MARK'S (NOT SO) DAILY BLOG
Mark_Pilgrim_hot919_aug2017

The weekend that was

It's been a busy few days. It was a bumper weekend at my SMOOCH store! Thanks to everyone that popped past for a dose of delicious frozen yoghurt! A big thanks also goes to the team at Jacaranda FM who did their shows live from right outside my doors!

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Whilst I still do some of my other voice over work etc, I am spending a lot of time at the store making sure it's up and running properly. In fact, you know you've clocked in the long hours when you leave and your car is the only one left in the shopping centre parking lot!

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While I was doing my thing, my girls were having fun elsewhere. Tayla-Jean rode her first horse!

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And Alyssa tucked into some Sushi, showing some good chopsticks skills for a 2 year old (even if she did use them to spear the sashimi).

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I'm sitting at Cape Town airport right now waiting to catch a plane back to Johannesburg. having a little bit of downtime on my hands, I plan to catch up on a few episodes of Game of Thrones. I just have to be careful watching the show on the plane though as the person next to me might think I'm watching porn!

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Hello darkness my old friend...

Ask me how much revenue my new shop has generated since Sunday and the answer will be ZERO! Thanks to the Tswane Municipality's inability to safeguard their own electrical sub stations, not one, but 2 of them were vandalised over the weekend, with the guys stealing millions of rands worth of copper cables (they recycle them for cash). So hundreds of thousands of homes (and my store) has been without power since Sunday morning.

We managed to save our product and transported 120 litres of milk and 150 litres of yoghurt to my business partner's other restaurant where he has a huge walk in fridge!

Not that we spilt any, but as the saying goes, no use crying over spilt milk. We're hoping the power comes back on today!

By the way, Gareth Cliff has invited me onto his show on Friday morning, where we'll chat about frozen yoghurt, and the long standing rumour... was he responsible for me getting me fired from 5FM 10 years ago? I'll be in studio just after 7am. Lock on if you can!

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As I don't live in Tswane, I actually did have power at home last night. Nicole went out for dinner with her girlfriends. With my 2 year old asleep, Tayla-Jean and I had a pyjama party in the lounge, scoffing pro vitas with cheese and marmite (yum!).

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Okay, I had wine as well and she had "juicy wine" (Liquifruit). She's at a great age now where we can have long conversations about things. Being a Dad to 2 girls is the greatest thing... even if I have to watch Barney or Frozen 10 times a day!
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And a new chapter begins...

After 19 years I said goodbye on radio this weekend. Yep, I did land up bawling like a baby at the end of the show (dammit!).  So many people sent messages throughout the show. Listeners came by to say goodbye as well and we all slurped on champagne...

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My closest friends also came by to share the final moment with me. Here is my friend of 17 years, Kim (who was my best man at my wedding!)...

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And more of my close friends, Nico, Anita and Nicole...

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It meant the world to have my mates there. Thanks guys! Through all the emotions we did manage to have a good few laughs as well...

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Now it's time to focus on the other aspects of my business, namely MC work and voice overs. Not to mention my new SMOOCH store that opened on Friday! In fact, if you're on twitter it would be great if you could follow us on @SmoochForest. I'll be posting updates of all the frozen yoghurt flavour updates as well as tell you about great giveaways including iPads and One Direction tickets!!!

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As luck would have it though the power has been out in Centurion since Sunday morning, which means we can't make and sell our delicious frozen yoghurt! Here's hoping the council fixes the problem and it all goes back to normal soon. They say the electricity might only come back on Wednesday. It's one thing not being able to trade, but we're insured for that kind of thing. I feel sorry though for the hundreds of thousands of residents who haven't had hot water for 3 days and must be a little stinky at work. So if your work colleague is ponging right now...ask them if they live in Centurion.
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The final countdown...

The clock is ticking for 2 events next week...

I only have 2 shows left on radio. People are still asking what I have planned for the final show next week Saturday. I'm not a razzmatazz kind of guy and like doing things low key, so it will be a "normal" show. I want my last one to be what I usually do on air...with hopefully you listening!

Also, we're counting down the days until opening my first SMOOCH store in Centurion. We're now hoping to open for business on Wednesday next week! If you are in the Centurion area it would be great to have your support at Forest Hill City (the new mega-mall open at N14 & R55). I've been pretty quiet on my blog and twitter because I've been on site almost all the time as the store starts taking shape!

Even though I've been focussed on yoghurt, the other work still continues. For the last 10 years I've been hosting live corporate television to Standard Bank staff and this week we did the show live from Stark Studios where they also shoot the soapie Binnelanders and other shows. I still get excited when the red light goes on! I love sharing behind the scenes photos and here's one where the camera was on during rehearsal. If you look carefully on the TV screen behind the camera, you can see me taking the pic!

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I know the blog is short, but I have to dash to Centurion now... ! Don't worry, I'm not going to start ending my blogs by saying "Smooches".
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The Dogg was Snooping...

Every now and then you get a song, regardless of whether you like or not, that just sticks in your head and you land up reciting the same few words over and over again. The latest one haunting me is Jason Derulo and Snoop Dogg's track "Wiggle"...



In my frustration of muttering "wiggle wiggle wiggle" to myself every 5 minutes I took to twitter to vent my frustrations and simply said "Damn you Jason Derulo and Snoop Dogg". Five minutes later I got a retweet from Snoop Dogg himself :)

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I thought that was quite cool. Sorry, let me get the lingo right... it was the Shizzle!

The highlight of my weekend though was not getting a Snoop Dogg tweet, but celebrating Father's Day with my two young girls who are now old enough to know that it's dad's special day! I got this card..

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And I got lots of hugs and kisses...

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Speaking of kisses, my SMOOCH store is taking shape! This past weekend the guys were tiling and over the next few days the "magic" starts happening!

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We hope to open our doors as Forest Hill City in Centurion in about a week's time!
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This weekend it's all about being a Dad.

So it's Father's Day this Sunday and I'm SO looking forward to lying in bed and having breakfast brought to me by my girls! Nicole asked me what I would like as a gift. I said 16GB of computer RAM for my Macbook. I think I'm getting a t-shirt. That's cool too :)

All I really need though is a big hug from my girls.

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Dove the soap (oh hang on, it's not a soap, it's 1/4 moisturiser!) have just released a great commercial for Dads:



Since I'm sharing YouTube videos, this one is brilliant. A guy was stuck overnight at LAX Airport and decided to make a music video just using his iPhone:


Finally, just a quick update on my SMOOCH store opening on 23 June at Forest Hill City. The guys are hard at work doing the shop fitting:

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When we open it will look like this:

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We're looking for college/university students that want to work casual shifts on weekends/evenings/holidays. If you qualify and are interested, please send your CV to SmoochFHC@gmail.com.

It's also the final countdown towards my last radio show on 28 June.  I've done 441 countdowns since July 2005, with only 3 to go. Hopefully you can tune in for my last show on Saturday 28 June 10-2pm!
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My house is "girl-down" at the moment

Parents know the cycle. For every few weeks of a germ free household, the wheel always turns and the kids WILL get sick.

Earlier this week my 2 year old Alyssa was off school because she contracted pink eye. Two days later she was much better... and then Tayla-Jean got it and had to stay away from school. Today she goes back... Alyssa spent last night vomiting so she's off sick again.

When adults get sick we tend to aim and minimise the splatter. When a 2 year old vomits, its usually everywhere! At 3 o'clock this morning I had her bed stripped bare and was washing linen. As I write this blog at 8am I have done 4 loads of washing already!

My only distraction this morning was a stupid comment by Charlize Theron which Sky News is reporting on. Look, we all make gaffs. I've said my fair share, and I'm sure it'll happen again that I'll say something stupid I'll want to retract. But today its not my turn, it's hers.

She equated the paparazzi invasion into her life to being raped (story here). Let me say that I obviously have no idea the mental trauma a rape victim actually goes through, but what I do know is that people don't choose to be victims... whereas Charlize CHOSE her career.

She knew what she was getting in to. It's not as if paparazzi have been lying dormant all these years and chose her to break out and wreak havoc in her life. I don't get these celebrities who choose their career path, spending the first few years seeking any attention and publicity they can get, and then when they are "cool and wealthy" they reject the very system that made them "cool and wealthy". I understand her desire to protect her child from the razzmatazz, but it's a far cry from being raped Ms Theron.

Anyway, I feel better know that I've vented!

Onto other news. Yesterday was the launch of Forest Hill City, the new mega mall in Centurion where my SMOOCH store will be situated. I say "will be", because we only start shop fitting on Monday. As with any mega project, the mall suffered many delays and at yesterday's launch a lot of the shops were not open yet. Having said that, everyone should be finished by the end of June and the centre is going to be spectacular! Here are some pics from the section of the mall that is complete:



This is what my store looks like at the moment:


I promise there is magic happening behind that fake white wall!! Our new expected launch date is 22 June. We also have the ice rink right next to us which is starting to take shape:


That's my news for now. Have a great weekend!!
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Pilgrim household update

So the Pilgrim household is on the mend! Alyssa is feeling a lot better now that she is almost over her Pharyngitis and bronchitis.


I'm still leaking spider gunk out of my abdomen...nothing new there!

Even though I'm hobbling around I'm also dashing around with excitement as we begin shop fitting the Smooch store next week. It will take about a month to get everything in place and we'll open along with all the other retailers on 29 May when the new mega mall, Forest Hill City, officially opens its doors.

Closer to the time we will be interviewing students for weekend work at the store, so if you live in Centurion area and want to earn money whilst working for a funky brand, drop me an email and i'll let you know when the interviews take place towards the middle of May (mark@markpilgrim.co.za)!




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SMOOCH is going in One Direction!

Yesterday was a full day of planning my first SMOOCH store opening up at the end of May! It involved putting on our hard hats and getting our feet dirty because the new regional shopping centre in Centurion, Forest Hill City, is still under construction.

My business partner, our architect and myself walked the floor plan, deciding what the layout of the store will be! Exciting times being involved with a funky and exciting brand! If you're in the area, I look forward to seeing you there when we open!


Speaking of exciting...


If you're a Directioner in South Africa, I think I might hear you screaming (or is it "fan-girling"?) this weekend as I've been asked to make an announcement regarding the boys. Make sure you tune in to the KIA Take40sa on Saturday morning at 10am!!


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Wanna Smooch?

I'm not much of an ice cream guy, but give me a frozen yoghurt and I'm a happy man. Of all the brands out there, my favourite one of them all is SMOOCH...
Not only is the yoghurt delicious, the brand itself is funky and fresh. In fact, I've become so passionate about it... I'm opening up my own store!

My business partner opened the first Smooch in SA at Lifestyle Centre (and is about to open a branch at Clearwater Mall). There are now over 20 Smooches around South Africa and we'll be opening our doors in Centurion at the end of May! It will be located at the new regional mall called Forest Hill City. We'll be right next to the cinemas, ice rink and wave pool.


If you are in the Centurion area... I'll see you there when the shopping centre opens in 3 months!

It really is an exciting venture, and very different from what I normally do on a day to day basis. Not that I'm a stranger to doing different things. About 8 years ago some business partners and I started a hydroponic tomato farm in East London, which now specialises in peppers. It now employs approximately 150 people from the local community, creating not only jobs, but also great produce.

So, whilst I dabble in many things, doing my radio show is still my first love. It's home... and I'll catch you on air this Saturday at 10am!
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