Ricardo Groenewald

by Tanya Monteiro on 06/10/2019

While buying a gift for a friend this weekend I was struck by the music in the store, I stayed longer than I needed to listen. Then this song came on and I had to ask the guy helping us is it was Micheal Jackson, he laughed and said no he’s a local guy.

Ricardo Groenewald was a huge hit in South Africa in the ’80s. Sadly there’s no wiki page on him but from the little available online, it seems Ricardo got his first hit at 8 years old.

He was born in the Eastern Cape town of Humansdorp. Where his father spotting his son’s singing talent early, moved the family to Joburg by the time he had started school.

His hit song “I love you Daddy” was released in 1987 and it catapulted him into a badly managed career and life, he left school in Standard 5 and never went back. At 18 he performed with Stevie Wonder in Japan but his hit was fading into memory and Ricardo’s drug and alcohol abuse took over as it so often does when money and fame come early.

He moved to Cape Town where he spent his last 21 years, making eight other albums and became a proud “man of God”.

Having been ‘pushed’ into music it landed up being the only thing he felt he knew how to do and he spent a lot of time before his death in November 2015 (age 43) advising younger musicians on how to take care of themselves. A very similar trajectory to Michael Jackson after all.


Notre Dame in Flames

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/16/2019

Watching Norte Dame go up in flames last night really made me sad. 856 years it’s been standing strong, that’s many generations of families enjoying it’s magnificence.

When I did a bit of research about its history and how it came to be, I was inspired to read that France has rebuilt it’s iconic cathedral before. Notre Dame has endured ill-advised remodeling, revolutionary ransacking, and pollution-induced decay. Hitler once had it slated for demolition.

In the early 1800s, Notre Dame was half-ruined when a writer used the crumbling structure as the setting for one of his greatest works, setting in motion a rescue operation nearly as grand as its original construction. That book was “The hunchback of Norte Dame”.

The first stone of the cathedral was laid in 1163 in the presence of Pope Alexander III. The altar was finished about 20 years later and the two towers were constructed between 1225 and 1250, and the entire cathedral was completed in 1345.

During the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), Notre Dame underwent a rather unfortunate renovation. Then the French Revolution era was even worse for it. It was seized by revolutionaries and dozens of statues were destroyed.

It was only after the success of “The hunch back of Notre Dame” that people suddenly cared about the eyesore on an island in the middle of Paris.

Restoration projects have continued over the years. Another had just begun this month.

“In the Middle Ages, you would’ve believed that God sent the fire because God wanted a better cathedral. But you can’t hope for a better cathedral at this point. The question is, how on earth are we going to find the resources to rebuild this one.”

Somehow I know that this “symphony of stone” (Victor Hugo) will rise again and in doing so it will unite us all because this global jewel stands for human innovation, faith and creativity.


If I had kids…..

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/15/2019

Part of my healing journey has been learning to re-educate myself. Giving the small tanya a chance to rewire those connections that were selfdestructive. So, very often I listen to someone speak or read something and I know that’s me re-educating myself.

But learning to unlearn and re-learn is harder than learning it the first time round, so if I had kids I’d encourage them to listen to this TED talk and talk with them as much as they’d let me about Maisie Williams insecurities. This way they’d not feel like I was interrogating them and they can tell me all about someone else when in fact they would be telling me about themselves.

These are the values I’d repeat at nausim.

  • Trust that your good enough
  • Ask stupid questions
  • Refuse to hold yourself back
  • Dare to dream big
  • Learn to feel on the inside

I’ve included the short 16-minute TED talk video because Maisie Williams tells the story of her ordinary life in such a succinct inspiring way. She also grew up with the internet and knows nothing else so her new venture the APP called DAISIE is something worth keeping an eye on. (watch the video)

With no formal qualification to her name, Maisie, in my opinion, is the future. She represents harnessing our insecurities and self doubt to keep remembering that we are ALL perfect for something.



by Tanya Monteiro on 04/14/2019

Andrea and I met in NYC in 2002/03.

We both got on the subway at the same station early on a Saturday morning with our yoga mats strapped to our backs.

What started off as a local train turned into an express train, (which often happens on weekends), and we went zooming past the stop we were both hoping to get off at. Although we’d not said a word to each other yet.

When the subway did stop at 14th street, we both got off and started running, clearly realizing we were headed to the same yoga class at Jivamukti, in the then, Lafayette Street studio.

We became friends and years later landed up moving to California about 2 weeks apart from each other.

Since then we’ve moved many times and met up in different parts of the world. Continuing to explore, learn and grow together.

Connections like I have with Andrea make me remember all the lives I’ve lived so far.

It reminds me to be so grateful for deep friendships that feed my soul. Nothing buys those feelings and nothing can replace them.

Rafa agrees, he’s connected with Andrea in 3 Countries so far.

Thanks for hanging out with us in beautiful Salt Rock @andreaschnoorpr

Till next time!

Andrea and Rafa Salt Rock Beach April 2019


Rafa turns 10

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/03/2019

01 April is Rafa’s birthday. It always gets me thinking about my longest standing relationships. Rafa (excluding my Dad and some very good male friends) is my longest close male relationship. 10 years living together, in my world is a record.

It also got me to reflect on how he came into my life.

Growing up on a farm I always had dogs, many of them, so it’s no surprise that as an adult I longed, for years, to have my own dog again. But I travelled so much I kept putting it off.

Then one day on 01 April 2009, I was walking on Guincho beach with a friend and her dog and yet again, saying how I longed to have a dog again. When my friend, Karen Price said just do it! You’ll figure out the logistics as you go along. And so I did.

We went to meet Rafa that day or the next and six weeks later he was living with me. We’ve figured it out since, between 3 Countries and many many travels, it has been a pleasure and responsibility I very much needed in my life.

So, if by any chance you are reading this blog post and you’ve wanted to do something that required commitment and responsibility but you keep putting it off, this is your message to go do it and trust that you will figure it out as you go along.


Just a great song

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/02/2019

My aunt Deolinda introduced me to this amazing song about 3 years ago. Whether you understand Portuguese or not I hope you love it as much as I do.

Music is and was by far one of the most important pillars in my healing. It continues to evoke so many emotions in me. It helps me calm down, speed up and some days it just makes everything ok.

The female singer is Sophie Charlotte, a famous telenovela actress in Brazil. She wrote a card to Roberto Carlos asking if he would allow her to sing this song on her telenovela, he said yes, but he also asked her to sing it with him at this concert. Such a cute story too.

Roberto Carlos & Sophie Charlotte – Sua Estupidez (2014) from Roberto Carlos (O Rei) on Vimeo.


Brene Brown Chase Jarvis

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/01/2019

Chase Jarvis talked to Brene Brown in May 2016, this interview had a big impact on me, so I watched it again over the weekend.

They talk about how hard it is to understand vulnerability. In our world very often Vulnerability = Weakness, we think it’s not worth the risk or the criticism.

They also talk about creatives, how they have to get up and do every single day regardless of the critics.

This idea that you are either brave or afraid is bullshit, we are brave and afraid at the exact same time. Living in the arena means getting our ass kicked, living through the hurt, the pain and getting up and being brave once again.

“When we stop caring what people think we loose our capacity for connection, when we are defined what people think we loose the courage to be vulnerable.”

Vulnerability at work, it’s the first thing I look for when I hire you and the last thing I want you to see of me. You can be vulnerable but not too vulnerable, its like saying you can be healthy but not too healthy.

Guilt = I did a bad thing
Shame = I am bad a bad person
(Learn this by heart)

Another important point made is watching out for Compliments ‘bathed’ in passive aggressiveness. For example….. “wow, I didn’t know you were so sensitive I’m so sorry.” Very subtle but very powerful.

Creativity is the way to learn how to get something to travel from the head to the heart to the hands. Cultivate creativity, Whole hearted living. 

Creativity is the new literacy, there is no creativity without vulnerable, that’s part of the creative process

We share with people who earned the right to hear our story.


Don’t look away

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/28/2019

Over the weekend Brene Brown wrote about a lesson she learnt from her mother – don’t look away from peoples pain.

Don’t look away, Don’t look down,
Don’t pretend not to see hurt.
Look people in the eye.
Even when their pain is overwhelming.

And when you are in pain, find the people that can look you in the eye.

Living back in South Africa I’m often faced with the option to look away or ignore and while I obviously cannot give every one money, food or some kind of help, I can look them in the eye with compassion.

I won’t look away, even when I experience moments I’d rather run from, I’m trying to learn to feel it and deal with it anyway.


Bossy vs Leader

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/27/2019

A few years ago I took on a three month contract that was just terrible.

The details aren’t that important and I actually learnt a great deal about myself and my own boundaries in that position but what has dawned on me with time is that I doubt I would have had the same terrible experience if I’d been a man. Worse, is that, it was women who under pinned the drama and more women who fueled the fire in this experience.

‘I’m not bossy I just have leadership skills’ is really a simple quote that I often keep in mind. It’s not to say that some people are not bossy, there are lots and we are all probably bossy at times but more often than not women who lead in an environment that is not used to women leading are often mistaken for bossy.


Z Hotel Group

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/26/2019

On our last trip to London we stayed in the heart of the west end and shopping district.

The Z Hotel Group prides themselves on providing exceptional locations and unique properties. I’d add that their service both, during our stay and online when asking for my invoice was hassle free, fast and nothing was too much for them. (A complete contrast to another hotel we stayed at 2 weeks prior, I’m still waiting on them to send me my invoice almost 2 months later.)

Our Room at the Z Hotel Tottenham Court Road

The rooms are small so if you’re 6 foot tall and there’s two of you this might not be your spot but it suited us perfectly and would also be perfect for one person.

Everything is new, at least in the Z Hotel Tottenham Court Road. They opened their doors July 2017 but you can see the attention to detail is faultless. The lights and blinds are controlled electronically. The room was silent and we had a great view of the city. Even their linen was up to scratch.

Word of warning, not all rooms are made equal here so you do need to make sure to book a Queen room. Some of the double rooms don’t have windows which is simply a NO for me, EVER! But like all things the good ones are great.

Room Tips: I always like staying on the top floor, having noise above me drives me crazy. This is room was #809 but you can stay in any of the Queen rooms on any of the floors, just stick to room numbers that end in #05 or #06.

From Heathrow we took the Piccadilly Line tube to Piccadilly Circus. It’s one line (important if you have luggage) and super easy but allow 45 mins to an hour for the journey. Then it’s a 8/10 min walk. Once at the hotel Oxford Circus is probably closer but we landed up walking to most of what we wanted to see.

Bonus: Every afternoon they have wine tasting accompanied by incredible cheeses. The staff could not do enough and their knowledge of the wines was impressive.

Take a look at their website for rates, it does depend on the night and of course what’s going on in London. We averaged each night at about 100.00 pounds.