weather was getting colder, heading into winter, we decided that Doppio-Zero was too open and thus too cold, especially considering that I am still recovering. Breakfast was awesome, and I managed to keep Mom and Dad on their toes as I stormed around the restaurant and out on the deck, where I waved to the traffic with a South African flag I had found. So much for picking a place that was supposed to be indoors!

Mom and I didn’t do too much on Friday, and I felt sorry for Dad as he arrived home from work really late. The consulting company that he works with booked a Steering Committee meeting for 15:30 on the Friday afternoon. By the time he was home it was dark, and he was miserable. Needless to say my smiles cheered him up!

Dad and I had some ‘boy time’ on Saturday, as Mom was still lecturing in Pretoria. We headed off to Yeesh in Bryanston where I played up a storm. It was such fun diving into the ‘gah’ (ball) pit, sliding down the slides, jumping on the trampoline and bouncing around inside the inflatable castle. A highlight was a little girl, approximately my age, dressed all in pink, with a massive mop of blonde hair, that crossed the entire playground, passing all the other littley’s, to give me a balloon, one of my all time favourite things ever! We exchanged our @Twitter names, shared our FB profiles with each other, and promised to IM!

All too soon it was time for my midday snooze, and we were off home again. I fell fast asleep in the car, and Dad expertly manoeuvred me to the bed from the car. By the time I woke up mid-afternoon Mom was home. I’ve mentioned my Saturday evening antics already. Today winter finally arrived in full, so we all opted to huddle together at home and take it easy.

Well, that’s about it for this week. Hope you enjoyed the update, and as per this past Tuesday’s Towel Day, Don’t Panic! If you’re wondering what this means, the Baby Boomer generation (yes you, my dear reader), created a tribute to Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame to be celebrated on the 25th of May each year. As part of the celebration, you’re supposed to carry a towel. If you’ve read the book, you’ll understand the significance.

Until next week.

Lots of love,


Photo 1 Do some gardening in Mom’s fuchsias

Photo 2 Checking that the lights are still working

Photo 3 Practicing my driving

Photo 4 Shatzi and I share Mommy

Photo 5 Feeding myself cereal for breakfast

Photo 6 Not a well bunny

Photo 7 Chatting to Aunty Birgitt and Uncle Wayne

Photo 8 Sliding into the ‘gah’ (ball) pit at Yeesh Bryanston

Photo 9 What’s next?

Photo 10 Bouncing on the trampoline

Photo 11 Loving this

Photo 12 On the jumping castle

Photo 13 Mmm, what’s over there?

Photo 14 Loving the hammock

Photo 15 Swinging

Photo 16 Walking on the trampoline – so proud of myself

Photo 17 Getting the hang of this

Photo 18 I’m done, take me home to snooze

Photo 19 The Tweeps at #TBD (Twitter Blanket Drive); see all the blankets and goodies in the background. I was already asleep in the car

Photo 20 Chilling

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