Friday, 31 May 2013

Scratch box

Yes, minions, it is time for the weekend. It was a very grey day and whatever that could go wrong went horridly wrong. Thankfully it is over.

Now I am home, having sun downers, feet up, lions roaring in the chilling evening, gas heater blazing, dogs snoozing on the couch and cats scratching in their cat scratch box.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Concrete Women

I first posted about this group of concrete women in 2010 when I visited the Johannesburg Art Gallery last. And now I find myself back at JAG, this time for Ingress during my lunchtime. Here I was again standing here among beautiful artwork in the centre of downtown Johannesburg. The hum drum bustle of everyday street noise seems a lifetime away. I don’t know why I don't come here often anymore.

One of my favourite pieces of art work are these concrete women with no heads and arms. To me no heads means no personality. No arms means helplessness. They are just female bodies to be used and abused. BUT standing together these concrete women come across as STRONG. It is a powerful piece of art for me.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Hump Day is here again but I have been feeling rather sick up to now. I was feeling like this orange squashed rubber man on Sean's desk but as the day is named, Hump Day, I hoping that I am over the worst of it and I would be roaring by the weekend.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Street View

I had to go to Fourways during lunchtime to pay for my bike’s service and on the way back I spotted this vehicle with what looked like google's nine 360 degree cameras mounted on its roof. This Street View vehicle had no google signage so I am not 100% sure. Maybe could even be a competitor, who knows.

Monday, 27 May 2013


Monday again, and after the restful weekend it was back to work. During lunch I had to venture out into the augmented reality world of Ingress and found myself at the foot of the Warszawa mound.

There are three granite slabs lying at the foot of the monument here. The one is inscribed "Warszawa 1.VIII-2.X.1944 In memory of the heroes of the Warsaw Rising and Polish airmen who supported the Home Army". The other inscribed "Katyn – 1940 In memory of 14500 Polish prisoners of war murdered by Stalin’s Assassins. Remains of 4264 of these prisoners were identified in massgraves at Karyn, USSR. The world conscience calls for Justice". And the last is inscribed "Warszawa 8.VIII -21.IX.1944 Warsaw Airlift Grateful Poles honour the part played by the South African Air Force".

After a bit of digging around, I found out what I thought was the Warszawa Monument in the James and Ethel Grey Park was actually the Katyn Memorial. It was designed by Andrzej Romanowicz in memory of the Katyn Forest Massacre where thousands of Polish died at the hands of the Soviets.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


It has been quite a relaxing Sunday catching up on sleep deficit, doing minor repairs to my truck and taking my dogs for a walk.

One of few safe places for dogs for dogs to walk off lead and socialise is Walkhaven and that is where we ended up. Here is Skye enjoying himself along the water's edge.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Canon Roadshow

It is that time of year again for Canon’s annual roadshow. So after trying to have a little sleep in, I slowly climbed out of bed, fed the dogs and prepared to head north to the Theatre on the Track just outside Kyalami.

Thanks to Roger, shown above, and Abri, Mark Mansfield and Craig Dutton.

Friday, 24 May 2013

A Day Too Many

Friday couldn't come sooner because somehow an extra day managed to slip into the week. This persistent cold is still with me and now my joints are aching. All I wanted was to go home and put my feet up. My daily photograph was the least on my mind, that was until my feet was up. This week is simply a day too long.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Sculpture Courtyard

Yesterday I had my first two Ingress portals approved but they were slightly out of the way. Today my third portal came on line, this time at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, not too far for a lunchtime excursion.

So began my lunchtime JAG excursion. The area around the JAG is Joubert Park which has become the long drop of the drugged and drunk layabouts. It is the perfect place to farm some portals. I took the opportunity to submit some more portals to be approved. One of them is the courtyard in the middle of the JAG complex that is full of statues. Not the best but this Sculpture Courtyard photo was taken with my cellphone which was used to submit the portal.

I had to tear myself away as my lunchtime is only so long. It is hard to imagine such beauty here in the middle of such poverty but the JAG is a must visit of every Johannesburger. See my photos from the JAG taken over two years ago.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Eh Ama Takisi Driver

In South Africa, the scourge of our roads are the mini bus taxis. Although taxis fill the gap of non-existent public transport, they seem to be a law unto themselves and the traffic police seem helpless in their wave of lawlessness.

On this cold morning while getting some fuel into my vehicle, a taxi with a flat tyre limped into the vacant space next to my dowser. I had to smile along with the smiling faces of the taxi's advertising décor while the taxi driver pumped compressed air into the taxi's tyre while his helpless passengers looked on through misted up windows.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Rush Traffic

It seems that this cold of mine doesn't want to leave, no matter how much medicine and vitamins I swallow, this persistent cold is not making life easy for me. This morning I had to just force myself out of bed, put one foot in front of the other and get ready for the rush traffic. The rush traffic in Johannesburg is notorious but this morning it wasn't that bad. So much so that I even had time to snap away with my camera.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Cooking with Gas

Monday has come with the weekend now that it is over. Dive straight into my work head first and come up for air at the end of the day. I arrived home and it was already dark. Feed the dogs, kick my shoes off and start with supper. Uhmmm supper, it is a cold evening and something quick to cook for supper was the plan, spaghetti bolognaise on the gas stove. It will be alright in the end and if it is not alright then it is not the end.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Warm Cold Weekend

A cold snap hit Johannesburg this weekend but it didn't put a spanner in Matthew's weekend of relaxing with no thoughts of homework or exams. Here is Matthew and Skye watching some television first thing in the morning while at the same time keeping warm. I think it is a little too cold to get up but the only thing that would distract them from the action on the box is breakfast.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Wits under Ingress

This morning was an Ingress training run at Witwatersrand University. The higher level Resistance players helped some lower level players to get lots of Action Points or AP by taking out Enlightened controlled portals at Wits, linking them and making fields. Couple of Enlightened players popped round too make things a little more exciting. By end of the morning two players, including Gary shown above, reached Level 5 and I got to Level 7, yeah.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Pizza and Beer

It is Richard's birthday today and we celebrated with pizza and beers, nice. Another good thing about today is that Camera Tek sent me an SMS to let me know that my camera was repaired under warranty and that it is ready for collection. Let the weekend begin.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Be Water Wise

I am feeling a little better but still drained of energy. So during lunchtime, I needed to get some air and went for a short walk. Zoo Lake which is just down the road from our offices in Houghton became the perfect lunchtime get away for me.

Interesting what can be found if you just open your eyes. Tired up at the pier was these blue row boats with their Be Water Wise inscriptions reflecting in the water. It was tranquil around the lake for the moment while the Johannesburg traffic rushed around. It is nearly weekend and then it will get busy around Zoo Lake as Joburgers take full advantage to Johannesburg's perfect winter sunshine.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Welcome Home

I woke up this morning feeling very tired after what I felt was a restful night. As the day progressed, I started to feel that I was coming down with something. By the end of the day, I had a splitting headache and just wanted to close and rest my eyes.

Thank goodness, it is Wednesday, Hump Day, which means that it is downhill from here till the weekend. I arrived home barely incoherent. Jade, shown above, and the rest of my pack didn't know how down I was as they were just as eager to welcome me home. I suppose they must have missed me. Well it is some medicine, soup then bed for me. Now where is my nurse.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


I got quite a bit accomplished today. I started at one end and steadily worked through my work which was piling up. I was tired at the end and it was still home cell but the best part was supper at Sandy and Andy's home which I always look forward to. I was tired and still had to take a photo for the day so after looking around, I took this photo of some fresh roses in front of a painting of proteas in the entrance hall.

Monday, 13 May 2013

The Kettle

Yesterday, Eskom contractors were upgrading the electrical supply in the area around my home. No power for the day was okay since I wouldn't be around but when I returned home later to find that the contractors had hit a snag and they expected would be completed by seven, it wasn't okay.

Being that long without electricity meant that our reservoir ran dry. Seven came and went, still no electricity, no water, and this is not good. Luckily there was a five litre bottle water in the cupboard so this kettle came very useful for our comfort. The electricity was only turned back on just after nine but the pump did not come on.

I woke up this morning to electricity but no water. Not pleasant at all. Somehow in their haste last night, the Eskom contractors only switched on one phase to our property and it was the phase that didn't run the borehole pump. Note to self, buy some more water to replenish the emergency stockpile.

Sunday, 12 May 2013


I found out this morning that my step dad was back in hospital after phoning my mom for Mother's Day. So now I had to make a second trip this weekend up to Pretoria but I wasn't planning to make the trip unproductive, Along the route I identified all the unclaimed and weak Ingress portals and so I set out for Montana Hospital. My first stop was Freedom Park overlooking Pretoria. After capturing all the portals there I ventured into the CBD where I took this photograph of the City Hall with the statue of Chief Tshwane. Eventually I got out to the other side of the mountain and did my official duties of hospital visiting.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Jet Fuelled Ballet

Forget Stof en Diesel, Mango, one of the South African low cost airlines, pulled the coup of year and presented culture to the 1 litre brandewyn, 2 litre coke and 3 litre Cortina crowds. We were left with whiplash as Mango choreographed one of their Boeing 737-800s with the SA Mzansi Ballet company at the Swartkops Air Show.

Although cold, we were wowed by this standing ovation performance of plane and dancers to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the South African Air Force Museum. Without government funding, these magnificent men and women do a gigantic job of keeping those old birds still in the air. Now back to the dancing, ahh those Cortina crowds sure enjoyed those leggy ballerinas in their short skirts, oh sorry tutus.

The only spoil of the day was his eminence Brian Emminis, who's every fifth word was his sponsor Breitling. Some say that he is a top class announcer but he came across as a self absorbed pompous old man who detracted from the show rather than enhanced it. With all the TV cameras around for the Mango event, Brian and his Breitling crew tried to ambush the dance routine by placing their Breiting branded Bentleys in the way. Such poor taste.

Beside his eminence, I would say the Mango, Mzansi, the SAAf Museum and the flying displays made the flying machines all beautiful again.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Green Fields

I rested awhile in the warm winter sun during my lunch under this huge memorial of the glorious fallen and the celtic song sprung to mind about the green fields of France. The words which are burned into me are to man's blind indifference to his fellow man, and a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly? Did the rifles fire over you as they lowered you down? Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus? Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Jubilaeum Maximum

Ano Santo De 1950, the holy year of 1950, wasn't so holy in 1987 when the bell representing the holy year got entangled in the Bush War. I found this bell at the Hind Memorial, which was named after the 2nd Lieutenant Adrian Hind who lost his life in Operation Modular in southern Angola, during today's Ingress battles.

The inscription at the memorial states "During the campaign in Southern Angola, 61 Mechanised Battalion Group obtained a bell from one of the battlefields. The origin of this bell is unclear except that it was in the possession of FAPLA. The brass bell is adorned with the inscription 'ANO DE SANTO -1950' and decorated with ornate flowers and engravings, with the Christ crucifix. The bell was most probably removed from a church somewhere in southern Angola in the aftermath of the bitter civil war at the end of the Portuguese occupation."

If anyone knows anything more about the origin of this bell please let me know. The inscription continues... "FAPLA's 47 Brigade, advancing south of the Lomba River, used this bell to send signals to their battalions and to activate their stages of preparedness. During the attack in Operation Modular on 3 October 1987, 61 Mech Bn Gp destroyed 47 Brigade. To commemorate this historic event the bell was taken back to Omuthiya, 61 Mech's base in South West Africa (now Namibia). It was placed adjacent to the unit’s cenotaph."

It was during the battle of lightly armed cars against tanks were 2nd Lieutenant Hind lost his life. The logistic officer of 61 Mechanised Battalion Group, Major Maree, told this story to British journalist and author, Fred Bridgland about Hind "I can’t tell you how much courage it takes in a Ratel, driver and gunner, when a tank is charging towards them, to summon up the will to stop still for long enough to stabilise their firing platform and get their round off. A Ratel, like other armoured cars, can only fire from a static position. Of course, as soon as they’d fired, off the sprinted like turbo-charged hares. One of our guys died that afternoon facing down a T-55 in his Ratel. A 100 mm shell from the tank skipped up from the sandy ground and went right through the turret."

The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Pius XII declared 1950, Jubilaeum Maximun, the great jubilee and all around the Catholic world, 1950 becomes the Holy Year. So now this bell cast to celebrate the Holy Year, used in war, taken with the spoils of war, now stands in a memorial in Johannesburg remembering the unholy Bush War of 1966 to 1989. In the time where war is peace, who will dare ring the bell announcing the start of the new Jubilee?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Warszawa Knoll

Being an old commonwealth country, we see more monuments for the fallen soldiers of great wars fought in Europe than this simple monument on a grassy knoll that I stumbled upon. The Warszawa Monument is tucked away in a forgotten park and thanks to the augmented reality game Google Ingress, I found it. This holocaust memorial remembers the city of Warsaw in Poland were many civilians lost their lives in the ghetto of Warszawa.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


I am still struggling with a bug and didn't feel like the drive to work in the early hours of the morning. On the way in I saw this pick-up or bakkie as they call it in South Africa struggle on the road. It was overloaded and bulging at the seams with labourers. There must have been about fifteen labourers jammed into that bin. The back wheels were touching the wheel arches. Twice I witnessed the bakkie fail to stop in time and had to swerve to the side to stop colliding into a vehicle in front of it. One traffic police car drove right past it and it was not pulled over. I just stayed well clear of it as the week was still young.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Sunshine Reggae

Carl started with us on Thursday, and as I promised, here is a photograph of Carl, heng pan nail. Why Sunshine Reggae, well because I can, nah that is not it. On the radio last night, "Sunshine Reggae" by Laid Back streamed through the airways and it sort of reminded me of Carl in a ways. No Carl is not Jamaican mon but English with a London accent.

Monday and I am coming down with some flu bug. Maybe it is the medication I am on, but I am sure I am the only one who can understand what I just wrote above.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Three Men in a Boat

"Three men in a boat, to say nothing of the dog" is a book written by Jerome K Jerome in 1889. Why am I using this book in the title of my blog? Uhmmm, well, it is because I have met another Jerome and for the first time since starting this blog, I am putting up a photograph of another Jerome.

At Gary's year past Forty birthday party, I met Gary's other friend called Jerome, as shown in the above photograph with Gary himself photo bombing in the background. We had a lovely afternoon a Grary's place, socialising.

"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing." Jerome K Jerome

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Lynda Body World

Lynda came along with Matthew and I on our quest to reach Level 6 on Ingress. Our goal was Wits University where there were a large number of portals in walking distance from each other. Lynda is shown above watching from the side as Matthew, hacked, attacked, deployed and linked the portals. It wasn't long and we were at level six.

To reward ourselves, we went across to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown to treat ourselves to the Body Worlds Exhibition. Matthew liked seeing the difference between a non-smoker and a smoker's lungs the best. One thing I know walking out there is that I need to exercise a lot more and lose some excess baggage. And that doesn't include dropping my camera at the outside photo area.

Friday, 3 May 2013


Weekend is here after a short week. This weekend didn't come sooner as I need time to recover from my recent holiday. I have come to the conclusion that our cities have too much air, noise and light pollution.

Here is Matthew making the most of his weekend by diving into a game of SimCity with pizza and coke.

Thursday, 2 May 2013


I didn't get much sleep last night after a wonderful time in the Wilderness. Even in the suburbs, the city is very noisy and now I am not used to it anymore.

Back at work I met Litha, shown above, who started working for National Positions on Monday. Carl started today as well but I'll post a photo of him another time. Anyway I am tired as I post this blog post so I will keep it short. Let’s hope tonight I'll get a better night's sleep.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Traveller

Finally Anastasiya and my journey to Baviaanskloof comes to an end as we drove back into Johannesburg. We have had an overwhelming experience in the Wilderness and time has come to come back down to earth, work tomorrow. I will post all the images from the trip in an album on Facebook soon. In the meanwhile time to plan our next adventure.

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