Category “Uncategorized”

Christmas Collection for Downtown Eastside Women`s Centre

Wednesday, 27 November, 2013

I know there are a lot of pleas this time of year, but I’m starting a collection of goodies for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre ìn Vancouver to bring a bit of Christmas joy and glam to the ladies and children who use the excellent services they offer.

I’m collecting the following items and would love your support:

  • Make up (including lipstick, lip gloss and chapsticks; nail polish; nail files)
  • Toiletries (deodorant, body spray, travel size shampoo and conditioners, moisturisers, hand creams, facial wipes, toothpaste and tooth brushes, floss etc.)
  • Sanitary pads/tampons/incontinence products (Tena/Poise)
  • Socks, mittens, underwear
  • Hair brushes & combs
  • Costume jewellery
  • Used women’s clothing (including footwear, raincoats)
  • Linens and towels
  • Umbrellas
  • Art and craft supplies
  • Reading glasses
  • Used DVDs
  • Flash drives/USB sticks

It would be great to collect things other than clothes as this is the most common donation.

I can collect from anywhere and hope to deliver these by the 20th December. I’m also accepting cash – I will go and buy supplies for the centre (any bit helps as many of these items can be bought at the Dollar Store). You can find out more about their excellent work at

Please let me know if you can help by emailing me at  geraldine(at)

And spread the word!

Who Died and Made You King of the Twitterverse?

Thursday, 26 January, 2012

I have become a bit of a podcast addict recently, and am even contemplating learning to do these myself, but I’ve been thinking a lot about something I was listening to on The Nerdist. Chris Hardwicke was interviewing his life long friend Wil Weaton AKA Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation and was talking about how he has always engaged with new technologies as soon as they come out and they were laughing about how there have been explosions of social media douchebags who talk about “how to do Twitter properly” and what a ridiculous notion this is.

It got me thinking., yes, if you want to monetize (blegh, I hate these kinds of poncey terms) or advertise or draw in clients using social media, then there are things to do and things to avoid with social media, but for someone like Wil Wheaton, is there really a wrong way to do it?

And really, who cares?

I do believe you need to be sensible when using social media – the list of stories of people getting fired or getting into trouble is now endless, but you have to be pretty careless and quite frankly, a little dumb, to get caught, but beyond that, if you are running your own social media profiles and your main intent is to connect with people, share knowledge and perhaps gain clients, is it really that complex a system? And what designates someone a “social media maven” (besides them calling themselves that)? I’m often surprised too when I read the tweets of all the so-called ‘Twitterati’ (both locally in Vancouver and elsewhere). They’re very often boring, bland, or just plain arbitrary, and I wonder – how did they make it big and become ‘the’ person to follow?

Take Guy Kawasaki. I get he’s some kind of guru or something (self proclaimed?), but very often his tweets are incredibly boring and yet there is a flurry of retweets and everyone oohs and aahs. Granted, although the same thing seems to happen with the Mashable tweets, I do actually find these very interesting and ahead of the game with tech news etc, and often the links posted are informative and point to quality articles and posts. Sometimes, however, particularly with local Vancouver tweeters, I read what they’ve posted and the interactions they have with others and I think ‘remind me why I’m following you?!’

Now of course I am by no means claiming that I am some champion tweeter or that what I have to say is brilliant or life changing, and I do get the fact that I don’t have to follow these people or even engage on Twitter, but I really feel that if I stop and think about something and realise it has no appeal to anyone, or really is just for the sake of it, I tend not to post, and rather spend some time listening instead to what others are saying (the old adage about not having something nice to say and all that….). I also have never proclaimed to be a social media guru/maven/expert or any other bold title out there. I am a social media enthusiast and advocate, but let’s put it in perspective. It’s really not rocket science.

Live long and prosper, Wesley.


Welcome to 2012

Tuesday, 3 January, 2012

Yes, it’s here. The new year. Doom and gloom? The end of the universe? Who knows! But here’s to making this an amazing, inspiring, creative year.


What do Meerkats do in the cold?

Monday, 13 June, 2011

If you’re in Harrismith, South Africa, and it’s winter, you just find the nearest fire!


Deep Dark Africa – an Amazing Online Shop for Beautiful Goodies

Sunday, 12 June, 2011

Giraffe Hook by Deep Dark Africa

I recently checked out a new company that a friend back in South Africa has started – Deep Dark Africa – an incredible collection of beautiful and affordable things that you can order online through the website. The items are made to order and are all unique and handmade, making great gifts, or just a treat, from parts of Africa, for you.

Check out the handmade designs and start shopping!


Vacation Notice

Wednesday, 1 December, 2010

Just a quick note to let you know our offices will be closed from 7 December 2010 to 7 January 2011.

Please feel free to contact us via email for more information about our services or with any queries you may have about how we can update your copy, or create fresh, customized content.



Friday, 26 November, 2010

It seems we skipped right through Autumn and landed up with record breaking temperatures up to -10 (Celsius) in parts of the Lower Mainland! What a crazy time of year, with snow and cold temperatures making it very hard to get through all the tasks and projects on the list.

It’s into the final few weeks of teaching and classes, and that means exams and marking, of course. I guess it’s a good thing it’s been snowy and cold, because then there are less distractions. It seems to hard to believe that 2011 is just around the corner, and that another year is drawing to a close. It’s been a busy one here at Meerkat and I’m really looking forward to new projects and opportunities in the New Year.

If you need to jazz up your web copy, or create some new materials to reach new clients in 2011, don’t forget to get in touch,

Happy holidays,


Meerkat Creative Path Series VI : Caroline Johnson

Monday, 13 September, 2010

After a brief hiatus (during which the summer flew by far too quickly!) we’re back with our Creative Path series. This time the spotlight falls on singer, Caroline Johnson.


Brought up in Cape Town, South Africa, and with substantial public and private performing experience, including a solo recital broadcast on Fine Music Radio at the age of 18 and solo performances with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra at the City Hall, Caroline moved to London in 2001 to study at the Royal College of Music (RCM). Whilst there, she performed in numerous Chamber concerts and recitals, as well as masterclasses with Roger Vignoles and Graham Johnson. She was privileged to be a member of the RCM Chorus when they performed Mahler’s Second Symphony, under Bernhard Haitink in 2004.

 In 2005 Caroline graduated with a BMus degree, with Honours.  Since graduating, Caroline has immersed herself in the business sector and is currently working as PA to the Director of Operations for Firmdale Hotels. Her musical performances have included solo singing at weddings and funerals in London, Somerset, West Sussex, Oxford and Cape Town, as well as visiting primary schools to perform and discuss operatic arias with children’s choirs. Caroline has also recently given two recitals at St Paul’s ‘The Actor’s Church’, Covent Garden and will be performing in next year’s Guildford Music Festival.

1. How long have you been singing? How did you get started with it?

I started singing at the age of ten, my father sent me for lessons to help improve my breathing as I’m asthmatic and we found out that I have a voice!

2. Is this your full time job? A career goal? A hobby?

I really only do it for fun now as I have a full time ‘real’ job, but I love not having the pressure of making a living from my passion, which I can now pursue at my leisure.

3. If this is not your full time career, do you struggle to make time for this? Is there anything you do to ensure you make time?

I work 10/11 hour days, five days a week, so do find it difficult to fit in regular practice, but when I have something to work towards, i.e. a recital or wedding, it all just seems to slot into place and I manage to get in enough preparation.

4. How do you deal with “naysayers”… you know, those voices/people who keep asking when the phase is going to pass? Or negative criticism about your work/creative endeavor?

I have had some difficult times with my singing and a couple of comments from people ‘in the know’ have cut me to the quick and partly contributed to me not being a full-time performer. It took me five years to get back on the stage after graduating from the Royal College of Music, but now that I’ve crossed that hurdle, I feel so much more confident in my self and my voice and have had wonderful support from family and friends.

5. What would your dream project be?

I always wanted to perform at La Scala in Milan… but since that’s probably little more than a pipe dream; my ideal project would be collaboration with all my über talented singer friends at a gorgeous country house – an evening of song, wine, dancing and all round fabulousness!

6. Is there something you have worked on that you are especially proud of? Or received accolades for?

A highlight for me has to be returning to my old senior school in Cape Town, Herschel, four years ago and getting up in front of all the girls in their uniforms, sitting in the theatre, looking expectantly, and talking to them about following your dreams and not being disappointed if they don’t necessarily work out the way you had planned. A good education has stood me in such good stead and I am so pleased I was able to give a little bit back, regardless of whether my time there was sometimes less than enjoyable.

7. What does creativity mean to you?

Allowing your natural talents to shine through and giving joy to others through your passion.

8. What advice would you give to others trying to follow a similar path?

In the words of a certain sportswear manufacturer: Just do it! Nothing you ever do in life will be in vain, every single experience shapes your character and makes you a more interesting person. Following your dreams and passion may not necessarily lead you down the path you originally set out on, but it sure as hell makes for an interesting ride!

9. Any other comments or thoughts?

Life is short, so live without regrets, grasp every opportunity that comes your way, and no matter what, have fun!

Creative Path Series IV: Karen Lum

Monday, 9 August, 2010

After a brief hiatus, the Creative Path series continues with (you’ll excuse the pun) a drum roll…


Karen J. Lum, aka the Black Mamba, has been playing in a slough of different bands since the age of thirteen. Fifteen years later she still hasn’t left East Vancouver but has toured to such exotic destinations as Abbotsford. Currently, she melts faces in the bands the Stems, Disaster, and esteemed cover band, Crucial Taunt. “Tattoos, good tunes, and bad attitudes.”

1. How long have you been a drummer? How did you get started with it?

I’ve been playing the drums since I was thirteen. I used to set of large plastic buckets in my room in the form of a drum set and pretend to rip. Then my dad bought me a kit for my birthday because he needed the buckets to wash the car.

2. Is this your full time job? A career goal? A hobby?

Yes, yes, no. Music has taken over my life in more ways than one. I am its slave and it is mine. We have a give and take relationship. If I called it a hobby I’d be the fifty year-old fart with the Kiss shirt that laser drums in the jam space beside mine.

  2. If this is not your full time career, do you struggle to make time for this? Is there anything you do to ensure you make time?

Don’t work, ever.

3. If this is your full time job, how did you achieve this?

Don’t work, ever.

4. How do you deal with “naysayers”… you know, those voices/people who keep asking when the phase is going to pass? Or negative criticism about your work/creative endeavor?

I give them an open hand slap. Sometimes back hand, it depends on my mood.

5. What would your dream project be?

Playing percussion for David Bowie. Or if Disaster could just get big time then I could collaborate on some babies with the redhead from Mad Men.

6. Is there something you have worked on that you are especially proud of? Or received accolades for?

Two words: Christmas Band. We raise money for charities every holiday season. Come check us out at the Biltmore Cabaret this year.

7. What does creativity mean to you?

Doing something without thinking about what the end product will be because you don’t care what the fuck anyone thinks. That, and a bong and a Frank Zappa album.

8. What advice would you give to others trying to follow a similar path?

Make sure you practice, take good care of your gear, and never smile in pictures. But most importantly, never forget that chicks love drummers.

9. Any other comments or thoughts?

If you can’t play well, at least play sexy.

Creative Path Series

Saturday, 17 July, 2010

Following my last post entitled “Are You Following Your Passion?“, I’ve decided to give kudos and a promotional space to those people who are doing just that… whether full time, part time, as their day job or hobby.

If you’re an artist, writer, actor, musician, photographer; participating in any creative realm, I want to hear from you! If you’d like to be interviewed (electronically), then email me: There’ll be an opportunity to link to your work/porfolio, and if you’re a visual artist, a spot for an image to be included.

I’d love to hear from you, and have you be part of the Meerkat Creative Path Series.