Monday, 30 April 2012

Queues and more queues

Today seemed a perfect day just to ride to nowhere. Typical of a Johannesburg winter's day, today there was not a cloud in sight. So I mounted Sophia and rode in the opposite direction that I should have. I rode into town. My first stop was the Vehicle Licensing Department in Randburg and I was not expecting the queue to be out of the door, yes it looks like everyone living in Joburg had the same idea. Waiting in this queue, I saw the spirit of Jozi. A black lady offered up her seat for a pregnant white lady and stayed with her chatting about babies, smiling and laughing. This is my Johannesburg.

An hour later I was out of there and walked into Multichoice only to find another queue snaking its way inside of the building. Luckily this queue was only half an hour of time wasting then it was off to the Randburg Vehicle Testing Station, at first no queue was visible and I was happily jumping through all the hoops until I reach Building B and hit another queue. The delay was that there was only one operator using the eNaTis system and many people had also decided that today was a good day to do all the mundane things. eNaTiS is the electronic National administration Traffic information System but what I don't understand is why this acronym has alternative Upper and Lower case letters. Anyway I spent only half an hour in this queue here then I headed back home to put my feet up, enjoy the rest of my day off and continue with the rest of my long weekend. Ah the good life in Johannesburg.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

Today started slow as I woke up too late thereby missing two morning appointments. Oh well last night's party was a good excuse. After lunch I was starting to feel restless, looking for something to do. Then I remembered the Joburg Photowalkers' Autumn Walk at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens in the afternoon.

So there I found myself, sipping champagne in the beautiful sculptured botanical gardens in the west of Johannesburg. From the grasslands to the craggy cliffs where the Verreaux's Eagles nest next to the Witpoortjie waterfall, the botanical garden is stunning. Ah a top up of champagne is needed in my Ben 10 paper cup, only happens to the Joburg Photowalkers.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Tonight we celebrated Paulo’s 40th birthday but now I am also a bit confused as this evening Paulo said that his 40th is only next year. Does that mean we get another party? Anyway Palo and Shani invited their friends and family to celebrate with them Paulo's whatever his age at the African restaurant Moyo in Melrose and what a vibe it was.

The drums were beating with the sounds of celebration as the fattened cow was slaughtered and we feasted and danced the night away. The food at Moyo was good, the African rhythms catchy and the company of friends priceless. Happy Birthday Paulo.

Friday, 27 April 2012


Because we haven't seen each other for a very long time Veressa and I decided to meet for coffee this morning in fact this would be I first get together this year, my word it has been long. Veressa has heard all about Skye, seen photos of him  and just wanted to meet the little whip. We met at Ninnos on Douglasdale this morning. Veressa brought along Sasha her Italian Greyhound and I Skye my Whippet, both had similar colours but look at the size difference between Sasha who is nearly two years old and Skye who is nearly 6 months old. Skye is the bigger dog if you haven't been following my blog.

Veressa and I had a wonderful time catching up after all this time, and the dogs behaved themselves so much so that we are going to make this a regular thing.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Vespa Guy

The second long weekend is about to commence. Who says commence now days, oh dear my age is starting to ooze through the cracks. I took a half day today as needed to get a new battery for Suzette and a new headlight globe for Sophia. So off I went this afternoon, first to Kwik-Fit for a battery, R850 later, then to Vespa in Wynburg and at Vespa I was presently surprised as I paid only R90 to get Sophia back up to shape. I had a good chat with Guy from Vespa South Africa's workshop in Wynburg while my Sophia got lovely repaired by Andrew. Thank you Vespa.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dog Treat Ball

Since my dogs are all alone at home while I am at work, I have made sure that every month I buy a new toy to add to their now growing collection of dog toys. These toys are supposed to keep them from getting bored. What also helps is the activity that happens every so often on the plot, for example one of the labourers walks past the cottage or washes up just outside and my pack get all excited running up and down the cottage's wooden fence. Sam, my animal behaviorist friend after watching my pack get all excited when the gardener walked past said that it has become a game to my pack. But I know that they get great joy hearing me on my Vespa coming up the road as I see them run up the stairs to see if it is me then rush back down towards the gate waiting expectantly.

This dog ball which I purchased last month is great, Skye, my Whippet puppy, loves chasing and bringing it back to me while my three Italian Greyhounds ignore it unless I put a treat inside, then they won’t share it at all.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

What’s the Crack?

These last few days, it has been very cold here in Johannesburg, well compared to my friends in the northern climes, not that cold but our homes are not built for the cold so we really feel it here. So here I am, this evening at home trying to feel cozy, listening to some of my favourite Celtic punk music and my dogs tucked under the blankets in their bed. I am feeling morose on this chilly evening, no maybe a little bored. Let's crank is music up a notch or three. Today's photograph is of the photograph that is on the wall above my computer. It is of my friend David which I took while he played the fiddle at the Market on Main. David is from Waterford in the Emerald Isles, well at least he's not a Kerryman. Erin go Bragh.

Monday, 23 April 2012


Only yesterday was I thinking about the Norsemen and Tir na Lochlannaigh, the Land of the Norsemen after watching the movie 13 Warrior again. The Norsemen or Vikings sailed up and down the Scottish and Irish coastlines plundering and eventually settling down, hence the great influence on the Celtic and Gaelic communities.

Today's photograph is of Lochlan, he is of Celtic descent and his name is derived from Lochlannaigh and means a warrior from the land of the Norsemen.

I will end this post with a Norse prayer before battle...
Lo there do I see my father.
Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers.
Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me, they bid me take my place among them,
in the Halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Jacqueline I Presume

After Carol picked up Matthew, the dogs and I went for a long walk to the bottom of my garden. Around the pristine dams before development and roads get bulldozed through the lovely veld smack in the middle of the northern suburbs. Oh well enjoy the peace and wild open spaces while it lasts.

I bumped into Jacqueline, my neighbor taking her dogs for a walk and later Samantha and her group of dog walkers with whom I tagged along for a bit. They were enjoying the Sunday afternoon walk in pristine Highveld landscape so close yet so far from the madding crowd of Johannesburg.

Three hours later, I was back on my patio, sitting on a deck chair with an ice cold coke in hand, enjoying another awesome sunset. While the sage words of Marilyn Monroe came whispering to me as the setting sun turned the dotty clouds burnt orange. This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And babe, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soul mate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're going to fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.

Saturday, 21 April 2012


It is the weekend again and today I am just relaxing at home with Matthew. I suppose sometimes it is just wonderful to do nothing and simply relax with my son. While Matthew spent most of the day in front of the computer or TV, I on the other hand, did my weekly washing, prepared lunch, sat on the patio in the winter sun reading a book, had an afternoon nap on the couch, and walked the dogs to the dams at the bottom of my garden. That my friends was my Saturday, nothing exciting but relaxing none the less.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Prince of Dogs

And finally, Maxy the last dog of my pack and the first Italian Greyhound that I got. Maxy is a prince amongst dogs, it is the way he holds himself, he has this royal feel about him and I think he knows it. It is his gait, the way he walks, canters, trots and gallops just like an Arabian horse, it is awe inspiring just to watch.

I have had many offers to buy Maxy for hunting or racing as Maxy has this aggressive streak of hunting down the biggest dog in the park and asserting his authority. In a way all the offers are worrisome as it is known that these dogs get stolen often which makes us always on guard for suspicious lurkers around the plots. So with the evenings getting colder at the onset of winter, here is Maxy posing in the last rays of sun with his Kingdom spread before him. All hail Prince Maxy.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Princess Jade

Here is my little princess, Jade curled up in a little ball on my couch. When curled up Jade fits snugly in my two hands, she is the smallest of my Italian Greyhounds and the only female in my pack. Although tiny, Jade is a big dog at heart; she is the first one to greet me when I come home from work and just loves worming herself into my arms, hence my nickname for her is "worm". Okay I agree Princess Worm, is not that elegant, maybe I should stick to Princess Jade.

Jade is a what we guys call a "chick magnet" because most people still take her as a puppy were as she is already over two and a half years old. She is half the size as my other Italian Greyhounds and some people even think that she is not even a dog but a baby deer or type of meerkat. She I get so many "Ahhhs" from the ladies and children who just want to take her home. But she is my little princess and my other dogs and I are very protective over her. Ladies, we come as a pack.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Patchy Italian

Yesterday I posted a photograph of my youngest dog, Skye; well today it is my oldest dog's turn. So here is Patch, an Italian Greyhound who will be turning thirteen in July but is still alive and bouncy as ever except towards the end of long walks when his arthritis plays up or on cold mornings like this week has had. Skye stays way clear of Patch because foolish puppy play is not tolerated or maybe it is just out of respect for his greying elder.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Whippet Skye

My Whippet Skye is now a little over 5 months old and is as big as Patch, my biggest Italian Greyhound. Wow, no wonder I am starting to use more dog food than usual. Not quite winter yet but the cold nights have started to set in and my dogs are seeking the warmth under the blankets. Brrrrr, I better get under the duvet as well.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Eishkom Lights Out

Ja met ys, met ys. Well today was just about a write off, what else can I say about Monday. Firstly during the whole morning the internet was extremely slow then about two o' clock the electricity was switched off. Found out that most of central Johannesburg and suburbs was affected by an Eskom sub-station that went offline, eish.

Power was only restored after four which didn't leave me much time to finish up my work. Well at the moment the Eskom can be thankful that the pressure off them as they are not the worst hated company in Gauteng any more but a close second. They have lost the lead to Samral and their new tolling system. In a distant third place is the City of Johannesburg with their billing debacle followed closely by the Johannesburg Roads Agency with broken traffic lights and potholes. The long winter is coming, which means more power cuts by Eskom but so are the tolls.

To pour water onto oil, I heard that a few friends went on a photowalk to Hillbrow this weekend, and I didn't even get the nod. Now that was not very nice of them at all. Oh well I'll need another Scotch with ice, yes with ice please.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

March of the Mods

What will the well dressed Mods be wearing this winter? Well not a pork pie hat but a Triby, which is close enough for me. All I need now is a parka but the traditional Mod parkas, the split tails are about R2000 each. We are, we are, we are the Mods. Today I rode with the real Mods, the Aces and Vesparados. A son of a Rocker, riding with the Mods, dressing like a Mod, oh dear what will my late dad be thinking watching from his heavenly heights, it is our generation, yes our generation and without the Purple hearts. Maybe that is why I go to bed early.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Linex Yamaha

I needed a new rear tyre, a Michelin SM100 120/70 10 to be precise, for Sophia and knowing that Vespa South Africa sells them in excess of R1000 fitted, I started phoning around last Thursday. Most of the places said that they didn't have stock and one, Full Throttle said that they would phone me back but didn't, thanks for that. Cayenne Honda quoted me R800 plus R120 fitment, which would be under what Vespa would have quoted. But Linex Yamaha in Randburg, came back after contacting Michelin themselves with a whopping R297.55 fitted inclusive VAT. The catch was that Michelin can only deliver the next day which meant that I had to wait for today to get the tyre fitted onto Sophia.

Excited, I filled Sophia's rear tyre with Tyre Weld and headed out for Randburg. Being a Saturday meant that Linex Yamaha only had a skeleton crew manning the workshop or should I say wo-manning. Meet Judith, the mechanic who wears Prada, well after hours that is, now she was wearing blue overalls, flat shoes and a bandanna. She reminded me of an Africian Rosie the Riveter. For those who don't know who Rosie the Riveter is, she was a fictional character created during World War Two by the United States government to encourage women to work in the factories due to the shortage of men. Sistas "We Can Do It" was the rallying cry. Later Rosie the Riveter was adopted by women's groups seeking to empower women.

While I was Linex Yamaha, two BMW GT1200 came in for tyres because they said to me that they found Linex Yamaha's prices good. Okay I am digressing, now where was I, oh yes, it is rare to find a female mechanic in South Africa, yet alone an African one. All I can say is that Judith did a good job because Sophia was happy therefore I was pleased and because there wasn't a hole in my pocket. All I was concerned about was that Sophia didn't get used to having a female mechanic working on her.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Rayne and Tantra

Yay it's Friday after a short week that felt soooo long. Anyway after work I went over to Rayne's place for dinner and to talk about a business opportunity that may be in the pipeline. I love animals and seeing Tantra digging his claws into Rayne while chatting after dinner was an opportunity too good to miss.

I am tired so I won't post much but enjoy the weekend folks while I spend time trying to get Sophia and Suzette sorted, sigh, women.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Conspiracy against me

Yes, it is a conspiracy, I say, as both Sophia and Suzette have it in for me. Like what did I do now that peeved them off so much that they resort to conspire against me. Did I miss an anniversary or birthday? Or worse still, forgot to wash them or bring them flowers? Yesterday evening when leaving Marilyn's place, Sophia's rear tyre was flat. Yes pup flat, luckily Marilyn and her sister kindly took Sophia and I home in the back of her Mercedes Vito. Oh so undignified, a Vespa in the back of a van.

That was Sophia. This morning it was Suzette's turn to punish me for some unknown misdemeanor. Yes I tried to start Suzette this morning and she presented me with a very flat battery. What's all this flat business, uhmph! Well I tried to push start her by myself but no joy. Then I went off to find the labourers who are normally tending the gardens or building but no-one was to be found so I ended up phoning the neighbours for a jump start. Thank you Jacqueline for coming out in your dressing gown to help a poor boy in distress. I hope Sophia and Suzette were watching beautiful Jacque and taking notes.

Coming to think about what happened last night and this morning, maybe they both Sophia and Suzette want equal attention but how with four dogs also seeking my affection. They flat out of luck , now it seems like I am getting the silent treatment.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Life's Orchids

A Chinese poem says that "the most beautiful orchids grow at the bottom of the gorge; the orchids fragrance fills the forest". Orchids have this essence of beauty that just does it for me. It is a lonely kind of beauty, one that stands alone on a counter top or in a forest of tropical green. Even wintry roses pales in comparison to the delicate warmth of the orchid.

This beautiful specimen was found in Marilyn's kitchen when I went over for dinner and to help with her Art Décor database. Sadly Sophia didn't want to leave as she presented me with a flat rear tyre when it was time to head back home. Must have been the orchid's magnetism that 'cause Sophia to stray but sorry for her, as we bundled Sophia into the back of Marilyn's Mercedes Vito van and headed home. Now the flat tyre is tomorrow's problem while I go tend to the orchids.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Feels like Monday

Tell me why, today feels like Monday, tell me why?

If it feels, tastes and smells like a Monday then it must be a Monday. After a four day weekend, Tuesday does feel like a Monday when everything gets switched to overload. Nothing livened up today and before I knew it, it was over and I was heading home with the sun setting ever so earlier now.

So tell me why I don't like Mondays even if it is disguised as Tuesday.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Patchy Reunion

At the end of the long Easter weekend, my pack and I met Dianne at Emmarentia Dam for a reunion. Dianne was the previous owner of Patch or Patchy as she calls him, for most of his life. It sounded that Dianne was a bit disappointed that Venus, Patch's sister didn't recognized her but with just one look, Patchy literary just bounced into Dianne's arms, tail wagging at such a pace and just trying to get as many kisses in as possible.

At thirteen in July, Patch may be getting arthritis but his memory is still as sharp as ever. Patch was so happy to see Dianne and I am sure Dianne shed a tear or two behind those sunglasses, but thank goodness Patch still followed me home.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Well, I think we got to level 30 in this game of Jenga. Just when we think that the next person is going to let the rickety tower collapse, it is our turn again. Wow, I was starting to sweat a couple of times that the Jenga tower swayed when delicately shifted a block out.

Craig, invited Edmond, Mandy, Richard, Matthew and myself to a roast lamb Easter lunch and afterwards we somehow got stuck into Jenga, a tower building game were we build a block tower higher by using blocks from the tower itself without collapsing the tower. So here is Craig, shown here during one of his turns at removing a block on level 29, quietly as Craig slowly tries to find a lose block while he tries to rein in his breathing in fear of blowing down the tower.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Jara Reteric Remi

Oh fancy bumping into Mike helping out at a South African Guinea Pig Society judging held at the Urban Market this morning. Mike has been trying to get me to come to one of the SAGPS events to take photos for quite some time now. As it was a SAGPS event and one of their fundamental rules that questions may be asked by the exhibitors and public alike during the judging, therefore I ask and asked many questions about these walking toupees. But no matter how I tried I couldn't get Jade entered as a new breed of guinea pig as some of those piggies were bigger than Jade my Italian Greyhound. Here is a champion sow, Jara Reteric Remi as in Remington Steele. Now wouldn't she make a nice hair piece?

Friday, 6 April 2012


Another dark movie about the era of the Mods and Rockers, Quadrophenia is the cult movie for the scooter boys and when invited by Paulo and Shani for dinner and to watch this 1979 cult movie at their place, how could I ever turn it down.

Both Brighton Rock and Quadrophenia weighed heavy on my soul, as the total despair people that found themselves in really pulled me down. The film is set around Jimmy and this girl, Steph that he has his heart set on and the three day 2nd Battle of Hastings between the Mods and the Rockers. Oh the masks we wear, the idols we follow and the lifestyle we pretend to adore. It all boils down to what Kevin, a Rocker and I suppose the only good person in Quadrophenia, is quoted saying "I don't give a monkey's arsehole about Mods and Rockers. Underneath, we're all the same, 'n't we?"

Thursday, 5 April 2012

A boy and his dog

It is my weekend with Matthew and the first thing Matthew does when he comes home to me, is that he reconnects with the dogs. He spends time with each one, Patch, Maxy, Jade and here he is with Skye, the Whippet puppy, well not so small anymore.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Easter remembrance with their families while Matthew and I enjoy ours with my four dogs.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Summer Set

And before we even knew it, summer had set and winter is well on its way. In Johannesburg we are blessed with winters with clear comfortably mild days with freezing cold nights. Today was just that, a day with a beautiful blue sky with not a cloud in sight and I expect tonight that the temperatures will drop but not to freezing though as it is still autumn. I better get the gas ready for the heaters 'cause soon I will be needing more warmth.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Fuel Increase

Tonight as the clock strikes midnight, the petrol will increase by 71 cents per litre to R11.94 per litre. Well I had to fill the car up and the queues were long but orderly. Thank goodness we don't have fuel shortages like we had a few months back. As for the rip-off prices we have to pay, all I can say about that is another thank goodness, this time for my Sophia, my Vespa, as she uses only a litre per 30km. Nice. Since public transport is just about non-reliable, I can see many more scooters in the future.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Auyo Mathatha

I decided to change slightly by posting a video today instead of my usual photograph. Yes I did take photos today but I also took this video of group of people singing Auyo Mathatha, No Problem, if God is with us then there is no problem. Please excuse the sound quality as it was taken on my Canon 550D camera, as I always say the best camera is the one you have with you and the video has been compressed from over 900MB to 31MB. I was at BBC to help with the Under the Bridge feeding scheme held every Monday to feed anyone needing something to eat. And to hear the people of the earth just sing, wow. Hearing the deep harmonies and melodies of a previous song, I just had to record. I could just close my eyes and let my problems just wash away to the harmonies. Most of these people singing have very little and here they are singing no problems. I used to have a saying; if your problems are too big then your God is too small.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Take me to the water

I woke up this morning from a weird dream which was still vivid in my mind and although still very early, I phoned each one represented in my dream straight away to see if they are okay. This is not the first time that God had given me such a dream; I will put my dream to post soon on my other blog where I rarely post. My other dream still resides there to this day.

After a wet summer, it seems that winter has arrived early this morning, as took a stroll in a chilly 7˚C down to the waters of the great dirty Jukskei River. The icy wind tore right through me while I tried to generate heat by a frisk pace and all the while my mind was trying to make sense of the dream.

Down by the water's edge, it was even colder, but a singing and clapping of hands drew me ever closer. As drew nearer, a group of Zionists all dressed in white greeted me with big smiles on their freezing faces as they were getting baptized in the blessed Jukskei River. Now who would have thought that there was religion in that dirty water? It must have been freezing in the water but the Zionists had the biggest smiles on their faces as they saw me and invited me closer to the cold water's edge. After a Zion Christian Church (ZCC) congregant gets prayed and splashed on with the holy river water, they emerge reborn anew with their old selves floating down the dirty but blessed Jukskei River. So take me to the water of the blessed Jukskei. Take me to the water where none but the righteous shall be saved.

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