Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Makhwapheni


"But baby, it is cold outside" as we try get work done on this beautiful winter's day. Nomangaliso and Paballo feel the cold more than I do, perhaps it is the layer of blubber that keeps me warm. Sometimes being larger than life does help, maybe only in winter not Africa's hot summers. The air-conditioner in our office is set to very warm but still both the ladies need hot water bottles just to take the winter chill off.

I asked Noma and Pabs what they call their hot water bottles, and Pabs quickly answered that hers is called "Makhwapheni". Now directly translated, this Nguni derived word, means to keep warm under the armpit or in other words your side chick. In other words, Makhwapheni is the term used for a lady or man that you keep on the side while committed in a relationship. So your Makhwapheni keeps you warm on these cold nights hence Paballo’s hot water bottle is her Makhwapheni. And no I don’t have a Makhwapheni in case you are wondering.

After seeing this photo that I took, Pabs turned to Noma and said "I hope you don’t think that you are taller than me, it is just because I am bending my knees". Cold as they may feel, I love my hot New Media team here at eKayaMedia which is part of the support services of the Bosasa Group. We sure rock!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Eat Your Vegetables


So I arrived home this evening after a long day at work and have to start changing my mind set from work mode to domestication. Okay what to do first, uhmm, oh yes first the oven is put on to pre-heat and the vegetables are prepared for roasting. Then it is off to get changed into something a little more comforting. I mustn’t forget the heaters have to be switched on to warm the home for the onslaught of the winter evening.

In full swing, I put the vegetables and chicken on the go while heading out to the garage to clean the air filters on my Vespa. Once the clean sponge filters are hanging up to dry, I check up on the dogs and cats’ food, water, and making sure that their heaters are on before heading back into the warmth of the my cottage. The breath-taking smells from the kitchen start making me hungry, by this time I can’t wait to eat dinner.


Feed the fish and put the TV on. After running a hot bath, I soak away the grime and troubles of the day. Then I plonk myself in front of the TV after pouring myself a drink, put my feet up, and wait for dinner to be ready. Good old fashioned roast chicken covered in mushroom sauce, served with roast vegetables and creamed spinach, just what the doctor has ordered.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Jerome in the Fog


Wow, I woke up this Monday morning with a thick fog blanketing everything with visibility down to about 20 metres. The question arose, should I go back to bed or get going and somehow find my way to work. Oh course the latter decision won.

Thank goodness that it is school holidays, as the road from my home leads up to a T-junction on the main road with a rural school at the corner. Normally there would be children everywhere crossing the main road, children kicking a soccer ball around, children walking along the road, and busses stopping with children scrambling off. Today with this mist and the cars which fly along the main road would be a recipe for disaster.

When I arrived at the T-junction all I could see was nothing at first then in the fog about 50m away I saw some car lights which flew passed. Wow surely these cars could at least slow down especially near this school. I just prayed a quick prayer asking that everyone had their lights on and then went for the gap.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Persepolis Celebration


After a successful Persepolis action by the Resistance in Gauteng last Saturday, those involved decided to celebrate at Piza e Vino in Rosebank. A lot of people were crucial to our victory but below is our story, a small but critical element to the Resistance winning. Please note some ingress terms are used and may require some knowledge of Ingress. Photos are from today’s celebrations and sorry if I missed anyone.


The Persepolis XM Anomaly started with lots of intelligence work on the ground with sleeper cells reporting info which went into the planning. Friday night started with a pre-emptive strike of blockers going up joining secure locations. From the feedback we heard from the sleeper cells that this action had them, the Enlightened, on the hop and they finally dropped the blockers in the early hours of the morning.


For us that was our job done and dusted but two Resistance members, Paul and Wesley who had been assigned to protect Soweto, a huge potential MU area, asked if Lynda and I could join them on Saturday afternoon. Not sure what the plan was but we met up in Krugersdorp and saw green fields up everywhere. After a brief strategy meeting at the side of the road we decided to start at one anchor which was not far and disrupt as we go.


Arriving at the first anchor portal we found a car load of bored tadpoles protecting the portal which was armed to the teeth with AXA shields. Poor toadies, they seemed so eager for a battle when we pulled up only to see shock on their faces when we ADA’d the portal and drove off. By the time they had reverted the portal we had blocker links up from Kagiso. Speaking only about our action on the West Rand and towards the south, we later learnt that they had about 6 teams of over 20 frogs all camped at strategic portals against only 4 of us. Wow, this day turned out to be a David against Goliath sort of day.


The blocking portal from Kagiso didn’t last too long as expected but we were already on the move to put up blockers further south west into Soweto. Nothing could be done as the fields went back up other than stay on our course of action. We later found out that our next group of blockers put a real spanner into the works of the Enlightened’s overall plan to win this Persepolis war that they had to specially send out a team to kill them. As soon as they were down a large green field went up which we knew it would from the intelligence that we received.


By that time our small team of 4 commandos were already on the move to our next target of the southern anchors of the layered fields over Soweto. Now that the large field was up no one could make any more fields so by taking down the small layered fields was a good move. A Toad team based at a main anchor was sent up to recapture them while we sneaked down to kill the main anchor. Knowing that this was a strategic anchor we decided to camp there, knowing that when the big green field came down, that this portal would need to stay blue.


And battle for this portal became known as the Battle of Soweto as a fierce battle then ensued at the Grasmere portal. The attacks kept coming and coming and we defended like heroes. Somewhere in the heat of the battle I kept hearing our intel telling us to keep going, you nearly there. It felt like Darsana all over but somehow in the fog of war we won.


Afterwards I heard that every Resistance member played their part well, from those that went out to kill the long links, to the Defence of Tembisa in the north to the Battle for Thokoza in the south, not forgetting those at home running our intel, and of course the 4 Resistance members who stood tall in the Battle of Soweto.

So hence the celebration at Piza e Vino. Well done everyone to a job well done.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Ginger Green


It was a cold start to the morning, but I had to get up early and get to a restaurant by 8:30 for breakfast with an old friend of mine, Frank.

Since he was flying out to the States tonight he didn’t ordered a big breakfast but something light with this green sludge which was called Ginger Green and consists of pineapple, pear, ginger and mint, urgh I think I am going to get sick. Anyway I ordered a more traditional egg and sausage breakfast. There goes my cholesterol but it is cold outside and I need all the energy I can get.


Frank started the company Metalcross Vehicle Makeover Clinic way back in 2007 when he became disillusioned with the corruption, bribery, and unreliability in the panel beating industry. So here was an honest to goodness approach to the tainted vehicle repair industry that helped make the Metalcross company grow in leaps and bounds.

It has been a long time since I saw Frank last, I think it was about five years ago which made this breakfast awesome with lots of really good catching up on things.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Cold Outside


So it is cold outside this evening and Minky, our cat would rather us watch her than give the television any attention. The gas heater was doing its job and the lounge was soon nice and cosy. Let this cold weekend begin.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Struggle in Life


It has been a struggle trying to get finances and life in order lately that I am somewhat failing as I am dropping the balls all around me. It has not been easy trying to make everyone around me happy and I have woefully falling short in all respects. It has always been only me against the world with me often retreating into this dark secret world that I created in my mind as an escape from reality only to come back to reality only to find my problems still there. "What are you thinking?" would come a question, and with a faraway look I would answer truthfully, "nothing"! Yet all the while I was lost somewhere in my mind.

I think this fear of dropping the ball started somewhere before I turned 10 years old. I remember as a young child I used to have this recurring nightmare while asleep at night. The nightmare was about a lot of small balls everywhere in this room and my late father was also in the dream shouting at me to pick them all up. As I started to pick the balls up, they started falling out of my arms. The more I picked up, the more kept falling out of my arms. It was an impossible task with my father darkly looming over me and I found myself so fearful with these tears streaming down my face. I eventually woke up screaming in terror and I generally find myself outside in the garden trying to climb into the neighbour’s yard to get away instead of being asleep peacefully in bed. Yes this recurring nightmare and the sleepwalking often went hand in hand.

To try solve the sleepwalking problem, my mom and stepdad removed the backdoor key from the lock and kept it on their bedside table only to have them find me standing next to their bed at night asleep. Surely finding next to their bed in the dead of the night must have given them such a fright. My parents told me later that when they found me at their bedside, they asked me what I wanted to which I had answered while still asleep was for the backdoor key. They just told me to go back to bed which I promptly did. Scary stuff we children had to go through.

I promised myself that my childhood would never be repeated to my child and yet I seem to fail. The upward struggle I find myself in, surely can’t be good for Matthew although he seems always content around me. Today I arranged for him to come to an interview at a new potential school down the road from me which I am sure that he would get a better chance of succeeding in life. I don’t want to be the father who chases his own lost dreams through his children. I just want him to succeed in his own dreams and be happy with life.

Matthew has about two months to decide if he wants to come live with me and go to this new school or stay where he is at his current one. But whatever he decides I will always love him and it is good to know that he doesn’t have the nightmares that I used to have. I am proud of my son with how he turned out as the road he has travelled on has not been easy and the rain has fallen hard but his spirit has not been dampened and his soul continues to soar high. One day, Matthew the road will rise up to meet your feet, the wind will be on your back and the storm will be over with a rainbow that stretches from horizon to horizon.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Training Wings


With our camera drone order just around the corner, here is Des busy homing his drone flying skills on this lightweight Parrot camera drone. He loaded a new cellphone app onto his phone and was testing flying via his phone and wi-fi.


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Attack Out of the Sun


At dusk along the path near the reeds next to the duck pond, I was ambushed in the wild orange of the setting sun by a pair of Hawaiian Geese. Surely these two geese must have studied under Manfred von Richthofen or better known as the Red Baron because the pair perfected the surprise attacked out of the sun.

"Run Forrest Run", ran through my mind as I raised my cell phone in defence and evidence. Please make it stop, as beak and wing tore at my trousers. The valiant geese must have a nest somewhere in the reeds between the pond and the path that I chose to walk along. Thank goodness that their feeble attempt to shoo me off was not as bad as the swans around the corner but I feared that I may hurt them in my defence. Should I stand my ground or should I scarper?

Monday, 22 June 2015

Melanistic Mutant


Last Friday evening I had a few guests over and we spotted a pheasant which I thought was a Grey Peacock. Okay it was dark but after taking some photos of them today and doing a bit of researching I found out that the bird we saw on Friday was a female Melanistic Mutant Pheasant. Strange name yes but they are a melanistic form of the Common Pheasant, sort of a breeding mutation that was first observed in 1880s and are now considered a breed on its own.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Father’s Day


Today has been set aside for fathers and although it is sad that my son could not spend the day with me due to exams, I did get to enjoy my day even though it is the shortest day of the year.

After a late wake up, we went off to the local Farmer’s Market which being a special day was overcrowded and we battled to find parking. This Landrover DJ 75 HF GP has a retarded handicapped driver because as you know stupid is a classified as a handicap in Johannesburg, and this driver has been certified by parking in the space reserved for emergency vehicles only. Who cares if the Farmer’s Market loses their trading licence due to one stupid 4x4 by far Landrover driver? It was so full today, if God forbid if a fire broke out or someone had medical emergency. Oh no, someone has blocked the emergency entrance, and the EMS and Fire Brigade could not respond quickly enough resulting in people dying. Who cares? Certainly not this driver.


Anyway we ended up at Norscott Manor for lunch as it was not as crowded on the green lawns. The food wasn’t as exotic as the markets but it was down to earth good enough.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Please turn off the Lights


No this is not Earth Hour but the reality of what we live with here in South Africa.

In the past when load shedding has happened, our home was affected between the hours of 2pm to 6pm which was fine as I was normally at work during that period but today when the ANC’s Stage 3 load shedding hit, it was 6pm in the evening and lasted way after we went to bed. I mean we don’t have the budget to install a battery solution to counter these rolling blackouts so it is down to oil lamps and the gas cooker.

Yesterday I had to answer two questions for work and below are the questions with my adapted answers.

Question One: What gets me out of bed in the morning to come to work?

Answer One: I would like to say money is the raw primary reason but my main incentive is found in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 which instructs “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’” The absolute cherry on the top is that I enjoy my work which makes it easy to get out of bed. I am excited about the possibilities at work, about learning more, about getting it right, and becoming better at my career. I care very much and believe in what I am doing. Should the day comes when I don’t tick all these boxes, I would start looking for a new career stream.

Question Two: What are the elements that are stopping me to get out of bed besides the cold?

Answer Two: Hard one as I am a morning person and cold is a major factor in me sleeping in. Traffic issues might also be a factor but this is negated in my case as I travel against the traffic except yesterday where I had to take 2 cats to the vet and had to drive into the evil heart of rush hour traffic. This didn’t help one iota in getting out of bed yesterday. I love and need my 8 hours of sleep and if disturbed while sleeping, I battle to wake up and get moving the following morning.

I feel that this load shedding is putting a damper on my spirits and if it continues like this, it might make me reconsider moving on to a better place which I could call home. I wonder what the opportunities are like in the States, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand for a Search Engine Specialist. And if I do decide to leave, Africa will always be in my heart and I suppose I should ask the last person to leave South Africa to please turn off the lights but at this rate it won’t be necessary due to load shedding.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Water on Fire


Arriving home after the end of a strange short work week, I was greeted by this gorgeous orange fiery sunset sky which silhouetted our water tank on the horizon. To help turn this sky into a more beautiful sight was that the moon was low in the west with the planets Venus and Jupiter right next to it. Sorry that the two planets did not come out in the photos, you just had to be there to appreciate the water tank and trees silhouetted on the fire sky.


It wasn’t as cold as it was earlier in the week, it sort of felt like you could go about wearing shorts again, but this winter isn’t over just yet I am sure.


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Matter of Bark


This is what happens? You arrive at work slightly late due to taking two cats to the vet. Arriving at 07h15 only to be told that the vet only opens at 08h00 and no you can’t drop them off as we are cleaning. Uhmmm.

Anyway I start my work day with your first cup of coffee and before I knew it, it is the end of the day. It is time to pack up and wonder where the day had gone while trudging back to my Vespa for my commute back home.


Matter of fact is that I have been so busy that I forgot to take a photo for the day. Oh how about this tree, it has an interesting bark covered by lichen. Now which side is south? It has been heard that moss only grows on the side away from the sun which in our case is the south.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Procaffeinating


Coffee, Facebook, Email, Coffee, check... Okay, Good morning world.

Yes I have the tendency not to start anything until I’ve had a cup of coffee which is now known as procaffeinating. Haters are gonna hate but without my morning coffee I am one grumpy dog.

Arriving at work this morning, Ella offered to make me some coffee and this huge mug of coffee arrived on my desk. They say life begins after the first cup of coffee so let this day begin, bring it on!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Anglisisme


Peoples what next, Anglisisme strikes again. We will make the queen very happy with the Anglicisation of English words directly into Afrikaans or as the Afrikaners call it Anglisisme. Die Groen Chillie supposed to be Die Groen Rissie like televisie is supposed to be beeldradio. Anyway English may soon demise with the colonisation of the Chinese into Africa as it was announced not so long ago that Chinese will now be taught in South African schools. 绿辣椒 or lǜ làjiāo uhmmm it doesn’t feel the same as the Latin or Germanic root words.

For those who know me, will know I love words and languages but dare not pronounce them as I tend to slaughter them deliciously. My colleagues cringe when I try talk isiZulu or try pronounce a Xhosa word along with the right click. Must be my dyslexia, a disorder that I can’t even pronounce it in English. Hence when I found myself outside the Green Chilli, I was amazed by all the trinkets and arty stuff all over the place and of course the Anglisisme was not lost on me.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Stinky Feet


It is cold outside but very warm inside our home. Here I am sitting in the lounge with my thermal socks on and no it was not the only thing I was wearing, keep your mind out of the gutter peoples, I had shorts and a t-shirt on along with the socks. Our cat, Princess thought this was the perfect position to sleep, stinky feet sure makes a cat sleepy. Oh not that my feet are stinky, mind you I think I have lovely feet which smell like, uhm roses.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Cranky Old Man


My forgetting is getting better, say with one hundred and forty eight years under my belt or is it just shy of fifty, uhmmm. This afternoon we went up to the Botanical Gardens in Roodepoort to get away from the maddening crowd. I don’t want to be reminded that today is my birthday; I am not getting any younger as my get up and go has already gotten up and went.



To lay on the grass and hear a century old tortoise chomp away at the green grass, to hear the hop hoppity of the Cape Robin, or the babbling of the brook. What will my future hold now that the spark in my eyes starts to fade? Ahh aren’t I the cranky old man.



What do you see in me? What do you see? What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?


Now that I am nearly fifty, Lord God I pray that you grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell them apart.


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Crispy Rose


Tomorrow is my birthday but this is bad timing as Matthew has exams now and he can’t spend the weekend with me. Consolation prize is that I still get to spend time with him, that is why I picked him up last night and today after an awesome brain food lunch of sushi and more sushi, before he had to go back and study.


We ended back at Tataki at the Rietfontein Spar, Boksburg for their sushi buffet of eat as much as you can eat sushi. We haven’t been there for over a year and the proprietor was happy to see us again after such a long time. He used to create special sushi creations for us to try and if we loved it, he would include it in his sushi bar. Today he made special Crispy Rose sushi for us and beef and chicken dumplings. Yummy and the Crispy Rose is worth the try.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Clarkson, Hammond, and May


Not really my scene but Matthew loved Top Gear, a car show that aired on BBC before Jeremy Clarkson was fired and ended the show. Forget about rude Jeremy, or even slow James May, Matthew’s favourite presenter is Richard Hammond so when Craig contacted me with free tickets to the Clarkson, Hammond, and May Live in Johannesburg, how could I say no. Plus Ken Block made a guest appearance.



I kept where we were going a secret from Matthew until he saw us arriving at the parking lot outside the Dome at Northgate and the penny dropped. Ohh he was so uber excited.



Thursday, 11 June 2015

Cold Outside


It’s cold and raining outside tonight and we are all cuddled up in the lounge in front of the gas heater. Minky and the rest of us were also enjoying the warmth from the heater although this was Princess’ first experience of a gas heater and on a number of occasions she got her fluffy tail a little too close to comfort.


Lynda made scrumptious burger and chips for supper and we all tucked in while watching TV while the pitter patter of the cold rain drops were heard landing on the roof.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Feed Me


Coming home after a long but good productive day, I found the pets all waiting for their supper. First I put the bike away, then I put the oven on if I need to pre-heat it. Here is Kitty one of our cats telling me to hurry up and feed her.

So my home coming chores start outside, I feed dogs, check if they are all well and put their jerseys on. Then I call for Minky while staring to take the washing off the line, if there is any. Only then does the cats get fed, starting with the inside ones, then the outside ones, and finishing off with feeding the fish.

Now if I don’t have to make supper or to prepare any vegetables, I get to put my feet up at this point. Oh that is only after Kitty here is happy and full. Meouw!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Chicken Fillets


What to cook that is doesn’t make me stand in the cold kitchen for long periods?

Tonight for supper, I baked some chicken fillets smothered in mozzarella cheese and spring onions in the oven and served them with roasted vegetables, and creamed spinach.

It may be cold, but cosy with feet up in front of the television watching series with this dinner can only go down well.

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