Saturday, 31 May 2008

Sushi and more sushi

Carol, Matthew and I took Maxy to Emmarentia. While Carol sat on a bench overlooking a tranquil dam Matthew and I took Maxy for a walk. In the evening we took Francis to Dong Sheng, a sushi bar where for only R110 each we can each as much sushi as we can.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Mai Ling and Francis

The marketing department of Metrorail gave me a coffee maker as a gift for all the hard work I put into their projects. When I arrived home with this large box, I was surprised to find Mai Ling and her son Francis visiting. Francis is leaving next week to go back to China for good. We will miss him and the great food that he cooks. Matthew wants to go to Shanghai and visit him next year.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Man cub

It was take a girl child to work today which was started by a company called CellC. Although it was initiated to try bring equality to the workplace, I feel that it is very sexist. So much so I took my son, Matthew to work today. Many thought he was a girl and when I told them that he wasn’t they did not believe me. One even went so far to tell me that they know a girl when they see one. Well it must have been his long hair that led them astray. Anyway we went with all the girl childs to tour Metrorail’s Rolling Stock yards. Here is one of the female train technicians holding some of the girls undivided attention.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Sun vs Rain

The sun tried to break through this morning but to no avail. By afternoon dark storm clouds rolled in from the south-west. I managed to get home from Metrorail before the rain and cold returned.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Sherlock Homes

The cold has set in and Maxy refuses to wonder far from the heater. It was Metrorail all day today and I tried to keep warm by drinking lots of coffee. I brought some Nescafe Rich French Vanilla coffee from Canada to Metrorail today. Jose was smitten, so much so that he wants a few bottles for himself. Okay now what? I can’t find in the stores here in South Africa. So I did what any good detective would do. I emailed a good friend of mine that works at Nestle and he said that he will get back to me with the coffee product manager’s name. The scent grows warm.

Monday, 26 May 2008


I was off the Aqua Online to finish up the Sun International work. Ten out of the eighteen Sun International casinos have finally been added to the Sun Images system. Here is Matshido busy keeping the MTN touch screens up and running.

A Duvet Day

The cold front rain has set in. Carol and her mom climb under the duvet to watch TBN and keep warm. Sun International kept me busy behind the computer all day and late into the evening.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

A pile of clothes

A cold front has finally brought winter. I sat behind the computer all day today doing Sun International work while Carol got a bee under her bonnet and started separating clothes to take to the displaced foreigners. These are people who for example fled Zimbabwe because of the violence only to find that the local South Africa blacks were just as bad. Thousands of women and children are camped around police stations for safety. The call has gone out for baby food, bread, peanut butter, blankets and clothes.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Edutrain again

It is Edutrain day again, this time there are over 600 kids from two schools in the Vaal. Metrorail took the kids to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown. The kids enjoyed the trip but I felt that there was too many children to effectively go through the displays with them.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Joyce's turn

I found the Champions League game between Chelsea and Manchester quite boring last night that I turned off the TV at full time but before the extra time. Tired as I was, I spent the day catching up on work that I am behind with at Metrorail. Joyce came round this evening to visit and try out Carol’s new coaches.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Carol and Coaches

The weather is getting colder here in Johannesburg. My day was spent between Metrorail and Toyota Lexus working on their intranet and website. I spent the most time on designing the poster/flyer for the 14 June rugby match between South Africa and Wales. Here is Carol enjoying her new coaches that she unwrapped yesterday. They arrived last week Tuesday and I left them in their plastic wrapping because I knew Carol would enjoy the unwrapping.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The Planetarium

Getting to Metrorail this morning, I was pleasantly surprised by a trip to the Johannesburg Planetarium organised by the Edutrain. Marketing had over 400 primary school children coming in from Mapumalanga by busses to Pretoria. From there they caught the Edutrain to Park Station, then more buses to the planetarium. The kids loved the outing to the big city and the teachers did a sterling job keeping the kids in order.

Monday, 19 May 2008

They back

The family arrive back from their month holiday in style, each with their own set of wheels. They visited Netherlands, Belgium, France and Canada. Before they landed, I had to make sure that our home was all in order. Matthew was so happy to see me and Maxy (well I think he was). Carol and Matthew had so much to say about the trip that I only got to bed the following morning.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Smile you’re on Jerome’s Blog

Here is Angi putting on her best face. We were just about to lunch together with the Impendulo outreach team when the photo was taken. No is wasn't that bad, in fact it was quite interesting listening to them talk about their experiences in KwaZulu-Natal. I must say Richard and his team are doing a wonder job down there.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Huge Pothole

This huge pothole has been here since I got back from Europe two weeks ago and has still not been fixed. If it wasn’t for some industrious person who put up this sign, I would have driven into it many times. I am starting to wonder if it will ever be repaired.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Beauty for Ashes

Hey it’s Friday and my last weekend home alone. What can I do? Well to kick it off I had to pick up Thembi, Emmelinah and Francis up after the start of “Beauty for Ashes Women’s Conference”. They had managed to catch a taxi there but had no lift back. While I was driving them home, they were all babbling like young girls, telling me of their experiences that evening. I am sure they will be talking about it for a long time to come. As a matter of fact, they are planning next years one.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The chicken rules

Today I am perfecting the presentation for parliament, making it slicker. It is about the launch of Metrorail’s Business Expresses. It puts the Minister of Transport in a good light because we are on track for the 2010 (excuse my pun). Anyway the usual four of us, that is Willie, José, Leon and I ambled across to Park Station for lunch. Our usual stop is Chicken Licken. Here are the ladies at Chicken Licken making sure that I get the best choice of chicken.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Early bird

I am at Metrorail before sunrise and out of there by 3pm. This assures me of missing the rush hour traffic. Today a metro bus, FGG 422 GP, nearly had a collision with me. It drove like a yobbo, cutting people off and turning right from the wrong lane. I took a photo of it but found my photo of Gautrain’s construction site at sunrise much better to post. Oh yes, before I forget, my presentation that I made so late last Thursday night has been selected to be shown at parliament in Cape Town.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Same old same old

My contract at Metrorail is still on going with no change in scenery in sight. I proposed a repository for company images as they are always getting lost. I think this will stand me in good stead. Here is Willie and José on their way to lunch.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Toys and Offspring

After a good relaxing weekend, I found myself back at Metrorail. The day just dragged on and on and on. You know when you get a song in your head that just stays there, well I had the tune of “Why don’t you get a job” by Offspring banging through my head all day. At least I have this blog to come back to. Here is a photo of Toys, a colleague who works at Metrorail. I still need to ask him about his out of the ordinary name, I will come back to you when I do.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Mother's Day and no celebration

Mother’s day with me far away from Carol and Matthew started quietly. Later I met up with some friends and even later I took Maxy for a walk in the park again. This time he was a little naughty and would only selectively hear me. Here is Angie and Gary who hopefully will be parents soon; well I hope so.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Maxy meets Zorro

I took Maxy for a walk at Emmarentia and here we met Zorro. Well not the mask bandit from Mexico but a beautiful bridle and white whippet. Zorro was double the size and weight than Maxy, a Italian Greyhound, and was a bit daunting for Maxy at first. Soon both were like brothers exploring everywhere together but every now and then the whippet’s strong prey instinct comes out and Maxy dashes for the cover of my legs by out turning Zorro.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Braai day

Today was Magda’s farewell held at Metrorail’s Rolling stock yard. Here is Greg and Magda during the braai. I didn’t stay too long and found myself at David and Di’s house. Di was away for the evening on a girl’s night out so David, looking after his son Luke, asked me to stay and invited one of his colleagues who is also called Greg. David bought this massage Texan steak from the butcher and Greg made a salad. So we boys spent the evening in a sort of primal way, braaing meat on the fire and drinking very good whiskey.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Beware of the Bar One

Okay, the Bar One curse mentioned in my post on 21 February may be true. Yesterday I was a little upset that I could not go to the launch of the Tshwane Business Express so I ate a Bar One in the ICT department. Chocolate helps to settle me down, well I love to think so. Anyway just after supper in the early evening I got a phone call from Metrorail informing me that someone a got a bright idea that a DVD slide show would be just the thing for the launch which was happening at 6am the next morning. So I needed to come in straight away and make one. It is good to be needed but not like this. Everything that could go wrong did. My computer kept on crashing (found out today that my CPU was over heating), tried another computer which I had to load the program only to found out the DVD burner was not working and I had to write the DVD on a third computer. I only got home at 2am this morning. After a little sleep I was back at Metrorail as if nothing had ever happened.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The rush

I’m back at Metrorail with everyone rushing around before the launch of the Tshwane Business Express tomorrow. Everything has to be working perfectly as the Minister of Transport will be at the launch. Even Karibo was running around as usual doing things at the last minute.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The bump back to reality

When I arrived home in the early hours of this morning, Maxy, my Italian Greyhound, was all tails and overjoyed to see me. Today was spent just catching up on things, chasing payments and lots of time in the bank. It is back to the grindstone tomorrow.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Homeward bound

Carol, Matthew and I took the Inter City train to Schiphol and there we separated. My flight back to South Africa was already boarding while Carol’s and Matthew’s flight to Canada was at 2:10 in the afternoon. While half the passengers were through the final boarding check in and I was just about to go through, the boarding gates changed. The custom officials closed the gates while they tried to sort out what was happening. The aeroplane we were supposed to fly on had an engine problem so a new plane had to be brought out. All the baggage, food, water and cargo had to transferred from the broken plane. After a two hour delay I was onboard and fuelling started. They announced us to stay seated, unbuckled and follow any of the air hostesses instructions. Finally we took off and on my way to South Africa. Soon after takeoff, it was announced that the new plane had over 100 more seats than the fully booked old one and that we could sit anywhere. I found myself three empty seats and made myself comfortable, very comfortable. As standard the food was very good but the flight very long. I arrived back at Johannesburg at 11:45pm only to be told that my luggage was still in Amsterdam. Not a good ending but anyway what can I do? So I briskly sailed past the sole sleeping policeman at customs and was home before I knew it.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Ammersoyen Castle

Matthew and I visited my sister Raquel, her husband Ronnie and their daughter Judith who stay in Ammerzoden. After lunch we rode bicycles around the town and countryside. We stopped by Ammersoyen Castle which was built around 1350 and some ruins of an old church. The sun was out and the ride in the countryside was fun.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

De Grote Kerk

Visiting the local Market at Dordrecht started with us catching the Waterbus across the Beneden Merwede River from Papendrecht. We then walked along the Wijnhaven looking at the beautiful boats moored in the canal and small shops in Voorstraat. Soon we reached the Grote Kerk, which the building of started 600 years ago. It has the largest carillon in Europe and took us 275 steps to climb to the top of the tower which housed the carillon. Here we took quite a few photographs of Dordrecht and surrounding areas. We then walked down the Nieuwe Haven and through Scheffersplein and found a quaint pofferties and pannekoeker restaurant in an alleyway where we had lunch. We finally reached our destination, the market in Statenplein. While we here I need to post a photo of our kind hosts Irene, Graham and their family. Here is Carol (hu hum notice her wheels), Matthew, Heather, Mom, Irene and Graham outside the Grote Kerk in Dordrecht.

Friday, 2 May 2008


Today is tourist day. Off we went to the Kindedijk. This is a group of 19 windmills built from 1738 to discharge access water into the Lek River. The windmills or is it windpumps form an impressive symbol of the Dutch struggle against the encroaching water. A steam pump was then built in 1868 and converted to electricity in 1924. The windpumps are still in working, keeping the Alblasserwaard dry.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

First Class

It is back to Netherlands for us. We caught the RER from Marne la Vallée to Châtelet Les Halles, then jump across to the train to Gare du Nord. It is a beautiful old station but had plenty of beggers accosting the tourists. Here we took the Thalys high speed train to Rotterdam first class, which was much better than flying. With good food, wine and company, the journey was soon over. After a short Inter City train and bus hop, we were home. Well sort of.

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