Thursday, 31 August 2017

Fire Lily

It is the last day of autumn and tomorrow it will be officially spring. Being at home the whole day today I decided to make today’s post about my garden which is looking dry and shrivelled up after winter.

In the front of my garden I found some lilies which look like the Lilium bulbiferum. Really, I hope it is not as this plant which is also commonly known as the fire or tiger lily is extremely toxic to cats. And we have cats. Eish, not good, not good at all.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Matric Valedictory

Tonight was Matthew’s last High School function, his Matric Valedictory evening. After this, comes his Prelims, a break, then Final Exams. And that is it Matthew will be finished with High School and he will be off to University.

Tether your soul to me
I will never let go completely
One day your hands will be
Strong enough to hold me

Oh boy time has flown since Matthew was born. Now Matthew is taller than me, let’s hope he stays thin and not follow in his dad’s footsteps.

I might not be there for all your battles
But you'll win them eventually
I'll pray that I'm giving you all that matters
So one day you'll say to me

Lynda and I had to rush over to the other side of Johannesburg, where Matthew’s Matric Valedictory was being held, the main hall at Ashton International College in Benoni. Thankfully traffic wasn’t too bad and we made it with plenty of time to spare.

I am not my mistakes
And God knows I've made a few
I started to question the angels
And the answer they gave was you

I cannot promise there won't be sadness
I wish I could take it from you
But you'll find the courage to face the madness
And sing it because it's true

Well done Matthew, I am very proud of you and hopefully you who say these words from Robbie Williams song "Love my Life"...

I love my life
I am powerful
I am beautiful
I am free
I love my life
I am wonderful
I am magical
I am me
I love

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Three Clay Friends

On the way down to the beach last month we stopped overlooking the Sterkfontein Dam. I remember it was a very windy day and there were 2 hawkers plying their trade at the tourist stop. Because it was so windy, not many tourists were stopping, Lynda felt sorry for the 2 hawkers, and bought these 3 clay animals, a porcupine, an elephant, and a warthog.

Still to this day we haven’t found an ideal place for them but in the meantime, these 3 clay friends live on top of the bar along with the TARDIS from my birthday cake. We don't have names for them yet, so their naming is now open to my readers.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Weimar Republic

The side of my house is starting to look like the Weimar Republic, full of holes being dug only to be filled again.

In April my side kitchen drain got blocked up due to roots and now again in August, 5 months later it is blocked again. Trio Plumbing was called out and at first they did not succeed it getting past the roots. Oh dear so many trees in my yard but I think I have identified the tree responsible.

To help find another inspection eye as mine are all hidden under ground I got my gardener to dig in strategic areas according to the plans but sadly after 4 holes dug, no sewer was found. Either the builders put the sewer in a different place than to the plans or we are not going deep enough.

Anyway finally after the plumbers got a bigger machine they got through the roots. Now to make double sure where the pipes are in the future and to correctly identify the tree causing the problem I will need to organise a camera to be put down the sewer line.

I better start filling up those holes again. Why the Weimar Republic, well during the 2 world wars, Germany was named the Weimar Republic. While the Great Depression was in full swing, hyperinflation and unemployment was rife in Germany.

It was in this economic crisis that the unemployed were organised into teams where one team set out to dig holes and then the next day another team arrived just to refill the holes, all in an effect to keep the destitute working even though money was worthless at the time. This became a fertile breeding ground for the Nazis.

Seeing the fruitless holes that were dug with no success, knowing that I need to come the next day and refill them, reminded me of the Weimar Republic.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

What have I got in my pocket?

After getting Lynda’s car washed, buying new plants, we ended up in the garden for an afternoon of pottering around. The dogs, Jade and Maxy, the 2 Italian Greyhounds, and the 2 rescue dogs Podge the Jack Russell cross with a Pug and Mr Wiggles, formerly know as Pup and who knows what he is, well they all were hanging around hoping for a treat which are always to be found in one of Lynda's pockets. "What have I got in my pocket?" asked Lynda

"Not fair! not fair!" cried the dogs in unison quoting Gollum, "It isn't fair, my precious, is it, to ask us what it's got in it's nassty little pocketsess?" Well it didn't quite happen that way and I am using artistic licence to embellish what was going through their little brains.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

No Hooting Please Flick Lights

It is the end of an era as the Doll House Roadhouse which has been an iconic symbol for many since 1936 is going to be demolished at the end of this month. I was last there over a decade ago and even then it wasn’t much to write home about as the area has degraded over time.

There was a public campaign to save the Doll House and its memories but here we are just a week to go and the Doll House will be no more. So over the last few weekends and this one, groups of old timers congregated at the Doll House for one last hamburger with greasy fries and a double thick milkshake.

Lynda and I, psyched ourselves up, and drove across into town for a last roadhouse meal and milkshake at the Doll House but when we arrived there it was packed. By packed I mean cars were parked up and down the street and people were queuing to order at the window. What happened to sitting in your car, window half rolled down with a steel try attached, and eating greasy roadhouse food?

It look like most of Joburg wanted a roadhouse meal one last time, No hooting please flick lights and a waiter (not in roller skates) will come take your order. A Blondie with a double thick lime milkshake please.

In the end, it was just too crowded for us and we just had to move along. Sad in a way but we just don’t do crowds very well and so we ended up at the Turn ‘n Tender on William Nicol for a good wholesome ribeye steak and beer. Cheers Doll House!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Pink Power

I bought Lynda a Romoss 20,000mAh Power Bank for Christmas last year and a few weeks back it started giving hassle. The power bank was charging up but was not charging any devices, odd, maybe some loose connection. It was just over 6 months old so I took it back to Makro, the place where I bought it, and they forwarded it to be checked out by the supplier. On Wednesday, I got a SMS from Makro, that it was issuing me a refund, more likely they could not fix the problem. I need to replace the power bank as Lynda is currently using mine.

Still not feeling 100% and starting to feel a little down, yes I know that it is Friday, so the only thing to get me back up in the spirits is a little retail therapy but first to I had to sort out Lynda’s power bank.

I got the refund but Makro did not have any stock of the Romoss 20,000mAh Power Bank, so I settled for 2 pink power banks. Although they both were only 5,000mAh power banks, they were pink which means not only girl power but they won’t get mixed up with my white one. Yay no more arguments about getting the power banks mixed up.

Thursday, 24 August 2017


In the early hours of this morning I woke with a double whammy, a migraine and a sinus headache all rolled into the perfect storm.

Somehow I crawled out of bed and arrived at a client expecting a full day session but luckily for me it turned out only an hour’s work. And by midday I was back home, medicated and in bed.

I woke sometime late afternoon with the weak winter sun warming up my room and 2 cats, Minky and Paddington, keeping me company. The perfect wingmen or should I say wingcats.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Veldt Rejuvenation

After the veldt fire a month ago, the veldt has started rejuvenating. New life is and green shoots are sprouting everywhere I look, Yay! I took a walk around this afternoon just enjoying the last of the warm winter sun before spring which officially arrives next week. The birds were singing while the late nest builders were scurrying along building their nests. The busy bees were collecting pollen from the few colourful small flowers that were scattered around the rocky veldt.

And the air was clean, after yesterday’s dust storm, which was a worry but I was way too busy sorting out my electricity to even worry about it. Yesterday an almighty wind blew across the dry land blowing a dust storm of note and hiding the sun from the city of Johannesburg. The worry part is that the wind picks up the fine dust particles of the mine dumps which a lot are radioactive on the West Rand and carries this radioactive dust and dumps it onto the city. Yep it is a problem. But today the air is clean and crisp.

I was enjoying my afternoon in the veldt until I saw this. Yes the Protea trees are still getting destroyed at an alarming rate for firewood. People are still staying overnight in caves and hollowed out hovels in the veldt for religious reasons. When are we going to stop this wanton destruction?

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Electricity Disconnection

Eish at about 1 o’ clock the power went off. I went outside to find 2 sub-contractors from City Power disconnecting my electricity due to my account with the City of Joburg in arrears.

What the Heck! Lynda is sick in bed with the flu and now this!

Now we have a dispute due to our water being so high which has being ongoing for quite a long time now but why cut my electricity? Why?

Customer Electricity Disconnection Card Level 2 was stuck on my gate. It stated that "the service to this premise has been disconnected as the account is in areas or no agreement has been signed with the City of Joburg. Please be advised to pay the account and produce receipt and Identity Document to any Customer Service Centres, or fax proof of payment and Disconnection Card to 011-358-3164 or 011-358-3110. As a result of this termination advice, and in terms of the credit Control by-law, you may be subjected to the new deposit criteria and costs of reconnection fees." Again what the heck, they can’t shut my electricity off as I have my account red flagged and under investigation. I have been told that we need to pay the regular amount every month which we have been doing religiously and never missed a payment, now this.

In a panic, I try to get hold of Suzanne, my councillor for our area who has heard my case and has put it forward to the powers that be to get it sorted out. But she must be busy because I could not get hold of her, so I rush over to the Civic Centre and while waiting in the queue, Suzanne contacted me back and requested that I send a copy of the Disconnection Notice to her and she will get it sorted. It wasn’t long when Suzanne's right hand woman, Busi, was on the phone with me, apologising and saying that my electricity should not have been cut and she sent an email for it to be reconnected today.

By six o’ clock I had to calm myself down and resolve that I have to spend the night in darkness and hopefully sometime in the morning the electricity service to my home would be turned back on. Nou gaan ons braai! I put 2 rib eye steaks on the braai, while Lynda cooked with gas in the kitchen. It wasn’t long and we sat down to an awesome romantic dinner by candle light.

It wasn’t long after dinner that the lights came back on. I rushed back outside and found the same 2 sub-contractors reconnecting me. It is just after 7pm and thank you for coming through this evening and rectifying the error disconnection. An hour and a half later Suzanne contacted me to find out if I had being sorted out. Wow now that is dedication. Thank you all for fixing the mistake speedily and if I could I would invite you all over for the braai but sadly I only put 2 steaks on the grill.

Monday, 21 August 2017

John the Poolman

I felt sickened whenever I glanced over towards my pool and couldn’t wait for John my gardener to arrive today for him to work his magic on my pool. From this condition back to a sparkling pool, I would like to say that John just waved his hands over the waters and it miraculously changed but he does now what he is doing, garden and pool wise. After this I might have to change his title from Gardener to the poolman.

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.

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