Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Dominie se Visit

Jon, the pastor at Centre Church, came a house calling this morning at 8am. Now I don’t have a Dominie se Kamer, an Afrikaans traditional 2nd sitting room in the house that is set up for visitors especially the dominie or in English the pastor. A large family bible is normally on display open as if being read and the special room is never used other than for visitors. Now we don’t have one of these special sitting rooms as we live life warts and all.

I did say to Jon, "anytime", and when he said 8am, I answered "how about I do a breakfast?" Awesomeness! Okay I usually cook an awesome breakfast in bed on the weekends, but "in bed" won’t do for the dominie, now will it. So I set up a table on the deck which turned out neat, well in my books it is especially for breaking bread with the dominie.

Once Jon arrived, I made him a lekker cup of Nespresso coffee with frothy milk, then proceeded to rustle up some breakfast while we chatted, before moving onto the deck. It was like all the birds in the area seem to know that Jon is an avid birdie and came to visit. Okay not all but quite a few.

Two hours later, as Jon drove off to his next dominie’s visit, I suddenly realised that I enjoyed the visit so much that I forgot to take a photo of Jon for my daily blog. Eish I am getting slack in my old age. Oh well 2nd prize, a photo of the simple table setting with the view.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Illegal Dumping

Coming home today, I notice this white double cab pickup reversing up to one of our green belts in our neighbourhood of Roodekrans in Elkie Road. It looked suspicious with it being loaded with garden refuse and other rubble in the bin.

I did a u-turn and from a distance watched the driver get out, open the bin and proceed to dump. I then quickly phoned the Roodekrans Neighbourhood Watch chairperson, Andreas, and asked him about the legality of what I was witnessing.

Yes, it is illegal and Andreas asked me to get a photo of the driver and the vehicle’s licence plate.

So I drove up right next to the illegal dumping and proceeded to take photos. The driver then stopped what he was doing and came over armed with his broom, to try stop me taking photos. I told him it was illegal what he was doing; he apologised, said he was from Soweto and he didn’t know it was illegal to dump on the side of the road. While he confronted me, the photos of the driver and the vehicle’s licence plate were being sent off to the Roodekrans Neighbourhood Watch. He then walked back to his pick up, closed the bin and drove off.

By this time a Roodekrans Neighbourhood Watch car arrived and escorted him out of our neighbourhood carrying most of his load.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Pool Inspector

Oh no, the swimming pool is slowly turning green. Last week Monday afternoon we had an awful hail storm and the next day when the swimming pool pump kicked in, we had water pouring off the roof. The turned on the bypass but that didn't stop the water reaching the roof but slowed it down a bit.

The insurance assessors came and said that the swimming pool's solar heaters on the roof has been damaged by the hail and needs to be replaced. That was a week ago and we are still waiting for the insurance to get back to us. In the meantime, our cat Princess, does not like what she sees during her garden inspections. What normally is sparkling blue water is going a greener shade of blue. How long will we have to wait until I can put the swimming pools pump back on?

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch, o, o, o, Pumpkin Patch, let's all run to Pumpkin Patch! Wow those words ring through my mind from a children’s TV series from the 80s. I actually met Woofles, or should I say Adrian Galley who dressed up as the dog Woofles in the TV show Pumpkin Patch. Well we did a Multimedia Course together in Randburg many moons ago. I remember him telling me that he was Woofles and I laughed, it was funny at the time. I also remember going to a party at his house in Randpark Ridge close to the Rhema Church. Wow that was a long time ago.

Anyways, it was this pumpkin patch in Pick ‘n Pay that reminded me of the children’s series. As I walked into this supermarket, I was appalled at all the Christmas decorations going up. My word they sure start early. And then I saw these Halloween Pumpkins as they are calling them. Pumpkin Patch, o, o, o, Pumpkin Patch, let's all run to Pumpkin Patch!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Rebekah is 2

Ahhh granddaughter Rebekah turns 2 today and I don’t know who is more excited Rebekah or Ganna. The terrible twos is when a 2 year old starts wearing her heart on her sleeve, in her voice, her stamping of her feet, and her crocodile tears.

Stamping of her feet, oh no, never, although when Ganna leaves, I’ve seen her throw herself onto the floor in a tantrum as she tries to show her displeasure of her Ganna Lynda leaving. Expressing her emotions is what a 2 year old is all about, so I am going to put it out there with Rebekah, the terrible twos will just be a fable, a myth, as this year although challenging, Rebekah will be the fun of the party, learning to control those emotions and have boundless curiosity learning and understanding the rules.

Friday, 13 October 2017

MpumiK and Sisa

Okay Mpumi likes to be called MpumiK as according to her there are many Mpumis in the world and she is different or should I say unique. I would say we are all unique with our own special gifts in our own special way, thank goodness as there can only be one of me, eh Sisa.

As you can see with MpumiK and Sisa from Bankserv Africa’s Marketing department, I am back in the Joburg CBD today at Bankserv. Sisa said that I must come more often as I lift the spirit of the office, maybe because it is Friday, yay!

Okay lets all do the weekend dance! Come on everybody, let’s do the dance!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

ZCC Disaster

Protea trees are their own worst enemy, as they are one of the few species of trees that can burn while still green. In other words, you don’t have to wait till the wood to dry before using as firewood.

Down in the valley, the pilgrims come from all over to access the holy water springing from the rocks. Thankfully reports I received on Saturday from the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens downstream from where we are, is that the water has never smelt cleaner in a long time. Thanks to all the hard efforts by all the groups concerned. And the pilgrims are too very happy that the holy water is now clean from sewerage.

I don't have a problem with most of the pilgrims, as they just come to pray and collect the holy water, but some like this chap from the Star denomination of the ZCC religious group shown above, spend a couple of nights at a time, roughing it in caves and rock crevasses. It is these chaps which cause the problems.

I caught this ZCC Star member breaking down Protea tree branches to use for fire. Now I have nearly exhausted all avenues in stopping the destruction of the Protea trees. The trees are protected by law but no one, not even the Green Scorpions, are doing anything to stop it. I have spoken to individual pilgrims, I have shown them the alien trees that can be cut down, I have left alternative timber for them to use as firewood, I have spread the story of the Mamlambo, an evil African spirit that lives at the waterfall below us that, who is angry that people are cutting down her children, yet still the Protea tress are being destroyed.

It is becoming a disaster area, and I am losing the battle. Maybe some high ranking ZCC bishop can help? My last resort is that I may need to move away from the religious groups and look at the traditional healers such as sangoma and inyangas. They are respected by the people, so who can help put some powerful muti around here in the Protea forest and along with the ancestors, and the African spirit living down by the waterfall, the Mamlambo, they all can help protect this African heritage?

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Surveying Her Queendom

It was a quite peaceful day after all the troubles the storm had caused on Monday with Durban feeling the weather’s wroth yesterday.

An assessor came round today to assess the damage and another is coming tomorrow. Thankfully we didn’t suffer much damage, only the swimming pool’s solar water heater took some damage from the large hail, hence the assessor. The one came that came today, came for the roof, tomorrow’s one is for the solar heater.

Today the air was clean and fresh, the sky blue, and Minky surveyed her queendom from her favourite perch in the Cabbage Tree overlooking the veldt while her subjects, the guineafowls, played not too far off.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Assessing the Damage

Yesterday evening after the mother of storms had hit Johannesburg, social media started reporting that a tornado had touched down below the hill at Cradlestone Mall. Really, a tornado?

This morning I had to go see a client but the route was closed due to mud and ice on Wilgerood Road so I took an alternative route via Zandspruit, and yes it looked like a tornado had ripped through the informal settlement of Zandspruit. I believe Cradlestone Mall has been closed for public safety until further notice while they repair the mall BUT who is going to help these poor people living here in Zandspruit to repair their shacks they call home, who?

Although I don’t think it was an actual tornado as there are no witnesses to a funnel, the destruction due to extremely high wind was everywhere to be seen, large trees and billboards were twisted like twigs. The roof of the Toyota panel shop near Zandspruit was ripped like paper, one truck which was not overturned had a roof tile embedded into its side like a knife, and the damage was everywhere I looked.

I don't have any data but from the damage this looks like about a F2 size storm. Reports are coming in that there are fatalities and a lot of injuries and it is sad. God help us if we are ever to have a full size tornado higher than a F2 hit Jozi such as a F4 or 5.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Hail Wonderland

Down in South Africa tucked safely in on the Highveld we tend to miss all the major natural weather disasters that we have become displacent. A typical summer thunderstorm here never reaches category 3 but after a warm winter, this afternoon a mother of storms brew up from a cut off low.

It was mid afternoon sitting at my desk, when suddenly it got dark. I was wondering who turned off the lights, when I heard the first of the hail hitting the roof. A few small ones at first, then the heavens opened up with hailstones larger than golf balls. Photos came through from a few streets up from me of hail bigger than a tennis ball which was photographed next to the hail as size comparison. Checking on all our pets, only Paddy was missing. He was out there in the veldt in this.

After the storm, it was eerie quiet, I went out to access for damage but could not find any. It was while I was outside that I heard the roar. It sounded like a freight train or Victoria Falls. No it couldn’t be. I grabbed my phone and went down to the edge of the kloof, and saw the stream below had turned into a raging torrent through the narrow gorge. Anyone caught down there, surely would have gotten swept away.

All around me the rocky Protea forest looked like a winter wonderland except it was hail not snow. Although it looked beautiful, I wondered how much damage this hail storm has caused. Another storm was building up, so headed back to the safety of my home and soon after I arriving, in traipsed a nearly drowned kitty cat, Paddy, looking oh so sorry for itself.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Guineafowls in the Mist

It rained quite a bit yesterday and into the night that the temperatures dropped considerably. We woke up to the noisy guineafowls making a racket just outside in the veldt. Finally crawling out of bed to get ready for church, I saw that the valley below us was shrouded in a blanket of thick mist. I could not even see the other side but the guineafowls were sure having fun.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Watching the Dancers

It has been a busy Saturday, like what most my weekends have started turning out to become. First it was to drop Bradley off at work, then a Father and Son breakfast at Northgate before dropping Matthew off at Rage, the yearly computer show held at the Dome next door to Northgate.

Then it was a rush across to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens for a Proteadal Conservation Association where I was co-opted onto the Board. Then it was back home for lunch and a break before setting out to pick Bradley and Matthew, and go to the Mythos Restaurant at Montecasino for Robynne’s surprise birthday party. In all the rushing, all I had was my cellphone to take photos and here is little Rebekah spellbound by the belly-dancers at Mythos.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Tongue in Cheek

Although it is in between Prelims and Finals, it is the Rage Weekend; Matthew is having a break from studying and going to attend Rage. This time he is not going dressed up as in Cosplay as one of his Anime heroes but as the hero himself, Matthew.

Notice as he pulls a tongue at his father while playing on his Xbox. Oh dear what is happening to these children of today?

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Strawberries and Yogurt

Back at Bankserv Africa’s offices but this time I am working with Wendy, the Brand and Communications Specialist, instead of with Gary who is away on a course. Most of the work entailed updating their current website which is starting to look tired. A lot was done today by Wendy and I to the website that it is now starting to look like a refresh.

Here is Wendy, having a strawberries and yogurt break.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Dancing over Snakes

We woke early this morning but I stayed in bed drinking my coffee and checking out social media while Lynda got up to get ready for work. It wasn’t long when I heard screams coming from the other end of the house.

Jumping out of bed, and a half naked dash across to where the screams where coming from is not what anyone would unsee in a hurry. I found Lynda frantically questioning me to why I took so long to get there as there is a snake by the back door. Apparently she stepped right over it to give the dogs some treats and Tiger the cat pointed out the snake at her feet. She screamed and danced over the snake back into the safety of the house.

Ohhh what a beautiful baby Brown House Snake. Look at this cutie pie. This one beauty must have been born last summer and it is now out and about looking for food. I picked her up and carried her to Lynda who was much calmer now. She stroked the little thing and I pointed out the identity stripes on her head. Lynda distracted the cats while I found a nice safe place for the snake in our garden.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Anni’s Desk

It is interesting how different people personalise their office desk. I have seen many personal work spaces, from Now Media to the IFC, from PRASA to Bosasa, so many desks, so many minds. Dare I say it is like a window into their mind that you have to somehow decipher.

An office desk is normally away from the home comforts and safety yet it is these small tokens found on a desk that makes it feel safe again. Take Gary’s desk at Bankserv Africa, his workstation is open for easy access and on top are sci-fi tokens such as the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 and an Axl Rose looking skeleton, WHAT is this Guns N’ Roses rocker still alive? I don’t even known anymore. With so many celebrities fake dying online; I don’t even know who is alive or rocking up in the band in the sky. So just by looking at Gary’s desk, you know straight away where his safe zone is.

Now compare this Anni’s desk right next to Gary's, it is almost cleaned up of all personal stuff except these 4 items. Now what to make of a blue glass sphere with concentric circle patterns, a piece of amethyst, polished fuchsite or is that a malachite, and don’t forget the starfish, uhmmm. I haven’t positions these tokens at all, this is how they are sitting on her desk. Curiouser and curiouser!

Oh and then there is that hideous corporate clean desk policy that dictates robotic empty unhappy workers. If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered me, then what does an empty desk indicate? An empty mind? I think a clean desk is a sign of a fearful mind.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Jumping into Hell

There was a huge pile of leaves and small branches next to the logs from the cut down trees and other garden refuse in the veldt next the gate. It is a potential security risk for the neighbour’s house that was broken in and since it was forecasted to storm late this afternoon, I thought it was good to burn it. What slipped my mind was the fact that water in the valley would be cut at 7pm for repairs. This was my safety net taken away.

About noon we set the pile alight with water hoses in standby and soon it became a smoky inferno. At 5 it was just a smouldering pile. Safe enough for me to go shower and get ready for a meeting at 7. So off I went. Just after 6 Lynda came home, I was clean and fresh, ready for the meeting. The storm was still rumbling but a long way off. The wind had picked up and I went out to check on what was left of the fire.

It was like walking into hell. The gusty wind had picked up the few cinders and it was a roaring fire once again, this time with sparks flying into the air. HELP!

No time to run and call for help. I rushed for the hose, and cried out to the heavens "Oh God help me", as I jumped into hell armed with a garden hose. After an hour, the fire was out once again but I stayed saturating the entire area, moving around debris to get water everywhere. Thankfully there was still pressure in the hose by the time I put it down. It was 7:30, too late for that meeting plus I need to clean up but I wasn’t sure how much water would there be.

It was starting to drop rain, as the lightning got closer, "Lord, I need that rain now more than ever, if I am to sleep peacefully tonight". And God answered by opening up the heavens as I looked up with my soot covered face and whispered "Thank you".

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Broken Glass

Last night at about 20 to 7, I was outside by my front gate with my tenant when I heard glass breaking coming from across the road. The house had just become empty with new people moving in this week. I walked across the street towards the house and got halfway when the alarm went off. THERE WERE PEOPLE BREAKING IN!

I did a prompt u-turn and left back to the safety of my home. I phoned my security, the neighbourhood watch, and the owners straight away. My security was on the scene in minutes, way before the neighbour’s security even arrived. All the neighbours were now on high alert.

This morning I went into the house with the owner to access the damage. Managed burglar bars and broken glass from where the burglars had smashed their way into an empty house. They must have been hoping that the new tenants would have moved in and this would be an easy score for them but they got nothing.

It is obvious that they are watching the houses from the veldt as this very house was broken into the night the owner moved in a few years back. The same happened to another neighbour a few houses down and on the night I moved in, our alarm was triggered. Since March when I cut the wattle trees down, attempts into my property and my neighbours dropped to nil. In the last month there have been 4 attempts so far including this one. THIS HAS TO STOP!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Belgium Campus

Matthew has his heart set on going to the Belgium Campus ITVersity in Pretoria. He has applied and has being accepted from his Grade 11 marks but has to be ratified with his final exam marks which he has to write soon.

It was one of their Open Days and Lynda and I trekked up to Pretoria to visit this IT research focused university or ITVersity as they like to call it. The Belgium Campus is something like MIT or Caltech but on a much smaller scale.

On the way across the boerewors curtain we had to go through this tunnel and I just had to shake my head. What is with this you have to hoot or roll down the windows and howl? Ah hooooooooooooo!!!! Is it like some type of primeval instinct similar to the gathering around a fire pit. To me I think it must be a hankering memory of the birthing experience that the caveman and cavewomen still clutch onto. A save place in the womb and then this must be the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope that the light is not a train, Wooooot Hoot!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Pet Peeve

I have been doing grocery shopping for quite some time now and have gotten quite good at it. Yep my pet peeve is when the super market stores don’t mark products or mark products in such a way as to mislead. I found that Spar is notorious for not marking items that are expensive. Pick ‘n Pay, well they put more expensive items on gondola ends with big signage as if to say that it is a special price but you often find better priced items in the aisles. The same with their specials, most times you can find cheaper elsewhere. One thing I like about PnP is that below the price they put in smaller print the unit price as price per kg which I always use when shopping. It has become a habit, look past the branding and buy wisely. I even noticed that bulk items in stores are way more expensive than the popular sizes so it doesn’t help at all buying in bulk. Woolies you tend to trust their quality and their price is way too steep but sometimes just for the convenience of not thinking what I buy, I go into Woolies. That too is becoming a luxury I can't afford often.

In the Checkers, just up the road from me, they grind my nerves when they put the item prices of tags and then slap in the middle they put the price of an item per 100 grams not the actual price. It gets so confusing. Take this Mozzarella Cheese, I am looking for a decent mozzarella but not to break the bank, so then I see R12.99 next to R44.99, I think what is this, but only then do I see per 100G. Urrrrrghhh. Forget that I don’t want to now start working out how much is this cheese compared to the others, I will look somewhere else. And this Checkers does this a lot.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Leapfrog Weather

Yes the weather is changing from winter leapfrogging spring directly into summer. No more dry and dusty August, I can smell the rain, lovely. Our pets are not fond of the rain but love the warmer weather. Bring it on.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Now here’s a little story to tell it is a must about an unsung hero. Yes today is dustbin day and seeing this woman swinging out from behind the refuse truck to grab my bin, reminded me of a song that my dad used to play on these old records that goes like this "Oh, my old man's a dustman, he wears a dustman’s hat. He wears cor blimey trousers and he lives in a council flat."

Oh, so who is now singing that old diddy tune?

I say, I say, I say, I was surprised to see woman power in full display as this dustlady loaded my rubbish into the back of refuse truck without breaking a sweat. Can I say dustlady? Is there such a word? Oh well I'm such a narner, of course there is such a word, I just made it up.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

No Way Jose

Back to normal after the long weekend. First things first, 2 cats Tiger and Bebe had dentist bookings first thing this morning and what a hell run it was. With meow meow there and everywhere a meow meow it drove me up the wall sitting in rush hour traffic on the way to the vet. Two hungry scared caged cats in a car don’t make for a peaceful trip, no way Jose.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Day After

With a full house the cats made themselves scarce and since Monday was too a public holiday it was recovery time. Yay!

The day after the all nighter party we crashed and so did the cats, only too happy to find peace and quiet in the home once again. Ahhhhh back to normal.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Please Don’t Kill My Vibe

WARNING EXPLICT CONTENT NSFW!!! Eish I woke this morning to find the kids still partying, please don’t kill my vibe. I don’t think I got much sleep as I put the fan on to make some white noise to drown out the doff doff doff.

Oh well thankfully most of the kids left this morning but the party continued as you can see with the following video of twerking for the setting sun. Eish some things are just not meant to be seen as once you see this video below, you simply can’t unsee. WARNING EXPLICT CONTENT NSFW

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Death Note Birthday

Since Matthew’s birthday falls in his final exams we decided to move his birthday combined with his final year function with friends this weekend. By busy I mean 12 teenagers descended onto our quiet home for a sleepover party and some sleepover party it turned out to be.

Two arrived yesterday and the rest of the teenagers arrived just after noon. Soon the party was in full swing with pizza slices going round as the guest settled in and started playing Xbox and Playstation. With Matthew playing host, we had to slip out and buy the rolls and salad ingredients.

At 4pm I started the braai while the kids went for a hike down into the kloof. When they came back the food was ready, thank goodness as they were exhausted and hungry. After dinner it was pool time. Now how come I remember someone saying you should not swim on a full stomach? Well that someone forgot to tell Matthew and friends.

It looks like this party is never going to end as Matthew cuts his Death Note birthday cake and they all get their second wind. With the music doff doffing in the background Lynda and I call it a day while the party will continue till tomorrow morning.

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