Thursday, 26 November 2015

Nurse Minky

Oooooh, yesterday afternoon I started to get these bad cramps, and later while riding my bike home from work I had to pull off the road and my stomach started to wrench but nothing came up.

I managed to safely get home but I had come down with a serious bug and was losing liquids fast, sipping water is all I could do. With a very weak stomach this morning, I had to call in sick but thankfully I had Nurse Minky who never left my side not once today. It was good to know that my cat was so concerned about me. Now to get stronger.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Somehow Velile had morphed into Thami. Yes I must say this new look is better on the eyes. Anyway Thami has been working at Velile’s work station for most of the day as one of the Bosasa Youth Development Centre’s member, Mandla, has been nominated by our government’s Department of Social Development as Man of the Year.

So now both Velile and Thami are busy helping Mandla with his profile. May the Force be with Mandla as he wins the Man of the Year award.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Yesterday's Prices

What to do for supper tonight was my topmost thoughts as I left work today and headed to my favourite food store, Woolworths. Yes I know food is quite pricey at Woolworths but for the quality I must say it is all worth it. I was on a tight budget and thought I should do a spaghetti bolognaise which should suit my pocket quite nicely, thank you.

I do apologise for the math in this post but it is all worth it in the end. So here I was I was at the closest Woolies near my work checking the prices, looking for specials which Woolworths have every now and again to get their prices comparative. But little did I know that I would get the mince at yesterday’s prices. At the meat section and found that the 1kg lean beef mince was marked down by R20.00 on promotion from R79.99 to R59.99. At R59.99 per kg made it about the same as most other grocery stores around here so I started looking for a good looking pack and stumbled upon one that said R44.99 instead of R59.99, uhmm someone couldn’t do their math as this was a saving of R35 not R20. I then looked to see if it was not old stock but the sell by date was all the same 28/11/15 this Saturday, still fine to me as I am going to cook it tonight. A bargain, sadly there was only one pack marked incorrect, I looked.

Arriving at the till, the teller scanned my trolley of groceries and as expected the 1 kg lean beef mince was scanned as R79.99 minus R20.00 which made it R59.99. I then queried that the price said R44.99 on the packaging, so the teller called the supervisor. I explained that I knew that somehow there was a wrong calculation but the price did say R44.99. The supervisor then said she will need to escalate it and called a more senior supervisor. In the meanwhile another staff member started to argue that it was a 2kg pack of mince not a 1kg which still didn’t make sense R44.99 x 2 = R89.98 – R20 = R69.98 and not the R59.99 showing up on the till. By this time the more senior supervisor arrived and who then took one look at the price on the packaging and said to the junior supervisor to charge the customer R44.99 just as it stated on the packaging. Kudos to the Woolworths senior supervisor who did the right thing even though it was a blatant mistake.

When I arrived home, I doubled checked my till slip to make sure that Woolworths did charge me R44.99. It was then that I saw that the price was entered into the till as R44.99 and the system then minused the R20 promo and gave me the 1kg lean beef mince at R24.99. Wow a saving of R55! And there you have it folks, it just goes to show that it pays to check prices when shopping as you will never know when you will pay at yesterday’s prices even at Woolies.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Monday Calling

A relaxing weekend is officially over and Monday has come a calling with this beautiful sunrise to start off this blessed week.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Walking on Water

Podge showing us how to walk on water

With nearly a week of torrential rains, the sun decided to show some face over the weekend, perfect to take the dogs for a walk and splash in the big puddles left over from the rain, oh and not to forget all the glorious mud.

Podge to Jade, "Come on in, the water is lovely and warm"

Maxy - "Something touched me! There is something moving in this water!"

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Honey and Mustard Armadillo

No, no, not the armadillo armoured anteater but chicken breasts wrapped in bacon and fused with honey and mustard, and then grilled on the braai.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Hand that Feeds

Catch the hand that feeds, here is Minky spending precious morning time with her daddy before he has to get ready for work.

Minky likes attcking the hand that loves and feeds her but when she catches my hand she pulls in her claws as not to hurt daddy. She really loves her daddy and we share this bond.

And then it is to try distract her with a scrunchy, all the better for my hand and a whole lot more fun.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Blast from the Past

And there I thought circuses were no more, with all the stories of animal cruelty gone with them, banished to the past.

But what is this blast from the past then? A blue and white striped circus tent must have come through some creak in the time continuum in Krugersdorp. Surely this is a dying fad, Brian Boswell must have come from the famous Boswell Wilkie circus family of lore. As for animal abuse, I could not see any tigers, lions, elephants, and other such creatures, only some farm animals, ponies and a camel. Oh and no bearded lady at the Brian Boswell Circus.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Bad Hair Day

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day which started yesterday when I made supper. Somehow I melted the food steamer but these things happen and my chicken curry was a success. It started raining sometime in the evening and by the time I went to bed, the rain on the tin roof quickly put me to sleep. Little did I know that it would get even worse in a few hours.

About half past one in the morning I woke, and looking at the CPAP machine I had been sleeping for four hours with 3.2 apneas per hour. So an apnoea must have woken me up and now my mouth was dry and my nose blocked. These are some of the side affects of a CPAP machine even with a humidifier hocked up. I battled to go to sleep so I made a cup of rooibos tea and settled on m y bed with my tablet waiting for sleep to near but it stayed away. I then remembered my medicine for my nose which should unblock it but when reaching for it I knocked over the nearly full cup of tea.

Place profanities here. I jump out of bed to try rescue everything on my side table including the CPAP machine. After unplugging the machine, I can only hope that it is okay. Now after all this I couldn’t go back to sleep.

It can only get better. With more rain expected this afternoon I decided to use the pickup today only to find that it had a flat tyre. Sigh. Although I don’t have hair, a bad day is like a bad hair day, tomorrow it will be better. I just have to get there.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Doesn’t look so Good

And here readers, is Velile not looking so good. But why isn’t he looking so good you may ask. To answer I need to start with a joke, a Van der Merwe joke. You see in Ireland we have Kerryman jokes and here in South Africa we no different with our Van der Merwe jokes, although I must say I haven’t heard of a Van der Merwe joke since the 90s, we have Zuma jokes now. Sjoe so this is an old one then.

Van der Merwe saw a horse for sale in the local newspaper for only R100. So Van goes and checks the horse out. The horse looks okay so he asks the farmer, why is he selling the horse for so cheap. The farmer replied “’cause it doesn’t look so good”. Van thought this was strange because to him the horse looked fine but he paid the farmer the R100 and took the horse home. The next day Van stormed back to the farmer, and angrily demanded his money back because when he tried to ride the horse, he found out that the horse was blind. “I told you”, defended the farmer, “he doesn’t look so good”.

So now back to Velile, no he is not a horse but he doesn’t look so good. Early this year he had some operation to replace the corneas but is still having problems and now he needs even oversize text on his phone.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Dark Day

When in drought, pray! The people prayed, the farmers prayed, and still the rain stayed away. That was until today, a storm built up and by the end of the day the sky was dark and threatening.

After months of no rain, Moses then stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. Remember when you go up the mountain to pray for rain, don’t forget to take your umbrella.

As I looked toward the dark clouds, social media was abuzz with reports of damaging hail all around me, a gentle rain started to fall. I don’t think it is enough to break the drought but it sure cooled the summer down a lot. Thank you Lord, for the rain.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Down By River

At the bottom of my garden is some veldt and a little beyond that is the Jukskei River. Now as you know by a previous post that our land is dying of thirst as the summer rains have been delayed by El Niño.

Thankfully we have a very deep borehole that is at least 50m below the Jukskei River and water table but the news around the country was that our countries reservoirs are nearly empty and that some boreholes are drying up, hence our walk down to the river to check on the water levels.

By the looks of it, the water level has dropped about 10cm since last month. The water is flowing strong but a few sandbars are starting to show but no concern for us just yet. When I can walk across here without getting wet then you will see me panic about our home water situation.

They say we need over 25mm of rain to help break the back of this drought. Substantial rain is only expected in March next year although we will get some storms between now and then, it will be too little too late.

Saturday, 14 November 2015


Today’s post is all about a boy and his kitten, Gingersnap. Our little Princess has been constantly hovering over the litter tray with no relief, so off she went to the vet. Today was the only day that we could go as tomorrow was the inconvenience of the 94.7 Cycle race’s road closures.

While waiting for our turn to see the vet, this little boy arrived with this cute tortoiseshell kitten for her injections and as we about to leave another tortoiseshell cat arrived. Interesting to have three young tortoiseshell cats at the vet at the same time.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Sleep Easy

A friend asked me yesterday if I am sleeping better now that I know what is wrong with me, and I answered no, it is even worse. Knowing that when you sleep at night, you stop breathing more than 44 times per hour does not help you get any sleep. In fact I now battle to fall asleep and wake up often anxious and in an apnoea panic.

So this morning I received my ResMed S9 AutoSet CPAP machine with an attachable H5i humidifier and AirFit10 mask. So now hopefully I can sleep more easily.

During my 3 day testing of the CPAP machine a few weeks back, I was using the old faithful Mirage Quattro full face mask but I was very anxious about everything and on the last 2 days had to take anxiety pills just to get some sleep. This morning I selected to rather try the smaller full face mask, the AirFit F10 as it doesn’t block my vision as much as the Mirage Quattro does and hopefully I won’t get as anxious.

Now let’s try get some sleep!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Water Water Nowhere

Today shouts of despair are coming out of all parts of Johannesburg as water is cut in many suburbs. It is way too late to avert this water disaster as no one in government was prepared for the full might of El Niño. To them the El Niño is too far away and as far as they know it never affects South Africa.

Oh how wrong they are. El Niño is a weather phenomenon that forms over on the other side of our world in the mid Pacific Ocean. This rapidly heating up of the Pacific, regularly brings with it drought to the southern hemisphere, and we are in the southern hemisphere. El Niño brought South Africa to its knees twice before, in 1983 and again in 1992, by crippling the agriculture segment and the economy.

A new government is now in place since then and it seems that they have not listened to history. Since 1992, El Niño has been mild to South Africa, why do we need to make a fuss? Well now you know, El Niño seems to have a score to settle. The weather service is warning a bleak summer with substantial rains only expected in March next year. Soon our beautiful land will be parched and dry that even the ducks will find themselves high and dry.

After El Niño comes La Niña, when the Pacific rapidly cools, which leads to heavy rains in the southern hemisphere. This blessed rain which we now long for can be too heavy in the beginning and washes away the dry topsoil.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Hide and Seek

This morning while drinking my coffee in bed as one does before starting the day, Minky and Princess and two youngest cats were playing Hide and Seek mixed with Tag You’re It but with claws involved. The pair of them were in and out in the bedroom. One chasing the other at great speed then swopping around.

Eventually Minky ran in without her tail Princess, and she dived under the bed covers and lay quietly with only her tail swishing. Princess soon ran in and could not see Minky from ground level so she left to look elsewhere.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Have another Cherry

The cherry season is in full swing down in the eastern Free State and our local celebrity, Ella, just came back from the a wedding which was held in Clarens not too far from the heart of Cherryland, Ficksburg, bearing cherries and more cherries.

Ella is now stricken with cherry fever. Cherries may be sweet but cherries scares me. Sadly I think my phobia to cherries stem from the iconic 80s movie The Witches of Eastwick and cherries.

Here have another cherry.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Octogenarian Patch

Patch my oldest Italian Greyhound is 16 years old. In July this year, Patch made his 80th year that is in human years. Truly a senior citizen.

As an Octogenarian, Patch is still active and very very naughty, jumping up onto the table and steeling the cat’s food. “But dad, kats fud is yummy!” sulks the old man. In winter Patch suffers from a bit of arteritis on his joints and starts limping. He has lumps and bumps all over, his eye sight has deteriorated and he doesn’t listen very well, I suppose deafness is allowed at his age. Wait don’t all men have selective hearing?

As a precaution, we stopped taking him on long walks now, but he gets very distressed when we leave him behind. Therefore we have to sneak out on our walks so that both Patch and our cat Minky don’t see us leave as they would follow us on our walks into the veld.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Home of the Chicken Pie

The dawn broke with some promise and a lick of rain but the African sun was fierce enough to show that it was his time. The few fluffy clouds in the sky don’t seem to bring respite to this hot sweltering Sunday. News from the radio while our aircon worked overtime was that this heat wave is to stay for another week.

At about high noon, we ended up on the veranda of Maggies Farm, Home of the Chicken Pie. The wind was warm which brought no relief until the rock shandies arrived and really hit the spot. We placed our light lunch order and then sat back and enjoyed the view. I ordered a chicken pie with wedges and Lynda the chicken pie with salad.

Okay the seats were hard and the warm wind didn’t help much, but the food when it arrived was tasty and filled the spot although the presentation wasn’t much to write home about. I think the best part was the drinks. What do you expect on a hot summers day like this.

And then seeing that it was safe to come out a brace of ducks waddled out among the tables looking for treats. Of course everyone knows what chicken pies are made from, and so do these ducks.
Quack quack! As safe as ducks.

Saturday, 7 November 2015


Saturday and many up here in Johannesburg are busy doing their rain dance in hope of breaking this dry spell. There are a number of clouds about but no one is carrying any umbrellas around so either they don’t hold much for their rain dance being successful or simply they can’t dance at all.

The only ones who seem to be enjoying the heat are the life stock who tend to move from shade to shade, and water trough to water hole. Take this sheep family who managed to find lush green grass near the water tap at the local community school. Many people in the area use this water tap as their only source of water, and it seems, so does the life stock.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Shamiema Shhhh

Yay its Friday, let me do the Friday gig. Oh no just now they are going to say white men can’t dance. Not even a wee jig then?

Shhhh hushes Shamiema on the IT Help Desk, they having a meeting next door. Are ye dauncin? Nae it’s just the way ah’m staunin lassie.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Rugby Bear

There come times when you have been so busy at work that when you arrive home, you suddenly realise that you haven’t taken your daily photograph for your blog post. Then comes the rush to look around for something to photograph that hasn’t been featured on my blog.

I put supper on, feed the animals, and then slowly walk around my garden cottage looking for a suitable subject. Sad face, I must have photographed nearly everything, uhmmm except the rugby bear key holder, well have I?

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Primitive Thanksgiving

There is something primitive about sitting around a fire in each one of us. I can only imagine this deep down warm fuzzy feeling stems from a time when our ancestors sat around a fire pit in a cave under an enormous starry sky for safety and warmth.

So on this cool summer’s evening, a group of friends gathered around a brazier for warmth and to give thanks to the Lord our God for a hard year that was full of ups and downs, but a year that God was in control.

This year has surely flown past, as we once again find ourselves at our year end dinner. For me this year was a hard one and I give thanks that deep down I can lean on the knowledge that God is in control even when my life seems out of control and heading for that crash test wall with dummy me strapped inside. My second thanks is for my son Matthew. It is his birthday today and I thank God that he has turned out to be a wonderful young man.

After our primitive yet very important giving thanks around the fire, we sat down at a well decorated table for our year end meal. Breaking bread with friends and family is a highlight in the year for me, knowing that I belong.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Too Many Butterflies

I seemed to be in a strange place today. My sleep studies have been concluded with last night hazed sleep but somehow by mid-afternoon wanting to nod off. But yesterday I had a meeting which sort of puts me at the crossroad.

So this lunchtime I took my lunch in an occluded area of the garden, sitting down and I slowly peaked my lunch while contemplating my future and well as having a deep conversation with God. In a way I feel that I have failed but yet there is still hope. Sigh, while the birds chirped, I closed my eyes and spent time just being near to God brooding, going through many scenarios with God. Too many butterflies, too many...

Good news in this strange day is that after I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnoea where I stopped breathing 44.8 times per hour, the results from sleeping with the CPAP device shows that it has managed to drop my apnoea down to 0. Yes zero which means this horrible machine works.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Scrunchy Thief

For some time now someone had been taking scrunchies out of their storage place, playing with them on the bed and then not putting them back where they belonged.

We have been suspecting Minky but I have been defending fervently. Surely it can’t be Minky as she is a cute pie. I lost the case when Minky was caught red pawed taking out a scrunchy without permission. She retaliated by the time I arrived home from work, my bed was covered in scrunchie evidence with Minky innocently sitting next to them, “Who me?” Still I am in denial, surely not you Minky, you have been framed.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

CPAP Facehugger Bane

I am not sure if I feel like Bane, a Gotham supervillain or if I have an Alien Xenomorph parasitoid Facehugger attached to my face or even the little boy in Doctor Who with a gas mask growing out his face. But what ever character of my wild imagination I feel like, all I pray is for some sleep.

But sleep doesn't come!

Yesterday I was given a loan ResMed S9 AutoSet-Autotitration CPAP machine along with a Mirage Quattro mask to try out for 3 days and gather sleep data for my Medical Aid about this severe sleep apnoea  that I have been diagnosed with.

Last night was the first night and it was terrible. No one warned you about the anxiety and full out panic attack while trying to sleep with this massive contraption on, not to mention my congested back nasal passage and very dry mouth. Sometime around 3 in the morning after many cups of tea, I shaved my entire beard off help quell the air pressure leaks out of the mask.

With only about 2 hours sleep last night, I had to report for duty at BBC this morning. I must have looked a wreck but I wanted to be there as I needed to talk to my friend Gary and his wife Tracy. Gary has used one of these devices for the last 2 years and has only good things to say about it. Tracy said that it took Gary about a week to get used to his CPAP machine and because of the dryness up here in Gauteng, Gary insists that I get a heated humidifier that attaches to the machine which will help with the blocked nasal and dryness.

A week, I can’t do this for a week, no sleep just while my mind adjusts to having this contraption attached to my face while I try to sleep. Tracy said it wasn’t the CPAP machine but my anxiety that was the problem.

If it was the anxiety I should have listened to the words of Bane, “Calm down, Jerome. Now is not the time for fear. That comes later”. Should I just lie here in bed with what feels like a facehugger attached to my face, wait for my end which will not be pretty or should I be the empty child with the gas mask growing out his face asking “Are you my mummy?” Breathe Jerome Breathe.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Zombie with the Dragon Tattoo

West Park Cemetery has come alive again as hands are pushed through the sod of freshly covered graves for the Zombie Walk 9, organised by Empire Tattoos to raise funds for Marang House. I have covered these apocalyptic uprisings for a number of years now. See Sizzling Rea Head,  Here Be Zombies, Rising the Dead, Undead, and Nom Nom Nom.

Not another word from you, or else!

Mommy please don't let go of my hand!

Thankfully the dead walk only for one day, hence all I need is to be able to outrun the photographer next to me.

Just because you are a Zombie, doesn't mean you can't take care of your appearance

Sad to see my friends are now my undead friends

Video killed the Radio Star

Honey surprise, I am back, and this is the last time you will kill me

Fresh undead arising

And now, a sacred lotus flower, a symbol of purity and beauty lies in the gutter while the walking dead shuffle past. It was an intriguing find as the lotus flower in some religions have been associated with death and rebirth. Would this pertain to Zombies?

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