Sunday, 20 August 2017

Does she like it gentle or rough?

Warning explicit content in today’s post!

Craig and Necia hosted a Geeks Board Games Day that their home this afternoon which kicked off with some tasty Thai chicken curry. Thank goodness they cared a little about me and didn’t spike the food with hot chillies as not to take my breath away, literary.

It was a great turnout of friends and family, from left to right is Lynda with granddaughter; Rebekah; Sheena and Jonathan with little Aiden; Craig and Necia; Jessica and Layne; siblings Brendon and Nicole; and finally Robynne with her back to the camera. Not in the photo is Gary who is somewhere, maybe he is on the Iron Throne.

During a break, while sitting in the sun, the conversation strayed into the lands of Westeros as most of us are fans, well most of us except Craig and Necia that is. And then it happened as it tends to do in groups of friends like this. It was during Layne’s man-bun episode that he turned into Euron Greyjoy as he stuck an action figure’s head up the arse of a poor stuffed giraffe. Why Euron the scallywag of Westeros, well it was Euron’s quote "Does she like it gentle, or rough?" in the GoT episode a few weeks back that caused those fateful words to come storming back to memory, “A finger in the bum?”

Anyways we all had a good time at Craig and Necia's, thank you to the hosts and even the cat called Siri enjoyed been pampered by Nicole. Those eyes just say it all!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Dirty Pool

Our swimming pool has been sparkling throughout winter and last night the wind gusted down the valley and caused havoc to the pool. I have forgotten when last we have used the pool, sometime in summer of course but that seems so long ago. Winter tends to keep you out of the water even though the pool water is pumped to solar heaters on the roof.

I think I will need to invest in some sort of pool cover to keep the pool debris free and to stop the water evaporating during the winter months when it is not in use. I am tired of waking up to a dirty pool.

Friday, 18 August 2017


I find myself at another crossroad in my life, not sure which way my life will take me. I had two meetings in Centurion this week and another in the Business Centre of Fourways Design Quarter called Spaces. The left road goes to Centurion and the right to Fourways , both have awesome growth opportunities but would take my life on a different opposite route to the other. I am excited but at the same time nervous. Will one of these two roads be the one?

Just down that passage, two door on the left and maybe, just maybe, it may be the one.

It looks like I have to wait till next week to see if I go left, right, or continue down the road I am already on.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Last Hoorah

The last hoorah of winter has come a little early this year, about 2 weeks early as normally about the 1st of September we get our last cold snap after a dry windy August to herald the end of winter, the final hoorah of winter as I like to call it. Hoorah, hoorah!!

After this cold freezing snap comes a short spring followed hotly on its heals, the summer African thunderstorms. So today as the temperatures plummet, I opt to stay cuddled indoors, warm and cosy along with our pets who like Kittykie our granny cat choose to stay close to the gas heater. Hoorah, hoorah!!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

We Need Answers

Some say that this water crisis that we endured for the last 3 days puts it all in perspective about those who don’t have running water. I agree but we have gotten so used to 1st world luxury of clean running water in South Africa although clean and safe to drink is debatable.

The damaged pipe was repaired late last night and the water was turned back on. It was only just after 6pm that water started flowing through my taps.

  • The questions about the catastrophe of the last 3 days still remain unanswered. Who is responsible for the disaster? The contractor who should have a signed off approval from the City of Joburg and have plans of all the amenities in the area such as a main water artery.  
  • Why didn’t anyone know where to switch off the interconnection water supply sections and their only solution was to drain nearly the entire West Rand? If reports are true which sound crazy, why did they have to drain all the reservoirs? Isn’t there some sort of stop cock on the outlets of the reservoirs? It just doesn’t sound right as I would have drained the pipes but not the reservoirs unless someone had remembered too late to shut them off and the reservoirs ran dry. 
  • Water that goes into our homes turns the meters which we have to pay for the water used but when the pipes where drained back out the meters don’t go backwards do they? Later when the water is re-filled the meter turned again therefore we are paying twice? 
  • As soon as the water was turned back on I got an SMS text from a plumber spamming his services, yes it wasn't long after the water was back on that people were asking on social media for reliable plumbers for burst geysers. Now who is going to pay for these plumbing problems, the contractors who damaged the pipe in the first place?

We need answers, but for now I am thankfully going to enjoy my shower and let this all wash away like a bad memory.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Made in China

Interesting, for a few days now I have seen Chinese nationals working on the Vumatel Fibre backbone. Don’t get me wrong, I want the fibre but why the Chinese? It looks like China Comservice, a subsidiary of the China Telecommunications Corporation, has been sub-contracted by Vumatel to install the fibre optics. This begs the question; don’t we have our own fibre optic installers?

On the way home back from an appointment in Pretoria I saw these 2 Chinese nationals connecting the dark fibre near my home. Okay say we don’t have enough local installers or say we can’t pay them the same we pay the Chinese. I would have imagined at least that we would have some sort of "transfer of knowledge" training on the ground but I didn’t see any local installers with a Chinese educator training our locals. What are we going to do in the future, make a long distance service call to China or is there something I am not seeing.

Another question; are we using "Fong Kong" products or Chinese top of the range products?

Note to some of my readers who are not local, the township slang words "Fong Kong" means something cheap or a copy made in China which will inevitably break sooner than later. I know it might be demeaning to some of my Chinese friends, and I do apologise up front. But take vehicles for example, the Japanese after the war made cars that were very unreliable, terrible in fact and after a few decades they became leaders in vehicle manufacturing with some of the best cars in the world. After a while Korea started making vehicles and it took them half the time to go from rubbish to awesome cars.

Now it is the Chinese turn and I believe their cars which are not so good will be up there with the best within even half time it took Korea. It's a learning curve that is getting shorter and shorter. Look at the cellular industry with majority of cellphone manufacturing now made in China.

Now are these made in China fibre optic equipment installed by the Chinese up there with the best or do we say "Fong Kong" for now as the price was just right?

Monday, 14 August 2017

Franki I don’t give a Damn

Oh boy, yesterday while at Decorex, I heard the news that a contractor had seriously damaged a main water artery in Constantia Kloof, about 10km to the South East from our home. At first I thought that it was too far and not affect us but someone forgot to tell Joburg Water as they decided to turn off all the water supplies across the entire ridge system so that they could drain the site.

Our water pipes ran dry in the early evening and the news coming through the media did not look good. One of the main contractors on site working when the accident occurred was Franki Africa which I assume is the main culprit as no one is giving us any information as to who is responsible. I have a lot of questions as to why I am sitting without water so far from the problem.

  • Who is the contractor responsible for this? 
  • Why didn’t anyone have plans to where this main water artery was? It is a 750mm pipeline for Frankie’s sake, not a small water pipe. 
  • The system is designed interconnected to feed each sector if one reservoir goes down, but surely these interconnecting sections can be isolated and why isn’t there anyone in Joburg Water that knows how to and where to isolate each section from the other as not to affect nearly all the West Rand which is now without water? Come on chaps, really? Did you really have to turn off such a large area?

So news in is that finally the area around the pipe is clear of water and sometime this evening repairs will start. Hopefully if all goes well we will have water again towards the end of tomorrow.

Grrrrrrr !!!! Feel my pain. Frankie Africa, if it was you or whoever the contractor is, I want nothing short of a big public apology and for you to cover any damage costs that might arise from having no water such as burst pipes or damaged geysers for about a week after the water is switched on. I am now inconvenienced big time and I don’t give a damn.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Custom Couches at Decorex

Decorex is one of the elitist décor shows in Johannesburg and it has been a goal for Custom Couches to be at Decorex. Custom Couches started about 3 or 4 years ago as a family furniture business. And they went from strength to strength as the years went by. Being family they asked me to help them this weekend as they heard that it was going to get busy over the weekend and it did. Well done Custom Couches may you continue to grow positively.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Loves the Pixi

I have been asked to help out this weekend at Custom Couches stand at Decorex. More about that on another post but most visitors to the stand just love the Dani cuddle couch and this one the Baby Pixi is a hit with the little ones.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Tiramisu in the Morning

Starting a morning with cake, and not just any cake but Tiramisu cake from Woolies, is divine. Yes this is my bestest favourite cake in all the world even though it is replacing bacon and egg for breakfast. That is until another comes along and dethrones the Tiramisu. Oh just leave me now to savour this blissful moment.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Playing with the Kids

When I walk around in the garden both cats, Minkie and Paddy, join the dogs with daddy. In the one corner of the garden is a Cabbage Tree overlooking the veldt with is a great vantage point for the cats to gaze into the distance. Both Minkie and Paddy always race up the tree and try get daddy to play with them which I do but with a leaf else I would injure myself.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Holy Sewerage

The title says it all, holy sewerage. A month ago I wrote about raw sewerage flowing into the stream that flows through the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens and I also mentioned about the itinerants cutting down trees in the area.

The biggest problem is that this stream forms the boundary between 2 municipalities, Mogale City and City of Joburg which causes jurisdiction problems and this stream is very critical in terms of bio habitats as well as religiously. It is the source of the Crocodile River and the biodiversity in this area astoundingly exceeds all expectations for such a small area. Both my articles got a lot of exposure with the media getting hold of them. The first one even reached the desk of the mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba. It even got me into environmental circles that I would have never dreamed of being in. What next, I suppose next is Green Peace.

Firstly a report back on the raw sewerage. We were told by the council members and heads of sanitation of both Mogale City and City of Joburg that the leaks have been fixed. With a lot of people watching, Andreas Oberlechner, chair person of the Roodekrans Neighbourhood Watch organised a walk down into the kloof this morning hoping lots would attend since it being a public holiday. He invited all the necessary people along so that they can see for themselves the beauty of the Witpoortjie Kloof, which I am told that this kloof is called, and inspect the repair work. But sadly the offer was not taken up by many and only the Friends of Kloofendal and myself took up the offer.

Okay that was the bad news now for the good, the kloof is sewerage free, yay! All the leaks have been repaired and unblocked. New manhole covers have replaced the broken and missing. The broken sewer pipe has been repaired. Good news everywhere we checked. All we need now is some good rains to wash the residue build up away. Never has so much been done, so quickly by so few. Now for some more name dropping, thank you to the councillors Suzanne Clark and Antoinette Fourie from City of Joburg and Mogale City along with the respective environmental and water management teams for getting their hands dirty and fixing the environmental mess, South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the community forums, environmental groups, and the media. A big thank you to all as no more raw sewerage is flowing into the National Botanical Gardens. We will keep monitoring the situation.

Now for the Holy part of my article today. Since it is a public holiday, pilgrims came flooding into the kloof to drink and fetch the holy water of the springs that are at the head of the kloof. Yes we have Holy Water flowing out of the rocks. Previously I thought it was just the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) coming down to the water but today my eyes were opened as I questioned a lot of the pilgrims. They were from all different types of faith, not only the ZCC but the apostolic faith churches, and even the Emmanuel Mission from Soweto were represented. I have seen the traditional healers, sangomas, and inyangas here too but not today.

This pilgrim just came out of the old flooded mineshaft fetching freezing cold Holy Water

Now I don’t mind the pilgrims because the water is for all South Africans, as long as we keep it clean. I must say that the pilgrims were very thankful that the sewerage spills had been fixed but my problem now is the amount of litter left down in the kloof, cutting down of indigenous trees for firewood, and the invasive alien plants.

As for the indigenous tree cutting, I even saw some pilgrims bringing in their own firewood from outside which is good, even better is to cut down all the invasive wattle trees. I asked about the litter and they fervently denied they were the culprits, but okay never mind who is doing it, let’s find a solution to clean it up and prevent it from happening. Another question which I never asked the pilgrims but voiced my concern with my fellow hikers, what about the pilgrims ablutions. Where do they go? In the holy waters?

We can only do this together. We need to work together with the pilgrims, the political parties in charge of Mogale City and City of Joburg, SANBI, the community forums, environmental groups, and the locals living in the area such as myself. We can do it. We can make this kloof along with its holy waters a place for all to come and find God in whatever form they believe even if their god is nature and mother earth.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017


Okay it was the first time I ever heard this word "switcheroo" used. It sounded intriguing in the context it was used, the black eagles did a switcheroo. Huh? After getting back home, I just had to look up if this was a real word, sorry Andrew, it is, switcheroo: a sudden, unexpected variation or reversal. It is colloquially used in reference to an act of swapping two objects. Wow switcheroo was even in my spell check. Well you learn a new word every day, thanks Andrew for this new word.

Tomorrow I have another hike down into the kloof to check on the repairs to stop the raw sewerage leaks that have been flowing for quite some time now into the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens. Now my light hiking shoes have not fared well over the years and I did a switcheroo. See what I did there, got my old replaced by a new pair but NOOO that is not quite what switcheroo means.

I had to go to 2 different conservation meetings this afternoon at the Botanical Gardens, with representatives from the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, Botanical Society of South Africa, Wild Orchids of Southern Africa, Proteadal Conservation Association, and the Black Eagle Project, just to drop names. And it was at the first meeting when I was asking about the Black Eagle pair that are currently nesting at the gardens that the word switcheroo was used by Andrew the chief horticulturist at the Botanical Gardens.

When the Botanical Gardens was established in 1982, there was a pair of Black Eagles nesting near the waterfall. Reports of this female dated way back to early 70s with the males changing 3 times over the years. The latest male showed up in 1999 as a young 4 year old eagle. Last year no eagles nested which was a big let down and then this year the pair of black eagles showed up and started building the nest again but it was only the male building the old nest with the female starting an entire new nest further away from the waterfall. It was only by April that a switcheroo was discovered. A new young female had replaced the old 40 year old female.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Not too Shabby

Not too shabby, Nigel, if I must say so myself. This morning I had to go to a job interview and thank goodness I had a suit that fitted.

About a month ago I went to a friend’s funeral, and tragically I found that my suit jacket did not fit anymore. The wiser you get, the more encompassing you get. Thank goodness round is a shape. That very next week I went out and searched high and low for a suit that would fit me.

And now this...

The day I finally get to wear the new suit, I feel like I am the emperor wearing his new clothes, not too shabby. Now you just have to imagine me wearing my new threads while zipping through downtown traffic on my red Vespa.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Cat's in the Cradle

Who was singing "cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon" to me yesterday? Uhmmm I can't remember, maybe it was Bradley, my memory is going but for now we have a cat called Princess in a tub rather than a cradle. After a rather busy Saturday of board games, I needed a day of rest just to catch up before hitting Monday running.

So while I rest still nursing my headache that just doesn't seem to leave me in peace, my thoughts go out my son, Matthew. He would have enjoyed yesterday’s board games, pity that he is so far away. I had a good chat with Anika during our board games, as her son Brendon also wants to go the Belgium Campus iTversity too, oh well I better put the feelers out to friends and family in Belgium to find out more about this university. I only want the best for my boy who is growing up just like me.

The words of my beloved granny came flooding back with the words "silver spoon", as I remember her once saying that she wasn't born with a silver spoon in her mouth but a wooden spoon on her arse. Oh dear what is going wrong with me today as my thoughts are jumping from one note to another and not in a portamento kind of way. And now to that day way back in Kokstad, when I was a little boy washing dishes, and my sister complained that I was not rinsing the soap suds off. After warning me twice, my dad jumped up in frustration of my whining sister and grabbed the closest thing to use to give a hiding, which was a wooden spoon. It broke and I burst out laughing not to my arse's benefit I must say as it just intensified my punishment.

Oh my memories now start to fade, as in darkness I begin to mumble the words of the song over a splitting headache...

In not too far distance I too will be singing this song, which I can’t get out of my mind today, when you coming home, son. I don’t know when but we’ll get together then, you know we’ll have a good time then.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Timeless Board Games

Yay, it is that time of month again for the Board Game Party hosted by Timeless Board Games. Yesterday I felt a cold coming along but I overdosed with medication and vitamins and took the day off. Shoje, thank goodness I didn’t need a doctor’s note for yesterday’s duvet day.

Today, armed with a slight headache, that only boards games can cure, it was off to Bedfordview for the day of board games with my geeky friends, Jonathan, Robynne, Gary, Anika, Brandon, Craig, Necia, and Layne. I must say that at the end of the day I was exhausted but I thoroughly enjoyed the day except that part when the only food truck catering for us geeks ran out of food.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Duvet Day

I don’t know what happened this morning. As I woke up it this morning, I found that the weather had turned from the usual beautiful winter weather to a miserable overcast kind of day, brrrr, I think I will stay in bed today. I hope that I am not coming down with a bug. I better take some boost vitamins.

Now who can I call to say that I am declaring today a duvet day? Bring it on Friday!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Add a Cat

Sunsets can be good but add a cat to the mix and it becomes awesome. Okay I know Gary said no more cat posts but I can’t help myself. You see cats become great fillers when I don’t have any controversial posts which I am trying to line up a few. So here is Minky vying for my attention while I sit on my patio, enjoying yet another sunset.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Roodekrans Sunsets

Yip Roodekrans is in Africa, hence the spectacular sunsets from my very own patio. Somehow I don’t think I am able to write long posts everyday, sorry Gary, I know that you want more meatier posts with less cats and sunsets. But my long controversial posts of late seem to get more traction. Oh well I better start looking for some ideas or topics of more longer posts. I have 1 post in mind that might stir up the masses but to do this I have to hike back down into the kloof a few times and find the action I am thinking about. Time to do this is a problem but for now I will contend putting my feet up and enjoy the beauty of the African sunset.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Niche Breakfast

After yesterdays rant, I think that I need a breather, so today a shorter post.

Because of the viral nature my raw sewerage post went, I somehow have fallen into the camp of the conservation, not a bad place to be in, I must say so myself. So now we are fighting for the Greater Roodekrans Ridge Conservancy from King’s Kloof to Constantia Kloof. I phoned a friend today about Crowd Funding on another environmental project, this friend has always been adamant that my blogs have been far too short, said to me on the phone, that I have now found my niche for my blog; no more cat photos said my friend. Oh dear.

Anyway, today I had to see my client, Metalcross for our monthly debriefing sessions and after waiting for a while, it was cold this morning, Frank, the owner phoned to apologise and invited me to meet him for breakfast. Now I can’t say no to breakfast, how can I. It was a good breakfast although I didn't quite know what that green fried leaves in the mini bucket were for.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Cheap and Nasty

It is the last day of July and finally the timber poles are being erected in my street for the fibre rollout in Helderkruin, Roodekrans, and Wilro Park suburbs of Roodepoort. Just 1 month to go to the Go-Live date, and I am excited as a pig in Philistine but there is already such a who ah about it in the social media, that I feel I should give my 2 cents worth.

So as the lines are being drawn into the social sand, I feel it is a little too late to change the current course and do I want to... nah. We have be watching the fibre roll outs in other suburbs with a enviousness that could amount me moving to greener connected areas. A few months back this all changed as on the 14 June the company Vumatel and the local community met to discuss the matter of rolling out fibre here. This is what I know but please correct me if I am wrong. There are a few companies rolling out fibre into the neighbourhoods. Vuma one of the leading companies was bought out by Fibrehoods and formed Vumatel.

Like the rest of the fibre backbone companies the race was on, Vumatel operating under the profit principle are looking for areas of higher returns to roll out the fibre first, hence we are way down the list as there are more single stand dwellings compared to multi units such as town houses and clusters in Roodekrans, plus to make things worse it is very rocky here especially where I live.

Anyway, at the June meeting, Vumatel said that they only considered this area viable if they go aerial. This means that they will with the blessing of the City of Joburg, use the existing street light poles to run fibre aerially to each home and put where there is no street light poles these treated timber poles. Now this is where someone stood up and said that they have seen Vumatel’s aerial installations in Constantia Kloof and to them the aerial route is "cheap and nasty" and I quote verbatim. Cheap and nasty, wow that was rather harsh but I understand as in our area only one side of the road has street lights and the other side, well they would need the timber poles.

This small vocal group argued that digging trenches and lying the fibre underground was a better solution as aerial destroyed the beauty of the suburbs. Telkom laid trenching why couldn’t Vunmatel? But they are forgetting that Telkom was forced to trench as copper cable theft was rife and they were loosing money. In fact Telkom too is now installing aerial in Kloofendal. The nature of fibre optics does not have any monetary valve for thieves hence aerial is the cheaper, cost effective, and faster way.

Playing the Devil’s Advocate here, I would like to state for the other side of the coin, have you seen Vumatel’s trenching solution in Randpark Ridge? It took way too long and while digging trenches the sub-contractors cut power and water lines left right and centre.

Holding us by the short and curlies, Vumatel stated at the June meeting that they have only considered aerial in this area, trenching to them is a no go and they would look somewhere else more profitable. After a bit of back and forth, the final consensus was that fibre is needed and we cannot wait for another few years before another company comes along to offer us a trench solution. So yay we were given a Go-Live date of end of August, I can't wait.

For me trenching would be ideal but at what cost and when. So roll on the cheap and nasty please, we can argue about the semantics later.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

I laugh at the face of naps

It is the last day of the Winter Exhibition at Nirox, which means we are now officially heading towards spring but first it is the dry winds of August that must come, as it sweeps the chaff of winter away before the coming summer rains. Ahhh the African rains, how the African land now starts yearning for the blessing of the summer storms.

Robynne and Rebekah decided to join Lynda and I on this beautiful winter’s day for a relaxed stroll around Nirox and they both thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Even little grand-daughter who was wearing a shirt that had “I laugh at the face of naps” printed on it, was running around enjoying the different and strange art work hidden all around Nirox. After this granddad needs a nap and its no laughing matter.

Being outside in the fresh air, in a stunning landscaped garden, far from the blustering crowds just does a lot of good to one’s body and spirit.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Erotic Nature

I must confess that I have a weakness for orchids, for they are to me the most sensual yet charismatic flowers of the plant kingdom, the yin and yang so to speak. Nature’s erotic beauty is so breathtaking that my words will not do justice so I will let the orchids speak for themselves.

If you are quick these beauties plus many more can be found at the Orchid Lovers’ Fair now being held at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden, here in Johannesburg, this weekend.

This morning I walked into the small hall packed with prize winning orchids, and the perfume from these arousing displays just hit me between the eyes. I just wanted to find a quiet corner, lie down and breathe it all in.

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